A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Greenock, a parliamentary burgh, seaport, and seat of manufacture, the fifth town of Scotland in point of population. It is situated in the parish of the same name in Renfrewshire, in N latitude 55o 57' 2'', and W longitude 4° 45' 30'', by water being 21¼ miles WNW of Glasgow, 7¼ W of Dumbarton, 4 S of Helensburgh, and 7½ E of Dunoon, whilst by rail it is 22½ miles WNW of Glasgow, 15¾ WNW of Paisley, and 3 W by N of Port Glasgow. According to the popular view, Greenock received its name from a `green oak' which once stood on the shore ; but this derivation has no other foundation than the obvious pun, the oak being wholly apocryphal. Even when this etymology is disposed of, there is considerable doubt as to the origin of the name. One suggestion is the ancient British graen-ag, ` a gravelly or sandy place ; 'another, the Gaelic grian-aig, `a sunny bay;' and a third, the Gaelic grian-chnoc, ` the knoll of the sun., The two first derivations receive some countenance from circumstances, the soil of Greenock being gravelly, while the Highland portion of the present inhabitants pronounce the name like Grian-aig. The Gaelic etymology also receives acceptance in some quarters, because of supposed confirmation of it found in other places, such as Greenan in Ayrshire, and a farm of. the same name in Perthshire, which are conjectured to have been seats of sun worship. Others, however, discern in it a case of lucus a non lucendo, inasmuch as `in Greenock it always rains except when it is snowing.' The bay on which Greenock lies is comparatively narrow seaward, but long and expanded along the shore, and thus the view up and down the Firth is open. For about ¼ mile inland the ground is flat and not much above high-water level, and this portion is occupied by docks, quays, business streets, and lines of villas for about 2 miles. Further inland, the ground begins to rise, in some parts more steeply than others, but in every case adding picturesqueness to the town as seen from the river. Terraces of villa residences are planted here and there, and generally the slopes are pleasantly variegated with garden-plots and other concomitants of the suburban districts of a large town. Charming as is the site of Greenock, the view commanded by the town is much more so. Associated in the public mind with all the customary smokiness and dirt of manufacturing centres, Greenock is nevertheless striking for the airiness and freshness of its surroundings. Looking across St Laurence's Bay (so called from an ancient religious house) the eye rests on the fringe of the magnificent scenery of the Western Highlands. ` But a few miles off, across the Firth of Clyde, 'remark the Messrs Chambers, `the untameable Highland territory stretches away into Alpine solitudes of the wildest character ; so that it is possible to sit in a Greenock drawing-room amidst a scene of refinement not surpassed, and of industry unexampled in Scotland, with the cultivated lowlands at your back, and let the imagination follow the eye into a blue distance where things still exhibit nearly the same moral aspect as they did a thousand years ago. It is said that when Rob Roy haunted the opposite coasts of Dumbartonshire, he found it very convenient to sail across and make a selection from the goods displayed in the Greenock fairs ; on which occasion the ellwands and staves of civilisation would come into collision with the broadswords and dirks of savage warfare in such a style as might have served to show the extremely slight hold which the law had as yet taken of certain parts of our country. 'Leaving out the more imaginative portions of this picture it still shows how Greenock stands on the threshold of the rather prosaic haunts of industry and the freer but less remunerative wilds of the Highlands. Pennant, who visited Greenock in the course of one of his tours, gives the following graphic account of the view from an eminence in the neighbourhood- `The magnificence of the prospect from the hill behind the towns of Greenock and Port Glasgow, and even from the quays of these towns, deserves notice. Immediately before you is the river Clyde, having all the appearance of a fresh-water lake (as the outlet to the sea is not visible), with numbers of large and small vessels sailing upon it. Next to this, the opposite coast of Dumbarton and Argyllshire, abounding in gentlemen's seats, meets the eye, and the prospect is terminated by the western range of the Grampian Mountains at unequal distances, and so ragged and craggy on the tops, that, by way of contrast, they are called here by the emphatical name of the Duke of Argyll's Bowling Green. Along the skirts of the hills there are many eligible situations for those who have a relish for the beauty and magnificence of nature. Below them, the towns of Greenock and Port Glasgow, with their convenient and crowded harbours. On the opposite side of the Firth are in view the parishes of West Kilpatrick, Dumbarton with its rock and castle, Cardross, Row, and the peninsular parish of Roseneath, on the SE of which is a castle of the Duke of Argyll with flourishing plantations. In ascending the Greenock hills, the prospect is still varied and extending. From Corlic, the highest ground in the parish, may be seen in a clear day, besides that of Renfrew, part of the counties of Bute, Arran, and Argyll, with the western part of the Grampian Mountains, of Perth, Stirling, Lanark, and Ayr. 'The view, too, from the top of Lyle Road overlooking Gourock Bay (opened 1 May 1880) embraces parts of the shires of Ayr, Argyll, Bute, Dumbarton, Lanark, Perth, and Stirling.

