John Guthrie Smith.

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

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and he died in 1704 leaving a son and successor.

II. Archibald Edmonstone, who was born 1676. He acquired Spittal from
James of Broich, his uncle. These lands, though perhaps wadsetted or other-
wise out of the family for a time, had apparently belonged both to his father
and grandfather. Be this, however, as it may, certainly Spittal was his property
by 1696, and Ballewan his home. He became also, like his father and grand-
father. Bailie of Duntreath, and like them too farmed Ballewan and other lands.
His wife was Jean, daughter of James Williamson of Mugdock, and Margaret
Calder, and by her he had — Margaret, born 17 15, wife of John Blair in
Balquharrage, Campsie ; Agnes, born 1716, first wife of John Coubrough,
the great-grandfather of John Coubrough presently of Blanefield ; Archibald, his
successor, of whom afterwards ; y^/z/^i-, born i'] 20 ; Jo/in, born 1^22 ; Janet, born

^ William Leckie was a member of an old Stirlintjshiie family, whose memory still lingers
in the name of one of their former estates — Croy Leckie. Isabella Leckie, his third' daughter,
was the wife of Robert Ewing, one of a race long settled in Dumbartonshire. She was the
mother of the late well-known William Leckie Ewing, who became the proprietor of Broich
by purchase from his uncle, Buchanan Leckie. Mr. Leckie Ewing dropped Broich as the name
of his estate and adopted from another part of his lands, Arngomery, the name it now bears.
One of William Leckie Ewing's daughters, and wife of Archibald Robertson of the Royal
Bank, Glasgow, is the mother of Mrs. Robert Jameson, whose husband has just added to
the attractions of Strathblane by the erection of a handsome house on the classic Field of
Ardennan ; and also of Mrs. Charles K. Aitken, who lives at Napier Lodge, in the parish.
There are young natives of Strathblane in both houses.



1724, died 1733; Anna, born 1726, wife of John Maitland, Killearn ; yt'r?//, born
1728, the wife of John Craig (see Ballewan) ; Elizabeth, born 1730, died 1733;
James, born 1732, died 1734.

III. Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal, born 17 18, married in 1750 Bethia
Lyle, daughter of Charles Lyle of Arlehaven or Harlehaven — which his father,
James Lyle of Dunburgh, had acquired from the Edmonstones — and Bethia
Harvie, his wife.^ Archibald Edmonstone and Bethia Lyle's children were —
Bethia, born 1751, married in 1779 John Foyer of Cult (see Cult); Jeaji, died
an infant ; Archibald, next laird of Spittal, of whom afterwards ; Charles, of
Demerara and Cardross Park, Dumbartonshire;^ Jean, born in 1759, married
Archibald Lapslie — she died in 182 1; Margaret, born 1761. Archibald
Edmonstone of Spittal died 1761.

IV. Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal, born 1754, married in 1785 Elizabeth
Aitken, daughter of Robert Aitken,^ a citizen of Glasgow, and had Archibald, of
whom afterwards; Mai-garet Hester, born 1789, died unmarried at Stirling 1872;
Robert, born 1791, died 1S34, unmarried; Charles, born 1793, died at Deme-
rara in 1822, unmarried; Williavi, born 1794, some time of Canada, died
1875, unmarried; George, born 1795, died at Demerara 1818, unmarried;
Bethia, born 1798, married in 18 19 John Montgomerie, and died in Trinidad
in 182 1, leaving one son, Hugh Montgomerie, of whom afterwards; Agues, born
1801, died an infant; James, born 1802, died in 1820, unmarried; Eliza, hoxw

died unmarried at Stirling, i86c. Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal died

in 1821.'^

1 This is the lady to whom the Edmonstones of Spittal are indebted for the Christian
name of Bethia. It at once took their fancy, and to-day they are as fond of it as ever. In
every family, of whatever surname, almost without exception, descended from Bethia Harvie,
if happily there are daughters, a Bethia is sure to appear. Bethia Harvie was the second
daughter of John Harvie of Blackhouse by Agnes Gourlay of Kepdarroch, his wife.

