Who’s Shott?

There’s a fantastic, witty anecdote in the Annals of Blantyre 1883 Book. “About a hundred years ago (1770’s) or thereabouts, the laird of Shott was returning from Hamilton at the close of a market day. Whether it was from the fatigues of the day, or owing to the cold of the night, the laird fell asleep, and unfortunately fell out of his one-horse shay; but falling “saftly”, as the folks said, he lay still where he was, to have his forty winks. And the faithful beast, accustomed to such pranks of his master, stood quietly by till the laird should awaken. Two strangers came along the road, and seeing what appeared to be a terrible catastrophe, they anxiously bent over the prostrate man, to find if there as life in him, and finding that he breathed, they tried to rouse him, telling him to get up, and asking him “Who are you? who are you?” At last they got a reply, “I’m Shott, I’m Shott.” “Who shot you?” “I’m Shott at Blantyre.” The men were good Samaritans and so they gently lifted the wounded(ital) man into his own gig, and drove him back to Hamilton, where they roused up the police at the station-house, told of the tragedy, and delivered their charge. But to the consternation of the strangers, no sooner did the lantern flash its light upon the “wounded” man’s face, than the police burst into loud laughter, telling the benevolent Samaritans, “It’s only old Shott, the laird, at Blantyre.” We are of opinion that those kindly individuals would make a pretty minute examination the next time they saw a man prostrate by the wayside”

We also have 2 quotes with more modern connections.

Shott House was owned by my great-grandfather William Adam, who died on 17 Aug 1919 at High Blantyre. My paternal grandfather Clarence Ross married Jeanie Adam on 24th Sept 1901 and we have a photo of the wedding guests in front of Shott House. The obituary for William Adam reads:-
We regret to announce the death on Wednesday last week, at his residence in High Blantyre, of William Adam JP. He reached the ripe age of 78 yrs, and was one of Blantyre’s grand old men. Mr Adam was one of the familiar and well known men at all the trade gatherings; his business embraced both the foreign and home wood departments, his saw mills being situated in the heart of the mining fields of Lanarkshire, giving a wide scope for the cultivation of a colliery trade, which has always formed a large part of the business. His familiar figure and pleasant disposition will be missed be a large circle of the trade.
A native of Rutherglen, he went to Blantyre 45 yrs ago, and founded the present well known business of William Adam and Son, timber merchants, High Blantyre. He took a keen and practical interest in the affairs of the parish, and was actively associated with many of its activities. From being a member of the old Parochial Board, he served for a time under the new administration of the Parish Council, and he was also a member of three terms of the Parish School Board, in all of which capacities he rendered, in a quiet, yet effective, way, much service to the ratepayers.
In the recreation of curling and bowling he took a prominent part. He was especially noted as a curler, and was a member of the rink that some years ago won the Scottish championship and also the Caledonian Cup. About ten years ago he was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for the County Lanark, and as JP sat as a member of the Licensing Court for the district.
Mr Adam was warmly attached to the Church of Scotland, in which he held the office of elder. He leaves a widow and grown up family of four sons and two daughters., Colin Ross, 14 June 2010

My father sold Shott House to one of the Barr family (presumably of Irn Bru fame) circa 1967. We only lived there for about two years. I thought the place wondrous – a real adventure for a young skiff up from the suburbs of London. Trees to climb, fields with bullocks to tease, Greenhall pitch and putt just up the road, two acres of land to play in, disused red brick viaducts, slag heaps. Just think, there used to be steam trains just over the field – Wow!! From my bedroom window I could see all the way up to Motherwell. I distinctly remember the ‘Coalville’ sign in the distance and shimmering lights of the metropolis. Another world.

My mother LOATHED AND HATED the place and everything associated with Blantyre beyond words. Our first summer there it rained. And rained and rained and rained and rained. Probably nothing unusual for the West coast of Scotland, but certainly a shock to one acclimatised to the milder climes South of England. She had no escape. She didn’t drive. She had nothing in common with the local people. Few visited her. And my father was married to his confounded job. No escape. Other than the bottle. It broke her spirit and she was NEVER the same again. Rumour had it that Shott House had seen one suicide in historic times. I am inclined to think that recent times saw it consume another life by less dramatic but equally sinister means. Ambivalence. Wonderful potential but a harsh reality, TheLairdOfShott, 14 May 2012

Leave a Reply