For centuries gypsy families have played a significant part in the community life of North Northumberland and the Borders.
The first arrival of the Gypsies in England appears to have been about the year 1505. In the case of Scotland, that the Gypsies were in Scotland in the year 1506 is certain, as appears by a letter of James IV, of Scotland, to the King of Denmark, in favour of Anthonius Gawino, Earl of Little Egypt, a Gypsy chief.
Evidence suggests that gypsies originally descended from tribes living in India, arriving in Europe in the 15th century. The term ‘Gypsy’ was given to them during that period in the mistaken belief that they had originally come from Egypt, due to their black hair and dark complexion.
For centuries they were reviled or feared, often persecuted and considered by many to be a menace to society as they roamed the English and Scottish countryside, telling fortunes and selling contraband. The wandering tribes of gypsies making their way from one encampment to another were a common sight in many areas. They were seldom made welcome, and the words “tinker” and “mugger” are among the surviving reminders of their role in history.
Gypsies of the Borderlands -For centuries gypsy families have played a significant part in the community life of North…