Peter Kier

Peter Kier, clockmaker and minor poet, was settled in Falkirk before 1806, as in October of that year he married Thomartha Crawford of St Andrew’s Parish, Glasgow.  His shop was in 72 High Street.  In Callendar’s picture of the High Street of Falkirk, Kier may be seen standing at his shop door, shading his eyes with one of his hands in order to find the hour on the steeple clock.  

He died in 1834, and was buried in the Parish Churchyard on 10 December of that year, his wife dying 19 December of the following year.  Their youngest daughter, Elizabeth, married Alexander Monro, writer, Falkirk, in 1836.  Another daughter, Jane Willis, married George Scrimgeour Crawford, watchmaker, Falkirk.  Robert Kier, son of the clockmaker, was a young man of great promise who wrote a history of Falkirk.  His death in 1827 at the early age of 20 years was a great loss to local historians. Peter Kier joined the Lodge of Falkirk in 1816, but seems to have taken no further interest in its affairs.

1975-9-1 – Brass dial with a broad inset silvered ring for the numbers. Applied brass fretwork in the spandrels and arch of simple foliate tendrils. The silvered disc in the centre of the arch is engraved “Peter Kier/ Falkirk”. The beautiful case is veneered mahogany inlaid with narrow strips of boxwood.

1975-3-1 – White painted dial with “PETER KIER FALKIRK” in ribbons. The painted spandrels imitate the applied brass foliage of former years, with a quatrefoil on the centre of each – the upper two containing roses, the lower thistles. The arch is entitled “WALLACE Killing HESILRIG”, and shows an animated scene of two armed knights fighting inside a richly furnished chamber. The wooden case is enriched with boxwood inlay.

Felix Hudson (1977, 179) also illustrates a dial by Peter Kier:

white painted dial face “Peter  Kier/ MAKER  FALKIRK” with drums and horns in the centres of opposite spandrels and tambourines, horns and cannon in the remaining two.  The arch is captioned “Waterloo” and shows a red tunic-clad Scottish foot regiment on the left with a cannon and a wounded soldier in the foreground led by a mounted field marshal (presumably Wellington), and a green jacketed French regiment on the right.  The opposing forces have the British Union flag and the French tricolour.  Touches of luminous paint are found in this scene.

G.B. Bailey 2021