David Warnock was a master Joiner of High Blantyre during the late 19th Century. Together with partner William Walker, they owned a large joinery business and had a workshop near High Blantyre Railway Station. Born in Cambuslang in 1842, the son of William Warnock and Mary Arbuckle, by the age of 20 he was living at Birkenshaw Farm in Bothwell Parish and training as an apprentice carpenter. He was lodging as a boarder to the Whitelaw family.
David married Janet (Jane) Nay in Larkhall on 27th November 1868. David was 20 years old and Jane was 20. It was Jane’s family who were from Larkhall and David had been living immediately previous to his marriage at Broomhouse, Lanark. The couple settled there initially and they would have a large family. At the time of his wedding, David’s father had died. His first two sons William and David Jnr were born in Broomhouse. David came to Blantyre in either 1874 or early 1875 and he is noted as renting a house in the 1875 census in Hunthill.
In early 1877, he formed a partnership with Mr William Walker, another local joiner and was advertising for workers for their new steam sawmills in High Blantyre in July of that year. It is around this time David built Warnock’s Laun at Springfield, homes which he intended to let out. Both David and William Walker are noted as being joiners in Nasmith’s Directory of 1879.
In 1881 David was 39 years old and with wife Jane they were living at Warnock’s Laun at Springfield. With them were 3 children, William Warnock (11), David Warnock Jnr (9) and John Warnock (4), sons who would all follow David into the joinery trade. David was by then a master joiner.
In Slater’s Directory in 1882, David Warnock is also noted, as being a spirit dealer at Larkfield, Barnhill, and a sideline venture that may have been short lived due to the difficulties in acquiring licenses for it was not recorded in 1885 that this business still existed. He had applied for a license at Springfield Place in April 1880. According to the 1885 valuation roll David owned land, houses and a shop at Springfield Place (Warnock’s Laun).
During the late 1880’s, David and his eldest son William owned homes at Warnock’s Laun, which were indeed rented out to many people. He had a workshop and house also at Barnhill.
In the 1891 census, David and Jane had more children. Eliza, Robert and Mary followed in that order between 1884 and 1889. Another son James would follow in 1893. By 1890, Warnock and Walker owned properties in Blantyre and in Strathaven including Vicarlea Cottage, a 3 bedroomed home.
At some point between 1890 and 1895, David retired from his business partnership. He owned no properties at Springfield by 1895 having sold them and the land at Springfield. Interestingly, the modern name “Janefield” today may have been a nod to the land belonging to David’s wife Jane Warnock for she is noted in the 1880’s as owning land and homes also in that location. David received dividends from his business up until 1896 and continued to have a vested interest in the business that kept his name. In April 1901, David’s remaining share in the business was put through bankruptcy primarily due to financial difficulties of his partner, Mr. William Walker. David looks to have cut his losses and the events of 1901 may have been too much for the retired joiner for he moved away, back to Glasgow between 1901 and 1905.
In the valuation roll of 1905, David has no ownership of any property at Blantyre and was not living there having earlier sold the lot to William Dixon & Co (coalmasters). David Warnock was living at 26 Battlefield Avenue, Glasgow on September 24, 1910 when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 67 years old. The death register notes he was a retired master Cartwright – whereas the census records from 1871-1901 say joiner.
His family dispersed from Blantyre in the first decade of the 20th Century. His son, John Warnock (1877-1962) immigrated to Canada about 1911 with his family of 3 young children. They settled in Victoria, British Columbia. There are still descendents of David Warnock living in Canada today and it may not be a surprise to know they are involved in the construction industry, in glazing and the building of log cabins.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017