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Borrowstounness and District
Chapter XVIII. Eminent Natives and Residents

1. John Henderson: his Wonderful Career—2. How the "Meditations" were Published—3. Colonel James Gardiner—4. William Wishart, 12th Principal, Edinburgh University: William Wishart secundus —5. Dr. John Roebuck: the Gravestone in Carriden Churchyard— 6. James Watt and his Experiments at Kinneil—7. Some of his. Engines—8. Professor Dugald Stewart: his Character and Achievements—9. Life at Kinneil: Mrs. Stewart and her daughter—10. Captain Donald Potter of the Royal Navy—11. Principal Baird: a Distinguished and Useful Career—12. Henry Bell: the "Comet" in Bo'ness—13. Robert Burns, D.D.—14. John Anderson—15. A Humorous Genealogy and Character Sketch—16. Admirals Sir George and Sir James Hope : Sir John Lees—17. James Brunton Stephens.


It has been truly said that biography is the most pleasant and profitable of all reading. So we offer no apology for including in these pages a few brief biographical sketches of eminent men who have been born in, or identified with, Kinneil,. Carriden, or Borrowstounness.

John Henderson, Shipmaster (b. 1686, d. 1758).

John Henderson was born at Borrowstounness on the 25th of May, 1686, and was the son of Richard Henderson, merchant and factor there, and Christian Waldy, his wife. The mother was remarkable for her piety, and did all in her power to train up her son in the paths of religion and virtue. John appeared to have a "good genius," and his parents proposed to give him a liberal education. He was, however, severely whipped by his master for a fault of which he had not been guilty, and refused to go any more to school. In after years he deeply regretted this. At fourteen he went to sea, serving his apprenticeship with Captain Alexander Stark. Two years after, he had the misfortune to lose the sight of an eye by a fall into a ship's hold. Having completed his apprenticeship, he sailed for several years in foreign vessels or in ships of war and privateers. fie was thus brought much into contact with loose and dissolute company, and to this he fell a victim. But he soon saw the error of his ways, and in early manhood became intensely religious. His Bible was his constant companion. "Well acquainted with its precepts, he could upon all occasions quote passages to the point with great facility. And when he intended to make a present to an intimate friend he always selected a Bible. Once in time of war he was taken by the enemy and stripped of all his clothes. He patiently bore that loss, but when a Spaniard took his Bible and attempted to throw it into the fire, saying that it was " not good," he ran and snatched it from him, saying it was "good," and the Spaniard stood mute. Henderson rose to the position of master of a merchant ship; and when delivered from peril— for his dangers were many—he expressed his most grateful sense of the Divine goodness. When at sea or lying in harbour he employed what leisure time he had in meditating and writing on religious topics.

When obliged, through bodily indisposition, to give over going to sea he returned to his native town and filled the offices of "shoremaster," or harbourmaster, and also Boxmaster to the Seabox. The duties of these he discharged with great fidelity and exactness "in obedience to the commands and from a regard to the authority of his God." Indeed, he put conscience into every duty which God or man commanded. He was for many years a member of the Kirk Session of Bo'ness Parish Church, and the Rev. Mr. Baillie testifies that he was careful and diligent in the duties of his office, and always showed a suitable concern for the interest of religion and success of the Gospel. Referring to the regularity of Mr. Henderson's attendance on the public ordinances, he says that in so doing John Henderson plainly showed that he waited on them as the ordinances of Christ, and depended upon Him, and not on the dispensers of them. Nor did he ever allow himself to be carried about with every wind of doctrine. So amiable were the tabernacles of God unto him that he could not be restrained from attending them, even when suffering from great bodily weakness. His son-in-law writes that his regard for the Lord's Day was twofold—first, as a commemoration of the work of redemption as finished, and, secondly, as being always particularly refreshing to himself. The manner of his observing the Sabbath in his family was " pretty singular." His ordinary method was to "convocate" his family four times to praise God, read a portion of His word, and call upon His name in prayer—once in the morning, then betwixt sermons, soon after them, and again at night. Besides this he used to retire to his closet at least seven times to worship God in secret. And that he might be the more capacitated to perform these duties with vivacity and spirit he did eat none from morning until night, when his natural strength of body began to fail, and even then he did eat but sparingly.

It has been written of him that he was a loving and affectionate husband, a tender and indulgent parent, and at vast pains to have his offspring rightly instructed in the principles of Christianity. But he never ceased, through fondness, to correct vice when it took place and reprove folly when it appeared. It pleased God to exercise him throughout his life in a variety of afflictions, including the loss of children and grandchildren, "and several other very distressing scenes of life." All these he endured with the greatest patience and submission to the will of God, never murmuring or repining even under the heaviest afflictions. In the month of May, 1758, he went to Edinburgh to see his daughter and her husband. A few days afterwards he was seized with what was called an iliac passion, the pain of which he endured with the greatest calmness and serenity. When under this trouble his daughter asked him if he still adhered to what he had formerly believed concerning the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. To which he answered, "I know no other way; I desire no other way; I will seek no other way; I despise all other ways."

And the last words he uttered were these, "My Lord and my God." He died in the seventy-second year of his age. "Mark the perfect man," quotes Mr. Baillie, "and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."


We regret we cannot fill in the mental picture of this devout old shipmaster as we would have liked, but we have learned enough to regard his life and character as worthy of remembrance. When old John Henderson kept his numerous journals and diaries he had no idea that any of their contents would ever be published. After his death his daughter and her husband showed his papers to several persons of judgment and piety. They were of opinion that, though not so accurate as those written by persons having greater educational advantages, a published selection might, by the blessing of God, be of great use to many. His writings in their view contained plain evidences of their author having been taught the reality of religion by the Holy Spirit, and also demonstrated that true Christians might have clear views of its doctrines and duties though deprived of the advantages of human learning. They thought it wise, also, to show how one who was so many years abroad, and when at home was engaged in a variety of worldly business, employed his leisure hours and carefully redeemed the time. And they particularly hoped that such a volume would be of especial use to sailors and all those who knew and were acquainted with Mr. Henderson when alive. Acting on this advice, therefore, Mr. and Mrs. Thomson published the "Meditations."

