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Yetholm Scotland

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Information on the village of Yetholm, near Kelso in Scotland.

The Graveyard

Rev John Baird, writing in 1841, records:

'Yetholm churchyard has probably been the burial place of many an ancient border chief. About two or three years ago, a stone coffin was discovered nearly six feet below the surface, and unfortunately was broken before it could be ascertained what it was. The stone in which the body lay was an entire mass. It contained a skeleton of unusual size.
Still more lately, in the same churchyard, was discovered a square erection, consisting of four rough stones, set at right angles, and covered by a flat stone above, in which was found only a skull, which crumbled into dust when exposed for a short time to the air.'

Gravestones
The upper part of a 14th century grave-slab has been built into the east wall of the church.

'It is 16 inches by 28 inches in size. It bears an incised floriated cross-head and a plain shaft, on the dexter side of which is incised the upper part of a sword with bulbous pommel and straight quillons.'

A small stone is built into the wall of the vestibule.

'The face is circled and bears a sunk panel containing the initials in relief of M(R) J(OHN) B(ALFOUR) and the date 1610. He was the minister from 1605 to 1633.' 'In the churchyard can be seen a small headstone with a circled top. One side displays a cherub's head and a skull, while the other is inscribed:

'HERE LYE[S]
THE BOD[Y OF]
WILLIAM GRA[?]
MARTCHANT IN YET[HOLM]
DEPARTED THIS LIF[YE]
[?] DAY IN
THE YEAR 1707'

There is another which has a shaped top and a panel on one side with the inscription:

HEIR LYES ELISA
BETH HELLIBORT
ON SPOUS TO
GEORG PRINGLE
IN TROVBVRNE
SHE DIED THE 15
OF OCTOBER
1685.

The other side bears the inscription:

HERE LYES WILLIAM
PRINGLE SHOUMAKER
SON TO ANDROW PRINGLE
IN BURNHEAD WHO
DIED 13 DAY OF JUNE
1745 HIS AGE 25 YEARS

A second and improved edition of the 'Monumental Inscriptions of Yetholm in Roxburghshire' produced by the Borders Family History Society was brought out in late 1997. This details all the gravestones in both the old and the extension graveyard, which lies outside the village on the road to Morebattle.

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