In the register of marriage between James Cockburn and Isabel Deans in 1801, his occupation is listed as Cooper and Tacksman. Have looked up 'Tacksman' and get the general drift but what would this have meant in practical terms in Chirnside in 1801?
Given the late date and the Borders location, this reference does not appear to be to a relative holding land of a chief who has sublet the same in order to live off of rents. If this were the case, l would have expected James Cockburn to have been referred to in the same way as the landholder, that is as "so and so of x". (Refer to my paper entitled "Landlords and Tenants" in "Conference Notes: Second Australasian Scottish Genealogy Conference 2006".)
Instead, we have "cooper and tacksman", with the "cooper" description suggesting that he was of much lower status. It might therefore be reasonably envisaged that James Cockburn was a tack holder, a tenant, and probably of just a few acres somewhere within the precincts of the village of Chirnside.