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Roxburghshire - A History of Pride and Courage


Known also as the county of Roxburgh (from the Gaelic Siorrachd Rosbroig), Roxburghshire is one of the main Scotland registration counties. Its boundaries lie by Cumbria and Northumberland to the southeast, by Dumfries to the west and small county of Selkirk to the north. The county owes its name to the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh, its main town.

Short History

In the Middle Age, the town of Roxburgh was a not only a favorite castle and residence of many kings of Scotland, but also a notable market town. Years later, long after the collapse of the castle, the town dwindled somewhat, and most of its inhabitants moved to the more prosperous town of Kelso.

Pertaining these facts there are also two mysteries that have surrounded Roxburghshire at this time. The first is that being one of the biggest and strongest marketplaces of the region, it somehow disappeared almost completely as such without any kind of logical explanation. The second strange fact is that the ruins of Roxburgh Castle are thought to have been those of Camelot, the legendary castle so many times mentioned in folklore. Historical or scientific evidence of these facts is not conclusive, which has arisen much controversy among scholars.

In the year 1973, the Local Government Act abolished the county of Roxburghshire as a proper county and integrated it to the Boarders region.

Roxburghshire was the first county of Scotland honored with a grant of arms by the end of the 18th century. The shield showed a unicorn (a national symbol of Scotland), a hunting horn between two helmets and curiously, a crest representing an armored arm holding a scimitar. This last representation was removed in 1975, when the coat of arms was given to the Roxburgh District Council. However among all the symbols that make up the coat of arms of Roxburgh, its people are most proud of the Latin motto written on it. It is a quote from Virgil’s Aeneid that says (translated to English): “Yield not to misfortunes (evil things) but go on more boldly against them”.

As is the case with many other Scottish counties, the history and financial situation of Roxburghshire is deeply related to its geography, especially to the famous River Tweed. And this is not without good reason, since the Tweed is considered by many as the best source of salmon and sea trout in Europe. This is also the reason why the fishing industry is one of the most prosperous of the region.

Lastly, an amusing fact surrounding the region is that all the towns that form the county are extremely jealous and competitive between each other. But instead of taking this rivalry to potentially harmful activities, they have chosen to confront each other in a much healthier way. By playing against each other in the Rugby field. Here the local teams frequently meet and compete ferociously for the honor of victory.