Larkfield Murder, 1908

1977 Larkfield Hall site

This next story is from 1908, but before anybody says anything, the photo is much later from 1977 for illustration only, showing Broompark Road at Larkfield in the exact spot of where this happened.

On Saturday 22nd August 1908, a miner Mr William Devlin had been enjoying a few drinks in Grace MacCallum’s Pub at Larkfield (where the Doon Inn is now). As the pub closed, it was still light, so he decided to walk home to his lodging house in Hamilton.

However, he had only got a few steps across the road when he got into a verbal tussle with local man John Docherty of nearby Watson Street. John, a miner responded by making things more physical, beating Devlin down with his fists and forcing the old man to the ground in front of the Larkfield Pit. Devlin was rendered unconscious and seriously injured. Alarmed, nearby witnesses called for a doctor …..and the police.

Officers took John Docherty into custody and William Devlin was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

In the days that followed, Docherty appeared in court for the assault, but unbeknown to all William Devlin passed away at the same time from his injuries. Upon hearing of the death, the charge changed to murder and a further court date was set.

Later in the month, John Docherty appeared in court and was imprisoned for the murder of William Devlin. The scene of this incident would have been around the spot in the picture where the men are standing, almost 70 years later.

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