Archibald Allan.

History of Channelkirk online

. (page 42 of 50)
Online LibraryArchibald AllanHistory of Channelkirk → online text (page 42 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


558 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

not a year old by two months, and the captain knew that
many of his gallant countrymen had there found a fate far
more severe. He decided to spend the remainder of his days
in the village of Oxton near by, and, perhaps, when we con-
sider it, it may be as terrible to die slowly amid poverty,
and surrounded by scenes of brighter days, than among
the storm of bullets on the far-away battlefield. " Sorrow's
crown of sorrow is remembering happier things." Unless we
could appeal to the ghost of Hercules who tried both, we
shall perhaps never know whether or not it is an easier task
to club down lions abroad than to wrestle with snakes at
home.

He lingered on for several years after the fall of his
fortune, going out and in among the villagers. We find
him at heritors' meetings in 1816, 181 8, and 18 19, making
his last appearance on 31st October 1822. His death must
have taken place in the early days of August 1823, as we
find under loth August. — " Captain Justice, best mortcloth,
from Ugston," * signifying the day of his burial. He died
in the house adjoining, and immediately to the west of, the
smithy of Mr Alex. Reid, in the south-east room of the
second storey, now used as a small grocery, and was buried
in Channelkirk churchyard.

From a collection of papers bearing on the Channelkirk
teind question before the Court of Session, 1811-1827, we
glean that Miss Maria Campbell Rae Justice, the only child
of the unfortunate Captain, became proprietor of Over
Howden in 1823, and was the entailed heir of that property.
She claimed freedom from all liability to stipend under-
payments, which was one of the disputed points before
the Lords in the lawsuit, because, as was averred, she

* Kirk Records.



JUSTICEHALL 559

did not represent her father either in Over Howden or
Oxton.

On the 30th of March and 1st of April 181 3, the trustees
of Sir John Callander of Westertoun were seised in all the
property called Justicehall, " in warrandice of the teinds of
the barony of Crichton." * At this date " they were in
possession of the said lands, and drew the rents thereof,"
on Charter of Resignation, Great Seal, February 3, 1813.-}-
The " trustees " are again seised in the same lands — the
town and lands of Ugston — Justicehall — " Redeemable on
payment of £1642, los., on Charter of Adjudication, Great
Seal, July 5, 18 17. The story is further developed in
the teind case as follows: — "In the year 18 17, the trustees
of the late Sir John Callander, the authors of the other
objector, Mr Burn Callander, obtained a decree of Adjudica-
tion (to which Mr B. Callander has now acquired right)
against the late Mr Justice of the lands of Ugston or
Justicehall, for payment of a debt which affected that
property prior to the execution of the entail under which
Mr Justice held the same. And in virtue of this Adjudica-
tion the objector, Mr Callander, and his authors, the trustees
of Sir John Callander, entered into possession of these lands
of Ugston in 181 8, and have drawn the rents of the same
ever since." This was said in the year 1829, and the Mr
Burn Callander referred to was William Burn Callander,
Esq. of Prestonhall, who, in November 1833, disponed
Justicehall to Sir James Spittal, merchant, Edinburgh, viz. :
Ugston ; Two-merk lands of Ugston (Pickelraw) ; Oxton
Mill and Mill lands ; Forty-shilling lands of Ugston and
Temple lands of Ugston — "all which are now called
Justicehall." These properties fell to his son, James
•Sasines. \ Decreed o/Locah'/y, p. 247.



560 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

Spittal, on 29th March 1 844 ; and we find them in the hands
of his trustees in July 1855.

We observe that when any of the proprietors of Justice-
hall obtain possession, for the first time, the sasine is given
" with exceptions." This seems to point to the " part " or
" parts " which the Somervells of Airhouse held in these
lands of Justicehall from sometime before 1776, when the
" part " is found included in the security of a bond for
;^iooo, given by George Somervail of Airhouse, and
William Somervail, merchant, Glasgow, his brother, to
George Miller, brewer. Abbey of Holyroodhouse. When
Lord Lauderdale buys Airhouse in May 1858, this "part"
is carefully noted.

