Chronological History of Dalziel St.Andrews

(Note – in the above left image the clock had yet to be installed)

12th Century: First evidence of a church of Dalziel tells us it was the property of the Abbey of Paisley. In  the 13th century the church was transferred to the Canons of the Cathedral of Glasgow as a common church. The congregation was Roman Catholic then. The plain Gothic building was beside the old kirkyard (“White Walk” down from the RSPB Baron’s Haugh car park) and the manse was a “but & ben”. The church building was probably contemporary with Glasgow Cathedral and was dedicated to St. Patrick.

1560: After the Reformation, the titles of the parish were given by Queen Mary to the College of Glasgow thereafter at the beginning of the 17th century the titles fell into the hands of the Hamilton family who were patrons of the parish until patronage was abolished by act of Parliament in 1874.

1591: The first ordained Presbyterian minister in Dalziel seems to have been Alexander Rowatt, A.M. He stayed a short time and there seems to have been some difficulty getting a minister for such a poor living and long vacancies ensued.

1644: David Mayne A.M. was appointed Minister and session records started to be kept. (These records are now in the National Archives of Scotland)

1661- 70 Covenanters: John Lauder minister expelled from the parish for not conforming with the Bishops. There is a tradition that John Lauder secretly visited the parish and preached to his people from the “Covenanter’s Oak” now in front of Dalziel House. 1670 John Lauder returns to the parish ministry.

1673: The Kirk Session provided a school and made provision for a schoolmaster. To provide a living for the schoolmaster he was given a multiplicity of jobs: Session Clerk, Schoolmaster,Precentor, Kirk Officer, and Maker of Graves.

1697: Poor relief: An attempt was made by the Kirk Session and the Laird of Dalzell to make better provision for the relief of the poor. The congregation was encouraged to double or triple their giving so that the destitute did not trouble private families. This did not produce a satisfactory result therefore the Kirk Session consulted the congregation and they were in favour of a stent. According to an Act of Parliament the heritors (Laird of Dalzell) would pay half and each plough of land 10/- Scotts per month. This is the first instance of people being consulted and heritors rated.

1718: The west gable of the old church had to be taken down and rebuilt. This must have been very expensive as James Hamilton of Dalzell was awarded “one hundreth and fourtie punds  in consideration of the great expense he had been att in building the west gable of the kirk and building a convient school an house and yeard for the maister.”

1723: New Communion cups purchased at the cost of 10 pounds 10 shillings engraved “ Communion Cupps For Church of Dalziel, Mr Alexander Adamson Being Minister.”  These cups were buried during the 1745 rebellion to keep them from been carried off by the Jacobites. These cups are still in use today.

1789: Robert Clason minister, the small gothic church became ruinous and it was thought best to build a new Parish Church on a site at a more central location at the south end of the village of Windmillhill. (This church was later enlarged to form the recently closed South Dalziel Parish Church). The old Gothic church was taken down and the stones used for an extension to the manse and to build the Mausoleum for the Hamiltons’.

1843: The Disruption: at the union of the parliaments in 1707, The Church of Scotland was promised freedom to order its own affairs. However Queen Anne reimposed the right of the state to lay down laws for the church including the right of landowners to impose a minister on a congregation. This lead to splits in the church and the formation of new denominations and churches. The minister at Dalziel Parish left the established church and a Dalziel free church was built on the current Gospel Literature Outreach site (GLO). Services continued in Dalziel Parish Church (Windmillhill) with a new minister.

1874: As Motherwell expanded with new industries, a new Parish church was opened (8th November 1874) in Merry Street; the current Dalziel St Andrew’s Parish Church. The church was designed by architect David Thomson of Glasgow, seats 913 and has a steeple 132ft high (40m). Sir John Watson (coal master) of Earnock and Neisland gave a 4 faced illuminated clock and 18cwt. (914kg) bell to the church. The beadle had to ring the bell at 05.30, 18.00 and 22.00 each working day paid for by the Town Council. The building is now B listed.

1897: Extension to Dalziel Parish Church; new suit of halls, anterooms and church officer flat.

1900: Union of Free and United Presbyterian Churches to form Dalziel United Free Church

1904: First satellite church of Dalziel opened as St. Andrew’s Church (7th October 1904). Designed by Architect Alexander Cullen. Now Calvary Church.

