The Gypsies
The Early History
Gypsies in Scotland
Gypsies in the Borders
The Yetholm Gypsies
Gypsy Families
The Faa Family
Jean Gordon

Berwickshire Naturalists VII Anniversary Address

'This subject of the Gipsy has always been one of much interest to myself. By Statutes 1 and 2 Philip and Mary and 5 Elizabeth, it became felony, without benefit of clergy, to be found in fellowship with gipsies; and Sir Matthew Hale states, that at one Suffolk assizes no less than thirteen gipsies were executed upon these statutes.

'Their ancient history is veiled in obscurity; but their features and language remain, after hundreds of years, to this present moment. They are swarthy in complexion, with very dark, long eyes, black hair, and rather an oval face -clearly of an eastern origin. Dr Knox says that they rarely intermarry with other races, so far as the females are concerned, but the male has no such scruples. He describes a young gipsy he saw at Kirk Yetholm. She was about 16, and the finest specimen of the race he ever saw - features regular; eyes and hair black. Even in the best specimens, the mouth is too large, and the upper jaw, as in the Jewess, quite disproportioned to the lower jaw and to the rest of the features. The lips are large, and partake of the African character. To detain her at the door, he asked her the way to the head of the College water. She raised her fine arm to point out the mountain path. On the inner side of the arm there stood a circular leprous spot, not to be mistaken. Quick as though she observed, by a look I gave my friend, that the spot had been noticed by me, and as suddenly withdrew her arm retiring within the hovel immediately. He adds, 'they are dying out; they do not work, and like to live on the industry of others; they have found out the great secret, that they can live by the labour of others.' '

The Gypsies

Esther Faa Blythe

Charles Faa Blythe Coronation

At St James Fair 1907

At St James Fair 1907

Kirk Yetholm Green c1920

Kirk Yetholm - Muggers Row c1920

Looking up the hill to Staerough

Kirk Yetholm Gypsy Palace c1945

King & Queen and Palace

Gypsy Palace present day