Maxton Scotland
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John Thomson Jnr

Son of a railway surfaceman and his wife, John Thomson was born at the Fens on 25th March 1856, but lived most of his life in the village, in the house that is now 'Allt-na-Fearna. The following obituary appeared in the Border Almanac for 1895:

' Mr Thomson was well endowed by nature with vigorous and varied mental abilities, and he made much of the school opportunities he had under Mr Chisholm at Maxton parish school. Mr Thomson entered the service of the late Mr James Tait, then editor and publisher of The Kelso Chronicle about 1872. It was originally intended that his duties should be confined to the counting-room; but in a short time he developed a capacity for contributing to the news and agricultural columns of the paper. By degrees he proved himself capable of rendering important service in this department, and being occasionally entrusted with the duty of reporting agricultural shows he soon acquired a liking for this department of newspaper work. He set himself to master a wide knowledge of Shorthorns among cattle and Border Leicesters among sheep, and in the course of a few years his knowledge became recognised on all hands, and his reputation brought him recognition from breeders in all parts of the three kingdoms. No expert was more at home or more a master of pedigrees than Mr Thomson, and he was no mean judge of the points of individual animals. Both before Mr Tait's connection with the Chronicle ceased and after Mr Thomson became joint publisher of the paper - a connection which subsisted for about six years - he had invitations to visit many noted herds and flocks. Before Mr Thomson's connection with the local press ceased, he had been in the habit of contributing to the columns of the agricultural newspapers published in Edinburgh and London, and latterly his contributions were both more frequent and more authoritative. Besides his knowledge in stock matters, he had a highly creditable knowledge of botany and natural history. In general literature he was tolerably well read, and he at one time gave promise of doing something in the walks of literature, of which his biographical and critical study on Thomas Aird remains an evidence. Mr Thomson was of an unselfish disposition, and his friends often felt regret that he was not more careful of his health and well-being. Though he could be most companionable among associates, he delighted in many moods in being alone with Nature and his own thoughts, then pure, tender, and noble. He was cut off in his prime - before his time, as many friends thought - and his remains now rest in the neat churchyard of St Boswells, not far from the monument-marked grave of the kindly-remembered John Younger.'

He died on 13th June 1894 at the age of 38 years.


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