Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Highlands try to steal Thomas Telford

Highlands 'hijack' ?

Spotted article in Friday's Dumfries and Galloway Standard under above heading. Here is the Press release it was based on - from Elaine Murray's website

Dumfries Constituency MSP Elaine Murray has written to the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Patricia Ferguson MSP, expressing her dismay over Executive plans to celebrate the 250th anniversary of one of Dumfries and Galloway’s famous sons, engineer Thomas Telford, in the Highlands!

Elaine Murray said:

“In Ms Ferguson’s answer to my written question regarding celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the famous Scottish engineer, Thomas Telford, states that this will form part of Scotland' s Year of Highland Culture.

I find this reply disappointing. While I agree that Thomas Telford made an important contribution to roads in the Highlands, and have no objection to a project involving pupils in four Highland schools, I have written to the Minister to point out that Thomas Telford was not born in the Highlands, but in Westerkirk, near Langholm, in Dumfries and Galloway!

Local people are organising a number of events to celebrate the birth of one of their most famous sons, and I feel that the Executive could contribute something towards the celebrations in his birthplace, not just in the Highlands.

The answer from the Scottish Executive will feed local suspicions that Dumfries and Galloway - and, indeed, the South of Scotland - are sometimes ignored by the Executive. Many Dumfries and Galloway residents already feel that rural equates with the Highlands in the Executive’s perception!. I wonder whether the civil servant who drafted the answer for the Minister knows where Westerkirk and Langholm actually are?

There are plans to build a commemorative cairn at the place of Thomas Telford's birth and to provide some car parking facilities for visitors, as part of their celebrations. I have requested the Minister’s advice on where they might be able to apply for help with the cost of this project.”

11 October 2006
Index Heading: Education Department
Dr Elaine Murray (Dumfries) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth in Westerkirk, Langholm, of the Scottish civil engineer, Thomas Telford, on 9 August 1757.
Ms Patricia Ferguson:

The anniversary of the birth of the renowned engineer Thomas Telford will be marked next year as part of Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture, which the Executive is part funding. Telford’s contribution to building roads and bridges across the Highlands and more generally throughout Scotland will be celebrated using a schools project being set up by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Highland 2007.

The project will take as its focus and inspiration the work of Thomas Telford. It will aim to engage young people in four areas of the Highlands in exploring and celebrating their local built heritage, and in sharing their knowledge with each other and their local communities. 2007 is a good time to undertake this project given that it is both Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture and the 250th anniversary of Thomas Telford’s birth. The project will form one component of The Highland Promise – the cultural pledge to young people in the Highlands.



Blogger Anwoth said...

Dear Sir,
I have been fervently interested in your blog for a lot of years.
One of my gggg grand-fathers, a french lieutenant in the Napoléon army, was a prisoner on parole in Dumfries and married here in 1812 Sarah Porteous.
So, I have got a lot of ancestors in Kirkcudbrightshire ; and among them, the Browns (Samuel, minister of Kirkmabreck).
I am trying to gather all what may be found about the Browns in Kirkcudbrightshire who are all relatives with each others... and I have got a lot.
I am a bit troubled by what you wrote about the Browns of Craigend.
First, was the name of Grizzel Waighe (or wauch as it is sometimes wroten) husband : Cuthbert or Gilbert ?
Secondly, I wonder whether there is not a confusion between Craigend near Craigshinnie with Craigend near New Abbey.
The firt is probably the "Craigend Tower" who was the property of the Shaws in the XVIIth century. The second is one of the numerous farms belonged by the Browns around new Abbey.
Among them, Archibald Brown who was "of craigend" in 1634 and was married with Jean Mulligan. He also owned the farms of Mid Glen, Lochbank, Kissock, Woodhouse, Drumgans, all in the same area near new Abbay.
They had certainly
- Archibald, a merchant in London, who was "of Mid Glen and Craigend" in 1671 and married Agnes Maxwell (they are the ancesters of the Newalls among them is Walter Newall the Architect in Dumfries.
And probably (I thought it so far)
- Cuthbert who married Grizzel Waitch and was "of Craigend" or maybe "in Craigend" in 1674.

The transaction with Maxwell of Glenlee is a prettly unsettling clue.

My ideas :
- Cuthbert (or Gilbert ?) Brown is one of the Browns of Craigend near New Abbey. So his transaction with Maxwwell of Glenlee Would not be favored by the nearness of their houses.
- Cuthbert is really of Craigend near Craigshinnie and there is a new track to be investigated in that region (There were Browns in Craigencallie not far from there).

Cold you give me what you think of that ?

Best regards.

Alain Douence
Ville d'Avray France

7:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home