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A History of the County of Renfrew from the Earliest Times
Chapter XXIV.—Parishes


The ecclesiastical history of the different parishes in the shire has already been treated of in several of the foregoing chapters. Here it is intended to supplement what has hitherto been said by a number of topographical and other notes upon them.

The original parishes in the shire were Eaglesham, Cathcart, Mearns, Eastwood, Neilston, Paisley, Renfrew, Inchinnan, Erskine, Houston, Killallan, Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch, Kilmacolm, and Inverkip. Parts of three other parishes are also included within the shire, viz., of Govan, Beith, and Dunlop. For fiscal purposes these are now included, the first in the county of Lanark and the others in the county of Ayr. Here they will not be further noticed. In 1594, Greenock was disjoined from Inverkip, and, in 1694, Port-Glasgow was separated from the parish of Kilmacolm and added to the number of parishes in the shire. Other alterations have since been made in the ecclesiastical arrangements of the county, some of which will be noticed further on.

The parish of Eaglesham occupies the south-east corner of the county, and is part of the high ground which forms the southern boundary of the valley of the Clyde. It slopes downward from the south-west, where it has an elevation of about 1,100 feet above the sea. The Earn and the Revoch burn, with several other streams, flow through it to the White Cart, which forms its north-eastern boundary. The parish is about six miles long and five and a half broad, and has an area of 16,003 acres, 338 of which are under water.

The soil reposes entirely upon trap, but varies greatly in quality. Along the banks of the Cart it is light. In the western and higher parts, dry heather and deep peat mosses occur, and an abundance of meadow land. The parish is pastoral rather than agricultural.

The lands of Eaglesham were among the lands bestowed upon Walter Fitz Alan, the first High Steward, by David I., and confirmed to him by Malcolm IV. They were given by Walter, as already remarked, to Robert de Montgomerie. After remaining in the Montgomerie-Eglinton family for upwards of seven hundred years, they were sold, in 1844, for upwards of 200,000, to defray the cost, it is said, of the Eglinton tournament. The purchasers were the brothers Allan and James Gilmour, who divided the lands into what were known as the Polnoon and Eaglesham estates. The whole lands of Eaglesham are now the property of Allan Gilmour, younger, of Eaglesham.

The barony and lordship of Eaglesham originally comprehended the 100 merkland of Eaglesham. The principal manor house was Polnoon Castle. It stood upon the banks of a rivulet of the same name, which falls into the Cart. Some remains of it are still standing.

The farms of Netherton, Holehall, Holemuir, and Maulonther formerly constituted the property of Auchinhood, a possession of a branch of the Montgomerie family. They are now included in the Eaglesham estate.

The Temple lands of Eaglesham were at one time the property of the Crags of that ilk. In 1450, James Crag, “ Lord of that ilk ” granted a charter of them to Richard Donaldson, to be held from the granter for services used and wont. Among the witnesses to the charter were William Machame, vicar of Eaglesham, and William Ker, bailie of Eaglesham. The charter was confirmed at Torphichen, October 26, 1454, by Friar [Frater] Henry of Levyns-toun, Knight Commendator of the Hospital of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

The original village of Eaglesham, if its name is of Celtic origin, probably dates back to very early times. The site of the ancient village may still be identified by “ Beckie’s Tree ” and other old trees which grow in the open space between the two streets of the village.

In 1672, Alexander eighth Earl of Eglinton obtained an Act of Parliament authorizing a yearly fair and a weekly market to be held at Eaglesham. In his petition to Parliament, the Earl says that the village is “ above six miles distant from any burgh royal or from any other place where markets or fairs are kept, and that lying on the King’s highway, it is a most fit and convenient place for keeping markets.” The Act grants “ane yeirlie frie fair to be keepit within the Kirktoun of Eglishame upon the twentie fourt day of Aprile yeirlie, with ane weekly mercat to be kept therat upon each Thursday, for buying and selling of all sort of merchandise and other commodities necessar and useful for the country.” The Earl and his successors were authorized “ to collect, uptake and receive the tolls, customs and dewties belonging to the said yeirlie fair and weeklie mercat.” The fair used to be held yearly in the month of May, and another, for which there was no Act of Parliament, was held in August. The market has long been discontinued, and, in place of the fairs, a flower show is held in the month of August, as a sort of substitute for them.

The new village of Eaglesham, which is pleasant and attractive, was begun in 1769, by Alexander the tenth Earl of Eglinton. It is in the form of the letter A. The large space in the centre is kept as open ground. The feuars have long leases of 999 years, and pay merely nominal rents. They have certain rights in a large common, now extending to about 150 acres, and claim one-half of the feu-duty for the ground on which a cotton mill formerly stood. Though begun in 1769, the village was not completed till 1780, the Earl’s scheme, which was suggested to him while travelling on the Continent, being opposed by some of the old feuars.

Besides farming, weaving was at one time carried on in the parish. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, two cotton spinning mills were erected in the parish, and gave for a time employment to a considerable number of men, women, and children. The only industry now carried on in the district besides farming is silk printing at Hazelden on the borders of Mearns parish.

The population in 1791 was 1,000; in 1801, 1,174 ; in 1901, 1,075. The annual rental in 1795 was 5,000 ; in 1812, 7,500 ; in 1884, 15,000 ; in 1900, 14,961 ; in 1905, 14,964.

Robert Pollok, author of The Course of Time, was born at Muirhouse in this parish in 1799. At the Hill of Eaglesham was born Professor James Wodrow, father of the historian. At the school of Eaglesham John Law of financial fame was educated. The Wodrows often appear in the Kirk Session Records of the parish, and claimed to be descended from Patrick Wodrow, the last Roman Catholic vicar and the first Protestant reader at Eaglesham.

The parish of Mearns lies to the west of the parish of Eaglesham, and to the south of the parish of Eastwood. On the south and south-west it borders on the two Ayrshire parishes of Fenwick and Stewarton, and on the west is bounded by the parish of Neilston. It is about seven miles long by about three and a half broad, and has an area of 10,607 acres.

The surface is remarkably diversified by heights and hollows. The greater part of the parish has a mean elevation of between 500 and 600 feet, but towards the south and east the elevation is greater. The general slope of the ground is towards the north-east. Except towards Eastwood, where the clay surface rests upon boulder-clay superimposed upon sandstone, the soil is of a “ light quick kind,” formed by the decomposition of the volcanic rocks which underly almost the whole of the parish, and is naturally fertile. The parish is watered by the White Cart and the Earn and other small streams, and contains four small lochs, partly artificial, which contain trout, pike, and perch. The trout are said to have been introduced by Anne Duchess of Hamilton about the middle of the eighteenth century.

The earliest known inhabitants of the parish were the Maeatae. In the distribution of his lands by Walter Fitz Alan, part of the Mearns fell to Rolandus, who took de Mearns for his designation. Subsequently his lands in the parish passed by marriage into the possession of the Maxwells of Caer-laverock. Herbert de Maxwell, knight, who was proprietor of Mearns and Lower Pollok before 1316, gave the monks of Paisley eight and a half acres and twenty-eight perches of land in the Newton of Mearns, in exchange for a like quantity of the lands of Aldton. The boundaries of the acres in the Newton are described as follows: “As the Kirk burn crosses the high way leading from the church to Newton and so up that burn northwards to a standing stone in a green furrow in the Crosseflatt, and so by that green furrow northwards to another standing stone by a syke leading westward to another standing stone, and from it directly northward to a rill at a well head, and so by the rill to Paddockford, and thence by the highway to the place where the Kirk burn crosses it—excepting the land which belongs to the house of Torphichen.” The greater part of the lands in the territory of Aldton, with which the exchange was made, lay “ between the syke which bounds the crofts in the east side of Aldton and the syke on the west side of Thornyflat, descending into Kirkhilgat and from thence to the highway; and three acres lay on the east bank of the lake of Aldton, and were called Spraginflat.” The castle or tower of Mearns was built by Lord Maxwell, who received a licence for the purpose from James II., March, 15, 1449. It stands more than a mile to the east of the parish church. The castle and lands of Mearns are now the property of Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart of Blackhall, into whose family they passed from Sir George Maxwell of Pollok, who acquired the barony from the Earl of Nithsdale about the year 1648.

North-west from the Newton of Mearns lies the ancient barony of Upper Pollok. The castle, “ a handsome old tower,” the principal messuage of the barony, was demolished about the end of the seventeenth century by Sir Robert Pollok, who built in its place what Crawfurd calls “ a stately large house of a new model.” This building stood till 1880, when it was completely destroyed by fire. Six years later it was rebuilt by Mr. Fergusson Pollok, who in the meantime had succeeded to the property, on the death of his brother, the last baronet. The Polloks are said to be descended from Peter, son of Fulbert, who apparently received the estate from Walter Fitz Alan.

West from the Place of Upper Pollok are the house and lands of Balgray. At one time they belonged to a family, of the name of Park, who parted with them in 1603 to David Pollok in Lee, whose successor, David Pollok of Balgray, disponed them to Thomas Pollok, a Glasgow merchant, who, it is said, was descended from a brother of the Pollok family in the time of Queen Mary. They are now the property of J ames C. Fergusson Pollok of Pollok Castle.

South from Balgray lie the lands of Fingalton, an ancient inheritance of the Hamiltons of Preston. The barony of Fingalton was at one time of great extent, and was granted to Sir John Fitz Gilbert de Hamilton of Rosshaven by his nephew, Sir David Hamilton of Cadzow, in 1339. Sir John Fitz Gilbert was the second son of Sir Gilbert de Hamildown, the original founder of the house of Hamilton in Scotland. Sir John was born in 1270 and died before 1345. Besides the barony of Fingalton, he acquired the lands of Ross or Rosshaven in Lanarkshire. His son, Sir John, who succeeded him in 1345, acquired the barony of Preston in East Lothian. Their descendant, Sir William, who was born in 1649, sold all his estates to his brother-in-law in 1681, retired to Holland, and took part in the designs of Monmouth and Argyll, the latter of whom he accompanied in his expedition to Scotland in 1685. Sir Robert Preston, the fifth of that name, was born in 1650, and commanded the Covenanters at Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge. He escaped to Holland, but returned at the Revolution. On his death, in 1701, his estates passed to Robert Hamilton of Airdrie. Fingalton is now the property of Mr. Allan Gilmour, younger, of Eaglesham.

The Temple lands of Capelrig, to which reference has already been made,2 after being in the possession of the Mures of Caldwell, were, in 1776, acquired by Mr. Robert Barclay of Glasgow. From him they passed to his niece, Mary Anderson Barclay, who married George Brown, merchant in Glasgow, and are now the property of her grandson, Mr. James Barclay Murdoch.

Other proprietors in the parish are :—Sir John Gilmour of Montraive, Mr. A. A. Speirs of Elderslie, Mr. W. Dunlop Hamilton of Greenbank, and Mr. James Pollok of Blackhouse.

