Patrick Lyon Strathmore.

The book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 online

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also I caused bring home a verie fin cabinet the better was not
in the Kingdome in these days which I never told my wyfe of
till her coming home, and upon her first comeing into her
owne chamber I presented her with the keyes of the Cabinet,
but the whole winter past over att Eden, so in the month of
March 1663 when my wyfe begining to grow big of her eldest
son could hardly stay any longer, we sett out and her mother
with her and came by the way of Aberdour where her sister
was dwelling, and from thence thorrow ffyfe and were all night
att Couper attended with a great many freinds of her's as weell

foi. 40. as mine. The next day | divers more of mine mett us at
Dundee and the Magistrats of the Town welcomed us verie


cheerfully, so again night we came safe home where I entertained
My Lady Midletone and all her freinds I presume better then
they could have expected, however I was concerned to doe no
less, and after they were gon we lived verie contentedly and
quietly till the month of Maj upon the eight day of q^^ month
my wyfe brought furth her son, who being a verie weak child
tho. the apprehensiones of the wemen of his dyeing was con-
cealed from me I was contented to deferr his christining for
some time And of purpose because I designed to invite a goodlie
companie of freinds to his Christining as indeed I had a great
many being verie joy full upon the birth of my sone who after
the time of the Christining grew stronger everie day, and in
whom I thank God I had never reasone but to rejoyce he was
carefully brought up in his younger yeares by his mother,
thereafter there has been nothing wanting in me for his educa-
tione and it is now two yeares near run out since I sent him
abroad who'*s returne shall be allmost as joyfull to me as his
birth was.

After all companie was gone att that time I returned to the
thoughts of my private busines.

But I had allmost forgott as a thousand things will be
ommitted after so long a time about Lambas in the yeare of
God 1660 I Att which time the spirits of all Loyal hearted men/oi. 41
were revived and quickened to a great degree Upon the late
restitutione of our Sovereigne Lord the King att q^^ time or
shortlie after a great many from all quarters of the Kingdome
repaired to London to kiss his Majesties hands, and I was verie
desyrous to goe, but my freinds obstructed it, extreamly fear-
ing that being once ther I might fall into ill companie or
might be desyrous to goe furthur, but after I stayed some six
weeks there the thoughts of my owne conditione prevailed so
upon me that I was no less desyrous to returne then I was at
first to goe and so I cam back in the month of October. I
went jorney up upon those horses bought att Middsummer on
q*^^ I cam downe againe but two of them as I was comeing
horn and ryding thorrow fFyfe failed me even there and dyed
poor beasts in the Cause. I bought litle or nothing that time
safe cloaths q*^^ were necessary for me, yet even verie litle of
that being still in mourning for my mother. Some things I


brought for my sisters use fitt for her when her mourning was
over, so that I made all my jorney for two hunder pond sterlin,
and had I been as moderate in all my severall jorneys to that
place since from q^^ I have brought things of great value for the

/ch 42. furniture of my houses I had saved many a | pond and pennie
but I acknowledge a great dale of weakness in my humour that
way inclining to be verie profuse upon all things of ornament
for my houses as I have been upon building. Let this only
serve to excuse me if in "this I have exceeded that what has
been bestowed upon the first or expended upon the second has
been acquyr^d with pains and industrie, and performed with
much care and labour, and will be tokn's of both (being things
of Long indurance) to my posterity who I hope shall enjoy the
pleasur of it, whereas indeed I have suffered the toil. I doe
not mention my planting here, that being a thing not so
expensive, yet so vast a number of trees as I have planted
cannot be done without a dale of previous care and foresight,
which will certainly ryse be process of time, and amount to, in
value, a great sowme of money, if care be taken to preserve
them till they come to that pitch of being readie to be cut
downe ; and there is no less vertue in improving old and ripe
timber, by the seal [sale] thereof and to the best advantage
which ought to be done in a good bargone togither by which
money comes in and yeilds a sensible profitt, and not by single
trees squandering the whole away into nothing, then there is
at the first planting ; provyding allwayes that caution be had
where the timber is such as does not rise equally weell againe
by the root, neither will that doe unless it be weell and
exactlie hain'd, that at the seal thereof it be digg'd up root
and all, by which the ground will be clear, and fitt againe to
receive a new plantation, whereas if the old Roots be suffered
to remaine in the ground, besyd that it is a great eyesore, no
young and new planting will prosper in the place.

