Working with the Heritage Hub at Hawick, we have retraced the old families and owners who lived and worked at Yethouse.

These facts summarise what we know so far if you can fill in the gaps, we’d love to hear from you.

Yethouse, is in the old parish of Castleton, overlooking the village of Newcastleton in Liddesdale close to the English border. This land was home to the Border Reiver, a land of ancient family rivalries, of raid and counter-raid.

The planned village of Newcastleton, (known locally as Copshaw Holm) was founded in 1793 by the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch as a handloom-weaving centre. Not much has changed from the original design as we see it today.

Yethouse is one of the many Buccleuch properties occupied by families with famous local names such as Robson, Turnbull, Rutherford and Armstrong. The earliest record dates to 1695 when a Thomas Robeson paid Hearth Tax on one hearth at Yethouse. On the 9th March 1707, the Kirk Session records note that Thomas Robeson and Ann Beaty of Yethouse had a child baptized who was called Thomas.

"The Hearth Tax of 1691 was introduced to raise money for the armed forces and used to pay arrears of wages and debts owed by the country"

1707 was the same year the Treaty of Union was signed between the Scots and English Parliaments. It would take a further 96 years till 1801 before Scotland, England and Wales signed the Act of Union creating the United Kingdom as we know it today.

In 1794, under threat of French invasion, a Scottish volunteer defence force was created by Royal Warrant. Each county in Scotland had its own lieutenancies. James Armstrong, of Yethouse, appeared on the Militia List for Castleton in 1797 and again in 1801 along with his brother Francis.

Armstrong's remained at Yethouse for over 80 years appearing in the ten-yearly census returns from 1841—1881. James and Francis were sons of Mungo Armstrong and Hannah Turnbull. Mungo died at Yethouse in 1812, born in 1728 he lived a long life of 84 years, even by the 1900’s the average expectancy of a man was still only 50. Hannah died in 1802 and their daughter Agnes lived until 1832. It is possible she died of cholera as there was a major outbreak in Scotland during this time.

The census returns recorded James as head of household, he was described as a farmer with 156 acres of land. He married late in life at 47 years of age to Margaret Turnbull, twenty-two years his junior. They had five children James, Ann, Thomas, Janet and Agnes aged between 23 and 31, all unmarried. Sadly, their youngest, Margaret died at Yethouse aged 9 in 1840. Like his father before him, James was long living the Liddesdale Monument Inscriptions noted his death in 1860, aged 89 as ‘tenant in Yethouse’.

The census of 1861 confirmed Margaret as a widow, with her eldest son James the farmer, and four other children still living at home, all still unmarried. James died in 1872 aged 53, his mother lived until 1880 and died aged 87.

By 1881, second son Thomas aged 57 was head at Yethouse. He farmed 200 acres, 35 acres arable, employing 2 male servants. His sister Ann was housekeeper with the younger sister Janet a housekeeper’s assistant.

Ten years later the census shows that Yethouse had passed from the Armstrong family to the Robson family. Alexander Temple Robson, aged 57, his wife Jane Inglis aged 41 and their seven children; Adam, the eldest at eighteen through to Jessie, Alexander Inglis, Janet, Jane, James and 2-year-old John, who sadly died a few months later. By the time of the 1901 census, a further son Robert had been born. The eldest son Adam died in 1906 aged 31. Yethouse remained in Robson's hands until 1925 when the second son Alexander Inglis died aged 46.

The smaller Yethouse property was occupied by the Turnbull family. Given the location of Yethouse and the limited opportunity for social contacts, it is not surprising that Turnbull’s and Armstrong's intermarried.

We know that the Robson family lived at Yethouse till 1925 and the Turnbull’s in a 2nd property.

We would love to know more, please get in touch if you can help.