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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1724 update v2 29 april

Events of 1724

In late August 1721, Sir John Clerk of Pencuick and his son travelled to Galloway to visit James Stewart, the 5th earl of Galloway who was Clerk’s brother-in-law. Clerk kept a record of the visit.1 After overnight stays at Dolphinton and Drumlanrig, the Clerks followed the old pilgrim’s route to Whithorn via the ‘Old Clachan’ (St. John’s Town of Dalry) below which they forded a swollen Water of Ken, before reaching New Galloway. Clerk noted that the late Viscount of Kenmure’s house is near to New Galloway and that “this house is now in the hands of the Commissioners of Enquiry for the Publick, being forfeit by the Viscount’s rebellion in 1715”. Beyond New Galloway, the Clerks’ travelled on through ‘mountains wild beyond imagination so that scarce any thing in the Alps exceeds them’ and where ’Galloway horse are bread’ to reach Minnigaff. Here they crossed the Cree by boat to Newton Stewart before finally arriving at the house of Brigadier General John Stewart’s house at Sorbie in the Machars of Wigtownshire. The Brigadier was the 5th earl of Galloway’s brother and so also brother-in-law to Clerk.

After recovering from the ‘great distress’ of his journey through the wild mountains of Galloway, Clerk and lord Garlies (eldest son of the earl of Galloway) set their servants to work “to remove some stones from an old cairn where we were told Roman sepulchral urns had been found”. The servants soon found an urn ‘made of a coarse sort of clay’ and containing burnt bones, ashes and the head of a ‘brass javelin’ - suggesting a Bronze Age rather than Roman burial. Fortunately, Clerk took as much interest in contemporary affairs as he did in his antiquarian pursuits, providing a ‘description of Galloway’ ( or at least of the Machars peninsula of the shire of Wigtown) which can be compared with that of Symson 2 who wrote his Description of Galloway 40 years earlier.

For a description of Galloway what follows shal suffice.This shire is more properly called the shire of Wigtoun, for Galloway comprehends in it the Stuarty of Kirkcudbright. It begins at the Water of Cree and takes in a large part of peninsula of abut forty miles in circumference or more. The country is generally plain except towards the northmost parts of it. The soil is warm but thin and brings all sort sorts of garden fruits to perfection than any country of Scotland. The surface of the ground is full of small rocks and in many places covered with whins, broom, fairns etc. However there is good feeding for all sorts of cattle. Their grain is nigh bear and oats black and white. Barley they have none , nor for ordinary any pease. Their culture of grains seems a little odd, for their bear sets as they cal them are never changed…There are very little improvements here in planting, for their industry runs only on inclosures for black cattle which indeed brings them in from England a great dale of profit. Their diks are of stone without mortar, very thinly built together . [Clerk here suggested quick set hedges would be more useful].

By these inclosures such as they are I had occasion to compute they brought in ten thousand guineas to their country, for the price of their cattle is commonly payed in gold. Sometimes they drive them to the English fairs and sometimes they sell them at home to English men who come down and pay them readie monie for what they carry off. By the bye, all this is not above a tenth of what Scotland gains from England upon this time upon black cattle, for I have good reason to believe there is above 100 000 lib ster yearly payed us on that score. The inhabitants of Galloway [Wigtownshire] are much lessened since the custom of inclosing their grounds took place, for there are certainly above 20 000 acres laid waste on that account.

Unfortunately, Clerk does not date the ‘custom of inclosing’ for black cattle, but from the itinerary of his journey, he must have passed through the Baldoon Parks first established by Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon sometime before 1682, when Symson described Dunbar’s great cattle park in his Large Description of Galloway. Since Symson notes that other landowners in the Machars of Wigtownshire - the Earl of Galloway, Sir William Maxwell (of Monreith) and Sir Godfrey McCulloch (of Myreton) - had followed Dunbar’s example and since Clerk is describing the Machars rather than the whole of Wigtownshire, the loss of population due to the 20 000 acres ‘laid waste’ by cattle parks is likely to refer only the Machars. The loss of population would have been caused by the conversion of arable farm land to pasture. Until the introduction of cast iron ploughs from 1730 onwards, arable farming involved use of the mainly wooden ‘Old Scotch plough’ which required a large team of oxen or horses to pull it, which in turn required more manpower than cattle minding.3 That Sir David Dunbar’s Baldoon Estate was good arable land is shown by its status as ‘Grange land’ in the list of lands forfeit by the 9th earl of Galloway in 14564 and its later identification in 1875 by McLelland as good wheat producing land. 5

Unfortunately, neither Symson writing in 1682 nor Clerk writing in 1721 mention the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in their discussion of cattle parks. However, from the Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds, it is clear that at least two cattle parks existed in the Stewartry before 1692.6 This is significant. It means that the dykes surrounding cattle parks in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright which were thrown down in by the Galloway Levellers were part of an extension of existing practice rather than a recent innovation in 1724. Furthermore, if a such a perceptive observer as Clerk had recognised that such enclosures ‘lessened the inhabitants’ of Wigtownshire, the fear that the extension of such enclosures would lead to a similar depopulation of the Stewartry was not an irrational fear.

Clerk’s short description of Galloway also raises the question to what extent was the construction of large cattle enclosures part of a process of ‘improvement’? Clerk himself seemed dubious. As he noted concerning arable farming, “Their culture of grains seems a little odd, for their bear sets as they call them are never changed. That ground which I saw carrying bear has produced nothing else in the memory of man”. Clearly there had been no improvement in this practice since it was noted by Symson, writing forty years earlier that “they sow their beir in the same place every year, and without intermission, which is also peculiar, in a peece of ground which is nearest to their house…”.

Likewise, the cattle enclosures noticed by Clerk in 1721 were first recorded by Symson in 1682. The regional export of cattle to England can be traced back to at least 1621 when “between 2nd June and 19th October 1621, duty was paid [at Dumfries on exports of livestock to England] on 4640 sheep, 280 lambs, 65 horses and 2351 nolt (head of cattle)”.7 Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon’s great cattle park may well have been an innovative improvement when first constructed circa1670, but by 1721 such enclosures had become part of a hundred year old regional tradition - that of trading cattle for English cash.

