Wilson's Eskdale and Liddesdale Directory and Almanac for 1887

Langholm | Canonbie | Ewes | Westerkirk | Eskdalemuir | Newcastleton
almanac cover

The town of Langholm, in the parish of that name, is situated on the river Esk, at its junction with the Ewes and Wauchope. The parish and the adjoining ones of Ewes, Westerkirk, Eskdalemuir, and Canonbie, are known as the "five kirks of Eskdale". The town is a burgh of barony, dating from 1610, and its government is vested in a baron bailie, appointed by the Duke of Buccleuch, and a board of commissioners elected by the inhabitants. Sheriff's Small Debt and Justice of Peace Courts are held at stated periods. The staple trade of the town is the manufacture of tweeds, there being seven mills. Besides the woollen mills there are also two distilleries, a brewery, dyehouse, and tannery. The locality is intimately associated with Johnnie Armstrong and his all-powerful clan, Gilnockie Tower, a reputed residence of the famous Border reiver, standing about four miles below the town, and it was on Langholm holm that, when going to meet King James V, he and his "gallant companie of thirty-six men" ran their horses and brak their spears." The judicial execution of this Border chief and his companions at Carlenrigg is well known. The district is also associated with the Covenanters, notably with Alexander Peden; a hill on the road to Westerkirk and Eskdalemuir being called "Peden's View," and at its foot rises "Peden's Well", where in answer to prayer, a mist is said to have "shrouded him from the dragoons who were seeking his life." Langholm is the birth-place of William Julius Mickle, translator of Camoen's "Lusiad" and for whom is claimed the authorship of the song "There's nae luck aboot the hoose". Burnfoot, three miles from the town, is the birthplace of the "four knights of Eskdale" - Admiral Sir Pulteney, Sir John, Sir James, and Sir Charles Malcolm - to the two former of whom monuments have been erected, that to Sir Pulteney, after having stood forty-four years in Market Place, was removed in the month of August last to the grounds of Langholm Library; and that to Sir John on Whita Hill. Thomas Telford, the constructor of the Menai Bridge, Caledonian Canal, and other great engineering works, was also born in the district, being an apprentice mason at the building of Langholm Bridge. At his death he richly endowed Langholm Library. Four miles from the town is Blough Well, a copious mineral spring, which is exceedingly efficacious in the cure of cutaneous diseases. There are three springs, one sulphureous, and two chalybeate, but the well is perhaps less known than it ought to be. The river Esk is one of the best salmon streams in Scotland. The population of the parish in 1881 was 4612.



Berlin Wool Repository


Booksellers and Stationers

Brewers and Distillers

Builders and Contractors



Coal Agents

Drapers and Clothiers





Fancy Dealers.





Hosiers and Fancy Dealers.





Medical Practitioners.







Police Station.

Railway Stationmaster.






Tweed Merchants



Insurance Agents.

Blanket Club

Mrs Malcolm, Burnfoot, president; Miss Malcolm, Milnholm,treasurer.

Bowling Clubs

Old Town-President, Thomas Stevenson; vice-president. William Easton, secretary and treasurer, John B. Balfour; committee, Robert Scott, Joseph Anderson, William Urquhart. New Town-President, Henry Graham, vice-president, Robert M'George;secretary and treasurer, John Dalgliesh; committee, Henry Sanders, Andrew Park, William Hyslop, William Armstrong, George Duncan.

Burns Club

J. C. Lyall, president; James Dalgliesh, vice-president; George Gibb, secretary; John Millar, treasurer.

Churches and Ministers

Established Church, Rev. James Buchanan; assistant to do., Rev. Thos. Goldie; North U.P. Church, Rev. W. Ballantyne; South U.P. Church, Rev. Wm. Watson; Free Church, Rev. James Panton; E. U. Church, Rev. W. R. Scott; Episcopal Chapel, Rev. P. S. Lockton.

Commissioners of Police

Chairman, Robert M'George, Acting Chief-Magistrate; treasurer, John Macneill; clerk, Robert Scott; assessor, David M'Knight; inspector of cleaning, lighting, and water, John Pearson; commissioners-Walter Millar, J. Dalgliesh, Wr. Scott, W. E. Robertson , John Hotson, J. B. Balfour, John Oliver, A. A Urquhart, James Porteous, A. W. Ritchie, J. J. Thomson, John Stewart, Matthew Knox, and D Latimer

Conservative Association

John Scott, Ashley Bank. president; R. M'George and A. Bell, Hillside, hon. secretaries; W. A. Connell, treasurer.

