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History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Chapter LVIII


COMMERCE OF THE PORT-CUSTOM-HOUSE RETURNS-THE CATTLE, SHEEP, AND PIG TRADES OF THE BURGH--HOSIERY-TANNING AND CURRYING-BASKETMAKING-HORTICULTURE AND THE NURSERY TRADE-RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE TWEED MANUFACTURE - THE MAXWELLTOWN IRON-WORKSBUSINESS OPERATIONS IN DUMFRIES.

TWELVE or thirteen vessels were all that the port of Dumfries could boast of in 1790. Three of these traded in foreign wines, or in timber and hides from the Baltic; the others being employed as coasters, exporting grain and potatoes, and bringing back lime, coal, and merchant goods. Forty years before that time, Dr. Burnside tells us, "there was a considerable tobacco trade carried on from Dumfries. At an average of four years, 1,250 hogsheads were annually imported. It is alleged, however, that the exportation was considerably greater; and that, in consequence of some unhappy mistakes of this kind, the trade was discouraged. It has since entirely failed."

The first link in the railway chain by which Dumfries is now united to the great centres of business throughout the country, was formed by the opening of the Glasgow and South-Western Company's line from the Burgh to Gretna, on the 22nd of August, 1848: others were supplied when the whole of that railway was completed to Glasgow, in September, 1850, when the Castle-Douglas and Dumfries railway was opened, in November, 1859, and when the Burgh was brought within the range of the Caledonian line by the opening of a branch to Lockerbie, in September, 1863. These various railways have done much to develop the trade of the Burgh and the district; but, as already noticed, they have seriously reduced the traffic of the port.

In 1831, the Commissioners of Tonnage had a revenue of nearly 1,100; in 1844, just before the rival mode of transit began to take effect, the revenue had risen to 1,212; but even then the trust was heavily indebted to the Bank of Scotland - the expenditure including payments for debt and interest to the extent of 1,356, and there being a deficit on the year of 144.

In the same year (1844) the tonnage dues inwards were as follows:-1,233 tons register, foreign vessels, at 6d., 30 16s. 6d.; 27,473 tons, coasting vessels, at 2d., 228 18s. 10d.; 6,413 1/8 tons of goods, at 1s. 2d., 374 2s.; 13,928 tons of coals, at 6d., 348 4s. 4d.; 212 tons of lime, at 6d., 5 6s. Outwards: 540 tons coasting vessels, at 2d., 4 10s.; 3,776 tons of goods, at 1s. 2d., 220 5s. 11d.; total revenue, 1,212 3s. 7d.

Twenty years afterwards, the revenue showed a great depreciation. In 1864 the dues inwards were: 1,930 tons, foreign vessels, at 6d., 48 5s. 2d.; 9,229 tons, coasting vessels, at 2d., 76 18s. 2d.; 2,925 tons of goods, foreign, at 8d., 97 10s. 2d.; 6,564 tons of goods, coasting, at 8d., 218 16s. 7d.; 2,843 tons of coal, at 1d., 11 16s. 11d.; 346 tons of lime, at 1d., 1 18s. 10d. Outwards : 70 tons, coasting vessels, at 2d., 11s. 8d.; 2,980 tons of goods at 8d., 99 6s. 9d.; total revenue, 554 14s. 3d.

In the year last ended (10th June, 1867), the income of the Commissioners was set down as follows:-Inwards, 702 tons, foreign vessels, at 6d., 17 11s.; 7,191 tons, coasting vessels, at 2d., 59 18s. 6d.; 148 tons of goods, foreign, at 8d., 4 19s.; 833 tons, at 10d. (the rate having been raised in August, 1866), 34 14s. 6d.; 567 tons of goods, coasting, at 8d., 18 18s. 6d.; 4,859 tons, at 10d., 202 9s. 10d.; 282 tons of coals, at 1d., 1 3s. 6d., and 2,170 tons at 2d., 18 1s. 8d.; 198 tons lime, at 1d., 16s. 6d., and 577 tons at 2d., 4 16s. 2d. Outwards: 111 tons register, foreign vessels, at 6d., 2 15s. 6d., and 276 tons at 2d., 2 6s.; 176 tons of goods, at 8d., 5 17s. 4d., and 1,702 tons at 10d., 70 18s. 5d.; 86 tons, foreign, at 10d., 3 11s. 8d.; donation of Mr. Withal, for lengthening wall at Aird's Point, 25; total revenue, 473 18s. 1d., or fully 738 less than in 1844, before the railways came into operation.

