Maybole Ragged School Minutes - Transcription of Pages 1 - 117
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These are the minutes of  the Maybole Ragged School committee. The school was supported by a group of benefactors and subscriptions from the town's inhabitants. It was run by a committee whose aim it was, to remove as many waifs and strays from the streets of the town as finances would allow and to educate them in the "4 R's". Reading, writing, arithmetic and religion. The author, at this point in time is unknown, although it is possible from the type of language used in the entries that he was probably a church minister.  Transcription below by Margaret Dick.
Index of Children's names in minutes   
Images of original pages with the accompanying transcription are also available

At Maybole this seventh day of January Eighteen

                                hundred and fifty.


Convened the following Members of Committee appointed to superintend The Maybole Ragged School and for taking such steps as may be considered necessary for raising funds and placing the Institution on a more permanent and efficient basis.


                                               Revd Mr Dodds                     
                                               Baillie Porteous
                                               Mr James Murdoch
                                               Mr Alex Gemmell
                                               Mr Mathew Gibson
                                               Mr William Hannay
                                               Mr R. McMillan


                    Mr Murdoch is chosen Chairman in the absence of Mr Dykes the Convener-


                                The Secretary reported to the meeting that in compliance with the request of the General Meeting held on twenty fourth October last, he had got the report printed and had circulated about one hundred and eighty copies, and that the oversight committed in not embodying the approval of the Revd Dodds motion in the Report had been supplied by a circular stating that fact. He also begged to state that he had received from Lady Hunter Blair a second subscription of two pounds along with a parcel of her children's old clothes and from Lady Dalrymple Fergusson of Kilkerran a subscription of two pounds for both of which he had tendered the thanks of the Committee.

The Secretary stated that with the view of saving trouble and time of the meeting, he had drawn up a few rules for the regulation of the Institution for their consideration and the same having at the request of the meeting been read over and considered verbatim, And such amendments as seemed necessary made. Thereon the Meeting approved of the same as amended and which are of the following tenor.


                                                 1. That a small Sub Committee be appointed to consider and dispose of all applications for admission into the school, and that in disposing of such applications the Committee while they be regulated by the circumstances of each case, will no doubt keep in view two general rules which are thought to be worthy of notice and which have been found useful hitherto - namely that of a strict enquiry into the moral character of the parents or parent or other parties in charge of the child or children and the ability of these parties to afford maintenance and education and that in every case where there is both moral qualifications and pecuniary ability, the application be rejected and that the exception to the rule be those cases where although pecuniary ability does exist, there is a want of a moral or religious qualification for the training of the child - and with regard to such exceptional cases if the child is admitted that efforts be made to obtain such a stated weekly payment from the paternal party as their, his or her circumstances may seem reasonable. It is also earnestly recommended to the Sub Committee to endeavour to find some sort of employment for such of the children as may be of an age fitting for such.


                                 2nd. That all applications for admission into the school be lodged with the Secretary and laid by him on the first Monday of each month before the Sub Committee along with such information in relation thereto, regarding the circumstances of the child, as will enable the Sub Committee to dispose of the application, with power however to the Secretary in reference to all cases of emergency, whether in relation to an application, or to any other matter requiring immediate attention, to call a meeting of the Sub Committee, to consider and dispose of the same.


                                  3rd. To enable the Secretary to obtain the requisite information concerning applications for admission, he is requested to associate with him in the investigation any one or more members of the Committee, and it is expected that the enquiry will embrace domiciliary visits to the applicant's residence and family, and a full examination into the whole circumstances.


                                 4th. That the School be examined by the Sub Committee or quorum quarterly, and commencing the first of these examinations on the last Wednesday of March next and so on quarterly thereafter.


                                 5th. For further promoting the efficiency.

and prosperity of the Institution, it is resolved that two Ladies, be invited fortnightly in succession, to visit the School, the Secretary always giving previous notice to the Ladies by a card intimating the day and hour when their visit is expected.


                                       6th. That a General Meeting of all interested in the Institution be held annually in the month of April when the Treasurer will exhibit a full account of the income and expenditure and when also is expected that a report will be produced and read of the progress which the Institution has made during the past year and embodying such suggestions and recommendations as experience may dictate calculated to promote it's further usefulness.


                                       7th. That the Treasurer be requested to issue circulars under the auspices of the Committee to the [Rectors] and others soliciting subscriptions for the present year and as it will be proper that the Inhabitants of the town be waited upon personally it is agreed that the town be subdivided into Districts and that two gentlemen be appointed to obtain subscriptions in each District.


                                     The meeting appoint the Sub Committee above referred to, to consist of the following Gentlemen :-


The Revd Mr Menzies.
The Revd Mr Dodds.


The Revd Mr Thomson.
                    Mr Dykes.
                    Mr Porteous.
                    Mr N. Rennie.
                   Mr M Gibson.
                   Mr Hannay
                   Mr Main.
                   Mr S Rennie.
                   Mr R McMillan.
                   Mr Brown.

-          Any three a quorum.


                               The Meeting divided the town into the Districts underwritten and appointed the gentlemen whose names are amended thereto.



