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Old Statistical Account


[Transcribed from the original by David Courtney McClure.]

[Vol. IX, pages 533–549]

(County of Ayr, Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, Presbytery of Irvine.)

By the Rev. Mr Thomas Brisbane.

Name, Extent, Rivulets, &c

Nothing is seemingly more arbitrary and capricious than the names of places, and nothing is for that reason perhaps less attended to and understood; owing, as we suppose, their origin to mere fancy or arbitrary will, we think them unworthy of a serious investigation; and that every attempt to account for them, is but a confirmation of what we suppose.  On the other extreme, is the opinion of those who allow, indeed, that they may be traced, and their meaning ascertained, but that in order to this, ancient times must be consulted, and ancient tales be believed.  Whatever, therefore, comes stamped with this authority, and has any relation, though but in sound to the name, is admitted as a matter of importance, and sufficient to settle every inquiry of this kind.  To such persons the [534] marvellous and improbable are so far from being objections, that they rather appear to be natural for the times that gave them birth, and necessary to give dignity and permanency to what they were intended to express.  It is for this reason, that the names of places have been explained in the most fanciful manner, and circumstances adduced in the explication of them, that exceed every degree of probability, and are evidently false.  The name before us, as accounted for by some, is one of these.  According to them, there was among the Danes who infested this country, a man of extraordinary strength and stature, and that upon a time, to show I suppose his extraordinary folly, he made a remarkable leap from a hill in the neighbourhood of the place where the church now stands, and to this incident the hill itself and the parish are indebted for their name.  But without examining into the merits of this story, or regretting that it had not been more circumstantially told, we need only observe, that the name is with much more probability derived from an old and respectable family in the parish, or from its hilly appearance Dun–lop or Dun–luib, signifying, in Gaelic, “a winding or circuitous hill;” and were we to credit the tradition, that the house of Dunlop stood originally on the top of Dunlop–hill, we might be led from this circumstance, and the appearance of the ground about it, to suppose, that it might be called, in the language of the times, the house on, or the house of the winding hill, and that the family itself might afterward assume that name, and give it to the parish.  The parish is of an oblong figure, being about 7 English miles long, and 2½ [fraction incomplete?] broad.  It is bounded by the parishes of Neilston, Stewartoun, and Beith.  From the first of these it is separated in front by a small burn or brook on the E, from the second in the same manner on the S, and from the last by the Lugton on the N.  This has its source in the parish of [535] Neilston, is well stored with fish, especially trout, and is at present only worthy of notice for the extent of country through which it passes, and the winding course which it takes in its progress to Garnock, which it turns in the neighbourhood of Kilwinning.  There are no rivers, and but 2 burns in the parish, one of which is considerable enough to afford a sufficient supply of water during the winter, and in wet seasons, to the mills which are erected on it, and is said to contain the charhe or chare, a species of trout of the finest quality.


By means of the roads which intersect it in different places, there is an easy access to every part of the parish, and likewise to the country and town around it.  In consequence of this, the people have frequent and friendly intercourse with one another, know the value of every think they have to sell, and can bring it to the best market.  To the same cause, perhaps, may be ascribed that polish and urbanity which they have in common with their neighbours, and that fondness for dress which is so observable on public occasions.

