The 1861 census reveals much about the inhabitants of Crossbasket estate, High Blantyre. On the day of the census, 31 year old John Brown was the coachman, residing in the Lodge house at the entrance to the estate. Living there also was wife Jane Brown aged 39 acting as the Lodge Keeper, and four children in that house too. John Brown 8, Thomas Brown 5, William Brown 3 and Catherine Brown aged 1.
In a wooden bothie house on the estate was 29 year old John Ross, (the under gardener), along with this wife Ann Ross aged 28 and their baby Helen Ross , just 6 months. In that little house was a further two servants who attended to Crossbasket on a daily basis. 21 year old William Bryce an assistant gardener and 20 year old John McColl, who groomed the horses.
In the Castle itself were the Clark family. 47 year old James and 37 year old Agnes Clark, along with James’s 43 year old sister, Susan Clark. Their 4 daughters namely Agnes 9, Margaret 8, Alice S aged 5 and Mary H aged 8 months.
An all female compliment of servants were permitted to live at the house with them, in all 9 women and girls. 22 year old Ann MacFarlane was the children’s governess. Ann McLean aged 39 was the housekeeper. 25 year old Christina Gilchrist the cleaner, 25 year old Margaret Fletcher the dairymaid, 25 year old Margaret Taylor the housemaid, 26 year old Jessie McLean and Jane Wallace, the domestic servants, 23 year old Margaret McLean the housemaid and 23 year old Margaret Paterson the nurse. I cannot quite comprehend how a fulltime nurse could be substantiated, but illness was occurred everywhere, this was 1861 after all.
These servants were required to enter and exit through the back stairs of Crossbasket, pictured.
In all there were 22 people at Crossbasket Estate at this time. The 7 members of the Clark family and 15 servants on the grounds, 9 of whom lived in the Castle.
An extract from “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c) 2015