John Guthrie Smith.

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

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Christian Joanna Cuninghame became the proprietrix of Ballanorris. On her
death she was succeeded by her nephew, James Stewart Robertson, son of her
sister, Mary Jane Campbell Cuninghame, wife of James Stewart Robertson of

Mn the missive letter dated nth October, 1786, William Cuninghame is designed "of
Ballindalloch, Esquire, captain-lieutenant of His Majesty's Fifty-eighth Regiment of Foot."
The price paid for the estate was ;^8,5oo, and the purchaser was Robert Dunmore, who had
married the only daughter and heiress of John Napier of Ballikinrain. The representative of
the Dunmore-Napiers of Ballindalloch and Ballikinrain is Elizabeth Agnes Dunmore-Napier,
wife of Major Charles Campbell Graham Stirhng of Craigbarnet, formerly an officer of the 42nd
Regiment. During the siege of Sebastopol he shared a hut with his friend Captain Robert
Campbell Cuninghame of the same regiment, grandson of Colonel Cuninghame, last of
Ballindalloch. Captain Cuninghame was a most gallant and zealous officer, and died of
Crimean fever at Malta on his way home from the seat of war.

- See Burke's Landed Gentry, and a very interesting privately printed book, Historic
Memorials of the Steivarts of Forthergill, Perthshire, and their male descendants, by Charles
Poyntz Stewart, F.S.A. , etc., etc.



IX. James Stewart Robertson of Colquhalzie, Perthshire, and Ballanorris,
Isle of Man, succeeded his aunt, Miss Cuninghame of Ballanorris, in 1885.
He is a captain 3rd Battalion Royal Highlanders, " The Black Watch." He
married in 1880 Janet Beatrice, daughter of T. \V. Murray Allan of Glenfeochan,
Argyllshire. He is the eighth in descent from Robert Cuninghame of Trienbeg,
son of the unfortunate laird of Drumquhassle who was executed in 1584, and
twelfth in descent from Alexander Cunninghame of Drumquhassle and Mugdock
Mitchell, the first of the family who had lands in Strathblane.


The Buchanans of Carbeth in the parish of Killearn are a branch of a very
old race whose cradle is in north-west Stirlingshire. According to some
authorities their progenitor was a certain Anselan O'Kyan who married a Den-
nistoun — an heiress in those parts — hence MacAnselan or MacAuslan (the son
of Anselan) was the surname of the family in early days, and is still retained
by some of them. Be this as it may, it is certain that from an early date the
Buchanans were settled on the shores of Lochlomond and eastwards, including
parts of Strathblane.

Sir Walter Buchanan of Buchanan had three sons, of whom the eldest, Patrick,
carried on the line, and the second or third, Tnomas, had a charter of Carbeth
in Killearn from John Haldane of Gleneagles in 1476,^ and was the first laird of
Carbeth. This " Thomas de Buchanane " had also a charter of the Temple
Lands of Letter in Killearn, from " Frater Henricus de Leuyngstoun Miles,"
Preceptor of Torphichen, dated 3rd February, 1461. In an instrument of sasine
upon a precept from Sir William KnoUis, Lord St. John, also preceptor of
Torphichen, dated 17th February, 1493, for infefting him in the lands of Letter
and Boquhanbeg, he is styled Thomas Buchanan " of Carbeth," ^ and in the
Carbeth family these Letter lands remained till 2nd December, 1614, when
they were sold to Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth. ^ To Thomas Buchanan,
first of Carbeth, five other Thomases duly succeeded; then followed three
Johns, the last of whom was born in 1668. He married Margaret, eldest
daughter of Stirling of Kippendavie, and had William, his successor, and other

William Buchanan of Carbeth — and Blairquhosh, which now belonged to the

^ Buchanan of Auckmar, p. 87.

" Diintreath Writs.

^ Letter now forms part of the Duntreath estate.