1. The Main Street on both sides commencing at Coral                 } Mr Stewart

    Glen down to the Jail including Welltrees Street                         } Mr Nimmo

2. From the Jail down the Main Street to my Lord's Well             } Mr Murdoch
                                                                                                                 } Mr Hannay

3. The School Vennal and Greenside as far as Whitefaulds          } Mr R.McMillan
     farm house.                                                                                       } Mr A. Gemmell

4. The Newyards on both sides as far as Lynstone and                } Mr Gibson
     including Townend.                                                                        } Mr Porteous

5. The Kirkwynd and Post Vennal including Barns                        } Mr Main
                                                                                                                } Mr S. Rennie

6. The Kirklands commencing at Mr Rankine's house                   } Mr W Rennie
     on both sides down to Thomas Bell's house                              } Mr Jas Baird

                                                                                                                 } Mr John Farquhar

7. Weaver Vennal onwards to Spout of Welltrees and including } Mr J Campbell
        the Coral Glen and Ballony                                                          } Mr N Fergusson



                                                          The Secretary is requested to hand to the Gentlemen

           of each District a collecting book.


                                               The meeting having considered the case of the girl  McCafferty said to be aged about 13 years whose Mother died lately and who is for the present without any means of support and who has no education,  agree to receive her into the School for five weeks till  it is seen whether she has a claim on the Parochial Board or be otherwise disposed of.




                    The Ragged School of Maybole sixth February Eighteen Hundred

                    and Fifty

Convened the following Members of the Acting Committee -

                                            Reverend Mr Dodds
                                            Mr M. Brown
                                            Mr R. McMillan
                                            Mr Murdoch
                                            Mr Hannay


                             The Teacher reported that the case of Helen McCafferty was brought before the Parochial Board when it was arranged, that she is to continue in the Ragged School and be maintained for one year at the rate of One Shilling and six pence per week for food and education.
                       The Meeting then took into consideration other claims lodged for admission to the School on behalf of children since last meeting per took when the same were severally considered. The meeting refused the claim for admission of Mary Fisher's son (14 years of age and can read a little)

                               They admit Agnes Heggart's child on the condition of paying 2d per week, not charging the first week and paying it each a Monday.
                               They admit Hugh Nocker child of Helen Fisher for one month and on condition that he ceases to beg and if found begging to be dismissed.
                               They admit   Mrs Henderson’s child on condition of paying 4d per week.
                               They admitted     Henry Higgins on the condition of paying 9d per week also Edward Higgins child of Mrs __________ on condition of paying 6d per week.

                                                                    Messrs Murdoch and Hannay reported that they had visited their District for subscriptions and had obtained in whole £6-10/-


                                                The Ragged School of Maybole seventh March

                                                Eighteen Hundred and Fifty


                                         Revd Mr Dodds,
                                         Revd Mr Thomson,
                                         The Secretary,
                                         The Teacher.


The meeting was opened by prayer by the Reverend Mr Thomson.


The Teacher reported that Mrs Henderson could not pay 4d per week for her child but she says that she could pay 2d per week. The meeting agree to accept of her own proposal.

             Mrs Kechie claims for the admission (P4 of Record Book) of two of her 3 children (aged 5, 8, & 11) for whom she offers to pay 9d per week, having been considered, are of opinion that as these children are supported by the Parochial Board (who pay her 2/- per week for their support) the expense of their education falls upon the Board & they request this be notified to the Chairman of the Board.

            Mrs Trousels claim (p4) for admission of her child of 8 and a half years was next considered. She is not on the Board and offers 3d per week, has 3 other children 19, 14, & 11 from whom she gets no assistance they having all left her. The meeting request the Teacher make further enquiry into the facts stated by her and if true to receive the child.

           Mrs Bashford's claim for admission of her second child David Bashford aged 11 (p5) and her offer to pay 4d per week agreed to.

          The Meeting request the Revd Mr Thomson to endeavour to prevail on Mr Gemmell Shoemaker to receive the eldest son (James Bashford) as an apprentice or if he cannot, that he will endeavour to prevail on some of his brothers in the trade to take him.

         The meeting think it right to request the Teacher to desire the Parent or other applicants for the admission of children along with the children or child to appear at the monthly meeting that the Committee may satisfy themselves by further examination.

          The Meeting understanding that Wednesday is thought not generally convenient for several of the members of Committee agree to meet on the first Thursday of next month and to consider if that, or any other day be more suitable. Meeting closed with prayer by the Reverend Mr Dodds.



                               Ragged School      Maybole 15 April 1850






                       Rev. Mr Dodds

                       Rev. Mr Thomson

                       Mr Murdoch

                       Mr R. McMillan

                       Mr A. Gemmell

                       Mr J. Campbell

                       Mr W. Brown


Meeting opened with prayer:




Mr Gemmell stated that at present he had no room for an additional apprentice and therefore he could not receive the boy Bashford - but Mr Gemmell undertakes to speak to some of his Bretheren in the hope that employment may be obtained and he will report - providing that the boy is not engaged to the Weaving for a period.




The Application of  Mrs Wardlaw for her third child having been laid before the Meeting - (see Application Book p.5) - the Meeting agree to receive the boy for the present free of charge - it being evident that she cannot pay anything.




The teacher reported that the boy  James Irvine left school on the 1st April in consequence of the inability of his parents to pay the weekly allowance. The Meeting considering that the Father is blind and can do little for the family, and that there is consequently a claim on the Parochial Board, request Mr Murdoch to represent the case at the first meeting with a view to obtaining some assistance, and in the meantime allow the two children to return to the School at a weekly allowance of 4d.




The Meeting decline to receive back Edward Higgins unless his Mother resume payment of the weekly allowance.



David Bashford left school on 13 April from his Mother’s inability to pay. The Meeting agree to receive him for two months gratuitously, at the end of which his Mother must resume payment of  weekly allowance, otherwise the child cannot be continued. By that time she will have the aid of her son James Bashford’s earnings.



