The Forfeited: Dumfriesshire Lairds

The following landholders in Dumfriesshire were forfeited for their part in the Bothwell Rising of 1679…

It is worth noting just how few and how concentrated the Dumfriesshire lairds who joined the Rising were. Nearly all of them were from two parishes in Nithsdale.


1. Mr William Ferguson of Caitloch, Glencairn parish.
Ferguson played a significant role in support of John Welsh at Bothwell. He is often recorded as ‘of Ketloch’ or ‘Kaitloch’. The old keep at Caitloch was incorporated into a nineteenth-century house.

Map of Caitloch                   Aerial View of Caitloch

After Bothwell, Caitloch escaped capture and went into exile in Rotterdam. He was tried in absentia for treason and forfeited in 1680. For details of his trial see here. (CST, XI, 45-.64.)

He is also mentioned as forfeited in letter of 8 October, 1681. (Wodrow, History, III, 247-8.)

In 1690, he delivered a letter to the United Societies.

The garrison established at Caitloch in April, 1684, captured William Smith, who was summarily executed in 1685.


2. John Gibson of Auchencheyne, Glencairn parish.
John Gibson of Auchencheyne (or Auchenchain) is mentioned as forfeited in letter of 8 October, 1681. (Wodrow, History, III, 247-8.)

Map of Auchencheyne                 Aerial View of Auchencheyne


3. John Gibson, younger, of Ingleston, Glencairn parish.
‘[John] Gibson, younger of Ingliston’, i.e., Ingleston, is mentioned as forfeited in letter of 8 October, 1681. (Wodrow, History, III, 247-8.)

He was summarily executed at Lower Ingleston in 1685.

Map of Ingleston         Aerial View of Ingleston

Kilroy WoodsKilroy

4. Robert Smith of Kilroy, Dunscore parish.
‘[Robert] Smith of Kilroy’, aka, ‘Kilroch’, is mentioned as forfeited in letter of 8 October, 1681. (Wodrow, History, III, 248.)

Map of Kilroy            Street View of Kilroy

Smith was later apprehended and in 1684 confessed to various plots involving the Society people.

Dalgonar DunscoreDalgonar above the Kirk of Dunscore

5. ‘———-’ Grier[son?] of Dalgonar, Dunscore parish.
‘Grier of Dalgoner’ is mentioned as forfeited in letter of 8 October, 1681, but no first name is given. (Wodrow, History, III, 247-8.)

Map of Dalgonar           Aerial View of Dalgonar

6. Samuel Grierson of Dalgonar, Dunscore parish.
‘Samuel Grierson of Dalgonar’ was forfeited 11 December, 1682. At the time of his forfeiture, he was deceased. (Wodrow, History, III, 413.)

Map of Dalgonar

The walled garden at Dalgonar is usually open on 22 June.

7. William Grierson of Lochwharre, Glencairn or Keir parish.
‘William Grierson of Lochquhare’ was forfeited on 11 December, 1682. Wodrow records him as ‘of Kolchwher’, which is plainly a typographic error, and others as Lochquhurr, Lochchir or Lochurr. (Wodrow, History, III, 413.)

The ambiguous placename associated with him makes Grierson’s locality hard to identify. Some have identified him as of Lochurr, a farm in Glencairn parish.

Map of Lochurr

However, there is a Lochwharre in Keir parish, which accords with the placename associated with him.

Map of Lochwharre               Aerial View of Lochwharre

Grierson of Lochwharre was badly wounded when he was rescued at Enterkin Pass in 1684. His brother, Alexander, and nephew, James, collected him after the rescue. He was later recaptured.

Three other Nithsdale men were later forfeited and executed for their part in Grierson’s rescue at Enterkin. They were Thomas Harkness in Closeburn parish and Samuel MacEwen in Glencairn parish, who were both executed on 15 August, 1684, and Thomas Wood in Kirkmichael parish, who was executed on 9 December, 1684.

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

~ by drmarkjardine on July 16, 2014.

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