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Lands and lairds of Larbert and Dunipace parishes online

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ambition, and cruelty have won him an inglorious immortality in
Scottish history and in Sir Walter Scott's novel, " The Fair
Maid of Perth."


On 26th December, 145 1, there is a charter of Lethbert-
schiells to Alexander Bruce of Stanehouse.' His son, Sir John
Bruce of Stenhouse and Airth, made over the lands to his second
son, Mr. Thomas Bruce, known as first of Lethbertschiells and
Woodside. There are frequent allusions to this Mr. Thomas in
the Great Seal.' He married Elizabeth, daughter of James
Auchmoutie," and had a son, Thomas, who succeeded him.
Thomas Bruce, second of Lethbertschiells and Woodside, *
married Marian, daughter of Sir Alexander Drummond of
Carnock, by whom he had a son, Robert, who succeeded him,
and a son, Patrick, who took part in the murder of David
Forrester of Logie." Thomas Bruce was much troubled by his
unfriendly neighbour, Alexander Forrester of Torwood, as the
following complaint, extracted from the Privy Council Register,
will show : —

"Stirling, 25 October, 1583.— Complaint by Thomas Bruce of Larber-
scheles, as follows :— He hes oft and divers tymes lamentit to the Kingis
Majestie and Lordis of Secreit Counsale the intollerable wrangis and injuries
quhilk he hes sustenit and underlyis be the manifest oppressioun of Ale.xander
Forster of Garden, heretable forester of the Kingis Majesteis Torwodles, be
his violent and wilfull downe-halding of the dykes thairof evvest the

' See under Stenhouse.

2 R. M. S., 4th November, 1528, &o.

' " Bruces of Airth, &c."

* B. Af. S., 1589.

' See under Torwood,

6o Glenbervie.

compliners landes and heretage, quhairby not onlie is the said wod liand

oppin on that syde, of a mahcious intentioun and sett purpois to lett cattail,

hors, and swyne, pasturing within the said wod, have acces to his comeland,

to waist and eit up the incres thairof, as thai haif done at sindry tymes of

befoir, bot thairwith, quhenas hirding usuallie is gevin up, he is compellit of

force to hald ane winter bird to keip his cattell furth of the said wod quhair

it is patent to thame ; and, gif it happin at onie tyine that his said cattell, for

eschewing of the violence and scharpnes of a stormy wether, to withdraw (as

naturallie thay do) to the ley of the saidis woddes, and enter thairin, quhair

is nathing to withstand thame nor hald thame owt, they ar schot and hochit

be the said Alexander and his servandis at his command, to his gret skaith

and heavie dampnage ; committand thairthrow maist violent and manifest

oppressioun upoun him, being the Kingis heretable fewar of the saidis landes,

quhairas it lyis to the dewetie of that office of forster to releif him baith of the

ane and uther be imparquing of the said wod with ane sufficient dyke, able

alsweill to keip in as to hald owt." Alexander Forester having appeared to

summons, and the complainer being also present, the Lords order Forester

(i) to find surety " that he sail big and hald up ane sufficient dyke for keping

of the guidis pasturing within the said forrest fra eatting and distructioun of

the said Thomas Bruce coirnis in the summer tyme and harvest, and for

keping of his guidis and cattell unentering in the said forrest in the winter

and spring tyme, resersand onlie in the said dyke ane stile to him and his

servandis to bring ower watter and wesche thair clathis at the well within the

same dyke, and that the said dyke salbe compleit and performit betuix and

the tent day of Aprile nix to cum ;" (2) to "use gude neichtbourheid to the

said Thomas tumand his guidis that sal happin to enter in the wod, or

to poind thame, letting thame out for reasonable poindlaris fee, unhoundit,

slayne, or hocht ;" (3) also to find caution in 200 merks within twenty-four

hours after being charged that the complainer, his wife, bairns, servants, and

tenants shall be harmless of him, under pain of rebellion : " without

prejudice alwayes to the said Alexander to persew his Majesteis comptrollare

befoir the Lordis of Sessioun, or uthers judgeis competent, for his releif in

this caus, gif he onie aucht to haif Caution in the manner and to the effect

foresaid, by Alexander Forester of Garden, as principal, and Alexander

Forestar of Boquhane, as his surety.'

