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Social History
Health Politics Fairs

Music Recreation Hamilton Park War Years
Social History - Politics
List of Parish Council Representatives
District, Regional and County Representatives
Representatives of Stonehouse in Parliament
Leaseholders and Citizens Improvement Association

Local Government in the modern sense was administered by the Sheriff Courts and the Church of Scotland, with the principal landowners, (‘heritors’) of the parish until 1845. Prior to the establishment of any distinctive form of Local Government, Justices of the Peace and ‘quarter sessions’ (originating from England in the reign of Edward III) administered local affairs.

With wide ranging administrative and judicial powers, quarter sessions were the main predecessors of county councils. Established from 1587 by James VI, quarter sessions should have met in each county in March, May, August and October, but in reality these meetings were irregular. Without the powers of their English counterparts, their authority was continually hindered by wealthy heritors and prominent dignitaries of the day. From around 1756 the main functions of the quarter sessions, apart from licensing was in the provision of poor relief and highways.

In 1667 a committee of prominent landowners in each county was established, known as the Commissioners of Supply. Initially appointed by the Privy Council, the commissioners were regarded as an independent voice in county matters. By the 18th century the commissioners were also responsible for the maintenance of roads, which were later taken over by the turnpike roads and statute labour trusts. A statute of 1724 also enabled commissioners to impose a tax to apprehend and prosecute criminals. This eventually led to the formation of county police forces.

Disruption of the Church in 1843 resulted in the administration of the poor relief by the parish churches becoming unworkable. The statutory provision to the poor dates to the 15th and 16th centuries, whereby local parishes were made responsible for its own poor. By the end of the 18th century the main source of funding for the poor (outwith burghs) was primarily through church collections. Thus in 1845 Parochial Boards were established, comprising of members of the kirk session and owners of property of a rateable value of £20. Parochial Boards were responsible for the local affairs of the village, including, the levy rate for poor relief, provision of burial grounds, registration of births, deaths and marriages, vaccinations and public libraries. Until its dissolution, the Parochial Board of Stonehouse was chaired by Major General Lockhart (Vice Chair, Robert Naismith).

The Local Government Act of 1894 abolished Parochial Boards and established Parish Councils. Parish Councils took over the responsibilities of Poor Law Boards and some additional powers including acquiring buildings and land for public offices and recreational use, the administration of rights of way and the maintenance of churchyards (previously the responsibility of heritors). The Parish Council minutes of 1895-1916 state the average number of ‘paupers’ numbered around 45 annually, each having to apply for poor relief. A contract dating to 1864 provided for the erection and maintenance of a poorhouse in Boghall Street. This was dispensed with by the end of the century; the Parish Council stating it had a tendancy to attract ‘vagrants’. Several residents provided rooms for the poor with a Combination Poorhouse in Hamilton assisting with accomodation. A clock valued at 30/- by Larkhall watchmakers Lang, was formerly located in this dwelling, sold to a Mr james Kilpatrick for 10/- in 1896.

In 1929 Parish Councils were abolished and their functions were transferred to the County Councils, as were the responsibilities of
Commissioners of Supply, District Committees and Education Authorities.

The County Council came into existence in 1890 under the provisions of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889, encompassing the powers of Commissioners of Supply, County Road Trusts and some administrative powers of Justices of the Peace. The members of the County Council were elected by the landward ratepayers. The Council were responsible for the collection of land tax, highways and administering of public health laws.

The 1889 statute also ensured each county, unless it had fewer than six parishes, was divided into districts, with corresponding district committees. Composed of county councillors, together with representatives of parochial boards and burghs, their responsibilities were restricted to roads and public health. In Lanarkshire three wards were established; Upper, Middle and Lower, with each ward (district) having its own district headquarters; Lanark, Hamilton and Glasgow respectively. The County Council’s headquarters at that time were situated in Hamilton. The Parish Councils transferred their responsibilities of allotments, parks, right of way and parish trusts to district councils.