Buchanans,^ — was born in 1695, and married in 17 17, Margaret, daughter of
Kincaid of Auchenreoch. He had a large family, and on his death in 1737
his eldest son, John, succeeded.

John Buchanan of Carbeth and Blairquhosh married on Christmas Day,
1746, Ann, second daughter of James Buchanan of Cremanan.- He died in

John Buchanan of Carbeth and Blairquhosh, who then succeeded, was the
third son of the late laird. He was born in 1755,
and in 1802 married Margaret, second daughter of
James Loch, Joint Remembrancer of H.M. Ex-
chequer in Scotland. They had two sons and two

John Buchanan, the eldest son, succeeded to
Carbeth and Blairquhosh on the death of his father
in 1825, and in 1857 sold Blairquhosh to Sir
Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, as already
shown. He had married, 7th April, 1836, Mary
Louisa, daughter of Sir Henry Bayly, K.C.B. They
had five daughters. The three eldest died young,
and the two younger, Ann Jane and Henrietta
Charlotte, succeeded to the estate of Carbeth on
the death of their father 14th March, 1872. Car-
beth was sold by them. Miss Ann Jane Buchanan retaining a small piece
of land on which she erected a villa residence. Henrietta Charlotte Buchanan,
the younger sister, married, 8th March, 1871, John Stirling Stirling of Gargun-
nock, now a retired colonel of the Royal Artillery. They have four sons, of
whom the eldest is Charles \ and the second is Anselan, so named after the
remote ancestor of the Buchanans ; and two daughters.

On the extinction of the elder branch of the Clan Buchanan and the sale
of their lands to the Marquis- of Montrose, the family of Carbeth considered
themselves chief, but the Leny branch now bear the undifferenced arms, in-
cluding the supporters, and their claim to be the head of this great Lennox
family has never been seriously disputed.

The Clan Buchanan in all its branches had restless times of it in days of
old, and is included in an Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1587 "For the
quieting and keeping in obedience of the disorderit subjectis inhabitantes of the


From a Seal in the possession of Miss
Ann Jane Biichannn,

^Reg. Sas., 26lh December, 1718.

^ James Buchanan was shot dead by mistake for Cuninghame of Ballindalloch by a party
of Rob Roy's men, at the great oak tree which stands in the old clachan of Balfron. Cun-
inghame was at enmity, for some reason, with the Macgregor.



Bourderis Hielandis and His." This Act was unfortunately disregarded, and
family and clan feuds continued as violent as ever. Thus in 1590 the
Buchanans and the Macaulays, who were at enmity, met at the Dumbarton
Lammas Fair, and while the Macaulays " were in quiet and sobir maner doing
thair lesum effeairis and busynes within the said fair," the Buchanans " maist
cruellie and unmercifullie invadit and persewit " them, " straik, hurte, and
woundit the said Duncane M'caula in his heid throw the harne pan thairof, the
said Johnne Dow M'Gregoar behind his schoulder blaid, quhairthrow his lichtis
and interallis micht be sene, the said James Colhoun in his womb, the said
M'Cala in his schoulder, the said Johnne Miller youngair in his richt hand, and
hes mutilit him thairof, and the said M 'Gibbon in his heid, to the effusioun of
their bludis in grite quantitie and left them lyand for deid, and siclike maist
shamefuUie, crueUie, and unmercifullie slew the said umquhile Walter M'Cala."
For this the Buchanans were pronounced rebels, and on the 31st March of next
year had to find caution not to harm the Macaulays, John Stirling of Glorat and
John Stirling of Craigbarnet being the cautioners for their neighbour Thomas
Buchanan of Carbeth.^

A few months after this time we find the Buchanans complaining to the
Council that the laird of Ardencaple persecuted them, and associated with him-
self in doing so, the laird of Macgregor and many of his clan, " all thevis, brokin
men, and sornaris " ; and the climax of the quarrel came, when in February
1603, Macgregor of Glenstrae and his clan " hafing concludit the destructioune
of Alexander Colquhoune of Luse, his kyn, freindis, and alys, and the /mill
surname of the Balgiihauna72is"'^ came down upon the Lennox, and by the
fearful slaughter of the Colquhouns and their friends in Glenfruin brought down
upon themselves the stern vengeance of the Government which sought to
deprive them of their very name.^

"The Meikle Tree" — the splendid old oak which stands by the roadside

'^Records of the Privy Council of Scot., vol. iv. pp. 525 and 604.

