(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The new statistical account of Scotland"

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 




•^A t 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



T M E NEW 

STATISTICALACC 

OF 

SCOTLAND. 

^V OL. VII. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE NEW 



STATISTICAL ACC0UN1 



S C OTLAND. 



BY 



the mikistehs of" the respective parishes, under thf 
sup£rikt£:ki>knc£ of a committee of the society 

FOR TUB BENEFIT OF THE SONS AND 
DAUGHTERS OF THE CLERGY. 



VOL. VII. 



BENFBEW-ARGYLE, 



/ 



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 
EDINBURGH AND LONDON. 
MDCCCXLV. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 




f 



HENFRE 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONTENTS. 



cathcart, 

eagl.bsham9 

eastwood or pol-lock, 

ERSK1NK, 

GIIEENCCK, 

HOUSTON ANI> KT1.1.A1.LAN, 

INCHINNAN, 

IXNRRKIP, 

KlLBARCHANy 

KILMALCOI^M, 

LOCHWISNOCH, 

STEARNS, 

>fEILSTON, 

PAISLEV, 

PORT'Gi^ASGnW , 

RE.VFREIV, 



PAGE 405 

383 

33 

*500 

405 

46 
113 
525 
352 

56 

74 
512 
307 
135 

62 
1 



\i^.wvic>X 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



39 



^ 



H 

N 



A 



EMP^EIW ^Mllll< 



BrMiIi MIm. 



^i— i 



1 a « 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by VjOOQlC 



PARISH OF RENFREW. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR* 

THE REV. DUNCAN MACFARLAN, MINISTER. 



L — Topography and Natural History. 

Name. — The liame of this parish, as well as of the county, ap- 
pears to have belonged originally to the site and neighbourhood of 
the present burgh. A town bearing the same name existed here 
in the reign of David I., which commenced in 1124. We are, 
from this and other evidence, carried back to a period when some 
dialect of the Celtic must have been spoken in this part of the 
country ; in this immediate neighbourhood, — most probably that of 
the Strath- Clyde Britons. Clyde, Leven, Lomond, Dumbarton 
and, as we think, Renfrew, are all British names. The author of 
Caledonia derives the last of these from Rhyn^ in Welsh, or Rinn^ 
in Gaelic and Irish ; — both meaning a point of land ; and Frew^ or 
FraWi in Welsh, a flow of water ; thus making Renfrew the point 
of land near the flow or conflux of the rivers Clyde and Gryfe. All 
who are acquainted with the localities of the burgh will recognize 
in this an apt description ; yet it must have been much more so, 
when these rivers spread out as they formerly did, leaving the lands 
around the burgh literally as a point appearing amidst the waters. 
Assuming, then, that this name was anciently applied to the site 
of the burgh, it is easy to understand how it would afterwards be 
given to the burgh itself, and from it to the parish ; and we know, 
that it was afterwards extended, first to the barony, and then to the 
sheriffdom or county. Hence the name of the burgh, the parish, 
and the county of Renfrew. * 

Extent and Boundaries. — This parish comprehends the whole 
of the burgh, and a landward district extending to about 5^ miles 

• It may not be improper here to notice an error, into which several respectable 
writers have fallen on this subject ; apparently copying one from another. Among 
others, Crawford, in his history of the county, alleges Renfrew to be the same with 
Randuara, a name said to be found in Ptolemy, as quoted by Cambden. The re- 
ference to Cambden is correct, but the word used by Ptolemy is Vanduaria ; and the 
place to which this latter name is applied, instead of being on the very banks of the 
Clyde, appears to be nearly equidistant between it and the Ayrshire coast. 
RENFREW. A 



Digitized by 



Google 



2 RENFREWSHIRE. 

in length, and 2^ at its greatest breadth, — the amount of surface 
being about 9 square miles. It is bounded on the north by the pa- 
rishes of East and West Kilpatrick, both in the county of Dum- 
barton ; on the east chiefly by the parish of Govan, in the county 
of Lanark; on the south by the Abbey parish of Paisley; and on 
the west, or rather the north-west, by the rivers Black Cart and 
Gryfe, which separate it from the parishes of Kilbarchan and 
Inchinan. 

Topographical Appearances. — The general outline is irregular, 
and is farther broken by the intersection of several navigable rivers. 
Fully one-third of the whole is on the north side of the river Clyde ; 
this being the only part of the county which crosses that river. A 
similar proportion of what remains is separated from the rest by 
the White Cart, and a navigable canal which runs for a short dis- 
tance alongside of it. Communication with this district of the 
parish is maintained by bridges, and with the north side of the 
Clyde by boats. Row-boats are employed for foot-passengers, and 
a large vessel open at both ends, and moved along a chain by a 
hand-windlass, for cattle, carts, and carriages. The general ap- 
pearance of the parish, in its two southern divisions, is that of an 
almost perfect level, and very much in the centre of an extensive 
plain ; stretching southward to the hilly country above Paisley ; 
westward into the parishes of Kilbarchan, Houston, and Erskine ; 
northward to the base of tlie Kilpatrick range ; and eastward to- 
wards Glasgow. In this general division of the parish, there is only 
one noticeable acclivity, which, from its insular situation, commands 
an extensive view, and is dignified with the appellation of Knock, 
a low hill. On the north side of the river Clyde, the surface is 
more unequal. The hilly undulations, which skirt the base of the 
Kilpatrick range, shoot down and overlook the lower grounds; and, 
running eastward towards Glasgow, are formed into a succession of 
low conical hills, several of which afe within this parish. The most 
considerable of these is Jordanhill, which rises perhaps 180 feet 
above the level of the river. Between and around these, the lands 
are low, flat, and alluvial ; resembling those on the south side of 
the river. On both sides are several handsome mansion-houses, 
with plantations corresponding, which greatly diversify and enrich 
the general landscape. There is a small hill above Scotstown 
gate, from which the central and richest portion of the view is best 
seen ; and for a more distant and general view of the parish and 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 3 

surrounding country, we know of no point better than the hill on 
which the High Church of Paisley stands. 

Climate. — Although our climate cannot differ greatly from that 
of the surrounding parishes, it is probably in some respects modi- 
fied. Most of the parish lies very low, and is yet remarkably open ; 
the subsoil is generally dry and gravelly, — in many places, a bed of 
fine sand; the tide ebbs and flows through it in several channels ; and 
it is to a considerable extent sheltered by the Kilpatrick and 
Campsie hills on the north ; and the upper lands of Renfrewshire 
on the south and south-west. These and other local circumstances 
probably affect both the temperature and the quantity of rain com- 
mon to the surrounding parishes. Unfortunately there is no journal 
kept on either of these points ; but we know it to be the opinion 
of several intelligent observers, that there is a difference. Showers, 
especially from the west, are attracted by the hills, and fall out in 
the more broken parts of the country ; very much passing over the 
central plain. An intelligent farmer, who has resided all his life 
on an elevated tract of the Kilpatrick hills, from which the 
whole vale of the Clyde may be distinctly seen, assured the writer, 
that he has been always accustomed to observe the lands about 
Renfrew and the point of Cardross, (another point similarly situat- 
ed,) sooner free of snow than any other part within view. In com- 
mon also with other parts of the country, our climate has been im- 
proving. Our winters are milder, our summers are said to be 
cooler ; and yet between sowing and reaping there is a shorter pe- 
riod. This last may be in part owing to the introduction of fo- 
reign seeds, that are of quicker growth ; but still more, we appre- 
hend, to increased draining, better and more thorough cultivation, 
and stimulating more abundantly with hot manures. The general 
deepening and embankment of our rivers, the drying up of stag- 
nant pools, the growing of plantations containing many evergreens^ 
and the cultivation of the country at large, must have also contri- 
buted to the amelioration of our winters. We are not sure whether 
the greater coolness of summer has yet been satisfactorily explained. 
The greater cold during winter might have made the summer's heat 
more noticeable, and perhaps the inferior equipments of husbandry, 
used sixty years ago, might have rendered both men and cattle more 
oppressed by the heat ; but may it not be farther submitted, whether, 
upon the same principle on which both the summer's heat and the 
winter's cold are modified near the sea, namely, the greater radia- 
tion of heat, — the general and more thorough cultivation of the soil 



Digitized by 



Google 



4 RENFREWSHIRE. 

may not have contributed to effect a similar change on land ? Iir 
connection with climate and other circumstances, this parish has 
long been accounted remarkably healthy. The writer of the for- 
mer Statistical Account says, " No place, perhaps, in the west of 
Scotland is so peculiarly healthy as Renfrew. Epidemical distem- 
pers are hardly ever known." In illustration of this latter circum- 
stance, it may be mentioned as a current tradition, that the plague 
which raged so much in the neighbourhood, especially about the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, never entered Renfrew. * 
And it can scarcely be said that the Asiatic cholera of 1832 en- 
tered it ; for, although there were two deaths believed to be by cho- 
lera, the individuals affected were understood to have caught the 
disease in Glasgow. We mention these facts as matters of ob- 
servation, but without believing them to be explicable on any other 
principle than that of Divine Providence. It is not to be conceal- 
ed, however, that typhus fever and British cholera, as well as the 
usual epidemics affecting children, occasionally visit this as much as 
other places. In 1787 or 1788, or about that time, small-pox 
seems to have been very fatal in the burgh and neighbourhood* 
Since that time, it yielded to the general use of vaccination, and 
seldom occurred till last autumn, when a species of the disease again 
appeared, spread generally among children, and attacked some 
grown people ; several of whom died, though they had been pre- 
viously vaccinated. The general impression, however, of aged 
people, who had seen small-pox in its more virulent forms, is, that 
our late visitation has been comparatively mild. 

Hydrography^ Src. — The subsoil being for the most part alluvial, 
our springs vary in their quaUty, and also in the depth to which wells 
must be sunk for them. About the burgh, they flow from the south 
chiefly through a bed of fine sand, and are remarkable for purity and 
perennity ; some of them, however, being slightly tinged with the 
oxide of iron. From the great changes which have taken place in 
our rivers, especially in the Clyde, and on account of its great com- 
mercial importance, it may be desirable to go more into detail under 

* At this time, Renfrew was a place of much greater relative importance than it 
now 18 ; and the inhabitants of Paisley were then, it would appear, accustomed to 
make purchases in it. During the time of the plague they were refused, as tradition 
says, admission into the burgh ; and to accommodate both parties, a kind of Exchange 
was established at the head of the " Ilairst Loan,'* the way l&iding to Paisley. A 
large fire was kept burning, with a pot suspended over it, containing water and a 
ladle in it. The Renfrew merchant having grasped the ladle, stretched It towards 
his Paisley customer, who deposited in it the price of his purchases ; it was then im» 
mcrsed in the boiling pot, and brought out purified from all infection, and declared 
current' 



Digitized by 



Google 



UENFRKW. 5 

this head than would otherwise be necessary. In the middle of the 
seventeenth century, there were between the Point House, oppo- 
site Govan and Erskine Ferry, a distance not exceeding perhaps 
eight miles, not fewer than eight islands, four of which appear to 
have been within this parish. The largest of these was called the 
King's Inch ; it had in it a large castle, once a royal residence ; and 
it now forms the principal domains of Eldersly House. Another, 
the Buck Inch, or, as it is vulgarly called, the Packman Isle, now 
forms part of the lands of Scotstown. A third, called the Sand 
^ Inch, still bears the name of " the Isle," and is part of the com- 
mon near the ferry of Renfrew. And a fourth, the Ron or Ren, 
lay in the mouth of the Gryfe.* When the river was thus divided 
and broken by so many islands, the different channels were full of 
banks. These naturally interrupted the currents, and caused the 
adjacent lands to be often flooded to a great extent. One of the 
channels passed immediately under the burgh, so that the gardens 
along the street called Townhead are still described in deeds of 
property, as bounded on the north by the Clyde, though they are 
now distant from the river probably half a-mile. About seventy 
or eighty years ago, a square-rigged vessel, which afterwards sail- 
ed in the Virginia trade, is said to have been launched into this 
channel from a building yard, which must have been over the pre- 
sent green, near Eldersly west gate.f This ancient channel may 
still be traced from the Marlin Ford above Braehead House, through 
the grounds now of Eldersly, along under the burgh and through 
the common. During the earlier part of this course, it formed the 
boundary line between the counties of Renfrew and Lanark ; and 
having received the Mill-Bum at the east end of the burgh, part 
of it is still partially open, under the name of Puddough, — a name 
most probably derived from the appearance of this channel when 
the other had been so deepened as very much to withdraw the 
water, leaving it comparatively small and muddy. From the burgh 
down to the ferry, there is a navigable canal, which was opened 
about fifty years ago, and which is partly in the old bed of the 
river. Towards the ferry, however, it is cut across what was at 
one time an island. To furnish some idea of the improvements 
which have been going on in the present channel, it may be stated, 

* These may be seen in a map of the county, published originally in Amsterdam 
in 1654, and republished with the last edition of Crawford*s History of the County 
in 18ia 

•]• At that period much smaller vessels were employed, we understand, than at pre- 
sent. 



Digitized by 



Google 



6 RENFREWSHIRE. 

that, in 1756, there was only one foot six inches of water at seve- 
ral of the fords (in summer) opposite the grounds of Eldersly; 
whereas there are now about six feet all the way up. And, as there 
is a rise of nearly six feet more during ordinary tides, twelve feet 
water have thus been secured. With spring tides, under high west and 
south-west winds, it may even rise to sixteen feet and upwards. Here 
at the period referred to, the width of the river at these places was 
from 684 to 884 feet, and now it runs from 230 to 280.* Operations 
for deepening the channel commenced soon after 1770, and have 
been chiefly directed to two points, — the confining of the current 
by parallel dikes and banks, and the deepening of the bed of the ri- 
ver, — latterly by dredging-machines, which are wrought by steam.f 
Geology and Mineralogy. — Nearly the whole of the low grounds 
in this parish are strictly alluvial. The subsoil consists chiefly of 
extensive beds of sand, often interspersed with thin strata of clay, 
sometimes of moss (peat-bog,) and occasionally interrupted with 
large masses of solid unstratified clay. The disposal of these and 
other deposits strongly indicates a submarine formation. Selecting 
a piece of land near the centre of this level tract, we had pits dug 
round several fields for examining the upper strata. And after 
passing through the soil, we sometimes found a few inches of clay, 
and at other times of moss, but more generally sand. Between 
the layers of sand, we found large deposits of the oxide of iron 
(which gives the water a rusty appearance,) but no ironstone; 
and often a quantity of coal gum, interspersed with pieces of coal, 
containing probably from one to six or eight cubical inches. This 
coal deposit, we found generally a few inches under the soil, and 
probably from two feet and a-half to three feet under the surface, 
and uniformly water-wom. We have repeatedly burned the coal, 
and found it to bum clearly like gas coal, and to be remarkably light.} 
Beneath this, we sometimes came to a fine sand, naturally white, 

* This, as well as the constant agitation of the water by steamers, may in part ao- 
comit for the small quantity of ice now found on the river. Old people recollect, 
when coals and other materials were usually carted ac'ross the Clyde on the ice for 
many weeks together ; and even so late as 1814, the people on the north side are said 
to have walked over to church for four or five Sabbaths in succession. Anything of 
the kind occurring now would be accounted very wonderful. 

f Much important information will be found, respecting the improvements of the 
river, in Dr Clelond's Statistical Work, and in the Account of Glasgow in this work. 
Farther improvements arc at present under consideration. An Engineer's Report 
now before me, contains plans for deepening the whole bed of the liver to not less 
than 20 feet, at high water, during neap-tides, and at an expense of L.d77,867, Ss. 94d. 

t^ This coal deposit, which must have been left by the water, is partially spread over 
the whole plain; as we lately found it, un the west of the Cart, at a distance of near- 
ly two miles from the other. 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 7 

but appearing at first bluish black, from the tinge of the water with 
which it is filled. On running a walking stick frequently into the 
sand, it became quite dyed, so as to retain the colour, though fre- 
quently washed. On opening a pit, there was also a strong smell of 
bilge water, or such as is felt on digging within the flow of the tide 
down the frith. These pits were dug probably from four to six feet 
under the surface of the soil. And we may add, that the above 
observations may be verified by examining almost every deep ditch 
in that neighbourhood. In one place, we found a quantity of small 
shells, — cockles, muscles, welks, &c. not more than about twenty 
inches under the surface, imbedded in sand, but resting on a mass 
of clay. This was about a mile south of the burgh ; and about 
half a mile farther south, there is a long ridge or bank consisting 
chiefly of sand or gravel, and bearing the name of the " Cockle 
Hill.*' Near the place where the small shells were found, larger 
shells, resembling cockles, are also occasionally found at a depth of 
ten or twelve feet in unstratified clay ; and they have also been found 
in other parts of the parish. The western extremity of the ridge al- 
ready described also rises into a small conical hill, and consists, 
for a considerable depth, of gravel, bearing strong marks of its hav- 
ing been thrown up by cross currents. There are other two simi- 
lar knolls or hills in the parish, and of like consistency. One of 
these, Blawerthill, has been dug to a great depth ; and it appears 
that, under the gravel, there is a bed of clay exactly correspond- 
ing in quality and situation with that around the hill, — thus show- 
ing the gravel to be distinct from the surrounding strata, and rest- 
ing upon it. We have also before us, stones which were raised by the 
dredging-machine out of the bottom of the present channel of the 
Clyde, near Scotstown. These are composed of a soft slaty sub- 
stance, and are evidently water-worn, being formed into a variety of 
circular and other rounded figures, such as might be expected on 
some beach of fine sand, under the action of the tide. Yet they 
are found deeply imbedded in white mud, and lower than the 
wonted channel of the river.* The conclusion to which these 
facts naturally lead, is, that the whole of the level tract already de- 
scribed must at one time- have been under water, and that the 
surrounding heights, still free of alluvial matter, were then the 

* 11 7 borings have just been made in the bed of the river, between Glasgow and 
Findlayston, a distance of perhaps IG miles ; and throughout this course nothing has 
been found which may not be regarded as alluvial. Along this parish, running mud» 
sand, gravel and clay, sometimes mixed with small stones, form the chief nmterials. 
Along a considerable way, the bed of the river consists of white soft mud. 



Digitized by 



Google 



8 RENFREWSHIRE. 

shores of this inland frith, — the little insular hills having been 
banks and islands. And it forms an interesting corroboration of this, 
that the ancient names of several places indicate such a state. 
Even the name Renfrew may have originally marked a mere point 
of land, generally surrounded with water ; and the frequency of the 
name " Inch" — island, as applied to inland districts, probably refers 
to an earlier period than the mere branching of the Clyde. And 
what is still more remarkable, an ancient seat on the border of this 
plain is still called " Garscadden" — " The Herring Yair^^ although 
now at a distance of probably a mile and a-half from the Clyde. It 
is perhaps farther confirmatory of this, that in charters of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries, the herring fishing of the Clyde is spoken 
of as important, and as being possessed by the community of Ren* 
frew, and other parties farther up the river. That the level of 
the tide was also at one time much higher than at present, is de- 
monstrated from the appearance of the banks all the way down 
the frith, and even on the southern extremity of the island of Ar- 
ran. The cause of this important change furnishes a tempting 
field of speculation ; on^yhich it would be injudicious at present to 
enter. 

Under the alluvial matter thus described, the different strata 
seem very much to agree with those in the adjacent districts. 
They consist of diluvial clay, and similar materials containing 
boulders, chiefly of trap rock, and resting on the coal formation, 
common to this whole district of country. About the middle of 
the last century, both coal and lime were wrought on the farm of 
Porterfield, — about a mile south of the burgh. The working of 
these was frequently interrupted; but it continued at intervals 
down to about 1814. They were found at a depth of about thirty- 
five fathoms, and corresponded in quality with those found at Hur- 
let, but wholly different from the above mentioned deposit. The 
gentleman who last wrought these, mentions his having found a 
fossil fish, of considerable dimensions, imbedded in the limestone 
rock, at that depth. It wa§ sent to Glasgow, and is probably deposit* 
ed in some one of the museums. Coal has long been wrought on 
the north side of the Clyde, in the lands of Scotstown and Jordan- 
hill. We have now before us an account of the working of this coal, 
drawn up by the manager, and from which we shall furnish an ab- 
stract. The Skaterigg and Annisland coal is quite distinct from 
the general field already described. It rests on more elevated 
strata, is of a different quality, and is disposed in seams of much 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 9 

smaller dimensions. It was wrought, till lately, by the Dumbarton 
Glass Company, and was used in their works, on account of its 
purity, as being free from sulphur and other obnoxious qualities. 
There are at present two pits in operation ; one 31 fathoms deep, 
and the other 38, — the engine pit being 64. There were origi- 
nally three seams of coal; — one 18 inches; another, called the 
main seam, 24; and that now wrought, 21. This last seam con- 
tains 7 inches of excellent gas coal, each pound yielding 4^ cubi- 
cal feet of gas, 4 inches of soft coal, and 10 inches of smithy coal. 
A dike, running from south-east to north-west, passes through 
the engine pit, leaving the seam on the north side 4^ fathoms 
lower, and which is wholly unwrought. Beneath all of these seams, 
it is believed, there may be found a continuation of the general coal 
field already referred to, — the coal wrought being not only diffe* 
rent in quality, but also occupying a higher place in the arrange* 
ment of the different strata. 

Botany. — The whole of this parish being "either cultivated or 
laid out in plantations, and possessing, moreover, a limited variety 
of soil, its indigenous botany is comparatively scanty. The fol- 
lowing are among the less frequently occurring plants. Ophrys 
ovata and O. cordata^ Serapias httifolia^ Campanula rotundifolia 
alba^ Veronica officinalis alba, Asplenium scolopendriunij A, rata 
muraria, and A, adiantum nigrum* Some of the more tender 
evergreens occasionally suffer, and in exposed places they often 
fail ; but wherever there is sufficient shelter, and especially from the 
previous growth of trees and shrubs, not deciduous, they grow 
freely enough. In the border of Scotstown garden, there is a 
very fine Tulip tree and several Acacias, all of which have been 
richly covered with flowers. 

Zoology, — We have now before us, through the kindness of a 
friend, a list of nearly seventy species of birds, known to frequent 
this parish, about one-half of which are resident throughout the 
year. It has been remarked, that the missel-thrush ( Turdus vis^ 
civorusj) which was rare in this country perhaps twenty years ago, 
is now so abundant as to cause great annoyance, where there is 
small fruit. The starling (Stumus vulgaris) also regularly breeds 
here, and remains with us throughout the season. And the kings- 
fisher (Alcedo ispida) is occasionally seen. We are persuaded that 
the improvement of the country, and especially by forming planta- 
tions of evergreens, is rapidly increasing settlers among us from the 
south. And although we have not had the same means of being 



Digitized by 



Google 



10 RENFREWSHIRE. 

informed respecting insects, we have little doubt that a similar 
change is going on among them. 

The most important fish in our rivers is the salmon. And 
as this burgh long possessed an exclusive right to fish along the 
whole length of the county, the value of the salmon-fishing, is to 
it a matter of importance. To ascertain with as much accuracy 
as possible, the effects which the commercial improvements on the 
Clyde may have had on the quantity taken, we have had a state- 
ment made out of the rents of the fishing for 120 years, ending 
with 1834. During that period the rent seems to have made gra- 
dual progress. Taking the last sixty years,^ during which these im- 
provements have almost wholly taken place, and dividing them into 
three periods of twenty years each, the amount of rent for each pe- 
riod will stand thus: From 1774 to 1794, L. 1126, 14s.; from 1794 
to 1814, L.d902, 4s.; and from 1814 to 1834, L.4199, Is. 
From this it would seem as if the fishing had actually increased, 
whereas we find it to be the uniform testimony of aged men, prac- 
tically acquainted with the matter, that the quantity is probably 
not more than one-third or even one-fourth of what it once was ; 
the increase of the rent being chiefly dependent on the rise of the 
price, and partly, perhaps, also on competition among bidders for 
the fishing. The embankment of the river keeps the fish in the 
current, leaving them no resting-place ; and even this is, during per- 
haps fifteen hours of every day, ( Sabbaths only partially excepted,) 
— frequently agitated by steamers. They are also deprived probably 
of many beds where they were wont to spawn. But, above all, the 
water of the river is now so saturated with poisonous matter, from 
Glasgow and other places, as greatly to injure them. During se- 
vere drought in summer, we have seen many large fishes floating 
dead on the surface of the water.* 

II. — Civil History. 
Family of Stewart, — The ancient family of Stewart had their 
first residence and special patrimony in this parish. The earliest 
ancestor of this family, respecting whom we have properly authen- 
ticated information, was Walter, usually denominated Filius Alani. 
To him, the burgh and territory of Renfrew, with other estates and 
perquisites, were granted by David I., who ascended the throne in 

* It is a curious fact, attested by all fishermen, that the salmon uniformly seek? to 
return to the place where it was spawned. As the spawning beds of the Clyde are 
chiefly above Glasgow, it forces its way up the river, and has to encounter all the 
hiuderances that occur. It were well, therefore, even in ao economical point of yiew, 
that every hinderance to the upward progress of the salmon were on Sabbath removed^ 
and this noble fish allowed the free use of his native river. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 11 

1124, And died in 1153. This Walter was, at the same time, 
invested with the office of Seneschallus Domiis Regis, Steward of 
the King's Household, or Dapifer Regis, the King's Steward, 
which he is sometimes called ; and hence the origin of the name 
Stewart. It seems to be clearly proven, that this Walter had also 
property in Shropshire, and was otherwise connected with that part 
of England ; from which it has been inferred that he himself came 
from that country. After settling in Renfrew, he founded the 
abbey of Paisley, and died in 1177, being succeeded by his son 
Alan. He also inherited his father's office, and flourished in the 
reign of William the Lion. He died in 1204, and was succeeded 
by Walter, also denominated in charters, Filius Alani. He was made 
Seneschallus ScoHcb^ and the office was now rendered hereditary in 
the family ; in consequence of which, he and his successors were 
commonly called " the Stewards." This term seems to have been 
used for some time officially ; but when surnames came to be intro- 
duced, it naturally assumed that character. This ^^ Steward" died 
in 1246, and was succeeded by Alexander, who, in 1255, was ap- 
pointed one of the regents, and in 1263, commanded the Scottish 
forces at the famous battle of Largs. He died in 1281, or betwixt 
that year and 1283, and was succeeded by James, who took a leading 
part in behalf of his country in the troubles which followed. He died 
in 1309, leaving his son Walter only sixteen years of age. When 
twenty-one, he appeared with his vassals at the Torwood, before the 
battle of Bannockburn ; and was, with Sir James Douglas, put in 
command of a division of the Scottish army. After the battle, he 
was knighted by King Robert the Bruce, and the year following 
he became son-in-law to the King, by his marriage with Marjory, 
the King's only daughter, on whom the reversion of the crown 
had already been settled. In 1316, only a year after marriage, his 
wife died, leaving by him a son called Robert. This son succeed- 
ed his father in 1326, and in 1371, he succeeded his uncle David 
IL under the title of Robert II. Hence the accession of the 
Stewarts to royalty. 

Several memorials of the ancient residence of this illustrious 
family are still observable in Renfrew. On a rising ground be- 
tween the cross and the ferry, is the site of the ancient castle, 
the common residence of the " Stewarts." A charter granted by 
'^ James the Stewart," and grandfather to King Robert II. is dated 
^' apud manerium nostrum de Renfrew." Crawford alsQ mentions 
that he had seen a lease of the castle of Renfrew, with the orchards 



Digitized by 



Google 



12 RENFREWSHIRE. 

and meadows therewith connected, granted in favour of Lord Lyll 
and his heirs, and bearing date 1468. After this, the Hawkhead 
family became Heritable Constables. Within the recollection of 
many living, there was a deep fosse partially round the site, built 
with stone on the inner side, and having a small rivulet passing 
through it ; but no part of the castle is recollected. Immediately 
adjoining and stretching away from the burgh, there had been an ex- 
tensive orchard, and part of the fruit trees are remembered ; and 
farther on, was " the King's Meadow." It is still called by the same 
name; the lands formerly an orchard, are still called " the orchard ;" 
the site of the castle is still ^^ Castle hill ;" and part of the ancient 
foundations were lately dug up, when several rings and a key were 
found. A small street immediately adjoining is still called the 
** Dog Row," meaning the place where the ancient kennel was. 
And a chimney-piece, of unusual length and remarkably low, is 
still found in a cottage opposite the end of this row, which tradition 
alleges to have belonged to an establishment for boiling dogs' meat. 
Close by Renfrew are the domains of Eldersly, formerly an island, 
and bearing the name of " the King's Inch." On this island, and 
only a short way in front of the present mansion-house, stood 
another castle, formerly possessed by the Stewarts, and afterwards 
by the House of Hawkhead. In a charter granted by Walter " the 
first Steward," the following expression occurs, — " cum ilia maisura 
super rupem, ubi aula mea erat fundata ;" and in a confirmatory 
charter, granted by his son Alan, " the second Steward," the same 
clause is thus repeated, '^ cum ilia maisura super rupem ubi aula 
patris mei] erat fundata." It is a remarkable circumstance, that 
there is not a spot in this parish, where rock is visible, except where 
the ancient castle of the Inch stood. Here there was a mass of 
whin rock, which was removed on the erection of the present man- 
sion of Eldersly. And as it is clear, from the terms of these char- 
ters, that the " Aula" referred to, was about Renfrew, we are dis- 
posed to believe, that the first residence of " the Stewards" was on 
" the Inch." The castle and domains of the Inch afterwards pas- 
sed into the hands of the Hawkhead family, and the ruins of the 
last castle were taken down preparatory to the erection of Eldersly 
House. At that time they consisted of three stories, but were built 
in a castellated form. A sketch of the ruins was taken, not Jong 
before their removal, and was possessed by the present provost of 
the burgh ; but it became amissing, and has not yet been found. 
Two points of the above narrative of the house of Stewart may 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 13 

be illustrated from other memorials, now on the verge of oblivion* 
Nearly sixty years ago, two monuments connected with the history 
of that family stood on the Knock hill, an elevated ridge of land 
about halfway between Renfrew and Paisley, and described in the 
former section. A highly respectable farmer, who was born and 
brought up on the Knock, and who was accustomed to see these 
from his infancy, guided the writer to their sites, which are now 
wholly obliterated. The following description may therefore be 
of use to after generations. Proceeding first to the highest point 
of the road between Renfrew and Paisley, and as it crosses the 
Cockle hill, we find a gate on the west side. Ninety-six yards from 
this gate, in a straight line towards the north corner of the Knock 
farm-house, there was, at the period referred to, a circular mound 
of earth, about twenty yards in diameter, and surrounded by a moat 
five yards broad, the mound having been apparently raised by the 
earth taken out of the moat. This mound was commonly known 
by the name of the Kempe Knowe. The tradition is, that there 
was at one time a wager between the Scottish and English sove- 
reigns ; the latter having challenged Scotland to furnish a man 
able to fight a noted champion attendant on the English court ; 
and the former having accepted the challenge. The King of Scot- 
land being much perplexed to find a man competent to the task, 
offered " The Inch" as a reward to any who should successfully 
encounter the Englishman. At last Sir John Ross of Hawkhead 
offered his services, and arrangements were made on the Knock 
hill for the fight. The moat was filled with water, a large fire was 
kindled on the mound, and the parties were expected to grant no 
terms. To escape was to meet death by drowning; and to be 
vanquished was to perish, — if not otherwise, by fire. The English- 
man was of large stature and renowned prowess, while Ross was 
only a private gentleman, and of small stature, but of great agility 
and muscular strength. Having equipped himself with a dress of 
skin-, the smooth side out, and rendered farther slippery with grease 
or oil, he appeared on the ground with his more bulky antagonist. 
After many unavailing attempts to lay hold of Ross, the English- 
man held out his own hands, inviting his antagonist to grasp them, 
and no doubt trusting to his own superior strength against any ad- 
vantage which might thus be given. The invitation was " palm 
my arm.". This, it seems, was the hold Ross most coveted. He 
seized the Englishman by the wrists, and, by a sudden jerk, wrench- 
ed his shoulders out of their sockets, and made easy work of him. 



Digitized by 



Google 



14 RENFREWSHIRE. 

He now claimed his reward, and the King, desirous of retaining the 
castl^ and lands of Inch, offered for this inch a span of land any- 
where else. Ross, thanking the King, expressed his satisfaction 
with the Inch for present services, and the happiness it would give 
him to have the honour of serving his Majesty for the span at some 
other time. Hence, as is alleged, the origin of the rights of the 
Hawkhead family to the ancient castle and lands of the Inch. From 
this time, adds tradition, Ross went commonly by the name of 
•* Palm-my-arm." Figures of this same knight and his lady, Mar- 
jory Mure, lay long under an arch in the church of Renfrew, hav- 
ing over them on the circle of the arch the following inscription : 
*^ hie jacet johes : ros miles quodem : dominus de hawkehede et 
marjoria uxor sua ; orate pro meis, qui obiit." The statues have 
been removed within the aisle, but the inscription may still be read 
in the church. This monument is evidently very old, but proba- 
bly somewhat posterior in date to the age of the persons repre- 
sented. When speaking of this monument, however, the old in- 
habitants give it no other name than " Palm-my-arm ;" while in 
relating the anecdote they call Ross Josias, being probably led 
into a mistake by the contraction of the name. 

Proceeding from the centre of the circle on the Knock farm, as 
already described, and towards a point about two yards and a half 
south of the byre door, and at the distance of 134 yards, we come 
to the site of another monument. Sixty years ago an octagonal 
column, of about ten feet in height, and inserted in a pedestal of 
perhaps six feet in diameter stood here. * It was without any in- 
scription, but went commonly by the name of " Queen Blearie's 
Stane.'* Tradition describes the person meant, to be Marjory 
Bruce, daughter of King Robert I., mother of King Robert IL, 
and wife of Walter the Steward. It farther accounts for the mo- 
nument, by alleging that she had been hunting, and fell from her 
horse at this particular spot, — that she was at the time far advanced 
in pregnancy, — that the child was separated from her by a surgical 
operation, but at the expense of the mother's life. A similar account 
will be found in " Hamilton's Description of the Shires of Lanark 
and Renfrew," and also in two old histories reprinted with it. And 

* To render the exact position of this ancient monument more certain, let the ob- 
server look from the )>olnt assumed, directly towards Cochney House in Kiipatrick, 
and his line of vision will, if his position be correct, pass a few yards west of Inchinan 
bridge, and directly over the adjoining drawbridge. The monument which stood 
here at the period referred to, was removed in 1781 or 1782, as near as can be recoU 
lected. The shaft was made the lintel of a barn door, but the &rm-steading having 
1>een since rebuilt, it has disappeared. 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 15 

farther proofs and illustrations of both this and the former monu- 
ment will be found in the same work by its ingenious and learned 
editor. With the historical controversy raised on this last tradi- 
tion, we cannot farther intermeddle than to add our name to the list 
of those who sustain the tradition, supported as it is with historical 
facts; and simply to add, that we examined the, spot, accompanied by 
our fore-mentioned guide, — that the ground rises immediately be- 
hind this into a dry, hard, gravelly knoll, vvhile the place where 
she is said to have fallen is soft and marshy ; and was so to a much 
greater extent in the recollection of our informant " He had 
often," he said, " seen the cattle lair* in it." And he added, 
that the common belief of those whom he had heard in early life re- 
peat the tradition, was that her horse must have been coming over 
the knoll, and got into this marsh before she was aware ; and the 
appearance of the grounds still comports with this explanation. 

Religiota Houses, — One of the objects which first engaged the 
attention of the Stewards after their settlement, was the establish- 
ment of religious houses in this quarter. Walter, the first Steward, 
seems to have established a monastery of the Cluniac order of Bene- 
dictine monks first at Renfrew. In a confirmatory charter of Mal- 
colm IV. a previous grant by Walter the first Steward is thus de- 
scribed: ** Sciunt tam posteri quam presentes me concessisse, et hac 
mea carta confirmasse, Deo et ecclesiae Sanctae Marise et Sancti Ja- 
cobi, de insula Juxto oppidum Reinfrew^ eX priori ^usdem loci^ et mo- 
nachis ibidem" And in a charter granted afterwards in favour of the 
abbey of Paisley, the following clause occurs : " et molendinum de 
Renfru, et terram td>i monachi prius habitaverunt" From this and 
other evidence, it would appear, that what afterwards became the ab- 
bey of Paisley was first a religious house at Renfrew ; and that, dur- 
ing the lifetime of the founder, it was chiefly removed to Paisley. As 
to the place it occupied here, we are disposed to differ from some in 
thinking that it was on the Inch. We believe it to have been rather 
on the south banks of that channel of the Clyde which passed un- 
der Renfrew, and therefore not far from the street opposite Mill- 
Burn House. And hence the adjoining lands were afterwards 
chaplainries, — the chaplainries of St Mary and St Thomas, — 
which names they still bear. And lands immediately adjoining 
these are still called Monk Dyke, &c. We may add, that a great 
number of altarages were afterwards erected, such as that of St 
Mary or our Lady, St Christopher, St Ninian, St Andrew, St 
Thomas, St Bartholomew, and the Holy Cross. 

• ** Lair, slick in the mire."— Jam. Et. Diet. 



Digitized by 



Google 



16 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Burgh. — This burgh was first regal, as possessed by the ancient 
Kings of Scotland. On its passing into the hands of the Stewarts, 
it became a burgh of barony. But Robert III., to whom it belong- 
ed as part of his patrimonial inheritance, granted a charter to the 
" burgesses and community," making over his right, and consti- 
tuting it a royal burgh. This charter was granted in 1396, and 
contains a full grant of the burgh itself, of the fishing on the river, 
of the customs levied within the burgh and throughout the barony, 
and of whatever other privileges might be enjoyed by any other 
burgh in Scotland ; the reddendum being eight merks and payment 
of a hundred shillings to support a chaplain in the parish church. 
Two confirmatory charters were granted in the reign of James VI. 
The former of these bears date 1575, and conveys an additional 
grant of all the religious houses and altarages, &c. connected with 
the burgh. This latter is dated in 1614, and ratifies the two for- 
mer, explaining, if not making, additional grants, especially in con- 
nection with privileges belonging to the burgh as the principal port 
on the Clyde. These are numerous, and particularly secured. 
After enumerating a long list of properties and privileges vested in 
the burgh, the following statement is set forth as containing the spe- 
cial ends to be served by these : " Pro meliore mstentatione paU" 
perumet schol<B grammatioB in dicto burgo^pro educatione adolescent 
Hum ejusdem in virtute et Uteris prout Praeposito et Ballivis dicti 
burgi expediens videretur :" i. e. for the better maintenance of the 
poor, and of a grammar-school in the said burgh, for the education 
of the young in virtue and learning ; and under the direction of the 
provost and bailies. In an after part of the same charter, certain 
ecclesiastical property is also specially set apart for the mainte- 
nance of a gramniar school. In 1703 another confirmatory char- 
ter was granted by Queen Anne, ratifying those which preceded, 
both generally and specially ; and it may be added, that she also 
speaks of herself as coming in the room of the ancient Stewarts, 
from whom, moreover, the Royal family still derive one of their 
titles, — Baron of Renfrew. The arms of the burgh consist of a ves- 
sel constructed after an ancient and simple form, having a figure of 
the sun over the prow, and of the moon over the stern, with two 
crosses, one fore and another aft. Two escutcheons are hung from 
the yard, one bearing a lion rampant, and the other the arms of the 
Stewarts, — Or, a fess checquie, azure and argent. In the colours 
flying at the mast-head is a St Andrew's cross. And the whole is 
surmounted with the motto " Deus gubernat navem." 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 17 

The limits of the royalty are extensive, probably comprehending 
the whole of the burgh's ancient domains, and being confined to 
these; — for Castle Hill, and Orchard lands, &c« anciently belonging 
to the baronial residence, are legally without the burgh, though 
forming part of the town ; while other lands more than a mile dis- 
tant are included. The Parliamentary boundaries are, on the 
other hand, drawn closely round the part built upon, without any 
reference to ancient limits. They are also on one side utcorrectly 
described, — the term " Puddough burn" being mistaken for Mill 
burn. The affairs of the burgh are managed by a provost, two 
bailies, and sixteen councillors ; and the annual rental of burgh 
property amounts to about L. 1500, the interest of debts being 
upwards of L. 100. Weekly courts are hejd by the magistrates 
for the administration of justice. The quarter sessions are still held 
here, as are several other county meetings, especially that for elect- 
ing the county member, — the Sheriff and most other courts being 
held in Paisley. Previous to the Reform Act, this burgh, along 
with Glasgow, Rutherglen, and Dumbarton, returned a member 
to Parliament ; but since the passing of that act Renfrew is con- 
nected with Kilmarnock, Rutherglen, Dumbarton, and Port-Glas- 
gow, the number of voters in this burgh being about 80. 

Antiquities. — The additional antiquities of this parish are neither 
numerous nor perhaps important. Historians speak of a great battle 
having been fought at Renfrew, in 1164, between Sumerled, Lord 
of the Isles, and the inhabitants of this country ; but we are not 
aware of any existing memorial to mark the spot We have also 
seen the record of a tradition, assigning to the ^< Eaiock" hill in 
this parish the origin of the surname Knox. And it is at least re- 
markable, that, in a charter dated 1503, and quoted by Crawford, 
the proprietor of " Knock" is styled " Uchter Knock." It is far- 
ther noticeable, that Knock and Ranfurly were at that time posses- 
sed by the same family : thus connecting the alleged descent of the 
Reformer with the Knock as well as Ranfurly. In 1778^ two urns, 
containing human ashes, were dug up on the summit of the Knock 
hill. They were believed to be Roman, — this point being little more 
than a mile from the place where the Romans had a station, near 
Paisley. In connection with the same hill, it may be added, that, 
on the side nearest Renfrew, the lower edge of the hill is to this 
day called the " Butts," most probably as marking a place of ex- 
ercise for the practice of archery ; and thus confirming some of the 
preceding remarks respecting the early state of the burgh. With- 

RENFREW. B 



Digitized by 



Google 



18 RENFREWSHIRE. 

in the domains of Renfield, now usually called Blythswood, and 
not far from Inchinan bridge, is the " Argyle stone," The un- 
fortunate Earl of Argyle, who made his descent on Scotland in 
1685, had his troops scattered in Dumbartonshire, crossed the 
Clyde, and was pursuing his way towards Renfrew in disguise, 
when, after fording the Gryfe, a little way beneath the present 
Inchinan bridge, he was attacked by some militiamen, wounded, 
and taken prisoner. The Argyle stone was that on which he fell 
or probably leant, on being wounded, and which was thus, as 
tradition says, stained with his blood. It is a large block of sand- 
stone, weighing probably a couple of tons, and having perhaps some 
red veins in it, which caused many so long to believe that it re- 
tained the stain of the Earl's blood. It is now enclosed and se- 
cured against damage by the proprietor ; while it is judiciously al- 
lowed to mark the spot where the capture took place. 

Parochial Registers. — The parochial registers of this parish are 
in all four, — the minutes of session, the registers of marriages and 
of births and baptisms, and the sessional cash-book. The minutes 
of session begin with an account of registers and other documents, 
belonging to the session, which appear to have been lost during the 
time of the latter persecution ; or at least not to have been deliver- 
ed to the session at the Revolution settlement. This brief narra- 
tive also details some interesting particulars, respecting Mr Simp- 
son, the outed minister, and his congregation, between the Restora- 
tion and Revolution.* From 1690 to 1696, the minutes are com- 
plete; but are wanting from the latter date on to 1731. From 
this, they are regularly kept down to the present time. They extend 
in all to five volumes. The registers of births, baptisms, and mar- 
riages are kept in the same book, though in separate columns or 
pages. They begin with memoranda from 1673, but form a re- 
gular record from 1692 downwards, and are contained in four vo- 
lumes. The cash transactions of the session are recorded from 1732. 

Land-owners, — The principal heritors in the parish are, the In- 
corporation of the burgh'; Alexander Speirs, Esq. of Eldersly; Lord 
Douglas; W. M. Alexander, Esq. and others, proprietors of Walk- 

* Mr Patrick Simpson seems to have been an able, accepUble, and faithful minis- 
ter. He was outed in 1662, but continued to meet his people when allowed, down 
to 1690, and was then restored. On attaining the fiftieth year of his ministry, com- 
munion cups were presented to him as a token of respect, and they are still used in the 
parish church. I have not yet been able to ascertain whether Professor Simpson, so 
well known in the history of the church, as charged with heretical sentiments, was 
the son of Patrick ; but I find that the Professor held a farm in tfii* parUkj and that 
Patrick mentions his son's having written certain documents for Ynvaj as if he lived 
near to hint, 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 19 

ingshaw ; Miss Oswald of Scotstown ; James Smith, Esq. of Jor- 
danhili; and Archibald Campbell, Esq. of Blythswood. Five 
handsome mansions are on as many of the estates. Eldersly House 
is spacious, and surrounded by one of the noblest parks in this part 
of the country. Blythswood and Scotstown Houses have been more 
lately built, and are very handsome. Blythswood House and 
grounds especially, are in the best taste, and kept in a state of high 
order. Jordanhill House is on an elevated site, and commands a 
very extensive view of the whole country. The Walkingshaw 
House has not been regularly inhabited for some time, and has 
gone much into disrepair. There are few other remarkable build- 
ings in the parish. The Incorporation buildings, containing the 
jail, town-hall, and council-chambers, are convenient, but plain ; 
and the church is old, low, and uncomfortable, as well as small. 

HI. — Population. 
The rural inhabitants of this parish have doubtless partaken of 
the changes generally affecting the country; but we are not aware of 
any thing special in their case. Their farms are generally larger 
than they once were, and they are better cultivated. Their cattle 
are superior to what they were, and both the farmers and the ser- 
vants perhaps work more. But the relation between master and 
servant has, in many cases, been allowed greatly to alter, and the 
alteration has tended not a little to lessen the respectability, and 
deteriorate the moral habits of the latter. Partaking of the spirit 
of the age, many regard their meters as having a claim merely on 
their labour, and thus repudiate all moral restraint ; while, on the 
other hand, masters too often care for Uttle more. And hence the 
frequency of changeand want of cordiality between the parties. The 
circumstances of the inhabitants of the burgh have been altered still 
more. A considerable proportion of the inhabitants seem ancient- 
ly to have possessed houses and pieces of land, by which they par- 
tially supported themselves and families. The salmon-fishing also 
was at one time let only to burgesses, and the rent would, on this 
very account, be moderate. Many of the young men went also to 
sea, and became afterwards concerned with trade. From these 
different sources of income, they seem to have been on the whole 
comfortable, and holding, as a community, a somewhat respectable 
situation in society. But trade and manufactures, which have so 
enriched several places in the neighbourhood, appear to have had 
the effect of impoverishing Renfrew. Business in Glasgow and 
Paisley withdrew many of those who had a little property, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



20 RENFREWSHIRE. 

thus, as well as by sales, much of what formerly belonged to inba*' 
bitants of the place, has now passed into the hands of strangers. The 
nearness of the burgh to these large towns, rendered it at the same 
time convenient for muslin weavers. They therefore took the place 
of those who departed. Bams and other offices, formerly append- 
ed to the dwellings of substantial burgesses, became loom-shops. In- 
stead of a biitttaiudsibenny a single apartment was now all that could 
in general be afforded as a dwelling-house. And instead of living 
on the produce of lands, of fishings, and of trade, the greater num- 
ber of families are dependent solely on the fruits of their daily la- 
bour; which, in consequence of the long depression of this branch 
of trade, are scanty enough. The usual effects have followed, both 
morally and economically. 

The average number of births in the parish for the last seven 
years may be about 75 annually, of marriages 23, and of deaths 65. 
The number of persons at present under fifteen years of age is, 
as near as I can ascertain, 1047. 

There are only four families usually resident, possessed of con- 
siderable landed property ; and not more than perhaps one other 
has lands to the amount of L. 50 annually. There is not at pre- 
sent any insane person in the parish, but five or six are in a fatuous 
state. There is only one person blind, and none either wholly 
deaf or dumb.* 

The number of families in the parish is - - ... . 535 

chiefly employed in agriculture - - . 117 

in trade, manufactures or handicraft, 966 

IV. — Industry. 
Agriculture, — There are 3776 acres En^^lish measure in the 
parish. Nearly the whole is in a state of cultivation. We have 
not the means of ascertaining with precision the amount of lands 
enclosed around gentlemen's houses and under plantations. The 
latter, however, are chiefly around parks and lawns, and consist of 
beech, ash, elm lime, oak, larch, spruce, birch, horse-chestnut, &c. 
with a variety of shrubs and evergreens, such as the bay laurel, 
Portugal laurel, lauristinus, &c. all of which thrive, when properly 
sheltered. There is no undivided common in the parish, but there 

* When reseating the church in 1821, a large quantity of earth was dug out of 
the floor, and with it many bones ; some of which were unusually large. To prove 
this, thigh bones were laid alongside the thigh of living men about six feet high, and the 
mere bones were said to exceed in length the living limb with all its integuments. One 
of the largest hats which oould be found, was alw too small to draw over some of the 
crania. We state these facts as reported by credible witnesses, but without venturing 
to infer any thing as to the generid size of the ancient inhabitants. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HENFREW. 21 

cannot be fewer than 100 acres in small properties around the 
burgh. Upwards of seventy acres are on the south side, and di- 
vided into twenty-two separate properties ; the marches being de- 
pendent on the turning of the furrow, year after year. This mode 
of cultivation is no doubt unfavourable to the amount of produce 
and agricultural improvement ; but is, on the other hand, highly 
favourable to habits of industry, economy, and morality. Fami- 
lies possessing even single acres of land have, in consequence, a 
certain standing in society, which they naturally seek to maintain. 
They have labour to occupy their spare hours, and virtuous cares 
giving a direction to their thoughts. Hence they generally suc- 
ceed in laying up some little stock beyond their daily earnings. 

Rent of Land. — The average rent over the whole parish is pro- 
bably from L. 2, l.Os. to L. 2, 15s. per acre. On several estates, the 
principle of a grain rent has been adopted ; the price of agiven quan- 
tity of wheat being usually the rent per acre ; and this principle seems 
to be approved of by the farmers. To a disinterested observer it 
seems preferable for both parties. For, as the farmer cannot long 
pay an old rent with falling markets, the proprietor must, in these 
circumstances, suffer loss, be the conditions what they may ; and 
yet he can have no claim for an advance of money rents, however 
much the markets may improve ; while with a grain rent he has 
the chance of profit as well as the risk of loss ; and farming itself 
is thus rid of half its cares. At the same timCf it would doubtless 
be an improvement to include more than one staple commodity. 
If, in such a district as this, the price of a boll of wheat, a boll of 
oats, and a stone of butter, were substituted for their value in 
money, the farmer would be but little dependent on the fluctuations 
of the market The rent for grazing in this parish is not usual- 
ly paid per head, but either per acre, or so much for an entire field ; 
the grass being chiefly around gentlemen's seats ; and may be esti- 
mated at an average of L. 3, 10s. or L. 4 per acre.* 

Rates of Wages. — The wages of steady and able labourers are 
from 10s. to 12s. per week. Men servants are hired for from L. 7 
to L. 11 in the half-year, with bed and board; and females for 
L. 3 and upwards to L. 5, and L. 5, 10s. The common wages for 
journeymen masons are from 18s. to 20s. per week; for wrights 
from 15s. to 18s. ; and for smiths about 18s. ^ 

* A large herd of cows feed on an extensive meadow, belonging to the oorporation, 
at so much per bead ; but the rate is beneath the actual value, and may vary from 
time to time: and besides, the privilege is confined to burgesses. 



Digitized by 



Google 



22 UENFREWSHIRE. 

Live Stock. — The common breed of dairy cows in this parish is 
the Ayrshire, — only they are considerably heavier than in most parts 
of Ayrshire. And to prevent their becoming too heavy, they are 
very commonly allowed to go into calf during the Second year. 
The sheep and bullocks are for the most part from the west High- 
lands, but various, as being often the property of Glasgow butchers, 
and consisting of such as are brought into their market. And 
working horses arc, in consequence of our vicinity to the large 
towns, also various; but they are generally of the Clydesdale breed, 
or some of its crosses- 

Husbandri/. — One of the chief improvements in agriculture, now 
occupying attention, is furrow-draining ; which, from the want of 
stones, is executed chiefly with tiles. In heavy and rather wet 
lands, it costs about six guineas per acre, and has been found 
to pay the entire outlay in two crops. It is accordingly going for- 
ward, in nearly all the farms in this parish. The most common way of 
meeting the expense is for the proprietor to pay the outlay, and 
the farmer to pay a per centage, during his lease. The most com- 
mon manure, in addition to stable and byre dung, is " Soapers* 
waste," which is largely used in the light soils. It costs 5s. per 
ton in Paisley, and from 7s. to 73. 6d. when laid on a great 
part of the land. It is valued, particularly on account of its 
giving adhesion to loose soils. This special end might perhaps 
be more cheaply served by pulverized clay. Large masses of 
very adhesive clay exist in the centre of our light soils. Suppose 
it to be raised towards the end of summer, dried and pounded if 
necessary, with mallets, and laid on stubble or old pasture about 
to be broken up, at the rate of 30 or 40 carts an acre, — it would 
during winter amalgamate with the lighter soils, and give them 
next season increased adhesiveness at comparatively small expense. 
Let the same be repeated at the end of each rotation, for five or 
six times, and the eflFect would probably be permanently to improve 
the general character of the soil. The implements of husbandry 
are the same here as in the neighbouring parishes; in some of 
which they will probably be described. Comparing our farm stead- 
ings with those in other parts of the country, they hold a middle 
place. They are decidedly inferior to those in the Lothians and 
other districts, where the farms are very large ; but are at least 
equal to those in the neighbouring parishes, and throughout this 
district. Some of the farms here extend to perhaps about 
200 acres, all arable ; and some do not exceed 40 or 50 ; but 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 2a 

they generally run from 60 up to 100. Several farms around 
the burgh are made up of separate fields, possessed or taken 
from different proprietors; the farmers having their establish- 
ments within the burgh. The leases of large farms are commonly 
nineteen years, but in this there is considerable variety, especial- 
ly in farms made up as those last referred to. The common 
rotation is, first, some kind of green crop, then wheat, then hay 
and clover, then oats, perhaps, and the same rotation over ; or 
the second crop^of hay is pastured upon, and the land is allowed 
to rest. 

Manufactures, — The manufactures in this parish are various, 
though not extensive. The first and most important is the mus- 
lin weaving. Connected with this branch, there are 257 looms, 
of which 176 are called harnessed looms. Each of the whole oc- 
cupies one man, — except a few, which are wrought by women ; and 
every two occupy one woman winding yarn. But in addition to 
these, every harnessed loom requires the assistance of a boy or 
girl, from seven or eight years of age, up to probably fourteen or 
fifteen. There are thus, 257 weavers, 176 children drawing, and 
at least 128 women winding, — making in all 561. Weavers' wages 
vary not only with changes in trade, but also according to the dif- 
ferent branches of work in which they are employed. But taking 
an average of the whole, their earnings are believed not to exceed 
perhaps 8s. or 10s. per week ; all deductions being made. The 
children employed in drawing earn from Is. 6d to 2s. 6d. per 
week, and winders do not probably realize more than 2s. Be- 
sides those who are thus immediately connected with the weav- 
ing, a considerable number of females are employed with clip- 
ping, tambouring, and flowering. They bring their webs from 
Glasgow and Paisley, and work in their own houses ; their earnings 
being probably very much in the proportion of those already de- 
scribed. Though these different employments are generally free 
from any thing noxious to health, they are all sedentary and long- 
continued, usually from six o'clock in the morning till ten o'clock at 
night. The practice of employing children at drawing is, on various 
accounts, objectionable. Parents are induced to send their children 
to this employment generally about seven or eight years of age, thus 
arresting their progress in education, when they have but well 
begun. They endeavour afterwards to pick up a little at evening 
classes, but their hours of labour are too extended to admit of this 
without oppression : their having been employed in this line from 



Digitized by 



Google 



24 RENFREWSHIRE. 

childhood, virtually shuts up the boys to the single occupation of 
weaving, in after life. They pass with ease and at little expense, 
from the employment of drawing to that of weaving. The trade 
is thus kept overstocked with hands, and wages continue, on this 
as well as on other accounts, depressed, so that the very poverty 
of the weaver perpetuates some of the causes of his distress. But 
the employment of children in drawing is morally objectionable* 
Listening, as they do, to all that is said, often by the irreligious 
and profane, and placed as they are under the ai^hority of these 
very masters, it is not wonderful that their own language and after 
conduct should, in many cases, be tainted with what is unbecom- 
ing. We recollect being told by a gentleman holding a high and 
responsible situation in one of the large manufacturing towns, that 
he had himself been a draw-boy ; and that he now almost shudder- 
ed to look back on what he recollected of his situation. 

Next to the weaving and its kindred branches is the bleaching. 
There is only one bleachfield in the parish, which is in the burgh, 
and employs 12 men and 90 women and girls. The men earn 
from 9s. to 16s. per week, the women and girls from 3s. to 7s. 
Their employment, however, is not constant, and they have to 
work in apartments too much heated to be very healthy. It may 
be proper here to mention a very laudable and advantageous prac- 
tice common among females, usually employed with manufac- 
tures during the greater part of the year: in summer and au- 
tumn, a considerable number lay aside their needles and other im- 
plements of manufactures, and hire themselves to the farmers in 
the neighbourhood, at potato planting, hay-making, hoeing and 
weeding, and latterly at reaping, digging potatoes and raising tur- 
nips. This change of employment is beneficial to health, profi- 
table to the labourers, and convenient to the farmers ; and ought 
farther to be encouraged, as productive of intercourse and kindly 
feelings between different classes of the community. 

There is a manufactory of starch in the burgh ; but it employs 
only two or three men. The starch itself is chiefly used in the 
bleachfields. 

A tile-work was set agoing two or three years ago, about a mile 
south of the burgh. The tiles made are for draining land, and 
are of various sizes, according to the kind of drain they are to oc- 
cupy. They consist of soles and covers ; the former being flat, 
like flooring tile, and the latter formed archwise, the rounded 
side being kept up. This work employs about half a dozen men, 
and nearly the same number of children. 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 25 

The Trust on the river Clyde have their chief establishment 
in this parish. They occupy about 15 men ashore. These are 
employed as smiths, hammermen, carpenters, wrights, and sawyers, 
earning from 12s. to L. 1 per week. During summer they occupy 
about 36 men aboard of their vessels. These are partly engineers 
and others in special trust ; but chiefly labourers or puntmen, who 
earn 15s. per week. There are also, perhaps, 80 men employed 
ashore, in connection with the punts and dredging-machines ; but 
these move from place to place along the river. A considerable pro- 
portion of the whole, and especially of the two former classes, live 
within this parish. 

Near the river Trust establishment there is, and has long been, 
a distillery, manufacturing whisky from malt, made partly from bar- 
ley, and partly from bear or bigg, dried with peat. The annual 
produce of this distillery may be estimated at 140,000 gallons. 
About 22 men are constantly employed here, receiving from 12s. 
to 16s. per week of wages. Connected with the distillery, there is 
a large dairy, consisting of about 100 milch cows. During winter 
they are fed on turnips, draff, &c ; and in summer they are pas- 
tured. The produce is chiefly sent to Glasgow. This employs five 
men, three dairy maids, and four milkers. 

The coal-works before described employ between 30 and 40 men 
and boys under ground, and several on the hill ; and a considerable 
number of men and horses find work in carrying the coal. A col- 
lier's wages probably average from 15s. to Ids. per week, when he is 
regularly employed; but there are many interruptions and particular 
expenses to which he is incident ; and the employment itself is 
neither agreeable nor healthy. Speaking of the colliers in this pa- 
rish, it is proper to mention, that they are, with a few exceptions, 
not inattentive to divine ordinances, and decent in moral conduct ; 
and that one of them is a worthy and estimable member of the 
kirk-session. 

Navigaiion. — Tliis burgh once occupied a much more import- 
ant place in respect of navigation than it does at present. In the 
charter of 1644, it is described as the principal sea-port on the 
river : and it continued to have a little trade within the recollection 
of some now living. At present, there are no vessels belonging to 
Renfrew, except such as carry coals, manure, &c on the river. 
A considerable number of vessels, however, load and unload at the 
harbour. Those discharging are chiefly laden with grain from Ire- 
land, and dye-stuffs, &c. for Paisley. Potatoes also, and fish, &c. are 



Digitized by 



Google 



26 RENPBEWSIIIRE. 

sometimes brought from the Highlands. At other times potatoes, 
&C. are shipped here. A commodious quay was built last year, at 
an expense of about L. 800, and the harbour is still susceptible 
of important improvements. As the quay runs chiefly along the 
canal, it might, at comparatively small expense, have also the ad- 
vantage of a wet docL Let the canal be widened and the qiiay 
extended, and a flood-gate thrown across the mouth of the for- 
mer, and vessels might be dischai^ed without the agitation of even 
a steamer's surge. And from the width and openness of the river 
below this, sailing vessels would be generally able to come up with- 
out the aid of any dragger. 

V. — Parochial Economt. 
Trade and Meam of Communication, — Renfrew, though a coun- 
ty town, has no regular market, except fairs, which are chiefly for 
cattle; the principal market-towns in the neighbourhood being 
Glasgow and Paisley. The former of these is little more than four 
miles from the nearest extremity of the parish, and the latter 
scarcely a mile and a-half. The means of communication with other 
parts of the country are very abundant. As the Clyde passes through 
the parish, we have the advantage of nearly all the steamers to and 
from Glasgow. During five days of the week, we have a daily 
coach to Glasgow ; and during summer, another goes to Paisley 
six or seven times a-day. In addition to these, we have three car- 
riers to Glasgow, and two foot-runners to Paisley. Those who live 
on the north side of the river have not so many opportunities, yet 
they also have considerable means of intercourse. Our post-office 
is a sub-office to Paisley, and we have two arrivals from Paisley, 
and one by the Dumbarton post, on the north side of the river. Few 
parishes are so much intersected with roads and rivers. TWo public 
roads run parallel to each other on the two sides of the Clyde, — the 
one, the old Glasgow and Greenock road, and the other, the Glas- 
gow and Dumbarton road. The former runs about a mile and a-half 
in the parish, and the other about two and a-half. These are chiefly 
from east to west. Another public road runs from Paisley north- 
wards, crossing the former of these in Renfrew, proceeding to the 
ferry, and thence to the Dumbarton road; extending to about 
two miles within the parish. Another proceeds north and north- 
east from the Dumbarton road to the north-west extremity of the 
parish, and extending perhaps to about a mile and a-half. A fifth, 
of about the same extent, runs from Inchinan Bridge southwards 
towards Paisley; and a sixth crosses the south-west extremity, 
running about half a-mile within the parish. A railway has also 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 27 

been commenced between the Clyde near Renfrew Ferry and the 
town of Paisley. The only considerable bridges connected with 
the parish are two, — the Barnsford Bridge, which is thrown 
across the Gryfe and Black Cart, immediately after their junction, 
and the Inchinan Bridge, which is thrown across this united stream 
and the White Cart, immediately above their confluence. This last 
consists properly of two bridges united ; the one spanning the White 
Cart, and the other the Gryfe, but both resting on the point of land 
which separates these two rivers. A timber drawbridge crosses the 
canal before noticed, as running alongside the White Cart 

Ecclesiastical State, — From the irregular form of the parish, no 
place would be in all respects convenient to the whole population, 
and the present site of the church is in the circumstances as suit- 
able as any that could be selected. The greatest distance which 
parishioners have to come to church is about three miles, — but 
with the inconvenience of having a river to cross ; and it ought 
to be mentioned, that the town -council allow an abatement of rent, 
so as to permit the labouring classes on the north side to cross 
the ferry, on the Lord's day, gratis. It does not indeed appear, 
that it was ever the practice to charge parishioners any fare on 
Sabbath for coming to church, beyond what is levied on the farms 
in produce. The great bulk of the population, however, are in and 
around the burgh, to whom, therefore, the situation of the church 
is all they could wish. The present church was at least repaired, 
and had an aisle added in 1726 ; but whether it was then wholly 
rebuilt, we have not been able distinctly to ascertain. It has under- 
gone various alterations, and in 1821 was wholly reseated. In order 
to gain a greater elevation of ceiling, a large quantity of earth was 
at the same time removed out of the floor, which is now about two feet 
under the level of the soil around the church. On this and on other 
accounts it is damp and uncomfortable. It contains about 760 
sittings, — a number under the legal provision for the parish- 
ioners, and greatly short of the amount actually required. To 
meet this, as well as otherwise to promote the spiritual improve- 
ment of the parish, a separate service has been for several years 
conducted at eight o'clock every Sabbath morning. 

The manse was built in 1790; but was repaired and the oflices 
rebuilt in 1831. The glebe is wholly separate from the manse, 
and is divided into two portions, the larger being at a considerable 
distance. The whole amounts to upwards of twenty-one Scotch acres : 
but the greater part consists of inferior land, which was obtained 
by excambion, for the legal amount of rich land near the burgh. 



Digitized by 



Google 



28 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Now that it has been fenced, drained, and improved, the whole 
is probably worth about L. 50 a-year. The stipend is 18 chal- 
ders, half meal and half barley. 

The former ministers of this parish whose names we have as- 
certained, were the following : — Mr Andrew Hay, inducted in 1576; 
Mr John Hay, in 1602. Mr Jphn Hay appears to have been suc- 
ceeded by a son of the same name, who is described as Parson of 
Renfrew, in 1632. The Hays possessed property in the parish, 
and were Episcopalians. Mr John Hay Jun., appears to have been 
removed from his charge, and was succeeded in 1650, by Mr John 
Maule, who was a Presbyterian. And he was succeeded by Mr 
Patrick Simpson in 1653, who was outed in 1662, when Mr John 
Hay was readmitted. He was succeeded by Mr Francis Ross ; 
and he again by Mr Robert Douglas, the dates of the admission 
of the two latter being unknown. These two latter, as well as 
Mr Hay, were probably Episcopalians, and made but little im- 
pression on the parish; for after the indulgence, Mr Simpson, 
the outed minister, and his people met, in what he calls a ^^ meet- 
ing-house," and carried on the discipline of the parish, much in 
the same way as before. In 1690 Mr Simpson was readmitted, 
and died in 1715. In 1716, Mr Neil Campbell was translated 
from Roseneath, and in 1728» was again translated to be Princi- 
pal of the University of Glasgow. Mr M'Diarmid of Ayr was 
now presented by the Crown, but rejected by a majority of quali- 
fied parishioners. This case went the round of the church courts, 
and at last, after a vacancy of nearly two years, the Crown present- 
ed Mr Robert Paton, minister of Haddington. In 1731, he was 
translated thither from Haddington, and died in 1768. In 1769, 
Mr Colin Campbell, son of the above Mr Neil Campbell, was 
translated from Kilmarnock, and died in 1788. In 1790, Mr 
Thomas Burns was translated from Inchinan, and died in May 
1830 ; and the compiler of this account was translated from An- 
derston Chapel, Glasgow, and inducted here on the 30th of No- 
vember 1830. There is no regular place of worship in the parish, 
except the Established church, to which the great body of the pa- 
rishioners profess to adhere. 

Religious Societies^ 8fc. — There are not many religious and philan- 
thropic societies in the parish ; but the ends which these usually 
contemplate are not wholly neglected. As we have no assess- 
ment for the poor, considerable exertions have to be made on their 
behalf. There is also a Female Benevolent Society, the mem- 
bers of which endeavour to aid special cases of distress. A Bible 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 29 

Society also exists, for the supply of the parish, and which has 
hitherto done well. The leading principle of the society is to af- 
ford facilities for the purchase of Bibles. This is accomplished 
by having on hand an assortmentof Bibles at different prices, bound 
in the most efficient and tasteful manner, and offered unreservedly 
to all, while the price may be advanced by instalments. This re- 
moves entirely the idea of pauper terms and pauper Bibles, and 
yet allows to the poor, as well as the rich, full access to the Word 
of God. And they have hitherto justified the confidence put in 
them ; few, indeed, having expressed any unwillingness to pay for 
what they were to receive. The consequence is, almost every 
child who can read has either a Bible or Testament. — A consi- 
derable sum is also raised for purposes of education and for libra- 
ries. There are particularly two schools of industry dependent 
in part on subscriptions, one of which from its extent, as well as 
proper management, has proved a very great blessing to many. Our 
Sabbath schools are numerous, and are furnished with juvenile li- 
braries, the expenses of which are met by collections and donations. 
We have also a parish library ; partly dependent on similar resources. 
But beyond these and other parochial institutions, we have no or- 
ganized associations ; and we assist other objects only by collec- 
tions and individual subscriptions. 

Education. — There are six week-day schools in this parish, and 
these are attended by about 327 day scholars, and 90 evening scho- 
lars ; thus leaving little more than one-ninth of the population at 
school during day, and somewhat more than one-seventh when 
eveuing scholars are included. The burgh grammar-school is en- 
dowed to the extent of L. 36, 13s. 4d. a-year. The teacher of a 
district school has a limited allowance ; but this is by private ar- 
rangement, and the expense is met chiefly by an individual heri- 
tor. One of the teachers in the burgh has the school-room free, 
but even this is, we believe, by subscription, and another is wholly 
unaided. In addition to these, there are, as already noticed, two 
schools of industry for girls. The teacher of one of these has a 
salary without fees ; but this is made up out of subscriptions and the 
produce of the school; and the other has afew pounds from the town- 
. council, and the produce of her school. The branches taught in 
these different schools are numerous, embracing all the usual depart- 
ments of school education, and they are on the whole well taught. In 
all of them the children are made acquainted with the Scriptures 
and the Shorter Catechism ; and in most of them they are well 



Digitized by 



Google 



30 RENFREWSHIRE. 

instructed in the meaning of what they read. In several, but 
especially the grammar-school, they are trained to a degree of 
expertness in processes of mental arithmetic which usually asto- 
nishes observers ; and in this, as well as most of the others, they 
are taught to read intelligently and accurately. There are neverthe- 
less several manifest defects in our school education. The schools 
are all in a great measure promiscuous. Each teacher has too 
many classes to attend to, and too many branches to be taught 
successfully. Then the teachers themselves are miserably paid, 
and are thus forced to multiply their classes as a means of living. 
The same number of teachers would, with properly assorted 
classes, do double the work ; and promote education to the same 
extent. But it is morally impossible that teachers, mainly depen- 
dent on fees, can ever in such a place as this attain to a due division 
of labour. Then the early removal of the children to work is con- 
tinually thwarting and discouraging them. Should it ever happen 
that the proper means shall be allowed for raising our grammar- 
school to the proper rank of a grammar-school, three teachers 
ought to be appointed — one for English grammar, French, Latin, 
and Greek — another for writing, arithmetic, mathematics, geogra- 
phy, &c. and a third for English reading alone. This would do 
much for the interests of the burgh, and of the parish at large, and 
is perhaps not more than might be expected, seeing there is no pa- 
rochial school in the parish, and that something of the kind was 
originally contemplated in the charters granted to the burgh. School 
wages are so low as from 2s. to 3s. a quarter for reading, some- 
thing being added for extra branches. Only a few who are natives 
of the parish, and above six years of age, are wholly unable to read; 
and such as are known to be in these circumstances are in the 
course of being instructed. As in other parishes, the children of 
the destitute poor are instructed at the expense of the session. 
The number of children attending Sabbath schools is about 390, 
besides p. class of young adults, instructed by the minister of the 
parish, and amounting to about 60. The Sabbath schools are taught 
by about 40 teachers, — the boys being chiefly taught by males, and 
the girls by females. Most of the children attending Sabbath 
schools within burgh attend religious worship during the morning . 
and forenoon services, and part of them also in the afternoon. 
They are for the most part taught according to a uniform system, 
which embraces the morning service as an exercise. 

Literature. — There is a parish library, from which parishioners 
are allowed to read, at the rate of 2s. pe.r annum, for one volume 



Digitized by 



Google 



RENFREW. 31 

at a time ; and there is another subscription library in the burgh, 
ivhich has long existed. There is no school of arts or mechanics^ 
institution ; but an association is in progress of being formed for 
the cultivation of natural history and the useful arts. A news-room 
is also maintained for the convenience of burgesses and strangers. 
Benefit Societies. — These are numerous, atnounting to at least seven 
in the burgh. Some of them provide for widows ; but they are chiefly 
for cases of personal inability to work ; they have frequently failed 
to implement their conditions, the aliments fixed being generally 
too high for the subscriptions. Some of them, however, are, we * 
understand, doing well. One of these, the " Sailors* Society," 
is said to have existed in the fourteenth century, and is possessed 
of considerable property ; but its income has been dependent on 
other sources than subscriptions. Several societies also exist for 
furnishing mortcloths, mort-safes, &c. It is at present a matter of 
consideration, in the parish, whether to attempt establishing a sav- 
ings bank; the chief hinderance being the pre-existence of so many 
benefit societies, that would probably suffer by the withdrawal of 
funds. 

Poor's funds* — A considerable sum of money was long held by 
the kirk-session for behoof of the poor. But for many years, the 
expenditure has so exceeded the income as greatly to reduce the 
stock ; and for the last two years a voluntary assessment has been 
agreed to among the heritors, for the annual deficiency. In ad- 
dition to the collections, there is only one mortification, amount- 
ing to about L.60, — the interest of which is available, and only 
a few pounds of interest from the remaining stock; there are 
no dues connected with mortcloths or ecclesiastical observances 
paid into the poor's funds. In addition to the ordinary and sa- 
cramental collections, there is a special collection every year, to 
which non-resident heritors also contribute. The amount thus 
raised in 1834, including interest, as above stated, was about 
L. 147, and the expenditure L. 212 ; leaving a deficiency of L. 65. 
The number of poor regularly alimented is about 50, and the num- 
ber who receive occasional aid about as many more. The most 
common aliment to aged persons able to do a little, and without 
children, is 4s. per month. But in addition to this, even the aji- 
mented poor receive a few shillings on sacramental occasions, and 
at the beginning of winter. What is desirable under this head 
is enlarged church accommodation, and the moral cultivation of 
the parish, which are alone adequate, fairly to meet the wants, and 
promote the happiness of the poor. 



Digitized by 



Google 



32 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Prison.— The number of prisoners confined here, and connect- 
ed with this district, does not amount to half a dozen in a year, 
and they are nearly all debtors. A few others come here from 
other places. The apariments are well aired, and by no means 
unhealthy ; and, with regard to religious instruction, the period 
of incarceration b usually too short, to make this any matter of 
anxiety. 

FairSf Public Houses^ 8^c. — There are three fairs held in the 
burgh annually, chiefly for the sale of cattle ; and an attempt has 
lately been made, to get up a cattle show, which is likely to suc- 
ceed. The number of public houses in the parish has been for 
several years about 30. They are, especially in this place, pro- 
ductive of evil, from the immense number who frequent them 
on the Lord's day, chiefly from Glasgow and Paisley, particu- 
larly the latter. Some of those who sell spirits are, with cre- 
dit to themselves, particularly attentive in preventing abuse; 
a few of them shutting their houses entirely on Sabbath. And 
the present magistrates have very laudably enforced the obser- 
vance of the licensing act, on Saturday night and during di- 
vine service on the Lord's day. But still, abuses connected with 
public houses, and especially on the Lord's day, are among the 
chief hinderances to the moral and religious improvement of the 
parish. And there can be: no reasonable doubt, that the use of 
ardent spirits over the country is at present one of the greatest 
prevailing evils, economically, morally, and religiously. It is dif- 
ficult to say by what single means the evil may be remedied. 
But if the nation at large were only in earnest, perhaps few of 
the means which have been proposed would either remain untried, 
or prove uninfluential. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 
On comparing the present state of the parish with that which 
existed when the last Statistical Account was drawn up, forty years 
ago, the following results appear : 

Population in 1791, 1628; in 1835, 2883. 
Looms in 1791, 120; in 1835, 257. 
Labourers* wages in 1791, Is. 6d. per day ; in 1835, 2s. 
Men>serTant*8 fees in 1791, L. 5 in the half year ; in 1835, L. 7 to L. II. 
Manure per, ton in 1791, 2s. 6d : in 1835, 5s. 
Peck of meal in 1791, Is. ; in 1835, Is. to Is. 3d. 
Peck of potatoes in 1791, 8d. ; in 1835, 7d. to 8d. 
Land per acre in 1791, generally L. 2 ; in 1835, L. 2, !0s. or L. 2, l5s. 
Chief crops in 1791, oats, barley, wheat, and potatoes ; in 1835, Potatoes and turnips, 
wheat, beans, hay and clover. 

January 1836. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PARISH OF EASTWOOD OR POLLOCK. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. GEORGE LOGAN, MINISTER. 



I. — Topography and Natural History, 
Name, — Eastwood is the name by which this parish has been 
long known, — a name obviously derived from the woods that ex- 
ist in it, one of which, of large extent, covering more than 200 
acres, has within these twenty-five years been rooted out, and 
the ground converted into arable land. The parish appears like- 
wise to have had at one time the name of Pollock. This is ascer- 
tained by many written documents, in which it is mentioned as for- 
merly called Pollock, but then called Eastwood. The ancestors of 
Sir John Maxwell have for several centuries been the principal 
heritors of the parish ; and that family has been celebrated for at- 
tachment and devotion to the Church of Scotland, in the cause of 
which they suffered much during the reigns of Charles 11. and 
James VIL There can be no doubt, therefore, of its having got 
the name of Pollock from that of the lands of which it is chiefly com- 
posed; and by that name the family of Pollock wish the parish again 
to be called. 

Extent^ Boundaries, — The greatest length of this parish from 
north to south is 4 miles, and its greatest breadth from east to 
west about d miles ; but its form is very irregular, so that its di- 
mensions vary greatly in different parts. The medium may be 3 
by 2\ miles, comprehending about 7^ square miles. It is bound- 
ed on the east by the parishes of Cathcart and Mearns ; on the 
south by the parish of Mearns ; on the west by the parish of Neil- 
stou ; and on the north by the Abbey parish of Paisley and the 
parish of Govan ; while it approaches on the north side within three 
miles of the city of Glasgow. On the west side, a considerable ex- 
tent of land, held to be in the Abbey parish of Paisley, projects 
into and is almost surrounded by the parish of Eastwood. It ap- 
pears from the records of the Presbytery of Paisley, 24th January 
1650, that this land was annexed to Eastwood by decreet of the 

RENFREW. C 



Digitized by 



Google 



34 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Commission for Plantation of Kirks ; but that decreet has not hi- 
therto taken effect in practice. 

Topographical Appearances, — There are no mountains in the 
parish ; but it has an undulating surface throughout, with many 
gentle swells or hills, and flat lands or valleys of various shapes and 
sizes, and in many places intersected with streams, — so that the 
whole has a very beautiful and picturesque appearance. At the 
southern extremity, where the parish joins the Mearns, there is a 
continued range of hills sloping to the south and north. The ac- 
clivities of the hills vary from one in ten to one in twenty : the 
greatest height is about 300 feet ; and the least, about 30 feet 
above the level of the sea. The general slope is from the south- 
cast to the north-west. 

Hydrography. — The White Cart is the only water in the pa- 
rish that can be called a river. It runs about four miles, either 
through the parish, or as the boundary with Cathcart and the 
Abbey parish of Paisley. Its source is in Eaglesham moors, and 
after passing through the parishes of Eaglesham, East Kilbride, 
Mearns, Carmurinock, Eastwood, Abbey of Paisley, and Inchinnan, 
it joins the river Clyde about seven miles below Glasgow. No part 
of it is navigable till it reaches Paisley. The bed of the river has 
been deepened below that town, and the navigation to the Clyde 
completed by a short cut or canal. There are, besides the Cart, 
two smaller streams, Auldhouse Burn and Brock Burn. The for- 
mer issues from an extensive lake in the parish of Mearns, called 
the Brother Loch, and joins the river Cart at Pollockshaws. The 
latter rises also in'the Mearns, and joins the water of Levern at the 
western extremity of the parish ; and thence, as well as farther up 
the stream, the Levern is the boundary between Eastwood and the 
Abbey parish of Paisley, until it joins the river Cart near Cruick- 
ston Castle. — There are no springs in the parish of any note, if we 
except one in the glebe, which discharges about eleven impe- 
rial pints every minute. It is perennial, and seems to be affected 
neither by drought nor rain. There were several springs of the 
same kind in the neighbouring fields, but they have all been drain- 
ed off into the adjoining burn. 

Geology and Mineralogy, — The direction or dip of the strata, 
where they are lying fair, is from the north-west to the south-east. 
The inclination of the beds varies from one in six to one in ten. No 
dikesare met with; but frequent derangements of the strata occur, by 
slips or fissures which displace the beds less or more, and sometimes 



Digitized by 



Google 



EASTWOOD. 35 

to the extent of 1 00 feet, from their positions. The direction of these 
slips is generally from dip to rise, — although there is one very dis- 
tinct instance in the parish of derangements both across and in the 
line of the strata, whereby a lime rock is thrown up and down, and 
appears and disappears in a variety of places for the space of near- 
ly two miles along the ordinary line of dip and rise, and for about 
half a-mile in the opposite direction, or on the ordinary level of the 
metals. The rock here alluded to is known by the name of Arden 
lime. It appears on the surface at Davieland, near the eastern ex- 
tremity of the parish, and also at the western extremity at Dam- 
ley Bridge, and Damley Bleachfield, and at several intermediate 
places. 

The rocks of this parish are sandstone and limestone, with nu- 
merous bands of ironstone. The first and last are found every- 
where, by sinking pits ; and the sandstone makes its appearance on 
the surface in many places. 

In the barony of Eastwood, properly so called, there is a quarry 
of a very peculiar description. The rock is 50 feet deep, and lies 
in horizontal strata, the beds varying in thickness from 2 inches to 
2 feet. The general dip or inclination is to the south-east. There 
is betwixt each bed a thin layer of what resembles fire clay; and the 
face of the rock has very much the appearance of a wall built by 
the hand of man. The stone is of excellent quality, is easily 
wrought, and can be cut to any size of length or breadth that may 
be required. It is used for all parts of house-work, but is peculiar- 
ly adapted for pavement, stair steps, and hearths, and can be wrought 
into cisterns of any dimensions for holding bleaching liquors, &c. 
It has been discovered only within these four or five years, and is 
considered by judges to be a great natural curiosity, and one of the 
finest lying fields of rock in the country. There is another valu- 
able quarry about a quarter of a mile from the former. It is, what 
is technically termed, a liver rock, and the depth of it is 24 feet. 
It is of the finest quality, and is used for every purpose of masonry 
in house-building of the first description in Glasgow and the neigh- 
bourhood. It is much admired by sculptors, as well adapted for 
making fancy figures of any kind or size. There is a third quarry 
in the neighbourhood of this, in the farm of Giffnock, which is of 
the same quality with the latter, and for which there has been long 
a great demand. The number of quarriers employed in the first 
and second of these is thirty, with twenty labourers. They work ten 



Digitized by 



Google 



36 RENFREWSHIRE. 

hours each day, and six days per week. The wages of the former 
are, 2s. 6d., and of the latter, 2s. per day. 

Limestone has been wrought at Arden and Darnley, and also 
at Cowglen. It is still wrought at the first mentioned place, 
though on a limited scale, the lime being of so poor a quality as 
not to admit of any sand in building. But its physical character 
is such as that it very soon becomes almost as impenetrable as the 
solid stone. It is used chiefly for the rough-casting of houses. 
Its component parts when analyzed have been found to be, 78 per 
cent, lime, 13 sand, 6 iron, and 3 clay. The thickness is 9 feet 
6 inches ; but only 3 feet 6 inches at the bottom are burned. 
The other beds are considered to be of so poor a quality as to be 
imfit for lime, and are laid aside for roads. The lime at Cowglen 
resembles that at Arden, but it is not the same stratum. It is 
five feet thick^ and consists of four distinct beds, some of which 
produce lime of a pure white, and others of a blue colour. 

Coal is wrought in the parish at Cowglen, where there is a great 
number of seams of various thickness ; but none exceeding 2 feet 
6 inches. The whole are of good quality ; and five of them have 
been wrought, and are still in working in pits varying from 10 to 
40 fathoms in depth. The works are carried on in the usual 
manner, by leaving about one-fourth part of the coal in pillars for 
supporting the superincumbent strata. 

Soil — The soil is various. On the south side and the higher 
grounds, it is generally a thin earth, with what is called a till bot- 
tom, — till being a mixture of stone and heavy clay, hard and re- 
tentive of moisture. But there are likewise on the banks of the 
Cart, and the burns or rivulets, various holms of considerable ex- 
tent, and very fertile. 

11. — Civil History. 

So far as consists with the knowledge of the writer, there is no 

ancient or modem history of the parish printed or in manuscript ; 

and, though the different proprietors have no doubt plans of their 

" several estates, there are no general maps, plans, or surveys of the 

parish. 

In the possession of the family of Polloc, there are several ori- 
ginal papers of considerable antiquity, which deserve attention. 
Among the chief of these are the following : — A precept from the 
Lords of Council of King James V. to meet his Queen when she 
came first to Scotland, dated 1527; a letter from the Regent- Queen 



Digitized by 



Google 



EASTWOOD. 37 

Mary, 1559 ; a letter from Lord Morton, and others, anent the 
murder of the King, 1567 ; a letter from Queen Mary before 
the battle of Langside; a letter from King James VI. for a 
hackney to the Queen, 1590 ; another for provision to the 
Prince's baptism, 1594 ; and the original, with the subscriptions, 
of the first Solemn League, signed by the King and Council, 1587. 
The letter from King James for provision for the Prince's baptism 
is a great curiosity, and deserves to be made public, as afifording a 
singular picture of "the times. The original of the Solemn League 
is written with great distinctness and beauty, in a character re- 
sembling Italic print, and can be read with as great facility as the 
most modern writings. 

There have been in this parish since the Revolution seveji mi- 
nisters, including the present incumbent It is singular that two 
of these, viz. Messrs Crawford and Wodrow, have written histories 
of the Church of Scotland. The latter was born in Glasgow about 
the year 1680, and died in 1734. 

Eminent Men. — Mr Wodrow was a man not only of great worth 
and usefulness as a minister, but of extraordinary industry and ap- 
plication to researches connected with the antiquities of Scotland. 
He wrote a great deal, and employed himself, particularly during the 
last years of his life, in writing the lives of the principal learned men 
of Scotland who lived previous to the restoration of the Stewarts. 
Some of his manuscripts are preserved in the Library of the Fa- 
culty of Advocates; some, in the repositories of the Church; and 
some are still in the hands of his descendants. His great work is 
the History of the Church during the period of the Persecution. 
It commences with the Restoration and ends with the glorious Re- 
volution, and the accession of William and Mary to the throne of 
these realms. For many years it lay in a great measure neglect- 
ed ; but Mr Fox having given a high character of it in his history, 
it was brought into public notice. All the copies were quickly 
bought up, and a new and elegant edition, in four volumes octavo, 
has been edited by Dr Burns of Paisley. 

Mr Crawford's church history has never been published, but the 
manuscript is among the records of the church. It consists of two 
volumes folio, and contains upwards of 1400 pages. It commences 
with the introduction of Christianity into Scotland, and ends at the 
year 1680. 

Walter Stewart of Pardovan, Esq., the well known author of 



Digitized by 



Google 



38 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the Collections, died while on a visit at the House of Pollok, and 
was interred in the aisle appropriated to the Pollock family.* 

LaTid-owners, — Sir John Maxwell, Bart of Pollock; and David 
Machaffie, Esq. are the chief land-owners. 

Parochial Registers. — The earliest date of the parochial regis- 
ter of births is 1687 ; but it is defective, — as few Dissenters are in- 
clined to register. The earliest date of the register of proclama- 
tion of marriages is December 1693; but this is likewise defective, 
as the parties frequently neglect to return and get the marriage re- 
gistered. 

III. — Population. 

We have no means of exactly ascertaining the ancient state of 
the population of the parish ; but it would appear, that towards the 
commencement of the last century the population was very small, 
perhaps not more than a sixth of what it now is. The burgh of 
Pollokshaws was then a small village ; and Thornliebank, which 
now contains upwards of 1300 inhabitants, had then no existence. 
The causes of the great increase of the population to its present 
amount, 6854, were the establishment of several large public works 
in the parish, and the improvements in trade, manufactures, &c. 
The amount of the population residing in Pollokshaws is 4627, — 
of which 2169 are males, and 2458 females. In Thornliebank 
the population is 1366, of which 700 are males, and 666 females. 
In the country part, there are 861, of whom 414 are males, and 
447 females. 

The proprietors of land of the yearly value of L. 50 and upwards 
are, besides Sir John Maxwell and Mr Machaffie, already mention- 
ed, — the Earl of Glasgow; Neil Thompson, Esq. Camphill; John 
Maxwell, Esq. M.P., younger of Pollock; Dugald Bannatyne, Esq. 
Postmaster, Glasgow; Messrs Crum, Thornliebank; Martin, 

* A marble monument, erected to his memory, bears the following inscription :— 
« Within this aisle lies Walter Stewart of Pardoyan, son of Walter Stewart of Par- 
dovan, and grandson to Sir Archibald Stewart of Blackball, — a gentleman well ski!, 
led in most parts of usei\il learning, and in the constitution of his country, and emi- 
nent for his unbiassed zeal for its ancient rights and real interests, which he shewed 
by his very early appearance for the Protestant religion, in accompanying King Wil- 
liam from Holland at the glorious Revolution 1688, and afterwards by his services in 
our Scotch Parliament, where he for many years represented the burgh of Linlith- 
gow, — of such distinguished piety and zeal for our holy religion, that he mortified 
20,000 merks to the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowled^. He 
died March 8th 1719, aged 52 years, at the seat of his affectionate kinsman, Sir John 
Maxwell of PoUok, one of the Senators of the College of Justice, and is interred in 
the burial place of that honourable fiimily, which, by the permission of the honour- 
able proprietor, is likewise destined for the burial-place of his dear spouse, Katharine 
Cornwall, daughter of James Cornwall of Bonhard, who has erected this monument 
to the memory of her dearly beloved husband." 



Digitized by 



Google 



EASTWOOD. 39 

Esq. writer, Paisley ; Dr Macarthur, Glasgow. They are all non- 
resident, with the exception of Sir J. Maxwell and Messrs Cnim. 

There are in the parish 1 fatuous, 4 blind, and 4 deaf and dumb 
persons. 

IV. — Industry. 

Agriculture. — The whole parish, excepting what is built upon, 
or occupied with wood, consists of arable land. There are nei- 
ther waste lands nor common ; and the total number of acres, stan- 
dard imperial measure, is about 5000. The number of acres 
under natural or copse-wood is 250, and there are about 100 
acres under planted timber. The trees generally planted are, oak, 
ash, elm, sycamore, beech, larch, Scotch fir, silver fir, and spruce. 

Bent of Land. — The average rent of land is about L. 2 per im- 
perial acre. The average rent of grazing is L. 4 per ox or cow. 
There are no sheep farms in the parish. 

Bxite of Wages. — The wages of day-labourers are from 10s. to 
12s. per week. Those of farm-servants are from L. 8 to L. 10 
for the half year, with bed, board, and washing. Their food con- 
sists principally of preparations of oatmeal and milk, morning and 
evening, and of broth and beef to dinner ; and the custom still 
generally prevails of the servants sitting at the same table with 
their masters. 

iiwe-S^oc*.— The cattle in the parish are chiefly of the Cun- 
ningham or Ayrshire breed. Considerable attention has been paid 
of late to its improvement. Still, however, the breeding of cattle 
is considered but a matter of secondary importance ; and, owing 
both to this circumstance, and to the inferiority of the pasture 
lands, the cattle are not equal to those reared in some of the 
neighbouring parishes, particularly those in the west 

Husbandry. — The general mode of farming pursued in the pa- 
rish is by a rotation of crops. Each farm may be pretty accu- 
rately described as divided into five parts. One part, after lying 
in pasture for the period of one season only, is ploughed up and 
sown with oats. The succeeding year, it is planted with potatoes. 
The year following, it is sown with wheat, and laid down with grass 
seeds for a crop of hay. 

The farm buildings are of one story in height, — and all, with 
one or two exceptions, slated, — afibrding every accommodation 
which the tenants require. The enclosures contain from five to 
twenty acres. 

The principal improvements that have recently been introduced 



Digitized by 



Google 



40 RENFUEWSUIilE. 

are furrow drains. Clauses, as to the mode of management, are 
seldom inserted in the leases, and are held to be useless, when a 
proper selection of tenants is made. Indeed, by far the greater 
part of the parish is held by the tenants, under verbal bargains^ 
for the term of years noted in the proprietor's rental book, or by a 
memorandum of the agreement. The general duration of leases is 
ten years, and few of the farms much exceed 100 acres. 

The average produce of wheat per acre may be taken at 9 bolls, 
oats, do. . .8 

cultivated bay, do. . 200 stones, 

potatoes, do. . . 90 bolls. 

There are few or no cabbages or beet raised in the parish for the 
purpose of feeding cattle. Each farmer cultivates as many tur- 
nips as may be sufficient for consumption on his own lands. They 
are seldom raised for the market. 

The quantity of land in the parish under grass may be reckoned 
at about one-half. This, it must be observed, includes, not only 
the lands in pasture connected with the various farms, but several 
large districts of pasture land which Sir John Maxwell retains in 
his own hand. 

The gross amount of coals wrought in the parish may be valued 
at L. 3500; and of lime at L. 400. 

Manufactures. — The several branches of manufacture carried on 
in the parish are cotton-spinning, weaving, bleaching, calico-print- 
ing, &c In the PoUockshaws cotton-work, there are employed 
in poWer-loom weaving, 265 persons; in cotton-spinning, 194; 
total, 459. There are employed in Auldhouse-field in bleaching 
and finishing, 190; mechanics and labourers, 20; total, 210. 
In Thornliebank, there are employed in calico-printing, 344; 
bleaching and finishing, 186 ; cotton-spinning, 151 ; power-loom- 
weaving, 121; hand-loom-weaving 45; total, 847. — At Green- 
bank, PoUockshaws, there is a considerable dye-work, but I can- 
not specify exactly the number there employed. There are, be- 
sides, in PoUockshaws, several hundred hand-loom weavers em- 
ployed by the manufacturers of Glasgow and Paisley. These have 
generally been considered as excelling in that department. 

In the manufactories, men, women, and children, work usually 
twelve hours each day, with the exception of Saturday, when 
they are engaged only nine hours ; and the wages are considered as 
affording fair remuneration and means of support to the operatives. 
With respect to their effects on health and morals, a master of one 
of these public works writes thus, « From all I can learn, the health 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



EASTWOOD. 41 

and morals of persons employed in well-conducted manufacturing 
establishments are greatly superior to what they are in other districts 
of the country. The regular and abundant food, and comparatively 
comfortable lodging, more than compensate for the less frequent ex- 
posure to the open air, and the greater duration of labour ; and the 
means we possess of knowing and checking open vice, have, I be- 
lieve, a powerful effect in suppressing it." The observation of Dr 
Macgill, in the former Statistical Account, seems just, ^^ The people 
of this parish are in general more healthy than those usually are 
who follow such occupations. This may be owing in part to the fresh 
currents of air which blow frequently vrith considerable strength 
betwixt the surrounding heights, and very much to the tradesman 
mingling sometimes with hia sedentary employment the exhilarating 
exercises of the garden and the field.'' 

V. — Parochial Economy. 

PoUockshaws is the only town in the parish. It was erected in 
the year 1814 into a burgh of barony by a charter from the Crown, 
and has a provost, bailie, and six councillors, with a town-clerk and 
fiscal. All persons who rent a house of L. 4 and upwards have 
a right to vote in the election of the magistrates and council. It 
has no proper market day; but provisions of all kinds may be 
readily at any time procured. A post-office was some years ago 
established, which has daily communication with the post-office at 
Glasgow. The village of Thornliebank is situated a mile to the 
south-west of PoUockshaws, — the whole of which, with the ex- 
ception of two or three small houses, belongs to Messrs Crum, and 
is almost wholly occupied by persons in their employment. The 
length of the several turnpike roads which pass through the parish 
is about four miles ; and there are stage-coaches which travel daily 
upon them. The roads are oppressed with toll-dues so much, that 
in going from the south-west of PoUockshaws to Glasgow, a dis- 
tance of only three miles, a single horse-gig pays Is. 4d. We 
have no canals or railways in the parish. The bridges and fences 
are generally kept in good repair. 

Ecclesiastical State. — The parish church is situated upon the slope 
of a hill, at the south-west end of PoUockshaws. It is very conveni- 
ently situate for the inhabitants of PoUockshaws and ThornUebank, 
who compose by far the greatest part of the population. Its dis- 
tance from the most remote part of the parish does not much ex«- 
ceed three miles. Tlie old church, which stood about half a mile 
to the west, was taken down, and the new one built in 1781: it is 



Digitized by 



Google 



42 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Still in a tolerable state of repair. Though, at the time when it was 
built, it was reckoned one of the neatest churches in the district, — 
it is far from possessing the elegance of many churches of more recent 
erection. It affords accommodation only for about 750 persons, so 
that it is by no means sufficient for the population of the parish. There 
are no free sittings. Sir John Maxwell, having more seats than are 
required for the accommodation of his tenantry, lets a few seats an- 
nually to such of the parishioners as are not otherwise accommodat- 
ed. — The manse was rebuilt in 1791 nearly upon the old site, and 
has undergone from time to time various repairs. Though not equal 
to some of the new manses, it is still a commodious house, and very 
pleasantly situated. — The glebe, including the ground occupied by 
the manse, offices, plantings, roads, and garden, contains about six 
acres. There are not, however, more than five arable acres ; and 
it cannot be valued above L. 2 per acre. There is no land allot- 
ted for pasture : the minister receives in lieu of it only L. 20 
Scots. The stipend which, at the date of the former Statistical Ac^ 
count, was 5 chalders of meal, 1 chalder of bear, and 400 merks 
of money, including communion elements, has been since aug- 
mented three times. The last augmentation was given in 1824; 
and its amount now is 8 chalders meal, 8 chalders barley, and 
L. 15 for communion elements. 

There are no Chapels of Ease connected with the Established 
Church. There are two Seceding chapels or churches, furnishing 
sittings for about 700 each, or 750, — one of which belongs to the 
United Associate Synod, — and the other is connected with the 
Synod of Original Seceders. The stipend of the minister of the 
latter is L. 125, with a manse, garden, and cow's grass, which may 
be valued at L.20. The stipend of the minister of the former is 
L. 130, without either manse or garden. These stipends are raised 
from the seat rents and collections. We have no Episcopal or 
Catholic chapels. The Catholics, of whom it is said there are 
about 700 in the parish, when they attend public worship, go to 
Glasgow. The parish church and the two Seceding meeting- 
houses could accommodate only 2200; but, excepting upon sacra- 
mental occasions, they are seldom completely filled. The neglect 
of public worship is a growing evil ; and the public works have at- 
tracted and brought into the parish a great number of strangers, 
who are very irregular in attending upon the ordinances of religion. 
The ordinance of the Lord's supper is dispensed twice a-year si- 
multaneously in all the three places of worship. The average 



Digitized by 



Google 



EASTWOOD. 43 

number of communicants in the parish church is only about 860* 
Many of the rising generation never apply for admission to the 
Lord's table. The number of families professing to belong to the 
Established Church is 367; to the Original Burghers, 309; to the 
United Associate Synod, or New Light Burghers, 219; Roman 
Catholic families, 124. 162 families acknowledge that they at- 
tend no place of worship, and belong to no denomination : and 
many more are supposed to be in the same predicament who do 
not own it. 

We have no Societies at present in the parish for reti^ous pur- 
poses. A Bible, Missionary, and Educational Society has been 
once and again attempted, and for some time carried on ; but it 
gradually fell off, till at last it has totally disappeared. The pa- 
rish has been assessed for the support of the poor for a number 
of years past ; and ever since, our church collections have been 
greatly diminished, and perhaps do not average much above 7s. or 
8s. per day. 

The minister has a class of young persons who attend him week- 
ly for the purpose of receiving instruction in the principles of re- 
ligion ; and a Fellowship- Meeting, consisting of a considerable 
number of the rising generation, has lately been formed, which 
promises a revival of religion among the young. 

EducatioTu — There are five schools in the parish, — in each of 
which there is only one teacher. The parochial teacher has the 
maximum salary, and the legal accommodations of school-room, 
dwelling-house, and garden. The branches of education usually 
taught are, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, English gram- 
mar, Latin, and occasionally algebra and practical mathematics* 
The general expense of education per quarter is, 3s. for reading ; 
reading and writing, 3s. 6d. ; Latin, &c. 5s. The greatest number 
attending the parish school is 51 males, and 50 females. The 
probable amount of fees paid to the schoolmaster is L. 36 per an- 
num. The same branches of education are generally taught in 
the other schools ; and the greatest number of males attending is 
363, and females 246 ; in these numbers, is included a great pro- 
portion of evening scholars, who are connected with the public 
works, and therefore cannot attend any day-school. The fees are 
the same as those of the parochial school. It is not easy to state 
exactly the number of the young between six and fifteen years 
of age who cannot read or write ; but there is reason to fear that 
it is considerable. There are but too many who seem not alive 



Digitized by 



GoQgle 



44 RENFREWSHIRE. 

to the benefits of education, but there are others, whose poverty 
only prevents them from giving their children that education 
which they would wish. A number of the children of the poor 
are educated at the expense of the parish. Of the other teachers 
three pay rent for their respective school-rooms. The teacher at 
Thornliebank has a large and commodious school-room from the 
proprietors of the public works, together with a comfortable dwel- 
ling-house ; but he is otherwise wholly dependent upon school fees* 
There are, besides, in the parish, three Sabbath schools, attended 
by about 600 males and females ; but of these it is believed a con- 
siderable proportion attend either day or evening schools through 
the week. The expense incurred by these is defrayed by occa- 
sional collections. 

Literature. — We have no parochial or circulating libraries at 
present in the parish. A public reading-room was sometime ago 
opened in PoUockshaws, but not meeting with sufficient encourage- 
ment, it has been discontinued. 

Friendly Societies. — There are the following friendly societies: 
1. The Qld Society of Weavers, instituted 1749. The number 
of members is about 200 ; contribution, 4s. per annum ; bedfast 
aliment, ds. per week; and walking aliment, 2s. Id. To super- 
annuated members, or such as are past working, bedfast aliment 
2s. Id.: walking aliment. Is. dd. 

2. Ayr and Renfrewshire Friendly Society of Weavers, insti- 
tuted 1799 ; members about 200 ; rate of contribution and aliment 
the same as in the old society. The average annual expenditure 
about L. 30. 

3. Young Society of Weavers, instituted 1774 ; rate of contri- 
bution and aliment nearly the same as above. 

4. Funeral Friendly Society, instituted 1827; rate of contribu- 
tion, a man with a family, 4s., a single man, 2s. L. 2 are given to 
defray the funeral charges of a member. The number of mem- 
bers is about 100. 

5. Gardeners' Friendly Society, instituted 1830; rate of con- 
tribution, 6s. per annum; members, 44; bedfast aliment, 5s. per 
week ; walking aliment, 3s. per week- 

6. Cowglen Friendly Society, instituted 1809; 67 members; 
contributions 5s. per annum ; bedfast aUment, 6s. per week ; walk- 
ing aliment, 4s. 

Poor and Parochial Funds. — The average number of regular 
paupers upon the roll is 81 ; and average allowance to each per 



Digitized by 



Google 



EASTWOOD. 45 

year L. 2, 16s. O^d. — exclusive of articles of clothing, which are 
allowed when necessary. Small sums are sometimes also given for 
the relief of occasional distress. 

The funds for the poor are derived from an assessment impos- 
ed annually, (one-half on the heritors, and the other on the rest of 
the inhabitants, according to their means and circumstances,) and 
amounting for the current year to L. 335 ; rent of a small house 
left to the parish, and church collections, L. 24 ; total, L. 359. 

A disposition to refrain from seeking parochial relief does exist 
to a considerable degree. Of this, the existence of so many Friendly 
Societies seems an evident proof. There are, however, many per- 
sons who think themselves not at all degraded by application for 
relief to the parish funds. 

Prison. — The jail of Pollockshaws, although authorized legally 
as such, is not fit for the accommodation of prisoners, and is used 
only as a temporary lock-up -place, where offenders are confined 
for a few hours, or until they can be transmitted to the county pri- 
son. 

Fair. — We have no fairs, — unless the last Friday of May may 
be so called, which is observed as a holiday, and when there is a 
trifling horse-race, which has no other tendency than to assemble 
a number of idle people, and promote the sale of whisky. 

Irmsj Alehotises, Sfc. — There are 56 licensed alehouses or 
whisky shops in the parish. Their number has been greatly in- 
creased within these twenty years. They have a very injurious 
effect upon the morals of the people, and are known from actual 
observation to be productive of great misery and much crime. 
Their number, I am informed, is much greater in proportion to 
the population than in any other part of the county; and the num- 
ber of cases of assault and other minor offences, arising generally 
from intoxication, seems nearly in the same proportion. 

Fuel — Coal may be said to be the only fuel. Of this there is 
abundance in the parish and neighbourhood ; and the price varies 
from 4s. 6d. to 5s. 6d. per cart, 12 cwt. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 
There is a striking difference betwixt the present state of the 
parish and that which existed at the time of the former Statistical 
Account, in respect of population, — the number of inhabitants since 
that time being greatly more than doubled. At that time, also, a 
considerable part of the land was, in a manner, waste, — being co- 
vered with heath and bent ; whereas now there is hardly an acre of 



Digitized by 



Google 



46 RENFREWSHIRE. 

unproductive land in the parish. Draining, which then was little, if 
at all, practised, is going forward with great spirit, and will with- 
out doubt tend much to improve the quality of the soil, and pro- 
motelts fertility. It does not appear to the writer that any bet- 
ter system of husbandry can be introduced, or the facilities of in- 
ternal communication increased, — there being already excellent 
roads leading to and through every part of the parish. Could ar- 
dent spirits be altogether banished, or their consumption diminish- 
ed tenfold, and those engaged in the public works led more generally 
to sanctify the Sabbath and attend upon public worship, these 
things would tend greatly to promote the best interests of the 
working-classes. It is likewise evident that there is much need for 
church extension, — the present accommodation being by no means 
adequate to the population. 

January 1836. 



UNITED PARISHES OF 

HOUSTON AND KILLALLAN. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. JOHN MONTE ATH, D.D. MINISTER. 



I. — Topography and Natural History. 

The parishes of Houston and Killallan were united in the year 
1760. 

Names. — Killallan is a corruption of KillfiUan, u e. CeUa Fillani, 
the name of the tutelary saint of the parish. Houston may be sup- 
posed to be a corruption of Hew's town, perhaps from Hugo de 
Padvinan, who is said, by Mr Crawfurd, in his History of Renfrew- 
shire, to have obtained a grant of the barony of Kelpeter, the an- 
cient name of Houston parish, from Baldwin of Biggar, Sheriff of 
Lanark in the reign of Malcolm IV. 

Boundaries, extenL-^ThQ united parish is bounded on the west 
by Kilmacolm ; on the south by Kilbarchan ; on the north and east 
by the parish of Erskine, which separates it from the Clyde. It 
is about 6 miles in length and 3 in breadth. 

Hydroffraphy.^-The only considerable river is Gryfe, which 



Digitized by 



Google 



HOUSTON AND KILLALLAN. 47 

separates it from Kilbarchan on the south. This river has its 
source in the high moors and mountains that are situated between 
Kilmalcolm and the Largs on the coast of the Frith of Clyde. It 
is composed of several streams that unite near the mansion-house 
of Duchal. It runs rapidly over several precipices to the low 
country at Fulwood ; after which, it moves slowly in a serpentine 
course, receiving the river Black Cart at Moss Walkinshaw, and 
White Cart at Inchinnan Bridge, and thence into the Clyde a little 
below Renfrew. 

Geology. — In the highest districts of these parishes, granite pre- 
vails. In the lower districts, there are sandstone and limestone 
quarries, and coals. 

Alluvial deposits, moss, or peat, in many places six feet deep, 
cover extensive fields of clay, in the low districts of Killallan, be- 
ing the eastmost part of the parish, and on both sides of the water 
of Gryfe. Small pieces of land have been cleared of the moss, and 
produce good crops. 

Zoology. — The woodlark, sometimes called the Scotch night- 
ingale, from its pleasant and plaintive notes, and singing often after 
nightfall, was common here fifty years ago, but has quite disap- 
peared since that time. Whether the introduction of foreign trees 
among the natural woods, such as larch and pines, or frequent 
liming of land, or some severe winter, have occasioned their 
disappearing, — the writer of this account will not venture to de- 
termine. 

Botany. — The writer of this account has often examined the 
indigenous plants of these parishes by Linnaeus's Genera Plantarum, 
but found none but such as are common in the west of Scotland. 

There is an extensive natural wood on Houston barony, the pro- 
perty of Archibald Spiers, Esq. of Eldersly, consisting of oak, 
birch, plane, ash. There are also an extensive natural wood, con- 
sisting of the same kinds of trees, on the estate of Barochan, the 
property of William M. Fleming, Esq. of Barochan, and some 
thriving modern plantations on Barochan. But the most exten- 
sive plantations in these parishes are on the high-lands in Killal- 
lan, and on the mosses in the lower parts of Killallan, which Mr. 
Spiers has planted with oak, larch, ash, beech, Scotch fir. Most 
of the trees thrive well on the high-land, particularly the larch. 
Those on the mosses have a good appearance at a distance, but 
have not been narrowly inspected for some years by the writer of 
this article. During the severe drought this season, a very consi- 



Digitized by 



Google 



48 RENFREWSHIRE. 

derable number of acres of planting on the moss, on the south side 
of the Gryfe, were by accident set on fire ; the wind being from 
the east, the fire raged, and the flames rose to a great height In 
some parts, the progress of the fire was arrested by a number of 
men cutting large trenches in the moss. To leave large avenues un* 
planted in modern plantations might, perhaps, prevent the spread- 
ing of fire. Proprietors of land may sdso, perhaps, find it their in- 
terest, when planting on high and exposed situations, to plant the 
pinaster or maritime pine along the skirts of their plantations, as 
an excellent defence against the storm ; but it requires to be trans- 
planted in the nursery, its tap-root shortened, and to stand eighteen 
months more in a nursery of rich ground. The Earl of Galloway, 
by following this plan, has obtained thriving plantations on every 
exposure ; and in the west of Scotland Scotch firs planted on the 
south-west of the other trees are a great defence from our most 
frequent storms. 

II. — Civil History. 

Land'owners, — The chief land-owners are, Archibald Spiers, 
Esq. of Eldersly, non-resident ; William M. Fleming, Esq. of Ba- 
rochan, resident ; William M. Alexander, Esq. of Southbar, non- 
resident; William Cunningham, Esq. of Craigends, non-resi- 
dent. 

Family of Fleming of Barochan. — Barochan is a very ancient 
family. Peter Fleming of Barochan * and six of his sons fell in 
the fatal field of Flowden. Mr Fleming left a seventh son, who 
succeeded him. This same Peter Fleming was a celebrated fal- 
coner. His tersel beat the falcon of James IV., upon which the 
King unhooded his favourite hawk, and put the hood on the ter- 
sel. The hood was richly ornamented with precious stones. Most 
of them were stolen many years ago. One ruby remained of great 
value ; but about thirteen years ago, it fell out, and, not being 
missed at the time, it was lost. A few seed pearls only remain. 
There is still at Barochan a pair of silver spurs which belonged 
to the same Peter Fleming. Barochan cross was described in 
the former Statistical Account Its history is still obscure. 
But antiquarians may perhaps be enabled to throw some light on 
its original, by examining these fine stenographic figures of it 
which were lately furnished to the writer of this Account by W. 

» This laird of Barochan had probably two proper names, and this may account for 
his being denominated William in the account given of his death, in the former $ta« 
tistical Account. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HOUSTON AND KILLALLAN. 49 

M. Fleming, Esq. the present proprietor of Barochan, and which 
will be found in his possession.* 

Parochial Registers, — There are three volumes of parochial 
registers; the earliest entry is 25th October 1696. The two 
oldest volumes have not been regularly kept ; they are not even 
authenticated by the subscription of any clerk ; and there are con- 
siderable gaps in them. Indeed, there never was any parochial 
schoolmaster or regular session-clerk in the parish of Killallan 
while disjoined from Houston ; and no register, except one gratui- 
tously kept by the late Rev. Mr Monteath, previous to 1799. The 
date of births was entirely omitted, and baptisms only inserted, 
— such perhaps might be the common practice at that time. But 
when this omission was discovered by the present minister, he con- 
sidered it his duty to the public, to insist that births should be 
strictly and uniformly registered ; and he had some diflSculty in per- 
suading the session-clerk that this was absolutely necessary, for ex- 
actly ascertaining the ages of the parishioners. Since that year, 
the register has been regularly kept. 

III. — Population. 

In the year 1760, when these parishes were united, there were 

only about 300 examinable persons in each of them. The whole 

population in 1831 of the united parishes was 2745. The cause of 

this remarkable increase is evidently the introduction of public works. 

Number of persons in Tillages, . . . . 2140 

the country, . . . . 605 

Yearly avenige of births for the last seven years, • . 5&^ 

marriages, do. • . . . 2df 

Nomber of persons under 15 years of age, . . 1216 

betwixt 15 and 30, . . . .681 

so and 50, . . .485 

50 and 70, . . . 295 

upwards of 70, . . ... 68 

Number of fiunilies in the parish, . . . . 520 

chiefly employed in agriculture, ... 100 
in trade, manufiictures, or handicraft, 363 

Average number of children in each family, • . . 2|- 

Jnsane and fatuous persons, . ... 4 

William M. Fleming, Esq. of Barochan, is the only resident heri- 
tor, possessing a considerable landed estate; but there are several 

* There wta a plan of Houston parish, made at the desire of a former proprietor 
of the barony of Houston, which comprehends the whole of that parish, and part of 
Killallan ; but the plan is now lost. The present minister of these parishes has a 
faint recollection of having seen, a great many years ago, but cannot remember in 
whose custody it was, a fine and apparently minute plan of Houston and the adjacent 
country, specifying the ncmesof the farms ; it was said to have been made under the 
influence of the French government, with a view to the invasion of this part of the 
country. 

RENFREW. D 



Digitized by 



Google 



50 UENFEEWSHIRE. 

individuals and families of independent fortune resident in the pa- 
rishes. 

The number of proprietors of land, having L. 50 and upwards 
of yearly rent, resident and non-resident, about 9. 

Character of the People. — The author of this article, in his Ac- 
count of the parish of Neilston, inserted in the former work, ven- 
tured to state his opinion on the effects of some of the cotton 
mills, and other public works with which the parish abounded, 
upon the morals and health of the people.*" The lapse of 
forty years has not induced the author to alter the opinion which 
be then expressed on this subject Where a population is 
composed, like that of Houston and Killallan, of people from all 
quarters, and of all sentiments in religion and politics, it is difficult 
to delineate their character. He hopes, however, that they are 
not behind any of their neighbours, who are similarly situated, in 
intellectual, moral, and religious improvement. 

