John Guthrie Smith.

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

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tale. There is no ground at all for saying there were any "bacchanalian orgies" at Mugdock ;
indeed, from the character of the " Good Marquis " it is very unlikely that excess of any kind
took place there.

^ The Marchioness died in 1673, and on the 23rd January was buried in the Church of
Aberuthven. The funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Arthur Ross, Parson, and after-
wards Archbishop of Glasgow, and was published. It is entitled —

The Certainty


Death and Judgement

Delivered in a Funeral Sermon


at the Exequies of the Right

Honourable Eminently Religious and most

Vertuous Lady

My Lady Marchioness

of Alontrose

In the Chappel of Aberuthven January 23, 1673.

By Arth. Ross Parson of Glasgow.

A single extract shows its style — "How sweet was her breath upon her deathbed; her body

seemed to be exhaled and vapour out all in soul, and the breath of her soul to relish nothing

but of Christ and heaven. Having bidden farewel to her beloved friends, and very willingly

to the world, and to her chiefest darlings in it, her dearest and princely children, standing

like olive plants, or rather like orient pearles about her bed ; whose chattering groans,

piercing cryes and doleful moans, might have moved and bribed the severest Judge upon

the Bench or anything that had a being (except ghostly Death which bears no regard) to

have spared that sad Divorce ; and yet these charming tunes and mourning songs did not

draw back her least desires, nor stop this blessed Saint from laying herself fast asleep in the

everlasthig armes of that beloved bridegroom of her soul."

-Act Par. Car. II. 1670.



James Marques of Montrose and his Aires and Successors ane yeerlie free fair
to be keept and holden at the said towne and Kirk of Killerne upon the sixt
day of September yeerly the samen being laufull or any other laufull day being
tuo dayes before the later fair day in Stirline — and ane other yeerly fair to be
keept and holden at the said toun and Lands of Strablane upon the first laufull
day before hallowmes yeerly in all tyme comeing For buying and selling of
horse, nolt, sheep, fish, flesh, meill, malt and all sort of graine, cloath, lining
and wollen and all sort of merchant commoditys. With power to the said
James Marques of Montrose and his forsaids or such as they shall appoint to
collect, intromet with, uplift and receave the tolls customs and dutys belonging
to the said tuo yeerly fairs and to injoy all other Liberties Priviledges, free-
doms and immunitys sicklyk and als freely in all respect as any other in the
lyk case hes done or may do in tyme coming."

The Strathblane Fair was held on the lands of Edenkill. Of late years it
has been gradually falling off in importance till it has now reached the vanishing
point. In 1795 John Graham, Portioner of Mugdock, had a Charter of the
" Customs and Casualties due and payable to the Superior at the Hallow Fair
of Strathblane " and latterly it was a pertinent of Leddriegreen.

In 1681 an arrangement between the Marquis of Montrose and WiUiam,
eighth Earl of Monteith, was ratified by Act of Parliament.^ By it the latter
resigned his Earldom of Monteith, and King Charles II. granted a Novodamus
of it to him in life rent and to the Marquis of Montrose in fee. This important
transaction put his son — the fourth Marquis and first Duke — a few years after-
wards, in possession of the fine estates in Aberfoyle and others belonging to
the Earldom of Monteith now possessed by the family of Montrose. The
celebrated John Graham of Claverhouse had attempted to make the same
arrangement for himself, but the claims of Montrose, the chief of the clan,
prevailed with the Earl. The following letter written from Mugdock shows,
however, that all three were on good terms: — ^

" Mugduck 30 May (16)79.

" My Lord — I would haue sent the dog this day, but I waited for the letters
by the last packet, which were something late a coming. I send your Lordship
here inclosed the journals of Parliament which contain all the news the Court
affords for ought I know. I met Claverhous to-day who is sent with his troops
and a troop of Dragoons to guard some arms and ammunition transported to this
Countrey. The fanaticks in Clidsdale were yesterday so insolent that a party
of them, reported to be about three score hors, entred Rugland, burnt the

1 Act Par. Car. II. 1681.

■■^Printed in the Red Book of Akntcith, vol. ii. p. 173.


Declaration and Oaths of Alegiance and Supremacy in the bonfire there, and
then put it out, intending the like in Glasgow, but being advertised that
Claverhous' troop was there desisted from that interprise, and dispersed hauing
been pursued by a party of that troop till midnight tho in vain. Claverhous
tells me he would haue waited on your Lordship at this time, if he was
not so strictly obliged to attend his charge, but promises to be with you
about pouting-time,i at which time you may also expect to be waited on
by, my Lord —

" Your Lordships most affectionate Cousin and most humble Servant

'* Montrose.
" For Your Lordship."