Of the origin of Greenock nothing definite is known, though it might be safe to conjecture that the village grew up round the religious establishment which gave its name to the bay. There were three chapels in the neighbourhood, that of St Laurence, which stood at the W corner of Virginia Street, and of which traces were extant till 1760 ; a second at Chapelton at the extremity of the eastern boundary of the East parish ; and a third, dedicated to St Blane, a little below Kilblain. The castle of Easter Greenock stood about 1 mile E of the present town ; and that of Wester Greenock on the site of the Mansion-House on an eminence above the Assembly Rooms. This was the residence of the family of Shaw of Greenock, with whom the fortunes of the town were for a long time bound up. John Shaw of Greenock received permission from James VI. in 1589 to erect a church in Greenock, and the records of the Scottish Parliaments show that it was built in 1592. The parish was disjoined from Innerkip and erected into a separate charge in 1594, and was legally constituted a parish in 1636. (See Greenock parish. ) The same John Shaw obtained a charter from Charles I. in 1635 (the king acting for his son Baron Renfrew, a title still held by the Prince of Wales), conferring upon Greenock the rights and privileges of a burgh of barony, including permission to hold a weekly market on Friday and two fairs annually. This charter was confirmed by the Scottish Parliament in 1641. A baron bailie was appointed, and regular courts were instituted immediately on the granting of the charter. The laird was not content with these endeavours, and further benefited the young burgh by building a dry stone pier for the accommodation of the passage boats for Ireland and of the fishermen. The next notice of the town is in a report by Thomas Tucker, a customs official, deputed in 1656 by Cromwell's government to examine into the revenues of the Clyde ports. He speaks of Greenock, whose inhabitants are ` all seamen or fishermen trading for Ireland or the Isles in open boats; at which place there is a mole or pier where vessels might ride or shelter in stress of weather. 'In 1670 a French traveller, M. Jorevein de Rocheford, visited `Krinock' which he says is ` the town where the Scots post and packet boat starts for Ireland. Its port is good, sheltered by the mountains which surround it, and by a great mole by the sides of which are ranged the barks and other vessels for the conveniency of loading and unloading more easily. 'The charter of Greenock expressly denied permission to engage in foreign trade, which was the exclusive privilege of royal burghs. So jealous were the latter of this right that John Spreule, representative of Renfrew in Parliament, made a stipulation before its confirmation, that ` the charter to Greenock was to be in no ways prejudicial to our antient privileges contained in our infeftment as accords of law., Shaw of Greenock endeavoured to remove this restriction, and in spite of the opposition of the royal burghs, he was successful in 1670, owing chiefly, it is said, to the services rendered by his son to the King at the battle of Worcester. This second charter, granting the privilege of buying and selling wine, wax, salt, brandy, pitch, tar, and other goods and merchandise, was not confirmed by Parliament till 1681, but the knight acted on it before this, and in consequence a Greenock ship with foreign produce on board was seized by agents of the royal burghs and conveyed to Newark, the place now called Port Glasgow. Roused at this, about a hundred inhabitants of Greenock, under the command of Sir John Shaw, Laird of Greenock, and Mr Bannatyne of Kelly, rowed to Newark to recapture their vessel. A number of armed men were on board, and after a tough struggle, in which several of both parties were wounded, the Greenock men had to retire discomfited. A complaint concerning the whole matter was made to the Lords of Secret Council by the royal burghs of Glasgow, Dumbarton, and Renfrew, and, though the charter of. 1670 saved Greenock from any penalties, the town was forced to pay an `unfree trade cess' to the royal burghs for permission to retain the foreign trade. A commissioner was appointed to fix the sum of this cess, and eight shillings Scots was named, the amount to increase with the number and size of the vessels engaged in the trade. This assessment in 1879 was about £75 ; it is now abolished. The evidence taken by the commissioner gives an idea of the shipping owned in Greenock at that period. T he baron bailie explained that only one vessel, the John, was wholly owned in Greenock, the Neptune belonged partly to Greenock and partly to its suburb Cartsdyke, and two others, the George and the Hendrie, were owned in Glasgow and Greenock. Fishing boats were excluded from the commissioner's calculations. In 1670, the year of the disputed charter, a company for curing herrings was started, and among the shareholders was Charles II., from which circumstance the corporation adopted the title of `Royal.' This company selected Greenock as one of its principal stations. Cellars and stores were built, and the company throve for a time, its charter putting certain restrictions upon all other fish-curers, and thus giving it a practical monopoly. The injury done to others was found to outweigh the benefits of the society, and it was dissolved in 1690. To give an idea of the extent of the herring fishing industry at Greenock about this time, it may be noted that in 1674 as many as 20,400 barrels were exported to La Rochelle alone, besides quantities to other parts of France, to Dantzig, and to Swedish and Baltic ports. The number of herring fishing boats, or `busses' as they were called, belonging to Greenock and neighbouring Clyde towns was over 300, about one-half belonging to Greenock, and the value and extent of the fishery was indicated by the motto then adopted by Greenock, `Let herrings swim that trade maintain. 'Fifty-seven other kinds of fish were caught in the surrounding waters, but none of them approached the herring in importance. Cargoes of grain and timber began to come into Greenock about this period and thus helped to lift the place into importance, for stores and offices became requisite, and the town thus increased in size and wealth. An interesting incident in the history of the port was the first voyage made across the Atlantic by a Greenock ship. This was the George, which sailed in 1686 with a cargo and twenty-two non-conforming prisoners sentenced to transportation for life to Carolina for disaffection to the Government and for attending conventicles. In 1696 one of the ships of the Darien expedition was fitted out at Cartsdyke, the eastern suburb of Greenock, which had been erected into a burgh of barony in 1636. Cartsdyke, which was famed for red herring curing, is called `the Bay of St Lawrence on the Clyde,' in the account of the unhappy expedition. The closing years of the 17th century were notable as far as Greenock was concerned for the repeated efforts made by Sir John Shaw and his son to obtain parliamentary powers and assistance to extend the harbour accommodation of the port, and to levy dues to cover this expense. Three times these endeavours were defeated by the combined resistance of the royal burghs on the Clyde, assisted by other burghs all over Scotland. Sir John Shaw died in 1702, and his son, weary of the constant contest in Parliament, proposed to the feuars of Greenock to erect a harbour at their own expense. He suggested that quays should be built out into the bay enclosing a space of over 8 acres. The funds, he thought, should be provided by a tax on all malt ground at the mill of Greenock, by an annual sum of £15 to be raised by the feuars, and by the anchorage dues of all foreign vessels in the bay, Sir John reserving to himself the dues of all ships belonging to the town. He was to advance the money required as the work went on. A contract to this effect was drawn up and signed in 1703, and, after some money had accumulated, the work was begun in 1707, gardeners and masons being brought from Edinburgh, the former being at that period universally employed in Scotland for excavating. In 1710 the harbour and quays were finished amid general rejoicing, the whole having cost £5555, 11s. 1d. The breasts connecting the quays were not built till 1764, the harbours having been transferred to the town council by the charter of 1751. In 1710 Crawfurd describes Greenock as ` the chief town upon the coast, well built, consisting chiefly of one principal street, about a quarter of a mile in length.' About this time the houses were covered with thatch ; in 1716 there were only 6 slated houses in the place. The harbour is alluded to by a writer in 1711 as `a most commodious, safe, and good harbour, having 18 feet depth at spring tide. 'The bonds given to Sir John Shaw in return for the money advanced by him are still extant, and show that the first sum handed over by the laird was 1000 merks on 25 May 1705 ; the second, on 28 Feb. 1707, £750, 12s. Scots ; the third, on 20 April 1710, 2000 merks ; and the fourth, £2439, 12s. 3d. Scots, advanced on 25 Sept. 1710. The immediate increase of revenue consequent on the extension of the harbour accommodation made it possible to pay these off very soon, the first bond being redeemed on 22 Nov. 1720, and the last on 5 Dec. 1730. In July 1708 Sir John Shaw, then member for Renfrewshire, applied to Parliament for the establishment of a branch of the custom house at Greenock. The petition was granted, and Greenock was made a creek of Port Glasgow, then the principal customs station on the Clyde. In due time this relationship was reversed, and Port Glasgow became officially subordinate to Greenock as it had then become in reality. The rapid increase of foreign trade now stirred up more formidable enemies to the rising port than the Scottish royal burghs had been. Merchants of London, Liverpool, Bristol, and Whitehaven found that they were being cut out of continental commerce, and they sought to prove that Greenock was favoured by collusion between the customs officials and the merchants of the town. A bill was introduced to take away the foreign trade privileges of Greenock, and it required the reports of two commissions, which wholly exonerated the town from the charges, backed by the strenuous exertions of the Scottish representatives in the British Parliament to avert the threatened calamity. The customs officials, who were Englishmen, were changed. a fresh body of officers from England being installed to collect the revenues of Greenock. In 1715, the year of the Earl of Mar's rising in favour of the Chevalier St George, Greenock espoused the Hanoverian cause, and ninety-two of its citizens volunteered to the Duke of Argyll's army. They were taken in boats to Glasgow and marched thence to Stirling, where they joined the Hanoverian forces. While Sir John Shaw was away fighting the Jacobites Rob Roy created a diversion at Greenock by capturing all the boats on the N shore of the Clyde, and `lifting' cattle from the parishes of Cardross, Erskine, and Houston. He conveyed the cattle up the river Leven at Dumbarton to Loch Lomond, landing them at Rowardennan, thence driving them into his retreats in the Braes of Balquhidder. A hundred Greenock men, assisted by arms and men from a 74-gun ship in the roads pursued the caterans, but only succeded in regaining the stolen boats. The episode of the Rising of `The Fifteen' cost the burgh of Greenock £1529, 5s. 4d. besides much anxiety. In 1728, the first year the returns were published, the customs revenue of Greenock amounted to £15,231, 4s. 4d.; and at that time 900 large boats were engaged in the herring fishery, these figures amply showing the prosperity of the place.

