John Charles Gibson.

Lands and lairds of Larbert and Dunipace parishes online

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Scotia, 30th May, 1625, and received a grant of land which
Sir William Alexander of Menstrie (afterwards Earl of
Stirling), the locuui tenens, resigned.

These lands were erected into the barony of Livingstone-
Dunipace. During the last few years of his life, Sir David
must have lost most of his property, as his son inherited
nothing from him, and does not appear to have assumed the

In 1630 there is a charter to Mr. Alexander Livingstone,
advocate, who evidently held a " wadset " over the lands,
and we find, when the estate was sold in 1634, that Adam
Livingstone, brother-german to Mr. Alexander Livingstone,
advocate, resigned the lands."

Sir David married Barbara Forrester, sister to Sir James
Forrester of Garden, and had a son, John, who succeeded
him, and two daughters, Margaret and Anna. Sir David died
in Scotland about 1634 while employed in the King's palace."

VI. — Sir John, sixth of Dunipace, married Annabella
Young, succeeded his father in 1634, and that same year
sold the estate to Sir Robert Spottisvvoode. He is said to
have had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married David Barclay

» Acts of Pari, of Scot, and P.C. Register.

2 Mr. Alexander Livingstone, advocate, and his brother, Adam, were both sons of
a Mr. Alexander Livingstone, advocate, son of Duncan Livingstone, Burgess of
Edinburgh.— Edin. Com. and Burgess Roll.

' Biddell's MS. " Baronetage."

Dunipace. 97

of Mathers, who was obliged to sell his estate in consequence
of having become surety for the debts of the Livingstone


Sir Robert Spottiswoode had a Crown charter of the
barony of Dunipace from Charles I. on 19th July, 1634. Sir
Robert" was the second son of John Spottiswoode, Archbishop
of St. Andrews, Chancellor of Scotland, and Rachael, daughter
of David Lindsay, Bishop of Ross, of the family of Edzell.
The Archbishop, who had the honour of crowning Charles I.,
became the representative of the ancient family of Spottis-
woode of that ilk on the death of his relative, John Spottis-
woode of that ilk, who sold the estate of Spottiswoode about
1624. This John, whose line failed, had an unlucky taste
for violent excitement, resulting in one instance in the murder
of Matthew Sinclair, brother to Robert Sinclair, laird of
Longformacus, in 1606. A blood feud ensued between these
neighbouring Border families, and was only ended by the
intervention of James VI., through his Privy Council. The
Privy Council Records in relating what happened, throw
much light on these " old unhappy far-off times." In the
turning of the wheel of fortune we shall see that a descendant
of John Sinclair, brother to the murdered Matthew, became
laird of Dunipace."

Sir Robert Spottiswoode of Dunipace was born in 1596, and
had a most distinguished career. He was educated at Glasgow

1 Playfair's " Baronetage."

= Genealogy of the family of Spottiswoode, from the MS. Collection of Father
Augustine Hay (privately printed) ; also Dictionary of National Biography, and
Memoirs prefixed to " Spotiswoode's Practicks."

^ See Note C in Appendix.


98 Dunipace.

University' and at Exeter College, Oxford, and later on he
studied in France. He remained abroad for nine years. He
was made a Privy Councillor in 1620, and an Extraordinary
Lord of Session in 162 1. He first took the title of Lord New
Abbey, from lands which had been presented to him by his
father, but after acquiring the estate of Dunipace, he assumed
the title of Lord Dunipace. This was the second time this
estate had supplied a title to a Lord of Session. In 1633 he was
made President of the College of Justice and Secretary for
Scotland. He was one of the most accomplished and cultured
men of the time, his skill in languages being specially remarkable.
He was a loyal supporter of Charles I., and was taken prisoner at
the battle of Philiphaugh in 1645, was tried at St. Andrews, and
on some trivial pretext was condemned to death — the noblemen
who presided taking care to state that they signed his death
warrant " as Preses," ..." but not as to their particular
judgment." Sir Robert" was executed by the " Maiden " on 6th
January, 1646. He married Bethia, eldest daughter of Sir
Alexander Morison of Prestongrange, and had several children.'
Sir Robert sold Dunipace two years before his execution.

