The McEwan Family – Woollen Manufacturers in Crieff


The McEwan Family – Woollen Manufacturers in Crieff





 


The following was published in Porteous’  “History of Crieff ” and gives a contemporary account of the growth of the McEwan business .



Towards the end of the eighteenth century a small company carried a woollen manufactory at Dallerie which came into the hands of John McQueen but he was unsuccessful. At the beginning of the last century, Mr James McEwan when a boy, came to Crieff with his father, who engaged in woollen manufactures. On his father's death Mr McEwan entered into partnership with Mr William Hamilton and they started a woollen manufactory in a building at the foot of James Square on the east side of King Street . This building was then known as “The Warehouse “but in after years it attained the unenviable sobriquet of “Mount Rascal “.  Messrs McEwen and Hamilton carried on the business with much success for several years, but at last they dissolved partnership. Mr McEwan took over the company's premises at Dallerie  , while Mr Hamilton started distilling in succession to Mr Johnston.



Through the energy and ability of Mr McEwan, the business increased rapidly, and he soon had occasion to erect additional buildings and took his sons James and Alexander into partnership with him. Philip's old distillery was acquired as a branch establishment and these two manufactories gave employment to a large number of hands. In the course of time the firm of James McEwan & Sons and the Dallerie Wool Mills became well known all over the country . In 1859 an order was given to Messrs McEwen for 200 yards of Drummond and Stewart tartans, which was to be used as carpeting on the occasion of Queen Victoria inaugurating the Glasgow Water Works at Loch Katrine on 21st October. James McEwan at last retired, and lived quietly in Crieff until his death on the 10th December 1877

( author’s note :  It was in fact his son James who died then ). His two sons carried on the business for several years and eventually James withdrew, leaving it in the hands of Alexander. The latter , with the assistance of two of his sons carried it on for some time , but at last gave it up , and for some years the mill was in disuse . Mr Alexander McEwan died on the 21st February 1886.  






Dallerie Mill pictured in 1867 by Crieff photographer McFarlane







The  Warehouse – known locally as Mount Rascal where the first woollen manufactory was set up in the early part of the 19th century by  James McEwan and William Hamilton .

Examination of the first detailed census carried out in 1841 throughout Britain shows that the McEwan Manufactory was very much a family concern



Census for 1841

Parish of Crieff ( Quoad Sacra )

Milnab ( NV )

McEwans Manufactory

1 inhabited house



James McEwan male 60 woollen manufacturer born in Perthshire

James McEwan Jr male 30 woollen manufacturer born in Perthshire    

Peter McEwan male  15 born in Perthshire

Agnes McEwan female 55 born in Perthshire

Margaret McEwan female  25 born in Perthshire

Agnes McEwan  female 20 born in Perthshire

___________________

Margaret Bayne female 11 female servant born in Perthshire 






The McEwan house at Dallerie in 2006 – surrounded by newly built houses but still in private occupation.



According to Porteous , the Dallerie wool business was founded in the late 18th century by one  John McQueen but was not  successful . The father of James McEwan came to Crieff with his family about this time We know from the 1841 census that James  had been born in Perthshire . The census was thin in exactitude . It did not give relationships between members of the house hold and only children’s ages were exact . Those over 15 usually had their ages rounded up or down to the nearest 5 years . It also failed to give the place of birth only whether they had been born in the county of the census or not . Analysing this first McEwan census information we see that James McEwan was aged 60 and born in Perthshire . This was the laddie who had arrived in Crieff with his dad as mentioned in Porteous . We do not know his father’s first name but it could have been James as well . The family although not from Crieff were from not far away . McEwans abound in West Perthshire and originated in Argyll as “ Maceoghainn “ in Gaelic . Tradition gives their base as Loch Fyne side . James would have been born about 1780 . The Agnes McEwan mentioned in the census was James’ wife . Her maiden name was Monteith and they had married in Crieff about 1804 .  The family details  are thus :

James McEwan

Born: Abt. 1779 in: Perthshire

Married: Abt. 1804

Died: Before 1855

Wife: Agnes Monteath

Born: Abt. 1784  in Perthshire

Died: Bef. 1841

Children

1 Name: James McEwan

Born: Apr 1805 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 17 Dec 1877 in: East Toll Terrace Crieff Perthshire

Burial:

Married: 07 Oct 1849 in: Crieff Perthshire

Spouse: Ann Menzies



2 Name: Helen McEwan

Born: Mar 1807 in: Crieff Perthshire



3 Name: Alexander McEwan

Born: 21 Aug 1809 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 21 Feb 1886 in: Coldwells Villa Crieff Perthshire

Married: 10 Jun 1838 in: Crieff Perthshire

Spouse: Annie McOwan



4 Name: Margaret McEwan

Born: Sep 1811 in: Crieff Perthshire



5 Name: Agnes McEwan

Born: Sep 1816 in: Crieff Perthshire



6 Name: Janet McEwan

Born: Jun 1819 in: Crieff Perthshire



The census ( taken in June 1841 ) shows that James ‘ second son Alexander had married and was living with his wife and family in nearby Comrie Street .



Census for 1841



West Parish of Crieff / Quoad Sacra

Comrie Street



Alexr. McEwan 26 male woollen Manufacturer born in the County of Perth



Ann McEwan 25 female born in the County of Perth ( NB wrong she was born in  Carnwath in Lanarkshire )



James McEwan 2 male born in the County of Perth



Peter McEwan 1 male born in the County of Perth



His wife was  Ann McEwan whose maiden name was McOwan . She was born in Carnwath near Biggar in Lanarkshire in 1814 . Her father was Peter McOwan who was a builder and her mother a Janet Black . The family probably originated from the Crieff area as the name “ McOwan “ is found a lot around here . Indeed the McOwan of Highland Toffee fame was born in nearby Muthill ( see biography above ! )



Alexander and Ann had a large family and the daughter Ann ,married Lewis Miller  .



The family details are thus :



Husband: Alexander McEwan

Born: 21 Aug 1809 in: Crieff Perthshire

Married: 10 Jun 1838 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 21 Feb 1886 in: Coldwells Villa Crieff Perthshire

Father: James McEwan

Mother: Agnes Monteath



Wife: Annie McOwan



Born: 1814 in: Carnwath Lanarkshire

Died: 20 Aug 1895 in: Coldwells Villa Crieff

Father: Peter McOwan

Mother: Janet Black



CHILDREN

1 Name: James McEwan

Born: 07 Jan 1839 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 1918

Spouse: Ellen ?



2 Name: Peter McEwan

Born: 21 Aug 1840 in: Crieff Perthshire

Spouse: Mary Comrie



3 Name: Agnes McEwan

Born: 11 Dec 1842 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 19 Nov 1926

Spouse: William Whyte



4 Name: Janet McEwan

Born: 11 Dec 1842 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 13 Aug 1921

Spouse: Alexander Herron



5 Name: John McEwan

Born: 17 Mar 1847 in: Crieff Perthshire



6. Name: Annie McEwan

Born: 16 Mar 1850 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 02 Sep 1911 in: Bennachie Crieff

Married: 01 Mar 1876 in: Crieff Perthshire

Spouse: Lewis Miller



7 Name: Alexander J McEwan

Born: 01 Nov 1852 in: Crieff Perthshire

Died: 03 Dec 1930 in: Canada

Married: 04 Jan 1881 in: Vankleek Hill Ontario Canada

Spouse: Ellen Jane Jamieson



8 Name: William Black McEwan

Born: Oct 1854 in: Crieff Perthshire

M Died: 16 Oct 1909 in: Canada

Married: in: Ottawa Canada

Spouse: Margaret Urquhart










Ann McEwan , wife of Lewis Miller . Born in Crieff 16 March 1850 and died in

“ Benachie ” 2 September 1911 .






Parts of the old “ manufactory “ at Dallerie still stands

Above and below






As noted by Porteous , the McEwan Woollen business was run by Alexander McEwan the second son of James McEwan . His older brother , also called James , had retired from the business . James Jr lived in what is now Dollerie Terrace  with his wife who also called Ann and had the maiden name of Menzies . They had married when James was 45 in 1849 . Ann was eight years younger than her husband  . They had a son who, naturally, was also called James , named after his father and grand father  . Tragically , the young McEwan died aged 10 from hydrocephalus  or water on the brain . This must have had a devastating effect on the family . He was their only child . The death certificate states that he died at Dallerie . This perhaps also explains James premature retiral from the business .



Alexander McEwan died in Coldwells Villa Crieff aged 76 in 1886  having suffered paralysis for one year . The informant to his death was his son in law Lewis Miller . His wife Annie died also in Coldwells Villa , some nine years later , aged 81 .






