Saturday, 8 December 2007

Ancestry Tour of Airdrie Scotland

Ancestry Tour of Airdrie Scotland. Airdrie in 1846. AIRDRIE, a burgh and market-town, in the parish of New, or East Monkland, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 32½ miles (W. by S.) from Edinburgh; containing 12,418 inhabitants, and comprising the late quoad sacra parishes of High Church, and East, South, and West Airdrie, in which are respectively 1983, 2556, 4666, and 3213 persons. This place, which is comparatively of recent origin, is advantageously situated on the road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and appears to have been indebted for its rise to the numerous mines of coal and ironstone with which the parish and adjoining district abound, and which, within the last half century, have been wrought with increased assiduity and profit. Its situation within a moderate distance of the capital and other principal towns, with which it has facility of intercourse, by means of the Monkland canal, and good turnpike-roads, has rendered it important as a place of trade, and as the residence of numerous persons engaged in collieries and mines; and it is rapidly increasing in population and prosperity. The town is regularly built; the houses are of neat appearance, and the streets are well paved, lighted with gas, and watched, under the provisions of an act of 1 and 2 Geo. IV. A theatre, likewise, is supported by the inhabitants. The principal trade carried on in the town, is that of weaving, in which many persons are employed; and a large cotton factory has been recently established, which affords constant occupation to a large number, in spinning, carding, and other branches of the manufacture. There are a tan-work, brewery, and extensive distillery. The Monkland canal, passing by the town, affords ready communication with Glasgow, to which place coal is likewise forwarded by the Ballochney railroad, which joins those of Kirkintilloch and Garnkirk; and great quantities of coal and mineral produce are also conveyed to the Clyde and Forth canal, whence they are forwarded, eastward to Edinburgh, and westward to Greenock. The market, which is well supplied, and numerously attended, is on Thursday; and fairs, chiefly for cattle, are held generally about the end of May and the middle of November.

The town was erected into a burgh of barony by act of the 1st and 2nd of Geo. IV., by which the government was vested in a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and seven councillors, assisted by a town-clerk and other officers. The provost and bailies are elected from the council, by a majority of the burgesses and other inhabitants possessing the elective franchise; the former, with two of the bailies, annually, the third bailie retaining office for two years. The town-clerk is chosen annually, by the proprietor of the Rochsolloch estate, but is subject to the controul of the magistrates and council; and the provost and bailies are justices of the peace within the burgh, in which, however, the county magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction. The bailies hold courts monthly, for the recovery of debts under 40s. The burgh unites with those of Lanark, Hamilton, Falkirk, and Linlithgow, in returning one member to the imperial parliament; the right of election is vested in the resident burgesses and £10 householders, and the provost is the returning officer. The town-hall, recently erected, is a neat edifice, comprising also a policeoffice, and a small prison for the temporary confinement of offenders previously to their committal by the county magistrates. There is also a public building called the Masons' Hall, which is connected with the trade of the town. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the controul of the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr: the parochial church of East Airdrie, which contains 631 sittings, was erected, as a chapel of ease, in 1797; and a new church for West Airdrie, having 1200 sittings, was built by subscription, in 1835, at a cost of £2370. The stipend of the minister of the former is £120, derived solely from seat-rents; and that of the minister of the latter, £105, derived from seat-rents and collections. There are also two places of worship for South Airdrie and High Church, a town school, and meeting-houses for members of the Free Church, Independents, Roman Catholics, the United Secession, and other congregations.

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