- MORHAM, a parish, in the county of Haddington, 3½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Haddington; containing 287 inhabitants. This place appears to have derived its name from its situation at the head of an extensive tract of land which was formerly an uncultivated moor. There was anciently a castle here, the baronial residence of the Lord of Morham, which in the 12th century belonged to the family of Malherb, who subsequently took their name from the estate; and, by marriage with the daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas de Morham, the lands were conveyed to John de Gifford, of Yester, from whom they passed to the Hays, of Locherwart, ancestors of the Marquess of Tweeddale. The glen of Morham is by some writers supposed to have been the resort of the early preachers of Christianity in this part of Britain, and probably of St. Baldred while promulgating the Christian doctrine; a small elevated rock is pointed out as the station occupied by the preacher, and the opposite slope, ascending gradually from the bank of a rivulet, as the place of his assembled hearers. The parish is about three miles in length, and varies in breadth from half a mile to one mile; it comprises 1840 acres, of which, with the exception of 60 in woods and plantations, the whole is in good cultivation. The surface rises towards the Lammermoor range of hills, but no where attains an elevation of more than 300 feet above the level of the sea; it is watered by a small rivulet, and by springs which afford a sufficient supply for domestic use. The soil is generally clayey, of greater or less stiffness, in some parts exceedingly rich and fertile; and from a judicious course of husbandry, there is, as already stated, no waste or unproductive land. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; the lands are well inclosed, chiefly with stone dykes, but on some farms with hedges of thorn, both of which are kept in good repair; draining has been very extensively practised, and all the more recent improvements in agricultural implements have been adopted. The farm houses and offices are commodious, but inferior to those of other parishes in the district; and especially the cottages of the labourers require improvement. About 400 sheep are annually pastured; but the lands being almost exclusively under tillage, the breed of live-stock is very little attended to. The substratum is mostly trap-rock, in some parts interspersed with porphyry, and tinted with iron-ore; coal was formerly wrought here, but the works have been long discontinued. Freestone is still quarried, but not in great quantities; it is of a coarse quality, and very soft. The nearest markettown is Haddington, which is the principal mart for the agricultural produce of the parish, and for the supply of its inhabitants with the necessary articles of commerce; there is, however, but little facility of communication, the roads, though good, being very circuitous, and no regular mode of conveyance being established. The rateable annual value of Morham is £3318. It is in the presbytery of Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and patronage of Sir Charles Fergusson: the minister's stipend is £156. 1. 5., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum. The date of the foundation of the ancient church is unknown; it was taken down, and the present edifice erected in 1724, a neat and substantial structure affording sufficient accommodation for all the parishioners, and capable of being much enlarged at an inconsiderable expense. The parochial school, for which a school-house has been recently built, affords a suitable education to more than seventy children, of whom several attend from the adjoining parishes; the master has a salary of £34, with £36 fees, a house, and an allowance in money for deficiency of garden ground. The vault of the Dalrymples, of Hailes, occupies a small aisle of the church. Sir David Dalrymple, the first baronet of that family; his son, Sir James, auditor of the exchequer, and connected by marriage with the earls of Haddington; and Lord Hailes, who died in 1792, were all interred here.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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