Pilgrimage to Blantyre

1904 Raploch Cottage, home of William Rae

During the Christmas holidays of 1904, scores of people from all over Britain, and mainly from Manchester and Bolton, spent their holiday by travelling to Blantyre in the hope they could meet with the famous bonesetter, William Rae.

William lived in the house pictured at the top of Station Road, near the junction of Glasgow Road and had become quite famous in 1904 by healing the ailments of many people by re-setting their bones. By all accounts, he had some success in this, curing those with limps and removing pain, which looking back on this now looks likely to have put bones back into position and into their sockets.

As people descended on to Station Road, Mr Rae, a former miner would meet them one by one, with full order books and it sounds like he wouldn’t have had much time that year for any festive holiday!

Mr Rae made an extraordinary effort to cope with the demand for his services. Many patients who had been diagnosed as incurable at hospitals, found themselves cured through Mr Rae’s intervention.

Pictured that year is Mr Rae (with white beard) outside his cottage with some of his visitors.

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