Beith
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BEITH and NEIGHBOURHOOD
Ayrshire Directory 1837 by Pigot & Co

Beith is a market and post town, in the parish of its name and district of Cunningham; 62 miles w by s of Edinburgh, 19 sw of Glasgow, 11 sw of Paisley, 5 n by e of Dalry, 12 n by e of Saltcoats and 8 s by w of Johnstone. It is situate near the confines of Renfrewshire, on an eminence commanding a fine and extensive view of the beautifully diversified country around, of which the Loch of Kilburnie, at a distance of about a mile, forms a prominent feature. The town which contains many excellent houses, but is very irregularly built, is of modern date, comprising at the commencement of the last centuary only a very few humble habitations; it is now a place of respectable trade, and its neighbourhood is the residence of many opulent families. Beith has long been noted for its manufacture of linen thread, of which great quantities are made both for home consumption and exportation. The manufacture of silk goods was formerly extensive, but it has been almost entirely superseded by that of cotton, in which the majority of inhabitants are employed by the manufacturers of Paisley and Glasgow. The principal branches of trade, in addition to those already mentioned, are the manufacture of starch (for which there is a respectable establishment), lime burning and the making of ropes, twine, bricks and tiles. The whole of the parish of Beith is enclosed and subdivided, and is almost all arable; the farms are small, and the tenants of this and the neighbouring parish of Dunlop may be said universally to make cheese, known by the name "Dunlop cheese" which is held in as high estimation in Scotland as the cheese of Cheshire and Gloucestershire in England. The value of this commodity sent annually to market from this parish has been calculated at upwards of 4000. In the town are three branch banks, viz., the Commercial Bank of Scotland, the Glasgow Union Bank and the Paisley Union; and there is an excellent Inn, the "Saracen's Head", in Whang street. In 1807, a very handsome church of the establishment, with a tower, was erected in the most elevated part of the town; its site is 343 feet above the level of the sea. The town-house was built by subscription in 1817, to the erection of which the late W.Wilson of Cumnock was a liberal contributor: the upper part of the building contains a court room and other offices: the lower part consists of shops, the rents of which are applied to purposes of public benefit. The town is lighted with gas. The ladies benevolent society is worthy of particular commendation, and there is an excellent parochial school. At Giffen, a short distance from the town, is the stately ruined castle of the Montgomeries: there is also another ruin at Hazelhead; and at the top of Cuffs-hill, a considerable eminance, is a druidical remain, known by the name of "Rocking stone". The neighbourhood of Beith produces coal, and abundance of lime stone. The weekly market of the town is held on Friday; and there are annual fairs on the first Friday in January and February (old style) and the 30th of August.

Post Office Main street - Catherine Arnott, post mistress - Letters from Paisley &c arrive every morning at eight, and again (except Edinburgh letters) at seven in the evening, and are despatched every morning at half past seven and at six in the evening. - Letters from Dalry arrive every evening at half past five, and are despatched every morning at half past eight - Letters from Kikbirnie arrive (by penny post) every evening at five, and are despatched every morning at half past eight.

GENTRY AND CLERGY
(Marked * are Justices of the Peace) 
Anderson, Rev James Head st/ * Brown, Hugh Esq of Broadstone/ Colville, Rev George Mains hill/ Dobie, James Esq of Cumnock/ Dobie, Mrs Janet Grange vale/  * Houston, Robt Esq Mains Hamilton/ Love, John Esq of Threepwood/ Meikle, Rev James Head st/ * Patrick, Robert Esq MD of Trearne/ * Patrick, William Esq of Roughwood/ * Reid, Capt. Charles Hope RN Grange hill/ Shedden, Alexander Esq of Morris hill

ACADEMIES & SCHOOLS 
Blair, John Gateside/ Fleming, Mrs New st/ Gillian, David Newton/ Glasgow, Robert School Wynd/ Harvie, David Bracken hills/ Parochial School, Braehead Jas Reid, master and seccession cleck/ Kerr, Bryce Hazelhead/ Miller, John Giffen/ Reid, Mary Whang st/ Wyllie, Robert Head st

AGENTS TO MANUFACTURERS
Craig, Margaret Reform st/ Lymburn, John Cumnock/ Maitland, James Head st/  Stevenson, Hugh Reform st/ Stewart, William Newton

AUCTIONEERS
Clark, Fohn Gateside/ Kerr, George Braehead

BAKERS
Dunlop, Marion Main st/ Gibson, Gavin (and grain dealer) Main st/ Gillies, Robert Cross/ McKerrow, James Whang st/ Shedden, Matthew Main st/ Wilson, Andrew Main st

