15 - Poem by Robert Burns, written in 1792, about the wife of Willie Wastle.  The poem is followed by a Glossary and also information on the site of Linkcumdoddie and the memorial plaque at the site.


Willie's Wife.

By Robert W. Burns 1759-1796.


Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,

   The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie;

Willie was a wabster guid,

Cou'd stown a clue wi' ony body,

He had a wife was dour and din,

O Tinkler Madgie was her mither;

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her!



She has an ee, she has but ane,

The cat has twa the very colour;

Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,,

A clapper tongue wad deave a miller;

A whiskin beard about her mou,

Her nose and chin they threathen ither;

Sic a wife, etc.


She's bow-hough'd, she hein shinn'd

Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;

She's twisted right, she's twisted left,

To balance fair in ilka quarter;

She has a hump upon her breast,

The twin o' that upon her shouther;

Sic a wife etc.


Auld baudrons by the ingle sits,

An wi' her loof her face a-washin;

But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,

She dights her grunzie wi' a hushion;

Her walie nieves like midden-creels,

Her face wad fyle the Logan-water;

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her!



baudrons - a cat

bow-haughed - crook thighed

clue - a ball of straw-rope used in thatching

ee - eye

fyle - soil or dirty

dour - stubborn

din - dun in colour (Gypsy heritage)

deave - deafen

dight - wipe away

grunzie - mouth

hand-breed - hand-breadth

hein-shinned - hanging leg - limp

hushion - footless stocking worn on the arms as well as legs

ilka quarter - any direction

ingle - fireside

Linkcumdoddie - a real place, see following article. 

loof - cats paw

midden creels - dunghill baskets

sic - such

stoun - stolen

Tinkler - Tinker

trig - neat, elegant

Wabster - a weaver

walie nieves - large fists



The following was written to the Scotsman newspaper on October fourth 1889 by Mr. J. R. Cosens, an Advocate, son of the Minister in Broughton.

1) Five and a half miles above Broughton, on the road to Tweedsmuir and Moffat, there is a hill burn, which joins the Tweed, called the Logan Water, and on the bank of the Tweed, nearly opposite to the spot where the waters meet, stood a thatched cottage known as Linkcumdoddie.  The place is still marked by three trees, but the cottage disappeared forty years ago.   An old inhabitant of this district told me that he minds his grandfather speaking to him about a Gideon Thomson, a weaver, who at the end of the last century lived at Linkcumdoddie.   This man was what in those days was called a customer weaver , and seems to have been a chararcter.   My informant says he himself remembers the cottage, and is sure that his grandfather always spoke of the place by the name of Linkcumdoddie.

There is a Gideon Thomson buried in Tweedsmuir Kirkyard who died in 1793.   However this Gideon resided at Glenriskie (Glenrusco).  There is no records of him having been a weaver.  Glenrusco is about two miles upstream beside the Tweed towards Tweedsmuir from the site of Linkcumdoddie.  

2)  The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments for Scotland (RCAHMS) have taken note of the Linkcumdoddie site and it appears on Canmore - their online archive - as ID 49764.   The RCAHMS noted that on the north side of the NW-SE running wall at NT 1111 2909 a stone plaque inserted with the following inscription:   This spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie.   Erected to commemorate Burns' song "Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed" 1792 G.G.M. 1889.

 Sign on the A701 a few miles north of the Crook Inn looking south down the Upper Tweed valley.

Note the heather on the left of picture.


Two images of plaque mentioned above by The RCAHMS - Canmore ID 49764.   The date of 1792 is the date of the publication of the poem and 1889 is the date that the plaque was erected - this is the same year as the Scotsman article above.    The owner of the initials G.G.M. is uknown.

Map below of 1856 shows the site of Linkumdoddie north east of the Logan Cottage that is on the main road beside the Edinburgh 33 Milestone. The dotted line is the boundary between Tweedsmuir and Glenholm parishes.




The site of Linkumdoddie - marked by the trees - is from the 1864 History of Peeblesshire by William Chambers. p 425.



or Tweedsmuir Parish History page.