Anecdotage of Glasgow
Two weird stories of Rutherglen in days
Mr. HUGH MACDONALD, the popular author of Rambles
Round Glasgow, who was born and lived in Bridgeton, and who married
first one helpmeet, and on her death another, from the ancient burgh of
Rutherglen on the opposite or south side of the river, records the
following curious stories about the early relative connection between
Glasgow and Rutherglen.
"Although now a comparatively small and insignificant
member of the burgh family, Rutherglen boasts a greater antiquity than
her extensive and opulent neighbour. Her territories, it is alleged, at
one period even included the site of the present manufacturing capital
of the west, and tradition yet tells that the architects who erected our
venerable Cathedral were indebted for bed and board to the Ruglen folk
of that day.
According to a legend common in our boyhood among
the old wives of Glasgow, but, of course, banished by that general
diffusion of philosophy which has given Jack-the-Giant-Killer his
quietus, and blighted the wondrous beanstalk, it was said that the Hie
Kirk was the work of a race of wee pecks (Picts) who had their domociles
These queer bits of bodies, it was added, constructed
a subterranean passage between the two localitiesa work which throws
the famous Thames tunnel completely into the shade; and as they were
stronger than ordinary men, they experienced no difficulty in
transporting their building materials through this bowel of the earth
without equestrian aid.
Had any of the juvenile listeners round the winter
evening hearth dared to hint a doubt of the credibility of this story,
he was forthwith silenced by the corroborative
TALE OF THE HIGHLAND PIPER
This worthy (who, as we have since learned, is made
to do similar service for sundry other apocryphal passages of a kindred
description) is said to have volunteered, a goodly number of years ago,
with his pipes and his dog to explore this famous underground way.
According to the story, he entered one day playing a
cheery tune and confident of a successful result, but, as the good old
lady who narrated the circumstance to us was wont to say, with bated
voice, he was never seen nor heard tell o again." The sound of his
pipes, however, was heard some hours afterwards in the vicinity of
Dalmarnock, and to the ears ot those who heard it, seemed to repeat, in
a wailing key, something like the ominous words,.
"I doot, I doot, Ill neer get oot."
Alter this tragical event the mouth of the mysterious
tunnel was very properly ordered to be closed up, and so effectually has
the command been obeyed, that every after-search for it has proved
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