John Guthrie Smith.

The parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants from early times : a chapter in Lennox history online

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6. Wester Carbeth or Garvel, the property of James Freeland.

7. Craigallian and Ballochalary and part of Carbeth, the property of Allan

Graham Barns-Graham.

8. Craigend, the property of Sir James Buchanan, Bart.

9. The Middleton of Mugdock, the property of John Brown.

10. The Easterton of Mugdock, the property of Robert Ker.

11. Bankend, the property of William Graham.

12. Woodend, the property of James Weir of Barrachan.

13. Leddriegreen, the property of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jameson.

14. Mugdock Park and Castle, part of Carbeth, and Quinloch, the property

of the Duke of Montrose.



The estate of Duntreath, so far as it lies in the parish of Strathblane, consists
of the lands of —




Duntreath proper was detached from the Earldom of Lennox once at least ^
before it was finally separated from it, viz., when it was granted to Murdoch,
son of Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, by his brother, Earl Donald. Murdoch had
a daughter, Isabella, who succeeded to Duntreath after her father's death. ^

The earliest authentic notice of Duntreath is that referring to this Murdoch.
It is to be found in a notarial instrument in the charter chest of Lord Napier,
and is a very interesting document.^ It narrates the grant by Earl Donald to

1 " Dennestoun of Duntraeth " is mentioned in Font's MS. and Nisbet's Heraldry, vol. i.
p. 104, but no authority given.

^ " Isabella de Leuenax hlia quondam Murdaci de Leuenax " resigned Duntreath -and other
lands into the hands of Isabella, Duchess of Albany and Countess of Lennox before the latter
granted them to Sir William Edmonstone and his wife, 15th February, 1445 — (Duijtreath
Charter, printed in Appendix).

* The Faniily of Edmonstone of Duntreath. By Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart,
(privately printed, 1875), p. 64. This is a very valuable family history, and it is only' to be
regretted that it does not go a little more into details. It is the work of the late Sir
Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, assisted by the well-known antiquarian and genealogist,
Mr. John Riddell. Those who knew the excellent Baronet need not be told that all he
wrote was the result of very careful and candid research, and Mr. Riddell as a genealogist



his brother Murdoch, of the lands of " Dumgoyak, Blairgirr, and Dumfyn," along
with the hill or mount of Duntreath, " cum monte que vocatur Duntreth," the
reddendo for the whole being a pair of white spurs yearly. Earl Donald died
before 1364;^ the charter to which this instrument related must therefore have
been granted before that date.^ Duntreath, though eventually the name given to
the whole barony, was in early times little or nothing more than the rocky hill
now called the Park Hill or Court Hill. Nimmo says the name means " The
Hill of the Chief," and by others it is translated "The Fort of the Circle,"
or " Round Fort." There are no ruins of any kind upon it, though the top
shows signs of having been levelled. There may, therefore, in very early times
have been a fort or castle built upon its summit, the stones of which having
been removed served to build the present castle, part of which is of great
antiquity. There is no reason to suppose that Duntreath was in any other
hands than those of Isabella, daughter of the late Murdoch of Lennox, when Earl
Duncan was executed in 1425, but even if it had reverted to the Earldom, as
the Lennox was not forfeited the King had no right to dispose of it. He
acted, however, in a very high-handed way at this time, for he certainly was in
possession of the Lennox and granted some parts of it to his friends, and in
or before 1434, come by it how he might, he had made over to his brother-in-
law, " William of Edmondstoun," the lands of " Erleleven, Drumfyn, and
Dimtreyve." ^ This grant was not confirmed by Isabella Duchess of Albany,
who succeeded to the Earldom on the death of her ill-fated father, till eight
years after the murder of King James, the destroyer of her family, and then by
a charter dated at " Inchmoryne," 15th January, 1445, on the resignation of
"Isabella de Leuenax filia quondam Murdaci de Leuenax,"^ she granted to
" William de Edmonstoun, son and heir of Sir William de Edmounstone of
CoUodine, and Matilda Stewart,^ spouse of the said William, younger, and
longest liver of them and the heirs of their bodies, the lands of Dnntreffe,
Dumgoyok, Blargerr, wester half of Mekill Ballewne, and half of Cultis " — Sir
William Edmonstone of CuUoden, the father, to have a liferent of the whole.

was unrivalled. There is in this book, too, none of that softening down of family failings,
careful hiding of the villain of the family, and making things pleasant all round, which
is too common in many of the family books of the present day. The author need hardly
say that the Duntreath book has been of great use to him in his account of Duntreath and
the Edmonstones.

■^ The Lennox, vol. i. p. 243.

