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Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)

Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)On 29 December 1745, exactly 275 years ago to the day, the Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charlie issued a summons to the then Paisley Town Council to meet and account for raising a local militia against them.

This summons, along with a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary for a £500 fine paid just five days later by the people of Paisley, will go on display when Paisley Museum reopens following its £42m redevelopment.

Jacobite Propaganda Medal commissioned by Charles Edward Stuart

Unlike other towns, that were also fined by the Jacobites but later reimbursed, Paisley’s money has never been returned. Glasgow received £10,000 for its loss in 1749, and in 1750 Dumfries was indemnified with £2,800, however every application Paisley made was refused.

Archie Henderson, Social History Research Assistant for Paisley Museum said: “The history of the Jacobites is full of fascinating tales and having the opportunity to reinterpret the museum’s collection, tell new stories and retell old stories in a more engaging way is all part of the museum’s redevelopment. On 30th December this year Bonnie Prince Charlie will celebrate his 300th birthday, so what better time for us to remind people of this part of our town’s history.” 

Originally, Bonnie Prince Charlie fined Paisley £1,000 and took Bailie Matthew Kyle and former Bailie William Park hostage to ensure the fine was paid. However, this fine was later reduced to £500 providing it was paid in full by the following evening. When the time came, the town only managed to pay £300, and the payment window was extended by 12 hours. At the final hour the remaining payment was made to the Jacobites and a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary John Murray of Broughton was issued.

Henderson goes on to explain: “After the Jacobites were defeated at Culloden, and money started to be repaid to other towns, Paisley Council was advised that they should take John Murray to court, which they did in 1753 and the case dragged on for seven years without success. In 1760 an appeal was launched but again there is no record of any response or positive outcome, so the debt has remained outstanding.”

It is believed that £500 in today’s money would be worth more than £100,000.

The redevelopment of the museum will enable the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%. Significant items from the Jacobite collection that will go on display alongside the summons (dated 29 Dec 1745) and the receipt (dated 3 Jan 1746) include a Culloden sword passed down from the Carlile family; a Jacobite silver medal commissioned by Bonnie Prince Charlie; a painting by David Wilkie (1819) of The Veteran Highlander; and a headstone originally from the grounds of Paisley Abbey commemorating John Orr, one of eight Paisley volunteers killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746.

Paisley Museum is part of the town’s radical regeneration plan, and the redesign of the campus is led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam. When it reopens it is expected to attract over 125,000 visits each year and provide a £79 million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley’s collections are culturally significant and the museum’s refurbishment is a wonderful opportunity for the town to reinterpret our objects for public display in a way that is engaging and meaningful to visitors.

“It is also a real tribute to our curatorial teams past and present, that our objects are still in such good condition, and are able to illustrate the area’s rich culture and the people’s story.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. The museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

Sma Shot after 2

A £4.5m project to restore some of Paisley town centre’s historic architecture to its former glory has now completed work at several prominent sites on and around the town’s High Street.

The Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH.CARS2) has been delivering a programme of building and outdoor streetscape improvements since 2017, and will run until 2022.

Sma Shot after 2

The project – funded and delivered by Renfrewshire Council with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland – covers a defined area within Paisley town centre around the High Street, New Street and Shuttle Street.

It includes grants for building owners to part-fund the costs of restoring and improving the town’s unique architecture. And the results of the team’s work throughout 2020 can now be seen at:

41 HS Upper - 3 after works

– a building repair project on the upper floors of the C-listed 41 High Street (above Right Way Credit Union), with major stone repair. A separate project will start in the new year and will improve the ground-floor shopfront;

– extensive improvements to the town’s much-loved Sma’ Shot Cottages – the volunteer-run museum and visitor attraction in Shuttle Street – recently repainted with conservation-grade paint along with repointing works, stone repairs, new doors and repairs to the windows, gutters and roof;

41 HS Upper - 2

– a transformation of the outside of the Print and Copy It shop at 61c High Street, which replaced the previous shopfront with a new and much improved traditional-style one;

This is the fifth historic shopfront to be restored, with work already complete at 30 A and B High St (White Cart Co and Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience), 36 High St (the Shelter shop), and 44 High St (Uptown Barbers).

61C HS SF After Image_Day

Work is also due to be completed before Christmas to preserve and improve the historic streetscape in George Place – restoring the cobbled street by reusing original granite setts and kerbs and adding quality Caithness paving.

61C Before Image

Further improvements to other historic buildings and shopfronts are planned for next year.

Running alongside the building-improvement work is a programme of cultural and educational activity aimed at raising awareness of the town’s heritage, including a schools weaving project, a documentary on Paisley’s Mill Girls, and a drama project on Paisley’s role in the 1820 Radical War.

Sma Shot Cottages during

The current TH.CARS work follows a similar scheme which saw major improvements to buildings and streetscape in the Causeyside Street area between 2009 and 2016.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley town centre’s architectural legacy is one of the finest to be found anywhere in the country, with Scotland’s second-highest concentration of listed buildings.

“The TH.CARS2 scheme has been doing great work to preserve that by helping owners bring historic buildings which have fallen into disrepair back into use, while improving the look of others by restoring original architectural features.

“That investment has two more years to run and will help make the town centre a more attractive place to live, work and invest during what we know has been a challenging time for traders.

“It is great to see a number of projects have been completed in recent months and I look forward to seeing more go on site over the next year.”

For more information on the project, see www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2