Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Parking lairds
1667 English /Irish Cattle Act
Land ownership patterns : Symson’s parking lairds.
As to that part of the query [by Sibbald] concerning parks, I can only say that, that the Park of Baldone is the chiefe, yea, I may say, the first and as it were the mother of all the rest, Sir David Dunbar being the first man that brought these parks to be in request in this countrey; but now many others, finding the great benefit thereof, have followed his example; as the Earl of Galloway, Sir William Maxwell, Sir Godfrey McCulloch, Sir James Dalrymple, the Laird of Logan and many others who have their parks or enclosed grounds, throughout the whole Shire. Symson : Large Description of Galloway: 1682, published as an Appendix in Mackenzie: 1844

Andrew Symson- a reliable witness?
Andrew Symson (1638-1712) became the Episcopalian minister of Kirkinner parish in 1663, replacing George Waugh who had been its previous, Presbyterian, incumbent. [Morton:1914]. Symson’s “Description of Galloway” was written in response to a circular he received from Sir Robert Sibbald (1641- 1722). Sibbald was:
appointed Geographer Royal to King Charles II (and Physician in Ordinary to His Majesty) in 1682. Sibbald's commission in 1682 was to produce not only a natural history of Scotland, but also a geographical description that would combine historical data with the results of contemporary survey. Sibbald's intentions, outlined in his 1683 'Account of the Scotish Atlas, or the Description of Scotland', centred upon a two-volume work: Scotia Antiqua would embrace the historical development of the Scottish nation, the customs of the people and their antiquities, and Scotia Moderna would describe the country's resources as a matter of contemporary chorography or regional description, on a county-by-county basis. In the event, this 'Atlas' was never completed. Only the natural history, Scotia Illustrata, was ever published. []
But as Julia Muir-Watt [2000] explains, Symson became increasing isolated as :
the “hill-men”, those holding illegal conventicles in the hills and moors of Galloway, drew “formerly orderly” parishioners away and that he grew unpopular when he refused to protect those involved in violent rebellion. This threw him on the mercies of the local nobility, including the Earl of Galloway’s family, with whom he had remained on good terms, and that they sheltered him in their homes when compelled to withdraw into a “quiet lurking place”. His friendly contacts at the time with local landowners are reflected in the Elegies he composed, most of which are for the gentry and nobility of the Machars [of Wigtownshire]. Probably at this time, he acted as amanuensis to Sir George Mackenzie, who was composing his famous Laws and Customs of Scotland in Matters Criminal [1674 - Mackenzie was a strong opponent of Galloway’s Presbysterian Covenanters who called him ‘bluidy Mackenzie’], which he saw through two editions. Despite losing much of his congregation - he comments gratefully in his Elegy for Sir David Dunbar [younger, died 1682] of Baldoon that he, with two or three others “never withdrew”…
By 1686, Symson had left Galloway to become minister at Douglas in Lanarkshire. Unwilling to take an oath of loyalty to William III in 1689, “Like many ejected Episcopalian clergy, he entered the printing and book-selling business in Edinburgh, and became a recognised printer of the Episcopalian [I.e. Jacobite] party, which occasionally involved him in controversy.” [Muir Watt: 2000]
Before proceeding to consider the named Wigtownshire landowners who followed David Dunbar’s example and constructed parks and enclosures, a warning note on any conclusions drawn must be sounded. David Dunbar, the earl of Galloway, William Maxwell and Godfrey McCulloch can all be identified as Stuart supporters and/ or Episcopalians. James Dalrymple was a ‘royalist Presbyterian’ until 1682, when he chose exile in Holland rather than accept the ‘Test Act’ (see below). Only the ‘Laird of Logan’
( Patrick McCulloch) appears to be an exception, but his sister Joanna was married to William Maxwell. At the same time, Symson failed to name at least one major Wigtownshire landowner - Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, the 10th hereditary Sheriff of Wigtown. Agnew may be one of Symson’s ‘and many others’. Or he may simply not have been a ‘parking laird’. Alternatively he may have been overlooked by Symson for religious and political reasons - Agnew had strong Presbyterian and Covenanting sympathies and so was removed as hereditary sheriff in January 1682. John Graham of Claverhouse was appointed in his stead.
Finally, all of the parks and enclosures mentioned by Symson were in Wigtownshire. There is evidence for the existence of at least two cattle parks in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright; in Rerrick parish by 1688 and in Borgue parish by 1692 [KSCD 1265ii and 1904ii respectively]. These were owned by Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton and Hugh Blair-McGuffog of Rusco. Therefore, in addition to the six landowners named by Symson, background for Agnew of Lochnaw, Maxwell of Orchardton and Blair-McGuffog of Rusko will be included to provide balance.

Cattle Parks and Enclosures
At its simplest, only the owner of a large estate covering many farms would be able to construct, as Symson reports that Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon did, a single enclosure ‘about two miles and an halfe in length and a mile and a halfe in breadth’ . At 3.75 square miles or 2400 acres, and allowing 300 acres for an average lowland Galloway arable/ mixed farm [Gray: 2000: 46], Dunbar’s ‘park’ enclosed the equivalent of 8 such farms. Since Symson goes on to comment that “this park can keep in it, winter and summer, about a thousand bestiall, part of whereof he buys from the countrey, and grazeth there all winter, other part whereof is his own breed; for he hath neer two hundred milch kine, which for the most part have calves yearly”, such parked land would not be available for other forms of farming. Therefore, unless a 17th century landowner like Dunbar owned additional land, he or she would have to buy in fodder (hay) for the cattle in winter and food (oats and barley) for his workforce.
Once a fully ‘market orientated’ or ‘capitalist’ form of agriculture had developed, one where the workforce of an estate bought their own food from the wages they were paid and where fodder for livestock could be bought in, such constraints would not apply. But in the Galloway of the 1670ies, when Dunbar established his great cattle park, such an economic structure did not exist. Dunbar’s diversification into the English cattle trade was an innovation, but one which existed within a pre-market economy society. Indeed, from a record of the income from rents of estates forfeited by Galloway Jacobites in 1715, 18% of the rents of the Baldoon estate were still paid ‘in kind’ ( produce) rather than cash to Dunbar‘s great-grandson Sir Basil Hamilton. [Mackenzie: 1841: Vol. 2: 391]. According to McKerlie [1877] David Dunbar of Baldoon owned 28 farms in Kirkinner parish alone, as well as other farms in neighbouring parishes of Wigtown and Sorbie. Such extensive (for Galloway) land ownership would have made Dunbar’s estate self-sufficient in the provision of fodder for livestock and food for the workforce.
Was this pattern of extensive landownership also the case for the other Wigtownshire landowners mentioned by Symson? This question can best be answered by drawing on McKerlie’s ‘History of the Lands and Their Owners in Galloway’, published in five volumes between 1870 and 1878. McKerlie was a London based civil servant but with family roots in Galloway. His research into the history of landownership in Galloway was carried out between 1868 and 1878, and he was able to the ‘charter- chests’ of still surviving Galloway estates. “His meticulous investigation of the charters undoubtedly set a new standard, in so far as they directed attention to the investigation of original forms of place-names from the sources, and his recording of marriage agreements and sasines give fascinating insight into the complex dynastic alliances which shaped the landownership of Galloway up to McKerlie’s own time.” [Muir Watt: 2000].

