Lands & Their Owners - Buittle Parish

By P. H. McKerlie - Published in 1877.


The earliest notice which we can find in regard to this parish is on the 13th January 1297, when Master Richard de Haveryng, clericus, had letters of presentation to the church of Botel, vacant, and in the gift of the king, addressed to the bishop (prior ?) of Candida Casa. This was the rock on which King Edward’s Scottish policy, fortunately, was fatal to his project of national absorption. It turned the Scottish Church against him, which was enough, for it was powerful.

There are various derivations of the name Botel, now Buittle, given by Chalmers and others. It is not quite clear, although closer than many. In Cleasby and Vigfusson’s Norse Dictionary we find Bot and til, but we can make nothing of them in this case. Bot was the Norse for the Isle of Bute. In 730, the word botl is used by Bede in connection with a royal dwelling. Bosworth in his Anglo Saxon Dictionary gives botl for an abode, &c. Chalmers states that it is from botle, the Anglo-Saxon for domicilium villa, which, however, is from the Norse bol, a farm, an abode. With this he was unacquainted. There appears to have been so much borrowing of words among the different races who settled in Britain, that it is difficult to trace the real owners in every case. Among the saints we find one named Buite or Boethius, Dec. 7, AD. 521. Forbes makes mention of him as Buite of the Monastery, the son of Bronach, and of the race of Connla. The account of him is that he founded a church on the grant of a castle given to him for having cured the daughter of the King of Dalriada, and Nectan, King of the Picts. The place is stated to have been near Dunnichen. From this saint the name may have been given. There was a confirmation by Pope Benedict of the church of St Colmanel of Butyll, which will be afterwards alluded to. In Cumberland the name is also found, a parish being called Bootle, also Butle, Bothill, or Botyll. We find no derivation given by Jefferson, &c.

There was a church dedicated to the saint Ennan, now known as Kirkennan. Chalmers states that St. Inan was a confessor and hermit who resided at Irvine, Ayrshire. As shown in Keith’s "Scottish Saints," there is no doubt that St Inan is stated as such in 839, with his festival day on the 18th August; but it is much more probable that from St Enna, mentioned by Butler as an Irish abbot, the name was taken. It is stated that his father was Conall Deyre, Lord of Ergall in Ulster, in which Enna succeeded him, but he left the world and became a monk. He obtained a grant of the Isle of Arran (Munster), where he founded a great monastery, illustrious for sanctity —.so much so, that Arran was called the Isle of the Saints. He died the beginning of the sixth century. A church was dedicated to him in the island called Kill-Enda. There was also St Cianan or Kenan, bishop of Duleek, Ireland, descended from the King of Munster, who died 24th November 489 ; also a St Ennan, the first bishop of Raphoe in Ireland, titular saint of the church.

The ruins of the church on the western bank of the Urr have long since disappeared. It was granted by Dervorgill to Sweetheart Abbey in 1275.

As will be found under New Abbey, there was a confirmation by Pope Benedict XIII. of a charter by Thomas, bishop of Galloway, dated 16th July 1381, granting the church of St Colmanel of Butyll to the Abbey of Sweetheart, and of a charter by Archibald, Earl of Douglas, dated 23d August 1397, transferring his right of patronage of that church to the abbey. This church must have been distinct from Kirkennan.

A new church was built before the Reformation in the barony of Butle. Prior to the Reformation, the tithes of Buittle were let for four hundred marks (£266, 13s. 4d. Scots) yearly. Ten years after the Reformation they were only valued at £213, 6s. 8d. The churches and lands were annexed to the Crown in 1587. In 1684, the bishop of Edinburgh was patron. The new parish church is beside the old one. A manse was built in 1793. At Palnackie a harbour church was built in 1819.

The extent of the parish is about ten miles long by three in breadth.

The parish in ancient times was famous for its orchards.

Craignair Hill quarry is celebrated for its granite, which was worked for long by the Liverpool Dock Trustees. It is now made use of to supply various places. That great work, the embankment of the river Thames, London, was to a considerable extent built with it. Dalbeattie may be said to have had its rise to its present position from this quarry. It is six miles from Castle-Douglas. Two streams effect a junction at the town, being the river Urr from the west, and Dalbeattie burn from the east. On the banks of the Urr, six miles south-east from Castle-Douglas, is the village of Palnackie, which may be called the port of Dalbeattie. It has a quay which admits vessels drawing seventeen feet of water at spring, and twelve feet at neap tides. (Admiralty Survey of Coast.)

The country is undulating, with New Buittle, or Barskeoch hill, 587 feet high Castle Hill, at Almorness, 326 feet, with a fort; and another fort not far off.

In Mackenzie’s History we are told of the exploration of one of the subterraneous abodes of the aborigines in this parish, by the late Mr Maxwell of Terraughtie, but without success. He found some spear heads and human bones, but could not get to the utmost limit of the cave.
By the census of 1871, the population of this parish was 480 males, and 540 females; together, 1020.


This well-known property in ancient times is now merged under Munches, of which it forms a part. It is extraordinary the desire felt to root out the ancient names of places in Galloway. The historic associations connected with Botil would, we should have thought, have preserved it as the chief name. The owners who first attached an interest to the lands were the lords of Galloway. Dervoigill, daughter of Alan, last lord, succeeded. As will be found in our "Historical Sketch," Vol. II., she married John Baliol of Bernard Castle, Yorkshire. We may here digress to state that the Baliols were also of Norman origin, and as followers of William the Norman, called the Conqueror, flourished accordingly. The first was Guy Baliol, who, according to Betham, was made lord of the forest of Teesdale and Marwood, &c. He was succeeded by Guy, no doubt his son, who lived in the reign of King Henry I. The next was Hugh, in the reign of King John. He was followed by Bernard, who lived in the reign of Henry III. They appear to have been in regular succession, so far as can be gathered, and all are designated lords of Teesdale Forest, &c., until we come to John, son of Bernard, who is styled of Bernard Castle, Yorkshire. He married Devorgille (*This name is spelled Dervorgill, Devorgille, &c. We find it in Ireland. In O’Connor’s translation of the Annals of Ireland, under date 1137, there is, "Obtulit praeterea Dounchad O'Carroll alias 60 uncias auri, et totidem elargita est Dervorgilla, jam poeniteus uxor Tigernani O'Ruarc cum calice aureo pro summo altari, et paramentis pro singulis e novem altaribus quae in eadem Ecciesia conspiciebantur. ‘ It is further stated, "Doudchad O’Carrol Rex erat Orgialliae," AD. 1133 to 1168, when he died. In the Annals of Ulster, under A.D. 1133, we also find him; the record as "Creach la Dounch na Cearbhaill." O’Carroll and na Cearbhaill are corruptions of MacCairill), and as known, their son John was the weak king placed on the throne of Scotland by the usurper, King Edward I. of England. John Baliol, senior, died in 1269. His widow, Dervorgille, survived him twenty-three years, and died aged seventy-six. She founded Baliol College, Oxford, thereby carrying out her husband’s intention. She also erected New Abbey, or Sweetheart, in 1275, so called from having deposited her husband’s heart there; also a convent for Dominican friars at Wigtoun and other religious houses out of the district. She died at Bernard Castle, Yorkshire, in 1289, and was buried at New Abbey. When in Galloway she resided at Buittle Castle, and signed there the regulations for the students of Baliol College, Oxford. Her son, John Baliol, is stated to have succeeded to her property in Galloway as the heritage of her family. In 1281 he married Isobell, daughter of John, Earl of Surrey. On the 18th November 1292, King Edward I. of England issued a precept to Richard Sieward, keeper of the castles of Kirkcudbright, Wigtoun, and Dumfries, ordering him to deliver them over to Baliol, who swore fealty for the crown to Edward. However, in 1296, we find Patrick of Botle, who also swore fealty to Edward I. Who he was we do not discover. It is supposed that the castle was razed to the ground by King Robert the Bruce and his brother Edward, between 1306 and 1313. This could only have been partial.