Surface, Soil, and Produce

The parish of Dunlop may be said to stand upon high ground, and to consist of a great variety of hills.  None of these, however, are remarkable for their height, but many of them for the beautiful and extensive prospects which they give, and all of them for the rich grass which they produce, arising from an elevated base, which occupies great part of the parish.  The ground, though hilly, is of easy access, and well adapted to the purposes of pasture and agriculture.  For the same reason, it abounds in springs of excellent water; and being moreover within a few miles of the sea, it is blessed with a pure and healthful air.  In consequence of this, the people and subject [536] to few diseases, and generally live to a good old age.  In the western parts of the parish, the soil is either light or of a thin clay, and towards the E the prevailing soil is deep and heavy, with a cold wet bottom.  And this, it is probable, has given rise to a practice unknown in other parts of the country, and which strangers are apt to consider as foolish and unaccountable.  The custom is, to plough with 4 horses and 3 men; 2 of the men are employed in the usual way; but the third, with a long pole fixed to the beam of the plough, directs the beam, and assists the ploughman.  By this mode, of an ancient date among them, they imagine they do more and better work in the same time, than could be done by any other method.  But whether the advantages of this, supposing them to be real, will overbalance the expense of an additional horse and servant, is certainly a question of some importance, especially to those who have nothing but custom to justify their continuance of it.  In a place like this, where the farms are small, and where the ploughing is carried on by two neighbours jointly, this expense is indeed not so readily perceived; yet still it must be for their interest to perceive it, and for their credit, as proper farmers, to retrench it.  From what has been said concerning the difference of soil, it is easy to see that there will be a difference also in what it produces.  The crops accordingly, which are usually oats, are better and more productive in the first and second, than they are in the third division of soil; those of the former yielding from 17 to 19, and those of the latter but from 12 to 15 pecks of meal the boll.  The average rate, however, of meal the boll, for the whole parish, will not exceed 14 pecks, though the boll here contains a bushel more than it does in most other counties in Scotland.  And what may appear a little strange for a parish not of great [537] extent, the harvest is concluded some seasons five [1] sooner in the western than it is in the eastern extremity of it.  But the principal produce, or manufacture, as it may be called, of the parish, is cheese.  For this it has been long known and distinguished, insomuch that all the cheese made in the country about it, when carried to Paisley, Glasgow, or farther, goes by the name of Dunlop cheese, and finds a better market on that account.  Nor is this preference to be ascribed altogether to prejudice; for it is certainly as good as ever it was, and equal, if not superior, to what is made any where else.  The practice of making sweet–milk cheese, as it is called, was first introduced into this parish by one Barbara Gilmour, whose grandson is still living, and is proprietor of the same farm.  Having gone to Ireland, to avoid the hardships which people were then exposed to on account of religion, she is said to have brought it with her when she returned about the time of the Revolution.  Since that period, cheese has been the great and almost the only business of Dunlop.  Sensible that their situation was more favourable for this than for any other purpose, the people bestowed upon it the greatest care, and turned it to the best advantage.  They have inclosed their ground, have but a third or fourth of it in tillage, and the rest in grass, which is always a plentiful crop, and of the finest quality.  They are very attentive both to the colour and shape of their cows, which are rather small than otherwise, and commonly of their own raising.  And as these feed in inclosures, free from the restraints of herding, and are not brought into houses during the night, from the beginning of May to the end of harvest, the quantity of milk which they give is very great.  I am sorry that under this article I cannot give the reader all the information I could wish, either as [538] to the number of cows that is kept, or the quantity of cheese that is made in the parish.  The people were alarmed when questioned about these things, and alleging that this was valuing their farms, they refused to give me any satisfaction on this head; only from what I could collect, so far as I went with this view, I should suppose that there may be about 758 cows, and about 10,612 stones of cheese made in it annually, which is equal to £3714 4s at 7s a stone, the market price at present.  And to this they are well entitled, both on account of the quantity and quality of their cheese.  For as this is the produce of the richest pasture, and the best cows, so nothing can exceed their integrity and cleanliness in manufacturing it.  Like that made in some of the counties of England, it appears to great disadvantage when new, but improves by age and proper keeping.  The valued rent of the parish is £4115 17s 6d Scots.  The real rent upwards of £3000 Sterling. [2]



According to Dr Webster's report, the number of souls then was 796.  At the conclusion of the year 1791, the population of the parish, and the division of its inhabitants, were according to the following table:

