"A parish in Berwickshire, situated in the midst of the Lammermuir hills, about 6½ miles in length, and 3 in breadth. The soil is light and dry, and, on the banks of the Whittader, fertile and well cultivated; but the hilly district is barren, and covered with heath. Here are the remains of the ancient abbey of Bernardines, founded in 1170, for which Ada Countess of March swore fealty to Edward I of England, in 1296. The Earl of Wemyss has lately built an elegant sporting villa, called the retreat, about a mile from the small kirkton of Abbay. Population in 1801, 138."
From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.