The common of Mearns was at one time, as stated above, of considerable extent, and was divided between the villages of Aid ton and Newton ; but it has since been absorbed, bit by bit, until now only a few scattered pieces of it remain. There are notices of several mills both in Mearns and Pollok, more than one of which was at Aid ton of Mearns. The Newton of Mearns was erected into a burgh of barony in favour of Lord Maxwell, and had the usual right of holding a weekly market and two annual fairs; but these have long ceased to be held.

Part of Busby, which forms part of the quoad sacra parish of Greenbank, is in the parish. At one time there was a cotton mill and a calico printing establishment here. At Netherplace, there is a bleachfield ; and at Hazelden, close to the borders of Eaglesham, is a silk printing work.

In 1881, the population of the parish was 3,965 ; and in 1901, 3,404. The yearly rental was valued in 1900 at 25,741, and in 1905 at 27,200.

The parish of Cathcart formerly included the barony of Dripps, which, like the lands of Polmadie, are now in the county of Lanark. The lands of the barony of Dripps were united quoad sacra to the parish of Carmunnock in 1725, while those of Polmadie, which touch the Clyde at a point opposite the Fleshers’ Haugh on Glasgow Green, were united in the same way to the parish of Gorbals considerably later, and are now included in the parish of Govan.

The Renfrewshire portion of the ancient parish is a long, narrow slip on the eastern side of the county, about five miles long and about one broad, with an area of nearly 2,697 acres. In the rural parts of the parish, the surface is everywhere diversified with hill and dale, wood and water, and here and there are scenes of romantic beauty, especially along the banks of the Cart, which prattles away between precipitous and woody banks or glides along with a smooth and silent current among the holms. At one time there appear to have been extensive woods and mosses in the district. Such at least is the indication of the names, Aikenhead, Hagginshaw, Woodside, Williamwood, Woodend, Muirend, Bogton, and Moss-side. The soil is, for the most part, alluvial, resting upon a clay bottom, and, where not built upon, is in a high state of cultivation. Cathcart belongs to the great western coalfield of Scotland, and coal, iron, and lime have long been worked here.

The lands of Cathcart were apparently bestowed by Walter Fitz Alan upon Rainaldus, who took de Cathcart for his surname and designation. After remaining in his family for several centuries, they were gradually disponed. On June 3, 1530, John Lord Cathcart sold to Hugh Earl of Eglinton the two merklands of Wodquarter of Langside. Eleven years later (July 8, 1541), Alan Lord Cathcart received a new charter of the lands and barony of Cathcart, as also of certain lands in Kyle Stewart and in the bailiary of Cunningham. In 1543, Alan Lord of Cathcart and Sundrum disponed to Gabriel Semple of Ladymuir and Jonet Spreull, his spouse, the barony, castle, and fortalice of Cathcart, the castle lands, the lands of Langside, Nether Brig-holme, the mains of Cathcart, with a third part of the mill, the mill lands and multures of Cathcart, and the lands of Goldinley. In the same year, the same Alan Lord of Cathcart and Sundrum sold to John Blair of that ilk the nine merklands of Bogton, with the Holm called lie Holmheid, part of a holm lying between “ a growand tre ” and the Water of Cart in the lordship of Cathcart, together with the remaining two-thirds of the mill, mill lands, and multures. The document, which was confirmed by the Queen, March 12, 1545, was executed at Cathcart on Saturday (die Sabbati), November 24, 1543.

The lands of Newlands were at one time in the possession of James Beaton, Archbishop of St. Andrews ; so also were other lands in the parish. On July 22, 1527, he sold the five pound lands called le Newlandis, the six merk ten shilling lands of Langside, called “ Taggartland ” and Murlie, in the lordship of Cathcart, to Hugh Earl of Eglinton, Lord of Montgomery, and his wife, Helen Campbell. The disposition was confirmed by the King, at Edinburgh, July 26, 1527.3 A charter of confirmation was obtained for the said lands, among others, from Queen Mary, May 19, 1546. On October 24, 1562, they passed, by sale, from the Eglintons to the Hamiltons, but, in the following year, they were again in the possession of the Eglintons. In 1574, they were sold to James Earl of Morton by John Lord Hamilton, son of the Duke of Chatelherault, along with certain lands in the parish of Eastwood. Tanker -land, Newlands, and the mains of Cathcart are now the property of Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Bart. The other principal proprietors in the parish are :— The Earl of Cathcart, Mr. James Stewart of Williamwood, and Mr. H. Erskine Gordon of Aikenhead, Clincart, and Bogton.

The castle of Cathcart is now in ruins. Near to it is the Court Knowe from whence Queen Mary watched the battle of Langside. The once “formidable castle” of the Blairs at Bogton has now disappeared. The same may be said of the ancient dwelling of the Maxwells of Williamwood.

When removing the earth from a quarry near the site of the old castle of Williamwood, about fifty years ago, a little town of forty-two houses, apparently of great antiquity, was discovered below ground. Near the site of these houses, a number of querns—twelve in all—and a grave lined with stone, containing a rude urn filled with ashes, were found.

The Romans appear to have had a camp or post on Camphill. Roman remains have been found in the district, and in 1904 eight bronze-age burials were unearthed at Newlands. One of the urns is exceptionally large, and another is decorated in relief.

Weaving, bleaching, paper making, calico printing, and cotton spinning were at one time carried on within the parish as well as farming. The population is now largely residential, and the principal industries are bleaching, engineering, paper making, and the manufacture of furniture.

In 1831 the population of the parish was 2,141 ; in 1901, 28,358. The valuation in 1900 stood at 50,315, and in 1905 at 75,735. Aikenhead, which for some time was included in the county of Lanark, is now for fiscal purpose included in the county of Renfrew. Its valuation in 1900 was 1,720, and in 1905 1,564, both of which sums are included in the valuations given for the parish.

The parish of Eastwood was apparently made up of the two ancient manors of Nether Pollok and Eastwood, each of which had its own church and formed a separate parish. They were separate in 1265, being separately mentioned in the Transumpt of Pope Clement IV., but when they were united does not appear.

The parish is bounded by the parishes of Cathcart, Mearns, the Abbey parish of Paisley and Govan, and is about four miles long and about three broad, and has an area of a little more than 5,690 acres. On the west side, a large tract of land held to be in the Abbey parish of Paisley projects into, and is almost surrounded by, the parish of Eastwood. From the Records of the Presbytery of Paisley, under date January 24, 1650, it appears that this land was annexed to Eastwood by a decision of the Commissioners for the Plantation of Kirks. The decision, however, has never been acted upon.

The general surface of the parish is undulating, with here and there gently swelling hills and flat lands or valleys, intersected by streams of water, and has on the whole a picturesque appearance. Towards the south the land rises and forms a low range of hills. The general slope of the ground is from the south-east to the north-west. The largest stream in the district is the White Cart. There are also the Auldhouse and the Brock burns. The former comes from the Brother Loch in Mearns. The latter joins the water of Levern at the extremity of the parish. Both of them ultimately find their way into the Cart. In the south, on the higher ground, the soil is thin and rests upon till. Along the burns and on the holms it is rich and fertile.

The lands of Pollok and part of the lands of Mearns were given by Walter Fitz Alan to Peter, son of Fulbert, who took Pollok for his surname, and styled Alan Fitz Walter his advocatus. In 1230, Robert de Pollok gave the monks of Paisley twelve merks of the ferm of Pollok for the weal of the soul of Walter Fitz Alan and of Alan, his son, and for the souls of Peter de Pollok and Robert, son of Fulbert, on condition of his being admitted to the fraternity and participation in the merits of the whole Cluniac Order. In 1265, Roger, son of Reginald de Aldhouse, resigned all claim to the lands of Aldhouse, part of the dower (dos) of the Church of S. Conval of Pollok, which land he and his father had held in ferm, and which he, fearing the Divine wrath, desired no longer to hold. John de Aldhouse, Roger’s son, in 1284, renounced, in the most solemn manner in the Court of the Justiciar of Lothian at Glasgow, any right he had or might have to the said lands. The title of the monks to the lands does not seem, however, to have been without doubt; for in 1361 they were obliged to obtain from the Steward, their hereditary patron, a specific confirmation of their right to them as part of their barony and liberties. The lands of Nether Pollok passed into the hands of the Maxwells of the barony of Maxwell in the county of Roxburgh, through the marriage of one of their number to the daughter and heiress of Rolland de Mearns. In 1546, the five merk lands of Auldhouse were feued by the monks of Paisley to John Maxwell, son of John Maxwell, who had held them for a period of twenty years. On June 2, 1572, the King confirmed to the former two charters by which John, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Abbot of Paisley, conveyed to him the lands of Aldhouse, which he was still occupying, and the church lands of Eastwood of the value of 13s. 4d. old extent. In 1732, the property passed into the hands of John Maxwell of Blawarthill, who, on the death of Sir John Maxwell, Baronet, of Pollok, became the second Baronet of Nether Pollok.8 The family is now represented by Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Bart., M.P., who is the principal proprietor in the parish.

Part of the parish has been incorporated into the city of Glasgow. In the rest of the parish are besides the burgh of Pollokshaws, the villages or districts of Giffnock, Nitshill, Mansewood, Kennnishead and Thornliebank.

The parish is to a large extent residential; but limestone is worked at Upper Darnley and Arden, coal at Lochinch, coal and fire-clay at Giffnock and Darnley, sandstone at Burnfield, freestone at Giffnock and Braidbarr, and ironstone at Pollok. There are chemical works at Wash Walls, asbestos works at Nitshill, and large print and bleaching works at Thornliebank. The population of the last mentioned place is 2,452. In 1818, it was set down at from 1,200 to 1,500.

The principal proprietors in the parish are Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Bart., M.P., of Pollok, Mr. John Denholm, The Mains, Giflhock, Mr. W. Dunlop Hamilton, of Greenbank, Newton Mearns, Mr. A. Cameron Corbett, M.P., and Captain James Stewart of Williams wood.

Two of the ministers of the parish were Church historians : Mr. Crawford, whose history, as yet unpublished, is said to be in the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh ; and Mr. Wodrow, well known by his History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland during the time of the Covenanters. The late minister of the parish, Mr. George Campbell, also made a contribution to the history of the Church, having published a thin quarto volume entitled, Notes on the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of the Parish. But by far the most accomplished author whom the parish has produced was the late Sir William Stirling Maxwell, Bart., author of Don John of Austria, The Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, Annals of the Artists of Spain, Antwerp Delivered, and other works.

In 1891, Eastwood (excluding Pollokshaws) had a population of 6,356. In 1901 the population of the parish (exclusive of the portion within the burgh of Glasgow) was 15,361. The valuation in 1901 was 35,936, and in 1905, 39,770.

The parish of Neilston formerly included the baronies of Shutterflat and Knockmade. These, though still in Renfrewshire, have for many years been respectively annexed to the parishes of Beith and Dunlop in the county of Ayr.

