FINDING time hang heavy on my
hands in the first 1 years of my retirement from active work in a large
school, I devoted some time and attention to a paper on “Wamphray in the
Olden Time,” which formed one of a series of lectures given in that parish.
A number of my audience were good enough afterwards to express the wish that
I should amplify the matter which I had collected and publish it in book
form. The present volume contains, then, the result of my researches into
the life and times of the parish in a bygone age. I publish it in the hope
that it may interest not only the people living in Wamphray and Upper
Annandale in the present day, but also the descendants of those who
emigrated from the parish in former times to lands beyond the seas.
It may also be of interest even to those who have no connection with the
parish, as giving a picture of life and the affairs of church, state, and
school, at the dates of which it treats.
I desire to take this opportunity of expressing my warmest thanks to the
friends, too numerous to mention by name, who have assisted me in various
ways in the collection of material.
I have to thank Mr. G. C. Thomson for permission to use his photograph of
Girthhead as a frontispiece. The other illustrations are from photographs
which Mr. John Weir, photographer, Moffat, had the kindness to place at my
CLIFTON, LOCKERBIE, Sept., 1906.
For “Stenrishhill” and “Mylne,” -which are frequently mentioned in the
following pages, read “Stenrieshill ” and “Milne.”
On page 43, line 1, for “cousin” read “grand-nephew.”
On page 43, line 3, for “cousin’s” read “grand-uncle’s.”
HISTORY OF WAMPHRAY—“Uamph Fri"—Leithenhall — The Romans—Rammel Hill—Strathcluid—The
Danes —The “Mote"—The Lairds: Avenels, Grahams, Carlyles, Corries,
Kirkpatricks, Boyles, Scots, Crichtons, Johnstones, Hopetouns, Fettes,
Rogersons, Jardines — Factors — Poldean — Stenrieshill —Girthhead — Milne—
FARM LIFE—Rent—Names of Farms, and New Names among the Tenant Farmers—Farm
Work—The Staple Grains—Fences—Highways—Farm Steadings — Tradesmen—State of
Times between 1700 and 1745—Changes in System of Farming—New Names—The
Factor’s remarks on Farms from 1764—Cropping Table for 1798—Farm Implements
— Servants and Wages — Improvements — Produce Table—Rate of Wages—Increase
in Value of the Parish—Agricultural Statistics—Ploughing Matches —Farmers.
CHURCH AFFAIRS—St. Ninian—St. Mungo—Wamphray Church—Kirkhill—Chapel Lea—Lady
Wamphray—The Parish Kirk—Ministers—Elders—Precentors—Beadles— The
GATESIDE RELIEF CHURCH AND THE FREE CHURCH—The Relief Church
building—Ministers—The Session—Elders—The Free Church—Ministers—Elders.
THE PARISH SCHOOL—Act of 1696—Teachers—Early School Books — Mr. Charteris—
Mr. Rae — The New Education Act—Home Lessons—Faculty of Education— List of
Ministers, Doctors, and Teachers, educated by Mr. Charteris—Students
educated in Mr. Rae's time—Wamphray Doctors.
A RETROSPECT—Small Holdings, Newton, or Gilgal— Hostelries at and before
Coaching Times—Carriers’ Carts —Post Office—Public News—Place Names—Social
Life and Characters among the Crofters—Wages—Prices of Food—Concerning the
Very Poor—Emigration—Coaching Days—Social Life—Theatricals—Dumfries Courier—
Sports and Games—Women’s Rights—Longevity Records —Funeral
Services—Superstitious Beliefs — Houses — Old Buildings and
Ruins—Antiquarian Remains—Odds and Ends—Potato Failure—The Caledonian
Railway— Burning the Water.
DEPARTED INDUSTRIES OF THE OLDEN TIMES AND REMINISCENCES CONNECTED WITH
—Rural Depopulation—Population, Parish Rates, Deaths, Etc.
THE LADS OF WAMPHRAY