The Rise And Progress Of Coatbridge And Surrounding Neighbourhood.
Andrew Miller, Dundyvan Iron Works, Glasgow 1864
In the midst of all the turmoil of business, iron manufacture, produce of coal, &c., and fortunes acquiring by those engaged in them, other important matters connected with mental culture were not neglected. Besides schools and academies for the young, another auxiliary to education was established, for the working men, in the form of a Mechanics' Institute, in 1840. The following gentlemen were the promoters of the original Institute in Coatbridge, viz.:- John Mackenzie, Esq., Dundyvan; William M'Creath, Esq., M.E., Drumpark; Archibald Reid, Esq., now manager, Bredisholm Colliery; W. Goodwin, Esq., now Iron Merchant, Glasgow; and the late James Johnstone, sen., Dundyvan Store. The lectures for that season were delivered, once a week, in the hall formerly used by the Relief Church Congregation; the lecturer was Dr Gullan, of the Andersonian University, Glasgow; the subjects being principally of a practical, scientific character. At the end of the session, the committee had a surplus fund on hand of upwards of £12, which was duly lodged in bank in their names. From some cause or other, the following winter was allowed to pass over, and also the three succeeding years, without the lectures; but, in 1845, a number of the leading gentlemen in the neighbourhood again agitated for a Mechanics' Institute, and were successful in the movement. The money in Bank, consisting of the sum already mentioned, was handed over to the committee by the original promoters; subscriptions for a library were started, and as the whole was under the management (like the previous one) of influential gentlemen connected with the district, success attended all the schemes. Since then a course of lectures has been delivered annually by practical lecturers, on subjects alike entertaining and instructive, and hitherto the directors of the Gartsherrie Academy have given gratuitously, as a place of meeting, one of the large halls, and also the use of a small room for the library, which now contains upwards of 1200 volumes. The office-bearers for the Institution - session 1863-64 - are D. C. R. C. Buchanan, Esq., of Drumpeller, President; Alexander Whitelaw, Esq., Gartsherrie Iron Works; and Captain Jackson, Coats, Vice-Presidents. The acting committee are John Campbell, James Mure, Robert Clarke, John Sloss, John Lumsden, Allan Waddell, Robert Henderson, J. B. Begg, James Miller, William Hill, John Martin, Thos. Torrance, William Andrew, Dr Robert Wilson, James Lusk, David Brown, Rev. Messrs Stirling, (U.P.), Henderson, (Free), and Galloway, (Gartsherrie). Mr Andrew, Secretary. Mr Torrance, Treasurer, and Mr David Reid, Librarian. The Institute has been liberally supported by all classes of the community. [At Gartsherrie, Calder, and Carnbroe Iron Works, Mechanics' Institutions have been started, and for a few years past a coarse of lectures has been delivered in the respective academies connected with the works.]
The Old Monkland Library, which contains about 500 vols., was started in 1794, in Langloan. In its early years, the books consisted principally of Theological works, Biography, Travels, &c., the only novels were "The Man of Feeling," and "The Vicar of Wakefield." There are now but a very limited number of members connected with this library, as for many years past few additions have been, made to the stock of literature. The library in connection with the Mechanics' Institute, together with a private circulating library in town, affords abundance of books both amusing and instructive, to those who desire them ; so the "Old Monkland" may be said to exist only in name, and the members might very judiciously present their stock as a donation to the "Mechanics."
Wherever there is a large population, there are generally a proportionable number of societies, yearly or permanent, the principal promoters of which have been the working classes, and in this respect the district is abundantly supplied. The object of these societies is to provide protection for the members in sickness, or at death the means of paying funeral expenses, &c. The yearly societies are more numerous than those on the permanent principle, and this probably arises from the fact that a great proportion of the working classes are moving often from place to place, according as their services may be in demand, in their respective trades or occupations. As far back as 1808, the Langloan Pin Society was started by a few boys, the weekly payment at commencement was so many pins, such as are used in female attire. Their stock of this commodity soon collected to some pounds in weight, which were sold, and enabled the boys to establish a fund, after which they ceased to take payment in merchandise, preferring cash. This method soon enabled the society to give the members aliment in sickness, &c., and as the payment was then, and is still only 5s per annum, it prospered, and it is still a prosperous society. Next to it is the Old Monkland Funeral Society, which has now been established for twenty-six years, the last returns showing that it had nearly 800 members on the roll, all of whom pay one penny per week, which entitles them to the full benefits of the society. By this means members provide a sufficient sum to cover funeral expenses, and it is a boon to many a hard working man, with a wife and family, who while struggling on a small wage, cannot be expected, when death bereaves him of a wife, a son, or a daughter, to have the means saved to pay the necessary expenses on such a sad event.