The expenditure in 1866-7 was 480 4s. 2d., leaving a deficit of 6 6s. 1d.; but this is exclusive of the heavy interest on the sum borrowed for the construction of the sea-dyke between Glencaple Quay and Aird's Point, which, on account of the reduced condition of the trust, was not paid this year.

From the Custom-house point of view, the port of Dumfries stretches far beyond the jurisdiction of the Nith Commissioners, extending as it does from the river Sark, the boundary between Scotland and England, to the rivulet or offing of Kirk Andrews Bay, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and including, as creeks, Annan, sixteen miles, Barlochan, seventeen miles, and Kirkcudbright, twenty-eight miles distant from Dumfries.

In 1790 the vessels entered to the port inwards in this extensive sense numbered 253, with a tonnage of 8,982, and 357 men; while 135 vessels, of 5,264 tonnage, with 357 men, entered outwards. Before twenty years had elapsed, the trade of the port had doubled in amount, as the following figures for 1809 will show:-Vessels entered inwards, 493; tonnage, 18,985; men, 1,389. Outwards: 287 vessels, 12,090 tonnage, 802 men. As further illustrative of the progress of the port, it may be mentioned that the annual average of five years, ending with 1794, shows only 459 vessels, 15,718 tonnage, and 1,310 men; while the average of the quinquennial period ending with 1809 exhibits 743 vessels, 29,427 tonnage, and 2,069 men. The returns issued for the year ending the 31st of March, 1864, are as follows:- Number of vessels, 117; tonnage, 13,139; vessels entered inwards, of which 19 were foreign, tonnage, 795; outwards, of which 4 were foreign, tonnage, 314. The total duties amounted to 5,970, made up thus:-On imports not warehoused, 296; on warehoused goods brought from other ports, 5,664; miscellaneous, 20.

Since 1864, a considerable amount of traffic has been withdrawn from the port by the recently-formed wet dock at Silloth, on the Cumberland side of the Solway, where the freights are lower than at Dumfries, and vessels are discharged afloat. Timber can be landed at Silloth, and floated in rafts up the Nith, at much less expense to the importers than if brought direct into the river; and sometimes, to escape the heavy dues, they get their cargoes landed at Grantors, and brought down to Dumfries overland by the Caledonian railway. The Dumfries Custom-house returns for the year ended the 31st of March, 1867, give 99 vessels, with a tonnage of 12,714; 7 vessels (all British) entered inwards, with a tonnage of 1,383; and 2 entered outwards (one foreign and one British), tonnage, 353; duties, 6,991 9s. 7d. The revenue would probably have exhibited a serious decrease, owing chiefly to the late reduction of the tea-duty, had not the Government, since December, 1865, allowed British spirits to be warehoused alongst with foreign spirits, and thereby made the duties more productive. In round numbers, the revenue of the Dumfries Custom-house may be set down at 7,000, and its annual expenditure at 640.

Long before the Union, a considerable weekly cattle market was held on the Lower Sandbeds, now the White-sands. It took place every Monday till 1659, when, to prevent the desecration caused by the droving of cattle on the preceding Sabbath day, the market, by Act of Parliament, was changed to Wednesday. Taylor, the water-poet, who made a pedestrian journey through Scotland in 1618, noticed numerous herds of cattle browsing in the south-west of Dumfriesshire as he passed through it-in Annandale alone he counted "eleven hundred neat, at as good grass as ever man did mow;" but, as in 1655 the custom levied on live stock and merchandise at the bridge amounted to only 573 6s. 8d. Scots, [Town Council Minutes.] it is clear that at that early date the cattle sent to the market from its chief source of supply, Galloway, must have been few in number-small as compared with the 30,000 beeves exposed annually for sale on the Sands in our own day. The yearly Rood-fair for horses, in September, is also of remote origin, it having been long in existence when James VI., by a charter dated the 30th of November, 1592, granted two other annual fairs to the town, one at Candlemas, the other early in July, the latter of which had gone into disuse previous to 1790.