On i8th December, 1643, there is confirmation of a
charter of Dunipace to Mr. James Aikenhead, advocate,
in which Sir Robert Spottiswoode resigns the lands. Mr.
James Aikenhead, on 23rd July, 1646, resigns the lands in

1 On 13th February, 1631, Sir Robert Spottiswoode subscribed 200 merks to the
building of the College aad Library of Glasgow.— Mun. Dniv. Glas., Vol. III., p. 469.

'- His nephew, John Spottiswoode, the only son of his elder brother, John
Spottiswoode of Dairsie, was also executed for his loyalty, " in the flower of his youth."
He was admitted to present a last address to the great Marquis of Montrose just
before that nobleman went to the scaffold.

' His grandson, John Spottiswoode, bought baxjk the ancient barony of Spottis-
woode in 1700.


Dunipace. 99

favour of James, Earl of Callendar. The Earl of Callendar
had no family, but his niece, ELEANOR LIVINGSTONE, daughter
of Alexander, second Earl of Linlithgow, was married to Sir
Thomas Nicolson, second baronet of Carnock, whose son.
Sir Thomas, third baronet, was served heir to him in the lands
of Carnock, Plean, and Dunipace, in 1664.' On 5th May, 1665,
William Murray, second son" of Patrick, late Lord Elibank,
had a charter under the Great Seal of the barony of Dunipace,
in which Sir Thomas Nicolson of Carnock, Knight Baronet,
resigns the lands. William Murray was a Commissioner of
Supply for the County of Stirling. He sold the estate to Sir
Archibald Primrose of Dalmeny, Baronet, in 1677.


The estate of Dunipace was purchased by Sir Archibald
Primrose, Bart, of Dalmeny, who had a charter under the Great
Seal, dated 27th July, 1677. He was then Lord Justice General
of Scotland. He was the son of James Primrose," Clerk of the
Privy Council, by his second wife, Catherine Lawson, daughter
of Richard Lawson, burgess of Edinburgh.* Sir Archibald
succeeded his father as Clerk of the Privy Council of Scotland in
1641.° An enthusiastic royalist, after the battle of Kilsyth
he joined the Marquis of Montrose, and was taken prisoner at

> Inq. Spec. The Nicolsons were never designed of Dimipace,

" Gen. Reg. of Sasines, XII., 120.

= The following extract from the Register of the Privy Council is curious and
interesting:— "March, 1626— License by the Lords of Council to James Primrose,
Clerk of Secret Council, Mr. Gilbert Primrose, his eldest son, Gilbert Gourlay of
Wester Grange, Mr. Thomas Young of Leny, and such as shall accompany any of them
at table to eat flesh during Lent and upon all other forbidden days for the space of a

4 See Note D in Appendix,

« Crawfurd's " Peerage," Bishop Burnet's " History of His Own Times," &c.

hata^ aam t£ Gso^ge, fitt Ead Mamrfcal, fcgr 1b aeooai
wife; mMSKtt. iliiij^li of dK fifih Laid OfepbK of .^klk^


of Cofata) br 1
baidbii^ Bart, irf SteRaoaa.
DaiBBByr -wiihri Mb estate of
eidest db^^tei; Ladr Fa«s «


:f Us


» 1^ to&^

I02 Dunipace.

with the Primrose family.* Sir John has an entry in his
Account Book in December 1671 "to the Herald painter in
pt. paymt for my armes — £2 los. od." The Account Book of
Sir John Fouh's enables us to read the biography of the family
between the lines, and shows us the life of more than 200 years
ago vividly going on before us. This was a great find for
antiquaries and genealogists, and it is a pity more of such books
have not been preserved. The birth of the eldest son of
Sir John Foulis and Margaret Primrose is thus recorded in
the Account Book : —

" Archibald, thair Eldest Sone, was borne on ye 28 day of julij,
1663, being tuesday, att twa houris in the eftirnoon.

