G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 13 of 103)
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by Janet, daughter of Robert Hunter, his second wife, there were two
sons. Mr. Riddell lived to old age ; the name of his third wife has not
reached me.


Gen. Michael Riddell 3 (2), eldest son of Michael 2 (1), was of Grange,
Fifeshire ; married Miss Sheridan, and had issue two sons, of whom here-

We'll search through the gardens for each silly flower,
We '11 roam through the forest for each idle weed ;

But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower,
For none e'er approached her but rued the rash deed.

We'll sculpture the marble, we'll measure the lay,

Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre;
There keen Indignation shall dart on her prey,

Which spurring Contempt shall redeem from his ire."

* There was a Miss Deborah Davies, a beautiful young English lady, connected by
ties of blood with the family of Captain Riddell of Glen-Riddell, at whose house
the poet Burns met her, and her beauty and accomplishments made so deep an im-
pression upon him that he celebrated them in prose and song.


after. He was a major general in the East India Company's service,
commanding the southern division of the Madras army. He died at To-
ronmungalalam, India, November, 1844.

John Riddell 3 (2), second son of Michael' 2 (1), was in the army and
died sine prole in 1822.

Robert Riddell 3 (1), third son of Michael 2 (1), was in the East India
Company's service, and afterwards in Canada, British North America.
He married in 1836, Elizabeth, daughter of Rear Admiral Henry Vansi-
tart, and had issue three sons and three daughters, of whom hereafter.
The family returned to Britain, and both Mr. and Mrs. Riddell have since


Robert- Vansitart Riddell 4 (2), eldest son of Robert 8 (1), is now
(1874) serving in the Bengal Engineers, in India, and has been recognized
as the representative of the families of Glen-Riddell and Grange, although
he does not own any properties there, these having passed to other fam-

Henry- Vansitart Riddell 4 (1), second son of Robert 3 (1), is now a
soldier in the Bengal Native Infantry, in India.

Walter Riddell 4 (2), third son of Robert 3 (1), is now a soldier in the
armv in India, with his brothers.

Mary-Clara Riddell 4 (1), eldest daughter of Robert 3 (1).

Elizabeth- Janette Riddell 4 (1), second daughter of Robert 3 (1).

Caroline Riddell 4 (1), third daughter of Robert 3 (1).


Rev. Archibald Riddell 1 (1), the first of this denomination, was
the third son of Walter, the second Baronet of Riddell, in Roxburghshire,
and his wife, Jane Rigg. He was ordained as minister of Kippen about
the year 1676, but preached often in field conventicles. He suffered
persecution and imprisonment, and was obliged to leave Scotland and go
to New Jersey, in the United States, where he spent three years as a
preacher in Woodbridge. Although his name appears among those of
other preachers who had drawn upon them the attention of the govern-
ment by attending conventicles as early as 1674, yet the first serious
proceedings against him seem to have been prompted by his connection
in some way with the rising of Bothwell in 1679, the Privy Council
ordering on the 24th of June that he should be sought for and offering
a reward for his arrest. He was taken in September by the Laird of Gra-
den, a relative of his wife, and sent to the Tolbooth at Jedburgh, whence
he was removed to the prison at Edinburgh. On the first of October,
and again in December, Mr. Riddell was called before the Council of Pub-
lic Affairs, and so conducted himself as to secure the respect of his
examiners. He was remitted to confinement, however, until released on
the application of the Laird of Pitlochie, with the view of emigrating
to New Jersey. During this period in April, 1681, he was allowed to visit
his dying mother, at Riddell house, and in the following June he was



charged with having broken his confinement, keeping conventicles, and
baptizing children, and, in consequence, the place of his imprisonment
was changed, he being sent to the Bass. lie and the Rev. Thomas Pat-
terson are described by the proprietaries as " two persons who have been
in prison in Scotland for nonconformity, and are greatly esteemed among
the people who are of their persuasion in matters of religion"; and as
they are willing to transport themselves to East Jersey, and settle there,
which will be the occasion of inviting a great number to follow them,
the necessary directions were given to have two hundred acres of land
allotted to each immediately on their arrival, in such places as might
best accommodate them, provided they build them houses and continue
their own or some other family there three years.