The growing importance of the cattle-rearing trade of Galloway, was in 1697 marked by a demand for a road whereby the stock might be driven to the English markets. In June of that year the matter came before the Privy Council. "It was represented that while there was a customary way between the burgh of New Galloway and Dumfries, there was no defined or made road. It was the line of passage taken by immense herds of cattle which were continually passing from the green pastures of the Galloway hills into England-a branch of economy held to be the main support of the inhabitants of the district, and the grand source of its rents. Droves of cattle are, however, apt to be troublesome to the owners and tenants of the grounds through or near which they pass; and such was the case here." [Chambers's Domestic Annals.] "Several debates," the Council record says, "have happened of late in the passage of droves from New Galloway to Dumfries, the country people endeavouring by violence to stop the droves, and impose illegal exactions of money upon the cattle, to the great damage of the trade; whereby also riots and bloodsheds have been occasioned, which had gone greater length if those who were employed to carry up the cattle had not managed with great moderation and prudence." On a petition from the great landlords of the district-James, Earl of Galloway; Lord Basil Hamilton; Alexander, Viscount of Kenmure; John, Viscount of Stair; Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, and othersa commission was appointed by the Privy Council, "to make and mark a highway for droves frae New Galloway to Dumfries, holding the high and accustomed travelling way betwixt the said two burghs."

When the Border wars ceased, and cattle were no longer obtained by "lifting," a great impetus was given to the legitimate traffic, which was further stimulated by the Union with England. Soon after that event, the droving trade to the South rapidly progressed, till it became the spring of much wealth to the entire district. It was speedily felt that the demand was unfailing. The breeders of Galloway stock in their native district could not send too many of them to the Sands. A few scores per week were readily absorbed - the Southern appetite, whetted by the sweetness of the prime Scots beef, still cried for more; and before the current century was far advanced, some 15,000 head of heavy cattle were annually exported from Dumfriesshire and Galloway for the English market, most of which changed ownership on the Dumfries Sands. [Pennant, who visited Dumfries in 1772, says:- "The great weekly markets for black cattle are of much advantage to the place; and vast droves from Galloway and the shire of Air pass through on the way to the fairs of Norfolk and Suffolk." - Tour, vol. ii., p. 101.] Thirty years ago the number had risen to 20,000; their value, on an average of years, being not less than 200,000.

The true Galloway is a hardy, well-shaped, profitable beast : the body long, deep, and round; the back straight and broad; the leg short and thick; the foot large; its coat of hair shaggy and black; while the circumstance of its being hornless renders it increasingly valuable. Its native fields are in many instances so sheltered as to favour the health of the animal, and the fine meat it yields-doubtless owing in some degree to the quality of the herbage it browses upon, which is rich and sweet, even when scanty. The cattle of this breed driven to the Sands are chiefly two and three years old. On being bought for the London and other English markets, they lay on additional layers of fat in the nourishing pastures of Norfolk before being sent to the shambles. Though the dusky Galloways have long figured most prominently at the Dumfries market, other breeds, making up about a third of the whole, are well represented; especially the picturesque West Highlanders, which Landseer and Rosa Bonheur like so well to paint, and large herds of which are wintered in Galloway; the "milky mothers" of the Ayrshire race; and a sort of mongrel short-horned breed from Ulster, inferior to the real Irish short-horns, few of which find their way to Dumfries.

When railways were introduced into the district, the beasts, no longer tediously driven along dusty roads, were sent southward by truck-a change which operated beneficially on the Dumfries market; till, by the opening of the Castle-Douglas railway, in 1859, facilities were afforded for despatching Galloways direct, without first sending them to the old central emporium, the White-sands. The business of the market was also much changed when, in 1858, at a mart in the immediate vicinity, Mr. Andrew Stewart originated a weekly sale of live stock by auction - an example which has been extensively followed in many other towns. The palmy period of the Dumfries cattle trade was in the earlier half of the present century, it having declined since about 1848 by the operation of various influences; the chief being the extension of the railway system into Galloway, the establishment of competing markets in the district, and the substitution of sheep for cattle on many farms.

