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KiLMARNOOK though now the greatest manufacturing
town in Ayrshire is of no note in history ; even of him
from whom it derives its name tradition furnishes us
with but a frail memorial. St. Marnock is said to have
died here about the beginning of the fourth century. But
Kilmarnock is unnoticed in the annals of our country
until nearly a thousand years later, and even then it is
mentioned, not as a town, but as a territorial possession,
conferred by Robert Bruce on his devoted follower Sir
Robert Boyd. Prior to this it had been the property of
Balliol, Edward's nominee to the Scottish throne, on
whose fall it was thus gifted by his more successful and
more patriotic competitor.
The first Charter erecting Kilmarnock into a Burgh
of Barony was granted in 1591, in favour of Thomas,
the fifth Lord Boyd. A second was obtained in 1672>
in favour of William, the first Earl of Kilmarnock,
whose Grandson, the third Earl, in 1700, give a Char-
ter to the Town of the whole Common Good, Customs,
&c. Since that period, but more especially since about
the close of the last century, Kilmarnock has gradually
risen into its present importance as a manufacturing town.

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