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" Dolphinton, a post-office hamlet and a parish on the eastern border of the upper ward of Lanarkshire. The hamlet stands 7 furlongs SSW of Dolphinton station, which, as the junction of two branches of the Caledonian and North British, is 11 miles E by N of Carstairs, 10 WSW of Leadburn, and 27½ SW of Edinburgh. The parish is bounded NE and E by Linton, and SE by Kirkurd, in Peeblesshire, SW by Walston; and NW by Dunsyre. In shape a triangle, with southward apex, it has an utmost length from N by E to S by W of 3¾ miles, an utmost breadth from E to W of 2¼ miles, and an area of 3581½ acres, of which 7½ are water.

The drainage belongs partly to the Clyde, partly to the Tweed, inasmuch as South Medwin Water runs 2⅞ miles south-westward along all the boundary with Dunsyre, Tarth Water 1 mile southward along that with Linton; and Back Burn, rising in the S of the parish, flows 3 miles north-eastward to the Tarth through the interior. In the W along the Medwin the surface declines to a little more, in the E along the Tarth to a little less, than 700 feet above sea-level; and the ` divide ' between the two river systems is marked by White Hill (1437 feet) and Black Mount (1689). The rocks, over nine-tenths of the entire area, are eruptive; the soil, in most parts, is a dry friable earth or sandy loam. More than 300 acres are under wood, and about 250 acres of the uplands might be profitably reclaimed. The manor belonged in the former half of the 12th century to Dolfine, elder brother of the first Earl of Dunbar, after whom it received its name; subsequently it became a pertinent of Bothwell, and shared long in the fortunes of that barony. Major Learmont, who commanded the Covenanting horse at the battle of Rullion Green (1666), and long lay in hiding from pursuit by the authorities, held the property of Newholm, and was interred in Dolphinton churchyard; William Leechman, D. D. (1706-85),professor of theology in Glasgow university, was son of a Dolphinton farmer; and Dr Aiton, author of interesting works on Palestine, was minister, and wrote the article 'Dolphinton' for the New Statistical Account. Dolphinton House, a little W of the village, is the seat of John Ord Mackenzie, Esq., W. S. (b. 1811; suc. 1850), who owns 3027 acres, valued at £2262 per annum. This parish is in the presbytery of Biggar and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £208. The church is old, and contains 140 sittings; whilst a public school, with accommodation for 83 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 46, and a grant of £48,18s. Valuation (1882) £3464,4s. Pop. (1801) 231, (1831) 302, (1861) 260, (1871) 231, (1881) 292.—Ord. Sur.., sh. 24,1864. "

From Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882-4


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Church History

Dates of Old Parish Registers
d. nil

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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Pop. (1801) 231, (1831) 302, (1861) 260, (1871) 231, (1881) 29


Year Population
1801 231
1831 302
1841 ----
1851 ----
1861 260
1871 231
1881 29
1891 ----


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