Berwick-On-Tweed, an Anglo-Scotch border town and seaport, on the N. bank of the Tweed, near the German ocean, 58 m. by railway E. S. E. of Edinburgh; pop. of the town and parliamentary borough in 1871, 13,-231. Geographically it forms part of Berwick-sh ire, Scotland, but belongs to England, and is not legally included in any county, though for convenience it is often reckoned as being in Northumberland. It extends with its liberties, including the suburbs Tweedmouth (an important railway station) and Spittal (a fishing village and watering place) 3 1/2 m. along the coast and nearly 3 1/2 m. westward. In ancient deeds the town is called South Berwick, to distinguish it from North Berwick on the frith of Forth, 34 m. N. E., near Tantallon castle. Berwick-on-Tweed is mostly built on the castle hill. The castle, prominent in the border wars, is now a shapeless ruin, with only a tower and part of the wall remaining. The new royal border bridge or aqueduct, connecting the North British with the Newcastle and Berwick railway, one of the celebrated works of Robert Stephenson, spans the Tweed from the castle hill to the Tweedmouth side. It was opened in 1850, is 134 ft. high, 2,000 ft. long, and has 28 semicircular arches. There is also an old stone bridge.
The town is well built, with spacious streets, but the general appearance is dilapidated. A thorough system of drainage has recently been introduced. There are many places of worship; the parish church was enlarged and embellished in 1855, and a fine new Gothic church opened in 1859. The guildhall belongs to the burgesses, and is a fine building with a tall spire. There are numerous schools (including a corporation academy) and charitable institutions, and the Berwickshire naturalists' club meets here. The corn exchange was opened in 1848, and a new cemetery in 1857. Once the chief seaport of Scotland, the town still retains much commercial importance. About 700 vessels, with a tonnage of over 40,000, enter and leave the port annually. The chief exports are salmon, coal, wool, ale, and whiskey; the chief imports, timber, staves, iron, tallow, and hemp. The town has a ship-building yard, breweries, an extensive iron foun-dery, and manufactories of steam engines and machinery, cotton hosiery, and carpets; and near it are coal mines. - The authentic history of Berwick begins with Alexander I. of Scotland in the 12th century.
It was most prosperous in the 13th under Alexander III. Edward I. held the English parliament here which decided for Balliol and against Bruce for the throne of Scotland; and here the limbs of Wallace were exposed, after his execution. Berwick was prominent in the border wars, and was often taken and retaken by the Scotch and the English from early in the 14th till late in the 15th century, when it finally reverted to England. James I. granted to the citizens the seigniory of the town. This charter, somewhat modified by the municipal reform act, is still in force. The town is governed by a corporation of 6 aldermen and 18 councillors, one of whom is the mayor, and the borough returns two members of parliament.