Till 1741 the burghal affairs of Greenock were superintended by the laird, the feudal superior, or by a baron-bailie appointed by him. By a charter dated 30 Jan. in that year, and by another dated in 1751, Sir John Shaw gave power to the feuars and sub-feuars to meet yearly for the purpose of choosing 9 feuars residing in Greenock, to be managers of the burgh funds, of whom 2 to be bailies, 1 treasurer, and 6 councillors. The charter of 1751 gave power to hold weekly courts, to imprison and punish delinquents, to choose officers of court, to make laws for maintaining order, and to admit merchants and tradesmen as burgesses on payment of 30 merks Scots-£1, 13s. 4d. sterling. The qualification of councillor was being a feuar and resident within the town. The election lay with the feuars, resident and non-resident ; the mode of election of the magistrates and council being by signed lists, personally delivered by the voter, stating the names of the councillors he wished to be removed, and the persons whom he wished substituted in their room. In the interval between these two charters, the second Jacobite insurrection occurred, and the part taken by Greenock in 1715 naturally draws attention to its action in 1745. This time the citizens were more passive in their adherence to the de facto government, and Sir John Shaw, now old and infirm, but always active, raised and drilled a body of volunteers for the defence of the neighbourhood. In these days it may be difficult to understand the deep feeling which moved Greenock on the death of Sir John Shaw, so long the feudal superior, patron, advocate, and leading spirit of the town, which sad event took place on 5 April 1752. In 1825 a portrait of this public-spirited benefactor was subscribed for and placed-in the Public Reading Room of Greenock.

After this date the history of Greenock is best told in an account of the numerous harbour extensions rendered necessary by the constantly increasing prosperity and importance of the port. But, before taking up this, some notice must be taken of the burgh of Cartsdyke, which has been already alluded to. In 1636, the date of the first Greenock charter, Cartsdyke (so called from the dyke or quay there, and said to be contracted from Crawfordsdyke) was an important place, so jealous of its neighbour burgh, that, when Greenock received a charter, it too got itself erected into a burgh of barony, with the privilege of a weekly fair. The polltax roll of 1696 bears evidence of the prosperity of the herring trade of Cartsdyke, and a writer describes the burgh, in 1710, as possessing a very convenient harbour for vessels, and the town as chiefly feued by merchants, seamen, or loading men. In 1752 a white-fishing station was established at Cappielow, near Garvel Point, and about the same time some Dutch whalers settled at Cartsdyke, four vessels being despatched to the Greenland seas in one year. The success of this venture was not great enough to justify its continuation, and, in 1788, the industry was abandoned altogether. In earlier days the two burghs were separated, not only by jealousy, but by two considerable streams, Dailing or Delling Burn, and Crawford's or Carts Burn. A road between the two townships was maintained at their joint expense, but the extension of both, and the course of time, obliterated the distinction between them, and the fusion was completed in 1840 by an Act of Parliament, which united them in one burgh. While Greenock has practically swallowed up Cartsdyke, the latter possesses all the greater and later harbour works, as will be seen further on.

