PARISH OF STRATHBLANE.
PRESBYTERY OF DUMBARTON, SYNOD OF GLASGOW AND AYR.
THE REV. H. BUCHANAN, MINISTER.
I.- TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL HISTORY.
Name.-From time immemorial, the name of this parish has been the same. It is derived from the Blane, a small stream which rises in the north-east extremity of the parish, and, after running southwards for more than three miles turns to the west, and flows onwards, for more than four miles, towards the north-west. It is generally agreed, that Blane signifies " the warm river." The strath of the warm river is peculiarly descriptive of the valley, which is sheltered, in almost every direction, from the violence of the winds.
Extent.-The average length of the parish is rather more than five miles. The breadth is about four. The surface comprises about 20 square miles and its figure approaches the form of an oblong square.
Boundaries-The parish lies in the south-west corner of Stirlingshire; and is bounded on the east, by the parish of Campsie; on the south, by Baldernock and East Kirpatrick; and on the west and north; by Killearn.
The Strathblane hills, forming a branch of what were formerly denominated the Lennox hills, stretch along the whole of the northern boundary of the parish. The Earl's Seat, the highest point, is 1400 feet above the level or the sea. The approach to the strath from the south is uncommonly romantic and enchanting. After proceeding for three miles along a road over rising-ground, where rocks and heath confine the labours of the husbandman, and seem to form the boundary of cultivation, the valley unexpectedly bursts upon the view of the traveller, and continues to unfold its beauties as he advances. The grassy hills with their varied glens, streams, and acclivities, rise before him to the elevation of 1300 or 1400 feet. On the west, the conical hill of Dungolach, 400 feet high, clothed with wood to the summit, contrasts nobly with the bare and desolate hill of Dunglass, 400 feet in height, which terminates the valley on the east. The sequestered seats of the gentry embosomed with wood; the comfortable homesteads of the farmers, with the neat cottages of the artisans; the lofty sheep-walks; the undulating surface of the valley, under its varied crops or agricultural processes; the roots of the mountains, in some places, sloping on to the bariks of the Blane, and, in others, retiring to a distance; with a profusion of wood of every age and size,-give an idea of the magnificence of nature, adorned by the taste and industry of man, which is seldom seen and never surpassed, even in this country.
On the south side of the strath, and from 300 to 400 feet above the level of the sea, there is a stretch of table-land two miles wide, which runs across the whole breadth of the parish. This land was originally wild and moorish; but now, almost every part of it capable of improvement has been brought under cultivation.
The vale of the Blane, running from the south-east to the north-west, passes into the vale of Campsie on the east, and the vale of the Enrick on the west. The highest part of this valley is understood to be about 340 feet above the level of the sea, and the lowest part, 100.
The temperature and pressure of the atmosphere, together with the quantity of rain, may be estimated from the following abstract of the meteorological register at Carbeth, from daily observations with the barometer, thermometer, and rain-gage, at 10 a.m. Latitude, 55º 59', 46"; longitude, 40º, 21', 20" west. This abstract has been kindly furnished by William Smith, Esq. of Carbeth-Guthrie.
Abstract of Meteorological Register at Carbeth, from daily observations with the barometer, thermometer, and rain-gage, at 10 a.m.; latitude, 55º, 59', 46"; longitude, 40º 21', 20" west. Height above the level of the sea nearly 470 feet.
From its lower situation, less rain falls in the Strath, and the barometer and thermometer stand much higher there than at Carbeth. Fevers are rare, and when they appear, seem to be generally imported from other places. Bilious affections, inflammation of the lungs, and consumptions are frequent. But these probably arise from the exposure to which many of the people are subjected in the course of their occupations, and from their inattention to the means requisite for preserving their health, and not from any noxious quality in the climate. The climate in the valley is uncommonly salubrious.
Hydrography.-The whole parish abounds with perennial springs. The only known mineral spring is in the farmyard of Ballewan. The water resembles the Spa.
The parish is adorned with six lakes. Loch Ardinning, containing 60 imperial acres, is without any artificial ornament; Craigmaddie, containing 10 acres; Dumbroch, 10 acres; Carbeth, 8 acres; Craigallion, 40 acres,- lie in romantic situations and are beautified partly with natural wood and partly with plantations. Mugdoch loch, containing 25 acres, is ornamented with trees, and derives grandeur from the ancient castle of Mugdoch on its south-west point.
The spout of Ballagan, where tlie Blane breaks away from the hills, is a cascade 70 feet in height, and forms a majestic object when the river is swelled with rain.
