Lachlan Shaw.

The history of the province of Moray. Comprising the counties of Elgin and Nairn, the greater part of the county of Inverness and a portion of the county of Banff,--all called the province of Moray before there was a division into counties online

. (page 16 of 37)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

those, there is no voucher. Be it as it may, I
pass on to

III. Brancli, The family of Cluityheg and Braco.
'I'he (lii\'ct hne of Craighead becoming extinct in
Joliii Dufl" anno 1717, his grandfather Jolm (who
died about 1660), was twice married. By his lirst
wife Isabel Allan, he had Jolm, father of the fore-
said Jolm the writer. And by his second wife,
(laughter of John Gordon of Carnborraw, he had
(1) Adam Duff of Clunybeg, who, by his wife,
(laughter of Gordon of Birkenburn, had Alexander
of Keithmore, William, ancestor of Drumnniir
and Crombie, John, ancestor of Cornfindie, Peter
and Adam. Clunybeg died anno 1677. (2) Alex-
ander of Keithmore, married Helen, daughter of
Alexander Grant of Allachie, and had Alexander
of Braco, William of Dipple, and Patrick of
Craigstou. (3) Alexander of Braco married Mar-
garet, daughter of Sir William Gordon of Less-
more, Bart., and had (4) William, who, leaving
no nifile issue, was succeeded by his uncle (5)
William of l)i2:)ple, heir male and of entail, who,
by his wife, daughter of Sir George Gordon of
Edinglassie, has left a son (6) William. This
gentleman married Jean, eldest daughter of Sir
James Grant of Grant, and liath a numerous
issue. In 1735, he was created Baron Braco of
Kilbryde in the county of Cavan in Ireland ; and,
by patent to liiiii and liis heirs male, dated \(M]\


April, 1759, he was created \'isconiit MacDuff
and Earl Fife of that kingdom.

William, second son of Olimybeg, was father of
Alexander, who married Katheriue Duff eldest
daughter and heiress of Adam Duff' of Drummnir,
and by her had Kobert of Drnmmuir, John of
Coiildbin, and William of Miiirton. Robert was
father of Archibald, now of Drnmmuir. AVilliani
had a second son, James, father of William Duff
of Crombie advocate. Of Clunybeg's 8rd son,
John, is descended Duff of Corsindae. And of
Keithmore's son, Patrick of Craigston, are de-
scended Hatton, Kemnay, Craigston, S:c.

The armorial bearing of Duff, Earl Fife, of the Kingdom of
Ireland, is quarterly, 1 and 4, Or, a lion ramjiant (Jule.s,
armed and langued azure, for Fife ; 2 and 3, Vert, a fess dan-
zette Ermine, betwixt a hart's head cabossed in chief, and two
escallops in base, Or, for iJuff of Braco. Crest, a demy lion
Gules, holding in his dexter jjaw a broad sword erected in pale
proper, hilted and pomelled. Or, motto above the crest, dp:us
JUVAUIT. And below the shield, virtute et opera. Sup-
porters, two savages wreathed about the heads and middles
Avith laurel, holding branches of trees in their hands, all proper.

Translation. — Crest, god wilt, tiet>p. Below tlie shield, by



[This family has a clear Charter-descent for about .lOO
years. The Duffs were settled as landed proprietors in
Banffshire in the reign of David II. The first recorded

1. John Duff", who was proprietor of the lands of Mul-
davit, near Cullen.

In the Church of Cullen, upon the arch of a recess tomb,
there was a recumbent effigy, and before it lay a flat slab
adornp<l witli the incised figures of a Knight in armour. Bdtli


these were removed, in 1792, at the request of the Earl of Fife»
to the mausoleum near Duti" House. The effigy and shih l)iith
relate to the above.

^jir. Eacft. Ecilv.incs. Jlbf. pf. ^BuliJabit. rt. iCulii.aii. obiit. 2.
riSEii. H04.

Arountl the margin of the slab is : —

^)ic. Earct. lohancs. pbf. br. ^rtlulbabit. iValbabi. qui. opr. rt
opera, liivtutr. ac. frugalitatc. alto, fonsiilio. rt. lutrcpitio. covbc.
patcraosi. Umitrs. amphatiit. ob. iiucovn. mcntrm. inrcori". mcntcm.
aiUii". fib"». prrcl"'. ob'- 1404.

