Even our aristocracy was tough during last century. Lord Deas (1804-87)
was owner of what is now called Hartwoodhill Estate (a convalescent home
for wounded soldiers in the 1914-18 war), but which is still better known to
old Shottsonians as lord Deas’s Estate. He was known as the Hanging Judge,
so often did he deal out the death sentence to sheep-stealers.
This story, vouched for by more than one person, is told of him. One summer
night he was driving in his coach through Allanton Woods, when his coachman
halted at the old water trough to let the horse drink. Suddenly a shot rang out
from across the road. The bullet just missed the judge and lodged in a tree
beside the trough. I knew one old man who saw that bullet in the tree.