The most remarkable differences between the present state of the
parish or Stirling and that which appears to have existed at the
date of the former Statistical Account, are the following:
1 A great increase of the town, both in extent and population.
2. A great improvement of the buildings, by which the comfort
of the inhabitants has been augmented, and the natural beauty
of the situation has been set off to advantage by handsome, and,
in some cases, splendid edifices, both public and private.
3. An immense improvement of the streets in respect of slope,
causeway, and side-pavement and the lighting of the town with
gas, which has also been introduced into the churches and meeting-houses,
as well as many private dwellings.
4. New institutions, literary, professional, charitable, and religious.
5. A considerable increase of the trade of the town and port,
and decay in some kinds of manufacture, with extension of others,
in particular that of woollen goods.
6. A considerable change of the relative proportions of the adherents
of the Established Church and those of the Dissenting denominations;
the latter now bearing a smaller proportion to the former.
7, The character of the people does not appear to have improved;
but the contrary. A great number of young persons have been, and
are, growing up regardless or the Sabbath and of religious ordinances;
and habits of intemperance have been increasing the lower orders.
This may be traced in part, to the in-crease of the population
without a corresponding augmentation of the provision made for
their pastoral instruction, &c.; to the decay of parental
training and habits of domestic piety, consequent on this increasing
disproportion; to other causes, which have already been particularly
adverted to; and to others still, which might require more argument,
and a larger induction of facts to establish them, than could
here be admitted.
Several other remarks, which might with propriety have been introduced
here, have been anticipated in various parts of this article.*
Besides the gentlemen whose aid I have already acknowledged. I
have to express the obligations I am under to Mr William Drummond
of Coney Park, for the account given of the Zoology and Botany
of the parish ; to James Lucas, Esq. and James Chrystal, Esq.
for valuable assistance in the department of Ancient Buildings
and antiquities; and to William Galbraith, Esq. town-clerk, for
the accurate and important information to which he has given me
access, on many points, on which official authorities were necessary
to be consulted. I am not permitted to name the gentleman from
whom 1 have received valuable help, in relation to the Meteorology
Note respecting the erection of the building now, occupied
by the East and West Churches.---In writing the history of
this building, after a careful comparison of all I had read, and
all the information 1 had otherwise obtained on the subject, 1
adopted the account given in the text as, upon the whole, the
most probable. But 1 have since seen amongst the ancient records
in the town-clerk's office, certain charters, of date 1460, 1471,
and 1472, of James II. or III. to William Bull, chaplain of the
Holy Rood, in the parish church of Stirling; of Bull to Malcolm
Fleming; and of Fleming to the magistrates of Stirling, of the
site of the Tolbooth; and an agreement between the magistrates
and the Abbey of Dunfermline, of which the church of Stirling
held, of date 1507; which seem to establish the two following
facts; viz. lit, that, as early as 1460, there existed, on or
near to the site of the present building, a parish church, called
the church of the Holy Rood; 2", that the choir of the present
building, that is, the East Church, described as the choir of
the Church of Stirling, was in 1507 in process of being erected.
It is remarkable, too, that in none of these documents in there
the slightest reference to any connection between any of these
ancient buildings and any convent of friars, black or gray. The
Church of the Dominican Convent in Spring-Garden, however, does
appear from other documents to have been at an earlier period,
that is, in the fourteenth century, used by the inhabitants as
a parish church.