Curling Club

Patron, Duke of Buccleuch; patroness, Duchess of Buccleuch: chaplain, Rev. James Buchanan; president, John Scott; vice-president, Henry Graham; secretary and treasurer, William Hyslop; committee, James Burnet, John Cargill, William Scott, David M'Knight, John Hyslop, John Reid, Robert M'Vittie, John Oliver.

Eskdale Cyclists Club

Thomas Easton, captain; A. Thomson, vice-captain; W. O. Jackson, secretary and treasurer.

Eskdale Beekeepers' Society

President, William Harkness, Kemrabank; secretary, A. Bell, Hillside; treasurer, H. Sanders, draper.

Eskdaill Hunt Club

Master, John W. J.Paterson, Terrona; Thomas Gaskell, Murtholm, and Wm. Paterson, Sorbie, joint secretaries; A. Irving, Crawsknowe, huntsman.

Eskdale and Liddesdale Agricultural and Pastoral Society

Patron and president, His Grace The Duke of Buccleuch, K.T.; secretaries and treasurers, Stevenson and Johnstone, writers.

Eskdale Rifles

Captain, P. M'Laurin; Lieuts., W. E. Robertson and James Scott; Drill Instructor, J Colour-Sergeant C. Spurr; Colour-Sergeant, 5 Sergeants, 3 Corporals, 2 Buglers, 66 Privates-total, 77.

Fisheries Association

Duke of Buccleuch, president; R. M'George, secretary and treasurer.

Football Clubs

Langholm-President, Earl of Dalkeith; vice - president, John Scott, Ashley Bank; captain, John Hounam; vice - captain, W John T. Burnet; secretary and treasurer, Thomas Paisley; committee, W. D. Currie, Wm. Paisley, James Fletcher, T. Grieve. Field-Castle Holm.

Bullfield-President, Walter Scott, Holmfoot; vice-president, Nathan M'Cleary; captain, John A. Elliot; vice-captain, James Veitch; secretary and treasurer, James Scott; committee, R. Boyd, T. W. Fletcher, D. Whillans, W. Reid. Field-Holmfoot Park.


Eskdale Kilwinning Lodge, No. 107 -R.W.M., John Scott, Ashley Bank; D.M., Henry Sanders; S.D. John Hylop; LD., John Reid; Treasurer, Walter Wilson; Secretary, John Fairley.-Meet Library Buildings.

Home Mission.

David Johnstone, president; J. Hiddleston, vice-president , A. Byers, secretary; A. Warwick, treasurer.

Horticultrural Society

President, Henry Erskine, Buccleuch Square; secretary James H. Jackson, Alma Place; treasurer, Joseph Martin, Henry Street.


Rose of Eskvale Lodge, No. 315-Ninian Wilson, L.D., Charles Street (New). Thomas Telford Lodge, No. 5790Robert Copland, L.D., Henry Street. George Easton, Lodge, No. 941-James Heron, L.D., Charlotte Street. Rosebud Lodge of Juvenile Templars-Wm. Blacklock, Henry Street, D.S.J.T.

Langholm Gas Light Co.

Board of Directors-Christopher Hotson (chairman), Thomas Grieve, Andrew Little, Nathan M'Cleary, Thomas Gaskell, J. J. Thomson, John Stewart; James Paterson, manager; John Fairley, secretary and treasurer.

Langholm Library (Instituted 1800)

Robert M George, treasurer and secretary; Robert Scott, librarian.

Liberal Association

Nathan M'Cleary, president; T. Stevenson, secretary; J. J . Thomson, treasurer.

Local Authority

Commissioners of Police; sanitary inspector, John M'Knight.

Loyal Eskdale Lodge of Oddfellows, No. 5856

N.G., Andrew Hyslop; V.G., Wm. Aitken; Lecture Master, Wm Douglas; Treasurer, John Dalgliesh; Secretary, Wm. Blacklock; number of members, 79; amount of funds at last audit, £774.

Mutual Improvement Society

Honorary president, Colonel Malcolm; president, Thomas Bell; vice-president, Wm. W. Mitchell; secretary, Henry Hotson; treasurer, Frank Reid.

National Bible Society of Scotland (Langholm Auxiliary)

President, W. E. Malcolm, Esq. of Burnfoot; treasurer, Robert Smellie.

Ornithological Society

George Wright, president; James Mitchell, treasurer; Duncan M'Corquindale, secretary.

Parish Church Young Men`s Guild

Religious Section : Honorary president, Rev.Jas. Buchanan; president, Rev. T. Goldie; secretary, T. S., Nicol; treasurer, Edward Armstrong. Literary Section; Honorary president, Rev. J. Buchanan, president, Rev. T. S. Goldie; secretary, Andrew Hyslop; treasurer, Edward Armstrong. Musical Section: Honorary president, Rev. J. Buchanan;president, A. Thomson; secretary and treasurer, R. B, Nattrass.

