Archibald Dickson (1832 -1916) & Elizabeth Anderson (1835 - 1917)

Archibald Dickson was born on 17th April, 1832 at Bridge End, Linlithgow Parish in Linlithgowshire, Scotland. His parents were Agricultural Labourer Alexander Dickson and Margaret Laurieston.

1860 Map of Bridge End, Linlithgow Parish1860 Map of Bridge End, Linlithgow ParishNational Library of Scotland

In 1856, Bridge-end in Linlithgow Parish, just east of the town of Linlithgow, was described as follows:

A large farmhouse 2 storeys high and slated, having very extensive offices and threshing mill propelled by water, all in very excellent repair. There is a large farm and vegetable garden at present occupied by Mr Christopher Veitch and the property of Captain Stewart of Champfleurie House.

Scotland's Places OS1/34/47/9

Bridge End Farmhouse todayBridge End Farmhouse todayGoogle Street View

At the time of the 1841 Census (7th June), the Dickson family was still residing at Bridge End. Alexander (38) was working as an Agricultural Labourer and Margaret was aged 35. Residing with them were their 5 children: James (10), Archibald (8), Helen (6), Alexander (4), David (7 months.)

At the time of the 1851 Census, Alexander (48) and Margaret (48) had moved some 5 miles east to Echline Farm in Dalmeny Parish. James (20), employed as a Miller, Archibald (18), a Farm Servant, Ellen (16) was 'At Home', David (10) was a Scholar and William (5) was also 'At Home.' Missing son Alexander (14) was still employed as a Farm Labourer at Bridge End in Linlithgow Parish. The family's address was recorded as 6th Cot, Westfield Echline.

1855 Map of Echline Farm, Dalmeny Parish1855 Map of Echline Farm, Dalmeny ParishNational Library of Scotland

Echline Cots todayEchline Cots todayGoogle Street View

Elizabeth Anderson was born in around 1835 in the village of Redding, Polmont Parish in Stirlingshire. Her parents were David Anderson, Coal Grieve and Elizabeth Johnston, who married on 28th November, 1826 in Polmont. Elizabeth was the 5th of 10 children born to David and Elizabeth.

At the time of the 1841 Census (7th June), Elizabeth, aged 5, was residing with her family at Standridge Colliery in Muiravonside Parish, just across the parish boundary from Polmont. Her father David was a Coal Grieve (Mine Overseer or Manager)

1860 Map showing Standrig Colliery1860 Map showing Standrig CollieryNational Library of Scotland

Standrig: A group of houses erected for the accommodation of the Colliers in the district, they are all one storey, tiled and good repair. Property of James Russell, Esq., Writer, Falkirk.

ScotlandsPlaces OS1/32/21/25

At the time of the 1851 Census (31st March), Elizabeth Anderson, now 15, was employed as a House Servant at Tophill Cottage in Camelon, the home of James Ronald (46), a Farmer and Cattle Dealer. Also boarding at Tophill Cottage was John Oswald, the minister of the Established Church at Camelon.

Elizabeth's family at this time were still residing 4 miles to the south-east at Standrig Colliery in Muiravonside Parish. Her father David (45), now widowed, was still employed as a Coal Grieve and had the company of 8 of Elizabeth's siblings.

On 20th July, 1857, at Greenbank, the 22-year-old Elizabeth Anderson gave birth to a son, David Anderson, by a father omitted from the birth record.

1860 Map showing Greenbank1860 Map showing GreenbankNational Library of Scotland

Greenbank: This name applies to a number of dwelling houses situated a little to south of the junction of the Union Canal and the Forth & Clyde Canal.

ScotlandsPlaces OS1/32/11/105

Since he was last located at Echline in Dalmeny Parish in 1851 Archibald Dickson had ventured the 15 miles west to Camelon and met Elizabeth Anderson. They married at Bantaskine in Falkirk on 9th December, 1859. Archibald was 27 and Elizabeth was 24. Witnesses to the marriage were David Anderson and James Dickson, brothers of the betrothed. Archibald's father Alexander was recorded as a Farm Servant while Elizabeth's father David was an Alum Maker.

Archibald and Elizabeth Dickson's first child together, Elizabeth, was born on 15th March, 1860 at Lock 16 in Camelon and at the time of the 1861 Census (8th April) the three were still residing at Lock 16. Archibald was 28 was employed as Ploughman. Elizabeth was 25 and their daughter was one year old.

in 1790 the Forth & Clyde Canal was opened from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde to allow seagoing vessels to travel the 35 miles, via a system of 39 locks, from east (at Grangemouth) to west (at Bowling) or vice versa, thereby avoiding the long passage around the north of Scotland. It also provided the fast movement of goods. Agricultural produce, mineral resources and locally produced goods could be transported more easily across Scotland. It also acted as a way for travellers to move across Scotland using "Swift" boats that linked to coach services.

