Woodside House & Dr John Dykes of Hamilton 1786-1863.

Dr John Dykes of Hamilton and Woodside House. 1786-1863.

Researched and written by

Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton.

 

Doctor’s in Hamilton during the 19th Century were usually men who were from an upper-class family. The family doctor in the 1800s was a well-respected gentleman, who people looked up to and were respected by many families across the social classes.  Unlike today’s doctors, most were surgeons and did amputations, helped with childbirth and were really hands on.

 

One of Hamilton’s doctors in the 19th century was called Dr John Dykes who was born in Hamilton on the 27th of June 1786, and was the son of John Dykes, who was a captain in the Royal Navy, and his mum was Isabella Miller.

 

Dr Dykes was indeed a well-known doctor and surgeon in Hamilton, and information provided by the 1841 and 1851 censuses, suggests that Dr Dykes could have possibly spent some time working in Edinburgh, or did his training there.

Woodside.

He owned a country villa called Woodside House, which was just off Woodside Walk in Hamilton and Woodside house was a ‘fine dwelling house’ which had a large beautiful garden. The garden and house were surrounded by lots of lovely trees and as – at the time, Woodside Walk was quite far away from the centre of Hamilton, it would have given the feeling that one was living out in the country. Woodside house also had a feature that I had not seen before. At the bottom of its garden there was a small pool of water that is recorded as a ‘Bath’. The ‘Bath’ also had a small building next to it and a set of steps leading down to the water.

Woodside1

I am unsure as to what exactly this ‘Bath’ was used for. As I said previously, I have never seen one and to the best of my knowledge, it has been the only one, in an old Hamilton building. I first thought that it could have been an old well, however, a well would not have steps leading in to it and looking at the 1858 map of Hamilton, it seems to be quite close to the Butter Burn, so I am guessing that it was connected to the burn in some way. This is just one conclusion that I have come to but the stone steps and the small building next to the bath may indicate that it was used for sanitary purposes.  Another theory that I have is that it could be an old Roman Bath, which was uncovered and put on show.

 

If it was used as a summer outside bath, then it could have been a feature used to impress his guests. These types of garden features were uncommon in Scotland, so it would have been built as a status symbol for the visitors who were having tea in the garden of Woodside House.

 

I took a drive over to the area where Woodside House was situated on Saturday the 13th of August 2016 just to see if any remains of the bath were still there and I am glad to say that the old bath still exists!

 

 

The bath that was once situated at the bottom of the garden at Woodside House is now in an enclosed corner of the car park for the Mercedes Benz garage on Johnstone Road.

 

The bath has been fenced off and still has a stone dyke wall surrounding half of the south side of the pool. The water seems to be stagnant and didn’t appear to be running, so this could indicate that it is no longer connected to the Butter Burn.

Woodside3

 

To put things in to perspective for you, Woodside House stood where the flats on Woodside Avenue are today. It occupied the land from at least 1822, and it was demolished between 1925 and 1930.

Woodside2
This is the site of the former Woodview House.

 

Back to Dr Dykes.

 

Dr Dykes was also a naval doctor, and this family were all professional upper-class working people. He had two brothers named Thomas Dykes Esq, and he was a procurator fiscal; and Dr William Dykes of Woodview House in Burnbank Road.

 

Dr John Dykes was known for being a kind and obliging person and it was documented that he was well thought of among the working classes.

 

He was living at Woodside House from a young age, and the House belonged to his parents before John had inherited it. His mother Isabella died here in January 1822, and his dad had died sometime before this.

 

I first found Dr Dykes documented in the 1841 Census record, he is living at Woodside House with a man named Robert Cuthbert, who was born in England, Betsy Cotton who was his house servant, Ann Cotton who was listed as a support worker and a man named Andrew Pollock age 20.

 

Moving on ten years to the 1851 census, John is still at Woodside with his servant Betsy Cotton and he still has his “Boarder” Robert Cuthbert living here and this man’s occupation was a listed as a “Gentleman”. I can’t find any other info on the Robert Cuthbert who lived with John, but this man did seem to have been living with Dr Dykes for at least 10 years. It seems that Dr Dykes went away on holiday during the summer of 1851, as I found a To Let advertisement in the Glasgow Herald which read: “WOODSIDE HOUSE – HAMILTON, for the summer months or a longer period if required. The house is of moderate size and commands a fine view of the surrounding country, for particulars, apply to John Ellis Esq, 68 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, or at the House.

Woodview Advert.

 

 

In 1861, John is 74 and is now living on his own with one servant living with him named Mary Thomson. I should mention here that in all the documents that I have read over, Dr Dykes seems to be living separately away from his wife. At first, I thought he never married, but when I looked at his death certificate, and his will, a wife is mentioned in both.