2 The witnesses are " Walter, son of Alan of Forselane, Finlay de Campsy, Malcolm,
son of Duncan Gilmore, the son of Malise," etc., etc., etc.
^ Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. iv. p. 5S9.
^ See this charter in Appendix.

^ Matilda Stewart was her grand-daughter, the daughter of her son, Walter Stewart.




The important charter, signed by King James II., and dated at Stirling, loth
December, 1452,1 confirms this grant to Sir WilUam Edmonstone of Culloden
and Mary Countess of Angus, his wife, and the longest liver of them in life-
rent, and William Edmonstone the younger /// fee and hei-itage for ever. It
erects the whole into a free barony to be called the Barony of Dvmtreath, the
lands composing it being those of " Duntreath, Arleywin, Dunguyock, with the
Mill thereof, the Quilt lying to the south side of the Burn of Blane, and the
half of the lands of Balleun Easter, the Cluneys Glen and Gartkalon
(Garcattoun) and Mill thereof," the reddendo being a pound of pepper yearly,
at Duntreath, at the feast of the nativity of John the Baptist, if asked only.

Duntreath proper, therefore, as we have now shown, was originally granted
to William Edmonstone of Culloden by King James I. in or before 1434- It
gave its name to the barony when first erected by King James II. in 1452,
and it has remained in the hands of the family to the present day.


When King James I. granted certain lands, as already shown, to his
brother-in-law, William Edmonstone, prior to 1434, " Erleleven " was among
them; and when King James II., in 1452, erected the same into the Barony
of Duntreath, " Arleywin " was included, and down to the present time this
part of Arlehaven, a fifty shilling land, has continued to belong to the Edmon-
stones, with the exception of (i) 11 acres i rood and 10 falls which lay into
Carbeth, and were in 181 7 exchanged with John Guthrie for part of Carbeth,^
and (2) of " the poffle called Dallinschachan and Boglands thereof, part of
the fifty shilling lands of Arlevin," which were sold by William Edmonstone of
Duntreath in 16 14, to John and Manasseh Lyle, and bought back again by
his descendant, Archibald Edmonstone, the laird in 1717.^

Another part, however, of the original old Arlehaven, a forty shilling land,
was early in the possession of the Douglases of Mains, an old family long
seated in the neighbouring parish of Kilpatrick. When Alexander Douglas
married Margaret, eldest daughter of Mathew, Earl of Lennox, about 1-518, he
had from his grandfather, William Douglas, who succeeded to Mains in 1491,
a resignation in fee of Arlehaven. This transaction was confirmed by a charter
from John, Earl of Lennox, the lands being called in it " Harlehaven." *

^ Duntreath Writs. - See Carbeth Guthrie.

•' Duntreath Writs. * Mains Writs.


Along with Ballewan Lennox or ^Vester Ballewan, Harlehaven Douglas
afterwards formed what is called in the old valuation roll of Stirlingshire
"Archibald Edmonstones Rent," this Archibald being a cadet of Duntreath.
On the i8th May, 1665, John Douglas, the laird of Mains, granted, as
superior, a charter of Arlehaven to John Lyle.^ In 1782 James Lyle, his
descendant, sold the eastern part of it to John Norwall or Norval, " weaver in
Arlehaven.'- - The old weaver had three sons — James, Walter, and Archibald.
In 1796 James Norval, the eldest son, succeeded to these lands. He retained
AUereoch or Alreoch, the most southern part of Arlehaven, that next Balloch-
alary and Carbeth, and the other parts called Dykehouse and Easter Harle-
hame he made over to his brothers, Walter and Archibald,-^ from whose des-
cendants they were acquired by Sir Archibald Edmonstone in 1S68, after Dyke-
house had been in the possession of William Brown of Mugdock for some years.
AUereoch was bouglit from James Norval in 1815 by John Guthrie of Carbeth,*
with the exception of about ten acres at the top of the Cult Brae called Brae-
head. This little property, after belonging to John and James Norval, who
succeeded their father, was sold by James, the survivor, shortly after 1872, to
Robert Hugh Eraser of Glasgow, who in his turn sold it in 1882 to Mrs.
Elizabeth Norval or Robertson, wife of David Robertson, formerly manager of
the printfield at Strathblane, and now calico printer at Milngavie.

And now, retracing our steps a little, we find that four years after James Lyle
sold the eastern part of Arlehaven Douglas to John Norval, he sold the western
part, called Wester Arlehaven or Meadowhead, to Sir Archibald Edmonstone,
9th June, 1786,^ and the whole of it now forms part of Duntreath estate.

