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THE

Scots magazine,

AND

EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,

For NOVEMBER 1815.

Description of NEWARK CASTLE, have been to the Lesslies, who in near Port GLASGOW, ancient times took their title from the

adjoining Barony of Newark, which THE castle of Newark (which must title is now dormant. The castle

not be confounded with two others seems to have been built at different of the same name, one in Ayrshire, periods; for over the principal gateway and the other near Selkirk) is situ are the words, “ The blessing of God ated in the county of Renfrew, upon be herein 1597," on another corner an elevated neck of land overhang “ 1599," but the front towards tue ing the Clyde ; in the parish, and a west is of the greatest antiquity. short distance to the east of the town, Most of the rooms are now ruinous, of Port Glasgow. Few spots in Scot. except the hall, which is spacious: the land command a finer and more va roof is empannelled, having the arms ried prospect. On the west, are the of the principal families connected populous towns of Port Glasgow and with the Maxwells painted on wood: Greenock, with the numerous ship- there are also some scriptural paintping in their barbours, the Firth of ings very rudely executed, but in very Clyde, and the heath-clad hills of vivid colours, which are now nearly Dumbarton and Argylleshire : on the gone to decay. north, towers the huge Benlomond; It is supposed to have been first while Dumbarton Castle, and numer- built early in the 14th century, as it ous seats of noblemen and gentlemen appears by Crawford's history of Rene in the counties of Renfrew and Dum- frewshire, that King James the Third barton, appear on the east. The granted a charter, dated at EdinCastle consists chiefly . of a square burgh, 3d January 1477, to George tower, with a battlement on the top, Maxwell, son to John Maxwell of and seems to have been a place of Calderwood, for the Barony of Newsome strength. It is decorated with ark. The castle continued long in turrets of neat, substantial workman- possession of that family, till it deship, in the ancient castellated mode scended to George Maxwell Napier of building. Over the window are of Kilmahew, in Dumbartonshire, who the letters P. M.; denoting that the sold it to William Cochran, E-q. of castle belonged to Sir Patrick Max. Kilmaronock: it was purchased from well ; and above the entrance of the him by Sir James Hamilton of Rosea most ancient part of the Castle, are hall, who died without male issue, the arms of some family, so much de- and it descended to Charles Hamilfaced, that it cannot be ascertained to ton, Esl, of Wishaw, who died unwhom they belonged; it may perhaps married, and was succeeded by his

brother,

brother, Robert Hamilton of Wishaw, The merchants are accommodated grandfather to the present proprietor, with extensive warehouses for West Lord Belhaven.

Indian and American produce, and The town of Port Glasgow, in the large ponds for the reception of imimmediate vicinity of the castle, is of ported timber. The harbour trustees modern origin. In the year 1668, have expended, within these ten years, the city of Gla-gow purchased 22 £.15,000 upon improvements, which acres of land from Sir P. Maxwell of are still going on. They have just Newark, when they afterwards built now (1815) contracted for extensive their harbour, and feued out streets sheds on the quays and breasts for and lanes for a New Town, which, preserving goods from the effects of with the bay of Newark, was erected the weather, and the large and beauinto a burgh of Barony by King tiful corporation warehouses, now Charles II., and with a number of building, will be inferior to none in farms in the vicinity, was, in the year the country. 169+, disjoined from the parish of The first dry, or graving dock, in Kilmalcom, and erected into a distinct Scotland, was built here in the year parish in the year 1730, when the po- 1760, by the Magistrates of Glasgow, pulation was 1426 souls. whe sold it a

ew years since to the In the year 1810, 3865 Magistrates and council of Port Glas. In 1811, 5116 gow : they have expended £.2000 in And now in 1815, 6000 deepening and improving it, and it

It is now the third seaport in Scot- now yields a very handsome revenue land, in regard to commerce; and the to the town. improvements of the town have kept In 1804, the vessels which arrived pace with its increased population. from foreign ports at this port, were,

Ships. Tons. Men:
Inwards, Foreign Trade,...... 113 18722 1081

Coasters,............... 182 7226 551
Outwards, Foreign,
.............. 177 25137

1692
Coasters, ........

119 7202 424

In 1811, Inwards,

Total,......... 591 58287 3748
Foreign,............

..... 176 91159 2045
Coasters......

161 8772 510 Foreign,..

185 30800 2204 Coasters,.............

247 16612 806

Out wards,

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Total,......... 775 87343 5565 The extent of commerce may be inferred from the total duties of cưstoms received for the year ending

5th January 1807 amounting to £.282,408 , 5 , 10.
5th January 1811

307,187,6 The revenue of the Town is prin. are now expending £.10,000, in the ecipally collected from a tax of 5 y rection of an elegant suite of buildings, cent. on house rents, on impost, on for a town house, council chambers, beer sold in the town, and the market court hall, and other public offices, with and harbour dues. The Magistrates a handsome spire of 165 feet high.

The

HISTORY

The beautiful steam boats, (the rently simple contrivance, suggested first that succeeded in Scotland) and by an eminent chemist of this place, which are now plying on the Clyde, Dr Murray. The principle may be were built here by Messrs John Wood explained in a very few words. The & Co. and planned by Mr Bell of specific gravity of the inflammable Helensburgh.

