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Borrowstounness and District
Being Historical Sketches of Kinneil, Carriden and Bo'ness c. 1550 to 1850 by Thomas James Salmon (1913)

The Roman Tablet found at Bridgeness in 1868. Now in the National Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh.


Influenced by a liking for things historical and by the sentiment that my kinsfolk have been closely identified with this district for many generations, I commenced to collect the material which will be found in the following pages by way of a recreation seven years ago. There was at first no idea of the present publication. But as my investigations proceeded I discovered so much of what I believed to be new and interesting information that I felt impelled to preserve it, however imperfectly, in volume form. Many difficulties of treatment and arrangement presented themselves. The chief of these was in deciding whether to continue the narrative to the present time or to end it at the middle of the 19th century. Ultimately the latter method was adopted, and for various reasons. Apart from the comparatively brief narratives in the Old and New Statistical Accounts there was nothing in the nature of a local chronicle; detailed reference to early history was very desirable; the space at disposal for modern events would be wholly inadequate; and compression was not always possible. I decided therefore to leave the more modern period alone.

In all cases the official books and papers have been carefully examined. Each Chapter, with two exceptions, is complete in itself, and everything has been done to make the volume reliable. Great care has been taken to avoid errors and omissions, and should any such be discovered it is hoped that they will be put down to the exacting nature of the work.

It does not profess to be a complete history, but rather a series of sketches dealing with various phases of burghal and parish life. Facts and events are stated, but in such a way as to raise pictures of periods, of outstanding events and individuals, of progress and of decay, all of which point their own lessons.

Throughout my labours I have received the encouragement and assistance of many good friends; and in particular I have to express my thanks to the Faculty of Advocates for permission to use their valuable library; to Mr. W. K. Dickson, LL.D., for useful suggestions concerning the Regality; to Mr. A. P. Simpson, Sheriff-Clerk of Linlithgowshire, for access to the Regality volumes in his official custody; and to Bo'ness Town Council and other local bodies and their officials for access to their books and documents. I am also obliged for special aid in various directions to Mr. Lloyd Verney, of Carriden, and Professor Mounsey, Edinburgh; to Mr. H. M. Cadell, of Grange; to Mr. George Dalziel, W.S., Edinburgh; to Dr. T. F. Barrett, City Librarian, Glasgow; and to Mr. Alex. Ross, Closeburn, Hamilton. Other special aid I have acknowledged throughout the text and appendices and in the illustrations. I also desire to thank Mr. John "Watt and Mr. George Salmon for a great deal of practical assistance.

For much of the information in the latter half of the con- • eluding Chapter I am indebted to Mr. William Miller, Mr. James Paris, and Mr. William Donaldson.

In conclusion, I heartily express my gratitude to the Rev. T. Ratcliffe Barnett for his careful revision of "the proofs and for supplying sketches of old gravestones for reproduction.

Grange Terrace,
 June, 1913.

Bo'ness to Birkill Railway Journey


Chapter I. Introductory
Chapter II. The House of Hamilton and Kinneil
Chapter III. Kinneil
Chapter IV. What the Privy Council Registers Reveal. Period 1549-1668
Chapter V. Regality Court Book
Chapter VI. Regality—the Register of Deeds
Chapter VII. The trial and burning of the Borrowstounness witches
Chapter VIII. Local Covenanting History and "The Borrowstounness Martyrs,"
Chapter IX. Grange Estate and its Owners
Chapter X. Carriden (See also Appendix)
Chapter XI. Ecclesiastical
Chapter XII. The "Trustees for the two pennies in the pint"
Chapter XIII. The "Trustees for the two pennies" continued
Chapter XIV. The Representatives of Bo'ness
Chapter XV. Coal and Coal Mining
Chapter XVI. The Borrowstounness and Grangemouth Canal
Chapter XVII. Local Societies and Lodges
Chapter XVIII. Eminent Natives and Residents
Chapter XIX. Conclusion—Educational: Industrial


Appendix I. The Parish of Carriden 200 years ago
Appendix II. The House of Hamilton
Appendix III. General Section of the Bo'ness Coalfield
Appendix IV. Place-names of the District
Appendix V. Botanical Notes
Appendix VI. Table of Modern Information


The Bridgeness Tablet
Bonhard Castle
Lady Anne Cunningham
James, Duke of Hamilton
Kinneil House
Anne, Duchess of Hamilton
Blackness Castle
Gravestones in Kinneil Churchyard (No. 1)
Gravestones in Kinneil Churchyard (No. 2)
Old Grange House
William Cadell
Carriden House
The Old Kirk Roads, Carriden
James Duguid
Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie
Page of First Town Minute-Book
The Old Town Hall
James Watt
John Anderson
Dr. Roebuck's Tombstone
Plan of Borrowstounness and Grangemouth Canal
Captain Donald Potter
Colonel Gardiner
Dugald Stewart
Admiral Sir James Hope
Henry Bell
Old Church and Churchyard of Carriden

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