Market- Town.- Stirling is the only market-town in the parish. It has a weekly market on Fridays for grain, and the other produce of the district, which is well attended. It has also several fairs or extraordinary markets, for horses, wool, &c. annually, which are held on Fridays. There are only two villages, viz. Raploch and Abbey; whose population has been already stated.
Means of Communication.- The post-office is in a very convenient
part of the town, in respect of proximity to the great roads by
which the mails are received and despatched in all direction.
There are mails to Edinburgh twice, and to Glasgow three times
in the day, and through these cities to the south: to Perth, Aberdeen,
&c. once; to Doune, Callander, Alloa, Larbert, Falkirk, Denny,
&c once or twice. There are excellent turnpike-roads in all
directions The length of these, however, within the parish is
too trifling to be worthy of notice The number of public carriages
as mail and stage-coaches, omnibuses, stage-cars, is very great,
considering the size of Stirling. To these are to be added the
steam-boats, constantly plying between Stirling and Newhaven or
Granton Pier of these, there are in the summer and autumn never
less than two, and often three They convey an immense number of
passengers to and from this place; besides those who embark and
disembark at the other towns amid villages on the Frith. The fares
by these steam-boats are exceedingly low, and those by the other
public conveyances, moderate There are two bridges over the Forth,
near to one another to the north of the town. By the new one,
of course, the great north road now runs. The other ought to have
been particularly noticed under a former head. It is of very considerable
antiquity. The date of its erection is unknown ; but it is probably
not less than 300 years old. Archbishop Hamilton was hanged upon
it in 1571 by order of the Regent Lennox. It has four
arches ; of which General Blakeney, Governor of the castle, caused
the south one to be blown up in 1745, to intercept the Highlanders.
When this arch was restored, is unknown. It is of antique structure,
narrow amid highs in the centre ; and hath originally flanking
towers, through which were gates near to each end ; and two low
ones in the middle. The new bridge has three arches; and a wide
and level road-way. The harbour, for the accommodation of vessels
in the port of Stirling, formed by the bending of the river, and
a quay on the convex, which is at this point the south and Stirling,
side, is not very commodious, but quite large enough for the increasing
Ecclesiastical History and Present Ecclesiastical
The occasion and date of the erection of the edifice now occupied
by the East and West Churches have been already mentioned. When
the Reformation had taken place, the apparatus and insignia of
the idolatrous Popish ritual were, of course, removed along with
the abolition of the ritual itself; and the Protestant worship
was set up. From this period until 1607, the parish was under
the spiritual charge of one minister. A second minister was then
appointed ; but it was not till 1643 that a fixed endowment was
given by the magistrates, &c In 1731, upon an application
from the inhabitants, the third charge was created, upon which
occasion they gave their consent to a multure, which had been
levied for some years, being perpetuated for its support. From
this time, the ministers of the first and second charges were
colleagues together in the East Church, the minister of the third
charge preaching in the West, until, upon the deposition of Ebenezer
Erskine, for whom this charge had been instituted, that church
was disused as an ordinary place of worship, and only opened on
sacramental occasions for the accommodation of those who could
not find access to the East Church. This state of things, notwithstanding
one or perhaps more petitions of the inhabitants, continued till
1817, when the third charge was revived, and the West Church re-opened.
