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The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Volume VI - Lanark
Parish of Dolphinton


PRESBYTERY OF BIGGAR, SYNOD OF LOTHIAN AND TWEEDDALE.
THE REV. JOHN AITON, MINISTER.

I.—TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL HISTORY.

Name—Boundaries.—A Dolphin fish is represented in the arms of the principal heritor; but the name of Dolphinstown, as it was anciently spelled, seems with more probability to be derived from that of one of the early proprietors of the manor. Dolfine, the eldest brother of Coss Patrick, first Earl of Dunbar, acquired this property during the reign of Alexander I., about the beginning of the twelfth century. In the district of the country from which he came, a village with the ruins of an ancient castle still retains his name; and there are other places of the same appellation in Roxburgh-shire and in West Lothian. [In Douglas MS. Chronicle of England, Thomas Dolfine is recorded among the "grete lordes of Scoteland" who were defeated at Halidon Hill in 1338.]

The parish is 3 miles long from east to west, 21 broad, and contains 2926 statute acres. Its form is nearly that of an oblong square, bounded by Linton, Walston, Dunsyre, and Kirkurd.

Topographical Appearances.—Dolphinton hill is in height above the level of the sea about 1550 feet. This and the hill of Walston adjoining to it, are separated about a mile from the west end of the Pentlands, and form with Tinto, which is five miles to the westward, so many connecting links of one of the great collateral chains which gird our island, from St Abb's Head to Ailsay Craig. With the exception of Keir-hill, which rises in a conical shape about 250 feet high, the rest of the land in the parish is arable, with a moderate acclivity in an altitude' of from 700 to 800 feet. [Altitude of Garvaldfoot, as ascertained by Telford, 735 feet. The top of Dolphinton-hill, as lately measured by the writer of this account, is 816 feet above the site of the manse.]

Meteorology.—During the last two months of spring and first of summer, the wind generally blows from the east or north-east. In March and April it dries up from the ground the stagnant moisof man can scarcely rear them to the tenth part of the size, or keep them alive beyond the age of their youth ; how wheat should have been anciently paid as a tithe to the neighbouring priory of Lesmahago, from lands where, under the present economy, oats can scarcely be ripened; how the mark of the plough, like that of a field which has been under active culture, is seen much farther up the hill than it is now carried ; how farms in this vicinity, fitted out for the ancient wappingshaws three times the number of men and horses now maintained on them; and how our very moors at present support less stock than they did at the date of Charters still extant, are important facts, never well accounted for; the investigation of which might discover the means of still farther remedying the defects and improving the advantages of our northern climate. [Polybius describes the climate of Gaul and Germany as a perpetual winter. Diodorus Siculus says, that such was the piercing coldness of the air in Gaul, that it produced neither vines nor olives. Ceasar and Tacitus both testify that our climate seems milder than that of Gaul. And it is well known that the Romans obtained liberty from one of their emperors to plant vineyards and make wine in Britain.]