At the iron works and collieries yearly societies have been in operation for many years past. The system adopted by the yearlies are different from those on the permanent principle, as with the former the funds are divided annually, with the latter, it is only in cases of sickness, or at death that money is paid out. The working of these yearly societies is very simple:- the members have what is termed shares; each share is one shilling; they may pay in one or more, but not exceeding five shares. In addition to this weekly payment, each has to pay in twopence to support the sick and funeral fund, and should a member be unable to follow his ordinary employment, by reason of sickness or injury, the alimentary allowance for the first 13 weeks is 5s or 6s per week, which is gradually reduced after that time, and should death ensue, the allowance is from £3 to £4, and whatever money has been paid into the society as shares is returned. Many working men enrol themselves into two or even three of these societies, and thus secure a competency during trouble to support their wife and family, and at the close of the year they have a respectable fund at their disposal to meet the exigencies of the rent-day, or purchase a few household necessaries. If, during the year, they are hard pressed to meet demands, they can borrow out of the society at a moderate rate of interest, which is deducted at the termination of the year. These societies, therefore, have been beneficial to the working classes, and hence their increase and success. There are two in the town that annually divide about £1000 each; the one terminates in May, and the other in November, to accommodate members at the respective rent-days. There are other societies that have been in existence for many years, such as the "Coal Hewers," "Boatmen," "Free Gardeners," three lodges, "Thistle," "Olive," and "Greenhouse," all having a respectable list of members on their respective rolls, each guided by the same motive - Protection, so that the working men appreciate that excellent motto - "Union is Strength." The brethren of the mystic tie ought, by seniority, to have had precedence over all others in this record, as the Old Monkland St James' Lodge dates its existence from 1779. At that period it had a deputed charter off the Airdrie St John's, and continued to work on it till 1790, when the members obtained a charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Its original number was 238, then 179, and now its number on the roll is 177. The names of the first office-bearers as recorded in the minutes may perhaps be interesting to the "brethren," they are as follow:- William Colquhoun, R. W.M.; Robert Pettigrew, D.M.; David Roger, S. W.; Matthew Pettigrew, J.W.; Alexander Baird, Secretary; Alexander Cross, Treasurer ; Alexander . Dunn and George Wallace, Stewards; James Murray, Tyler. Office-bearers for 1864:- R.W.M., Peter Mackinnon; P.M., George Ellis; D.M., John Ralston; S.W., James Morris; J.W., John Carrick; Secretary, Donald Grant; Treasurer, Robert Tennant; Chaplain, John Hamilton; S.D., John Lindsay; J.D., John Stirling; S.B., James Pollock; J.G., Hugh Symington. At this period there are upwards of forty good working members in the Lodge; the roll, however, represents a strong array of brethren. In early years the Lodge assembled at Old Monkland, then in Langloan, and now it is Coatbridge.
