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Lands and lairds of Larbert and Dunipace parishes online

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On the 17th December, 1746, one month and two days after
the execution, in the same paper is the following sad entry: — "At
Dunipace, Lady Mary Primrose, relict of Sir Archibald Primrose,
and sister of the Earl of Ro.sebery. She has left eight children.
There were eleven of the marriage, but three of them died last
summer, while their father was a prisoner. She followed her
husband to Carlisle, where she remained till the day of his
execution. Grief, it is stated, hastened her death."

» Commonly called Cowley Murray.
' Forfeited Estates Papers (Dunipace).

112 Dunipace.

On the death of Sir Archibald's only son, his brother, John,
as heir of entail, put in his claim for the estate of Dunipace, on
the plea that these lands being strictly entailed could not be
forfeited on account of treason of any of the heirs. The Court of
Session, however, in 1751, dismissed the claim.

Sir Archibald's daughter, Elphinstone, was married to James
Rollo of Powhouse; another daughter was married to a Mr. Peek
of London ; and another to John Buchanan, M.D., descended
from the Buchanans of that ilk. Mrs. Buchanan was alive in
1825,^ and had a daughter, Susan. Miss Buchanan told a
member of the Foulis family that her mother and her aunts,
after their father's attainder, got pensions from Government.
Mrs. Buchanan was then drawing hers. In Nimmo's " History
of Stirlingshire," 3rd edition, the editor notes under Dunipace,
" It is stated that Lady Primrose was also an enthusiastic
Jacobite — it was she who protected Flora Macdonald," &c., &c.
Lady Mary Primrose may have been, and probably was, an
enthusiastic Jacobite, but the editor has mixed up the Dowager
Lady Primrose," widow of Hugh, third Viscount Primrose, with
Sir Archibald's wife. Others have made this same mistake. It
is well known that Viscountess Primrose was a determined and
ardent Jacobite. When Flora Macdonald recovered her liberty
by act of indemnity in 1747, she stayed for some time with
Lady Primrose. Lady Primrose's house was in Essex Street
in the Strand, and was the resort of the fashionable world, and
crowds of the higher classes hastened to pay their tribute to the
heroine of the hour. Lady Primrose also paid Flora Macdonald's
travelling expenses to Scotland. The unfortunate Charles
Edward was entertained by Lady Primrose for five days in

1 Foulis Account Book.
• See Chart, Appendix K.

Dunipace. "3

1750, on the occasion of his first secret visit to London. These
days were employed by Charles in the vain endeavour to form
another scheme of invasion. It is on this incident that the
novel of " Redgauntlet'" is founded. Lady Primrose was very
courageous, but or. one occasion she was much alarmed by
Charles appearing at one of her parties, of course risking both
his own life and hers. Charles corresponded with Lady
Primrose under the name of Miss Fines." In the " Gentleman's
Magazine " the notice of her death is as follows : —

" 15 Feb., 1775, the Right Hon^e Lady Viscountess Primrose,
in Clarges Street.

Her Jacobitism was probably strengthened by the untoward fate
of her relative, the unfortunate laird of Dunipace.

The estate of Dunipace was sold by the Barons of Exchequer
on nth December, 1754, to JOHN RusSELL, W.S.' He
appears to have been acting on behalf of the relatives of the
family of the late Sir Archibald Primrose.

My reason for stating this is based on the following extracts
from " Curiosities of a Scots Charta Chest " * : —

"Though the rebellion was quelled in 1746, the penalty was paid by many
a head, one of the number being that of Sir Alexander's first cousin. Sir
Archibald Primrose, the eldest son of his aunt. Lady Dunipace, a very gay
young spark. He, with 10 others, was executed at Carlisle on the 15th Nov.,
1746, leaving behind him seven daughters and one son, whose death is

' See Introduction to " Eedgauntlet."

= Andrew Lang's " Pickle the Spy." There are many references to her in the
Jacobite literature of the time.

^ Writs of Dunipace.

