The Tweedie Family

Veitch v Tweedy

In Upper Tweeddale there lived the Veitches and the Tweedies, side by side and, for decades, they were at deadly feud. The cause of the feud is not clear but may have been the result of the violent death of either a Tweedie or a Veitch. Sometimes such feuds lasted long after the initial cause was forgotten.

The seat of the Tweedies was their castle at Drumelzier. They had the reputation of being aggressive and they were reputed to have incurred the wrath of their neighbours by levying tolls on travellers passing by. The principal estate of their neighbours, the Veitches, was nearby Dawyck. 

Both names were baronies and had their own considerable land holdings, about equal in value, their retainers and their allies. 

In 1590 there took place a particularly nasty murder. 

Young Patrick, son of William the Laird of Dawyck, had been on a visit to Peebles and was returning home in the afternoon. His presence in Peebles had been noticed by a group of young Tweedies, who, with their friends, numbered nine young men. They decided to ambush young Veitch on his way home and some of the group rode ahead and the others followed in the rear. Where the valley narrowed they closed in and set upon young Patrick. Patrick had no chance, being outnumbered nine to one and, even though he put up a spirited resistance, he was cut down and slaughtered where he lay. 

For this cowardly crime the Tweedy gang were hunted down and imprisoned in Edinburgh gaol, but they were never sentenced for the crime. 

The Veitches took the law into their own hands.  Soon after the killing of Patrick Veitch, one of the guilty group, John Tweedy, was walking in the High Street of Edinburgh when he was met by two Veitch brothers, John and Andrew. There was a sharp conflict and John Tweedy was cut down. 

The strife between the two families continued amain, with much bloodshed on either side. Then, one afternoon, while walking by the Tweed, the lairds of both Dawyck and Drumelzier met. They were alone and all the hatreds of generations of violence must have welled up inside them. Yet, showing great strength of character, they subdued their anger and talked. They agreed to end the strife and to live side by side in peace. 

But the feud carried on fuelled mainly by the younger elements of both families. 

It was not until well into the next century, after protracted negotiations, and further violence and bloodletting, was an understanding accepted by both parties and a precariously peace adhered to.

  The above is repeated under the surname Vietch.

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