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Kilsyth, A Parish History
By The Rev. Peter Anton (1893)



The Walled Gardens Kilsyth Scotland

CONTENTS

Chapter I.
The Names of the Parish—Boundaries—Patronage—Baronies— Alexander Livingston — Parliament of 1560—First General Assembly—Relationship of Alex. Livingston to Lord Livingston—Battle of Pinkie—Ordination and Stipend —Commissioner for Stirlingshire—The Case of Lady Livingston—Her Excommunication—Deposition of Minister.

Chapter II.
Prelate versus Presbyter—William Livingston—Voice and Appearance—The King—His Character—Melville, Welsh, and Bruce—Bishops Ordain Ministers—Perth Assembly—Jenny Geddes—W. Livingston Presented to Kilsyth—The Enmity of the King—Livingston Confined to his Parish— Deposed—Presented to Lanark—Second Deposition—Imprisoned—His Curious Dream—Before the High Commission—Addresses Marquis of Hamilton—Glasgow Assembly —Last Appearance—Death.

Chapter III.
John Livingston—A Burning and Shining Light—Appearance and Disposition—Birth and Education—Mouse Water Cave —Licensed—Continued Opposition—Torphichen—Countess of Wigton—Persecution and its Results—Stewarton Revival—Shotts Revival—Livingston’s Great Sermon—The Holy-rood Sermon—Three Young Men—Livingston’s Methods —Killinchy—Suspended—Attempts to Reach America— Marriage—Deposed—Second Attempt to Reach America— Stranraer—Newburn Skirmish—Commissioner to the King —“ The Plague to Scotland ”—Cromwell and Livingston— Cromwell asks him to Preach—His Prayer—Oliver has enough of John—Summoned before Privy Council—Banished —Life in Holland and Studies—Death.

Chapter IV.
Declaration of American Independence—The Signatories— Robert Livingston—Birth and Removal to Holland— Emigrates—Settles in Albany—Marriage—Appointments— Indian Raids and Negotiations—Lords of Trade—With Earl of Bellomont fits out Adventure Galley—William Kidd— The American Landowner—“Livingston” on the Hudson —Kidd turns Pirate—A Desperate Career—Livingston’s Estates Confiscated—Captured—Again in London—Regains Position—Colonial Speakership—Death.

Chapter V.
Lady Livingston’s Epitaph—Viscount Dundee—His Life a Biographical Problem—His Avariciousness—From Cornet to Peer—Birth—College Life—In the Army of William— Joins Royalists—Sent to Scotland—Drumclog—John King’s Invitation—Dundee’s Marriage—Jean Cochrane’s Beauty and Constancy—The Cases of John Brown and Andrew Hislop—Attends the Convention — Rallies the Clans— Killiecrankie.

Chapter VI.
The First Laird Livingston—The Second Laird—The Third Laird—Flodden—The First Baronet —Darnley and Mary—Banishment—Restoration—A Juryman in the Morton Trial—Earl of Lennox Arrested—Kilsyth Befriends Him— Divorced—The Second Baronet—His Accomplishments —Fits out a Fleet—His Estates and Wealth—The First Viscount Kilsyth and Lord Campsie—Defends his Castle - Overpowered by Cromwell—Disgraceful Conduct of Cromwell’s Troops—The Castle Burnt—The Supplication of the People—Cromwell’s Act of Pardon—Cromwell and the Provost of Glasgow—Charles raises Sir James to the Peerage —The Second Lord Kilsyth—Changed Opinions—In Parliament—Resigns Commission—Resigns his Estates— His Vacillation and Character.

Chapter VII.
William Livingston, Last Lord Kilsvth—Case of Betty Whytfoord—Marches into England—The Edinburgh Convention— Attempt to join Dundee—Arrested—Critical Position—Appeal for Mercy—Banishment—Marries Lady Dundee—The Exchanged Rings—Utrecht—Lady Livingston Killed—Presbyterian Plots—Exposure of Lady Livingston’s Remains—A Picturesque Description—Sir Archibald Edmonstone’s Letter to Napier—Lord Kilsyih and the French Plot—Again Arrested—“ The Standard on the Braes o’ Mar”—Battle of Sheriffmuir—Lord Kilsyth Flees—The Last of the Kilsyth Livingstons.

Chapter VIII.
The Covenanters’ Graves—The Battle of Kilsyth—Scottish Army in England—Montrose—Famine—Pestilence—The Story of Bessie Bell and Mary Gray—Montrose’s Victories —A Hot Day—Strength of the Armies—The Decoy—The Snare — Charge of Covenanting Dragoons — Onset of M‘Leans and M‘Donalds—General Engagement—Fearful Carnage—A Romance of the Battle—Gordon’s Gravestone.

