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Lands and lairds of Larbert and Dunipace parishes online

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of Cor storphine, are the earliest records of the name I have been
able to trace. The families of Corstorphine and Torwood
are frequently found mentioned in the same charters, and most
probably had a common origin, but it has not yet been discovered.
A Walter Forrester was Bishop of Brechin from 1401 till about
1421, and was Lord Clerk Register.'

I. — Robert Forrester of Torwood, as previously stated, died
before 1463,' leaving a son, Alexander.

II. — Alexander Forrester of Torwood married Agnes Living-
stone,° but they do not seem to have had any children, or if they

1 Exchequer Rolls.
" See Appendix.

' R. A/. S. ; Reg. AUrdontmc, I., 182.
* R. M. S.

» Beferences will be found in the genealogical chart in the Appendix wher«
it was possible to give any.

134 Tor wood.

had, they did not survive their father. Alexander had a brother,
Malcolm, a burgess of Stirling, who succeeded him, and married
Margaret Harrower.' He early began to have trouble with his
hereditary enemies, the Livingstones, as we find him bringing
an action against William of Livingstone for the spoiliation of a
haystack,^ &c. About this time we read of timber being got
from Torwood for artillery.' On 27th April, 1483, Margaret
Graham, relict of Robert Forrester of Pettintoskane, resigned her
terce of Pettintoskane to Malcolm Forrester of Torwood, when
he became bound to supply her in food, drink, and clothing.*

Malcolm had two sons, David and Henry, and a daughter,
Janet. David was designed son and heir-apparent in 1476,' &c.
He married Marion Somerville," and was apparently dead in
1488, when his brother Henry is designed son and heir-apparent.'
The lands were resigned by Henry and his father in favour of —

HI. — Duncan Forrester of Gunnershaw, who had a charter of
the lands of Torwood, and the ofifice of forester, 26th November,
1488, which ofifice became hereditary in this family. This
Duncan, sometimes designed of Skipynch, was supposed to be
the son of Matthew Forrester,* burgess and provost of Stirling,"
brother to Malcolm of Torwood. As Sir Duncan's eldest son
and heir was named Walter, it is just possible that Sir Duncan

» Stirling Protocols, 4th March, 1472.

- Acta Aiulitorum, 5th July, 1483,

= Exchequer Rolls.

"-Stirling Protocols.

» B.M.S.

" Stirling Protocols, 14th June, 1476.

' R.M.S.

8 Matthew Forrester was most probably a natural son of Robert Forrester of
Torwood. King James III., ex gratia speciali siia, granted him, under the Great Seal
of Scotland, the full powers of a legitimately born subject, 15th November, 1477.

» Stirling Protocols, 23rd February, 1479, and Buxgh Records, 1470-1.

/ Tor wood. 135

was the son of Walter Forrester of Stirling, circa 1457, who is
mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls as lending money to Flanders,
probably to the King (James II.), who was there at that time.
The same record states that Matthew Forrester also lent money
to the King in Flanders that year. Matthew is said to have

married Yair, "daughter to the Gudeman of Carsie.'" There

was always some excitement going on in the Forrester family.
About the year 148 1, Janet Forrester, a daughter of Matthew
Forrester, was either abducted by or induced to elope with John
Shaw, son of Sir James Shaw of Sauchie, which occasioned
an outcry and demand for justice by Janet's father and relatives.
A notary's statement, dated 28th November, 1481, tells that
" James Shaw of Sauchie came to the ludging of Matthew
Forrester, with Jonet Forrester, his daughter, who, being
interrogated anent her being carried off by John Shaw, son of
the said James, averred that it had been done with her consent,
and that she was now his wife." Fortunately, matters ended

Sir Duncan, who became laird of Torwood about 1488, was
closely identified with Stirling. He was custumar from 1480
to 1487.' In the year 1480 he was keeper of Stirling Castle,
when payments were made to him for oatmeal for the watchmen
and porter ; he was Comptroller and Auditor, and renders
accounts of the bailies, 1472-7 ; is made provost, 1477-8,
1479-80, 1487-8, and 1489-90. He is designed by Buchanan of
Auchmar, in his Genealogy of the Buchanans, as "a very toping
gentleman." James IV. stood godfather at the christening of

1 MS. Fed. (1708), in possession of Dr. Maitland Thomson. Sir John Yare was
present with Matthew and Duncan Forrester at the redemption of the lands of Easter
Leckie, 16th July, 1472.— Stirling Burgh Records (Printed).

