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JOHN RESIDE, FARMER,BROWNSIDE,
WHO DIED 10TH OCTOBER 1879, AGED 69 YEARS
AND HIS WIFE MARION MITCHELL,
WHO DIED 25TH JUNE 1894, AGED 76 YEARS
ALSO THEIR CHILDREN
MARION, DIED 17TH MARCH 1847,
AGED 9 MONTHS;
THOMAS, DIED 20TH OCTOBER 1863,
AGED 4 YEARS;
ANDREW, DIED 16TH FEBRUARY 1875,
AGED 19 YEARS.
JOHN, DIED 9TH FEBRUARY 1930
AGED 85 YEARS
MARION, DIED 17TH FEBRUARY 1937
AGED 83 YEARS
WILLIAM, DIED 9TH MARCH 1941
AGED 90 YEARS
The family commemorated on this stone should not be confused with another well known farming family called Raeside. There is no connection between the two families despite the similar spelling of the surnames. This family led by John Reside occupied the farm of Brownside for over seventy years. Despite the farm being two hundred and thirty acres in size, only eighty acres were classified as arable. The farm steading itself occupied an isolated location south west of Loganswell on the road to Fenwick.
John Reside was born in the Gorbals District of Glasgow in 1810 and possibly came to find work in the Mearns, as it was there he met and married his wife in 1839. His wife Marion Mitchell came from a more rural background having been born in the village of Sorn in North Ayrshire in 1818.Within a year of their marriage the young couple set up home at Brownside Farm in what was undoubtedly a harsh and difficult terrain in which to earn a living. Despite these difficulties they survived and raised a family of nine children.
Perhaps owing to the isolated position of their farm and lack of regular contact with the outside world, social contact with others was limited, and this may have been a contributory factor to the fact that the majority of the children in this family never married. Tragically two of the children, Marion and Thomas, died before reaching school age, while Andrew their second son died in his teens. A daughter born in 1854 was given the name Marion in place of her earlier deceased sibling.
It may be that through John’s origins and earlier life in Glasgow certain activities took place at Brownside Farm during his stewardship which did not bear strictly on farming practices or were even strictly legal. Prize fighting in which opponents would engage with bare fist fights for monetary gain was well supported in the West of Scotland in those times. Frowned upon by the authorities and banned by law, these events had to take place covertly and what better place than out on the moorland of Mearns. Brownside Farm became well known for this activity and would have augmented the farmer’s income when times were hard. It has been recorded that often when a ship came into Glasgow Harbour a seaman with a reputation as a prize fighter would challenge a Glasgow man to a fight. The fighters with their accompanying entourage would then walk all the way out to Brownside in small groups so as not to draw the attention of the police. The fights often lasted fifty or sixty rounds before the victor was announced.
On the death of her husband Marion Reside nee Mitchell continued to operate the farm with the help of five sons and one daughter. One’s imagination can see the effort required to maintain this band of strapping men who remained on the farm namely James, John, Robert, William and Hugh. Their mother was assisted in this task by her daughter Marion and two farm servants. Fifteen years after the demise of her husband Marion was to join him beneath the soil in Mearns Kirkyard aged seventy-six years.