The 17th century parking lairds of Galloway
1. The Earl of Galloway.
1.1 Family Background
The family were a minor branch of the Stewarts of which Sir William Stewart ‘acquired the lands of Glasserton (Wigtownshire) about 1426’. By 1458/9 the estate of Garlies (Minnigaff parish, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright) had been added. Alexander Stewart inherited the Galloway Stewart’s estates in 1596. He married Grizel Gordon (daughter of Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar and Elizabeth Maxwell) in 1600. A favourite of James VI, he was made lord Garlies in 1607 and Earl of Galloway in 1623. Significantly although there was strong support in Galloway for the National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643, Alexander remained loyal James VI son Charles I. Alexander was succeeded by his son James in 1649. James married Nicolas, daughter of Sir Robert Greirson of Lag (father of Robert Grierson the locally notorious persecutor of the later Covenanters) and was fined £5000 sterling under Cromwell’s ’Act of Grace and Pardon’ in 1654 for his loyalty to Charles I. This loyalty was appreciated by Charles II on his restoration in 1660. James, the 2nd earl of Galloway died in 1671.
James had four children. The eldest son, Alexander, married Mary, daughter of James, 2nd Earl of Queensberry. Alexander would have been the ‘earl of Galloway’ mentioned by Symson as one of the landowners who followed David Dunbar’s example and created a ’park’ on his estate at Garlieston (Sorbie parish, Wigtownshire). Perhaps significantly, James second son married Elizabeth Dunbar, eldest daughter of David Dunbar of Baldoon. His son William married Elizabeth Gordon, heiress of the Cardoness estate (Anwoth parish, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright). James daughter Grizel married Alexander Gordon, 5th Viscount of Kenmure. (Kells parish, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright). Their son William, the 6th Viscount of Kenmure, led the local Jacobites in 1715 and was executed and his estate forfeit. William’s widow, Lady Kenmure, attempted to recover the family fortunes in 1723 by enclosing land for cattle parks. This attempt was one of the triggers of the Galloway Leveller’s Uprising in 1724.
Alexander and Mary had eight children. The eldest, another Alexander, died unmarried in 1694. His brother James became Earl of Galloway in 1695. James sister, Elizabeth, married Sir John Clerk of Pennicuick. Sir John Clerk was a major figure in early 18th century Scottish affairs. Although not Clerk was not directly involved, a series of letters sent to Clerk by his brother (who was a Customs Officer in Kirkcudbright) and by his brother in law James regarding the Levellers Uprising are primary sources on the events of 1724. Clerk was also an influential member of the Honourable Society of Improvers in the Knowledge of Agriculture which was founded in 1723.
1.2 Lands owned

2. Sir William Maxwell (of Monreith)
2.1 Family history
The Maxwells of Monreith (Mochrum parish, Wigtownshire) were descended from the Maxwells who built Caerlaverock castle in Dumfriesshire in the 13th century. According to McKerlie “On the 18th January 1481, Sir Edward Maxwell of Tinwald, second son of Herbert, first lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock, by his first wife, daughter of Herbert Herries of Terregles… obtained these lands [Monreith] …”. Moving forward to the 17th century, a William Maxwell inherited the estate of Monreith (Mochrum parish , Wigtownshire) in 1630. At this time, Robert Maxwell, the 10th Lord Maxwell and 1st Earl of Nithsdale still had feudal superiority, but he resigned this to William on the 20th July 1655. On the 27th of July 1655, William Maxwell ‘resigned’ all his lands to the Lord Protector - Oliver Cromwell. Then, on 6th Febtuary 1656 William Maxwell had sasine of Monreith and his other lands. William Maxwell had been a member of the anti- Stuart ‘War Committee of Wigtownshire’ from 1646 to 1649. Robert Maxwell had tried and failed to hold both Caerlaverock and Threave castles for Charles I in 1640 against the Covenanters. The full (superiority) transfer of landownership of the Monreith estate from Robert Maxwell to William Maxwell during the rule of Cromwell suggests it was a reward for William’s anti- Stuart activities.
This suggestion is reinforced by the actions of William’s eldest son, John.
On Tuesday, November 13th, 1666, John M’Clelland of Barscobe, whose estates were afterwards forfeited, ventured into Dalry along with young John Maxwell of Monreith, Colonel Wallace, and another, to get refreshments. As they entered the village they met Corporal George Deanes and three other soldiers of Sir Alexander Thonson’s company of the Guards, then at dalry, driving a company of people to thresh the corn of an old man named Grier, who had some land near the village, and who fled rather than pay the fine for non-attendance at the parish church.. M’Clelland and the others would fain to have interfered, but they presed on to the inn, called Mid-town, in Dalry, and were at breakfast when they were informed that the soldiers had caught Grier, and brought him to his house and were stripping him, and had threatened to set him on a hot girdle to compel him to tell where some of the Covenanters were hidden. This roused their wrath, and they at once set off for the old man’s house. They found him lying bound on the floor, and earnestly solicited the soldiers to let him go. And this being refused, they demanded to know why he was being so treated. The soldiers resented this interference, and words soon gave place to blows. The soldiers drew their swords and severely wounded two of M’Clelland’s party, and M’Clelland fired his pistol, loaded, it is said, with only part of a rtobacco pipe, but one of the soldiers was struck, and fell. The soldiers were secured, and the old man set free.M’clelland’s party soon recognised that they had taken a step from which there was no turning back. [Morton: 1914]
This was the beginning of the ‘Pentland Rising’ which was defeated at Rullion Green. John Maxwell of Monreith survived the battle and managed to escape on horseback. McKerlie then takes up the story
Though not in custody, he was tried for treason and rebellion, and condemned to be executed. From the field of Rullion Green, Pentland, he rode the same horse to the old tower of Moure or Mowere, then the family residence and it is recorded that his father said the horse had done work enough in that one day, and should never be saddled again. He, therefore, had an enclosure made, with a high stone wall, still called “the horses park,” where the gallant nag spent the rest of his days under the name of “Pentland,” and left many descendants, said to have displayed much of the stoutness of the sire.
Prior to this change of fortune, John Maxwell had added very considerably to the family estate. Under Cromwell he acquired Carltoun (Cairilton) and other lands from the Vans of Barnbarroch.
John Maxwell’s succession to Monreith being forfeited, he made his way to Ireland, where he died in 1668, leaving two children, William and Agnes.
In the charter-chest at Monreith the following document is found : -
“Whereas William Maxwell of Monreith, the elder, hath by certificate from the noblemen and clergie in Gallowa, vindicat himself that he hath had no accessione to the late rebellion, nor no hand in his sones accessione thereonto, - and having given sufficient security to me to ansr whensoever he shall be cal’d. These are therefore discharging all officers and souldiers under my command , or any other persone or persones whatsoemever to trouble or molest the persone goods or geir of the said Wm. Maxwell, elder of Muireith, as they will be answerable. -Given under my hand att Holyrudehouse, this fourteen of ffoby. 1667. “Rothes”.