The Total Abstinence Society in this town was formed some twenty-six years ago. With all its ups and downs during the course of its mission, it has done much good, and is at present in excellent working order. In 1847 the members built a large and commodious hall, which cost upwards of £500, and which holds about 500 people. It is fitted up with a platform and two rooms leading off from it, and is the only hall suitable, that can be hired for public meetings, concerts, &c., and it has hitherto been well patronised for such purposes. There is still a debt of nearly £200 on the building, which is a great drawback on the efforts of the society; but the committee of management are doing their utmost to reduce their burden annually, and it is anticipated that in the course of a few years they will be successful. The officials of the society for the year are,- Rev. William Stirling, Honorary President; James Lusk, President; David Brown, Vice-president; J. W. Fraser and Hugh Gairdner, Secretaries; and James Wark, Treasurer, and also sixteen members of Committee. As an auxiliary to the society, there is a "Band of Hope" which numbers upwards of 400 juveniles - they have a penny savings bank, that has succeeded admirably for several years. There are Temperance Societies and Bands of Hope in other parts of the district,[Calder, Gartsherrie, and Calderbank Iron Works.] all acting cordially together in the same cause; and since the district was visited by the celebrated advocate on Temperance, Mrs Balfour, a female Temperance Society has been organised, which promises to be also very successful. Sympathy for the poor and destitute induced a few philanthropic ladies in the vicinity to institute the Female Benevolent Society, which has now been in existence for seven years. It has been an inestimable blessing to many of the poorer class - women especially - and in this worthy object the ladies have been nobly supported in their labours of charity, and annually have distributed money to a considerable amount, besides clothing. During the winter months, through the kind donations of coal from various gentlemen, both residents and non residents, upwards of one hundred carts each year of that useful commodity have been distributed to the poor recipients, adding comfort to their homes during the biting colds of the season. In this good work all denominations of Christians cordially join in co-operation. The following are the names of those ladies, who, in 1863-4, preside over this institution:- Patron, Colonel Carrick Buchanan, of Drumpeller; Patronesses, Mrs Carrick Buchanan, of Drumpeller; Mrs Alexander Whitelaw, Gartsherrie House; Preses, Mrs Lusk; Vice-Preses, Miss Fraser; Members of Committee and Visitors for 1863-64, Mrs Stirling, Mrs Henderson, Mrs M'Creath, Mrs Lusk, Mrs R. Wilson, Mrs Murdoch, Mrs Wyld, Mrs L. Johnston, Mrs Gardiner, Mrs Fairlie, Mrs Reid, Mrs A. Gray, Mrs Hendrie, Mrs Andrew, Miss Fraser, Miss Stirling, Miss Hyslop, Miss Fozier; Treasurer, Miss Stirling; Secretary, Mrs Andrew. The society's funds during the past year were in a very favourable condition, and it is to be hoped that this state of matters will long continue. The Religious Tract Society was instituted in 1853. At the last annual meeting, held in October, the report showed that since the Society commenced operations the distribution of tracts amounted to 463,350, in addition to which the colporteur (Mr Cox) had sold a large quantity of religious literature. The officials for 1863-64 are - Colonel Buchanan, president ; Mr Robert Barnes, U.P. missionary, vice-president; Rev. Messrs John Johnston, William Stirling, John Henderson, and Hugh Ramsay, honorary directors, with a committee of twenty-six, and twenty-four distributors; Mr Thos. Torrance, treasurer; Mr Jn. Morton, secretary.
CHAPTER XVII. Parochial Assessment, &c.
Till 1841 there was no assessment paid by the inhabitants for the support of the poor in the parish. Previous to that time those entitled to parochial relief were supported by voluntary contributions collected at the parish church, and supplemented by subscriptions from the heritors. At the foregoing period this system proved inadequate to the demands, for with an increase of population came an increase of pauperism; the voluntary method was abandoned, and by Act of Parliament an assessment for the support of the poor was put upon rental, which in 1842 came into operation, and 1 per cent on the rental, £56,283, produced the required sum. The gross rental, however, amounted to £75,044, on which 25 per cent, deduction was allowed. Pauperism still increased year by year, for in 1851 the rental charged on was £80,000, at 2 1/2 per cent., producing nearly £2000; in 1861 the rental had increased to £97,000, on which 4 per cent, was charged - 3 per cent, for poor-rates, and 1 per cent, for erection of a poorhouse ; in 1862 the real rental was £116,350, the value of lands and heritages assessed on, £102,145; in 1863 the real rental had increased to £118,855, the value as assessed on, £102,355 - these two years respectively producing about £3,820 and £4,454, at 4 per cent, which includes the 1 per cent, for poorhouse the same as 1861, so that as the expense for building the structure has been assessed for over a few years, the cost, amounting to £4,505, will scarcely be felt - nay, it is anticipated that in the course of two years the whole amount will be paid, as it has already been reduced by £2,026. The building is most substantial, and erected on the most approved principle; it is situated on a fine healthy spot on an elevated part of the estate of Coathill, belonging to Mr John Baillie of High Cross. The feu extends to nearly four acres imperial, the feu-duty for which is £35 per annum. The house is built to give accommodation to 118 individuals. The governor and matron are Mr and Mrs Robert Gregg. The inspectors of poor who have officiated in the parish since the Act of Parliament came into operation have been as follows :- First, the late respected and highly-esteemed Mr William Johnston of Langloan; second, Mr John Baillie of High Gross, now collector and assessor for the parish; third, Mr Alexander M'Kenzie; and fourth, the present official, Mr George Campbell. From previous remarks on this subject, it will be observed that pauperism has indeed rapidly increased since 1842. In that year the sum required was only £562, whereas it now amounts to upwards of £4000. The population in 1842 was nearly 20,000; at present it may be said to be 30,000 - so that, with an addition of 10,000, pauperism has increased six times.
