Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

For those researching family in the three towns area.
hahaya2004
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Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

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No. 1 *

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 25th March 1854

[The words in square brackets are not part of the historical sketch.]

In introducing to our readers the historical notices of the town and parish of Kilwinning it may be necessary to explain the order to be observed in this and the succeeding sketches. It is proposed, in the first instance, to proceed with the earlier historical records of the town, and the antiquities and institutions more immediately associated with it, and afterwards to notice in their order the principal places, events, and persons connected with the more remote history of the parish, reserving the more modern history of the town, as well as that of the parish for the concluding articles.

Regarding the earlier civil history of Kilwinning, a certain scantiness of materials has to be complained of. The principal historical interest appears to have centred in the monastery. According to traditionary accounts, confirmed by the researches of historians, the name of the town was derived from St. Vinnin, a monk, who settled in the locality at sometime in the eighth century. A still earlier date has been assigned to his residence, as his death is said to have taken place in the year 640. That this etymology is highly probable seems to be borne out by the fact that while the festival of St Vinnin or Winnin was celebrated on the 21st January, O. S., an annual fair held on the 1st of February, still bears the name of Winning's Day. His name is also retained in St. Winning's Well, which, in accordance with the superstitious notions of the times, was once held in high esteem for its supposed efficacy in the cure of diseases. St. Winning is said to have come from Ireland, and the circumstances of his settlement at Kilwinning is thus stated in Pont's M.S., quoted in the Statistical account of the Parish: "Vinnin was a holy man wich came from Irland, with certaine of his discepells [disciples] and followers, and heir taught ye gospell; ye place of his residence still retaining ye name of Killvinnin, ye church or cell of Vinnin, unto quhome [whom], as to a notable sante [saint], ye superstitious posterity dedicated". Tradition records that on one occasion "when the river Garnock would not yield up any fish to one of his angling friends, the saint pronounced a malediction, on which the river left its bed, and followed another course adverse to nature".
The principal object of antiquity in the town is the ruins of the once famous monastery. Previous to the reformation it was noted as being one of the richest ecclesiastical establishments in Scotland. Considerable difficulty has been experienced in fixing the precise date of its erection owing to the loss of the chartulary; but the general opinion is that it was founded sometime in the twelfth century. The confusion of dates has also been considerably aggravated by the fact, that previous to the erection of the Abbey, a church or chapel stood on the same spot. Mention, however, is made of the monastery in conjunction with that of Fail, in the parish of Tarbolton, as not only being in existence, but also as enjoying a high reputation in the seventh century. But this early date is highly improbable, and the more so as the date usually assigned to the foundation of the monastery of Fail is 1252. As was to be expected, from the absence of all authentic documents bearing on the date of the erection, considerable difference of opinion also exists as to the person who founded the monastery. It is, however, generally ascribed to Hugh de Morville, Constable of Scotland, who lived in the time of Malcolm IV; and whose reign, according to the commonly received accounts, began in the year 1153 and ended in 1165. But in Pont's M.S., previously referred to, a somewhat later date, and different founder are given. The date is there stated as being 1191, and that "it was foundit by a noble Englich man, named Sir Richard Morwell, fugitive from his owne country for ye slaughter of Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, (being one of them,) in ye raine of King Henry II of England, quho flying into Scotland, was, by ye then Scots King (Malcolm IV) velcomed and honoured with ye office of grate constable of Scotland, as also inriched with ye Lordships of Cunninghame, Largis, and Lauderdaill, quhose posterity for divers generations possessed ye said office and lands. Now," he continues, "ye forsaid Richard being, as vald seime, touched with compunctione for ye safty of hes soule (according to ye custome of ye tymes), did found ye Abbey of Kilvinnin, in testimony of hes repentance; and first of all did bulde ye queir or cancell of ye said Abbey church, endowing it with divers lands, as namely ye 80 lib. land of Kilvinnin". It is likewise stated that "Avicia Lancaster, viffe of ye said Sir Richard, with consent of her said husband, dottes, in puram et perpetuam elomosinam, the land of Byith, Batth, and Treppewood to ye said monastery"; and that "Dorothea de Morville, daughter to ye said Sir Richard, and viffe to Philippus de Horssey, accomplished ye fabrick of ye said monastery, and hes sone, Dominus Valterus de Horssey, confirms to them ye same, and ye said foundatione, with ye donations and mortifications thereto belonging, is confirmed by Pope Honorius the 2nd Ano. 2do. Pontificatus sue. These donations and foundationes are also confirmed by King Alexander III".

["it was founded by a noble Englishman, called Sir Richard Morville, fugitive from his own country for the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, (being one of them) in the reign of King Henry II of England, who fleeing to Scotland, was, by the then Scots King (Malcolm IV) welcomed and honoured with the office of High Constable of Scotland, and also enriched with the Lordships of Cunninghame, Largs, and Lauderdale, whose descendants for several generations possessed the aforementioned office and lands. Now," he continues "the aforementioned Richard being, as it would seem, touched with compunction for the safety of his soul (according to the custom of the times), founded the Abbey of Kilwinning, as a sign of his repentance; and first of all built the choir or chancel of the said Abbey church, endowing it with several lands, the 80 lb land of Kilwinning being one of them". It is likewise stated that "Avicia Lancaster, wife of the said Sir Richard, with her husband's consent, endowed, in pure and perpetual alms, the land of Beith, Bath, and Threepwood to the monastery", and that Dorothea de Morville, daughter of the said Sir Richard, and wife of Philipp de Horssey, accomplished the fabric of the said monastery, and his son, Dominus Valterus de Horssey, confirms his support: and the said foundation, with the donations and mortifications belonging to it is confirmed by Pope Honorius II (in his second year as pontiff?) These donations and foundations are also confirmed by King Alexander III".

He further remarks that the same Sir Richard Morville, founder of the monastery, was interred in the new cemetery of the church in a tomb of limestone, but which bore neither superscription nor epitaph. Here a discrepancy of dates arises which it is no easy task to reconcile. That Richard de Morville, one of the murderers of Thomas à Becket, should come to Scotland, and not only be received at the Scottish court, but also raised to the high dignity of Constable of Scotland, is a circumstance in itself highly improbable. Besides it could not be in the reign of Malcolm IV for the death of that Monarch, as before stated, took place in 1165, while Becket is said to have been murdered in the year 1170. Again Pope Honorius II, who is said by Pont to have confirmed the foundation &c., died in the year 1130, which would place the date of the foundation about 23 years before the date of Malcolm's ascension of the Scottish throne, and about 40 years before the time when Becket is said to have been killed. The foundations &c., were likewise confirmed by Alexander III. Now that Monarch was killed, according to received accounts, by a fall from his horse in the year 1285. Were it then to be assumed that Pont has been misled as to the Pope Honorius, who granted the confirmation, and the last year of the reign of Alexander III, to be taken as the date of the foundation of the monastery, it would then be found to correspond with the first year of the Pontificate of Honorius IV, who, according to Mosheim, (vol. III, p. 184) ascended the papal throne in the year 1285, and died in 1287.
But the confirmation of King Alexander III, evidently refers to a period subsequent to that of the date of the foundation, and was no doubt given on some farther grants of land being made to the monks. To return again, however, to the de Morville family. That Pont was mistaken as to the particular member of that family, who founded the monastery is more than probable; but how he could be so, seeing that he was acquainted with the ancient records of the Abbey, and quotes from the original charter of de Morville to the monks, it might be difficult to explain. But that the Sir Richard Morville, to whom he attributes the foundation, did not come to Scotland, and atoned for his share in the murder of Thomas à Becket, in another way than that of founding the monastery of Kilwinning, does appear from Mosheim, for in Maclaine's note, appended to the accounts of that transaction, (vol. III, p. 60), it is stated, "that after the murder, the four assassins, Fitz-Urse, Tracy, Britton, and Morville, durst not return to the King's court, but retired at first to Knaresborough in Yorkshire, which belonged to Morville, from whence they repaired to Rome for absolution, and, being admitted to penance by (Pope) Alexander III, were sent, by the orders of that pontiff, to Jerusalem, and passed the remainder of their lives upon the Black Mountain, in the severest acts of austerity and mortification". But while Pont is clearly wrong as to the person of the founder, he is probably right as to the name. There certainly was a Richard de Morville, Constable of Scotland, and Lord of Cunninghame, son to Hugh de Morville, who lived in the reigns of David I, and Malcolm IV. That this Richard de Morville was alive in the year 1158 does appear from his name being appended, as one of the witnesses to a charter, granted by Malcolm IV, confirming the office of Lord High Steward of Scotland, and making it hereditary in the family of Walter, then High Steward. His name again appears in the register of Kelso Abbey, as confirming a donation of the patronage of the church of Kilmaurs, given by Robert, son of Vernebald of Cunninghame, to the monks of that Abbey. He died, according to Crawfurd, who quotes from the Chronicles of Melrose, in the year 1189, and was succeeded by his son William de Morville, who died in 1196, and who was the last of the male line of the Morville family. This Richard was in all probability the person who founded the monastery, Pont having been led to confound the two persons from the similarity of their names. This supposition is confirmed by the name of his wife, which is said to have been Avicia de Lancaster, the same, it will be observed, as that given by Pont to the wife of Sir Richard Morville. Another circumstance which may be stated in explanation is, that Richard de Morville, Constable of Scotland, was descended from the English family of the same name, for Hugh de Morville, father of Richard, is said to have been nephew to the Sir Richard Morville, to whom Pont refers. How this close relationship could be is not quite clear, especially when the great disparity between the ages of the two persons is considered. It is generally supposed, however, that the first member of the family came to Scotland along with Malcolm I, when that prince returned from his residence in England about the year 1057. Paterson says that "during the Reign of David I. (1124) Hugh de Morville, amongst others, came to Scotland, and besides being appointed High Constable, was endowed with vast grants of land".
Hugh de Morville is the first of the family of whom there is any historical notice. He appears to have lived in the reigns of Alexander I, David I, and Malcolm IV, and to have died in 1162. As was mentioned at the beginning of this article, he is generally supposed to have been the founder of the monastery of Kilwinning as well as that of Dryburgh. The various authorities who attribute the foundation to him say, that it took place in 1140, whilst Crawfurd asserts that it was in the reign of Malcolm IV, which shows that it could not be earlier than 1153, the first year of Malcolm's reign. His words are, "that Richard de Barclay their ancestor, (the Barclays of Ardrossan) is mentioned a witness in the foundation charter of the Abbey of Kilwinning, founded by Hugh de Morville, Constable of Scotland, in King Malcolm IV's time", but upon what authority he grounds his opinion he does not say. From the various authorities it may, however, be concluded with comparative certainty that the monastery owes its origin to one of the two mentioned members of the Scottish de Morville family.

To be continued

________________________________________
* The authorities quoted are, Crawford's "History of Renfrewshire", Robertson's "History of Cuninghame", "The Statistical Account of Scotland", Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History", Paterson's "Families of Ayrshire", Chamber's "Gazetteer", and other independent sources.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 2 *

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 20th May 1854

[The words in square brackets are not part of the historical sketch.]

In our former sketch of Kilwinning we endeavoured to discover the name of the founder, and the date of erection of the Abbey, but the discrepancy in the statements of the authorities cited, left both points open to serious objections, and showed that the ecclesiastical history of the town was enveloped in the almost impenetrable obscurity which alike hangs over the civil and ecclesiastical transactions of Scotland in the twelfth and preceding centuries.
The unaccountable disappearance of the original charters of the Abbey has in an especial degree deepened the darkness in which its early history is shrouded, and that unfortunate circumstance has at the same time rendered it a hopeless task ever to be able to fix with certainty the name of the founder or the precise year of the foundation. Whether these early records were involved in the destruction which overtook the building at the period of the Reformation has never been satisfactorily established; but the well-known zeal of the reformers, not only for the annihilation of the buildings devoted to the purposes of the papacy, but the inveterate desire to extinguish all memorials of the power and existence of the catholic hierarchy have strongly fortified the presumption that the charters were destroyed at that period. Tradition, however, avers that they were carried away by monks on the downfall of the authority of Rome, and that they are still preserved in some one of the Irish monasteries. This is very doubtful, and the more so, as like traditions are found to be current in other localities where the local records have been lost in a similar manner.
But although the precise time of the erection of the Abbey be thus uncertain, yet it is highly probable that Kilwinning was, so early as the seventh century, the seat of a thriving and noted christian church, and that the fame which it had acquired from the piety and austerity of the monks, and the reputed miraculous power of St. Vinnin led to the subsequent erection of a monastery on the same spot. Of this once famous establishment little now remains; but the ruins, while they fully attest the opulence and pious zeal of the founder, furnish unmistakable evidence of its being perhaps one of the most splendid and elaborate specimens of Italian art in Scotland. Timothy Pont who wrote about the end of the sixteenth century, and who had then an opportunity of viewing the buildings when almost entire says that: "The structure of this monastery wes solid and grate, all of freestone cutte; ye Church faire, and staitly, after ye modell of yat of Glasgow, with a faire steiple of 7 score foote of hight, zet standing where I my selve did see it."

["The structure of this monastery was solid and great, all cut of freestone; the church handsome, and imposing, after the model of that of Glasgow, with a handsome steeple 7 score foot high, still standing where I myself saw it."]

