Forest. The chief trees were oak, birch and hazel; and the wood being well stocked with the finest breed of red deer in the kingdom became the hunting-ground of the Stuarts. James V., however, to increase his revenues, let the domain for grazing, and it was soon converted into pasture for sheep, with the result that now only about 5000 acres in the shire are under wood.
Manufactures and Communications.—Woollen manufactures (tweeds, tartans, plaiding, yarn and hosiery) are the predominant industry at Galashiels and Selkirk. Tanning, dyeing, engineering, iron-founding and boot making also are carried on at Galashiels, and there are large vineries at Clovenfords.
The only railway communication is in the north, where there is a branch line from Galashiels to Selkirk, besides part of the track of the Waverley route from Edinburgh to the south and the line from Galashiels to Peebles. There are coaches from Selkirk to St Mary's Loch and periodically to Moffat.
Population and Administration.—In 1891 the population numbered 27,712, and in 1901 it was 23,356, or 88 to the sq. m., a decrease of 15.78 %, much the largest for the decade in Scotland. Fifty-seven persons spoke Gaelic and English, none Gaelic only. The chief towns are Galashiels (pop. 13,615) and Selkirk (6292). Selkirkshire combines with Peeblesshire to return a member to Parliament, and the county town and royal burgh of Selkirk and the municipal burgh of Galashiels united with Hawick (in Roxburghshire) to constitute the Border or Hawick group of parliamentary burghs. The shires of Selkirk, Roxburgh and Berwick form a sheriffdom, and a resident sheriff-substitute sits at Selkirk and Galashiels. There is a combination poorhouse at Galashiels. The county is under school board jurisdiction, and there are high schools at Selkirk and Galashiels, while some of the other schools in the shire earn grants for higher education. Part of the “residue” grant is spent in supporting short courses of instruction in dairying, and Selkirk town council subsidizes popular science classes in the burgh school.
History and Antiquities.—There are no Roman remains in Selkirkshire, the natives probably being held in check from the station at Newstead near the Eildons. The Standing Stone near Yarrow church bearing a Latin inscription is ascribed to the 5th or 6th century and is only a quasi-Roman relic. No so-called British camps have been found on the upper and middle waters of the Ettrick and Yarrow, and of the few situated in the lower valleys of these streams the most important is the large work on Rink Hill in the parish of Galashiels, the district containing various interesting prehistoric remains. At Torwoodlee, 2 m. north-west of Galashiels, are the ruins of the only example of a broch (round tower) in the Border counties. The diameter of the structure measures 75 ft., and that of the enclosed court 40 ft., giving a thickness for the wall of 171 ft. The broch stands in an enclosure of mounds and a ditch, the whole being protected by an outer entrenchment at a considerable distance, of which only a fragment survives. Locally the works are called Torwoodlee Rings, or Eye Castle. The barrier known as the Catrail, or Picts' Work, starts near Torwoodlee, whence it runs southwards to Rink Hill. There it sweeps round to the south-west as far as Yarrow church, from which it again takes a due south direction to the valley of the Rankle, where it passes into Roxburghshire. Some Arthurian romance touches the shire at points, for the field of the battle of Coit Celidon (the Wood of Celidon) was probably in Ettrick Forest, and that of Guinnion in the vale of Gala. The history of the shire for six centuries following the retreat of the Romans is that of the whole of south-eastern Scotland. The country formed part, first, of the British kingdom of Strathclyde, then of the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, and finally, about 1020, was annexed to Scotland. The first sheriff of whom there is record was Andrew de Synton, appointed by William the Lion (d. 1214). After Edward I. had overrun Scotland substantial burgesses of Selkirk were among those who took the oath of allegiance to him at Berwick in 1296, but next year William Wallace sought the covert of the forest to organize resistance. To the north of Hangingshaw in the country between the Yarrow and Tweed he constructed an earthwork, still called Wallace's Trench, 1000 ft. long and deep enough to conceal a moss horse and his rider, and paved in part with flat whinstones laid on edge. At the higher end on the top of a hill it terminated in a large square enclosure. Here he lay till his plans were completed and at last departed, his forces including a body of Selkirk archers, for a raid into the north of England. During the prolonged strife that followed the death of Robert Bruce (1329) the foresters were constantly fighting, and the county suffered more heavily at Flodden (1513) than any other district. The lawlessness of the Borderers was at length put down by James V. with a strong hand. He parcelled out the forest in districts, and to each appointed a keeper to enforce order and protect property. In 1529 the ringleaders, including William Cockburn of Henderland, Adam Scott of Tushielaw and the notorious Johnnie Armstrong, were arrested and promptly executed. This severity gradually had the desired effect, though after the union of the crowns in 1603 the freebooters and moss troopers again threatened to be troublesome, until James VI.'s lieutenants ruthlessly stamped out disaffection. The Covenanters held many conventicles in the uplands, and their general, David Leslie, routed the marquis of Montrose at Philiphaugh in 1645.