Hydrograrphy.—It is interesting to mark the local agents by which nature secures for her whole family an impartial distribution of moisture, and to see how far the winds carry and mountains attract water to supply the animal and vegetable creation in every quarter. Notwithstanding that Dolphinton is distant fifty miles from the nearest point of the great reservoir of fluidity to Scotland, yet we have nine-tenths of our rain from the Atlantic Ocean. To secure this indispensable, requisite, our hills run in ranges almost parallel from the western to the eastern shore. Along the intervening valleys, as if through so many funnels, the watery clouds rush before the wind, dropping their golden showers. For twenty or thirty miles from the Ayrshire coast, the hills tower in regular succession each above another, till they reach the western boundaries of Lanarkshire. The lofty ridge of the Lowthers overtops Cairntable by nearly 1000 feet; and therefore not only draws up but breaks the clouds, and thus renders them lighter for the distant voyage eastward. On this side of the Crawford mountains, and in the sheltered vale of the Clyde, the atmosphere being much denser, buoys up the clouds, and conveys them as if along an aqueduct by Culter-fell and Tinto, till Walston-mount and Dolphinton-hill get them in charge. Here, as was often observed in the extreme drought of summer 1826, when for four months every dark spot in the sky was anxiously watched in vain, they diverge into three portions. One goes towards the south and east down the vale of the Lyne; a second crosses in the opposite direction by Dunsyre and Alidcorset; while the third and greater portion keeps the original tract by Mendick along the Pentlands. At the summit of Carnethy, the highest hill of this range, a similar partition takes place. One division is carried towards Dalkeith, a second across the Forth, while the main body moves over Edinburgh by Arthur Seat. When moisture comes from the east, it is either in a creeping Naar, or in a storm, which, whether it be of rain or snow, usually lasts for three days. As a certain prognostic of a change of weather, it deserves to be mentioned, that in the memorable drought already referred to, the springs of water which had been long dried up, again gathered strength for several days before a drop of rain fell. This singular phenomenon is probably referable to the same law of nature which in frost causes rheum to ooze from stone, earth, and trees, prior to any other sign of thaw. The average quantity of rain, so far as it has been ascertained by a guage lately kept at the manse, may be about 27 inches yearly.

With the exception of the moisture from the north side of the parish, which falls in streamlets into the south Medwin and Clyde, the waters of Dolphinton are carried in one small rivulet called Tairth, into the Lyne and Tweed. In the northern extremity of the parish, above Garvald House, the Medwin is separated into two portions. The one of these finds its way eastward into the Tweed, the other by keeping its natural course to the west, runs into the Clyde. It is said that salmon and salmon fry, but no pars, have been killed in the Clyde above Lanark. As these could never ascend the falls, fishers have been puzzled by the fact. But it may perhaps be accounted for, from the topographical circumstance here mentioned. The fish may go up the Tweed, Lyne, and Tairth, into the Medwin by its southern extremity; and in going down the water, they may, from accident or design, take the western stream into the Clyde. Whether they are, in thus returning to the sea, dashed to death over the Corra Linn, or whether they succeed, by this new north•-west passage, in exchanging the German for the Atlantic Ocean as their home, cannot well be ascertained.

Geology and Mineralogy.—The principal mineral in nine-tenths of the parish is whin or trap-rocks. 'These form a portion of the extensive Phonolitic range, which runs from the confines of Ayrshire, by Haukshawliill, eastward by Tinto, and the Pentlands. The whole of these hills, from their saddle-back shape, indicate to the first glance of the geologist, that they are composed of trap-tuff, or what is popularly styled rotten whin. It is said to be intermediate between the two classes of volcanic rocks, the basaltic and trachytic; and to be composed chiefly of felspar and zeolite. It is not found here in beds, but has a massive form, so brittle as to fall into small pieces when dug up. In this parish it is mostly of a brown colour, and on the top of Dolphinton-hill it has much the appearance of burnt limestone before it is reduced to powder, by the application of moisture. Even the most adhesive portion of it, of which some of the dikes have unfortunately been built, when exposed for a few years to the atmosphere, first cracks, then falls down like a lime-shell, and is finally reduced into mud. But it stands the weather better when pointed with lime. In the south side of the strath, beginning at the brook behind the manse, a stratum of sandstone, at first mixed with brittle trap and quartz, but afterwards much freer, appears. Its dip is towards the east and north, at a small angle. In the centre of our valley, to the north of the freestone range, and to the south of that of the trap-tuff, an amygdaloidal ridge traverses the parish from east to west ; and a curious clink-stone porphyry is found in the quarry near Lockhead. Some appearances of lead induced the proprietors of Newholm to make search for it; but the attempt was ultimately abandoned. A vein of it probably stretches from Candy Bank eastward through this and the parish of Linton by Silver Holes. A sort of tilly substance is found in the south corner of the parish, which form, excellent oven-stones.