This dubiety about what share of Ugston lands each
proprietor owned became troublesome. Mr Justice went
to law with Mr Somerville of Airhouse, and the minister,
Mr Murray, in 1800, to decide the part of teind which
should be localled on the property of each. Each — Somer-
ville and Justice — was then declared to be owner of " one
half of the said lands of Ugston," and teinded each to the
extent of £26, 13s. 6d.* This was set aside subsequently,
and it was declared not to be proven that exactly a half
of Ugston lands belonged to Mr Somerville and Mr Justice
respectively. The difficulty seems to have grown out of
the separation of Ugston lands, in the seventeenth century,
into small proprietorships.-^

In 1856 John James Parker, W.S., gets a liferent of all
Justicehall lands, with the house and the piece of ground
it stands on, and his wife, Hannah Spittal, is " seised in
fee," on disposition by the trustees of James Spittal,
merchant, Edinburgh. In 1857 the Governors of Cauvin's
* Decreet of Locality, p. 179. \ Ibid., p. 185.



JUSTICEHALL 561

Hospital have a bond of ^looo over these lands, Mr
Parker appears at his first heritors' meeting, 3rd June 1856.
He was the fourth son of John Parker, Principal Extractor
in the Court of Session, and was born ist October 1829.
He married Hannah, only child of the above-mentioned
James Spittal, Edinburgh, on 31st July 1855.

The farm consists of a little more thaii 60 acres, and is
rented at ^71, 2s. 3d. yearly. The stock is necessarily not
large. The soil is very good Those principally interested
in it are : — Miss Caroline Hannah Parker, Miss Isabella
Shield Parker, and Anthony Scott Parker, The Orchards,
Cheltenham. There is a forlorn look about the house, as
if it had seen better days, and many of the fine trees planted
around it by Mr Justice have been cleared away. The fine
entrance from the bridge, which he also laid down, has been
rooted out, and nothing left of it but " a corn-enclosed baulk."
Of course, the proprietor or proprietors are all " absentees."
The present tenant is Mr Simon Bathgate.



2 N



CHAPTER XIX

THREEBURNFORD — NETHER HOWDEN — BOWERHOUSE —
HERIOTSHALL.

Threburneforde in 1569 — Anciently called Futhewethynis or Fule-
withnis — Trinity College, Edinburgh — Wedaleford — The Three
Burns — The Borthwicks' Possession — The Allans, Portioners — John
Gumming, Minister at Humbie — Alexander Pierie, Writer — The
Falconers of Woodcote Park — The Taylors — Situation and Area —
Tenants.

Nether Howden — Kirk Lands — The Kers — The Mill — William
Murray — The Achesons — William Hunter — Charles Binning — Rev.
Dr Webster — Lord Tweeddale — The Tenants.

Bowerhouse — The name — Possessed by the Borthwicks — Andro Law
— Kers of Morriestoun — Charles Binning — The Thomsons — Fairholm
— Lord Marchmont — The Earl of Lauderdale — The Robertsons —
Ten Rigs — Situation and Area — Tenants.

Heriotshall from 1742 — The Two Husband Lands of Ugston — The
Heriots — The Forty-Shilling Lands of Ugston — The Murrays of
Wooplaw — Rev. Thomas Murray — The Dobsons — The Masons —
.Situation and Area — Tenants.

THREEBURNFORD

This farm is alway.s credited with possessing a more
than ordinary share of that remoteness and isolation which
are believed to be characteristics of the whole parish. What-
ever it may have been in the past, its isolation is doomed
to vanish before the encroachments of the railway which is
being laid in its immediate vicinity. But we are not in-
clined to think that it was a solitary place in bygone days.



THRREBURNFORD 563

On the contrary, it must have been a place of frequent
visitation, seeing that the Girthgate runs past it, where
many a weary wayfarer, and doubtless many a hunted
criminal, pressed on their way to the " Girths " at Wedale
on the south, or Soltre Aisle on the north. This view may
receive fuller confirmation from the following gleanings.