"The memory of Mr. John Henderson, shipmaster," wrote Mr. M'Kenzie, "is held in high estimation in this place. He was a man of singular humility, benevolence, and piety, spending much of his time in divine meditations, which he was in the habit of committing to writing, ' to keep his heart from wandering and fixt upon divine and spiritual subjects.' The selection2from these published after his death forms a composition remarkable for the regularity of its structure, and for the simplicity, spirituality, and fervour of its devotional sentiments."

The book was published in March, 1763, and a copy lies in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow. It consists of 412 pages, and contains meditations, soliloquies, prayers, and spiritual poetry. The "Meditations" were edited by his son-in-law, Mr. James Thomson, merchant in Edinburgh, and following his preface is a short account of the author by the Rev. Pat. Baillie, minister of Borrowstounness.


Colonel James Gardiner (b. 1687, d. 1745).

Built into a wall at Burnfoot, Carriden, is a tablet with this inscription—

To the memory of Colonel James Gardiner, born here January 10th, 1687; mortally wounded at the Battle of Prestonpans, September 21st, 1745.

A brave soldier and a devout Christian.

" I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith."— Tim. iv. 7.

Readers of Scott will remember that Colonel Gardiner was Edward Waverley's commanding officer. The reverence which Waverley gave to his chief, the horror with which he witnessed his death, and the unavailing efforts he made to get near to help him when cut down by the Highlanders, form part of the graphic description of the battle.

His pious character recalls Hedley Vicars and Chinese Gordon.

Colonel Gardiner.
(From a photograph by Eric Jamieson, Bo'ness, taken by permission from an oil painting in possession of Mr. S. B. Hog of Newliston.)

Philip Doddridge, the famous divine and hymn-writer, was on terms of the closest intimacy with Gardiner, and about two years after Prestonpans he wrote Gardiner's biography. There he gives a vivid and lengthened account of his friend's spiritual experiences. Jupiter Carlyle, also, in his autobiography gives frequent glimpses of him. Thus abundant material is at the disposal of any one who wishes to make the acquaintance of this brave and pious soldier. Doddridge is evidently in doubt as to the year of his birth, as he gives 1687-8, but the tablet at Carriden has 1687.

Gardiner's father was Captain Patrick Gardiner,3 of the family of Torwood Head, and his mother Mary Hodge, of the family of Gladsmuir. The Captain served in the Army in the time of William and Queen Anne, and died with the British foroes in Germany shortly after the battle of Hochset.

The son, afterwards Colonel Gardiner, was educated at the "Grammar School of Linlithgow. He served as a cadet very early, and at fourteen years of age obtained an ensign's commission in a Scots regiment in the Dutch service, in which he continued till 1702, when he received an ensign's commission from Queen Anne. At the battle of Ramillies, where he specially distinguished himself, he was wounded and taken prisoner, but was soon after exchanged. We are told that at this battle, while calling to his men to advance, a bullet passed into his mouth, which, without beating out any of his teeth or touching the forepart of his tongue, went through his neck. The young officer, like so many of the wounded engaged with the Duke of Marlborough's army, was left on the field unattended, and lay there all night, not knowing what his fate might be. His suspicions at first were that he had swallowed the bullet, but he afterwards made the discovery that there was a hole in the back of his neck, through which it must have passed. In the morning the French came to plunder the slain, and one of them was on the point of applying his sword to the breast of the young officer when an attendant of the plunderers, taking the injured lad by his dress for a Frenchman, interposed, and said, "Do not kill that poor child." He was given some stimulant, and carried to a convent in the neighbourhood, where he was cured in a few months. He served with distinction in the other famous battles fought by the Duke of Marlborough, and rose to the rank of colonel of a new regiment of Dragoons.

As a young man he was what would now be called fast; but he was at all times so bright and cheerful that he was known as the "happy rake." His remarkable conversion occurred when waiting till twelve o'clock on a Sunday night to keep a certain appointment. To while away the time he took up a book which his mother had placed in his portmanteau. This was " The Christian Soldier; or Heaven Taken by Storm." The result was that he forgot his appointment, and became converted. Nor was the change either fanatical or temporary. Gardiner was still as careful, active, and obedient a soldier as ever, but now he tried in his private life to avoid even the appearance of evil. He was specially anxious to appear pleasant and cheerful lest his associates might be led to think that religion fostered a gloomy, forbidding, and austere disposition. At the same time, he set himself sternly against infidelity and licentiousness.

The circumstances connected with Colonel Gardiner's death at the Battle of Prestonpans are very tragic, and have been frequently treated in history and fiction. The brutality connected with his death cannot be excused and scarcely palliated by the ignorance of his assailants. By all who knew him—military friend or foe—his death was deplored.


William Wishart, Twelfth Principal oF the UniversitY oF Edinburgh, 1716-1729.

Mr. Wishart was a son of the last minister of Kinneil. There is no available evidence as to date and place of birth, but it is highly probable that it was Kinneil.4 The eldest son, afterwards Sir George, entered the Army, and ultimately acquired the estate of Cliftonhall, Ratho; the next, afterwards. Sir James, of Little Chelsea, was a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy, and died in 1723; and the third became one of the ministers of Edinburgh and Principal of the University.

William Wishart5 succeeded the great William Carstares in the Principalship, and it is thought that the latter recommended him to the Town Council, with whom the appointment lay. William graduated at Edinburgh in 1676, and afterwards proceeded to Utrecht to study theology. Like his father, he had to suffer imprisonment, for on his return from Holland (1684) he was imprisoned by the Privy Council in the " Iron House " on the charge of denying the King's authority. He was released the next year under bond, with caution of 5000 merks, to appear when called. He then became minister of South Leith (it will be recalled that his father also was minister in Leith after the suppression of Kinneil), and afterwards of the Tron Church. Wishart was five times Moderator of the General Assembly, and has been described as " a good, kind, grave, honest, and pious man, a sweet, serious, and affectionate preacher whose life and conversation being of a piece with his preaching made almost all who knew him personal friends." Two volumes of his sermons were published. His career as Principal seems to have been uneventful.