The taxes collected for maintaining the parish roads have varied but little for many years, as the following abstract of monies collected for two periods—viz., 1851 and 1861 - will abundantly testify :-
In comparing the two periods, the householders have increased by upwards of 600, indicative of wealth and prosperity. Horses, on the contrary, have decreased - not that there is less work going on, but that their places have been supplied by steam-power to an extent of more than an hundredfold. At every work, or even colliery, railway locomotives are doing duty in working the traffic at which horses were previously employed. Steam scows innumerable go gliding along the Canal, conveying minerals and manufactures to their respective depots. Steam power is applied and has superseded horse-work wherever available ; increase of speed and decrease in expense being the great aim in this age of competition. The office of road surveyor for the last sixty years has been filled by first, the late Mr John Cairns, who for pawky humour and wit was famed in the parish; the second was another of the same school, the late Mr Andrew Brown ; next in succesion was Mr Thomas Johnstone of Gartcloss; and the present official is Mr John Black of Easterhouse. The Acts of Parliament under which the tax is collected are entitled, first, The Statute-Labour Act for Lanarkshire, which dates its birth about the 12th year of the reign of George III., on which several amendments were made. The latest bears date 21st July, 1845, and is entitled "Home Drummond's Act'' or Statute-Labour Conversion Money. It appears that previous to this last edict it was optional on the part of the ratepayers whether they paid the tax in labourer in cash. This was, however, abolished by the late Act, which enforced payment in the current coin of the realm, which was perhaps advantageous to all parties, and more especially to the road trustees.
While searching for old books to glean from in recording past events in the history of the parish, a gentleman kindly placed one at our disposal, bearing date 1684. It refers to all the parishes in Scotland, and is entitled "A Proclamation anent Fugitives and Rebels," and contains the lists in each parish of the said fugitives. Old Monkland stands very prominent, but the proclamation is worthy of a place, as it shows the rigour with which the covenanters were pursued, and the opinions held by the sovereign, King Charles. It is in the following words:- "Charles, by the grace of God, King . of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith : To our Lovits, Macers of our Privy Council, and Messengers at Arms, our Sheriffs in that part, conjunctly and severally, specially constitute, greeting. Forasmuch as We, considering the frequent Rebellions that have been lately raised by rebellious and unnatural subjects, within this our ancient Kingdom, contrair to their native Allegiance, to the destruction of our Government, and the Peace and Quiet of all our good People, and the extravagant and impious Principles which have been the necessar and fatal consequences thereupon ensusing, We did, amongst other Remedies, Ordain those who were in arms and these who had reset them, to be legally cited before our Justices, to the effect they might be tryed, and notwithstanding that all fair and legal opportunities of defending their own innocence had been offered them, yet many of them being now denounced Rebels and Fugitives from our Laws, We are resolved to prosecute them till they be brought to condign punishment; and, therefore, We have appointed an exact Roll of the said persons so Denounced to be Printed, Requiring all our subjects not only not to comfort or harbour the said persons, but likewise to do their utmost endeavours to apprehend them, as far as in their power, and to give notice to our next Sheriffs, Baillies of Bailliories and Regalities, Stewarts of Stewartries, Magistrates of Burrows, and other officers and ministers of our Law, and to the officers of our Army, when they know that any of them lurk in their Bounds. As also in caice there be any contained in the saids Rolls and List that have been denounced through their negligence or ignorance, although they have subscribed the bond or taken the Test, as was prescribed by our former Proclamations, therefore, We, with advice of our Privy Council, yet allow any of the said persons, who shall, betwixt and the First of August next ensuing, clear to our Justices, that they have taken the Bond or Test in due time to be thereupon Relaxed gratis before our Justices, and they are hereby allowed to desert the Dyet against them—they compearing and being Relaxed as said is. And to the end it may be better cleared who have taken the said Bond and Test, all persons who were Gommissionat to Administrar the same are hereby Required and Commanded to send in to the Clerks of our Privy Council the Bond and Test so taken before them betwixt and the said first day of August next - certifying them if they failzie, Letters of Horning shall be direct against them - under the signet of our Privy Council to that effect, upon a charge of six days, under the Pain of Rebellion, &c. And to the effect Our Pleasure in the Premises may be made known, Our Will is, and We charge you straitly, and command that incontinent these our Letters seen, ye pass to the Meercat Cross of Edinburgh, and remanent Mercat Crosses of the head burghs of the shires of this Kingdom, and other places needful, and there, by open proclamation, make publication of the Premises, that all persons concerned may have notice thereof.
