The Newport, Wormit & Forgan Archive

J M Beatts Reminiscences of an old Dundonian, 1882

pages 56 - 58

The circumstance which gave name to this now fashionable and thriving village was the erection of mills for grinding the corn thirled to the mills belonging to the town of Dundee, the town's mills at Burnhead, on the east side of the Castle Rock, not being adequate to meet the demands of those requiring to have their grain converted into meal and flour, of which work the town and community held a monopoly by virtue of their Royal Charters. In the 16th century the Town Council therefore purchased ground on the south side of the river Tay, having sufficient water power for the mill wheel, erected granaries, a stone pier, and a house for the superintendent. To distinguish these from the mills within the burgh, those on the Fife side of the river were termed the Sea Mills. and the place called the 'new harbour', or 'new port', which latter name the village, which has since developed to so large dimensions, still retains.

In the second decade of this century Robert Dalgleish of Scotscraig, whose estate extended westward to the line of the Edinburgh road, resolved to lay out a portion in that quarter for feuing lots, so as to form a new village, to be called 'Maryton', in honour of his lady, whose Christian name was 'Mary'. A number of parties became feuars and erected cottages, and there was every appearance of the village becoming a rival of Newport. The laird also caused to be erected an inn or hotel, named 'Maryton Inn', in contradistinction to that situated near the boat pier, belonging to the proprietor of the neighbouring estate of Tayfield, and tenanted by Mrs M'Gregor. On the Maryton inn being erected a native of Fife, named Thomas Honeyman, became tenant, and endeavoured to make the business of the house pay; but the speculation did not succeed, and Thomas got deeply in arrears of the rents payable to his landlord. Mr Dalgleish being a kind-hearted and unselfish gentleman, long indulged his tenant, till at last instructions were issued to present to the Sheriff of Fifeshire a petition for ejection, or as the process is termed in Ireland 'eviction'. This being served upon Thomas, he waited on the laird at the office of the factor, a writer in Dundee, and complained that he had received an 'injection' by the hands of an officer of the Fife County Court. The laird with a smile asked him how he liked it; but Thomas being more of the genus horsey than literary, answered that he 'did not like it ava', on which the parties present could not keep in the laugh. Thomas stated that if it was a subject for laughter to them it was not so to him; on which the laird remarked that such a prescription was not calculated to cure the disease of impecuniosity. On this Thomas stared, not knowing what to make of it, when the laird told him that he was very sorry the speculation had not been remunerative, but that he would see that Thomas would not be further troubled about the arrears of rent. With this assurance Thomas took his leave, well pleased with the result of his personal interview. The village of Maryton, on being acquired by purchase, was annexed by Mr Berry to the estate of Tayfield; the name of Maryton was dropped, and the property is now known by the name of 'East Newport'.


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