James Balfour Paul.

The Scots peerage; founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom online

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Online LibraryJames Balfour PaulThe Scots peerage; founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom → online text (page 22 of 52)
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Archibald Carruthers of Mouswald.

John Johnstone had by a lady named Janet Herries a son,

1 History quoted Annandale Evidence (1881), 1111. ^ Acta Boniinorum,
Concilii, 273. ^ Original resignation at Terregles. ^ Annandale Booh, i.
pp. xxiii-xxv and note, where sasine is quoted and explanation given.
Sir William Fraser refers to a different version of the note of sasine,
but whichever version is accepted, the generations remain the same.


Joliii, who in 1476 received from liis fatlier a charter of
tlie lands of Wampliray. He is described as the son of
John Jolmstone of that Ilk, and of Janet Herries. Tlie
word spouse is not applied to the latter, but she may
have been the laird's second wife.' This John John-
stone had a son : —

(1) John, who married, about 1513, Katherine Boyle, daughter
and heir of John Boyle of Wamfray and Risholme,
apparently without issue. She was married, secondly, to
Robert Scott, and had issue a son, Adam Scott.^

Adam, or Sir Adam Johnstone of Johnstone, succeeded
liis brother John as fiar of the estates on 24th May 1488,
though his grandfather was apparently still the liferenter.^
He is described as son of James Johnstone. In 1490 he is
referred to as Adam of Johnstone of that Ilk, brother and
heir of John of Jolmstone of that Ilk, and required to fulfil
an obligation made by liis deceased brother." He is also
described in another action as grandson and heir of the
late John Johnstone of that Ilk.' In fact most of his
history is to be traced in the law-courts, one charge
against him being complicity in an attack on and spoliation
of the house of Gleudinning in Eskdale, goods to the value
of 100 merks being carried off." In another case he and
his wife, Marion Scott, widow of Archibald Oarrutliers of
Mouswald, were challenged for wrongfully labouring cer-
tain lands, but the lady contended she had a liferent right
over them.' His latest known appearance on record is as
a witness to a charter by John, Lord Maxwell, to the
Archbishop of Glasgow, dated at Edinburgh 2 May 1509,
and he is there described as a knight. * He died between
that date and tlie 2 November same year, when his suc-
cessor had a charter of the lauds of Johnstone.

Sir Adam Johnstone was apparently twice married,
though the name of his first wife has not been discovered.
His second wife was Marion Scott, already referred to, and

' Annandale, Book, i. 11, 15. This is the earliest -nrit which names
Lochwood, the famous stronghold of the .Tohnstones. ^ Reg. Mag. Sig.,
10 April 1513 ; Annandale Peerage Evidence (1876), 90, 91, 281. ' Annan-
dale Book, i. p. xxvi n. * Acta Atulitorum, 137. *• Annandale Evidence
(187G), p. 35. ° Pitcaim's Criminal Trials, i. 41*. ■■ Acta Auditorum
14 February 1,502-3. » £eg. Mag. Sig., 2 May 1509.


whose first husband was still alive in June 1484.' She sur-
vived him, and M^as alive in March 1511.^
Adam Johnstone had issue : —

1. James, who succeeded.

2. William, who in a lease by John Lindsay of Covington,

of date 9 March 1519-20, is designed brother of James
Johnstone of that Ilk.^ No other notice of this
William is known, and he is not named in the entail
made by his nephew in 1542-43.