- Exchequer Rolls.

136 Tor wood.

Sir Duncan's grandchild, when he "hufe' Duncan Forrester's
sonnis barne," 17th September, 1489.'' On 31st December,
1483, he bound himself to repair his aisle of St. Mary,' that
beautiful little chapel in the West Parish Church of Stirling.
Sir Duncan was Comptroller to Queen Margaret, wife of
James IV., daughter of Henry VII. of England. In 1504 we
learn from the Lord High Treasurer's Accounts that "the
Queen hunted in the forest of Torwood, and amused herself as
best she could." The same record states that Sir Duncan
played at cards with the King, and his son, Alexander, played
at the "Caich" with the King (1508). The name of Sir
Duncan's chaplain was Sir Alexander Crag. Sir Duncan had
many charters, among others that of Arngibbon, 6th July,
1503. It was about this time that Farquhar Macintosh' was
captured at Torwood. He was son of Duncan, chief of the clan,
and nephew to John, Earl of Ross. He was treacherously
seized by the laird of Buchanan and imprisoned in Edinburgh
Castle in connexion with troubles in the Isles. Sir Duncan
married first, Margaret, daughter of Forsyth of Harthill in
Clydesdale,' by whom he is said to have had five sons and one
daughter, Margaret, who was married to Sir Alexander Forrester
of Corstorphine, whose descendant, George, first Lord Forrester,
in 1636 had a charter of Torwood," &c. Sir Duncan married
secondly. Dame Margaret Bothwell, mentioned in a charter,
1503," by whom he had four sons and three daughters. His

1 " Hufe," i.e., presented the child at the font.

2 Lord High Treasurer's Account,
' Stirling Protocols.

* Exchequer Rolls.

» MS. Fed.

« Stodart's " Scottish Arm»."

' R. M. S.

Torwood. 137

second son — by this marriage— Robert, was burnt on the Castle
Hill, Edinburgh, "be ye papists last February (1538-9) for ye
reformation."' Another son, William, burgess of Stirling, was
ancestor of Mr. David Forrester, minister of Leith." Sir Duncan
made provision that prayers should be said for the souls of his
wives, Margaret Forsyth and Margaret Bothwell.' He had a
natural son, John, who was ancestor of the Forresters of Logic,
who held these lands for many generations.* Sir Duncan was
succeeded by his eldest son —

IV.— Sir Walter, who was in the Council of Stirling, 1521-2."
He married first, Agnes Graham, sister to William, Earl of
Montrose," by whom he had three sons and four daughters ;
and secondly, a daughter of Napier of Merchiston, by whom
he had two sons.' Sir Walter had a charter in 1497 of
Skipynch, Garden, and Torwood, and the custody of the woods
which Sir Duncan, his father, resigned, and in 1508 he had
another charter, one of the witnesses being Thomas Forrester^
of Cranock. In the same year. Sir Walter received a payment"
for keeping the wood and mowing the hay of Torwood. On
15th May of this year (1508) James IV. made his lands into
the barony of Garden-Forrester. His daughter, Marian or
Mariote, who was living in 1506-10, was compelled by James IV.
to marry Sir Henry Shaw of Camsmore, "the King's Great
Courtier," son of the laird of Sauchie. Sir Walter was Great

■ MS. Pedigree.

' Diet, of Nat. Biog.

' Stirling Burgh Charters.

* See Genealogical Chart.

s Stirling Burgh Records.

« Acts Parlt. Scot., Vol, II., p. 578.