The year 1760 deserves to be noted as the date of the launch of the first square-rigged vessel built in Greenock. This was the brig Greenock built by Peter Love. In 1782 the merchants of Greenock became aware of the necessity for a graving-dock, and consultations between the merchants and the town council resulted in the formation of a company with funds to the amount of £3500, of which £580 was subscribed by the town. The dock was completed in 1786, and cost about £4000. It is 220 feet long at the floor-level, 33 feet 11 inches wide at the entrance, and 9 feet 9 inches deep on the sill at high water. The next move in the direction of increasing the accommodation for vessels was the erection of what is now known as the Old Steamboat Quay. A resolution to add a new eastern arm to the E quay was come to in 1788, and the work was carried out at an expense of £3840, which covered the cost of the eastward extension, and the re-construction of the westward arm of the 'E quay. When these were completed it was found that a rock called the Leo hindered the access of vessels to the quay, and, in consequence, a new contract for a work to cover this was entered into in 1791. Further improvements on the Steamboat Quay were made between 1809 and 1818, when new breasts were built round all the harbours, and the quays were advanced a few feet riverwards. The quayage of the Steamboat Quay, or Customhouse Quay, as it is sometimes styled, is 1000 feet. A considerable time now elapsed before another actual extension of the harbour was undertaken, and the 29th of May 1805 was signalised by the ceremony of laying, with masonic honours the foundationstone of the East India Harbour, extending from the Steamboat Quay on the W to the Dailing Burn on the E. It was designed by John Rennie, who estimated the cost at £43,836 exclusive of the site. Its area was 9 statute acres, and it was built, as its name indicates, for the accommodation of the East India trade. Its extent has been diminished by the broadening of the quays, and by the construction of the New Dry Dock close by. It is now only 6¾ acres in area, and the quay frontage is 3380 feet. The next increase of harbour accommodation was brought about by the building of the New Dry Dock begun in 1818. The plan was a modification of another design prepared, in 1805, by Mr Rennie, but rejected by the harbour trustees on account of the estimated expense (£36,000). This dock is situated at the SW corner of the East India Harbour, and cost £20,000. The work was executed by an Edinburgh contractor, who had built the Custom House. The dock is 356 feet long on the floor-level, 38 feet wide at the entrance, and at high water has a depth on the sill of 11 feet 10 inches. The want of still greater accommodation for vessels began to be felt in course of time, and, in 1846, the Victoria Harbour, designed by Mr Joseph Locke, M.P., and constructed by Messrs Stephenson, M`Kenzie, and Brassey, was begun. It cost £120,000, and was finished in 1850. The area is 5½ acres, the depth at low water 14 feet, and at high water 24 feet, and the quayage extends to 2350 feet. The soil excavated for this harbour was carted down to where the Albert Harbour now stands, and when the latter was constructed the earth was taken still further down the river, where, with a substantial retaining-wall in front, it forms a handsome esplanade, 1¼ mile in length and 100 feet broad. Before the commencement of this harbour there was a dispute as to whether it should be made down the river or in the direction of Cartsdyke, and the latter opinion prevailed. The letting-in of the water into the Victoria Harbour, 17 Oct. 1850, was the occasion of a great municipal, masonic, and trades demonstration, the foundation of Sir Gabriel Wood's Asylum being laid on the same day. The next harbour was built further seaward than any other, and occupies the site of the Albert Quay and of Fort Jervis, erected to protect the Clyde during the Napoleonic wars. The foundation-stone of the Albert Harbour was laid with great ceremony on 7 Aug. 1862. In its construction some engineering novelties were introduced with successful results. Exclusive of sheds it cost £200,000, and, with the ground, sheds, and other appliances, the expense was over £250,000. Its extent is 10¾ acres, the quay accommodation 4230 feet, the depth at low water 14 feet, and at high tide 24 feet. The establishment of a railway terminus close by, by the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company, gave additional importance to this large harbour. In 1882 the harbour trustees resolved to improve and dredge the harbour, to widen its NW arm, and to erect new sheds on the latter at an estimated cost of £15,230. Greenock's next addition to its spreading quay system was the Princes Pier, running W from the Albert Harbour, principally used as a stopping place for railway and river steamers. It has cost nearly £100,000, and the frontage is 2206 feet, of which the sea frontage, available for deep-sea steamers, constitutes 1250 feet, the remainder being in the form of an enclosed boat harbour. The depth at low water is fully 16 feet. We have to turn again to Cartsdyke to find a series of stupendous undertakings rendered necessary by the continued increase of the commerce of Greenock, and certain to still further stimulate that prosperity. First in order of time is the Garvel graving dock, built on the Garvel estate, acquired by the harbour trustees in 1868 for £80,000. The foundation-stone of the dock was laid on 6 July 1871. It is a magnificent specimen of marine engineering, and was designed by Mr W. R. Kinniple, the trustees' engineer. Costing £80,000, it is built of Dalbeattie granite, and has a specially designed caisson at the entrance. It is 650 feet long, 60½ feet wide at the gate, and has 20 feet of water on the sill at ordinary spring tides. The James Watt Dock is also built on the Garvel estate, and this work was begun by the cutting of the first sod on 1 Aug. 1879, the foundationstone being laid on 6 Aug. 1881, on the same day as that of the new municipal buildings. The dock was designed by Mr Kinniple, and built by Mr John Waddell, of Edinburgh, at a cost of £350,000. It is 2000 feet in length, 300 feet wide, with a depth of 32 feet at low water, and the breadth of the entrance at the coping level is 75 feet. In further extension of the harbour accommodation of Greenock, an Act was obtained in 1880, giving power to build a massive river-wall from Garvel Point to Inchgreen, an extensive work, in the prosecution of which the electric light was for the first time used in Scotland for any public purpose. This wall when completed will embrace two large tidal harbours, the Northern Harbour, of 7 acres, and the Great Harbour of 46 acres, both of which are intended to have a depth of 25 feet at low water. Those later works in all involve an expenditure of about £800,000. The total harbour accommodation of Greenock, when those works are completed, will amount to upwards of 105 acres, of which the later works will present an average depth of 25 feet at low water, while the James Watt Dock has a depth, as stated, of 32 feet at low water. It is fully anticipated that with such harbours, Greenock will secure much of the larger trade of the Clyde, the passage to Glasgow, especially in winter, being difficult and dangerous. At the fête in Aug. 1881, when those later works were inaugurated, a `Celebration Ode' was written, of which the following verse aptly summarises all that has been done and projected to improve the port:—

Thus have we come by leaps and bounds
To hold the vantage nature gives.
'Spite the veiled darts of feigned friends,
Let it be known that Greenock lives.

The following table gives the aggregate tonnage of vessels registered as belonging to Greenock at different periods during the present century:—

Dec. 31. Sailing. Steam. Total.
1825, . . . 29,054 .. 29,054
1837, . . . 47,421 .. 47,421
1853, . . . 71,886 2,012 73,898
1867, . . . 101,584 2,335 103,919
1874, . . . 149,014 3,537 152,551
1878, . . . 174,318 32,317 206,635
1881, . . . 168,644 50,572 219,216

The increase shown here is due more to the size than to the number of the vessels, this having been 241 in 1825, 386 in 1837, 418 in 1853, 384 in 1867, and 444 in 1881, viz., 358 sailing and 86 steam. The next table gives the tonnage of vessels that entered and cleared from and to foreign countries and coastwise:—

  Entered Cleared
British. For'gn. Total. British. For'gn. Total.
1791 55,060 3,778 58,838 47,991 2,390 50,381
1829 123,513 2,572 126,085 88,367 2,130 90,497
1837 177,344 8,267 185,611 228,621 6,521 235,142
1852 170,584 2,133 172,717 73,378 2,666 76,044
1860 291,743 20,513 312,256 161,920 10,124 172,044
1867 387,260 34,752 422,012 214,306 21,561 235,867
1874 1,124,461 59,214 1,183,675 512,132 72,526 586,658
1880 1,399,464 68,130 1,467,594 710,176 65,912 776,088
1881 1,399,459 71,191 1,470,650 739,860 66,865 806,725