Witnesses to the baptism— S"^ Archbald Prymrois of Chester,
knyght, Lord Register, George foulis of Raevelstoun, my
lord Colintoun on of the senators of the colledge of Justice,
ye laird of hermistoun &c. he was named Primrose (by
S'' ard his guids'') of Dunipace ; he died after thre zeirs
travell in france and Italie at Prague, April 1684, w' great
reput and love of all."

We learn from the Account Book that Sir John Foulis and
his father-in-law. Sir Archibald Primrose were golfers : —

" 13th, April 1672, to the boy y* caried my
clubs when my Lord Regr and Newbyth was
at the Links, o o 4"

There are many entries showing that Sir John was an ardent
player, and that he frequently lost money at the game. He also
encouraged his son and young relatives to play, for after the
following entry: —

" loth July, 1672. for a bible to archie, 280"

1 " Scottish Arms."

Dunipace. 103

Archie being then nine years of age, there follows : —

"9th August, for 4 golfe balls to ye Archies,' ... o 13 4"

and on —

" 7th December, for a golfe club to Archie, ... o 6 o"

Archie was a great favourite and was constantly getting
something : —

"6th January, 1673. for Isops fables in Scots to

Archie, w' the Cuts, i 7 o"

Before going to the Continent we find Archibald paid a
visit to London by the following entry: —

" 24th March, 1681. for a little horse to my sone

ar to ryde to London and oyr charges, ... 48 o o"

Archibald died before entering on the management of the
estate, and was succeeded by his brother, George, whose retour
is dated isth April, 1685, During the minority of his sons. Sir
John Foulis took over the management of the estate, and we
find numerous entries in the Account Book showing what was
going on. We learn that there was a reader or chaplain at
Dunipace. One curious entry, 2nd August, 16S0, tells that
the gardener came from Dunipace " about ye militia pistols
and hat." Fruit was sent to Ravelston from Dunipace, and
arrangements made for carrying letters between the properties.

1 Probably his son, Archie, and his young brother-in-law, Archibald PrimroBe,
afterwards first Earl of Rosebery, then eleven years old.

104 Dunipace.

Archibald gets money when he goes to Dunipace. The
following entry occurs on the 26th May, 1681 : —

"to Hew jack, sklaiter in dennie w"" I agreed

w* him for pointing the house of dunipace, 070"

"27th May, 1681. to Jo" broune of seabogs
man for being clerk W I held court at
dunipace, 2 18 o"

" 2Sth May. to ye gardiner at dunipace for eall,
eggs, brandie, winegar, bread oat & wheat
candle coalls, 3 3 o"

" to his wife for some curds & whey butter &

making beds and puting on fyres, i 15 o"

George Foulis Primrose, of Dunipace, who succeeded his
brother Archibald, was born 27th April, 1667. In 16S7 he paid
a visit to London, and his father's chaplain seems to have gone
with him and kept a note of his expenses.' There are many
curious entries. He appears to have met Claverhouse' on the
route north, as under date

" 2ist Nov., 1687. I*— for dyet night before cleverhous cam up "
" 25th Nov. P— to the lady devers for lace "

George Foulis Primrose married, 3rd April, 169 1, Janet Cunning-
hame, daughter of Sir John Cunninghame, Bart, of Caprington,
by his wife, Margaret, daughter of John Murray of Touchadam
and Polmaise, and by her had Archibald, his heir, John, who

> " Scottish Antiquary."

- George Primrose's aunt was Lady Carnegie of Pitarrow. The Carnegies were
relations of Claverhouse. On 5th JIarch, 1696, Sir John Foulis enters :—

" Spent at dalmenie wt Alexander Gibsone after the \'iscountess of Dundee's

burial, 1. 1. Od."

(Alexander Gibson of Durie was married in September, 1690, to Elizabeth Foulis,
second daughter of sir John Fuiilis of Ravelston).

Dunipacc. loS

retained the name of Foulis, and several daughters. The entries
from Sir John Foulis's Account Book show that a busy, bright,
genial life was led at Dunipace, the best of terms being kept up
with relations and friends, there being a constant coming and
going between Edinburgh and Dunipace. Much was done for
the good of the estate. Planting was carried on extensively,
Sir John Foulis sending large numbers of both fruit and forest
trees there.'

