Courting controversy

I fear that the good burghers of Selkirk may get more than they bargain for if they lift the lid on the doings of Sir Walter Scott as Shirra at the early part of the nineteenth century.

Court business in those days was not for the squeamish and may not suit the sensitivities of those living in more enlightened times 200 years later.

We are all familiar with the eulogy: “My mother and father were honest though poor.... ” and it is reputed that Scott, in a speech at a Galashiels meeting of mill owners, stated: “You keep them poor and I’ll keep them honest”. There is a certain lack of political correctness.

It would be prudent to concentrate on the literary output and legacy of this outstanding writer, and allow the realities of pre-Victorian life to fade into historical obscurity to join the details of the domestic arrangements of the likes of Wallace or Bruce.

Robin Cross

Netherby House