IV. — Industry. 

Agriculture, — Draining and straightening of ridges have been 
practised for many years. The farm-houses are almost all slated 
and commodious. Leases generally for nineteen years. 

Rent of Land. — Rent of arable land from L. 2 to L. 3, and in 
some situations L.4per acre. The valued rent of the parish is 
L. 4057, 8s. Scots ; the real rent probably L. 9000 Sterling. 

Recent Agricultural Improvements. — Mr Fleming of Barochan 
lately returned from India, where he was a District-Judge, and 
afterwards a Circuit-Judge fcrr many years, when he had leisure 
from the important duties of his office, amused himself with agri- 
cultural and chemical experiments ; and is now improving here his 
paternal estate to a considerable extentf The scarcity and the 
consequent dearness of common manure is among the greatest ob- 
stacles to agricultural improvements in this part of the country. He 
has, therefore, lately made many experiments of oil mixed with 
moss as a manure, — which he has found answer well for top-dressing 
grass lands, and also for various crops ; and if oil can be purchased 
at L. 18 Sterling per toii, he is of opinion it can be used profitably 
as a substitute for common manure. :|: 

• Vide Volume second of former Statistical Account, parish of Neilston. The 
account of this parish was, with some others, translated into French, and transmitted 
by Sir John Sinclair to some of the foreign cabinets, as specimens of statistics. 

•J* It is said, that Mr Fleming, when in India, made several new and valuable im- 
provements in the collection and preparation of opium. 

\ An extensive use of oil compost might be useful to the fisheries, by increasing 
the demand for oil, which has decreased since the introduction of gas. 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



HOUSTON AND KILLALLAN. 51 

Cotton Milk — Bleachfield. — The cotton mills erected since the 
time of the former Statistical Account are, all but one, on the left 
bank of the water of Gryfe ; they commence in Killallan, about two 
miles west from the church of Houston, continue in an eastern di- 
rection, and terminate in Houston parish. They are the following : 
the new mill occupied by Messrs X and J. Findlay, near Bridge of 
Weir, in Killallan, built in 1792 ; it is 144 feet in length, 36 in 
width, height 3 stories and attics ; it contains 6240 mule spindles, 
and the necessary preparations, and is driven by a water-wheel 13 
feet diameter, by 11 in width; 12 horses power; 94 persons em- 
ployed in it; amount of wages paid weekly, L. 32, 10s. 

Gryfe Grove Mill, occupied by Mr Robert Barr, built in 1822, 
46 feet long, 30 feet wide, of two stories and garret; contains 900 
mule spindles, 480 water-twist spindles going, and machinery for 
preparation, driven by a water wheel of 12 feet diameter, and 6 
feet wide, made of cast and malleable iron ; 1 1 males and 20 females 
are employed in the mill, and 8 women in their own houses, 3 of 
whom are widowers, and two of them near eighty years of age. 
The wages paid to workers per week average about L. 10, or 
L.520 a-year, exclusive of cartage and other out-door work. Ad- 
jacent to this mill, Mr Barr and a partner, Mr M^Gavin, erected a 
mill for carding wool and tow, for country people. 

Another cotton mill, adjacent to the last mentioned, is building 
by Mr Shank, 46 feet long, 36 feet wide over the walls, consisting of 
a cotton cellar, two stories and garret; when finished, it will contain 
from 1300 to 1400 water-twist spindles, and all necessary machi- 
nery for preparation^ driven by a water-wheel of 12 feet diameter, 
6^ feet wide, made of cast and malleable iron. 

Gryfe Mill, a little to the east from Bridge Weir, occupied by 
Messrs John Freeland and Company, was built in 1793, is upwards 
of 190 feet, within the walls, in length, 34 feet in width within the 
walls, 50 feet in height, contains 18^000 spindles, 35 spinners, 
with ample preparation, wrought with a water-wheel of iron 18| 
feet in diameter, by 12 broad, lighted by gas, employs regularly 
upwards of 260 hands ; wages paid every second Saturday, amount- 
ing to upwards of L. 200 Sterling. 

Crosslie Mill, occupied by Messrs William Stevenson and Sons, 
built in 1793, length 190 feet, breadth 38 feet, and six stories 
high, driven by one of the largest cast iron wheels in the county, 
being 26 feet in diameter, and 12 feet broad, estimated at 70 horse 



Digitized by 



Google 



52 RENFREWSHIRE. 

power ; 300 persons employed in it ; their average wages amount to 
L. 115 per week. 

Houston Cotton Mill, on the bum of Houston, occupied by Mr 
Arrol, built about the year 1793. The present occupier has since 
added about one-third to the building, and filled it with machinery. 
It is 95 feet long within the walls, 33^ wide, and 4 stories high, 
containing 9000 mule spindles, with preparations, driven by a water 
wheel 30 feet diameter, by 4 wide, reckoned at about 18 horse power. 
There is also an engine attached to this mill, which is employ* 
ed in dry weather. The number of workers engaged is about 
140 ; 17 of thes6 are spinners from twenty-five to forty-five years of 
age, the rest are boys and girls from ten to twenty years of age. 
The occupier of this mill has not stated any thing respecting the 
wages of the work-people ; but remarks, that there are several capi- 
tal sites in the upper parts of the united parishes for collecting 
water in winter, which if held in lease by him, would supersede the 
fire-engine, but the rent asked for the land there was more than 
could be given. Several of the proprietors of mills upon the Gryfe 
have made similar remarks, stating their wish to have additional re- 
servoirs of water, but that a higher rent for the land was asked than 
they could agree to pay. 

Houston Bleachfield, on Houston Bum, occupied by Messrs J. 
and J. Carlisle, is mostly employed by the manufacturers of Glas- 
gow and Paisley. About 50 people are engaged in the bleaching 
annually of about 4000 lbs. cotton yam, and 60,000 lbs. linen yarn 
and thread, and in the whitening and drying of about 12000 lbs. of 
Chinese raw silk. The men are paid at the rate of 9s. to L. 1, 
and the females from 5s. to 7s. per week* They are mostly na- 
tives of Argyleshire. 

V. — Parochial Economy. 

Villages, — There are three villages. The nearest market-town 
is Paisley, seven miles distant from the church of Houston ; but 
there is a market for a variety of articles also in the large and po- 
pulous village of Johnstone, about three miles distant. 

Ecclesiastical State. — The church was built in 1775, is con- 
veniently situated, and accommodates above 800 people. Di- 
vine service is generally well attended. There are no Dissent- 
ing or Seceding chapels within the united parishes ; but there are 
houses, of worship for most of the diflferent descriptions of Dissent- 
ers and Seceders, not distant, in several neighbouring parishes. 
The manse was built about thirty-two years ago. The glebe is 



Digitized by 



Google 



HOUSTON AND KILLALLAN. 53 

six acres ia extent; the stipend 8 chalders of oatmeal and 8 
chalders of barley.* 

Education. — There is one parochial school, — the branches 
taught are, Latin, English, English grammar, writing, arithmetic, 
book-keeping, and geography; schoolmaster's salary L. 34, 4s.4^d. 
Sterling ; amount of school fees about L. 28 ; he has the le- 
gal accommodation. He has some additional income as clerk to the 
kirk-session. The general expense of education is very moderate, 
— only about I4s. Sterling per annum. There are four private 
schools, in which, excepting Latin and geography, the branches 
already stated are taught. The teachers are paid by those who 
employ them. Perhaps the most visible change in the people since 
the facilities of education were increased is, that they appear now 
to be all politicians. 

Literature. — There is a library in the village of Houston ; news* 
papers are common. 

Poor and Parochial Funds. — The average number of poor re- 
ceiving parochial aid, 28 ; average sum allotted to each per week 
Is. 8^d. One insane pauper lodged in the asylum at Glasgow, 
costs the poors' funds about L. 20 Sterling yearly. There is only 
one small asylum in this very populous county of Renfrew, — about 
two miles below Greenock. The want of a much larger one, and 
in a more central place of the county, is felt very severely, and 
ought to be provided for. 

Annual contributions for the poor, at an average, — at the doors 
of Houston church, L. 58 ; from annual proclamation of banns, and 
mortcloth money, L. 7, 4s. ; interest of L. ] 90 of stock in the 
bank, at 2^ per cent L. 4, 15s. ; annual donations from the he- 
ritors and proprietors of public works for twenty years past, only 
L.20; total, L. 89, 19s. But the parochial minister has re- 
peatedly represented to the heritors and proprietors of the public 

* The following statement may perhaps be of some interest to patrons and presby- 
teries. The present incumbent, afUr having been a minister in a Chapel of Ease, was 
unanimously admitted assif^tant minister and successor to his father in these united pa- 
rishes, in June 1781 ; he was afterwards admitted minister of Neilston in March 1 IS^ ; 
and after the decease of his father, he was again admitted minister in the united parishes 
here in September 1797. The Rev. Mr Forrest, late minister of Port- Glasgow, presid- 
ed at both of these admissions at Houston. As it is a vice-patronage here, the late Mr 
Fleming of Harochan challenged Mr Spiers of Elderslie's right respecting the said 
second admission at Houston, alleging that Mr Spiers had exhausted his right by 
the first admission of the present incumbent ; but the Court of Session decided unani- 
mously in favour ci Mr Spiers*8 right to present, and Mr Fleming acquiesced. Was 
this decision founded on the principle, that where there is no actual vacancy there can 
be no legal presentation ? 



Digitized by 



Google 



54 RENFREWSHIRE. 

works in Houston and Killallan, the absolute necessity, in these 
parishes, crowded with public works, and several rising villages, 
either to enlarge their contributions, or to assess the parish. 

There seems to be no disposition among the poor to refrain from 
seeking parochial relief, or to consider it as degrading ; the former 
independent spirit of the Scotch seems much on the decline in all 
the manufacturing districts ; and what is perhaps still more to be 
regretted, many children neglect their parents in old age, and even 
parents desert their children. 

Fairs. — Fairs are yearly in May, for milch cows, young cattle, 
and Highland cattle. 

Inns. — These are numerous, and their e£fects obvious. 

Fuel. — Coals are abundant at three miles distance, and peats at 
two miles ; but the former are sold at a high price, owing to the 
great demand. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 

The state of the united parishes at present, crowded as they are 
with public works, and a population collected from all quarters, is 
very different from its state at the time of the former Statistical 
Account, when the people were principally employed in the pur- 
suits of an agricultural and pastoral life, and when strangers had 
not much mingled with them. 

Improvements in agriculture might still proceed, were leases for 
nineteen years granted, not at the price of grain during the last and 
long-continued war with France, but at the market price of grain 
for several years past, and were some other reasonable encourage- 
ments given. 

With regard to what might promote the progress of industry, 
and the happiness and comfort of the labouring classes, the writer 
is humbly of opinion, that by such an increase of knowledge in re- 
ligion, morals, history, and some of the most useful arts and sciences, 
as would induce them to persevere in habits of industry, sobriety, 
and economy, and to cherish the feeling of self-respect, and counter- 
act the prevailing spirit of a reckless improvidence, — ^much misery 
might be prevented.* 

The large moss in the parish of Killallan belongs partly to the 
estate of Barochan and partly to that of Fulwood. It was divid- 
ed by a decree of the Court of Session about twenty- nine years 

* It was from an earnest desire to promote these ends that the parochial minister 
frequently recommended attention to a library of valuable books, from the pulpit, 
and that he has from time to time contributed to the library of Houston and Killallan. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HOUSTON AND KILLALLAN. 55 

ago or thereabouts. Mr Spiers, the proprietor of Fulwood, has 
planted a great part of his portion with Scotch firs; but the trees 
have not thriven on this moss, probably in consequence of the 
moss being too wet Little other improvement has been attempt- 
ed, except near the edges, where the peat has been mostly remov- 
ed, and there a few acres have been occasionally reclaimed. There 
is a good deal of bent land of the same description that might 
easily be brought into cultivation ; but the greatest bar to improve- 
ment is the wetness and want of access. The first thing, then, to 
be done, is to lay it as dry as possible, and then to make a road 
through it, which would admit of the transit of peats, and facili- 
tate the clearing of the moss, preparatory to improvement 

Moss can be made into a very good manure by being mixed 
with oil, and at a moderate expense, particularly when oil is cheap. 
The experiment lately tried by Mr Fleming perfectly succeeded. 
The proportions were 3 cwt, of oil to 60 cubic yards of moss. 
The moss was spread on the ground about one and a-half feet, and 
covered with long horse litter, weeds, &c an inch or two thick, 
(a cart or two is sufficient for this quantity of moss.) Above 
this, another layer of moss was laid of one foot thick, and the 
three cwt. of oil poured over it as equally as possible. The whole 
was then covered up with eight inches or a foot of moss, and 
allowed to heat for three weeks, (the time, however, must depend 
on the weather.) When it had stood for this period it was turn- 
ed over, and when again well heated for a fortnight, it was ready 
to be laid on turnip land, — the texture of the moss having been 
by this time completely altered, and become in appearance a black, 
greasy, rich mould. 

The turnips were not sown until the middle of July with the 
moss manure, which was used in the proportion of 30 cubic yards 
per acre ; and from being too late, and the season wet and bad, 
the crop was far from good, though quite as muph so as those sown 
on the same land, at the same time, and with the same quantity 
of the best short cow dung ; and this year the oats look as well on 
the land manured with the moss as on that of the same description 
which was manured with the dung at the same time. The cost of 
the compound was as follows, (the oil being very dear in 1830, at 
which period the experiment was made :) coarse* train oil 3 cwt., 
L. 3, 10s. ; horse litter, 5s. ; driving moss, 70 cubic yards, 
L. 1, 10s.; working and turning, 10s.; expense of 60 cubic 



Digitized by 



Google 



56 RENFREWSHIRE. 



manure, at Is. lid. per cubic yard, L. 5, 15s. The 
oil in 1831 was so high in price that blubber was substitute 
ed by Mr Fleming, which cost L. 10 per ton, and double the 
quantity was used to the same number of cubic yards of moss. 
This did not, however, answer quite so well as the oil, it taking a 
longer time to heat and mix with the moss, that is, from two to 
three months, before it was ready ; but the time it takes to heat 
depends very much on the season of the year and the state of the 
moss, which ought to be exposed to the air and frost, six or eight 
months before it is used, and ought not to be used in too wet a 
state. Six acres of barley were manured with this composition 
in 1831. The compound of oil and moss not having been long 
enough made, it did not become firm enough for turnips, and did 
not consequently answer for them ; but the barley crop has been 
good, and the field looks well, having been sown down with grass 



Bevised January 1836. 

PARISH OF KILMALCOLM. 

PRESBYTERY OF GREENOCK, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. ROBERT CAMERON, MINISTER. 



I. — Topography and Natural History. 

Extent, Boundaries, — The extent of the parish is about 6 miles 
square ; it is bounded on the west by the parishes of Port-Glas- 
gow, Greenock, Innerkip, and Largs ; on the east by Killallan and 
Houston ; on the south by Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch ; and on 
the north by Erskine and the river Clyde. 

Topographical Appearances. — The general appearance of the 
parish partakes of the Highland character. The lands in general 
rise in gentle swells from the river; and in some places are rocky 
and moorish. Here and there, are clumps of planting, which give 
a beauty and variety to the surrounding scenery. This is parti- 
cularly the case towards the south. The village is about 350 
feet above the level of the sea, and few spots command a more 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILMALCOLM. 57 

rich and beautiful view than the rising grounds on the shore. At 
certain seasons of the year, there are heavy falls of rain, attend- 
ed with high winds, which injure the fields and gardens. The 
climate is moist, and all the houses are more or less affected 
with dampness. The inhabitants are generally healthy. In« 
flammations and rheumatic affections are the most prevailing dis- 
eases. 

Hydrography. — The Frith of Clyde bounds the parish between 
three and four miles on the north. The waters of the Grieff and 
Duchall rise in the west, and run in a southerly direction through 
the whole length of the parish, — unite their streams,^— change their 
course eastwards, and discharge their waters into the river Cart, 
which falls into the Clyde at Inchinnan. The parish abounds 
with excellent water. During very dry seasons, some of the surface 
springs disappear, — which, however, occasions no inconvenience, 
as the perennial springs are numerous, and yield an ample supply 
of the finest water at all times. 

Geology. — The rocks that abound in this parish are of granite, 
and in some places of great depth. Some simple minerals have 
been found from time to time. The soil on the rocks is light and 
gravelly, and upon the high-lands is covered with heath and wild 
flowers. The vegetable productions and other plants are all of 
the common kind. 

Zoology. — A few years ago, a bull and two cows of the aborigi- 
nal breed of the country were brought into the parish from Eglih- 
ton Castle. They are entirely white, and continue so shy that 
they will allow no one to approach them. The flesh of these ani- 
mals, it is believed, has neither the richness nor the flavour of the 
Highland breed of cattle. 

The streams abound with excellent fish ; such as trout and par. 
At the end of the year, the salmon come from the Clyde up the 
small river, where they deposit large quantities of fry, which return 
to the salt water in the month of April. So rapid is their growth in 
salt water that, report says, they have increased in length eighteen 
inches. A small piece cut out of the fin is the usual mark by 
which this fact has been ascertained. 

II. — Civil History. 
Some account of this parish is contained in the histories of 
Renfrewhire that have been published from time to time, — such 
as those of Semple, Crawford, and Wilson. There are no sepa- 



Digitized by 



Google 



58 RENFREWSHIRE. 

rate maps of the parish ; but it is delineated in the map of Ren- 
frewshire, where it is described as the most extensive in the coun- 
ty, in point of surface. The Lords Lyles and the Earls of Glen- 
cairn had property in the parish and seats in the church ; and some 
of them were interred in the cemetery of the church. 

Land-ovDfiers, — The chief heritors are, James Corbet Porter- 
field ; W. C. C. Graham ; Robert Farquhar ; William Macdowall ; 
and John May, Esqs. 

Parochial Registers.-^The parochial registers do not extend far 
back ; neither have they been regularly kept The first entry is 
made in the year 1707. A parochial register is now regularly 
kept 

Buildings. — The church may be said to be the only public 
building in the parish. The houses of Duchall, Carruth, Finlay- 
ston, and Broadfield, are, however, modern mansions, and elegant- 
ly and commodiously built The House of Finlayston commands 
a beautiful and extensive view of the Clyde. 

There are three mills in the parish for grinding oats and 
barley. 

III. — Population. 

Ttie population of the parish was, according to the census of 1801, . 1 100 

1811, 1474 

1821, . 1600 

1831, . 1613 

of whom there were, males, 756 ; females, 857 

The village contains 367 inhabitants ; the country part of the parish 1246. 

The yearly average of births, &c for the seven years preceding 
1833 is as follows: Baptisms, 23; Marriages, 17$ ; Burials, 171^. 

Fourteen individuals in the parish draw upwards of L.50 yearly 
from land, and are all independent in their circumstances. There 
are also 227 houses inhabited by 300 families. There are 2 per- 
sons blind, 3 deaf and dumb, and 1 insane. 

It is pleasing to see the improvement that has taken place in 
the character and manners of the people. The church is more 
regularly attended ; the people are cleanly, and their dress taste- 
ful. Their manners and language are also improving, and they are 
not surpassed in religion or morality by any around them. 

During the last three years there have been four illegitimate 
births in the parish. 

IV. — Industry. 
353 males are employed in agriculture above twenty years of 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILMALCOLM. 59 

age ; 13 in maDufactures ; and 57 in the retail of grocery goods, 
&c. There are 104 family servants, and 2 surgeons. 

CuhiTAted or occasionally in tillage, - 8000 acres. 

Constantly waste, or in pasture, - - 220OO 

That might be profitably cultivated, - 1000 

Under wood, natural 20, planted 205, - 225 

In undivided common, Duchall moor, - 5800 

AffricuUure. — The soil is light. A large quantity of land in the 
parish has not been brought into a state of cultivation. This is 
no doubt owing, in a great measure, to its general sterility, and the 
consequent expense attending improvements. The farmer has 
done much, but cannot be expected to do all, unless he receive 
considerable assistance and encouragement. 

Beni of Land. — The average rent of land per acre is L. 1 ; for 
grazing an ox, L. 3 ; for pasturing a sheep, 5s. Real rent of the 
parish about L. 7000. 

Husbandry. — The cattle in general are of the Ayrshire breed, 
and some of the farmers along the moors keep sheep, which pas- 
ture on Duchall moor. The usual course of husbandry is pursued, 
and considerable improvement has been made in this department 
within these few years. The farmers were, some time ago, thought 
rather behind their neighbours ; but, considering the nature of the 
soil, there is now no ground for such complaint. Their crops 
bring as high prices at the market as those of the adjoining pa« 
rishes. Leases are in general for nineteen years. The farm- 
steadings are not in good order ; but some new ones are build- 
ing, which will be a great improvement 

Produce. — The average yearly amount and value of raw produce 
raised in the parish, may be as follows : 

Grain of all kinds, - L. 8000 
Poutoes and turnips, - 5000 
Hay, .... 1500 
Land in pasture, - - 8150 
Gardens, ... 80 

Misoellaneous produce, - 200 

L. 17,980 

V. — Parochial Economt. 
Kilmalcolm is the only village in the parish, and is distant about 
four miles from Port- Glasgow, which is the nearest market and 
post-town. The public roads, on which there are two toll-bars, 
are kept in good repair, and extend in length about six miles. The 
bridges are also kept in good order. The fences are but indiffe- 
rent, — no great taste or care being shown in this respect. It is 



Digitized by 



Googk 



60 RENFREWSHIRE. 

hoped that more attention will l)e bestowed on them in future, as 
it may be the means of preventing serious accidents, several of 
which have taken place. 

Ecclesiastical State. — The parish church stands in the village^ 
and is not conveniently situated for the population. To the west 
and south, many are four miles distant, — so that it is almost impos- 
sible, during a great part of the year, for the old and infirm to at- 
' tend public worship, which is a subject of regret. A new parish 
church was built about two years ago, and is in excellent repair. 
It can accommodate about 1000 persons, and is too large for the 
present population. 

The manse was built more than a century ago, and has under- 
gone some extensive alterations and repairs. Upwards of forty 
years ago, two wings were added to it, and a handsome porch, — 
which render the house as convenient as any modem manse in the 
neighbourhood. The glebe lands, including the garden and the 
site of the manse, consist of about 8 acres. The soil in many 
places is very shallow, and cannot be valued at more than L. id. 

The stipend is 16 chalders, half meal half barley, convertible at 
the highest fiar prices of the county, — besides L. 8^ 6s. 8d. for com- 
munion elements. 

There are two meeting-houses in the parish : one belongs to a 
few Baptists, and the other to the sect denominated the Reform- 
ed Presbytery. No emolument is attached to the former; and the 
latter is supported from collections and seat rents. These meeting- 
houses are attended by few who belong to the parish. The Bap- 
tists may number about 10 individuals, and the Reformed Pres« 
bytery about 20 members ; but neither of these bodies is on the 
increase. The great body of the people attend the Established 
church. There are 400 communicants on an average, who receive 
the sacrament, — which, considering the population, is a large num- 
ber. The young seem all to express a desire to join the church at 
a certain age. 

Education. — There are six schools in the parish, and the paro- 
chial school is in the village. The teacher has the maximum salary, 
a dwelling-house and garden. The branches of education taught 
are, reading, writing, and arithmetic, more being seldom required. 
The emoluments of the private teachers arise from school-fees, — 
a school-room and dwelling-house being provided by the people. 
There are no persons in the parish who cannot read, and the young 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILMALCOLM. 61 

do SO. remarkably well. All seem alive to the benefit and necessity 
of education. 

Literature. — A circulating library was lately established in the 
parish, which has been in active operation for more than a year. 
Could a fair judgment be formed from the past, it is probable that 
this infant institution may succeed ; but country people, from many 
causes, do not read much. There are no reading-rooms in the pa- 
rish ; but several newspapers circulate, upon all sides of politics. 

Charitable Institutions. — There are no charitable institutions, 
with the exception of a Friendly Society, which a few individuals 
have formed for mutual support. 

Poor. — There are at present 14 poor upon the roll, who re- 
ceive according to their circumstances. Should they be able to 
work a little, they get Is. per week ; and when unable to do any thing 
they are allowed upon an average 2s. Each of them also receives 
a quantity of coals at the new year, equal in value to 10s. When 
sick, a small sum is generally added to their weekly allowance, and 
medical attendance and medicines are provided for them. It is a 
subject of surprise how they manage to live, and make so few com- 
plaints. They, however, do not look upon this kind of charity as 
in any way degrading; and children, in good circumstances, have 
been known to allow their parents to receive it. 

The funds from which the poor are supplied are derived from 
collections at the church doors, fees of proclamations, and the pro- 
fits arising from the letting out of a hearse and mortcloth. The 
deficiency is made up by the heritors, according to their valuations. 

The average annual amount of church collections for the poor 
is about L. 18. 

Fairs. — At present there are no fairs. Some time ago, an an- 
nual fair was held here ; but the only memorial of it now is the 
assembling together of a few people in the village, who spend an 
hour or two in conversing upon the days that are gone by. 

Akhouses. — In this parish, there are seven alehouses. They are 
not all, however, well attended, and it is rarely that the people go 
to excess in drinking. 

Fuel. — Coal and peat are generally used as fuel. The coal is 
at a considerable distance, and is expensive in the carriage. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 
The moral condition of the people has of late been im- 
proved. The general appearance of the parish is also changed 
for the better. Green fields now appear where formerly stones 



Digitized by 



Google 



62 RENFREWSHIRE. 

and brambles were only to be seen. Clumps of planting are 
rising all over the parish, which are already affording shelter, and 
adding beauty to the scenery ; and tracks, on which nothing met 
the view but barren rocks, are now covered with the fir, the birch, 
and the spruce. The manner of cultivating the land is all modern. 
Excellent cattle and good instruments of husbandry abound. It 
may be fairly said, that few places have made more progress in im- 
provement, and there is little doubt that it will continue. 

It is worthy of remark^ that the sacrament of the LfOrd's sup- 
per was dispensed in this parish, by the celebrated John Knox, 
in the house of Finlayston, then belonging to the Earl of Glencairn. 
The cups used upon this occasion were two candlesticks of the 
finest silver. The lower part or sole formed the cup, which was 
screwed into the upper. These cups were used in the parish church 
at the dispensation of the sacrament so long as that family con- 
tinued in the parish. Then they were replaced by four copper cups 
gilt, furnished by the Countess of Glencairn, who, it is said, car- 
ried the silver cups along with her. Report also states that these 
cups are still in the possession of the friends of that family. 

Janimry 1836. 



PARISH OF PORT-GLASGOW. 

PRESBYTERY OF GREENOCK, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. JAMES BARR, D.D. MINISTER. 



I. — Topography and Natural History. 
Name. — This place originally formed part of the adjoining pa- 
rish of Kilmalcolm, and consisted of the small village of Newark, 
so called from the barony of that name which lay in its immediate 
vicinity. The land on which the town stands was, in 1668^ pur- 
chased from Sir Patrick Maxwell of Newark, by the magistrates of 
Glasgow, with a view to provide a convenient harbour for the ves- 
sels belonging to the merchants of that city. In the year 1695, it 
was, by the competent authority, disjoined from Kilmalcolm, and, 
with a few farms in the neighbourhood attached to it, erected into 
a distinct parish, under the name of New Port-Glasgow^ or more 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORT-GLASGOW. 63 

commoDly Port-Glasgow, — a name simply expressing the design of 
its erection, as the Port of Glasgow. 

Extent. — In its form, this parish approaches nearly to a square, 
and does not exceed an English mile either in length or breadth. It 
has for its boundaries the river Clyde on the north, the east pa- 
rish of Greenock on the west, and Kilmalcolm both on the east and 
the south. The land presents a very irregular appearance, consist- 
ing chiefly of hills which rise immediately behind the town in two 
successive ridges to a considerable height, and which, covered with 
wood and verdure, exhibit a beautiful object to travellers passing 
along the river, and richly reward the labour of an ascent, by af- 
fording an extensive view of the surrounding country, not surpas- 
sed in grandeur and loveliness even by the most admired scenes of 
which England, and perhaps Europe can boast. From the top of 
these hills, and nearly on a level with it, the parish extends in a 
southerly direction to the distance of about half a-mile, and is divid- 
ed into seven farms, some of them considerable in size, but all of 
them in a very imperfect state of cultivation, and naturally of a cold 
and barren soil By far the most valuable portion of the land of this 
parish lies along the bank of the river, to the extent of about 300 
yards from the water's edge ; the whole of which has long been con- 
verted into garden ground, and furnishes a supply both of vege- 
tables and fruit, excellent in quality, and in quantity much more 
abundant than is required for the use of the inhabitants. 

Climate. — The proiK)rtion of wet weather here, as in other places 
along the coast, has been ascertained to be considerably greater 
than in those districts which lie farther rema?ed from the sea. In 
addition to other causes of a more general nature, the high lands 
in the immediate neighbourhood may have some influence in con- 
tributing to the moisture of the atmosphere. Certain it is that the 
heights above the town have the effect of intercepting the sun's rays, 
and do not permit them to fall on it during nearly six weeks in the 
winter. It would be difficult to specify any diseases which can be 
said to be peculiarly prevalent in this parish. Few places of equal 
extent contain a greater number of very old people ; a circumstance 
which sufficiently indicates the salubrity of the climate. 

River. — The breadth of the river here does not exceed two miles, 
and the greater part of it is dry at low water. But the channel of 
the river in every state of the tide contains a depth of water suffi- 
cient to keep afloat vesseb of the largest dimensions, with their 
full cargo in perfect security. In ordinary tides, the water rises to 



Digitized by 



Google 



64 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the height of 9 feet, and to the height of 11 feet in spring-tides* 
Very few fishes are taken at this place, and these only small in size, 
and of the most common kinds. During the winter months, immense 
quantities of sea-fowl frequent the river, including barnacle, teal, 
and other species of the duck tribe. 

IL — Civil History. 

Proprietors. — The landward part of this parish belongs to Mr 
Farquhar of London, who purchased it from Lord Belhaven a few 
years ago. The same gentleman also holds the right of superiority 
over a considerable part of the town, with the gardens adjoining to 
it, upon which he levies an annual feu-duty at the rate of L.2 per 
acre. Of the remaining portion of the town, the superiority is vest- 
ed in the city of Glasgow. The Castle of Newark stands at the 
eastern extremity of the bay to which it has given its name, on a 
point of land projecting into the river, and which commands a mag- 
nificent view of the surrounding scenery. It is built in the castel- 
lated form, and when fortified, must have been a place of great 
strength. The building has been long in a ruinous condition, and 
is now interesting only as a venerable monument of feudal grandeur, 
a memorial of the spirit and character of a barbarous age. 

Toum. — In its general appearance, the town presents an aspect 
of neatness and regularity, not often to be met with. The streets 
are straight, and for the most part cross each other at right angles ; 
while the houses, pretty nearly equal in size, and generally white- 
washed, give to the whole a light and uniform appearance. The 
only modern buildings worthy of notice are the town-house and the 
parish church. Of these the former is of plain but substantial work- 
manship, ornamented in front with a portico, resting on four massy 
fluted pillars, surmounted with a handsome spire, which rises from 
the centre. The ground floor has been chiefly laid out in shops ; 
but the upper story, in addition to the chambers of the council and 
town-clerk, contains a laige and commodious reading-room, with 
several apartments which are occupied as counting«rooms for mer- 
cantile business. The parish church was built in 1823, and con- 
tains accommodation for above 1200 sitters. It is square in form, 
and plain in the outward appearance, but has been much and de- 
servedly admired for the simple elegance of its internal construe- 
tion* The wealthier inhabitants of the place did themselves great 
honour, and set a valuable example to others, by gratuitously con- 
tributing L. 1500 towards the expense of its erection. There are 
two other places of public worship ; the one, a chapel of ease be- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORT-GLASGOW. 65 

longing to the Establishment, capable of accommodating 1500 per- 
sons; the other in connection with the Associate Synod. 

ConstUuHon of the Burgh. — In 1775, a charier was obtained 
from Parliament conferring on the town the privileges of a burgh 
of barony, and granting a constitution which vested the manage- 
ment of its municipal affairs in a council of 13, including 2 bail- 
ies. By the late Burgh Reform Act, the number was reduced 
to 9 ; consisting of a provost, 2 bailies, and 6 councillors. The 
town has by the Reform Bill been elevated to the rank of a Par- 
liamentary burgh. It embrac^es a constituency of 211 qualified 
voters ; and joins with Kilmarnock, Rutherglen, Dumbarton, and 
Renfrew, in sending a Member to Parliament. 

Revenue* — In the year 1834, the revenue amounted to L.1951, 
7s. 7d.,— obtained from the rent of church seats, from a tax on 
houses, from anchorage-dues, dock-dues, the rent of warehouses, 
the sale of gas, flesh and fish markets, and a few other sources of 
public income. About the one-half of this revenue is required to 
pay the interest of an accumulated debt ; and the remainder goes 
to meet the necessary demands for minister's stipend, the salaries 
of public officers, and other expenses incurred in conducting the 
affairs of the town, and promoting the comfort of its inhabitants. 

III. — Population. 
There are no documents from which to ascertain the exact num- 
ber of people that resided in this parish at the time of its erec^ 
tton. In 1700, it did not contain a population of more than 400 
souls; but in ]718, when the first parish church was built, the in- 
habitants amounted to twice that number. From this period the 
population continued steadily, though not rapidly, to increase, un- 
til the year 1790, when it consisted of 4036 persons. In conse- 
quence of the American war, which had an injurious effect on the 
trade of this place, the population underwent a considerable dimi- 
nution; for by the census that took place by order of Government, 

In 1601, it was found to be, 8865 

]811, it amounted to • . .5116 

ia2T, . . . 5262 

1831, . . . 5192 

Comprehending, of males, 2186 ; of females, 9007 

Making, fiimilies, . T279 

Inhabiting houses, • • 400 

Including families employed in agriculture, • 7 

trade and manufactures, 435 

The comparatively slow increase of population in this place, and 
its occasional falling off, may be traced to the fluctuations of fo- 
reign trade, on which it has chiefly depended for its support, and 

RENFREW. E 



Digitized by 



Google 



66 RENFREWSHIRE. 

also to the influence of competition, exercised by the neighbouring 
ports of Greenock and Glasgow : but it is proper to add, that the 
trifling decrease which appears in the census of 1831 has been far 
more than made up since that period, as appears from a survey 
taken expressly for this work in the summer of lQ35j and by which 
the population of this town and parish is ascertained to be as fol- 
lows, viz. 

The number of inhabitants, . . 6018 

males, 2856; females, 3162 

families, . . 1332 

persons under IZ) years of age, . 2122 

between 15 and 30, . 1910 

30 and ^0, . 1394 

50 and 70, . 494 

above 70, . . 98 

Character of the People. — The inhabitants of this place are ge- 
nerally well informed, diligent in business, and liberal in chanty. 
They may be characterized also as a church-going people. Dur- 
ing the last year, there were only two prisoners confined upon 
charges of a serious nature, and a few others for minor offences* 
In the year 1790, with a population of 4000, there were no less 
than 81 public-houses in the town. It is gratifying to be able to 
state, that in March 1835, and with a population of about 6000, 
the number of public-houses had been reduced to 70. It would 
be still more gratifying to be able to add, that the practice of in- 
temperance has diminished in the same proportion. Appearances, 
however, do not by any means warrant such a conclusion, and seem 
to indicate, that intemperance never prevailed among the lower 
classes of society to a wider and more alarming extent than in the 
present day. 

The people of this place exhibit all those characters and habits 
which commonly distinguish the inhabitants of sea-port towns. 
Engaged in maritime and mercantile avocations, they cannot be 
expected to have either time or taste for the pursuits of literature ; 
yet many of them have received the advantage of a liberal educa- 
tion, and they are, generally speaking, highly respectable in point 
of intelligence and judgment. Nowhere is the principle of attach- 
ment to the British constitution and government, both in church 
and state, more deeply rooted, more steadfastly maintained, or 
more unequivocally expressed, than among the people of Port- 
Glasgow. Few of them possess great wealth, but a large number 
are in circumstances of independence. The working classes are 
in general well employed, and obtain good wages. Upon the 
whole, all ranks of society may be said to enjoy, in a superior de- 
gree, the means of comfortable subsistence ; and, were they all as 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORT-GLASnoW. 67 

provident as they are industrious, the evils of pauperism would be 
confined within very narrow and manageable limits indeed. 

IV. — Industry. 

Manufactures. — The Gourock Rope- work Company have long 
had a branch of their establishment here, for the manufacture both 
of rope and sail-cloth. The canvas factory, which has of late 
been considerably enlarged, gives employment at present to about 
200 men, at 12s. a-week, and 81 boys, at 3s. 6d.; and 71 women, 
at 4s. 6d., and 67 girls; at 3s. 6d. In the rope-work department, 
45 men are employed, each receiving 15s. a-week, assisted by a 
number of boys. In both, the number of workers amounts to 474, 
male and female. 

There are at present only two houses actively engaged in the 
business of sugar-refining. The one, on a comparatively small scale, 
in which the old process of making refined sugar is adhered to. 
In the other, which is of large extent, the new system of refining 
by steam is followed. In connection with these, about 50 men are 
regularly employed within doors, whose wages vary from 12s. to 
L. 1, 10s. per week. 

Ship'Buildinff, — The work of ship-building is carried on here to 
a considerable extent. Of late years the carpenters have been 
chiefly employed in the construction of steam-boats, of which they 
have produced a great number, some of them of the lai^est class, 
and all of them of very superior workmanship. At present this de- 
partment of maritime industry gives employment to nearly 200 men, 
at the rate of about L. 1 or L. 1, Is. a-week, besides a number of 
apprentices. 

Trade. — Vast improvements have in the course of the last few 
years been effected, in deepening the river, and otherwise increas- 
ing its facilities of navigation. These, as was to be expected, have 
proved injurious to the commercial interests of the outports on the 
Clyde. In the year 1811, the coasting trade of Port-Glasgow 
employed 400 vessels and 1300 seamen. Owing to the facility 
with which vessels of inferior burden find their way up the river, 
nearly the whole of this portion of the trade has been transferred 
to Glasgow. The foreign trade of this port may be estimated by 
the following table for the year 1834. The arrivals during that 
year were the following : 





Ships 


carrying Tons, 


From the West Indies, 


26 


6934 


East Indies, 


3 


1040 


British North America, 


dG 


- 17317 


the United Sutes, 


6 


1857 


the Mediterranean, - 


11 


1545 


Making in all. 


—82 


28693 

Digitized by Vs 



Google 



68 RENFREWSHIRE. 

During the same year the export trade was carried on to the 

following extent : 

Vateit. Tons, 

To the West Indies, - 29 - 7522 

East Indies, - 12 - 3052 

British North America, SO - 14920 

the United States, . 4 - 1201 

the Mediterranean, - II - 1585 



In all, - 86 . 28530 

The following table presents a comparative view of the foreign 
trade of this port : 

Inxffardi. 
In 1825, the number of vessels was 72, bearing 2] 485 tons. 
1830, - . - 80 - 21972 

1834, ... 82 - 28693 

Outitards. 
1825, . . . 80 . 24791 

1830, ... 86 . 24762 

1834, . . - 86 - 28530 

From the above statement, it appears that the trade of this place, 
notwithstanding the disadvantages with which it has to contend, is 
in a course of steady though not rapid increase. The amount of 
revenue collected at this port has indeed sustained a very large re- 
duction within the last few years. Thus, 

In 1830, the revenue amounted to L. 243,349 3 1 
1832, - - . 185,426 18 6^ 

1834, . - - 140,284 8 10 

This defalcation may, however, be accounted for by simply stat- 
ing the fact, that the duties upon tobacco, which were formerly 
collected here, are now paid in Glasgow, lately constituted a bond- 
ing port for that article; and which duties are more than sufficient 
to make up the deficiency exhibited in the present state of the re- 
venue. 

British manufactures of every description are shipped here in 
large quantities ; and in return all the ordinary articles of foreign 
produce are imported, including tea, which, though it may not add 
greatly to the trade of the port, will probably realize a considerable 
addition of revenue. Port- Glasgow is the principal port on the 
Clyde for the importation of North American timber, for which 
secure and extensive accommodation has been provided in the 
wood-ponds, which are constructed along the shore in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the harbours. The extent to which this branch 
of the trade has been carried on will appear from the subjoined 
account of the quantities imported : 

In 1825 amounting to 19650 tons. 
1829 . 16620 

1834 . 27975 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORT-GLASGOW. 69 

In the beginning of the year 1835, the harbours of Port- Glas- 
gow contained vessels which measured in all 12,000 tons, being 
the largest amount of tonnage ever known to have been in this 
port at one time. It may be proper to state, that formerly, the 
trade of this place was almost entirely carried on in ships which 
were the property of merchants in Glasgow. Of late years, how- 
ever, the people of Port- Glasgow have become ship-owners to a 
considerable extent ; and at present about one-fourth part of the 
whole, or above 7000 tons of shipping, belong to individuals resi- 
dent in the town. If that spirit of commercial enterprise which 
has already embarked a large capital in this way, shall continue to 
discover itself as it has done for the last ten years, not only an in- 
crease of trade may be anticipated, but the port will acquire more 
and more of an independent character. 

Harbours. — Attached to this port are two capacious harbours, 
substantially built, and so completely sheltered from the storm that' 
the vessels moored in them have seldom been found to suffer injury 
even from the severest weather. These are furnished with ample 
quay and shed-room, together with a commodious graving-dock, 
the oldest in Scotland, but lately improved at a great expense for 
repairing vessels. The largest vessels that trade to Clyde are 
found at this port, measuring about 600 tons ; a few of them regis- 
ter for upwards of 650 tons ; and all of them carrying nearly double 
the amount of their register tonnage. Yet such is the facility of 
access to the harbour, that these vessels which draw twenty-one 
feet of water, are towed up and down in the channel of the river 
with the greatest ease and in perfect safety. 

Wei^Dock, Sfc. — A very important addition to the harbour accom- 
modation of Port-Glasgow is about to be obtained in the erection 
of wet-docks. The present harbours being found too small for the 
increasing number of ships belonging to the port, the inhabitants 
of the town resolved to avail themselves of their local advantages 
by converting the Bay of Newark, which is naturally adapted to 
the purpose, into a spacious dock, where vessels of the largest class 
might lie securely afloat in every state of the tide. Accordingly, 
the trustees of the harbour obtained an act of Parliament investing 
them with the necessary powers for carrying this desirable object 
into effect; and funds having been procured to the amount of 
L. 35,000, they were enabled to commence the work, which is now 
in rapid progress, with every prospect of being finished by the end 
of this year. This, when completed, will be the only dock of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



70 RENFREWSHIRE. 

same kind on the west coast of Scotland ; and, from its large ex- 
tent and spacious quays, with a depth of water equal to twenty-five 
feet alongside of them, will hold out very superior advantages to 
the trade, both in point of security and convenience. 

A pretty correct idea may be formed of the improving trade of 
this port, by a reference to the amount of harbour revenue collect- 
ed during some of the preceding years. The revenue derived from 
the harbour in 1831, amounted to L. 1454, Os. 9d. ; in 1834, to 
L. 1639, 6s. The charges levied at this port are all on the most 
moderate scale, and fall very considerably below the rates imposed 
at the neighbouring ports of Greenock and Glasgow. To mer- 
chants engaged in the trade of Clyde, the harbour of Port- Glas- 
gow now presents the double advantage of comparatively low charges 
and vastly superior accommodation. 

Besides, the privileges of the warehousing system at this port 
are on a footing equal to those of any other port in the kingdom. 
Warehouse-room is provided on a very extensive scale, and is open 
for the general accommodation of the trade on very moderate terms. 
The buildings are all of stone, and, with one exception, they are 
all of special security. In addition to the regular bonded ware- 
houses, there is a large area for receiving wood into bond, and an 
excellent warehouse for crushing refined sugars, in which large 
quantities of that article are prepared for exportation to the Me- 
diterranean markets. 

V. — Parochial Economy. 
Ecclesiastical State. — The parish church stands in a very con- 
venient situation, and is in excellent repair. It afibrds accommo- 
dation for 1260 sitters, including 50 free sittings for the poor, and 
is ordinarily attended by a congregation of about 1150 persons. 
The present stipend of the minister, as fixed in 1823, is L. 250, 
with an allowance of L. 27 yearly for a house, and L. 3 for a gar- 
den. The sum of L. 5 is allowed for communion elements ; and, 
to meet the expenses of an additional communion in the winter, the 
sum of L. 15 is granted. The average revenue actually drawn for 
seat-rents in the parish church during the last ten years has been at 
the rate of L. 489, 16s. per annum. For some years a parochial 
missionary has been employed here, whose salary is raised by con- 
tributions from the congregation connected with the parish church. 
In the year 1774, a chapel of ease was built in this place, capable 
of accommodating 1500 sitters, and which for a long time conti- 



Digitized by 



Google 



POUT-GLASGOW. 71 

nued to be well attended ; but for many years the number of stated 
hearers has not, it would seem, at an average exceeded 200 per- 
sons of all ages. The minister of the chapel has secured to him 
by bond a salary of L. 100 a-year. 

This parish contains only one dissenting place of worship, which 
is in connection with the Associate Synod. It accommodates about 
800, and is attended by a congregation amounting to about one- 
half of that number. Not less than 1600 persons professedly be- 
long to the Established Church. Of these there are in full com- 
munion with the church, 1325 ; communicants with the Dissenters 
are d51 ; Roman Catholics, 332. 

It cannot be alleged that there is any want of church accommo- 
dation in this parish, for there are in it places of worship capable 
of containing one-half of the inhabitants ; yet the fact has been 
recently ascertained, that 833, or about one-seventh part of the 
whole population, have not seats in any place of worship, are mem- 
bers of no Christian congregation, and do not observe even the 
forms of a religious profession. 

Societies for religious purposes exist here in great variety, and 
are in general respectably supported ; including a Bible Society, 
Auxiliary Missionary and Gaelic School Societies, with many others, 
— the joint revenue of which may be estimated at about L. 150 per 
annum. A Seaman's Friend Society was lately instituted, which 
promises to be productive of much good. The formation of a Sail- 
ors' library has commenced under most favourable auspices. Every 
ship that leaves the harbour carries a small tin box, furnished by 
the society, containing several copies of the Scriptures, and a few 
other approved religious publications for the use of the men while 
at sea. The people of this place are honourably distinguished for 
liberality in promoting every object of Christian benevolence. In 
addition to the sums privately contributed, the collections at the 
door of the parish church for religious and charitable purposes, 
exclusive of what was collected for the parochial poor, must have 
amounted to upwards of L. 100 during the last year. 

Edtication, — There are altogether eight schools at present taught 
in this parish. Formerly three masters were provided by the Cor- 
poration, with a salary of L. 20 per annum to each, who superin- 
tended the classical, the commercial, and the English departments 
respectively. Lately, however, two of these situations having be- 
come vacant, the magistrates considered it necessary to discontinue 
both salaries, and to resolve, that in future there shall be only ono 



Digitized by 



Google 



72 RENFREWSHIRE. 

endowed or parochial teacher, with the usual allowance of L. 20 
for his salary. This arrangement will no doubt be attended with 
a small saving to the public funds, but it can hardly fail to prove 
unpropitious to the cause of education, and consequently injurious 
to the best interests of the community. The fees for the different 
branches of instruction are not the same in all the schools, but 
vary from ds. 6d. to 10s. 6d. per quarter. In addition to the one 
parochial, and six private schools, there is a charitable institution^ 
commonly called Beaton's school, from the name of its founder 
David Beaton, who in 1814, left the munificent bequest of L. 1400, 
to be laid out in building and endowing a school for the education 
of poor orphan children. Upwards of 150 children of both sexes 
receive instructbn here in all the common branches of education, 
and a number more at the trij9ing charge of 2s. per quarter. The 
teacher has a fixed annual salary of L. 60, with a free house. 

It is difiicult to ascertain with accuracy the number of unedu- 
cated children in a community, owing to the reluctance which pa* 
rents naturally feel to make a discovery which would criminate 
themselves. The following calculation, however, is the result of 
a very careful inquiry. Persons between six and fifteen not taught to 
read, 10,5; do. taught to read, but not write, 436; above fifteen 
not taught to read, 10. This statement, it is to be feared, does 
not by any means show the full extent of the uneducated popula« 
tion, yet it sufficiently proves the importance of an increase in the 
means of education, and particularly of cheap education, to meet 
the wants of the people. It seems absolutely necessary that a 
school should be erected, in which the children of sailors, and of 
the poorer classes generally, might be furnished with useful instruct 
tion at such a rate of wages as their parents can afford to pay. 

Libraries. — The library for the use of seamen, recently insti- 
tuted in this place, has been already mentioned. There are two 
other libraries, the one of a general and miscellaneous nature, the 
other a youth's library, which consists exclusively of religious pub- 
lications. 

Provident Bank. — In the year 1818^ a provident-bank was^^esta- 
blished here under the sanction of the corporation. The following 
statement, applicable to the year 1834, may serve to shew the ex- 
tent of its operations. The money deposited in that year amount- 
ed to L. 1481, 18s. and the sums withdrawn during the same pe- 
riod to L. 1328, 8s. 7d. When it is considered that the deposits 
consist chiefly of small sums lodged by servants and other classes of 
working people, it will be seen that this institution must have been 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



PORT-GLASGOW. 73 

largely taken advantage of by those for whose benefit it was de- 
signed, and has in fact proved a great blessing to the community. 

Poor and Parochial Funds, — Above 170 persons at an average 
receive stated relief from the parish. To each of these a weekly 
allowance is given of from 9d* to 2s« a-week, according to circum- 
stances, and a considerable number of them receive additional aid 
to the amount of from L. 1, 5s. to L. 2 a-year, in the shape of 
house rent. A large item in the expenditure is incurred by the 
support of orphan children, amounting at present to above 20 
in number, each of whom costs the parish nearly L. 6 in the year 
for board and clothing. With a view to check intemperance 
among the poor, and secure for them at least one substantial meal 
in the day, it was resolved a few years ago to try the use of a per- 
manent soup-kitchen. A commodious place was fitted up for the 
purpose, where eighty quarts, at an average, of excellent broth 
have been dealt out to the poor every day. Sabbath excepted. A 
ticket bearing the value of one penny entitles the pauper to a quart 
of soup and a halfpenny roll of bread, which together are worth 
three halfpence. Some of the poor people would prefer to have 
the money at their own disposal, but they are in general well pleas- 
ed ; and, on the whole, the experiment has fully realized the ad- 
vantages that were expected to result from it, and may be consi- 
dered to have demonstrated the utility of the plan, both in regard 
to comfort and economy. 

The maintenance of the poor in this parish, as in most other 
sea-port towns, is attended with a very heavy expense. For seve- 
ral years past the amount of expenditure has averaged about 
L. 600 a-year. But this large sum is raised by the inhabitants 
without having recourse to the aid of an assessment. With the 
exception of what is derived from the interest of a small sum of 
money, from the rent of a house, from charges for proclamation of 
banns, and the use of a mortcloth, and some other incidental 
sources of revenue, — ^with these trifling exceptions, the whole 
amount is contributed by voluntary collections at Che doors of the 
churches. In the year 1834, there was collected at the parish 
church L.384, Ids. 9^., at the chapel of Ease, L. 17, Os. ll^d. 
by the Dissenters, L.d, ds« Id. From this statement it appears 
that the members of the Established Church, who constitute about 
three-fourths of the church-going population, contribute nearly 
49-50thsof what is required for the maintenance of the parochial 
poor. 



Digitized by 



Google 



74 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 

Perhaps there is no town in the kingdom of equal magnitude 
which has undergone less change in its character and circumstan- 
ces since the former Statistical Account of Scotland appeared 
than that of Port-Glasgow. Had the improvements now going 
on upon the harbour been effected twenty years ago, the place 
would undoubtedly have advanced much more rapidly than it has 
done, in extent and importance* What shall be the effect of these 
improvements, whether, as may reasonably be anticipated, they 
shall attract a larger portion of foreign trade, and at the same time 
give an additional impulse to the spirit of domestic enterprise, 
time alone will determine. 

Janvuiry 1836. 



PARISH OF LOCHWINNOCH. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. ROBERT SMITH, MINISTER. 



I. — Topography and Natural History. 

Name, — The name seems to refer to the large loch in the neigh- 
bourhood of the village, and to the principal island which it con- 
tains, — Innich being the genitive case of the Celtic word Innisy 
which signifies a small island. This etymology is confirmed by the 
fact, that a number of names of places in the parish are of Celtic 
derivation ; and it agrees nearly with the manner in which its name 
is pronounced by its present inhabitants, as well as with some of 
the ways in which it was anciently spelled.* 

Extent^ Boundaries. — This parish is said by Robertson to be 
12 miles long from east to west, and where broadest about 6 miles 
from north to south, — which is very near the truth. It contains 
about 19250 English acres. Its figure, though irregular, is not un- 
like the head section of a fish or serpent It is bounded on the 
south by Beith ; on the west by Kilbimie and Kilmalcolm ; on the 

* I haye seen almost forty difTerent ways of spelling Lochwinnoch taken by Dr 
A. Crawfurd, a native of the parish, from books and AISS. from 1504 down to the 
present day, of which the following are a few examples, Lochvinyoch, I.<ochquhin- 
yoch, Lochwhinoch) Lochineach, I^ochwinioch, Lochwinnoch. 

•f" Description of the shire of Renfrew, &c.p. 348. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 75 

north by Kilbarchan ; and on the east by the Abbey parish of Pais- 
ley and Neilston. * 
Topographical Appearances. — Its surface is very irregular and 
hilly. The highest hills in the county are situated in its western 
extremity. There is a range of hills stretching along the west 
coast from Greenock to Ardrossan. The highest of these are the 
Misty Law and the hill of Staik, the former of which is in this 
parish, and the latter forms its western boundary. The Misty 
Ijaw is said, in the former Statistical Account, to be 1246 feet above 
the level of the sea, and the hill of Staik, it is now ascertained, 
is somewhat more. Their heights were taken some time ago by 
order of Government. The prospect from the Misty Law is said, 
in the Account just now referred to, " to be extensive and varied 
over twelve counties, including the Frith of Clyde, and the islands 
of Arran, Bute, Ailsa, &c This hill is surrounded by the moor- 
land part of the parish, which abounds with game, and affords to- 
lerable pasture for sheep." There is another range of high land pas- 
sing through the eastern part of the parish, which stretches from be- 
yond Paisley towards the western coast. This has been justly 
called table-land, and almost the whole of it within this parish is 
arable. Amongst the western hills, there are many small, and 
some beautiful and romantic valleys ; but the principal valley lies 
between the two ranges of elevated land, on the north and south 
sides of the IocIl It stretches from beyond Dairy, through Kil- 
bimie, Lochwinnoch, and Kilbarchan, and terminates in the east- 
em part of the great vale of Renfrewshire or Strathgryfe, which 
lies on the west of Paisley, and contains many thousands of acres 
of rich and valuable land. In the long and expansive valley which 
passes through Lochwinnoch, there were originally three large 
lochs, — Kilbirnie, Barr, and Castle-Semple lochs, the two last of 
which are within this parish. At an earlier period, when the land 
was not so well drained and cultivated as it is at present, these three 
lochs were sometimes, during a great fall of rain in winter, united, 
and formed an extensive sheet of water, stretching several miles 
along this beautiful valley. This never happens now. Castle- 
Semple and Kilbirnie lochs always contain a considerable expanse 
of water; but they are now far separated by cultivated land; and 
Barr Loch, which lies between them, and near the former, is so 
well drained, that it has the appearance of a loch only during a 
heavy fall of rain in winter. In summer, it waves with the most 



Digitized by 



Google 



76 RENFUEWSHIRE. 

luxuriant crops of oats and hay, which would not disgrace a more 
gonial clime and southern latitude. 

Robertson's description of the appearance of the parish is as 
follows : " Lochwinnoch is greatly diversified in its general aspect. 
Part of it consists of high and bleak hills in the back ground ; part 
of it is a low winding valley, in general of a very fertile soil ; and 
in the heart of it, is the largest loch or lake in the county. This 
valley, with the shelving country towards it on both sides, contains 
nearly the whole population. It is also ornamented with plan* 
tations, whilst the houses of its numerous small proprietors are 
each set down under the shade of a few old trees in the midst of 
well cultivated spots of ground. The whole strath has a warm and 
cheerful appearance. It is the very vale of Tempo of Renfrew- 
shire." 

This ** vale of Tempo," however, merits a more particular de» 
Bcription. If you view it from the west at any elevated spot on 
the road to Kilbirnie, the prospect is varied and beautiful. You 
have the well-cultivated lands around you, and the rising ground 
on each side, particularly on the west, where the hills rise gradu- 
ally above one another till they terminate in the Misty Law and hill 
of Staik. Immediately in front, are seen the remains of Barr 
Castle, long the residence of the successive families who possessed 
the neighbouring lands, and near it Barr House, the residence of 
William Macdowall of Gurthland, Esq. the present proprietor, 
surrounded by thriving plantations and well-cultivated fields. Be- 
yond both of these, is the large and regular, sheltered and flour- 
ishing village of Lochwinnoch. But by far the most remarkable 
feature of the prospect is Castle- Semple Loch, the ruins of the Peel, 
and the adjacent scenery. On the south side of the Loch are seen 
Lochside, Beltrees, and, in the distance, Bowfield, with a shelving 
country, bestudded with houses, and ornamented with plantations. 
On the north side of the Loch, appears the whole policy of Castle- 
Semple, the most beautiful and extensive in this part of the coun- 
try. But from this point the view of it is imperfect. You have a 
general prospect of the woods and grounds of Castle- Semple, and 
of the hill of Kenmure in the back ground, surmounted by the 
Temple, like an observatory, erected on an eminence which rises 
abruptly out of the valley. In order to see the scenery of Castle- 
Semple to advant^e, it must be viewed from the rising ground on 
the south side of the loch. There you have another and striking 
view of Castle- Semple and Barr lochs, the village, and Barr Castle, 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 77 

but more especially of the whole policy of Castle- Semple. This, 
which is surrounded on the north by a high wall, three or four miles 
long, is laid out with the greatest skill. It contains about 900 
acres, subdivided into a great number of enclosures, and pervaded 
by above twelve miles of roads and walks ; and, above all, it is orna- 
mented with many large plantations and scattered trees. The 
eminences are crowned with woods, which in some places descend 
into the valleys, and exhibit a delightful variety of elevation, as well 
as of shade. In some places there are rows of trees, and solitary 
trees are here and there scattered over the lawns. Even the back 
ground and distant scenery add to the beauty of the policy. The 
heights are covered with plantations, which are disposed with 
the greatest skill and the best effect The scene is as varied as it 
is at every point beautiful. In moving along the face of the elevat- 
ed ground, on the south side of the loch, the prospect is con- 
stantly varying under the eye, and is everywhere delightful. The 
House of Castle- Semple, the residence of Colonel Harvey, the 
present proprietor, being built in 1735, is not equal to the situa- 
tion which it occupies, though a neat small mansion. But the 
gardens on the rising ground a little to the north of the house are 
one of the best features of the landscape. These gardens were 
lately formed at very great expense. They contain two large' en- 
closures, surrounded and subdivided by high walls, covered with 
fruit trees. Along the cross walls in the centre there is a great 
extent of glass-house ; containing not merely vines, peach trees, &c. 
but a variety of flowers and shrubs. On the north side of the gar- 
den there is a large pinery, and behind it a stove house for propa- 
gating tropical plants and shrubs. On the south side there is a large 
green-house ; and in the fore-ground an extensive flower-garden, 
surrounded with shrubbery, and subdivided into plots of diflerent 
forms, and planted with shrubs and flowers of every name and hue, 
encircled by grassy borders, and pervaded by gravel walks, " shaven 
with the scythe and levelled with the roller." In the north-east 
side of this fine garden there is an extensive rockery, covered with 
rock-plants, and encircling a pond, in whose waters a multitude 
of gold and silver fish play, and from whose centre a beautiful 
jetteau rises. I understand that, though there are some gardens 
more extensive, and others more remarkable in one or another de- 
partment, yet there are few formed on a better plan, and in all re- 
spects more complete and excellent 

Meteorology. — At the gardens of Castle- Semple, there has been 



Digitized by 



Google 



78 RENFREWSHIRE. 

for years past, carefully marked every day, the height of the ther- 
mometer and barometer morning and evening ; and the water re- 
ceived by two rain-guages ; the direction in which the wind blows, 
and the state of the weather. From this meteorological journal 

I subjoin the following extracts and calculations : 

1829. 

Thermometer, average height throughout the year at 8 a. u. - 47.98 

do. do at 8 p. M. " 46.7 

greatest height in the course of that year, . 73. 

lowest range, - - - - 12. 

average height in the month of June at 8 a. m. - 61.7 

do. do. at 8 p. M. - 58.966 

do. in the month of December at 8 a. m. 37.355 

do. do. at 8 P.M. - 35.839 

Barometer, average height throughout the year at 8 a. m • - 29.682 

1830. 

Tliermomcter, average height throughout the year at 8 a. m . - 48.773 

do. do. at 8 P.M. - 46.9 

greatest height in the course of that year, . 68. 

lowest range, ...... 12. 

average height in the month of June at 8 a. m. 58.2 

do. do. at 8 P.M. 54-166 

do. in the month of December at 8 a. m. 37.451 

do. do. at 8 p. m. 37.354 

Barometer, average height throughout the year at 8 a. m. - 29.545 

Isle of Man,* 

No. of Day t. Weather. 

Year. Ther. Med. Wind. No. of day t. Rain. 

A. M. P.M. AT. S. E. W. Rain. Snow. Fair. Inches 

1829, 48° 4&' 102 91 110 62 135 13 217 33.89 

1830, 48.8 46.9 83 104 84 94 167 15 183 3&55 

Aberdeen. 

1829, 46.62 - 2a66 

1830, 46.81 30.60 

From the two rain-guages already mentioned, very different re- 
sults are obtained. I have made my calculations from the one 
which stands nearest the surface of the earth, and which receives 
more rain than the other, which, by its elevation, is more exposed 
to the wind, and, therefore, I apprehend, does not give so fair a 
result. 

In 1827, there fell during the whole year, 46*86 inches. 

1828, 54.94 

1829, 39.85 

1830, .... 53.51 

To mark the difference of the two guages, and to shew the at- 
tention which should be paid to the situation of such instruments, 
I may mention, that the quantity of rain received by the other in 
1830 was only 43.95. I believe this is also an inferior instrument 
to the other. It is obvious, therefore, that, if I had made my cal- 

* I have seen similar sUtements made in the Isle of Man and at Aberdeen, during- 
these two years, which it may be interesting and useful to contrast with the one just 
now given. 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 79 

culations from this guage, it would not have appeared that such 
an immense quantity of rain falls in this neighbourhood : still it is 
not to be denied that the quantity is great. It will immediately 
appear that it is very much the same with that which falls at Largs, 
where observations of this kind were long made by Sir Thomas 
Brisbane, at Brisbane House. We are separated from that parish 
by the high-land about Misty Law and Staik, which attract the 
vapour rising out of the great Atlantic Ocean, and condense it into 
rain, and send it down with impartial favour, upon us, and the inha- 
bitants of Largs. Though a great quantity, however, falls in the 
neighbourhood of our high hills ; yet it appears from a statement 
in Wilson's Account of Renfrewshire, that the whole west part of 
Scotland is not deluged with so much rain. The following is his 
report for 1809 and 1810, at the four following places : 

Yearw* Dalkeith, BothweU Castle, Ghtgotc. Largt. 

1809 28.552 24.440 25.132 38.624 

1810 25.636 25.010 21.4a3 38.714 

From this statement it will be seen that more rain falls at Dal- 
keith than at either Glasgow or BothweU Castle. Mr Wilson him- 
self remarks, that, ^^ although it thus appears that the quantity of 
rain in the west of Renfrewshire is considerable, it is certainly far 
short of that which falls annually at Lancaster, Manchester, Ken- 
dal, and Keswick, which is 40.3, 43.1, 61.2, 70.6 inches respective- 
ly. The quantity of rain is not so much to be dreaded as its fre- 
quency." 

The direction in which the wind blows morning and evening at 
eight o'clock, and the state of the weather, morning, noon, and even- 
ing, as cloudy, wet, or fair, are noted in the journal from which 
I have already quoted. This last record impressed me more than 
ever with the idea of the lowering aspect of our sky. There is a 
succession of cloudy, hazy, showery, and wet, but comparatively 
little sunshine and fair weather. In 1827, the vnnd was westerly 
seven months, southerly three, and northerly two. And there fell 
46.86 inches of rain, so that the westerly wind does not bring such 
a quantity of rain as it produces frequent showers. Little comes 
from the north, and an east rain usually continues two or three days. 

In 1828, the wind was southerly six months, westerly four, north- 
east one, and east one, and there fell 54.94 inches of rain, so that 
the prevailing south wind produced more rain than the prevailing 
west wind of the former year. 

In 1829, the wind was northerly four months, westerly four, 
southerly 2, and north-west two, and there fell 39.85 inches of 



Digitized by 



Google 



80 RENFREWSHIRE. 

rain, — the north wind bringing less rain than fell in either the pre- 
ceding or following year. 

In 1830, which might be emphatically called the wet year, the 
wind was remarkably variable, but it secured for us a large quan* 
tity of rain, by blowing from the south five months, from the west 
two, south-west one, north-west two, north one, and north-east one, 
and there fell 55.51 inches of rain. 

After what has been said, it is scarcely necessary to remark, that 
the climate here is moist, but it does not seem to affect materially 
the health of the inhabitants. It is a curious fact, that they were 
remarkably healthy during the wet year, 1830. There were only 
60 deaths in the course of that year out of a population of 4500, 
which was considerably less than had occurred for many years ; 
but they habitually enjoy good health. The water gathered in 
the high-land is fully impregnated with moss, which is strongly an- 
tiseptic, and destroys the marsh miasmata which rise out of the 
loch and neighbouring valley. This is supposed to be our secu- 
rity against agues and other diseases, which elsewhere prevail in 
similar situations, and the reason why our people enjoy so much 
health... The inhabitants of the high-lands enjoy sunshine and 
fresh air when the valley is often covered with a dense fog. But, 
on the other hand, those of the valley sustain little injury from a 
fog which is not loaded with marsh miasmata, — are protected on 
all hands by the neighbouring hills, — and usually enjoy a remark- 
ably mild climate. So much is this the case, that Lochwinnoch has 
often been resorted to mth advantage by delicate persons during 
summer, for whom the sea air was too keen. Many instances of 
longevity occur here. * 

t have been furnished with an account of the patients and dis- 
eases which came under the care of the surgeon here, who had the 
greater part of the practice in this place. It extended from the 
beginning of January 1817 to the 22d October 1819. It must be 

* In the former Statistical Account, the following case is mentioned : " Margaret 
Paton, who was bom in this parish, is mentioned by Lynch on Health as a remark* 
Me instance of longeyity. Her picture, and a print from it, which the writer of this 
account has seen, were done from the life by J. Cooper in 1739, with the following 
inscription : *' Margaret Patton,bom in the parish of Loghnugh, near Paisley, in Scot- 
land, living in the workhouse of St Margaret's, Westminster, aged 138 years.*" 

Margaret was born in the Cottar Raw at Risk, and it may be noticed, that John 
King died at Risk, about tweWe years ago, aged ninety-three years. His brother 
James died at Beltrees a few years after, about the same age ; and Robert SempiU, 
the last of the Sempills of Beltrees, died in 1789, aged 103 years. Elizabeth Jami- 
son, who died about the end of 1830 at Burthills, was almost ninety- nine years of age; 
and one Ruthven, an old soldier, died at Glasshill in 1812, aged 111. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 81 

remembered, however, that there was then not merely a population 
of about 4000 in this place, but he had many patients in neighbour- 
ing parishes. He had altogether 785 cases, and the following were 
the diseases that most frequently occurred : Fever. — Continued 
fever, 84; typhus or nervous, 20 ; inflammatory, 18; biliary, 12; 
total, 134. — Peripneumony, 85; catarrhs, 33; colics, 21 ; con- 
sumption, 19; rose, 18; headach, 18; enteritis, 17; rheumatism, 
16; children's complaints, 114. 

It may help to elucidate the subject still farther, to give the 
following statement : There were in 1828 ninety-five deaths, the 
greatest number I have known in one year, though the summer was 
warm and genial; still-born, 6; below 10 years of age, 35; from 
10 to 20, 5; from 20 to 30, 4; from 30 to 60, 11 ; from 60 to 
70, 17 ; above 70, 17 ; total, 95. In January, 3 deaths; Febru- 
ary, 8; March, 10; April, 8; May, 10; June, 8; July, 13; Au- 
gust, 1 1 ; September, 1 1 ; October, 7 ; November, 3 ; Decem- 
ber, a 

It will thus be seen that there were more deaths during the fine 
summer of this year than during the winter ; but this fact, and the 
health of the inhabitants during the wet year, 1830, I should think 
rather anomalies than fair specimens of the effects of wet and 
warm weather. 

Hydrography, — Springs are numerous throughout the parish, 
but none are of a remarkable character. The village is at all sea- 
sons well supplied in this manner with good water, which rises out 
of the sandy soil upon which it is built. In other places they flow 
from almost every kind of rock. Springs impregnated with carbo- 
bonate of iron are found in the Misty Law moor and elsewhere. 
There is a spouting spring strongly impregnated with this substance 
in a bank a little west from Barr Castle. It rises from an opening 
made in the earth when mining for coal, and at one time spouted 
two or three feet above the ground. Now it is covered with a pump, 
and used as a well by a family in the neighbourhood, who are very 
sensible of the peculiarity of its taste, and the excellence of its qua- 
lities. 

The only large lake in the parish is Castle- Semple Loch, which 
was once much larger than at present, but it still covers about 200 
acres of ground. Its length is much greater than its breadth. It 
contains three small wooded islets, and is surrounded by the beau- 
tiful scenery of Castle- Semple, already described. The mansion- 
house stands on its north side, near its eastern extremity. It is fur- 

RENFREW. F 



Digitized by 



Google 



82 RENFREWSHIRE. 

nished with swans, Cape and Canadian geese in vast numbers, 
ducks, teals, and other kinds of water-fowl, and contains pike, 
perches, and other kinds of fish. " Queenside Loch is situated on 
the moors, and contains about 21 acres; it forms an excellent re- 
servoir for supplying two large cotton mills in the village of Loch- 
winnoch."* Waws Loch is in the opposite extremity of the parish. 
It is small, and remarkable only for its situation and the quantity 
of water lilies (NympJuEa alba) which it produces. 

The only river that runs wholly within the parish is the Calder, 
which rises on- the borders of Ayrshire, amongst the high-lands 
so often mentioned. It runs principally in a south-eastern direction, 
and pursues a very winding course. Owing to the height of its 
source, it descends over various elevations, and forms in different 
places beautiful waterfalls. Its banks, as it approaches the village, 
are exceedingly picturesque, and are adorned with wood, both na- 
tural and planted. After passing through these beautiful banks, 
which are celebrated by Wilson, the American ornithologist, it 
winds round the west and southern extremities of the village of 
Lochwinnoch, and, turning to the east, falls into Castle- Semple 
LK)ch, keeping up a constant current through it, and maintaining 
its salubrity. When it issues from this loch it obtains the name of 
Black Cart, which is a dark, level and slow-running stream. It 
forms the boundary between Lochwinnoch and Kilbarchan from its 
source, till it leaves the parish. The Dubbs flows through level 
meadow land from Kilbirnie Loch to Castle- Semple, and though it 
be not much elevated above the level of the sea, yet it is the sum- 
mit from which the adjacent streams pursue different courses to the 
sea. Those upon its west side proceed directly westward to the 
coast, but those upon its east side fall into the Black Cart, which 
flows in a north-easterly direction, till it join the White Cart at 
Inchinnan, whose united waters proceed in a north-west direction, 
till they fall into the Clyde a little below Renfrew. 

Geology. — There is no very remarkable feature in the geology 
of this parish. The rocks are generally of secondary trap, afford- 
ing almost innumerable varieties of greenstone, basalt, amygdaloid, 
porphyry, &c. which run into eadh other by endless gradations. 
There are neither primitive nor transition rocks in it. Green- 
stone stratified with claystone, and with freestone overlying coal, is 
found at Hallhill, where there is also crystallized freestone. The 
crystals are cubical, contained in the freestone, and form an integral 

* Former Statistical Account. 
3 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 83 

part of it, with many petrifactions of what seem to have been arbores- 
cent ferns. Their stems are now sandstone, and their bark is con- 
verted into carbon. This freestone overlies the coal and stratified 
^enstone. The range of hills, of which the Misty Law and Hill 
of Staik are the highest, is mostly formed of porphyry toward the 
top, which is capped with greenstone, intersecting the porphyry in 
innumerable dikes. Carbonate of copper is found in small quan- 
tities in nests at Kame, contained in whinstone ; and veins of sul- 
phate of barytes are common in the secondary trap rocks. These 
veins are from 6 inches to 14 or 16 feet thick. Their directions 
are various. Trap tufia is found in a few instances among the por- 
phyry, in which it seems imbedded, but its relation to it is not easily 
traced. It is composed of the fragments of the surrounding por- 
phyry and greenstone, cemented together by a paste apparently 
composed of these rocks and oxide of iron. 

Overlying the secondary trap in the lower part of the parish is 
the coal formation, consisting of the usual series of freestone, iron- 
stone, shale, &C. dipping generally to the south-west. This forma- 
tion partly surrounds the beautiful loch of Castle- Semple, and con- 
tinues without interruption into Ayrshire, around Kilbimie Loch, 
and onward to Ardrossan. This formation, however, is limited 
within the parish to a very small compass, and the working of coal 
has not been found a very profitable speculation, as it is intersect- 
ed with many dikes and troubles. The thickest bed known is at 
Hallhill, where it varies from 6 to 10 feet; the other beds are from 
a few inches to 2 or 3 feet thick. It may be remarked, that the 
coal strata which dip towards the south-west, crop out in an op- 
posite direction near the foot of Castle- Semple Loch ; but the stra- 
tified rocks on the northern side of the loch scarcely reach this 
point, being cut off by the insulated rock of f he Hill of Kenmure, 
which does not belong to the coal formation, but is composed of 
secondary trap. 

Limestone, which abounds in organic remains, is wrought by 
mining at Howwood, and a similar limestone was formerly wrought 
at Midtown. The organic remains found in it consist chiefly of bi- 
valve shells, some of which are very rare species, Coralloids, En- 
trochi, Encrini, &c. Although limestone has been wrought on a 
small scale in several instances, yet the quantity known to exist is 
very limited in extent ; and at two places, Garpel and Midtown, 
has been fairly wrought out 

The minerals found in this parish are numerous, and a good many 



Digitized by 



Google 



84 RENFREWSHIRE. 

belong to the Zeolite family. Some of them, as white prehnite, 
are very beautiful. I have been furnished with the following list, 
which comprehends the greater number of them. 

Species. Localities, 

Agate, (var. fortification agate,) Edge, Glenward, Misty Law raoor, &c. 
Amethyst, Misty Law moor and Glenward. 
Amygdaloid, common. 

AnaJcim^, crystallized at Linthills and in Calderb&nk. 
Arragonite, in small crystals at Linthills. 

Augite, common, plentiful in trap rocks of secondary formation. 
Barytes, sulphate of, (lamellar,) Raith -water, Kame, Knows, and near Cruckhill. 
Bitumen, Garpal lime quarry. 

Carbonized wood, Hallbill, Garpal, &c. in sandstone. 
Carburetted hydrogen gas, Hallhill coal -work. 
Chabasie, Maich water. 
Chalcedony, common, Misty Law moor. 

.^—^ »var. camelian, Glenward, Misty Law moor. 

Clay, variegated, Camphill-burn. 
Clay stone, common. 
Clinkstone, Ruch-bum, Sec, common. 
Coal, cannel, (var. splent-coal,) Hallhill. 

slaty, Hallhill. 

coarse, How-wood, &c. 

Copper, pyritous, near Cloak. 

green carbonate of, Kame, Tandlemoor. 

Felspar, common, red, Misty Law moor. 
Green earth. Edge, Calderbank, &c. 
Greenstone, common. 

porphyritic, not uncommon. 

Hornblende, basaltic, Misty Law moor. 
Hornstone, Misty Law moor, in small quantities. 
Iron, common sulphuret of, Hallhill. 

red oxide of, (var. red hematite,) Berrieglen, 

— — argillaceous oxide of, (var. bog ore,) common. 
Ironstone, compact brown, Loch Banks. 
(var. lenticular,) Loch Banks. 

Jasper, common, Dunshill, Langyard, Tandlemoor, &c. 
— — striped, Misty Law moor, rare. 
Laumonite, Edge-brae, Calderbank, &c. 

Lime, carbonate of, (subsp. crystallized calcareous spar, of the form commonly called 
Dog-tooth spar,) Netherhouses, Berrieglen, How- wood, &c. 
. —(subsp. laminated calcareous spar,) not unconmion, as at the How- 
wood, &c. 

— 7"- (subsp. fibrous limestone,) in very small quantities in Calderbank. 

————— (sub^. compact limestone,) How- wood, Langyard, &c. 

(subsp. concreted, var. calcareous incrustations,) not uncommon, 

on some rocks. 

(subsp. brown spar,) crystallized in the Misty Law moor. 

Manganese, oxide of, (earthy,) common in small quantities in whin rocks. 

— (crystallized,) Ruch-burn. 

Mica, lamellar, Barr quarry, &c. in freestone. 

Porcellanite, road from the village to the Langyard. 

Porphyry, Misty Law moor, Auchinhane, &c. 

Quartz, common crystallized. Misty Law moor, Calderbank, &c. 

• (var. rock-crystals,) in small crystals in the Mi^ty Law moor, the Glenward, 

and at the Cruckhill. 
Slate, argillaceous, (var. shale,) Loch Banks, Milbankburn. 

■ (var. novaculite,) Loch-head* 

Steatite, common, Loanhead, Calderbank. 
StUbite, red foliated, Calderbank, large specimens. 

Trap-tuffu, above the mouth of Raith- water in Caldcr-water, also at the foot of the 
Ruch-burn. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 85 

Specie^. Loca^iies. 
Wacke, Misty Law moor, abundant. 
Zeolite, common. High Barnaich. 
needle, High Bamaich, &c. 

Besides the minerals and rocks which exist in their natural situ- 
ations, there are others of which only fragments are found. These 
are chiefly of the primitive rocks, and the most numerous are gra- 
nite, syenite, mica siate, and quartz rock; and of the transition rocks, 
greywacke.* 

Botany, — This parish the botanist will find interesting. The 
following list enumerates our rarer plants : 

Hippuris vulgaris. Alisina Plantago and lanceolata. 

Ligusdiim vulgare. Epilobium angustifblium and palustrc. 

Pinguicuia Tulgaris. Vaccinium Oxycocoos. 

Circoa Lutetiana. Polygonum amphibiuro, var. aquaticura. 

Veronica scutellata. Paris quadrifolia. 

Seirpus lacustris and pauciflorus. Adoxa moschatellina. 

Arundo Phragmites. Saxifraga hypnoides. 

Aira flexuosa. Stellaria nemora and glauca. 

Aira pneooz. Sedum Telephium, villosum, and An- 

Holcus avenaceus. glicum. 

Nardus stricta. Arenaria rubra. 

Briza media. Spergula nodosa. 

Scabiosa arvensis and succisa. Lythrum Salicaria. 

Galium boreole. Sempervivum tectorum. 

Lysimachia nemorum and vulgare. Prmius Padus and Cerasus. 

Campanula latifolia. Spirasa salicifolia. - 

Potamogeton lanceolatum and crispum. Kubus idieus, fhiticosus, ' corylifolius, 

Litbospermum officinale. and saxatilis. 

Ecbium vulgate. Tormentilla repens. 

Convolvulus sepium. Comarum palustre. 

Jaaione montana. Nymphaea alba and lutea. 

Solanum Dulcamara. Chelidonium majus. 

Sanicula Europea. Papaver Argemone and Rhaeas. 

Ligusticum Meum. Stachys arabigua. 

<£nanthe crocata. Lamium amplexicaule* 

Sison inundatum and verticillatum. Scutellaria ^ericulata. 

Imperatoria Ostruthium. Melampyrum pratense. 

Viburnum opulus. Camelina sativa. 

Triglochin palustre. Cardamine amara. 

* The following description is given of a magnetic rock in the former Statistical Ac- 
count of the parish : 

*' A very singular magnetic rock has been discovered two miles from Castle- Semple* 
The compass was sensibly affected all round the rock to the distance of 150 yards. 
The effect was most remarkable on the east and west side of it, and in every direction 
it was greater as the compass was nearer to the rock itself. In its immediate vicini* 
ty, or nearly in a perpendicular direction above it, the position of the needle was very 
unsteady and irregular, and as the compass was gradually brought nearer the groimd, 
the deviation from the magnetic meridian was more remarkable, and the vibrations 
more rapid. When the compass was set on the ground, the north pole of the needle 
invariably directed itself to one small space of the rock, on whatever side of it the 
needle was placed.** 

This, I presume, furnishes another to the many examples that exist to prove that 
<* rocks impregnated with iron ore affect the magnetic needle, not only from the iron 
which they contain, but also from the portion of the natural magnet imbedded in the 
mass." In the New Philosophical Journal for July— October 1831, there is an ar- 
ticle on this subject. After noticing that the rock on which Dumbarton Castle is 
built possesses this property, a particular account is given of rocks on the top of Ar- 
thur's Seat, and a table drawn up of experiments m^de by Mr W. Galbraith, A. M. 
and Mr James Trotter^ to which it is sufficient to refer in illustration of this subject. 



Digitized by 



Google 



86 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Famatoria claviculata. Myriophyllum spicatum. 

Lepidium campestre. Carex hirta, 

Nasturtium sylvestre. Salix cinerea. 

Barbarea vulgaris. Empetrum nigrum. 

Geranimn sylvaticum. Peltidea aphthosa aud canina. 

Trifolium medium, and arvense. Cenomyce pyxidata, fimbriata, furcata, 

Errum hirsutum. and rangiferina. 

Cnicus heterophyllus. Marchantia polymorpha. 

Gnaphalium sylvaticum. Jungermannia Blasia. 

Tussilago Petasites. Sphi^um obtusifolium and acutifblium. 

Senecio saracenicus and sylvaticus. Dicranum bryoides, adiantoides, and 

Solidago Virgaurea. taxifolium. 

Gy mnadenia conopsea. Polypodium Phegopteris and Dryopteris. 

Habenaria albida. Asplenium Trichomanes, Ruta muraria, 

Listera oordata and ovata. and Adiantum nigrum. 

Epipactis latifolla. Pteris crispa. 

Typha latifolia. Lycopodium selago and alpinum. 

Sparganium natans and ramosum. 

IL — Civil History. 

Parochial Registers. — These are three in number. 1*^, A re- 
gister of proclamations of marriage, which is complete from 1718 
to the present time ; 2</, a register of births and baptisms, which 
was begun in 1706 and continued to 1714. There is a blank till 
1718, after which it is complete to the present time. d</, The mi- 
nutes of the kirk-session from September 169 1, when Mr John Pais- 
ley was ordained, till June 1700. The minutes are wanting from 
this date till August 1709, from which they extend to 1760, after 
which there is another chasm till 1777. From 1777 they are 
complete to the present day. In looking into the earlier period 
of these records, one is struck with the quantity of business that 
came before the session, when he considers the smallness of the 
population, the primitive, and, as we are accustomed to think, 
purer state of society. The strictness of discipline, however, and 
the fact, that almost every offence came before the kirk-session, 
may account for the number of cases on record, without denying 
that " the former times were better than these." 

Historical Events. — The battle of Muirdykes, fought on a farm 
of the same name in the eastern part of the parish, June 18> 1685, 
is noticed by a number of historians, such as Wodrow, Sir Patrick 
Hume of Polwart, and Dr M^Crie in his Memoirs of Bryson. 
The Duke of Argyie collected in Holland an army of 1500 refu- 
gees from Scotland, with whom he landed at Kintyre and proceed- 
ed towards Glasgow. When they reached Kilpatrick his follow- 
ers began to desert him. With a few of them he crossed the 
Clyde and came to Inchinnan, where he was taken prisoner, car- 
ried to Edinburgh, and executed. A remnant of his followers, 
under the command of Sir John Cochran, came to Muirdvkes, 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 87 

where they were attacked by the forces of King James VIL, whom 
they defeated, and remained on the field behind a natural entrench- 
ment till it was dark. Afraid of the enemy being reinforced, they 
retired during night, and proceeded southwards to the parish of 
Beith. The King's forces made a similar retreat under the shade 
of night, and so the field was found next morning deserted of both 
parties. 

Though Renfrewshire was never visited by the " Bloody Cla- 
verhouse," nor laid waste by the Highland host, and seems to have 
suffered less than some other parts of the country during the un- 
natural wars of the Stewarts against their own best subjects, yet it 
did not escape the rage of persecution, and the names and resi- 
dences of many individuals belonging to this parish are preserved 
in Wodrow's History, who were seized and tried, imprisoned and 
fined, robbed and tortured, banished and enslaved. The persecuted 
ministers, followed by the afflicted people, met in the moors among 
the hills, preached the Gospel, and baptized the forefathers of some 
who are still alive in the parish. The celebrated Renwick preach- 
ed in different places here and in the neighbourhood.* 

Amongst the eminent characters connected with this parish, we 
are entitled to number Sir William Wallace, the celebrated de^ 
fender of Scotland. There is a barony of land in the south-east- 
em extremity of the parish, called Auchinbathie Wallace, upon 
which there are still the remains of an old castle, which belonged to 
his progenitors. Near it, on the farm of Laightrees, there is a 
small eminence in the midst of a morass, which is a meadow in 
summer but a loch in winter, called Wallace's Knowe, where, ac- 
cording to tradition, Wallace defended himself against a party of 
Englishmen. There is no doubt of his possessing property here ; 
and we are willing to believe he resided sometimes in the Castle 
of Auchinbathie Wallace, and performed exploits in the neigh- 
bourhood. 

* I cannot help mentioning one anecdote, out of many, not recorded in Wodrow's 
History, of Jainefl Glen of Gillsyard, who was great-grandfather of William Glen, 
at present the oldest efficient member of the kirk-session, and an heritor in the pa- 
riah, and the same relation to John Glen, another small proprietor : he had a child 
baptized one day among the hills. In the evening of the day following, when he was 
proceeding towards Bridge-end, he saw two horsemen, who immediately pursued him. 
"Whilst he was flying before them he perceived a horse-shoe, which he picked up and 
deliberately placed under his cap. He was overtaken at the old mill of Bridge-end, 
where he tried to escape amongst the brambles on the side of the read, but one of the 
soldiers succeeded in striking him a violent blow with his sword on the head, and 
perhaps thought he had killed him, and left him dead among the brushwood. The 
horse-«hoe, however, placed under his cap protected his head, and as it was in the 
dusk of the evening he was allowed to remain unhurt in his lurking-place. 



Digitized by 



Google 



88 RENFKEWSHIRE. 

Family ofSempilL — But by far the most remarkable family in the 
ancient history of this parish was that of the Sempills, of whom a 
pretty full account is given by Semple and Crawfurd, continued by 
Robertson. I have seen a fuller and more accurate account of the 
family in MS., by Dr A. Crawfurd, but I cannot enter so fully into 
the subject as even the printed record, and shall only notice some 
of the most important circumstances scattered over the whole his- 
tory of this family. They seem to have been vassals of the Stew- 
arts, who at one time possessed the whole barony of Renfrew, and 
were progenitors of a long race of kings. In this manner, they 
were brought into notice at court, and made a figure in the his- 
tory of the country. Walter High Steward of Scotland married 
Marjory, daughter of the most illustrious of Scotland's kings, Ro- 
bert the Bruce, whose son, Robert Stewart, succeeded his uncle, 
David IL, in 1371. The barony of Renfrew was called the princi- 
pality, and was afterwards conferred as a separate maintenance upon 
the prince who was heir-apparent to the throne ; and for this rea- 
son one of his titles still is " Baron of Renfrew." 

Robert, the first of the Sempill family, of whom any record re- 
mains, lived in the reign of Alexander IL, who ascended the throne 
in 1214. His sons, Robert and Thomas, were great patriots, and 
friends of Robert the Bruce. John Sempill, the seventh of the 
family, was a man of great talents and distinction. Amongst other 
public transactions in which he was engaged, he was one of the 
Scottish commissioners appointed to negociate with the Court of 
England for the liberation of James I., whom he met and con- 
gratulated at Durham when he was returning home. He was 
made a knight by James II. about 1430. Renfrewshire was dis- 
joined from Lanarkshire in 1406, and Sir William Sempill, the 
second baronet of the family, was made Sherifi* of this county, and 
obtained from James IIL the baronies of EUistown, Castletown, 
afterwards called Castle- Sempill, now Castle- Semple. Sir Tho- 
mas Sempill was killed in 1486 at Bannockburn, in the service of 
his sovereign, James IIL, who, after a fall from his horse, was 
treacherously put to death in the manner minutely and graphical- 
ly described by Sir Walter Scott in his Tales of a Grandfather. 
His son. Sir John Sempill, was created Lord Sempill by James IV. 
in 1488. It was this Lord Sempill who built the Collegiate- 
Kirk of Lochwhynyeoch " to the honour of God, and of the blessed 
Virgin Mary, for the prosperity of his sovereign James IV., and 
Mai^ret his Queen, for the soul of Margaret Colville, his former 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 89 

Spouse, and also for the salvation of his own soul, and that of 
Margaret Crichton, his present wife, and of all his predecessors 
and successors, and of all the faithful deceased." This wise and 
pious Lord, having fully appointed and richly endowed the Colle- 
giate Kirk, died on the celebrated field of Flouden, on the 9th 
September 1513. The walls of the old kirk are still standing. 
Its whole length is 71 feet 6 inches; its breadth 24 feet 3 inches ; 
and the height of the side walls 15 feet 6 inches. The east end 
of it is separated from the west by a partition, is enclosed, and still 
used as a burying-place by the family of Castle- Semple. 

Robert Lord Sempill was called the great Lord Sempill. The 
family estates had been vastly increased by his father. Lord Wil- 
liam, and he being a person of a martial spirit, was engaged in 
many of the wars of his age. He was present at the battle of 
Pinkie in 1547. He adhered strictly to the interests of Queen 
Mary, till the murder of Darnley, after which he entered into a 
bond of association with other noblemen to defend the young 
King James. He was present with the Regent Murray at the 
battle of Langside, and, in consideration of his many and valuable 
services to the King and government, obtained from him a charter 
of the abbey of Paisley in 1569, upon the forfeiture of Lord Claud 
Hamilton. He engaged in the great feuds between the houses of 
Eglinton and Glencairn, or the Montgomeries and Cuninghames, 
with the former of which the Sempills had formed various marriage 
connections. These feuds lasted from 1488 till 1586. There 
were so many families involved in them, and so many lives lost, 
that it was more like a civil war, than a family quarrel. During 
these perilous times, Lord Sempill built the Peel on a small 
islet in Castle- Semple Loch. Being surrounded on all sides 
by water and well defended, it must have been a very safe and 
impregnable retreat. The foundation and a portion of the di- 
lapidated walls still remain surrounded by a few trees and shrubs. 
In consequence of the extent to which the loch has been drained, 
the Peel now stands upon its southern margin, in the line of a 
high embankment, by which the land« beyond it is kept compa- 
ratively dry during the summer, but which alters and hurts the 
appearance of this ancient place. The great Lord Sempill had 
three sons, Robert, who died in his lifetime, Andrew, who was the 
head of the Sempills of Breucheills or Bruntsheills and Millbank, 
and John, head of the Sempills of Beltrees. Francis Lord Sempill 
was the first of the family who renounced the errors of the church 



Digitized by 



Google 



90 RENFREWSHIRE. 

of Rome, to which the members of this family were long and zeal- 
ously attached. Hew Lord Sempill was a Colonel in the army, 
and commanded the left wing of the King's forces in the battle of 
CuUoden in 1746. He had sold Castle-Semple to Colonel Mac- 
dowall in 1727, and bought North Barr in 1741. His grandson 
Lord Hew Sempill was the last of the family. He had four child- 
ren, of whom two are still alive ; the Honourable Maria Janet 
•Senipill, and the Honourable Sarah Sempill. 

This family was the head of the clan of Sempills, and at one 
time possessed an extent of property, which at the present day 
would have produced an annual income of from L. 20,000 to 
L. 25,000, and therefore were properly styled " a potent and 
powerful family." Now the whole of that property has passed in- 
to other hands. 

The Sempills of Beltrees were, in an intellectual and literary 
point of view, more celebrated than the great Sempill family, from 
which they were descended. John, the first of this family and 
son of the great Lord Sempill, married Mary, sister of Lord Li« 
vingstone, who was one of the maids of honour to Mary Queen of 
Scots. Both she and her husband were great favourites with the 
beautiful Queen, which was the means of promoting their wealth 
and worldly prosperity. His highest honour, however, was that 
he was the father of Sir James Sempill, his successor. Sir James 
was an intimate and faithful friend of Mr Andrew Melville, and 
therefore various important circumstances are mentioned con- 
cerning him in Dr M'Crie's Life of that celebrated individual. 
This intimacy is said to have occasioned the publication of the fa- 
mous Basilicon Doron by James VI. Sir James Sempill, who was 
a friend and favourite of the King, being employed to transcribe 
this treatise, sent it to Mr Andrew Melville to peruse. Melville 
taking offence at some passages which it contained, brought the 
subject before the synod of St Andrews, which obliged the King 
in self-defence, as he thought, to publish the whole work ; and this 
step answered the purpose at least of procuring for him much ad- 
miration in England. After Melville had been decoyed to Lon- 
don, and cruelly and unjustly committed to the Tower by his faith- 
less sovereign. Sir James was enabled to render him important ser- 
vices. He 6rst procured for him a relaxation of his conBnement 
and rigorous treatment, and then permission to retire to France, 
where he became a professor of divinity in the Protestant College 
of Sedan. Daniel Tilesius, a man of talent, but of Arminian prin- 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 91 

ciples, was his colleague, and it is supposed that, at the sugges- 
tion, and perhaps with the assistance of Melville, Sir James en- 
gaged in a controversy with him, which had the effect of pre- 
venting the spread of his opinions among the students. Pro- 
voked at this, Tilesius endeavoured to ingratiate himself with 
King James, by publishing a defence of the late proceedings in 
Scotland, and filled it with unmerited and unmeasured abuse of the 
Scotch Presbyterians. This was answered by Beltrees in 1622, 
in a book written with great ability. The style is nervous, and 
the satire keen, but more chastened than was necessary in answer- 
ing the coarse attack of Tilesius. As intimated in the conclusion 
of this work, the controversy was continued, in which Sir James 
perhaps obtained secret assistance from Melville, and, at any rate, 
public and effectual aid from Calderwood, who published an ela- 
borate work entitled " Altare Damascenum." The other works 
of Beltrees were, an Answer to Tilesius's Defence of the Bishops, 
and the Five Articles, Cassandra Scotiana to Colander Anglican 
nus, published in 1616 ; ^^ Sacrilege sacredly considered," publish- 
ed 1619 ; the Packman's Pater Noster^ a satirical poem against 
the Church of Rome, and probably the following production. 
When King James visited his native kingdom of Scotland in 1617, 
an oration, in the form of an allegory, welcoming his Majesty, was 
pronounced in the great hall of the Earl of Abercorn by a very 
pretty boy of nine years of age. This was William, the youngest 
son of the Sheriff, Sir James Sempill of Beltrees. He died in his 
bouse at the Cross of Paisley in February 1625. 

His descendants seem to have retained chiefly his poetical ta- 
lents, but degenerated from grave and serious subjects, to the com- 
position of merry songs and satirical poems. His son Robert was the 
author of the epitaph of Habbie Simpson, the piper of Kilbar- 
chan, and perhaps other similar productions. Francis, the next pro- 
prietor, was still more fertile in works of this kind,, but, as will 
easily be believed, he squandered away his property, which he 
treated as lightly as every other subject. These light-hearted 
descendants of the grave and literary Sir James, when they could not 
rise to the composition of a poem, showed their spirit in a diffe- 
rent way. Robert, the sixth of the family, was present at the last 
burning of witches in Paisley, in 1697, though to prevent this his 
parents had concealed his shoes, and he was obliged to go with- 
out them. It was he who died at Kilbarchan in 1789, aged 103 
years. His son Robert made a little money, and retrieved the 



Digitized by 



Google 



92 RENFREWSHIRE. 

circumstances of the family, but left it all to Mr Hamilton Ck>llins, 
who married his youngest sister. Mrs Campbell, his eldest sister, 
was entirely overlooked ; but her daughter married Mr Stewart, a 
respectable merchant in Greenock, and their son, Mr Stewart, I 
believe, still takes the title of Beltrees. 

Family of Glen ofBarr. — The second largest property in the 
parish is Barr, with regard to i^hich I shall only say, it was pos- 
sessed by the family of Glens above 300 years. John Glen, the 
first of the family, swore fealty to Edward I., King of England, in 
1296, during the wars of the celebrated Sir William Wallace; and 
the family became eiitinct in the person of Alexander Glen, in 
1616. 

There are, however, a few families here of the name of Glen, 
who are supposed to be cadets of the Glens of Barr. 

The property was next possessed by the family of Hamiltons, 
who also sold it about half a century ago, and the only surviving 
branch of the family is an old maiden lady residing in the village, 
about eighty years of age. 

Family of M^Dowall of Garthland, — The present proprietor is 
William M^Dowall of Garthland, Esq. whose progenitors bought 
Castle- Semple from Lord Hew Sempill in 1727, and ever since 
that period, this has been one of the most distinguished families in 
the county of Renfrew. The late William M'Dowall of Garth- 
land, Esq. was frequently Member of Parliament both for the coun- 
ty and the Clyde district of burghs, and a very influential person 
at court. His memory is not merely revered in the parish, but 
he enjoyed so entirely the esteem of all the gentlemen of the coun- 
ty, that after his death they erected an elegant monument to his 
memory in the old Abbey Kirk of Paisley. 

Land-owners. — Two of the chief land-owners in the parish have 
already been mentioned. Colonel Harvey of Castle- Semple, and 
William M^Dowall, Esq. of Garthland. The rest in the order of 
their valuations are, Mrs Barr ; Colonel Fulton of Hartfield ; Lu- 
dovic Houston of Johnstone, Esq.; William Cochran of Ladyland, 
Esq.; and William Patrick, Esq. W. S. The first three are re- 
sident, the following non-resident The rest of the parish is 
broken down amongst a multitude of small proprietors, amounting 
altogether to almost ISO. 

Eminent Men. — Most of the persons hitherto mentioned were . 
distinguished chiefly by their property, and their political or warlike 
character, but there are at least two worthy of notice on account of 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 93 

their talents and literature : — James Latta, Surgeon in Edinburgh, 
was born in 1754. He was son of James Latta, an extensive farmer, 
and grandson of Michael Nasmith, long parochial schoolmaster in 
this parish. He published a practical system of surgery in 3 volumes 
8vo, the second edition of which appeared in 1 790, and is quoted 
by Cooper, in his Dictionary of Surgery, as a respectable work. 
Latta died young and unmarried. 

Alexander Wilson, the Scots poet, and celebrated American 
ornithologist, was not a native of this parish, but he was connected 
with it by residence. His father removed from Paisley, the place 
of his nativity, to Auchinbathie, in 1784, and his son was employ- 
ed as a weaver in Lochwinnoch till 1790. In consequence of this, 
many of his poems are founded on the scenery and incidents of 
the parish : — ^such as Calder Banks, Address to Mr M^Dowall of 
Grarthland, Fauldhead's Elegy, &c. His most remarkable poem, 
Wattie and Meg, is supposed to refer to two individuals who were 
well known here ; but the inhabitants of Paisley dispute this ho- 
nour with us. In consequence of a satirical poem written against 
a respectable manufacturer in Paisley, an action was raised against 
him before the Sheriff, and though the sentence was mild, he 
took it amiss, and went to America in 1794. He lived at Phila- 
delphia, and having alvmdoned politics, which had provoked his 
muse to satire, he betook himself to the study of natural history. 
There he published a splendid work entitled American Ornitho- 
logy, in 9 volumes, with plates.* 

* It may not be improper to subjoin a notice of the parochial ministers ftince 
the Reformation. It so happens, that almost all the former Presbyterian minis- 
ters of Lochwinnoch have been not merely exemplary in their characters, and dill- 
gent in the discharge of their duty, but acceptable to their parishioners. This cir- 
cumstance has kept the people united, promoted their improvement, and maintain- 
ed the Established Church here in a state of uninterrupted prosperity. This is a 
het worthy of the attention of patrons. 1. The first person who officiated in this 
place in sacred things, after the Reformation, was Ninian Sempill, in 1576. He 
was only a" reader," — a dass of public teachers still of inferior repute in the country. 
His stipend was L. 16 Scots, with the kirk-lands. 2. Mr Andrew Knox, son of 
Mr John Knox of Ramforlie in Kilbarchan, was ordained about 1580, and translat- 
ed to Paisley in 1585. He helped to defeat an attempt of Mr Hew Barclay of Lady, 
land, to overturn the Protestant faith by the assistance of the court of Spain, but was 
not equally zealous against Episcopacy, which shews he had lost something of the 
spirit of his relative the great John Knox of a former generation, for when James V L 
restored Episcopacy in 1606, he was made Bishop of the Isles. In 1622, he was 
promoted to the Bishoprick of Raphoe in Ireland, where he died in 1632. Crawford 
represents him as a person of considerable learning, but of gentle dispositions, and 
averse to persecution for conscience sake. He therefore shewed great kindness to 
his Presbyterian countrymen who fled from Scotland on account of their aversion to 
the church which the government were trying to estaUish in the country. 3. Mr 
Patrick Hamilton was minister of this parbb in 1662, and was translated to Paisley 
in 1607. 4. Mr Alexander Hamilton in 1627. I have found no record how the 
parish was supplied during the long vacancies of this early period. 5. Mr Hew 



Digitized by 



Google 



94 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Antiquities. — I have already mentioned the Peel and Collegiate 
Kirk, and shall now notice the remains of other ancient buildings. 

The Barr Castle is the most remarkable of these. It is entire, 
but without a roof. It is a high oblong tower, must have been 
a place of considerable strength, and is a respectable piece of archi- 
tecture for the time in which it was built, which seems to have been 
in the fifteenth century. It has both slits for arrows and ports for 

Peebles in 1647' He was a pious and able man, and one of the many Presbyterian 
ministers who suffered during the reign of Charles II. Of the 400 ministers who 
refused to conform to Prelacy, there were 14 in the presbytery of Paisley, and Mr 
Hew Peebles was one of them who was deposed in 1663. For teaching in his own 
family on Sabbath evening, he was brought before the High Commission, where 
he pled his cause with great freedom as well as force of reasoning. Notwithstand- 
ing of this he was required to remove to Forfar, and to confine himself to that 
town. He was again brought before the council in 1670, and required to confine 
himself to Dumbarton and a mile around it. When the act of indulgence was pas- 
sed at Glasgow in 1672, Mr Peebles at first refused to avail himself of it, but after« 
wards complied, and was restored to his charge about 1676. With some interrup- 
tion he continued his labours till the Revolution in 1688, when he was fully restored 
to his ofiSce and emoluments, and died in 1691. His receipts for stipend from 1600 
to 1665, are still in the possession of an inhabitant of the parish. 

During the suspension of Mr Peebles, there were at least two Episcopalian mi- 
nisters or curates here : — Mr Robert Aird in 1666, and Mr William Cuninghame 
in 168(3. One of them was very strict in requiring the parishioners to conform to 
Episcopacy, and in reporting against those who were irregular and refractory, 
but the other was easy and indulgent, and if they appeared to answer to their 
names at the commencement of public worship, he connived at their retiring, with- 
out requiring them to remain and join in the service : —and therefore he has left 
a favourable impression behind him in the parish. 6. Mr John Paisley was or- 
dained 15th September 1691, refused a call to Foveran in Aberdeenshire, in 1693, 
and died in 1728. There is still evidence of his fidelity and diligence in the records 
of session during his incumbency. 7. Mr John Pinkerton was ordained 15th De- 
cember 1728, and died dd January 1750. The impression of his worth and fidelity 
still remain with the inhabitants of the parish. 8. Mr John Couper is said to have 
been licensed at the same time with bis predecessor, and afler a long probation was 
ordained at Loch win noch in September 1750, and died in September 1787, at the 
age of 81 , after an incumbency of 87 years. He was the only minister of this parish 
who belonged to what is called the moderate party in church- politics, I mention 
this, simply as a fact of which neither he, nor any of his family, would have been 
ashamed, and have much pleasure in being able to add, he was an excellent scholar, 
and an irreproachable character, — was most attentive to his parochial duty, and the 
education of his family, of which they have reaped the benefit in the prosperity which 
it has helped to secure for them in the world, and for which they have evinced their 
gratitude in their high respect for the memory of their father, and peculiar attach- 
ment to the place of their nativity. After tlie death of Mr Couper, the patron, Mr 
M'Dowall of Castle-Semple gave the people of this parish a choice of their own mi- 
nisters. The first chosen was, 9. Mr James Steven, who was translated from a chapd 
in Albion Street, Glasgow, to Lochwinnoch, 16th August 1788, and died 21st June 
1801. He was a very popular preacher. 10. Mr James Crawfurd was translated 
from Port- Glasgow chapel, 18th December 1801, and died 7th May 1814. He was 
an excellent man, as well as an acceptable preacher. Immediately before the death 
of Mr Crawfurd, the patronage of this parish was sold by the trustees of the late 
William M*Dowall of Garthland, Esq., and purchased by a number of the heritors. 
None but heritors were permitted to have a share, and no one heritor could bold 
more than five shares. The patronage being bought for L. 1560, was soon disposed 
of amongst seventy^seven heritors, holding more or less shares from one to five, and 
having votes proportioned to the number of their shares. Each share cost L. 10. 
These patrons chose, 11. Mr Robert Smith, in October 1814, who was ordained 2d 
March 1816, and is the present incumbent. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 95 

guns. Great guns were used by the English in the siege of Berwick 
in 1405, but for some time after this, our forefathers, especially in 
Scotland, retained an attachment to their ancient mode of warfare 
with bows and arrows. This castle, then with both its slits and gun- 
ports, seems to have been built in the fifteenth century, when they 
were passing from the one mode of warfare to the other. It consists 
of four stories. The first or ground-floor is arched to secure horses 
and other cattle in times of danger. The second contains the great 
hall, and the other stories different apartments for diflferent pur- 
poses. It has a rampart or battlement at the top, and a turret at 
each comer. The large door is thick, and studded with strong 
spikes, having broad heads. It was lighted with ] 6 windows, and 
is about 35 feet long, and 26 broad, and the walls are about 4 feet 
thicL This castle is delightfully situated on a head-land a little 
west from the village, and commands a view of Barr House, the 
village. Crook Hill, the loch, Peel, and much of the adjacent scenery 
already described. 

Elliston Castle is a small square building. It was the residence 
of the Sempill family before 1500, and stands on the opposite side 
of the loch from the present mansion-house. It must have been 
built before the use of gunpowder, but when repairs were made in 
later times, gun-ports were formed in its walls. Its length is 42 
feet over the walls, its breadth 33 feet, and its height from 20 to 
30 feet, being higher in some places than others. The end walls 
are from 8 to 9 feet thick, and the side walls about 6^ feet. In 
the east and west walls there is an opening opposite to one another, 
and arched over the top, which might have been doors, but which 
from their elevation in the walls, appear like large windows. Au- 
cbinbathie tower stands on the side of the public road leading to 
Dunlop, Stewarton, &c It is surrounded by some old trees, and 
cultivated land, — memorials of the wealthy inhabitants by whom it 
must have been occupied. We have said it was no doubt the man- 
sion-house of the progenitors of Sir William Wallace. It is not 
so large as either of the castles already mentioned, though less di- 
lapidated than the second. It is 29 feet long, from 10 to 12 broad, 
but it is probable that only a portion of the side walls remain, and 
its greatest height is about 17 feet. There is a small building em- 
bosomed within these ancient walls, and, therefore, instead of being 
the mansion-house of a distinguished family, they are now an out- 
house for cattle. 

Besides these, there were other ancient castles, of which little 



Digitized by 



Google 



96 RENFREWSHIRE. 

visible trace remains. The castle of Castle Tower gave place to the 
present mansion-house of Castle- Seniple. Its foundations were this 
year laid bare in forming some drains about the latter house. Bel- 
trees is mentioned as one of the stone-houses or castles in Renfrew- 
shire in 1612, by Monypennie in his Chronicles of Scotland. The 
celebrated and literary^ Sir James Sempill was then proprietor of 
Beltrees. Cloak Castle stood a little to the north-west of the pre- 
sent mansion-house. The foundations of Lorabank Castle were 
dug up by Mr Robert Orr, late proprietor of Langyard and Lora- 
bank. 

There are visible the remains of a camp or fort on the farm of 
Castlewaws, in the eastern part of the parish^ not far from the scene 
of the battle of Muirdykes. It is on the top of one of the highest 
hills on the south side of the loclr, which, on account* of its ele- 
vation, is visited by strangers for the sake of the extensive and 
delightful prospect which it commands, as well as for the sake 
of examining the camp. Towards the west the eye lights on 
the sombre Misty Law and adjacent hills, from whence it turns 
southwards towards the beautiful country of Cuninghame, the 
Frith of Clyde, the Island of Arran, and the Craig of Ailsa. The 
entrenched hill is a superficies of about 80 falls in length, and 
about 25 in breadth. It consists of a mass of trap rock, precipi- 
tous on both sides; it is highest on the east side, which is 40 feet 
high. The precipice had no need of a wall for defence, but some 
parts of the eminence are sloping in the ascent, and are defended 
by a rampart of turf and stones, something like a feal-dike. The 
north and south sides are somewhat departing from the form of a 
precipice, and therefore are fortified. On the south end, there are still 
the remains of an entrenchment, which is 5 feet high. Within the 
entrenchment there is a circular wall or intervallum of the same 
rude materials, about 60 feet in diameter toward the west. 

This fort has been supposed to be the remains of a camp formed 
by Sir William Wallace in his wars with the English ; but more 
probably it was one of the hill-forts formed by the ancient Britons, 
of which there are many remains in the country. 

The bridge of Bridgend across the Calder, a little to the north- 
west of the village, is worthy of notice, chiefly on account of its anti- 
quity. It is mentioned by Montgomery of Westlands in 1650. 
The adjacent property is called Bridgend, probably from this 
bridge, and this property is mentioned by this name in a charter of 
Lordship of Paisley, by James VI. in 1626, and in the rental of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. &7 

abbey of Paistey in 1525. The arch of the bridge is very fine, and 
the mason-work far more elegant than is now employed about 
bridges. Originally it was very narrow, and barely allowed one 
cart to pass at once, but was repaired and widened in 1814. We 
have nothing but conjecture concerning the origin of this bridge. 

In the former Statistical Account it is mentioned that a brass 
cannon and various canoes were found in the lake, — which evidently 
prove the large forests that must have existed in this part of the 
country. Many canoes have been found since that period. There 
is a person still alive who saw twenty-one buried in the mud between 
the old Peel and north side of the loch. A canoe taken out of the 
loch is still preserved in the garden of Allan Pmkerton of Mossend.* 

Modem Buildings. — These require little description, for though 
the village be large, it contains few houses worthy of particular no- 
tice. The following general and accurate account of it is given by 
Robertson. *^ Lochwinnoch Ls a very thriving village, built on a re- 
gular plan of one main street (which is half a-mile long) with some 
streets crossing it at right angles. The houses are generally of two 
stories in height, and covered with slates. The situation is indeed 
very pleasant, as it is exposed only to the south-east, being under 
shelter in all other directions, either by rising grounds or thick 
plantations." This description is strictly applicable to the new town ; 
the old, which is only a small portion of the village on the north, is 
meaner and more irregular in its appearance. The churches and 
mills will be noticed afterwards; and besides these, there are about 
eleven superior houses belonging to the wealthier inhabitants, such 
as professional men and the proprietors of cotton-mills. 
III. — Population. 

The populaiioD in 1695 was 290 Ikniilies, and of course about 1450 

1755, . . 1530 

1791, . . 2613 

1801, . 2955 

1811, . 3514 

1821, . 4130 

1831, 4515 

From the above statement it will be seen that the population 
has increased rapidly since 1791. The chief reason of which was 
the erection of cotton*mills about that time, and the stimulus which 
these gave to every other kind of business. I have found the in- 
crease regular for the last seventeen years, with the exception of 
the years 1819 and 1820, when, in consequence of distress and 
discontent, there was a considerable emigration to America. 

* Some other minor antiquitiet are noticed in the MS., ooosisting of gold and 
silver coins, a ladle of Corinthian brass, querns, &c. found in the parish. 
RENFREW. G 



Digitized by 



Google 



98 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The present state of the population is as follows : 

Village of Lochwinnoch, . 2645 

Hollowood, . . 209 

Glenhead, . • 53 

In the country, . . 1608 

Total, 4515 

Average number of births for the last seven years, 9$ 

of deaths, . . ' 77 

of marriages^ . . 31 

Neither the register of births nor deaths is quite accurate. They 
are both a little below the truth. 

Average number of persons below 15 years of age, 1750 

betwixt id and 30, . 1325 

80 and 50, . 857 

^ and 70, . 434 

above 70, . 149 

There are many of the last list above 80, and two of them, both 
males, are about 97. 

The average number of children in each family is . 2^ 

Unmarried men, botlk bachelors and widowers, above 50, . 70 

Women above 4.'>, .... 63 

Number of insane, fatuous, blind, deaf and dumb, . 33 

There are no nobility in the parish, and the principal land** 
owners have been already mentioned. There are from 50 to 60 
proprietors of land of the yearly value of L. 50 and upwards. 

The kingdom of Strathelyde comprehended the shires of Dum- 
barton, Renfrew, Lanark, Ayr, &c. and consisted of an independent 
British or Celtic people. It was conquered by the Saxons about 
the year 1000 or 1 100, two hundred years after the conquest of the 
other provinces in- the lowlands. Hence the language of the west 
of Scotland, and the Renfrewshire dialect, contains far more words 
derived from the Gaelic than that of many other counties. The 
inhabitants of this parish spoke this kind of Scotch dialect exclu- 
sively till the public works introduced people from all parts of Scot- 
land, and even from Ireland, which has modiBed it somewhat 

There is no game or amusement by which the inhabitants of 
this parish are so much distinguished as curling, — which they have 
the best opportunities of enjoying on the fine sheet of ice on the 
loch of Castle- Semple. 