Chapter IX.
Livingston to Robe—Archibald Graham—Samuel Rutherford—Gabriel Cunningham—Public Worship—Rous versus Barton—-James Gartshore—Walter M‘Gill— Leighton—Prelate versus Presbyter—A Parish Riot—Insult and Resignation—Michael Robe—Elected to Easter Lenzie —James Hay—Parochial Cases and Anecdotes—Cursing the Minister—Assistant to be Appointed.

Chapter X.
Battlefields and Churches—Principal Carstares—Interview with the King—James Robe—Presented by Lord Kilsyth—Parish Records — New Collections — The Communion Vessels—Church Repaired—Parish Administration—Compared with Edward Irving—A Faithful Ministry—Societies for Prayer — Pleurisy — Schismatical Controversy — A Period of Dearth—Operation of Holy Spirit—Sermons on Regeneration—Whitefield—The First Kilsyth Revival— Evidences of the Power of the Spirit—A Pleasant Work— Communion—A Gracious Time—Results—Testimonials— Opposition of Seceders—a Dignified Reply—Robe’s Literary Activity and Death.

Chapter XI.
Rev. John Telfer—Manse and School Building—Parish Notes —Church and State—Carlyle and Hill Burton—Patronage —Ebenezer Erskine—Thomas Gillespie—The Relief Church Formed—James Graham—Allan Comfoot—James Dun—John Anderson—Robert Anderson—John S. Goodall—Dr. William Anderson—Early Life—Influence of Chalmers—Using the Paper—The Organ Question—Various Controversies—His Preaching—LL.D.—Estimate.

Chapter XII.
The Agricultural Interest—James Frew—Robert Graham— Introduces the Potato—History of the Potato—Graham’s Experiments — Widespread Interest and Success — Dr. Robert Rennie—Graham and Rennie Compared—Peat Moss Studies—The Nature of Peat—Peat Companies— Rennie’s Early Life—Presentation and Marriage—A Distinguished Son—Second Marriage—A Faithful Pastorate— Number of Communicants—New Parish Church—The “Essays on Peat Moss”—The Peat Bogs of Europe—Dullatur Moss—Flanders Moss—Substances contained in Moss— Qualities and Sterility of Moss—Publication and Honours—Czar of Russia—Alexander I.—Offers Appointment—Sir John Sinclair Advises Acceptance—The Czar’s Presents—Bell of Antermony—Rennie’s Death.

Chapter XIII.
York House—York Buildings Company—A Romantic Story —Sale of Confiscated Estates—Rise and Fall of Shares—Kilsyth Estate—State of Agriculture — Kilsyth Estate Farmed by James Stark—Bought by Campbell—Dullatur Bog—Plague of Frogs—The Young Pretender—The Company’s Undertakings—Sir Walter Scott—An Aberdeen Tinsmith—Increase in Price of Land—The Company Wound Up—The Livingston and Edmonstone Families.

Chapter XIV.
The Kilsyth Estates—The York Buildings Company—The Edmonstone Achievement—The Edmonstone Family— Princess Isobel—Royal Descent—Cadency—Princess Mary —First Three Edmonstones—The Fourth Sir William— Connection with Sir William Wallace—The Fifth Sir William—Murder of Sir James Stewart—Sir James Edmonstone—The Gowrie Conspiracy—Apprehended by Arran —A Deep Plot—Popular Fury—Settles in Ireland—Dun-treath Redeemed—The Ninth Laird—His Brief but Brilliant Career—Sir Archibald Edmonstone, the Eleventh Laird —Buys Kilsyth—M.P. for Dumbartonshire—Sir Charles, Second Baronet—Sir Archibald, Third Baronet—Contests Stirlingshire—Sir William, Fourth Baronet—A Brush with Pirates—Visits Lord Byron—Captain Wild—Sir Archibald, the Fifth Baronet.

Chapter XV.
“The Christian Gentleman’s Daily Walk”—Sir Archibald Edmonstone, the Christian Gentleman—Public Opinion —Colzium Library and Chapel—Books, Sermons, Hymns —Letter to.People of Kilsyth—Vols. of Travel—Thoughts by the Way—Opinion of Mezzofanti—Prince Charlie’s Widow —Meets Belzoni—The Holy Land—Ali Pasha—Classical Spots—Byron’s “ Maid of Athens “Fitzwalter”—“Progress of Religion”—“Happiness”—Letter from Lamartine— Literary Estimate—Translation from Petrarch.