It is still, however, of vast extent-second to none, indeed, on the north side of the Border, as the following statistics for the ten years immediately preceding a severe attack of rinder-pest will tend to show:- The number of cattle exposed for sale on the Sands in 1854, was 28,184; in 1855, 31,552; in 1856, 28,876; in 1857, 24,625 ; in 1858, 22,605 ; in 1859, 22,129 ; in 1860, 20,405; in 1861, 22,186; in 1862, 23,564; in 1863, 20,264; and in 1864 the number was but 17,974, exhibiting a decline of 2,290 head as compared with the preceding year. The Galloway cattle sold in 1864 brought from 6 15s. for oneyear-olds, to 14 for those that were between three and four years old; and altogether their value was upwards of 98,000. For Highlanders, the prices ran from 5 for one-year-olds, to 13 for those that were between three and four years; the worth of the whole being at least 63,600. Ayrshire and crosses brought 9 10s. per head; Irish, 5 10s., and adding the estimated value of these to that of the principal stock, a grand aggregate of close upon 162,000 is obtained. The cattle plague alluded to did not appear in the district till about the end of autumn, in 1865, but it seriously reduced the supply of stock for the whole year. The disease, during its course of about five months, appeared on forty farms in Dumfriesshire, fifteen of which were in the Parish of Dumfries. About 710 cattle died of the disease, and more than 130 were killed in order to assist in checking its ravages: the aggregate value of the animals must have been at least 6,000. In consequence of the outbreak, the market was closed on the 8th of November, 1865, and was not reopened till the 15th of August in the following year. The cattle shown in 1865 numbered only 9,605; and during the four and a half months of 1866, only 5,907. For 1867, till the beginning of August, the number was 6,991; making the twelve-month's supply, after the cessation of the disease, 12,898. In 1859 the number of cattle sent from Dumfries by railway was 13,975: since the opening of the Portpatrick railway, in 1861, a gradual decline has been experienced, only 5,362 having been trucked in 1864, 4,751 in 1865, and 3,470 in 1866; the two last years having also been affected by cattle plague.

We can find no traces of a sheep market in Dumfries at an early period. People still living can recollect when the appearance of so many as a score or two of "bleaters" on the Sands was a rare occurrence: but the rapid increase of turnip husbandry and pastoral farming throughout the County eventually told upon the sheep trade of the town; and it now almost promises to rival in importance the traffic in cattle. As many as 28,000 sheep, old and young, have been annually offered for sale, taking the average of the five years previous to 1866, their value each year being not less, perhaps, than 40,000; the Cheviots, and a breed formed between these hardy mountaineers and the more delicate and heavier fleeced Leicesters, forming the greater portion of the stock.

Every year immense flocks that are never shown on the Sands are sent from the Dumfries railway station, chiefly to Liverpool, Carlisle, Penrith, Appleby, Preston, and Newcastle. The number thus exported was 43,932 in 1859, 39,460 in 1860, 46,007 in 1861, 40,691 in 1862, 37,937 in 1863, 39,811 in 1864, 47,105 in 1865, and 35,076 in 1866. As already hinted, much business not included in any of the above figures is done by the hammer of the auctioneer.

Mr. Stewart sold, at his mart adjoining the Sands, 1,592 cattle, 14,345 sheep and lambs, and 246 calves, in 1864; 856 cattle and 10,427 sheep in 1865; 290 cattle and 9,278 sheep in 1866. A second auction mart was opened in Mr. Michael. Teenan's extensive horse bazaar in 1860, and there also extensive sales take place every Wednesday. Mr. David Creighton, who officiates, disposed of 1,518 cattle, 11,453 sheep, and 265 calves, in 1864; 2,513 cattle and 20,293 sheep in 1865; and 1,488 cattle and 18,152 sheep in 1866. In 1865, Mr. Thomas Anderson commenced weekly sales of stock by auction within a temporary enclosure on the Sands. He thus disposed of 282 cattle and 6,422 sheep in 1865, 173 cattle and 7,756 sheep in 1866.

The entire stock sold at Dumfries, on the Sands and in the marts, numbered 13,261 cattle and 68,004 sheep in 1865, 9,828 cattle and 47,239 sheep in 1866. The rapidity with which the sales by auction are effected, contrasts favourably with the old tardy mode of bargain-making, and it is highly probable that the "hammer-in-hand" system of selling stock will come to prevail over every other in all our leading market towns.

For about ninety years, pig-feeding has formed one of the industrial features of Dumfriesshire. In 1794, the value of the pork cured in Annandale alone was estimated at 12,000; for the whole County, in 1811, the returns were little short of 50,000, [Dr. Singer's Survey of Dumfriesshire.] the chief sales taking place on the Dumfries Sands. For many years previous to 1832, upwards of 700 carcasses were sold weekly on the Sands; the average of which was at least 8,000 stones. During the heat of the season, the amount was often a great deal more; and instances have occurred in which from four thousand to five thousand pounds' worth of pork have been disposed of in a single day. At one period of the war with France, prices rose to an exorbitant pitch; and even long after they had settled down, the sales in Dumfries averaged 50,000 annually. [Picture of Dumfries, p. 27.] Formerly, many hundreds of pigs were fed every year in the Burgh; but as this was deemed objectionable in a sanitary point of view, it was finally put a stop to in 1858. The supply at the market was more seriously diminished by the same influence that reduced the show of cattle on the Sands - the extension of railway intercourse to Castle-Douglas, since which period the falling off has been considerable. Then, of late years, some English dealers who used to buy pork at Dumfries market have adopted the practice of purchasing live pigs in Upper Nithsdale, and sending them by rail to Liverpool, Birmingham, and even sometimes to London; thus further reducing the supply to Dumfries.