Population 50 years age


Population in the year 1791


Average of marriages, for 12 years, as above computed


Average of births, for 12 years, as above computed


Average of deaths, for 12 years, as above computed


Inhabitants in the village


Inhabitants in the country


Number of males


Number of females


Number of persons under 10 years of age


Number of persons between 10 and 20


Number of persons between 20 and 50


Number of persons  between 50 and 70


Number of persons between 70 and 100


[540] Number of families


Number of married persons


Number of Seceders


Number of proprietors residing


Number of proprietors non–residing


Number of tenants


Number of male–servants


Number of female–servants


Number of masons


Number of weavers


Number of carpenters or wrights


Number of smiths


Number of shoemakers


Number of tailors


Number of labourers


Number of innkeepers


Number of poor


Capital of their stock, about


Annual income, about


Number of churches


Number of clergyman


Number of schools


Number of schoolmaster

1 [3]



Language, Customs and Character

With regard to the people in general, and those things which mark and distinguish them, it may be observed, that they retain nothing [542] of the language which was originally spoken in the country, except the names of some places, which are evidently Gaelic, such as Knockmead, Duniflat, &c.  Breckenhaugh, (which is a Scotch word), is the name of one of the finest natural objects that is to be met with in this part of the country; for walking upon level ground, which seems to be of considerable extent in all directions, we come, without expecting it, to the top of the hill, where we are struck [543] with the greatness of the height, and the grandeur of the valley below.  In this situation, we feel every thing which the magnificent can inspire, not without a wish to retire from it will all convenient speed.  The language which they speak is a mixture of Scotch and English, and has no other singularity, but the slow drawling manner in which it is spoken, and that they uniformly pronounce sow, sai–w, and mow, mai–w.  The only custom which they may be said to retain is that of having great and expensive burials.  It is no unusual thing when a wealthy person dies, to invite two or three parishes to attend his funeral; and they are limited to no particular hour, great part of the day is taken up in coming to it, and waiting on it.  But the loss of labour, and the loss of time, are not the only evils that follow it; it becomes oppressive to those who cannot afford the expense, but who, from vanity or pride, must continue the custom.  Many things have been objects of taxation, and were this as universal as it is unnecessary, it would be wise and merciful in the Legislature not to exempt it.  In describing their character, it may be justly said, that they are of the principles of the Church of Scotland, and that there have the happiest influence on their civil and religious conduct.  Warmly attached to the constitution in Church and State, they are zealously affected for the interests of both, and are almost as rarely seen to separate from the church as they are heard to be disloyal to their King.  Nor are they less exemplary in the other duties of their station; so that it but seldom happens, that any of them are addicted to the common vices of the age; and there are but few of them who cannot show, that the hand of the diligent maketh rich.  Among a people of this complexion, taverns cannot be numerous, nor be attended with bad effects; for few will be inclined to keep them, where little business and little profit are to [544] be expected.  There would accordingly be still fewer than the present number in the parish, were it not for the public roads, which are frequented by strangers, and from whom chiefly they derive their encouragement, small as it is.