1 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, Vol. III., p. 602.

Glenbervie. 6i

Robert Bruce, third of Lethbertschiells and Woodside, son
of Thomas Bruce, second, married Christian Arnot, and had a
son, Thomas, who succeeded him. Robert Bruce, third, was
murdered by Robert and James Forrester, sons of Thomas
Forrester of Myathiil, as we learn from a remission for their
lives granted to them by James VI., 5th May, 1607.'

Thomas Bruce, fourth of Lethbertschiells and Woodside,
married Elizabeth Rollock, and was retoured heir to his father,
28th May, 1603.' In 1622 he gives bond " that he will with
all diligence big up his marsh dykes betwixt him and the
Torwood, and make the same fensibil for preserving His
Majesty's forest of Torwood from harme or skaith of people
or beasts.'"

About 1629 the lands of Woodside and others were over-
flowed by the sliding of a moss in Stirlingshire.* The results
were so serious that an appeal was made by the Lords of
Secret Council for a national subscription to alleviate the
distress. As the calamity caused a profound sensation, it
may be interesting to give the full particulars as related in
the records of the time : —

" Forsameekle as in the moneth of December— under silence of night,
there hes fallin out by the unsearcheable providence of the Almightie God
(quhilk by no humane witt nor foresight could be preventit) suche ane
fearefull, suddane and unexpected accident, lyke ane thunder clap, upon
the lands of Powes and Powmylne perteaning to David Rollock of Powes
and Robert Johnestoun of Powmylne, and upon the lands perteaning to
Patrik Bruce of Corsebruik and Thomas Bruce of Wodsyde, that the lyke
wes never heard of in anie kingdome or age in so farre as ane great mosse
of the thicknesse and largenesse of a speir hes beene drivin by the force

1 K. M. S.

'' Ing. Spec,

> Register of Prlry Council, Vol. XII., 1622.

« Exchequer Rolls and P.C. Register, IV., second aeries, 1830.

62 Glenbervie.

and violence of wind and water fra the firme ground and bounds where
fra all beginning it unmoveablie stood to the lands of Powes and Powmylne
and others lands of the persons foresaids distant thairfra be the space of
and hes overflowed and covered the saids whole lands, and
hes tane ane solide, firme and sattled stand thairon, hes overturned the
whole houses for the most part of the saids lands sua that twentie famileis
wer constrained for lyfe and death and with the extreme hazard of thair
lyfes to flee and leave thair houses and all within the same to the violence
of the mosse. And now the saids lands, whilks wer good arable ground
bearing wheate, beare and all other grayne, ar turned into a blacke mosse
without all possibilitie or hope of recoverie, and the gentlemen awners of
the lands who and thair predecessours wer men of good account, able to
serve the King and countrie and charitablie disposed to the releefe of
all distressed people, ar upon a suddane turned beggars, having nothing
but the miserable face of a black mosse to looke unto in place of thair
pleasant and fertile ground. And whereas this fearefull visitatioun hes
proceedit immediatlie from the hand of God (whois divine chastisements
must with ane Christiane resolutioun be embraced and susteanned) it
becometh all good Christians who ar feeling members of this bodie to
resent the distresses and misereis of thir poore gentlemen and by thair
chearefull benevolence to contribute a part of thair meanes, whairwith it
hes pleased God to blesse thame, toward thair releefe. For the whilk
purpose the Lords of Secreit Counsell hes recommendit and be the tennour
heirof recommends the saids distrest gentlemen to the favourable, charitable,
and Christiane consideratioun of the whole Estaits both spirituall and
temporall within this kingdome, and to the whole persouns of whatsomever
ranks, qualitie or degree within the same, requeisting and desiring thame
and everie ane of thame to extend suche proportioun of thair liberalitie and
charitie to the saids gentlemen as the importance and necessitie of the caus
requires ; and the saids Lords hes committed and be the tennour heirof
committs the collectioun of this contributioun and benevolence of the
people to the persons particularlie underwrittin, Mr. Robert Baron, minister
at Aberdein, Mr. Alexand Jaffiey, bailie, Thomas Nicolsone, bailie, and
Alexander Forbes, for the shirefdome of Aberdein, and Duncane Forbes
and Mr. James Campbell of Moynes for the shirefdome of Innernes, and
Patrik Smith of the HoU and Smith, his brother, for the shirefdome