The arrangement, in other respects, continued the same down to
1825, when the then minister of the third charge, being appointed
to the second, remained in the West Church, instead of being transferred
to the East, and, on being appointed in 1829 to the first charge,
still remained in the West Church. The arrangement adopted since
this last date has been, that the minister of the first charge
is fixed in the West Church, the minister of the second charge
in the East, and the minister of the third charge preaches in
each church alternately as colleague to both the others. This
anomalous arrangement will soon be broken up, in consequence of
the erection of the new church now in progress; when each minister
will have his own church, kirk-session, congregation, and parochial
territory. A temporary arrangement, in so far as respects separate
kirk-sessions and parochial districts, has meanwhile been adopted,
in conjunction with the minister and session of the Old Light
Burgher congregation, lately united to the Established Church,
which can only go a little way towards the bringing about a right
ecclesiastical economy, and to which it is unnecessary more particularly
to advert. One circumstance which, along with others connected
with the increase of the population, and the increased necessity
of a closer and more adequate system of pastoral superintendence,
urgently recommend an improvement in the present ecclesiastical
arrangements, is the inconvenient position of the presently existing
churches, situated on a high elevation in the very outskirts of
the most inaccessible part of the town, and near to the extremity
of the parish. This inconvenience will only be remedied in part
by the new erection. A proper parochial arrangement will never
be effected until the West Church be shut up, and another church
be built in the northern quarter of the town. It has been ascertained
by measurement that the accommodation in the East Church amounts
to about 1195 sittings, that in the West to about 1144 ; in both
2339 ; the free sittings in both to only 80, most of them in the
West Church and inconveniently situated. The minister of the first
charge alone has right to a glebe and manse. Since the old manse,
already mentioned, was taken down, there has been none. In lieu
of it, L. 40 per annum is allowed him for house rent. His glebe
extends to nearly five acres. His stipend is as follows -From
teinds of lands principally in the parish of Stirling, and partly
in that of St Ninians, the teinds of which belonged to the Abbey
of Cambuskenneth, wheat, 4 bolls, 3 firlots, 2 pecks; barley,
96 bolls, 3 pecks, 2 lippies; oatmeal, 68 bolls; oats, 40 bolls,
2 firlots, 1 peck, 2½ lippies; beans, 4 bolls, 3 firlots,
1 peck; money, including vicarage, L. 40, 0s. 6d.; allowance for
communion elements, payable by the heritors or the parish, L.
9, 18s. 10d.; allowance of the price of two beeves, averaging
about L. 17; and a right to a boat's fishing in the river, at
present rented by the town for L. 70.
The minister of the second charge has a stipend or L. 250, and
the minister of the third charge a stipend of L. 200.
The sacrament of the Lord's Supper being dispensed twice annually
in each of the two churches in addition to the allowance for communion
elements given to the minister of the first charge, three other
allowances of L. 8, 6s. 8d. each, are given for the same purpose,
which fall to the other two ministers ; and as, at present, the
minister of the second charge presides in the celebration of the
ordinance, and provides the communion elements once, and the minister
of the third charge twice; these allowances are distributed accordingly.
The following is a notice of the ministers of Stirling from the
earliest period after the Reformation up to which they can be
ascertained, with such particulars of their history as may with
propriety be introduced in a Statistical Account, in so far as
I have been able to trace them.
The first individual who appears to have occupied any ministerial
office in the parish of Stirling, was Thomas Duncanson,
Reader, who was, for uncleanness, suspended by the General
Assembly, December 31, 1563. 1 have found no subsequent notice
John Duncanson, chaplain to the King, is mentioned in the records of the General Assembly, August 6, 1571, as one of the ministers commissioned to treat with the Regent about ecclesiastical affairs. He was moderator of the Assembly which met in August 1574. He may have discharged the duties of parochial minister, but does not appear to have held the office.
The notorious Robert Montgomery was minister of Stirling
as early as August 1581. By the General Assembly, which met at
Glasgow in April that year, he was appointed a commissioner with
two other ministers to erect Presbyteries at Stirling and Linlithgow
; and, accordingly, on the 8th of August, assisted at the erection
of the presbytery of Stirling, of which place, the records show,
he was then minister. Two months after, the process against him
for unsound doctrine, dissolute life, and contumacy, was commenced,
which terminated in his deposition and excommunication in April
1582. He appears to have been as early as 1564 minister
of Cupar in life.
The minister of Cambuskenneth sat in the Presbytery in 1581.
James Anderson succeeded to Montgomery in 1582.
Patrick Simpson was settled in 1591. In 1607, by an order
of Council, an attempt was made to have him created perpetual
moderator of the presbytery ; but the presbytery answered, "
that he had not been able, on account of sickness, to discharge
his own calling in preaching; much less was he able to discharge
the office of constant moderator ; and therefore they could not
burden him with an impossibility."
Robert Mure was admitted coadjutor to Patrick Simpson the
same year. This was the earliest appointment of a second minister.
In 1610 it was ordained, by the Presbytery, that the second minister
was not to take the first charge without consent of the presbytery.
Henry Guthrie was admitted to the first charge in May 1632.
In 1638 he was desired to apply to the magistrates for a fellow
labourer. It does not appear what was the result at that time
but John Allan was appointed to the second charge in 1645;
and Guthrie and he were put out by the commission of the General
Assembly for malignancy in 1648.
James Guthrie succeeded Henry in the first charge in 1649
and was executed in Edinburgh in 1661.
---- Bennet was appointed to the second charge in 1650.
