Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Boating Disaster at Millport

Six Lives lost

The following tragic tale had been transcribed from subsequent issues of
The Glasgow Herald

Monday, June 17th 1907

Millport on Saturday (15th June) was the source of a lamentable boating accident involving the loss of six lives. Mr. William Barclay, a Glasgow gentleman and a party of friends hired a lugsail boat from Mr. William Wallace, a well-known local owner and in the afternoon set out for a sail round the Greater Cumbrae.

The sea was rather rough and a stiff south-westerly wind prevailed. All went well with the party for a time and the little boat reached along the shore at a fair pace. As she neared Figgitioch Pier, a lonely part of the island near Fintry Bay, the craft became unmanageable and capsized, the occupants being drowned before assistance reached them. A visitor, who happened to be on the beach opposite the scene of the occurance, informed the police, who drove over to the spot with medical aid.

The occupants of the boat were Mr. William Barclay, 19 Kelvinside Gardens East, his son, Mr. John Barclay; his daughter Mrs Waterston and two of her children, William age four and Agnes age two; and Miss Jenny Blair, Dalry.

It is not definitely known how the accident occurred. Mr. Barclay was familiar with the handling of boats and frequently sailed about Millport Bay. For the last three summers he spent his holidays at Millport where he was well known and highly respected. On this occasion he arrived at the resort at the beginning of the present month.

A sad feature of the affair is that arrangements were being made for the marriage of Mr. John Barclay and Miss Blair.

The accident created a painful reaction in Millport and when the news reached Glasgow and Dalry, words failed to express adequately the grief of the friends and acquaintances of the unfortunate party. In Dalry the information was received through Rev. Mr. Glass, to whom a telegram was addressed from Millport.

Reference was made to the accident in several of the Millport Churches yesterday.

So far, only four bodies have been recovered – those of Mr. William Barclay, Mr. John Barclay, Miss Blair and William Waterston.

Mr. William Barclay was a native of Kilbirnie. In his early days he came to Glasgow and worked at his trade as a cabinet maker. Model yachting was, however, his favourite pastime. He built a number of noteable miniature boats and was a familiar figure on the banks of the artificial pond in Maxwell Park. His wife predeceased him several years ago and for some time he resided with his son-in-law, Mr. John Waterston at 19 Kelvinside Gardens East.

Mr. John Barclay, his son, was only thirty-one years of age. About ten years ago he was employed with Messrs Arthur & Co., Queen Street, Glasgow; but on receiving an appointment in South Africa, he left the country and worked in the colony until recently, returning to get married.

Miss Jenny Blair, the young lady to whom he was engaged, was the daughter of Mr. Thomas Blair, baker, Dalry.

Mrs. Waterston was the only daughter of Mr. William Barclay. She was the wife of John Waterston, pawnbroker, 35 Fernie Street, Maryhill. William Waterston, her son, was a bright little boy of four and her daughter Agnes Waterston was two years of age.

The Death Notices of William Law Barclay, John Barclay and Miss Jenny Allan Blair appeared in the Glasgow Herald in the 18th, 19th, 20th  June 1907 editions.

(Note that John Barclay appears in both)

Tuesday, June 18th 1907

The bodies of two victims of the Millport boating disaster – Mrs. Waterston and one of her children – are still unrecovered. Dredging operations for their recovery were carried out on an extensive scale yesterday, but without success.

The bodies of Miss Blair and Mr. John Barclay, the young couple who were engaged to be married, were removed last night to Dalry, where the interment will take place tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 18th 1907

The Millport Disaster

Two bodies still missing – search operations

The distressing disaster off the Cumbrae coast on Saturday differs in some respects from many boating fatalities which have marred holiday seasons. Mishaps of the kind have been chiefly due to inexperience or carelessness, but on this occasion the craft which foundered was in charge of a man who had had large experience in the management of lugsail boats. How the accident was caused will probably never be ascertained with accuracy, but there seems little doubt that the boat was caught by one of the sudden squalls which are frequently experienced on the West Coast. It is supposed that when the boat keeled over, Mrs. Waterston, with the child in her arms, may have become entangled in the gear of the yacht.

The calamity was the sole topic of conversation on the island yesterday and it was generally agreed that the handling of the boat could not have been at fault as Mr. William Barclay, who was at the rudder when the lugger disappeared round Farland Point, was a keen yachtsman and had, during the past two or three seasons, sailed round the Cumbraes in vaious yachts.