James Johnstone of Johnstone is first mentioned in 1504,
when he and his father are taken bound as mutual sureties
not to molest the Murrays of Oockpool." He was probably
then of age, and therefore could not be the son of Marion
Scott above named. He is not referred to again until
November 1509, when he received a charter of his lands.
These had been apprised by the royal courts to secure
payment of fines inflicted on the late Adam Johnstone
and those for whom he was responsible. Tlie King now
discharged these sums, and regranted to James Johnstone
for his services the lands of Johnstone, Kirkpatrick, includ-
ing Dunskellie and Caversholm, and the lands of Wamphray,
the tower of Johnstone or Lochwood being specially named.'
This laird was also held responsible for his increasing and
now powerful clan, and at one time was liable for £600
Scots in fines, a large sum in those days. In October 1516
he had a Grown charter of the lands of Corrie, and he also
obtained a grant from John Lindsay of Covington of the
lands of Polmoody, about 1521.'^ James Johnstone, on 15
May 1523, was appointed one of the keepers of the West
Marches, and he died in August of the following year.' It
is not known certainly whom he married, but she may have
been Mary, eldest daughter of John, fourth Lord Maxwell,
as in 1528 John Johnstone, son of this laird, is described as
' sister son ' to Robert, fifth Lord Maxwell. °

Their issue were : —

1. John, who succeeded.

' Reg. Mrig. Sig., 3 June 1484. ^ Annandale Peerage Evidence, 38.
■• Original lease in Annandale Charter-Chest. '' Annandale Evidence,
989, 990. f' Reg. Mag. Sig., 2 November 1509. « Ibid., 27 October 1510;
original Writ in Annandale Charter-Chest. ' Annandale Book, i. p. xxx.
8 State Pa2iers, Henry VIII., iv. 492.


2. Adam Johnstone, who received the lands of Oorrie from

his father, which barony formed the greater part of
the ancient parish of Oorrie, now annexed to Hutton,
in Annandale. Adam Johnstone of Oorrie died in
1544, leaving a son James, whose grandson George
Johnstone resigned, in 1623, his rights in Oorrie to
Sir James Johnstone of Johnstone, and received in
exchange the lands of Girthhead. The male line,
certainly the principal male line, of the Johnstones
of Oorrie and Girthhead was about 1750 represented
by four co-heiresses.'

3. Williain, described in a special charter of entail in

1543, to be noted below, as brother-german of Jolm
and Adam. He is also referred to in a contract
with his niece4n-law Margaret Hamilton, wife of
his nephew James, in 1558,^ and apparently transferred
his rights in Harthope, but nothing further has been
found concerning him.

4. John, named after William in said charter, as a brother-

germ^an. He is also referred to in the accounts of
the Lord Treasurer for 1542,' but nothing further is
known of him.

5. Simon, also described in same charter as a brother-

german. In 1546, he resigned the lands of Eremy-
nie in Orossmichael in favour of his brother the then
Laird of Johnstone,* which suggests that he had no

6. James, who is not named in the above charter, but in

1561 he is described as brother of John Johnstone of
that Ilk, and charters quoted by Douglas describe
him as a brother-german. He possessed the lands of
Wampliraj^, Pocornell, and others. His wife was
named Margaret M'Lellan, and he had issue, but his
direct male line is believed to have ended in 1656
with the death of John Johnstone of Wamphray, who
left an only daughter Janet Johnstone.'^ She married
William Johnstone, son of Samuel Johnstone of Sheens,
and had issue.

1 Annandale Evidence (1376), 85, 1117 ; and Girthhead Writs. ''Ibid.,
88,89. ^ Lord Sigh Treasurer's Accounts, MS., X)eciimheTl5i2. * Annan-
dale Book, i. 324. 5 Annandale Evidence (1881), 1083, 1144-1152.



7. Mar'iota, married to Symon Oarruthers of Mouswald
about January 1544, when slie was infeft for life in
the lands of Middleby and Haitlandhill.'

James Johnstone, Abbot or Commendator of Soulseat,
was also a son of this laird, but whether legitimate or
otherwise is nowhere stated. That his name was James
is corroborated by a discharge granted by his eldest
brother John on 30 August 1544.' The chief notices of
him are in reports by Lord Wliarton the English Warden
to his superiors between 1545 and 1548, when he refers
frequently to James Jolmstone the Abbot of Soulseat,
brother of the Laird of Johnstone, and proposes in one
place to commit the custody of Lochwood Tower to him.'
He was apparently dead before 1558, when a John John-
stone was Commendator of Soulseat.

This laird had also two other sons David and John,
legitimated by charter under the Great Seal."