* "Curiosities of a Scots Charta Chest, 1600-1800." With the travels and
memoranda of Sir Alexander Dick, Baronet of Prestonfield, Midlothian. Written by
himself. Edited and arranged by the Hon, Mrs. Atholl Forbes. See Chap. IX., pages

114 Dunipace.

recorded in a contemporary paper as having taken place in Edinburgh on
the 29th January, 1747. As a rebel, his property was of course confiscated,
and his family were entirely dependent on the bounty of their relatives. Sir
Alexander, with his usual generosity, appears to have taken the unfortunate
children under his especial charge, as will be seen by the following letter
from Lord Primrose :—

Edinr., 23 Sept., 1755.

"The unhappy situation of Sir Arch. Primrose's children gives occasion
to my troubling you, that has been their best friend, to assure you that I shall
at all times be happy at any opportunity of joining you and your brother in
doing the children any good that leys in my power, and with regard to them,
allow me to put myself entirely under your discretion, who understands their
affairs so well, &c., &c.— I am, Sir, your most humble servant,


Sir Alexander refers to this matter in his diary, giving
an account of what was done in their behalf. He says : —

" My Lord Dalmeny," the Earl of Rosebery's eldest son, my brother Sir
John Cunninghame,' and I,* agreed to purchase the family estate of
Dunipace at the sale of the forfeiture, before the Exchequer, and had the
good fortune to clear betwixt 7000 and 8000 Scots merks apiece for the
behoof of the young ladies.^ The Ladies themselves behaved exceedingly
well and merited the goodness of Government, who, by the Earl of Rosebery
their cousin's application for them, have obtained genteel pensions for those
that were most necissitous."

» Neil, Lord Primrose, second son of James, second Earl of Rosebery, succeeded
as third Earl, 8th May, 1756.

2 John, Lord Dalmeny, eldest son of James, second Earl of Rosebery, died before
his father, 11th August, 1755.

^ Eldest son of Sir William Cimninghame of Caprington, by Janet, only daughter
and heiress of Sir James Dick, Baronet, of Prestoniield.

* Sir Alexander Dick was the third son of Sir William Cimninghame.

s This statement seems to explode the fiction in the third edition of Nimmo about
the Spottiswoode purchase.

Dunipace. itS

John Russell, W.S., sold the estate on 24th February, 1755, to
James Spottiswoode, Mr. James Syme acting for behoof of
James Spottiswoode.'

It is a curious coincidence that for the second time the estate
of Dunipace passed into the hands of Spottiswoodes. One
hundred and twenty years previously it was acquired by the
celebrated and unfortunate Sir Robert Spottiswoode, Lord
Dunipace, descended from the family of Spottiswoode of that

James Spottiswoode had a charter under the Great Seal,
dated 6th August, 1756, wherein he is designed . . . " [acobi
Spotswood Atmigeri, nuper de Jamaica, mercatorts, et nunc de
Dunipace" He may have been of the same stock as Sir Robert
Spottiswoode, as in the matriculation of his arms in the Lyon
Register on 13th July, 1758, it is stated that he is "descended
from the family of Spottiswoode of that ilk," but no particulars
are given. The coat registered was : — " Argent on a chevron
gules, between three oak trees eradicate vert, as many Bezants.
Crests — The Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Motto —
Utriusque Auxilio." James Spottiswoode, first of Dunipace,
married Barbara Syme, and by her had issue: — (i) John,
(2) James, (s) William, (4) Robert, (5) Thomas, (6) David, (7)
Duncan, (8) Allan, and (9) Barbara.

On 30th March, 1772, James Spottiswoode of Dunipace
executed a disposition,^ which was recorded loth April, 1780,
in which he conveyed the estate to himself in liferent, whom
failing, to his sons in order of seniority, seven being named.

» Writs of Dunipace.
» Ibid.

ii6 Dunipacc.

The eighth son, Allan, not having been born till 1774, was not
named in it. James Spottiswoode died in 1798, and was
succeeded by his eldest son, John.

John Spottiswoode, second of Dunipace, who was born in
1755,' must have died very shortly after his father in 1798, as he
did not live to make up his titles. He was succeeded by his
brother, James.

