Categories: Runciman Lineage 1b - William Runciman of Crail.
This biography was part written by Alan Runciman and part auto-generated by a GEDCOM import.
The marriage took place in the bride's home, 36 Simpson Street, Glasgow, fairly customary for the time, 'after Banns according to the United Free Church.' Charles was described as bachelor, aged 31 and a scientific instrument maker (journeyman). The couple's witnesses were Henrietta Armstrong (a sister of the bride) and Martin Edgar, most probably a friend of the groom. Research indicates that Martin was the son of a Martin Edgar Sr who hailed originally from Maybole, Ayrshire. The Edgar family had come across from Ireland in the 1800s, just as had the Armstrong family. Whether this was in any way the initial link - or even a family relationship - has not been determined.
It's not known how the couple met but living in the same area suggests local socialising.
Charles is buried in a Runciman family plot in Mearnskirk Cemetery. (See photograph). The plot consists of 3 adjoining lairs. The cemetery is about 1/4 mile from the parish church known as Mearns Kirk whose original Kirk yard burial ground is full. There's been a religious settlement on the site since the 800s.
GEDCom Date: Prior to import, this record was last changed 29 JUL 2013. Manual changes by Alan Runciman occur at various later dates.
John Potter, a Scottish Covenanter captured after the Battle of Airdsmoss & hanged at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh in 1680.
William Runciman of Crail, who drowned with 7 other fishermen in the Crail Fishing Disaster, 1765.
More information about the Crail Fishing Disaster & its 250th Anniversary Commemoration is here Disaster.
Scientific Instrument Engineer
Charles relocated his family (wife Elizabeth Armstrong, sons Charles and Alan) to Gourock when he took a big step in taking employment at HM Torpedo Factory.
In Glasgow the family lived in a tenement property. The move to Gourock was a major family decision as they decided whether to take the big financial step of moving into a beautiful detached bungalow on a hillside overlooking the Firth of Clyde, but an area completely new to them. Eventually, after considerable debate, this ambitious move was made.
I don't think the "Torpedo Factory" had any other name. Originally based in Woolwich, London it was transferred to Greenock in 1911. "Clyde Built" had a global reputation and its products (ships & associated engineered products) equipped the world. Workers from Woolwich were transferred along with the workload. Apparently they were not impressed by the accommodation available in Greenock, where there was a history of considerable poverty. It seems to have come as a culture shock to the incomers to come up against damp housing and, for example, the "recess" - beds kept in a 'hole in the wall' (a concept of recessed bedding, which saved space in the sitting room during the day, folded up and recessed against the wall). Instead, transferred workers chose nearby Gourock where the quality of housing stock was so much better. In this short period of transfer from Woolwich the modestly sized town of Gourock's population grew by 2,000.
The siting of the Royal Navy's Torpedo Factory at Greenock made the whole area of Greenock, Gourock & Port Glasgow a prime target for Germany's intensive bombing campaigns, most notably the blitz in 1941. Old footage of what Greenock was like in Charles' time during WW2 is linked here Greenock Blitz.
As a scientific instrument maker, Charles input would have been a crucial part of production. After retirement and post-WW2, Charles volunteered himself to HM Coastguard to monitor the waters of the Clyde for sunken & unexploded mines. This continued until the couple, noticeably older, moved house in 1958 to live with their son Alan & family in Newton Mearns, a suburb of Glasgow. Another interest of Charles was learning foreign languages. He was learned in Latin - and I think Greek - from a young age. In retirement he was proficient in reading 7 languages. He was an avid reader of all the classic novels.
Although he was no longer associated with it by this stage, the Torpedo Factory was transferred to Alexandra, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, eventually closing completely in 1960.
Alan Runciman (grandson, b1946)
Thank you to Alan Runciman for creating WikiTree profile Runciman-598 through the import of RUNCIMANAlansPaternal4WikiTreeAug2013.ged on Aug 29, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Alan and others.
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