John Johnstone of Johnstone is said to have been under
age when he succeeded to the estates, and was a ward of
the Crown for four years after his lather's death.' It is
apparently he who is referred to by Mr. Thomas Magnus
the English ambassador, as accompanying Lord Maxwell
and himself to the presence of James v., then sitting with
his council in Edinburgh Castle on 15 January 1525.'' It was
in the time of this laird that the clan Johnstone became a
power to be reckoned with on the Borders, and unhappily
also, it was then that the feud began between the heads of
the Maxwell and Johnstone families, which increased in
bitterness and caused much bloodshed and anarchy between
them for nearly a hundred years. This feud, and indeed
tlie main history of the Lairds of Johnstone brings them
more into the tale of the national life, and only the principal
facts need be told here, as the details may be found in the
public records. The trouble began with the killing of
' Meikle Sym Armistrang ' by the laird and his accomplices,
which brought upon him the wrath of the clan Armstrong,
who were aided and abetted by Robert, Lord Maxwell, the
hiird's own uncle. Johnstone retaliated, and the Earl of

' Annandale Book, i. 324. 2 Zaing Charters, No. 488. "i Annandale
Book, i. 41-47. * Reg. Mag. Sig., 15 April 1543. '' Annandale Book, i. 32.
'' Letters and Papers Henry VIII. iv. No, 1029,


Angus, then in powei', was accused of assisting liim. Tliis
the Earl denied, and alleged that he considered the whole
aftair a mere private quarrel, only a neighbour's war.'
King James v., however, took the reins of government,
and both parties were made responsible for good govern-
ment, but in 1530 Johnstone was imprisoned for a short
time in Doune Castle, and was released on giving a bond of
fidelity for those clans depending on him. During the next
few years lie was active in the arrest of marauders, and
was successful in seizing George Scott of the Bog, whose
ruffianism was so abnormal, even for those days, that the
King, to ' make the punishment fit the crime,' sentenced
him to be burned at a stake, a fate which called forth a
special note of wonder from the chronicler.' Other such
items engaged the laird's attention until March 1541,
when, for some reason unknown, he was imprisoned by the
King in Dumbarton, and was not released until December
1542, a short time before the King's death. It was pro-
bably the rout of Solway whicli caused his release, as Lord
Maxwell was then taken captive, and the Kiug now made
Johnstone practically Warden in his stead.'

The King's decease, on 14 December 1542, brought a
change of affairs. Maxwell was li1)erated on conditions,
and when he returned to Scotland he resumed his Warden-
ship. His son, the Master of Maxwell, who became a
hostage for his father, bound Johnstone to renew manrent
service to Lord Maxwell in terms of previous obligations,
a fact which led to complications." Meanwhile, the begin-
ning of the new reign brought a lull in events, and John-
stone took advantage to secure a Grown charter, by which,
in consideration of his good services against England, his
estates were entailed and erected into a barony to be
called the Barony of Johnstone, in favour of himself, his
sons James and Robert, and the heirs-male of their bodies,
whom failing, in favour of Adam, William, John, and Symon
Johnstone, the laird's brothers-german, and the heirs-male
of their bodies respectively ; the whole to be held for one
silver penny payable at Johnstone each Whitsunday if

1 Annandale Booh, i. 33, 34. ^ jbid. ; niurnal of Occurrents, 15,
anno 1532. - Hamilton Papers, i. 321-324 ; Annandale Boole, ii. 3, 4.
' Bond, 3 January 1542-43, Minutes o£ Evidence (1881), 1082.


asked.' This charter was granted in March 1543, and it
seems to have bound the laird more closely to the service
of his own country, though his family had always adhered
to the Government. He now took a still more energetic
part in resisting tlio English advances, much to the per-
plexity of Lord Wharton the English Warden, who hoped
to make Jolmstone as subservient to his will as Lord Max-
well seemed to be.