Geology and Mineralogy.-Dr Scouler, the accomplished Professor of Natural History in the Andersonian University, Glasgow, speaking of the general geological features of this parish, says, that
"Strathblane, along with part of Campsie, forms a strath or valley, consisting of a level plain, bounded by hills on each side. On contemplating the physical appearance of the district, it appears not improbable, that, at a former period, it was a fresh water lake and that, subsequently, the barriers in the direction of Loch lomond have been broken down, and that its drainage has been accomplished by that event. The nature of the soil also contributes to establish this opinion; for it appears to consist of sand, gravel, and other comminuted fragments of the neighbouring rocks. As calcareous rocks are found in some parts of the parish, it is natural to expect that the waters should be considerably impregnated with lime; and in one situation, near the manse, these waters are cementing the gravel into a firm conglomerate.
" The fundamental rock of the parish seems to be sandstone; the old red sandstone of Werner. It is, however, observed in many places by the superjacent masses of unstratified trap. The sandstone is visible chiefly in the lower parts of the district, where several sandstone quarries have been opened. The hills in most places are covered with trap. The trap-rock appears, at a former period, to have covered the sandstone throughout the whole pa rish, and still does so in many places. In travelling from the manse to Milngavie, we detected many disconnected masses of trap, which must formerly have been continuous; nor need we be surprised at this, when we remember the rapidity with which trap decays in many places, and as we may see the process of disintegration going on under our eyes. It would he interesting to trace the sandstone in a westerly direction towards Benlomond, and ascertain upon what rock it reposes. It rests, in all probability, upon clay-slate, and forms the margin of the great coal-field of the west of Scotland. The Strathblane hills rest upon the sandstone; but are capped with masses of trap. At the beautiful little cascade of Ballagan, we obtained a fine natural section of these hills; a section which is probably 1000 feet deep, and accordingly clear and defined, as if it were a naturl model, a coloured specimen of stratification. This deep section consists of about 230 beds, varying in thickness, from one to two inches to 10 feet and consisting of many alternations of sandstone, limestone, and argillaceous limestone or marl. These are all in a state of rapid disintegration, and portions of them are detached and fall down almost every day.
" Jasper is found abundantly in the hills, both in horizontal and vertical veins. Stilbite, chalcedony, and zeolite, are occasionally found; but are not so plentiful as in the Kilpatrick hills. Two varieties of gypsum are found; the fibrous and the compact. The latter variety is of rarer occurrence; and is found along the strata exposed at the section of the hill at Ballagan. It usually occurs in amorphous masses of a yellowish colour, but exhibits a white fracture."
The strata are nearly horizontal. The vegetable soil in the lower part of the valley is argillaceous; in the upper part, arenaceous; and on the hills and high-grounds, it is composed principally of an argillaceous brown matter, mixed with the small debris of the trap on which it rests.
Zoology.- The parish abounds with game; such as hares and rabbits; partridges, black and red grouse; wild ducks, woodcocks, and pheasants. A few of the common roes are also found. Otters, weasels, stoats, polecats, wild cats, marten cats, and foxes are numerous. Buzzards, ring-tailed kites, goshawks, sparrow-hawks, merlins, ravens, hooded-crows, jays, magpies, and owls of different kinds, together with the smaller kinds common all over the low- lands, are frequently met with. Pike and perch abound in the lochs. Char is found in Dumbroch loch.
The gooseberry caterpillar is very destructive in those gardens where the bushes are not dug round and plentifully manured in autumn.
Botany.-The banks of the ]ochs atid the glens, from haying escaped the operations of the plough, furnish fields exceedingly rich in vegetable productions. Among the rarer plants may be classed
|Agrimonia Eupatoria||Epimedium alpinum||Nymphæ lutea|
|Antirrbinum majus||Erysimum Alliaria||Polygonum Bistorta|
|Aram maculatum||Fontinalis sqnamosa||Rubus Chamæmorus|
|Campanula latifolia||Geranium lucidum||Rumex Sanguineus|
|Chelidonium majus||Inula Helenium||Sedum dasyphyllum|
|Chenopodium Bonus Henricus||Lobelia Dortmanna||Silene inflatus|
|Cicuta virosa||Nymphæa alba||Trollius Europæus|
The great varieties in the soil contribute to the vigorous growth of several kinds of tree The Scotch fir and larch thrive in very different soils and situations. The Italian black poplar, the Huntingdon willow, and the oak attain to a great size. A beautifully shaped oak at Blairquhoss, four feet from the ground, is eleven feet in circumference. Another, near the same spot, forms an uncommonly noble specimen of the gnarled and knotty oak. Though it may be supposed to have seen seven centuries, it is still healthy and thriving. Four feet from the ground, it is fifteen feet eight inches round. The branches diverge at the height of nine feet, and cover a circle of 281 feet. In the garden of Ballagan stands a yew in full vigour; possessed of the finest figure; and supposed to be from 500 to 600 years old. Its circumference is ten feet. The Huntingdon willow grows most rapidly. One of these trees in twenty-three years has risen to the height of 45 feet. Two of these species, 70 feet high, at six feet from the ground, measure,-one, twelve feet, and the other, thirteen feet and a-half.