John’s brother William was an episcopalian rather than a presbyterian. He ‘added considerably to the family possessions, having obtained the half barony called Mochrum Loch from the Dunbars (of Mochrum)’ [McKerlie] Following the death of his father in 1670 and his nephew (William, son of John Maxwell and Margaret Agnew, daughter of the hereditary sheriff of Wigtownshire) in 1671, William ‘the epsicopalian’ inherited the Monreith estates. In 1668 he married Johanna, daughter of Patrick McDowall of Logan. After Johanna’s death, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Hay of Park.
The ‘Sir William Maxwell of Monreith’ mentioned by Symson would therefore have been this member of the family. In 1681, William was made a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles II who thanked William for his good service “to us and our deceased father of blessed memory”. McKerlie comments that the same document stated that William had been brought up as a lawyer, adding “to which much of his success must be attributed” - McKerlie was of the opinion that lawyers were well placed to acquire and hold wadsets and other debts of financially embarrassed landowners. In 1683 Sir William Maxwell bought the estate of Myreton (adjacent to Monreith) from an indebted Sir Godfrey McCulloch. [ For more details, see below].
Sir William died in 1709 and was succeeded by Alexander, his second son by his second marriage. (William, the first son by this marriage was drowned whilst crossing the river Nith. Lord Basil Hamilton of Baldoon met a similar fate in 1702. Such deaths were an occupational hazard for travellers in Galloway, where few bridges existed before that later 18th century).
Morton [1936], following Nicholson’s Galloway Leveller notes [Hornel Library] reveals that:
Sir Alexander Maxwell of Monreith enclosed the Fell of Barhullion (NX 37 41) in Glasserton parish, and in the autumn of 1724, a band of several hundred Levellers gathered from different quarters and over threw a thousand roods of the dyke in one night. They used a machine like a battering- ram [illustrated in Nicholson’s notes] with which they could overthrow a rood at one blow. The tenants in parties relieved one another in patrolling the grounds of Monreith every night, but notwithstanding this, seven of the cattle were found dead in the enclosures without any clue to the culprits.
The Maxwells of Monreith remained as extensive landowners in Galloway into the 20th century. Gavin Maxwell, author of ‘Ring of Bright Water’ was a member of this family.
2.2 Lands owned.
McKerlie lists 24 farms as comprising the barony of Monreith in 1681. A further ten farms, including the Parks of Myreton and Drumtroddan were added through the purchase of Myreton estate from Sir Godfrey McCulloch in 1685. By 1705 another ten farms in Mochrum parish had been added. This gives a total of 44 farms, spread over the parishes of Mochrum, Glasserton and Kirkinner in the Machars district of Wigtownshire, which Alexander Maxwell inherited from William Maxwell.
3. Sir Godfrey McCulloch (of Myreton)
3.1 Family History
McKerlie traces this family back to the Michael, Thomas and William Mackulachs who signed the Ragman’s Roll in 1296. Thomas was appointed Sheriff of Wigtown by Edward I. In 1390, Sir Thomas was the first McCulloch ‘of Myreton’. In 1504, Alexander McCulloch had a charter creating the village of Mertoun into a burgh of barony. In 1581 a William McCulloch succeeded to the barony of Myreton to which he added, through marriage to an heiress, the barony of Cardoness (Anwoth parish , Stewartry of Kirkcudbright). Confusingly, Cardoness (and its castle) already belonged to a separate branch of the McCulloch family. In 1507, a ‘Collard McCulloch’ responded to an attack on Kirkcudbright from the Isle of Man (led by Thomas, Lord Stanley) by raiding the Isle of Man. The booty consisted of forty cattle, a coat of chain mail, two box beds, 100 loads of peat and sundry other items. Both Agnew [1864] and McCulloch [2000] identify this McCulloch with Sir Alexander McCulloch of Myreton. However, McKerlie states that “By comparing dates, it is clear that Sir Alexander McCulloch of Myreton, parish of Mochrum , and Sir Alexander McCulloch of Cardoness, were not one and the same, but distinct persons. For example, we find that Sir Alexander’s daughter Margaret, a heiress of Myretoun, had a charter under the Great Seal on the 6th August 1532. Therefore Sir Alexander must have been then dead. On the other hand Alexander McCulloch of Cardoness, with his spouse Elizabeth or Beatrice McLellan, had a charter dated 22nd August 1536, of Cardiness and Ardwall. We mention this, as confusion has heretofore arisen.” Agnew makes a similar point regarding the Stewarts of Garlies in this same period: “There being no less than eight Sir Alexander Stewarts in direct succession, it is not a little difficult to avoid confounding the various generations, for their identification becomes necessary to couple each individual’s name with that of his wife.”.[1864:161]
Such confounding of persons aside, from 1618 onwards, the McCullochs of Myreton and Cardoness appear to have had financial problems, as revealed by the various wadsets on their lands recorded by McKerlie. Symson’s Godfrey McCulloch inherited Myreton in 1676, but sold the barony to William Maxwell (the Episcopalian) of Monreith in 1683. This Godfrey McCulloch was a Stuart supporter, helping John and David Claverhouse, Robert Grierson of Lag, William Coltran (provost of Wigtown) and David Dunbar of Baldoon administer the Test Act in 1682-3. As described by McKenzie [1841] this Act of 1681:
…ordained that all individuals filling public situations, or those whom the Government suspected of disaffection, should be required to take an oath (somewhat contradictory in itself) which virtually obliged them to submit to oppression - implicitly to acquiesce, even in the overthrow of the Protestant faith, - and cordially sanction any measure the sovereign might wish to accomplish. This oath was viewed as the evidence of loyalty - the open avowal of passive obedience.
But, unlike Symson’s other ‘parking lairds’, Sir Godfrey McCulloch was unable to profit from his enclosures. As McKerlie explains:
The unfortunate end of Sir Godfrey is well known. He was beheaded at the Cross of Edinburgh by the “Maiden”, now located in the Antiquarian Museum in Edinburgh. This was in the year 1697. Having quit Myrtoun, the home of his ancestors, it appears he resided at Cardoness, which he kept possession of, although claimed by William Gordon, who resided in the neighbourhood at Bushybield. Great animosity appears to have existed between them, and unfortunately [in 1690] Sir Godfrey went to Gordon’s residence to get some cattle released, which had been pounded. They came into contact, and a gun, which Sir Godfrey had with him, was unhappily raised and fired, wounding Gordon mortally. He then fled to England, but afterwards returned to Scotland, and when attending public worship in Edinburgh, on a Sunday, he was recognised by a gentleman from Galloway, and at the end of the service was arrested…
3.2 Lands owned
4. Sir James Dalrymple
4.1 Family history
The Dalrymples were an Ayrshire rather than Galloway family. In 1643 James Dalrymple married Margaret, eldest of James Ross of Balneil‘s three daughters. On her father’s death in 1665, Margaret and James Dalrymple inherited the Balneil and Carscreugh estates. “Thereafter these lands became the nucleus of the extensive estates which Dalrymple and his descendants, the earls of Stair, subsequently built up in the district, mainly at the expense of the Kennedys” [McCulloch: 2000]. The current earl of Stair/ the Stair Estate remains by far the largest landowner in Wigtownshire, owning 43 674 acres. [Who owns Scotland now:??]