This suggests that the conversion of arable land to pasture through the construction of cattle parks enclosed by dykes ‘of stone without mortar’ (as Clerk described them) was not an innovation in the Galloway of 1724. In which case, can the construction of such enclosures in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in 1724 by landowners like Sir Basil Hamilton of Baldoon (Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon’s great-grandson) be considered as innovative examples of enlightened improvement in the knowledge of agriculture - or were they rather a conservative extension of locally traditional agricultural practice? Practice by which Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton in the Stewartry (writing from Killeleagh in Ireland to his nephew) in 1688 considered ‘improvement’ as meaning “not diminishing but rather increasing rents” from an estate which included a cattle park “not to be set to the plough” . Sir Robert also tasks his nephew with pursuing various debts owing to Sir Robert .8

Possibly by the time Clerk was writing in 1721, ‘improvement’ had taken on a broader meaning than that which Sir Robert Maxwell gave it in 1688. Certainly Clerk became a key member of the ‘Honourable Society of Improvers in the Knowledge of Agriculture’, founded in Edinburgh in 1723. Whilst Clerk is considered to be the very model of a Calvinist capitalist landowner 9, Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton was a devout Roman Catholic and a Stuart loyalist who helped persecute Calvinist Covenanters.10

The Sequence of Events

Concerning the sequence of the Galloway Levellers actions as they unfolded in 1724;

Wild rumours of a mass uprising provoked by Irish Jacobites or religious zealots were part and parcel of the contemporary reports, which caused widespread concern both in Galloway and beyond. The picture presented by observers during the spring and summer of 1724 is a particularly confused one, and naturally enough commentators like the Earl of Galloway, a leading landowner fearing for his estates and cattle, were hardly likely to be unbiased. Likewise press reports are extremely unreliable, are laced with vitriolic outbursts against the activities of the levellers and give little positive evidence for the timing of events. It is this latter factor and the weird mixture of fact and fantasy which lends the whole affair a considerable element of mystery.11

Whilst there will always be some uncertainty about the events of 1724, as the following outline of events shows, cross-referencing the accounts given by Morton, Prevost and Leopold can minimise this.


Patrick Murdoch of Cumloden acquires Airds of Kells from Thomas Gordon of Earlston (possibly through wadset) and encloses it as a cattle park.


May - several tacks of arable farms in lowland parishes of Stewartry of Kirkcudbright are not to be renewed. Farms to be converted to pasture/ enclosed as cattle parks.

June - at Kelton Hill Fair, resentment to the loss of livelihood created by the conversion of arable farms to cattle parks leads to suggestion of dyke-breaking as a response.


January/ February

Former tenant of Thomas Gordon of Earlston (named as Robertson, possibly from Airds of Kells) and unnamed former tenant of Lady Mary Dalzell - widow of Jacobite William Gordon, Viscount Kenmure - propose bond (or covenant) to mobilise those opposed to enclosure by cattle parks.

17 March

First dyke-breaking occurs at Netherlaw near Kirkcudbright. Cattle park at Netherlaw in existence since 1688.

Early April

Call to meeting against cattle parks fixed to church doors in Borgue, Twynholm and Tongland parishes.

21 April

Caledonian Mercury reports that this meeting was addressed by a mountain preacher and big with that ancient levelling Tenet several hundred armed persons subsequently demolished dykes in the neighbourhood.

[May - sequence here possibly confused by 11 day difference between Old Style and New Style datings]

2 May

Thomas Gordon of Earlston and Basil Hamilton of Baldoon ride to Edinburgh to request troops be sent to quell disturbances.

3 May

Adam Cockburn (Lord Justice Clerk) requests that David Rain, imprisoned for participation in a tumultuous assembly, be sent to Edinburgh.

6 May

Presbytery of Kirkcudbright condemn actions of dyke- breakers.

James Clerk (Customs Officer in Kirkcudbright) writes to his brother Sir John Clerk of Penicuik describing conflict yesterday between dyke-breakers and heritors (land-owners) at the Steps of Tarff. [Noted by Prevost as Old Style so 17 May New Style]

10 May

Call for assembly at Bomby Muir (Near Kirkcudbright) on Tuesday 12th May fixed to eight church doors on 10th May.

12 May

Four Troops of Stairs Dragoons [I.e. commanded by John Dalrymple, 2nd Earl of Stair] arrive in Kirkcudbright.

12 to 16 May

Nearly 2 miles of Sir Basil Hamiltons newly erected dykes near Bomby Muir are levelled by gathering of up to 1000. 400 cattle within the enclosure.

20 May

Dyke-breakers split up into smaller groups, extending levelling activities across Stewartry. One group claim that 53 of Sir Basil Hamiltons cattle were illegally imported from Ireland.

27 May

General Assembly of Church of Scotland pass an act condemning actions of dyke-breakers.

Meeting of parish representatives of dyke-breakers held at Kelton Hill.

More of Stairs Dragoon arrive in Kirkcudbright.

29 May

Complete regiment of Stairs Dragoons (two troops horse, four of foot) under Major Du Cary assembled in Kirkcudbright. Heritors and Justices of the Peace meet to plan tactics and agree that should any gathering of dyke-breakers fail to disperse after the Riot Act

31 May

Dyke-breakers requested to assemble at Boat of Roan (beside Airds of Kells/ Loch Ken) on 2nd June.

End of May

An Account of the Reason of Some People in Galloway, their meetings anent Public Grievances through Enclosure published.

2 June

Stairs Dragoons depart Kirkcudbright at 3 am for Boat of Roan, arriving at 8 am - but no sign of dyke-breakers. Troops return to Kirkcudbright. On return journey learn that a conflict between heritors and dyke-beakers has occurred at Steps of Tarff between 50 armed dyke-breakers and heritors led by Sir Basil Hamilton and Patrick Heron of Kirroughtrie. 14 dyke-breakers are captured.

After departure of troops from Boat of Roan, Patrick Murdochs dykes at Airds of Kells are levelled. Murdochs dykes at Kilquhanity and Macartney (now Walton Park) may also have been levelled.

6 June

News from Galloway, or the Poor Mans Plea against his landlord in a letter to a friend is published.

20 June

Patrick Murdoch of Cumloden takes action in Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Against debtors for damages caused by levelling at Airds in Kells parish..

End of June

Dyke-breakers/ Levellers write a letter to major Du Cary justifying their actions. This is passed to Major Du Cary by Provost Kilpatrick of Kirkcudbright. Heritors and Justices of the Peace report Kilpatrick as Leveller sympathiser to Lord Advocate Robert Dundas.

1 July

Twenty page pamphlet Opinion of Sir Thomas More, Lord High Chancellor of England concerning enclosures, in an answer to a letter from Galloway by Philadeplhia published in Edinburgh. Lord Advocate Robert Dundas personally visits bookseller to demand name of author and attempts to suppress pamphlet.

2 July

John Ker, 1st Duke of Roxburghe and Secretary of State for Scotland, discusses events with king George I who asks what legal right those concerned had to eject so many Tenants at once as to render them, and the Country desolate and what provision the law has to make for the Tenants so ejected.12


Heritors respond to the Letter to Major Du Cary, denying allegations made against Hamilton of Baldoon, Murdoch of Cumloden, Murray of Cavens, Murray of Broughton and Cally, the Herons of Kirroughtrie, Blair of Dunrod (Borgue), the McJoars of Kirkland and Cocklick, McKie of Palgowan and Dunbar of Machermore.

