John Guthrie Smith.

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

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no longer, and sold the old place to Thomas Graham, merchant in Glasgow,
and thus came to a close this branch of the Stirlings.

The history of these four families of Strathblane Stirlings — Craigbarnet,
Glorat, Law, and Ballagan — gives a striking picture of a singularly united race.
From first to last they were intimate and friendly in their business relations,
and in the pleasures, anxieties, and duties of family life. They were steadfast
and true to each other also, in their bloody disputes with their neighbours. In
their political principles, too, they were almost unanimous in together perilling
their lives and fortunes in defence of the cause they believed to be the right one.
The almost would have been altogether had it not been for the one Whig laird
of Kirklands and Law, the only blot, some may think, on this fair page of
history ; but even in him the Stirling blood, much intermingled as it was with
that of Campbell, often clearly showed itself, and the noted family affection of
the clan was triumphantly asserted when John Campbell Stirling, the Hano-
verian, assisted " Old Burrie," the Jacobite, to make good his escape from
Dumbarton Castle after the melancholy termination of " the '45."


Thomas Graham, the purchaser of Ballagan, came of a good stock. Walter
Graham of Glenny, his great-grandfather, had three sons, of whom \^'illiam, the
youngest, was father of a large family of sons ; John, however, the eldest of



them, and Archibald, the fourth, alone concern us for our present purpose.
John was the ancestor of Ballagan, and Archibald was the great-grandfather of
Archibald Grahame, cashier of the Thistle Bank, who was included in the
entail of Ballagan in 1802.'^

John Graham married a daughter of Campbell of Carwhin and had two
sons, Thomas, merchant in Glasgow, who was the purchaser of Ballagan, and

Thomas Graham, first of Ballagan, married Jean Stirling, who was second
daughter of John Stirling, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh, third son of Sir
George Stirling of Glorat, the first Baronet. Her brother Alexander succeeded
to Glorat as fourth Baronet. Thomas Graham and Jean Stirling had two sons,
John, who died without issue \ and Alexander, of whom afterwards ; and a
daughter, Jean, who married, firstly, Mr. Bradshaw of the Royal Navy, and
secondly, the Hon. and Rev. William Bromley Cadogan.

Alexander Graham, second of Ballagan, was born 8th October, 1755, and
married on the 28th January, 1792, Janet M'Indoe. Hiey had four sons,
Thomas Bromley, who died young; John, of whom afterwards; William Bromley
Cadogan, M.D., died in India unmarried, 8th October, 1839; James, died in
London ; and six daughters, Caroline, who married T. Courtenay Thorpe ;
Jean, Jessie, Fanny, Robina who married Mr. Christie, writer, Glasgow; and
Anne Gartshore.

In 1793 Alexander Graham bought from the Duke of Montrose the
superiority of the two Ballagans, and also of Leddriegreen, Dumbroch, Edenkill,
Lurg, I>urgacre, and Kirkhouse pofifie, and in 1802 he executed a deed of
entail by which he settled all the lands he held in property, and in superiority,
first upon himself, then on his eldest son, Thomas Bromley Graham, and his
heirs, failing whom, on John Graham, his second son, and his heirs, then on
each of his daughters in turn and their heirs, whom failing, Jean Graham, his
sister, relict of the deceased Hon. William Bromley Cadogan and her heirs,
whom failing, William Graham, his natural son, and his heirs ; Walter Graham,
natural son of his brother John, and his heirs ; Archibald Grahame, cashier to
the Thistle Bank, and his heirs ; Sir John Stirling of Glorat and his heirs ;
whom all failing, to his own nearest heirs whatsoever. Alexander Graham died
in the spring of 1840, and was succeeded by his second son.

John Graham, third of Ballagan, married Sarah Stirling, seventh daughter and
seventeenth child of Sir John Stirling, fifth Baronet of Glorat, and Gloriana

^ Archibald Graham married Marion Donaldson of Birdston and had a son, William Graham
of Birdston. He was the father of three daughters— Helen (Mrs. Calder), Isobel (Mrs. Innes),
and Barbara, who married John Grahame of Drumquhassle, tenant of Mugdock Castle, and
father of Archibald Grahame, cashier of the Thistle Bank.


