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East Lothian Nisbets

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Surname/tag: Nisbet
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Nisbets of East Lothian

Nisbet is the preferred spelling in Scotland

Note: it was called Haddingtonshire until 1921, please use East Lothian for Category

for a good map with the place names see https://maps.nls.uk/view/00000648

Reminiscences of the Royal Burgh of Haddington by John Martine 1883

P13 The High Street Alexander Nisbet, senior and junior, for many years kept a cloth shop in the next land, long occupied afterwards by Matthew Dawson, trades bailie in 1832, as a watchmaker

P14 Mr Nisbet, junior, was the first person in Haddington who made gas, somewhere about 1821, when he got his shop and house lighted with it. It was thought at that time "a world's wonder." The gaswork in Haddington was not erected until 1836

P64 Hardgate Connected with the fleshers, we find in the Edinburgh Weekly Journal of date 19th Sept. 1804, the following notice : — " There are now living in Haddington, who are respectable fleshers in that place, two brothers of the name of Nisbet — viz., Francis and Alexander. There is such a prevailing likeness between these men that it requires the nicest eye and a length of intimacy to draw a distinction. The one is so complete a model of the other that they are known individually only to a few. A gentleman, who has lived in Haddington several years, has had frequent intercourse with these men in the way of business, but he never could discover any dissimilitude whereby they could be known." There were several families of the name of Nisbet, Thomson, &c., at that time in Haddington, all fleshers.

P65 Hardgate Next to the flesh-market was the oldest public-house in Haddington, long called the White Swan, and for many years occupied by Mrs Telford, a worthy woman, who died at an extreme old age. Above the sign of the Swan were the lines — As swans do like the water clear, Step in here and drink good beer. Willie Nisbet ("Stitches") was owner and occupant after Mrs Telford. Many a jovial meeting in old corporation and later times was held in Mrs Telford's and Willie Nisbet*s. This ancient hostelry was deprived of the license by the magistrates, on the ground that its discontinuance was for "the good of the community."

P72 The Lodge in Market Street of the Ancient Fraternity of Gardeners of East Lothian is a place of old historical interest. The Fraternity was founded previous to 1676, and always was, as it still is, a large and respectable society. By its frequent and excellent shows of fruit, vegetables, and flowers among its members, it has long kept up the taste for cultivating the fruits and flowers of the earth in the highest state of perfection. It is also noted for its happy social meetings. An annual procession of the members, accompanied by symbolic figures of Adam and Eve, dressed up with flowers and surrounded by all the implements of the gardener's craft, and " Jock in the Green," was in former times regularly kept up, and looked forward to with great interest by the juvenile as well as the elder part of the community; while the hare-pie feast about Christmas time was contemplated with equal pleasure, as it still is, by the veterans of the fraternity. Old William Nisbet, assisted by his two sons, John and Will, officiated for long as " Jock in the Green." The office came to be claimed by them as a hereditary right in the family. A bower-shaped erection, covered with shrubs and flowers, was carried by William on his head and shoulders, and was supposed to form a representation of a bower in the Garden of Eden. Like many other old customs, the Gardeners' procession and "Jock in the Green" have been given up for many years

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