FOULDEN, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Berwick; containing 393 inhabitants, of whom 73 are in the village, and the remainder in the rural districts of the parish. This place, of which the signification and derivation of the name are alike uncertain, is chiefly distinguished for a conference held in the church in 1587, between commissioners appointed by James VI. of Scotland, and others sent by Elizabeth of England, to discuss and investigate those circumstances in the conduct of the unfortunate Mary by which Elizabeth endeavoured to vindicate the incarceration and subsequent decapitation of her royal sister. The parish is about two miles and a quarter in length, and very nearly of equal breadth, and comprises 3000 acres, of which 2400 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is diversified with gentle slopes, and with wood-crowned heights, which shelter it from the colder winds; the scenery is generally interesting, and in some parts pleasingly picturesque and romantic. The river Whiteadder, which is here of considerable depth, skirts the southern side of the parish for the whole distance, in its progress to the Tweed, into which it falls near Berwick; its banks are of precipitous height, and on the north side intersected with numerous glens, through which many streams from the higher lands find their way into its channel.
   The soil in some parts is a strong clay, in some a sandy loam, and in others a cultivated moor; the crops are, wheat, oats, barley, beans, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is in an advanced state; the lands are well drained and inclosed, the farm-houses and offices substantially built and conveniently arranged; and all the more recent improvements in husbandry are practised. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5002. The woods are partly of great age; the plantations consist of oak, ash, elm, birch, chesnut, and sycamore, with spruce and Scotch firs. Foulden House, the seat of the proprietor of four-fifths of the parish, is a handsome mansion, pleasantly situated in an extensive and richly-wooded demesne, ornamented with much stately timber of ancient growth, and with young and thriving plantations. The village is neatly built, and inhabited by persons employed in agricultural pursuits and in the various handicraft trades requisite for the parish. A fair, chiefly for pleasure, is held annually in the village; and the want of easier means of communication with the market-town and other places, which was previously severely felt, was recently supplied by the erection of a good bridge over the river Whiteadder, for which purpose a grant from the county of £500, and a subscription of £1500 from the gentry of the district, were obtained. The parish is in the presbytery of Chirnside and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of John Wilkie, Esq.; the minister's stipend is £152. 18., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £24 per annum. The church, situated within the grounds of Foulden House, was erected in 1786, after the ancient church had become ruinous; it is a neat edifice, well adapted for the parish, and the interior is capable of being seated for the accommodation of the whole population. The parochial school affords a good course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34, with £10 fees, and a house and garden. From the name of an estate in the parish, called Nunlands, it is supposed that a religious establishment once existed here, though no account of it has transpired; and there were formerly remains of an ancient fort called Foulden Castle, probably a place of retreat during the wars of the border. In the churchyard is an epitaph to the memory of some hero who appears to have distinguished himself in those predatory incursions so frequent in feudal times; it is inscribed to George Ramsay, and dated 4th January, 1592.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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