Record

CodeNA9969
Dates1513-
Person NameSelkirk Common Riding; 1513-
ActivityThe Selkirk Common Riding is believed to date from 1513 and the Battle of Flodden or perhaps even to the reign of King David I, who gave it its Royal Burgh status and a grant of common land in Etterick Forest. It would seem likely that the citizens would have ridden the marches at midsummer to protect their claim to the land. During the Selkirk Common Riding a major role was played by the craft guilds in the celebrations. They carried their flags during the procession and the casting of the ‘colours’ at the end of the event is still considered an honour. This ceremony stems from the Battle of Flodden period when only one of the eighty young men who went out to defend the border with their king came back, carrying a blood-stained English banner, and cast it on the ground in his grief. The King in his gratitude then also gave land to the citizens of Selkirk.The Edinburgh magistrates decided the order in which the guilds appeared in public processions, which was: the hammermen; the souters; the weavers; the tailors; and then the fleshers. During the 19th century the stocking makers also took part in the ceremony. Nowadays all the members of the community are welcome to take part in the ceremony which takes place on the second Friday of June and is headed by the Standard Bearers of the Royal Burgh, Hammermen, Weavers, Fleshers, Colonial Society and the British Legion. The Standard Bearer of the Merchant Company only joined in the casting of the colours from 1968. Other officials taking part include: the Burleymen, who are the Town Councils official riders, the Attendants, the lady bussers, halberdiers, the Silver Band, the pipers, the fifes and drums etc.
Corporate NameSelkirk Common Riding
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