In 1822, The Union Canal, full name the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal, was opened and connected the Forth & Clyde Canal at its Lock 16 to Edinburgh City at Port Hopetoun near Lothian Road.

A number of small industrial concerns grew up around Lock 16 and the area soon adopted the name of the lock.

1860 Map showing Lock 16 area.1860 Map showing Lock 16 area.National Library of Scotland

At the same time, Archibald's parents Alexander Dickson (57), working as a Ploughman, and Margaret (57) are residing at Bankton Mains Offices in Mid Calder, West Lothian. Also resident are their youngest son William (15), a Farm Worker, and 3-year-old Alexander Allan, recorded as a grandson of Alexander and Margaret and who was the son of Alexander and Margaret's daughter Helen and an unnamed father.

1855 Map showing Bankton Mains Farm in Mid Calder Parish1855 Map showing Bankton Mains Farm in Mid Calder ParishNational Library of Scotland

Bankton Mains: A farm house with offices & a farm of about 200 acres attached, the property of A. Bruce. The house is at present occupied by agricultural labourers.

ScotlandsPlaces OS1/11/24/7

Meanwhile, Elizabeth's father David Anderson (51), employed as an Alum Works Foreman, was residing in Camelon with his daughter Helen (21) and son James (19), an Iron Foundry Worker. Both of these industrial concerns can be seen on the 1860 map. Also resident was 2-year-old David Cunningham, Elizabeth's son.

On 11th April, 1866, Elizabeth's father, the 60-year-old David Anderson died of Inflammation of the Lungs at Greenbank, Camelon. His death was reported by his son, David, residing at Bridgend, Denny, who reported his father's occupation at the time of his death as Alum Works Manager.

At the time of the 1871 Census (3rd April), Archibald (38) and Elizabeth Dickson (35) were residing in Camelon. Archibald was now employed as a Distillery Carter. Elizabeth (11), Alexander (9) and Janet (9) were Scholars, James (3) . Residing with them was Elizabeth's son David Anderson, a 13-year-old Moulder.

Archibald was employed at the Rosebank Distillery in Camelon.

The distillery was founded on the east side of the Forth and Clyde canal in 1840 on the site of an old maltings. It was successful enough that by 1864 it had not only been expanded, but Rosebank had also bought and merged with the older Camelon Distillery on the opposite bank of the canal and been almost completely rebuilt.

When the brewing and distilling historian Alfred Barnard visited in 1886, he found a large, modern distillery, with operations spanning the canal. The former Camelon Distillery had become Rosebank's maltings and there were daily deliveries to and from Glasgow by boat. It was a textbook example of a successful Victorian distilery.

The Whisky Exchange

1860 Map showing Rosebank Distillery.1860 Map showing Rosebank Distillery.National Library of Scotland

So Archibald no longer worked on the land and his experience of working horses as a ploughman enabled this change of occupation.

At the same time, Archibald's father Farm Servant Alexander (65) was residing with his wife Margaret (66) and the 13-year-old Alexander Dickson, described as a 'nephew', at Old Mill House in the village of Broxburn, Parish of Uphall, West Lothian. This is likely to be the boy Alexander Allan who was named as grandson at the time of the 1861 census.

On 22nd November, 1878 Archibald and Elizabeth's eldest daughter Elizabeth (19) married 24-year-old Bo'ness-born Blacksmith Thomas Kirkwood Wilson of High Station, Falkirk at Rosebank Buildings in Camelon. Thomas was the son of Sailor James Wilson and Ellen Dunlop. Witnesses to the marriage were David Anderson, most likely Elizabeth's half-brother, and Elizabeth's younger sister, Janet Dickson.

The Rosebank Buildings were located at the east end of Camelon Main Street close to the Rosebank Distillery

1896 Map showing Rosebank Buildings at top left. The public house was the Blue Bell Inn.1896 Map showing Rosebank Buildings at top left. The public house was the Blue Bell Inn.National Library of Scotland

Iron Moulder David Anderson (22) of Rosebank Buildings, Camelon, married Domestic Servant Maggie Murdoch (19) on 4th June, 1880 at her home of 52 Baird's Row in Bothwell, Lanarkshire. David reported that his parents were David Cunningham, Locomotive Engine Driver (reputed father) and Elizabeth Anderson.

