Ebenezer Wilson

26] Ebenezer Wilson was a brassfounder and member of the Incorporation of Hammermen, but failed to succeed in business.  He was appointed ringer of the Tron Kirk bell with a salary of £10 a year, which, with a small pension from the Hammermen, was his chief support.  He wore the cast off garments of an earlier age which were given to him by the kindly doctor, James Hamilton Sr. and these two were said to be the last individuals in town who continued to wear the old cocked hat and shoe buckles.  School boys teased Eben because of his garb and used to gather round the church door when he came to attend to his business.  Eben humoured them by allowing them to pull the bell rope.  On one occasion he mistook the time and tolled the curfew bell at seven instead of eight, allowing the clerks and shop boys to get off work an hour earlier to their delight.  With much mirth, he drew the attention of John Dowie to the fact that Dowie’s unflattering engraving was exhibited in the window of Kay’s shop.  While both men were standing there, Kay took the opportunity of displaying Wilson’s newly executed and equally unflattering engraving, which convulsed Dowie and infuriated Wilson.  Thereafter the ‘exceedingly wroth’ Eben discarded the leather apron of his trade which he felt spoiled his image.