Poverty and the Poor
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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. Strongly 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 #10 and
The McCowans' Who's Who, Vol. 10