Neilston is bounded on the east by Eastwood, on the south by Mearns, on the south-west by Stewarton and Dunlop, on the west by Beith and Lochwinnoch, and on the north by the Abbey of Paisley parish. It is about seven miles long by three and a half broad, and has an area of 12,862 acres, 381 of which are under water. The surface is very uneven. On the western side of the parish are the Fereneze hills, which rise to a height of 400 to 500 feet above the level of the surrounding country. The highest hills are the Pad and Corkindalelaw, which attain a height of from 820 to 900 feet above sea level. They are separated by a beautiful valley through which runs the Levern Water.

In the west of the parish is a lovely lake of small extent known as Loch Libo. Another loch in the parish is Long Loch. From Loch Libo issues Lugton Water, which falls into the Garnock near Kilwinning. Besides the Levern, there are the Kirkton, Brock, and Caplaw burns. From the Pad an extensive view may be obtained. In one direction are seen the mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland, and in another Goatfell and Ben Lomond, and in still another Ailsa Craig and the Irish coast.

The soil, though varied, is nowhere unproductive. In the eastern part of the parish, where the land is comparatively low and flat, it is of a dry loamy nature, occasionally mixed with gravel and resting here and there upon freestone, but generally upon stiff till. In the middle and higher districts the soil is poorer, but affords excellent pasture.

The lands of Neilston were apparently given to Robert de Croc by Walter Fitz Alan. By Marion de Croc, daughter and heiress of another Robert de Croc, the lands of Crookston, Darnley, and Neilston passed by marriage into the family of the Stewarts. From this marriage came the Stewarts of Darnley, or Crookston, afterwards Earls and Dukes of Lennox. Arthurly was the seat of a family of the name of Stewart, descended from the Darnley family. In 1452, Walter Stewart of Arthurly had a charter from James III. of the lands of Wester Patrick. His daughter married William Cuninghame, a son of Alexander, first Earl of Glencairn, and an ancestor of the Cuninghames of Craigends. Being her father’s heir, she carried the lands of Arthurly and Wester Patrick with her into that family. The lands of Glanderston were part of the lordship of Neilston, and were given by Matthew Earl of Lennox, to John Stewart, his brother, in 1507. Afterwards, through the marriage of Lady Janet Stewart with John Mure of Caldwell, who died in 1538, they came into the Caldwell family. John Mure of Caldwell disponed them to his second son, William Mure, in 1554, in whose family they remained until 1710, when the Mures of Glanderston, on the failure of the elder line, inherited the Caldwell estates, and united the lands of Glanderston to them, after they had been separated one hundred and fifty years. West from Glanderston stands the parish church, and near it the lands of Kirkton. South from the church lie the lands of Neilstonside, part of the lordship of Neilston. They were given in 1552 by John Earl of Lennox to John Maxwell of Stanely. Afterwards, they reverted to the Stewarts, whence, by the marriage of Margaret, daughter and sole heir of Hugh Stewart, they passed to the Wallaces of Elderslie. West from the church is the barony of Syde, an ancient possession of the Montgomeries of Skelmorlie.

Still further west are the lands of Caldwell. The old tower, part of the ancient residence, is still standing. The present house of Caldwell was built on a plan prepared by Robert Adam in 1772. The lands of Cowdon originally belonged to the Spruells of Cowdon. They were sold in 1622 to Alexander Cochran of that ilk, and became the patrimony of William Cochran, his son, afterwards Lord Cowdon and Earl of Dundonald.

Besides farming, bleaching and calico printing have been long carried on in the parish. Cotton spinning at one time gave employment to a large number of the inhabitants. The Kirktown of Neilston is now chiefly occupied in bleaching and in the manufacture of thread. Bleaching is also carried on at several other places in the parish. The village of Caldwell is attracting a villa population from Glasgow.

The principal proprietors in the parish are Mr. William Mure of Caldwell, Mr. John Meikle of Lochlibo, Mr. A. A. Speirs of Elderslie, Mr. H. Barclay Dunlop of Arthurlee, and Mr. A. G. Barns Graham of Craigallian.

In 1831, the population was 8,046 ; in 1901, 13,714. The valuation in 1900 was 35,517 ; and in 1905, 41,430.

The parish of Paisley down to the year 1736 included the burgh of Paisley. In that year the burgh was disjoined from the Abbey parish and erected into a separate parish.

The Low Church was built in 1738, the High in 1754, and the Middle in 1781 ; and on February 20, 1781, the burghal parish was divided into three, viz. : the Low, High, and Middle. Towards the close of the nineteenth century the Seedhill was disjoined from the Low parish and incorporated in the Abbey parish. For certain purposes, the burgh has recently been reincorporated into the ancient parish which is known as the parish of Paisley. For ecclesiastical purposes, the burgh has been divided into nine parishes, viz.: the Abbey, Low, High, Middle, Martyrs, North, Gaelic, South, and Greenlaw. In the landward part of the Abbey parish are also the quoad sacra parishes of Johnstone, Elderslie, Levern, Cardonald, which includes a portion of Govan parish, Barrhead, in which is included a part of the parish of Neilston, and St. Andrews (Johnstone), which includes a part of the parish of Kilbarchan.

The old Abbey parish is bounded on the north and north-east by the parishes of Renfrew and Govan ; on the south and south-east by those of Eastwood and Neilston; on the south and south-west by those of Neilston and Lochwinnoch ; and on the west by the parish of Kilbarchan. It is about nine miles long by about five and a half broad, and has an area of 16,179 acres. The surface of the district is beautifully diversified. Here and there it is flat, but here and there again a gentle eminence occurs, sometimes wooded and sometimes cultivated to the summit. To the north of the burgh of Paisley is a beautiful and highly cultivated plain known as the Laighlands. To the south of the burgh, on the other hand, the ground gradually rises to the Fereneze Hills, Stanely Muir, and the Gleniffer Braes. In the higher parts of the parish the rocks are of volcanic origin, and consist for the most part of greenstone, porphyry, hornblende, and basalt. In the lower parts, sandstone, limestone, coal, ironstone, and shale occur. At Hurlet and at Nitshill, sulphates are found in abundance. Near Paisley, and in other places, are beds of fireclay. The sandstone is of a yellowish white, and has been extensively used for building. The soil varies. The richest is found in the Laighlands, to the north of Paisley. In most of the other parts it is good, but grows thinner as the ground rises towards the south.

The lands of Paisley were among the gifts of David I. to Walter Fitz Alan. Out of them the High Steward cut certain lands, with which he endowed the Abbey of Paisley. The rest, with the exception of the lands of Crookston and Levernside, he appears to have kept in his own hands for a time. Afterwards they were gradually disponed. ^

The lands of Crookston were given by Walter Fitz Alan to Robert de Croc,1 who had for his principal messuage the castle of Crookston. From the Crocs they passed by marriage into the family of the Stewarts of Lennox, and shared the viscissitudes of the property of that house. The Semples obtained a grant of them in 1548/ In 1710, they belonged to the Duke of Montrose, and in 1757 they were sold partly to the Earl of Glasgow and partly to Sir John Maxwell of Nether Pollok.

The lands of Cardonald at one time belonged to John Earl of Lennox, and were given by him to his natural son, Alan Stewart, and his spouse, Marion Semple, in 1487. In the reign of James VI. they became the property of Walter Stewart, Prior of Blantyre, son of Sir John Stewart of Minto by Margaret, his wife, daughter of James Stewart of Cardonald. Walter Stewart was created Lord Blantyre in 1606. On the death of the late Lord Blantyre, they passed to his nephew, Mr. W. A. Baird of Erskme, in whose possession they now are.

The castle and barony of Hawkhead remained in the possession of the Earls of Glasgow5 till towards the end of the nineteenth century, when they were disponed to various purchasers.

The other ancient estates in the parish were the lands of Logan Raiss, Stewart Raiss, Whiteford, Ralston, Blackhall, Knock, Kirkland, Rantfeld, Cochran, Easter Cochran or Quarrelton, Elderslie, Fulbar, Stanely. Some account of most of the ancient proprietors of these estates will be found in the chapter devoted to the Families of the County. The proprietors of others are mentioned in other parts of the volume, such, for instance, as the Hamiltons of Ferguslie and the Porterfields of Quarrelton.

Of the lands belonging to the Abbey within the parish, a full and particular account has been preserved in the Rental Book of the monastery. During the incumbency of Archbishop Hamilton many of them were disponed ; but according to the Rental Book, those still in possession of the monks in 1554 were as follows : Greenlaw, Corsflat, Brablo, Gallohillis over, Gallohillis neder, Lylisland, Toddisholme, Carriagehyll, Rycardbar, Mekylryggs, Fergusly, Bradyland, Corsbar and Thomasbar, Berschaven, Newton, Duskayth, Candren, Lyncleiff, Ruchbank, Neder Thornle, and Knaiffisland.

In 1545, the monks were also drawing the following rentals in and about Paisley : Snawdon, vi 1. ; Sclaterbank, xl s. ; Oxschawsyd, vi 1. xiii s. viii d. ; The Pryor Croft, viiil. iii s. ; The Sedyll and the Welmadow, vil. xs. “by the chaplain” ; The town of Paslay, vl. ixs. viiid. ; The Know, iis. ; The Cawsa-syd, xv 1. iis. iid.; The Castelheid, iiil. vis. viiid ; The Qwarell, xxvis. x^d. ; The Brwnelandis wyth the bodwin of the ward t. sergiand akyr, iiil. xvs. iv d. ; The Oxschawheid, xxxvi s. ; The Ward Medow, xxvi s. viii d. and a pound of wax. The feu duties amounted to 61 18s. 7^d. The walk mill was let to Alexander Mossman at a rental of “ v merks, and ii stane noppis, to be paid yerly at Sanct Thomas day before ywill ” (Yule). In addition to this, the monks drew in feu duties from the town thirty gold crowns for a common pittance given to them by Abbot George Shaw, and confirmed to them in May, 1492, by the Diffinitors of the Order of Clugny.

Most of the parish is now under cultivation; parts of it are devoted to dairy farming.

The industries carried On in the parish are various—mining at Nitshill and Hurlet; tool, engine, and boiler making at Johnstone and other places; bleaching in various parts; cloth finishing and dyeing at Glenfield; sanitary engineering at Hawkhead. There are also carpet works and distilleries in the parish; chemical and oil works at Nitshill; alum works at Hurlet; a large flax mill at Johnstone ; and print works at Arkleston.

Near to Stanely Castle is an ancient sculptured stone—a mutilated cross shaft of sandstone, with figures of animals upon it. There are two similar stones in Newton Woods. At Elderslie, the house of the Wallaces is still shown, and the castles of Crookston, Stanely, Blackhall, and Raiss, still stand, though in ruins.

