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The History of Sanquhar
Chapter XIII.—Wanlockhead


THE village of Wanlockhead lies at the north-east corner of the parish of Sanquhar, from which town it is distant eight miles. The road leading to it is described in the Chapter on Topography. The village derives its existence from the lead-mines belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch, which have been worked from a remote period. A detailed account of these will be found at the end of this chapter. The miners’ houses are built in the most charmingly irregular order. They lie for the most part round the base of the Dod Hill, from which the inhabitants are frequently nick-named “The Dodders.” Originally all thatched with heather, a large number are now of modern construction, and are roofed with slate. They consist, for the most part, of a “but and a ben,” are low-roofed, and many of them are furnished with box-beds. They are very cosy and comfortable, and are inhabited by a remarkably strapping, fine-looking body of miners. In another situation, objection might be taken to the want of ventilation, but, built at such an altitude, in small rows, with wide spaces between, the same necessity for space within doors does not exist. There are several good and commodious houses in the village—the company’s house, as it is called, and those of the manager, the doctor, the clerk, and the schoolmaster, besides the two manses, the Established and the Free Church.

“Social habits are, to some extent, cultivated. Friends assemble to eat the ‘blythe meat ’ at births and christenings. Formerly, but not now, a pound of tea was known to suffice for a large party at the marriage-table, blythe meat christening, and during the interval. When any accident occurs, all private differences are laid aside; sympathy and willing assistance are universal. Coffins for the dead are supplied from the workshop, partners dig the grave and perform other last offices, so that a trifle to the keeper of the mortcloth is the only absolute expense incurred.

“A marriage at the village is generally an occasion of rejoicing, and is the chief topic discussed for a length of time. When a member of the [instrumental] band is married, the whole population turns out to witness the procession. Sounds of martial music are heard in the distance, and then more plainly reverberating amongst the hills, until, preceded by the brass band of the village, the bridegroom and his party of friends are conducted to the cottage of the bride's friends. By her side the bridegroom takes his place ; and, in reply to the questioning of the village pastor, and in the presence of as many friends as can be crowded into the little kitchen, he vows to be unto her a faithful and loving husband until death should part them. The necessary document being duly signed and attested, congratulations over, refreshments partaken of there and in the other cottages filled with friends, pence collected and handed to the minister, the best-man then comes forward and offers his arm to the bride to head the procession, which, two and two, goes forward, the bridegroom being brought on at the end by the father, along with the minister. The band, in their smart uniform, having formed at the door, precedes, playing their liveliest tunes. The bride, of course, is the centre of attraction, especially to the wives and daughters, who, plaids over head, press forward to get a close inspection ; and such notes of admiration are heard as ‘ Eh ! blit she is braw and bonnie !’ Arrived at the new dwelling, which has been plenished with drawers, cupboard, presents and necessaries, the new wife, who is saluted with a shower of oatcakes, is led to the fireside to ‘ poke the ribs ’ with the tongs in proof that she has taken possession ; and then the company are seated at tables laden with good things in a room or rooms (no proper hall being as yet possessed). These having been partaken of, the company, crossing their arms and joining hands, sing :—

‘Weel may we a’ be,
In may we never see;
God bless the Queen,
And this companie.’

Three times this is repeated—‘to fl’ie the rattens’—with rounds of applause, and then the ceremonies being concluded in truly orthodox fashion, the minister retires, and the ladies prepare for the evening enjoyment. Marriages are generally among themselves; seldom does a young miner, in selecting his bride, go beyond the circle of the belles of the village.”—Porleous’ God’s Treasure House.

The miners are a strong, healthy body of men, and, unlike miners generally, reach to a good average age. In their underground work, the position of the body is not so cramped as in many coal-mines, nor have they to breathe the same vitiated atmosphere. Besides, their working-hours per week are not excessive. They work largely in small partnerships on the “bargain” system, and make good wages. The miners have also the right to the pasturage of about 500 acres of mountain-land, small plots of which are cultivated on the crofter system, a cow and pet sheep being kept by each; while the meadow land provides hay for winter fodder, which is cut and made in the intervals of work. This privilege adds largely to the resources of the households. They are an intelligent body of men, and provision is made for their mental culture. A reading society has existed since 1756, which possesses a well-stocked library containing nearly 3000 volumes representing all sorts of literature.

Wanlockhead is a place with a burying-ground of its own, but it has no grave-digger. This last office is performed for the dead by the miners themselves. Working in partnerships of usually four members, when any partner or his relation dies (and the people are all closely inter-married and related at Wanlockhead), the grave is dug by the other members of the partnership, This custom enabled a native to have his joke at the expense of a friend in the lower part of the county whom he was visiting. His friend, who had never been at Wanlockhead, inquired what sort of a place it was. “Was it big?”    “Oh! it’s no vera big,” answered the native, “but it’s a wunnerfu’ bit bit, tae. There’s three bedlers (Wanlockhead for beadles) in it.”

The application of steam to the purposes of navigation, which took place about 100 years ago, marked a new era in the progress of the human race, and in particular contributed in no small degree to the development of the industrial and commercial prosperity of this country. The daring and skill of her great naval commanders of that and previous generations had raised our little sea-girt isle to the rank of mistress of the sea. The application of steam to navigation afforded the opportunity of still further enhancing the reputation of this country in shipbuilding, and enabled her to secure and retain a commanding hold of the carrying trade of the world, which now advanced by rapid and gigantic strides as the result of this new method of propulsion. The sailing of the sea was from this time completely revolutionised. Vessels had no longer to wait for a favourable breeze; they were no longer the sport of fitful wind and wave, and their crews had not now their dreams disturbed with the terror of being becalmed, and of lying under an equatorial sun doomed to a horrible and lingering fate. International commerce has, since the time of this great discovery, advanced by leaps and bounds, the horrors which too often accompanied a sea voyage long ago have almost entirely disappeared, and the time occupied has now been reduced to a minimum. Even the passage to America, short though it was, in comparison to the long, tedious voyages round the Cape to India or Australia, was a serious matter. Tumbling about the Atlantic for a month, in what was often no better than a tub, involved a considerable degree of bodily discomfort and misery, and the chance of shipwreck was a contingency, the possibility of which could by no means be left out of account. The emigrant, as he passed up the street of his native village, with his slender outfit tied on a barrow, was regarded by his neighbours with a mixed feeling of wonder and pity, and the partings that took place had all the element of sadness and bitterness which belong to a final leave-taking. All that is now, happily, changed. The fleets of vessels that now conduct the carrying trade between this country and every quarter of the globe that presents an outlet for the colonizing spirit of the Anglo-Saxon race, have been brought to such a state of perfection, that the emigrant is no longer an object of commiseration. The Transatlantic passage is now confined within the week, and, provided the weather be at all moderate, the passenger, if he be fortunate enough to avoid the acquaintance of the dreaded mal-cle-mer, enjoys all the luxuries of a floating hotel of the first-class. It now involves no greater time and less risk than attached in former days to the journey between Scotland and London. A halo of romance surrounded the very names of India, Australia, and the South Seas, and the stories of stirring life under eastern and southern skies came to the ear like tidings from another world. But now, the conditions of travelling by both land and sea have been so completely changed that the inhabitants of the Antipodes have become in a sense our near neighbours. The development of international commerce, establishing business and friendly relations between different peoples, has had an influence beyond any other in destroying racial hatreds and jealousies, and guaranteeing the peace of the world. Such being the effects of the introduction of steam navigation, it would be difficult to over-estimate the benefits which it has conferred upon mankind.

It is, therefore, a proud distinction which this village enjoys of having been the birth-place of steam navigation. When the world-wide importance of the discovery had begun to be realised, a controversy arose among the several persons who appear to have been associated in the original experiments—culminating in the first successful voyage under steam which took place on the little loch at Dalswinton on October 14th, 1788—as to which of them was entitled to the honour of having first made this great and momentous discovery. So eager has each been to snatch the coveted fame that probably no one has done justice to the claims of the others. The story, drawn from the whole ascertained facts and circumstances, seems to be this:—Mr Miller of Dalswinton, in the year 1785, engaged as tutor for his family a Mr James Taylor, of Leadhills, a gentleman who had received a liberal education in the University of Edinburgh. Mr Miller, who was of a speculative turn of mind, was at the time engaged in a series of experiments on shipping, and had designed paddle-wheels as a motive power. These paddles were turned by a capstan which kept four men laboriously employed. It was plain, however, that this method would never be applicable to large vessels or to long voyages, and Miller, at his wits’-end, begged Mr Taylor to set his ingenuity to work to supply, if possible, the desideratum. After anxious thought, Mr Taylor suggested the steam-engine. Miller was incredulous, but Taylor firmly believed in the feasibility of the idea, and, having overcome Miller’s objection, it was decided to make a trial. Taylor, in search of a practical engineer to construct an engine suitable for the purpose, had recourse to one William Symington, an old friend and schoolfellow, who, with his brother George, had previously invented a steam-carriage described as “like an ordinary-sized kist.” An old man, John Black, who was living when the Caledonian Railway was opened, on being invited to go to Elvanfoot to see the wonderful new steam-carriage, replied, “I need hardly travel sae far for sicli a purpose, for I hae seen a steam-carriage mony a year syne rinnin’ in the Aul’ Manse there.” The tradition is that this steam-carriage was first run on the floor of the kitchen of the Old Manse at Wanlockhead, which the Symingtons inhabited. It was to these brothers, then, that Taylor turned in the hope of solving the difficulty of applying steam to the navigation of vessels. They laid their heads together, the Symingtons and he, the result being that a small engine was designed and constructed, by means of which the celebrated trip was made on Dalswinton Loch. It was between Taylor and the Symingtons chiefly that the contention arose as to the merit of the invention, but it should not be difficult for any unprejudiced person to determine in his own mind the share which each probably had in it. But, indeed, a claim is also made in the same connection on behalf of one John Hutchison, an old smith, as having contributed something to the perfecting of the engine. The story is told in two forms. Old John had been engaged in the work of constructing the engine. A hitch had occurred with some part of the machine, which hindered its working, aud which formed a puzzle to the inventors. One form of the subsequent story is that he was lying in bed on Sunday morning, pondering the difficulty, when the idea how it could be overcome flashed into his mind. Jumping out of bed, he drew the plan on the hearthstone, and subsequently, on the same day to Symington, on the road, when out walking ; on his return, it was worked out in a practical way in the smithy, the remark being passed between them—“The better day the better deed.” Another version has it that it was while Symington and Hutchison were walking together on the Stake-Moss hill on the Sunday, discussing the subject, when the latter conceived the plan, and at once made a rough drawing of it on the road. To whatever extent we may be indebted to each of the claimants for this invention, with such stupendous and far-reaching results, there can be no doubt, at all events, that Wanlockhead was its birth-place. It does seem strange that it should have originated in perhaps the most inland place in all Scotland, and that, as it has been happily put, “as the source of the noble Clyde can be traced to our very neighbourhood, so can the origin of that majestic fleet which walks its waters like a thing of life be traced to our very doors.”

