Granny Young’s Scones

Christian CLAPPERTON (Granny Young) 1815-1902


8oz Plain flour

1˝ oz Butter

pinch of salt

a bare (flat) tablespoonful Granulated sugar

Rub in butter, then put in 2 bare teaspoons of cream of tartar, then 1 bare teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, first putting it in the left hand and breaking up the granules with the back of another teaspoon. Mix with milk (or sour milk) to make a fairly sloppy mix, dump this on a board and dump it about with your hand to flatten it lightly, but don’t roll it out before dusting and cutting into scones. Bake at a high temperature (200degC) for about 10 minutes or till judged ready. 

This is Granny Young’s recipe as passed down from daughter to daughter.  Married to John Young in Melrose in October 1836, Christian Clapperton was born in 1815 –the year of Waterloo- at Redhead, Clovenfords, between Stow and Galashiels, and survived into the next century. Her death was at Bonnyrigg Midlothian in 1902. 



Christian Clapperton came from a radical Chartist family of textile weavers, with their origins in Stow.  Her father William Clapperton (1785-1860) was an extreme Chartist and keen politician respected for the way he put forward ideas. He helped to found the temperance movement in Galashiels and organised the first cooperative store there.  In fact William Clapperton, William Sanderson and the other weavers of the Galashiels Co-operators were in their way just as groundbreaking as the more widely known weavers of the Rochdale Pioneers, having introduced the idea of customer dividends to co-operative enterprise at around the same time, 1827.  Fifteen years later in 1842, Mr. John Gray of Faldonside published "An Efficient Remedy for the Distress of Nations."  In the words of GJ Holyoake, early historian of co-operation “Mr. Gray had a great plan of a Standard Bank and Mint.  He was a well-meaning, disinterested, and uninteresting writer.  His books never sold, nor could they be given away; and there was for long a stock at two places in London where they could be had for the asking, and those who applied were looked upon with favour.”  But the Galashiels weavers continued to command a certain respect. And as the Father of the weaving fraternity in Selkirk and Galashiels, William Clapperton presented a plaid to the visiting Hungarian patriot Kossuth in 1856.

William Clapperton radical weaver & Lajos Kossuth Hungarian patriot


William had been a weaver for much of his life, and became a cowfeeder in retirement. He was also a breeder of bees, and spent his final years at Huddersfield in Galashiels till his death on 26 February 1860.

The Border Advertiser announced his death on Friday March 2nd: "Sudden Death; - A startling instance of the uncertainty of life took place on Sunday morning in the sudden death of Mr. William Clapperton, an old, well known and respected inhabitant.  For a short time previous one of his cows, on which he set much value, had been unwell and nearly dead, and his rest had been disturbed by attending to the animal.  During Saturday night he had got little rest, and on Sunday morning he rose at 5 o'clock and was very mach overjoyed to find his animal beginning to recover.  He retired to rest after having had a cup of tea in his son's house adjoining, and about, 8 o'clock his son Alexander, happening to look into his bed noticed his features strangely altered, and on springing into the bed and raising him up his head fell back and he immediately expired.  The cause of death is believed to have been apoplexy, brought to a climax by excess of joy at the unexpected recovery of his cow.  William was one, if not the chief originator and leader of the temperance movement in this town.  He was also a keen politician and held extreme Chartist views, though he was always respected for the independent way in which he advocated his political creed.  He was the individual selected by the working classes, on the occasion of Kossuth's visit to Galashiels, to present the illustrious Hungarian with a plaid of our own manufacture, which he did in a very appropriate speech.  He followed the occupation of a spinner during the greater part of his life, but latterly had given up his attention almost exclusively to the keeping of a dairy.  He maintained also a local celebrity as a breeder and of bees, no less than does his son for the knowledge he possesses of our British cage and wild birds.  He was seventy five years of age and leaves an aged partner two years older then himself to mourn his sudden bereavement."


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Christian, marriage to a gas manager




Selkirk Gas Works, just south of Forest Mill



John Young (1815-1886) gas manager, water engineer, technical analyst & inventor, Dalkeith
work on carbons for Bunsen Batteries 1859
for William Thomson and transatlantic cable

DALKEITH 1861 CENSUS Schedule No982

Croft Street

Wood Yard & Workshops

Large Iron Works, Gass Works   House had 6 rooms with 1 or more windows

John Young, head of family, married, 45, Engineer & Manager, Gass Works, born Edinburgh

Christian Young, wife, married, 43, wife, born Selkirkshire

William Young, son, unmarried, 20, Plumber, born Gallashiels, Selkirkshire

Robert Young, son, unmarried, 17, Iron Monger, born Selkirk

John Young, son, 11, scholar, born Selkirk

Alexander Young, son, 9, scholar, born Selkirk

David Pursell Young, son, 7, scholar, born Dalkeith

Thomas Young, son, 5, scholar, born Dalkeith

George Wilson Young, 1, born Dalkeith

Margaret Page, Servant, 7, (Domestic Servant), born Fife

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The Youngs left the Dalkeith gasworks to go to Wigan in 1867, daughter Mary stayed on with her husband George Cusiter as gas manager. The new low-level railway was driven through Dalkeith from Hardengreen to Smeaton beside the gasworks at this time, opening in 1870. Previously this Smeaton rail traffic had run across  the Dalkeith streets to the north


a Wigan street around the time that the Young family was staying nearby at Marsh House, Aspull

Ten years on from this, Jock was working for the Earl of Crawford & Balcarres and the Wigan Coal Co. in England, He and his family (apart from the older ones) were in the 1871 census at Marsh House in the village of Aspall (now Aspull) two miles outside Wigan. Son Thomas Young aged 14 in (county) Lancashire and born in (country) Scotland.  Marsh House is where Britain's first coal washing plant was buit in 1880.  Maybe Jock designed it, though he had returneed to Midlothian about 1873.