In 1682 a most important event for the parish took place, viz., the purchase
by the Marquis of Montrose of the Buchanan estate from the creditors of the
last Buchanan of that ilk. This transaction soon afterwards severed the
intimate connection between Strathblane and the Montrose family, for the
succeeding Marquis — the first Duke — after making some additions to the old
house of the Buchanans, took up his residence there, and Buchanan House or
Castle has since continued to be the seat of the succeeding Dukes.

In 1684 James, third Marquis of Montrose, died while still a young man,
and his son James, fourth Marquis and first Duke, succeeded not only to what
was left of the old Barony of Mugdock, but also to the fine estate of Buchanan
acquired two years before by his father, and later in the same year he came
into possession of the estates of the last Earl of Menteith and Airth in virtue
of the arrangement of 1681.


Soon after the Marquis of Montrose left Mugdock Castle for his new home
at Buchanan, a family of Grahams, who claim to be cadets of Dougalston, came to
live at the old place and farm the lands.

Sir William Graham of Kincardine and Mugdock had, for his second wife, the
Princess Mary, daughter of King Robert III.— the lady who married for her
fourth husband another Strathblane laird, Sir William Edmonstone of Duntreath —
and from this marriage the Grahams of Knockdolian are derived. The first
Graham of Dougalston was a cadet of Knockdolian.

The immediate ancestor of the family who came to Mugdock when the Marquis
left it was Robert Grahame, tacksman of Quinloch. He had two sons, Hugh of
Edenkill, and John. Hugh Grahame of Edenkill, the elder son, had a son, James,

1 The shooting season.


who had sasine of part of Edenkill in 1702; and a grandson, John, merchant
tailor and bailie of Glasgow, who succeeded and had sasine in 1720.

John Grahame, the younger son, who came from Quinloch and settled in Mug-
dock before 1694, married Jean Mitchell. On the 19th February, 1729, he had
sasine of the easter third of Drumquhassle, in Drymen, proceeding upon a disposi-
tion granted by James Mitchell — by this time dead — and signed 7th October, 1727,
before John Govan, son to William Govan of Drumquhassle, and William Govan
his brother.^

John Grahame of Drumquhassle and tenant of Mugdock, and Jean Mitchell his
wife, had a son, John Grahame, who succeeded to Drumquhassle and the lease of
Mugdock on his father's death. His wife was Barbara Graham of Birdston, who
was first cousin of Thomas Graham first of Ballagan.^

John Grahame of Drumquhassle and tenant of Mugdock, and Barbara Graham
his wife, had a large family — i, James, of whom afterwards; 2, Archibald, of whom
also afterwards; 3, William, H.E.I.C.S. ; 4, Andrew; 5, Henry; 6, John, who
all died childless; 7, Jean, who married Andrew Aitchison, tenant of Dungoiach,
and had three daughters who all died childless. John Grahame had a good
deal of trouble and expense with some of the younger members of his family —
William, in particular, who was sent to learn law in Edinburgh, " keeping hunters
and high company in place of attending to his studies," — and finally he gave
up Mugdock to his eldest son James, sold Drumquhassle to his second son
Archibald, of the Thistle Bank, Glasgow, and retired to Banton, where he

James Grahame, the eldest son, tenant of Mugdock and Hilton, was born in
1749 and died in 1820; he married Margaret M'Culloch, who also died in 1820,
and had seven children — i, John, who died unmarried at Mugdock; 2, Jane,
who married the Rev. William Bryce, D.D., of Aberdour, one of the Deans of
the Chapel Royal, and had issue ; 3, Ehzabeth, married William Anderson, and
had issue ; 4, Barbara, married Hugh Tennent, and had issue ; 5, Margaret ;
6, Janet ; and 7, Ann. The three unmarried daughters lived for long at Mug-
dock Castle, and were much respected in the neighbourhood. Ann Grahame
survived the others, and leaving Mugdock, died at Bothwell in 1855; and thus
came to an end the long connection of this branch of the Grahames with

Returning now to Archibald Grahame, second son of John Grahame of Drum-
quhassle and Mugdock, and Barbara Graham of Birdston, his wife, and whose
descendants now represent this old stock, we find in him a Avell-known citizen
of Glasgow and a credit to his native parish of Strathblane.