' See Chart.

« Thomas Forrester's wife was Elizabeth Stewait (Elphinstone Writs).

Exchequer Rolls.

138 Tor wood.

Provisor to the Queen, and makes a payment to the Comptroller
in 1508.* Sir Walter was succeeded by his eldest son, James.

V. — Sir James Forrester of Torvvood and Garden was provost
of Stirling, 1528-30. On 2Sth May, 1528, Sir James had a sasine
of sundry lands, including Little Coigs, in Perthshire, and the
lands of Cambusbarron, Stirlingshire. He married, first, Eliza-
beth, daughter of Robert, Lord Erskine," and by her had two
sons and two daughters." His second son was James of
Myathill, who married Agnes Sandilands, but as he had no
legitimate children, the lands of Myathill passed to his nephew,
Thomas. Sir James married, secondly, Agnes Cockburn,*
daughter of John Cockburn of Ormiston, and widow of William
Murray of Touchadam, who was killed at Flodden in 1513. She
was the mother of John Murray of Touchadam, and is thus
designed in his marriage contract, ist September, 1532 — "with
consent of Dame Agnes Cockburn, his mother and curator,
and of Sir James Forrester of Garden, now her spouse." It
is highly probable that Duncan Forrester, designed "in Kepmad,"
was a son of Sir James Forrester by this marriage." Sir James
was succeeded by his eldest son —

VI. — Sir David Forrester of Torwood and Garden, who was
provost of Stirling, 1546-7. He had a charter of the barony of
Garden, ist February, 1542. He married Elizabeth Sandilands,
daughter of James Sandilands of St. Monans, and had, besides
other children —

VII. — Alexander, who succeeded him before i6th June, 1556,
when he must have been very young, as he was under curators,

» In the Exchequer Rolls he is called Sir Alexavder Forrester of Garden.

'■■ Crawfurd's " Peerage."

» MS. Pedigree.

* Hist. MSS. Com. Mar Papers.

" See Appendix.

Torwood. 139

and is designed " adolesceniulus."^ On 17th February, IS57,
there is an instrument of resignation of certain tenements in
Stirling in favour of Alexander Forrester of Garden, among the
witnesses being James Forrester of Myathill and Duncan
Forrester in Kepmad.- Alexander was provost of StirHng,
1562-3 and 1564-5, and had a " lodging " there which can still be
identified. In 1570 he was present at the Convention of Estates
in Edinburgh, also at the Convention upon the Regency after the
assassination of the Regent, Earl of Murray." He is one of
those who signed the " Band of the freindis of the Hous of Mar "
in 1578.* He married about 1568" Jean Erskine, daughter of
John Erskine of Dun. By her he had, besides other children,
James, who succeeded him, and John of Denovan, whose
descendant became heir-male of the family." Alexander's
testament is recorded in the Edinburgh Commissariot under
date 23rd July, 1599.

The Register of the Privy Council reveals that towards the
end of Alexander Forrester's life the Forrester clan became
extremely turbulent in the town and county of Stirling. A
very good instance of this is shown in the following complaint
by John Drummond of Slipperfield, tacksman of the lands and
forest of Torwood.

An order had been given for a perambulation of the lands
lying between " Torheid and Kingsyde Muir and the mansion
called Forrester's Mansion, pertening to Alexander Foster of
Garden in lyverent, and James Forrester, his sone, in fee, haldin

> R. M. S., 1557.

' See Appendix.

= Reg. Privy Council.

* Ibid.

^ Stirling Protocols.

"^ See Forresters of Denovan.