In February 1544, Johnstone succeeded in cliecking a raid
directed against the town of Annan, which "Wliarton re-
venged by burning threescore houses, with corn and cattle,
on Johnstone's lands on the Water of ISIilk. The laii'd
further annoyed Wharton by being reconciled to Lord
Maxwell, and also joining in a Border league against
England.' In June 1545 Johnstone attended the Parliament
at Stirling which pledged the country to an alliance with
France,^ and later in the same year he kept active watch
and ward in his neighbourhood. He adhered loyally to the
cause of Scotland, notwithstanding every effort of "\\liarton's
to stir up discord between him and Maxwell, or by craft
or bribery to seduce him from patriotism. The Warden was
astonished that his bribes failed, and he was triumphant
when in April 1547, after varying success on the Scottish
side, he captured the laird with some of his chief men, in an
ambush. But the story will be found in the public records.
We learn, from a narrative written by himself, that the
laird was imprisoned, successively, in the castles of Carlisle,
Lowther, Pontefract, Whartonhall, and Hartlie, although,
if a torn letter of "Wliarton's is to be accepted, he had
taken an oath on tlie English side. Johnstone, however,
denies this, and certainly he remained a captive for nearly
three years, notwithstanding efforts to exchange hira.
According to his account he was treated with great cruelty,
and in one sentence ho hints at efforts to poison him,
but this was really the result of ' evill and unhailsum
metis and drinkis.' This narrative forms the basis of
a pitiful appeal to one who was really friendly to him,
the Governor Arrau, and througli the latter's influence

' The details of the lands, now of considerable extent, may be found
in the writ. Reg. Mag. Sig., 2 March 1542-43. ^ See Hamilton Pa.pers,
ii., and Annandalt Book. ^ Ada Pari. Scot., ii. 595.


tlie captive was liberated about or before tlie beginning
of 1550.'

In 1552, tlie laird assisted in the important treaty which
settled the boundaries of the debateable laud betwixt the
two countries. It did not, however, alter the turbulent
habits of the Borderers, and the record of Johnstone's re-
maining years is chiefly made up of trouble with the
Government for the misdemeanours of his clan, occasional
imprisonments, and also quarrels with Lord Maxwell the
Warden, with whom indeed he offered to fight out their
dispute. He engaged, during his long tenure of the estates,
in numerous land transactions. The principal of these has
been referred to, but there were others, to his advantage,
the latest being a grant from Queen Mary and Darnley of
their third of the Abbey of Soulseat and parsonage of Loch-
maben,^ Two years after this grant, the laird died, on
8 November 1567, having made his will on 29 December 1562.
Besides a large quantity of hay and grain, numbers of
cattle, stones of cheese, stones of butter, linen, linen yarn,
woollen yarn, dyed wool in blue, green, and red, and similar
commodities, he left also a ' pose ' or hoard of gold and
silver, amounting to two hundred pounds in money, in a
coffer at Lochhouse, one of his minor residences.^

This laird was twice married, his first wife being Eliza-
beth Jardine, of what family is nowhere stated. She died
in December 1544, and an inventory of her effects was
given up by her son Robert, and confirmed 26 November
1580.' He married, secondly, between August and October
1550, Nicolas or Nicola Douglas, daughter of James Douglas
of Drumlanrig.' She survived her husband, acted as his
executrix, and was still alive in 157C.' The laird had issue
four sons and three daughters : —

1. Jambs, the eldest son of first marriage. He prede-

ceased his father, but left issue. {See helotu.)

2. Robert, second son of first marriage. From his father

he received in legacy Raecleuch in Evandale, and also

' Hamilton Papers and AnnandaU Book, i., where the narrative
is fully told. 2 Jl,id., i. ; also ii. 6, 16 August 1565. 3 See Inventory,
Annandale Evidence. (1876), 4749. * Ibid., 67-69. ° This is the date
accepted by Sir William Eraser, but a charter to be referred to in next
notice seems to suggest an earlier date. ^ Evidence, «, 44 ; Annandale
Book, i. p. Ix,


the parsonage of Lochmaben. In 1580, lie was his
mother's executor. He had also in 1571 the lands of
Eremynie, which had been resigned by his uncle
Simon. He died at Carnsalloeh on 10 May 1592. He
married, before 1571, Marion Maxwell, who survived
him and died on, or shortly after, 31 October 1601,
when she made her testament.' They had issue, with
apparently other children, names unknown : —