Unlike the other Wigtownshire landowners discussed here, James Dalrymple was a significant national figure. After graduating from Glasgow University in 1637, he joined the army of the Covenant against Charles I. At the time of his marriage, he held the chair of philosophy at Glasgow University, a position he held from 1641 to 1647 after winning the post whilst still a captain in the army of the Covenant. He resigned the post to join the faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh and was called to the bar in 1648. In March 1650 he was one of the group sent to negotiate with Charles II who was in exile in Holland. Although John Livingston (minister of Stranraer) doubted Charles commitment to Presbyterianism, Dalrymple returned to Scotland in May to ask parliament to ratify the Treaty of Breda whereby Charles II became king of Scotland.. This provoked an invasion and occupation of Scotland by Cromwell. [ Stevenson: 2003]. In 1657, Dalrymple was appointed ‘commissioner for the administration of justice’ under Cromwell’s Scottish administration. On the restoration of Charles II, Dalrymple was appointed to the Court of Session in 1661, “however his Presbyterianism caused him difficulty with the absolutists claims of the new king, and he refused to take the ‘declaration’ which would have made the taking up of arms against the monarch unlawful. He was ultimately permitted to take a modified oath…” [Muir Watt : 2000]
As Presbyterian opposition to Charles II imposition of Episcopalianism on the Church of Scotland grew, Dalrymple seems to have taken a greater interest in his Wigtownshire estates. He had a new house built at Carscreuch and, in 1669, had Glenluce made a market town “for buying and selling of cattle, horse, wool, cloth and all sorts of commodities” [Agnew: 1864]. On 12th August 1669, his eldest daughter, Janet, married David, son of Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon. Janet’s tragic death only six weeks later became the basis for Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘The Bride of Lammermuir’.
In 1681, Dalrymple’s groundbreaking work, ‘The Institutions of the Law of Scotland’ was published. The Stair Society (founded in 1934) consider this to be the foundation of modern Scots law. In 1682, following the passing of the ‘Test Act’ (which Dalrymple had done his best to disable “by incorporating within it a license to resist royal tyranny, derived from Knox’s Confession of faith of 1560” [Muir Watt: 2000]), James Dalrymple took refuge at Leyden in Holland. Whilst in exile he was accused of high treason against Charles II and his brother James. This encouraged Dalrymple to support William of Orange. In 1688 he sailed to England with William’s flagship ‘The Brill’. Dalrymple was appointed Lord President of the Court of Session in 1689 and became Viscount Stair, Lord Glenluce and Stranraer in 1690.
James Dalrymple’s son John managed his father’s estates during the period of his exile in Holland. As a result, in 1682 he came into conflict with John Graham of Claverhouse, who fined him £500 sterling for tolerating conventicles in the regality of Glenluce. Although a lawyer like his father, and in a position to take the case directly to the Privy Council, the Privy Council settled the dispute in favour of Claverhouse. Four years later, when James VII was seeking support in Scotland, he appointed John Dalrymple( who had become Lord Advocate) to the Privy Council. However, John Dalrymple did not repay this gesture, and in 1688/9 John actively supported William of Orange against James VII. Despite his association with the Massacre of Glencoe, John Dalrymple was made earl of Stair by Queen Anne in 1703.
John‘s son John, the 2nd earl of Stair became a distinguished military commander of the Scots Grey’s. The Major Gardiner who commanded the troops - Stair’s Dragoons -which eventually quelled the Galloway Levellers’ Uprising served directly under this John Dalrymple between 1708 and 1712.
4.2. Lands Owned

5. The Laird of Logan
5.1 Family history
The McDowalls of Logan and Garthland in the Rhinns of Galloway “claimed a vague but unfounded kinship with the medieval lords of Galloway, and it is thought they could be descended through Fergus, a younger son of Uchtred.”. [McCulloch: 2000]. The earliest record McKerlie found for the McDowalls was a grant in 1295 by John Balliol, as lord of Galloway, of the lands of Garthland, Logan and Elrig to Dougal McDougall (= McDowall). Although the McDowall’s were an important Galloway family in the 13th and 14th centuries [Oram:2000] , was is not until 1618 that McKerlie was able to find consistent public records of their Logan land holdings. In 1621, Alexander McDowall of Logan married Jane, daughter of Patrick Agnew of Lochnaw, the Hereditary Sheriff of Wigtownshire. Their son Patrick inherited the estate in 1661, His sister Joanna was married to William ‘the Epsicopalian’ Maxwell of Monreith. (see above). This Patrick McDowall would have been Symson’s ‘Laird of Logan’. His son Robert inherited in 1699. In ‘about 1710’, Robert’s son John married Anna, daughter of Robert Johnston of Kelton, thus giving a tenuous link to the events of 1724.
5.2 Lands Owned

6. Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon
6.1 Family History
McCulloch [2000] provides a useful list and map of the 108 ‘Lands forfeit by the 9th Earl of Douglas in 1456’. A significant cluster of twenty of these lands, including ‘Ballydonne’ (= Baldoon) were in the Machars of Wigtownshire. Baldoon and Lybrack were listed as ‘grange lands‘, indicating that they were good arable lands. In 1533, Archibald Dunbar (brother of Gavin Dunbar, Archbishop and Lord Chancellor) obtained a charter of the king’s grange of Baldoon from James V. In 1627, Archibald Dunbar’s great-grandson David was infeft of the 20 merkland of Baldoon by his brother Archibald ‘the cause of which does not appear’, as McKerlie puts it. In 1641, David Dunbar married Elizabeth, daughter of John McCulloch of Myreton. There were four children from this marriage: David, Elizabeth, Margaret and Janet.
David first married Janet, daughter of James Dalrymple (see above) and secondly Eleanor Montgomery, a daughter Hugh Mongomery the 8th Earl of Eglinton. In 1691 their daughter Mary Dunbar married Lord Basil Hamilton, fifth son of the 3rd Duke of Hamilton. Lord Basil Hamilton invested £3000 (the maximum possible) in the Company of Scotland and played a very active role in its promotion and management. [Watt: 2007] but died in 1702 trying to save his servant who had been swept away whilst crossing the water of Minnoch. Basil Hamilton (younger) inherited the Baldoon estate. In 1715, Basil Hamilton (younger) joined a group of Dumfries and Galloway Jacobites led by William Gordon, 6th Viscount Kenmure and William Maxwell, 5th Earl of Nithsdale. After an abortive attempt to capture Dumfries, Hamilton was amongst the Jacobites captured after their defeat at Preston in 1715. Kenmure was executed, Maxwell escaped to France and Hamilton had his estate forfeit. In 1724, his newly constructed cattle park near Kirkcudbright was demolished by the Galloway Levellers. The cattle park was on land originally acquired by David Dunbar (senior) around 1666 from William MacClellan 4th Lord Kirkcudbright. [see KSCD 0159i for eviction of widow of 3rd Lord Kirkcudbright].