It may be mentioned that this year (1891) a monument, raised by subscription, has been erected at Leadhills in honour of Symington.

The miners find their recreation and amusement out of doors in such games as running, quoiting, and curling. They are also keen anglers. Saturday being an off-day at the works affords them the opportunity of fishing the headwaters of the Clyde, which are reached by passing round the slope of the Lowthers, and are at no great distance, being their favourite ground, though they pay frequent visits to Crawick and its tributary Spango. Situated so high above sea-level, the Wanlockhead miners enjoy the game of curling much more frequently than their confreres anywhere else, and better curlers can nowhere be found. A reference to their prowess in the game, and their connection with the Sanquhar curlers, will be found in the chapter on “Curling.”

It must not be supposed, because there is no public-house in the village, that teetotalism is universal or even general. That is far from the case. At the New-Year season, and on all occasions of merry-making, drinking is one of their social habits, the wherewithal being readily procurable at Leadhills, only two miles distant. But the drinking that is indulged in is only periodical, and that is due, doubtless, to the fact that the public-house and its temptations are not constantly obtruded upon the notice of the inhabitants. Were the paydays more frequent, and were there a public-house at their doors, the state of the village would probably be very different. As it is, the miners are a respectable, moral-living community.

Co-Operative Society.—The principle of association for mutual benefit has been given effect to among them. In 1871, a Co-Operative Society was instituted, and has proved a flourishing and beneficial institution. The following is the last annual return made to the Registrar:— Number of members, 329; share capital, £1774 8s; nett sales for the year, £6206 9s 5½d; stock-in-trade, £1166 10s 10½d; liabilities, £2298 8s 9½d; assets, £2584 9s 1d; value of fixtures, £19 12s 0½d; dividend paid to members for the year, £952 6s lid ; interest paid on shares at 10½d per £, £70 14s 4½d.

“The Heather Bell” Lodge of the Oddfellows’ Society was established here in 1867, and has proved most prosperous and useful. It embraces practically the whole body of the miners. The membership on 31st December, 1890, was 239, and the accumulated funds amounted to £1188 9s 2d. The branch is affiliated to the Manchester Friendly Society.

A society also exists for the relief of the aged and infirm, which was established in 1879. Previous to that time there was a kindly custom among the miners that, if one of a partnership died, his widow was allowed to enjoy the proceeds of what would have been her husband’s share, after certain necessary deductions; if he left a son, the lad succeeded to his father’s partnership. In this way, without parochial aid, the poor of the village were saved from feeling the pinch of poverty and hardship. The system, however, was discontinued immediately after the village and works were first called upon by the Parochial Board to pay the statutory assessment for the relief of the poor, and this society was set up, which enables many to avoid the stigma of pauperism. The membership is 157; the capital, £200 7s 1d; and the contribution of members, 4s per quarter. Relief is given amounting to 8s per week for the first three months; thereafter, 6s per week for a further period of six months; 2s per week for another twelve months; and a permanent allowance of Is for any extended period. The funeral gift is £1. The relief given almost balances the contributions, owing to the younger men preferring to join the Oddfellows’ or Foresters’ Society.

The chapel was built iu 1755 by the Mining Company, and cost only £70 or £80. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1848. The stipend was only from £60 to £65, with a house and an acre of land. Wanlockhead was erected by the Court of Teinds as a quoad sacra parish on 27th January, 1861, at the sole expense of the proprietor, the Duke of Bucclouch and Queensberry. The deed by His Grace conveying two farms in perpetuity for the endowment of this quoad sacra church, and accepted by the Court, says:—“The petitioner will give security over the lands of Carcoside and Orchard, both belonging to him, in fee simple, and lying in the barony of Sanquhar, and parish of Kirkconnel.” The sittings in Wanlockhead Established Church number 325. Communicants, 140.

Ministers.

1738. 'Alexander Henderson, preacher.
1750. Laurie
1772. John Williamson, afterwards of Tinwald.
1777. Bryce Little, afterwards of Covington.
1789. John Williamson, afterwards of Durisdeer
1794. John Henderson, afterwards of Dryfesdale.
1800. James Ritehie.
1803. William Osburn, formerly of Tillieoultry, who died 25th June,
1812, in the 68th year of his age, and 39tli of his ministry.
1813. John Henderson, formerly of Middleburgh, who died 14th September, 1814, in the 62nd year of his age, and 29th of his ministry.
1814. Robert Swan, of Cockermouth.
1835. Thomas Hastings, Holywood, who joiued the Free Churcli in 1843.
1843. Patrick Ross, Birkenhead.
1847. John Inehes Dickson, Kirk bean, afterwards of Paisley and Kirkbean.
1848. James Laidlaw, formerly of Beweastle, who retired in 18S3, and died in 1857.
1883. Douald M'Millan, traus. to Auehtertool, Fife, and now (1S91) to Kelvinhaugh, Glasgow.
1886. C. Patriek Blair, formerly assistant in Ciailing, Roxburgh.

Free Church

At the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 the Rev. Thomas Hastings, then minister of Wanlockhead, cast iu his lot with the Free Church party, and in going out took with him 200 communicants. He was thus for eight years chaplain or minister in the Established Church. The Duke of Buccleuch was one of the many landlords of Scotland who not only gave no countenance to the secession, but refused to grant land whereon to build a church or manse. This policy of site-refusing resulted, in many cases, only in a less convenient or less suitable one being chosen than might otherwise have been obtained ; but, at Wanlockhead, where every inch of land belonged to one individual, his refusal constituted a greater act of oppression. But the great healing power of time obtained fresh proof in this case, and at length a site for a church, and subsequently for a manse, was granted. Meanwhile the greatest hardships had to be endured in this high and stormy region. The circumstances of the people evoked a wide-spread feeling of interest, and they were encouraged in their noble endurance by the visits and ministrations of some of the foremost men of the Free Church. Dr Porteous thus describes the incidents that occurred:—“The Rev. Dr Chalmers preached in the tent on the hillside of Wanlockhead Hass in the summer of 1846. There never had been such a gathering of worshippers at that place. It was computed that there were at least 2500 persons present. When the venerable man of God looked around, and had given out his text, his first words were, Now, I can tell you nothing new.’ Although his MS. was before him he spoke with his fervid eloquence and power, and, to the delight of the villagers, ‘ without reading.’ ” As it was long before a site was obtained for a church many men of mark—Drs Pitcairn, Clason, Candlish, Guthrie, &c.— gave similar countenance to the congregation. When Dr Candlish preached, the rain fell in torrents, and little that he said could be heard owing to the pattering of the rain upon the umbrellas. Dr Guthrie wrote thus in 1870:—“I well remember preaching, under a cold, wintry sky, to the good and brave people of Wanlockhead. I honour them highly.” Mr Hastings for nearly ten years lived in one of the little cottages, entering the manse in 1852 and the church in 1859. He expended a great amount of labour, and had to withstand during these sixteen years great severities of winter. His attachment both to the place and the people could not well be surpassed. He died in 1875, in his 80th year, and was buried in the churchyard of Mouswald.”

2nd Minister.—James Moir Porteous, who was ordained colleague and successor to Mr Hastings, 19th Nov., 1868, became sole minister in 1875. Mr Porteous gained several prizes for Essays on Popery and Protestantism, notably in 1868, the prize of £50 for an Essay on Protestantism, open to the ministers of the Free Church, which was subsequently published under the title, “The Government of the Kingdom of Christ,” and has reached a third edition. He was appointed Secretary to the “Protestant Institute of Scotland,” and has been much engaged, both in his writings and personal labours otherwise, in resisting the aggressions of Popery in this country. In recognition of these exertions, he had conferred upon him, in 1877, the degree of D.D. by the College of Greeneville and Tusculum. Dr Porteous’ other works are “God’s Treasure-House in Scotland,” a “History of Wanlockhead and Leadhills,” with special reference to the working for gold and the lead-mining operations, “Brethren in the Keelhowes,” and other minor works. On the appointment of Dr Thomas Smith to the Chair of Pastoral Theology, Dr Porteous succeeded him in the pastorate of Cowgatehead Free Church, Edinburgh, in June, 1881.

3rd Minister.—Andrew Brown, ordained Nov., 1881.

The Church is seated for 400. The membership is 200. The minister receives the equal dividend of £150, and the total contributions of the members for the year are £142.

The following account of Lead-Mining in the Lowthers was written by the late Dr Watson, of Wanlockhead, and was published in 1838 :—

The Lead Mines of Wanlockhead are said to have been discovered in the minority of King James the Sixth, by Cornelius Hardskins, a German, when searching for gold at that place.

Sir James Stampfield was the first person who, about the year 1680, opened them up ; and lie carried them on, with some degree of success, till the Revolution. Mathew Wilson succceded Sir James Stampfield in the year 1691, and had a lease of 19 years. The Governor and Company for smelting down lead ore with coal, succeeded Mathew Wilson in the year 1710. They had a lease for 31 years, and wrought extensively in Old Glencrieve, and also in Beltongraiu vein ; but were unsuccessful till they found out New Glencrieve vein, out of which they raised a very considerable quantity of ore in a short time. In the year 1721, several gentlemen of London, Newcastle, and Edinburgh, having united under the name of the Friendly Mining Society, entered into partnership with the Smelting Company, for carrying on the Mines of Wanlockhead upon a further lease of 31 years. They carried on the Mines extensively by working all the principal veins, viz. :—New Glencrieve, Old Glencrieve, Cove, and Belton, grain, till the year 1727 ; when the Company and Society separated, and divided the Mining grounds in the manner described in a deed of separation. The Friendly Society carried on their workings to some extent, and with a considerable degree of energy, till the year 1734; at which time, having ascertained that they had been great losers, although they had raised a valuable quantity of lead ore, they resigned their lease ; and were succecded by William and Alexander Telfer. These gentlemen carried on the workings, though rather unsuccessfully, till William’s death ; after which Alexander made some farther trials on New Gleucricve vein, which turned out very fortunate. Mr Alexander Telfer was suceceded by Messrs Ronald Crawford & Company (now the Wanlockhead Mining Company), in the year 1755 ; and they being gentlemen not only of capital, but of great enterprise, have had several of the principal veins prosecuted not only vigorously, but most judiciously, and to a great extent. But that I may be able to give those individuals who may deem this narrative deserving of a perusal some idea, not only of the leading, but also of the subordinate veins, I shall mention the relative situation of each ; and shall, therefore, begin with the most Westerly one that has as yet been wrought—I mean New Glencrieve.

