Statistical Account of Scotland, 1792
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(County of Ayr.)

By the 

From the
Edited By Sir john Sinclair Bart., 

Situation and name.

MAYBOLE is situated in Carrick, one of the three districts into which the county of Ayr is divided. It is the principal village in Carrick. It seems to have derived its name from the ancient game called the maypole. There is at Maybole a piece of level ground, consisting of upwards of an acre, called the Green of Maybole, which is used as a place of exercise for the school boys; where, in former times, the people from several parts of the country used to assemble, for the purpose of enjoying the diversion of the maypole.

Maybole consists of a town and of a landward parish.

I. - Town of Maybole . - Maybole is situated on the ridge of a piece of high ground, with a dry bottom, and a fine south exposure. It is defended from the northerly and easterly winds, by a range of high lands, which gradually fall back from the town, in the form of a fort of amphitheatre. Maybole is amply supplied with excellent water. This circumstance is mentioned, because, together with the dry bottom, and southerly exposure, it accounts for the great health and longevity of the inhabitants. Within these five years, Mr David Doig, school-master at Mavbole, died at the age of 104. About three years ago, a woman died here, aged 105. In this town there are at present 10 persons, whose ages put together, amount to upwards of 900 years. Maybole is a borough of barony, and enjoys as extensive privileges, as any borough of the same denomination in Scotland. Its charter is dated at Edinburgh, the 14th of November 1516. There is at Maybole a very old building, commonly called the college, the walls of which are still standing; and the area within is now used for the burying-place of the family of Cassillis. This house was built in the year 1371. It was the chapel or col-legiate church of Maybole, and was both built and endowed by John Kennedy, a connection of the Cassillis family. The charter of the edification and endowment of this chapel was granted to John Kennedy of Dunure, by Robert II. King of Scotland, and by Walter, Lord Bishop of Glasgow, within whose diocese the chapel lay.

Manufactures. - The woolen manufacture is carried on, in Maybole, to a greater extent than is commonly known. Eighty looms are employed in the town and country parish of Maybole, in weaving woolen cloth for blankets; and all these looms, except a very few, are in the town. These looms employ, in the course of the manufacture, about 300 persons, who are so industrious, that they manufacture annually about 5600 stones of wool, each stone containing 24lb averdupois. According to its quality, the wool is purchased from 5s. to 21s. per stone. The cloth is sold from 6d. to 1s. 6d. per yard ; and from 20 to 40 yards are made from one stone. It is wove from 1d. to 2d. per yard, and is sold at eight annual public markets, four of which are at Maybole, and four at Ayr. Within these twelve months, the cotton manufacture has got a small footing at Maybole, in which 24 looms are employed.

Population. - In the town of Maybole, there are 800 examinable persons, that is, at or above eight years of age.

School. - The schoolmaster has a salary of 200 hundred merks Scots, to which the heritors, many years ago, added 100 merks more. The schoolhouse, which is built at the foot of the Green of Maybole, is but an old mean thatched house, very unsuitable to the eminent characters, which, at different times, have been educated in it,

II. Landward Parish of Maybole. - The country part of this parish is very large and populous. In length from north to south, it is 12 miles, and in breadth from east to west, 7.

Rivers. - The rivers of Doon and Girvan, afford plenty of excellent salmon and trout. The Earl of Cassillis has the privilege of a salmon cruive, at the house of Cassillis, which stands upon this river, on the march of the parish of Maybole; and his Lordship lets the salmon fishing at the foot of the river, where it joins the sea, at the yearly rent of 100.

Population. - In the country part of this parish, besides those in the town, there are about 1700 examinable persons. Within the last 20 years, the population of the parish has increased by about 300 souls. Among this numerous body of people, consisting of 2500 persons, at and above the age of eight years, there are only three Seceders, two women and one man; and even these came but lately into the parish. The return to Dr Webster being only 2058 souls, it follows, that the population has increased about 1000 since 1755, there being now about 3000 souls in the parish.








57 27






59 17






45 24






51 19






48 29






55 17






55 16



Church. - The stipend of the minister is 63 bolls, 2 pecks of meal, and 43 Sterling. To this there was an augmentation lately made of 30 Sterling. The church was built about 35 years ago. It is a large, but mean structure.

Poor. - The number of the poor in the parish of Maybole is very considerable, arising partly from the great number of the inhabitants, and partly from the great influx of vagrants, particularly from Ireland. It may be said, that in this parish the poor maintain the poor. Few of the principal heritors reside in the parish; and nothing is given by them, in the way of donation, to the poor, who are maintained wholly by the collections made at the church door, upon Sunday. For that reason, though the contributions are very liberal, considering the small fortunes of the persons by whom they are given, the poor of this parish do not receive even one half of what they would require.

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