Basil Hamilton (junior) married Isabel Mackenzie, granddaughter of Kenneth Mackenzie 4th Earl of Seaforth, a strong Jacobite who fought for James VI/II at siege of Londonderry. Isabel’s uncle, William Mackenzie, was also a Jacobite fighting at Sheriffmuir in 1715 and at Glensheil in 1718. Basil and Isabel’s daughter Mary (born 1720) married another active Jacobite Ronald Macdonald (junior) of Clanranald in 1746.
6.2 Lands Owned

7. The Agnews of Lochnaw
7.2 Family History
Unless amongst Symson’s ‘and many others’, the omission of Agnew of Lochnaw (Leswalt parish)from his list of parking lairds is puzzling. The Agnews were the Hereditary Sheriffs of Wigtownshire and extensive landowners. Sir Andrew Agnew (1818-1893) was a contemporary of McKerlie and published a ‘History of the Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway’ in 1864 (revised and extended edition 1893). This traces the family history from their origin in Normandy and their initial acquisition of lands in Ulster in 1170 to their settlement in Galloway in 1330. In 1452 I.e. just prior to the collapase of Douglas power in Galloway in 1455, James II appointed Andrew Agnew as hereditary. Sheriff of Wigtown. In all, twelve members of the family successively held this post over the next 295 years until all such Heritable Jurisdictions were abolished in 1747 as an anti-Jacobite move. The last of these hereditary sheriffs was Sir Andrew Agnew. As part of the Hanoverian forces, in March 1746, Sir Andrew successfully held Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Atholl, against a Jacobite assault led by Lord George Murray. [Agnew: 1864, Duffy: 2003]
In opposing the forces of Charles Edward Stuart, the 12th hereditary sheriff was following family tradition. Significantly, on 19th January 1682 John Graham of Claverhouse was appointed Sheriff of Wigtown by Charles II, replacing the 10th hereditary sheriff (another Sir Andrew Agnew). Claverhouse was appointed because Agnew was perceived as a Presbyterian and Covenanter sympathiser. Agnew was not restored as hereditary Sheriff of Wigtown until 25 April 1689.
7.3 Lands Owned

8. Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton
8.1 Family history
The Maxwell family’s earliest links are with Dumfriesshire rather than Galloway. Sometime after 1220, Sir John Maxwell built the first castle (replaced around 1270) at Caerlaverock at the mouth of the Nith. Aymer de Maxwell was Justiciar of Galloway and Sheriff of Dumfries between 1250 and 1270. The main branch of the Maxwell family became lords and then earls of Nithsdale. William Maxwell, the 6th Earl of Nithsdale forfeit his title and lands for his part in the 1715 Jacobite rebellion. William, along with other members of the family until the early 19th century was a Roman Catholic. Although the effective leader of the south-western Jacobites, the Episcopalian William Gordon, 6th Viscount Kenmure was therefore given command of the forces. Kenmure was executed in 1716, but Maxwell managed to escape the tower of London with the help of his wife and fled to France.
The Maxwell’s link to the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright dates to the 16th century, when, favoured by James 5th, Robert, 5th lord Maxwell was made keeper of Threave castle and Steward of Kirkcudbright in 1526,gifted the Spottes estate (Parish of Urr) in 1529 and the barony of Buittle in 1534. In 1524, Robert’s younger brother John was appointed abbot of Dundrennan Abbey. With the Reformation, in 1566 the family (represented by John Maxwell,4th lord Herries, Robert’s son) acquired Dundrennan’s lands in the parish of Rerrick. These included Ochardton as well as Netherlaw which, by the mid 17th century, were separately held by John Maxwell’s grandson Sir Robert Maxwell ‘of Orchardton’ who died in 1671 He was in turn succeeded by his son, another Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton.
Although not mentioned by Symson, from a ‘Factory’ dated 25 February 1688, it is clear that Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton already had a cattle park at Netherlaw. Written at Killelaugh (on Strangford loch, Northern Ireland), this appointed Sir Robert’s nephew Robert Maxwell, younger, of Gelston as his factor and required him to ‘improve’ the estate by “not diminishing but rather increasing the rents theirof’… excepting always the park of Neitherlaw which is not be set for ploughing”. The Factory names William Johnstune as ‘herd in the park of Neitherlaw’. [KSCD: 1265ii]. Other Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds add more detail. From these it can be established that Netherlaw had been ‘set to the plough‘ between 1657 and 1667. In 1657, the 20 oxen ‘presently on the ground at Netherlaw’ were ‘disponed’ (handed over) as part of a debt settlement by Sir Robert Maxwell, younger, of Orchardton to Captain Robert Maxwell of Balmangan (NX 76 48). That these oxen were kept for ploughing rather for sale to England is shown by a five year tack of Netherlaw from 1661, in which Sir Robert gave ‘the heall furniture of ane plewch [plough] ….in steilbow’ - along with oxen, a horse, corn, bear and straw - to the tenant of Netherlaw. The ‘plewch’, oxen, horse and equivalent quantities of corn, bear and straw were to be returned to Sir Robert at the expiry of the tack. [KSCD 0019i and 0091i]
Unfortunately it is not possible to establish when the cattle park at Netherlaw was established, nor how long it lasted. Robert Maxwell of Orchardton died in 1693. William Johnston, the ‘herd’ of Netherlaw park in 1688 was still at Netherlaw in 1698, but was described in an Assignation to his brother- in- law Captain James McDouall of Gillespie (parish of Old Luce) of all his Scottish debts owed or due dated at Stranrawer 24 May 1699 as “lately in Netherly park, now in Bellewillwill, Co. Doune, Ireland”. [KSCD 3356ii and 3390ii]. Although circumstantial, a record [Collin: 2007] that in May 1692, William Johnston and his nephew David Johnston chartered the Elizabeth of Kirkcudbright to carry a load of barrels to Dublin, taken with William’s later move to Ireland, may indicate that Robert Maxwell’s son George was not as interested in the Netherlaw cattle park as his father had been.
