BOTHWELL BRIDGE & BARNCLUITH taken from the Illustrated London News (1882)


Bothwell Bridge, on the Clyde, not far from Hamilton, is renowned for the battle fought, in 1679, between the Covenanters and the Royal forces under the Duke of Monmouth and Claverhouse, in which the latter were the victors.

Old pictures of this battle represent the bridge with high gateway about its centre. The old bridge still remains, though much altered by additions and improvements. Our view will, nevertheless, show the character of the old structure, with its curious ribbed arches. It will be seen that an addition has been made by which the bridge -was more than doubled in its width; the side paths for foot passengers being carried above iron supports to give more space to the carriage roadway above.

This view is taken looking the river from the left bank. The main battle took place on the opposite side, where the high ground slopes down to some flat fields. The town of Bothwell is scarcely a mile to the north, but there are scattered houses now nearly all the way to the bridge.

The grounds of Hamilton Palace begin on the left bank of the Clyde, at the upper side of the bridge, where there is a handsome entrance-gate, ornamented with the cinquefoils of the Hamilton escutcheon; and the bridge, which has been transformed into handsome one, is now a fine feature in the approach to Hamilton on the road from Glasgow.


Near the gate where visitors enter the Cadzow Grounds, is an old residence called Barncluith, which contains a fine specimen of Dutch gardening. They are supposed to have been constructed by a John Hamilton of Barncluith, in 1582. Queen Mary stayed at Hamilton Palace on her escape from Loch Leven, and just before her final defeat at Langside, near Glasgow. At such an exciting moment it is not likely that Queen Mary would pay much attention to the wells or the water supply of the neighbourhood, but her visit was doubt sufficient to associate her name with this picturesque fountain.

The well still seems to be used in 1896, according to the old map of Hamilton. I wonder if anyone can tell me if the well can still be seen at Barncluth today.

Hamilton Grammar School Cruise 1975.


Happy days for some Hamilton Grammar pupils in1975. The pupils left from Glasgow on the SS Uganda and docked into Belfast where they picked up more passengers. They then sailed to Casablanca,Vigo,Lisbon,Madeira and it was a10 day trip. Picture courtesy of Robert McCallum.

Were you on this cruise? Let us know and share your pictures.

The White Knight was Peter Coia!!!

On the 2nd of November, we wrote about the White Knight, who was a mysterious man who paid for a sick child to go to Switzerland to get treatment for a lung problem.

The identity of the White Knight was unknown, however, after publishing our story on the second of November some family members of Rose Whalen (Who was the sick child) sent us some pictures of Rose and also told us about Rose in later life. Thomas Whalen who is Rose’s Brother told us:

“Rose is my sister. She was sent away, ended up for a year, to Switzerland. The ‘white knight’ was peter, Coia. after her cure in Switzerland she was ok but then in 1956 she ended up in shotts sanitarium because she had a shadow in her lung. she married Alex in 1957 and they had boy and 2 girls or a family (twins). Both are still alive and well. I hope this helps and clarifies any info you needed.”

Thank you, peter for sending us this info! Peter Coia owned the cross cafe in Hamilton and he must have been a true gentleman and I can only hope that everyone knew the good deed that he did for little Rose Whalen and her family.

Liz Glancy Clarke who’s mum was also sent to Switzerland wrote to us and she told us her mum’s story, Liz Wrote:

” My mum Emily Green was sent here when she was young for TB. She told me about 10/15 people all with different stages of TB were picked from the area by Hairmyres Hospital for trials for different types of treatments for the disease in Switzerland and she was one of the lucky ones.

Fortunately, although my mum was very ill the only treatment she received was the mountain air which miraculously cured her. Some of the others were hooked up to drips for hours at a time. She used to tell me how when she started feeling better she was allowed out of the sanatorium and she got a wee secret job selling watches to the soldiers.

I have some stunning photos of her with the group from Lanarkshire area that were picked to go so will look them out. When she would tell the stories here eyes would light up. I remember her talking about a tall dark haired handsome man in the photos called Robert Mitchell (I think that’s his name) and a woman called Roseanna McGhee from Motherwell who sadly had a child back home who died while they were in Switzerland.

My mum used to cry her eyes out every time she told how she found Roseanna crying on a bench in the town not knowing what to do but in the end, Roseanna went home early. My mum lived to the ripe old age of 88 and her famous saying used to be ” Did you know I was dying with TB when I was young and I got sent to Switzerland to cure me? … best year of my life” x

Once again, Thank you, Liz, for sharing your memories. The pictures below are of Rose Whalen and Liz’s mum Emily.