1 Tart. Reg. Sas., Stirling. 2 See Ballagan.



Archibald Grahame early went into business in Glasgow as a writer, and
afterwards became partner and cashier of the Thistle Bank there. Besides Drum-
quhassle, which he bought from his father, he acquired part of the lands of
Barrowfield, and also Dalmarnock. He was one of the founders of the Glasgow
Chamber of Commerce and of the Royal Infirmary, and, although he had left
Strathblane, he continued to take an interest in its affairs, for when the new
church was building in the beginning of this century, he was appointed standing
arbiter in case of disputes ; and on the church being finished, he allocated the
seats among the heritors. He married Jean Grahame, sister of Robert Grahame
of Whitehill, and James Grahame, author of "The Sabbath," and had a large
family. i, Thomas Grahame, writer to the signet, born 1793, married Agnes
Veitch of the Dawick family, and had nine children, of whom the eldest is
Archibald Hamilton Grahame, who now represents the old rentallers in
Mugdock, and is next heir of entail to Ballagan. He has been twice
married and has issue. The other members of Thomas Grahame's family
are — Robert Veitch, married, and has issue ; Thomas Hill ; Agnes Jemima,
died unmarried ; Jane Margaret ; James, sometime residing at Auldhouse,
married, and has issue ; John, married, and has issue ; Mary Anne, married
Rev. Charles Bennett, rector of Sparkford ; and the Rev. David, married,
and has issue. 2, Robert Grahame, M.D. ; 3, James Grahame, who both
died childless. 4, Archibald Grahame, parliamentary solicitor, London,
married, and had a large family. 5, Barbara, married David Rankine, an
officer in the Rifle Brigade, and a younger son of Macquorn Rankine of
Drumdow, Ayrshire. She had two sons — David, who died young, and the
late William John Macquorn Rankine, F.R.S., LL.D., etc.. Professor of Civil
Engineering, etc., in the University of Glasgow, who was not only one of the
most distinguished scientific men Scotland ever produced, but also, in society,
one of the most charming of companions. This most worthy scion of an old
Strathblane race died at the early age of 52. 6, Margaret, married Alexander
Grahame, parliamentary solicitor, London.

Since Miss Ann Grahame left Mugdock, about forty years ago, there have been
several tenants in the Castle; one of the best known was Bailie Archibald
M'Lellan of Glasgow, who made many alterations and some improvements on
the old place, and who died there in 1854. James Reid, of the Union Bank
of Scotland, brother-in-law of Thomas Graham of Ballewan, Master of the Mint,
also lived for several years at Mugdock before he built Dunmullin in Strath-
blane; and the last who tenanted the old house of the second Marquis was
William Clarke of the Falkirk Iron Company, John Phillips, the late well-
known tenant of the Laigh Park (of Mugdock), holding the lands.

In 1874 the late Duke of Montrose arranged for a very extended lease




of the

Castle and lands of Mugdock with John Guthrie Smith, a younger son

of the late William Smith of Car-
beth Guthrie, and great-grandson of
James Smith of Craigend, in con-
sideration of his rebuilding the more
modern part of the house and of
certain other conditions. The de-
cayed old house of 1655 was accord-
ingly removed, and the present one
built. Roads and shrubberies have
been made and plantations formed,
and the old place is beginning to
assume more of the appearance which
the "staitly house" may be supposed
to have worn before it was " demol-
ished" by Lord Sinclair in 1641,
and berried by the Buchanans in


" Fortiter occupa portu)n."
Aiichcr Jirmly in a friendly port.


On the death of John Earl of Montrose in 1626, the young Earl James had
assumed as his curators his near relatives, the Earl of Wigton, Sir William
Graham of Braco, Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston, who became Lord
Napier, Sir John Colquhoun of Luss, David Graham of Fintry, Sir Robert
Graham of Morphie, Sir \Villiam Graham of Claverhouse, great-grandfather of
"Bonnie Dundee," John Graham of Orchill, Patrick Graham of Inchbrakie, and
John Graham of Balgown.^ Soon afterwards it was resolved to feu out to the
tenants then in possession parts of the Barony of Mugdock and other lands
belonging to the young Earl in Strathblane."

1 Memorials of Montrose, vol. i. p. 109.

^Archibald First Lord Napier to the Factor of Mugdock, 12th April, 1628: — "Assured
Frende, These are to entreat you (becaus the King's affaires urges my way going) to be heir
precisly upon the sixteene day of this instant. I have appointed Claverhous to meet you heir



These transactions took place at intervals during the Great Marquis' life and
that of his son, and the majority of the separate estates in Strathblane date
their origin from this period.

AUCHENGILLANj _I_000'i<*'/^A*'

otherwise Aughingilzean, Auchingilzean, or Auchinguilzean, being the most
northerly as well as remote part of the Barony of Mugdock in the parish of
Strathblane, with the exception of Quinloch, which, though for a short time in
the possession of cadets, still belongs to the Montrose family, seems a definite
point to start from; we therefore begin with it the history of the feuing out of
the Barony of Mugdock.