This vein, sometimes spelled Glencrieff, crosses the Wanlock Bum a little above the present low mill, and passes through Whitesclengh meadow, into the Limpen ridge. It has not been wrought north of Wanlock Burn, but several drifts have been cut to the south of that line ; each successive drift being, a good many fathoms higher in the hill than the one under it, and carried through the skirt and side of Glenglass ridge, towards its summit. At the Scarr, in the upper part of Glencrieve Burn, there have also been considerable trials; the uppermost drift of which, from the Scarr, was 150 fathoms in length, while the other drift made about 300 more—in all 450 fathoms. The Scarr workings were begun by the Smelting Company about the year 1720, and were prosecuted with success, in consequence of the discovery of a considerable body of ore. These workings were also carried on after the union of the Smelting and Friendly Mining Societies, but with very little success, although they made several trials northward in the side of Glenglass hill. The drift nearly opposite to the Company’s large Smelting Mill was set on by a Mr Weightman, alias Dean-of-Guild Weightman, a gentleman who had at that time acquired some knowledge of mining. It was thence called the Dean-of-Guild’s drift. The other workings had been carried on for some time by the Company’s agents, rather in an artful manner; and, as appeared afterwards, for the purpose of harassing the Society by unsuccessful working. The discovery of this occasioned the re-division of the Mines, and the termination of the partnership, in the year 1727.

After this the Friendly Mining Society, under the superintendence of Mr Weightman, commenced new trials, on the same vein, by driving northward from the then lowest level, set on from Glencrieve Burn to the middle workings; also, by driving southward from the Dean-of-Guild’s drift, towards the same plaee, and likewise by several other workings, thereby cutting up that vein to the extent, as above mentioned, of 450 fathoms. During these operations the Society raised much more ore than had been procured by the Smelting Company ; but not having secured a sufficient quantity to cover the expense incurred, the mines were resigned, and the Society dissolved, in the year 1734. The Friendly Mining Society were succeeded by William and Alexander Telfer; they also prosecuted the workings in New Glencrieve till William’s death; after which event Alexander turned his attention to the westward of New Glencrieve, where Mr Weightman had given it as his opinion that lead ore would be found; and having driven up Glenglass level, at a very considerable expense, he fortunately cut what was then thought to be an intersector, but which lias since, however, been considered a string from New Glencrieve vein; and its course being nearly N. W. and S.E., it joins New Glencrieve a little to the south of Lorimer’s shaft. The String, generally called the West Groove, was hard, occasionally close checked, and had very little vein stuff, with the exception of a little blueish clay, quartz, carbonate of lime, heavy spar, and pyrites ; but was comparatively rich in ore, and yielded a fair harvest to Mr Telfer for a number of years. It is reported, by some of the old miners that a small belly of ore was left in the sole of the low drift, and also that one of the midlands, in which there was a considerable quantity of Rider, mixed with lead ore, was neglected; but as the present Company wrought the String for some years after they got their lease, it may be inferred that these statements are incorrect. The operations on the Intersector or String are said to have extended to about 60 fathoms in depth. The mine was cleared of water, partly by water-wheels, and partly by hand pumps. The quantity of water in the mine, according to the statement of the old miners, was small. Old Glencrieve vein lies about 80 fathoms east of New Glencrieve, passes through Wanlock Burn a little above the Company’s large Smelting Mill, and near to Hard-skins walls. The north end of this vein crosses the highway to Whites-cleugh, the skirt of the Dodhill, Whitescleugh Burn, and then enters the hill called Liinpin ridge. The south end enters what is generally called the Blackliill, where it is steepest, and is driven between three and four hundred fathoms in two drifts; one from the burn, and the other from the side of the hill, entering a little below the road to Glencrieve Searr. The soils of this vein are of a yellow and grey colour, and the ore found in it above the level of Wanlock Burn lies in pretty large lumps; while that got below the burn was formed into a rib. The workings north of Wanlock Burn were carried on by Sir James Stampfield; those south of it by the Smelting Company, about the year 1727 or 1728, before their partnership with the Friendly Mining Society. The upper drift was prosccuted for several fathoms south ; but no ore having been found, and the way-gates being difficult and expensive, the mine was again abandoned till the year 1794. At that time the present Company not only made a trial in the old workings, but also sunk a pit 28 fathoms in depth, near the side of Wanlock Burn, on which they established a water-wheel, and latterly a steam-engine of twelve horse power, to assist the former in raising the water of the mine 20 fathoms (the depth of the main level), Stampfield’s being eight fathoms from the surface. In proseeuting this trial, the Company not only eut into the vein by a cross cut from the middle of the sump, but continued their operations northward and southward till they reached the old workings of the Smelting Company, without procuring more than a few tons of ore. The low forehead was driven south to the extent of 130 fathoms, was in general rather easily wrought, and did not require to be supported with wood; but there also very little ore was procured, and the ground, upon the whole, cannot be considered as very promising in appearance. It is the opinion of some, however, that it will be more productive to the north. The late Mr Meason commenced a cross cut from the Ledger side of Glenerieve low drift, south, to be driven nearly due west, for the purpose of cutting New Glenerieve vein; but this trial, though a very feasible one, was suspended in 1S31, to be resumed again, in all probability, at no very distant period. A trial is also being made further south on Old Glenerieve vein, by making a cross cut nearly due west from the north side of Menoek-hass towards the summit of the Blackhill; but though the vein has been cut lately, and the soils look rather well, very little ore has hitherto been got. From the veins diverging as they run south, the eross 'eut has extended to one hundred and seventy fathoms in length.

Weir’s vein lies about fifty fathoms east of Old Glenerieve vein. It was discovered by the Friendly Mining Society in Whiteseleugh level, and was driven about fourteen fathoms south, on the point of eighteen degrees east of south, and from Wanlock Burn twenty-four fathoms south, where it is called Abraham’s, blit is the same vein as Weir’s. This vein has also been cut lately by the Menoek-hass eross cut, but has not, as yet, been tried at that place.

Straitstep, alias Whiteseleugh, is next in order, and lies about 40 fathoms to the east of Weir’s. This vein runs from Whiteseleugh through the end of the Dodhill, crosses Wanlock Burn, nearly opposite to the Company’s store; continues its course through the more level part of the Blackhill, a little to the west of the Library, and then enters the Stake Moss to the east of Menockhass. It was a very strong vein, but had several snecks, or cheeks, in the Dodhill, one of which was forty fathoms in length, and commonly called the Straitstep, from whieh the vein has its name. Mathew Wilson having succeeded Sir James Stampfield, in the year 1691, wrought this vein extensively and successfully quite through the Dodhill, from Whiteseleugh to Wanlock Burn. The Smelting Company, likewise, operated considerably in the same vein, having cut a drift through the Dodhill, lower than Mathew Wilson’s, at a great expense ; and they not only carried on the workings above level in the Dodhill, but the drifts northward of Whiteseleugh Burn; and those through Wanlock Burn, and south of it. The Smelting Company, after having operated for some time, under some disadvantage, at last found it necessary, from the state of the mine, to erect a water-engine, or wheel, north side of Wanlock Burn, a few fathoms N.W. of the Chapel. By this means they were enabled to sink under level, and to take out a very great quantity of excellent ore, which lay in several knots betwixt Straitstep and the engine, a distance of one hundred and eighteen fathoms; so that at that period there bad been more ore taken out of Straitstep than from all the other veins together, with the exception of New Glencrieve. The present Company, likewise, operated iu Straitstep for several years, and raised a great quantity of ore in different parts of the mine ; particularly out of that part of it called Alison’s Soles. They sunk to the depth of 35 fathoms under the main level, but were obliged to abandon the workings referred to, from a want of surface water for their water-wheel, both during the droughts of summer and frosts in winter. This mine was relinquished about the year 1786 or 1787. Sometime afterwards, however, the Company erected a steam-engine on the north end of the vein, Whitescleugh, having previously turned their attention to the south end of it, where Dean-of-Guild Weightinau had operated to some extent in or about the year 1746. He, Mr Weiglitnian, having entered upon his lease with rather a favourable prospect of success, sunk a shaft upon the vein where it was bearing ore, on the south side of Wanlock Burn, and also brought up the Smelting Company’s level to that shaft; in consequence of which his level was under thirty fathoms cover, which level he prosecuted about 450 fathoms in length towards the water-fall of Menock-hass. The vein was strong, and, at several places in its course, yielded a respectable quantity of good ore; but Mr Weightman having met with several obstructions in the prosecution of his plans, was under the necessity of reducing the number of his workmen, and finally of abandoning his lease, which was a sub-lease from Mr Alexander Telfer. About the period referred to (1750), there appears to have been three Mining Companies in Wanlockhead, whose boundaries were as follows, viz.—The Smelting Company possessed all the ground lying northward of Wanlock Burn, and eastward of Old Glencrieve vein ; and all the ground eastward of Menock-hass and Mcnock Burn; while Alexander Telfer held all the ground southward and northward of’Wanlock Burn, which lies westward of Old Glencrieve —the ground eastward of that vein, as far as Menock-hass, and lying southward of Wanlock Burn, being sub-leased to Mr Weightman as before mentioned. The present Company succeeded to the Mining Liberties in 1755; and commenced operations in that part of the bounds which formerly belonged to Mr Weightman, in or about the year 1760. They not only drove the vein at that part called Margaret’s Vein, further to the south, but also rose on several knots of ore in the roof of the drift, and likewise made a trial in the sole of the level with hand pumps. This trial was so encouraging that in the year 1778 the Company were induced to erect a steam-engine of forty horse power, after which the mine was worked with a good deal of ardour for a number of years. But, about the year 1787, the first engine having been ascertained to be too small, a second and a more powerful one was erected; the mine was sunk to the depth of 90 fathoms from the surface, and the foreheads in the different randoms prosecuted both north and south as long as they continued to bear ore. Margaret’s Vein, so called in honour of the late Countess of Dumfries, was particularly rich in mineral substances; and contained, besides the common galena, or sulphuret of lead, sulphate of lead, carbonate of lead, sulphuret of zinc, carbonate of zinc, sulphate of barytes, carbonate of lime, ochry, red ironstone, and red hematite. None of these, however, with the exception of galena, were of any consequence ; but in so far as the latter was concerned, it was one of the most productive mines that had till then been wrought, and yielded a very large quantity of lead ore, eight men having been known to raise 70 or 80 tons in the course of three months, and this was found principally to the south of the Engine Pit, and was entirely taken out. The forehead, formerly mentioned as having been carried on by Mr VVeightman, was also driven to some extent by the present Company. It stands uuder the road near to the top of Menock-hass, and, according to the testimony of one of the most respectable of the miners who was employed iu it at the time when it was given up, it had not only become a little wetter than it had been for some time previous, but likewise a little softer and more easily cut; so much so, indeed, that the miners were under the necessity of using timber to support the roof. This account is rather encouraging to future speculators; and, when taken iu conjunction with the appearance of the ground further south, leads us to infer that Margaret’s Vein is likely to prove as productive in the Menock side of the hill as it has been in other parts of its course. The quantity of ore raised during the prosecution of Margaret’s Vein, and the north end of Beltongrain Vein, amounted, for several years, to from 20 to 24,000 bars.