"Given under our Signet, at Edinburgh, the fifth day of May, one thousand six hundred eighty and four, and of our Reign the thirtieth and sixth year. Per actum Dominorum (Secreti Concilij. Will Paterson cls. sti. Concilij.
GOD SAVE THE KING."
Here follows a list of names in the various parishes in Scotland, numbering upwards of 1800 individuals of both sexes. Those recorded under the heads of Old and New Monkland are as follows :-OLD MONKLAND.
John Scot, son to John Scot, Portioner of Kenmuir.
Robert Wark, son to John Wark of Rinnis.
John Mortoun, in Neuk of Fascan.
James Johnston, in Calder-Paroch.
Adam Cullen, in Garturk.
John Patton, near to Roadfoot.
Christian Johnstoun, for resetting Matthew Johnstoun in Cairn-brow-hill.
Gavin Wotherspoon of Heathery Knowe.
John Corsie, in Stanie Rig.
William Nicol, in Miln-faulds.
James Baird of Dungeonhill.
Thomas Mathie, in Barrachrie.
Alexander Crawfoord, in Garturk.
Thomas Donald, brother to John Donald, Smith in Cannile.
William Kirkwood, in Craehead of Fascan.
John Stirling, in Langline.
John Thomson, Feuer in Gartqueen.
John Russell, Portioner of Eastfield.
William Craig, in Airdrie Miln.
John Thomson, son to James Thomson, in Airdrie Muir.
John Keddar, in Airdrie town, now Cottar in Rashbush.
Gavin Black, in Craigneuk, in Monklands Land.
John Thomson, in Shiels of Auchingray.
John Gardner, in Gartly, son to John Gardner there.
Samuel Yuil, in Laend.
John Martin, in Drumbowie.
John Martin, his son.
Patrick Yuil, in Braikenhirst, son to Alexander Yuil there.
Thomas Gentles, in Habbisdub.
William Ker, in Rochsoles, now Weaver in Airdrie.
William Waddell, in Riding.
Alexander Martin, in Overshank.
————— Russell, younger, in Meadowhead.
William Dobbie, Webster in Blackbog.
In 1793 the lands in the parish of Old Monkland belonged to 44 heritors. In 1862 the number of heritors was upwards of 50. Among the principal landholders are-
Colonel Buchanan, Drumpeller.
John Sligo, Carmyle.
Major-Gen. M. Douglas, Rosehall
John H. Colt, Gartsherrie.
Heirs of M. E. Du Vernet Muirhead, Bredisholm.
James M'Call, Daldowie.
Wm. S. Dixon, Calder Iron Works.
Walter White, Kenmuir.
John Baird, Lochwood.
John Maxwell, Baillieston.
George Pollok, Rhindmuir.
Robert Scott, Greenoakhill.
Theodore Walrond, Calderpark
James Hozier, Whiflat.
John M. Nisbett, Cairnhill
Robert Finlay, Kenmuir.
James Murray, Daldowie.
Messrs Baird, Cliftonhill.
Messrs Baird, High Coates.
John Baird, Easterhouse.
Messrs Baird, Gartcloss.
Messrs Baird, Dunbeith.
Messrs Baird, Faskine.
Messrs Baird, Palacecraig.
John Maxwell, Garrowhill.
Peter Ferrie Blairtummock.