For these reasons it is not much to be wondered at that the stock on the Sands, which amounted to 13,550 in 1858-59, had dwindled down to 8,761 in 1860-61, and that there is little chance of it soon reaching its former annual average. In 1861-62, the carcasses numbered 7,998; in 1862-63, 8,620; in 1863-64, 7,307; in 1864-65, 7,268; in 1865-66, 10,773; and in 1866-67, 10,235. Thirty years ago, 5s. 6d. per stone of 16 lbs. was about the usual price. More recently a higher figure has been obtained, rising from 6s. to 8s. 6d. per imperial stone of 14 lbs., according to quality, and also to size; carcasses of twelve or thirteen stones being preferred by curers. In 1861, as much as 7s. 6d. per stone was obtained for best pork, and 7s. 4d. in 1865; while in March, 1866, the very high figure of 8s. 6d. was obtained; these sums being more readily given because of the supply not keeping pace with the demand. [The varying courses of the pork market are shown in the statistics of the extensive trade carried on by the largest bacon-curer in Dumfries, Mr. William Bell, provost of the Burgh in 1864. In 1835, Mr. Bell bought pork at 3s. 2d. per stone of 16 lbs.; and next year, when the imperial stone of 14 lbs. was introduced, he paid to the same dealer 5s. 10d., equal to 6s. 8d. the heavy .stone. His transactions on the Sands during the last ten years were as follows:-Season 1856-57: 15,974 stones; average price, 7s. 2d. per stone of 14 lbs. Season 1857-58: 11,294 stones; average, 5s. 8d. Season 1858-59: 14,478 stones, 131bs.; average, 5s. 102d. Season 1859-60: 13,144 stones, 9 lbs.; average, 6s. 4d. Season 1860-61: 8,455 stones; average, 7s. 0d. Season 1861-62: 12,709 stones, 7 lb..; average, 6s. 6d. Season 1862-63: 14,552 stones, 6 lb..; average, 5s. 5d. Season 1863-64: 12,481 stones, 11 lbs.; average, 6s. 84d. Season 1864-65: 14,532 stones, 1 lb.; average, 6s. 9d. In season 1865-66, the average rose to the high figure of 7s. 3d.; Mr. Bell's purchases of 13,924 stones, 9 lbs., that season, costing nearer 6,000 than 5,000. Next season (1866-67), pork experienced a sudden downfall, he paying an average of 6s. 1d. on 12,912 stones, 2 lbs. Most of the Dumfries hams are sent to London for exportation to India, where they are in high repute.] The season lasts for nearly five months, beginning in the middle of November, and terminating at the end of March or early in April. When the trade was at its best, seven or eight years ago, its annual value was at least 65,000; now it is not worth more than 50,000.

A great stimulus has been given to the agriculture of the district by the exhibitions of the Highland and Agricultural Society, held periodically in the Burgh or neighbourhood. The first of these took place in 1830, when the cattle shown numbered 180; horses, 60; sheep, 247; swine, 19; implements, 18: total, 524. The second took place in 1837, with the following entries:-Cattle, 181; horses, 77; sheep, 512; articles of dairy produce, 31; implements, 36: total, 841. A third show was held in 1845, when the entries were:-Cattle, 297; horses, 75; sheep, 537; swine, 62; poultry, 101; dairy produce, 88; implements, 143: total, 1,302. A fourth show took place in 1860; and the entries at it, compared with those of 1830, illustrate the rural progress of the district during the intervening generation. At this, the last show held under the auspices of the Highland Society at Dumfries, the cattle numbered 298; horses, 166; sheep, 558; swine, 54; poultry, 216; dairy produce, 195; and the extraordinary number of 911 implements: total, 2,398. Good results have also arisen from the competitions entered into by local farming clubs, and which, joined into a Union Agricultural Society at the suggestion of the Duke of Buccleuch, hold quinquennial exhibitions in Dumfries, which are beginning almost to rival those that take place under the auspices of the parent society. The first Union show was held in 1852; at the third, in 1862, the entries included 247 cattle, 112 horses, 177 sheep, 26 swine, and 365 implements; and at the fourth, held on the 1st of October, 1867, there were 232 cattle, 126 horses, 171 sheep, 14 swine, and 138 implements.

