| blowing with might and main, though never a creature heard
him. Ralston asserted, what was more to the point with drouthy
neighbours, that he always kept the best gaun dram in Prestonpans
at a "penny a glass. "
Harlo House is a fine old building, situated on the Hill of
Harlo. Whether the hill gave name to the house or the house
gave name to the hill is hard to discover; but the hill, no
doubt, was there centuries before the foundations of the house
were laid. The house was built early in the 16th century,
possibly by David Hamilton. At all events, this brother to
George Hamilton of Preston occupied Harlo House in 1596, taking
a great part with Davidson in forming his church, and, along
with Fallsyde and others, an elder in it. The house is presently
occupied by the Rev. Dr Calder Macphail, late of Pilrig, Edinburgh.
THE BARROWS OR BURROWS.
This is a brae-face, simply a continuation of Harlo Hill,
down to the shore. The origin of the name is hard to get at.
There are many curious old buildings situated there yet, but
it was simply crowded at one time with old hovels, and so
crushed with population, that it became a common saying that
" the people burrowed there like rabbits, " and
so it became " The Burrows. "
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PEOPLE.
The Statistical Account of the parish 1845 gives the following:
—" There are many excellent people in the parish at the
present time, and it is earnestly to be hoped the number of
such may yearly increase. Violations of the Lord's Day are
not so customary as they were wont to be. "
We think the " excellent" of Prestonpans have not
at all events decreased in numbers, neither have the people
lost respect for the Lord's Day.
It seems evident from names and designations found on tombstones,
especially in the West Churchyard, that there must at one
time have been a tannery in the village; but the oldest villagers
never heard of such an institution here, and there is no tradition
about a tannery in the locality.
Among the names of those who were considered very wealthy
in the village about the middle of the 18th century, we find
the Mathies, Hoggs, Youngs, and Shirreffs. There are few of
these names to the fore now in Prestonpans.
A BUSY MAN OF THE PRESENT TIME—JAMES HOWDEN.
Among those we feel proud to mention in these pages connected
with the district is Mr James Howden, of Glasgow. He writes:
" I have always been exceedingly averse to any published
notices regarding myself or my work. " But his works
are so extensive, and among the multitude of worthies having
a connection with the district, and herein brought forward,
we humbly think it would have been unfair to have left such
a genius out of the roll. Prestonpans will be proud to claim
him as one "who has risen from the ranks. " Of his
great engineering works we learn that about ten years ago
his business was the construction of engines and boilers for
steamships, and fitting out these ships complete with their
From time to time he patented improvements in the designs
of such machinery, some of which patents became well known,
and came into general use. One patent especially, for producing
a high rate of combustion, combining with this at the same
time a great economy of fuel, became so valuable to steamship
owners, that in order to prosecute its improvements more rapidly
he gave up his general marine engineering business and restricted
himself to the furthering of his forced combustion processes,
for which he held several patents.
His business during these half-score years till now has been
confined to working these patents, his clients being steamship
owners and marine engineers in all maritime countries.
He does not undertake the fitting of his apparatus on board
ship. This is done by the engineers, who contract with the
owners to fit their ships with the whole machinery, including
his system of combustion for the boilers.
These engineers pay him a royalty on the horse-power of such
steamers for the use of his system, There are, however,