2 Charles Edmonstone of Demerara and Cardross Park, Dumbartonshire, was born in 1757
and died in 1827. He married Helen Reid, and had — (l) Charles, of Cardross Park, who
married Alice Ainsworth and had issue — Bethia, died unmarried 1854; Charles Grant, died
unmarried 1867 ; Lydia Helen, died unmarried 1883 ; Robert John vStanislaus, married Lilias
Eliza Tatham, and had issue — Alice, died unmarried 1851; Harry, died an infant. Mr. Charles
Edmonstone of Cardross Park was lost at sea off South Africa ; (2) Robert John, drowned
in Natal; (3) Eliza, died unmarried 1870 ; (4) Anne, born 1810, married, 1829, Charles
Waterton of Walton Hall, Yorkshire, a famous traveller and naturalist, and author of IVaiider-
ings in Sotith Ainerica, etc., a most interesting book. He died in 1S65 in his 83rd year.
His wife died in 1830, leaving one son, Edmund Waterton of Deeping W'aterton Hall, Lincoln-
shire, who married and has issue.

*Mr. Aitken's son was manager of the Bank of Scotland in Glasgow, and his grandson is a very
well known and respected citizen of Glasgow, now retired — Robert Aitken of Aitken & Mackenzie.

* Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal towards the close of the last and at the beginning of this century
took an active part in improving the breeds of cows and sheep in Strathblane. Dr. Gibb, in the Old
Statistical Account of Scotland, tells of the valuable sheep he introduced ; and Dr. Patrick Graham
in his report on Stirlingshire mentions his tine breed of cows and a valuable bull he brought from
Ayrshire, and which did much to improve the Ayrshire stock in Strathblane. Mr. Edmonstone,


V. Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal, born 1786, was a West India proprietor
in Demerara. In 1830, after some legal proceedings, Spittal was acquired by
him from the factor and trustees of his late father, and sasine duly followed.
Like other holders, however, of West India estates, his property there was
much depreciated by the anticipated effect of the Emancipation Act. He was
unable, therefore, to hold Spittal, and on the 9th July, 1833, he sold it to his
chief, Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, Baronet. Thus passed away
from the parish this branch of the Edmonstones, who had been for many gener-
ations, and more especially in the absence of the main stem from the Castle,
the principal resident family in Strathblane.

The present representative of the Edmonstones of Spittal is Hugh Edmon-
stone-Montgomerie, F.S.A., now of London. He is the son of Bethia Edmonstone,
sister of Archibald, last of Spittal, and John Montgomerie, her husband. On
the death of his uncle, William Edmonstone, without issue in 1875, all of whose
brothers and sisters, with the exception of Bethia Edmonstone or Montgomerie,
had died unmarried, Hugh Edmonstone-Montgomerie became his heir-at-law.
He had early in life, at the request of his maternal relatives, by whom he was
brought up, assumed the name of Edmonstone, and this assumption was ratified
and confirmed on the 22nd March, 1876, by a Royal Warrant under the sign
manual of Her Majesty the Queen. On the ist June, 1876, license was
granted by the Lyon King of Arms for his bearing the arms of Montgomerie
and Edmonstone, quarterly, duly differenced, as the representative of the family
of Edmonstone of Spittal.^

Hugh Edmonstone-Montgomerie was born in 1820. In 1855 he married
Ellen Appleyard, youngest daughter of Thomas Turner of Eastry, Kent, and has
issue,2 with others, William Edmonstone, born i860.

justly proud of his fine sheep, had the head of a handsome blackfaced ram, bred on the Ballewan
Braes, made into a snuff-mull, brass mounted, and hung with suitable appendages, and with the
following engraved upon it : — " Presented to the Stirlingshire Charitable Society by Archibald
Edmonstone of Spittal, one of its members. — 13th January, 1812. " The Glasgow Stirlingshire
Charitable Society and the Sons of the Rock Society, now united, carefully preserve this interesting
gift, and at their annual dinner on Auld Hansel Monday it is reverently handed round the table.