 

It seems that his wife was called Janet Fraser, and it is a mystery to me as to why they were not living together. I can’t find any trace of her and she was still alive after Dr Dykes had died. I have this information as she was recorded on his death certificate as “married to” and Dr Dykes wasn’t listed as a widow of Janet.

 

Fatal Railway Accident Thursday the 19th December 1863.

Dr Dykes Death Cert 1.5

Melancholy and fatal accident on the Monklands Railway, on Thursday morning, of the 19th of November 1863 shortly after nine o’clock, an accident’ occurred, near Calder Iron Works, by which Dr J. Dykes, of Woodside, Hamilton, a gentleman about 80 years of age, lost his life.

It would appear that Dr Dykes had been visiting at New Carnbroe, and had left there for the purpose of catching the train at Whifflet Station on the Caledonian Railway, and was passing along the Calder branch of the Monklands Railway for that purpose.

An engine, with a long train of waggons laden with coal and ironstone from Palace Craig to Gartsherrie, was proceeding in the same direction; and the engine driver, on observing a gentleman on the line at once sounded the whistle. Deceased, seeing his danger, stepped onto a side line of rails to be out of the way of the approaching train; but, unfortunately, three coal waggons had to be shunted from the latter end of the train into the same siding.

This was done by the engine driver in the usual way, the fire man shifting the switches, but the impetus which the three waggons received sent them well up into the siding where Dr Dykes was standing and he was instantly knocked down and killed on the spot, the waggon wheels having jammed his neck and head to the ground. (It was reported in another newspaper that “he expired in the course of ten minutes after”)

The deceased was one of the oldest and most respected inhabitants of Hamilton. He was unmarried, and was a hale and hearty old gentleman, but has not, we believe, practised for many years. The deceased by whom his loss will be much felt. (Ref: Caledonia Mercury 21/11/1863)

 

On the 11th of March 1848, Dr Dykes had already written his will, and when the will was executed in 1864, it was found that he left Woodside House and all his belongings to his brother Thomas Dykes. In his will, he instructed his brother to oversee all his debts and have them paid off. The will also included his brother Thomas’s son.

Dr Dykes Will 1.5

 

Secondly, he instructed his brother to look after his wife by giving her no less than 1 Shilling per day so that she could “procure all the necessities of life” he was to also have her lodgings paid for, and instructed his brother to buy his wife clothes and give her money for medical expenses to make her life more comfortable.

 

Perhaps this is the clue as to why he did not live with his wife, she may have been not a very well or sound minded person.

 

Dr Dykes also left the annual sum of £10 to his kind and thoughtful servant Betsy Cotton, which I found by this time, Betsy had immigrated to Canada. It is unclear if Betsy received the £10 per annum that was left in the will. His sister and his nieces also benefited from his will.

 

Woodside House.

The house was indeed a very old house and it could have been standing on the same ground in one way or another since c1669 where it was documented that there was a “Customs Post” at Woodside and there is also reference that Claverhouse stayed there overnight about the time of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge

Dr Dykes also gives us reference that his house is very old, where on the 31st of March 1851 he wrote to the Editor of the Glasgow Herald telling the paper of an invention that he had made for a fire which had two air vents. When he wrote to the editor he writes:

“I had a new house built with a regular double vent in 1840. I have also in my own sitting room, in a very old house, fitted up a regular double vent which has been in constant uses for the past two years and all that have seen it in operation can testify both regarding its cleanliness and its efficiency.”

 

This building was very much known by many as Dr Dykes house and even though it was still owned by the Dykes family it was rented out to people such as J, Guthrie-Smith, John Russell, John Tarnish and Joseph Hutchison.

 

The House and gardens must have still been kept very well as on the 27th of July 1889 the Boys Brigade of Motherwell were treated to a ‘day out’ at Woodside House, this really puts things into perspective and it tells us that the house being so grand, you could have a day out on its grounds.

 

The house was eventually sold by Thomas Dykes between 1895 and 1905, where it was bought by a man named William Kilmartin who was a spirit dealer. William also had his brother George living at Woodside House.

 

William Kilmartin and his brother George were publicans, who owned many pubs, especially in Motherwell. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, they were constantly applying for licences around Motherwell and Carfin, and on many occasions, were refused by the courts, mostly since they were trying to set up pubs in areas where there were already pubs operating.

 

The Kilmartin brothers both concentrated on business in the Motherwell area, however George had businesses in Tannochside and he was also a Spirit Salesman. In 1912, George Kilmartin, applied for a licence to trade at the Motherwell pub called “The Grapes”. This public house was situated on the corner of Brandon Street and Watson Street, but again the licence was refused.

 

William Kilmartin owned the house until his death at Woodside House on the 27th of June 1930. He was 69 years old and the cause of death was Liver and Kidney disease.