Soil.—It is said that in warm climates the Phonolitic districts are extremely fertile and well adapted to the culture of the vine ; and it is affirmed that this fertility arises from these rocks imparting to the soil during their decomposition a great quantity of alkali. But in higher latitudes, such alluvial formations are generally meagre. In this parish the soil resting on these rocks is remarkable neither for its fertility nor sterility. In general, it is a dry friable earth or sandy loam, in some situations abundantly deep, but in others rather shallow. Our soil is more fertile towards the Bill than in the plain below. A sort of clay-soil of a rusty iron colour abounds in the parish, and the subsoil is mostly of this nature. In a few low situations an imperfect moss earth has been formed by stagnant water over the original soil, but in general it is free from damp.

Botany.—The soil covering rotten whin is said to produce in this county only ling (Calluna vulgaris,) and similar plants equally worthless; but in this parish all the common grasses and other rural plants are found on the arable lands in abundance, and the swamps have their full proportion of marsh plants. Perhaps our hills, although clothed with grass almost to the top, are deficient in the varietyof alpine vegetation. Genista Anglica, Newholm plantations; Ribes alpinum, west from Craft Andrew; 1t7yriophyllum spicatum, in a ditch near town foot; Equisetum hyemale, at Nine Wells, are the rarest plants hitherto noticed in the parish. Hippuris vulgaris and Primulafarinosa, one of the rarest and prettiest of plants, may be found in three different habitats on the eastern confines of Dolphinton. The few following plants are mentioned as inhabitants of this district, not because they are rare, but as they afford a botanical index to the nature of our soil and climate, as connected with the physical distribution of the vegetable creation. In the meadows, buckbean, sun-dew, orchis, meadow-sweet, marsh marigold, cotton-grass, louse-wort; on the hills, tormentil and foxglove; in the plantations and fields not under cultivation, saxifrage, wood-anemone; and of the grasses, there are, in most abundance, bent, hair, sedge, foxtail, Timothy, fescue, and cocksfoot; by the way side, stone-crop, ragged-Robin, self-heal, and most of the crow-foot varieties. Several of the fields at Garvaldfoot are, in spite of many judicious attempts to extirpate them, white in July, as if covered with snow, from the astonishing abundance of the ox-eye, Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum.

There are no forests in the parish, but the trees in it show what may be produced. The heritors are still gradually extending their plantations. As the parish is sheltered by nature from every quarter but from the windy west, two or three broad stripes stretching across the valley would be of essential service.

II.—CIVIL HISTORY.
[For the Civil and Ecclesiastical History of the Parish, see Chart. Paisley, No. 333, 342.—DMS. Rental-Book, 11.—Privy Seal, Reg. xxxvii. 49, 51. Inquis. Spec. 257, 260, 303.—Hamilton of Wishaw's MS. Account, 51.—And Caledonia, iii. Lanarkshire, passim.]

Historical Notices.—Till the epoch of the revolution, Dolphin-ton belonged to the diocese of Glasgow, and deanery (or, after the year 1585, the presbytery) of Lanark. In 1644, when the presbytery of Biggar was erected, this parish was included in its jurisdiction, and became part of the synod of Lothian and Tweed-dale. In the time of the sycophantish Baliol, and also after the disastrous defeat of David II. at Durham, when the English boasted that their marches were from Soutray to Carlops and Crosscryne, Dolphinton was a border parish. And, had the geographical circumstances of the district been the rule by which parishes were originally classed, it would have belonged to Peebles-shire.

