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Old faces, old places and old stories of Stirling (Volume 1) online

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of carriages were collected, among the rest a large temporary
machine, erected upon carriage-wheels by Mr Henry Kinross,
coachmaker to Her Majesty, whose place of business not being
upon the line Her Majesty would follow in passing through
the town, devised this mode of testifying his loyalty. It was
a large structure, highly decorated with evergreens, and orna-
mented with a crown composed of dahlias and other flowers,
and capable of containing seventy people standing.


As the Queen appeared at the Bridge, a royal salute was fired
from the Castle guns, and by this time the horsemen in attend-
ance had increased to nearly 200. The Stirlingshire Yeomanry
Cavalry had, through their Colonel, Mr Murray of Polmaise,
tendered their services to aid in protecting Her Majesty's pro-
gress through the county ; and the Stirling Troop, all in plain
clothes, under command of Mr Smith of Deanston, lined and
patrolled the road from Keir. As the Royal carriage passed
each trooper fell in behind, and on the way from Causeway-
head about 50 gentlemen from Clackmannanshire, with the
Sheriff of that county at their head, joined in like manner
to do honour to their Queen.

At the Bridge a triumphal arch had been erected by the
Magistrates, surmounting the barrier at which the keys of the
burgh were to be presented. It was a massive and elegant
structure, principally composed of heather, evergreens, and
boughs of trees, the arch resting on a neat castellated turret
on either side, under which were respectively placed paintings
of Her Majesty and Prince Albert ; in the centre, the Royal
Arms of Scotland, with the word " Welcome " underneath ;
and on the summit a fine large floral crown, with a flag bearing
the arms of the town. Four neatly-dressed boys were stationed


on various parts of the erection, who, as the Queen passed
undemeath, amidst the plaudits of the multitude, waved
several small flags on which was inscribed the word " Wel-
come." On the outside of the arch were erected two plat-
forms. On the westmost one stood the Provost, Magistrates,
and Town Council, and behind them the clergymen of all
denominations, in their gowns and bands, and, next to these,
the burgh school-masters. On the opposite one was a bril-
liant galaxy of youth and beauty. At and within the arch were
stationed the Guildry, with the Dean at their head, and James
Lucas, Esq., bearing the standard. Each of the members
carried a small pennon. The Dean wore also the gold chain and
medal belonging to his office, and a very old ring, set with
precious stones, bearing the inscription : " Yis for ye Diene
of ye Geild of Stirling."

Next to the Guildry were stationed the Seven Incorporated
Trades, headed by Mr William Grant, Deacon Convener, whilst
each of the Trades was presided over by its own Deacon, and
had its peculiar banner. Mr James Thomson also bore the
standard of the whole Trades, known by the name of the " Blue
Blanket." Each member also wore a rosette of blue and white,
the Corporation colours. The Deacon of the Weavers bore a
very curious and ancient spear, or halbert, given by Queen
Mary, and probably the only one remaining of the ancient
weapons received when they appear to have been remodelled
as a military corps. Immediately after the Trades, a very
large number of excisemen belonging to the Stirling collection,
under the command of Collector Halliburton and Supervisor
Milligan, took their station, to manifest their loyalty and
attachment to their Royal Mistress.

The Magistrates were seated in splendid equipages, em-
blazoned with the town's arms, the first carriage being
occupied by the Provost (George Galbraith, Esq.) and Bailie
Bankin; Mr William Galbraith, Town Clerk; and Mr James
Mathie, Chamberlain. They wore full Court dress, and it is
recorded that their appearance was very becoming and digni-
fied. The other Magistrates and Council occupied the remain-
ing carriages, and carried white wands.



On reaching the arch, by command of Her Majesty her
carriage stopped, whereupon the Provost stepped forward, and
addressed the Queen as follows :

" May it please your Most Gracious Majesty,

" As Provost of Stirling, I beg leave __ to approach your
Majesty with sentiments of the most profound respect, and in
the name of the Magistrates and Town Council of your
Majesty's Royal Burgh of Stirling, together with the whole of
the inhabitants, to offer our most sincere and heartfelt wel-
come to this part of your Majesty's dominions in Scotland,
and to assure your Majesty of our devoted loyalty and attach-
ment to your Royal person and government. We hope your
Majesty has received pleasure and gratification in the short
tour you have made through this part of your hereditary
dominions of Scotland, and that at no very distant period you
will be graciously pleased again to visit this country, and favour
your Scottish subjects with another opportunity of testifying
their attachment and veneration to your Majesty's Royal
person and government. We sincerely pray that the Almighty
may long spare your precious life to reign and rule over this


After the reading of the address, the Chamberlain handed
the Provost the town keys (being silver, of a very ancient and
curious form), borne upon a crimson velvet cushion, which the
latter presented to Her Majesty, and said, " And now give me
leave, with the most profound respect and devotion, to place
at your disposal the keys of your ancient and Royal Burgh of

Her Majesty graciously replied " We are assured that they
cannot be in better hands, and it affords us much pleasure
again to return them to your keeping."