But this stately fabric was doomed to be rased[sic] to the ground. In 1560 the Estates of Scotland, inflammed[sic] by the indiscriminating zeal of the Reformers for the total extirpation of the power of Rome, and the eradication of the last vestiges of the abhorred church from off the soil of Scotland, passed an act, "for demolishing such Cloisters and Abbey churches as were not yet pulled down". In pursuance of this design the Earl of Glencairn was empowered to carry out the intentions of the act in the western Lowlands which he too faithfully and remorselessly accomplished. But earnestly as the work of destruction was carried on, a portion of the noble structure escaped the ravages of the destroyers. A part of the Abbey church, the steeple, the south gable of the transept, and part of the walls were left, and till recently stood as elegant and venerable memorials of its architectural magnificence. After the lapse of several years the ancient church underwent considerable repairs, preparatory to being converted into a place of worship for the parish. In that capacity it continued to be used till 1775, when it was taken down to make way for the present church. The steeple continued standing till 1814, when, under the influence of the slow but sure havoc of time, it fell in a mass. It was a ponderous square tower of ungainly dimensions, being 103 feet high, and 32 feet in breadth on each side. In the following year it was replaced by a more symmetrical structure. The new tower, although the same height as the old, has the advantage of being much more elegant in appearance, being only 28 feet square. Thus the only traces of the ancient fabric that now remain to arrest the attention of the antiquarian and awaken those solemn and undefinable emotions, which are ever excited by a contemplation of the venerable relics of antiquity – eloquent even in their ruined and chaotic granduer[sic] as typical of the departed glory of the past, are the gable of the transept and one of its beautifully proportionate arches – a fine specimen of a Saxon gateway – and several mouldering and dilapidated walls.
The monks who inhabited the monastery were a branch of the Cistercian order. This famous order, which attained to so much power and influence, was originally founded by Robert, Abbot of Moleme in Burgundy, in the early part of the eleventh century. The fame and sanctity of Robert soon brought it into high repute, and so rapidly did the number of its monasteries increase, that in a few years after its institution, it was located in almost every part of Europe. Its progress must indeed have been of the most unexampled description, for before the close of the eleventh century, it could boast of having 1800 abbeys, which acknowledged the rules and practised the discipline of its founder. The vast extent of its landed possession, and its growing power and popularity speedily placed it at the head of all the other monastic orders, over whom it exercised all the powers and privileges of spiritual supremacy. Its discipline was distinguished as of the most rigorous and stringent kind; and, in order to guard the purity of the monks from the seductive and corrupting influence of inordinate wealth, the practise of the most rigid austerities was strictly enjoined. But the severities of monastic restraint could not preserve the simplicity of monastic virtue. The enervating effects of opulence, and the gradual encroachment of luxury, soon led to a relaxation of its rules, and ultimately to a total disregard of the severe discipline established by its founder; and, accordingly, before the end of the eleventh century the degeneracy of the Cistercians, like the Benedictines, from whom they sprung, was as complete as their rise had been rapid. The low state of morals into which they had at that period sunk induced Bernard, abbot of Clarevale [Clairvaux], historically famous as the originator of the crusade, in the latter end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century to undertake their reformation. In this his efforts were partially successful, and a new order of reformed Cistercians arose, which was afterwards known by the title of Bernardins. The monks belonging to this latter order are supposed to have been first introduced into Scotland from Tyrone, in France, by David, Earl of Huntington. That Prince, afterwards David I., is said to have gone to France for the purpose of visiting St. Bernard, and to have brought over with him twelve monks and an abbot, in favour of whom he subsequently founded and endowed the Abbey of Kelso. From Kelso they were afterwards introduced to the Abbey of Kilwinning.
But whatever the sanctity of these famous monks may have been, they did not scruple to extend their influence and consolidate their power by the methods which the monastic orders then generally employed to impose upon the ignorance and credulity of the times. At that period every district had its patron saint, whose memory was revered in proportion to the magnitude of his reputed miraculous powers. The renown which Kilwinning had acquired as the scene of the pious labours of St. Vinnin, the occupants of the monastery were not slow in improving. In his lifetime he was celebrated for his command over the elements as well as being possessed of the valuable gift of curing all manner of diseases; and, such was the superstitious tendency of the times that it was devoutly believed he had impregnated the wells with which his name was associated, with the like precious and saintly virtues. This was particularly the case with St. Vinnin's Well, which was long an object of especial favour and superstitious veneration, on account of its supposed healing properties. Its popularity appears, however, to have been in some measure shared by another well in the parish of Holywood, which, having sprung up on the special intercession of St. Vinnin himself, was therefore supposed to be under his immediate care, and was, in consequence of those superior claims, regarded with mingled feelings of awe and esteem by the credulous. It accordingly enjoyed a high reputation which was maintained unimpaired till the latter part of the sixteenth century, from which period the belief in its curative efficacy seems to have gradually declined. But great and invaluable as the merits of these wells were, they appear to have been surpassed by another, possessing a characteristic as peculiarly its own, as it was rare and marvellous in its nature. That spring now known as Kyle's Well, situated in close proximity to the monastery, was believed to typically foretell approaching wars by emitting copious streams of blood, instead of water, for several consecutive days and nights. Whether it possessed that oracular property prior to the erection of the monastery is not recorded, but if it did not it appears at least to have acquired it either before its completion or very shortly after its location by the monks. The first occurrence of the kind mentioned took place in 1184, at which time, it is said, the purple stream ran continuously for eight days and nights. What impending calamity hung over the nation at that date is not stated, but for the information of the curious in those matters it may be mentioned that an invasion of Scotland, by Henry II. of England, was threatened in 1184. Be that, however, as it may, the occasional recurrence of the prodigy, and the respectability of the testimony by which it was successively supported, succeeded in gaining for it universal and unquestionable belief, After the demolition of the monastery the miraculous power ceased, and the whole matter came to be looked upon as one of those priestly fictions which the confiding ignorance of the people too readily accredited. But time and accident, while they conspired to bring about a solution of the mystery, vindicated the faith of the believers, confounded the doubters, and bore testimony to the ingenious and fertile minds of the monks. The circumstance which tended to clear up and authenticate the story is thus related in the Statistical Account of the parish: "In 1826, when the square or green to the west of the monastery was being levelled, the workmen came upon an old leaden pipe, about an inch in diameter, which ran from the walls of the building in the direction if a fine spring, now called Kyle's Well. This pipe had a considerable descent, and could not have been used for the purpose of drawing water from the well to the abbey. Through it, therefore, in all probability, blood, or some liquid resembling it, had been caused to flow into the fountain, and thus the credulity of the people was imposed upon by the appearance of a miracle, which served to enhance the fame of the monastery, and the power of its priesthood". This simple discovery of an old leaden pipe at once dissipated the preternatural glory with which ignorance and cunning had invested the occurrence – placed it beyond the region of the fabulous into the real, and supplied another proof that the impossible in nature may be the possible in art.

To be continued

________________________________________
* The authorities quoted are, Crawford's "History of Renfrewshire", Robertson's "History of Cuninghame", "The Statistical Account of Scotland", Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History", Paterson's "Families of Ayrshire", Chamber's "Gazetteer", and other independent sources.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 3 *

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 15th July 1854


One of the most remarkable features to be observed in the ecclesiastical history of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, is the commanding ascendency which the belief in the spiritual efficacy of monastery-founding gained over the minds of the people. Kings and nobles vied with each other in the pious emulation with which they strove to secure the "health of their souls", and increase the wealth of the church, through the lavish munificence of their benefactions in erecting and endowing Abbies[sic]. The consequence of all this was, that the whole race of monks rose into sudden and unexampled popularity, and spread over the soil of Scotland with the most amazing celerity. Foremost amongst the favoured recipients of this profuse liberality were the Bernardines, or Tyronenses monks, and no stronger proof of the firm hold, which they had then taken on the fanatical spirit of the times, can be given, than the simple fact, that, within the short space of sixty years from the date of their first entrance into the kingdom, they could boast of holding possession of six of the wealthiest, and not the least famous Abbies in the land. These were Kelso, founded by David I. about 1130; Lismahago [Lesmahago], founded by the same king in 1140; Aberbrothock, (Arbroath) founded by William the Lion in 1178; Lindors [Lindores], founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon in 1178; Tyvie[Fyvie], founded by Fergus, Earl of Buchan in 1179; And Kilwinning, founded by Hugh de Morville about 1140. But this rapid extension of the monastic orders was soon forcibly, although unintentionally arrested by the grasping ambition of the Roman Pontiffs, who, ever intent upon increasing their own power, successfully encroached upon the privileges of the founders, by claiming the superiority over, and the sole right of patronage to the abbies. This new stretch of the Papal prerogative operated, however, in a manner very different from that which was intended. Instead of new monasteries rising up as heretofore, they almost entirely ceased; and the piously inclined contented themselves with the less costly, although probably not less efficacious and compendious method of compounding for their real or supposed sins, by the more humble work of building and endowing Chapels. These they annexed to the monasteries already in existence, and from thence sprang the individual greatness, and gigantic and widely-spread territorial possessions of those splendid establishments. In this way the monastery of Kilwinning acquired a large portion of its valuable estates; for, besides the rich endowments of the founder, and the various members of the De Morville family, many kings and nobles augmented its revenues by transferring to it a part of their property. So early as the beginning of the thirteenth century we find that Sir Gilchrist Mure, of Rowallan, mortified to the abbey the lands of Skirnalland for the maintenance of a priest to officiate at the Mure's aisle in the church of Kilmarnock; and also, that King Robert I. granted to the monks the lands of Walland, along with 29s. sterling, which were in use to be paid yearly from his lands in Kilmarnock; and John Monteath, Lord of Arran and Knapdale, gave to the abbey the right of patronage to the churches of St. Briget (now Kilmory), and St. Mary, in the island of Arran, with their chapels, and the lands belonging thereto. In the year 1369 they likewise received from Sir John Maxwell, of that ilk, the patronage of the church of Libertown; and in the reign of Robert III. Sir William Cuninghame, of Kilmaurs, gave in purlionus to the monks, the lands of Grange. In addition to these, numerous other properties appear to have been added, up to the sixteenth century; at which period its estates embraced the whole of the parish of Kilwinning, as well as considerable portions of Beith, Irvine, Dalry, Stewarton, and surrounding parishes. At the dissolution of the religious houses, the annual revenue of the monastery, exclusive of these landed properties, according to the Statistical Account, amounted to £880 3s. 4d. Scots; 67 chalders, 9 bolls, 3 firlots of meal; 14 chalders, 1 boll, 3 firlots, 3 pecks of bear [barley]; 8 bolls, 1 firlot of wheat; 4 hogsheads of wine; 13 stirks; 140 capons; 100 hens; 268 cheeses; and 9 fathoms of a peat stack. But in a M.S. of extracts in our possession, copied from the Register of Loudoun, several of the items in the above enumeration are set down at a somewhat lower figure, and the article "wine" is wholly omitted. That the monks, however, did enjoy that luxury along with the other substantials above mentioned, appears from a return of the church of Irvine, made in 1562, where it is distinctly stated that one part of the tithes paid to the abbey by that church consisted of "four huggutis [hogsheads] of wine". At the Reformation the patronage and teinds of the following parishes belonged to the abbey, in each of which it was bound to provide and maintain the regular clergy, viz.: Kilwinning, Irvine, Kilmarnock, Loudoun, Dalry, Kilbirnie, Beith, Dunlop, Stewarton, Dreghorn, Stevenston, Ardrossan and West Kilbride, all in Cunninghame; Dumbarton and Kilmaronock, in Dumbartonshire[sic]; North and South Knapdale, in Argyll; Kilmory and Kilbride, in the island of Arran.
How many abbots presided over the monastery from its institution to the time of its dissolution is not known. The names of eleven are all that have come down to the present day; and the only particulars regarding even that small number, with the exception of two, are chiefly derived from their names being incidentally mentioned in transactions connected with the abbey. The following list is therefore very incomplete, but it is probable that it contains the name of the first, and assuredly that of the last abbot who managed its ample foundations:

Negilus, 1210
Jonnas, 1268
Bernard, ------
Robert, 1367
Willielmus, 1449
William Boyd, 1460
William Bunsh, 1513
William Hamilton, 1516
Alexander, 1534
James Bethune, 1538
Gavin Hamilton, 1571

Whether James Bethune, Archbishop of Glasgow, ever held the office of abbot has been disputed. This has arisen from the circumstance, that he must have been immediately preceded and succeeded in that office by two abbots, both of whom bore the name of Alexander. For on the 20th July 1532, an abbot called Alexander, granted a charter of the lands of Monkredding to Thomas Nevin, and the same abbot appears to have feued the property of Clonbeith to James Cuninghame, on the 31st March 1534; whilst in a charter connected with the lands of Monkcastle, bearing date, 1539, the abbot who grants it is also called Alexander. This is undoubted evidence, and fully justifies the conclusion that, there has either been a second abbot called Alexander, or that James Bethune must be excluded from the list of abbots. Only two of the abbots appear to have attained sufficient celebrity to warrant historical notice. These were William Bunsh, who was killed at the battle of Flodden, and Gavin Hamilton, a strenuous opponent of the Reformation. The latter appears to have been a statesman of considerable influence and ability, for, during the perilous and distracted reign of Queen Mary, and her mother the Queen Regent, he occupied a conspicuous position in the transactions of the nation, and was frequently employed in endeavouring to reconcile the conflicting interests of the several parties, whose disputes disturbed the tranquillity of that unsettled period. To that unhappy princess and her cause he exhibited the most ardent attachment, which she repaid by creating him an Extraordinary Lord of Session. He was present at the fatal battle of Langside, which decided the fate of that unfortunate queen; and was afterwards employed as one of the commissioners, who met at York, in 1568, for adjusting the disputes between Mary and Elizabeth. But his faithful adherence to the cause of the queen unnecessarily brought down upon him the enmity of the opposing party. In the Parliament which met in 1571, under the auspices of the Regent Lennox, he was declared a rebel, and is said to have lost his life the same year, in the conflict between Morton and the Queen's party at Restalrig, near Edinburgh.
At the abolition of the Roman Catholic power, the whole of the remaining lands belonging to the monasteries reverted to the crown. But many of the more valuable properties connected with those establishments had been successively alienated by several of the last abbots, who, either perceiving the inevitable doom which hung over those institutions, or preferring the ties of blood and friendship to the more sacred interests of the church, did not scruple to provide for the temporal welfare of those of their own household, by parcelling out large slices of the lands to their friends and relations. In this way many of the properties, which at one time belonged to the monastery of Kilwinning, had, previous to the era of the Reformation, passed into the hands of lay proprietors. From this period the whole residue of the lands, and the administration of the revenue were vested in a Commendator, who was charged with supplying the several parishes with clergy. The first who held that office was Alexander Cuninghame, third son of Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, who seems to have considered the practice introduced by his predecessors, the abbots, as one worthy of imitation, for in 1583, he conferred upon his son Alexander the valuable estate of Mountgreenan. He was succeeded in the office of Commendator by Mr William Melville, son of John Melville, of Raith, in favour of whom, James VI. erected, in 1592, the whole remaining abbacy, or halydome, into a temporal lordship, with the patronage of the churches of Kilwinning, Irvine, Dumbarton, Kilmarnock, Loudoun, Ardrossan, Kilbride, &c., &c. On the 5th of January, 1603, he transferred his rights to Hugh, fifth Earl of Eglinton.
Before taking leave of the history of the abbey, to enter on that of the Masonic and Archery Societies, both of which can lay claim to an antiquity nearly coeval with that of the monastery, it may not be amiss to glance briefly at the manners and mode of life of the monks, and the influence which they exerted on the surrounding district. As was stated in a previous Sketch, the monks were introduced to Scotland from Tyrone, in France, from which place they took the name of Tyronenses. They were a branch of the famous Cistercian order, which was itself a section of the Benedictines, and were principally indebted for their fame to the wise and judicious rules drawn up for their guidance by the learned St. Bernard. Their discipline was modelled upon that of St. Benedict, but they retained the dress of the Cistercians. This consisted of a white cassock, with a narrow scapulary, over which they wore a white gown when in the church, and a black one when they went beyond the precincts of the abbey. They shaved the whole head, with the exception of a small round patch upon the crown, the hair on which was cut so close that it was almost invisible. The strictest propriety in thought, word, and deed was sedulously enforced; and when they went abroad, they were obliged always to go two together, so that they might be better enabled to watch and guard each other from any heedless improprieties, and to prompt each other to good thoughts. They all slept together in the same dormitory, but each monk had a separate bed for himself, with a mat, blanket, coverlet, and pillow; and such was the minute particularity with which the smallest matters were regulated, that the last named article was prescribed to be only a foot and a-half long. Nor were the rules regarding food and other necessaries less stringent. In all relating to their internal economy the utmost plainness and abstinence were enjoined, and the slightest approach towards vanity or luxury was severely reprobated. From the use of flesh they were debarred, it being esteemed only fit for the sick. The use of common herbs of the country was allowed to them; but foreign spices, even pepper, were discountenanced. Besides the performance of their religious duties, it was a fundamental rule of the order that every monk should learn some useful trade, which he might practice within the monastery. In this peculiarity they differed from all the other monastic orders, the greater part of whom, it may be said, elevated idleness into a profession. This wise rule must also have had a salutary effect in repressing many of those degrading and fanatical excesses, which were inseparably associated with, and nursed in the gloomy solitude of monastic life. In the performance of their religious duties they were punctual and assiduous. They spent the greater part of each day and night in the exercise of their office to God, and the Holy Virgin, and in prayers for the dead. Upon stated days they sang psalms and hymns in concert; and as their choral voices rang through the solemn solitude of their cloistered walls, they stimulated their own ecstatic devotion by striking each other with besoms and whips. Here there is certainly a dash of those areopagitic practices, the encroachment of which even the purest and most sensible code of monachism found itself unable to withstand. Indeed there is every reason to believe that latterly still greater abuses than pious castigation, whether inflicted for the purpose of quickening religious fervour, or of bruising the flesh for the corruptions of the body, has found a welcome and a home within the abbey walls. With the growth of their wealth, their respect for their own rules declined. Their discipline became gradually relaxed, their habits more loose, and the ceremonies of their worship less chaste and simple. In the early part of the sixteenth century they appear to have departed from several of the most important rules of their order, and to have shared in the general corruptions of that time. The special commission appointed in 1533 to visit and reform the monasteries of Scotland, found that the monks then practised many things alien to the usages of their order. They then lived in open violation of one of their principal rules, which enjoined that none of the brethren should hold any private property, but to have all things in common. In defiance of this, however, many of the monks had not only pensions and portions allotted to them, to provide food and clothing, but each also possessed a garden for his own particular use and pleasure. These were condemned by the commission as illicit indulgences, which they were called upon to relinquish. But the monks did not comply, for in a convocation of the order, afterwards held in Edinburgh, they mutually compromised the matter, by providing that no monk should possess a larger garden, nor have a larger income than another. When such was the condition of the social economic rules of the monks, it is not surprising to find them prone to superstitions. Several of the surreptitious arts, and spurious supernatural prodigies with which they astonished and debased the people we have related in a previous Sketch, and therefore need not dwell on them here. Nor were they wholly to be blamed for this. If the people were ignorant and susceptible of being easily deluded, the monks were illiterate and fanatical, and as much the slaves as the ministers of superstition. Credulity is the child of ignorance, and the absence of mental culture in the teachers of the people is sure to act with pernicious effects upon the taught. The baneful consequences of that credulity and deep-rooted ignorance are not only painfully apparent during the period in which the monks ministered to the spiritual necessities of the people, but rise into deplorable prominence many years after the eradication of monachism from the district. The profound belief then entertained in the power of omens, charming, and witchcraft, to direct the course of events, and either alleviate or entail human suffering – notions which had been nourished and confirmed by successive ages of intellectual darkness, flourished in undecayed vigour, and stretched themselves forward far into the seventeenth century, when they attained such a tragedical climax, that the very magnitude of the evil seems to have cured itself. That this infatuated delusion attained during the latter period a fearful ascendancy over all classes of the people, is proven by the fact that the lives of many unfortunate persons belonging to the parish were sacrificed under the conviction that they were witches. But as, in point of time, these cases belong to a later period of the history of the parish, they will fall more properly to be treated of in a future article.