The principal proprietors in the parish are the Duke of Abercorn; the Earl of Home; Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Bart., M.P.; Sir H. H. Smiley,

Bart.; Mr. A. A. Speirs of Elderslie ; Mr. James Coats, jun., Ferguslie House; Sir Thomas Glen-Coats, Bart., Ferguslie Park; Mr. W. A. Baird of Erskine ; Mr. George L. Houstoun of Johnstone Castle ; Mr. James Cowan of Ross Hall; Sir C. W. Cayzer, Bart., M.P., of Ralston; and Mr. Geo. Wood Richardson.

The population of the parish, exclusive of the burgh of Paisley, was, in 1901, 20,540. In 1900, the rental valuation of the landward part of the parish was 65,964, and in 1905, 79,294 ; or including part of the burgh of Barrhead and the burgh of Johnstone, it was, in 1900, 95,454, and in 1905, 125,440.

The parish of Renfrew, part of which lies on the north side of the Clyde, is bounded on the north by the parishes of East and West Kilpatrick, in the county of Dumbarton; on the east chiefly by the parish of Govan, in the county of Lanark ; on the south by the Abbey parish of Paisley ; and on the north-west by the Black Cart and Gryfe, which separate it from the parishes of Kilbarchan and Inchinnan. It is about five and a half miles long and two and a half miles broad, and has an area of 4,488 acres.

To the south of the Clyde the district has much the appearance of a perfectly level plain. On the north of the Clyde the surface is much more diversified. The most considerable hill, however, Jordanhill, is not more than a couple of hundred feet above the level of the river. For the most part the soil is alluvial, resting upon extensive beds of sand often interspersed with thin strata of clay, sometimes of moss, and occasionally interrupted by large masses of solid unstratified clay. Coal occurs on both sides of the river, especially on the north.

As already remarked, the Clyde at one time had a channel running close past the burgh of Renfrew. “ In the middle of the seventeenth century,” writes the author of the chapter on this parish in the Neiv Statistical Account, “there were between Point House, opposite Govan, and Erskine Ferry, a distance not exceeding perhaps eight miles, not fewer than eight islands, four of which appear to have been within the parish. The largest of these was called the King’s Inch ; it had on it a large castle, once a royal residence, and it now forms the principal domain of Eldersly House. Another, the Buck Inch, or, as it is vulgarly called, the Packman Isle, now forms part of the lands of Scotstoun. A third, called the Sand Inch, still bears the name of ‘ the Isle,1 and is part of the Common near the ferry of Renfrew. A fourth, the Ron or Ren, lay in the mouth of the Gryffe. When the river was divided and broken by so many islands, the different channels were full of banks,” and the adjacent lands were often flooded.

The lands of Renfrew were among the gifts which David I. gave to Walter Fitz Alan, the first of the High Stewards, and were confirmed to him by the charter of Malcolm IV. The castle was built either by David I. or by Walter the High Steward. After the accession of the Stewards to the throne, it was used as a royal residence. Lord Ross of Hawkhead was afterwards appointed Hereditary Constable of it.

Opposite, upon the north side of the Clyde, are the lands of Wester Patrick and Blawarthill, once the property of Walter Stewart of Arthurlie. To the east of them are the lands of Scotstoun, an ancient inheritance of the Montgomeries. Robert Montgomery of Scotstoun was one of the arbiters to whom, in 1488, the Abbot and Convent of Paisley and the Magistrates of Renfrew referred the question of the delimitation of their mutual boundaries. In the reign of Charles I., John Montgomery of Scotstoun, the last of his family, alienated his lands to John Hutcheson. In 1691, they were acquired by William Walkinshaw, who was descended from a younger brother of the family of Walkinshaw of that ilk, in the reign of James VI. North of Scotstoun are the lands of Jordanhill. In the time of Crawfurd the historian [1710] they were still in the possession of a family of the name of Crawfurd, who had owned them for upwards of one hundred and thirty years. The family was descended from Captain Thomas Crawfurd, a grandson of Sir Hugh Campbell of Loudon, Sheriff of Ayr, and ancestor of the Earl of Loudon. Captain Crawfurd was taken prisoner at the battle of Pinkie. After his release by the English, he went to France and remained there until Queen Mary returned to Scotland, when he accompanied her, and took an active part in the troubles of the time. In return for his services—particularly for his surprise and capture of Dumbarton Castle, April 2, 1571—he received from James VI. a charter of the lands of Bishop’s Meadows, Blackstoun Barns, and the Mills of Partick, with a pension of 200 yearly, payable out of the Priory of St. Andrews.

On the south side of the Clyde are the lands of Abbotsinch, Renfield or Ranfield, Kirkland, Porterfield, Walkinshaw, Wester, Middle and Easter, King’s Meadow and the Knock.

On the Kirkland estate, now belonging to Lord Blythswood, is the Argyll Stone, so called because it was at or near it the ill-fated Earl of Argyll was captured in 1685. It is a grey stone marked with reddish veins, which are supposed to have some connection with the Earl’s capture.

Near the Knock, a rising ground about half-way between Renfrew and Paisley, was a circular mound surrounded by a moat five feet broad, and known as Kempe Knowe; where a singular combat is said to have taken place. The King of England, it is said, challenged Scotland to furnish a man able to fight a famous champion then in attendance on the English Court. The King of Scotland accepted the challenge, but was for some time unable to find a man equal to the task, and in his perplexity offered the Inch as a reward to any one who successfully encountered the Englishman. At last Sir John Ross of Hawkhead offered himself, and arrangements were made for the fight on the Knowe. The moat was filled with water, and a large fire kindled upon the mound. Neither party was expected to give quarter. To escape was to meet death by drowning, and to be vanquished was to perish, if not otherwise, by fire. The Englishman was of large stature ; Ross was small but remarkably agile and of great strength. He dressed himself in a tight-fitting skin with the smooth side outwards, and in order to make it more slippery, rubbed it well with grease or oil. The Englishman was unable to get a grip of him, and at last held out his hands, inviting Ross to grasp them. The invitation was “palm my arm.” This, it is said, was exactly what Ross wanted. He seized the Englishman by the wrists, and by a sudden jerk wrenched his arms out of their sockets, and then made an end of him. Ross now claimed his reward; but the King having repented of his offer to give the Inch and its castle, offered him instead a space of land anywhere else. Ross thanked the King, expressed his satisfaction with the Inch for his present services, and offered to serve for the other piece of land at some other time. Thus, it is said, originated the right of the Hawkhead family to the ancient castle and Inch. Ross was commonly known as “ Palm-my-arm.” Figures of him and his wife, Marjory Mure, may still be seen in the Parish Church, lying side by side under an arch bearing the superscription Hie jacet Johes : Eos miles quodam: donnnus de liawhehede et marjoria uxor sua: orate pro meis, qui obiit.

Not far from the place where this combat took place, stood Queen Blear-eye’s monument, marking the place where it is said she met with her fatal accident, and Robert II., her son, first saw the light.

On the south side of the Knock is a place known as the Butts, supposed to have been the place to which the men of Renfrew were wont to repair in order to practise archery.

The principal proprietors in the parish are the Earl of Home, Lord Blythswood, Mr. A. A. Speirs of Elderslie, Mr. J. W. Gordon Oswald of Scotstoun, and Mr. Parker Smith, M.P., of Jordanhill.

The chief industries are engineering, boiler-making, and shipbuilding ; in Scotstoun, besides shipbuilding, are iron works, colour works, and motor car works. There is a distillery at Yoker. Furniture is also made in the parish. At Walkinshaw clayband ironstone is worked.

The population of the parish, exclusive of the burgh of Renfrew, in 1901, was 5,846. In 1900, the valuation was 42,952, and in 1905, 81,955.

The parish of Inchinnan is bounded on the north by the river Clyde, on the east and south by the rivers Cart and Gryfe, and on the west by the parishes of Erskine and Houston. Its greatest length is about 3^ miles, and its greatest breadth about 2 miles. It has an area of nearly 3,528 acres.

The surface, though generally flat, is here and there diversified by slight elevations, either beautifully wooded or under cultivation. The rivers are the Clyde, the Gryfe, the Black Cart, the White Cart and the Cart. The Gryfe joins the Black Cart in the grounds of Walkinshaw. Their united waters join the White Cart at Inchinnan Bridge, and form the Cart which falls into the Clyde. In the Cart before it joins the Clyde is the small island known as Colin’s Isle. The soil consists for the most part of a strong productive clay, but on the banks of the rivers it is a rich loam. In the higher parts of the parish it is gravelly. The underlying strata belong to the carboniferous period, and consist of grey sandstone, shale, and coal. In several places dykes of ironstone occur, sometimes of considerable thickness.

The lands of Inchinnan were among the gifts of Malcolm IY. to Walter Fitz Alan. There were other lands in the parish, some of which, together with the parish church, were given to the Knights Templars by David I. In 1246 two chalders of meal from the rents of his lands in Inchinnan were given by Alexander the High Steward to the monks of Paisley, Thomas Bosco, his steward, being one of the witnesses of the charter.

During the reign of Robert I., the lands of Barns, Barnhill, Aldlands, Newlands and Glenshinnoch, were given as a “ god-bairn gift” by Walter the High Steward to Sir William Hamilton, the ancestor of the Dukes of Hamilton. In 1375 the lands of Barns and Aldlands became the property of Sir Robert Erskine by exchange with David de Hamilton.

The lands of Crukisfeu, which belonged to Adam of Glasferth, were in 1330 purchased by Sir Alan Stewart, and in 1361 Sir John Stewart of Darnley, having previously resigned them into the hands of the King, received a charter of the lands of Crukisfeu, Inchinnan, and Perthaykscot, to be held of the granter in chief.

At Lyle, January 30, 1496, Robert Lord Lyle granted a bond of reversion in favour of Matthew Earl of Lennox, Lord Darnley and Inchinnan, of the ten merk lands of the town of Inchinnan, the four merk lands of the park of Inchinnan, the three merk lands of Wrichtland and Rassele, and the three merk lands of Craigton and Flures, for payment of sums amounting to 1,200 merks.6 James IV. in 1511 granted a charter of confirmation to Matthew Lord Darnley, second Earl of Lennox, containing a clause by which, for the special favour he bears towards his cousin, the said Earl, and for the gratuitous services rendered by him, and for the preservation of the castle of Crukisfeu, the manor and place of Inchinnan and other policies within the lordship of Darnley, from the devastation and destruction that might have happened to them during the time the said lands were in ward, he granted and confirmed to him and his heirs male the said castle and fortalice of Crukisfeu, etc., and the said manor and place of Inchinnan with the parks and gardens thereof, the dominical lands of Inchinnan, the lands of Quithill, the town of Inchinnan, Rasshele, Wrichtland, Flures, Gardenarland, etc., with the whole common thereof, extending to a twenty pound land of old extent in fee and heritage on payment of one silver penny yearly when asked for.