Linn House, Burnbank.

Linn House featured on the 1896 map of Hamilton. 

During the mid 19th-century Burnbank road was dotted with Villas and grand houses and one of them was called Linn House. Linn House was situated on 2 acres of land and in it’s time it boasted of fantastic “Views of the surrounding  country”.

Like Burnbank House just across the road, there seems to have been at the time military people living around this area. In January 1855 a Mrs Douglas Pattison died at the house, in her obituary, she was noted as being a ‘Relic’ of the late Colonel George Dodds of the 1st Royal regiment of foot.

In 1859, the villa of Linn House was occupied by a Mr B.W. Dodds and in this year he was selling the property. Linn House which was within the last few years almost entirely rebuilt by Mr Dodds for his own occupancy. The villa was comfortable and commodious, commanding, varied and had exclusive views of the surrounding country; and the grounds extending to about two acres bounded on one side by a burn (The Wellshaw Burn) on which there is a picturesque Linn or Waterfall.

It also boasted of well laid out shrubbery an orchard and a large garden with fruit trees and bushes. There was also a greenhouse situated in the garden.

One of the later owners was a Mrs Lynch, who in  May 1894 was looking to employ a new cook. Twenty-Six years later on the 16th of November 1920, the house gets put back up for sale and the grand building boasts of having 3 public rooms, 5 bedrooms, 2 dressing rooms and a nursery. Linn House also had 4 servants rooms, a garage, a stable and the property also had its very own gatehouse wich included 1 room for the gatekeeper and its very own kitchen & scullery. According to the 1925 valuation roll, a joiner called Robert Thomas was now renting the villa.

Linn House subsiding. Picture taken from The Scotsman 21st February 1929.

The grand villa like many of Hamilton’s buildings fell victim to the coal mines deep under its foundations. Linn House would have still been standing in Burnbank today if it wasn’t for the underground workings from the local coal mines. The exact location of where Linn house once stood was between numbers 30 & 36 Newfield Crescent. The screenshot taken from google maps shows the exact location of where the picture of the subsiding house was taken in 1929. I did notice one thing! The gable side of the house in Newfield Crescent has a large crack on it, I would probably say that this was also down to further subsidence from the underground coal mines collapsing.



Remembering the men of Hamilton, killed in service after WW1 & WW2.

I took a walk over to the public park at Bothwell Road on Thursday, to get a picture of the war memorial and unknown to me, there is also a memorial dedicated to the men of Hamilton, who have been killed in recent times.

Robert Thompson..jpg

One of the plaques on the memorial was dedicated to Robert Thompson, who was killed while on patrol in Northen Ireland. Robert was a Whitehill man and he was the son of Robert Thompson SNR and Nettie McNamee.

As mentioned, Robert’s life was brought to a devastating end when on the 27th of July 1980, he was on patrol at Moy Bridge, Maughnahan Road, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone and was killed by a Remote Control Bomb. Robert was only 26 years old and was survived by both his parents.

Robert Thompson2.jpg

I would like to put a face to the name on the plaque at the Bothwell Park memorial. Below is a picture of Robert Thompson, taken from my own family collection of photographs.


Reported Deaths from WW1.

HAMILTON AND THE WAR. Mr John Stewart, Hamilton Terrace, Burnbank Road, has received official intimation that his youngest son. Private Archie Craig Stewart, has been killed in action. Private Stewart enlisted in the H.L.I. in September 1914, and in March of this year, he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

After three months’ further training in this Corps he proceeded overseas. In a letter to Mr Stewart, the Commanding Officer speaks highly of the intrepidity which characterised the work of his son, who was very popular with all ranks.

Private Stewart was shot by a sniper while advancing at the front-line trenches on the 25th October. Previous to the war he was employed in the of office Nobel’s Explosives Coy, Glasgow, and was great favourite with his fellow-workers.  He was in his 20th year, and was on the roll of Honour of the West United Free Church.

It has been officially reported that Private Gilbert Stodart H.L.I was killed in action, on November 1. Private Stodart was only 18 years of age, and was the youngest son of Gilbert Stodart, for long associated with, the firm Campbell, Binnie, Reid & Coy, Greenfield Foundry.