Jas. and Chas. Brown, 9  years old each.

Mrs Brown cannot pay 1/- per week for her two children, but will pay 6d. which she receives from the Board.  She was called in and examined, after which the Meeting continue the children till next monthly meeting when the case will be further investigated,  and the teacher is requested to invite the  two eldest sons to attend the Meeting.




The Meeting are of opinion that the monthly  Meeting be hereafter held on a Wednesday and the hour of the Meeting to be seven o’clock of the evening.




The Meeting fix Thursday [senight] for the examination of the School at 11 o’clock and that this be intimated from the pulpits of the several Churches. 





                                                               Maybole   9 May 1850           






                                Mr Dykes

                                Mr Murdoch

                                Mr Brown




The teacher reported that the boy Bashford has been engaged for some period to the Weaving.




Mr Murdoch reported, in reference to the boy Irvine, that there had not as yet been a meeting of the Parochial Board, but that he will attend to the matter at the first meeting.




William Brown, the second eldest son of Mrs Brown, appeared and was examined regarding the circumstances of the family, in relation to the brothers, James, Charles and John, and he states that he is the only one of the family who assists them, as his eldest brother is not with the family and gives no aid - that in these circumstances they cannot pay more than 6d. per week.


The Meeting unanimously agree that the family must pay 1/- for the three children during summer months and 6d. per week during the winter months - and direct the teacher to intimate this to the family.




The case of Catherine Murdoch’s child of eight and a half years (see Application Book p.7) was considered, but as it is a case for the consideration of the Parochial Board, Mr Murdoch is requested to lay the same before the first meeting along with the case of Irvine, with the view of having it arranged that the boy Murdoch be sent to the Ragged School as otherwise his education, it is believed, will be neglected, and at the charge of the Board entirely.   




Andrew Higgins (see original application p.3) presented a note stating that he is not able to pay 9d. per week as hitherto - and can now only give 6d. per week. The Father having been sent for, stated that he had other three younger children whom he must educate and that he has already one of these at Mr McGarrach’s School and is to send the other two on Monday first, and that therefore he could not pay more than 6d. The Meeting are of the opinion that the rate should be reduced to 6d. provided the Father send the other two to school on Monday and so long as he keeps the three younger children at school, but that if he fails to do so, the rate be raised to 9d. - and direct the teacher to see to this


Notice of children after leaving school.

The Meeting consider it very desirable that some notice be taken of those children who have left the Ragged School, that the Committee may be acquainted with their future progress in life and will then now request the teacher to make reports occasionally to the monthly meetings.



                                                        Maybole         5 June 1850






                                 Reverend Mr Dodds

                                 Mr Richard McMillan

                                 Mr William Brown




Meeting opened with prayer -



Hempkin’s children

The case of Edward Hempkin’s children, a Widow with 5 children - Book of Applications p.7 - was taken up. This man’s family is in deplorable condition, apparently, of poverty and xxxxxx. He offers 8d. per week for two children - the youngest two. The Meeting agree to receive the two children in the terms specified.



Findlay’s children.

The Meeting next took up the case of Alexander Findlay’s children (p. 9 of Book of Applications) six in number - 12, 9, 6, 4, 2. He wishes to have the two eldest received at 1/- per week. The Meeting  considering that these children are destitute of education and have in some respects got out of the parental constraint, agree to receive the two eldest, but under the condition to be strictly enforced, that if the children fail to attend regularly they are to forfeit a meal for each instance of absence and also the 1/- must be regularly paid.


Teacher’s application for increase of salary.

The teacher respectfully directed the attention of  the Meeting to the salary at present allowed to him by the Institution, being 6/- per week, which he felt to be inadequate for the comfortable sustenance of himself and wife - both of whom are engaged in the service of the Institution. He would be satisfied with an increase of 1/- per week.

The Meeting direct the application to lie over till a future meeting for consideration and at same time expressed their opinion in favour of the increased allowance.



Case of Jas. Thomson

The teacher represented the case of James Thomson who had been lately at School and whose Mother had turned him out of doors as being beyond her constraint. The Meeting with the view of reclaiming the boy authorise the teacher to receive him into the Home on the same terms  with the Parish children, namely at 1/6 per week for two months and to report the result to the Committee at the end of said period.




The teacher read his report as to the present condition and conduct of some of the children who had left the school which was satisfactory.



Three boys who had left the School, Bashford, Irvine and Higgins were brought in and conversations had with them as to their present occupations - and advice given to them for their future guidance.


Meeting closed with prayer by Mr Dodds.



                                                                     Maybole               12 July 1850






                           Mr Dykes Princ.

                          Rev Mr Dodds

                          Mr McMillan   

                          Mr Hannay

                          Mr Brown

                          The Revd  Mr Thomson



Hempkin’s case.

The teacher reported that Hempkin had not accepted of the offer stated in the preceding Minutes. The teacher is requested again to see him, and find out the reason of his declining to send in the children and to endeavour to obviate it.



Findlay’s case.

The teacher reported that Findlay had sent his two children and that they had been attending regularly.




The Meeting agree to the proposal of the teacher of increasing his allowance by one shilling per week.



Thomson’s case.

The teacher reported that the boy Thomson had been brought into his Home and remained for five weeks when he went off.  No efforts were spared to retain him and to reform his habits, but without success. The Meeting request Mr McMillan to endeavour to find employment for him as a weaver under some master who takes an interest in his moral welfare - and who would at same time  permit him to attend some period of each day at the School. Mr McMillan kindly agreed to undertake this good service.


Case of Mrs Logan’s son.