After the battle of Flodden, when the Earl of Lennox was slain, his estates fell into the hands of the Crown. On the death of Matthew, fourth Earl of Lennox, September 4, 1571, Crukisfeu and Inchinnan, with the rest of his estates, passed to the King as heir male of the Stewarts of Darnley and Lennox, who bestowed them upon his uncle, Charles Stewart, and after his death without issue, upon his uncle, Robert Stewart, Bishop of Caithness, who, on becoming Earl of March, restored them into the hands of the King. They were then granted to Esme Stewart, Lord D'Aubigny, who was made Duke of Lennox in 1581. On the death of Charles, sixth Duke of Lennox, in 1672, the estates once more reverted to the Crown, and Charles II. was served heir to them at Edinburgh, 1680. The retour of the special service on that occasion specifies the lands of Inchinnan and the patronage of the parish church. The Lennox estates were soon after transferred by Charles to Charles Lennox, his natural son, by whom they were sold in the beginning of the eighteenth century to James, Marquess, afterwards Duke of Montrose. In 1737 such of the Lennox property in the parish of Inchinnan as still remained to the Duke was sold to Archibald Campbell of Blythswood, in whose family it still remains.

Half of the lands of Southbarr were, by a charter dated at Aberdeen, September 16, 1432, granted by Agnes of Chalmers of Berwardiston, with the consent of her husband, William of Chalmers of Fyndoven, to her dearest son and heir, David of Barry, to be held of the Lord of Inchinnan and his heirs in feu and heritage, for rendering for them yearly a chaplet of white roses at Inchinnan at the Feast of S. John the Baptist in name of blench farm, but only if asked.

The common of Inchinnan appears to have been extensive. In 1505 Sir Robert Erskine claimed on behalf of his tenants of Barns. Barnhill, and Aldlands, the right to pasture their cattle upon it, and on July 22 in that year an arrangement was made whereby fifty-four acres of the common were set apart for them, for which on his infeftment in them, Sir Robert was to pay the Earl of Lennox fifty pounds Scots. Twenty-five years later a dispute arose between Dame Elizabeth Hamilton, Countess Dowager of Lennox, and John Semple of Full wood as to their respective rights to certain portions of the common known as Schawistoune, Tynkellaris, Maling, and the New Ward. They submitted their case to Mr. Adam Colquhoun, parson of Stobo and Official of Glasgow, William Stirling of Glorat, John Brisbane of Bishopton, and James Freeland of that ilk, who issued their decree arbitral on July 28, 1530.

The Temple lands in Renfrewshire were acquired in 1637 by Bryce Semple of Cathcart. Those of them in the parish of Inchinnan have been distributed amongst various proprietors for some generations.

The lands of Barr were formerly in the possession of the Stewarts of Barscube, who had their mansion or manor-house upon them. The Stewarts of Barscube appear to have been a branch of the Stewarts of Darnley.

The lands of Freeland were formerly the inheritance of the Stewarts of Kilecroy.

No vestige now remains either of the castle of Crukisfeu or of the place of Inchinnan, but among the Lennox MSS. an inventory of the furniture and furnishing in the latter has been preserved, comprising (l) “In the Chapel ij Mess buikis, an image of the Babe Jesus, an image of Our Lady, and a great image, with an image of St. Anne, a little image of ‘ Ewir bane ’ (ivory), that stood upon a ‘ chandlar.’ In the chapel chamber a stand-bed, a press, a counter, a buffet stool, and a little chair. In the hall two boards, furnished with forms, a great counter, a hart’s horn, a board with two chests that stood before the fire, etc. (2) In the other chaimers (chambers), the furnishings consist chiefly of beds, presses, counters, and chests. The inventory is endorsed ‘ The Inventur of the graithe in Inchinane, with the auld rotten papistrie thairin.’” The date of the document is about 1570. The place, as we have seen, had sometimes the honour of being visited by Royalty. “A very singular circumstance,” writes Robertson, “ is connected with the ministers of this parish ex officio. They have claimed, as undoubted chaplains of the altarages and altars, commonly called ‘ Our Lady’s Altar ’ founded, and of old situated in the kirk and parish of Inchinnan, to be undoubted superiors of the land called Lady-acre; have granted charters, have received feu duty and still receive it. They are, perhaps, the only Presbyterian clergymen that have such an office in the Christian world.” The present minister of the parish continues to be the superior of the Lady Acre and to enjoy its revenue.

The ferry of Inchinnan, which has been mentioned so often in connection with King James IV., together with the ferry-boat and the lands belonging to the ferry, was the property of the Stewarts of Darnley. By a charter, dated at Crookston, July 5, 1497, the ferry-boat of Inchinnan and all the lands pertaining and of old custom belonging to that boat, lying in the lordship of Inchinnan, on the east side of the church of S. Conval of Inchinnan, below the waters of Gryfe and Cart and the granter’s lands on the north, also his lands and the lands of the vicar’s mortification on the west and east parts, “ cum garbis congelimis,” and teind sheaves and other fruits, etc., within the parishes of Inverkip, Kilmacolm, Killallan, Houston, Erskine, and Inchinnan, were granted by Matthew Stewart Earl of Lennox, etc., to Thomas Stewart of Barscube for a yearly rental of 26s. Scots. On the same day a precept in terms of this charter was addressed by the Earl to John Whiteford of Paisley, James Steward of Inchinnan, Robyne Caveris and James Steward of the Orchard, as bailies, for infefting Stewart of Barscube in the ferry-boat and others. Sasine was given by John Whiteford, in the presence of and at the special command of the Earl, on the following day, July 6, 1497, on the ground of the lands, at the church of Inchinnan. On February 3, 1636, William Stewart obtained a charter from the commissioners of Marie, Duchess of Lennox and Richmond, appointed for managing the affairs of her son, Esme, Duke of Lennox, confirming a charter of alienation granted by Thomas Stewart, fiar of Barscube, at the ferry of Inchinnan, of the ferry-boat of Inchinnan ferry thereof, and all the lands and rights thereto belonging, as in the first of the above charters. A note appended to this confirmation states : “ The register money of this charter is quitt to William Stewart, he having given oath and promise to ferry over all strangers free upon the Sabbath day, but specially James Bell, Colonel Henry Sinclair, and George Maxwell.” Later on, the Episcopal clergy of the county, it will be remembered, objected to the use of the ferry on Sundays. In May, 1663, a precept of clare constat was granted by the Earls of Middleton and Glencairn and others, as commissioners for the Duke of Lennox, for infefting Thomas Stewart as heir of his late father, William Stewart, at the ferry of Inchinnan, in the ferry-boat and ferry there, with the lands belonging to it. A field in the parish is still known as the Ferrycroft.

The principal proprietor in the parish is Lord Blythswood. The population of the parish in 1901 was 574. The valuation in 1900 was 6,322, and in 1905 6,432.

The parish of Erskine is bounded on the north by the river Clyde ; on the west by the parish of Kilmacolm ; on the south by the united parishes of Houston and Killallan and the parish of Kilmacolm ; and on the east by the parish of Inchinnan. It has an extreme length of about eight and a half miles, is from two to three miles broad, and has an area of 9,092 acres.

The parish is traversed throughout its whole length, in the centre, by a ridge of hilly ground, from which it shelves rapidly towards the north and more gently towards the south. From Erskine House westward along the banks of the Clyde to the West Ferry, opposite Dumbarton rock, is a fairly wide expanse of low-lying alluvial land. At the west end of the parish the ground rises more rapidly and the alluvial plain is much narrower. For the most part the soil is light, friable, and damp, resting on till or hard stony clay. In many places the diluvium is about six feet deep, and consists for the most part of loose gravel, though here and there extensive beds of clay occur. It is interspersed with huge boulders of granite and gray wacke, which appear to have been brought down by the ice from Argyllshire. In the south-eastern part of the parish the strata belong to the carboniferous period. Towards the west, porphyry and basalt occur.

The barony of Erskine belonged in the thirteenth century to the family of Erskine, who retained possession of it down to the year 1638, when it was alienated by John Earl of Marr to Sir John Hamilton of Orbiston, one of the senators of the College of Justice. In 1703 the lands were sold by William Hamilton of Orbiston to Walter Lord Blantyre. They are now the property of Mr. W. A. Baird of Erskine, grandson of the late Lord Blantyre.

The lands of Bargarran, after being in the possession of the Shaws of Bargarran—who were descended from a younger brother of the family of Sauchie—for upwards of three hundred years, were acquired in 1772 by Mr. Glen, by whose family they were sold in 1812 to Lord Blantyre, and are now part of the Erskine estates.

The lands of Bishopton formerly belonged to the Brisbanes of Bishopton. About the beginning of the eighteenth century they were alienated, along with the lands of Wester Roslin, by John Brisbane, who, however, retained the superiority, to John Walkinshaw of that ilk, as also the lands of Drum, Kirkland, and Glenshinnoch. Walkinshaw subsequently received a charter of novodamus of these lands from the Crown. Bishopton was afterwards sold to Hugh Dunlop, whose daughter and heiress, Janet, carried the lands with her into the Semple family on her marriage to John, twelfth Lord Semple. From the Semples they were acquired by Sir John Maxwell of Pollok. Subsequently they were purchased by Lord Blantyre, and now form part of the Erskine estates.

In the reign of James IV., William Park of that ilk, the last of his race, left the lands of Park to his three daughters, among whom his estate was divided. The lands of Park went to Christian, the eldest, who married Robert Cunninghame of Achinharvie, by whom she had a daughter, Janet Cunninghame, heiress of Park, who married George Houstoun. The lands afterwards became the property of Cuninghame of Craigends. In 1801 they were acquired by John King of Millbank, and formed part of the estate of Millbank and Drums. Millbank is now in the possession of Mr. John A. Holms; the Park of Erskine is the property of Mr. W. T. Lithgow.

The lands of Dargavel belonged originally to the Lennox family, and were given by John Earl of Lennox, in 1522, to Patrick Maxwell of Newark, Marion Crawfurd, his spouse, and John Maxwell, his eldest son, in fee. To him succeeded James Maxwell of Dargavel, his son, and to him Patrick, his son, who was slain at Lockerby in the feud between the Maxwells and Johnstones, in 1593. He was succeeded by John, who married Margaret, daughter of James Wallace of Johnstone. John, his son and successor, married Jean, daughter of William Cuninghame of Craigends. The property of the Maxwells of Dargavel at one time included the lands of Fulbar, an ancient possession of the Halls of Fulbar, who had a charter of the said lands from James the Steward of Scotland (1263-1309). They were sold in 1746 to Mr. Speirs of Elderslie, in whose family they are now. John Maxwell entailed the estate of Dargavel, and, dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother, William Maxwell of Freeland, who dying unmarried, the estate devolved upon John Hall, second son of Robert Hall of Fulbar, who, in terms of the entail, took the name and designation of John Maxwell of Dargavel. Dargavel is now the property of Captain T. E. Hall Maxwell, R.N. Fulwood is the property of the Earl of Home.