On the 24th November 1569 the King confirmed the
charter of Lord William Youngar, Prebendary of the
Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, near Edinburgh,
styled Threburneforde — in which, with consent of the Provost
and Prebendaries of the same, for a large sum of money
paid, and for other gratuities, he demitted to Robert
Borthwick, son of the deceased William Borthwick, senior of
Soltray, the lands of Threburneforde, with house and build-
ing, in the bailiary of Lauderdale, who must return to the
said Prebendary five pounds as ancient fee-farm, with some
other obligations.*

Here we find Threeburnford in the hands of Trinity
College, Edinburgh, one of whose Prebendaries takes his
landed appellation from it, demitting it to Robert Borthwick
of Soltray. How did it come into the possession of the
Provost and Prebendaries of Trinity College ?

The answer to this question seems to be found in the
Charters of Dryburgh Abbey and those of Kelso and the
Domus de Soltre, Nos. 187, 98, and 13 respectively. The
gist of them is the same. There were 104 acres in Channel-
kirk Parish which brought revenue to the Dryburgh Abbot
as head of the Abbey. These acres were called Fulewithnis,
and they were situated at Wedaleford. The Hospital of
Soltre farmed them and paid tithes and dues to Channelkirk
Church, as the Mother Church through which Dryburgh
* Registrum Magni Sigilli.



564 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

Abbey originally received them, but which now, in 1220
A.D. (1200 A.D. say Soltre Charters), Dryburgh Abbey
graciously, "being charitably disposed, gives and frees the
House of Soltre, and the Brethren there, from all these
tithes and dues." Only the Soltray Brethren, according to
the convention between the two houses, must pay to
Dryburgh Abbey as an acknowledgment of superiority over
these acres, one pound of pepper and another of cumin,
yearly, at Roxburgh Fair.

Allan of Galloway is said to have given Kelso monks
8s. annually in consideration that they should give up all
claim to the land called Fulwidnes which he had given in
alms to the Hospital of Soltre. Dryburgh Abbey appears
to have held a superiority over it, notwithstanding, and
hence the " Convention." We think we are justified in
believing these 104 acres — called a carucate of land — to
have been the ancient Threeburnford. We have arrived at
this conclusion from the following considerations : —

I. This place called Fulewithnis, or, as Soltray Charters
spell it, Futhewethynis, was at this date (about 1 200 A.D.) in
the hands of Soltre Brethren as their property, with a merely
nominal rent over it. 2. There is no trace that they relin-
quished this grant to any one down till the year 1462. 3. In
that year King James the Second's widow founded Trinity
College, Edinburgh, and all the endowments of Soutra
Hospital were bestowed upon it. Fulewithnis would go with
these to the Provost and Prebendaries of it, and may account
for a Prebendary of that College holding land in Channelkirk
parish in 1569. 4. This was the only case where the Soutray
Brethren held land in this parish at any time (with the
exception of Hartside and Clints), and the likelihood seems
all the greater that when Borthwick of Soltray took a lease



THREP:BURNF0RD 565

of Threeburnford from the Prebendary of Trinity College,
he was actually treating for the same acres which the
Master of Soltray and the Abbot of Dryburgh negotiated
in the year 1200. If we are correct in this assumption,
Threeburnford was originally called Fulewithnis, and it
was situated at Wedaleford. Wedale, as treated by one
authority, was part of the forest of Selkirk and Traquair,
and was specially given by David I. to Melrose Abbey
about 1 1 36, and it is defined as "bounded on the south-
west by the River Gala, on the east by the Leder, and
on the north by the lands of the Morvilles in Lauder-
dale. " * Skene and Veitch, however, have another view
of it at an earlier stage in its existence, and place it
originally near Heriot Water. Commemorative of a woful
scene of bloodshed and battle, the name in course of time
would doubtless widen in area, and from a small locality,
gradually embrace the entire territory of the Gala valley,
and in these early times a road must have existed between
" the Stow of Weddale " f and the one which comes up from
it by way of Michelstown, Inchkeith, Threeburnford, and
Hartside. It is clearly the route which travellers would
prefer to take in communicating between Stow dale and
Upper Lauderdale. But when " Stow " as a name super-
.seded " Wedale," and the valley, moreover, became " Gala "
Valley, the name Wedaleford would become less and less
distinctive as a directive name, and as the Three Burns
which exist here had to be forded by all travellers coming
up the valley to Hartside or Soutra Isle, the " Three Burns'
Ford" would give clearer outline to the locality, and use
and wont would then fix it as its designation.