13 August

John Ker (see 2 July above) commissions Robert Dundas to hold a Public Enquiry into the situation. James Johnstone, Marquis of Annandale (as Steward of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright) is to oversee this.

17 August

Steward -Depute John McDowall of Kirkcudbright advises Marquis of Annandale on progress of Public Enquiry.

14 September

Marquis of Annandale writes to Sir Basil Hamilton, after Hamilton has complained that McDowall is too sympathetic to the dyke-breakers.

13 October

Caledonian Mercury reports that David Rain (arrested in May) has been released.

End of October

Troops confront Levellers at Duchrae in Balmaghie parish ( near the Boat of Roan). Troops order to use weapons only in self-defence. 200 Levellers captured, but most allowed to escape whilst being taken to Kirkcudbright.

18 November

Brigadier John Stewart of Sorbie (brother of Earl of Galloway) writes to his brother in law Sir John Clerk of Pencuik reporting outbreak of dyke -breaking in Machars of Wigtownshire.

25 January 1725

Trial for damages caused to Sir Basil Hamiltons dykes near Bombie Muir held.

April 1725

James Clerk writes to Sir John Clerk reporting that Stairs Dragoons have left and immediately another sixty roods of Hamilton’s dykes were levelled.

When dyke-breaking incidents which cannot be dated are added, then 12 out of 28 parishes in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright - Balmaghie, Borgue, Buittle, Girthon, Kelton, Kirkcudbright, Kirkpatrick Durham, Parton, Rerrick, Tongland, Twynholm and Urr - were affected. In Wigtownshire only 3 out of 16 parishes - Kirkinner, Sorbie and Wigtown - were affected.


The most detailed account of the events of 1724 is provided by Morton13 writing in 1936. Unfortunately, Morton does always give his sources (a defect partially rectified by Prevost and Leopold 14 ), but this problem aside, it seems likely that it was the actions of Lady Kenmure and Thomas Gordon of Earlston in 1723 which set the events of 1724 in motion. Lady Kenmure was the widow of William Gordon, Viscount Kenmure, executed in 1716 for his leading part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. In contrast, Thomas Gordon of Earlston had played an active anti-Jacobite role in 1715, leading a group of 200 volunteers from Kirkcudbright to aid the defence of Dumfries in October 1715

What Lady Kenmure and Thomas Gordon had in common in 1723 were debt ridden estates. First established in the Glenkens district of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in 1408 by Archibald, 4th earl of Douglas15, over the next 200 year the Gordon family acquired extensive lands throughout Galloway. During the religious and political turmoil of the 17th century, a process of contraction set in. The Gordons of Earlston suffered fines and forfeiture for their Covenanting beliefs and actions. The Gordons of Kenmure shifted between supporting and opposing the Stuarts - so that whilst William Gordon of Kenmure was executed as a Jacobite in 1715, his father Alexander had led a regiment against the Jacobite forces at Killiecrankie in 1689.16

In 1697, a drove road was made and marked out between New Galloway in the Glenkens and Dumfries. Alexander Gordon of Kenmure was amongst the landowners who had petitioned the Privy Council to make this improvement which was also supported by Dumfries Town Council.

"Several debates," the Council record says, "have happened of late in the passage of droves from New Galloway to Dumfries, the country people endeavouring by violence to stop the droves, and impose illegal exactions of money upon the cattle, to the great damage of the trade; whereby also riots and bloodsheds have been occasioned, which had gone greater length if those who were employed to carry up the cattle had not managed with great moderation and prudence." On a petition from the great landlords of the district- James, Earl of Galloway; Lord Basil Hamilton; Alexander, Viscount of Kenmure; John, Viscount of Stair; Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, and others a commission was appointed by the Privy Council, "to make and mark a highway for droves frae New Galloway to Dumfries, holding the high and accustomed travelling way betwixt the said two burghs." 17

However, neither Alexander Gordon nor his son William appear to have profited by this support for Galloway’s cattle trade. According to McKerlie18, by 1716 the Kenmure estate “was so much encumbered with debt and claimants, that the Government allowed his widow to make of it what she could…”. McKerlie also reveals that the Earlston estate was no less encumbered with debt, despite the sale of woodland by Sir Alexander Gordon of Earlston to Charles Hope (later Earl of Hopetoun) for 23 000 merks in 1691. In 1708 Sir Alexander ‘disponed’ (conveyed) the estate to his son Thomas. McKerlie gives the valuation of the estate as £300 sterling per year, but as carrying a debt burden of £1687 sterling, and notes wadsets on the estate in 1710, 1714 and 1719. Despite marrying an heiress in 1710 (Ann Boick, whose father was a merchant burgess of Edinburgh and Glasgow), Thomas was unable to clear the debts he had inherited and was declared bankrupt in 1737.

Although Morton19 does not mention it, the estates of Lady Kenmure and Thomas Gordon lay close to the drove road established in 1697 between New Galloway and Dumfries. From Clerk’s account of 1721, cattle worth £10 000 sterling would have passed along this drove road every autumn. Paid for in cash (Clerk’s English ‘readie monie’) the attraction of the cattle trade for debt-ridden landowners like Lady Kenmure and Thomas Gordon was obvious. So at Whitsun (locally the usual date for ending and starting tacks)1723, rather than having their tacks renewed, one of Thomas Gordon’s tenants, named Robertson by Morton, and an unnamed tenant of Lady Kenmure’s, found themselves and their sub-tenants (cottars) ‘ejected’ and their farms enclosed with stone dykes to create cattle parks.

From analysis of over 320 tacks recorded in the Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds between 1623 and 1700, it is clear that changes of tenant and sub-tenants/ cottars at the expiry of a tack (which varied between one and 19 years length) were not unusual. What was unusual at Whitsun 1723 is, as Morton explains “there were several instances where five, seven, and even sixteen families on an estate had to remove” to be replaced by a single tenant. Only a single tenant - or more likely herd - was required where arable or mixed arable and livestock farms were converted to cattle parks by enclosing them within a dry stane ring dyke - as shown by William Maxwell who was sole ‘herd’ of Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton’s cattle park at Netherlaw in 1688.20 (That Netherlaw was potentially arable is shown by Sir Robert’s instruction to his nephew that it should not be ‘set to the plough’.) Where, as seems to have occurred in 1723, several arable/ mixed farms were converted to cattle parks simultaneously, the scope for movement by potential tenants and, critically, their sub-tenants, between farms would have been limited.

The grievances of those dispossessed at Whit became the focus for wider concerns at the Kelton Hill Fair held in mid-June. Established by ancient tradition21, Fair was a somewhat riotous assembly.