Mr Stodart resided at Greenlea, Reid Street, Burnbank, but left this country for Southern Rhodesia with his wife and family in the summer of this year, and young Gilbert hoped to join them later. Private Stodart before enlisting, was on the staff of the Clydesdale Bank, Hamilton.

Word has been received this week by Captain C Rocks, Bent Road, Hamilton, of the death of Pte. John Calder, Gordon Highlanders. A comrade writes that Pte. Calder was accidentally killed. He was 22 years of age, was the son of a former foreman at Hamilton Gasworks, but had resided with Capt. and Mrs Rocks since early boyhood, and chummed with Pte. Christopher Rocks, also of the Gordons, who reported killed in action in September last. Prior to enlisting, Pte. Calder was employed as baker with the Hamilton Cooperative Society.

Official intimation has been received that Pte. Wm. Armstrong, Scottish Rifles, was killed in action 21st October last. He was years of age, and was the eldest son of Mrs Armstrong, 18 Union Street. Hamilton. He enlisted on 12th January of last year, prior which he had been employed grocer with the Central Co-operative Society in Hamilton.

Mr Lewis Morton. 26 High Blantyre Road, Burnbank, Hamilton, has received intimation that his son. Private Lewis Morton, A. and S.H, died at Malta on November 3rd from malaria. He was 21 years’ age, and before enlisting was employed at Watson’s Colliery, Burnbank.

Pte. John Collins, Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on 12th October. Before enlisting. he was employed at Quarter Colliery.

Mrs Brady, 4 New Row. Quarter, has received information that her brother. Private George Robson. was killed in action abroad between October 19 and 21. He was 21 years of age.

Looking to trace Jim who lived at 38 Burnbank Road in 1941.

Rabbie Burns1.JPG

Robert Hodgson contacted The Hamilton Advertiser, as he is trying to trace someone, Robert wrote:

“Hello, I am trying to trace Jim who lived at 38 Burnbank Road in 1941. There were three people called Jim lived there around that time; Jim Lawson with his wife Helen, Jim Yuill with his wife Agnes, and Jim L. Stirling with his wife, also called Agnes.

They gave a Robert Burns poetry book to either my father or mother, Jack Hodgson and Edwina (nee) Hanlon who both came from Leeds.

They didn’t know each other at this time but were in the RAMC and Red Cross during 1941.

Any clues would be welcome for me to follow up. I’d like to contact the descendants of Jim who wrote the message in the book. Thanks.”

We thought that we would ask the Historic Hamilton Readers, as we know you guys are really great detectives. Can you help Robert with tracking down anyone mentioned here? Let us know.


Rose Whalen was a romping 13-year-old schoolgirl. But last September she fell ill with lung trouble. Immediately her family applied for bed for her in a sanatorium. They were told there was a two years’ waiting list. They asked if she could be sent to Switzerland under the school scheme. The answer was she was a year too old.
It seemed Rose would have to stay at home at 2 Backmuir Crescent, Whitehill, Hamilton. Her parents did what little they could to make her happy. But the outlook for Rose was poor. Then one day a man knocked at the door. He said he’d heard about Rose. He asked whether Mr and Mrs Whalen could help to send her to Davos Sanatorium, in Switzerland, if a bed could be obtained. They said they could, but wouldn’t be able to pay the whole cost.
Mr Whalen, a miner, has been ill for some time and unable to work. The man who called was a Hamilton man who is known as the ” White Knight ” because of the good he does in a quiet way. On behalf of Rose, he wrote to London and Switzerland. He brought back news that a bed was available. It would cost, £104 to send Rose to Switzerland for three months.
Rose’s grandfather, uncles, and aunts rallied around and they helped the family to gather £50. When the “White Knight ” heard this, he said, ” Friends of mine will see to the rest.” And they did.
Within a fortnight the sum was complete, and a passage had been booked for Rose on plane from Prestwick.
Now Rose has had three glorious months Switzerland. Her latest letter- home says she’s tiptop and roaming the mountainsides. ” I’ll never forget the people who sent me here,” she writes.
Rose returns home tomorrow, great preparations are being made in the Whalen house for the homecoming. And one person will be in everyone’s mind —the ” White Knight,” who came knocking at the door when everything seemed black.
Rose later married Alexander McLaughlin in Hamilton in 1957. Did you know the Whalen family, or Did you know Rose & Alexander? It would be really good to know the identity of the “White Knight”, that helped little Rose.