Folsome his wife. She was the widow of Major James Davidson. Their family
consisted of Alexander Thomas, who died when eighteen months old ; Alex-
ander Thomas, who. also died young ; WiUiam Bromley Cadogan, who died
young in Australia ; Janet Gloriana, now of Ballagan ; and Caroline M.
Courtenay Thorpe, who also died young. John Graham of Ballagan died
2nd May, 1861.

Janet Gloriana Graham, fourth of Ballagan, only surviving child of John
Graham and Sarah Stirling, and who is unmarried, succeeded to the estate on
the death of her father.



The estate of Ballewan consists of the lands called at different times Easter
Cult, Cult Craigbarnet, Cult Stirling or Cult Craig, and of Easter Ballewan, or
Ballewan Buchanan, and of Wester Ballewan or Ballewan Lennox — the first a
two pound ten shilling land of old extent,^ and the two latter each fifty shilling
lands of old extent, the five pound lands "de Balzeoun alias Balewins Buchanan
et Lenox." ^

The history of the estate is as follows : — The whole was originally part of
the great Earldom of Lennox, and on its partition the lands of Quilt or Cult
fell with others to the Stewarts of Damley, by this time a new line of Earls of
Lennox. The first mention we find of Cult in connection with what is now
the modern estate of Ballewan is in a precept granted by Mathew Stewart, Earl of
Lennox, for infefting John Stirling (yr. of Craigbarnet) and Margaret Abernethy
his wife in the two pound ten shilling land of old extent of Cult, dated 13th
February, 1495.^ This grant was confirmed by King James IV., 28th March,
1503.* It was, however, of only a part of the original lands of Quilt or Cult,
for in the charter of confirmation by King James II., dated loth December,
1452, we find among the lands erected into the Barony of Duntreath "the Quilt
lying to the south side of the Burn of Blane." ^ The lands of Cult thus
divided between Ballewan and Duntreath have continued to form parts of
these estates down to the present day — the portion lying to the south side of
the Blane belonging to Duntreath, that to the north side belonging to Ballewan,
with the exception of a small part excambed to the Edmonstones.^

John Stirling of Craigbarnet was succeeded about 15 10 by his son George,
and in the Craigbarnet family this part of Cult remained till about 1628, when

^ Craigbarnet Writs. ^ Cart. Lennox, p. 102. ^ Ballewan Writs.

* Keg. Mag. Sig., 15 Jac. IV. A.D. 1503. ^Duntreath Book, p. 65.

^ In 1793, contract between Milliken Craig of Ballewan and John Foyer of Cult


it was sold by John Stirling, younger of Craigbarnet, with consent of Annabella
Ewing, his spouse, to Gilbert Craig, eldest lawful son of William Craig in Cult
{i.e., tenant of Cult) and Margaret Gibson or Billisland, his spouse, in conjunct
fee.^ It was then named Cult Craigbarnet or Cult Stirling, but after this time
it was called Cult Craig or Easter Cult.

In 1648 John Craig, son of Gilbert Craig, succeeded, and in September
next year there is a charter by him to " Agnes Kincaid, his future spouse,"
of the liferent of these lands. ^

John Craig in 1660 added to his estate by the purchase of the fifty shilling
land of old extent called Ballewan Buchanan, from Agnes Weir or Vaire and
Robert Buchanan, her husband.-^

