President Sandy Bannerman welcomed members to last week’s meeting and introduced well-known Border author Norrie McLeish who gave a talk on ‘Broken Promises’.
He highlighted a case from 1898 when a 50-year-old farmer from Doorpool, Southdean, was sued for breach of promise. His mother died in 1893 and he took on a Hawick woman as his housekeeper. She went to live at the farm with her two children aged 12 and five years. She only stayed a few weeks before leaving and returning to Hawick. She sued him for wrongful dismissal and breach of promise, producing letters of intent to marry her, and claimed £1,000.
In his defence, the farmer said he drank too much and was drunk when he wrote the letter of intent to marry her. After hearing the evidence, the sheriff turned down the plaintiff’s claim and she was ordered to pay all expenses.
Mr McLeish took several questions on the subject, before past-president Robin Mason gave the vote of thanks.