Origins & History

Heritage & Museum

Clan Court & Household

University Press


Golfing Delights


Court Records

Picture Gallery

Manor of Milton Malsor
East Lodge Prestonpans
Laird of Glencairn

Shop Online

News & Email

Site News

Prestonpans and Vicinity

Cover Contents 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
28 30 32 33 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64
66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 81 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100 102
104 106 108 110 112 114 116 118 120 122 124 126 128 130 132 134 136 138 140 142
144 146 148 150 152 154 156 158 160 162 164 166 168 170 172 174 176 177 178 180
182 184 186 188 190 192 194 196 198 200 201 202 204 206 208 209 210 212 214 216
218 220 222 224 226 228 229 230 232 234 236 238 240 242 244 246 248 249 250 252
254 256 257 258 259 260 261                          

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.
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. "
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.
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 machinery.
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,

Back to top