Archibald's father, Farm Servant Alexander Dickson died aged 78 on 15th December, 1880 at Hermand Row, West Calder. The Cause of Death was recorded as 'Affection of the Heart'. His son-in-law William Black reported the death.

At the time of the 1881 Census (4th April), Archibald (49) and Elizabeth (47) were residing in Camelon (most likely at the Rosebank Buildings) and Archibald was still employed as a Carter. Eldest son Alexander (20) was working as a Gratefitter (who fitted metal grates to hold fires in domestic fireplaces) and James (14) was an Iron Moulder. Finally, Archibald and Elizabeth's youngest child Helen Anderson Dickson was also present. The absent Janet (15) was employed as a Domestic Servant residing at 74 Graham's Road in Falkirk.

Eldest daughter Elizabeth Wilson (21) was residing with her Blacksmith husband Thomas (27) in Camelon with their 1-year-old daughter Elizabeth.

On 23rd November, 1888, it was Janet Anderson Dickson's turn to get married. At the age of 23 and employed as a Domestic Servant, she married 27-year-old Mason James Campbell of Bo'ness. Janet stated that her father Archibald's occupation was Drayman.

While traditionally associated with brewery delivery workers, a drayman was historically the driver of a dray, a low, flat-bed wagon without sides, pulled generally by horses or mules that were used to transport all kinds of goods. So presumably, Archibald's cargo would have varied from empty casks, grain, yeast, assorted production equipment as well as final product.

Witnesses on the occasion of Janet's marriage were John Campbell and M.L.Webster.

The second witness was 22-year-old Mary Laing Webster, who was the Publican of the adjacent Blue Bell Inn whose father Robert had been the Innkeeper and had died in 1885 leaving Mary to run the establishment.

Blue Bell Inn, Camelon.  The sign above the door reads 'M L Webster, Spirits, Porter and Ales'.Blue Bell Inn, Camelon. The sign above the door reads 'M L Webster, Spirits, Porter and Ales'.Falkirk Community Trust

At the time of the 1891 Census (5th April), Archibald (58) was a Carter residing at the Rosebank Buildings with his wife Elizabeth (54) and their 15-year-old daughter Dressmaker Helen.

Elizabeth (31) and Thomas (37) Wilson and their 5 young children were residing on Camelon Main Street.

Eldest son Alexander (29) and Jane (28) were also residing on Main Street with their 3 children.

1896 view of Camelon Main Street facing west.1896 view of Camelon Main Street facing west.Falkirk Community Trust

Janet Campbell (25) and her husband James (28) were residing at Commissioner Street in Bo'ness with 2 young daughters.

James Dickson, who would have been 23, has not been located at this time.

Archibald's widowed mother Margaret (87) was residing with Archibald's brother Alexander (65) and his wife Agnes (60) and son Alexander (31) at Uphall Old Town in West Lothian. Both Alexanders were Paraffin Wax Workers.

Archibald's mother Margaret Dickson née Lauriston died shortly afterwards on 17th July, 1891 in Old Town, Broxburn, Uphall, West Lothian. The Cause of Death was Senility and Old Age and her son Alexander reported the death.

Following the death in 1893 of her first husband James Campbell in Bo'ness leaving her with 3 small children, Archibald and Elizabeth's daughter Janet married for the second time. She married Miner Richard Robertson in 1897 in Bo'ness, Linlithgowshire.

On 5th May, 1894, 18-year-old Dressmaker Helen Anderson Dickson died at Rosebank Buildings of Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis) from which she had been suffering for a year. Her brother James reported her death.

Engineman James Dickson, aged reported as 30, married 40-year-old Jessie Yuill Taylor on 27th August, 1897 at 96 New City Road, Milton, Glasgow.

Archibald (66) and Elizabeth (65) were residing on their own at the Rosebank Buildings at the time of the 1901 Census (31st March). Archibald continued to be employed as a Carter.

Elizabeth and Thomas Wilson were now residing at 34 Cemetery Road in Camelon with their 7 children.

Eldest son Alexander, still employed as a Grate Fitter, was residing with his wife Jane and six children in Falkirk.

Janet Robertson was residing with her husband Richard and their blended family of 6 children at Mosscastle Road in Slamannan, about 7 miles south of Camelon.

