Ayrshire Towns and Parishes

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 Newmilns 1846

NEWMILNS, a village and a burgh of barony, in the parish of Loudoun, district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr, 8 miles (E.) from Kilmarnock, and 18 (N. E. by E.) from Ayr; containing 1988 inhabitants. This place was made a burgh of barony under a charter of James IV., dated the 9th January, 1490, and which vested the superiority in the earls of Loudoun. It is a thriving manufacturing village, situated on the river Irvine, and at about the middle of the south boundaryline of the parish: nearly the whole of the population are engaged in handloom and other weaving, of which that of muslin forms the principal branch. A machine called the "jacquard" has been lately introduced here, for the purpose of saving a great part of the labour previously performed by young children, and it has been so successful that upwards of 1300 have been expended in this description of article. There is a post-office for the convenience of the surrounding district, and carriers ply to Glasgow and Kilmarnock. The village is governed by two bailies, a chancellor, treasurer, fiscal, and thirteen councillors: the nomination of the magistrates and council is annual, the burgesses choosing the council, and these, again, appointing the bailies, chancellor, and other officers. Here is an excellent market; and four annual fairs take place in February, May, August, and October. The parish church is situated in the village, as is the school. A bequest of 60 per annum by Mr. John Smith, a native of the place, is appropriated to decayed burgesses, their widows, and children, not receiving parochial relief.


From:   A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)








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