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THE WEST COUNTRY IN HISTORY.
in Scotland was not more than 6,250,000 gallons. At the date of his death (13th May, 1883, when Dr. Young was in his 72nd year), the production had risen to 15,000,000 gallons, of which the Young Company produced about one-third. Dr. Young continued on terms of the closest intimacy with Graham, to whose memory he caused a most effective statue by Brodie, to be set up in George Square, Glasgow, besides joining with a young friend, Dr. Angus Smith, in editing several of his scientific treatises. To Dr. Livingstone Young was also much attached, unwearied, first in promoting his discoveries, and finally in ascertaining his sad fate. A model of the hut in which the intrepid traveller died was erected within the grounds of Kelly by two of the African attendants who had remained with their kind master to the last.
Continuing the shore road southward from Kelly, the next important property in this part of Cunningham is Skelmorlie, noted in modern times for its excellent Hydropathic Establishment, but still more famous for that old castle of the Montgomeries, restored in 1852 by John Graham, Esq. (born 1805), a prominent Glasgow merchant, renowned in art circles as a munificent judicious patron, and the happy possessor of a collection of pictures unrivalled in the West Country, if not in the kingdom, for interest and value. Generous in all matters connected with art, Mr. Graham may be said to have made his private gallery public in the best sense of the term, so that thousands have had opportunities in this way of studying the finest examples of painters so celebrated as Gainsborough, Ary Scheffer, Rosa Bonheur, Wilkie, Turner, and Holman Hunt. A little south, but close at hand, is Bridgend House, also occupied by Mr. Graham, and the mysterious Serpent Mound which has excited so much discussion among antiquaries. From this point a walk of about an hour and a-half lands the traveller in Largs, where unending scenes of interest may be enjoyed, even if he should not have leisure to examine the curious Skelmorlie aisle and monument, or the graceful memorial set up in honour of the gallant and learned Sir Thomas M‘Dougal Brisbane, whose family patrimony lies to the north-east of the town. Omitting Kelburne, as already noticed (p. 91), Lord Glasgow's village of Fairlie, with its castle, glen, and yachting industry, is soon in sight, as is also Hunterstone, of high historical repute centuries before anything was ever heard of its Runic Brooch; and lastly, on a ledge of rock standing well into the Firth, Portincross, one of the oldest fortresses in Kilbride parish.
Within West Kilbride parish also, but backward a little from the shore, is Carlung, purchased in 1877 from the trustees of James A. Anderson, Union Bank, by the late James Arthur, Esq. of Barshaw, near Paisley. When Mr. Arthur died in the summer of the present year (June 17, 1885), it was felt that no unnecessary compliment was paid in describing him as in many respects one of the most remarkable men connected with Glasgow enterprise during the last half-century. Born at Paisley in 1819, he commenced business in a small way while quite a young man. From the outset prosperity attended all his efforts, but he was not long contented with the restricted field which Paisley afforded for his unwearying energy. Removing to Glasgow, he began a similar business in Argyle Street under the firm of Arthur & Fraser, now Fraser & Sons, and here also his labours were crowned with growing success. But it was not until a few years later, when he founded the firm of Arthur & Company, that his proper sphere was found. Mr. Arthur had not been many years in Glasgow when he was discovered to be a man of great sagacity, singular acuteness and swiftness of judgment. Combined with these characteristics were a mastery of detail and powers of organisation and arrangement rarely to be found, while, as has been already indicated, his energy and enterprise were unbounded. All these qualities he brought to bear on the management of the business which he now established, and to the building up of which the remainder of his life was devoted. From comparatively small beginnings it has grown to be one of the largest, if not the largest, establishments of the kind in Great Britain. In addition to a home trade of vast extent, the firm has large business connections abroad. In South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the Dominion of Canada, it is directly represented; and its agents are as well known in each of these colonies as they are over the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. In most of these fields of enterprise Mr. Arthur may be said to have led the way, others following his example, and reaping the benefit of his far-seeing sagacity. Besides the gigantic establishment in Queen Street, where almost every description of merchandise may be found, the firm have extensive factories in Glasgow, Leeds, and Londonderry. Though assisted by able coadjutors, Mr. Arthur to the very last took an active personal interest in the management of the business of which he was the founder, and had daily placed before him, until laid aside by illness, statements showing the position of the numerous departments into which it is subdivided. Some years ago the firm was converted into a Limited Liability Company, but it is understood that the membership is confined to Mr. Arthur's own family and his former partners. In addition to his own business, Mr. Arthur was largely interested in various other important commercial undertakings connected with the West of Scotland. He was one of the promoters and original directors of Young's Paraffin Company, and continued a member of the board down to the time of his death. He was also chairman of the “ Loch Line" of ships sailing between this country and Australia; and latterly, along with several leading capitalists in the West of Scotland, he originated the “Clan Line” of steamers. A good many years ago he purchased the small residential estate of Barshaw, near Paisley, and more recently he acquired the estate of Carlung, near West Kilbride, where during a considerable part of the year he resided. Mr. Arthur was a Liberal in politics, but never took any prominent part in public business.
A member of the Chamber of Commerce, he, on several occasions, was appointed to the board of Directors, and his counsel in all matters affecting trade and commerce was highly valued. Mr. Arthur was a member of the Free Church, but by no means narrow in his sympathies; and, besides being a liberal supporter of the denomination to which he belonged, gave largely to all worthy religious and benevolent objects. He left a widow, whose name is honoured in the town of Paisley, to which she belongs, for the interest she takes in all good work; and a family, consisting of four sons and one daughter.
West Kilbride parish appears in the “New Statistical Account” as having been originally a dependency of the Abbey of Kilwinning, but since the Reformation considerably altered and extended. In 1650 Southanan and Crosby were annexed from Largs, and a little later Montfode, Knockewart, and Boydstone were disjoined from Kilbride for the purpose of extending Ardrossan. Strictly speaking, the modern parish may be described as made up of the following seven baronies:-Southanan, the most extensive, and once the property of the Sempills; Crosby, associated with the Crawfords of Loudoun, Sheriffs of Ayr; Kilbride proper, long held by the Boyd family, Earls of Kilmarnock; Ardneill, or Portincross, also once a Boyd property; Carlung, with Drumilling, both Church lands; and Hunterstone. It has often been stated, but the proof is not altogether satisfactory, that among the distinguished natives of Kilbride parish were Professor Dr. Robert Simson, of Euclid fame, and General Robert Lord Boyd, Lieut.Governor of Gibraltar, under Lord Heathfield, during the memorable siege of 1782. West Kilbride parish is about six miles in length, with an average breadth of three miles, or an area on the whole of 8,650 acres Scotch measure. The coast line, including many indentations, between Largs and Ardrossan, may be set down at from seven to eight miles, for the most part low and sandy, except at Portincross, where it presents a rocky front, steep and bold.
BELL AND BAIN, PRINTERS, GLASGOW,