The Meeting took up the application on behalf of Mrs Logan’s eldest son (15 years old) Book of Applications p. 9 - who cannot read - and her own circumstances not admitting of paying more than sixpence per week.

The Mother and boy having been called and conversed with, the Meeting agree to receive the boy on Monday first.



Teacher to keep a record of history of the children.

The teacher is directed to keep a book or record of the name and conduct of each child while attending the School - the date of leaving - the trade or employment in which he engages after he leaves School - and of his behaviour, so far as he can discover it, while being taught a trade, or otherwise engaged - so that the supporters of the Institution may thus have the means of knowing the history of the child after leaving the Institution. The Secretary will provide him with a book for this purpose.  The teacher has hitherto kept a record, but which is not in a shape which provides of a ready reference to each child. 



Case of Knocker.

The teacher reported that Hugh Knocker had left the School and he had been previously attending very irregularly - that he had also found that he goes out and begs over the parish. The Meeting approve Mr McMillan and the teacher to make another effort with the boy and his Mother to effect his regular attendance at School, and to report to next Meeting.



Recreation to teacher.

The Meeting on the request of the teacher, allow him three days for recreation, two days at one period and one day at another - the days to be selected to suit his own convenience.



The Meeting was opened with prayer by the Revd Mr Dodds and closed by the Revd Mr Thomson.





                                           Maybole, 21 August 1850






                                     Mr Mathew Gibson


                                     Mr William Brown



David Bashford’s removal

The teacher reported that David Bashford left School on the 10th Current and went to learn weaving with William Heron in Kirklands for three and a half years, the boy receiving half of his own earnings. William Heron is a quiet man. The Teacher has arranged that the boy is to continue to attend the Sabbath School kept in the Ragged School. The Teacher is requested to keep his eye over this boy and also to endeavour to secure his regular attendance at church. 




The teacher reported that several of the children are now in need of clothing, particularly trousers. The Meeting think it would be proper to give notice in the several churches that donations of clothes will be gratefully received, both to meet the present demand and the approaching winter.




                                                 Maybole, 17th September, 1850






                             The Rev Mr Thomson        


                                      “    Mr Dodds    


                              Mr Gibson




The teacher reported that several articles of clothing had been received from Mrs Mxxxxxxxx and Mrs Menzies since the notice was given in Church that such articles were required.



Mr Reid’s wish to be member of committee.

The teacher mentioned that the Rev Mr Reid wished to be a member of the sub committee. The sub committee allow this matter to lie over till next meeting to see if they have power to assume Mr Reid - but at the same time express their feeling that Mr Reid should be allowed to sit as a member if  competent.



Boy Logan

The teacher reported that the boy Logan (admitted 12 July 1850 minutes) had left. The teacher is directed to see to  bring the boy back on paying 4d per week and to report to next Meeting.




The teacher is authorized in the meantime till next meeting, to procure for the use of the School 3 creels of crabs.





The Meeting took up the application on behalf of John McHutchison’s (2) children. McHutchison offers to pay 1/- per week  (see Application Book page 11). Having heard the teacher as to the circumstances of the child, the case is deferred till the next  meeting. 





They also took up the case of Hugh McCulloch’s daughter Margaret (see App. Book p11). He offers to pay 6d per week for her. They agreed to admit the girl in these terms.  McCulloch is a widower and always out of work.


The Meeting was opened with prayer by Mr Dodds and closed by the Rev Mr Thomson.




                                                  Maybole  4th October 1850






                         Mr Dykes                          The Revd MrThomson    


                         Mr Hannay


                         Mr W Brown



Wm Logan’s case

The teacher reported that Wm Logan has not yet been sent to the School and he thinks his entry may be as well delayed till fever which is at present among the family have left them.




The teacher also reported that McCulloch’s child came to the School two weeks ago and is attending regularly.



Andrew 11 yrs

Jas.         9 yrs

children of

 W. Hathorn xxxxxxxxx

The case of the two children Hathorn  was taken up by the meeting  - the one 11 and the other 9 years old - whose father (able-bodied) lately deserted them - and the Secretary explained the interest which Lady Blair took in these children. The Meeting are of the opinion that the support of these children, until the Father is discovered,  falls upon the Parochial Board - and the teacher is directed to defray the charge of their bed in the interim and to claim payment from the Board.



Mrs Trousel’s child.

Mrs Trousel complains that she cannot continue to pay 4d per week for her child. She is a widow - has five children - youngest 8 years old. The woman having been examined, the meeting is of opinion that her circumstances are such as quite enable her to pay the said weekly rate. 




William Milhall’s child, a girl - claim to be admitted to the School and will pay 4d per week. She was formerly at the School and attended regularly. The Meeting allow her to be readmitted.


John Wardlaw

John Wardlaw son of  ______  Wardlaw left School on the 18 September on its being discovered that his father is alive, and he has since been put to Mr Henderson’s school by his father.



The two boys John and Hugh Hutchison sons of John Hutchison, drainer, having been called in, the Meeting agree to admit them on their paying regularly 1/- per week for both.



(The following entry for a later year has been inserted into the book at this point).




                                                             Maybole 22 July 1855




Present                  Mr Goudie  Mr McCracken and Mr Brown



Reilly’s case.

Thomas Reilly’s case - 7 children - eldest 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2. See Book - agree to admit one to School gratis, provided he pay for the other 2 - and that Margt be sent to a Sabbath School. Some of them can read.



Jas. Graham

Widow Graham’s grandson,  Jas. Graham, aged 7 - admitted to education gratis.