The Comyns were also at one time in possession, but this could only have been a temporary occupation, in the same way, as they held for short periods other places, and through ignorance are sometimes called the owners. John of Badenoch, known as the "Black Comyn," married Devorgoil’s only daughter. When King Robert the Bruce succeeded to the throne, he granted the lands of Botill, &c., in 1309, to Sir James Douglas of Douglas ; and his son, King David, confirmed them to William, first Earl of Douglas. He also granted Barchar (Barchain) a farm, to Robert Corbet, quhilk John Barker forfeited. In 1346, Edward Baliol recovered the estate, and took up his residence at Buittle Castle. It therefore could scarcely have been razed to the ground by Robert I. Permission was granted to Edward Baliol to exercise the privileges of regality over Buittle, &e., in the 22nd of Edward III. of 1349. (Ayloffe ancient Charters.) Baliol failing in his object to obtain the Crown of Scotland, on the 30th January 1355-6, he surrendered his right to it, along with his private estates to Edward III. for 5000 meks, with £2000 a-year. Edward Baliol died at Whitley near Doncaster, Yorkshire, on the 17th May 1363. The Douglas family retained the lands. Their estates as known, were forfeited in 1455, and in 1456 the lordship of Galloway was annexed to the Crown. After this we do not find any owners for about one hundred years, and it would therefore appear that the crown retained possession. It will be seen under Threave that King James III. settled on Margaret of Denmark, his Queen, as part of her dowry, the customs, &c., of Threave, and it is more than probable that the barony of Buittle, &c., were included and retained as royal property until bestowed on the Maxwells, who as shown under Munches, obtained a grant of Buittle, &c., from Queen Margaret, Robert Maxwell being tutor to her son, King James V. Then on the 5th August 1550, Robert, son of Robert Maxwell, had retour.

We next find that early in the seventeenth century the lands of Buittle were in possession of John, brother to Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, who had succeeded his father in 1604. John died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother, James Gordon of Barncrosh, parish of Tongland. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Vaus of Longcastle, parish of Kirkinner, and had issue— John and Robert afterwards in succession, Viscount Kenmure.
In 1621 she pursued him for a divorce for sundry adulteries said to have been committed. We next learn that in July 1647, there was a precept of arrestment from Robert, Earl of Nithsdale, Steward of Kirkcudbright, in favour of James Gordon of Butle, for arresting his wood growing on his lands and lordship of Butle, in order to stop the people of the country from cutting and peeling thereof. The lands of Buittle thus remained in the possession of the Gordons, but as will afterwards be seen, there is much confusion, which may have arisen from wadsets.

Our next information is that on the 6th April 1670, John, Viscount Nithsdale, heir to his brother Robert, lord of Nithsdale, had retour of the barony of Buittle, &c. This service no doubt related to the superiority. Then in September 1671, Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon, parish of Kirkinner, had sasine of the lands of Butle, with the teinds. This could only have been a wadset.

We will not enter further into the history here, as it will be found under Munches.

Grose in his Antiquities, published in 1791, gives an engraving of the Castle of Buittle as it then stood. Although unroofed it appears to have been otherwise in good preservation, the walls showing this, but it conveys no appearance of being ancient. It has more of the outline of a strong house than a castle. It may have been a building erected in more recent times. The remains are on the west bank of the Urr about a mile from Dalbeattie, and can be seen from the railroad. It is supposed to have been a place of large dimensions, and great magnificence, but, from the size of the site, we confess having been disappointed in this. The original building may have been so. It is close to the river side on rising ground which has the appearance of being artificial, but probably is a mass of debris covered with earth and turf, the accumulation of years.

The derivation of the word Buittle, as now rendered, we have entered on under the account of the parish. Pont in his map spells it Butill.


In early times, Munches formed a portion of the Buittle estate owned by the Lords of Galloway, and their descendant in the female line, John Baliol. The ancient history so far as known will therefore be found under Buittle, which latter is now merged in the estate of Munches. The last owners to be found were the Douglasses, and after their forfeiture in 1455, it is supposed that, with the lordship, these lands were also annexed to the crown. Queen Margaret (daughter of King Henry VII. of England), gave a grant of the office of steward of the shire, etc., with lands to (Robert) Maxwell, as the tutor of her son, King James V., and on the 5th August 1550, we find that Robert, heir of Robert Maxwell, had retour of the same, viz., the barony of Buittle, Munches, Barchain, Marenach, Castelgowre, Balgreddan, Guffockland, Corwarie, Cullinaw, Cuil, Knock (Knox) Meikle and Little, Corbieton, Clone, &c.

There is a statement that previously the Regent Morton had possession, and after he was beheaded, his lands in Galloway, &c., were forfeited in 1581, and passed to John, styled Lord Maxwell. We find that a John Maxwell did succeed Robert ; also, that on the 19th September 1604, John, son of John Maxwell, succeeded, and had retour of Buittle, Munches, Barchain, Maremach, Castelgoure, Guffockland, Corwarie, Meikle and Little Knox. We also find that he was succeeded by his son Robert, who had retour on the 13th July 1619. We confess being rather puzzled at so many successions in so short a period. From "The Book of Caerlaverock," the history of the Maxwells of Munches is, that Alexander Maxwell of Logan, grandson of John Maxwell of Logan, a natural son of Robert, fifth Lord Maxwell, had seven sons, and that George, the fifth son, obtained Munches. He is styled of Slognaw, parish of Kelton, but acquired a wadset right to the lands of Munches on the 3d May 1637, and was afterwards so designated. He was twice married, first to a daughter of _____ Macqueen, and had issue— John.

