The Malletsheugh Inn

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The Malletsheugh Inn, Mearns, Renfrewshire

The Malletsheugh Inn still exists to-day,  approximately 2 miles south-west of the modern Mearns cross, and on the right of the modern A77 heading towards Kilmarnock. The modern building that now bears the name the Malletsheugh Inn obviously bears no resemblance to the Malletsheugh Inn of the 19th century, although it does stand on the original site, and perhaps somewhere in the modern structure is some of the original fabric.

Photograph from East Renfrewshire's wonderful Heritage Collection. This shows the Malletsheugh Inn in 1907

At the time of the census of 31st March 1851, prior to William Allison's occupancy of the Inn, it was being run by an Allan Pollok and his wife, Mary Anderson, who had been married on 22nd May 1842. By the time of this census they had one son, Allan, born  1843/44, living with them. It would seem likely that Allan Pollok was related to the Allisons through James Allison's wife, Margaret Ritchie, whose mother was Jean Pollok.

1851 Census (31st. March)  Mearns (454)  Book 8 Page 10

Malletsheugh Inn, near Mearns village

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Allan Pollok Head 35 Spirit merchant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Wife 27   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Allan Son 7 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire

When William Allison took over the Inn is not known, other than he was in residence at the time of the census of 8th April 1861 . Equally we cannot be sure when he gave up the Inn, other than it was before May 1865, as on the birth certificate of his son, William on the 8th of that month, he is recorded as a farm labourer. As has already been mentioned this would fit with him coming into his inheritance of the rent free occupation of a "tenement" on the lands of Malletsheugh, on the death of his father James on 9th January 1865.

By the census of 3rd April 1871 the Inn was being run by William Allison's nephew, William Andrew, who was baptised on 7th June 1840 in Mearns, the eldest son of Jean Allison, William's sister, and William Andrew, the brother of the James Andrew who appears in the Malletsheugh farm censuses of 1851 and 1861.

William is listed with his wife, Janet Steel, who he had married on 6th March 1863 in Beith, and his children, Agnes Cameron born on 12th June 1864, William born on 30th December 1865, Jane Allison born on 31st October 1867, and James born on 28th April 1870, all in Mearns parish. They also had a general servant, Ann Lee, from Old Cumnock. William and Janet had at least a further two children, Janet on 31st March 1872, and Hugh Steel on 15th April 1874, both born in Mearns.

1871 Census (3rd April)  Mearns (571)  Book 8. Page 8. 

Malletsheugh Inn, near Mearns village

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Andrew Head 30 Retailer of spirits Mearns, Renfrewshire
Janet Wife 32 Innkeeper's wife Dunlop, Ayrshire
Agnes Cameron Daughter 6   Mearns, Renfrewshire
William Son 5   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Jane Allison Daughter 3   Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Son 11 months   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Ann Lee Servant 15 General servant Old Cumnock, Ayrshire

By the census of 4th April 1881, the Malletsheugh Inn had changed hands.  The head of the household was Alexander King but it his wife Janet who had the "link" to the Inn. She was Janet Allison, baptised on 21st July 1828, the daughter of James Allison and Margaret Ritchie, and William Allison's younger sister.   Their two children, Ann born 25th November 1868 and William born 7th April 1871, are in residence with them. (For more detail of Janet and of  James Allison and Margaret Ritchie's other children - See Appendix D.

1881 Census (4th April)  Mearns (571)  Book 8. Page 3.

Malletsheugh Inn, near Mearns village

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander King Head 36 Spirit Merchant Stewarton, Ayrshire
Janet Wife 50 Spirit merchant's wife Mearns, Renfrewshire
Ann Daughter 14 Scholar Glasgow, Lanarkshire
William Son 9   Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Forrest Visitor 23   Paisley, Renfrewshire
James Wilson Visitor 1   Govan, Renfrewshire
Mary McParlane Servant 23 General Servant Ireland

Alexander King died 9th February 1891 so for the census of April 1891 the inn was being run by his widow, Janet, daughter, Annie, and son, William. There is also a granddaughter staying, Bessie Innes, aged 10. As already stated for the census of April 1891 Janet was still running the Malletsheugh Inn along with her daughter, Annie, and son, William. There is also a granddaughter staying, Bessie Innes, aged 10, the daughter of Agnes Wilson, Janet's youngest daughter from her previous marriage to John Wilson.  Agnes had married a Joseph A. Innes, another "Spirit Merchant", born circa 1854 in Reay, Caithness.  Bessie was born November\December time 1880 in Barony, Glasgow.

1891 Census (6th April)  Mearns (571)  Book 5. Page 1.

Malletsheugh Inn, near Mearns village

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Janet King Head 60 Spirit merchant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Annie Daughter 21 Spirit saleswoman Glasgow, Lanarkshire
William Son 19 Spirit salesman Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Bessie Innes Granddaughter 10 Scholar (unrecorded)


I believe these photographs to be of Janet King nee Allison - landlady of the Malletsheugh Inn from at during the last couple of decades of the 19th century.


On his  "Old Glasgow Pubs" website ( John Gorevan has a description of the Malletsheugh Inn from an article from the National Guardian (wine & spirit periodical) in 1900.

For the census of 1901 Janet King is still at the Malletsheugh Inn with her son William and daughter Annie.  The census record for William Allison is the immediately following one.

1901 Census (1st April)  Mearns()  Book  Page .

Malletsheugh Inn, near Mearns village

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Janet Allison King Head 70 Wine & Spirit merchant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Annie Daughter 29 Housework Assistant Glasgow, Lanarkshire
William Son 27 Spirit salesman Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Janet King nee Allison died 31st August 1913 at Malletsheugh (Inn?), Mearns, 83 according to her death certificate but 85 in fact.

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