| opponent, when, throwing away the useless " article
of war, " he hurried after him shouting, " Come
back, Robbie, come back ! ye're no killed, man, and the pistol's
deid. " But neither of the two returned. There was no
more clay ground that day, and the rest of the men were thrown
idle. Both of these worthies died about 1850.
JOCK TAMSON'S PRAYER.
Jock Tamson was a man of means, and lived and died in the
neighbourhood of Ayre's Wynd. Jock liked his bit drappie,
but he began to take so much that the family had to take matters
in hand and put a stop to his tippling. Whether he had been
accustomed to pray previous to this period is uncertain, but
his petition many times a day now was to this effect: "
O, Lord, why dost Thou now withhold the wee drappie frae John
Thomson? But what needs I ask? it's no you, O Lord, no ! but
that family o! mine. God hae mercy on them and quickly show
them the error o' their ways Amen. "
The Old Village—Highway to H \ddington—Preston Church—Preston
Tower—Destruction by Lord Hertford—Royal Processions and Merriments
—Black Plague—Hamilton's Petition—Ashamed of the Roads through
Preston—Toll levying for Repairs—Queen Mary and her Lords'
Visit— Preston—King James's Visit—Boundary of the Baronies—Wygtrig
Hill-Curious Memorial Stone—Description, etc. —Old Pillar
or Sun-Dial— Decayed Titles—Market Days of Old—Old Taverns—Curious
Impost— Dr Jelly, etc.
THE great highway to Haddington, to Berwick, to London all
the way, was not, previous to the year 1800, by way of Tranent,
Macmerry, and Gladsmuir, as at present, but by way of Preston.
There was, indeed, a good post road to Tranent over which
the mails between Edinburgh and London and a series of stage-coaches
plied regularly; but it turned northwards at the west end
of the village, and skirting the upper end of the " Heuch,
" proceeded round the " Butts " down by the
" Puddin' Tower" and the old parish school, rejoining
the main highway to Haddington towards the east end of the
Meadows, now Meadowmill. And that old road on the south side
of the North British Railway, leading to Riggonhead Farm,
still represents the old post road previous to its being cut
by the railway.
Preston must have been a very busy place in the early ages,
especially with through traffic, and must have been of more
consequence in these days than even the hamlet of Althamer.
As it was in its immediate vicinity that the monks of Newbattle
originally formed their grange, possibly this village acquired
the name of Prieststown even before Althamer changed its name,
and it may be taken for granted that when the name of the
upper village became contracted to Preston, the name of the
lower village would accept the contraction too, although