The history of “ McEwans Manufactory “ and the family who made it such an important part of the local economy must not be forgotten .  Many of the buildings are long since gone but as one can see from the accompanying photographs some still remain . The McEwan House ( called The Limes ) is owned by the  Crieff Hydro Hotel and is split into two flats / apartments . The Hydro sold off much off the ground to allow houses to be built and it is an attractive locus in a pleasant setting . After the departure of the McEwans in 1872 , it was run as a woollen mill by the Auchterarder based Hally & Company . They altered  the building to suit changing requirements  and at one time  it employed over 300 workers . Power came from the mill lade which ran from the Turret Burn at what is now MacRostie Park southwards to the Dallerie works and then onto the River Earn at Bridgend . Halley ‘s transferred the business to their Auchterarder works in 1883 and the buildings were purchased by a Mr John McCallum of the Hosh Distillery for £ 2500 . It functioned for many years as a dyeing and cleaning operation known as the Strathearn Laundry being purchased eventually by the current owners Crieff Hydro Hotel .











 







 

Dallerie Mill pictured in 1867 by Crieff photographer McFarlane



The  Warehouse – known locally as Mount Rascal where the first woollen manufactory was set up in the early part of the 19th century by  James McEwan and William Hamilton .
Examination of the first detailed census carried out in 1841 throughout Britain shows that the McEwan Manufactory was very much a family concern

Census for 1841
Parish of Crieff ( Quoad Sacra )
Milnab ( NV )
McEwans Manufactory
1 inhabited house

James McEwan male 60 woollen manufacturer born in Perthshire
James McEwan Jr male 30 woollen manufacturer born in Perthshire    
Peter McEwan male  15 born in Perthshire
Agnes McEwan female 55 born in Perthshire
Margaret McEwan female  25 born in Perthshire
Agnes McEwan  female 20 born in Perthshire
___________________
Margaret Bayne female 11 female servant born in Perthshire 


The McEwan house at Dallerie in 2006 – surrounded by newly built houses but still in private occupation.

According to Porteous , the Dallerie wool business was founded in the late 18th century by one  John McQueen but was not  successful . The father of James McEwan came to Crieff with his family about this time We know from the 1841 census that James  had been born in Perthshire . The census was thin in exactitude . It did not give relationships between members of the house hold and only children’s ages were exact . Those over 15 usually had their ages rounded up or down to the nearest 5 years . It also failed to give the place of birth only whether they had been born in the county of the census or not . Analysing this first McEwan census information we see that James McEwan was aged 60 and born in Perthshire . This was the laddie who had arrived in Crieff with his dad as mentioned in Porteous . We do not know his father’s first name but it could have been James as well . The family although not from Crieff were from not far away . McEwans abound in West Perthshire and originated in Argyll as “ Maceoghainn “ in Gaelic . Tradition gives their base as Loch Fyne side . James would have been born about 1780 . The Agnes McEwan mentioned in the census was James’ wife . Her maiden name was Monteith and they had married in Crieff about 1804 .  The family details  are thus :
James McEwan
Born: Abt. 1779 in: Perthshire
Married: Abt. 1804
Died: Before 1855
Wife: Agnes Monteath
Born: Abt. 1784  in Perthshire
Died: Bef. 1841
Children
1 Name: James McEwan
Born: Apr 1805 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 17 Dec 1877 in: East Toll Terrace Crieff Perthshire
Burial:
Married: 07 Oct 1849 in: Crieff Perthshire
Spouse: Ann Menzies

2 Name: Helen McEwan
Born: Mar 1807 in: Crieff Perthshire

3 Name: Alexander McEwan
Born: 21 Aug 1809 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 21 Feb 1886 in: Coldwells Villa Crieff Perthshire
Married: 10 Jun 1838 in: Crieff Perthshire
Spouse: Annie McOwan

4 Name: Margaret McEwan
Born: Sep 1811 in: Crieff Perthshire

5 Name: Agnes McEwan
Born: Sep 1816 in: Crieff Perthshire

6 Name: Janet McEwan
Born: Jun 1819 in: Crieff Perthshire

The census ( taken in June 1841 ) shows that James ‘ second son Alexander had married and was living with his wife and family in nearby Comrie Street .