From returns obtained by Government we learn, that in 1866 the whole cattle in Dumfriesshire numbered 45,053; the sheep, 371,486; the pigs, 18,619.

A considerable hosiery trade existed in Dumfries during "Burns's time," carried on chiefly by Messrs. Haining, Hogg, and Dickson, the founders of that branch of business in the town. Among others engaged in it at an early date were Mr. James Paterson, Mr. John Pagan, Messrs. Scott and Dinwiddie, Mr. William Milligan (now of Westpark), and Mr. William Carson. [Mr. Carson is the oldest operative stocking-maker in Dumfries. He is hale and cheerful, working occasionally at the frame, though in his eighty-sixth year. He commenced business in 1803, and at that time purchased from Mr. James Paterson the first frames (it is believed) that were ever used in the Burgh. They were five in number, and cost 80. ] At the beginning of the current century, about thirty frames were at work. Then, and for many years afterwards, the narrow frame of a rude construction was alone used, and no such articles as drawers and shirts, which now form the best part of the business, were wrought upon it. Mr. M'Diarmid, writing in 1832, says: "Dumfries, in the proper sense of the word, can hardly be called a manufacturing town. In former years, striped or checked cottons were made, but the trade, has diminished, and of the cotton weavers found in town and country-amounting to about three hundred in all - by far the largest portions are employed through the medium of agents by the manufacturing houses in Glasgow and Carlisle. Hosiery, on the other hand, has become a staple article of trade, and gives employment to upwards of three hundred hands located in Dumfries and the surrounding villages. Of stockings, socks, drawers, and flannel shirts, from three hundred and fifty to four hundred dozen are fabricated weekly, the value of which may be averaged at the same number of pounds; and it would thus appear that the capital turned over in this branch of traffic falls little short of 20,000 yearly." [Picture of Dumfries, pp. 9, 10.]

Of cotton weaving there is now scarcely any; but the manufacture of hosiery, with its underclothing accompaniments, is still extensively carried on. Much more money than the above sum is now "turned over" in it annually, though it gives employment to fewer weavers than it did thirty-five years ago; the reason being that many of the frames now in use are so improved, that the weaver or knitter can on an average do fully twice as much work with them as with the old narrow machines. The business commenced by Mr. W. Milligan, in 1805, is still carried on by him and partners; one of whom, Mr. John M. Henderson, his son-in-law, is about to enter into the tweed trade on his own account, while the original hosiery trade will be conducted by another of the partners, Mr. Milligan's eldest son, Mr. James B. Milligan. For a number of years circular machines moved by steam power were used in their factory at Dockhead to make hose for the million, each machine being capable of turning out twenty-five dozen of socks per day; but this branch has been discontinued, the firm paying increased attention to the finer departments of the business. The late Mr. Robert Scott, the founder of another and much greater trade in Dumfries, began a hosiery business in 1810, which is still continued by his son, Mr. James Scott, and his son-in-law, Mr. Murray, under the designation of Robert Scott and Sons, who carry on the largest trade of this kind in Dumfries. The hosiery business gives employment to about a hundred and . thirty operatives in the Burgh, and nearly as many others at their own houses in Holywood, Collin, Lochmaben, Lockerbie, and elsewhere throughout the district, besides numerous seamers, finishers, and warehousemen.

"Some stockings and hats, a small quantity of linens and coarse woollens, and leather on a large scale, are our principal manufactures," says Dr. Burnside, writing in 1790. [MS. History of Dumfries.] Fifty years afterwards some two hundred hatters were employed in Dumfries; but the "heads of the people" give no employment now to local hands in this line, all the hats sold in the Burgh being imported. The leather manufacture has been retained and greatly extended. Its annual value was 30,000 in 1832; now it cannot be less than 80,000. The "lion's share" of the tanning and currying done in the Burgh falls to the lot of Mr. Thomas D. Currie of Clerk-hill ; and a large business in the same trades is also transacted by Mrs. Wallace, by Messrs. William Watt and Son, and by Mr. John Weir. About 30,000 hides are transformed into leather yearly by these and other firms in the town; the beeves of the district supplying but a small proportion of the raw material, that being chiefly obtained at Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Leith. For the finished fabric the principal markets are London and Liverpool.