John Finlay, Spring Hill.
Capt. Elphinston, R.N., part of Monklands.
Messrs Neilson, Summerlee and Kilgarth.
Robert Wark, Bargeddie.
William Finlay, Hallhill.
Gavin Mason, Commonhead.
John Baillie, Coathill.
William Baillie, Greenhill.
James Barr, part of Carmyle.
Heirs of late John Wilson, Dundyvan.
James Murdoch, East Bartebeith.
Thomas Johnston, Greenwells.
James Cairns, Netherhouse.
Colonel Buchanan of Drumpeller takes the leading place in the above list, as the most extensive landed proprietor in the parish. And as the family have been thus connected with the district for upwards of a century, and have always taken a deep interest and prominent part in whatever tended to its prosperity and welfare, we therefore give the following short historical sketch of the
The founder of this family was Andrew Buchanan, merchant, and Provost of Glasgow, grandson of Buchanan of Gartichairne, born in 1691, who purchased the estate of Drumpeller in 1735. He had two sons, James and George - the former died without male issue. Previous to his death, he sold the estate to his cousin, Andrew Stirling, merchant in Glasgow, in 1792. George, the second son, purchased the estate of Mount Vernon in 1757, and died in 1762. The Stirlings appear to have been very extensive merchants in Glasgow about the period when Andrew became proprietor of Drumpeller, as is shown in the following extract, which lately came under our notice in the Herald (Glasgow):-
The Messrs Stirling removed their extensive warehouses first to one of the wings of the Shawfield Mansion, at Glassford Street, and afterwards to Cunningham's Great House, Ingram Street, now the Royal Exchange. On the 1st of October, 1792, Andrew Stirling of Drumpeller withdrew from the Glasgow establishment, and formed the, extensive commission house of Stirling, Hunter & Co., of London. The following extract is from the Gazette:
"Notice.- That from this date Andrew Stirling ceases to be a partner in the business carried on under the firm of William Stirling & Sons, and the business is continued under the same firm by John Stirling and James Stirling, the only remaining partners.
Glasgow, 1st October, 1792.
Andrew Fraser, witness.
Roderick Macdonald, witness.
Their names appear prominent as shareholders in the construction of the Monkland Canal, and also as coal masters in the district, as has already been noticed. From certain speculations, both at home and abroad, proving unsuccessful, they became bankrupts in 1807, and David Buchanan, son of George of Mount Vernon, who succeeded his father in 1762, purchased the estate of Drumpeller in 1808 from the creditors of the Messrs Stirling. David, in 1821, took the surname of Carrick on succeeding to the lands which belonged to the great Glasgow banker, Robert Carrick. He died in 1827, and was succeeded by his son Robert, who died in 1841, and who was succeeded by the present proprietor, David Carrick Robert Carrick Buchanan. Such is a brief outline of the history of this family. We may add that David, who died in 1827, left a family of four - two sons and two daughters - viz., Robert, late of Drumpeller, Andrew, of Mount Vernon, Mrs Hay of Morton, Fife, and Mrs Graham of Leckie, Stirlingshire.
Colonel Buchanan, the present representative of the family, is, in every respect, a true type of a country gentleman - a lover of all manly and athletic sports, a keen sportsman, a kind landlord, and a generous friend - these, together with other essential qualities and accomplishments, make him beloved and esteemed by all in the district. His generosity to the poor and destitute is unbounded. In these deeds of charity he is ably supported by his worthy lady, Mrs Buchanan, who also takes a deep interest in the education of the young. Long may they both be spared to grace and adorn the station of life in which it has been their lot to be placed!
