The Forfeited: The Lairds of Wigtownshire

The following lairds from Wigtownshire were forfeited for their part in the Presbyterian rising of 1679. Most were forfeited and condemned to death in absentia.

Covenanters Before Battle

1. William Gordon of Culvennan, Kirkcowan parish.
‘William Gordon of Culvennan’ (d.1703) was forfeited in late February, 1680. For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 45-64.

Map of Culvennan                Aerial View of West Culvennan

His lands were given to Colonel James Douglas, the brother of Queensberry. (RPS, 1681/7/159.)

Culvennan’s forfeited estate comprised lands in both Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire:

‘all and whole the fifty shilling land of Shinantoun and Marle, the three merk land of Culvennan, the merk land of Monckibert, the merk land of Mackbean, the merk land of Barfads; and likewise, of all and whole the four pound land of Loch Maberry, comprehending therein the lands of Palve, Dirloskane, Over and Nether Tainelogies, […] all and whole the lands of Trosharie Stewart, and twenty shilling land of Little Trosharie, […] lying within the parish of Kirkcowan […] as also, of all and whole the lands of Skeith, Carseduchan, Drumnescat, Derry and Clantibuies, extending to a […] merk land of old extent, […] lying within the parish of Mochrum [in Wigtownshire …] and likewise, of all and whole the lands of Auchenfad, extending to a five merk land of old extent, and of all and whole the mill called the mill of Kirkcornock, […] and of all and whole that croft called the Mill Croft of Kirkcornock, and all and whole these eight acres of arable land or thereby,[…] all lying within the parish of Dundrennan and stewartry of Kirkcudbright; and all and whole the two merk land of Auchencairn, [in Rerrick parish] lying within the said stewartry of Kirkcudbright’ (RPS, 1681/7/159.)

Like other forfeited lairds, Culvennan came to an accommodation with the authorities. ‘William Gordon of Culvennan’ and his wife, Janet Gordon, both appear on the parish list of October, 1684, under ‘Shanaton’, now Shennanton, but not as nonconformists. (Wigtownshire Parish Lists.)

Map of Shennanton

His servant,‘William Macjarrow, servant to Culvennan’, appears on the published Fugitive Roll of May, 1684. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 214.)

His forfeiture was reversed in 1690.

CraiglawCraighlaw

2. James Gordon, younger of Craiglaw, Kirkcowan parish.
‘James Gordon, of Craichie, younger’ [aka. of Craiglaw, Craishley or Craichlaw] was forfeited in late February, 1680. For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 45-64.

Gordon and his father, James Gordon of Craiglaw, held at Craiglaw Tower, aka. Craighlaw Tower. His father, the laird, was later appointed a commissioner of supply for Wigtownshire under James VII in May. 1685. (RPS, 1685/4/33.)

Young Craiglaw’s lands were gifted to three English officers, including Colonel Ogilthorpe, against whom he petitioned in 1690. (RPS, 1690/4/105.)

Map of Craiglaw                    Aerial View of Craiglaw

In a letter of 15 March, 1682, John Graham of Claverhouse notes that ‘Old Craickley came yesterday [to Wigtown] and got a safe conduct for his son, [young Craiglaw,] and another heritor called Magie, that has not yet been heard of.’ (Napier, Memorials of Viscount Dundee, II, 268.)

Having made his peace with the authorities, Craiglaw, younger, does not appear on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684. However, three tenants of old Craiglaw do appear: ‘James Macyacky, in Kenmuir [now Kenmure]’, ‘John Mackilhaffy, in Craichley’s Land’ and ‘James Macyacky, there [in Craichley’s Land]’ (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 214.)

Margaret Chalmers, the wife of young Craiglaw’s brother, David, in Barnearnie, and David’s servant, Agnes Bryan, were both listed as constant withdrawers from the church in the parish list of October, 1684. (Wigtownshire Parish Lists.)

Map of Barnearnie

Young Craiglaw’s forfeiture was reversed in 1690. He was still alive in 1704.

DrumbuieRuins of Drumbuie © David Baird and licensed for reuse.

3. Alexander Mackie of Drumbuie, Kirkcowan parish.
In a letter of 5 March, 1682, Claverhouse notes that ‘Old Craickley cam yesterday [to Wigtown] and got a saif conduct for his son, [young Craiglaw,] and an other heritor called Makgie, that has not yet been heard of.’ (SHS, Miscellany XI, 177. See also Napier, Memorials of Viscount Dundee, II, 268.)

Given the close proximity of Drumbuie to Craiglaw and the evidence that Drumbuie was seen with young Craiglaw during the rising in 1679, it is likely that the ‘Makgie’ that Claverhouse referred to was Mackie of Drumbuie. (CST, XI, 941-2.)