The young men and women employed in the cotton-mills can 
afford both to live and dress well, and their example tells upon the 
rest of the inhabitants. The numerous small proprietors, too, 
are generally in better circumstances than ordinary farmers, and 
therefore the appearance of the congregation is much gayer than 
might be expected in a country parish. Those who endure the 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 99 

heat, fatigue, aiid long confinement of the mills require a ge- 
nerous diet^ and use it. They have generally butcher-meat at 
dinner, and sometimes at breakfast. This occasions an excellent 
market in the village. Many of the other inhabitants live in a 
plainer style, both in the town and country. The peasantry, I be- 
lieve, generally eat porridge, and bread and cheese or milk to 
breakfast ; broth and butcher-meat to dinner ; and porridge again, 
or potatoes, or some other lighter food, to supper. Tea is not 
used in the country on ordinary occasions, except by some heads 
of families ; but, with solitary exceptions, they live well. 

In a manufacturing place like this, a great deal of ignorance 
and immorality may be expected. But the managers of the pub- 
lic works have always, much to their credit, been very careful about 
the character of the persons whom they employ ; and the inhabi- 
tants enjoy all private as well as public means of instruction and 
improvement The young are not merely educated at pablic 
schools, but many of them attend classes for religious instracti<iR ; 
and as soon as they approach the years of maturity they in gene- 
ral apply for admission into full communion with the church. 
They are in a remarkable manner a church-going people. There 
is hardly any such thing as infidelity, or even heresy, in the parish ; 
and those who are suspected of bad principles are regarded with 
such feelings as to prevent them from doing much injury to those 
around them. 

IV. — Industry- 

Bxtent of Lochwinnoch parish in English acres, - 19219 
Cultivated, or capable of cultivation, - 9000 
Wood, . - . . 700 

Water, 800 

Gardens and orchards, - - 100 

Pasture of all sorts, - - - 9119 

10219 

Such a large extent of land planted contains an immense variety 
of wood ; and upon the estates of Colonel Harvey and Mr M'Dowall 
it is managed in the best possible manner. The former keeps a 
skilful forester, and the plantations of the latter are managed with 
similar skill and attention. Where the soil is deep enough, all 
sorU of forest trees can be grown. On Castle- Semple estate there 
are many fine old trees, — beech, oak, Scotch and English elms, 
and large variegated planes ; larch firs, silver firs of remarkable 
size, and the largest tree of the cedar of Lebanon, except one, 
that exists in. Scotland. Besides these old trees, the forester has 
lately planted a large assortment of the finest trees of the forest 
which could be collected, and which are thriving well. I have re- 



Digitized by 



Google 



100 RENFREWSHIRE. 

ceived a similar report of the variety of trees on tbe estate of Mr 
M^Dowall, but some of tbe plantations are younger tban tbe woods 
witbin tbe policy of Castle- Semple, wbicb were managed witb great 
skill by tbe late proprietor, Mr M'Dowall of Gartbland. 

Rent ofLandj (J-c. — Tbe rent of land varies from L. 1 to L. 4 per 
acre in grass, and from L. 3 to L. 8 or L. 9 in crop, according to 
situation and circumstances. Tbese are so various tbat it would 
be very difficult to find a fair average. 

A cow's grass during summer varies from L. 3 to L. 5, exclusive 
of tbe expense of keeping it during winter. A sbeep may be pas- 
tured for 8s. or 10s. on good land, but for less on tbe moor land. 

Rye-grass bay, witb tbe seed, is sold at from L. 3 to L. 5 per 
100 stones; meadow-bay from L. 1, 10s. to L. 3, 10s. ditto; flax from 
12s. to 15s. per stone ; wool, from 5s. to L. 1 per stone ; cbeese, 
from 7s. to 9s. per stone ; butter, 13s. per stone ; and beef, 6s. 4d. 
per 'stt^ne. (I always speak of tbe local weigbts and measures, 
ireV^h imperial. ) 

'JOive Stock. — Tbe best breed of cattle and sbeep are reared in 
tbe parisb. All tbe farmers bave tbe finest Ayrsbire cows. 

Husbandry, Sfc. — Leases generally extend to nineteen years, 
tbougb some lands are let occasionally from year to year. Tbis is an 
injurious system, because tbe lands are not improved wben a tenant 
has not tbe certain prospect of bolding it so long as to enjoy tbe be- 
nefit of bis improvements. Tbe farm-buildings are in general sub- 
stantial, comfortable, and slated. Tbose on Castle- Semple estate, 
and tbe bouses of some of tbe wealthier small proprietors, are ele- 
gant, and superior to wbat is required for farm-houses. To contrast 
with these there are one or two old buildings to remind us of the state 
of things in a former century, and which would not seem out of 
place in the Highlands. Most of the enclosures are thorn hedges, 
but some are stone dikes. 

Much has been done in improving land during the last forty 
years. Enclosures have become general — roads are formed through- 
out the parish — the land has been drained and limed, — and tbe ro- 
tation of crops improved. The embankments which separate Barr 
Loch and Aird Meadow from Castle-Semple Loch, formed by the 
late proprietor, James Adam, Esq. W. S. and by which upwards 
of 200 acres of ground have been made to produce most luxu- 
riant crops of oats or hay, are the most extensive improvements 
that bave taken place in one quarter. * The late Andrew Moody, 

• Banr Loch is now the property of William M'Dowall, Esq., and Aird Meadow 
of Colonel Harvey of Castle-Semple. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 101 

Esq. improved at great expense his property of Heathfield, form- 
iDg part of the high lands in the north-western part of the parish, 
now the property of James Watt, Esq. in Greenock, and John 
Millar, Esq. Glasgow; and improvements upon a smaller scale 
have been carried on throughout the whole parish. Still there are 
individuals, especially among the small proprietors, who, from want 
of skill, or energy, or money, have not made the most of their 
properties. 

Produce, — The average gross amount and value of raw produce 
yearly raised in the parish, may be as follows : 

2025 acres may produce at the rate of four bolk per acre, or 8100 

bolis, at ]^ per bo]], L.6075 

225 acres in potatoes, &c. may be worth L. 1 1 per acre, or in all - 2475 
There may be in hay of different sorts oue-fourth the quantity of land 

under grain crop, 506 acres worth L.3 per acre, or - - 1518 

6950 acres of moors, &c. may be rated at about 1 Od. per acre, L. 288 
2169 of better pasture at L. I, 5s., . - 2711 

100 acres of gardens and orchards, worth L. 6 per acre, or 600 
The thinning of plantations, &c., - - 300 

lUisoeUaneous produce, .... IQO 



3999 



Total, - - L. 14,067 

Quarriesj Sfc. — There are quarries of various kinds in the parish. 
There is a small lime quarry which is wrought at present, and lime 
exists in other places where no present use is made of it. There 
is abundance of freestone and other kinds of stone for building, and 
quarries are opened when they are required. There are two coal 
pits, the one at Hallhill on the eastern, and the other at Nervel- 
stone, in the western extremity of the parish. The former is worth 
about L. 300 a-year after expenses are paid. The latter is less 
valuable, and the working of it has lately been discontinued. 

Manufactures. — The first manufacture in which the inhabitants 
of this parish were engaged to any considerable extent was that of 
linen. About the time of the Union in 1707, this manufactory 
was introduced into Paisley, and the farmers in this as in other 
places began to grow flax, and their female domestics were em- 
ployed in making yarn for this manufactory. In the progress of 
the trade a company was formed here, who built a small factory 
about 1740, and a larger one about 1752 for linen and cam- 
brick. 

Mr Humphry Fulton, who was connected with this parish, in- 
troduced the manufacture of silk into Paisley after the model of 
the Spittalfield weavers in 1759; and before 1780, the elegant 
gauze trade was the chief manufacture in Renfrewshire; but it 
gave place to the cotton muslins about 1785 or 1790. 



Digitized by 



Google 



102 LOCHWINNOCH. 

Thread-making was introduced about 1722, and at one time 
there were about 20 thread mills in this parish ; but now the busi- 
ness has been nearly discontinued. 

Ableachfield belonging to the Factory Company was begun about 
1 740, which consumed all the butter-milk of the parish, till Dr Home 
of Edinburgh rescued it out of the hands of the bleachers, and restor- 
ed it to the use of the inhabitants, by teaching them about 1756 to 
use sulphuric acid in its place. The second bleachfield was begun 
at Loanhead ; the third at Burnfoot by Mr Hamilton Adam. The 
Fultons and Co. began bleaching near their large mill about 1793. 
All these bleached chiefly their own goods, but there are other 
bleachfields which depend upon the manufacturers of Glasgow and 
Paisley. The bleachfield of the late Henry Wilson of Bowfield, Esq. 
is particularly mentioned in the former Statistical Account, and it 
has been continued with little interruption, though by different per- 
sons, to the present day. The business was never carried on with 
more skill, spirit, and success than by Mr John Campbell, who at 
present occupies the house and field of Bowfield. Mr Peter Ca- 
meron has a field at Midtown, where a great deal has been done. 
He is a person of an active and enterprising spirit, and has con- 
nected with the field a beetling-mill on the banks of the Calder, 
in which he finishes the goods and prepares them for the market* 

There are 15 weavers in the parish occupied in coarse work for 
the use of the farmers and other inhabitants, and about 203 em- 
ployed by the manufacturers of Glasgow and Paisley. From 1780 
and downwards, they were engaged with various kinds of muslins : 
but a remarkable change took place in the trade about 1820. The 
present weavers are employed in Canton crapes, Angola shawls, 
silk cypresses, silk harnishes, cotton harnishes, and a mixture of both . 
This is a complex manufacture, — requires the assistance of a draw- 
boy, — and sometimes expensive harnishes, but they make great wages 
when the trade is flourishing. When this business was introduced, 
some weavers made a great deal of money ; and others would have 
found it equally profitable if they had been equally careful. About a 
fourth part of our weavers are still employed in working muslins, but 
very little can now be made by this kind of work. There is one mill in the 
parish, which contains six looms employed in power-loom weaving. 

Tanning was introduced into the parish about the beginning of 
last century, but it did not succeed. 

* Cameron has failed and left the parish since the above account was written. 
But the business of the bleachfield is carried on by John M'Nab and Co. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 103 

Candlemaking was carried on for some time by Mr James Con- 
nel of Calderhaugh, but it was discontinued about 1828. 

Mr Crawfurd and his brother have a mill for carding and spin- 
ning wool, in which they employ 22 workers. It is in the third 
story of a very fine mill near the Calder. This elegant building was 
erected in 1814, and the under part of it is one of the largest, 
and most complete corn-mills in the country. After the dried 
oats are put into the happer, they go through the whole pro- 
cess of shelling, winnowing, grinding, and sifting, and are prepar- 
ed for the bags and the market without any other manual labour 
than that of superintending the process, which is carried on wholly 
by machinery. 

But the cotton-mills mentioned in the former Statistical Account 
have for the last forty years been by far the most conspicuous ma- 
nufactory in the parish. 

The old mill was erected by Messrs G. Houston, Bums, and 
Co. about 1788j and is now the property of W. Wright and Co, 
It is situated on the rising ground on the north-west side of the 
village, and is driven wholly by the waters of the Calder and re- 
servoirs connected with it. The building consists of five stories 
with garrets, lighted by 152 windows and 40 sky-lights. It con- 
tains 8140 spindles, and the yarn varies in size from No. 60 to 
80, and the water- twist from 24 to 30. It employs altogether 170 
workers, old and young, who receive about L. 148 of wages a-fort- 
night. 

The new mill was erected by Messrs Fulton and Co. in 1789, 
and is now the property of Messrs Fulton and Buchanan. This 
large and elegant building stands upon the level ground near the 
foot of the High Street. It is not, however, in the line of the street, 
but placed so far back as to form a large and fine area in front of the 
mill, enclosed by a parapet wall, surmounted in the centre by an 
iron railing, which is in the line of the street. It stands near the 
banks of the Calder, by the waters of which it was wholly driven 
till a large addition was built to it in 1825, when a steam-engine 
was erected, which is now used along with the water in driving this 
mill. It consists of five stories with garrets, and is lighted by 360 
windows and 60 sky-lights. It contains 25,224 spindles, which 
work 12,000 lbs. of cotton every fortnight. The yarn varies in 
size, from No. 36 to 84, averaging 60. It employs 345 workers, 
who receive about L. 260 of wages a-fortnight. 

About 1788, a small cotton-factory was commenced by a num- 



Digitized by 



Google 



104 RENFREWSHIRE. 

ber of persons in the parish, in which the jennies were moved by 
the hand ; but it did not succeed, and was soon given up. 

Messrs William Caldwell and Co. built a small mill at Boghead, 
a quarter of a mile north from the village, soon after the former. 
It consisted of three stories, besides garrets, and employed about 
80 workers; but being accidentally burnt down about 1813» it has 
ever since remained in a ruinous state. 

The persons employed in the cotton-mills work twelve hours five 
days in the week, and nine hours on Saturday. They have one 
hour and forty minutes for both breakfast and dinner. The con- 
finement and high temperature of the mills must enfeeble the frame, 
and ultimately tell upon the health of the workers, especially when 
they do not enter them in early life ; but they are not immediately 
broken down, and are not in general very sickly, so long as they 
continue to work, though paler, and sometimes thinner than those 
who are employed in the open air. The morals of the workers are 
still less afiected, for the reasons already assigned, — the care with 
which unworthy persons are excluded, and means employed to im- 
prove workers. There are many as excellent persons in the mills 
as amongst any other class of the inhabitants. The workers make 
very high wages, and these mills would in this respect add greatly 
to the comfort of the inhabitants, were it not that they tend to in« 
crease the population, with its attendant evils, and more especially 
to bring a number of large and poor families into the parish, in the 
hope of finding employment easily for their numerous children. Not- 
withstanding of this, I am satisfied that the inhabitants of the vil- 
lage of Lochwinnoch have for a considerable time past been more 
comfortably provided for, than those of places where there are no 
mills and a great many weavers, who have repeatedly suffered more 
of late than persons employed in such mills. Cotton-spinning is 
not now so profitable as it once was to the proprietors ; but the spi- 
rit and extent to which it is carried on is, I should think, the best 
proof that it is not yet an unprofitable concern. 

V.-^Parochial Economy. 

Villages. — There is no market-town in the parish, and Beith, 
which is the nearest, is almost four miles distant ; but everything 
that is needed can be got in the village of Lochwinnoch. The 
only other two villages are HoUowood and Glenhead, and they are 
both very small. 

Means of Communication. — There is a post-office in Lochwin- 
noch ; and there are carriers both to Glasgow and Paisley more 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 105 

than once a-week, besides carriers passbg through the parish week- 
ly to Greenock, Port-Glasgow, &c. For faciUtating this in- 
tercourse, there are excellent turnpike roads and bridges in all di- 
rections. Fences are raised everywhere, and there are private 
roads, generally good, to every part of the parish that is inhabited. 
A stage coach passes twice a-day along the road between Beith 
and Paisley, about a mile south from the village of Lochwinnoch. 
It leaves Saltcoats at 6 a. m., passes this a little after 8, and 
reaches Glasgow at half-past 10 o'clock. It leaves Glasgow about 
4 p. M., and passes this a little after 6 o'clock. The course of a 
canal between Glasgow and Ardrossan, passing along the side of 
Castle-Semple Loch, was marked off about thirty years ago, and 
the canal was actually made as far as Johnstone ; but it has never 
been carried farther, and the original design is now, I believe, 
abandoned. But an act of Parliament has been obtained to form 
a rail-road throughout the same line of country, and it has been 
executed from the harbour of Ardrossan as far as the coal-works 
in the neighbourhood of Eglington ; but, I suspect, it will not soon 
be carried through to Glasgow. 

JEcclegictstical State. — The parish church was built in 1806 on a 
new site opposite to the elegant west gates of Castle-Semple, and 
on the west of Harvey's Square. It is a large building, which 
ought to have been square, but its corners are rounded off so as 
to make it an irregular-sided octagon. It is well finished and 
painted within, and lets to about 1150 sitters; but when packed 
it will hold 200 or 800 more. It has a neat spire, though rather 
short. Beneath this spire, there is a paved area enclosed with ele- 
gant columns, having three large and high-arched openings be- 
tween them corresponding to the three large doors in the front of 
the church. It stands in a field where no person has hitherto been 
buried, surrounded on three sides with a high wall ; and on the 
front of the church there is a parapet wall, surmounted by an 
iron railing and two handsome gates, one at each end of the 
wall. The field is ornamented with trees and flowering shrubs. 
The situation of the church is sufficiently convenient for the in- 
habitants of the village and those on the north side of the loch ; 
but it is far from those in the eastern extremity of the parish, and, 
in consequence of this, some of them do not attend it, but go to 
Johnstone chapel. There are no free sittings in the church, ex- 
cept part of two table-seats; and the other seats are let so dear as 
to be a very heavy burden upon poor persons. They vary from 



Digitized by 



Google 



106 RENFREWSHIRE. 

4s. to 12s. a seat ; and if a family be large their sittings in church 
are almost equal to their rent, if they have as many as they re- 
quire. The reason of this is, — that even with us where there 
is a village population of about 3000 souls, and altogether 3730 
persons who profess to belong to the Establishment, there is a me- 
lancholy want of church accommodation. 

The present manse, (though not the offices,) was built in 1815, 
ai)d is a good house. The glebe contains from 6 to 7 Scotch 
acres, and affords very good pasture. The stipend is 8 chalders 
of meal and 8^ of barley, with L, 15 Sterling for communion ele- 
ments. There is no chapel nor any other place of worship con- 
nected with the Established Church within the parish.* 

The only other place of worship is one belonging to the United 
Secession body. It was built in 1792, in the form of an octagon, 
and stands near the parish church. It has a small tower in front, 
which improves its appearance. There have been three different 
incumbents in this place of worship, all of them still alive, and ex- 
cellent men, — the Rev. Mr Schaw, now in Ayr; the Rev, Mr 
Robson, now in Halifax, America ; and the Rev. Mr Shoolbraid, 
the present incumbent. A neat house was built for him in 1825, 
which, with a garden in front of it, is situated near the church. 
His stipend is L. 100, which is raised from the seat rents, the re- 
gular and extraordinary collections, and, I believe, other occasional 
contributions. 

The inhabitants of this parish are in a remarkable manner a 
church-going people. 3730 of them profess to belong to the Es- 
tablishment; 1509 have been admitted into full communion with 
it ; and there are about 1 100 regular communicants, leaving about 
400 aged, careless or scandalous persons, who do not regularly com- 
municate, — after deducting, however, a number in the eastern part 
of the parish who are admitted to sealing ordinances in the chapel at 
Johnstone. There are 789 Dissenters of all denominations. 

Religious Societies, — There are two societies in this place for 
promoting religious purposes, a parochial and a female society. 
Their funds have dwindled down to a very small sum for some years 
past. The former, at its institution in 1815, raised almost L. 100 ; 
and now its annual income is generally below L. 20. The latter, 
which was instituted a year or two earlier, then raised above L. 40 ; 
and now it does not raise L. 10. Our Sabbath evening schools 
have become more numerous, amounting to 7, and attended by 

* A missionary station was opened in the end of 1834. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 101 

about 600 children. We have a Tract Society, a Temperance 
Society, a Society for the reformation of morals, and various col- 
lections for religious and charitable purposes, in the course of 
every year. 

The Tract Society is constituted and managed in such a man- 
ner, that every family in the village is furnished with a new tract 
upon some religious subject every week in the year ; the distri- 
butors going through their respective quarters for this purpose every 
Monday. 

Education. — There are altogether ten schools in this parish, — two 
or three of which are very small, and others are not large; but there 
are about 400 children attending all these schools. 

The parochial schoolmaster has the legal accommodations of a 
house and garden, and the maximum salary of L. 34, 4s. ; but hi- 
therto the teacher has paid L. 5 of this sum to a teacher at Glen- 
head, a village on the south side of the loch, who has, besides this, 
a schooUhouse, a dwelling-house, and a small garden. The teacher 
at Hollowood, the other village on that side of the loch, has the 
same accommodations, and sometimes a sum raised^ by voluntary 
subscription ; but there is no regular salary attached to this school. 
There is in the village of Lochwinnoch a school supported by the 
proprietors of the New mill. They have, very much to their honour, 
provided an excellent school-room, giving the teacher a salary of 
L.36a-year, and requiring him to teach 60 scholars through the day, 
30 under twelve years of age, who leave the mill before the others, 
and meet in school at six o'clock, and 60 who meet at eight o'clock 
in the evening. These children pay only 9d. a quarter to defray the 
expense of paper, slates, &c. which are provided for them. But the 
teacher is permitted to take in more than 60 scholars if they apply, 
exacting of these additional scholars the ordinary rate of wages. 
All the other schools are wholly unendowed. In about one-half of 
the schools there is nothing taught but reading, and perhaps a little 
English grammar, writing, and arithmetic. The other five or six 
teachers are acquainted with Latin, and some of them know Greek, 
French, and other branches of education. I am not aware there 
are any children growing up among us without education, and if 
this were discovered, provision would be made for their instruction. 
There may be one or two, but there are not many, adults who can- 
not read. The state of education seems to have been very diflFe- 
rent, only a little more than a century ago. So far from employ- 
ing ten teachers here, the parochial schoolmaster seems to have 



Digitized by 



Google 



108 RENFREWSHIRE. 

been obliged to move from place to place, and even when he re- 
turned to Lochwinnoch, got little encouragement In an old MSS. 
book belonging to Barr, there are the following records, " school 
taken up 4th January, 19 waens, including 4 lassies ;" " school 
taken up October 27th, 1697, 6 callans, no lassies." ** Ye school 
taken up 22d June 1697, 13 weans, including 3 lassies." 

Female education seems at this early period to have been very 
much neglected, and former generations, perhaps, were still worse 
instructed. This might be one reason for a resolution still to be 
found in the minutes of session during the incumbency of Mr John 
Paisley, dated October 13th 1691. « William Glen, school- 
master, is required to take care that all his scholars get the Cate- 
chism so perquier, that by turns they may repeat the same before 
the congregation every Lord's day, one standing on the east end 
of the church inquiring the question, and the other in the west 
answering." 

Libraries. — There is a parochial library, which was instituted 
in 1823, and therefore is not yet large. Special care is taken 
to exclude from it all books hostile either to religion or government. 
Another parochial library, exclusively religious, was established 
in 1833. But many persons disliking this exclusive character, an- 
other was formed in 1834, called the Working- Man's Library; into 
which all kinds of books upon every subject are admitted, though 
containing the most conflicting opinions, except such as are 
hostile to evangelical religion. Long before the existence of any 
of these libraries there were book-clubs, which interfere with the 
prosperity of the parochial institutions. Some persons prefer these 
clubs not merely from their dislike of public libraries, but be- 
cause, after they have existed for some time, the books are sold, 
and divided amongst the members, which enlarge and improve their 
private libraries. There is likewise a small library of select books 
upon religious subjects, and adapted to the capacities of young per- 
sons attached to the Sabbath evening schools. This library is di- 
vided into seven portions, one of which is given to each of the 
schools for a year ; after which, they are exchanged like the circu- 
lating libraries in East Lothian, and every school has an opportu- 
nity of using the whole library in the course of seven years. 

Friendly Societies. — The oldest of these societies was the Far- 
mers' Box, which has been broken up ; but there is still one at 
HoUowood, connected with the landward part of the parish, whose 
existence is also endangered, not by poverty, but by injudicious 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. 109 

interference. This society is large, and very rich, but in conse- 
quence of some legislative regulations, the members threaten to 
dissolve it One would think that " the powers that be" have 
enough to do, though they do not interfere with those who are 
managing their own affairs peaceably and prosperously. There 
were once eight Friendly Societies in the village of Lochwinnoch, 
but at least three have become extinct. There is also a Female 
Provident Society, formed upon the same principles. There is a 
Female Benevolent Society, supported and conducted by the ladies 
of the parish, which contributes essentially to the comfort of the 
poor. The village is divided into districts, and visitors are appoint- 
ed for each. The ladies visit all the poor in their respective dis- 
tricts, and after careful investigation, distribute clothing, fuel, &c., 
according to exigencies, — so that no person can remain in a state 
of wretchedness and want. 

Poor and Parochial Funds, Sfc — The average number of persons 
on the poors' roll for the last seven years has been 50f . A pauper 
receives from 9d. to 5s. a week. Besides regular paupers, how- 
ever, there are a great many who receive donations and occasional 
assistance in various ways. A large sum is expended in this way, 
because it keeps persons for sometime from becoming regular pau- 
pers, and is intended to encourage a spirit of independence, which 
is fast giving way in this part of the country. In order to form 
some idea of this matter, it may be stated, that in the course of 
the year 1832, the sum expended in the regular allowances to 
those on the poors' roll was L. 203 ; and the occasional donations 
amounted to L. 135, 6s. 2d. It is but fair to remark, however, 
that the greater part of these donations were given to those who 
were likewise receiving regular parochial aid. Many rents are 
paid when extraordinary assistance is wanted in peculiar circum- 
stances, &C. 

The whole average expenditure for a year, both in occasional 
donations, and for the regular poor, during the last seven years, 
has been L. 321, 17s. 3|d. This sum is raised in the following 
manner : Average annual amount of parochial collections for the 
last seven years, L. 93, 17s. 4d. ; hearse and mortcloth ditto, 
L. 6, 10s. 5d. : proclamation of banns of marriage, do., L. 14, 4s» 
The remaining part of the funds was once raised by a regular 
annual assessment upon the heritors, feuars, and householders; 
but for some time past it has been raised by occasional voluntary 
contributions as they are required, in the same proportions, every 



Digitized by 



Google 



110 RENFREWSHIRE. 

person contributing as formerly according to his property, which is 
intended to retard the increase of expenditure. Of this sum, the 
heritors contribute by far the greater part ; the feuars and house- 
holders paying only L. 35, when the heritors pay L. 166. * 

There is no prison in this place, though it is much wanted, 
and has often been talked of ; but there is a very active fiscal, and 
a bench of Magistrates or Justices of Peace, who hold a court on 
the first Saturday of every month. 

Fairs. — ^ There are three fairs held in this parish in the course 
of the year. The oldest is called the fair of Hill, from the place 
where it originally met, viz. on the Market Hill. It has been 
held from time immemorial, on the first Tuesday of November, 
old style, but has met for a long time past in the village of Loch- 
winnoch. Originally, a great variety of clothes, shoes, &c. were 
sold at this fair, — at present it is only a market for cattle, and a 
time for meeting and settling Martinmas and other accounts. 

The May fair or trades' race, is held on the second Tuesday of 
May, old style. It was begun about the year 1745 or 1750. The 
trades had originally a parade, which has long been discontinued ; 
but there is still sometimes a race of one kind or another. There 
are some cattle in the market in the course of the day, and many 
meet in the afternoon to settle their Whitsunday accounts. 

The farmers' parade or race is held on the first Tuesday of July. 
It is of a still later date than the former. At one time, the far- 
mers from all parts of the parish mustered at this parade ; but for 
some time those on the south side of the loch have withdrawn, and 
there is some prospect of its being discontinued altogether. Still, 
however, a number of those on the north side of the loch have hi- 
therto appeared at the parade. The horses used to be arranged 
according to their colours, with a captain at the head of each com- 
pany, and the whole marched under the command of a colonel* 
The hats of the riders are adorned with ribbons, flowers, and new- 
shot oats, and some of them have showy sashes and other orna- 
ments. The trappings of the horses are equally showy. One 
of them carries a large flag, and they are accompanied by a piper, 
and sometimes a band of instrumental music. Some of those who 
ride the fleetest steeds, after the parade is over, try their speed in 
a horse race. There are a few cattle at this fair likewise. 

• William Brown, Esq, who died in Antigua in October 1836, has left L.4000( 
which is to be invested, and the interest to be given over to the kirk-session of 
this parish for behoof of the poor. l*his sum, it is hoped, will soon go far to super- 
sede the need of an assessment. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



LOCHWINNOCH. Ill 

Inns. — There are 24 bns in this parish, which are too many, and 
do an incalculable amount of mischief without being balanced by 
almost any good. The institution of temperance societies led to an 
inquiry into the quantity of ardent spirits and other liquors used 
here, and the melancholy and astounding fact was forced upon us, 
that in this, as in the neighbouring parishes, three or four times 
more money is expended in this manner than is required to support 
both our churches and schools, and all our charitable and religious 
institutions. 

Fuel. — It has already been remarked that there are two coal- 
pits in the parish,— one in its eastern, and the' other in its western 
extremity. There was one lately in its centre, near the village of 
Lochwinnoch, ^nd there are beds of coal in various other places. 
Quarrelton is only a mile or two beyond our eastern boundary, 
where there is one of the most remarkable beds of coal in Great 
Britain, if not in Europe ; and there are coal-pits equally numerous 
and valuable in the opposite direction, beyond our western bound- 
ary. A load of coals is sold at 7d., eight of which make an ordinary 
cart The proprietors and farmers in the eastern, and more 
especially the western, extremity of the parish burn turf, but coal is 
most generally used throughout the parish. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 
The changes in this parish since the last Statistical Account 
was written, have been rather progressive than sudden or remark- 
able. There has been a departure, if it be not an advancement, 
from a simple and more primitive state of society. The popula- 
tion is almost doubled, and though this increase has been chiefly in 
the manufacturing population, yet the country part of the parish is 
much changed. The farm-houses and lands are much improved. 
They are enclosed with hedges, and have every advantage from 
roads. There is more wealth and external comfort ; but I fear 
there is also more vanity and luxury, and perhaps immorality and 
crime. At the same time, while one class of a larger population 
tempt to the commission of evil, another class ^^ provokes to love 
and good works." There are now far more exertions made to pro- 
mote the intellectual and spiritual improvement of the inhabitants, 
and therefore there is more intelligence and zeal than was forty 
years ago. 

I do not pretend to understand the best system of husbandry, 
but have received the following hints from an intelligent person, a 
native of the parish, who has the management of an extensive dis- 
trict. 



Digitized by 



Google 



112 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The old-fashioned practice still generally prevails, of taking two 
white crops, and then usually, though not always, sowing down the 
ground with rye-grass seed. There are exceptions to this mode 
of farming, and it were of great importance for others to improve 
the rotation and kind of crops grown. 

The clay soils have been drained to a great extent of late years ; 
but the practice should be carried still farther ; and then the fol- 
lowing rotation of crops would be profitable if the situation be not 
too elevated: beans, wheat, turnips, followed by a white crop, 
and sown down with perennial rye-grass. Light soils are most ge- 
neral, and on them the best rotation is oats, potatoes, and oats 
again, or barley sown down with perennial rye-grass and clover. 
The culture of wheat was introduced here within the last twenty 
or twenty-five years, but has never been carried to any great ex- 
tent A large proportion of the parish is ill adapted to this crop. 
Indeed, a great deal of it is fitter for pasture than any kind of crop. 
There is a fine breed of Ayrshire cows ; and the butter and cheese 
derived from the dairy, — the rearing of young cattle, and fattening 
of others for the neighbouring markets of Paisley and Glasgow, 
are the best sources of emolument to the farmers on the more ele* 
vated districts. This kind of farming might in many places be 
improved by irrigating whinstone soils, and converting them into 
highly productive meadows. This was practised with great suc- 
cess by the late Andrew Moody of Heathfield, Esq. 

Though these hints may be of some use, yet the grand means 
of improvement are to aim at the moral and religious culture of 
the people. Mere intellectual culture and liberal acquirement, if 
not brought under the influence of religion, are not enough. There 
are hosts of politicians among the mechanics and workmen in every 
manufacturing district, who, in intellectual acumen and one kind 
of information, are elevated above their station ; and yet, from a 
want of regard to religion, and the industry and tranquillity which 
flow from it, are some of them indigent and unhappy, and neither 
amiable nor useful members of society. Religion ought to be the 
governing principle, not merely of individuals and families, but of 
magistrates and governments. Upon the latter it is incumbent to 
promote religion and good morals, just in the same manner as it 
belongs to them to do whatever may promote the peace and well- 
fare of society. 

Revised January 1836. 

4 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



PARISH OF INCHINNAN. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. LAURENCE LOCKHART, MINISTER. 



L — Topography and Natural History. 
Name. — The name has been variously written, as Inchenan, 
Inchanan, Inchynan, Inchechynane, &c &c, but is now generally 
spelt Inchinnan. The first syllable is obviously composed of the 
Celtic word • signifying cm island or a peninsula^ while the ad- 
junct, according to one conjecture, is the plural of a word f derived 
from the same source, and signifying a river. Another conjecture 
is, that the adjunct is the name of Saint-Inan^l to whom the church 
is supposed to have been dedicated. In Bagimont's roll for Inch- 
innan, there is the substitution of KiUinan^ and which, according to 
the etymology that may be preferred, will mean either " the Church 
upon the Rivers^^^ or the Church of Saint Inan,*^ Chalmers affirms 
that this parish acquired the name of /ncAinnan, in consequence of 
the proximity of a long narrow island in the river White Cart, where 
it joins the Gryfe, opposite to the church. § Inasmuch, however, as 
the parish is bounded by rivers on three sides, its peninsular cha- 
racter may, with more probability, have given rise to the appella- 
tion* It may also be stated, that, according to a tradition, which is 

• Ynya (Vi^elsh), inn's (Gaelic), an it/and, also a peninsula, 

'f Ainhainan (Gaelic) rivers, sounds oinon. 

X We are told that St Inan was a confessor at Irvine in the ninth century ; that he 
wrote several theological works, whose titles are given ; and that, after accomplishing 
the pilgrimages of Rome and Jerusalem, he closed his life at Irvine, where multitudes 
were wont to assemble to witness the miracles supposed to be performed at his tomb. 
His festival was celebrated on the 18th of August — Dempster! Hist. £ccl. Gent. 
Scot., &c. printed for the Bannatvne Club. £din. 182SI, — also, Keith, 23d. Edition of 
1756. 

It may be added, that St Inan was tutelar saint of Beith. On a hill in that pariah 
a seat and a well still bear his name, and a fair is held annually, not, however, un the 
18th but on the SOth of August, which is called Tannansday, by corruption for St 
loan's day. 

§ Here Chalmers is undoubtedly in error. The only island in the White 
Cart is in the parish of Renfrew, and of modern and artificial origin, being mere- 
ly a section of land detached from the eastern bank of the river, by means of a 
canal which was cut, iu the memory of persons yet alive, for the purpose of removing 
the obstructions created by Inchinnan Bridge, to navigation between the river Clyde 
and the town of Paisley. There is an island in the Gryfe which might once corre- 
spond witL the description of Chalmers; but, always insignificant, it has been gradual- 
ly encroached upon by the water, and there is no longer any trace of it opposite to the 
church. 



RENFREW. H 

Digitized by 



Google 



114 RENFREWSHIRE. 

confirmed by the appearance of the surface, and of the soil beneath, 
a branch of the Gryfe formerly intersected the parish, a little way 
above the rocky elevation on which the church stands ; in which 
case the site of that building must have been once, in the strict 
sense, insular, as it still occasionally is, at high floods. 

Extent and Boundaries. — The extreme length is about 3^ miles, 
and its breadth varies from | of a mile to 2 miles or more. It is 
bounded on the north by the river Clyde, which divides it from 
the parish of Old Kilpatrick in Dumbartonshire. Its eastern and 
southern boundaries are formed respectively by the rivers Cart and 
Gryfe, which flow between it and the parish of Renfrew ; while 
westward it marches in an irregular line with the parish of Erskine, 
and touches at one point the parish of Houston. 

Topographical Appearances. — The surface, especially in the vi- 
cinity of the rivers, is flat, or gently sloped ; but it is diversified by 
a number of diluvial rising grounds, of considerable elevation, — 
some of them under the plough to the summit, others of them beau- 
tifully wooded, and all of them commanding extensive views of the 
surrounding country* The strath of the Gryfe is extensive and 
fertile, and reminds the English traveller of his native vales. 

Climate and Diseases. — The climate, although moist, is health- 
ful. It has been alleged that, in former times, fevers were scarcely 
known here. At present, the place does not appear to have any 
greater degree of exemption from them than is enjoyed by other well- 
aired localities. Cases of tj'phus and scarlet fever occur almost every 
year, — seldom, however, with fatal results. Last year, the natural 
small pox prevailed extensively amongst persons of various ages, who 
had all been vaccinated in infancy ; but in no instance did the dis- 
ease destroy life or disfigure the countenance. On a recent occa- 
sion, when Asiatic cholera afflicted the towns and villages of the 
neighbourhood, a young healthy man, and an aged woman, both 
of temperate habits, and residing under the same roof in a seclu- 
ded cottage, were attacked during night almost simultaneously, and 
both cases proved rapidly fatal. As may be conceived, this melan- 
choly visitation created great alarm in the parish ; but happily the 
epidemic did not extend its ravages farther. 

Springs and Rivers* — In the higher parts, there are some springs 
of the best quality, devoid of any mineral taint, — and of refreshing 
coolness. Generally speaking, however, the wells are more or less 
chalybeate ; and those in the vicinity of the river Gryfe are often 
brackish during the drought of summer, when the salt water brought 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN* 115 

up by the tide,* (whose influence extends considerably beyond the 
south-western boundary of the parish,) finds its way into them in a 
less diluted form than during the rest of the year. 

The character of the Clyde, in this neighbourhood, has been 
much altered of late years, in consequence of the operations of the 
river trustees, in deepening its bed for the improvement of the port 
of Glasgow. When the steam-boats commenced plying, and the 
dredgingf machines were first introduced, the salmon appeared for 
a time, in their fright, to have made their escape to less disturbed 
waters. Of late years, however, they have been caught in consi- 
derable quantities. The river Gryfe, a little way above the point 
where it begins to bound Inchinnan, is a clear and pebbly stream, 
with picturesque banks ; but in its farther progress its appearance 
is changed. Within the grounds of Walkinshaw it acquires an in- 
crease of volume by the influx of the Black Cart ; % and, as its 
subsequent course is through a rich and flat country, it becomes 
interesting chiefly from its windings. At last, sweeping past the 
church of Inchinnan, it is joined at Inchinnan bridge by the White 
Cart, and then the river, formed by the united streams, assuming 
simply the name of Cart, pursues its course in a broad channel, 
until it is lost in the Clyde at Blythswood House.§ The pike, 
eel, perch, and braize, abound in the Gryfe and Cart, and attract 

* The following anecdote is still current. In the earlj part of last century, the 
clergyman of Lamington, in the upper ward of Lanarkshure, had come to assist his 
friend the incumbent of Inchinnan on a sacramental occasion, travelling on horseback, 
and attended, according to the invariable practice, by his man, who, although from his 
Toc&tion a severe critic of sermons, was profoundly ignorant of the doctrine of the tides. 
During the course of the visit, the servant was astounded and alarmed to discover that 
the waters were moving in a direction the reverse of what he had previously witnessed ; 
whereupon concluding that some awful calamity impended, he hastened to his mas- 
ter's chamber, broke his slumbers, divulged the appalling phenomenon, suggested the 
prudence of immediate departure, and concluded by expressing a faint hope that they 
mi^ht yet reach Lamington in safety. 

t Each of these machines is worked by eight men. The quantity of stuff raised 
by them varies, of course, with the nature of the bottom. The superintendant of the 
river says he has seen 1200 tons raised in ten hours. 

^ This river, which takes its rise from Castle Semple Loch, In the parish of Loch- 
winnoch, is called KerUochwinoc, in the cbartulary of Paisley. 

§ In the Cart, before its confluence with the Clyde, is a small island called Colin*s 
Ide, which, according to popular tradition, originated in the stranding of a vessel. 
I>uring a long pending litigation, which was the consequence, the vessel was not re- 
moved, and the mud and sand had so accumulated around it, that by the time the de- 
cision came to be pronounced, it had become a picturesque Uttle island, covered with 
thriring firs. This story was doubtless invented as a hit against the lawyers, who 
abound in the neighbouring town of Paisley, but has called forth some pretty verses 
firem Mr Park, the poet of Renfrew. The surrounding scenes above referred to are 
universally admired for their amenity and tranquil beauty, and were in former times 
embalmed in song by John Wilson, the author of Clyde, a poem, edited by the late 
Dr Leyden in 1803. 

*< Where the proud bridge on stately arches rides, 
And from his height surveys the slumbering tides. 



Digitized by 



Google 



116 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the disciples of Isaac Walton. The hand-loom weaver from Pais- 
ley, recognized by his wan looks, green apron, and suit of rusty vel- 
veteen, may frequently be seen angling for the fish last mentioned, 
of which, though impregnated with a muddy flavour, he content- 
eidly makes his meal, and thinks himself fortunate if he can suc- 
ceed in filling his creel in the course of a day's fishing. Could not 
a paternal government stretch forth its hand and do something to 
ameliorate the cx)ndition of a most meritorious class of men, who 
have sufiered a long depression, not from any fault of their own, 
but solely in consequence of those improvements in machinery 
which have proved so beneficial to the community at large ? Let 
them have but a feir remuneration for their labour, and their native 
good sense will soon teach them to concern themselves with other 
matters than annual parliaments and universal suffrage. 

Geology and Mineralogy, — The geological features of thb pa- 
rish are not of so striking and peculiar a nature as to demand any 
but a very brief notice. In so far as regfirds the character and compo- 
sition of its surfece, it presents the usual phenomena peculiar to the 
diluvial deposit of the surrounding country. The diluvium itself 
consists for the most part of a loose gravel, containing a multitude 
of interspersed boulders of primary as well as secondary rocks, 
which from their character appear to have been transported from a 
north-western locality. The strata inunediately beneath this di- 
luvial covering belong to that series of the secondary division of 
rocks denominated carboniferous. This is indicated by the alter- 
nations they exhibit of grey sandstone, shale, and coal, which are 
more or less conspicuous in the quarries that have been opened. 
In these sandstones, very beautiftil specimens of the fossil Flora, which 
are supposed to be characteristic of the independent coal formation, 
are found. The manner in which several whin dikes traverse these 
strata is not unworthy of notice. — Some of them are of great thickness, 
and have been, during a long series of years, extensively quarried for 

No rootion dares his amorous sloth molest 

Or ruffle Blythsil'ood's image on the breast. 

OftranquilCart, &c. 

Ciyde, a Poem, p. 95. 
Mr Wilson died master of the grammar school at Greenock, bdbre his deetion to 
which situation he had been taken bound by the magistrates and minister, to aban- 
don for ever " ihe profane and unprq/Uable art of poem-making,^' To this severe demand 
he submitted for the sake of his family. In a letter to his son, we have the follow- 
ing doleful passage : << I once thought to live by the breath of fame, but how miser- 
amy disappointed, when, instead of being caressed by the great, F was condemned to 
bawl myself hoarse among wayward brats, to cultivate sand, and wash Ethiopians for 
all the dreary days of an obscure life, the contempt of shopkeepers and brutish skippers.** 
.-^Biographical sketch by Dr Leyden. 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 117 

paving and macadamizing purposes. The simple minerals are too 
insignificant to call for any particular remarks, being confined to a 
few crystals of calc-spar, which are occasionally found in the strata 
above referred to. 

Soik. — The soil consists chiefly of strong productive clay. On 
the banks of the rivers, it is of a rich loamy description. — In the 
higher parts, it is gravelly, approaching more or less to what is cal- 
led dry field. 

Zoology. — The weasel, hedgehog, and mole, abound here. The 
country people complain of the number of foxes ; but it may be 
doubted whether they would resign the enlivening spectacle of 
the hunt passing through their borders, for the sake of the few 
barn-door fowls that the fox now and then appropriates. Hares 
find good cover in this parish, and are plentiful, especially in Lord 
Blantyre's grounds, where they are preserved. The sportsman 
finds abundance of snipes, and occasionally a wild duck and water- 
hen on the boggy banks of the Gryfe, Cart, and Clyde. Pheasants 
and partridges are tolerably abundant, and grouse are occasion-* 
ally met with in the moss of Southbarr.— The thrush, blackbird, 
and other warblers, exist in great abundance. The cuckoo pays an 
annual visit, also the land-raiL Great flocks of lapwings or pee- 
wits are continually flying about flapping the air with their wings. 
The halcyon or kingfisher builds in Colin's isle. There are nests 
of common herons on some high fir trees in Park wood, adjacent 
to the Newshot isle in the Clyde, where they are sometimes seen 
in considerable nimibers catching their prey. Owls and other 
doleful creatures occasionally haunt the tower of the parish church, 
whilst the space between the ceiling and the roof shelters a pro- 
fusion of bats. 

Botany, — On this head the place affords but scanty materials for 
description. The writer has not remarked any species of indige- 
nous plants within the parish, not noticed in Hopkirk's Flora Glot- 
tiana. In the pleasure grounds of Park, the horse-chesnut and 
walnut trees produce ripe fruit in abundance, and the laurels have 
in the lapse of an unusually short period reached the height of 
thirty feet .The rarer herbaceous plants are also cultivated with 
great success. At Southbarr, there is an extensive range of hot- 
houses, contaming a valuable assortment of green-house plants, 
vines, &c. In the lawn, the fir, oak, beech, elm, &c. have found 
a congenial soil, and although principally planted within the last 
fifty years, have reached dimensions rarely attained in so limited a 



Digitized by 



Google 



118 RENFREWSHIRE. 

time. The plantations at Rashelee are also in a most thriving con- 
dition. 

11. — Civil History. 
Historical Notices. — The lands of Inchinnan formed one of the 
numerous grants which the Stewarts obtained from the Kings of 
Scotland, before their own race became royal. By a charter dated 
at the Castle of Roxburgh, a. d. 1 158, in which King Malcolm IV. 
eonfirmed Walter (filius Alani) the first undoubted High Stewart 
of Scotland, in his office, and in the lands he had received from 
King David, he bestowed upon him some new privileges and grants 
of land. Among the latter Inchinnan * is specified. About the 
middle of the thirteenth century we find Alexander, High Stew- 
art, mortifying to the monks of Paisley, chalders of meal from 
his lands of Inchinnan.\ During the reign of Robert I. Wal- 
ter the High Stewart gave some valuable J portions of the pro- 
perty to Sir Walter Hamilton, ancestor of the Duke of Hamilton: 
but it would appear that, early in the fourteenth century, all that had 
been retained of the original grant was bestowed upon the Stew- 
arts of Damley, who became subsequently Earls and ultimately 
Dukes of Lennox. In 1361, Sir John Stewart of Darnley, having 
personally resigned all the lands of Crookisfow, Inchinnan^ and Perth- 
wyckscott, with their pertinents, into the hands of Robert the 
High Stewart (afterwards King Robert IL), had the same granted 
to him by an original charter. To Matthew, Lord Damley, and 
second Earl of Lennox, the descendant and representative of the 
above Sir John Stewart, James IV. granted in 1511 a charter of 
confirmation, containing a clause by which His Majesty, from the spe- 
cial favour which he bears towards his cousin the said Earl, and for 
the gratuitous services rendered by him, and for the preservation 
of the Castle of Crookisfow, the manor and palace of Inchinnan, and 
other policies within the lordship of Damley, from the devastation 

* Prasterea ego ipse eidem Waltero in feudo et hereditate dedi, et hac eadeixi carta 
confirmavl pro servitio quod ipsi regi David et mihi fecit Prethe quantum rex Da- 
vid in manu sua tenui et Jnchienufiy &c.— Vide Appendix to Chartulary of Paisley, 
p. 1, printed for the Maitland Club. 

f Omnibus Cristi fidelibus, &c Sciatis me dedisse, concessisse, et carta mea con- 
fir masse Deo et Sancto Jacobo et Sancto Mirino roonasterii de Passelet et monachis 
ibidem deo servientibus, &c. duas celdras farine singulis annis percipiendas de fir- 
ma mea de Inchynnan, &c. — Chartulary of Paisley, p. 87. 

\ Barnhill, Alands, Newlands, &c.— These, according to Hamilton of Wishaw, 
(Description of the Shires of Lanark and Renfrew, printed for the Maitland Club, 
1831, p. 67,) were commonly said to have been a god bairn gift. They afterwards be- 
longed successively to the Erskines, Hamilton of Orbiston, Graham of Dougalston, 
Ix)rd Douglas, M'Dowall of V^'^alkinsbaw, and are now the property of W. M. Alex- 
ander, Esq. of Southbarr, and Mrs Redfearn. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 119 

and destruction that might happen to them during the time that 

the said lands might be in ward — granted and conBrmed to the 

-said Matthew, Earl of Lennox, and his heirs male, the said castle 

and fortalice of Crookisfow, &c. and the said manor and palace 

of Inchinnan, with the parks and gardens thereof, the Dominical* 

lands of Inchinnan, the lands of Quithill, the town of Inchinnan, 

Ruschaled, Wirthland, Flurys, Gardenerland, &c. with the whole 

commons thereof, extending also to a L. 20 land of old extent, &c. 

to be held by the said Matthew Earl of Lennox, &c. of and under 

His Majesty and his successors. Kings and Stewarts of Scotland, 

in fee and heritage, in free blanch farm for ever, for payment of 

a penny silver if asked, allenarly, notwithstanding that the said 

Lordship of Damley was formerly held by service of ward and 

relief, &c. — Stewart's Genealogical Hist, of the Stewarts, pp. 71, 

212, 2ia 

Upon the death of Matthew, fourth Earl of Lennox, in 1571, 
his grandson King James VL, as heir male of the Stewarts of Dam- 
ley and Lennox, became entitled to the honours and estates of that 
family; but unwilling that they should be absorbed in the crown, 
he conferred them in the first instance upon his uncle Charles Stew- 
art, and, after the death of the latter without issue, upon his grand- 
uncle Robert Stewart, Bishop of Caithness. When the latter accepted 
the earldom of March, the Lennox estates and titles were granted 
by the King to Esm^ Stewart Lord d'Aubigny (the son and heir 
of John Lordd' Aubigny, the youngest brother* of the King's grand- 
father Matthew Earl of Lennox), and whom he farther elevated to 
a dukedom in 1581. In 1672, this line having failed in the person 
of Charles sixth Duke of Lennox, also Duke of Richmond, (the 
husband of the beautiful Frances Stewart of the noble house of 
Blantyre) they once more reverted to the Crown ; and Charles II. 
was served heir at Edinburgh 1680. The retour of the special ser 
vice on that occasion specifies the lands of Inchinnan with the pa- 
tronage of the parish church, Charles immediately transferred the 
Lennox estates to his natural son Charles Lennox, whom he had 
previously created Duke of Lennox and Richmond ; by whom they 
were sold about the beginning of last century to James, Marquis 
and afterwards Duke of Montrose, and who, notwithstanding the 

* That is Mainet lands or lands occupied or laboured by the Lord of the manor. 
Vide Skene's explanation of Terrce thminicalet, in his work " De Verborum Signifi- 
catione, or tbe exposition of the terms or difficult words conteint in the foure buikea 
of Regiam Majestatem and others." — These lands now form the farm of OldmaititK 



Digitized by 



Google 



120 RENFREWSHIRE. 

numerous* alienations of former times, became then proprietor or 
superior of by far the more considerable part of this parish. The 
said property now belongs to Archibald Campbell, Esq. of Blyths- 
wood, Lord Lieutenant of the county, his ancestor haying purchas- 
ed it from James Duke of Montrose in the year 1737. 
Land-ovmers^ with their respective valuationa. 

Archibald Campbell of Blythswood, . . L. 900 
W. M. Alexander of Southbarr, and Mrs Redfearn, joint pro- 
prietors of Walkinshaw, . . . 463 6 8 
W. M. Alexander, Southbarr, • . . 203 6 8 
The Lord Blantyre, . . . . 200 
Matthew Killoch of Freeland, . • 160 
William Fulton of Park, . . . . 157 6 8 
William Maxwell of DargaveVs Lands of Rashelee, . 96 
Miss Balfour of House of Hill, . . . 85 6 8 
John Algief of Greenhead, . . . 20 
J. Crawford of Ferrycroft, . . 16 13 4 
The Lord Douglas, . . . . 9 
Robert Cameron of Ladyacre, . . . . 6 13 4 

L. 2398 13 4 
Few of these heritors are resident in the parish, but most of them 
have seats in the neighbourhood. 

Family Descent. — Mr Campbell of Blythswood is descended by 
a female from the family of Ardkinlas ; but his name was original- 
ly Douglas, and he is male representative of the family of Dou- 
glas of Mains in Dumbartonshire. 

* Thus Matthew Earl of Lennox had, in 1497, giTen Norlhharr and Raahdee to 
his relative Thomas Stewart, the first of the family of Barscube. Northbarrwas pur- 
chased by Donald M*Gilchrist in 1670. About the middle of last century, it was 
purchased by the Lord Semple. It is now the property of Lord Blantyre* and is 
connected with the grounds of Erskine by means of a bridge thrown across the pub- 
lic road close to Erskine ferry. 

Rashelee has been in the possession of the family of the present proprietor, Wil- 
liam Maxwell, Esq. of Dargavel, for upwards of three centuries, — his ancestor, Patrick 
Maxwell of Newark, having acquired it from the family of Lennox previously to 
1516. Southbarr had been long possessed by another branch of the Maxwell &mily. 
and was purchased by the late Boyd Alexander, Esq. in the year 1785. 
' The lands of Park were granted in 1522 by John Earl of Lennox, to bis kinsman, 
William Stirling of Glorat. This beautiful property appears to have passed through 
many hands. It was purchased in 1787 from a family of the name of Campbell by 
the father of the present proprietor, William Fulton, Esq. who has recently adver- 
tised it for sale. 

Freeland, says Crawford, was in old times the inheritance of the Stewarts of Kil- 
croy. It was called by them Freeland Stewart, which name was changed to Freeland 
Brisbane, by a new proprietor who had the latter surname. When Crawford wrote 
it was the property of William Maxwell, brother to the Laird of DargaveL The fii^ 
ther of the present proprietor, Matthew KiQoch, Esq. purchased it from a genUeman 
of the name of Ker. 

i- There are several resi)ectable farmers in this parish of the name of ^Igie or AU 
goctSL name peculiar, it is believed, to this part of the country. In former times a 
family of this name had considerable estates in Renfrewshire, and were of Italian ori- 
gin, the first of them having come from Rome in the suite of one of the Abbots of 
Paisley. The Algies of Inchinuan are spirited formers, and the name, along with 
others in this place, frequently flourishes amongst the prize takers at ploughing- 
matches. 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 121 

Mr Maxwell Alexander of Southbarr, (nephew of the late pro- 
prietor) is second son of the deceased Claud Alexander, Esq. of 
Ballochmyle, of the family of Newton, cadets of Blackhouse, 

Mr Maxwell of Dargavel is male representative of the Halls of 
Fulhar, who obtained their estate from King Robert IL, and as- 
sumed the name of Maxwell at the beginning of last century, when 
they succeeded through a female to the family of Dargavel, cadets of 
the Maxwells of Newark, who sprung from the family of Calder- 
wood in Lanarkshire. 

Miss Balfour of House of Hill, now called Northbarr, is mater- 
nally descended from Donald M'Gilchrist, who purchased North- 
barr proper in 1671, and claimed descent from Donaldus M*Git 
christ Lord of Tarbart, who lived in the time of Robert the Bruce, 
and was a bene&ctor to the monastery of Paisley. 

Eminent Men, — Of these there are several at this moment re- 
sident, but their merits must be left to the statistical pen of some 
future incumbent Looking to former times, Mr Robert Law, au- 
thor of the Memorials of Scotland, appears to have been bom here. 
He was the son of the Rev. Thomas Law, ininister of Inchinnan 
in the early part of the seventeenth century, and the grandson of 
James Law, Archbishop of Glasgow. This parish also produced 
a gentleman of the name of Maxwell, the younger of Southbarr, 
who wrote verses, and died in early life in the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. The late lamented Mr Motherwell possessed 
a MS. volume of verses which he attributed to Maxwell's pen, and 
published some extracts in the Paisley Magazine. If we may judge 
from the specimen appended, the muse of the Inchinnan poet did 
not soar to the sublime. * 

Parochial Registers. — These, although consisting of several vo- 
lumes, do not extend farther back than to the year 1722. The lists 

* Glen. Bayth fals and greedie et nunquam leal 

Poet baud nedie, bayth fals and gre«die, 

And ower speedie to flatter and steil, 

Bayth &Is and greedie et nunquam leaL 
Biaeb. Bancbagrie is my castellum, gif ye it seik 

With clay wallis, for bellum Barschagrie is my castelluin, 

Courit wt smeik and smelling wt suete scbaime and reik, 

Barschagrie is my castellum gif ye it seik. 
Abo. Pas. The ministeris intendis to get the teind beir. 

The abote miskendis that the ministeris intendis ; 

The granter defendis and garis them sing perqueir, 

The minister intendis to get the teind heir. 
Mor. Max. I hasarde my guid name, my lyfe and my land, 

To bring the Douglas hame I bazarde my guid name, 

And now to bring me to schame yai do yat thai can, 

Causs I hazard my guid name, my life and my land. 

P. M* p. 9o5 



Digitized by 



Google 



122 RENFREWSHIRE. 

of births, baptisms and marriages are intermingled with accounts 
of the money collected at the church door on Sundays, and state- 
ments of the expenditure in behalf of the poor, together with the 
minutes of the proceedings of the kirk-session in matters of disci- 
pline. 

The older documents are so conftised and unsatisfectory, and 
some of them in such a state of decay, that the kirk-session have 
ordered the whole to be transcribed by the parochial teacher, Mr 
Galloway, whose accuracy and intelligence are a security for the task 
being properly executed. Had the more ancient records been 
preserved, we might have found some details on the subject of 
witchcraft.* 

* An account of the Confession and Death of John Reid, smith in Inchinnan, who made 
a discovery conform to the former witnesses after the trial was over, — Upon the 2 1st of 
May 1697, after the trial of the seven witches, there is an attestation subscribed by 
Mr Patrick Simpson, minister at Renfrew, Walter Scott, bailie there, &c. of this 
import, John Beidt smith in Inchinnan^ prisoner, did in presence of the said persons 
and some others, declare, that about a year ago the devil (whom he knew to be such 
thereafter) appeared to him when he was travelling in the night time, but spoke none 
to him at the first encounter. At the second appearance he gave him a bite or nip 
in his loin, which he found painful for a fortnight. That the third time he appeared 
to him as a black man, and desired him to engage in his service, upon assurance of 
getting gear and comfort in the world, since he should not want any thing that he 
would ask in the devil's name : and then he renounced his baptism, putting the one 
band to the crown of his head, and the other to the sole of his foot, thereby giving 
himself up to Satan's service, after which the pain of the bite or nip ceased. Ue told 
that hitherto there were no others present ; but thereafter he was at several meetings, 
particularly that in Bargarran's yard, about the time when there was a fast for Chris- 
tian Shaw ; where the devil appeared in the same kind of garb as he first appeared 
to him, and they consulted Christian's death, either by worrying or drowning her in 
the well, and the devil said, he should warrant them, that they should neither be 
heard, seen, nor confess ; to which end he gave every one of them a bit of fiesh ; that 
the declarant got, but let it fall and did not eat it. Thereafter, in the presence of the 
laird of Jordanhill, the minister, Mr Andrew Cochrane, town-clerk, and Bailie Pater- 
son, he owned his former confessions : and being enquired of Jordanhill how they 
were advertised of their meetings, he said that ordinarily at their meetings the time 
of the next was appointed ; but for particular warning there appeared a black dog 
with a chain about his neck, who tinkling it, they were to follow, &c. And being 
enquired by the minister, if he did now wholly renounce the devil (for he had for- 
merly told how Satan had not performed his promise) and give himself to Jesus 
Christ, and desire to find mercy of God through him : he assented thereunto. It is 
to be observed that John Reid, after his confession, had called out of the prison win- 
dow, desiring Bailie Scott to keep that old body Angus Forrester, who had been his 
fellow prisoner, close and secure ; whereupon the company asked John, when they 
were leaving him, on Friday's night the 21st of May, whether he desired company, 
or would be afraid alone ; he said he had no fear of any thing. So being left till Sa- 
turday's forenoon, he was found in this posture, viz. sitting upon a stool, which was 
on the heart-h of the chimney, with his feet on the floor and his body straight upward, 
his shoulders touching the lintel of the chimney, but his neck tied with his own neck- 
cloth (whereof the knot was behind) to a small stick thrust into a clift above the lin- 
tel of the chimney; upon which the company, especially John Campbell, a surgeon, 
who was called, thought at first, in respect of his being in an ordinary posture of sit- 
ting, and the neckcloth not having any run loup, but an ordinary knot, which was 
not very strait, and the stick not having the strength to bear the weight of his body 
or the struggle, that he had not been quite dead ; but finding it otherwise, and that 
he was in such a situation, that he could not have been the actor thereof himself, con- 
cluded that some extraordinary cause had done it, especially, considerbg that the 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 123 

Antiquities. — The palace of Inchinnan, referred to in the histo- 
rical notices, stood near to the site of the farm-steading of Gama- 
land, on the north side of the parish, and looking towards the Clyde. 
It was built by Matthew, Earl of Lennox, in the year 1506. 
When Crawford wrote his history of the shire of Renfrew, there 
were " some considerable remains of it" Persons still in Ufe re- 
collect having seen a portion of the ruins, which, however, having 
been found to contain some good materials for building, were, in 
the absence of the laird, condemned to contribute their share of a 
gable to the ferm-house adjacent Had the structure been of any 
great consequence, it would not, it is likely, have feillen so early in- 
to decay; a conclusion strengthened by the feict, that the castle of 
Crookston, the principal residence of the Dameley Stewarts, now 
in ruins, is only five miles distant from Inchinnan, and by another 
fact referred to in the historical notices, viz. that the lands of Park, 
immediately adjoining the palace, were alienated a few years after ' 
the date of the erection of the palace. It may be added, that there 
is no evidence of charters having been dated at the palace of In- 
chinnan. From a wall in an old mill near to the site of the palace, 
and recently pulled down, was taken a stone, which is referred to 
by Semple in the continuation of Crawford's history of the county ; 
it is now deposited within the tower of the church, and is inscribed 
as follows:* 



D.D 

FSL. HCL 

16.31 



The former church of Inchinnan, which was pulled down in the 
year 1828, was a very ancient structure, upwards of 50 feet in 
length by only 18 feet in breadth, with an antique scarcement to 
throw oflF the rain from the foundation. Its walls were of great thick- 
ness. The side wall to the south presented several frightful fissures, 
which were observed suddenly to increase, and having, moreover, 

door of the room was secured, and that there was a board set over the window, which 
was not there the night before when they left him. 

The seven witches alluded to in the above extract were three men and four wo- 
men, executed at Paisley for the bewitching of Christian Shaw, daughter of Bargar- 
ran, on Thursday the 10th June 1697. They were first hanged for a few minutes, 
and then cut down, and put into a fire prepared for them, into which a barrel of tar 
was put in order to consume them more quickly — Vide a History of the Witches of 
Renfrewshire, who were burnt on the Gallow- green of Paisley. Paisley, 12mo. 1809. 

* The antiquarianism of the place and neighbourhood has not yet interpreted the 
above inscription ; and the writer deems it prudent to hazard no conjecture on the 
sulgect, calling to remembrance the embarrassing position of a distmguished anti- 
quary, who, after having made as he thought the profound discovery, that A. D. L L. 
meant Agricota dicavit Lihent^ Luberu, was required to abandon it for the true in- 
terpretation, which turned out to be, Aiken Drum** Lang Ladle»»^ Antiquwryf new 
edit. Vol. i. p. 60. 



Digitized by 



Google 



124 RENFREWSHIRE. 

begun to bulge out from the eaves downwards, it was pronounced 
by tradesmen to be in a very dangerous state ; yet it was brought 
down with greater difficulty than the eastern gable, which, accord- 
ing to tradition, had been rebuilt towards the close of the seven- 
teenth century. Silver and copper coins of the reigns of William 
and Mary, Henry IV. of France, &c. were found in the ruins, but 
there was no appearance of their having been deposited by design* 
When the floors were lifted, an immense quantity of human bones 
was found. The area was literally paved with skulls. The beams 
of the roof were of solid oak, some of them perfectly fresh, and 
with marks of having formerly belonged to a building of quite dif- 
ferent dimensions, — thus confirming the current tradition, that, when 
the palace of Inchinnan became ruinous, the beams which had sup- 
ported its roof were partly transferred to the parish church, which 
happened at the time to require repair. It is believed that the 
old church of the adjoining parish of Erskine was supplied in the 
same way from the same source. In the church-yard, all the old 
tomb-stones, of which many remain, have crosses of difierent forms 
sculptured upon them. The parishioners point out what tradition 
has taught them to call the Templars graves. The stones cover- 
ing them, now reduced to four in number, are not flat but ridged ; 
and upon their sloping sides, figures of swords may be distinctly 
traced. If ever there were stone coffins under them, it is long 
since they have disappeared, and the graves themselves have been 
appropriated from time immemorial to the use of the parishioners. 
Modem Buildings, — The only buildings of any architectural 
pretensions are the church and bridge of Inchinnan. The for- 
mer is Gothic, with a massive square tower, buttresses, &c. and is 
much admired. The latter is an elegant structure, consisting of 
two divisions, under one of which the Grj-fe passes, while the other 
is thrown across the White Cart It was erected at an expense of 
L. 17,000. The house of Southbarr was, with the exception of 
one wing, destroyed some years ago by accidental fire, and has not 
yet been rebuilt 

III. — Population. 

Ill 175o, the iK>pulation amounted to 397 
1791, ... 806 



1801, 
IBll, 
1B21, 
1831, 



462 
641 
58-i 
620 



The diminution of the population between 1755 and 1791, is 

to be accounted for, partly by jhe removal of a distillery, and 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 125 

partly by the consolidation of farms, — to which miist be added the 
growth of the manufactures of Paisley, which seduced cottars from 
country parishes adjacent The increase from 1791 to 1801, 
arose in some degree from the impetus of the high prices of grain, 
which prompted the &rmer to subject his pastures more extensive- 
ly to the plough, rendering more hands necessary ; also from the 
opening of quarries at Park, and extensive improvements on the 
estate of Southbarr, — both which causes operated so as either to pro- 
duce an influx of new labourers, or to detain those who, under 
other circumstances, would have sought employment elsewhere. 
The farther increase at 1811 depended on the introduction of 
some families for the purpose of reclaiming some moss land on the 
estate of Southbarr, but principally on the building of Inchinnan 
bridge, which brought an influx of labourers. Since that time the 
population has varied from year to year; but the comparatively 
high average still maintained is to be ascribed to the increased 
demand for labour on the Clyde, in the quarries, and in the drain- 
ing of land. The numbers of males and females are nearly equal, 
and there are no insane, fatuous, blind, or deaf and dumb })ersons 
in the parish. Instances of longevity occur, it is believed, with 
greater frequency than is conmion among a population so limited in 
number. A female died this season who had nearly completed 
ninety-six years, and retained her faculties in wonderfril preserva- 
tion until a short time before her death. 

Character of the People, Customs, Habits, Sfc, — In their general 
character the people are intelligent and well conducted, neighbourly 
and kind, and exemplary in their attendance on divine ordinances. 
There is scarcely a person who can be called a gross and habitual 
drunkard ; but abuses sometimes attend the celebration of new-year's- 
day, and in consequence of the old habit of transacting business 
over a glass, there is a great risk of habits of intemperance being 
fonned. 

Here, as elsewhere in Scotland, funerals were formerly conduct- 
ed at a great and even ruinous expense. — The company invited 
was unnecessarily large, and observed little punctuality in assem- 
bling. It was not uncommon to have what was called a triple 
service, which meant that three glasses, two of wine and one of 
spirits, were ofiered successively to each person present Even 
the double service is going into desuetude, a single glass of wine 
being, generally speaking, all that is now offered in the shape of 
liquor. After the last duties have been performed at the church- 



Digitized by 



Google 



126 RENFREWSHIRE. 

yard, the immediate relatives and intimate friends return to the 
house where the death has occurred, to condole with the survivors ; 
on which occasion a simple repast is served up. 

IV. — Industry. 
Agricalture and Rural Eamcrmy. — With a few trifling exceptions, 
the whole population is agricultural, or engaged in pursuits subsi- 
diary to husbandry, or arising out of the ordinary wants of the 
people. There are 3 smiths, 3 carpenters, * 1 shoemaker, 1 
weaver, I tailor, and 1 coal-jnerchant, who brings his coals by water 
to a wharf at Inchinnan Bridge. The number of persons employ- 
ed in the quarries varies considerably at different times, and some 
of them have their domiciles in other parishes. There are five in- 
dividuals who rent small portions of land, which they cultivate in 
addition to other occupations. Three farmers live principally by sup- 
plying distilleries with peats, which Southbarr moss furnishes of the 
best quality. Large quantities are conveyed by water-carriage to 
Edinburgh, Clackmannan, &c. at the rate of 7s. per ton, and others 
are taken by land carriage to Glasgow, Greenock, &c The num- 
ber of farms exclusively occupying the attention of the former is 
19. Their extent varies from 36 imperial acres to 216, and the 
leases are universally of nineteen years duration. 

Rent of Land. — Grain rents regulated according to the fiar prices 
are most usual. Upon an average, the land is let at one boll and 
a-half of wheat per acre. 

Rate of Wages. — Agricultural labourers are generally paid at the 
rate of 10s. a-week in winter, and 12s. in summer; women earn 
about Is. a-day, and during harvest about 2s.; ploughmen are hired 
at L. 9 for the half-year, with bed, board, and washing. Married 
ploughmen receive about 10s. a-week, with a free house and small 
garden. In some instances more is given, in others less ; female 
servants are hired at L. 4 in the half-year ; those who drive the 
milk to market receive L. 5, being responsible for the payments. 
Quarriers earn at the rate of 12s. weekly in winter, and 1&. in sum- 
mer; good carpenters receive about 16s. The harvest is now ge- 
nerally reaped by the Irish, who arrive in great numbers for that 
purpose. Their wages have averaged during the last two seasons 
2s. 6d. per day. Paisley affords a considerable employment to the 
females of this parish in the embroidering of crape shawls and other 
fancy departments of manufacture. These works they execute in 

* One of these, Mr M^Kean, has erected a steam-engine to assist him in his la- 
]x>urB. The machinery is so constructed; as at once to saw timber and thrash grain. 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN* 127 

their own houses, and clever girls make from lOd. to Is. a-day, 
which often enables them to assist their parents in old age, or when 
under disease. 

Quarries and Mines, — Lunestone and coal exist in abundance, 
and have been both wrought, the former to a considerable extent ; 
but the proprietors have not encouraged extensive operations in 
these departments. The quarries of freestone on the estate of 
j^ark have been extensively wrought, and produce stone of superior 
quality. The church and bridge of Inchinnan were built of it 
Kashelee is rich in the same products. Freestone of a good co- 
lour and very durable quality, is now being wrought with great 
spirit Since the year 1760, its whin dikes have supplied the river 
trustees with all the stone required by their extensive improvements 
in contracting the channel and deepening the bed of the river. 

Husbandry. — The land is in a high state of cultivation, and all 
the modem improvements with respect to rotation of crops, manures, 
and draining, have been adopted. Where stones can conveniently 
be had, they are used for the latter purpose ; but tiles are in most 
request A tile-work has been recently erected on the estate of 
Blythswood. The tenants are supplied with tiles at the rate of one 
guinea per thousand, and they are permitted to drain to any ex- 
tent, Mr Campbell defraying the inmiediate expense, and they, dur- 
ing the continuance of their leases, paying interest at five per cent 
on the outlay. Persons not upon the estate of Blythswood are 
supplied with tiles at an advance of two shillings per thousand. 
The trenching plough has been lately introduced upon the estate 
of Southbarr. 

The land being chiefly under crop few horses are reared. Those 
employed in agriculture are generally of the Clydesdale breed. 
The number of farm horses is 97. Almost all the cows are of the 
Ayrshire dairy stock, and particular attention is paid to the rear^ 
ing of them. The number of milk cows generally kept is 250. 

The farm-buildings are commodious and well built, and, with 
few exceptions, slated. 

The parish contains 3060 acres, which may be arranged as follows : 

Arable in cultivation, . 2600 

Natural pasture, . . .100 

Sites of houses, roads, waters, . . 60 

Woodlands, . 300 

9060 

Produce. — The yearly value of all kinds of produce, is, at a rough 
guess, as follows : 



Digitized by 



Google 



128 



RENFREWSHIRE. 




Grain of all kinds, 


L.5449 4 


PoUtoes, turnips, &c., 


2955 


Hay, . . • . 


1299 


Pastures, . . . - 


. 867 


Dairy, .... 


2500 


Woods, 


ISO 


Peat 


400 




L. 19620 4 



V. — Parochial Economy. 

Markets. — The principal markets for the sale of grain are thosa 
of Paisley and Glasgow, the former three miles, and the latter se- 
ven miles distant at the nearest point The produce of the dairy 
is disposed of in Paisley. 

Villages. — There are only two villages, if they can be so called, 
the larger of them containing six houses, with the average number 
of two families accommodated in each house. 

Means of Communication. — The high road from Glasgow to 
Greenock intersects the length of the parish. Two good roads 
conmiunicate with Paisley. Two bridges, one called Inchinnan 
bridge, the other Barnsford bridge, supersede the fords or ferries of 
former times. Water-carriage is principally adopted in importing 
manures from the towns. Formerly a mail-coach and stage-coaches 
passed to and from Gla^ow and Greenock through Inchinnan 
daily, but steam has banished them all. The post is conveyed by a 
gig, which takes a somewhat circuitous route for the accommodation 
of Paisley, and the letters for Renfrew (where the head post-office 
formerly was) are conveyed to it by a runner. Farmers now sel- 
dom wdk or ride to market A coach, which starts for Glasgow 
from Renfrew on all the other lavrfiil days, is employed on Thurs- 
day (the market day of Paisley) in conveying them and their brethren 
of the adjoining parish to that town. 

Ecclesiastical State. — That a religious establishment pf some 
kind existed at Inchinnan, in remote times, is not to be question- 
ed, although it may be prudent not to give implicit credence to 
all the averments of the Scottish historians. According to them. 
Saint Convallus, • a disciple of St Kentigem, taught Christianity 

* It may be worthy of remark, that in former times, a stone called Saint Conal- 
lie's stone, stood near to the ancient ford of Inchinnan, on the Renfrew side of the 
river. The said ^tone, as appears from the records of the burgh of Paisley, was the 
starting point of a horse race for a silver bell, instituted by the bailies and council in 
the year 1620. According to the late Mr Motherwell (see his notes to Renfrewshire 
Chaj'acters, and Scenery, a Poem, Part I.) the above stone, now called Argvle's stone, 
as marking the spot where the Marquis of Argyle was taken, was the pediment of a 
eroas erected to the memory of Saint Convallus, near to the site of his cell, and which 
cross might at once serve to indicate the ford, and remind the traveller to invoke the 
saint's protection, or to thank him for his preservation. As to Saint Convallus him« 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 129 

here in the seventh century. Be this as it may, there was a church 
on the site of the present one in the reign of King David I. This 
prince gave the church of Inchinnan with all its pertinents to the 
Knights Templars. Hence, when Walter the High Stewart, who 
founded the monastery of Paisley, gave to it all the churches 
in Strathgryfe, he expressly excepted the church of Inchinnan. * 
The Knights Templars, whose office, as is well known, was to de- 
fend the city and temple of Jerusalem, to entertain Christian stran- 
gers and pilgrims, and guard them safely throi^h the holy land, 
although poor at first (in token of what their seal bore, two knights 
mounted on the same horse,) came to possess 9000 houses in 
Christendom, and had property in land or houses in almost every 
parish of Scotlandf. They appear to have obtained considerable 
grants of land in Inchinnan, and are supposed to have had an esta- 
blishment at Greenend, now called House of Hill. Upon the sup- 
pression of the templars in the early part of the 14th century, their 
property was transferred to the Knights J Hospitallers, or Knights of 
St John of Jerusalem, whose principal settlement in Scotland was 
at the preceptory of Torphichen in Linlithgowshire. As the suc- 
cessors of the templars, the Knights of St John enjoyed the rec- 

self, according to tbe Scottish breviaries, he was the first Archdeacon of Glasgow, and 
his festival was celebrated on the 18th of May. The historians record that he made 
a fiunous oration at the funeral of King Aidanus, and that his monument at Inch- 
innan was for ages a place of resort to the pious. Fordun writes, " Unus vero dis- 
cipubrum ejus ( Kentigerni) praK;ipuus erat Sanctus Convallus, miraculis et virtuti- 
bus praeclarust cujus itaque ossa sepulta quiescunt apud Inchenane, quinquc milliari- 
bus a Glasgw." — Scotiehron, Tom i. p. IS4. Boethius says, " Et Convallus divi Ken- 
tigerni discipulus, cujus reliquse celebri monumento in Inchennen baud procul a 
GlasguensicivitateaChristiano populohactenus in magna habentur veneratione.** Sco- 
torum Hist. Lib. ix. We are farther told that he was an author, " Scripsit Kentigerni 
Magistri Vitam. Lib. i. ; Coiitra ritus Ethnicorum. Lib. i. ; Ad clerum Scotico- 
rum super Ecclesiae Statutis, Lib i. ; Vide Danpsteri, Hist. &c. p. 157. 

* Walterus, &c. Sciatis me dedisse, &c. Deo et Sancte Marie, et ecclesis Sancti 
Jacobi et Sancti Mlrini, et Sancti Myldburge de Fasselet, et priori ejusdcm loci, et 
monachis Deo servientibus (inter aUa) omnes ecclesias de Stragryf, &c. ecclctia de 
Inchinnan excepta. The above charter was coniirmed by Pope Alexander IIL in 
1170. Reg. Mon. de Pasclet, pp. 7 and 409. 

•f Temple property had great value and importance attached to it from the right 
of sanctuary which it enjoyed. Tenements of the Templars within burgh in Fife 
are still called houses of refuge. Not many years since, an old woman, who had got 
into some squabble with the magistrates of Kinghorn, when pursued by the town- 
officers, rushed into a Temple tenement in that town, and, putting her head over the 
window, dared them to do their worst, upon the belief that this sanctuary could not 
be violated — Vide Abstract of the Chartulary of Torphichen. Edinburgh, 1880. 

X " From the Rolls of Parliament, so far as preserved, it would seem that the Pre- 
ceptors originally sat among the territorial Barons, and not among the Ecclesiastics; 
but in tbe reign of James I V. Sir William Knows took his place* not with the feu- 
dal Barons, but among the Lords of Parliament, under the title of Dominus Sancti 
Joennis. His successors. Sir Walter Lindsay, and Sir James Sandilands, in like man- 
ner assumed the title, and sat as Lords St John." — ^Introductory notice to Abstracty 
above quoted, p. 3. 

RENFREW. I 



Digitized by 



Google 



130 RENFREWSHIRE 

torial * tithes, and other revenues connected with the church and 
parish of Inchinnan, and had the cure served by vicars of their ap« 
pointment. At the dissolution of the monastic orders, in conse* 
quence of the Reformation, the last preceptor of Torphichen pur- 
chasedf the united estates of the Templars and Hospitallers from the 
Crown, and, dropping his official title of Lord St John, was created 
Lord Torphichen. Thus the tithes, temple-lands, and patronage 
of the church of Inchinnan, came to be vested in the first Baron 
of Torphichen. The temple-lands of Renfrewshire were subse- 
quently acquired by Semple of Beltrees, and those of Inchinnan 
have been distributed araongsta variety of proprietors for generations. 

The patronage of the church of Inchinnan having subsequently 
at one time or other belonged respectively to the Crown and the 
Dukes of Lennox and Montrose, is now vested in Archibald Camp* 
bell, Esq. of Blythswood, whose forefathers acquired it from the 
Duke of Montrose in the year 1787. 

With regard to the incumbents of Inchinnan since the Refor- 
mation, it appears from the register of ministers, exhorters and 
readers, that William Jackson was reader (at Inchecynane) in 1567, 
and Thomas Knox was exhorter in 1569. Gabriel Maxwell, ap- 
pointed in 1602, is supposed to have been the first Protestant cler- 
gyman in full orders. Thomas Law succeeded him in 1626. James 
Wallace became incumbent in 1649. In 1664, he was suspended 
for absenting himself from synods and disobedience to the presby- 
tery, and ousted from his Uving, and confined to the parish for not 
conforming to Episcopacy.— Wodrow's Church History, Vol. iii. 
Mr Wallace was alive at the Revolution, and although his name 
does not appear in the sederunts of Presbytery, he was imdoubted- 
ly restored to his living, for it is stated in the records of dOth July 
1689, that " Mr Patrick Symsone went to Mr James Wallace about 
that collection^ (viz. in behalf of some Irish Protestants) who pro-- 
mised to intimate it on the Sabbathy and ff other it on the Monday" 
We may conclude that Mr Wallace's infirmities prevented him 
from attending the meeting of Presbytery; and as the first notice 

* Rectorial 7H£A^#.-— The following notice is from the Abstract formerly referred to. 
** The Kyrk of Inchynnan has been in use to pay but xx. lib. allenarly, but it is bet- 
ter an it were out of the hand of the Laird of Cruickstone." From the same source 
it appears that Ludovic Duke of Lennox obtained a tack of the teind sheaves of In- 
chinnan, in 1591. 

f The terms on which the purchase was effected were the payment of an annual 
feu-duty of 500 merks, beddes the sum of 10,000 crowns. The Lord of St John 
seems to have had difficulty in raising the latter amount. It was borrowed from 
Timothy Cumeoli, an Italian gentleman of the Preceptor's acquaintance at Genoa, 
and a banker of the house of Bonvizi, resident at the time in Scotland. — See Note to 
Hay's Vindication of Elizabeth Moie (Queen of Robert IL) and her children, print- 
ed in Scotia Rediviva, p. 69. 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN. 131 

of an appointment to supply Inchinnan pulpit occurs May I4ih 
1690, we may infer that the living was vacant by his death about 
that time. James Finlay was Wallace's Episcopal successor in 
1665. This gentleman was blamed * by his presbytery for irre- 
gularity of attendance at its meetings, but defended himself by 
giving reasons, and, what was of more importance, by producing 
the license or dispensation of the archbishop. Having been trans- 
lated to another parish he was succeeded by William Stewart, 
who, on June 27, 1667, appeared before the presbytery of Pais- 
ley with a recommendation from the archbishop to have his trials 
furthered. Having passed these with acceptance, he obtained from 
the presbytery that met on the 15th August, a testimonial to that 
effect for the archbishop, in order to his ordination. Mr Stew- 
art's name appears for the last time in the presbytery record, 7th 
September 1687. — John Stirling was admitted 7th May 1691. — Ro- 
bert M*Auley, 9th September 1697. — Matthew Crawford, May 11, 
1710, and was afterwards Professor of Church History in the Univer- 
sity of Edinburgh. — Patrick Maxwell, May 3, 1722; he died 1749, 
and was succeeded on the 8d February 1750, by Archibald Smith. 
He died in 1760, and was succeeded in 1761 by Archibald Da- 
vidson, D.D. promoted to the Principality of the College of Glas- 
gow in 1786. — Thomas Bums was ordained his successor 16th 
Feb. 1787, and was translated to Renfrew, 5th August 1790. In 
1791, William Hardie was ordained, but died in the subsequent 
year. William Richardson, D.D. was ordained in 1793; and he re- 
signing the charge in 1822, the present incumbent became his suc- 
cessor on the 18th August of that year. 

In Bagimont's Roll, the vicarage of Inchinnan was taxed at 
L. 2, 13s. 4d. being a tenth part of its estimated value. At the 
Reformation, the vicar, Sir Bernard Peebles, reported that its re- 
venues were L. 60 yearly, including all profits and duties. In 1684 
the incumbent declared to the Presbytery, verho sacerdotis^ that 
the jUst provision of the kirk of Inchinnan was 7 chalders of 
victual, but that he had never received more than 6. The 
living is at present augmented to 16 chalders, one-half meal the 
other half bsu'ley, paid in money according to the.highest fiar prices 
struck in the county, with the sum of L. 8, 6s. 8d. as an allowance 

* Another complaint brought against some of the Episcopalian clergy in this 
presbytery vas the omission of the doxology, which was ordered to be sung every 
Sunday. It was argued in defence, that none of the people would join in such music, 
and that the minister and precentor being the only performersj and sometimes both 
of them fldike destitute of a musical ear, the effect was bad, and the discord intoler- 
able. StiU these pleadings went for nothing. The archbishop stepped not forward 
to screen the individuals who had been guilty of this species of delinquency. 



Digitized by 



Google 



132 RENFREWSHIRE. 

for pnxviding communion elements, and a glebe of 7^ acres* 
Part of the incumbent's emoluments he, like his predecessors, 
derives as superior of a piece of land called Ladyacre, which 
was an ancient mortification for the support of an altar dedicated 
to the virgin, and which in popish times adorned the church of Inch* 
innan. In all charters granted by the ministers of Inchinnan in 
virtue of the superiority referred to, they have uniformly styled 
themselves undoubted chaplains of the altarage and altar com-* 
monly called our Lady's Altar of old, founded and situated in the 
kirk and parish of Inchinnan. The teind and feu-duty annually 
arising from this source amount to L. 1 , 5s« 5d. The attachment 
of a superiority to a living occurs nowhere else in Scotland in simi- 
lar circumstances, and the popish title connected with it is a still 
more extraordinary anomaly. 

The church and manse of Inchinnan have been erected since the 
admission of the present incumbent, and have ample accommoda« 
tion. * They are placed at the eastern extremity of the parish, 
which is somewhat inconvenient, and it would be an improvement 
if a portion at the extreme west were annexed to Erskine, and what 
is called Abbot's Inch, in the parish of Renfrew, annexed to Inch- 
innan. Preaching from a tent on sacramental occasions has been 
given up for about twenty years.f There are four elders belong* 
ing to the kirk-session. Nearly the whole of the population be- 
longs to the Established Church, Only two agricultural families 
are attached to dissent. One of these recently came from anothec 
parish. The other affords the only instance in the. course of two 
generations of an aboriginal family leaving the Establishment, while 
the roll of communicants, amounting to nearly 200, contains not a 
few names originally connected with the dissenting interest The 
minister is accustomed to visit the dissenters, and also the few fe- 
milies of Irish Roman Catholics who are resident, just as he does 
the members of the Established Church, and has been uniformly 
received in the kindest manner. A Roman Catholic recently re- 

• A charter granted by the Rev. Robert M*Auley in 1704 commences thus: 
" Omnibus banc chartam visuris vel audituris Magister Robertus M'CauIey apud 
ecclesiam de Inchinan ac undubitatus capellanus alteragii et altaris vulgo vocat our 
Lady*t Altar fundat. et olim situat. infra ecclesiam parochialem de Inchinan, &c. no* 
veritis me dedisse, conccssisse," &c. 

The last charter, granted in the year 1821, begins thus : " To all and sundry to 
whose knowledge these presents shall come, I, the Rev, William Richard«on, Doctor 
in Divinity, iMinister of the Gospel, and of the kirk and parish of Inchinnan, and un- 
doubted Chaplain of the altarage and altar, commonly called our Lady^s Altar, and 
as such, undoubted superior of the lands after- mentioned," &c. 

f The older inhabitants were greatly attached to the tent, and their attachment had 
been fostered by a venerable incumbent, who was wont to declare, in his own pecu- 
iiar phraseology, that the tent afforded the best specimen of " visible religion*' any- 
where to be fvund. 



Digitized by 



Google 



INCHINNAN* 133 

nounced Popery ; but having removed to the parish of Renfrew, is 
now under the pastoral care of the Rev. Duncan M^Farlan, who 
has distinguished himself as a defender of the Protestant faith. 

Education. — In addition to the parochial school there is a school 
of industry. The parochial school-house consists of a large well- 
aired hall, together with five apartments for the accommodation of 
the teacher ; and attached to it are a cow-house and suitable of- 
fices, besides a garden, measuring nearly half an acre, and play- 
ground for the children, — the whole arrangements reflecting much 
credit on the liberality of the heritors. In addition to the ordinary 
branches, Latin, practical mathematics, and architectural drawing, 
&c are taught. The fees vary from 3s. to 6s. per quarter. All 
classes are anxious to secure for their children the benefits of a good 
.education. There is no child above ten years of age unable to 
jead; and the greater number who have reached twelve years have 
a goM plain handwriting. The children of the poor are educated 
at the expense of the kirk-sessioa The teacher has the maximum 
salary, which, with the fees and a few casualties, give him an in- 
come of L. 65. During the winter months the attendance is good, 
averaging 60; but from seed-time to harvest there are frequently 
not above 30 scholars, and these of the younger children. Such 
a system of alternate toil and tuition is highly prejudicial to the in-- 
terests of education, and greatly more expensive than if the pupils 
were allowed to complete the course with fewer and shorter inter- 
ruptions. The female who superintends the school of industry is 
furnished by the kindness of the heritors with a school-room, house, 
and garden. Her income, which is very scanty, is derived from 
fees alone. There are two Sunday schools taught gratis. 

Library. — There is an excellent parish library, consisting of nu- 
merous standard works on theology, general history, voyages and 
travels, &c. ; and all the parishioners have access for merely a no- 
minal sum, — 6d. per quarter. 

Poor and Poors* Funds. — The number of persons on the poors*' 
list is at present four ; and the parish is also burdened with the 
maintenance of two illegitimate children. The ordinary wants of the 
poor are supplied from the collections at the church door, amount- 
ing, upon an average, to L. 30 sterling per annum. Any deficiency 
is made up by a voluntary contribution, which is required almost 
every year for miscellaneous parish purposes. The old Scottish 
spirit of independence, inducing a reluctance to ask relief from the 
parish, exists here, it is believed, in greater strength than in most 
places similarly situated, it being now a general complaint that it 
has nearly expired. Two instances have occurred, in the writer's 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



134 RENFREWSHIRE. 

experience, of individuals voluntarily resigning their little monthly 
allowance, in consequence of their circumstances having become 
somewhat improved. Not long since, there was a petition laid be- 
fore the session from a very aged and infirm widow ; but when the 
relatives were informed of it, they begged it to be withdrawn, and 
agreed to contribute a much larger allowance than the parish would 
have granted. When a person's circumstances become strait- 
ened, and there is no relative able or willing to lend assistance, the 
practice very usually is, to dispose of the clock, watch, writing- 
desk, or other symbol of better days, upon the principle of a lot- 
tery. This custom having the nature of gambling in it, has never been 
encouraged by the gentlemen of the parish or kirk-session ; but it 
is said to be attended with few abuses, and it cannot be denied that 
it has been the means of keeping persons oflf the poors' list for ye^ 
Alehouses, — There are two of these, of which at least one might, 
with advantage, be abolished. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 

Since the former Statistical Account was published, the aspect of 
this parish has assumed various and important alterations. The 
roads have undergone great improvement While almost all the old 
farm-buildings, &c. have vanished, and been succeeded by new ones 
adapted to a more advanced state of society. The comforts of the 
peasantry, with respect to the articles of food and clothing, have ex- 
perienced a similarly beneficial change. The author of the former 
Statistical Account lamented the existence of five alehouses, into 
some of which the card-table was introduced. Of these evils 
amongst a greatly increased population, the first has been mitigated, 
and the last has entirely disappeared. 

With the exception of a small portion of moorland not yet re- 
claimed, the parish is enclosed. In many instances, however, the 
fences are susceptible of improvement, and the slovenly manner in 
which some of them are kept but ill accords with the high cultiva- 
tion of the land. 

The number of illegitimate births has of late years increased, and 
the pledge usually preceding promiscuous intercourse is now in 
fewer instances redeemed on the part of the male delinquent, by 
marriage. In thcstate of social manners just referred to, no slight 
meliorations might be effected by an increased circumspection of 
parents and heads of families, who, by adopting a more prudent sys- 
tem in the adjustment of field labour, and by enforcing a stricter 
domestic discipline, might, without difficulty, accomplish this roost 
desirable reform. 

March 1836. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



TOWN AND PARISHES OF PAISLEY* 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

Ministers. Parishes. 

THE REV. ROBERT MACNAIR, A. M., \ . 

THE REV. PATRICK BREWSTER, J '*^^*^' 

THE REV. ROBERT BURNS, D. D., . . St. George's. 

THE REV. JOHN MACN AUGHT AN, A. M., High. 

THE REV. ROBERT STEVENSON, Middle. 

THE REV. ALEXANDER TELFER, A. M., Johnston. 

THE REV. JOHN CAMPBELL, Gaelicf 

THE REV. JAMES GRAHAM, . . North. 

THE REV. JOHN MTARLANE, Martyrs. 
THE REV. ANDREW BORLAND PARKER, A. M., Levem, 

THE REV. ALEXANDER SALMON, South. 



I. — Topography and Natural History. 

The portion of Renfrewshire to which our attention is now to 
be directed, was, previous to the year 1736, all included in one 
parish, known by the name of the parish of Paisley. The town 
of Paisley is the only part of it, which, by a deed of the Court of 
Teinds, has been erected into distinct parishes. Its magistrates, 
however, are still regarded as heritors in the original parish, and, 
as such, pay a proportion of the stipend, and retain a certain num- 
ber of sittings in the church. Since the act of the General As- 
sembly, by which Chapels of Ease were raised to the status of pa- 
rish churches, Johnstone, in the western district, has been so ele- 
vated, and the church at Levern, in the south-eastern district, is 
about to have a parish assigned to it. Meantime, it will be con- 
venient to consider the whole as forming one parish, especially 
as the town of Paisley occupies but a small extent of surface, 
and is completely surrounded, by what is now, by way of distinc- 
tion, called the Abbey parish. 

Etymology. — We are indebted for the following ingenious ob- 
servations on the etymology of the word Paisley, as well as on 
that of various places situated in the parish, to William Kerr, Esq. 
surgeon. Paisley. 



• Drawn up by the Rev. Dr Burns and the Rev. RoI)ert Macnair. 
f A separate parish is not assigned to tiie minister of the Gaelic Church. 
RENFREW. K 



Digitized by 



Google 



136 RENFREWSHIRE. 

" At Paisley, the Romans had a station or town, which antiqua-- 
rians regard as the Vanduaria of Ptolemy. The most probable 
conjecture concerning the etymology of this name, is given by 
Chalmers, who belieyes it to be the Latinized form of the British 
words toen dur, or white watery applied by sthe natives to the river 
White Cart, which flowed past the eastern wall of the camp. The 
Romans entered Scotland in the year 80, and left it in 446, 
Vanduaria must, therefore, have flourished at some period between 
these years. After the retreat of the Roman forces, the name was 
lost, and no place connected with its site is found in history, till 
the middle of the twelfth century, when lands on the bank of 
the river opposite to the camp are mentioned under the names of 
Passeleth, Passelay, and Passelet. The earliest mode of spelling 
is Passeleth, and is found in a charter granted by David L* In 
the next century. Paisley occurs in one paper as Passeleht The 
terminations in let and hit/ occur most frequently, and seem to have 
been used indifferently, till the middle of the sixteenth century, 
when the orthography commonly employed became Paslay. Chal- 
mers mentions two etymologies of the name, the first PasgeUlaithy 
which, in the ancient British, signifies moist pasture ground ; the 
second Baslech in the British, and Bas^leac in the Gaelic, which 
signify ^ the flat stone shoal^ supposed to have been applied to a 
ledge of rock which runs across the channel of the river White 
Cart, -f That these etymologies rest on a foundation little better 
than resemblance in sound, is evident, from the meaning of the 
one being so widely different firom that of the other. The difficulty 
of ascertaining the origin of the name of Paisley is somewhat dimi- 
nished, by the existence, in ancient times, of two places of the same 
name in England, one in Sussex, the other in Gloucestershire; and 
more than one place, in which Paisley formed the first part of the 
name. In the ancient documents published by the Record Com- 
mission, X the spelling of these places scarcely differs from the most 
ancient forms of the ScotCish Paisley. The first syllable is either 
* Passe,' * Pese,' or * Pis ;' and the last syllable ' Leghe' or 
' Ley.' In the same documents, Stainley, Thomley, and the 
other names terminating in Ley, are likewise found terminating in 
Leghe, indicating that these terminations were understood by the 

* Vol. published by the Maitland Club, in IHdl, p. 229. 

f Chalmers' Caledonia, Vol. iii. p. 819. The meaning of Bas, as given by Arxc- 
strong and M'Alpine in their Gaelic Dictionaries, is different itovn that assigned 
by Chalmers. By them Bas is the palm of the hand, and B&s <* death.** 

\ Inquisitiones post mortem, inquisitiones nonarum, rotuli hundredorum, calen- 
darium rotulorum chartarum. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 137 

Saxon inhabitant. Leyh and Ley, which were pronounced as 
they are spelled, are in fact the Anglo-Saxon words for lea or faK 
low ground,* and there can scarcely be a doubt, that the last syl- 
lable Leht, Leth, Let, and Ley of the Scottish Paisley, are the 
same words modified by a slight difference of dialect, 

" The words in the same language which resemble the first syl- 
lable are pais peace, and pisa peas. The last of these, in the pro- 
gress of language towards old Scotch, became Pese, which agrees 
with the modern pronunciation of Paisley. Paislet or Paisley, 
would be the lea of Peace, and Peselet, or Pesley the Peas-lea. 
The only argument against the first of these being the true 
etymology, is, that history is silent respecting the conclusion of a 
peace at this place. With regard to the second supposition, peas 
undoubtedly gave names to places at very early periods, such names 
being found iu the ancient records already referred to, as early as 
the reign of Henry IIL In these records, the names of different 
kinds of crops are found in combination with leghe or /ay, such 
as com, oats, wheat, bear, or barley, and beans, and afford a cu- 
rious illustration of the vegetables cultivated in early times, f On 
the supposition of Paisley receiving its name from peas, it would 
originally signify lea ground which had carried peas. J 

" There are two places in the Abbey parish, which, probably like 
Paisley, terminated indifferently in let or ley^ but which have re- 
tained the termination let, viz. the village of Hurlet, and the farm 
of Caplet hill. In the ancient records already quoted, there is 
mentioned a place in Berkshire, sometimes spelled Hurlegh, and 
at other times Hurle. I'he first syllable Hur seems to be* th^ 
word Hare, which in old names, changes to Har, Hor, and Hur. 
Hurlet is consequently Harelea, the Lea frequented by hares. § 
Illustrative of the termination lei, may be mentioned Horselet-hill, 
in the parish of Govan, the etymology of which, agreeably to the 
foregoing conclusions, is quite easy ; but, on the supposition of 
Let being British or Gaelic, is involved in difficulties. 

^' Besides Paisley, the places in the Abbey parish, termhrating in 

* Legh and Ley are translated in Lye's Anglo Saxon Dictionary Terra incuUa, 
Novale, Campus, Fasarum. 

+ See Tytler's History of Scotland, Vol. ii. p. 216. 

:{: In Shakspeare, there is an instance of lea applied to ground bearing crops. 

" Ceres moat bounteous lady, thy rich leas 
Of wheat, rye, barley, fltcbes, oats, and peas.*-' 

§ In two retours of the seventeenth century, this place is spelled Holzctand IIul- 
rett; the first of which may be translate^l the Wocd-ka. 'I he name at present is 
universally pronounced Hurlet 



Digitized by 



Google 



138 RENFREWSHIRE. 

fey, are Eldersley, Stainley, Thornley, CoUinsley, Relees, ue. Rye- 
lees, and a farm united to it, called Halylee." 

Mr Kerr's observations on the etymology, &c. of some other 
names of places in the parish will be found in the subjoined note.* 

* " Names derived from tbe British, the Gaelic, and the Anglo Saxon, are found 
within the parish. Those deiived from the most ancient of these, the British, are, 
with one exception, names of streams and hills. The rivers White and Black Cart 
have probably received their name from Cardd, which signifies narrow, a name given, 
perhaps, in contrasting these rivers with Clyde or Gryfe. Lavem, according to 
Chalmers, is from Laver, noisy, and an, stream. Arkleston hill, probably from 
Arcwl, proFpect, and Dun, hill. This hill, though rising only about 100 fbet above 
the level of the adjoining low ground, presents a most delightful and extensive pros- 
pect, which may vie with the most celebrated in Scotlaad. Every one who visits 
this district, and wishes to behold its beauty and richness, ought to make an excur- 
sion to the summit of Arcwl Dun. Rather more than a mile to the east of this hill, 
i^ a similar elevation, called Keir hill, from an ancient British fort on its top, the ves- 
tiges of which still exist, and show the wall to have enclosed a circle of about seventy 
yards in diameter. Cardonald, an old mansion, which stands on level ground, on the 
bank of the river White Cart, exhibits no indications of remote antiquity, except the 
name. Caer and Keir signify in British, castle or fort. 

'* The Gaelic language is found, like the British, in the names of streams, and hills, 
and likewise of several farms. AU-palrick is Patrick's burn. Espedair burn is ««ua 
small stream descending rapidly from hills, and Feadar, Peter. The highest eastern 
point of the range of hills, celebrated by the muse of Tannahill as the * Braes o* 
Gleniffer,* is called the DucbaUlaw, a name which seems to be a compound of the 
Gaelic wjrd Dku^ black or dark, and Choilid growing wood, and the Anglo-Saxon 
Hleaw, a grassy bill. The descent eastward, from this law, forms tbe extremity 
of the range of hills, and being much higher than the surrounding country, 
forms a kind of promontory, which receives the name of Ferneze, Ferineeze 
or Fernyneeze. In ancient documents, it occurs Fer^nes, and Latinized Fcrineisum. 
Nese in Anglo-Saxon signifies nose. Firrin is used by Gawiu Douglas as the adjec- 
tive of Fir ; and in the English parliamentary writs in the reign of Edward II., a 
person of the name Fereodraught is likewise called Fernedraught, proving that Fe- 
ren is identical with Fcrn^. Ferneeze and its modifications, therefore, mean tbe 
Firno!«e, and imply that this declivity was in ancient times, as it is at present, cover- 
ed with fir, which would probably be the dark wood, that, at an early period, gave 
name to Duchal-law. Of Gleniffer, no satia&ctory etymology can be found in tbe 
British or Gaelic. It is probably a compound of the Anglo-Saxon yfer upper,* an 
appellation to which it is well entitled, as from the low grounds it appears a clef^ on 
the top of the hills, f 

" Namc-s of dwellings derivc.1 from the Gaelic are few in number. The great pro- 
portion of names of mansions and forms are derived from the Anglo-Saxon. It is 
probable, that in the eleventh century, or when the Gaelic ceased to be the lan- 
guage of this part of the country, the names of many places would be translated into 
the new language, and others would have names imposed, without any regard to 
their former meaning, so that from the number of places still bearing Gaelic names, 
we cannot form any idea of the number of farms in the parish, while it was a Gaelic 
district. Much light may be thrown upon the language s which existed in this coun- 
try, by a minute examination of the etymology of its different districts, and in the 
absence of any written documents in the Gothic language called tlie Scoto- Saxon, 
the names of places still exhibit some of the points of resemblance and of difference 
from the Anglo-Stixon. 

** Sneddon, now forming part of the town, is probably the Anglo-Saxon Sniden^n, 
portion cut off, from the verb aneddan. In more modern times, Clippens, in this 
neighbourhood, received its name in the same way.$ 

• See Jamieson's supplement to his Scottish Dictionary, word Ever, 

-f- Another derivation has been furnished to us, by a good Gaelic scholar, from tbe 
Gaelic GUun Glen, and t7«Mer, (thebh in Gaelic sounding v) yew tree, which makes 
it the Glen of yews. 

X Sneddon has also been considered as a corruption of Snaudon, or Snowdon, and 
as furnishing a title to the Prince of Wales, as beuig Prince of Scotland. «* The 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 139 

Extent and Boundaries. — The parish of Paisley is situated in 
the upper ward of the county, and in the finest part of it. It may 
be regarded, in point of extent, the third in Renfrewshire, and in 
point of value, by far the first Its distance from the Clyde is lit- 
tle more than 2 miles. Its extreme length from north-east to 
south-west, is nearly 9 miles. In breadth it varies from half a 
mile to about 5^ miles, being deeply indented on all sides by 
comers of adjoining parishes. In consequence of this, notwith- 
standing its great length, and in some parts breadth, it measures 
little more than about 16000 acres. It is bounded on the north 
and north-east by the parishes of Renfrew and Govan ; on the 
east and south-east by those of Eastwood and Neilston ; on the south 
and south-west, by those of Neilston and Lochwinnoch ; and on 
the west by the parish of Kilbarchan. 

Topographical Appearances. — Near the centre of the parish in 
N. Lat bb^ 48' and W. Long. 4° 26' on a bold terrace-like ridge, 
rises the town of Paisley. Much of it is built on that ridge,^and 
on one of a similar description, which runs parallel on the south. 
The distance of the cross of Paisley from that of Glasgow is about 
7i miles ; and from the Clyde, which flows north of it, about ^ 
The suri^e occupied by what is properly called the old town, or 
the burgh of Paisley, is about a mile square; but in speaking of Pais- 
ley, we must include its populous suburbs in the Abbey parish, espe- 
cially those now within the parliamentary burgh, which is spread over 
a surface of about 3 miles by 2^, and contains about 6 square 
miles, including a small portion of the parish of Renfrew. The 
general sur&ce of the Abbey parish is of a beautifully diversified . 
character. Around the town of Paisley, except to the northward, 
many gentle eminences, some in cultivation, and others in wood, 
** impart their beauty to the scene." Northward of the town, the 
surface is flat, principally indeed consisting of reclaimed moss. But 
the southern border of the parish, rises into what are called the 

^ There are two names derived from Latin, which baye probably been imposed by 
the monks. SaceUhill, receives its name from a Sacellum or chapel, which stood at 
its base, and from which a small cluster of houses is still called the chapel. Blada, a 
piece of ground adjoining the Sacel-mill seems to be Bladunif grain, a word frequent- 
ly found in the barbarous Latin of the middle ages.'* 

titles are themselves Scottish," says the writer of the article Paisley in the Edinburgh 
Encyclopaedia, speaking of the Prince of Wales as Baron of Snowdon, Snaudon, aiul 
Renfrew. " Now, as the Stewart family had long their chief seat in Renfrewshire, 
and the lands of Snaudoun, near Paisley, formed, in all probability, apart of the pa- 
trimonial inheriunce of that illustrious house, it does not seem at all improbable, that 
the baronial title of Snowdon, actually coupled with that of Renfrew, was derived from 
the very lands io question.*'— Encyc. Vol. zvi. p, 270. 



Digitized by 



Google 



140 



RENFREWSHIRE. 



Paisley or Stanely Braes, known also, at least in one part, as the 
Braes of Gleiiiffer. I'he highest point of these braes, as lately as- 
certained by measurement, reaches an elevation of 760 feet above 
the surface of the river Cart, at high water mark at Paisley. 
Though here and there interspersed with moss and heath, they in 
general afford good sheep pasture, and where they decline into 
lower ground, a considerable part of the land is in cultivation. 

As the surface of this extensive parish is of varied character, so 
also is there variety in the nature and qualities of its soil. Speak- 
ing of the soil generally, it is thin, resting on a bottom of gravel 
or till, and very retentive of moisture. At the same time, no 
inconsiderable portion of it is rich, fertile, and productive. This is 
especially the case with those parts which lie along the banks of 
the rivers; and it is reasonable to think, that as much of the soil of 
this extensive parish as is capable of cultivation, will very soon be 
brought under it ; the large town, and the populous villages in the 
parish and its neighbourhood, as well as its vicinity to Glasgow, 
affording at once means of improvement, and a ready market for 
produce. 

Meteorology. — The temperature is upon the whole mild. The 
air is rather moist, probably occasioned by the prevalence of west 
and south-west winds from the Atlantic. The following meteoro-* 
logical tables are abridged from observations by Dr Rodman, phy- 
sician in Paisley, who has been kind enough to favour us with 
more extended tables for the whole of the year 1829, and for nine 
months of 1832, the year in which cholera made its appearance. 



Mild, 

Frosty, 

Snowy, 

Rainy, 

Clear, 



Mild, 

Frosty, 

Snowy, 

Rainy, 

Clear, 



Mild, 
Frosty, 
Snowy, 
Rainy, 



Weather. 

14 days 
11 

3 

2 

I 
—31 

6 days 

7 

1 
12 

3 
—28 

17 
6 
2 
6 



E. 

S. K 



1829. 

jANUAaV. 

TViful 

12 days 
Id 

. 31 



Therm. Bar. — Inches. 



S. E. & £. 
£. & S. E. 
S. E. 



February. 
17 days 



2 
3 
6 



31 



E. 

S. E. 

N. E. 

W. 

E. & S. S. 



March. 
14 days 
10 
4 
2 
£. 1 
—31 



Varied from 
57^ to 52° 



Digitized by 



Varied from 
30 to 2Sfb 



Google 









PAISLEY. 




141 








April. 








Weaiher^ 




Wind, 


Therm. 


Bar Inchet. 


Mild, 


lOdavs 


N. E. 


3 days 


Varied firoro 


Varied fVom 


Rainy, 


17 


N. W. 


5 


i?** to 52° 


30 to 2H^ff 


Clear, 


3 


E. . 


. 7 










S. E. 


5 








30 


W. . 

s. w. 

N. 


2 
—30 

May. 






Mild, 


. 6 days 


w. 


15days 


Varied IVoni 


Varied from 


Rainy, ' 


8 


N. W. 


2 


54° to 69° 


29.3 to 33.2 


Clear, 


17 


s. w. 


2 








__ 


s. . 


1 








31 


S. E. 
E. . 
N. E. 


2 
5 
4 

31 
June. 






MUd, 


3 days 


W. 


15 days 


Varied fVom 


Varied from 


Rainy, 


. 16 


s. w. 


6 


61° to 72° 


29.7 to 29.9 


Clear, 


8 


N. E. 


4 






Cloudy, 


. 3 


E. byS. . 1 








— 


E. . 


3 








30 


S. E. 


1 







30 

July. 

Mild, 6 days N. E. 7 Varied from Varied from 

Rainy, .17 S. W. . 8 63° to 68° 29. to 29.7 

Clear, 5 W. . 5 

Cloudy, .3 N. W. . 6 

— S. . . 3 

31 W. by S. ' . 1 

E. . . 1 

31 
August. 

Varied fVom Varied from 
61° to 68° 29.1 10 29.74 



Mild, 


3 days 


Vf. 


4 days 


Rainy, 


15 


s. w. . 


2 


Clear, 


9 


N. W. . 


11 


Cloudy, 


4 


N. . . 


3 




— 


N.N.W. • 


1 




31 


N. E. . 


4 






E. . . 


2 






S. W. . 


1 






W. &E. . 


1 






E. toW. . 


1 






W. N. W. 


1 



31 



Digitized by 



Google 



142 



RENFREWSHIRE, 









Se 


PTEMBER. 








Weather. 


Wind. 


Therm. 


Bar — Inches, 


Mild, 


, 


4 days 


N. W. . 


7 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, 


, 


16 


W. . 


. & 


58'' to 67^ 


29.01 


Clear, 


, 


10 


S. W. . 


10 




to 






— 


S. E. 


1 




29.074 






30 


E. . . 

N.E. . 
E. to W. 

S. . 

N. . 


1 
3 
. 1 
1 
1 
—30 












October. 




, 


Mild, 


. 


6 days 


W. 


7 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, 


. 


16 


N. W. 


7 


56° to 61° 


29.02i 


Clear, 


• 


6 


s. w. . 


7 




to 


Cloudy, 




3 
31 


N. . . 

N.E. 

S.E. 

E. . . 

S. . 

N< 


3 

3 
1 
2 
1 
—31 

aVEMBER. 




29.08 


Mild, 


, 


5 days 


N.W. 


4 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, 


, 


20 


W. . 


6 


48° to 58° 


29.03i 


Clear frost. 


5 


S.W. 


5 




to 






— 


S. E. 


3 




29.09 






30 


N.E. 
N. . 
E. 

Di 


8 

2 

2 

—30 

SCEMBER. 






Mild, 


, 


5 


S. E. 


3 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, 


, 


12 


E. . 


11 


45° to 58° 


29.04 


Clear&fro8ty,10 


S. . 


2 




to 


Cloudy, 




4 
31 


S.W. 

w. . 

N.W. 
N.E. 


4 
3 
1 
7 
—31 




29.094 



The notices of the weather in the foregoing tables were mark- 
ed down only once a day, at nine in the evening. 

Register for nine months of 1832. 
February 1832. 



Mild, 


6 days 


E. to N. . 1 day 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


7 


E. N. E. . 1 


48° to 55° 


29 to 30 


Frosty, 


4 


W. N. W. 3 
W. . 2 








17 


S. E. to E. 1 
E 3 
E. to S. W. I 
S. W. . 2 
N. W. to E. 1 
E. to E. N. E. 1 
S. W. to W. 1 
—17 








The other days not included. 












Digitized by V 


^ooqIc 







PAISLEY. 




143 






March. 






Weather. 


Wind. 


Therm. 


Bar..-~IncheM. 


Mild, 


8 days 


S. W. . 6 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


14 


S. . . 8 


48° to 58° 


29 to SO 


Frosty, . 


3 


W. to S. W. 4 






Blowy, . 


6 


W. 7 

W. to S. . « 








31 


£. to S. E. I 
,W. toN.W. 3 
N. W. . 5 
N. . . 1 

—31 
April. 


• 




Mild, 


10 days 


S. W. . 7 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


14 


N. E. 11 


53° to 60^ 


29 to 30.2 


Blowy, . 


5 


W. 4 






Thunder, 


1 


N. W. , 1 








— - 


N. E. to E. 2 


* 






30 


E. . . 1 

8. E. to E. 3 

W. to 8. E. 1 

—30 

May. 






Mild, . 


13 days 


E. . . 2 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


12 


N. E. . 13 


53° to 64° 


29.7 to 30.1 


Clear, 


6 
31 


S. W. to W. 7 
N. W. . 4 
8. E. 1 
& W. . 3 
W. 1 

—31 
June. 






Mild, . 


todays 


N. E. . 7 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


12 


8. W. . 5 


62° to 68° 


29.5 to 30.4 


Clear, . 


8 
30 


N. W. . 2 
N. , . 1 
The other days very 
changeable. 

July. 






Mild, . 


13days 


N. E. . 3 days 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


8 


8. to 8. 1 


63° to 71° 


29.7 to 30.4 


Clear, • 


10 
31 


8. W. . 4 

W. . • 1 
N. W. . 3 
E. . . 1 

The other days very 
changeable. 

August. 






Mild, . 


7 days 


N. E. . 5 


Varied from 


Varied from 


Rainy, . 


18 


8. W. . 8 


63° to 72° 


29.5 to 30.2 


Clear, 


6 
31 


The other days very 
changeable. 

8EPTEMBEa. 






Mild, . 


11 days 


N.E. edays 


Varied firom 


Varied ftt)m 


Rjuny, . 


10 


8. W. . 9 


59° to 66° 


29.6 to 30^ 


Clear, . 


9 


N. W. . 1 








—30 


The other days very changeable. 





Digitized by 



Google 



144 



RENFREWSHIRE. 



October. 
Weatiier, Wind. Therm. Bar. -^ Indie*. 

Mild, 7 (lavs S. W. . 9 days Varied fVom Varied fVom 

Rainy, . 18 ' W. 8 5° to 65° 29. to 80.5 

Clear, .5 N. E. . 3 

— The other days very 

30 changeable. 

The montlis of January, November, and December of 1832 are 

not included in Dr Rodman's tables. But from a register kept at 

the Gkis-works, we find that the barometer varied in January from 

29°.4 to 30*^.4; in November from 29° to 30°.5 ; andin December 

from 29*^ to 30^.4. 

Barometer 1836. 

