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BEITH

  1837 - Ayrshire Directory by Pigot and Co

 

Beith is a market and post town, in the parish of its name and district of Cunningham; 62 miles w by s of Edinburgh, 19 sw of Glasgow, 11 sw of Paisley, 5 n by e of Dalry, 12 n by e of Saltcoats and 8 s by w of Johnstone. It is situate near the confines of Renfrewshire, on an eminence commanding a fine and extensive view of the beautifully diversified country around, of which the Loch of Kilburnie, at a distance of about a mile, forms a prominent feature.

The town which contains many excellent houses, but is very irregularly built, is of modern date, comprising at the commencement of the last century only a very few humble habitations; it is now a place of respectable trade, and its neighbourhood is the residence of many opulent families. Beith has long been noted for its manufacture of linen thread, of which great quantities are made both for home consumption and exportation. The manufacture of silk goods was formerly extensive, but it has been almost entirely superseded by that of cotton, in which the majority of inhabitants are employed by the manufacturers of Paisley and Glasgow. The principal branches of trade, in addition to those already mentioned, are the manufacture of starch (for which there is a respectable establishment), lime burning and the making of ropes, twine, bricks and tiles.

The whole of the parish of Beith is enclosed and subdivided, and is almost all arable; the farms are small, and the tenants of this and the neighbouring parish of Dunlop may be said universally to make cheese, known by the name "Dunlop cheese" which is held in as high estimation in Scotland as the cheese of Cheshire and Gloucestershire in England. The value of this commodity sent annually to market from this parish has been calculated at upwards of 4,000.

In the town are three branch banks, viz., the Commercial Bank of Scotland, the Glasgow Union Bank and the Paisley Union; and there is an excellent Inn, the "Saracen's Head", in Whang street. In 1807, a very handsome church of the establishment, with a tower, was erected in the most elevated part of the town; its site is 343 feet above the level of the sea. The town-house was built by subscription in 1817, to the erection of which the late W. Wilson of Cumnock was a liberal contributor: the upper part of the building contains a court room and other offices: the lower part consists of shops, the rents of which are applied to purposes of public benefit. The town is lighted with gas. The Ladies Benevolent Society is worthy of particular commendation, and there is an excellent parochial school.

At Giffen, a short distance from the town, is the stately ruined castle of the Montgomeries: there is also another ruin at Hazelhead; and at the top of Cuffs-hill, a considerable eminence, is a druidical remain, known by the name of "Rocking stone".

The neighbourhood of Beith produces coal, and abundance of lime stone. The weekly market of the town is held on Friday; and there are annual fairs on the first Friday in January and February (old style) and the 30th of August.

POST OFFICE:

Main street - Catherine Arnott, post mistress - Letters from Paisley &c arrive every morning at eight, and again (except Edinburgh letters) at seven in the evening, and are despatched every morning at half past seven and at six in the evening. - Letters from Dalry arrive every evening at half past five, and are despatched every morning at half past eight - Letters from Kilbirnie arrive (by penny post) every evening at five, and are despatched every morning at half past eight.

 

GENTRY AND CLERGY: (Marked * are Justices of the Peace)

 

Anderson Rev James Head st

* Brown Hugh Esq of Broadstone

Colville Rev George Mains Hill

Dobie James Esq of Cumnock

Dobie Mrs Janet Grange Vale

* Houston Robt Esq Mains Hamilton

Love John Esq of Threepwood

Meikle Rev James Head st

* Patrick Robert Esq MD of Trearne

* Patrick William Esq of Roughwood

* Reid Capt. Charles Hope RN Grangehill

Shedden Alexander Esq of Morris Hill.

 

ACADEMIES & SCHOOLS:

 

Blair, John Gateside

Fleming, Mrs New st

Gillian, David Newton

Glasgow, Robert School Wynd

Harvie, David Bracken hills

Parochial School, Braehead Jas Reid, master and session cleck

Kerr, Bryce Hazelhead

Miller, John Giffen

Reid, Mary Whang st

Wyllie, Robert Head St.

 

AGENTS TO MANUFACTURERS

 

Craig, Margaret Reform st

Lymburn, John Cumnock

Maitland, James Head st

Stevenson, Hugh Reform st

Stewart, William Newton

 

AUCTIONEERS:

 

Clark, John Gateside

Kerr, George Braehead

 

BAKERS:

 

Dunlop, Marion Main st

Gibson, Gavin (and grain dealer)Main st

Gillies, Robert Cross

McKerrow, James Whang st

Shedden, Matthew Main st

Wilson, Andrew Main st

 

BANKERS:

 

Commercial Bank of Scotland (branch of), Braehead,- (Draws on the Commercial

Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, & Jones & Co, London) - Wm King - agent