The manufacture of woollen goods was introduced into Selkirk and Galashiels and attained great success, thus adding largely to the prosperity of the neighbourhood. In another direction the beauty and romance of Yarrow and Ettrick have proved a most stimulating force in modern Scottish literature.
BIBLIOGRAPHY.—Sir George Douglas, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Edinburgh, 1899); T. Craig-Brown, History of Selkirkshire; George Reaveley, History of Galashiels (Galashiels, 1875); William Angus, Ettrick and Yarrow (Selkirk, 1894); W. S. Crockett, The Scott Country (Edinburgh, 1902); In Praise of Tweed (Selkirk, 1899); J. Russell, Reminiscences of Yarrow (2nd ed., Selkirk, 1894).
SELLA, QUINTINO (1827-1884), Italian statesman and financier, was born at Mosso, near Biella, on the 7th of July 1827. After studying engineering at Turin, he was sent in 1843 to study mineralogy at the Parisian school of mines. In Paris he witnessed the revolution of 1848, and only returned to Turin in 1852, when he taught applied geometry at the technical institute. In 1853 he became professor of mathematics at the university, and in 1860 professor of mineralogy in the school of applied engineering. In 1860 he was elected deputy for Cossato. A year later he was selected to be secretary-general of public instruction, and in 1862 received from Rattazzi the portfolio of finance. The Rattazzi cabinet fell before Sella could efficaciously provide for the deficit of £17,500,000 with which he was confronted; but in 1864 he returned to the ministry of finance in the La Marmora cabinet, and dealt energetically with the deficit of £8,000,000 then existing. Persuading the king to forgo £120,000 of his civil list, and his colleagues in the cabinet to relinquish part of their ministerial stipends, he effected savings amounting to £2,400,000, proposed new taxation to the extent of £1,600,000, and induced landowners to pay one year's instalment of the land tax in advance. A vote of the chamber compelled him to resign before his preparations for financial restoration were complete; but in 1869 he returned to the ministry of finance in a cabinet formed by himself, but of which he made over the premiership to Giovanni Lanza. By means of the grist tax (which he had proposed in 1865, but which the Menabrea cabinet had passed in 1868), and by other fiscal expedients necessitated by the almost desperate condition of the national exchequer, he succeeded, before his fall from power in 1873, in placing Italian finance upon a sound footing, in spite of fierce attacks and persistent misrepresentation. In 1870 his great political influence turned the scale against interference in favour of France against Prussia, and in favour of an immediate occupation of Rome. From 1873 until his premature death on the 14th of March 1884, he acted as leader of the Right, and was more than once prevented by an ephemeral coalition of personal opponents from returning to power as head of a Moderate Conservative cabinet. After the failure of an attempt to form a cabinet in May 1881 he practically retired from public life, devoting himself to his studies and his linen factory.
His Discorsi parlamentari were published (5 vols., 1887-1890) by order of the Chamber of Deputies. An account of his life and his scientific labours was given by A. Cossa in the Proceedings of the Accademia dei Lincei (1884-1885).