Home ] Up ] Photo Galleries ] Town Guides ] Notables ] Community ] News ] Places ] History ] Search ] Contact Us ]

MayboleCarricksCapital.jpg (33235 bytes)

Maybole, Carrick's Capital Facts, Fiction & Folks by James T. Gray, Alloway Publishing, Ayr. First published 1972. Copyright © Permission for display on this site granted by David Gray. You may view and download chapters of this book for personal research purposes only. No other distribution of this text is authorized.

The story of this ancient Ayrshire town from its early beginnings in the 12th century through its growth and development until the nineteen sixties. A fascinating record of the history of a town including a wealth of factual information on its outstanding buildings  growth of industry etc., the book also gives an insight into the life of the community and townsfolk themselves.
Table of Contents



In the Charter dated 1516 power was granted to the townspeople to make "free burgesses" and this was an honour much sought after by old Minniebolers. They were originally to be "admitted, created, and received for good deeds done, and to be done by them, to the said town" and had to be "good and loyal subjects of His Majesty". The Charter stated they would have the right to elect annually Bailies and all other Officers in the Burgh and it may be presumed they elected the first council of civic fathers. As time went on, however, the councillors gradually started to elect their own nominees to replace vacancies caused by the death or retiral of council members and based their claim to do so on a Statute of 1469, in the reign of James IV, which ordained that "Touching on the election of officeraries in Burghs as Aldermen, Bailies and other Officeraries, because of great contention yearly for the chusing of same, through multitude and clamour of cummunes simple persons the auld Council suld chuse the new." There are no records of any annual elections by the burgesses of the council and certainly this was not done in the eighteenth century, although the counciliors faithfully submitted a list of council members to the Earl of Cassillis for him to name the two Bailies for the ensuing year, until nearly the end of the century when this procedure was dropped until it cropped up again in the reforming dispute of the 1820s. The burgesses at that time tried to regain their right and maintained the Town Charter granted powers to them to "elect annually" all councillon and the matter was taken to the Court of Session who ruled the charter did not supersede the earlier Statute. It was not until 1857 that the burgesses regained the right to elect their councillors annually when the Police Commissioners superseded the old councillors.

Originally burgesses were created free of charge but later a fee was made for admittance to the Burgher Roll, One Guinea being charged strangers and ten shillings for sons of burgesses. Most well doing townsmen applied to be admitted as burgesses as they obtained quite a few privileges over their fellowmen and many minutes of the old Council refer to the admittance of Burgesses and state the fees collected. A burgess ticket was necessary before one could trade in the burgh, it entitled one to buy seats in the church and, of course, only burgesses had any chance of being elected to the council.

No records of admittance of burgesses can be traced before the eighteenth century but certainly all councillors and traders would be on the roll. The custom of selling burgess tickets was dropped about the middle of the nineteenth century but in recognition of their services to their town and country many of the townsmen who served in the Boer War were admitted. There have been no new burgesses for many years, although the Freedom of the Burgh has been conferred from time to time on some ex-Provosts and also on President Eisenhower of America in October, 1946. An old list of Burgesses in Maybole between 1834 and 1837 is still in existence and the following excerpt from it gives many names which are familiar in the town to this day.

                                                 List of Maybole Burgesses

	1834 	Nov. 	6 	Allan Hunter Jr. 	Grocer.
 	"        "     20 	John Spellman. 		Residenter.
	1835    Jan.    8       Richard Cowan.          Plumber.
	1835	Oct.	1	Charles Crawford.	Shoemaker.
	1838	Aug.	2	Thomas Holligan.	Weaver.
	"	Oct.	4	William Forsyth.	Grocer.
	1839	Nov.	7	John Hannay.		Grocer.
	1840	Dec.	7	John Campbell.		Baker.
	1843	Jan.	5	William Baird.		Shocmaker.
	"	 "	21	John Hindmarsh.		Weaver's Agent.
	"	Jly.	20	Hugh McCrindle.		Tailor.
	1846	Oct.	7	Thomas Dunlop.		Weaver.
	"	Nov.	9	Thomas Dykes.		Factor.
	1847	Oct.	9	John Austin.		Wright.
	1853	 "	3	Peter Sinclair.		Gamedealer.
	"	 "	"	Arthur Muir.		Draper.
	"	 "	"	William Galbraith.	Merchant.
	"	 "	4	Alexander McWhirter.	Draper.
	1860	Sept.	28	John Kennedy, Jnr.	Grocer.
	1863	Oct.	5	Adam Gray.		Shoemaker.
	1864	-		Joseph Pealing.		Cattledealer.
	1868	Oct.	7	Adam Goudie.		Merchant.
	1872	 "	19	Robert Allan.		Auctioneer.
	"	 "		James Lambie.		Clothier.
	"	 "		John Gray, Jnr.		Shoemaker.
	"	 "		Malcolm Gillespie.	Innkeeper.
	"	 "		John Cameron.		Ironmonger.
	"	 "		David Templeton.	Watchmaker.
	1874	Jne.	5	Robert Muir.		Grocer.
	"	 "		John McGeachie.		Flesher.
	"	 "		Mathew Gutbrie.		Baker.
	"	 "		John Watson.		Private
	"	 "	5	John McMath.		Flesher.
	"	 "		James McKissock.	Draper.
	"	 "		James McCubbin.		Draper.
	"	 "		Thomas France.		Ironmonger.
	1876	Oct.	13	Robert Allan, Jnr.	Accountant.
	"	 "		John Gilmour.		Clerk.
	1876 	Oct.    13	Richard Hunter.		Joiner.
	"  	"		John Riddoch.		Plasterer.
	"	"		Hugh Hunter.		Innkeeper.
	"	"		John Marshall.		Millowner.
	"	"		James Gray.		Shoemaker.
	"	"		James Gibson.		Solicitor.
	"	"		John Chapel.		Teacher.
	"	"		David Brown.		Solicitor.
	"	"		Thomas Rennie.		Banker.
	"	"		John Dunn.		Carrier.
	"	"		James Goudie.		Weaver.
	"	"		John Gray.		Shoemaker.
	"	"		George Wilson.		Weaver.

It will be seen that all included in the list were men of substance with a stake in the town’s trade and an interest in its welfare. The Grays and Crawfords started the great shoe industry. Hindmarsh was a notable wool merchant, Marshall brought fame to the old firm of Jack & Sons and the others were all sound tradespeople, etc. who depended on the custom of the people in the town and surrounding district. Many old Burgess tickets must still be laid away in old drawers, etc. in houses in the town although most would probably be lost or destroyed when older people’s possessions were disposed of on their deaths, as few of the younger generations would appreciate how prized they were by the holders who were proud to be Burgesses in the old Capital Of Carrick.

Copyright 1999-2015