William Leggat of Cavers

A different kind of Statue in the Scottish Borders

William Leggat of Cavers was a simple-minded lad who lived in in the 1700s.

William Leggat

Willie worked at Cavers House, though he doesn’t seem to have been paid. However Lady Cavers is recorded as giving Willie’s sister “12/- for a new suit, 2/- for the making of it and 1/6 for a pair of shoes”. In other words young Willie was loved and cared for.

He ran messages, fetching vegetables for the cook and carrying bundles to and from the laundry. His likeness, complete with basket, was captured for Lady Cavers by a local mason from Denholm.

Willie didn’t take to it, and aimed a kick at the dog at its base, removing its left ear. Originally the statue stood in the walled garden, but after a couple of hundred years of neglect it was left in pieces. Now it’s been restored, and placed in the Cavers churchyard, as a testimony to the kindness of the local people.

Story goes that he was stabbed to death by the cook for probably getting the wrong vegetables.

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