Story of Eye-Witness

The ill-fated boat was names ‘Rover’. She measured about twenty one feet over all, was broad of beam and seaworthy in every respect. Mr. Barclay had sailed her frequently. Moreover, he knew the currents of the narrow channel. On Saturday the sea was rather rough and a stiff south-westerly wind was driving up the fairway when the party set out on their fatal journey. The boat slipped out of Millport Bay and reached rapidly along the coast. Rounding the Point she brought the wind abaft, the eye-witnesses state that she dipped frequently, burying her bows and shipping considerable quantities of water. Those on board took the precaution of reefing the lugsail, but the craft seemed to make little headway. The boat rose and fell with every gust of wind, and at times went off in the trough of the sea. She was about 200 yards off the land, in a freshening wind her difficulties increased. There was an awkward jabble of a sea. No other vessels were in sight and no sound came from the boat. The man at the tiller was the only one visible from the beach, the others apparently seeking shelter under the bulwarks. Suddenly the boat leaped forward, shipped a huge wave and after staggering for a minute or two was engulfed in the sea.

A young man named Joseph Walmsley Hardman, a draughtsman in the employment of Messrs Alley and Maclellan, engineers, Polmadie, Glasgow, who was on a walk round the island saw the boat disappear. He was powerless to render assistance. Setting a large stone to mark the spot on the beach, he hastened to Millport and informed the police authorities. Mr. Hardman times the accident as happening at ten minutes to five o’clock, and corroboration was furnished by the watch found on the body of Mr. William Barclay, which had stopped at 4.48. The police authorities proceeded to the place indicated by Mr. Hardman and on arriving at Figgitoch Port, a stone slip over a mile north of Fintry Bay, they found the bodies of four of the excursion party already washed ashore by the tide.

The bodies were those of Mr. William Barclay, Mr. John Barclay, Miss Jenny Blair and Willie Waterston and they lay within a few yards of each other. They were removed to Millport Town Hall, the mournful procession being witnessed by a large number of people. During Sunday and yesterday, the tiller and other parts of the gear of the boat drifted ashore.

Efforts to recover Bodies

Search has been mad for the two remaining bodies, but up till last night they had not been recovered. In order that the best possible results might be obtained by trawling Bailie Reid, Millport, wired to Provost Watson, Largs, who is secretary of the Sweep Trawling Association, asking him to send to the island a staff of men along with the sweep trawls. The men arrived on Sunday forenoon but owing to the heavy sea running it was not thought advisable to go round to the spot. During the night however, the wind lessened and about three o’clock on Sunday morning, a start was made by Largs fishermen as well as by several boats manned by local crews. For some time the operations were carried on without result but in two hours the lugger was located about 250 yards from the shore at a depth of sixteen fathoms. At an early hour yesterday morning, the dragging operations were resumed and these were continued until six in the evening. It is understood that should the trawlers meet with no success today, Mr Gush, the well-known Clyde diver, who is at present engaged with his vessel, the ‘Beamer’, in Lamlash Bay (Arran), will be asked to give his services with the view of raising the sunk vessel.

Breaking the News

Mr. Barclay senior was well known in Millport, to which he had gone for a number of years to spend the summer holidays. On this occasion he had resided at 25 Glasgow Street since the beginning of the month. At one time Mr. Barclay was a joiner in Glasgow, but some years ago he retired, and on the death of his wife, resided with his daughter, Mrs. Waterston, at 19 Kelvinside Gardens. The husband of the latter is Mr. John Waterston, pawnbroker, Maryhill, who has also been in residence with other members of the family in Millport since the beginning of the month. It was his custom to travel daily to and from the city. As usual, he returned from Glasgow on Saturday night by the train connecting with the last boat to Millport, When he landed at the pier, he was met by Provost Rowatt and a personal friend named Mr. White, who took him into the private room on the quay and broke the melancholy news. The tidings gave him a great shock.

The young man John Barclay had arrived home only last week from South Africa, where he had been employed as a book-keeper with Messrs Arthur and Co., (Limited). He was thirty one years of age and was a man of fine physique. His principal object in returning home from the Cape was to be married to Miss Janet Blair, another of the victims. The latter was the daughter of Mr. Thomas Blair of Dalry, and as she was well known and popular in that town, considerable interest was manifested in her approaching marriage. There also stayed with Mr. Barclay another son, aged seven years, of Mr. Waterston. But for a fortunate circumstance, he might also have been among the drowned. It was the intention of the mother to take her three children along with hr for the sail, but at the moment of departure from the house, the little fellow could not be found. He had apparently gone away for a ramble by himself and consequently the others had left without him.