David Graham, great grandson of the first of the Grahams on record, obtained from William the Lion certain lands near Montrose. His son, David, acquired, under the succeeding reign, by exchange of his lands in Galloway, from Patrick Earl of Dunbar, the lands of Dundaff and Strathcarron, and from Maldwin Earl of Lennox, the lands of Strathblane and Mugdock. The Castle of Kincardine, in Strathearn, having been demolished by the Marquis of Argyle, March 16, 1646, Mugdock Castle became the principal seat of the Noble family of Montrose. After the Restoration, when the Earl of Middleton and his associates were employed in subverting the civil and religious rights of their country, Mugdock Castle was one of the scenes of their bacchanalian orgies. During the persecution which followed, the Presbyterians were encouraged and patronised by Edmonstone of Duntreath, and the Episcopalian incumbent generously threw the shield of his protection over his harassed and helpless parishioners.
Land-owners.-The principal land-owners are, the Duke of Montrose; Sir Archibald Edmonstone; Mr Graham of Ballagan; Mr Stirling of Craigbarnet; Mr Graham of Ballewan; Mr Smith of Craigend; Mr Graham of Craigallion; Mr Buchanan of Carbeth; Mr Robison of Leddriegreen; Mr Smith of Carbeth.
The history of the Montrose family, in its most eventful eras, is interwoven with the history of the country. The following account of the Edmonstones of Duntreath has been obligingly furnished by its present distinguished representative, Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart.
Edmonstone Family.- The name of Edmonstone first appeared in the county of Mid-Lothian in the beginning of the thirteenth century. Tradition would, indeed, derive it 150 years earlier, from an Edmundus of the family of the Counts Egmont of Flanders, who is said to have come to Scotland in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, and to have had a grant from David I of the said lands, to which he gave his name; but, there is no authority for this whatever; and it seems more than probable that the powerful race of Seton was the parent stock; as the whole district round was in possession of that family, and the arms are identical and, as the earliest appearance of the name of Edmonstone is in a charter where Henry de Edmonstone is styled "Filius E," this may have been the very Edmund who thus founded the family, and gave his name to the lands. In the middle of the following century, Sir John Edmonstone of Edmonstone appears a person of considerable importance, and was appointed by David II. coroner to the shire of Edinburgh in fee, accompanied by grants of lands in the county of Banff. His son, of the same name, was a person of still greater eminence, and was named a commissioner. for negociating with England, on three different occasions, during the captivity of James 1 A. D.1407, &c He married the Lady Isabel, daughter of Robert II, and widow of James Earl of Douglas and Mar who was killed at the battle of Otterburne. By this marriage he had two sons, Sir David, who succeeded him, and Sir William of Culloden, ancestor of the family of Duntreath. Sir David left two sons, of whom Sir James, the elder, died with but issue male, and John, the younger, in whom the elder line of the family was continued, till the middle of the last century, when it became extinct by the death of the last male heir. This branch of the family continued in possession of Edmonstone, in Mid-Lothian, till late in the seventeenth century, when it was sold to the family of Wauchope, who still retain it; it resided, likewise, at Ednam, in Roxburghshire, a grant of Robert III. This last property has been purchased, within these few years, by the Earl of Dudley.
To revert to the family of Duntreath. Sir William Edmonstone of Culloden, second son of Sir John, as above, married the Lady Mary, danghter of King Rohert III., who had been.married three times previously; first, to George Douglas, Earl of Angus; secondly, to Sir James Kennedy of Dunure, ancestor to the Earls of Cassilis; thirdly, to Sir William Graham of Kincardine, ancestor to the Duke of Montrose; and, lastly, to Sir William Edmonstone. By all four marriages she bad issue; and, from the last, the present family of Duntreath are lineally descended. This lady is interred in a vault beneath the church of Strathblane, and an inscription was put up to her memory in the family vault of Duntreath, by the late Sir Archibald Edmonstone.