Robert Maxwell’s presence in Ireland in 1688 was a result of family connections with the McClellans of Kirkcudbright. Robert’s father, the first Robert Maxwell of Orchardton married Marion, daughter of Robert McClellan of Bombie (by his first marriage) and who was made Lord Kirkcudbright by Charles 1 in 1633. Robert McClellan had lands in Ireland, part of the Plantation of Ulster. The Irish connection was reinforced by his second marriage which was to Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Montgomery, Viscount Airds, in 1614. [ Montgomery along with James Hamilton was an Ayrshire landowner who made a ‘Settlement’ in Ulster in 1606. This was distinct from the Plantation of Ulster see ]
Robert’s daughter Anne then married John McClellan, the 3rd Lord Kirkcudbright who was a nephew of Robert McLellan. John died in 1665, shortly followed by his son William (4th Lord Kirkcudbright) in 1669. By this time the McClellan estate was deeply in debt. In 1666, Dame Anna Maxwell, widow of John, lord Kirkcudbright and her son William were evicted from their remaining lands by Robert Lidderdale of St. Mary’s isle, Kirkcudbright [KSCD 0519i]. As McKerlie explains, the decline in family fortune was connected to earlier events in Ireland :
John, son of John Maclellan of Borgue …was served as third Lord Kirkcudbright, heir to his cousin Thomas, second lord, on the 13th June 1648, when he had retour of the lands of Bombie and Castle, Lochfergus, Black and Little Stockertoun, Meikle and Little Sypland, Gribtie, etc. He also was a staunch Presbyterian, and much opposed to Cromwell and the Independents or Puritans. He raised a body of men, which afterwards was formed into a regiment. It was sent to Ireland, and on the 6th December 1649 was attacked by the Parliamentary forces at Lessnegarvey, Ulster, and being defeated, suffered severely. He expended so much money in raising men, for which he received no repayment, that he was in reduced circumstances; and after the Restoration his ruin was completed from opposing the introduction of a curate into the church at Kirkcudbright. He married Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun, and had issue - William, who succeeded on his father's death in 1664, as fourth Lord Kirkcudbright During his minority the estate was seized by legal diligence, at the instance of his father's creditors, and nothing left to support the title. He died under age, unmarried, in 1669.
Robert Maxwell of Orchardton was not a Presbyterian. Along with other Maxwell family members (including the Earls of Nithsdale) he was a Roman Catholic.

8.2 Lands Owned

9. Hugh McGuffog-Blair of Rusco
9.1 Family History
This family history is particularly tortuous, but does provide a strong narrative thread from the Galloway of the 1660ies to that of the 1720ies. As with Robert Maxwell of Orchardton, McKerlie’s account can be usefully added to using the Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds.
McKerlie traces the McGuffogs back to the 13th century. In 1286, the father and grandfather of future king Robert Bruce attacked Buittle castle, a stronghold belonging to John Balliol, rival claimant to the Scottish crown. Balliol was absent, but the Bruces caused a Patrick McGuffog to make a pro- Bruce proclamation within the bailey of Buittle. Patrick McGuffog also witnessed a Holm Cultram charter in 1289 :
-Whereas there has been some doubt as to the bounds of the grange of Kircwynni and the land of Culwen, on the eve of St. Peter in Cathedra [Feb. 21st], 1289, in the presence of Sir Robert, abbot of Holm, and Sir Thomas f. Gilbert de Culwenne, with Michael f. Durand and Walter his son, Adam de Culwenne, Patrick mac Coffoc, Patrick Magilboythin and Thomas his son, Thomas de Arbigland, Hugh de Hur, Gilaffald [? Gilaffall, i.e. Gille-Paul], Gilchrist mac Karnachan, Achyne mac Nele and Monc [? Mungo] Macgilherine, the bounds were drawn thus:—255. (C. pp. 216, 217).
Although there is a Guffogland farm and Hill NX 80 62 very close to Buittle castle NX 81 61, the next record of the McGuffogs dares to 1329. Nearing his death, King Robert Bruce made final pilgrimage to the shrine of St Ninian at Whithorn in the Machars of Wigtownshire. Ninian’s shrine had been associated with healing since the 8th century Miracula Nynie Epsicopi. [Brooke: 1996, Hill: 1997, McQueen: 2005]. Whilst in the Machars, Bruce made a grant of eight bovates of land at Kilsture, Sorbie parish NX 43 49 to Richard McGuffog. By the 17th century, the McGuffogs had lands in the neighbouring parish of Mochrum, having intermarried with the Dunbars of Mochrum. In 1662, ‘William McKeiffock, [tax] collector of Wigtonshire’ was fined £3600 Scots ‘for the relief of the King’s good subjects who had suffered in the late troubles’ [Morton:1914]. This ‘William McKeiffock’ was William McGuffog of Alticry NX 28 59. Although McKerlie suggests this fine was ‘for non-attendance on Prelatic Church worship’, the full list of those fined provide by Morton runs to 66 persons in Wigtownshire and 90 in the Stewartry, mainly, but not exclusively, landowners. Included in the Wigtownshire list is ’David Dunbar of Caldon’ (I.e. of Baldoon) who was fined £4800 Scots, the largest amount recorded. The largest fine in the Stewartry was that of £2400 Scots , levied against William Gordon of Rusco NX 58 60
In 1669, William McGuffog of Alticry was one of the witnesses to the marriage ( see above) of Jane Dalrymple and David Dunbar, younger, of Baldoon. In September 1671, William had sasine of two farms and a mill in the parish of Borgue in the Stewartry. By August 1672, he had gained possession of Rusco from the Margaret Gordon, widow of William Gordon. In a Bond and Assignation, narrating a Renunciation by Margaret Gordon of any right she may have had to the lands of Over and Nether Ruscoes, Halfmerk, Arknockinoch, Polcrie, Broach, Culreoch, Grobdaill, Cruffock, Burnfoor and Lachinghie and to the mansion place of Rusco. This Renunciation superceded a previous Disposition of the lands by Margaret Gordon in favour of her son-in-law, Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton. [KSCD 1396i]
Although direct evidence is lacking, it is likely that William McGuffog’s position as a collector of taxes was advantageous. In 1675, by then ‘of Rusco’, there is a unique sequence of 26 Bonds all payable to William [KSCD 2343i to 2369i]. None of these are for large sums, e,g. one by Roger Carnoquhen in Abay of Dundrenan to William for £9 Scots (the price of 4 pecks good white meal) payable 24 July 1676 [KSCD 2434i], but with limited cash circulating in the local economy (some 90% of the 6000 KSCD entries are effectively IOUs), a tax collector like William who did have access to cash payments could act as a banker.
William married Margaret Dunbar, daughter of John Dunbar of Mochrum and Pankill. The only child of this marriage was Elizabeth, who married Hugh Blair of Kildonan “third and youngest son of James Blair of Dunskey NX 00 55, parish of Portpatrick”. (McKerlie was unable to date either of these marriages). Hugh’s grandfather, the Reverend James Blair of Portmontgomerie (Portpatrick) bought the lands of Dunskey from Hugh Montgomerie, the 2nd Viscount of Airds (Ulster) in 1648. The previous possessors of the lands were the Adairs of Kinhilt who had exchanged them for Montgomerie lands in Ballymena in 1621.
Since Elizabeth McGuffog was heiress of Rusco, Hugh Blair took her surname, and was served heir to the Rusco estates on 31st January 1680. In April 1683, along with Sir Robert Grierson of Lagg, Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon, Sir Godfrey McCulloch of Myreton and others, Hugh (Blair) McGuffog of Rusco was appointed to administer the ‘Test Act’ in Galloway, thus placing him firmly within the local pro-Stuart, anti-Covenant camp. Sometime before 1688, Elizabeth McGuffog died and Hugh (Blair) McGuffog re-married. His second wife was Margaret, second daughter of Sir David Dunbar, senior, of Baldoon. There were three sons from this marriage, one of whom, Hugh Blair, had a cattle park in Borgue parish which was ‘levelled in’ in 1724.
