The incredible story of Celtic legend Bobby Hogg – Part 3

The incredible story of Celtic legend Bobby Hogg

Part 3 – Hatches, matches and dispatches for the Hogg and Smith families

The 1891 Census was recorded on 5 April, 24 hours after a Celtic side featuring Willie Maley and Sandy McMahon had lost 1-0 to St Mirren at Westmarch in the inaugural Scottish League campaign.

St Mirren 1890/91

At that point, future Celt Bobby Hogg’s dad Robert was an eight-year-old schoolboy, growing up amidst a large family at 5 Deputy Row, Allanton, a block of accommodation for employees of William Barr & Sons Ltd at Allanton Mine, Ferniegair, Hamilton. Robert and Janet Hogg lived there with their six children, as follows.

• John Hogg (14, Pony Driver at Pit, born Old Monkland, Lanarkshire)
• James Hogg (12, Grocer’s Assistant, born Hamilton, Lanarkshire)
• Annie Hogg (10, Scholar, born Hamilton, Lanarkshire)
• Robert Hogg (Bobby’s dad – 8, Scholar, born Carfin, Lanarkshire)
• Andrew Hogg (5, Scholar, born Cleekhimin, Lanarkshire)
• Claude Hogg (3, Scholar, born Allanton, Lanarkshire)

Note that eldest daughter Maggie Hogg, who would be approaching her 17th birthday, is not living at home that night. Maggie will reappear in a later Census still unmarried, so she could possibly be working in service at that time or just staying elsewhere on that particular night.

Bobby’s paternal grandfather Robert Hogg was shown as being a 47-year-old Colliery Fireman at that time, born in Walston, Lanarkshire, whilst his grandmother Janet Hogg, nee Brownlie, was 41 and had been born in Hamilton.

In that same 1891 Census, Bobby’s maternal grandparents John Smith (32, a Coal Miner, born in Muirkirk, Ayrshire) and Janet Smith (26, born in Stobhill, Newbattle) are living at 4 Ross Street, Hamilton with their four surviving children, as listed below.

• John Smith (8, Scholar, born in Dalserf, Lanarkshire)
• Cecilia Smith (Bobby’s mum – 6, Scholar, born in Noblehouse, Newlands)
• James Smith (2, born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire)
• William Smith (1, born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire).

The first Census of the 20th century was recorded on 31 March 1901, the day after Celtic’s Barney Battles and Johnny Campbell had featured in Scotland’s 2-2 draw with England at London’s Crystal Palace.

England v Scotland 1901 at Crystal Palace. Note Scotland players are wearing the Earl of Roseberry’s colours (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

By this time, John Smith (42, Coal Miner Hewer, born in Muirkirk) and Janet Smith (36, born in Newbattle, Edinburgh) are residing at Reid’s Buildings, Percy Street, Larkhall with their extended family of seven children, as follows

• John Smith (18, Coal Miner Hewer, born in Dalserf)
• Cecilia Smith (Bobby’s mum – 16, Housekeeper, born in Brigend, Peeblesshire)
• James Smith (12, Coal Miner Hewer, born in Dalserf)
• William Smith (10, Scholar, born in Hamilton)
• Agnes Smith (8, Scholar, born in Larkhall)
• Douglas Smith (6, Scholar, born in Hamilton)
• Telford Smith (4, born in Dalserf).

On that same night, Bobby’s paternal grandparents Robert and Janet Hogg were living nearby at 58 Miller Street, Larkhall with their eight children, as follows.

• John Hogg (24, Pit Cousie Man, born Wood Head, Lanarkshire)
• James Hogg (22, Forrester, born Hamilton, Lanarkshire)
• Annie Hogg (20, Mother’s Help, born Hamilton, Lanarkshire)
• Robert Hogg (Bobby’s dad – 18, Coal Miner, born Carfin, Lanarkshire)
• Andrew Hogg (15, Pit Pony Driver, born Cleekhimin, Lanarkshire)
• Claude Hogg (13, Cabinetmaker’s Apprentice, born Allanton, Lanarkshire)
• William Hogg (9, Scholar, born Allanton, Lanarkshire)
• Janet Hogg (7, Scholar, born Allanton, Lanarkshire)

Bobby’s grandfather Robert Hogg was listed as being 57 years old and a former coal miner, whilst his grandmother Janet Hogg, nee Brownlie, was 50. Janet would live to witness the wedding of her son Robert to Cecilia Cameron Smith in September 1908, then the birth of their first child Janet Gilroy Hogg in July 1909, but she passed away the following summer.

Bobby’s grandmother Janet Semple Hogg died of Cardiac Disease at 58 Miller Street, Larkhall on 11 August 1910, aged 60. She is shown as being married to Robert Hogg, a Coal Miner and her parents listed as James Brownlie, a Carting Contractor and Margaret Brownlie, nee Lindsay, both deceased. The death is registered by her husband, Robert, who was present.

Robert would survive his wife by five years and lived to see the next three of son Robert and Cecilia’s children born, granddaughters Margaret Lindsay Hogg (in January 1911) and Cecilia Cameron Hogg (November 1912) followed by his namesake Robert Brown Hogg – future Celtic star Bobby – in May 1914.