The lands of Craigton were formerly owned by the Patersons of Craigton. Those of Drums, which in the beginning of the nineteenth century belonged to James King of Drums, now belong to Mr. W. T. Lithgow of Drums House. Other proprietors in the parish are the Earl of Home, Mr. David Cross of Ingliston, Mr. William Houstoun of Rossland, and Mr. George Jardine Kidston.

There are two villages in the parish—Bishopton and Langbank. There is also a small village near the railway station. The chief industry is agriculture.

The East and West Ferries, to and from Kilpatrick and Dumbarton, were formerly much in use.

The population of the parish in 1901 was 1,519. The valuation in 1900 was 19,726, and in 1905 19,283.

The parishes of Houston and Killallan were united in 1760.

The united parish is bounded on the west by the parish of Kilmacolm ; on the south by the parish of Kilbarchan ; and on the north and east by the parish of Erskine. It is about six miles long and five broad, and has an area of 7,644 acres.

The only considerable river in the parish is the Gryfe, which rises in the high lands on the border of the shire, in the parish of Kilmacolm. The main streams by which it is fed unite near the old castle of Duchal, after which it enters the low country at Fulwood.

The surface of the parish varies. Towards the east it is flattest and most fertile. Towards the west the surface rises, and is more irregular. In the highest parts granite prevails ; in the lower, sandstone and limestone occur. The extensive mosses which at one time covered a large part of the old parish of Killallan are now rapidly being reclaimed. Here and there are large plantations.

During the reign of Malcolm IV., Hugh de Padinan received from Baldwin de Bigres, Sheriff of Lanark, a grant of the lands of Kilpeter, which afterwards came to be known as the barony of Houston or Hugh’s Town. The barony remained in the hands of the Houstouns down to about the year 1740, when it was alienated by them, after possessing it for upwards of five hundred years, to Sir John Shaw of Greenock. From the Shaws it passed to Sir James Campbell of Jamaica, and by his heir to Governor Macrae, by whose representative it was sold in the year 1782 to Mr. Archibald Speirs of Elderslie, in whose family it now remains.

The house and barony of Barrochan belonged to the ancient family of the Flemings of Barrochan. After remaining in the family for upwards of six hundred years, part of the lands were in 1818 acquired by Mr. Archibald Speirs of Elderslie. The remainder were still in the family of their ancient owners in 1836. These have since been acquired by Sir Charles Bine Renshaw, Bart., M.P. Part of the ancient mansion still remains.

The lands of Fulwood belonged anciently to the Flemings, Earls of Wigton. In the reign of Robert II., they belonged to one of the old families of the Semples. In 1452 William Semple of Fulwood witnessed the donation.of Crukatshot by William Lord Lyle to the monks of Paisley. John Semple of Fulwood was one of the arbiters chosen by Abbot George Shaw and the magistrates of Renfrew to settle the boundaries of their respective properties.3 The family failed in the person of John Semple of Fulwood, who about the year 1679 alienated the lands of Fulwood to John Porterfield of that ilk, by whom they were given in patrimony to Alexander Porterfield, his second son. The Porterfields sold the lands of Fulwood to Mr. Archibald Speirs of Elderslie in 1774, with whose family they now are.

The lands of Blackburn also belonged to an ancient family of Semples. For a time they were in the possession of a branch of the Semples of Fulwood. These also were acquired by Mr. Speirs of Elderslie.

The lands of Boghall belonged to one of the old families of the name of Fleming, descended from a younger son of the Flemings of Biggar. In 1581 they passed to John Lord Fleming, as the heir of John Fleming of Boghall. In 1710 they were the property of Lord Dundonald. Subsequently they passed into the possession of Boyd Alexander of Southbarr. The woodland of Craigends and other properties of Mr. J. C. Cuninghame of Craigends are in this parish.

Formerly cotton mills and bleachfields gave employment to a large number of people in the parish. The principal industry now is agriculture. At Houston, an ancient burgh of barony, the market cross of which, bearing the date 1713, still remains, a number of women are employed in embroidery, an industry formerly carried on in the parish, and recently revived by Lady Ann Speirs. Part of the quoad sacra parish of Bridge of Weir is in the parish of Houston.

The population of the united parishes in 1901 was 2,041. The valuation is set down at 14,876 in 1900, and in 1905 at 14,839.

The parish of Kilbarchan, which lies in the very centre of the shire, and is of the shape of an isosceles triangle with its apex turned towards the east, is bounded by the parish of Lochwinnoch on the west and south-west; by the Abbey of Paisley parish, on the south and south-east; by the parish of Renfrew on the east; by those of Inchinnan and Erskine, on the north-east; by that of Houston, on the north ; and by that of Kilmacolm, on the north-west. The shortest side of the parish is the western. At the apex of the triangle the Black Cart and the Gryfe meet, the former flowing along the south-east side of the parish and the latter along the north side.

The parish is about seven miles long, and has an average breadth of about two miles. It has an area of 9,098 acres.

After the rivers already mentioned, the principal stream in the parish is the Locher, a tributary of the Gryfe. In the eastern part of the parish the surface is generally level; in the western, towards the parishes of Lochwinnoch and Kilmacolm, it is more varied, being sometimes bold and striking, well wooded and picturesque. In the lower parts of the parish the soil is chiefly alluvial and fertile; in the higher parts it is gravelly and light. The rocks in the western or higher parts of the parish are of volcanic origin, consisting for the most part of greenstone and porphyry, and here and there of basalt. At the old quarries at Springgrove and on the Barr hill, the basalt rests upon sandstone and coal. Throughout this area tuff occurs. In the lower part of the parish, borings show the following in descending order—boulder clay, sandstone, dark blaes, blue fakes, black fakes and coal, dark fakes, soft brown sandstone, grey fakes and coal, grey fakes, white sandstone. Borings at Blackstone, Middleton, Selvieland, and Linwood, gave from fourteen to twenty fathoms of mud, sandy clays, brown clays, blue clays and till—all the result of glacial action. Sandstone, limestone, coal, iron, and shale, have been from time to time worked in the parish.

Formerly there were three baronies in the parish and one burgh of barony—Kilbarchan.

The lands of Craigends have been in the possession of the Cuninghames of Craigends for over four hundred years. The first of the family was William Cuninghame (1479-1520), who received the lands from his father, Alexander, first Earl of Glencairn. The present representative of the family is Mr. John Charles Cuninghame of Craigends, the thirteenth from the first laird. Reckoning backwards to Warnebaldus, from whom the Cuninghames draw their descent, he represents the twenty-seventh generation.

The lands and barony of Auchinames continued in the possession of the Crawfurds of Auchinames for about four hundred years. The first of the family was Sir Reginald Crawfurd of Crosbie, second son of Sir Hugh Crawfurd, Baron of Loudon and Sheriff of Ayr. For his services at Bannockburn he was rewarded by Robert I. with a part of the barony, and with the privilege of adding to his shield two lances in saltire. He died about 1358. The family is now represented by Hugh Ronald George Crawfurd of Auchinames. The barony includes the following : Auchinames,

Bankhead, Rabston and Glentyan Hill, Glentyan, Houston’s property, Minister’s Park, Honeyman’s property, Nebannoy, Kibbleston, Craigton, Craig’s Plantation, Cartside, Wardend, Huthead, Langside, Callochant, North and South Overton, Gladstone, Burntshields Glebe and Mossfoul, Dampton, and Passinglinn.

The lands of Bar in Kilbarchan, Brandiscroft, Weitlands, Harris-pennaldis, Bordlands, and Thirdpart of Auchinames, anciently formed part of the barony of Craiginfeoch, belonging to the Semples of Elliotstoun.1 They were incorporated into the barony by a charter granted to William Lord Semple by James V., March 17, 1539-40.

The lands of Ranfurly were anciently the property of the Knoxes of Ranfurly. The first of them, about whom there is anything recorded, was John Knokkis, who, in 1440, granted to James, son of John Crawfurd of Giffartlands, the lands of Barbethie in the lordship of Ranferlie and barony of Renfrew. John, his heir, who was styled “of Craiganys,” granted a disposition in favour of his son, Uchtred, of the twenty merk land of Ranfurly and the one hundred shilling land of Grifis Castle, reserving to himself a liferent, and for his wife, if she survived him, her tierce. For Ranfurly. the reddendo was ward and relief and suit at the Court of Renfrew, and for Gryfe Castle, a red rose at the feast of St. John the Baptist. John, the seventh in descent, obtained from his grandfather a conveyance of Ranfurly-Knox, Gryfe Castle, and Nether Craigends. It was this John who occasioned a tumult in the church at Kilbarchan aud was accused of slaying his uncle, and who, before he had cleared himself of that scandal, was ordered by the Presbytery to attend the communion. In 1633, Nether Craigends was sold to William Cuninghame of Craigends. Two years later, Ranfurly and Gryfe Castle were sold to Lord Cochran, afterwards Earl of Dundonald, from whom they were shortly afterwards acquired by the family of Aikenhead.

After the Stewards, the lands of Selvinland appear to have been first owned by Patrick de Selvinland. Crawfurd says that he saw a charter granted by James the High Steward of Scotland, grandfather of Robert II., Stephano jilio Nicolai de terra quae data fuit Patricio de Selvinland juxta burgum de Renfrew? Who this Patrick was does not appear to be known. As little is known of Stephen, son of Nicolas. James the Steward died in 1309, and between that and 1320 Gilbert, son of Uchtred Knox, who may have belonged to the Knoxes of Ranfurlie, received a charter of the land called “ Servingland” from Walter Steward of Scotland, father of Robert II., who died in 1326. After remaining in the hands of the Knoxes of Selviland for several generations, the lands were sold by Alexander Knox (1624-1627) to the Brisbanes of Bishopton, who held them for nearly four hundred years. In 1810, they were the property of William Napier, Esq. They are now the property of Mr. R. T. N. Speirs of Culdees Castle, Perthshire.

The lands of Johnstone were for several ages owned by a family of the surname of Wallace, who were descended from the Elderslie branch of the family, through Thomas, a younger son of John Wallace of Elderslie, in the reign of Robert III. He obtained the lands of Johnstone by marriage with an heiress, who was of the surname of Nisbet. The family failed in the person of William Wallace of Johnstone in the reign of Charles I. The lands were acquired by Sir Ludovic Houstoun of that ilk, and became the patrimony of George Houstoun, his second son. In 1733, George Houstoun sold the lands of Johnstone to James Milliken, but reserved the name of Johnstone, by which his other property, the Old Place of Quarrelton or Easter Cochran Tower, came to be designated. James Milliken died without male issue, and the lands passed by the marriage of his daughter, Jean, to Colonel William Napier of Culcreuch in Stirlingshire. They are now known as Milliken Park.