The Provost then, addressing himself to His Royal Highness
Prince Albert, said

" May it please your Royal Highness,

" I beg most respectfully to address your Royal Highness in
the name of the Citizens, Town Council, and Magistrates of
Stirling, to offer our hearty welcome to your Royal Highness
to Scotland. We duly appreciate the condescension you have
manifested in accepting the Freedom of the Town, and we will
be delighted to reflect that your Royal Highness's name is
added to the roll of the Burgesses of Stirling. The many
virtues which adorn your character, and the very great amenity
of your manners, has endeared your Royal Highness to the
hearts of all Her Majesty's loving and loyal subjects. Permit
me, in the name of those whom I have the honour to represent,
to wish your Highness good health and every happiness that
this world can afford. And now allow me to place in your
hands a box containing the Freedom of the Royal Burgh of

His Royal Highness was pleased to reply
" My Lord Provost,

"I am very proud of the honour you have now conferred upon
me, and request you will present to the Magistrates and Town
Council my best thanks for this mark of their esteem."

The burgess ticket presented to Prince Albert was enclosed in
a silver box, which was placed within another box formed of a
portion of oak wood from the house of the celebrated George
Buchanan, in Mar Place, Stirling.


This part of the ceremony having been finished, the Provost
again turned to the Queen, and said " Permit me one word of
your Majesty. I had the honour to serve for twenty-four
years under your Majesty's lamented father, his late Royal


Highness, the Duke of Kent ; and it gives me peculiar
pleasure that, as Provost of this Burgh, I should now have the
honour of receiving your Majesty, under the immediate com-
mand of whose revered father I served in Nova Scotia, and was
for thirteen years the Adjutant of his regiment, during the
whole of which time I had the honour to enjoy much of his
patronage, countenance, and favour." To this Her Majesty
replied that she was happy to find, as Provost of this Burgh,
one who had so long served under her revered father.

Immediately on the conclusion of this part of the ceremony,
the Royal cavalcade began to move. The carriages of the
Provost, Magistrates, and Council preceded by the Newhouse
Band advanced in front of Her Majesty, who was immediately
followed by the other Royal carriages. Behind the latter, the
members of the Guildry with the Milton Band at their head
advanced in procession. The Guildry was followed by the
Seven Incorporated Trades of the burgh, who fell into the
procession as it advanced into the town. After the Trades
came the Excisemen.

As the cavalcade approached the town, Her Majesty was
everywhere hailed with the most rapturous cheering, waving
of handkerchiefs, and every other demonstration of loyalty and
attachment. The route taken by the procession was along
the west end of Cowane Street, and up St. Mary's Wynd and
Broad Street to the Castle, and on emerging from St. Mary's
Wynd into Broad Street the scene was of the most gay and
animated description. Every window presented a group of
joyous faces, eagerly waiting for a glimpse of Royalty, and as
Her Majesty's carriage drove into the street, such a burst
of cheering broke forth as the walls of old Stirling had never
before heard. Her Majesty was obviously greatly delighted,
and acknowledged the huzzas and waving of handkerchiefs by
repeated bowing and smiling towards both sides of the street.


On arrival at the Castle the entrance to which was laid
with crimson cloth the Royal party alighted, and were re-
ceived by Sir Archibald Christie, Deputy Governor, and saluted


by a guard of honour of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, the pipers
striking up the Queen's Anthem. Her Majesty having ac-
knowledged the salute, proceeded through Queen Anne's Gate,
which anciently formed the outer portal of the Castle. The
batteries had been laid with crimson cloth, in anticipation of
Her Majesty paying them a visit, but want of time precluded
her from inspecting these, and witnessing one of the finest
scenes in Britain. On reaching the upper square, the Parlia-
ment House and the Chapel Royal were pointed out.