Mr Guthrie, with the concurrence of his two elders, the provost,
and two bailies, appointed Robert Rule to fill the second
charge on its becoming vacant. But this not being sanctioned By
the town-council, they appointed Matthias Simpson, who was admitted
by the presbytery on the 19th November 1655, after some interruption
by the governor of the castle, on the ground of the question raised
by Mr Guthrie, as to His right to nominate the second minister,
being still pending before the Council of State. The result of
the disagreement was, ass order of the Court of Session to build
up a wall of partition, to divide the fabric church into two distinct
ch ruches; which was done, and two congregations formed, in 1556.
Matthias Simpson succeeded James Guthrie in the first charge
in 1661, and died in 1664. The cause of the opposition made by
Guthrie to Simpson, becomes evident from the opposite courses
they followed at the Restoration of Charles. Guthrie had been
a Protester, and died a martyr to his principles ; Simpson, a
Resolutioner, conforms to prelacy and is promoted.
-- Kynnier was appointed to the second charge in 1663.
James Forsyth, minister of Airth, was appointed to the
first charge in 1665, and died in 1675.
Patrick Murray was settled in the second charge in 1668;
and died in 1682.
Dr William Pearson was appointed to the first charge in
1677, and died in 1679.
Dr Munro obtained the first charge in 1679; and resigned
in 1693, probably not choosing to conform to the Presbyterian
James Hunter was appointed to the second charge in 1682;
and deposed in 1693.
Robert Rule, who bad been made second minister by James
Guthrie, and had since been minister of Kirkaldy, was appointed
to succeed James Hunter in the second charge in 1693; and, in
August 1694, succeeded Dr Munro in the first; and died in 1703.
John Forrester from London was admitted to the second charge,
December 3,1696, and died in June or July 1702.
James Brisbane, minister of Kilmalcolm, was admitted December
29, 1704, to the second charge; and to the first, some time previous
to January 1706; and died in June 1725.
-- Macauley, minister of Inchinnan, was admitted to the
second charge, October 30, 1706; and died October 1715.
Alexander Hamilton, minister first of Ecclesmachen and
then of Airth, was admitted to the first charge, February 2, 1726;
and died January 29, 1738.
Charles Moore, minister of Culross, was admitted to the
second charge, March 26, 1718; and died November 1736.
In 1731 the third charge was created; and Ebenezer Erskine,
minister of Portmoak, was admitted to it. He was deposed in 1740.
The third charge was in abeyance from this date till 1817.
Thomas Turner, minister of Tulliallan, was admitted to
the first charge, December 31, 1740; and
Daniel Macqueen, minister of Dalzi1, was on the same day
admitted to the second charge. He was removed to Edinburgh, June
1758; and Mr Turner died, November 1, 1762.
John Muschet was ordained and admitted to the second charge,
August 2, 1760; was translated to the first, October 4, 1780 and
died April 22, 1793.
Thomas Clelland, minister of Cambusnethan, was admitted
to the first charge, August 4, 1763; and died July 31, 1769.
Thomas Randall, minister of Inchture, was admitted to the
first charge, June 21, 1770; and died July 26,1780.
Walter Buchanan was ordained and admitted to the second
charge, November 23, 1780; and translated to Canongate, Edinburgh,
June 18, 1789.
James Somerville, (afterwards, D. D.) minister first at
Rotterdam, then at Whitburn, was admitted to the second charge,
October 8, 1789, and to the first, June 27, 1793; and died January
William Innes was ordained and admitted to the second charge,
August ~5, 1793; and, having become an Independent, was deposed
October 8, 1799.
John Russel, minister of the High Church, Kilmarnock, was
admitted to the second charge, January 30, 1800; and died February
Archibald Bruce was ordained and admitted to the third
charge, now revived, September 24, 1817; and died June 11, 1824.
George Wright, (D. D.) minister of Markinch, was admitted
to the first charge, January 21, P818; and died October 24, 1826.
Alexander Small, (D. D.) minister of Stair, was admitted
to the second charge the same day; and died January 5, 1825.
Archibald Bennie, assistant minister of Albion Street Chapel,
Glasgow, was admitted to the third charge, October 14, 1824; to
the second charge, June 17, 1825; to the first charge, March 31,
1829; and translated to Lady Yester's, Edinburgh, September 24,1835.
John Marshall, minister of Swallow Street Chapel, London,
was admitted to the third charge, September 15, 1825; and to the
second, July 29, 1830; and died September 3, 1833.
