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'f'^£\'M^i'M'-ti''i^.?>Si'^'- ■"":■ '.•f


S)Cottisl) ^istovv S)OCietp.


The Earl of Rosebery, LL.D.

Chairman of Council.

David Masson, LL.D,, Professor of English Literature,

Edinburgh University.


George Burnett, LL.D., Lyon-King-of-Arms.

J. T. Clark, Keeper of the Advoccates' Library.

Thomas Dickson, LL.D., Curator of the Historical Depart-
ment, Register House.

Right Rev. John Dowden, D.D., Bishop of Edinburgh.

J. Kirkpatrick, LL.B., Professor of History, Edinburgh

iENEAs J. G. Mackay, LL.D., Sheriff of Fife.

Sir Arthur Mitchell, K.C.B., M.D., LL.D.

G. W. T. Omond, Advocate.

John Russell, Esq.

W. F. Skene, D.C.L., LL.D., Historiographer - Royal for

Rev. Malcolm C. Taylor, D.D., Professor of Divinity and
Church History, Edinburgh University.

J. Maitland Thomson, Advocate.

Cfirresponding Members of ilie Council.
Osmund Airy, Esq., Birmingham ; Very Rev. J. Cunningham,
D.D., Principal of St. Mary's College, St. Andrews ; Professor
George Grub, LL.D., Aberdeen; Rev. A. W. C. Hallen,
Alloa ; Rev. W. D. Macray, Oxford ; David M. Main, Esq.,
Doune ; Professor A. F. Mitchell, D.D., St. Andrews ;
Professor W. Robertson Smith, Cambridge; Rev. Dr. Sprott,
North Berwick ; Professor J. Veitch, LL.D., Glasgow.

Hon. Treasurer.
J. J. Reid, B.A., Advocate, Queen's Remembrancer.

Hon. Secretary.
T. G. Law, Librarian, Signet Library.


1. The object of the Society is the discovery and printing,
under selected editorship, of unpublished documents illustrative
of the civil, religious, and social history of Scotland.

2. The number of Members of the Society shall be limited
to 400.

3. Tlie affairs of the Society shall be managed by a Council
consisting of a Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, and twelve
elected Members, five to make a quorum. Three of the twelve
elected members shall retire annually by ballot, but they shall
be eligible for re-election.

4. The Annual Subscription to the Society shall be One
Guinea. The publications of the Society shall not be de-
livered to any Member whose Subscription is in arrear, and
no ]\Iember shall be permitted to receive more than one copy
of the Society's publications.

5. The Society shall undertake the issue of its own publica-
tions, i.e. without the intervention of a publisher or any other
paid agent.

6. The Society will issue yearly two octavo volumes of about
320 pages each.

7. An Annual General Meeting of the Societv shall be held
on the last Tuesday in October.

8. Two stated Meetings of the Council shall be held each
year, one on the last Tuesday of May, the other on the
Tuesday preceding the day upon which the Annual General
Meeting shall be held. The Secretary, on the request of three
jVIembers of the Council, shall call a special meeting of the


9. Editors .shall receive 20 copies of each volume they edit
for the Society.

10. Tlie Annual Balance-Sheet, Rules, and List of Members
shall be printed.

11. No alteration shall be made in these Rules except at a
General Meeting of the Society. A fortnight's notice of any
alteration to be proposed shall be given to the Members of the


Works- already Issued, 1887.

1. Bishop Pococke's Tours in Scotland, 1747-1760. Edited by

D. W. Kemp.

2. Diary of Cunningham of Craigends, 1673-1 680. Edited by

the Rev. James Dodds, D.D.

Works 'in Prejxn-ation.

Panurgi Philo-caballi Scoti Grameidos libri sex. — -The Gramiad:
An heroic poem descriptive of the Campaign of Viscount
Dundee in l689, by James Philip of Almerieclose. Edited
with Notes by the Rev. Canon Murdoch.

The Register of the Kirk Session of St. Andrews. Part i.
1559-1582. Edited by D. Hay Fleming.

Diary of the Rev. John Mill, Minister of Dunrossness, in Shet-
land, 1742-1805. Edited by Gilbert Goudie, F.S.A. Scot.

A Narrative of Mr. James Nimmo, a Covenanter, 1654-1708.
Edited by W. G. Scott Moncrieff, Advocate.






October 188





Commissioner to the Convention of Estates and
Member of Parliament for Renfrewshire

KEPT CHIEFLY FROM 1673 to l680

Edited from the Original Manuscript by the Rev.
JAMES DODDS, D.D. Glasg., F.S.A. S( ot.


