John Guthrie Smith.

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

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burgh. No horse carriage to be heavier than twelve stone of iron weight.

IX. The feuars were bound to bring " the whole grindable corns on their lands
and any corns they may buy in the country" to be ground "at the noble Earl's Mill
of Milldavy," and to pay the miller the knaveship and bannock, " conform to the
acts of the Court of the Barony of Mugdock," and to assist to uphold the mill and
miller's house and in leading millstones thereto.

X. All " waith goods " found upon the feuars' lands to belong to the Superior, " con-
form to the custom of the Barony of Mugdock."

XI. The Superior to be freed for all time coming of all taxations and exactions
imposed upon the lands feued either for Church or State.

XII. Certain sums to be paid to the Superior at the entry of each heir and
singular successor.

XIII. The feuars were bound "in time of trouble and insurrection in the country
and the King's Majestie his wars, at frays and foUowings " to " ride and gang with
the Earl and his Deputies for his defence and his friends their honour life and
lands." In the feu of Barloch, in the parish of East Kilpatrick and Barony of Mug-
dock, dated 1631, the vassal was bound "on his own charges" to ride with his
Superior " in reasonable good equipage as a gentleman " three several times every
year to Edinburgh, being lawfully warned thereto, there to abide and attend his
Superior at each time for forty-eight hours, and also to ride with his Superior,
" on his own charges," on other occasions when required, " to such parts about the
place of Mugdock as he may come home at night to his own house and no

XIV. Feuars were bound to compear at all the courts held at Mugdock upon six
hours' warning. These courts were for the trial of all cases of" bluid wrang or riot" on
the Barony, and also for certain civil matters. " Like as the said persons (the
feuars) obliges them and their foresaids nae wise to call, convene, or pursue any
tenant within the said Barony of Mugdock for whatsomever avail cause or occasion
before whatsomever judge or judges other nor before the said noble Earl or his
Lordship's Deputies of the Barony of Mugdock in their courts to be halden by them
within the said Barony, providing justice be duly and lawfully admini-
strate by the said noble Earl and his foresaids to the pursuer, and

this clause for restraining of tenants to pursue others before any other judicatory to
be no ways prejudicial to the saids persons or their foresaids to pursue ony person
whatsomever before the Lords of Council and Session for sic actions as may go and
be pursued before the said Lords and pertains to their judicatory and nae other."

2 Q



Page 73.— Charter by Isabella Duchess of Albany and Countess of Lennox, on
the resignation of Isabella of Lennox, daughter of the former Murdoch of
Lennox, of the Lands of Duntreath, and others, to William of Edmon-
stoun, son and heir of William Edmonstoun, Knight, Lord of Culloden,
and Matilda Stewart, his spouse, dated at Inchmurren, 15th February,
1445. [From the original in the possession of Sir William Edmonstone
of Duntreath.]

Omnibus banc cartam visuris uel audituris, Isabella, ducissa Albanie ac comitissa
de Leuenax, salutem in Domino sempiternam : NoUERlTis nos dedisse, concessisse
et hac present! carta nostra confirmasse, dilecto et fideli nostro Willelmo de Edmond-
stoun, filio et heredi Willelmi de Edmondstoun, militi, domino de Collodine, et Matilde
Stewart, sponse sue, totas et integras terras nostras de Duntreffe, Dungoyok, Blargerr,
dimedietatem occidentalem terrarum de Mekill Ballewne, et dimedietatem terrarum
de Cultis, cum pertinenciis, jacentes in comitatu nostro de Leuenax infra vicecomi-
tatum de Streuelyne : Ouarum quidem terrarum, videlicet de Duntreffe, Dungoyok, et
Blargerr cum pertinenciis, Isabella de Leuenax, filia quondam Murdaci de Leuenax,
clamauit se heiedem, et quas quidem terras dicta Isabella, non vi aut metu ducta
nee errore lapsa, set sua mera et spontanea voluntate, in manus nostras per fustem et
baculum coram pluribus personaliter sursum reddidit pureque simpliciter resignauit,
ac totum ius et clameum, que in dictis terris de Duntreffe, Dungoyok et Blargeir
cum pertinenciis habuit, seu habere potuit quocunque titulo seu iure, pro se et here-
dibus suis omnino quitum clamauit imperpetuum: Tenendas et habendas totas et
integras terras prenominatas predicto Willelmo et Matilde et eorum diucius , viuenti,
et heredibus suis de corporibus suis inter se procreandis ; quibus forte deficientibus
post decessum eorum diucius viuentium, Andree Stewart, militi, nepoti nostro et
heredibus suis de corpore suo legitime procreandis ; quibus forte deficientibus, Alano
Stewart, nepoti nostro, et heredibus suis de corpore suo legitime procreandis ; et
quibus omnibus forte deficientibus, Murdaco Stewart, militi, et heredibus suis de cor-
pore suo legitime procreandis; quibus omnibus et vniuersis deficientibus, nobis et
iustis heredibus nostris reuersuras imperpetuum ; Reseruando totas et integras