Of the total, 7597 vessels of 1,470, 650 tons, that entered in 1881, 6181 of 1,167, 278 tons were steamers, 1679 of 171,707 tons were in ballast, and 7023 of 1,163, 441 tons were coasters ; whilst the total, 5235 of 806,725 tons, of those that cleared, included 3813 steamers of 475,983 tons, 2500 ships in ballast of 359,153 tons, and 4869 coasters of 605,590 tons. The total value of foreign and colonial imports was £5,278,155 in 1875, £7,947, 491 in 1877, £5,097,602 in 1879, £5,349,115 in 1881, in which last year they comprised 3,497,217 cwts. of unrefined and 154,453 of refined sugar, 156,935 loads of timber, 111,060 cwts. of corn, etc. Of exports to foreign ports the value in 1831 was £1,493,405, in 1851 £491,913, in 1868 £374,641, in 1872 £861,065, in 1875 £420,526, in 1877 £471,415, in 1878 £349,731, in 1880 £423,092, and in 1881 £386,973, this last including £130,750 for refined sugar, £59,784 for coal, £39,485 for iron, and £27,710 for gunpowder. The customs revenue collected here amounted to £211,081 in 1802, £592,008 in 1831, £410,206 in 1851, £1,484,972 in 1867, £1,006,449 in 1872, £139,815 in 1874, £38,774 in 1875, and £47,034 in 1881.

Greenock is head of the fishery district between those of Rothesay and Ballantrae, in which in 1882 the number of boats was 316, of fishermen and boys 524, of fishcurers 29, and of coopers 35, whilst the value of boats was £4958, of nets £5040, and of lines £668. The following is the number of barrels of herrings cured or salted in this district in different years :-(1853) 13,794½, (1869) 31, 784½, (1870) 10,213½, (1873) 1880, (1878) 4521½,

The manufacturers of Greenock are various and extensive. Shipbuilding was commenced soon after the close of the American war, and has since risen to great prominence. During a number of years previous to 1840, from 6000 to 7000 tons of shipping were annually launched ; and in that year 21 vessels, of the aggregate tonnage of 7338, were built. The tonnage of vessels built in the port in the last seven years was as follows :- (1876) 20,000, (1877) 14,500, (1878) 21,696, (1879) 15,220, (1880) 22,374, (1881) 42,210, (1882) 52,744. Nearly all the vessels built here now are either iron or steel, and the majority of them are steamers. A timber sale hall is situated on Princes Pier, and there a large business is transacted in that branch, the timber floats on the margin of the river above Greenock and Port Glasgow being a marked feature in the shore scenery as viewed from railway or steamboat. Iron-working is carried on in six establishments for all sorts of cast-iron work and machinery, but particularly for the construction of steam-boilers, steam-engines, locomotives, and iron steam-vessels. The making of anchors and chain-cables is carried on in two separate establishments. Sugar refining is prosecuted here to a greater extent than anywhere else in Scotland. The first house for this purpose was erected in 1765 ; and now there are twelve sugar-refineries, some of them on a large scale. The quantity of sugar refined in five consecutive years was as follows :-(1876) 240,142 tons, (1877) 243,240, (1878) 251,677, (1879) 245,844, (1880) 249,842. There are also in the town or neighbourhood sail-cloth factories, roperies, sail-making establishments, woollen factories, a flax-mill, a paper-mill, dyewood-mills, saw-mills, grain-mills, tanneries, a large cooper work, a distillery, breweries, an extensive biscuit bakery, soap and candle works, a pottery, a straw-hat manufactory, and chemical works for saltpetre, sulphate of zinc, sulphate of copper, and phosphate of soda. All the ordinary kinds of handicraft are also prosecuted.

In the town the principal central thoroughfare follows the original coast outline, and is in consequence tortuous, and, for the character of the town, it is narrow and somewhat squalid. Cathcart Street and Hamilton Street, the chief streets, are separated by Cathcart Square, a small space which, as nearly as possible, marks the centre of the town, and in these places the best shops are found. The access from Cathcart Street to the Custom House is by East Quay Lane, and the other cross streets leading to the quays in this part of the town are equally narrow and wretched. Under the Artizans' Dwellings Improvement Scheme, however, the local authorities have acquired all the property on the W side of East Quay Lane, which they intend to widen to 40 feet, and to re-name Brymner Street, in memory of the first chairman of the Improvement Trust. The roadways facing the quays are partly spacious and pleasant, partly narrow and dirty, and altogether irregular and crowded. The older portions of the town abound in narrow alleys, filthy closes, and dingy houses ; so that even the very small part of them which has to be traversed from the railway terminus to the Steamboat Quay is far from agreeable to strangers. Most of the streets in the W, and some on the face of the rising ground in the centre, are regular, airy, and well built. The western outskirts extend far and plentifully, and are altogether clean and pleasant, abounding in villas, looking freely out to the firth or to the Highlands, and combining a series of fine foregrounds with a diversified perspective.

At the corner of Cathcart Square stand the new municipal buildings and town-hall, the former, designed by H. and D. Barclay, Glasgow, having been begun on 6 Aug. 1881. Through an unfortunate failure in negotiation, the authorities were unable to obtain possession of a mean building filling the outward corner of the site, but the buildings themselves are a stately Renaissance pile, with a dome-capped tower 245 feet high. Their cost was nearly £100,000, and they embrace police, cleansing, and sanitary departments. The County Buildings, in Nelson Street, were erected in 1867 at a cost of £8500. Designed by Messrs Peddie & Kinnear in the Scottish Baronial style, they form a three-storied structure 100 feet long, with a massive central tower and spirelet rising to a height of 112 feet. Behind is the new prison, legalised in 1870, and containing 70 cells. The Custom House, fronting the broad open esplanade of the upper steamboat pier, was built in 1818, from designs by Burn of Edinburgh, at a cost of £30,000. It is a spacious edifice, with a fine Doric portico. The Theatre Royal, a plain but commodious house in West Blackhall Street, was opened in 1858.