At the Governor's house the Douglas Room there were in
attendance to receive Her Majesty and the Prince, Lady
Christie and the Misses Christie ; Colonel Tytler, Fort Major ;
Sir George Murray, colonel of the 42nd Royal Highlanders ;
Miss Murray ; Deputy Fort-Major Peddie ; the Countess of
Mar ; the Honourable Miss Abercromby ; the Honourable Mrs
Lefroy; Lady Seton Steuart, and the Misses Steuart. Her
Majesty descended to the Garden, and viewed the magnificent
scenery from the terrace, and had the various places of interest
pointed out to her. On the King's Knot being pointed out,
Her Majesty was graciously pleased to order that it should be
carefully preserved. Her Majesty and the Prince throughout
showed that they were well acquainted with the history of the
interesting spot they had visited.


After the party had partaken of cake and fruit, the Governor
directed Her Majesty's attention to an old chair with the in-
scription on white satin " The identical chair on which James
V. sat when the following circumstance, narrated in the
Statistical Account, happened Being once benighted when
out a-hunting, and separated from his attendants, he happened
to enter a cottage in the midst of a moor at the foot of the
Ochil Hills, near Alloa, where, unknown, he was kindly re-
ceived. In order to regale their unexpected guest, the gude-
man (i.e., landlord, farmer) desired the gudewife to fetch the
hen that roosted nearest the cock, which is always the plump-
est, for the stranger's supper. The King, highly pleased
with his night's lodgings and hospitable entertainment, told


mine host at parting, that he should be glad to return his
civility, and requested that the first time he came to Stirling
he would call at the Castle, and inquire for the Gudeman o'
Ballangeich. Donaldson, the landlord, did not fail to call on
the Gudeman o' Ballangeich, when his astonishment at finding
that the King had been his guest afforded no small amusement
to the merry monarch and his courtiers ; and to carry on the
pleasantry, he was thenceforth designated by James with the
title of King of the Moors, which name and designation have
descended from father to son ever since, and they have con-
tinued in possession of the identical spot, the property of Mr
Erskine (now Earl) of Mar, till very lately." Her Majesty
smiled to Sir Archibald, and bore off the printed cloth.

Her Majesty also entered the Chapel Royal, the scene of
the baptism of Prince Henry, eldest son of James VI., and
first Prince of Wales of the Stuart line, being received by the
Rev. Mr Watson, chaplain to the garrison, surrounded by most
of the clergymen of the town, among whom were the Rev.
Messrs Beith, Cupples, Stewart, Gilfillan, Maclvray, Marshall,
Henderson, Steedman, and M'Kerrow, from Bridge of Teith.
Crossing the upper square, and entering the lower, the military
again saluted, Mr Abercromby, who carried the colours, lower-
ing them as Her Majesty passed, and at the drawbridge Her
Majesty took leave of the Governor. As Her Majesty was
about to start, Miss Christie, the Governor's daughter, pre-
sented her with a panoramic view of the scene, her own

The procession moved down town to the Burgh Gate in Port
Street, where a triumphal arch was erected, and here the
Magistrates took leave of Her Majesty. The Yeomanry of the
county were stationed on the outer side of the arch, ready to
escort her to the eastern boundary of the county, and Her
Majesty then set forward at a rapid pace.


The Magistrates and a number of townsmen returned to the
Town House, in Broad Street, where Her Majesty's health
was pledged. The company afterwards proceeded to the


Bowling Green, where the Guildry and Trades were assembled,
and the same toasts were again proposed and responded to.
Immediately thereafter nearly 400 of the poor of the town
were entertained to refreshments in the Bowling Green, each
person being supplied with a pie, bread and cheese, and table-
beer, followed by a pint of strong ale. After dinner dancing
took place, kept up with much spirit ; then an ox, which W. R.
Ramsay, Esq. of Barnton, had presented, and which was being
roasted in the Valley, was ready to be served out, when each
received a portion, and returned to their homes. At 4 o'clock
a large party of the inhabitants sat down to dinner in the
Guild Hall Provost Galbraith being in the chair, and W. R.
Ramsay. Esq. of Barnton, croupier. The Milton instrumental
band was present. In the evening a ball took place in the
Corn Exchange.


