Record

CodeNA5457
Datesc1113-1975
Person NameRoyal Burgh of Selkirk; c1113-1975; Selkirkshire
EpithetSelkirkshire
ActivityA town was already in existence at Selkirk when Earl David, later King David I, founded an abbey there in 1113. It has been suggested that David (1124-1153) made Selkirk a royal burgh, or that it was accorded this status in or around 1258, as seat of the newly-created sheriffdom of Selkirk. However, there is no certain indication of Selkirk's elevation to the status of royal burgh earlier than Robert I's charter to the town, given in 1328. Its status was confirmed in 1536 by James V and royal charters in favour of the burgh were still being issued in 17th century. This seems to be at odds with its erection as a burgh of barony in 1602 in favour of William Douglas, 10th earl of Angus and lieutenant in the whole of the Borders. Selkirk was created a police burgh in 1863 under the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act 1862 (25 & 26 Vict, c. 101) and was governed by a provost, 2 baillies, a dean of guild, a treasurer and 10 councillors. From 1884 the burgh police force was incorporated in the county's, under the chief constable of Selkirkshire. For electoral purposes Selkirk was part of the county of Selkirk following the Reform Act of 1832, but after the Act of 1868 it united with Galashiels and Hawick to return one MP to parliament. Under the Town Councils (Scotland) Act 1900 (63 & 64 Vict, c. 49) a new body, Selkirk Town Council, took over the administration of the burgh in January 1901. Selkirk was classed as a small burgh under the terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo. V, c. 25) and held this status from 1930 until 1975. In the latter year its town council was abolished in accordance with the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c. 65) and its powers were assumed by Borders Regional Council and Ettrick & Lauderdale District Council. These bodies were in turn replaced by Scottish Borders Council in 1996 under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39).

Selkirk, in the parish of Selkirk, was in the sheriffdom of Roxburgh until 1258 and thereafter was the chief towm of the sheriffdom of Selkirk.. Later on it was the county town of the county of Selkirk, or Selkirkshire, until that county's abolition in 1975. The main industry in the town in the 17th century was leather-working, but this was replaced by textile mills - especially tweeds and woollens - and later by electronics and tourism. It experienced a rapid period of growth in the mid 19th century and by 1891 the population was 6,400. At the last census before abolition of the town council, taken in 1971, the population of Selkirk stood at 5,684. In 1991 the population within the former burgh's bounds was approximately 5,900.
Corporate NameRoyal Burgh of Selkirk
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