Under the provisions of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1929, County Councils were reconstituted with representatives of burghs included within the County members. County Councils became responsible for education, registration of births, deaths and marriages, some areas of Public Health relating to infectious diseases, planning in terms of the Town Planning (Scotland) Act, 1925, and classified roads, etc. The number of districts in the County was increased from three to nine, each district having its own district council responsible for certain functions. Stonehouse became part of Fourth District, which included, Avondale, Dalserf, Glassford and Hamilton. In 1936 Stonehouse lost out to Larkhall in a narrow vote of seven to six to establish the central office of Forth District in the village, though sub-meetings were often held in Stonehouse to deal with local affairs. The County Council later reduced in number to eight district councils, there being fifty three electoral divisions in the landward part of the County. Lanarkshire House in Glasgow became the headquarters of the County Council until the County Buildings, Hamilton, was opened in 1964.

In terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1973, County Councils, Town Councils and District Councils ceased to exist in May 1975. Lanarkshire County Council was replaced by Strathclyde Regional and District Councils, of which Stonehouse came under the authority of Hamilton District Council.

In 1999 Local Government reorganisation resulted in the loss of the Regional and District Councils and the establishment of South Lanarkshire Council. Changes in the new authority boundaries also saw Stonehouse divided into two wards, with the North-East of the village called Larkhall South. These changes also resulted in residents on the opposite side of several streets being represented by different councillors.

Nationally, Stonehouse has been a politically active community throughout the past two centuries, represented by various parties and an ever changing boundary. In researching past representatives of the village, identifying such, has been both time consuming and difficult due to constant boundary changes and seeking references. However I have been able to compile a fairly accurate account of our political representation, from the early years of an independent Scottish Parliament, to Westminster, and more recently, the return of a devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999.

The first Scottish Parliament was in the reign of Queen Margaret in 1290. However the earliest representative of the county I can locate dates to 1357. Until 1707 members of parliament were appointed directly by town councils. Thereafter, all burghs (except Edinburgh) were combined for parliamentary purposes into groups with members chosen by a single commissioner from each burgh. Burghs were introduced into Scotland by David I and by 1400 over 70 had been created, the majority by the crown, with a third by Royal Charter. Royal burghs were more heavily taxed, though enjoyed considerably more commercial privileges, especially with regards to foreign trade. By 1707 there were 66 Royal burghs, which ceased to be created due to the Union. Lanark was crowned a Royal Burgh between 1153 and 1159. Burghs of barony continued to be created until the 1820’s and were reformed in 1833. Prior to the Union, Parliament was represented by Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, Lords and Commissioners of Royal Burghs.

Around the middle of the 18th century the population of the county had increased to such an extent that the county was subdivided into three wards, in place of the two medieval divisions. These divisions were the Upper, Middle and Lower wards, of which Stonehouse belonged to the Middle Ward, comprising of Blantyre, Bothwell, Cambusnethan, Dalserf, Dalziel East Kilbride, Glassford, Hamilton, New Monkland, Old Monkland and Shotts.

From the Union of 1707, until 1868, Lanarkshire as a county had only one representative in Parliament. In 1868 the county was split into North and South Lanarkshire, each with one member. In the twenty years following, the population of Scotland through industrialisation increased by 50% and the county as a result was aligned into six divisions, of which Stonehouse was attached to South Lanark. These boundary changes were to last until 1918. With ever increasing industrialisation, Lanarkshire was again partitioned in 1918, into seven electoral divisions, comprising of burghs, civil parishes and districts of the county. Lanark Division encompassed the whole Upper Ward county district, including the burghs of Lanark and Biggar, together with the parishes of Avondale, East Kilbride, Glassford and Stonehouse.

After the ‘radical risings of 1820’, Stonehouse saw the emergence of several political parties in the community. It was said that the Parish Church bell was rung to proclaim a ‘Blue’ (Tory) victory, whilst the Free Church bell would ring in celebration of a ‘Red’ (Liberal-radical) victory. The Stonehouse Liberal Party was formed in 1875 and was prominent in campaigning for local and national issues of the day. The Liberals were also actively supported in South Lanarkshire by the Irish Nationalists who had strong support in the Irish communities of which Stonehouse had a notable contingent in the Boghall Street area.