An engraving of this nionumeut is given in Cordiner's lic-
markable Rnins.

The mausoleum near Duff House is of Gothic architecture,
surrounded with shrubliery, and forms a striking ornament to
the park. The windows are of stained glass, and in front are
two fine statues of Faith and Hope. In the middle of last cen-
tury were visible considerable ruins of St. jNIary's Chapel, Ijailt
l)y King Eobert Bruce in 1324, upon the site of which the Dufi'
mausoleum is erected. The adjacent grounds were also devoted
l)y his Royal Charter for the building and support of a Carme-
lite monastery. (Ed.)

2. David Duff of Muldavit was probably a son of the
preceding John Duff. He obtained a Crown Charter in
the year 1404', in favour of himself and Mary Chalmers,
his wife, of the lauds of Muldavit. He had also the lands
of Craighead, Baldavie, xVuchingall, and others.

o. John Duff, his sou, succeeded, and lived in the reign
of King James I.

4. John Duff of Muldavit and ( 'raighead succeeded, and
had a Crown Charter from King James II., "Johanni
Duff, filio et heredi Johannis Duff," of various lands, dated
12th February, 1442. He wadset his lands of Muldavit
to James Innes of that ilk, under redemption.

5. John Duff, designed Buigess of Cullen, son of the
preceding, confirmed his father's wadset of the lauds of
Muldavit to the Laird of Inues, wlio obtained a Crown
Charter thereon in 14iSl. He left a son,

(■». Andrew Duff of Muldavit, who redeemed the pro-
{)erty from the Laird of Innes, and got a CroAvn Charter
thereon, dated June, 1")()4, to "Andreje Duff, de omnibus
et singulis terris de ]Maldavit, in vice comitatu de Banff,
qua^ fuerunt Johannis Duff, avi dicti Andreiu." He mar-
ried Helen Hay, gran<lelii!d of John Ha3% Lord of Forest

duffs' intermarriages. 161

of Boyne, Enzie, &c. After the death of her husband,
this lady built an aisle on the south side of the Church of
Cullen, which was long called the Duff's Aisle. Andrew
Duff left two sons — 1st, John, his heir; and 2nd, George,
who was a Churchman. He himself died in the year

7. John Duff succeeded, and was infeft on Chancery
precept as heir to his father, Andrew, IGth May, 1520.
He had two sons — -Ist, George ; 2nd, John.

8. George Dufl', who never married. He resigned his
lands to his brother John.

9. John Duff of Muldavit and Craighead * got a charter
under the Great Seal, 26th November, 1550 — "Johanni
Duff, fratri germano Georgii Duff de Maldavit, terrarum
de Maldavit, cum molendino, &c. He died about the vear

10. John Duff, son of the preceding, succeeded. Got a
charter under the Great Seal, previous to his father's
death, as heir-apparent, 10th July, 1575, which was i-e-
newed 24th February, 1610. He married Agnes Gordon,
by whom he had a son, John, with whose consent, and
that of his wife, he sold the Estate of Muldavit, to James
Hay of Rannes, in the year 1626. He died in the year

11. John Duff succeeded his father, and married, first,
Isabel Allan, by whom he had a son, John ; second, Tvlar-
garet, daughter of John Gordon of Cairnburrow, by whom
he had a son, Adam Duff of Clunybeg, and a daughter,
Margaret, married to John Meldrum of Laithers.

12. John Duff, eldest son of the last John Duff, Avas a
merchant in Aberdeen, and had a charter — " Johanni Duff,
mercatori burgen burgi de Aberdeen, dimidiato terrarum
de Boghall." He died in the reign of King Charles II.

13. John Duff, son of the preceding, was an Advocate
in Aberdeen, and much .respected as a man of business,
and also privately. He died, without issue, in the year
1718, and in him ended the succession of John Duff of
Muldavit (No. 11), by his first wife, Isabel Allan.

14.. Adam Duff of Clunybeg, son of John Duff, (No. 11),

* Craighead was the place of residence of the family. Ac-
cording to Gordon of Straloch's map it stood on the high bank
above the burn, nearly opposite Cullen House.