Glasgow Union (branch of), Strand, - (Draws on the Glasgow Union Bank,

Edinburgh & Jones, Lloyd & Co, London) - James Dobie - agent

Paisley Union (branch of), Whang head, (Draws on Sir William Forbes & Co,

Edinburgh and Sir Richard Carr Glyn & Co, London) - Robert Spier - agent

 

BLACKSMITHS:

 

Baird, Hugh Green hills

Holmes, William Burn house

Kerr, William New st/

Kirkwood, William Whang st

Reid, David Gateside

Waterson, Andrew Whang st

 

BLEACHERS:

 

Stevenson, Hugh (linen) Threepwood

Stevenson, John (cotton) Threepwood

 

BOOKSELLERS & STATIONERS:

 

Arnot, Agnes Main st

Arnot, Catherine Main st

Smith, John (and printer, library & church treasurer) Whang st

 

BOOT AND SHOE MAKERS:

 

Anderson, Robert - Newton/

Barr, William - Cross

Crawford, William - Newton

Cunningham, William - Whanghead/

Edgar, Charles Main st

Fulton, Robert - Newton

Hunter, Andrew - Burn's wynd

Hunter, David - Braehead

Love, Hugh New st

McCallum, William Main st

Mathie, James Main st

Smith, James Reform st

Stevenson, James Head st

Stewart, William Whang st

Thorburn, Thomas Whang st

 

BRICK & TILE MAKERS:

 

Parker, Hugh - Woodside

Wilson, William - Thirdpart

 

CABINET MAKERS:

 

Dale, James - Whang st

Love, James - Townhead

 

CARPENTERS AND CARTWRIGHTS:

 

Crawford, James Hall of Caldwell

Gilmour, Allan Braehead

King, James Burn house

Robertson, John Head st

Rodger, Robert Whang st

Steel, James Whang st

Thomson, Henry Newton

Wilson, John Gateside

 

CHEESE DEALERS:

 

Findlay, James Easter Highgate

Wylie, John Highgate

 

COAL MASTERS:

 

Smith, William Caldwell

Templeton, Thomas Coal burn

 

COOPERS:

 

Barr, John & David Crummock st/

McLaughlin, Mark Strand

 

CORK CUTTERS:

 

Gilmour, John Head st

Stewart, Thos ( & Spirit dealer) Main st

 

COTTON MANUFACTURER,

 

Stevenson, James Knows

 

CURRIERS AND TANNERS:

 

Muir & Ramsey (& leather dressers) Reform st and Bath lane

 

FIRE & OFFICE AGENTS:

 

Caledonian, Rbt. Faulds - Braehead

Edinburgh Friendly Insurance Society, James Dobie - Strand

Insurance Company of Scotland, Robert Spiers - Whanghead

Scottish Union, William King - Braehead

 

FLAX DRESSERS:

 

Caldwell, Thomas Rose bank

Crawford, James Barr mill

 

FLESHERS AND SPIRIT DEALERS

 

Barbour, Robert Main st/

Crawford, John Main st

Gibson, Andrew Newton/

Miller, William Whang st

Miller, William jnr Main st

 

GLASS CHINA & EARTHENWARE DEALERS:

 

McDonald, John Reform st

White, Matthew New st

 

GROCERS AND SPIRIT DEALERS:

 

Barr, James Main st

Barr, Robert Main st

Gilbraith, James Main st

Gibson, Andrew New st & Newton

Gibson, Andrew Main st

Gillies, Duncan Main st

Kerr, James Strand

Jamieson, James Whang st

Kirkwood, Andrew Whang st

Millar, James (grocer) Cross

Munro, Daniel (grocer) School wynd

Robertson, William Main st

Shedden, Elizabeth Cross

Smith, John Whang st

Stevenson, James Whang st

Swan, Mary Main st

Wilson, John School wynd

 

HAIR DRESSERS:

 

Crawford, John Cross

Wright, John Main st

 

HORSE DEALERS:

 

Robertson, John Brownhills

Stevenson, David Shitterflat

Stevenson, Robert Shitterflat

 

INN AND POSTING HOUSE:

 

Saracen's Head (commercial) Robt Paton, Whang st

 

IRONMONGERS:

 

Muir, John Main st

White, Matthew Main st/

Wilson, Robert Newton

Wilson, Robert jnr Main st

 

LAND SURVEYORS:

 

Aitken, Robert New st

Miller, John Giffin

Stewart, John Newton

 

LIME BURNERS:

 

Craig, Robert Broad stones

Gibson, John Broad stones

 

LINEN & WOOLLEN DRAPERS:

 

Clark, William & Co Whanghead and at Main st Largs

Craig, Andrew Main st

Crawford, Hugh Whang st/

Downie, John Strand

Giffin, Adam Cross

Kirkwood, James Cross

Love, Robert (and wool merchant) Whang st

 

MILLINERS AND DRESS MAKERS:

 

Arnot, Catherine Main st

Dunlop, Elizabeth Main st

Morris, Elizabeth Main st

 