BANKERS
Commercial Bank of Scotland (branch of), Braehead,- (Draws on the Commercial Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, & Jones & Co, London) - Wm King - agent Glasgow Union (branch of), Strand, - (Draws on the Glasgow Union Bank, Edinburgh & Jones, Lloyd & Co, London) - James Dobie - agent Paisley Union (branch of), Whang head, (Draws on Sir William Forbes & Co, Edinburgh and Sir Richard Carr Glyn & Co, London) - Robert Spier - agent

BLACKSMITHS
Baird, Hugh Green hills/ Holmes, William Burn house/ Kerr, William New st/ Kirkwood, William Whang st/ Reid, David Gateside/ Waterson, Andrew Whang st

BLEACHERS
Stevenson, Hugh (linen) Threepwood/ Stevenson, John (cotton) Threepwood

BOOKSELLERS & STATIONERS
Arnot, Agnes Main st/ Arnot, Catherine Main st/ Smith, John (and printer, library & church treasurer) Whang st

BOOT AND SHOE MAKERS
Anderson, Robert - Newton/ Barr, William - Cross/ Crawford, William - Newton/  Cunningham, William - Whanghead/ Edgar, Charles Main st/ Fulton, Robert - Newton/ Hunter, Andrew - Burn's wynd/ Hunter, David - Braehead/ Love, Hugh New st/ McCallum, William Main st/ Mathie, James Main st/ Smith, James Reform st/ Stevenson, James Head st/ Stewart, William Whang st/ Thorburn, Thomas Whang st

BRICK & TILE MAKERS
Parker, Hugh - Woodside/ Wilson, William - Thirdpart

CABINET MAKERS
Dale, James - Whang st/ Love, James - Townhead

CARPENTERS AND CARTWRIGHTS
Crawford, James Hall of Caldwell/ Gilmour, Allan Braehead/ King, James Burn house/ Robertson, John Head st/ Rodger, Robert Whang st/ Steel, James Whang st/ Thomson, Henry Newton/ Wilson, John Gateside

CHEESE DEALERS
Findlay, James Easter Highgate/ Wylie, John Highgate

COAL MASTERS
Smith, William Caldwell/ Templeton, Thomas Coal burn

COOPERS 
Barr, John & David Crummock st/ McLaughlin, Mark Strand

CORK CUTTERS
Gilmour, John Head st/ Stewart, Thos ( & Spirit dealer) Main st

COTTON MANUFACTURER, by power
Stevenson, James Knows

CURRIERS AND TANNERS
Muir & Ramsey (& leather dressers) Reform st and Bath lane

FIRE & OFFICE AGENTS
Caledonian, Rbt. Faulds - Braehead Edinburgh Friendly Insurance Society, James Dobie - Strand Insurance Company of Scotland, Robert Spiers - Whanghead Scottish Union, William King - Braehead

FLAX DRESSERS
Caldwell, Thomas Rose bank/ Crawford, James Barr mill

FLESHERS AND SPIRIT DEALERS
Barbour, Robert Main st/ Crawford, John Main st/ Gibson, Andrew Newton/ Miller, William Whang st/ Miller, William jnr Main st

GLASS CHINA & EARTHENWARE DEALERS
McDonald, John Reform st/ White, Matthew New st

GROCERS AND SPIRIT DEALERS 
Barr, James Main st/ Barr, Robert Main st/ Gilbraith, James Main st/ Gibson, Andrew New st & Newton/ Gibson, Andrew Main st/ Gillies, Duncan Main st/ Jamieson, James Whang st/ Kerr, James Strand/ Kirkwood, Andrew Whang st/ Millar, James (grocer) Cross/ Munro, Daniel (grocer) School wynd/ Robertson, William Main st/ Shedden, Elizabeth Cross/ Smith, John Whang st/ Stevenson, James Whang st/ Swan, Mary Main st/ Wilson, John School wynd

HAIR DRESSERS
Crawford, John Cross/ Wright, John Main st

HORSE DEALERS
Robertson, John Brown hills/ Stevenson, David Shitterflat/ Stevenson, Robert Shitterflat

INN AND POSTING HOUSE
Saracen's Head (commercial) Robt Paton, Whang st

IRONMONGERS
Muir, John Main st/ White, Matthew Main st/ Wilson, Robert Newton/ Wilson, Robert jnr Main st

LAND SURVEYORS
Aitken, Robert New st/ Miller, John Giffin/ Stewart, John Newton

LIME BURNERS
Craig, Robert Broad stones/ Gibson, John Broad stones

LINEN & WOOLLEN DRAPERS
Clark, William & Co Whanghead and at Main st Largs/ Craig, Andrew Main st/ Crawford, Hugh Whang st/ Downie, John Strand/ Giffin, Adam Cross/ Kirkwood, James Cross/ Love, Robert (and wool merchant) Whang st

MILLINERS AND DRESS MAKERS
Arnot, Catherine Main st/ Dunlop, Elizabeth Main st/ Morris, Elizabeth Main st