VOL. I. ' 11


by his second wife, Margaret Gordon, was born in 1 598.
He settled at Clunybeg, in the parish of Mortlach, and
became a great farmer, merchant, and trader, dealing in
all countr}^ produce. He was a man of great sense,
shrewdness, and sagacity, and began the foundation of the
wealth of the family. He was lined by the Covenanting
party, in the year 164G, in 500 merks, as a supporter of
the Royalist side, to which he was attached. He married
Beatrix Gordon, daughter of John Gordon of Birkenburn,
by whom he had six sons and two daughters, viz: — Alex-
ander, his heir; John, ancestor of the Duffs of Corsindae,
died 1696, aged 73; William,* a merchant in Inverness,
ancestor of the Duffs of Drummuir and Crombie, died
October, 1715, aged S3; George, married, and had issue.
Two other sons died unmarried. Two daughters, Jean
and Helen, were married. Adam Duff of Clunybeg died
in April, 1674, aged 76.

Alexander and John, the two eldest sons of Clunybeg,
in their early days supported the Royalist cause, and
fought under Montrose in his wars. They were both
bold, daring men, particularly John, who was taken pri-
soner by the Covenanters, and would certainly have
perished on the scaffold, if he had not contrived to make
his escape from an escort of soldiers, who were conveying
him to Edinburgh for trial.

15. Alexander Duff, oldest son of Adam Duff, of Cluny-
beg, obtained from the Marquis of Huntly a wadset of the
lands of Keithmore, in Mortlach, which long continued to
be the residence of the family, having only been redeemed
in the following century. He was a very prudent, careful
man ; had abundance of money, and an extensive wad-
setter and ]iurchaser of land. He acquired the extensive
Estate and Lordship of Balvenie, either in wadset or by
purchase, and also the considerable property in Glenrin-
nes, belonging to the Cumings of Lochtervandich, with
many other estates. He was a great farmer and money-
lender. He married Helen, daughter of Alexander Grant

* "William Duffs son, Alexander, was Provost of Inverness,
and married Kathcrine, dauglitcr and heiress of Adam Duft'of
Drumnmir. The Dulls of Drunmiuir are an okl family. I
have not seen their pedigree; l)nt tlio estate Avas small, and was
enlarged to its present dimensions by the money made by the
Duffs at Inverness. (R. Y.)


of Allachie, brother of Archibald Grant of Ballintomb,
ancestor of the family of Monymusk. By this lady it
has been stated that he got 100,000 merks of tocher,
more than £5000 sterling, a very large sum for those
days. She was a most prudent, industrious, and very
hospitable person, and much of the future prosperity
of the family proceeded from her. By this lady
Keithmore liad three sons and four daughters, viz.: —

1. Alexander of Braco. 2. William Duti' merchant in
Inverness and Elgin, afterwards of Dipple and Braco.
3. Patrick Duff of Craigston, ancestor of Hatton. 1st.
daughter, Margaret, married to James Stewart of Les-
murdie. 2nd, Jean, married to George Meldrum of Crom-
bie. 3rd, Mary, married to Andrew Fraser, ]diysician in
Inverness ; secondly to Thomas Tulloch of Tannochy,
County of Elgin. 4th, Elizabeth, married to a brother of
Sir James Calder of Muirton. Keithmore died in the
year 1700, aged 7G. His wife, Helen Grant, died 1G91:,
aged GO. They were interred within the Parish Church
of Mortlach, where a monument with a Latin inscription
is placed to their memory.

The arms of the Duffs at this period were — Vert a fess
daunzette ermine, between a buck's head cabossed in
chief, and two escalops Or.

16. Alexander Duff' of Braco succeeded his father,
Keithmore, but did not long survive him. He purchased
many estates in the County of Banff, particularly in
Mortlach, Aberlour, Keith, and Grange Parishes. He
married Margaret, daughter of Sir William Gordon of
Lesmore, Bart., by whom he had one son, William Duff'
of Braco, and three daughters, viz.: — 1. Margaret, married
to Gordon of Glengerrack. 2. Helen, married William
Gordon of Farskine. 3. Mary, married to Alexander
Abercrombie of Tullibodie, Advocate. He was a member
for the County of Banff to the Scots Parliament, and
supported strongly the party opposed to the union with
England, of which the Duke of Hamilton was the leader.
He died in the year 1705, two years before the union, not
much above fifty years of age, and was buried in the aisle
of the Parish Church of Grange, where a monument was
erected to his memory.