Greenock has 38 places of worship, belonging to 11 denominations, viz., 11 Established, 10 Free, 6 United Presbyterian, 2 Congregational, 2 Roman Catholic, 2 Episcopal, and 1 Reformed Presbyterian, 1 Evangelical Union, 1 Baptist, 1 Wesleyan, and 1 Primitive Methodist. The Middle Kirk, in Cathcart Square, was erected in 1757 ; its steeple, a notable landmark in the town, 146 feet high, was added in 1787. The West Kirk, situated in Nelson Street, and built in 1840, has also a handsome spire of 1854 ; and the East Kirk (1853), in Regent Street, is similarly distinguishable in the prospect of the town. The old West Kirk, near Albert Harbour, built in 1592, was restored in 1864 at a cost of £2500 to serve as the place of worship for the North Church quoad sacra parish. It is a low cruciform structure, with a small belfry ; in its churchyard Mary Campbell (Burns's `Highland Mary') was buried in 1786. A monument by Mr John Mossman was erected over her grave in 1842. It represents the parting at Coilsfield, and above is a figure of `Grief,' whilst beneath are the lines-

`O Mary! dear departed shade!
where is thy place of blissful rest?'

Of the Free churches the West is a First Pointed edifice of 1862, with French features, whilst the Middle, Grecian in style, was erected in 1870-71 at a cost of £16,000, and has a tower and spire 200 feet high. One may also notice Greenbank U.P. church (1881-82) ; St John's Episcopal, rebuilt (1878) from designs by Mr Anderson in Early Middle Pointed style at a cost of £8000 ; St Mary's Roman Catholic (1862), a plain First Pointed fabric ; and the Baptist chapel, erected (1878) at a cost of £5000.

For a long time the inhabitants of Greenock were almost exclusively devoted to commerce, and gave little countenance to literature or science. In 1769, when John Wilson, a poet of considerable merit, the author of the well-known piece on `the Clyde,' was admitted as master of the grammer school of Greenock, the magistrates and ministers made it a condition that he should abandon `the profane and unprofitable art of poem-making, ,-a stipulation which thirty years afterwards drew from the silenced bard the following acrimonious remarks in a letter addressed to his son George when a student at Glasgow College :-`I once thought to live by the breath of fame, but how miserably was I disappointed when, instead of having my performances applauded in crowded theatres, and being caressed by the great-for what will not a poetaster in his intoxicating delirium of possession dream?-I was condemned to bawl myself to hoarseness to wayward brats, to cultivate sand and wash Ethiopians, for all the dreary days of an obscure life-the contempt of shopkeepers and brutish skippers.' Leyden, writing of this prohibition, says :-` After his unhappy arrangement with the magistrates he never ventured to touch his forbidden lyre, though he often regarded it with the mournful solemnity which the harshness of dependence and the memory of its departed sounds could not fail to inspire ' Since that time a better taste, and more liberality of sentiment, have prevailed, and some attention has been paid to the cultivation of science. In 1783 the Greenock Library was instituted ; and with it was incorporated in 1834 the Foreign Library, founded in 1807. Special libraries have since from time to time been added, including the Watt Scientific Library, founded in 1816 on a donation of £100 from James Watt ; the Spence Mathematical Library, presented by Mrs Spence, the collector's widow ; the Williamson Theological Library, the gift of the Rev. J. Williamson ; the Fairrie Library, bought with a bequest of £100 left by Mr Thomas Fairrie ; the Buchanan Library, mechanical and scientific, presented by Dr Buchanan of Kilblain Academy ; and the Caird Library, chiefly theological, presented by Miss Caird. The present librarian (1883) is Mr Allan Park Paton, a well-known member of the numerous band of minor lyric poets Scotland has produced. The Greenock Library now contains upwards of 15,000 volumes, and occupies a Tudor edifice, called the Watt Institution and Greenock Library, in Union Street, erected by Mr Watt, of Soho, son of James Watt, in 1837 at a cost of £3000. The site was given by Sir Michael Shaw Stewart. A fine marble statue of Watt, by Sir Francis Chantrey, the expense of which (£2000) was raised by subscription, adorns the entrance to the Institution. On the front of the pedestal of the statue is the following inscription from the pen of Lord Jeffrey :- `The inhabitants of Greenock have erected this statue of James Watt, not to extend a fame already identified with the miracles of steam, but to testify the pride and reverence with which he is remembered in the place of his nativity, and their deep sense of the great benefits his genius has conferred on mankind. Born 19th January 1736. Died at Heathfield in Staffordshire, August 25th, 1819. 'On the right of the pedestal is a shield, containing the arms of Greenock, and on the left are emblems of strength and speed. On the back is an elephant, in obvious allusion to the beautiful parallel drawn by the writer of the inscription between the steam-engine and the trunk of that animal, which is equally qualified to lift a pin or to rend an oak. Behind the Institution stand the Watt Museum and Lecture Hall, endowed by Mr James M`Lean of West Bank, and erected in 1876 at a cost of £7000. The Mechanics' Institute, in Sir Michael Street, was built in 1840, and contains a good library and news-room. The Public Baths occupy part of the same building, but have their entrance in Tobago Street.

The educational arrangements of Greenock are in the hands of a school-board of 11 members, elected under Lord Young's Education Act. The burgh records abound in notices of the Grammar School of the town, and from them we learn that in 1751 the master of the school was reckoned ` a genteel appointment,' with £20 a year, payable as follows :-Sir John Shaw and his heirs, £3, 1s. 1½d.; Crawford of Cartsburn, £1, 2s. 2½d.; old kirk session, £4, 5s. 91/3.d.; new kirk session, £3, 0s. 6¾d.; and the remainder from the burgh. In 1772 the English teacher received £20, with school fees of 3s. per pupil and the ` Candlemas offerings, 'calculated at £40. In 1835 the teacher of the Grammar School received a salary of £50, with fees. In 1855 Greenock Academy, a large and commodious edifice in Nelson Street, was opened at a cost of £7243, half of the directors being appointed by the town council and half by the proprietors. It was transferred to the school-board in 1881. It is governed by a rector, assisted by a lady superintendent, 10 masters, 2 mistresses, etc. Besides this academy, the burgh school-board has under its control eleven public schools, upwards of £50,000 having been spent in the erection of new schools, in addition to those taken over by the board under the Act. The other schools in the town -embrace a number of ladies' and other `adventure' schools, Fairrie's Trust school in Ann Street, a school maintained by the Episcopalian church in Crescent Street, and a charity school in Ann Street. There are also two schools erected and maintained by the Roman Catholic Church. The foundationstone of the St Lawrence school was laid with much ceremony by Monsignore Eyre, Archbishop of Glasgow, on 10 Aug. (St Lawrence's Day) 1880, and the school was opened by him on 1 May of the following year. There is a school of navigation and engineering, to afford scientific training to the seafaring men, of whom the burgh is so productive.

