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Neighbours in The Baron and Lady of Cowdenknowes

Cowdenknowes Barony Comes Full Circle

Not far south of Prestoungrange and Dolphinstoun, on the A68 between Lauder and Melrose, close by Earlston to be precise, lies the ancient Barony of Cowdenknowes first erected on January 15th 1634. Its present incumbents, the Hardens of Cowdenknowes, who gained their access from the 13th Earl of Haddington are descendants of the 'Scotts of Harden'. They are recognised in their title by Warrant of Lord Lyon in May 2004. It is perhaps ironic that they should now be thus infeft since in 1552 the Earl's ancestor Sir John Home of Cowdenknowes had personally arranged the killing of a Scott of Buccleuch!

Their website tells their full history



Sir Walter Scott's The Minstrelsey of the Scottish Border

They are rightly proud of the traditional song from their lands, The Broom of The Cowdenknowes, and at their attractive website have made the full text and an early musical setting available.

Acceptance of Our Invitation to November 28th 2005 Inaugural Barons' Day Celebrations

One of the final decisions of the Barons Courts in July 2004 was to declare November 28th Barons' Day from 2005 on. Its significance is that it is the anniversary of the 'Appointed Day for the Cessation of Baron's Judicial and Land Rights'.It is a delight to report that our Invitation to attend at the Caput, being The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, on that day has been accepted by the Cowdenknowes family.

And for the future we intend in any and every manner we ourselves may be invited, to share with them in their own excellent endeavours as Barons to support the society and community on their ancient lands.

The Earlston & Cowdenknowes 'Gathering' is Planned

Writing this month, Mark Harden, Younger of Cowdenknowes, reported:

"My father, Baron of Cowdenknowes, is now working with community members to establish the very first Earlston & Cowdenknowes Gathering. He is also working to help promote the local heritage and folklore within local schools. The first official meetings between prospective board members will be taking place early in the New Year.

My father has always had a passion for this region and we took many trips here as children. When access to the Barony of Cowdenknowes became available we were all concerned that it should not be lost, or abused by successors with no real interest in its history or its preservation within the community. By assuming the role and title of Baron, Cowdenknowes knew that he was 'taking on responsibility to the community who's name he bears and the custodianship of a precious piece of Scottish history'.

He has found good friends in 'his' community who had always wanted their own Gathering but had never quite got the ball rolling. As the incoming Baron it was felt it was a perfect opportunity to give a lead towards that ambition. Fund raising has become a shared challenge for community effort which itself is an integral part of what will make the Gathering yet more personal".


David Ayre, Baron of Kilmarnock is also capturing Baronial history

P.S. Another excellent historical website has recently been developed by David Ayre, Baron of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire www.kilmarnock.com

Published Date: December 14th 2004


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