terras de Duntreffe cum pertinenciis domino Willelmo de Edmondstoun de CoUo-
dine pro toto tempore vita sue, pro suo seruicio, consilio et benemeritis nobis im-
pensis et impendendis ; de nobis, heredibus et successoribus nostris quibuscunque in
feodo et hereditate imperpetuum, per omnes rectas metas suas antiquas et diuisas, in
siluis, boscis, planis, moris, marescis, viis, semitis, aquis, stangnis, pratis, pascuis et
pasturis, molendinis, multuris et eorum sequelis, aucupacionibus, piscacionibus, vena-
cionibus, aeriis, cum curiis eschaetis et earum exitibus, petariis, turbariis, carbonariis,
cum fabrilibus et brasinis, pistrinis et fruninis, bludvvidis et merchetis, columbariis,
ligniscidiis et genestis, et cum omnibus aliis et singulis libertatibus, commoditatibus
et aisiamentis et iustis pertinenciis suis quibuscunque, tam non nominatis quam nomi-
natis, tam sub terra quam supra terram, tam procul quam prope, cum libero introitu
et exitu ad prenominatas terras spectantibus seu iuste spectare valentibus quomodo-
libet in futurum, adeo libera, quiete, plenarie, integre et honorifice, bene et in pace,
in omnibus et per omnia, sicut aliqui predecessores dicte Isabella prenominatas terras
cum pertinenciis de nobis aut predecessoribus nostris ante dictam resignacionam
inde nobis factam tanuarunt seu possiderunt, seu tenuimus aut predecessores nostri
tenuerunt: Reddendo inde nobis dictus Willelraus, Matilda et eorum diucius viuens
et haredes sui predicti ; quibus forte deficientibus, dictus Andreas et haredes sui pra-
dicti J quibus forte deficientibus, Alanus et heredes sui predicti ; quibus forte deficien-
tibus, Murdacus et heredes sui predicti, nobis, heredibus et successoribus nostris,
seruicium inde debitum et consuetum: In CUIUS REI TESTIMONIUM sigillum nostrum
present! carte nostra duximus apponendum, apud Inchmoryne, xv*" die mensis Februarii,
anno Domini millesimo cccc™° xi'"° quinto, hiis testibus, Jacobo Stewart, Arthuro
Stewart, Waltero Stewart, nepotibus nostris, Magistro Willelmo de Leuenax, fratre
nostro, Magistro Dand Rede, ractore de Mukarde, capallano nostro, Donaldo clerico,
Donaldo Hugonis, et multis aliis.

Page 90.— The Sheep Farm of Letter.

The present sheep farm of Latter, which forms part of the Duntreath estate,
contains about 2,200 acres imperial, of which about 700 acres are in Strathblane and
the rest in Killearn, those in Killearn being the common pasturage of the ten pound
lands of Letter, the Temple lands of Letter, and the lands called Machar, Sir William
Edmonstone's part of Barnshogle.^ The Strathblane 700 acres, however, though
included in Letter Farm, are really part of Blairgar, and what used to be called
Caldhame. They include Dumgoyne and Dumfoyne, and stretch in a north-easterly
direction to the top of the Earl's Seat, and seem to have been thrown into Letter
Sheep Farm when there was a redivision of the farms on the estate, when, what is
called the Galloway Dyke,- was built about 1785.