To be continued

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* The authorities quoted are, Crawford's "History of Renfrewshire", Robertson's "History of Cuninghame", "The Statistical Account of Scotland", Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History", Paterson's "Families of Ayrshire", Chamber's "Gazetteer", and other independent sources.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 4 *

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 09th September 1854

In tracing the history of Scottish Masonry and its location in, and connection with the town of Kilwinning, we are carried back to a period contemporary with the foundation of the abbey. The first members of the fraternity appear to have ben imported into Scotland about the 12th century, when stone erections began to supersede the more ancient wooden buildings. Prior to that period the larger portion not only of the dwellings of the common people, and the baronial castles of the nobles, but also the ecclesiastical edifices were constructed of wood, which from the inflammable nature of the material rendered them liable to frequent and disastrous fires, so that the labour of years was often distroyed[sic] in the course of a few hours. Those distressing casualties were of regular and calamitous occurrence. Not only single buildings, but whole towns were swept away by the devouring element. In one year, 1243, it is recorded, that no less than eight of the richest burghs in the nation were wholly consumed by fire. The art of constructing those wooden fabrics had in the 12th century arrived at its high degree of perfection, and many ingenious contrivances appear to have been employed to overcome their natural tendency to decay. It was, however, in the religious houses of the period where the lavish expenditure of architectural genius was most conspicuous. These ancient churches were for the most part composed of pillars and a framework of oak, which were covered with reeds or twisted rods. On them the most exquisite forms are said to have been wrought, the pliant nature of the materials affording ample scope for the development and cultivation of artistic talent. But the general insecurity of these erections, their liability to fire, and their speedy decay from the effects of the weather, led to a desire for more substantial and durable buildings. Accordingly we find that several of the Roman Pontiffs turned their attention to the ruinous condition of the ecclesiastical edifices in the northern parts of Europe, with the object of obviating the calamities to which they are constantly exposed. In order therefore to encourage the emigration of Italian artists capable of undertaking the erection of large buildings composed of stone, the Pope conceived the idea of creating corporations of architects and masons, and endowing them with many and peculiar privileges and immunities. These artists were sent to the various countries where there were churches to be built, and by that means they were quickly spread over the whole of Europe. Of the institution of those societies of travelling artists the following account is given by Sir Christopher Wren:- "The Italians with some Greek refugees, and with them French, Germans, and Flemings, joined into a fraternity of architects, procuring papal bulls for their encouragement and particular privileges, they styled themselves Free Masons, and ranged from one nation to another as they found churches to be built; for very many in those ages were everywhere in building, through piety or emulation. There government was regular, and where they fixed near the building in hand, they made a camp of huts. A surveyor governed in chief; every tenth man was called a warden, and overlooked each nine; and the gentlemen of the neighbourhood, either out of charity or commutation of penance, gave the materials and carriages". From its institution the fraternity possessed the power of taking apprentices in the countries in which they worked, and of admitting into their body such native masons as they considered worthy of the honour of brotherhood. By the papal bull of creation the peculiar privileges, of settling the rates of wages in the trade, and the price of labour when completed, was conferred upon them without being controlled by the municipal laws of any country in which they might chance to work.
A party of these foreign masons are supposed to have come from Italy for the purpose of constructing the monastery of Kilwinning, and to have erected the first regularly constituted Mason Lodge in Scotland. The precise date of the erection of the Lodge and its early history are, however, involved in some obscurity owing to the loss of the early records of the society; but from collateral evidence a very near approximation may not only be made to the date of erection, but serves to establish the priority of existence as well as the claim put forth by the society of being the first, or Mother Lodge, in Scotland. This is to be gathered from the following extract from a document preserved in the records of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, of:- "A mutual contract and agreement amongst the worshipful brethren of the Mason Lodge of Perth and Scoon." – "In the name of God, Amen. To all and sundrie persons to whom these presents do belong, witt ye us the persons under subscribers, Masters, freemen, and fellow-craft masons, residenters within the burgh of Perth, that forasmeikle [forasmuch] as we and our predecessors have and had from the Temple of Temples built on this earth (one uniforme community and union throughout the whole world), From which temple proceeded one in Kilwinning, in our nation of Scotland; and from that of Kilwinning there proceeded the abbacy and lodge of Scoon, built by men of art and architectury, where they placed that lodge as the second lodge within the nation, which is now past memorie of many generations, and was upheld by the kings of Scotland for the tyme, both at Scoon and the decayed city of Perth, when it stood, and now at Perth, head burgh of the Sheriffdom thereof, to this very day, which is now four hundred three score and five years, or thereby"; which deed contains a number of other clauses, and concludes with the following attesting clause:-"In testimony whereof we have subscribed the samen with our hands at Perth, the twenty-fourth day of December, 1658, signed by all the members, consisting of forty brethren". From this it would appear that the Lodge of Kilwinning was the first in Scotland, as well as the parent of the Lodge of Scone, and must have existed anterior to the year 1193, the date of the erection of the latter Lodge. It is also highly probable that, after the completion of the Monastery, and the erection of the Lodge of Kilwinning, a party of the masons employed in its construction proceeded to Scone, to undertake the building of the Abbey of that place, and while so engaged, erected the Lodge referred to in the above extract.
From that period down to the fifteenth century an hiatus occurs in the history of Scottish masonry; but in the interval the Mother Lodge seems to have greatly increased the domain of the order, by granting charters of erection to a considerable number of Lodges in Scotland. During this period, and for many years after, Kilwinning continued to be the recognised head quarters of the order, the master-mason of that Lodge exercising the office of Grand Master over all the other Lodges in the nation. At that time the office of Grand Master was one of no small trust and responsibility. He was empowered to enact and promulgate laws for regulating the conduct of the several Lodges holding under him – had all disputed questions arising in any of them referred to him, and his decision in all such cases was held to be final. It was also a part of his duty to arrange any differences that might arise between the founders and builders of churches and monasteries, provided that they were such as could not, without impropriety, be brought before a court of law. But the accession of James I. to the throne of Scotland introduced a new era in the history of masonry. In that monarch – distinguished amongst the sovereigns of Scotland for the passionate devotion with which he pursued the cultivation of literature and the fine arts – masonry found a liberal and earnest patron. He presided over the order as Grand Master for several years, and enacted many valuable laws, which had the effect of greatly augmenting the number, and increasing the popularity of the brotherhood. During his term of office it was that the office of Grand Master was made elective, but the selection of the brethren remained subject to the approval of the crown. But the choice of the brethren was at the same time limited by conditions, that gave an exclusive monopoly of the office to brethren belonging to the higher ranks of society. For it was rendered imperative that the Grand Master should either be a nobleman or a clergyman of high rank. The elective element, however, was again abrogated by James II., who conferred the office of Grand Master upon William St. Clair, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, and the same king afterwards made it hereditary in the family of the nobleman. The presidency of the St. Clair family marks the most flourishing period in the annals of Scottish masonry. Under their fostering care architecture received an unwonted stimulus, and many of the noblest buildings of the period are to be traced to the zealous liberality with which they promoted the interests of the fraternity. As the order thus became nationally useful, it grew in the public estimation, and the honour of brotherhood was looked up to as a mark of distinction worthy of being sought for by the highest in the nation. The successive members of the St. Clair family personally presided over the meetings of the order, and, in conformity with the right claimed by the Mother Lodge, continued to hold their head courts, or grand lodges at Kilwinning. From the period of its institution up to the year 1736, the Lodge of Kilwinning continued to grant charters of erection to the various Lodges which sprang up throughout the country. But in that year St. Clair of Roslin, hereditary Grand Master, convened thirty-two Lodges to meet in Edinburgh, into whose hands he resigned all right and title whatsoever, which he or his successors had, or might claim to preside as Grand Master over the Masonic Lodges in Scotland. This resignation the representatives of the assembled Lodges accepted, and proceeded to constitute what is now known as the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This new Lodge, which consisted of representatives from the various Lodges in the nation, constituted itself the highest Masonic authority, and claimed the sole right of granting charters of erection to all new Lodges. To this innovation on its ancient privileges, the Mother Lodge of Kilwinning demurred, and continued to assert its anterior and independent existence, by granting charters of erection to such new Lodges as acknowledged its authority. Many attempts were made to heal the breach thus made in the masonic order, and to effect a union between the Grand Lodge and the Mother Lodge of Kilwinning, but all efforts at conciliation proved ineffectual till the year 1807, when the Grand Lodge appointed a committee of five brethren to meet with an equal number from the Lodge of Kilwinning, who were vested with full powers to bring about an amicable adjustment of all existing differences. At that meeting, after many other mutual concessions, it was agreed that the Lodge of Kilwinning would give up all right of granting charters, and, along with the lodges holding under her, go into the Grand Lodge. That on account of her priority of existence, the Kilwinning Lodge would be placed at the head of the roll of the Grand Lodge, under the title of Mother Kilwinning; and that her daughter lodges would follow her upon the roll according to the respective dates of their original charters; and that the master of Kilwinning Lodge, and his successors in office, in all time coming, would be Provincial Grand Master over all the lodges situated within the district of Ayrshire. By that means the much-desired union of the two bodies was effected, the supremacy of the Grand Lodge indisputably established, and the harmony and good feeling which subsisted between the several branches of the order previous to the schism, was happily restored.


To be continued.

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* The authorities quoted are, Robertson's 'History of Cunninghame, and Appendix', 'The Statistical Account of Scotland', Tytler's 'History of Scotland'.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 5

