Kirkintilloch Town and Parish By Thomas Watson (1894)
MCGAVIGANS KIRKINTILLOCH FUN DAY 1993
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
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
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.
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