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George Comrie was born in Denny in 1888. A left-half he joined Millwall. He also played for Dundee United before signing for Huddersfield Town in 1912. He also played 15 games for his new club before retiring from football.
COMRIE, ALEXANDER (1708), theological writer, was born in Scotland, and when a young man went over to Holland, where he was placed in a mercantile house. In his twentieth year when crossing a lake not far from Leyden, he was shipwrecked but swimming ashore near Woubrugge, and observing a light in a neighbouring farmhouse, he found shelter for the night, and found likewise in the farmer a congenial friend, who encouraged his desire to study or the church, and got for him the means of taking his course at the universities of Groningen and Leyden.
In 1734 he took at Leyden the degrees of master of arts and doctor of philosophy,' and immediately after he was elected minister of the parish of Woubrugge, where he had found shelter and friendship after his shipwreck. He remained minister there till 1773, the year before his death, discharging his pastoral duties with singular assiduity among a people who appreciated in the highest degree his high character and his fervent zeal for the old Calvinistic doctrines.
It was in Comrie's time that some of the ministers, professors, and theological writers of Holland began to maintain rationalist views in Comrie they found one of their most unflinching opponents. In two ways Comrie opposed the rising tide : he wrote original controversial treatises, and he translated for popular use some of the ablest works in practical and devotional theology that were appearing in his native country.
The names of his opponents, Schultens, Van den Os, Alberti, and Jan van den Honert, are now nearly forgotten even in Holland. Van den Os, as minister of Zwolle, had declared that no church articles could have power to decide in matters of faith, for the holy scriptures were admitted to be the true rule, and each man was at liberty to receive them according to his individual interpretation also that the synod of Dort did not mean to set forth what was to be received as the truth for all time, but only for the time then being and till further light should be obtained. Van den Honert raised questions respecting the fundamental doctrine of justification by faith, which seemed to Comrie to involve the surrender of all that had been taught on that subject by Luther and Calvin. Notwithstanding the strenuous opposition of Comrie and his friends, the cause of rationalism advanced steadily among the clergy and in the universities. But the attachment of the people of Holland to that gospel of which he was a champion continued to prevail to a very large extent. It is in that class that the name of Comrie still lives, and the books which he wrote are still a power.
PerthshireCrieffStrathearn Local History
A wide choice of topics covered from the dawn of history right up to present days . Many of these have a wider relevance than purely within the context of Strathearn . The author's viewpoint often is at variance with the accepted opinions espoused elsewhere eg The Jacobite Uprisings and The Reformation .
Crieff Shops and businesses 100 years ago ( names & places ) - Part Two
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This is Part Two of the Blog published on the 29th August 2013 I have listed all the names and addresses of the businesses and professions . Of the ten banks listed only two ( the Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale ) remain . Campbell the Bakers is still in King Street albeit at a different address . Of the other names that still trade we have solicitors Graham & Finlayson in Comrie Street , Frank Thomson in East High Street and the Strathearn Herald is still around but operating from Perth and not Crieff . Such is
DT Clement Addison Terrace
Colville & Drysdale Comrie Street
Malcolm Finlayson Depute Sheriff Clerk etc Comrie street
Graham & Finlayson Comrie Street
Graham Mickle & Co West High Street
T McDuff Hill Street
James MacRosty , MacRosty & Reid West High Street
Charles DM Ross procurator fiscal High Street
Stonemasons & Builders ( 5 )
Alexander Crerar North Bridge Street
William Ellis Carrington Terrace
Peter Keay Harrietfield