ANCIENT BURIAL GROUND AT DRUMPELLER,
Amidst the records of the past, and discoveries of ancient relics of the Druidieal or Roman period of Scottish history, this parish appears to have been at one time inhabited by some of these tribes. This may be assumed, at least, from the discovery of a burial ground on the Drumpeller estate, in the spring of 1852. On this estate there are large deposits of sand, from which supplies have been taken for many years, for building purposes, &c., and while the men employed at this work were removing a portion of the sand from a field, a short distance from the Mansion House and residence of the proprietor, Colonel Buchanan, they came upon a stone coffin. After a few days they came on another, and another, until they numbered eleven. The field in question lies on the north side of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Road, to the west of what is known as the Bishopburn, and nearly opposite the entrance to Drumpark House, and about 30 yards off the main road. Nine of the coffins were lying in a circle, the feet towards the centre, and about five yards apart. They were so exactly lying in this order, that the men, after coming on the first two, could calculate when they would reach the next, and so on. From the looseness of the sand around, it was apparent that a circular trench had been dug to a depth of about 8 feet, and the coffins mathematically arranged. On the outside of the circle of the nine coffins, one of small dimensions was lying on the west side, and a large one on the south-east side. The stone slabs that formed these last receptacles for the dead were of the same description as the stones of an old quarry, about half a mile to the south-east of the burying ground on the same estate. At the head of each of the coffins a peculiarly shaped urn was found, about nine inches in height, narrow at the bottom, bulging out in the centre, then narrow at the neck, and spreading out wider at the top. They were composed of clay, very coarsely finished, and had undergone hardening from fire, and from the blackened appearance of the interior of the coffins, they had been subjected to the same process. The urns, which were got out unbroken, contained only a little brown dust, and in the most of the coffins there were pieces of human bones. In one of them a skull was got, in which the teeth were still white and fresh-looking, so much so, that an old man, who, among the crowd, had gone to gratify his curiosity, by having a peep at these relics of mortality, remarked that he would not care to make an exchange of teeth. In the centre of the circle of coffins, about two barrow loads of charred bones were found, showing that they also had been subjected to the fiery process. Many medical gentlemen visited and inspected these remains of mortality, and were of opinion that the bones were those of male adults. The discovery created considerable curiosity at the time, and many surmises were made as to the period of history to which they belonged, but no data could be got, either from traditionary records or parchments connected with the estate, to enlighten the research. Several of the urns, those ancient relics of the past, were taken by the workmen to Drumpeller House, where, we understand, they are still preserved.
Some thirty years ago, while a number of workmen were trenching a field on the Rosehall Estate, which still bears the ominous name of Lawhill Field, they came on two or three stone coffins containing human bones. It was considered at the time that in days of yore the field of Lawhill had been a place where criminals were executed, hence the name. A very curious stone hammer was got lying in one of the coffins, which is carefully preserved by a gentleman in Edinburgh, a native of the parish.
About the beginning of the present century, among the landed proprietors on the roll were the Stirlings, of Drumpeller and Faskine; M'Brayne, of Summerlee; Rymer, of Cliftonhill and Garturk, and many others. Their names, as such, are now among the records of the past, and their lands are now the property of others, who have reaped affluence and wealth from the mineral store they contained, and are still drawing wealth from the same source. Several of the estates referred to have turned out in one year, in mineral value, the full price paid for them. Fortunate speculation! for what mines of gold have been explored and worked out of them, in the shape of ironstone and coal, and such, when manufactured, sent forth on its mission of usefulness to every part of the inhabited globe. The iron that bears the brand of the district is prized for its strength, durability, and every quality so essentially requisite in that valuable commodity.
CHAPTER XVIII.Summer and winter have their peculiar pleasures for enjoyment ; and in this respect the population of the district who might be willing to indulge in such have had every opportunity of doing so by joining the respective bowling, cricketing, or curling clubs. The bowling club was started by a few gentlemen in 1849, on a small plot of ground to the east of the town. Some two years afterwards it was required for building purposes. The result of this was that the club leased the grounds at Maryston from Colonel Buchanan, on which they have expended nearly £200. They are kept in fine order, and surrounded by a wall, and form an attractive place for recreation and amusement. The officials for the present year are D. C. R. C. Buchanan, Esq. of Drumpeller, president; James Miller, Esq., vice-president; Edward Bell, treasurer; James Lang, secretary. The club comprises upwards of eighty members. The next in order is the cricket club, established in 1855. The president, Colonel Buchanan, has all along taken a deep interest in its prosperity, so that under his fostering care the "Drumpeller" is perhaps one of the best clubs in the west of Scotland. The grounds are situated within the Drumpeller policies, where no expense has been spared in providing the necessary accommodation for members, and to store the necessary requisites for indulging in this healthy and athletic exercise. The officials for this year are Colonel Buchanan, president; Alexander Whitelaw, Esq., Gartsherrie, vice-president; Job Freeth, Esq., secretary; and John Isaac, Esq., treasurer. The members of committee are Messrs George Shaw, Thos. Seaman, Dougal M'Donald, David Griffiths, Thomas Crichton, and Henry Lewin. The club numbers about eighty members, who have hitherto been under the instructions of a professional' paid by the Colonel; and for several years past they have been able in many instances to contest successfully with some of the crack clubs in the west of Scotland.