Printed at the University Press by T. and A. Constable,
for the Scottish History Society






I. Introduction —

The Writer — His genealogy and position at Craig-
ends — His wife — Involved in the troubles of the
Covenanting times — Peden the prophet — Country
overrun with beggars — Domestic life — ' The lady '
—Superstitions — Master and "^Man' — 'Voyages'
— Roads — Parcel Post — The Kirk Box — Recrea-
tions — The elephant — Professional fools — Books
— Beverages — Coffee-houses — Home and foreign
Fruits — Agriculture — Rents — Produce — Dress —
Medical treatment — Scarcity of money — Persecu-
tions and their bearing on the diarist — The ' High-
land Host ' — Lawburrows — ' Outed Ministers ' —
The Revolution — Cuningham's return as a Com-
missioner to the Convention of Estates and as a
member of the Scottish Parliament — Letter to his
constituents, and claim for expenditure incurred
in theirlnterests — His stepson — Scots and sterling
money — Cuningham Genealogy^ . . . ix-xliv

II. Diary—

Arranges with his miller, .... 1

Engages a 'man,' . . 1, 11, 14, l6, 19, 20, 21, 23

Sells meal, bere, oats, growing crops,

2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 19, 22, 23, 24
Settles with his mother for board, 2, 6, 10, 12, 17, 23

Terms on which he grants leases of land,

3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, 24, 25, 2f)


II. Diary (Continued) —

Pays his man's wages,

A runaway tenant,

A horse-cowping transaction.

Cost of boarding a school-boy,

Contracts for the erection of a leaping-on

Arranges with a bankrupt tenant.

Relative cost of living at Craigends and

burgh estimated, and terms arranged,
Settles accounts with his father, .
Sells a horse.

Gives discount secretly to a tenant.
Settles for a horse.
Pays teind-dues and notes his opinion

Arrangement with his wife as to money.
Joins with his stepson in the purchase of

' Jewel or locket of diamonds,' .
Scotch estates of the Duchess of Lennox,
Coal mines and miners.
Note as to expenditure for his stepson.
Sells a cow ; estimated value of cattle.
Excise Commissioners' arrangements for

forage to troopers.
Note and resolution as to money lent,
Tron weight and Troy weight compared,
A cautioner for rent.
Arrangement as to church seats, .
His sistei-'s contract of mamage, .
Return of corn from seed.
Forms of rental and their money value,
A Craigends marriage contract of 1496,
Expenditure in connection with his son's
His income in 1675,
Stipend of Kilallan,
Family memoranda.

stone, .
in Edin-

of the
a family





12, 15

11, 16





26, 27



III. Expenditure —


Details of expenditure —

From 18th November to 31st December 1673, 30-31

From 1st January to 31st December 1674, 31-49

From 1st January to 31st December 1675, 49-68

From 1st January to 31st December I676, 68-87

From 1st January to 31st December 1677, 87-105

From 1st January to 31st December l678, 105-110

From 1st January to 31st December 1679, 110-114

From 1st January to 31st December I68O, 115-116

IV. Scheme of Rental of Craigends, . . . 117-147
V. Glossary, ...... 149-150


Although the carefuUv-written nuiiuiscript volume from
which the following notes and diary are taken does not contain
tlie name, formally stated, of the author, it yet affords evidence
clear and unmistakable as to his identitv. P'\en were there
any room for doubt in regard to the autliorship after perusal
of its contents, this would be dispelled on a comparison of the
handwriting with that of other authenticated documents bear-
ing the signatiu'e of William Cuningham, younger, or, as lie
designated himself, 'Master' of Craigends, in the county of
Renfrew. Cuningham was a member of an old influential
family, founded by a cadet of the earldom of Glencairn to
whom the first Earl gave the lands of Craigends in 1479.^ This
estate is still possessed by a Cuningham who is descended
from the diarist.