Arlehaven, therefore, as we have now shown, stands thus — the whole of the
old fifty shilling land, Arlehaven Edmonstone, so to speak, is, and always was,
with the exception pointed out, part of the Barony of Duntreath, and the whole
of the old forty shilling land of " Harleheaven Douglas," ^ the superiority only
excepted, which still pertains to Mains, now also belongs to Duntreath estate,
with the exception of AUereoch, about one sixth of it, which is part of
Carbeth Guthrie, and the poffle of Braehead which belongs to Mrs. David


The first of this family in the AVest of Scotland was Nicolas Douglas,

1 Mains Writs. - Carbelh Gutliiie Writs.

■' Carbeth Guthrie Writs. ■* Carbeth Guthrie Writs.

•' Duntrenth Writs. '' Chartiilary of I.eiino.\\ p, 102,



brother of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith. He married Janet, one of the
co-heiresses of the great Lennox family of Galbraith, and
with her he received, as her share of their barony, the
lands of Mains and possibly Arlehaven.^ Nicolas Douglas
is witness to a charter by his brother, yth June, 1396,^
and his seal is appended to his brother's will, dated 19th
December, 1392.^ Without tracing the Mains family step
SEAL OF NICOLAS W Step, it is CHough to say that with varying fortune the
DOUGLAS. A.D. 1392. (jesccudants of Nicolas Douglas and Janet Galbraith have

From cast of Seal /« _ kd j ^ ^

Lahig's Collection. held Maius in rro[ierty and Arlehaven — but only m superi-
ority now — to the present day.

Alexander Douglas of Mains, a distinguished member of the family, married
about 1 5 18 Margaret, eldest daughter of Mathew Earl of Lennox. His son
Mathew, the succeeding laird, was one of the party under Thomas Crawford of
Jordanhill, who surprised and took Dumbarton Castle in 1571. The next pos-
sessor of Mains was Malcolm, whose tragical story is related in the life of Sir
James Edmonstone of Duntreath a little further on.

Robert Douglas, second son of the unfortunate Malcolm, was early in life
page of honour to Henry Prince of Wales, and was
afterwards in office at the Courts of King James VI.
and King Charles L He Avas a member of the
Privy Council, and in 1633 he was created Viscount
Belhaven. He died childless in 1639, and was
buried in the Abbey of Holyrood, where, says
Crawford, his historian, a monument was erected on
which was carved an epitaph giving an account of the
"remarkable actions" of this worthy scion of a Strath-
blane race. Since the beginning of last century the
families of Campbell of Blythswood and Douglas of
Mains have been intermingled in a most confusing
way,"^ the result being that while the Campbells
of BlythsAvood are almost entirely Douglas, the
Douglases of Mains are a good deal Campbell. The
THE ARMS OF DOUGLAS OF MAIN'S, ^yg}] ^nowtt and wltty Margaret Douglas, Avho niarried
in 1758 Archibald Duke of Douglas, was a daughter of the house of Mains.

1 There is a place which appears in the Chartulary of Lennox as a Galbraith possession in
Strathblane, under the name of Achrefmoltoune or Achrofmoltoune {Cart. Lcrenax, pp. 33-107).
This is probably Arlehaven.

'^Douglas' Peerage, vol. i. p. 266.

s Morton Charters, quoted in Laing's Scottish Seats, vol. i. p. 49-

* Unravelled, however, to a considerable extent in O/i/ Country Houses of the Old Glasgoio
Gentry, pp. I73. I74-



The present proprietor of Mains, Archibald Campbell Douglas, is the repre-
sentative of a race who, though they have never resided in it, have been con-
nected with Strathblane for well nigh five hundred years. Mr. Douglas married
in 1867 Eliza Christian, only daughter of Robert Spier of Culdees, and niece
of the late Sir Robert Milliken Napier of Napier, Bart.

The arms of Douglas of Mains, as illustrated by the two woodcuts given
above, are a capital example of the ancient custom, which prevailed both in
England and Scotland, of families adopting as part of their arms the principal
bearing of the great Earl or overlord who was their superior. Thus when Nicolas
Douglas came into the Lennox towards the close of the fourteenth century, he
added the well-known saltire of the Lennox to the chief charged with two
mullets, the family arms of Douglas of Dalkeith. His beautiful little seal,
a copy of which Mr. Corner has skilfully engraved from a cast of No. 259 of ■
Mr. Laing's collection, shows how he arranged the addition. It represents a
lion, whose head in this, the only known impression, has unfortunately been
broken off, supporting between his fore paws a shield charged with the Lennox
saltire, and on a chief the Douglas mullets. The well-known Douglas heart,
which had been only lately adopted by the Douglas family — viz., in 1343, by
William first Earl of Douglas ^ — -was at that time no part of the Dalkeith arms.
Some branches of the Douglas family bear this heart ensigned with a crown ;
when it was first introduced it was uncrowned.