I think.some of John's family would be found as follows (1871-2 Directory)

R Young was manager of the Straiton Oil & Lime Works, Loanhead

Alex Young of Smiths & Co.[makers of Royal Standard Oils] lived at Portobello

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Census records before 1891: see under her husband John YOUNG.  He died in 1886.

1891 Census: Ellen Villa, Lasswade/Bonnyrigg: 9 rooms with 1 or more windows

Christina C. YOUNG . . Head. .Widow F 73 Living on Private Means b.Selkirkshire, Galashiels

Jeanie WILLIAMSON . . Serv. . Unm . F 24 General serv. . . . . . . . .b.Peeblesshire, Stobo

At about this time, Christina C. YOUNG wrote to her son Thomas in Iowa and his wife Mary:--"My dear Son and Daughter"  "You have no idea how I weary for news from you"   Definitely a mother's letter--asking if Thomas knows what he is suffering from (what illness) and asking after Mary, who has evidently had to have all of her teeth pulled and got artificial ones...

"David is out of the Dalkeith Gasworks.  He has not been getting along very well with the Directors."  Discusses Sandy (Alexander)  leaving the oil trade...Says that he and David have bought land near Bathgate and that "they are starting a aeriated water manufactory."   Discusses John in a new business, with Christina saying that they just had "a new baby girl as an Xmas present".  She talks about how worried she is that John's family is getting so large (5 children).  She talks about not being well, due to worrying about Thomas's brothers and their unsettled state.  Mentions how much she misses Jock.  Tells Thomas that it may be best that he went to America, because Scotland is in a bad state, and that it is hard to make a living, etc.  Says that "Mary and her family are in their house." [Gracemount, next door to Christina herself]  Mentions George Cusiter being in Silverton.  "We had Tina and her baby here last week."  (Is this Mona?)  "Bob is still at Peebles..."  "He is building a very fine house..."  "We had Willie yesterday.  He is looking quite fine indeed."

"Your affectionate Mother          C. Young


1901 Census: Ellen Villa, Lasswade/Bonnyrigg: 7 rooms with 1 or more windows

[daughter, grandaughters and great-grandaughter next door: see Mary YOUNG (Mrs Cusiter)]

Christina YOUNG . . Head. .Widow F 83 Living on own Means  . .b.Roxburgh, Redhead

Rachael POTTS(?) . . Servant . U . . F 30 General serv. Domestic. b. Selkirk, Galashiels

Christina's great great granddaughter writes:

"Mary Cusiter and Christina Young, the maternal grandmothers, lived next door to each other in Bonnyrigg. Old John Young had bought the two houses side by side, probably new-built, in approximately 1880. The one was for himself and his wife in retirement (having come back from Wigan) and the other for his widowed daughter.  Great granddaughter Mona would run from one house to the other: one garden -scrambling over the wall- to the next. Great-Grandma had a maid called Rachel, One story went, 'Go with Rachel, dear, and she'll give you a pear.'  Another, 'What naughty girl has been taking pears from my garden?'  Probably they are both true.  Mona said that when she was at Great-Grandma's house she once said, 'This is a weariness house, this.' "

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The Scotsman - Saturday, 5th July 1902, page 14

YOUNG.—At Ellen Villa. Bonnyrigg. On July 4th. Christina CLAPPERTON, Widow of John Young, gas engineer, in her 88th year. Funeral private.


MORE LIVES & fragments

The Galashiels Co-operators and the ideas of William King

Portobello & the New Zealand railway emigrants

Scots who found the money to connect the American West

John Young Junr. Paris Refiner, Edinburgh Shopkeeper & Western Australian


Young & Clapperton Kinship




The National Wallace Monument took a long time to plan, and then from 1861-1869 to build.  John McAdam (1806-1883) brother of the proprietor of the Hydepark Pottery, Glasgow, was a Glasgow businessman with an interest in political reform and revolution both at home and abroad.  When the fundraising campaign for the National Wallace Monument in Stirling was in difficulty in the mid 1860s, McAdam stepped in to help.  He wrote to some of the European liberators of his own time to obtain their endorsement for the National Wallace Monument. In 1868 he obtained letters from Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) and Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) of Italy, Louis Kossuth (1802-1894) "the Wallace of Hungary", Karl Blind (1826-1907) of Germany, and Louis Bland (1811-1882), the French Socialist.  These men were the great patriots of the age, and the letters McAdam had solicited from them were, with English translations, set in a specially carved frame with thistles and other Scottish symbols, made from the Wallace Oak of Elderslie and provided by Captain Spiers on whose estate the tree grew.  The framed letters were regarded as the first gift which would lay the foundation of a national museum collection at the Wallace Monument, and McAdam anticipated that the letters would be a great attraction to visitors.  The letters were obtained in the year before the monument opened to the public, and large photographic prints of them were sold to raise funds for the building. [information from Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum]


MORE LIVES & fragments

Portobello & the New Zealand railway emigrants

Scots who found the money to connect the American West


Young & Clapperton Kinship




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