On board the ill-fated " Henry and Francis " we are not able to follow
them. Mrs. Riddell and his children accompanied him, and she died on
shipboard; the children were spared to him, to contribute to his happiness
in his new home at Woodbridge, where his two hundred acres were allot-
ted him, and where he purchased other lands. He officiated at Trinity
Church at Woodbridge from 1686 to 1689, when he, having fulfilled the
conditions of settlement, left the country, and started on his return to
his native land, — a land having more charms for him than the " New
World." He set sail with a son ten years of age, in June, 1689, but he
was doomed to other sufferings and disappointments. Favorable weather
attended him, but on the 2d of August, when off the coast of England,
the vessel was captured by a French man-of-war, and the passengers sent
to the common jail atRochefort, whence they were subsequently marched
to Toulon, chained two and two by their arms, and, at first, each ten pairs
tied to a rope, but this being found an impediment to their traveling,
was abandoned the second day. Mr. Riddell was chained to his little
son, who was so small that he gave them no little trouble, three different
bands being forged by the smith before one could be found small enough
to confine his slender wrists. They were six weeks on the way to Toulon,
the hardships of the journey causing the death of many, and on their
arrival were conveyed to the hold of an old hulk in the harbor, but
after the detention of a month, Mr. Riddell and his son and others were
taken back again to Rochefort, and thence to Demain, near St. Malo,
where for more than a year they were kept prisoners in the vault of an
old castle. At last, after having been confined nearly two years, they
were exchanged for two Romish priests and allowed to return to Scot-
land.* While they were imprisoned in the old castle they lay on straw,
never changed save once a month, suffering every indignity and misery.
But his trials were ended with his release, and he passed the rest of his

* The following royal letter was found by one of the Riddells some time ago in the
State Paper Office, London, which was issued directly from the sovereign, William
III, and directed to the Privy Council of Scotland, being to the following effect : —

"William Rex, Right Trusty and Entirely Beloved. Whereas we are in-
formed that Mr. Archibald Riddell, Minister of the Gospel, and .James Sinclair
of Freshwick, are prisoners in France, and are very hardly used, whom we are re-
solved to have released by exchange with two Priests now Prisoners in Scotland.
Therefore, WE require you to call for their friends and nearest relations of the said
Mr. Archibald Riddell and James Sinclair, and signify our Royal Pleasure to them
in exchange of these two Prisoners with the two Priests thai shall he condescended
upon, and authorise them not only to speak with the two Priests, but also to write
to France anent the negotiating their friends' liberty, ami that you cause these two
Priests to be condescended upon and securely keeped, and make intimation to them


days in peace and security ; indeed, as Woodrow states, when he returned
all his losses were made up, and he and his children (his wife, who was a
daughter of Henry Atkenhead, minister of North Berwick, having died
on the voyage to America) were in better circumstances than if he had
conformed, to which he had been instigated. He was appointed minister
of Trinity College Church, a fine structure built by Mary of Guelders,
in which charge he died in 1708, and his remains were deposited in
Greyfriars churchyard, where the bodies of many eminent servants of
God are buried, and where his brother, Sir John Riddell, the Baronet of
Riddell, had been previously interred. Mr. Riddell left a great reputation
behind him, and Dr. Hew Scott says : " He was a singularly pious and
laborious servant of Jesus Christ." English genealogists have stated that
there were two sons and two daughters in this family, but there are
divers evidences pointing to a son William settled in New Jersey, who
became the ancestor of the numerous Riddells and Riddles in Virginia
and about Cincinnati, Ohio, descended from William and John, sons of
the William before mentioned.


Com. Walter Riddell 2 (1), eldest son of Archibald 1 (1), of Granton,
married Sarah, sister of Sir John Nisbet, of Dean, but died without issue
in 1738; his widow married Sir John Rutherford, of Rutherford. He
was a captain in the Royal Navy, and greatly distinguished himself in the
war of the Spanish succession under Queen Anne. He became commo-
dore and was knighted. His conduct and bravery as a naval officer is
noticed in a history of Europe, 1709, and he is also proved to have dis-
tinguished himself in the capture of vessels and in opposing the rebels in
1715, stimulated, no doubt, by the treatment shown his father in the reign
of James II, as before shown. In the archives of the admiralty a list
exists of about thirty-seven vessels, taken by him from the French while
commanding the "Phoebe," frigate of war. Being attacked by a superior
force on one occasion, his vessel was taken by the enemy, and he succeeded
in getting off in a boat with part of the crew, unobserved. Having kept
in sight of the French fleet, he observed that for some reason the "Phoebe"
had fallen behind and become separated from the other ships, upon which
he rowed back to Ins vessel, recaptured her, and made his escape. In con-
sequence of this feat he was authorized to change his family escutcheon,
and to substitute a boat with oars in place of one of the ears of rye, and
to adopt the motto, "Row and Retake" ; this is therefore the escutcheon
of the Granton branch of Riddell. He acquired the barony of West
Granton, near Edinburgh. Supposed to be the son that was chained to
his father in France, before mentioned. He was succeeded by his brother
in 1738*