1915: Dalziel United Free Church replaced in Byzantine style copied from Sancta Sophia Istanbul; the present structure of the GLO.

1929: Dalziel United Free Church joins the established Church of Scotland; renamed Dalziel North Parish Church. Dalziel Parish Church renamed Dalziel High.

1963: New hall added to Dalziel High Church.

1970: Union of Dalziel High and Dalziel North Churches renamed Dalziel Parish Church.

1990/91: New manse built in church grounds.

1996: Dalziel Parish Church and St. Andrew’s Parish Church unite to form Dalziel St. Andrew’s Parish Church. St. Andrew’s church building sold to Calvary church.

Ministers since the Reformation

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Ministers Since The Reformation – 1560

1566-67Robert Fisher 1567-74John Robertson
1574-80Robert Kerr    1591-92Alexander Rowat
1594-1601Luke Stirling   1603-05David Pollock
1607-55David Mayne  1659-62John Lauder
1664-70Walter Birnie  1670-84John Lauder
1685-87John Aird 1687-89John Lauder
1697-1733Alexander Adamson 1734-36Hugh McVicar
1736-40Daniel McQueen 1744-58John Pinkerton
1759-60James Frame 1761-85Richard Robertson
1786-1801Robert Clayson 1801-08William Aird Thomson
1808- James Clayson   

The Disruption Of The Church      –  1843

Dalziel Parish Church                           Dalziel Free Church

1844-74Joseph Loudon        -52James Clayson
1874-1913David Scott 1854-95David Ogilvy
1914-18George Marr  1896- Thomas Marshall
1919-28Stewart Thomson   

The Union Of The Churches  –  1929

Dalziel High Church                               Dalziel North Church

1929-50J. Bryce Jamieson        -1931Thomas Marshall
1951-59W. Grant Anderson 1931-47       W. Harland Coghill
1960-67James M. Davidson 1948-55Alistair M. Rennie
1968- William C. Bruce 1956-69James C. Mitchell

The Union Of The Congregations  –  1970

Dalziel Parish Church

1970 – 95William C. Bruce  

St. Andrew’s Parish Church

1904-32James Gellatly1932-49George Wallace
1951-56Walter Lyall1957-72George W. Baird
1973-81Alistair J. McTavish1981-88Hugh Sawers
1989-96Allan S. Vint  

The Union Of The Congregations – 1996

Dalziel St. Andrew’s Parish church

1996-2018Derek W. Hughes2020-Alistair S. May

Other Information

Pews were numbered for the purpose of people paying rent for a specific pew. This raised an income for the church. Annual seat rents varied from 1/- (5p) to 1/-6d (7.5p) in 1730.

The Lord of the manor, Lord Hamilton of Dalzell, occupied the front pew in the gallery facing the pulpit, hence the extra leg room. Note the different spelling of the family name Dalzell and the church Dalziel both pronounced DL. The name comes from old Gaelic “Dal Geal” the “white holm” or “beautiful meadow”. King Kenneth I called for a volunteer to rescue a captured kinsman from certain death by hanging. One man shouted “Dal Yell– I dare”.  He was successful and received the name Dalzell, was granted a coat of arms,  a naked man hanging from a gibbet, and the lands now known as Dalzell.

In the early days the Kirk Session and the minister were responsible for schools and education, the appointment of teachers, moral  discipline in the parish, food for the poor and the renting of  the ‘mort cloth.’

The Parish School at Knowetop (1822-1861) moved to the Cross stone, down from the current Crosshill Parish Church. The Schoolmaster was paid £1.5/- (£1.10p) per annum in 1673 he acted as Session Clerk, Kirk Officer and maker of graves for the dead. This supplemented his income as well as a free house.

The ‘mort cloth’ was rented out by the Session to the bereaved family to cover the dead body (no coffins) prior to burial. If you did not rent the cloth you could not be buried. Some Sessions had smaller cloths to rent for a deceased child at a lower rental figure.

Minutes were and still are kept of each Kirk Session meeting the earliest of Dalziel Parish Church date from 1644 to 1750. These two slim fragile volumes were recently found in the church archives and handed over to The National Archives of Scotland (NAS). They will now be preserved and when digitised can be viewed in the NAS reading rooms.