Here are assembled from Ireland, from England, and from the most distant parts of North Britain, horse-dealers, cattle dealers, sellers of sweetmeats and of spirituous liquors, gypsies, pick-pockets, and smugglers…The roads are for a day or two before crowded with comers to the fair. On the hill where it is held tents are erected, and through the whole fair day one tumultuous scene is here exhibited of bustling backwards and forwards, bargaining, wooing, carousing, quarrelling, amidst horses, cattle, carriages, mountebanks, the stalls of chapmen, and the tents of the sellers of liquors and cold victuals.22

It was at the Kelton Hill Fair in June 1723 that the idea of dyke-breaking was first proposed. However no immediate action was taken. It was not until January or February 1724 that Robertson proposed a bond (or covenant) for those prepared to resist further evictions.23 By this time it would have been clear that other landowners were planning to evict tenants and cottars and construct cattle parks. No doubt rumour and speculation added considerably to the list of threatened fermtouns and helped swell the numbers of those signing the bond. It is also clear, as the events unfolded through 1724, that a considerable degree of planning and preparation was involved.

The practical organisation of teams of dyke-breakers in each parish was managed by ‘captains’. This procedure echoed the practice of the Stewartry War Committee of the Covenant in 1640/1- which appointed ‘captains’ to oversee the raising of anti- Stuart volunteers in each parish24 and the more recent raising of anti- Jacobite volunteers in 1715.25 Ironically, since his were the first dykes to be broken by this way of working, Thomas Gordon of Earlston had been one such ‘captain’ (for the parish of Kells) in 1715 and his great-grandfather likewise a ‘captain’ for Carsphairn and Dalry parishes in 1640/1. At the same time as the practice of dyke-breaking was being organised, the ‘theory‘, or at least a series of justifications for the actions of the dyke-breakers, was being prepared. The first of several such manifestos was attached to the doors of churches in Borgue, Tongland and Twynholm parishes in April 1724. Although Morton quotes from this manifesto, he does not does not give his source. Fortunately Prevost26 does, revealing that Wodrow received a copy in May 1724. This suggests that Wodrow was one of the unattributed sources used by Morton. Morton gives a direct quote from one of these manifestos:

Therefore in order to prevent such a chain of miseries as are likely to be the consequences of this unhappy parking we earnestly entreat the assistance and aid of you the loyal parish of Borgue in order to suppress these calamities and that we may either live or die in this land of our nativity. We beg your assistance which will tend to your own advantage in order to which we desire you to meet at David Low’s in Woodhead of Tongland where we expect the concurrence of Tongland and Twynholm upon Tuesday morning an hour after the sun rise which will gratify us and oblige yourselves.

Whatever else it may be, the language of this text is not the everyday Scots language of Borgue or any other parish in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in 1724. It is written in the formal English of a highly educated person. As Reid27 points out in his biography of the Reverend John McMillan of Balmaghie, the best educated of all but a few (e.g. Sir James Dalrymple of Stair) of the population of Galloway in the early 18th century were the parish ministers. The manifesto also declares that those who had ‘lately risen to suppress the insupportable cruelty and oppression of several gentlemen in Galloway’ were all ‘well affected to the Government and loyal subjects of His Majesty’. As Stephen28 explains in his discussion of the religious and political differences between the Cameronians and the Hebronites in 1706, the Cameronians rejected all uncovenanted kings and queens. The Cameronian position was effectively a republican one. In contrast, and as shown by their actions in 1715 when they offered to help defend Dumfries against the Jacobites, the Hebronites were able to support and pledge loyalty to uncovenanted kings and queens -as George I was.

Had John Hepburn, the leader of the Hebronites, still been alive in 1724 he would have been the most likely writer of this manifesto. However, Hepburn died in 1723 so could not have been its author. Morton claims (unreferenced) “Morton states that there were no men of note amongst them [the Levellers] save Mr. Cluny, deposed curate who drew their papers.”

This ‘Mr. Cluny’ is most likely to have been Hugh Clanny who was minister of Kirkbean from 1688 until deposed in 1713. Adamson29 locates Clanny (or Clannie) in a complex struggle fought out between ex-Episopalians, Hepburn and the Hebronites and mainstream Presbyterians within the Synod of Dumfries in 1697 in which Clanny may have been aligned with the Hebronite faction. More certainly, in January 1688 he married Rachel, daughter of John McMichen of Barcaple (Tongland parish).30 John McMichen had been, until forced out in 1661, the Prebsyterian minister of Dalry parish.31 John McMichen had bought Barcaple in 1687 from Hugh Blair-McGuffog. Barcaple had been sold to William McGuffog (Hugh Blair-McGuffog’s father-in-law) by David Arnot in 1674.

The Arnot’s (descended from David Arnot, who has been bishop of Galloway in 1509) had owned Barcaple since 14th March 1540 -the date of a charter by Henry, bishop of Galloway and commendator of Dundrennan abbey which conveyed Barcaple to Henry Arnot. In 1661, Samuel Arnot was minister of Tongland parish and his brother David owned Barcaple. David was repeatedly fined for adherence to the Covenants and with his brother had to flee to Ireland - hence the enforced sale of Barcaple to Stuart loyalist William McGuffog in 1674.

On John McMichen’s death (which McKerlie32, on whom this account is based, does not give)Rachel and her elder sister Mary inherited Barcaple. Mary had married the Reverend William Maitland in 1674 and by 1724 her son Alexander was minister of Tongland parish. Since Alexander bought Rachel’s half of Barcaple from her and Hugh Clanny (described as ’minister’) in 172733, it is likely that - having lost his position as minister of Kirkbean parish - Hugh Clanny was living at Barcaple in 1724. This is significant, since the Gordons of Kenmure claimed feudal superiority over the parish of Tongland 34and also claimed direct ownership of farms (e.g. Dunjop and Barnscrosh) within Tongland which had been forfeit by the John Gordon, 1st Viscount Kenmure to the ‘Lord Protector’ (Oliver Cromwell) in 1650.35 Nether Barcaple (now Valleyfield) had been claimed by the Gordons since 1604. It was held by Robert Gordon of Troquhane in 1662, when he set it tack to William Makcartney for 13 years - with feu duties payable to Lord Kenmore and the Colledge of Glasgow36, although McKerlie states that William Gordon of Earlston had principle sasine of Barcaple (Nether) in 1674 and that John Gordon of Kenmure (son of Lady Kenmure, widow of William Gordon the Jacobite) had sasine in 1742 - when Alexander Maitland, minister of Tongland, bought it from him.

