Forest Kirk, Selkirk, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on the ruins of a medieval church in the Scottish Borders which, despite their modest size, have links with historic personages of world renown, namely Sir William Wallace of Scotland and Franklin D. Roosevelt of the U.S.A.

Sir William Wallace connection: During the Wars of Independence between England and Scotland in the 13th and 14th centuries  William Wallace ( aka ‘Braveheart’ ) was using the nearby Ettrick Forest as a base to harry the English. In 1298 Wallace was appointed ‘Guardian of Scotland’ at the ‘Forest Kyrk’. The site of this appointment is not known with certainty but, at the time, Selkirk was known as Scheleschirche which translates as Church in the Forest and is thus acknowledged as a strong contender. 

Franklin D Roosevelt connection: The 32nd President of the U.S.A. was descended from James Murray and Barbara Bennett from Selkirkshire, the former having emigrated to Charleston in 1735. From this union was a daughter named Elizabeth who married Edward Hutchison Robbins in 1785. Thereafter there is a direct line of descent through the generations to FDR.  In the ruined church is the Murray Aisle wherein are buried the maternal ancestors of the former President, who was in office from 1933 to 1945.

Forest Kirk, Selkirk, Scotland

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