Famous Dingers

 

"dinger" = inhabitant/native of Duns

 

Rev. Thomas Boston
Cadwallader Colden
Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton
Robert Fortune
Rev. James Gray
Rev. Thomas McCrie
Sir John Pirie
James Smail

 

 

In 1377, although Scotland and England were officially at peace a cross-border feud broke out between the Earl of Dunbar and the Earl of Northumberland. This followed the murder by some Englishmen of a servant of the Earl of Dunbar while attending Roxburgh Fair to be followed by the revenge killing the following year of three supporters of the Earl of Northumberland by the Earl of Dunbar of 'many Englishmen' and the setting to the torch of the town of Roxburgh. A raid in reprisal was then launched by the Earl of Northumberland who marched unopposed across the Merse and camped at "Dunes-woode". What followed is described by the Rev. George Ridpath in his 'Border History' published in 1776;-

Lord Percy's (the Earl of Northumberland) further progress was stopped by a contrivance of the shepherds and peasants in the neighbourhood, who bethought themselves of employing in defence of their country, a very simple sort of machine which they commonly made use of to frighten away from the corn the deer and wild cattle which then abounded in the hills of Lammermuir. These were a kind of rattle, made of dried skins distended around ribs of wood that were bended into a semi-circular form and fixed at the end with long poles. The bags were furnished with a few hard pebbles and vigorously shaken by a rapid motion made a hideous noise and an unusual number of them being employed on the tops of the adjacent hills the horses of the English took fright and breaking away from their keepers run wildly up and down the neighbouring field where they became a prey to the people of the country. The army also awaked with the strange noise and finding themselves deprived not only of their war horses but of many of their beasts of burden retired on foot towards the Tweed in precipitation and disorder having left their baggage behind them.

From this incident was the name 'Dingers' acquired.