January, varied from 29. to 30.4 inch July, varied from 29.3 to 30.1 inch 

February, . 28.7 to 30.3 August,. 29.4 to 30.1 

March, 28.7 to 30. September, . 29.1 to 30.2 

April, . . . 29. to 30.4 October^ . 28.5 to 29.9 

May, . 29.8 to 30.4 November, . 28.7 to 30. 

June, . . . 29.2 to 30.1 December, . 28«4 to 30,2 

No rain-gauge was kept in the neighbourhood of Paisley, till 2d 
December 1834, when one was placed at Nethercraigs, in this pa- 
rish, one mile and a-half south of the town pf Paisley, about 160 
feet above the level of the sea. Other two rain-gauges have, in 
the course of last year, been set, the one at Orr Square, Paisley, 
62 feet s^bove the level of the sea, and the other at Back Thomly 
Muir, one mile south of Nethercraigs, 693 feet above the level of 
the sea. The results of the first for two years and one month ; of 
the second for three months ; and of the third for four months of 
last year, are included in the following table : 

Incites. iOUis. 
At Nethercraigs, 

1834 Dec. 2 3 



1835, 

Jan. Feb. and Mar. 

Apr. May, and June 

July, 


17 

,5 

4 


9 
9 
6 


August, 

September, 

October, 

NovemLer, 

December, 


2 
7 
3 
7 
3 


8 
8 
6 
2 
2 



53 





Iwihe*. 


\m^ 


. 


January, 


9 


8 




February, 


. 3 







March, 


. 7 


i 




April, 


3 


2 




May, . 





4 




June, 


4 


5 


At Orr At Back 


July, . 


9 


4 


Square. Thomly Muir 


August, 


. 5 


3 


Inch. \Qtht. Inch. IWts 


September, 


7 


3 


8 8 


October, 


. 8 


2 


3 1 3 6 


November, 


. 7 


1 


5 4 7 4 


December, 


. 8 





6 5 10 2 



68 3 



Diseases. — As might be expected, the moist atmosphere occasions 
rheumatisms, quinsies, pulmonary and other inflammatory disorders. 
Contagious diseases frequently visit this place. A pestilence vi* 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEy. 145 

sited it in 1645, as appears from the records of presbytery and town* 
council. A pleurisy is particularly mentioned as having prevailed 
to a considerable extent in the year 1771. Influenza raged exten- 
sively in the spring of 1803, and in the end of the years 1830 and 
1831. At present (January 1837) influenza is raging to a great 
extent here, as in many other parts of Scotland. Dysentery 
raged violently in 1765. Since that time, it seems not to have 
prevailed to any great extent till the year 1828^ when it spread 
to an alarming degree, and carried off many valuable lives. Ty- 
phus fever has for some years past greatly prevailed, and in 
many instances has proved fatal. In spring of 1834, small-pox 
made its appearance in the town, and continued more or less 
during that year. Sixty-one deaths are recorded as having taken 
place in consequence of this disease, forty-three in the town, 
and eighteen in the Abbey parish. In almost all of these in- 
stances, the individuals carried off had not been previously vac- 
cinated ; and it is a well established fact, that till that year, since 
vaccination was practised, few cases of variolous infection had ap- 
peared. The confinement, and sedentary life of the operative 
manufacturer, may perhaps account, in part, for those consumptive 
ailments, which are of frequent occurrence. 

CAofera.— JPaisley was visited by cholera asphyxia in • 1832. 
Previous to its arrival, a board of health was formed, and the most 
prompt measures were used for cleaning the streets and alleys of 
the town, white-washing and fumigating infected or suspected 
houses, liberally distributing flannel clothing to the poorer classes, 
and supplying them with nourishing food. Two places were fitted 
up as hospitals, and the medical faculty were in constant attend- 
ance. The number of cases in all was 769 ; and of the individu- 
als seized, 446 died. It attacked chiefly the intemperate and dis- 
sipated in the humbler ranks, though others of better condition 
and habits, but of feeble constitution, fell victims to its violence. 
It appeared first at Paisley, on 18th February 1832, and entirely 
left it in December following. The greatest number of cases on one 
day was nine. Cholera again made its appearance in 1834, and 
carried off 140. But as no cases were reported that year, it is 
impossible to give any correct account of the number of individu- 
als seized. 

Hydroffraphy. — The White Cart is the principal river in the 
parish. It rises in the hilly grounds between Eaglesham and 
Kilbride, and, after having formed for a few miles the boundary 



Digitized by 



Google 



146 RENFREWSHIRE. 

of this parish, enters it on the eastern side, and flows in a gently 
winding course to the town of Paisley, whence, after forming a 
beautiful and picturesque waterfall a little above the Seedhill 
bridge, and bending round to the northward, it pursues its course 
towards the Clyde. It is joined at Inchinnan bridge by the Black 
Cart, which had previously received the waters of the Gryfe, near 
Barnsford bridge ; and their united streams fall into the Clyde, 
about three miles below the town. In the White Cart, perch, 
trout, flounders, and braises, or gilt-heads, are found, but not in 
great quantities, owing, it is thought, to the public works on its 
banks. We are told, by some old historians, of fine large pearls 
having been found in this river, but these have long since com- 
pletely disappeared. * Below the town, this river exhibits little 
beauty, but above it, much ; its banks being frequently elevated, 
and clothed with a rich drapery of wood. 

In consequence of a short canal having been cut to avoid the 
shallows at Inchinnan bridge, and other improvements on the ri- 
ver, made about fifty years ago, the Cart is navigable up to the 
town of Paisley, for vessels of from sixty to eighty tons burden. 
These improvements, which are particularly mentioned in the 
former Statistical Account, were completed at an expense of L. 4000. 
In the year afler they were finished, the tonnage wasjet at L. 151. 
Since that period, the sum for which it has been let has increas- 
ed. For the five years mentioned below, it has been as follows : — 
For 1831, L.222; for 1832, L.321; for 1833, L.300; for 1834, 
L. 291 ; for 1835, L. 260. 

Additional improvements on the river, for which an Act of Par- 
liament has been obtained, are now in progress. These, when fi- 
nished, will greatly increase the revenue arising from it, as well as 
improve the commercial interests of the place. For many years, 
small track-boats have been employed on the river, for the con- 
veyance of passengers to and from the steam-boats on the Clyde ; 

• In Principal Dunlop's" Description of Renfrewshire," written upwards of 140 
years ago, and lately printed by the Maitland Club, we have the foUowing account 
of these pearls. " The most noted peculiar rarity this shire affords is that of pearls, 
found in the water of White Cart, about Paisley, and above it for three miles. 
Though it be not that considerable, that the proprietor of the water and land adjacent 
claims an interest in them, but every person hath liberty to search for them, yet 
pearls are not only frequently here found, but of such a fineness and magnitude, as 
may be compared with any, except what the Indies afford ; and they are transport- 
ed toother countries in good parcels, so thatTavemier, the great French jeweller, in 
his travels to the East Indies, taketh notice of them, lliey are found in the bottom 
of the water, in a fislies shell, larger than that of the muscle. The fishing is most 
in the summer time.** p. 143. These " pearls,** says Dr Boog, in the former Sta- 
tistical Account, « have long disappeared, and the river has become a more certain 
source of wealth by its utility to an industrious and manufacturing neighbourhood." 
Stet. Ace. Vol, vii. p. 77. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 147 

and for three years previous to the commencement of the im- 
provements, a steam«boat plied regularly between Paisley and 
Greenock, Gourock, Dunoon, and other. watering-places on the 
western coast. 

When the improvements above-mentioned are completed, it is 
expected, that a plan suggested by Dr Boog in the former Statisti- 
cal Account, by which the inhabitants of Paisley may reap the full 
benefit of the completion of the great canal between Forth and 
Clyde, will also be carried into effect It is, the formation of a 
branch from the great canal to the Clyde, to terminate as nearly 
opposite to the mouth of the Cart as the ground will permit; the ad- 
vantages of which must be great. * For this an Act of Parliament 
has been lately obtained. The proposed branch will be about three-* 
fourths of a mile, and it will save the distance of seven or eight 
miles to vessels trading between Paisley and the great canal. 

The Levem is a rivulet of considerable breadth and flow, and 
is noted for the many cotton-mills, bleaching-works, and print- 
fields, &C. on its banks. In many parts of its course from the 
southward, it exhibits scenes of sequestered and even romantic 
beauty. This river is famed, as having given a name to the inha- 
bitants of this district of country ; for the Levemaniy mentioned 
in historvs seem to have been no other than the men of Levern- 
side. It forms part of the eastern parochial boundary, and falls 
into the Cart, at the point of its entrance into this parish. 

The Black Cart, which rises in Cftstle Semple loch, may be 
noticed as forming the north-western boundary of this parish, and 
separating it from the neighbouring parish of Kilbarchan. 

Various streamlets proceed from the braes on the south, and 
lose themselves in the larger currents. Such are the Espedair 
and the Alt- Patrick bums. 

Between two and three miles to the eastward of the town of 
Paisley, a saline spring rises, called Candren Well ; on the pro- 
perties and virtues of which, the late Dr Lyall, a native of Paisley, 
but long settled in Russia, wrote a pamphlet, strongly recommend- 
ing the water as an aperient and corrective. Many of the springs 
that rise within the precincts of the town are slightly mineralized, 
especially the Seedhill Well, which, in former times, was occa- 
sionally used as a tonic. 

Geology and Mineralogy* — The geology of this parish is very 
simple in its general outline, but very interesting in many of its de- 

• See former Stat. Ace. Vol vii. p. 78. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



148 RENFREWSHIRE. 

tails. The high land of the parish is composed of secondary trap 
rock, while the low land of the parish is tiniformly composed of 
rocks belonging to the coal formation, and these are in general 
deeply covered with diluvium, containing many bouldered pieces 
of primitive and transition rocks. But secondary trap is the lowest 
rock seen in situ within the parish. This trap is composed of un* 
stratified masses of porphyry, amygdaloid, hornblende rock, green- 
stone, and basalt ; but the junction of these rocks with each other 
is for the most part hidden from observation. 

Porphyry of a grey or greyish blue colour constitutes the great 
mass of which the hilly division is composed. It varies in hard- 
ness in difibrent places, but is for the most part compact, and 
abounds with crystals of quartz, and pretty large rhomboidal plates 
of felspar. In many situations this rock assumes an amygdaloid 
structure, enclosing calcareous spar, arragonite, zeolite, stilbite, 
chabasite, &c and occasionally lai^e druses occur lined with preh- 
nite in mammaloid masses of a green or straw-colour, sometimes 
smooth, and in other instances crystallized on the surface. Preh- 
nite too is frequently found imbedded in, or constituting an integral 
part of the rock. 

Hornblende rockj with quartz and felspar, frequently occurs in 
detached masses both on the high and low grounds, and on the 
road to the farm of Braehead, about 400 feet above the level of 
the sea. Hornblende occurs almost without admixture with any 
other mineral. Its colour is dark green approaching to black, and 
it is so friable as to be easily reduced to its crystalline form by 
the slightest stroke of the hammer. In this locality, it seems to 
separate a mass of porphyry from a more amygdaloid rock, having 
a base similar to clinkstone. 

Greenstone is quarried in several places on the table-land. It 
is traversed by numerous veins of jasper and chalcedony, and con- 
tains several varieties of the zeolite family. Basalt is found mas- 
bive towards the western extremity of the range, nearly of a black 
colour, and replete with crystals of aiigite and olivine. 

The second or lower division is highly interesting on account of 

the value of the minerals to the manufactures of the district. 

These consist of sandstone, limestone, coal, aluminous shale, 

ironstone, fire-clay, bituminous shale, and trap rock. The sand- 

stone which abounds in the parish is that belonging to the coal 

measures. It is uniformly stratified. In some places, the rock is 

exposed on the surface, but more frequently is covered by a few 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 149 

feet of diluvium, containing numerous rounded water-worn pebbles, 
and occasionally also by extensive beds of sand^ exhibiting the ap- 
pearance of a sea beach, and containing shells the same in species 
aa those at present existing in the adjacent Frith of Clyde. Im- 
mense numbers of these shells were found in digging the canal 
from Glasgow to Johnston. They were little altered in appear- 
ance ; and the impression left by a careful examination of the stra- 
tified sand in which they were found was, that they had been de- 
posited at the bottom of the sea, and that the lower part of the 
parish must consequently ^be of submarine formation. * 

For the most part, the colour of the sandstone is yellowish white, 
more or less tinged with iron. In texture it is commonly compact 
and small-grained, but this varies in different parts of the same 
quarry. In some localities, it is traversed by innumerable mi- 
nute veins of carbonaceous matter. In other places, it abounds in 
nodules of the common radiated iron pyrites. In most of the 
sandstone quarries, vegetable remains have been found from time 
to time, consisting of reeds, arborescent plants, and ferns. The 
former are often circular, but more generally flattened ; some of 
them are smooth "on the surface, others are sulcated longitudinally, 
and many are jointed. They are met with from half an inch to 
six or eight inches in circumference. The remains of the arbo- 
rescent ferns are for the most part marked externally with rbom- 
boidal impressions raised above the surface, and arranged around the 
specimen in a spiral order. All these remains are coated with 
charcoal, and their interior filled with siliceous or calcareous matter, 
often also with a considerable quantity of the proto-sulphuret of 
iron. The sandstone quarry in most repute is that of Nitshill, 
and is of such extent as to give employment to nearly one hundred 
men all the year round. The following description is from the 
pen of Mr Oatts, manager of the Hurlet Alum Works : 

** This rock has a gentle declivity from south to north, with a 
dip eastward. It lies over a stratum of coal 2 feet 6 inches thick. 
The rock is 60 feet in thickness from the coal upwards* In some 
parts it rises to the surface; in others, it is covered by 3 feet of 
earth. It contains three distinct strata of coal, besides the stratum 
underneath it This coal is quite different in its nature, quality, 
and value, from the neighbouring Hurlet coal. In the sandstone 
rock some remarkable specimens of fossil vegetable remains have 

• See Capt. Laskey*8 Account of these shells in Vol. iv. of the Transactions of the 
Wernerian Society. 



Digitized by 



Google 



150 RENPHEWSHIRE. 

been found. Two petrified trees found here are placed as curio- 
sities near the mansion of the proprietor at Househill, the one, ]0 
feet high, and 5 feet round at fhe bottom ; the other, 5 feet high, 
and 5^ feet round at the bottom, both having the large root fis- 
sures, and protuberances equally decided and discernible with any 
other of the full-grown timber that now adorns the surrounding 
lawn. A fossil fern procured at Levernshields is 3 feet in cir- 
cumference at bottom, 1 1 feet 4 inches high, — 3 feet more in 
length having be^n left behind when removing the petrifaction 
from the quarry. This specimen was foupd in the lower or bottom 
seam of the rock, with several others which were destroyed by the 
quarriers. All were found lying on a gentle declivity with their 
tops westwards. The natural pile and porous quality of the rock 
varies considerably on the different sides of each of these seams of 
coal, that next the bottom being the finest, that at the surface of 
the ground much coarser." 

In some parts of the above-mentioned quarry, a considerable 
quantity of iron pyrites occurs, which, upon exposure to the air, 
becomes gradually decomposed, and greatly disfigures and de- 
stroys the stone. When sandstone is met with in the immediate ^ 
vicinity of trap rocks, it becomes so much hardened in texture as 
to be able to withstand the efiects of weather and flood for an in- 
definite length of time ; as is well exemplified in the ridge of rock 
which stretches across the White Cart at Seedhill, immediately 
above the town of Paisley. 

Limestone belonging to the coal formation is very generally 
diffused throughout the lower division of the parish. It occurs in 
layers or beds, generally lying under the sandstone, or alternating 
with coal, ironstone, fire-clay, aluminous and bituminous shale, 
&c. In some localities it is found near the surface, and is then 
quarried. In other places, it is wrought by mining, especially 
where it occurs in the vicinity of coal. The principal quarries of 
this valuable rock are at Hurlet and Blackball. This limestone 
has generally a grey colour; is translucent on the edges; 
breaks with a flat conchoidal fracture ; and contains innumerable 
remains of different species of shells, entrochi, encrini, &c. besides 
numerous crystals of calcareous spar, and small masses of slaggy 
mineral pitch. 

Coal occurs abundantly in the lower division of the parish, 
which, as formerly stated, is entirely composed of rocks belonging 
to the coal formation. This valuable mineral may exist in the pa- 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 15 1 

mh in very great quantities, as few trials comparatively have been 
made for it, in many places where there is at least a strong pro- 
bability that it might be found. It has been found within the 
town of Paisley, as at Gallowgreen; also near Meikleriggs; but 
by far the most profitable pits have been at Quarrelton and Hurlet 

The coal of Quarrelton consists of five continuous strata, which, 
in a field of about fifteen acres, is found to dip in several diiferent 
directions, as towards a centre^ thus forming a basin, but having 
its strata somewhat interrupted by hitches, at one of which the 
mass of coal is thrown up about 50 feet, and at another about 90 
feet These hitches interrupt not only the direction, but also the 
degree of dip. 

The following section of the coal strata at Quarrelton we ex- 
tract from the article ** Mine," in the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia. 
It was drawn up by the ingenious Robert Bald, Esq. civil^ngin- 
eer; and we have tested its accuracy. 

No. Nanus of the Strata. Yda. 
1. Greenstone, 36 

& Sandstone^ and common 
indurated clay, alter- 
nating in thin bands, 8 

3. Fire-clay, with coarse 

ironstoae» 4 

4. CoaU . 3 

5. Indurated clay, 
«L Coal, 3 
7> Indurated clay, 

81 1 6 

The above is a very interesting section of a coal field, which, 
according to Werner, belongs to the newest Jkstz trap formation. 
The striking peculiarities are : — 1. The great body of greenstone 
of the common crystallized texture, known in Scotland by the 
name of blue whinstone, found at the surface, and lying above the 
common coal strata, which are comparatively soft, and have lit* 
lie coherence. 

2. The vast body of coal lying together, consisting of ten beds. 
There are only seven beds in the section, but the fourth coal is 
commonly reckoned three beds, and the lower coal two beds, there 
being a difference in the quality, with thin divisions in some places 
betwixt them. The whole thickness is 90 feet 2 inches. Some 
of the coal is of the open burning kind, but the great part is of 
the close burning quality, similar to Newcastle coal, and breaks 
into small pieces. The coal abounds with inflammable air, and is 
liable to spontaneous ignition. In a great part of this coal-field, the 
coals amount to only one-half of the thickness represented in the 

RENFREW. L 



Fl. 


In. 


No. Names of the Strata, 


Yds, 


Ft. 


In. 








a Coal, 


3 












9. Indurated clay, 





I 









10. Coak 


B 














11. Indurated clay, 





1 









12. Coal, 


3 


1 











13. Indurated clay, 





2 


3 


1 





U. Coaly 


3 








1 





15. Indurated clay. 





1 





1 





16. Coal, 


s 


2 





2 


3 








, 



Digitized by 



Google 



152 RENFREWSHIRE. 

section ; but in the place where the section is taken, the coals lie 
as if they had been cut through, and one-half slid over the top of 
the other. This singular coal field is very limited in point of 
extent. * 

Hawkhead or Hurlet eoal is a stratum or seam 5 feet 3 inches 
thick, declining eastward with a dip which Ls variable, but may on 
an average be accounted one in seven. It extends over several hun-* 
dred acres of land, principally in the Hawkhead estate, but also iD 
the adjoining estates of Nether PoUoc and HousehilL By careful 
and accurate measurements it has been ascertained that this same 
bed of coal extends over 340 acres of Hawkhead estate, 85 acres 
of Nether Polloc, and 50 acres of Househill ; making in all an 
area of 475 acres imperial measure. 

The strata intersected in a pit near Hurlet, on the west side of 
Levem water, were as follows :- — 

1. Earth and clay, 

1m Sand and ^raTel, 

3. Schistui with some thin strata of limestone and many beds of iron 

stone and balls of ironstone, 
4» Limestone, . . 

5. Aluminous schtstus, 
6t Coal, containing balls of pyrites or copperas stones, 

"l66 4 

This coal contains sulphur, and thereby possesses the property 
of caking when exposed to heat. The miners remark, that sul- 
phur always exists in coed, lying immediately beneath limestone. 
The Hurlet mines at one time contained inflammable air, and 
through the negligence of some workmen in not using the neces- 
sary precautions, several valuable lives have been lost. Such acci- 
dents, however, are now in a great measure dissipated by the free 
circulation of atmospheric air throughout the waste, and the nume- 
rous pits or shafts communicating with each other, f 

* In May 1818 one of these mines at Quarrelton was overflowed with water, and 
five of the miners perished. Two of the others were rescued alive, after having been 
immured in the gloomy dungeon for ten days. A very interesting account of all 
the circumstances of this event is given in the Scots Magazine for 1819, p. S9. The 
statement was drawn up from the accounts of the men who escaped, both of whom* 
two brothers of the name of Hodgert, are still living. Appewanceson the west side 
of Quarrelton, and on the north side of the Beath road, indicate the fiict of the ground 
having sunk to a considerable extent. In the old Statistical Account (Vol. vii. p, 
61,) Uiis i% noticed as follows : — " Some years ago this coal took fire» and the pilUnra 
giving way, the ground sunk and left the surftoe in a very rugged state.** Similar 
appearances on the surface, indicative probably of similar causes, are to be noticed in 
others of the coal districts. 

i* See for ftirther information on this and analogous subjects^ Mr Wilson's Agri« 
cultural Survey, pp. 14-28, and 27^-881. 



MTCtt* iMCn€9 


42 





8 





n- 
105 





S 





3 


i 


5 


3 



Digitizecf by Google 



PAISLEY. 153 

The thickDess of the Nitthitt rock, measured downwards from 
the surface, ii^as follows : 

Ft, In, Ft, IH, 

1. Coarse sandstone, 26 7- Lower seam of rock (best kind) 17 

2. Upper stratum of coal, 1 8. Schistus or blaize^ like that of 

& Rock of thin layers with black No. 3, . . 10 

blaize mixed, .76 9. Coal, irith thin irregular strata 

4. Second stratum of coal, . 6 ofblaise 2 6 

6. Fire clay containing iron balls, 3 — — 

& Third stratum of coal, .18 60 2 

The lowOT stratum of coal only can be wrought by mining. The 
other seams, Nos. 2, 4, and 6, are taken in the course of working 
the rock, for which there is a brisk demand. 

In addition to the above, there are fields of coal on the south 
side of the turnpike road leading from Paisley to Beith, on the 
grounds of High Auchenlodmont, Elderslie, and Craigenfeoch. In 
this last field, 4 under seams of coal have lately been discovered ; 
the seam above these having been wrought above thirty years ago. 
In all, there are five distinct strata of coal, varying from 3^ to 5 
feet in thickness ; one of them having a stratum of gas coal of 9 
inches in thickness. These five seams of coal are at present wrought 
in separate Jofts or storeys. The three under strata have, how« 
ever, been frequently joined in one mass, forming a bed of coal 
upwards of 12 feet in thickness. In working, a considerable num* 
ber of men are constantly employed. The superincumbent mi- 
nerals at this place are whinstone, sandstone and blaize, or till. 

Ironttone has been extensively found in difierent parts of the 
lower division of the parish. It occurs in greatest abundance in 
the form of clay-ironstone, lenticular iron ore, and proto and per- 
sulphuret The first two of these ores occur, for the most part, in 
beds of various thickness, alternating with limestone, fire-clay, alu-> 
minous schistus, &c and are often very rich in metal. About thirty 
years ago, many hundred tons were annually sent from the parish 
to the smelting furnaces of Clyde iron- works. Ores of iron are 
still found in considerable quantities at Hawkhead, Hurlet, Black- 
hall, Sacel, &c and at most localities where there are beds of coal 
or lime. It occurs most frequently in the form of rounded masses 
of a moderate degree of magnitude, and very frequently of a len- 
ticular form. These contain often beautiful specimens of Camu 
amnumiij Ajwrniasj Produdusj 4*c. in a state of very perfectpreserva- 
tion. In other instances, the specimens are divided by septa of 
calcareous matter, or are filled with beautiful crystallized per- 
sulphurets of iron. At Hurlet, betwixt the aluminous schbtus and 
main seam of coal, a thin irregular layer of pyrites is sometimes 



Digitized by 



Google 



154 RENFREWSHIRE. 

found, not exceeding 2 inches in thickness. It is also found Very 
generally imbedded in the coals, in round balls. Both the proto and 
persulphuret of iron are abundant in the sandstone, coal, and alu- 
minous schistus. 

Aluminous schist is abundant at Hurlet, and probably also in 
other localities. At Hurlet, it lies beneath a bed of limestone, and 
rests on coal. It contains much proto-sulphur of iron, and is 
employed in the manufacture of the sulphurets of alumina and 
iron. The stratum of aluminous schist varies in thickness from 
6 inches to 3 feet and a-half. When first exposed by the removal 
of the subjacent coal, it is in the form of a hard compact rock, is 
quarried with difficulty, and is composed for the most part of 
proto-sulphuret of iron, sdumina, and coaly matter. Soon after 
the coal is temoved from the pit, (especially if there be little cir- 
culation of air^) the inferior surface of the schist becomes covered 
with an efflorescence, which after the lapse of some time is found 
to penetrate through its whole thickness, splitting the rock into 
laminae, and thus rendering it easily quarried. After a still longer 
period of time, it falls to the bottom of the mine by its own gra- 
vity, and from its light and spongy texture is termed chaff by the 
workmen. It then consists of minute whitish or greenish colour- 
ed fibres of the sulphurets of alumina and iron. Besides these sul« 
phurets the Hurlet mines occasionally produce specimens of the 
native sulphates of magnesia and of soda; the former of these 
in the shape of beautiful crystalline fibres. Its constituent parts 
in the fully decomposed state have been found as follows : 

Water, - 45 per cent 

Sulphur, - 25 

CUy^ - 10 

Oxide of iron, - 20 

100 

Fireclay occurs abundantly throughout the lower division of 
the parish. Its colour varies, being sometimes of a lead, at other 
times of a nut-brown colour. It is generally compact, hard, and 
capable of resisting a very high temperature. It generally assumes 
the form of beds or layers above and under coal, lime, &c. and 
often contains ironstone balls in considerable quantities. 

Bituminous shah occurs in great quantities, alternating with 
sandstone, limestone, coal, and ironstone ; its layers varying from 
one-eighth of an inch to ten inches and upwards in thickness. It 
contains innumerable impressions of reeds and bivalve shells, par- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY- 156 

iicularly the Pedunculaia mytiUoides and Nucula aitentuUaj as at 
the mines of Blackball. 

Greenstone, or, as it is provincially called, tohinstane, occurs in- 
beds forming part of the coal measures at High Craig, Craigen- 
feoch, Elderslie, and near Seedbill mills, Paisley, This occur- 
rence, by no means common, is also to be found in Kilbarchan 
and Lochwinnoch. In some instances, as at Hallhill, the green- 
stone is conformable to the stratified rocks of the coal measures, 
but in other instances it overlies these rocks in an unconfor* 
mable position, as at High Craig and Craigenfeoch. This rock is 
most frequently of a bluish-grey colour, fine grained, and breaks 
v^ith a fracture more or less splinty and conchoidal. At Ladykirk, 
near Seedhills, the rock lies only a few feet below the sur&ce^ 
and has been wrought for many years to the depth of perhaps 30 
or 40 feet In this locality, the rock is traversed b^ numerous 
veins of calcareous matter, in which small cavities are frequently 
found, lined with crystals of silex, carbonate of lime, and mam- 
millary concretions of that mineral. Not unfrequently, there are to 
be found druses lined with crystals of carbonate of lime, and 
containing a bituminous substance of a colour and consistency 
closely resembling that of soft soap. In the recent state it is so 
transparent as to admit of subjacent objects being distinctly seen 
through it ; but after exposure to the air, it by and bye assumes 
a firmer and more wax-like consistence, but retains its transparency. 
Its lustre is resinous ; its feel soft and greasy ; its smell strongly 
bituminous, and somewhat resembling oil of amber. Its specific 
gravity is about 0.910. When heated, it melts, boils, and diffuses 
a whitish fragrant vapour. It is not remarkably inflammable, but 
when kindled burns with a light resembling that of a common 
candle. It readily dissolves in spirit of turpentine. In naphtha 
from coal tar it becomes fluid, and remains like a drop of olive oil 
at the bottom of the vessel in which the experiment is made. In 
sulphuric ether, alcohol, ammonia, caustic potash, the fixed oils, 
and the sulphuric, nitric, and muriatic acids, it remains unaltered. 
It differs in colour, consistence, and inflammability, from the mi^ 
neral oil of Professor Jameson, though it is certainly a variety of 
that substance. It is held in high estimation by the quarriers, as 
a healing salve ; and when procured is carefully stored up, and 
applied as a specific for cuts and bruises. 

At the farm of Arkleston, a basaltic rock of a rather curious 
tuiaceous character occurs, rising from 20 to 30 feet above the 



Digitized by 



Google 



166 RENFREWSHIRE. 

level of the plain* The rock is rapidly assuming an earthy ap- 
pearance. It contains considerable masses of a black, friable, and 
coally looking substance, easily reduced to powder between the 
fingers, leaving a carbonaceous stain. * 

Blue day abounds almost everywhere in the lower department 
of the parish. Indeed, the whole plain to the north of the hill 
called Oakshaw seems to consist of an immense basin of this use- 
ful deposit, in many places not less than 18 feet in thickness. It 
is for the most part soft and unctuous to the touch, and is exten- 
sively used in the manufacture of brick and tile. The greater part 
of this clay is pure, containing very few foreign substances, but 
near the bottom of the basin it assumes a muddy character, and 
incloses innumerable marine shells in a state of perfect preserva- 
tion, and retaining their gelatinous and albuminous parts ; as also 
rounded pieces of quartz, limestone, schist, &c A mass of shingle 
or loose water*wom gravel often occurs below this clay, and, for 
the most part^ rests on a bed of fire clay, sandstone, &c. 

Potter^s clay has been found about a mile to the south-west of 
Paisley, on the Brediland estate, where a pottery for the manufac- 
ture of coarse earthen-ware has been for some time carried on. 

Massy grmmd is abundant in the lower division of the parish ; 
but the peat moss, which in 1719 covered 300 acres, is now nearly 
all reclaimed. This moss lies upon a bed of gravel and rounded 
pebbles, incumbent on an extensive basin of blue clay. In the 
Paisley moss, the little that remains of the peat is light, and of a 
spongy texture. The peats are composed of the preserved roots, 
stems, and branches of Ericas^ Sphagnums^ and other heath 
plants, intermixed with twigs of birch, oak, furze, &c* The roots 
and tall straight branchless stems of large oak trees are abundant 
in these mossy districts, all deeply imbedded, but retaining almost 
their primitive hardness, and coloured to their centra of an inky 
blackness, from the bog-iro|i held in solution by the water, and 
retained by the spongy nature of the soil. These stems are uni- 
formly of a conical form at their base, and almost universally lie 
in a north-easterly direction. Their tall, tapering, and almost 
branchless forms, prove that they have formed part of an old and 
thickly growing wood, which, as various relics prove, has in part 

* In the former Statistical Account, notice is taken of a substance somewhat ami- 
lar being found in other places. " A bituminous substance is found both in the 
limestone and wbinstone quarries. It drops in a fluid state fiom the limestone at 
Blackball ; in that at Hurlet it is found solid, sometimes so indurated as t« be britlle, 
sometimes so soft as to be cut with a knife, in both cases highly in flammable. "•-» Vol. 
vii. p 83. 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 157 

been cutdown by man, and in paii^ having attained its natural peviod, 
bas yielded to the force of the strongest and most prevailing blast* 
Branches of birch are also very abundant They retain their na- 
tural colour, in general are qpongy and flattened, but their cuticle 
remains fresh, glistening, and apparently unaltered. 

To the north-east of Paisley, on the farm of Gallowhill, a 
quarry has of Ute been wrought in an extensive bed of schistose 
rook, lying almost horizontally about 3 feet below the surface. Its 
colour is dark grey, approaching to black. Its texture is compact 
and fiue-graioed, and it readily splits into layers, but is with diflB- 
culty broken across. Its fracture is splintery and rather conchoi- 
daL It is composed of about 32 per cent, of carbonate of lime; 
47 of sand ; 9 of alumina; and about the same proportion of car- 
bonate of lime. This rock abounds in beautiful specimens of many 
genera and species of ferns, as also of shells, chiefly Terdn'a'* 
tuUBj NucukBf and Otikocerites. * The layer of till immediately 
above this rock for several ioches closely resembles fuller's earth. 

Mam^iMcture of MineraU* — The coal in the estate of Hawk- 
head has been wrought for upwards of 300 years, and that in 
Househill estate for 38 years, and is nearly exhausted in both of 
these properties ; but in the estate of Nether Polloc, where the coal 
has been recently opened up, there is still an extensive field un- 
touched, with the accompanying strata of aluminous schist us and 
limestone, all of which are extensively wrought by Messrs John 
Wilson and Sons, who hold them in lease from Sir John Maxwell 
H)f Nether Polloc Ironstone abounds at Hurlet, and the work- 
ing of it has recently been begun with activity by Messrs Wilsons, 
who have now upwards of 100 miners and other workmen em- 
ployed in this branch alone. The manufacture of sulphate of iron 
or copperas was introduced into Scotland by Messrs Nicolsoo and 
Lightbody of Liverpool, who established their works at Hurlet in 
the year 1753, having previously secured by contract a supply of 
die pyrites and other material fit for their processes, found in work- 
ing the coal, at 2^ per hutch of 200 weight. A similar establish- 
ment for manufacturing copperas was begun at Nitsbill in 1807, 
where it is still carried on by Messrs Wilson and Sons, who also 
in the year 1820, purchased the old copperas works at Hurlet, 
which were then converted into an extensive manufactory of alum 
by Mr Wilson Junior, the managing partner of that company. 

* Two species li>und liere, belonging to a rare genus, are described by Dr Souler 
in HKniMon's Records of General Science, Vol. i« 



Digitized by 



Google 



158 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The manufacture of alum was also first iutroduced into Scotland 
by Nicolson and Lightbody, who prepared considerable quantities 
of that article at their works at Hurlet in the years 1766 and 1767; 
but their process being defective^ the manii&cture was abandoned 
in 1768-9; and it was not till the year 1797, (when works were 
erected at Hurlet by Mr Mackintosh of Crossbasket, and Mr Wil- 
son of 1 hornly, and their partners) that the manu&cture of alum 
was successfully established ; but since that period the works now 
mentioned, as well as that established in 1820, under the manage- 
ment of Mr Wilson Junior, have been producing a large and 
steady annual supply of alum, manufactured on correct chemical 
principles. 

The extent of the various mining and chemical operations of 
Messrs John Wilson and Sons, all situated in this parish, will be 
best understood by the following statement, shewing the quantity of 
minerals turned out, and alum and copperas manufactured by that 
company for one year, namely, from Whitsunday 1835, till Whit* 
Sunday 1836 ; viz. 1. Minerals turned out during the year men- 
tioned, from the lands of Haugh, on the estate of Nether Polloc» 

Coal, - - 42,554 Tons, 

Limestone, - 4,931 

Aluminous Schistus, - 6,701 

Turned out in one year, 53,186 Tons. 

The whole of this large quantity was turned out from a single 
shaft or pit at Haugh. 

2. The quantity of alum and copperas manufactured by the 
same company during the year was, • 

Alum made at the work at Hurlet, formerly belonging to Nicholsons 

and Lightbody, - - 1200 Tons, 

Copperas made by them at Nitshill, . 300 

Manufactured in one year, - 1500 Tons. 

Large quantities of muriate of potash and sulphate of ammonia 
are also manufactured by the company, in connection with their 
alum process. The former article is extracted from kelp, and the 
latter is prepared from the ammonia liquor produced at the gas- 
works in Glasgow ; from whence it is conveyed to the alum-works 
by the Paisley and Glasgow Canal, and by the Hurlet Railway ; 
by which modes of conveyance, the greatest portion of H^irlet mi* 
nerals and alum and copperas are also sent to the markets of 
Glasgow and Paisley. The number of men employed by Messrs 
Wilson and Sons in the various operations, at and near Hurlet, 
is at present 380, and may* be divided thus: 



3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 159 

ToUiers and miners and other workmen employed at Haugh coal-pit, 144 

Lime' blowers and other workers of lime there, - - 29 

Miners of aluminous scfaistus there, - - • 10 

Workmen employed manufacturing alum and copperas at Hurlet and Nitshill, 81 

Workmen employed at ironstone pits and mines at Hurlet. 1 16 

Total, 380 

The wages of the above workmen are, miners from Ss. 4d. to 
4s. per day, with houses, fires, and gardens, free of rent or other 
jcharge; labourers and others are paid from Is. lOd. to 2s. dd. per 
day, and are not allowed houses and fires free. 

There are in the employment of the company upwards of forty 
horses engaged at the works, or in conveying the minerals and other 
produce to Glasgow and Paisley. 

The operatives employed at the other works at Hurlet and Nits* 
hill, conducted by Mr Mackintosh, may amount to about 200 more, 
and they reside principally in the immediate neighbourhood. From 
the nature and extent of these works both above and below ground, 
the men are exposed frequently to fatal accidents. To provide 
against distress arising from such contigencies, a friendly society 
was established in 1811, which has done and promises to do much 
good. In a population of nearly 1000 souls within the boundaries 
of these works, 100 pupils are reported to be attending school, 
where the elements of reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught 
and where the teacher, encouraged by the friends of education and 
of youth, devotes himself on week-days and on Sabbath-days, to 
the moral and religious training of his charge. 

There is still too much ground for the remark of the learned 
author of Caledonia. ^^ Ironstone seems to be universally found 
within every division of Renfrewshire : * But we hear nothing of any 
iron work. It is, however, more than probable, that in a shire 
which abounds with water for driving machinery, and has plenty 
of coal, iron works of every kind will be established, and will be of 
importance, in proportion to the capital that may be employed ; so 
as to furnish employment more steadily to an industrious people." * 
We have much pleasure in closing this account with the following 
remarks from Mr Wilson's excellent Agricultural Survey of Ren- 
fewshire : ^^ In many places where this division of Renfrewshire is 
intersected by the rivers White Cart and Gryfe, and the rivulets 

* In the lands of Blackball the property of Sir M. S. Stewart, M. P., valuable 
beds of iron ore hare been within these few weeks discovered ; and Sir W. Milli- 
ken Napier, Bart, of Milliken (Kilbarchan parish,) has lately made a similar dis- 
covery on his estate. 

t Caledonia, Vol. iii. p. 767. 



Digitized by 



Google 



160 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Levern and Locher, imtneDse quantities of iroDstone may be 
observed cropping out on the banks of those streams. The de- 
tached ironstone bands and balls, which are to be found as con- 
comitant strata of almost all the coal-works in the county, «re also 
worthy of notice." ^^ It is therefore highly probable that a mineral 
which the county contains in such profusion, will in some future 
period be held in higher estimation, prove an addition to the wealth 
and importance of this county,, and give a new spring to the in- 
genuity and exertion of its inhabitants." * 

Botany.f — Tlie surface of the Abbey parish, being considerably 
deversified with hill and heath, wood and glen^ fields of various 
soils, marshes, and running waters, it necessarily presents many 
congenial habitats for wild plant& The hills are not, however, suf- 
ficiently high to produce any decidedly characteristic effect upon 
their Flora : nor is the parish so circumstanced as that it can boast 
of the particular plants to be found near the sea- shore. The num- 
ber, therefore, of what may be termed rare plants may not be so 
numerous as in some localities, yet their variety is amply sufficient 
both to interest and to instruct the student of nature. 

The high grounds in the parish, known by the name of Stane- 
ley, Gleniffer, and Femeeze hills, which consist entirely of por- 
phyritic and other trap rocks, whose soil is, for the most part, of 
a moorish nature, and which slope towards the north, are in many 
places covered with the Ulex, Cytisus, and Pteris aquilina, but, on 
certain dry and sheltered localities, the following among many other 
plants occur, viz. Epipactis latifolia, Listera ovata, Gymnadenia 
conopsea, Jasione montana, Erythrsea Centaurium, Gentiana cam- 
pestris. Campanula rotundifolia, Vaccinium Myrtillus, Gnaphalium 
dioicum and minimum, Viola canina, lutea, and tricolor, &c. On 
the more marshy grounds the Orchis maculata, mascula and lati- 
folia are abundant, together with Parnassia, Ajuga, Comarum, Eu- 
phrasia, Pedicularis, Cardamine, various species of Ranunculus, Po- 
lygala vulgaris of various colours, and Prunella vulgaris, both blue 
and white. 

In the high mossy districts, the Calluna vulgaris, Erica tetralix, 
Vaccinium Oxycoccos, Narthecium Ossifragum, Pinguicula vulga- 
ris, Drosera rotundifolia, and in Paisley moss, D. longifolia, where 

• Wilson's Survey, p. 26. 

'*' The notices respecting the Botany and Zoology of the parish have been ftirnished 
by Dr A. R. Young, formerly of this town, but now resident at Dunoon,— «n in- 
dividual distinguished for his knowledge in both of these departmenU of natural 
science. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 161 

abo Andromeda palyfolia used to abound, but has of late years 
been totally eradicated. Two species of Eriophonun^ and several 
species of Carex, Schoenus, Scirpus, and Juncus; also Poly trichum, 
Cenomyce, Sphagnum, and other Cryptogamia, abound in the mos^ 
sy districts of the high and low grounds. 

In the glens and shady places are to be found the Lysimachia 
nemoruro, and nummularia; Chrysoplenium altemifolium, and 
oppositifolium; Circea Lutetiana, Adoxa moschatellina, Oxalis ace- 
tosella, Mercurialis perennis, Asperula odorata, Primula vulgaris 
and veris. Lychnis dioica, occasionally with white odoriferous 
flowers, Scolopendrium vulgare, and several species of Polypodium, 
Aspidium, and Asplenium. The Epilobium angustifolium occurs 
at Gleniffer Glen, and Trollius Europaeus at Bundrain, in the west 
of the parish. 

Among the rubbish of several old limestone and other quarries, 
thefoUowing plants aremet with, viz. Reseda luteola, Teucrium Sco- 
Todonia, Pyrethrum parthenium and inodorum, Artemisia vulgaris, 
and#Tanacetum vulgare. On the walls of Staneley Castle, the 
Parietaria officinalis, Fumaria capreolata and claviculata, are to 
be met with ; and on the old walls of gardens and fields, the Arabis 
Thaliana, Draba vema, Sedum villosum and acre, are not uncom- 
mon. In an old \^all near Dundonald, the Grammitis Ceterach 
occurs in considerable abundance, together with many species of 
native ferns. On way sides, in two or three localities, the Lamium 
album and purpureum, Sherardia arvensis, Bartsia Odontites, Hy- 
pericum perforatum, humi&sum, quadranguhim, hirsutum and puU 
chrum, Nq)eta cataria. Antirrhinum linaria, Arctium lappa, both 
cottony and smooth. In grain fields, the Anagallis arvensis and 
cerulea, Picris hieracioides, Chrysanthemum segetum and leucan* 
themum, and Agrostemma Githago are not uncommon, but the 
Centaurea cyanus and Papaver Rhaeas are but seldom seen in the 
parish. On pasture grounds in the lower part of the parish the 
Apargia hispida and autumnalis, and Ononis arvensis occur. In se- 
veral of the burying grounds the Conium maculatum is abundant; 
and at Meikleriggs farm, the Myrrhis odorata has grown vigorous- 
ly and abundantly for many years. 

On the banks of the rivers, ditches, and in marshy ground, the 
Sparganium ramosum, Typha latifolia, Lythrum salicaria, Doro- 
nicum pardalianches, Irispseudacorus, Valeriana officinalis. Spiraea 
ulmaria. Geranium pratense, Scrophularia aquatica and nodosa 
Symphytum tuberosum and officinale, Myosotis palustris, Phellan- 



Digitized by 



Google 



162 RENFREWSHIRE. 

drium aquaticum, Barbarea vulgaris, Nasturtium officinale, Meny« 
anthes trifoliata, Caltha palustris, and Petasites vulgaris, are all to 
be found, some of them in great abundance. In Black Cart and 
some reservoirs of water, the Nymphea alba may be seen ; the Nu- 
phar lutea. Ranunculus lingua, aquatilis, and hederaceus, Alisma 
plantago and ranunculoides, Polygonum amphibium and Hydropi- 
per, and several species of Potamogeton, are by no means uncom* 
mon. 

In the shade of woods and coppices, the Anemone nemorosa, 
Hyacinthus non-scriptus, Sanicula Europae, Stachys sylvatica, 
Habenaria viridis, Betonica officinalis, Fragaria vesca, are fre- 
quent : while the Solanum dulcamara. Convolvulus sepium, and 
many other plants, are found taking advantage of the support and 
shelter of the hedge. 

Several extensive woods and plantations occur throughout the 
parish, besides numerous ornamental clumps and belts for affording 
shelter. On the high grounds, these clumps and belts consist for 
the most part of birch, larch, spruce, silver and Scotch firs. On the 
low grounds, on the contrary, the hard woods are more frequently 
planted in like situations, such as the oak, elm, plane, horse-chest- 
nut, ash, &c intermingled with some of the more showy, though 
less valuable species. These are always nursed for several years 
with speedy growing deciduous trees, as the various poplars, and 
also with such evergreens as the spruce and Scdtch firs : these are 
removed from time to time, as the more valuable trees enlarge. 

Zoology. — The following mammalia are to be found in the Ab- 
bey parish and vicinity : — Vespertilio murinus, and more rarely, as 
at Crookston Castle, Rhinolophus Hipposideros and Plecotus au- 
ritus. The Erinaceus Europaeus, Talpa Europsea, sometimes of a 
white colour, are numerous. The Sores araneus is common, the 
fodiens somewhat rare. The Mustela vulgaris, and sometimes M. 
putorius, are killed. The Meles taxus, Lutra vulgaris, Felis ca- 
tus, and Martes fagorum, have also been killed within the parish, 
but must be considered as very uncommon. The Mus musculus, 
sylvaticus, and decumanus, are very abundant, as is also the Arvicola 
aquatica. The Delphinus Phocaana and orca are said to have been 
seen in the White Cart in pursuit of fish. 

The indigenous reptiles are not numerous. The most common are 
Vipera communis, Triton aquations and vulgaris, Rana tempo- 
raria, and Bufo vulgaris. The Lacerta agilis and Anguis fragilis, 
have both been taken on the Gleniffer hills, but are very rare. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEV. 163 

The following birds have been seen or killed in the parish, or its 
immediate vicinity, viz. Perdix cinerea, Lagopus Scoticus, and oc- 
casionally on the high grounds, Tetrao tetrix, and Coturnix vulga- 
ris. The Coluniba Palumbus is abundant. The most common 
birds of prey are the Buteo Nisus, and Palumbarius, Falco ^salon^ 
and Circus cyaneus, but the Falco peregrinus and Tinnunculus, 
and Buteo vulgaris and aeruginosus, have also been killed. The 
Aluco flammeas, and Strix stridula, are not unfrequently seen, but 
the Otus vulgaris and brachyotusare to be considered as rare birds 
in the parish. Between the 8th and 18th of April, the Hirundo 
riparia, rustica, and urbica, make their appearance ; the first, gene- 
rally by the 9th, while the Cypselus Apus seldom arrives till the end 
of the month. By the beginning of October, they take their depar- 
ture. The Turdus viscivorus, musicus, and Morula, are common, 
the torquatus is rare, but the T. pilaris and iliacus, are regular 
winter visitants. The Caprimulgus Europseus, Muscicapa grisola^ 
Sylvia rubicola and Phoenicurus visit the parish in summer ; the S. 
rubecula continues throughout the year, our earliest songster in 
spring, and the last in autumn. The following summer-birds are 
occasionally seen : Curruca sylvia, sylviella, locustella, hortensis^ 
sibilatrix, atricapilla, and Regulus trochilus. The Accentor mo- 
dularis, Troglodytes vulgaris, and Regulus cristatus, remain in the 
parish the whole year, as also the Motacilla alba and boarula; the 
M. flava is to be seen only during the summer months. The Loxia 
curvirostra, Pyrrhula vulgaris, Stumus vulgaris, are all regular vi- 
sitants. The Alauda arvensis, Emberiza citrinella, miliaria, Schoe- 
niculus are common ; the E. cirlus and nivalis, visit only in the win*- 
ter months. The Parus major, caeruleus, caudatus, and palustris, 
Pyi^ita domestica, FringiUa coelebs, cannabina, linaria, and cardue^ 
lis, are all abundant, except the last species, which is seen only oc- 
casionally. On the Argyleshire coast, they are very numerous, coming 
to the shore in large flocks during frosty weather. The Alcedo 
ispida, Certhia iamiliaris, and Garrulus glandarius, are rare birds ; 
the first has frequently been observed on the banks of the rivers, and 
the two last in the woods of Crookston. The Pica caudata, Cor- 
vus frugilegus and monedula are common ; the C. corone and cor- 
nix very rare. In April, the Cuculus canorus pays his annual visit, 
and takes his departure in July. On the river banks, the Ardea 
cinerea, Rallus aquaticus, Gallinula chloropus and porzona, Fuli- 
ca atra, Totanus fuscus, macularia, and hypoleucos, are frequent- 
ly observed. The T. glareola, calidris, and glottis, are compara-^ 
tively rare. The Numenius arquata, Tringa alpina, and sometimes 



Digitized by 



Google 



164 RENFREWSHIRF. 

in winter, T. ininuta» have been killed in the parish. The Scolo- 
pax gallinago and gallinula are sometimes observed, as also & rus- 
ticola. The Vanellus cristatus, Squatarola cinerea, Charadrius 
pluvialis and morinellus, are all regular summer visitors. From the 
proximity of the parish to the Frith of Clyde, several aquatic birds 
are occasionally seen^ especially in stormy weather and during win- 
ter ; such as Anas Boschas, crecca, and penelope, Clangula vulga- 
ris, Larus canus, argentatus, fuscus, ridibundus, and rissa ; Cata** 
ractes vulgaris, Puffinus Anglorum, Stemo hirundo, Alca torda. 

The fishes commonly met with in the Black and White Cart 
consist of the Petromyzon fiuviatilis, Salmo salar, fario, and trut- 
ta; occasionally Osmerus eperlanus, Thymallus vulgaris, and the 
small fry of Clupea harengus. The Esox lucius, Leuciscus rutilus 
and phoxinus, Pagrus vulgaris, Perca fiuviatilis, Platessa Flesus, 
Anguilla vulgaris, Gasterosteus aculeatus, and, not unfirequently, 
the Cobitis barbatula, are all indigenous. 

The following land shells are to be found in the parish in win- 
ter, under the rubbish of old quarries and turf-capped walls, and 
in the fir plantations on the Gleniffer hills, viz. Helix aspersa, ne- 
moralis, hortensis, arbustorum, nitida, and rufescens, Vitrina pel- 
lucida, Bulimus lumbricus, Pupa muscorum and bidentata, Cary- 
chium minimum, and Balea perversa. In White Cart and Pais- 
ley canal, the Anodonta anatina is very abundant, and of large size, 
and occasionally contains well-fonped pearls. The Lymnea palus- 
tris, limosa, and fossaria, and, more rarely, the Ancylus fiuviatilis 
and Planorbis carinatus are to be found in streams of running water, 
as the GleniSer bum : the Physa fontinalis is now very rare. 

In the lower strata of the blue clay which abounds in the lower 
part of the parish, the following sea-shells occur, enveloped in a 
soft muddy clay, viz. univalves. Turbo littoreus and rudis, Nerita 
littoralis and glaucina, Fusus comeus and antiquus, also two spe- 
cies of Buccinum, not now inhabiting the adjoining seas ; toge- 
ther with numerous fragments of Patellae, Balani, Corallines, and 
Serpulae. The Bivalves consist of Cyprina Islandica of all sizes, 
Mya arenaria and truncata, Mactra lutraria, Mytilus edulis pnd 
modiola, Nucula minuta, and numerous remains of Pectens, Tel- 
linae, and Lucinae. 

In the limestone and shale found in the parish, the following 
shells and exuvia occur: Terebratula sacculus, ambigua, and cru- 
mena, Productus longispinus and Martinii, Gryphsea incurva, Nu- 
cula attenuata, Unio Urii, Pedunculata mytilloides, with many 
Entrochi, and, nurely, fragments of Ammonites and Orthooerites. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



PAISLEY. 165 

IL — Civil History. 

Hisiorical Aeemmis. — We are not aware of any MS. accounts 
of the town or parishes of Paisley. The principal sources of infor- 
mation regarding the past history and present state of Paisley are 
the following: Crawfurd's History of Renfrewshire^ first published 
IB I710;'ieptiblished with additions by William Semple, a native 
of Pabley, in 1782; and edited for the third time, with continua- 
tion and additions by George Robertson, in 1818 ; — Description of 
the Sheriffdom of Renfrew, compiled about 1810 by William Ha- 
milton of Wishaw ; and printed with illustrative notes and appen- 
dices by the Maitland Club of Glasgow, 1831 ; — Description of 
Renfrewshire by Principal Dunlop of Glasgow, published by the 
Maitland Club, 1831 ; — Chalmers's Caledonia, Vol. iii. ;-^Mr 
Wilson's Agricultural Survey; — Dr Bums on the Poor; — The 
Paisley Magazine 1818; — Historical and Descriptive Sketch of 
Paisley prefixed to the Paisley Directory of 1832-^ ; — and Swan's 
Description of the Town and Abbey of Paisley, 1835. 

Black Book ofPaUky.—The celebrated <' Black Book of Pais- 
ley" has by many been supposed to contain a history of ancient 
Paisley, or at least of its venerable monastery. It turns out to be 
nothing more than the famous ^^ Scotichronicon" of John Fordun, 
who lived about the middle of the fourteenth century, and was a 
native of the village of Fordoun, in Kincardineshire, from which 
he seems to have taken his name. He undertook the task of 
writing the chronicles of Scotland, from a laudable desire to sup- 
ply the want of those historical monuments which Edward L car- 
ried away to England. The work commences at a period nearly 
coeval with the beginning of the world, and after two books of what 
may be considered as fabulous matter, we have a very respectable 
repository of events in Scotland, from 1056 to 1153^ The first 
seven chapters of the first book contain ** a general description 
of the world and its divisions;" and then begins the history of 
Scotland. Geythelus, the son of a Grecian King, is said to have 
been banished by his father into Egypt, where he married Scota, 
the daughter of that very Pharaoh who perished in the Red Sea. 
As Moses under Divine command led the Israelites eastward, so 
Geythelus and Scota are said to have led their followers westward, 
wh«re they discovered a ^^ fitir island to the north." Geythelus 
did not live to visit it, but his son Hyber (hence Hibemid) landed 
on it, and called it Seoiia in memory of his mother ! Thus the 
venerable priest claims for his country a sufiiciently high antiquity. 



Digitized by 



Google 



166 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The second book is wholly occupied with a description of the island 
thus discovered ; and the third, fourth, and fifth books contain what 
is properly the ^^ chronicle," and it is a valuable remnant of the 
olden time. One Walter Bower or Bowmaker, as he is sometimes 
called, who became Abbot, not of St Columba, as has been sup- 
posed, but of Inchcolm, in 1418, continued the work of Fordun to 
the death of James L, 1436. The work was held in such esteem 
that various MS. copies of it were made by the inmates of diffe- 
rent monasteries in Scotland, and these generally took their names 
from the places where they were executed. Hence we have '* the 
Black Book of Scone ;" a monk of Scone having been, along with 
Bower, one of the minor continuators of Fordun. Of this MS. 
Sir James Balfour made an abstract, from which it appears to have 
been truly a copy of the original Scotichronicon. Then, we have 
the Black Book of Paisley, Magnus etniger liber PasleHj — an extract 
or copy made, it is said, first at Holyroodhouse, and afterwards pos- 
sessed by the monks at Paisley, who held it in great esteem. Then 
we have the ^^ Liber Carthusiensis" of Perth ; and the famous book 
of the Pluscardine Priory near Elgin. Of MS. copies of the *^ Sco« 
tichronicon," with its continuations, there are extant at least six ; a 
noble one in the College Library of Edinburgh, the gift of Princi* 
pal Colvil about the middle of the seventeenth century; one in the 
University Library of St Andrews ; one in the possession of the 
B^presentatives of Lord Viscount Tarbat ; one in the Cotton li- 
brary at Oxford, containing only Fordun's portion, however ; one 
in Bennett College, Cambridge ; and one in the King's Library, 
now deposited in the British Museum. This is the gennine 
^^ Black Book" of Paisley, of which we have just received the 
following notice in a letter from Joseph Stevenson, Esq. one of 
the Librarians of the British Museum. ** The volume you men- 
tion is amongst the MSS. presented by George II. to the museum 
at its foundation, and is now marked 13 E« ^ It is a fine folio 
volume upon vellum, written in the fifteenth century, and contains 
a good copy of Fordun's Scotichronicon. It was carried away 
from Scotland by Greneral Fairfax, a great collector of MS&9 
and was afterwards purchased by Charles II. for L. 100, and by 
him placed in the Library of St James's. Hearne collated it for his 
edition of Fordun, printed at Oxford in 1722, in the preface to 
which work you will find a larger account of it." We have ex* 
amined the editions of the work by Heame, by Grale, and by 
Goodall; and, while we could dispense with the fabulous parts of 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 167 

the work, we are inclined to think that a good {Inglish translation of 
the really historical parts, with the moral and political reflexions in- 
terspersed, is a desideratum in literature. It is scarcely necessary to 
add, that the sombre colour of its covering gave the name to this far- 
famed MS* At what time it changed its dress we cannot say ; 
but it is upwards of a century since Bishop Nicolson and Sir Ro- 
bert Sibbald claimed for it the epithet *^ red'' as more strictly ap- 
propriate* 

The Chartulari/ of Paisley.— Jn 1832 the Maitland Club of Glas- 
gow conferred a singular boon on the lovers of antiquarian lore, 
by the publication of the Register or Chartulary of the monastery 
of Paisley. The MS., which was presented to the club by the 
Earl of Glasgow, its noble President, is the same which was long 
in possession of the Earls of Dundonald ; and it has been collat- 
ed with the copy in possession of the Faculty of Advocates. An 
admirable prefatory dissertation has been prefixed by Cosmo Innes, 
Esq. Advocate, who edited this work. In the dissertation, various 
strange blunders of George Crawfurd have been pointed out ; and a 
most interesting view given of the genuine uses to which such mo- 
numents of other times may be applied, in illustration of the man- 
ners of the respective periods ; the genealogies of families ; and the 
authentic history of the times. 

Maptf PlanSf or Surveys of the Parish. — No plans or surveys of 
this parish distinct from the other parishes of the county have been 
published, or are known to exist An excellent map of the town and 
suburbs, on an extended scale, was drawn up and published about 
fifteen years ago by Mr Knox, and a new edition of it, with the 
necessary changes and improvements, is at present in progress 
(1887.) The engraving of Paisley in 1693^ appended to the Pais- 
ley Magazine, we have compared with the original in Sietzer's 
* '* Theatfum Scotise," and found it perfectly accurate. 

Historical Notices. — Though of comparatively recent date as a 
principal seat of British manufactures, Paisley is of venerable an- 
tiquity as a place of note. The whole of the county of Renfrew, 
in which Paisley is now the chief town, lay within the Roman pro- 
Tince of Valentia. The general voice of antiquarians assigns Pais- 
ley as the place designated by Ptolemy, the celebrated Egyp- 
tian geographer, Vanduaria. That the Romans had here a post 
of importance is unquestionable. Principal Dunlop wrote his 
description of Renfrewshire about the end of the seventeenth 
century, and has given the following account : ^^ That the Ro- 

RENFREW. M 



Digitized by 



Google 



168 RENFREWSHIRE. 

inans came this length" (to ReDfrewshire) '^ is more than pro« 
bable; for as there are in many places, from the one end of 
Clydesdale to the other, visible, undeniable vestiges, for whole 
miles of way together, of an old Roman street, from Erickstane, 
in the head of Eusdale, to Maul's Mire, at this end where it 
bordereth this shire, (called this day Watline Street,* corruptly 
for Vitellian or Vitellius' Street,) so there are continued ves- 
tiges of their being" (having been) ^^ in this shire ; for at Pasley, 
there is a large Roman camp to be seen. The prsetorium or in* 
nermost part of the camp is on the west end of a rising ground or 
little hill called Oakshawhead, on the south-east descent of which 
standeth the town of Pasley. The prsetorium is not very lai^, 
but hath been well fortified with three fouss^es and dikes of earth, 
which must have been large, when to this day their vestiges are so 
great that men on horseback will not see over them. The camp 
itself hath been great and large, it comprehending the whole hilL 
There are vestiges on the north side of the fouss^ and dike, 
whereby it appears that the camp reached to the river of Cart. On 
the north side, the dike goeth alongst the foot of the hill ; and if 
we allow it to have gone so far, on the other side, it hath enclosed 
all the space of ground on which the town of Pasley stands, and it 
may be guessed to be about a mile in compass. Its situation was 
both strong and pleasant ; overlooking the whole country. I ba:ve 
not heard that any have been so curious as to dig the groond into 
the prsetorium : but when they tread upon it, it giiees a sound as if 
it were hollow below, where belike there are some of their vaults. 
Near to this camp, about a quarter of a mOe, stand two other rises 
or little hills, the one to the west, the other to the south, which, 
with this, make almost a triangular form, where have been sta- 
tions for the outer guards. The vestiges of these appear, and make 
them little larger than the prsetorium of the other camp, of the 
same form, without any other fortification than a fouss^ anddike."f 

* The Roman road here referred to is that from Carlisle to Paisley. SlauUmyrt 
is on the estate of Castlemilk, and not for from Ruthei^len, and there the remains of 
an ancient causeway are to be traced, although Chalmers is of opinion that antiqua- 
rians have not been very successful in connecting it either with the Roman road to 
Paisley, or with the Rioman road through Clydesdale. There seems no reason lo 
doubt, however, that from Glasgow, a branch of the great Carlisle way diverged to 
the left and went across the country to Vanduaria, (Paisley,) Gordon (Itin, Sept.) 
traced it in 1725 ; and Horsley soon after. Chalmers, VoL i. p. 138. There is lit- 
tle doubt that the weU known street of Paisley, called Camtewaytide Street, must 
have taken its name fit>m its following the track of, or running contiguous to the old 
Roman causeway. In Bleau's map (1634) Cautmaydd appears as a small dachan at 
some little distance from the town, and deriving its name from the Roman road near it. 

t In Bishop Gibson^s additions to Camden's account of the country formerly poi- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 169 

When Waher the first Stewart founded a monastery at Paisley, 
in 1 16d> there does not appear to have been any village at the 
place.^ The monastery was planted on the eastern bank of the 
White Cart ; and opposite to it, on the western bank of that river, 
there gradually arose a village, which, as it stood on the lands of 
the monastery, belonged to the monks. It was inhabited almost en- 
tirely by the retainers of the monastery, and, till a comparatively 
modem period, was limited in extent and population. Hamilton of 
Wishaw gives the following ac^^ount of it about the beginning of 
last century : ** The most considerable place in this jurisdiction, 
and where the Sheriff- Court and court of Regality usually sits, is 
Pasley, the seat of a very considerable and ancient monasterie, si- 
tuat upon the water of Kert, some few miles above, where it falls 
into Clyde, in a pleasant, fertile, and rich soile ; to which boats can 
come from the sea to the bridge of Paisley, where the water of 
Kert dirideth between the Abbacy and the town of Pasley, which is 
a very pleasant and well built little town, plentifully prorided with 
fldl sorts of grain, fruitts, coalls, peats, fishes, and what else is pro- 
per for the comfortable use of man, or can be expected in any 
other place of the kingdom," *f- 

In the time of Crawfurd, Paisley consisted but of one principal 
street with some divergent lanes, containing in all perhaps 2000 in- 
habitants. 

History cotd Constitution of the Burgh. — The town of Paisley is 
in form a burgh of barony. The lands now constituting the 
buigh were, prerious to the erection thereof, held by the Abbot 
and convent of the monastery of Paisley, of the order of Cluny, 
in libera regalitaU. 

Four charters, of date ISth January 1451, conferring numerous 
pririleges, granted by James IL, << monasterio de Pasleto," are to 
be found on record. 

In the first year of the reign of King James IV., the burgh, 
formerly a regality, was erected into a free burgh of barony. The 
privileges contained in the charter were granted to the inhabit- 
ants: but the lordship of erection, including the power of appoint- 
ing a provost, baillies, and other office-bearers, was given to the 
abbot and his successors. 



I by the Celtic tribe of the Damnii, we hsre » description of the Roman camp at 
Pauley, to the same eflPect, and nearly in the same words with the above account of 
the PnncipaL We think it therefore quite unnecessary to insert it here. 

* See Chartulary of Pairiey, printed by the Maitland Club, Nos. ii. rii. &o. appen- 
dix. 

t Volume of Maidand Club for 1881, p. 73. 



Digitized by 



Google 



170 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The narrative of this charter is illustrative of the history of the 
abbacy of Paisley. It proceeds on " the consideration of the sin- 
gular devotion which his Majesty had to his glorious confessor, 
St Mirrinus, and his monastery of Paisley, founded by his Ma- 
jesty's most noble progenitors, (where most of the bodies of his 
ancestors are buried and rest,) and on account of the singular fa- 
vour and love which his Majesty bore to the venerable father in 
Christ, George Schaw, then abbot of the said monastery, a coun- 
cillor much beloved for his faithful attachment, repeatedly shown, 
by the said venerable father, to the King, in times that are past ; 
and chiefly on account of the virtuous education and very dear 
upbringing of the King's brother, James Duke of Ross, in his 
tender age." The date of this charter is 20th August 148a 

On the 2d June 1490, a feu charter and confirmation, with an 
extensive enumeration of privileges, was granted by the abbot and 
convent in favour of the provost, baillies, burgesses, and commu«> 
nity of the burgh. 

In the tenth year of his reign, and on thfe dd January 1576, 
King James VL granted to the burgh a *' charter de omnibus 
altaragiis, capelariis, terris firmis, &c." which appears to be the 
foundation of the right of patronage in the burgh first exercised 
by the Abercom and Dundonald families, and afterwards acquir- 
ed by the magistrates and council from Lord Dundonald in 17d3» 

It is well known that at the Reformation, towards the end of 
the sixteenth century, the monasteries of Scotland were suppres- 
sed, and their revenues seized bj the crown, which the Govern- 
ment, in most cases, effected, by concluding a bargain with the 
heads of religious establishments, and prevailing with (or rather 
compelling,) them to resign the same into the hands of the crown 
or its donators. 

Sir Thomas Hope, who was Advocate to Charles I. and has al- 
ways been regarded as a writer of most respectable authority, 
states, *^ that on the 6th of the ides of December 1653, John 
Hamilton, natural son of James Earl of Arran, who was then Ab- 
bot of Paisley and Bishop of Dunkeld, and afterwards Archbi- 
diop of St Andrews, with the Queen's consent, {reservatis sAi 
JhictibuSfJ resigned the abbacy, comprehending the lordship of 
erection of the burgh, in favour of Lord Claud Hamilton, a child 
of ten years of age, notwithstanding that it is expressed in the 
bulls of Pope Julius, that he was fourteen years old. This Lord 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 171 

Claud was third son of James, Duke of Cliatelfaerault, Governor 
of Scotland. 

'* He adhered to Queen Mary's interest, and was at the field of 
Langside, in the year 1568, for which he was forfeited, and Pais- 
ley, then in the crown's hands, was bestowed by the Regent upon 
Robert, son to William, Lord Sempill, heritable bail lie of Pais- 
ley, and justiciary of that regality ; but Lord Claud being after- 
wards restored to his fortune, was, in the year 1591, by the favour 
%^ King James VL, created Lord Paisley." 

The charter here alluded to, uniting the abbacy and its appen- 
dages into a temporal lordship and barony, in the person of Lord 
Claud Hamilton, with the title of Lord Paisley, is to be found on 
record, dated 22d March 1591. 

In 1659^ James, second Earl of Abercorn, who succeeded his 
&tber, created first Earl in 1606, disponed the abbacy, and with 
it the lordship of erection of the burgh of Paisley, in favour, first 
of the Earl of Angus, and immediately after, in favour of William 
Lord Cochran, of Paisley and Dundonald, who appears by the 
records to have obtained a crown charter thereof, on 14th July 
1662. * 

Previous to obtaining said charter, William, Lord Cochran, and 
William, Master of Cochran, his eldest son, entered into a con- 
tract with the magistrates and council of the burgh Sd May 1658^ 
wherein his Lordship and son profess their desire ^^ to preserve and 
keep entire the whole forms, freedoms, privileges, liberties, and 
immunities of the burgh, and to corroborate, strengthen, and aug- 
ment the same, for the better thriving and flourishing of the burgh.'' 
Moved by these considerations, ^^ and for certain sums of money, 
paid and delivered to them," they sold, reuounced, and overgave, 

* The first Earl of Aberoorn, ** a man of extraordioary acoomplishment8,"acoord- 
inff to Hamilton of Wishaw, died at Moncktoun, in Ayrshire, on the 23d of March 
1618. The following extract from his last will and testament affords a pleasing in. 
stance of fiuth and pious resignation :— 

** I committ my saul in ye holie handis of my guid God and merciful Father, fra 
quhome, throw ye ricbteous meritis of Christ Jesus, I luik to ressave it again at ye 
glorious resurectionne, joynit wt yis same body,— «qlk heir I leif to sleip and be 
bureit, gif so it pleis God, in ye sepulcher, qr my brethir, my sisteris, and baimes 
lyis, in yc tyll eaUit St Mirreinis lyll, at ye south heid of ye croce churche of Pas- 
lay ; trusting assuredly to rys at yt blissit resurrectione to lyf eternell. I desyre 
that yr be no Taine nor glorios seremonie vsit at my buriell, raying (crying) ho- 
nouris, hot yt my. corps be karayit to ye gn»re, be some of my most honorabill and 
uerittt friendis with my baimis, &c.** The whole of this testament is recorded in 
the Commissary Register of Glai^w, and the above is taken from the edition of 
Hamilton's work, printed from the original MS. by the Maitland Club, p. 75. ** St 
Minings lyll" is the fiir.&med sounding aisle of Paisley ; the burying-place of the 
Abercorn family ; and where several of the royal line of Stewart He in deep repose. 



Digitized by 



Google 



172 RENFREWSHIRE. 

in favour of the bailies, council, treasurer, and community, all 
right of superiority >>f the burgh, and feu*duties and casualties, 
formerly payable to them from the same, with the right of elect- 
ing magistrates, &c. to the effect that the said burgh, freedom, li- 
berties, and privileges of the same, may, in all time coming, be 
held of his highness, the IjotA Protector of the Commonwealth of 
England, Scotland, and Ireland, and dominions thereunto belong- 
ing, and his successors, superiors thereof," and in virtue of this con- 
tract a charter of resignation and confirmation was obtained from 
King Charles II., dated 8th December 1665, and sealed with the 
Great Seal, 2dth July 1666, and this may be considered as the 
Magna Charta of the rights and liberties of Paisley, as at present 
constituted. 

It may, in general^ be observed, that the burgh of Paisley, 
though in form a burgh of barony, is vested with privileges of a 
very extensive kind. Its burgesses have powers to elect annually 
a provost, baillies, and other office-bearers ; to receive resignation 
of burgage lands, and give seisin thereof; to hold fairs and week- 
ly markets ; to decide in civil cases to any extent ; to judge in ser- 
vices of heirs ; te issue acts of warding for debts constituted in 
their courts ; and, in short, to exercise every privilege of a royal 
burgh, including even that of electing a commissioner to serve in 
Parliament* 

The council of the burgh is composed of a provost, four bail- 
lies, a treasurer, and ten ordinary councillors, who are elected an* 
nually on the first Monday in November, according to the regula- 
tions laid down in the lately passed Municipal Bill for the burghs 
of Scotland. For a long time past it has been customary to re- 
elect the provost for a second year. The burgh clerk, chamber- 
lain, parish clerks, public teachers, &c. are likewise appointed 
yearly. 

The mode of electing the magistrates and council prior to the 
Burgh Reform Bill was peculiar to Paisley, and as a venerable relic 
of the olden times, when what are called self-election and the close 
system obtained, it may here be shortly detailed. 

On Monday preceding the day of election, the council, by ge- 
neral vote, nominated five of their number as a leet or list for trea« 
surer, and fourteen persons, who had formerly been in council, and 
six burgesses, who bad never been members of council, as a leet for 

* Tin 1770, the chief magistrate regularly voted at aU elections for the oounty in 
name of the hurgh. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 173 

ordinary councillors. These fourteen and six individuals were se- 
lected by each of the councillors present naming one in rotation, 
but should the number of councillors be less than twenty, so as in 
that way to leave the list incompletCi the remainder were supplied 
by a general vote. 

On the day of election, the treasurer, five old, and three new 
councillors were chosen by general vote, and after administration 
of the oaths prescribed by law, they, accompanied by the burgh 
clerk, retired to an anti-chamber and chose thirteen of the former 
council, making in toto the number of twenty-two, of whom the 
council for the year to come was to be composed. 

The old and new council afterwards nominated three persons in 
succession to retire into an adjoining room, and select one of them 
to return, who was, of course, one of the leet for magistrates, and 
he in turn suggested another, who retired in his stead, and, if ap- 
proved by the council, which was usually the case, that person re- 
tired and from the three thus in the other apartment, the council 
again selected one, who also was in the leet for magistrates, and 
in a similar way one was voted out and another in, until the num- 
ber of nbe, composing the leet, was completed. These nine hav- 
ing giving their votes, sigillatim, again retired, and those remain- 
ing in the council-chambers having given their votes, the election 
decided in favour of those who appeared to have the majority.* 



* It appean from tbe following minute of the Court of Session, that in 1689 a re- 
gular election by the burgesses was ordered^ in consequence of a petition from them 
to that effect.—'* At Edinburgh the twentie- third day of September 1689, anent the 
petition given in to the Lords of his Majesty's privie counsell, be William Greenleesy 
writer in Edinburgh, as haying commission from the burgesses of the burgh of Pais- 
ley, Shewing, That where albeit by the uncontroTcrted pnviledge, and constant prac- 
tice of the said bursh, the burgesses thereof had yearly a free election and nomina- 
tion of their bailxies, counsel!, and toune thesaurer, nevertheless of late yeares 
(while under the yoak of arbitrary power) by reasone of the oaths that were impos- 
ed upon persones m publick trust, very unsufficient and malignant magistratts were 
sett over them, and these who have the present exercise of the magistracie there, were 
oontinowed by a letter from the late chancellor without any electio;ne, by which 
meanea tbe publick peace of that place has bein exceedingly disturbed, tbe godly 
ministers much discouraged, the scholes for learning decayed, and the said bur^ 
has bein thereby impoverished, and brought under great debt, and they are still lyke 
to labour under the same difficulties and inconveniences except such remed be allow- 
ed them as has bein to others in the like caise, and therefore humbly craving, that 
the sds lords would authorize, and impower the burgesses of tbe said burgh, to as- 
lemble and meet upon the thertie day of September instant, and friely by the poll and 
pTuralitie of votes, to nominat and elect persones of credit and integrity, and who 
by the ancient and laudable act of the said burgh are capable to be bailzies, counsel- 
lors, thesaurer thereof, and to appoynt Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, William 
Cunningham of Craigens, William Muir of Glanderston, and George Houstone of 
Johnstone, or any one or two of them^ to supervise the said election, as the said sup- 
plicatione bears : which being considered be the said Lords ofhis Mi^esties privie coun- 
sell, they heerby authorize and impower the burgesses of the burgh of Paslay, ex- 
cepting and secluding honorary burgcases, toune-officers, pensioners and headmen, to 



Digitized by 



Google 



174 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Holding^ Vdluatim^ and Revenues of ike Bhrffh. — Paisley was 
the seat of thb regality court, but had no cot^poratia rights, or se- 
parate municipal jurisdiction till 1488^ when it was erected into a 
burgh of barony. The burgh lands hold directly of the crown ; 
and their old valuation is upwards of L. 1000 Scots. The gross 
revenues of the burgh amounted in 1838 to L. 3843» I2s.' 7d., 
arising from rents of houses and knds, dues olF flesh«market and 
river, casualties of burgage entries, church seats^ and other items* 
The estimated value of the whcrfe of the town's property is about 
L. 50,000 ; but after deducting debts and other drawbacks, the 
real worth of the corporation property will be reduced to about 
L. 20,000. 

Privileges of the Magistracy. — The magistrates are or offijcio 
justices of peace for the county ; and the provost holds in addition 
the honourable office of deputy-lieutenant The number of resi- 
dent justices of peace in or near the town, is at present 42, — an 
increase of 40 within the last twenty years. 

Representation. — Paisley returns one member to Parliament. 
The number of qualified voters of L. 10 and upwards is 1510. All 
of these reside within the town and Abbey parishes ; and the Ab- 
bey in addition contains about 300 qualified voters for a county 
member. Since the passing of the Reform Bill in 1830, Paisley 
has had not fewer than four representatives, including the present 
member. These are. Sir John Maxwell, Bart, of Pollock ; Sir 
Daniel Sandford, Professor of Greek in the University of Glas- 
gow ; Captain A. G. Speirs of Culcreuch ; and the present mem- 
ber, Archibald Hastie,Esq. a native of the town, and a highly re» 
spectable merchant in London. 

Ancient mode of holding property in Burgh. — Lands, &c within 
burgh are held in feu of the magistrates, council, and commu- 
nity, and by an ancient and peculiar practice (the validity of which 
has been sanctioned by the Supreme Court,) investiture was given 
in burgh lands by a very simple process. The heir or other per- 

aawmble and meet upon the Uiertie day of September instant, and freelj by the poD 
and plurality of votea to nominat and elect persons of credit and integntie, and who 
by the ancient and laudable acts of the said bur^ are capable to be bailzies, coun* 
sellors and thesaurer thereof, and appoynt Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, William 
Cunningham of Craigens, William Muir of Glandertton, George Houstone of John- 
stone, and the Earle of Dundonnald, to be overseers of the said election, and appoints 
any two of them to be a quorum. Extracted by me (Signed) Gilb. Eliot, Clk." 

In pursuance of the above, a meeting was duly held on the dOth September 
1689, and a regular poll election of magistrates and councillors was made at the sight 
of William Cunningham of Craigens and George Houston of Johnston, two of the 
assessors named by the court. A minute to this effect is preserved in the charter-«hest 
of Paisley, of date October 7, 1689. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 175 

ton holding a conveyance to lands^ and denring to be entered or 
invested in place of the ancestor or granter of the conTeyance, ap* 
peared personally or by attorney, and, in the usual manner, made 
symbolical resignation of his right in the hands of the ma^strates, 
for the purpose of obtaining what is termed ^ new and heritable 
booking/' This *< booking^' consists in the registry of the reu 
getta (including a description of the land, and a statement of the 
nature of the party's right in connexion with the person last ^ book- 
ed,") in the record or chartulary of the buigh, and an authenticat- 
ed copy or extract of registry, under the hands of the town-clerk, 
was held to complete the investiture, without charter, sasine, or any 
other written instrument. This practice, however, became expos- 
ed, in process of time, to great incixiveniences, and is now little 
resorted to, except in the transmission of property in the different 
churches. 

Begdlity and Sheriff QmrtB. — The reality of Paisley was an 
extei^ive jurisdiction, comprehending the domains of the monas- 
tery, not only in this county, but in the counties of Ayr, Dun- 
barton, and othens, and had been erected while ^e barony of 
Renfrew was yet a division of the sheriffdom of Lanark or Clydes- 
dale. The office of heritable sheriff was granted by Robert IIL 
to one of the family of Sempil in 1404, (the date at which the 
barony of Renfrew was erected into a sheriffdom,) and the office 
of heritable bailKe of the regality of Paisley was conferred by the 
Abbot on another of that family in 154A. Alexander Earl of Eglin. 
ton, purchased the offices from Hugh Lord Sempil in 1636, for 
L. 5000 Sterling* The Earl of Eglinton received a compensa- 
tion from Government for these offices, at the abolition of heri- 
table jurisdictions in 1749. One sheriff-depute has jurisdiction 
oyer the whole of Renfrewshire; birtin 1615, a second sheriff -sub- 
stitute was appointed for the lower ward of the county; and the 
sheriff-courts fbr that division are held at Greenock. 

TVwufirenee (fthe Sheriff'-Omrts from Benfrew to Paisley. — 
This important point, long a matter of uncertainty, has been settled 
by an index to certain deeds recorded in die Sheriff-court, to which 
there is this prefix : — *^ Ane minut book of all bonds, obligations, 
assignations, translations, tacks, contracts, renmiciations, and others, 
registrat in ye sheriff-court books of Renfrew, and regality books 
to Pabley, since the 19th August 1685. James M^Alpie, clerk." 
There is a substitution subscribed at <^ Rosdow, 13th May 1694,'' 
by James Crawford sheriff-depute of Renfrew, to James M^Alpie, 



Digitized by 



Google 



176 RENFREWSHIRE. 

to hold courU» and determine in all matters relating to the excise 
within the same shire. The growing population of Paisley, how- 
eTer, required a more extensive innovation, which was nothing 
short of the complete removal of the courts from Renfrew to Pais- 
ley; and in the same ^^minut-book," there is the following en- 
try: — ^* Paisley, 6th November 1705. The qlk dayane warrand 
was produced, granted be Alexr. Earl of Eglintone, shreff princll 
of Renfrew, for transporting the weekly courts from the buiigh 
of Renfrew to the toune of Paisley; and after the same was 
publickly read and published, was ordered to be recorded. The 
qlk day, James M^Alpie produced ane commission by John 
Richardson, sheriff-clerk, in his frivirs, for officiating during his 
pleasur." * Paisley has continued ever since to be the seat of the 
sheriff-courts. The meetings of Quarter Sessions, Commissioners 
of Supply and Freeholders, are still held at Renfrew ; but most of 
the adjourned meetings even of these courts are held at Paisley. 
The records of the Sheriff and Regality courts are extant from the 
year 1689. 

Ancient Charters — Royal School — Among a great number of 
charters and other ancient documents in the charter-chest of the 
burgh the following may be noticed. 

*^ Charter of confirmation," datedat Linlithgow on 5th April 1396, 
by King Robert III., whereby he, ^' for the weli&re of his own soul, 
and the souls of his ancestors and successors. Kings and Stewarts 
of Scotland," gives and confirms ^^ to God and the blessed Virgin 
Mary, and to the blessed James the Apostle, and St Mirren the 
Confessor, also to the abbot and monks of Paisley, now and to 
come, all and whole their lands, rents, and possession in our barony 
of Renfrew, situated within the county of Lanark. Also all their 
lands, rents, and possessions in our barony of Kyle Stewart, lying 
within the shire of Ayr, and their five merk lands of Moll and 
Huntlaw, and the lands of Hassyden, within the shire of Roxbui^h, 
and their lands of Orde, within the shire of Peebles, into one en- 
tire and free barony, and in pure and perpetual regality," to be 
held, ^* by the said monks and their successors for ever, of (is and 
our heirs, with power of holding courts, infang theiff and outfang 
theiff," &c but " reserving the four pleas of the Crown." All 
other proprietors of regalities are prohibited from interfering with 

* Introduction to '• Certain Curious Poems, principaUy from the pen of James 
M<Ali»e, Paisley, 1828/* ^( as quoted by Mackie in his Historical Description of the 
Abbey and Town of Paisley,** p. 153. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY, 177 

tbe jurisdiction of the grantees. The return required for the grant 
is the prayers of the monks. 

Charter by King James IL dated at Edinburgh, on 13th Ja- 
nuary 1451, by Mrhich he ratifies the charter of King Robert III., 
and the grant of the lands therein described, and farther confirms 
certain letters of confirmation *^ made and granted by the late Mal- 
colm and Malcolm Earls of Lennox, to God, the blessed St Mir- 
ren, and the abbot and convent ^of the monastery of Paisley,*' of 
the lands of Kilpatrick, and other lands in the earldom of Lennox, 
within the county of Dumbarton, and erects the whole into one ba- 
rony and regality. This grant confers the four pleas of the crown, 
which King Robert had reserved, but retains the right to the 
prayers in behalf of the grantor and bis successors. 

Charter dated " at Halierude House," 3d January 1576, by 
King James VL, with the consent of James Earl of Morton, Lord 
Dalkeith, Regent, and the Lords of the Privy- Council, whereby 
he, upon the narrative of the good conduct of his subjects, and 
particularly of the burgh of Paisley, and because it became him to 
provide for the erection of a school in the burgh, ** for the initi- 
ation of youth in learning and good morals, not only that they 
might be useful in the service of God, but in the service of the 
burgh,** grants and conveys to the bailies and councillors, and 
community of Paisley and their successors, ^* all and whole the al- 
tarages of the chapels, the lands and manse after-mentioned, farms, 
annual rents, profits, and duties of the same, pittances, obit silver 
and common duties under specified, lying in the burgh, parish, and 
liberty of Paisley, viz. the altarage of St Mirren and Columba, 
the altarage of St Ninian, the altarage of the Virgin Mary, the 
altarage of St Nicholas, altarages of St Peter, St Catherine, and St 
Anne, the chapel of St Rock, and the seven roods of land or there- 
by of the said chapel belonging to the same, together with the 
other pittances of obit silver or common, which formerly the 
monks of Paisley were in use to levy and receive, with power to 
the baillies, council, and community, and their successors, and their 
collectors to receive the subjects, conveyed in the same way as any 
prebendiarys or chaplains could formerly, for the repair and sup- 
port of a grammar-school, and support of a master or preceptor, 
for the instruction and erudition of youth of the burgh and neigh- 
bourhood." In terms of the grant, forty merks annually are to be 
paid to four poor boys, natives of the bui^h, remaining in the 
school during the space of five years, and on expiry of that term. 



Digitized by 



Google 



178 RENFREWSHIRE. 

and removal of these boys, others af« to be put in their place, by 
the baillies and council, and the same payment made. The sub- 
jects conveyed and confirmed are erected into one body (coipus,) 
to be called '^ the King's Foundation of the Grammar School of 
Paisley." (^ Fundationem nostram scolae grammaticalis de Paisley 
nuncupandam.") Among the witnesses to this charter appears 
^^ our familiar councillor Mr Greoi^ Buquhanane, pensioner of 
Corsraguel, keeper of our privy seal" 

B4nfal visits to PaUky.—^^ 8tfa July 1597. The quhilk day the 
said Baillies and Gouncell understanding perfytli, that the queene's 
M. is to be shortlie in the place of Paslay, and in respect thereofy 
for decoratioun of the kirk and portis of the said burgh, in sic sort 
as may be gudlie done for the present, they haf concluded, that 
thare be ane pyntour sent for to Glasgow, for drawing of sum 
drauchts in the kirk, as salbe thocht maist necessar for the pre- 
sent : Secundlie, that ane wricht be concludit wt for bigging and 
mending and repairing of the portis of the said hurgh.^ It is to 
be supposed that this visit of the Royal consort of James cost the 
town more money in the way of " pintours" and " wrichts,*' to say 
nothing of entertainments, than the funds could well afford, for 
we find that when, in 1617, the King himself on his return from 
England to visit his ancient kingdom, came to the same ^^ place of 
Paslay," no preparations are made by the council for his welcome 
to the burgh, and there remains no proof that James ever crossed 
the Cart, or passed through the brig port Tradition says, that 
he was petitioned not to come nearer than ^^ the place," inasmuch 
as the town could not entertain him so sumptuously as might be fit- 
ting. H^ did come to the mansion of the ** Noble Abercom,*' 
where, in the great hall, ^^ ane oratioun" was addressed to him in 
name of the community and inhabitants of Paisley and its neigh- 
bourhood, by " a prettie boy of nine years of age, the son of Sir 
James Semple of Beltrees, at that time sheriff of the county." — 
The '^address" is printed in ^' the Muse's Welcome;" a well known 
collection of similar '^ oratiounes" and poems, commemorative of 
the King's visit at this time, '^ digested according to the order of 
His Majestie's progresse," by J. A« (John Adamson.) The ad- 
dress is also inserted in the Paisley Magazine, p. 577. It is in- 
genious, but it will scarcely bear to be tried by -modem usages.* 

* The << little boy** swears by <« the Black Book of Paisley** <' that his Majesty is most 
dearly weteome ;*' and immediately adds these inimitable lines : 

*^ Thus have I said, Sir, and thus have 1 sworne. 
Performance tak from noble Abercome !** 
llie '* grand schoolmaster*' is then compared to « Pluebus,** *< that eye by which 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 179 

The author in all probability was Sir James Semple, who belong* 
ed to a family long known by a sort of hereditary love of the muses, 
and who has richly deserved the respect and gratitude of every 
Scotsman as the friend of Andrew Melville, in obtaining his libera- 
tion from the tower, and afterwards in vindicating his memory.* 
The last representative of this family died about forty years ago, at 
a very venerable agc-f" 

On November 8^ 1666, the council " concludit," that " in re- 
spect the Erie of Rothes, His Majesties commissioner, is to be in 
the Abbey of Fasleye this night, that therefore he shall be invit* 
ed to have the curtiesie of the town from the baillies and council ; 
and for effectuating yrof they have appointed John Ewingto go to 
Glasgow and bring four punds of raisins, ane pund of confected 
cannell, ane pund of confected almonds, ane of coriander, ane of 
earvie, ane of anneisse, ane of roughe almondes, and half ane pund 
of cordesidron, with nine elnes of silver ribbons/' 

In 1822, when King George IV. visited Scotland, the magis- 
trates of Paisley waited on him at Holyroodhouse with a loyal and 
dutiful address, in which a kind invitation was given to His Ma- 
jesty to visit this ^^ the place of his fathers' sepulchres." 

Rebellians 17 15 and 1745. — On both of these occasions the 
inhabitants of Paisley were distinguished for their loyalty. On 
August 5, 1715, the conunon council of the burgh, ^< taking into 
consideration the imminent danger that the country was exposed 
to by reason of the Pretender^s attempting to land in the kingdom 
of Scotland," appointed a regular nightly guard of twenty men, 
and ^^ ordained the haill inhabitants to have all their arms in 
readiness." Two pairs of coburs were also ordered to be pur- 
chased for the use of the town, << and to have the town's arms put 

the world aeeth." Clnia and Leucothoe appear in fabulous mythology, as the two 
wives of Phoebus ; and the " prettie boy** asks his Majesty : " Are not wee then, Sir, 
of Scotland your M. own old kindlie Clytia ? Are not yoa Sir our Phoebus, oomming 
from the east with glorious displayed beams, to embrace us in the mouth of the ocean ? 
md is not this very place now, Sir, yon westerroost period ? Erffo, Sir, your kindliest 
Clytia ?** The litUe fellow becomes most aaatomioally eloquent, wb«i he reooUects 
that he is spouting *^ in the place of Paisley." " Your Clytia, Sir, is of many goodlie 
flMmbers*** **• You M . hath passed already her head, neck and armes, you greater townee 
and cities, hut tUl now you never came to her heart ! Why ? because in this very pap 
rish, is that ancient seat of WiUiam Walbu, that worthie warrier, to whome (under 
God) we owe that you ar'oura, and Britaine yours !** We need scarcely add, that Leu- 
cothoe ** that fiiirest ladye" was *' his Most glorious England, most worthye of all love," 
ohI that when James «* went first," to her '^ he went Wl himselfe, busked with his 
owne beams, and becked with the best of his Clytia I" We do not read of his Ma- 
je8tie*s reply. We suspect that all his " grammarie'* and all his *•* modesty*' together 
were nonplussed by the unexpected eloquent address of the ^^ prettie boy.** 

• M*Crie*s Life of Melville, VoL iL page 330, 468, &c. 

f See New Statistical Account of I^ochwinnoch, p. 88, &c 



Digitized by 



Google 



180 RENFREWSHIRE. 

thereon/' On September 20th, in consequence of a letter from 
the Duke of Argyle, the town agreed to send to Stirling ^< as many 
armed men as possible," and they ordered twenty guns to be bought 
at Glasgow." They agreed to support ^^ *20 men" at 4s. Sterling 
weekly, and "a barrel of powder and as many balls as necessary" 
are sent with the men. Burgesses are found to volunteer on this 
service. 

On December 28, 1745, ^^the baillies and council being in- 
famed, that a great body of armed men under the command of a 
persone who styles himself Prince Regent of the Kingdome, have 
come unto the city of Glasgow, and made sundry demands upon 
the inhabitants of the said city," — ** and being also informed that 
a party of the said army are intending to come to this place ; and 
being afraid that they may make demands thereon in like manner," 
they appoint a certain number to ^^ meet and treat with the said 
partys, and make such agreement with them as they can in the 
best and easiest manner possible for the safety of the place and 
inhabitants ; and the town's credit is pledged in the meantime, so as 
to prevent the harm that might happen if the party should levy 
from the particular inhabitants." Ne&t day the Pretender by his 
secretary (Murray of Broughton,) sent a summons to the magis- 
trates to repair to the secretary's office. An imposition of Lb500 
Sterling is laid upon the ^^ haill inhabitants," and on January 3, 
1746, a receipt is granted under the hand and seal of Charles for 
this sum. The sum originally demanded was L.1000, but the 
magistrates by good management procured its mitigation to L.500. 
The sum was borrowed m name of the town from different persons 
in the place as they could furnish it, and the council agree to *^ re- 
lieve the thesaurer so soon as a proper hand can be found to advance 
the whole sum" upon the town's security. This " proper hand" 
was soon found in the person of <^ Colonel William Macdowall of 
Castlesemple," to whom in return a bond for L.500 was granted. * 

The colours used by the "volunteers" in 1716 and 1745, are 
still preserved among the town's archives, and have been occasion- 
ally displayed on tlye battlements of " the castle," on days of public 
rejoicing. 

In 1753, an action was raised by the town of Paisley against John 
Murray of Broughton, for repetition of the Lb500 levied in 1745, 

* Copies of the '* summooses" by the Pretender, and other documents of the time, 
are to be seen in the charter-chest of the town of Paisley of date 8tb, and 20th, De- 
cember 1746, 2d, 8d, and lOth January 1746. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 181 

on the ground that the defender was a principal actor in the extor- 
tion of the money. The defender was assoilzied from this claim, 
28th July 1759, and the pursuers were also unsuccessful in an 
appeal to the House of Lords in 1760. A memorial was after- 
wards presented to the Lords of the Treasury for reliei^ on the 
ground that the town had been subjected to the exaction, on account 
of their loyalty ; but this application was not successful. 

Illustrations of Ancient Manners^ — The records or minute books 
of the Town Council, which are, with few exceptions, entire from 
the year 1594^ bear distinct references to others of more ancient 
date now lost, * and afford many curious and minute illuBtiatioo» 
of the usages of other times, and of the powers eixerdsed by the 
council of passing acts for the govennaent of the inhabitants, and 
the general police of the eomiBunity. 

1580, July 1 L— 'A person of the name of Wilson is tried for 
stealing a pair of breeches. The council banish him from the 
county with certification that, if he shall return, and ^^ be guilty of 
Ae like again, he shall be content to be punished to the deady cmd 
without one assise J* 

1594, January 21. — An act is passed ** anent sic persones that 
wilfuUie remains frae the kirke," or apprehendit going playing, 
passing to taverns, or selling meat or drink, or siclike;" and they 
are to be punished with a fine of L.1, toties qmties ; or ^< holden in 
the stocks twenty-four hours." A baillie, the town-clerk, an elder, and 
proper officers are appointed to parade the streets and pick up 
such offenders. The fines are to be applied '^ ad pio$ usus.** 

1597, July 8. — ^* All uncouth beggars are to be expellif' from 
the burgh ; and two men are appointed to see this done, with 
Lbl, 10s. Scots of weekly payment, if they show diligence." 

1602, January. — More regular attendance on church on Sab- 
bath enforced; as also ^< attendance on morning and evenmg 
prayers on week days." 

16. — ^^ The east and west ports to be diligently kept by a pro- 
per person, having a su)ord and a Jedburgh staffi^ 

1603, February 10. — Merchants ^< are ordered" to shut their 
doors every Tuesday during prayers, and to attend the kirk for 
hearing the word under the pain of 86. Scots*! 

* It appean by an entry in ooimcil minutes of 8th April 1606, that records of a 
Dmeh older date were then eitant ; a list ot not less than six volumes being inserted, 
from A. D. 1507, 1594. 

t The old motto of Paisley is similar to that of Gku^ow. " Let Paisley flourish 
through the preaching of thy word.** This is the inscription on the silver cups used 



Digitized by 



Google 



182 RENFREWSHIRE. 

October 11. — ^^ Bauners and swearers" are to be fined twelve 
pennies for each offence. 

^^ Scolders and flyters'' are to be put in ihejugs^ and fined 20s, 
<^ giving the lye/' is fined 40s. ^^ A dry cuffj' is valued at <^ five 
punds." " A eammitter ofhluid^^ brings " 40 punds.'- 

1606, May 18. — Three vagabonds are ordered to be *< carted 
through the street and the cart ;" with certification that if they re* 
turn, they shall be ^< Kourgedandbumt^'* i. e. we presume, brand- 
ed on the cheek. 

1606, August 1. — Andrew (Knox,) Bishop of the Des, becomes 
security for ^^ the Laird of Coil's servant," who not compearing, 
^^ the baillies decern against the bishop with 6s. 8d. expenses*" 

September 16. — ^^ Yard breaking" is thus punished, " five punds 
fine; setting in the stocks from 10 to 12; and thereafter to be 
scourged by the parents to the effusion of their blood.** 

1607, January 29. — An act was passed against any person set- 
ting a house to a stranger, till they advertise the baillies and CQun-* 
cil, and have their liberty. 

1608, 24 June. — It was statuted and ordained, that the whole 
buigesses and inhabitants should give ^^ their musters sufficiently 
armed with jak, steel bonnet, plet sleeves, speir or halbert; and 
ilk person to give his oath that the same was their own proper 
armour, under the pain of ten punds." 

1622, June 13. — Two women accuse one another of mutual 
scolding and ^< cuffing;" the one is fined 40s. the other is banish- 
ed the burgh, under certification of ^^ scourging," and '^ the 
joggs" if she returned. 

In 1623. — The baiUies, with three or four of the council, were 
appointed to ride to Glasgow, and speak to the provost and bail- 
lies thereof, *^ anent the troubling the merchants of this burgh, in 
using of their calling, and trade, and merchandize." 

1625, January 25. — ^^ Janet Cochran, Lady Jameson," is ba- 
nished town by the baillies; and any one found giving her ^' meat 
or drink," is to be fined 40s. 

1642, 24 January. — <^ No houses to be let to persons excom- 
municated; and none to entertain them in their houses, under a 
pain of ten punds." 

1648. — Sermon appointed on Friday, " being the market-day," 

at dominunion in St George's and the High Churches. The date of the one is 1744» 
and oftbe other 1768. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 183 

all to go << to the kirk/' and ** no business te be done" during 
time of sermon. 

16 January.—** No women to keep school" in the town ; and 
none of them ** to receive men children.'* 

1653) March 28. — Isobel Greenlees is appointed to stand two 

hours in the jugs ; and to pay a fine of 40s. for ** cursing the baillie." 

The following extract will shew that the burgesses at this pe*- 

riod were not inattentive to the duty of asserting their rights and 

privileges : — 

1655, March 9. — '* John Wilson, weaver, and his wife, having 
asked and obtained liberty of Lady Cochran, or the Master of 
Cochran, to bleach cloth on the green, under the chambers," (of 
the Abbey mansion-house,) he is conveined before the baillies, and 
having acknowledged he had liberty to set up a knocking-stane, 
which the lady or master had driven down, (and thus established 
the right of the Dundonald family,) he was put in jail till his wife 
drove down the stane : goe and disclaim the libertie sought; and 
pay a fine of 5 punds." 

April 9. — The whole council go to the " green," and make a 

'* civU interruption'* of the claims of her ladyship and the master. 

18th July 1659. — ^^ The quhilk day the two present baillies, 

William Greenlees, and John Park, old baillies, are appointed to 

buy a drum for the use of the town.*' 

April 9, 1660. — ** Report John Park, baillie, that as he was 
-appointed, he went to Edinburgh and sought all the booths where 
there is any velvet, and found nane three piled, and that the two 
piled was so bad and thin, that he could not buy it for a mort- 
cloth." 

Idth September 1660. — ** This day John Kelso has produced 
before the other baillies and counsell, the towns twa pair of colours, 
that was taken away by these who were called Tories, and were re* 
deemed from some of them by Robert Semple, merchant burgess 
of Glasgow, and the sum given therefor formerly paid to the said 
Robert Semple, by the said baillies, by allowance of the council, 
and is now put in the common chest." 

1660, December 22. — ** The whilk day the baillies and coun- 
sell foresaid, have concluded that there sail be four dozen of 
trenchours, and ane dozen of new cups sent to Sir John Gilmour, 
and Sir John Fleshour, the King^s Advocate, to move them to con- 
tinue the town's friends." 

RENFREW. N 



Digitized by 



Google 



184 RENFREWSHIRE. 

1664, August ISth — << This day tbe baillies and counciU having 
considered, < ane supplicatioune of the two officers and a drum^ 
mer, for five punds of fee to ilk ane of them, co&fomi to former 
use and wont/ they find that it is but ane late practice, and was 
only granted to them in the English time^ when diey had mdkle 
pains and little gains; and, therefore, ordains diem to have the 
same fee this year, but not hereafter/ " 

October la— ^< The whilk day it is statute be the baillies^ 
and council, that whatsoever person hereafter, burgess or inhabitant, 
liable in payment of any of the town's goods, and shifting and de* 
laying to do the same, shall have the key of the tolbooth sent to 
them by the treasurer, for entering inward, and remaining there- 
in, ay and while they pay that which they shall be liable unto^ 
and that within the space of twenty-four hours after the sending 
to them of the said key ; that then and in that case, the officers, a^ 
they shall answer upon their peril, shall, upon the first sight oi 
them, put that person in ward, therein to remain in dose ward 
ay and until they satisfy the debt." 

1667, October 17. — << Whilk day the baillies and council 
.having taken to their consideration the incivility and indiscreet 
carriage of Mr Hugh Montgomerie, Sheriff-depute of Renfrew, 
in permitting the oorpse of ane Janet Finnie, ane suspect witch, 
imprisoned by him in this jail and deceased therein, to be unhur- 
ried these fyve days bygone, or thereby, and refiising absolutely 
to cause bury her, notwithstanding both his duty and their requir- 
ing of him, so that they are necessitated to cause bury her, have 
therefore determmed that he shall be deprived of certaine favours 
he has from them, especially that he and his sons shall have no 
liberty from henceforth to sit in any of the town's seats in the 
church, and for these reasons, have ordained their ofikers to hold 
•them out ot both their seats." 

1680, March 16. — '^ The council allowes three dozen trenchors 
to be sent to Mr Rorrie M'Kenzie, in token of his kyndness and 
pains shewn to this towne, in several business bygone," and appoints 
the thesaurer to pay for them. 

L June 168a—'' Sederunt John Snodgrass, beiUie ; Robert 
Forke, &c 

'' Who, after consideration of ane endyctmentgiven to the present 
baillies and councill of this burgh, as representing the community 
and burgh, to compear before the Lords of Justiciary, at Glasgow, 
the J 2th and Idth of June instant, for allot resetting of James 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. IBS 

Sproull, Hew Fulton, Christopher Strang, indews (i. e. indwellers) 
in this burgh, efter Bodthil Bridge, and suffering and permitting 
them to have the liberty and privilege of his Majesty's free liegea 
sensyne within this burgh, and eilet aiding, abetting them in meate, 
drink, armour and amonition, in oianner at length exst in the said 
endyctment. And it being asked whether it sould be ane towne's 
business and towne's purse to bear and sustaine the expenses, they 
all in one voice have concludit, and ordainit, that whatever expences, 
tmpnsoiiBiettt, or fine, the baillies or any of the counsell sail hap* 
pen to sustain through the said endyctment, during their abode in 
Glasgow for the said cause, that the samen shall be paid furth of 
the towne's readiest rents and duties : And have ordainit the trea- 
surer to advance money to the baillies and councill for defraying 
their expences during their abode at Glasgow, and their expences 
of imprisonment and fyning, if any sail happen to be. And the 
treasurer to give in ane particular account of his disbursenoent, 
which shall be answered to him on demand, after their return from 
Glasgow. And for the effect foresaid, they have appointed William 
Fyfe, and the clerk, to go to Glasgow, and make moyan with the 
bishop to be the towne's friend before the day of compearance, and 
to pay the horse hire and expences they sail happen to deburse 
and pay in said affair, and their pains therein.'' 

8 June 1683. — ^* Sederunt, &c., who have concludit that there 
be ane precept drawn upon the thesur for advancing to the baillies 
and counsell of the soum of two hundred punds Scots money, and 
have appoint four geanzies of gold to be taken out of the common 
kist, partly for defraine the expences at Glasgow, employing advo- 
cates, and partly for complimenting the clerk of the circuit court, 
and making of necessarie moyan therewith, in order to bring off- 
and assolysie the town for the indytment given them, for the al- 
ibied conversing with, aiding, and abaiting the rebells at Bodwel 
Bridge." 

22 March 1697. — ^^ The same day the baillies and counoell, 
taking to their consideration that the commissioners for tryal of the 
witches, i^ to sit at Pasley, swa that, for decofement of the town, 
they think it convenient that the Tolbuith be repared, and for 
that effect they appoint the seats within the bar to be repaired^ 
and a heigh table made for the judges, against their coming, and 
other things as shall be thought convenient Then they thought 
it fitt to buy a cloth, with a silk fringe, to be laid on before the 
haiUias ilk Sabath-day in the kirk seat" 



Digitized by 



Google 



186 RENFREWSHIRE. 

7 August 1705. — " The said day they have by plurality of votes 
allowed to Mr George Elen, master of the grammar school, and 
Mr James Alexander, Doctor, twenty pounds Scots, towards the 
defraying of the expenses of their acting of BeUum Grammaticale^ 
and also for their furder encouragement, promise to erect ane theatre 
on yr own experice." 

Police Establishment. — It is not necessary to trace the mode of 
management adopted by the rulers of this ancient burgh, with re- 
gard to police, farther back than ) 695. At that period the popu- 
lation of the town and Abbey parish amounted to 4375 persons, 
of which number there were in the burgh about 2200. In the 
year 1806, when the police act was obtained, the population 
was 35,000, and now, in 1837, it appears that there are in the 
town and parish about 60,000, and within the range of the police, 
which extends one English mile in every quarter and direction, be- 
yond the marches or boundaries of the burgh or burgh lands, and 
territories " so called or known," — 50,000. 

Previous to the union of Scotland and England in 1707, it ap- 
pears from the records of the burgh, and the peculiarity t)f some of 
its usages, that the inhabitants wrere more regulated by the autho- 
rity of the magistrates and council, and by the pastors of the pa- 
rish, and their consistory or session, than by the King and Parlia- 
ment; and that the municipal and moral regulations were varied 
according to the circumstances in which they were placed. Before 
this period, many of the great heritors of the county had their win- 
ter residences in Paisley. The Abbey with its numerous ecclesi- 
astics, during the continuance of the Popish system, and even aflter 
its erection into a temporal lordship, attracted the gentlemen of 
the county to reside a part of the year in the town or its vicinity. 
About the beginning of last century, there happened to be a con- 
siderable number of weavers- in the place, distinguished for inge- 
nuity and skill in their several departments. After the union, a 
connexion with our southern neighbours, induced some of the in- 
habitants to commence linen cloth for sale. They soon after em- 
ployed a number of their females to spin cotton yarn ; of which 
they made Bengals, or imitation of muslins. They likewise com- 
menced a man uikcture of handkerchiefs; afterwards of lawns; and 
at a later period of linen gauzes. The increase of population and 
of manufactures was accompanied with the increase of crimes and 
irregularities; and hence the origin of the toum-'guard. This 
branch of police was at first had recourse to occasionally, when it 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 187 

was deemed necessary, but afterwards it became permanent This 
guard, of which the magistrates had the sole direction, consisted of 
thirteen householders, warned in rotation, who made choice of their 
own captain, and attended from ten at night to five or six in the 
morning. The captain reported to the sitting-magistrate the oc« 
currences of the night, and on public occasions, such, as fairs, and 
sometimes for a whole year, the number was increased to eighteen.. 
This system of police answered the purpose tolerably well for many 
'years; but as the town increased in population, in wealth, and in 
vice, it was found at last to be very defective. The wealthy in- 
habitants, in place of attending personally, paid porters, or menial 
servants, to act as substitutes. On some occasions, in place of sup- 
pressing riotous conduct, it was encouraged, or kt least not report- 
ed to the magistrates, and they frequently did not perambulate the: 
streets at all. Many of the councillors and magistrates, with other 
inhabitants, being of opinion that a police bill was necessary for 
the safety and comfort of the inhabitants, the burgesses were ap- 
plied to for a meeting to take the proposed measure into conside- 
ration. At this period there was no fund for lighting the town, 
and it was customary for the corporation, to furnish sixty or seventy 
lamps during a few months in winter. This mode of lighting only, 
tended to make the darkness more visible. Foot-pavements, be- 
sides, were become absolutely necessary, and regular police officers 
were imperiously required for the protection of property. Meet-, 
ings of magistrates, council, and inhabitants were repeatedly held,, 
and, after much deliberation and discussion, a bill for a police, 
establishment was framed ; carried without opposition through both 
Houses-; and received the Royal assent in 1806. 

The police establishment, as at first constituted, consists of a 
master of police, two Serjeants, four corporals, and twelve night watch- 
men ; but they may be augmented as the funds may allow. There are. 
at present (Jan. 1837,) five corporals, and fourteen watchmen. 

The burgh is divided into nine districts or wards, and two com- 
missioners are chosen for each ward, by such householders as pay 
Xf 5 or upwards of yearly rent. The magistrates are commis- 
sioners by office, and have the general superintendence of the 
establishment The suburbs are divided into six wards, with one 
commissioner to each ; the sheriff-substitute being always a com- 
missioner ex officio. The powers and duties of the commissioners 
and officers are the s^me as in other establishments of the kind. 



Digitized by 



Google 



188 RENFREWSHIRE. 

This establishment comprises at present a superintendent, two Ser- 
jeants, one corporal, and four watchmen. 

This system of police has been of high importance to the good 
government and comfort of the inhabitants. At its commence- 
ment, there were many violent struggles between the more irre- 
gular part of the community and the police officers; but fines 
and imprisonments made them more submissive to the laws. 
When we take into view the small number of police officers hither- 
to employed, to perform duty both day and night, and the great 
population, consisting chiefly of mechanics and labourers, we must 
acknowledge, that the estaUishment is justly entitled to high ap- 
probation. 

A good many years previous to the passing of the police bill 
an establishment of special constables was organized in this place, 
with a view to preserve the peace of the community, and to pro- 
mote good order, in opposition to the attempts of the disaffected and 
seditious, who aimed at nothing short of the destruction of all law, 
government, and religion. The plan was reviewed and approved of 
by William Macdowall, Esq. of Garthland, the Lord Lieutenant 
of the county, and by the sheriff and other magistrates ; and was 
adopted to a considerable extent, and with due effect The es- 
tablishment was organized in 1794 or 1795, a short period before 
the volunteering system commenced. After that event, this insti- 
tution still subsisted ; but the parade, the dress, and the music of 
the military associations threw the peace officers into the bade 
ground* However, after it was found from experience, that the 
constables were the only efficient body that could effectually com- 
mand peace without military execution, it vras again had recourse 
to. Regulations were published by the magistrates of the place, 
and the sheriff-substitute of the county, — accompanied with a state- 
ment of the powers vested in constables by the laws of their country. 

Since that time the establishment has been kept up at a trifling 
expense. The furnishing each constable with a baton, as a badge 
of office, was all the expense incurred. The body consists of re- 
q)ectable citizens, scattered through the whole extent of the place. 
Of course, they are generally acquainted with their neighbours, 
and consequently, in case of any seditious movement or public dis- 
turbance the leaders can hardly escape detection. Another fa- 
vourable circumstance is, that this body of men may be brought to 
act with the utmost promptitude. The town and suburbs are divid- 
ed into four wards, according to the number of parishes. Each 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 1B9 

ward has a chief constable empowered to command, as if he were 
a military officer. There is likewise a second in command, to aid 
the head constable with his advice, and to command in his absence. 
Each ward is divided into eight or more districts, according to the 
extent and population. The captain or head of each district keeps 
a roll of his men, and his duty is to warn them to attend the ge- 
neral rendezvous, when notified to him by his commander. The 
number enrolled in the four parishes exceeds 500. The whole 
may be collected in less than one hour, ready to disperse any mob 
or riot that may take place, on receiving orders from the magis- 
trates in the town, or the Sheriff or Justices in the suburbs; 
without which they are not empowered to act This effective 
and honourable body of men has been employed on various occa- 
sioDS to command and preserve the peace ; and always with com- 
plete success. What adds to the value of this institution, is, that 
it is completely constitutional There are no weapons of war 
brought into operation. There is no compulsion as to the service, 
and little or no expense is incurred. The disorderly and evil-in- 
tentioned, conscious that they are in danger of being discovered, 
if any attempt is made to disturb the public peace, are thus kept 
b check, and regularity and peaceable conduct have thus been pre- 
served in very critical times. The principle of the establishment 
daims an antiquity as hi^ as the days of Alfred the Grreat ; and 
the plan itself is certainly deserving of imitation in every populous 
town and district of the country. 

Progress of crime. — In the following table is exhibited a view 
of the state and progress of crimes, &c as judged by the magis* 
trates, firom the period when the police establishment began down 
to 1818, and for the last five years. The melancholy progress 
of crime, particularly of late years, may be judged of from this 
table ; a progress for which the rapid increase of population will 
not wholly account 

1807 1606 1809 1810 1811 1812 1818 1814 1815 



JTersons conyicted ot 


218 


267 


144 


169 


134 


106 


94 


167 


113 


Ciiset of theft. 


4 


16 


16 


5 


11 


11 


9 


19 


25 


Persons conricted of 




















sirindling, 


2 


I 


2 


1 





2 


1 


1 





Do. for profimation 




















t>f SeblNithy 





19 


7 


5 











h 


8 


Do. of vending iMse 




















money. 





2 


3 


2 


6 


6 


4 


4 


8 


Caaet of house-break- 




















ing, . . 





1 








2 








3 


2 


Peraona convicte i of 




















reset of theft. 


























1 



Digitized by 



Google 



190 RENFREWSHIRE. 

1816 1817 1818 1881 1882 1883 1834 183& 



Cise of mnrdeTy 




















1« 


Robberies on streets 
















or vicinity of town, 




















1 4 


P)erB0O8 conyicted of 
















breaches of the pctuce, 


144 


146 


202 


704 


700 


607 


717 583 


Cases of theft. 


40 


40 


68 


817 


264 


275 


401 278 


Persons convicted of 
















swindling, 


2 


4 


11 


41 


14 


16 


45 12 


l>o. for profiuiation 
















ofStebbedi, 


10 


21 


27 


216 


192 


206 


252 172 


Do. of vending hose 
















money. 


