Village Works Cemetery – Livingstone connections

2015 June.Discovery of a Livingston gravestone laying near woodlands. (PV)

2015 June.Discovery of a Livingston gravestone laying near woodlands. (PV)

I have long since been interested in the little Blantyre Works Cemetery, so this extract from Hamilton Advertiser on 12th April 1930 proved very informative. The cemetery is no longer there but is now the site of a modern housing estate in the Village.

“In the little village graveyard at Low Blantyre, now, unfortunately, desecrated and overgrown with grass, there are still six tombstones to be seen. One of these has very recently been enclosed with a tall iron railing to preserve it from further destruction, and in this grave rests “N. Livingstone”, very probably the grandfather of the great missionary, for it was he who emigrated from the ancestral home in Ulva to Blantyre, His Christian name, no doubt, was Neil, the name which David Livingstone’s father also bore. The tombstone bears the inscription:– “N. Livingstone. Memento Mori. A.D. 1799.” “Memento Mori” is the Latin phrase meaning “Remember death.”

1925 Blantyre Works Village. Cross Row, Waterloo Row, Fore Row

1925 Blantyre Works Village. Cross Row, Waterloo Row, Fore Row

Another of the tombstones in this little graveyard is erected over the grave of Rev. Duncan McLean, one of the ordained missionaries who conducted Devine services in the Chapel School in the village, and whose stipends were paid by Messrs Henry Monteith & Coy. Mr McLean died during his incumbency and was buried here at his own request, The inscription on the tombstone reads:__ Sacred to the memory of Rev. Duncan McLean, preacher of the Gospel, who died on 14th February, MDCCCXLIV. Having laboured nearly four years in his sacred calling with much acceptance among the people at Blantyre Works, by whom this tomb and tablet were erected. The only other tombstone in the graveyard which is decipherable is one erected by D. McKinnon, in memory of Catherine Livingston, his spouse, and child. “

These 2 stones were removed from the cemetery when it was cleared and are now face down rather unceremoniously in the grounds of David Livingstone Centre and it is unknown what became of the interments themselves. A photo taken just 5 years earlier shows the little cemetery on a triangular plot of land, below Waterloo Row.

On social media:

Jeanette Allardyce Ward I remember getting taken to that graveyard when I was at primary school to do stone rubbings
Moyra Lindsay We used to lean on the railings, making daisy chains!

4 responses to “Welcome to the Blantyre Project

  1. Wilma and her parents lived next door to my sister Alice. Perfect neighbours and a lovely family. I remember Wilma from Calder Street school.
    Chatted with her parents a few times over the fence on some of my trips. 1982 when I was back for the Junior Cup final, which of course, the ‘VICS won! A bit more than a chat, more like a blether!

  2. I am in touch with Hughina now and again via e mail, I met up with Hughina a few years ago for lunch at the Avonbridge in Hamilton during one of my trips. A lovely lady.
    She has 2 sons who share my passion in football.

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