The twenty shilling land of Auchengillan, the property of James Earl of
Montrose, was, on the 25th August, 1631, while he was a minor, granted by
feu charter to John Wair, Archibald Buchanan, and George MTndoe, "possessors
and kindlie tenants " thereof, John Wair having " all and haill that ten shilling
land of the said town and land," or half of Auchengillan, and Archibald
Buchanan and George M'Indoe having each a five shilling land or one quarter
of it. This feu was effected by the advice and consent of the young Earl's
" very noble and right honourable friends " and curators.^

The history of George MTndoe's quarter of the original Auchengillan is this.
It was called


from being situated on the higher parts of the lands. It remained for long in
the possession of the descendants and relatives of the original feuar.^ On the
26th November, 1753, James M'Indoe sold it to Robert Provan, mason in
Lettermiln, Killearn, who at this time was also proprietor of one fourth of the
Westertown of Easter Mugdock and one fourth of the lands of Carbeth."^ The

that same day ; becaus there are many things to do I wald have your meeting soner than wes
appoynted when yee wer heir. Claverhous desires me still in his letters to desir you to bring
with you the true rentall ; and therfoir I entreat you to bring it with you, that we may kno
what every tenent in particular payes, as is most requisit now, when they ar to tak fewes, the
ignorance whereof may hinder all the bisines at this time. So not doubting of your repairing
hither at the said day, I rest your very loving frend,

"Edinburgh, 12 Ap. 1628. " Naper.

" To my assured Frende James Duncan,

" Burges of Glasgow."
— Memorials of Montrose, vol. i. p. 28.

^ Auchengillan Writs.

^ James M'Indoe, who sold Auchengillan, appears in one of the Carbeth writs as brother of
Walter, portioner of Carbeth, who was descended from James M'Indoe, feuar in 1631 of one
fourth of Carbeth.

^ Auchengillan and Carbelh Guthrie Writs.


latter, however, he sold to James M'Indoe the same day he bought Auchengillan
from him. Robert Provan was succeeded in Auchengillan in 1806 by his son
James, and he by his relative Moses Provan, chartered accountant, Glasgow, on
whose death in 1871, James Provan, his brother, also an accountant in Glasgow,
became laird. Moses Provan had added to his lands by the purchase of two
thirds of Drummery Park, commonly known as Mid-Auchengillan, from Miss
Janet H. Holmes and Miss Anne Caldwell Holmes, and the present laird ac-
quired in 1877 the other one third from Mrs. Grace Holmes or M'Intosh.
James Provan is thus the laird of both the Townhead of Auchengillan and also
of Mid-Auchengillan.



Sir Robert Provane was vicar of Strathblane in 1549? and there are traces
of others of the name in the parish in after times,i but their connection, if any,
with the present family of Auchengillan cannot be traced. David Provan suc-
ceeded in 1677 or 1678 Elspet or Ehzabeth M'llhoise, relict of John Burmond,
as miller at Gartness,^ but by 1690 he had removed to the Mill of Letter in
Killearn, where he was a tenant of the Edmonstones of Duntreath.

By his wife, Janet Mitchell, he had a son, James, who had, with other
children, James, who bought Ledlowan in Killearn in 1736 from Archibald

1 There was at one time a Provan, miller at Milndavie.

2 He succeeded also to miller Burmond's receipt book, a very small vellum covered volume
now in the possession of Mr. Provan of Auchengillan, a very mine of family and local informa-
tion. This interesting little book contains receipts from Thomas Napier for the rent paid for
Gartness Mill by John Burmond and his wife for several years, and also for the rent of the
same mill paid by David Provan in 1678-79-80. There is also a series of receipts given to
David Provan by John Foyer, probably the schoolmaster at Duntreath, who is mentioned else-
where in this book, and who was otherwise in the employment of the Edmonstones. In 1690
he grants receipts for " pairt of the twa monthis suplie payable at Lambas last grantet to their
Majesties be Act p"' Parliament." In the same year a receipt for "pairt of the pryce of twa
baggage horses," apparently for the public service. John Foyer also signs a receipt for David
Provan's " proportione of the pensione due to Wilham Edmonstone, brother to umql. Archibald
Edmonstone of Duntreath." This was the "Dumb Laird" of Duntreath (see Duntreath). In
1692 Robert Duncan grants receipts for the Edmonstones " for suplie," rent of the mill, and
"his sess." About the end of the century there is a copy of an account signed "Jo Graham,
betwixt Dougalstone and David Provane in Letter." John Graham of Dougalston was Dun-
treath's "Doer" or Factor. On one side is the rent for several years and on the other pay-
ments made from time to time by the miller. Among them is this — "Item, the said David
Provane his payt. to the Dumb Laird for the year 89 90 and whit. 91 p^ojo.oo.OO." In 1699
" Ja Grahame " grants a receipt for "bygone rent," and in 1702 " Js Hay" signs another
f<jr " soumes to accompt of bygone rent." These are Glasgow men, and it rather looks
as if the miller and the laird had some matter in dispute which had got into legal hands.
There are also receipts for other payments made to James Foj'er, John Buchanan of Carbeth,
and others.