Secondly, in 1655, he married Barbara, daughter of James Maxwell of Tinwald, Dumfriesshire, in whose right, at a later period, the estate of Dinwiddie in Dumfriesshire was acquired. Barbara Maxwell’s mother was Agnes, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Maxwell of Cowhill and Dinwiddie, Dumfriesshire. George and Barbara Maxwell had issue, so far as known—
George, his heir.
Barbara, who married Robert Maxwell of Gelston, parish of Kelton, afterwards Sir Robert of Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick.

We may state here that John Maxwell, another son of Alexander of Logan, succeeded to the land of Collignaw, and that he left an only daughter, Susanna, who, on the 30th January 1664, was served as his heir. We learn nothing more of her. On the 16th May 1643, James of Innerwick, brother and heir of William Maxwell of Kirkhouse, had retour of the land of Munches.

John, son of George Maxwell by his first marriage, succeeded to Slognaw, parish of Kelton, which see. George, his son by his second marriage, succeeded to Munches.

We have shown under Buittle that Barchain, one of the farms, belonged to another family in the reign of King David II., and from them it would appear to have passed to one named Reddik (no doubt of the Dalbeattie family of that name), as we find on the 7th April 1646, that Barbara and Nicola, heirs to their brother Paul Reddik, had retour of the lands of Barchaine and Marinoche. Immediately following this, Mary Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, who appears too often in such cases, having a wadset over the the lands of Munches and Baskean (Barchain), had retour on the 6th October 1653, and was followed on the 17th October 1661 by Anne, her sister, who succeeded as countess.

We have now to return to George Maxwell of Slognaw and Munches, of whom we have already made mention. On the 11th January 1672, George Maxwell, elder and younger of Munshes, had principal sasine of the lands of Munches, &c. ; and in May 1673, William Maxwell, second son to John, Earl of Nithsdaill, had sasine of the lands and barony of Buittle (also Kelton).

We find in May 1674, that John Irving, eldest son to Halbert (Herbert), Irving of Logane, had sasine of the fifty-shilling lands of Butle Maynes. Also that on the 25th January 1695, William, son to the deceased Francis Herries in Cruiks of Mabie, had sasine of the lands of Maines of Munshies. We suppose they were both wadsets. Again, on the 26th May 1696, William, Viscount, son of Robert, Viscount Nithsdaile, had retour. As we have already mentioned, this must have related to the superiority.

George Maxwell of Munches succeeded his father about 1683. In 1686 he was appointed one of the royal factors for uplifting the rents of the forfeited estates of the Covenanters, He obtained the estate of Dinwiddie in Dumfriesshire, in virtue of a disposition by his grandmother, Agnes Maxwell. He married in 1686 Agnes, second daughter (co-heiress with her elder sister Janet) of James Maxwell of Kirkblain, parish of Carlaverock, younger brother of Alexander Maxwell of Conheath, parish of Troqueer. The two sisters were also heir-portioners of Elizabeth Maxwell of Castlegower, to which George, through his wife Agnes, succeeded. In sasine 14th July 1703, we find George Maxwell of Munches, Agnes Maxwell, his spouse, and their son William, having sasine of the land of Cullignaw. They had issue, so far as known—
William, who succeeded.
George, died young.
James, of Kirklebride and Kirkennan, who died in 1755.
Mary, married in 1727, James Brown, Edinburgh. (As stated, they had a daughter, who married Gavin Brown of Bishopton, parish of Twynholm, and had an only son killed by a fall from his horse.
Barbara, married William Maxwell of Corruchan, parish of Troqueer.
William and George Maxwell were taken prisoners at Preston in 1715, when serving under Prince Charles Edward.
George Maxwell of Munches is supposed to have died about 1728. He was succeeded by his son William, who married in 1721 Agnes, daughter of Brown of Milnhead (Bishoptoun, parish of Twynholm), and had issue,
Robert, who died young in 1747.
George, who succeeded.
Agnes, who married, in 1770, John Maxwell of Terraughty, parish of Troqueer, and succeeded her brother.
Ann, abbess of York convent. Died about 1809.
Elizabeth, died before 1809, unmarried.

He married secondly, before 1730, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Maxwell of Kirkconnell, parish of Troqueer, but had no issue.

The Gordons appear to have retained either possession of or the superiority of the lands of Buittle. We do not, however, follow it in a satisfactory manner. On the 29th April 1723, Robert Gordon of Kenmure had sasine, but on the 18th December following John Maxwell of Terraughty had also sasine. There were also the Kirklands of Buittle, which on the 8th October 1746, Francis Carruthers of Dormont(?), heir of the deceased John Carruthers of Dormont, his grand father, had sasine of the Meikle and Little Kirklands. On the 4th November 1747, John Reid of Kirkennan had sasine of the same. Again, on the 6th June 1777, John Gordon of Kenmure had sasine of the lands of Buittle. This, however, could only have been a claim in regard to the superiority, as the Maxwells were the owners.
William Maxwell of Munches died on the 9th January 1765, and was succeeded by his son George. He married, on the 28th August 1776, Lucy, daughter of Sir Thomas Gage of Coldham, Baronet, County of Suffolk, and died on the 8th September 1793 at Fairgirth, from injuries received through being thrown from his horse. He was succeeded by his sister Agnes, who had married John Maxwell of Terraughty, parish of Troqueer, to whom she disponed her estates of Dinwiddie, Dumfriesshire, and Munches. She died without issue in May 1809. Her husband, John Maxwell, born in 1720, had been previously married to Agnes, daughter of Alexander Hannay, Dumfries, and by her had several children (see Terraughty).
The eldest son was— Alexander Herries.

On the 4th June 1778 John Maxwell of Terraughty was served heir male of his cousin Robert, Earl of Nithsdale. He died in 1814 aged ninety-four. On his death his son Alexander, already mentioned, succeeded to Munches and Terraughty, parish of Troqueer, where particulars of whom he married, &c., will be found. He died in 1815. He was succeeded by Clementina, the eldest daughter of his brother William. She married, in 1813, John Herries Johnstone-Maxwell of Barncleuch, parish of Irongray, son of Doctor Wellwood Johnstone, who, having married Catherine, fourth daughter of John Maxwell of Terraughty and Munches, and she having succeeded on the 28th June 1815 to these properties, her husband, in addition to his own surname of Johnstone, also assumed that of Maxwell.