Map of former site of Drumbuie           Aerial View of former site of Drumbuie

A few days later, on 13 March, Claverhouse wrote from Stranraer that ‘I sent out a pairty with my tutor, Labe, three nights agoe. The first night [i.e., of 10 March] he teuk [Mackie of] Drumbui, and on[e] [Robert] Mkclellen [of Barscube], and that great villain [John] MkClorg, the smith of Menegaff, that made all the clikys [i.e., crooked blades on pikes], and after whom the forces has troted so often; it cost me both paines and mony [i.e., bribes] to knou hou to fynd him. I am resolved to hang him, for it is necessary I make an example of severity least rebellion be thoght cheap here. There can not be alyve a mor wiked fellou.’ (SHS, Miscellany XI, 179. See also Napier, Memorials of Viscount Dundee, II, 270.)

Claverhouse did not execute John McClurg. He sent him on to Edinburgh where, in April, he was awaiting his fate with one ‘Robert N——–’. He appears to have escaped from prison and is later said to have been involved in the killing of an intelligencers in Dalry parish in 1685. (Wodrow, History, III, 410-12.)

Although forfeited and ordered to be hanged on 28 April, Barscube was not executed after he promised to be of use to the authorities in pacifying militant dissent: ‘Barscob is very penitent, and offers if he could gate a remmission he would be active and usfull to me [i.e., Claverhouse] in thr business of the Glenkens.’ (Letter of Claverhouse to Queensberry, 1 April, 1682., SHS, Miscellany XI, 181.)

In December 1682, Barscobe gave evidence against his fellow Galloway lairds at a treason trial. (CST, XI, 939.)

‘Alexander Mackie of Drumbowie’, aka. Drumbuie, was forfeited after that trial on the 18 December, 1682. For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 909-45.

Wodrow refers to him as ‘M’Kie of Drumbuy’. Mackie was a prisoner when he was forfeited. Although sentenced to death, Claverhouse immediately requested that mercy be shown to him and he was not executed. Mackie also offered to Test and threw himself on the mercy of the court. He was later released. (CST, XI, 941-2; Wodrow, History, III, 413; Napier, Memorials of Viscount Dundee, II, 270n.)

He appears on the parish list of October, 1684, under ‘Drumbowy’ as ‘Alexr McKie’ a conforming parishioner. (Wigtownshire Parish Lists.)

His forfeiture was reversed in 1690.

CulquhasenCulquhasen © Andy Farrington and licensed for reuse.

4. Alexander Hunter of Culquhasen, Glenluce parish.
Alexander Hunter of Culquhasen was forfeited on 18 December, 1682. (CST, XI, 909-.) Wodrow refers to him as ‘of Colwhassen’. (Wodrow, History, III, 413.)

Map of Culquhasen              Aerial View of Culquhasen

For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 909-45.

He appears on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684 as ‘Alexander Hunter, of Culwhassen’. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 214.)

His forfeiture was reversed in 1690.

AiryollandAiryolland

5. ‘———-’ Hay of Airyolland, Mochrum parish.
[Alexander?] Hay of Arriallane’, aka. of Airyolland or Airrieolland, was forfeited on 18 December, 1682. For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 909-45.

Wodrow refers to him as either ‘of Orroland’, or ‘of Arrioland’. (Wodrow, History, III, 413.)

Map of Airyolland            Aerial View of Airyolland

‘Alexander Hay, of Aryalland’ and his brother ‘Mr William Hay, brother to the laird of Aryalland’ both appear on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684. (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 214.)

In the parish list submitted by the minister of October, 1684, Margaret Gordon, ‘liferentrix of Ariulland’, her daughter, Margaret Hay, and her maidservant, ‘Janet Connen’, are all listed as ‘disorderly’.

Also listed as disorderly are John Kincaid in Chilcarroch, his wife, Janet Dun, and her mother Jean Hannay.

Map of Chilcarroch               Street View of Chilcarroch

Also listed are John Stewart and his wife, Sarah Milliken, in Airriequhillart. (Wigtownshire parish lists)

Map of Airrliequhillart           Street View of Airrliequhillart

The disorderly people in Mochrum parish would have been sought out by government forces at the same time as one of the Wigtown Martyrs, Margaret McLachlan, who lived at Drumjargon in the neighbouring parish of Kirkinner. She, too, was listed as disorderly. (Wigtownshire parish lists)

Map of Drumjargon            Street View of Drumjargon

Also sought at the same time would have been two recently declared fugitives, ‘John McGuffock with his wife Janet McGouan’ in Mochrum parish. (Wigtownshire parish lists)

Airyolland’s forfeiture was reversed in 1690.

6. Andrew Martin of Little Airies, Kirkinner parish.
‘Andrew Martin of Little Airies’ was forfeited on 18 December, 1682. For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 909-45.