And I am verie confident there is about Castle Lyon timber

foi. 43. planted out in my time some | whereof may come to be worth
six pond the tree some worth twice so much, but reckoning
them all but att three pond the piece will aryse to a sowme
exceeding the worth of the heretage of ane equall yearlie rent
to it, Besyds Charls-Wood which cannot be considered that



way, and the Ozar planting in the Middows. But observe, I
say to the value of as much rent but not to the value of Castle
Lyon itselfe, since by what is done about it, doeing, and to be
done the place itselfe cannot be valued, and heavens forbid
that in any future age, any successor in my familly shall ever
consider of it so, as ever to expose it to seall. The place and
seat of the house with the two part Land of the Mains, and
the third part Lands of the Churchtoune were acquyred and
purchased by my grandfather, but shortlie before his death.
The other part of the Mains which was the third thereof and
the two pairt lands of the Churchtoune have been, of many
ages, in my familly. My Grandfather made this purchase from
My Lord Gray,^* att w''^^ time save that the land was special
good, it was a place of no consideratione, fitt for nothing
else but as a place of refuge in the time of trouble, wherin
a man might make himselfe a prisoner ; and in the meantime
might therein be protected from a flying partie, but was never
of any strenth, or to have been accounted a stronghold to
endure a seige, or a place capable to hold so many as with
necessarie provisions could hold out long, or by salleys to doe
much prejudice to an enemie,'and such houses truly are worn
quyt out of fashione, as feuds are, which is a great happiness,
the cuntrie being generally more civilized then it was of ancient
times, and my oune opinion when troublesome times are it is
more safe for a man to keep the feilds then to inclose himselfe
in the walls of a house, so that there is no man more against
these old fashion of tours and castles then I am.

And I wish that everie man who hes such houses would >/• 44-
reforme them, for who can delight to live in his house as in a
prisone. And I am much addicted to a general reformatione,
and have not a litle propagate that humour in the cuntrie
where I live, as generally improvements have been more since
the time of the King's happie restauratione then has been in a
hundred years before, and every on almost att the instance or
exemple of some leader has done more or less.

My father, as he had indeed reasone so to doe, did in the
yeare of God 1637 finish the staircaice which he had begunn
some years before, and he putt on ane inteer new roofe, upon
the Castle and Jamm which before had ane old scurvie battle-


ment and was vaulted in the top and flagged over. He did
also build that w^^ is the present kitchen which had only a
chimney with a timber brace carried up with patched straw
and clay and full of hazard for taking of fire, as indeed upon
many occasions it did, but I was obleidged to make a thorrow
reformatione thereof, he built also the brewhouse and woman-
house q^^^ now is and the greatest barne which stands in the
north west corner of the stackyeard without so much as a closs
or court, so that the first landing or lighting was at the verie
entrie gate.

Thus I found it so that I need not condescend upon what is^
done since, since the knowledge of what was done before will
easily bring it to mind by what is to be seen now, only this I
must say if ever I live to finish it. The house stands upon a
verie stuborne rock, the beating doune of q*^^ hes been done,
and will yet cost much labour before it be perfected, the face
of w^'^ when again built up and covered with a wall will not be
known, but true it is that the whole bounds of the kitchen
yeard and nouricerie below the house and upon the west syde
thereof is formed out of a declining rock q^^ came out that
foi. 45- farr, and the whole falling walks are cutt out of rock upon the
East halfe of them and all filled up and carried ground upon
the west halfe. And this I mention the more particularly
because all levellings when done are so under cover disguise
that it's scarce to be beleeved what work or labour there hes
been att the doing of it, besyds the Litle garden, q*^^ is before
the gate where the statues are, was nothing but a litle piece of
ground without forme declining to the east, an ugly rock
standing up in some places as high as the top of the statu's
are upon the west syde. The bowling green no better and the
plott upon the south syde of the house worst of all, the utter
court beat doune by the force of quarry mells and peiks to
render it accessable, the north and middle greens clouts of
corn land. The south green a piece of my father's planting
and oarchard. The great low gardine A marrish, stuborn
clay raised to the hight its now of with carried ground, the
offices att the barns no better then a company of small and
naughtie cottar houses and a great part of the bounds of
Charls Wood on the East syd all spoilt and casten up ground