It is unclear when the Conservative Party first emerged in Stonehouse, but they were equally active in the community around the same time as the Liberals were present. Some may still remember an incident which took place in the Public Institute, when Conservative candidate for the General Election of 1950, Sir Alec Douglas-Hume enraged Labour supporters during his speech, when he and his supporters were forced to leave the building via a side door.

Labour emerged at the turn of the century and first contested the local seat in 1918. The local party was established around this time, as part of the South Lanark Branch. A Stonehouse branch of the British Socialist Party was also present during this period, as was an ‘Anti-Socialist’ group, established by James Hamilton in 1910, in an attempt to counter the rising strength of Socialism nationally. The Communist Party established a branch in Stonehouse around 1943, of which, Tom Brown (Vicars Road) was a founder member of the Communist Party of Britain. The local branch was to disappear around 1954. The Stonehouse Scottish Nationalist Party was formed in 1950, and along with the Labour Party, are the only active political organisations in the village today.

In 1973 the Scotland Act established Community Councils throughout Scotland, to represent and campaign for the views and concerns of residents in local affairs. Stonehouse Community Council was established in 1977, and has played an active role in campaigning for local needs and services, such as the A71 bypass, increased facilities and preservation of jobs.

Nominated and elected by the people, the organisation is non-political, with no delegated powers. The Community Council has thrived as a voice of the village under the able chairmanship of several residents, including, John Haston (interim chair), Charlie Stevenson, John Morgan, Andrew Wilson, Andrew Clark and George Smith. Membership of the organisation is on a voluntary basis, with the sole purpose of benefiting the future of Stonehouse and its inhabitants.
List of Parish Council Representatives
2nd April 1894 Election of Parish Councillors for Stonehouse (first meeting of council April 1895)
William Millar (Chair - Baker, Trongate), Major General Lockhart CB, James Hamilton (Hamilton farm), John Frood (1894-1898, Chair 1898 - Blacksmith, 4 Queen Street), Thomas Gray (Labourer, 12 Cam’nethan Street), William Gilmour (1894-1905 - Shoemaker, King Street), Gavin Hutchison (Hill Road), William Loudon (Butcher, 82 King Street), William Letham (Crofthead farm) (In 1896 General Lockhart was disqualified and Archibald Hamilton elected to replace him. William Letham was replaced by George W. Barr)

1898 Election of Parish Councillors for Stonehouse
George W. Barr, Alex Borland (1899-1922, Chair until 1920), John Craig (1898-1925), George Hamilton, John Frood , William Gilmour, Thomas Gray, Walter Millar (1898-1908), Alex Murphy

Parish Councillors representing Stonehouse during early 1900’s
John Davidson, Gilbert C. Dyer (1899), John Thomson, Alexander McIntosh J.P. (1916-1930, Representative to the Middle Ward District Committee 1929), Mungo Shearer (1930), Robert Millar (1905-1917), Daniel Sym (1900-1922), G. Lawrie (1901-1920), William Scott (1916-1919), James C. Plenderleith (1923-1930), David Smith (1923-1930), Thomas Wilson J. P. (1904-1929, Chair from 1920), Alexander Anderson J.P. (1908-1916, Served as Clerk to Parish Council for 49 years), Robert J. Naismith (1914-1917), Mr A. F. Thomson (1911-1912), James Frood (1905), James Hamilton (1905-1922), William Wilson (1919-1930), John Walker (1928-1930), Matthew Surgeon (1923-1930), James Whyte (1923-1927), Thomas Dando (1919-1923)
District, Regional and County Representatives
Major General Lockhart County Councillor
1890-1892 (inc. Glassford & Chapelton)
William Sym County Councillor Liberal 1897- (Served for 30 years. JP)
Robert Millar Councillor ? Served in 1912
William Gracie District Councillor ? ? Served in 1934+
Thomas Wilson County Councillor Labour ? Served 1930-45 (Parish Councillor for 20 years)
David Smith District Councillor ? Served 1936-44?
Nathaniel T.P.W. Mains County Councillor ? ? Served in 1945
Robert L.Brodie County Councillor Labour Served 1946-1958
William Melvin District Councillor
Served in 50’s to 1958
John McEwan Forth Dist. Councillor Labour 1958-67
Thomas Barr Forth Dist. Councillor Labour 1958-67 (JP)
Gordon Stewart County Councillor Labour 1970-73
Moyra Burns County Councillor Indep. 1967-70 & 1973-76 (Stonehouse & SJustice of Peaceandford Division)
Fred McDermid Forth Dist. Councillor Indep. 1967-1970
Helen Chalmers District Councillor Labour 1970-73
Mary (Ann) Gilmour District Councillor Indep. 1973-76 (Stonehouse & Sandford Div.)
Richard (Dick) Gibb District Councillor Labour 1976-2000 (JP)
Robert (Bob) Wilson Regional Councillor Labour 1974-1992
John (Jackie) Burns Regional Councillor Labour 1992-1996
John (Jackie) Burns Authority Councillor Labour 1999- Present
John R. Young Authority Councillor SNP 2001-2002
John McInnes Authority Councillor Labour 2003- Present

