Thomas Martin, Inkeeper


1862 Thomas Martin deathThis little newspaper clipping caused me no end of trouble. I found this small story in The Hamilton Advertiser, Saturday 26th April 1862. It tells of the death of the wife of Thomas MORTON, Innkeeper at Parkneuk, Blantyre. It was of particular interest to me as I’d recently published articles about forgotten pubs in the Auchentibber area and knew that there was once a public house called Peasweep Inn at Parkneuk.

This is a time before the Auchentibber Inn. (Flora McIntyre acquired the Inn at Auchentibber in 1869)
With exception of Springpark Public House for which the innkeepers are known to me, the 1859 census shows the only pub in the area being Peasweep (Auchentibber Inn is not shown as a public house on that map). My theory was that finding out about the death of Mr Morton, may lead to a concluding date for the demise of Peasweep Inn. So, I set about trying to find him in historical data, much to my absolute frustration.

Correcting the Advertiser Report

What I discovered was that the Hamilton Advertiser report got it wrong. It wasn’t Morton, the family name, but actually MARTIN. When I started looking for Martins, I found not only the correct family in census reports in Auchentibber, but also the death of Thomas himself.

Just 2 years later in 1864, 80 year old inkeeper, Thomas MARTIN suffered an accident on the Tunrpike Road. The report confirmed not just his age but that he lived at Parkneuk. He took unwell on the Turnpike road and was taken to Burnbrae Farm (which is now at High Blantyre Industrial Estate) where he died before Dr Louden of Hamilton arrived. As such, in Summer 1864, no innkeepers were present at Peasweep Inn.
Also interesting is the fact that a Thomas Martin was brought out of No. 2 pit on the day of the Pit Disaster 1877. He was one of the lucky ones, but hard to say if this was a relation of the innkeepers.

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