The names of places, habitations, fosses, and sepulchres still extant, prove that the parish was anciently inhabited by the native Britons; but no traces of the Romans now remain. The marks of the Romanised Britons have, from their original similarity, been long confounded with those of the British Gauls ; and even the footsteps of the Saxons who, after the" subversion of the Celtic dominion occupied this district, are few and indistinct. The dawn of our history as a separate parish begins with the acquisition of it by Dolfine. How long his descendants retained the territory has not been ascertained. But it is certain that the manor and patronage of the church became an early pertinent of the baronial. territory of Bothwell, and with it underwent the stormy changes of its brave proprietors. During the reign of Alexander III. Dolphinton belonged to Walter Olifard, Justiciary of Lothian, who died in 1242. It next passed, by marriage probably, to Walter de Moray, the progenitor of Sir Andrew, who was the faithful partner in command with Wallace, the veteran champion with Bruce in all his victories, and the Regent of Scotland in the minority of David II. Edward I. gave it to Aymer de Vallence, Earl of Pembroke, when guardian for Scotland. In 1370, Johanna, only child of Sir Thomas Moray, carried it to the grim Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, who, after the battle of Otterburn, became Earl of Douglas. In 1440, after the young Douglas was served at dinner in Edinburgh Castle with the ominous dessert of a bull's head, James Earl of Avondale became proprietor of our manor. In 1455, when a single battle at Abercorn might have raised Douglas to the throne, but when his own indecision, and the desertion of Hamilton sunk him to an exile, Dolphinton reverted to the crown. In 1483, James III. conferred it on Sir James Ramsay, one of the ablest of his favourites. After the assassination of James at Beaton's mill, Ramsay lost it by forfeiture, and Dolphinton was, in 1488, given by James IV. to the master of his household, Patrick Hepburn, Lord Hailes. In 1492, when the treasonable connection of the Earl of Angus with England became apparent, with a view to remove him from the command of the border passes and forts, Hepburn gave him Dolphinton and other centrical lands in exchange for Liddesdale, and the strong castle of Hermitage; but the superiority was retained till 1567, when it was forfeited by the restless James Earl of Bothwell, whose crimes caused Queen Mary's cruel fate, and his own imprisonment for ten years in a Norwegian dungeon. In 1581 this property was granted to Francis Stewart, who, in his turn, was created Earl Bothwell ; but in 1593 it was escheated to the crown by his attainder. Soon after this period the ancestors of the present noble family of Douglas acquired this manor. Chalmers says, in Caledonia, Vol. iii. that, during the seventeenth and part of the eighteenth century, the lands of Dolphinton were held in property by the family of Brown, but on a stone in front of the burying-aisle for the predecessors and successors of William Brown of Dolphinton, the date 1517 is quite legible. In 1755, Kenneth Mackenzie, advocate, succeeded the Browns by marriage; but Lord Douglas still retains the patronage, and most of the superiority. Exposed to the havock of border raids, and Annandale lifters, and thus identified with the most memorable revolutions of the nation, it is probable that in early times but a small proportion of our parishioners died in their bed.

Eminent Men.—Major Learmont, an officer of skill and courage, was an elder of our congregation, and proprietor of Newholm, which is not situated in Peebles-shire, as stated in Sampson's Riddle, aid in the Parliamentary records of the time, but in this parish. In 1666, when the accidental scuffle in Galloway drove the Covenanters to arms, Learmont, Colonel Wallace, and Veitch, who lived at the hills of Dunsyre, went to Ayrshire to collect their friends. In Echard's History of England, and Law's Memorials, it is stated that Learmont was a tailor,. and Wodrow, instead of correcting the averment, merely rebuts the inference, by arguing that even a tailor may become eminent in the art of war. At the battle of Pentland-hills, he, as commander of the horsemen, led on the second attack, in which he carried every thing before him, and almost captured the Duke of Hamilton. But when Dalziel brought up his whole left wing of cavalry, there being three to one against Learmont, he was borne down. He had his horse shot .under him when drawing off his men. But he started back to a fold dike, killed one of the four dragoons who pursued him, and, mounting the dead man's horse, he made good his retreat in spite of the other three. After this unfortunate afair, the major's life and fortunes were both forfeited in absence. The Laird of Wishaw, his brother-in-law, by paying a composition, obtained the property for the interest of Learmont's family. [For sixteen years every endeavour was made to secure the major's person,—but he had a vault dug under ground, which long proved the means of safety to him. It entered from a small dark cellar which was used as a pantry, at the foot of the inside stair of the old mansion-house, descended below the foundation of the building, and issued at an abrupt bank of the Medwin, forty yards distant from the house, where a feal dike screened it from view. When the noise of the cavalry reached the major's attentive ear, the blade of the tongs was applied to a small aperture fitted for the purpose of raising a flat stone, which neatly covered the entrance to the vault; and before a door was opened, the Covenanter was safe. Tradition says that the man-servant was three times led out blindfolded to he shot, because he would not betray the secret. Learmont having again taken the field at Bothwell Bridge, exposed himself anew to the fury of the persecutors. By the treachery of a maid-servant, he was at last apprehended, and ordered for execution ; but the sentence of death was commuted into imprisonment on the Bass.] Notwithstanding the share he had in these civil wars, he survived the revolution, and died at Newholm in 1693, in the 88th year of his age. Near the door of our church, under a rustic flat stone, without even the initials of his name, the mortal remains of the pious soldier now sleep in the still and peaceful bed where the weary are at rest, and where the prisoner hears no more the voice of his oppressor. [As these accounts, handed down for a century and a-half, had become confused, this detail was submitted to an intelligent lady, who was born at Newholm upwards of ninety years ago. She states, that the stones of the vault were, at an early period, taken to build the garden wall; therefore no trace of the retreat was found when Newholm house was last rebuilt.]

