Union Bank, one (or more jointly) were appointed agents (i.e. managers) of these banks.
All these three functions they carried out simultaneously from their individual offices, which thus came to be established in one of the several bank buildings - the 'Bank Chambers' or offices above or behind the bank itself and with, in some cases, also in the same building a bank house.
For well over one hundred years there were basically three separate such banks at anyone time and so partnerships of lawyers developed, each based on the chambers of the respective bank of which one or more partners in that firm acted, in addition to his law practice, as the 'bank agent.'
John Welsh of Mossfennan was the first agent of The British Linen Company (later Bank) when it arrived in Peebles in the early 1820s situated in what became Glencorse House in the Northgate. He was followed in his practice and in the bank by a William Stuart and William Blackwood I who came to Peebles in 1839, and this was the foundation of the firm of Stuart & Blackwood, later Blackwood & Smith.
John Bathgate, to 1864, and his nephew James Bathgate, to 1881, were concerned with the Union Bank in the building at the N.W. corner of the High Street with Cuddy Bridge, and practised latterly as Bathgate & Stevenson. In 1881 John Buchan, grandfather of the 1st Lord Tweedsmuir, became agent for The Commercial Bank, successor to The Union Bank, and moved then into what later became known simply as 'Bank House'. He, who until then had previously practised from premises further east along the High Street, was founder of the firm of J. & W. Buchan.
Robert Thorburn of Springwood in 1867, or very shortly after, succeeded his father who had been agent for the City of Glasgow Bank, although not a solicitor and later, from 1857, agent for its successor the Bank of Scotland. Robert Thorburn was the founder of the firm of Thorburn & Lyon.
Each of these three firms survives to this day and with an occasional exception, all the Peebles lawyers in the last one hundred years were in partnerships constituting one or other of these firms. In the case of Buchan's and Thorburn & Lyon, there were periods of a 'sole partner' (however much that may appear as a contradiction in terms).
To give a short account of the thirty or so lawyers who practised