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 04th November 1854


In our last sketch of Kilwinning we treated of the rise and progress of the Masonic Order and the Mother Lodge of Kilwinning, in the present we propose to glance at the historical memoranda of Scottish Archery, and the company of Archers connected with the town. For the cultivation of the athletic exercise of Archery the inhabitants of Kilwinning have long been famous. The records of the society bear that the practice of shooting at Butts and Papingo has been an established custom in the parish since the year 1488. From various historical notices it is to be gathered that at a much earlier period the use of the bow was in high repute not only as a weapon of war and a means of innocent recreation, but also as being a favourite instrument in the exhilarating pastime of the chase. At what time the bow was first applied by the Scots and Saxons to warlike purposes has proved a source fruitful of conjecture to those who have investigated the subject; but it is generally believed to have originated with the Normans, who introduced it to England at the era of the Norman Conquest. This belief is supported by strong probability as no mention is made of the long-bow nor the cross-bow as being amongst the weapons used by either the Saxons or the Scotch prior to that period. Its introduction amongst the Scottish defensive weapons is usually ascribed to Malcolm Canmore who is reputed to have brought it to Scotland on his return from England. Neither before the reign of that monarch nor for some time after, do Archers appear as forming a part of the Sottish army; but at the battle of the Standard, fought during the reign of David I., Archers are mentioned for the first time in the muster of the Scottish forces. At the battle of Largs a body of Archers appears armed with the Norman bow; and a farther proof that both of the Norman weapons, the long-bow and cross-bow had become to a certain extent naturalised in the reign of Alexander III. is attested by the fact that there was a Balistarius, or a Keeper of the Cross-bows in the castle at Ayr. In the use of the bow, however, the Scots were invariably far inferior to their English neighbours, whose bodies of mounted Archers, and Cross-bowmen, who were frequently armed in mail, often made deadly havoc amongst the Scottish Spearmen. And it is to be observed as a somewhat remarkable circumstance that, although, the superior advantages of the bow as a defensive weapon, could not fail to manifest themselves to such masters in war as Wallace and Bruce, and Randolph and Douglas, neither of them seem to have made any very decided nor successful effort to secure its introduction as a national weapon. Bruce, indeed, appears to have made an attempt to introduce it into his army, for, in an ordinance of arms, passed in 1319, every man possessed of the value of a cow is commanded to arm himself, either with a bow and a sheaf of arrows, or with a spear; but from the only occasional mention of archers in his army, it may be reasonably surmised that the yeomanry preferred the last named weapon. That ordinance is also curious, as acquainting us not only with the arms then in use, but also with the several grades of the Scottish soldiers. Every gentleman possessed of land to the value of ten pounds, or ten pound's worth of moveable property, was ordered to provide himself with an acton [a stuffed jacket worn under the mail] and a steel helmet, gloves of plate, and a sword and spear. Those of inferior rank and fortune were to fit themselves with an iron jack [A jerkin or doublet of defence, iron-plated or faced with mail], an iron headpiece, and gloves of plate, and the lowest class of all with a bow and a sheaf of arrows, or a spear. Bruce, it is well known, was an ardent lover of the chase, and was celebrated for his skilful use of the bow, and his intimate acquaintance with all the mysteries of woodcraft, accomplishments which were then considered essential elements in the constitution of a perfect knight. The masterly way in which he winds his horn, and the strength and dexterity with which he draws his bow, and the unerring aim with which the shaft is directed, are subjects of sufficient importance to kindle the poetic ardour, and elicit the enthusiastic commendations of Barbour. But for all that, Bruce seems never to have had any very numerous body of Archers, at least there is none of them mentioned in the muster of the army at any of his battles, with the single exception of the memorable defeat given to the Lord of Lorn in the pass of Cruachan-Ben, where Sir James Douglas is said to have appeared on the field at the head of a small body of Archers, lightly armed. It has already been noticed that the Scottish Archers bore no unimportant part in the battles of the Standard, and of Largs, but in the subsequent battles of Dunbar, Stirling, Falkirk, Bannockburn, Dupplin, Halidon, and Durham, they do not appear to have been employed. Minute and curious accounts of the muster of the Scottish armies engaged at the battles of Halidon and Durham are still extant, but in neither of these do Archers or Crossbow-men appear amongst the Scottish forces. Indeed, the defeat of the Scots at Halidon Hill, is chiefly ascribed to the superiority and vast preponderance of the Archers in the English army. In the MS. chronicle of Douglas, a monk of Glastonbury, quoted by Tytler, in the Notes and illustrations to Vol II, the following passage, descriptive of the onset and havoc made in the Scottish army by the English Archers occurs, "And then the Englische mynstrells beten ther tabors, and blowen ther trompes, and pipers pipeden loude, and made a grete schoute uppon the Skottes, and then hadde the Englische bachelers eche of them ii winges of archers, whiche at that meeting mightly drewen ther bowes, and made arrowes flee as thick as motes in the sonne beme, and so thei smote the Skottes, that thei fell to grounde by many thousands. And anone, the Skottes began to flee fro the Englische menne to save ther pere lyves."

["And then the English musicians beat their drums, and blew their trumpets, and pipers piped loudly, and shouted loudly at the Scots, and each of the English squires/ young knights had two wings of archers who, at that encounter powerfully drew their bows and caused arrows to fly as thick as motes in a sunbeam, and thus they struck the Scots so that many thousands fell. And straight away, the Scots began to run from the Englishmen to save their poor lives."]

But although the Scotch do not appear to have ever thoroughly adopted the bow as a weapon of warfare, yet attempts to encourage its use were not wanted, as we have already seen from the ordinance of Bruce; and subsequent Monarchs, fully alive to its utility, were still more zealous in their endeavours to enrol it amongst the national weapons. Numerous acts of Parliament were accordingly passed with the intent of enforcing the practice of Archery in every parish throughout the nation. These compulsory measures for the encouragement of Archery seem to have been partially successful in attaining the object desired, at least they eventuated in diffusing a love for the art, and the formation of societies for its cultivation in almost every parish. At length the invention of gunpowder, and the consequent introduction of firearms, revolutionised the whole system of military science, and, by superseding the ancient weapons as well as the mode of warfare, the use of the bow as a weapon of defence fell of a consequence into disuetude[sic]. That Archery, however, came in course of time to take its place among the Scottish sports is not only abundantly evident from the many historical notices of the game, and its deeply permeating the early literature of Scotland, but also from the fact that the lingering remains of the custom have been unbrokenly perpetuated in several localities down to the present day. In Christis Kirk of the Green, said to have been written by James I., a contest in Archery forms a principal part of the subject of that quaintly humorous poem. Indeed the annual meetings of the people, at their respective parish "Butts,"[1] seem to have presented characteristic scenes of festivity. Besides the trials of skill in Archery, rustic dances, feats of skill and strength, and other less seemly and commendable accompaniments, served to stamp the occasion with all the features of a parish holiday.
As we have already- stated the inhabitants of Kilwinning have long been celebrated for their skilful use of the bow, and the regularity and enthusiasm with which their annual contests have been kept up. This love for the art has been no doubt fostered by, and is chiefly to be attributed to the existence of a highly efficient Society of Archers in the parish, and the excitement consequent upon its periodical exhibitions. Dating from the period of its formation down to the present time, the Company lays claim to a continuous existence of upwards of four hundred years, interrupted only by the break of a few years about the period of the Revolution of 1688, when owing, it is probable, to the troubled state of the times, the practice, of Archery was discontinued, and the Society itself dissolved or at least neglected. But the Society was again organised, and the practice of the game resumed in 1688, as appears by the following extract from the Register of the Company :
"Shooting with bow and arrow at Butts and Papingo has been practised at Kilwinning by the inhabitants thereof, for the space of two hundred years and upwards. The prize shot for at the game of the Papingo, in former times, was a piece of fine Persian taffettie [taffeta], three ells long and three quarters broad, of several colours red, blue, green, scarlet, &c. to the value of twenty pounds (Scots) at least, which they termed a Benn. The person who gained the same, by shooting down the Papingo upon the day appointed for that effect, had the said Benn tied about his waste as a badge of honour, and was thereupon denominated Captain, and making a parade through the town attended by the former Captains, each wearing about their wastes the Benns they had gained, and accompanied by the rest of the Archers. Each change-keeper [innkeeper] brought forth to them ale and other liquors to drink the Captain's health, &c. The said ancient game turning into disuetude for some few years, was restored and again renewed at Kilwinning in the fourth day of September Javi (1600) and eighty eight."
On the resuscitation of the Company the prize for shooting down the Papingo was changed from the " Persian taffetie " above mentioned for a piece of Silver Plate to be annually competed for, and which was provided to be of the value of thirty-two shillings. But subsequently, in 1724, on a Silver Arrow being presented to the Society by Bailie Mure, of Kilwinning, it was enacted that the same arrow should remain the property of the Company, and continue in all time coming to be the Papingo Prize, the winner of the arrow being bound to attach to it a badge of silver or gold of the value at least five shillings, sterling. It was also provided that in the event of any member shooting down the Papingo for six successive years, the arrow with all its badges should, on the payment of £5, become his absolute property and remain so for ever. This precaution appears, however, to have been unnecessary, as, we believe such a feat has not yet, and in all probability never will be performed. From the records of the Company it also appears that Hugh Montgomerie, of Coilsfield, was the first member who presented the Society with a prize to be competed for at the butts. This took place in 1694, and since then it devolves upon the senior member of the Society, who has not done so previously, to provide the prize which is annually shot for. Many of the ancient customs attending the games have been discontinued in modern times, especially those mentioned in the above extract, of parading through the town, and stopping at each "Change-Keepers " door to drink the health of the new Captain. The Company, however, is still numerous, the periodical exhibitions are well attended, and the whole proceedings watched with the greatest interest, more particularly that of shooting for the Papingo. This part of the game, which is certainly the best, is conducted in the following manner :—After the shooting at the butts has been concluded, the whole of the Members present proceed to the Steeple for the purpose of selecting the Captain by shooting down the Papingo, this is the representation of a parrot, in wood, which being affixed to a pole is placed on the top of the Steeple, at a height of upwards of 100 feet from the ground, when those who are desirous of competing for the Captaincy, discharge their arrows at the bird, until it is shot from off the pole, the person who brings it down being declared the Captain for the ensuing year.

To be continued.
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[1] A mark for practice in archery; a mound or erection supporting a target. Usually in plural, indicating one at each end of the range.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 6

Eglinton Family No. 1

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 23rd June 1855


In the previous Sketches of Kilwinning we narrated the more remote civil and ecclesiastical history of the town; in the present we commence the memoirs of the principal noble families noted for their antiquity and territorial connection with the parish. First amongst the ancient families who held early possession of lands is to be placed the Eglintouns of Eglintoun. The origin of this noble house and the date of its settlement in the parish cannot now be definitely ascertained; but it appears to have been one of considerable distinction from a very early period, as the recorded notices of it carry us back to the beginning of the twelfth century. The earliest member of the family, of whom there is any record extant, is Elgin, Lord of Eglintoun, who lived in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, which must have been somewhere between the years 1057 and 1093. He seems to have had a son named Bryce, who had a son, Hugh, whose son and heir, Rodolphus de Eglintoun, is said to be mentioned, along with the former three, in a contract with the town of Irvine, bearing date 1205. An hiatus in the history here occurs, for the next of whom there is any notice is Radulphus de Eglintoun, whose name appears as one of the Magnates Scotiae, who submitted to the authority, and swore fealty to Edward 1., in 1296. He appears to have been succeeded by his son, or grandson, Hew, Lord Eglintoun, for we find a Hugone de Egslyntoune in the list of the principal nobles, barons, and prelates, who attended the Parliament held at Perth on the 13th. of January, 1364; and again in the Parliament held at Scone on the 27th September, 1367, to remedy the dilapidated condition of the royal revenue; as also in that which met at the same place on the 12th of June, 1368, to hear the report on, and take into consideration, the state of the national defences. A Sir Henry de Eglinton would also appear to have lived at this time, for he is mentioned by Tytler (vol. ii. page 133) as being among the higher nobles and barons who attended the Parliament held at Perth on the 24th July, 1365, to deliberate on the propositions for an ultimate peace between England and Scotland. But this is barely possible; for, had such a person lived, he could not have been entirely overlooked by those who have so laboriously traced the genealogy of the family. It is, therefore, more probable that it was Hew de Eglintoun who attended on that occasion. This may be reasonably inferred from two circumstances-1st, at that period he held one of the highest offices in the nation, that of Justiciar of Lothian; 2nd, the Parliament was a select one, including only the principal nobles and prelates in the kingdom, the lesser nobles, barons, and prelates not being present, an unusual occurrence in the Parliaments of that period. Sir Hew de Eglintoun was also one of the convention which met, in 1367, first at Muirhouselaw, and subsequently at Roxburgh, for the purpose of adjusting the disputes relating to the Marches. Between 1361 and 1371 he received several charters, conferring grants of land in Lothian and Lanarkshire, from David II. and Robert II. About this period the lands of Ardrossan seem to have passed into the possession of the house of Eglinton, through the marriage of the latter family with the heiress of the former; but neither the precise year when this took place, nor the particular member of the Eglinton family who espoused the heiress of Ardrossan, can now be ascertained. It is, however, believed that the Hew de Eglintoun, of whom we are now treating, was the person who brought about the union of the two families. But this supposition, it must be admitted, rests upon a very slender foundation, being grounded upon little more than the bare assumption that he was twice married; first, to the heiress of Ardrossan, by whom he is said to have had a daughter, Elizabeth, married to Sir John Montgomery of Eaglesham; and secondly to Egidia, widow of Sir James Lindsay of Crawford, and half-sister to Robert II. This view is adopted by Paterson, who considers that, if the daughter of Sir Hew de Eglintoun had been by Egidia, she could not have been marriageable in 1361, as stated by Nisbet, seeing that the first husband of Egidia was alive in 1357. But, on the other hand, Robertson, in his continuation of the History of Renfrew, says- —" It is understood that the property was acquired through an heiress of Ardrossan, married into the family of Eglinton during the reign of David II., and previous to the marriage of Sir Hugh de Eglintoun with the daughter of the High Steward. It seems not improbable that this Sir Hugh was the son of that marriage"; and both he and Crawford expressly state that Elizabeth de Eglinton was the daughter of Egidia. Be this, however, as it may, it is at least certain that the property of Ardrossan was at that time in the possession of the family of Eglinton, and that Sir Hew de Eglintoun had a daughter, Elizabeth, married to Sir John Montgomery. That Sir Hew married Egidia, daughter of Walter, sixth High Steward, and half-sister of Robert II., cannot be doubted, as he received numerous charters, conferring and confirming grants of land from that monarch, in several of which he is designated "brother to the King." Sir Hew is supposed to have died about 1376. He is generally believed to have been " the guide Schir Hew of Eglintoun," mentioned in Dunbar's " Lament for the death of the Makars", as well as the reputed author of two romances, "Arthur," and " Gawn," and the "Epistle of Susanna", works of which the titles only have come down to the present day. Sir Hew having died without male issue, the estates of Eglinton and Ardrossan passed to the Montgomeries of Eaglesham, who afterwards made Eglinton their chief residence.
The Montgomeries of Eglinton, like their predecessors in that valuable estate, can trace their descent to a remote date. "The first we find of the name", says Paterson, quoting from the Broomlands MS., "is Roger, Earl of Montgomery, who lived in the province of Normandy, in France, in the year 906, who had a son called Earl Roger of Montgomery, who had a son called William, Earl of Montgomery, who married Elizabeth Tripon, daughter of Janet, Duchess of Normandy, and also daughter to the Earl of Botinet, who bore to him a son called Roger, Earl of Montgomery, who came to England with William the Conqueror, to whom he was allied. He made him Constable of his army, which he commanded in that memorable battle of Hastings, in Sussex, which was fought in the year 1066, where Harold, King of England, was slain, and the victory and crown of England accrued to King William the Conqueror, for which singular service the said King William bestowed upon him very great gifts, and gave him the territories and honours of Earl of Arundel, Salisbury, and Chester". To these he added by conquest a considerable tract of country in Wales, which was afterwards called Montgomery, and subsequently erected into a shire under the same name. The immediate consequences of the acquisition of these vast territorial possessions was to give the Montgomeries a marked influence on the affairs of the nation, and raise them to a high position at the Court of William. On the death of the Conqueror, Henry, his youngest son, disputed the succession to the throne with his eldest brother, Robert, and the Montgomeries, true to their allegiance, espoused the cause of the lineal heir to the crown. But the more powerful nobles having given their adhesion to the pretensions of Henry, and the cause of Robert becoming in consequence almost hopeless, it was deemed necessary to solicit foreign aid. For this purpose Arnulph de Montgomery, Earl of Pembroke, fourth son of Earl Roger, and the reputed ancestor of the House of Eglinton, was despatched to Ireland on a mission to Murtagh O'Brien, King of Munster. In the object of his mission he was eminently successful, not only did he receive the much needed assistance, but also seems to have found such favour with that monarch as to have obtained his daughter in marriage. With the succours thus opportunely afforded he returned to England, but they came too late. In the interim Henry's party had increased in strength and vigour, while that of his brother had rapidly declined. In a short time afterwards the hopes of the loyal party were entirely dissipated, Henry ascended the throne, and Robert was consigned to prison. The untoward issue of this contest proved fatal to the Montgomeries, who, along with the other adherents of Robert, were deprived of their rank as nobles, had their estates confiscated, and were themselves expelled from the kingdom. On this Arnulph and his brother went to Normandy where the family had extensive possessions. But Henry having carried his arms into that territory compelled its submission to his authority, and the unceasing enmity with which he pursued all those who still remained faithful to his elder brother, Robert, was again visited on the Montgomeries, who were driven from the last of their possessions, and necessitated to seek an asylum with their mother's relations in France. From this to the time of his death no more is known of the future career of Earl Arnulph.