During Her Majesty's progress down Baker Street the crowd
was very great, and the respect of the people for their Queen,
or the force of dragoons which accompanied Her Majesty's
carriage, could hardly prevent the dense living mass from being
impelled upon Her Majesty's coach. It was quite impossible,
however, to prevent some little obstruction to the carriages
which followed, and when the one containing Sir Robert Peel,
the Earl of Aberdeen, and two ladies, approached, the crowd
was driven upon it, and one man, to save himself from being
trodden down, laid his hands on the side. Upon this Sir
Robert, who was seated next the man, asked him what he
meant. The man told him the reason, showing him the
necessity ; " But," continued he, " as I am accidentally brought
into conversation with the Prime Minister, I beg to tell you,
Sir Robert, that if you do not repeal the Corn Laws, the work-
ing people, as well as the manufacturers of this country, will
be entirely ruined, as trade has fallen, and is still falling so
low, that nobody can live by it, in consequence of the high
price of provisions, caused by the Corn Laws, and also the


limited amount of foreign trade, resulting from the monopoly
in corn."

Sir Robert, hearing the man speaking so quietly, looked at
him, and said, " You seem a respectable man, and are well
clothed ; what are you ? "

" I am a weaver," replied the man ; " and if I am well clothed,
it is the fruit of former savings ; but my pockets are now, and
have been for months, empty ; my meal-barrel at home is also
empty, as well as the cupboard; my house is also beginning
to get empty, and when that is finished, my good clothes must
follow ; and then, neither I nor many others will have a coat
to go to church or to honour the Queen when she appears
among us."

Sir Robert answered, " You should tell these things to Her

"No," said the man; "I have no access to the Queen, but
you have, and are, besides, Prime Minister, and I am telling
you, that if the Corn Laws are not totally repealed, you will
drive the country to such an extremity, as that neither you,
the Ministry, nor even the Queen, will be safe. If," con-
tinued he, rising in confidence as he got along, " you suspected,
Sir Robert, that any harm was intended you when I seized the
carriage, you are greatly mistaken. No, Sir Robert, the
people of Stirling will protect you much better than those
dragoons could do, and see you safely out of the town, without
hurting a hair of your head; but, remember, the Corn Laws
must be repealed, totally repealed, or the country will either
be ruined or rise in rebellion, or both. Good morning."


This ancient society, it may have been observed, did not
take part in welcoming Her Majesty, and the reason therefor
is found in the following extract from the minute-book of the
body, copied verbatim et literatim :

Stirling, 9 September, 1842.
At a Meeting regularly wanied, and held in the Trades hall


for the purpose of taking the sense of the General body, as to
what steps should be taken to Compliment her Gracious
Majesty Queen Victoria, who is to pass from the North through
Stirling on her way back to Dalkeith Palace, thence to Lon-
don, along with her spouse Prince Albert.

Seven only having come to the Meeting ; after some discus-
sion we consider ourselves bound to testify in some way or
other, our sincere respect for Royalty, more especially that
Her Majesty has hitherto acted in a most liberal way, always
shewing a true and delicate sense of the dictates of Her high
station. It being not convenient for the body to walk in pro-
cession, they agree to meet in Hugh Eraser's house, and Drink
Her Majesty's health. The sum of one shilling for each mem-
ber to be taken from the funds of our end, and each member
to pay at least sixpence in addition, and whatsoever member
may attend, the same to be allowed by the Body, not to exceed
one pound.

God save the Queen.


Forth and Clyde Railway.

On 12th January, 1854, the first sod of the Forth and Clyde
Junction Railway was cut by the Duke of Montrose.

The National Wallace Monument.


On Monday, 24th June, 1861, Scotland at last made effort
to atone for neglect of the memory of the patriot, Sir William
Wallace, and if numbers and enthusiasm could make up in any
manner for that neglect, the effort proved a decided success,
for never had gathering so vast been seen in Stirling. From
early morning trains arrived from all parts, with municipal
bodies, Volunteers, and about 200 lodges of Masons, Odd-


fellows, Crispins, and others. 40 bands of music and pipers
innumerable discoursed martial and patriotic airs, " Scots Wha
Ha'e," " God Save -the Queen," and the " Masons' Anthem "
being the favourites. Various estimates were made of the
numbers present, one being placed as high as one hundred
thousand, the procession itself extending fully two miles. Con-
spicuous in the line were 30 companies of Volunteers, repre-
senting as many regiments, and under command of Colonel
Griffiths, of the Scots Greys. The Commander-in-Chief had
granted permission for 400 soldiers being present, and 150
policemen were drafted to the district to preserve order and
prevent accidents on the top of Abbey Craig.