James Spottiswoode, third of Dunipace, was born in 1759,
succeeded as heir of provision to his deceased brother, John, and
also as heir to his father in 1798, and died before August, 1803.
He was succeeded by his immediately younger brother, William.

William Spottiswoode, fourth of Dunipace, was born in 1760.
He was the third son of James Spottiswoode, succeeded his
brother James in 1803, and was only laird of Dunipace for a very
short time. It is more than probable that he never saw his
estate after becoming laird. His fate was singularly tragic,
and in keeping with the traditions of several previous lairds
of Dunipace. William Spottiswoode of Dunipace was on board
the "Lord Nelson," one of the H.E.I. Company's ships, of
which his younger brother, Captain Robert Spottiswoode, was
the Commander. In what capacity William was on board is not
clear, but it is supposed he was merely a passenger. On
14th August, 1803, when the "Lord Nelson" was in latitude
48° north, longitude 16° west, on her homeward voyage, she was
attacked by the French privateer, "Bellona," of 34 guns and
260 men. The " Lord Nelson " carried 26 guns and a crew of
102 men, exclusive of passengers. In the action, which lasted
for an hour and a half, the privateer succeeded in carrying
the Indiaman by boarding, but not till the French ship had been

» The dates of the births are taken from miniatures in the possession of J. A,
Harvie-Brown, Esq., of Dunipace.

Dunipace. "7

once repulsed, and the " Lord Nelson " had sustained a loss
of five men killed and thirty-one wounded. Among those
killed were William Spottiswoode of Dunipace and Lieutenant-
Colonel Peter M'Gregor Murray.'

The " Lord Nelson " had several adventures after this, and it
is satisfactory to know that she was recaptured from the French
on the 26th August by the " Colossus," the advance ship of
Captain Sir Edward Pellew's squadron.' William Spottiswoode
died on board the " Lord Nelson " from his wounds received
in the action of the 14th August, and was succeeded by his
brother, Robert,

Robert Spottiswoode, fifth of Dunipace, was born in 1763,
and was the fourth son of James Spottiswoode of Dunipace.
He was in the naval service of the H.E.I. Company. In 1803
he was in command of the " Lord Nelson," and behaved with
great gallantry during the action with the French privateer,
"Bellona," in which his elder brother, William, was killed.
He was presented by the H.E.I.C. with a service of plate,
and by the insurance offices of the Bengal Settlement with
a very valuable sword, as a mark of their esteem, and in
testimony of the high sense which they entertained of his
spirited exertions, and the gallantry and conduct displayed
by himself, his officers, and seamen in defence of the " Lord
Nelson " when attacked by the French privateer, " Bellona."
The plate and sword are now at Dunipace. In the inscription on
the scabbard of the sword, Robert Spottiswoode is designed "late
Commander of the ' Lord Nelson,' " so, probably on succeeding
to Dunipace he retired from the H.E.I.C.S. As William
Spottiswoode had not made up titles, Robert was served heir

1 Scots Magazine, September, 1803.

» James's " Naval History," Vol. III., p. 21,

ii8 Dunipace.

to his brother, James, in 1804.' Captain Robert Spottiswoode
of Dunipace did not long enjoy his estate, as he died on 30th
September, 1805,° and was succeeded by his brother, Thomas.
Thomas Spottiswoode, sixth of Dunipace, who was born
in 1766, was served heir to his brother, Robert, 22nd May,
1807,° and in the service it is stated that Robert died 30th
September, 1805. Thomas Spottiswoode was in the Civil
Service of the H.E.I. Company, and was a contractor in
business for supplies of clothing, &c., to the H.E.I. Company's
employees. He made his money mostly, or entirely, in India.
When he settled down at Dunipace in 1807, he added two
courts to the house, probably built by his father or one of his
elder brothers. It was quite a plain, square house, with a
sloping roof, the frontage having one window in the roof, five
windows in a row in the upper flat, and a window on either
side of the door, which was in the centre of the house. Mr.
Harvie-Brown, the present proprietor of Dunipace, has a sketch
of this house, made by one of his Spottiswoode granduncles,
about the year 1791. The walls of this house were three to four
feet thick, and were practically the only part of the main
building left standing after the fire of 1897, which will be
alluded to later. Thomas Spottiswoode of Dunipace was the
first to introduce pheasants into the district, and his pheasantries
were well known. He married Elizabeth Allan,'' daughter of
James Allan, by his wife, Elizabeth Colvin, daughter of
Alexander Colvin (who lived for some time at Denovan),

• Writs of Diinipace.

