Never out the town

During the 1700s in Blantyre, for the best part, the “old timers” of the town were content with their lot and not so adventurous as to venture far off. There is a wonderful anecdote in the Annals of Blantyre 1883 book. It’s reprinted here as follows:

“The longevity of the old inhabitants of Blantyre was wonderful, and the simplicity of their lives was great. As a rule, they were content with their little, and were not ambitious enough to wander away to distant parts. William Grieg, dead lately (1870s) had never been out of the parish for eighty years, and never for one night out of his own bed for fifty years, and he was the only one of the many who could say the same thing. We remember an old woman of the same age assuring us that she had never, ever been out of Blantyre all her lifetime, except one day when as a girl, she walked into Glasgow in the morning, and back for night; and another octogenarian is said to have strayed once so far from the village as to the heights of Auchintibbor, when looking intently upon the rich and wide valley before her, she was heard to say “Weel, i never thought that the world was so large afore”. This however, we are inclined to think may be apocryphal. The following, however is quite true: – An old laird, who is still living, was never, but once, within another church save the Parish Church of Blantyre and of it he was a regular attendant during a long life, until age and infirmity came upon him.”

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