CSBP Commissioner for Small Barons to Parliament
CCE Commissioner to Convention of Estates
CS Commissioner of Supply
JP Justice of Peace

Representatives of Stonehouse in Parliament
Andrew Adamson Commissioner to General Council 1357
Andrew Pomfret Commissioner to General Council 1357 Lanark
Malcolm Clerkson Commissioner to General Council 1444 Lanark
Patoun Lockhart Commissioner to General Council 1444 Lanark
William Bertram Commissioner to ParliamentPolitics 1468 Lanark
Sir Stephen Lockhart of Cleghorn Commissioner to Parliament 1485, 91, 92, 93 Lanark
Thomas Brolton Commissioner to Parliament 1540-1541 Lanark
William Pender Commissioner to Parliament 1544 Lanark
William Bannatyne Commissioner to Parliament 1545 Lanark
Roland Muir Commissioner to Parliament 1579 Lanark
William Wilkie of Provanside Commissioner to Parliament 1581, 1593 Lanark
David Brunton Commissioner to Parliament 1585 Lanark
Robert Livingston Commissioner to Parliament 1587 Lanark
Sir John Lindsay of Dunrod Com. Small Barons to Parliament 1593 Lanarkshire CSBP to CCE 1596
Sir Jas. Hamilton of Crawfordjohn Commissioner to Parliament 1600
Lanarkshire C. to Small Barons
Sir James Lockhart of Lee (4) Commissioner to Parliament 1607
Sir William Baillie Lamington (1) Commissioner to Parliament 1612 Lanarkshire
Robert Lockhart Commissioner to Parliament 1612 Lanarkshire
Sir John Hamilton of Lettrick Commissioner to Parliament 1612, 1617, 1621 Lanarkshire CSBP 1605 CCE 1617,1625
James Gray Commissioner to Parliament 1617
Gavin Blair of Braxfield Commissioner to Parliament 1617, 1621 Lanark CSBP 1593,94 CCE 1596,09,17
Sir James Maxwell of Calderwood Commissioner to Parliament 1617, 1621 Lanarkshire
Sir Robert Hamilton of Goslington Com. to Convention of Estates 1625
Gideon Jack Commissioner to Parliament 1628-33, 39, 44-47, 48-49 Lanarkshire CCE 1630, 1643-44
Sir James Lockhart of Lee Commissioner to Parliament 1628-33, 45-8, 61-3, 69-70 Lanark. (son of 4) CCE 1630,65,67
Sir Walter Stewart of Minto Commissioner to Parliament 1639-1641 Lanarkshire
Sir William Baillie Lamington (2) Commissioner to Parliament 1639-41,45-47,48 Lanarkshire (son of 1)
James Winram of Wiston Commissioner to Parliament 1640 Lanarkshire Colonel
James Lindsay of Belstanes Com. to Convention of Estates 1643-1644 Lanarkshire
William Hamilton of Dalserf Commissioner to Parliament 1644-1645 Lanarkshire
Alexander Tenent Commissioner to Parliament 1649 Lanark CCE 1644
John Dickson of Busbie Commissioner to Parliament 1649 Lanarkshire
John Hamilton Commissioner to Parliament 1649
Sir John Chiesly of Cresswell Commissioner to Parliament 1649-1650 Lanarkshire
Sir Daniel Carmichael of Mauldslie Commissioner to Parliament 1649-50, 89-90 Lanarkshire
Sir James Hope of Hopetoun Commissioner to Parliament 1650 Lanarkshire
Patrick Bisset Commissioner to Parliament 1661-63, 69-72 Lanark
Gavin Hamilton of Raploch (3) Com. to Convention of Estates 1665, 1667 Lanarkshire
Gavin Hamilton of Raploch Commissioner to Parliament 1667 Lanarkshire (son of 3) CCE 1665 CS JP
Sir John Harper of Cambusnethan Commissioner to Parliament 1669-1674 Lanarkshire
Sir William Lockhart of Lee Commissioner to Parliament 1672 Lanarkshire
