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Kirkintilloch Town and Parish
By Thomas Watson (1894)



The idea of writing a history of Kirkintilloch had casually occurred to me for a good many years past, but several considerations prevented its taking practical shape.

My life has not been an idle one—if I may be permitted to say so—and I could not afford the requisite time for such a work—besides, I hoped that some one trained to literature and better qualified, might undertake it.

When I left Scotland for New Zealand, ten years ago— with the expectation of leaving my bones in that country —of course the thing passed from my mind. But having in the good Providence of God returned to my native land, and finding the field still unoccupied, while circumstances compelled me to involuntary leisure; the old idea returned, and became a fixed resolution; the result being the present volume.

I have been greatly encouraged in my task by the ready assistance and information which I have received on ail hands.

My thanks are due in the first place to Rev. Thomas Somerville of Glasgow who has given the sketch of Bailie Gemmill; to Mr. James Blackwood who has contributed the articles on the Poets, David Gray, and Walter Watson, and has done them that measure of justice which I could not hope to do; next—to the following authors who have freely permitted me to quote from their works, viz.:—

Sir Charles E. F. Stirling of Glorat, author of “The Stirlings of Craigbemard and Glorat;” James Hedderwick, LL.D., author of “Backward Glances;” William Hunter, Esq., author of “Biggar and the House of Fleming", John Irving, Esq., son of the late Joseph Irving, Esq., author of the “History of Dumbartonshire;” John Dick Marshall, Esq., author of “Memoir of Dr. Andrew Marshall;” Dr. Whitelaw, author of "Memoir of Peter Neilson, poet"; Donald MacLeod, Esq., author of “Poets and Poetry of the Lennox;” John Cameron, Esq., author of “The Parish of Campsie;” J.. Law Crawford, Esq., author of the “Forth and Clyde Ship Canal;” and Mr. David Russell, author of “Sketches of Kirkintilloch Men I have met in the Army.”

There are numerous other writers upon whom I have drawn without the means of acknowledgment, to whom I am none the less grateful.

Information has been kindly given to me by the following persons, who have my best thanks:—Miss Gartshore of Ravelston; Lady M'Culloch; Major Graham Stirling of Craigbarnet; John William Burns, Esq. of Kilmahew and Cumbernauld; T. Craig Christie, Esq. of Bedlay; Thomas Reid, Esq. of Carlestoun; James Duncan, Esq. of Twechar; Robert Young, Esq.; John Inglis, Esq.; James Hutcheson, Esq.; David Patrick, Esq.; Dr, D. P. Stewart; Dr. William Whitelaw; J. M. Slimmon, Esq.; Andrew Stewart, Esq.; James Stables, Esq.; James Main, Esq.; James Cooper, Esq.; James L. Motion, Esq.; Arthur F. Turnbull, Esq.; Rev. William Miller, Lenzie; Rev. Messrs. John Mitchell, James Caven, William Reid, A. M. Brown, M.A., B.D., T. A. Morrison, David Matthews, W. B. Nicholson, Hugh Y. Reyburn, and Arthur Beyeart, Kirkintilloch; Rev. Messrs. John Burnett and Thomas Somerville, Glasgow; Rev. William Reid, Airdrie; Rev. John Arnott, M.A., Dailly; Messrs. Andrew Lawrie, Andrew Matson, G. L. Anderson, Robert Watson, John Goodwin, John Thom, Robert Miller, John Balloch, Andrew Jarvie, Andrew Whitecross, and many others.

It has given me much pleasure to find that Kirkintilloch is associated with such men as King William the Lion, as well as King Robert the Bruce and his companions-in-arms who achieved the independence of Scotland.

My aim has been all along to make the work as comprehensive as possible; and to gather together everything connected with the subject that would be likely to interest the most numerous class of my fellow-natives, who have not had means nor opportunity to see or study records of past events; and it is for them I write.

With this motive, I have endeavoured to place on record all who have given the benefit of their services to the community in any way, and that without considering their condition in life.

I must beg the forbearance of my readers with the defects of my work, which is only that of a “'prentice hand,” and trust that nevertheless they may experience, in reading, a part of the pleasure I have had in writing it. Especially do I hope that it may be the means of recalling and preserving to the natives of the parish now scattered over the world, scenes and circumstances which are rapidly passing into oblivion.

And I further trust that my humble endeavour may induce some savant to follow me; and as he will be able to plough deeper than I have done, in a soil so rich he need have no fear of the result of his labours.

T. W.

42 Scott Street, Garnethill,
Glasgow, 1894.

Kirkintilloch Flood 1994

Kirkintilloch pub crawl


The Comyns
The Flemings
Kirkintilloch Parish
The Roman Wall, or Graham’s Dyke
Kirkintilloch Castle
The Tower of Badenheath
Forth and Clyde Canal
Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
The Grays of Oxgang
The Old Aisle
Union Church, Lenzie
Glasgow Convalescent Home, Lenzie
Barony Parochial Asylum, Woodilee, Lenzie
Auchenvole Castle
The Martyrs’ Stone
Broomhill Home for Incurables
Kirkintilloch Town
The Earl of Wigton against the Town of Kirkintilloch
Luggie Bridge
The Monument
The Aqueduct
The Old Cross-Stone
Odds and Ends
Flax Manufacture
Dress in 1770
Social Life
Rob Roy, 1716
Prince Charlie and Highlanders, 1746
Dennis Doolan and Patrick Redding
“Tis Sixty Years Since
Drives and Walks
Rev. Mr. Forman’s Report on Parish, 1845
Calico Printers and "Blue Pauls,”
Sketches of Kirkintilloch Men I have Met in the Army
Municipal Government
Parochial Board
William Muir, Poet
Peter Neilson, Poet
David Gray, Poet
Walter Watson, Poet
Poets and Poetry of Kirkintilloch
James Moffat, Poet
William Freeland, Poet
John Gibb, Artist
Bellfield Cottage, Kirkintilloch
The Rev. David Gemmill
William Dunn of Duntocher
Macvey Napier
Sir James M'Culloch, K.C.M.G.
The Agricultural Society
Curling Clubs
Forth and Clyde Ship Canal
Gifts of £1,000 and Two Fountains
Willie Malenny
Dan Cooper
Coach Will
Appendix - Letter to the Pope from the Barons of Scotland

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