Census for 1841

West Parish of Crieff / Quoad Sacra
Comrie Street

Alexr. McEwan 26 male woollen Manufacturer born in the County of Perth

Ann McEwan 25 female born in the County of Perth ( NB wrong she was born in  Carnwath in Lanarkshire )

James McEwan 2 male born in the County of Perth

Peter McEwan 1 male born in the County of Perth

His wife was  Ann McEwan whose maiden name was McOwan . She was born in Carnwath near Biggar in Lanarkshire in 1814 . Her father was Peter McOwan who was a builder and her mother a Janet Black . The family probably originated from the Crieff area as the name “ McOwan “ is found a lot around here . Indeed the McOwan of Highland Toffee fame was born in nearby Muthill ( see biography above ! )

Alexander and Ann had a large family and the daughter Ann ,married Lewis Miller  .

The family details are thus :

Husband: Alexander McEwan
Born: 21 Aug 1809 in: Crieff Perthshire
Married: 10 Jun 1838 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 21 Feb 1886 in: Coldwells Villa Crieff Perthshire
Father: James McEwan
Mother: Agnes Monteath

Wife: Annie McOwan

Born: 1814 in: Carnwath Lanarkshire
Died: 20 Aug 1895 in: Coldwells Villa Crieff
Father: Peter McOwan
Mother: Janet Black

CHILDREN
1 Name: James McEwan
Born: 07 Jan 1839 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 1918
Spouse: Ellen ?

2 Name: Peter McEwan
Born: 21 Aug 1840 in: Crieff Perthshire
Spouse: Mary Comrie

3 Name: Agnes McEwan
Born: 11 Dec 1842 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 19 Nov 1926
Spouse: William Whyte

4 Name: Janet McEwan
Born: 11 Dec 1842 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 13 Aug 1921
Spouse: Alexander Herron

5 Name: John McEwan
Born: 17 Mar 1847 in: Crieff Perthshire

6. Name: Annie McEwan
Born: 16 Mar 1850 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 02 Sep 1911 in: Bennachie Crieff
Married: 01 Mar 1876 in: Crieff Perthshire
Spouse: Lewis Miller

7 Name: Alexander J McEwan
Born: 01 Nov 1852 in: Crieff Perthshire
Died: 03 Dec 1930 in: Canada
Married: 04 Jan 1881 in: Vankleek Hill Ontario Canada
Spouse: Ellen Jane Jamieson

8 Name: William Black McEwan
Born: Oct 1854 in: Crieff Perthshire
M Died: 16 Oct 1909 in: Canada
Married: in: Ottawa Canada
Spouse: Margaret Urquhart




Ann McEwan , wife of Lewis Miller . Born in Crieff 16 March 1850 and died in
“ Benachie ” 2 September 1911 .


Parts of the old “ manufactory “ at Dallerie still stands
Above and below


As noted by Porteous , the McEwan Woollen business was run by Alexander McEwan the second son of James McEwan . His older brother , also called James , had retired from the business . James Jr lived in what is now Dollerie Terrace  with his wife who also called Ann and had the maiden name of Menzies . They had married when James was 45 in 1849 . Ann was eight years younger than her husband  . They had a son who, naturally, was also called James , named after his father and grand father  . Tragically , the young McEwan died aged 10 from hydrocephalus  or water on the brain . This must have had a devastating effect on the family . He was their only child . The death certificate states that he died at Dallerie . This perhaps also explains James premature retiral from the business .

Alexander McEwan died in Coldwells Villa Crieff aged 76 in 1886  having suffered paralysis for one year . The informant to his death was his son in law Lewis Miller . His wife Annie died also in Coldwells Villa , some nine years later , aged 81 .


The history of “ McEwans Manufactory “ and the family who made it such an important part of the local economy must not be forgotten .  Many of the buildings are long since gone but as one can see from the accompanying photographs some still remain . The McEwan House ( called The Limes ) is owned by the  Crieff Hydro Hotel and is split into two flats / apartments . The Hydro sold off much off the ground to allow houses to be built and it is an attractive locus in a pleasant setting . After the departure of the McEwans in 1872 , it was run as a woollen mill by the Auchterarder based Hally & Company . They altered  the building to suit changing requirements  and at one time  it employed over 300 workers . Power came from the mill lade which ran from the Turret Burn at what is now MacRostie Park southwards to the Dallerie works and then onto the River Earn at Bridgend . Halley ‘s transferred the business to their Auchterarder works in 1883 and the buildings were purchased by a Mr John McCallum of the Hosh Distillery for £ 2500 . It functioned for many years as a dyeing and cleaning operation known as the Strathearn Laundry being purchased eventually by the current owners Crieff Hydro Hotel .





 
























































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