We may mention here also that on the 10th November, 1736, the Edinburgh Town Council proceeded to elect to the fifteenth Principalship William Wishart secundus, son of the above. The induction, however, was postponed till November of the next year, a charge of heresy evidently barring the way. When called to be Principal he also received a call from New Greyfriars. The Edinburgh Presbytery interposed and objected to the doctrine of some sermons published by him while minister of a Dissenting congregation in London, in which he had maintained "that true religion is influenced by higher motives than self-love." After a keen debate the General Assembly absolved Wishart from heresy, and he entered upon his charges. He is said to have been more of a scholar and man of letters than his father, and of an original turn of mind, adopting a different style of preaching from that formerly in vogue. He was less stiff and formal, dealt more with moral considerations, and used more simple and, at the same time, more literary language. His first act as Principal was to start a library fund for the University. He also made an attempt to improve the system of graduation in Arts by demanding literary theses from the "graduates. The Principal took a great interest in the more promising of the students, constantly visited the junior classes, and used all means in his power to improve scholarship in the University.


De. John Roebuck (b. 1718, d. 1794).

John Roebuck was born in Sheffield, where his father was a manufacturer of cutlery. He possessed a most inventive turn of mind; studied chemistry and medicine at Edinburgh; obtained the degree of M.D. from Leyden University in 1742; established a chemical laboratory at Birmingham; invented methods of refining precious metals and several improvements in processes for the production of chemicals, including the manufacture of sulphuric acid, at Prestonpans, in 1749, where he was in partnership with Mr. Samuel Garbett, another Englishman.

In 1759, he, along with his brothers, Thomas, Ebenezer, and Benjamin, William Cadell, sen., William Cadell, jun., and Samuel Garbett, founded the Carron Ironworks, which at one time were the most celebrated in Europe. - His connection with Borrowstounness began about the same time when he became the lessee of the Duke's coal mines and saltpans, and took up residence at Kinneil House. The history of his partnership with James Watt, the part which he played in the government •of the town, and the unfortunate collapse of all his plans are •elsewhere referred to. In 1773 the doctor, owing to his financial misfortunes here, had not only to give up his interest in Watt's patent, but had also to sever his connection with the Carron Company. His spirit and business enterprise, however, were undaunted, and, in 1784, we find him founding the Bo'ness Pottery. He died here in 1794, and was buried in Carriden Churchyard.

From the various works which he projected, all of a practical nature; from his generous and kindly treatment of James Watt, and his keen desire to promote the interests of the inhabitants of Bo'ness, we readily conclude that, in ability and real goodness, he was far above the average man. This is attested by the monument to his memory which his friends erected over his grave. The inscription is in Latin, but we give below a translation7

Underneath this tombstone rests no ordinary man, John Roebuck, M.D., who, of gentle birth and of liberal education, applied his mind to almost all the liberal arts. Though he made the practice of medicine his chief work in his public capacity to the great advantage of his fellow-citizens, yet he did not permit his inventive and tireless brain to rest satisfied with that, but cultivated a great number of recondite and abstruse sciences, among which were chemistry and metallurgy. These he expounded and adapted to human needs with a wonderful fertility of genius and a high degree of painstaking labour; whence not a few of all those delightful works and pleasing structures which decorate our world, and by their utility conduce to both public and private well-being he either devised or promoted. Of these the magnificent work at the mouth of the Carron is his own invention.

In extent of friendship and of gentleness he was surpassing great, and, though harassed by adversity or deluded by hope and weighed down by so many of our griefs, he yet could assuage these by his skill in the arts of the muses or in the delights of the country.

For most learned conversation and gracious familiarity no other was more welcome or more pleasant on account of his varied and profound learning, his merry games, and sparkling wit and humour. And, above all, on account of the uprightness, benevolence, and good fellowship in his character.

Bewailed by his family and missed by all good men, he died on the Ides [i.e., 15th] of July.

a.d. 1794, aged 76, in the arms of his wife, and with his children around him.

This monument—such as it is—the affection of friends has erected.


James Watt (b. 1736, d. 1819).8

The name and fame of this celebrated natural philosopher and civil engineer are so well known that they require little mention here. He was born in Greenock, but Glasgow and Birmingham were the chief centres of his labours. Bo'ness, however, has a right to claim more than a passing interest in his early endeavours to improve the steam engine. He had been struggling as a mathematical instrument maker to the University of Glasgow when his friend Professor Black spoke of him to Dr. Roebuck, who was engaged sinking coal pits. Roebuck had been time and again thwarted in his attempt to reach the coal by inrushes of water, his Newcomen engine having proved practically useless. Therefore, when Dr. Black informed him of this ingenious young mechanic in Glasgow who had invented a steam engine capable of working with a greater power, speed, and economy, Roebuck immediately entered into •correspondence with Watt. Roebuck was at first sceptical as to the principle of Watt's engine, and induced him to revert to the old principle, with some modifications. Against his convictions Watt tried a series of experiments, but abandoned them as hopeless, Roebuck being also convinced of his error. Up to this time Watt and Roebuck had not met, but in September, 1765, Roebuck urged him to come with Dr. Black to Kinneil House and fully discuss the subject of the engine. Watt wrote to say that he was physically unable for the journey to Kinneil, but would try to meet him on a certain day at the works at Carron, in which the doctor had an interest. Even this, however, had to be postponed. Roebuck then wrote urging Watt to press forward his invention with all speed, "whether you pursue it as a philosopher or as a man of business." In accordance with this urgent appeal, Watt forwarded to Roebuck the working drawings of a covered cylinder and piston, to be cast at the Carron Works. This cylinder, however, when completed, was ill bored, and had to be laid aside as useless. The piston rod was made in Glasgow, under his own supervision, and when finished he was afraid to forward it on a common cart lest the workpeople should see it, .and so it was sent in a box to Carron in the month of July, 1766.

This secrecy was necessary to prevent his idea being appropriated by others. Roebuck was so confident of Watt's success that in 1767 he undertook to give him £1000 to pay the debts already incurred, to enable Watt to continue his •experiments, and to patent the engine. Roebuck's return was to be two-thirds of the property in the invention. Early in 1768 Watt made a new and larger model, with a cylinder of seven or eight inches diameter, but by an unforeseen misfortune " the mercury found its way into the cylinder and played the devil with the solder. This throws us back at least three days, .and is very vexatious, especially as it happened in spite of the precaution I had taken to prevent it." Disregarding the renewed demands of the impatient Roebuck to meet and talk the matter over, Watt proceeded to patch up his damaged engine. In a month's time he succeeded, and then rode triumphantly to Kinneil House, where his words to Roebuck were, "I sincerely wish you joy of this successful result, and I hope it will make some return for the obligations I owe you."