Although, then, no part of Letter proper is in Strathblane, still, from its con-
nection in the way now pointed out with the parish, it may be interesting to trace its

' Old Valuation Roll of Stirlingshire.

^So called from being the first wall in the district built in the Galloway style.



Letter consists of (i) "The Temple Lands of Lettyr and pertinents lying in the
town and territory of Lettir in the Earldom of Lennox and County of Stirling," and
(2) " The Ten Pound Land of old extent of Lettyre," otherwise " the town and ter-
ritory," " villa et territorium " of Lettir. ^

Taking the Temple Lands first, we may with safety assume that they were a gift
by one of the early Earls of Lennox to the Order of the Knights Templars, on whose
suppression they fell into the hands of the Knights Hospitallers. There they remained
till 1461^, when " Frater Henricus de Leuyngstoun Miles," " Commendator of the
Preceptory of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem within Scotland," granted a
charter of them to " Thomas de Buchanane," dated 3rd February of that year, and
sealed it with the common seal of office at " Trefichin." The lands were to be held
of him and his successors ' for the time being preceptors of the said Order, with the
common pasturage belonging to the said Temple Lands, with the pertinents, " with
free ish and entry thereto, viz., with 12 Soumes of Bestial, with a mare, a sow, a
goose, and their followers, on tiie common pasturage of the lands of the foresaid
' Villa de Lettyr.' " *

These Temple lands continued in the hands of the Buchanans till 1614, when,
by a disposition dated 2nd December,^ Thomas Buchanan of Carbeth sold them to
Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth, who, as elsewhere stated,^ had by this time a
wadsett of the whole Duntreath estate, and as they were surrounded on all sides by
it, he doubtless bought them to complete and perfect his new acquisition. The
charter of resignation carrying out this wadsett and sale, dated Edinburgh, i6th
February, 161 5, contains a novodamus by King James VI. in favour of Sir William
Livingstone of Kilsyth in liferent, and William Livingstone, his grandson, in fee, of
the Barony of Duntreath, and after a description of the lands forming it, there is
added, " also, all and whole the Temple Lands of Letter lying within the Parish of
Killearne." "'

In 1630 the Barony of Duntreath being disencumbered returned to the Edmonstones,
and with it came the Temple Lands of Letter.* These Temple or Spittal Lands of
Letter lie just on the borders of Strathblane, surrounded, roughly speaking, by Blairgar-
begg and Biairgarmore on the east, Eastertown on the south, Baptistown on the we.'^t,
and Letter Muir on the north.

The history of the other part of the Letter lands, viz., those described in charters
as " The ten pound land of old extent of Lettyre within the parish of Killearn," is this :
— Before 14S7 they were in the hands of the Stirlings of Cadder,^ for on the 29th
May of that year there is a retour of William Stirling as heir of William Stirlirig of
Cadder, his father, in the lands of Lettyr. At the close of the i6th century Letter

1 Duntreath Writs. 2 Duntreath Writs.

3 Charter of the Temple Lands of Letter and Boquhanbeg by Friar WiUiam Knolles Lord St.
John, Preceptor of Torphichan, to Thomas Buchanan of Carbeth, on the resignation of John
Buchanan of Camoquhill. lotli June, 1493. (Duntreath Writs.)

* Duntreath Writs. ^ Duntreath Writs. ^ See page 119.

' Retour of Kilsyth Estate, 31st October, 1627, includes '' terris templariis de Latter in parochia
de Killerne. "

8 Duntreath Writs. ^ Keir Charters.


was in the possession of Robert Stirling, whose relationship, however, if any, to the
Stirlings of Cadder has never been proved. Walter Stirling, said to be a brother
of this Robert Stirling, is the supposed ancestor of the Stirlings of Drumpellier and
Glasgow, but this too has not been satisfactorily proved, and it is still an open question
who represents ancient Cadder.^ In 1599 Letter was sold, there being a charter dated
at Niddrie, 24th August of that year, by which it passed from Robert Stirling of
Letter, with consent of Marie Stirhng, his spouse, to William Edmonstone, Fiar of
Duntreath, to be held from the granter and his heirs.- When Duntreath was wadsetted
to the Livingstones the ten pound land of Letter went with it, and when Duntreath
was redeemed both the Temple lands of Letter, as already shown, and the ten pound
land of Letter returned along with it to the Edmonstones.

