Renfrewshire (historic): Wikis

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County of Renfrew
until circa 1890
RenfrewshireTraditional.png
Geography
Area
- Total
Ranked 28th
156,785 acres (634 km²)
County town Renfrew
Chapman code RFW

Renfrewshire or the County of Renfrew (Latin: Praefectura Renfroana)[1] is a registration county, the Lieutenancy area of the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, and one of the counties of Scotland used for local government until 1975. Renfrewshire is located in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland, south of the River Clyde, opposite Dunbartonshire and divided from Argyllshire by the Firth of Clyde. The term Greater Renfrewshire is now occasionally used for this area.[2] For local government, Renfrewshire is now divided into three unitary council areas named Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

Renfrewshire's early history is marked by ancient British and Roman occupation. Renfrewshire can trace its origin to Walter Fitzalan, the first High Steward of Scotland who was granted Strathgryfe. Robert III of Scotland, a descendant of Fitzalan, established the shire of Renfrew based out of the Royal burgh of Renfrew in Strathgryfe, the site of the House of Stuart's castle and Renfrewshire's county town.

Renfrewshire emerged as an industrial region following the Industrial Revolution. In point of commercial and manufacturing importance, Renfrewshire was second only in Scotland to neighbouring Lanarkshire. The goods produced were chiefly cottons, calicos and silks, though ship building, distilleries and printworks also contributed to the economy. Paisley was the largest urban and commercial centre in the county by some margin. This distinction meant that local government in Renfrewshire was based in Paisley, rather than the county town of Renfrew; a practice which continues for the smaller Renfrewshire unitary council area which succeeded the county.

Parts of the county, such as Govan and Nitshill were incorporated into Glasgow during the early 20th century as the city expanded. Renfrewshire was superseded by the Strathclyde local government region in 1975, until its abolition in 1996. The modern unitary council areas in the county - Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde - were formed as districts within the Strathclyde region.

Contents

History

Paisley Abbey
The Renfrewshire coat of arms, incorporating the arms of the Stuarts

Renfrewshire's origins lie in the religious authority over the Strathgryfe area granted to Paisley Abbey by Walter Fitzalan. However its history goes back further, with ancient Roman and Brythonic heritage.

The earliest evidence of human activity in the area is traces of an Iron Age fort in the Busby area and a pre-Roman settlement in Overlee. When the Romans advanced in the year 80 from the Solway Firth, the territory that would later become Renfrewshire was occupied by the Damnonii, a British tribe. The principal Roman stronghold in the area was at Vanduara (Paisley). Following Roman departure from Britain in 410, the Cumbrian Britons, with their capital at Dumbarton, retained a hold on all the territory west of the Lothian — the Kingdom of Strathclyde. During the High Middle Ages, Strathcylde was conquered by the Kingdom of Alba, which in turn developed into the Kingdom of Scotland.

In the 12th century, during the reign of David I of Scotland, Walter Fitzalan fled the English county of Shropshire due to "The Anarchy" between Empress Matilda and Stephen. Walter rallied to the support of the Empress,[3] but when her cause was lost, Walter befriended David I, King of Scots who was an uncle of Matilda, and became, David's Dapifer or Steward. Accompanied by his brother Simon,[4] Walter came to Scotland about 1136[5] and fought for Scotland at the Battle of the Standard at Northallerton in 1138 under the command of David I's son, Prince Henry.

Fitzalan settled in Scotland and was appointed by King David I as the first High Steward of Scotland and was granted the lands of Strathgryfe - what would eventually become Renfrewshire.[6] In 1163 Walter founded, first at Renfrew but shortly afterwards at Paisley, a house of monks of the Cluniac order drawn from the priory of Much Wenlock, in his native county of Shropshire. The monastery steadily grew and by 1219 became Paisley Abbey.

