This certificate sent in by Jim Cochrane shows that Blantyre man, James Hamilton was made a Freeman of The City of Glasgow for his services during the Boer War in South Africa.
Awarded on 1st February 1900, James had been a blacksmith at Forrest Street, before heading off to war. At the time there was a saw mills and an oil works at the bottom of Forrest Street, which may have been the place James worked. I decided to do a little research on who James was and try to find out if he came back to Blantyre.
James was born in 1876 to David Hamilton, a blacksmith and Marion Clelland. The family did indeed live at Forrest Street. On 5th June 1903, James, back from the war WAS back in Blantyre, for he married Rebecca Russell, a cotton weaver that day at the Established Church of Scotland. It is noted James’s mother was not present having passed away by that time. Rebecca was 7 years older, at 34 years and lived at former Blantyre street, Coopermindale Place.
Prior to 1901, there is a lack of census information for James, although there are several references to James Hamilton, Blacksmith at Glasgow. As such, the family may have arrived into Blantyre in the late 1890’s.
Partly from “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
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