Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

bane. To that lady he was married in 1800, and by her he had one daughter, who became the wife of John Ayton of Inchdairny, Fifeshire. To his second wife he was married in September, 1809. He died in the spring of the year 1848, at the advanced age of 85 years.

The name of the Very Rev. Robert Home Stevenson may very well follow in this chapter that of Professor Jeffray. Like Dr. Jeffray, Dr. Stevenson has left behind him no literary works, but like him also he was held in good esteem amongst the members of the profession to which he belonged, and attained to the enjoyment of the highest honours which it was in their power to bestow. He was a descendant of that John Stevenson of Gart* clash, near Kirkintilloch, who organised a body of farmers and accompanied the Kilsyth outpost to the battle of Sheriffmuir, "to watch Rob Roy," who was expected to take advantage of the unprotected state of the district, and make a plundering raid on the valley of the Kelvin. Things often turn out curiously; the Highland reiver drew his men apart from the engagement, but Stevenson allowed himself to be sucked into the vortex of the battle, and was killed. Robert Home Stevenson was born 27 th October, 1812, and was educated at the parish school of Campsie and the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In him there was the sound mind in the sound body. He was equally distinguished as a student and athlete. To the last he had a fine presence, and the progress of the years only added dignity to his carriage. People thought him gruff, and somewhat harsh in his manner, and censorious in his judgments, but those who came into intimate contact with him knew that these things were not so. His father, John Stevenson, was tenant of Netherinch from 1832 to 1853. His mother, Margaret Home, was the daughter of the good man of Braes o' Yetts. Robert was the second son of the family. In 1840, he was appointed assistant and successor at Crieff. Having cultivated, with good effect, the power of extempore preaching, his primary pulpit attempts were greatly appreciated, and he filled the church "to the top of the pulpit stairs." In the Church courts his power of ready reply, and the clearness of his speaking brought him into considerable notice. He was a strong and consistent defender of the Constitutional Party during the non-intrusion controversy, and it is quite possible, in the enthusiasm of his youth, he may have said more than was prudent, for when he was licensed by the Presbytery of Auchterarder, one of the members urged against him his ardent politics. When '43 came, as may well be supposed, the young minister was in great demand. Within the space of a fortnight he had the offer of eighteen vacant parishes. He accepted St. George's, Edinburgh. Throwing himself heart and soul into the building up of the Church, he made too heavy a pull on his constitution, robust though it was. The breakdown of his health was of such a serious kind that it never was wholly repaired. He was compelled to take things more quietly. But the energy of his best days was not forgotten, and, in 1871, he was appointed by the Church moderator of the General Assembly. Next year, Edinburgh made him a D.D. When, in 1879, he resigned his charge, strange to say he was succeeded by Dr. Archibald Scott, whose uncle, Malcolm Scott, succeeded John Stevenson in the farm of Netherinch. Mr. Scott farmed Netherinch from 1854 to 1873. There can be no doubt whatsoever that this pleasant farm in Kelvin valley will yet be closely associated, not with the name of one, but of two moderators. When Dr. Stevenson retired from St. George's, he gave several committees the advantage of his mature counsel. He took particular interest in the work of the Scottish Bible Board, technically called Her Majesty's Printers for Scotland. He was also one of the Edinburgh Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He married a great-grand-daughter of the first William Cadell of Banton, one of the founders of the Carron Company, and daughter of Robert Cadell of Ratho, the friend of Sir Walter Scott, and publisher of his works. Dr. Stevenson died on the 15 th November, 1886,

[graphic]

CHAPTER XXIII.

Population—At Revolution—In J794—In 1891—The Heritors— The Police Burgh—Magistracy—Parochial Board—Educational—Patrick Bequest—John Kennedy—Review of Prices and Wages—Benefit Societies—The Savings Bank— Recreation Clubs—Mineralogy—Natural History—From the Church Tower—An ancient River-bed—The Roman Wall—Revived Interest—An Old British Fort—Derivation of Kilsyth, Kelvin, Banton—A Fingalian Tradition—Making of Kelvin—" Line upon Line."

The population of Kilsyth during the Reformation period and the time of the Livingstons cannot be accurately stated. At the Revolution, however, the population numbered 1200. From that time onwards, there has been a steady increase. In 1790, when an exact census was taken, the parish contained 2450 souls. In the previous forty years the increase had been n 00. In 1790, there were 408 houses and 509 families. On an average there were barely three children to each family. Between 1608 and 1794, twins had been born in the parish twice every three years. At the latter date there were 2000 in connection with the Church of Scotland, 477 connected with the Relief and Secession Churches, 9 Cameronians, and 1 Glassite. . In 1891 the parish contains 1490 separate families. Of these 1235 are in the burgh and 255 in the landward portion of the parish. The number of inhabited houses is 1472, 1217 being in the burgh, and 255 tti the landward. The uninhabited houses are 24, n in the burgh, 13 in the landward. The number of new houses in process of erection is 9, all in the burgh. Since the taking of the census, William Baird & Co. have built a little village at Chapel Green. The number of windowed rooms is 3151—2376 in the burgh, and 775 in the landward. The number of males is 3859—3155 being in the burgh, and 704 in the landward. The number of females is 3556—2909 in the burgh, and 647 in the landward. The total population is 7415. Of these the burgh contains 6064, and the landward 1351.

Along with the kirk session, the heritors are the oldest corporate body in the parish. In a number of matters the heritors and session have acted conjointly, and it is expedient they should do so. The teinds are exhausted, and a considerable portion of them have not yet been made redeemable. The last decreet of modification and locality is dated 8th March, 1878. The present heritors are Sir Archibald Edmonstone, James John Cadell, the Duke of Montrose, the Carron Company, Messrs. Brown and Frew, William Bow, trustees of Joseph Wilson, trustees of John Wilson, Mrs. Mary Bow, James Graham, Daniel Ferguson, James Lennie, Andrew Waters, Walter Duncan, W. Motherwell, Peter Lennox, trustees of John Christie. Meetings are held once a year, but Sir Archibald Edmonstone being the chief heritor, the whole business has usually been left in the hands of his representative. Ruthven Angus, the last parish teacher, is heritors' clerk. The real rent valuation of the landward district is ^24,463 17s. iod.; of the burgh, ^12,259. It is of much disadvantage to the parish that the chief heritor and the majority of the others are all nonresident.

About fifteen years ago the people of the town took

N

« AnteriorContinuar »