To be continued.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 7

Eglinton Family No. 2

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 30th June 1855


Philip de Montgomery, the son of Arnulph, mentioned in our last, is believed to have been the founder of the family of Eaglesham. He is supposed to have come to Scotland in the company of David, Earl of Huntingdon, when that Prince returned from France, where, he is said to have gone for the purpose of visiting the famous Bernard, Abbot of Clairvale. This fact is not, however, on the whole, very well authenticated; and the scantiness of the information, now extant, relative to the origin of the family does not supply any data, whereby, a more certain conclusion can be arrived at, than what may be said to amount to a merely probable conjecture. Paterson, in his " Families of Ayrshire", adopts the opinion that the Montgomeries came out of France. This opinion he bases on the authority of Boethius, who, he believes, may have had access to ancient family records, supposed to have existed prior to the destruction of Eglinton Castle, by fire, in 1528; and he considers it likely that Philip de Montgomery was brought to Scotland by David, Earl of Huntingdon. "That Prince", he says, "afterwards David I., it is well known, undertook a journey to France, for the purpose of visiting Bertrand d'Abbeville, the founder of the Tyronensian order of monks. Before he reached Tyrone, however, the monk was dead. During this visit, it is naturally presumed that David could not fail to make the acquaintance of the houses of Perche and Montgomerie, sovereigns of Tyrone, which accounts for the introduction of Philip, son of Arnulph, to the Scottish Prince, who accepted of an offer to accompany him to Scotland." If, therefore, the Montgomeries came from France to Scotland, this inference would be entitled to consideration as being not only highly probable, but also as marking the time, and the occasion of their introduction to the kingdom; but on the other hand, the journey of David, if ever undertaken, must have been made prior to the year 1125, the date of his ascension of the throne; and in that case the Monk could not be dead, for it is well known that Bernard, Abbot of Clairvale, founder of the Tyronenses order of monks, was an eminent and active member of the church for many years after that date, and is mentioned by Mosheim, (vol. iii. p. 97) as being alive in 1147; twenty-two years after David's accession to the crown. Without, however, pursuing farther the inquiry whether Philip came from France or England, as a satisfactory solution of the difficulty would in the end prove hopeless, it may be observed, that he was known by the designation of Cymbricus, or the Welshman, thus clearly indicating his descent from the Montgomeries already alluded to as having settled in England in the reign of William the Conqueror. Philip de Montgomery, the ancestor of the house of Eaglesham, is said to have married Margaret, daughter of the second Earl of March, with whom, it is supposed, he acquired the lands and castle of Thorntoun. The time of his death is unknown; but he left issue – three sons; 1 Robert; 2 Hugh; 3 Adam; and one daughter, Egidia. He was succeeded by his eldest son,—Robert de Montgomery, or Mundgumbrie, who is mentioned as a witness in the foundation charter of the Monastery of Paisley, granted by Walter, Lord High Steward, in 1160. He received a grant of the estate of Eaglesham from the High Steward, which, Robertson says, was the first property held by the Montgomeries in Scotland. He is designated Vice Comes of Lanerk, in a mortification of the Church of Innerwick to the abbey of Paisley; as also, in another of a ploughgate of land, granted to Negillus de Constantine. He is supposed to have died about 1180, and to have been succeeded by his eldest son,—John de Montgomery, Miles, who married Helen de Kent, one of the three daughters, and co-heiress of Robert de Kent, of Innerwick, in East Lothian, by reason of which marriage, he became possessed of a third-part of the lands of Innerwick. He had three sons; 1, Alan; 2, Robert; 3, William.—Alan de Montgomery, or Mundigumbrie, the eldest son of John, succeeded to the estate of Eaglesham, and the lands of Thorntoun and Innerwick. He is mentioned a witness in the donations made to the monastery of Paisley, made by Alan, son of Walter, the High Steward of Scotland. He is also witness to a charter granted in the reign of Alexander II., by Walter, son of Alan, above mentioned, and grandson of the founder of the monastery of Paisley, conferring on that house the lands of Old Patrick and Espedie; and he is likewise witness to several other charters of donations made to the same monastery, between the years 1204 and 1231; and to another with Walter, Bishop of Glasgow, made sometime between 1208 and 1232. He is supposed to have died about the latter year, leaving three sons; 1, Robert; 2, John; 3, Henry. He was succeeded by his eldest son,—Robert de Montgomery; for we find "Robert de Mundigumbrie and Johannus frater suus", mentioned as witnesses to a donation, which Walter, the son of Alan, the High Steward, made to the monks of Paisley about 1234; and again to a charter by the same Walter, upon an excambion [exchange] of the lands of Ingleston, with the lands of Inverurie, between 1240 and 1248. In 1258, he witnessed a charter granted to the monks of Coldingham by the Earl of March. He seems to have died without issue, between 1258 and 1260; as he was succeeded by his brother, John Montgomery, of Eastwood,—John de Montgomery was witness to a charter made by Walter, the High Steward, to the monastery of Paisley, between 1240 and 1250. He is believed to have lived till 1285, and to have left issue—four sons; 1 John; 2, Murthaw, the ancestor of the Montgomeries of Thorntoun; 3, Alan, Designed of Stair, who is said to have been killed by the English at Ayr, in 1297; 4, Thomas; and a daughter, married to Archibald Mure, of Rowallan. —John de Montgomery, the eldest son, succeeded his father in the estates of Eaglesham and Eastwood. He was one of the Barons of Scotland, who attended at Berwick in 1291, on a summons from Edward I., and his name also appears in the list of nobles, who swore fealty to that monarch in 1296. He married Janet, daughter of the Lord Erskine, and is supposed to have died about 1357, leaving issue—two sons; 1, Alexander; 2, William; and one daughter, Margory. He was succeeded by his eldest son, —Alexander de Montgomery, who is designated in a charter by David II., bearing date 1357—"Alexander de Montgomery de Eglishame, filius Johannius de Montgomery". He appears to have taken an active part in the political transactions of the period in which he lived, and must have been esteemed a nobleman of considerable influence and ability, as he was frequently employed to conduct difficult and important negotiations with England. He was one of the Scottish Commission appointed to meet with that of England, at Berwick, in 1358, to settle on the ransom of David II., then a captive at the court of England. In the same year he was one of a company pf noblemen, who, prompted by a love of military adventure, and inspired with a desire to distinguish themselves by feats of arms, left Scotland to join, it is presumed, the Teutonic Knights, then engaged in a kind of crusade against the infidel Prussians. They received letters of permission to pass through England on their way to the Continent, and each of them was attended by a train of sixty horse, as well as a large body of foot soldiers. When he returned from this expedition is not known; but he appears to have died about 1388, in which year, his only son, John, succeeded him in the estates of Eaglesham and Eastwood. —John de Montgomery, married Elizabeth de Eglinton, daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh de Eglinton, by reason of which marriage, the estates of Eglinton and Ardrossan passed to the house Eaglesham. We have already, under Sir Hew de Eglinton, alluded to the difficulty which here occurs relative to the time when the house of Eglinton became possessed of the lands of Ardrossan; and then noticed that the point in doubt was, whether Elizabeth de Eglinton, above mentioned, was the daughter of the heiress of Ardrossan, or of Egidia, daughter of the High Steward of Scotland; but the maternal descent of Elizabeth de Eglinton, as we then stated, cannot now be elucidated. It may, however, be remarked that Crawford, in his History of Renfrewshire, states that, an Ardrossan of Ardrossan live about this time, (the reign of David II.), and is then mentioned in a charter, without a date; and we find a Fergus de Ardrossan, and Robinus de Ardrossan frater ejus, mentioned in the list of the twenty-five knights and gentlemen, who, for three months, heroically defended the castle of Stirling, in 1304, against the forces of Edward I., but at last capitulated, and were sent prisoners into England. Whether either of them returned from thence or died in captivity is not known. Sir John was present at the battle of Otterburne, in 1388, where his eldest son, Hugh, was slain, and took Sir Henry Percy, (better known as Hotspur), eldest son of the Earl of Northumberland, prisoner, with whose ransom he is said to have afterwards built the Castle of Pulnoon[sic]. The death of Hugh, and the gallant manner in which Sir John acquitted himself on that memorable day, are thus alluded to in the following stanza from an old ballad: —

"Sir Hugh was slain, Sir John maintained
The honour of the day;
And with it brought the victory,
And Percy's son away."

But a different version of the story is given in the old ballad of Chevy Chase, Sir Hugh being there described as having killed, with his own hand, Sir Henry Percy; and as being himself slain, later in the day, by an English archer. The occasion was this; —The Earl of Douglas, chief of the Scottish army, carried on by an indomitable valour, advanced too rashly on the English spearmen and was slain, upon this the nobles who surrounded the Douglas, justly enraged at the loss of their courageous leader, swore a bloody revenge on the house of Percy; one of these was Sir Hugh Montgomery; —


"A knight among the Scots there was
Which saw Erle Douglas dye,
Who streight in wrath did vow revenge
Upon the Lord Percye.

Sir Hugh Montgomery was he call'd,
Who with a spere most bright,
Well mounted on a gallant steed
Ran fiercely through the fight.

And past the English archers all
Without all dread or feare,
And through Erle Percyes body then
He thrust this hateful spere.
With such a vehement force and might
He did his body gore,
The staff ran through the other side
A large cloth yard and more.
So thus did both these nobles dye
Whose courage none could staine,
An English archer then perceiv'd
The noble Erle was slaine.

He had a bow bent in his hand
Made of a trusty tree,
An arrow of a cloth yard long
Up to the head drew he.

Against Sir Hugh Mountgomerye
So right the shaft he sett,
The grey goose-winge that was thereon
In his hart's blood was wett."


So far then the description by the minstrel of Chevy Chase of the manner in which Sir Hugh met his death. But again in contradiction to this, and in another old ballad of the battle of Otterburne, we find it related that—


"There the Douglas lost his lyfe,
And the Percy was led awaye.
Then was there a Scottyshe prisoner tayne,
Syr Hugh Montgomery was his name,
For soth [truly] as I you saye,
He borowed[1] the Percy home agayn."


Notwithstanding, however, the conflicting accounts of this affair as related by the bards, we believe the version first given is the correct one.

To be continued.

________________________________________
[1] To borow – to redeem or ransom
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 8

Eglinton Family No. 3

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 07th July 1855


Sir John Montgomery, as stated in our last, was at the battle of Otterburne, where he took Sir Henry Percy prisoner. He is also said to have captured and carried away from the field, the spear and pennon of Percy, which were afterwards deposited in Eglinton castle, where we understand they still remain. The restoration of these trophies appear to have been demanded by the late Earl of Northumberland, the representative of the noble House of Percy; and Paterson relates an anecdote highly characteristic of the late Earl of Eglinton, who, in answer to the request, replied,—"There is as good lea land here as any at Chevy-Chase—let Percy come and take them." Sir John, is believed to have died about 1392. He had four sons-1, Hugh, who was killed at Otterburne; 2, John, who succeeded his father ; 3, --------; 4, Hugh, who being of the same name as his eldest brother, would seem to have been born after his death.—Sir John de Montgomery, second son of Sir John, succeeded his father in the estates of Eaglesham, Eglinton, and Ardrossan. He was one of the Barons, who in 1398, received charters from Robert III., conferring upon them annuities, on the condition of their defending the king, and his son, the Earl of Carrick, against all enemies whether in time of peace or war.
We also find Lord Montgomery mentioned as receiving from Donald, Lord of Isles, the person believed to have been the dethroned Richard II. of England. Richard, as is well known, was deposed by Henry IV., who confined him first in the tower of London, and subsequently in Pontefract Castle, where he found means to elude the vigilance of his keepers and effect his escape. Having landed, in disguise, on the Western Isles of Scotland, he was recognised as Richard II. by an Irish lady, wife to Donald's brother, who had previously seen him in Ireland. Upon these suspicions being communicated to Donald, he retained the fugitive king in custody, until an opportunity occurred of delivering him into the charge of Lord Montgomery, by whom he was carried to Stirling Castle. But we will allow Winton himself to describe this circumstance—

"Bot in the Owt-Ilys of Scotland than
Thare wes traveland a pure man.
A Lordis douchtyr of Ireland
Of the Bissetis, thare dwelland
Wes weddit wyth a Gentylman,
The Lord of the Ilys bruthir than.
In Ireland before quhen scho had bene,
And the King Richard there had sene,
Quhen in the Islis scho saw this man,
Scho let that scho weil kend hym than.
Til hir Maistere sone scho past
And tauld there til hym als-sa-fast,
That he wes that King of Yngland.
That scho before saw in Ireland,
Quhen he wes therein before,
As scho drew there to memore;
Quhen til hir mastere this scho had tauld,
That man rycht sone he til hym cald.
And askit hym, gyf it wes swa.
That he denyit, and said nocht, ya.
Syn to the Lord off Montgwmery
That ilke man wes send in hy.
That ilke man syne eftyr that
Robert oure King off Scotland gat.
The Lord als off Cumbirnald
That man had a quhile to hald.
The Duke of Albany syne hym gat,
And held hym lang tyme eftyr that.
Quhethir he had bene King, or nane,
There wes bot few, that wyst certane.
Off devotioune nane he wes,
And seildyn will had till here Mes:
As he bare hym, like wes he
Oft half wod or wyld to be."
[Androw of Wyntoun, Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland]