Out of this confusion of lands and their owners stretching back into the religious and political conflicts of the 17th century, what can be gleaned? That, as discussed previously, in Galloway and Dumfries the 1715 Jacobite rebellion would have raised immediate and direct fears amongst Presbyterian landowners, especially owner-occupiers, of a return to the insecurities of the 1660-1688 period. Inevitably, a Jacobite victory would have led to fines and forfeitures being levied on anti-Jacobites. For Hugh Clanny and his nephew Alexander Maitland (minister of Tongland parish 1711 to 1747) these fears would have been especially acute. They would have been aware of the fate of the original owners of Barcaple -the Arnot brothers - and of the experiences of John McMichen. Although no direct references to Hugh Clanny and Alexander Maitland in Rae’s 1718 account of ‘The Late Rebellion’, both would have strong religious, landownership and family reasons for opposing the Jacobites in 1715. In which case, Maitland would have been amongst the parish ministers mentioned by Rae who raised and helped arm an unofficial force of anti-Jacobite volunteers - 200 of whom were marched from Kirkcudbright to Dumfries (led by Thomas Gordon of Earlston) in October 1715. Clanny’s position (having been removed as minister of Kirkbean by the Synod of Dumfries) would have been more ambiguous. He is more likely to have been a member of the force of armed Hebronites assembled by John Hepburn of Urr. This force of some 300 offered support to Dumfries Burgh Council, but imposed religious conditions on their support which the Council could not agree to.37 However, had the Jacobite forces actually attacked Dumfries the Hebronites (unlike McMillan’s Cameronians) would have had no theological problems with physically supporting George I against James VIII. On the other hand, whilst the dykes of Jacobite landowners like Lady Kenmure, Basil Hamilton and George Maxwell of Munches were levelled in 1724, so also were the dykes of the anti-Jacobite Thomas Gordon of Earlston.

Returning to the April 1724 manifesto, the place appointed for the meeting -“at David Low’s in Woodhead of Tongland” also points to Hugh Clanny. Woodhead of Tongland was a croft roughly a mile east of Barcaple38, and it is likely that this was the gathering reported by the Caledonian Mercury on 21 April 1724.39

We are credibly informed from Galloway and other places in the West, That a certain Mountain preacher in a discourse he had in that district not many days ago, among other things, so bitterly inveighed against the Heritors and others of that Country, for their laudable Frugality in Inclosures etc and (as he term’d it) making Commonty Property, that next Morning several Hundred arm’d Devotees, big with that ancient Levelling Tenet, in a few hours rid themselves of that Grievance, to the great Detriment of the Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood.

Had our Religious been as solicitous in enforcing the Doctrines of Love and peace, and of suffering (even Injuries) rather than sin, ‘tis a question if his Rhetoric had so readily obtain’d.

From this report it might appear that, inspired by the fiery rhetoric of the ‘Mountain preacher’ (most likely Hugh Clanny) the first ‘levelling’ actions took place in early April 1724 in Tongland parish, probably against dykes erected for Lady Kenmure around one of her farms (Nether Barcaple?) in that parish. However, the phrase ‘lately risen to suppress the insupportable cruelty and oppression of several gentlemen in Galloway’ in the manifesto previously fixed to the church doors of Borgue, Tongland and Twynholm implies the ’rising’ had already begun by April1724. The first actions may have been, as Morton suggests, the breaking of Thomas Gordon of Earlston’s dykes at Airds, but Leopold’s careful sifting of available records shows that a case “Laird Murdoch against Debtors for damages caused by levelling on the land of Airds in Kells parish” was held in Kirkcudbright on the 20th June 1724 and that one of the defendants was a John Charters of Drumglass in Balmaghie parish. Leopold suggests this may have been a separate and independent action by Cameronian supporters of John McMillan of Balmaghie.40

Leaving aside Leopold’s Cameronian speculations, his link to ‘Laird Murdoch’ is useful. The levelling of dykes erected by Murdoch is described in the Levellers ‘Letter to Major Du Cary’ (quoted at length by Morton) where, following their meeting at the ‘Boat of the Ronn’ (the Boat of Rhone at the foot of Loch Ken) on 2nd June 1724 “we unanimously agreed to throw down Mr. Murdoch’s dykes which inclosed the Barony of Airds out of which two or three years ago great multitudes of good and sufficient tenants were driven away and also the same Mr. Murdoch’s dykes which were a building about the lands of Kilwhannadie and Macartney, like wise great tracts of land which tenants were immediately to be turned out.” . Although hardly ‘great tracts of land’, Murdoch, of Cumloden in Penningham parish in Wigtownshire, had recently acquired Kilquhanity and Macartney in Kirkpatrick Durham parish through a wadset.41 Given the debt-ridden finances of Thomas Gordon of Earlston, it is likely that he had either wadset (although McKerlie makes no mention of this) or leased his Airds of Kells to Murdoch. The assumption is that Murdoch was engaged in the cattle trade and was actively seeking parcels of land where he could either concentrate and fatten cattle he had purchased before a drove or rest droves, originating elsewhere, overnight on their long journey to the south of England.

But if the levelling of Murdoch’s (not Gordon of Earlston’s) dykes on Airds of Kells took place in June, then they were clearly not the first dykes to be demolished and so cannot be the actions mentioned in the April manifesto. Fortunately, Leopold reveals that “The one concrete piece of evidence we have about the beginning of the Levellers shows that the enclosures of Netherlaw were levelled on 17th March 1724.”42 This date would fit with the April manifesto and so seems fairly ‘concrete’. The difficulty with Netherlaw is that, as discussed above, according to a Factory by Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton to his nephew Robert Maxwell, a cattle park at Netherlaw (herded by William Johnstone) had been created sometime before 1688.43 Sir Robert died in 1719 and his nephew Robert inherited. The inheritance was contested. “During the litigation, Robert, a Roman Catholic, was required to sign the ‘formula against popery’ before he could obtain possession of the estates of Orchardton and Gelston. This he did on 12th November 1723.” However, deeply worried by institutional anti-Catholicism and the risk of future forfeiture, he debarred his two Catholic sons from inheriting his estate.44

Although not himself implicated in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, Robert Maxwell was uncle to George and William Maxwell of Munches who were involved. The Maxwells of Munches were also Roman Catholics and dykes at Munches were levelled in 1724, as were those of another Roman Catholic landowner, Robert Neilson of Barncailzie - according to the account of John Maxwell of Munches written to W. M. Herries, Esq. of Spottes on February 8th. 1811.45 John Maxwell, also a Roman Catholic, was born in 1720 and claimed to have been an eye-witness to the levelling- although he was born at Terraughty in Terregles parish and only acquired Munches through marriage in 1767. However, an element of anti- Catholicism may well have been a factor in these three instances of levelling. These may have been examples of the ‘other dykes thrown down …which in general we did not approve of’ mentioned in the Levellers ‘Letter to Major Du Cary‘. Old grievances may also have surfaced in 1724 - Neilson of Barncaillzie was alleged to have denied burial to three Covenanting martyrs in 1685.46

Although an Episcopalian rather than a Catholic, Sir Basil Hamilton of Baldoon was a Jacobite. Although only 18 in 1715, he commanded a troop of horse under Viscount Kenmure and the Earl of Nithsdale. Captured at Preston, he faced execution and the forfeiture of his estates. Fortunately, as discussed previously, his family, including his grandmother Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, petitioned in his behalf and his life was saved. Sir Basil’s mother, Lady Mary Dunbar (heiress to the Dunbar of Baldoon estates) was then able to claim that she, rather than Sir Basil, had legal possession and so forfeiture was evaded.