After the Reformation, no doubt, the Buchanans held the " Temple Lands of
Letter " direct from the Crown, and so do the Edmonstones now. The Stirlings of
Keir, however, came to be superiors of the " Ten pound land of Letter," and continued
so till 17 1 6, when, in respect of an Act of Parliament of the first year of King George L,
declaring that all vassals in Scotland remaining loyal, holding lands of any rebel duly
attainted, shall hold such lands of the Crown in the same manner as the deUnquent
held them of the Crown at his attainder, the superiority passed away from James
Stirling of Keir, who was out in "the '15," and Letter is now held direct from the

The ten pound lands of Letter contain the farms of Westertown, Middletown,^
Eastertown, and Baptistown, or the Baptist's Town of Letter, the latter immediately
adjoining the Temple lands, and in addition Letter Muir, of old the common pasturage
of them all, including the Temple lands.

Page 105.— The Burial-Place of the Princess Mary in Strathblane Church.

(Extract from " Notes to Genealogical Account of the Family of Edmonstone," p. ']'].

By Sir Archibald Edmonstone.)

"The time of the Countess of Angus's death is not known, but in the pavement of the
modern church of Strathblane — which occupies the site of the old one— is a stone stating
that beneath it were buried the Countess of Angus, and also her descendant, Archibald
Edmonstone, Esq. of Duntreath and Redhall, who died in 1689. Being desirous of
ascertaining if there were any vault beneath the church, I commissioned my friend,
William Smith, Esq. of Carbeth-Guthrie ; the Rev. James Pearson, the minister of the

^ It has given rise, however, to abundant controversy, and interesting reading on the subject
may be had in "The Stirlings of Keir," by Mr. William Fraser ; " Comments on Keir," by Mr.
John Riddell ; and " The Stirlings of Craigbernard and Glorat," by Mr. Joseph Bain.

2 Duntreath Writs. Seisin was taken 20th June, 1605, when William Cunynghame of Blairhoys
was bailie for Robert Stirling of Letter. Among the witnesses are James Edmonstone of Ballewan,
Alexander Edmonstone in Letter, James Neilson, in Cammochill. — (Glas^ Protocol Book, No. 4,

3 Middletown does not now exist as a separate farm. The homestead of it is now known as
" Letter Cottage."



parish ; and James Maclaren, Esq., my factor, to open the grave, regretting much my
inability to be present myself. The following is the report these gentlemen afforded
me : —

'"In consequence of instructions from Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart., a grave-
stone in the centre passage of the church, bearing the following inscription, was this
day removed : — " 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 earth having been removed to the depth of about two feet, a quantity of
human bones were found, including a skull pretty entire. From the size they appeared
to be those of a male. On digging deeper, the remains of another skeleton were
discovered, the bones of which being of a smaller size, were considered to be those
of a female — the skull smaller than that of the other skeleton, and in a better state
of preservation. A portion of the jaw-bone, with the teeth nearly entire, was also
found. There was no appearance of any vault or stone coffin. It was ascertained
from an aged inhabitant that the stone had remained in the same position as it did
in the old church, so there can be no reason for doubting that the remains found
were those of the Princess Mary of Scotland, and her descendant, Mr. Edmonstone.
The remains were carefully redeposited and the stone replaced. The whole operations
were conducted in our presence.

" ' (Signed) William Smith of Carbeth-Guthrie.

James Pearson, Minister, Strathblane.
James Maclaren, Factor, Duntreath.

"'Strathblane Manse, 26th October, 1844.'

"A tooth which fell from the jaw of the Lady Mary is in my possession as an
interesting family relic."

Page 124.— The Stirlingshire Election of 1821.