7 


4 


3 


5 


8 


2 


6 7 


Cases of house-break- 
















ing, 


3 


U 


6. 


87 


87 


31 


29 40 


Persons convicted of 
















reset of theft. 


5 


2 


4 


23 


7 


8 


28 , 17 


Robberies on streets 
















or vicinity of town, 


3 


2 





48 


31 


88 


40 58 


Besides these, there 


is a 


class of minor offences, involving a 


contravention of the police act in some one or other of its clauses^ 


which has not been noticed 


in the above lists. 


The amount of 


these for the last five years 1 


lias been 


. as follows : 






1831 


1832 


1833 


1834 


\ 1835 





1088 1206 1052 776 598 

Public houses. — The following is an authentic list^of the num- 
ber of licenses issued for the town and Abbey parishes of Paisley, 
during the last eight years. The number has slightly risen dur- 
ing the given period, but when taken in reference to the increas-. 
ing population is very immaterial. 

Number of licences issued for the town, and Abbey parish of Paisley. 



October 1828, Burgh of Paisley, 


237 


1 ' New town and suburbs, 


- 


121 


Aij,^ Johnstone 
ADDey, . Thorn, El 


, Quarrelton, ' | 


' 




derslie, Dove- ► 


. 


57—178 


1. cotha]l,andNitshiU, > 




...• 








415 


May 1829, Burgh, 


274 


. 1883, Burgh, 


. 248 


Abbey, - 


196 


Abbey, 


. 180 




472 




487 


1880, Burgh, 


278 


1884, Burgh, 


257 


Abbey, - 


196 


Abbey, 


186 




469 




448 


1881, Burgh, 


217 


1885 Burgh, 


262 


Abbey, 


267 


Abbey, 


188 




484 




450 


1882, Burgh, 


223 






Abbey, 


170 
393 







In addition to the ordinary causes of intemperance which, alas ! 

* This was the case of a poor woman found in a close in the night, between a 
Sunday and Monday, with marks of serious injury on her head, which occasioned her 
death on the afternoon of the same day. The murderers were never discovered ; and 
it is possible the wounds may have been occasioned by a fiilL 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 191 

Gpemte here, as in other places, to a melancholy extent, there is one 
which has not been adverted to so frequently in this connexion as it 
ought ; the system of pawnbroking. About two years ago the at- 
tention of an official gentleman in the place was seriously called to 
tliis subject in making up some statistical returns ; and the result 
was really heart-rending. . He took the three leading establish- 
ments in town, and the weekly average showed the following issue 
of pawn-tickets ; in the first of these establishments, 4000 ; in the 
second, little short of 3000 ; and in the third about 2200. Now, 
appalling as at first sight this arithmetical summation appears, the 
misery does not rest here. By the pawnbroking act, when a broker 
advances any* sum beyond 10s. he is bound, under a penalty, to 
enter the transaction in a particular form ; and when the article 
pledged is sold, he is bound, should it realize more than the advance, 
to count and reckon with his customer, retaining only the original 
sum advanced, and the profit or ten per centage which the act al- 
lows him. So far there is no objection. But the case is widely dif- 
ferent when the advance is under 1 Os. Here there is no obligation on 
the broker to make any entry at all. He simply retains the article 
on which he has made the advance, and, should it not be redeemed 
within the statutory period, he is then entitled, without advertise- 
ment or any form of notice, either to sell the article or retain it 
for his own use; no matter what disproportion may exist betwixt 
its real value and the sum advanced. This, it is plain, is a positive 
premium on restricted advances ; and an establishment in Paisley did 
at one time, at least, make a point never to advance beyond the 
lesser sum ; and what with loss of tickets, mistake of dates, &c., 
their profit, we may presume, would not be thereby diminished. Very 
many cases have occurred where poor creatures, unable at the time 
to relieve some piece of furniture, or dress, pawned, it may be, by 
some foolish husband or wife, have lost all chance of reclaiming 
their property. A case illustrative of this may be noticed. A poor 
woman pawned a cloak or mantle ; the sum advanced was 6s. ; she 
lost the ticket, which was carried, (it is supposed, by the person who 
had stolen it,) to the office, and the mantle relieved, and afterwards 
sold to a clothesman in town for 2ds. Now suppose that the wo- 
man had kept hold of her ticket, but had not been able to redeem 
this mantle in time, this deficiency between the 6s. and the 238., 
would have found its way into the pocket of the pawnbroker. But 
there is an evil still more monstrous, and a most fearful encourager 
of dissipation. Suppose an advance of 6s. has been made, — and it 



Digitized by 



Google 



192 RENFREWSHIRE. 

IS Qomay tmcharitablo to suppose that sooae proportion of it at least 
has been spent in drink — a fiirther advance is then wanted, it may 
be for the same wretched purpose, and the following device is re- 
sorted to. There are in town a good many clothes people or 
brokers, as they are called, who traffic in every sort of second-band 
article. '1 hese persons have now got into the way of purchasing 
pawn-tickets, and cases have occurred in the Justice Court, where it 
turned out that tickets on which 6s. or 8s. bad been advanced, 
have been sold to these middlemen as low, as 6d. or Is. Now, 
keeping in view the original discrepancy between the value and the 
advance, the sacrifice is beyond calculation when this second 
transaction is closed. A woman in one of the parishes told the 
public prosecutors that she had an amazing quantity of such 
tickets, ^^ half a tea-chest full," was her expression, and that when 
her own shop required replenishing, she went to the pawnbroker's, 
as to a bonded warehouse, and got herself supplied ! Many in- 
stances are on record highly creditable to the feelings and honesty 
of pawnbrokers in the place ; but it is the system that is radically 
and thoroughly bad. Too easy a door is left open for the immedi- 
ate means of dissipation ; and if the system cannot be rooted out 
alt(^ether, it should at least be so far modified as to debar, and that 
under any circumstances, the pawning of bed-clothes, wearing ap- 
parel, and such like articles. It would be easy to show how rami- 
fied the operations of the system are, as affording a &cility to a 
weaver, for instance, to pawn articles coomiitted to his care for 
manufacturing purposes, and many other such cases. Pawnbroking, 
public-houses, and intemperance, are subjects which richly demand' 
the zeal and energy of the upright senator, in order to a direct 
and profitable interference .of the Legislature. 

Executions in Paisley. — Since the Union, there have been three 
public executions in Paisley. In 1765, Alexander Provan was 
hanged at the Gallowgreen for the murder of his wife, his right 
hand having been cut off prior to execution. In 1797, Thomas 
Potts was executed for housebreaking; and in October 1829, 
John Craig and James Brown were executed for housebreaking 
and robbery. 

On a general review of the police establishment, the following 
things appear to be desiderata in its constitution and plan of pro- 
cedure: — an effective union between the establishment of the 
buTjg^ and suburbs,* — a laiger number of officers, — and more 

* ThM ifoioa has, we are happy to say, been aoeompluhed siflce the above wa 
written, and we have no doubt that the advantages of it will soon b 2 manifect', (Janu- 
ary 1837.) 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 193 

frequent and hearty co-operation of the inhabitants at lai^ in 
carrying into effect the great practical design of the institutioa. 

Meetings of Courts, — The Sheriff court sits every Tuesday dur- 
ing session. The Sheriff Small Debt Court is held once a fortnight, 
on Thursdays. The Burgh Court is held every Monday and 
Friday. The Commissary Court sits on Thursdays. The 
Quarter SesMons are held at Renfrew? on the first Tuesday of 
March, May, and August, and last Tuesday of October. Justice 
Court for small debts is held at Paisley every Friday. Licensing 
meetings held at Renfi-ew, first Tuesday of May and last Tuesday of 
October. The town-council have three stated meetings, called 
*^ Head Courts," annually ; they meet for ordinary business gene- 
rally once a week, and oftener as required. Meetings of Commis- 
sioners of Police are held quarterly, an4i oftener when required. 

Antiquities^ Ancient Mansions^ 8fc, — Of these, by far the most 
interesting is the Abbey Church. But as it will be noticed under 
the head of Ecclesiastical History, we at present simply remark, 
that, in its immediate neighbourhood, stands the Mansion-House or 
Place of Paisley, an old building, at one time the residence of the 
Abercorn family, and at another of the Dundonald ; but now let 
out to various tenants. This tenement is the property of the Mar- 
quis of Abercorn. It is no way distinguished for its architecture. 

Crodiston or Cruickston Castle is a lofty but greatly shattered 
ruin, finely situated on a wooded slope, about three miles south- 
east from Paisley. The ancient proprietors of this castle and lordship 
were a £unily of Norman origin, sumamed De Croc, one of whom, 
Robert De Croc, was in the time of King Malcolm IV. a sub- 
scribing witness to the foundation charter of Paisley abbey. The 
castle and adjacent lands are now the property of Sir John Max- 
well of Pollock, Bart. Of the noble yew tree, which once grew 
near the castle, conspicuous for miles around, and noted for hav- 
in^oft afforded shade to Queen Mary and Lord Damley, ere love 
grew cold, not a vestige now remains.* 

The ancient tower of Stewarts Raiss is still to be seen. It 
stands on the right bank of the Levern, about two miles south of 
Cruickston, and distant four from Paisley. It was once the pro- 
perty and seat of a family named Halrig, a branch of the noble fa- 
mily of Damley. " I have seen,'* says Crawfurd, in his " History 
of the Shire of Renfrew," ^* a charter granted by John, Lord Darn- 
ley, and Earl of Lennox, of the lands of Halrig and Raiss, to 

* It was removed by the proprietur about eighteen years ugo. 



Digitized by 



Google 



194 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Alexander Stewart, consanguineo suoj u e. his kinsman, upon the 
resignation of Hector Stewart of Raiss, his father, anno 1484."* 
They now belong to James Sharp, Esq. merchant in Glasgow. 

Stanelie Castle^ an old tower, still in tolerable preservation, is si- 
tuated about two miles south-west of Paisley. It stands low, with 
the braes of Gleniffer rising immediately behind it. The masonry 
has been strong.; and a cornice at top, the corbels of which pro- 
ject considerably, gives an agreeable finish to the pile. Its height 
is about forty feet ; fully ten feet lower than the most elevated 
part of Cruickston Castle. Stanelie Castle and barony formed an 
ancient possession of the Danzielstons of that ilk,-(- <^ For I have 
seen," says Crawfurd, ^^ in the public rolls of King Robert III. a 
charter granted to Sir Robert Danzielston, Knight, of these lands, 
the second year of his reign ( 1372.)" The property came into the 
possession of one of the Maxwells of Calderwood, and is now in 
that of the Right Honourable the Earl of Glasgow. 

Besides these ancient castles, there are a few other antique 
structures in the parish. Hawkhead house is the principal of these 
in point of rank and extent. It is the residence of Lord Viscount 
Kelburne, and the property of his Lordship's father, the Earl of 
Glasgow. This house is an irregular pile, of which Crawfurd 
thus writes : ^^ South-west from the Castle of Crocston lie the 
castle and barony of Halkhead, situate upon the river Cart, the 
principal residence of the Right Honourable William Lord Ross.;^ 
This fabric is built in the form of a court, and consists of a lai^ 
old tower, to which there were lower buildings added, in the reign 
of King Charles I. an. 1634, by James Lord Ross, and Dame 
Margaret Ross, his lady, and adorned with large orchards, fine 
gardens, and pretty terraces, with regular and stately avenues, 
fronting the said castle, and almost surrounded with woods and 
inclosures." § Since Crawfurd's time, the house has undergone 
considerable alterations. "^ 

Blackhall House, lately occupied by a farmer, is now, the roof ^ 

" Scmple's Crawfurd, p. 241. t Robert6on*8 Crawfurd, p. 89. - 

X Of this family. Hamilton of Wishaw thus speaks: <* Robert dc Ross is wittness 
to repair a'year upon I even in the first vear of King Alexander the lliird, which is' 
1:248. They are frequently wittneases in the charters of the monasterie of Pasley. 
Thereafter, they were nobilitat by King James the Fourth, about the year 1492; 
and have continued in honour and reputation since. Godfridus de Ross, Miles, sone 
and heir of Sir Godfride de Ross, Knightt confinnes the lands in Stewarton which the 
abbacy of Pasley gott from Sir James Ross. Amongst the witnesses is AVilliam de 
Ros8r-1281, reg. Alex. Stii. 2." 

Account of the Sheriffdom of Renfrew, p. 77, printed for the Maitland Club In 
t^eyear 1831. 

§ Robertson's Crawfurd, p* 54. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLBY. 195 

having by its proprietor been taken off, to be regarded as one of 
the ruins in the parish* It may be remarked, as affording a speci- 
men of the con&ned and homely accommodation, as respected the 
dwellings of families of rank and consequence little more than a 
century ago. It is on the banks of the Cart, south-east of Paisley, 
but in its immediate vicinity, and is a strongly built, old pile, still 
belonging^^to the Shaw Stewart family. It was to an ancestor of 
this family. Sir Archibald Stewart, the lands of Blackball were 
granted by King Robert III. in 1396** All the fair plantations 
and gardens, which, in Crawfurd's time, grew in its neighbourhood, 
are gone* A minute description of the house itself is in the 
Oentleman's Magazine for 1819 or 1820. 

Cardonaldj an old mansion in the castellated style, laige 
and commodious, is about three miles east of Paisley, on the 
banks of the White Cartf This venerable-looking struc- 
ture, now let to various tenants, is embowered in wood of large 
growth. It is spoken of by Crawfurd as one of the seats of the 
Kight Honourable Walter Lord Blantyre, a family to whom the 
property still belongs. The same author farther says, ^^ an an- 
cient family of the Stewarts did possess the lands of Cardonald," 
adding, that the first of these proprietors, AL Stewart ^' and 
Marion Semple, his spouse, obtained them in the year 1487." I 
In the reign of King James VL they passed to Walter Stewart, 
Prior § of Blantyre. 

Of the ancient manor place of the G>chranes, a family of great 
antiquity in Renfrewshire, and whose house and barony lay on 
the western side of the parish, no remains are to be seen. This 
was the principal manor of the Cochranes, whose ancestors had, 
in Crawfurd's time, (1710,) possessed the lands " well nigh' five 
hundred years." The greater part of this ancient barony is now 
the property of Ludovic Houstoun, Esq. of Johnston. 

Near the west end of the village of Elderslie, and on the south 
side of the turnpike road passing through it, a tenement of rather 
ancient appearance is pointed out as the house in which the renown* 
ed hero Sir William Wallace was born. But if this brave de- 
fender of his country was born, as is generally allowed, on the 
spot, it must have been in a habitation of older date. Adjoining 

• Rohertson*8 Crawfurd, p. 5a 

•f> lliis river is called tlie White Cart, to distineuiBh it from another river in thi< 
county, which, from its appearance, proiiably occasioned by the mossy ground around 
its source and along its banks, has received the name of the Black Cart. 

t Semple's Crawfurd, p. 229. § Commendator. 



Digitized by 



Google 



196 R£MPREWSHIRE. 

this house is aD old garden, from the foundation of whose walk, 
about thirty years ago, a stone was dug, bearing the following in- 
scriptioQ cut in Roman letters, *' W. W. W. Christ is only my 
Redeembr." The stone was taken to Elderslie house, the seat of 
Alexander Speirs, Esq. M. P. where it still remains. 

Near ^^ Wallace's House," the name by which the above-men* 
tioned mansion is known, but on the north side of the turnpike 
road, stands the very celebrated tree called ** Wallace's Oak." 
Many are the years that must have rolled away since this tree 
sprung from the acorn. About eight or ten years ago, its trunk 
measured 20 feet in circumference. Now, it measures only 14 
feet and 2 inches. It was 60 feet in height, and its branches ex- 
tended to the east 45 feet, to the west 36, and to the north 25, 
covering altogether a space of 19 English poles. It derives its name 
from having, as tradition affirms, afforded shelter to Wallace and 
a party of his followers, when pursued by their enemies, in the 
same way as the Boscobel oak afterwards did to Charles IL 

It is also worthy of notice, that, in the garden of Wallace's houses 
there is to be seen a fine specimen of pur Scottish yew, said to be 
coeval with, some say older than, the celebrated oak. But be this 
as it may, it is certainly of ancient date, and tradition has assigned 
to it the name of •* Wallace's Yew." 

The names of several places in the vicinity of Elderslie con- 
firm the opinion of that village having been the birth-place, or at 
least the dwelling-place^ of the Scottish hero. 

On the subject of antiquities, we would mention that, at a very 
liule distance to the north-west of Stanelie Castle, there was tiU 
lately a small wood, near which was a Danish stone, according to 
Semple, but more probably a Popish cross, ^^ between 4 and 5 feet 
high, standing on a pedestal, the cross-piece on the top broken 
off." It had wreathed work on its edges, and on one side near the 
base, figures of two lions, with those of two boars above.* 

At Auldbar, a mile or so to the southward of Hawkhead, there 
was another of a similar description called *^ the Stead stone Cross." 
<< It is now," says ^^ Semple, about 4^ feet long, 16 inches broadi 
and 8 inches thick, standing upon a pedestal about I^ foot high, 
4^ feet long, and 3 feet broad : which stone with its foundation 
had been lying in a gravel pit for some years, and was lately erect- 
ed by Mr Charles Ross of Greenlaw. He remembers, within these 

* Semp1e*s Renfrei» shire, part 2»p. 264. 
4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 197 

forty years past, to have seen the cross-pieces on the top. No 
figures have been on it, only wreathed work/'* 

Not a mile to the south of this, at Harelaw Craigs, on a rock, 
upon the side of a branch road, ^^ are seventy-two small holeS of 
an oval form, an inch deep, and placed at irregular distances. 
Tradition has handed down, that a battle was fought here, and that 
these holes were where the feet of tents stood«''f Semple, how- 
ever, thinks the tradition groundless. X 

There are several estates in this parish, once or still belonging 
to families of distinction, which, generally speaking, have either no 
mansions on them, or dwellings of inferior character. We give 
their names here, because the proprietors or their connexions have 
figured in the history of their country. Raiss or LogarCs Kai$$^ 
John Logan of Raiss is named in the chartulary of Paisley as an 
arbiter between the Abbot of Paisley and the burgh of Renfrew, 
in 1488. The lands now belong to the Earl of Glasgow — White^ 
ford. Walter de Whiteibrd obtained these lands, which he so cal- 
led, from the Stewart of Scotland, for his good service, at the bat- 
tie of the Largs against the Norwegians, anno 1263, in the reign of 
Alexander III. Mr Kibbleof Whiteford has long possessed the lands. 
— NetdtoHf formerly belonging to the family of Alexander, is now the 
property of Alexander Speirs of Elderslie, Esq. in whose possession 
are also the lands otFulbarj belonging, when Crawfurd wrote, to a 
very ancient family of the name of Hall, settled there at least as 
early as the year 1370. — Bredieland^ still the property of a family 
of Maxwells, who have possessed the estate between three and 
four hundred years. William Maxwell, Esq. the present proprie- 
tor, has also the estate of Merksworth, anciently belonging to the 
Algoes of Walkinshaw. — Woodside^ beloi^ng, in Crawfurd's time, 
to his own fiunily, is now in the possession of the heirs of John 
Shedden, Esq. — Fergusliey on which is a good family residence, 
vras granted in 1544, by the abbot and convent of Paisley, to John 
Hamilton of the Orbieston family. It now belongs to John Wilson, 

• Semple's Renfrewshire, part 2, p. 238. f Ibid p. 239. 

X The rubbish which had gatheced upon and around these holes was lately 
cleared away» by order of John Wilson of Thornly, Esq., so that the antiquarian has 
now no difiiculty in tracing them. 

In a manuscript note by Dr Boog» appended to Semple's History, he says, " in 
the neighbourhood of the fium of Braehesd, some men digging in a hillock found 
several earthen rases. By their account they must have been urns : and along with 
them some brass instruments, which they describe as resembling heads of spears, 



Digitized by 



Google 



198 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Esq. The remains of the old Castle of Fergtulie are still to be 
traced on a property lately purchased, and at present possessed by, 
William Barr, Esq. of Drums. 

Within the burgh of Paisley, while it was yet an inconsiderable 
place, there stood several mansions^ each being the property, and 
frequently the residence of a noble or distinguished family. Of 
these we may mention Semple House, inhabited by the Lords 
Semple, heritable Sheriffs of the regality of Paisley ; and Fergus- 
lie House, originally belonging to the family of Ferguslie. Both of 
these dwellings are situated in the High Street, and are now oc- 
cupied by a variety of tenants. 

Modem Buildings, — The principal modern seats in the parish 
are, Johnstone Castle, Househill, and Ralston. The first of these 
stands on an estate originally called Easter Cochrane or Quarrelton, 
anciently possessed by Cochrane of Craigmuir,.4but for ages past by 
the ancestors of the present proprietor, Ludovic Houston, Esq.^* 
whose castle is now one of the chief ornaments of the county. The 
grounds around it are well wooded. — Househill, on the banks of the 
Levem, near its confluence with the White Cart, is a neat and com- 
fortable mansion, still, with the lands, in the proprietorship of the 
• ancient family of Dunlop of Househill. — Ralston House is compa- 
ratively a new and excellent mansion, built by the late William Orr, 
Esq. of Ralston.-}- There are also good and commodious houses 
on the estate of Barshaw, the property of Robert Smith, Esq. — 
and on the lands of Corseflat and Achentorlie, built by the late 
proprietor, Matthew Brown, Esq. and now in the possession of his 
son, Andrew Brown, Esq. To these may be added, Greenlaw 
House, the property and residence of Mrs Kibble ; Brabloch, of 
Fulton M^Kerrell, Esq. ; Maxwelton House, of Colonel Fulton • 
and Kilnside, an elegant mansion lately erected by Joseph White- 
head, Esq. 

There are, besides, especially in the neigfabourhood of the 

" The family of Johnston is a coHiteral branch of that of " Houston of that ilk," 
spoken of in Ilobertson*8 continuation of Crawfurd, p. 99, as of great antiquity, and 
deriving their descent from '< Hugo de Padvinan," who is mentioned as one of the 
witnesses to ** Walter High Stewart of Scotland's foundation charter of the Abbey of 
Pasly.** George Houston, younger of Johnston, Esq. has been recently chosen 
member of Parliament for this county in room of the late Sir M. S. Stewart of 
Greenock and Blackhall, Bart. 

f The estate of Ralston was long possessed by *•*• the Ralstons of that Ilk," said 
to derive their pedigree from Ralph, younger son of one of the Earls of File» who 
having obtained these lands from the High Steward of Scotland, they were afterwards 
. called Ralphstown, from the proper name of their proprietor."— Robertson's 6raw- 
furd, p. 57. The estate is now in the possession of the British Linen Banking Com- 
pany. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 199 

town, a number of neat villas, which persons enriched by trade 
take a delight in building ; and in laying out the grounds around 
these, the proprietors have displayed that taste for which the in* 
habitants of Paisley are so distinguished. 

Public Bmldings* — The county buildings were erected in 1818 
-1820, at an expense of about L. 28^000, raised by assessment on 
the county. The general form of this pile is quadrangular, and 
the style of the exterior castellated. The western or front divi- 
sion contains a court»house, county-hall, council-chambers, and a 
number of offices for different departments of public business con* 
nected with the town and county : the eastern range consists of 
the correction-house and common jail, with a chapel for reli* 
gious worship. Around these prisons there is a lofty wall, armed, 
where necessary, with ^^ chevaux de frise." Between the back 
and front divisions Itfe two courts for air and exercise. The 
front one is ornamented with a noble fa9ade, with projecting 
hexagonal turrets, rising considerably above the prison roof. An 
exterior balcony has been constructed over the arched gateway. 
It is supported by corbels', and adorned by a perforated parapet 
The buildings are for the use of the county as well as of the bmrgh. 

The steeple of the former prison and court-house still stands, an 
ornament at the cross. Opposite to it are the Ck)ffee-room build- 
ings, the upper part of which is adorned with Ionic [nlasters, 
and includes in it a large, elegant, and comfortable reading-room, 
on whose tables are always to be found an abundance of news- 
papers, reviews, and magazines. 

In addition to the parish churches, to be noticed under the bead 
Ecclesiastieal History, we may metition the Episcopal Chapel, a 
handsome building of chaste Gothic ; and one of the Secession 
churches, an elegant Grecian erection, as among the public build- 
ings which ornament the town. 

Town and Suburb^of Paisley. — The town of Paisley is at this day 
the third in Scotland in regard to size and population. Its houses, 
with those of its suburbs, are spread over a tract of ground, about 
two miles and a hsdf square. Its main street runs from east to 
west, for nearly two miles, and forms part of the road from Glas- 
gow to Beith and the Ayrshire coast towns. Another long line of 
street passes through the town, from north to south, the north part 
being the continuation of the road from Inchinnan, and the south 
merging in the road to Neilston. Perhaps the most spacious and 

RENFREW. O 



Digitized by 



Google 



200 RENPREWStllRE. 

regularly built street in Paisley is George Street ; but, in point of 
elegance of buildings, none can equal Forbes Street, which is lately 
opened. The new town, which is separated from the old by the 
river Cart, was planned by James eighth Earl of Abercom, who 
named most of the projected streets, in honour of the trade and 
manufactures of the place. The first houses in this important ad- 
dition to Paisley were erected in 1779. It now consists of upwards 
of twenty regularly formed and closely built streets. 

The town of Paisley, upon the whole, although well built, can- 
not cope in elegance with some of the larger towns of Scotland. 
Of late years, however, its appearance has been greatly improved 
by several low thatched houses having given way to neat and sub- . 
stantial tenements. Improvements of this description are in rapid 
progress. Of modem erections, Garthland Place may be point- 
ed out, at the entrance to Paisley from the east, as one of the 
most elegant rows of which any town in Scotland can boast ; and 
in passing along the streets, may be s4en several handsome, if not 
splendid houses, intermingled with the ordinary dwellings of the 
inhabitants. 

At Williamsburgh^ a village or suburb, east of the town, were 
erected, about fifteen years ago, barracks, adequate to the accommo- 
dation of half a regiment of foot. These barracks are commodious 
and pleasantly situated. 

Charleston^ including Lylesland and Dovesland, is a district, to 
the south of Paisley, inhabited chiefly by weavers, and containing, 
although most of it is built within these few years, a population 
of nearly 4000 inhabitants. 

Maxwelton^ Ferguslie^ and MiUerstony form the western suburbs 
of Paisley, and with the places just mentioned, are comprehended 
within the Parliamentary burgh. From the great space occupied 
by the town and suburbs of Paisley ; from the sloping character 
of the ground, on whichgreat part of it is built; and from the houses 
in general having a considerable portion of unoccupied ground be- 
hind them, and some of them tastefully laid out gardens. Paisley 
may, upon the whole, be considered as a heal thy place of residence, 
notwithstanding the occasional visitations of epidemical disease. 
/ Villages. — In the parish, besides the suburbs of Paisley, we have 
to mention the following villages, viz. Nitshill, Hurlet, Corsemill, 
and Dovecothall, in the south-east ; and Elderslie, Thorn, Over- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY, 201 

ton, and Quarrelton, with Johnston, which may be considered rather 
as a thriving town than as a village, in the west. Nitskillj distant 
about four miles from the old parish church, and Hurlety about 
three, are inhabited chiefly by colliers and other miners employed 
in the extensive works in their neighbourhood. The inhabitants 
of CorsemiU and Dovecothall again, also about three or four miles 
from the Abbey Church, are chiefly employed in the bleachfields 
and printfields oo the banks of the Levem, although several of 
the inhabitants of all these four villages find occupation in the 
extensive cotton-mill at Barrhead^ in the neighbouring parish of 
Neilston. 

Elderslie, situated about two and a half or three miles from Pais* 
ley, is, exclusive of Johnston, the most populous village in this pa- 
rish, beyond the bounds of the Parliamentary burgh. Its inhabi- 
tants are chiefly weavers, and cotton-spinners, including at the same 
time several employed at the neighbouring coal-pits and quarries. 
As the Glasgow, Paisley, and Ardrossan Canal stretches along the 
north side of this village, it greatly facilitates its commercial inter- 
course with the neighbouring towns. Its inhabitants are well sup- 
plied with excellent water, from springs in the vicinity, especially 
from the &med Bore^ a spring, whose water came in contact 
with a shaft, put down about forty years ago, when searching for 
coaL After boring forty fathoms deep, the original design was aban- 
doned ; but although coal was not obtained, the spring still con- 
tinues to supply plentifully the inhabitants of this interesting village 
with excellent water, throughout the whole year, at the rate of five 
gallons per minute, being six and a half gallons per day to each in- 
dividual 

Thorn and Otfertan are peopled by colliers, weavers, and a few 
other handicraftsmen. The population of Quarrelton consists al- 
most entirely of colliers. This village is very pleasantly situated, 
on die north side of the great road from Glasgow to Beith ; and 
it, as well as Elderslie, and the other villages on this line of road, 
presents from morning to night, a very busy and animated scene, 
from the great number of travellers daily passing. This village, 
like Elderslie, is well supplied with excellent water. 

Johnston^ which is still included in the parish, quocid dviUa, ex- 
hibits a most striking illustration of the effect of manufactures, in 
originating and increasing towns. 

About fifty years ago, near that bridge across the Black Cart, 



Digitized by 



Google 



202 RENFREWSHIRE. 

which, till lately, gave to the place the popular name of ^< Brig o* 
Johnston,'' merely a few cottages were to be seen, where now is a 
town consisting of two large squares, many considerable streets^ 
and numerous public works. This town is about four miles west 
from Paisley, and about eleven from Glasgow. Its situation is very 
pleasant, being contiguous to the Black Cart It is probable that, 
at thia day, it would either not have existed, or if it had, have been 
confined to the few cottages near the bridge, had not the late pub* 
lie-spirited proprietor, by his influence and example, excited a spi- 
rit of industry among its inhabitants, and cherished it by his pa- 
ternal care. The spirit he infused has continued to manifest itself, 
in the increasing wealth and prosperity of its enlightened and 
enterprising merchants and tradesmen. 

The rapid increase of this, place is not exceeded, if equalWd, \n> 
the annals of Scottish history. It began to be feued in the year 
1781, when it contained only ten persons. Towards the end of 
October 1782, nine houses of the New Town of Johnston were 
built, two others were being erected^ and ground on which forty- 
two more were to be built wa3 feued. In 1792, the inhabitants 
amounted to 1434 in number ; in 181 1, to 3647 ; in 1818, to about 
5000; and in 1831, to 5617. 

. As the introduction of the manufacture of cotton yam by mill 
machinery led to the founding of Johnston, so has the extension 
of the same manufacture contributed to its rapid increase and pre- 
sent prosperity. Within the boundary of this place are situated not 
less than eleven cotton mills. 

The town of Johnston is built on a very regular plan. Besides 
Houston Square, in the centre of the town, which is now built up 
on every side, there is to the southward a large area, intended to 
be a second squaiie, as well as market place, which is already 
beginning to be enclosed with neat houses* High Street, whick 
extenids from the bridge of Johnston to Dick's Bridge on the east, 
is closely built, as ajre several other streets, branching at right an* 
gles from both its sides. The houses in Johnston, are, for the. 
most part, two and three stories in. height, handsomely composed 
of good mason work. To each bouse is attached an adequate ex- 
tent of garden ground. The shops are numerous, some of them 
elegant». and in general, well stocked with varieties of excellent com- 
modities. 

The civil polity of the town is managed by a committee elected 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 






I 



5^ 
H 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 203 

anoually by the feuar& A Justice of Peace Court is held in the 
Assembly Rooms on the first Friday of every month* In Johnstoii 
there are a due proportion of highly respectable writers aiid me- 
dical practitioners, — a lodge of free masons, — various booksellers 
and printers, — fire and life assurance companies, and a branch of the 
Paisley Union Bank, — carriers to Paisley, Glasgow, Port-Glasgow, 
and Greenock. The market-place is very spacious, and afibrds 
accommodation rarely to be met with. The Glasgow, Paisley 
and Ardrossan Canal terminates in a basin at the east end of John- 
ston, to the advantage of which it greatly contributes. Adjoin- 
ing to the coal quay in this place, the tacksman of the Nitshill 
stone quarry has a yard for landing his building materials, for the 
better accommodation of those who prefer using the excellent 
stones of that quarry, in the construction of their fiictories and 
houses. 

From an eminence on the Paisley road, distant about a quarter 
of a mile from Johnston, that village has a picturesque appearance. 
The light and elegant spire which adortis its octagonal church is 
an object of general admiration* It was built in 1823, and is an 
imitation in miniature of the famous spire at Lincoln, built by Sir 
Christopher Wren. Since the erection of this spire, not less than 
five different bells have been its inmates, all of which, although of 
good materials, as well as* excellent tone, have been rendered un-- 
fit for duty by fracture, occasioned, it has been said, by the con- 
fined space in which they were hung« A sixth bell is now order- 
ed, but it is proposed to erect it in a lower part of the spire thcln 
that occupied by its predecessors, in the hope, that, in a more 
roomy space^ it will be less liable to the accident which befell the 
others. 

IIL — Ecclesiastical History. 
Monastery* — At one period, Renfrewshire was all comprehended 
in the deanery of Ruthei^len, being one of the ten deaneries of the 
Episcopal see of Glasgow. The only monastic establishment 
in the county wa5 that of Paisley, founded by Walter, son of Alan, 
the first of the Stewarts. This monastery appears to have been 
founded in the year 1 163,* for a Prior, and thirteen Cluniac Monks, f 
whom its founder broij^ht from Wenlock in Shropshire^ bis native 

• Chart. Pais. pref. p. 3. 

f ** The order derived its name from the Abbey of Cluni in Burgundy, the first 
and always the chief house of what were termed the reformed Benedictines."— Pref. to 
Chart, p. a 



Digitized by 



Google 



204 RENFREWSHIRE. 

country.* It has been supposed that Paisley was not the first situa- 
tion selected as the seat of this monastery* A charter of Malcolm 
confirms a grant of its founder, to the monks of St Milburga of 
Wenlock, of the Cluniac order, seated at the church of St Mary 
and St James, in the Inch beside Renfrew ; and a recorded char- 
ter of the founder grant* to the monks of Paisley " terram quam 
monachi prius habitaverunt" f These words, however, do not 
prove that Walter founded his monastery at Renfrew^ and after- 
wards removed it to Paisley, although they are strong evidence, 
that, previous to the grant referred to» a settlement of monks ex- 
isted at the former place* But if, by any other evidence, it can 
be made out that Renfrew was the original site of our monastery, 
it appears that its founder soon discovered the superiority of 
Paisley over Renfrew, as its site : for within a very short period, 
and before the death of King Malcolm, did he remove the new 
colony to their more permanent abode. :|: 

The monastery was dedicated generally to God and the Vir- 
gin Mary, and in particular to St James and St Mirin, § the 
last of whom seems to have been a Scottish Confessor, who passed 
his days in this vicinity, became afterwards the tutelar saint of the 
place, and was commemorated on the 15th of September || This 
mo^stery, by its original constitution, was ruled by a prior. But 
about the year 1220, it was, by a bull of Pope Honorius, raised to 
the rank of an abbacy, and the lands belonging to it were after- 
waras erected into a regality, under the jurisdiction of an abbot, if 
Its Abbot was entitled to wear a mitre, a ring, and other ponti- 
ficals; ** and he and the monks obtained from the popes many bulls, 
confirming their rights, and conferring on them certain privileges, ff 
It was liberally endowed by Walter, its founder. " He granted 
to the monks the Church of Inverwick, and the Mill of Inver- 
wick, in East Lothian ; the Church of Legerdeswode, in Berwick- 

• Chalmera, in bis Caledonia, has not only illustrated that obscure part of Scottish 
History, tbe true origin of the Stewart family, by showing that Walter, the first 
Stewart of Scotland, who obtained such magnificent possessions from David I. 
was one of the Fitzalans of Shropshire, afterwards Earls of Arundel, but has ex- 
plained the nature of the connexion between that &mi]y and the Cluniac Monks of 
Wenlock.— Vol. i. p. 572-6. 

f Chart. Pais. pref. p. 5. ^ lb. 

$ ** S. Merinus monachus, S. Regulo Graeoo perfiuniliaris, qui vd una cum illo in 
Scottam appulit, vel cum ille appelleret, strenuam, Deoque acceptun, instruendis 
Christiana pietate popularibus operam impendebat, Scripsit, " Homilins de Sanctis,** 
Florebat anno ccclxix.*' Dempsteri, Historia Ecclesiastica, p. 481, Tom. ii. print- 
ed for the Maitland Club in 1829. 

B Chalm. Caled. V. iii. p. 820. t C^*^. Pais. p. 8. 

* ^ Chart. Paisley, p. 429. ft Ib< pauim. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 205 

shire; a carucate* of land, at Hastenesdene, in Roxburghshire; 
the churches of Cathcart, and of Paisley, and all the churches of 
Strathgryfe, in Renfrewshire, except that of Inchinnan; the church 
of Prestwick-burgh, and the church of Prestwick, with all the lands 
of Prestwick, in Ayrshire ; a salt-work at Calentir, in Stirlingshire ; 
the lands of Drip and of Paisley and other lands in the barony of 
Renfrew ; a toft in his burgh of Renfrew ; f and half a merk of 
silver, yearly, from his rents in that burgh ; the mill of Renfrew ; 
the island in the Clyde near Renfrew ; and the fishing between 
that island and Perthec ; one net's fishing for salmon, and six nets 
fishing for herrings, in the Clyde; 4s. yearly from the mill of 
Paisley, and the right of grinding their corns at this mill, free of 
multure : the tenth of the produce of that mill, and of all his other 
mills ; the tithes of all his wastes, and of all the lands, which were 
settled, or should be settled in his forests : the right of pasturage 
and all other easements in the forest of Paisley ; the tenth of his 
venison, and the skins of his venison ; the tenth penny of the rents 
of all his lands, except those in Kyle." % Eschina, the wife of the 
founder, gave to the monks some lands and pasturages, in her ter- 
ritory of Moll in Roxburghshire. § Alan, the son of Walter, be- 
sides confirming his father's grants, made considerable additions 
to them, such as the church of Kingarf, in Bute, with its chapels, 
—and a large tract of land in that island. Walter, the third Stew- 
art, and grandson of the founder, added still farther to the posses- 
sions of the monastery, as did also the vassals of the founder and 
his successors. Accordingly, we find the monks of Paisley in pos- 
session, at one time, of th^ church of Sanchar, and the church of 
Dundonald, with its two chapels of Crosby, and Richardtoun, the 
church of Achinleck and of Craigie in Ayrshire, the churches of 
Pollock, Mearns, and Neilston in Renfrewshire. || We may men- 
tion also, that Walter the Stewart, in 1318^ added to the endow- 
ments of the first three Stewarts, the church of Largs, in Ayrshire, 
with its property and pertinents, for the salvation of the soul of his 
wife, Marjory Bruce, who was buried in the monastery at Paisley.lf 
The monks of Paisley were also gifted with the churches of Ruther- 

* A carucate of land, that b, « as much land as a plough could till in one year, 
computed in England at lOO acres.** Skene de Signif. Verb. 

t Toft is used to denote ** a place of pasture near a village.** Jameson's Supplement, 
verb. Toft. Charter of Alan, the second Steward of Scotland, son of Walter, the 
founder of the monastery of Paisley, granting a toft in Renfrew, and the right of a 
salmon-net in the river Clyde, to the monks of Cuper." From the Cottonian Charter, 
xviii. 24. See Illustrations of Scottfsh History, printed for the Maitland Club. 

X Chart. /NUftm, Chalmers* Caledon. VoL iii. p. 8^. § Chart, p. 74. 

II Chalmers, Vol. iii. p. 821. t 1^. 



Digitized by 



Google 



206 RENFREWSHIRE. 

glen and Carmunnock, in Lanarkshire, before 1189, and of Kilfin- 
an, in Cowal, and of Kilcolmanel, in Knapdale, with the chapel of 
St Columba. By these and other rich donations, as well as smal- 
ler acquisitions of lands and tenements in burghs, partly the gifts 
pf pious individuals, and partly by purchase, did Paisley become 
the most opulent monastery in the south of Scotland, with the ex- 
ception of Kelso. St Andrews, Dunfermline, and Aberbrothock 
are mentioned as the only ones north of the Forth, that exceeded 
it. These, however, were of royal foundation, nor is there any ex- 
ample in all Scotland of any monastic establishment being so li- 
berally endowed by a private family, as that of Paisley was by the 
first three Stewarts.* 

The Abbey of Paisley was the feimily burying-place of the Stew- 
arts, before their accession to the throne, and even after that pe- 
riod, Eupheme, Queen of Robert IL, and Robert III. were buried 
at Paisley; the first in 1387, and the second in 1406. f The 
monastery was destroyed by fire by the English in 1307. J It 
was afterwards rebuilt and greatly enlarged. The magnificent Ab- 
bey Church, which existed at the Reformation, seems to have been 
built in the reigns of James I. and IL, and was nearly completed 
by Abbot Thomas Tarvas, in 1459. § It was after the model 
of a Cathedral, in the form of a cross, with a very lofty steeple, 
finished after the abbot's death. || The spacious buildings of this 

• Chalmers, Vol. iii. p. 822. t lb. 

i Fordun, as referred to by Chalmers, Vol. iii. p. 824 

§ ** The yer of God mcccclix. the penult day of Junii, deoessit at Paisley, Thomas 
Tarvas, Abbot of Pasley, the quhilk was ane richt gude man, and helplyk to the 
place of ODy that eyer was ; for he did mony notable thingis, and held ane noble 
hous, and was ay wele purvait. He &nd the place all out of gud rcwle, and destitute 
of leving, and all the kirkis in lordis handis, and the kirk unbiggit. The body of the 
kirk fira the bricht stair up, he^ biggit and put on the ruf, and thecket it with 
sclait, and riggit it with stane, and biggit ane great porcioun of the steple, and ane 
staitlie yethous, and brocht hame money gud joweUis, and olathis of gold, silver, and 
silk, and mony gud bukis, and made staitlie stall is, and glasynit raekle of aU the 
kirk. And brocht hame the staitliest tabernakle that was in all Scotland, and the mast 
oostlie. And schortliehc brocht all the place to fredome, and lira Qocht till aue michty 
place, and left it out of all kynd of det, and at all fredoihe till dispone as thaim 
lykit, and left ane of the best myteris that was in Scotland, and chandillaiis of silver, 
and ane lettren of bras, with mony uther gud jowellis.'* — Auchinlek ChromcU. 

J One of the architects employed in the erection or repairing of the Abbey, was 
n Murdo, as appears from the following inscription, on the south side o^the 
transept door of the Abbey of Melrose. 

iOHTX : MUKDO : SUM : TTM : CALLVT 

w. s ;.,.^...^j) : BORN : in : parvsss 
CKRTAiyLT : AND : HAD : IK : KEMMG : 
AL : MASON : WRHK £ Of : SAKTAN 
DRAVS : YE : HTX : KIRK . OF : QLAS : 
OO : MELROfl : AKD : FASLAY : OF 
NYDDSDALL : ,>>.^i^.D : OF : GALWAT : 

I : FRAY : TO : god :..,^d : y : bath. 



Digitized by 



Google 






Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 207 

monastery, with its extensive orchards and gardens, and a small 
park for fallow-deer, were surrounded by a magnificent wall of cut 
stone, upwards of a mile in circumference. This wall was built in 
the reign of James IILin 1485, by George Shaw, Abbot of Pais- 
ley, as appears from the following inscription on the west wall of 
the house, at the angle formed by Lawn Street and Incle Street. 

THEI CALLR TK ABBOT QEORG OP SCUAWB, 
▲BOUT YX8 A BEAT OABT MAK TIIM WAW ; 
A THOU8ANDK FOUR HUMDRBTH ZHEYB, 

AUCHTT ANDE PYVE, TUE DATE BUT TEIB : ' 

f « • « 

THAT MADE THUS VOBIL FOUNDACXOUN. 

Spottiswood takes notice of another inscription. ^* In one of 
the corners of this curious wall, towards the outer side, there was 
a niche, with a statue of the Virgin Mary, with this distichp en- 
graven under her feet 

Hae ne vade via, nisi dixeris ave Maria, 
Sit semper sine vae, qui tibi dicit ave.'* \ 

The wall, indeed, seems to have been adorned at frequent in- 
tervals, with statues. I 

At the Reformation, the rental of the Monastery of Paisley, as 
reported to Government in January 1561-2, amounted to L. 2468 
in money ; 72 chalders and 4 bolls of meal ; 40 chalders and 1 1 
bolls of bear ; 42 chalders, 1 boll, 1 firlot, and 1 peck of oats ; and 
706 stones of cheese ; and at that time not less than twenty-nine 
parish churches belonged to this monastery. § After the Refor- 
mation, the abbacy was secularized by the Pope, in favour of Lord 
Claud Hamilton, third son of the Duke of Chatelherault || ; and 

Historians have supplied the part of the inscription which is effaced, in conse- 
quence of which, the whole is given as under : 

** John Murdo, sum tym callyt was I, 
And born in Parysse certainly, 
And had in keping all mason werk 
Of Santandrays, ye hye kirk 
Of Glasgu, Melros, and Paslay, 
Of Nyddsdall, and of Galway : 
I pray to God and Mary bath, 
And sweet St John kep this haly kirk fra skaith." 
* Semple thinks the line " pray for his salyation** was obliterated between 171 and 
1736. 

t See Renfrewshire Characters and Scenery, published in 1824, p. 3& 
i Quod (monasterium) magnificentissimo muro, quadro penitus, lapide pulcher- 
rimis ac crebro, emlnentibus statuis ultra mille passus undique cingebatur. Leskeus^ 
as quoted in notes to Renfrewshire Characters and Scenery. 
f Chalmers's Caled. Vol. iii. p. 826. 

I Long before this period, free use seems, at times, to have been made of the pro- 
perty of ecclesiastics. The following is an extract of a letter, *' from Dr Magnus to 
Cardinal Wolaey, dated at Edinburgh, !^2d December 1524."-.« The good Abbot of 



Digitized by 



Google 



208 RENFREWSHIRE. 

on the 29th of July, 1587, erected by the King and Parliament, 
into a temporal lordship, when the whole property of the monas- 
tery, with the patronage of the several churches, was granted to 
Lord Claud, and his heirs in fee ; and he himself was created 
Lord Paisley* * The opulent lordship of Paisley continued in 
that family till 1652, when James Earl of Abercom sold it to the 
Earl of Angus, who next year sold the greater part of it to Lord 
William Cochran, who was created Earl of Dundonald, and Lord 
Cochran of Paisley in 1669. The barony of Kilpatrick, in Dum- 
bartonshire, he disposed of to Sir John Hamilton of Orbistoun ; 
the lands of Monkton in Ayrshire to Lord Bargany ; and those 
of Glen, in Renfrewshire, to Lord Sempil, and others* f Great 
part of the lordship of Paisley was, at different times, sold off by 
the Dundonald family; and what remained of it was, in 1764, re-> 
purchased by James Earl of Abercom, and now belongs to the 
Marquis of Abercom. % Since the Reformation, the Abbey has 
been successively the residence of Lord Paisley, the Earl of Aber- 
com, and the Earls of Dundonald. But the Earl of Dundonald, 
having demolished the ancient gateway of the Abbey, and feued 
off the immediately adjoiping grounds for building, the appear- 
ance of the place was entirely changed, and the Abbey rendered 
unfit for a family residence. It has, since that time, been let out, 
in separate dwellings, to tradesmen's families, and, for several years, 
has been in a state of great disrepair. The Abbey Park, with 
its orchards and gardens, are now the site of the New Town of 
Paisley, having been feued off for building ground by their pro- 
prietor in 1781. Till that period, the magnificent cut stone wall 
that enclosed the park remained nearly entire. But having been 
sold to the feuars, most of the stones have been since used in 
building their houses, and now (1837) the only portion of it, we 

Pasley of late shewed unto me be was likly to susteyne gret hurt and damage, booth 
to bymselfand his monastery by the saide twoe Erles, (*' Angwisshe and Lenowx") 
if remedy were not founden in tyme convenient, for as he shewed unto me the said 
twoe Erles intended to keep thaire Crirtenmas In his saide house, and to use every 
thing there at thaire libertye and pleasur, booth for hors and naan, to the noumber of 
ijc persons, and therfore desired me to write for hym to the Erie of Angwisshe, and 
soe I did, and besides that matier, gave vnto the saide Erie of Angwisshe my poore 
advertisment« according to the contynne of your saide gracious letteres, copy of my 
letter with his answer therunto, pretermitting a grete parte of the effectuall matier 
wherynne I shulde have knowen his mend, I send also vnto your saide grace." Il- 
lustrations of Scottish History, page 112-113, printed for Muitland Club. 

* Chalmers's Caled. Vol. iiL p. 827, and former Statistical Account Vol. viL p. 
69. also Hamilton's Description of Lan. and Rcnfw. p. 74. printed for Mait. Club. 
1831. 

t Chalmers's Caledonia, Vol. iii. p. 827, and Sutistical Account, Vol. vii. p. 95. 

t Ibid. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 209 

believe, which has escaped destruction, is to be seen in its place, 
near the Seedhill Bridge. 

Chap€ls.~^Jn former times, there were several chapels within the 
parish of Paisley. In the town there stood one of these, dedicat- 
ed to St RocL The Stewarts had one at their manor-place of 
Blackball, on the south-east of the town. Before the end of the 
twelfth century, an hospital was founded for infirm men, by Ro- 
bert Croc, one of the most considerable vassals of the first Stewart 
already mentioned, as having settled at, and given the name to. 
Croc's town, afterwards called Cruickston. He not only endowed 
this hospital, but also built a chapel, and endowed a chaplain to 
perform divine service, for the infirm brothers of the hospital. A 
license was obtained by him and Henry Nes, both vassals of the 
Stewarts, to have, within the walled courts of their habitations, 
two oratories, or private chapels, for the celebration of divine ser- 
vice, on condition, that all the oblations received in those chapels, 
should be carried to the mother church of Paisley. This hos- 
pital seems to have stood on the left bank of the Levern water, be- 
tween old Cruickston and Neilston.* 

Of the parochial church of Paisley, the monks enjoyed the 
tithes and revenues. Its tithes, according to the rental of the 
monastery, were yearly, 5 chalders, 1 firlot and 3 pecks of meal ; 6 
chalders, 9 bolls of bear ; L. 10 for the tithes of the lands of 
Whiteford and Ralston ; and L. 26» Ids. 4d. for the tithes of the 
town of Paisley : and, according to the same rental, the vicarage 
revenues of the parish churches of Paisley and Lochwinnoch were 
L. 100 yearly.t 

After the Reformation these tithes and revenues, along with the 
patronage of the parish, became the property of the commenda- 
tors of Paisley, till 1587, when, as has been stated, the whole pro- 
perty of this opulent monastery was granted to Lord Claud Ha- 
milton, the then commendator, and his heirs. The patronage of 
the church has since belonged to the different proprietors of the 
Lordship of Paisley, and is now in the hands of the Most Noble 
the Marquis of Abercom. ^ 

Of those who held the chief place in the monastery, whether 
as prior or abbot, or afterwards as commendator, Crawfurd has 
furnished us with a list, which future writers have copied. The 

* Chalmers's Caled. Vol. iii. p. 828, 829, and 832. 

t Ibid. p. 831, 8d2. 

X Ibid. p. 832, and Sutistical Account, Vol. vii. p. 94. 



Digitized by 



Google 



210 RENFREWSHIRE. 

following) (for which the chartulary is our chief authority,) it is pre- 
sumed, will be found more correct than the one referred to, al- 
though on this subject we cannot pretend to complete accuracy.* 
Prtor^.— The monastery of Paisley was at first governed by a 
prior. 

1. Osbert is the first prior on record in the chartulary, in con- 
firmation by Pope Alexander IIL 8th April 1172. f He was suc^ 
ceeded by 

2. Roger, who, by charter dated about 1 180, grants to Robert 
Croc and Henry de Nes, special friends of the convent, license to 
build the two chapels already noticed4 By a charter, referred to 
the period between 1223 and 1233, he and the convent resign to 
Walter, second of the name, son of Alan, the island near the town 
of Renfrew, afterwards called King's Inch. 

Abbots. — About 1220, the monks received authority to elect an 
abbot as superior of the convent. The first abbot is, 

1. William. He is witness in an agreement dated 1225, with Hugh, 
son of Reginald, as to the lands of Achinchoss (Houston.) In 1235, 
he is witness to an agreement dated at Blackball, between the Earl 
of Lennox and Gilbert the son of Samuel, as to the lands of 
Monachkenneran. 

2. Stephen succeeded. A charter is granted by him in 1272, to 
Thomas of Fulton, and Matilda, his wife, of their lands of Fulton. 
Crawfurd states, that Andrew de Kelcou was the successor of Wil- 
liam. But this is incorrect. The deed to which Crawfurd refers as 
evidence, instead of being dated in ]318|is dated in 1328, and proves 
that this Andrew was not abbot, but prior at the time, and acted 
in the matter as procurator and attorney for the abbot and mo- 
nastery.§ 

3. Walter succeeded Stephen. His name is to be found in the 
Ragman Roll, as having come under submission to Edward in 
1296. ' He was succeeded by, 

4. Roger, in 1312, whose successor was, 

6. John, who is Abbot in 1327, when Andrew, Bishop of Ar- 
gyle, grants to the monks the fruits belonging to the rector in 
the churches of Kilfinnan, Kilkerran, and Kilcolmanel. In 1334, 
Pope Benedict granted this abbot and his successors the liberty 

* <^ The rental book of Paisley furnishes information concerning seTeral of the abbots, 
with the assistance of which, it may be possible to give a complete and correct Ibt of 
them.*' Chart. Pais. pref. p. ^ 

t Printed Chart, p. 406, \ lb. 77, 78. 

§ Chart. Pais. p. 27. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 211 

of wearing the mitre, ring, and other Pontificals. He was suc- 
ceeded by, 

6. John de Lithgow. His name occurs in the chartulary, in 
deeds bearing the dates 1884, 1387, 1388, 140a Within the 
north porch of the Abbey Church is a stone with this inscription : 
Johes d. Lychtgu abbas hujus monastii xx die mesis Januarii ano 
dm Mccccxxxiii elegit fieri sua sepulture. But it would appear 
that soon after 1408^ he had resigned his office, for, 

7. William Chisholm is Abbot in 1414. He was one of the 
monks of the monastery, and probably recommended himself to the 
Chapter by his activity in the temporal affairs of the convent, in 
which he appears to have had some concern durbg the rule of Ab- 
bot Lithgow. His successor was, 

8» Thomas Morwe, who on 13th Octc^r 1420, and 21st April 
1421, receives a safe-conduct to pass into England.* To him sue- 
ceeded the celebrated^ 

9. Thomas Tarvas, who died 30th June 1459. The next abbot is, 

10. Henry Crichton, who was translated to Dunfermline in 1472, 
and was succeeded by, 

11. George Shaw, celebrated as the builder of the magnificent 
wall which surrounded the monastery and its gardens, and the 
founder of the burgh of Paisley in 1490, when his charter to the 
provost, baillies, burgesses, and community ofthe burgh is dated. 
He was a younger son of John Shaw of Sauchie, Stirlingshire^ a 
family now represented by Sir M. Shaw Stewart of Greenock and 
Blackball, Bart His life has been written by Crawfurd. (Lives 
of the Officers of State, Edinburgh, 1726, p. 367.) 

12. Robert Shaw, another son of the house of Sauchie, and 
nephew to Abbot Shaw, became his successor on his uncle's resig- 
nation in March 1498-9. He became Bishop of Moray, and was 
succeeded by, 

13b John Hamilton, the last Abbot, who was appointed by the 
Pope, 18th May 1525. He was a natural son of James, first 
Earl of Arran, ^^ by Mrs Boyd, a gentlewoman (says Keith) of a 
very good family in the shire of Ayr." He obtained a legitima^ 
tion on the 20th of June 1 546. In the same year he was made 
Bishop of Dunkeld, and, in 1549, Archbishop of St Andrews. He 
was declared a traitor by the government of the Regent Moray in 
1568) for adhering to the cause of Queen Mary. In 1571, on the 
seizure of Dunbarton Castle, he fell into the hands of his enemies, 

* See Hotuli Scotiae. 



Digitized by 



Google 



212 RENFREWSHIRE, 

and, three days thereafter, was ignominiously hanged on a gibbet, 
in the town of Stirling. This abbot erected, at immense expense, 
a handsome tower to the Abbey Church.* 

Commendators, — John Hamilton, about four years after his ap- 
pointment to the Archbishoprick of St Andrews, resigned the ab« 
bacy, as already mentioned,f in favour of his nephew. Lord Claud 
Hamilton. But while the archbishop resigned his place as abbot, 
he still continued, as commendator, in possession of the rule and re- 
venues of this valuable benefice. After his death, Lord Claud 
having also adhered to Queen Mary, 

Robert, son to William Lord Sempil, heritable baillie of Pais- 
ley, was appointed commendator of the monastery, by the treaty 
of Perth in February 1 572-a 

Lord Claud was afterwards restored to his rights, when he ex- 
pelled Lord Sempil from the monastery, and took possession of it 
himself as commendator. He was in 1579 obliged to fly into Eng- 
land ;| but returning from it, in 1585, he was again restored to his 
property and rights ; and on the 29th of July 1587, the whole pro- 
perty of the monastery, which he held for life, as commendator, 
was erected into a temporal lordship, and granted to him and his 
heirs in fee.§ 

Church. — The church of the monastery when entire appears to 
have consisted of a nave, a northern transept, and a choir, vnth the 
chapel commonly called " the Sounding Aile," partly on what 
would have formed the site of the southern transept The edifice 
has been 265 feet in length, measured over the walls. The in- 
ternal measurement of the nave is 9 feet 3 inches in length, and 
59 feet 6 inches in breadth, indudiDg the width of the ailes, the 
northern of which is 13^ feet, and the southern 12| wid^ le aiii ^ 
83 feet 5 inches as the width of the nave proper. The transept 
measures internally 92^ feet by 35, and the choir, which has been 
without ailes, 123^ by 32 feeL The measurement of the transept 
is carried across the church, to the wall of what is called St 
Mirren's chapel, or the sounding-aile. 

Externally, the walls of the side ailes of the nave are sur- 
mounted by a plain parapet, at about 27 feet from the ground : 

* LeaUeus de Origine, &o. Scotorum, pu 10. -f P. 176. 

X " The twabreioer, Lord John and Claud Hamiltoiins, fled in Ingland, and their 
landxs at the King's gift.*' ^ Ane croniekiil of the Kingia of Scotland," p. 183, print- 
ed for Mait. Club. 

§ AcU Pari. Hi. 595, 432, 587. as referred to by Chalmers. See Caledon. Vol. iii. p. 
827. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 213 

the walls of the nave rise 33 feet higher, and the parapet is pierced 
by embrasures. From the ground to the roof of the building, the 
height is 82, and to the top of the belfry 90 feet 

The west front of the church is an elevation of much dignity, 
composed of a grand central and two lateral compartments, se- 
parated and flanked by buttresses, three of which are terminated 
by recently erected cones^ a similar one of which is on the east 
end of the nave. These cones are by no means ornamental. 
The centre of the front is horizontally divided into three com- 
partments, in the lowest one of which there is a grand door-way 
very deeply recessed, flanked by two elegant blank arches, nar- 
rowly pointed, and adorned, as well as the arch of the great door- 
way, by a moulding filled with the toothed ornament. The mould- 
ings of the principal arch rise from the capitals of fifteen slender 
shafts, alternately relieved and attached. In the second com- 
partment are two well-proportioned windows, 26 feet in height, 
by 9-^ in breadth, and divided into three simply pointed lights, 
the upper part being filled with tracery, consisting of circles and 
triangles. In the spandrils between, and on each side of these 
windows, are three Grothic niches, each 7 feet in height, in which 
images, it is said, were at one time placed. Each of these is 
ornamented with a wreath of toothed ornament, similar to that 
of the great archway, and four blank quatrefoils occupy the spaces 
between their pointed arches. The uppermost compartment con- 
tains one large window, 19 feet by 14 feet 9 inches, of five trefoil 
headed lights, above which is elaborate flowing tracery, filling 
the whole arch of the window. Each of the side compartments 
of this imposing front is pierced by a single window, of the lancet 
or narrow pointed form. 

The ailes are lighted by pointed windows, in the decorated 
style, divided by muUions into two, three, and in some, four lights, 
the arched heads filled with flowing tracery of diversified cha- 
racter. Of the four in the north aile, the first and second from the 
transept seem to have undergone less change than the others, as 
their architecture has more the appearance of antiquity, or at least 
bears fewer marks of alteration or rem>vation than that of the 
others. This remark applies also to the second, from the west 
end of the south aile. On the north wall, toward its west end, 
is a porch, above which is erected the present Testry. Through 
this porch is an entrance, in a stjie of architecture somewhat si- 
milar to that of the western. On the left wall of the portico is 



Digitized by 



Google 



214 RENFREWSHIRE. 

an inscription to the memory of John de Uthgow, mentioned 
among the Abbots of the monastery. The south aile presents 
the same number of windows with the north. It show» also two gate- 
ways, now built up, one near each end of the building, the eastern 
one being semicircularly arched, and exhibiting the only feature 
which appears to be of Norman character, in the exterior of the 
edifice* The clerestory windows are twelve in number, on each 
side of the main body of the nave. They are formed by a muUion 
into two trefoil-headed lights, and quatre-foiled in the enclosing 
arch. As these windows are placed close to each other, open- 
ing within pointed arches, and finely proportioned, they im- 
part to the church a peculiarly light and graceful appearance. 
That appearance on the south, however, is at present destroyed, 
as the whole range is built up with rough masonry. The eastern 
gable of the nave is merely a screen ot modem masonry, filling 
up the western arch beneath the great tower. On the outside of 
this gable may be traced a mural tablet, apparently erected to 
the memory of the unfortunate John Hamilton, the last of the 
abbots. The remains of an inscription, and the arms of the 
Hamiltons, with the motto ^' misericordia et pax," are still visi- 
ble. But neither the modern part of this gable, the window in- 
serted in it, the bell turret that rises above k, nor the roof of the 
building, also of modern date, are at all in keeping with the 
other parts of the edifice. The large bell^ which was ooee the 
tenant of the lofty tower that rose from the centre of this church, 
is said to have been carried by Oliver Cromwell to Durham, 
where it is still to be seen, and where it is likely to remain, till a 
suitable habitation be provided for it, in the place of its former 
abode. 

The interior of the nave is truly magnificent. Ten massy clus- 
tered columns, 17 feet in height, with simple but elegantly mould- 
ed capitals, divide the ailes from the body of the &bric Of 
these columns, the circumference of each of the two nearest the 
west is more than double that of any of the others, plainly ladir 
eating that they were kitended by the architect, in connection with 
the front wall, to support two western towers. From the^impostB 
of the columns spring pointed arches, with delicate and gracefttl 
mouldings. On the centre pillar to the soulh is sculptured in re- 
lief an antique coat of arms with- grotesque supporters. Frem a 
floor formed above the first tier of absfaes q^iag these of the tr»- 
forium. They are large and setnicircukr, springing from clustered 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. ^15 

columns, and areenriched with a variety of mouldings. Witbinthese 
finely sweeping arches, are included two pointed ones, cinque-foiled 
in the head, and separated from each other, by a short but delicately 
clustered column, with an ornamental capital. The space between the 
heads of theseminorarches,andthatoftheprincipalarch above them, 
is open to the body of the structure, and beautifully cusped. From 
the summit of the spandrils, between each pair of arches, a se- 
mi*hexagonal projection juts out about 3^ feet, supported by 
two ranges of blocked corbels, receding downwards. These pro- ' 
jections or platforms terminate, each in a sculptured grotesque fi« 
gure, which seems groaning under the weight. We are disposed 
to think, that the flat summits of these singular projections, while 
they served to form the clerestory walk or gallery, which passed al-> 
temately behind and in front of the pillars, were also intended to be 
used as stands for torch-bearers at the celebration, by night, of fu- 
neral or other rites. The arches and other appendages of the 
triforium are, so far as we have heard, peculiar. Above the trifo- 
rium rises the clerestory, the arches of which, opening also to the in- 
terior of the edifice, are simple, pointed, and narrow, but ofjust pro- 
portions, with clustered piers and plain, mouldings. The original roof, 
which has given place to a simple coved one, v^as finely groined 
with sculptured bosses, at the intersections of the ribs, of which a 
specimen is still to be seen, towards the west end of the southern 
aile. Near the roof of that aile, are two very small trefoil-head- 
ed niches, in which, as is supposed, images at one time stood. The 
modem eastern window, in the inside, is filled with stained glass, 
and beneath it, is a large white marble monument, erected by the 
county of Renfrew, in memory of the late William M^Dowall of 
Castle Semple and Garthland, Esq., who represented this coun* 
ty in five different Parliaments. Other monumental tablets, a few 
of modem, but many more of ancient date, and much de&ced, are 
arranged upon the walls of the building, or form part of the pave- 
ment of the area. 

The nave, which is now the church of this extensive parish, 
underwent a thorough repair in the year 1789. The pulpit, which 
is attached to the centre pier on the northern side is of oak, and 
surmounted by a chaste Gothic canopy, rising to a point, at a con- 
siderable height ; the pulpit and canopy are enriched with nume- 
rous carvings. The gallery is disposed around the whole edifice, 
and omamented with the armorial bearings of the principal heri- 
tors. For the comfort of the sitters, stoves were introduced into 

RBNFREW. P 



Digitized by 



Google 



216 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the church about six years ago; and it is at present, besides being 
one of the most magnificent, one of the most comfortable, places 
of worship in Scotland. 

The transept, although ruinous, still displays in the fair proper* 
tioos, and yet remaining beauty of its northern window, a most in- 
teresting relic of monastic grandeur. The window, about 35 feet 
in height, by 18 in breadth, occupies the greater part of the space 
that interrenes between the graduated buttresses, which support the 
northern angles of the transept. It is formed within an arch of beau* 
tiful proportions and of the decorated kind. The centre muUion still 
remains, dividing the window into two great lights, pointed and rich- 
ly cusped. The space between them and the great arch has been 
filled with flowing tracery, a considerable part of which may still be 
seen, as well as portions of similar work, in the laige windows that 
once adorned the sides of the transept. 

Two large pointed archways, now filled up with masonry, once 
formed a communication between the centre part of the church, 
and St Mirin's aile on the south. 

The choir, the walls of which are now levelled to within ten 
feet of the ground, presents an interesting relic of monastic times. 
The piscina or font, which still remains, with an accompanying 
niche on each side, is near the east end of the south wall. A little 
to the westi in the same wall, are four recesses, supposed to have 
been stalls or seats for the priests, during the celebration of high- 
mass. One of these recesses, indeed, has a groove in it, as if for 
shelving, which may give rise to the conjecture, that it was intend- 
ed rather as a vestiary than as a stall The other three, however, 
are without grooves. They are all cinquefoiled at top within 
the pointed arch, which is ornamented with beautifully carved 
work. 

The remains of the strong clustered pillars that supported the 
tower, which, surmounted by the lofty spire, once rose from the cen- 
tre of the building, are still to be seen. The tower, we are told, 
on one occasion, and before it was finished, had, by its own weight, 
and the insufficiency of its foundation, given way. It was afterwards 
rebuilt, at an immense expense, by John Hamilton, the last of the 
abbots. * We cannot say what was the cause or the precise pe- 
riod of its second fall. The account given by tradition of its de- 

* Porro Pasleti immensis suraptibus, Ecclesiae turrem, nuUi apud nos secuadam, 
extrtnxic Joannes ultimus archicpisoopus 8. Andrae, quae antca pamm finno nixu 
fiindamento, abaoluu mole sua coneiderat.— £^af(trM<. 



3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 217 

struction isy that, ^* duringthe firsteflfervescence of the Reformation, 
the fabric was materially injured, and shortly afterwards its tall 
spire, said to have been 300 feet in height, having been struck by 
lightning, duringaviolentthunder storm, fell, demolishing at the same 
time, the roof of the choir."* Although the architecture of the choir 
has been remarked as plainer than that of the other parts of the 
church, yet it is not improbable that the windows were decorated 
with flowing tracery* 

St Mxririi AUe. — South of the nave or present church, and 
closely adjoining to it, is the cloister courty a quadrangle of about 60 
feet, the buildings around which still display evident traces of the 
piazza itselL From this court entrance is afforded to St Mirin's 
or the sounding aile, called also the Abercom chapel, a building on 
the east side of the court, of about 48 feet long by 24 broad, and 
well-paved, — about 15 feet of the floor at the east end being raised 
above the rest. In the east gable is a large and very handsome 
window, of four trefoil^headed lights, (though now blocked up,) the 
arches filled with tracery, composed chiefly of quatrefoils. Beneath 
this window is a series of sculptured figures, in tolerably bold re- 
lief, apparently of ecclesiastics engaged in various ofiices prescrib- 
ed by the Romish ritual. These figures are placed in a sort of 
belt, of about a foot and a-balf in width, extending between the 
two side walls, except in the space near the centre of the gable, 
where probably, at one time, an altar stood. This, with the pis- 
cina and its niche on the south wall, confirms the opinion of this 
structure having been the private chapel or oratory of the monks, 
whose magnificent church appears almost from the very first to have 
been put to general parochial use. On the north wall appear the 

* Renf. Char, and Seen. p. 35. Mackle, in his historical description, states, that 
the lofty spire, and a great part of the church, were demolished, in consequence of the 
following manifesto, issued by the rulers of the day. " Traist friends, after maist bartey 

commendation, we pray you fiiill not till pass incontinent to ye kirk of and 

takdown ye haill images yrof, and bryng ftirtfatill ye kirkyard, and birn thym opping. 
ly, and syklyk cast down ye altris and picturis, and purge ye sayd kirk o' a' kynds o* 
monuments of idolatrie ; and this ye fail not till doe, as ye will do us singular emplai- 
•anoe, and sae oommittis you till ye protection of God. From Edinburgh ye xii of 
August MDLX." Signed, " Argyle," " James Stewart,*' and " Ruthven." But 
with the opinion of this writer we cannot agree, as the above order was issued for 
the purpoae, not of deatroyiog the churches, but only of purging them of Uie images 
of a degrading superstition ; and although some in their zeal might be carried farther 
than prudence dictated, or than the rulers proposed by their manifesto, we can scarce- 
ly suppose o^sx reforming ancestors were bent on the work of reckless destruction, es- 
pecially as the following postscript is added to the manifesto : " and fail not, hot ye 
tak guide heed that nmther the desks, winnocks, nor doors be any wise hurt, or bro- 
ken, either sune work, glassine-work or iron-work.^ — See M<Lellan*s Cathedral of 
Glasgow ; a beautiftd and interesting work, lately published. 



Digitized by 



Google 



218 RENFREWSHIRE* 

two large arches, now filled up, tioticed ib our account of the trail- 
sept and choir. The roof is groined, the ribs springing diagonal* 
ly from two slender triplicated shafts on the southern side. Under 
the elevated pavement, at the east end, is a large vault 14 feet deep^ 
the burying place of the Abercom family ; and on the south wall, 
between the large arches we noticed, is an inscription in memory 
of some younger branches of the Hamilton fiunily. Nearly in the 
centre of the lower floor is an altar tomb, commonly called *< Queen 
Bleary's tomb," which, after lyingfor many years in a mutilated state, 
and exposed in the open air, was found, about twenty years ago^ among 
the fragments of other pieces of sculpture. It was reconstructedi 
coated with stone-coloured cement, and placed in its present position, 
under the direction of the late Dr Boog, to whose taste the inhabi- 
tants of Paisley are much indebted, not only for the transporta- 
tion of this monument, from the cloister court to its present sheltered 
situation, but also for the removal of those ignoble buildings, which, 
at one time shaded the western facade of the church, blocking up 
the great doorway, and part of the fine windows. Round the up- 
per part of the tomb is a series of compartments, filled with bold- 
ly sculptured figures of ecclesiastics, quatrefoils, and shields with 
armorial bearings. On the slab, which is the top of the monu- 
ment, projecting so as to form a kind of moulded cornice over the 
sides and ends of the tomb, is the figure of a female, in a recum- 
bent posture, with hands closed, in the attitude of prayer, the 
head resting on a cushion, and over the head an elegant canopy, 
of the kind common over Grothic niches. But whether this figure 
originally rested on the tomb, or whether all the parts put together 
belonged to the same tomb, or whether the tomb itself may not 
have been once an altar belonging to the private chapel, or to 
the parochial church, we cannot pretend to determine. 

This chapel being vaulted, and containing nothing but this 
monument, has an echo so remarkable as to have obtained for 
it the name of *' the sounding aile.*' Instrumental or vocal 
music performed in it has a curious effect, from the prolongation 
and consequent mingling of the notes. The noise and re- 
verberation arising from the sudden and forcible shutting of the 
door, after the entrance of a visitor, are often very startling. But 
on the whole, the account of their effects, as recorded by Pen- 
nant* and others, is rather exaggerated, or perhaps the erection of 

♦ Pennant's Tour. 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 219 

the tomb within it, and the brick-work which closes up the beau- 
tiful window, have diminished the echo : which we are informed is 
liable to be considerably affected oy even the filling of an adjoin- 
ing building, used as a hay-loft, it being then less perceptible than 
when that loft is emptf; — a singular fact b acoustics, proving 
that not only the form of a building itself, but also the buildings 
with which it is connected, should be taken into account, when 
quantity of sound is a desideratum. 

The late Dr Boog wrote an account of << Queen Bleary's Tomb," 
which is published in Vol. ii* part 2 of ^^ the Transactions of 
the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland." He seems to conjee* 
ture, from the figures in the east end of the aile being so differ- 
ent from any other work about the church, that they must be re- 
ferred to a period prior to that of the buildmg of the present &bric ; 
and he adds, ^' it is certain, from the foundation charter, that a 
church existed at Paisley before that time." In his account of 
the tomb, while he considers the basement as forming part of the 
monument, he puts no[faith in the Paisley tradition of its being that 
of Marjory Bruce.* This chapel, however, is generally consider- 
ed as having been built in 1499 by James Crawford ofKilwinnet, 
burgessof Paisley, and Elizabeth Galbraith, his wife, ^^ who found- 
ed, constituted, and ordained a chapel, with its chaplain, in the 
church of the parish of Paisley, on the south side thereof to the 
altar of St Mirin and Columba." For its support, the founders 
granted the lands and tenements of Seedhill and Welhneadow in 
perpetual alms. *^ The charter bears to have been sealed with 
the seals of the Lord Archbishop of Glasgow and chapter; of the 
granters; of the abbot and convent of Paisley ; of the burgh of Pais- 
ley, and others, to be obtained by grantees, or m their names. At 
Paisley, 15th July 1499."f Six seals havebeen appended, of which 
five still remain. 

Withm what formed the choir, and in the neighbouring grave- 
yard, as well as within the church, are many monumental stones, 
with inscriptions, interesting to the antiquary. Beautiful spe- 
cimens of these are to be seen engraved' in the first volume 
printed for the Maitland Club of Glasgow. Elizabeth More, and 
Eupheme Ross, consorts of Robert II., Robert III., with Walter 

* See Antia. Trans. VoL il. Part 2. pp. 4d6, 461. On this subject, some curious 
eoi\jretunl inrormation may be found in appendix 3d, to the volume of thu MaitUiid 
Uttb for 1831. 

f Charter in Uie charter-chott of the town of Paisley. 



Digitized by 



Google 



220 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the great Steward^ sind his lady, are among the distinguished per- 
sons said to be interred in the monastery. 

PreAytery. — On the establishment of the Reformed church of 
Scotland, a presbytery was erected at Glasgow, and another at 
Dumbarton, to the former of which the* parishes in the eastern 
part of Renfrewshire were attached, and to the latter those in the 
western. But in 1590, all the parishes in this county, with the ex- 
ception of those of Eaglesham and Cathcart, only part of which last 
is in Renfrewshire, were formed into a presbytery, the seat of which 
was fixed at Paisley. This arrangement continued till May 1834, 
when, by a deed of the General Assembly, a presbytery was esta- 
blished in the lower ward of the county, having its seat at Green- 
ock, and to which that yenerable court attached, in addition to 
seven parishes formerly connected with the presbytery of Paisley, 
the parish of Largs in Aryshire, and that of Cumbray in Buteshire, 
both of which formerly belonged to the presbytery of Irvine. Pre- 
vious to this division, the presbytery of Paisley contained 19 pa^ 
rishes and 20 ministers, the Abbey parish being collegiate. It was 
by the division left with only 12 parishes and 13 ministers. But, 
in consequence of the erection of chapels into parish churches, 
which took place in the same year, and the subsequent increase of 
churches within its bounds, that Presbytery now contains, with one 
exception, as many parishes and ministers as it did previous to the 
division ; and although for two years it returned to the General 
Assembly a minister and elder less than formerly, yet it is again 
entitled to return the same number as it did before the erection 
of the presbytery of Greenock. 

Although since the year 1570, Paisley has been the seat of a 
presbytery, the meetings have not been uniformly held in that 
town. On account of the pestilence in 1645, the court resolved, 
on the 6th of November of that year, to hold their meetings at 
Houston, and this they accordingly did, till the 26th of March, 
in the following year, when they resumed their sederunts at Pais- 
ley.* We find also that between the 26th of July 1676, and the 
5th of March 1684, the meetings of presbytery were held at 
Renfrew, probably from the ministers who then officiated at Pais- 
ley having refused to countenance the jurisdiction of the Episco- 
pal presbytery, in matters of church discipline, f By the archbi- 

* *< The pretbiterie oonTeent at Houstoune, iii respect of the Tuitatioii of the pes- 
tilence at Paisley, and resolvit to continew their presbiterial seate at Houstouney tiU 
it pleasit God that Padey were free of that seeknes.**— Presbytery Records. 

t Presbytery Records. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 221 

shop, this practice was ordered to be discontinued, and the pres- 
bytery were enjoined to hold their meetings at Paisley, the pro- 
per seat. Accordingly, the first meeting of that court, after the 
injunctions of the Archbishop, was held at Paisley on the 5th of 
March 1684. * 

On the introduction of Episcopacy in 1661, the presbytery was 
broken up; but it was reconstructed in 1663, by an act of the 
archbishop and synod. The first meeting, under this new regime, 
was held on the 29th of October 1663, when the whole presby- 
tery consisted of only five members, -f- with two correspondents 
from the presbyteries of Glasgow and Dumbarton. % 

At the era of the Revolution, another change seems to have 
taken place in the constitution of this presbytery. For we learn 

* ** Paisley, March 5, 1684.*' ** No exercise this day, because of some disturban- 
ces at the brethren's first meeting at Paisley. The exercise is continued on Mr Wil- 
soo."— 'Presbytery Records. 

t ^^ John Hay, parson of Renfrew, moderator ; James Taylor, Greenock ; Wil. 
liam Pieraon, Paisley; Andrew Abercromie, Kilmalcolm; and Alexander Turner, 
NeilstOQ."— Presbytttiry Records. 

t At the time of the <• Act of Uniformity," 1663, by which 400 of the most zeal- 
oua and able ministers of the Church of Scotland were ejected from their parishes, 
the presbytery of Paisley consisted of 16 ministers, of whom one only conformed to 
prelacy ; a tecond did conform, but it was at a later period. The name of the first 
of these was Mr James Taylor, of Greenock ; and that of the second, Mr John Ha* 
miltoD of Innerkip. The names of th^ rest, all of whom suffered ** the loss of all 
things,** rather than abandon their principles, were as follows, and they deserve to be 
held on honourable record : — Mr Alexander Dunlop, Mr John Drysdale, and Mr 
James Stirling, all of Paisley ; Mr John Stirling of Kilbarchan ; Mr Patrick Simp- 
son of Renfrew ; Mr Hugh Smith of Eastwood ; Mr William Thomson of Mearns ; 
Mr William Thomson of Houston ; Mr James Hutchison of Killallan ; Mr James 
Alexander of Kilmalcolm ; Mr Hugh Peebles of Lochwinnoch ; Mr James Wallace of 
Inchinnan ; and Mr Hugh Walker of Neilston. " These persons were not only deprived 
of their livinss in time to come, but of the l«styear*f stipend fur which they had served ; 
and in the wmter season (December 1663,) obliged, with sorrowful hearts and empty 
pockets, to wander I know not how many miles with their numerous and small &• 
milies, many of them scarce knew whither. But tlie Lord wonderfully provided for 
them and theirs, to their own confirmation and wonder." — Wodrow's Hist. Vol. 
i. p. 320. 8vo ed. 

On December 14. 1670, an interesting meeting was specially held at Paisley, betwixt 
Archbishop Leightonand Bishop Burnet, on the part of the Episcopalians, and the 
brethren of Paisley, Glasgow, and neighbourhood, in the Presbyterian interest, with 
the view of bringing about an ** accommodation" between the parties. A full report 
of this meeting is given by Wodrow in the second volume of his History, (2d ed.) 1 1 
ended in smoke. The Presbyterians were not satisfied of the sincerity of the mo- 
tives which led to the proposal ; and the Episcopalians were not prepared to grant 
such concessions as would please the conscientious adherents of presbytery. In 1679 
a meeting of persecuted Presbyterian ministers was held at Paisley, when a whole- 
some warning was drawn up by them against popery, together with a short vindica- 
tion of Presbyterian piinciples, but the paper was never printed. ** After this,** says 
Wodrow, ^^ till the Revolution, Presbyterian ministers had few or no meetings; and 
I shall have little more to say of them, but that they remained in retirement, few ven- 
turing to preach in the fields, and some now and then in houses. And through the 
following years I shall have little more to relate^ but a continued scene of persecu- 
tion of ministers and people, and heavy oppression of the whole country.** — Wodrow 
Vol. iii. p. 176. 



Digitized by 



Google 



223 RENFREWSHIRE. 

that after the liberty granted in July 1687, the three presbyteries 
of Glasgow, Paisley, and Dumbarton, from the small number of 
ministers in each, fermed themselves into one presbytery, whose 
meetings seem to have been held in Glasgow, as from one of our 
presbytery minutes, it appears that the actings of the court at that 
period, are recorded in the book of the presbytery of Glasgow. 
This arrangement continued only for a few months, as the presby- 
tery of Paisley appear to have resumed their meetings at their own 
seat in December following.* 

PreAytery Records. — As Paisley has long been the seat of a 
presbytery, and as the original parish, of which we are giving an 
account, comprehends more than one*half of the parishes now in- 
cluded within the bounds of that presbytery, it seems natural for 
us to take some notice of its records. They are preserved in four- 
teen volumes. 

The first volume commences 1 6th September 1602, and termi- 
nates abruptly 24th December 1607, part of the record having been 
evidently lost or destroyed. The volume has suffered from damp» 
but is entire, and perfectly legible so far as it goes. 

The second volume commences 20th April 1 626, and ends 9tb 
September 1647. This volume is in tolerable preservation. 

The third volume hassuflTered more firom damp than any of the 
preceding, and the edges of a few of the pages at the beginning have 
decayed, but there is not much obliteration in consequence. It 
commences 22d September 1647, although the date is worn away 
and the first page happens to be bound up between the third and 
fourth leaves. ^* A copy of the Acts anent the Discipline of the Kirk 
apud Glasgow 8 Aprilis 1612," has been introduced at the begin-> 
ning of the volume. It ends 29th March 1660, but has the synod's 
docquet dated 4th October 1660. 

The fourth volume commences 25th April 1660, but stops short 
at the 6th page, after entering the minute of the sederunt of June 
18th of the same year. Several blank leaves then occur, and at 
page 19th commence the transactionsfrom December 27, 1687, thus 
omitting the record of the proceedings of the whole Episcopal pe- 

* The following is the minute on the occasion, (27tb Dec 1687,) *< After the liber- 
ty in July 1667, by the appointment of the grail meeting at £dr. in August, in ye 
year forsd, the presbitaries of Glasgow, Paaley, and Dumbrittone» did joine together 
and made up one presbitrie, by reasone of the paucitie of minrs which continued 
until Deer, of ye sd year. The actings of qch are to be found in the presbiteri* 
book of Glasgow.'* — Presbytery Reconis. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 223 

riod^ from 16th October 1668^ to 7th September 1687, which are 
coDtained in a separate volume, being the fifth. 

The cause of this is somewhat curious. When the change to 
Episcopacy took place, and broke up the presbytery, Mr James 
Stirling, then minister of Paisley, retained the presbytery book, 
the volume of records now described as the fourth, and having the 
minutes of court written up only to the 13th of June 1660, and 
that on six pages. After this volume, the Episcopal clergymen, 
who succeeded Mr Stirling and his brethren, made many inqui- 
ries, but all their attempts to procure it were unsuccessful. Robert 
Park, late clerk to the presbytery, was summoned, 31st August 
1665, to give an account of what had become of the volume, as the 
want of it occasioned many scandals, for which satisfaction was not 
made, to be buried, or forgotten. He did not appear on the day 
mentioned, on account, it is said, of sickness ; but on the 14th of 
the following month, he gave in a paper subscribed by his own 
hand, solemnly declaring, that ^' Mr James Stirling, late minister 
at Pasley, came and received the presbytery records from him."* 
The presbytery afterwards consulted the synod on the subject, but 
Mr Stirling having gone to India, they were obliged to submit to 
the want of the book, and accordingly commenced a record of their 
proceedings in another volume. After the Revolution, when many 
of the old ministers returned to their charges, inquiry was again 
made after the volume that had been so long amissing, and it was 
found in the possession of Mr James Stirling, minister of Kilbar- 
chan, nephew of Mr Stirling, formerly minister of Paisley. In con- 
sequence of this, the presbytery, at a meeting on the 5th of Febru- 
ary 1690, appointed Mr Stirling to deliver up the old presbytery 
book,f at the next meeting, which he accordingly did on the 16th 
of April following. Inquiry was also made after the minutes from 
1660 to the Revolution, or during the Episcopal period. But this 
inquiry proving unsuccessful, the presbytery seem to have left the 
blank leaver between pages 6th and 19th, in order that these 
minutes, should they ever afterwards be found, might be inserted in 
their proper place, and to have commenced to engross their pro- 
cedure from 27th December 1687, on page 19th of this vo- 
lume, which is styled " the old presbytery book." Hence the ap- 
pearance which tl^i^ book presents, and hence has this volume com- 

• Minutes of Presbytery. f Presbytery records. 



Digitized by 



Google 



224 RENFREWSHIRE. 

pletely escaped any admixture of Episcopal leaven. This volume 
closes with the minute of 26th October 1699. 

The fifth volume, already mentioned, contains the minutes from 
16th October 1663, to 7th September 1687. The history of this 
volume, which contains the minutes of proceedings during the Epis« 
copal period, is also somewhat singular* We have already no- 
ticed the unsuccessful inquiry made by our fathers after the mi- 
nutes of this period. After a lapse of nearly a century and ap-half, 
Mr Douglas, then presbytery clerk, the present minister of Kilbar- 
chan, having got a slight hint of a volume having been seen in a 
private library, belonging to a family in Lorn, apparently forming 
part of the records of the presbytery of Paisley, immediately insti« 
tuted a correspondence on the subject, and after the lapse of a 
considerable time, during which his correspondence was going 
on, he had the satisfaction of delivering it up to the presbytery 
about twelve years ago, for which he received from that court an 
unanimous vote of thanks. How this volume found its way to 
Lorn, we cannot say; but Mr Douglas in a note to us, says, ^^ this 
light volume (for it is not at all ponderous) had found its way, I 
presume, to that district of Argyllshire, through some one clergy- 
man or layman, $ retainer of the Episcopal church, who seems to 
have inferred his title to retain the record in question, on the same 
principle on which more important documents found their way to 
Zion College."* 

The sixth volume commences 7th November 1699, and ter- 
minates with the minute of 10th September 1707. 

The seventh volume brings down the minutes from 7th Octo- 
ber 1707, to 18th July 1722 : the eighth from 8th August 1722, 
to 19th of March 1735; the ninth, from 1st April 1735, to 26th 
September 1752 ; the tenth, from 25th October 1752, to 2dd 
October 1774; the eleventh, from 30th November 1774, to 7tb 
July 1790 ; the twelfth, from 5th August 1790, to 4th Septem- 
ber 1800; the thirteenth, from 3d December 1800, to 7th May 
1823; and the fourteenth, from 4th June 1823, to the date of 

* The first notice of this volume, Mr Douglas had from Mr Storie, of Rosekieath, 
and his correspondence was with Dr Campbell of Kilninv^r, and Hugh M'Lach. 
Ian, Esq. writer, Glasgow, the last of whom is the person who put it into his hands. 
It is singular enough that it should be to the minister of Kilbarchan, the presbytery 
are indebted for the recovery of both of these volumes. May we not hope, that he or 
our present presbytery clerk may yet get some " slight hint," which may lead to the 
recovenr of a volume, which at present seems to be lost, containing the minutes be- 
tween IG07 and 1626, and which ought to be the second volume of the records? 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 225 

the last meetiDg of presbytery, which was held on the 1st of this 
month, February 1837. 

Parishes of Paisley, — Since 1641, the old or Abbey parish of 
Paisley has had the benefit of two ministers. In that year the 
minister, Mr Calvert, agreed to give a colleague out of his stipend, 
(originally 16 chalders of meal,) <^ 5 chalders, and that according 
to the act of high commission, and promised, moreover, that he 
would give a chalder more, provided the entrant should be agree- 
able to the presbytery, the parish, and himself."* The stipend of 
the charge, thus erected, has since received several augmentations, 
and it now consists of 22 chalders, half meal and half barley, with 
L. 15 for communion elements, f The stipend of the first charge, 
which was augmented in 1830, is 22 chalders, half meal and 
half barley, with L. 20 for communion elements, and about L. 19 
as compensation for grass glebe. The arable glebe, including 
the site of the manse, consists of about 4^ acres, and is well situ- 
ated for letting out as garden ground. This charge has a manse 
attached to it. The present one was built in 1824, and reflects 
great credit on the taste and liberality of the heritors. 

From the increase of population in the parish, particularly 
in the town, an additional church became necessary, and accord- 
ingly in 1736, the burgh was erected into a separate parish, by 
adecreet of the Lords Commissioners for the plantation of churches. 
At the same time, a charter was obtained from Lord Dundonald, 
the patron of the parish, granting liberty to the magistrates and 
community to build within the burgh, a church or churches, of 
which the patronage was to be vested in the magistrates and town- 
council. In consequence of the arrangements they entered into, 
a church was erected in 1736, as the parish church of the burgh 
of Paisley. From the continued increase of the population, ad- 
ditional ^church accommodation became again necessary, and in 
the year 1756, another place of worship was erected. Being built 
on the height called Oakshawhead, the highest part of the town, 
it was distinguished by the name of the High Churchy and the for- 
mer erection, from its relative situation, was denominated the 
Laigh Kirk or Low Church. In the space of other twenty- 
five years, the population still rapidly increasing, it was found ne- 

• Sut. Act. VoL vii. p. 94. 

t There was once a bouse attached to this charge, although it seems never to have 
been recc^iaedas a manse. It was the gift of the town to tlie second minister, who 
had the special charge of the burgh. 



Digitized by 



Google 



226 RENFREWSHIRE. 

cessary to add a third church, to the two already in existence ; 
and accordingly, this was done in 1781, by its erection, near to 
the site of the High Church ; and this place of worship, from its 
relative situation, received the name of the Middle Church. The 
, burgh of Paisley, which till the erection of this third church, had 
continued one parish, was on the 20th of February of that year, 
by a deed of the Court of Teinds divided into three parishes, called 
each from its particular churches, the Low Church parish, the 
High Church parish, and the Middle Church parish. The patron- 
age of these churches belongs to the magistrates and town-council* 
The original stipend allocated to the minister of the burgh of Pais- 
ley was 1000 merks Scots, with an allowance in lieu of a manse 
and glebe. This, as well as the stipends of the other two ministers, 
has been several times augmented, and now the stipend of each 
is L. 300 per annum, communion elements being provided by the 
council and kirk session. The stipends are paid out of the funds 
or common good of the burgh. 

A small addition to church accommodation in the burgh was 
again made in the year 1819, when St George's Church was erect- 
ed. This, however, was merely an increase of 600 sittings, in the 
Low Church parish, for the minister of the Low Church was trans- 
ferred to this new erection, which was constituted by the presby- 
tery, and still continues to be, the church of that parish, while the 
old Low Church is no longer used as a church in the establishment. 
Such Is all the provision, which the law has made smce the period 
of the Reformation, for the spiritual interests of this extensive dis- 
trict, with its great and rapidly increasing population. Its scanty 
nature will appear, if it be considered, that in the original parish 

There is a population of 26177 with ehurch seaU for 11 50 

In St George's or Low Church parish, G949 . .1860 

In High Church parish, . 14992 . . 2000 

Id Middle Church parish, . 9762 . .1500 

67880 6600 

To remedy the want of church accommodation in these pa- 
rishes, six chapels, including a Gaelic church, have been erected. 
All of these have been raised to the rank of parish churches, each, 
with the exception of the Gaelic one, having a parochial district 
assigned to it The Gaelic Church was built in 1793, and although 
situated in the High Church parish, is intended for the accommo- 
dation of the Highlanders in general, in Paisley and its neigh- 
bourhood. The oldest of the other five is the church of John- 
ston, in the western district of the Abbey parish, built in the year 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 227 

1793. Another was opened for public worship, at Levern, inthe 
south-eastern district of the parish, on the 23d of March 1835, to 
which a pastor has been since ordained. In the burgh three 
similar places of worship have been erected, called the North 
Church ; Martyi^s Church ; and the South Church ; and all of 
them are already provided with ordained clergymen. A great ad- 
dition has been thus made to the church accommodation and pas- 
toral superintendence of our destitute population. Still, however, 
unless these places of worship be so endowed as to admit of a num- 
ber of seats being set apart for the poor, and the whole let at very 
moderate rents, the objects of an establishment will be but partial- 
ly answered. 

The additional church accommodation, obtained in consequence 
of these erections, may be stated as follows : 

5 Johnston 1000 ) 

} Levem, 670 = 1670+ 1 150 in Abbey, «2820 t 

5 Gaelic, 1360 I 

I Martyrs, 1250 » 2600+2000 High. »4600 f 

North, 1000 +1600 Middle, =3r>00 

South, 1004 + 1 860 St George's., 2854 

There is thus church accommodation to the amount of 12,774 

sittings provided by the Establishment, for the whole population 
of the town and parishes of Paisley, amounting to 57,880. To 
each of the clergymen of these new churches, a bond of provision is 
granted, varying from L. 80 to L. 100. But it is understood that 
the bond shall merely specify the minimum stipend, while it is ex- 
pected that the income will always considerably exceed that small 
sunu Besides his stipend, the minister of the Gaelic Church has 
a manse, lately built for him, by his congregation. 

The small amount of church accommodation, as well as pastoral 
superintendence provided by the Establishment in this place, would 
have been more severely felt by our population, had it not been 
for the laudable exertions of our dissenting brethren, who, to a con- 
siderable extent, have remedied the evil In these parishes, there 
are eleven different churches belonging to presbyterian dissenters 
viz. one to the Reformed Presbytery; one to the Old Burghers; 
three to the Relief; and six to the United Secession. There are 
also several bodies of Independents, including Methodists, Baptists, 
Glassites, Unitarians, and Universalists. In Paisley, there is also 
an Episcopal chapel, which was recently erected, and in the new 
town, is the only Roman Catholic Chapel within the bounds of 
this presbytery. The duties of the priest extend to a population 



Digitized by 



Google 



228 



RENFREWSHIRE. 



of about 7000, chiefly immigrants from Ireland, one-half of whom 
may be reckoned as residing within the parishes of Paisley. 

The accommodation provided by these different denominations 
may be stated as follows : 

By the Reformed Presbytery, . . - 1000 

Old Burghers, ... aoO 

United SeoearioD» ... 6540 

Relief, .... 4290 

Independents of difTerent classes, - 2600 

Episcopalians, ... 400 

Roman Catholics, - - 1000 

l^ldO 

The ministers of the Presbyterian dissenting churches are paid 
by their hearers, and their different stipends may be stated as vary- 
ing from L. 100 to L. 250 per annum. Three of them are pro- 
vided each with a house and garden. 

The following table exhibits the numbers connected with the 
different denominations in these parishes, with the number of sit- 
tings in the churches, and communicants belonging to each deno- 
mination. In this table, the children are reckoned to belong to 
the denomination of the head of the family. 

Abbey parish, No. of families, 5377 Total population, 26177 

Low parish, 1555 6949 

High parish, - 3279 149^2 

Middle parish, 1994 9762 



12205 



578H0 



Is 



H if §^ 1^ 



PS 






Abbey parish, 14049 510 526 

Low parish, 3229 101 76 

High parish, 5547 402 164 

Middle parish, 5134 355 141 



322 3926 2845 1237 1799 

16 1108 636 467 262 

35 2390 1372 1144 727 

35 1203 621 431 1158 



27959 1368 907 408 8627 5474 3279 3946 




Abbey parish, 
Low parish, 
High parish. 
Middle parish, 



11165 963 

2666 1054 

6234 3211 

3944 684 



4146 
1011 
1965 
1868 



4055 8201 

972 1983 

2178 4143 

1425 3293 



2841 


2679 


5520 


667 


617 


1284 


1439 


1331 


2770 


1324 


1183 


2507 



24009 5912* 8990 8630 17620 6271 5810 12061 



• The marked difference of eomparetive numbers belonging to this clan in the 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 



229 



The difltriets assigned to the new churches, with the exception 
of a small part of Leyern, are all taken from the overgrown parishes 
included in this report. The numbers and denominations within 
their bounds are included in the above table. Still it may be sa- 
tis&ctory to have these particulars stated in regard to the new pa- 
rishes, so fitr as they have been obtained. The following table 
exhibits the numbers and denominations assigned from the Abbey 
to the parishes of Johnston* and Levem.-|- 

JohnsUiD, No. of families, 1194 Levern, No. of families. 330 

1812 



No. of families, 
Total population. 



1194 
6617 



Levem, No. of families. 
Total population. 



Johnstone, 
Levern, 



•s . 
II 



311S42ill068B74 



123253! 1 



123 



601 



III 



H.S ^ 



I53}dl0|2358 

I 32.5i 565 



2S 



M 



951 
4131 



3 1 

.21 



73311084 
1411 664 






846 

188 






4 



5831429 
*681256 



About 1600 of the inhabitants of Charleston, out of a popula- 
tion of 4000, have been placed under the superintendence of the 
minister of the South Church, The other part of his pastoral 
charge is detached from St George's parish. The districts assign • 
ed as parishes to the other two new churches are taken each from 
the old parish, within whose bounds the church is situated, and 
comprise each a population of from 3000 to 3600. 

The new places of worship are not yet filled. But since their 
opening, in the course of two years, they have added upwards of 
1000 to the number of sitters in the Establishment, — an evident 
proof of the former want of church accommodation, in this place, 

four parishes cannot (ail to attract notice, llie difference is owing entirely to the 
different principUt on which the survey was made. In the Abbey and Middle pa^ 
rifihes, the question was decided by the replies of the parties themselves. In the High 
and Low parishes, the question as to religious profession was determined, not exclu- 
sively by the claims of the parties, but by the actual information possessed by the el- 
ders Vf?w made the scrutitti/, and by the replies that were given to such speciSc ques- 
tions as. What church do you attend? How many sittings have you ? What is the 
name of the minister you hear? &c. After all, even in this way, we only approximate 
to the truth ; >nd we strongly fear, that the numbers, even as marked in the High 
and Low pacbhes, fall considerably short of those degraded masses of corrupt society 
which are sunk in aH the darkness of a state of practical atheism. 

* The reason of so great a population having been assigned to the minister of John- 
ston, is, that the same district was placed imder his superintendence forty years ago, 
when the population, within the perambulated bounds, was only about 1500, and it was 
not thought advisable to make any change in this arrangement, that populous place 
being regarded more in the light of an overgrown parish, than as a portion to be de- 
tached from the Abbey. 

t In addition to the 1R00 from the Abbey, it is proposed to add to the Levern 
about 400 from the parishes of Neilston and Eastwood, whose residence is in the 
neighbourhood of that place of worship, making in all about 2200. 



Digitized by 



Google 



230 REN FRKWSHIRE. 

as well as of the attachment of the inhabitants to the church of 
their fathers. The other churches are, generally speaking, well 
attended. 

Ministers. — After the period of the Reformation, the first indi- 
vidual whom we find on record, as minister of Paisley, is 

Patrick Adamson,* who was afterwards promoted to the arch- 
bishoprick of St Andrews, and is particularly noticed in the his- 
tory of the church. He is mentioned as minister of Paisley in 
1573. He was made archbishop in 1576, and after a life of many 
singular reverses, died in 1591. His successor seems to have been 

Andrew Polwart, afterwards subdean of Glasgow. 

Thomas Smeaton is mentioned as next in succession, in 1578b 
He succeeded Andrew Melville as Principal of the College of 
Glasgow in 1580, and died on the Idth December 1583, in the 
forty-seventh year of his age. He was a man of prodigious learn- 
ing, and admired for the virtues of his private life, as well as the 
elegance of his scholarship.f 

Andrew Knox, of the fitmily of Ramfurlie ( Ranfiirlie), from which 
the celebrated John Knox is also descended, is next on the list 
He seems to have been translated from the church of Lochwin- 
noch, to that of Paisley, about the year 1585, in which he conti- 
nued till the year 1606, when King James, having restored the es- 
tates of the bishops, Mr Knox was promoted to the bishoprick of 
the Isles. He was again translated by the King, in 1622, to the 
Episcopal see of Raphoe in Ireland ; when his son Mr Thomas 
Knox, was advanced to the bishoprick of the Isles. Andrew Knox 
is the supposed ancestor of the Viscounts Northland, lately created 
Barons of Ransfiirlie. He seems to have been esteemed a man 
of learning, free of bigotry, and averse from all manner of perse- 
cution on account of matters of church-government So liberal 

* Mr Patrike Adunaonef minister, vj. zx lb to be p-^yit of the thryddis of Pas- 
laji Noyember 1672. R^eister of ministers, 1567, pafe 35, printed for the Maitland 
Club in ]8d0. 

« {* The following is the account which honest James Melville in his '* Diary** has 
given of Mr Smeaton. '< Mr Thomas was verie wacriff and peanfull, and skurshe tuk 
tym to refresh nature. I haiff seen him oft find fault with lang denners and suppera 
at general assemblies ; and when uthers wer therat, he wald abstain, and be abut the 
penning of things (wherein he ezcellit, bathe in langage and form of letter) and yit 
was nocht rustic, nor auster but sweit and affable in companie, with a modest and 
naive graivite ; verie frugale in fude and reyment ; and, walked maist on Jut ; whom 
I was verie ^lad to accompanie, whylis to Sterling, and now and then to his kirk, for 
my instruction and comfort. He lovit me exceeding well, and wald at parting thrust 
my head into his bosom and kiss me.** pp. 56, 58. He was chosen to succeed Mel- 
ville as Principal of Glasgow CoU^e in 1560, where he was sole Pro&ssor of Di- 
vini^, and was also minister of Govan. He was Moderator of Assembly 1583; and 
he died on the 13th December of the same year. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. !231 

were his apinions, that, in eonjunction with some clergymen of Pres- 
byterian principles, he concurred in ordaining several ministers of 
that communion, giving as his reason, that ^^ he thought his old 
age prolonged for little other purpose, but to do such good oflSces 
for the propagation of the Gospel." He died in 1682.* On bis 
translation, 

Patrick Hamilton was appointed minister. This appointment 
seems to have been made in 1 607/ He was previously minister of 
Lqchwinnoch. 

Robert Boyd of Trochrig, in the shire of Ayr, eldest son of 
James, " Tulchan," — Archbishop of Glasgow, was admitted mini- 
ster of Paisley, on the 1st of January 1626. Previous to this time, 
he had been successively Principal of the Colleges of Bldinburgh 
and Glasgow, and was universally esteemed one of the most 
learned, liberal, and pious men of his age. His manse was the 
" fore house of the abbey." Wodrow relates, that, one Sunday 
afternoon, the master of Paisley, brother to the Earl of Abercom, 
with some others, forcibly entered his house while he was preach- 
ing, cast all his books on the ground, and afterwards locked the 
door. Complaint of the aggression having been made to the se- 
cret council, the Master of Paisley and the baillies were summon- 
ed to appear before them. But at the intercession >)f Boyd, and 
on the Master expressing contrition for the wrong he had done, the 
complaint- was departed from, and Trochrig was ordered to be re- 
possessed. The baillies apparently yielded obedience to the com- 
mand of the secret council, and endeavoured to put Boyd in 

* In the year 1592, the country was much disturbed by apprehenuons of the secret 
workings of the Papists, and rat^asures were adopted for the purpose of counteracting 
them. In each presbytery an individual was nominated to watch their proceedings, 
to collect information from his brethren, and to correspond with a committee, which 
was to at in Edinburgh for the common safety. Andrew Knox was appointed the 
oorrespooiding member from the presbytery of Paisley, but deeds and not words were 
fitted for the eager spirit of the future bishop. Having received secret intelligence 
that George Ker,* a Doctor of Laws, and brother of Lord Newbattle, was about to 
proceed to Spain, with secret letters from the disaffected Lords, accompanied by a 
number of stud^ts of the College of Glasgow, he proceeded to the Island of Cumbray, 
and seized htm. On his person were found letters from certain priests in Scotland, 
and blanks subscribed by|^e Earls of Huntly, Angus, and Enrol, with a commission 
to one Crighton a Jes-uit, to fill up the blanks, and address them to those for whom 
they were intended. These papers, with Ker*s confession, dtsclosed the notable pro- 
ject by which the King of Spain was to land 30,000 men on the west coast of Scot- 
land, who, in ctinjuuction with the troops to be ftimished by the three earls, were to 
suppress the Protestant, and to procure the re* establishment, of the Roman Catholic 
religion in Scotland. 

Much information regarding him may be obtained in the earlier part of Vol. i. of 
Dr Rcid*s valuable ^* History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland,** and in « Gre- 
gory's Account of the Isles.** 

* Some accounts say erroneously, Barclay of Ladyland. 
RENFREW. Q 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



232 RENFREWSHIRE. 

possession of his house; but the locks were found filled with 
stones and other articles, and the baillies refused to break open the 
doors. On Mr Boyd retiring, he was grossly assaulted by the 
women, with opprobrious speeches, the men having purposely ab- 
sented themselves. They threw dirt and stones at him, actually 
compelling him to leave Paisley, and retire to Glasgow. A complaint 
was made by the Bishop of Glasgow, of the disgraceful treatment 
of this worthy clergyman ; but little or no justice was administer- 
ed to him, the noble aggressors being allowed to depart, on pro- 
mising to repossess the minister, and allow him the peaceAil enjoy- 
ment of his house. The ** rascally women," as Wodrow calls them, 
also escaped merited punishment Trochrig, however, never again 
exercised his ministry at Paisley, but died at Edinburgh, on the 
5th of January 1627, * in the forty-ninth year of his age. 

Mr John Hay is mentioned as having succeeded Mr Boyd in 
his charge, on the 21st May 1627. He had been formerly mi- 
nister of Killellan, and he afterwards left Paisley to fill his father's 
place in Renfrew, about the year 1628. 

Mr John Crighton, who is denominated parson of Camp»e, was 
admitted to this charge, by licence of the Archbishop of Glasgow, 
on the 1st of September 1629. He was a man of a singular cha- 
racter, and having been accused of erroneous doctrine^ and other 
misdemeanours, he was deposed by the General Assembly held at 
Glasgow, on the 21st of November 1638. 

Henry Calvert, his successor, was ordained on the 1st July 1641. 
It was this incumbent who made provision for a colleague mini- 
ster, and the reason assigned for this is, that the charge had be- 
come " an over great burden to one." His colleague was appoint- 
ed in October 1644. A few years after this arrangement had been 
entered into, it appears that Mr Calvert's health had become in- 
firm, for in October 1650, his confirmed disability induced him- 
self and his colleague, with the parishioners of Paisley, to sup* 
plicate the presbytery to concur with them, in inviting Mr John 
Drysdale, who had left Ireland on account of persecution, to sup- 
ply Mr Calvert's place. The presbytery having acceded to their 
wish, Mr Drysdale was appointed assistant to Mr Calvert, with 
a stipend of 700 merks, provided by the parish, during Mr Cal- 
vert's lifetime. On Mr Calvert's death, and the succession of 
Mr Dunlop, his colleague, to the first charge, the second charge 

* Wodrow*8 life of Trochrig, MS. as referred to by Mackie, in hit Hisr. Deacrip. 
of Abbey and Town of Paisley. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 233 

was filled not by Mr Drysdale, but by Mr Stirliug. Mr Drys- 
dale, however, appears to have continued at Paisley. For on the 
establishment of Episcopacy in J 661, he incurred the displeasure 
of the government for his nonconformity, and having been charged 
with turbulent and seditious practices, the Earl of Eglinton, as 
Sheriff of Renfrew, was ordered to seize his person, and send him 
in to the council, by the 9th of December. Mr Drysdale ab- 
sconded, and, as Wodrow conjectures, fled to Ireland. 

Alexander Dunlop was removed from the second to the first 
charge, on the 28th December 1653. He wad of the house of 
Dunlop in Ayrshire, a branch of the Dunlops of Achenskeitb. 
He married Jean, daughter of William Mure of Glanderaton, and 
was father of the celebrated William Dunlop, Principal of the Col- 
lege of Glasgow. On account of bis opi>osition to Episcopacy, 
he Was, after being unsuccessfiiUy dealt with by the council, silenced 
from preaching, but allowed to return to bis family. At length, 
an the 6th of January 1663^ he was summoned before the council, 
and having refused to take and subscribe the usual oaths, '^ the 
Lords of Council ordained him to be banished forth of his Majesty's 
dominions, reserving to themselves to prefix the time of his re- 
moval; and, in the meantime, ordain him to confine himself 
within the bounds of the diocesses of Aberdeen, Brechin, Caith- 
ness, Dunkeld, and allow him the space of ten days, to go home, 
and order .his business and affiurs.^' ^^ He was," says Wodrow, 
^ a person of eminent piety, and extraordinary diligence and learn- 
ing, and singular prudence, and sweetness of temper. He has 
left behind him, among other valuable papers, collections towards 
a system of divinity in English, which, had he been able to have 
put in order, would have been one of the most valuably bodies of 
divinity which have been drawn up/' * 

William Pierson appears as minister of Paisley, in the first 
presbytery, under the new order of church government, which 
was held at Paisley on the 29th of October 1663. Mr Pierson 
having been afterwards presented to Dunfermline, received his 
ordinary's demission, and a testimonial of his carriage from his 
brethren, on the 6th of February 1666. 

James Chambers succeeded him in 1667, and continued mi- 
nister of Paisley till 1669 ; for we find, 

• Wodrow's Hist. Vol. i. p. 818, 8m ed. 

" In this calm (the indemnity after Pendand, December 1607,) Mr Alexander 
Dunlop, and Mr James Ferguson, two eminent Presbyterian rainisCers, died. "..-lb. 
VoL ii. p. 100. 



Digitized by 



Google 



284 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Matthew Ramsay mentioned as his successor, on the 2d of Sep- 
tember 1669. Mr Ramsay had been minister of Kilpatrick, from 
which office he was deposed in 1665, ^* for no cause alleged but 
his not attending their prelatical synods and presbyteries." * He 
now, however, accepted of the indulgence granted to the non-con- 
forming clergymen, and was appointed by an act of the privy-coun- 
cil to the vacant charge of Paisley.f " He was," says Wodrow, 
** a person of the most shining piety, stayed gravity, of the great- 
est eminency of gift, extraordinary sweetness of temper, and of a 
most peaceable behaviour." % Mr John Baird, late minister at 
Innerwick, also received the benefit of the indulgence, and was 
appointed, on the 16th of December 1669, assistant to Mr Ram- 
say, who it appears had, from bodily infirmity, become unable to 
discharge the duties of his ofiSce. § Mr Baird, it is probable, 
would have been afterwards deposed, as he too was cited to a^ 
pear before the council, on the 6th of Maj-ch 1684, for non-con- 
formity. But a testimonial of his sickness having been produced, 
his case was deferred until April. <' Whether this sickness car- 
ried him to heaven at this time, I know not," says Wodrow, " but 
I find no more about him in the register. He was a minister of 
great learning and piety, and singular skill in medicine."|| 

To the indulged ministers the first who succeeded was 

John Fullarton. The first sederunt of Presbytery, at which he 
appears, is of date 12th November 1684, when he was moderator. 
He was ejected at the revolution. In 1720, he was elected Bi- 
shop of Edinburgh on the death of Bishop Rose, and was one of 
the first of the post-revolution prelates. He died in May 1727. 

Anthony Murray was admitted minister of this charge on the 
2d of April 168a *« The brethren gave him the right hand of 
fellowship, having been ane old actual minister."f No notice of 
him appears in the Presbytery records after 27th of February 
1689. *• ' H's successor was, 

William Leggat, firom Ireland, who, for the time, was residing at 
Fenwick. On the 22d of August 1689, be accepted of the call 
from Paisley, fsalvojure eecksiae HibemitB^) and received the right 

• Wodrow, Vol. i. p. 427, 8vo. ed. f Id. Vol. ii. p. 133. \ Id. Vol. i. p. 427. 

f Id. VoL ii. p. 184. fl Id. Vol. ii. p. 3a 1 Presbytery Records. 

** Murray vai a relation of the Duchen of Lauderdale, and in 1677 was asked 
br the Presbyterian ministers to use his interest in their behalf, with the Duke. He 
did S0| and pressed particularly the relief of the persecuted ministers from the Babs. 
Lauderdale sternly reliised, <* the party,** as he said, ** being unworthy of any 
fiiTour."— Wodrow, VoL iL p. 848. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 2:^ 

hand of fellowship accordingly. He returned to Ireland in the end 
of 169], and was succeeded by, 

Thomas Blackwell, who was ordained on the 28th of August 
1664. He was called to the charge on the 5th of April 1693, 
but his ordination was delayed till the above date, for reasons men- 
tioned in the Presbytery records, one of which was his own ^^ un- 
cleamess" about accepting of the call. He was translated to Aber- 
deen on the 9th of October 1700. 

Thomas Brown, who had previously held the second charge, 
succeeded him in 1700. His successor was, 

Robert Millar, a man distinguished for learning and piety. He 
was author of the " History of the Propagation of Christianity," 
and other works illustrative of the scriptures, and the history of 
the^church. He was appointed to his charge in Paisley on the 
126th December 1709, and died on the 16th December 1752. 

James Hamilton succeeded him on the 9th of June 1753, 
being translated from the second charge. He died 1 4th March 
1782, in the sixty-first yearof his age, and thirty-first of bis minis- 
try.* 

Robert Boog, D. D. succeeded to this charge on the 29th August 
1782, having, for about eight years, held the second. He died on the 
24th July 1823^ and was succeeded on the 9th of April of the fol- 
lowing year, by the present incimibent, who was translated from 
Ballantrae, where he had been ordained on the 11th May 1815, 

Second Charge. — Provision having been made by Mr Calvert, 
for a colleague minister in this parish, in the year 1641, as already 
mentioned, John Fullerton was appointed to it the same year, but 
he does not seem to have accepted of the appointment. He ap- 
pears to have been afterwards minister of Kilwinning. 