Ecclesiastical State, Stipend, School, &c

The next article in order is the church, under which it may be proper to give some account of it in ancient and modern times.  Dunlop was one of the many parishes that had been appropriated to the monastery of Kilwinning, and of which that monastery became the beneficiary or titular.  This is evident from a transaction between the Commendator and Kilwinning and Cuninghame of Arket [sic – but check], in the year 1581, whereby the former gives in tack to the latter the whole tiends, parsonage and vicarage, of the parish of Dunlop, for a certain number of years, and with the exception of certain lands therein specified.  At an early period, therefore, and as soon perhaps as it was designed a parish, it may be supposed, that it would have a parish–church, and that the church may have stood at first at a place which is called the Temple–house to this day.  But when it was built, and how long it continued there, cannot be known, as there is no vestige of it remaining, and as the tradition concerning it is almost gone.  The next place where we find it, although equally uncertain of the time of its erection, is in a situation which was happily chosen for the purposes of duration in those days, standing at the bottom of a rock, extending itself in the form of a breast–work, and under the gloom of the trees and brushwood with which it would be covered.  It possessed every thing that was requisite to inspire the worshippers with reverence, and to promote the severity of their acts of mortification, which the nature of their sin, or the pleasure of their priest, might enjoin; but whether it was customary in these cases, to repair to a [545] large detached stone in the field above, and there to perform part of them, is somewhat doubtful.  The stone has been called, time immemorial, Thugirtstane, for the reason just now hinted, say the people, but more probably for its being found by itself, Thugirtstane being a corruption or an abbreviation of The girt or great stone.  Hard by the church was a spring, which still continues, and from which issues a stream of the finest water, and in such abundance as to fill a bore of 2 inches diameter.  It is styled in all the old writings, which mention it, the Chaplainry of the blessed Virgin Mary, which shows, that it was dedicated to her; and that the stepping stones in the burn, over which the people passed in their way thither, were called the Lady's Steps, for the same reason; which name the place still retains, although there be now a bridge at it.  From what remains of it, it appears to have been a small house, but large enough, it may be presumed, to accommodate the inhabitants, which, probably it did till the Reformation, when it was either deserted or destroyed.  In a different and more elevated situation, stands the present church; but having been rebuilt about 27 years ago, the date of its first foundation, if there was one, has not been preserved.  It is pretty certain, however, from an inscription on the gravestone of Mr Hamilton, who died in the year 1608, and who is said to have served the cure here 45 years, that it was built at the Reformation, or soon after it. [4]   The [546] Stipend, including what is allowed for communion elements, is communibus annis, about £92 1s 4d Sterling.  The school–house, which is a good substantial building, consists of 2 floors, one of which is employed by the school, and the other by the schoolmaster's family.  It was one of [547] the best houses of the kind till of late, when some have been built in the neighbouring parishes on a larger scale, and in better situations.  This is a circumstance that reflects [548] the highest honour on the gentleman concerned, and promises to be of extensive utility, by exciting others to follow their example. [5]


[1]           Perhaps the word omitted by the author is “weeks”.  [Original footnote.]

[2]           It might be expected, in a country like this, which is all inclosed, that there would be a good deal of plantation, or at least that hedge–rows would be frequent and in a thriving condition.  The truth is, though trees be necessary both in point of utility and ornament, and though nature points with an high hand as it were to many places where these should be; yet they are only to be found in small numbers, where an house stands, or where one has stood.  This general observation, however, admits of two exceptions.  Mr Dunlop of Dunlop has planted some thousands of trees of different kinds within these few years; and from his good taste and great attention, there is every reason to expect that he will proceed on a larger scale.  The late Mr Muir of Caldwell was a man of the finest taste, and in nothing perhaps did his superiority in that more appear, than in the manner in which he has laid off his ground, and placed his different plantations.  These, skirting and intersecting his several farms, add both to their beauty and value; and afford a pleasant proof, how much the face of a country, naturally bleak and unpropitious, may be changed and improved.  But an example of this kind was not likely to be followed by those whose properties are but small, and whose study is economy, residing the greater part of them on their own farms, and depending in a great measure on what they produce, [539] they consider every spot they possess as of immediate use, and useful only as it bears a crop, or feeds a cow.  Plans, therefore, of distant prospect, and of future advantage, but which must be attended with present expense, are seldom thought of, and never adopted.  Under these circumstances, it is not to be wondered at, if the parish is, with respect to trees, what it was in the days of their fathers, very naked and bare; indeed, after what has been said, the reader will be surprised when he is told, that in no parish of the same limits, and inhabited by so plain and frugal a people, will he find a greater number of good substantial houses.  Many of these are slated, and finished in a style that shows what might be done in other things, was there the same inducement.  Those above us in rank or riches, may call forth our esteem or admiration; but those in equal station with ourselves call forth our emulation, and these active principles by which we are urged from one thing to another, and always farther than we would otherwise go, merely that we may preserve our equality, and our wonted distinction from those beneath us; and when we attribute one part of their improvement to this, it is natural to hope, that some time or other the same principle will operated as powerfully towards their improvement in other respects; and that the nakedness of the land will no longer stare every stranger in the face.