At the time of the 1911 Census, taken on Sunday, 2 April, Bobby’s grandfather Robert is 67 years old and still living in the family home at 58 Miller Street, Larkhall. His eldest daughter Maggie Hogg, now 36, is also staying there, as are sons Andrew (26), William (19) and youngest daughter Janet (17).

And the house will again echo with the sound of children. Robert’s 30-year-old married daughter Annie Brown Hogg Balloch is residing there with her two infant sons, John McNeil Balloch (3) and Robert Hogg Balloch (1) – the latter named after his grandfather. Annie had married William Stewart Balloch in 1904.

Robert Brown Hogg died at 58 Miller Street, Larkhall on 8 October 1915, aged 71, when his grandson Bobby was just 16 months old and a second year of an horrific global conflict was underway. Robert is listed as a Coal Miner and the Widower of Janet Semple Brownlie, and his parents as John Hogg, a Coal Miner, and Anne Hogg, nee Brown, both deceased. Causes of death are cited as Bronchitis & Asthma (one year) and Cardiac Failure and it is registered by his son, Andrew Hogg, who was present.

As a poignant footnote, Bobby’s cousin was also given the name Robert Brown Hogg after his granddad. He was born at 47 Avon Street, Larkhall on 4 August 1914, just three months after Bobby and one week after war was declared. His parents were Bobby’s uncle William Hogg, a Journeyman Baker, and Jessie Hogg, nee Chappell, who had married in Larkhall two months earlier, on 5 June 1914.

Sadly, Bobby’s cousin Robert passed away on 6 January 1919 at Lauralbank, Burnhead, Larkhall, aged 4 years. Causes of death were Measles and Peritonitis and the death was registered by his father, William Hogg, who as you can see from the 1901 Census record above was nine years younger than his brother Robert, Bobby’s father. The other deaths recorded on the certificate also related to infants who had died from measles, suggesting an outbreak or epidemic of the illness at that time.

In the 1911 Census, with daughter Cecilia now married to Robert Hogg and bringing up their two infant daughters at 25 Brown Street, Larkhall, Bobby’s maternal grandparents John Smith (52, Fireman & Shaftsman, born in Muirkirk) and Janet Smith (46, born in Newbattle) are living at Bethany Cottage, Dalserf with their six remaining children. Five of those are grown-up now and the eldest – John – is married, albeit there is no wife listed there for him that night.

• John Smith (Married, 28, Miner, born in Dalserf)
• James Smith (22, Miner, born in Hamilton)
• William G Smith (20, Miner, born in Hamilton)
• Agnes L Smith (18, born in Dalserf)
• Telford G Smith (14, Miner, born in Dalserf)
• George Smith (5, born in Dalserf).

The Smiths would later move to the Dumbiedykes district of Edinburgh, near Holyrood House, as it was in a tenement at 69 Upper Viewcraig Row that Bobby’s maternal grandmother Janet Smith passed away on 15 December 1916. She was 52 years old and had been suffering from Carcinoma of Pylorus (Stomach Cancer). The death was registered by her husband John Love Smith, a Railway Porter, who was present, and her parents are listed as Smith Gilroy, a Coal Miner, and Cecilia Gilroy, nee Cameron, both deceased.

Upper Viewcraig Row, Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh

We’ll leave the Smith family there for now.

As discussed in the first part of this story, by 1924, Robert and Cecilia Hogg are living at Raploch Street, Larkhall with their eight children.

Robert Hogg and seven of his eight children, including Bobby of Celtic (third from left

Their eldest son, Bobby, now 10 years old, is showing a particular aptitude for football, which will come to the fore in the years to follow.

To be continued…

Hail, hail!

Matt Corr

Follow Matt on Twitter/X @Boola_vogue

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The Celtic Star is committed to telling the Celtic story, and by publishing top quality books that tell so far untold parts of Celtic’s History we believe we fulfil a significant role in making sure that these stories will be known and talked about by future generations of Celtic supporters.


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It’s an awesome read from what was just about the perfect Celtic season.Harry Hood is another Celtic legend whose story was told by The Celtic Star author Matt Corr. Like the McNair and Fernie families, the Hood family gave Harry’s biography their full support and all three families were delighted with the books when published.

The most recent book published by The Celtic Star is Matt Corr’s in depth look at Gordon Strachan’s first season at Celtic. Majic, Stan and the King of Japan takes us through one of the most eventful seasons in the modern Celtic era and it has to be acknowledged that WGS was a hugely successful Celtic manager, who was able to punch above his height and weight in the Champions League.

Two of our books are completely sold out, having been re-printed to satisfy demand. David Potter’s wonderful title, The Celtic Rising, told the story of Jock Stein’s first season at Celtic – 1965 The Year Jock Stein Changed Everything. Things changed alright and this book explains how it all happened.

The Celtic Rising is available on Amazon Kindle and all the brilliant photos shown in the print version from that era are included on Kindle. The same goes for Walfrid and the Bould Bhoys –  which was co-written by Liam Kelly alongside Matt Corr and David Potter and if you have a hardback copy, congratulations, it’s going to be a collectors’ classic. There’s hardly a week goes by when someone enquires about buying a copy.

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About Author

Having retired from his day job Matt Corr can usually be found working as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park, or if there is a Marathon on anywhere in the world from as far away as Tokyo or New York, Matt will be running for the Celtic Foundation. On a European away-day, he's there writing his Diary for The Celtic Star and he's currently completing his first Celtic book with another two planned.

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