of Orkney and Zetland, and Archibald Campbell, Sonne to Alexander

Glenbervie. 63

Campbell of Ardchattan, and Johne Stirline, sone to William Stirline of
Achyle, for the shirefdome of Argyle and Tarbet, who ar all men of approvin
credite, honestie and reputatioun, and will deale faithfuUie and uprightlie in
this bussines and conceale nothing that will be given be the people to this
so good and necessar a worke ; givand, grantand and committand unto
thame and everie ane of thame full power, warrand and commissioun to
deale and travell with the whole archbishops and bishops, noblemen,
baronns and gentlemen, synods, presbytereis and sessiouns of kirks,
burrowes, touns, villages, and with all others his Majesteis subjects als
weill to burgh as land anent thair benevolence and charitable Christiane
contributioun to be given out of thair good discretioun for the helpe and
supplee of the saids gentlemen. Quhilks Commissioners sail have ane booke
delyvered unto thame be the Cleik of his Majesteis Counsell whairof everie
leaf sail be marked be the said Clerk, within the whilk booke the saids
Lords requeists all and everie persoun who sail contribute to this worke to
insert or caus be insert the sowmes of money that thay sail contribute and
advance in this earand ; and if anie persoun or persons be sleuth or
negligence sail refuse or forgett to insert thair contributioun, ordains and
commands the saids Commissioners to insert the saids contributiouns
thameselffes, and that they report thair diligence in the premises with thair
booke conteaning the names of the whole persons contributers and the
sowmes of money contributed and collected be thame to the saids Lords
upon the first Counsell day of Februarie nixtocome, to the intent the saids
Lords may know what sowmes of money ar collected and how the same
sail be imployed, and the saids Commissioners sail give thair great and
solemn oath at the reporting of thair diligence and booke foresaid that
they have not omitted nor left out of the saids bookes none of the persons
names that contributed nor the sowmes nor na part thairof that sail be
advanced in this earand ; requeisting alsua the saids archbishops and
bishops to give directioun to the ministers within thair dioceis that they
admonishe and stirre up thair flockes and parochiners to putt to thair helping
hand in this so important and necessar a caus.'"

Thomas Bruce, fourth of Lethbertschiells and VVoodside,
sold the lands of Woodside, Lethbertschiells, and Stanrigmill to

' Register of Privy Council, Vol, IV., second series, pp. 25-7, 1630.

^4 Glenbervie.

Dame Helen Elphinstone (Lady Langton) and her husband,
Mr. Henry Rollo or Rollok, and they had a charter under the
Great Seal, 13th September, 1636. Dame Helen was the fourth
daughter of Alexander, fourth Lord Elphinstone,' and was born
27th August, 1589. She was married to Sir William Cockburn
of Langton, Kt., and on his death, to Mr. Henry Rollo.

Although after 1636 the Bruces continued to design them-
selves " of Woodside," the lands to which they gave this name
were in the parish of Alloa in the county of Clackmannan.'


Mr. Henry Rollo was the son of Thomas Rollo,' Advocate,
Edinburgh, and nephew of Robert Rollo,' first Principal of
the University of Edinburgh, 1585 to 1586, and of Hercules
Rollo, a writer of Latin verse, &c., who flourished 1577-1619.
Mr. Henry Rollo's grandfather was David Rollo, laird of Powis,
near Stirling, who had a charter of these lands, 4th June, 1556,
from the Provost of Trinity Collegiate Church, Edinburgh. In
this charter his wife, Mariote Livingstone, is named."