14° Torwood.

of His Hienes on the ane pairt and the saidis landis and forrest
of Torwode pertening to the said Johnne in tack on the uther
parte." The interested parties were warned to appear on the
ground of the "saidis landis debetable, the saxteen day of
October instant " (1593). There appears to have been a boundary
quarrel between Forrester, the superior, and Drummond, the
tenant, Drummond evidently considering that Forrester was
encroaching upon his land. There was an action depending
before the Lords of Council against Alexander Forrester of
Torwood and " divers utheris personis " to compel them to
remove "fra the saidis landis and forest." The Forresters,
resenting this action of Drummond, and acting on the principle
that might is right, determined to make it impossible for the
perambulation to take place, as the following extract shows : —

Lyke as the said Laird accompanyit with a grite nowmer of armeit
personis, bodin in feir of weir, of lait umbesett the said Johnne's hie way, and
persewit him for his bodihe harme and slauchter, as is notour to the haill
cuntrey ; swa that the said laird and his haill freindis duelland about the
saidis landis debetable being of grite force, for feir of invasioun and trouble,
the said Johnne may not compeir to defend the said mater.

The Lords of Council, seeing the force of Drummond's
statement, decided to send the lairds of Quhittinghame, Drum-
cairney, and Halyruidhouse to visit the said debatable ground,
and examine witnesses there. What happened is best told in
the words of the record : —

They desirit the said Laird of Garden, quha had convoccat the nowmer
of ane thousand men on horse and foote, bodin in feir of weir, to cans
thame depairt and dissolve, and to cum to the ground of the saidis
landis with ten and himself in sobir maner, conforme to the saidis Lordis
ordinance, to the effect lykwayes that the said Johnne micht have cum
to the ground of the saidis landis debetable and produceit his vvitnessis
to have bene examinat according to the saidis Lordis ordinance; and, in

Tor wood. 141

respect of the said Laird of Gardenis refusal!, the saidis Lordis visitouris
wer forceit to depairt and remane in the place of Elphingstoun the space
of twa dayis, quhill the said Lairdis forceis sould have bene dissolvit.
And, upoun the xxvi day of the said moneth, the saidis Lordis visitouris being
of mynd to compeir upoun the ground and thair to have causit the said
Johnne produce his witnessis, quhilk he wes reddy to do, and thay ryding out
of Elphingstoun to the ground, Maister Thomas Craig and Janes Stirling,
procuratours for the said Lord, come and declairit to ihame that, in cais the
said Johnne or ony of his repairit to the ground of the saidis landis to
produce the saidis witnessis, thair wald nocht faill to be slauchter seeing the
said Laird, his sone and freindis, with thair haill forceis, wer of new gadderit,
of evill mynd, altogidder inclynint to blude. Yit the saidis Lordis visitouris
raid neir to the ground of the saidis landis, accumpanyed with Alexander,
Lord Levingstoun, commissioner direct be his Majestic, to see that baith the
saidis pairteis keipit gude ordour, and that na molestatioun nor impediment
sould be moved to the saidis Lordis in executioun of thair officeis : quha and
the said commissionair, perceaving na thing bot men gadderit in armes in
grite nowmer, evill myndit and proude, quha lykwayes avowit, gifF the said
Johnne or ony of his reparit to the said ground, to bereve thame of thair
lyveis, requeistit the said Johnne, and Alexander, Master of Elphingstoun,
being in cumpany with him, to depairt and not to cum to the ground of the
saidis landis,— quhilk requeist wes willinglie obeyit. And swa thairby not
onlie wes the said Johnne forceit to depairt and unproduceand his witnessis
and shawand the ground to the saidis Lordis visitouris, bot alswa the
commissionaris foirsaidis wer forceit to depairt without ony executioun of
thair officeis : quhairthrow it is maist evident that it is altogidder impossible
to the said Johnne to compeir upoun the said ground debetable without grite
slauchter and inconvenientis, and thairfoir the saidis jugeis aucht to be dis-
chargeit off all preceding in the said mater of perambulatioun upoun the
ground of the saidis landis debetable, and thay ordainit to sitt in ane
unsuspect place for decisioun thairof

Drummond appearing for himself and for Seytoun, and the said Alex-
ander Foster, and James Foster, his son, appearing by James Striviling,
their procurator, but the said justice deputes not appearing, the King and
Council discharge the said judges of all preceding in the said matter for the
causes above written, and also because the fact of the foresaid convocation
was attested by some of the Lords of Session and others who had seen the same,