A short time previous to the termination of their operations at Menock-hass, the Company turned their attention to the north end of said vein, where it crosses Whitescleugh Burn. There they also established a steam-engine of sixty horse power, on the plan of the late Mr William Symington, and sunk the mine to the depth of 47 fathoms under the main level. That part of the vein which is north of the Engine Pit, was pretty rich, and produced a considerable quantity of excellent ore so far as it did bear, but having entered an extensive clay bed, which runs nearly east and west for some miles, the forehead ceased to bear ore, and the Company, of course, turned their attention more particularly to the south end of the mine, where the vein runs through the end of the Dodhill towards Straitstep proper. On this account, and also from Whitescleugh being sunk 12 or 15 fathoms deeper than Straitstep, as was shewn by a communication that was made betwixt the two miucs, the Company were enabled to take out much ore in Straitstep, which otherwise would have been lost.

The Highlandinan’s Vein lies about 30 fathoms east of Straitstep, was opened up by the Smeltiug Company, and prosecuted only a few fathoms on the south-side of the Dodhill.

Whiteseleugh was abandoned in the year 1800. The Cove Vein, so called from its great width, lies about 200 fathoms east of Straitstep, and runs through the thickest part of the Dodhill, a little to the east of the southern extremity of Herrop’s Level, continues its course nearly due south towards that side of the Dodhill, crosses the Wanlock Burn near the Schoolhouse, and enters the Stake Moss a little to the east of the Fiddler’s Bridge. The Cove Vein was first opened up by Sir James Stampfield; and soon after the commencement of his lease in 1680, that gentleman began and carried on a cross-cut from Whiteseleugh Burn, which cut the said vein ; but from the shortness of his lease (eleven years) he was unable to prosecute it to any extent. The workings in the Cove Vein were resumed by Mathew Wilson in 1691, and also by the Smelting Company in 1710; and, according to the statement of a number of the old miners, were very productive in the higher part of the vein. Mr Telfer continued to work this mine likewise with some success; and the present Company, in prosecuting Whiteseleugh cross-cut, immediately after they got their lease-cut the Cove Vein 28 fathoms lower than the drift set on by Sir James Stampfield. After this, the vein was wrought, not only north of the cross, cut to some distance, but south of it to the extent of 190 fathoms. The Company likewise sunk two sumps, each 14 fathoms in depth, from the high drift (Stampfield’s) to the lower one; and occasionally employed a few' miners as adventurers, not only in the sole of the high drift, but also in different parts of the low one, where the miners considered there was any prospect of success. About the year 1820, however, the Company turned their attention more particularly to the Cove Vein ; and, having erected a small steam-engine, and lately a more powerful one, they were enabled to sink to the depth of 40 fathoms under the main level, and to prosecute the foreheads, both north and south, to a considerable distance. The foreheads to the south were driven, in the different randoms, to the extent of from 60 to 70 fathoms ; while to the north the highest drift was cut to the distance of 110 fathoms, and the one immediately under it to somewhat less. The lower part of this groove to the north remains unexplored. About the year 1830 or 1831, the late Gilbert Laing Meason, Esq., one of the partners of, and likewise agent for, the Company, having considered the great reduction that had taken place in the price of bar lead, the difficulty experienced in raising an annual crop of eight or ten thousand bars, and the impossibility of both remunerating the Company and allowing the men fair wages for their labour, began to entertain the idea of resigning the lease, and actually, as I have been told, made the proposition to the Marquis of Bute; but his Lordship, not feeling disposed to resign his interest in the mines urged the propriety of continuing their exertions for a longer period; to which Mr Meason agreed, but at the same time resigned the agency, to the great regret of almost every individual connected with the mining establishment. The Cove Vein is more difficult to cut than some of the other veins we have mentioned, and the knots of ore are generally much shorter, although they occasionally extend, in point of width, to not less than two feet, sometimes to more.

Mr Borron, having succeeded Mr Meason in 1831 as agent, and appointed Messrs Stewart & Weir as his overseers, he very soon after erected a water press engine oil the Cove Vein, which has hitherto answered the purpose tolerably well, and by means of which the Company have been enabled to sink 10 fathoms deeper, to cut the vein six or eight fathoms south, and to operate to the depth of seven or eight fathoms on a small knot of ore in the sole of said drift. After the Cove Vein passes Herrop’s Level, it gives off a branch, which runs a few points west of south. This branch has been explored to the extent of several hundred fathoms, in three drifts, by the present Company. The lowest of these commences as low as the sole of the main level, at the Burn Shaft Foot. The middle one on a level with the dam which collected the water for Glencrieve water-wheel; and the highest one enters the Dodhill nearly opposite to, but a little higher than, the Company’s stables. This branch of the Cove Vein, generally called Lochnell, has yielded a great quantity of ore, and being level free, with the exception of a trial made in the sole of the low drift, has not only been of great advantage to the Company in a pecuniary point of view, but also from enabling them, on several occasions, when the leading veins became less productive, or the steam-engines on said veins were occasionally stopped, from the low price of lead, or any other particular circumstance, to accommodate a number of workmen till their prospects again brightened, and the various trials could be resumed with a greater prospect of success. The trial made in the sole of the low drift is near the point where Loch, nell leaves the main branch of the Cove Vein, extends to the depth of nearly 20 fathoms, and to rather more than the same extent in length, all of which midland has. been wrought out. The mine, however, has not been abandoned ; for Mr Wilson, the present agent, who succeeded Mr Borron in 1836, has erected lately a small water-press engine near the trial referred to, with the intention of exploring the ground, both north and south ; and as the prospect is rather favourable, and the quantity of water in the mine moderate, it is probable that the working will be carried to some depth, and that this vein will yield a considerable quantity of ore for some years to come.

With respect to the main branch of Cove Vein, where it passes along the south side of the Dodhill, no trial of consequence has as yet been made, although a number of the more experienced miners have long entertained favourable notions of it as a bearing vein. Some of those, indeed (oue of whom died lately), had a distinct recollection of a trial having been made, either on it, or a branch from it, where it passes through the skirt of the Dodhill, a little behind that row of houses which stands a little to the north of the Company’s workshop, in which a little lead ore was found. The late Mr John Taylor, one of the most ingenious and scientific overseers ever connected with any Company, thought favourably of this part of the Cove Vein, and for some time previous to the year 1800 had the Burn cross-cut prosecuted with a good deal of spirit, for the purpose of cutting it near the Schoolhouse, at a depth at from 25 to 30 fathoms; but his career of usefulness being arrested by the hand of death in 1806, the cross-cut was abandoned, and as not since been resumed, although the forehead is standing not many fathoms from the vein. This trial, in case of a new lease being entered into, would probably be among the first that would receive attention from the Company ; not only from its near connection with Cove Vein, but on account of other advantages, which are likely to result from the prosecution of it.

Mr Taylor was succeeded in the management of the mines by the late Mr John Bramwell, a man of an ardent and energetic mind, and a good miner, who possessed the entire confidence of the Company, and who conducted the mines with great propriety until his death in 1819. It may be mentioned here that the prosecution of Milligan’s forehead, and also of the Burn cross-cut, was stopped in opposition to the wishes of both the gentlemen mentioned.

Goldscour Vein lies a few fathoms east of Cove Vein, runs nearly parallel with it, and under the upper part of that row of houses generally called Goldscour Row. The Smelting Company opened up this vein by cutting a drift from the side of the Wanlock Burn; but it has been neglected since that period.

Crawford’s Vein lies about 80 fathoms east of Cove Vein; passes through the middle of the Dodhill; runs south near the Manse, and Company’s Office, crosses Wanlock Burn near the mouth of the Townhead main level, and enters the Stake Moss a very little to the west of Howat’s Moss. Crawford’s Vein, in the Dodhill, is pretty strong in vein stuff, and yielded a smajl quantity of ore; but the operations in it appear to have been so very trifling and so near the surface that it would be hard to say whether it is likely to bear at a greater depth. The probability is that it will do so; and should it be deemed advisable to make a trial at a greater depth, it may be done with great propriety, as soon as the Beltongrain is freed of water, by making a cross-cut due west from that vein.

Beltongrain Vein lies about 85 fathoms east of Crawford’s ; it is a very strong bold vein, and is so soft even at the depth of 60 fathoms as to require the regular use of wood. This vein was first opened up by Sir James Stampfield, carried on by Mathew Wilson, and latterly by the Smelting Company to the extent of 300 fathoms in two drifts. A water-wheel was erected on it by the latter Company ; but here, as in some other of the mining liberties, where the same measures had been adopted, the attempt was rendered in a great measure abortive from the want of surface water. The lead ore during the first trials made on the upper and south end of Beltongrain Vein does not appear to have been formed into a very regular rib, but often lay in large lumps, and in ground so soft and difficult to keep up, even with timber, that, owing to the great expense incurred, the Smelting Company were under the necessity of abandoning it. No sooner, however, had the present Company succeeded to the whole of the mining liberties in 1755, than their principal overseer, a Mr Williamson, directed his attention to the north end of Beltongrain, where it enters the Dodhill, near Whiteseleugh Burn, and, in pursuance of his plan opened a cross-cut nearly due east from Crawford's Vein, for the purpose of discovering Belton-grain, which he did 14 fathoms below the waggon sole, in the random of Stewart’s Drift. Again, the Wanlockhcad Company resumed a cross-cut which had been commenced by some of their predecessors, from the random of Cove Level, which cross-cut discovered Beltongrain a second time, 20 fathoms lower than Stewart’s Drift. The vein having looked rather promising when opened up by the first cross-cut, the managers were induced to sink a shaft from the surface, near Sandilands Drift, 14 fathoms in depth; and from the bottom of said shaft, to prosecute the vein both north and south; north, till they arrived at the surface on the south side of Whiteseleugh Glen, and south, to the distance of upwards of ‘200 fathoms. This random, generally called Waggon Drift, from waggons having been used in it for the removal of tiie lead ore, &c., was divided into three stages of nearly 100 fathoms each, with the exception of the door-stage, and at tiie end of each stage a sump was sunk 14 fathoms in depth to the random below (Stewart’s Drift). The same mode of communication was continued from Stewart’s to Kerr’s Drift, a distance of 11 fathoms; and finally to Tait’s, a distance of 9 fathoms.