That this cattle park was not a recent construction in 1724 can be shown from the Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds. Sir David Dunbar, senior, died in December 1686. In a Commission , dated 11 March 1686, Sir David appointed Hugh McGuffog of Rusco as his factor ’for uplifting the said Sir David’s rents, tiends and casualties within the shire of Wigtoun and Stewartry of Kirkcudbright… with the power to the said Hugh to buy what beasts his tenants have to sell or what can be bought from any person owning him money’ - to which Sir Godfrey McCulloch of Myreton was a witness. [KSCD 1060ii]
In December 1691, Hugh McGuffog of Rusco and Patrick Heron, younger of Kirruchtrie attempted to settle ‘the differences between them, particularly regarding their partnership these several years past since they entered into Tack with Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon anent the parks thereof’. [ KSCD 1940ii] Heron of Kirroughtrie was by this time the region’s main cattle breeder and trader [ Woodward: 1977, McCulloch: 2000]
Conclusive evidence that Hugh (Blair) McGuffog owned two dyked cattle parks in Borgue parish in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright by 1698 is shown by two ‘Commissions’ written in that year. The first is to William Kingane, tenant in Dinrod NX 63 46 and the second to Robert Gordon, tenant in Carelton NX 62 49. Both oblige the tenants to ‘herd.. mark and burn’ (I.e. brand) Rusco’s stock‘ … and to uphold and keep the dykes of the parks of Dinrod, Kessarton and Laigh Borg ‘fencible’. [KSCD 3182ii and 3183ii]
9.2 Lands Owned

Summary and partial conclusion
In his comparative study of the 17th century Scottish and Irish livestock trade, whilst unable to draw firm conclusions due to lack of sufficient data, Woodward [1977] considered that “ Scottish livestock exports did not expand significantly during the second half of the seventeenth century.”. This was despite the passing of an act of the English parliament banning the import of Irish cattle which came into force in January 1667 and a similar Scottish act of March 1667. The English ban was lifted between 1679 and 1681, allowing 24 116 Irish cattle into England in 1680.
The brief interlude of 1670-81 during which Irish stock once again found a ready sale in England gives us an illuminating insight into the development of the two economies. It has often been suggested that the Irish reacted to the 1667 ban by developing the provisioning trade. However the redevelopment of the livestock trade during 1679-81 suggests that provisioning had taken up only part of the slack…The Irish performance of 1679-81 also suggests that English demand for meat was not totally satisfied by home production together with additional supplies from Wales and Scotland. Thus it seems that Scottish producers failed to take advantage of favourable market conditions created by the 1667 ban on Irish stock. [Woodward 1977]
Since Woodward’s is the most detailed comparative study of the livestock trade, his suggestion above must be taken seriously. But how can Woodward’s conclusion be squared with Symson’s 1682 observation that now many others, finding the great benefit thereof, have followed his [Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon‘s] example ? It is possible that the ‘many other’ Wigtownshire landowners created their parks and enclosures for purposes other than entering the cattle trade. But White [1979], drawing on independent sources - estate records - reveals that the Stair estate was sending 500 cattle a year to England in this period. We have also shown that Stewartry landowners Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton and Hugh (Blair) McGuffog had cattle parks in the 1680ies.
Unfortunately, although both Woodward and Whyte provide figures (where available) for the cross-border Scotland/ England cattle trade between 1680 and 1691 these do not agree -Whyte uses the ‘Customs Year’ 1 November to 31 October, Woodward the calendar year. Thus for cattle exports from the Dumfries Customs Precinct ( Scottish totals / Dumfries % in brackets):
Whyte gives [1979: 239: Table 18]
1680/1 - 1 273 ( 4 346/ 29. %)
1681/2 - 9 053 (16 336 / 55 %)
1682/3 - 10 500 (27 863/ 38 %)
1683/4 - 4 865 (12 564/ 39 %)
1684/5 - 9 090 (21 065/ 43%)
1685/6 - No data (24 082/ 0%)
1686/7 - No data
1687/8 - No data
1688/9 - 7 258 (16 226/ 45%)
1689/90 - 4 569 (10 3910/ 44%)
1690/1 - 801 (5 745/ 14%)
From Whyte, between 1680/1 and 1690/1, Galloway (via Dumfries) provided 34% of Scotland cattle exports to England.
Whereas Woodward gives [1977: 158: Appendix A]
1681 - 6 204 (10 042/ 62%)
1682 - 8 747 (16 491/ 53%)
1683 - 10 763 ( 27 294/ 39 %)
1684 - 4 863 (14 015/ 35 %)
1685 - 9 148 (20564/ 46 %)
1686 - No data
1687 - No data
1688 - No data
1689 - 7 709 (16 278/ 47 %)
1690 - 5 436 (12 367/ 43 %)
1691 - 7 846 (11 591/ 68 %)
From Woodward, between 1681 and 1691 Galloway (via Dumfries) provided 49% of Scotland’s cattle exports to England.
Averaging the figures gives 42% of Scotland’s cattle exports to England as originating in Galloway (via Dumfries) between 1681 and 1691.

Whyte, but not Woodward, provides a figure for the number of Irish cattle passing through the south west en route for England immediately prior to the 1667 ban. In 1665/6 under the Alisonbank (near Gretna, now called Aitchisonbank NY 32 70 ) Customs Precinct heading, Whyte gives 7 292 Irish cattle and 1 045 Scots cattle. Reasonably assuming that these Irish cattle had crossed the North Channel and travelled through Galloway, and that the cattle recorded at Dumfries Customs Precinct were mainly from Galloway (since cattle from east of Dumfries would have been driven direct to Alisonbank: Drove Road into Annandale. - Prevost, W.A.J.-TDGNHAS III 31 121
), then by the time Symson was drafting his ‘Description of Galloway’ in 1682, Galloway was exporting a matching number (9053/Whyte or 8747/ Woodward) of cattle to England. But, as Woodward points out, 24 116 Irish cattle were exported to England in 1680 following the temporary lifting of the 1667 ban. In other words, had the Galloway cattle trade to England been fully market driven, Galloway could have exported at least 20 000 (rather than 10 000) cattle per year in to England in the later 17th century.
So why did exports peak at 10 500 (in 1682/3, Whyte) / 10 763 ( in 1683, Woodward) ?
There are a number of possible reasons.
The figures could represent a physical (land use) constraint - that by 1683 the maximum cattle carrying capacity of Galloway had been reached.
The figures could indicate the limits of Galloway’s market-orientated farming sector - there just were not enough budding ‘capitalists’ in the region in 1683.
The figures could be distorted by smuggling - with numbers made up by illicit imports from Ireland and/ or cattle which were driven to England by routes avoiding customs posts.
The ability of Galloway to take full advantage of the opportunity offered by the ban on Irish cattle was limited by ‘internal disorder’- of which the Dalry Uprising and battle of Rullion Green in 1666 and the battles of Drumclog and Bothwell Brig in 1679 were but the most visible manifestations.
