NS3975 : Gravestone of Captain James Lang

taken 7 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Gravestone of Captain James Lang
Gravestone of Captain James Lang
For context, see NS3975 : Dumbarton Parish Churchyard: south-west corner. The stone is not visible in that picture, but it is one of several that are set against the southern boundary wall of the kirkyard, beside the path of stones that is shown in that photograph.

The lower half of this gravestone is buried (as is true of the other stones on the southern boundary wall), but its inscription is as follows:

"Agnes Lang, in memory of her husband, Captain James Lang, who died 15th June 1850, aged 45 years; also their daughter Marion Houston, who died 22nd January 1842 aged 2 years and 3 months."

James Lang was one of the Langs of Chapelton (also mentioned in NS3975 : Gravestone of John Bell). He was born in Dumbarton in 1805, and was educated there. James became a law clerk in the Town Clerk's office, but he later served on the town's steamers. In 1830, he became the captain of one of the Dumbarton Steamboat Company's vessels. He commanded, in succession, the "Dumbarton", the "Leven", the "Prince Albert", the "Lochlomond", and the "Queen". In 1835, he married Agnes MacCallum of Greenock; she was the daughter of Peter MacCallum, founder of P MacCallum & Sons, iron and steel merchants, Greenock.

(James Lang is also commemorated by a memorial in Greenock Cemetery: NS2676 : The Lang/MacCallum Memorial. The above-mentioned Peter and Agnes MacCallum are listed there.)

As captain, James Lang used to communicate with his engineer using a worked-out system of knocks, banging the heel of his boot against the wooden cover of the steeple engine. It was at Captain Lang's recommendation that the firm of Denny Bros built a better method of communication into their vessel "Lochlomond", in the form of a mechanical indicator.

James Lang was a partner of the Dumbarton Steamboat Company. Contemporary accounts show that he was irreproachable in character, a man of good morals. He died at Castleroad House in 1850.

His son John went on to head the above-mentioned Greenock firm of P MacCallum & Sons, and he became prominent in Greenock's civic life, attaining the positions of Burgh Treasurer and Second Magistrate.

Reference: Donald MacLeod, "The God's Acres of Dumbarton" (1888), pages 230 to 232.
Dumbarton Riverside Parish Church
The church was built from 1810-11 (architect John Brash), and stands on the site of the previous parish kirk. See its listed building report LinkExternal link (at Historic Environment Scotland) for an architectural description. The associated parish kirkyard was reduced in size several times, and much of what was left of it was cleared away in 1972 to make way for the present-day church halls. Only a few of its memorials remain; see Link for details.
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NS3975, 552 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 21 February, 2013   (more nearby)
Thursday, 7 March, 2013
Geographical Context
Burial ground, Crematorium 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3974 7517 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.5664N 4:34.0575W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3974 7518
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SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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