ROPE MAKERS:

 

Rae, John (twine) Townhead

Wyllie, John Whang st

 

SADDLERS:

 

Banks, John Whang st

Calderwood, John Main st

 

SEEDSMEN:

 

Boyd, William Newton

Kirkwood, Andrew Whang st

Kirkwood, James Cross

Love, Robert Whang st

Stevenson, Robert Main st

Wardrop, Robert Head st

 

STARCH MANUFACTURER:

 

Caldwell, James Clark's bridge

 

STOCKING MAKERS:

 

Biggart, David Main st

Biggart, William Main st

 

STRAW HAT MAKERS:

 

Arnot, Jane Main st

Craig, Janet Main st

Rodger, Martha Whang st

Stevenson, Janet Main st

 

SURGEONS & DRUGGISTS:

 

Houston, John Whang st/

Mathias, Joseph Cross

Miller, Thomas New st

Spiers, Alexander Whang st

 

TAILORS:

Hunter, Robert Whang st

Lees, John Whang st

Love, Andrew Main st/

Love, Robert Main st

McRaith, John Main st

Stewart, James Whang st

Stewart, William Whang st

 

TALLOW CHANDLERS

 

Barr, Robert Main st

Galbraith, Thomas Main st

 

TEA DEALERS - WHOLESALE:

 

Crawford & King, Whang st

Faulds, James & Co Strand

Faulds, Robert & Co Braehead

Kirkwood, Andrew Whang st

Wardrop, Robert Main st

 

THREAD MANUFACTURERS:

 

Brown, Hugh Head st/

Caldwell, Thomas Roebank

Crawford & King (and smallware dealers) Strand

Crawford, Hugh Whang st

Crawford, James Whang st

Crawford, John Whang st

Faulds, James & Co (and smallware dealers) Braehead

Faulds, Robert & Co (and smallware dealers) Braehead

 

VINTERS:

 

Allan, Annabella Main st

Borland, John (& brewer) New st

Boyd, John Gateside

Crawford, Agnes Gateside

Kennedy, James Newton

Kerr, James Strand

Landers, James (and card cutter and flower lasher) New st

Logan, Robert Burn house

Love, James Newton

Love, Margaret Main st

McGregor, Donald (Star Inn) Main st

Paton, James (& grocer) Whang st

Robertson, John Head of New st

Shaw, Samuel (& grocer) Whang st

White, Margaret Cross

Wilson, David Whang st

Wilson, John Gateside

Wilson, William Burn house

Wyllie, Margaret (& grocer) Cross

 

WATCH & CLOCK MAKERS:

 

Gibson, John New st

Wilson, David (& jeweller) Whang st

 

WRITERS:

 

Dobie, James (& fiscal) Strand

Kerr, Daniel Whang st

King and Faulds, Braehead/

Spier and Love, Whanghead

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

 

Anderson, John flower lasher Newton

Barbour, William messenger Main st

Barr(?), Robert hat and shoe dealer Strand

Cowan (?), William painter Main st

Crawford, Robert Card cutter New st

Galbraith, John nail maker Whang st

Gas Works, Reform st: James Dobie esq. treasurer and clerk; - David Young, manager

Kirkwood, Thos flax dresser Townhead

Mitchell, John bookbinder New st

Rigg, Benjamin turner Old Lea

Stamp Office, Whanghead - Robert Spier, distributor

Thomson, Robert Veterinary surgeon, Whang st

Warden, James tinsmith Main st

Whyte, Mary stationer Whanghead/

Wilson,David stone mason Whang st

PLACES OF WORSHIP:

Established Church, Rev George Colville.

Relief, Rev James Anderson.

United Associate , Rev James Meikle.

COACHES

To Glasgow and Paisley: the "Fair Trader" (from Saltcoats), calls at the Saracen's Head Inn, every morning at nine, and an evening coach every night at half past eight.

To Saltcoats: the "Fair Trader" (from Glasgow) calls at the Saracen's Head Inn, every evening at half past six; goes through Dalry, Kilwinning and Stevenson.

To Saltcoats and Ardrossan: a coach (from Glasgow) calls at the Saracen's Head Inn, every morning at eight; goes through Dalry, Kilwinning and Stevenson.

CARRIERS

To Glasgow: William Kennedy, from Newton, and James Boyd from School wynd, every Tuesday and Saturday.

To Greenock: Robert Shedden, from Head street, and James Love, from Newton, every Tuesday.

To Kilmarnock and Stewarton: James Love, from Newton, every Friday, and Robert Shedden, from Head street, every Tuesday and Friday.

To Largs: James Lauchland, from Reform street, every Tuesday, and Walter Weir, from Reform Street, every Saturday.

To Paisley: James Howie, from New street, and Robert Thomson, from Commercial square, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

To Saltcoats: James Wark, from School Wynd, every Tues and Sat.

 

  

 

 
 

 

 
 

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