Feuar or not but a Thank You note

After much searching and with help from the National Library of Scotland I have now confirmation that Samuel Ford is not recorded in the Register of Sasines so technically he was not a feuar.

This raises more questions.

We know that both Alexander Wright and his grandson, William Wright, are recorded in the Register of Sasines and that hereditary title to Tenement No 40 went from Alexander to William bypassing Robert Wright who would have been the legal heir in the normal course of events.   Yet the Wright memorial make no mention of either being a ‘feuar’.

Nor does the information correspond with the fact that ‘Mrs Samuel Ford’ is recorded as the ‘owner’ of her Crichton Street residence in the 1855-56 Valuation Poll.

It would seem that Cumbrae recognised Samuel Ford as an ‘honorary’ heir to the Stuart Street property which the inscription on the Ford memorial apparently recognised.

I have include a paragraph from my book manuscript which I think summarising events.

The Ford inscription is therefore not some sort of benign act of vanity on the part of Samuel Ford.  Nor was it a saccharine coated award bestowed by a gratuitous community for services rendered.  Rather, the inscription was a recognition, an acceptance, that Samuel Ford was worthy of being held in the same esteem as those who held heritor title.  It was a honour bestowed on one of their number, an appreciation extending beyond any utilitarian reason by those who themselves had little to offer other than the word ‘friend’.  The word ‘feuar’ inscribed on Samuel Ford’s memorial is therefore Samuel’s response to that recognition, a ‘thank you’ note written as only a quarrier would, in stone, a tribute to a community that saw fit to accept an outsider as one of their own.

Copyright John Ford 2020

The Wright Inheritance

In writing a historical story one is continually confronted with the changing nature of the material accessed.  As a result of new information being accessed the story itself must change.  Following my recent purchase of the publication by J.R.D. Campbell, Clyde Coast Smuggling, I have found it necessary to review any number of historical facts concerning James Ford’s father, Samuel Ford.

The information provided by Campbell has alerted me to readjust the location of Margaret Ford’s residence at the time of the 1841 Census.  Not only have I had to rethink my previous assumptions, but the valuable information concerning the distribution of the ‘feu plan’ of 1781/2 confirms what I had hitherto suspected, that Samuel Ford’s marriage to Margaret Wright had important social and economic implications.

For instance, the fact that the ‘feu plan’ confirms that One Thomas Hunter was given a plot of land along Stuart Street which tallies with the record of the 1841 census where Hunter, now aged 79 is still in residence, supports my readjustment of the Ford’s residence on Stuart Street.

Further, Campbell’s publication confirms that the residence occupied by the now widowed Margaret Ford and her family was initially granted to Alexander Wright, grandfather of Margaret Ford.  Remembering that Margaret Ford’s father, Robert Wright was the son of Alexander Ford and a mariner on the revenue cutter the Royal George, it appears and is probably true, that Alexander Wright bequested the property to Samuel Ford on his marriage to his son’s sister, Margaret Wright.

Such benevolence would explain why an otherwise unknown quarry labourer came to be known a feuar, an owner of property in Millport.

The full details can be found on the page The Wright Inheritance.

The illusive birth certificate of Robert Wright.

I have, for some years, been searching for the birth certificate for Robert Wright, the father of Margaret Wright who married Samuel Ford.  All these searches failed to locate Robert.  But today .. success .. I located his OPR.  For the details go to the new Births page.