The history of Ballewan Buchanan or Easter Ballewan is this : — As already
explained in the history of Ballewan Edmonstone or Middle Ballewan,* the
earliest Ballewan was divided into Easter and Wester Ballewan. Easter Ballewan
was, however, exactly double the size of Wester Ballewan, hence it was called
Meikle Ballewan, In January, 1445, Isabella Countess of Lennox granted to
the Edmonstones the wester half of Meikle Ballewan,^ thereafter called Ballewan
Edmonstone or Middle Ballewan from having the remainder of Meikle or Easter
Ballewan on the one side and Wester Ballewan on the other. Middle Ballewan
was a fifty shilling land. The easier half of Meikle Ballewan, called Ballewan
Buchanan or Easter Ballewan, also a fifty shilling land, seems to have early
belonged to the Buchanans. Buchanan of Auchmar, who, though often, is not
always accurate, says ^ " Easter Baleun " was disponed by charter in the year
1394 by Adam Spittal of Ledlowans to his cousin Walter, laird of Buchanan.
In another place, however, Buchanan says '^ that Patrick Buchanan, who suc-
ceeded Walter, was the purchaser. Patrick's son was another Walter, and
Buchanan says ^ that "some little time before" 1484 there was a charter of
" Balleun " by Walter, laird of Buchanan, to Thomas, his brother-german, after-
wards of Moss. Among the Menteith Writs at Buchanan Castle ^ there is one
in which it is mentioned that " Patricius Bochannen de Ballowin " was present
on the 6th May, 1493, at the infeftment of Alexander Grahame, Earl of
Menteith, in the earldom. This Patrick was no doubt the eldest son of Walter
Buchanan of that ilk. In 1491, according to Buchanan,^" in a charter by
Mathew Earl of Lennox, Thomas Buchanan (of Moss) is designed "of Balleun."

1 Ballewan Writs. - Ballewan Writs. ^ Ballewan Writs.

^ See Duntreath, page 80. ^ See Diintrcath, page 73.

* Essay upon the Family and Surname of Buchanan, page 136.

"^Family of Buchanan, page 31. ^ F'amily of Buchanan, page 66.

^ Quoted from Red Book of Menteith, p. 301. ^" B'ainily of Buchanan, page 66.



These varying statements show either that Easter Ballewan was at this time
sub-divided, and that the Buchanans of that ilk held part and those of Moss
held the other, or that Easter Ballewan had returned again to the Chief of the
race. Be this, however, as it may, by the beginning of the sixteenth century
Easter Ballewan or Ballewan Buchanan had passed from the Buchanans to the
Stirlings of Craigbarnet, as appears ^ from a precept of sasine dated i8th April,
1520, by John Earl of Lennox, for infefting John Stirling as heir of George
Stirling of Craigbarnet, his father, in the lands of " Estir Ballevin." The
Stirlings possessed Easter Ballewan lands for only a few years. By the i6th
July, 1546, George Buchanan of that ilk was the owner,^ and in 16 14 the
whole of Easter Ballewan or Ballewan Buchanan, a fifty shilling land of old
extent, was sold by John Buchanan of that ilk to Walter Vaire or Weir " in
Dumbroche."^ In 1635 Archibald Weir, his son, was in possession of Ballewan,*
and in 1660 it was sold by Agnes Weir, this Archibald's daughter, and her
husband, Robert Buchanan,^ to John Craig of Cult Craig, as already shown.

John Craig was thus now in possession of Cult Craig or Easter Cult and
Ballewan Bicchanati or Easter Ballewan ; but he was soon to make another
acquisition, for in 1664 he purchased the fifty shilling land of old extent, already
mentioned, called Wester Ballewan or Ballewan LennoxJ° These lands early
belonged to a branch of the Lennoxes of Branshogle, a family of old standing
in the neighbourhood.*^ In 1545 "Johannes Levenax de Balyone " was pro-
prietor,^ and in 1642 there is a precept of clare constat by the Commissioners
of James, Duke of Lennox, for infefting in them William Lennox, the last male
of the race, son and heir of John Lennox.^ In 1644 ^^ Archibald Edmonstone,
designed "of Harelhaven," had a wadsett of them; in 1662 this was transferred
to William Forbes, and in 1664 they passed away for good from the last of the
Lennoxes, as already shown, to John Craig.

^ Craigbarnet Writs.

2 "50 sol. de Balyewne (que fuerunt dicti Geo in proprietate)." — Reg. Mag. Sig., 4 Mar.,
A.D. 1546.

