Melrose, a pleasant little town of Roxburghshire, on the south bank of the Tweed, and at the north base of the triple Eildons (q.v.), 37 miles SSE. of Edinburgh by rail. At Old Melrose, 2 1/2 miles farther east, was founded about 635 the Columban monastery, of which St Cuthbert became a monk. It was burned by Kenneth MacAlpine in 839, and had been quite deserted for upwards of fifty years, when in 1136 the great Cistercian abbey of Melrose itself was founded by David I. Twice burned by the English, this was slowly rebuilt on a scale of increased magnificence between 1322 and 1505, only forty years after which date two fresh English invasions commenced the destruction that was speedily completed by the Reformers. The abbey was beyond doubt the most beautiful structure of which Scotland could boast in the middle ages. What now remains is the ruined conventual church, 215 feet long by 116 across the transepts, with some fragments of the cloister, which seems to have been a square of 150 feet. The carvings and traceries are scarcely surpassed by any in England. The second abbot, St Waltheof, the royal founder's stepson; Alexander II. and Johanna, his queen ; the heart of Robert Bruce ; the good Sir James, the Knight of Liddesdale, the hero of Otterburn, and others of the Douglas line; the 'wondrous Michael Scott;' and Sir David Brewster - all these are buried here; else the annals of Melrose have little to record. A burgh of barony since 1609, the town possesses a market-cross (1642), a suspension foot-bridge over the Tweed (1826), a hydropathic (1871), and half-a-dozen hotels. Pop. 2432.


Melrose, a town of Massachusetts, 7 miles by rail N. of Boston, with manufactures of boots, etc. Pop. 13,000.