MacQuarrie Travellers Tales

In June 2015, overseas Livingston/Livingstone historian, Donald Clink and I were emailing back and forth discussing the mystery of where the gravestones at Blantyre Village Works were moved to. I recently posted photos from Alex Rochead showing them to be at David Livingstone Centre, salvaged presumably at the time the works cemetery was removed.

Donald pointed me towards a document called “MacQuarrie Clan – A History” which briefly mentioned the works graveyard. he author, most likely now passed away wrote of his visit there in the 1930’s and subsequently again in the 1960s. The relevant extracts from this detailed claim account, relating to this subject are as follows:

“The family from Ulva now exchanged life in a simple island cottage in the Hebrides for the top of a three-storey tenement building on a loop of the River Clyde some miles above Glasgow. There David Dale had a few years before set up a factory which combined hard work and long hours with high ideals. 16 Neil Livingstone senior was remembered by a granddaughter as one who exercised in his family ‘all the authority of a Highland chief; but he was anxious that his sons should have a good education, and from his slender means he never grudged the price of any book they required. Neil junior was the only one of them who stayed at home in Blantyre, while the elder sons joined the army and navy during the excitement of the Napoleonic wars. Fortunately grandfather Livingstone lived long enough to delight young David with his never-ending stock of stories, from which all that he knew of the family background was learned. When his time came, the old man was laid to rest in the burial ground near the factory, where a worn tombstone long stood in a small railed enclosure, below a thorn-tree, and later a nearby side-road was named Ulva Place.  17

Footnote 17. Janet Livingstone, notes for Dr.Blaikie (NLS, MS 10767); David Livingstone, Missionary Travels} 1-3. The stone was in place when I visited Blantyre in 1939, but was later removed to the Memorial premises, in the area of the rose garden.”

The Rose garden is pictured as attached in a postcards from the 1930s, the 1967 colour photo courtesy of Robert Stewart. Thanks to Donald for sending the narrative.

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