During the period covered by the volume, the house of
Craigends was jointly occupied by Alexander Cuningham, father
of the writer, and the diarist, iiis only son. In accordance with a
practice not unusual at the })eriod, the elder Cuningham seems
to have transferred the estates to his son, about the time of the
marriage of tiie latter, retaining only certain liferent riglits to
himself and wife.' The elder Cmiingham had married Janet,
daughter of William Cuningham of Auchinyards, and had issue
five children ; William, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Janet, and Marion.
Woodrow in his Analeda incitlentally states that this marriage
took place when Alexander Cuningham was only nineteen
' P. 28. - P. 15.



years of age.^ He was c'()ni})aratively a young man when his
son on 22cl Ajiril 167'5 brought home to Craigends as his wife
Anne, daugliter of Lord Rutliven, and widow of Sir William
Cuningham of Cuninghamhead, in tlie parish of Dreghorn.
As was often the case in those times, wlien commodious houses
were few and farm rents were small, the father and mother, with
their daughters and tlieir son and daughter-in-law, lived together
i)i the family mansion, — an old roomy building that stood
vmtil recently, with its thick walls, in which wei-e secret recesses
for concealment in troublous times. At Craigends the joint
household kept a common table, the young couple paying their
])arents for board, in terms of agreements which are fully set
forth in the manuscri])t. Ry her previous marriage to Sir
William Cuningham, the wife of the younger laird of Craig-
ends had a son, William, who on his f{ither''s death in 1671
became proprietor of Cuninghandiead. This son tiie mother
appears to have boai'ded at Irvine, bringing him occasionally to
Craigends ; and lier husband acted as a trustee for the youth,
who seems afterwards to have given a good deal of trouble
by questioning liis stepfjithers management of the estates.
Tliis youth is referred to in the Diary as Cuninghamhead.

Lord Huthven, tlie father of Mrs. William Cuningham,
died in 1673, the year of his daughter^'s second marriage, and
the Lady Ruthven, whose name and seat of Freeland in Perth-
shire are often mentioned, was his widow and her mother. This
close relationsliip explains the frequent ' voyages'' of tlie Cuning-
hams to Freeland as well as the partnership in chambers and
joint expenditiu'e during several visits to Edinburgh of Lady
Ruthven and the Cuninghams. Lady Ruthven was Isabel, third
daughter of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, in the county of Kinross.
Visits to Burleigh as well as to Freeland are noted in the Diary.

During the establishment of Episcoj^acy, and the troubled
times in which they lived, the sympathies of the Cuninghams
were altogether against the Government and with the persecuted
' \Voodrow's Aiialccta, iii. 7.


Presbyterians. In 1684: father and son were fined in the large
sum of £6000 sterling for their encouragement of the proscribed
religion ; and that they had earned the distinction appears from
entries in the Diary of subscriptions for ' Alex"" Padie, who lies
prisoner very closse in the Basse ■" — no doubt the famous Peden
the prophet — and for other suifering ministers.^ The elder Cun-
ingham was for some years a prisoner in the Tolbooth for his
sympathy with the Presbyterian cause. He was accused of
having sent relief to Archibald, Earl of Argyll, then a fugitive
in Holland on account of his determined opposition to the
Government measures for the enforcement of Episcopacy. He
had been closely associated with Sir AVilliam Cuningham, his
daughter-in-law's first husband, who was, like himself, a
thorough-going Presbyterian, and, as such, subjected to fines,
imprisonment, and other forms of persecution, and no doubt
the common trials of the two families helped to bring about
the marriage of the diarist.

The Diary incidentally casts light upon details of the domestic
life and manners of the time. There is perhaps no entry which
occurs more frequently than gifts to beggars ' at the gate '' or
' on the road,"* and these corroborate the statements of Fletcher
of Saltouu and other early writers on the social condition of
Scotland. Cuningham had day by day to comply with the
demands of innumerable mendicants who watched him as he
issued from his'gate, or followed him to kirk or market. They
gathered around him on his journeys, and levied contributions
as he passed. It is quite certain that in those times there was
occasionally much suffering in consequence of deficient harvests,
but there was a class to whom mendicancy was a profitable
trade. The professional beggar Avent from house to house,

equipped with

' A bag for his oatmeal,
Another for his salt,
And a pair of crutches
To show that he can halt,

1 Pp. 33, 46, 47, 91, 92.


A bag for his corn,
Another for his rye,
A little bottle by his side
To drink when he's a-dry."

