Whose proper name is
William Martin, was born a cripple, and has never been able to walk.
From boyhood he has been wheeled about in a coach, and hence has got the
designation by which he is universally known and called.
In early life his father,
who was a weaver, removed to Campsie, but Will refused to go with him,
and took up his abode with “Auld Cockie Rankin,” a poor weaver having a
large family. Will, however, was not dependent on him, for he had an
active mind, and a commercial spirit, and eked out his livelihood by
buying and selling poultry and other live stock. He had also an
allowance from the Parochial Board, and being from his condition much
compassionated, was often the recipient of food and other gifts, and was
never at a loss for willing hands to draw him along in his coach.
Will was invariably to be
found about the- Cross, where idle people generally met and “ spent
their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new
thing; ” and being of a frank and lively disposition, he was often
treated to whisky, sometimes in copious libations; and passed many a
night in summer in his coach.
As the talk generally ran
upon the army, the militia, recruiting, etc., Will was familiar with all
who had joined or meant to join Her Majesty’s service. He was so often
invited to Stirling Castle, where recruits were drilled, that one day he
actually managed to get himself conveyed there, and, coach and all, came
upon a squad of his familiar friends just when drill was going on. His
appearance was the occasion of the rebuke to his cronies, administered
by Captain Kenny, which is already mentioned.
We are glad to say that
Will has been a total abstainer for a good many years, has a house of
his own, and is a regular attender of the Methodist church.