The model was so satisfactory that it was at once determined to take out a patent for the engine, and Watt journeyed to Berwick, where he obtained a provisional protection. It had been originally intended to build the engine in "the little town of Borrowstounness." For the sake of privacy, however, Watt fixed upon an outhouse in a small enclosure to the south of Kinneil House, where an abundant supply of water could be obtained from the Gil burn. The materials required were brought here from Glasgow and Carron, and a few workmen were placed at his disposal. The cylinder—of eighteen inches diameter and five feet stroke—was cast at Carron. Progress-was slow and the mechanics clumsy. Watt was occasionally compelled to be absent on other business, and on his return he usually found the men at a standstill. As the engine neared completion his anxiety kept him sleepless at nights, for his fears-were more than equal to his hopes. He was easily cast down by little obstructions, and especially discouraged by unforeseen expense. About six months after its commencement the new engine, on which he had expended so much labour, anxiety, and ingenuity, was completed. But its success was far from decided. Watt himself declared it to be a clumsy job. He was grievously depressed by his want of success, and he had serious thoughts of giving up the thing altogether. Before abandoning it, however, the engine was again thoroughly overhauled, many improvements were effected, and a new trial made of its powers. But this did not prove more successful than the earlier one had been. "You cannot conceive," he wrote to Small, " how mortified I am with this disappointment. It is a damned thing for a man to have his all hanging by a single string. If I had the wherewithal to pay the loss, I don't think I should so much fear a failure; but I cannot bear the thought of other people becoming losers by my schemes, and I have the happy disposition of always painting the worst." Bound therefore by honour not less than by interest, he summoned up his courage and went on anew. In the principles of his engine he continued to have confidence, and believed that, could mechanics be found who would be capable of accurately executing its several parts, success was certain. By this time Roebuck was becoming embarrassed with debts and involved in various difficulties. The pits were drowned with water, which no existing machinery could pump out, and ruin threatened to overtake him before Watt's engine could come to his help. The doctor had sunk in his coal works his own fortune and part of that of his relations, and was thus unable to defray the expense of taking out the patent and otherwise fulfilling his engagement with the inventor. In his distress Watt appealed to Dr. Black for assistance, and a loan was forthcoming; but, of course, this only left him deeper in debt, without any clear prospect of ultimate relief. No wonder that_ he should, after his apparently fruitless labour, have expressed to Small his belief that, "Of all things in life, there is nothing more foolish than inventing." The unhappy state of his mind may be further inferred from his lamentation expressed in a letter to the same friend on the 31st of January, 1770—"To-day I enter the thirty-fifth year of my life, and I think I have hardly yet done thirty-five pence worth of good to the world; but I cannot help it." By the death, also, of his wife, who cheered him greatly in his labours, an unfortunate combination of circumstances seemed to overwhelm him. No further progress had yet been made with his steam engine, which, indeed, he almost cursed as the cause of his misfortunes. Dr. Roebuck's embarrassments now reached their climax. He had fought against the water until he could fight no more, and was at last delivered into the hands of his creditors, a ruined man. His share in Watt's invention was then transferred to Matthew Boulton, of Birmingham.


This was the turning-point for "Watt. Birmingham was an excellent trade centre, and within it were to be found experienced mechanics. The firm of Boulton, Watt & Co. was formed in 1774, and Watt's success was thenceforward ensured.

Although Roebuck had to give in, there is no doubt that Watt was so much indebted to him at the beginning that, without his aid and encouragement, he would never have gone on. Robinson says, " I remember Mrs. Roebuck remarking one evening, ' Jamie is a queer lad, and without the doctor his invention would have been lost, but Dr. Roebuck won't let it perish.' "

Watt's connection with Kinneil and Bo'ness must have lasted a number of years. There are many stories concerning his engines,8 probably mostly experimental, which were in use at the local pits. These, no doubt, were in operation, and attained a considerable degree of success before he removed to Birmingham, but too late to be of any practical assistance to his partner Roebuck. Of the engine at Taylor's pit the workmen could only say that it was the fastest one they ever saw. From its size, and owing to its being placed in a small timber-house, the colliers called it the " box bed." The one at the Temple pit was known as Watt's spinning wheel. The cylinder of his engine at the Schoolyard pit lay there for many years. It was in the end purchased by Bo'ness Gas Company, in whose possession it now is. The outhouse at Kinneil in which Watt constructed his first engine and conducted his many experiments still remains, but it is in a dilapidated condition. Undoubtedly Watt's mental endowments were great, but he was called upon to suffer disappointment after disappointment and bitter reverses of fortune. His courage, force of character, and mechanical genius ultimately carried him towards complete success, so that he retired with a handsome fortune.


Dugald Stewart (b. 1753, d. 1828), 
Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Edinburgh University.

After relinquishing the duties of his Chair in 1809 this eminent Scotsman retired to Kinneil House, which his friend the Duke of Hamilton had placed at his disposal. Here he spent the twenty remaining years of his life in philosophical study. From Kinneil he dated his Philosophical Essays, in 1810, the second volume of the Elements, in 1813; the first part of theDissertation, in 1821, and the second part in 1826; and, finally, in 1828, the Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers, a work which he completed a few weeks before the close of his life.

Dugald Stewart was born in the precincts of Edinburgh University, where his father, the Professor of Mathematics, resided. He studied at the University there, but after a time was attracted to Glasgow University, like a good many others, by the fame of Professor Reid, who occupied the Chair of Moral Philosophy. At the age of nineteen he was accepted by the Senatus as his father's substitute during the latter's illness, and returned to Edinburgh. Two years later he was appointed assistant and successor. With three days' preparation he, in 1778, undertook the work of the Chair of Moral Philosophy when Adam Ferguson made his visit to America. In 1785, the year of his father's death, he exchanged Chairs with Ferguson. It was a happy exchange for Stewart. He was so versatile that he could, at a moment's notice, occupy any Chair in the University, and there is no •doubt that as Professor of Mathematics he discharged the duties with distinction. But his reading, his studies, and the natural bent of his mind peculiarly fitted him to be the popular exponent of Dr. Reid's commonsense philosophy. His fame became so great that he drew young men of family and fortune to attend his classes. He was in the habit of boarding students, and it has been said that noblemen did not grudge £400 for the privilege of having their sons admitted to Professor

Stewart's charming home. Among those who attended his class were the young men who afterwards became Lord Palmerston, Lord John Russell, Lord Brougham, Lord Cockburn, and Lord Jeffrey.

