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For several centuries, the Church was very active in helping the poor in Scotland. Over
time, however, the Church took less and less responsibility for the poor. Philanthropists
such as David McCowan and local governments
began to play a larger role in the institutions that helped the less fortunate.
In this first short article, you may observe the irony that Archibald McCowan, Inspector of the Poor
in Cumnock Parish for 17 years until his death in 1866 at 74, was right wing.
Mr. A. McCowan -- In our obituary of today is recorded the demise of Mr. Archibald
McCowan, Inspector of Poor for this parish, who departed this life on Friday the 11th
inst., in the 76th year of his age. Never enjoying at any period of his long career the
most robust health, he was frequently of late compelled by disease to desist from the
active duties which devolved on him, and the mournful event, which has now taken place,
was consequently not altogether unlooked for. He was for many years a member of the legal
profession, the practice of which he relinquished shortly after being appointed to the
Inspectorship, the duties of which he discharged in a very satisfactory manner.
conservative in politics, he was opposed to all precipitate changes in the constitution of
our country, and deprecated the hasty legislation adopted by the whigs and radicals, but never in word or deed did he attempt
to wound the feelings of those opposed to his theory of Government. Calmly and
consistently he pursued the even tenor of his way, regardless of blame or praise, and to
the very last he possessed a good heart and the habits and feelings of a gentleman.
A News clipping in the John McCowan Hill scrapbook
The Scarboro Heights Record V11
The McCowans' Who's Who, Vol. 10