that they shall be used in the same way and manner as the French King uses the
said Scots Prisoners, which they may be ordered to acquaint their friends in France
with, that exchange may be more easily effected. For doing of which these Pres-
ents shall be your warrant, and so we bid you hertily farewell.

" Given at the Court of Kensington this 16th day of January, 1689, and of our
Reign the first year. — By His Majesty's Command. (Signed) Melville."

* Walter Riddell was appointed captain of the "Mermaid" 21 Dec, 1703;
promoted to second lieutenant of the '• Chichester," of seventy guns, in 1705. The
first part of his service as naval commander is barren of incident. In 1706, he
commanded the " Isabella," a yacht, ordered with Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and the
fieet under his command to the Mediterranean (it being, at that day, always cus-


John Riddell" (1), second son of Archibald 1 (1), was a physician in
Edinburgh; married Jane Livingstone, an heiress, and had issue many
children who died young. Dr. Riddell died in 1740, leaving a widow and
two children, of whom hereafter. He was eminent in his profession.

Janet Riddell" (1), eldest daughter of Archibald 1 (1), was born in
Scotland, and went to New Jersey, United States, with her father's fam-
ily at the time of his banishment. She was married Jan. 26, 1686, to
James, son of Sir James Dundas, who was Lord Orinston, great-grand-
father of General, the Rt. Hon. Sir D. Dundas, G. C. B7, of Beechwood,
late commander-in-chief. Her husband was one of the party that came
on the "Henry and Francis" from Scotland. These resided at Perth
Amboy, his household being located on Smith Street. Mr. Dundas was
selected by William Dockwra, in 1688, for one of his deputy receiver-
generals, but would not accept the office ; however, on being appointed
by the Proprietaries, in January, 1694, receiver-general, he consented to
serve, and held the office till his death in 1698. Mrs. Dundas survived
her husband and administered on his estate, after which she returned to
Scotland and spent her last days with her kindred.

Sarah Riddell 2 (1), second daughter of Archibald 1 (1), was born in
Scotland, and presumably went to New Jersey in America, with her

tomary to send a vessel or two of that description with all great naval armaments,
which, independent of the purposes of state and pageantry, probably first gave rise
to this equipment). He returned with his gallant admiral in October, 1707. His
diligence and indefatigable attention to duty, procured his promotion soon after his
return to England, to the "Falmouth," of fifty guns. In the year 1708, he was
ordered for New England; and, when on Ins voyage homeward, in 1709, with
a number of ships under his convoy, signalized himself in so distinguished a
manner on being attacked by a French ship-of-war of superior force, that we
scarcely know whether most to applaud his intrepidity and good conduct itself,
or to rejoice at the unalloyed success which attended it. He continued cap-
tain of the "Falmouth" for a considerable time after this, as in the year 1710, we
find him in the same ship, accompanying Capt. George Martin, who then com-
manded the "Dragon," on his successful expedition against the French settle-
ment of Port Royal, in Acadia, now called Nova Scotia. In the year 1712. he still
commanded the same ship, and was then stationed oft' the coast of Guinea, where,
in company with Capt. Mabbott, of the "Mary Galley," he had a very spirited
engagement with two French ships-of-war ; the enemy were, however, so fortunate
as to make their escape. This is the last mention we find of Capt. Riddell. The
time of his death is not known.

