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William James Montgomery Cuninghame V C
 William Cuninghame was born 20th of May 1834 in the parish of Maybole, county of Ayr, Scotland, the son of Sir Thomas Montgomery Cunninghhame and Charlotte Niven D Hutcheson. Just prior to his 20th birthday William J M Cuninghame enlisted on 11th March 1853 as Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own).  On 20th November 1854, while serving with his regiment during the Crimean War, together with Lieutenant C T Bourchier and 200 men under the command of Lieutenant Tryon was ordered to attack several Russian rifle pits on rising ground which were really caves dug into the side of the hill.  The capture of the rifle pits was essential to the advance of the British troops and Lieutenant Tryon and his party attacked them under cover of darkness in a surprise bayonet attack during which Lieutenant Tryon was killed in bitter hand to hand fighting.  More about William Cuninghame


Sir Gilbert Blane

Sir Gilbert Blane
In 1749 Gilbert Blane was born at Blanefield at Kirkoswald and he also received his early schooling in Maybole. He became Sir Gilbert Blane and was made a fellow of the Royal Societies of London, Edinburgh and Gottingen, of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg and of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris. He was physician to the fleet in the West Indies during the American War and it was during this period he found a preventative for scurvy which was a plague to all seamen at that time. It is said a ship was captured which had a load of limes as cargo and Sir Gilbert dosed the sailors on his ship with the juice of these fruits and found his seamen did not contract the disease. From then on all British seamen were given lime juice as a preventative for scurvy and this gave them the nickname of "Limejuicers", which is now shortened to "Limey", the name for Englishmen in nearly every foreign country. (From the chapter from James T. Gray's  book  Maybole, Carrick's Capital titled "Famous Folks") More about Sir Gilbert Blane


William Topaz McGonagall

William Topaz McGonagall
Maybole can also claim connection with another Scottish poet. The parents of the famous William McGonagall,. "the world's worst poet", lived in Maybole for many years and all their family, excepting William, were born there. They moved to Edinburgh and William was born three months after they left Maybole. From the chapter on Robert Burns' Association with Maybole  in the book Maybole, Carrick's Capital by  James T. Gray  For more on the poet's connection to Maybole see A Summary History of Poet McGonagall and other parts of the excellent site at McGongall Online. This site aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the life and works of McGonagall, including his remarkable (and unintentionally hilarious) autobiography.


William Niven.

William Niven
The most prominent townsman in days gone past was Bailie Niven and when dealing with the town's history about a hundred and fifty years ago it is practically impossible to turn up any notes on matters relating to the town and district where the bold Bailie's name does not appear. He was undoubtedly at that time "Lord God of Maybole and Master of all the Lime Kilns in sight" as his manservant once described him. He was a school-friend of Robert Burns, a banker and merchant in the town, "Leader" of the council for many years, Laird of Kirkbride, the only townsman to have a vote before the Reform Bill of 1832 and at his unmourned death left over 100,000. As his coffin was lifted on to the shoulders of the pall bearers one of the few spectators remarked: "Hoist him up, he'll never be nearer heaven." From the chapter Personalities  in the book Maybole, Carrick's Capital by  James T. Gray Read also the chapter on William Niven by Rev. Lawson and the article by Sheila Dinwoodie. A short biography here. Photo contributed by Andy Jones  View family history charts of the Nivens here.


Reverend Roderick R. Lawson

Reverend Roderick R. Lawson
(1831-1907) was born in Girvan, where his father was a ropespinner. He received his early education under the Rev. Cathcart Kay in the old Parish School. His first post was that of assistant to the Rev. John M'Leod, at that time minister of the parish of Newton-on-Ayr, but later of Govan Parish. In 1864 he was ordained minister of the West Parish Church, Maybole, in which a memorial tablet records that he laboured for 34 years and was " a man imbued with the enthusiasm of usefulness who preached the love of God." For more about Reverend Roderick R. Lawson.


John Loudon McAdams

 John Loudon McAdam
"John Loudon McAdam the famous roadmaker, although born in Ayr, in 1756, was educated at a school in Maybole and he was a frequent visitor to the district until his death in Moffat in 1836. From 1785 to 1798 he lived at Sauchrie a few miles out of the town and on leaving his Carrick home he spent the next sixteen years in studying the conditions of roads, travelling thirty thousand miles and spending 535,000 of his own money on road research. It is locally believed that he first carried out his experiments in 'Macadamising" on the stretch of roadway between where the Station Bridge is now sited in Culzean Road and Whitefaulds Farm and no one will disabuse a Minnieboler of this belief. (From the chapter from James T. Gray's  book  Maybole, Carrick's Capital titled "Famous Folks") For More about John McAdam click here. Excerpt from Encyclopedia Britannica here


James McWhirter was born 8 July 1848, in Maybole, the son of William McWhirter and Allison Bell Eaglesham. After employment as a draper in Glasgow he immigrated to Australia. In 1898 James McWhirter and Son began trading in Brunswick St., Brisbane. The business was known as "Jas. McWhirter and Son. Cash Drapers". This small business expanded year after year and with it the buildings on Brunswick St. It is said that few Brisbanites have parents, grandparents and even great grand parents who have not used "McWhirters Corner" as a meeting place. In fact, until just a few years ago, it was said if you stood at McWhirters Corner for one day, everyone in Brisbane would pass by. For a current photo and more about McWhirter's Market Place click here. (Advertisement at left contributed by Paul Mitchell, click on it for full size image)


Robert the Bruce
King of Scots, former holder of the title Earl of Carrick.  "Robert the Bruce must often have trod its street, as it is only seven miles distance from his castle at Turnberry. The fight for the independence of Scotland began by Bruce's attack on Turnberry Castle when he landed from Rathlin Island in the bay at Maidens. Local lore has it that when he landed and was told the signal fires had not been lit but that whins had caught fire on the cliff north of Maidens he remarked: "This is a weary neuk to land in" thus giving the present day name of "Wearyneuk" to the spot in the village. There can be little doubt but Bruce during his journeys throughout Carrick must often have visited the town." (From the chapter from James T. Gray's  book  Maybole, Carrick's Capital titled "Famous Folks") (Photograph on the left by David Kiltie)


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