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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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Preston was fought, and he was wont to tell his children, with great gusto, how he and a great many others of his boy companions went to look for, beheld, and admired Johnnie Cope's horsemen the day before the battle, but just to feel as much disgusted the following day when learning of their inglorious retreat from the field at Meadowmill. He dwelt at this period in that house known as " Nether Shot," near the east end of Prestonpans. His son, grandfather of Mr John Wright, became land-overseer, etc., to Mr John Fowler, famous in brewery history; and his son, father to Mr John Wright, took to market gardening. He became tenant of Schaw's Lands at Preston about the year 1858.
It need scarcely be added here that the gardens of Preston, from the time they were held in possession by Lord Grange, when that gentleman took pleasure in forming " leafy bowers," and making "fancy pathways" in every direction throughout the extensive orchards, had run to riot ere they came into the hands of the elder Mr Wright, but no sooner had he settled down than improving and planting began. Wherever a vacant spot was found in the orchard, it soon was made glorious with fruitful bush and tree; and wherever an unfruitful nook was discovered, means were instantly taken to compel it to yield its rightful portion of revenue to the cultivator.
At his decease, in 1861, his son, the present tenant, then barely out of his teens, took the business in hand, and from that day hence the very fruitful soil therein has had but little time to slumber.
Besides a great part of Schaw's trust lands, Mr Wright also cultivates, with the exception of two fields, the whole of Watson's trust-estate. These adjoin his orchards, and extend eastward, even to the enclosing of " two" of the " triplet" which comprise the " Thorn Tree " of Preston battle fame.
A strange coincidence in connection with both of the above trust lands may be mentioned here. In 1858 Mr Wright's father succeeded the late Mr John Fowler Hislop's father in Schaw's lands, and in 1896 Mr Wright himself succeeded the late Mr John Fowler Hislop in Watson's lands Since becoming tenant of these lands, Mr Wright, while going in for general farming, devotes a very large acreage to cabbage plant cultivation.
This famous little orchard, more famous through holding Preston old Tower within its walls than through any special fruits it produces, was originally the private haunt of the Hamiltons. It afterwards became part of Schaw's Trust, but was latterly sold to the late Sir William Hamilton by the trustees on the estate, purely and simply, it is understood, in order to give the old family name of Hamilton a localisation again in Preston. The Aitkens in succession, as tenants, held the gardens for long; then the Alisons, who were succeeded by the late John Henderson. John was a thorough market gardener, and a most pronounced politician of the " Glad-stonian Liberal" order. He took credit to himself, rightly or wrongly, for every slashing article which appeared in the local news during election times in favour of our present M.P., and was pleased if people seemed to believe it.
He got an unco gliff on the day after the election, however, when it became known that Mr Haldane had been elected. He had been at Haddington, or near by, awaiting the result, and hurried home with the news. On coming to Preston he beheld one who had taken a very active part on the same side with him, working with all his might among his men. He halted, and raising his hands above his head, "O Lord God," he exclaimed, " did I ever expect to see the like o' this ! A Liberal! a genuine Liberal! and his men working like slaves on the tap o' such a glorious victory ! " Poor John, his political and other labours are all at an end. Mr Thomas Wilson, who hails from Ormiston district, has recently become tenant of the Castle Gardens, and is working them on the market gardening system most successfully.
These lands, which overlook Bankton Marsh on the south, are mentioned in our charters of the thirteenth century as " Wygtrig," and because of this same thing the late Mr John Fowler Hislop was very proud of them. Mr Scott Crichton, a descendant of little short of two centuries of market gardeners in the Dalkeith district, became tenant in 1896. He devotes these lands almost entirely to market gardening purposes. The buildings in connection with the little estate are of a most extensive and commodious character. The late proprietor took pleasure in seeing everything well done.
Mr John Gillies, though a resident, is not a native of Preston. He first beheld the light of day in a neighbouring

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