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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Two weird stories of Rutherglen in days of Yore

Mr. HUGH MACDONALD, the popular author of Rambles Round Glasgow, who was born and lived in Bridgeton, and who married first one helpmeet, and on her death another, from the ancient burgh of Rutherglen on the opposite or south side of the river, records the following curious stories about the early relative connection between Glasgow and Rutherglen.

"Although now a comparatively small and insignificant member of the burgh family, Rutherglen boasts a greater antiquity than her extensive and opulent neighbour. Her territories, it is alleged, at one period even included the site of the present manufacturing capital of the west, and tradition yet tells that the architects who erected our venerable Cathedral were indebted for bed and board to the Ruglen folk of that day.

‘According to a legend common in our boyhood among the old wives of Glasgow, but, of course, banished by that general diffusion of philosophy which has given Jack-the-Giant-Killer his quietus, and blighted the wondrous beanstalk, it was said that the Hie Kirk was the work of a race of wee pecks (Picts) who had their domociles in Rutherglen."

These queer bits of bodies, it was added, constructed a subterranean passage between the two localities—a work which throws the famous Thames tunnel completely into the shade; and as they were stronger than ordinary men, they experienced no difficulty in transporting their building materials through this bowel of the earth without equestrian aid.

Had any of the juvenile listeners round the winter evening hearth dared to hint a doubt of the credibility of this story, he was forthwith silenced by the corroborative


This worthy (who, as we have since learned, is made to do similar service for sundry other apocryphal passages of a kindred description) is said to have volunteered, a goodly number of years ago, with his pipes and his dog to explore this famous underground way.

According to the story, he entered one day playing a cheery tune and confident of a successful result, but, as the good old lady who narrated the circumstance to us was wont to say, with bated voice,— he was never seen nor heard tell o’ again." The sound of his pipes, however, was heard some hours afterwards in the vicinity of Dalmarnock, and to the ears ot those who heard it, seemed to repeat, in a wailing key, something like the ominous words,—.

"I doot, I doot, I’ll ne’er get oot."

Alter this tragical event the mouth of the mysterious tunnel was very properly ordered to be closed up, and so effectually has the command been obeyed, that every after-search for it has proved utterly unavailing.

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