She died in 1858, having had issue by her husband, John H. Johnstone-Maxwell
Wellwood Herries.
John, born in 1814, died in infancy.
Janet, married, in 1839, to William Maxwell of Carruchan, parish of Troqueer, and died in 1842.

Wellwood-Herries Johnstone-Maxwell succeeded to Munches, &c., in 1843 as the heir of his mother. He married, in 1844, Jane Home, eldest daughter of Sir William Jardine, Baronet, of Applegarth, Dnmfriesshire, and has had issue—
John, born in 1844, died in 1856.
William Jardine, horn in 1852.
Wellwood, born in 1857.
Alexander, born in 1860.
Hugh, born in 1862.
Jessie Jane, married Charles G. H. Kinnear, and had issue.
Catherine Helen.

W. H. Johnstone-Maxwell was M.P. for the Stewartry for a few years, and retired.

The farms now owned are Munches, Mains and Toul, Breconiehill, Butterhole, Old Buittle, Buittle Mains, Little Knox, and the now small holdings as Barsyard, Boghall, Cullinaw, Barchain, &c. On this property is the well-known granite quarry called Craignair, which is close to Dalbeattie.

The present residence at Munches is of modern construction, having been erected a few years ago. Soon after completion it was partially destroyed by a fire which broke out. It is restored.

Pont, in his map, gives the spelling as Muinshesh. It is not improbable that it is derived from the Gaelic word moine, or in the Cymric mawn, a peat moss, &c., and shios for east, giving the east peat moss or bog. Possibly Breconiehill may be from the Gaelic breac or bric, for speckled, &c., with onn for furze or gorse, and the suffix hill. Cullinaw seems to be a corruption from the Gaelic cuileannach, a place where holly grows. In Barchain we may have a corruption of the Gaelic bar-ceann, the promontory or the hill head. Lastly, Craignair may be in the suffix from the Gaelic naird, high, or height, giving the high crag or cliff.

The horn of a uras of extraordinary dimensions was found in a moss on the property; and in 1839, when clearing away some earth, a large block of red sandstone was discovered, on which a regularly formed countenance, with ornamented wreaths in bas-relief, were beautifully executed (Mackenzie). We have to add that the uras was nothing more nor less than the white or buff Caledonian ox. It has been made almost a fabulous animal, but as stated in the latest edition of Jamiesons " Scottish Dictionary," it was the wild ox of the country.


The lands of Meikleknox, &c., we learn very little of. As the name stands it creates the supposition that it is the proper name Knox, but it is more probable to be from the Gaelic and Irish cnoc, a hill, a hillock, &c., which in Lowland Scotch is spelled knock. Probably it belonged to the old Buittle estate. The first authentic notice found by us is dated 5th August 1550, when Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Munches, had retour. On the 19th September 1604 John, son of John Maxwell of Munches, had retour, followed on the 13th July 1619 by Robert, son of John Maxwell of Munches. But again, on the 10th October 1615, Robert, son of Alexander Gordon in Lochans, was infeft in Meikleknox, and on the 17th March 1635 John, Viscount Kenmure, son of John, had retour of Guffockland. There can be no doubt that this name was given from one of the forbears of the M’Guffocks of Rusco parish of Anwoth. Then on the 22d December 1676, Isobel Grier, spouse of John Cannan (In September 1640 David Cannan is mentioned in the War Committee Book as the Commissioner for Buittle for the Covenanters’ War Committee.) of Guffockland had principal sasine to the same. We next come to wadsets. On the 6th October 1653, Mary Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, had retour of Guffockland and Meikleknox, called Lenow. She was succeeded by her sister Anne, who became Countess of Buccleuch at her death, and had retour of these lands on the 17th October 1661. We next find, on the 6th April 1670, that John, Viscount Nithsdale, heir to his brother Robert, Lord Nithsdale, had retour and on the 26th May 1696, William, Viscount, son of Robert, Viscount, followed. What holding the Nithsdale family had does not appear, but we presume it related to the superiority.

The owners we have most information concerning were the Accarsons or Carsons, a branch of the Glenskyre or Rusco family, parish of Anwoth. It is not certain when they obtained Meikleknox. According to Nesbit, John Corsane, descended from an early cadet and next male heir, settled at and was Provost of Dumfries in the reign of King James VI. He was also M.P. for Dumfriesshire in 1629. He is said to have married Janet Maxwell, one of the Nithsdale family, and had issue several children. It is not quite clear about his having owned these lands. We think not. He died in 1629. His eldest son, John, was his heir, and we are inclined to think he was the purchaser of Meikleknox, &c. He also had a daughter, Marion, who married Stephen Laurie, who purchased Redcastle, parish of Urr. John Corsane was an advocate, and married Margaret, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Robert Maxwell of Cowhill and Dinnwoodie, Dumfriesshire. With her he obtained the land of Bardennoch. He also became Provost of Dumfries about 1640 to 1645, and having received an authority from the commissioners or collectors of the tenth and twentieth pennies and rents of unfriends and bishops within Galloway, soon became possessed of a considerable property. He had sasine of Meikleknox in July 1668. He died in 1671, and was succeeded by his eldest son John. He had also a daughter, Helen, married to —— Herries of Mabie, parish of Troqueer. John married Jean, daughter to Sir Thomas Kilpatrick of Closeburn, and had several children. Only John, eldest son, and Margaret, eldest daughter, are mentioned. She married James Grierson of Larglanlie, a son of Sir Robert Grierson of Lag. John succeeded. He married Marion, daughter to James Maxwell of Tinival, and had several children—
Agnes, married the Rev. Peter Rae, minister at Kirkbryde. (An account of him will be found in Dr. Ramage’s "Drumlanrig and the Douglases.")

Others died unmarried. He died in 1680, and was succeeded by his son John, then eight years of age. There would appear to have been a wadset at this time, as on the 20th November 1712, Elizabeth M’Kittrick, spouse to Alexander M’Gown of Meikleknox, had sasine in liferent of the land of Meikleknox, alias Knockmickle.

John Corsane married ----, daughter of ---- M'Gowan. No doubt she was the daughter of Alexander M’Gowan styled of Meikleknox, already mentioned. He is stated to have had issue----
son, born in 1717, and who died in 1721.
Janet, married David M’Culloch of Ardwall.
Elizabeth, married the Rev. Andrew Ross, minister of Inch.
Jane, married John Hynde; and, 2dly, David Scott.
Margaret, married to George Cunningham, Customs, Edinburgh.