Fitzalan's descendants would eventually become the powerful House of Stuart. As the influence of the Stewarts of Renfrew - the family holding the High Stewardship - grew, the status of the area was gradually increased. In 1371, Robert Stewart was crowned King of Scotland and in 1402 his son, Robert III established the shire of Renfrew crafted from territory previously within the shire of Lanark and based out of the town of Renfrew, the site of the Stewart's castle. From this point onwards, the county has been closely tied to the monarchy and the heir apparent to the British monarch, currently His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, holds the title of Baron of Renfrew.

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Modern history

From 1890, the county was used alongside the other counties of Scotland as a unit of local government with its elected county council, a position that remained until 1975. During this time, a significant portion of eastern Renfrewshire became absorbed into the growing City of Glasgow, such as the Parish of Cathcart, parts of the Parish of Govan,[7] and parts of the Parish of Renfrew lying north of the River Clyde (containing Yoker, Scotstoun and Jordanhill).[8]

In 1975 Renfrewshire was incorporated for local government purposes into the region of Strathclyde, composed of districts of which Renfrewshire was divided into three: Renfrew, Eastwood and Inverclyde.

In 1996, local government was again reorganised in Scotland to create the present system of unitary local council areas. For these purposes, the districts which made up the county were largely kept and became the council areas of Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde respectively.

In 2002, the charity Plantlife organised a UK-wide competition to categorise county flowers, of which Renfrewshire's is unofficially the Bogbean.

Politics

Former County buildings of Renfrewshire, now Paisley Sheriff Court.
Paisley town hall, part of the dual system of local government within Renfrewshire.

The role of Renfrewshire County Council was formalised by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929. The County Councils took responsibility for education, valuation and electoral registration. The towns and smaller settlements that made up Renfrewshire continued to play a large part in the administration of the county:

  • the large towns of Paisley, Greenock and Port Glasgow continued to be responsible for most local services such as roads, water and housing
  • the small towns of Renfrew, Johnstone, Barrhead and Gourock were responsible for services such as housing, parks and cleansing
  • the remaining smaller settlements, known as "landward" areas, e.g. Bishopton and Clarkston, had responsibility for parks and recreation only.

Renfrewshire County Council took responsibility for all other services in the small towns.

Renfrewshire as a registration county includes several areas annexed to and subsequently enveloped by neighbouring Glasgow in the 1920s. The county is still often used in postal addresses.

Parliamentary representation

Following the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, Renfrewshire was mainly divided into four constituencies for elections to the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. These were the county constituencies of East Renfrewshire and West Renfrewshire; and the burgh constituencies of Paisley and Greenock. From 1832 however, Port Glasgow and Renfrew had been part of the Kilmarnock Burghs constituency and remained as such, only being absorbed into West and East Renfrewshire respectively in 1918 with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

The distribution of seats remained generally stable during Renfrewshire's time as an administrative county. In 1974, the constituency of Greenock was abolished and joined with Port Glasgow to create the constituency of Greenock and Port Glasgow.

With counties abolished for local government purposes, more wholesale reform of the constituency system in Scotland occurred in the 1980s, following the Third Periodic Review carried out by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, and a number of alterations were made before settling on the present system for the 2005 General Election laid out in the Fifth Periodic Review. Today, two of the three local council areas in the County of Renfrew have a single constituency: East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, whilst the Renfrewshire council area is divided into the constituencies of Paisley and Renfrewshire North and Paisley and Renfrewshire South.

Lieutenancy area

The incumbent Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire since 2002 is Mr Guy Clark.[9] Mr Clark is a stockbroker and Justice of the Peace from Inverkip.[10]

The Renfrewshire lieutenancy operates out of the headquarters of East Renfrewshire Council in Giffnock.[11]

Settlements

Municipal buildings, formerly of the Burgh of Greenock - Renfrewshire's second largest settlement, now used by Inverclyde Council.
Lochwinnoch, one of the larger villages in the central area of the county.
Gourock in the west of the county, on the Firth of Clyde.

In modern times, the chief settlements in Renfrewshire have been the towns of Paisley and Greenock and to this day they retain their status as the county's largest and second largest towns respectively. In the late 19th century, the county was subdivided into two wards centred on these towns, the Upper Ward (Paisley) and Lower Ward (Greenock).