At what period the Castle of Duntreath was built, is unknown; but the whole of the district originally belonged to the powerful family of the Lennoxes. At the attainder and decapitation of Duncan, the last Earl of this family, together with his son-in-law, Murdac, Duke of Albany, and two of his grandsons, on the return of James I from his long captivity, the property, some portion of it at least, was allowed to remain in possession of the Duchess of Albany, as heiress to her father; and she made a grant qf the lands of Duntreath, erected into a barony, to Sir William Edmonstone of Culloden, and Mary, Countess of Angus, his wife, A. D. 1452, which grant was confirmed by a charter of James II., arid it has ever since remained the principal seat of the family.
For the next century, the house of Duntreath continued in the highest degree prosperous. Its wealth and possessions had considerably increased, and appanages were bestowed on many of its junior branches, nearly all of which are now extinct. A succession of honourable alliances, too, had greatly tended to keep up its respectability. Sir William, (tlie fourth in descent from the first Sir William of Duntreath), who was killed at the unfortunate battle of Flodden, with King James IV., and the flower of the Scottish nobility and gentry, had been appointed steward of Menteith, and constable of the Castle of Doune. His son, of the same name, was continued in the same offices by the Regent, John Duke of Albany, which he held for eighteen years; but an heritable grant of them having been conferred by James V. on Sir James Stewart, (ancestor of the present Earl of Moray), Sir William and his brother Archibald were much irritated at being thus deprived of what had now for so many years been in possession of their family, and a fray ensued in the High Street of Dunblane in which Sir James was killed. This event occurred on Whitsunday, A. D. 1543. A pardon for this offence was afterwards granted to the two brothers under, the Great Seal by the Regent, Duke of Chatelherault, and being,, connected with the royal family, in consequence of his marriage with Lady Agnes Stewart daughter to Matthew Earl of Lennox, (grandfather to Henry Lord Darnley, the unfortunate husband of Queen Mary), Sir William was made one of the Privy Council during the Queen's minority.
His son, Sir James, was appointed Justice-Deputy under the Earl of Argyle, Justice-General, and was named one of the assessors on the trial of the Earl of Gowrie, for the celebrated conspiracy against the liberty of King James VI., called the Raid of Ruthven, A. D. 1582; but he appears himself implicated in a plot of the same nature soon after. He was accused, together with three others of the names of Douglas, Cunningham, and Hamilton, of a design to convey the king to some place of confinement, till those lords who had left the country in consequence of their concern in the above conspiracy should he advertised. It was believed to have been little more than an idle conversation; however, the four were seized, and indicted for high treason. Sir James pleaded guilty, and threw himself on the King's mercy. The others convicted of having held this treasonable design; were executed. Sir James seems to have acted an unworthy part in this business; and, being pardoned, he retired to Duntreath, which he considerably enlarged. A stone, with his arms and cypher, but without a date, marks this. The estate, however, was mortgaged by his son and successor, William, to Sir William Livingston of Kilsyth, and considerable estates purchased in the counties of Down and Antrim, in the north of Ireland. Fortunately, however, his next successor, Archibald, resold part of the Irish purchases, and redeemed the estate of Duntreath, though the family residence continued to be, for above a century, chiefly at Red Hall, in a district called Broadisland, in the county of Antrim. This Archibald was a strict Presbyterian, and being returned member for the county of Stirling, in the Parliament which met at Edinburgh in 1633, in presence of King Charles I., he strongly opposed every effort made by that monarch for the establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland. He had two sons, William and Archibald. Of these the elder, known as the Dumb Laird of Duntreath, was disinherited, and put under the tutelage of his brother, on account of having been born deaf and dumb. He was, however, a person of great vivacity and cheerfulness, with a very retentive memory; and, according to a portrait which exists of him, of a handsome and intelligent countenance. It is recorded, moreover, that he had a strong sense of religion; and a tradition is preserved that he was endowed with the faculty of second-sight. He lived to a very advanced life. A tower at Duntreath, which he is said to have occupied, still preserves his name. The inheritance, in consequence of the infirmity of the elder, devolved upon the younger brother, Archibald. This gentleman followed the same line as his father, in opposing the tyrannical acts of the government, in their endeavour to establish Episcopal jurisdiction; and was fined and imprisoned for holding a conventicle in the private chapel of his house of Duntreath. After his release he retired