Thus a communication was formed throughout every part of this extensive mine from the drift (Tait’s) to Sandilands, the highest of the series; and the mine was carried on in the most regular and scientific manner possible. As the north end of Beltongrain, like Loch-nell, was level free, so like the latter it was often had recourse to for the accommodation of the miners when difficulties occurred in other places, and seldom or never failed to remunerate the adventurous workman, provided his exertions were continued for a sufficient length of time The Beltongrain Vein here, as at Townhead (south end of the vein), was a strong bold vein, often extending to the width of 12 and 14, sometimes to 20 feet; and was occasionally wrought in double drift. Still it was much easier kept than on the south side of the Dodhill, being neither so heavy nor so soft as in that quarter. The lead ore in this part of Beltongrain was occasionally formed into one or more ribs, varying in width from 2 or 3 inches to as many feet; while at other times it lay in distinct pieces (self-lumps), and was often found mixed with Rider, brammeled, as the miners say, in which state considerable difficulty was often experienced in working it, from the number of lough-holes (Druses) it contained. The north end of this vein was very productive, even in the upper workings, and not only carried ore to a considerable height above Sandiland’s Drift, but actually to the surface of the earth, where it was got in considerable quantity by merely removing a little moss and gravel from the top of the vein. In this respect, Beltongrain appears to have been rather singular, as no other vein in this quarter, with the exception of the Cove Vein, has hitherto borne lead ore so near the surface. The present Company commenced sinking their first engine pit on the south side of the Dodhill, at that part of the Beltongrain Vein, generally called Townhead, in January, 1799; and by the end of October, 1800, with the assistance of kand-pumps, which were wrought with great difficulty, they sunk to the distance of 11 fathoms under the level. But the quantity of water in the sinking being large, and a steam-engine of sixty horse power having been created on Mr Symington’s plan for cleaning the mine of water, it was started on the 31st October, and the sinking prosecuted, though with considerable difficulty, to the depth of 56 fathoms from the surface, and 40 under the level. The first sinking was calculated to cut the vein at the depth of 56 fathoms, which it did.—The north forehead in the low random (generally called Gibson’s), as well as the south one, was prosecuted throughout the whole of 1801, 1802, and 1803 ; and as the appearance of the vein was extremely flattering, the Company were induced to commence another pit at the surface, 30 fathoms east of the former, for the purpose of cutting the vein at a greater depth. The pit was begun in Mareh, 1803, and continued with a good deal of ardour, till, in 1813, it reached the depth of 123 fathoms. During the sinking of the latter pit the foreheads and other workings immediate conected with engine farthest west were prosecuted with great activity by the late Mr John Bramwell, and also by his successors, Messrs Williamson & Bramwell. Welsh’s forehead, the highest of the series, and 10 fathoms under the level, was driven to the extent of north. Watson’s, the next in the order of descent, and 20 fathoms under the level, was cut till it formed a junction with the workings in the north side of the Dodhill; while Gibson’s, which is 40 fathoms under the level, was prosecuted to the distance of 270 fathoms north, but was abandoned by the late manager in 1831, at which period the forehead was not only lively, but had actually a rib of ore six inches wide on the Ledger side. The second engine which the Company had recourse to on Townhead Groove, an engine of 70-horse power, on Watt & Bolton’s plan, was created in the year 1806. The first fathoms that were sunk under the random of Gibson’s Drift, were accomplished with hand-pumps, after which, in consequence of the increase of water, the engine was started, and continued to move, with the exception of a few months in 1816 and 1817, till 1823 or 1824. At this time the bar lead became so much reduced in price, and the expense of coals so excessive, that it was thought advisable to abandon the lower part of the mine, at least till such time as their circumstances should improve, or Milligan’s forehead could be eut south through the Dodhill; and merely to keep the large engine created by Mr Symington in 1811 (an engine of 60-horse power), going during 'he summer months, while the feeders were low. These measures were adopted several years previous to 1831. The other part of Townhead groove, J mean that part of it which was cleared of water by Watt & Bolton’s engine, was also divided by three principal drifts, the first of which, taking them in the order of desecut, is 20 fathoms under Gibson’s, is called Boe’s, and is driven 83 fathoms north and 68 south; the second, Law’s, 20 fathoms under Boe’s, is cut 32 fathoms north, and 90 south; while Lorimer’s, the lowest of the series, is cut 80 fathoms south, There are likewise three intermediate drifts, one in the middle of each random,

With respect to the foreheads in the different randoms now referred to, none of them, I believe, can be considered as checked, and three of them at least contain small quantities of ore. As for those more immediately connected with the upper and south part of the vein, I mean Gibson’s and Watson’s foreheads, the former, although it consists entirely of rock, has still a very fair Ledger, and probably may open at no great distance from where it stands; while Watson’s has not only a considerable quantity of mother, but also a little rider mixed with lcad-oie, and certainly would have been prosecuted but for the chance of overburdening the engine with an increase of water.

The most extensive knot of ore that occurred in the Townhead groove was first discovered in Gibson’s random, and extended 50 fathoms north, and from 15 to 20 south. In Boe’s the same knot reached 50 fathoms north, and 45 south ; in Law’s drift, 42 north, and 65 south; and in Lorimer’s, the lowest of the series, it extended 70 fathoms in length, in the highest 10 fathom; of the midland; whilst in the last ten it was considerably shorter, and in the sole of the drift one place only was deemed worthy of trial, which trial extended to 7 fathoms in depth, and a few fathoms in length. Thus the extent of said knot, in point of height, would not amount to less than from SO to 90 fathoms, while its medium length could not be less than 80-a deposit of ore hitherto unequalled in this district, whether we take into consideration the quality or quantity of the ore raised. And as I am rather below than above its aggregate extent, those individuals who are conversant in mining affairs will be able to form some idea of the prodigious quantity of ore which so rich a mine must have produced. Independent of this principal deposit, several others of less extent were found in the different randoms, as well as in different strings or branches, which occasionally diverge from the course of the vein, a number of which have not yet been fully explored. The medium width of this excellent knot of ore might amount to 8 or 9 inches, or perhaps more.

Having stated thus much respecting what has already been done in Townhead groove, I may also observe that much may yet be done in that quarter, provided proper measures be adopted for freeing the mine of water; and as that object can be effected only by prosecuting the late Mr Taylor’s plan, I would beg leave, therefore, to recommend it to the attention of future speculators as well worthy of their notice. It is this— immediately after establishing the first steam-engine on Beltongrain Vein, at the Townhead, and perceiving that a second one would be necessary, he began, with a view to lessen the expense, to cut Milligan’s forehead south, through the Dodhill. This plan he iu part realised, but it was given up a short time after his death. Milligan’s forehead is the lowest connected with Beltongrain vein on the north side of the Dodhiil; it is 28 fathoms lower than Tait’s drift, and had it been continued would have entered the first sunk engine pit at the Townhead, 3 or 4 fathoms from its bottom, and consequently the largest and most expensive engine wonld have been entirely set aside; Milligan’s drift would have been converted into the main level, the forehead would have been cut into the Stakemoss-hill, under 50 fathoms cover, and might have been continued, if necessary, to the extremity of the mining boundary. Further, by this means the lower part of Townhead groove might have been wrought at a trifling expense, and the continuation of Milligan’s drift cut quite through the Stakemoss-hill; and thus it would not only have explored the Beltongrain Vein, where it crosses the Mossy Burn, and where the ground looks well, but might have become the centre of communications with other veins through the medium of cross-cuts driven east or west, as the case required. The number of lead bars raised when the Townhead groove was most productive amounted for several years to 20,000 or upwards; and one season to 24,000; at which period the lead was selling from £30 to £40 per ton. The following are a few of the minerals which are frequently found in Townhead groove, viz. :—Ochre of Manganese, Quartz, Calamine, Phosphate of Lead, Brown Iron Ochre, Carbonate of Lead, Sulphate of Lead, Carbonate of Lime, Heavy Spar, and Vanadiate of Lead. Milligan’s forehead has been resumed a few months ago, and may be considered as a prime measure in the prosecution of Townhead groove ; at least, so thought Mr Taylor, the projector of the plan. Mr Williamson and Mr John Bramwell, I have reason to believe, entertain the same ideas, and the opinions of both these gentlemen are entitled to notice.

New Vein is a branch or string from Beltongrain, and lies about 20 fathoms east of the same, opposite Waggon Drift. It was first tried about 1780 by making a cross-cut from Stewart’s drift, and several tons of ore were got in the sole of the drift with the assistance of hand-pumps. A trial is at present being made ten fathoms lower by making a cross-cut from Kerr’s drift, but the vein is not very promising. Lee’s vein lies about 70 fathoms east of Beltongrain, and has been wrought to some extent not only in the ridge, which is situated between the Dodhill and Greenburn, but likewise in the Stakemoss. No lead ore has as yet been found in this vein, nor is it expected that any will be procured while her soils continue to be impregnated with such a proportion of iron as has hitherto been found in the different places where trials have been made. That species of iron which occurs in Lee’s vein is generally called Hematite, and assumes the appearance of Kidney-formed balls; colour, brownish red, and sometimes approaching to steel grey.

The last vein in the mining liberties of Wanlockhead lies about 60 fathoms east of Lee’s, and has been tried in the Stakemoss-hill by a crosscut made from the latter nearly due east. It has also been tried, but to very little extent, in the foot of the Dodhill on the north side of the county road, and a few fathoms south of the highest point of the road which passes into Wanlockhead from Leadhills. This vein on the Leadhills side of the March Dyke is called Stay-voyage, and has produced ore in several parts of its course, and should it be thought worthy of prosecution on the Wanlock side, a second cross cut may be made from Lee’s Vein, where it enters the Dodhill; and if the vein happen to bear at this point a better trial still may be made by cutting from the eastmost Engine Pit, at Townhead. The soils of Staj -voyage are more favourable in appearance than those of Lee’s, and at the time when the trial was made near the Hillhead it had every appearance of soon bearing ore.

Having enumerated the different veins included in the mining liberties of Wanlockhead, and mentioned, in a summary manner, the respective excavations that have been made in these, I may also observe that, there are several other veins beyond the present boundary in which the indica tions are very flattering; and, further, that as all the Wanlockhead veins run through a part of the farms of Glenim and Auchingrongh, it is reasonable to suppose that there likewise depositions of ore would be found. Indeed, from the indications observed in different parts of the farm of Glenim in particular, the supposition amounts almost to a certainty, and will no doubt be turned by future speculators to the best account. The veins in the Wanlockhead district, generally, preserve a course nearly north and south, dip to the east under an angle of from 60 to 70 decrees, or, in the miner’s phrase, they hade one fathom in three—that is to say, three fathoms in depth, with said slope or hade, make one fathom in horizontal breadth from the perpendicular. With regard to the drifts cut on the veins, none of them are straight lines, but vary in the course of working southward, between from 5 to 15 degrees east of south, to 15 west of south ; as the miners generally follow the steeking, or soft parts in its turnings and windings. Nevertheless, the veins cannot be said to vary much in their course, when taken as a whole, since the medium point in all is found to be almost due north and south. The width of the veins docs not continue the same throughout their whole extent, but varies from 1 or 2 inches to 20 feet, sometimes to more ; while the length and depth of the bearing parts have a certain proportion to one another. The depth of veins in the Wanlockhead district varies from 40 to 127 fathoms. It has not yet been exactly ascertained to what length the veins extend north and south, as they have not been properly traced on the surface ; but it cannot be calculated at less than from three to four miles in a direct line, or perhaps more.