^ Quarterly, first and fourth, grand quarters counter-quartered ; first and fourth azure, three
fleur de lis or, second and third gules, three annulets or, stoned azure, all within a bordure
engrailed or, charged with a double tressure flowered and counter-flowered of fleur de lis gules,
for Montgomerie. Second and third grand quarters or, three crescents gules within a double
tressure, flowered and counter-flowered of fleur de lis gules, in the centre a crescent azure for
difference, for Edmonstone — Crests upon the dexter side, on a chapeau, a dexter gauntlet erect
proper, the hand holding a dagger, also proper hiked and pommelled or, for Montgomerie ; and
upon the sinister side, out of a ducal coronet or a swan's head and neck, argent beaked or, for
Edmonstone. Motto, Garde-Garde.

^Mr. Edmonstone-Montgomerie's family consists of Bethia Edmonstone, married 1876 Charles
Aitken of Richmond, and has issue; Edith Ed?iio7tstone, married 1S85 Robert Stanser M'Nair of
Greenfield, Lanarkshire, advocate; Constance Edmonstone; Williatn Edmonstone, born 1S60 ;
Archibald EdmoHSto7ie, born 1862, died 1863 ; Marian Edmonstone ; Charles IVaterton Edmonstone,
born 1 866.



This small wedge-shaped poffle of land contains i acre 3 roods Scots, and
has for long been a part of the Duntreath estate. It was originally probably
detached from Cult Craigbarnet by some process of excambion, and this was done
for the purpose of having an exit to the lower Duntreath lands for the hay
brought down by the sleds or slypes from the portion of the hills belonging to
the Edmonstones which lay to the north of Cult Craigbarnet.

In 1859 it was feued to Mrs. Agnes Hunter or Webster and Robert Webster,
her son, factor on Duntreath, and the house now upon it was then built. On
Mrs. Webster's death it was bought back by Sir Archibald Edmonstone, and
reunited to his estate,^ and it is now leased to Miss Mary Graham, surviving
daughter of the late Rev. John Graham, D.D., of Kill earn.


On the 2ist May, 1817, Sir Charles Edmonstone of Duntreath and John
Guthrie of Carbeth entered into a Deed of excambion by which Sir Charles
gave up a piece of land which ran down to Carbeth Loch containing 11 acres
I rood ID falls of the lands of Arlehaven, in the Barony of Duntreath, and in
return received from Mr. Guthrie part of the lands of Carbeth lying near
Auchengillan, consisting of 16 acres i rood 10 falls Scots,^ now included in
Duns^oiach farm.


This is a feu from Ballewan Lennox or Wester Ballewan, the property of
John Cameron Graham of Ballewan. It contains about eight acres, and was
feued off by the late Thomas Graham of Ballewan, Master of the Mint, to his
brother-in-law, James Reid, of the Union Bank of Scotland, Glasgow. Mr.
Reid built the present excellent house upon it, and upon his widow's death in
1878 it was put up for sale, and bought by Sir William Edmonstone, and it now
forms part of the Duntreath estate, James E. Dunn being tenant.

Having thus described in detail the whole lands in Strathblane belonging to
Sir William Edmonstone at the present day, and the families who have been
connected with them, we may now point out by way of summary that the
original Barony of Duntreath in Strathblane consisted of —

1 Duntreath Writs. "- Carbeth Guthrie Writs.


Duntreath, including Craigbrock ;

Arlehaven Edmonstone, including Auchentall ;

Dungoiach ;

Blairgar, including Blairgarmore, Blairgarbegg, and Caldhame \

Ballewan Edmonstone or Middle Ballewan ; and

Cult Edmonstone, including Corriedale.
Blairquhosh Edmonstone, including Roseyards, is an old holding of the
Edmonstones, but not a part of the original Barony.
The more modern additions to Duntreath are —

Arlehaven Douglas \

Spittal of Ballewan ;

Blairquhosh Cunninghame ;

Dunmullin, a feu from Ballewan Lennox ;

And the small part of Carbeth, for which, however, an equivalent was given
from the lands of Arlehaven Edmonstone.