(1) Robert, second of Raecleuch, known also, from 1608 to 1623,

as the ' tutor ' of Johnstone,- who died about 1627, leav-
ing three sons, Robert, William, and Alexander, and a
daughter, Elizabeth, who married James Grierson of Dal-
gonnor. The three sons all died before 1656, the two younger
without issue, while the eldest, Robert Johnstone of Staple-
ton, was survived only by a daughter, Mary Johiistone, who
married Robert Young of Auchenskewoth.^

(2) Mii.ngo called ' of Howcleuch,' of whom very little is known.

He had a son, Robert, who is sard to have died s. p. about

3. John, eldest son of second marriage, who is named in

his father's will, receiving right over the lands of
Over or Upper Oogrie. He must have been young at
his father's death, as he was still under fourteen in
1569. In 1595 he had a charter of kirklands in Moilat,
Kirkpatrick-juxta and Dryfesdale ; and on 23 Sep-
tember 1603, under the designation of John Johnstone
of Lochhousc, he was executed for murder.' He had
issue : —

(1) James, who, in 1630, was restored to his father's forfeited
possessions, and Avas kno^vn as James Johnstone of Neiss,
a small property in Moflfatdale. He was in 1634 retoured
lawful heir to his uncle Captain James Johnstone of Loch-
house. He died without issue."

4. James, known as Captain James .lohnstone of Loch-

house, not mentioned in his father's will. He held
the lands of Thornick, Pocornell, and others. He
died between 1621 and 1632, leaving no lawful issue.
His nephew James was his lawful heir.'

5. Janet, not named in her father's will ; but she appears

in 1576 as spouse of William Livingstone of Jervis-

■ Annandale Evidence, 65-69, 72-74. - See infra, notice of James
.lohnstone, first Earl of Hartfell. ° Annandale Book, i. p. Ixi ; Annan-
dale Evidence (1876), 77-7!). ■* Cf. Annandale Book, i. 172, 173, and writs
there cited ; ii. 81-83. ^ Evidence, 80, 81. " Ibid., 82, 83, 1197.
7 Ibid., 83.


wood, and assignee of her brother Robert, in an
action against Nicola Douglas, tlieir father's widow
and executrix.' She must have been of the first

6. Dorothea, eldest daughter of second marriage, named

in her father's will. She was contracted on 12
February 1570 to John Maitland of Auchingassel, co.

7. Margaret, second daughter, named in her father's

will. She was married, in 1566, to Christopher, son
of Edward Irving of Bonshaw, co. Dumfries.^

8. Elizabeth, named in her father's will, but nothing

further has been ascertained regarding her.
John Johnstone of that Ilk had also, apparently, tlrree
natural sons — (1) James, who on 1 September 1540
had a charter of the lands of Hardgraif ; (2) John, to
whom, on 5 July 1543, his father assigned a lease of
the lands of Harthope, Howcleuch, and Raecleuch,
in Lanarkshire ; and (3) David, wlio is named several
times with his father, but whose history is not known."
The laird had also, by ' Gelis Ewart,' a natural
daughter named Margaret, who was, while yet a
child, contracted in marriage, on 22 February 1530-
31, to Ninian Graham, son of Robert Graham of
Thornick. She was a widow in 1546, and had a son,
Robert Graham, to whom, in 1502, his grandfather
bequeathed the reversion of the lands of Oourance.^

James Johnstone, the eldest son of John Johnstone, was
still under age in 1545, and there is no certainty as to the
date of his birth. On 31 October 1539, liowever, his uncle
Adam granted to him, as lawful son and apparent heir of
John Johnstone, some lands in the barony of Oorrie.*^ He
is named in the entail of March 1543 already referred to,
and in February 1545 he, with consent of his father, as his
tutor, granted to Nicola Douglas, afterwards his father's

