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.
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.
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.’
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.
A large audience enjoyed a most interesting presentation by Alison Burgess, Dumfries and Galloway Local Studies and Information Officer at our first meeting of the new session. Her subject was John Copland, Artist, Photographer and Illustrator who had a strong affinity and love for Galloway
A collection of Copland’s photographic plates, illustrations, paintings, cameras and memorabilia was purchased for the Regional Archive. This is a project in progress and Alison is hoping to have help in adding content to the images in identifying people and places.
Private Samuel Rae, 1/5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers was 27 years of age when he was killed on 1st July 1916. He was a clever boy who had been Dux at the Academy then graduating from Edinburgh University in 1912 Having completed a teacher training course, he had only been a few months at Tiree High School when he was called up.
The discovery of The Viking Hoard in Galloway was the subject of a joint meeting with the Stewartry Museum on May 18th
“Finding the Viking Hoard”- Andrew Nicholson, Historic Environment Record officer.
In conjuction with Dumfries and Galloway Museum Service.
The Galloway Hoard was found by a metal dectectorists in 2014 and has been described as one of the most significant Viking hoards ever discovered in Scotland, Archaeologist Andy Nicholson has led the excavation and shared his amazing experience with a large audience on Wednesday .
Society member Stuart Ingram has been collecting postcards for a number of years and has accumulated over 3000 postcards dealing with a wide range of interests and subjects.
Postcards first came into use in a substantial way in the 1880’s and 1890’s. They have been widely used and produced ever since and most people will have sent or received a postcard.
However with a history now of well over 130 years they are a valuable source of images, illustration and record for the historian. Quite apart from any correspondence which may be shown on them and may be of social interest.