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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
How Hawkie came by the name


A FALSE prophet of the name of Ross had been gulling the rabble who collected round him on the street with a pretended prediction of the destruction of the Briggate by a great flood, to which the floods of 1782 and 1795 no doubt gave him the cue.

Cameron, not to be outdone by Ross, and by way of ridicule on the prophetic pretensions of the latter, wrote, published, cried, and sold a Chap-book under the title of The Prophecies of "Hawkie": A Cow, who prophesied in Fife of a prophet who appeared in Glasgow and converted numbers. The Cow Hawkie, frae Aberdour, in the kingdom of Fife, was represented as sister-german to Ross, and its prediction as to the Briggate was as follows :— "It is to be destroyed by a flood o’ whisky, and the wives will be ferrying in washing-tubs frae ae door to anither, and mony o’ their lives will be lost that otherwise micht ha’e been saved by their louting ower their tubs to try the flood whether it was sky blue or the real Ferntosh."

The Prophecies of "Hawkie" so enraged the Glasgow prophet, Ross, who was by trade a weaver, that one night when Cameron was calling and selling his Chap-book in the Calton, where Ross resided, he rushed out and attacked the vendor like a mad bull; and as Cameron, alias Hawkie, states:

"Had it not been for the people in the street, I would have suffered persecution (like the rest of the prophets) from the hands of Ross."

"By this book," he adds, "I got the name of Hawkie, which has from that time stuck to me. I ‘called’ this book first in Glasgow, where every person knew the meaning of, it, but when I went to Edinburgh and ‘cried’ it they did not know the meaning, and, not knowing my name, they called me ‘Hawkie,’ after the book."


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