Monday, 28 November 2011

Rhindmuir House

Once upon a time, Rhindmuir House was a family home sitting amongst stunning rhododendrons
and a mass of spring daffodils …

The history of Rhindmuir reaches back until at least 1703 when the birth of various children were recorded although there may have been a ‘settlement’ of sorts at this time as the fathers were listed in the early records as weavers, masons and various other trades.

Research points to the earliest (if not the first) owner of the house or neighbouring farm
which was also called Rhindmuir, being Matthew Morthland,
Chair of Oriental Languages of the University of Glasgow.
He was born at Glasgow on 28th March 1714, son of Charles Morthland and Rabina Brisbane

Matthew married Anna Simpson, daughter of John Simpson, Doctor of Divinity
and Jean/Janet Stirling, on the 15th April 1742.

Their 9 known children:
(Father listed as Matthew Morthland of Rinmuir,
then as Writer to the Signet on and after the birth of John in 1751)

Charles, born at Glasgow in 1744
Jane, born on 6th March 1747
Rabina, born 9th April 1749
John, born 14th January 1751
James, born 29th January 1753
Matthew, born 5th December 1754
Alexander, born 7th November 1755
Mary, born 12th November 1758
Charles (2), born 16th September 1760
Janet, born 4th July 1762

At the same time as Matthew and Anna’s children were born, there were also births registered
of children born onwards of 1745 to John Stirling of Rinmuir,
but who lived in the house and who lived in the farm remains unknown.

‘Rinmuir’ appears on the 1747-1755 Roy Military Survey of Scotland Map.

A lair/plot in the name of Matthew Morthland exists in Shettleston Old Churchyard.
The inscription is as follows:

Rhindmuir Lair
Purchased by Mt. Morthland from (Uc? C ..ittie?)
Upon the 5th day of June 1765

Matthew Morthland was amongst the promoters for the building of the Monkland Canal
and is listed as being Treasurer of the Company when work began in 1770 to construct the canal.

James Watt the famous engineer and inventor, was commissioned to build the Canal and in his published Journals, mentions dining with Matthew Morthland on numerous occasions.

Matthew Morthland died in 1787

During the following years, various published maps list property owners beside their lands and residences. Thomas Richardson’s 1795 map shows the name of Andrew Stirling beside ‘Rinnmoor’, then on William Forrest’s 1816 map, the name beside ‘Rinmuir’ is Professor Mylne.

The Glasgow Courier of 11th June 1803 carried an advert as follows:
‘Lands of Rinns, Rinmuir & Coats for sale’

These ‘lands’ were purchased at this time by Robert Pollok (or Pollock)
who subsequently left it to his second son William Pollok.
William Pollok (born c1789) married Ann Whyte and the couple had 8 children.

Their eldest son being George Pollok, born at Cathcart, Glasgow on the 23rd September 1813.

William Pollock was in ownership the lands of Rhinds and Rhindmuir in 1829 when he died.
It is stated in his will that the lands were purchased by his father Robert Pollok
from Thomas Jackson of Coats, Trustee on the sequestered estate of John Gardner,
late of Rhinds and included Rhindmuir Mansion.

The following images from William Pollok’s Will, verifies the details:

The family may have used the house as a ‘country retreat’, but it is not until the Census of June 1841, that it becomes clear that there was both a Rhindmuir House and a Rhindmuir Farm
(as well as various lodges around the estate).

Living at Rhindmuir House (1841)
George Pollok, age 25, Independent
William Pollok, age 20, Independent

Living at Rhindmuir Farm
Hugh Wallace, age 40, Farmer, born c1801, Lanarkshire
Also, wife Elizabeth and children John, Mary and Alexander

William Pollok died c1849

On the 1851 Census, George Pollok aged 37 is still living at Rhindmuir House.
He is Head of the Household, his occupation listed as Landed Proprietor and J.P. for Lanarkshire.
With him are his sister Margaret Pollok, age 29, Proprietess
His brother Robert Pollok, age 24, Retired Commission Agent
His elder sister Ann (now Mrs. Jamieson), age 42 and his niece Margaret Jamieson age 4

In 1859, George Pollok joined the 29th Corps of the Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers, was appointed Lieutenant in 1860 and although he resigned from the ‘29th’ in 1861, he later became Lieutenant of the 95th Corps.

The 1861 Census finds him still living at Rhindmuir House with his younger brother, details as follows:
George Pollok, age 46, Head of Household, occupation: Landed Proprietor
Robert Pollok, age 29, Brother, occupation: Portioner.

George remained single until the age of 53, when he married Christina Russell of Edinburgh, daughter of William Russell, Wine Merchant and Euphemia (or Espate) Tully.

The couple continued to live at Rhindmuir House until George’s death on 20th March 1892.

He was buried in Sandymount Cemetery in the Springboig area of Glasgow.

The inscription is as follows:

GEORGE POLLOK of Rhindmuir
Born 23rd September 1813, died 20th March 1892
Born 30th January 1830, died 8th July 1916

Christina moved to Edinburgh and can be found on the 1901 Census,
living with her sister at 22 Lomond Road, North Leith.

Rhindmuir House was home to the Kerr Family on the 1901 Census, then,
in 1911 it was in the possession of John King, a widower,
his son Robert and two daughters, Margaret & Isa.
(John King Junior (his son?) lived in Rhindmuir Lodge
with his wife Eleanor and their 2 young children)

Rhindmuir passed through various families in more recent times
and although a Grade B Listed Building was eventually allowed to become derelict.
A fire in 1995 sealed it’s fate.

The site is now occupied by a number of ‘new’ houses.

Rhindmuir Farm was demolished to make way for the M73 Motorway around 1975.

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