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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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An official register gives 120 boys who passed through this institution; but there must have been a good many more, seing that no name is given till 1804, only one given in that year, and no more mentioned till 1820-22-24.
Of the four names which had a preference of entry, there were fifteen Shaws, but only one of them spelt with the c (Schaw), four M'Neills, one Cunningham, and one Stewart.
The first admitted was William Shaw, 23rd August 1804. He left on 8th January 1814. For upwards of sixteen years this same Shaw was principal bookkeeper and cashier in the office of David Thomson, Esq., factor to Schaw's Trust, and of Alexander Thomson, Esq., W. S., who succeeded his father in the office of factor. He was afterwards, for some years, principal accountant in the Eastern Bank; and latterly cashier and bookkeeper to the North British Railway Company, where he is said to have won not a little distinction by his exposure of a great railway fraud that was being perpetrated.
Next on the roll is George Rodger. He was admitted in 1820, and became a cabinetmaker. Next, John H. Chisholm in 1822, and William Jelly in 1824. The latter became very distinguished as a physician; he went to San Francisco. The other became famous as a dentist in Edinburgh. All these three revisited their old home at the institution in 1853.
Among the trades and professions the hospital boys elected to follow on leaving the institution, were wright and engineer, wright, joiner, plumber, baker, jeweller, watchmaker, clerk, bookseller, tailor, printer, grocer, cooper, boilermaker, nurseryman, draper, apothecary, bookbinder, gardener, silk mercer, shoemaker, ironworker, teacher, accountant, dentist, blacksmith, cork-cutter, painter, confectioner, mason, and railway clerk, while one is set down as a skilled labourer, which may mean that he learned to "carry the hod, " or to do nothing at all. One, Robertson, is said to have " tried various things, and at last went to sea. " One, Pearse, by turns became a poster, a turner, a shoemaker, a sailor, and ultimately a soldier. A Henderson and a Waddel were " expelled for telling gross falsehoods. " A Shaw, a Bailie, and a Miller were " expelled for running away often, " but they were always taken back when showing " the least sign of repentance. "
Seven years was the limit time for retaining inmates in the hospital, and one or two only were admitted each year.

Funds were accumulating, and inmates were clamouring for admission, but the house was getting behind the age for such an institution, and the trustees were seriously interesting themselves concerning the construction of a new building altogether independent of the one then in use.
In good time a new, handsome, and very commodious building was constructed, almost in a direct line north of Preston House. This was built in the old English style of architecture, and at a cost of about, £3, 000, the cash for which was also supplied from the funds bequeathed by the benevolent testator.
Preston House as an hospital was closed for ever in 1832, the hindmost teacher being a Mr M'Bride, and he it was who planted the ivy with which it is now so wholly surrounded. This same gentleman was also the first teacher in the new institution. He afterwards studied for the ministry, and became a preacher of the gospel.
No sooner was the new building got into working order than a large increase of inmates took place. The hindmost five to gain admission were named severally, Small, Ward, Ritchie, Stirling, and J. C. Sykes. The close of the roll states that John Forsyth Thomson, blacksmith, and John Anderson, cabinetmaker, both visited their old home in 1855, and that George Goldie, carpenter, but who ultimately became instructor in gymnastics in Princeton College, U. S., paid a \isit to Scotland and the hospital in 1875.
In 1881, under the "Endowed Hospitals Act, " these funds were otherwise appropriated, and the building ceased for ever to be known as "Schaw's Hospital. "

Scarcely had this very handsome building ceased to be "Schaw's Hospital" than it became "Murray's Institution. " Miss Mary Murray was a native of Dysart. She died there in 1861, but not until 1882 did her "will" come into operation, when it was found that under it an hospital was to be founded for the training of female children " of poor but respectable parents " as domestic servants.
At her death Miss Murray's estate was worth a little under £20, 000, but by her will she directed that it should be allowed to accumulate for a period not exceeding twenty-one years, and the bequest in 1882 amounted to about £36, 000.
The original trustees were Messrs John Dundas, William
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