" Stirling, May 24, 1821. — This being the day appointed for the election of a
member of Parliament for Stirlingshire in room of the late Sir Charles Edmonstone,
Bart, the freeholders of the county met at twelve o'clock in the Court House for the
purpose. The candidates were Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart., and H. Home
Drummond, Esq. of Blairdrummond. As soon as the freeholders had met, the Sheriff
in the usual way proceeded to read the writ for the election, and the clerk the Act
against bribery and corruption, and to read over ihe roll, when it appeared there
were no less than 93 freeholders and liferenters present. It was then moved by Mr.
Home Drummond and seconded by Captain Lowis of Plean, that the Hon.
Admiral Fleming should take the chair. In opposition to this it was moved by Mr.
Blackburn of Killearn, and seconded by Mr. Kincaid of Kincaid, that Mr. Graham
Stirling of Airth should take the chair. This being a circumstance which in a great
measure might be expected to decide the strength of parties, the friends of both



awaited the result with the utmost anxiety. At length the honour of taking the chair
was declared to have fallen on the Hon. Admiral Fleming by a majority of one,
there being —

For the Hon. Admiral Fleming, 43
For Mr. Graham Stirling of Airth, 42

Majority, . . i

On the motion of Mr. Drummond, seconded by Mr. Graham Stirling of Airth, Mr.
Banks was unanimously chosen clerk.

"About half-past four o'clock Sir Thomas Livingstone, Bart., rose and proposed
Henry Home Drummond, Esq. of Blairdrummond, as a fit and proper person to
represent the county in Parliament. The motion was seconded by Stewart Nicolson,
Esq. of Carnock. Mr. Stirling of Craigbarnet then proposed Sir Archibald Edmon-
stone, Bart., as a fit and proper person, which was seconded by Thomas Graham
Stirling, Esq. of Airth. Upon the votes being taken, there appeared —

For Mr. Drummond, . 47
For Sir A. Edmonstone, 42

Majority, . . 5

when Mr. Drummond was accordingly declared duly elected. Four new enrolments
had taken place, which increased the majority. Three gentlemen on each side paired

" There voted for Mr. Home Drummond the following 47, viz. :—

Lord Archibald Hamilton.

Hon. Rear-Admiral C. E. Fleming.

Hon. Wm. Elphinstone.

Hon. James Abercrombie.

Sir Wm. Bruce of Stenhouse, Bart.

Sir A. C. Maitland Gibson of Clifton Hall,

Sir Thos. Livingstone of West Quarter, Bart.

Sir Gilbert Stirling of Mansfield, Bart.

Sir Samuel Stirling of Glorat, Bart.

Sir Keith Alexander Jackson, Bart.

Charles Dundas, M.P.

Archibald Stirling of Garden.

Archibald Speirs of Elderslie.

Peter Speirs of Culcreuch.

Wm. M'Lachlan of Auchentroig.

James R. Johnstone of Alva.

Wm. Morehead of Herbertshire.

Wm. Murray of Touchadam.

Ninian Lowis of Auchenbowie.

Rev. R. Morehead.

Wm. C. C. Graham of Gartmore.

Joseph Stainton of Biggarshiels.

Col. G. Callender of Craigforth.

Capt. J. Dalgleish of Reddock.

John Campbell of Carbrook.

A. C. Maitland Gibson, Yr. of Clifton

John Macfarlane of Kirkton, Advocate.
Charles A. Moir of Leckie.
R. Jamieson of Greenyards.
Robert Lowis.

Colonel Andrew Gillon of Wallhouse.
M. S. Nicolson of Carnock.
A. G. Speirs of Glins.
Thomas Balfour of Easter Glenboig.
Major Thomas Dundas of Fingask.
Stewart Marjoribanks, London.



J. Cunningham of Balgownie.

David Erskine of Cardross.

J. FuUerton Elphinstone.

Dr. Francis Hamilton of Bardowie.

J. G. H. Drummond of Abbotsgrange.

Charles Stirling of Cadder.

John Forman, W.S.

Major Alexander Buchanan

C. C. L. Bruce of Kinnaird.
Michael Bruce of Glenelg.
H. F. Campbell of Boquhan.

of Arn-

James Stirling of Keir.

General Sir R. Abercrombie of Airthrie, G.C.B.
David Stewart of Stewarthall.

Declined to Vote.
Henry Home Drummond.

There voted for Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, Bart., the following 42, viz.

Niel Benjamin Edmonstone.

Rev. George Edmonstone.