" Admiralty Office, May 24, 1709. — Her Majesties ship 'Falmouth,' of fifty guns,
commanded by Capt. Walter Ryddell, in her passage from New England with some
ships laden with masts, and others under her convoy, was on the 18th of this mouth,
attacked by a French ship-of-war of fifty guns, about twenty-four leagues from
Scilly; and Capt. Ryddell, perceiving that the enemy did intend to board him,
befilled his head-sails, and laid her on board under her boltsprit directly athwart
her hawse, and raked lie r fore and aft with his cannon. The enemy continued in
this posture about an hour an a half, during which time he entered many men, but
they were repulsed; however, the number of men on board being much greater
than those in the ' Falmouth, ' it occasioned various turns; but at length he thought
fit to retire, first cut all t he lanyards of the ' Falmouth ' fore and mizen shrouds, be-
lieving it might prevent her following to rescue the convoy, which the enemy stood
after, notwithstanding which Captain Ryddell did with such diligence follow him as
enabled him to preserve them and to bring them into Plymouth. In this act inn the
'Falmouth ' had thirteen men killed and fifty-six wounded ; the captain himself re-
ceived a wound in his right leg and several other hurts; and the second lieutenant
and Mr. Lawrence, one of the volunteers, were shot through the body. The 'Fal-
mouth' had on board her 20.000 pounds of New England money at the time of the
engagement. Captain Ryddell's conduct on this occasion appears to have been
rarely equalled and never excelled.." — Naval Biography.


father; she was married to John Carrie, minister of Haddington. No

other information.


John Riddell 3 (2), eldest son of John 2 (1), of Granton, was a Writer
to the Signet, Edinburgh ; married Christian, daughter of Sir John Nis-
bet, Baronet of Dean, and had issue two sons, of whom hereafter. He
was born in 1713, and died in 1745, and was succeeded by his son.

Esther Riddell 3 (1), a daughter of John 2 (1), and Jane Livingstone,
was married to Rev. Robert Riddell, her cousin, of Lilliesleaf, but had no



John Riddell 4 (3), eldest son of John 3 (2), was born in 1740 ; mar-
ried Betsey, daughter of John Campbell, Esq., of Clathic and Killermont,
and was for some time lord provost of C41asgow. The Granton estate had
become much burdened with debt by the former proprietors, and was sold
during this gentleman's minority ; it was purchased by the ancestors of
the present Duke of Buccleuch. Mr. Riddell had issue Jive children, of
whom hereafter.

Henry Riddell 4 (1), second son of John 3 (2), was styled "of Little
Govan." He married his cousin Anne, daughter of John Glassford, of
Dougalston, by his second wife, Anne, daughter of Sir John Nisbet, of
Dean. He was a merchant in Glasgow; had issue seven children, and

died in 1801.


John Riddell 5 (4), eldest son of John 4 (3), who was designated
"younger of Granton," was a lieutenant in the Madras army, and died
sine prole in 1828.

Archibald Riddell 5 (2), second son of John 4 (3), younger of Granton.
retired early from the army ; married an Austrian lady of rank, and lived
at Vienna, Austria, till his death in 1877; he had issue two daughters;
one survives.

Elizabeth Riddell 5 (1), eldest daughter of John 4 (3), younger of Gran-
ton, was married to William Home, Esq., of Stirkoke, Caithness, and
sheriff of Haddingtonshire; no issue.

Agnes Riddell 5 (1), second daughter of John 4 (3), younger of Gran-
ton, was never married; died in 1874.

Mary-Aline Riddell 5 (1), third daughter of John 4 (3), younger of
Granton, was not married; died 1876.

John Riddell 5 (5), eldest son of Henry 4 (1) of Little Govan, was born
Oct. 4, 1785. He was styled "of Gulane Lodge," in East Lothian, and
was considered the greatest antiquary and peerage-lawyer of his day. He
published works on Scotch Peerage and Consistorial Law. Lord Lindsey,
now Earl Crawford, a very high authority, wrote a most interesting ac-
count of his splendid career and great attainments, from which I extract
the following: "The genealogical knowledge, which gave weight and value
to his opinions, was vast and profound, — the gathered stores of a life-
time spent among public and private records ; almost every principal
charter-chest in Scotland having at one time or other passed under his re-
view. But this vast knowledge would have been little serviceable toward
the great purposes to which he devoted it, had he not possessed that thor-
ough familiarity with law, — feudal, consistorial, genealogical, and heraldic,


