Blantyre Works Funeral Society was a former local institution which operated to provide funeral services for bereaved families. The society was instituted in 1821 largely due to the Village at Blantyre works which was growing at that time.
A large community had been created at the mills operated by Henry Monteith & Co and where David Livingstone himself had wrought as a piecer. Almost all the householders in the Blantyre Works Village in those early days were members of the Society and in all probability the Livingstones would have been amongst it’s early subscribers. Like funeral services today, members could subscribe to ensure their own funerals or those of loved ones were covered.
However, as the mills ceased to operate, membership of the society fell away sharply after 1903, the same year most of the mill buildings were demolished. By 1904, the Society had difficulty in meeting its liabilities owing to that falling membership, and so in June 1907, the society finally wound up. It had existed for 86 years, being one of the oldest institutions in Blantyre at that time and had overseen hundreds of funerals, some of which I’m sure would have taken place at the old Works Cemetery pictured.