[3]           With regard to the population of the parish 50 [check first digit], it is a little uncertain, whether the number therein stated comprehended every individual, or those only who were of age to be examined.  If the latter only, the number of the people would be much the same then with what it is at present; but it is more probable that the first was the case, as the division of property has been frequent, and the number of proprietors considerabley increased since that time.  With respect to the list of persons between 70 and 100, it may be observed, that 17 of these were from 70 to 80, and 8 of them from that to 100; 2 of these are since dead, 1 of them aged 85, and the other 92.  The most remarkable instances of [541] longevity of late years, were James Anderson, who died at the advanced age of 100, and John Andrew, so old as 102, according to the report of his family.  As to proprietors and tenants, it may be noticed, that there are but few of the former whose properties are extensive, and of the latter whose farms are large; and as the greater part of each of these is in grass, the labour of the female becomes more necessary than that of the male servant to manage them.  And this accounts for the disproportion that is between them.  The number of both however is diminished during the winter, both because they are less necessary, and because their wages are very high.  The men get from £4 to £^, and the women from £2 to £2 10s for the half–year.  From which it is obvious to remark, that labour is very expensive here.  The wages of an ordinary labourer are from 1s 4d to 1s 6d a day, from the beginning of February to the end of November, and in time of harvest they are still higher, as then he gets the same wages and his provisions also.  How to account for this it must be considered, that there are but few of this class, and that these few live within two hours walk of the great works in a neighbouring parish, where they can find employment al all times and on their own terms.  Having a situation so inviting always before them, and circumstances of advantage, which it is not their interest to neglect, so easily in their power, it is natural for them to avail themselves of them, which they accordingly never fail to do; so that it is impossible to say what the price of labour, and where labourers may be found in a few years in this part of the country.  From what I have said, it will be easily inferred, that there are none of these works within the bounds of this charge; and considering its distances from coal and fuel of every kind, and its deficiency in water to answer these purposes, it is more than probable that none of them ever will be in it.  Nor is this a matter of any regret to me, how much soever I may suffer with others, from the causes which prevent them.  For although I rejoice in the prosperity of my country, and in every thing that tends to the improvement and happiness of mankind, yet in the case alluded to, there is reason, I apprehend, to rejoice with trembling.  Works that depend so much on the labour of the young, and that must necessarily crowd so many of them together, must be hurtful to their health, and holding out an early and strong temptation to indigent and negligent parents to part with their children, at a time when they should be attending to that education which [542] is necessary to form their minds, and secure their usefulness, they must be eventually at least hurtful to their manners; not to mention, that by collecting so many people of all descriptions into one place, they may materially affect, if not exhaust the funds of the poor.  But it is not my intention to reflect upon works, in which human ingenuity seems to be carried almost as far as it can go, and in which persons of the first character and greatest respectability are concerned.  And therefore I remark, that as to what relates to the poor, those stated in the table are not the only persons who receive from the funds.  There are besides these, several others whom it is found necessary to assist from time to time, but who are not entered on the poors list, because they are able to do something for themselves, and that they may be the more industrious.  The capital of their fund commenced about 60 years ago in the time of Mr Rouat.  He was what is called a popular preacher, and popular with this perculiarity, that he was equally esteemed by the great and the common people; and being well attended every Sabbath by both, the collections were such as to enable the session or vestry, to raise a little, as a stock, which has been increasing ever since, and is now pretty considerable.  The interest arising from this and the contributions at the church door on Sundays form the annual income, which is appropriated to the exigencies of the poor, and is usually more than sufficient to answer their demands and to put them above the necessity of begging.  Begging, however, is daily practised by those who come from other places.  Restrained from following this at home, and knowing how ready the people here are to listen to them, and relieve them, they pour in upon them from every quarter, and importune them every hour.  But that cannot be charity which distributes with an indiscriminating hand.  Charity thinketh no evil, but charity must think the truth; and while it does, it must as infallibly lead us to discountenance begging, as it will lead us to be merciful, and full of compassion to the poor.