R McRobbie Perth Road
Wyllie & Son Dollerie Terrace
Surgeons ( 6 )
M Burnett MD Comrie Street
DR Dobie MD Surgeon James Square
James Gardiner MD Coldwells
J Haig Viewfield
A McEwan MD Thornhill
Alex Stewart MD Ivy Lodge
Tailors & Clothiers ( 14 )
Robert Allan King Street
Donald Anderson St Davids Madderty
K Buchanan East High Street
James Gorrie Harrietfield
William Inglis High Street
James McIntyre Comrie Street
Alexander McLeish Comrie Street
A & J Scrimgeour West High Street
Timber Merchants ( 4 )
Messrs McAinsh Carrington Terrace
Lewis Miller Ferntower Road
Hugh Morgan Broich Terrace
Tinsmiths ( 2 )
Mark Aitken & Sons High Street
Archibald Thomson 15 King Street
Tobacconists ( 9 )
WS Bryden King Street
Alex Paterson King Street
Taylor 3 West High Street
Undertakers ( 8 )
John Caw The Cross
Drummond & Sons Burrell Street
Monteath Bros Commissioner Street
Peter McGregor Burrell Street
Stothard & Son Duchlage Road
Veterinary Surgeons ( 4 )
George Anderson VS Commissioner Street
Andrew McGergor King Street
William Watt Commissioner Street
Watch & Clock Makers ( 5 )
Hector Dick East High Street
James Dyer 17 West High Street
John Kippen West High Street
George McKenzie King Street
Miscellaneous ( 13 )
Andrew Allison Burgh Inspector James Square
James Bain cooper & fancy goods dealer High Street
Mrs Burke broker East High Street
Crieff Aerated Water Co Ltd ( James MacRosty secretary)
George T Ewing architect Pitkellony Muthill
Charles F Ewing architect
William Finlayson architect
Duncan Forbes Hill Street ( * no occupation stated )
Peter Halley contractor Gavelmore Street
Harley & Watts chemists & aerated water manufacturers
Alexander Herron potato dealer & manure manufacturer Railway Station
Mitchell Bros & Co Ltd distillers Glenturret Distillery
James McNee & Sons preserve makers
George Comrie - History
There are extensive extracts on Fife in the 1842 Commission reports and also the Mining District Reports. Fife housing is covered in the 1875 Notes on Miners' Housing and the 1918 Royal Commission Report. Information on the Fife Coal company, including lists of veteran employees can be found here. The following parishes have their own pages:
Above (L to R) Valleyfield Colliery and two views of Comrie Colliery
Above (L to R) Randolph and Frances Collieries Dysart, Wellsgreen Colliery
Above Thornton Mine & Fife Coal Co Offices at Leven
Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, Francis H Groome
Boreland, a collier village mostly in Dysart, but partly in Wemyss parish, Fife, adjacent to the North British railway, 1 1/4 mile N of Dysart town. It was founded about 1735. A public school, with accommodation for 84 children, had (1891) an average attendance of 83, and a grant of £78, 8s. 6d.
Callange, Coaltown of, North, and South , three neighbouring collier hamlets in Ceres parish, E Fife, 3 3/4 miles SE by E of Cupar.
Comrie , a hamlet in Culross parish, Fifeshire, 1/2 mile W by N of Oakley, and 5 miles of Dunfermline. A little to the W is Comrie Castle.
Coull, a collier hamlet in Markinch parish, Fife, 1 3/4mile NW of Markinch town.
Crossgates , a village on the mutual border of Dunfermline and Dalgety parishes, Fife, with a station on the North British railway, 3 1/2 miles ENE of Dunfermline. Inhabited chiefly by colliers, it is surrounded at near distances by extensive coal mines adjoins lines of mineral railway, communicating with St David's harbour on Inverkeithing Bay and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, 2 hotels, a U.P. church (1802 531 sittings), and a public school, which, with accommodation for 213 children, had (1891) an average attendance of 218, and a grant of £189, 2s.6d. Pop. (1841) 646, (1861) 1115, (1871) 1181, (1881) 1057, (1891) 1165.
Fordel Square , a collier village in Dalgety parish, Fife, contiguous to the boundary with Aberdour, and on the Fordel railway, near its northern extremity, 3/4 mile ESE of Crossgates. Part of it is called Wemyss Square, and the whole is often called simply Fordel. Pop. (1861) 813, (1871) 641, (1881) 488, (1891) 589.
Kingseat , a collier village in Dunfermline parish, Fife, 1 1/4mile N of Halbeath railway station, and 3 miles N of Dunfermline town, under which it has a post office - Ord. Sur., sh. 40, 1867.
Muirend , a collier village in Dalgety parish, Fife, 5 furlongs S of Crossgates.