There is an entry for money given to Margaret Foulis,
Sir John's fourth daughter, when she went on a long visit to her
brother, George, at Dunipace, in 1695. More money is sent to
her later on, as her visit was unduly prolonged owing to an
interesting incident, which the notebook reveals. We find she
had captivated the heart of a neighbouring laird, and relative of
her own, John Glas of Sauchie. The following matter-of-fact
entries allow us to read the romance underneath : —

"June 17th 1695. Spent w' S'' Ja Justice
Sauchie and his freinds at closing his and
mar's contract 3 4 o"^

"21st. Spent wt Sauchie and his freinds, etc.,
at signing my doughter mar*'' contract of
marriage 6 15 o"

" 22nd. to ye precentor at Corstorphin to pro-

claime Sauchie & margaret 2 iS o"

"29th. Sent to my doughter mar* to dunipace, 58 o o"

" July 3- to my wife and douchter Jean yister-
day and this day to depurss for margaret's
brydell cloathes and other necessars for her 666 14 3"

> See Mr. Uarvie-Brown's "Remarkable Trees in Scotland," "Large Trees upon
the estate of Dunipace."
2 Scots money.

io6 Dunipace.

They were married at Dunipace on 4th July, 1695, and on that
day the entry is : —

" Spent w' . . . drinking ye good-luck to

Sauchie' & mar' on ther mariage night ... 13 10 6"

On the 27th of that month there is an entry : —

" to Sauchie for meg 333 6 8"

In the following month we find Sir John Foulis visiting
at Dunipace and Sauchie, and we learn what he paid for " toyes
to ye bairns " [at Dunipace], what it cost him in " drinkmonie,"
and what he lost at cards, &c. The names of George Primrose,
and later on of his son, Archibald, occur in the list of subscribers
to books then being published. The birth of this son, Archibald,
is noted in the Account Book under date 21st February, 1693,
when the "gardinar at Dunipace" received a gratuity of 14s.
for bringing the news, and there is an entry in the last year
of Sir John's life about his grandson : —

"7th March, 1707. to W" douglas to pay m^
berrie for a stafe and inkhoms to dunipace's
sone archibald 4 16 o"

Evidently the boy's education was going on in Edinburgh.
There was another son, John, and there were several daughters.
From the following entry we learn that George Foulis Primrose
died 8th April, 1707.

" loth April, to wm foulis to give to ye lady
dunipace 20 guinies, her husband died 8
about 3 afternoon 284 o o"

> This marriage accounts for the coat of arms on the old dovecot at Sauchie
(c. 1700), alluded to by Mr. Fleming in his "Ancient Castles and Mansions," &c. The
arms aie those of Glas of Sauchie, and the initials J, G. (John Glas), M, F. (Margaret

Dunipace. 107

" I2th April, to wm. douglas to buy a stick of

black wax and a quair of mourning paper ... o 14 6"

"21st April, to sauchie to take west to my

doughter dunipace 35 10 o"

Sir John Foulis died 5th August, 1707, and was succeeded in
the baronetcy and estate of Ravelston by his grandson, Archi-
bald Foulis Primrose, a boy of fourteen, whose tragic career we
shall now try to follow.

Sir Archibald Foulis Primrose, Baronet, of Dunipace, suc-
ceeded his father in Dunipace in April, 1707, and his grandfather
in the baronetcy and estate of Ravelston in August, 1707. He
was then just fourteen years of age. He appears to have been
well educated, as will be seen from a letter later on. He lived at
Dunipace, and inherited his great-grandfather's' loyalty to the
House of Stewart." Judging from his portrait, he must have been
a handsome, refined-looking man. He married, first, Lady
Margaret Fleming,' eldest daughter and heiress of John, sixth
Earl of Wigton.* This nobleman was a determined Jacobite,
who had his own sufferings on account of the House of Stewart,
and no doubt fanned the flame in his son-in-law. Lady
Margaret Primrose died without leaving any children. Sir
Archibald married, secondly, 19th November, 1724, his relative,

