Kirk Yetholm
   Village near Kelso, Scotland. In 1695 a Gypsy named Young saved the life of Capt. David Bennet at the Siege of Namur. In a gesture of generosity, the grateful officer gave some cottages to the Gypsies in Yetholm. The twin villages of Yetholm and Kirk Yetholm then became home to as many as 250 Gypsies for more than two centuries. They wintered in the villages and took to the roads in the spring to sell their wares and their horses. Smuggling tea, salt, and alcohol from across the border in England is said to have provided a valuable additional source of income. The romantic but harsh lifestyle changed radically in 1839, when the Rev. John Baird became minister at Yetholm. He persuaded the elders of the tribe to board out their children with local families so that they could attend school.
   A so-called Gypsy Palace-in reality a modest-sized cottage - still stands, but otherwise there are no tangible signs that generations of Romanies settled there. Descendants of the original Yetholm gypsies continue to live in the area. The Romanies are now to be honored with a memorial in the village, which claims to be Scotland's Gypsy capital.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

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