Oakley , a village at the mutual border of Carnock and Culross parishes, Fife, with a station on the Stirling and Dunfermline branch of the North British railway, 4 3/8 miles W by N of Dunfermline. Built in connection with the Forth or Oakley Iron-works (1846), it chiefly consists of stone, one-story, slated dwelling-houses, disposed in rows, with intervening spaces more than double the breadth of the streets of the New Town of Edinburgh and has a post office under Dunfermline, and St Margaret's Roman Catholic church (1843). The iron-works, now stopped, had six furnaces, with stalks 180 feet high and the engine-house was built with walls so deeply founded and so massive as to comprise 60, 000 cubic feet of stone below the surface of the ground. Pop. (1861) 1817, (1871) 1127, (1881) 3l2, (1891) 369 of whom 123 were in Culross. - Ord. Sur., sh. 40, 1867.
Townhill , a collier village in Dunfermline parish, Fife, 1 1/2 mile NNE of the town. It has a post and telegraph office under Dunfermline, a public school (1876), and a chapel of ease (1878). Pop. (1871) 855, (1881) 186, (1891) 1801 - Ord. Sur., sh. 40, 1867.
Comrie George Image 1 Millwall 1908
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Denny, Stirlingshire born left half George Comrie joined Dunipace in 1903 before moving to Scottish League Third Lanark a year later, before joining Southern League Millwall Athletic in 1905. After four seasons at The Den he joined Dundee and stayed three years, where he won The Scottish Cup in 1910 as they beat Clyde in a second replay in the Final at Ibrox Park. Comrie returned to England joining Second Division club Huddersfield Town in the 1912 close season, making his Football League debut for them against Bury in September 1912, and played 15 times for The Terriers in 1912-13. However after a single season he returned to Scotland in 1913 to join Forfar Athletic.
His older brother Jimmy played for Glossop, Reading and Bradford City in addition to Dunipace and Third Lanark and was killed in action during the First World War.
GEORGE LAWSON, M.A.
Mr GEORGE LAWSON, M.A., a former Rector of Waid Academy, Anstruther, and a former President of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, died in Edinburgh on Saturday, 15 th March, 1941 .
As a student at St Andrews University he was placed in the Honours List of all his classes ( which included Greek, Humanity, Rhetoric and English Literature, Moral Philosophy and Political Economy ) obtaining first place in Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Logic and Metaphysics, Anatomy and Physiology. Among his prizes were three for Mathematics, two for Chemistry and one for Mental Philosophy.
Mr Lawson's association with the University continued when he became a member of the Mathematics staff. Later he held University appointments as a Member of the Scottish Universities Joint Board, and as an Examiner in Mathematics, Dynamics and Physics while for many years he represented the General Council as Assessor on the University Court.
Prior to his appointment to the Rectorship of Waid Academy in 1904 , Mr Lawson served as a Master in George Watson's College, Edinburgh, and as Rector of Selkirk High School.
As a teacher his work was mostly in the Department of Mathematics, and he made a special study of the teaching of this subject. By his numerous contributions to Educational Journals on mathematical subjects, his papers read before various societies, and by his "School Geometry," he had a marked influence on the improvement of the teaching of Geometry in our schools. Mr Lawson's life work may be said to have been done in Anstruther, where for twenty-seven years he guided the destiny of Waid Academy with "conspicuous fidelity and distinguished scholarship. + On the occasion of his retiral in 1931 an enthusiastic gathering of pupils, members of the staff and of the public showed the esteem and goodwill in which he was held during his long residence in East Fife by presenting him with several handsome gifts.
Mr Lawson took a keen interest in public affairs and served on Anstruther Easter Town Council, Parish Council, and as a Murray Library Trustee. His regard and admiration for the fishermen found in the expression in the English Medal which he founded and which bears the inscription "English Medal in honour of the splendid services rendered to our Country and Allies during the Great War 1914 - 19 by the brave fishermen and seamen of the Waid Coast."
Mr Lawson became a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in 1897 and was a member of the first Mathematical Colloquium in 1913 , but it was only when he came to reside in Edinburgh in 1932 that he was able to take an active part in the work of the Society. He was elected President in 1937 and presided with much acceptance, at the meetings of the Colloquium held at St Andrews in 1938 .