^ Ballewan Writs. The contract of sale is dated at Drynien Kirk, 15th and i6lh April,
1614. — (Writs at Buchanan.)

* Ballewan Writs. ^ Ballewan Writs. ^ Ballewan Writs.

''Reg. Mag. Szg., 18. Jac. III. A.D. 1477-78. ^Reg. Mag. Sig., 3 Mar., a.d. 1545.

^ 8th Sept., 1601, Act of Caution. — " Williame Edmestoun fiar of Duntreith and George
Stirling of Ballagane, for Sir James Edmestoun of Duntreith 2000 merks. Alexander Edmes-
toun his servant, [ames Edmestoun in Ballewne, Andro Lyll at the Mill of Duntreith, James
fiar in Duntreith, Thomas Lyll there, Johnne Brashe there, 400 merks each, not to
harm Johnne Lennox at Ballewne or John Lennox his son and apparent \v€\x."—{Reg. F. C. of
Scot., vol. vi. p. 696.)

^"Ballewan Writs.



The Cult and Ballewan lands, thus united in the person of John Craig,
duly passed to his son, another John Craig, and from him to James Craig, and
in 1765 they were in the possession of John Craig, still in the direct line.
John Craig died before 1789, for in that year there was a precept of clare
constat in favour of Milliken Craig as heir of the said John Craig, his cousin
by the father's side. In 1820 Milliken Craig died, and in 182 1 Captain John
Craig, H.E.I.C.S., his brother, was served heir.^ He was the last of the Craigs
of Ballewan, for in 1835 the lands were sold under an order of the Supreme
Court to James Graham, and his grandson, John Cameron Graham, barrister,
London, is now the possessor.

The Craigs had been settled for time immemorial in Strathblane, and in the
seventeenth century they acquired the lands of Leddriegreen, Cult, Ballewan, and
others, as already shown. They were all of the same stock, and as there was
a singular want of variety in the Christian names of the several branches —
Ballewan, Leddriegreen, Laggan, and Vicarland — the task of thoroughly un-
ravelling the cousins is well nigh hopeless, and cannot be attempted here. The
history of the main line of the Leddriegreen Craigs is given in the account of
that place, and the elder branch of the Ballewan line has been traced to its
close. The family, however, though now removed from Strathblane, is by no
means extinct. In 1752 John Craig of the Ballewan family married Jean
Edmonstone, a daughter of Archibald Edmonstone of Spittal, a branch of the
Duntreath family.^ He had a son, Archibald, who was born at Ballewan in
1753. This Archibald Craig married in 1788 Anne Duncan,^ and had with
others, two sons, John, and William who still survives unmarried. John Craig,
their eldest son, born in 1791, removed from Dalsholm in New Kilpatrick to
Dublin and established himself among his cousins the Duncans, a Strathblane
race already settled there. He married first Agnes Maria Taylor of Edendale,
Co. Dublin, and secondly, Susan M. GrifiEith. By his first wife he had two sons,
I, Archibald David Craig, who married Agnes Story, and had issue, John,
died childless ; Marie, died childless ; Charles Taylor, merchant in London ; and
Lizzie. 2, Rev. John Duncan Craig, D.D., incumbent of Trinity Church, Dub-
lin, who married first Dorothea Eliza, daughter of John Sandeys . Bird, J.P.,
by whom he had John, captain 2nd Brigade, S.I.D., Royal Artillery; and
Anna Beverley Duncan. The Rev. Dr. Duncan Craig married, secondly,
Adelaide, daughter of Major Allan of the 93rd Highlanders. John Craig had
by his second wife, Susan M. Griffith, a large family, i, Alice E. Craig, who

^ Ballewan Writs. - See Duntreath, page 99.