Victim’s Ayrshire Friends

The Barclay family formerly lived in Kilbirnie and many of their relatives are still resident in that town. On receipt of the news on Sunday, a large number of relatives and intimate friends of Mr. William Barclay and his son drove from Kilbirnie to Largs with the intention of going across to the island. When they arrived at the Ayrshire seaport in the forenoon, they were unable to find a boatman who was inclined to risk his craft owing to the exceptionally high sea running in the channel. About seven o’clock, however, the wind moderated a little and a motor boat proprietor was prevailed upon to take three male cousins of young Mr. Barclay across to Millport in his launch. In conversations with a ‘Herald’ representative, one of the young men, who was also a cousin of Miss Blair as well as of Mr. John Barclay, said the wire received in Kilbirnie did not give them any indication that Mr. William Barclay was one of the unfortunate party and it was a great shock to all three of them to learn when they arrived at Mr. Waterston’s house that their uncle William was also enumbered among the drowned. They were under the impression that the sixth victim of the calamity was a boatman. The cousins visited the mortuary where they saw the bodies of their relatives and they afterwards left Millport with the intention of breaking the news to those who were anxiously waiting for their return on the mainland.

Funeral Arrangements

The bodies of Mr. John Barclay and Miss Janet Blair were conveyed to Largs last evening by the 6.30 p.m. Caledonian steamer. Coaches were in waiting at Largs and the coffins were placed in a hearse and conveyed by road to Dalry. The couple are to be buried together in Dalry Cemetery and the funeral is to be a public one. The bodies of Mr. William Waterston and the four year old boy William Waterston will remain in Millport until another effort is made to recover those of Mrs. Waterston and her younger child. Should they not be found by Thursday, the bodies of Mr Barclay, senior, and his grandchild will be taken in the forenoon boat to Weymss Bay whence they will be conveyed by train to Glasgow for interment in Craigton Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 19th 1907

Sunken Craft Raised – No Trace of Missing Bodies

Millport, Tuesday Night

The boating disaster which occurred off the northern shores of the Greater Cumbrae on Saturday evening and the efforts still being made for the recovery of the bodies of Mrs. Waterston and her two year old daughter, continue to furnish the chief topics of conversation in Millport. In the forenoon, the outlook from the town was depressing. A strong south-westerly gale swept across the waters of the firth and for several hours a thick mist lay upon the sea and land. It was early evident that in the face of such a turbulent sea, it would be impossible to resume the trawling operations. It was decided, therefore, by the crews of the boats to remain ashore until the storm showed some signs of abating. After the fruitless efforts of the trawlers yesterday, Bailie James Watson Reid, who all along has rendered signal service in organising the trawling parties, felt that it would be a wide thing to have the sunken vessel searched in case the bodies might have become entangled in the gear and still remained on board. He accordingly got into communication with Mr. Gush, the Clyde diver, with the view of securing his services. A telegram was despatched to Mr. Gush, who had been for some time engaged with his lighter, the ‘Beamer’ at Lamlash Bay, asking him if he could find it convenient to visit the wreck bringing his steamer and diving apparatus with him. Early yesterday afternoon a reply was received to the effect that if required he could come, whereupon Bailie Reid telegraphed again requesting him to come at once. Meanwhile the gale had been gradually moderating until about two o’clock a change in the direction of the wind had the effect of bringing a reduction in its strength to that of a fresh westerly breeze. With the improvement in the weather the trawlers, uncertain whether the services of the  diver had been secured, were making preparations to resume their self-imposed task and were in the act of joining a conveyance which would take them to where their craft lay at Fintry Bay, when the ‘Beamer’ was observed steering a course past Cumbrae Head and into Millport Bay. It was then decided to postpone all further trawling operations until the diver had had an opportunity of viewing the wreck. Bailie Reid joined the ‘Beamer’ which left immediately for Fintry Bay where the scene of the wreck was marked by a floating buoy. It was then high water and as the craft lay at that period of the tide at a depth of nearly 150 feet, Mr Gush determined to delay making his descent until the currents were less strong and the water had receded somewhat. The work of arranging the plant and the position of the steamer took up a considerable time and consequently it was late in the evening ere the diver could proceed with his search.