1 Acts and Decreets, Ixvi. 75 h, 23 November 1576. ^ Beg. of Deeds,
xiv. 68 b. Dorothea and her two younger sisters are described in the
laird's will as his throe youngest daughters. ^ AnnandaU Book, i. p. lii,
Ixii. * Ibid., Ivi, Ixiin. ^ Original contract in Annandale Charter-Chest ;
AnnandaU Book, i. p. lix. " Annandale Evidence (1881), 1172-73.


wife, the lands of Jolinstonliolme and others/ This grant,
made to Nicola Douglas while still unmarried, by the fiar
of the Johnstona estates, of lands which afterwards appear
as her jointure lands, suggests that she was married to
John Johnstone earlier than 1550, unless it had been at first
proposed that she should marry the young laird. If so, the
plan was not carried out, as he married, at a date which
has not been ascertained, Margaret Hamilton, a niece of
the Regent Arran and of Archbishop Hamilton, and daughter
of John Hamilton of Samuelston, a natural son of the first
Earl of Arran. The last mention of the young laird, who
predeceased his father, is on 1 August 1551, in the marriage-
contract of his daughter, but he may then have been dead.
He certainly died not long after, as his widow, Margaret
Hamilton, was married again (marriage-contract dated
8 May 1552) to David Douglas of Cockburnspath,^ and her
third husband, after June 1557, was Sir Patrick Wliitelaw
of that Ilk, who died before 1571.^ James Johnstone,
younger of Johnstone, had issue : —

1. John, who succeeded his grandfather in 1567 (see


2. Jean, whose marriage-contract was made at Dumfries

on 1 August 1551, the parties being, on her side, her
mother and Archbishop Hamilton, and Michael, Lord
Oaiiyle, for his son William, on the other.'' The
marriage was not to take place till Jean was of full
age, but it did take place, and there was issue one
daughter, Elizabeth, who married Sir James Douglas
of Parkhead, and had issue.' William Oarlyle died in
1572, and his widow, as Lady Carlyle, was still life-
rentrix of the lands of Kelhead in 1577.'

John or Sir John Johnstone was very young at his

1 Eeg. Mag. Sig., 17 February 1544-45, 8 January 1502-63. 2 j^^f^ ^„(j
Decreets, xv. 97. ^ Reg. Mag. Sig., 12 July 1568; 10 March 1572-73 ;
Acts and Decreets, xxxi. 68 b. ^ Annandale Evidence (1876), 45, 46.
f' The Douglas Book, ii. 169. "^ Annandale Book, i. p. Ixxvii. Douglas
assigns two daughters to the young laird— Margaret, wife of Robert
Douglas of Coschogill, and Jean, wife of William Livingstone of Jervis-
wood. The latter has been shovra to be a sister of James Johnstone, and
though a Nicola Johnstone is named in 1573 as the wife of Robert Douglas
of Coschogill, there is no evidence as to who she was. She may have been
a sister also.


father's death, and was in minority w]ien he succeeded
his grandfather. His ward and marriage were granted to
Archbishop Hamilton on 6 July 1553.' He was apijarently
still under age in November 1569, as it was with consent
of his curators that he then entered into an agreement
with Nicola Douglas, widow of his grandfather, as to her
jointure lauds of Johnstoneholm.^ He was certainly of
age in 1571, when he was retoured to his father and infeft
in his lands.' Young as he was, however, he was looked
upon by the Government as responsible for his clan. His
connection with the Hamiltons inclined him to the cause of
Queen Mary, but it is not certain he was at the battle of
Langside ; yet, after the defeat there, the Regent Moray
marched into Dumfriesshire, and compelled the young
laird to submit to the new Government, and to surrender
his houses of Lochwood and Lochhouse. In October of the
following year, 1509, the Regent again held courts in Dum-
friesshire, and Johnstone was made liable in considerable

Online LibraryJames Balfour PaulThe Scots peerage; founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom → online text (page 22 of 52)