This district has for many years past been famed for its curlers, but up till 1849 there were no regular organised clubs. In that year the Coatbridge club was established, the president of which is Alexander Whitelaw, Esq., Gartsherrie Works. The Old Monkland club sprung into existence in the following year, the president of which is Colonel Buchanan. The list of officials for both clubs, as given in the " Curlers' Annual" for 1863, is as under :
James Baird, Esq., patron.
Mrs Alex. Whitelaw, patroness.
Alex. Whitelaw, president.
Dr Joseph Wilson, vice-president.
John Baird, representative member
John Campbell, representative member.
Rev. B. J. Bell, chaplain.
Robt. Stewart, M.D., treasurer.
James Taylor, secretary.
Committee of management, six.
Honorary members, eight.
Extraordinary do., eight.
Ordinary do., twenty-three.
Occasional do., fourteen.
Mrs D. C. R. C. Buchanan, patroness.
D. C. R. C. Buchanan, president.
John Neilson, vice-president.
John Baillie, representative member
John Mackenzie, representative member.
Rev. John Johnston, chaplain.
Thomas Carswell, treasurer.
David Donald, secretary.
Committee of Management, eight.
Honorary members, five.
Ordinary do., twenty-six.
Occasional do., fourteen.
During the course of the respective winter campaigns of the past these " knights of the broom cowe" have had many a well-contested "bonspiel" with the brethren in other parishes, and it is seldom they have not been able to give a good account at the close of each engagement. The lochs in the immediate neighbourhood afford ample facility for practice when "John Frost" is pleased to confer that favour to the lovers of this healthy, exciting, and what is generally termed "roarin' game." During the course of the past three seasons an amalgamation of the two clubs has been spoken of, but as yet they are both distinct.
The Adelphi Theatre, which may now be considered an established institution, was erected in September, 1863. The proprietors are Messrs David Prince Miller and Walter Edwin. The structure is built of wood, and stands on that site locally known as "Robin Boss's Haugh." The whole building is 120 feet long by 45 feet broad, and fitted up with gallery, pit, side boxes, and boxes, giving accommodation to about 1500 of an audience. The stage is 30 x 45 feet, well fitted up with internal arrangements for machinery, &c. The decorations, paintings, and other scenery, were executed by Mr F. Fisher of Glasgow, and Mr William Preston of Manchester; the latter being scenic professional to the establishment for the season. The drop scene (the work of Mr Fisher) represents a local sketch of the iron bridge of the Caledonian Railway that spans the Monkland Canal. For the past season the theatre has been liberally supported, a sufficient indication that such a want previously existed. The drama has been creditably sustained by the company of artists engaged, and the management all that the most fastidious could desire. The success hitherto augurs well for future seasons, and that even here
" A little nonsense now and then
Is relish'd by the most of men."
When the war panic took place in 1859, this district was among the foremost in showing its loyalty in the Volunteer movement, and in a short time three companies were organised - viz., 29th Coatbridge, 32nd Summerlee, and 43rd Gartsherrie. These three, together with the 48th Airdrie and 95th Baillieston, form the 4th Administrative Battalion of Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. The following is a list of the officers, &c. :-
Lieutenant-Colonel, William Walllace Hozler, Tennochside
Major Commanding, John Alexander, Gartsherrie
Adjutant, James Orr, Airdrie
Captain Commandant, James Kidd, Airdrie
|Names of and No. of Companies.|
Airdrie, 1st, 48th.
Do. 2nd, 48th.
James B. Begg,
Rev. William Stirling, U.P., Coatbridge; Rev. Benjamin Brown, Airdrie.
Robert Stewart, H.D., Coatbridge: Thomas Torrance, Airdrie; James Dickson, Baillieston.
The following is the official return of the effective strength of the Battalion, as inspected by Lieutenant-Colonel Young, on Saturday, 3d October, 1863 :-