^ Pitcairn's Criminal Trials.

^ In 1603, and subsequently at intervals for fully a century, by various Acts of Parliament
the name of Macgregor was abolished, death being the punishment of any one using it. An
old tombstone in Strathblane Churchyard (on which, however, a comparatively modern date
has been re-cut) shows how the law was evaded, the friends of the " Son of Alpine" buried
beneath it having incised thereon —


There seems little doubt that the Macgregors were as much "sinned against as sinning."
Their ancient tribal or clan lands lay in the district between the Argyll and Breadalhane
Campbells, who, partly by violence, but more by deceit and fraud, got possession of them
and drove the Macgregors to despair and robbery.



at Blairquhosh — was a favourite trysting place, both for the peaceful purposes
of making bargains and drawing up agreements, and also, it may be supposed,
for the assembling of the Strathblane branch of the Clan Buchanan "all bodin
in feir of weir" to attack their enemies or defend their friends.



Among the families in Killearn who were not possessed of lands was an old
race of the name of Duncan. They were leading people in that parish in the
seventeenth century, and though the main line is extinct in the district, there
are many families both in Strathblane and elsewhere descended from this good
old stock.

John Duncan in Ledlowan, in Killearn, and afterwards in Drummiekeich
(part of Blairquhosh Cuninghame), in Strathblane, married in 1703 Elizabeth
Graham, one of the large clan in Strathblane which had grown and multiplied
since David de Grahame was settled at Mugdock about the middle of the
thirteenth century. John Duncan and his wife had three sons, of whom after-
wards, and two daughters — Elizabeth, who married in 1740 William Finlay
of Moss, and had (i) William of Moss, who was the father of the late William
Finlay of Moss, who died childless ; Mrs. James Adair Lawrie, of whose family
the eldest son, Archibald Campbell Lawrie, advocate, now of Moss, is a judge in
Ceylon; and Mrs. Dixon. (2) Jean, married David Bannerman of Letham Hill,
whose only surviving child, Elizabeth, married at the Moss in 1805 the Rev.
John Graham of Fintry, afterwards of Killearn (see Grahams of Ballewan), and
had issue. Captain Thomas Graham, late of Balfunning, and three daughters.
(3) Mary, married James Dennistoun of Golfhill, banker in Glasgow, and had
four sons — (i.) Alexander, M.P. for Dumbartonshire in 1834, who succeeded
his father in Golfhill, and was head of the great house of J. & A. Dennistoun,
Glasgow. The survivors of his family are Alexander H. Dennistoun, now of
Golfhill, and Eleanor, wife of Professor Sellar of Edinburgh, (ii.) William, died
young, (iii.) James, married, but died childless, (iv.) John, from 1837 to 1847
M.P. for Glasgow, and a partner of J. & A. Dennistoun. The survivors of his
family are John, a merchant in London, and Constance, whose first husband was
John Hamilton, and who is now the wife of Archibald C. Lawrie of Moss.
Mary Finlay and James Dennistoun had also two daughters, Mrs. Walter Wood,
died childless, and Mrs. John Wood, whose grandson, John Walter Cross,
married George Eliot, the celebrated authoress. Mr. Dennistoun by a second
marriage had three daughters. Jean, the second daughter of John Duncan and
Elizabeth Graham, married in 1736 James Smith of Craigend, (See Craigend.)