Lord Cockburn has left us some very vivid and sympathetic recollections of Stewart as a lecturer, and of the influence he exercised over his students. Entrance to Dugald Stewart's class was, he says, the great era in the progress of young men's minds. To him his lectures were like the opening of the heavens. He felt that he had a soul; and the professor's noble views, unfolded in glorious sentences, elevated him into, a higher world. Stewart, he affirms, was one of the greatest of didactic orators, and had he lived in ancient times his memory would have descended to us as that of one of the finest of the old eloquent sages. Flourishing, however, in an age which required all the dignity of morals to counteract the tendencies of physical pursuits and political convulsions, he had exalted the character of his country and of his generation. Without genius or even originality of talent, his intellectual character was marked by calm thought and great soundness. His training in mathematics may have corrected the reasoning, but it never chilled the warmth of his moral demonstrations.

All Stewart's powers were exalted by an unimpeachable personal character, devotion to the science he taught, an exquisite taste, an imagination imbued with poetry and oratory, liberality of opinion, and the highest morality. His retiral made a deep and melancholy impression on his students and on all those interested in the welfare of mental philosophy.

In his earlier years Mr. Stewart had resided at Catrine House. Catrine, originally the country-house of his maternal grandfather, and there he met and entertained the poet Burns. This friendship was renewed on the poet's visit to Edinburgh.

His biographer has told us that Mr. Stewart's time at Kinneil was almost exclusively devoted to his literary labours.

Dugald Stewart.
By permission from "Scottish Men of Letters in the XVIII. Century" by H. Grey Graham (Black).

He, however, relieved these by friendly intercourse, and by the calls of those strangers whom the lustre of his name led to pay a passing visit to Kinneil. Among his friends was Sir David Wilkie, the painter. He was always in search of subjects for his pictures, and Mr. Stewart found for him in an old farmhouse in the neighbourhood the cradle chimney introduced into the " Penny Wedding." Other friendly visitors at Kinneil included Lord Palmerston and Earl Russell. A detailed account of the life and writings of his father, which abounded in anecdotes and notices of the many distinguished men with whom he was on terms of intimacy, was prepared by Mr. Stewart's son. Most unfortunately this memoir and the greater part of the professor's correspondence and journals were unwittingly destroyed by the son in a fit of mental aberration brought on by a sunstroke. Little record, then, is left of his long and interesting occupancy of Kinneil. In 1822 he was struck with paralysis. The attack affected his power of utterance and deprived him of the use of his right hand. Happily, it neither impaired any of the facilities of his mind nor the characteristic vigour and activity of his understanding. It, however, prevented him from using his pen, and Mrs. Stewart became his amanuensis. From a letter written by her to a friend in 1824 we find that Mr. Stewart's health was as good as they could possibly hope after the severe attack three years previously, and that he walked between two and three hours every day.

In 1828 Mr. and Mrs. Stewart went to Edinburgh on a brief visit to their friend Mrs. Lindsay, No. 5 Ainslie Place. Here Mr. Stewart was seized with a fresh shock of paralysis, and died on 11th June. He was buried in the Canongate Churchyard. A monument to his memory, erected by his friends and admirers, stands upon the Calton Hill.

Mr. Stewart was twice married. His first wife was Helen, daughter of Neil Bannatyne, Glasgow, and the marriage took place in 1783, after a long courtship. She died in 1787, leaving an only child, Matthew, on whom his father centred all his affections. He in time entered the Army, and rose to distinction. The professor's second wife was Helen d'Arcy Cranstoun, third daughter of the Hon. George Cranstoun, youngest son of William, fifth Lord Cranstoun. This marriage took place in 1790. Mrs. Stewart, we are told,9 was a lady of high accomplishments and fascinating manner—uniting with vivacity and humour depth and tenderness of feeling. She sympathised warmly with the tastes and pursuits of her husband, and so great was his regard for her judgment and taste that he was in the habit of submitting to her criticism whatever he wrote. Mrs. Stewart also held a high place among the writers of Scottish song. She died in 1838. There were two children of this marriage—a son, George, a youth of great promise, whose death, in 1809, occasioned the deepest affliction to his parents, and led to Mr. Stewart's retirement from professorial duty—and a daughter, Maria d'Arcy, who survived her father and mother, and died in 1846. Miss Stewart was endeared to a very extensive circle of friends by the charms of a mind of great vigour and rich culture, manners the most fascinating, and a heart full of warmth, tenderness, and affection.

Mrs. and Miss Stewart were the last occupants of Kinneil House, and their departure after the professor's death was much regretted by every inhabitant of the parish. The active benevolence of the family was extensive, and was long and gratefully remembered.


Donald Potter (b. 1756, d. . . . ).

In one of the privately enclosed burial-places alongside the east wall of the lower churchyard lie the mortal remains of Donald Potter, captain of the Royal Navy. This is almost all that can be gathered of this worthy, for the lettering on the memorial tablet is so eaten away as to be indecipherable. On the top of the stone-there is still to be seen a splintered cannon ball hooped with iron. Beneath are carved a crown and an anchor.

Donald Potter was a native of the parish of Livingstone, in this county. His father was James Potter, and his mother Katherine Mitchell. At an early age he joined the Royal Navy, and by good conduct, gallant deeds, and long and efficient service rose to an important position. He specially distinguished himself under Admiral Howe in his crushing defeat of the French fleet off Brest on the 1st of June, 1794. In October, 1809, Potter received a commission as lieutenant of His Majesty's ship the " Bellona," and in February, 1811, was appointed to the same position on board the "Princess." Much to his regret he had to retire about 1814, when he settled in Borrowstounness, where he had some relatives. Upon the mantelpiece of his sitting-room he kept an interesting relic of the famous battle in the shape of a cannon ball. On every recurrence of " the glorious first of June " he had the ball gaily decorated with ribbons, and, dressing himself in his full naval uniform, paraded the town. Thus arrayed he would call at various inns to drink to the memory of his old admiral and success to the British Navy. In 1829—some years before his death—the date of which is not now ascertainable—he appears to have purchased his burial-place, erected his headstone, and left instructions for the fixing of his much-prized curio upon it after his death. The following year—November, 1830—he was appointed to the rank and title of a commander in His Majesty's Fleet (retired). He was then seventy-four, and from all accounts lived for some years afterwards.

