6/3/2020 (early times in Hawick)

This week in my time roughly allocated to making videos, I’ve been watching crime dramas and doing cross stitch (no photos, sorry!), thanks to a period that leaves me ether exhausted or in pain (usually worse when I’m drinking coffee to combat the tiredness), with just enough energy and concentration left to climb onto the sofa after work.

Any magical solutions to this state of not-really-awakedness, please let me know. If they work, you’ll have less complaining to read before I get to what I’m actually here to write.

I’ve been slowly reading up on the town of Hawick over the last week or so. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in the town, and thought I had a good rough overview of the town’s history; very old settlement by the confluence of two rivers, defensible position? didn’t that lost Roman legion disappear around here?, back-and forth over the border from Rievers and raiders, lots of men, Flodden, the arrival of knitting machines, two world wars, more men, and the departure of (most of) the knitting machines, and of course, the Common Riding (more on that later). Ta-dah! you’ve got modern-day Hawick.

I mean, I might try to argue that could be a better than average vague understanding of the place’s history?

I’m starting with what I hope is a nice and even overview, so went for Alistair Moffat’s Hawick A History From Earliest Times. He really does mean earliest times. I’ve not got very far into it yet, but here are some things that I didn’t know before and plan to look into further:

Bedrule, which yes okay, it’s closer to Jedburgh than Hawick… was owned by a woman, called Bethoc. She sounds badass.

The name Hawick may have links to the word haegtesse, which is ‘a woman who had prophetic powers’. More badass, please.

There are people who call themselves ‘guitterbluids’ who were born between the two rivers of Slitrig and Teviot. I’m curious at the division of identities within the town itself, I had had the impression it’s the town or nothing. Are these people possibly earlier Teris (That’s the term for Hawick natives) than others?

The first Teries with names we know were women. They were called Saegifa and Rosfritha. They witnessed a miracle at St. Cuthbert’s church (not the one that stands in the town today). I like to think of them as badasses.

I’m only up to page 54 so no spoilers please.

Hawick by Alistair Moffat book