C. gas is little more than one-half that

of common air ; of course, the former must occupy the upper part of the passages and rooms of the mine, and

in point of fact it is found to do so. MONTHLY MEMORANDA IN NATURAL

It seems only necessary, therefore,

that the candle or lamp of the workFire-Damp.

man should be contained within a

glass case, having attached to it a THIS, it is well known, is the name tube reaching to the floor of the mine, given to carbureted hydrogen in and from thence conveying the air

This gas is generated necessary for the combustion of the most copiously in deep workings. It lamp. If the top of the glass case seldom proves troublesome in the have but a small aperture, the access mines near Edinburgh, but in those of inflammable gas will be prevented of West-Lothian and of Ayrshire, fa- by the continual exit of heated air. tal accidents sometimes arise from it. The using of lanterns was, we be. At the extensive Newcastle works, lieve, recommended by Dr Clanny, such accidents are frequent, and their two years ago; but the propriety of consequences dreadful. At the Feld feeding the flame only from the air ling colliery alone, two miles below next to the floor of the mine, (howNewcastle, different explosions took ever obvious an expedient it appears place, in the years 1813 and 1814, when once pointed out), had escaped by which not fewer than 120 persons the notice of all who have written on perished, many of them leaving win the subject of fire-damp. dows and children. To discover a Some other circumstances connecpreventive of the explosions of fire- ted with Dr Murray's contrivance, damp has therefore become an object deserve notice; and we shall state of the first importance, not only to them from our recollection of the conthose engaged in supplying the me- tents of his paper read at the meeting tropolis with coal, but even to the of the Royal Society of Edinburgh interests of humanity. Greater at- on Monday the 20th inst. tention to the ventilating of the mines To guard against the possibility of has with much propriety been recom- carbureted hydrogen rising through mended ; and it has been proposed, rents in the floor of the mine, and the that it should be daily ascertained by mouth of the tubes being placed over chemical experiment in what propor- such rents, he proposed that the tubes tion the inflammable gas exists in the should be turned up two or three mine, there being no danger of ex. inches at the bottom :-this, it is eviplosion till it amount to about one- dent, would completely obviate any Ewelfth in bulk of the common air : such danger, as the inflammable gas but this last is probably too nice and must rise to the roof as fast as it eston tedious an operation to be regu. capes from the rents. larly performed by miners.

The lamps may be either fixed or We trust that all danger of the re. portable. For the former, the tubes currence of such dismal events will soon may be made of iron or copper : but be removed, by the adopting of an appa- as movable lights are probably indis. pensable, he shewed, that small fiexi. combustion of the lamps within the ble tubes, perhaps between three and cases. four feet long, made of prepared leath- To this account of Dr Murray's er, covered with oiled silk, and var. invention, we have now to add, that, nished, might be commodivusiy at. by a curious coincidence, a distin. tached to the case including the lamp. guished chemist at London, Sir The additional weight of the lamp Humphry Davy, bad, about the very would be very inconsiderable, and the same time, suggested a safety lamp, workmen might move freely along, allied to a certain extent to the one with the end of the flexible tube now described. The Secretary of the trailing on the floor of the mine. Royal Society here, before the read.

pena

He observed, that any mixture of ing of Dr Murray's paper, mentioned the inflammable gas capable of explo. that that paper had been put into his sion must first be formed near the hands by the author on the 14th of roof of the mine; and that before such November *; and the propriety of an accumulation of the carbureted noticing this circumstance appeared, hydrogen as should fill the mine to the when a letter (received either that fioor, could possibly take place, the day or the day before) was read, exstate of matters would be indicated, plaining the principle of Sir Humphnot only by the smell, but by the ry's lamp. According to that letter, breathing of the workmen being af- it was proposed, that an air-tight lanfected.

tern should be provided with two perBut he mentioned still other cir. forations in the lower part of it), cumstances connected with this ar- merely sufficient to admit air enougli rangement, which give additional se. for the combustion of a common oilcurity; and these, for a reason which lamp, and that there should be an will presently appear, it would be aperture at top, to permit the escape wrong to pass over. He remarked of the heated air. In this way, as that the inflammability of all the in. long as the lamp should continue to flammable gases is much dependent be surrounded by common atmosphe. on their state of condensation, so much ric air, it would burn undisturbed, but so, that mixtures of them with com- the moment it should come in contact mon air in a state of rarefaction can- with the foul air, the flame of the not be inflamed: now, if any mixture lamp would be so much increased in of fire-damp (which is an elastic fluid volume by the accession of portions of not very highly inflammable) with the carbureted hydrogen, that the air common air, did, from some singular within the lantern would be speedily circumstance, enter at the bottom of exhausted, and the light thus extinthe tube, it would not, from the state guished, without any explosion taking of rarefaction within the case, be it place. self inflamed, but would rather tend Such is Sir Humphry Davy's plan; to extinguish the fame; and even sup- and we must say that it appears to us posing it were in flamed, the inflam- to embrace only a part of Dr Murmation could not be communicated to ray's: on the other hand, Dr Murthe external air, and there would

ray's either be no explosion, or one so feeble, that it would be confined entirely within the case.

* It may be added, that Dr Murray had liarly dangerous, be observed, a large communicated his views to several of his tube could be brought from any part friends in the very beginning of November

, of the mine where the air was known

more than a week before he sent his paper

to the Secretary of the Royal Society of to be pure, in order to sustain the Edinburgh.-N.

In situations pecu

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