Parochial Board

Committee, John Bell (chairman), John Hyslop, Nathan M'Cleary, Joseph Park, Andrew Little, Walter Park, George Cumming, John Howie, William Banks; inspector and collector, John M'Knight.


Chief Ruler, Wm.. Armstrong; Deputy Ruler, John Kirkpatrick; secretary, T. Bell; treasurer, A. Whillans.

Road Trustees

M. Carthew-Yorstoun, chairman; R. M'Greorge, clerk and treasurer

Sabbath School Teachers Union

R. Smellie, president : Wm. Lambert, secretary.

School Board

Chairman, vacant; James Burnet, Henry Pears, A. W. Ritchie, Henry Graham, Henry Sanders, J. J. Thomson; clerk and treasurer, Robert M'George.

Shipping Agents

Australia and New-Zealand, William Jackson, Advertiser Office; Allan Line, James Hope, Drove Road; Anchor Line, Robert Scott, post-office; Cunard Line, Walter Wilson, bookseller; Inman Line, Henry Sanders, draper; National Line, R. Scott, post-office; State Line, W. Wilson, bookseller; White Star Line, Walter Wilson, bookseller.

Sir Walter Scott Lodge of Mechanics

I.G., Wm. Henderson; D.M., John Wilson; S.D., Wm Murray; .J.D., Thomas Thompson; Treasurer Edward Armstrong; Secretary, D. M'Corquindale; Tyler, Charles Robson.

Total Abstinence Society

President, W. E. Robertson; vice-president, Rev. W. R. Scott; secretary, Geo. Yeoman; treasurer, W. Armstrong.

Working Men's Annual Sick Society

John Dalgliesh, president; Andrew Whillans. vice- president; Robert Scott, treasurer; Adam Tudhope, clerk.

Young Men's Christian Association

Robert Smellie, president.

Postmaster-Robert Scott.

Office open on week days from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 8.20 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Delivery of letters commences at 7.10 a.m. and 5.35 p.m. on week days. On Sundays there is only one delivery at 9 a.m. Despatch of Mails: Edinburgh and the North. 8 a.m.; Carlisle and the South, and Glasgow and the West 9.30 a,m.; Edinburgh and North of Ireland, 12.50 p.m.; all parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Foreign, 4.10 and 5.30 p.m.

Parcel Post : From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on week days.

Telegraph : From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on week days; Sundays, 9 to 10 a.m.

Langholm | Canonbie | Ewes | Westerkirk | Eskdalemuir | Newcastleton

lies on the southern border of the county, and is separated on the south-east from England by the river Liddle. Its extent is 24,142 acres, and in 1881 the population was 2723. There are inexhaustible mines of coal and quarries of lime in the parish, but only a small part of them are wrought. The sole proprietor is the Duke of Buccleuch. The scenery along the Esk, which divides the parish, is said to be the finest in the south of Scotland. On the farm of Glencartholm some remarkable marine fossils have been excavated, which took the scientific world by surprise, as many of them were hitherto unknown. The discovery of the fossils were made by some members of H.M. Geological Survey of Scotland, and a gentleman in the neighbourhood, and the fossil beds are now known as "The Scorpion Shales of Eskdale." The parish is flat in the southern portion, viz., " Canonbie Lea," the scene of the pursuit of the "lost bride of Netherby." Penton Linns, on the Liddle, about three miles from Canonbie Station on the Langholm Branch, is a much frequented resort for picnic parties.




Cloggers and Shoemakers









Canonbie Colliery

Duke of Buccleuch, proprietor; Alex. Bowie, Esq , manager.

Parochial Board

Chairman, Morden Carthew-Yorstoun, Esq., Irvine House; members-Messrs Church, Doughty, Whitelaw, Bowie, Armstrong,A and Little. Inspector of poor, Rowland Reed, Holinhirst; registrar, Thomas Whitelaw, The Schoolhouse; medical officer, James R. Anderson, M D.

School Board

Chairman, Morden Carthew-Yorstoun, Esq., Irvine House; members-Messrs Doughty, Paterson, C. Graham, Moffat, Nelson, and Little. Clerk, John Watson, Byreburn; officer, Richard Wylie, Priorbank.


Limeycleuch-Thomas Whitelaw, LL.D., F.E.I.S., headmaster: George Aberdein Mills and Misses Martin and Strachan, assistant teachers. Glenzier-James Downs, teacher. Gilnockie-Wm. Weir, teacher. Harlaw-James Taylor, teacher. Rowanburn (Infant)-M. Ashcroft, teacher.