to Ireland, and died in consequence of his exertions in defending the fort of Culmore, contiguous to Londonderry, at the period of the famous siege of that city by King James II., A. D. 1689. He was succeeded by his son and namesake, who appears to have resided chiefly at Red Hall, so that Duntreath felt into decay. He represented, I believe, the county or Antrim, Irish Parliament. He married, first, the HonoLirabIe Anne Erskine, daughter to David, Lord Cardross, ancestor to the present Earl of Buchan, by whom he had one daughter; and, secondly, Anne, datighter to the Honotirable John Campbell of Mammore, castle here, instead of the second son to the unfortunate Earl of Argyle who was beheaded A. D. 1685. Her brother, John, succeeded to the dukedom of Argyle; on the death of his cousin, Archibald. By this marriage he had three sons and three daughters, and was succeeded by his eldest son;
Sir Archibald, created a baronet 1774, who married, first, Susanna, daughter to Roger Harenc of Footscray Place, in Kent, by whom he had five sons and three daughters; and, secondly, Hester, daughter to Sir John Heathcote of Normanton, in Rutlandshire, by whom he had no issue. Sir Archibald sat, for above twenty years in Parliament, for the county of Dumbarton,Ayr and Irvine district burghs. He very judiciously sold estate in Ireland, and purchased that of Kilsyth, in 1783, which had been forfeited by the Livingstons, Viscounts of Kilsyth, in 1715, and thus established and concentrated the family in their native country. He likewise began a liberal system of improvement upon his estates, which was carried on to a greater extent and completed by his successor. Sir Archibald died, at the advanced age of eighty-nine, in 1807, ttnd was succeeded by his eldest surviving son;
Sir Charles, who married, first, Emma, daughter of Richard-Wilbraham Booth of Lathorn House, in the county of Lancaster Esq., and by her had a son and daughter; and, secondly, the Honourable Louisa Hotham, daughter to Beaumont, second Lord Hotham, by whom he had four sons and - two daughters. - Sir Charles represented the county of Stirling in Parliament, for several years previous to his death, which took place 90 the 1st of April 1821, in the fifty-eighth year of his age He was succeeded by his eldest son;
Sir Archibald, the present Baronet, twelfth in. lineal descent from Sir William of Culloden, the first of the branch of Duntreath. Sir Archibald married, in October 1832, his cousin, Emma, daughter of Randle Wilbraham of Rode Hall, in the county of Chester, Esq.
The Castle of Duntreath stands on the north side of the Blane water near the opening of the narrow and beautiful strath to which in the that stream gives its name. To the south rises the conical hill of Dungoiach, covered with natural wood; and across the valley oposite, is another hill, clothed likewise with wood, called the Park hill. Tradition asserts that it was once intended to have built the valley below. The top certainly has been levelled, and a regular way formed up to it The noble range of the Campsie Hills, which intersect the western end of the county of Stirling, is finely terminated above by the bold heads of Dumgoyn and Dumfoyn.
The castle is approached from the west through a detached gate-house, and is rather of a rude construction, built round a quadrangle. The north and east sides are completely in' ruins, having been tinroofed and left to decay about a century ago. In the former of these sides,- is the chapel,,of which, according to tradition, the gallery once gave way during the service, and several persons were injured. The southern front was never finished. In the the south~eastern part of it, is the Dumb Laird's Tower. The castle is surrounded by a park or policy, of moderate extent, but very agreeably varied; and the scenery of the whole Unites cultivation and rqmantic beauty, in no common degree.
Parochial Registers-In consequence of the recommendation of the General Assembly; 1816, correct registers have been kept, since that time, of marriages and births. There is no register of deaths, and, prior to 1816, the registers of marriages and births wore exceedingly irregnlar. The first entry in the register of baptism's is dated April 1685. Registers had been kept long before that period; .but perished through the negligence of those to whose care they had been entrusted.
Antiquities.-The castles of Mugdock and Duntreath are the only baronial residences of the feudal ages that remain. The buildings were large and capacious; and have been long in ruins. A castle belonging to the Earl of Lennox stood at Ballagan, but every trace or it was removed fifty years ago, when the stones were employed to build the garden wall.
An erect stone, on the north of the turnpike road to Campsie, marks the spot where, two centuries ago, Mr Stirling of Ballagan was killed by a miller of the name of Abernethy.
At a little distance from the south-east of the hill of Dungoy ach, stand six stones. One rises six feet, and another five, above the surface of the soil. The rest are lower. They are placed ir regularly, and seem intended to commemorate some important victory which our ancestors had achieved on the spot ; but of which no tradition has reached modern times.
