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A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Bolton, a hamlet and a parish of central Haddingtonshire. The hamlet lies toward the N of the parish, on the left bank of Coalston Water, 3 miles S by W of Haddington, its post-town and railway station; and at it are the parish church (1809; 300 sittings), the manse, and the public school. The parish is bounded NW., N, and NE by Haddington, E by Yester, SW by Humbie, and W by Salton. With a very irregular outline, it has an extreme length from N by E to S by W of 5 miles, a width from E to W of from ¼ to 25/8 miles, and an area of 3106¼ acres. Coalston Water, a trout-stream of much gentle beauty, traces the north-eastern and the northern boundary; Birns Water, the south-western; and between these two rivulets the surface has a general southward rise, from about 200 feet above sea-level to 426 on the Gifford and Salton road, and 700 beyond Ewingston in the extreme SE. The rocks include coarse sandstone, and perhaps limestone too, but nowhere lie exposed, except for a short stretch of the Coalston's channel; the soil is in one part poor, consisting of tenacious yellow clay resting on tilly subsoil, but elsewhere is mostly a fertile clay or strong argillaceous loam. Nearly 400 acres are planted, and 55 or so are permanent pasture, the rest being all under the plough. The 'Chesters' is a greatly defaced square camp, 7 furlongs S by E of the hamlet; and at the hamlet itself stood a mansion with a park (The Orchards), which is said to have belonged to John Hepburn of Bolton, executed (3 Jan. 1568) as a leading associate in Darnley's murder. From the St Hilaries and the Viponts the manor of Bolton came to George, fourth Lord Halyburton (c. 1450), to Patrick Hepburn, first Earl of Bothwell (d. 1507), and to William Maitland, the famous Secretary Lethington (d. 1573), whose nephew was in 1624 created Earl of Lauderdale and Baron Thirlestaine and Boltoun, a title still borne by the present twelfth Earl. The fourth, however, sold the barony itself to Sir Thomas Livingston (Viscount of Teviot in 1696); and he, in turn, transferred it in 1702 to Walter Stuart, Master of Blantyre, whose collateral descendant, the twelfth Lord Blantyre, is one of the present 8 proprietors-3 holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 4 of between £100 and £500, and 1 of from £50 to £100. Eaglescarine (Al. Chs. Stuart, Esq.), the only mansion, stands on the Coalston, 1¼ mile ESE of the hamlet. Bolton is in the presbytery of Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the minister's income is £265. In the extreme W is a Free church for Bolton and Salton, 1¼ mile NNW of the latter village, 2 S W of the former. The school, with accommodation for 68 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 22, and a grant of £27,4s. Valuation (1881) £4330,13s. Pop. (1801) 252, (1851) 373, (1871) 364, (1881) 337.—Ord. Sur., sh. 33,1863.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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