A work that
purports to be historical may well be left to speak for itself.
That the story of the county of Ayr is worth telling there is no
occasion to demonstrate ; it is because it is worth telling—and
well worth telling—that this book has been written.
The author anticipates, with the confidence that some experience
has given him, that the History of Ayrshire will be read by many
leal sons and daughters of the ancient shire, not only within
the bounds, but in other parts of the United Kingdom, and beyond
the seas. His hope is that it may have some effect in
stimulating their pride of birth, and in the men and women who
have made Ayrshire what she is—a worthy mother of her children.
The story is one of ups and downs, of fightings for freedom and
faith, of local and feudal jarrings and turmoils, of steady
persevering through it all on the pathway of progress. Much
broken and chequered, it is nevertheless a consistent whole.
The second volume is given to the history of the leading
families of the shire. In its preparation the author has
received much valuable assistance from members of those historic
houses; and he takes this opportunity of gratefulty
acknowledging their kindness. He has avoided endless
genealogies, his object having been to show the part the
families themselves played in the making of the county, in
Scottish national life, in the work of the United Kingdom. And
in this part of the book the reader will find a multitude of
incidents and episodes that cast many an instructive light upon
the general procession of events.
The History is dedicated to the County herself, with all the
loyalty that is due to her, by one of her many sons.
Volume 1 |