for the yearly mantinance and reparatione of these earth
houses, as necessarly a great dale of good and pasture ground
is continually waisted to uphold such ugly cottages. The
pend and entrie hard by it was a quagmire as the most part
of the enclosed ground besouth it was, the middows an open
and common pasture so that before my time it was not known
what the mawing of grass or use of hay was att that place

The house itselfe was extreamly cold and the hall was a
vault out of q*'^ since by the stricking thereof I have gained
the rowmes immediatly now above it. no access there was to
the upper part of the house without goeing thorrow the hall,
even upon the most undecent occasions of Drudgerie unavoid-
able to be seen by all who should happne to be in that rowme
nor was there any other to reteer to, till the rowme | w^^ is ofF>/. 46.
it was changed as it now is, for att that time it was not above
fourteen feet broad. However for the first ten years of
my life I lived there and had enough to doe for the first
seven years of these ten to gett togither as much as did com-
pleitly furnish that house, and were as much strangers to Old
Glammiss as if it had not been. And for the first three years
of my life w^^ I only reckon since the year 1660 I could not
endure allmost to come near to, or see it, when the verie
Mains was possessed by a wedsetter, so, when my wyfe after
the end of the first seven years considered that nothing con-
tributs so much to the distruction and utter ruine of furniture
than the transporting of it, I was induced by her to make my
constant abode att Castle Lyon for some time longer till she
gott togither some things necessary to be had before we could
think of comeing to Glammiss w*^^ she provyded with so much
care as that for our first comeing to Glammiss where I pro-
posed to live for some time as reteeredly as I did att first when
I took up house at Castle Lyon having scarce a spare rowme
furnished to lodge a stranger in. And tho. it was my resolu-
tione to follow my father's way of living constantly at Castle
Lyon in summer and att Glammiss in winter yet the reforming
of my house at Castle Lyon w^^ I was fully bent to doe in the
way and manner as it now is, was a work of such difficulty
to be done and took up so much more time then att first I
apprehended it should that my familly stayed here full three


years before it was possible for me to reduce that place again
into any order. Perhaps in the summer time My wife and I
and the children might goe doune sometimes, they for their
diversione but I to give necessarie directions for the advancing
of the work w^^ I declare had I known of what difficultie it
was befor I undertook it I had never enterprised the same.
foi. 47. But now it most be done, and there were three new windows
slaped out and made in the storie of the low hall, and a back
stair from it up on the west syde of the low hall, answearing
to the old stair there, another back stair from the vestible of
the high dining roume or hall to the verie top all digged out
of the thickness of the wall, seven closets out of the walls upon
the other three corners also The wall of the dinin^-roume and


drawing-roume paived and the new windows thereof and the
new roumes gained out of the deepness and hight of the vault
of the old hall immediatly above the dining-roume, and the
bedroom above the drawing-room reformed with new lights to
the south. All w^^ was done att a great charge and stand now
finished, much of the furniture that was there before fitted not
the rowmes againe and was all brought to Glammiss, a place
not easie to be filled, new things bought for the other so that
att this day it stands compleitly furnished and verie fashion-
able. And before all was quytt finished My familly returned
there in the summer time according to our proposed custome.
And in summmer 1683 when the roofe of the Quire of the
Church of Longforgane was altogether ruinous, it gott a new
roofe att the common charge of the heritors, but I took occa-
sione att the same time to reforme my loft and seat of the church
and to build a roume off it for a retyring place betwixt sermons.
My Lands of Inshture and Holms were in my minoritie sold
off that estate to the new Lord Kinnaird,^^ and it was done att
that time when I tho. a child was fined in the time of the
usurpatione of Oliver Cromwel when many more were. And
it was my misfortune being a child att that time not to be in
that capacitie to act against him w^^ had I been a man I wou'd
have done to my utmost hazard. I my selfe feued out the lands
of Milnehill for payment of a hunder pond feu duty yearlie.
The third pairt lands of Dron for a certaine feu lykeways, and
the roume in fforgan called the Byrflet and am readie to feu


out more of any pairt of my estate except alleiiarlie the places
of my two special residences.

