Crum Family of Thornliebank
Robert Osburn founded the first printfield in 1778 in Thornliebank; when he became bankrupt, John Crum of Glasgow bought the printing business for his sons Alexander and James.
The Crum brothers expanded their business until it eventually employed over 1,500 people. Alexander died in 1808 leaving 4 boys (John, Walter, Humphrey and James) and a daughter, Margaret.
By 1819 Walter was in sole charge of the Thornliebank Printworks, which he built up into a thriving enterprise.
Walter Crum (1796- 1867) was a distinguished chemist and used his knowledge in the calico printing process. At 17 he left Glasgow University and studied in Syria, Turkey, France and Germany. He was the father-in-law of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin. At Thornliebank, Walter spared no expense to have the best machinery and to turn out the best work. It was said that in Thornliebank, "here were produced the finest textiles in all Europe". As a successful businessman, Walter Crum, F.R.S., bought Rouken Glen estate and mansion house. During his lifetime it is known that the royal family visited Thornliebank. When Walter died in 1867, it was said of him that he was "a remarkable man of unbending rectitude and love of truth, with a decision of character, public spirit and perseverance in whatever he undertook".
Walter's son, Alexander, continued management in the same style as his father, expanding and improving. He had many houses built in the village as well as the village hall, public baths, park and library. He was also involved in the building of Thornliebank School in 1875. In 1886 Alexander and his brother William converted the old business into a private, limited concern "The Thornliebank Company Ltd". In 1882 he secured the rights to various lochs on Mearns Moor and in 1887 had the Pilmuir reservoir built. Alexander was M.P. for Renfrewshire from 1880 to 1885. He died suddenly on August 19, 1893 at Thornliebank Station. The Printworks declined after this, eventually closing in 1929.
In 1896 the Crum Memorial Library in Thornliebank was opened as a memorial to Alexander Crum.
De Croc family
Walter Fitzalan was appointed by David I to act as High Steward in Scotland. He granted Sir Robert de Croc, a Norman knight, the Fief of the Levern Valley from the junction at the Cart, up to Caldwell, and including Mearns. He was required to erect a castle (i.e. Crookston Castle) and to organise an ecclesiastical parish (i.e. Neilston). He built Neilston Parish Church, which is mentioned as part of Paisley Abbey property in 1265.
Sir Robert de Croc's only daughter was married at the age of 12 to a younger son of Walter the Steward around 1250. As her dowry, she had the lands of Darnley with Pollok, Sauterland and Hurlet. Dubbs, Auchenback and Lyoncross were passed to her husband as her legal guardian. Later this family became the Earls of Lennox. A member of their family was Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Maxwells of Mearns
The Maxwells owned much of the land in Mearns. In a charter of 1298, Herbert de Maxwell exchanged over 8 and a half acres of his land in Newton Mearns for a similar quantity of church land in Aldton.
It was a Herbert Maxwell who was granted a charter by James II in 1449 to build Mearns Castle.
During the 15th and 16th centuries the Maxwells were largely engaged in territorial struggles. In the 16th century the Maxwells of Caerlaverock sold much of their land in Mearns. Meanwhile the Pollock Maxwells acquired Mearns through marriage with the Maxwells of Cowglen who also owned Patterton and Deaconsbank.
The Maxwells owned much of the land in Mearns. In a charter of 1298, Herbert de Maxwell exchanged over 8 and a half acres of his land in Newton Mearns for a similar quantity of church land in Aldton. It was a Herbert Maxwell who was granted a charter by James II in 1449 to build Mearns Castle. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Maxwells were largely engaged in territorial struggles. In the 16th century the Maxwells of Caerlaverock sold much of their land in Mearns. Meanwhile the Pollock Maxwells acquired Mearns through marriage with the Maxwells of Cowglen who also owned Patterton and Deaconsbank.
In the 1550's a feud erupted between the Pollocks of Over Pollock and the Pollock Maxwells over the baillieship of Mearns. At trial John Maxwell was found to be the rightful Baillie. During the Reformation Catholic landowners such as the Maxwells opposed this change. Eventually they adopted Presbyterian forms of worship. In 1649 Lord Maxwell sold all his Mearns property to Sir George Maxwell of nether Pollock.