There are in the town an industrial school, a night asylum for poor persons, a philharmonic society, a medical and chirurgical association, a horticultural society, an agricultural society, and a society for promoting Christian knowledge. Letterpress printing was established here in 1765 by Mr MacAlpine, who was also the first bookseller. It was confined to handbills, jobbing, etc., till 1810, when the first book was printed by William Scott. In 1821, Mr John Mennons began the printing of books ; and many accurate and elegant specimens of typography, original and selected, have issued from his press. The Greenock Advertiser, originally published twice a week, and now a daily afternoon paper, has existed since 1802 ; the Greenock Herald, established in 1852, is issued on Saturday at a penny ; and the Greenock Telegraph, established in 1857, is a halfpenny evening newspaper, the first established in Britain. All three are Liberal in politics.

Sir Gabriel Wood's Asylum for Mariners, already referred to, is an edifice in the Elizabethan style, on the High Gourock road, beyond the western outskirts of the town, built in 1851 at the cost of about £60,000, and liberally endowed for the maintenance of aged, infirm, and disabled seamen belonging to the counties bordering on the Clyde. This fine institution arose out of a bequest of £80,000 by Sir Gabriel Wood, who died in London in 1845. The places of worship in Greenock, aggregately considered, are creditable to the town ; and the three of them with steeples are appropriate and conspicuous. A beautiful new cemetery, extending to 90 acres, and already well decorated with tasteful monuments and other designs, has been laid out in the western outskirts of the town. From its higher points magnificent views are to be had. It contains a handsome memorial to Mr Robert Wallace, M. P., another, with bust, to Mr Walter Baine, provost and M. P. , and other good monuments, notable among them being one in the form of a cairn, to the memory of Watt, embracing stones in marble, granite, freestone, etc., sent from many parts of the world, and many of them bearing appropriate inscriptions.

There are in Greenock branches of the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank (two offices), the British Linen Co. Bank, the Clydesdale Bank (two offices), the Commercial Bank (two offices), a Provident Bank, and agencies of the Money Order Bank, the National Bank of Scotland, and the Union Bank. The Greenock Bank, founded in 1785, was in 1843 amalgamated with the Western Bank of Scotland, which failed in 1857. The Renfrewshire Bank, established in 1812, continued to do business for 30 years, and was sequestrated in 1842. The town has numerous insurance agencies, a trade protection society, a Lloyd's register, a Lloyd's agent, a local marine board, a chamber of commerce, a merchant seamen's fund, a fishery office, and full staffs of officials connected with the harbour and the public revenue. A weekly market is held on Friday ; and fairs are held on the first Thursday of July and the third Tuesday of November. The Tontine, an inn and hotel in Cathcart Street, is a substantial and handsome structure erected in 1801 at the expense of £10,000. Nearly opposite are the exchange buildings, finished in 1814 at a cost of £7000, and containing two assembly rooms and other accommodation. A news-room, coffee-room, and exchange was opened in Cathcart Square in 1821. Greenock Club is a handsome building in Ardgowan Square, part of which Square is occupied by the Ardgowan Bowling Club. The gas-works were constructed on the glebe in 1828, and cost £8731, but in 1872 new gas-works were erected on Inchgreen, at the E of the town, at a cost of £150,000. The gas supply is in the hands of the corporation, and amounted to 172,800,000 cubic feet of gas in 1882. The new poorhouse and lunatic asylum for Greenock and the Lower Ward of Renfrewshire is a large and imposing building in the Scottish Baronial style, erected in 1874-79 on an elevated position at Smithston, to the S of town. They were estimated to cost £50,000, but were only erected at a cost of £100,000. The infirmary in Duncan Street was built in 1809, and enlarged in 1869. In 1881 the number of in-patients was 1275, of out-patients 7571. The Craigieknowes Hospital for smallpox is situated in Sinclair Street above the town to the E, where also provision is made for a cholera hospital.

Greenock is well provided with places of public recreation. Well Park was presented to the town in 1851 by Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, who later, in 1872, gifted the Wellington Park, on the higher ground behind, with cricket, bowling, and play-grounds. The summit of the Whin Hill, beyond the Wellington Park, is also open as a public park. In 1879-80, during a depression of trade, the burgh police board gave employment to a large number of men in constructing Lyle Road, now one of the most delightful resorts of the people. It proceeds over the hill behind the Mariners' Asylum ; and at `Craig's Top,' 500 feet above sea-level, it affords a magnificent view. The road is 2 miles long, and descends in zigzag fashion to its termination at Gourock toll bar. The ground was gifted by Sir Michael; Shaw Stewart, and the cost of the work was £17,000.

From its peculiar formation the railway passenger arrangements of Greenock are unsatisfactory, the difficulty of the site preventing good station accommodation from being obtained. The Glasgow, Paisley, and Greenock railway was one of the earliest in Scotland, and now forms part of the Caledonian system. (See Caledonian Railway) Rising into the town above the level of the seaward portion, the railway comes to an awkward terminus in Cathcart Street, the balks against which the trains run being at the top of a steep stair, which forms the access from the street. Cartsdyke station and Bogston, on this line, accommodate the most eastern portion of the town, where the new docks are building. Powers to provide railway access to these extensive docks have been obtained by both the Caledonian and the Glasgow and South-Western railway companies. The last-named company is proprietor of a line on a higher level, which brings passengers to Lynedoch station, at the top of Dellingburn Street, on the southern elevated part of the town, and thence runs down to Princes Pier through two tunnels. From Princes Pier the Anchor line of steamers to America embark their passengers, who travel from Glasgow by special train upon this line. A third railway access to Greenock is provided by the Wemyss Bay connection, the junction being at Upper Greenock, where there is a passenger station. From the two principal railways service lines run down to the various harbours and basins, so that the facilities for loading and unloading goods at the port are of a comprehensive kind. The Vale of Clyde Tramway Company has a line through Greenock, and extending to Gourock and Ashton along the coast a distance of about 4 miles. Cars run from the E end to Fort Matilda through the principal thoroughfare every half hour, and to Gourock every hour.