Alexander Douglas of Mains married, as already shown, Margaret, eldest
daughter of Mathew Earl of Lennox, second of the Stewart Earls, and the arms
of the family of Mains were thereupon completely changed. The saltire of the
old race of Lennox disappeared, and the fesse checque of the new line of Earls
took its place ; another mullet was added to the two already in chief, and an
uncrowned heart was placed in base, and these are the arms now borne by the
family. The fesse checque of the Stewart Earls of Lennox was azure and
argent; but, apparently to keep up some connection with the old Earls of
Lennox, the Mains family changed the tincture to gules — the old Lennox colour
— and or. The reason the third mullet was added was no doubt because the
Douglases of Dalkeith or Morton, the original head of the Mains family, had it
so; and the uncrowned heart was also by this time part of the Douglas arms.
The Earls of Morton of the present day seem, however, to bear the heart
crowned .2

No doubt the Mains family thought it a feather in their cap when the laird

'^Scottish Arms, by R. R. Stcdart, vol. ii. p. 29,

2 In the woodcut of the present arms of Douglas of Mains the bearings on the shield are
taken from a funeral escutcheon in the Lyon Office (figured in volume i. p. no, Scottish
Anns). The Crest and Motto are those now in use by the family.



married a daughter of the Earl of Lennox, and lost no time in commemorating
the grand marriage by this change of arms. They would have been wiser if
they had left them alone, for the beautiful, simple coat of Sir Nicolas Douglas
brought out the antiquity of their race in a way the present coat fails to do.
The hvo mullets and the absence of a heart showed they were very old Douglases,
and the saltire showed their connection with the original and very ancient line
of Lennox.


This family, now no longer in Strathblane, were for two centuries at least
leading people in the parish.

In 1614 John and Manasseh Lyle bought from Sir William Edmonstone
the small part of Arlehaven Edmonstone called Dallinschachan and Boglands,
and in the Lyle family this small farm remained till 17 17, when it was bought
back by the Duntreath family. In 1665 John Lyle had a charter of Arlehaven
Douglas, and in 1782 his descendant, James Lyle, sold the eastern part of it
to John Norval, as already shown, and in 1786 the western part called Wester
Arlehaven or Meadowhead to Sir Archibald Edmonstone. In 1626 Robert
Lyle held part of Cult. Dunburgh also, which is now an important part of the
Craigend estate, was long in the possession of the Lyles.

It is needless to attempt to unravel this old Strathblane family. There
were Manassehs, Roberts, Johns, Jameses, and Charleses, of Dallinschachan, of
Dunburgh, of Cult, and of Arlehaven or Meadowhead, and in Dungoiach, and
they married and intermarried with each other and their neighbours, as Strath-
blane people persistently did in those days.

The Lyles of Dunburgh were latterly, if not always, the main stem of the

I. John, in Dungoiach, and laird of Arlehaven or Meadowhead, and who
died before 5th December, 17 19, had a son James.

II. James Lyle of Dunburgh and Arlehaven married Agnes Buchanan and
had three sons^/ajnes, who succeeded his father; Charles, who succeeded his
brother; and Hugh.^ James Lyle died in 1724 and his wife in 1726.

III. James Lyle of Dunburgh and Arlehaven died unmarried about 1755,
and was succeeded in both his properties by his brother Charles, who was the
miller at Dungoiach.

IV. Charles Lyle of Dunburgh and Arlehaven married in 1709, Bethia,

1 Hugh Lyle married twice ; by his first wife he had a daughter, Margaret, who married
Archibald Bathgate, and had issue ; by his second wife, Christian Selkrig, he had a daughter,
Agnes, who married Walter Robison of Leddriegreen (see that family).



second daughter of John Harvie of Blackhouse by Agnes Gourlay of Kep-
darroch, his wife, and had a large family — Archibald, of whom afterwards ;
James, who bought Arlehaven from his brother and sold it in 1786 to Sir
Archibald Edmonstone. James Lyle married Marion Buchanan, Laigh Park,
and his family were Charles, Walter, James, and Bethia, who all died childless;
Agnes, who married in 1737 John Duncan in Drummiekeichj^ Bethia, died
an infant; Bethia, married Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal;'^ Jean, died
young; Anna, married in 1748 William Galbraith of Wester Edenbelly, and
in 1767 William Galbraith of Blackhouse;^ Margaret, wsiS drowned when young;
Christian, married in 1757 James Lockhart in Parks of Garden.