Thomas Stoddart Com. to Convention of Estates 1678 Lanark
William Wilkie of Provanside Commissioner to Parliament 1681 Lanark
Cromwell Lockhart of Lee Commissioner to Parliament 1681, 1685-86
Lanarkshire CCE 1678 CS
Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath Commissioner to Parliament 1681, 1685-86 Lanarkshire
James Weir Commissioner to Parliament 1685-1686 Lanark
Thomas Hamilton Commissioner to Parliament 1689-1702 Lanark CCE 1689
Sir William Baillie Lamington Commissioner to Parliament 1689-1701,1703-07 Lanark. (son of 2) Voted against Union
James Hamilton of Aitkenhead Commissioner to Parliament 1690-1701, 1703-07 Lanarkshire Voted against Union
Sir William Denholm Commissioner to Parliament 1690-1702 Lanarkshire
Sir John Lockhart of Castlehill Commissioner to Parliament 1693 Lanarkshire
Richard Lockhart of Lee Commissioner to Parliament 1695
Sir William Stewart of Castlemilk Commissioner to Parliament 1696-1702 Lanarkshire CS
George Jerviswood Commissioner to Parliament 1703-1707 Lanarkshire
William Carmichael of Skirling Commissioner to Parliament 1703-1707 Lanark Voted in favour of Union
Sir John Sinclair of Stevenson Commissioner to Parliament 1703-1707 Lanarkshire Against Union CS 1690, 96, 04
Lord Archibald Hamilton Member of Parliament
Lanarkshire (App.Lord of the Admiralty in 1729)
Sir James Hamilton
Member of Parliament (Tory) 1710-1715 Lanarkshire (Supporter of Pretender)
James Lockhart of Lee Member of Parliament (Whig) 1715-1718 Lanarkshire (No. of voters 1715-1754 about 70)
Lord Archibald Hamilton Member of Parliament 1718-1729+ Lanarkshire
Lord William Hamilton Member of Parliament 1734-35 
Lanarkshire (Said to be supporter of Pretender)
Sir James Hamilton Member of Parliament 1735-1750 Lanarkshire
Patrick Stuart Member of Parliament (Whig) 1750-1754 Lanarkshire (A retired Army Officer)
James Vere Member of Parliament 1754-1760 Lanarkshire (parents belonged to Covenanting family)
Daniel Campbell Member of Parliament 1760-1768 Lanarkshire (Joined navy in 1778)
John Lockhart Ross Member of Parliament 1768-1774 Lanarkshire
Andrew Stuart Member of Parliament
1774-1784 Lanarkshire (Claimed to be brother of Pretender)
Sir James Denham Steuart Member of Parliament
1784-1802 Lanarkshire
Lord Archibald Hamilton Member of Parliament
1802-1828 Lanarkshire (Colonel in Lanark Militia)
John Maxwell Member of Parliament Whig (Liberal) 1832-1837 Lanarkshire
Alexander M. Lockhart Member of Parliament Conservative 1837-1841 Lanarkshire (won by one vote over Liberal)
William Lockhart Member of Parliament Conservative 1841-1857 Lanarkshire
A. Cochrane Member of Parliament Conservative 1857 Lanarkshire
Sir Edward T. Colebrooke Member of Parliament Liberal 1857-1868 Lanarkshire (County divided into 2 in 1867)
J.G.C. Hamilton
Liberal 1868-1874 South Lanark Division
Sir W.J. Anstruther
Conservative 1874-1880 South Lanark Division
J.G.C. Hamilton
Liberal 1880-1886 South Lanark Division (Lanark. -6 members)
James H.C. Hozier
Conservative 1886-1906 South Lanark Division
Sir Walter Menzies
Liberal 1906-1913 South Lanark Division
William Watson
Conservative 1913-1918
Bye election due to death of above
W.E. Elliot
Coalition 1918-1923 Lanark
Tom S. Dickson
Labour 1923-1924

