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Extracted from Caledonia - A historical and Topographical account of North Britain, 1800


The parish of Cambuslang derived its singular name from the Celtic Camuslang signifying the bending water-bank, or the bank on the bend of the water. The church of Cambuslang stands on the steep bank of a winding rivulet which runs through the parish and falls into the Clyde, and the most remarkable bend in its whole course is that immediately above and at the church. The Celtic name of Cambuslang has obtained from the Saxon people the form of Cambuslang.

The patronage of the church of Cambuslang was connected with the barony of Drumsergard, which appears to have comprehended the whole, or nearly the whole of the parish. The territory of Drumsergard, with the lordship of Bothwell, was held during the reign of Alexander II by Walter Olifard, the justiciary of Lothian, after whose death in 1242, they passed, probably by marriage, to Walter de Moray, the progenitor of the Morays of BothwelL The property of the territory of Drumsergard was conferred on a younger son of that family, but the superiority and the patronage of the church of Cambuslang remained with the chief of the family.

In 1370 the lordship of Bothwell, with the superiority of the barony of Drumsergard, and the patronage of the church of Cambuslang, passed, by marriage with Johanna, the only child and heiress of Sir Thomas Moray of Bothwell, to Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, who became Earl of Douglas in 1389. This property continued in the family of Douglas till the forfeiture of James, Earl of Douglas, in 1455, when James, Lord Hamilton, having previously acquired the property of the barony of Drumsergard, now acquired the superiority of the same barony by obtaining a charter from the king as tenant in capite^ and this estate continued in the Hamilton family. In 1296 Conewall, the parson of the church of Cambuslang, swore fealty to Edward I., and obtained a writ to the sheriff of Berwick [Lanark] for the delivery of his property.

William de Monypenny was rector of the church of Cambuslang in the reign of Robert 11.  In 1379, William Monypenny, the rector of Cambuslang, purchased from Sir William Dalyell an annual rent of 6 marks sterling from the lands of East Ferme of Rutherglen, and he bestowed this as an endowment for a chapel to celebrate divine service in the chapel of the Virgin Mary of Cambuslang, and this was ratified by a charter of Robert 11 on the 8th of December 1379, which settled the patronage of the chaplainry on Monypenny, his heirs and assigns.


Mr. John de Merton was rector of the same church in 1394. John Cameron, who became the bishop of Glasgow in 1426, was before that time rector of the church of Cambuslang, to which rectory he was presented by the second Archibald, Earl of Douglas, whose secretary and confessor he was.

In 1429 the parish church of Cambuslang, with its property and revenues, was constituted a prebend of the cathedral church of Glasgow by Bishop Cameron, with the consent of the patron, Archibald, Earl of Douglas, Lord of Bothwell and Drumsergard, the patronage of the prebend to belong to the earl and his heirs, while the church was to be served by a vicar pensioner, to whom was assigned from its revenues a stipend of 20 marks yearly, with a manse and a certain part of the church lands. The prebend of Cambuslang was taxed £3 yearly for the use and ornament of the cathedral church. At the Reformation the vicar pensioner of the parish church of Cambuslang had 22 marks yearly, with a manse, ten acres of land, and a coal pit, all which was estimated as worth about £40 a year. The prebend of Cambuslang became the appropriate benefice of the sacrist of the cathedral of Glasgow. In Bagimont's Roll the prebendal rectory of Cambuslang was taxed £6 68. 8d., being a tenth of the estimated value of its spiritual revenues. At the Reformation this prebendal parsonage was held by Mr. William Haylton, who reported the income as being 187 bolls 2 firlots of meal, 19 bolls 2 firlots of bear, and £5 in money, out of which he had to pay 22 marks yearly to the vicar pensioner, who had moreover a manse, ten acres of land, and a coal heugh. He had also to pay a pension of £26 13s. 4d. yearly to Sir David Christison, and he had to pay a pension of a certain quantity of victual yearly to the Duke of Chattelherault, the patron, after payment of all which he says there remained very little for him to live upon. The vicar's land, with his manse, garden, and coal-pit, passed into lay hands after the Reformation. Haylton was succeeded in the benefice of the parsonage and vicarage of Cambuslang by Lord Claud Hamilton, the fourth son of the Duke of Chattelherault ; but the oppression of the Hamilton family by the regents during the minority of King James, obliged Lord Claud to seek safety in England, and during his absence " the Kirk," that is the Presbyterian faction who ruled the church, assumed the disposal of the beneficej and planted Mr. John Howieson, a minister, in the church of Cambuslang. At length, in 1587, an act of parliament was passed annulling the presentation and appointment of Howieson by " the kirk," and confirming the title of Lord Claud Hamilton to the parsonage and vicarage of Cambuslang during his life.

Lord Claud died in 1621. The barony of Drumsergard, with the patronage of the church of Cambuslang, continued to belong to the Hamilton family, and was confirmed to them by a charter of Charles II, to William and Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, in 1672, which chabged the holding of this property from ward to free-blench. In the 17th century, the name of the barony of Drumsergard was changed to Cambuslang. This has given rise to a mistaken notion that the name of the parish was changed from Drumsergard to Cambuslang. The patronage of the church of Cambuslang now belongs to the Duke of Hamilton, who is also titular of the tithes. The parish church of Cambuslang was rebuilt in 1743 on the same site where the old church had long stood. In the parish of Cambuslang, about a quarter of a mile below the parish church, there was in former times a chapel which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which was popularly called the Lady Chapel of Kirkbum.

At the Reformation the chaplainry of the Lady Chapel of Kirkbum was held by Sir John Miller, who reported its value as seven marks yearly. In 1565 Sir John Miller, the chaplain of the Virgin Mary's chapel of Kirkburn, granted in feu-firm to Alexander Bogil, otherwise Aikenhead, and Janet MuiTay, his wife, three and a half acres of the church lands, with the houses and garden belonging to the said chapel in the barony and parish of Cambuslang ; and this grant was ratified by a charter under the great seal on the 1 2th of August 1565. The lands which were thus granted still bear the name of Chapel.


See also: Drumsargard Castle


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Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022