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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

By the name of the Lochgellie band


[97] Yetholm lies in a valley which, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains, seems completely sequestered from the rest of the world--alike inaccessible from without, and not to be left from within. The valley has, however, more than one outlet.--_Chambers' Gazetteer of Scotland._--ED.

[98] In Hungary, their houses, which are always small, and poor in appearance, are commonly situated in the outskirts of the village, and, if possible, in the neighbourhood of some thicket or rough land.--_Bright._--ED.

In the statistical account of Auchterderran, just alluded to, is to be found the following notice of the Lochgellie Gipsies: "There are a few persons called _Tinkers_ and _Horners_, half resident and half itinerant, who are feared and suspected by the community. Two of them were banished within these six years." This horde, at one time, consisted of four or five families of the names of Graham, Brown, Robertson, &c. The Jamiesons and Wilsons were also often seen at Lochgellie; but such were the numbers that were coming and going about the village, that it was difficult to say who were residenters, and who were not. Some of them had fens from the proprietor of the estate of Lochgellie. They were dreaded for their depredations, and were well known to the country people, all over the shires of Fife, Kinross, Perth, Forfar, Kincardine and Aberdeen, by the name of the "Lochgellie band." The

chiefs of this band were the Grahams, at the head of which was old Charles Graham, an uncommonly stout and fine-looking man. He was banished the kingdom for his many crimes. Charlie had been often in courts of justice, and on one occasion, when he appeared for some crime or other, the judge, in a surly manner, demanded of him, what had brought him there?--"The auld thing again, my lord, but nae proof," was the Tinkler's immediate reply. Ann Brown, one of his wives, and the chief female of the band, was also sentenced to banishment for fourteen years; seven of which, however, she spent in the prison of Aberdeen. She remained altogether nine years at Botany Bay, married a Gipsy abroad, returned to Scotland, with more than a hundred pounds in cash, and now sells earthenware at St. Andrews.[99] Being asked why she left Botany Bay, while making so much money there, she said, "It was to let them see I could come back again."

[99] This woman is most probably dead, and the same may be said of some of the other characters mentioned in this and other chapters.--ED.

Young Charlie Graham, son and successor, as chief, to old Charlie, was hanged at Perth, about thirty years ago, for horse-stealing. The anecdotes which are told of this singular man are numerous. When he was apprehended, a number of people assembled to look at him, as an object of wonder; it being considered a thing almost impossible to take him. His dog had discovered to the messengers the place of his concealment, having barked at them as they came near the spot. His feelings became irritated at the curiosity of the people, and he called out in great bitterness to the officers: "Let me free, and gie me a stick three feet lang, and I'll clear the knowe o' them." His feet and hands were so handsome and small, in proportion


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