In 1724, close to Galtway Hill just outside Kirkcudbright and only two miles from the Netherlaw Parks, Sir Basil had built a cattle park holding some 400 cattle. From the record of a civil case for damages held in Kirkcudbright in January 1725 (quoted at length by Morton), on or between the 12th and 16th of May 1724, 580 roods -approximately 2 miles- of enclosing dyke were demolished. Unfortunately there is a problem of timing here. Prevost quotes from a letter dated 2nd May 1724 by the Earl of Galloway to his brother-in-law Sir John Clerk of Pencuick47

But you wold hear the insolencies of ane sett of people that have drauen together and destroyed the whole encloasures in the Stewartrie, and if we have not the protection of the Govert by allowing troops to march in to the countrie for our assistance, I doe relie believe the whole gentlemen of Galloway will be ruined. Noe doubt you‘ve heard of Mr. Hamilton’s going to Edinburgh with Earlstoune to represent the grevances of our country one that score and what indignities are used to themselves in particular, and how all their encloasours are demolished, and ever since going to Edinburgh they have committed the greatest abuse to the most part of the gentrie…

This would suggest that the attack on Hamilton’s dykes took place several days after he and Thomas Gordon of Earlston had ridden to Edinburgh to ask for troops to be sent to quell the uprising and so could have been a response to this action. However, other of the letters Prevost quotes, e.g. one dated 6th May 1724 by James Clerk (who was a Customs Officer in Kirkcudbright) to his brother Sir John Clerk of Pencuik are ‘Old Style’, I.e. 11 days adrift, so 6th May Old Style would be 17th May New Style. Alternatively, if Hamilton’s trip to Edinburgh immediately preceded the attack on his dykes, the threat to his property may have encouraged him to seek aid from the same Hanoverian government he had only a few years earlier sought to overthrow.

If the attacks on Sir Basil Hamilton’s dykes were motivated by his Jacobite background, the anti-Jacobite element of the Galloway Levellers actions may have influenced their decision not to level a dyke built for Robert Johnston of Kelton parish. At first sight, as recounted as a tale told by the grandfather of Samuel Geddes of Keltonhill by Malcolm Harper48 (and published over 150 years later, this incident may appear to be a piece of folklore rather than history. According to Harper:

A band of levellers and houghers, or as some call them ”Rablers” 49 having traversed the coast from Balmae to Kirkbean levelling dykes and houghing Irish cattle, the introduction of which was one of their grievances, they reached the estate of Kelton. Captain Johnstone was then laird, and had built a high dyke to fence his estate from the public road…anxious to preserve it he prevailed upon Mr. Falconer [minister of Kelton parish] to accompany him in going to the levellers with the view of advising them to desist from their destructive proceedings… Mr. Falconer then addressed the crowd… assuring them that no man or family would be evicted from Captain Johnstone’s estate on account of [the dyke] being erected - that every person on his lands should continue to have and hold his house, his yaird or garden, and the usual quantity of corn sown (in these days it was generally customary for the labourers to have a certain quantity of corn sown to produce a melder50 for the family, and fodder for the cow and calf).

This speech, aided by the distribution of bread, cheese and beer provided by Captain Johnstone, persuaded the Levellers to pass on, leaving Johnstone’s dyke still standing. As confirmation, Harper says “On a stone in the dyke of the right hand side of the road leading from Lochbank to Furbar House, there is a date, which is now indistinct, but about thirty years ago [I.e. 1840] it was plainly 1725, and is now commemorative of the event.”. Unfortunately for Harper’s account, although there is an inscribed stone in the dyke next to Furbar House, the date on it is clearly 1757 and the events described would have happened in 1724.

On the other hand, in John Nicholson’s notebook51 can be found the original account by Samuel Geddes of Keltonhill as used by Harper. This original account is dated 1831, so could realistically have been a story told to Samuel Geddes by his grandfather. In addition, William Falconer was the minister of Kelton parish in 1724 and is mentioned by Morton as one of the ministers alleged to have been sympathetic to the Levellers. Robert Johnstone became laird of Kelton in 1706, purchasing the estate 52(centred on Kelton Mains farm, now part of the 1500 acre NTS Threave Estate) from William Maxwell, earl of Nithsdale.53 In 1715, Robert Johnstone was one of the Steward-Deputes of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright appointed to help defend Dumfries against Jacobite forces led by William Maxwell.

As well as having strong anti- Jacobite credentials, Johnstone was (at least according to the Latin inscription on his gravestone in St Michael’s kirkyard in Dumfries) a “ strong opponent of Union and assertor of Scotland’s liberty” . In 1706 Johnstone represented Dumfries Burgh in the Scottish parliament and voted against the proposed Union.54 As the rest of the inscription on Johnstone’s grave shows, he had also been several times provost of Dumfries and represented the burgh in the Convention of Royal Burghs. But although these anti-Jacobite and patriotic credentials distinguish Robert Johnstone from Jacobite landowners like Sir Basil Hamilton, Lady Mary Gordon (nee Dalzell) of Kenmure and George Maxwell of Munches, the origin of Johnstone’s wealth in trade as a Dumfries based merchant is more significant.

Like William Craik (a Dumfries based merchant who was Johnstone’s father -in - law and business partner and who bought the Arbigland and Duchrae estates in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in the late 17th century. 55 ), landownership was secondary to Johnstone’s main economic activities. The income he derived from his Kelton (Threave) Estate was therefore supplemental. So long as his tenants provided a steady stream of income through mainly arable farming( Kelton Estate having been arable/ grange land since at least the 13th century 56), Johnstone had no pressing need to gamble on the cattle trade and therefore no pressing need to evict his tenants to create a cattle park at Kelton.

Yet if the Galloway Levellers had only been able to draw on support from those directly evicted to make way for new cattle parks, like the sixteen families dispossessed by Murdoch of Cumloden, the events of 1724 would have been on a much smaller scale. If the eye-witness account of James Clerk is to be believed, the breaking of Sir Basil Hamilton’s dykes in early May 1724 involved 1000 levellers. Although it is possible that it was the threat posed to the ‘moral economy’ which mobilised such a large group, the emphasis given to the 43 Irish cattle ( out of a herd of 400 cattle) seized by the Levellers in their account of the incident and by James Clerk in his account suggests a more direct economic linkage. The smuggling of Irish cattle was also of concern to the customs officers in Dumfries.

