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Jedburgh Scotland


Jedburgh lies on the Jed Water, a tributary of the River Teviot, it is only ten miles from the border with England, and is dominated by the substantial ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.

A church had been at Jedburgh since the 9th century, founded by Bishop Ecgred of Lindisfarne, and king David I of Scotland made it a priory between 1118 and 1138, housing Augustinian monks from Beauvais in France. The abbey itself was founded in 1147. Border wars with England in the 16th century left the abbey a magnificent ruin, still worth a visit today.

The deeply religious Scottish king Malcolm IV died at Jedburgh in 1165, aged 24. His death was thought to be brought on by excessive fasting.

David I had also erected a castle at Jedburgh, and in 1174, it was one of five fortresses ceded to England. It was an occasional royal residence for the Scots but captured by the English so often that it was eventually demolished in 1409, when it was the last English stronghold in Scotland.


Jedburgh Abbey.In 1258 Jedburgh had also been the focus of royal attention, with negotiations between Scotland's Alexander III and England's Henry III over the heir to the Scottish throne, leaving the Comyn faction dominant. Alexander III was also to marry at the abbey in 1285.

Its proximity to England made it historically subject to raids and skirmishes by both Scottish and English forces.

Mary, Queen of Scots stayed at a house in the town in 1566 which is now a museum.

Lord of Jedburgh Forest was a barony that was granted to George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus on the occasion of his marriage to the Princess Mary, daughter of Robert III in 1397. It is subsidiary title of the present Earl of Angus, Angus Douglas-Hamilton, 15th Duke of Hamilton. The Duke of Douglas was raised to the position of Viscount Jedburgh Forest, but he died without heir in 1761.

In 1745, the Jacobite army led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart passed through the town on its way to England, and the Prince also stayed here. The Castle Prison opened in 1823.

In 1787 the early geologist James Hutton noted what is now known as the Hutton Unconformity[1] at Inchbonny, near Jedburgh. Layers of sedimentary rock which are tilted almost vertically are covered by newer horizontal layers of red sandstone.[2] This was one of the findings that led him to develop his concept of an immensely long geologic time scale with "no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end."[1]

The expression "Jeddart justice" or "Jethart Justice", where a man was hanged first, and tried afterward (compare Lynch law), seems to have arisen from one case of summary execution of a gang of villains.
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