This event must have occurred in 1400, or 1401, and not in 1404 as some have it, for we find that, previous to these dates, Henry IV. caused reports to be circulated throughout England, to the effect, that Richard had died in Pontefract Castle in 1399; and in order to authenticate these reports, he had a dead body, purported to be that of Richard, exposed to the view of the citizens of London, on the 12th of March of the same year. The exiled king is also said, by contemporary Scottish historians, to have died at Stirling Castle in 1419, after a residence of eighteen years; from which we would infer that he came to Scotland about 1401-2. John de Montgomery was one of the nobles who commanded the Scottish army, which entered England, under the Earl of Douglas, in 1402; and was present at the battle of Homildon Hill, where he was taken prisoner. In 1408 he was one of the hostages retained by Henry IV. for the return of the Earl of Douglas, who was made prisoner at the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. His name also appears in the list of the twenty-eight nobles, selected as hostages for the ransom of James I. in 1423, and he is there designated " Johannis de Montgomery, miles de Ardrossane;" but he must have returned to Scotland in the year following, for he was one of the twenty-six nobles and barons, who, along with Murdoch, Duke of Albany, and his son, Lord Alexander Stewart, were arrested by James I., at the Parliament held at Perth, on the 12th of March, 1424. It seems, however, that he was shortly after liberated, as he was on the list of the twenty-one nobles and barons, who composed the jury on the trials of the Duke of Albany, Walter Stewart, Lord Alexander Stewart, his sons, and the Earl of Lennox, which took place at Stirling in the month of May, of the same year. Sir John died in 1429, and left issue—3 sons; 1, Alexander; 2, Robert; 3, Hugh; and three daughters; 1, Anne; 2, Janet; 3, Isabel. He was succeeded by his eldest son,—Alexander de Montgomery, who is designated of Ardrossan, in a commission, bearing date 1430, constituting him governor of Kintyre and Knapdale, in conjunction with Sir Robert Cuninghame of Kilmaurs. In 1438, he was one of the commissioners sent to England for the purpose of concluding a truce; and was again employed on a similar mission in 1449. He is believed to have been created a peer of the realm, by James II., between 1439 and 1448, (Crawfurd says 1445) with the title of Lord Montgomery, of Ardrossan. Lord Montgomery was employed in various offices of trust and responsibility, both by James I. and his successor James II; and he was one of the nobles who affixed their seals to the instrument of forfeiture, passed by the Parliament held at Perth, on the 9th of June, 1455, against the rebel Lords, who had taken up arms in opposition to the Government of James II. His lordship married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Boyd, of Kilmarnock, by whom he had issue—four sons; 1, Alexander, who died before his father; 2, George, of Skelmorlie; 3, John, of Giffen; 4, Thomas, parson of Eaglesham; and four daughters; 1, Magaret(sic), married to the Earl of Lennox; 2, Janet; 3, Elizabeth, married Lord Kennedy; 4, Anne, married to William Cunninghame, of Glengarnock. —Alexander, Master of Montgomery, died in 1452. He was the first of the family who held the heritable Bailliary of Cunninghame, which, Crawfurd states, he acquired of Alexander Cuninghame, of Kilmaurs, in 1454. Paterson, however, says—"This could not be the case, as he was actually in possession of that office several years earlier, by a grant from James III., dated 31st January, 1448-9:" — "To Alexander de Montgomerie, eldest son of our dear cousin, Alexander Lord Montgomery." But the granter in this case must have been James II., as that monarch's reigns extended to 1460. Alexander de Montgomery married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adam Hepburn, of Hailes, by whom he had three sons; 1, Alexander; 2, Robert, from whom was descended the Earls of Mount-Alexander, in Ireland; 3, Hugh, of Hesiihead, —Alexander, second Lord Montgomery, succeeded his grandfather, Alexander,. first Lord Montgomery, sometime after 1461. He is probably the Lord Montgomery mentioned in an indenture entered into, at Stirling, in 1465, by Robert Lord Fleming, on the one side, and Gilbert Lord Kennedy, and Sir Alexander Boyd, of Duchol, on the other, in which, amongst other provisions, they bind themselves to stand each to the other, in "afald [sincere] kindness, supply, and defence," in all causes or quarrels in which any of them then are, or may thereafter be engaged during the period of their lives. Amongst the list of those exempted as friends of Kennedy and Boyd, is Lord Montgomery. He married Catherine, daughter of Gilbert Lord Kennedy, and had issue—three sons; 1, Hugh; 2, James; 3, John; and one daughter, Helen, married to Sir James Bruce, of Airth. —Hugh, third Lord Montgomery, and first Earl of Eglinton, succeeded his father. He was in the first Parliament of James IV., held at Edinburgh, on the 6th of October, 1488; and was there appointed one of the commissioners charged with the searching for, and putting down those guilty of the crimes of theft, robbery, and murder, in the districts of Carrick, Ayr, Kyle, and Cunningham; and in the year following he was appointed one of the King's Privy Council. About this time a dispute seems to have arisen between Lord Montgomery, and Cuthbert Earl of Glencairn, regarding the title to the Bailliary of Cunninghame, which the Cuninghames claimed as belonging to them by right of old standing. This disagreement between these noble houses led, in accordance with the spirit of the times, to frequent reprisals and deadly encounters, which grew at last into an established feud; and we accordingly find Lord Montgomery obtaining from James IV., 1488, a remission for "throwing down the house of Kerrielaw (now Grange), and carrying off the goods". The Cuninghames, to whom Kerelaw then belonged, appear to have waited their time and exacted reparation for the injury thus inflicted by surprising and burning Eglinton Castle, in 1526. In this disaster the destruction of the charters and other family documents was envolved[sic]. In 1507-8, Lord Montgomery is said to have been created Earl of Eglinton; but Crawfurd, quoting from " the Decreet of Ranking," says 1503, and adds, that it was in the fourteenth-year of the reign of James IV.; this, however, would make the date of creation 1502, as the fourth James ascended the throne in 1488. The Earl of Eglinton was one of the nobles summoned to meet James V. at Stirling in 1528, when that monarch succeeded in making his escape from Falkland, where he was held by the Earl of Douglas; and in the same year, his lordship received from the king a new charter of his lands in Renfrew, Ayr, &c. In 1536, he was one of the regency of six noblemen, appointed by James V., when he went to France for the purpose of espousing the Princess Magdalen. His lordship married Lady Helen, daughter of the Earl of Argyle, by whom he had issue—six sons; 1, Alexander, who died young; 2, John, Lord Montgomery; 3, Sir Neil Montgomery, of Lainshaw; 4, William Montgomery, of Greenfield; 5, Hugh, killed at the battle of Pinkie; 6, Robert, bishop of Argyle; and eight daughters; 1, Lady Margaret, married to Lord Semple; 2, Lady Marjory, married to Lord Somerville; 3, Lady Maude, married to Colin Campbell, of Ardkinglass; 4, Lady Isabel, married to John Mure, of Caldwell; 5, Lady Elizabeth, married to John Blair of that Ilk; 6, Lady Agnus, married to John Ker of Kersland; 7, Lady Janet, married to the Laird of Cessnock; 8, Lady Catherine, married to George Montgomery of Skelmorlie. The Earl of Eglinton died in 1545, at the advanced age, it is believed, of 85, and was succeeded by his grandson, Hugh, eldest son of John Lord Montgomery. —John Lord Montgomery, second son of the Earl of Eglinton, died before his father. He appears to have taken an active part in the feuds with the Cuninghames; and was charged with wounding William Cuninghame of Craigends, on the 20th of January 1506. He was himself wounded in an encounter with Sir William Cuninghame, Master of Glencairn, in 1507-8, on which occasion several of the adherents on both sides were killed. Lord Montgomery was slain in the conflict, known as " Cleanse the Causey", which took place in 1520, at Edinburgh, between the Earls of Angus and Arran and their adherents. He married Janet, daughter of Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Dantreath, and had issue, two sons; 1, Lord Archibald, who died about 1526; 2, Hugh, who succeeded his grandfather; and a daughter, Christina, married to Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig.

To be continued.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 9

Eglinton Family No. 4

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 14th July 1855


Hugh second Earl of Eglinton, eldest son of John Lord Montgomery, succeeded his grandfather in 1525. He is probably the Lord Montgomery mentioned along with his grandfather, the Earl of Eglinton, as being summoned to meet James V. at Stirling, in 1528, immediately after his escape from Falkland. About this time, he was one of the Justiciaries of Scotland, as appears from an entry in the Lord Treasurer's accounts for 1529. "To Lord Montgomery, Justice, remanand continualie at the Airis [itinerant courts of justice] of Forfar, Perth, and Couper, fra the first day of Januar to the XXIII day of Februar, to his expences i.e. XX li [20 pounds]". He died on the 3rd of September, 1529. His lordship married Marion, daughter of George Lord Seytoun, by whom he had issue, one son, Hugh; and two daughters; 1, Agnes, married to Thomas Kennedy, of Bargany; 2, Margaret, —. Hugh, third Earl of Eglinton, succeeded his father in 1546. He was one of the nobles who accompanied Mary Queen of Scots from France to Scotland in 1561, on which occasion the vessel which contained the Earl was captured by an English cruiser and carried into port. This was done in accordance with secret instructions received from the Queen of England, who had resolved upon intercepting Mary, while on her passage, but the ship in which she was, fortunately escaped the English cruiser under cover of a fog, and arrived safely at the port of Leith. When, therefore, it was discovered that the object of their search had escaped, the vessel was released and permitted to put out again to sea. He was throughout a warm supporter of Mary, and ardently, though prudently, espoused her cause during the distracted period that followed her ascension of the throne, and marriage with Lord Darnley. He is also believed to have been in the Parliament, convened to meet at Edinburgh, on the 12th of April, 1567, for the trial of the Earl of Bothwell, who was accused of being a leading participator in the murder of the King Consort, Lord Darnley, and which acquitted that nobleman of the charges brought against him. On the rising of the Parliament, the Earl of Bothwell entertained his supporters and several of the leading noblemen at a supper, in a then noted tavern in Edinburgh, kept by a person named Ansley, and known as "Ansley's supper", at which the Earl of Eglinton was present. In the course of the evening the house was surrounded by a party of armed men, and immediately thereafter, the Earl of Bothwell surprised his guests by rising and soliciting their signatures to a document, sanctioning his marriage with the Scottish Queen, at the same time producing, it is said, the written consent of Mary herself. During the confusion consequent upon that sudden and unexpected proceeding, the Earl of Eglinton contrived to effect his escape from the house, and was the only nobleman present, who evaded lending the sanction of his name to the ambitious project of Bothwell. We again find the Earl amongst the leading nobles and barons who met at Stirling, in the month of May following, to concert measures for preserving the young Prince (afterwards James VI.), from the power of the Earl of Bothwell. At that meeting, the associated lords entered into a "band", wherein they solemnly bound themselves "to defend (each) other in all things that shall concern the glory of God, and Commonweal of their country"; and, it may be remarked that this coalition subsequently led to the deposition and imprisonment of Mary, and the banishment of Bothwell. Notwithstanding, however, his participation in the deposition of Mary, and the triumph of the nobles, the Earl of Eglinton does not appear to have wholly renounced his allegiance to the unfortunate Queen, but rather seems to have viewed the measures taken by the confederates as being attended with too much severity and rigour. Accordingly, on her escape from Lochleven, in 1568, he was one of the first to join her standard. He fought in her behalf at the fatal battle of Langside; and only saved himself from being made prisoner by taking refuge in a house contiguous to the field, where he lay concealed until the darkness of the night favoured his escape. He acted with the party of the Queen up to 1669-70 [1569-70]; but in the latter year he seems to have given in his adhesion to the Regent Lennox, as he is mentioned among the nobles present at the Parliament, known as "the Parliament with the hole in it", which was held at Stirling, in August of that year; and was taken prisoner on the fourth of September following, when the town of Stirling was surprised by the Earl of Huntley, and other noblemen in the Queen's interest. The Earl of Eglinton, along with several of the leading nobles, appears to have fallen under the displeasure of James VI. soon after his ascension of the throne, for we find him in the list of the seven lords, to whom the King sent intimation that their services would be dispensed with, at the Parliament held at Edinburgh in 1581. This procedure arose, no doubt, from their avowed hostility to the two royal favourites—the Earl of Lennox and Captain James Stewart. Lennox had recently been made a Duke, and Stewart had received a gift of the earldom of Arran; and the Parliament was expected to confirm these favours of the King. It was therefore considered necessary, in order to preserve a show of unanimity, that none should be present except those who would readily sanction with their approval, the measures passed in favour of Lennox and Arran. But the opposition to those noblemen was not to be so easily got rid of. In the year following, 1582, an association was organised consisting of the leading Protestant lords, of whom the Earl of Eglinton was one, and the more influential ministers, for the overthrow of Lennox, who was believed to be a secret abettor of popery; and which association, calumniated in the Gowrie conspiracy, or "Raid of Ruthven", when the King was forcibly seized and kept a prisoner, Lennox was sent into exile, and Arran committed to prison. The Earl of Eglinton married first, Lady Jane Hamilton, daughter of James, Duke of Chatelherault, and Earl of Arran, Governor of Scotland during the minority of Mary, Queen of Scots; but the marriage was dissolved in 1562, on account of the parties standing in the fourth degree of consanguinity, and the Pope having refused to grant the necessary dispensation. He married secondly, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Drummond, of Innerpeffar[sic], and had issue, two sons; 1, Hugh ,Lord Montgomery; 2, Robert Montgomery, of Giffen; and two daughters; 1, Lady Margaret, married to Robert first Earl of Winton; 2, Lady Agnes, married to Robert Lord Temple. His lordship died in 1585, and was succeeded by his eldest son,—Hugh, fourth Earl of Eglinton. He is said to have been with the army of Mary, Queen of Scots, at the battle of Langside, in 1568; and is mentioned in the list of the 300 lords and gentlemen who were taken prisoners on that occasion. But this could not be if he was the eldest son of the third Earl of Eglinton, by Agnes, his second wife, as this marriage is said to have taken place after 1562, for in that case his lordship could not be more than six years of age at the date of the battle of Langside. In order therefore to explain this difficulty, the second marriage must be assigned an earlier date, or the incorrectness of the list, above mentioned, assumed. While crossing the Annock [Annick] water, at Stewarton, on the 10th of April, 1586, he was attacked and murdered by a party of the Cuninghames. This arose out of the old feud existing between the Eglinton and Glencairn families. His lordship is said to have been twice married: first to Lady Giles, daughter of Robert Lord Boyd, by whom Paterson says he had his successor, Hugh; but there is probably a mistake here, for in the list of nobles drawn up and sent to England in 1692 [1592], the mother of Hugh, is stated to be the Earl's second wife, Helen, daughter of Thomas Kennedy, of Bargany [sic]. He was succeed by his only son, Hugh, who at his father's death was a minor.—Hugh, fifth Earl of Eglinton, is mentioned as one of the nobles who went to Edinburgh, accompanied by their armed retainers, on the day of trial of Campbell, of Ardkinglass, who was accused of the murder of the Laird of Calder. Ardkinglass was a distant relation of the Eglinton family; Colin Campbell, of Ardkinglass, having married Lady Maude, third daughter of Hugh, first Earl of Eglinton. On this occasion, however, the trial of Campbell was seized by the more powerful nobles, as well as the lesser barons, as a pretext for a demonstration of their strength in order to further the aims of the several political parties to which they belonged. And so great was the terror inspired by the presence of the numerous bands of armed men, which assembled in the city, that the inhabitants were kept under arms day and night, and the Lords of Session who tried Campbell, were under the necessity of raising a body of three hundred men for their own protection. It is true, however, that the assassination of the Laird of Calder arose out of the feud, then existing, between the powerful houses of Moray and Huntley—a quarrel in which the greater part of the nobility, were more or less implicated. Campbell of Calder was known to have been one of the party, which some years before, set fire to Moray's house, of Dunnibirrel, and killed the Earl himself. To exact revenge for his participation in that outrage, as well as to settle some private grudge Ardkinglass, is said, to have hired a person named Mackellar, to assassinate Calder, a task which he accomplished under circumstances of unusual atrocity; and the consequences of the infamous deed, forms the subject of one of those beautiful ballads, with which our old Scottish lyrical literature abounds:


BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL.
Hie upon Hielands
And low upon Tay,
Bonnie George Campbell
Rade [Rode] out on a day.
Saddled and bridled
And gallant rade he;
Hame [Home] came his gude [good] horse,
But never cam he!