Wodrow refers to him as ‘of Little Ellies’. (Wodrow, History, III, 413.)

Map of Little Airies        Street View of Little Airies

He appears on the published Fugitive Roll of 1684 as ‘Andrew Martin, of Little Aries, forfeited.’ (Jardine, ‘United Societies’, II, 214.)

He was married to Margaret Kennedy. She appears on the parish list of 15 October, 1684, under Little Aries and is marked as ‘disorderly’, i.e., she did not attend church.

According to the session book of Kirkinner parish of 1711:

‘Andrew Martin of Little Airies about the year 1679 was declared rebel for going to Bothwell, was forfeited, his house frequently plundered, his corns eaten up by Dragoons and their horses, his wife Margaret Kennedy who remained in his house for some years after the forfeiture was necessitat to forbear manureing the ground in regard that the product was still ane errand to the soldiers to come there. She could preserve no stocks save some few sheep for want of fodder. There was no way left to the said Margaret Kennedy to support herself and children but by improving the wool and milk of the sheep which was all they had to subsist on for the space of – years. But she refusing to take the oath of abjuration and other oaths then so generaly imposed on men and women in their bounds threw the malice and cruelty of them that were in public places, was taken prisoner and threw providence escaping was oblidged to abscond herself in regard there was much searching for her and several oaths taken about her in order to gett her again apprehended. So that she was oblidged to flee from both husband and children, her house being wast for several years turned ruinous, her sheep were all carried away, killed and eaten by the Earle of Hume’s regiment [in the summer of 1685]. The search after this was so accurat that many hundreds of oaths were taken anent the said Andrew and his spouse so that they were oblidged to more closs hideing until King James’s Toleration.’

His forfeiture was reversed in 1690. He died in 1711 and his son, John, inherited the estate.

Martin was a neighbour of Alexander Gordon of Kilsture, a prominent member of the Society people.

7. Patrick MacDougall of Freugh, Stoneykirk parish.
‘Patrick MacDougall of Freuch’, or Freugh, was forfeited on 18 February, 1680. For the documents from his trial, see Complete State Trials, XI, 45-64.

He was mentioned as forfeited in letter of 8 October, 1681. (Wodrow, History, III, 248.)

Map of Freugh

MacDougall also held extensive lands in Kirkcowan parish. His lands were given to John Graham of Claverhouse. (RPS, 1681/7/129.)

MacDougall’s forfeited estate consisted of ‘all and whole the lands of Galdenoch, now called Freugh, extending to an eight merk land of old extent, […] lying in the parish of Stoneykirk and sheriffdom of Wigtown.’

From other superiors he also held ‘the lands of Balgreggan, with the corn mill thereof, and the lands of Kelynes, the lands of Flott, the lands of Culmore, the lands of Mye, and the lands of Coriecrosh, lying within the parish of [Stoneykirk]’. [And] that croft of land called St Katherine’s Croft, adjacent to the Kirk of Kirkmaiden, [Kirkmaiden parish] the lands of Kirkmagill [Stoneykirk parish], […] which pertained of before to the said Patrick MacDougall’.

In Kirkcowan parish he held ‘the lands of Ardenmord, Urrall, Kilquhockadale and Carseriggan, extending to a ten pound land of old extent, […] lying in the parish of Kirkcowan […]which lands and others foresaid pertained heritably of before to Patrick MacDougall, sometime of Freugh, […]’

And from other feudal superiors he also held other lands in the same parish: ‘the lands of Loch Ronald, comprehending therein the Mains of Loch Ronald, the lands of Fell, the lands of Balminnoch, the lands of Mark, the lands of Halfemerk, the lands of Over and Nether Airies, with the mill of Ettrick, extending to a ten pound land or thereby, lying within the parish of [Kirkcowan]; [… And] the lands of Craig, the lands of King [aka. Ring] and Burnemerk, lying within the parish of [Kirkcowan]’

In addition he also held ‘the two merk and forty penny land of Knockinthrosk, […] the forty penny land of Drumarroll, […] that parcel of land of Drumfad possessed by George Baird, being a part of the three merk land of Drumfad, […] lying within the parish of Stoneykirk’, […] ‘the lands of Ettrick and Balgouen; […] the lands of Culmark, Culgrange and Duchra, the lands of Carseriggan, the kirk lands of Toskartoun and Cairneheggles, […] lying within the parishes of […] and sheriffdoms of […];’

His forfeiture was reversed in 1690.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to or retweet this post, but do not reblog without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

~ by drmarkjardine on November 23, 2013.

One Response to “The Forfeited: The Lairds of Wigtownshire”

  1. […] For the forfeited Wigtownshire Lairds, see here. […]

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