THE success which attended
his book Rosneath: Past and Present, has encouraged the author to attempt a
larger work treated in a similar style. There is so much of interest in the
whole neighbourhood of the Gareloch, and it is such a favourite resort in
summer, that it is hoped` that a careful topographical study of the parishes
of Row and Cardross, as they existed in the latter part of last century, and
coming down to the present day, will secure approval. It is thought
desirable to incorporate Rosneath with the other parishes, because the
author has gained much additional information upon the subject. Many noble
families have owned the lands near the Gareloch, and played their part in
the affairs of the nation, although in some instances, they no longer are
connected with Dunbartonshire.
The first part of the book
treats of the County of Dunbarton as a whole, and gives some details as to
the life and pursuits of the inhabitants of that part of Scotland.
Particulars regarding the old industries and occupations, as well as about
the social habits of the landowners and peasantry, and the many changes in
the ownership of the estates, form an interesting and instructive picture.
In discoursing upon the
separate parishes of Row, Cardross, and Rosneath, the author wished to point
out the ancient holdings of the various families, and to specify what they
did to bring out the resources of the soil. The old ecclesiastical divisions
are noted, and details given which will be acceptable to the student of
In various instances the
author was fortunate in being able to draw upon the recollections of very
aged persons, whose memories happily retained a wonderful vigour, and who
could give graphic pictures of scenes and customs of over eighty years ago.
The favourite town of Helensburgh demanded a full and careful account, and
its gradual rise, from a single row of thatched houses on the shore to its
present extensive boundaries, cannot but be of interest to many.
Though some of the family
matters given may seem rather minute, still, as a picture of men and
manners, they have a value of their own. The ecclesiastical details, taken
from authentic sources, characterise a state of matters now passing away.
The notes and anecdotes as to
the agriculture, ornithology, and natural history of the Gareloch, indicate
that much may be gleaned in this department. Until within a few years, the
district of the Gareloch was rich in specimens of game, aquatic, and
sea-birds, and some account is given of their various haunts and habits.
The author has to acknowledge
his obligation to different works treating of the West of Scotland, and the
County of Dunbarton in particular. For many of the details of the ancient
families of Row and Cardross he is indebted to the elaborate and accurate
family and local histories contained in the Dennistoun MS. in the Advocates'
Library. Irving's laborious History of Dumbartonshire has supplied much
valuable information, as has also Dr. David Murray's monograph an Old
Cardross, and the Rev. Dr. Story's admired life of his father, from which is
condensed the account of the Story family. Tytler's History of Scotland was
examined as to the domestic details and manners of a byegone age, while Sir
William Fraser's Colquhouns of Luss, Hew Scott's Fasti, Origines Parochiales,
and the two Statistical Accounts of Scotland, all contributed many facts of
interest. Amongst other works consulted were Eminent Scotsmen, Whyte and
M'Farlane's Agriculture of Dunbartonshire, Sketches of Clergy of the
Gareloch, The Scottish Nation, Beauties of Scotland, Memorials of John
Macleod Campbell, Macleod's Lennox Families, and other works ; Birds of
[Vest of Scotland, Morris' Life of Henry Pell, Chalmers' Caledonia, Glen's
History of Dunbarton, The Story of Helensburgh, Days at the Coast, etc.
Especial thanks are due to
Dr. Murray for extracts from Old Cardross, also to Rev. J. A Webster of Row,
Rev. W. Maxwell of Cardross, and Rev. Alfred Warr of Rosneath, for useful
information afforded and permission to examine church records of their
respective parishes. Interesting particulars were kindly given by Mr. James
Spy, of Row, upon the topography of that district, by Mr. Duncan M'Kinlay, a
venerable native of Shandon, and ferryman there for many long years; and by
Mr. Andrew Jardine of Balimenoch, Glenfruin.
For his account of Rosneath
the author has to acknowledge his indebtedness to the Marquis of Lorne, K.T.,
Mr. Peter M`Neilage, Mill of Campsail; Mr. Archibald Stewart, Portkill; Mr.
John M'Lean, Clachan of Rosneath; and Mr. Robert Chalmers, Rahanethe two
latter natives of the parish having since passed away. Thanks are also due
to Sir James Colquhoun, Bart., of Colquhoun; Sir Joseph D. Hooker, K.C.S.I.;
Mr. John M'Farlane, Faslane; Mr. John William Burns of Kilmahew ; Mr. Adam
Miller, Helens-burgh; Mr. C. T. Couper, Row; Mr. Michael Honeyman; Mr. John
Bell, Dunbarton; Mr. Robert Craig, Sheriff Clerk; Mr. R. Bennett Browne of
Bendarroch; Mr. Barrett, Secretary of Mitchell Library; Mr. Donald Maclean,
Postmaster, Helensburgh. Also to Mrs. M'Donald, of Belmore; Mrs. Nisbet,
Row; Mrs. Bain, Kilcreggan; Mrs. Campbell, Barbour; Mrs. Archd. Marquis,
Coulport; Mrs. Macfarlane, Old Ferry House, Kilcreggan. Major John M'Intyre,
V.D., Cardross, also obligingly supplied many particulars of special
Mr. Alexander M`Gibbon has
furnished the illustrations, with the exception of the Gareloch view, taken
by Miss Elma Story from a painting by G. F. Buchanan, of the loch as it
appeared in 1846.
16th July, 1896.
The County of Dunbarton Two Centuries Ago
The Lennox and Colquhoun Families. Henry Bell and Robert Napier
Parochial Records; Church Minutes; John M'Leod Campbell
Row Estates; Battle of Glenfruin; Ornithology of Row; Topography of
Helensburgh; Its History, Institutions, and Inhabitants
History of The Clan Campbell, and its Connection with Rosneath
This comment system requires
you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an
account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or
Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these
companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All
comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator
has approved your comment.