The bodies taking part in the procession assembled in the
King's Park, and moved off shortly after 1 o'clock, a signal-gun
being fired from the Castle, and the public bells ringing out
a merry peal. The line of route was crowded with spectators,
and at Causewayhead the assemblage was so dense as to make
the road impassable. The procession was headed by Lieut.-
General Sir James Maxwell Wallace, K.C.B., representative in
the male line of the Scottish hero, after whom came the Grand
Marshals, Captain Rochhead and Chief-Constable Meffen.
The various Artillery and Rifle Volunteers, Curling Clubs,
Gardeners' lodges, and Oddfellows' and St. Crispin lodges fol-
lowed ; and amongst the local bodies taking part were the
ancient Society of Omnium Gatherum ; the master and pupils
of Allan's and Cunningham's Mortifications ; the Stirling Cadet
Corps ; the Seven Incorporated Trades, with the " Blue
Blanket ; " the Convener Court ; the Guildry Officer carrying
the Stirling Jug ; the members of the Guildry ; the Town
Officials ; the Town Chamberlain, bearing on a cushion the
silver keys of the burgh. The master-gunner of Dumbarton
Castle carried the sword of Sir William Wallace, and a servant
of the Earl of Elgin that of King Robert the Bruce. Another
sword of King Robert Bruce was sent by Sir James Walker
Drummond, Bart, of Hawthomden ; the sword of the Laird of
Lundin (supposed to have been used by him at the battle of
Stirling Bridge) was sent by Lady Willoughby d'Eresby ; and
the sword of the Black Douglas by William Campbell of Tullich-
ewan, whilst martial banners which had waved at Flodden, and


numerous other memorials of many a bloody fray were to be
seen. The summit of the Craig was reached by the Grand
Master Mason and the Grand Lodge about 3 o'clock, and the
stone was then laid with the usual solemnities, the following
documents, in a crystal vase, being placed in the cavity of the
stone : A copy of " Wallace, and His Times " (by James
Patterson) ; " Life of Wallace " (published by Murray & Sou) ;
"Burns' Poetical Works" (Gall & Inglis) ; "Lady of the
Lake;" "A Week at Bridge of Allan, &c. (by Dr Rogers);
" British and Masonic Calendar for 1861 " (compiled by Donald
Campbell, Esq.) ; " The National Wallace Monument the Site
and the Design " (by Dr Rogers) ; inscriptions on vellum, with
list of Wallace Committee and Town Council of Stirling, list
of Grand Lodge ; circulars, programme, and poem on the
occasion of the ceremonial by Mr James Macfarlane, coins,
New Testament, and medal.

The Duke of Athole having completed the ceremonial, the
Union Jack was hoisted, and the booming of 21 guns from
Stirling Castle announced that the stone was laid. Then fol-
lowed a loud burst of triumph from the vast multitude which
environed the Craig and watched the proceedings.

The day's festivities were appropriately terminated with a
banquet in the Corn Exchange Hall. Sir Archibald Alison
presided, and the other speakers included Sir James Stuart
Menteith, Bart. ; Sir James Maxwell Wallace ; Colonel Archi-
bald Alison ; Professor Blackie ; Sheriff Glassford Bell ;
Sheriff Tait ; and Mr Henry Inglis of Torsonce.




TIRLING, from its position, has always, as is well
known, been regarded as of prime importance from a
strategical point of view, the records of the conflicts
which have been waged in its vicinity affording
abundant evidence of this fact. Mainly because of its position
in the centre of Scotland, and at the neck of land formed by
the Firth of Forth and the western hill country, all roads had
to converge in its neighbourhood, and it was long regarded as
the " Key to the Highlands." It was to effect the passage of
the Forth at Stirling that the Earl of Mar and the Jacobite
army advanced from Perth in the beginning of November,
1715, when they were met by the Royalists, under the com-
mand of the Duke of Argyle, at Sheriffmuir, and the famous
encounter took place which proved so disastrous to the
Jacobites, although both commanders claimed the victory, the
contention giving rise to the very clever ballad by the Rev.
Murdoch M'Lennan of Crathie, " The Race at Sheriffmuir,"
which has it :

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Online LibraryWilliam DrysdaleOld faces, old places and old stories of Stirling (Volume 1) → online text (page 17 of 25)