He, in turn, sold it to Sir Archibald Stewart of Blackhall in 1657
Maxwells of Williamwood
The Maxwells of Auldhouse had been owners of the Williamwood estate since the 12th century. During the Covenanting period, Maxwell of Williamwood harboured some of the Covenanting ministers and in 1678 allowed a conventicler, or illegal open-air service to take place. The government troops broke up the meeting. Maxwell of Williamwood forfeited his estate, which was restored to him in 1688. In 1725 the family abandoned their mansion house at Williamwood when John Maxwell of Williamwood and John Maxwell of Blawarthill, (later Lord of Nether Pollok), became joint owners of Cathcart. Their castle became their principal residence until 1750 when a new mansion house was built near to the old, abandoned one. The house and its successors stood on the hill overlooking Cathcart until 1930.
The last of the Williamwood Maxwells was Miss John Maxwell who had inherited the estate from her cousin James who died in 1806. She sold the estate to Major Morrison in 1812.
Montgomery (Montgomerie) Family
The Montgomeries were a French family who accompanied William the Conqueror to England in 1066. Roger de Montgomerie was created Earl of Shrewsbury. His grandson Robert came to Scotland in 1140 with Walter Fit Alan the High Steward. Around 1157 Robert was granted the Manor of Eaglesham by Walter, possibly as a dowry for his daughter Marjory. For nearly 700 years the Montgomeries remained the owners of the Eaglesham estate. The following timeline gives some key events in the history of the Montgomerie family.
In 1388 Sir John Montgomery captured Sir Henry Percy. His ransom paid for Polnoon Castle in Eaglesham. Sir John married a daughter of Sir Hugh Eglinton thus gaining the Eglinton and Ardrossan estates.
In 1445 James the Second created Alexander first Lord Montgomery. He was a Privy Councillor and Lord of Parliament.
Hugh Montgomery (1483 - 1545) became the first Earl of Eglinton in 1506.
In 1612, as there were no male heirs, Sir Alexander Seton, a cousin of the last earl became Earl of Eglinton adopting the name of Montgomery with a change in the spelling of the name.
In 1638, Sir Alexander Montgomery, the 6th earl, known as "Greysteel", signed the National Covenant and fought against the royalist forces.
Alexander, the 10th earl, was a great agricultural improver and the builder of Eaglesham as a "planned" village in 1769. The land was sectioned into single and double tacks and let on 900-year leases. Regulations were established for the building of houses and the green area called the "Orry". Alexander was shot dead by a trespasser on October 19, 1769.
In 1791 the Earl of Eglinton had a cotton mill built on the Orry operated by the water from the Lynn Burn. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1876.
Hugh, the 12th Earl of Eglinton (1796 - 1819) left a massive debt, largely due to his investment in engineering at Ardrossan Harbour.
Archibald the 13th Earl was also very extravagant and staged the infamous Eglinton Tournament at Eglinton Castle in Ayrshire in 1839, which ran up a debt of over £40,000.
The estate of Eaglesham was put up for sale in 1835 and was finally sold to Allan & James Gilmour of shipowners Pollok and Gilmour in 1844.
Mures of Caldwell
The Mures were of Irish descent and their family motto is "Duris Non Frangar", which means, "not to be broken by adversity". The family is descended from Sir Reginald More of Abercorn, who was Chamberlain of Scotland in 1329. The two branches of the family in Scotland were the Mures of Rowallan and the Mures of Caldwell.
The following are key dates in the history of the family:
In 1515 John Mure captured the Palace of Glasgow.
In 1666 William Mure took part in a Covenanting meeting but had to flee to Holland where he remained until his death. He forfeited his estate including Capelrig in Mearns and Lady Caldwell was imprisoned in Blackness Castle. His estates were restored to the family on his death in 1690.
In 1710 William Mure of Glanderston inherited these lands.
Baron William Mure inherited Caldwell in 1718 and was M.P. for Renfrewshire until 1761. It was he who built Caldwell house in 1773, designed by Robert Adam. He made many improvements to the estate.
Colonel Mure, great-great-grandson of Baron Mure married Lady Georgiana, daughter of the Earl of Eglinton, in 1895. In the early years of the century, the family left Caldwell House, which was eventually bought by Glasgow Corporation in 1920.
Colonel Mure died in 1912 at the age of 42 before he could carry out many of the improvements that he had planned for the village and estate. The Mure Hall, gifted by Lady Georgiana, commemorates him.