Andrew Duncan, the eldest of the three sons, died young, and John and
James were tenants in Drummiekeich. John Duncan married Agnes Lyle, a
daughter of another old Strathblane family, and had two sons — John, born in
1738, and Charles, born 1739, ^""^ ^ daughter, Bethia, who married Robert
M'lndoe of Carbeth, and had issue. James Duncan married Margaret Taylor
of Fintry, and had a large family, of whom the three eldest, James, William,
and John, went to Virginia to push their fortunes there along with their cousins,
Charles Duncan and Archibald Smith, afterwards of Jordanhill, a younger son
of James Smith of Craigend and Jean Duncan, his wife. Ann Duncan, the
youngest daughter of James Duncan and Margaret Taylor, married Archibald
Craig of Dalsholm, of the Ballewan family (which see).

Of the Strathblane cousins who thus settled in America, Charles Duncan
remained there, married, and had two daughters, one of whom married James
Dunlop of Rosslyn, Virginia, afterwards of Russell Square, London, and the
other was Mrs. Gamble. Mrs. Dunlop had a son, and Mrs. Gamble a daughter,
but both died unmarried. James, William, and John Duncan and Archibald
Smith, on the breaking out of the War of Independence in 1774, left America,
the Duncans settling in Dublin, and Archibald Smith, as a West India merchant,
in Glasgow. (See Craigend.)

Leaving James Duncan, the eldest of the three brothers, till afterwards, we
find that William Ditncan, the second of them, married a Scottish lady. Miss
Baird, and had (i) William, who went to South America, and fought in the
War of Independence in 1824, under General Bolivar, with the rank of colonel.
His two sons, Colonel James Duncan and William Duncan, are well-known
citizens of Baranquilla, South America. (2) James, who also went to South
America. (3) Maria, married David Taylor of Edendale. Their eldest daughter,
Agnes Maria, married John Craig, son of Archibald Craig of Dalsholm, of the
family of Ballewan, Strathblane, and had issue Archibald David Craig and the
Rev. John Duncan Craig, D.D., incumbent of Trinity Church, Dublin. (See
Ballewan.) (4) Rebecca. (5) Jane. (6) Agnes.

John DiPican, the youngest of the brothers who returned from Virginia,
married a sister of William Duncan's wife. His son settled in the United
States, married, and had a daughter, who married Dr. Emmett, a New York
physician, and nephew of the celebrated and unfortunate Robert Emmett, one
of the leaders of the Irish rebellion, and who was executed in 1803. John
Duncan had a daughter, Mrs. John Hutton, whose eldest son is John Hutton
of Merovyn, County Wicklow ; her daughter Maria married the Rev. John
A. Malet, D.D., whose son is Professor Malet of the Queen's University, and
her daughter Henrietta married Charles J. Fox Taylor of Redford Lodge.

James Duncan, the eldest of the brothers, returned from Virginia and


became a West India merchant. He lived in Eccles Street, Dublin, and
by his marriage in 1796 to Hannah, daughter of William Arnold, he had
a daughter, Elizabeth, born 1797, who married George Peyton of Driney,
County Leitrim, and had issue; and a son, James, born 1798,

James Duncan the son, was manager of the Bank of Ireland at Sligo. He
married Harriett Crosthwait, daughter of Leland Crosthwait, Governor of the
Bank of Ireland, and had five daughters and two sons, of whom the eldest,
James, died in 1853. James Duncan died in Dublin in 1874, and is buried at
Sligo. The second son, Leland Crosthwait Duncan, fourth in descent from
John Duncan of Ledlowan and Drummiekeich, and Elizabeth Graham, his wife,
was born in 1831. He is an officer in H.M. Customs, and lives in London.
He married in 1861 Caroline Ellen, daughter of F. Lewis, of Her Majesty's
Treasury, and has issue, Leland Lewis Duncan, of the War Office, born 1862 ;
Caroline Annette, and Amy Adela.


"All and haill the lands called the Temple Lands, or Lands of Spittall of

These lands were no part of the original Barony of Duntreath, neither did
they belong to either of the three Ballewans. They were doubtless a gift from
one of the old Earls of Lennox to the Knights Templars, after whose suppres-
sion the Knights Hospitallers possessed them, and from them they passed to
secular hands. They are of but small extent.