1 Sir Archibald Primrose, Bart., of DfUmeny. See Chart in Appendix.

- Sir Archibald Foulis-Primrose was descended from the Royal Stewarts in many
lines, but the most direct was as follows:— His paternal grandfather, Sir John Foulis,
Bart., married Margaret Primrose, whose mother was Elizabeth Keith (See Chart and
Note B in Appendix), daughter of the Hon. Sir James Keith of Beuholm, eldest son of
the second marriage of George, fifth Earl Warischal, whose great-grandfather, Robert,
Lord Keith, married Lady Elizabeth Douglas, grand-daughter of James, first Earl of
Jlorton, by his wife, the Princess Joan, daughter of King James the First of Scotland
and Joan Beaufort.

a The arms of the Earl of Wigton are quartered with those of Primrose on the
front of the staircase of the old house of Boghall, Clydesdale.

♦ Douglas's " Peerage," Wood's Ed.

io8 Dunipace.

Lady Mary Primrose, daughter of Archibald, first Earl of
Rosebery,' by whom he had a son, Archibald, who died at the
age of ten or eleven, and ten daughters. Sir Archibald sold the
estate of Ravelston in 1726. He was admitted a member of the
Royal Company of Archers, sth June, 17 13, at which date he
was just twenty years old. His brother, John Foulis, was
admitted a member, 29th April, 1727." This Company was
sanctioned by the Privy Council in 1677. " Discovered at the
Revolution to be secretly dis-affected, their assembling was
dis-allowed," but they were reinstated in royal favour by Queen
Anne. In 1714, when the state of the Queen's health suggested
a further opportunity of abetting the exiled house, they met in
Parliament Square and made a great demonstration. Not a few
were in the '15. On loth June, 1732, there was another
demonstration, the majority of those who took part being all
but avowed Jacobites. " Among them were the Earl of Kil-
marnock and Sir Archibald Primrose of Dunipace, who, joining
Prince Charles Edward in 1745, were in the following year
convicted and executed as traitors. Another archer and ardent
Jacobite was Laurence Oliphant of Gask, father of Baroness
Nairne."" Sir Archibald joined in the rebellion of 1745. In
" Memoirs of the Rebellion," the Chevalier de Johnstone writes
on the night before the Battle of Falkirk, "The night was
so dark and the rain incessant we resolved to withdraw to
the mansion of Primrose of Dunipace, about a quarter of a

1 Archibald, first Earl of Rosebery, was the only son of the second marriage of
Sir Archibald Primrose of Dalmeny, with Agnes, daughter of Sir William Gray of
Pittendrum, and sister of William, Master of Gray. Sir W. Gray was also a staunch
Toyalist, and suSered by fine and imprisonment for Charles I. See Genealogical

» " Hist, of Royal Company of Archers," by Sir James B. Paul, Lyon King of

= See " Social Life in Scotland," by Charles Rogers, D.D., LL.O.

Dunipace. 109

league from Falkirk, having a crowd of Highlanders as guides,
who took the same road." Sir Archibald Primrose had a
commission in the rebel Hussars.' He is said to have guided
the Highlanders to the ford over the Carron at the Battle
of Falkirk. He was captured after Culloden near Aboyne
in July, 1746, first imprisoned in Aberdeen, thence sent to
Carlisle, where, being tried and convicted of high treason, he
was sentenced to death. Lady Mary Primrose, his wife, followed
him to Carlisle and remained with him till his execution.'^
During his imprisonment three of his children died. He was
executed on 15th November, 1746, exactly one hundred years
after his great-grandfather. Sir Archibald Primrose — found guilty
of high treason — had the good fortune to have his life spared.
Just before his execution he wrote the following letter' to his
sister, which came under cover of one from his lawyer, who was
with him to the last : —

November, 1746.
Mv Dear Sister,

I have endeavoured to take some small time, from a much more
immediate concern, to offer you a few lines and to let you know that this day
I am to suffer, I think, for my religion, my prince, and my country. For
each of these I wish I had a thousand lives to spend. The shortness of the
intimation will not allow me much time to write to you so fully in my vindi-
cation for what I did that I know concerns you. But I heartily repent of
the bad advice I got even from men of judgment and sense. And what I
did by their advice in my own opinion was no more than acknowledging I
bore arms against the present Government, for my lawful, undoubted prince,

1 " List of Persons Concerned in the Rebellion, 1745-6." Scottish History Society.
Preface by Lord Rosebery.