Edmonstone of Duntreath, and John Williamson,^ and Robert^ mason in Letter-
miln, Killearn, of whom afterwards.

The elder brother, James, proprietor of Ledlowan, was born in 17 14. He
married, firstly, Jean Fairley, Arnfinlay, by whom he had two sons, John and
William ; and he married, secondly, Janet Neilson, Easter Balfunning,- by whom
he had William, farmer in Braefoot or Easter Ledlowan ; Moses, of whom after-
wards; David, H.E.I.C.S., physician to the Rajah of Travancore, and of Loch-
ridge, Ayrshire ; and Janet, wife of William Samson of Whitehill. William and
David Provan married sisters, daughters of William Reid, of Brash & Reid,
booksellers, Glasgow. Mr. Reid was a poet and a friend of Burns.

Moses Provan married Elizabeth Mitchell, of a Dry men family, whose
ancestors had suffered in Covenanting times, and was the father of (i) Moses
Provan, chartered accountant in Glasgow, and who succeeded to Auchengillan
in 1865; (2) David, settled in Australia, married, and has a family; (3) James,
now of Auchengillan ; (4) William, settled in Australia, married, and has a
family ; (5) Agnes.

Returning now to Robert Provan, mason in Lettermiin, who was born in
1 7 16, and was afterwards proprietor of part of Mugdock and Carbeth, and
bought the Townhead of Auchengillan in 1753, we find that in 1767 he married
Janet Weir of Barrachan, East Kilpatrick, and had two sons — (i) James,
who succeeded his father in Auchengillan, of whom afterwards ; (2) David,
joiner in Carbeth, who married Agnes Mitchell, and had one son, Robert, who
lived with his uncle at Auchengillan and farmed his lands, and would have
been his heir had he not unfortunately met his death at Maryhill in 1864
through an accident caused by an unmanageable horse. David had also two
daughters, Mary, who married John M'Garvie, and had issue, and Janet, who
married James Bissland, and had issue.

James Provan, the second laird of Auchengillan of the Provan family,

^In the old receipt book, already mentioned, there is a regular series of receipts for feu duty
paid to the Duke of Montrose by James Provane, signed in succession by the Duke's Chamber-
lains — John Graham of Dougalston, beginning in 1736; David " Grame " of Orchill, beginning
1741 ; John Colquhoun, beginning 1752; David Grame, reappearing for a year in 1756; John
Smith (writer in Buchanan), beginning in 1757; Alexander M'Culloch, from 1772; and George
Menzies in 1789-91, the last receipt in the book. This comprehensive little volume also contains
receipts for schoolmasters' salary, signed by John Finlayson and John Maltman, and receipts for
stipend from the Rev. James Baine, who was minister of Killearn when Ledlowan was bought
in 1736, and following him from the Rev. James Morrison, afterwards minister of Strathblane,
and next by the Rev. James Graham, who was minister of Killearn for many years.

" The Kirk-Session of Killearn were a powerful body in those days, and before Mr. Provan
could be married he required their permission. The following is their license: — "These certify
that James Provan, in this our parish of Killern, is a free, single, unmarried person, free of
scandal or ground of church censure (known to us), and may be allowed the benefit of pro-
clamation in order to marriage with Janet Neilson, in the parish of Drymen. Is attested at
Killern, Nov. 5, 1762 years, by Jo. Finlayson, sess. elk."



attained the great age of 96 years and 6 months, and was proprietor of the
Tovvnhead for 60 years. He was born and lived there all his life, and died
there. He was a remarkably fine old man, very intelligent, and of a cheerful,
kindly disposition, and so hale and hearty at 90 that he was still playing the
bagpipes with vigour, and might possibly have lived to be 100 or more had he
not injured himself when about 91 by falling from the top of a stack of oats he
was helping to build in harvest time. The present house at Townhead was
built by him under the superintendence of his brother David. It is a capital,

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