All was excitement on board the lighter when the grim figure prepared to enter the water. He descended slowly and after he had been a few minutes below, those above were given the signal that he desired to return to the surface. When he made his appearance it was to inform the anxious waiters that he had examined the craft and that neither of the bodies was on board. It was a great disappointment to everyone.
Arrangements were at once proceeded with for the raising of the lugsail and this was soon accomplished by means of a powerful winch on board the ‘Beamer’, the ballast in the shell of the yacht having been first removed. After she was brought to the surface she was pumped dry and then lashed to the side of the ‘Beamer’ in which position she was taken to Millport. Throughout the evening a large crowd had assembled in the vicinity of the pier on the outlook for the return of the diver and his vessel and when she made her appearance round Buttery Point people flocked from all parts of the town, eager to know the result of their mission. The ‘Beamer’ was moored alongside the pier and hundreds willingly parted with their pennies in order to get past the barricade and obtain a closer view.

The news that the two bodies were still unrecovered spread rapidly and the greatest sympathy was expressed on all hands for the sorrowing relatives. The little craft which had foundered and taken to their deaths so many valuable lives came in for close scrutiny. It was, of course, badly damaged, especially on the bottom which was severely ripped. This was to be expected, looking to the fact that she carried a fair quantity of ballast which would roll heavily about her bottom with the movement of the waves.

A large number of people hung about the quay till a late hour, discussing the affair in all its aspects, the prevailing opinion that after the stormy weather of the past few days, the chances of recovering the bodies are very remote.

Mr Waterston, who since his arrival on the island on Saturday, might have been the guest of Dr. Sinclair, is bearing up well under the sad blow which robbed him of his wife and two of his children. He has been following with anxious interest the attempts made to recover the missing bodies and throughout the day remained hopeful that the search would eventually prove successful. His surviving son, Knox, a bright lad of nine, is with him.

The bodies of Mr. Barclay senior and his grandchild William Waterston have been placed in coffins and will be removed for interment at Craigton Cemetery, Glasgow on Thursday.

Thursday, June 20th 1907

Another Day’s Fruitless Search

Millport, Wednesday Night

A note of sorrow still pervades the community of Millport. Even the amusements provided by a troupe of minstrels had been temporarily abandoned, the performances remaining in abeyance until this evening out of respect to the mourning relatives of the persons who were drowned.

After the non-success which attended the efforts of the diver yesterday, it was generally felt that there was little use of a search for the bodies being continued, at least through the medium of trawling. The crews of the Largs boats, conscious that while they had failed, they had at least done their best, returned home. With the Millport men it was different. Although far from hopeful of success, they resolved today to make another search. Accordingly, shortly before eleven o’clock, Wilson McNeil and a crew of four left Millport Bay for the scene of the disaster.

Instead of prosecuting the search near the spots where the ‘Rover’ foundered, they directed their efforts to the waters to he east and to the south and by systematic trawling several hundred yards were covered on each side.

Throughout the day and up till seven o’clock in the evening, they continued hard at their self-imposed task in a choppy sea, but with night-fall coming on and the weather growing more boisterous, they had at length to return disappointed at their failure.

During the day, large crowds of visitors watched the plucky trawlers from the shores. Other parties made a circuit of the island and searched the shore, but they likewise failed to find any trace of the body of Mrs. Waterston or of her little daughter and it may perhaps be assumed that the bodies have now been removed by he action of the currents from the immediate vicinity of the accident. Bearing in mind he possibility that the bodies may be cast ashore at some other part of the firth, the police have caused notice to be printed containing a description of the bodies and this will be issued to he various authorities along the estuary of the Clyde.

The condition of the ill-fated little craft when discovered by Diver Gush was made the subject of much talk today among the seafaring population of Millport. From the position in which the vessel was found, it seems clear that at the time she sank, she was running free, as the lugsail shoes (?) was well out, and so consequently was the sail. It was seen also that, contrary to the general assumption, the whole sail was set, the impression up till then being that at least one reef had been taken in. A remarkable fact, too, was that the sheet was fastened, which seems to indicate clearly that the steer-man of the party had not been apprehensive that his craft was in danger. Not only was the sheet entwined on the gunwale pin, but it was is addition fastened on a pin beneath. It is impossible even now to account with any certainty for the accident, but there is a possibility that a hard squall struck the sail, and that the helmsman was unable to throw her off to the wind in time by releasing the lugsail sheet. The damaged yacht remained at Millport Pier during the forenoon, but later in the day it was removed to a yard in the town where it will likely be repaired.

