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OCT 13 1916


Gift of Alexander Cochrane






Where Cart rins rowin to the sea,
By many a flower and spreading tree,
There lives the lad, the lad for me,

He is a gallant weaver.


RENFREWSHIRE is a small county, situated on the south bank of the Clyde below Glasgow, and adjoining on the other side to the northern limit of Ayrshire. It may be described as being, in common with the Nether Ward of Clydesdale, little else than a sort of “pofle or pendicle” to the great manufacturing Capital of the West. Its coast is lined with sea-ports, and its interior studded with towns, all alike subservient to the conveniency and the service of Glasgow. There is no room here for the contemplative speculations of the poet and the antiquary. The visitant of the district must either take some interest in shipping, or spinning, or weaving ; or he must get out of the way as fast as he can, and flee to the pensive solitudes of the Southern Vales. The very beauties of nature are here put out of sight or disguised; if there be a cataract, it is employed in driving a mill; if a lake, its sweets are lavished upon a bleachfield.

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The town of Paisley, though not the county-town, is by far the most remarkable object in Renfrewshire. It is the fourth town in Scotland in point of population, -being inferior only to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. It lies upon a plain, watered by the White Cart, seven miles westward from Glasgow ; and, as the houses are in general not very tall, it covers a vast space of ground.

Paisley, like Glasgow, owes its first existence to a religious establishment. It was originally only the hamlet gathered around the abbey founded here, in 1164, by Walter Stewart, the ancestor of the royal family of Scotland ; nor did it assume any appearance of importance till so late as the end of the last century:

The manufactures of Paisley, the chief part of which have always been connected with the loom, form the principal object of curiosity in the history of the town. It would

appear, that soon after the Union, fabrics of different sorts were produced in Paisley at a cheap rate. The inhabitants seem to have followed up very rapidly every new manufacture introduced at Glasgow. "The persons who chiefly settled here as manufacturers or dealers, consisted in general, of a set of men who, at one time, were extremely numerous and useful, both in Scotland and England. These were pedlars, otherwise called packmen, who travelled about the country to supply the inhabitants with such commodities as could not be produced by domestic manufacture. The object of every packman's ambition was, to become ultimately a settled shopkeeper or merchant, - to set up his ell-wand of rest in some comfortable town ; and many of them, before the close of their lives, have appeared in the first rank of Scottish merchants, in Glasgow and every other city. It frequently happened, however, fron their universal eagerness to fix themselves in a settled residence, that they made the attempt with too small a capital to give them a prospect of success in the greater towns ; and hence they were under the necessity of settling in inferior situations. Paisley offered itself as an advan

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