142 Torwood.

Two years later, in the same record, appears the following: —
" Proclamation against attending the Earl of Mar and John
Livingstone to their day of law concerning the slaughter of
David Forrester' [i595]:—

" Understanding that a great number of the lieges are warned by Johnne,
Earl of Mar, Alexander Forrestair of Garden, and other friends of the late David
Forrestair, burgess of Striviling, on the one part, and by Johnne Levingstoun,
younger of Dunnypace, [William] Bruce, younger of Airth, and certain of their
colleagues on the other part, to be present at a diet to be held in the tolbooth
of Edinburgh upon 20th December for underlying the laws for the slaughter
of the said late David, and that, there being a deadly feud between the
parties, it is to be feared that at their first meeting ' sum grite inconvenient
sail fall oute,' the King and Council order charge to be given to the said
lieges not to repair to the said diet, or to the burgh of Edinburgh, but to
remain at home, ' unattempting onything quhilkis may ather hinder justice
or move trouble or inconvenient,' and this ' undir the pane of deid.'

" The slaughter of David Forrester, bailie of Stirling, here
mentioned, had occurred in the preceding [June], in the following
circumstances : — Two gentlemen of Stirlingshire, named Bruce
and Forrester, having quarrelled, and Bruce having been hurt at
a meeting for arranging the quarrel, there had come to be a feud
between all the Bruces and their friends and all the Forresters
and their friends in those parts. The bailie, implicated only
by his name, had been waylaid on a journey from Edinburgh
back to Stirling, and slain near Linlithgow by a party of
Bruces and Livingstones. The Earl of Mar, to whom the
bailie was attached by special service (on which account, it
was supposed, he was made a victim), had taken up the
feud vigorously. There had been a funeral procession for
the deceased, with a canvas picture of his bloody corpse, through

> Register of the Privy Council, Vol. V., p. 242.

Torwood. 143

the lands of Livingstone and Bruce ; and now, in December,
when a regular day of law had been appointed for inquiry and
trial, the feud was still rankling.'"

In the Mar papers, published by the Historical MSS. Com-
mission, there is a warrant by James VI., dated at Linlithgow,
20th October, 1595, for arrest of William Livingstone, son of the
laird of Jerviswood ; Patrick Bruce, son of Thomas Bruce in
Larbertshiells ; Robert Livingstone, son of Laird Livingstone in
Galloway ; George Livingstone, son of John Livingstone in
Daldurs ; and Archibald Towers, servitor to Airth, for the
murder of David Forrester, baillie and burgess of Stirling, and
for which they are fugitives and excommunicated. — (Signed)
James Rex.

The same papers show that in the following year, under
date 15th April, 1596, there is a warrant signed by King
James VI., at Stirling Castle, to John Andro, Clerk of Privy
Council, " to register a bond of assurance granted by his
Majesty's desire, by John, Earl of Mar, and Alexander
Forrester of Garden, to Alexander, Lord Livingstone, and Sir
Alexander Bruce of Airth, and their kin and friends, with the
special declaration that the said laird of Garden is not to be
responsible for the lairds of Corstorphine and Strathendrie, James
and David Forresters, brothers of deceased David Forrester
of Logie, Duncan Forrester of Culmoir, and his sons, and Alex-
ander Forrester, son of Duncan Forrester in Kepmad, further
than the laws of the country and the general bond require."

David Forrester of Logie was the unfortunate bailie. His
brother, James, in 1598, was still at enmity with the Bruces, as
the Privy Council Records show. James Nicoll, merchant

1 References given in Privy Council Register are " Spotswood," p. 411, and
Chambers's " Domestic Annals of Scotland," I., p. 260,

144 Torwood.

burgess of Stirling, probably his relative, became cautioner for
him, not to harm Anthony Bruce. Two brothers, Forresters of
Myathill, slew Robert Bruce of VVoodside, probably in revenge
for their kinsman's death. They got a remission under the
Great Seal in 1607. David Forrester of Logie was the son of
John Forrester, first of Logie, merchant-burgess of Stirling, by
his wife, Elizabeth Nicoll, which John was a natural son of Sir
Duncan Forrester of Torwood. The will of the murdered
David is in the Edinburgh Commissariot, under date ist
December, 1595.