William Kilmartin Death 1.5

 

Woodside House was demolished at some point after the death of William Kilmartin. As of now I don’t have the exact dates, however the estimated year is between 1930 and 1956.

 

This information comes from the information on both William Kilmartin’s death certificate and his brother George’s. George Kilmartin died a single man at Law hospital on the 1st of January 1956, he died of pneumonia and cardiac failure. When he died, his friend who was called F.B Souter, of 63 Almada Street, was the person who registered the death. George’s residence which was documented on his death certificate was 40 Burnbank Road.

For one reason or another Woodview House was sold and demolished and when it finally happened, it was the end of an era for Woodside Walk. The fine country house which many had admired, and had its very own outside bath was forgotten and lost in the mist of time and with only its old garden bath that still exists to this day to link us to the past and tell us what existed of this once grand old building what does the future hold? Can the old ruin of the bath be investigated?

MURDER IN QUARRY STREET (1857)

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,

Death of a well known Hamilton weaver.

June Barbara Hewitt contacted Historic Hamilton and she wrote:

“I received so much wonderful help before I was hoping someone could help me with another puzzle. This is on behalf of a cousin who lives in Australia. We are both hoping for more information about a death.

The particulars are Hugh Logan Cotton Weaver died June 16th 1858 10 Postgate street Hamilton. Death caused by a wound to the throat. Died about 32 hours after infliction of injury. Attended by doctor Wm Stockwith? Hamilton. Last saw him about two hours before his death.

Buried Hamilton Parish Churchyard. Information from Thomas Dykes Esq? Procurator Fiscal. Registered July 5th 1858. We both thought it was a suicide but our question is “If Hugh had taken his life would he have been buried in sacred ground and is there any information in the papers of the time? Thank you for your patience.”

I did some further research on this Barbara and it was sadly suicide. Hugh was known to have been “In a temporary state of insanity” at the time he made an attempt to kill himself. I have a question, you stated that his name was Hugh Logan? However, when I looked at his death certificate, the given name was Hugh Kerr, does this make any sense to you? I also found a report, that was printed in the Hamilton Advertiser on the 19th of June 1858 (Page 2) and the given names was Hugh Carr, however, this could be down to the person giving incorrect information to the reporter who covered the story.

Here is a transcribe from the 1858 story on Hugh:

hugh-kerr
Hugh’s story in the Hamilton Advertiser, printed on the 19th of June 1858 (page 2)

“MELANCHOLY SUICIDE, Early on Tuesday morning, Hugh carr, a weaver to trade, in a state of temporary insanity put a termination to his life by cutting his throat with a razor. The unfortunate man did not go through the operation completely, although the wind-pipe was cut entirely through. He lingered in a very precarious state for about a day, and all efforts to save life failed. deceased was well-known in Hamilton amongst a large circle of acquaintances and has left a wife and family to lament his untimely end.”

 

Hugh Kerr Death 1858.jpg

 

Hugh was married to Magdalene and they had at lease 3 children between them, they were William, Magdelene &  Hugh. Magdalene doesn’t seem to have married again after her husband’s death and she later moved to 25 Campbell Street and gained employment as a housekeeper.(1851) She later moved to 45 Chuch street with her daughter Magdalene, Daughter Margaret and her Grandson Hugh (1871) I don’t see any trace of the family in Hamilton after the 1871 census.

Thomas Dykes who was mentioned as the procurator fiscal was one of three well-known brothers in Hamilton, His Brothers were  Dr William Dykes of Woodview House, Burnbank Road & Dr John Dykes of Woodside House, Woodside Walk, Dr John who was a Naval Doctor and was tragically killed when he was hit by a train at Whifflet station in Coatbridge in 1863.

graves-in-the-old-hamilton-churchyard
The red arrow marks the lair of the Kerr family, opened in 1832. (plot 323)

It is noted that Hugh was laid to rest in the Old parish Churchyard! I can only see one lair opened  around this time and this is the same family one then he is buried at Lair 323, This lair was opened in 1832 by another Hugh Kerr,could this possibly be his father? I don’t have Hugh’s parents details, as the informant who registered the death did not supply the registrar with the names. If he was indeed buried inside the grounds of  Churchyard, then this would have been at the minister’s discretion.

hamilton-church

I have also paid a visit to the old churchyard today and I have taken some pictures for you, these headstones are the ones shown on the map. As the headstones are 184 years old, they are really worn away, I didn’t have a crayon and paper, or I would have taken a rubbing for you.

I hope that this helps your friend in Australia.

 

 

 

Dr John Dykes.

2016-08-20(2)1.5
Woodside House on the 1858 map of Hamilton.