They all had families. We obtain these particulars from the Ardwall Tree. John Corsane died in 1717, and his son John, born in that year, died in 1721. The land then passed to Agnes, wife of the Reverend Peter Rae. In 1731, their eldest son Robert succeeded, and assumed the name of Corsane. This we do not understand. Although given differently, we think that Agnes was the eldest daughter of John Corsane, and ---- M’Gowan, which will fully account for her succession. We learn nothing more until 1799, when Doctor John Allan M’Cartney was the owner of Meikleknox, and Mrs. Agnes Maxwell of Munches of Guffockland. We also learn that, in February 1752, William Gordon of Campbelton had sasine of the land of Guffockland. In 1819, Doctor John Allen M’Cartney was still in possession of Meikleknox, &c. About 1834 the land was sold to William Parke of Anfield House, Lancashire, who was succeeded by his daughter Emily, who married Henry Cookson Airey, Bath, for an account of whom see Mollance, parish of Crossmichael.

The farms are Meikleknox, part of Guffockland, Allanbank, &c.

The armorial bearings of the Corsanes were----
Arms----Argent, on a fesse azure, a savage’s head erased, distilling drops of blood, and pierced through with two darts, in saltire, points downwards, all proper betwixt three maskill in chief, and as many mullet in base.
Crest----An eagle, with antique crown, looking up to the sun in his glory, all proper.
Motto----Praemium virtutis gloria.
Supporters----Two soldiers armed cap-a-pee, with a target on their sinister arm, and girded with swords -- he on the dexter side holding a spear erected in pale ensigned. On the top with a lion’s head erased, looking to the left and he on the sinister with spear also in pale, with an eagle proper.

Meikleknox in Gaelic is mor-cnoc, the big hill. Guffockland in the prefix is from the surname. (See M’Guffuck, Rusco, parish of Anwoth.)


The ancient history of the lands called Almorness we do not possess, but Chalmers in his "Caledonia" mentions Maclellan of Almorness, at the time of the Reformation. After the Annexation Act of 1587, as is well known, the hangers on at Court obtained large grants of the church and other lands. Amongst these grants there was one, " Daitet 8 October 1587, viz., ane charter granted be his Majestie under the Great Seal to James Douglas of Drumlanrig, his airs and assignees, of all and haill the ten merk land of Almorness, with the mains, place, houses, biggins, &c., to be halden in feu." We have obtained no earlier information, no doubt from the fact that the land was formerly a portion of the Buittle or other estate. The next notice is dated 25th January 1614, when Alexander Kirkpatrick of Kirkmichael was served heir to his mother, Margaret Cairns, in the third part of Orchardtoun, alias Irisbuittle. We may mention here that Orchardtoun was one of the farms, and we often find the owner so styled. Of Almorness we find, on the 10th August 1642, that James of Innerwick, heir and brother of William Maxwell of Kirkhouse, had retour. He was followed, on the 17th May 1653, by William Maxwell, heir of James ErIe of Dirletoun, his gudesir’s brother’s sone. On the 15th September 1663, he was succeeded by his son Robert. After this, on the 22d October 1695, James, Duke of Queensberry, had retour of the lands of Almorness. On the 21st November 1699, we find George, son of Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun. Again, on the 4th September 1729, John Burne of Broomhill had sasine of the lands and tennandrie of Almorness and following, on the 24th August 1730, we find him called John Birnie of Brownhill in liferent, and John Birnie, his eldest son, in fie, of the land of Almorness, for the principal and land of Her Elstoun (Earlstoun?) in warrandice. The first of this family is stated to have been the Episcopal minister of the parish of Caerlaverock when Prelacy was in the ascendant, and that he married a daughter of the bishop of Galloway. He purchased the property, and the retours, &c., previously given by us must have referred to the superiority. The family ended in a daughter and heiress, who became the owner, in confirmation of which, Mrs Katherine Birnie Mitchelson of Broomhill had sasine on the 24th October 1796, of the lands of Almerness and others, on precept from Chancery. The next owner was James Douglas, who was in possession in 1799. He is styled of Orchardtoun. As mentioned under Orchardton, parish of Rerwick, he was the grandson of William Douglas, the founder of the town of Castle-Douglas, parish of Kelton, to which we refer, as also to Orchardton, for an account of himself and his descendants. The farms owned were Almorness, Orchardtoun, Little Castlegowar, Caigtoun, Clonyards, and Blackbelly. We find him still owner in 1819. To his daughter Mary he left the farms of Nethertoun, South Glen, North Glen and HoIm, Ordchardton Mains, &c. She married William Rose-Robinson, Clermiston, Mid-Lothian. He was an advocate, and Sheriff of Lanarkshire. They had issue---
George, born 1814.
Elizabeth, married ---- Frere, and since his death again married.
Mary, died young.
Matilda, married William Leslie of Warthill, Aberdeenshire, and has issue.
Caroline, married ---- Davidson, son of ---- Davidson of.
Sarah, married Alexander Davidson of Desswood, Aberdeenshire, the brother to her sister’s husband.

The eldest son George succeeded to Almorness on the death of his mother in 1864. He entered the Church of England, and for some time was rector of Bisley, Surrey. He married, in 1849, Jane Eleanor, only daughter of the late Boyd Miller of Colliers Wood, Surrey, and has issue- William, born in 1851, with others whose names we have not got. Mrs Robinson died at Rome in 1874.

To the farms mentioned as left to Mrs Robinson are to be added the small holdings named Isle, Clonyard and pendicle, Lochhill, and Woodhead.

The woods are extensive, and over fifty years’ growth. Adjoining the farm of Nethertoun, the fossil head of what is called a bison was found many years ago.

It is probable that in early times the woods were equally, if not more extensive than at present, and that the name is derived from the Norse words almr and nes (ness), the first meaning the elm-tree, and the latter a headland, &c., which in English is the " elm-tree promontory."

The other names requiring notice will be found elsewhere.


The farms of Dougan, Blackbelly, Chapeltoun or Chapelcroft, &c., are believed to have formed a portion of the Buittle estate. The earliest notice found by us is dated 12th March 1611, when Nicola and Rosina, daughters and heirs of Robert M’Morane, had retour of Blackbelly, &c. We next find on the 31st October 1615, that Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Spottes, was served heir to Chapelcroft or Chapeltoun, and Blackbellie, but in what way he became heir does not appear. After this the land changed ownership very often. On the 26th January 1647, John, son of John Lennox of Cally, was infeft in Blackbelly ; on the 21st December 1658, John Lennox of Pluntoun, heir of his cousin, Alexander Lennox of Calie, was infeft and in May 1669, Hugh Maxwell had sasine of Blackbellie. We next learn that in August 1671, James Glendoning of Mochrum, parish of Parton, had sasine, followed on the 1st December by George Glendoning, merchant in Edinburgh, who had also sasine in the same year.