Tlie country was overrun with beggars and thieves, who are
significantly described in the quaint language of the old statutes
as ' sorners and sturdy beggars/ Fletcher states that there
were in Scotland at the very time when this Renfrewshire diary
was written 200,000 persons begging from door to door, and
extorting sustenance by violence. The number may be exag-
gerated, but it is certain that in Cuningham's day pauperism
was one of the great problems which exercised the Scottish
Parliament. In 1661 an Act was passed for the establishment
of manufactories in order to afford employment, and by another
in 1663 the manufacturers were empowered 'to seize all vaga-
bonds and idle persons and make them work for a space, to the
extent of eleven years, giving them meat and clothes only.' In
1672 another Act authorised all manufacturers ' to seize and
apprehend any vagabonds who shall be found begging, or who,
being masterless or out of service, have not wherewith to
maintain themselves by their own means and work, and to
employ them for their own service as they shall see fit.' The
misfortune was that the manufacturers were very few and the
beggars very many, so that the provision did not meet the case,
and the evil continued, to the cost and sorrow of the diarist
and others of his day.

Not that the history of the beggars is without its sunny as
well as its shady side. The Diary contains few references to
books, and none to newspapers, which had not yet become a
necessity, and the beggars of a more intelligent class were the
minstrels and news-retailers of the day. Readers of the
Antiquary do not require to be told that there were gaherhinz'ies
who stood out from the rank and file of the great brigade, and
were welcome guests in the kitchen of the tenant-farmer or

* Bell's Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry, p. 251.


laird, who, after supplying them witli a supper of porridge,
conducted them to the bam for the night's rest. Like Edie
Ochiltree, they brought the ' news and country cracks frae ae
farm-steading to anither, and gingerbread to the lasses, and
helped the lads to mend their fiddles, and gude-wifes to clout
their pans, and plaited rush swords and grenadier caps for the
weans, and busked the laird's flees, and had skill o' cow ills
and horse ills, and kenned mair auld sangs and tales than
3l the barony beside, and garred everybody laugh wherever
they cam','

Domestic life at the period of the Diary was a much more
homely, and in some respects a more healthy thing than its
modern counterpart. In the seventeenth century the landlorci
was seldom or never an absentee from his patrimonial acres,
but went in and out among his tenants as a father and master,
ready with advice in every difficulty, and with encouragement
in every undertaking, sitting with them in the parish church,
and bearing his part, as more than one entry in the diary shows,
in their simple recreations. His wife, invariably spoken of as
' the lady,' was what the name implies — the mistress of the
household. Her reign in her department was supreme. None
dared dispute her authority, and her eye was on every corner of
her dwelling. Her husband might let his farms and draw the
proceeds of the corn, but the cows, the poultry, the cheese,
were her domaiir, and in these matters bargain-making was her
affair. Like the virtuous woman of King Lemuel, ' she sought
wool and flax, and worked willingly with her hands. She laid
her hands to the spindle, and her hands held the distaff*. She
stretched out her hand to the })oor, yea, she reached forth her
hands to the needy. She looked w ell to the ways of her house-
hold, and did not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rose
up and called her blessed ; her iuisband also, and he praised
her.' Such was ' the lady ' in the old Scottish house. Her
speech was the Doric of her native land, as broad as that of her
domestics. Trained from her earliest days to use her hands,


and believino- in the dignity of labour, she taught her daughters
to be what the law, based on an old fact, still as a fiction
designates all unmarried females — ' spinsters.' ' They were a
delightful set,"" says Lord Cockburn in his Memorials, referring
to one or two Scottish ' ladies ' of the old school Avho survived
in his early youth, ' strong-headed, warm-hearted, and high-
spirited — merry even in solitude ; very resolute, indifferent
about the modes and habits of the modern world, and adhering
to their own ways. Their prominent qualities of sense, humour,
affection, and spirit, were embodied in curious outsides, for they
all dressed and spoke and did exactly as they chose. Their
language, like their habits, entirely Scotch, but without any
other vulgarity than what perfect naturalness is sometimes
mistaken for.'

In those Scottish homes superstition lingered. We have
more than one note in the Diary of payment ' for a prognostica-
tion.' It is not easy to make out the exact meaning of this
word, but if it implied belief in the supernatural insight of cer-
tain wise men or women, the record is quite in keeping with
the feeling of the age, which, on both sides of the Tweed, was
one of faith in portents, omens, dreams, and witches. The
Stuarts were great patrons of these delusions, especially of
witchcraft. King James i. affirmed that Satan and witches
were in compact, and, among other amusing details, stated
that the devil taught his disciples how to draw triang'ular
circles. Charles ii., who was sovereign when the Diary opens,
was equally superstitious. His royal touch was employed to
cure disease. ' One Evans,' says Aubrey in his Miscellany, ' had a
fungus on his nose, and it was revealed to him that the king's
hand would cure him ; and at the first coming of King Charles
to St. James Park he kissed the king's liand, and rubbed his nose
with it, whicli disturbed the king, but cured liim.' Towards
the close of the seventeenth century witchcraft became a
fearful epidemic in the neighbouriiood of Craigends, as the
story of the Renfrewsiiire witclies and the manuscript records