Alexander Graham of Ballagan.

Hector Macdonald Buchanan of Drumikiln.

Alexander M'Leod of Muiravonside.

Thomas Dunmore.

James Edington of Gargunnock.

Samuel Cooper of Ballindalloch.

James Bruce of Powfoulis.

Francis Simpson of Plean.

Rev. J. Bain of Easter Livilands.

David Munro Binning of Softlaw.

A. G. Stirling of Craigbarnet.

J. Davidson of Bankier, W.S.

Thomas Graham Stirling of Airth.

James Russell of Woodside.

William Leckie of Finnich Blair.

J. Ferrier Hamilton of Westport.

Dr. J. Henderson of Westerton.

John M'Leroy of Wester Glenboig.

T. Spottiswoode of Dunipace.

James Trecothick.

Barlow Trecothick.

Captain Robert Davidson.

Alexander Miller of Dalnair.

Walter Ferrier, W.S.

Crawford Tait of Harvieston.

John Kincaid of Kincaid.

James Wright, Stirling.

John Blackburn of Killearn.

General William Maxwell of Bellamount.

Robert Warden of Parkhill.

Rev. Gavin Gibb, D.D.

John Guthrie of Carbeth.

John J. Davidson of Drumtocher.

James Smith of Craigend.

John Strachan of Thornton.

R. Taylor, Advocate.

John Thomson of Allan Park.

John Ure of Croy Ure.

J. N. Forrester of Craigannet. ' •

W. A. Caddell of Banton.

Lt.-Gen. Graham Stirling
J. Home of Middlequarter,
Colonel John M'lntosh.

of Duchray and Auchyle.


Declined to Vote.
Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath.

"After the election Mr. Drummond made a short speech, in which he evidently laboured
under great embarrassment as addressing the heterogeneous coalition who had elected
him. Sir Archibald Edmonstone next addressed the Court in a speech which produced a
deep impression in his favour on the minds of all, and did great credit both to his abilities
and heart." — From the Scotsman.

Both Sir Archibald Edmonstone and Mr. Home Drummond were members of the
Tory party, and according to the Scotsman of the day this " unnatural coalition of Whig
and Melville interests " which defeated Sir Archibald was promoted by the Melville
party, " under the specious pretext of freeing the county from the thraldom of the Noble
Duke (Montrose), but truly in order to secure for themselves a more perfect command of
Scotch patronage."

The election of 182 1 was fought on the roll of electors which was made up at Michael-
mas, 1820, and on which there were 1 17 names. It was made up thus —

43 of those who voted for Mr. Home Drummond.

42 all of those who voted for Sir Archibald Edmonstone.

6 who paired.

2 who declined to vote.
24 who did not appear, from death or some other cause.


The names of the 24 who did not appear were —

John Francis Erskine of Mar. Jas. Alex. Stewart M'Kenzie of Glasser-

Sir Charles Edmonstone, Bart, late M.P. ton and Seaforth.

Right Hon. A. Colquhoun, Lord Clerk Register. M. Wright.

John A. Higgins of Neuk. W. A. Maxwell.

J. D. Napier of Ballikinrain. Hon. Capt. H. L. Dundas, R.N.

Hon. George Abercrombie of Tullibody. Hon. Lt.-Col. Sir. Robt. L. Dundas,

Captain James Oswald, R.N. K.C.B.

John Ferrier, W.S. D. R. Leckie of Broich.

Sir Hugh Innes of Lochalsh, Bart. J. Macfarlane, Yr. of Kirkton.

R. Balfour of Glenboig. Hon. and Rev. T. L. Dundas, LL.D.

William Home, Advocate. Andrew Buchanan of ArdenconneL

James Erskine of Cambus. Hon. Thomas Dundas.

Levison Douglas Stewart. Rev. Dr. William Taylor, Junr.

Mr. Home Drummond had, in addition to the 43 electors of the roll of 1820, the
votes of the 4 new electors who were put on the roll after Admiral Fleming took the
chair. The Montrose party had no doubt, as was usual in such cases, made every

Online LibraryJohn Guthrie SmithThe parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants from early times : a chapter in Lennox history → online text (page 35 of 45)