The substance of the majority of the veins is generally separated from the transition rocks through which they pass, but occasionally this is not the case, as the substances of which they are composed are now and then intimately mixed with the walls. The ore is generally found lying on the Ledger side in a dense compact mass running parallel with the sides of the vein, which mass varies in width from 1 to 18 inches and upwards. When it occurs in the first-mentioned state, it is called by the miners a rib of ore ; when wider, say three feet, a body or belly of o e ; and when found in numerous pieces without any regular connection between them it is said to be iu self lumps ; when it occurs in the latter state the vein is commonly filled with blackish brown coloured ochre of manganese. Some of the veins are composed of comparatively few materials, such as lead glance or common galena, with a little clayisli-looking substance, ochre of manganese, and quartz; while others again, and even the same vein, at different places, contain a much greater variety of mineral substances. When the vein is composed of different layers, as is often the case, the following arrangement is sometimes met with, viz.:—Oil the ledger side, an inconsiderable quantity of clayish looking substance, then 2 or 3 inches of ochre of manganese, then lead glance, then quartz, mixed occasionally with copper pyrites ; and then ochre of manganese with carbonate of lime. The above arrangement, however, must not by any means be considered as a general one, as it frequently happens that the structure of the vein is much more complicated, while at other times it assumes an extremely simple form, particularly when the walls of the mine contract, being sometimes without any mineral substance whatever, with the exception of common galena. It is not unfrequently the ease, also, that a part of the vein is found completely filled with quartz and galena, so intimately blended together that it is with the greatest difficulty the two can be separated even with the use of the strongest gunpowder ; and, what renders the mining of it even more complicated, it occasionally assumes a kind of honeycomb appearance ; or, as the miners express it, it contains a great many of lough-holes (Druses), which the greatest sagacity and care cannot always elude in the course of boring. In the veins of Wanlockhead none of those extensive openings or unfilled spaces occur which have been represented as frequently presenting themselves in some other mines; small openings, however, do sometimes occur, the interior of which exhibit not only a great variety of crystalline formations, but the finest both in point of lustre and form that can possibly be conceived. A druse of this kind occurred in a part of the Beltongrain Vein a few years ago.

Its sides were formed by the division of a rib of ore into two branches near the sole of the drift, which diverged as they ascended, until the intermediate space extended at least 2 feet, at which point they again converged, and rejoined near the roof of the drift. The sides of the cavity were partly lined with crystallized quartz, mixed in some places with phosphate of lead of a beautiful green colour, while in other parts sulphate and carbonate of lead, with carbonate of lime, were seen assuming their various crystalline forms. The lustre and formation of the different specimens were extremely beautiful, and appeared much improved by the light of the candle, particularly when it was placed in the middle of the cavity so as to produce its full effect. The walls of the mine are generally hard and compact, except where the vein is very strong; but when this is the case it has the effect of softening them even to the extent of two and three fathoms from the centre. The veins are frequently divided into a number of branches, which shoot out from the sides of the principal trunk in different directions, and either terminate gradually in the rock, or by turning a little to the east or west, as the case may be, again join it at some distance. With respect to the formation of veins, it lias been suggested by some philosophers, and among others by Hutton, that these mineral repositories have, generally speaking, been filled up from the interior, or bowels of the earth, having been projected upwards by an extraordinary expansive force. While others again entertain the opinion that, at a certain period of time, the materials of which the veins are composed were mingled together in one common mass, and suspended in an immense quantity of fluid, which covered the earth, and from which it was that these minerals were deposited. But these theories, although extremely ingenious, and well calculated to please and amuse the speculative geologist, do not sufficiently account for the structure, relative position, and mode of formation of the different mineral substances which compose the veins in this quarter ; as neither the rocks in general, which the veins traverse, nor the walls of the different mines in particular, indicate such a deviation from their natural position as can prove that these veins have been filled up from below, or that any extreme violence had taken place in their formation. Indeed, had such power been called into operation, it might naturally enough have been expected that not only dislocations of the strata would have been met with, but that the quantity of mineral substances deposited would have increased as the different excavations approached the point at which the expansive force had been applied; and, consequently, that the mines would have increased in richness as they increased in depth. Unfortunately, however, for the theory referred to, every fact hitherto ascertained regarding these mines, is in direct opposition to it; for it is an undoubted truth that none of them have as yet carried lead ore beyond the depth of 127 fathoms, at which depth the ore has generally disappeared, and the walls of the mine contracted not only laterally, but also north and south. This occurrence is always considered as a sure indication that the mine has reached its utmost depth, and, of course, that the adventurous miner must turn his attention to some other part more likely to remunerate him for his precarious and often profitless exertions. With regard to the theory of the celebrated Werner, the one most generally admitted, and whieh inculcates the idea that the veins have been filled from above, it appears equally ill calculated to account for the phenomena observed, for had the veins been filled from above, and had the materials of which they are composed been actually held in solution, and as the Wernerian hypothesis implies, covered such an extent of surface as the mining boundary of Wanlockhead and neighbourhood, does it not appear rational to suppose that agreeable to the ordinary laws of gravitation the venigenous materials should have assumed a different arrangement, namely, the horizontal position ; and, farther, that the extent of the deposition would have been found in exact proportion to the extent of the situation, whereas the arrangement in every respect is nearly the reverse. The deposition or depositions, instead of taking a horizontal position, are found, as formerly mentioned, to approach much nearer to the perpendicular, to occur only at certain distances, and generally without any venigenous matter in the interstices. Since, then, these are the general appearances in the Wanlockhead mines, and the minerals, generally speaking, are found to have assumed an arrangement decidedly different from what must have occurred had the Wernerian hypothesis been correct, the substances of the veins being found to lie parallel with the walls of the mine, and not at right angles—we are led to infer the incompetency of this theory also, to account for the phenomena ; and constrained to look to future geologists for a more rational solution of this interesting problem. It has been suggested by some other philosophers, who are disposed to call in question the correctness of the above-mentioned speculations, that minerals are produced by means of subterranean exhalations, or from some fermentation in the earth, or from the general crystallization of the globe. But these notions, although some of them may approximate to the truth, have had even a more ephemeral repute than either of the other hypotheses; and have been looked upon more as proofs of a fertile imagination than as a rational explanation of the phenomena in question. In treating of veins, one of the first things generally taken into consideration is the date of their formation, to which epoch geologists appear to assign a more recent period than they do to the rocks which the veins traverse ; an opinion assumed apparently not so much with a design to account for the progress of those arrangements in which the veins are at present found, but merely for the support of a particular theory, of which the above assumption is considered to form a very essential portion. But I shall not attempt at present to inquire whether or not the very slender knowledge of the internal structure of veins possessed by most geologists, warrants them to draw such conclusions. It is sufficient to observe that, with respect to the filling up of veins, the facts stated regarding those referred to certainly make against those parts of the two principal theories which attempt to explain that circumstance. As to the period at whieh they were filled up, every appearence, in my opinion, both external and internal, is in favour of a contemporaneous origin. Having made these observations respecting the Huttonian and Wernerian theories, I may mention that from several facts which have come under my observation, and likewise from particular statements made to me by other individuals, I have for some time entertained the opinion that the formation of minerals, iu this district at least, is the result of a daily process ; that the constituent parts of each mineral exist in the veins, and in the rocks by which they are surrounded ; and that affinity, electricity, or some other powerful cause has arranged them, by a determinate rule, into the different forms which the minerals generally assume. In hazarding this opinion, I do not mean to assume that the walls of the mines, and the veins which they contain are capable of acting on each other so as to produce an identity of substance and nature, as is the case in the animal and vegetable kingdoms ; all I contend for is, that the elements of these bodies are not only governed by their peculiar laws, but that their power of action on other elements is governed by laws subordinate to those by which their own parts are kept together, which laws are as fixed and unchangeable as in tlie complicated mechanism of the human frame. Indeed, when we take into consideration the numerous crystallizations which are inet with in the different mines, each retaining its geometrieal form in a perfect manner; and consider also that all substances, in order to be crystallized, require that their integrant particles should be separated from each other by the intervention of a medium in which they can move freely; we must allow that it is no small corroboration of the above position. I may also observe, in a cursory manner, that it has long been the opinion of a number of the miners in the Wanlockhead district that lead ore grows; and although none of them have ever ventured to say in what manner they consider that process to be carried on —I presume they mean by accretion; and, as the miners are, many of them, men of intelligence and observation, their opinion is certainly entitled to some weigh.. The late ingenious Mr John Taylor appears also to have been impressed with a similar idea, for in his solicitude to acquire all the information possible while he superintended the mining operations at Wanlockhead, he had pieces of glass placed in different parts of the mines, so that a drop of water might fall incessantly upon them ; and he invariably found that the result was a formation of crystals on the surface of the glass. In opening up a mine a short time ago which had been neglected for forty or fifty years numerous crystallizations were observed on different parts of the walls and bottom of the mine, and although none of them were analysed, it may be inferred from these appearances that they were of the same nature as those collected by Mr Taylor ; so that when these facts, in conjunction with other circumstances, are taken into consideration, we cannot but admit the probability, that the formation of lead ore is the result of a similar process; and farther, if the regular percolation of the water through the above mentioned vein could have been preserved, the crystals allowed to remain undisturbed, and to be observed by succeeding generations throughout the various stages of their increase, and their progress accurately recorded, there is every reason to suppose that they would not only have been found to meet, but to unite, and, moreover, to form the nuclei of other knots of ore. These ideas respecting the formation of veins have been entertained by the writer of this sketch for many years; and although they may seem startling and even improbable to those of his readers who have not paid much attention to the subject, yet they will be borne out by the observations of the scientific; and it is with some degree of satisfaction that he refers to the recent experiments of Mr Cross, some of which were detailed at the meeting of the British Association at Bristol in 1836—an account of which may be seen in the Athenxum of that period by any person who is curious upon the subject.

Native Silver—so called, because it is nearly in a state of purity—is seldom or never found in the Wanlockhead district. Neither have silver ores been found; but a small portion of this metal is known to exist in the ores of lead, which, when extracted by the Messrs Telfer during their lease, was found to amount to from eight to ten ounces in the ton of lead ore. Be it this quantity, it appears, was not sufficient to cover the additional expense incurred in separating it—an expense probably enhanced by the imperfect manner in which the process was conducted; consequently, the practice was relinquished as unprofitable. The lead glance likewise contains a small proportion of antimony and arscnic, a considerable part of the former generally disappearing during the process of smelting the lead ore, on account of its volatile nature; and a part of the latter attaching itself to the impurities of the ore in the form of a slag. This being transferred to the slag furnace, is easily recognised in the slag-lead bars not only from its rendering them brittle, but from their fracture assuming a radiated appearance.

The levels which are at present connected, or are nearly connected, with the veins which have been mentioned, and which cut them in different parts of their course, are as follows, viz. : — Glenglass level, Main level, Stampfield level, Whiteseleugh cross-cut, Burn cross-cut, Townhead level, and Menockhass cross-cut, with several subordinate ones which have been mentioned in the course of this narrative.