Out cam his auld mither [old mother]
Greeting fu' sair,[crying bitterly]
And out cam his bonnie bride
Rivin' [tearing out] her hair.
Saddled and bridled
And booted rade he;
Toom [Empty] hame came the saddle;
But never cam he!

"My meadow lies green,
And my corn is unshorn.
My barn is to big,
And my babe unborn."
Saddled and bridled
And booted rade he;
Toom hame came the saddle,
But never came he!


To be continued.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 10

Eglinton Family No. 5

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 21st July 1855


The Abbacy of Kilwinning having been erected, in 1592, into a temporal lordship in favour of William Melville, of Raith, who was then Commendator, he soon after transferred the right to Hugh fifth Earl of Eglinton. This transfer was subsequently (in 1603), confirmed by a charter from James VI., in which he granted anew to the Earl, his heirs, and assignees, the dissolved Abbey of Kilwinning, with all its lands and titles, whether in property or superiority, and which erected the same into a temporal lordship, along with the patronage of the parish churches belonging thereto. His lordship married, first, Lady Jane Hamilton, daughter of the Duke of Chatelherault, who died about 1596; and, secondly, Margaret, daughter and sole heiress of Robert Montgomery of Giffen, neither of whom had issue. He died in 1613, and, not having left issue, was succeeded, according to a previous agreement between the Earl of Eglinton and the Earl of Winton, by Sir Alexander Seaton, of Foulstruther, second son of the Earl of Winton, and of Lady Margaret, daughter of Hugh third Earl of Eglinton. But that settlement having been made to the prejudice of Sir Neil Montgomery of Lainshaw, who was the nearest male heir, and without the sanction of the crown, James VI. refused to acknowledge Sir Alexander's claim to the earldom. About two years afterwards, in 1615, the King appears to have acceded to his claim, and Sir Alexander then took the title of Earl of Eglinton.—Alexander sixth Earl of Eglinton was a member of the Privy Council of Charles I.; but being a zealous Covenanter he was early induced to join the defenders of the independence of the Scottish Church, in their opposition to the introduction of the prelatical measures by which the King hoped to subvert its liberties. He was with the army of the Covenanters which encountered and routed a part of the English army at Kelso, and which subsequently encamped, in the beginning of June 1639, at Dunse Law. Here the King, perceiving the determined front opposed to him by the Covenanters, and the utter disaffection and daily desertions that had commenced amongst his own troops, proposed the opening of negotiations for peace. A treaty having been concluded, in which the King conceded to the Covenanters the right "to enjoy their religion and liberties, according to the ecclesiastical and civil laws of the kingdom", the army was immediately disbanded. But the King, who never intended to keep faith with his Scottish subjects in a question which he believed struck at the root of his authority, broke the treaty; and the following year (1640) saw the Covenanting army again assembled, and marched into England. It encountered the English army at Newburn, which disputed the passage of the river Tyne, but being attacked with great impetuosity, it was soon driven from its position, and compelled to retreat. This defeat and the increasing disaffection of his English subjects, forced the King to conclude a peace with the Covenanters, and the army returned to Scotland. In 1642 the Earl of Eglinton went to Ireland with the Scottish forces, raised for the purpose of putting down the rebellion which had broken out there. On the breaking out of the civil war between Charles I. and the Parliament, the Earl espoused the cause of the latter, and was with the Parliamentary army at the battle of Long- Marston-Moor, in 1644. When Charles II. arrived, however, in Scotland, in 1650, the Earl, along with the other presbyterian nobles, joined his standard, and was appointed Captain of the King's Horse Guards. The welcome which Charles experienced on his lauding in Scotland, was in the highest degree hearty and spontaneous, and the inhabitants of the capital, carried away by the generous ardour of their loyalty, were especially enthusiastic in their demonstrations of joy, celebrating the auspicious event, "by setting furth of [out] bailfyres [beacon fires], ringing of bells, sounding of trumpets, dancing through the streets all that night. The puir kaill-wyffes [poor kale- women] at the Trone [Tron, weighing machine] sacrificed their creills [wicker baskets], and the very stooles they sat upon, to the fire". But this unanimity was not of long duration. The bitter dissensions in the church, which had arisen out of the Act of Classes, passed in 1649, again burst into a flame, and raged with such intensity, that the predominating party compelled Charles to discharge from his army all those who were suspected of malignancy. To this class the Earl of Eglinton, and several of the leading nobles, as well as a considerable number of the inferior officers and the common soldiers, had the misfortune to belong. The purgation of the army accordingly took place a few days before the battle of Dunbar, and almost in sight of the invading army under Cromwell; and to that impolitic measure, dictated by party rancour, the disastrous results which followed that engagement were mainly to be attributed. But in the December following 1550 [1650?], the Parliament which met at Perth, anxious to put an end to a division, which excluded from active service the flower of the army—proposed the question, "what persons are to be admitted to rise in arms, and to join with the forces of the kingdom, and in what capacity for defence thereof, against the armies of the sectaries who contrary to the Solemn League and Covenant and Treaties, have most unjustly invaded and are destroying the kingdom?" adopted resolutions favourable, under certain limitations to the admission of all persons able to bear arms. This measure, which led to the rescinding of the Act of Classes, seems to have again permitted the Earl to take an active port in the defence of the kingdom against the arms of Cromwell, for in 1651, we find him engaged in raising troops for the King's army, in Dumbartonshire[sic]. While on this service, he was, however, surprised and taken prisoner by a party of English horsemen, and sent to Hull, from whence he was subsequently conveyed to Berwick-on-Tweed. On the restoration of Charles II. to the English throne, in 1660, he was released, and his estates, which had been sequestrated, were restored. His lordship died in the month of January, 1661. He was twice married, first to Lady Ann Livingstone, daughter of the Earl of Linlithgow, who died in 1632, and by whom he had issue; five sons; 1, Hugh Lord Montgomery; 2, Sir Henry Montgomery of Giffen; 3, Sir Alexander Montgomery; 4, Colonel James Montgomery of Coilsfield; 5, Major-General Robert Montgomery, who greatly distinguished himself during the civil wars; and one daughter; Lady Margaret, married, first, to John first Earl of Tweeddale; and, secondly, to William Earl of Glencairn. His lordship married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of Walter Lord Buccleugh, who died in 1651; without issue. —Hugh seventh Earl of Eglinton succeeded his father, in 1661. He was with the Presbyterian army which invaded England, in 1640, and took part in the skirmish at Newburn; but he subsequently went over to the side of the King, and fought in his behalf at Marston-Moor in 1644. In consequence of his adherence to the royal cause he was declared ineligible to public employment; but on the rescinding of the Act of Classes in 1650, he was relieved from his civil disability. In the following year vigorous measures having been taken for the defence of the kingdom, by the Committee of Estates, against the army of the Sectaries, it was "ordered that Lord Montgomery have 6 barrels of that powder which belongs to the publicke, for the defence of his house, for which the said Lord is to be comptable[accountable] to the publicke for". He was one of the noblemen exempted from Cromwell's Act of Grace and Pardon, in 1654. His lordship died in 1669. He was twice married, first to Lady Anne Hamilton, daughter of the Marquis of Hamilton, by whom he had issue one daughter; Lady Ann married to James Earl of Findlater. He married secondly, Lady Mary Leslie, daughter of the Earl of Rothes, by whom he had issue, two sons; 1, Alexander Lord Montgomery: 2, Hon. Francis Montgomery of Giffen; and five daughters; 1, Lady Mary, married to George Earl of Winton; 2, Lady Margaret, married to James Earl of Loudon; 3, Lady Christian, married to John Lord Balmerino; 4, Lady Eleanor, married to Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon; 5. Lady Anne, married to Sir Andrew Ramsay of Abbotshall.—Alexander eight Earl of Eglinton succeeded his father. He was prominently engaged in the Revolution of 1688; and in 1689, was appointed a member of the Privy Council. His lordship died in 1701. He married Lady Elizabeth, daughter of William Earl of Dumfries, and had issue three sons; 1, Alexander Lord Montgomery; 2, Major Hugh Montgomery; 3, Major John Montgomery; and one daughter, Lady Mary, married to Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochaw. —Alexander ninth Earl of Eglinton succeeded his father in 1701. Prior to his accession to the earldom he took an active interest in political affairs, and held several important offices under the Crown. He was one of the Commissioners of the Treasury to King William as well as one of the Privy Council, and in 1700 he sat in Parliament, by virtue of the king's Letter, in the stead of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. In the commotions which followed on the rebellion of 1715, his lordship was a strenuous supporter of the government, and displayed great zeal in the raising and disciplining of the Ayrshire fencible men, 6000 of whom were assembled at Irvine, on the 22nd of August 1715, for the purpose of being trained. After a life of great activity and usefulness, his lordship died in 1729. He was thrice married, first to Lady Margaret Cochrane, daughter of William Earl of Dundonald, by whom he had issue—two sons; 1, Hugh Master of Eglinton, who died in 1696; 2, Master William, who also died young; and four daughters; 1, Lady Catherine, married to James Earl of Galloway; Lady Euphemia, married to George Lockhart of Carnwath, Esq.; 3, Lady Grace, married to Robert Earl of Carnwath; 4, Lady Jean, married to Sir Alexander Maxwell of Monreith. His lordship married, secondly, Lady Anne Gordon, daughter of George Earl of Aberdeen, by whom he had issue one daughter, Lady Mary, married to Sir David Cuninghame of Milncraig.

To be continued.
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

Post by hahaya2004 »

No. 11

Eglinton Family No. 6

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 04th August 1855


Alexander ninth Earl of Eglinton, married thirdly, Susanna, daughter of Sir Archibald Kennedy of Colzean[sic], Bart., by whom he had issue three sons; 1, James Lord Montgomery, who died young; 2, Alexander Lord Montgomery who succeeded his father; 3, Hon. Archibald Montgomery, who, on the death of his brother, in 1769, succeeded to the earldom; and seven daughters: 1, Lady Elizabeth, married to Sir David Cuninghame of Caprington, Bart.; 2, Lady Helen, married to Lieut.-Col. John Stewart; 3, Lady Margaret, married to Sir Alexander McDonald of Slate, Bart.; 4, Lady Susanna, married to John Renton of Lamerston; 5, Lady Christian, married to James Moray of Abercairney; 6, Lady Francis; 7, Lady Grace, married to Cornet [second lieutenant] Boyne[sic] of Bland's Dragoons [3rd (The King's Own) Hussars].
Susanna Countess of Eglinton[1] was celebrated for her beauty, and remarkable for a manner peculiar to herself, which was long remembered as the "Eglinton air, or Eglinton manner". Her Ladyship is also remembered as the liberal patron of Allan Ramsay, [William] Hamilton of Bangour, and a number of less memorable poets. The Gentle Shepherd was placed under her Ladyship's protection, and in the dedication to that pastoral, Allan did not perhaps overstrain "a just praise" when he attributed to her Ladyship the possession of every outward charm in the most perfect degree, "as well as being conspicuous among her sex, for her "penetration, superior wit, profound judgment, and the unfading beauties of wisdom and piety"; and Hamilton of Bangour, in the prefatory verses prefixed to the same poem, gives a like character to her Ladyship, and in passing pays a not unmerited compliment to her daughters:—

" In virtues rich, in goodness unconfined,
Thou shin'st a fair example of thy kind;
Sincere, and equal to thy neighbours' fame,
How swift to praise and obstinate to blame.
Bold in thy presence bashfulness appears,
And backward merit loses all its fears.
Supremely blest by Heaven, Heaven's richest grace
Confest is thine—an early blooming race;
Whose pleasing smiles shall guardian wisdom arm—
Divine instruction:—taught of thee to charm,
What transports shall they to thy soul impart
(The conscious transports of a mother's heart),
When thou behold'st them of each grace possessed,
And sighing youths imploring to be blest!
After thy image formed, with charms like thine,
Or in the visit or the dance to shine.
Thrice happy who succeed their mother's praise,
The lovely Eglintouns of other days".

When living in retirement at Auchans, her Ladyship was visited by Johnson and Boswell, who were then returned from their tour in the Hebrides, and she seems to have left a highly favourable impression on the sturdy Dr.
The account given by Boswell of this interview is interesting as confirming Ramsay and Hamilton's character of her Ladyship. "Lady Eglintoune," he says, "though she was now in her eighty-fifth year; and had lived in the retirement of the country for almost half a century, was still a very agreeable woman. She was of the noble house of Kennedy, and had all the elevation which a consciousness of such birth inspires. Her figure was majestic, her manner high bred, her reading extensive, and her conversation elegant. She had been the admiration of the gay circles of life, and the patroness of poets. Dr. Johnson was delighted with his reception here. Her principles in church and state were congenial with his. She knew all his merit, and had heard much of him from her son, Earl Alexander, who loved to cultivate the acquaintance of men of talents in every department. In the course of our conversation this day, it came out that Lady Eglintoune was married the year before Dr. Johnson was born, upon which she graciously said to him that she might have been his mother, and that she now adopted him; and, when we were going away, she embraced him, saying, "My dear son, farewell! My friend was much pleased with this day's entertainment, and owned that I had done well to force him out". Her Ladyship lived for 51 years after the death of the Earl, her husband, dying at Auchans, in 1780, at the advanced age of 91 years.

