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Documentary evidence shows that there was a prominent family called Bard or Barde of Posso in Peeblesshire between the 13th and 16th centuries.
It would appear that the Bards occupied Posso prior to 1296 when Thomas de Bard was sheriff of Peebles (less than six miles distant from Posso). His descendent Lawrence Bard of Posso was married to the daughter of Lord Sommerville around 1364 and later a Sir Gilbert Bard of Posso was possibly killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 (alongside King James 1V of Scotland) - although there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.
John Bard was laird of Posso in the beginning of the 16th century. He and his wife Jonete Scott had three children, a son Gilbert who it appears was never married and was a minor at the time of his father’s dearth around 1525, and two daughters Elizabeth and Jonete. On Gilbert’s death without surviving issue in about 1541 the lands of Posso and Glenrathnes passed to his sisters as co-heiresses. Their fine dowries, each having half their brother’s land, attracted worthy suitors. The Lairdship of Posso passed to the Naismith family through Elizabeth’s marriage to Sir Michael Naismith. He was Chamberlain to John Hamilton, Archbishop of St Andrews and a personal friend of Mary, Queen of Scots; he even hosted royal visits to the Posso Valley where the Queen and her Court engaged in the sports of hunting and falconry. Naesmyth fought under Mary’s banner at Langside in 1568 which subsequently caused his estates to be confiscated by the Regent Moray, but he won them back later and his family held their half of Posso and Glenrathnes for several generations.
The claim that the Bairds of Auchmedden (and thus also the cadet branches of Newbyth and Saughtonhall) are descended from a younger brother of Sir Gilbert Bard of Posso, who may have been killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, cannot be substantiated. This claim appears to have derived from a letter from an original 1770 manuscript of William Baird, 7th Laird of Auchmedden in 1770 (now held bythe National Library of Scotland). However in another personal letter found in an archive in 2014 (by Karen Baird Vierra) from the same William Baird of Auchmedden where he writes that he has “no idea whose family“ Andrew Baird 1st of Auchmedden was descended from.
Photo of ruins at site of the Posso estate - 2017
Photo of ruins at the site of the Posso estate - 2017
Valley of Posso
The Valley of Posso, a legendary location for the sport of kings - Falconry. Thomas de Bard possessed the country estate of Posso and in 1296 was Sheriff of Peebles. His estate featured the Bard Peel Tower with which to guard against invaders. In the event of trouble, a large fire was set ablaze at the top of it which could be seen by the next peel tower and thereby alert the community to danger.
Photo of juvenile peregrine falcon in training
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