Mr. William Thomson, of Upper Kinneil, was one of the captain's intimate friends. To Mr. Thomson he left the portrait (a photograph of which we reproduce) and his sword and pistols. Mr. William Miller received other relics from a grand-nephew of Potter's many years ago. Among these are a miniature of the captain painted on ivory, and his three commissions, two of which bear the signature of Lord Palmer ston.


George Husband Baird, Eighteenth
Principal op Edinburgh University
 (b. 1761, d. 1840).

This distinguished divine was born in 1761 in a now-demolished house attached to the holding of Bowes, in the. hollow to the west of Inveravon farm-house, in the Parish of Borrowstounness. His father, James Baird, while a considerable proprietor in the county of Stirling, at that time rented this farm from the Duke of Hamilton. Young Baird received the rudiments of his education at the Parish School of Borrowstounness. Upon his father removing to the property of Manuel the boy was sent to the Grammar School at Linlithgow. It has been said of him that as a schoolboy he was more plodding, persevering, and well-mannered than brilliant. In his thirteenth year he was entered as a student in Humanity at Edinburgh University. There he speedily evoked favourable notice because of his devotion to his classwork and the progress which he made. In 1793 he succeeded Principal Robertson in the Principalship at the early age of thirty-three. Baird had married the eldest daughter of Lord Provost Elder, who had paramount influence in the Council, and exercised it for the election of his youthful and untried son-in-law. We believe it used to be jocularly said that his chief claim to the Principalship was as " Husband" of the Lord Provost's daughter. Nevertheless the appointment turned out well, although he was at a distinct disadvantage in succeeding a man of high literary fame like Principal Robertson. Baird held the Principalship for the long period of forty-seven years, saw the students increase from 1000 to 2000, new University buildings erected, the professoriate augmented, and great developments in other ways. He lived through many long strifes and litigations, and died leaving the Senatus still at war. He was one of the ministers of the High Church of Edinburgh.

But Baird did most excellent work,10 and made a lasting name for himself outside the University. Towards the close of his life he threw his whole soul into a scheme for the education of the poor in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. He submitted his proposals to the General Assembly in May, 1824, advancing them with great ability and earnestness. Next year the Assembly gave its sanction to the scheme, and it was launched most auspiciously. So intense was his interest in this work that in his sixty-seventh year, although in enfeebled health, he traversed the entire Highlands of Argyll, the west of Inverness, and Ross, and the Western Islands from Lewis to Kintyre. The following year he visited the Northern Highlands and the Orkneys and Shetlands. Through his influence Dr. Andrew Bell, of Madras, bequeathed £5000 for education in the Highlands of Scotland. In 1832 the thanks of the General Assembly were conveyed to him by the illustrious Dr. Chalmers, then in the zenith of his oratorical powers. He died at his family property at Manuel, and is buried in Muiravonside Churchyard.


Henry Bell (b. 1767, d. 1830).

At the ruins of Torphichen Old Mill, on the banks of the river Avon, about six miles from Bo'ness, there was unveiled, on a blustery afternoon in November, 1911, a tablet bearing the following inscription : —

Henry Bell, Pioneer of Steamship Navigation in Europe.
Born in the Old Mill House near this spot, 1767
Died at Helensburgh, 1830 a.d.

The tablet, which is of Aberdeen granite, is placed in the centre of the old gable, the only remaining part of the original structure. It bears a representation of the "Comet," showing how the funnel of the ship was also used as a mast.

This worthy son of Linlithgowshire had an interesting connection with our seaport. For many years shipbuilding-was extensively carried on at Bo'ness. A great many of the vessels were built for Greenock merchants for the West India trade. The business was owned by Messrs. Shaw & Hart, and with them Henry Bell, when about nineteen years of age, found employment. It is said that when here his attention was directed for the first time towards the idea of the propulsion of ships by steam. His connection with Bo'ness extended over a period of two years, after which he settled in Glasgow. For a number of years pressure of business kept him from pursuing his idea of propelling ships by steam. At length he designed, engined, and launched the "Comet" on the Clyde in 1812. The little vessel was herself in Bo'ness in 1813, and the event was one indelibly imprinted on the memories of that generation. She probably came down from the canal at Grangemouth, and when first seen was thought to be on fire.

Bell, it seems, had sent her round to the yard of his old masters to be overhauled. When she resumed her sailings several local gentlemen took advantage of the first trip by steamboat from Bo'ness to Leith. Her speed was six miles an hour, and the single fare 7s. 6d.

The Bell family have been well known in and intimately identified with the Linlithgow district for many centuries. Some of the older members were burgesses of the burgh, and many of them were engaged in the millwright industry in the district. They were also tenants of Torphichen Mill, Carribber Mill, and Kinneil Mill. Another family of Bells were owners of Avontown, and were connected at different times with the ministerial and legal professions, one of them having been town-clerk of Linlithgow.


Robert Burns, D.D. (b. 1789, d. 1869).

In his notes of Bo'ness Parish, Mr. M'Kenzie says, "A considerable number of clergymen might be mentioned as connected with this parish by birth or residence. One family has produced four clergymen of the Church of Scotland, all of distinguished excellence, though, perhaps, the editor of the last edition of 'Wodrow's Church History' is best known to fame." The family referred to was that of John Burns, surveyor of Customs, Bo'ness. His four distinguished sons were the ministers of Kilsyth, Monkton, and Tweedsmuir, and the subject of this sketch.

Robert was born at Bo'ness in 1789, educated at the University of Edinburgh, licensed as a probationer of the Church of Scotland in 1810, and ordained minister of the Low Church, Paisley, in 1811. He was a man of great energy and activity, a popular preacher, a laborious worker in his parish and town, a strenuous supporter of the evangelical party in the Church, and one of the foremost opponents of lay patronage. In 1815, impressed with the spiritual wants of his countrymen in the Colonies, he helped to form a Colonial Society for supplying them with ministers, and of this society he continued the mainspring for fifteen years. Joining the Free Church in 1843, he was sent by the General Assembly in 1844 to the United States to cultivate fraternal relations with the Churches there. In 1845 he accepted an invitation to be minister of Knox's Church, Toronto, in which charge he remained till 1856, when he was appointed Professor of Church History and Apologetics in Knox's College. Burns took a most lively interest in his work, moving about with great activity over the whole colony, and becoming acquainted with almost every congregation. Before the Disruption he edited a new edition of Wodrow's " History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution," in four volumes, contributing a life of the author; and for three years—1838-1840—he edited and contributed many papers to the "Edinburgh Christian Instructor." He also wrote a life of Stevenson Macgill, D.D., 1842. There is a memoir of Dr. Burns by his son, Robert F. Burns, D.D., of Halifax, Nova Scotia; see also "Disruption Worthies," and notice by his nephew, J. C. Burns, D.D., Kirkliston.