- Printed Service of Heirs.

= Writs of Dunipace and Printed Service of Heirs.

4 Miss Elizabeth Allan was a niece of David Allan, the eminent Scottish historical
painter. The Allans, as stated above, intermarried with the Colvins (to which family
Mr. Sidney Colvin, the well-lmown author and art critic, belongs) : also with the
Blunts of Kempshott Park, Hants. See Burke's " Landed Gentry.''

Dunipace. 119

and by her he had an only child, Elizabeth Spottiswoode, heiress
of Dunipace. Thomas Spottiswoode sold the farm of Househill,
which had hitherto formed part of the estate of Dunipace, to
Sir Gilbert Stirling, Bart., of Mansfield and Larbert, and it has
since remained part of the estate of Larbert. Thomas Spottis-
woode of Dunipace died in 1837, and was succeeded by his
daughter, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Spottiswoode, seventh of Dunipace, succeeded to
the estate in 1837, in terms of a disposition by her father,
Thomas Spottiswoode, dated 30th December, 1836. On 6th
November, 1838, she was married to John Harvie-Brown, of
Shirgarton and Quarter, J.P.,' who died 14th October, 1880,
leaving an only son and heir, John Alexander Harvie-Brown,
J.P,, F.Z.S., F.R.S.E., who succeeded to Dunipace on the death
of his mother, 27th June, 1888. This gentleman is a well-known
naturalist, and author of many valuable books on natural
history." He made a very fine collection of birds and eggs,
which was kept at Dunipace. Unfortunately, most of this
valuable collection perished in the fire of 1S97.

Various additions had been made to the house from time to
time, the last before the fire being a fine library. The fire took
place early in the morning of Sunday, loth January, 1897. It
was discovered by Mr. Harvie-Brown at three a.m., and by seven
o'clock the whole mischief was done. The house was gutted out
except the new library annexe, and nothing was left standing
but the walls of the old part of the house and a small addition
at the back built by Mr. Harvie- Brown's father in 1871. When
rebuilding and heightening the east wing of the house in 1857, a
stone was found which must have belonged to the old house of

1 See under Quarter.

^ See Bibliography of JJr. Harvie-Brown, by Eev, Walter Scott, Stirling.

130 Dunipace.

Dunipace, and which was built into the addition made in 1871,
on which is the following inscription : — " CELS^ GRAVIOKE CASV

The present mansion house, of which an illustration is given,
was restored and altered during the years 1897-8.

• We have now to return to the remaining children of James
Spottiswoode, first of Dunipace, by his wife, Barbara Syme.
David Spottiswoode, the sixth son, was probably born about
1770. He is the only one of the sons of whom there is no
miniature at Dunipace, so it is highly probable that he died
young. He is named in the deed of succession in 1772.

Duncan Spottiswoode, the seventh son, was born in 1772.
He was cashier to the Perth Banking Company for many years,
and was one of the Bailies of the Burgh in and about 1807. He
died on 17th September, 1823, aged 51 years," leaving by his
wife. Christian Maxtone, a family often children : — (i) Margaret,
born 1798, died 1838; (2) Barbara, born 1801, died 1894; (3)
Christian, born 1802, died 1867 ; (4) James, born 1803, was for
many years in business as a solicitor in Perth ; from October,
1858, to October, 1861, he was President of the Incorporated
Society of Solicitors for the County and City of Perth, and died
in 1873 ; (5) Robert, a partner in the firm of Spottiswoode &
Mansfield, chartered accountants in Edinburgh, died in 1876;
(6) John, born 1807, died in i860; (7) Duncan, born 1809,
for many years tenant of the bleaching-works and farm of
Stormontfield, near Perth, resided in Perth, died in 1888 ;
(8) Thomas, born 18 10, in business in Glasgow and else-
where; (9) Mary, born 1813, resided at Perth, died in 1899;
(10) Charlotte, resided at Edinburgh with her brother, Robert,