James Macfarlane was ordained and admitted to the third
charge, May 3, 1831; and translated to St Bernards, Edinburgh,
January 12, 1832.
Alexander Leitch, minister of Gartmore Chapel, was admitted
to the third charge, September 13, 1832.
George Cupples, minister of Legerwood, was admitted to
the second charge, January 9, 1834.
James Julius Wood, minister of Newton-upon-Ayr, was admit-ted
to the first charge, May 12, 1830; and translated to New Greyfriars,
Edinburgh, June 5, 1839.
Alexander Beith, minister first of the Gaelic Chapel, Hope
Street, Glasgow, then of Kilbrausdon, and afterwards of Gleneig,
was admitted to the first charge, September 26, 1839.
There are no chapels of Ease in the parish; but the Spittal Square Church and congregation, formerly belonging to the Old Light Burgher Synod, and now united to the Established Church, stands very much in the same relation to the Establishment. The minister, the building, &c are supported entirely by seat rents, collections at the church doors, &c The ministers of the following Seceding and Dissenting congregations in Stirling are supported, and their places of worship kept up in the same way, viz. United Secession, 2; Cameronian, 1; Independent, 1 ; Episcopalian, 1 ; Baptist, 3. The Baptist congregations, two of which are very small, have no place of worship erected for them; but meet, one in the Guildhall, one in the Tradeshall, the third in a hired apartment. There is also a Popish chapel, erected within these very few years by contributions obtained in Scotland, England, and, it is supposed, foreign parts. How the priest is supported, I cannot say; but believe, partly at least, by contributions from his congregation. This chapel is under the jurisdiction of the Bishop residing in Edinburgh. There has been no accurate enumeration, that can be depended on, of the individuals, or families, belonging to the different denominations since 1836, when returns were made to the Royal Commissioners. From the reports then given in by the ministers of the Dissenting denominations, there were 2476 individuals, of all ages, or about 561 families, within the parish, professing to be connected with their congregations. It was found by a careful survey made, to enable the ministers of the Established Church to prepare their report, that 320 families, comprehending about 1400 individuals of all ages, had no right to sittings in any place of worship. From which it appeared that there were 4488 individuals of all ages, or about 1016 families, belonging to the Establishment. Since that time, the congregation of Spittal Square, with the exception of a few individuals, has been united with the Established Church. This congregation, however, is small ; and some increase has taken place in the Independent congregation, by means of several visits made to Stirling by some teachers of that persuasion, who laboured with great zeal, both by public preaching and by domiciliary visits, to obtain proselytes from the Presbyterian churches ; and were in some degree successful in drawing off individuals, both from the Established Church and from the Seceders. The relative proportion, therefore, of the adherents of the Established Church remains much as it was in 1836. It is to be remarked that the families having no sittings anywhere, almost in every instance profess to belong to the Established Church ; and probably some considerable proportion of them do occasionally, and a few with something like regularity, attend public worship in one or other of the congregations connected with it. Most of the places of worship are well attended. The average number of communicants in the churches connected with the Established, may be from 1200 to 1300.
The only societies, properly belonging to the parish, for strictly
religious purposes, are the Tract Society, which distributes 2900
tracts monthly, some hundreds of which, however, go beyond the
bounds of the parish ; and the Sabbath School Society. The Female
society, for the benefit of aged and destitute women, combines
the temporal relief of its objects with attention to their religions
instruction. The Stirling Dispensary is supported by a regularly
organized society, for supplying poor patients with medical attendance
and medicines. The annual average amount of the contributions
of these societies is about L.200, 15s. 8½d. Besides these,
Stirling is the seat of one county Missionary, and two county
Bible Association; whose annual contributions amount at an average
to L 216, 11s. 24d. The average annual amount of church collections
for religious and charitable purposes for the last five years
was about L. 382.
Education.- The number of schools in the parish of all
kinds, exclusive of Sabbath schools, is 19; of Sabbath schools,
18; total 37. There are, properly speaking,
no parochial schools. The magistrates and council are patrons
of four schools ; viz the High School ; the writing and mathematical
school ; the first English School ; and the second English, or
Allan's Hospital School. The rector of the High School and the
teachers of the other three schools have L.50 each of salary ;
and the rector receives L.20 yearly for an assistant. the rector
has a dwelling-house and garden All the teachers occupy school-houses
belonging to the burgh, excepting Allan's Hospital School. The
salaries are paid out of the property of the town, and the three
hospitals, in fixed proportions. The branches taught at the High
School are, Greek, Latin, French, geography, and ancient history.
