Quarry Street Murder1

A very brutal murder took place on the evening of Saturday the 10th of October 1857, between eight and nine o’clock, which caused great distress in the town. David Paterson, a weaver to trade, had proceeded to the house of Thomas Reilly an Irishman, living in 46 Quarry Street, who kept a “wee pawn” establishment, and dealt in buying and selling cotton waste and such like material, including weavers’ weft, when an altercation arose between the two, and a scuffle took place within the house, in the course of which Reilly dealt the David Paterson several blows, in consequence of which he died in a few minutes.
Some individuals who were outside saw, through the window of the house, and seen the several of the blows given; and a woman, who was in the house at the time, says that Paterson took off his coat at first, and challenged Reilly to fight with him; while another eye-witness says, that after Paterson had seated himself in an arm-chair at the side of the fire, Reilly deliberately barred the outer door, and then passionately struck him while a sitting on the chair.
The first blow sent his head right against the jamb at the fire-place, and after he was in that twisted and helpless position, Reilly continued to strike him several heavy and brutal blows, till the cries of parties at the window compelled him to stop. It seems these blows had been more than enough to finish the unfortunate man.
Reilly afterwards attempted to revive him by throwing cold water in his face and bathing his head. On finding that Paterson was apparently dying, Reilly left the house immediately and absconded. Dr. Miller was sent for, who arrived just at the moment the deceased breathed his last.
The woman that was in the house at the time of the incident, gave a statement to the police and it was noted that should the woman’s statement prove correct, the case against Reilly was not ultimately so serious as It would otherwise have been, and only be a charge of manslaughter or culpable homicide. It was also noted, both parties were the worse of liquor. David Paterson left a widow and three young children.
The body of David Paterson was taken charge of during the night of Saturday and Sunday, in Reilly’s house, where the Vicious attack occurred, by Quintin, one of the town’s officers, until Sunday, when a post mortem examination was made.
David was buried at the Hamilton Parish Church yard and on his death cert, there was no parent’s names recorded. The stated time of death was 8:30pm and the cause of death was effusion of blood from the skull. The death was registered Five months later on behalf of the procurator fiscal Thomas Dykes.
When the story of the murder went to press in the Hamilton Advertiser on Monday the 12th of October 1857, Reilly was still at large and had not been apprehended, although several of the officers of justice were on the alert. It was rumoured that Thomas Reilly was still lurking about Hamilton. Thomas Reilly was an Irishman, and a private in the 1st Regiment of Royal Lanarkshire, Militia.
I would like to thank Angela at the Hamilton Reference Library for taking the time to look for further info on the murder and what became of Thomas Reilly, however, the trail go’s cold after 17th of October 1857. I can only assume that Thomas Reilly left Hamilton,



The story below was sent to Historic Hamilton by David Cairns.
My brother Scott had a wine coloured Hillman Avenger, and in one fell swoop, he doubled the value of the car by paying aboot forty quid tae have a CB Radio fitted tae the car fae a wee shoap next tae the Santa Lucia just aff Gateside Street.
Smokey and the Bandit was no’ long oot, Convoy the movie, and CW McCall was in the charts wi’ the theme song… #Pig-pen this here’s a Rubber Duck#…and all that..
CB’s were illegal. I don’t think the Polis could be arsed though, as every car fitted with a CB had a 6 foot tall antenna bolted tae the roof of your car…so it really wouldnae have been too difficult for the ‘Smokies’ to work it oot…never heard of anyone getting caught wi’ wan though…
‘Smokies’ were the Polis. Hamilton was ‘Circle City’…it had a language of it’s ain, all designed tae confuse the ‘Smokies’ in case they were listening in…
An ‘eyeball’ was a meeting in person…kind of like an Eighties version of ‘Tinder’…safe sex was hiding roon’ the corner and up a street in case your ‘eyeball’ was a ‘baikey’…and worse than that , was if she was a baikey, and you were hiding up a street …’just in case’…there would be another 5 folk hiding up the same street waiting to see whit she looked like…cos everybody could listen in..
A wee hoose by Dunn’s the Butcher on Meikle Earnock Road selt ‘Eyeball Cards’… they were aboot £2-00 for a hundred, and ye were meant tae hand over yer ‘Eyeball Card’ if ye met somebody and you were supposed tae collect them.
Loads of folk were oot on the ‘wind-up’…me and my mate Alan Hinshalwood Hinshy sat in my brothers car at the top of Balmore Drive talking to ‘Spyo-Gyra’…there was some racket coming fae his end…claimed he was in a helicopter flying ower Strathy Park,,,we were believing it, cos it sounded like a helicopter…until we realised we could SEE fucking Strathy Park fae Balmore Drive…cunt must have taped ‘Airwolf’…and ye were such a fanny if ye ever fell for a wind-up.
Hinshy had some irate big brother oan wan night, saying he was gaunnae gie him a doin’ for no’ turnin’ up tae eyeball his sister…she went hame and wiz greetin’ all night. Hinshy and me really couldnae mind but the guy was threatening to ‘twist yer ba’s aroon’ yer neck” we decided, for Hinshy’s future children’s sake, that we should attend this ‘eyeball’ which was to take place at the Chippy roon’ the corner fae the Ranch, in Eddlewood.
When we walked roon’ the corner, there was aboot 8 guys fae Eddlewood that we were at the Grammar wi’ (one was Jim McDowell)…all burst intae applause and started bellowing with laughter…oor faces went rid…but we pretended it wisnae us …and we just fancied a stroll oot tae the Eddlewood chippy for a bag of chips…then we had nae money…and hud tae leave withoot chips, wi’ mair laughter following us doon the street…we were arguin’ like a married couple..”fucking dick..telt ye it was a wind-up”..” Did ye fuck, you said we better in case the guy came up tae Meiky lookin’ fur us”, ” Naw ah never”…and so it went oan…
Jim Broon in my year at the Grammar, and his pal, bolted a car battery and a CB tae a Bogey and wheeled it aboot Fairhill cos they didnae have a motor…or IS that a motor in Fairhill…I don’t know…
My handle was FrizzleChip…anybody else mind the days…what was your handle….” Pick a Channel”…
What was your Handle? Don’t be shy now!

The Odeon & Trocadero

Odeon & Trock1.JPG

The Odeon showing the Empire strikes back and return of the Jedi, in May 1997. You can also see half of the Troc nightclub with a fence around it, this may have been one of the last pictures taken of the Trocadero before it was demolished. Thank you to Lucy MacKinnon for sending this to us, this picture was shared from Lucy’s dad’s 1997 collection.
Do you have an old picture from around Hamilton? If you do, then we want to see it. Send you old pictures direct to the Facebook Page or by email to


County Buildings April 1st..JPG

Today we heard the news that SLC has sold the first 5 floors of its council headquarters to the Link housing association. The office floor space will be converted into Bedsits and to maximise the profit they will be converting the fire escape stairs into communal showers & toilets with the toilets on the left-hand side and the showers on the right. They won’t be installing baths as it will be take up too much space.

The Boss of SLC Eddie McAvoy told Historic Hamilton that he was planning to turn the roof area of the county buildings into a communal drying green and 5 a side football pitch with astroturf included.

Link housing has also applied for planning permission for one-half of the outdoor fountain to be used as a communal outdoor pool which will come with a 30p charge to use it.

With the first 5 floors of the SLC headquarters being sold off what does this mean for the rest South Lanarkshire’s tallest building?

Wishing you all a Happy April Fools Day from all at Historic Hamilton.