The Burgh

the removal of some projecting buildings; the introduction of a more abundant supply of water; the renewing and repair of the drainage system; and lastly, the levelling and beautifying of Tweed Green. All of this work was carried out within the estimates of £1,100. In addition, the remaining thatched roofs were to vanish to be replaced by Stobo slated ones. Cobbled causeways were constructed at suitable crossing points to enable pedestrians to cross dryshod in inclement weather. At this time the last of the bastel-houses were converted to normal dwellings, the Harrow Inn (now the County), being a good example of this. Another victim of progress was the Mercat Cross which was removed to ease the traffic flow. Fortunately, the thirteenth-century shaft was preserved and the Cross subsequently returned to the High Street after a spell in the quadrangle of the Chambers Institution. This latter building had been largely rebuilt in 1857 thanks to the munificence of William Chambers, with the original Queensberry Lodgings being converted and added to, to create a complex of reading-room, museum and later, a library with a 'grand' hall in the rear, much as we see it today.

Lord Cockburn had said of the Edinburgh Town Council, prior to the 1833 Burgh Reform Act, that it was 'omnipotent, corrupt, and impenetrable'.3 Whether we can say the same of the Peebles Town Council of the same period is irrelevant. The primary factor of the reform of Peebles Town Council was a willingness to involve itself in the modernisation of the burgh and, in consequence, display a more forward looking attitude to change. Indirectly, the extension of adult suffrage also led to an expansion of the town, particularly to the north and west. The terraced houses of Elcho Street, Cross Street and parts of the Old Town we owe to the £10 property clause of the Burgh Reform Act. This provision was later to cause problems when it became politically expedient to create the so-called 'Faggot Voters' .

A Napoleonic maxim states that in war, communications are all important. This general truth could well be applied to settled and peaceful communities. Indeed, the geographical situation of Peebles illustrates the importance of such a dictum. The road and street improvements which took place in the burgh after 1845 were already mirrored in its links with, Edinburgh to the north and also, to some extent, areas to the west. As a consequence of the Turnpike Act of 1790, a toll road had been constructed from Peebles to Leadburn and was in full use by 1806. Thus, access was gained to a network of toll roads via



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