So rigid were the revenue regulations at this period [1724] , that when some charitable people in Dumfries commissioned two ship loads of oatmeal from Ireland that the poor might obtain it cheap when it was hardly to be had of home growth for love or money, the collector durst not permit the meal to be landed till he was specially authorized to do so by his official superiors. The officers were also scandalized by a daring innovation which had sprung up, especially at Kirkcudbright, of importing Irish cattle, and they sorely bewailed the connivance given to it by the County gentlemen and their tenants.57

Leopold’s research suggests that the first Levellers action took place at Netherlaw near Kirkcudbright on 17 March 1724. In their Letter to Major Du Cary the Levellers mention this incident:

understanding that there were a considerable number of Irish cattle in the Parks of Netherlaw, we did, in obedience to the law, legally seize and slaughter them to deter the gentlemen from the like practice if importing or bringing Irish cattle, to the great loss of this poor country as well as the breeders in England, too much the practice of the gentlemen here.58

Although direct evidence of the import of Irish cattle is lacking in the case of Alexander Murray of Cally (Girthon parish, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright), who had “a large park that feeds one thousand bullocks, that he sends once every year to the markets of England” in 1723 59, Murray had inherited over 60 000 acres of Irish land, mainly in Donegal. Alexander Murray‘s ancestor, George Murray of Broughton in Wigtownshire, had been granted these lands in 1610 as part of the Plantation.60 By 1621, cattle from these Irish estates were being sold in England.61 In 1724, Alexander Murray would therefore have been highly likely to have been involved in the illegal import of Irish cattle and to have been a target for the Galloway Levellers - which he was. According to one of John Nicholson’s sources - Violet Nish, whose father Robert was born in 1715 at Enrick in Girthon parish- Alexander Murray’s dykes in Girthon parish were levelled in 1724 during an incident in which shots were fired.

At Cardoness in Anwoth parish, on the west bank of the Fleet and only 1 km (½ mile) from Alexander Murray’s cattle park at Cally, lay the cattle parks of Colonel William Maxwell.62 If the Levellers had been intent on breaking the dykes of all such enclosures, then Colonel Maxwell’s dykes would have been a next and obvious target. But Maxwell’s dykes were left standing. Colonel Maxwell is mentioned in the Letter to Major Du Cary as having, along with ‘Laird Heron’ (either Patrick Heron senior or Patrick Heron junior, both of Minnigaff parish) as having reached an agreement with the Levellers “that we should live peaceably and throw down no man’s dykes.”. This agreement was negotiated immediately after an encounter between a party of armed heritors and armed Levellers at the Steps of Tarff. There appear to have been two such confrontations, one in early May and one in early June, but it is unclear which is being referred to.

More certainly, although the Letter to Major Du Cary includes the Herons “Yr. and elder” amongst its list of depopulating lairds, stating that “the little town of Minigaff belonging to Mr. Heron is only a nest of beggars since he inclosed all the ground about it.” , the Herons’ extensive cattle parks were not levelled. Yet, as Woodward notes in his comparative study of the 17th century Irish and Scottish cattle trade, “Patrick Herron sent 1000 or more cattle to England via Dumfries in each of the years 1689-91 inclusive.” .63 Until the death of Sir David Dunbar (elder) of Baldoon in 1686, Patrick Heron senior had managed Dunbar’s cattle trading activities. After Dunbar’s death, Heron and his son built up extensive landholdings in Minnigaff parish to become the main cattle traders in Galloway.64 Since these landholdings included both upland and lowland farms, this suggests that the Herons had developed a ‘vertically integrated’ approach to the cattle trade. The profitability of this indigenous business model would have been undermined by the illegal import of Irish cattle.

According to a letter dated 20 May 1724 written by James Clerk in Kirkcudbright to his brother Sir John Clerk:

Upon Wednesday last a party of about 100 [Levellers], all armed came into town, driving before them about 53 Black Cattle which they had, after throwing down the dykes, brought in the name of Irish cattle. They demanded us to assist in retaining said cattle…We thereupon refused to meddle in the affair, especially considered that we writt the Commissioners 15 days ago upon that account, and have as yet no orders to give any such assistance, upon which they drove them out of town and slaughtered each one [of] them in a barbarous manner notwithstanding as law directs proof was made… that they were not imported from Ireland, but bought of a Highland drover .65

According to Morton, the slaughter ‘in a barbarous manner’ was carried out in Dundrennan Abbey a blacksmith named McMinn, giving rise to the local folklore saying that “M’Minn’s fore-hammer was more deadly than a butcher’s knife.”. 66. Between 1640 and 1700 the Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Deeds record seven related McMinn’s who were blacksmiths and a Francis McMinn (blacksmith) was a portioner of Gregory croft near Dundrennan in 1724.67

Further confirmation that the alleged illegal import of Irish cattle was a significant factor in the events of 1724 is given by the Earl of Galloway in one of his letters to Sir John Clerk. In this letter, the Earl of Galloway describes an incident which occurred on the 12th May when the Levellers “slaughtered near Kirkcudbright 55 or 57 cattell belonging to Hugh Blair of Dunrod [parish of Borgue] notwithstanding he made it appear they were bred in Britain, and they have used some of Basil Hamilton’s cattell after the same way and manner upon Saturday morning last.”. 68

The defence that the cattle involved were not Irish echoes that made on behalf of Sir David Dunbar (elder) by Symson in his Large Description of Galloway forty two years before.

Those of his [ Dunbar’s] owne breed, are very large, yea, so large, that in August or September 1682 nine and fifty of that sort , which would have yielded betwixt five and six pound sterling the peece were seized upon in England for Irish cattell; and because the person to whom they were entrusted had not witnesses that there ready at the precise hour, to swear that they were seen calved in Scotland (although the witness offered to depone that he livd in Scotland, within a mile of the park where they were calved and bred) , they were, by the sentence of Sir J.L., and some others who knew well enough that they were bred in Scotland, knockt on the head and killd; which was, to say no more, very hard measure , and an act unworthy of persons of that quality and station who ordered it to be done.69