1 Horace — Odes, Book II., x.

5 Tombstone, Greyfriars Burying Ground, Perth.

Dunipace. i3t

died in 1898. Of the above ten children of Duncan Spottis-
woode and Christian Maxtone, only one, Duncan, was married,
and his wife died soon after the marriage and left no issue,
so that there are no descendants of the Perth Spottiswoodes.'
It is a curious fact that James Spottiswoode, first of Duni-
pace, although he had a family of at least nine children, eight
of whom were sons, has no representative in the male line. The
name of this branch of the Spottisvvoodes has quite died out.

The eighth and youngest son of James Spottiswoode and
Barbara Syme, was Allan, born in 1774, which accounts for his
name not appearing in the deed of succession. There is a
miniature of him preserved at Dunipace House. Allan Spottis-
woode died at the age of nineteen, and is supposed to have
made the sketch of the eighteenth century house of Dunipace
about 1 79 1, when about seventeen years of age. This sketch
is now in the possession of his grandnephew, Mr. J. A. Harvie-

Barbara Spottiswoode, the only daughter of James Spottis-
wood and Barbara Syme whom I have been able to trace,
was married 20th October, 1795, to John Syme," W.S., of
Cartmore, eldest son of David Syme of Cartmore, with issue,
David Syme of Cartmore, advocate, Sheriff-Substitute of
Kinross, who died in 1880, and James Syme, the late well-known
Professor of Clinical Surgery in the University of Edinburgh.
It will have been noticed that the Spottiswoodes and Symes
had previously intermarried."

1 I am specially indebted to James C. Pinkerton, Esq., solicitor, &c., Perth, for
the information about the Perth branch of the Spottiswoodes, chiefly made up from
inscriptions on tombstones, &c.

■ " History of Writers to the Signet."

' I am Indebted to J. A. Harvie-Brown, Esq., of Dunipace, and Andrew Forrester,
Esq., W.S., Edirl urgh, for notes on the Spottiswoodes of Dunipace.

122 Dunipace.

We have now traced the owners of the estate of Dunipace
for 700 years. We have seen that the founder of the Living-
stones of Dunipace lost his head ; a daughter of that house
later on also shared this fate ; Sir Robert Spottiswoode was
executed for his loyalty ; Sir Archibald Primrose, first of
Dunipace, was found guilty of high treason, and his life spared
only by the influence of the " great Argyle " ; but his less
fortunate great-grandson suffered at Carlisle for his part in
the '45, and later lairds have not escaped from Nemesis. The
story of the " Lands and Lairds of Dunipace," with their many
vicissitudes, is another confirmation of the old saying that " fact
is stranger than fiction."


Note ^.—Herbert de Camera.

This Herbert de Camera was Great Chamberlain of Scotland in the reign
of David I., and ancestor of the family of Chalmer of Gadgirth. A younger
branch of this family is said to have settled on lands on the borders of
Stirlingshire and Perthshire, and to have given the name of Chalmerstone to
their lands. Edward Chalmer, portioner of Chalmerstone, is executor under
the will of Alexander Forrester in Shiphaugh, burgess of Stirling, &c.,
whose first wife was Janet Chalmer. Ale.xander Forrester died in 1619.
(Com. of Stirling.) Edward Chalmer of Chalmerstone was married to a
Jean Chalmer, who was served heir to her cousin, Mr. William Chalmer,
Clerk to the Treasury, 13th May, 1640. (Iiiquis. Gen.) In a charter under
the Great Seal, dated 26th February, 1644, Jean Chalmer, her husband,
Edward Chalmer, portioner of Chalmerstone, and their eldest son and
heir-apparent, Edward Chalmer, resign some property, with the consent of
James Chalmer of Gadgirth, James Chalmer, burgess of Edinburgh, and
William Chalmer, writer, there. This seems to point to a connection with
the Gadgirth family.