Is this a case of ‘overdetermination’, with the effect - failure to take advantage of the ban on Irish cattle - having multiple causes? Possibly, as we shall see. To begin with though, physical constraints imposed by the cattle carrying capacity of Galloway is the weakest of the possible causes. There are 45 parishes in Galloway (17 in Wigtownshire, 28 in the Stewartry). If each produced 240 cattle for export this would give 10 800 cattle, equivalent to the 1682/3 figures recorded. If production could have been doubled to an output of 480 cattle per parish, this would give 21 600 cattle, close to the 24 116 Irish cattle which Woodward gives as being exported to England in 1680 following the temporary lifting of the 1667 ban.
Unfortunately the Old Statistical Accounts for Galloway (written c1790) do not all give figures for black cattle numbers per parish, but from those that do the average found is 1900 black cattle per parish. Kirkinner, Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon’s parish had 2700 cattle the highest number found (but had few sheep), whereas in Minigaff parish from which Patrick Heron (originally Dunbar’s business manager) had sent 1000 or more cattle per year to England in the late 17th century [Woodward :1977], cattle had been replaced by 30 000 sheep as the dominant livestock. Taking this ‘sheep factor’ in to account, since the Old Statistical Accounts consistently give higher figures for sheep over cattle numbers per parish and given that agricultural improvement was just beginning in most parishes at the time the Statistical Accounts were being compiled, had the late 17th century farming economy of Galloway been fully geared up to producing cattle for export to England, production could have been doubled -from 10 000 to 20 000 ‘nolte per year’ (480 cattle per parish) - without exceeding any physical limits imposed by the cattle carrying capacity of the land.
In which case, was there a regional lack of entrepreneurial enthusiasm? Galloway’s social structure could have simply been too conservative and traditional, too ‘feudal’ in the Marxist sense to grasp that cattle now had an exchange-value as well as a use-value. Yet as both McKerlie’s research shows, and as an analysis of the Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds confirms, 17th century Galloway had already taken the first steps towards a capitalist rather than feudal attitude to land ownership. Farms were bought, sold and mortgaged (wadset) so regularly that when dealing with 17th century ‘lands and their owners’, even McKerlie frequently has to admit he could not establish who the actual owner of an individual farm or even small estate was. There is even a case (in 1665, from Crossmichael parish) where a farm was sold and then leased back to the original owner.[KSCD0127i]. There could even be an international aspect to the market in land.
In 1665, a wadset on Borrowness farm (Borness NX 61 45, Borgue parish) held by Clugistone, merchant, of Balfast was assigned to John Carson of Senwick against a loan of £238 sterling made by Carson to John’s deceased father Robert Clugistone in 1655. The wadset on Borness had originally been granted to William Fullerton, then provost of Kirkcudbright, by Sir Robert McClellan of Bombie in 1662 against a loan of 6000 merks. [KSCD 0270i and similar regarding Balmangan, 0327i] This complicated set of transactions evaded McKerlie’s eagle eye, who begins his account of Borness in 1668. In his list of the owners of Borness, Gray [2000] makes no reference to either Clugistone, listing the relevant owners as William Fullerton: 1642, Robert McClellan: 1663, John Carsan:1665, William McClellan:1671 and Robert McClellan:1685.
McKerlie does mention John Carson, but under Balmangan, parish of Borgue.
In January 1668, Robert Mclellan of Balmangan had sasine of the lands of Chapelton &c. After this the usual wadsets attending difficulties appear.On 29th April 1678, William McGuffog of Rusco [father of Hugh (Blair) McGuffog -see above] had sasine of the two lib. land of Balmangan. Robert Mclellan still appears to have been nominally in possession. We find him so in 1682 and stated to have been succeeded by his second so, Robert. His eldest son William had possession of Borness. He died in 1690.
We have here one of the many contradictions as to actual possession, for at the same time John Carson is found styled of Balmangan. In 1685 he was imprisoned for refusing the abjuration oath, and his wife was also confined by Colonel Douglas. It is related that her judges intended to drown her at the ferry of Kirkcudbright, those at Wigtoun of this character [Wigtown Martyrs] having been successfully carried out The king’s death brought a respite… In January 1691, Thomas Lawrie, merchant in Edinburgh, had sasine of the lands of Balmangan…on 31st October 1694, Hugh Blair-McGuffock of Rusco had sasine the same, with Nether Senwick… [McKerlie then gives three further owners]…
On 20th July 1743, Hugh Carson [grandson of John] of Balmangan had sasine. He appears to have had two daughters. By sasine dated 9th May 1745 we learn that [they] were heirs to their father. From this it would appear that the Mclellans, from being the proprietors had become the tenants. This is often met with and shows the ups and downs of life. [McKerlie: Vol. 3.:1877]
The Borness/ Balmangan evidence reveals the effective fragmentation of landownership in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, where the Sheriff Court Deeds list over 1000 owners of individual farms and small (fewer than ten farms) estates, encouraged one such ‘micro-landowner’ to become an early capitalist. He was Samuel McClellan of Tanifad and Whinnehill in Girthon parish. In 1685 he was also, briefly, owner of Barmagachan farm in Borgue parish and was a member of the McClellan of Balmangan family.
In 1599, William McClellan of Balmangan (Borgue parish) sold the Bordland of Cardoness (Anwoth parish) to his son James. James had six children (4 boys and 2 girls). His third son was Patrick, born before 1606, died before 1656. By 1636, Patrick was minister of Girthon parish (which adjoins Anwoth). Patrick had four children of whom Samuel was the eldest. In 1676, Samuel is recorded as owning Tannifad and Whinniehill in Girthon parish. [Torrance: 1993] These must have been very small farms - most likely crofts - and no longer exist. However at NX 60 59 there is a Tanniefad Burn between the existing farms of High and Low Creoch and Tannifad and Whinniehill are shown on Ainslie’s 1797 map of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.
By 1679, Samuel was in Edinburgh where he was admitted as a burgess and guild - brother having served his apprenticeship with Robert Douglas. In 1681, the Newmills Cloth Manufactory was established at Haddington near Edinburgh. Samuel paid £100 to become a partner in this enterprise. The importance of the Newmills development is discussed at length by Marshall [1980]. Samuel McClellan still had a £75 share in this business in 1707. Although based in Edinburgh, it is clear that Samuel McClellan was able to use his local contacts to help the Newmills development , for example gaining an order in 1690 from Alexander Gordon, Viscount Kenmure , for ‘647 military red coats ‘ worth £614.13.0 sterling. [Note: Kenmure led a regiment against the Jacobites at the battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, but his son William led the local Jacobites in 1715 and was executed in 1716 as a result].
In 1696 Samuel McClellan also personally invested £500 sterling to the ’Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies’ ( Darien Scheme) and invested £3000 on behalf of the City of Edinburgh. In 1697 he was appointed Stewart and Justiciar for Orkney. In October 1706, Sir Samuel, as he now was, became Lord Provost of Edinburgh. He represented the city in the Royal Convention of Burghs and was a supporter of the proposed Union (Torrance speculates that Sir Samuel had a personal interest in the Union since ‘he had already been found guilty of importing English cloth and, no doubt, had imported much more that had gone undetected’). In May 1708, he was chosen to be Edinburgh’s MP in the United Parliament but only held the position for a year, dying in September 1709.
Samuel McClellan


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