The Edmonstones of Duntreath are an ancient family, possibly descended
from one of those Saxon barons who came to Scotland with Margaret, sister
of Edgar Atheling, on her marriage to King Malcolm Canmore, that illustrious yet
unknown band in whose shadowy ranks peerage writers and arrangers of family
histories grope wildly for "ancestors."

The first Edmonstone of whom anything is really known is a certain
Henricus de Edmundiston who was living in 1248, and who seems to have
been the proprietor of Edmonstone in Midlothian.^ But who were his ancestors ?
and where was the " toun " ^ that belonged to Edmund, the first of the race ?
This is a question that cannot be answered with certainty, though it seems
probable he was of the same stock as the old Scottish family of Seton. There
are two reasons for thinking this. One is because the lands of the Setons and
the Edmonstones are often found close together and intermingled, so to speak.
Thus the lands of "Edmonstone," where possibly the unknown Edmund first
established his " toun," was surrounded by the great estates once held by the
Setons. The lands of Culloden, too, an ancient holding of the Setons, had
early passed to the Edmonstones, and there is still another and older occurrence

''■ Duntreath Book, pp. 2, 18, 70.

-The "toun" or "ton," from which, with a Christian name prefixed, so many of our
surnames are derived, was originally the enclosure which surrounded a house or castle. It
afterwards came to mean the house and its immediate surroundings, and finally house and lands
— the estate, in fact. This word is still used in Scotland for a farm, the " the three touns of
Easter Mugdock," in Strathblane, being a case in point.



of this conjunction of Edmonstones and Setons. In an Assize Roll of
Cumberland (6-20, Edward I., circa 1278-1292), "Archebaldus de Hedde-
midestone " and Edith, his wife, claim against Thomas de Hotonref one third
of the half of the vill of Hotonref, as dower of Walter de Reynfru, her first
husband, and this Heddemidestone was surrounded in Cumberland by Setons,
many of whom held lands there at that time.^

Another reason for thinking the Setons and the Edmonstones are of the same
race is the singular similarity of their armorial bearings, for in old times two distinct
families could not long bear the same coat without disagreeable consequences.
This is clearly brought out by Mr. George Seton in his Scottish Heraldry.'^

In Mr. Laing's Catalogue of Ancient Scottish Seals,^ the seal of Sir Alex-
ander Seton of Seton, a.d. 12 16, is a simple shield charged with three crescents.
This is the earliest on record, and there is no double tressure. In the same
book* the seal of a succeeding Sir Alexander Seton of Seton, a.d. 1337, is given,
three crescents as before, but now within the double tressure. In the " Armorial
de Berry," a beautiful illustrated MS. whose date is probably 1450 to 1455, the
arms are given in colours of Le Sire de Seton. They are or, three crescents
gules, within a double tressure gules,^ and so the Seton arms are blazoned by
Sir David Lindsay and by all other authorities, and all within the double
tressure. One cadet of the family, "Settoun of Tulibody,"^ has also an annulet
in the fesse point, exactly the same arms as borne on the shield of Sir William
Edmonstone of 1470.

The earliest known example of an Edmonstone coat is that blazoned
in the " Armorial de Gelre," a French herald of the fourteenth century. It
bears or, three crescents gules, but no double tressure. The crest is a
camel's head." The next example extant is the seal of Sir William Edmon-
stone appended to a notarial instrument, a.d. 1470, among the Glammis
charters, and of which a woodcut is given in this book. The bearings in it are
exactly the Seton arms, the three crescents within the double tressure, the only
difference being the addition of the annulet in the fesse point. Sir David
Lindsay, in his Heraldic MS. of 1425, gives no double tressure to the arms
of " Edmanstoune of that Ilk,"^ nor does it appear in the interesting
illuminated MS. of the beginning of the seventeenth century belonging to the
Earl of Crawford, and given in Mr. Stodart's beautiful volumes.^ There the

^ This Assize Roll was brought under the author's notice by Mr. Joseph Bain, F.S.A. Scot.,
who is always ready to communicate to his friends anything new or useful.
^ Pages 620-621. *Vol. i. p. 121.