At the writing and mathematical school, writing, arithmetic,
book-keeping, geography, navigation, and mathematics in general.
At the first English school, English, elocution, geography, and
drawing ; at the second school, English, history, geography,
writing, and arithmetic, and occasionally book-keeping and practical
mathematics. The school fees are, grammar school, 7s. 6d. per
quarter ; writing school, 3s. 6d. per ditto ; for one hour in
the day, 2s. 6d. per ditto., first English School, 5s. per ditto;
second ditto, English 3s. 6d., and other branches with English,
4s. 6d. per ditto. These fees are fixed by the patrons, for children
belonging to families having right to benefit from any of the
hospitals. At the grammar school and writing school, higher fees
are charged in certain cases to others. At the grammar school,
when French is combined with Latin or Greek, the fee is 12s 6d.
per quarter. At the writing school, algebra is charged 10s. 6d.
per quarter ; mathematics, comprehending the First Six Books of
Euclid, L. 1, 1s. per course ; plain trigonometry, 10s. 6d. per
ditto ; mensuration, 10s. 6d. per ditto ; navigation, L. 1, 11s.
6d. per ditto. The magistrates and council likewise patronize
two other schools, by giving to their teachers a small salary,
and a dwelling-house and school-room ; and another, by giving
the use of the upper hall in Cowans Hospital. In these, English,
writing, and arithmetic, are taught. There are eight English schools
altogether, dependent on school fees, three of them boarding and
day schools for girls ; one by the Stirling and Bannockburn Caledonian
Society ; one, the infant school, supported by a Society of ladies,
aided, in cases where it can be obtained, by a weekly fee of 1½d.
; one for girls, supported in a somewhat similar manner. There
is a recently commenced seminary for English, Latin, Greek, geography,
writing, arithmetic, and mathematics; which is supported by school-fees,
aided for a time by subscriptions from individuals, and one from
the town. In this school, the fees are, for English, writing,
&c 10s. 6d. ; and for Latin, Greek, &c 15s. per quarter.
There is another for similar branches, on private adventure, in
which the fees are 10s. 6d. per quarter in all cases. The fees
in the boarding and day schools for girls, which comprehend a
great variety of branches of female education, it would be tedious
to detail. In all the other English schools, they are from 2s.
6d. to 3s. per quarter for English, and 3s. to 3s. 6d. for writing.
In the infant school, religious and moral training is the principal
object, along with which a foundation is laid for education in
reading, &C The number of children and young persons attending
all these schools may be from 950 to 1000. There are some children
of different ages who can neither read nor write; but their number,
to the best of my knowledge, is small. I have met with a very
few grown up persons who could neither read nor write. One of
them, a female, at present a servant in the town, in her childhood
resided in a remote part of the parish of St Ninian's, four or
five miles from the nearest school and had to take charge of the
younger children, and otherwise assist her mother in domestic
matters, when she ought to have been receiving her education.
The younger children, when they arrived at the proper age, were
sent to school ; but she, being of more use at home than they,
never could obtain this privilege. In the other cases, there
might be similar hindrances. Education, such as it is, is almost
universally diffused throughout even the poorest classes of the
community. The kirk-session, Allan's and Cunninghame's Mortifications,
a small fund left by Mrs Turner, widow of a minister of
Stirling, the two Ladies' Societies, which support the infant
and girls' schools, and the occasional benevolence of private
individuals, greatly contribute to this result. The education
received, however, is, in the case of the poorer classes of children,
to a great extent defective; and the source of much less subsequent
advantage in improving the mind, and cultivating moral and religious
principles, than it might be, were they in circumstances to remain
longer at school, and were the schools, at which many of them
receive their education, so endowed as to secure the employment
of teachers of a higher grade of attainments, not only in respect
of literary and other knowledge, but also in the art of communicating
instruction to the young. No part of the parish can be said to
be 50 distant from any school as to prevent attendance at some
one or other. Yet the children in the Abbey, having to cross
the river in a boat, and to pay for being ferried over, are, to
some considerable extent, confined to the one school in that village;
and discouraged from attending schools in the town, where they
might have a choice of teachers, and acquire the higher branches
of education. It is not a greater number of schools that is required,
but in many cases better qualified teachers, and an improved system
of tuition. This remark is far from being intended to apply generally;
or to derogate from the high character sustained by several well
qualified and successful teachers, who enter with that enthusiasm