Langholm | Canonbie | Ewes | Westerkirk | Eskdalemuir | Newcastleton

parish contains about 26,992 acres, and is situated near the eastern boundary of the county. Nearly the whole of this portion of the district is devoted to pasturage, but there are several elegant villas which in some degree relieve the monotonous appearance of the landscape. There is an elegant new church at Bentpath, on the left bank of the river Esk, which flows through the parish. The Duke of Buccleuch, Sir Frederick Johnstone of Westerhall, and Colonel Malcolm of Burnfoot are the principal proprietors. There are some valuable antimony mines at Glendinning, but owing to the difficulties of transporting the mineral, they are not at present worked. Population in 1881; 478.

Parochial Board

Committee, W. E. Malcolm, Burnfoot (chairman) M. C. Yorstoun, Irvine House; H. S. Sherry, 4 Raymond Buildings, Gray's Inn, London; Rev. A. Young, The Manse; James Sloan, Georgefield; A. H. Borthwick, Hopsrig; James Moffat, Midknock; inspector of poor, William Roger; medical officer, W. J. Carlyle, M.D., Langholm.

Local Authority

Clerk and inspector, W. Roger; medical officer, W. J. Carlyle, M.D.


W. Roger.

School Board

W. E. Malcolm, Esq. of Burnfoot (chairman); A. H. Borthwick, Hopsrig; J . M. Little, Carlesgill; C. Hotson, Effgill; T. Johnstone, Bankend; clerk and treasurer, James Fairburn, Marsh Cottage, Canonbie.


Westerkirk—headmaster, Wm. Roger; assistant, Mrs Roger

Megdale—S M'Nab.

Curling Club

Patrons, Sir F. Johnstone, Westerhall and W. E. Malcolm, Esq Burnfoot; president, A. H. Borthwick, Hopsrig; vice-president, G. Sloan, Georgefield; secretary and treasurer James Fawcett, Westerhall; skips, A. H. Borthwick; G. Sloan; W Bell; T. Jamieson; T. Hope.


Instituted 1792; number of volumes, 6144; president. W. E. Malcolm, Esq. of Burnfoot; librarian, W Roger; treasurer, J. Fairbairn; clerk, R. Johnstone; assistant-clerk, T. Little.

Friendly Society

President, T. Hope, Bonese; secretary and treasurer, M. Murray, Bentpath; stewards, A. Dalgliesh, Calkinfoot; D. Bell, Westerhall; A. Armstrong, Shielburnfoot.; Joseph Paterson, Kirktonhill

Young Women's Christian Association

President, Mrs Malcolm of Burnfoot; secretary, Mrs Roger, The Schoolhouse.

Parish Church

Rev. Alexander Young, B.A., minister; session clerk, W Roger; church officer, R Johnstone.

Langholm | Canonbie | Ewes | Westerkirk | Eskdalemuir | Newcastleton

is a large and mountainous pastoral parish of 43,282 acres, and is situate on the north-eastern border of the county. The manse, which is about the centre of the parish, is thirteen miles from Langholm. The river Esk has its rise in the parish, and there are numerous small streams, where good trout fishing may be had. Only a small portion of the parish is under cultivation. The principal proprietor is the Duke of Buccleuch. Population in 1881, 543.

Churches and Ministers

Established Church, Rev John Crawford Dick, minister; session clerk, P. J. Carruthers, The Schoolhouse.

Free Church(at Davington), Rev John Tully Falside, minister

Curling Club

Patron, Thomas Beattie, Esq., of Davington; president, William Ewart, Post Office; secretary and treasurer, P. J. Carruthers, The Schoolhouse

Parish Hearse Club

Committee of management, F Paterson (chairman), James Graham, John Armstrong and William Ewart; clerk and treasurer, P. J. Carruthers, The Schoolhose.

Parochial Board

Chairman, Thomas Beattie, Esq., of Davington; medical officer, Dr Peter Sturrock, Hart Manor; inspector of poor, P. J.Carruthers, The Schoolhouse; registrar, William Ewart, Post Office

School Board

A. Glendinning, Glendearg (chairman); Rev J. T. Falside, F. C. Manse; George Oliver, Nether Cassock; James Graham, Cote; William Graham, Holm; A. Glendinning, Glendearg, clerk and treasurer.


Eskdalemuir, P. J. Carruthers, teacher

Davington, John Paterson, teacher.