'See Duncan family under Blairquhosh.


married W. H. Worthington of Derwent Bank, Derbyshire ; 2, Henry
Griffith Craig, who married Mary Brown of Mount Prospect, and has issue ; 3,
William James Craig, who married Emily Brown, and has issue ; 4, Brillianna
Stanhope Craig, wife of John C. Atkins Carrig, Queenstown, and has issue ;
5, Harriet Duncan Craig, wife of the Rev. J. Hector Robinson, M.A., Rector
of St. Mary's, Woolston Hill, Hampshire, and has issue. The Dublin and Cork
Craigs, as established there by John Craig, are thus now a large and ever
increasing family, and promise to keep alive an old Strathblane name.


In the year 16 10 James Graham, a descendant of the Menteith Grahams,
had a lease from Sir James Chisholm, of the farm of Cromlix in Dunblane
parish, and settled there, and son succeeded father in the old place for nearly
two hundred years in an unbroken line.

In 17 15 the James Graham, then tenant of Cromlix, witnessed the battle
of Sheriffinuir from his own door. He had five sons and two daughters by his
wife, Agnes Finlayson. The third son, James, was minister of Killearn ; ^ the
fourth, William, succeeded his father in Cromlix; and the fifth, Thomas, was the
ancestor of the Ballewan family. ^

Thomas Graham, who was born in 1750, held several extensive farms on
the estate of the Earl of Kinnoul. He married Mary M'Ewan, and, like his
father, he had a large family. He was a clever and, in the main, a kindly

^The Rev. James Graham of Killearn was born in 1736. He was educated at the Uni-
versity of Glasgow, and after being tutor in the family of Mr. Hopkirk of Dalbeth, was
recommended by General Graham of Braco to the Duke of Montrose, by whom he was pre-
sented in 1768, to the parish of Killearn. He took a great interest in agricultural affairs, and
was the first man in West Stirlingshire who used a cart, all burdens having been hitherto
carried on horses' backs or in sledges. He died unmarried in 1821. On the Sunday preceding
his death he preached for an hour with greater animation than usual — so much so, that the
people remarked that their old minister was renewing his youth. On his going to the manse, how-
ever, after service, he said — " Margaret, that's my last sermon," and a few days afterwards he
died, hale and hearty almost to the last, and after singing the psalm with vigour at family
worship. It was the Rev. Mr. Graham who originated the idea of erecting a monument to the
learned George Buchanan, who was a native of Killearn, and the obelisk, which is now under
the care of the Buchanan Society of Glasgow, was built during his incumbency of the parish.
The contract was signed 9th June, 1788 ; the architect was James Craig of Edinburgh ; the
mason, William Gray of Camlachie ; the committee of subscribers for carrying out the work was
Robert Dunmore of Ballindalloch, Peter Spiers of Culcreuch, and Thomas Buchanan of
Boquhan. In making the mortar for building, the lime and sand were to be mixed "in such
proportions as shall be agreeable to the Rev. Mr. James Graham, minister of Killearn," and
ail disputes were also to be referred to him.

^James Graham's second daughter, Isabella, married James Dawson, Crosscaple, and was the
grandmother of the late Rev. James M'Gowan, formerly assistant and successor at Bonhill, and
afterwards minister of the parish of Laurencekirk, the father of the late Robert M'Gowan,
writer in Glasgow, and Town Clerk of Partick. She was also grandmother of the Rev. John
Kinross, minister of the parish of Largs, who died in 1883.



man, and very anxious for the advancement of his family, though certainly
arbitrary in his management of it. His brother James' comfortable position
as minister of Killearn seems to have impressed him, and when his eldest son,
James, who was born in 1776, and his second son, John, who was born in 1778,
arrived at the proper age, he announced to them that they were to be ministers.
John acquiesced, and in due time succeeded his uncle in Killearn,^ but James
rebelled, and resolutely refused to enter the Church. His father, however, was
firm, and mounting his son behind him on his horse rode across the country
towards Killearn manse, being satisfied that his reverend brother would find
means " to gar him be a minister." But it was not to be, for when they
were crossing the muir at Kippen matters came to a crisis ; James refused to
go any farther, and the father, after a very liberal application of the rod, rode
away home, leaving the lad lying among the heather in a very forlorn state.