Douganhill seems to have become the property of a family named Baird, In June 1680 we find Baird, younger of Dungeonhill (Douganhill ?) among those whose lives and properties were declared to be forfeited, because they would not conform to Prelacy. On the 20th October 1681, Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton, parish of Rerwick was served heir to his father in the land of Blackbellie and others. This farm remained with the Maxwells of Orchardtoun, until Sir Robert Maxwell, fifth of Orchardtoun, gave it to Robert, his youngest son by his second marriage, who had sasine of Blackbelly, &c., on the 8th April 1735, as the lawful son of the deceased Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun. (See Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick). Robert Maxwell married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Maxwell of Hazlefield, parish of Rerwick, and had issue----

Robert Maxwell succeeded his father in possession of the farm of Blackbelly. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, and had issue----
William, born 1755.

The eldest son, William, in 1795 enlisted into the Royal Artillery. In 1806, John Maxwell of Munches and Terraughty took some preparatory steps to obtain for him the baronetcy to which he was the heir as next in line to Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun, but owing to his conduct not being quite satisfactory, the intention was given up. In 1806 he was in Quebec with his company. His brother, Robert, at one time lived at Brigend of Dumfries, now known as the burgh of Maxwelltown, but nothing more can now be learned. The baronetcy is therefore dormant. Thus ended one of the once leading branches of the Maxwell family. In 1819, James Douglas of Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick, was the owner, having purchased the farms. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Sarah, who married Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell. See Orchardton for further particulars.

The farms now owned are Dougan, Blackbelly, Chapelcroft or Chapeltoun, with the small pendicles of Doach and Gaigrie.

The present owner is the late Mrs Maxwell’s nephew, the Rev. George Robinson of Almorness, &c.

Dougan seems to have a Gaelic derivation from dubh, black or gloomy, and gann (Irish idiom) for a fort &c., Blackbelly appears to be from the Norse balkr-boeli, the first word meaning a crosswall, &c., and the latter, a farm, a dwelling.


This farm doubtless belonged to the Buittle estate. We learn, however, very little in regard to it. The first notice is about 1585 when John M’Cartney was in possession. He married Isobell, daughter of Peter Cairns of Kip, parish of Colvend. The MacCartneys are said to have held the farm for a considerable period, and to have been descended from Donough Macarthy, younger son of the ancient Irish family of Macarthy More. The name may have been given by them, as leath in Irish means " half of the way." In Gaelic it is leth. Pont in his Map spells it Laith, which in Gaelic means " milk." The first is the more probable derivation.
It is stated that Donough Macarthy, already mentioned, served with Edward Bruce in Ireland, and after the battle of Dundalk went to King Robert the Bruce in Scotland, obtaining for his services a grant of land in Argyleshire. His descendants losing these (what they were is not stated), removed to Galloway, and acquired the lands of Loch Urr, &c. It is further stated that the family was supplanted at the Reformation by the Gordons of Kenmure. This, however, in connection with Leaths is not correct, as there is a marriage contract between John M’Cartney of Laithis, and John M’Cartney, younger of Laithis, on the one part, and Janet Redik relict of Robert Maxwell of Bracho, and Marion Maxwell, his daughter, on the other part, dated 13th November 1617. Then on the 29th December 1659, Grizzell M'Cairtney had sasine of the seven and a half merk land of Laithes; and again in August 1667, John M’Cartney, now of Leaves, had sasine of the same. We next find that in November 1669 James Coultart in Laithys, and Bessie Mortein his spouse, with Robert and William Coulterts their sons, had sasine of the land of Laithis, &c. This occupation, however, could only have been by wadset, as in the valuation roll of 1642-82, we find the Macartneys still as owners. On the 13th February 1702, John Sharp of Hoddam had sasine of the land of Leaths, &c. and again on the 7th June 1703. The next owner was Nathaniel Duke whose name we often find in connection with other properties, which leads us to suppose that he was a lawyer. On the 24th June 1714, he had sasine in liferent, and his son in fie, of the five lib. land of Leaths.

According to the valuation roll of 1799, David M’Culloch of Torhouskie, parish of Wigtown, was then the owner. We have not followed the succession closely out. About 1834 it was purchased by William Parke of Anfield Lodge, Lancashire, whose daughter, Charlotte, succeeded, and is now in possession. She married John Hall of Mollance, parish of Crossmichael, which see.


The history of Halketleaths is identical with that of Leaths and West Logan, as given under Logan, for which see the separate account. We have therefore only to state that on the 4th June 1703, Charles M’Kartney, styled of Hacketleaths, had sasine of the lands of Hacketleaths, &c. He was succeeded by John M’Cartney, who, about the end of 1751, purchased the eleven-merk land of Spottes, parish of Urr, from the trustees of Sir Thomas Maxwell of Orchardtoun. On the 5th February 1774, John M’Cartney had sasine of Halketleaths. There are two notices, one dated 17th September 1712, in which George Kennedy, styled of Halleaths, had sasine of the five-merk land of Halleaths, &c., and again on the 27th April 1737, William Maxwell of Milntoun, had Sasine of Cockleaths, &c., as the heir to John Maxwell, his great-grandfather, proceeding upon a precept of Chancery. These notices, however, are not sufficiently clear. In 1799 Dr John Allan M’Cartney owned Halketleaths, Broadleaths, West Logan, and Meikie Knox.

About 1834, William Parker of Anfleld Lodge, Lancashire, purchased the land, which, at his decease, his daughter Jane inherited, and continues to own. She married Joseph Bowstead, Hyde House, Stroud, Gloucestershire, and has issue----
Emily-Grace, married the Rev. H. E. Reynolds, priest-vicar, Exeter cathedral, and has issue.
Gertrude-Honora, married James Craik, W.S., Edinburgh, and has issue.

The farms are Halketleaths, West Logan, Cockleaths, and part of Guffogland, &c.

The meaning of Leaths we have given under that farm, and have only to deal with the prefix Halket, which Pont renders Haket. It is also found spelled Hacket. The word is probably from hack, a mossy, wild moor place. Logan will be found under Kirkmaiden parish.