It may easily be beleeved that what with my busines and>^ 48.
transactions that doe daylie occurr and what with the working
men I have had att Castle Lyon sometimes feuer and some-
times a great many as att present there is, that I have had
verie litle spare time. I was never addicted to any kind of feild
sport save hunting allenarlie w^^ kind of Dogs I gott togither
of all sorts immediatlie after I cam from Ingland in the 1660
year of God as a plenisher must doe att first soon after I putt
of the worst and bred upon the best and verie speedily brought
my pack into a verie good and precise kind of running hounds,
and by crossing the breed now and then with some other choise
dog or bitch have continued the same kind of hounds from
the verie first to this verie time, neither did I ever find that
this sport does so much dammage to horses as it 's commonly
reproached w* and its like my children being so accustomed
with these hounds may obleidge me to keep them still, for I
beginn my selfe not to follow the sport as much as I was wont
to doe.

Now as is before writtin I remaind constantlie from the
sixtie yeare of God that I first took up house att Castle Lyon
till the yeare 1670, in so much, that dureing that whole space
My wyfe never saw Glammiss but once, not that I resolved
to continue still to neglect this the ancient seat of my familly,
whereabout the greatest parte of my estate lyes, but that being
quitt spoiled in both houses and nothing remaining but the
bare walls and haveing with great dificulty, trouble, and charge
gott togither as much as made Castle Lyon habitable, and not
being resolved to spoyl it by the frequent transporting thereof,
there we remained till some more was provyded then served
our turn att that place. And in the yeare 1670 we came here
as new beginners where we past that winter and lodged our
selves all in that storry of the old house q^^ is on the top of
the great staircaice, for that storry was only glazed att that
time. The nixt summer being impatient to see the ruins of
the place, for the east wing of the house was no better then if
it had had no roofe att all, so I entered to work and gott on a
roof upon it after I had highted the walls of the great round


foi. 49. and erected two new litle geivels on the syd | wall making out
more lights in the second and third storry w*^^ are easie to be
knoun att this day by the newness of the work, putting out
the grats out of the windows of the third storry lykways witli
severall altrations of the contrivance within doors too tedious
here to sett doune. and whereas the third storry was cumsylled
above w*=^ sort of sylling is comonly a nest for ratts I gested it
over and gain'd rowms above within the roofe, highted the
staire of that syd of the house on turn, so that these roums
now above add not a litle to the conveniencie of our present
dwelling lodgeing the younger children and such of the wemen
servants as are of the best account who have private access by
a back stair to these roumes my wyfe maks use of her selfe.
To the syd of the house I have clapp'd to a new building w^^
answears to the three storrys and is covered with lead w*^^
platforme goes off the fourth storry, and is of great convenience
and use to us who live for the time in this syd of the house.

It is hardly possible by any descriptione w^^ I can now make
to give any impression e to my posteritie what the place was
lyke when I began first my reformationes for there remains
nothing of it but the great old house itself allenerly. The old
chattered and decayed trees w^^ surrounded the house, yet
there were not many, and the most of these that were, were
to the southward, a comon mistake of our ancestors whereas
reasonably any thickets or planting that are about any man^s
house ought rather to be upon the north, northeast, and north-
west, neither was the planting w^^ was here of any bounds
The whole planted ground not exceeding four aikers att most,
verie disproportionable to the greatness of the place with a
verie low wall of dry stone scarce sufficient to hold out any
beast There was but on entrie to the house w^^ was to the
southeast with an utter gate att no greater distance then much

foi. 50. about the place where the | bridge is over the ditch hard by the
round upon the corner of the gardin from w^^ to the inner gate
of the Court there was a Rasso,^ and a low wall such as I told
you off before in each syd till you com to the gate of the closs
or Court, where there was a bridge with a pend over a mightie

^ Probably ressault^ a French architectural term applied to a recessed erec-
tion. — Ed.