About 1816, basket-making was started in the Burgh by an enterprising Yorkshireman, Mr. (afterwards Bailie) Hammond. In a short period this seemingly insignificant branch of business grew to such an extent that it became second to none of the same kind in Scotland. Under his successor, Mr. James Kennedy, the Dumfries wicker-ware manufacture retains its old repute. Mr. Kennedy, like Mr. Hammond, grows all his own material, to the culture of which twenty-two acres of land are devoted, and the reaping of which gives employment to about a hundred and fifty persons during "the willow harvest."

In seeds, flowers, and plants of all kinds, Dumfries has a large and valuable trade. About a hundred acres are laid out as nursery grounds in connection with it, which help to beautify as well as to enrich the Burgh. In these about a hundred and fifty hands find employment during the busy season, which lasts about six months each year. The most extensive nursery establishment in the town is that of Messrs. Thomas Kennedy and Company, established in 1787, and which first acquired a high position through the industry and energy of its head, the late Provost Kennedy. [There are large nurseries in several other parts of Dumfriesshire; those of Messrs. John Palmer and Son, Annan, which extend to eighty acres, being the chief.] The sole partners at present are Mr. Alexander T. Newbigging and Mr. Robert Cowan, who have seventy acres of ground under culture for their products; and give employment in their establishment during the spring months to a hundred and twenty hands. Their home trade embraces the three kingdoms; and they have business connections with Australia, New Zealand, China, France, Germany, and Holland.

Twenty years ago, Dumfries was no more a manufacturing town than it was in 1832; but the nucleus of a great business that was to make it one was formed in 1846, when Messrs. Robert Scott and Sons, hosiers, purchased premises that had been occupied as a sawmill at Kingholm village, in order that they might spin yarns for their hosiery business. The largest oak springing from the smallest imaginable acorn, would but faintly symbolize the growth of the manufacture that had such a small and simple origin. After the new mill had been in operation for some months, its proprietors secured the services of Mr. John M'Keachie, a weaver of damask table-covers in Maxwelltown; and under his direction an experiment was tried in the construction of tweeds which proved to be encouragingly successful. The Messrs. Scott, with characteristic shrewdness and sagacity, saw at once that the germ of the new business thus inadvertently hit upon was worthy of being fully developed; and with that enterprise for which they were also remarkable, they invested a very large amount of capital in the trade. For a year or two it was only of small extent; but it rapidly increased afterwards, till it became a prosperous concern, profitable to its proprietors, and a great benefit to the Burgh and neighbourhood.

Mr. John Scott having in 1857 become the proprietor of Kingholm Mills, Mr. Robert Scott joined his brother, Mr. Walter Scott of Manchester, in establishing a second tweed factory. The building, erected in an orchard between the foot of St. Michael Street and the Dock Meadow, is truly a noble structure : huge, massive, and turreted, with its chimney stalk rising a hundred and seventy-four feet high, it is almost palatial in its aspect. Too often, elsewhere, town factories are dull, dingy repulsive-looking erections; but in pleasing contrast to all this, the Nithsdale Mills, as the establishment is termed, are a decided ornament to the Burgh. Almost directly opposite, on the Galloway bank of the river, the magic of labour, which performs so many wonders in our day, has brought suddenly into existence another vast industrial hive, similar in appearance, and for the same purpose-the manufacture of tweeds.

It is the property of Mr. Walter Scott; his partnership with Mr. Robert Scott having terminated in 1866; and the Nithsdale Mills having at the same time been disposed of to the latter, who now leases them to his nephew, Mr. Robert Scott, junior, and partner, Mr. Nixon, formerly of London. In 1865, the establishment at Kingholm was purchased by a limited liability company, having a capital of 80,000, with power to create additional shares; and since then it has been carried on under the name of John Lindsay Scott and Cornpany. Mr. Walter Scott's factory, which is termed the Troqueer Mills, was commenced in September, 1866: it is now, after the lapse of little more than a year, nearly completed; and already about two hundred and fifty operatives make it vocal daily with the hum of shuttles and the whir of spindles.

