David R Collin’s next book is coming soon.

This a pre- publication notice about David R. Collin’s next book, “Life and Death on Little Ross

  • A tale of 117 years of devotion to duty, peacefulness and calm, disrupted by a day of inexplicable violence.
  • A community’s battle to have a lighthouse built
  • Includes extracts from a lighthouse keeper’s detailed diary written during WW1 on Little Ross

If you would like more information about the book, or an order form, please contact below for a flyer.






Andrew Douglas (1752-1830): A Tribute to His Life and Times by His Fourth Great Grandson, Michael T. Tracy


Andrew Douglas, the son of a tenant farmer, was born at Upper Senwick in Borgue Parish, Kirkcudbright, Scotland.

Douglas married Sarah Thomson in Borgue Parish and they would have six children. Andrew Douglas worked as a farm labourer firstly at Overlaw in Rerrick Parish and lastly at Little Sypland in Kirkcudbright Parish.

We are grateful to Michael Tracy who has sent us the PDF document in our Features section for inclusion in our website. It describes the life and times of Andrew Douglas as researched by Michael.

The History of a House in Townend Kirkcudbright

31 St Mary's Place
31 St Mary’s Place

The 20016/17 programme for Kirkcudbright History Society finished with a talk by Vivien Dania on the history of 31 St Mary’s Place, Kirkcudbright. A borrowed book from the library gave Vivien the inspiration to research the development of the house and the people who had lived there. The title deeds showed the house had been built in the early 1850s but there are documents from 1808.

When Vivien and her husband, Carl, moved into the house in December 1996, they found a rotten skirting board and on trying to fix it, uncovered a fireplace thought to date around 1850. Four layers of wallpaper on the staircase were found one of which had been treated with a thin oil which enabled it to be wiped clean and was marketed at the time (around 1920’s) as ‘sanitary’.

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The Kirkcudbright History Society had a fascinating insight into the history of the Haille Incorporated Trades of Kirkcudbright at their February meeting.

Chairman Mike Duguid flanked by Ian Swan and Ian McIntyre
Chairman Mike Duguid flanked by Ian Swan and Ian McIntyre

The Trades General Officer, Ian McIntyre along with the Deacon Convenor, Ian Swan, both in full regalia, told us the history, ethos and power of the trades since 1425, when it was enacted that every Craft in the Burgh should choose a “Wise Man” Deacon to “Govern and Assay all its handiwork”.

Over a period of years there were several power struggles resulting in a Royal Proclamation in 1456 when every Trade was allowed to elect its own Deacon. The Trades were then a very powerful body.

In 1633 they were incorporated by Charter granted by the King.

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Tongland Abbey and Tongland Fish House – a Tale of Two Ruins

Ice house exterior entrance
Ice house exterior entrance

Kirkcudbright History Society demonstrated its strength on the wintry evening of 11th January when close to a hundred members and visitors met for the society’s first meeting of 2017. The speaker was David Devereux, the retired curator of the Stewartry Museum and his subject was ‘Tongland Abbey and Tongland Fish House – a Tale of Two Ruins’. David’s original profession was that of an archaeologist, and his retirement three years ago has given him the time and opportunity to apply his skills and his passion for history to an impressive number of site investigations in the Stewartry.

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Robert Heron of New Galloway and the Galloway Enlightenment.

Professor Ted Cowan

The ever-popular historian, Professor Ted Cowan, was the guest speaker for our meeting on 14th December 2016.

His chosen subject was Robert Heron of New Galloway (1764-1807), not only an interesting man in his own right, but an exemplar of the many under-appreciated local historians who nevertheless provide a revealing insight into that glorious period in Scottish history known as the Scottish Enlightenment in the latter half of the 18th century.

Heron was born at Creehead, New Galloway, the son of a weaver who also ran a school. After being home–schooled, Heron himself went on to run a school at the incredibly young age of 11. After studying at Edinburgh University he became a licentiate of the Church in 1789, but was in reality a professional man of letters and, as quoted excerpts from his Journal confirmed, he wrote with a refreshing frankness and self-deprecation. For example the entry for 19th September 1789 reads: ‘Prayed carelessly and hastily. At breakfast read my Chapter, carelessly too, although it related the trial and last sufferings of my Saviour.’ The entry for 6th August 1791, reads: ‘Mr Grierson dined with me and drank tea. He, Mr Bradefute, and Mr Burns supped. Left at eleven.’

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Jim Gordon and his Galloway Ancestry’ -a lecture by Dr Jack Gordon, 9th November 2016

Jim Gordon in his 20s.
Jim Gordon in his 20s.

At a well-attended meeting on Wednesday 9th November, over 80 members and guests of Kirkcudbright History Society

gathered  in Kirkcudbright Parish Hall to hear an illustrated talk by Dr. Jack Gordon about his late brother Jim Gordon (1926-2014), in which he described his life, career and interests, and his Halliday, Hilston and Gordon ancestry.  This was a particularly relevant talk for the Society for Jim was one of its earliest members and a regular attender at its meetings.

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