The earliest of the Duntreath writs relating to these Spittal lands is a charter
of alienation of them by John Blair and others to James Edmonstone of Broich.
They are described as " the Temple lands of the Hospital of Ballewan." ^ This
James Edmonstone of Broich sold them in 1696 to his nephew, Archibald
Edmonstone, son of his brother Archibald,^ and from that time there was a
succession of Archibald Edmonstones lairds of Spittal till 1833, when the then
Archibald sold his lands to the late Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath.^


The original family of Edmonstone of Broich sprang from James, brother
of Sir William Edmonstone of Duntreath, who fell at Flodden in 15 13. His
descendant, James Edmonstone of Broich, who flourished about the beginning
of the seventeenth century, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Edmon-

1 Duntreath Writs. " Disposition dated loth November, 1696.

^ Disposition dated 9th July, 1833.


Stone of Duntreath, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Col-
quhoun of Luss. They had an only daughter, EHzabeth, who was heiress of
Broich. She married her first cousin, John Edmonstone, third son of William
Edmonstone of Duntreath. This John Edmonstone is styled in one of the
Broich writs, dated 5th April, 1654, "Tutor of Duntreath and heretor of the
lands of Broich," the office of tutor or guardian of his nephews, William, " the
dumb laird of Duntreath," and Archibald, his brother, who were minors when
their father died in 1637, having been given to him in 1644.

John Edmonstone of Broich, tutor of Duntreath, fell into debt, and about
1653 Archibald Edmonstone of Ballewan and Harlehaven (of whom afterwards)
led an action of apprising against him. The result of this action was a decreet
signed 24th February, 1657, following which was a charter granted by David
and John Graham of ''Bocklyvie," superiors thereof, and finally, sasine of the lands
of Broich, in favour of Archibald Edmonstone of Harlehaven.^ In 1662
Archibald Edmonstone made over Broich to James, his eldest son. The Broich
writs show that the new laird did not get immediate possession of his lands.
Things did not go smoothly, for William Edmonstone who was son and
heir of John Edmonstone, tutor of Duntreath and laird of Broich, was living
in the house of Broich in 1664, and would not give it up. Some pro-
ceedings in the Privy Council, dated 14th July, 1664, show how the new
laird of Broich, aided and abetted by his father, and tired of waiting, took the
law into his own hands, and how he found it too strong for him. The Act
of Council narrates how William Edmonstone, son of William Edmonstone of
Broich, complained to the Council " upoun the said Archibald Edmondstoun
(of Harlehaven) and his said son (James Edmondstoun) for breaking up the
said William Edmondstoun of Broich his doors of the said house of Broich,
and the said James Edmondstoun, his sitting doune therein and intrometting
with and seizing upoun the said William his goods." " The Lords of His
Majestie's Privie Councell ordained the said James Edmondstoun to quyt and
leave the possession attained by him in maner therein lybelled and to re-enter
the said William Edmondstoun, pursuer thereto, in the same case as he was
befor he was dispossest be him therfra, within six dayes under the paine of
five hundred merks by and attour the fullfilling of the forsaid sentence as the
said act of the date forsaid beares."

On the ist December, 1665, " ane sumonds of spulzie " was raised before
the Lords of Council and Session at the instance of the said William Edmond-
stoun, therein designed laufull son to Mr. John Edmondstoun of Broich, against
Archibald Edmondstoun of Harlehaven and James Edmondstoun, his son ;

^ Broich Writs.



and thereafter innumerable legal proceedings took place at the instance of the
old Broich family against the new, who had managed, however, to get possession
of the house and lands, to settle whether Archibald Edmonstone of Harle-
haven had been lawfully infefted in Broich when the decreet of apprising was
put in force in 1657.