* Monastic Annals of Teviotdale, p. 262.

t Called so by John Harding, time of James I. of Scotland.



566 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

The fact that " the Stow of Weddale " possessed special
privileges of sanctuary, and that the same privileges were
offered by Soltray Hospital, would create a direct interest
in these two localities strong enough to ensure a road
between them. It is undoubtedly clear, from the Dryburgh
Charters, that this " Wedaleford'' was in Channelkirk parish^
as well as that Soltre Hospital held acres at that place,
and unless we assume it also to have been at Threeburn-
ford, there does not seem any solution possible to the
problem as to how a Prebendary of Trinity College, Edin-
burgh, holding property direct from Soltre Hospital, held
Threeburnford in 1569. There is further confirmation of this.

The Lord Provost and Town Council of Edinburgh
got possession of Trinity College shortly after the Reforma-
tion, and King James confirmed the charter in 1587, and
consequently we find them exercising their superiority over
Threeburnford in the following deed— "23rd Nov. 1631,
Charter by Alex. Clark, of Stentoun, Provost of the Burgh
of Edinburgh, William Dick, Thos. Charteris, Robert
Achesoun, and of John Smith, bailies of said burgh, as
Superiors of the lands, granting to William Borthwick of
Cruikston the lands of Soultray, Soultray Hill, Reidhall,
and Hauginschaw, in the Sheriffdom of Edinburgh ; also
Threeburnford, lying in the same shire and bailiary of
Lauderdale, apprised by William Borthwick from the Ladies
Anna and Jean Ker, heiresses of the late Robert, Earl of
Lothian : To be held for a yearly rental of .... ^8 for
Threeburnford." * Here we have further proof that Three-
burnford was in possession of Edinburgh Magistrates, and it is
rational to assume that // was there by reason of being a part
of Trinity College endowments taken over by them.
* Calendar of Laing Charters, No. 2096.



THREEBURNFORD 567

If this be granted, Threeburnford has a clear historical
record from a date considerably before the year 1200 A.D.
Originally owned by Channelkirk Church, it passed into
the possession of Dr}^burgh Abbey by the gift of Channel-
kirk to Dryburgh. Its name then was Fulewithnis or
Futhewithynis, and it was situated at Wedaleford. It is
then worked and leased from Dryburgh Abbey by the Brethren
of Soutra Hospital, the advantage of this being apparent
when it is remembered that the Hospital owned Gilston
and Brotherstanes (The Brother's " Tuns ") two or three
miles further north, in the vicinity of the Girthgate, and
had also a superiority over Hartside and Clints. About
1200 or 1220 Soltre Hospital practically obtained entire
possession of it from Dryburgh monks. It is retained by
the Brethren of Soutra Hospital till 1462, when, along with
all their possessions, it became, as we have already suggested,
part of the endowments of Trinity College, Edinburgh.
Shortly after the Reformation, the Trinity College itself
was owned by Edinburgh City, whose magistrates are its
Superiors. It stood thus in 163 1.

In 1627 the then minister of Channelkirk says : " Thrie-
burnefuird is in stok 8 scoir lib. ; personage, 20 lib.; viccarage,
20 lib." In a paper purporting to be a copy of the Locality
of Channelkirk Teinds, it is given: — " Johnstoneburn (Borth-
wick) — His lands of Threeburnfoot, of teynd rent one boll
bear, two bolls oats, twelve teynd lamb with the wool,
pryce 33s. 46." * But Edinburgh magistrates were still
Superiors over it.

