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Images from in and around Selkirk

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Images courtesy of Grant Kinghorn

History




The French Connection

During the Napoleonic Wars circa 1811, when the accumulation of prisoners of war in England had become very great, it was decided to distribute a large part of them throughout Scotland, and to Selkirk, as her share, came one hundred and ninety men. They were all officers, well educated and very refined.

French Connection

On every road, one mile from the town, a post was placed bearing the words "Limit of Prisoners of War". And down the road leading to the Bridgelands there is still a memorial to these Frenchmen called The Prisoner's Bush, which marked their limit in that direction.

These French prisoners made the best of their confinement, they obtained a billiard table from Edinburgh; they started a cafe; they opened a theatre with an excellent orchestra of twenty-five performers which, as the record states, was "superior to all those to which the echoes of our Scottish residence had ever till then resounded".

Sir Walter Scott was Sheriff of Selkirk at that time and on many occasions invited groups of these Frenchmen down to Abbotsford for dinner.