The water supply of Greenock is copious and excellent. The rainfall at the gauges at the waterworks shows great diversity, but in every year the fall is large. The following is the total rainfall for six years back:- 1875, 63 -54 inches ; 1876, 62.65 ; 1877, 88 -33 ; 1878, 55 -16 ; 1879, 57 -77 ; 1880, 51 -92. The Shaws Waterworks, incorporated as a private company in 1825, but now, like the other works, in the hands of the corporation, were opened in April 1827. The largest reservoir, called Loch Thom, after Mr Robert Thom, the engineer, had a depth of 48 feet and a capacity of 284,678,550 cubic feet, but has now (1883) been raised to 56 feet, giving an additional capacity of 110,000,000 cubic feet. A compensation reservoir on the Gryfe, built (1873) when the waters of that stream were impounded by the Water Trust, two large reservoirs on that water, the Whinhill reservoir, and thirteen smaller reservoirs give a total capacity of 642, 379,230 cubic feet of water. The original intention of the engineer of the Shaws Water Scheme was to bring an aqueduct round the face of the hill so that water power might be given off to public works, and this has been steadily kept in view in the extensions of the water supply. There are twenty-five such falls, varying in power from 21 horsepower in Scott's sugar refinery to 578 horse-power in the six falls connected with the mills of Fleming, Reid, & Co. The falls have a supply of 1300 cubic feet per minute, l2 hours a day, 310 days a year, and ground to the extent of 2 acres Scots goes with each fall, at a nominal feu duty. The Shaws Water was acquired by the corporation in 1867, and while in 1870 the domestic rate was 1s. per £, with 2d. of a public rate, yielding £19,221, in 1880-81 the rate had fallen to 8d. and 11/3.d. per £, yielding, owing to the growth of the town, a revenue of £23,400. An unhappy accident happened, in 1835, in the bursting of the dam of a reservoir built in 1796 to drive the machinery of the Cartsburn Cotton Spinning Company. In 1815, at which time the power was used to drive a grain mill, the dam burst, but without serious results. The dam was restored in 1821, and in 1825 the reservoir was taken over by the Shaws Water Company. In November 1835 there was an unusually heavy rainfall reaching 3½ inches in 48 hours, unparallelled even in Greenock. About eleven at night the dam burst, rushing down the gorge of the Cartsburn to the town, and besides destroying much property, causing a loss of thirty-eight lives.

The post office of Greenock occupies a building erected in 1880 by the corporation, and let to the Crown on a thirty years' lease from 1881. It stands in Wallace Square, an open space adjoining the municipal buildings and town-hall on the W, and created by clearing away a number of squalid alleys. The square takes its name from Mr Robert Wallace (1773-1855), who represented the burgh from 1833 to 1845, and whose labours in parliament to promote the penny post-of which he almost disputes the parentage with Rowland Hill-are, as already stated, commemorated in a fine monument on a prominent point in Greenock cemetery. There are four branch post offices, in Blackhall Street, Brougham Street, Roxburgh. Street, and Rue End Street, all of them doing telegraph as well as the ordinary postal business. Telegraph messages are also received at Princes Pier railway station. The National Telephone Company has an `exchange' in Greenock, and under a special licence from the post office, a through wire to Glasgow places a limited number of subscribers into communication with the large Telephone Exchange system in that city.

The most distinguished name connected with Greenock is that of James Watt (1736-1819), who is commemorated, as already seen, in many ways-in statue, monument, institution, etc., bearing his name. John Galt (1779-1839), author of The Ayrshire Legatees, etc., resided here from 1790 till 1804, and again from 1832 till his death. Jean Adams (1710-65), who contests with Mickle the authorship of There's Nae -Luck about the House, was born in the town ; and, as already mentioned, a monument to Burns's `Highland Mary' stands in the old churchyard, commemorating the fact that here she died in 1786. Principal Caird, of the University of Glasgow, was born at Greenock in 1820.

Till 1751 the affairs of Greenock continued to be superintended by the superior, or by a baron bailie appointed by him. The commissioners on municipal corporations stated in their report, in 1833, that the manner of electing the magistrates by signed lists was much approved of in the town. They also reported, that ` the affairs of this flourishing town appear to have been managed with great care and ability. The expenditure is economical, the remuneration to officers moderate, and the accounts of the different trusts are clear and accurate. 'The municipal government and jurisdiction of the town continued to be administered under the charter of 1751, without any alteration or enlargement, until the burgh Reform Act of 1833 came into operation. Under that Act, the town council consisted of a provost, 4 bailies, a treasurer, and 10 councillors, for the election of whom the town was divided into five wards. Four of these returned 3 councillors each, and one returned 4, this latter having a preponderance of electors. By the Corporation and Police Act of 1881, the town council now consists of a provost, 6 bailies, a treasurer, and 17 councillors, for the -election of whom the town is divided into eight wards, seven of which return 3 each, whilst the West End ward, with a preponderance of voters, returns 4. The bailie court of Greenock has the jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, competent to a royal burgh. In 1881-82 the corporation revenue, including all the public trusts, was £178,700. The magistrates and town council, together with nine persons elected by the feuars, householders, and ratepayers, are a board of trustees for paving, lighting, cleansing, and watching the town, and for supplying it with water. Previous to the passing of the Reform Act in 1832, Greenock had no voice in the parliamentary representation ; but since then it has sent one member to parliament (always a Liberal). In 1883 its parliamentary constituency numbered 7405 ; and its municipal, under the `Greenock Burgh Extension Act, 1882,' 8692. Till 1815, the sheriff court for the whole of Renfrewshire was held at Paisley ; but in that year an additional sheriff-substitute, to be resident at Greenock, was appointed ; and by an act of court promulgated by the sheriff-depute, dated 3 May, it was declared that the district or territory falling under the ordinary jurisdiction of the court at Greenock should be termed `the Lower Ward,' and that it should in the meantime consist of the towns and parishes of Greenock and Port Glasgow, and the parish of Innerkip. To this ward the parish of Kilmalcolm has since been annexed. The court houses occupy a fine building in Nelson Street, with the prison in rear. A sheriff court is held every Friday, a sheriff small debt court every Monday, and a justice of peace court every Thursday. Annual value of real property (1867) £181,158, (1871) £271,946, (1876) £322,398, (1880) £368, 269, (1883) £400,237. Pop. of the burgh (1696) 1328, (1735) 4100, (1841) 35,921, (18 5l) 36, 689, (1861) 42,098, (1871) 57,146, (1881) 63,902 ; of burgh and suburbs (1871) 57,821, (1881) 66,704, of whom 34,249 were males and 32,455 females. Houses (1881) 13,091 inhabited, 1022 vacant, 72 building. See D. Weir's History of the Town of Greenock (Green. 1829) ; G. Williamson's Memorials of James Watt (1856) ; and Provost Dugald Campbell's Historical Sketches of the Town and Harbours of Greenock (2 vols., 1879-81).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better