The land of Breoch we do not trace by name earlier than the sixteenth century, but it doubtless formed a portion of the ancient property of Buittle or Botel. The name is probably derived from the Gaelic word bruach, or bruaiche, meaning a brae, or a short ascent, and this certainly applies to the property on the Castle Douglas side. The Maxwells are the first owners found by us, and the first of them was Robert Maxwell of Nether Redik, second son of Edward Maxwell of Drumcoltran, parish of Kirkgunzeon. This possession by him is rather curious, for his younger brother, Alexander Maxwell of Crocketford, parish of Urr, purchased the ten-merk land of Bracocis from Sir John Seyton of Burnis, from whom he got two charters signed on 18th February 1592, the one a me, and the other de me; but the Maxwells of Tinwald, disputing the right of possession, a royal charter of confirmation was not obtained before the 19th April 1615. Again, on the 21st April 1617, Alexander Maxwell sold the land to his nephew, Edward Maxwell, and on the 3d June 1618, he granted a charter thereof in implement of letter of disposition and obligation. The curious part, however, to which we have already referred, is that Robert Maxwell, the father of Edward, and brother of Alexander Maxwell of Crocketford, had long before this transaction lived at, and been in possession of Bracoch, as it was then called. It is evident, however, that he must either have held without a title, or under his younger brother as subject-superior, or on a wad-set. The charter which Alexander Maxwell gave to his nephew Edward Maxwell is, "Ad predilictum meum Edwardum Maxwell filium legitimum natum maximum quondam Roberti Maxwell de Bracoch mei fratris."

Alexander Maxwell also sold to his nephew Edward his lands of Crocketford, &c.

Robert Maxwell, father of Edward, is believed to be the person who is mentioned in Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials, (Vol. I., part 2.) as pursuer, on 1st February 1583, against Edward Maxwell of Tinwald, and William Maxwell, his son, " Dilaitit of airt and pairt of the tressonable birning of certaine cornis pertening to Robert Maxwell of Bretoch (Bracoch), committed upon the fyft day of Marche last was "Committed in waird to the Captaine of Blakness.’

The quarrel, no doubt, arose from the dispute about the possession of the lands to which the Maxwells of Tinwald laid claim, and which appears to have been rightly made. In 1587 a precept was given under the sign-manual of King James VI., directing a charter to be made out granting to " Edward Maxwell of Tynwald his hieres Kyndlie tennant of the landis of Brekhaugh, Chapeltoun, Craigtoun, and Logan," to be held for a feu-duty of forty-two pounds usual money of the realm and on the 13th August 1589, William Maxwell, apparent of Tinwald, had a charter from King James VI. of the ten-merk land of Bracoch, and was infeft therein on the 25th September 1589, and immediately thereafter Nicholas Charteris was infeft therein in liferent. Again, on the 19th June 1623 Robert Maxwell, the lawful son of William Maxwell of Tinwald, had a charter from King James VI. of the lands of Bracoch, and he was infeft on the 24th July 1623. Robert next granted a charter of Bracoch to his brother, James Maxwell of Tinwald, who was infeft the same day. Yet, in defiance of these titles, Sir John Seyton of Barnis, possessed the lands of Bracoch and others, and sold them to parties who knew how to make their possession good. This is a very good illustration of the manner in which properties were obtained throughout Galloway from the earliest times down to the seventeenth century. In this Breoch conflict of titles, after the 19th April 1615, both those deriving their title from Sir John Seyton of Burnis, and the owners of Tinwald, could claim to hold the lands by royal charters granted by King James VI. The dispute must have been compromised, as the Tinwald system of titles was in the possession of the late family in possession. (The late Robert Maxwell.) Each title seems perfect in its way.

Robert Maxwell in Braikoch is one of those mentioned in the Act of Oblivion passed in favour of John, Earl of Morton, his friends and followers, after the raid to Stirling in 1585 (Thomson’s Acts of Parliament.)

Robert Maxwell married Janet Redik, the daughter of William Redik of Dalbatye, and had issue---

On the 29th May 1606, with consent of Janet Redik his wife, he made a disposition of his land of Crafts of Kirkpatrick in favour of his daughters Marjorie, Jonnett, Marione, Margaret, and Elizabeth, under reversion. In the deed he is merely called Bracoch. He also subscribes himself in another document as Robert Maxwell of Bracoche.

He was succeeded by his eldest son Edward. He had retour as heir of his father on the 13th October 1607. He purchased, as already mentioned, the land of Bracoch from his uncle, Alexander Maxwell of Crockefurde, who gave him a charter on the 3d June 1618, confirmed by King Charles I. on the 31st July 1633. He had sasine on tlse 16th July preceding. In both charters and sasines he is described as the eldest lawful son of Robert Maxwell of Bracoch. Edward Maxwell of Bracoch is stated to have married a daughter of John Asloane of Garroch, parish of Troqueer, and had issue, so far as known---- Robert.

He was retoured heir of his father on the 29th July 1634, and infeft under precept of Chancery 21st December following upon the 2d April 1635. On the 19th October 1637, on his majority, he executed a charter in favour of James Gordon, brother of John Gordon of Troquhane, and Mariotta Maxwell, his spouse, of the land of Crofts, parish of Kirkpatrick. This was granted in consequence of a contract entered into during his minority. James Gordon and his spouse Mariota Maxwell were infeft therein on the 17th November 1637. Although not so stated in any of the deeds, it is probable that Mariota Maxwell or Gordon was a sister of Robert Maxwell of Breoch. It was at this time that the spelling was changed from Bracoch to Breoch. In the Register of the Synod of Galloway, (Published by John Nicholson, Kirkcudbright.) Robert Maxwell of Breoch and his wife are found under date 31st October 1666 in the list of excommunicated Papists of the parish of Buittle ; and at the same time, on the list of professed Papists not yet excommunicated, are Edward Maxwell in Breach and his wife. They all again appear in the list dated 30th October 1667.

Robert Maxwell of Breoch married Nina, daughter of —Brown of the Landis family parish of New Abbey. He had issue----

It is difficult to find out about the Landis family at this period, as they then merged with those of Bishoptoun. It is, however, stated in a small register of the College of Douay, at Kirkconnell, that the wife of Robert Maxwell of Breach is called " NaBroune de Landes." This makes it clear enough that she was a daughter of Brown of Landis, parish of New Abbey.
Their second son Edward died at Douay College, aged eighteen or nineteen, on 26th November 1668, and was interred there. In the Douay Register the following is given:-
"Edwardus Maxwellus filius D. Roberti Maxwelli de Breach in Gallovidia et Dna (Na) Broune ex familia de Landis venit 6th May 1664 etatis 14. ad figuras-obeit in sem an 1668 Novembris 26 sepultus in templo magno Collegii inter sacellum angeli custodis et vas magnum aquae lustralio." We give this to show how full the registration was in the Roman Catholic Church, and the loss sustained by the destruction of the registers kept in each religious house, with the names as well as histories of families, and their lands.
Francis, the eldest son, was married during the lifetime of his father to Mary, daughter of John Maxwell of Slognaw, parish of Kelton.