Dunipace. 123

Note 5.— Livingstone of Pettintoskane
OR Bantaskine.

The following rough notes are taken principally from Mr. R. RiJdell's
MS. "Baronetage," Vol. I., and are under "Livingstone of Dunipace."
Anyone interested in this family would do well to refer to the original, where
there is much interesting information.

I.— David Livingstone of Bantaskine, elder son of Alexander Livingstone,
first of Dunipace, by his first wife (unknown), had a charter of Bantaskine
28th September, 1510, from Robert Kincaid of Bantaskine. David Living-
stone was dead in 1525, leaving by his wife, Margaret Shaw, a son, Alexander.

II. — Alexander Livingstone of Bantaskine, is mentioned in 1525 (/?. M. S.)
as son of the deceased David Livingstone. It is remarkable that in a charter
of 1 541 (/?. M. S.) mention is made of Mr. Alexander Livingstone, natural
son of the late David Livingstone of Bantaskine, and of Alexander Living-
stone of Bantaskine in separate remainders. Alexander was alive in 1569,
when his eldest son, John, is called younger of Bantaskine. Alexander

married Leise, in Falkirk, and had issue: — (i) John, his heir, and

(2) Janet, married to Henry Livingstone of Greenyards (M. C, dated at
Bantaskine, 12th January, 1 560-1).

III. — John Livingstone of Bantaskine succeeded his father. He is
designed son and heir-apparent, 1 557-1 561 (Register of Decreets and Bonds),

and married Marion Oswald, daughter of Oswald, portioner of Falkirk,

I2th July, 1569 (Mylne's MS.), by whom he had issue :—(i) Ale.xander,
his heir ; (2) John, (3) James, (4) Elspeth, married to David Livingstone, son
of James Livingstone of Banton, descended from James Livingstone, second
son of Sir John Livingstone of Calder (from them is said to have descended
the modern family of Bantaskine) ; (5) Margaret, (6) Marion, married
to Walter Leckie of Leckie (M. C, dated at Dunipace, rsth October, 1597,
i?. Af. S.)

IV.— Alexander Livingstone of Bantaskine is said to have married
Helenora, daughter of Sir William Livingstone of Coulter, as she is called
Lady Bantaskine, in 1663, when granting a discharge to Lord Elphinstone
along with Norman Livingstone of Milnehill, " now my spouse." They
appear to have had a son, David, mentioned in a testament in 1652 as '" fiar
of Bantaskine."

124 Dunipace.

v.— David Livingstone of Bantaskine succeeded his father in 1653-4,
married, and had a son, David. {Inq. Spec, 22nd June, 1656.)

VI.— David Livingstone of Bantaskine succeeded his father in 1656.
(Inq. Spec.) This laird seems to have died without issue, as he was
succeeded by Michael Livingstone, son of one of the brothers of Alexander
Livingstone, fourth of Bantaskine.

V. — Michael Livingstone of Bantaskine was served heir-general of
Alexander Livingstone of Bantaskine "patrui" 7th May, 1664. (Inq. Gen.)
Michael married, and had a daughter, Isabella, to whom Sir James Living-
stone of Glentirran, Bart., was served heir of provision in general, 15th
February, 1757, she being designed "filiae patrui." (Inq. Gen.) Mr.
Riddell suggests that this is probably a mistake for "avunculi."

Note C— Sinclair of Longformacus
AND Stevenson.

The family of Sinclair of Longformacus in the Merse was the earliest
cadet of Sinclair of Rosslyn, and as late as 1610 appears in the entail of
Rosslyn (/?. M. S.)

Robert Sinclair of Longformacus was the eldest son of Matthew Sinclair of
Longformacus, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Swinton of that ilk.
Matthew Sinclair and Elizabeth Swinton had at least five other sons :—
(2) James, of West Borthwick (R.M. S., 22nd December, 1608; (3) Matthew,
murdered by John Spottiswoode of that ilk (/?. M. S., 15th December, 1613);

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