The funeral of Mr. Barclay senior and his grandson William Waterston takes place tomorrow and a large number of relatives and friends are expected to attend.

Funeral of Miss Blair and Mr. John Barclay

The funeral of Miss Blair and Mr. John Barclay, two of the victims of he disaster took place at Dalry yesterday, from the house of Miss Blair’s father in New Street. The tragic circumstances under which the young people met their death just when arrangements for their wedding had been completed caused a painful sensation in the town, and the interment of the bodies yesterday aroused much public sympathy. All places of business were closed and crowds lined the thoroughfare. The remains were conveyed in two hearses and were interred in the one grave. Amongst others who followed the remains to the cemetery, besides the relatives and friends of the deceased, were representatives from all the public bodies in the town.

Friday, June 21st 1907

The Millport Boating Disaster

Funeral of two of the victims

The funeral of Mr. William Law Barclay, aged sixty-two years and his four-year old grandson William Waterston, two of the six persons who lost their lives through the foundering of the lugsail yacht ‘Rover’ off Cumbrae on Saturday last, took place yesterday from Millport to Craigton Cemetery, Glasgow.

A funeral service was conducted shortly after 10 a.m. by Rev. Alexander Walker, East United Free Church, in the Town Hall, Millport, where the bodies had remained since Sunday. There was a large attendance of the general public. On the completion of the service, which was short and impressive, the remains, contained in handsome oak coffins, were placed in a hearse and the procession was formed in the quiet little street outside the Town Hall. There was a numerous company of mourners, several of the relatives of the deceased having arrived in Millport overnight, while in addition to these, a number of towns-people, including Provost Rowatt, Rev. Alexander Walker, Rev. James Frame (West United Free Church), Bailie James Watson Reid and Mr. Charles Wallace, took part in the obsequies. As the cortege took its way slowly along Guildford Street and Stuart Street there were many signs of mourning. The shops, hotels, and all places of business were closed while the cortege was passing slowly towards the pier, most of the window blinds in the houses were drawn and the burgh flag was flown at half-mast.

The progress of the funeral procession was watched with sympathetic interest by large crowds of people who had lined the streets and afterwards assembled on the pier. A the pier the wreath-covered coffins were removed from the hearse and placed in wooden cases upon the deck of the Caledonian Seam Packet Company’s steamer ‘Marchioness of Breadalbane’, the cases being afterwards with a large piece of waterproof sheeting. The weather was dull and cheerless and the rain began to fall in a thin drizzle as the steamer left Millport for Weymss Bay at 10.45. A Weymss Bay, the coffins were taken from the steamer and placed in the train for Glasgow.

The time of the funeral being widely known in Glasgow, a crowd of the general public waited along with the mourners, the arrival at the Central Station of the train from Weymss Bay. When the train drew alongside the platform at a quarter to one o’clock, the coffins were borne to the waiting hearse amid the silent, respectful sympathy of the beholders. Men raised their hats, and there were tears in the eyes of many of the women. Both coffins arrived covered with flowers – wreaths on those of Mr. Barclay and sprays of lilies of the valley on those of his grandson. Numerous other wreaths had been sent to the station and these were placed inside the hearse along with the coffins. Among the senders of the floral tributes of sympathy were the relatives and friends of the deceased, the Blair family, Dalry, the Glasgow and District Pawnbrokers’ Protective Association, the Glasgow and District Assistant Pawnbrokers’ Association and he office-bearers and members of the Maxwell Model Yacht Club. A service was conducted in the Central Station Hotel by the Rev. W. M. Clow, of the Stevenson Memorial Church of which Mr John Waterston, the bereaved husband and father is a member, and with which the late Mr. Barclay was also connected, and by the Rev. Alexander Brown of Pollokshields East United Free Church of which Mr. Waterston’s father is a member. At the close of the service, the hearse, followed by eighteen carriages containing the mourners, drive off, amid tokens of sympathy by the crowd to Craigton Cemetery. There, grandfather and grandchild were laid in one grave, that in Mr. Barclay’s own ground. The pall-bearers were Messrs John Waterston senior and junior, Knox Waterston, the brother of the drowned children and Messrs James Barclay senior and junior, John Barclay senior and junior and Alexander Waterston. Among the mourners were Mr. Andrew Gemmell, representative in Scotland of the National Pawnbrokers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland, and Messrs James Miller, chairman, John Mackie, treasurer, and John Stevenson, secretary of the Glasgow branch of that association.