Renfrew was the only town in the county to hold status as a royal burgh. Three other considerable towns, Paisley, Greenock and Port Glasgow, were designated as parliamentary burghs. Barrhead, Pollokshaws (now part of the City of Glasgow), Gourock, and Johnstone were, during parts of the 19th and 20th century, police burghs as a result of their larger population, giving greater powers of local governance to local burgh authorities.[12] The county also contains a number of significantly sized villages, such as Kilmacolm, Neilston and Lochwinnoch.

These administrative separations are entirely extinct, with unitary councils in Renfrewshire's three modern council areas - Inverclyde (West), Renfrewshire (Central) and East Renfrewshire - holding full statutory powers of local government. Many of these settlements continue to be represented by community councils, sponsored by the local authority, albeit without any distinct powers.

List of settlements

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-000-184-427-C
  2. ^ http://www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/business-trade/support-for-businesses/business-advice/chamber-of-commerce.htm
  3. ^ Ritchie, R. L. Graeme, The Normans in Scotland, Edinburgh University Press, 1954, p.281
  4. ^ Anderson (1867) vol.ix, p.512
  5. ^ Professor Geoffrey W. S. Barrow, The Anglo-Norman Era in Scottish History, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1980, ISBN 0-19-822473-7 page 64-5, where it is stated that Walter son of Alan came to Scotland about 1136 and served as "dapifer" or Steward successively to kings David I, Malcolm IV, and William the Lion.
  6. ^ Ritchie, R. L. Graeme, The Normans in Scotland, Edinburgh University Press, 1954, [p.280
  7. ^ http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/towns/townhistory492.html
  8. ^ http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/parishes/parfirst783.html
  9. ^ http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page11470
  10. ^ http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/renfrewshire-s-new-vice-lord-lieutenant-1.152829
  11. ^ Lord-Lieutenants of Scotland
  12. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/entry_page.jsp;jsessionid=8D89806B61F0A91CBAC0DD4749395848?text_id=138450&word=NULL

Coordinates: 55°50′N 4°30′W / 55.833°N 4.5°W / 55.833; -4.5


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..
County of Renfrew
File:RenfrewshireTraditional.png
Geography
Area
- Total
Ranked 28th
156,785 acres (634 km²)
County town Renfrew
Chapman code RFW

Renfrewshire or the County of Renfrew is a registration county, Lieutenancy area, and one of the counties of Scotland used for local government until 1975.

The county town of Renfrewshire is the Royal Burgh of Renfrew, however local government in Renfrewshire was based out of Paisley, a practice which continued for the smaller Renfrewshire unitary local authority area of today.

Boundaries

Renfrewshire in this context covers the current council areas of Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

Renfrewshire as a registration county includes several areas annexed to and subsequently enveloped by neighbouring Glasgow in the 1920s. The county is still often used in postal addresses.

The Renfrewshire lieutenancy operates out of the headquarters of East Renfrewshire Council in Giffnock[1]

History

See also: History of the local government of Scotland

The County of Renfrew has its origins in the Stewart lordship of Strathgryfe.

From 1890, the county was used alongside the other counties of Scotland as a unit of local government with its elected county council. In 1975 Renfrewshire was incorporated for local government purposes into the region of Strathclyde, composed of districts of which Renfrewshire was divided into three: Renfrew, Eastwood and Inverclyde.

In 1996, local government was again reorganised in Scotland to create the present system of unitary local council areas. For these purposes, the districts which made up the county were largely kept and became the council areas of Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde respectively.

In 2002, the charity Plantlife organised a UK-wide competition to categorise county flowers, of which Renfrewshire's is unofficially the Bogbean.

References

  1. ^ http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page5243.asp


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Renfrewshire (historic). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Renfrewshire (historic)RDF feed
Chapmancode RFW  +
County of country United Kingdom  +
County of subdivision1 Scotland  +
Short name Renfrew  +

This article uses material from the "Renfrewshire (historic)" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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