into the spirit of their almost incalculably important profession,
without which much success in any is not to be expected. It ought
to be added, that, in most of the schools in which English is
taught, the Scriptures are read; the Shorter Catechism is repeated;
and considerable attention is paid by the teachers in these, and
in other ways, to religious teaching. It needs scarcely to be
added, that in all the Sabbath schools, of which 11 are in connection
with the Sabbath School Society; and 7 are undertaken by ministers,
with the assistance of elders, or connected with congregations,
the services of the teachers, and the instruction received, are
Literature.-There is no parochial library. There
are some congregational libraries. One of these belongs to the
East Church, and was formed six or seven years since; one belongs
to the Cowan Street United Secession Congregation; one to the
Cameronian Congregation in the Craigs, &c These consist almost
entirely of books of a religions character.-The Stirling Subscription
Library comprehends general literature. It was founded January
1, 1805.; has 127 subscribers or rather proprietors, and upwards
of 2000 volumes; and, under the present system of management,
has the prospect of receiving an annual accession of from L.40
to L.50 worth of books. It embraces town and country; but has
few subscribers at any considerable distance from Stirling.- The
School of Arts was instituted in 1826. Its object is " to
instruct the members in the principles of mechanical philosophy,
and those other branches of science, which are of essential service
in the exercise of the arts of life." Its members amount
to 201; viz. senior, 115; junior, 50; ladies, 30. It has a library,
and a museum; and appears to be prospering, and conferring benefit
on those for whose improvement it was established. There are
two or three circulating libraries; and there is a book club,
extending to the neighbouring district, for purchasing and circulating
among its members new publications. There are two reading-rooms,
where, besides newspapers, periodical publications are taken in.
The medical practitioners of Stirling, have, within these few
years, formed an association for promoting their knowledge of
the literature, and otherwise advancing the objects, of their
profession. There are two weekly newspapers, the one published
on Thursday, the other on Friday ; which have each a considerable
circulation in the town, and in the surrounding district.
Charitable Institutions. There are three Hospitals. The
most ancient is that founded, it is believed, about 1530, by Robert
Spittal. He had been tailor to James 1V., or rather, as appears
by an inscription on the bridge over the Teith, near Doune, erected
by him its that year, to James's Queen, the princess Margaret,
daughter of Henry VII. of England. The charter of mortification
is lost, and the amount unknown. The funds were laid out in lands
in the neighbourhood of the town. The revenue, amounting to about
L. 400, is applied to the relief principally of decayed members
of the crafts of Stirling, whether resident or not. The house
belonging to it, in which so, as appears from some old records
of the kirk- session, the persons enjoying the benefit of the
charity at one period resided, is that known by the name of the
Trade's' Hall, in Spittal Square or Cowan's Yard. The number
of pensioners, who receive from 1s. to 2s. 6d. weekly, is about
Cowan's Hospital was founded in 1639, by John Cowan, merchant
in Stirling, for the support of twelve decayed guild-brethren.
The house belonging to it was erected after his death, for their
reception ; but, as scarcely any could be found to accept the
benefit on condition of living in the house, after a period of
nearly ninety years, the patrons having purchased lands with the
accumulated funds, resolved to follow out the spirit at least
of the donor's will, by giving pecuniary relief to decayed members
of the guild, and to their widows and daughters. The sum mortified
was L.2222 Sterling. The free revenue from the lands now amounts
to L.2000 per annum. There are about 143 weekly pensioners who
receive from is. 6d. to 6s.; and eleven who receive quarterly
pensions of from L. 1, to L.2 10s.
John Allan, writer in Stirling, founded the
hospital, which bears his name, by a deed of donation, dated March
20, and June 5, 1724, for the maintenance, education, clothing,
and apprenticeship, of the male- children of poor and indigent
tradesmen. The deed contains very judicious provisions,
manifesting great sagacity and benevolence. A house was built
in Spittal Street, in which the children are taught and boarded
with the master. This arrangement not being found to answer expectation,
it was discontinued. The lower part is now occupied in school-rooms
; and the upper part let out in dwelling-houses. The sum mortified
was L.1666, 13s. Sterling. Lands were purchased ; the
free revenue arising from which, after deducting the expenses
of management, amounts to about L.300, and is applied in terms
of the will of the donor ; and occasionally also in giving donations
and education to daughters of tradesmen. The number of boys enjoying
the benefit of the foundation is 23.