ROPE MAKERS
Rae, John (twine) Townhead/ Wyllie, John Whang st

SADDLERS
Banks, John Whang st/ Calderwood, John Main st

SEEDSMEN
Boyd, William Newton/ Kirkwood, Andrew Whang st/ Kirkwood, James Cross/ Love, Robert Whang st/ Stevenson, Robert Main st/ Wardrop, Robert Head st

STARCH MANUFACTURER
Caldwell, James Clark's bridge

STOCKING MAKERS
Biggart, David Main st/ Biggart, William Main st

STRAW HAT MAKERS
Arnot, Jane Main st/ Craig, Janet Main st/ Rodger, Martha Whang st/  Stevenson, Janet Main st

SURGEONS & DRUGGISTS
Houston, John Whang st/ Mathias, Joseph Cross/ Miller, Thomas New st/  Spiers, Alexander Whang st

TAILORS
Hunter, Robert Whang st/ Lees, John Whang st/ Love, Andrew Main st/ Love, Robert Main st/ McRaith, John Main st/ Stewart, James Whang st/ Stewart, William Whang st

TALLOW CHANDLERS
Barr, Robert Main st/ Galbraith, Thomas Main st

TEA DEALERS - WHOLESALE
Crawford & King, Whang st/ Faulds, James & Co Strand/ Faulds, Robert & Co Braehead/ Kirkwood, Andrew Whang st/ Wardrop, Robert Main st

THREAD MANUFACTURERS
Brown, Hugh Head st/ Caldwell, Thomas Roe bank/ Crawford & King (and smallware dealers) Strand/ Crawford, Hugh Whang st/ Crawford, James Whang st/ Crawford, John Whang st/ Faulds, James & Co (and smallware dealers) Braehead/ Faulds, Robert & Co (and smallware dealers) Braehead

VINTERS
Allan, Annabella Main st/ Borland, John (& brewer) New st/ Boyd, John Gateside/ Crawford, Agnes Gateside/ Kennedy, James Newton/ Kerr, James Strand/ Landers, James (and card cutter and flower lasher) New st/ Logan, Robert Burn house/ Love, James Newton/ Love, Margaret Main st/ McGregor, Donald (Star Inn) Main st/ Paton, James (& grocer) Whang st/ Robertson, John Head of New st/ Shaw, Samuel (& grocer) Whang st/ White, Margaret Cross/ Wilson, David Whang st/ Wilson, John Gateside/ Wilson, William Burn house/  Wyllie, Margaret (& grocer) Cross

WATCH & CLOCK MAKERS
Gibson, John New st/ Wilson, David (& jeweller) Whang st

WRITERS
Dobie, James (& fiscal) Strand/ Kerr, Daniel Whang st/ King and Faulds, Braehead/ Spier and Love, Whanghead

MISCELLANEOUS
Anderson, John flower lasher Newton/ Barbour, William messenger Main st/  B___, Robert hat and shoe dealer Strand (Unable to read but could be Barr)/ C_____an, William painter Main st (unable to read)/ Crawford, Robert Card cutter New st/ Galbraith, John nail maker Whang st/ Gas Works, Reform st - James Dobie esq. treasurer and clerk; David Young, manager/ Kirkwood, Thos flax dresser Townhead/ Mitchell, John bookbinder New st/ Rigg, Benjamin turner Old Lea/ Stamp Office, Whanghead - Robert Spier, distributor/ Thomson, Robert vetinary surgeon, Whang street/ Warden, James tinsmith Main st/ Whyte, Mary stationer Whanghead/ Wilson, David stone mason Whang st

PLACES OF WORSHIP
Established Church, Rev George Colville
Relief, Rev James Anderson
United Associate , Rev James Meikle

COACHES
To Glasgow and Paisley the "Fair Trader" (from Saltcoats), calls at the Saracen's Head Inn, every morning at nine, and an evening coach every night at half past eight.
To Saltcoats the "Fair Trader" (from Glasgow) calls at the Saracen's Head Inn, every evening at half past six; goes through Dalry, Kilwinning and Stevenson.
To Saltcoats and Ardrossan a coach (from Glasgow) calls at the Saracen's Head Inn, every morning at eight; goes through Dalry, Kilwinning and Stevenson.

CARRIERS
To Glasgow William Kennedy, from Newton, and James Boyd from School wynd, every Tuesday and Saturday
To Greenock Robert Shedden, from Head street, and James Love, from Newton, every Tuesday
To Kilmarnoch and Stewarton James Love, from Newton, every Friday, and Robert Shedden, from Head street, every Tuesday and Friday
To Largs James Lauchland, from Reform street, every Tuesday, and Walter Weir, from Reform Street, every Sat
To Paisley James Howie, from New street, and Robert Thomson, from Commercial square, every tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
To Saltcoats James Wark, from School wynd, every Tues and Sat.


This transcript was kindly provided by Keith Muirhead from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.