— and not of Scotland and England only, but of foreign nations, — which
determined the value and regulated the application of the facts ever
present before his mental eye. It was from this lofty eminence of prin-
ciple and precedent that he was enabled to survey the length and breadth
of Scottish genealogical antiquity; assign its limits to undue family pre-
tensions; recall forgotten rights of representation to public recognition,
and point out in many instances through which unsuspected or neglected
hereditary honors might be legally claimed and vindicated. And it was
from the full concurrent perception of the extent of the difficulty always
attending on such processes, more especially before the House of Lords,
that, acting under the impulse of that honesty which is always allied with
the love of truth, as well as in accordance with his chivalric sense of honor,
and his extreme disinterestedness on the point of professional remunera-
tion, he carefully and distinctly, before engaging in such undertakings,
pointed out the adverse considerations likely to attend upon them, which
through deficiency of evidence, or irregular and fluctuating procedure
in the tribunal where the claim must necessarily be prosecuted — anxious
ever that his client should not commit himself to the pursuit without full
warning of what it might entail upon him. But when once engaged in
it he gave his whole soul to the object before him ; and it was beautiful
and inspiring to witness the play of his thoughts during the evolution of
his argument; the historical breadth of his views, and their ready conver-
gence to the required focus, however minute the particular; his subtlety
of legal discrimination; his fertility in illustration; his extraordinary
readiness of resource; his untiring patience and industry in working out
his results, contrasting with the eager impetuosity of utterance which ac-
companied their birth; and lastly, the genuine professional courage spring-
ing again, as before, from his manly honesty and love of truth, with which
he never evaded, but boldly faced and combated every difficulty. I speak
to all this from my own experience during the prosecution of the minute
and complicated Peerage claims.

"I have seldom witnessed more touching examples of that beautiful
humility which is generally the sister of mental strength and moral dignity,
than in Mr. Riddell. His pride was far more in the fame of his great
predecessors in the same studies, and in that of the historical families of
Scotland,* more especially those with whom he had become professionally
related, than in his own reputation. He was as unselfish in that respect
as he was disinterested in regard to the remuneration of his labours.

" Everything he wrote was stamped with the power bestowed by pro-
found legal knowledge and a boundless command of facts, and his works
will continually be resorted to as a store-house of information on matters
of genealogy and Peerage law by future generations."

Such are Earl Crawford's views of his great professional acquirements
and character. Mr. Riddell died issueless. The epitaph on his tomb in
the Dean cemetery is as follows: —


Amk.i.k. Jurisconsultus, vir cojuscunque JEtatis Numbutus
Uteris; Qui in Antiquitate
Et ea Prcecipue Quce Ad Originis Gentilitias Pertinet

* The Gkaxtox RrDDEIXS arc connected by marriaire with the Glassfords, Gil-
christs, Iloincs, Dares, Pringles, Stephens, Fosters, Trevalyans, Smiths. Palmers,
Laws. Constables, Campbells, Seaton-Karrs, ami other old and distinguished Scot-
tish families.


Ad Veritatem fierum Revocandam Prodigus Laboris

Atque Etiam Felix Fuit, Eandemque Scriptis

Illustravit Auctor Omnium Conscensu Gravis-

simus ; Hoc In Agro, Qui Proavorum fysius

Olim Fuit, Sepultus Est.

Natus IV° Die Octobris MDCCLXXXV. Decessit VIII° Die Feb-

ruarii MDOCLXII. Vixit Annos LXXVI.

"John Riddell, Esquire, advocate; a man imbued with the literature of
every age, who in antiquities, and especially that branch of them which
relates to the origin of families, by recalling it to the truth of fact, was
prodigal of labor, and, moreover, felicitous. This pursuit he illustrated
by his writings, being an author of the greatest weight, as all admit.
In this land, once the property of his ancestors, he was buried. Born,
4th October, 1785 ; died 8th February, 1862. He lived 76 years."*

Rev. Henry Riddell 5 (2), second son of Henry 4 (1) of Little Go van,
now a part of the city of Glasgow, was born May 23, 1789, at Glasgow ;
married in 1818 Agnes Gilchrist, daughter of Archibald Gilchrist, Esq.,
by whom he had one son. His wife died at Bexhill, England, and he mar-
ried secondly, in 1831, Elizabeth, daughter of John Home, Esq., of
Storkoke, Caithnesshire, and by her had issue four children, of whom
(with the first son) hereafter. Mr. Riddell was educated at the grammar
school, Glasgow, till the age of 13, and afterwards at Edinburgh, where
the family removed after the death of his father in 1801. He attended
the University of Edinburgh, and passed as a " Writer to His Majesty's
Signet." For a short time he practised his profession at Edinburgh, but
removed to London about 1822, and became solicitor there. His wife's
health was delicate, and she could not live in London, so he gave up busi-
ness and went to the south of England, where Mrs. Riddell died. He

Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 13 of 103)