Comrie/Walker Family Tree
My research starts during the reign of George I (Georg Ludwig) of Great Britain 1 August 1714- 11 June 1727, at the age of 54 George was the 1 st Monarch to reign from the House of Hanover. In 1701 the Act of Settlement was passed by parliament to prohibit Catholics from inheriting the British throne. When Queen Ann of Britain passed away George Ludwig was her closest Protestant relative. In 1715 there was uproar in Scotland and the Jacobites* tried to Supplant George with Ann’s Catholic half-brother James Stuart (the pretender) a rebellion known also as “the fifteen” but their efforts failed.
On the death of his father on 11 June 1727 George II succeeded to the throne until his death on 25 October 1760. George was the last British Monarch to be born outside of the British Isles. In 1745 Charles Edward Stuart James II’s Grandson also known “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and “ The Young Pretender ” led the most famous Jacobite rebellion on behalf of his father James Frances Edward Stuart former Prince of Wales.
September 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated the British troops however there was a lack of support from both the Scottish and British Jacobites. Although Charles had taken Carlisle the progressed as far as Swarkestone Bridge in Derbyshire the decision was made by his council to return to Scotland. King George II’s son Duke of Cumberland caught up with them at “the battle of Culloden” and defeated the Jacobites on 16 April 1746. Bonnie Prince Charlie fled Scotland and returned to France to live in Exile until his death on 31 January 1788. It was during this time the Murray’s are believed to have left Scotland from Perthshire.
On 25 October 1760 George III (George William Frederick) came to the throne he was King of Great Britain and Ireland until his death on 29 January 1820. He was the 3 rd Monarch from the House of Hanover and the first one to have been born in Great Britain, unlike his father and Grandfather his first language was English and although he was King of Hanover he had never once visited.
Upon George III’s death his throne was succeeded by his son George IV (George Augustus Frederick) on 29 January 1820 until his death on 26 June 1830. Due to his father’s illness George was announced and Prince Regent of Great Britain in 1811.
George IV younger brother William Henry became his successor William IV had a short reign of only 7 years from 26 June 1830 until 20 June 1837. Upon his death at the age of 71 William did not have any surviving legitimate Children to claim the throne, thus he was succeeded by his niece Victoria.
Queen Victoria (Alexandrian Victoria) is currently the longest reigning monarch of Great Britain and Ireland over 63 years and 216 days from 20 June 1837 to 22 January 1901. Victoria was succeeded by Edward VII (Albert Edward) of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha which was later renamed to the Current name of Windsor by his son King George V during the WW1.
The Industrial Revolution
During the 18 th and 19 th Century there were many major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport and technology throughout Great Britain and Europe. The Revolution was a major turning point in Human History, the average wage and population began to grow considerably and soon daily life was affected by the revolution and the overall standards of living increased.
By the mid-18 th century machines were being used in place of labour and animal based economy, particularly in the textile industry. Steam power was developed by the increase of refined coal, transportation and trade increased due to the introduction of canals and better quality roads and railways.
In 1698 Thomas Savery patented the first Crude steam engine, the development of steam engines continued throughout 1700’s. The first full scale working railway steam locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick and on 21 February 1804 the world's first railway journey took place near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.
Large scale mining was developed during the Industrial Revolution, many Coal, Lead and Iron Ore mines were opened up and down the British Isles. Coal provided the main source of primary energy for Industries and transportation. During the late 18th century the main techniques of underground coal mining were developed and further progress was made throughout the 19th century and early 20th century. Before the revolution small scale shaft mining, bell pits and drift mining were used, however during the 18 th Century coal was in huge demand so deep shaft mining was developed.
Detailed History of Clan Menzies
Claims, that the Menzies are descended from a mythical “Scottish” King Mainus of 33BC, have been made but may be dismissed as ill-founded. As with several old established Scots families, the Menzies were of Norman origin, descending from Robert de Maineriis of Mesnieres near Rouen in Normandy. Then settling in Etal, Northumberland in 1166. The name becoming variously Meyners, Maynoeurs and Manners. It seems probable that a branch of this family was granted lands in Scotland in the 12th Century and eventually became established in the Central Highlands. Variations of the name appear in early charters. The first recorded Menzies being Anketillus de Maynoers whose name is appended to a charter relating to a donation to the Abbey of Holyrood during the reign of William the Lion (d. 1214).