of the Presbytery attest.^ Drowning-, lumginf)-, burning the
victims only increased the ap})etite for sucli shiiighter. Learned
and pious men were carried away by the dehision. Even
Luther wrote, ' When I was a child there were many witches,
who bewitched both cattle and men, especially children.' It
is not wonderful therefore if C'uningham was not altogether
free from the popular belief. The heroine of the Renfrewshire
Witches'' trial was Christian Sliaw of Bargarren, afterwards
the originator of thread manufacture, near Paisley, which
town is still pre-eminent in connection with this industry.-
That Cuningliam had relations with her family appears from
frequent notes of payments to ' Will. Shaw, Bargarren^s son."
With the history of modern spiritualism before us, we who
icnow how deeplv rooted in liuman nature is the desire to
pry into futurity, who see men and women, in other respects
intelligent, placing faith in ' mediums/ ' inanifestations,'
'odylism,' and other delusions, have no right to cast a stone at
the laird for his credulity in the matter of ' prognostications.''

The relation of master and servant was not without its
difficulties even then. Cuningham details minutely the terms
he made with various indivichials wliom he engaged from time
to time as his ' man." On the whole, notwithstanding the many
acts of kindness which are recorded, we cannot read the Diary
without feeling that there was a chish of penuriousness in
Cuninghanrs cbaracter, and that this may have led to the
surreptitious flight of one, and the Iiesitancv of otliers to
undertake the position.^ The ' man ' was exjiected to be
handy about the house, to make and mend the laird's clothes,
and he even anticipated the occupation of ' woman's tailor,'
whicii in modern times has attained so prominent a place of
sartorial eminence. His work was strangely varied from plying
the needle and shears within doors to setting forth e(iuij)ped
in top-boots and . spurs and wearing a sword, as equestrian

^ ?>&^ History of the Reiifreu'sliire Witches, I'aisley. 1877, with Introduction
by the Editor of this Diar)-.

■•^ See Keufreiushite Witches, Introd., p. xxiv. '* l']). 14, 16, ill.


attendant upon his master. This latter duty seems to have been
regarded as more dignified than that of a servant who did not
accompany his master on liorseback, for Ave find the promise
<hily recorded in the Diary that James Gennnell was not to be
degraded to the position of a foot-servant.^

Many entries in the Diary refer to the details of journeys
between Craigends and Edinburgh. The necessity for these
originated in a law-plea with the Earl of Loudon, affecting
the interests of Cuningham's stej)-son, young Cuninghamhead.
This case is referred to in an entry dated October 1675.^
As trustee and guardian of this youth, it became important
that William Cuninghani and his wife should reside for some
time in Edinbm-gh, and the entry explains the conditions on
which this was arranged. The case is briefly reported by Stair,
Fountainhall, and others. It lasted for several years, and
rendered the journeys more frequent than was at first antici-
pated. The first of these took place in May 1674, and the
expenditure by the way is so minutely detailed that we are
enabled, with intelligent interest, to follow the party, which
consisted of Cuninghani himself, his wife and her son, one of
his sisters, four persons not named, and John Fleming, his
man. The livery coat procured just before, at the cost of
three pounds antl fourpence Scots, was no doubt got ready for
this excursion, and there are indications of other careful
preparations for the road. Cuninghani terms his journeys
' voyages."' This word was not then as now restricted to
travels by sea, but was employed as it still is in France,
and as Milton used it, to denote wanderings of any kind.
The traveller jirovided liis own conveyance, and was bound
down to no iron road. He was free to travel as he chose, — to
loiter when that was his ))leasure, to hasten forward when the
shades of evening warned him to seek shelter in the friendly
hostelry which furnished 'entertainment for man and beast.^
Old Fuller tells us that camels were the coaches of the East
' I'p. 14, 19- ' P. 8.


Country in Abraham's days, and no less truly Cuningham\s

coaches were his horses. We see him, after administering a

friendly ' tip '' to his youthful cousins at Renfrew School,

embark with his company and five horses on a ' voyage "* across

the Clyde at Renfrew. Several of the travellers were ladies,

and to modern ideas it may seem puzzling to reconcile the

relative numbers of five steeds and nine excursionists. But to

the laird these numbers presented no difficulty, as on landing

from the ferry-boat, like Lochinvar,

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

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