But James, besides having a will of his own, had plenty of brains and
pluck, so presently picking himself up he made his way to Glasgow, where, cast
off by his father, he first apprenticed himself to a weaver, and afterwards as a
manufacturer and merchant made a handsome fortune. He lived principally
at Clover Bank, near Glasgow, and in 1835 bought Ballewan.'-^

James Graham, who thus attained the honourable position of a Strathblane
laird, had married early in life Margaret Paterson of Borrowstowness, and had
by her five sons and two daughters. The eldest son was Thomas, of whom
afterwards, born in 1805, and the fourth was John, of whom also afterwards,
born 181 2. The rest of the family died unmarried or without children, except
Mary, who married James Reid, secretary of the Union Bank of Scotland, who
built DunmuUin, and died 1877, leaving a family.

James Graham, though he had refused to be a minister himself, had, like
his father, a great admiration for the profession, and in due time informed his

ijohn Graham, who was eventually a Doctor of Divinity, Moderator of the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and a Justice of the Peace for Stirlingshire, was an
excellent parish minister, benevolent and judicious, and many a dispute among his parish-
ioners was amicably settled through his intervention. By his wife, Elizabeth Bannerman, he
had three daughters, of whom the second, Mary, survives, and resides at Corriedale, in Strath-
blane, and one son, Captain Thomas Graham, formerly of Balfunning. Dr. John Graham
died at Killearn in 1865. He had been minister of Fintry from 1805 to 1821, and of
Killearn, in which he succeeded his uncle, who was settled there in 1768, from 1821 to
1865. The uncle and the nephew had thus held the living for the long space of 97 years.

'■^ Ballewan was sold in Edinburgh by a judicial sale. When knocked down to Mr.
Graham, Sir James Gibson-Craig, W.S., who was agent for the sale, asked him to name his
security, to which Mr. Graham at once replied, " My security's in my pouch ; I'll pay ye
the siller ; " and on Sir James saying he had no fear of payment, but it was 'usual to
name a friend as security, the rejoinder was, "My best friend and security is in my
pouch ; I'll pay at ance." It was understood that the Rev. Dr. Hamilton, the minister
of the parish, who had died shortly before this time, had intended to have bid for



eldest son, Thomas, that he was to be a minister. At the same time he told
his other sons the future in life he proposed for them, and with a curious per-
versity he had chosen for each of them just what they did not want to be.

Thomas, who was destined for the ministry, was more diplomatic than his
father had been in similar circumstances, and did not absolutely refuse to enter
the Divinity Hall. He only stipulated that if he must be a minister he should
be educated in Edinburgh, where, he alleged, the theology was better than in
the West. To Edinburgh, therefore, he was sent after taking the degree of
M.A. at Glasgow College ; but instead of studying divinity, he applied himself
heart and soul to chemistry, working in the laboratory of the University under
Dr. Hope for about two years. Meantime his father became impatient at his
not preaching, and went to Edinburgh to see what his son was doing, where
to his indignation he found his lodgings full, not of ponderous volumes of "the
Fathers " and theological works, but of chemical and philosophical apparatus.
Promptly breaking these to pieces, and following again the example of his own
father, James Graham cast his son off without a penny, and forbade him to
enter his house.

Thrown thus upon his, own resources, Thomas Graham wisely consulted his
old friend and teacher. Dr. Meikleham, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the
University of Glasgow, and by his advice and help supported himself by giving
lessons in mathematics and chemistry. This went on for a year or two, and by
degrees his father's heart began to soften and gradually melted, as one com-
munication after another from his son on chemical subjects followed each other
in rapid succession, and were received with enthusiasm by the learned world ;
and by 1830, when he was appointed Professor of Chemistry in the Andersonian
University of Glasgow,^ no one was more interested in his success or more
cordial in his congratulations than his now reconciled father.

During the seven years Thomas Graham filled this chair, his indefatigable
researches were rewarded by most valuable discoveries, which from time to

Online LibraryJohn Guthrie SmithThe parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants from early times : a chapter in Lennox history → online text (page 20 of 45)