The distance I have mentioned as existing between the different veins is conformable to the situation which they occupy on the south side of Dodhill; nevertheless, it is not given from actual measurement, and therefore is not to be entirely relied on, although the writer is satisfied that it will be found pretty near the truth. The above observations, taken in conjunction with the plain and well-executed drawings of Mr John Bramwell, will serve as a tolerably good exhibition of the past and present state of the mines at Wanlockhead.

The following- supplementary account is by Mr Edmond, schoolmaster, Wanlockhead, and describes the new and improved processes for the preparation of the lead, and the present condition of the works :—

Towards the close of the lease of the Wanlockhead Mining Company, the mines were in great measure unproductive. Few workmen were employed, the machinery was mostly primitive and worn out, and the prospect of successful mining almost hopeless. In 1842 the Duke of Buccleuch took the mines under his own care. Skilful management, with new and improved machinery, led to the opening out of veins that yielded largely and steadily for years, bringing profit to the proprietor and prosperity generally to the village. These operations were conducted most successfully in the Cove Vein and New Glencrieff. Later, the work has also been carried on in the Bay and Straitsteps veins. The works in the Lochnell part of the Cove Vein are now stopped.

The structure of veins varies. The description of New Gleuerieff Vein (open 1868), given in Memoirs of the Geological Survey, is as follows : —

“The vein here heads to the east at 70°—75°. Beginning at the east or ‘hanger’ side, the order of metals is as under :—

(a) Greywaeke, part of the general Silurian rock or \country.’

(b) ‘Black Jack’ (Zinc blende), decomposing into clay, ½ inch.

(c) ‘Vein Stuff,’ Greywaeke ground up, and mixed with quartz, 14 inch.

(cl) Calespar, ½ inch to 1 inch.

(e) Galena, ½ inch.

(f) Vein Stuff, similar to c. Quartzose, and graduating into pure Quartz near the floor of the level, 2 to 3 inches.

(g) Blue Greywaeke, joints veined with calcareous matter, 3½ feet.

(h) Hard, fine, compact Quartz, with iron pyrites iu ‘flowers’—i.e., the crystals arc scattered through the mass, and are not compacted, 7 inches.

(k) Alternating irregular layers of Barytes and Galena, 8 inches.

(I) Vein Stuff, similar to c, 4 inches.

(m) Greywaeke (the ‘ ledger side ’ of the vein), marked with vertical sliekensides.

"The section is about six feet high. A *string’ of Black Jack commences at the roof of the level in g, and cuts through all the layers to m, which it enters near the floor; a, g, and m are ‘country.’ The other layers and the ‘string’ are properly the vein. The veins vary at every step, and are sometimes remarkably rich in lead ores; while, on the other hand, the levels are sometimes driven for many fathoms without meeting with any.”

The principle mineral ore found is Galena or sulphide of lead. Associated with it are the prodnets of its own alteration—sulphate, carbonate, and phosphate of lead—and ziue blende, with carbonate and silicate of zinc; also, iron and copper pyrites, and the ‘waste’ or earthy minerals— caleite, aragonite, dolomite, barytes, and quartz, &c.

All the mineral substances in the subjoined list have been found in Wanlockhead:—Anglesite, Aragonite, Baryte, Blende, Calamine (Carbonate of Zinc)? Caleite, Caledonite, Cerussite, Chessylite (?), Chlorite, Chrysoeolla, Copper Pyrite, Dolomite, Fluor (one specimen known), Galena, Gold, Greenoekite, Hematite, Iron Pyrite, Jamesonite, Kupfer-niekel, Limonite, Linaritc, Mimetite, Mountaiuwood, Plumboealeite, Pluinbonaerite (new mineral), Plattuerite, Pyromorphite, Quartz, lloek Crystal, Silver (in lead only), Smithsonite, Vanadinite, Wad.

Gold has been found on surface in allnvium, and also in situ in quartz. Dr Wilson has several specimens with gold visible in quartz. Of the gold-bearing quartz reefs known, the narrow are the best, yielding 5 cwt. to the ton; the wider, about dwt. to the ton. No specimens of native silver have been found. Kupfernickel rich, the specimen picked up by Dr Wilson on the mine heaps, came from part of a mine now closed.

Some years ago I visited the new Glenerieff vein in company with one of the miners who worked in it. I was advised to put on old clothes, and to be prepared for some hard work. We did not go down by the shaft used for drawing the lead to the surface, nor did we have the benefit of a cage as in a coal mine, nor of the kibble used for raising the work from the workings; but having lighted open lamps, and fastened them ‘by a hook to our hats, so as to leave both hands free, we began descending a ladder. It was found peeping through the surface at a considerable distance from the mouth of the main shaft. The ladders are each about 18 feet, resting on a stage or platform. We got quickly down several lengths, and I was just beginning to feel shaky when we got to a gallery. It was dry looking, and very much soot-blaekened with the smoke from the miners’ lamps. If was about 6 feet high by 4 feet wide, so there was plenty of room for one to walk upright. Passing along this gallery we came to the main shaft, and crossing it we kept along the gallery till we came on a party of miners at work. They used candles to light them, and were preparing a hole for a blast of gunpowder or dynamite. One held the jumper, while another used the hammer. The rock seemed to be very hard, and needed firm and careful striking to make progress. On coming back to the shaft, and in passing over the lead thrown back by the miners for the drawers to take away, I forgot the warning I had received to keep my head down, and got a severe scratch on the top of the head. I got my lamp lighted again, and we went down, down, and through other galleries, saw some rich parts of the vein and some of the poorer places, where the vein of lead seemed mere threads between layers of vein stuff, black jack, quartz, and greywacke or “country.” Down the ladder shaft again, till we reached the bottom at a depth of 170 fathoms. We elbowed our way up a chimneylike hole called a “risediaul,” and got into a low gallery called a “roost.” This was where my companion worked, and the gallery was just in trim for receiving a visitor, as the last blast had thrown open a large dense, or cavern, beautifully coated with crystals of quartz, cale-spar, &e., dotted with glittering studs of pyrites. We plied the hammers which were standing about, and soon had as many specimens as we would be able to carry to the surface. This part of the mine seemed close and smoky, and the temperature higher than in other levels, where the air seemed quite cool and good. We began the aseeut, and I was thoroughly tired and crampy long before we came near grass.

Preparation of the Ore.—The Galena, as raised from the mine, is mixed in a greater or less degree with the associated mineral and “waste” substances. Near the shaft mouth are “coups,” where the “drawers” or labourers place in separate lots the ore sent up by each party of miners. It is sent by tram-road to the crushing and washing mills. Here it is sorted and sized by boys. It is next crushed between rollers in a powerful machine driven by water power. By means of a revolving table and elevator, the crushed ores are conveyed to an arrangement of sieves, whence the different sized ores are carried to large wooden boxes. By an ingenious method, the quartz, spar, &e., are separated from the Galena. Water is sent by a very strong jerking or “jigging ” movement from the bottoms of the boxes upwards. This has the effect of lifting the lighter earthy substances to the surface, where they arc scraped off. The Galena, being heaviest, sinks lower with eaeh movement, and is taken off underneath. The very fine particles of lead cannot be separated from the muddy matter in this way. These are run with a current of water on a conical circular floor, over which revolves a perforated tube, like the spray tube of a water cart. The jets of water from this tube wash the muddy matter towards the circumference, while the heavier (lead) particles are deposited around the centre of the floor. This clever and ancient machine is called a “buddle.” The dressed ore is now sent to the smelting works, which are situated more than a mile from the village. These are very extensive, and consist of—Roasting furnaces, slag hearths, ordinary open hearths, refinery, silver furnace, assaying apparatus, stores, smoke-chambers, &e. The ore is heated on a hearth, to which air has free access. Sulphurous aeid, with oxide and sulphate of lead are produced. The gaseous portions pass off by the chimney, the other impurities form a slag, while the molten metal runs into an iron pot, and is then ladled into moulds. The lead is not yet ready for the market. Almost all lead contains a proportion of silver, this in Wanlockhead amounts to from 8 to 10 oz. per ton. With the improved machinery now available for the purpose, and in use here, the extraction of the silver yields a profit of itself, besides materially improving the quality of the lead by rendering it softer. Large quantities of lead are recovered annually from the smoke of the smelting furnaces. This was formerly blown out at a short chimney and fell, dealing death or sickness to animal and vegetable life for a mile or two around. So impregnated was the surface soil with the lead smoke, that if a turf or peat eut from the ground affected were put into a fire, melted lead eonld be seen dropping underneath. The people, too, suffered from the “mill-reek,” as it was called. There are still cases of lead-poisoning among the lead-smelters and miners, but they are less common and much less severe than formerly. Since the use of dynamite in the mines, a new form of disease has appeared. Some of the miners use small lead for “tamping” the holes in blasting. This, on the explosion of the dynamite, forms a gas, and being inhaled by the miners, causes poisoning by dynamite and lead. Cases of dynamite-poisoning also occur.

The smoke from the hearths is now led through a series of chambers, where much of it is cooled and deposited. The remaining portion travels through long-winding underground passages, where the greater portion of it is secured. The very small portion that finally escapes is comparatively harmless, and, by fencing off a few acres surrounding the chimney, danger to the sheep on the adjacent pastures is entirely removed.

The vents and smoke chambers are cleaned periodically, and hundreds of tons of a bluish-white powder taken from them. This is in a great measure composed of lead, and, after being damped and roasted is reduced to pig lead by the ordinary process. The lead got from the smoke contains no silver. The silver is extracted from the lead by Pattinson’s process of crystallization. In a large shed are placed a range of pots, each capable of holding five tons of lead. Each pot is placed over a large fire. About five tons of lead are placed in the middle pot. The mass is melted, the fire taken off, and, while the metal is cooling, crystals of lead form. These are strained out in a large perforated ladle, and placed in the next pot to the left. The heating, cooling, and straining are repeated, till, at the third crystallization, little or no silver is left in the mass, which is cast into moulds a second time, and is now silver - refined lead—ready for market. The metal left in the bottom of each pot is rich in silver, and is lifted towards the right. It is very rich iu silver, and the lead is now got rid of by a process of cupellation. It is run in a melted state into a furnace having a bed of bone-ash. The blast oxidises the lead, which flows over the edge of the bed, leaving pure silver in the furnace. The oxide of lead or litharge from this furnace may again be reduced to lead, but is often sent direct to market, and is used in manufacturing paints, &c.

The annual crop of lead is from 1700 to 1800 tons; worth between £24,000 and £25,000. The annual yield of silver is about 12,000 oz., value over £2000.

Gold.—Such is the story of the lead mines of the district, but in early times it was better known as a gold-producing land.