John Anderson (b. 1794, d. 1870).

John Anderson was known in his day and generation as "the King of Bo'ness," and his name has been perpetuated in the Anderson Trust, the Anderson Academy, and the Anderson Buildings. He was the only son of John Anderson, teacher, Bo'ness, and of Jean Paterson, his spouse, and was born and lived all his days in the seaport. Possessing shrewd business capacity, he in time became merchant, shipowner, and, later in life, agent for the Royal Bank of Scotland. He conducted his businesses with ability and success, and rose to considerable influence in the place. In addition, he was connected officially for many years with the local friendly societies, and devised many schemes for their improvement. Mr. Anderson was a man of strong will and tenacity of purpose, and left his mark 'on every project with which he was associated.

Always fully alive to business possibilities, he, to meet the increase in the population which followed the establishment of Kinneil Furnaces, converted his extensive cellarages in Potter's Close (now demolished) into dwelling-houses. The consequent growth of the town at this time, coupled with a renewal of the Greenland whale-fishing, led to a great period of prosperity, in which he, as its principal merchant, almost enjoyed a monopoly. He owned the whalers "Success," "Alfred," and "Jean," and had a large share in the boiling-house at the top of the Wynd. On the formation of Bo'ness Gas Company, in 1842, he was appointed its first chairman. To use a common phrase, Mr. Anderson was very lucky. He did not, however, concentrate all his powers upon self-aggrandisement. In him the poor of the town had a good friend during his lifetime, and by his will he provided pensions to deserving persons. Interested all his life in education, he advanced its cause by •erecting and endowing the Academy which bears his name. The foundation-stone of this building was made the occasion of a great Masonic demonstration on the 12th of June, 1869. Another function in which, a decade before, he played a prominent part was the visit of the eleventh Duke of Hamilton and his wife, Princess Marie of Baden. They were received in great style by Mr. Anderson, and entertained to cake and wine on board the Greenland ship. Their Graces afterwards proceeded to the Town House, and there gave a handsome donation towards the erection of the Clock Tower.

Mr. Anderson died on 14th April, 1870, and was buried beside his father, mother, and sister Margaret in the lower churchyard at the Wynd. This burial-place is covered by a large, flat stone bearing some appreciative words concerning his mother and sister. The former is described as " active, cheerful, and constantly occupied," and as having " sought pleasure nowhere and found happiness and content everywhere." Of the latter he says, " Active in her habit, kindly in her disposition, she was a sister highly to be prized."

Some years ago Mr. Anderson's trustees, who had been instructed to renew and keep the family tombstones in order, resolved to erect a new monument to his memory in the cemetery, as the lower churchyard was now practically abandoned. So, upon Saturday, 24th December, 1904, Mr. William Thomson of Seamore, one of the original trustees, performed the ceremony of unveiling a handsome granite block, suitably inscribed, which stands near the main entrance to the new cemetery.


Below we reproduce a somewhat humorous, but, we believe, •quite accurate genealogy and character sketch of Mr. Anderson, which is prefixed to a presentation volume of the poetical works of Robert Burns (London, 1828), in the possession of Masonic Lodge Douglas. It refers to Mr. Anderson's initiation into Lodge No. 17, Ancient Brazen, Linlithgow, which apparently met at Bo'ness for the purpose. The volume was presented by

Mr. Anderson, and, either out of compliment to him or at his own desire (but, in either event, with his knowledge and consent), the chronicle we refer to was prefixed.

Here is what the scribe has written—

"1. And in the days of the Kings called George and William and of Queen Victoria, mighty Sovereigns of Scotland, there dwelt in the ancient town of Bo'ness a virtuous man called John, of the tribe of Anderson.

"2. Now, the genealogy of this John of Bo'ness is as follows: —There was a pious man called John the Preacher, of the tribe of Anderson, who took unto himself Agnes, the daughter of Bryson. [This is evidently his grandfather, who was a Burgher minister at Elsrickle, near Biggar.]

"3. And she bore him a son, John, who waxed strong in knowledge, and in process of time taught the people many things out of the law and the prophets. [This was his father.]

"4. And John, the teacher, took unto himself an excellent wife, called Jane, of the tribe of Paterson, whose ancient progenitors were mighty rulers in Italy in the latter days of the Caesars and the Apostles, and hence is derived their Roman name of ' Pater' and ' filius '—father-son, now Paterson.

"5. And this daughter of the tribe of Pater bore unto the teacher, John of Bo'ness, and also Agnes, who married Robert, of the tribe of White, who is a dealer in things that are hard in the royal city of London, and Margaret, a fair maiden of good understanding, and much esteemed and respected by all who knew her.

"And John of Bo'ness is a man that deals in all kinds of merchandise. He ' takes heed to his ways,' as reminded by the wise men of old and the prophets, therefore he has gold and silver and menservants and maidservants, and also divers ships that go far off for riches, even unto the borders of the Holy Land. Moreover, this merchant was much respected for his wisdom and for his upright ways. Wherefore he was made a ruler among the people,13who bowed down their heads before him when he sat in the judgment seat; and his good name went abroad, so that there was none like unto him in Bo'ness for skill in shipping."

The chronicle then concludes by recording Mr. Anderson's initiation on the 14th of September, 1849.


Admiral Sir George Johnstone Hope, K.C.B. (b. 1767, d. 1818).

We have elsewhere dealt with the Hope family in connection with their ownership of Carriden estate. The notable careers of the two admirals, however, claim some mention.