Alexander Dunlop was the first who held this charge. He was 
appointed to it in October 1644, and held it till his removal to 
the first charge on the 28th of December 1653. 

James Stirling was ordained his successor in this charge, on the 
12th of June 1654. Like his colleague, Mr Dunlop, he was, on the 
introduction of Episcopacy, ejected from his charge. He wrote the 

* On thia dergymftn a curious epitaph was written jby Mr Francis Dougbs, au- 
thor of a descriptive work on ** the East Coast of SooUand," and printed in the Scotch 
Magaiine of 1783/ We cannot insert the whole* but the foUowing is the concluding 
clauses. " Unnoticed by the crowd, he chose to walk with virtue in tlie shade. Con- 
fiding in the Supreme 6eing, and animated by the hope of immortality, be bore a 
long decline of health with uninterrupted tranquillity, and died in perfect peace. 
Gentle shade! congenial spirits gather round thee : farewell. He died Nth March 
1782, in the sixty first year of his age, and thirty-first of his ministry." 



Digitized by 



Google 



236 RENFREWSHIRE. 

first or historical part of that &mons book ^* Naphtali, or the 
wrestlings of the Church of Scotland."* 

William Eccles, an indulged minister, seems to have been ap- 
pointed to Paisley about the same time with Mr Ramsay (1^9,) 
whose assistant was Mr Baird, and it is therefore probable his ap- 
pointment was to the second charge. The exact period of it we 
have not been able to ascertain. But he was deprived of his license 
by the council on the 30th of January i684.f 

John Taylor, formerly minister at Meams, succeeded to this 
charge in 1685. He, like Mr Fullerton, was deprived at the Re- 
volution. This charge seems to have remained vacant from the 
time of his removal till it was filled by 

Thomas Brown, as he is the next in succession, whose name ap- 
pears in the records. He was ordained on the 4th May 1698. 
From this charge he was translated to the first in 1700, and from 
that period, the second charge appears to have been vacant till the 
ordination of 

Robert Mitchell, on the22d September 17122, who, on the 21st 
March 1739, was translated to the church and parish lately before 
erected within the burgh of Paisley. 

William Fleming, previously minister of Kirkintilloch, succeed- 
ed him, on the 26th June 1740 ; and died on the 2d January 1747. 

James Hamilton, who succeeded to this charge, was ordained 
on the 24th April 1751. He was soon after this translated to the 
first charge. 

John Rae, his successor, was ordained on the 24th January 
1754; and died on the 4th September 1757. 

Archibald Davidson, next in succession, was ordained on the 
7th September 1758. From this charge he was translated to 
the parish of Inchinnan, on the 20th October 1761, and there- 
after to the principality of the College of Glasgow. 

Alexander Kennedy, his successor, received ordination on the 
10th June 1762, and died on the 12th July 177a He was suc- 
ceeded by 

Robert Boog, who was ordained to this charge on the 2l8t 
April 1774, and held it till his translation to the first, on the 29th 
August 1782. 

* The *< reasoDinff part of Napfatali was written by one of the belt lawyers of his 
time. Mr (aflerwards Sir) James Stewaitof Goodtrees/**-Wodrow*8 Hist. VoL ii. 
p. 100. 
t Wodrow, Vol. iv. p. 38. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 237 

James Mylne, his successor, was ordained on the 27th March 
1783; and resigned his charge on the 4th October 1797, having 
been elected to the chair of Moral Philosophy in the College of 
Glasgow, which he still continues to fill. 

James Smith succeeded the Professor, and was ordained on the 
26th January 1798. He held this charge till his death, on the 28th 
January 1817. 

The present incumbent sucx^eeded Mr Smith, and was ordain- 
ed to his charge on the 10th April 1818. 

Low Parish. — At the opening of the new church in the burgh 
of Paisley, or the " Laigh Kirk," Robert Mitchell was translated 
from the second charge of the original, now the Abbey parish, to 
this newly erected parish, on the 21st March 1739. He died on 
the 9th March 1746, and was succeeded by 

Peter Scott, who had been ordained as his colleague and suc- 
cessor, on the 27th June 1740. He died on the 4th August 
1753; and his successor was 

Robert Findlay, D. D. an exemplary minister, and a man of pro- 
found learning, who had been settled at Galston, on the 2lst of 
March 1754. He was translated to Paisley on the 29th January 
1 756 ; thereafter to the Ramshorn parish of Glasgow, and ulti- 
mately to the Divinity Chair of the university in that city, which 
he filled till his death in 1814, at a very advanced age. He was 
succeeded by 

John Witherspoon, D. D. LL. D., who was translated from 
Beith on the 16th June 1757. He resigned his charge on the 22d 
June 1768, and went to America, and became the distinguished 
President of Princeton College, New Jersey.* He died in 1794. 

James Morrison, A. M., from Strathblane, was the next incum- 
bent, having been admitted to this charge on the 29th June 1769. 
He died on the 28th March 1781, when his place was filled by 

Colin Gillies, who, having been ordained assistant and succes- 
sor to Mr David Turner of the West Parish Greenock, was admit- 
ted to this charge on the 19th December 1781; and died on the 
6th March 1810. 

John Reid, who was ordained his assistant and successor on the 
17th December 1801, survived him only a few months. He died 
on the 10th of November of the same year. (18J0.) 

Robert Burns, D. D., was ordained on the 19th July 1811. 
He was removed from the Laigh Kirk to St George's, in which he 

* The best account of the life of this distinguished man will be found in the Edin- 
burgh Christian Instructor for 1830, p. 673. 



Digitized by 



Google 



238 RENFREWSHIRE. 

now officiates, but is still mtiristerof the same parish, St Geoi^e's 
being now the church of that parish. 

High Parish, — After the opening of the High Church in 1756, 

James Baine, A. M. was admitted to the charge, on the 22d 
April of that year. On the 26th March 1766, he resigned his 
charge, having joined the presbytery of the Relief Church, in which 
connexion he died in 1790. 

George Muir, D. D. succeeded him, on the 30th October 1766. 
He died on the 20th July 1771, and was succeeded by 

William Taylor, D. D. who was ordained on the 2d July 1772. 
Dr Taylor was, on •the 15th September 1780, translated to the 
High Church of Glasgow, and afterwards succeeded to the princi* 
pality of the University in that city. 

John Findlay, D. D. his successor, was ordained on the 14th 
March 1781, and died on the 25th March 1821.* 

John Greddes, his assistant and successor, was ordained on the 
9th February 1821. He was removed to St Andrew's parish^ 
Glasgow, on the 18th January 1832, in which he remained till 
his death, on the 24th May of the following year. 

The present incumbent succeeded him. He was translated from 
the Scotch Church, Crown Court, London, to which he had been 
ordained by the presbytery of Paisley, on the 21st of July 1831. 
He was admitted to his present charge on the 14th May 1832. 

Middle Parish, — Of the Middle Parish of Paisley, the first mi- 
nister was 

John Snodgrass, D. D., who was translated from the town of 
Dundee, and inducted to his charge in Paisley, on the 19th De- 
cember 1781, which he held till his death, onthe22d June 1797. 

Jonathan Ranken his successor, was ordained on the 15th June 
1798, and died minister of this parish on the 7th March ]8dl.-|- 

James Begg, A. M. from Lady Glenorchy's Chapel, Edinburgh, 
succeeded him. He was admitted on the 25th November 1831, 
and was translated to the parish of Libert on on the 18th June 1835* 

The present incumbent, his successor, was inducted to his 
charge on the 12th February 1836. 

Johnston. — It was only in the year 1834 that the village or town 

* An interesting memoir of this faithful and eminently useful minister was 
written \,y Mr Thomas Crichton, Master of the Hospital, Paisley, and to which re- 
ference may be made for fiiU information regarding him. Mr C. wrote the Account 
of Witherspoon above referred to. 

t Interesting sketches of these excellent ministers of this place, Dr Snodgrass, aod 
Messrs Geddes and Ranken, will be found in the Christian Instructor for 1830, p. 
610, and 1831^ p. 801. These sketches were written by Mr Crichton. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 239 

of Johnston was erecte$l into a distinct parish. The place of wor- 
ship in it connected with the £stablishment,.however, was opened 
in the year 1794, and perambulated bounds were assigned to the 
locality, whose inhabitants were placed under the ecclesiastical su- 
perintendence of its minister. Those who have successively filled 
the situation of ministers there, are, 

James Weir, ordained 1st June 1797, who resigned in 1801 ; 
Matthew Graham, ordained 20th January 1802, who resigned 7th 
December 1804, having been called to the chapel of Calton, Glas- 
gow; Andrew Harley, admitted 26th April 1804, who died dOth 
July 1807 ;*and Alexander Telfer, present minister, ordained 16th 
December 1807. 

Gaelic. — In the same year, the Gaelic Chapel was received into 
the number of churches in the Paisley presbytery. That place of 
worship, however, was opened in 1794. Its ministers since the 
opening of it have been, 

- William Simpson, settled 1795 or 1796, who resigned 21st June 
1802 ; Walter Blair, admitted dd June 1803, who died in July 
1832 ; and the present minister, John Campbell, ordained on the 
16th April 1833. 

North. — Of the places of worship recently built, the North 
Church was the earliest that was provided with a minister. The 
first who was elected to the charge was Peter Macmorland. But be- 
fore his ordination he was chosen minister of the National Scotch 
Church, London, and ordained by the presbytery of Paisley to that 
charge on the 2d of April 1835. 

Robert Stevenson succeeded him, and was ordained on 17th 
July, but, being soon afiter removed to the Middle Church of this 
town, he was succeeded by the present incumbent, who was or- 
dained on 31st March 1836. 

MartyrSi Levem and South. — The first elected incumbents in 
the other three churches Martyrs, Levern, and the South still con- 
tinue to officiate in the charges to which they have been severally 
ordained. The minister of the first was ordained on the 21st of 
July, the second on the 22d of that month, and the third on the 
l^th of August, all in the year 1836. 

Churches. — The churches are all in a state of good repair. We 
have already noticed th^ Abbey. The others are plain substantial 
buildings, and well fitted up within. The High Church, said to be 

* Of Uib fiuthfuly but short-lived minister, an interesting memoir will be found in 
the Religious Monitor of October 180(1. 



Digitized by 



Google 



240 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the largest in Scotland whose roof is unsupported by pillars, is 
surmounted by a lofty, as well as a handsome spire, which attracts 
the eye at a great distance, and the Levem, which is the smallest 
of the Paisley churches, is picturesquely situated qu the \eh bank 
of the river which gives it its name. 

Parochial Registers, — As previous to the year 1736, the whole 
of the district comprehended in this article was included in one 
parish, there was then only one parochial register kept From 
that register, we find the minutes of the kirk»session as far back 
as November 1699. In the first volume, which brings down the 
minutes to August 1706, a number of leaves appear to have been 
torn out. The next volume commences with the minutes of Ja- 
nuary 1710, and ends in February ] 775. A volume appears to have 
been lost, containing the proceedings of the kirk*sessbn between 
February 1775 and March 1792. With the exceptions noticed, 
the minutes are complete, from their commencement in 1699 to 
the present time. 

The registers in the burgh parishes have been regularly kept, 
from the opening of the different churches, each parish having a 
distinct register. The sessions of the three endowed parishes in 
the town, however, meet together on particular occasions, for all 
matters connected with the poor, when they form what is called 
the general session. Each of the three kirk*sessions has a clerk 
of its own, elected by the town council in consequence of special 
contract ; but the clerk of the Abbey session is chosen by the 
members of the court themselves, which is also the case with 
the clerks of the sessions of the unendowed churches. 

In the Abbey parish the registers of births have been regularly 
kept from 1676, and proclamation of banns from 1670, to the 
present day. In the burgh, one register was kept from 1738 till 
178 1. At that period, when the burgh was divided into three distinct 
parishes, separate registers were ordered for each, and they have 
been kept with great accuracy from that date to the present time. 

Baptisms and marriages, as well as births and proclamations of 
banns, are registered. 

The early records contain many curious notices of manners, and 
of the passing events in civil and ecclesiastical history. A few of 
these are given in the subjoined extracts : — 

" 19th Januar 1604. The presbitrie being informit by thair brother, Mr Patrick 
Hamiltoun, that Robert Aitken and Robert Miller, parochiners of Lochquinnocfae, 
superstitiouslie behaved yameselves be ringing of girdiUes ye day of Januare; as also 
that Hendrie Paslny, Robert Paislay, Rot Patoun, and James King, in Muirdykes, 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 241 

efter one profime and godles maner behavit ymn^eielfis in disagyitsing yameselfis, 
quhilk is nathiog 1e« than abominaen in ye eyes of ye lord, as also being inforroit 
be thalr Brother, Gavan Hamilton, Vicar of Kilbarchan, that James Andro," ftc. 
&c., ** usit supervtitious play is a little before yuiU in the day callet ynllevinning, come 
throw ye clachane of Kilbarchan, making open proclamacn and giving oppen libertie 
to all men to tak pastyme for ye space of aucht dayes, as also usit superstitious 
playis upon the 26 of December, at ye Corsfuird, and gave yameselfis to strolling 
and drinking. The britbren ordaint all the forsaid persons to be sumond to ye next 
presbitrie day be thair brither, Mr Patrick Uamiltoun and Gavand Hamiltoun, Vicar 
at Kilbarchan.** 

**• 24 May ld3a The qlk day the brethren thought good that a solemne fast 
should be kept on Sonday come eight dayes, and intimatioun thereof to be made on 
Sonday next throughout the whole churches of the presbyterie, for the removeing of 
the sinnes of the Umd, especiallie the contempt of the gospell, wch justlie hath pro. 
▼oked God to permit Innovations to creepe in into the church, and that it would 
please God to save this Kirk of Scotland from all Innovations of religioune, and that 
peace with the profeasioune of the pnt religioune may with llbertie be interteined.** 

" do Aug. The qlk day the brethren that were pnt did all solemnlie sware that 
they were neither dealt with nor sufier themselves to be dealt with to be perverted 
against the Covenant nee prece, pretio, nee minis." 

*^ 11 Aprilis 1639. The qlk day the brethren thought it most expedient and ne- 
cessarr, that Mr Matthew Brisbane should goe with the Colonell Montgomerie and 
the companie with him, to Dunce* hill, for their coYort,be preaching and other exer- 
cises of devotion.** 

*• 9 Decemb. 1641. The qlk day the brithren were acquainted that the Nynt day 
of Januar nextocii is appointed to be kept for solemne thanksgiving to God for es- 
tablyshing peace within the Kingdome of Scotland.** 

*< J 9 May 1642. The qlk the Moderator, brethren, and remanent members of the 
presbyterie ordained Mr John Hay and Mr Henrie Calvert to goe to the Erie of 
Abercorne, and speake to his LoP anent the subscriptioune of the Covenant, and 
anent his coming to the Church, and anent the bringing back of his eldest Sonne ac- 
cording to the Act of the provincial assembly." 

•*• 23 September 1643. Anent a Ire of the Estates requireing that the brethren 
would be pleased everie one to put out a man with other presbyteries with the expe- 
ditioune to England, 'ilie brethren have declared their willingnes so to doe, but have 
referred the matter till the provincial! assemblie to be kept at Lainrek upon Tuisday 
next insueing, and after advisemt to give ansr.** 

"13 June 1644. The brethren ordeine Mr Ninian Campbell to goe to the arroie 
nowe in England, and supplie there as Minister till he were liberat. and that in my 
Lord Loudounes regiment, and order Mr Jon Hay to writt to his LoP to that effect." 

« 21 May 1640. The qlk day the ministers at Paislaye, Kilmacolme, and Killel- 
lane, required powers fra the presbiterie for judicial le tryalle and examina*n of suehe 
personnes as are suspected to have had oomplyance with James Grhame or Alex. 
Mcdonald, or receivit protection fra theme, qlk wes granted.** 

** 7th Januar 1647. The qlk day compeirit Andro Semple, toune-clerk of Kenfrewe» 
and grantit he wes at the meetinge of the gentilmen of the shyre at Kenfrewe qn 
there wes ane act made for outputeing a trowpe of horse for James Grhame. The 
presbiterie hes wrnet him apud acta to this day twentie dayes, to give up ane roll of 
the gentilmen yt were yre." 

« 27 Deer. 1648. Heported by the Brethren that the Covenant wes renewed 
with solemne fasting and humUla'n on Sabboth last.** 

" April 12, 1649. Compeared Johne Wallace of Ferguslie, Allane Wallace, his son, 
Kot. fibrk, elder, and Rot. Atezr, late baillies of Pasley, who for their accessioun to 
the late sinfull ingadgment, are referred to the gnall assemblie.*' 

" 27 Sept. 1649. Reported by John Sprewle, proveist of Renfrew, that he had 
apprehendit some women in Renfirew for eminent presumptions of Witchcraft. The 
prebne appoynts Mrs Johne Hamiltoun, Allexr. Dunlope, the Lainis of Bischop- 
toune and Craigends, elders, to confer with the said woemen, and deale to bring them 
to ane confession.** 

^< October 1649. The prebrie concludet that all the brethrene sail this nicht and 
the morrowe, deall with the persons apprehendet for witchcraft in Pasley and Ren- 
firew to bring them to confessioun.'* 

** Feby. 6, 1650. The rest of the day and the morrowe to be spent in dealing with 
the witches now upon pannell, yt they may be broucht to repentance.** 



Digitized by 



Google 



2242 RENFREWSHIRE. 

'^ May 16, 1650.— The aolemne thanksgiving for ye overthrow given by the ni'tye 
of God to James Grahame, appointed to be keiped on Wednesday come eight days, ac- 
cording to ye appointment of ye comission of the gnall assemblie." 

**• Penult May 1650. Produced the confessions of Janet Wood, in Neilston — the 
prebrie finding her guiltie of gross sorcerie and witchcraft, they have eamestlie re- 
comendet ye same to ye lords of secret counsell or comittee of estates, for granting 
ane comission for her tryall and censure.** 

^* Sept. 1660. In respect our armye in ye feilds against ye sectaries Is scattered 
at Dunbar, and yt ye gentelmeu and ministris of ther westerne shyres are to meet at 
Kilmarnock, the prebrie appoints Mrs Allexr Dunlope and John Mauld to repaire 
thither, and to concurr wth them in any good and necessary course for saiftie of the 
cause and kingdome." 

*' lOth August 1653. This day, unexpectedlie, Capitane Greene, one of the la- 
glish armye, with ane partie of souldiers, invadit the presbitrie, and bv violence ia- 
terupted thpir fitting, carried them out to ane house in the town, and deteined them 
rr as prisoners, alledging yt all presbries were discharged, and had no power to sitt. 
Therefter they being dismissed, did again conveine, and considring the greil dis- 
traction of the tyms, and the uncertantie of the continuatiou of yr liberties appointed 
the ordination of Mr William Thomson to the ministrie at Merns, to be at Mems 
the morrow, and the day to be observed as ane day of humiliation n.** 

** Primo September 1653. Compeared Capitane John Greene, one of the In- 
glishe officers, who, declaireing that he was come to sitt with the presbrie and attend 
all their dyets, that he might know what they did in their meetings, did exhibit aoe 
warrand from Collonell Lilburne to that purpose. The prebrie did declaire their 
great dissatisfaction yrwlth, and yt with their consent he sould not sitt with them, 
whereupon he did forbear for the tym.** 

** 25th April 1660. Mr Hugh 'Peebles reports, that as was appointed he did re- 
buke before the congregation l.oghwinzoch, Alexander Hamilton in Kilbarchan pa- 
rish, and Kathrine Blair, his wife, for scandalous conversing, eating, and drinking 
wt the Lord Sempell and the rest of his Popish family now excommunicat, particu- 
larly at their superstitious observance of Yool, also Giles Sempell' for the same fault, 
and for dauncingwith them at the same occasion ; item James Allason, John Gillia, 
Minian Tarbert, for profaning the Lord*s day in the house of Castle- Sempill, at their 
superstitious observing of Yool tyde.** 

" August 18, 1664. Robert Finny, parochiner in Pasley, being sumoned for his 
abuse upon his marriage day, by bringing a bagpipe thorow the toune of Pasley, with 
many horse, playing along to the scandal of the people, contrary to orders maide for- 
merly in this place against such abuses, and is appointed to be rebuked publickly be- 
fore the congregation, and to pay six pounds Scots of fine for his fault. 

« I>ecr. 20, 1666 — Anent those within the presbytrie who were in arms in the 
late rebellious insurrection, the brethren report, that none to their knowledge within 
the presbytrie were actually joyned with their body who were in arms, only the young 
goodman of Caldwell, in the parish of Neilston, was with the laird of Caldwell in arms 
going to these rebells, as also William Porterfield of Quarreltown, in the parish of 
Pasley, now vacant, also Alexr. Porterfield, the said William his brother in the parish 
of Kilphallan, now vacant also, and their names now already known and published 
in the printed papers. Two also now given up as suspected persons, who had fled 
their houses, when searched for by the soldiers, in the parish of Eastwood, Gavin 
Philsill in Pollocktoun, and Archibald Chisne, who also are already made known to 
his Majestie*s forces, who are endeavouring to apprehend them." 

Jany. 12, 1681 — The said day the Acts of Synod vere roul, and the brethren in- 
terrogat as to their observing thereof, all of them reports, that they say the Lord*s 
prayer, and either sings or says the doxologie. And they promise that so soon as 
the country shall in any measure settle cheermlly, to go about obedience to the act of 
the administration of the Lord's Supper.*' 

<* Dec 21, l(>8t.— The Moderator produces ane order, pticularlie directed to him 
from the Archb., requiring him, io presence of the remanent brethren, to administer 
the oath called the Test to all schoolmasters, doctors, and chaplains within the bounds 
of the presbytrie, and to report his diligence hereanent, betwixt and the flrst of Ja- 
nuarie 1682.*' 

" Feb. 7, 1683. — This day ye Moderator and brethren, confbrme to ane act of sy- 
nod gave into Baylv Paterson in Renfrew, ye shiref deputes substitute, ye following 
list of disorderly schoolmasters within ye bounds, who have not taken the test, viz. 
James Cowie in Kilbarchan, Peter Pew in Nilstoun, Mr Wm Reid in Lochwnoch, 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 243 

John Richmond in Greenock, Thomas Wat in Candyoke, John Semple in Houstoun, 
Mongo Mitchell in Innerkip, which list ye said Bailie has promised to give into the 
ffhiref depute, for officiating contrary to law« 

" Also Mr Gadderer giving in a list of some obstinat persons wtin his parioch who 
refused to join wt him as elders in discipline. The Moderator and brethren do like- 
wise give in ye sd list to Bayly Paterson, who hes promised to give it up to the shiref 
depute" 

'* March 24tb 1697. The Presb. considering the great rage of Satan in this cor- 
ner of the land, and particularly the continued trouble of Bargarren's daur. which is 
a great evidence of the Lord*8 displeasure being provoked by the sins of the land, 
(ezprast as the causes of our former publike fasts) so to let Satan loose amongst us. 
Therefore the presb. judges it very necessary to set apart a day of solemne humilia- 
cne and fiisting, that we may humble ourselves under God's hand, and wrestle with 
Ood in prayer, that he may restrain SatanV rage and relieve that poor afflicted dam- 
sill and that fitmily from their present distress, and that the Lord would break in 
upon the hearts of these poor obdured that are Indicted fur witchcraft, that they may 
fraely confess to the Glory of God and the rescuing of their own souls out of the 
bands of Satan, and that the Lord would conduct and clear their way that are to lie upon 
yr tryell, In order to the giving of Satan*s Kingdom ane effectuall stroak. Therefor 
the presb. appoints Thursday oome eight days to be religiously and solemnly observed 
upon the accounts fors'd, in all the congregations within their bounds, and the same 
to be intimate the Sabbath preceding. 

"The presb. also appoints the whole members to deal with those who are indited, 
as they shall have occasion, in order unto their being brought to a confession." 

*< Aprile 14, 1697. — The meeting considering this day that the revising of the nar- 
rative of Christine Shaw's trouble was recommended unto them by the synod, there- 
fore they appoint Mr Turner to cause transcribe four copies, and send one to prin • 
cipal Dunlop, and Mr Ja. Brown, another to Mr Ballantine, another to Mr Wylie, 
and another to Mr Wilson, allowing them to advise with any of the brethren oif yr 
respective presbitrys in the revising yrof, appointing them, ere they leave this place, to 
meet and appoint the time and place of their next meeting, that they may compare 
their animadversions, and put the qll relations in a suitable dress." 

^< May 19, 1697 — Bed. The members of the presb. with the rest of the brethren 
that were in town. 

** After prayer, Mrs McDowell, Da Brown, Ja Stirling are appointed, as frequently 
as possibly they can, to converse with the seven persons that are condemned to die 
for witchcraft** 

** Mr Pa. Sympson and Mr Da Brown are appointed to have each of them a Lecture 
in the tolbuth to those that are condemned upon June 9, the day preceding their 
Execution.** 

" At Pasley, June 9, 1697. Mr Sympson preacht this day in the tolbuth to the 
condemned persons, on 2 Tim. 2. 25, 26, and also Mr Brown on 1 Tim. 1, 16, ac- 
cording to appointment.** 

" The presb. did appoint the whole members to spend sometime this night with 
the condemned persons who are to dy to-morrow, and did allot to each one or two 
of the Brethren one of the sentenced persons, to be dealt with by them, and waited 
upon to the fire.** 

** Jjanoary 11th 1699. The Presb. appoints their Commissioners to the Assembly 
to plead that this presbytery be exeem*d from supplying the North at this time, upon 
the account of the sad condition of the Country through diabolicall molestations, &c.*' 

From the minutes, it appears that the Pr^ytery took a very strong interest in 
the question of the Union of the Kingdoms in 1707, appointing a Committee of their 
number to wait on the proceedings of the Parliament and Commissioners at Edin- 
burgh, for the purpose of stopping what was then considered a dangerous and degra- 
ding proposal. The tumults of &e times are matter of history with whidi we^ have 
nothing to do ; but we may remark, that the Presbytery of Paisley did, in this in- 
stance, only echo the universal feeling of the more decided part uf the Presbyterian 
body, that the Union would prove highly prgudicial to the Church, by iessenmg her 
influence with the legislature, and by merging her interests in those of a legislative 
body, in which Episcopacy could not fail to have an immense preponderance. 

Parochial Missions. — About ten years ago there was a town 
mission established in Paisley, which employed two agents. This 



Digitized by 



Google 



244 RENFREWSHIRE. 

society was dissolved about five years ago, when an Association was 
formed chiefly of members of the Established Church. That As- 
sociation has been able to employ three licentiates of the church 
as parish missionaries, who labour in some of the most populous 
places of the town and Abbey parishes. They are appointed by 
the session of the parish in which they labour, and under whose super- 
intendence they are considered as particularly placed. The funds 
for their support are raised by subscription, and by collections on 
Sabbath evenings, when the ministers of these parishes take, each 
his turn of preaching in the High Church. 

Sabbath Schools. — Besides the parish missionary Association, 
there are in Paisley two Sabbath school societies, one supported 
by members of the Established church, and the other chiefly by 
persons connected with the different denominations of evangelical 
Dissenters. The original Sabbath School Society, in this place, 
was established in the year 1796 ; and for nearly thirty years was 
supported by individuals of all denominations, who were disposed 
to give it their countenance. But in the year 1833 it was found that 
the members of the Established and dissenting churches, from causes 
arising out of the Establishment controversy, could no longer 
co-operate with that harmony, which had hitherto existed among 
them ; in consequence of which a separation took place, which gave 
rise to the two distinct Associations now mentioned. Still, however 
this separation, we ought to remark, has decidedly increased the 
number attending Sabbath schools in Paisley. There were last 
year not less then 4198 in attendance on these schools, being about 
2000 more than are found on the list of the Society previous to the 
separation. The schools of both Societies arc conducted on the 
same principle, and use the same books. Most of the Sabbath 
schools have juvenile religious libraries attached to them. The 
system of local arrangement is adopted as far as practicable, and 
a vigilant system of visitation is maintained. 

Ministers' Classes. — Most of the clergymen, both Established 
and dissenting, have long been in the habit of instructing weekly 
classes of young men and young women of their congregations and 
parishes, in the principles of the gospel, by way of free and familiar 
catechising on the Scriptures or approved catechisms. The num;- 
bers in these classes vary from about 20 to 150. Thegreatest bene* 
fit has been found to result from these interesting departments of 
pastoral duty. 

Education. — In these parishes, there has hitherto been a great 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 245 

ivantof the means of education, although of late, attempts have been 
making for the purpose of remedying this evil. The slate of edu- 
cation appears, from a report of the presbytery given in to the Ge- 
neral Assembly, in May 1834. According to that report, there 
were then in the Abbey parish 32 schools, attended by 2318scholars, 
including those who attended in the evening, making in a popula- 
tion of 26,177, only about one in 11.28, or nearly 9 per cent, un- 
der education. In the town parishes, there were 33 schools, and 
2458 scholars, making in a population of 31,460, only about one 
in 12.80, or about 7.81 per cent, receiving instruction. How very 
different is this from what it ought to be ! for in order to exhibit 
a parish fully enjoying and improving the means of education, there 
ought to be a fifth or a sixth part of its inhabitants receiving instruc- 
tion, and this we find to be the case, in some of the well educated 
parishes in Scotland. 

Of these 32 schools in the Abbey parish, not one is parochial. 
One of the teachers has an annuity of about 1m 10 or L. 12, being 
the interest of a sum of L. 240, left by William Maxwell, Esq. of 
Bredieland, as a small endowment for the improvement of educa- 
tion in the parish. Four of them are furnished with school-rooms, 
built by subscription, and kept in repair by a committee of subscrib- 
ers. All the other teachers are wholly unendowed. 

The 33 schools in the town of Paisley include those called 
the town schools, whose teachers are appointed by the council, and 
over whom that body exercises a particular superintendence. The 
first of these is the grammar-school, in which the Latin and Greek 
languages are taught, and from which, for many years past, some 
of the most distinguished classical scholars have been sent to the 
neighbouring University of Glasgow. Had all the funds original- 
ly destined for the support of this school been retained, the rector 
would, at this day, have been provided with an ample endowment. 
For we find, that, in the year 1576-7, seven roods of land, with 
the revenues and endowments of the altars and chaplaineries in the 
church of Paisley, that is, a chapel formerly in the town of Pais- 
ley, dedicated to St Rock, were bestowed on the magistrates and 
community of Paisley, for the erection of a grammar-school. * 
These endowments, however, through the lapse of time, have, in 
a great measure, been lost sight of; and the income of the teach- 

• Histor. Dcscrip. of Abbey, p. 86. 



Digitized by 



Google 



246 RENFREWSHIRE. 

er, at this day,, consists of merely a school-house, dwelling-house, 
and about L. 17 per annum, with the wages of the scholars. * 

There are other three schools which may be called town schoobf 
two in which the English language is taught, and one in which 
writing, arithmetic, and practical mathematics are the branches of 
instruction. The teacher of each of these schools is furnished with 
a school- room; one of the English teachers has in addition a dwel- 
ling-house, and the other, as also the commercial teacher, a salary 
of L. 8, 6s. 8d. per annum, from the funds of the town. 

The only other teacher within the burgh who, when the report 
was given in, had any thing like an endowment, was the one in 
Seed-hill, who, in addition to a school-room and dwelling-house, 
enjoyed, as he still enjoys, an annuity of L. 5, left for the purpose 
of education about fifty years ago, by a person of the name of ParL 

Such was the state of education in Paisley within these two 
years. But it is refreshing to think, that active exertions have 
been set on foot, for the purpose of remedying the evil of so great 
a want of education as then existed among us : and, from the libe- 
rality of the friends of education, there is great reason to hope, 
that these exertions will, ere long, be crowned with success. The 
heritors of the Abbey parish have resolved to assess themselves, in 
the legal sum of three chalders, for the support of three parochial 
teachers, each of whom to be localled in one of the three dis- 
tricts of the parish, viz. one in the east, one in the west, and one 
in the central or middle district. A school has also been recently 
erected in the New Town, from funds left for this purpose, by the 
late Mr and Mrs Corse of Greenlaw. From all these sources, it is 
expected that a great addition will be made to the means of educa- 
tion, and, from the additional encouragement to teachprs, an im- 
provement in its quality. 

To the parishes within the burgh of Paisley, a grant from Go- 
vernment of L. 700, for the purpose o£ building schools, was lately 
obtained, which has been so increased, by the liberality of the in- 
habitants, as to have afforded them the means of erecting three new 
school-rooms, and of increasing the accommodation of an existing 
one. The general session, who had previously built a school-house 
by means of funds at their disposal, have, along with a certain 
number of subscribers, the superintendence of these schools, and 
they have guaranteed to each teacher a salary of L. 15 per an- 

* When the school is well attended, the teacher possesses a very competent in- 
come. 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 247 

num, which enables him to teach at a reduced rate of wages, 
thus bringing the means of education within reach of a class 
of our townsmen who could not have otherwise procured this 
blessing to their offspring. .The rate of wages per quarter in 
these sessional schools is 25., and they are at present attended by 
nearly 7l)0 pupils. 

In the New Town, a commodious infant school, with dwelling- 
bouse for the teacher, has been lately erected by public subscript 
tion. The ground was gifted by James Kibble of Greenlaw, Esq. 
along with a handsome subscription, in aid of the building. It was 
opened in July 1835, and the average number of scholars that have 
been since attending it is about 80. The ministers of the town 
as well as of the Abbey parish are trustees. 

In the town there is one charity school, founded by Mrs Mar- 
garet Hutchison, and additionally endowed by a donation of L. 500 
from the late Walter Carswell, Esq. A commodious school-house, 
capable of holding 250 pupils, has been erected ; and there are al« 
ways under tuition from 200 to 250 young persons. 

The inhabitants of Paisley having thus exerted themselves to 
increase and improve the means of education, especially among the 
poor and working-classes of the community, have also begun to 
turn their attention to the introduction of an improved system of 
education, for the benefit of those whose circumstances enable 
them to give to their children the higher branches of instruction. 
With this view, an Association has lately been formed, for the 
erection of a seminary to be called ^^ The Paisley Academy," in 
which, French, Italian, and German, and other modern lan- 
guages shall be taught, with the principles of mathematics, me- 
chanics, and different branches of natural history and philosophy. 
It is expected, that, if the plan succeed, the Paisley Academy will 
have associated with it a regular ^< school of arts," so as to furnish 
to the inhabitants of Paisley and its neighbourhood, the me^ns of 
completing the education of those of their children not intended 
for one of the learned professions, without the necessity of send- 
ing them to a distance. 

Theological Halls. — Paisley is the seat of not less than two se- 
minaries for theological education ; the one connected with the 
Reformed Presbyterian Synod, and under the charge of the Rev. 
Andrew Symington, D. D. ; the other connected with the Relief 
Synod, and under the charge of the Rev. James Thomson, D. D. 

RENFREW. R 



Digitized by 



Google 



248 RENFREWSHIRE. 

These gentlemen are also ministers of congregations respectively 
in the town, and during the hall term (which is in the months of 
August and September) their pulpits are supplied by ministers spe- 
cially appointed by the synods. The number of students at both 
of these institutions may average 40. Each hall has attached to 
it an extensive collection of theological books. 

Religious Societies, — Paisley was for twenty years the seat of 
very flourishing Bible Society, under the name of " The Paisley 
and East Renfrewshire Bible Society ;" which, besides supplying 
home wants, sent annually many hundred pounds to the British 
and Foreign Bible Society, and other societies of the same kind* 
Of late it has existed under the form of four female Bible associa- 
tions, which have done much good by distributing Bibles, purchas- 
ed, lent, or gifted to the poor of the place ; and which have also 
distributed of their charity to the Highlands, colonies, and foreign 
parts. The missionary enterprise was early befriended in this place,, 
and several associations in behalf of the London, Scottish, Bap- 
tist, and Continental Societies, have from time to time lent their 
aid to the good cause. Of late, various circumstances have directed 
the attention of the Christian public more immediately to the sup- 
ply of spiritual wants at home ; but the visits of the representa- 
tives of these and other institutions of the same nature are still 
hailed with pleasure, and liberal collections and subscriptions, from 
time to time, made in their behalf by all denominations. 

IV. — Population. 
State of the Population.— The population of the Abbey and town 
parishes may be distinctly traced from the year 1695; and, ac- 
cording to the statements given at different periods, it is as follows: 

Year. 
1695, 
1755, 
1781, 

In the above table we have not distinguished the males from 
the females, as there is no record of the number of each, at the 
different periods referred to. Besides, in the Abbey parish, the 
number of souls is mentioned only at one of the periods ; at the 
other two, we have only the number of families in the parish. 

From the year 1791, we are able to give the statement of the 
population with more accuracy, distinguishing between the males 
and females in each vear in which the census was taken. 



Abbey. 


Town. 


Total in 


Families. Souls. 


Families. Souls. 


Abbey & Town. 


435 


2200 




2509 


4290 


6799 


1536 


11,100 





Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 249 

Abbey parish. Town of Paisley. 

Year. Fam. Males. Fem. Total. Fam. Males. Fem. Tot. Total in 

Ab. & Til. 
1791, 22d5 5259 5533 10792 3232 6577 7223 13800 24592 
1801, 2991 6592 7561 14153 8945 7821 9205 17026 31179 
1811, 3612 7614 9171 16785 4446 8843 11094 19937 36722 
1821, 4210 9609 10966 20575 5780 12133 14295 26428 47003 
1831, 5306 12062 13944 26006 7002 14460 17000 31460 57466 
According to the census of 1831, the whole population, amount^ to -. 57,466 
Of this number, the burgh contains - • - - - < 31,460 

The New Town and suburbs in Abbey parish, - - 14,739 

Making the whole wthin the bounds of police of the towii and subtirbs of 

Paisley, - - - - - 46,199 

The remaining portion of the population in the Abbey parish 
may be thus stated, viz. 

In the village or town of Johnston, - - - 5617 

Elderslie, - ... 1099 

%'illagcs of Thorn and Quarrelton, ... 847 

Nitshill, Hurlet, and Dovccothall, - - 1000 

country districts, - ... 2704 

Since the above census was taken, there has been an increase 
in both the Abbey and town of Paisley. The census taken about 
two years ago, and which we have adopted under the ecclesiastical 
head, makes the population of the Abbey 26,177, and of the Town 
31,703, — of the whole 57,880. But since that period the increase, 
we have reason to believe, has been very rapid, as a number of ad- 
ditional houses have been built, both in the town and suburbs of 
Paisley, and in the village of Johnston and its neighbourhood. At 
present the public works in Paisley are on the increase, and there 
is a large mill about to be erected at Johnston, which, it is said, 
will give employment to not fewer than 200 individuals, so that 
when we take into consideration, not only the persons who will be 
actually employed at all these works, but also their families, and the 
victual-dealers and clothiers required to provide the necessaries of 
life to this additional population, we may anticipate an increase in 
the number of the inhabitants, on a scale equal to, if not greater 
than any we have yet had occasion to record. 

The average number in each family in the Abbey parish is 4.7 ; 
in the town 4.4 ; in both tak^n together 4.6. The number 
in each family of the town and village population, however, 
is very different from that of the country. Thus, of the west- 
ern part of the parish, including Johnston and Elderslie, the 
number of families in the villages is 1593, and the population 
7434, making the average number in each family 4.6 : whereas 
the number of families in the country locality of that quarter is 
53, and the population 370, giving an average of 7, or nearly so, to 



Digitized by 



Google 



250 RENFREWSHIRE. 

a family. This arises from the number of servants kept by those 
employed in agriculture. The proportion to each fiunily, in an- 
other district of the parish, is even greater than this, and is to be 
ascribed to the bleachfields in that locality, in which many High- 
land girls are employed, who lodge together in large apartments 
provided by their masters, and each of these dwelling-places is 
reckoned the abode of a single family. 

The yearly average of births recorded for the last seven years 
may be stated as follows : 

Males. Females. TotaL 

In the Abbey parish, 225 206 431 



Low do. 


34 


33 


67 


High do. 


75 


64 


139 


Middle do. 


52 


53 


105 



In all the parishes, 386 356 742 

But this is no satisfactory proof of the number of births in the 
different parishes, many neglecting to register. 

Of 3022, the total number of births recorded in the Abbey pa- 
rish, for the last seven years, it appears that 23 are twins, that is, 
one in every 66 children registered is at an average a twin. 

Of marriages, the following may be given, as the yearly average 
for the last seven years, or rather of proclamations for marriage, for 
the marriage is not always celebrated in the parish in which the 
parties are proclaimed. 

In the Abbey parish, 286 

Low do. 77 

High do. 142 

Middle do. 110 

In all the paiishes, 615 

The average of deaths cannot be ascertained for the last seven 
years, as no regular register of them has been kept during the whole 
of that time. We have, however, been favoured with an excellent 
mortality bill, drawn up by Dr M'Kinlay of this town, for the year 
ending 3lst December 1834, from which it s^pears, that during 
that year there died in the Abbey parish and burgh parishes, in 
all 1824. 

In the Abbey parish, the population may be thus divided. 

Population under 15 years of age, . 10331 

betwixt 15 and 30, - - 7818 

30 and 50, . . 5419 

50 and 70, - - 2007 

upwards of 70, - - . 431 



26006 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 251 

In this parish) the number of unmarried men, bachelors and 
widowers, upwards of 50 years of age, amounts to 274, and of un- 
married women, upwards of 45, to 507. The deaf, dumb, and in- 
sane, are 50 in number. 

These particulars in the burgh parishes haye not been ascertain- 
ed, but they may be regarded as existing in a similar proportion 
when taken in connection with the population. 

We may add, that in proportion to the population, Paisley can 
show as many instances of longevity as most places throughout Scot- 
land. No doubt our people who are employed in mining and mecha- 
nical operations are liable to many accidents, which tend to shorten 
human life, and in some of our manufactories the employment is 
by no means of the most healthful description. Within these few 
years, however, we attended the funeral of a man* who died at 
Elderslie, in the 116th year of his age ; an individual lately died 
at Thorn, aged 100 years; and on the 20th of August last, there 
was present on a convivial occasion, a woman, in her 94th year, of 
the name of Jean, who had the pleasure of seeing, on that occa- 
sion, her daughter Jean, her grand-daughter Jean, and greats 
grand-daughter Jean, all named after each other in succession. 
Within these few weeks we know of four individuals in the town 
who have died at the venerable age of 90 and upwards. 

iMnd'Oumers. — Of landed proprietors, not a great number are 
resident. But in addition to those that reside, a considerable 
number of gentlemen who have realized, or who are realizing, an 
independent fortune, live either in the burgh, or in the country part 
of the Abbey parish. 

General Habits of the People. — There is nothing peculiar in the 
language spoken by the inhabitants of Paisley. Like that of other 
parts of the country, it may be said to have its provincialisms ; but, 
upon the whole, these are less marked than they once were, and 
within the last forty years, the language of the natives may be said 
to be much improved. 

The custom is still too prevalent of making bargains over a 
glass, as it is called, or in a public-house, and it is much to be re- 
gretted that the practice of dram-drinking is so very common as 
it is. The ice in winter, and the bowling green in summer, the 
race-course, and the theatre, are favourite places of resort with tnany 
of the inhabitants. 

* Hugh Sbaw, born in Sorbie, served under the Duke of Cumberland in 1745-6. 



Digitized by 



Google 



252 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The yogng, on public days, give evidence of their taste for dress. 
On ordinary days, the|girls employed in factories, or iu sewing 
manufactured goods, generally wear a large doak or mantle of cloth 
or of tartan with a hood, which may be noticed as the only peculi- 
arity in the dress^of our town. 

When trade is flourishing, the people, on the whole, enjoy, in 
a considerable degree, domestic comfort : but there are so many 
vicissitudes in the trade of the place, and reverses are so frequent, 
that after one unfavourable period, numbers have scarcely risen 
above their diflSculties, when they are again obliged to encounter 
fresh ones. The circumstances of those in the country part of 
the parish are, in general, not so fluctuating. At the same time, 
of late years, the farmers have, from their high rents, and the low 
prices of grain, scarcely made that progress with the manufacturers, 
in improving their circumstances, which, from their industry, we 
might naturally have been led to expect. 

About forty years ago, our people were reckoned among the 
most intelligent, moral and religious inhabitants of Scotland : and 
still a great many may be so considered. But various circumstan- 
ces having concurred in causing a deterioration in these respects, 
particularly since the era of the French revolution ; and our popu- 
lation having greatly outstripped the means of moral and religious 
education, many have been left to grow up in ignorance of the 
first principles of Christianity ; and too many, alas ! have had their 
minds sadly imbued with prejudices against its sacred truths and 
institutions. 

Distinguished Men. — Of natives or inhabitants of Paisley, many 
have distinguished themselves in the difierent walks of life. Some 
of these we have already noticed, and others will fall to be men* 
tioned in the sequel of this account. Others, perhaps, not less 
distinguished, but whose modesty prevented them fipom taking an 
active share in the more public scenes of life, now live only in the 
grateful recollection of their own townsmen, while we cannot but 
believe, that many of our greatest benefactors are no longer re- 
membered. 

Among persons of eminence, we may notice the following: 
Andrew Knox, a relation of the illustrious Reformer, mioister of 
Paisley, and afterwards Bu^hop of Raphoe ; Patrick Adamson, after- 
wards Archbishop of St Andrews ; Thomas Smeton, afterwards 
Principal of the College of Glasgow ; Robert Boyd of Trochrig, 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEV. 253 

who bad been successively Principal of the Universities of Edin- 
burgh and Glasgow, and then promoted to be minister of Paisley ; 
Alexander Dunlop, father of the Principal ; Robert Millar, author 
of the " History of the Propagation of Christianity," and other 
works of merit ; John Witherspoon, afterwards President of the 
College of New Jersey, and one of the best divines of the Scot- 
tish Church; Robert Findlay, the late eminently learned and 
pious Professor of Theology in Glasgow College ; Robert Tan- 
nahill, the author of many beautiful Songs ; Alexander Wilson, 
the celebrated American Ornithologist ; Dr Robert Watt, author 
of the " Bibliotheca Britannica;" John Henning, the distinguish- 
ed modellist ; and William Motherwell, whose genius and highly 
gifted poetical talents have been lately consigned to an early 
grave. Of eminent natives still alive, we notice John Wilson, 
the distinguished Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh ; and Dr John Thomson, one of the orna- 
ments of the Edinburgh Medical School. The authors of the 
former Statistical Account of this parish, Dr Boog and Dr 
Snodgrass, deserve a place in any catalogue of distinguished 
men; and it is worthy of notice, that John Wilson, Esq. of 
Thomley, who rendered such eminent service in drawing up the 
articles on Agriculture and Geology in that account, still survives, 
in the enjoyment of excellent health, at a venerable age. 

V. — Industry. 
The following table exhibits a view of the amount, employments, 
&C of our busy population in the year 1831. 



Digitized by 



Google 



254 



RENFREWSHIRE. 



S8 



S 



a 



8 £ 






o 
p 



s. 



^ IS 

a 
S 



o 



A* 
O 



-I 



o 

I- 

s 
s 

3 



•5 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 256 

Parish RerUal^^The valued rent of the parish is L. 11,944, 
ISs. 4d. Scots, the real rent L. 2'2,415, 17s. 8d. Sterling, divided 
among ninety-five landed proprietors, of whom seventeen possess 
each L. 100 Scots or upwards of annual valuation. We here sub- 
join a list of the land -owners possessed each of the yearly income^ 
from his land, of L. 50 or upwards. 

The Most Noble the Marquis of Abercom ; The Right Ho- 
nourable George Earl of Glasgow ; The Right Honourable Lord 
Blantyre; The Right Honourable Lord Douglas; Sir Michael 
Shaw Stewart of Greenock and Blackball, Bart ; Sir John Max- 
well of PoUoc, Bart ; Alexander Speirs, Esq. of Elderslie ; Lu- 
dovic Houston, Esq. of Johnston ; Robert Fulton, Esq. of Har(>- 
field ; The British Linen Banking Company ; The Town of Pais- 
ley ; Misses Dunlop of Househill, and Mrs Campbell ; James Kib- 
ble, Esq. of Whiteford ; Andrew Buchanan, Esq« of Hillington ; 
William Maxwell, Esq. of Brediland; William Barr, Esq. of 
Ferguslie ; John Wilson, Esq. of Thomley ; James Gerrard, Esq. 
of Whitehaugh ; Charles James Fox Orr, Esq. of Thornley Park ; 
Robert Smith, Esq. of Barshaw ; H. B. Stains, Esq. of Braehead ; 
Andrew Brown, Esq. of Auchentorlie : William Sim, Esq. of 
Gallowhill ; Adam Hamilton, Esq. of Lounsdale ; The Tnistees 
of the late John Shedden, Esq. of Woodside; The Heirs of 
the late William King, Esq. of Lonend ; Robert Dalgleish, Esq. 
merchant, Glasgow; J. P. Storrie, Esq. of Uiccarsbarr; Miss 
Christie, Paisley ; Trustees of the late Boyd Alexander, Esq. ; 
Heirs of the late Robert Barclay, Esq. of Glen ; Robert Orr, Esq. 
of Lylesland ; The Heirs of the late William Peock, Esq. of 
Meikleriggs; James Sharp, Esq. merchant, Glasgow: Thomas Ro- 
bertson, Esq. of Thomleymoor; John Wilson, Esq, of Ferguslie; 
The Heirs of the late Hugh Ferguson, Esq. writer, Glasgow; The 
Heirs of the late John Bell, Esq. Woodside; Faculty of Procura- 
tors, Paisley ; Miss Braid, Carriagehill. 

Affriculture, — In the last Statistical Account, we find the fol- 
lowing remarks. " The husbandry of this parish, as of all the west 
of Scotland, was, about the middle of this century (the 18th,) in a 
most unprosperous state. The indigent circamstances of the farmers, 
their indolent habits, the want of roads, of wheel-carriages, and 
proper implements of husbandry, all conspired to obstruct the 
improvement of the soil. Till about 1770, lime, coal, grain, &c 
were generally conveyed on horseback. The old servitudes of 
carriages, kain, labour, thirlage, &c. still existed, with many prao- 



Digitized by 



Google 



256 RENFREWSHIRE. 

tices discouraging to the farmer, and strongly marking the languid 
state of agriculture. The spirit of improvement, however, which, 
about that time, appeared in Scotland, reached Renfrewshire ; and 
a very favourable change has now taken place. The introduction 
of artificial grasses, and the culture of potatoes, have produced a 
more diligent and accurate husbandry, and banished the pernicious 
distinction of croft and outfield.* Before 1766, there was scarce 
any hay sown" — " potatoes about forty or fifty years ago were 
brought in boats from Kintyre to Paisley market. About thirty 
years ago, farmers began pretty generally to cultivate them in the 
field." The writer proceeds to state the mode of farming which 
in his day (1791) was practised; and the plans and improvements 
which had commenced previous to that period, have since been 
prosecuted, so that, at the present day, this parish may be regard- 
ed as inferior to none in the west of Scotland, in point of cultiva- 
tion. The parish contains in all about 16,160 acres, which may 
be divided as follows. 

Tbs number of acres arable, - - - 12,700 

uncultivated, - - 700 

in mosses, sites of houses, roads, waters, &c. 1,760 

in woods and plantations, . - 1,000 

The whole may be spoken of under two divisions, the upper or 
hilly, and the lower or gently rising, the soil of the former being 
free, light, and on a dry bottom, or whinstone, or what is called 
rotten rock, which readily absorbs water ; that of the latter being 
what we described, under Topographical appearances, as thin, 
and generally resting on a till bottom, the till being a mixture of 
stone and heavy clay, hard and retentive of moisture. 

Bents, — ^^The average rent of land in the upper division may be 
stated at L. 1 per imperial acre ; and that of the lower at L. 1, Ids. 
but there are some farms, particularly in the neighbourhood of the 
town, which bring from L. 3 to L. 4 per acre. Of late, grain rents 
have to a considerable extent been adopted. 

The average annual expense of grazing a cow may be stated at 
L.4; and that of a sheep at 12s. But very few sheep are rear- 
ed m this parish. 

Wages, — The rate of wages for a first rate ploughman, found in 
bed and board, is reckoned at L. 20 per annum ; and that of a first 

• " The distinction between cruft auvl outBcld prevailed very generally in the old 
and imperfect husbandry of Scotland. The croft, consisting of a few acres nearest 
the farm house, was perpetually in crop, and received the whole manure of the fkrm. 
The outfield was the open pasture land, which was occasionally ploughed in patchas 
for oau till they were exhausted» and then left to rest." 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEV. 257 

rate female servant,' found in the same, at L. 9 per annum. Both 
male and female servants of inferior qualifications, are paid accord>< 
ing to their ability, or the agreement made with their employers. A 
common labourer, with provisions, may be procured in winter for 
Is. 6d., and in summer for 2s. per day. Artisans {are employed 
at f3s. or 4s. each per day. 

The hushandry pursued by the farmers is of the most approv- 
ed description. The soil, in general, although not originally of 
the most fertile quality, has become very productive by cultivation ; 
many inducements are held out to husbandmen, by the prospect of 
a ready market, for every kind of crop, as well as by the facility 
of procuring manure from the neighbouring towns and villages. 
Tile-draining has of late been airried to a considerable extent, 
particularly on the estates of the Marquis of Abercorn ; and this 
improvement may, in several places, be profitably carried to a still 
greater extent than it has yet been, the nature of the soil requir- 
ing it ; and we doubt not a little more encouragement from the 
landlords, of which the parish affords more than one example, 
would induce the farmers to do so, and this would prove an ad- 
vantage to both. The lands are all well enclosed; those in 
the upper district, chiefly with stone dikes, those in the lower 
with hedges. The farm-houses and offices, especially the re- 
cently built ones, are for the most part covered with slates, while 
they are both substantial and commodious. The average extent 
of each farm is about 100 acres, and the duration of leases from 
ten to nineteen years. There is not much large or old timber 
in the parish ; the greater part is found on the Hawkhead estate, 
which also contains any copse-wood that grows in the parish. Any 
other wood we meet with is generally raised around gentlemen's 
houses, and is under good management 

Ltive^StocL — The horses reared in this neighbourhood are ge- 
nerally of the Clydesdale breed, which is considered very superior. 
These horses are perhaps the most vigorous of any in Great Bri- 
tain, and* our farmers keep them in excellent condition, finding, 
doubtless, that they repay the care bestowed on them. There 
are also a few of what are called half-bred horses raised in the pa- 
rish, and on one estate in it, a good many racers and hunters 
chiefly for the use of the proprietor. 

The cattle are of the Ayrshire kind, to which a good deal of 
attention has been paid, particularly in the high district of the pa- 



Digitized by 



Google 



258 RENFREWSHIRE. 

rish, encouragement being held out to this, by the premiums an* 
nually given by the Agricultural Society of Paisley. The average 
value of a good stock of cows may be reckoned at the rate of L. 1 1 
each, some superior ones being valued as high as L.20 each. The 
average quantity of milk yielded by a cow of the breed referred to 
is about 1200 Scotch pints, or 600 gallons a year, which will pro- 
duce about 1 30 pounds of butter, the value of which, with that of 
the milk was, for the last year, about L. 11. To this is to be ad* 
ded the sum of about L. 3 for manure, which will make the annu- 
al produce of each cow about L. 14 Sterling. 

The few sheep reared in the parish are chiefly of the Leices- 
tershire species. 

As the farms in the Abbey parish are situated in the neighbour- 
hood of large towns and populous villages, the dairy produce forms 
an important item in the returns made. The milk is, in general, 
converted into butter, and butter-milk, except in those farms in 
the more immediate neighbourhood of the towns and villages, 
where the cream only is churned, the skimmed milk being easily 
disposed of. 

Crops. — The usual rotation of crops is as follows : oats out of lea 
or after hay ; potatoes or turnips, with 35 square yards of good farm- 
yard manure, per imperial acre ; wheat, barley, or oats, with clovers 
and grass seeds, sometimes cut green, but commonly made into 
hay. The barley or oats are generally allowed a slight dressing, 
with ash or short dung. These remarks apply chiefly to the low- 
er district of the parish, as the farmers in the higher seldom sow 
wheat. They generally adopt what is called the four-shift course, 
sowing the clover and grass seeds along with the barley or oats 
after the green crop. They then pasture their land for three years, 
which those in the lower district seldom do. Oats are sown in 
March or April, barley in April, or as soon after the oats as the 
weather will permit, and wheat in September or October. Linie 
is generally applied on the lea, in the high districts, and on po- 
tatoe ground in the low. The iron plough is commonly ifsed. The 
crops are generally got in in September and October ; but this 
year great portions of them, especially in the upper parts of the 
parish, were in the fields till the month of December. 

Produce, — Upon the whole, the gross value of farm produce in 
the parish, on an average of the last five years, may be stated as 
follows : — 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 



259 



In the Upper Division. 
Oats, 400 acres, yielding SO imp. bush, per acre, at 2s. 6d. per 

bush. - - . . . . L. 1500 

Potatoes, 80 H tons per acre, L. 1, lOs. per ton, 900 



Turnips, 20-10 
Hay, 300 - H - L. 2, 

Pasture, 900 - - - L. 1, 

Uncultivated, 700, of which one-half might 
be profitably improved ... 



15s. 



56. 



In the Lower Division. 
Wheat, 1980 acres, yielding 92 imp. bush, per acre at Gs. 2d. 



150 
900 
per acre, 900 

do. 175 

114525 



per bush. 
Oats, 2750 
Beans, 440 
Potatoes, 1320 
Turnips, 220 
Hay, 1540 
Pasture, 2750 



40 
28 

71 tons, 
15 
2 



L. 19536 

2s. 6d. 13750 

4s. 2464 

L.1 10s.perton 14850 

15s. 2475 

L. 8 9240 

L. 1, 158. per acre, 4812, 10s. 



L. 67127, lOs. 



L. 71652, 10s. 
Prices at different periods. — In 1594, various decrees were pas- 
sed by the baillies and council, as recorded in the community's re- 
cords, firom which it appears that the price in Scots money of 



A boll of oatmeal was L. 4. 

A threave of oat straw 28. 6d. 

A peck of bear 5s. 6d. 

A day's work of two hoises 88. 6d. 

A ewe sheep 3ds. 4d. 

A boU of white oats nine merks and 

68. 8d 
AboUofUackoatsL. 4. 
Half a boll of grey corn 3ds. 



The fee of a servant-maid for half a year 

4merka. 
A boll of malt 12 merks. 
Ploughing an acre of ground L. 3. 
A peck of groats 20b. 
A barked hyde 30s. 8d. 
A fourth part of linseed 68. 8d. 
A side of mutton lis. 
Five quarters " fine violet London claith" 

L. 10, 16s. 8d. 

In 1597, the boll of malt had risen to twenty merks, when a pound 
and quarter of butter are marked in the council minutes as sold 
for 46. 2d. Scots. In 1609, the price of three pecks of oatmeal is 
rated in the same minutes at 20s. Scots. 

The fiar prices of Renfrewshire are annually struck at Paisley 
about the beginning of March. The following are the prices Ster- 
ling for the seven years previous to 1836. 

1829. 1830. 1831. 1832. 1833. 1834. 1835. 

Best wheat, im. qr. 
Medium average 
Best barley. 
Medium average 
Best bear 
Medium average 
Best oats 
Medium average 
Best beans & pease 
Medium average 
Best oatmeal 1401b. 
Medium do. 



55s.0d. 


568. lid. 54s. 2|d. 


52b. 7d. 


47s.6^d. 


40s. 9id 


37s. (^ 


63 10 


66 6i 


63 6' 


61 4f 


46IOn 


39 11 


36 5^ 


35 2 


33 4i 


32 8 


33 4i 


29 6 


28 JH 


28 3 


34 6 


32 3| 


32 3| 


33 r 


29 2 


26 8} 


26 114 


32 3 


27 4* 
26 4| 


89 U 


31 7J 


38 4} 


25 2 


23 8| 


... 


29 7 


31 


... 


24 6^ 


... 


28 If 


27 0) 
26 44 


S2 7( 


20 4 


18 8 


22 6^ 


20104 


20 6 


21 ^p 


18 11} 


18 6} 


1910^ 


20 2 


34 


... 


36 6 


32 H 


33 


32 lU 


34 


... 


... 


36 9^ 


31 3 


... 


31 74 


... 


17 


20 7^ 


16 7i 


14 7i 


14 9f 


15 1(4 


16 5i 


16 IH 


20 5 


... 


14 7 


14 9i 


... 


14 H 










Digitized by VjO 


OQle 



260 RENFREWSHIRR. 



Salt butter 8d. to. Is. per lb. 
Fresh do. Is. Id. do. 

Beef4d. to7d. do. 

Mutton 5d. to 7d. do. 

Veal 3d. to 7d. do. 

Lamb 5d. to 8d. do. 

Potatoes 5d. to 5id. per stone. 



Price ofPrmnsions at present : 
Oatmeal 2s. 6^. per stone. 
Barley flour Is. 8d. do. 
Pease meal 2s. 6d. to '2s. 8d. 
Quartern loaf 9d. 
New cheese 7d. per lb. 
Old do. 7d. to 8d. 
Eggs per dozen 9d. to 1 1 d. 

Servittides. — The ancient servitudes, once so oppressive and haras- 
sing to the agriculturist, are now in a manner unknown in. this pa- 
rish ; at least the only one of them which remains is that of thir- 
lage, exacted by the Seed-hill mill, from certain lands thirled to 
it. The thirlage thus exacted, including all the dues, is about the 
sixteenth or seventeenth peck. 

Renfrewshire Agricultural Society, — This society was establish- 
ed at Paisley in 1819, under the patronage of several gentlemen 
of extensive landed property, and embracing persons of all varieties 
of political opinion. The president is Sir John Maxwell, Bart, of 
Pollock ; and among the vice-presidents we observe the names of 
Mr Campbell of Blythswood, I^ord Lieutenant of the county; Mr 
Houston of Johnston ; Mr Napier of Blackstoun, &c. Its exer- 
tions have contributed much to the advancement of agricultural 
science and its practical applications. Its members have an annual 
show of cattle, when various premiums are distributed ; and there 
is an annual ploughing-match, when various prizes are also award- 
ed. In May 1835, twenty-three prizes, of value from L. 1 to L. 5, 
were distributed at the cattle-show. Eight prizes were distributed 
at the ploughing-match in February 1836. In August 1836, there 
was an extensive cattle-show, when twenty-five prizes were given. 
This last show was accompanied with a high degree of satisfaction. 
The number of the cattle on the field, their excellent quality, the 
fineness of the weather, and the number of spectators, all conspir- 
ed to give eclat to the proceedings. It was stated by one of the 
judges, that the show was superior to the one of last year at Ayr, 
before the Highland Society. 

Florist and Horticultural Societies. — The former of these was 
established in 1782, and has been of eminent service in promoting 
the extensive and tasteful culture of flowers of all colours and 
value, by annual exhibitions, competitions for prizes, &c. The 
second has been more lately established (1832,) but it also pro- 
mises to be of great advantage in the kindred departments. The 
operatives of this place have been long distinguished for their taste 
and ingenuity in the rearing of flowers. Many of them have gar- 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 261 

dens of their own attached to their houses, and those who have 
not, find no difficulty in obtaining suitable accommodation in the 
gardens of their friends, and of gentlemen in the neighboiirhood. 
In many a keenly contested struggle, the pinks, carnations, tulips, 
dahlias, &c. &c. reared in Paisley, have been honoured with marks 
of distinction ; while the occupation and relaxation attendant on 
their culture have tended to liberalize the mind, andjo promote 
habits fevourable^at once to mental and moral improvement. In 
the horticultural department, there has been for several years a 
keen stniggle in the rearing of cauliflowers, cabbages, and vege- 
tables of every description ; and this has tended very much to the 
improvement of gardening, in all the varieties of esculent produc- 
tions. 

Trade and Manufactures, — The trade and manufactures of Pais- 
ley may be traced from very small beginnings, but their progress 
in some periods has been rapid and astonishing. Not long after 
the union, when a free trade was opened with England, the spirit 
of manufacture began to shew itself here; and the fabrics which 
were produced were made upon such just and economical princi- 
ples, and with so much taste and judgment, that they found a ready 
market, not only at home, but likewise in the neighbouring king- 
dom. But the trade of Paisley at that period, owed its chief en- 
couragement to a class of men who were of great benefit to this 
country, though the occupation has now fallen rather into disre- 
pute ; we mean, the pedlars or travelling merchants from the south, 
many of whom having frequented Paisley as their staple, and hav- 
ing gained a little money by their trade, came to settle there, and 
bought up large quantities of its manufactures, which they vend- 
ed among their friends and correspondents in England. After- 
wards the merchants of Glasgow found their account in purchas- 
ing these goods, and sending them both to the London market and 
to foreign parts. Such was the state of the trade and manufac- 
tures of Paisley, from the period of the union (1707,) till about 
the year 1760. The difierent articles of which they consisted 
during that period, were, at first, coarse checkered linen cloth, and 
Bengals ; afterwards checkered linen handkerchiefs, some of them 
fine, and beautifully variegated, by the manner in which the dif- 
ferent colours were disposed, according to the taste and invention of 
the manufacturers. * These were succeeded by fabrics of a lighter 

• In 1710, Craufurd thus describes the manufactures o( Paisley. " That which 
renders this place considerably is, its trade of linen and muslin, where there is a great 



Digitized by 



Google 



262 RBNFRBWSHIRE. 

and more fanciful kind, consisting not only of plain lawns, but 
likewise of such as were striped or chequered with cotton, and 
others that were ornamented with a great variety of figures. To- 
wards the end of the aboYe-mentioned period, the making of linen 
gauze was a considerable branch of trade in Paisley ; and before 
the middle of it, a new species of manufacture of great importance 
was begun by the inhabitants of the place, and which they con- 
tinued long to prosecute with peculiar ad?antage : we mean, the 
making of white sewing-thread, known to the merchants by the 
name of otmce or nun*s thready as distinguished from the different 
kinds of coloured and white cotton thread, which have been 
manufactured chiefly at Aberdeen and Dundee. This valuable 
branch of trade may be said to have been imported into this coun- 
try by a lady in the neighbourhood of Paisley, who, about the year 
1725, found means to procure from Holland the machinery which 
is necessary for carrying it on, and set the first example of it in her 
own family. * Such a spirit of enterprise, of ingenuity, and of so- 
ber industjy, was not lost on the manufacturing genius of the peo- 
ple of Paisley. The business was soon taken up by them. It 
was carried on to a very considerable extent prior to the middle 
of last century ; and so long as this kind of thread was cultivated 
in Scotland at all to any extent, it had its principal seat in that 
place. 

About the year 1760, the making of silk gauze was first attempt- 
ed at Paisley in imitation of that at Spital-fields, London. The 
success was beyond the most anxious expectations of those who 
engaged in it. The inventive spirit, and the patient application of 
the workmen ; the cheapness of labour at that time, and the skill 
and taste of the masters, gave it every advantage for being natura- 
lized here. The consequence was, that nice and curious fabrics 
were devised; and such a vast variety of elegant and richly oma- 

weekly sale in its markets of those sorts of cloth ; many of the inhabitants .being 
chiefly employed in that sort of manufactory." 

• This lady was Christian Shaw, daughter of John Shaw of Bargarran, afterwards 
married to the Rer. Mr Millar, minister of Kilmaurs, Ayrshire. Her name is as- 
sociated with the history <^ witchcraft in the county of Benfrew. When eleven years 
of age, she pretended to have been betwitched ; a solemn trial of the agents in the 
infernal process was held, and three men and four women were condemned to death, 
and executed in the gallow-green of Paisley. See Amot*s Criminal Trials, and the 
** History of the Witches of Renfrewshire," for a iiill detail of all those melancholy 
proceedings. Sargarran^ where Mrs Millar resided aher the death of her husband, 
and where the machine employed by her and her daujg^ters in the manufiictory of 
linen thread is still preserved, is in the parish of ErsLlne ; and we shall leave it to 
the writer of the Statistical Account of that parish to detail, as Dr Young in the Old 
Statistical Account has done, the history of an experiment so interesting and so suo- 
ccssftU. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 263 

mented gauze was issued from the place, as outdid everything of 
the kind that had formerly appeared. Spitalfields was obliged to 
relinquish the manufacture. Companies came down from Lon- 
don to carry it on at Paisley, where it prospered and increased, it 
is believed, beyond any manufacture of which any town in Scotland 
could boast.* Indeed it not only became the great distinguish- 
ing manufacture of that town, but it filled the country round to 
the distance of twenty miles ; and the gentlemen engaged in it 
had not only warehouses in London and Dublin, but correspond- 
ents upon the continent, and shops for vending their commodities in 
Paris and other large cities and towns. About 1785, the change of 
fashion, on which this trade must entirely depend, had an unfavour- 
able effect upon it; and many of the principal houses in the place, 
while they pushed the silk branch as far as they could, entered in- 
to the muslin manufacture with their accustomed ardour, yet with 
a judgment and prudence by which men of business and of capi- 
tal are ever distinguished from rash and unwary adventurers. 
The muslin trade soon rose to an unexampled height of prosperity^ 
and its gains both to master and workmen were very encouraging. 
Of late years comparatively little has been done in this branch ; 
but the houses which are still engaged in it are of the highest re- 
spectability, and the fabrics produced, and which are chiefly de- 
signed for the London market, are unexampled in point of taste 
and elegance of execution. The ornamenting of muslins by fine 
needle-work has lately become a considerable branch of our trade* 
Such work has long been done here, but never at all to the same 
extent as now. 

It appears from the best calculation that could be made, that 
in the year 1784, the manufactures of Pai?ley in silk-gauze, lawn 
and linen-gauze, and white sewing thread, amounted to the value 
of L. 579,185, 16s: 6d; and that no fewer than 26,484 persons 
were employed in carrying them on. In 1790, when the last Sta- 
tistical Account was compiled, the total yearly value of the manu- 
factures of Paisley of all kinds, was estimated at L. 660,885, 16s. 
The progress of manufactures up to this period may be judged of 
by comparing this statement with the fact, that in 1744, there 
were only 867 looms in all employed, and the whole value of the 

* Disputes betirixt the masters and men had arisen at Spitalfields, which led to 
the famous ** Spitalfields' Act" for fixing a minimum of prices. The folly of this, as of 
every attempt of the kind, was soon proved by its utter ineptness, as a means of pre- 
venting misunderstandings and feuds ; and the Spiulfields capitalists transferred their 
capital and trade to Manchester and other places. 

RENFREW. S 



Digitized by 



Google 



264 RENFREWSHIRK. 

linen manufactures amounted only to L. 15,000« From the ac* 
counts transmitted annually by the stamp-masters to the Board of 
Trustees in Edinburgh for the encouragement of Manufactures, it 
appears that the linen manufacture in Paisley attained its highest 
point in 1783-4, when the number of yards stamped was within 
a trifle of two millions, and the number of looms 2000.* About 
the same period, the silk-gauze trade gave employment to 5000 
looms* a very large proportion of which were in the country villages 
around, and produced K 350,000 worth of silk goods. The manu- 
facture of ribbons, and of some other silk fabrics, was introduced 
in 1772, and was for some time carried on to a considerable ex- 
tentf 

Shawl Manufacture. — The rise of the shawl trade forms an im- 
portant era in the history of Paisley. Imitations of India shawls had 
been produced in the city of Norwich, and the town of Stockport, 
near the close of the 18th century. Much about the same time aUo» 
a lady in Edinburgh had attempted something of the kind, but not 
on such effective principles as the English manufacturers. These 
imitations were chiefly of soft silk. Some of them were sent to Paisley 
and submitted to two or three manufacturers. The muslin trade being 
then good, while shawls, it was considered, would be quite a fancy 
article, very few adopted this branch, and consequently little pro- 
gress was made for some time. One manu&cturer, however, of 
considerable ingenuity and great perseverance, embarked in the 
trade, and was eminently successful ; X others followed and with 
various success. In those days, the erection of a shawl-loom was 
an expensive concern. The manufacturer had to advance a great 
proportion of the money required. This, along with the risk of a 
fancy article, when so much outlay was necessary, deterred many 
from taking up the trade. By the exertions of several ingenious 
weavers who had . made a little money, conjoined with the well- 
known intelligence and persevering industry of the operatives whom 
they engaged for the work, many obstacles were overcome. At 
length the shawl trade became of more importance than the muslin 
branch. The working classes were greatly benefited by the change, 

• Wilson's Surrey of Reofrewshirc, p. 241. f Ibid pw 24a-4. 

J This was Mr James Paterson, Orchard Street. The first inventors or impoitfrs 
of arts, are often in the end unsuccessful, in reaping the gains of their perseverance 
and industry, and this was the case with Mr P., while J. M. the weaver whom he cm- 
ployed to make the first imitation shawl in Paisley, is at present begging bis bread 1 
The fiunily of Mr P. seem to have possessed a native genius for drawing^pattems i 
and several members of it, both In I^ndon and Paisley, are still distinguiSied in that 
line. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 265 

as the price *p9id for manu&ctured cotton worii had by this time 
been much reduced. The shawl trade now ramified to a great 
extent India imitations were produced in soft silk, in spun silk, 
and in cotton, and in mixtures of all the three. The same style of 
raised work was also done for ladies dresses on white grounds with 
small figured spots. Imitations were also made in silk, of the 
striped scarfs and turbans worn by the natives of the east, which 
from their resemblance to the skin of the animal of the name, were 
called Zebras. Very extensive exportations of these articles were 
made to the islands in the Grecian Archipelago, and to Turkey. 
An attempt was made to supersede them by means of printed goods, 
which had nearly the same appearance at first sight; but the circum- 
stance of the adherents of the Koran having been, by the precepts 
of their prophet, prohibited the use of all stained articles of manu^ 
facture, soon put a stop to this sort of traffic. This trade is still 
carried on at Paisley, though not to the same extent as it was some 
years ago. 

Still the great desideratum was a more strict imitation of the real 
India or genuine cashmere shawls. This was accomplished to a 
considerable extent by mixing fine wool and silk waste together ; 
the yarn spun for this mixture being called Persian yarn. This, 
however, was only fitted for the weft, which was generally shot upon 
a silk warp. -Something was still wanting to approximate more 
nearly to the India fabric* Several attempts were made in Nor-^ 
wich, Edinburgh, and Paisley, but none of these succeeded. At 
length, a house in Yorkshire produced an article which was very 
much liked in the market, in consequence of its fine soft feel ; and 
which they called thibet doth. It was nothing more nor less than 
a tweeled fabric of fine worsted yam made from the best of wool, 
and when scoured, raised, and cropped, it had a beautiful appear- 
ance. The house purchased borders in Paisley, and elsewhere, 
which they sewed to this cloth, and these thibet shawls made in 
Yorkshire had a long run. The Paisley manufacturers at length 
succeeded in bringing this branch also to town, and for several years 
it was one of the chief staples of the shawl trade. Still, however, 
no figures could be produced on the thibet ground. The yam 
.was too tender to stand harness work ; so that in reality, although 
the India febric was approached pretty nearly, a wide gap still re- 
mained. At length, some French shawls were introduced, so closely 
resembling the India, that it was difficult to discriminate between 
the twa Enquiries were set on foot, when it was found that the 



Digitized by 



Google 



2G6 RENFREWSHIRE. 

French had been making shawls for some years back^ from the 
genuine Cashmere wool ; and that they not only imported the wool 
from the east of Europe, but that they had a great many cashmere 
goats rearing in France. It became therefore an object to get 
some of the French yarn over. This was accomplished, and the first 
cashmere cloth was made in Paisley. Attempts were made to get 
the yarn spun in this country, but these may be said to have failed. 
No doubt a good deal of cashmere yarn was spun in this country, 
but it wanted that softness which so peculiarly characterized the 
French. Some of the Edinburgh manufacturers began to make 
cashmere shawls, and some beautiful specimens were produced at 
Paisley. In consequence of the fall of prices, however, the ex- 
pensive art that was at one time bestowed on shawls was greatly 
diminished* 

In connection with the above, the crape trade deserves some 
particular notice. About the year 1823, the manufacture of crape 
dresses. Damask and embroidered shawls, exactly the same as those 
imported from Canton, was introduced to Paisley, and since that 
time a great many hands have been employed in making them. 
The dexterity displayed by the embroiderers in the town and neighs 
bourhood, will bear comparison with that of any in the kingdom, and 
in many instances with that of the Chinese themselves. This kind 
of shawl is still (1837) made, although to a more limited extent. In- 
deed, the shawl trade generally has, within these very few years, un- 
dergone a great change in this place. The kinds of shawls chief- 
ly made now, are of three qualities ; the first is wholly silk ; the 
second, half silk and half cotton ; the third wholly cotton. The 
manufacture of such shawls ha.s been increasing with astonishing 
rapidity for some years past. There are several makers whose 
yearly sales amount to forty, fifty, or even L. 60,000 Sterling. The 
total sales for the year 1834, are estimated at nearly L. 1,000,000 
Sterling, and in 1835, they must have been considerably greater. 

Machinery has of late been introduced to great purpose in fi- 
nishing these shawls. Formerly each shawl employed a girl a whole 
day in the operation of what is called clipping^ for which she got 
from Is. to Is. 3d. Now, that operation is done for 2d. a shawl, by 
means of a machine of a most ingenious description ; the invention 
of a Frenchman.* By a very simple contrivance too, the expense 

* These machines were first introduced from France in 1884, by their inventor, 
^. Vergniais, of Lyons. The cost was nearly L. 900, including carriage and fitting 
up. They can now be got of Paisley manufacture for L. 40, equally good, if not su- 
perior, llie fimlity and neatness pf machine-clipping give the manufiwtarer great 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



PAISLEY. 267 

of fitting up that part of the loom which forms the pattern is like- 
ly to be much diminished. The Jacquard machine, (so named 
from its ingenious inventor at Lyons) used in place of a draw-boy, is 
now attempted to be introduced into Paisley, in an improved form, 
by a gentleman who has taken out a patent for the improvement.* 
The French lise no draw-boys, and yet they produce the finest of 
patterns, although it must be acknowledged, on a small scale. 

In this sketch of the progress of the shawl manufacture in 
Paisley, we- must not omit to notice that most ingenious^and 
beautiful species of shawls known by the French name Cheneilk 
(caterpillar;) from their variegated colour and the softness of their 
feel. They are to be seen frequently in shops labelled with the 
words : ** velours an soie" " velvet on silk ;" a name very descriptive 
of this manufacture. Mr Alexander Buchanan, now of Glas- 
gow, then of Paisley, is the first who produced a web of this][de- 
scription ; and Mr James Taylor, at present one of the magistrates 
of Paisley, was among the earliest to appreciate the value of the 
article and to manufacture it on an extensive scale. These beauti- 
ful specimens of art and taste still maintain their place in general 
estimation. 

All the trades depending upon the shawl branch have neces- 
sarily increased ; in particular that of dyeing has been much enlar- 
ged. Fifteen years ago, perhaps forty or fifty hands were employ- 
ed at it ; now ten times that number at least are engaged. 

Silk Gauze. — The silk gauze, since its revival about eighteen 
years ago, has progressed very much. Paisley now furnishes near- 
ly all the silk gauzes that are used in the kingdom, with the excep- 
tion of those imported from France. The elegance and taste dis- 
played in this branch of manufacture, with the moderate prices at 
which the goods are produced, is really astonishing. 

Cotton Thread. — In place of the linen-thread formerly made in 
this town, there has sprung up a pretty extensive cotton-thread 
trade. There are eight or nine factories employed in making this 
thread. They are propelled by steam, the whole power being about 

advantage. We know some manufacturers that could not get through their work on 
the old system ; but these machines enabled them not only to overtake the work, but 
Co extend it, which they could not otherways have done. At that time also, we had 
to compete with tlie French, who in their superior cutting had a decided advantage ; 
but they are now completely driven from our market ; we mean in the article of 
shawls. 

* The gentleman alluded to is Mr James Morison, manuiacturer in Paisley. We 
cordially wish him success in the application of his patent. Mr James Mills, pattern- 
drawer, has lately attempted with success, some improvcraenth on the common har- 
ness. 



Digitized by 



Google 



268 RENFREWSHIRE. 

200 horse, and the value of the thread made being above L. 100,000 
Sterling. 

Looms employed^ ifc — The number of looms in Paisley at pre* 
sent, is ascertained to be about 6000. Of these 5700 are employ* 
ed by Paisley manufacturers; the remaining 300 work to Glasgow 
houses. About 2000 looms are employed in the country by Paisley 
capital, chiefly in the neighbouring villages, but including some 
hundreds in Kilmarnock, Perth, Largs, Strathaven, &c The 
number of apprentices to the looms in Paisley is at present 728* 
The number of harness* weavers in Paisley at present, is 5350 ; 
plain weavers 650 ; female weavers 40 ; in all 6040. Each har- 
ness-weaver requires a draw-boy, for whom he pays on an average 
Ss. 6d. per week of his earnings. * 

Eegister of Inventions and Improvements^ S^e. — It is matter of 
regret, that the expense incurred in procuring patents for inven- 
tions and discoveries, should be so great, as we are convinced that 
many ingenious men of the operative classes, both in Paisley and 
elsewhere, have from this cause alone been prevented from enlarge 
ing, as they might have done, the manu&cturing genius and indu&* 
try of their country. In a letter which we have just received from 
an ingenious mechanic therQ is the following statement : " As there 
is no protection in this country, an inventor is obliged to decline 
putting his improvements into practice, as the moment they make 
their appearance they will be pirated, thereby leaving him no- 
thing, perhaps not even the merit of invention, for his trouble and 
expense." On the subject of " tables of prices," as affecting the 
progress of manu&ctures, we have received the following statement 
from a most respectable manufacturer in town, who carries on bu- 

* The following observations, by a very intelligent observer, will still apply to the 
ingenious weavers of Paisley, with this difference, that the ingenuity then (1811,) 
employed on the muslin department, has been of late years, applied to other branches, 
which were unknown at the time when Mr Wilson wrote his survey. 

** What was said of Bolton in the year 1703, may be at present strictly applied to 
Paisley : — < It is the centre of the manufiicture of ornamental or fiuicy goods, and 
it is only by emigrants from this place that any branches of this trade have been trans- 
planted elsewhere. The most ingenious part of the workmanship remains rooted as 
it were to the soil, and flourishes even amid * many discouragements.* (Aitken'a 
Hist, of Manchester, p. 262 ) The condition of the manufactures of Glasgow con- 
firms this ; for although the muslin manufacturers in that city« which is only seven 
miles distant, earry on this business to an immense extent, yet in articles of fancy- 
work, they have always been surpassed in Paisley. In fact, the superiority of the 
Paisley weavers, in these ornamented i^brics, is so fully admitted, that Taisley is re- 
sorted to as the original seat of this branch of the muslin manufacture ; and many 
weavers in this place are employed for these articles by Glasgow manufacturers. The 
most dexterous workers employed in Glasgow on these kinds of goods, -are either 
natives of Paisley, or persons who have learned their business there "—Wilson's Sur- 
vey of Renfrewshire, p. 255. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 269 

V 

siness to a very great extent : *^ These" (minimum tables for weav- 
ing) ** I think are prejudicial to the introduction of any thing new. 
If a manufacturer has projected something which is entirely diffe- 
rent from common, the case is immediately taken up by the Wea- 
vers' Association, and a price fixed on before the maker can know 
whether it is to succeed or not. A very respectable manufacturer 
told me, that last year he thought of trying something which he 
considered entirely new ; but rather than encounter the vexation 
and turmoil of the Weavers' Association, he abandoned his pro- 
ject." 

The social and friendly habits of the weavers of Paisley have, 
from a spirit honourable to all who have cherished it, proved ini- 
mical to the claims of individuals to the honour of exclusive in- 
vention. Unlike the operatives of some other places, the weavers 
of this town have always displayed a warm and kind-hearted spirit 
of reciprocal interchange. When an ingenious improvement sug- 
gests itself to any one, his first idea seems to be, not how he may 
hoard it up, so as to make the best of it exclusively for himself, 
but rather how he may render it as useful as possible to the ge- 
neral interest And hence, it becomes the subject of immediate 
conversation in the shop, and is very naturally laid hold of as the 
common boon of all. While this social disposition has been 
unfavourable to individual interests and honours, it has not been 
on the whole adverse to the general progress of manufacturing 
skill. The suggestions of one have led to the suggestions of others. 
One mind has sharpened another ; and ideas which may have float- 
ed in an undefined form before the fancy of one man, have, by 
mental collision, been moulded into the compact and tangible shape 
of a substantial and well-accredited improvement. Thus have the 
trade and manu&ctures of Paisley been mightily benefited by the 
application of different minds to a common object, while it might 
so happen, that no one individual could exclusively lay claim to 
the reputation of discovery. 

The system of the division of labour may be favourable to the 
prosperity and wealth of nations; but it is certainly not very fa- 
vourable to the developement of original genius. When a Pais- 
ley weaver was the *' vel Caesar aut nullus," of his favourite web, 
he stood a much fairer chance of having his inventive genius called 
into play, than in these ^^ degenerate days," when thirteen persons 
interpose their services betwixt the cotton as it comes from the spin- 
ning-jennies, or the silk as it leaves the throwsters mill, and the 



Digitized by 



Google 



270 UENFREWSHIRE. 

same articles when placed on the counter of the merchant, in all 
the beauty and in all the tastefulness of finished productions. 

It is scarcely necessary to add, that the prodigious extent to 
which machinery has of late years been carried into all the depart- 
ments of industry, must prove unfavourable to the display of manu- 
facturing genius, while we may notice it as a striking illustration 
of what has been called tho process of compensation, in the ar- 
rangements of Providence, that the genius which is thus restrained 
in one department, is not lost to the world, but is simply transfer- 
red to another region of human activity, and developes its powers 
on a larger scale in the field of mechanical enterprise. 

In the following historical and local notices, we have attempted 
a sort of register of inventions and improvements in the history of 
Paisley manufactures. The list is confessedly very incomplete ; 
and it is matter of deep regret, that many names, well worthy of 
mention in the history of a manufacturing community, are " un- 
known to fame." 

Mr Humphrey Fulton of Maxwelton, Paisley, was the first who 
introduced the silk manufacture into Scotland. In an epitaph 
upon him in the Scots Magazine in 1782, we are informed, that, 
*' in company with his two sons he often employed from 400 to 600 
looms, and in the various branches of the manufacture gave daily 
bread to 1000, frequently to 1500 people. Many with him, have 
merited of their family : few have better deserved of their country." 

Messrs Walkers, father, son, and grandson, harness tyers in the 
warehouse of Messrs W. Fulton and Co. Maxwelton, have distin- 
guished themselves by their ingenuity in inventing plans, and most 
successfully, for facilitating the figured work on muslins and silk- 
gauzes. 

An ingenious wright of the name of Lamb, in the employ of the 
same respectable house, has distinguished himself by his improve- 
ments in the mode of making brocade frames and shuttles for fa- 
cilitating the production of figured and ornamental silk gauzes. 

The plan of the ^y -shuttle and lay was brought from England 
above forty years ago, by Mr Herbert Buchanan of Arden, silk ma- 
nufacturer in Paisley. He sent up John Robertson, one of his opera- 
tives, to Manchester to see the model, which Robertson brought 
down with him to Paisley, where it was immediately adopted, and 
IS now universally used. It has, since that time, received many im- 
provements from the ingenuity of Paisley weavers, the most import- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 271 

ant of which was the introduction of the ^^ ten box la^" in 1812, 
by which a weaver can work with the greatest facility with ten 
shuttles without shifting them. The original " fly lay" could be 
wrought with only one shuttle. 

The machine for the singeing process in bleaching was first 
brought into use in this part of the country by the late Mr Wil- 
liam King of Lonend. It was first applied by him in the case of 
book-muslins which, about the year 1788^ were in very great 
vogue, and preferred by many .to India productions for fineness of 
fabric. 

Among the most ingenious men whom Paisley has produced, 
Messrs Robert and John Burns, brothers, stand pre-eminent. Mr 
Robert Burns, of the firm of Houston, Burns, and Company, was 
the inventor of many curious and useful pieces of mechanism in the 
departments of Dynamics and Hydro-dynamics, as noticed parti- 
cularly by Sir David Brewster, in these articles of his truly scien- 
tific Encyclopedia.* Mr John Burns invented the plan of rollers 
to facilitate the harness-work of webs ; a plan universally approv- 
ed of, and adopted by the operatives. He also suggested the ma- 
chine for drying bleached goods by metal rollers heated by steam, 
a plan which has been universally adopted by the bleachers, and 
which is capable of application indefinitely in the field of manu- 
facturing industry. In another and very difierent field, the same 
most disinterested gentleman produced twelve of the best potatoes 
reared from the plum, and exhibited at a public competition; 
for which he received a medal from the Agricultural Society. 

In 1823, Mr Alexander Buchanan produced the first specimen 
of cheneille shawl in this country, for his ingenuity in the invention 
of which he was honoured with a premium of twenty guineas from 
the Trustees in Scotland for encouraging Manufactures. 

About eight years ago, Mr Claud Wilson, weaver in Paisley, in- 
vented a species of machinery, which has proved extremely useful 
in the manufacture of carpets. His genius not finding its reward 
in this country, he went to the United States, by special invita- 
tion, and is now at the head of a large carpet manufactory in that 
country. 

Mr Alexander Lang, following up the plan of Mr Wilson, has 
improved upon his machine, so as to supersede in the manufacture 

* Vol. xi. pp. 55-2, 564. 



Digitized by 



Google 



272 RENFREWSHIRE. 

of carpets the use of a draw-maD or draw-boy ; and his machinef 
have been adopted to a considerable extent, particularly in Eng- 
land. 

Between the years 1826 and 1828, several unsuccessful at^ 
tempts were made, both in Edinburgh and Paisley, to introduce 
Thibet shawls. About the latter period, Mr Robert Kerr, now 
a most extensive manufacturer, turned his attention to that article, 
and after a deal of trouble and expense succeeded ; and in two or 
three years after, it became the staple article of the trade. One 
great objection at first was, the very high prices of woollen yams 
necessary for such a fine fabric ; and it is a curious fact, that when 
Mr Kerr was in England pursuing the subject, he bought the same 
yarns on the same day, in three different houses in Bradford, at 
L, 1, 9s., L. 1, 2s., and 12s. per lb. In supplying himself with 
this last, however, he took care to ask for^n« worsted. 

Mr Kerr has lately introduced an important change in the 
manufacture of Cheneille shawls. These shawls were manufac- 
tured wholly of Brutia silk, which last year rose to such a price as 
completely paralysed this branch of trade. In this emergency, 
he thought of applying spun silk of a peculiar kind, which he got 
made for the purpose, and which is termed roving or Jloss silk. It 
succeeded so well, that even the best judges could not discern any 
difference ; and it may be said to have given this branch a new 
impulse, by bringing out the shawls intrinsically as good in quality 
and appearance, and at a price that will tend to make the con- 
sumptmore general, and thereby make it a more permanent article 
of trade. 

Messrs John Roxburgh and Son have lately introduced several 
improvements in the manufacture of the richest description of 
shawls in imitation of India, the most recent of which is the use of 
fine wool for warp. This is named the CabiUe shawl, and is the 
first successful application, in this country, of the harness to an 
entirely toooUen fabric One of the finest of these CabiUe shawls 
was presented to Queen Adelaide, October 1836, which met with 
Her Majesty's gracious approbation. A premium of L. 25 was 
given for the same shawls (November 1836) by the Trustees for 
the Encouragement of Manufactures in Scotland. 

Messrs Scroggie and Gilchrist have been of singular benefit to 
the manufactures of this plac«, by the improvements they have in- 
troduced into all the departments of dyeing. Formerly all colour- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 273 

ed silks were got from London or Edinburgh ; now, silks of the 
finest kinds, and all sorts of cloth, may be dyed equally well at 
Paisley. 

In a register of inventions and improvements, the name of Mr 
Andrew Balderston deserves to be recorded with honour. This 
meritorious individual, though not a native of Paisley, has resided 
in it for twenty-four years. He was bom at Dunfermline, and be- 
fore he left it he had, in his capacity as a damask weaver, invent- 
ed the most approved method of flower lashing. A Paisley ma- 
nufacturer (Mr James Taylor) encouraged him to apply his in« 
vention to the ordinary &ncy trade, and it has succeeded to a wish. 
Formerly one man was employed to read the flower ; a second to 
take it down ; and a third to lash it on* Now all these operations 
are done by one and at once. The system thus introduced by Mr 
Balderston has been imiversally approved and adopted by the 
trade. Mr Balderston has also distinguished himself as the in- 
ventor of the ^* cutting machine/' used in preparing the weft for 
Cheneille shawls, a simple and beautiful piece of n>achinery. For 
this he took out a patent; but it has done him little good in a 
pecuniary point of view — the invention having been so frequently 
pirated. Our ingenious operatives would require ^^ a patent-pro- 
tecting association." 

CotUm^Spinning. — The first cotton-mill in Renfrewshire, and the 
second in Scotland, waserectedon the borders of this parish, at Dove- 
cothall, near Barhead, in the parish of Neilston ; but the first extensive 
establishment of the kind in the county was erected at Johnston, 
in 1782. These erections were soon followed by others on a large 
scale in different parts of the district, and particularly in the pa- 
rishes of Neilston and Pollock, or Eastwood. Cotton-spinning com- 
menced in the town of Paisley, soon after steam power began to be 
applied to machinery for that department of manufacture.* The lo- 
cality, however, has not been found favourable to the increase of this 
great branch of our national trade ; chiefly owing to the high price of 
fiiel, and the expense of conveying the raw material from, and the 
manufactured article to, Glasgow. It is a remarkable fact, however, 
and highly characteristic of the enterprising spirit of the inhabi- 
tants, that, notwithstanding these obstacles. Paisley contained, in 

* Even prior to UiU era, Uiere were mills on the principle of hand-jennies; ai:d 
oUiers that were driven by oxen. The &ther of the present M. P. for Pai&ley was 
proprietor of one of the former of these, along with his partner Mr Davidson. 



Digitized by 



Google 



274 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the early stage of this wonderful trade, a greater number of cot- 
ton mills than the opulent city of Glasgow. Forty years ago, 
or a little more, there were ten mills within the burgh, and New 
Town of Paisley. Of these four were turned into dwelling-houses ; 
one into a weaving (power-loom) factory ; one was burned down : 
and two were removed, and the machinery and materials sold by 
public auction. Most of these mills were on rather a small scale, 
the largest of them (St Mirrens,) being, however, a respectable 
establishment of 10,000 or 12,000 spindles. There are^at present 
in the town two large factories, and one on a smaller scale. In 
the village of Elderslie, there is an extensive cotton mill ; and in 
the town and neighbourhood of Johnston, there are eleven of va- 
rious sizes. With the exception of two, which are driven by water, 
all of these are propelled by steam. The power employed in them 
all is estimated at that of 266 horses. The total amount of spindles 
is 90,000. The capital employed in erecting and carrying them on 
is estimated at L. 135,000 ; and the number of persons employed 
at them all is about 2700. The proprietors of these works have not 
been backward in availing themselves of the several improvements 
on the system which have been introduced since the days of Ark- 
Wright and Hargreaves ;* and it is probable that the latest inven- 
tion of all, that of the self-acting mule, will soon be generally adopt- 
ed. " The adoption of the self-acting mule will aid much in ena- 
bling the spinners of Britain to maintain a successful competition 
against the cheap labour of other countries, which have less capital 
and fewer facilities for obtaining these improved machines, and less 
skill in their management when obtained.''^ 

Besides the above, there is in the New Town of Paisley one 
power-loom-factory, for cotton cloth used in printing. An exten- 
sive factory is about to be erected at Johnston, for weaving cloth 
by machinery, which, it is expected, will give employment to 200 
or 300 persons. 

Foitnderies. — The iron foundery establishment of Messrs William 
Thomson and Co. has been for half a century in high repute, and 

• Mr Neil Snodgniss, of Johnston, was the inventor of the " cleaning machine ;*' 
which was first used in the Johnston cotton mill belonging to Mr Houston. It has 
since received many improvements, and may now be considered •* perfect.** 

t New Stat. Ac. of Glasgow, p. 145, Au^. 18ii5. To this article we refer for 
fuller details on the progress of improvement m the spinning of cotton, and particu- 
larly to the circumstances which led to the union of the patents of Mr Smith of 
Deanston, and Mr John liobertson, late foreman to Mr Orr of Crofthead, for the in- 
vention and manufacture of the most improved species of self-acting mules. 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 275 

their improvements in smelting, &c. have lately added greatly to the 
extent of their business. The first steam*engine made in Paisley was 
lately set agoing as the propelling power to Mr Gralloway's factory, 
Causewayside. It is of twenty horse power, and does great credit 
to the makers, Messrs Ban* and Macnab, of the Abercorn foundery. 
Messrs Reid and Hannah, are extensive makers of gasometers, iron 
boats on the swift principle for canals, and factory machinery in 
general. Not a few specimens of their ingenuity and skill in the 
second of these departments are to be found, not in Britain only, 
but in several parts of the continent of Europe. There are in the 
town three brass founderies. 

There are in the thriving town of Johnston, two brass founderies, 
and two for iron, on an extensive scale ; with five machine manu- 
factories, employing 120 individuals, and with a steam agency of 
twenty-six horse power. Indeed we are satisfied, from many symp- 
toms, that this stirring and healthy place possesses in it the ele* 
ments of a rapidly extending and wealthy community. 

Printing of silks and other fabrics has lately been attempted 
in Paisley ; but as yet it is on a limited scale. We have one large 
ton^workf the property of Joseph Whitehead, Esq. of Kilnside 
House. The structure, plan, and whole arrangement of this work, 
are such as render it one of the first in the kingdom; and we un- 
derstand thnt in excellence of work produced it is unrivalled. We 
have three breweries^ two of them on a large scale. We have also 
three distilleries^ two in the town, and one in the country ; one 
large soap-work;* seven extensive bleachfields: and one large 
silk throwing mill, the property of Messrs Hervey, Brand, and Co.j 
of Glasgow. 

Post-Office. — The mercantile progress of Paisley may be esti- 
mated from the yearly returns of its post-office, which have been 
as follows: 1720, L.28, 13s.; 1769, L.22.% 3s. 8d.; 1809, 
L. 2814, 17s. 7d. ; 1834, L. 3194.t 

VI. — Parochial Economy. 
Markets and Fairs.— In the town of Paisley, Thursday is the 
weekly market day. During the year, there are four distinct fairs, 

* This work is one of the oldest in Britain. It has etlsted for more than six- 
ty yearsi The original firm was Messrs Christie, Corse, and Co. ; it is now Messrs 
Wflliam Sim and Co., and the article produced at this work standi very high in the 
market. 

t It would be Tery desirable, in a commercial view, that the postage to Glasgow 
were reduced from 4d. to 2d. The revenue would be no loser. 



Digitized by 



Google 



276 RENFREWSHIBE. 

each of three days duration.* The principal of these is St Jamesf 
Day Fair, as it is called, which is held in August. On that occa* 
sion, the chief resort of our inhabitants is the race^course, which 
of late has undergone great improvement. The Paisley races are 
of early institution, as appears fix>m a deed of council, of date April 
1606.f They have been usually run on the Friday and Saturday 
of the fair week ; but the council, at a late meeting, have resolved 
very properly, that, in time coming, th^y shall be run on the Thurs* 
day and Friday of that weeL Fairs are held at Johnston on the 
Thursday following the second Monday of July ; and on the last 
Thursday of October. This last is a cattle-market A horse- 
market is held on the last Friday of December* The fair which 
in former years used to be held at Thorn, about midsummer, 
has of late been discontinued, or rather is now held in the 
neighbouring town of Johnston, and is one of those above re- 
ported. 

Means ofComnmnicatien, ^Paisley enjoys great facilities of com- 
munication with all parts of the country. 

A post-office is established in the town, and there is another at 
Johnston. Our inhabitants enjoy the benefit of three departures 
in the day, for Glasgow and Greenock, and as many arrivals from 
these places. To and from several other towns not in the line of 
the Glasgow and Greenock roads, there is a daily post 

For passengers, a coach starts to Glasgow, every hour, from nine 
in the morning till nine at night, and as frequently returns from it 
The communication by the canal is nearly as frequent Twice 
a-day in summer, and once in winter, a coach passes through Pais- 
ley, from Glasgow to Beith and Saltcoats, as well as from Beith 

* The first, in the course of the year, begins on the third Thursday of PeA>ruaryi 
the second on the third Thursday of Maj, the third on the third Thursday of August, 
and the fourth on the second Thursday of November. 

t <^ It is concluded that ane silver bell be made of 4oz. weight, with all dilig0DCfi|» 
for ane horse race yearly, to be appointed within this burgh, and the bounds and day 
for running thereof to be set down by advice of my Lord Earl of Abercom, Lord 
Paisley and Kilpatrick." 

« In the course of the following century, this new taste of our ancestors had gain- 
ed such ground, that their excessive passion for the turf called for the interposttlon of 
Parliament. The preamble of Stat. 1621, chap. 14th, is in these terms : *< Consider- 
ing the monyfold evillis and inconvenientift whiche ensew upoun carding and dyceing 
and horse racing, whiche are now over muche frequented in this oountrey, to the 
gryit pr^udice of the legis ; and becaus honest men ought not expect that anye wyn« 
ning hade at anye of the games above-written, can do thame guid or prosper,'* &e. 
— Miscellany of the Maitland Club, printed in the year 1833, p. 197. The statute 
goes on to limit all wagers upon horse raees to the sum of one hundred merks, under 
penalty of forfeiture of the surplus to the poor of the parish. 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 277 

and Saltcoats to Glasgow. Tbere are abo coshes to and from 
Renfrew and Neilston. 

About three years ago, steani-*coaches plied between Glasgow 
and Paisley, till a fatal accident, occasioned by the bursting of a 
boiler, put a period to the speculation. 

Boads and Bridges. — The roads on which the coaches travel are 
all turnpike, and they, as well as the other roads in the parish, are, 
in general, kept in excellent repair. The principal one through the 
parish and town of Paisley is the road from Glasgow, which leaves 
the Abbey parish on the west, at the distance of about nine miles 
from its entrance into it on the east It crosses a bridge over the 
Cart, which connects the new town with the old, and which at one 
period was the only bridge at Paisley. One of the arches of this 
bridge, or rather of its predecessor, was ribbed beneath, indicating a 
style of architecture, said to have been prevalent in the fifteenth cen- 
tury. Besides this bridge, there are other two which form, each a 
communication between the Abbey and town parishes. One of these 
is the Seedhill bridge, said to have been built of stones obtained 
from the ruins of part of the Abbey building, and which is near the 
Seedhill Craigs, once a favourite salmon leap, and where we are 
informed, the fish were often shot in their attempts, to reach the 
upper part of the river. The other is the Sneddon bridge, a lit- 
tle above the present harbour. Besides these, the Cart, in its pro* 
gress through the parish, is crossed by other two bridges, one about 
a mile, and the other about two miles above any of those which 
connect the new and old towns of Paisley. 

Canal. — The Glasgow, Paisley, and Ardrossan Canal was ori- 
ginally intended to proceed from Glasgow to the sea at Ardrossan, 
a distance of about thirty miles, in nearly a straight line, and a 
great part of the way through a deep valley. The adjoining coun- 
try, through which it would have passed, is very populous, — the 
city of Glasgow, at the one end of it, being the second in Britain in 
point of population ; while along its course, at short intermediate 
distances, are the towns of Paisley, Johnston, Kilbarchan, Loch- 
winnoch, Kilbimie, Beith, Dairy, Kilwinning, Stevenston, Salt- 
coats, and Ardrossan — containing, in all, about 400,000 inhabi- 
tants. Besides, the country itself abounds in minerals, such as 
coal, iron, limestone, &c An act of Parliament was obtained in 
1805 ; and the first general meeting of the Canal Company was 
held at Paisley, on the 1 7th of July 1806. The operations corn- 



Digitized by 



Google 



278 RENFREWSHIRE. 

menced in May 1807 ; and the navigation between Paisley and 
Johnston was opened about the 1 0th November 1810;* and that 
between Glasgow and Paisley on 4th October 1811. This cut 
between Glasgow and Johnstone, 1 1 miles in length, is all of 
the canal that has yet been completed. The breadth at the 
surface is 28 feet, and the depth 4^. In its progress it passes 
through two tunnels, — one under the Causewayside Street of 
Paisley, 240 feet long ; and the other near the west end of the 
town, 210 feet in length. The chief aqueduct bridge formed for 
this canal is over the river Cart, on the east side of Paisley. It 
is 240 feet in length, 27 in breadth, and 30 in height, with a span 
whose fine arch is not less than 84. The present cut is supplied 
with water from several brooks betwixt Paisley and Johnston. Its 
actual cost is said to have been not less than L. 180,000, a sum 
greatly beyond the original calculation. So level is the ground 
through which the cut has been formed, that it has not been found 
necessary to construct any lock, during its course. 

Besides the vessels for the transportation of goods, there were 
formerly employed on this canal two, and sometimes three boats, 
for the conveyance of passengers. These were elegantly fitted 
up, and calculated to carry 100 passengers each. Of late, this 
sort of navigation has been prodigiously increased, by means of 
the gig-boat for passengers, an immense improvement on the for- 
mer track-boat. It is the invention of an ingenious and enter- 
prising gentleman, William Houston, Esq., Johnston Castle, who 
has devoted much of his valuable time and talents to the pros- 
perity of the town and commerce of Johnston. One of these 
gig-boats starts every hour, from nine in the morning till nine 
at night, from Port-Eglinton, Glasgow, for Paisley; and from 
nine in the morning till eight at night from the Canal Basin, 
Paisley, for Glasgow. The voyage is made within the hour. 
The intercourse, by the same means, between Paisley and John- 
ston, is frequent. From the 1st of October, 1835, to the 30th 
of September, 1836, the number of passengers by these boats 
was 423,186; the fares drawn from them amounted to upwards 
of L. 9000. There are about sixty-four horses employed for the 

" On the 1 0th of November, a few days after the canal was opened between 
Pauley and Johnston, a very melancholy accident happened at the basin, near Bar- 
clay Street, in consequence of which eigfaty.five individuals lost their lives. It was 
occasioned by the heeling of the boat, while crowded with passengers, by which more 
than 200 individuals were thrown into the water. Of this accident, a particular ac* 
count, written by the late Mr D. Wallace, is given in Dr Bums*s Historical Dis-» 
serutions on the Sute of the Poor, p. 116, 1st edit. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 279 

gig-boats, besides fourteen for the luggage-boats, &c. This canal 
affords employment for upwards of fifty-two men and seventeen 
boys. 

The following table shews the progressive increase of passen- 
gers, by this canal, for six years. 

In 1831, they amounted to 79,455 

1882, . 148,516 

1833, - 240,062 

1834, - 307,275 

1835, - 373,290 

1836, - 423,186 

The number of tons conveyed by the canal, for each of the last 
six years, is as follows : 

1831, . 48,191 

1832, - 51,198 

1833, . 53,194 

1834, . 57,853 

1835, - 60,510 

1836, - 67 305 

Baiboays. — Besides the communication to the Clyde, by means 
of the Cart, a company was formed sometime ago, with the view 
of forming a railway, to proceed from the New Town of Paisley 
to the Clyde, a little below the present landing-place at Renfrew. 
On this railway, both goods and passengers will be conveyed. 
It is now finished, and will be opened in the course of a few weeks. 

A railway is also in contemplation from Glasgow to Greenock, 
and another from Glasgow to Ayr, and Kilmarnock, and other 
towns in Ayrshire, which is expected to form part of the great 
railway from Glasgow to London. Both of these will pass near- 
ly through the centre of Paisley, and will prove of great com- 
mercial and trading benefit to the place. 

Increase of Travelling. — It may afford some idea of the great 
increase of travelling in this neighbourhood, if we bear in mind, that 
in 1814, only once a week, on the Glasgow market-day, a coach 
started from Paisley, to convey merchants to Glasgow, and bring 
them home in the evening, whereas in 1834, just twenty years from 
the former period, the passengers by the coaches to and from Glas- 
gow were about 200 daily. But we must add to these the passen- 
gers by the canal during that year, estimated at 307,275, and those 
by the Cart coastways, not fewer than 46,080, in order to form 
some idea of this vast increase ; and yet, to how much greater 
an extent, may we expect, it will be carried, when the different 
railways in contemplation are finished. 

RENFREW. T 



Digitized by 



Google 



280 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Supply of Water.* — At present, the inhabitants of Paisley 
are by no means well supplied with water. Some of them draw 
their supply from public and private wells, and from barrels and 
cisterns, into which rain is conveyed from the roofs of houses ; 
and a great many families purchase it from individuals, who make 
a trade of carting it along the streets, in large barrels, and selling 
it at the rate of one penny for ten gallons. The water thus sold 
is partly' filtered from the Cart, and partly supplied from wells and 
springs in the surrounding country. A supply so inadequate to the 
cofafort of the inhabitants, and the wants of public works, induced 
the formation of a Water Company in 1825, who proposed to ob- 
tain water by raising it, from the river, immediately above the 
town. But after the capital had been subscribed, and an Act of 
Parliament obtained, objections, by the proprietors of the Sacel 
and Seedhiil Mills, to the abstraction of water, without an amount 
of compensation, to which the company were unwilling or unable 
to agree, caused the scheme to be abandoned. 

Engineers having stated, that, in their opinion, a sufficient 
supply of water for the town could not be procured from any other 
source, all hope of obtaining it was abandoned, till our respected 
townsman, James Kerr, M. D., after a laborious examination of 
the Gleniffer hills, called the attention of the public, to the prac- 
ticability of procuring firom that source an ample supply, by the 
formation of one or more large reservoirs. Mr Thom, civil-en- 
gineer, was then employed to examine and report upon the scheme, 
and bis report having been highly satisfactory, a capital of L. 40,000 
was speedily subscribed, and, in 1835, an Act of Parliament for 
carrying the scheme into effect obtained. 

The company are preparing to intercept the drainage of more 
than 1600 acres, on the north eastern side of the Gleniffer Braes, 
comprehending the sources of the Espedair and Harelaw burns.-f* 
Of this drainage, the altitude ranges firom 135 to 750 feet 
above the level of the sea* Two capacious reservoirs, one of them 
having a maximum depth of 32 feet, and the other of 49, covering 
nearly 100 acres, and capable of containing about 01 millions of 
cubic feet of water, are in the course of formation. The reservoir 
nearest the town, is to be formed with two divisions, in order to have 

* ^This noti^ of the supply of water was Aimisbed by Mr W. Kerr, Surgeon, of this 
town, and Mr Stirrat at Nethereraigs. 

t The Act of Parliament gives power to inteioept the drainage of 2800 aorea. 
Sheffield, which is tupplied from a urge resenroir, deriTes its watar firom only 1800 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



PAISLBY. 281 

at all times one in which the water may be allowed to settle, so that 
the expense of filtration may be lessened or avoided. From this reser- 
voir, the water will be conveyed to the town, a distance of only a 
mile, along a stone conduit, lying near the surface of the ground. 
The termination of the conduit will be at a point high enough to 
distribute water to every street in Paisley. 

Six bleachfields and print-fields, having reservoirs attached, to 
the extent of 5 millions of cubic feet of water, are situated on the 
fispedair bum. Of these, two depend entirely, and the others 
chiefly, upon water from the drainage proposed to be intercepted. 
Hence some difiiculty was experienced, in arranging with the pro- 
prietors of these works, the terms on which they would part with 
the surplus water of the streams. At length, the proprietors made 
a proposal, which was agreed to by the company, and has been 
confirmed by Act of Parliament, which, for its simplicity and easy 
adaptation to such undertakings, is worthy of special notice. Al- 
lowmg for loss of water by evaporation and otherwise, an annual 
depth of 18 inches is supposed to flow into the reservoirs, from the 
whole of the ground intercepted. Three-fourths of this quantity 
are to be the property of the company, and one-fourth is to be- 
long to the proprietors of the works on the stream ; and this last 
portion is to be so let out from the reservoirs, as to form a constant 
and uniform stream. Should, however, a larger quantity of water 
than 18 inches annually be available to the reservoirs, measure- 
ments are to be made for three years, when the fourth part of 
the average annual quantity, then determined, is to be fixed as the 
amount of compensation in all time coming, provided the quantity 
thus measured be not less than 18 inches, which quantity is to be 
the minimum. 

No money has been given to the proprietors of public works, a 
steady and sufficient stream being admitted' to be an adequate 
compensation. 

The lower reservoir will be highly ornamental to the country, 
and the terraces formed by the large drains, which are intended 
to run almost horizontally along the brow and base of the classic 
braes of GlenifTer, will afford some of the most delightful pros- 
pects in Renfrewshire. The committee of management commen- 
ced their operations some months ago, and they expect to finish 
them in the course of two years.* 

* It is an interesting fhct, that the principle on which the present undertaking is 
founded, was acted upon at Constantinople, in the fifth century. The rivulets in the . 
neighbourhood of that citj, being eraporated in summer, to an insignificant siaei six 



Digitized by 



Google 



282 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Supply of Gas. — A company, with the view of lighting Paisley 
with gas, was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1823, the 
capital being L. 16,000, which has since been doubled. The 
works are on an extensive scale, and advantageously situated, 
occupying an area of about two acres of ground, besides the space 
occupied by the gas holders at Sacell and Ferguslie. The num- 
ber of retorts is at present 52 ; but that number the company are 
about to increase. Each of these is capable of producing about 
6000 cubic feet of gas in twenty-four hours ; 40 of these have 
been in use this winter; last summer only 4 were used. The gas hold- 
ers are 7 in number, 5 at the works, and the other two already no- 
ticed. Of the 7, four can contain of gas each 20,000 cubic feet, 
two, each 18,000, and one 16,000. The reason of placing two 
of these at a distance from the works is, that the pressure of gas 
may be equalized in all parts of the town and suburbs. The coals 
used in these works are brought from different places, but chiefly 
from Ruchill, near Kelvin-dock. The quantity carbonized from 
June 1835 till June 1836, amounted to 3224 tons 10 cwt The 
charge by metre is 8s. 6d. per 1000 cubic feet, and the annual 
charge for one jet from sun-rise till 8 o'clock at night is 7s. 6d., 
till 9, 9s. 8d., till 10, lis. lOd., till 11, 14s., and till 12, 16s. 2d. 

Pipes have now been laid in almost every street, and the greater 
proportion of dwellings, shops, manufactories and churches, with 
the street lamps of the rown and suburbs, are lighted with the pure 
gas, which the company supplies. The main pipes measure up- 
wards of 50 miles in length. 

The town of Johnston is also lighted with gas, as well as several 
public works, in the country parts of the Abbey parish, the gas 
being made within their own premises. 