Mrs Craig’s two grand-


Widow Craig desires to have two grandchildren, Jean Greaves, aged 5 and Joseph Craig aged 8 - she paying  one penny per week for each of them. Admitted.  



Mrs Holgan’s

Widow Holgan’s request to have two children, Jas 9 and Thos 6, admitted for education and food and will pay 1/- per week. Agreed to admit them for 1/2 and Mr McCracken to pay for the Board 2d each per week for education and  to pay the 1/2 weekly out of her allowance. 




The teacher is to apply for a supply of Testaments for the Ragged School -12 copies in whole.




                                                    Maybole 12 November 1850






                             Rev Mr Thomson


                             Mr Mathew Gibson


                             Mr William Brown




The meeting took up the case of Robert Close and having called him in and examined into  the case are of the opinion that his child ought not to be admitted unless he pays 6d per week.




The Meeting agree that Mrs Henderson must continue to pay for the one of her children as hitherto.




The claim of Jean Sloan was taken up when the Meeting agreed that if she pay 3d per week her child be received.

                                                      Maybole 19 November 1850





                            Revd Mr Thomson


                            Thomas Dykes




The Meeting was held for the special purpose of considering and disposing of an application by Thomas McVey to be allowed to keep an evening school for the children of such of the neighbours as chose to attend. Thomas stated that he had been asked by one or two of his neighbours to open an evening school which was much wanted in the locality and hoped that, as it would add a little to his small income and would not interfere with his duties as Teacher of the Ragged School, his application would be acceded to and he farther stated that he had seen both Mr Dodds and Mr Brown and that they were quite agreeable to the proposal.

The Meeting being satisfied from the explanations given by the teacher that an evening school would be advantageous to several xxxxxxxx while it would not interfere with his duties to the Ragged School, agreed to grant the application, the evening school to be open from eight o’clock to 10 o’clock.  




                                      (Signed)   Jno.  M. Thomson


                                                      Tho. Dykes




                                                      Maybole  23 December 1850



                             Mr Dykes

                             Mr Brown



The case of Robert Hxxxxxxxxxx  who has left School in consequence of his mother failing to pay the weekly allowance was considered and the teacher is requested to ask Mr Hannay, who is acquainted with her clergyman, to speak to him on the subject and to use his influence


with the mother to pay the weekly sum of 4d per week, in which case the boy will be received back to the School.




                                               At Maybole 14 January 1851




                            The Reverend Mr Thomson


                            William Brown





















The teacher brought before the Meeting the following cases of arrears of the weekly payments for children.


Widow Trousel’s son Thos . . . . . . . . . . . 2 weeks @ 4d  £  -  -   8      

Widow Irvine’s son Wm.  . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 weeks @ 2d  £  -  -   4        

Esther Buchanan’s son Samuel Thomson .3 weeks @ 2d  £  -  -   6

  -       “       -   her son Edward Higgins    2 weeks @ 6d   £  -  1   - 

Wm Milhall’s daughter Janet                    3 weeks @ 4d   £  -  1   - 

                                                                                                3 / 6


Widow Trousel depends on being employed as a Labourer in filling drains and from the want of such work in the present season she says she is unable to pay up the arrears, but promises to do so, when she gets work. The Meeting are disposed to give her farther delay under the circumstances and especially as she has hitherto paid regularly.


Widow Irvine’s excuse is that she has fallen behind in her rent and will pay up so soon as that is cleared off. The Meeting direct the Teacher to intimate that if the whole allowances up to Monday the 20 Current be not paid on that day her son is to be dismissed from the School. The Meeting direct the same notice to be given to Esther Buchanan and Wm Milhall











Mrs Bell’s Children. See Book of Applications


                                                   At Maybole 10 February 1851


         Present the Reverend Mr Thomson

                                       William Brown         


The Meeting having considered the case of Mrs Bell’s children and called her in for examination, they find that her youngest child has died since her application - that she is still in much distress - as her earnings after deducting her weekly rent (9d) is quite inadequate to maintain herself and three surviving children. She farther stated that she had got notice of her husband being in Carlisle and had communicated the fact to the Inspector, but that nothing had been done to compell him to do his duty.

The Meeting think it proper that her eldest child  (who cannot yet read) be received into the School for the present free of charge.  





The Meeting having considered the case of  McLachlan are of the opinion that the two children, John and Robert, be  received into the school at 4d each per week until the end of March - and after that date 5d each per week to the end of April and thereafter 6d each. McLachlan and his family are of the Catholic faith.




The Meeting adjourn McCabe’s case for farther investigation.





                                                        At Maybole 4 March 1851






                              The Revd Mr Dodds


                              Mr Brown


                              The Revd Mr Thomson


                              Mr Jas. Murdoch




Meeting opened with prayer by the Rev. M. Dodds.



Boy McCulloch

The Meeting’s attention was directed to the case of the little boy Andrew McCulloch who has got an almost inveterate habit of tearing and destroying the books given him to use in school, and the books of the other boys. The teacher reports that he has tried every method to correct his fault, both by advice, by  personal chastisement xxx but without effect, and that he was now at a loss what course to follow with him. The teacher exhibited a number of books which had been destroyed by this boy. 


The Meeting having duly considered the case and before dismissing the boy from the school direct the teacher to put him under the charge or surveillance of two of the most active boys in the school who will watch him and restrain him from doing any injury to books and to report the result to the next meeting, when the case will be finally disposed of. The two boys to be paid one penny each for their attention. The two boys named are Andrew Hathorn  and Joseph McCafferty.   




