General Thomas Peter is the person most local people seem to think constructed the General’s Bridge on Stoneymeadow Road but evidence suggests this was not the case. He never became a full General, but did achieve Lieut General. He was the son of Thomas Peter of Crossbasket and Cardarroch (1723-74), born on or before 10 January 1757, the date upon which his baptism was registered at Cadder. His place of birth is not known but it seems quite likely, probable even, that he was born at Cardarroch House in Cadder parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland, for his baptism was registered at Cadder, even although his father owned Crossbasket at the time.
1775 – Thomas Peter was still only 17 years old at this time. So, acting as his lawyer, his uncle, the slightly eccentric David Peter, shipmaster in Glasgow, took formal possession of Crossbasket for him on 6 February 1775 and it is likely that Thomas’s representative would have been in discussions about Cardarroch at about the same time. The fact that Thomas Peter was absent at the time, I am presuming would suggest he was abroad as it is known he went to America at this time. However, keep in mind his tender age and it may have been a case of being “too young to sign” at the time.
He had a precept of ‘clare constat’, otherwise known as a charter of confirmation, from the feudal superiors of Crossbasket, that is from the Reverend James Meek, minister of Cambuslang parish, who held a liferent over the superiority at this time, and the Commissioners appointed by the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, which was issued at Edinburgh on 6 February 1775. His precept of clare constat confirmed that the deceased Thomas Peter of Crossbasket, grandfather of Thomas Peter: “died last vest & seised as of fee and at the faith & peace of our Sov. Lord the King in all & Haill the lands of Corsebasket & Miln throf” and that the said Thomas Peter is the eldest son of the also now deceased Thomas Peter, merchant in Glasgow, who was the eldest son of the deceased Thomas Peter of Crossbasket, and so is nearest lawful heir to the said Thomas Peter, his grandfather, and that he was of lawful age.
During 1775, a dispute arose between his Uncle Captain David Peter (then a Captain in the Army) and Mr. James Tennant of Annfield. This dispute confirms on 6th August 1775, David Peter was living at Crossbasket as its temporary guardian whilst rightful owner Thomas was away fighting. The tale highlights what kind of man David Peter was, and why it was important to him to be seen at his best and to have acted honorably on behalf of the Crossbasket Estate.
Words from “The History Of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul D Veverka (c) 2015
To be continued on Part 2