Management of Poor in the Abbey parish. — It was not till 1785 
that assessment for the poor was resorted to in this parish ; and the 
rapid progress of trade and population, with the consequent influx 
of strangers, will easily account for its introduction. The assess* 
ment for the first year was only L. 1J52. In 1792, when the old 
Statistical Account was published, it had risen to L. 415, and this 
sum, with about L. 125 per annum, arising from the collections at 

reservoirs were formed to contain the floods of winter, thereby preserving an ample 
supply during the whole year. — See Mathew's Hydraulia, p. 290. 

The city of Jerusalem was also supplied by Hezekiab, in a manner somewhat si- 
milar. See 2 Kings, xx. 20, and 2 Chron. xxxii. 30. According to tradition 
Solomon likewise constructed tanks for the same purpose. For information respect* 
ing these remains, sec Landscape Illustrations of the Bible, Vol. 1 st. On the sub- 
ject of the ancient aqueducts at Rome, See Leslie's Nat. PhiL Vol. i. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 283 

church, &c. making a total of about L. 540, was sufficient for the 
annual demand for some years. The following is the progress of 
the rate since 1808, at intervals of five years : — 



1806, 


L. J570 11 10 


1827, 


- L.2630 1 


1812, 


2179 15 6 


1832, 


2476 12 7 


1817, - 
1822, 


1531 7 
1661 I 1 


1835, 


2662 19 9 



The assessment, as above stated, is in addition to the collections 
at the doors of the parish church, and other church funds, which 
of late years have averaged about L. 60. The only permanent fund at 
the charge of the session is a sum composed of various legacies, 
and amounting in all to about L. 700, the interest of which is ap- 
plied to the poor. * 

The ordinary management of the poor is conducted in the usual 
way by overseers, specially appointed at the annual meeting of he- 
ritors and kirk session, and by the elders of the parish. Monthly 
meetings are held for the purpose of granting occasional aid, and 
quarterly ones for entering paupers on the roll. 

The following table exhibits, in one view, some particulars of 
importance relative to the practical working of the system. 

Number of ordinary poor on the roll at different periods : 

Old 4r Infimu Poor children. 



1786 


90 to 100 


. 


1801-2, 


158, 


- 41 


1804.6, 


168 


- 45 


1810-11, 


- 219 . ' - 


41 


1816.17, 


272 


15 


1822, 


275 


54 


1827, 


325 


66 


1831, 


480 


58 


1835, 


471 


66 



Highest rate allowed to the regular pensioners, (except when 
confined and in a state of derangement, in which case f more is 
given) L. 3, 5s. per quarter ; lowest rate 6s. 6d. ; average of the 
whole 18s. 1 l|d. The number of occasional poor is very various, 
but the average expense of this class may be L. 150 a year. 

The principle of assessment in this parish used to be the real 
rental ; one-half on heritors, and the other on tenants. Of late, 
this has been departed from, and an effort has been made to return 

* Besides the above, there is under the administration of the senior minister 
of the parish, and three trustees, by direction of the Court of Cbancerv, the an- 
nual sum of about L. 29, the produce of a principal sum, left by the late Lady 
Grant, of Monimusk, and vested in the funds. This sum is dbtributed annually, in 
the month of January, to poor householders, who ere not receiving parochial aid. 
Lady Grant, before her marriage to Sir William Grant of Monimusk, had been mar- 
ried to Mr Andrew Miller, bookseller, London ; the son of the Rev. Robert Miller, 
one of the ministers of the Abbey parish. 

t The ordinary charge of lunatic asylums is allowed, varying from 7^. to 10s. per 
week. 



Digitized by 



Google 



284 RENFREWSHIRE. 

to the resolution adopted so early as August 1785 ; namely, to 
*^ proportion the sum upon the heritors, householders, and tenants 
in the parish, regulating the contribution to be paid by each indi- 
Tidual, by his property in the parish ; his trade, his means, and 
substance, and having regard to every circumstance that may ren- 
der the contribution as equitable as possible/' The stent-masters 
are annually appointed at the general parochial meeting in the 
month of June. 

Some years ago, the expediency of erecting an hospital or cha- 
rity workhouse in the Abbey parish was seriously considered. 
After due deliberation, it was finally resolved that the more advis- 
able mode was that actually adopted, of supporting the poor in 
their own houses or in the houses of their friends. In a few spe- 
cial cases, the overseers have obtained admission for their helpless 
and lunatic paupers, to the Town Hospital of Paisley, on paying a 
reasonable board. 

The following is the view given of " the duties of overseers** in 
the parish minute of August 4, 1785. It is well worthy of serious 
attention. 

** Each of the overseers elected by the meeting shall take from 
the poor's roll, a note of the poor that lie most convenient for his 
inspection ; but so that every poor person shall be under the in- 
spection of some one of the overseers ; and the overseer shall, be- 
fore the ensuing meeting, inform himself minutely of the character, 
the age, and circumstances of said poor ; what relatives they have 
to assist them ; and what work they are able to do ; so that the 
overseer may know as accurately as possible, what sum may be ne- 
cessary for their support, and that thus no more may be given than 
what is absolutely so ; and, as the prevention of any unnecessary 
rise in the assessment will greatly depend upon the attention of 
overseers to this part of their duty, it is unanimously agreed, that 
every overseer shall, for every poor person whose circumstances he 
has neglected to inquire iuiOj forfeit (he sum of Jive shillings Ster^ 
lingi to be applied to the use of the poor!* 

Management of Poor in the Town Parishes by the Kirk'Sessionsm 
— The sessions of the three parishes within the bounds of the ori- 
ginal burgh a/e distinct and independent in all matters of discipline, 
but they form one general sessiontor the care of the poor, by decreet 
of the Court of Session 1782. Under its exclusive management 
are placed the collections at the three town's churches, sums aris- 
ing from proclamation of banns, &c &c The average of annual 
collections at these churches for ten years prior to 1817 was 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 285 

L. 754, 15s. lo 1823 the amount was L. 745, 1 Is. and since that 
time the average has been about L. 700. The sessional income 
from other sources averages about L. 60 additional ; and, by means 
of these funds, all the regular and occasional poor on the com- 
munion rolls of the Established Church and Gaelic Chapel are 
supported. The number of regular pensioners at present is 200, 
who receive from 6d. to 2s. 6d. weekly, according to circumstan* 
ces ; the average being a fraction above Is. To some hundreds of 
occasional poor and poor householders, donations of money, coals, 
clothes, and provisions, are from time to time given according to 
circumstances. The business of the general session is managed 
by a staqding committee, consisting of four elders firom each ses- 
sion, who meet monthly for enrolling paupers, inquiring into cases, 
and paying the elders for any outlays during the preceding month 
for occasional poor, — a discretion to this extent being granted to 
the elders in their respective quarters, subject to monthly review. 
Each elder is understood to visit the regular poor in his propor- 
tion monthly, and to pay them their aliment They are also ex- 
pected to inquire into their general character, attendance on or- 
dinances, state of the children of the poor as to education, &c. 
Prior to 1828 the general session had the entire charge of the 
whok poor in the three parishes, and their funds were aided by a 
portion of the hospital assessment, varying from L. 50 in 1809, up 
to L. 500 in 1827. But the burden thus laid on the elders was 
excessive ; and an i^eement was entered into in 1828 by all par- 
ties having interest, to the effect that the sessions, retaining their 
ovm funds, should take charge of all the poor, regular and occa- 
sional, on the communion rolls of the Established Churches and 
Gaelic Chapel ; and that all others should be placed, by a civil ar- 
rangement, under the superintendence and control of the managers 
of the Town's Hospital. This species of voluntary agreement has 
on the whole wrought well. A prodigious relief has been granted 
to the elders, while their avocations as elders partake far more of 
the character of a spiritual agency. 

On the first Sabbath of each year, an extraordinary collection 
is regularly made in the three parish churches of the burgh, which 
is devoted as a new-year's gift to the relief of respectable members 
of the church who, generally speaking, receive no other assistance 
during the year. As a specimen of the readiness of the congre- 
gations to contribute to the aid of this interesting class, we notice 
the amount of last new-year's day collection, L. 134, 12s. 8d. This 



Digitized by 



Google 



286 RENFREWSHIRE. 

amount was distributed among nearly 400 persons, in sums which 
on the whole averaged 6s, to each. 

Town's Hospital — Till 1740 assessment was totally unknown 
in the town of Paisley. That year was one of extreme seve- 
rity on the poor of Scotland generally, and the circumstances 
of Paisley, as a rising manufacturing town, tended to an in- 
crease of pauperism. In 1740, an assessment, to be paid weekly, 
was laid by the magistrates on the inhabitants, and overseers were 
appointed to allocate and to distribute it These acted along with 
the minister and elders of the parish, in the joint charge of the 
poor. In 1750, the necessity of an asylum for maintaining 
the aged and infirm, together with poor and destitute /children, 
was strongly felt ; and for this purpose a substantial and commo- 
dious building was erected in 1752. It is built in a free and airy 
part of the town, and has a large garden belonging to it The 
only addition made to it of late years has been the erection of a 
small lunatic asylum, which has proved of immense advantage both 
for the recovery of insane persons, and the safe and comfortable 
keeping of such as are fatuous and incurable. The house is under 
the management of fifteen directors, who are chosen annually, — 
three from the town council ; one from each parish session ; and the 
rest by the rate-payers from among the inhabitants at large. It is 
conducted on the strictest principles of economy, and with great 
attention to health, cleanliness, and good order, and has hitherto 
answered the ends of its institution, as much perhaps as any erec- 
tion of the kind. It is visited daily by an experienced surgeon, 
annually chosen by the directors, and paid out of the fuhds. It is 
visited also weekly, and occasionally by a committee of directors, 
and a meeting of the whole number once every fortnight takes 
the regular superintendence of its concerns. The internal manage- 
ment is committed to a master, who has also the charge of educat- 
ing the children ; a clerk who, along with the treasurer, manages all 
financial concerns; and a matron, who, with one or more house- 
maids, has the more immediate care of the household economy. 
The master also takes charge of the employment of the inmates ; 
for it has been all along a leading principle in the management of 
the house, that while the young are duly .educated, the adults, so 
far as practicable, shall be employed in some kind of useful in- 
dustry. The particular kind of work in which they have been 
employed has varied from time to time, according to the state of 
manufacture in the town. At an early period of the institution, 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 287 

the principal work for both old and young was spinning of cot- 
ton yarn on the wheel; but since the invention of machinery, this 
kind of employment has been entirely given up. For a time, when 
the children were more numerous than they are at present, they 
were partly employed as piecers in cotton mills, and at tamb our- 
ing within doors. At present, a few of the men are employed at the 
loom ; the boys who are in any degree forwarded in their education 
are engaged in operations connected with the manufactures of the 
town ; the girls who are beyond the age of mere children assist in 
the work-of the house ; a few of the women are employed in wash- 
ing, and in attending the kitchen, some in winding yarn, others 
in sewing and knitting; but the far greater part of the inmates 
are employed in reeling lashes for the manufacturers. The pro- 
duce of labour cannot, in a pecuniary view, be very great; but ha- 
bits of industry are favourable both to comfort and to morals. 

It IS the custom for the master to take all the young people'along 
with him to church twice every Sabbath ; and, immediately after 
theirreturn from the afternoon service, they are taken into the school, 
and are employed in reading the Scriptures or religious tracts, re- 
peating hymns and catechisms, and other rehgious exercises till the 
time of supper and family worship, when they assemble along with 
the whole household in the public hall. Of late, it has been cus- 
tomary to ask the services of one of the clergymen monthly on 
these occasions. The duty of conducting daily worship, morning 
and evening, devolves on the master ; but on those Sabbaths when 
the clergyman does not attend, and when the master is engaged 
with the catechising of the children, the religious exercises of the 
evening are conducted by one of the directors, or by a pious lay 
member or office-bearer of the church. The sick and bed-ridden are 
attended to in the same way, while the clergy and elders of all de- 
nominations have at all times free access to the inmates. 

An annual examination of the Hospital School is held, when 
the ministers of the town, the magistrates, and directors are in- 
vited to attend. On these occasions, it has been customary for 
the ministers to pray with, and to exhort, the people both old and 
young. This annual examination is not only useful to the chil- 
dren and their teacher, as a stimulus to diligence and exertion, but 
it may also be considered as a seasonable pastoral visitation to the 
aged, many of whom are bowed down beneath a load of sorrows 
and infirmities, and stand in need of consolation, while others, 



Digitized by 



Google 



288 RENFREWSHIRE. 

whose habits are depraved, require serious remonstranoe) and 
grave rebuke. 

The following table exhibits the number of inmates in the hos- 
pital, old and young, at different periods, with the expense of their 
maintenance : 



1750, 


46 


L.a0O19 2i 


1769, 


81 


- . 236 14 34 


1778, 


61 


- 464 13 9 


1789, 


115 


- - 6fl0 16 2 


1795, 


134 


688 4 


1800, 


124 


1133 19 2 


1810, 


134 


1349 19 Hi 


1817, 


155 


. - 1424 3 04 


1823, 


]59 


1004 1 1 


lfrS5, 


220 


. 1347 6 5 



If from the above sums we deduct the expenditure on repairs, 
furniture, and utensils ; on children at nursing out of the house ; 
on grants to the general session for the poor, &c the actual cost 
of maintaining each pauper in the house will not amount to L. 4 
per annum. 

Till 1828, the kirk-«essions took entire charge of all the poor 
out of the hospital, and to this end were assisted by annual grants 
from the hospital assessment Since 1828, the burden of manag- 
ing the out-door poor, with the exception of those in communion 
with the Established churches, has devolved on the directors of the 
hospital, with the assistance of about sixty managers, chosen indis- 
criminately from the town at large. The mode of management 
thus adopted is essentially the same with that already described in 
the Abbey parish. The gross expenditure for last year on both 
in and out-door establishments of the hospital has been L. 2502, 
Os. 9d.» 

Distributions of Charity by Public Bodies. — There are six incor- 
porated societies, (Merchants, Weavers, Wrights, Tailors, Shoe- 
makers, Maltmen, &c.) who distribute considerable sums annually 
to their poor members ; but the amount cannot be ascertained. 
Nor, indeed, can these distributions be considered as properly of 
an eleemosynary nature. The members have paid their terms of 
entry with the societies, and are thus entitled to relief as may b^ 
with this limitation, that the precise amount is not settled as in 
the case of a friendly society, but is left to the discretion of the 
managers. The following mortifications are lodged in the hands 

* For additional information on the subject of the poor in Paisley, see Dr Bums*s 
** Historical Dissertations on the poor.** 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 289 

of the towD-counci], for the benefit of poor persons, aged and in- 
firm, and subject to the specifications of the several donors. 

Alms House mortificaiicm, - L. 250 6 8 for benefit of 3 poor peraons, 

Mrs Armour's do. 56 11 1 do. 2 do. 

Robert Akiander's do. 112 2 2 do. 2 do. 

Bobert Peter's do. 166 13 4 do. 3 do. 

James Maxwell's do. J 00 do. 4 do. 

Park and Hutcheson's do. 200 do. 4 do. 
BaiUie Reid, a grant ofland producing at pre* 

sent a yearly rent of 51 11 3 do. 4 do. 

Miss Maxwell of Williamwood, GOO do. 8 lamilie«. 

The above trusts have been judiciously and impartially admini- 
stered, and mucjh benefit has been the result to many poor indivi- 
duals in old age who have seen better days. 

Relief grarUed to the Poor by Disseniing Congregations. — The 
duty of granting relief to poor members is generally recognized 
by the dissenting bodies of this place. In 1817, the annual 
amount thus granted was estimated, from pretty correct data, to be 
about L. 650. * We have endeavoured to obtain a return of the 
distributions during 1836, by the four leading dissenting congre- 
gations of Paisley, but have received for reply, that *^ the informa- 
tion requested cannot be obtained ;" as$ " in present circumstances^ 
there is a fear of the use that might be made of such statements." 

Friendly Societies. — Of these institutions, Paisley has had a due 
proportion. By the middle of the seventeenth century, we find 
them in operation, and by the beginning of the eighteenth, every 
trade seems to have had its society for the support of decayed 
members. About the middle of that century, these were again 
followed by a class of societies assuming each the name of a lo- 
cal district, as the " Croft," and the " Maxwelton" societies, or the 
more general appellation of the " Princes," the " Ayrshire," the 
'* Cumberland," &c. Such was the assiduity of members in ge- 
neral, and especially of the annually elected deacons, during the 
period they were in office, to add to the number on the roll^ that 
scarcely a young man escaped being a member of one or more of 
these institutions, of which, by the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, the town could number twenty-five, all in operation. 

The mode of calculation, however, on which such societies should 
be founded was not as yet properly understood ; so that although 
those in existence were productive of much benefit to the town in 
general, and to their members in particular, it was soon found that 
a miscalculation of the demands on them, or of the wants or dis* 

* Dr Burns on the Poor, p. 161, 1st edition. 



Digitized by 



Google 



290 RENFREWSHIRE. 

tress they were intended to relieve, would speedily bring about 
their ruin. As they declined, however, others arose in their room 
both in the town and Abbey parishes. 

Hitherto, no observations had been|^made, on^the proportions 
existing between the periods of health and of sickness ; nor was 
it possible, from the nature of these societies, which gave out their 
aliment as a matter more of charity than of right, to arrive at any 
satisfactory conclusion, by an examination of their experience. 
It was seen, however, that a want of sufficient income was the ra- 
dical defect, and to remedy this, the friendly societies then in ex- 
istence demanded from their members, an annual payment, in addi- 
tion to their entry money, varying from a penny to sixpence a week ; 
and of these reformed societies, Paisley had twenty-two by the year 
1810. Although for a time the funds of these associations ra- 
pidly increased, there was still a defect in their constitution. The 
anxiety of their promoters to remove all idea of charity, from the 
minds of the receivers, made it imperative on every member, what- 
ever his station in life might be, to take his]^aliment,''and thus the 
demands were again increased to a higher rate than the supplies 
could afford. One great point, however, was ^gained, that of the 
ratio of health and sickness, which put it in the power of the cal- 
culator, to fix the amount of aliment that a^society might^ allow, 
from a given contribution, or from theamount of aliment required, 
to fix the necessary contribution. With this view, in 1815, one 
of the societies, consisting of 450 members, appointed a]^ commit- 
tee to examine its own operations, from the date of its commence- 
ment in 1802. The experience of other five societies was after- 
wards obtained. In 1820, the subject was taken up by the High- 
land Society of Scotland, and in returns made to them, the expe- 
rience of seventy-nine associations was procured ; and it is worthy 
of remark, that the proportions found to exist, in the six societies 
in Paisley, whose operations were examined, scarcely varied from 
that of the seventy-nine, furnished to the Highland Society. We 
subjoin a copy of the result of the annual examination of the ope- 
ration of the society, which gave rise to the improved system, from 
which it will be seen that these useful institutions are now based 
on such rational and scientific principles as may secure their per- 
manence, and th^t, by a method which requires on the part of 
the accountant or clerk to the society, only a knowledge of the 
common rules of arithmetic. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 



Sf91 



Result of examination of the operations of the Young Friendly 
Society in 1835. 



< 

21 


13 


Sickness 

to an 
individ. 


Sickness 

to the 

society. 


Mortality 

to an 
individ. 


Mortality 

to the 

society. 




1 

44 


11 


Sickness 

to an 
individ. 


Sickness 
to the 
society. 


Mortality 

to an 
individ. 


Mortality 
to the 
society. 


.675 


7.475 


.0101 


.1313 


.9)2 


9 9-"i 


.0159 


.1749 


2*^ 


a 


.676 


4.608 


.0102 


.0816 




45 


8 


.962 


7.696 


.0174 


.1392 


2»s 


10 


.578 


5.780 


.0103 


.1030 




46 


16 


1.032 


16.512 


.0179 


.2864 


24 


4 


.581 


2324 


.0104 


.0416 




47 


12 


1.108 


13.296 


.0182 


.2184 


2<^ 


6 


.585 


2.925 


.0105 


.0525 




48 


6 


1.186 


7.116 


.0185 


.1110 


21. 


4 


.590 


2.360 


.0106 


.0424 




49 


9 


1.272 


11.448 


.0189 


.1701 


27 


3 


.596 


1.788 


.0108 


.0324 




50 


15 


1.361 


20.415 


.0193 


.2895 


2b 


4 


.603 


2.412 


.0109 


.0436 




51 


16 


1.431 


25.216 


.0212 


.3392 


2Si 


7 


.611 


4.277 


.0110 


.0770 




52 


11 


1.541 


16.951 


.0217 


.2387 


M 


8 


.621 


4.968 


.0111 


.0888 




53 


7 


1.633 


11.431 


.0221 


.1547 


31 


7 


.631 


4.417 


.0120 


.0840 




54 


12 


1.726 


20.712 


.0226 


.2712 


32 


9 


.641 


5.769 


.0123 


.1107 




55 


11 


1.821 


20.031 


.0248 


.2728 


3a 


12 


.652 


7.824 


.0126 


.1512 




56 


U 


1.918 


21.098 


.0255 


.2806 


34 


13 


.663 


8 619 


.0128 


.1764 




57 


9 


2.018 


18.162 


.0261 


.2349 


3S 


8 


.676 


6.400 


.0129 


.1032 




58 


12 


2.122 


25.464 


.0269 


.3228 


M 


14 


.688 


9.632 


.0130 


.1820 




59 


3 


2.2.30 


6.690 


.0294 


.0808 


»7 


19 


.702 


13.388 


.0133 


.2527 




60 





2.246 




.0303 




3t 


14 


.718 


10.052 


.0147 


.2058 




SI 


1 


2.250 


2.250 


.03:2 


.0312 


•it 


15 


.737 


1 1.065 


.0149 


.2235 




i2 





2.736 




.0343 




4f< 


13 


.768 


9.854 


.0151 


.2963 




;3 





aioo 




.0355 




41 


20 


.784 


15.681) 


.0154 


.3080 




d4 





3.700 




.0389 




4'^ 


20 


.814 


16.280 


.0156 


.3120 




d5 


1 


4.400 


4.400 


.0429 


.4029 


42: 


21 


.852 


17.892 


.0158 


.3318 


























431*788 




7.0984 



Aliment paid January till June, 
Do June till December, 



There ought to have been paid as above 431 weeks at 8s. 



There ought to have died 7.0964 

Whilst there only died 7. 

Owing on life assurance, .0984, in money 



Over sickness. 



^104 2 d 

71 8 4 

£175 10 7 

172 14 4 

£2 16 3 







Four members left the society leaving stock, - £ 23 12 

Interest received, investments at 5 per cent. j£ 105 2 10 

Do calculated at 4 per cent - 84 2 3 

21 7 



4 11 
£3 1 2 



44 12 7 



From which deduct the above loss, and there is left to be carried to 

the surplus fund, - - - - £41115 

When it is considered that 45 of these societies exist in the 
town, and 5 more in the villages within the Abbey parish of Pais- 
ley, the members of each varying from 1'20 to 500, and each with 
a distribution annually of from L. 45 to L. 265, a hope cannot 
but be entertained, that the rising generation will not require so 
much assistance in old age as their fathers received, from the esta- 
blished parish rates. 



Digitized by 



Google 



292 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Among the friendly societies of Paisley, we cannot omit noti- 
cbg the ^* Female Union" and the *^ Female Friendly^" both found- 
ed in 1820, and managed entirely by respectable females of the 
operative classes, and for their relief in sickness. They have suc- 
ceeded on the whole remarkably well, and deserve to be exten- 
sively imitated. 

Dispensary and House of Recovery. — In 1786, a public Dispen- * 
sary was established in Paisley by subscription ; and about fifteen 
years after, a commodious ^* House of Recovery'' or public infirmary 
for the reception of persons labouring under contagious disease was 
erected. Additions have from time to time been made to it ; and 
it now accommodates about 45 patients. It is managed by a com- 
mittee, annually chosen by the subscribers, along with all those who 
may be annual subscribers tf> the amount of L. 3^ •%. and upwards. 
Its more immediate superintendence is committed to a house sur* 
geon and apothecary ; a matron, and two or more house-servants, 
as may be required. Six of the medical practitioners m town act 
as medical directors, and visit the patients in the houde, and those 
on the rolls of the dispensary. Two of the managers, with a me- 
dical director, visit the house weekly, or oftener if necessary, and 
report their observations in a book kept for the purpose. In 1835, 
the patients admitted to the benefits of both departments were 
1595 ; and the number in all since 1786 has been d6,26a The 
expenditure of the year 1835 was L. 466, lis. lO^d. ; a small sum 
indeed, when we take into view the immense good done to the fa^ 
miUes of the poor, and to the general health of the place. An an- 
nual report is published, of the numbers and cases admitted, with 
the several results, the lists of diseases on the journals of the house, 
state of accounts, and general management for the year. 

The following table will shew the comparative number of Fever 
cases, and those of general distress, which have been received into 
the house during the last ten years. 

Admitted. Fever. Other Admitted. Fever. Other 

Diseases. Dfseaset. 

1826 136 101 34 1831 428 404 24 

1827 192 164 28 1832 600 682 18 

1828 336 313 22 1833 331 302 29 

1829 186 169 17 1634 676 666 It 

1830 110 92 18 1836 463 445 18 

Philosophical InstituHon. — In 1808 several gentlemen of scien- 
tific and literary taste associated together for the establishment of 
a philosophical institution, embracing all the branches of physical 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 293 

research, together with literature and the belles lettres. With the 
exception of the Andersonian Institution at Glasgow, no society 
of the same nature was at that time known to exist in Scotland. It 
was agreed to have courses of lectures by the members who vo- 
lunteered their services, and these lectures were accompanied with 
free and friendly conversations on the respective subjects. The 
first lecture was given on the 2d October 1809, by a late vene- 
rable minister of the Secession church in this place, Dr William 
Ferrier ; and its subject was, ^^ The nature and objects of philo- 
sophical research." In 1812, the institution was incorporated by 
charter from the magistrates and council. From that period till 
the present day, it has been continued in various degrees of pros- 
perity. While single lectures on miscellaneous subjects have been 
delivered, from time to time, by the members, a course or series 
has occasionally been given by professional gentlemen of the town : 
e. ff. On meteors and meteorology, by Dr James Kerr ; on Physi- 
ology, by Dr A. K. Young; on astronomy; and on Geology, by 
Rev. Dr Burns ; On Electricity, by Mr John Kennedy, and Mr 
Greorge Miller, &c At different times, lecturers have been spe- 
cially appointed at the expense of the institution ; and among these 
we mention the names of Mr John Steele, Mr John Murray, Mr 
John Kennedy, and Mr Hugo Reid. The present lecturer is 
Mr William Patrick, a licentiate of the Church of Scotland, au- 
thor of a volume on *^ the Botany of Lanarkshire," and to whose 
talents for Statistical research this work has on more than one occa- 
sion been indebted.* 

Attached to the institution, there is a valuable library of 500 
volumes on various subjects connected with arts and sciences, che- 
mistry, natural, moral, and experimental philosophy and history. 
To this library, the Rev. Dr Chalmers, when minister of the Tron 
Church in Glasgow, was a liberal benefactor. 

The museum contains a valuable collection of minerals, consist- 
ing of silver, copper, lead, and iron ores, of great variety and beau- 
ty. It contains also a complete set of the casts of the Elgin 
marbles, presented to the institution by the artist, our ingenious 
townsman, Mr John Henning. Among the articles of a curious 
and interesting nature may also be noticed, a set of large horns of 
the North American moose-deer; a set of spiral horns of the goat 
or sheep kind from the East Indies ; Esquimaux fish harpoon ; 

" See Articles «' Hamilton,** <' CambusUuig,** &c 



Digitized by 



Google 



294 RENFREWSHIUE. 

matchlock gun from Java, &c. The apparatus consists of an ex- 
cellent air-pump, and a variety of other philosophical instruments. 

It is deeply to be regretted, that an institution so valuable in a 
moral, as well as in a philosophical point of view, should not 
have met with more countenance from the inhabitants of Paisley. 
We are disposed to think that, in the view of the erection of an 
academy, provision should be made in its structure for a large lec- 
ture room, which may be used also for inspections and public ex- 
aminations of the schools ; a museum, and libraries, both philo- 
sophical and literary. We know few things that would tend more 
to raise the tone of thinking, and the scale of educational attain- 
ment 

Hope Temple Museum, — The articles belonging to the Philo- 
sophical institution have been lately lent to Mr Small, Mr Young, 
Mr Duncan, and other patriotic gentlemen of the place, who have 
established a museum, with public gardens, &c. at " Hope Temple," 
a space of several acres in the immediate vicinity of the town, which 
had been tastefully laid out many years ago by the then proprietor, 
John Love, Esq. a native of the place, and whose name will long 
be fresh and fragrant, in the esteem of all who can appreciate the 
claims of genuine and enlarged benevolence of heart. 

School of Arts* — In such a manufacturing community as this, 
much advantage would arise from the institution ofa school of arts 
or of design. It would foster native talent, and encourage a taste 
for the drawing of elegant patterns. Lectures on the department 
of design, and on the general principles of taste might be given ; 
and thus the belles lettres and philosophy might be made to pay 
homage to the genius of manufacturing industry. A repository 
for inventions, patterns, models, &c might also be formed on the 
plan of the admirable agricultural institution of this kind at Stir- 
ling, so creditable to the Messrs Drummond. We rejoice that the 
plan of a school of arts has been seriously proposed here, and that 
several gentlemen of enterprise and capital in the town have re- 
solved to give it their most deliberate attention. 

Provident Banks, — The Paisley Provident Bank was instituted 
in June 1815. At a public meeting called by the magistrates, a 
body of trustees and committee of directors were appointed, and 
a cashier chosen ; and the bank was opened in November of that 
year, under certain regulations, which were afterwards amended in 
1820, and confirmed by the Justices at a General Quarter Session 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 



295 



in March 1821. No sum less than one shilling is received, and no 
interest is paid on any sum less than L, 1, 5s. The deposits are 
lodged in the Paisley and Union Banks. The general superin. 
tendence is vested in fifteen trustees, chosen annually at a gene- 
ral meeting of the subscribers to the security fund of L. 1000. A 
standing committee of six of these takes the immediate charge. 
The cashier is named by the trustees annually, and finds security 
for his intromissions at the sight of the trustees, who meet once a 
year for the review of the transactions of the preceding year, and 
other business connected with the institution. 

It was considered of high importance, that the institution should 
contain within itself the means of its own existence, instead of be- 
ing indebted to general eleemosynary aid ; and on application to the 
Paisley and Union Banks, the only banks then in the town, they 
generously agreed to allow five per cent on the money to be deposit-:*' 
ed with them, which enabled the directors for some time to pay. 
to the depositors four per cent, leaving the remaining one per cent 
and interest on fractional sums, applicable to the defraying expen- 
ses of management The rate of interest has since fluctuated ac- 
cording to the money market ; but the directors have always been 
enabled from the same source to allow depositors the same rate 
as was generally allowed by the other banks to their mercantile 
customers. The subjoined statement will shew the yearly pro- 
gress of the institution. 

Statement of cash received and paid by the Paisley Provident 
Bank, since its commencement on Idth November 1815. 

Received, includ« Payments made to Sums paid into Interest paid 
ing interest put to depositors, includ- Paisl«'y & Union to depos. whose 



( 


credit of depositors 
at annual balance 
30th or 31st Oc- 


ing sums paid into 
the Paisley and 
Union Banks on 


1 


tober. 




interest receipts 
for their behoof. 




£ 8. 


d. 


<£ 8. d. 


1816, 


1192 10 


10 


459 19 


1817, 


725 19 


6 


466 6 9 


1818, 


1312 1 


10 


699 5 9 


1819, 


1596 4 


8 


1445 10 


1820, 
1821, 


1677 4 
2661 11 


!!♦ 


1358 10 114 
1626 5 5 


1822, 


3193 4 


^ 


2118 13 7^ 


1823, 


2526 4 


10 


2822 18 6 


1824, 


2861 


10 


3037 10 


1825, 


3634 18 


8 


3072 18 5 


1826, 


2550 5 


11 


4183 10 2 


BENFREW, 







Banks, on interest 


accounts were 


receipts in name of 
depositors, as stat- 
ed in the preceding 
column. 


closed, over 8c 
above the sums 
stated as paid in 
second column. 


£ I 


u d. 


£ 


s. d. 






3 


19 1 






3 


14 






6 


7 10 






16 


16 3 






8 


11 3 






11 


6 10 






18 


2 10 


380 





18 


16 6 


280 





18 


7 5 


710 





14 


16 6 


1366 





L7 


6 5 




Digitized by Vj( 


DOQle 



296 




RENFREWSHIRE. 










1827,£3012 1 


5 


£2419 18 


4 


£570 








£12 1] 


9 


1828, 3598 


10 


3292 5 


5 


1125 








14 7 


8 


182y, 2753 18 


5 


3122 17 


3 


770 








12 6 


5 


1830, 3146 


6 


3189 17 


8 


1040 








10 4 


2 


1831, 3502 19 


4 


8025 8 


4 


1005 








11 1 


11 


1832, 3275 8 


4 


3367 15 


2 


920 








13 18 


7 


1833, 4428 11 


4 


8536 7 


1 


1115 








11 17 


7 


1834, 4804 16 


1 


4777 15 


3 


1260 








18 7 


6 


1885, 5091 7 


10 


4696 2 


9 


1365 








16 1 


5 


1836, 4520 6 


8 


5361 13 


9 


1255 








28 12 


5 



£62,059 19 5 58,080 11 3 13,161 286 14 6 

In April last, the Town (~])ouncil resolved to receive small depo- 
sits of money on the security of the property and revenues of the 
burgh. Deposits of L. 1 to L. 30 are received by the chamber- 
lain at his office, every lawful day ; and four per cent of interest is 
'.allowed. The sum deposited in this savings bank up to the Isl 
.of January last has been L. 6040, 9s. dd. ; and the number of de- 
positors 501. The first sum received was on the 14th April 1836. 

On the same principle, the trustees of the River Cart did, in 
December last, agree to receive deposits of money at the rate of 
five per cent* on the security of the revenues of the river and pro- 
perty of the trust, from L. 1 to L. 50. 

It is desirable that all these institutions should be consolidated 
into one large establishment, under the newly fixed Parliamentary 
provisions, so advantageous to institutions of this nature. 

Of institutions of the nature of a manege^ there are many in 
Paisley, and they have been the means of much good. 

It is matter of regret that the principles of Life Insurance for 
widows and heirs are so little understood in this place. A fa- 
vourable commencement has been made ; and with one institu- 
tion an investment has been insured by about forty individuals to 
the extent of upwards of L. 20,000. 

Benevolent Societies. — The ** Widow and Orphan Society** has 
existed since 1776. With its small property, aided by an annual 
collection, it distributes its bounty in money, provisions, and coals, 
among several hundreds of most needy and grateful recipients; and 
is deservedly a great favourite with the public ^^ The Female 
Benevolent Society" was established in 1811, and has been most 
efficient in the relief of aged female poverty. Its income for some 
years past has averaged L. 200 per annum ; and it has been in the 
habit of distributing money, and especially articles of female cloth- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 297 

ing, among between 600 and 700 individuals. There are also 
institutions for the support of a school for educating the children 
of Roman Catholics; for instructing the Deaf and Dumb; for 
Gaelic Missions; for reformation of manners; for promoting 
temperance, &c. These are all conducted on the usual principles, 
and receive more or less of public countenance. 

Jail ajid Bridewell. — These were erected in 1820, and, in point 
of situation, security, healthfulness, and general arrangement of 
rooms, are unexceptionable. But they are both grievously defec- 
tive in regard to the means of solitary confinement, of suitable 
classification, and of moral and religious instruction. 

In the c7at7, there are nineteen apartments for prisoners confined 
on criminal warrants, and fifteen for prisoners on other warrants. 
Since the act was passed, limiting the imprisonment of debtors 
to sums above L. 8, 6s. 8d., very few prisoners of this description 
have been incarcerated ; and thus greater facilities are afibrded for 
accommodating prisoners of a different description. The number of 
criminal prisoners of all kinds during last year has been 319 ; and 
of debtors, 195. Of male criminals there have been 264 ; and of 
females, 55. Of both classes, 29 were under fifteen years of age. 
Of the whole number of criminals, 72 could neither read nor write. 
The number of prisoners at present, debtors and criminals, is 54. 
There are three small yards intended for airing grounds; but 
they are never used. Neither keeper nor turnkey reside within 
the jail, but in front of it No kifid of work is permitted within 
Uie jaiL 

The Bridewell contaiins forty -two cells; an hospital for the sick; 
and two airing grounds. The average number of inmates is 32 ; 
at present there are 39 ; of these 30 are males, and 9 females. 
At an averaffe of the usual inmates, 6 or 7 are under seven- 
teen years of age. A teacher attends one hour a day. There 
are at present 4 that cannot read, and this is generally the ave- 
rage. The inmates are employed in weaving, picking wool and 
foreign skins ; winding yam, veining or hand-sewing, &c. The 
produce of work in 1835 was L. 192, 18s. 5d.; and the gross ex- 
penditure was L.273; the difference being made up by a grant 
from the police assessment The diet is porridge and milk to 
breakfast, broth and bread to dinner; two meals a day; and on 
Sabbath, broth and a portion of beef are allowed. 

The numbers committed during last year were 188 ; of these 



Digitized by 



Google 



298 RENFREWSHIRE. 

133 were committed for the first time; 20 for the second ; 6 for the 
third; 8 for the fourth; 3 for the fifth; 1 for the sixth; 2 for the 
seventh ; I for the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, 
sixteenth, seventeenth, twenty-ninth, thirtieth, thirty-first, and thirty- 
second times. In regard to the last four of these instances, it was 
the same individual ; and this is commonly the case in four or five 
other instances. The inmates sleep in couples. Classification, 
silence, and proper discipline are attended to in this prison, to as 
great an extent as the limited space, and the supply of bed<-clothing 
for the sleeping cells, will admit A library of religious books is at^ 
tached to the prison, under the charge, and at the expense, of a so* 
cietyof young men, who attend every Sabbath morning to give out 
and receive the books, and to converse with the inmates on their 
contents. The books are greatly valued by the inmates, and well 
used by them. Attendance on chapel is generally held out to, and 
viewed by, the inmates as a great privilege. This Bridewell is un- 
der excellent management ; and accomplishes its end as fully as 
any one of the extent in the kingdom. 

A chapel, very commodious and well arranged, is common 
to jail and bridewell ; and divine service is regularly conduct- 
ed on Sabbath evenings by the Established and Dissenting Pres* 
byterian ministers of the place. Pious laymen occasionally visit 
both jail and bridewell, for imparting religious instruction ; and a 
medical attendant for both is specially appointed ; but there is fw 
chaplain for either ! 

No subject of national police or of public morals requires more 
loudly parliamentary interposition than the state of the prisons of 
Scotland. The exertions of the " Prison Discipline Society of 
Scotland" deserve every encouragement; and their late admirable 
" address," with its very valuable " appendix," ought to be exten- 
sively circulated, and seriously pondered by every well-wisher to 
the best interests of mankind. Secretary of that society, Dr Gre- 
ville, Edinburgh. 

Faculty of Procurators. — The " Faculty of Procurators" before 
the courts of Paisley and Renfrewshire was incorporated by royal 
charter, 24th June 1803. The office-bearers consist of a dean, 
treasurer, clerk, three councillors, three examinators, and a libra- 
rian. Its members at present are 50 in number. The library 
is an excellent collection of the best standard law books. The fii-^ 
culty form also a society for mutual assurance in favour of the wi- 
dows of members. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 299 

Medical Famliy. — The medical practitioners in Paisley and 
Johnston are at present 84. There is a ^^ Medical Society" 
in the town, for mutual improvement by monthly meetings, read- 
ing essays, conversation, &c. A valuable medical library is at- 
tached to the House of Recovery, in whose committee room the so* 
ciety holds its meetings. From the funds of this institution, the 
sum of L. 10, lOs. is annually given to the library, as a small ac- 
knowledgment of the valuable gratuitous services of the faculty. 

New Coal Company. — A company has been lately formed for 
working the coal in the fields of Hartfield and Meikleriggs, within 
a mile of the town. If the coal is good and in sufficient quantity, 
the additional supply thus furnished to the town will be of essen- 
tial service to its trade and manufactures. 

Periodicals^ 8fc. — The Paisley Repository, 2 vols. ; the " Harp 
of Renfrewshire," a collection of ancient and modem poetry, chiefly 
the products of the district, with interesting biographical sketches 
of the "poets of Renfrewshire;" and the "Paisley Magazine," 
edited by the late Mr Motherwell, and characterized by talent and 
varied local information, — may be mentioned as favourable speci- 
mens of the periodical and ordinary literature of Paisley. 

Newspapers. — A very respectable weekly paper, entitled, " The 
Paisley Advertiser," published every Saturday morning, has sur- 
vived considerable opposition, and promises to maintain its present 
position from the &irness of its details, the soundness of its prin- 
ciples, and the judgment and good sense which generally charac- 
terize it Its circulation is at present greater than at any former 
period. Another weekly journal, called the Glasgow Saturday 
Evening Post, and Paisley and Renfrewshire Reformer, is printed 
at Glasgow, and published there and at Paisley at the same hour. 
It advocates ultra-radical politics, and is eagerly perused by those 
who are attached to these views. Sixty years ago only one news- 
paper was known as coming to Paisley. It belonged to the ma- 
gistrates, and it lay on the council table for the use of respectable 
freemen* Its name, the Edinburgh Courant Now, there are com- 
paratively few individuals above the lowest rank who do not enjoy 
the luxury of a peep at least, into one or more of these influential 
organs of public sentiment 

Libraries. — The " Public Subscription Library" is a valuable 
collection of miscellaneous literature. It now amounts to 4500 vo- 
lumes, and it is supported by 200 subscribers. The " Trades Li- 
brary," supported chiefly by the operative classes, is a very extensive 



Digitized by 



Google 



300 RENFREWSHIRE. 

and valuable collection of several thousand volumes. Most of the 
congregations have libraries of religious books attached to them^ 
for the use of the members and the public There is a library of 
theological books, to the extent of 800 volumes, supported by volun- 
tary subscription. Of " Book-clubs" the number cannot be stated* 
They have long been in high repute ; and their periodical sales 
have been the means of introducing many valuable literary works 
into the houses of the members. 

Stereotype PrirUing. — Printing by stereotype has been lately be- 
gun in Paisley by Mr Alexander Gardner, Bookseller and Sta- 
tioner ; and we have at present before us a very promising speci- 
men of the work in a neat edition of the psalms and paraphrases 
of a small size, and very moderate price. The psalms are accom- 
panied with the valuable notes of John Brown of Haddington, 
abridged ; and the paraphrases have appended to them what we 
never saw before, a short summary of the contents of each, with 
the name and biographical notice of the author. We understand 
that Mr John Neilson, long well known as a printer in this place, 
has commenced business in the same line. 

Lithography. — Lithograph printing, writing, and ornamental 
sketching, are executed with great beauty and exactness by Messrs 
Robert Hay and Son, at the Advertiser Office. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 

In bringing our remarks on the town and parishes of Paisley to 
a close, we cannot help expressing our belief that this locality 
possesses an interest to which few, if any other, places in Scotland 
can lay claim. Whether we wander on the banks of its streams, 
or follow the antiquary to the ruins of its castles, or to the remains 
of its far-famed abbey, or dive into the pits of its richest minerals, 
or ascend the heights of nature or of art, and gaze on the extent 
and beauty of the scenery around, or accompany our intelligent 
farmers in their healthful occupations, or visit our extensive fac- 
tories teeming with their busy population, or examine our schools 
and places of moral and religious instruction, — we meet with 
much not only to interest, but also to instruct. But deep as 
is the impression which the present aspect of Paisley is calculated 
to make, the impression becomes much deeper when we compare 
Paisley as it n6w is, with what it was when the old Statistical Ac- 
count was published, and with what, from its continued progress, 
it is likely at no distant day to become. 

Compared with its state when the Statistical Account was pub* 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 301 

Ushed, forty-five years ago, Paisley has made an astonishing pro- 
gress. In agriculture, those improvements which were then com- 
menced, had raqpidly advanced by the time (1812) in which Mr 
Wilson of Thornly published his excellent agricultural survey of 
Renfrewshire, to which reference may be made for farther infor- 
mation on this important branch of statistics. Since that period, 
again, improvements have been carried to a still greater extent ; 
additions have been made to the land under cultivation ; draining, 
in its different styles, has been introduced, fences are more parti- 
cularly attended to, the most approved rotation of crops has been 
adopted, the most improved implements of husbandry are in use, 
and the recently erected farm-steadings greatly surpass those of 
former days, in neatness, commodiousness^ and comfort. We have 
therefore every reason to conclude, both from what has been al- 
ready done, and from the spirit which prevails among our farmers, 
as well as from the encouragement which the Agricultural Society 
holds out, in all departments of rural economy, that no improve- 
ment will be introduced into any county of Scotland, without iSnd- 
ing its way to the parish of Paisley. 

But the change appears still greater, when from the rural dis- 
tricts we turn to the town. Its population has nearly trepled. Its 
public buildings, its private dwelling-houses, its streets, its whole 
appearance as a town, indicate the advance of wealth, of refinement, 
and of public spirit We have now a police establishment, well de- 
fined and effective. Paisley is no longer a mere village, of no 
weight absolutely in the political, scale of the nation, — it has its 
own representative in the supreme legislative assembly of the em- 
pire, to express its mind, and to watch over its municipal and 
commercial interests. We have now our ^' castle,'' with all its ex- 
tensive and valuable offices for the public business of the county 
and the town. We have our bridewell, one of the best construct- 
ed and best managed in Scotland. We have our Coffee-room, 
reading-rooms, libraries, book-clubs, and weekly periodicals of 
intelligence. In addition to the *^ PubUc Dispensary," which 
existed in an infant state when the last Statistical Account was 
published, we have now a commodious and well managed Infir- 
mary or house of recovery. We have now, also, our societies or 
public associations for law, for medicine, for philosophy and the 
arts. In place of one banking establishment on a small scale, we 
have now two of well-established credit, and which the town claims 
as properly her own; three branches of banks which have their prin- 



Digitized by 



Google 



302 RENFREWSHIRE. 

cipals in Edinbui^h and Glasgow ; and two provident institutions. 
Of Fire and Life Insurance agencies we have nineteen ; and in ad- 
dition, the " Amicable Mutual Assurance and Endowment Society 
of Scotland," established on the most liberal and economical prin- 
ciples, has here a prosperous branch. The old ^^ Friendly Socie- 
ties/' which were generally established on fallacious calculations, 
have either died away, or are giving place to institutions of the 
same nature on better principles. Our visits to Glasgow, which, 
fifty years ago, were made at respectable intervals by tradesmen 
on foot, or by those who could afford it on horseback, are now 
made hourly, in all the varied modes which land or water carriage 
can command. These are some of the visible and palpable points 
of comparison between our town as it was and as it is ; and look- 
ing on Paisley even in these external relations, candour must say 
of it, that it promises to be, in a higher sense than it has hitherto 
been, one of the great rising communities of Scotland. 

But Paisley must stand or fall by its manufacturing industry ; 
and it becomes a very serious question, what may be the state and 
prospects of Paisley in this respect ? At the time of the last Sta- 
tistical report. Paisley had enjoyed a lengthened period of manu- 
facturing prosperity, and it continued to do so for a good many 
years after. Perhaps the most prosperous days for Paisley were 
those from 1803 to 1810, when the Continent was the seat of war, 
and when the maritime and commercial preponderance of insular 
Great Britain was propitiously felt in all her marts of trade. A 
good workman could, at that period, realize by the labour of his 
hands from L. 1, 5s to L. 2, 10s.,a*week I The consequence was 
an overstocking of the trade, and a glutting of the markets. Some 
extensive failures occurred, and by 1812, a most serious check 
had been given to our manufactures. From that time till 1830, 
we have had our seasons of pros|)erity and of decline; we have 
waxed and we have waned ; but never did our operatives regain 
their former position of gainful industry. Time and the succes- 
sion of events work wonders, and for the last eight years Paisley 
may be said to have been in a prosperous condition. Experience 
has taught many salutary lessons. The branches of trade have been 
multiplied. Operatives have not been so ready to bring up their 
children to their own trade, but have sought out other means of oc- 
cupation, — looking beyond, it may be, the magic circle of the 
family fireside, and sending them to a distance that they may be* 
nefit other places by those mental energies which might have 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 303 

pined for want of encouragement and a &ir field at home. The 
business of master manufacturers is now conducted on better prin- 
ciples. Their goods are not now entrusted exclusively to agents 
in London or at a distance, who might possibly feel little interest 
in an immediate and large return. Their eyes have been opened 
to the terrors of these dismal abodes, — bonding warehouses I Part* 
ners in the respective concerns have periodically gone forth to the 
great marts of commerce, to be their own salesmen, or agents in 
their own pay have been duly commissioned. Branches of Paisley 
houses have been established in London and other great fields of 
commerce, and the connexions thus formed have been of high 
benefit, both to the parties concerned in them, and to the trade at 
large. Improvements on machinery have been received with 
readiness by the manu&cturers of Paisley, and applied to use on 
a scale which, when compared with former days, may be termed 
extensive. On the whole, we apprehend that the prospects of 
this place, in regard to the improvement and extent of its manu- 
factures, were never more bright than at the present moment. 

In anticipating the future progressive advancement of [Paisley, 
in wealth and consequence, we count a good deal on the improved 
modes of communication which are at present in progress. That 
swiftness, ease, and cheapness of conveyance will, as a matter of 
course, lead to a vast increase of travelling, both on business and 
on pleasure, is strikingly illustrated by the fact, that the Paisley 
Canal, which used to have its 20 or 30,000 passengers annually, can 
now boast of somewhat approaching to half a million, while multi- 
tudes continue to travel by coaches or by waggons ; and we have 
no doubt that the improved navigation of the Cart, combined with 
the formation of not less than three rail-roads, to the Clyde at Ren- 
frew, to Greenock, and to Ayrshire, with corresponding relations 
to Glasgow, will add unspeakably to the extent of intercourse be- 
twixt Paisley and a vast multitude of places of great and growing 
importance. Thus the conveyance of raw material, of coals, corn, 
and goods of all kinds in a safe, quick, and moderately expensive 
mode, will afibrd many facilities to the extension of our trade. A 
community which has hitherto been exclusively devoted to manu- 
fiictures, and which has looked to Glasgow as its only medium of 
commercial communication, may gradually acquire a commercial 
character of its own, and thus begin to look up, like Aberdeen and 
Dundee, in the manly confidence of a rapidly growing indepen- 
dence. 



Digitized by 



Google 



304 RENFREWSHIRE. 

When we look at Paisley in a moral and religious view, we have 
our hopes mingled with many fears. Since the last Statistical Ac- 
count was published, the religious character of the place has much 
deteriorated. French infidelity and Sunday drilling, combined 
with other causes to poison the principles, and relax the ha- 
bits of the rising generation ; while the rage for political reading 
and speculation abstracted the minds of the operatives from the 
more profitable, but less exciting matters of religion and the Bible. 
In the meantime, our educational and religious means did not keep 
pace either with the advancing population or the growing dege- 
neracy. Indeed, education amongst us has all along been, and 
even at present is, in a very low state ; and so long as a decent 
pecuniary encouragement is wanting to that most useful dass 
of citizens, the teachers of youth in elementary branches, we 
can scarcely expect any rapid change to the better. The in* 
come of many private teachers in this place and neighbourhood 
does not exceed L. 30 a-year. The means of public religion 
and of pastoral superintendence have not been adequate to the 
exigencies of a growing population ; and that beautiful paro- 
chial economy, which the fathers of the Scottish Reformation 
handed down as a most precious boon to their successors, has 
become in this, as in all our large communities, Ijttle more than 
a shadow. The moral influence of the ministers of religion is at- 
tenuated just in proportion to the extent of surface over which it 
is diffused ; while divisions among Christian professors, partly poli- 
tical, and partly religious^ are not favourable to an harmonious, 
well- concentrated, and persevering assault on the strongholds of 
the common enemy. * 

And yet we are not without our " lights" amid the " shadows." 
Even in a religious point of view, for intelligence and accuracy of 
sentiment, for zeal in benevolent and religious enterprise, and 
for general decency and sobriety of deportment. Paisley, with all 
its faults, will stand a comparison with any city of the same extent 
in the kingdouL From her pulpits, of every denomination, the 

* Dissent in Paisley is of comparatively modern growth, and it has been occasion- 
ed chiefly by mismanagement on the part of the gua^ians of the Established Church. 
The two Relief churches, which are the largest of the dissenting meeting' hoases in 
Paisley, are flagrant prooft of this. The West Relief was built in consequence of 
the refiisal of the town-council to erect a church in the western district in 1 781 ; and 
the East Relief was occasioned bv a similar refusal in 1807, to abandon the plan of 
roufnng seats, and to build an additional church. Early in that year, the general 
session had memorialised the council for a fourth church, but no measures whatever 
were adopted for its erection. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAISLEY. 305 

sacred truths of the gospel of peace are preached in purity. No 
place can boast of a more pains^taking and efficient eldership. No 
where have more commendable effi:>rts been made in aid of church 
extension, and her becoming ally. Christian education. On the 
whole, the hopes of her best friends are high ; and they are so, 
mikinly because based on the assured triumphs of truth, rather 
than on the anticipated growth of commercial greatness. 



From the following passage in ^* Bannatyne's Memoriales," late* 
ly printed by the Bannatyne Club, it appears that the Abbey and 
Place of Paisley was at one time a kind of fort of considerable 
strength. 

<^ In the meantyme (Jan. 1570-1,) Paisley was taken from the 
Lord Semple's servandis be the Hammiltounes, andbe thame keipit 
till that the Regent (Lennox) with his forces tuike it and delyver- 
ed the place in keiping to the Lord Cathcart. Great moyen was 
made to raise the seidge, and so to frustrat the poure Regent of 
that enterpryse ; but God assisted him then so that he gat the 
Place of Paisley randerit without promeis or compositioune, uther 
than the Regentis will, undeclaired." P. 82. A more full account 
of this affair is given by the Regent Lennox in his " Letter of In- 
structions to Robert Pitcairn, Commendator of Dumfermling, Se- 
cretary of State, &c." printed in the Appendix to this very valuable 
work of the Bannatyne Club, 1836. " Upone Weddinsday the 
xviL of Januar instant, Claud Hamilton, accompaneit with Johnne 
Hammiltoun of Drumry, sonne to the Bischope of Sandandrois, 
Arthour Hammiltoun of Myrretoun, and utherisof that name, with 
a nowmer of souldiouris, come and be force enterit in the Abbay 
and Place of Paisley, pertening to the Ix)rd Sempill, now being pri- 
soner and captive in thair handis ; and hes takin sum of his freindis 
and servandis presoneris, and reft, spoilzeit^ and away takin his 
horsis and utheris guidis being thair, and put a garrysoun in the 
samin Place and Abbay, intending to retene and keip it be force ; 
the same being and continewing in the possession of the said Lord 
Sempill, sen the dispositioune maid to him thairof, efter the foir* 
faltore orderlie led, als weill aganis the said Bischope of Sandan- 
drois, usufructuar and lyfrentar of the benefice, as aganis the said 
Claud Hammiltoun, nominat successor to the same ; and sensyn, 
the said Bischope in persoun hes cum to the said Abbay, and thair 
fensit and haldin courtis in name of the queue, the Kingis moder, 
minassing the tenentis that he will be payit of thrie zeirs rentis bi- 



Digitized by 



Google 



306 RENFREWSHIRE. 

gane ; and hes alredie begune and spoilled and reft diverse horsi^ 
and guidis fiirth of the grund of my awin propir landis of Dernlie 
and Cancklystoun. (Cruikystoun.)'' In the reply on the Queen's 
part to this complaint of Lennox, it is maintained that Sempill had 
consented to the surrender of Paisley, ^^ quhilk being ane place of 
sic strenth culd not easselie be takin gif himself had not consentit 
to the same." P. 362. A pretty fair explanation is also given in the 
sequel of the other matters of complaint on the part of the Regent. 
On 20th October 1572, the General Assembly complain that ^^ messe 
is said in certane places of this countie/' and Paisley is particu- 
larized, and the civil power is importuned to use means ^^ For ap- 
prehending of the messe sayaris, and also the hearesis, to underlye 
the law." P. 278. Thirty years after, Lady Abercorn being a Pa- 
pist, gave no small trouble to the session and presbytery of the 
bounds, and proved a great enemy to the progress of the Protestant 
faith* It appears that in Popish times. Paisley was one of the four 
places in Scotland to which pilgrimages were made.* 

K. B. — Since this Account was written a dark cloud has come 
over our manufacturing prospects ; but we trust that the stagna* 
tion will be only temporary. 



In addition to the acknowledgmeDts made in the course of the preceding account, 
the compilers beg to offer their sincere thanks for the yaluable assistance received 
from the following gentlemen in the seTeral departments noticed : 

In Geology, — Dr A. K. Young; Mr William Kerr : Mr George Miller, of the 
Blantyre Cotton Works, formerly of Paisley ; Mr Wilson, Junior, Hurlet ; Mr 
Oatt of the Hurlet Alum Company; and Mr Montgomery of Cloak, who has been 
lately honoured with a piece of plate (value 25 sovereigns) by the Highland Society, 
for his valual)le Essay on the Mineralogy of Renfrewshire. 

In the departmenU of Topography and Ecclesiastical Antiquities, — The Rev. W. 
M. Wade, A. M. Minister of Trinity (Episcopal) Chapel ; Mr Gbsrfbrd, Johnston ; 
Mr John Dunn, Writer, Paisley ; and Mr M* Julian, Glasgow. 

In the department of Agriculture, — Mr Carlile of Houston ; and Mr William Glen 
of Hawkhead Mains. 

In the departmento of Trade and Manufactures, — Mr Alexander Carlile; Mr 
Archibald Yuile, manufacturer, Paisley; Mr George Miller, Blantyre; and Mr 
Robert Lang. 

For the article on <* Friendly Societies/' we are indebted to Mr Alexander Bor- 
land, of the Western Bank. 

in the article on <* Civil History" we have availed ourselves of some valuable pa* 
pers which had been drawn up by two intelligent citizens now gone, — Provost Wii- 
Itam Carlile, and Mr Gibson, Town-clerk of the burgh. 

To Mr Campbell, Sheriff-substitute ; Mr Smith, Secretary of the Maitland Club ; 
Mr Gavin Lang, Town-clerk, and his partner, Mr Wilson ; Mr Alexander Gibson, 
Depute-clerk to the Justices of Renfrewshire ; and to other gentlemen whose names 
^ not mentioned, we owe many obligations for the use of their libraries, and fbr im- 
portant information on various branches connected with the Statistics of Paisley. 
The gentlemen of the Maitland Club obligingly acceded to our request for the use 
of their plates of the seal of the Monastery— R. B. R. M. 

* Notes to Renfrewshire Characters and Scenery, p. 96. 

Paisley, Feb. 13^A 1837. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PARISH OF NEILSTON. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. ALEXANDER FLEMING, D. D., MINISTER. 



L — Topography and Natural History.* 
Name. — Tradition has handed down various accounts of -the 
origin of the name. By one of these, it is derived from one of 
. Haa/s generals, called Neill^ who, with his routed division, flying 
from the battle of Largs, was overtaken, in a field near Kirkton, 
by the Scotch army, and slain. A tumulus, according to the 
fashion of the times, was raised oVer his grave, and a stone set up 
to mark the spot, which was ciiUed Neilstone; — and hence the 
origin of the name. Another account is, that, in the reign of 
Malcolm III., Donald, Lord of the Isles, having raised an insur- 
rection against his sovereign, was met by Malcolm, and, after a se- 
vere conflict, was routed at a place called Hairlaw, on the bor- 
ders, or, as some say, in the parish; — that Neil, one of the clans- 
men of Donald, fled with the remnant of his islanders from the 
plain to the hills, whither he was pursued and slain, and a stone, 
set up near the village to mark the spot where he fell, was called 
Neilstone, which gave the name to the surrounding district 

Both these accounts are pure fiction. We find the name of 
Neilstoun given to the district, 103 years before the battle of the 
Largs, and 251 years before the days of Malcolm III. The bat- 
tle of the Largs was fought in 1260; and the battle of Hairlaw 
in 1411 : but, in the cHartuIary of the Abbey of Paisley, we find, 
that, in the year 1160, Robert de Croc of Crocstoun, assigns over 
the patronage of " Neilstoun" to the monks of the Abbey of 
^^ Paisley," on consideration that mass be regularly said there, 

* In the former Statistical Account, the parish of Neilston is made to hold a con- 
spicuous place. It was selected by Sir John Sinclair as one of the three parishes which 
he had translated into French, and transmitted to the French Chamber of Commerce^ 
in order to shew the progress which manufactures had made in some of our land- 
ward parishes. Whether Neilston — from its vast population, its large and numerous 
manufactories, iti copious springs of purest water, its streams, rivulets, and water- 
falls — holds still, amongst the landward parishes of Scotland, the same high rank it 
held in 1792, is now to be seen. 



Digitized by 



Google 



308 RENFREWSHIRE. 

« pro salute aninuB stueJ' The orthography of the name, in this 
chartidaryj leads to the conclusion, that Neilston took its origin 
from a person called ^^ Neil," its first inhabitant ; and the termi- 
nation " tun^' — now pronounced town — denoting the dwelling of 
the proprietor, — naturally enough gave to his place the name of 
" NeiVstun," or « Neilstoun— the town of Neill. 

Situation^ Extent^ Sfc. — Neilston lies in Latitude 55** 47' 15*' 
north; and in Longitude 4® 21' 35" west. Its form is that of a 
wedge or dovetail expanded, its narrowest part being to the 
east, and its broadest to the south and south-west Its length, 
by measurement is, 8^ miles, and its breadth 4J fully ; it con- 
tains 36 square miles, or 24,320 imperial acres. There is 
nothing in which those who have written about this parish dif- 
fer more than in its length and breadth. Some make it 9 miles 
long from east to west ; and three miles broad on an average. 
Others make it 7 miles from S. E. to N. W., and nearly half 
as much in breadth, in a cross direction. Some make it to 
contain 13,570 Scotch acres; others only 12,500 English acres. 
One copies the errors of another, and makes it ^^ 7 and 8 miles in 
length; and, across, its averages, about 3 J miles; containing 
19.56 square miles, or 12,500 acres;" — whilst others make it 10| 
in length, and 5^ in breadth. 

All these computations seem to be mere guesses. The last of 
them does not refer to Neilston, as it now is, but as it was in an- 
cient times. In this view, the last measurement, lOJ x 5|, is 
nearly correct Neilston proper, in olden times^ included the 
baronies of Knockmnde and Shutterflat, which, though now dis- 
joined from Neilston, and annexed to Beith and Dunlop parishes, 
in Ayrshire, are, nevertheless, still in Renfrewshire, and pay into 
that county all their public burdens of cess, &c. - Though dis- 
joined from Neilston, their civilia still belong to it, being a dis- 
junction " quoad sacra tantumJ^ From the eastern extremity of 
the parish, at Robert Young's of Parkhouse, to the Bridge of 
Coldstream, or Shutterflat, which separates the old parish from 
that of Beith, the distance, by measurement, is 10^ miles fully ; 
and taking its average breadth from the Long Loch to Cawpla'- 
Dam, it will be fully 5 miles. But the accurate length and 
breadth of Neilston, as it is at present, is that noted above. 

Boundaries. — On the east, Neilston is bounded by Eastwood 
parish ; on the south by Mearns; on the S. W. by Stewarton and 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEIL8TON. 309 

Dunlop; od the W. by Beith and Lochwinnoch ; and on the N. 
by the Abbey Parish of Paisley, which runs paraUel to it for 
about eight miles. 

Topographical Appearances. — Properly speaking, there are no 
mountain ranges in this parish, though it has quite a Highland sce- 
nery to the west The surface is exceedingly irregular and uneven. 
On its eastern boundary, the land is flat ; in the south and west 
parts, it 18 hilly, having an elevation from 400 to nearly 900 feet 
above the level of the Clyde, at the Broomielaw. Here and there, 
the ground rises into small hills of considerable height. The 
highest hills are the Pad, and Corkindale^lawj which rise from 
820 to about 900 feet above the sea. These are separated by 
a narrow valley, or ravine, through which the great tunipike 
road from Glasgow and Paisley runs till it enters Ayrshire. The 
Pad range of hills extends for about two and a-half miles ; and 
the Corkindate^lttw range, with those of the Fereneze, stretch 
from east to west, fully four miles. The Pad range gradually 
slope to the valley or ravine, and has a northern exposure, as 
does also that of Corkindale-law, whose declivities have a southern 
exposure of very great beauty. Through this valley, the water of 
Levem flows for miles to the east. To the west, the valley leads 
along the lovely banks of Loch*Libo, which, in our opinion, ex* 
celb in picturesque scenery, Rydal water in Cumberland I 

From the Pad^ the view to the east is as grand as it is extensive. 
But it is from Corkindale-law where a view presents itself unri- 
valled in beauty and extent by any in the west of Scotland, from a 
similar elevation. It commands, in a fine clear day, the half of 
the counties of Scotland. The spot on which you stand is a 
small piece of table-land, not more than forty yards square. 
From this, the hill slopes in all directions. On looking north, 
you have Dumbarton rock; the vale of the Leven; SmoUet's 
monument ; Loch Lomond, and some of its islets, and Benlo- 
mond in the back ground, with the whole range of the Gram- 
pians I Looking east, the city of Glasgow and its suburbs : 
and the whole vale of the Clyde, from Hamilton to Kilpatrick, 
with the hills of Kilpatrick, Campsie, and top of Dunmayock ; 
the western Lomonds of Fife, Bathgate, and Pentland hills, 
and Tinto firom his base to the top. From thence you have the 
tract of the whole run of the Clyde, from its source till it joins the 
Atlantic ocean. On looking south, you have the Lead, Cumnock, 



Digitized by 



Google 



310 RENFREWSHIRE. 

and Sanquhar hills, with others in Kirkcudbrightshire ; whilst far 
in the distance you have, on a very clear day and in a humid atmo- 
sphere, the tops of Skiddaw and Saddleback in Cumberland. These 
are distinctly seen in this state of the atmosphere, through the ravine 
which stretches onwards between Tinto and the Cumnock hills. 

Turning to the south-west, a rich and variegated prospect meets 
the eye : The pleasure groundsof Eglintoun ; the extended plain 
of Ayrshire, with its many noblemen's seats, and princely lawns, 
Irvine spire, the Troon and the mouth of Ayr harbour, with the 
lands around it ; Brown Carrick hill, Lochryan, some of the hills 
in Galloway; the mountains of Morn and Newry, in Ireland, and 
the beautiful rock of Ailsa standing like a sugar-loaf, in the midst 
of the ocean, with the whole sweep of the waters from Donagha- 
dee to Irvine harbour. 

In a fine, bright, calm, summer, or autumnal evening, nothing 
can surpass the splendour of the scene ; especially when there is 
added the multitude of fishing-boats plying on its waters and about 
its harbours ; the stately steamers going to and returning from 
Liverpool, Dublin, and Bel&st ; and at times the West India fleets, 
with all canvas set, hastening to their destined ports. These, with 
the romantic island of Arran, and its lofty Goatfield as a skreen to 
it, on the west south-west, form a scene, unparalleled by any with 
which we are acquainted, or have ever beheld in Scotland, En- 
gland, or Ireland. 

Meteorology. — The temperature of the atmosphere here is, at 
all times, very various. In the parish, there are three distinct cli- 
mates, and, therefore, to have an exact account of the weather in 
it, an observatory would be necessary in each of them. 

But though we have no public artificial observatory, with its ther- 
mometers, to mark the various degrees of heat in the parish, we have 
a natural one, which never deceives, viz. the leaf of the poplar tree. 
In the neighbourhood of Barrhead, and all the level district around 
it on the east, which is the first climate, the weather is much 
milder. There, the leaf of the poplar appears ten days before it 
is seen in the second district, which begins at the parting of the 
roads to Neilston and Irvine, a little above Mr Cunningham's re- 
servoir, and stretches on to about a mile to the west of Neilston 
village ; and in the third district, the leaf of the poplar is not 
seen for a fortnight after it is out at Neilston. In all these three 
districts, the change of climate is remarkabla No one ever came 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTOK. 311 

to the separation of the two roads aboYe-mentioned, who did not 
feel immediately a sensible difference, let the weather be what it 
may. The consequences are, the farmer, in the first district, has 
his operations finished three weeks earlier in spring than those in the 
third, and the same interval, nearly, takes place in harvest. 

Owing to its geographical position, the rain that falls here, with . 
the high winds, storms, and tempests, which accompany it, is 
greater than in most of the parishes around. The parish stands, 
as it were, on an isthmus, between the Friths of Forth and Clyde. 
From its great elevation, it has the whole sweep of the east winds 
from the Frith of Forth to the Atlantic Ocean ; and which, in 
April and May, frequently traverse it with great violence. But it 
is from the S. W. and W. whence our storms and tempests, and delu- 
ges of rain, generally come. From these quarters, the wind prevails 
nearly three parts of the year. At times, especially in winter, its 
power is tremendous, and strikes with such force as if it would 
overturn by its fury, not only trees and houses, but mountains 
from their base. It seems, on such occasions, to be the land of 
storms. 

The cause of these storms and tempests here is very obvious* 
The parish lies, as already noticed, between the two Friths, or ra- 
ther between the Atlantic and Grerman Oceans. The temperature 
of the German Ocean, owing to its shallowness and narrowness, 
gets sooner cooled and sooner heated than the Atlantic, with its 
great breadth and depth of water. Hence the cold winds, rush- 
ing from Mount Caucasus in spring, along the Baltic, cool the 
German Ocean with great rapidity, and, hurrying to the Atlantic, 
to keep up the equilibrium of the temperature there, give us 
those cold, chilly easteni blasts in April and May, which, with 
their hoar, are so unhealthy. 

The converse of this takes place, so soon as the German Ocean 
and Continent get heated, to a higher temperature, than the At- 
lantic The colder winds of the Atlantic, rushing to the east, 
where the atmosphere has become rarified, create the storms and 
tempests so common in the higher districts of this parish. Rushing 
from the S. S. W., there is not a single obstacle to break their sweep 
from Donaghadee to the Neilston-hills. Hence it happens that 
no extremity of weather continues for more than twelve hours, 
without modification. 

Possessing such a variety of climate, it is natural to suppose that 
the parish must be very unhealthy. That it is not more so than 

aCNFREW. X 



Digitized by 



Google 



312 



RENFREWSHIRE. 



the parishes around, the following tables, constructed in 1828, by 
Charles Ritchie, M.D., will demonstrate. Whilst the state of the 
parish remains the same, as then, they may be considered as appli- 
cable to its population, and must be valuable, to the statist and ac- 
tuaries of Life Insurance oflSces. 

It is true that the state of disease will be modified, increased, 
or diminished, by the nature of the seasons; by the different 
kinds of food, clothing and lodging ; by moral, or immoral habits, 
and by the affections, or temperament of mind which are cherished 
or indulged in. Making allowance for all these, the amount of 
sickness and deaths may be pretty accurately ascertained from the 
following tables. 

No. I. 
Abstract of amount of Sickness in Friendly Societies. 



1. A Male Society of 80 
years* standing, 

2. A Male Society 27 
years* standing, 

a A Male Society 26 
years* standing, 

4. A Male Society 20 
years* standing, 

Total of Males, 

5. A Female Society 6 
years* standing, 

6- A Female Society 6 
years* standing, 

Total of Females, 



eA 



3930 
1943 
n41 
1605 

328 
564 



414 
181 
360 
147 

16 



39 



Yearly Average 
Number. 



I 



131 

72 

120. 

80.26 



404. 



9 94. 



148.66 



Hate per cent< 
per annum. 






Average. 



-Si 

.Si 



1*1 



13.80 
6.70 
.84 
7.36 



8013. 



41.69 



64.66 2.66 



11. 
13.66 



No. II. 
Comparative Sickness in different Trades in Neilston Parish. 

Number in Number 
Trades. societies. sick. Proportion. 



Wrights, 


463 


25 


1 in 18.52 


Calico-printers, 


852 


49 


1 in 17.4 


Farmers, 


354 


27 


I in 13.11 


Cotton-spinners, 


754 


59 


1 in 12.7 


I^Abourcrs, 


1629 


170 


lin 9.58 


Smiths, 


132 


15 


I in 8-8 


Bleachers, 


825 


94 


1 in 8.77 


Weavers, 


aS25 


- 377 


I in 8.77 


Tailors, 


264 


42 


lin 6.2 

Digitized by v_ 



Google 



NEILSTON. 



313 



No. IIL 

Comparative Numbers of Adults and Children treated in General 

Practice during Two Years. 









1825. 












1826. 








Males. 


Fexnales. 


Chik 


Iren. 
Died 

1 




Ma 
Sick. 


les. 
Died 



Females. 


Children. 1 


Sick 


Died 


Sick. 


Died 


Sick 
9 


Sick. 
12 


Died 

1 


Sick. 
5 


Died 



January, 


13 


2 


28 


February, 


9 





24 





25 


4 




fi 





•3 





10 


1 


March, 


11 


1 


13 





18 


2 




18 


1 


11 





10 


1 


April, 


15 


2 


15 





8 







12 





8 





15 


1 


May, . 


14 


2 


19 





13 







4 





13 





26 


1 


June, 


16 


3 


29 


1 


13 


2 




9 





12 





8 





July, . 


9 


1 


23 


2 


12 







10 





8 





16 





August, . 


17 





16 


2 


24 


2 




10 


1 


20 





20 


1 


September, 


11 





14 


1 


15 


1 




10 


1 


11 





18 





October, . 


12 


1 


10 


1 


14 


3 




15 





10 


1 


15 


1 


November, 


10 





16 





11 


2 




11 


1 


4 


1 


15 


2 


December, 


12 


' 


9 





7 







12 
273 



17 


13 
341 


I 


12 


1 


12 


.338 


26 



No. IV. 
Abstract of Burials in Neilston for Four Years. 





1823. 


1824. 


1825. 


1826. 1 


1 


1 


i 


1 


1 


'3 


i 


1 


.1 




U 




^ 


'*i 


H 


^ 


Pk 


H 


>i 


,« 
Uk 


H 


3 


1 H 


January, 


5 


3 


8 


4 


7 


11 


4 


9 


13 


4 


lo' 14 


February, 


ti 


2 


4 


5 


3 


8 


6 


7 


13 


7 


6 13 


March, . . 


3 


5 


8 


4 


6 


10 


9 


10 


19 


3 


7 


10 


April, . . 


8 


8 


16 


4 


3 


7 


4 


6 


10 


2 


7 


9 


May, . . • 


3 


1 


4 


4 


3 


7 


6 


4 


10 


2 


11 


13 


June, . . . 


.3 


3 


6 


4 


3 


7 


2 


2 


4 


3 


4 


7 


July, . . 


3 





3 


2 


1 


3 


6 


2 


8 


3 


2 


5 


August, . • 


4 


3 


7 


5 


2 


7 


5 


5 


10 


2 


4 


6 


September, . 


5 


6 


11 


3 


4 


7 


7 


4 


11 


1 


7 


8 


October, . . 


6 


8 


13 





5 


5| 4 


a 


10 


2 




3 


November, . 


6 


4 


10 


7 


4 


Hi 9 


1 


10 


2 


6 


8 


December, 


7 
54 


8 
51 


15 
W5 





2 


2 


5 


7 


12 


3 


8 


11 


12 


43 


85 


67 


63 


130 


34 


73 


107 



Digitized by 



Google 



314 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Of these there Died. 



From these tables, the following remarks are warranted : In 
1823, the number of funerals amounted, in a population of 7000, 
exclusive of still-born children, to 129; giving a mortality of one 
in 54.26 persons annually. In 1824, it was 110, being one in 
63.64. In 1825, it stood at 130, or one in 53.84; and in 1826, 
it fell to 107, being one death to 65.42. 

In 1825, the number of still-born children was 14, being as one 
in 9.28. In 1826, to 6, or one in 17.83. These included, the 
real bill of mortality of this parish will amount, during these two 
years, so high as one death in every 54.47 persons per annum. 

It appears from the registers, that a most important difference 
obtains in the relative mortality of the upper and lower districts of 
the parish. In the former, it amounted in 1825 to 50, and in 
1826 to 37 deaths, or to one death only in 66.11 persons per an- 
num; while in the latter (the lower district,) the deaths were 74 
in 1825, and 76 in 1826, or as high as one in 48.51 persons per 
annum. 

The facts which account for this mighty difference, are the 
greater density of the population in the lower than in the upper 
district ; the greater poverty of the inhabitants, a greater propor- 
tion of them being Irish, and almost exclusively occupied at public 
works, in trade, or as common labourers. These will perhaps suffi- 
ciently account for this striking contrast in the rate of mortality. 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 315 

without obliging us to seek for its causes in those differences of 
climate which are peculiar to each district in this extensive parish. 

" The inequality between the males and females is no less strik- 
ing. In the former, the deaths during four years were 197 ; in 
the latter, 230, exclusive of children still-born. In the three years 
previous to 1826, the number of female deaths, according to the 
lists, was 157, or six less to the corresponding number of the other 
sex ; while in that year, in reality, they amounted to 73, or 39 
more than the males. Of these, one-third took place below 10 
years of age, and one-half below 30. This difference arises per- 
haps from registration being neglected. 

^^ The proportion of deaths under 10 years of age in 1825 and 
1826 in the parish, was, exclusive of 20 still-boni, as 104 to 257, 
or 1 in 2.47, or about 40 per cent of the whole deaths. From all 
these facts, it is obvious that the probability of human life here is 
not great, seeing that two-thirds of the whole population are cut 
off below thirty years of age. The average of all the persons dying 
here in 1825 and 1826, exclusive of still-born children, was as high 
as 34.79. 

<^ Important differences also appear in the different classes of 
which the population is composed ; — the average ages of the persons 
belonging to the agricultural population dying in 1825 and 1826 
being 60.05 ; the Scotch manufacturing population being 33.67, 
whilst the Irish population was so low as 30.19." Yet in the upper 
wai*ds, many attain to a great age. * 

Hydrography. — This parish, being inland, has no friths inter- 
secting it; but it abounds with streams and springs of the purest 
water. Some of these bubble up from the soil, others from the 
solid rock. They are almost all perennial, though, in the end of 
very dry summers, there is, in a few of them, a less abundant sup- 
ply. At Neilston there are three wells on the glebe, one at the 
Kirkhill, and one at the Butter Well, which have withstood the 
most prolonged droughts, and are of the finest water. 

The largest spring in the parish is that one " Aboon the Brae^^ 
which issues from the solid rock, discharging no less than 42 im- 
perial gallons every minute, 2520 in the hour, or 60,480 a-day, 
or 22,146,200 imperial gallons per annum. It is the chief spring 
which supplies the Waterside Bleachfield, belonging to Andrew 

* For a tabular view of the prevalent distempers connected with the district, sec 
the Glasgow Medical Journal, Vol. i. 



Digitized by 



Google 



316 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Chalmers, Esq. who himself carries on the work, and who has a 
long lease of it. 

Streams and rivulets abound in the parish ; but the chief of 
them are the Levern, Kirkton-burn, the Brock, and Cawpla Rill. 

The lochs are three, — the Long- Loch, Loch-Libo, and Caw- 
pla- Loch. The extent of the first is about a mile in length and 
half a mile in breadth, with an average depth of from 16 to 18 feet. 
Loch-Libo, in figure nearly an oval, contains about 1 6 acres in length 
and 14 in breadth. Its depth is unknown ; but it is very consider- 
able in the centre. It is the source of Lugton-water, which runs 
west, and, after beautifying the country and extensive pleasure- 
grounds of Eglinton, it falls into the Garnock, a little way below 
Kilwinning. The Cawpla-Loch is tolerably large in winter, but 
small in summer. Neither about it nor the Long-Loch is there 
any scenery ; but Loch-Libo presents a scene of unparalleled beau- 
ty. Its lofty hills, on both sides, are wooded with fine old trees to 
the water's edge. Its oblong or oval figure pleases the eye, while 
its smooth and glassy surface, disturbed only by the heron, wild 
and teal-duck, swimming and fishing upon it, give it animation. 
Standing at the turn of the road, as you ascend northward, above 
the Shillford toll-bar, and looking west, when the sun, in a fine 
summer evening, is pouring his rays upon it, its effect is enchanting. 

Besides these lochs, there are other large artificial collections 
of water called reservoirs. The Hairlaw reservoir covers 72 acres 
of flow-moss, and is 16 feet deep. Comore reservoir covers 16 
acres, and is about 24 feet in depth. The reservoir to the north 
of the Pad covers 14 acres, and is 16 feet deep. To these we add 
the Kirkton and Walton dams, each of which contains a consi- 
derable body of water. 

The source or feeder of Hairlaw and Comore is the Long- Loch ; 
the source of the Pad is a small stream to the west of it. The Kirkton- 
dam rises to the south of the Pad, and is fed by the streamlets that 
descend from that hill, and the moors to the south-west The 
Walton-dam has its origin from a small rill that takes its rise be- 
tween the Snypes farm and Upper Walton. 

The chief stream, however, is the Levern, which has its source 
in the Long-Loch, and which divides the parish for nearly four 
miles into two parts. Its direction is first to the north, then to 
the north-east, and, finally, from Crofthead to the east, till it enters 
the Abbey parish, west of the Hurlet. It passes Neilston and Barr- 
head on the north, the Hurlet on the south, and falls into the White 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 317 

Cart near Cruikston Castle, so famed from Mary Queen of Scot- 
land having fled from it after the battle of Langside. The banks 
of this stream, from Waterside Field to the Dovecotehall, is thick 
set with population and public works. On its banks, are three large 
bleachfields, four printfields, a corn and chipping mill, and six 
large cotton-mills, giving employment to a vast number of men, 
women, and children, — all active and industrious. 

On the stream flowing from the Kirkton dam, there are four 
bleachfields, two of them amongst the largest in the county, — one 
printfieldfor Turkey red dyeing and calico printing — containing 112 
tables, and employing, in all, 500 hands ; two coal-pits, one mill 
for net working, which is now enlarging to double its former size, 
one corn mill, and one iron-foundery. On the banks of the Wal- 
ton stream, called the Brock, after leaving Walton dam, there is one 
bleachfield, and two extensive printfields for calicoes of all kinds, 
garments, silk shawls, &c &c Both these streams join the Levem. 
The Kirkton, at Cross Arthurlie, after a run north-east of about 
two miles, the Brock, after a nm north-east, falls into the Levem, 
about six or seven miles from its source. The velocity of all 
the three streams till they reach the level ground is very consider- 
able. Being shallow, their temperature is at times as high as from 
40^ to 45°. 

Owing to the height of their sources from the plane, there are 
on them some fine cascades. Above Midgehole, on the Levern, 
there are two splendid ones. There is another above South Arthur- 
lie field, and a third at Brownside. But the loveliest of them all are 
those at the Killock-Glen. There, in perfect miniature, are seen 
the three falls on the Clyde, Bonnyton, Corra, and Stonebyres. 

Geology and Mineralogy. — The minerals are the same here in 
general as in the parishes around. Lime and ironstone are found 
in great abundance, both in the east and west extremities of the 
parish. Ores of no kind save ironstone are found here. 

In truth, beyond the usual appearances of trap-rocks, this parish 
affords nothing new or interesting to the geologist. But, if it con- 
tains nothing peculiar, it has long been known as a rich field to 
the collectors of mineralogical specimens. 

The most numerous and interesting of these belong to the zeo^ 
lite family. They are to be seen in various parts of the parish, 
but are more especially found in the greatest plenty and variety near 
Hartfield. 

Prehnite is the most common of all these minerals to be met 



Digitized by 



Google 



318 RENFREWSHIRE. 

with near Hartfield. It is there found beautifully crystallized, baT- 
ing abroad, rectangular, four-sided prism, rather flatly feoilled in the 
extremities. 

The first specimen, examined by Werner, was brought from the 
Cape of Good Hope, by Colonel Prehn; hence the name of 
Prehnite, by which it is distinguished. It was then not suppos- 
ed to be found in Great Britain, but some time afterwards it was 
found near Dumbarton by Mr Grotche;* and since, abundance of 
it has been picked up in the Hartfield moss* That the specimen 
picked up by Grotche at Dumbarton was carried down, with others, 
by the Cawpla stream into the Clyde, and by the Clyde, rolled down 
to Dumbarton, is extremely probable, as prehnite is not found 
in any other parish in the West of Scotland, known to us. It is 
curious, indeed, that its formation should be in the middle of moss. 
We have found large specimens of it so imbedded, — and not very 
many years ago, sent a most splendid specimen of it, picked up by us, 
to the late amiable and talented Professor of Natural History in 
the University of Glasgow, Mr Lockhart Muirhead. The cele- 
brated Brochant, it is said, could not rest satisfied till he visited 
the place of its formation, Hartfield Moss, and took away with him 
some of the finest specimens he could find, f 

Analdme^ or Hexahedral zeolite, is the most common of all those 
minerals found at the same spot. That it has also been carried 
down by the waters from Hartfield, though picked up at Dumbar- 
ton, is probable. In general, this crystal presents only one modifi- 
cation, viz. the twenty-four-sided crystal with trapezoidal fiices of 
greater or less regularity. The primitive form of its crystal is a 
cube ; sometimes it is (bund crystallized in cubes, in which each 
solid angle is acuminated by three faces. It is often found some- 
what transparent. One beautiAil crystal of this primitive form was 
found by Lord Greenock in a quarry near CaldwelL This crys- 
tal, though at times seen transparent, is generally opaque. A few 
specimens occur of a red flesh-colour, but these are very rare. 

Chabasite^ or Rhombohedral zeolite, is found in the same situa- 
tion, but it also is comparatively of rare occurrence. The primi- 
tive rhombohedral crystal is by much the most common. The 
most frequent modification consists in the truncation of one, two, 
or three angles ; the truncation itself being often very deep. It is 
usually found white^ and somewhat transparent, with a streak of 
green running through it, which renders it very pretty. 

Red SHlbUey or Heulandite, is of frequent occurrence. 

* Vide Ann. de Chim. i. 213. f Brochant» 1205. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



NEILSTON. 319 

TTumuonitej or Orthotomous zeolite, occurs in great abundance 
at the same fertile spot It presents the usual radiated structure, 
with occasionally beautiful terminations. 

Laumanite^ or Diatomous zeolite, one of the least common of 
the zeolite family, is found at the same place. 

Ores imbedded in the trap rocks which abound here, are 
scarcely ever found. Assuredly no veins of manganese, lead, or 
jcopper, are known to us. When, examining some stone dikes 
built of olden time, with the late lamented and talented 'Walter 
Moody, Esq. of Glasgow, we found stones in which were imbed- 
ded rich specimens of copper ore. In none of the rocks we have 
examined have animals, shells, or plants been found imbedded or 
buried. The only thing found, deeply imbedded in some of ou 
coal mines and mosses, are trunks of large trees, in the transition 
state to coaL 

Soils. — These are as diver£(t6ed as the climate. There are 
three marked and distinct soils in the parish. That on the eastern 
division (which is flat land,) is of a dry loamy nature, mixed occa- 
sionally with gravel, and resting here and there upon freestone, but 
generally upon a substratum of stiff KU or clay. It is fit for all 
kinds of crops. The middle district, which is hilly, has for its sub- 
soil chiefly rotten rock, or porphyry. Hence its surface is com- 
monly dry, and free of wet standing on it. It is fitter, however, 
for pasture than cropping; and hence the dairy is the first and 
greatest care of the farmers there, as by its produce they chief- 
ly pay their rents. The soil is of the same nature as that of 
the Meams, and produces the finest butter. Its pasturage is ex- 
cellent The third district is composed of bent moor and deep 
black moss ; much of which is capable of great improvement, under 
a proper system of draining and planting. The sides of the hills 
afford good grazing, and produce as fine cattle for the shambles as 
any in the country, whilst the table-lands on the hill tops with the 
moors are excellent for rearing young cattle. A very few sheep 
are kept in the parish. Many swine are reared, but goats are un- 
known. 

The improvements made on the Hartfield estate show what 
can be done on our mosses, moors, and hill-sides. From a few 
hundred pounds of rent, when Robert Fulton, Esq. of Maxwel- 
ton, the late highly respected proprietor of Hartfield, purchased it 
from the Milliken family, its rent is now raised, by his improvements 
and other means, to about L. 2000 yearly. * 

* Five hundred acres of the moss and moor of Hartfield, formerly rented at L. 30» 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



320 RENFREWSHIRE. 

By dividing these mosses and moors into fields of fifty acres 
broad, and 60 or 70 long, — thro\?ing around each field a strong, 
broad belt of planting ; by draining it till it is perfectly dry, and then 
laying lipon it from 1 10 to 130 bolls of lime per acre, to lie two or 
three years on the sward, before the ground is broken up, and 
when it is broken up, (which should be done in November at the 
latest, that so the frosts and thaws of winter may operate upon 
it ;) — by such or similar means, much of it may, by seed-time, be 
brought into mould. By this management, crops of corn, barley, 
rye, potatoes, carrots, cabbages, turnips and cole-seed, may be 
plentifully obtained ; and, under judicious and well conducted im- 
provement, a return had, not of 10, but of 80 or 40 per cent, per 
annum. More than this has been frequently realized from the out- 
lay ; whilst from such improvements, many advantages are derived, 
such as enlarging the rent-roll ; beautifying and ornamenting the 
estates, and increasing their value ; excitingindustry among their ten- 
antry; multiplying the means of human food, and thereby produ- 
cing cheaper markets. If he was deemed s patriot who made two 
stalks of grass to grow, where only one grew before, he certainly 
has a better title to the name, who makes abundant crops for hu- 
man food to rise from the barren heath. We bid Colonel Mure 
and Mr Speirs look to what has been done by the late and pre- 
sent worthy and respectable proprietors of Hartfield and Fereneze. 
They have done much ; but they, too, have still much to do, ere 
their moors be reclaimed and made productive. 

Mines. — Saving those of coal, free and whinstone, there are no 
other mines in this parish. Freestone is wrought at Upla-moor, 
— it is a fine pillar, and of great depth. Whinstone is wrought 
at Braumside to a considerable extent More than 6000 yards are 
taken out of it yearly. 

Zoology, — In this department,' there is nothing that is rare. We 
have all the domestic animals, and of the best kinds. The un- 
domesticated quadrupeds are, the fox, the polecat, the weasel, and 
the hedgehog. The otter and badger make their appearance but 
rarely. Grouse abounds in the higher district of the parish. The 
blackcock is to be met with, as also pheasants ; and in the middle 
and lower districts, partridges are often abundant. Snipes, wild 
teal ducks, plovers, and herons frequent all our mosses, and 

are now, in consequence of' these improTements, says Mr Wilson, 1812, 'Met at 
L. 495.** Mr Fulton persevered, *' and out of 675 acres of very deep and soft mrss, 
450 acres have been reclaimed.** Hence the rise of the rental, as above. 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 321 

moors, and lochs. The common migratory birds make their an- 
nual appearance at their proper seasons. The cuckoo and swal- 
low, the curlew, lapwing,, and stonechat in spring; and in the 
end of autumn and beginning of winter, the woodcock and field- 
fare. The Birds are, the sparrow, sparrow hawk ; the thrush and 
blackbird ; the lark, grey and green linnet ; the bullfinch and yel- 
low-hammer j the golden-crested wren; the blue titmouse, the 
chaffinch, and starling ; which last, though rare for many years, has 
again appeared in considerable numbers. 

The water-crow and stonechat are disappearing ; and the long- 
eared, brown, and barn owl is found only inhabiting some lone- 
ly tower. The raven, crow, jackdaw, and magpie abound. The 
last is the most ferocious and destructive of all the other birds ; and, 
though rewards have been ofiered for every one of them that is shot, 
they cannot be rooted out. 

This parish is not famous for the breed of any species of cattle. 
The only thing in which it is remarkable is its breed of milch- 
cows. Every thing has been attempted for their improvement 
The Ayrshire cow was crossed for a time with the Aldemey and 
Guernsey breed. This produced more butter, but less milk, and 
the breed was given up. Now the chief attention of farmers here, 
in the middle district, is to improve, as much as possible, the Ayr- 
shire cows in all their varieties.* 

The fishes in our lochs are perch, pike, and trout. Trout is found 
in abundance in the Long-loch : pike and perch, large, and very 
fine and abundant, in Hairlaw reservoir and Loch-Libo ; and trout 
is found also in Cawpla-Loch. In the streams, trout of a par- 
ticular kind are found, equal in all respects to the char in the 
lakes of Cumberland. Great abundance of these, and of the 
common species of trout, with uncommonly large and fine eels, 
are found in the small reservoirs attached to the mill-lades of cot- 
ton-mills, and other large bleaching manufactories. When these 
reservoirs are drained for cleaning, trout are taken in great num- 
bers; some of them from 12 to 16 inches long, and thick in pro- 
portion. For a time after the printfields were set down the fish 

; • The writer of this article sold one of the mixed Alderney, or Guernsey breed, to 
the late William Finlay, Esq. Senior, of Trees, in this parish. She produced, per 
week, for the three flush months, eleven pounds of butter ! but comparatively little 
milk in proportion. At the same time, the present minister of Dunlop had a large 
6ne cow, of the pure Ayrshire breed, which gave, during the three flush months, 
twenty-one Scotch pints of milk in the day, as taken from the cow. These facts are 
well ascertained, and mark the ))cculiar difTerence between the cross and the pure 
Ayrshire breed. 



Digitized by 



Google 



322 RENFREWSHIRE. 

deserted the Levern. The^rst emptying of their dye-stuffs and 
other debru into the stream poisoned them ; they were found dead 
next morning on its margin in great numbers. They have, how- 
ever, long ago returned, though not feeding in that part of the 
Levern wherein the debrig is thrown. The salmon left it entirely, 
and have never, so far as known, made their appearance since the 
water was thus polluted, though before they came in numbers to 
spawn at the season. 

All the insects injurious to vegetation in general, and to fruit- 
trees, and to currant and gooseberry bushes, in particular, are as 
abundant here as in the parishes around. Every method has been 
employed for their destruction, but all in vain. Last year, the grub 
and the wire-worm produced dreadful ravages. 

Botany. — All the plants used for culinary purposes are grown with 
us, and need not here be specified. Those for medicinal purposes 
are, foxglove ( Digitalis purpurea^) valerian (Valeriarui offieijialiSf) 
hemlock {Conium maculatum^ ) tormentil ( TormenfiUa erecta. ) The 
first is found growing on a bare and rocky soil, small and stunted in 
its form and appearance, but most powerful in its application as ame- 
dicine. The second is commonly the inhabitant of the low and marshy 
grounds about Barrhead. The third delights, like the foxglove, 
in a bare and rocky situation, or loves the shelter of an old dry 
dike, where it rises into great vigour ; and the fourth, like the 
moorfowl, loves the heather, and is found flourishing amongst the 
heath in great plenty and luxuriance. 

The plantations are few and scanty. The timber which grows to 
the greatest size is the beech, the plane, the ash, and the spruce. 
Some of these latter kind are found about Caldwell and Glander- 
ton, both of considerable age and size. It is much to be regret- 
ted that plantations at once so profitable and so ornamental, are 
so few in this parish. 

n. — Civil History. 

In this department the parish is rich. From one of its ancient 
proprietors the present reigning family has sprung. In the twelfth 
century, Stewart of Darnly married the sole heiressof Robert de Croc, 
who at that time held the Lordship of Neilston, Darnly, and Croc- 
ston. These he made over to his daughter, from whom sprang the 
Earls and Dukes of Lennox, and of whom was Darnly, the husband 
of Mary, father of James VI. of Scotland, and first of England. 

For long, it was a parish of gentlemen^ noted for their prowess 
and amenity of manners. Crawford, in his " History of Renfrew- 



4 

Digitized by 



Google 



NEIL8TON. 323 

shire," published in 1710, gives a very full account of the families 
in or belonging to it in olden times. Passing from the house 
of Stewart, the Lordship of Neilston, he says, came by marriage 
into that of Cunningham of Craigends. It soon went from them, 
and was, in the course of years, divided, as now, amongst a num- 
ber of proprietors. 

A cadet of the noble family of Damly held Arthurlie ; Glan- 
derston was possessed by the ancient and highly respectable family 
of the Mures of Caldwell ; Neilston-side was held by a descend- 
ant of Sir William Wallace's family of Elderslie ; the barony of 
Side belonged to a cadet of the honourable house of Skelmurlie ; 
Cowdon-hall was long possessed by the distinguished family of the 
SpreuUs, and by Sir William Cochrane, afterwards first Earlof Dun- 
donald* Not one of all these have now a house in the parish, nor an 
acre of land in it, saving Lord Glasgow and Colonel Mure. All has 
changed hands. What astriking lesson ! ^* Sic transit gloria mundL" 
One remarkable trait of character in the inhabitants of Neilston 
from its earliest history is their ardent love of civil and religious 
liberty. In the Reformation they took an active interest. The 
persecution of the Presbyterians by the infamous and profligate 
Charles IL, roused Colonel Wallace, a descendant of Neilston- 
Side, to march with his followers to Pentland. William Mure, 
then of Caldwell, felt his spirit stirred within him at Charles's 
cruelty, and, placing himself as captain of a company of horsemen, 
who met at Shutterflat, resolved to march forward to join the army 
of the Covenanters at Pentland. The traitorous conduct of Max- 
well ofBlackston broke up this meeting; each returned to his home, 
and though not near Pentland, all who attended it were either 
driven into exile, or had their estates forfeited. 

The large estates of Caldwell were given to General Dalziel. 
Sentence was passed in absence, and this good and worthy per- 
son died in exile, leaving his pious lady and four orphans, destitute 
of all visible means of subsistence.* 

Rising in 1819. — With this affair of Shutterflat, we connect 

* Of the sufferings of this eminently devout lady and her family after the exile 
and death of her husband,— of their retiring to Glasgow, and supporting themselves by 
their own industry,-— of their being transported to Blackness Castle, and kept in close 
confinement for years, under d^JhUe accusation of keeping conventicles, — of the harsh 
treatment they met with there,-— of the Council refusing liberty to Lady Caldwell 
to go to Mr Sandilands of Hilderston to see her dying daughter, — of her offer to take 
a guard with her, yea, to maintain the whole garrison as a guard if they pleased, 
while she was doing her last sad duty to her child ; of all these facts, we leave Wod- 
row to tell, only remarking on the tyranny and cruelty which could refuse so hu- 
mane and so reasonable a request to a mother. 



Digi^zed by 



Google 



324 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the modern history of an event, the results of which should afford 
a lesson of useful and awful import to those who fear not God, nor 
honour the King, but meddle with them who are given to change. 

The 1st day of April 1819 was on a Sunday. Associations for 
reform had, on that and the preceding years, been frequent in 
England, and Ireland, and Scotland. A regular system was form- 
ed, and an active correspondence carried on amongst them all. 
The wildest theories about liberty and equality were broached and 
promulgated, with ardour and unwearied diligence. The different 
Associations had their times and places of meeting regularly fixed. 
In these, the Spencean doctrines found willing, and resolute advo- 
cates. This Spencean plan was to divide the whole lands in the 
nation among the people ; perfect equality in the division being the 
rule of distribution, so that no one should have more than another. 
In the meantime, rumours of a general rising of the people through- 
out the empire to obtain this end, were circulated with great indus- 
try by the radical reformers. Whether the director of the move- 
ment intended only a hoax, according to the custom of foolery on 
this day of the year, is best known to himself; but this is certain, 
that during the night, or early on the Sunday morning, a flaming 
proclamation, announcing the rising, was placarded upon all the 
church doors in town and country, stating that the insurrection was 
to begin that day in ^London, and in the chief towns of England 
and Ireland, and calling upon the reformers here to be ready to 
join them, threatening instant death to all who opposed them. 

On that Sunday morning, the writer of this could not understand 
what attraction was about the church gate. He saw the chiefs of 
reform in motion, hastening to the gate, and looking mighty big 
when turning away from it. Understanding that the cause of this 
excitement was the proclamation referred to, the minister preach- 
ed a sermon from the following text : ^^ Put them in mind to be 
subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be 
ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no 
brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men." This 
produced the happiest consequences m the parish. Except by the 
musical band, and a few wrong-headed men like themselves, the 
operatives resolved to attend their work as usual. To their ho- 
nour and credit be it told, they did so ; and it was very remark- 
able, that whilst the whole works of the same kind in Lanarkshire, 
Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire, and Ayrshire stood still that week, 
not one of all the twenty-two large public works stood idle for a 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 325 

moment in Neilston parish. The events of that week will long be 
remembered by many. The whole of the west of Scotland was in 
agitation and alarm, save Neilston, which was comparatively quiet, 
peaceable, and orderly. 

This effect we mention with exultation, as an instance of the in- 
fluence of the pulpit, and the necessity of having not only an ac- 
tive and Gospel ministry, but also an Established Church suffi- 
ciently large to admit a considerable number of the parishioners 
for hearing divine service. 

Eminent Men. — The eminent men connected with this parish 
in ancient times have already been noticed. Those in recent times 
are scanty ; yet a few have arisen who have done honour to them- 
selves and their native place. The whole of the talented family 
of the Mures of Caldwell have their family crypt or vault here. 
The late Baron Mure, who was eminent in his day, was a Baron 
of Exchequer, Member of Parliament for Renfrewshire, a pro- 
found lawyer, and an eloquent man, long the Melville for Scot- 
land, was born and buried here. His grandson, the present Co- 
lonel Mure of Caldwell, promises to be his superior in literary 
fame. His *^ Disertation on the Calendar and Zodiac of Ancient 
Egypt," exhibits profound research and extensive reading, and 
places him high as an astronomer, and eminent as a scholar. His 
worth, talents, and literary acquirements must soon raise him high 
in his country's estimation, and give him a name and a place in 
society to which his birth and accomplishments deservedly entitle 
him. 

The late George Monteath, M. D., son of Dr Monteath, for- 
merly of TSTeilston, now of Houston, is another individual of whom, 
the parish has reason to be proud. His attainments in science 
were considerable ; but it was in his profession where his great 
powers were seen and appreciated. His knowledg^e of the structure 
of the eye and its diseases, was minute and extensive, and his many 
operations upon it eminently successful. His quick perception and 
discrimination of disease was the admiration of his brethren in the 
profession, and gained for him a well-earned reputation. He died 
early in life, in the midst of extensive practice, honoured, respect- 
ed, and regretted by all who knew him. 

We might say all this of his ffreat rival, Dr William Young, 
who was born in the same village, and about the same time, and 
started with him in the same professional race. This very distin- 
guished individual is now enjoying in Glasgow the most extensive 



Digitized by 



Google 



326 RENFREWSHIRE. 

patronage, admired for his skill and ability by his brethreiv as an 
anatomist and pathologist, and highly esteemed by all. * 

Not a few ingenious men, skilled in the combination of the 
mechanical powers, have appeared in this parish. Some of these 
had heads to contrive, but wanted hands to execute. The late 
James Dunlop, Esq. of Linwood, united both in himself. He was 
allowed by all who knew him to be a man of great ingenuity, 
skill and contrivance, and of admirable taste in mechanism, 
and success crowned his well merited reputation. His son, Wil- 
liam, promised fair to equal if not excel his late father; but ill 
health, for a time only we trust, has stopt his career. Should 
health again return, we doubt not to have from him some of those 
splendid and useful combinations which have immortalized a Ro- 
berts and an Arkwright. 

But one of the greatest of those ingenious artisans and mecha- 
nics to which this parish has given birth, was the late Mr John 
Robertson, foreman to James Orr, Esq. of Crofthead. A self- 
acting mule had long been a desideratum in cotton-spinning for 
more than half a century. What neither Crompton of Bolton ; 
nor Kelly of Glasgow ; nor Buchanan of Catrine ; nor Eaton of 
Derby ; nor M. de Jonge, an ingenious Frenchman ; nor Roberts 
of Manchester ; nor even the talented Mr Smith of Deanston 
works, could do with all their skill, — Mr Robertson, single-handed 
and alone, accomplished. The process of backing oJff\ which is 
one of the most difficult to accomplish in <' the self-acting mule,'' 
Mr Robertson contrived and finished. Mr Smith of Deanston 
had, in 1833, renewed his mechanical labours, resolved, if possible, 
to contrive and finish a self-actor. He had failed in 1792, with 
Mr Buchanan of Catrine, to perfect the self-acting mule which 
they had then contrived; and though, in 1826, he succeeded to 
contrive an efifectiye machine for spinning low numbers, yet he found 
it could not be applied to mules of various descriptions in the trade, 
as they then were and still are in general use. He therefore applied 
his vigorous powers to contrive one, and was making rapid progress 
when he came to hear of Mr Robertson's contrivance respecting 

* Since the above was written, this eminent physician has fallen a Tictim to his 
profession. As physician in the Royal Infirmary of Glasgow, he had been in the 
Fever Ward for about two hours, examining about seventy fever patients, when he 
caught concentrated tppfiu*^ and in a few days thereafter was no more. Thus fell 
this skilful practitioner in his 47th year, lamented by a city which had long known 
and appreciated his worth. His funeral w&s one of the latgest almost ever seen in 
Glasgow. To his worth and abilities all the Glasgow papers of the day bore ample 
testimony. 



Digitized OyVjOOQlC 



1 



NBIL8TON. 327 

the great fitcility of his machine in the backing-off motion. On 
seeing the simplicity and efficacy of the contrivance, and the faci- 
lity of Robertson's " self-actor,'* Mr Smith was struck with ad- 
miration, — what all his ingenuity had not contrived was there. A 
proposal for combining the powers of the two machines was made, 
and a copartnery entered into by Messrs Smith and Orr for that pur- 
pose. Hence, by the ingenuity of Mr Smith combining the two, he 
has made a perfect self-acting mule, which will, in that trade, carry 
his name with that of Robertson's down to posterity. Great advan- 
tages will be derived from this machine, by the trade. By it, the 
fiiU-grown operative is dispensed with, and only children required 
for piecing up the threads, who are now paid one-half more than 

^ formerly. Another advantage is obtained, by the mule producing 
about one-fifth more yarn, whilst the saving upon the wages will 
be about two-thirds. A third advantage it gives is, that it brings 
the workers more under the control of the master. The vexation 
given to the masters by the union of the workers was great. By these 
unions, under the plea of protecting their trade, they annoyed and 
distressed their employers time after time, with insolent and un- 
warranted interferences and restrictions. It was to get rid of this 
annoyance, by a ^^ self-actor,'' that the masters were led to make so 
many attempts to dispense with their services altogether. This 
they have now accomplished, — the service of children only is re- 
quired. This is generally the result of all combinations ; they ul- 
timately injure tiiemselves. Another important result of this ^^ self- 
acior" is, that by diminishmg the wages two^irds^ it will enable 
the spinners of Great Britain to compete successfully in the foreign 
market with the cheap labour of the continent These advantages 
must c(Hnmend this machine to the trade, which, from its simpli- 
city, is not liable to breakage, nor to much tear and wear, nor to 
much expense in the repair. 

Land~otDners. — The chief latid^wners are, Alexander Spiers, 

. Esq. of Elderslie ; Colonel Mure, of Caldwell; The Right Honour- 
able the Earl of Glasgow ; Sir Robert Pollock of that ilk ; Colonel 
Fulton ; John Graham, Esq. of Craigallian and Fereneze ; James 
Dunlop, Esq. of Arthurlie; William Craig, Esq. of Kirkton; 
Peter Bawers, Esq. of Craigingal; and Captain Anderson of 
Broadlie. 
Tablb of Property of the whole Heritors of Neilston, 
great and small, with their valued rents respectively. 

GUndflratoB and NeUslon side ; Caldwell part of Neilfitoa aide ; Neii- 
stoii tide ; four different parts of Comore ; Glanderston dike ; part 
RENFREW. Y 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



32S RENFREWSHIRE. 

^r the 1«. 17 knd ai Aitburlie ; ditto, ditto, ditto— Aleiander Speui, 

Esq. of Elderalie, .... 

Barter CaldweU ; Wetter Cddwdl ; Coirdoo Commoii— CoL Mure 

ofCaldweU, .... 

Hartfield— CoL Fulton, .... 

AucfainlMek, Dubi^ Park aod BoghaD, Lei^h Lyon Croa — Earl clT 

Glamor, .... 

Maxwell's Lyoo Cross— Sir Robert Pollock, 
Fereneie— MeMrs Grakama, - - 

Pollock's Arthurlie ; part of Airstau's do. ; part of L.17 land of do. — 

James Dunlop, Esq. of Arthurlie^ ... 

Part of the L.17 land of do.— William Craig, Rsq. of Kirktoo, 
Do. do.— Mr Wylie of Carsewells, 
Do. do. — Mr Stewart of Carsewelb, 
Do. do.— Peter Sawers, Esq. of Netberkirk, &c &c 
Do. do. — Formerly Andrew Spreuls, Esq.— John Gemmel, Eaq. 
Do. do — Captain Andessoh of Broadlie, 
Anderson's part of Caldwell — Heirs of Wood, 
Part of the L. 17 land of Arthurlie — Blr Young of Snypes, 
Do. do.— John Cuthbertson, Esq. of Carsewells, 
High Lyon Cross — Heirs of Mr Cuthbertson, 
Kirk]and*s part of Arthurlie— John Craig of Foreside, 
Do. do — John Pollock, Esq. of Greenhill, 
Part of Pollock's Arthurlie in possession of William Lowndes, Esq. 

Total of the raluation of Neilston Parish, as it now is, * L. 4828 6 8 
Add the Annexations from it to the Parishes of Beith and Dunlop. 

In Beith Parish ; Sbutterflatts — Mr Stevenaon, - 59 6 

Do.— Feuars, - - - - 103 7 8 

In Dunlop parish, also Knockmade Barony— Col. Mture of Caldwell, G62 16 8 



L.I729 19 


4 


1096 13 


6 


633 6 

f 


8 


53113 


4 


120 6 


8 


440 





190 13 


4 


109 





106 5 





47 6 


8 


44 


a 


34 





• 30 





30 





25 





23 15 





20 





13 6 


8 


6 13 


4 


69 13 


4 



Amount of Taluation in Neilston before annexation, - L. 5486 3 4 

Parochial Registers, — Our oldest register is one of births and 
baptisms. It commences in 1689, and is continued on to 1735. It 
is in very bad condition, and two years are wholly awanting. The se- 
cond register of births and baptisms, begins 15th May 1737, and ends 
June 6, 1764. The third register of births and baptisms b^ns 8th 
June 1784, and ends 14th March 1813. The fourth register of 
births and baptisms commences 21st March 1813^ and is now be- 
ing filled up. The first register of proclamation of banns begins 
29th January 1737, and ends 10th December 1791. The second be- 
gins 5th January 1792, and ends 21st September 1833. The third 
begins 27th September 1 833^ and is being filled up. There is no re* 
gister of deaths, on which any kind of reliance can be placed. There 
is great backwardness to registration here of any kind. R^u- 
larity never will be attained, till a Parliamentary enactment enforce 
it under penalties. 

Antiquities. — In this parish, there are none. Tradition has 
transmitted an account of other two religious houses, before the Re* 
formation, besides the parochial kirk. One of these had been 
placed at the *^ chappell," — and another, at the sequestered spot 
called *^Boofi the Brae,'* near Waterside bleachfield. The springs 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 329. 

at both places are exceedingly fine. They were the holy wells of 
the Papists in former times, and, if purity of water could confer 
holiness, that name they deserved. The spring, ^' Boon the 
Brae," issues from the solid rock, and is one of the finest and most 
copious in the parish. It is perennial. Of these chappells no 
traces remain. Even the walls and foundations of them cannot be 
discovered. 

Tradition speaks also of a curiously carved Danish stone ; of 
tumuli on the Fereneze Braes; of battles lost and won ; of human 
bones dug up, enclosed in square freestone urns; of petrified 
shells, and impressions of trees and animals, especially shell fishes ; 
but all these have now vanished. Large trees, imbedded deep in 
the mosses or mines, are occasionally found, passing into the coal 
formation ; but than this no other kind of fossil is dug up. 
That these have been found in the parish, in ancient times, is 
most likely ; but if ever they existed, they are now among the 
things that wera 

Modem Buildings. — There is abundance of building going 
on in the parish ; but there has been none of late of any conse* 
quence, saving Crofthead House, the property of James Orr, 
Esq. and Ck)mpany ; and James Dunlop's, Esq. of Arthurlie ; both 
of which are handsome and elegant buildings. 

There are a few other good houses in the parish ; such as Mr 
Lowndes's, the Chappell, and Trees. None of the castles of the' 
old and ancient Nobility remain. Lord Glasgow, Sir Robert 
Pollock of that ilk. Col. Mure, Col. Fulton, and Mr Speirs are 
non-residents ; and, with the exception of a few of the smaller he- 
ritors, the parish is inhabited chiefly by the proprietors or owners 
of large manufactories, their foremen and operatives. 

Additions have been made to difierent mills and public works 
in the parish, some of which have been increased to nearly double 
their original size. A nfew printfield, for all kinds of calicoes, was 
erected in 1835 at South Arthurlie at great expense. At Cross 
Arthurlie field, another large print-shop was built ; and additions 
have been made to others. But the most splendid addition is 
that of the Levem mill in 1834, — which consists of five storeys, 10 
feet high, a sunk flat, and a garret, and is 113 feet long, and 46 
feet wide, and which, joined to the old mill, makes an immense pile 
of building. The materials used in these buildings are generally 
jreestone^ though sometimes whinstone, both of which are at hand 
in great abundance. 



Digitized by 



Google 



^U RENFREWSHIRE. 

III. — Population. 

Tablb L 

The following is the state of the population at different times. 

Yean. Souls. 

1695 Families 263, 1180 

1756 ... 1274 

Mftlt*^ FemiJes* 

1791 1187 n43 2330 

1801 1702 2004 3796 

1811 2205 8744 4949 

1821 2641 9908 6549 

1881 3669 4477 8046 . 

1836 9187 

Table 11. — Particulars in census of 1881. 

Inhabited houses, . . . 712 

By hoir many families occupied, 1518 

Houses now' building, . ^ . . 5 

unoccupied, . « IS 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, .166 

manufactures and handicrafts, 1319 

All other fiunilies not included in these classes, . 31 

Persons, Including children of all ages, males^ 3669; females, 4477 ; total of 

persons, ...... 8046 

Males employed in Agriculture. 

Number of males 20 years old, and not older, . 1679 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, ... 77 

not employing labourers, . . 67 

Labourers employed in agriculture, . .180 

Males employed m manu&ctures, or in making machinery, . . 624 

Males employed in manufactures, trade, and commerce, &c» 

Males employed in retail trade, or in handicraft, as masters or as workmen, 41 1 
Number of wholesale merchanu, bankers, professional men, and educated per- 
sons, ...... 36 

Number of labourars employed in labour not agricultural, . S04 
All other males i&) years old, (excepting servants) including retired tradesmen, 

superannuated labourers, anid mal^ diseas^ tnbody or in mind, . 71 

The causes of the unparalleled increase of |K>puIation are, — 
the command of water power for driving machinery ; Ae abun- 
dance of the purest spring water; the nearness to coals ; and to 
the great storehouses of manufactures in Glasgow and Paisley. 