The lands of Blackstone formerly belonged to the Abbey of Paisley. Upon them was that Grange of the Abbey, to which Abbot George Shaw retired after his resignation of the abbacy, and where he spent the remaining days of his life. In the first half of the seventeenth century, the lands of Blackstone were the possession of a family of the surname of Maxwell. Catherine, the heiress of John Maxwell of Blackstone, married Alexander Napier, who was descended from Adam, the sixth son of John Napier of Merchiston, the inventor of logarithms, and thus by his marriage became the owner of the said lands. His second son, Alexander, who succeeded his elder brother, John, pulled down the old grange, which is said to have been built by Abbot George Shaw, and was in part destroyed by fire in 1730, and built the existing house. During the rebellion he made himself conspicuous as commander of a party of militia, in consequence of which a body of soldiers from the army of Prince Charles in Glasgow paid him a visit, and plundered his house. In 1843, William Napier of Blackstone sold the house and lands of Blackstone to Thomas, brother of Robert Speir of Burnbrae and Culdees.

The lands of Burntshields, which lie to the south of the old castle of Ranfurly, were formerly the possession of Bruntschels of that ilk. According to Crawfurd, John Bruntschels, the last of his race, resigned them in favour of William Lord Semple in 1547. In 1560 Robert Lord Semple gave them to

Andrew Semple, his second son by Isobel Hamilton, daughter of Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar. Andrew Semple was the first of the Semples of Brunt-schelles. Since the failure of his family, the lands have been divided into many different parcels.

The lands of Waterston, which lie near those of Bruntschells, were anciently the property of the Waterstons of that ilk. In 1384, William Waterston of that ilk disponed them to Sir William Cunningham of Kilmaurs ; and in 1538, William, Master of Glencairn, gave them to Hugh Cunningham, his son, from whom descended the Cunninghams of Carlung. In 1810, they formed part of the estates of the Napiers of Milliken.

About the beginning of the eighteenth century, the village of Kilbarchan was erected into a free burgh of barony in favour of William Cuninghame, then of Craigends. In the same parish are the village of Linwood and part of the village of Bridge of Weir. Both owe their existence chiefly to the erection of cotton and flax mills about the beginning of the nineteenth century. In both places the mills have been long closed. Linwood is now chiefly inhabited by miners and paper makers. Bridge of Weir is for the most part used as a place of residence b}^ people in business in Glasgow.

At the beginning of the last century, the burgh and parish of Kilbarchan were the scenes of thriving industries. The chief of them were cotton and flax spinning, weaving, and bleaching. Most of these industries are now almost entirely discontinued, and there are only about a hundred and eighty looms employed in the village. At present farming may be said to be the principal industry, though a number of the inhabitants find employment in Johnstone, Paisley, and Glasgow. At Locher are calico printing works and a paper mill.

On the banks of S. Bride’s burn is a remarkable stone known as Clocho-derick. Upon Barrhill, to the east of the village of Kilbarchan, are the remains of what is supposed to have been a Danish camp. According to Chalmers it was a Celtic stronghold. According to another legend it was once defended by Sir William Wallace, who, it is said, sat upon a pinnacle called Wallace’s Chair, and enticed the English into the bog at the bottom, where they perished.

The most notable individual whom Kilbarchan produced in ancient times was Habbie or Robert Simpson. He was a contemporary of Shakespeare, and though he held the humble office of Town-piper, he managed to make himself famous by his roguery as well as by his skill.

The population of the parish in 1901 was 7,226 ; and the valuation was, in 1900, 46,318, and in 1905, 48,679.

The parish of Lochwinnoch, which, with one exception, is the largest parish in the county, is bounded on the south by Beith ; on the west, by Kilbirnie and Kilmacolm ; on the north, by Kilbarchan ; and on the east, by the Abbey parish of Paisley and Neilston. From east to west the parish is about twelve miles long, and from north to south about six miles broad. It has an area of nearly 19,878 acres, of which 371 are water.

The surface of the parish is very irregular and hilly. The highest hills in the shire are situated in the western part of the parish. These, together with the lochs and the peculiar volcanic formation on Misty Law, have been noticed in the Introductory Chapter. Robertson’s description of the parish is singularly apt and is still worth quoting, though written as far back as 1810. “ Lochwinnoch,” he says, “ is greatly diversified in its general aspect. Part of it consists of high and bleak hills in the back ground; part of it is a low winding valley, in general of a very fertile soil; and in the heart of it is the largest loch or lake in the county. This valley, with its shelving country towards it on both sides, contains nearly the whole population. It is also ornamented with plantations, whilst the houses of its numerous small proprietors are each set down under the shade of a few old trees in the midst of well-cultivated spots of ground. The whole strath has a warm and cheerful appearance. It is the very vale of Tempe of Renfrewshire.” Some of the beauty which Robertson saw in the valley is now gone. Two lines of railway have been driven through it destroying its original aspect, and giving to the place a very different appearance.

The most remarkable geological feature in the parish are the dykes, etc., on Misty Law already referred to. The rocks are for the most part of volcanic origin; but besides innumerable varieties of greenstone, basalt, amygdaloid, porphyry, etc., claystone and freestone are found overlying coal. Limestone, ironstone, and shale also occur.

“Upon the brink of the Loch” [Castle Semple Loch], writes Crawfurd, "stands the Castle of Semple, the principal messuage of a fair lordship of the same denomination, which consists of a large court, part of which seems to be a very ancient building, adorned with pleasant orchards and gardens.”

The original possession of the Semples within the parish appears to have been Eliotstoun in the district of Howwood, where is the ruin of their ancient castle, and from which they took their designation of Eliotstoun. Sir William Semple had a charter of the baronies of Eliotstoun and Castleton upon his own resignation, dated October 4,1474. In 1505, Sir John, first Lord Semple, had a charter of the lands of Eliotstoun, Castleton, Shutterflat, Haris-pennald,

Bar in Kilbarchan, Whitelands, Bordland, Craigenfeoch, and Fereneze, in the shire of Renfrew, and of other lands in the county of Ayr. In 1539-40, William Lord Semple had a charter from James V. erecting the lands of Fereneze, Raiflat, Bar in Kilbarchane, Brandiscroft, Weitlandis, Haris-pen-naldis, Bordlandis, Mechelstoun, and Craginfeach, the twenty pound land old extent of Auchinfoyr, the ten merk land old extent of Thirdpart of Auchin-ames, together with lands in the bailiary of Cunningham into the free barony of Craginfeauch. In the same, year and on the same day (March 17,1539-40), the same William Lord Semple had another charter from the King erecting the lands of Castleton, the lands of Eliotstoun, Schutirflat, Nethir-Pennell, Hairstontoun, the lands of Lavane, Bargane, and Lecheland, with other lands in the county of Lanark and in the county of Ayr, into the free barony of Sympill, ordering the Castle of Semple to be the principal messuage thereof. These large estates, many of which are in the parish of Lochwinnoch, passed by purchase in 1727 from Hugh, eleventh Lord Semple, to Colonel William MacDowall, a younger son of MacDowall of Garthland, in the county of Wigton, and a descendant of Fergus MacDowall Lord of Galloway. In this family the estates remained till 1808, when they were in part disponed to various purchasers. The principal part of the property, including the mansion and grounds of Castle Semple, was acquired by Mr. John Harvey, whose descendant, Mr. J. W. Shand Harvey of Castle Semple, is still the proprietor. Another portion of the MacDowall estate, including the land and house of Barr, went to Mr. James Adam. Garthland, Newton of Barr, and other parts of the ancient property of the MacDowalls in this parish, are in the possession of Mr. H. MacDowall of Garthland and Carruth, the representative of the family.

The lands of Milbank, near Castle Semple, belonged to James Semple, son of Andrew, Master of Semple. They were sold by Robert Semple of Milbank, who died in 1663. Afterwards they passed to a family of the name of Orr. They are now the property of Mr. H. MacDowall.

The lands of Balgreen belonged to Margaret Atkine, as her father’s heiress. She married a natural son of the family of Semple. After being in the family of the Semples for some time, the lands she inherited passed into the possession of the MacDowalls. Subsequently they were acquired by William Fulton.

The lands of Beltrees, which lie opposite to Castle Semple on the south of the loch, were granted, in 1477, by James III. to William Stewart and Alison Kennedy, his spouse. On October 4, 1545, William Lord Semple received a grant of the five pound lands of old extent of Bultreis, which John Stewart de Bultreis personally resigned. Afterwards, they became the patrimony of John Semple, son of Robert Lord Semple, by his second wife, Elizabeth Carlile, a daughter of the house of Torthorwald, who was the ancestor of the Semples of Beltrees. After remaining in the Semple of Beltrees family for several generations, the lands were finally alienated from it, in 1677-8, by Francis Semple of Beltrees. The family had other property in the parish, which they parted with in 1758. In 1810, the lands of Beltrees were the property of Cochran of Ladyland, and seven other proprietors.

The lands of Gavan and Risk were an old property of the Boyds, an Ayrshire family, and remained for several hundred years in the hands of the Boyds of Badenheath. In 1518, they passed into the hands of Robert Boyd of Kipps, who was descended from the family of Badenheath. About the beginning of the eighteenth century, the superiority of the said lands was acquired from William first Earl of Kilmarnock by Lord Glasfoord. In 1810, the lands were in the possession of Cochran of Ladyland and five others.

The barony of Cochran belonged to the Cochrans, a family of great antiquity in the shire. According to Crawfurd, John Cochran of that ilk had a licence under the Great Seal granted to him by James IV., dated October 31, 1509, to sell either the lands of Easter Cochran in Renfrewshire, or his lands of Pitfour in Perthshire. To William Cochran of that ilk the lands of Cochran were confirmed, by a charter of Queen Mary, in 1576. By marriage the lands of Cochran passed to Alexander Blair, a younger son of John Blair of that ilk, who was obliged to adopt the surname and arms of Cochran of that ilk. One of his sons was Sir William Cochran of Cowdon, and one of his grandsons William Cochran of Ferguslie. Sir John, who succeeded to the estates, was highly esteemed by Charles I. Dying without heirs, he was succeeded by his brother, Sir William Cochran of Cowdon, afterwards (1669) Earl of Dundonald. Easter Cochran was sold in the reign of James V. by John Cochran of that ilk, and of Pitfour, to James Beaton, then Archbishop of Glasgow, who sold it in 1535 to William Cunningham of Glengarnock, from whose family the lands of Quarrelton passed to Alexander Porterfield, and from him they passed to George Houstoun of Johnstone, in whose family the lands of Easter Cochran now are, as also the lands of Midton, Howwood, and Muirdykes.

The lands of Barr belonged to a family of the surname of Glen, who date back to the beginning of the fifteenth century. In the beginning of the eighteenth century the lands were the property of John Hamilton of Barr, the representatives of the Hamiltons of Ferguslie. A century later, the lands had been divided among nine proprietors, among whom James Adam of Barr was the largest owner.