In Mr. Riddle Stodart's " Scottish Arms," he designs the
Rollos of Powhouse as cadets of" Duncrub." Mr. Henry Rollo
graduated at the University of St. Andrews in 161 5, and
was presented to the living of Auchterarder, in 1617 ; to

1 Elphinstone Book, Vol. I., p. 167.

= Test, of Mr. Andrew Bruce of Woodside, Stirling Com. Rec, 30th July, 1669.
Some further notes on this family will be found in Appendix B.

' Thomas Rollo married Annabel Forrester, relict of James Sinclair of Banks.
Their children were :— (1) Henry, minister in Edinburgh ; (2) John, baptised 7th March,
1596 ; (3) John, baptised 18th April, 1599 ; (4) George, baptised 12th August, 1600 ; (5)
Jean, baptised 2nd August, 1601.— Stirling Commissary Records and Edinburgh
Register of Baptisms.

* See Dictionary of National Biography.

• Register Trin, Coll. Church— Bannatyne Club, p, 118, No. 57.

»> II «W



Glenbervie. 65

Kilconquhar in 1623 ; to Trinity Collegiate Church, Edinburgh,
in 1628; and to Greyfriars in 1635. He was a member of
Assembly in 1638, and one of those chosen for visiting the
University of St. Andrews, i6th November, 1641, and that
same year was translated to the High Church of Edinburgh.'
He died in 1649.''

By his wife, Dame Helen Elphinstone, he had a son, John,
who succeeded him. John Rollo of Woodside had various
charters of the lands," and died before 15th July, 1674, on
which date his son, Henry, was retoured to him in these
lands." John had at least one other son. Captain Andrew Rollo.

Henry was Supervisor of the Salt Duty in Scotland, and
married Margaret Young — presumably the eldest daughter of
Sir John Young of Leny, by Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas
Hope of Kerse.° Sir John Young had thirteen children. The
youngest daughter, Janet, was married to Sir George Dunbar,
Bart., of Mochrum and Woodside.

Henry Rollo and Margaret Young had an annual rent out of
the barony of Leny, 12th February, 1692.° On 30th July, 1697,
Henry Rollo was served heir to his brother-german. Captain
Andrew Rollo. On 7th August, 1729, Henry — now Sir Henry,
having been knighted before 30th March, 1710 — was served heir
to his grandfather (who died in 1649') in the teinds of the lands
of Woodside, Lethbertschiells, and Stanrigmill.

Woodside House, of which an illustration is given, was most
probably built by Sir Henry Rollo early in the eighteenth

1 Scott's "Fasti."

- Service of Heirs.

= Writs of Woodside and Laing Charters,

4 l7ig. Spec. (269).

'• MS. Pedigree of Young of Leny in Register House.

« n.M.s.

' 'Service of Heirs.


66 Glenbervic.

century. The style of the architecture seems to bear this out.
It was built either partly on the site of the old mansion house or
on an adjoining site, and was connected by a passage with
the remaining portion of the old house, which formed a wing of
the new one. In the old part, which was quite habitable till
about 1850, were the kitchen and servants' quarters. As stated
before, some of the ruins^ of the old mansion house are still
standing, and are shown in the illustration. When the
eighteenth century house was pulled down about 1850, it is said
that a carved stone, which is still preserved at Glenbervie, was
taken from it. On this stone are the Rollo arms, the initials
HSRand mDy (Sir Henry Rollo and Dame Margaret Young),
and the date 17 10. On the lintel of the west door of the ruins
is the monogram of Henry Rollo and Margaret Young, and
the date 1692. It is not improbable that the monogram of
1692 marks the year of Sir Henry's marriage, and the initials of
17 10 mark the building of the house and the knighthood
conferred on him about this time. This house, called Dunbar
House by the Dunbar owners — 1724-1782 — continued to be the
mansion house of the estate till about 1850.

On 15th May, 1724, Sir Henry Rollo, with consent of his
wife. Dame Margaret Young, disposed of the lands to Sir George
Dunbar, Bart., of Mochrum." This was probably a family
transaction, as we have seen that the wives of Sir Henry Rollo
and Sir George Dunbar were sisters.' Sir Henry Rollo died in
1733, and his will was recorded in the Edinburgh Commis-
sariot, 13th December of that year. It was given up by Robert,
Lord Rollo, husband to Mary Rollo, Sir Henry's daughter and

1 A sketch of the ruios is given in Mr. Fleming's "Castles and Mansions,"

= Writs of Woodside.