*Vol. ii. p. 147. ^Scottish Arms, by R. R. Stodart, vol. i. p. 2.

® Sir David Lindsay's MS., p. 114. ''Scottish Arms, vol. i. p. B.

^ Page 86. ^ Scottish Arms, vol. i. p. 91.



arms of Duntreath are thus blazoned — Or three crescent gules, with an annulet
in the fesse point azure ; and in Nisbet's description of the arms of " Edmun-
ston of Duntreath," as illuminated in the house of Falahill, there is no double
tressure.i This omission of the double tressure by all these authorities is
curious, as without doubt the Edmonstones used it, certainly from the time of
Sir William, second of Duntreath, and the woodcuts given in this book of the
seal of 1470, the curious mural tablet at Duntreath, the seal of Archibald
Edmonstone, eleventh of Duntreath and first baronet, and that of the present
baronet, all witness to the fact. Why the Edmonstones dropped the annulet
does not appear; and why they adopted the swan's head as a crest is also a
mystery, unless the camel's head, which is certainly the proper crest, has been
mistaken for a swan's. There is no doubt at all that the correct armorial
bearings of the Edmonstones of Duntreath, both interior and exterior, are
those on the beautiful seal of 1470, as given in our woodcut. The double
tressure, the annulet, and the camel's head issuing from an ancient coronet are
all there, though no doubt the last-named is a little too like that of a horse to
be altogether satisfactory. It is unnecessary, however, to follow this question

The ancestor of the Duntreath Edmonstones was Sir Archibald, a son of
Sir John Edmonstone of Edmonstone and Ednam, and younger brother of the
succeeding Sir John Edmonstone, who married the Lady Isobel, daughter of
King Robert II., and widow of the Earl of Douglas, who was killed at
Otterburn.2 gir Archibald's son was the Sir William who first held Duntreath.

The account of the Barony and lands of Duntreath shows how and when Sir
William, who was before designed " of Culloden," got them ; we need not
therefore repeat what has been already said, further than to recall to mind the
circumstance that it was owing to his marriage in 1425, to the Lady Mary
Stewart, second daughter of King Robert III. of Scotland, that Sir William re-
ceived the Strathblane estate.^

Sir William Edmonstone's princess had been already thrice married, firstly,

^ Nisbet's Heraldry, vol. i. p. 246.

"This is very distinctly brought out by Sir Archibald Edmonstone in the Duntreath Book
where, sacrificing to the cause of truth the hitherto received idea of a double royal descent
for Duntreath, he effectually proves that Sir William first of Duntreath was not a soii of Sir
John and the Lady Isobel, but of his brother Archibald. This Sir Archibald was a very valiant
knight, and in 1398 fought and overcame in the lists a famous English knight, Sir Robert
Morley, who came to Scotland to show his prowess.

2"Et non onerat se de firmis terrarum de Erlelevin Drumfyn, et Duntreyve, que valent in
anno sex libras tresdecem solidos et quatuor denarios, quia dominus rex infeodavit Willehnum
de Edmonstoun de eisdem " (compota Ballivorum ad extra A. D. 1434 (Ex. Rolls Scot., vol. iv.
p. 589). Besides Duntreath, Sir William held lands in Carrick and Bute as the princess'
jointure {Ex. Rolls Scot., vol. iv. pp. 212, 596, etc.).