The bodies of Agnes Masterton and that of her two year old daughter
were never found.

Both mother and child’s deaths can be found in the Statutory Death Registrations giving their date of death as 15th June 1907

Agnes (in some documentation listed as having the middle name of Darroch) was the daughter of William Law Barclay and his first wife Annie Darroch.

Her daughter, although previously referred to as Agnes, is listed as Nan, and had the middle name of Chapman.

They both have an R.C.E. attached to their recorded deaths in the Register of the Parish of Cumbraes, County of Bute.
This was signed by R. L. Macmillan, Procurator Fiscal
Rothesay, 22nd July 1907 and at Millport 23rd July 1907
confirming that neither body was found.

Scotland’s People website explains an R.C.E. as follows:

RCE stands for Register of Corrected Entries.
Since 1965, it has been known as the Register of Corrections, Etc.
“Once an entry in a statutory register had been completed, the orginal entry could not be altered if an error was later discovered or an amendment was required as a result of new information. Instead, each registrar kept a register of corrected entries in which such amendments were written, originally after they had been approved by a sheriff. The original statutory register entry was then marked RCE, Register of Corrected Entries or Reg. Cor. Ent. in the left margin, followed by the volume number, page number and date of the correction.

Corrections to birth entries might be to name, residence, identity, or as a result of a sheriffs finding in a paternity case, with the fathers name being added as directed by the sheriff, or as a result of an illegitimate child being legitimised by the subsequent marriage of the parents. Corrections to marriage entries may relate to name, residence or identity, bigamy or divorce. Corrections to death entries may relate to name, residence, identity or sudden or accidental death.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Carriden Old Church and Churchyard, West Lothian

The church, now in ruins, was erected in the Cuffabouts village of Carriden Parish in 1766.
It’s tower, spire and session house were added in 1840, but by the early 1900’s it was considered
too small and a new church was built in adjoining ground to the north of the Churchyard.

The ruins of the Church are listed ‘Category B’ on the Listed Buildings Register
and also in the same category are three monuments within the Churchyard,
the gate-piers and boundary walls.

The information of the following three ‘worthies’ has been transcribed from
‘Borrowstouness and District, Being Historical Sketches of Kinneil, Carriden and
Bo’ness c1550 to 1850’ by Thomas James Salmond

The first of these monuments commemorates Dr. John Roebuck (1718 – 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 senior,
William Caddel junior and Samuel Garbett founded the Carron Ironworks which at one time
were the most celebrated in Europe. His connection with Borrowstouness began about the same
time when he became the lessee of the Duke of Hamilton’s coal mines and saltpans and
took up residence at Kinneil House.

In 1773, the doctor, owing to his financial misfortunes in the district had not only to give up
his interest in a patent of James Watt, but had to sever his connection with the Carron Company.
His spirit and business enterprise,  however, were undaunted,
and in 1784 he founded the Bo’ness Pottery.

He died in 1794 and was buried in Carriden Churchyard.

The wall plaque erected over his grave by friends has a Latin inscription,
which translated reads:

“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
harrassed 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 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 his friends has erected.

The second of the listed monuments is that of the Cadell Family of Grange
which sits in an enclosure on the south west wall of the church.

Unfortunately, much of the inscription is now eroded making it almost impossible to read
the topmost details, apart from a few words.

Isabella Moubray, 1st wife of James John Cadell, died 1832
Agnes Hamilton Dundas, 2nd wife of James John Cadell, died 1854
Christian, daughter, died 1856
James John Cadell Esq., died 1856

Martha, daughter, died 1886
Janet, daughter, died 1886
William, son died 1887

Henry Cadell Esq., died 1888
Jessie Gray MacFarlane, wife of Henry Cadell, died 1895
Henry Moubray Cadell, Esq., son of Henry Cadell, Esq., died 1934
Elinor Simson M.B.E., wife of Henry Moubray Cadell Esq., died 1945

‘Borrowstouness and District, Being Historical Sketches of Kinneil,
Carriden and Bo’ness’:

Mr Cadell was married three times, his first wife being Isabella Moubray, daughter of
Henry Moubray of Calderbank, who died in 1832; his second, Agnes,
daughter of John Hamilton Dundas of Duddingston;
and his third, his cousin, Martha Cadell.