[4]           Having mentioned Mr Hamilton, I am naturally led to take notice of the tomb in which he and his wife are buried.  It is built of hewed stone, and covered with a stone roof on the inside; it is arched and plastered, and bears evident marks of having been painted and ornamented.  In the floor, on a flat stone, is the following circumscription.  “Heir lyis Hanis Hamiltoune Vicar of Dunlope, quha deceisit Ye 30 of Maii 1608, Ye aige of 72 zeirs [indistinct?], and of Jamet Denhame his spous.”  At the east end, under a marble arch, with two marble pillars of the Composite order in [546] front, are two statues kneeling on a marble monument, in the attitude of devotion, and habited according to the fashion of the times.  On the wall beyond them, which is also marble, are these lines in capital letters.  “Here lye the bodies of Hanis Hamilton sonne of Archibald Hamilton of Raploch, servant to King James the Fift, and of Janet Denham his wife, daughter of James Denham, Laird of Westshielde.  They lived maryid together 45 yeeres, during which tyme the said Hamis served the cure at this church.  They were much beloved of all that knew them, and especially of the parishioners.  They had six sonnes, James, Archibald, Gavin, John, William and Patrick, and one daughter Jeane, maryed to William Muire of Glanderstoune.

             [left] Rom 8 Ch. ver. 18.  The afflictions of this life are not worthy of the glory which shall be shewed unto us.

             [centre]  The dust of time lyis in this artful frame,/ Whose birth them honored from an honored Name,/ A painful Pastor and his spotles Wife,/ Whose devout Statues emblime here there Life,/ Blest with the height of favors from Above./ Blood, Grace ablest Memoriall all mens Love,/ A fruitful ofspring on who the Lord hath Fixt,/ Fortune with virtue and with honor Mint,/ Then live these Dead above in endles Joyes,/ Here in their Seid and Nobel Cland'eboyes./ In whom (Graunt soe O Heavens) their honor'd Name,/ May never die but in the death of Fame.

             [right]  Prov. 31 Ch. ver 10 & 30.  The price of a virtuous woman is far above pearles.  A woman that fears [indistinct?] the Lord, shall be praised.

             Round the verge of the arch is this passage from Daniel, Dan. 12 Ch. ver. 3.  “They that turn many to rightiousnes shal shene [indistinct?] as the stars for ever and ever.”  Above this is a fine representation of a curtain parting in the middle, and held aside by a hand on each corner, as if to show them at their prayers.  And over the door, on a marble stone, is this inscription, now scarcely legible.  “Come Lord Jesus, Come.”