17. William Duff' of Braco, only son of the preceding,
was an amiable and accomplished gentleman, of veiy


different tastes from his father ;■ liberal and generous in
his nature, and very kind to his numerous tenantry. He
had travelled much abroad, and had seen a great deal of
the world. He married Helen Taylor, a female in humble
life, but a very excellent person, by whom he had one
daughter, Margaret, married to Patrick Duff of Premnay.
His marriage, j)erhaps, and other incidents contingent
upon it, brought on a continued melancholy, and he died
at Balvenie Castle, in January, 1718, a young man, much
regretted by his tenantry and friends. The succession
fell to the heir-male, in virtue of the settlements of the
estates, and the uncle of this proprietor, and the nearest
heir-male was

IS. William Duft of Dipple. This gentleman was
second son of Keithmore, and had a very limited patri-
mony from his father — a sum of 10,000 merks Scots, or
something more than £500 stg., and with this small
allowance, and a promise of succession to his father's
wadset of Keithmore, he began the world. He was born
about the year 1G54, and, when arrived at a suitable age,
was bound apprentice to his uncle, William Duff, merchant
in Inverness, then largely engaged in ti'ade, with whom
he eventually became a partner. He was a jn-udent,
sagacious, careful man ; very honourable in his dealings,
and greatly esteemed over all the North of Scotland for
integrity and justice in all his transactions. He ac<|uired
a ver}^ considerable fortune, and, like the rest of his family,
lent largely on wadsets. His on 1}' purchases of land were
in Morayshire, to which he was much attached. He
acquired there the estates of Dipple, Pluscarden, Oklmills,
Coxton, Quarrelwood, Aldrouglity, Mosstowie, and Sheriff-
mill, Inverlochty, and others. He married, first, Helen
Gordon, daughter of Sir George Gordon, of Edinglassie,
by whom he had one son, William, afterwards Lord Braco
and Earl of Fife, and four daughters, viz.: — 1st. Helen,
married to the Honourable William Sutherland of Ross-
common, third son of" James Lord J)uirus, by whom slie
had no issue. This lady long survived her husband, lived
in the Castle of Quarrelwood, and was known by tlie
name of Lady Rosscommon. 2nd. C;ithei-ine, married to
Alexander Dufl" of Hatton. 3rd. Elizabeth, married to
Thomas Donaldson of Kinnairdie. 4tli. Isabella, married
to Alexander Macintosh of Blervie. to wliom she had


twenty-two children. Numerous descendants of this
marriage still exist over the North of Scotland. William
Duff of Dipple married, second, Jane, daughter of Sir
William Dunbar of Durn, Baronet, by whom he had one
son, Alexander, who died in 1721, aged five years, and
four daughters, viz.: — 1st. Anne, married to William Baird
of Auchmedden. 2nd. Janet, married to Sir James Kin-
loch of Kinloch, Baronet. Srd. Mary, married to General
James Abercrombie of Glassaugh. 4th. Henrietta, a very
excellent, charitable person, who died unmarried. During
the last nineteen years of his life, Mr. Duff lived in Elgin,
where he carried on his business, principally as a private
banker, lending on mortgage and wadsets. He is said to
have had his place of business in the old house on the
north side of the High Street of Elgin, near the Little
Cross, still in good repair, and there is no doubt he lived
himself in the house, also on the north side of the High
Street, which he purchased along with the Estate of
Coxton, from Sir George Innes, and which still exists,
although in a very dilapidated state, bearing on the east-
most window a stai-, for Innes, and the date, 1677. It
was sold by Lord Braco, in 1747, to Robert Anderson,
Sheriff-Substitute of Morayshire, who had married his
Lordship's niece, Elizabeth Mackintosh. Mr. Duff died
in the year 1722, but the place of his burial I have failed
to discover. He had previously, in 1718, by the death of
his nephew, William Duff of Braco, succeeded to the
whole estates of the principal branch of the Duff family,
which he is said to have left all clear to his son, besides
£30,000 sterling in ready-mone}^ a very large sum for
that period. He was about 68 years of age at the time
of his death at Elgin, in 1722.