' MS. Pedigree of Young of Leny.

Glenbervie. 67

sole executor. The cautioner was John Rollo, goldsmith,
burgess of Edinburgh, and "son of the said Robert, Lord Rollo."
There was due to Sir Henry Rollo by the Government a portion
of his salary as Surveyor-General of the Salt Duty. Sir Henry
appears to have had only one daughter, who was married to
Robert, fourth Lord Rollo, second son of the third Lord Rollo,
whose elder son, John, the Master of Rollo, was killed in
a quarrel with Patrick Graham of Inchbrakie as they were
riding home one night after supper in 1691,'

Robert, Lord Rollo, superintended the Treaty of Union in
the last Scots Parliament. He was one of the Jacobite noblemen
present at the pretended great hunting match at Aboyne
on 27th August, 1715, at which the Earl of Mar explained his
plans in favour of the Chevalier de St. George, but the following
year Lord Rollo surrendered himself to the Marquis of Huntly,
and obtained full benefit of the Act of Grace in 1717. He died
in 1758, in his 78th year. He was the father of the famous
soldier, Andrew, fifth Lord Rollo, 1700-1765, from whom the
present family is descended. "


Sir George Dunbar," second baronet of Mochrum, who
purchased Woodside in 1724, was the son of Sir James Dunbar,
first baronet, by Isabella, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas
Nicolson of Carnock, and grand-daughter of Alexander, second
Earl of Linlithgow, with whom he got the lands of Plean, in
Stirlingshire. Sir George Dunbar served under the Duke of
Marlborough in Queen Anne's wars with great distinction. He

1 Anderson's "Scottish Nation."
s Dictionary of Nat. Biog.
» Riddell's MS. "Baronetage."

68 Glenbervie.

married Janet, youngest daughter of Sir John Young of Leny,'
by whom he had three sons and two daughters: — (i) James,
who succeeded him as third baronet ; (2) John, who died
unmarried, in 1742" ; (3) Thomas, who left two sons, George,
who succeeded as fifth baronet, and Thomas ; (4) WilHam, a
major in the army, highly distinguished in the American
War of Independence, who married a daughter of the Comte
de Chambaud in Canada, and had two daughters, who died

Sir George became chief of the Dunbars at the decease
of Ludovic Dunbar of Westfield, 14th April, 1744. He died
in 1747, and was succeeded by his eldest son, James.

Sir James Dunbar, third baronet of Mochrum and second
of Woodside, studied law, and was admitted an advocate
in 1738. He was appointed Deputy Judge Advocate for
Scotland in February, 1768.' He had a charter under the
Great Seal, 26th July, 1749, of the lands of Woodside, in
which the Manor House is " now called ' Dunbar House.' " He
married, 31st August, 1750, Jacobina, daughter of John
Hamilton of Newton, W.S.* She and her sister. Dame
Helen Hamilton, wife of Sir Patrick Murray, baronet, of
Ochtertyre, were served heirs portioners to their father, who
died at Edinburgh, 28th January, 1782.' Sir James had by
his wife one son, George, his heir, and four daughters. His

1 Scots Magazine, May, 1764. MS. Pedigree of Young of Leny.

2 Riddell's MS. " Baronetage."
» Scots Magazine.

* John Hamilton of Newton is mentioned in Lockhart's "Memoirs" as the
person sent by the Jacobites in Scotland in 1708 to the Duke of Hamilton, then at
Ashton in Lancashire, with intelligence of the projected French invasion. He was the
ninth son of William Hamilton, writer in Edinburgh, afterwards of Wishaw, the well-
known antiquary. — " The Scots Peerage."

i Kiddell's MS. " Baronetage."

