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Minister of the Parish 1703-1723

Rev Leckie's diaries

Thomas Leckie was born in 1678 during the latter years of the reign of Charles II.  His father was a merchant in Glasgow.  It’s likely that he had a very comfortable childhood because at that time merchants as a class were better off in material comforts than anyone else in Scotland, except for the richest of the nobility.

The times of Thomas’s childhood and youth were turbulent.  Events centred on the struggle between Catholics and Protestants and between Episcopalians and Presbyterians.  We don’t know whether or not these events affected the family directly, but the issues were bound to have been of great concern to them.

Thomas went up to Glasgow University - probably in the late 1690’s - and was licensed as a Minister by the Presbytery in 1702. The following year he was ordained Minister in the Parish of Kilmaronock which was to prove to be the only charge in his relatively short life. This was a period of stability for the church following years of turmoil during which the crown tried to impose a system of episcopacy in Scotland.


The Rev Thomas Leckie wrote a diary from 1st June 1718 to 31st August 1719 which he titled

A Memoriall Of Occurences. It was written in a small, leather bound note book in secretary script. Along with four volumes of his sermons and a mortcloth book, they are held by Glasgow University Library Archive on behalf of Kilmaronock-Gartocharn Kirk Session. KOKT are very fortunate to have a transcription of the diary written by Ruth Murray in the 1960s. The notebooks she transcribed the diary into have been scanned and can be read here. Please note, depending on your internet speed, the files may take a while to download.

The diary was written during the period of disturbances following the first Jacobite Rising of 1715. The Garrison at Inversnaid was being built at this time to check the depredations of the cattle rustling, clan McGregor. The diary notes the kidnap of a stone mason working on the garrison. Cattle thieving was an ever, present threat in Kilmaronock at this time. On another occasion he notes the local blacksmith making stronger chains for the tethering of his cows. He uses ferry crossings on the River Endrick; Colomun Ferry to Buchanan and the Endrick Boat to Drymen. 


The present manse was built in 1804. The previous manse was a heather thatched building. Much was grown in the glebe e.g. bear (an early form of barley) for his ale, corn (oats). The cutting and gathering of the peats was a significant event in June 1718. A piper played at the work. He also burned coal brought over the hill from Kilpatrick.

Thomas led a remarkably busy life travelling round this parish examining his congregation and assisting neighbouring ministers in five-day long communion sessions, visiting the sick, baptising babies, marrying couples and preparing for his church services and preaching. Interestingly he never records conducting any funerals though he does attend a relative’s funeral in Glasgow.

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