There were five sons, the second eldest, Henry (born 1812, died 1888), succeeding to Grange
on his father’s death and to Banton in 1872. In 1863 he built the Bridgeness Ironworks,
but only one of the two furnaces was ever in blast. There was no railway then, and the furnace
only went for about six months. It was restarted in 1870, and went on intermittently till the iron
trade declined in 1874. The works were pulled down in 1890. The district from Cowdenhill to
Bridgeness in the beginning on the nineteenth century was quite different to what it is now.
There was no shore road; and the old road ran in a south-easterly direction. The present road along
by the shore was formed by Henry Cadell. On his death, Mr. Cadell was succeeded by
his third son, Henry Moubray Cadell (born 1860).

The arms of the Cadells of Grange, as registered at the Lyon Office are: “Or, a stag’s head couped in
chief gu and in base 3 oval buckles, two and one, tongues fesswise az. within a bordure of the second.”

Crest – A stag's head ppr.    Motto – Vigilantia non cadet.

A fascinating article published on Henry Moubray Caddel
by Edinburgh Geological Society can be read here:

The third of the three ‘worthies’ is Admiral Sir James Hope, K.C.B.

Referring yet again to ‘Borrowstouness and District, Being Historical Sketches of
Kinneil, Carriden and Bo’ness’:

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 imbedded
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.

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.

After the Pekin Treaty in 1862, Admiral Hope was enagaged 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 his young wife, the 2nd 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 first Lady Hope was Frederica Eliza Kinnaird, daughter of Charles Kinnaird,
8th Lord Kinnaird. They married on 16th August 1838, the marriage lasting until Frederica’s death
on 27th May 1856 aged 46.

The second Lady Hope was Elizabeth Cotton. She married Sir James in 1877.
She was 35 years old – 34 years younger than her husband.
Their marriage lasted until Sir James’ death in 1881.

Admiral Sir James Hope died at Carriden House on 9th June 1881 and was buried in the
north-west corner of Carriden Churchyard.

A cable from one of his old ships surrounds his grave.

Sir James Hope
(Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath)
Admiral of the Fleet
Born 8th March 1808
Died 9th June 1881

Also listed on the stone is his eldest sister Helen Hope
Born 10th April 1807
Died 14th May 1890

Thursday, 26 September 2013

George Husband Baird

Eighteenth Principal of Edinburgh University (1761 – 1840)

George was born on 13th July 1761 in the holding of Bowes, in the hollow to the
west of Inveravon farmhouse in the Parish of Borrowstouness
to James Baird and Marion Spottiswood.

He received his early education at the Parish School of Borrowstouness,
but when his father purchased the property at Manuel, he was sent to the Grammar School
at Linlithgow and on reaching age 12, he was entered as a student
in Humanity at Edinburgh University.

O.S. 6 inch – 1 mile, 1st edition. Stirlingshire, Sheet XXX1, 1843 – 1882 (Survey 1860, Publication 1865)

He was ordained Minister of Dunkeld, Perthshire in 1787 and appointed Minister of
Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh in 1792, the same years in which he became joint
Professor or Oriental Launguages in Edinburgh University.

On 4th August 1792 at Dunkeld, he married Isabella Elder, 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. It was sometimes thought that his chief claim to the
Principalship was as ‘Husband’ of the Lord Provost’s daughter”.
The appointment nevertheless turned out well although he was at a distinct disadvantage in
succeeding a man of high literary fame like Principal Robertson.

In 1793, he succeeded Principal Robertson and became Principal at the early age of thirty-three.

George held the position for a period of forty-seven years during which he saw the number of
students double from 1000 to 2000 and new University buildings erected.

He was chosen as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1800.

Later in 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. The following year,
the Assembly gave it’s sanction to the scheme.

At the age of his sixty-six, although not in the best of  health, he travelled the entire Highlands
of Argyll, the west of Inverness, Ross and the Western Islands from Lewis to Kintyre.
The following year he visited the Northern Highlands and the Orkneys and Shetlands.

The above portrait is held within the collection of
The University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection.

George was one of 6 (known) children, all born in Bo’ness (Borrowstouness)
to James Baird and Marion Spottiswood whose marriage was also recorded at
Bo’ness on 2nd March 1753.