Chapter XVI.
William H. Burns—Two Kirk Session Meetings—Dun and Kilsyth—9th May, 1843—Character Sketch—At the Feet of Christ—Birth—Ordination—Work at Dun—Induction to Kilsyth—Presentation and “Call”—At the Grave of Robe —W. C. Burns—The Memory of Rev. John Livingston—The Second Revival—The ’43 Secession—A Long Bright Sunset— Rev. Robert Black — Family—Education— Church Building—Rev. W. Jeffrey.

Chapter XVII.
William C. Burns—Boyhood—“A Maxie”—Edinburgh Life —A Turning Point—Studies for the Ministry—Oratorical Power—Industrious Preaching—Second Revival—Scene in Church—Visits Dundee—Becomes an Evangelist—Visits Canada—Embarks for China—China and Chinese Sects— Methods and Means of Work—His Death—Thoughts of Home—“Very Poor”.

Chapter XVIII.
Professor Islay Burns—“The Pastor of Kilsyth” and “The Chinese Missionary”—Three Different Characters—A Lovable Soul—Birth—Description of Kilsyth Manse—A Family Gronp—Student Days—Loss of Sight—A Quiet Place—Chosen for St. Peter’s—A Peculiar Position—A Cultured Ministry—Islay Burns and M‘Cheyne—Liberal Views— Pictures of Church History—Contest with Mr. Rainy—“The Pastor” and “Missionary”—Appointed Professor —Spiteful Opposition—Life in Glasgow—An Abundant Entrance.

Chapter XIX.
A Successful Family—The Bairds—Sagacity and Enterprise—Their Works—Connection with Kilsyth—Coke Making— Members of Firm in i860—Tradition—History—Alex. Baird of Kirkwood—Alex. Baird of Woodhead—An Anecdote—First Mining Ventures—Merryston—Gartsherrie—“William Baird & Co.”—List of Mineral Estates—Varied Family Gifts—William Baird—M.P.—Chairman of Caledonian Railway—Deputy Governor of the Forth and Clyde Canal—John Baird of Woodhead—Alex. Baird of Urie—James Baird—Townhead Church — Portrait—Hot Air Blast—Patent Rights Lawsuit—Auchmedden Romance—Deep Religious Convictions—Robert, Douglas, and George Baird—Alex. Whitelaw—His Business Capacity—Isaac Disraeli—A Baconian Maxim Refuted—Present Members of Firm.

Chapter XX.
The Parish Church—Banton Chapel—Rev. J. Lyon—Ordination—Secession—Pursued by an Echo—Succession of Missionaries—Manse Built—Rev. James Whiteford—A Parish Quoad Sacra—William Cadell—Friendship with Dr. Roebuck—Carron Company Founded—William Archibald Cadell—Scientific Pursuits—His Taciturnity—Sir Joseph Banks—“A Journey in Italy”—Encyclopaedia Contributions—Clever Escape—Forth and Clyde Canal—Smea-ton—Hugh Baird—Canal Locks — Trial of Charlotte Dundas—Fish-tail Propeller.

Chapter XXI.
1843 and After—Rev. Henry Douglas—His Amiability—“Rabbi Duncan”—Work at Saline and Alexandria—Douglas and M‘Cheyne engaged to Sisters—Inducted to Kilsyth —Reception—William Henry—Douglas’s Personal Appearance—Delicate Health and Death—Rev. Alex. Hill— Preaching and Urbanity—A Distinguished Family—A. K. H. Boyd—Church Membership—Galloway Bequest—Translation to St. Andrews—Dr. Park—“In like manner I shall go”—St. Andrews Session Minute.

Chapter XXII.
The Methodists—Succession of Preachers—New Church—The Congregationalists — Clerical Succession — The Roman Catholic Church—Canon Murphy—Rev. Alex. Speirs—Lochwinnoch—Dr. Watson, Dundee—Dr. Graham, Kilbarchan - The Gorbals—“A Congregation without a Church”—Inducted to Kilsyth—Personal Appearance—Rev. Robert Hope Brown—Author of "Life of Allan Cunningham”—Ordained to St. Andrew’s Parish, Dundee— Inducted to Kilsyth—“He did it unto me”—Professor Jeffray—Appointed to Anatomy Chair—Rev. R. H. Stevenson, D.D.—Rob Roy—Pulpit Power—Overwork— Moderator— Dr. Archibald Scott.

Chapter XXIII.
Population—At Revolution—In 1794—In 1891—The Heritors —The Police Burgh—Magistracy—Parochial Board—Educational— Patrick Bequest—John Kennedy—Review of Prices and Wages—Benefit Societies—The Savings Bank— Recreation Clubs — Mineralogy—Natural History—From the Church Tower—An Ancient River-bed—The Roman Wall—Revived Interest—An Old British Fort—Derivation of Kilsyth, Kelvin, Banton—A Fingalian Tradition—Making of Kelvin—“Line upon Line”.

Appendices


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