John Edmonstone of Broich died, and so did William, his son, and Archi-
bald Edmonstone of Harlehaven and his son James of Broich " went the way
of all living " too, but the " gude ganging plea " survived and " Anna Helena
Edmondstoun, oye, and appearand heir to the deceast Master John Edmonds-
toun of Broich, and daughter to the also deceast William Edmonstoun sometime
of Broich," was still carrying it on with vigour in 17 17. In that year James the
first of Broich of the new family being dead, the Lords of Council and Session
decided in favour of James and John Edmonstone, his son and grandson, that
they had a " reall right in the lands of Broich craved to be adjudged in virtue
of their saids appryseings, infeftment, and possesioun following thereon ; and that
the said right is now prescrived by uninterrupted possessioun." One would have
thought that this judgment was the end of the matter, but the final arrange-
ment was not made till 1724.

The quarrel being now settled, and both Broich families having no doubt
considerably impoverished themselves and enriched the lawyers by their long
litigation, let us return to Archibald Edmonstone of Harlehaven and Ballewan,
the ancestor of the family of Edmonstone of Spittal in Strathblane.

Archibald Edmonstone of Ballewan and Harlehaven, father of James
Edmonstone of Broich of the new line, of John, and also of Archibald, from
whom the Edmonstones of Spittal descend, was the son and heir ^ of James
Edmonstone, in whose favour there is an instrument of sasine of the half of
Blairgar dated 21st January, 1613, and who had a charter of Ballewan from
William Edmonstone, fiar of Duntreath, with consent of Sir James, his father,
7th February, 1614.^ On the 8th September, 1601, this "James Edmestoun
in Ballewne " is included in a bond of caution " not to harm Johnne Lennox
of Ballewne (Ballewan Lennox), or Johnne Lennox, liis son and apparent heir,"
and there are other notices of him. He was a grandson of James Edmonstone
who was in Ballewan in 1553. This James was a son of Sir Archibald
Edmonstone, third of Duntreath. He was a person of some consequence, and
the defect in his birth, for he was illegitimate, was removed in 1553 by Letters
of Legitimation under the Great Seal from Her Majesty Queen Mary.^

1 Duntreath Writs. ^ Duntreath Writs.

^ " Apud Edinburgh, 2nd September, 1553. Regina, etc., dedit literas legitimationis
Jacobo Edmestoun in Ballewin filio naturali quondam Archibald! Edmestovn de Duntreath."
—Reg. Mag. .Sig. il Mar(ie), 1553.



Archibald Edmonstone of Ballewan and Harlehaven, had by his wife, Jean
Stirling, three sons — (i) James of Broich; (2) John of Ballewan and Blairgar,
merchant in Haddington, from whom Ballewan and Blairgar returned to the
Duntreath family; (3) Archibald, of whom afterwards.

James Edmonstone had a grant of Broich from his father in 1662, and as
we have already shown was at law thereanent up to the day of his death.
His wife was Margaret Graham, and by her he had a son, James, who
succeeded him both in Broich and in the lawsuit which ended in 1724. This
James married Jean Wordie, and his family vi&x&—Jo/w, who married in 17 18
Marion Livingstone, and died childless; George, merchant in Edinburgh, after-
wards of Broich, who married in 1727 Jane Helen, daughter of Sir Charles
Gibson of Kirkhill, and died childless in 1758; and Ami, who married
Alexander M'Gregor, Edinburgh, and had a son, James, who died unmarried ;
and three daughters. George Edmonstone was the last laird of Broich of the
Uuntreath race, the estate having been sold by him in 1753 to William Leckie,
surgeon, formerly of Jamaica.^ Having thus disposed of the Edmonstones of
Broich we return to Archibald Edmonstone, third son of Archibald Edmonstone
of Ballewan and Harlehaven.

I. This Archibald Edmonstone may be considered the immediate ancestor
of the family of Spittal in Strathblane. He seems to have lived at Blairquhosh,

Online LibraryJohn Guthrie SmithThe parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants from early times : a chapter in Lennox history → online text (page 12 of 45)