19. William Duff, only son of the preceding, succeeded
his father in his large estates. He was a Member of Par-
liament for the County of Banff in 1727 ; created a Peer
of Ireland, by the title of Lord Braco of Kilbride, on 28th
July, 1735, and Earl of Fife and Viscount Macduff, 26th
April, 1759 — the patent being limited in both cases to
him and the heirs-male of his body. He was a careful
manager of his affairs, and purchased considerable estates
in the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray. In the
last county he acquired Milton, Blervie, and other estates,
so that with what his father left him he had a very fine


estate in Moraj^shire. He married, first, Lad}^ Janet
Ogilvie, second daughter of James 4th Earl of Findlater,
and 1st Earl of Seafield, Chancellor of Scotland, and
widow of Hugh Forbes, Younger of Craigievar, by whom
he had no issue. He married, second, Jane Grant, daughter
of Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet, by whom, who
died 16th January, 178S, in the 8ord year of her age, he
had 7 sons and 7 daughters, viz.: — 1. William, who died
unmarried in London, t^Gth March, 17-5o, in his '27th. year.
2. James 2nd Earl of Fife. 8. Alexander :3rd Earl of
Fife. 4. Patrick, who died 3^oung. 5. George, long Con-
vener of the County of Elgin — a most worthy, estimable
gentleman. He died at Elgin, at his residence. South
College, 23rd November, 1818. (i. Ludovick, who died at
Blervie, without issue, 19th November, 170(5. 7. Arthur,
Advocate, Member of Parliament for the Coimty of Elgin,
1774 ; died unmarried at Orton, 2Gth April, 1805. He
was long Comptroller of Excise for Scotland. The Earl
of Fife left his third son, Alexander, the Estate of Echt,
in Aberdeenshire ; to George, his fifth sou, the Estates of
Milton, Inverlochty, and Barmuckity, in INIorayshire ; to
Ludovick, his sixth son, the estate of Blervie ; and^ to
Arthur, his seventh son, the estate of Orton. There are
now no descendants of all these 7 sons, exce})t of Alexander,
the third son only. 1st daughter, Lady Anne, married to
Alexander Dufi' of Hatton, and died in Edinburgh, 5th
June, 1805. She had an only child, Jane ; married 4th
January, 1763, to Sir James Grant of Grant, Baronet. 2.
Janet, married, first in 1745, to Sir William Gordon of
Park, who engaged in the Rebellion that year, was at-
tainted, and died at Douay, 3rd June, 1751. By him she
had two sons, born abroad. She married, second, George
Hay of Mouutblairy, and died at Carnousie, 3rd March,
1758, aged 30. 3. Lady Jane, married, 25th October,
1753, to Keith Urquhart of Meldrum, by whom she had
issue — James Urquhart of Meldrum, long Sherifi-Dei)ute
of Banfishire ; a son, Lewis ; and two daughters, Anne and
Mary. 4. Lady Helen, married, in 1764, to Robert Duti"
of Logic and, Yice-Admiral in the Royal Navy,
by whom .she had three sons and one daughter, viz.: —
Robert William Uuff" of Fetteresso and Culter; Adam
Duff, Sherifi" of Forfarshire ; James Alexander Dufi", an
Officer in tlie Army ; and Jane, married to James Clerk


of Chesterhall. 5. Lady Sophia Henrietta, married to
Thomas Wharton, Commissioner of Excise, by whom she
had the late Richard Wharton Duff of Orton, and two
daughters, Jane and Mary. 6. Lady Catherine, died,
unmarried, 25th April, 17G5. 7. Lady Margaret, married
at Edinburgh, Gth March, 17G8, to James Brodie of
Brodie, and died, burnt to death, at Brodie House, 24th
April, 1786 ; leaving two sons, James and William, and
three daughters, Jane Anne Catherine, Margaret, and
Charlotte. William Earl of Fife, while a great economist,
had a taste for magnificence and fine buildings. Shortly
after his succession, in the year 1724, he built the new
Castle or House of Balvenie. The family having taken
a dislike to the fine old Castle, allowed it to go to decay,
and between the years 1740 and 1745, he erected the
grand building of Dufi" House, at a cost of £70,000, an
immense sum for those days. His Lordship died at
Rothiemay, on the 8th September, 1763. A monument
is erected to his memory, and that of Jane Countess of
Fife, his wife, in the mausoleum at Duif House.