Besides these hospitals, there is a mortification made by Alexander
Cunninghame, merchant in Stirling, in 1809 ; the interest of which
is applied, agreeably to his will, to the maintenance and education,
and putting out to trades, of male children of guild-brethern,
and mechanics. The sum available to the purposes of his will,
being the residue of Isis estate, amounts to L.5724, 1 Is, 2d.
The number of boys enjoying the benefit of the charity, is 20.
In the management of the affairs of Cowan's Hospital; the minister
of the first charge is conjoined with the Town Council ; and in
the affairs of Allan's Hospital, the minister of the second charge.
Of Spittal's Hospital, and Cunninghame's Mortification, the magistrates
and Council are sole patrons.
Dispensary-The Stirling Dispensary was instituted in 1830. It is under the management of a Committee of directors, annually elected by the subscribers. There is an ordinary medical attendant, with whom are associated three consulting physicians. Attendance is given, at a fixed hour, on three days of the week, at the dispensary. Such patients as are unable to come are visited in their, own dwellings, whether in town or country. Subscribers of 5s., and kirk-sessions of all denominations, contributing L. 2 annually, are entitled to recommend patients. The medical attendant has a salary of L. 10; and small allowances for visits in the country. The subscriptions for last year 1840 amounted to L. 54, 13s. The institution is in good circumstances, having L. 286 in the bank; while the most generous system seems to be acted upon in relation to the objects of the charity. During the last year, there were 264 cases treated in the dispensary; of which 228 were from the parish of Stirling. Of these Stirling cases, the most frequently occurring diseases were, continued fever, 46; small-pox, 17 ; constipation, 13 ; ulcer, 12 ; heart diseases, 8; measles1 8 ; ophthalmia, 8; hernia, 7; contusion, 6; hysteria, 6
scabies, 6; scarlatina, 5; abscess, 5: and the results were, cured,
199; relieved, 20; died, 26; remaining, 19.
There are a few Friendly Societies ; but 1 have not obtained information
as to their description, or economical effects. From what 1 know
of the condition of the poorer classes here, 1 apprehend the benefit
derived from them, in promoting industrious habits and a spirit
of independence, is inconsiderable.*
* Since the above was in types, a proposal has been circulated
for the institution of a Savings' Bank on the National Security
Poor's Funds. -Besides the funds provided for the relief
of the poor by church collections, and other means adopted by
the kirk-session, such as funeral dues, sales of lairs in the
church-yard, allocation of a portion of the proclamation fees
in certain cases, &C~~ there is what is called the Poor's
Scheme, for raising money by annual voluntary contributions, in
aid of the ordinary parochial funds administered by the kirk-session.
The managers of this fund are the ministers of all denominations,
and a number or other individuals annually elected by the contributors.
The magistrates give it their countenance and support; and the
provost, when present, presides at its meetings, which take place
within the council house once in the month, The average number
of persons receiving a stated weekly allowance from one or other
of these two funds, was, during the last five years 178; and the
average weekly allowance to each was is. Besides these stated
allowances, there are occasional donations given to paupers, not
regular pensioners, especially from the session funds. Coffins
are provided by the session for paupers at the rate of 10s. each,
and sometimes grave-cloths. Clothing is given from their funds,
to a considerable amount in the year, to poor children, and to
a few poor and aged women ; and several children are educated
at their charge. The whole annual amount of funds raised for
the relief of the poor and administered by these two bodies, taking
the average of the last five years, was as follows :- Session
funds, viz. church collections, L. 250, l8s, miscellaneous, L.
11, 6s. 10d.; legacies, L. 27, 10s.; Poor's Scheme funds, L..
235, 9s. 6d.; amounting in all to L. 525, 4s.. There does not
appear to be any reluctance on the part or the poor to avail themselves
of parochial relief. Any feeling of this nature seems to have
been for some time extinct.
Prison.- The number of prisoners committed to Stirling jail, from the commencement of the present year, till the 19th of October inclusive, was 231; of whom belonged to the parish, 65 , to the county exclusive of the parish, 107 ; came from beyond the county, 50. The offence. for which they were committed were as follows -viz. theft, 111; receipt of theft, 3; fraud and wilful imposition, 6; embezzlement, 2; perjury, 1; uttering base coin, 4; forgery, 3 ; house-breaking, 13; assault, 66 ; malicious mischief, 6; poaching, 2; prison-breaking, 1 ; desertion, 8; culpable homicide, I; concealment of pregnancy, 1 ; child-murder, 3.