The meeting took into consideration the case of William Milhall who wishes to get his girl Margaret admitted into the School. It was agreed that she be admitted on condition that he pay up the existing arrears  & also sixpence per week for his two children. 



Mrs Thomson’s


Mrs Thomson appeared and promised to pay one shilling on Monday week and a shilling per week until her existing arrears are paid up. The teacher to report  at next meeting.




Meeting closed with prayer.




                                                        Maybole 8 April 1851






                                 The Revd Mr Thomson


                                 Mr Mathew Gibson


                                 William Brown


                                 Mr William Hannay



Boy McCulloch’s case.






Disposal of case.


Widow Wallace’s

2 children admitted.





Widow Beattie’s children.



The teacher reported, with much regret, that the boy McCulloch had still followed the mischievous practice of destroying books - that one night he tore four books - and has continued to destroy occasionally - and in fine the teacher considers this boy to be incorrigible by any efforts of reformation which he has been enabled to put forth.

The Meeting having again considered this case recommend that he be transferred to the Poor House under the charge of Mr Fergusson for at least some period with the view of trying the effect of some discipline there - and if he shall be improved with Mr Fergusson’s management he may be afterwards received back into the School.


Widow Wallace’s request for the admission of her two children, William and Robert, aged 8 and 6 (out of 6 children). See Book of Claims 28 March 1851, was considered. It is believed to be a very pressing and deserving case, and the Meeting therefore agree to receive these two children at the rate 2d each per week on the faith that the Parochial Board will pay an additional one penny for each child per week - and request Mr Hannay to bring this last before the first monthly meeting of the Board and to report. In the meantime the children are directed to be received on Friday first.


The case of Widow Beattie’s children is delayed until it is seen what the Parochial Board may be disposed to do.

Widow Thomson’s children.

Mrs Thomson is present and is to pay to the teacher 2/- on Friday and she agrees that John Houston to whom she works retain 1/- per week from her earnings to be paid over to the School till the arrears are paid up.


                                                 Maybole               April 30 1851






                            Mr Gibson


                            Mr Brown



Widow Branaghan’s children

The case of Widow Brannagan’s two children James and Mary aged 9 and 7 was considered, when it was agreed to admit them on their Mother paying four pence per week for each - at least for some little while.


                                                  Maybole               16 May 1851






                               Mr Dykes 


                               Mr Main


                               W. Gibson


                               W Murdoch


                               Rev Mr Thomson


                               Mr Brown




This Meeting, Mr Brown explained, had been called to have their mind on a complaint lodged with him against the teacher, of an alleged undue punishment of Jean Johnstone, a girl about 8 years old. The teacher, who is present, was requested to make his statement, which he did - admitting that he had punished the child with a small wand plucked from the garden hedge on the back, in consequence of her having been detected repeatedly destroying the school books, by tearing them in pieces - that he regretted he had made use of a wand altho’ small, and assured the meeting that he would not again use such a punishment.  

The Meeting intimated to the teacher their disapproval of the mode of punishment and expressed their determination thro’ the Secretary not to permit such - and that he must use the tause – but in consequence of the assurance given by the teacher they resolve that no farther procedure take place.


                                                                Maybole  28 May 1851





                               Mr R McMillan


                               Mr Brown




The claim of Robert Closs who requests his child - a boy aged 8 who can neither read nor write, to be admitted to the School and who assures that so soon as trade brings him employment, he will pay a weekly allowance of 3d per week from the date of his admission was considered.

The Meeting authorise the teacher to receive the boy on payment of the proposed allowance of three pence per week for the period of four weeks - and to give credit for that period of the allowance, but if the same is not then paid the Meeting will consider whether they will longer allow him to remain.




The teacher stated that Jas. Henderson, one of the boys taught at the School, is now an apprentice tailor with Mr John Fergusson, who is highly satisfied with his service and his behaviour - that hitherto Mr Fergusson has supplied him with victuals each day except Sunday and with clothes, and that he sleeps in his Mother’s room - but that she is about to leave having been deprived of her room from inability to pay for it and is obliged to beg - and she is most anxious that her boy be provided with a bed throughout the week and with victuals on Sabbath till his allowance from his Master be increased.

The Meeting having called in the Mother she repeated her total inability to give any assistance and especially as she has her other two boys to support - and in truth that she must seek support from the County, that nevertheless, she will so soon as she can return and pay what she can for James.

The Meeting agree to provide bed and Sunday victuals to James in the meantimebed                       





                                                       Maybole   31 May 1851





                                Mr Murdoch


                                Mr Hannay


                                Mr W. Brown


                                Mr McMillan


                                Mr Gibson




The case of John Laverty was considered. He is an able-bodied man but without any settled place of abode, and wishes to have his two children William and Sarah admitted to the Ragged School and will pay 9d per week for each which is considerably beyond the usual rate - or the rate paid by others.  


The Meeting agree to the request, it being understood that the allowance is to be  always paid per advance.




The Meeting in reference to the case of the boy Henderson agree to provide him a bed throughout the week and with victuals on the Sunday until communication is held with the Parochial Board with the view of obtaining their aid to provide these. 




The case of Samuel Thomson whose Mother has deserted him and who has no place of lodging was also considered when it was agreed to be the unanimous opinion of the Meeting that this boy should be provided with a bed in the Poor House - and he to continue to have victuals and education at the Ragged School. Mr Hannay is requested to lay the case before the Pxxxxxx of the Parochial Board.




Margaret Reid applied to have her child admitted to the School. The child is a female, the illegitimate daughter of Robert Stevenson, a weaver in Girvan. The child is aged five and a half years and was never at any school - offers to pay three pence per week per advance.