There is a family of Allans who are called portioners
in Threeburnford from 1599 to i626.t William is first,
who dies in 1625, Thomas, his heir, coming in for half
* Decreet of Locality^ p. 242. f Retours..



568 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

the lands of Threeburnford, with pasture in the Common
of Ugston. Then Thomas Allan is served heir of Hugh
Allan, " portioner in Threeburnford," on 19th January 1626.
William Borthwick is seised in the lands of Threeburnford
in April 1663.* A family of Fairgrieves, father and son,
were tenants in it from 1693 till about 1763, William Murray
following them. The father, George Fairgrieve, seems to
have been prosperous in it, for on ist February 1702, he could
afford to lend the proprietor, Major William Borthwick,"
Johnstoneburn, 500 merks.f

■ In 1724 the lands change hands. "William Ramsay of
Templehall, for John Gumming Ramsay, his second son,
condescended that the lands of Threeburnford were purchased
by Mr John Gumming, his wife's father, from Borthwick of
Fallahill, 7th February 1724, and that the lands hold of the
town of Edinburgh." I " Mr John Gumming " was the minister
of Humbie, and Mr Dalzell, who was then in Hartside,
was on no good terms with the "said John." On ist October
1728 Mr Gumming has a disposition granted to him by
Andrew Ker of Moriestoun,§ of the half of the free teinds
of Threeburnford, and he is seised in these 8th October
1729.11 In 1742 he is taxed ;^i, 8s. lod. for the Ghannelkirk
schoolmaster's salary, in virtue of his owning Threeburnford.^
Ultimately he wills these lands to his grandson, John
Gumming Ramsay, second son of William Ramsay of
Templehall. The date is not quite evident, but it must have
been before 1762.

Before 1772 sometime, Alexander Pierie, writer Edinburgh,
becomes possessed of Threeburnford. In 1786 it passes into

* General Register, fol. 309. t Sasines.

% Acts and Decreets, vol. 597. Mack. § Decreet of Locality, p. 220.

II Sasines. ^ Kirk Records.



THREEBURNFORD 569

the hands of his trustees, and in 1792 it is disponed to
Alexander Falconer of Woodcote Park, Haddingtonshire. A
year before this date, Mr Falconer, succeeding his father
Thomas, who owned Reidhall and Soutra, laid out that
estate to such an extent in woods, beech hedges, and haw-
thorn, as to justify his changing its name to that of
Woodcote Park. In 1795 he died, and was buried in Fala
churchyard. George Home Falconer, his son, is " seised "
in Threeburnford on 3rd February 1803, and again on
2nd January 1804, "as heir to Alex. Falconer of Woodcote
Park, his father, on Charter of Confirmation, and Pr. CI.
Con. by the tutors dative of the said Geo. H. Falconer,
19 Dec. 1803." He was a soldier, and served his country
in the battle ot Waterloo, and was promoted to a cap-
taincy. He died prematurely in 1820, and is buried beside
his father.

George Home Falconer had three sisters, one of whom
was married to Lieut.-Col. T. E. Napier — later. Sir Thomas
E. Napier, of Thirlstane — brother to Admiral Napier, and
Woodcote Park was her dowry. Mr Ogilvie of Chesters,
Ancrum, married another sister. Soutra Mains belonged
to her.

At a heritors' meeting on ist May 1821, the presence
of "Col. Napier of Threeburnford" is noted. On 15th July
1823, the gallant colonel appears "for Wm. Ogilvie of
Threeburnford." Mrs Murray is said to be teinded for
Threeburnford in 1827. On nth and 15th May 1841
the following sasine introduces a new proprietor to Three-
burnford.

"John Taylor, tenant in Kirktonhill, seised May 21,
1 841, in the lands of Threeburnford, with pasturage in the
Common of Ugston, on disposition by Alexina Falconer,



570 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

with consent of William Ogilvie of Chesters, her husband,
and of Margaret Falconer and Col. Thomas Erskine Napier,
her husband, May i ith and 15th, 1841."

