by Billy Scobie
I live a matter of yards from the River Leven, just beside Bonhill Bridge.
Often, when I look out of my window and watch the water rolling by, I think of the famous Scottish historical personalities who have sailed down that river or ridden along its banks, over the Braes o’ Bonhill.
Just off the top of my head I can list the following – Saint Kessog (Irish, adopted Scot, on his way upriver to Loch Lomond).
William Wallace (probably when he travelled from Glasgow to visit the Earl of Lennox at the old Balloch Castle).
Robert the Bruce (from his manor house at Dalmoak near Renton).
King James IV (the Renaissance Prince, travelling from Dumbarton Castle to the islands on Loch Lomond and back).
Mary Queen of Scots (riding from Dumbarton Castle to visit Colquhoun of Luss).
King James VI (the man who founded the United Kingdom, initiated the British Empire and gave the world the authorised version of the Bible – on his way to hunt deer on Inchmurrin).
The Marquis of Montrose (using the ferry on his way to visit his sister who was married to Colquhoun of Luss).
Rob Roy MacGregor (collecting “blackmail” in the Parish of Bonhill).
I’m sure there would have been others, but that’s not bad to be getting on with.
Some pretty fascinating characters on our doorstep!