Janet, born 7th January 1754
James, born 31st August 1755
Marion, born 18th February 1759
George Husband Baird, born 13th July 1761
Thomas, born 13th May 1763
Thomas (2), born 29th May 1765

George married Isabella Elder at Dunkeld, Perthshire 4th August 1792

The couple went on to have 5 (known) children:
Emelia Husband Baird, born 1st December 1793
Thomas Elder Baird, born 30th September 1795
Marion Spottiswood Baird, born 13th July 1797, Edinburgh
James Baird, born 27th December 1799, Edinburgh
Emelia Husband Baird, born 22nd October 1801

Thomas Elder Baird married Catherine Sarah Anne Holcombe
At Edinburgh, 3rd October 1848

He can be found on the following Census Returns:

1841 Census, Living at Manuel, Muiravonside, Stirlingshire
Thomas E. Baird, age 40, Advocate, born c1801, Scotland

1851 Census, Living at Lothian Cottage, Dalkeith, Midlothian
Thomas E. Baird, age 54, Advocate not practising, born c1797, Edinburgh
Catherine Baird (nee Holcombe), Wife, age 48, born c1803, England

1861 Census, Living at Garronne, Vale Parish, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Thomas Elder Baird, age 65, Barrister not in practise, born Scotland
Catherine Baird (nee Holcombe), Wife, age 49, born England
Harcourt Holcombe, Nephew, age 5. Officer’s son, born England
Penuel Holcombe, Niece, age 3, Officer’s son, born England

1871 Census, Living at Hastings, Parish of S. Mary Magdalene, Sussex
Thomas E. Baird, age 75, born Scotland
Catherine Baird, Wife, age 69, born Hull, England
Harcourt Holcombe, Nephew, age 5. Officer’s son, born England
Penuel Holcombe, Niece, age 3, Officer’s son, born England

Daughter Marion Spottiswood Baird married Isaac Bayley on 8th August 1823

Marion, Isaac and their family can be found on the following Census Returns:

1841 Census, Living at Regent Terrace, South Leith, Edinburgh
Isaac Bayley, Head, age 40, Writer or Solicitor, Born c1798, Scotland
Marion S. Bayley (nee Baird), age 40, born c1798, Midlothian
George Bayley, age 9, born c1832, Midlothian
Edward Bayley, age 4, born c1837, Midlothian
Thomas Bayley, age 3, born c1838, Midlothian
Margret Bayley, age 1, born c1840, Midlothian

1851 Census, Living at 13 Regent Terrace, South Leith, Edinburgh
Isaac Bayley, Head, age 53, Solicitor, Supreme Courts, Born c1798, Caputh, Perthshire
Marion S. Bayley (nee Baird), Wife, age 53, born c1798, Edinburgh
George Bayley, Son, age 19, Apprentice to Writer to the Signet, born c1832, Edinburgh
Edward Balyley, Son, age 14, Scholar, born c1837, Edinburgh
Thomas E. Bayley, Son, age 13, Scholar, born c1838, Edinburgh

1861 Census, Living at 13 Regent Terrace, South Leith, Edinburgh
Isaac Bayley, Head, age 63, Solicitor, Supreme Courts, Born c1798, Caputh, Perthshire
Marion S. Bayley (nee Baird), Wife, age 63, born c1798, Edinburgh
George Bayley, Son, age 29, Writer to the Signet, born c1832, Edinburgh
Margaret C. Bayley, Daughter, age 20, born c1841, Edinburgh

No research has been carried out on the other two children of George Husband Baird and
Isabella Elder but it is believed that they both died in their  early twenties

Several articles report that after his wife Isabella’s death, he lived with his daughter Marion
and son-in-law Isaac Bayley at 13 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh where he died
on 14th January 1840, whilst others state he died at his family property at Manuel, but the above
Census Returns indicate that the Bayley Family resided in Edinburgh and also list Edinburgh
as the place of birth for their children

Wherever he died, he his father and eldest son Thomas are commemorated on a stone in
Muiravonside Churchyard.

The inscription reads:

Sacred to the memory of
John Baird of Manuel
21st May 1757 – 3rd February 1824
Also of
The Very Reverend George Husband Baird, D.D.
Of Forneth and Manuel
Sometime Minister of Dunkeld and of the New Greyfriars, the New North
And of the High Churches in Edinburgh
Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Edinburgh
And for forty seven years
Principal of that University
Born 13th July 1761, died 14th January 1840
And of Thomas Elder Baird, Advocate
His eldest son
Born 30th September 1795, died 18th January 1876

Muiravonside Parish Church