Therefore, at a heritors' meeting on 15th November 1841,
"John Taylor, Esq. of Threeburnford," duly appears.*
Alexander Taylor, Esq., appears for him on 26th August
1848; on 22nd November 1852 it is "James Taylor, Esq.
of Threeburnford " ; on 8th May 1 876, " Thomas Taylor,
Esq.," appears "for the trustees of the late John Taylor,
Esq. of Threeburnford." The present proprietor is Joseph
Taylor, who is reputed to be a liberal landlord. He has
the " Diel's Buist " on him, however, as an " Absentee." In
the opinion of the people of the parish, it takes a thick
coating of good wool to overgrow that smudge.

The farm-steading stands on a steep bank rising towards
the west, from a stream which at this point gives to the
Leader River the source of one of its tributaries. It is old,
but in good condition and comfortable. The water-supply
is fairly good, and drainage satisfactory. The farm is in area
379 acres, and is rented for ^^146 yearly. The land is
composed of a light soil, and is worked on the fifth shift
rotation. It supports 30 cattle, 200 ewes, and 5 horses,
with the usual farmyard accessories. 250 acres are in
tillage, 127 in pasture, and 2 acres woods. The want of
shelter in winter for stock is a drawback. A narrow strip
of wood planted conveniently would help the ewes to cherish
in stormy seasons, and save the lambs. Exposed to the
east blasts, the open slope of land ascending without a
break from the " three burns " to the height of the " Rishilaw
House," receives the full severity of our bitterest February
and March winds, and at such a time no little damage is
* Heritors' Records.



THREEBURNFORD 571

done to the farmer's profits. A few trees would be a great
improvement.

It is approached from the Edinburgh Road which passes
over Soutra Hill by way of the " Oxton Road " and Mount-
mill Farm, proceeding past Hartside through as pretty
a little glen as one could wish to behold ; the steep sloping
braes on either side being clothed with the "gay green
birk," the broom, and the bracken, the hawthorn and the
evergreen juniper, in abundance ; the brawling Airhouse
Water, dear to trout fishers, keeping the pedestrian merry
company all the way. Another approach to it, not so dear
to pedestrians who have to catch trains, lies across the
moors to the west, by way of Middletown and Cortleferry to
Fountainhall station. It is a good hour's walk to it either
from Edinburgh Road or Fountainhall.

The present farmer is Thomas Bell, son of James Bell,
deceased in February of this year, 1900, and who entered
the farm in 1897. There are nine souls on the place. Mr
Bell had farmed in the parish altogether for thirty-three
years on Heriotshall, Oxton Mains, and Threeburnford. He
was a native of the parish, and his father was for many
years a farm servant in Channelkirk. He was a Parish
Councillor, and was much respected.

The Girthgate which runs past this farm, and the legend
connected with one of its early tenants, are noticed in the
chapter on " Antiquities."

This notice of Threeburnford would be incomplete without
some observations regarding Mr Walter Brodie, Mr Bell's
predecessor in the tenancy, and his brother-in-law. His
death in Lauder, whither he had retired, on the 3rd
of October 1898, cast quite a gloom over Lauderdale. Both
in Lauder parish and in Channelkirk there were few public



572 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

functions with which he was not honourably connected. He
was born in Blainslie in 1825. He left there in 1857, with
wife and family, to farm Heriotshall. He was many years in
Lauder in the service of the Earls of Lauderdale till 1881,
when he took a lease of Threeburnford Farm. Sociable,
sincere, and amiable, he was not only esteemed, but beloved.
He was for many years a leading mind in Lauder U.P.
Church, but did not hesitate to take the chair at an Estab-
lished Church meeting in Oxton, held to protest against Dis-
establishment at last Parliament elections. He had strong
sympathies with the Church of Scotland, and was a Unionist



Online LibraryArchibald AllanHistory of Channelkirk → online text (page 42 of 50)