S. Mitchell
Conservative 1924-1929

Tom S. Dickson
Labour 1929-1931

Lord Dunglass
Conservative 1931-1939

T. Steele
Labour 1945-1950

Lord Dunglass
Conservative 1950-1951

P.F. Maitland
Conservative 1951-1959
Stood as Independent Conservative 1955-59
Judith Hart
Labour 1959-1987

Jimmy Hood
Labour 1987- Present

Karen Gillon
Labour 1999- Present

Leaseholders and Citizens Improvement Association

The ‘Leaseholders and Citizens Improvement Association’ was initiated by Mr Thomas Sorbie of 55 Lockhart Street. The organisation became established when Mr Sorbie brought to the attention of Mr Nathaniel Mains (Secretary of the local Labour Party), a situation in connection with the Hamilton Memorial Church Congregation and the Ministers Manse in Vicars Road relating to the lease. This issue was also said to affect a good number of households within the coming 30 years. An Association was thus formed in 1911 with a view to having the Land Laws amended.

The minute books (1944-1955) of this Association are to be found in the archives of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow (cash book also available). Meetings were held in the Miners Institute, New Street with a membership of 211 residents in 1944. The committee of 1944 consisted; Mr Robert Brodie (President), Mr Samuel Hutchison (Vice President), Mr Nat Mains (Secretary) and Mr Archibald Macfie (Treasurer).

With strong ties to the Labour party the committee campaigned to improve and raise issue with many local concerns including; the
condition of buildings, sanitation, rubbish dumping, roads, the local library, mail services, street lighting, overcrowding and transport issues. In many respects this organisation resembles the present Community Council of today.

During the years available (minute books) the committee primarily campaigned to improve leaseholders rights. Many householders were bound by ancient 999 year leases, which favoured the side of the heritors. Whilst the landlords (land superiors) were guaranteed their share in rent, the tenants who often built and improved properties on the landowners ground had no security in law if the landlord chose to foreclose the lease. The Association fought a long and ultimately successful campaign through the national press and Westminster. It would appear from the minute books that the Association, primarily through Mr Robert Brodie, were at the forefront of this national campaign, meeting with local members of Parliament and the Secretary of State for Scotland on several occasions, both in Westminster and at the subsequent Public Inquiry in Edinburgh. Representation was made to the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Bill in 1947 with regards to this matter.

Among other aspects of the outdated leases, the Association sought to bring householder leases in line with those of farms. This meant that at the end of the natural lease the tenant instead of the paying a reversion fee, should be able to take the superior to a tribunal to determine compensation for improvements made to the leased property. In what was a very passionate issue, many leaseholders were threatened with eviction, though government action prevented so until the matter could be addressed through new legislation.

In the Kings speech of 1950 he intimated the government intended to introduce leaseholders legislation to address concerns North of the border (a separate campaign was fought in England). In 1952 it was stated that there were 107 properties in Stonehouse affected by the original leaseholder agreements (999 year leases). This included a clause stating no Roman Catholic chapels should be built on the land belonging to the superiors within the parish of Stonehouse. However, on contacting the Arch Diocese in Motherwell in the year 2000 he intimated that they had no knowledge of such a clause. In 1954 the Long Leases (Scotland) Act was passed.

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