Parochial Registers.—The parochial registers commence in 1693, and have been but indifferently kept. A poem, in Latin, by Drummond of Hawthornden, is the only ancient paper relating to the parish.

Antiquities.— The remains of a camp are yet in a tolerable state of preservation, on the top of Keir-hill; and there are others a few hundred yards above the church, at Chesterlees, and also at Ash-hill, and on the farm of Newmill. The British words caer and chesters, both signifying camp, show by whom these stations were occupied.—A tumulus of stones, to the height of four or five feet, with a regular ring of larger stones, nearly sixty paces in circumference, on the height, about three quarters of a mile south-west of the manse, points out either a place of sacrifice under the Druids, or an enclosure of the summer residence of the native Britons.—A short way east from this station, an ornament of fine gold, resembling the snaffle-bit of a horse's bridle, with about forty gold beads, having the impression of a star, was found.—Stone coffins have been laid open in various parts of the parish, and there are innumerable appearances of sepulchral remains; but whether they are those of Druidical victims sacrificed at their feasts, or of men slain in battle, cannot well be ascertained.

III - POPULATION

* The actual population at the taking of the last Government census was 305, but the 4iflerence between the two numbers was owing to a contingent population being engaged at the time in making a new road.

Comparing the population with the extent of soil, there may be about 84 acres of arable land, and nearly 3 acres of moor pasture to every individual.

The people are generally industrious, sober, contented, and intelligent. The tenants have every qualification necessary for carrying on the most improved courses of husbandry of which the district is susceptible.

IV.—INDUSTRY.

Agriculture, or the mechanical arts connected with husbandry, form our only branches of industry. The number of Scots statute acres which have been cultivated is about 2000; uncultivated 900, of which 200 or 300 might be reclaimed. There may be upwards of 300 acres in plantation.

Rent of Land.—Rent may vary from 1s, to L..4 per acre. Average of arable land and meadows, L. 1 per acre. Average rent of grazing, L. 3 pet cow; L. 1, 10s. for a two-year-old; L. 1 for a one-year-old; and 5s. for a full-grown sheep pastured for the year.

The valuation of the parish of Dolphinton is L. 850. Of this amount Richard Mackenzie, of Dolphi nton, Deputy-keeper of his Majesty's Signet, has L. 640; Charles Cuningham of Newholm, one of the city clerks of Edinburgh, has L. 180; and John Allan Wardrope of Garvaldfoot, has L. 30. In 1755, when Dr Webster's census was taken, the real rental of the parish was near L. 400 Sterling. In 1792, when the last Statistical Account was drawn up, it was about L. 600, and it is now about L. 1700.

Rate of Wages.—Labourers' wages, 10s. weekly: Artisans, 2s. 6d. per day.