= It was said that a pardon was made out for Sir Archibald, but owing to a
mistalie of the Duke of Newcastle it was too late of arriving. No evidence of this. —
Foulis MSS., p. 23.

' This letter is copied from " The Lyon in Mourning," published by the Scottish
History Society.


my religion, and country ; and I thought by my plea to procure some time
longer life only to do service to my poor family, not doubting but yet in a
short time that glorious cause will succeed, which God of His infinite mercy
grant. I repent most heartily for what I did, and I merit this death as my
punishment, and I trust in the Almighty for mercy to my poor soul. As I have
very soon to leave this world, I pray God to forgive all my enemies, particu-
larly Mr. Gray,' who did me all the injury he could by suborning witnesses
and threatening some, which was my terror. Particularly there is one poor
man- to suffer with me that had an offer of his life to be an evidence against
me, which he rejected. Much more I could say, but as my time is short, I
now bid my last adieu to my dear mother, and you, my dear sister, and I
entreat you'll be kind to my dear wife and children, and may all the blessings
of heaven attend you all. Live together comfortably, and you may expect
God's favour. My grateful acknowledgments for all your favours done and
designed. Remember me kindly to my Lady Caithness,' Sauchie,* and his
sisters, and all my friends and acquaintances. May the Almighty grant you
all happiness here, and eternal bliss hereafter, to which bliss I trust in His
mercy soon to retire ; and am for ever, dear sister, your affectionate brother,

A P.
P.S.—Uy blessing to your dear boy, my son.

Copy of a Utter to the same lady which served as a copier to the above,
from Mr. James Wright, writer in Edinburgh : —


Your brother, who is no more, deliijered me this immediately
before he suffered. His behaviour was becoming a humble Christian. I
waited on him to the last, and with some other friends witnessed his inter-
ment in St. Cuthbert's Churchyard. He lies on the north side of the Church,
within four yards of the second window from the steeple. Mr. Gordon of

1 William Gray, commonly called Duntie Gray, foreman to Lord Shnalton (F).

= Patrick Keir, late wi-ight at Moultrie Hill, near Edinburgh (F).

= Lady Margaret Primrose, second daughter of Archibald, first Earl of Rosebery,
married Alexander, ninth Earl of Caithness.

» John Glas of Sauohie, cousin to Sir Archibald Primrose, and son of John Glas
of Sauchie and Margaret Foulis (See Chart).

Dunipace. m

Tersperse and Patrick Murray/ goldsmith, lie just by him. God Almighty
support his disconsolate widow and all his relations. I trust in his mercy
He will provide for the fatherless and the widow. I am just now going to
wait upon poor Lady Mary. — I am, Madam, yours, &c.,

Carlisle, 15th Nov., 1746,
4 o'clock afternoon.

The nobility of character, sensitive honour, piety, and deep
affection of the man, his power of attaching men to him, all
come out in this letter, which has the stamp of sincerity on
it. His anxiety and sorrow seemed to be lest he should be
thought to be recanting his opinion of the justice of the cause for
which he was about to suffer. As he says, all he meant by
pleading guilty was the fact that it was true he had borne arms
against the present Government. Dunipace' was, of course,
forfeited to the Crown. In the Scots Magazine, under date
November, 1746, it is stated "Eleven rebels were executed at
Carlisle on the isth November, namely. Sir Archibald Primrose
of Dunipace, Charles Gordon of Dalperse, Pat. Murray, goldsmith,
Stirling, Patrick Keir, wright, Edinburgh, &c. They all died
firm in the cause for which they suffered,"

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