20. James 2nd Earl of Fife succeeded his father.
He was born 29th September, 1729. He was elected
Member of Parliament for the County of Banff in 1754,
1761, 1768, 1774, and 1780; and for the County of Elgin
in 1784. He was a man of great talents, and nearly
doubled the property of the family by judicious purchases
of estates. He planted about 14,000 acres of barren
ground, and was a great agriculturist, and a most exten-
sive improver of land. His Lordship has had the name
of being rather a hard man ; but this perhaps arises from
the fact that he was very exact and precise in all his
accounts and transactions. For, to do him all justice, it
must be recorded that in the year 1783, which was a season
of famine, he gave his tenants in the Highlands a reduction
of 20 per cent, from their rents, and sold his own grain,
and imported cargos from England, which he disposed of
to the poor, at a personal loss of £3000. He was kind
and hospitable to his tenants, and entertained the more
respectable of them very frequently at his own table,
when he visited his different estates. He was a man of
immense political power in the North, and is said, in the
year 1784, to have returned the Members for the Counties
of Aberdeen, Banfi", and Moray. His purchases of land in


Morayshire were great. In 1767 lie purchased from the
family of Innes of that ilk the extensive and beautiful
Estate of Innes, and from cadets of the same family he
shortly afterwards acquired the Estates of Inchbroom,
Dunkint}^ and Leuchars. In 1777 he acquired, by
excambion, from the Duke of Gordon, the Lordship of
Urquhart, and the lands of Ardga}', Leggat, and ]iart of
Kintrae, in the Parishes of Alves and Spynie. Shortly
thereafter he bought from the famil}^ of Brodie the
Estates of Spynie, Monaughty, and Aslisk. He also pur-
chased the Estate of Rosehaugh, in Spynie Parish. In
his own and his father's time the large Estates in the
Parish of Glass, and Glenbucket, Delgaty, and Braemar,
were acquired, and by the death of his brother, Lewis, he
succeeded to the Estate of Blervie. His Lordship was
Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Banff, and was created
a British Peer by the title of Baron Fife, with limitation
to the heirs-male of his own body. He married, 5th June,
1769, Lady Dorothea Sinclair, only child of Alexander
9th Earl of Caithness, by whom he had no issue. He
died at his house in Whitehall, London, on 28th January,
1809, in the 80th year of his age, and was interred in the
mausoleum at Duff House. His British Peerage became
extinct. His estates, held in fee simple, he left in trust
for certain purposes, and the entailed estates and Irish titles
descended to his immediate younger brother, Alexander
Duff of Echt.

21. Alexander 3rd Earl of Fife, born 1731, succeeded
in 1809, was a member of the Faculty of Advocates, being
admitted in 1754. He married, at Careston, 17th August,
1775, Mary, eldest daughter of George Skene of Skene
and Careston, by whom he had — James 4th Earl of Fife,
Alexander, a General in the army, father of the fifth
Earl. Lady Jane, married, on 2nd December, 1802,
Major Alexander Francis Tayler, of the 26th Regiment of
Foot, by whom there was issue. Lady Anne, married, at
Duff House, 16th October, 1809, Ricliard Wharton Duff,
Esq. of Orton, by whom there was also issue. His Lord-
ship died 7th April, 1811, and was succeeded by his eldest

22. James 4th Earl, born 6th October, 1776. His
Lordship married, at London, 9th September, 1799, Maria
Caroline Manners, second dauglitcr of John Manners of


Grantham Grange, and sister of Louisa Duchess of St.
Albans, who died 20th December, 1805, without issue.
He entered the Spanish Army, and was wounded at the
battle of Talavera, in 1809, and again severely at the
storming of Fort Matagorda, near Cadiz, in 1810. He