Breeds of Live Stock.—The sheep, of which there may be 1000, are, with the exception of a few Cheviots, of the black-faced breed. The cattle, of which there may be 200 milch cows, and 100 young, were formerly of an inferior kind, and kept chiefly for breeding and fattening; but for some time past the dairy breed of cows have prevailed. In general, they are partly the Ayrshire breed transported, and partly the native breed improved, by better feeding and a skilful crossing.

Husbandry.—In few parishes has the state of husbandry been more improved within the memory of man than in Dolphinton. The era of its agricultural revolution may be dated from the accession of Kenneth Mackenzie. Before his time, both the land and its occupiers were proverbially in a wretched condition. The houses were built of mud, and covered with turf. The outfield land was miserably flayed for the supply of fuel, and otherwise entirely neglected. The crofts were held in runrig, and under the servitude of sheep-pasturage during the winter. Even after the rest of the country had adopted the turnip and sown grass husbandry, the tenants here paid their rent mainly by driving lead to Leith, and purchasing south country meal at Peebles, and carting it. to Carnwath. But Mr Mackenzie had the estate parcelled out by two intelligent neighbours into farms, so as to render each the most commodious for profitable occupancy, and given not to the highest offerer, but to the applicant who might in all respects be best qualified to stock and farm the lands, according to the stipulations. Dolphinton was in consequence much improved in a few years; and the condition of the live-stock, of the implements of labour, and of the farmers, their families, and servants, have all made rapid advancement. Nor are these improvements now by any means stationary. Enclosing, planting, draining, levelling, and liming are yet carried on by all the proprietors. Wet lands, formerly not worth half-a-crown an acre, yield, by being converted into water-meadows, 200, 300, or 400 stones of valuable hay. Till of late years the water-courses were narrow and crooked; but now they are widened, deepened, and made strait. One cut alone for the Medwin, from Newholm to Walston Mill, cost near L. 1000, and afforded the means to the different proprietors interested of laying dry 600 Scotch statute acres, which it was formerly impossible to drain. In a word, every encouragement is given to improvement by the proprietors: and no proprietors in this district are adding more every year to the value of their estates.

Produce.—The gross amount of raw produce yearly raised in the parish, as nearly as can be ascertained, is as follows:

V.--PAROCHIAL ECONOMY.

Markets—Means of Communication.—In 1693 an act of Parliament was obtained for holding a weekly market and two annual fairs in Dolphinton; and formerly there were corn, lint, and waulkmills, with an inn at both ends of the parish; but now there is no markets, fairs, village, post-office, public-house, mill, or manufactory of any kind. There may be two and a-half miles of turnpike-road, and five miles of parish-roads. The communication between Glasgow and Berwick might be much facilitated by avoiding the ridges of Ellsrighill and Corsoncone, and by bringing the road up the Tairth and down the Aledwin.

Ecclesiastical State.—The church is too small for the congregation, and of a homely exterior, but it is comfortable within. Our records bear that, prior to 1650, the glebe was far from the church and "the gate to it foul," and that there was no manse for the minister, who had flitted five times in the memory of man. A manse and glebe of eight acres were then designed at the kirk style. Soon after they were moved to Bankhead, and in 1718 to the present site. The present manse was built in 1770, and repaired and enlarged in 1814, and again in 1828, so that it is now one of the best in the country.

The glebe contains fourteen imperial acres. [In Bagemont's roll, Dolphinton is taxed L. 4, being a tenth of the estimated value of its spiritual revenues.] In 1275, the whole spiritual revenues of Dolphinton were estimated at L. 3, 6s. 8d. Sterling. In 1561, they were let at L. 4, 3s. 4d.. At this, the period of the Reformation, the stipend paid to the officiating minister amounted to L. 1, 3s. O-d. Sterling. Prior to 1729, it was about L. 30; but it was soon after augmented to L. 47, 4s. 5d.; and by the Government it is now raised to L. 150, and L. 8, 6s. 8d. for communion elements.

