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Arbirlot Stone

may date

from around



Patrick Allan-Fraser













(in 1875, aged 72)


David Dunbar Buick


St Mary's Episcopal

& the UF Manse

Hospitalfield House - image reproduced by permission of Angus Council


 The Corn Exchange is built in       1855. Four years later Market      Place will hold a Buttermarket                  every Thursday.


James Durward Lyall

( Durward Lely )

Louisa MacDonald (seated centre)


A cluster of mills by the Brothock around Orchard Street & Lindsay Street in 1859.

( Orchard Street is later known as West John Street, then John Street West )    >

Millgate Tan Works, off Millgate Loan

Arbroath's tanneries in 1854 are producing 500 skins per week

1850 - 1859

1850 (-57)  Hospitalfield House is extended & remodelled by Patrick Allan. The older or central part retains part of the structure of the original ancient Abbey's 'Hospital of St. John' (see 1250 AD) in the form of several old doors, etc, within the walls of the mansion. The southernmost part of the south eastern wall dates from the 17th century.

1850  Wm. Stephen (nephew of Alexander) buys a house overlooking the shipyard in Ladyloan.

1850  James Keith, son of George Keith, is born. He will be educated as a water engineer in the USA & Canada &, by improving upon their designs, take the family firm (started as a tinsmith & gas fitter business on High Street in 1823) to new levels, culminating in an amalgamation with the Blackman Air Propeller Ventilating Co. Ltd. to produce the new firm of Keith Blackman Engineering Co. Ltd.

1850  Plans are made for providing the growing town with an adequate water supply - but no action is taken.

1850  By this year 150 boats are registered in the harbour.

1850  Railway realignment makes Anderson Street a cu-de-sac. It previously met Gowan St.


1851  The population is 16,986.

18??   Rosely House is built by the Shanks family.

1851  Alexander Shanks' son shows their lawnmowers at the Great Exhibition.

1851  There are 4,620 people employed in Arbroath's spinning mills.

1851  Eight vessels are built in Arbroath this year.

1851  The number of Arbroath registered vessels reaches it's peak this year at 118 (over 13,000 tons gross) ( see 1850). This is (unusually) more than Montrose, Arbroath obtaining large amounts of imported flax via the Dundee rail link.

1851  Erskine United Presbyterian Church is opened.

1851 (Nov 26) The earliest written record still in existence of the firm of Keith is a handwritten quotation from George Keith to the Guildry, offering to erect a double brass handrail (ground to first floor) within the Guildry building for the sum of £5.

1851 approx (-1854) Shipbuilders Chisholm, Simpson & Peters operate east of the harbour.


1852  David Melville is born in Dundee. He will become a poet & reside for some years in Arbroath.

1852 The Arbirlot Stone (circa 1100) is discovered in the foundations of Arbirlot Church.

1852  'Antiquities' by Billings is published.

1852 (Sep 11)  James Lyle McKay (later 1st Earl Inchcape) is born. He is educated at Arbroath Academy & Elgin Academy. In 1874 he travels to India & in 1914 is pivotal in arranging the amalgamation of P&O & British India Steam Navigation Company. In 1921, now the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Inchcape, he is offered the crown of Albania, but declines. He dies aboard the yacht 'Rover' whilst in Monte Carlo in 1932.

1852 (Jul 11)  The Abbey Church in West Abbey Street re-opens.

1852  The full-rigged ship 'Elizabeth' (500 tons, 168 ft long), is built at Wm. Stephen's yard. 2,000 people assemble & inspect her before she sails.

1852  (Sep 2)  James Durward Lyall is born in Arbroath. He studies singing in Milan & under the stage name Signor Leli, joins the Mapleson Opera Company in 1878 as Don Jose in 'Carmen'. In 1880 he joins the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company & plays Frederic in 'The Pirates of Penzance'. Stagewise & in personal life, he then adopts the name Durward Lely. He becomes principal tenor with the company in 1881, creating roles in 'Patience' ('81), 'Iolanthe' ('82), 'Princess Ida', 'The Sorcerer' & 'Trial by Jury' ('84), 'The Mikado' ('85) & 'Ruddygore' ('87). He left the company in Nov. '87 & appeared in concert & grand opera stages with Adelina Patti & Emily Soldene, touring America with Patti 1890-93. After extensive touring he retires to Scotland & on Feb 29 1944 he dies in Glasgow.

1852  The foundation stone of St Mary's Episcopal Church is laid on Ponderlaw by Bishop Forbes.


1853 (Feb) A more permanent railway sta. with a masonry front & wooden structure behind, is built on Keptie St.

1853 (Mar 14) Dale Cottage Industrial School opens at 84 Brechin Road, just by the recent 'McGregor's Walk'.

1853 A full-rigged ship 'Varoon' is built at Wm. Stephen's yard. The 'Dawstone' is built by Chisholm, Hunter & Peters.

1853  Alan Reid is born. He will be raised in Arbroath & Forfar, become poet, Precestor at Aberlemno & Carnoustie and Schoolmaster in Edinburgh.

1853  The Guynd 'Temple' is erected in memory of John Ochterlony, 20th Laird of Guynd.

1853  James Chalmers dies in Dundee.


1854  St Mary's Episcopal Church, 'a good gothic building with spire', is built.

1854 (Jul) to 1856 (Sep)  Captain Joseph Ferguson of Arbroath commands the Calcutta built 'Edwin Fox' & will be the longest serving captain she has. The vessel's hulk will still exist in the 21st century in the care of the Edwin Fox Maritime Centre, Picton, New Zealand.