Excerpts from the Minute Books

The following are some excerpts from the 1644 to 1750 minute books.

The original Church with its tithes and other property was granted to the Abbots of Paisley in the 12th century and was dedicated to St. Patrick. It was a plain gothic building having a font for holy water. This font or its immediate successor is said to be installed in South Dalziel Church (now Studio). The site of the building was alongside the old burial ground in Dalzell. The old Church was taken down in 1798 some of the stone being used in building an addition to the old manse. South Dalziel Church was built in 1789, so that meant the old Church stood derelict for about 10 years.

In 1644 which is the date of the first entry in our existing records, the church had a membership of 148.

The parish was divided into three parts with an elder for each. In 1697 the Revd. Alexander Adamson was ordained minister of the Gospel at Dalziel. More detailed records were then kept. A communion roll was compiled with the names of elders and their districts. The Elders Districts were;  Wm. Smith, had as his charge Dalzell Place (Dalzell House), The Barrons, The Cuningair, Broomside, Carshogle, Airbles and Motherwell.  John Mackie’s charge the Miltoun, The Mill, Coursington, the Two Todholeburns, Bridgend, Bankhead, Upper and Nether Johnstone, The Meadowhead and Ravenscraig. Robert Altoun, the Windmillhill, Parkhead, Flemington, Newhouse, Burnsgrains, The Shiels, Seabadhos, (?) and Craigneuk.

As can be seen from this the parish was a large and scattered one, with no roads connecting the various clachans, and visitations of the Minister and Elders would be made over rough footpaths, which in winter would be almost impassible.  Consider Elder Mackie’s district for instance. From the Miltoun by way of Todholeburn to Ravenscraig and Meadowhead, those “Lang scots miles, the mosses, waters, slaps and stiles” . Burns’ lines aptly describe John Mackie’s itinerary, and Elders duties were at that time a labour of love. In addition the Elders had other duties. During the church service they took turns spying on the congregation to see who was absent from worship without a valid reason. All forms of work were debarred on the Sabbath day, An Air of sad decorum settled over the place on Sundays, the general cheerlessness of the day can only be imagined.

Social life in the modern sense of the word was nonexistent. The grim struggle people waged to eke out a bare existence left little opportunity for recreational pursuits. The celebration of the Sacraments was an occasion for a large gathering of people from the parish and surrounding districts. The Communion in Dalziel was held on the third Sunday in May. The opening addresses were made on Thursday by the Minister assisted by his brethren from other parishes. Friday was a fast day and preaching resumed on Saturday with the Sacrament being administered on Sunday, while the final addresses were given on Monday. The Sacrament was recognised as a holiday, when friends, who had not been seen since the previous Communion met, and scenes not altogether of a religious nature were not uncommon.

Failings of parishioners were dealt with by the Kirk Session. An instance recorded in the Minute Book 1667;

June 16th: The which day Alexr. King reported that John Allen in Over-Johnstone had abused his wyfe in calling her words not to be named among Christians, ordering him to be summoned against ye nixt Lord’s Day.

June 23rd : The which day compeared John Allen and confest to abusing of his wyfe by his tongue, and gott down on his knees and made his confession privatlie, before the Minister and Elders. The Minister told him that if he did ever the like he should be put out of the Parish and stand in ye jougs barefoot and barelegged.

The jougs was a barbarous sort of instrument consisting of a chain about 18” (46cm) long one end of which was fixed in the stonework of the church porch. On the other extremity was an iron hoop or collar for fastening round the penitent’s neck. The poor unfortunate was locked up in this on a Sunday morning in full view of passers-by. This must have been something of an ordeal and it is little wonder that John Allen from Over-Johnstone expressed his regrets in the manner he did.

The Kirk Session took pains to see that poor children received free education.

August 21st 1698. The children of Elizabeth Werr were appointed to be keept another half quarter at scoole and wages paid.” William Flint was school master about this time. He came from Carluke and his salary was twenty pounds Scots (£1.66) per annum. This was augmented by payments for baptisms, marriages and burials from his other duties as Session Clerk, Precentor and Church Officer. He also got the odd “boll or two of meal” making the School Master a fairly prosperous member of the community.