The parish seems from the earliest period to have been supplied with a church and priesthood, conformable to the existing establishment. John de Saint Andrews, rector of this church, witnessed two charters,. granted by Allan Bishop of Argyle at Paisley in September 1253. John Silvester, parson of Dolphinton, Lanarkshire, swore fealty to Edward I. at Berwick, in August 1296. At the reformation from popery, John Cockburn, brother of Sir James Cockburn of Skirling, was rector, and had been presented to the living by the well known Earl of Bothwell. In February 1561-2, Cockburn reported that the revenues-of the parsonage were then let at L. 50 yearly, from which there were paid L. 13, 8s. 8d. Scots yearly to the minister who served in the church, and L. 3, 6s. 8d. Scots, to the Archbishop of Glasgow, for procurations and synodials. At the second reformation, viz, from prelacy, Alexander Sommerville, minister of this parish, acted a prominent part. At the earliest stage of the struggle, he with Henderson and others, resisted the orders of their archbishops to use the liturgy. When charged to obey on pain of imprisonment and ejection as a rebel, he supplicated the privy-council, and got the diligence suspended. He was appointed moderator of the Lanark presbytery in the place of the constant moderator for the bishops. He was also nominated one of the commissioners to attend the tables at Edinburgh. In 1638, he represented the presbytery at the memorable Glasgow assembly, and opened the business by preaching before an immense congregation, all armed with "whingers." The presbytery of Biggar was, through his influence, erected in 1644. He died about the year 1649, and was succeeded, on 1st April 1650, by James Donaldson, who was ejected from his living in 1663 for nonconformity to prelacy. Immediately after the suspension of Donaldson, William Dogood officiated as an Episcopalian clergyman. He was succeeded by Alexander Douglas on the 28th September 1675. He went to Douglas, and was succeeded on the 24th April 1679 by Andrew Hamilton. He was succeeded by James Crookshanks, who was instituted 17th May 1684, and deposed for profane swearing. Donaldson was reinstated in 1688. John Sandilands was ordained January 1693; John Sandilands, his son, October 1711; John Bowie, May 1717; Thomas MacCurty, November 1770; James Ferguson, August 1773; John Gordon, March 1781; Robert Russell, March 1815; John Aiton, April 1825.

There were formerly four dissenting churches within reach. Of these two are totally deserted, and the other two had been long without any stated pastors till of late. The average number of communicants is about 130, and of attenders on public worship 100. During the last seven years there have been five charitable collections, amounting in all to about L. 30.

Education.—The school and dwelling-house are very comfortable and commodious. The salary is L. 26, and the wages yield about L. 15. William Brown, about 1658, mortified `four acres of land, now worth L. 8, for behoof of the schoolmaster, and 1000 merles, the interest of which is paid him for educating poor scholars. He mortified 200 merks, the interest to be paid to the poor. He also mortified two acres of land to the minister, which has not been possessed by him since the revolution. Mr Bowie laid out 8000 merks for the lands of Stonypath; and in 1759 he mortified them to the minister and kirk-session, to be disposed of as follows: 100 merks to the schoolmaster for educating 20 scholars; 100 merks for educating any lad of a bright genius, to be allowed for six years, whom failing, to pay apprentice-fees; 50 merks, either to be distributed among the poor of the parish, or to be laid out in buying books for the poor scholars; and 50 merks to the minister, with all the other profits arising from the lands, to compensate for his trouble as factor.

Poor.—There are 4 paupers, who receive at present L. 17 per annum. The whole yearly expenditure of the kirk-session is not less than L. 25. In 1755, the average of the ordinary collections on Sabbath was Is. In 1792 it was 1s. 6d. ; and for the last ten years it has averaged nearly 3s..10d. The interest at four per cent. of L. 250, invested on bond, yields L. 10. These sums, together with us. Id. being interest on Brown's mortification, and what is derived from proclamations and the use of the mortcloth, may amount to about L.21.

Library.—In summer 1825, a parochial library was established, which, by liberal contributions in aid of the funds, now contains a considerable number of useful and well-read books.

March 1834.


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