- POLLOCKSHAWS, an incorporated town, in the parish of Eastwood, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 3 miles (S. W.) from Glasgow; containing 5283 inhabitants. This place, which is conveniently situated on the river Cart, and on the high road to Glasgow, was originally a small village distinguished only as the residence of the ancient family of Pollock, from whom it derived its name. The advantages of its position in the centre of a populous district, and its proximity to Glasgow, Paisley, and other thriving towns, together with the abundance of coal which is worked in the parish, have made it a place of considerable business; and the introduction of the cotton trade and the various branches connected with it, has also contributed greatly to its increase in extent, and given it importance as a manufacturing town. About 200 persons are engaged in the spinning of cotton, and nearly 400 in weaving with power-looms, for which mills have been erected; very extensive dyeing-works have been established at Green Bank, which afford employment to a considerable number; and several hundreds of the inhabitants are constantly occupied in hand-loom weaving for the manufacturers of Glasgow and Paisley. A post-office under Glasgow has for some years been established in the town. There is no regular market; but a pleasure-fair is held annually on the last Friday in May, at which horse-racing and other amusements take place. The town was erected into a burgh of barony in the year 1813, when the inhabitants received a charter of incorporation, by which the government was vested in a provost, bailie, treasurer, and council of six burgesses, assisted by a town-clerk and other officers. The provost and bailie are elected from the councillors every two years, and are justices of the peace by virtue of their office; the treasurer and the members of the council are elected annually from among the burgesses, and all are eligible to be re-elected. The town-clerk is appointed by the magistrates, and acts as assessor. The burgesses are admitted by the provost and council; and the requisite qualifications are, residence, and possession of property of the value of £4 per annum. All persons carrying on business, either as manufacturers or tradesmen, are compelled to become burgesses, the fees for which are, for a stranger £1. 1., and for the son of a burgess half a guinea. The corporation by their charter are empowered to hold courts for the trial of civil actions, and of offences not capital; but few courts have been held since the year 1821, prior to which the average number of civil actions was fifteen, and of criminal cases twenty, per annum. The police are under the management of the magistrates, and the expense is paid from the common funds of the corporation. A substantial gaol was erected by the County Prison Board in the year 1845, and forms a great ornament to the place. The parish church is pleasantly situated on the slope of a hill at the extremity of the town; and there is a place of worship for members of the Free Church, as well as other meeting-houses; the parochial school is well attended, and there are numerous friendly societies in the town.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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