M‘Kenzie, in his “History of Scotland,” has a chapter on gold-finding, in which he says :—“Scotland occupies a respectable position in the list of countries which once produced gold. The treasure, it is to be feared, is now exhausted, and but a poor hope left for the dreamer who would renew the search. But there was a period, stretching certainly over many centuries, during which the precious metal was found in Scotland, and this not in solitary particles, whose deceitful glitter excited only to disappoint the expectations of the finder. Our forefathers searched for gold in a systematic manner, and positively obtained it in very satisfactory quantities. Indeed, Scotland was at oue time regarded by her southern neighbours as an El Dorado, the working of whose gold mines was certain to afford an abundant return. In our age, of which gold-seeking is a great characteristic fact, it is not without interest to recall the almost forgotten chain of circumstances which show that on our own hills, and in our own valleys, were oncc enacted the scenes whereby California and Australia have grown famous. Our streams rolled over sands of gold at a time when the bear, and the wolf, and the wild horse drank of their waters in the deep stillness of the primeval forest. Ages before our earliest written record—in a dim antiquity, whose single ray of light gleams from the graves of the dead—we know that our savage ancestors had learned to prize ornaments of gold. And as they had then little or no intercourse with foreign countries —certainly none which would attract the precious metal to their shores — we have no difficulty in concluding that their gold was native. Iu many graves belonging to the Stone Period, massive bracelets of the purest gold have been found encircling the neck and arm of some mouldering skeleton. It was the custom of the time to bury with the dead the things they most prized in life, and those seem often to have been their ornaments. Passing lightly over many silent centuries, and advancing far into the Historic Period, we find in the 9th century an evidence that gold was largely used in Scotland. It is again the vanity of our ancestors to which we are indebted. At that time our country was much troubled by the Norsemen. These vagrant heroes had the happy instinct of preserving a record of their exploits in such rugged strains as the poetical skill of the age placed within their reach. Many of these songs have reached us, aud are a curious and useful legacy, in consideration of which we are disposed to regard with leniency the otherwise inexcusable proceedings which they celebrate In many of them there is assigned to the warriors, along with such fierce degrees as ‘feeders of wolves,’ that of ‘exacters of rings,’ and the poor Scotch are designated the ‘forlorn wearers of rings.’ We will not suspect our fathers of wearing, or the Norsemen of coming so far to exact, rings of any meaner substance than gold, and that gold, there is no reason to doubt, was native.”

In the time of James IV. the search for the philosopher’s stone, which should turn all other metals into gold, was attracting the credulous in all countries. James established a laboratory in Stirling Castle, and an Italian alchemist was established there to pursue the search. Here is Bishop Lesley’s account of an incident connected with it :—“This tyme thair was ane Italian with the King, quha wes maid Abbot of Tungland, and wes of curious ingyne. He causit the King believe that he, be multiplyinge and utheris his inventions, soold mak fine gold of uther metall, quhilk science he called Quintassencc, qnliairupon the King maid grait cost, but all in vaine. This Abbot tuik in hand to flie with wingis of fedderis, quhilkis beand fessinit upon him, he flew off the castell wall of Striveling, bot shortlie he fell to the grnnd and brak his thie bane. Bot the wyte thairof he ascryvit to that thair wes some lieu fedderis in the wingis, quhilk yarnit and covet the mydding and not the skyis. ”

James V. was an anxious gold seeker. In 1526 he leased the gold mines to some German “ mynours,’ who seem to have been successful. They found gold iu pieces of 3. oz weight, and altogether amounting in value to £100,000 English money. When James was about to marry Magdalen, the French princess, the French ambassadors sneered at his barren country, whereupon James caused covered dishes filled with “bonnet-pieces,” coined from Scottish gold, to be placed before each guest as the fruit of his barren country.

Skilled miners were sent over by her father to the Scottish gold mines, and again the search was successful. The Treasury records of that time say that 100 oz. of “gold from the myne” were issued for the purpose of making a Crown for the Queen, for which 35 oz. were set apart, making or adding to the King’s Crown 3 lb. 10 oz., a belt for the Queen, 19½ oz. It is very possible, therefore, that the old Scottish Crown is formed of native Scottish gold.

Some slight notice is taken of the miucs during the time of Queen Mary, and during the reign of James VI. English influence wns strong, and the mines were wrought with English money, but all the gold found passed first to the Scottish mint for coinage, after which nine-tenths of the yield were paid over to the linders.

In 1583, it is stated that the mines have come to be unproductive through “non putting of men of knowledge and judgment to the inventing and seiken of the samen,” and the “haill golden, silver, copper, tin, and leedin mynes within this realme of Scotland” were forthwith let to a Fleming— Eustaehius Roelie, medicinar, for a period of 21 years. This tenant also failed to satisfy the Parliament, and they cancelled the engagement, stating at the same time that the King was “in use to let the haill mynes within their dominions to one or two strangers for a small duty, who neither had substance to cause labour or work the 100th part of any one of the said mines, nor yet instructed other lieges in this realme in the knowledge thereof, whieh is more than notour by the doings of the present tacksman of the mines, who neither works presently, nor has wrocht these many years, nor ever has searched, sought, or discoverit any new metals since his entry, nor has instructed any of the lieges of the country in that knowledge ; and which is most inconvenient of all, has made no sufficient payment of the duty to our Sovereign Lord's treasury.”

We next hear that a eertain George Douglas, of Parkhead, was “myning” in Leadhills, and “was slaine with the fall of the bray after a great weet; that when found he had good store of gold about him, and was ‘ burried better than any of his kindred had bin of long time before,” which was, I should think, small consolation to George Douglas.

The Baron of Newbattle next got a grant of the Crawford-muir district, and the Charter mentions this as a part of the country most exposed to robbery, theft, and forays, and whatever may have brought the raiders into such a bleak moorland district, the description seems to have been no exaggeration, for there are dozens of farmhouse castles on the banks of the different streams in the district, and you may now and again hear some of the old people speak of the raids and clan fights, and especially of the Annandale thiefs, as if those doings were not very remote.

We now come to the most notable of the gold-seekers, “Mr Bevis Bulmer, an ingenious gent.” He was induced to come to Scotland by Foulis, who had an interest in the lead mines. He was furnished with recommendations from Queen Elizabeth, and being sacked in this way, the Scottish Parliament granted him permission to search for gold and silver mines in the Leadhills. He had plenty of energy, started with 300 men, and in three years had found gold to the value of £100,000. He ereeted buildings and machinery for the better detection of the small gold. These arc spoken of as “a goodly watercourse, sundry damines, scowrers for the washing of gold, store house, and dwelling-houses.” Over the doorway of his own house was inscribed—

“In Wanlock, Elvan, and Glengoner
I won my riches and my honour.”

One of the principal rows of houses in Wanlockhead still bears the name of the “Gold Scours.” Bulmer had enterprise and energy enough, and had the power—common enough—of getting money, but seemed to have been unable to keep it when he had got it. He had speculations in different parts of the country; for instance, he was connected with mines in his native district, in the north of England; he had interests with the Queen of England, which procured for him the post of “Farmer of Duty on Seaborne coals.” He worked lead mines in Mendip, in Somersetshire; and in Devonshire—this last was undertaken mainly in quest of silver. He also brought silver-lead from Ireland to be refined at his works in Devonshire. He wrote a book on mining, called “Bulmer’s Skill,” in which he recorded his “acts, works, and devices.” These “acts, works, and devices” attracted the attention of King James, now on the throne of England, and a kind of joint-stock company was formed for gold winning in Scotland. It was called the royal “plot of the golden mynes.” Each shareholder who advanced £300 towards the scheme was to be knighted. .They started hopefully in the expectation that the “workes of theire hands will be blessed, and come to a good end, to God’s glory, the King’s profitt, and a benefit to the common weale, as in other countries and nations.” The Secretary, Earl of Salisbury, opposed the scheme, and few knights were made. Sir Bevis Bulmer, however, came to the Leadhills to begin the new venture, but was soon attracted to Linlithgow, where some silver had been found ; from there he removed to Alston Moor in Cumberland, where he died.

Steven Atkinson, who was taught mining skill by Bulmer, writes rather bitterly of him—that “he had always too many irons in the fire,” that he “wasted much himself,” and had “ too many prodigall wasters hanging on every shoulder of him;” that he “gave liberally for to be honoured, praised, and magnified,” and thereby was impoverished; that he “followed vices that were not allowable of God nor man; and so, once down aye downe, and at last he died,” says Steven, “in my debt £340 starling, to my great hindrance. God forgive us all our sinnes.” This Steven Atkinson also tried to revive the old plan of the knights of the golden mynes, and wrote his book on “Discoverie and Historie of the Gold Mynes in Scotland” in hope of attaining his end. The King had already expended a large sum on the mines, and refused to be “let in” for more expense. Atkinson had no better success with the London merchants, who gave him plainly to understand that they would adventure nothing in Scottish gold-mining; and since his time, or from about the year 1620, no systematic or continued search has been made for gold in the treasure-house of the Leadhills.

Present Gold Finds.—But although there is no continuous and systematic work done on the gold-bearing region of the south of Scotland, there is every now and then a small spurt given to the search by the finding of some small nuggets, or by some searcher being fortunate enough to strike soil extra rich in gold dust.

On such occasions as the marriage of any member of the Buccleuch or Hopetoun families, it is usual for the miners to tnrn out and collect as much gold as will make a brooch, rings, or other ornaments. Few of the miners ever try gold washing as a means of earning money, although there are instances of successful ventures in this way. It is stated that one of the old gold seekers had to stop his operations as unsuccessful when his miners’ wages rose above 4d a day. But as much as £20 have been earned by a miner during one summer’s washing, and that in his leisure after doing his usual “shifts” as a lead miner. Dr John Brown says that “every now and then a miner, smit with the sacred hunger, takes to the deluding, feckless work, and seldom settles to anything again.” I have never heard of any miner being smitten to the extent of giving np his regular work in order to search for gold, and even if he did, I think that, considering the price that can be got for gold from the neighbourhood, his efforts would not prove so feckless as Dr Brown represents them. In 1863, the miners collected close upon 2000 grains for the Countess of Hopetoun. A piece of gold, weighing 640 grains, was found about 20 years ago on Wanlockhead Dod Hill. It is now in the Edinburgh museum. Two or three years ago, on the marriage of the present Earl of Hopetoun, while gold was being collected for the wedding rings, a nugget weighing 277 (?) grains was found. It looked pure, of rich colour, and had a little worn-looking quartz attached. In 1872, a specimen of gold quartz, weighing about 10 lbs., was found lying on or near a footpath in the village of Wanlockhead. This find gave rise to an interesting and still unsettled debate as to whether gold had ever been found in quartz or in situ in Wanlockhead or Leadhills district. There was reason to suspect that the above-mentioned specimen was part of a collection belonging to a miner who had returned from the Australian gold diggings. Mr Dudgeon of Cargen; Dr Grierson, of Thornhill; Dr Lauder Lindsay; Dr Wilson, of Wanlockhead, and others took part in the controversy. No one doubted that Gemmel found the specimen in Wanlockhead, but another find will be necessary to place beyond doubt the statement that gold-bearing quartz veins still exist in this vicinity. Sir Roderick Murchison states that the quantity of gold originally imparted to the Silurian or other rocks was very small, and has, for all profitable objects, been exhausted.


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