f OF THE \


^""^^ - =^5^^^^^ BOOK OF RECORD 39

broad and deep ditch w'^^ surrounded the house upon the inner
brink whereof there was a high wall, a gate forenent the bridge
and over the gate a little lodge for the porter. There was
upon the east syd of the gate houses two roums in lenth w^^
joyned to the great east round of the house so that you may
guess by this how strangly near and untowardly this wall and
this gate stood with the house itselfe, upon the west syde of the
gate within the wall beformentioned there was [a] row of byrs
and stabls and att the tourne, the walls and ruins of a spatious
old hall and off it the thing w^^ they called the chamber of
Dess, but upon this I never saw a roofe, upon the inner wall of
this there was a too fall and the geival thereof open fitt to
receive a coatch w^^ I supposed never had a door, of this the
Inglish garison made a smiddy, upon the end of the old hall w^^
made the turne there were other buildings where the women
house was and lodgings for serving men, nixt to this there was
the cheif stable with travesses for horses fitt for to hold seven
or eight but the lofting of these was quitt rotten, then did the
building turn and joyned to the inmost corner of the weast
geivall of the great hall of the house where there was a brew-
house and a baick-house w^^ had been of my father's building.
All this before mentioned was within the bounds of that w^^
you now see is the fore-court where the two greens are on each
syde of the pavM walk a strange confused unmodePd piece of
business and was to me a great eye sore, these houses also upon
the east syd of the gate of the | entrie were also in the time of>/. 51.
the Inglish garisone consumed with fire, for in the loft they
keeped hay where the fire was first keneled, w''^ is commonly
the end of all hay Lofts, and a foolish thing it is to house hay
unless a man will be so provident as to build a house particu-
larly for it separat from all others, and without the great inner
ditch upon the outsyd of the planting there were two other
great ditches on without another, without any direct convey-
ance there to the river — w^^ stankt up the water so as that the
place by reasone of these ditches appeared most exceedingly
marish and weat and was generally condemned for it is sup-
posed to be an unholsome seat of a house. These ditches were
the cause off and necessitate me when I built the walls of the
gardin bowling-green kitchen gardns and back Court to put


over rough pends where the ditches runn and these pends are
visible to this day and I hope though the house stands low, for
it stands on a plain inviround on all syds save to the south
with runing water w^ in my apprehensione is very delightfull
yet no considering man will now censure it as a marish place or
unwholsome for that cause.

I did upon my first resol*^® of the chenge which I have made
here make a skame and draught of my whole project, for unless
men so doe they will infallibly fall into some mistake, doe that
w^^ they will repent ymselves aftr, and be obleidged to pull their
own work downe againe. Therefore necessarie it is for a man
to desyne all at once (chalk is no sheers, and the desyning
hereof does not impose any necessity upon the projector but
foi. 52. that he may verie weell prosecut | his designe by pecemale as
he can, and by doeing something everie day according to the
saying of the great Mathematician Nulla dies sine linea and
w*^^ is applicable lykewayes to men''s business) it will aryse to
something in the years time and by the space of divers yeares
to some thing more considerable, yet a man by this way pro-
secuting his designs, w^^ certainly is the best and easiest, needs
extremely to be tempered with patience.

For the first two or three yeares of my time att this place
the maist parte of my work was to remove the great and old
timber w^^ 1 found here and I think I gott about a thousand
ponds scotts for it, then all those buildings before descryved
were so in my way (as the old timber was) that it behoove to
goe away. This destroying pairt w''^^ was necessarly previous
to the other during that time was the occasione of my under-
goeing a great censure in the cuntrie — especially amongst my
owne people, and the working men who were brought in wrought
with great backwardness and repining and I have been told
that the cuntrie people here when they mett at the church or
at bridels or burialls their discourse was commonly enveying
against me as a puller downe of what I had never built,
whereas indeed beeing without all forme and quyt ruinous
excepting only what my father had built, which lykways were
so narrow that they were verie inconvenient, the difference
upon the mattr was not so verie great for some of them

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Online LibraryPatrick Lyon StrathmoreThe book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 → online text (page 7 of 22)