The earliest definitive ‘Chief’ was, however, Sir Robert de Meyneris (possibly the son of Anketillus) who was at the court of King Alexander III and became Chamberlain of Scotland in 1249. Sir Robert presumably received a grant of lands in West Atholl. The earliest existing Menzies document (c. 1240) refers to the confirmation of the lands of Culdares and Duneaves by him to Sir Mathew of Moncrieffe. The grant of lands to Sir Robert included 'the following' which added the element of clanship to the feudal relationship and the name in the Gaelic, Meinnearach.
Sir Robert’s Heir
Sir Alexander Menzies, son of Sir Robert, was granted the lands of Aberfeldy and Weem with patronage of the Church of Weem in c. 1266. In 1312-14, the family’s loyalty to Robert the Bruce against Edward I of England, was rewarded by grants of lands in the Highlands, Glendochart, Finlarig and Glenorchy. Also further lands in the Abthane of Dull, and in the Lowlands, Durisdeer in Nithsdale. In succeeding years the extent of the lands held by the Menzies' fluctuated with legalistic exchanges and marriage endowments. And overt usurpation, in the manner typical of territorial transactions of the feudal-clan system of the Highlands. Finally settling with the territories around Weem, the Appin of Dull and Rannoch. These lands remained in the possession of the Weem Menzies' until the death of Sir Neil Menzies, the last of the main line in 1910.
Ruins at Comrie Castle
The 'Place of Weem' was built in 1488
The first residence of the Menzies Chiefs at Weem, the 'Place of Weem', was built in 1488 by Sir Robert Menzies, the eighth Chief after the first Sir Robert. Before this, Comrie Castle was the family seat. The new house was to serve the family but for a short time. In 1502, the burning down of the house was the result of a dispute with a neighbour over the rights of the lands of Fortigall and Rannoch. Also lost were the early records of the origins of the Menzies. Restitution was ordered by the Monarch, James IV who erected the Menzies lands into the Barony of Menzies in 1510, the Chief being styled Menzies of Menzies (or Menzies of the Ilk) and the Castle, Castle Menzies.
1st Baronet of Nova Scotia
In 1665, Sir Alexander Menzies of Menzies was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia and this title continued to the 8th Baronet, Sir Neil who died without heir in 1910. After his death the Menzies’ estates were divided and auctioned by his Trustees. Also sold were the Castle and its contents including many Clan relics and the contents of the muniment room which were apparently bundled into lots, sold and dispersed. Tragically with them, four hundred years of documented history of the family and district. With the extinction of the main Menzies of Weem line, the Clan was therefore without a Chief. Until in 1957, the lineal heir of Colonel James Menzies of Culdares, a prominent Covenanting officer and cousin of the first Baronet, petitioned the Lyon Court. And so Ronald Steuart Menzies of Culdares and Arndilly obtained arms in the title of “The Menzies of Menzies”. His son, David Steuart Menzies of Menzies is now the present Chief.
The loyalty with which the Clan had supported Robert the Bruce was extended to the subsequent Stewart dynasty, to which the Menzies' of Weem became associated through the marriage of Sir Alexander de Meyners (1235-1320) to Gilles (Egidia) Stewart, daughter of James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland. And that of James Menzies of Menzies in 1540 to Barbara Stewart, daughter of the third Earl of Atholl and second cousin to Lord Darnley. The Menzies Chiefs embraced the reformed religion but, nevertheless, supported the early attempt to restore the Monarchy during the Commonwealth. Loyalties to the Royal House of Stuart and to the Establishment were later to become divided however, and Captain Robert Menzies, elder son of the first Baronet sided with the Government forces under General Mackay at the Battle of Killiecrankie (1689). Whilst other Menzies', principally those of Pitfoddels, who adhered to Roman Catholicism, fought on the opposing Jacobite side under Viscount Dundee.