In the same proportion there would be for the whole year as follows: viz.; total committed, 289; from the parish, 81; county, 133; beyond, 75. And the more frequently occurring offences would be; theft, 139; house-breaking, 1 6 assault, 83; desertion, 10; wilful fraud and imposition, 7 or 8; malicious mischief,
7 or 8; and uttering base coin, 5.
It is proper to mention, that the one case of alleged child-murder, for which three persons were committed to prison, turned out a complete failure. No doubt was left of the innocence of the parties.
The prison is pretty well secured; and as much attention is paid
to the health of the prisoners in respect of diet, lodging, &c
as can be done in the circumstances of the case. The building
is unfit for a jail in many respects; in particular as not admitting
of proper classification, a defect highly injurious to the inmates,
and especially to the younger and less hardened offenders. It
is a nuisance to the neighbourhood; and the windows looking down
upon the Street have often afforded a medium of communication
with persons beneath. It has long been earnestly desired that
a new jail should be built in a different locality; and there
is said to be now some prospect of it. The jail is under the
charge of a governor, who has a salary of L. 50 from the burgh,
and L. 54 from the counties of Clackmannan and Kinross, with certain
fees, which amount to about L. 10 more. He has an assistant,
or under jailer. It is under the direction and control of the
Board of Commissioners, and inspector, appointed by a late Act
of Parliament. A chaplain is much needed for the religious
instruction or the prisoners, and the Board are empowered to provide
one, but have not yet taken any steps towards such an appointment.
The ministers of Stirling are unable to pay adequate attention
to the jail. Their visits are of necessity miscellaneous and
unfrequent. A few ladies regularly visit, and communicate religious
instruction to, the female prisoners; and there is reason to trust
that benefit has been received by some of them.
Inns, Alehouses, &c. There are 96 of these, of different
degrees or respectability in the parish ; of which 91 are in the
towns, and 3 in the villages of Raploch and Abbey. Some of these,
no doubt, are necessary ; but, to such an amount, they are the
source of much evil. Many of them are of the worst d9scrip-tion
; receptacles for the vilest characters, giving facility, and
holding out temptation, to drunkenness, profligacy, profanities
of the Sabbath, and the nasty vices which follow in their train.
They have a most injurious influence on the morals of the lower
orders they give grievous offence and scandal to those members
of the community who have better tastes and principles, when they
hear, and that often on the Sabbath, the sound of revelry proceeding
from them, and witness in their neighbourhood the revolting scenes
to which they give rise ; they tend to lower the tone and feeling
of the mass of the inhabitants in relation to the virtues of sobriety
and decency, and the sacredness of th4 lay of rest; and they reflect
discredit on the place where such practices prevail, and such
depravity is exhibited. One pregnant cause of this evil is the
readiness of the owners of houses to allow them to be occupied
its this way for the sake of obtaining a higher rent, Without
regard to the mischievous use to be made of their property. Another
is the granting of licenses, without sufficient inquiry as to
the character of the applicant, and the moral expediency of planting
down, or continuing, for the mere purpose of sordid traffic and
gain to an individual, what may prove a powerful stimulant to
crime, and a pest to the community. The effect produced by the
great number of low tippling-houses, and the facility with which
almost the smallest pittance in the band of a poor person can
be exchanged for ardent spirits at a grocer's shop, in increasing
the number of the destitute, and sinking them into deeper wretchedness,
has beets for a long period forcing itself upon the notice of
every real friend to the moral welfare of the poor. There are,
no doubt, other causes to which the growing pauperism may be traced;
and some of these, perhaps, to a certain extent, peculiar to Stirling.
One which ought not to pass without remark, is the great number
of charitable institutions, on which 50 large a portion of the
people have a claim, training them to a species of pauperism ;
but no one can entertain a doubt that the circumstance I have
been endeavouring to illustrate, is one of the main and most malignant
foundations of the great and spreading evil.
Fuel-The fuel employed is pit-coal from Bannockburn,
Green-yards, &c., which being only two or three miles from
Stirling, the price is only to a trifling extent enhanced by the
expense of carriage Yet coal is dear. An advance on the price
took place about five years ago. Before that time, the best coal
could be obtained for little more than 6d. per cwt., or from 10s.
to us. per ton. Since that time, it has cost from 8d. to 9d.
per cwt., or from 13s. 4d. to 15s. per ton. A few peats are brought
from Blair-Drummond moss, and sold for fuel.