Written by Archibald M'Kay and originally published 1880, this 4th edition, revised and enlarged contains 414 pages.
The history of prominent towns proliferated in the 19th century, and this history of the town of Kilmarnock is one such endeavor. It provides in considerable detail the political life of the town, registering its most important involvements with the government and the role it played in national or regional affairs.
The town of Kilmarnock is the primary focus of this work, with attention to the local castles of Dean, home of the Boyds, Crawfurdland, and Rowallen. The religious nature of this southwestern town likewise required that much attention be given to the Covenanters, dissenters, churches in the town, and its religious evolution. The poetry of Robert Burns is so associated with the name Kilmarnock that the poet and his work repeatedly come to the fore. Other poets and writers of songs, as well as performers, likewise required attention, as did natural disasters, lists of magistrates and town officials, and other information extracted from local records. But overall, the history of the dominant family in the town and region appears and reappears.
The Boyds received considerable attention, but there were as well other local families of interest, including Brown, Craig, Crawford, Cunningham, Dunlop, Hill, Jamieson, Montgomery, Muir, Parker, Paterson, Paton, Reid, Shaw, Smith, Thomson, White, and Wilson.
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