On Saturday 7th June 1879, before Lord Craighill in Court, an action was closed off involving a peculiar case in Blantyre.
The pursuer was Arthur H Jackson, the proprietor at Spittal, (who stayed away from Blantyre in Perthshire). The matter was in relation to his adjoining lands of Mavis Mill. Mr Jackson was suing Blantyre spirit dealer George Ford to get this land back to his own ownership.
George Ford was a spirit dealer in Stonefield, Blantyre , and sometimes went by the name of George Case. He had acquired the land from Mr Jackson and there was a question how he went about that!
Mr Jackson says that he was fraudulently induced by George Ford to sign the land documents whilst he (Mr Jackson) had been under the influence of drink in one of his outlets. He did not know what he was doing and Mr Ford progressed the transaction, in his favour, whilst quite sober. Mr Ford clearly challenged this saying everybody knew what they were doing.
It appears George had some sort of lease and had sneaked in wording in the renewal that it was to become his after certain conditions were met. However, the courts didnt see this favourably and the land was returned to proper ownership.
Several leased owners followed at the grain mill. Amongst them the Rodgers family and indeed, a William Wallace, who was declared bankrupt in 1897.
By 1901, 54 year old Thomas Stratton and his family of 7 children ran the mill business until its closure in 1930. In 2015, I took a photo of this land, with current kind owner, Mr Gibb allowing permission.