Dr John Dykes was Born in Hamilton on the 27th of June 1786,  and he was the son of John Dykes, who was a captain in the Royal Navy and his mum was Isabella Miller. Dr Dykes was a well-known and much-respected Doctor & surgeon in Hamilton and information provided by the 1841 &  1851 census’s suggests that Dr Dykes could have possibly spent some time working in Edinburgh, or did his training here.

He owned and was living at Woodside House which was just off Woodside Walk in Hamilton and Woodside house was recorded as a ‘Fine dwelling house’ which had a large beautiful garden, the garden and house were surrounded by lots of lovely trees and as; at the time Woodside Walk was quite far away from the centre of Hamilton it would have given one the feeling that one was living out in the country. Woodside house also had a feature that I have not seen before and at the bottom of the garden there was a small pool of water that is recorded as a “Bath”.  The Bath also had a small building next to it and also a set of steps leading down to the water.

2016-08-20(1)1.5
The Bath at the bottom of the garden at Woodside House. (1858)

I am unsure as to what exactly this ‘Bath’ was actually used for, it could have been an old well, and looking at the 1858 map of Hamilton it seem to be quite close to the Butter Burn, so I am guessing that it was connected to the burn in some way. I am unsure if it was actually used as a bath, but the stone steps and the small building next to the bath may indicate that it was used for some kind of sanitary purpose. I consulted my friend Paul Veverka, and he thinks that it could be some sort of plunge pool only used in the summer and he also thinks that these were uncommon in Scotland.

I took a drive over to the former site of Woodside House on Saturday the 13th of August 2016 to see if the bath was still there and yes, it is! The bath has been fenced off and also still has a stone dyke wall surrounding it. The water seems to be stagnant and didn’t appear to be running so this could indicate that it is no longer connected to the Butter burn. The bath that was situated at the bottom of the garden at Woodside House is now the car park for the Mercedes-Benz garage on Johnstone Road and Woodside House stood where Woodside Avenue is today. The house may have been demolished after Dr Dyke’s death in 1863, I am led to believe this, as I can’t find any reference to it after this year.

Bath2
The Bath on the former site of Woodside House. 13/08/2016.
bath1
The Bath fenced off for safety. 13/08/2016.

Back to Dr  Dykes…..

Dr Dykes was a naval doctor, and brother to Thomas Dykes Esq, procurator fiscal; and Dr William Dykes of Woodview House in Burnbank Road. He was noted for being a kind and obliging disposition, especially in his gratuitous services to the working classes. He was living at Woodside House from a young age and the House belonged to his parents before a John had inherited it. His mother Isabella died here in January 1822 and his dad had died some time before this. Looking at the 1841 census and john first appears living at Woodside House, he is living here with a Robert Cuthbert who was Born in England, Betsy Cotton who was his House Servant, Ann Cotton who was listed as a Support Worker and a man Called Andrew Pollock age 20.

In 1851 John is still at Woodside with his servant Betsy Cotton and he still has his “Border” Robert Cuthbert living here and this man’s Occupation was a listed as a “Gentleman”. I can’t find any other info on the Robert Cuthbert who lived with John for 10 years.

In 1861 John is now living on his own with a servant called Mary Thomson, it is documented that John wasn’t married, however on his death cert it does seem to indicate that he was indeed married to a Janet Fraser?  This is the last time that john will appear on a Census record.

Fatal Railway Accident Thursday the 19th December 1863.

Melancholy and  Fatal accident on the Monklands Railway, the Glasgow Herald says that on Thursday morning, shortly after nine o’clock, an accident’occurred on the Monklands Railway, near Calder Iron Works, by which Dr J. Dykes, of Woodside, Hamilton, a gentleman about 80 years of age, lost his life.

It would appear that Dr Dykes had been visiting at New Carnbroe, and had left there for the purpose of catching the train at Whifflat Station on the Caledonian Railway, and was passing along the Calder branch of the Monklands Railway for that purpose.

An engine, with a long train of waggons laden with coal and ironstone from Palace Craig to Gartsherrie, was proceeding in the same direction; and the engine driver, on observing a gentleman on the line at once sounded the whistle. Deceased, seeing his danger, stepped onto a side line of rails to be out of the way of the approaching train; but, unfortunately, three coal waggons had to be shunted from the latter end of the train into the same siding.

This was done by the engine driver in the usual way, the fireman shifting the switches,but the impetus which the three waggons received sent them well up into the siding where Dr Dykes was standing and he was instantly knocked down and killed on the spot, the waggon wheels having jammed his neck and head to the ground. (It was reported in another newspaper that “he expired in the course of ten minutes after”)

The deceased was one of the oldest and most respected inhabitants of Hamilton. He was unmarried, and was a hale and hearty old gentleman, but has not, we believe, practised for many years. The deceased by whom his loss will be much felt. (Ref: Caledonia Mercury 21/11/1863)

Woodside House satelite overlay.
Satellite overlay of the 1858 map of Hamilton.