In 1800, a small enclosure, composed of stakes of oak and birch, was discovered under the surface of a moss at Craigend. The enclosure measured three feet nine inches in length, by twenty-two inches in breadth. The stakes were above five feet in length, driven closely together, and from the bruises on their sharpened ends, appeared to have been cut by a stone hatchet. There seemed to have been originally an entrance from the west; and a few pieces of wood indicated that the enclosure had originally been roofed. The enclosure must have been formed, before the moss covered the soil. It may have been intended as a place of shelter; but its diminutive size gives it rather the appearance of a prison, though the frail nature of the materials shows that it was very unfit for such a purpose.
Modern Buildings.-The church is a beautiful building of modern
Gothic, reared in 1803. Carbeth, the property of Mr Smith, is an elegant building,
finished 1810. Craigend, the residence of James Smith, Esq. completed 1812, is a
magnificent edifice. There is one mill for grain of every description, furnished with a
complete set of machinery of the most approved construction, and kept in good order.
Calico-printing is carried on at Blanefield, according to the most recent improvements. At
Dumbioch bleachfield, two spider wheels are employed, each thirty feet in diameter, and
the Company are masters of a process, which at once reduces the expense of bleaching, and
improves the fabric and appearance of the cloth. Were the Irish Board of Linen in
possession of the secret, it would add prodigiously to the value of the linen manufacture
The average number of baptisms, 1729, 1730, and 1731, was 26. The average number for the years 1829, 1830, and 1831, was 24. If this be a fair criterion of the proportion of the population at these two periods, the parish must have been rather more populous a century ago, before the introduction of a large printfield and two bleachfields, than it is at present. This excess in the ancient numbers must have arisen from the great subdivision of farms, and the multitude of cottaries with which the parish then abounded.
From the enlargement of farms and the decay of cottaries, the
|the population amounted to 797|
The recent increase is occasioned by the enlargement of the manufacturing establishments, which requires a great number of hands..
The yearly average of births for the seven years ending Whit-sunday 1831, was 7; of deaths, do. 14; of marriages, do. 7.
Three families of independent fortune reside for the greater part of the year in the parish.
There are seventeen proprietors of land of the yearly value of L.50 and upwards. Of these, eight are resident, and nine non- resident.
number of bachelors and widowers above 50 years of age, 20
The number of
|bachelors and widowers above 50 years of age||20|
|unmarried women above 45||13|
There is nothing peculiar in the strength, size, or complexion of the people.
There are two insane persons, but none either blind, deaf, or dumb.
IV. - INDUSTRY
|There are either cultivated or occasionally in tillage, of standard imperial measure, in acres.||3150|
|Formerly cultivated, but now in pasture,||200|
|Never cultivated, but perpetualy in pasture,||8200|
|Under wood, natural or planted,||2000|
|Occupied by streams,||100|
1000 acres might be profitably added to the cultivated land.
Plantations.-The most common natural wood is birch, arrans or alders, hazel, and willow. A great variety of forest trees are planted. The most common are, the Scotch fir, larch, oak, ash, elm, beech, Huntingdon willow, and Lombardy poplar. Great attention is paid to the woods. Most of the plantations are young, and give every promise of yielding their proprietors a rich return.
Rent of Land.-The average rent of arable land per imperial acre is L.I, 3s. The average rent of grazing is L.2, 10s. per cow, and 6s. per sheep.
The utmost pains are employed to suit the husbandry to the soil; and the farmers are perpetually on the alert to adopt new discoveries, and to improve their different agricultural processes. Two crops of oats are generally taken. The second is sown down with perennial ryegrass. The third crop is ryegrass, followed by three years pasture. In some cases, the first crop is oats; the second is green crop of potatoes or turnips; the third is wheat.or barley, sown down with grass seeds; the fourth is hay, followed by three or four years pasture.
Few portions of the soil require either embanking or irrigation. Draining is much needed: and both covered and open drains have been carried to a great extent. Within the last twenty years, about 300 acres of waste land have been reclaimed. The process most frequently employed, is to trench two spadings deep; smooth the bottom of the trench; and place the tough and heathy side of the upper spading in the bottom of the trench. As the trenches run in the direction. of the declivity, the heathy surface, when removed, acts as a drain. The large stones that are turned out are used for dikes, and the smaller ones for covered drains. This trenching is executed for L.5 per acre. Before the crop is sown, each acre is limed at the rate of four or five chalders. The chalder of lime, according to the distance from the kiln, costs from L. 1 to L.l, 5s.
