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John Keir Cross

While Carluke has undoubtedly produced a handful of authors in its history, few will have reached the same level of success as John Keir Cross yet many, if not all, of Carluke’s residents will quietly mouth “Who?”

John Keir Cross, 1914-1967, wrote stories mainly for children and some ghost stories and “dark” fantasy novels for adults as well as writing and adapting stories for television and radio.

He was born at Greenside, Carluke to Hugh Anderson Cross and Elizabeth James Birch who were married in Cleland on 7th June 1912. His father, Hugh, was a dental surgeon and is listed in the 1911 Census as living with his widowed mother and six brothers and sisters at Broomside, Lanark Road. He is described as working on his own account at home.  In 1912, when Hugh married Elizabeth Birch, he was living in Kirkton Street. Three years later, in the Valuation Roll of 1915, Hugh and his family were living at Greenside Cottage which was described as being in Market Place. However the cottage is listed between Ramsay’s, ham curers and The Bowling Green so we can assume that Market Place at this time was what we now call the Wee Moss.

In the 1920 Valuation Roll, his father, Hugh, is listed not in Carluke but at 33 Main Street Wishaw. It would appear then that John Keir Cross, author, lived in Carluke for only a short period of time. By 1930, the family were living in Hillyland, Parish of Tibbermore, Perth. Hugh Anderson Cross, dental surgeon, was born in Maryhill in 1887, the son of a teacher, and died in Cambusnethan Parish in 1950 age 62.

Hugh’s father was John Keir Cross who became headmaster at Newmains School. John Keir Cross died in 1900 in Newmains aged 42 and sometime after the 1901 Census, the family moved to Carluke.

Continued...
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Last Updated on Mar-07-2016