The Skipper’s Daughters


A Story of Aberlady in the Smuggling Days
John Pringle Reid

Copyright (c) Aberlady Conversation Society 2008


Very few copies of this work remain in circulation and those that possess them hold them close. In the original form of the novel, JPR renamed the village as Glenpeffer, Gullane as Sandyknowes, Luffness Mains as Muirend and Ballencrieff as Criefton. He may have done this to give the central places of the novel an other-wordly sheen to the readership at the time. However, given the passage of time and the shortness of the village’s collective memory, perhaps this sheen is no longer required. The names have been changed in this version – should some begin to believe that Glenpeffer ever existed!


Ohapter I: At the Old Ship Inn, Aberlady

Ohapter II: The Skipper

Ohapter III: Arrival of the ‘Bus

Ohapter IV: A Son of Old Ireland

Ohapter V: Bringing Home the Contraband

Ohapter VI: An Unexpected Visitor

Ohapter VII: Festivities at Ballencrieff

Ohapter VIII: Explanations and a Reconciliation

Ohapter IX: Auld Hansel Monday

Ohapter X: End of Norman’s Vacation

Ohapter XI: Jeanie’s visit to Edinburgh

Ohapter XII: The Theatre Party

Ohapter XIII: Charge and an Acquittal

Ohapter XIV: Back to Aberlady

Ohapter XV: All Among the Barley

Ohapter XVI: Complications

Ohapter XVII: Jeanie Smith’s Self Abnegation

Ohapter XVIII Brush with the Enemy

Ohapter XIX: A Shift for Davie Duncan

Ohapter XX: Two Painful Partings

Ohapter XXI: Exciting Time for the Smugglers

Ohapter XXII: Searching for the Contraband

Ohapter XXIII: The Search Continued

Ohapter XXIV: Departure of the Exciseman

Ohapter XXV: A Fatal Quarrel

Ohapter XXVI: A Sad Time for Aberlady

Ohapter XXVII: Among the Mourners

Ohapter XXVIII: More Trouble

Ohapter XXIX: Off to the Wars

Ohapter XXX: By Aberlady Bay

Ohapter XXXI: A Strong Man’s Last Hours

Ohapter XXXII: Mid the Changes and Chances of Life

Ohapter XXXIII: Memorable Kirn at Luffness Mains

Ohapter XXXIV: The Uninvited Guest

Ohapter XXXV: A Story of Waterloo

Ohapter XXXVI: Elsie’s Weird, and the Passing of Widow Duncan

Ohapter XXXVII: Pat’s Farewell to Aberlady

Ohapter XXXVIII: Settling Up and Settling Down