The lands of Glen belonged to the Abbey of Paisley, and afterwards to the Semples. They are now divided among a considerable number of proprietors.

The lands of Auchinbothie Wallace were resigned in 1398 by John Wallace of Elderslie in favour of his son, Thomas Wallace, from whom descended the Wallaces of Johnstone. From the family of the same John Wallace came also the Wallaces of Ferguslie and the Wallaces of Neilston-side.

Like the lands of Auchinbothie Blair and Auchingowan Stewart, and the rest of the ancient estates in the parish, the lands of Auchinbothie Wallace have been divided among a number of proprietors. At one time most of the parish was the property of the Semples of Eliotstoun ; at another time it was in the possession of the MacDowalls; but all that is now changed.

The old castle of Eliotstoun still stands, though in an exceedingly ruinous condition. Near the ruin of the old castle on the lands of Auchinbothie, on the farm of Laightrees, is a small eminence in the midst of a meadow called Wallace’s Knowe, where, according to tradition, Wallace defended himself against a party of Englishmen. Barr Castle is in a remarkable good state of preservation. It was in this parish that the battle of Muirdykes was fought. Near the scene of it are the remains of a castle or fort, supposed by some to owe its origin to Sir William Wallace, and by others to be one of the hill forts formed by the Celts.

A number of canoes have from time to time been dug up in the parish. Besides these, a number of gold and silver coins, a ladle of Corinthian brass, and querns, have been found.

At the beginning of last century the people found employment in quarrying, spinning, weaving, and bleaching. The principal industries are, besides farming, bleaching and cabinet-making.

Some of the Semples of Beltrees had a literary gift. Sir James (15791626) was educated under George Buchanan, the celebrated humanist; he acted as amanuensis to King James YI. when writing the Basilicon Doron, and took a no inconsiderable part in the polemics of his time. His grandson, Francis, has long been held in repute as a poet, though some of his productions are not striking for their ability.

The population of the parish in 1901 was 4,402 ; and the valuation in 1900, 32,514, and in 1905, 34,433.

The parish of Kilmacolm is bounded on the west by the parishes of Port-Glasgow, Greenock, Inverkip, and Largs; on the east, by Houston and Erskine ; on the south, by Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch ; and on the north, by the Clyde. From east to west it is about eight miles long, and from north to south its greatest breadth is six and a half miles. The whole consists of nearly 20,406 acres.

The surface of the district is greatly diversified. In the centre, running nearly east and west, is a valley, drained by the Gryfe and by no means level, which rises up on either side to a considerable height. The side next the Clyde is steep and rough, but not wanting in beauty. A great part of the parish, especially in the west and south, is moorland, bleak, and of quite a Highland aspect.

Along the Gryfe the soil is good, but on the moorland it is light and gravelly, though here and there excellent pasture is found. The rocks are, for the most part whinstone, the parish differing in this respect from almost the whole of the other parts of the shire.

In the twelfth century the parish may be said to have been divided into two almost equal parts between the baronies of Duchal and Dennistoun.

The barony of Duchal remained with the Lyles for upwards of three hundred years, when, along with their other estates, the lands thereof were gradually alienated. On October 21, 1539, James Lord Lyle disponed the lands of Kilmacolm to Patrick Maxwell of Newark. On September 14, 1545, he sold to William Earl of Glencairn “ the lands off Ovir Manis of Duchell, with the tower, place, and fortalice of the same, Nether Manis of Myltoun, with the mill there, Hawtanrig and Carroth, etc.” The greater part of the Duchal property, however, passed in 1544, by purchase, to the Porterfields of that ilk, from whom it passed by grant of the Crown to Lord Melfort, from whom it was subsequently taken and returned to the Porterfields. When Robertson was preparing his edition of Crawfurd, the property was undergoing a process of division among various members of the Porterfield family. The greater part of the old barony of Duchal now belongs to Sir H. Shaw Stewart, M.P.

The lands of Cairncurran formed part of the Lyle estate, and when Lord Lyle sold Duchal to Porterfield, he sold Cairncurran to the Lady of Craigends, mother of that William Cuninghame who became the first of the Cuninghames of Cairncurran. On the failure of this family in the person of Charles Cuninghame of Cairncurran, the estate was sold, in 1820, to William MacDowall of Garthland and Castle Semple. The present proprietor is Mr. Henry MacDowall of Garthland, who is the proprietor also of the lands of Carruth, another portion of the ancient estates of the Lyles.

The free barony of Dennistoun was for many generations the property of the Danielstons of Dennistoun. On the marriage of Margaret Denniston, one of the two daughters of Sir Robert Denniston, with Sir William Cunningham of Kilmaurs, in 1405, both the barony of Denniston and the barony of Finlaystone passed into the Kilmaurs family. In 1796, Finlaystone became the property of Robert Graham of Gartmore, from whose family it passed to Colonel Sir Carrick-Buchanan of Drumpelier, and from him to Mr. George J. Kidston. Part of the old barony is now the property of Sir H. Shaw Stewart.

Elizabeth, the other daughter of Sir Robert Denniston, married Sir Robert Maxwell of Calderwood in the same year that her sister married into the family of Kilmaurs. She took with her as her dowry, among other estates, the free barony of Newark. Sir Robert Maxwell was killed at Verneuil in 1424. He was succeeded by his son, Sir John Maxwell, by whom, in 1477, the lands of Newark were given to his son, Sir George Maxwell. In 1668, Sir Patrick Maxwell of Newark sold the lands of Devil’s Glen to the city of Glasgow, who built upon it the harbour of Port-Glasgow. In the early years of the eighteenth century, George Maxwell or Napier (a name which he had assumed in consequence of his marriage) alienated his ancestral lands to William Cochran of Kilmarnock. After remaining in the possession of the latter for some years, they were disponed to Sir James Hamilton of Rosehall. Subsequently they passed to Charles Hamilton of Wishaw. For some time they were the property of the Belhaven family. In 1820, they were sold to Robert Farquhar, a London banker, and are now the property by inheritance of Sir H. Shaw Stewart, M.P., of Ardgowan and Blackhall.

As the reader of the preceding pages will have observed, men belonging to the parish of Kilmacolm have played an important part in the history of the country. Until about twenty-five years ago, the village of Kilmacolm was an extremely small and drowsy place. Now it is a populous and fashionable place of residence. There are no industries in the parish with the exception of farming. Within the parish are large charitable institutions.

The population of the parish in 1901 was 4,886, and is rapidly increasing. The valuation in 1900 was 45,246, and in 1905, 52,120.

The parish of Greenock was disjoined from the parish of Inverkip in the year 1592. Some account of the burghs of Greenock and Cartsburn has already been given. In the following notice of the parish, therefore, they will be omitted.

The parish of Greenock stretches about four and a half miles along the shore, and nearly as far inland. It is bounded by the Clyde on the north and north-east; by the parishes of Port-Glasgow and Kilmacolm on the southeast ; by Kilmacolm and Houston on the south ; and by Inverkip and Gourock on the west. It has an area of 6,247 acres.

From the south shore of the Clyde the ground rises somewhat abruptly to a height of upwards of 600 feet. At the western end of the parish the ascent is interrupted by a lower ridge which terminates somewhat sharply in a rocky hill called Binnans. Beyond the second or higher ridge a moor stretches a considerable way into the interior of the shire. In this moorland the Gryfe rises.

The soil is generally poor. On the shore it is chiefly clay mixed with sea-shells and gravel. On the higher grounds there are patches of rich loam, but generally speaking the soil is stiff and clayey.

The soil rests upon rocks of volcanic origin, as in almost the whole of the county. In some places the stratified rocks rise to a height of more than 100 feet above the level of the sea, and are overtopped by greenstone, of which most of the eminences in the parish are composed. Here and there the strata are crossed by dykes of greenstone, or of soft clay-stone. In the upper part of the parish are beds of red and of greenish marly clay, alternating with red sandstone strata, and containing in some places considerable masses of limestone.

The lands of Easter and Wester Greenock have been in the family of their present proprietor for many generations.

The lands of Finnart were at one time part of the patrimony of the noble house of Douglas. After their forfaulture in 1445, they were given by James II. to James first Earl of Arran, in 1457, and thence passed, in 1510, in patrimony to James Hamilton, his natural son, by Mary Boyd, daughter of Boyd of Barshaw. Hamilton was forfeited in 1540, when his lands were annexed to the Crown. The lands of Finnart were then bestowed by James V. upon Alexander Shaw of Sauchie, who, two years after, disponed them, with the barony of Wester Greenock, to John Shaw, his son.

The lands of Cartsburn, as already remarked, were anciently part of the barony of Kilbirny, and became the patrimony of a younger brother of that family, whose posterity ended in the person of David Crawfurd of Cartsburn, in the reign of Charles I. They then passed to Malcolm Crawfurd of Newton. In 1669, Dame Margaret Crawfurd, Lady of Kilbirny, with the consent of her husband, disponed them to her cousin, Thomas Crawfurd, second son of

Cornelius Crawfurd of Jordanhill. Since then they have come to their present proprietor.

The chief proprietors of the parish are Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart, Bart., M.P., Sir C. Bine Renshaw, Bart., M.P., and Thomas MacKnight Crawfurd of Cartsburn.

Exclusive of Greenock and Port-Glasgow burghs, the population of the parish is 8,900. The valuation in 1900 was 6,600, and in 1905, 6,519.

The parish of Inverkip, the most westerly in the shire, is bounded on the north and west by the Firth of Clyde; on the south by part of Ayrshire ; and on the east by the parishes of Kilmacolm and Greenock. It is about five miles long, and nearly as many broad. It has a coast line of about twenty miles in length, and an area of 13,237 acres.

The surface is very uneven. There is a very beautiful and fertile tract of country about the bay of Inverkip on the west, and another of nearly the same extent around the bay of Gourock on the north. The other arable lands are limited to narrow strips along the shore, up the sides of the hills, and by the streams Kelly, Daff, and Kipp. The greater part of the parish lies high, but much of what in Robertson’s day was moorland is now under careful cultivation.

The geology of the parish is much the same as that of the parish of Greenock. Excellent red sandstone is found in the parish, and is extensively used in building. The only industry in the parish is farming. Villas are being extensively built in it, especially in the neighbourhood of Wemyss Bay. Gourock, which has already been noticed, is rapidly extending, and is a fashionable sea-side resort.

The greatest part of the property in the parish belongs to the Ardgowan family, by whom it has been gradually acquired by purchase or inheritance, but chiefly by the latter.

Other ancient families in the parish were the Darrochs of Gourock, the Hyndmans of Lunderston, and the Wallaces of Kelly. The last were descended from the Wallaces of Elderslie.

The population of the parish in 1901 was 7,246. The valuation of the landward part of the parish in 1900 was 24,100, and in 1905, 24,487.


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