Fully eleven hundred and fifty hands are employed in the three mills, directing or co-operating with thirty sets of machines and a hundred and fifty power-looms, and producing from a million to a million and. a quarter yards of cloth per annum. "The wool used is principally the finer qualities of colonial, a very large portion being Port Philip and New Zealand-sufficient guarantee for the excellence and quality of the goods." [From a well-written paper on the Scotch woollen trade, communicated to the Dumfries Standard by the late Mr. David Bell.] Scotch woollen fabrics have long been the favourite wear of men of all ranks; and Dumfries tweeds have acquired a very high repute in the wholesale trade. ["An old name is still a great power; but, in this age of constant competition, constant progress, and continuous change, the prestige of the oldest houses will quickly disappear unless their members are men fully up with the times - marching not only with them, but ahead of them. It is because Robert Scott, the father of Dumfries manufactures, was such a man, and because his sons have been animated by the same spirit, that Dumfries has such a reputation throughout the world for the excellence of her tweeds."-Paper by Mx. D. BELL.] They are sent chiefly to London, Manchester, and Glasgow, from which they find their way to continental Europe, to America, India, and Australia; and goods are also sent direct from the mills to many foreign parts, including France, Russia, and the United States. To estimate the beneficial results that flow to the town from the tweed trade, would be no easy. task. But for these, and the stimulus given to other occupations by the railways, Dumfries, instead of advancing steadily and rapidly, as it has done during the last eighteen or twenty years, would undoubtedly have retrograded, both as regards population and wealth.

Strictly speaking, the Burgh has no iron-works, but it is only separated by the Nith from a large foundry (proprietor, Mr. Alexander Maxwell), which was established about sixty years since, and is called Stakeford, on account of its proximity to the ford of stakes which crossed the river in ancient times; while, a little further inland, there is a second foundry, still larger (owned by Mr. James A. B. M'Kinnel), that of Palmerstone, established in 1818: both of them, with their bands of busy Vulcans numbering about a hundred and thirty, making Maxwelltown ring with the clang of trade. Metal to the extent of a thousand tons or more, is melted annually at these gigantic iron-works. Their chief products are agricultural implements of all kinds, builders' and joiners' castings, cranes, jennies, railway water tanks, signals and girders, water wheels, gas-works, boilers, and steam-engines. For variety and excellence of work, the establishments are equally remarkable; "and," says the "Visitor's Guide," "we believe that, price considered, nowhere in the kingdom can implements for rural labour be so well obtained-a matter of the first importance to the district around, when we consider that so many of its inhabitants are devoted to the pursuits of agriculture." [Visitor's Guide, p. 66.]

Dumfries does not depend for its prosperity on the surrounding district so much as it did in the ante-railway period, and when there was no tweed manufacture within its bounds; but it is still, fortunately, the capital of an extensive agricultural province, drawing from it a princely revenue, which, distributed amongst its drapers, grocers, ironmongers, jewellers, bakers, booksellers, apothecaries, and other shopkeepers or handicraftsmen, assists them to maintain their respective establishments, and both directly and indirectly confers great benefits on the Burgh.

To some of them, Wednesday, when the country folks come to market, is as good as any three ordinary days; to others it is worth the whole secular week; and this, too, though in some of the towns round about from which customers come, there are now shops which, for appearance and resources, all but rival those of the County town. When, therefore, the farming interest is depressed, Dumfries suffers; and when it is buoyant because "horn, corn, wool, and yarn" are bringing good prices, the Burgh sympathizingly rejoices with its agricultural neighbours and patrons. Not content, however, with the customers that voluntarily come from country to town, many Dumfries merchants make business raids into the rural districts, from whence they take back more money yearly than even their extensive town trade is worth. All the largest clothiers of the Burgh adopt the same plan (begun by the late Mr. Kerr in 1813), of travelling for orders to keep their needlemen in better work; and some of them, stretching their measuring tape far beyond the locality, send back vast quantities of English broadcloth in the form of manufactured garments to the other side of the Western Border.

Since the Seven Trades ceased to exist as a united incorporation, in 1834, most of the members then living have been "wede away;" so that were a Siller Gun wappenschaw to be summoned in this present year of grace, fifty men entitled to shoot for the trophy would scarcely be forthcoming. But for all that there is no dearth of craftsmen in the ancient Burgh and its sister town, as the following figures, which refer to those working as journeymen belonging to the Trades that used to be incorporated, will help to show : Hammermen, including the smiths and moulders that are employed at the foundries, 198; squaremen, 268; tailors, 78; shoemakers, 268, besides 16 cloggers, or makers of strong shoes with wooden soles; skinners and tanners, 60; fleshers, 14; and numerous weavers of hosiery and woollen cloth, as already specified in this chapter, though there is scarcely a vestige left of cotton weaving, which at the beginning of the present century gave employment to about three hundred hands in Dumfries and its immediate neighbourhood.


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