In this parish there are no towns. The population in the vil- 
lages can only be given. 

FamHkB. IndiMuaU. 

Neilston village, . . 392 . 1879 

Dovecothall, Barrhead, and Newton Ralston, 564 . 2738 

West Arthu^e, 
Grahamston, 



79 414 

120 595 



140 . 748 

118 . 627 

51 215 



Gate^ide, and Chappell, 
Grofthead, 
Upla moor, 

No. of population residing in the country of all oli 
as fiumers, cottars, handiciiafts, &c 272 1392 

Such were the numbers at the end of the year ^1835 and be- 
ginning of 1836, when the census was carefully taken by the elders 



Digitized by 



Googk 



NEILSTON. 331 

of the parish, assisted by Roman Catholics and sectarians. Thei> 
the whole population was, as stated, 9187, making an increase in 
five years of 1141 souls* 

The mwenge •f births for the last seven years, is 158^ 

of deaths, I55i) 

of marriages, 77f 

number of persons under 15 years, 2807 . 
of individuals, or families of independent 

fortune not known ; many appearing to have independent *" 
fortunes, who, in reality have leas than nothing, thou^ mak. 
ing a great show. 

The number of the proprietors of land above the yearly value of L. 50 are, 1%*' 

families in 1831, . . 1518 

Average number of children in each family, , . . 5 

Numt^r of inhabited houses in 1837, . . . 085 

of uninhabited houses and others now building, . 27 

The number of insane 1 1 , fiituous 5, blind 8» deaf and dumb 9 ; total 98 

The strength, size, and complexion of the ariffinal inhabitants 
have long been remarkable ; and some of their descendants, as the 
Spreulls, Craigs, Andersons, Cochrans, Gilmours, Muirs, Stew*^ 
arts, &C. still possess these qualities in a great degree. They are, 
many of them, tall, stout, able-bodied men ; some with fair, and 
others with dark complexions, but intelligent features. '< It was 
asserted," says the writer of the former Statistical Account, " by 
a late military gentleman of this neighbourhood, who was well 
informed, accurate in his observations, and who had opportunity 
during many years of his life, whilst in his Majesty's service, 
to see the subjects of most of the different powers, and some 
of the finest troops in Europe, that John Stewart of Moyne was, 
for stature, strength, and exact proportion, and good looks, the 
completest figun» of a man he had ever seen^^' 

In the hilly part of the country, the offspring of the original 
inhabitants are still robust, strong, healthy, and intelligent, often 
living to a great age. In a kiric-session of thirteen members, there 
are seven whose present ages are 495 1 of these, two are 81 each, 
two firom 76 to 78. Two persons not in the session died at the 
advanced age of 104 and 105. The latter was fether to Mr James 
Fulton, one of the elders, who is now 81 years old 

The habits of the people in general are sober and industrious i 
one class, that of the sober, intellectual, and moral, is exceedingly 
cleanly ; the immoral and irreligious just the reverse. The clothing 
of the men is warm and comfortable, and every way bespeaking 
good conduct ; whilst the style and manner of dress of the virtuous 
and well-behaved females, is not only in good taste, but, owing to 
the purity of the muslins they wear, peculiarly clean and neat 

Considering the wages which the people receive, they can, ac- 



Digitized by 



Google 



332 RENFREWSHIRE. 

cording to their condition in society, enjoy, in a reasonable degree, 
all the ordinary comforts of life, with many of its luxuries. A great 
number of the operatives have from 16s. to L. 1, and from L. 1 to 
L 1, 10s. ; and some from L. 1, 10s. to L. 1, 15s. and L. 2 per 
week. Yet true it is, though strange, that those who have only 
from 16s. to L. 1 are more independent, and infinitely more com- 
fortable in their clothing, furniture, and supply of the table, than 
those who have from L. 1, 10s. to L. 2, aye L.2, 10s. a-week. The 
one class is generally frugal, sober, and contented with their situa- 
tion and circumstances. The other is dissipated, prodigal, literally 
wretched and poor ; ill fed and ill clad, discontented with their 
condition, and with every thing and every body around them. 
Those of the one class give themselves to the duties of religion, 
the other to politics. The latter would reform every thing, yet re- 
fuse to reform themselves. Amongst a people given to politics^ 
the moral and religious character is lost. The one absorbs the 
other, and the magnitude of eternity is lost in the littleness of time. 
The squabbles of factions are preferred to the peace of God, and 
the party bowlings of this world's policy to the songs of Z\on. 

In a parish abounding with cotton-mills, printfields, and bleach- 
fields, where men, women, and children are cooped up together from 
five in the morning till seven at night ; where indecent language is 
often heard, and evil example often set before them ; where no op- 
portunity is afforded the children to acquire solid knowledge, and 
where time is wanting for the adults to improve their minds by 
reading and reflection, how is it possible that such a population 
can in general be intellectual, moral, and religious ? If we are to 
enjoy a healthy state of morals, the present and future generations 
must be trained up in the fear oft he Lord, and obedience to his 
commandments. If these are neglected, every generation will 
grow worse and worse, till society become wholly corrupted and 
debased, and we sink, as a moral and religious people, from among 
the nations of the earth. Indeed a radical change of system must 
take place throughout all the branches of the cotton trade, where, 
at present, children are employed, if ever we are to become an 
intellectual, moral, and religious people. Government must inter- 
fere, — our old religious system of education must return, — children 
must be taught, and none permitted to enter into any of these 
works below the age of twelve or fourteen years, and until they 
have leftmed to read their Bibk and say their catechism. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Agriculture* — 



NEILSTON. 333 

IV. — Industry. 



1 he Dumber of acres, standard imperial measure, in the parisb, which are either cul- 
tivated, or occasionally in tillage, - - 16602 2 9 

The number of acres which have never been cultivated, and which re* 

main constantly waste, or in pcisture, - - 4240 3 30 

The number of acres that might, with profitable application of capital, 
be added to the cultivated land of the parish, whether that land were 
afterwards to be kept in oooasioDal tillage, or in permanent pasture^ 
mosses, &c. .... 3473 

Number of acres under wood, natural or planted, &c. - 865 

The kinds of trees planted are in general indigenous, saving the 
larch and spruce, and a few others. The management of them is 
very much approved. Periodical thinning and pruning, &c. is 
general. 

Bent of Land. — The average rent of all arable lands in the pa- 
rish is L. 1, 10s.; the average rent of grazing, is at the rate of 
JL 4, 10s. per ox or cow grazed, and at the rate of 9s. per ewe or 
full-grown sheep, pastured for a year. 

Rate of Wages. — The rate of labour, winter and summer, for dif- 
ferent kinds of farm-labourers and country artisans — is, — for farm- 
labourers, 10s. per week, in winter, — in summer 12s. ; for country 
artisans, masons in winter, 2s. 6d., — in summer 3s. 6d. ; carpenters 
from 2s. 6d. to ds. Od. per day; tailors, from 9s. to 10s. with their 
meat per day ; shoemakers, 12s. per week ; band-weavers from 8s. 
to lOs. per week ; smiths from L. 1, Is. to L. 1, )0s. 

The price of the raw material^ March 1887. — Meal per peck. 
Is. 4d. and L. 2, 6s. per qQarter ; oats per boll, L. 1, 2s. ; barley 
per boll, L. 1, 9s. ; wheat, imperial quarter, L. 1, Ids. ; potatoes, 
L. 1 a boll, Renfrewshire measure ; turnips, L. 2 per ton ; rye-grass, 
L. 5 per 100 stones; meadow hay, L.4 per 100 stones; manure 
from 4s. to 5s. a ton ; lime, 16s» per chalder. 

Live-stock. — The Highland or black-faced sheep and the Lei- 
cester are the only ones bred here. In the whole parish, there are 
only about 100 of the one, and 50 of the other. No attention is 
given to their improvement, as the farmer depends nothing upon 
them for his rent 

Husbandry. — The same kind of husbandry is here pursued as 
in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. The chief thing attended to is the 
dairy ; and for the improvement of it, ingenuity, skill, and exer- 
tions, are perseveringly directed. There is little land in the pa^ 
rish which is not susceptible of great improvement Accordingly 
a Society, in 1826, was instituted, called the ^^ Neilstan and neigh- 
baurhood Agricultural Society^** of which Captain Anderson of 



Digitized by 



Google 



334 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Broadley is treasurer, and who is settiog a noble example on his 
own ikrm of what skill and capital can do with industry, and per- 
severance. Formerly, it was the garden of the sluggard ; since he 
began his improvements, it has become a fertile field, delightful 
to look on. 

By draining the waste land, where it is wet and spongy, as also 
the moss and moors, and throwing broad belts of planting, as no- 
ticed already, around them at the distance of fifty acres, and plant- 
ing clumps upon the knolls and sides of the hills, making the sur- 
face of the mosses and moors level, and then throwing on them^ 
after being thoroughly drained, from eight to nine chalders of 
lime, and letting them rest in this state for two or three years^ 
and at the end of the third, in October or November, turning 
them up with the spade, so that the frosts and snows of winter 
may form a soil on them, and then in spring sowing your seeds, — 
a crop of oats, or potatoes, or turnip, &c. would amply, 4n two years» 
repay the outlay, with profit Where it is dry bent moor, this 
is not necessary. In this case, irrigation, clumps, and belts of 
planting, with six or seven chalders, would, after the heather has 
been burnt, and the surface cleaned, and roots of heath rooted out^ 
be all that was necessary to secure an ample return for expenditure* 
The general term of leases here is nineteen years. 
The farm-buildings and enclosures here are generally good. 
Coal Mines. — Ck>al is found at various depths, and of very 
different quality and value. In one ''of them there was found, 
Ist, a coal of 7 inches, 7 fathoms from the surface ; dd, coal 
of 12 inches, 10 fiithoms fiirther down ; 9d, coal of 6 inches, 
19 fiuhoms £surther down ; 4th, coal of from d feet S inches, to 
above 5 feet at 21 fathoms, which is the main coal. There is 
also great variety in the quality of the coal. In a coal of 2^ feet 
thick, the following varieties were found : 8 inches of it gas coal,' 
8 inches smithy coal ; and 8 inches of fine coal ; the remaining 6 
inches were had, inde^. 

The dip^ are also vwous. The level dip is first due E« ; then 
turns to the & EL ; then takes another turn, and dips to the N. 
The dip to the S. W. gives the best coal, where it lies generally 
in troughs ; but the splint or hard coal is that which is most 
sought after by the public 

The thickness of the coal in the one pit is 4^ Ctot, and in the 
other about from 3 feet 8 inches to d feet. No veins, or dikes, or 



Digitized by 



Google 



NeiLSTON. 335 

irmibles have yet been met with in the working of the coal ; never- 
theless, alt of them to the east seem to be a troubled field, where 
the metals are found in all directions. 

The quantity of coals put out per week by the three pits may be 
above 1 200 tons, at 7s, 6d. per ton. The wages of the colliers are all 
equalized. The worst as well as the best pitmen receive 5s. per 
day, or L. 1, 10s. a week, or L. 78 Sterling per annum I 

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

Produce of grain of all kinds, oultivatod for the food of man or tha 

domestic animals is . . . L. 58>21 1 7 4 

Potatoes, turnips, eabUages, beet, and other plants cultivated in the 

fields for food, . . . 12,757 

Hay, whether meadow or cultivated, . . 9640 

Land in pasture, rated at L. 4 per eow, or full-grown ox, grazed for 

the season, and 9s. per ewe or full grown sheep pastured for the jear, 95 

Cows 1088, average milking seven pints a day for eight months, at 

dd. per pint, . ^ . . 21,288 I 

Coals per year, and quarries, &c. . . 24,960 

Miseellaneous produce not enumerated under any of the foregoing 

412 10 



Total yearly value of raw produce raised from lands, sheep and cows, L. 1 27,358 1 8 4 

Mcamfaetures. — These form the chief distinction of this parish. 
About the year 1767 or 1768) the idea was entertained of making 
the parish a manu&cturing one. The Rev. Mr Henry Miller, a 
man of great spirit and enterprise, having succeeded to the fine 
fortune of his late brother, the celebrated bookseller in the Strand, 
London, projected an inhle factory, and established it, with some 
of the influential heritors, as copartners. 

Shortly after that, about 1773} the printing of calicoes was begun 
at Fereneze, on the banks of the Levern. It was at that time 
deemed a great work. Its extent may be easily conceived from the 
excise duty paid, and its yearly expenditure. The first was about 
L. 3000 Sterling, and the second about L. 2000 yearly. It con-* 
tinued long the only printfield in the parish. Bleachfields became 
the rage, and these in their turn, — ^many of them, at least, — have 
become printfields, so that now the bleachfields and printfields, as 
seen above, are equal in number. 

BUachfUlds. — The first bleachfield was formed about 1778^ by 
the late Peter Adair, Esq. of Cross Arthurlie. He had been bleacher 
at some of the Lismore fields in Ireland, his native country. De* 
sirous of change of place, he came to Scotland. In sailing up the 
Clyde, nothing struck him so much as not to see a single bleachfield 
on its banks. To set down one, he thought, would be a good specu- 



Digitized by 



Google 



336 RENFREWSHIRE. 

lation ; and, looking out for a suitable spot, he pitched upon that 
one at Cross Arthurlie, which is still in the fieunily. The site 
proved at once his discernment, taste, and sound judgnaent He 
was soon followed by an host of imitators. 

Cotton^spinning. — Cotton-spinning began here in 1780. The 
first mill was set down at DovecothaJl^ on the banks of the Leyem^ 
on the site of the old corn-mill there. It is a small building, (still 
standing,) containing three storeys, 8 feet each in length; is 54 
long within, by 24 broad. This mill was the second cotton-mill 
in Scotland, and was built by Stewart, Dunlop, and Co. 

The success of this mill induced the building of others. Gate^ 
side mill followed in J 786; Broadlie in 1790; Arthurlie in the 
same year; Crofthead in 1792: and Mr Graham's in 1801. 

These mills were originally oFconsiderable size ; but since their 
first erection, some of them have been built anew, and others have 
had large additions made to them. By these additions, most of 
them are twice as large as before. Take an instance ; the old Le- 
vern mill, the second in Scotland, was built, as said, in 1780, and, 
according to Mr Wilson, was 78 feet long and 28 broad. To this 
there was added another mill in 1800, of 123 feet long by 32^ 
broad, having five storeys in it, and to this there was, in 1834, 
added another addition, of 113 feet long by 40 broad, — the whole 
forming now an immense pile of building. 

But an idea of their extent, and the value of the produce put 
out by them, will be best seen from the following statement, fur- 
nished partly by James Orr, Esq. of Crofthead, William Craig, 
Esq. of Kirkton, and others, spinners on the water. 

Number of mule spindles in all Uiese six mills, • llfiS& 

throstle spindles, • . • 1344 

looms, .... 230 

Annual ?alue of produce. 

Mule yams, 1,563,656 lbs. No. 46, at Is. 5d. per lb. . L. 112, 168 1 1 

Throstle do. 69,888 24, Is. 2id. 4,222 8 

1,653,444 L. 116,390 19 

Produce or2301oomi per year. 1,447,160 yards at 3|d. is, . ^fiW 17 6 

Total average produce annually of mules and looms, • L. 139,002 16 6 

The number of hands, men, women, and children, employed in 
the several branches of cotton-spinning, bleaching, and calico- 
printing, with their respective ages, will be clearly seen from the 
following table : — 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 337 

Table I. 

Shewing the men, women, and children, employed at the cotton 

mills, power-looms, printfields, and bleachBelds. 

Under 12 yrs. Under 18 yrs. Above 20 yrs. 

Total of «ll 

Males. Fein. Males. Fern. Males. Fern. ages. 

Cotton- spinners and — — — — — — '^ 

power loom weavers, d7 39 220 445 296 622 1659 

Printers, &c. 290 139 195 122 511 86 1343 

Bleachers, . . 17 29 49 232 126 259 712 



Amount of each age, 344 207 464 799 933 967 3714 

Table II. 
Abstract of the whole capital of the different works, with their 
. rents, amount of wages paid per annum. 

CapitaL Rental Wages. 

Of Printfields, je 28,650^ J^ 1961 ^30,569 

Bleachers, . . 39,000 1925 14,118 9 6 

Spinners and power-looms, 96,570 3500 51,575 12 

Amount, . ;€ 164,220 £7386 J^ 96,263 1 6 
Since these tables were framed, the only two returnswhich had 
been delayed, have been handed in. The one is from a small, the 
other a large printfield. From their being single, a pretty correct 
idea may be formed of the immense capital sunk, the wages paid, 
and the amount of rent and expenditure. In the one, the capital 
sunk is not given, but the average wages weekly are : — to pattern 
drawers, L. 1, 15s.; to block-cutters, L. 1, 4s.; to printers, L. 1, 
Is. ; to tirers, 2s. 3d. ; to labourers, 12s. ; to women, 6s. 

The amount of* wages paid monthly is about L. 160, sa L. 1920 per annum. 
The rent paid yearly is .... 150 

Paid per annum, . L.2070 

The amount of the other kinds of expenditure must be propor- 
tionably large, yet this is amongst one of the smallest printfields 
in the parish. The other, which is one of the largest, will give 
an idea of the expenditure of those like itself. 

After describing the kinds of work that is done there, the re- 
port states that '^ 500 hands'' are employed in it. 

That the capital employed in erecting it was . L. 12,000 

That the yearly expenditure in carrying it on is about . 20,000 
And its rent about ..... 500 



Sum total, . L. 32,500 
To the sunk capital of the bleachfields is to be added that of one whose return 
had not been made when the table was drawn up. 

Sunk capita], from L. 4000 to L. 6000, ayerage^ L. 4500 
Rent, . 250 

Wages, about .... 2660 10 



L. 7410 10 



Digitized by 



Google 



338 RENFREWSHIRE. 

In the returns from one of these works, it is stated, that ^* the 
management of them has been found a much more diCBcult task 
for two or three years past than it wont to be ; and that a spirit 
of insubordination and dissatisfaction seems to be spreading rapid- 
ly amongst the working classes." The multitude of comhinatwns 
formed, and the baneful effects of them, upon themselves, their &- 
milies, and society, strongly corroborate this statement 

The number of working days in the cotton-mills are six, — and the 
number of hours in the week, sixty-nine. Those of the printers, 
in summer, are from six in the morning till six in the evening, 
while those of the bleachers are from eleven to twelve hours per 
day, or seventy-two hours per week. In all the works, the chil- 
dren work the same hours as the men. That the wages afford a 
feir remuneration and support to those engaged in these works must 
appear evident from the high wages that are paid them, and the 
vast sums they spend in drinking. However much it may be dis-^ 
guised or denied, these works have a powerful tendency to affect 
both health and morals. Among them, you rarely find an indivi- 
dual of the strength, size, and fresh complexion, which distinguish- 
ed the ancient inhabitants. They are comparatively small, sickly* 
complexioned, and are old men, apparently, at forty-five years. 
Few see threescore and ten. 

Of their morals^ in general, we cannot say much that is &- 
vourable. Nevertheless, we gladly bear witness that there are, in 
these works, many exceptions, of persons who are as intellectual, 
moral, and religious, as any of the same class in the community. 
Shortening the hours of the children's labour, and giving them, 
before they go into these works, a thorough Christian education 
and Christian example, with a strict, but kind surveillance of 
the masters and overseers, appear to us to be the only means of 
correcting and improving the system. 

The above details of the state of our manu&ctures and agricul- 
ture, with their produce and wealth, will give some general idea 
of its resources. But a better idea of these will be attained by 
collecting them together. 

Taking the land as sunk stock at twenty years' purchase, 24,320 
imperial acres, - - « - 3= L. 4R6^400 

House and leaseholders* and fiirmers* property, at twelve years* pur* 
chase, make, sunk capital of L.1 64^ in public works included, i24d,750 I 6 

Wages paid by the public works per annum, - 90,263 I 6 

Sunk capital in fiuming-stock of horses and cow8,queys and oolta, mares 
and their foals, sheep and lambs, ... 19,189 

Produce of pasture for cattle of all kinds and sheep, « 1421 15 

4 



Digitized by 



Google 



L.6040 8 
58,211 7 
12,757 
21,283 1 
24,960 
412 
16,475 5 



4 




• 

9 


6529 





60,000 
28»650 
39,000 







' 33,4as 12 

3500 

20300 

6462 10 









NEILSTON. 339 

Sunk stock for lime nnd manure^ ... 

Produce ftom all kinds of grain raised in 1836, 

from potatoes, turnips, and bay of all kinds, 
of the dairy, 1088 cows» ... 

of mines and quarries, &c &c. - ' - 

Miaoellaneous produce not enumerated, 
Rent-roll of the parish or landed income per annum. 
Rental of 815 double or divided houses, average rent, L. 4 for a room 

and a kitchen = 1630 houses, - 

Sunk capital on the public works, viz. on the six cotton mills, which 

originally co6t about L. 1 12»000, but now taken at 
Sunk oapiml on printfields, ... 

on bleachfields, - •> - 

Amount -of wages paid masons, wrights, bhicksmiths, shoemakers, 

weaTors, tailors* saddlers, and daily labourers in the parish. 
Sunk capita] on mines, - - - . - 

Tons output per week, 1000, at 8b. per ton. 
Wages per annum to the colliers, &c. - - 

Such 18 the wealth of thk parish, as nearly as can be stated 
from the retunis made by the masters of public works, by the 
master artisans of the different trades, and by the active and /^r- 
Monal survey of an intelligent and skilfiil farmer, with respect to the 
produce of the land and dairy, and amount of stocL 

V. — Parochial Economy. 

There are no towns in the parish; but the villages of Neilston 
and Barrhead may be considered as approadiing to that character. 
Though there is now a population of 9187 in the parish, there is 
neither a magistrate, nor police, nor jail in it The whole is 
kept in order by active Justices of the Peace, with a constabulary 
at their command. There is a small-debt court held in Neilston 
and Barrhead, alternately, once every month, by the Justices. On 
these occasions, they have their legal assessor and clerL Neilston 
is not a market-town. The nearest market-town is Paisley, but 
there is no occasion to go thither for any thing almost that is need- 
ed. Every article and convenience of life is to be had in the parish. 

Means of CommunicaliotL — In consequence of the new turnpike 
roads that run through the parish, and three daily coaches, com- 
munication, internally and externally, is enjoyed to the fullest extent, 
— to Paisley and Glasgow and Edinburgh on the east, and to Kil- 
majrnock, Ayr, Irvine, and Saltcoats or Ardrossan on the west. 
One of the roads from Glasgow to Irvine runs through the whole 
length of the parish, as does that from Paisley, through Neilston 
village, to Stewarton, Kilmaurs, Kilmarnock, and Ayr. The 
-length of these two turnpike roads in the parish is fully nine miles. 

The road that leads to Irvine from Glasgow by the Hurlet, 
Barrhead, north of Neilston and Uplay Moor, is a most splendid 
one. Formerly, there was no road from Paisley to Kilmarnock biit 



Digitized by 



Google 



340 RBNPRBW8H1RE. 

the old mountainous one by the south of the village, which cost 
little ; but this new one cost the trustees, in taking it up the Le- 
vem to Loch-Libo, about Lb 18^000. This road is almost a com- 
plete level, and passes through a very pleasant country. The 
bridges are in number 22, and are all kept in excellent repair by 
the diligent and faithful surveyor of them, Mr Thomas Anderson, 
post-master of Neilston. 

Though the cess-money amounts to L. 500 a-year, yet the debt 
on the parish roads is Lb ISO. This arises from the excellent state 
in which they are kept , So late as the year 1770, there was scarce- 
ly a road in this parish. Every kind of raw material, such as grain 
of all sorts, lime, coal, or the produce of the dairy, had to be car- 
ried on horses' backs. In taking the produce of farms to Glas- 
gow, two days were occupied, one in going and the other in re* 
tuming. Except in the drought of summer, or the hard frosts of 
winter, the people in the moorland districts got neither to kirk 
nor market; for the parish roads were impassable, and then there 
were no turnpikes. Indeed, till about the year 1790, there were 
only three turnpike roads in all this county ; and these, by being 
carried over hilly and rough courses, were very tedious and unptea* 
sant, and ofiten unsafe to travel on. All this, however, has happily 
been done away with; and Renfrewshire can now boast of roads 
and foot-paths equal to any in the kingdom. 

As yet, there are neither canals nor railways in the parish ; but 
if the present mania for railways go on, we shall probably have ooe 
from Ayr, Troon, Kilmarnock, and Irvine, running through the 
whole length of the parish. Nature has pointed it out, and come it 
must some day, instead of the proposed circuitous route by Dairy, 
Lochwinnoch and Paisley. From Irvine to Glasgow, it is almost as 
straight as the crow flies, and without a hill ; and from the Troon 
to Irvine, it is a dead level Nothing can be more direct, if it be 
wished to unite Glasgow with the west coast. Before travel- 
lers from Ayr, Troon, Kilmarnock, or Irvine could be at Loch- 
winnoch by the proposed railway, they would be in Glasgow. . 

To facilitate communication, there are two post-*ofiices, one in 
Neilston, and the other at Barrhead, yielding annually to the re* 
venue about Lb 160, independently of the twopenny-post letters. 
"When the post-office was 6rst established in Neilston, its arrivals 
and departures were only thrice a-week, on the Tuesdays, Thurs- 
days, and Saturdays. Now it is an every-day post here, as well as 
in Barrhead. 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 34 i 

Considering the population, the revenue L. 160, may appear 
small ; but when it is observed, that all the twenty-three masters 
of public works lift, every lawful day, their letters at the Glasgow 
and Paisley post-offices, it will appear a great sum, as coming al- 
most wholly from operatives and servants. But what &rtber proves 
the growing greatness and wealth of the parish is, that last year, a 
branch of the Glasgow Union Bank was established in Neilston. 

Ecclesiastical State. — The eccl^iastical state of the parish of 
Neilston is altogether peculiar; and unUke that of any oliier land- 
ward parish in Scotland. Though having only one church it has 
two congregations ; one of the congregations has free sittings, and 
so might the other, if they chose. But some of them, fond of giv- 
ing away their money, or seeking favour with the heritors, or from 
some other cause best known to themselves, pay seat rent, though 
now, comparatively, a very trifle. 

The situation of the parish church is perfectly convenient for the 
greater part of the population, though the distance of its extremi- 
ties from the church is considerable. The western extremity is bj^ 
miles, and the eastern 3. But the western is thinly inhabited, in 
comparison with the eastern, which abounds with villages and a 
dense population. 

The church by the former Statistical Report of 1791, is said to 
have been built in 1762. But this, like many things in that report, 
is inaccurate.* Instead of being built then, it must have only been 
repaired. The window on the north wall, which is a specimen of 
the finest Gothic architecture, must, in the opinion of an eminent 
architect, be 400 years old at least. It was repaired, and had an 
addition made to it in 1797-8, and got a thorough repair in 1827. 
Its present state is deemed good by many ; but its walls, being 
without band, and its roof heavy, render it unsafe when the storm 
rages, or when the church is crowded, as it often is. 

In olden times, some important bene&ctions were made to the 
poor, and the names of the benefactors put on boards, which hung 
on the walls on the right and left side of the pulpit. But these 
were removed when the church was repaired in 1797-89 and have 
never been restored. Nor is there any need ; the whole of these 
benefactions having long ago been taken in totOy and applied to the 
poor, and to the enlai^ement of the church in 1798. 

* As an instance of the inaccuracy of this Report, it may be observed, that the 
church is there stated to contain lOOO, whereat^ after an addition to it of 391 » or 
thereby, it only holds 830. 



Digitized by 



Google 



312 IIEN:PR£W8UIR£. 

The number of peraoos to whom the church affords accommo^ 
dation is 890. By filling the passages and stairs, and cramming 
it choke*fuIl, it may hold about 940 persons of ordinary size. This 
is the whole accommodation for a population of 9187 souls, the 
great proportion of which is warmly attached to the Establishment. 

As to the mode in which the sittings are held, some explanation 
is necessary, In one sense they are all free, in another, none of them 
are free. The heritors hold aU the seats as theirs, and claim a right 
to admit or keep out of them all and sundry, just as they please I 

The parishioners, on the other hand, maintain that they have no 
right to the seats; that, legally, heritors have only room for them- 
selves and their families ; that the church is not built solely for 
their use, but for the use of, at least, two*thirds of the examinable 
persons above twelve years of age in the parish ; that when a new 
church is to be built, they must build it of the proper dimension, 
furnish a minister to it, pay his stipend, and the officersof the church ; 
provide a precentor, Bible and Psalm Book for the minister, com-, 
munion elements and cups, and salvers, and tablecloths, and a laver 
for baptism ; in short, that every thing is to be provided by the 
heritors for the celebration of divine ordinances in the church, y^ve 
ofaU expense to the parishumere ; not out of the private funds of 
heritors, but out of the church's patrimony in their hands, appoint- 
ed by law to be appropriated to that purpose. 

By what right, then, or by what law, it is asked, have heritors a 
claim to charge seat rents in landward parishes? If, by law, they 
may be compelled to build a church free of expense to the parish- 
ioners, that all may enjoy the benefit of divine worship, where is 
their right to charge seat rents ? Is not tlie doing of it illegal ami 
vaguMtf 

These views of the question led the parishioners of Neilston ulti- 
mately to oppose such a demand. From 1798» seat rents were 
demanded. In that year, a system of setting them up by public 
auction in the church commenced. As it proceeded, heart-burn- 
ings and animosities were the results. The demand being great, 
and the supply small, some of the seats rose to L. I, 1 Js. 6d. per 
eighteen inches, so that the average rent, for at least twenty years, 
was 12s. 4d. a sitter ! 

This produced murmuring and complaints. But what could 
they do? They could not save themselves. They h'ad no other 
choice, but either to submit to this illegality, or to leave the 
church, and, with their families, to be deprived of divine ordi* 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 343 

nances in the parish. At last, they laid their heads together 
in 1826, a year of bad trade, when most of them had nothing to 
live upon, and no money to pay for seat rentSj^-and resolved, that 
none of them would take one another's seats ; and that next Sabbath, 
the day after the public roup, they would go to their seats as usual. 
Hearing of this determination of the seat-holders, the heritors pro- 
cured an interdict from Sheriff Dunlop, ^* against all and sundry 
from entering the seats of the church without the heritors' autho- 
rity," — which could only be obtained by paying seat-rent 

On this, the church was deserted, and the minister, unwilling to 
preach to bare walls and empty benches, went to the tent in the 
church-yard, and there, in the open air, summer and winter, for 
eight years, preached unto his people. Litigation, oppressive 
and keen, in the church courts, conunenced against him. But he 
never ceased to defend himself and his claim for free sitting, till 
he obtained a triumph by the subjoined judgment of the General 
Assembly in 1830, drawn up by that eminent lawyer, John Hope, 
Esq. Advocate, then Solicitor- General.* 

In the face of this declaration, which is suflSciently plain and 
explicit, the heritors of Neilston continued the interdict, and let the 
seats as usual by public roup, to whomsoever would take them. 

By the Act of Assembly 1828, the minister was ordered back 
to the church to give sermon. This he did. In the forenoon he 
preached to the heritors, their families, and tenants, and in the af- 

* " Parties being fully beard, were removed. After reasoning, the General As- 
sembly, without a vote, pronounced the following deliTerance : — The General As- 
sembly having had this petition under eonsideration, feel bound and called upon, as 
the guardians of the spiritual interests and ecclesiastical rights and privileges of the 
people of Scotland, solemnly and firmly to assert the right of parishioners respecting 
church accommodation, to the full extent to which they are entitled to the same, un- 
der the established constitution of the Church of Scotland. The General Assembly 
do assert and maintain, as one of the undoubted. rights and privileges of the church, 
that accommodation in parish churches cannot be made the subjeet of profit or in- 
come of any sort by the heritors, to whatever purpose they may be applied : and the 
General Assembly do distinctly assert, in vindication of the pririleges of the people, 
that in parish churches, regularly built bv heritors in country parishes, in implement 
of those legiil obligations imposed on the possession and enjoyment of their pro- 
perty, the surplus ar^ allotted to heritors, after accommodating themselves, their 
tenants, and others residing on their esutes who have a right to accommodation in 
the same, is destined for the accommodation of other parishioners, and ought to be 
so appropriated, subject to the &ir allotment and distribution to such pari&hioners as i 
may be preferred by the heritors ; and the General Assembly do solemnly protest 
against any ohum or pretension of right on the part of heritors to M such surplus 
area, or any part of the area of the church, in such cases, or to draw any income from 
the same, to whatever objects the same may be applied ; and do assert and maintain, 
that such pretenaioo is contrary to the principles of our e cclesias t ical constitution, 
and inconsistent with the righto and privileges of the people of Scotland, as originally 
intended and secured for their instruction.*' 

RKNFRBW. Z 



Digitized by 



Google 



344 RENFREWSHIRE. 

ternoon to the operatives^ and all others who were iDterdicted, and 
would not pay rent. 

In the Court of Session, the people's claim for an ample and ex- 
tended enlargement of the church, sufficient for two-thirds of the pa- 
rishioners, was refiised, and the minister cast, with costs. Avail- 
ing himself of the support of the General Assembly, and recom- 
mendation, in 1881, by their Procurator, to try the case in the 
House of Lords, the question was carried thither, and lost as 
to the enlargement of the church. But, in affirming the judg- 
ment of the Court of Session, the Chancellor threw out, inciden- 
tally, some strong condemnatory expressions about letting seats 
m landward parishes for rent, and especially the indecency and il- 
legality of having the auction in the church. On this, and on 
the deliverance of the General Assembly, the minister and his in- 
terdicted flock returned to the church, — took quiet possession of 
its seats in the afternoon, and have continued ever since to do so, 
without paying, or being called upon to pay, a penny of rent 

Such are the steps, the minister and parishioners of Neilston 
took to get quit of such an enormous, grievous, and illegal impost : 
and every landward parish should imitate their example. 

From 1826 to April 1833^ they were in the civil courts at im- 
mense expense. The church and the nation were alive to their 
plea. Multitudes of parishes were in the same state of destitution 
as to accommodation with that of Neilston. Had we succeeded, 
they were all ready to claim additions. At losing our cause, not 
merely disappointment, but despondency, was felt and expressed. 
The General Assembly, at its first meeting, took up the cause. 
The minister "received the thanks of the Assembly for his zeal, 
and labours, and great exertions in the cause. The Assembly 
ordered all his expenses in carrying on the suit before the Lord 
Chancellor, to be paid; and Dr Chalmers, fired with a noble 
patriotism and Christian zeal, took up, and is now carrying on 
" church extension" with a spirit and success worthy of him, 
and of the people of Scotland, who have answered his call, and 
are generously contributing for the erection of new churches. 

The only difference betwixt Dr Chalmers' plan and Dr Flem- 
ing's lies in this. As to church accommodation, or church exten- 
sion, their views are nearly the same. But not so, in the other 
parts. Dr Fleming's plan included and would have secured en- 
dowments, and parochial schools for the new parishes. In this» 
his object was not to call upon any one to put his hand in his 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 345 

pocket for a penny. He pointed out as ^jwad^ the huhopi rents^ 
the surplus teinds, and the sinecure salaries of the chaplains and 
deans of the Chapel-Royal. Not the half of these sums were con- 
ceived to be necessary in order to build and endow all the churches 
and parochial schools which might be needed. Let these be 
taken and properly appropriated, and Dissenters, voluntaries, and 
enemies to the Church of Scotland, will have no reason to com- 
plain, as not a farthing of the funds required will come out of their 
private purse. 

The manse was built in 1766. It was deemed a splendid build- 
ing, with one of the finest landscapes from it, in the west «of Scot- 
land. It has been frequently repaired. In 1809, the repairs on 
it, which were the last, cost betwixt L. 600 and L. 700. The ex- 
tent of the glebe is scarcely 8 acres, including house and gar- 
den. Its value is not more than L. 20 a-year. 

The amount of stipend is 16 chalders, one- half meal and one- 
half barley, according to the highest fiar prices of the county. 
But the barley is paid not by the county, but by the Linlithgow 
boll, which reduces that half of the stipend six and a-half per cent, 
below the county boll, a thing which is held unwarranted and 
unwarrantable by the Act of Parliament, and in the doing of which 
the Court of Session, as the writer conceives, became legislators, 
and not the executors of the law. By this modifying of stipends, 
ministers are paid neither by the fiars of their county nor Linlith- 
gow. They get the^r^ of the one and the measure of the other, 
which, in practice, is a grievous hardship to the clergy : dfiaking a 
loss, in Renfrewshire, of six and a-quarter per cent, even when the 
fiars in both counties are the same ; but it is still more grievous 
when the Linlithgow fiars are equal to, or higher than those in 
Renfrewshire. But still more : — The court, in modifying stipends 
according to the Linlithgow firlot or boll, is conceived to be set* 
ting at nought the act of Queen Anne, 1707, — called the Act of 
Union,— which abrogates the Linlitl gow firlot, and every other 
measure for grain but the Winchester bushel Its words are, chap, 
xvii. — ^^ That from and after the Union, the same weights and 
measures shall be used throughout the United Kingdom as are 
now established in England,^* 4*c. 

There is only one Seceding chapel in the parish, belonging to 
the United Associate Synod of the Secession Church. The mi- 
nister is paid from the seat-rents and collections chiefly. Salary 
about L. 150. There are neither Episcopalian nor Roman Ca- 



Digitized by 



Google 



346 



RENFREWSHIRE. 



tholic chapels in the parish^ nor any other dissenting or sectarian 
meeting-houses. 

The number of families, also the number of persons of all ages 
above twelve, attending the Established Church, the chapels of 
Dissenters and Seceders, Episcopalians and Catholics, with the 
number of their sittings, and communicants in tlieir several churches 
and chapels where they attend, will be found in the following 
table : — 

Fam. Indiv. Sittings Com. Above 12 Prop, of Sits. 



Denomination 
Established Church, 
Dissenters belonging 

to Aflfiociat Synod, 
All other Dissenters, 
Roman Catholics, 
Belong to no church, 



* Farmers, &c. 
Tradesmen, &c. 



1226 

171 

128 

206 

34 



6395 582 1638 



849 

688 

1091 

164 



215 

96 

168 



225 
182 
345 



4492 

599 
427 
762 



9.1 in 100. 

25.3 do. 
13.9 do. 

15.4 do. 



1764 

Fam. Indiv. 

98 639 

342 1890 



9187 1061 



Sits. 
381 
680 



2390 

Com. 
270 
717 



6379 

AboTe 12 

018 

1249 



11.5 in 100 

Prop, of Sit& 

59.6 in 100 
35.9 



Total having sittings, 440 
Total having no sittings, 1324 



2629 
6658 



1061 



987 
1403 



1767 
4612 



41.9 in lOO 



Total population, 1764 9187 1061 2390 6379 11.5 in 100 

Abstract of the whole : Established, 6395 ; Roman Catholics^ 
1091; Burghers, 1032; Episcopalians, 236; Relievers, 154; 
Independents, 36 ; Methodist, 30 ; Reformed Presbyterians, 29 ; 
Universal, 15; Jews, 5; no church, 164 ; total 9187. 

Religious Societies, — There are six societies for charitable and 
religious purposes, two of which are Sabbath-school associations ; 
besides a number of Friendly Societies. 

Such is a minute but accurate account of the ecclesiastical state 
of this parish, with its struggles, successes, and defeats, for free seats 
and ample accommodation. In the mighty exertions that are going 
on for church extension, they took the lead, for at least twenty 
years, and therefore hope to form one of the gems in that crown 
of glory whjch is preparing for Dr Chalmers. 

Education. — The number of schools in this parish is 13. 
There is only one parochial school. All the others are private 
or unendowed. There is none supported by individual subscriptions. 
In the parochial school, are taught English, writing, arithmetic, ma- 
thematics, geography, Latin, Greek, and French. There are three 
others where Latin is taught with the common branches of educa- 
tion. Besides these, there are five schools attached to five of the 
public works, where the children are taught reading, writing, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



NE1L8TON. 347 

arithmetic, and there are four female schools where the common 
branches of education, with needle-work are taught* The num- 
ber of scholars at all of these schools amounts to about 1000. 

The parochial teacher has the maximum salary, but his garden 
ground is deficient. When the present school and school-house are 
finished, he will have one of the finest school-houses in the county, 
and double the amount of accommodation which the law allows him* 

Though education is cheap, there are numbers of the young 
between six and fifteen years of age who cannot read or write, and 
not a few upwards of fifteen years of age who are in the same situa- 
tion. Their number cannot be ascertained precisely, as they are 
often unwilling to acknowledge their ignorance. They are chiefly 
Irish. These persons bitterly lament their want, and, with the 
great body of the people, are keenly alive to the benefits of edu- 
cation, and anxious to have their children taught The number of 
schools and scholars in the parish is the best evidence of this. 

What is wanting in such a wealthy parish as this is an aca- 
demy placed in a central locality between Neilston and Barrhead, 
Grahamston and Newton Ralston, where the higher branches of 
education would be taught by well qualified and approved teachers. 
This is a desideratum which the present minister has long pointed 
out as well worthy of attention. 

Notwithstanding the prevalence of education, it must be afiirm- 
ed that among the lower orders of the people, dissipation, the 
profanatiou of the Lord's day, and uncleanliness, are as common as 
ever. The Sabbath schools have notmade the youth moreobservant 
than before of the fifth commandment Respect for superiors is 
seemingly laid aside; and the conduct of boys, adults and men, at the 
elections for a member of Parliament, has only to be witnessed, to 
convince any one that education has not purified their hearts, bet- 
tered their dispositions, humanized their feelings, or rendered their 
manners more courteous. Politics, faction, and party spirit, at 
such times, seem to take Christianity out of their hearts, if it 
ever was in it Kindness is only preserved for friends ; and the 
most rancorous and savage dispositions are cherished for enemies. 
Their cry is liberty; yet the liberty they take to themselves 
they will not allow to others. Indeed, education never has, 
and never will have^ any real permanent efiect on the mind and 
manners of mankind, unless it be a Christian education, which 
alone can bring forth the fruits of righteousuess, — ^' Glory to God 
in the highest, on earth peace, and good will to the children of tnen." 



Digitized by 



Google 



348 - RENFREWSHIRE. 

The manners and morality of the better classes have, in general, 
been ameliorated, and the decencies and proprieties of life are 
better observed. Cursing, swearing, drinking to excess, were, 
thirty or forty years ago, very common in these classes. The pro- 
fanation of the Lord's day was carried often to a great length, — 
it was a day of feasting to friends from the city. At such feasts 
deb.uchery reigned ; and nothing was more common than to see 
the guests of some returning home drunk, singing and roar- 
ing, blaspheming, and disturbing all the neighbourhood. Now 
scarcely anything of all this if either seen or heard. But the evil 
habits they have parted with, are taken up by multitudes of the 
working classes, who glory in their shame, and whose vices appear 
still more frightful, by wanting the amenity of their superiors. We 
speak of the irreligious and ungodly which abound here, as in all 
manufacturing parishes ; but, as said already, the externally decent, 
and apparently pious and church-going population, equal in intelli* 
gence, intellectual improvement, and moral and religious habits, 
any classes of the same rank found in the country. 

Literature. — There are no parochial or other circulating libraries 
in the parish. Through the influence of the present minister one 
was got up, and continued for many years. It was pretty exten- 
sive, but, owing to circumstances unnecessary to be detailed, the 
library was sold, and the proceeds distributed amongst the sub- 
scribers. The " Levem's Mechanics' Institution** has, to a certain 
extent, supplied its place. It has a library, in which some of 
the best publications are to be found, relative to science and the 
arts, and especially to mechanics. 

Charitable Institutions, — There are in the parish one Society 
for charity, and seven Friendly Societies, whose object is the re- 
lief of their members when sick, or reduced to poverty. Some 
of them have been in existence since 1797 ; others were instituted 
in 1799, 1805, 1806, 1819, and 1821. Hitherto, their happy 
tendency has been to promote industry, and excite the desire of 
independence, whilst they remove the humbling idea arising from 
parochial or eleemosynary charity. 

Poor and Parochial Funds. — The average number of persons 
receiving parochial aid from the poor's fund, from February 1836 
to February 1837, was 168, out o a population of 9187 souls. 
The gross expenditure in 1836 was L. 595, 12s. 2id., gi\ ng 
upon an average nearly L. 3, 10s. lid. to eac per annum. This 
sum of L. 595, 12s. 2Jd. was raised as follows : — By collections at 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 349 

the church doors, L. 16, 15s. 8d. ; proclamation dues, L. 13, ISs. ; 
hearse and mortcloth hires, L. 5, Os. 2d. ; effects of a pauper 
deceased, L. 41, Ids. 4^d. ; assessment, L.518, 15s. O^d. 

There is no disposition among the poor restraining them from 
seeking parochial relief. Those that are born and bred in the 
parish, and whose relatives and friends are in comfortable circum- 
stances, feel backward to ask relief from the funds, counting it 
degrading ; but the English and Irish poor have no such feeling, 
and often make clamorous solicitation to be put upon the roll. 

Fairs* — These are in number 5. Four of them are held at 
Neilston ; three of them for cattle, on the third Tuesday of Fe- 
bruary, May, and October, old style ; and the fourth for horse- 
racing, &c. on the fourth Tuesday of July, new style. At Barr- 
head, there is a fifth fair held for horse-racing ; and a cattle-market 
on the last Friday and Saturday of June, new style. 

Inns. — The inns and alehouses are in number 58, and the 
quantity of spirits sold in them will be the best answer to the 
query, ** what are their effects on the morals of the people ?" 
That quantity for eleven months only was 19,403 gallons, most 
of which is consumed on the Saturday evenings, and on the Lord's 
days ; Jive hundred gallons more, the excise officer supposes, are 
used, though not in his ledger, and which he is unable ^to detect, 
making in all, 19,903 gallons, at 8s. 6d. on an average ; and the 
amount on this average for the eleven months is L. 8458, 15s. O^d. 
This expenditure proves the high wages which the people receive ; 
and the demoralizing effects which such a quantity of spirituous 
liquors must have upon their morals and habits, may easily be 
supposed. 

FueL — The fuel used is coal of various descriptions, — one kind 
for domestic use, another for the furnaces of the public works, 
and a third for making gas. Some of the first is obtained at the 
Nitshill pits, and Paisley collieries, about the distance of three 
miles from some, and four or four and a-half miles from others. 
Most of the latter is got at Hurlet, and the other pits in the pa- 
rish, and the splint or hard coal for the gas is obtained from 
Muirkirk, a distance of thirty miles. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 

The variations betwixt the present state of the parish and that 

which existed at the time of the last Statistical Account, are as 

numerous as they are striking. Save its situation and extent, its 

Jiills and crags, nothing almost is the same now as in 1790. Every 



Digitized by 



Google 



350 RENFREWSHIRE. 

thing has undergone a change. The soil has been improved and 
fertilized, and the climate rendered milder and more genial, by 
draining and drying the land, and by sheltering belts and clumps 
of planting. In 1790, there were only two small cotton-mills, one 
printfield, and two bleachfields. In 1837, there are six large cot- 
ton-mills, eight printfields, and eight bleachfields, besides a yariety 
of other works. In 1790, the population was 2330 souls, in 1836 
it was 9187. In 1790, there were only one Episcopalian, one 
Roman Catholic, and six Dissenters in the parish ; in 1836 there 
were. Episcopalians, 236; Roman Catholics, 1091; Dissenters, 
1296 ; total, 2623. In 1790, there were 429 sittings for a popu- 
lation of 2330 souls ; in 1836, there were only 830 sittings for 
a population of 9187. In 1790, there were only three schools in 
the parish ; now there are thirteen, besides five at mills, and four 
female schools for reading and sewing. In 1790, the schools- 
master's salary was only L. 8, 6s. 8d. ; now it is about L. 36, 
with an excellent school-house and small garden. In 1790, there 
were no Justices of the Peace, save one ; now there are nine« five 
of whom are residents. In 1790, there was no Justice of Peace 
Court ; in 1 837, there is one held the first Monday of every month, 
alternately at Neilston and at Barrhead. In 1790, there were an- 
nually killed from thirty to forty cows ; in 1 836, there were skin 380. 
In 1790, the killing of a lamb was a rare thing, and the flesher 
went round amongst the better sort, as he called them, to inquire 
who would take a leg of it ; in 1836, there were slain in the parish 
168 lambs, 778 sheep, 654 veals, and 20 swine. In 1790, the 
roads were scarcely passable, but in the droughts of summer, and 
hard frosts in winter ; but now, owing to the conversion of the 
statute labour, the country roads are excellent In 1790, there 
was only one public road through the parish to Dunlop, Stewarton, 
Kilmarnock, and the whol.e of the west country. It was exceed- 
ingly hilly and steep, in many places, and kept in bad condition. 
In 1837, there is a splendid turnpike road, which leads through 
the whole length of the parish to Irvine and the western coast 
This road, which runs up the course of the Levern, and along the 
beautiful banks of Loch-Libo, is almost a dead level from Glas- 
gow to Irvine. The making and alteration of this line of road from 
the old one, cost, it is said, the trustees about L. 18,000. There 
are on it and the other turnpike roads in the parish, in all, twenty- 
two bridges, great and small. 

Another great advantage would accrue to the inhabitants of Neil- 



Digitized by 



Google 



NEILSTON. 351 

slon and the coal-masters of the east, especially to Mr Dickson 
of the 6re-work, were a railway to be carried from the canal at 
Bochtl to the west of Barrhead, or Mr Cunningham's field. Such 
a railway would pay well, from the immense quantity of coal used 
at the numerous public works in this parish, and by its inhabitantSi 

In 1790, there were no stage coaches running from the parish to 
Glasgow, or Paisley, or Irvine. In 1836, there were four, viz. the 
Levem Trader, the Perseverance, the Sons of Commerce, and the 
Union stage-coach from Irvine to Glasgow, by lx>ch*Libo. All 
these started in the morning about nine o'clock, and returned in 
the evening. On Thursdays, two started, one from Neilston and 
Barrhead, and returned in the afternoon. 

Thus easy and ample means of conveyance are afforded to the 
easl^ and west, and north. Still, a very great advantage would be 
conferred upon the manu&cturers and masters of public works, if 
the tolls were lowered. About twenty-six carts from the public works 
and carriers of Barrhead and Neilston, besides others, pass four 
tolls a day, the rates of which are very high. In 1790, there were 
only about five or six publicans; in 1836, there were fifty-eight. 

But the greatest of all the changes made on the parish, is in its 
rental, — which in 1790 was little more than L. 8000, — while now 
it amounts to L. 16,475, 5s. 9d. In 1790, the value of the whole 
land in the parish at thirty years' purchase was L. 90,000 ; it is 
now at the same rate L. 494,250. * 

The improvements required here are, — that our town should be 
created a burgh of barony, with its magistrates and police, and a 
good, strong, and efficient jail. Nexf^ the parish church should 
be enlarged, or another built at Barrhead ; for how can it be ex- 
pected that a man excluded from religious instruction and Divine 
ordinances, can be a good moral man ? Yet here are 9187 all ex* 
eluded, save 830. Can this state of things lead men to ** fear 
God, honour the King, and meddle not with them that are given 
to change ?" 

Excepting the flow-mosses, it appears that at one time or other 
this parish had been all under cultivation ; and by proper draining, 

* We omitted abore to advert to the management o£dunghiU»t which is susceptible 
of an improvement of the highest importance. This improvement would be, to build 
them in the foim of a hay stalk, and square,— and to have a trench around them, and 
a vf//.at the bottom of it, where the drippi ngs of the cows in the byre may fall. The 
dung to be spread evenly on the " midden,** then watered with the drippings from 
the Well ; and with the straw covered from the sun and wind. Let this be done daily, 
and in spring the '* midden" will cut like a piece of new cheese, and be doubly valu- 
able. 

' RENFREW. A a 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



352 RENFREWSHIRE. 

the moss is capable of being improved. There are great facilities 
to this from the ready means of external communication, and the 
abundant command of manure, lime, and coah But lime or manure 
are of no use till the mosses are drained and levelled, and cleared of 
bent. The lime, to the amount of eight or nine chalders per acre, will, 
after two or three years rest, call its productive powers into action ; 
and, by judicious management and cropping, the improver will 
not only have the delightful feeling* of making a new creation to 
spring up on his property, but of adding to his wealth, and in- 
creasing the comforts and happiness of the labouring classes. 

The success of Colonel Fulton, (though there were no other 
example in the parish,) is animating and encouraging to the rest 
of the heritors, who have abundance of moss to cultivate, which is 
as susceptible of improvement as either Ck)lonel Fulton's, or Mr 
Graham's hills of Fereneze. A word to the wise is enough. Let 
those who are fearful of the expense, and the doubtfulness of an 
ample return for their outlay, ponder well the following extract, 
taken from the Ayrshire Agricultural Report, drawn by that ta- 
lented and skilful improver, William Aiton, Esq. late of Stratbaven. 
" If," says he, " the noble families of Loudon and Dumfries, 
and other proprietors of the soil, would pay attention to that spe- 
cies of improvement — bent moss — in any degree suitable to its im- 
portance, their revenues might be greatly augmented, the industry 
of their tenants amply rewarded, and the food of man, from these 
quarters, greatly multiplied. I know no way in which so great a 
return can be obtained with so little advance, and so great cer- 
tainty, as in the improvement of the bent-moss. When purchases 
of land are made, the proprietor is contented with a return of 3^ 
or 4 per cent, of the price he has paid ; but by a judicious and 
well-conducted improvement of bent-moss, 20, 50, and in many 
instances 100 per cent, per annum, may be obtained for all the 
money advanced on that species of improvement, — a profit so great, 
the satisfaction of enlarging their own estates, and increasing their 
rent-roll, without diminishing that of any other person; exciting 
industry among their .tenantry ; multiplying the food of man, and 
the resources of the nation ; will, I sincerely hrpe, rouse all who 
have bent-moss on their estates, instantly to set about the reclaim- 
ing of it. It is by far the most profitable, and at the same time 
the most patriotic species of improvement that can be- pursued." 

March 1837. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PARISH OF KILBARCHAN. 

PRESBYTERY OF PAISLEY, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR. 

THE REV. ROBERT DOUGLAS, MINISTER. 



I. — Topography and Natural History. 

Name. — The name of this parish is not improbably derived 
from three Gaelic words, viz. jKt7, a cell, BrtB or Bar^ a hill, and 
Chariy a vale or plain, and would thus signify the ^' chapel of the 
hill-bounded vale." Such a designation is strikingly descriptive 
of the situation of the church and village, — on a gently rising 
ground, sheltered on three sides by wooded hills, and sloping 
down gradually towards the south, where it is quite open. From 
a glen, formed by the rather sudden rise of two of these elevated 
ridges, issues a streamlet, which, after winding round Glentyan 
Hill on the north-west, and supplying a power, to keep in activity 
the busy scene of a corn-mill and a bleachfield not far distant, pur- 
sues a south-easterly course through part of Captain Stirling's 
pleasure-grounds, where it presents a succession of delightful 
short falls at intervals, — till, having watered also part of the 
Milliken pleasure-grounds, it falls into the Black Cart, a mile 
or thereby to the eastward, a little above Johnstone. Some, 
however, would trace the name up to St Barchan, who is, by 
tradition, said to have lived, as well as to have founded a place of 
worship in this very inviting locality, in the age of the Culdees. 
Yet, as in remoter periods, the names of individuals were not un- 
frequently adopted from those of the places where they were 
born, or in which they acquired superior distinction, the two ac- 
counts may coincide more nearly than at first sight might have 
i^peared. 

Lest the above-mentioned origin of the name should seem fan- 
ciful, it may not, perhaps, be deemed too minute an observation 
to remark, what may appear somewhat singular, that, notwith- 
standing the corruption to which the merely oral transmission of 
names is liable, during'so long a period as musthave elapsed since the 
Celtic was the vernacular language of this district, a very great num- 



Digitized by 



Google 



354 RENFREWSHIRE. 

ber of the oames of the properties and farms in the higher district, 
to westward of the church and village, are unquestionably of Cel- 
tic origin ; whereas those to eastward are designated in the common 
dialect of the low country of Scotland. Eyery person who has eyen 
the slightest tincture of the former language, must at once recognize 
the traces of it in Auchinames or Butterfield, remarkable for its very 
fine pasturage ; Auchinsale (east and west) t. 6. Bamfield ; Auchin- 
cloichs, high and low, €tr Stoneyfield ; Branchell, (perhaps Brean- 
choil, as in Monteith, near Callender) ; and if so. Wood-head, or 
above the wood ; Bambeth, top or head of the birches ; and, to 
specify no more, Torrs^ a name indicating some striking <^ heights'' 
— ^a name occurring in numberless instances from the north of 
Scotland to the Mam- Tors in the central, and the Torbay, Tor- 
quay of the south of England, and Torres Vedras, on the south- 
western limit of Celtic dominion in Europe. 

Situation. — In respect of local position, this parish may be re- 
garded as forming the centre of Renfrewshire, at an equal distance 
from Polnoon Lodge, a seat of the Earl of Eglinton, in Eagle- 
sham parish, (some fifteen miles to south-east,) and Ardgowan 
House, nearly as far to north-west, in the parish of Innerkip ; — 
both parishes forming the extreme points of this county, thoi^h 
the former is in the presbytery of Glasgow, as the latter in that of 
Greenock. In breadth, the county extends scarcely seven miles 
south-westerly from Kilbarchan village to Clerksbridge, on the 
borders of Ayrshire, on the road to Beith, and a like distance 
northerly to the West Ferry on the Clyde, opposite to Dunbar- 
ton Castle. 

Extent — This parish is in extent somewhat more than 7 miles 
from east to west, with an average breadth of above 2 miles ; pre- 
senting an area of upwards of 14 square miles, or 9216 English 
acres. 

Boundaries and Figure.'^Its figure is that of an isosceles triangle, 
of which the apex points eastward ; and its two sides are, on the 
south-east the Black Cart, and on the north the Gryfe, meeting 
in the eastern extremity. The western and shortest side, forming 
the base of the isosceles triangle, is, for a very considerable part of it, 
marked by the natural boundary of St Bride's Burn ; which falls into 
the Cart, justwhereitissuesfrom CastlesempleLoch, — these streams 
by their confluence forming the south-west angle of the figure 
already referred to. The contiguous parishe s are, Lochwinnoch on 
the west and south-west ; the Abbey of Paisley , south and south-east; 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 355 

ReDirew^ east ; Inchinnan and Erskine, north-east ; Houston and 
Kilellan, north ; and Kilmalcolm, north-west. Thus, by its cen- 
tral position, and great length, as compared with its breadth, it 
bounds with a greater number of parishes than any other in Ren- 
frewshire. 

Topographical Appearances, — Its aspect, without any very re- 
markably bold or striking features, is picturesque, being well 
wooded, and varied by many rising grounds. It is most elevated 
towards the west and north-west, where it joins the parishes of 
Lochwinnoch and Kilmalcolm ; within the former of which, at 
the distance of some miles, the Misty Law^ not unfrequently 
snow-capt — oftener cloud-capt, as the very name indicates, — ex- 
hibits to the wide range of the surrounding country a series of di- 
versified aspects, in which every practised eye has learned to ex- 
pound the symptoms of each successive change of weather. Of 
Kilbarchan parish, the eastern district is, in general, level and 
fertile, stretching across, on both sides, from the Gryfe to the 
Black Cart ; which latter river, in a course not far from rectili- 
neal, divides Renfrewshire into two equal parts. Its course is 
from Castlesemple Loch to its confluence with the Clyde, below 
Inchinnan bridges ; at which the White Cart, swelled by its tribu- 
taries, the Levem from Neilston parish,' with other minor streams 
from the eastward, £aglesham and Meams, enlarge the embou- 
chure of a river, which, though of no very long course, gathers its 
waters over the entire length and breadth of the county, from the 
borders of Cathcart to the heights that overhang Greenock ; — the 
Shaws water and rivulet of the Kypp alone excepted. 

About the centre of this parish, there rises to the eastward of 
the ^* hill-bounded vale," a somewhat detached eminence, called 
the Barr Hill, stretching onwards for a mile or thereby, where, 
after a covered walk or drive of considerable extent, you are agree- 
ably surprised by a fine opening on the house and pleasure-grounds 
of Milliken. Rising precipitately on the north, and sloping gra- 
dually to the south and south-east, its steep greenstone rocks, 
thickly covered with dark fir and other well-grown wood, fringing 
the summit, and projected on the azure sky, the whole presents to 
the eye a very striking and bold feature in the landscape. Even 
where the roots of the fir have inserted themselves in the rifted 
rock, or amid the rude masses which time and frost, by its action 
on the water in the fissures, have hurled from above, the growth 
and vigour of the wood exceed all expectation. 



Digitized by 



Google 



356 RENFREWSHIRE. 

The grounds which rise to the westward of the village, and at 
no very great distance, command some most extensive prospects; 
owing less to their elevation, which is inconsiderable, than to 
openings in different directions. While Benlomond towers majes- 
tically to northward, with other kindred summits of the Grampian 
chain in Argyle and Perthshire, the eye, which has just ranged 
round to Ailsa- Craig, quite distinctly seen, now glances eastward 
to rest on a rich panoramic prospect, where the spires of Glasgow, 
piercing the sky, and its bright squares and crescents opening to 
the west, under a bright evening sun, occupy the centre of the 
picture, while the back-ground is formed by the Shotts Hills ; 
and, in very favourable circumstances, even Arthur's Seat is to be 
distinguished in the eastern horizon.* 

Meteorology. — The climate, like that of the west of Scotlandin ge- 
neral, is humid. The quantity of rain evaporated from the Atlantic, 
and swept along by the cloud-compelling force of our prevailing 
westerly and south-westerly winds, is more equally diffused over 
the whole course of the year. The extremely heavy rains, ex- 
perienced on the east coast at particular times, are here unknown. 
Of this a memorable instance may be noticed in the frightful 
floods of 1829 in the east and north, to which nothing in these 
parts presented even the faintest resemblance. It would be ut- 
terly superfluous to repeat, in this place, what is stated in the ad- 
joining parish of Lochwinnoch in reference to the observations 
furnished by the rain-guages, the barometer and thermometer, 
with the course of winds, &c. in Castlesemple gardens, which are 
on the border of the two parishes, and equally applicable to both. 
In regard to the state of health of the population generally, epi- 
demics, such as fever of typhus or other types, are experienced to 
no great extent, and endemics not at all. Consumptive com- 
plaints are the most prevalent, in addition to the ordinary diseases 
of the inflammatory class, so often fatal to infancy and early years. 
A more general use of flannel worn under linen is a precaution of 
the utmost importance. The sedentary employment at the hand- 
16omof an incomparably greater proportion of the population of this 
village than that of Paisley itself; and that not unfrequently in a 
shop somewhatdamp, as being more adapted to the work; is frequent- 

* Of this, the writer had his doubts, though seriously averred by more competent 
observers, till in August 1822, when, on the auspicious visit of George IV., the 
bonfires on that hiU were distinctly seen even in this central district of the barony 
of Renfrew. 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBAHCHAN. 357 

'\y felt to occasion something morbid in the lower extremities, unless 
where the constitution is sound, and the habits of living correctly re- 
gular. The cholera of 1832 showed itself here after midsummer, 
and numbered only five victims. Afearful proportion of deaths took 
place in Linwood, among a population not nearly half the number 
of that of this village. This parish may be regarded as in general 
healthy ; and individuals often attain a very advanced age. Mr 
Robert Semple, of the ancient family of Beltrees, died here in 
1789, aged lOa 

Hydrography. — In the western and more elevated division of 
this parish, springs are abundant, and the water of excellent qua* 
lity. In the eastern section, which is level and richer in the pro- 
duce of the soil, the springs are comparatively few, and of a qua- 
lity quite inferior; but rendered,- by the simple process of filtra- 
tion, now very generally adopted, perfectly fit for every purpose. 
A petrifying, or rather incrusting, spring was, some years ago, dis- 
covered on the banks of the Locher, from which many beautiful 
specimens of dendritic carbonate of lime have been procured. The 
substances subjected to its action were preserved entire within the 
crust Some years ago, a mineral or medicinal spring at Candren, 
near Linwood village, attracted considerable notice for its sanatory 
•virtues. The water was subjected to chemical analysis by Dr 
- Lyell, who ascertained its similarity to some others farther fam- 
ed and more frequented ; where the result of a change of scene, 
and sometimes of climate also, may be indiscriminately attributed 
to the health-restoring qualities of the favourite spring. This, 
however, as it is locally situated on the right bank of the Cart, 
although in the near vicinity of the above-mentioned flourishing 
village, will no doubt fall to be more particularly noticed in the 
account of the Abbey parish. 

Besides the only two considerable rivers, viz. Black Cart and 
Gryfe, which form the natural boundaries of this parish on the 
south and north respectively, there is a pretty considerable stream 
named Locher. While Black Cart issues from its parent lake at 
Castlesemple, on the south-west angle of this parish, close upon 
the boundary which separates it from Lochwinnoch, the Gryfe 
has its source in the moors immediately above Greenock. Locher 
is a tributary of the Gryfe, into which it pours its stream about a 
mile below the House of Craigends ; which is built almost literally 
on the. right bank of the former river. The Black Cart, from its 
confluence with the Gryfe not far from the House of Walkinshaw, 



Digitized by 



Google 



358 RENFREWSHIRE. 

waters a very fertile plain between the bridges of Bamsford and 
iDchinnaD ; whence, from the point of junction here with the 
White Cart, it constitutes the latest as well as the largest addi- 
tion to the noble estuary of the Clyde. As might be expected 
in a tract of country rising so little above the level of that river, 
the tide makes up a considerable way above the House of Black- 
stoun, the site of which is not far from the apex of the triangle to 
which we said this parish has a resemblance. 

Some beautiful cascades are formed by the Locher, about five 
miles from its source, and before leaving the trap amid which it 
takes its rise, and entering into the rocks of the coal formation. The 
banks of the rivulet where these cascades appear, and to which 
the pencil only could do justice, are overhung by plantations, in 
which the elm, the hazel, the birch, and the mountain-ash by 
turns prevail 

Geology and Mineralogy. — The geology of this parish presents 
nothing very peculiar. The whole is of secondary formation. 
The species of rock most abundant are, greenstone, amygdaloid, 
and wacke conglomerate. Trap tufei also is found, but is not 
common. In widening a road a little to the west of the village, 
upon the border of the secondary trap, and very near its junction 
with the coal formation, a curious variety of rock was lately found* 
It consists of pieces of chalcedony, in size from one-half to one- 
fourth of an inch or less in diameter. The pieces of chalcedony 
were firmly united together by an argillaceous cement, forming a 
compound exceedingly hard. It occurred in ill-defined flags, 
overlaid by claystone, and both resting upon very fine-grained 
greenstone. The pieces of chalcedony were angular, forming, 
with the cementing substance, a chalcedonic breccia. A few spe- 
cimens of white camelian wer^e observable in the claystone over- 
lying it Ironstone, there seems reason to think, exists in consi- 
derable quantities, and a pit is now in progress of sinking for work- 
ing it. 

CoaL — In the lower section of this parish the secondary roeks 
are overlaid by the independent coal formation. The extent, how- 
ever, of this deposit to the eastward .is not well ascertained, as it 
is covered by diluvium. The rocks belonging to the coal formar 
tion in this parish do not extend into Ayrshire by the valley of 
the Black Cart and Castlesemple Loch, as has been supposed. 
They are interrupted at Kenmuir, on the western side of this pa- 
rish, by secondary greenstone, which crosses the valley at this 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 359 

place. The stratified rocks from Ayrshire crop out on this trap, 
while the stratified rocks on the west of this parish, and on the 
east of Lochwinnoch, without any alteration of their dip, run up 
nearly to the trap and terminate. The trap is not in the form of 
a dike, but is merely an elevation of the great mass of trap on 
which the coal strata are superimposed. 

Coal has been wrought to a considerable extent. Formerly, it 
was wrought in mines ; partly in the Barrhill, and partly on 
Craigends' estate, along the Locher and Gryfe. These mines 
were driven into the hills, or the steep banks of the rivers, in the 
plane of the strata, which, in these cases, lay near the surface, but 
are now almost entirely discontinued. But several pits are now 
in operation on the same lands ; the coal lying generally at the 
depth of from ten to twenty fathoms. Coalbog is the appropriate- 
ly descriptive name of a farm on the lands of Craigends, stretch- 
ing along the Gryfe ; and in the conterminous lands of Kaimhill, 
a trouble (in the language of the miners) throws up the strata nine 
fathoms. It is composed of slate-clay, and runs in a direction from 
east to west The sales from all the pits in operation at present, 
probably do not reach the sum of L. 2000 per annum, as the vil- 
lage and parish generally have their principal supply from the pits 
at Quarrelton,in the Abbey parish, near Johnstone, with which there 
is communication by bridges over the river Cart to the number of 
four, in the course of little more than one mile. The dip of the 
strata of the coal formation appears to be nearly east, subject, how- 
ever, to much variation. The angle at which they dip is not great. 
The secondary rocks in the higher parts of the parish are not strati- 
fied. Limestone is wrought at the same pits as the coal which it over- 
lies, and in burning it a considerable quantity of the coal is con- 
sumed. The lime, though not, perhs^s, of first quality, is in fair 
demand, both for building and magure. It abounds in Entrochi, 
&c and the slate clay which overlies it contains a great number of 
bivalve shells. 

In the Barrhill quarry, in the neighbourhood of the village, and 
from ^hich a considerable part of it has been built within the me- 
mory of some still living here, stratified greenstone is found over- 
lying freestone belonging to the coal strata ; an arrangement by 
no means common. The quality of the latter is excellent ; but in 
order to work it now, so great a quantity of greenstone must be 
removed that, the value of the freestone is in consequence very 
considerably diminished. 



Digitized by 



Google 



360 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Crystallized quartz is found in small quantities, and red foli- 
ated zeolite has been found a little north of the village at Pennel 
Brae, in the secondary greenstone ; as well as Laumonite, a rather 
rare substance. Calcareous spar is frequent^ 

Soil. — Alluvial deposits covering the old diluvium are found in 
the lower or eastern section of the parish. In some quarters, the 
alluvial soil is overgrown with a great quantity of peat moss ; — to 
remove which, various attempts have been made, not without suc- 
cess, as shall be noticed afterwards. The soil of the west and 
northern parts of this parish, on the higher district towards the 
source of Locher, and onwards in the direction of the Gryfe, may 
be generally described as gravelly, or light whinstone soil, peculiar- 
ly adapted for green crops. The lower division, viz. on the south- 
west and southern quarter, stretching to the vale of the Black 
Cart through its entire course, with the lower districts along the 
Gryfe and Locher, are, under proper management, more parti- 
cularly adapted, besides the usual grain crops, for the cultivation 
of beans and wheat. 

Zoology, — Foxes, polecats, weasels, rabbits, and hares, the sports- 
men's amusements, vermin to the farmer, are here found as in the 
adjoining districts. Herons sometimes visit our streams. Hawks, 
wood-pigeons, and pheasants are found in our plantations ; and the 
beautiful golden-crested wren is occasionally seen in some of our 
woods. 

Trout and parr are found in our streams, although not of any 
great size. Their numbers are greatly diminished, not by fishing 
merely, but also by netting, liming, and other reprehensible prac- 
tices of the poacher. Salmon were formerly common, but, from va- 
rious causes, are now greatly reduced in number. The falling off of 
the salmon-fishings in the Clyde, to whatever causes attributable, 
must in a still higher degree ^affect their appearing in our in- 
land fishing-ground. These, as well as the sea-trout, come up in 
the autumn. While passing the breasts of the mill-dams in the 
close season, great numbers are killed in the following manner : — A 
net is fixed on a wooden frame of about four feet long and twenty 
inches broad, so as to form a bag about two feet deep, suspended by 
cords fastened to the four corners, and fixed to the inlair or breast of 
the dam. If the fish cannot completely clear the inlair and reach 
the deep water beyond, he iklls back, and is. in his descent, inter- 
cepted by the cruive, from which he rarely escapes. By this lawless 
practice, dozens of salmon have been sometimes destroyed in a day. 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 361 

There are pike and perch, as well as the Pagrus vulgaris or braize, 
in the Black Cart, as might be naturally expected, since its 
parent lake abounds with perch and the finest pike. 

The following is a list of some shells found in this quarter:— 

Patella lacustris, on stones in streams Helix lucida, old walls 

Odostoniia muscorum, under stones and .^^>^ radiata, under stones, &c. 

in hollows of decayed wood ,>,.»^.^ umbilicata, do. do. 

I^jnuiaca putris, ditches, &c. common ,^,>... ,■■■>« nemoralis, woods and hedges 

,.,^ fontinalis, watery places .......^^ arbuRtorum, do. da 

,^ . lubrica, under stones, &c. «,«...«^ paludosa, among moss. 

Helix rufesoens, do. do. 

Botany. — The strong impetus given to agriculture, from obvi- 
ous causes, during half a century bypast, in so narrow a district as 
Renfrewhire, teeming as it does with a rapidl y growing popula- 
tion, has greatly narrowed the field of the botanist's researches ; 
and the woods are, with few exceptions, of recent origin. 

The following are the rarer plants of Kilbarchan : — 

Saxifraga hypnoides, Marshall Moor Hypericum perforatum, Auchinames 

Hypericum humifusum* abundant Lepidium campestre. Ward House 

..> >>....'.» pulchrum, do. Lithospermnm officinale, do. 

Convolvulus sepium, St Bride's Mill Narcissus pseudo> narcissus, naturalized, 

Utricularia minor, Marshall Moor St Bride*s Mill 

Knautia arvensis, Clochoderick Verbascum thapsus, Crossflatt, some 

Veronica polita, common seasons only 

Adoxa moschatellina, St Bride's Mill Primula veris, glebe 

Arundo phragmites. Black Cart Pyrethrum parthenicum, Over Johnstone 

fiidens tripartita, St Bride's Mill Banunculus aquatilis, a curious variety, 

Clirysosplenium alter nifol turn, do. petals inflated and filled with air, in 

Epilobium angustifoliuro, Barrhill swift running parts of the Black Cart 

Clinopodium vulgare, do, ' Spirsea salicifolia, Barrhill 

Conium raaculatum, church-yard, sown Trifolium medium, abundant 

there as being deemed medicinal Phallus frstidus, St Bride^s Mill 

Drosera rotundifolia, Marshall Moor Lecidia casio-rufa, do. 

Bromus giganteus, St Bride's Mill Lecanora perellus, frequent 

Festuca elatior, do. Cenomyce fimbriata, Marshall Moor 

Fumaria capreolata .,, ^ gracilis, do. 

.^....^ officinalis, a of Hooker ^ com. in ... ,...> filiformis, do. 

,-.. officinalis, /3. of Hooker > cultivat ^>.^^ racemosa« 'St Bride's Mill 

i^>,»>^ media of De CandoUe 3 grounds Usnea plicata, Greenside Wood 

Geranium dissectum, glebe Scytonema atrovirens, St Bride's Bum 

^...^......^^ pratense. Black Cart Lemaqia fluviatilis, do. 

Hieracium pulmonarium, near the vil- 
lage 

Plantations, — This parish contains no natural woods ; but al- 
most every considerable property has plantations, in some degree 
corresponding to its exent The estate of Milliken presents a 
large extent of plantation, as well old as more recent, to which the 
present proprietor has judiciously added. Of what is immediate- 
ly connected with the family seat, the Barr Hill, rising with a bold 
ascent and stretching a mile to westward, and its columns of basalt 
surmounted by a lofty fringe of thriving wood, — has been already 



Digitized by 



Google 



362 RENFREWSHIRE. 

Doticed, as giving a characteristic feature to the inland landscape, 
particularly to the eye of the traveller from the northward. 

On another point of the horizon, Glentyan House, the residence 
of Captain James Stirling, R. N., presents itself, overlooking the 
village from the north-west, from amid a smiling scene, which the 
good taste and generous activity of the proprietor has almost 
created within a few years. 

Turning our eye eastward to the less picturesque, though now 
not unprofitable flat once covered with a forest, and since reduced 
to moss earth, overlying a valuable subsoil, we see the success of the 
experiment made some fifty years ago by planting moss with wood, 
after the turf had been carried off for fuel, a success still evinced 
on the lands of Clippens, as well as on the contiguous estate of 
Blackstoun. 

Upon the estate of Craigends, too, there is a lai^ extent of 
planting, some of which is of very considerable age, in all little short 
of forty acres. The lands of Torrs, likewise^ have " the heights," 
from which their designation is taken, though with a northern 
exposure, covered with a large extent of thriving plantation, where 
only the bare heath and rugged rock frowned on the valley of the 
Giyfe and Duchal waters. 

In tracing previously the limits of this parish, marked as they 
are at almost every point by the natural boundaries of a river or 
streamlet, St Bride's Burn, its limit on this side, was noticed as 
joining the Cart, as it has just leflt the loch, and not far from the 
mansion-house of Castlesemple. A considerable part, consequent- 
ly, of the noble park and pleasure grounds fsdls on this side of our 
boundary line. The wood, all planted, on that part of the estate 
which is in this parish, may at the lowest estimate extend to sixty 
acres. 

Of the forest trees planted in different quarters of this parish, 
the principal are the 

Larch, Pinus lariz Scotch fir. Pious sylvestris 

Plane, Acer pseudo«platanus Oak, Quercus robur 

Ash, Frazinus ezceldor Elm, Ulmus caropestris 

I^abumum, Cytisus laburnum Horse-chestnut, Esculus hippocastanum 

Beech, Fagus syWatica Birch, Betula alba. 

No trees are at present pointed out as remarkable for their extra- 
ordinary age or size. 

11. — Civil History. 
Farmer Proprietors, — In former times, part of the parish of 
Kilbarchan belonged to the Abbey of Paisley. The house of 
Blackstoun, some two miles distant from the Abbey, and on the left 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 363 

bank of the Cart, was the country seat or summer's residence of the 
Abbot, and was built by George Shaw, who presided over that 
monastery in the reign of King James IV. The mansion-house 
was much improved by James, first Earl of Abercom, on the erec- 
tion of the lands belonging to the monks of Paisley into a tem- 
porality in favour of that family. 

A considerable part of the lands in this parish belonged to the 
Noble family of Dundonald; and in this immediate neighbourhood, 
upwards of a hundred years possession by another family of the 
highest respectability, has not succeeded in effacing the remem- 
brance or^ obliterating the name of the distinguished House of 
Cochrane. — Auchinames is the designation of a barony held by 
the very ancient and powerful family of Crawford. At a compara- 
tively late period, a portion of it, ascertained by the name of <* Third 
Part," was vested in a separate branch of the family ; and in 1523 
conveyed to William Lord Sempil, to whose lands it is still attach- 
ed. The barony of Ranfurlie, likewise, so long held h^ the femily 
from whom our illustrious Reformer sprung, came to be alienated, in 
1665 by the last proprietor of the fomily of Knox, to William, first 
Karl of Dundonald. 

The village of Kilbarchan is a place of some antiquity, but 
there are few historical circumstances connected with it. In the 
church-yard, are still seen some remains of an ancient church or 
chapel, but without any date or other inscription preserved to in- 
dicate the period or immediate object of its erection. John, Lord 
Sempill, appears to have endowed the Old College or collegiate kirk 
of Castlesemple, 21st April 1504, for a provost, six chaplains, and 
two singing-boys. The said provost was also vicar of Glasford. 
The foundation charter specifies the share of the teinds and lands 
falling to each chaplain. As to what respects this immediate vi- 
cinity, ** the fourth chaplain shall have the lands of Upper Pennal, 
and the house where Robert Red formerly dwelt, and also 40 shil- 
lings, as a yearly pension from the lands of Bryntschellis. The 
fifkh chaplain shall have the lands of Nether Pennal with its mill. 
There shall be an organ in the collegiate kirk, and a school for 
singing. The boys shall be instructed in the Gregorian music, with 
points or pricks, and they shall be supported with food and clothing; 
for which maintenance the said chaplain shall enjoy the benefice 
of the clergyman of Kilbarchan. That chaplain shall pay the clerk 
or curate serving in the kirk of Kilbarchan. The provost and the 
chaplains shall have five merks from the lands of east Weitlands, 



Digitized by 



Google 



364 RENFREWSHIRE. 

in the parish of Kilbarchan, and the lands annexed formerly to the 
chapel of St Bryde, in the village of Kenmuir, by our forbears."* 
The granting of an annuity out of certain lands to his chaplains, 
would seem to imply that the property was, at the period in ques- 
tion, vested in Lord SempilL 

The lands of Johnstone (at present Milliken) appear to have 
descended to the representatives of Thomas Wallace of Auchin- 
bothy, son of William Wallace of Elderslie, in the end of the 
fourteenth or early in the fifteenth century. — " The Lordis de- 
crette (30 June 1494,) that Robert Cocherane of that ilk does 
wraog in the awayd rawing of the watter of Black Kert fra the 
mylne of Johnstoune, pertening heretably to Robert Wallace, to the 
said Robert Cocherane's mylne. And tharfore ordinis the said 
Robert Cocherane to decist and cess tharfra in tyme to cum, to be 
braikit and joisit by the said Robert Wallace, efter the forme of the 
chartour, possession and retouris gevin tharupon, schewin, producit, 
before the |x)rdis, and ordinis that letrez be written to charge said 
Robert Cocherane to decist and cess tharfra all perturbacion of 
the said Robert Wallace in the mylne watter of Black Kert." f 

Subjoined is a list of the landed proprietors of the parish of 
Kilbarchan, with the valued rent in pounds Scots attached to each 
property. N.B. — Those marked * are non-resident. 

Sir William M. Napiur of Milliken and Napier, Bart. - L. 

* Lieutenant Colonel Harvey of Castlesemple, 
William Cmiinghame of Craigends, £sq. 
William Napier of Blackstoun, Esq. . - » 

* James MacCall of Laws, Esq. Daldowie, - - - 

* James Wattof Ranfurlie, Esq. and of Heathfield, parish of Lochwinnoch, 

Greenock, - . • 

Heirs of late Dr John Colquhoun, Greenock, 
Captain James Stirling, R. N. of Glentyan, ... 

Major M'Dowall, of Carruth, for part of Torrs, 
John Sandeman and others for Wardhouse, &c. 
James Stevenson, Esq. of Auchinames, - - - 

Messrs Alexander, Arthur, and John Lang of Bruntchells, &c. 
Mr John Craig of Monkland, &c. ... 

* Mr Robert Pattison of Damtoun and Plainlees, 

* Mr John Gregg of Cartside and Clavens, 

* Alexander. M'Culloch, Esq., M. D. of Mansure, &c. Craigbet 
Messrs James and William Holmes Bruntchells, &c. 

* Adam Keir, Esq. banker, Barnbroke, ... 

* Heirs of Captain Troop, (Mr Cameron, &&) Barmufflock, 
Mr Robert Wm. Lang, L. 8, and J. Houstoun for Langside, L. 3, 68. 8d. 
Mr James Climie of Killochant, - . 
^r Peter Holms of Hairlaws, .... 
Mr James Jackson of Huthead, . ^ . 
Mr Hugh Ferrier of Clippens and R^rvraes, ... 

* Charta Johan. Dom. Sempill, &c. Wishaw's Lanark and Renfrewshires, p. 285. 
t Acta Dominorum Concillii Rcgni, Jacobo III. et Jacobo IVt Regibus Scoto. 
rum. Printed folio, but no date or place given, p. 345. 



1427 12 





921 16 


8 


910 6 


8 


657 18 


4 


876 


3 


xjh, 
800 


0. 


260 





150 





18 13 


4 


109 18 





149 





70 3 


4 


68 18 





68 6 


8 


80 





60 


8 


60 6 





50 





50 





11 6 


6 


50 





17 2 


8 


48 





100 






Digitized by 



Google 



18 16 





33 6 


8 


33 6 


8 


32 





32 6 


8 


42 13 


4 


29 13 


4 


23 6 


8 


23 6 


8 



KILBARCHAN. 365 

Mr Willmm Erskine of West Overton, 
Mr John Stevenaon of W. BarnbeUi, 

• Mr Robert Fyfe of Passenlinn, - - 
Captain Duncan Graham, 6th Foot, Meadside, &c. J. P. 

• William Graham, Esq. Glasgow, High Bruntchell, 

• Mr Hugh Ctldwell, Braes and Gowden Knowes, 

• Mr Robert Jamieson of Littleton, 

Mr James Clarke, of Burnfoot, - - - 

Mr James Lylc, Horseirood, &c. ... 

Total valued rent per Cess-books, L. 6277 15 

Antiquities* — Nearly one mile and a-half north-west of the vil- 
lage, and about half a mile from Bridge of Weir, stand the ruins 
of the Castle of Ranfurly or Ramphorlie, the seat of the ancient 
family of Knocks or Knox. Mr George Crawford, an author 
worthy of all credit, in his history of Renfrewshire in 1710, says, 
" You find in the registers of the Abbey of Paisley, frequent men- 
tion made of the Knoxes in the reigns of Alexander IL and III., 
as witnesses to the charters of that Abbey. They were promise 
caously designed of Ranfurly and Craigends ; for this I have seen 
a grant of half the lands of Knock, by Uchter Knock of Ranfurly 
to George Knox, his son, in the year 1503. Uchter Knox of 
Craigends is one of the arbiters betwixt the Abbey of Paisley and 
the burgh of Renfrew in 1488. And in our public records I have 
seen a charter of confirmation by King James III. of a resignation 
of the barony of Ranfurly and Grief Castle, by John Knox of 
Craigends, in favour of Uchter Knox, his son, about the year 1474. 
This family failed in the person of Uchter Knox of Ranfurly, who 
left one daughter (by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William 
Mure of Rowallan,) called Elizabeth ; married to John Cuning* 
ham of Caddell. The barony was alienated in 1665, by Uchter 
Knox, last mentioned, to William, first Earl of Dundonald." 

A descendant of this family was the great and good John Knox, 
the distinguished instrument for effecting the Reformation in Scot- 
land. Mr Andrew Knox, grand-uncle of the last named Uchter 
Knox, was successively minister of Lochwinnoch and of Paisley, 
continuing in the latter charge from about 1585 till 1600. He 
was, on the re-establishment of Episcopacy, appointed Bishop of 
the Isles; and afterwards succeeded by his son Thomas Knox, 
upon his own translation to the see of Raphoe (in Ireland,) where 
he died in 1632. " He was," adds the historiographer for Scot- 
land, — " a person of considerable learning and moderate temper ; 
and averse from all manner of persecution for matters of church 
government ; and very much disposed to oblige his countrymen, 
who had left Scotland for their aversion to the then established 



Digitizedfly Google 



366 RENFREWSHIRE. 

government of this church. He concurred in ordaining some Pres- 
byterian ministers, in conjunction with several ministers of that 
communion, saying, ' He thought his old age prolonged for lit- 
tle other purpose, but doing such good oflSces for the propagation 
of the gospel' " From the Right Reverend Andrew Bishop of Ra- 
phoe are descended Viscount Northland, recently created a Brit^ 
tish Peer, by the title of Baron Ranfurly ; as also the Honourable 
and Right Reverend Dr Knox, present Bishop of Limerick ; whose 
primary charge, in as far as an opinion can be formed from the ex- 
tracts given in a literary journal, would, in doctrinal statement and 
fervent piety, seem not unworthy a descendant of the Scottish &- 
mily of Knox. 

The ruins now visible, after so long a period of dUi^idation, 
(1584 is the latest date traceable in the family burying ground) ard 
neither extensive nor striking. At a short distance is a tumulus 
about thirty yards in length by seven in height, composed of earth 
and small stones ; whence several similar ones are seen upon elevated 
sites, used not improbably for conveying signals in those days of vio- 
lence in which every man of higher condition was forced to make his 
house his castle. Not far from the castle stood a Romish chapel. 
The contiguous £airm of Priestoun has brought down the name, pro- 
bably, of the residence of the officiating priest Another chapel, in 
a more central position, has been noticed already, in the account of 
some localities connected with Kilbarchan village; with the allotment 
of funds from the adjoining lands of Pennel and Weitlands, towards 
endowing the Old College of Castlesemple. A third chapel, more 
accessible to the inhabitants on the west and south, was that of 
St Bride's, in the village of Kenmuir ; a village and chapel of 
which every trace has long eluded the keenest observation* 
A solitary tree on the road-side from Castlesemple East Gate, to 
Clochoderick (noticed often,) immediately north of the entry to 
St Bride's Mill, marks the place once graced with a house of 
prayer,* for accommodating a population comparatively inconsi- 
derable. Yet it was of importance enough to find a place in the 
ma|^ of Renfrewshire, published in 1654 by Blaeu, Amsterdam. 
In addition to the £iscination of a form of worship so much 
addressed to the senses and the fancy, it cannot be denied, that 
in an age when the shortest line was always open, in the ab- 
sence of enclosures and fences of every sort, no less than 
three places of worship were easily within reach, — St Bride's and 
Ranfurly chapels being each less than two miles distant from the 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBAROHAN. 367 

chape] or churcJi of the " Hill bounded Vale." From two to three 
miles westward of this village, there is situated on St Bride's burn, 
already noticed as the boundary of this parish and Lochwinnoch, and 
on the direct road thither — ^a stone of uncommoi) dimensions, 
named, as is the farm it stands on, Clochoderick, or Clachna* 
' druid, u e. the Druidical stone. This explanation of the name is 
strongly corroborated from the prevalence of names clearly of 
Celtic origin in this western section of the parish. Its length is 
22 feet, its breadth 17, and its height 12 ; its figure that of an 
irregular oblong square, standing nearly due east and west. It is 
composed of greenstone, the same as that of the neighbouring hills, 
but is totally ^unconnected with the surrounding rock. Utterly 
impracticable, as it must prove, to attempt moving so ponderous a 
mass even in this age of great mechanical resources, one is led to 
think of some other possible account of the matter. Might not, 
then, this singular mass have perhaps constituted a sort of nucleus 
in the midst of soft wacke and amygdaloid, of which some neigh* 
boufing, though somewhat distant, rocks are composed. Peculiarly . 
liable to be acted upon by the atmosphere, and a running stream 
occasionally swelling to a rapid torrent, running close by, these se- 
parated parts might be washed away in the course of ages, the stone, 
in the present state, remaining a monument of their disintegra- 
tion. Farther down the same stream, may be seen other stones of 
the same kind, di¥hich have attracted less notice, but may yet 
•owe their present elevation to the same cause. None of these 
atones are bouldered. What is thus suggested as merely possi* 
ble, may have taken place at a period indefinitely remote ; and 
the circumstance may have been made in some way subservient 
to the purposes of devotion in a very early and rude state of 
society. 

Upon the Barr-HilU to eastwaijl of this village, may be traced 
the remains of a small camp ; by some supposed, from its semicir- 
cular form, to have been of Danish origin : by others, it is believed 
to have been merely a post of observation when the country was 
frequently torn by feuds and intestine commotions. For either pur- 
pose it is, from situation, admirably adapted ; the one side defend- 
ed by lofty precipitous rocks of greenstone, the other guarded against 
any sudden surprise, by a long and steep though regular ascent from 
the plain below; on which side it was, moreover, defended by a ram- 
part of stone, though now not exceeding 3 feet in height. The 

RENFREW. B b 



Digitized by 



Google 



368 RENFREWSHIRE. 

best evidence of its former importance is, perhaps, that ij; has not 
been levelled to the ground ages ago. The enclosure may alto- 
gether exceed in extent half an acre, and commands in every di- 
rection a mosj; extensive prospect. Among the columns above- 
mentioned may be remarked, a seat or natural '* armed chair," dig- 
nified by tradition with the title of Wallace's Seat. Its peculiar 
form seems owing to the circumstance of the top of one of the co- 
lumns, which are articulated, having been removed from its origi- 
nal place. 

Families connected with this Parish. — Napier ofMiUiken. This 
very ancient family is now represented by Sir William Milliken 
Napier of Milliken and Napier, Baronet The first of this family 
flourished in the reign of Alexander III. John Napier of Merchiston, 
the twelfth of the family, was author of the admirable work which, in 
1614, disclosed to the world his Logarithms, pronounced by a very 
competent judge, and who was far from being lavish of praise, " the 
noblest offering which philosophy ever presented to science." Bom 
. at Gartness, in Stirlingshire, or, as some allege, at Merchiston, near 
Edinburgh, thirty-two years before that University was founded, 
St Andrews was his Alma Mater ; and supplied those precious seeds 
of knowledge which he continued to cultivate and mature in the 
far-famed seats of learning on the continent of Europe, and among 
the master spirits of the age. As an ofiice-bearer in the church, 
he took a distinguished place in her General Assemblies, in times 
fitted to try men's souls, and task their highest talents. It is mat- 
ter of regret that part of the MSS. of this distinguished man, who 
died in 1617, in his sixty-seventh year, perished unfortunately by a 
fire in Milliken House in 1801.* 

John Napier, his oldest son, was, in 1627, created a Baronet of 
Nova Scotia, and raised to the peerage the same year, by the title 
of Lord Napier. In favour of ^is grandson the patent was renew- 
ed and extended to heirs-female also, and passed, afterwards by a 
sister into the family of Scott of Thirlstane, while the Baronetcy 
reverted to the oldest heir-male. It is incompatible with the ob- 
ject of this brief notice, to trace the connection of the Napiers of 
Merchiston and Culcreuch, and, of course, the steps by which the 
rank of Knight Baronet of Nova Scotia, with the territorial rights 
attached to it, by patent of date 2d May 1627, — the most ancient 

* Sec Lifv of Napier, by Mark Napier, Esq. Advocate. 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 369 

Baronetcy in this county, and one of the most ancient in Scotland, — 
descended to Sir William Napier, who was, in March 1818, by a 
most respectable jury, served heir-male of Archibald, third Lord 
Napier. 

James Milliken of Millihen^ Esq. who, in 1733, acquired the 
present estate (formerly Johnstone) from the representative of Sir 
Ludovic Houstoun, to whom it had passed in the reign of Charles 
L from the family of Wallace of Johnstoun, did the limits of our 
report admit, should have merited especial and honourable notice : 
Also the late Colonel Robert John Napier, whose career, as an 
officer, commenced in India in very early life ; and who, in 1794, 
braved with his friend, the immortal Abercrombie, the perils and 
privations of that frightful campaign in the north of France and the 
Low Countries; and who also accompanied Sir Ralph to the West 
Indies, encountering the dangers of a hostile climate. At his de- 
mise, in 1808, he was, with a single exception, the senior officer 
of his rank in the army. 

Napier of Blackstoun* — This family is descended from Adam, 
the fifth and youngest son of John Napier of Merchiston. The 
house of Blackstoun, having been unfortunately burnt down, was 
rebuilt about 1730, by the fourth Alexander Napier, who had the 
rank of Captain in the Scots Greys. Major Alexander Napier, 
the sixth of that name, succeeded, in 1801, his father, the fifth 
Alexander Napier. Having, as Lieutenant- Colonel of the 92d, 
served with great distinction for many years, he fell with his gal- 
lant friend. Sir John Moore, at Corunna, 16th January 1809, and 
was succeeded by his brother, William Napier, Esq. the present 
proprietor. 

Cuninghame of Craigends. — This family is lineally descended 
from William Cuninghame, one of the younger sons of Alexander, 
first Earl of Glencairn, raised to. that dignity by James III., and 
who received the lands of Craigends from his father before the 
end of the fifteenth century. One of the family, named Gabriel, 
fell at the battle of Pinkie in 1547. In 1689, the freeholders of 
Renfrewshire gave William Cuninghame of Craigends the highest 
mark of their confidence, by electing him their commissioner to the 
Convention of Estates ; where, and in the several subsequent ses- 
sions of Parliament, he was distinguished by the greatest fidelity 
and honour. The family is at present represented by a gentleman 
of the same name. 



Digitized by 



Google 



370 RENFRBWSHIRK. 

It is doubtfiil whether it may be right to introduce in this place 
the name of Dr William Cullen, connected with this parish solely 
by marriage with Anna, only daughter of the Rev. Robert John- 
stoun, who was minister of Kilbarchan from 1700 till 173a This 
circumstance is mentioned by Dr John Thomson, in his memoir of 
Dr Cullen, lately published* It may, perhaps, not be improper to 
add, that the Rev. Mr Johnstoun of Kilbarchan is, through his 
only son. Major Johnstoun, represented by his grand-daughter, 
Lady Gray of Kinfauns. 

Modem Buildings. — The mansion-house of Milliken has been 
built within these few years. It is a handsome building, and 
does honour to the professional talent and taste of the ar- 
chitect 

Blackatoun House is of comparatively modem erection, dating 
rather before the middle of last century ; and is still a most sub- 
stantial and comfortable residence. 

Glentyan House^ although built several years previously by a 
proprietor, who, at that time, felt in no way called to restrict him- 
self in point of expense, was in some sort new when the present 
proprietor entered on possession twenty years ago. To an ele^ 
gant house, in a very commanding situation, there is super- 
added, a collection of valuable paintings, at once select and 
numerous, and chiefly by the great masters. Access is readily 
granted, to this collection, by the kindness of Captain and Mrs 
Stirling. 

The House of Craigendsj — with the exception of an elegant ad- 
dition made within these few years, in the form of a drawing-room, 
and relative accommodations, — though not a very spacious, is yet 
an ancient and massy structure ; of which the old walls, with small 
apartments formed within the wall itself, speak of ages long since 
gone by ; while a large extent of fine, and some of it old, wood, is 
in keeping with the venerable fabric. 

Clippens House^ the property of Hugh Ferrier, Esq. late of 
Porto Rico, is a handsome villa, erected some twenty years 
ago> by his late relative, Peter Cochrane, Esq. M, D., who 
returned from India to his native &rm with a sound constitu- 
tion, and ample fortune, after a residence in India of forty- 
three years, during which he had risen to the head of the me- 
dical board. 

Parochial Registers. — The parish register of proclamations and 

3 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILUARCHAN. 371 

baptisms had been partly destroyed or mutilated ; and such as were 
in existence continued in a loose and confused state, till the late ses- 
sion-clerk collected them as far as possible, and transcribed them 
into one volume. The earliest date of the register of baptisms is 
14th June 1700. There are two or three interruptions, one of 
these extending to twenty-six years, and ending 1740, from which 
date it has been regularly kept. It does not, however, exhibit a 
correct account even of the baptisms (births it ought to have been) 
in the parish, as scarcely any of the Dissenters register ; and a con- 
gregation of the Secession was formed soon after its origin, so early 
as 1739. 

The illegitimate births in the parish in the years 1836-7-8 
amount to 7. 

Of the register of proclamations the first date is July 18th 1740. 
In it two blanks occur — one of four years. — From 1769 it is 
complete. The kirk-session minutes commence in 1742. There 
is a chasm from 1760 till 1769; since which date, no blank 
occurs. 

II I. — Population. 

FamUieB. iDdiriduals. 
Former sUte. In 1740 in the Tillage, - 40 X 6 = 200 

By Dr Webster*8 return 1755, there were in the parish 1485 in all. 
By Mr William Semple, a nati^ei 1 1774 were Ifi village, 304 families. 
Continuation of Crawford, ) vis. males, 547 

females, 697 

1184 
Districts landward 1121 

^2305 

By Rev. P. Mai well in 1791, families in village, 391 
do landwiutl, 172 





563 


Males in village. 


762 


Do. landward, 


440 




1202 


Females in village, 
Do. landward. 


822 


482 


Government census under Mr Abbot's bill, 


1304 




2506 


In 1801, total individuals, 


3151 


1811. do. do. 


3653 


1821, do. do. 


• 4213 


'««•. ffS.. 


2296 


2510 




4806 


Families. Persons. 


Of these reside in Kilbarchan village, 


548 . 2338; 


Linwood do. 


169 - 910 ( 


(Kilbarchan half) Bridge of Weir, 


118 - 6063 


Districts landward. 


154 - .957 



Total, 989 4806 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



372 RENFREWSHIRE. 



Occupying inhabited bouses, 946 

Male household servants, - 4 

Female, do. . - 94 

Insane, fatuous, blind, deaf, dumb, 7 

Resident families of independent fortune, - d 

Proprietors of land of L. 50 yearly value, and upwards, 24 

Of whom are non-resident, • » 12 



Character of the People. — Our operatives have, it is believed, 
deservedly the reputation of rather superior skill and expertness ; 
and it is well known, that in verybad times, certain influential per- 
sons in the town of Paisley objected to some manufacturers send- 
ing, what seemed an undue share of their work to this place, with- 
out reserving a feir proportion for their fellow-townsmen. So am- 
ple, at the same time, is the native supply of hands, that there is 
little immigration from the sister isle, or even from the Highlands 
of Scotland ; and accordingly it may be affirmed, we believe, with- 
out contradiction, that this parish affords the only instance of a 
manufacturing village in the western district of a population ex- 
ceeding 2000 souls, with only six Roman Catholics in that num- 
ber. The advantages of education are, by the generality, fully 
appreciated. Not a few who had been deprived of that advan- 
tage are solicitous to secure it for their children ; and in more than 
one instance we have had the satisfaction of seeing the parent 
commence his education, and go on steadily with* his children. 
Even in harder times, every man of good character, and in ordi- ' 
narily steady employment, has, besides his working clothes, a Sun- 
day-dress, and usuadly a suit of black, when invited to attend the 
funeral of a neighbour. Throughout the landward district, the cha- 
racter of the population is highly respectable. In the extensive 
and ancient barony of Auchinames, feued out in 1764, with a 
considerable portion of other estates feued some time earlier, no 
small number of persons, in the south-west and west divisions of 
the parish, occupy their own properties ; while on the estates of 
the larger heritors, the farms are usually of such extent, that the 
capital requisite for their profitable occupancy, demands a class of 
tenantry possessed also of respectable education. And without in- 
sinuating the slightest reflection against those whose connexion has 
been more recent, it may be remarked, that, on the estates of 
Craigends and Blackstoun, — so closely have the interests of 
landlord and tenant been linked together, — the families of the 
Messrs Rodger and Semple have held lands under the respec- 
tive proprietors for nearly three hundred years. Here, as else- 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 373 

where in our happy country, well-directed and persevering in- 
dustry, with prudence, rarely fails of securing a suitable re- 
turn. The eager longing, both amongst agriculturists and 
handicrafts, for emigration to the western world, as to a modem 
land of promise, has of late years greatly abated, and seems now 
to have died away. Not a few, both of individuals and families, 
have returned. 

IV. — Industry. 
The great preponderance of employment in this parish is that 
of operative manufacturers and handicrafts ; and in this village the 
hand-loom is all but universally employed The unprecedentedly 
flourishing state of this branch of our national industry for some 
years, in the close of the last and beginning of the present cen- 
tury, when in certain times 10s. per day could be earned by a good 
workman, naturally attracted to it almost the entire disposable la- 
bour of such a place as this ; and the rapid and steady increase is 
manifest from the following statement of th« results of actual enu- 
meration in 1791 and 1836. 

1791. Looms in the village, . 383 

Do. in the country, 20 

In a population of 2506,'a6 by Rev. Mr Maxwell's Statistics, 417 

1836. Looms in the village, . 800 

Do. in the country, 30 

In a population of 4806, by Government Census of 1831, 830 

The latter number of hand -looms is given on the authority of the 
person deputed to London by the petitioners for a ^^ Board of 
Trade," in order to protect the operatives against an undue de- 
pression of wages. 

Agriculture^ incomparably the most important branch of our 
natural industry, though employing but a small minority of 
the inhabitants of this parish, is admitted to have made a fair 
progress in this, as compared with other districts in the neigh- 
bourhood. In 1695, a survey was made of the inhabitants of 
this county, with a view to the imposition of a general poll- 
tax. The original lists were in the hands of the late Dr 
Boog, when the following specimens were furnished of a few 
parishes differently circumstanced in respect of mechanical in- 
dustry. 



Digitized by 



Google 



374 RENFBEWSHIKB. 



Nwmber ot Farmers ia 
Parishes. 1695. 1795. 



Eaglesham, ... 135 69 

Mearns, ... laB 124 

Neilston, (Knockmade and Shatterffals included,) 178 153 

Catbcart, . . . 41 29 

Kilbarchan, . . 195 104 

Lochwinnocb, ... 186 148 

Inchinnan^ . . . 54 30 

Erskine . . 80 70 

In the present year (1836,) the number of formers in Ejlbarchan 
is 90. 

Rent of Land. — The rent of arable land varies, according to the 
quality of the soil and other local circumstances, from L. 4 to L. 1, 
or less, per acre. 

Wages, — The wages of able and industrious agricultural labour* 
ers are from 10s. to 12s. per week. Farm-servants receive from 
L. 9 to L. 6 per half-year, with board ; females from L. 3, 10s. to 
L. 5, according to circumstances. The latter rate of wages is given 
only to experienced dairy-maids, or to those who are to have a 
charge in that department. 

Live-Stock. — The cattle in this parish are mostly of the Ayr- 
shire breed. They are generally of a brown colour with spots. 
Those are preferred that have small heads and ears, with slender 
necks and horns. They weigh, in general, from four to five cwt 
A considerable proportion of their produce is carried to the 
neighbouring towns and villages in the shape of milk, butter, and 
churned- milk. The system is now generally approved of keeping 
the cattle in the house during winter, with the exception of two 
or three hours in the forenoon ; whence results the double ad- 
vantage of their dung being regularly added to the stock of 
matiure; and that the fields escape being poached with their 
feet in the wet season. They are fed on chopped straw» 
stewed with turnips, potatoes, and chaff; to which a portion 
of mill-dust, bran, or bean meal is frequently added. Mangel- 
wurzel is beginning to be cultivated more commonly for this 
purpose. The draught horses are generally of the Clydesdale 
breed. 

Farm-SteadingSi Fences^ LeaseSy 4'<?.— Those farm-steadings 
which have been erected within the last thirty or forty years, (and 
this includes a considerable proportion,) are generally constructed 
in the form of three sides of a square, having a court in the mid- 
dle. With the exception of some ten or twelve in the vicinity> 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 375 

or in view of the proprietor's mansion-house, and where the farms 
to which they belong are larger, they are usually one storey in 
height ; though not unfrequently with what are sometimes called 
storm windows, L e. windows set upright in the roof, — an arrange* 
ment which admits of comfortable apartments in the upper division 
of them. They are generally slated. The enclosures vary in ex- 
tent from three or four, to seven, eight, or ten acres ; and are, for 
the most part, well fenced. In the lower districts of the parish, 
there are thorn hedges, ditches, or sunk fences, faced with stone ; 
and a thorn hedge either planted along the top, or growing out from 
the face of the stone building, but pretty near the top, — which is 
conducive to keeping them clear. The fences in the upper dis- 
trict are usually a dry stone dike, built double and coped with turf« 
These make a sufficient fence from the day they are erected ; but 
come by and by to require repairs The thorn hedge comes for- 
ward slowly, but if duly cared for and protected from injury when 
young, it continues a substantial fence, and turns even biped strag- 
glers. 

The usual duration of leases in this parish is nineteen years. 
The reason for fixing on that precise number of years is not very 
obvious ; unless on the supposition, that a cycle of that extent may 
bring round a similar course of seasons. A farmer in the neigh- 
bourhood, remarked to me, that, exactly twenty years ago, in 
1816, he entered on a new lease, as he did again in a different 
&rm last year, and in both instances felt, himself in the very 
same situation in regard to the seasons, t. e, in both years, he 
finished the potato harvest before he was able to make out the 
corn harvest In the olden time, it was not unusual to grant leases for 
three nineteen years. Before the period when the &rming interest 
began to be so far aware of their own interest, as to commence in 
good earnest substantial improvements, and so better their own 
circumstances, there was a sort of indifference, it is said, as to the 
occupancy of land, which made the proprietor rather solicitous to 
retain a tenant, than otherwise. An instance occurs to recollec* 
tion, of the kirk-session being called to account for having 
granted a lease for three nineteen years, of a farm of which 
they are administrators for behoof of the poor, an enter- 
prising tacksman enriching himself in consequence ; but the 
Court of Session found, that the transaction had been quite 
in the usual mode in which prudent men acted in managing 



Digitized by VjOOQlC 



376 RENFREWSHIRE. 

their private affairs ; and held them free from all challenge on 
that subject 

Since the date of the former Statistical Account in 1794, one 
of the, most striking improvements within this parish has been un- 
doubtedly the reclaiming by William Napier, Esq. of Blackstoun, 
of some seventy acres, by floating away the peat moss from the 
surface, and converting into land fit for any crop. While the cli- 
mate is unquestionably ameliorated by laying dry the closely ad- 
joining land, every acre so acquired is purchased at a very reduced 
price, (say from L. 20 to L. 25, or even L. 30,) and that, too, in a 
very advantageous locality. 

Quarries, — There are in this parish quarries both of freestone 
and whinstone. The latter is found in great abundance, and 
used chiefly as metal for the construction and repairing of 
roads. It is not unfrequently used, besides, for building; the 
walls formed of such materials being quite impervious to the 
beating storm. For this purpose, however, the freestone b 
principally employed, admitting, as it does, of being more easily 
dressed. 

Domestic Manufactures. — The first of any importance was that 
of strong linen ; for which a jGactory was built in the year 1739. 
Three years after, Mr A. Speirs made trial of fine febrics, lawns, 
cambrics, &c. which he carried to the Dublin market, and dispos- 
ed of to great advantage. This succeeded so well as to become 
a steady trade for a long period. With bleachfields for whitening 
their goods, and preparing them for market, — an object for which 
the pure stream that sweeps through the vale on which the village 
stands, is peculiarly well adapted, the trade continued to flourish, 
till, by pushing it to an extreme, the proprietors became involved 
in embarrassments, the issue of which was the breaking up of their 
establishments in Dublin ; and for a considerable length of time, 
the fabrics manufactured here have been almost exclusively on ac^ 
count of houses in Glasgow and Paisley. Silk fabrics are now chiefly 
made, although there is produced a considerable proportion of fine 
cotton goods. A candle-work, which had once flourished here, and 
a brewery, have been long discontinued. 

A printfield on Locher, a mile to northward, has existed from forty 
to fifty years, which employed formerly from twenty*four to thirty 
tables, with the usual complement of copper-plate engravers, block* 
cutters, bleachers, &c. to prepare the cloth and finish it afterwards. 



Digitized by 



Google 



KrLBARCHAN. 377 

The scale has been reduced nearly 0De-half» for some time past 
The water supplied from the Locher, it is alleged, is very well 
adapted to the purposes for which it is required by the company. 
In its more palmy and flourishing days, this work, or rather those 
of the same description, were remarkable for the yiolent and deter- 
mined strikes on the part of the workmen/ 

Cotton Mills. — L The mill in this parish belonging to Messrs 
John and Joseph Findlay, is in length 120 feet over walls, and 32 
in breadth ; six stories high, each 9 feet,^-containing some 7000 
spindles. The hands employed, are, 16 spinners, with 2 piecers to 
each ; 25 card-room workers, 1 spinning master and 2 under card- 
ing-masters, 1 clerk, and 2 mechanics; also, out of doors, 34 
reelers and 22 waste-pickers, the latter mostly aged persons. 
Their wages amount to L. 75 per fortnight : they are paid on 



2. The mill, belonging to the Lin wood Company, had been built 
originally by another proprietary in 1792, and was burnt dovm in 
1802. In 1805, it was rebuilt by the present company. Its 
dimensions are as follows: — Main part, length within walls, 170 
feet; width, 30; height, 61. West wing, length, 100 feet; width, 
34; height, 41. East wing, length, 80 feet; width, 36^; height, 
30. 

Moving power Water-wheel iron overshot, diameter, 18 feet ; breadth, 14 feet. 

Do. wooden undershot, 14 do. 20 do. 

Horse power, - - - 48 

Steam engine, - - . - 20 

Total, 68 horse power. 
Number of spindles, 28,000. 

Hands employed in Linwood mill, 400. Pay every Saturday ; 
amount, L. 190. Average rate of wages; 80 workers, from 16s. 
to 30s. per week; 200 workers, from Os. to 13s. per week; 120 
workers, from 3s. to 6s. per week. 

There is among the workers a Benefit Society from year to 
year ; pay 3d. weekly ; 6s. received per week when walking about, 
unfit for work; and 8s. when confined to bed. 

3. Cotton-mill at Barbush, parish of Kilbarchan, belonging to 
Messrs John S. and William Napier, Milliken. Length, includ- 
ing stair, 118 feet ; width, at an average, 38 feet. Number of 
spindles, 13,200. Employs about 135 persons. 

4. Mr Henderson's mill, Linwood. Length, 67 feet; breadth. 



Digitized by 



Google 



378 RENFREWSHIRE. 

44 over walls. Contains about 4000 spindles, and is driven by an 
engine of sixteen horse power. Employs about 40 hands. 
V. — Parochiax Economy. 

Villages. — This parish contains three villages. \sty Kilbarchan, 
named the Kirkton in Blaeu's Atlas, published in 1654 at Amster* 
dam ; and of which a very considerable part has been built, in the 
memory of some persons now living. 2d and dJ, Linwood and 
Bridge of Weir villages are of recent erection ; the one wholly in 
this parish, the other (Bridge of Weir,) with an equal population 
on each side of the Gryfe, belonging, half to the united parishes 
of Houstoun and Killellan. Strictly speaking, however. Bridge of 
Weir is a designation of land only on the Kilbarchan side. Both 
these villages owe their existence to the establishment of cotton 
factories in the respective localities. 

MarkeUTaiony Means of Communication^ Sfc. — Paisley, dis- 
tant five miles and a half, is our nearest market-town ; but 
many articles of use, in daily demand, may be purchased in re- 
spectable shops here, as well as in Johnstone, distant one mile 
and a half to eastward. There is no post-office nearer than 
Johnstone. Most roads in the parish are turnpike, and in very 
good condition. 

No public conveyance passes along any of pur roads ; but by the 
light passage boats, neatly fitted up and moving at the rate of eight 
miles per hour, there is access from Johnstone to Paisley and 
Glasgow, eight times a day. Coaches to and from Lochwinnoch, 
Beith, Ardrossan, and Glasgow, pass about a mile south of this 
village. Acts of Parliament have been obtained for two lines of 
railway ; one from Greenock to Paisley and Glasgow, passing 
through the east part of this parish ; and a branch from this vil- 
lage will comnuinicate with the Glasgow, Paisley, and Ayr line, 
which passes along the south side of the Cart, and within a mile 
of the village. 

Ecclesiastical Statc^-Of this parochial church, prior to the Re- 
formation, the most ancient record to which I have had access, 
bears, that '^ Thomas Crauford of Auchinames mortified the lands 
of Lyndnocht and Glenlear, with their pertinents, and an annuity 
of three merks out of his lands of Auchinames, for the mainte- 
nance of a chaplain to celebrate Divine service at the altar of the 
Virgin Mary, in the kirk of Kilbarchan, for the health of his soul 
and of his wife, and for the soul of Sir Reginald Crauford, his 



Digitized by 



Google 



KILBARCHAN. 379 

grandfather ; as also for the souls of his father and his mother. 
Which mortification is confirmed by King Robert III. in the year 
1401."* 

The present parish church was built, or rather rebuilt, in 1724, 
and is still in a tolerable state of repair. It stands in the village, 
a site, on the whole, the most eligible for the great body of the pa« 
rishioners, three miles from the west, and four f