Glenbervie. 69

eldest daughter, Helen,' married William Copland of Colliston,
and had an only daughter, married to Sir William Rovve
Dunbar, Bart. His second daughter, Janet, married Dr.
William Tennent of Poole Castle, and died without issue,
nth December, 1821," at an advanced age, and Dr. Tennent's
property went to her nephew, Hamilton Tovey, who assumed
in consequence the additional arms and surname of Tennent.
Sir James's third daughter, Hamilton, married 12th March,
^77^, John Tovey, captain, 70th Regiment, afterwards captain
and adjutant of the Stirlingshire Militia, and died 19th
September, 1823, leaving, with other issue, a son, Hamilton (See
above), and a daughter, Helen, married to John Wright of
Broom, Stirlingshire, with issue.'' The fourth daughter of Sir
James, Mary, was married to the Rev. John Shaw of Kendal."

Sir James was succeeded by his only son. Sir George,
fourth baronet. The lands of Woodside were sold by the
trustees of Sir James Dunbar to John Strachan, " Armiger
de Woodside," who, in 1782, had a charter which was confirmed
under the Great Seal, 3rd February, 1783.

John Strachan of Woodside was born 22nd March, 175 1, and
was the only son of James Strachan, lieutenant, Royal Navy.
He was a Magistrate for Stirlingshire, and married, 7th May,
1777, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Hunter of Blackness, by
whom he had, with other issue, a son, John, who succeeded
him. In 1801 John Strachan sold Woodside, and was after-
wards designed of Cliffden, Tynemouth, Devon.

1 Scots Magazine.

"- Ibid.

' Two of their grandsons are still heritors in Dunipace— the Rev. P. A. Wright
Henderson, D.D., Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, of Stoneyend ; and Hamilton G .
Henderson, Esq., Snowdoun House, Stirling,— Greendyke,

* Douglas's "Baronage," and Riddell's MS. " Baronetage."

70 Glenbcrvic,

In 1828 Admiral Sir Richard Strachan, baronet/ died, and
the baronetcy of Strachan of Thornton remained dormant for
about thirteen years. In 1S41 John Strachan of Clififden
(formerly of Woodside), was served heir male in general of
Sir Alexander Strachan, the first baronet, and assumed the
title. He was then in his ninety-first year. He died at
Cliffden, 9th June, 1844, in the ninety-fourth year of his age.
Sir John Strachan was succeeded by his eldest and only
surviving son. Sir John Strachan, of Her Majesty's household,
who died without issue in January, 1854. The baronetcy
has since remained dormant."

There is a coat of arms with the bearings of Strachan of
Thornton over the coach-house door at Woodside (Glenbervie),
The date under the shield is 1758, which would imply that the
arms were removed from some other place. As noted above,
Sir John Strachan did not purchase the estate till 1782.

Sir John Strachan only retained the estate till 1801, in
which year he sold it to David Russell, merchant in Glasgow.


David Russell was born in May, 1747, and was the son of
James Russell, Commissary Clerk and Bailie of the Regality of
Dunblane, by Marion Robertson, his wife. David was baptised

1 This is the Admiral satirised in the following lines :—

* " Chatham, impatient for the dawn,

Stood waiting for Sir Richard Strachan,
Sir Richard, longing to be at 'em,
Stood waiting for the Earl of Chatham."
" There are other renderings of the first line, but this is supposed to be the most
probable, and is said to have been coniirmed by Sir John Moore.

2 Cockayne's "Baronetage," Riddell's MS. "Baronetage," Rogers's " Memorials
of the Strachans," &c. Rogers does not appear to haye known of the purchase of
Woodside, Stirlingshire.

Glenbervie. 7^

23rd May, 1747, the witnesses being Alexander Drummond
of Balhaldies, Hugh Pearson of Kippenross, and Patrick Linton
of Pendreich.' David Russell was a partner in the well-known
firm of Stirling, Gordon & Co., Glasgow, founded about the
middle of the eighteenth century by James Somervell and
Provost Arthur Connell, under the title of Somervell, Connell &
Co., the name of Stirling, which was introduced into the firm in
1795, closely identifying the families of Stirling of Keir and
Kippendavie with this old house. David Russell of Woodside
married first Elizabeth M'Call, daughter of James M'Call of

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