Sir George was the eldest son by the third marriage of the Hon. Charles Hope Yere, and fifth child of his father, who was the second son of the first Earl of Hopetoun. He entered the Navy at the age of fifteen, and after passing through the usual gradations attained the rank of captain in 1793, and that of rear-admiral in 1811.14 During the interval he had commanded successively the "Romulus," "Alcmene," and "Leda" frigates, and the "Majestic," "Theseus," and "Defence," seventy-fours. At the battle of Trafalgar he was present in the latter vessel. He served as captain of the Baltic fleet from 1808 to 1811. In 1812 he went to the Admiralty, and the following year held the chief command in the Baltic. In the end of the same year he returned to the Admiralty, where he remained as confidential adviser to the First Lord till his death on 2nd May, 1818.

He was a very distinguished officer, and highly appreciated in the service for his exemplary discipline, his decision, promptitude, and bravery, and his veneration for religion.

Admiral Sir James Hope, K.C.B. (b. 1808, d. 1881).

James Hope was a child of ten when his father, Admiral Sir George, died. His youth therefore was spent under the direction of his mother and of his father's trustees. Anxious to follow in his father's footsteps, he entered the Navy, and had an equally distinguished career. He has been described by one who served under him abroad as a brave gentleman and a good-hearted soul, and this is borne out by all who knew him in this neighbourhood. When in command of the " Firebrand " he opened the passage of the Parana, in the River Plate by cutting the chain at Obligado in 1845. He was Commander-in-Chief in China, and brought < about the capture of Peking. On two occasions he was seriously wounded. The first was during the attack on the Peiho forts in 1859. He was directing operations from the bridge of the " Plover " when a shell struck the funnel chainstay. A fragment glanced off, and, striking Hope, became deeply embedded in the muscles of his thigh. This entirely disabled him for four months. His recovery was very slow, and he was lame ever afterwards. The ship's surgeon was able, after some trouble, to extract the splinter; and a photograph of it is preserved, with a note giving full particulars of the occurrence. The second occasion was near Taeping. Hope, because of his disabled condition, was directing movements from a sedan chair, and was in consultation with the French Admiral. A shell from the guns of the enemy struck the latter under the chin and decapitated him. Hope himself was violently thrown from his seat, and his old wound reopened. He was gallantly rescued by the late Tom Grant, of Bo'ness, who was all through this campaign with the Admiral. In later years his old chief succeeded in getting Grant a pension, although he had scarcely completed his twenty-one years' service.

The late Tom Thomson, of Carriden, another old naval man,

Admiral Sir James Hope.
(From a photograph in possession of Mrs. James Kidd, Carriden.)

was with Hope while on the "Majestic " when she was with the fleet in the Baltic under Sir Charles Napier. Hope was an out-and-out Scot, and in his younger days agitated for the introduction into the Navy of a Scotch uniform, especially the Balmoral bonnet. The experiment was tried, but given up as unsuitable.

He took great interest in his men on or off duty, and arranged many private theatricals on the main deck for their amusement, taking a special delight in the presentation of " Rob Roy" and other Scottish pieces. Thomson spoke highly of his discipline and the thoroughness with which he instructed and drilled his men.

After the Pekin Treaty, in 1862, Admiral Hope was engaged as an adviser at the Admiralty. He afterwards resigned his command, and went into retirement. For some time he lived in London, and afterwards settled at Carriden. In conjunction with Lady Hope he associated himself in his later years with many religious and philanthropic movements in the district. He bought up some of the old properties in the Muirhouses, and remodelled and rebuilt the village, including the old school and schoolhouse. He was twice married, but had no family. The Admiral died in Carriden House, and was buried in the northwest corner of the churchyard at Cuffabouts. A cable from one of his old ships surrounds the grave. His tombstone bears the inscription, " Sir James Hope, G.C.B., Grand Commander of the Bath, Admiral of the Fleet. Born 8th March 1808; died 8th June, 1881."

The late Sir John Lees, private secretary to the Marquis of Townshend when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and who afterwards filled the office of Secretary to the Post Office in Dublin, was in his youth brought up, Mr. Fleming says, in Carriden parish. He was eminently successful in life, and afforded a memorable example of the distinguished place in society to which the careful cultivation and judicious application of superior talents may raise their possessor. He was created a baronet on the 21st June, 1804.


James Brunton Stephens (b. 1835, d. 1902)

To Bo'ness belongs the honour of being the birthplace of James Brunton Stephens, the poet of the Australian Commonwealth. His father was John Stephens, who filled the office of parochial schoolmaster of Borrowstounness from 1808 to 1845 with much dignity and ability. The school and schoolhouse were then situated in what is now known as George Place. James was born in August, 1835. His early education was received from his father, and among his schoolmates were John Marshall and John Blair, who became well-known doctors, the first in Crieff, and the latter in Melbourne, Australia. On completing his school education he proceeded to Edinburgh University. In all his classes he secured an honourable place, but abandoned his course without taking a degree. He was tempted away from the mere diploma by an offer to become a travelling tutor, and with the son of a wealthy gentleman he travelled for three years to Paris, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Asia Minor, Palestine, and Sicily. On returning to Scotland he became an assistant master in Greenock Academy. In 1866, his health having given way, he was advised to emigrate to Australia. Arriving in Queensland, he obtained a tutorship in an up-country station, and spent several years in learning the sports and occupations of the bush. During this time he wrote "Convict Once," his best poem, and later " The Godolphin Arabian," a humorous and racy account of the sire of modern thoroughbreds. In 1874 Mr. Stephens received an appointment as a teacher under the Department of Public Instruction in Brisbane. Here he began to contribute to the local Press, and in 1876 won a prize of £100 offered by the Queenslander for the best novelette. At this period he married and settled in one of the Brisbane suburbs. In 1880 he published a volume of miscellaneous poems containing many humorous pieces that strongly appealed to the public. Mr. Stephens latterly filled the position of Chief Clerk in the

Colonial Secretary's Office at Brisbane, and was greatly esteemed for his geniality and wit. He was very Australian in the selection of his themes, his inspiration being found in his immediate surroundings. Among the humorous poets of Australia he held a first place, but, like Hood, he could be serious on occasion. In this vein he was equally successful. He was keenly alive to the importance of uniting all the Australian States, and in 1877 his poem, "The Dominion of Australia," did a great deal to stimulate flagging interest in federation. On the 1st of January, 1901, he published a poem in the Argus entitled "Fulfilment," which was dedicated, by special permission, to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

In June of the following year Mr. Stephens died in his sixty-seventh year, and was survived by his widow, a son, and four daughters.

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