in 1397, to George Earl of Angus, who died in 1404. The year following
she married, secondly. Sir James Kennedy, son of Sir Gilbert Kennedy of
Dunure. Sir James was killed in a quarrel with his elder brother within
a few years, and, with but little delay. Lady Mary married, thirdly, Sir
William Graham of Kincardine and Mugdock, and a year after his death she
married, fourthly. Sir William Edmonstone. This fascinating lady had families
by all her previous husbands, and by Sir William she had a son, William, and a
daughter, Elizabeth, who was the wife of Humphrey Cunningham of Glengar-
nock.i Sir William Edmonstone spent an active life, and was frequently en-
gaged in the civil affairs of the country. In 1428 he was in England, no
doubt on public business. In 1431 Lord Gordon and he went on a pilgrimage
to Canterbury with twenty-five other persons, and in 1452, along with the Abbot
of Melrose, Lord Gray, and others, he again went there, the retinue of the
party being one hundred persons. He was also Captain of Threave Castle, and
as such received payments from the Exchequer. ^ Sir William died about 1460,
but whether the princess died before or after him is not known. She was
buried within the old church of Strathblane. The present church is built on
the site of the old one, and towards the centre is a gravestone bearing the
following inscription : — ■

Here lyes in the same grave

With Mary Countess of Angus, sister to King James the First of Scotland,

From whom he is lineally descended,

Archibald Edmonstone, Esq. of Duntreath, in this kingdom, and of Redhall in Ireland,

Who died in the year 1689,

aged about fifty-one years. ^

The second Sir William Edmonstone of Duntreath was Captain of Threave
and also Doune Castle. He took a leading part in the affairs of the
country, in business, as receiver of Menteith and custumer of Kirkcud-
bright,^ and even in legal matters, for he was Justice-General of Scotland^ in

^ This lady is called Mary in the Duntreath Book, p. 32, but in the Register of the Great
Seal, 8 Jac. iii. 1468, Elizabeth. 2ist July, 1467, John Chawmar of Gadgyrtht, knight pro-
curator of William Cunygam of Glengernok, resigned into the King's hands the lands of Bol-
garis, the two Kilfassachis, and Ballandalloch, in the Earldom of Lennox, and thereupon His
Majesty granted a charter of the said lands to Umfrid Cunygam, grandson and heir-apparent
of the said William, and to Elizabeth of Edmonstone, Umfrids spouse to the survivor of them
two and their children, whom failing to the lawful heirs whomsoever of the said William
Cunygam of Glengernok. — (Notarial instrument among the Eglinton Writs.)

^ Ex. Rolls of Scotland, vol. vi. p. 208, etc.

^ See Appendix.

^ Ex. Rolls of Scotlajtd, vol. vii. pp. 117, 247, 297, 573, 624; vol. viii. pp. 69, 566.

^"In the inventory of Strathmore title-deeds at Glammis Castle is a notarial instrument by
Janet Fenton, showing that in her widowhood she appeared before Sir William Edmonstone of
Duntreath, Justice-General, in his Justice Circuit at Perth in the year 1470." — Duntreath Book,
Note, p. 32.




1469, though for a short time only. He married Matilda Stewart, and the

connection he thereby formed with the Lennox
family proved afterwards of much importance to
his position and estate.

When Duncan Earl of Lennox was beheaded
at Stirling, his son-in-law, Duke Murdoch of Albany,
shared his fate, and the Duke's sons, Walter and
Alexander, were also put to death ; the youngest
only, James, escaped to Ireland, having first, ap-
])arently to revenge the injuries of his family, burned
and sacked the town of Dumbarton.

Matilda Stewart, Sir WiUiam Edmonstone's spouse,
has usually been treated as a daughter of this James
Stewart, and Sir Archibald Edmonstone in the
Duntreath Book has adopted this lineage.^ No doubt, however, he is wrong,
for the lady was a daughter of the second son, Walter — James' elder brother —
and sister of Andrew Stewart, afterwards Lord Avondale, and Chancellor of King
James IIL^

It was doubtless this marriage of her grand-daughter which induced the
Duchess-Countess of Lennox, in 1445, to confirm the grant of Duntreath
and the other lands to the son, which had been made to Sir William Edmon-
stone, the fcither, by King James I. Her charter was granted during the
lifetime of Sir William the elder, and the liferent of the estates was reserved
to him.

The first Sir William thus never possessed Duntreath in fee, for when
King James II. in 1452 erected it and other lands into a free Barony, the


Online LibraryJohn Guthrie SmithThe parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants from early times : a chapter in Lennox history → online text (page 13 of 45)