V. Archibald Lyle of Dunburgh married an Englishwoman of the name
of Bearing or Dearie and had Archibald, James who went to India and was
never heard of, but was believed to have assumed his mother's name; and
Charles, a sailor, who was lost at sea.

Archibald Lyle, dyer in Bucklyvie, sold Dunburgh, or Dumbroch as it is
now called, to James Smith of Craigend in 18 18.


In the charter dated at " Inchmaryne," 15th February, 1445, the Duchess-
Countess of Lennox granted to William de Edmonstoun, among other lands,
those of " Dumgayock," and they have remained in the Edmonstone family
without break till the present day.^

Dungoiach is now a solitary enough spot, with no house on it save the farm-
steading at the foot of the beautiful wooded hill which bears its name. This
was not always so, for in former days there were crofters on it with their
small holdings. It had, too, its mill and mill lands and neighbouring cottaries,
and the little farms of Capponhill and Shenanend lay eastward from the hill.

^ See the Duncans in Ledlovvan and Drummiekeich.

^ See Edmonstone of Spittal.

^John Harvie of Blackhouse had, besides Bethia, who married Charles Lyle, Agnes and
Margaret. Agnes was his eldest daughter and married William Galbi^aith in Balgair, who
succeeded to Blackhouse on the death of his father-in-law. The only surviving son of William
Galbraith and Agnes Harvie was William Galbraith of Blackhouse, who married his cousin,
Anna Lyle, who was the widow of his cousin-german, William Galbraith of Wester Edenbelly.
They had no issue, and Blackhouse passed, on his death, to George Galbraith of Wester
Edenbelly, the son of his wife, Anna Lyle, by her first husband. George Galbraith of Wester
Edenbelly and Blackhouse married in 1784 Janet Anderson and had a large family, of whom
the eldest son, William, born in 1791, was the Town Clerk of Stirling. William Galbraith
of Blackhouse, Town Clerk of Stirling, married in 1817 C. Littlejohn, and died in 1865. His
son, Thomas Littlejohn Galbraith of Blackhouse, is now Town Clerk of Stirling.

'' Duntreath Writs.



These lands, like Dungoiach, were among those included in the Charter of
1445, and they have remained continuously in the Edmonstone family ever
since, with the exception of a short time when they were possessed by a
cadet.^ They are composed of Blairgarbegg and Blairgarmore, lying to the
north-west of Blairquhosh, the former including the hill of Dumgoyne, and
Caldhame, now a part of the Letter sheep-farm. Caldhame stretches away in a
north-easterly direction to the top of the Earl's seat, behind the Ballewans, and
includes in its boundaries the hill of Dumfoyne.


In the Charter of Confirmation by King James II., dated loth December,
1452, "the half of the lands of Balleun Easter" appear, and in a deed of King
James III., dated 21st June, 1473, ^^ lands of "Ballewane" are "made sikker to
Wilyeam Edmonstoun." ^ The earlier Charter, however, of Isabella Duchess-
Countess of Lennox, dated 15th February, 1445, confirming the lands given by
King James I. to the Edmonstones, calls these lands the " Wester half of
Aleikle Ballowin.'" ^ It would appear, therefore, that in those early days " Meikle
Ballowin" was another name for "Balleun Easter." The Wester half of Meikle
or Easter Ballewan, on being detached from it, would naturally become Middle
Ballewan, having the remainder of Easter Ballewan on one side and the lands
of Wester Ballewan on the other ; and this is just what happened, for from this
time forward the Edmonstones' part of Ballewan was called " Ballewan Edmon-
stone," or "Middle Ballewan," and there were besides "Easter" or "Ballewan
Buchanan," and "Wester" or "Ballewan Lennox," both now united in the
estate called simply " Ballewan," the property of John Cameron Graham. Its
history is treated of in another place.

The original Easter Ballewan must have been double the size of Wester
Ballewan (hence Meikle Ballewan), for Middle or Ballewan Edmonstone is a
fifty shilling land, and the modern Easter Ballewan and Wester Ballewan are
both also fifty shilling lands.

Ballewan was occasionally in the hands of cadets of the family, like other
parts of the estate, but for a long time they have been reunited. It is
composed principally of fine hill pasture, and stretches up towards the hills
between the other Ballewans.

•^ Duntreath Writs.

^ Deed in the Montrose Charter Chest, and printed in T/ie Lennox, vol. ii, page 94.

Online LibraryJohn Guthrie SmithThe parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants from early times : a chapter in Lennox history → online text (page 10 of 45)