The duration of the leases is generally nineteen years. The farm-buildings and enclosures are generally in good repair. The tenants are suffering greatly from having contracted to pay money-rents. While the nominal rent remains the same, the great reduction in the price of produce has rendered it nearly double. This may be remedied by fixing the rent of the arable farms in so many bolls of oats at the fiars prices; and the grass farms at so many sheep or cattle, at the average prices. of the three Falkirk trysts.
Quarry.-The only quarry in the parish is of sandstone, which
generally employs two men.
There is no fishing.
Average gross amount of raw produce raised in the parish of Strathblane
|550 oats,||44 per acre,||2475||L 0 16 0||L.1980 0 0|
|40 barley||5 do||700||1 1 0||735 0 0|
|60 wheat||7 do||420||1 4 0||504 0 0|
|8 beans||7 do||56||0 16 0||44 16 0|
|40 turnips||12 tons||480||0 15 0||360 0 0|
|139 potatoes||24 bolls||3336||0 8 0||1334 8 0|
|300 ryegrass hay||100 stones||30,000||3 0 0||900 0 0|
|110 natural hay||75 do||8250||1 15 0||144 7 6|
|290 milk cows yield L.10 each||2900 0 0|
|100 young and old cows sold, each L.6||600 0 0|
|250 cows grazed till fattene, each L.3||750 0 0|
|67 score of sheep yields 60 score of lambs, per score L.8||480 0 0|
|Each score of sheep yields 3½ stones of wool, at 6s. per stone||70 7 0|
|12 horses sold each at L.18||216 0 0|
|Thinnings and periodic fellings of wood||200 0 0|
|Freestone quarry||12 0 0|
|Total||L.11130 18 0|
The gross produce is balanced by
|47 men servants employed in farm work,||each at L. 15,||L.705 0 0|
|Maintenance of do.||each at L. 13,||611 0 0|
|47 female servants,||each L.8,||376 0 0|
|Maintenance of do.||each L. 10,||470 0 0|
|Nine shepherds, wages and maintenance,||each L.22,||198 0 0|
|Wages to 10 labourers||at 11s per week,||286 0 0|
|Keep of 88 horses for farm work,||each L.25,||2200 0 0|
|Keep of 44 young and old horses,||L.13,||572 0 0|
|ThIng and lime for 250 acres||at L.5 each,||1250 0 0|
|Rent for 3150 acres arable,||L.l. 3s,||3622 10 0|
|Rent for grazing 250 fat cattle,||L.2, l0s.,||625 0 0|
|Rent for 67 score of sheep,||each L.5, 10s.||368 10 0|
|L.11284 0 0|
To this must be added the maintenance of 42 farmers with their families; wages paid to extra hands in harvest and other hiring seasons; and the wages paid to smiths, masons, wrights, saddlers, &c,
Manufactures- An establishment for calico-printing employs 20 journeymen block-printers, who gain each, at an average, L.1, 1s. per week, or L.54, 12s. per annum; 20 apprentices, who gain each, at an average, l0s. 6d. per week, or L. 27, 6s, per annum; 30 male labourers, who gain each l0s. per week, or L. 26 per annum; 8 women, who gain 5s per week, or L. 13 per annum; 25 boys, under fourteen years of age, who gain 2s. 3d. per week, or L.5, 17s. per annum; 20 girls, whd gain each 2s. per week, or L.5, 4s. per annum. They work six days in the week, and ten hours a-day, and receive annually in wages L.2772, 5s.
One bleaching establishment employs 30 men, 20 women, 8 boys, under foI)rteen years, and 6 girls. They work six days in the week, and eleven hours a day. The wages of the men vary according to the nature of their work, from 11s. to 21s. per week. The wages of the women are 6s. per week, and of.the boys and girls 3s. 9d. Taking the average of the men at 14s. per week, the total annual wages will be L. 1540, 10s.
Another bleachfield employs 3 men, above twenty years of age, at 12s. per week, making per annum, L. 93, 12s.; 2 men, under twenty years, at l0s. per week, making L.52 per annum; and 12 women, all above twenty years, at 6s. per week, making L.187, 45. In all, L. 332, 16s.
The wages are considered as affording a fair remuneration to those who are employed in these works. The labour is as healthy as that of farming. Many of the workers are distinguished for their piety and intelligence. By the constant employment which they give to many who would otherwise be idle, and by the demand which the workers make for farm-produce, these establish ments are of great advantage to the parish.