The Register of the Privy CounciP gives yet another
instance: — "To denounce certain Forresters for not appearing
to a charge of assault on an officer of arms in discharge
of his duty.

"28th January, 1595-6.— King's letters set forth that, upon 30th December
last, while Johnne Roishill, officer of arms, was reading publicly at the
Market Cross of the Burgh of Striviling letters of horning raised by
against Alexander Forrestair of Garden, and certain other parishioners of
the Ruidkirk of Striviling, Johnne Foster and Alexander Foster, sons of the
laird of Garden, Alexander Forrestair of Myethill, and Walter Forrestair, son
and apparent heir of Duncane Forrestair of Puldoir, with their accomplices,
armed with dags, pistolets, and other weapons, come to the said officiar in
the very meantyme of the reiding of the saidis letters at the said mercat
croce, pullit him doun of the same croce, dang him with pistollettis on the
held, and, with the gairdis of thair swerdis, cruellie hurte and woundit him in
divers pairtis of his body, to the effusioun of his blude in grite quantitie, and
thaireftir violentlie and perforce reft the same letters and thair raif thame all
in peceis.

" Parties having been called, the accused, for not appearing,
are to be denounced rebels.

" The above outrage, having been in violation of the ordinance
made upon 23rd December last touching the removal of

^ Vol. v., pp. 261-2.

Tor wood. HS

deadly feuds, and at the very time when his Highness
' wes cheiflie occupiit in this eirand,' and the said offenders,
though still at the horn, being resetted, by a great number of
persons without respect had to ' the odiousnes ' of their crime,
the 'forme, maner, and circumstanceis of the committing thairof,
as neir the persone of the Prince, his Hienes darrest sone,' to the
forder contempt of his Majestic,' there is an order to publish the
occurrence to all the lieges, with charge to all and sundry not to
reset or intercommune with the said rebels, but to apprehend
them if they can, or notify their whereabouts to the sheriff of
the shire, under pain of being pursued as art and part with
them ; certifying defaulters that they shall be punished with no
less rigour and ' extremitie to the deid ' than if they had
resetted Francis, sometime Earl Botbuill."

Alexander Forrester was succeeded by his eldest son —
VI 1 1. — Sir James Forrester of Torwood. He had been present
at the baptism of Prince Henry at Stirling, 30th August, 1594,
and after the ceremony was among the gentlemen who received
the honour of knighthood from James VI. He found the
Forrester fortunes in a sadly embarrassed condition, and we see
from the Privy Council Register to what sorry straits he was
often reduced in order to keep his head above water. In
1609 there is an action against him for destroying trees in the
Torwood, when it appears that he had cut and destroyed the
best trees in his Majesty's forest, and " has spoyled ane grite
pairt of the said wood." The cutters were sent to the Tolbooth
of Edinburgh. In 1610, his whole estate was apprised at the
instance of James Edmonstone of Newton," who received a
charter of nearly all his lands. In this charter there is a list

1 Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of James VI., died in his nineteenth
year— 1612.

- The lands were evidently " wadset " to James Edmonstone.

146 Tor wood.

of his creditors and cautioners, which comprises many of his
kinsmen and friends. In 1617, Sir James and his son, Alexander,
are again in trouble about cutting down the trees. The indict-
ment relates that " the forest was well planted with timber, but
it is now so defaced in sindrie parcellis and pairtis that there is
not a tree to be seen, and thair contempt is so much the moir
as thay have done this same now in this tyme of his Majestic
being in the countrey, and in the sicht of strangeairis."

The Register of the Privy Council has the following com-
plaint against Sir James Forrester, by Janet Stewart, widow of

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