Sometime I plan to write a detailed blog post about the history of schooling at Melrose before 1820, including back into the mid 17th century. But for now, here’s a nice reference I just found in the early newspapers at the British Newspaper Archive. This report comes from the Caledonian Mercury of 22 May 1788.
PARISH OF MELROSE
THE HERITORS of said Parish are requested to attend a meeting within the church of Melrose, on Thursday the 29th instant, at twelve o’clock mid-day, to fix the mode of chusing a Schoolmaster for said parish, several persons having offered themselves as candidates for that office; and also to take under consideration other parochial concerns.
An online database of St Andrews University students between 1747 and 1897 was recently launched. This provides a searchable biographical database of alumni between those years. The biographies were compiled by the former Keeper of the Muniments at St Andrews, Dr Robert Smart. For more descriptive details see the blog post here, and search the database here.
Fourteen students associated with Melrose show up in the database:
- Frederick M’Lagan (1738-1818) son of Rev. Alexander M’Lagan, minister at Little Dunkeld, and Jean Glas. Student 1758-1760. Minister at Melrose 1768-1818. Died at Hayfield, Stirlingshire.
- John Bain (1757-1837) son of John Bain, Flisk, and Christian Squire. Student 1771-1774. Teacher at Kirkcudbright, Cupar and Leith. Died at Melrose.
- James Chalmers Herdman (1826-1899) son of William Herdman, minister Rattray, and Sophia Walker. Student 1838-1845. Missionary at Calcutta and minister at Melrose.
- William Murray, from Melrose, possibly b. 1825 son of Thomas Murray, Melrose, and Louisa Thomson. Student 1840-1847.
- John Y. Walker, b. 1831, son of John F. Walker, Anstruther Wester, and Elizabeth B. McBean. Student 1846-1851. Described in biographical register at “Schoolmaster Earlston, Melrose” – just Earlston or both?
- John Dall Connel (1843-1901) son of David Connel, U.P. minister at Bo’ness, and Barbara Browning. Student 1859-1863. Began medical practice at Melrose, then moved to Peebles.
- John Hill, b. 1850 son of Andrew Hill, Melrose, and Anne Scott. Student 1871-1872. Probably John Hill “English master” in Abbey Park in 1871.
- Louis William Bodé, b. 1860 at Melrose, son of Louis Wilhelm Bodé, Captain Royal Hanoverian, and Mary McEwen. Student 1876-1877.
- Robert Stevenson (1861-1947) son of John Stevenson, landed proprietor Alloa, and Jeannie Miller. Student 1877-1881. Minister at Gargunnock. Died at Melrose.
- Richard M. Muckersie (1863-1888) son of Michael Muckersie, innkeeper Melrose, and Helen Mitchell. Student 1879-1886. Died at Edinburgh.
- William Rae (1861?-1893), from Hawick/Melrose. Student 1883-1884. Congregational minister at Inverurie 1891-1893.
- James Herbert Curle (1870-1942), born at Melrose, son of James Curle of Evelan, writer, and Marion Passmore Whyte Newlyn. Student 1887-1889. Later author, writer, mining engineer and philatelist. Died in Victoria, British Columbia.
- Robert Nelson (1878-1951) son of Robert Nelson, Ruthwell, and Margaret Skeoch. Student 1894-1897. Minister at New Machar, Glasgow Abbotsford and South Leith. Died at Melrose.
- William Scrimgeour (1878-1940) son of William Scrimgeour, master joiner Methven, and Jessie Dewar. Student 1895-1900. Teacher at Ayr, Peebles, Oban and Kirkbuddo. Died at Melrose.