The Meeting agreed to admit the girl provided the money be paid per advance.





                                                       Maybole   1 July 1851




                              The Revd  J M Thomson


                              W Brown




The Meeting in regard there is no business of such importance as to require to be disposed of in so small meeting, agree to adjourn the same till next monthly meeting.




                                                         Maybole 13 August 1851


                                                                 Ragged School






                                Mr W Brown


                                Mr Mathew Gibson




Widow Wallace who has two children at the School for whom she pays 2d per week for each and now desires that another of her children, Mary, aged 10, be also received, for whom she will pay 3d per week. See her case stated Page 19 of the Book of Cases.


The Meeting agree to receive the child at 3d per week - the Mother having born the posthumous child referred to in the Book - and Mr Gibson recommending her on point of character.




The case of Widow McClelland (p23) is remitted to Mr Gibson to examine and report.




William Closs, son of Robert Closs, ( who has now sufficiency of work and who owes 2/6) is to be dismissed from the School on Saturday first, unless his father pays up.


The teacher reported that Mrs Irvine owes 1/8 for her boy aged eight and a half years. The Meeting, in consequence of her not having yet much work agree to continue the boy till next meeting.




Isabella Reid desires her child to be taken into the teacher’s house for a time or until she returns from the shearing - but the Meeting declined the request as being contrary to their rule and in this case not expedient.




Margaret Reid  who has a girl, Margaret Stevenson, at School is in arrear 2/-. She is present and it is agreed that she pay 6d on Saturday senight and 3d the end of each of the 4 following weeks.


The teacher reported that Mr R. McMillan had sent 9/- to be given to the boys at the School. The Meeting direct the teacher to apply it to purchase biscuits and distribute the same among the children on Sabbath after having been at Church




                                                        Maybole  8 September 1851


                             Mr Gibson           Rev Mr Thomson

                             Mr Brown            Thos. Dykes Esq.



Mrs McClelland’s case





Mrs Irvine’s case

Mr Gibson reported on the application by Mrs McClelland’s children, that she is a woman of good character and very poor - that she is unable to pay for their support or education - that she will find their food and wishes to have their education gratis. The Meeting agree to receive her two children Sarah and David to be taught in the School gratis.


The Meeting resumed the case of Mrs Irvine who now owes 4/- of arrears - and she having been called in declares her inability to pay up those arrears at present but assures the meeting that she will commence paying the usual weekly rate of 2d and will continue to do so - and will pay the arrears as soon as she is able. The Meeting agree to continue the child and if she faithfully pays the weekly rate for 6 months they will discharge the arrears.


The arrear of Margaret Reid was reconsidered, she has paid 9d since last Meeting but she still owes 2/-. She is called in and it is proposed that she pay up the arrears in the course of one month and keep up the payment of the weekly rate, to which she agrees



Mrs Findlay


The teacher reports Mrs Findlay to be in arrear 2/6, and that she is at present shearing. The teacher is requested to intimate to her that the arrears must be paid up within 8 days or otherwise the children will be dismissed.



Pauper children’s clothes

The children of the Board are at present much in need of shirts - and the girls in want of petticoats. The Meeting direct the teacher to furnish the Chairman with a statement of the clothes awanting, that the same may be attended to.



Room for 3 Pauper children

The teacher reported that three of the children of the Board had gone to service and that he could now receive three in their room.The Meeting direct the teacher to report this to the Chairman of the Board.




The teacher is authorised to give a week’s vacation to the School.




                                                           Maybole   7 October 1851      



                             The Revd J M Thomson


                             Mr W Brown



Case of R.. McLachlan’s two children

The case of the two children of Richard McLaghlan, labourer, Robert and John, aged 10 and 8, was explained. The father is a widower and his home kept by a daughter - but the boys will not

obey her when he is from home, and run about the streets all day idle - and he wishes these two children to be received into the School to be taught, receiving their victuals and bed at home. The father resides in Kirklands and is a Catholic, but does not object to them being taught the Bible and Catechism.


Deliverance on McLachlan’s case

The Meeting, impressed with the necessity of giving their aid to preserve these children from falling into bad habits, agree to their being taught in the Ragged School on condition of their father regularly paying one penny for each per week.



Mrs Hugil’s children

Mrs Hudgel, a widow in Welltrees Street, who has one son John, aged 16 - a daughter, Rachael aged 7, and wishes to have Rachael received in to the School, but is unable to pay anything, owing to her son John, being disabled by a disease in legs from working at anything. She is not upon the Parochial Board. Mrs Hudgel, being called in and examined, states she will give her child her food and hopes the Committee will give the education gratuitously.

The Meeting agree to her proposal.



                                                    At Maybole 10 Dec 1851






                             Revd Mr Dodds

                             Revd Mr Thomson

                             Tho. Dykes Esq

                             W Brown



Widow McDade’s children - see Book p24.

The Revd Mr Dodds opened the Meeting with prayer. The case of Widow McDade regarding her two illegitimate children - Marion and John Devine, aged 6 years and 4 years to be admitted to the School to be taught, was considered. She gets no aid from the Board and desires that these two children be taught gratis - and to be fed.

The Meeting are disposed to admit the children to receive education gratuitously, but not to receive food.



Case of Jas. Davidson, child of Margaret Devine.

The case of Margaret Devine’s child James Davidson, aged 5 was considered. The Mother was present and states that she resides with her father Edward Devine ( 6d chxxx).