             16  ICLV  41

             As the figures point to the time when the tomb was built, so the initial [547] letters were intended I imagine to represent, that it was built by James Lord Viscount Clandeboyes; for so Mr hamilton's eldest son is designed in an inscription on the school house, as we shall show in its proper place.  It is upon the whole a piece of workmanship, and a tribute to the memory of worthy parents, which must have been very expensive to their pious son.  But through length of time, and great neglect, it has been much injured, and as there are none who think themselves immediately concerned to keep it in repair, it will soon become ruinous.  For none will impute to the present age, what was said of the Pharisees, that they “build the tombs of the prophets and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous.”  I am not in possession of further information about Mr Hamilton's family, and therefore shall only add, that it is not a little for the credit of Dunlop, that besides those who may be said to belong to it, it has given birth to persons of such eminence and distinction as they certainly were.  Mr Hamis Hamilton was great grandfather to Mr William Carstairs, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and to Mr William Dunlop, Principal of the University of Glasgow, and Historiographer for Scotland.  In Crawford's History of Renfrewshire, published in 1710, Mr Hamilton's eldest son James, is styled Earl of Clanbrysal in the kingdom of Ireland; but whether Hamilton, the present Earl of Clanbrysal, be a descendent of his, I know not.  From that period little is known of the ministers of this parish, till the Revolution, when Mr Gabriel Cuninghame was appointed to the charge.  He had been one of the indulged ministers, was a man of considerable abilities, and greatly respected by the people.  To him succeeded Mr Jamieson, in whom simplicity and godly sincerity were very conspicuous, and who therefore had, what he was well entitled to, the love and affection of his flock.  When dying, he left his two sons, who were then only boys, to the care of one Anderson of Craighead, a plain countryman, who undertook the charge, and executed it with great fidelity.  The one he bred a merchant, and the other a clergyman, without impairing in the least the little patrimony which was left them.  Mr William Jamieson, the clergyman, was minister of Rarick, and author of an Essay on Virtue and Happiness, which may be considered as an ingenious attempt to reconcile what is irreconcilable, the different accounts of moral obligation.  After Mr Jamieson was Mr [348] Rouat, of whom mention has been made already, and concerning whom there are these two anecdotes.  The church–officer complaining one day to the servant, that Mr Rouat was too much with the Gentles [sic], was replied to, that her master had scripture for that; for, says the apostle, “Lo we turn to the Gentles.”  He was convinced and relieved, and perfectly pleased with the gentles.  When the sacrament was to be given for the first time by the gentleman who was then minister, Miss Dunlop, afterwards Lady Wallace, came to church rather early, and expressed to an old servant her satisfaction at seeing the house so decently filled.  Madan said the old man, this is nothing to what I have seen in Mr Rouat's time, I have heard the boogers cracking at 6 o'clock o' the morning!  The boogers cracking, What do you mean James, said miss Dunlop?  Yes madam, continued James, I have seen the folk in his time sitting on the balks of the kirk like bykes o' bees.”  These stories, trifling and ridiculous enough in themselves, show the spirit of the times, and that it was possible in those days, at least for the same person to be a gentleman, a scholar and a popular preacher.  Mr Rouat was afterwards translated to Jedburgh, where he lived but a short time.  His son was sometime Professor of Church History in the college of Glasgow, and died within these few years in the possession of all that esteem which was due to the worthy son of a worthy father,  Mr Baird succeeded Mr Rouat as minister of Dunlop and was, if inferior to his predecessor in popularity, his equal in presence of mind, prompt expression, and pleasant manners.  He was moreover, like his too, a warm and persuasive preacher, a sincere Christian, and an honest man.  Those that follow are still living.

[5]           The school–house is of the same age with the tomb, and was built by the same person, as will appear from the following inscription, above referred to:

             1641.  “This school is erected and endowed by James Viscount Claneboyes in love to his parish, in which his Father, Hans Hamilton, was pastor 45 years, in King James the sixt his raigne.”  ICLV.

             It is unfortunate for the schoolmaster, and indeed for education in the parish, that we know nothing more of that transaction, and it would [549] certainly be generous in those who may have the means of being acquainted with it, to disclose it, that the intentions of the Nobel Donor might be answered, and the circumstances of the teacher bettered.  For at present he derives no other advantage from that endowment than the house he lives in; and his place, including every thing belonging to it, does not amount to £19 a year.  Why then should we complain of the want of learning in our teachers, or be surprised if their successors are not half so learned.  In most country parishes the number of scholars is very precarious, and the school wages exceedingly small, as small in many of them as they were 20 years ago; in which case, what is to be expected, but that either the teacher is himself untaught, or that he is dispirited in teaching, and in a perpetual struggle for a better place.  By which means he neglects his present trust, and offends his present employers.  It would be wrong indeed to make them independent of their office, but it would be as far wrong to starve them in it.  Let them have what is proper to call forth their exertions, and to reward their abilities, and then we shall see the profession as respectable as it is usefu





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