[1] Susanna Montgomery
________________________________________
Since the publication of our last sketch, we have been kindly favoured with abstracts of a number of curious old letters and other valuable documents, at present in the Charter Chest at Eglinton Castle. The dates of these documents range from 1509 to 1661; and as they contain much which tends to throw additional light on several points of interest in our three last sketches, we take the liberty of presenting extracts from a few of them to our readers.—
Under date 6th June 1509 we find a discharge by James Archbishop of Glasgow, to Hugh first Earl of Eglinton for the sum of one hundred Merks for the composition of the ward of certain lands in the shire of Renfrew.* On the 18th December 1515, Colin Earl of Argyle granted an acknowledgment to his "Ant Elyn Countess of Eglintoun"* for ane chenzie (chain) of gold containing five ounces and half-ane ounce, and three score and twelve links; and ane silver piece containing seven and three-quarter ounces. By the same document he binds himself, or his heirs to deliver these articles, without claim, to the Countess or her heirs, between the date of the writ, and the feast of Fastern's eve [Shrove Tuesday] thereafter. Helen, Countess of Eglinton was the daughter of Colin first Earl of Argyle. By a letter of King James the Fifth, His Majesty, with the consent of his mother the Queen regent, constituted and ordained Hugh, first Earl of Eglinton, "his very lawful and undoubted Bailie and Chamberlain of all and haill [complete] the lands and lordship of Stewarton". This letter bears date 10th September, 1524. In the feud which then raged between the Earls of Eglinton and Glencairn, and in one of the hostile encounters then frequent between these two powerful families, Edward Cuningham of Auchenharvie was slain. For this deed the Earl of Eglinton was called upon "to stand an assize," or trial, which upon refusing to do he was outlawed. But he subsequently complied, and James V. on the 5th September, 1528, (15th year of his reign) granted a discharge, in which he revoked the gift made formerly, by him, "to Archibald Earl of Angus, and William Master of Glencairn, his eme (nephew) of the unlaws (outlawry) and Escheats of Hugh Ear] of Eglinton for the slaughter of Umquhil [late] Edward Cuningham of Auchenharvie", because we are told "the Earl of Eglinton had now stood an assize for the said slaughter and was made white (cleared) thereof". It will be remembered that the claim of Sir Alexander Setoun to the title of Earl of Eglinton, was for some time held in abeyance, and several of the documents give some particulars regarding the steps taken to prevent him from taking the name and honours of Eglinton.† In a letter by King James VI. to Lord Binning, his secretary, and Sir William Oliphant Knight, his advocate, his Majesty requires them to cause Sir Alexander Montgomery in their presence to resign all claim and right, which he might in anywise have pretended to the style of Earl of Eglinton; and to cause him to exhibit unto them, in writing, a sufficient resignation of the said style and dignity, signed with his own hand, to be kept, ad futuram re memoriam [for future reference]. This document is dated 29th January, 1615. It would appear that Sir Alexander made the required resignation soon after this date, for in another letter of James VI. to the same noblemen, dated the last day of February, 1615, we find the king requiring them to advise, before giving the infeftment out of their hands, whether anything should be added to the demission of the style and dignity of the Earl of Eglinton, executed by the said Sir Alexander Montgomery, so as it might be made every way sufficient in law. Under the same date there is another letter to Lord Binning and Sir William Oliphant, anent [alongside] the signature of the Earl of Eglinton, and which enjoins them to give information to the officers and keepers of the Seals and Registers not to suffer any infeftment of tailzie [entail] and others, containing the translation of the dignity of Lord of Parliament, to pass, unless it be passed under his Majesty's own hand. Sir Alexander seems to have been shortly after this permitted to assume the name and honours of Eglinton. From another letter of James VI. to Alexander sixth Earl of Eglinton, dated 19th October, 1616, we are presented with a curious picture of the state of the law, and the extent of the royal prerogative in the seventeenth century. In it the Earl is authorised to hawk and hill, with long-winged hawks, all sorts of fowls, with the exception of partridges and muir-fowl, and to hunt hares with rackes [consideration?], giving them (the hares) fair play, and not hunting them with greyhounds. It also appears that Alexander sixth Earl of Eglinton received in 1619, a license from the Lords of the Secret Council, to eat flesh during the forbidden time of lent. This document, is followed by another, bearing date the 6th March, 1622, in which the indulgence is renewed to his lordship, and all other persons, who shall accompany him at his table, to eat flesh during the term of lent, and also upon Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, for the space of one year from the date of the license. We have already alluded to the part which Alexander sixth Earl of Eglinton took in the struggles between Charles I. and the Covenanters. There are several documents relating to the transactions of that period, and amongst them a letter from General David Leslie to the Earl, in which the movements of the Marquis of Montrose is detailed, and intimation given that he is marching from the north upon Glasgow, and Leslie entreats the Earl to use all speed in getting the new levies of men in readiness for active service, and to take measures to put the country in a posture of defence. This letter is dated from Arbroath, 12th October, 1643. On the 3rd of October, 1648, the Earl received intimation to attend "a General Meeting of the Committee, (of Estates), to be kept at St. Andrews, upon Tuesday, the 24th instant, for considering of such things as are to be offered by the English Commissioners, and for settling the affairs of the kingdom". Alexander Earl of Eglinton was a zealous Covenanter, and delighted in befriending the Ministers of the Gospel when overtaken by misfortune or persecution, occurrences but too frequent in that troublous period. We accordingly find Mr Samuel Rutherford, in 1649, soliciting his lordship's protection and assistance for "ane honest youth, Mr Alexander Pitcairn, regent in the old College"; and Mr Robert Wodrow, in 1650, entreating his lordship to send to his aid half-a-dozen troopers. During the dissensions between Charles I. and the Covenanters, and subsequently the English Parliament, Hugh Lord Montgomery, afterwards seventh Earl of Eglinton, joined the king's party, and was in his army at the battle of Marston-Moor.† In a letter from King Charles I., dated at Whitehall, the 22nd day of March, 1639, addressed "To our Right Trustie and well-beloved the Lord Montgomery," his lordship is requested "to make immediate and personal repair" to the king's presence; and in a subsequent commission without a date, from the same king, his lordship is invested with all the powers and privileges appertaining to the office of a Colonel of Horse or foot; and he is at the same time ordered to convocate the Committees of War, in the Bailliary of Cunninghame, and Sheriffdom of Renfrew, that they may appoint the necessary levies of horse and foot for the king's service, as well as to collect all those that were levied for Colonel Gilbert Kerr's regiment, wherever they were to be found.


To be continued.

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* Eglinton No. 3

Eglinton No. 5
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
hahaya2004
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Re: Historical Sketches - Kilwinning

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No. 12

Eglinton Family No. 7

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 11th August 1855

Alexander tenth Earl of Eglinton succeeded his father in 1729. In 1746 his lordship was appointed Governor of Dumbarton Castle; and on the accession of George III. to the throne, in 1760, he was nominated one of his Majesty's Lords of the Bed-chamber. At the general election, in 1761, his lordship was chosen one of the sixteen representatives of the Scottish Peerage, and was again elected, in 1768. In virtue of the act, passed in 1748, for the abolition of heritable jurisdictions, his lordship received for the heritable sheriffship of Renfrew, £5000; for the Regality of Cunninghame, £2000; and for the Bailliary of Kilwinning, £800; or altogether the sum of £7,800, in lieu of his claim of £12,000, as compensation for surrendering his rights to these offices. During the latter years of his life, his lordship devoted much of his time to the improvement of his extensive estates, and in fact he may be said to have been the first landed proprietor in Ayrshire, who, perceiving how imperfectly the soil was cultivated, exerted himself to introduce amongst his numerous tenantry those improved methods of husbandry, which, within the past century, have done so much to develop the agricultural resources of the county. On his accession to the earldom, in 1729, agricultural operations were conducted on the most slovenly and antiquated processes—the produce of the soil was meagre, when contrasted with its possible fertility, and the housing and implements of husbandry as well as the domestic condition of the farmer himself, were of the worst description. Chalmers, speaking of this period, draws a most deplorable picture of the state of agriculture in the county. "Farm houses," he says, "were mere hovels, having an open hearth or fireplace in the middle of the floor, the dung-hill at the door; the cattle starving, and the people wretched. There were no fallows, no green crops, no artificial grass, no carts, no waggons, no straw-yards, and hardly a potatoe or esculent root. The farms were generally divided between the in-field and the out-field land. The first received the whole manure, the second was almost relinquished in dispair". To remedy this untoward and unpromising state of things, the Earl adopted the most energetic measures. He brought from various parts of the kingdom several eminent practical farmers, who initiated his tenants into the most approved modes of levelling and straighting land, fallowing, drilling, turnip husbandry, and the managment of the dairy. He abolished the distinction of croft and field land, and the injudicious practice of overploughing,—introduced the rotation of crops, and bound his tenants to crop only one-third of their lands. He periodically traversed the whole extent of his estates, saw the progress which was made, entered into familiar conversation with his tenants, inquired into the obstacles which retarded their improvements, and planed[sic] and erected new farm-steadings, and opened up roads. The divisions and marches of the farms were newly arranged, long and straight fences were run through his estates, and he especially encouraged his tenants to green crop in fallow, and cultivate turnips and artificial grasses on an extensive scale; and, in order the better to infuse amongst the farmers a spirit of emulation in the race of improvement, he instituted an Agricultural Society, and presided over it for several years. These generous efforts of his lordship for ameliorating the condition of his tenantry, it might be supposed, would have met with the ready approbation, and hearty co-operation of those for whose benefit they were chiefly designed, but such was not the case. The farmers clung to their old habits and prejudices, they disliked the new methods of cultivation, held in particular abhorrence the article of rye-grass, as an "uncanny thing", and thought his lordship "wi' his new-fangled notions, wisna [wasn't] like his forbears," for he was "far owre fashious".[very troublesome]
But in the midst of his career of improvement, and when he was proving himself a benefactor of his kind by making "two blades of grass grow, where only one grew before", his lordship met an untimely death, having been mortally wounded by a shot from the gun of one Mungo Campbell, an exciseman. This unfortunate and fatal occurrence, which took place near Ardrossan, we have alluded to in the sketches of that place,* and the following description of the encounter we quote from Paterson's Families of Ayrshire:—

"On Tuesday the 24th of October 1769, his lordship left Eglinton Castle on horseback, his carriage and two servants attending him. He stopped at Ardrossan Parks, and observing two men on the sea-shore, one of them with a gun in his hand, a person of the name of Campbell, an excise officer at Saltcoats, whom he had detected killing game on his estates about twelve months before, but passed from prosecution on his promising not to repeat the offence, he rode to him and insisted on his delivering up his gun, which the latter refused to part with. The Earl, alighting from his horse, went towards Campbell, who cocked his gun, and retired, keeping it forward on his side and thigh, pointed towards his lordship. The servants then rode up, and a conversation ensued, Lord Eglinton reminding Campbell of his former offence, and insisted to have the gun—Campbell, on the other hand, acknowledged it; but added, that, if he had trespassed either formerly or at present, the law was open; that he was resolved not to part with his gun; that he would sooner part with his life; desiring Lord Eglinton to keep off if he regarded his own. The Earl replied that he could use a gun as well as he, and ordered one of his servants to fetch his fowling piece from the carriage. In the meantime he kept still advancing and gaining on Campbell, circling and winding to avoid the muzzle of the gun. Campbell retired backwards till he stumbled on a stone and fell. In rising he fired at Lord Eglinton, then within three or four yards of him, and lodged the charge in his left side. His lordship laying his hand on the wound, walked some paces from the place, which was wet, and within tide-mark, and sat down on a green hillock, telling his servants that he was mortally wounded—adding that he intended no harm to Campbell, as his gun, which had been brought from his carriage a moment before, was not loaded. He was put into his coach, and carried to Eglinton Castle, where he arrived a little before twelve o'clock. A physician and several surgeons were there before he reached it. All assistance was unavailing. He employed himself in giving orders, and writing directions about his affairs, making provision for his servants, and comforting his near relations, in which he discovered a tenderness, composure, and magnanimity that affected every person present. He died next morning. Sincere and steady in his friendships, and possessed of all the more amiable virtues, his lordship's death was long and painfully regretted".

At the time of his death his lordship was 46 years of age, having been born about 1722. Dying unmarried, he was succeeded in the titles and estates by his brother, the Hon. Archibald Montgomery.—Archibald eleventh Earl of Eglinton was born about 1723. He early embraced the profession of arms, and by his eminent military talents rose rapidly to a high rank in the army. In 1751, he was Major of the 36th regiment; and in 1775 [should be 1757] he raised a regiment of Highlanders, which he accompanied to America, where he greatly distinguished himself in several important expeditions, especially in one against the Cherokees, when by his energy and tact, he succeeded in reducing that powerful Indian tribe to obedience. He was elected Member of Parliament for the county of Ayr in 1761; and was in the same year appointed one of the equerries in waiting to the Queen, which office he held till his succession to the earldom in 1766. In 1764 he was appointed Governor of Dumbarton Castle; Deputy Ranger of St. James' and Hyde Parks in 1766; and Col. of the 51st regiment in 1767. In 1776 he was chosen one of the sixteen representatives of the Scottish Peerage; and was again re-chosen at the elections in 1780, 1784, and 1790. He was appointed Governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1782, and had the Colonelcy of the Scots Greys in 1795. He was successfully raised to the rank of Major General in 1772, to that of Lieutenant General in 1777, and of General in 1793. His lordship zealously adopted and completed the plans left by his brother for the improvement of the farms on the family estates. As old leases expired he sub-divided the lands anew, abolished the small farms, and erected them into large ones, built new and commodious farm steadings and bound the tenants to certain rotations of cropping. His Lordship, after a very active life spent in the service of his country, died at Eglinton Castle, on 30th October, 1796, aged 73. He was twice married—first to Lady Jean Lindsay, eldest daughter of George eighteenth Earl of Craufurd, who died without issue, in 1778, aged 21 years. He married, secondly, Francis[sic], daughter of Sir William Twysden, Bart., of Raydon Hall, in Kent, by whom he had issue—Two daughters; 1, Lady Mary, born 5th March, 1787, married to Archibald Lord Montgomery, eldest son of Hugh, twelfth Earl of Eglinton; 2, Lady Susan, born 26th May, 1788, who died on the 16th November, 1805, aged 17. His Lordship having died without male issue, the family estate devolved on Hugh Montgomery of Coilsfield, his Lordship's cousin. We therefore turn aside to trace the descent of the

MONTGOMERIES OF COILSFIELD

Colonel James Montgomery was the fourth son of Alexander sixth Earl of Eglinton.† He acquired the estate of Coilsfield by purchase. In common with the nobles of the period he actively joined in the dispute between Charles I. and the Covenanters, and subsequently the English Parliament. His firm adherence to the party of the King, in whose army he held the rank of Colonel, drew down upon him the displeasure of the presbyterian party, and he, along with his brother, Hugh Lord Montgomery, was declared incapable of holding any public office. But in 1650, on the rescinding of the act of Classes, Colonel Montgomery, was "on the recommendation of the General Assembly, declared capable of publicke employment, and all acts of restraint which had been passed against him were repealed." Colonel Montgomery died in 1675. He married the only daughter of Eneas Lord Macdonald of Ares, by whom he had issue—two sons; 1, Alexander, who succeeded his father; 2, Hugh, who succeeded his brother; and three daughters; 1, Margaret, married to John Chalmers of Gardgirth[sic]; 2, Mary, married to Dunbar of Machrimore; 3, Elizabeth, married to Kennedy of Kirkmichael. He was succeeded in the estate of Coilsfield by his eldest son Alexander, who died soon after, and was succeeded by his brother—Hugh Montgomery, who married, first, Jean, daughter of Sir William Primrose of Carrington, by whom he had three daughters; —, the eldest, married to William Hamilton of Letham; —, the second, married to Thomas Girvan, Esq., —, the third, married to — Burnet, Esq. He married, secondly, Catherine Arbuckle, relict of Hamilton of Letham, by whom he had issue, one son, Alexander; and two daughters; 1, Margaret, married to John Hamilton of Jamaica; 2, Catherine, who died unmarried. He was succeeded in the estate of Coilsfield, by his eldest son Alexander.

To be continued.

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* Ardrossan No. 3

Eglinton Family No. 5
The most important hour is always the present, the most significant person is the one opposite you right now, and the most necessary deed is always love. - Meister Eckhart (c.1260 - c.1328)
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