The Meeting agree to give the child education gratis, but not food as they think the Mother and grandfather should be able to pay for the food, but if they agree to pay 4d per week the teacher will give the food. 



Case of Mrs Blyth’s children

Daniel Blyth - 9

Robert - “ -  - 4

The case of the children of Mrs Blyth whose husband has deserted her was considered. She has 4 children (boys) aged 12, 9, 4 and 11/2 - she gets 6d per week from the Board. The Meeting agree to receive the two boys of 9 and 4 for education and food, provided the Board pay the Ragged School weekly one shilling per week - and recommend to her to lay her case before the Board for their consideration, and if the Board agree to the above proposal the said two children will be received.




Child Candlish

The weekly payment of Mary Laidlaw for her child - a girl - is reduced from this time to two pence per week until her health is better and trade improved.



                                                  Maybole 8th January 1852



                              Revd J M Thomson

                              Mr James Murdoch

                              William Hannay   



Widow Irvine’s

arrear 1/-

The teacher reported that Widow Irvine owes 1/- for her boy. The Meeting directs her to pay one half of the sum on Monday first.



Widow Trousel’s arrear 1/-

It was also stated that Widow Trousel owes 1/-. The Meeting directed her to pay one half by Monday eight days and thereafter to continue to pay the regular weekly sum together with the balance of arrears.

Widow Wallace’s arrears.

Widow Wallace owes 1/10. She was present and offered to pay 1/- per week until the arrears due be paid up.


Margaret Reid’s arrears

Margaret Reid owes 1/-. She was present but could not say when she could pay anything. Farther consideration delayed until meeting. This is the second time Margaret Reid has fallen into arrear.



Mary Laidlaw’s arrear 8d.

Mary Laidlaw owes 8d. Farther consideration delayed until next meeting. The Revd Mr Thomson to enquire into the circumstances.





                                                            Maybole, 15 Janry   1852




                            Mr Gibson              Mr Murdoch

                            Mr Brown               Jas. M Thomson    




Margt McGowan’s child John Wilson recd for education.


Margaret McGowan has a boy aged 111/2 years whom she wishes to be received into the School for education - and will pay 2d per week.



Mrs Bonnar’s children, John and William


The case of Mrs Bonnar for the education and food of her two boys, John and William aged 10 and 81/2 (see Note Book) was taken up and considered. The boys present. Agreed that if Barclay Connelly give food and bed the Institution will give education and the boys are desired to come up this evening with Connelly to speak to the teacher.


Widow Tait’s case considered - and agreed that if her three daughters and son and herself pay the School 1/- per week they will be received and the teacher to communicate this. 



Widow Brown. Boys Chas. and Jas. - twins-10 years old.

Widow Brown owes of arrears a considerable sum. She is a labourer - cannot pay at present. Pays at present 1/- per week and now wishes to pay 6d per week. The Board allows 1/- per week for these children and Mr Murdoch is requested to request the Poor Inspector hereafter to pay the 1/- per week to the Ragged School.


McLachlan’s case is adjourned till next week.



Margt. Reid’s case

Margaret Reid’s case resumed - child to be continued till communication be had with Joseph Reid, Elbow Street. Pensioner, and the teacher is directed to write to him to persuade him to pay the weekly allowance.



McLaughlane’s  sons admitted

McLaughlane being now present, his case was reconsidered, when it was agreed to admit his two elder sons : viz Robert and John at 1/- per week.


Mary-Ann Laidlaw’s daughter dismissed

Mary-Ann Laidlaw appeared and stated that she was still unable to pay the reduced rate of 2d per week for her daughter, when it was agreed that in these circumstances the little girl could not be permitted to remain in School




                                                    Maybole   26 February 1852




                            Revd Mr Thomson          Thos Dykes Esq

                            Mr Murdoch

                            Mr Gibson

                            Mr Brown


Margaret Reid’s case

Margaret Reid’s case resumed - teacher reported that he had written to Joseph Reid as directed by last Meeting but had got no reply.

The Meeting direct the child of said Margaret Reid to cease to receive board after the present week but thereafter to be educated at the School gratis. Mr Murdoch to request Mr Fergusson the xxxxxxxx to write the Girvan Inspector to press the father of said child, who resides in Girvan, for aliment for the child.



Mrs Brannagan’s case

Mrs Brannagan has removed one of her two children from the School, because as she states, she cannot longer pay for both children, altho’ it is believed that an allowance is given by the Board for each. The Committee appointed by the Board to communicate with the Managers of this School are requested to ascertain what allowance is given and to endeavour to secure the payment for the children by the Inspector to the teacher



Mrs Bonar’s children

The case of Mrs Bonar’s children, John and William, stands over till her application to the Board is disposed of.



Mrs Wallace

Mrs Wallace and Mrs Trousel and Mary Ann Laidlaw are to pay each one penny per week additional to credit of old arrears.



Widow Tait’s case

Widow Tait’s case (p25 Note Book) - a claim to have her two boys, William and Andrew, received into the School and to receive food, was considered. - whom the Meeting decline to admit there unless their mother pay the usual weekly allowance.  



Mrs Keachy’s request

Mrs Keachy’s request to have her boy and girl admitted to food in addition to education and to pay 3d each, is declined - and if children are withdrawn application to be made to the Board to secure payment of their education - and to enforce regular attendance.




John Edgar’s application

The application of John Edgar to have Robert and John admitted to School and to receive food without paying anything at present - the Meeting decline to admit.



 Note- pages 1- 40 are shown above. Pages 41 - 117 still in progress. Complete transcription to be posted here soon.