Farmers' Society.-The Farmers' Society is the only Association in the parish for the purpose of improving its members in the theory and practice of their profession; and it has done much to promote a good style of ploughing.
Market-Town.-Glasgow, at. the distance of twelve miles from the centre of the parish, is the nearest market-town; with which communication is maintained every day by post; by two Balfron carriers, who pass through the parish to and from Glasgow, four times in the week; and by a stage-coach which runs betwixt Glasgow and Balfron every Monday, Wednesday; and Saturday.
Means of Communication.-Ten miles of turnpike-road intersect the parish. The narrowness of the road in the Strath, and the hilliness of the high ground amid which it passes, render it exceedingly exhausting and injurious to horses in draught. There are ten stone bridges in the parish; but an eleventh is wanted to render the accommodation complete. The Strath and table-landare thoroughly enclosed; and the farms kept generally in good repair.
Ecclesiastical State.-The church is the only place of worship within the parish. It is a handsome edifice, of modern Gothic, built 1803. It is seated for 450, and the sittings are all free. The people have furnished it with a steam-boiler and pipe for heating it in winter. A few families are three miles from the church; but the greater proportion of the inhabitants live near it.
The manse was built in 1828; and is a large, substantial, and commodious house. The glebe consists of 10 imperial acres; and is worth L.16 per annum.
The stipend consists of 9 bolls, 2 firlots, 2 pecks, 2 lippies barley, at L.l, is. per boll, making L.l0, 2s. 9d.; 103 bolls, 2 lippies meal, at l0s. per boll, L. 82, 8s. 3d.; money, L.139, 6s. 9d. In all L.231, 17s. 9d
Divine service is well attended. The average number of communicants is 250.
Bible Society.-A Bible Society for the circulation of the canonical Scriptures only, instituted December 1813, has already remitted to the London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow Bible Societies L.192, being L.9, 12s. per annum.
A Missionary Society was instituted June 1823.
The average amount of church collections yearly for religious and charitable purposes, exclusive of the ordinary collections for the parochial poor, may probably amount to L. 8..
Temperance Society.-A Temperan~ Society, instituted July .1830, contains 84 adult, and 66 juvenile members. It has been of the greatest service in checking dissipation, and improving the morals and comrort of the people.
Education.-There are one parochial school and two private schools. One of the private schools is aided by subscription. The parochial school-room is 18 feet in length, by 16 feet in breadth, and 7 feet from floor to joists. Besides being badly lighted, and in every respect a most ill-aired, wretched hovel, it is by far too small. In order to enlarge it, some of the heritors strongly recommend an excavation, which will remove the floor farther from the ceiling. But they have not yet shown how this process will enlarge the area.
The parochial school is near the centre of the parish; and few of the children are more than two miles distant. The greater part of the people are fully alive to the benefits of education; but a few of the more stupid and dissipated are ignorant or its value, and allow their children to grow up without education. Many even above the age of fifteen read very imperfectly; twelve adults cannot read at all.
Literature.-A parish library was formed in 1817, which now contains nearly 700 volumes of standard works in theology and general literature.
A Young Man's Society combines the double object of a Mechanic's Institution and a religious meeting. On an evening of one week, a literary paper is read, and its subject discussed. On an evening in the succeeding week, a paper is read, and a subject discussed for the religious improvement of the members. This Society consists of fifteen members.
Savings Bank.-A Savings' Bank was opened, January 6, 1832.
Poor and Parochial Funds.-The average number of poor receiving parochial aid is 11.. The average sum allotted. to each annually is L. 4, l0s. The collections at the church door annually, L. 30, 15s. Annual donation from Sir A. Edmonstone, L. 5. The interest on L. 515 saved by the managers of the poor's money, L. 12, 17s. 6d. The dissipated and improvident have no reluctance to ask parochial relief. The industrious, sober, and pious, regard parochial aliment as a disgrace. When reduced to poverty they are supported by the generous.
Fair.-A fair is held on the 10th of November for the sale of cattle, but especially of those that are fed.
Alehouses. -There are six alehouses in the parish. They keep their customers in the most abject poverty, and have the most pernicious effect on the morals and the domestic happiness of those who frequent them.
Fuel.- Peats are occasionally used in a few houses: but coal is the fuel principally employed. It is procured from Campsie, Kirkintilloch, Baldernock, and New Kilpatrick; when laid down, costs, according to the distance, from 9s. to 15s. per ton.