By their seizure, public display and slaughter of over 150 ‘Irish’ cattle, the Galloway Levellers were trying to drive a wedge between those landowners and farmers who were involved in the legitimate cattle trade and those who were not. It is difficult to judge how effective this strategy was in broadening the base of support for the Levellers’ actions in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Certainly in Wigtownshire the use of battering ram to demolish a dyke built around the Fell of Barhullion by Sir Alexander Maxwell of Monreith suggests the Wigtownshire Levellers were numerically fewer. Maxwell was also able to enlist his tenants to defend his remaining dykes, although seven of his cattle were houghed (had their hamstrings cut) in the night. This houghing incident, compared with the very public slaughter of cattle in the Stewartry, is another indication that there were fewer Levellers in Wigtonshire. At Balsier in Sorbie parish, it was the tenant who organised the defence of a field dyke ( I.e. a subdividing enclosure) against the Levellers. In the struggle which ensued one of the Levellers was fatally wounded.70 Finally and most tellingly, the Sheriff of Wigtown was able to suppress the Wigtownshire Levellers without recourse to the Earl of Stair’s Dragoons.71

If the Wigtownshire Levellers were fewer in number, why did they not seek support from the Stewartry? One possibility is that if large scale support for the Levellers was confined to the central parishes of the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright, it would have been logistically difficult to level more distant dykes or to give support to the Wigtownshire Levellers. When the known instances of dyke-breaking in the Stewartry are plotted on a map, they are all within a 16km (10 mile) radius of Kelton Hill. This may be a practical reason why the Herons’ cattle parks in Minnigaff parish were untouched. Minnigaff is 30 km (19 miles) in a direct line from Kelton Hill and approximately 45 km (28 miles) by existing tracks. Likewise, although ‘Murray of Cavens’ was alleged to have threatened thirty families with eviction, his estate in Kirkbean parish was left unmolested. Cavens is 24 km (15 miles) in a direct line from Kelton Hill and approximately 30 km(19 miles) by existing tracks.

In a letter to Sir John Clerk of Pencuik dated 3rd June 1724, James Clerk states that two troops of horse and four of foot left Kirkcudbright at 3 am on the 2nd June and arrived at the Boat of Rhone at 8 am, expecting to confront a gathering of Levellers, but no Levellers appeared. The direct distance from Kirkcudbright to the Boat of Rhone (at the junction of the rivers Ken and Dee) is 15 km (9 miles). Even if the actual distance travelled along the rough tracks then existing was nearer 19 km (12 miles), the troops were travelling at 3.8 km/ hour (2.4 miles/ hour). A large group of Levellers are unlikely to have travelled any faster than the troops so would have taken roughly 12 hours to reach Minnigaff from the centre of the Stewartry and 8 hours to reach Kirkbean. Sorbie parish in Wigtownshire is 20 km (12.5 miles) south of Minnigaff. It would have taken a party of central Stewartry Levellers at least 17 hours walking non-stop to provide support for the Wigtownshire Levellers. Any such attempt would have been easily halted long before this by the two troops of horse stationed in Kirkcudbright.

1 Prevost: A Journie to Galloway in 1721 by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik :TDGNHAS III 41 186

2 Symson in Mackenzie: 1841

3 Fenton. A: Plough and Spade in Dumfries and Galloway : TDGNHAS :Series III: 45 :147

4 McCulloch: 2000: 559

5 McLelland:Transactions Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland : 1875

6 KSCD: 1265ii and 1940ii

7 Murray: The Customs Accounts of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright, 1560-1660: TDGNHAS: III 42 :119

8 Factory by Robert Maxwell of Orchardton: 16 Feb 1688: KSCD: 1256ii

9 Marshall: 1980, Davidson: 2003

10 Gellatly: 2003

11 Donnachie and McLeod: 1974: 52

12 Dundas of Arniston MSS: Vol 32: Letters II: Duke of Roxburghe to Lord Advocate 2 July 1724 - in Whatley: 2000

13 Morton: “The Levellers of Galloway”: TDGNHAS: III : 19: 232

14 Prevost: Letters Reporting the Rising of the Levellers in 1724 TDGNHAS: III :44 : 196, Leopold :1981

15 SRO RH6 ii 219, in Brooke: TDGNHAS: III: 59: 49

16 McCulloch : 2000

17 McDowall : 1868

18 McKerlie: 1878

19 Morton : “The Levellers of Galloway”: TDGNHAS: III : 19: 232

20 KSCD: 1265ii

21 Brooke:1996

22 Heron: 1793

23 Morton : “The Levellers of Galloway”: TDGNHAS: III : 19: 232

24 Minute Book of War Committee: Nicholson: 1855

25 Rae: 1718

26 Prevost: Letters Reporting the Rising of the Levellers in 1724: TDGNHAS: III 44 196 - source Woodrow : NLS: MSS Folio XL, No. 80

27 Reid: 1896

28 Stephen: 2007: Ch 5

29 Adamson: TDGHNAS: III: 55: 86

30 KSCD:3399ii

31 Morton:1914

32 McKerlie: 1878

33 Kirkcudbright Register of Sasines: 29 Nov 1727; Vol 10: Folio 313

34 KSCD: 1331i

35 KSCD: 1031i

36 KSCD: 1331i

37 McDowall: 1868

38 Ainslie’s map of Stewartry of Kirkudbright: 1797: NLS collection

39 Donnachie and McLeod: 1974

40 Leopold:1981

41 Stark: Book of Kirkpatrick Durham: 1903

42 Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Records Box Processes: 1724: 194

43 KSCD: 1265ii

44 Gellatly : 2003

45 noted by Hancock: 1995 as GD1/268/1

46 Stark:1903

47 SRO: Clerk of Pencuik Muniments: GD 18: 5246/I/142

48 Harper: Rambles in Galloway: 1876, similar also in McKenzie: History of Galloway : 1841

49 Concise Scots Dictionary : 1995 links ‘rable’ as ‘mob’ to the 1688/9 ‘Rabbling of the Episcopalian Curates’

50 melder - quantity of one person’s corn taken to the mill to be ground at one time: Concise Scots Dictionary: 1999

51 Hornel Library: NTS Broughton House: Kirkcudbright

52 Centred on Kelton Mains farm, now part of 1500 acre NTS Threave Estate which also includes Keltonhill and Furbar cottage.

53 Register of Sasines

54 Whitelaw: TGDNHAS : II: 19 : 1907 : The Union of 1707 in Dumfriesshire

56 Brooke: 1991: 303

57 McDowall: 1886 : 556

58 Morton: TDGHNAS :1936 : 252/1

59 Mackay : A Journey through Scotland : 1723, in MacRobert: 201 : 30

61 Corrie : Droving days in south west Scotland : 1900

62 Mackay : A Journey through Scotland : 1723, in MacRobert: 201 : 30

63 Woodward : 156 in Cullen and Smout : 1977

64 McKerlie: 1878

65 Prevost: 1967, quoting Clerk of Pencuik: No.5288/47/1

66 Morton: 1936: 237

67 Register of Sasines:

68 Prevost: 19267, quoting Clerk of Pencuik: No. 5246/61

69 In McKenzie:1841

70 Orton: 1936, quoting Daniel Mathieson of Sorbie in a letter to John Nicholson dated 1830

71 Agnew: 1864