The recently married James Dickson was not at home with his new wife in Glasgow at this time. He was a crew member aboard the "SS Caroline" in Grangemouth Harbour. The "SS Caroline" was a cargo ship owned by the Carron Company, an ironworks on the banks of the River Carron near Falkirk. His occupation was Fireman. Meanwhile his wife Jessie was residing at her home at 96 New City Road in Glasgow. Also resident was her son William by a previous relationship and an adopted 2-year-old daughter, Edith L. Dickson.

The 1905 Property Valuation Records provide a little more information on Archibald and Elizabeth's residence. They are recorded as residing at House 13, Rosebank Buildings which were owned by the Rosebank Distillery Company Ltd.

1950 Map showing the location of the Dickson residence at 13 Rosebank Buildings.1950 Map showing the location of the Dickson residence at 13 Rosebank Buildings.National Library of Scotland

East End of Camelon Main Street facing West showing Rosebank Buildings directly behind Lamppost.  Bonded warehouse on the left.East End of Camelon Main Street facing West showing Rosebank Buildings directly behind Lamppost. Bonded warehouse on the left.Camelon area in Pictures and Memories Facebook page

At the time of the 1911 Census (2nd April), Archibald (78), now a Retired Carter, and Elizabeth (75) were still residing at Rosebank Buildings. Their son, James (43), employed as an Engineman in a Foundry, was also resident.

James's wife Jessie died at Glasgow's Western Infirmary on 3rd June, 1912 of Cellulitis and Septicaemia. Her son William registered the death and reported that his stepfather's occupation was Canal Boat Engineman.

Archibald Dickson died aged 84 on 22nd November 1916 at Rosebank Buildings in Camelon. The Cause of Death was Senility. His son James reported the death and gave his father's occupation as Carter.

On 19th July, 1917 Elizabeth Dickson née Anderson died aged 82 at 69 Red Row in Plean, Stirlingshire some 5 miles north of Camelon. The Cause of Death was recorded as Intestinal Obstruction. Her son, James Dickson, residing at Sunnyside, Camelon reported her death. Elizabeth's daughter Janet Robertson was residing at Red Row at this time and it appears that Janet cared for her mother during her last days.

Looking westward through the overhead structure on Camelon Bridge to the Rosebank Buildings (at right)Looking westward through the overhead structure on Camelon Bridge to the Rosebank Buildings (at right)Falkirk Community Trust

Rosebank DistilleryRosebank DistilleryFalkirk Community Trust

Janet Robertson née Dickson died on 3rd November, 1923 at 66 Red Row in Plean. The Cause of Death was Carcinoma (Stomach), from which she had been suffering for 6 months), and Exhaustion. The death was reported by her son Archibald Dickson Robertson. Janet was 58.

Alexander Dickson died aged 72 on 5th September, 1934 at Stirling District Asylum some 2 or 3 miles north of Camelon although his usual address at the time was 110 Sunnyside Road in Camelon. The Cause of Death was Pulmonary Congestion and Valvular Disease. His death was reported by his son James T. Dickson, residing at the Union Buildings in Camelon.

Stirling District AsylumStirling District Asylum

James Dickson died aged 69 on 15th May, 1937 in Camelon at 24 Dorrator Road, the home of his nephew James Wilson who reported the death and stated that his uncle was a Labourer. The Cause of Death was recorded as Natural Causes (Cardiac Failure).

Elizabeth Dickson née Anderson's eldest son, David Anderson died aged 83 on 22nd December, 1940 at 40 Redbrae Terrace in Camelon. The Cause of Death was reported as Arteriosclerosis and Cerebral Softening. His son-in-law David McNeill reported his death.

Elizabeth Wilson née Dickson died on 21st September, at 50 Redbrae Terrace in Camelon. The Cause of Death was a Cerebral Haemorrhage and her death was reported by her son Alexander Dickson Wilson. She was 82 and had been a widow for 38 years.

Redbrae Terrace, Camelon shortly before demolition.Redbrae Terrace, Camelon shortly before demolition.

Archibald and Elizabeth Dickson had 7 children and at least 26 grandchildren. Archibald lived for over 50 years in Camelon and Elizabeth for at least the same. Archibald worked at the Rosebank Distillery for over 45 years. The Rosebank Distillery was mothballed for economic reasons in 1993.

In October 2017, Ian Macleod Distillers announced that they had acquired the Rosebank Whisky trademark from Diageo and the site from Scottish Canals in order to re-establish Rosebank Whisky by building a new distillery and re-commencing production in the old style.
Rosebank distillery expects to reopen in July 2022. Full planning permission has been granted and the contractor ISG is now working on the site. Fans have been publicly excited for the grand return.


The Rosebank Buildings c.1970The Rosebank Buildings c.1970