When the “Old Pretender, the Chevalier St. George" made a bid for the throne of Scotland in 1715, the Menzies' of Culdares, Bolfracks and Shian were among the clans who rallied to the call. The then Chief, Sir Robert Menzies of Menzies, was but nine years old and was represented by his great-uncle Captain James Menzies of Comrie as his regent (and tutor), who considered it prudent not to commit his ward to the enterprise. Captain James, the second son of the 1st Baronet, had fought at Killiecrankie with his brother on the Governments side and became Captain of the Clan so long as the Chief remained a minor. In the 1745 rising, Sir Robert adopted a neutral position and took no active part, but the Clan was “out” under Menzies of Shian who subsequently paid dearly with his life for the cause. The Chief, nevertheless gave to Prince Charles the hospitality of his house for two days during the ill-fated retreat from Stirling to Inverness in 1746 which ended in the tragedy of Culloden.
Scotland is indebted to the Menzies for the introduction of the larch tree which now flourishes all over the Highlands. Menzies of Culdares, “Old Culdares” who had been pardoned for his participation in the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion, brought the first larches from the Austrian Tyrol in 1737 and presented them to the Duke of Atholl. Two of the original saplings, now grown to a great size, can be seen besides Dunkeld Cathedral. In the nineteenth century Sir Neil Menzies of Menzies, 6th Baronet, actively promoted tree planting and agricultural improvements which were continued by his son Sir Robert. Another branch of the family, Pitfoddels, now also extinct in the male line, has left as a memorial the Catholic College of Blairs in the Dee Valley, founded by the last representative of the line.
The name of the village intrigues many. Some say it is from the Gaelic 'foglhais' , meaning sub-stream. Certainly the church is situated on rising ground by the Fowlis Burn which rises from a spring, the Jeely Well, just north of the village and flowing round the east end of the churchyard.
Another explanation may be found in the three small pointed leaves carved at the top of the old church archway. The legend is that three brothers came from France and settled in Scotland, one at Fowlis Wester, another at Fowlis Easter near Dundee and the third at Fowlis in Ross-shire. So 'Fowlis' is said to be a corruption of the French 'feuilles'.
Copied from a crayon drawing of unknown age by kind permission of the Comrie family
FOWLIS THROUGH THE AGES
Farming communities have been working this land from earliest times. Standing Stones are seen around Fowlis Wester and throughout Strathearn. The most famous Bronze Age site is on the moor above the village. There is a large standing stone and a partially destroyed stone circle. Between them there is a kerb cairn of an unusual type. On the druidical festival of Hallowes Eve it was customary to kindle a large bonfire called Samhin or the Fire of Peace - a custom which has been repeated in recent times. Settlement forts, really well defended farmsteads, represent the Iron Age. There is one at Milquhanzie Hill and one buried near the Cultoquhey Hotel. For a brief three years Fowlis Wester was included within the area garrisoned by the Roman army. The Governor, Agricola, established a chain of forts to guard the mouths of the Highland glens. One of these forts was at Fendoch, about four miles north-west of the village, to guard the south end of the Sma' Glen. Little can now be seen but past excavation and aerial photography have revealed the outline of these military installations.
The first mention of the Picts is in AD297, the name meaning the 'Painted People'. Fowlis is fortunate in having two magnificent examples of Pictish carving. The Cross, previously in the Village Square, dates to the 8th or 9th Century. To preserve it the women used to wash it every year with boiled oil but it nevertheless became badly weathered. To protect it it was moved into the Church in 1992. The second cross in the Church was found buried in one of the walls when the church was renovated in 1927. The Picts were overtaken by the Scots paving the way for Malcolm Canmore to become the first King of Scotland.
Fairs were anciently sanctioned by the Church and derived their name from some saint. Fowlis Wester held its St Beanus Fair on 26th October. A 'Fee-ing Market' (Hiring), famous throughout Perthshire was also held by the farm owners every year.
The area was well known for its cattle trysts and Fowlis Wester had its own though Crieff was larger and the 'Drovers Tryst' is still held every year - without the cattle! Imagine the scene of Highland drovers, not noted for their manners, mounted on small shaggy ponies bringing approximately thirty thousand cattle in different herds from all over Scotland, meeting up near Fowlis and overspreading the adjacent country for miles around. The Earl of Perth was entitled to grazing dues of twopence per beast. When English dealers wanted a market further South Falkirk took the ascendancy. Perhaps there is regret that cattle dealers drovers, auctioneers, gamblers, bankers, ballad singers and beggars have long since left the scene and there is no clamour now.