1854  (Sept 17) David Dunbar Buick is born in Green St, Arbroath. His family emigrate to the USA when he is two years of age. He will become the founder of the Buick Car Company, which in turn will become General Motors.

1854  A goods rail line between Elliot & Carmyllie is opened. Wooden stations are located at Arbirlot, Cuthie, Denhead, Redford & Carmyllie Quarries.

1854  Isabella Urquhart MacLeod McLennan is born in Arbroath. She will give birth to Harry Lauder in 1870.

1854  Arbroath has three tanneries - Ponderlaw, Millgate & Lordburn. 500 skins are sold each week.


Until the mid 1850s all east coast fishing boats are small & open (i.e. deckless and with no protective superstructure).

'In the 1850s' the Blue Bell Inn trades (probably at No. 169) High Street.


1855  The Corn Exchange (later the Olympia Cinema) is built.

1855  The British Linen Bank (now Bank of Scotland) operates from Brothock Bridge until 1976.

1855  James Shanks produces a lawnmower.

1855  Inverbrothock Church is elevated from 'chapel of ease' to 'quoad sacra church'.

1855-1859  Shipbuilders D. Farquhar & Co operate east of the harbour (now McKay's site).


1856  The United Free Church opens in the former St Mary's Episcopal Chapel, High Street.

1856  The Market House is erected at a cost of £7,000.

1856  The largest vessel ever built in Arbroath, the full-rigged 'Neville' (800 tons & 200 ft long) is launched. A flute band plays & a dinner party & ball is held on board. The same year, the huge barque 'Albatross' is built at Wm Stephen's yard.

1856  A cannon, one of the 'spoils of war' from the Crimean conflict (Mar 1853 to Apr 1856), becomes a landmark on Boulzie Hill until 1940, when it will be melted for munitions manufacture in yet another war.









1857  The Dundee & Arbroath railway is completed.

1857  The town has '2 Free Churches, 3 United Presb Churches, 1 Episc Chapel, 1 Independent Chapel, 1 Baptist Meeting House, 1 Berean Meeting House & 1 R.C. Chapel'.

1857  Samuel Fairweather's shoemaking firm is established.

1857  Francis Webster & Sons buy the Alma Works on Bridge Street (later a re-formed Catherine Street).

1857 The Bank of Scotland takes over 69-71 High Street, previously the Arbroath Bank, then the Commercial Bank.

1857  William Stephen dies, aged only 39.

1857-58  Shipbuilder Andrew Young operates next to the Signal Tower.

1857-1863  Shipbuilder Jas Drummond operates between the Signal Tower & harbour.


1858 (May 29) Horatio Lloyd & Arthur Lloyd perform at the Theatre Royal (Trades Hall), Arbroath.

1858 (Dec 10) Louisa MacDonald is born in Arbroath. Daughter of Town Clerk John MacDonald, she becomes passionate about womens education & in 1891 is chosen as the first Principal of the Womens College, University of Sydney (Australia). Against a tide of apathy regarding female education, the number of entrants gradually increase until her establishment receives the same financial support as mens colleges. In the 1890s she is active in the Suffragete League & the Womens Literary Society. Back in the UK in 1919, she buys the Abbot's house in Arbroath & gifts it to Scotland. She dies in 1949.

1858  (Dec 18) From the 'Arbroath Guide' : The barque 'Earl of Southesk' which lately left our harbour, has been obliged to put into Aberdeen harbour leaky. It was revealed that other holes had been maliciously bored in the bottom of the vessel than those discovered after launching.


1859  The Rev Dr Wm Duke becomes minister of St Vigeans until 1912. Ernest Street is named after his son.

1859  Only two vessels are built in Arbroath this year.

1859  Threats from the French - a new volunteer force is raised. (Source: M.O.D.)

1859  Underground buildings, somewhat in the shape of a beehive, are discovered at West Grange of Conan. A bronze ring or armlet, a bronze needle, stone cups & other vessels are found.

1859  13 of 14 geographical segments of Arbroath are surveyed by Capt. Martin R.E.  The final segment (harbour to Brothock Mill / North Grimsby to West Newgate) will be surveyed in 1861 & the entire surveyed area is engraved  under the direction of Colonel Cameron R.E. in 1863 at the Royal Ordnance Survey Office in Southampton & published by Colonel Sir H. James R.E. F.R.S. M.R.I.A. & C. Superintendent by October 1864. The maps are of an exceptional standard & present the town's layout in intricate detail. (See extract below & 'Streets' on the menu).

1859  From this year the Buttermarket is held on Thursdays in the Market Place.

The Cannon taken at Sevastopol

(map and right) during the Crimean War

1853-1856 will stand on the Boulzie Hill

until 1940

4515980640.gif Arthur Lloyd poster

Click on the poster (reproduced by kind permission of Mr Matthew Lloyd) to learn all about Arthur & Horatio Lloyd

Hamilton Green 1858

<  Hamilton Green - not so green in 1859.

Tower Bank House, St Thomas's Tavern

& the Regality Tower are shown.

Click the pics for a larger image

Hospitalfield Website Boulzie Hill cannon