Langholm | Canonbie | Ewes | Westerkirk | Eskdalemuir | Newcastleton

This parish, anciently called Ewisdale, occupies the north-east corner of Dumfriesshire. It is bounded on the north and east by Roxburghshire, on the west by Westerkirk and on the south by Langholm and Canonbie. It extends to about 24,941 acres, is hilly and mostly pastoral, only the holms along the valley of the Ewes being tilled. All the streams fall into the Ewes or Tarras, which join the Esk, the former at Langholm, the latter in the parish of Canonbie. The population has been pretty stationary during the present century-in 1821 it was 314; in 1871, 338; in 1881, 337. Up a highway from Edinburgh to Carlisle traverses the parish for 7 miles. There is one church and one public school, both in the Valley of the Ewes, and for 5 miles north of Langholm.

Curling Club

D. Stewart, president; Thomas S. Eliot, secretary.

Parish Church

Rev Thomas Smith, minister; Joseph C. Lyall, session clerk

Parochial Board

Rev Thomas Smith, chairman; Joseph C. Lyall, inspector of poor.

Registrar of Births, etc

Joseph C. Lyall

School Board

Rev Thomas Smith, The Manse (chairman); W. Scott Elliott, Esq. Of Arkleton;D. Stewart, Unthank; J. C. Little, Burnfoot; Thomas S. Eliot, Mosspeeble; Joseph C. Lyall, clerk.

Langholm | Canonbie | Ewes | Westerkirk | Eskdalemuir | Newcastleton

is a modern village, in an extensive mountainous parish, formerly known by the name of Castletown, but more generally by the popular title of Liddesdale. The village, which owes its rise to Henry, Duke of Buccleuch, is situated in the centre of the lower and more arable part of the district on the road which proceeds up and Liddesdale. It consists principally of two long streets of neat houses, which occupy a haugh on the right bank of the Liddle. There is no particular trade carried on in the place. The parish is 18 miles in length by 14 miles in breadth, and the northern part is very bleak and mountainous, but affords good sheep pasturage. Near the head of the parish, on the east, rise the Liddle and Tyne. Mineral springs of considerable repute exist at Flatt, Lawston, Thorlieshope, and Tweeden, the latter exhibiting the various stages of the petrifying process. Within the parish are the ruins of no less than five churches, and of many castles and fortified places, but the most remarkable object is Hermitage Castle, dating from the 13th century, built by Comyn, Earl of Monteath. It is one of the largest fortresses on the Border. It has been repaired by the Duke of Buccleuch, and during this operation several small pieces of cannon were found, and a gold ring, evidently a very old manufacture, bearing the inscription "In Broaderie Amite". The extent of the parish is 67,858 acres, and the population in 1881, 2256, of which the village contained 924.



Mr R Cook; Mr James Elliott.


Mr William Nichol.


Mr R. Forster; Mr William Mitchelhill; Mr William Tait.


Mr A. Crozier; Mr A. Inglis; Mr J. Telfer.

Coal Agent

Mr Cowan.


Mr A. Elliot; Mr Fraser; Mr J. McIvor; Misses Murray.


Mrs W. Crozier; Mr J. Crozier; Miss Elliot; Miss Nichol; Misses Oliver; Miss Scott; Misses Thomson.

General Dealers

Mr William Benson; Mr Clark; Mr Thomas Gordon; Miss Grieve.


Mr James Edgar; Mrs Inglis; Mr M. Little; Mr R. Oliver; Mrs Porter; Mrs Taylor.


Mrs Carruthers; Mr J. Scott.


Mr H. Elliot; Mr J. Inglis; Mr A. Scott; Mr Vevers.


Mr J. Scott; Messers Inglis; Mr George Kyle.


Miss Elliot; Miss Murray.

Members of Castleton School Board

Mr Bell, Liddlebank; Mr Elliot, Hermitage; Mr Elliot, Flatt, Mr Stavert, Dykecroftes (chairman); Mr Terris, Riccarton Junction.


Mr A. Armstrong; Mr T. Simpson.


Mr Mackie


Mr J Murray


Mr James Beattie; Mr R Beattie; Mr A Little; Mr J. Milligan; Mr M. Oliver; Mr William Stodart.

Officers of Football Club

Captain, Robert Underwood; Vice captain, Stuart Murray; Secretary, John Murray.

Members of Committee: James Cowan, James Elliot, William Simpson, Robert Underwood, Stewart Murray.

Officers of Mechanics' Club

James Beattie, I.G.; J. Murray, D.M.; John Elliot, Secretary; James Jackson, Treasurer; John Telfer, S.D.; Adam Armstrong, J.D.; A Turnbull, P.S.