The demise of the tryst was followed the growth of a thriving weaving industry. Traditionally it was the farmer's wife who would have spun the wool from the sheep and followed through by weaving a rough cloth to be turned into garments for her family. In 1686 an Act of Parliament stipulated that everyone had to be buried in linen 'winding sheets' made from materials which had been grown, spun and woven in Scotland. By 1838 the country boasted eighty five thousand looms. Fowlis Wester grew the blue flax it needed in the local fields, retted the stems in its ponds and wove it on many village looms. The 'mort cloth' (which covered the coffin) produced in Fowlis Wester was of a very high quality. To quote from ‘Preacher Pastor Poet’ written by the Revd Thomas Hardy, minister of Fowlis Wester from 1852 to 1910 - " From almost every house in the little village that nestles round our old kirk here, and in many a now vanished hamlet not far away, the music of the shuttle with its busy rapid click could be heard from early morn on to late, late night as in skilled and practised hands the shuttle did its faithful work by its each swift passage to and fro."
Taysiders ‘horrified’ as communities face up to ‘shameful’ slave trade past
Tayside’s historic links to the slave trade are coming under fresh scrutiny as the Black Lives Matter protests continue to reverberate around the country.
Statue of radical politician and slave owner George Kinloch in Dundee’s Albert Square and the Melville Monument to Henry Dundas on Dunmore Hill overlooking Comrie in Perthshire have been placed on anti-racist protestors’ online hit list.
Dundee councillors have also highlighted concerns about three city streets named after Dr Walter Tullideph, who owned slaves and ran plantations on the Caribbean island Antigua in the 18th century.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said he was “surprised and horrified” to learn of the city’s links with the trade and has ordered a review of the dedication on the Kinloch statue.
“It’s important that people’s voices are heard in the current discussion and I know that there are a huge variety of opinions on what actions should and shouldn’t be taken,” he added.
“It’s also important for all of us to educate ourselves and in light of recent events.”
Councillors in the city have been urged to stop using “slave traders’ language” in council chambers including the phrase “nitty gritty”, which is thought by some to have racist origins.
Labour councillor Georgia Cruickshank said: “Being a woman of colour, I know only too well what racism feels likes and to be discriminated against because of the colour of your skin.
“We must educate our children about black history. We must not glorify the slave traders who built their empires off the back of black people.
“We must embrace diversity, teach tolerance and understanding of black and ethnic minority lives and stop using slave traders language such as ‘nitty gritty’ in our council chambers.”
Protesters illegally tore down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday after the killing of black man George Floyd in the US sparked international protests.
In Dundee vandals daubed a mural of Mr Floyd with a white supremacy symbol before campaigners repainted it with an anti-fascist message.
The Kinloch and Dundas monuments have been listed on the Topple the Racists campaign website – “a crowdsourced map of UK statues and monuments that celebrate slavery and racism”.
Dundee was not a slave trading port but historical figures linked with the city either built or developed their wealth through industries reliant upon the ownership and abuse of slaves.
Both George Kinloch and Dr Walter Tullideph are listed as slave owners on university UCL’s Legacies of British Slave-ownership database.
Henry Dundas’ work to delay the abolition of slavery cost thousands of lives, leading to calls for statues to the former home secretary across Scotland to be taken down and streets renamed.
George Kinloch, who later became a Dundee MP and was a noted parliamentary reformer supporting the extension of the vote to more working people, has enjoyed a largely positive legacy.© PA
Dundee Labour councillor Richard McCready called for a wider discussion on how slave ownership should be best recognised and remembered in the city.
He said: “The various streets in my ward called are named after Dr Walter Tullideph. There should be, at the very least, some way of commemorating the slaves who created the wealth that allowed Dr Tullideph to buy estates in Scotland, which led to streets being named after him.
“We should have a debate and listen to the voice of black people in the city.”
Council equalities spokeswoman and SNP councillor Lynne Short said she supported calls for greater dialogue on the issue.
She said she had not been aware of the links between the Tullideph name and slave ownership, or those involving political reformer George Kinloch.
“It brings home, historically, how much black lives didn’t matter. He was a radical supporter of the rights of the people of the city but he didn’t make the comparison between the two.
“Black lives matter. End of story.”© DC Thomson