On this occasion his father gave him a disposition of the land of Breoch, and he had sasine in virtue thereof on 28th November 1682. On the same day he infeft his wife in an annuity of one hundred pounds, payable out of the lands of Breoch, in implement of the marriage contract. Both sasines were recorded 30th November 1682. Francis Maxwell gave his father-in-law, John Maxwell of Slognaw, a discharge for one thousand pounds Scots, which he received from him "as tocher good and portion naitrell with Marie Maxwell, his eldest lawful daughter," conform to marriage contract. In a list of Papists sent by the Presbytery of Kirkcudbright on the 16th May 1704 to the Privy Council, amongst many others are----
Francis Maxwell of Breoch.
Mary Maxwell, his spouse.
Margaret Maxwell, his daughter, aged. about six years.
Barbara Maxwell, his daughter, spouse to Alexander Maxwell of Balmangan.
Francis Maxwell had issue several children, hut only two daughters survived, viz.,----
Barbara, who married, in 1703, Alexander Maxwell of Balmangan, parish of Rerwick.
Margaret, who married Sir George Maxwell of Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick.

On the 8th March 1716 Barbara and Margaret had sasine of the ten merk land of Breoch equally betwixt them, and Alexander Maxwell of Balmangan, the husband of Barbara, for his liferent use, upon a disposition by Francis Maxwell of Breoch. He is supposed to have died in 1737.

Alexander Maxwell, by his wife Barbara Maxwell, had issue----
Robert, born in 1704.
Francis, became a hatter in London.
Mary, married William Hamilton, some time in Auchencairn and Stoken. He died before her. She afterwards resided at Breoch, and died there in 1784, leaving no issue.

Alexander Maxwell of Balmangan was the second son, by his second marriage, of Samuel Maxwell of Newlaw, parish of Rerwick. He became involved in the difficulties of his senior and half brother, Samuel Maxwell of Newlaw, and both Newlaw and Balmangan had to be sold, together with Nether Ridick, which belonged to Edward, his elder and full brother.

On the death of his nephew, Alexander Maxwell of Newlaw Alexander of Balmangan became the heir-male of the Newlaw family. Alexander Maxwell’s wife, Barbara of Breoch, died before him. He married a second time, but neither her name nor that of any of her family are to be found, except two daughters, ____ married to Robert, son of John Hannay, Knock, parish of Mochrum and ____ married James Dalrymple in Glenagreoch and afterwards in Blairinnie, parish of Crossmichael.

Alexander Maxwell was alive on the 3lst January 1766, as shown by a receipt for a small annuity he had off Breoch. He is supposed to have died in that year. He was succeeded by his son, Robert Maxwell of Breoch, whose mother was heiress portioner of that property. When his father, Alexander Maxwell, married again, he went off to sea as a sailor. He was then about fifteen years of age, and followed this profession for about forty years. For some time he was in command of a vessel in the African trade, and afterwards carried on a coasting trade on the south-west coast of Scotland.

The half of the land of Breoch was for a time possessed by his father, but Robert, with his brothers and sister of the first marriage, took legal steps to compel implement of their mothers marriage contract. They also disputed his right of possession of the liferent by courtesy. It was at last settled by the arbitration of friends, and on the 28th March 1745, Alexander Maxwell of Balmangan gave his son, Robert Maxwell of Breoch, a full discharge of all claims he had on him, as representing the deceased Francis Maxwell of Breech, his grandfatlher by his mother’s side, in implement of a decreet-arbitral pronounced by Alexander Copland of Collieston, Dumfriesshire John M’Cairtney of Halketleaths ; Joseph Corrie, town-clerk of Dumfries; and James Dickson, writer there. By this decreet, Alexander Maxwell’s claims were limited to an annuity out of Breoch. By the death of his aunt Margaret, his mother’s sister, who married Sir George Maxwell of Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick, and had no issue, Robert Maxwell succeeded to her half of Breoch, and thus, obtained possession of the whole. He was specially retoured heir to his greatgrandfather, Robert Maxwell of Breoch, on the 1 6th Decemher 1743, and in virtue of a precept issued by the Court of Chancery, he was infeft on the 31st March, and sasine on the 9th April 1744. The reason of his infeftment as heir to his great-grandfather Robert, instead of his grandfather Francis Maxwell, was that there was a doubt of the correct infeftment of the latter. Robert Maxwell of Breoch married, in 1770, Elizabeth Burnie, niece of Francis Cavan tenant of Castlegowar farm beside Brooch. He died 12th May 1780, leaving issue----
Barbara, born 1771, died young.
Mary, born 1773, died young.
Robert, born 9th April 1775.
Francis, born 18th April 1777. He was bred as a mechanical engineer, but did not follow it long. He married Grace Copland, and died at his residence in Dalbeattie in 1852, having no issue.

Robert Maxwell was infeft in the land of Breoch, under his father’s disposition, on the 27th April 1795. The date of his father’s death is not stated.

Robert Maxwell married, on the 8th January 1803, Mary, the daughter of John Rigg in Halketleaths, by whom he had issue----
Francis, born 3d February 1804.
Mary Ann.
Robert, horn 21st May 1811.
John, born 16th July 1815.
James, born 2d July 1817.

Robert Maxwell died on the 17th April 1835, and was succeeded by his eldest son Francis, who was infaft on the 29th July 1835. From 1843 he acted as factor and commissioner to Lord Herries and his two brothers, the Hon. M. C. Maxwell of Terregles, and the Hon. Henry C. Maxwell of Milnhead. He married, on the 24th November 1834, Janet, daughter of John M’Naught, late writer in Kirkcudbright, and afterwards in Girstingwood, and then Urioch, afterwards emigrating to Canada in 1834.

Francis Maxwell had issue—
Mary Elizabeth.

He died on the 15th March 1867. He was well known for his knowledge of the history of the Maxwells, no doubt in a great degree from having access to the family papers at Terregles, &c., coupled with a taste for genealogical study. He was succeeded by his eldest son Robert, the late proprietor, and also the male representative of the Newlaw and Balmangan families.

He married in 1869, Mary-Elizabeth, only daughter of John Hart of Dublin, and had issue—
Francis-Xavier, born in 1870.
Robert, born in 1872.
John-Patrick, born in 1873.

Robert Maxwell died at Bournemouth in February 1874, where he had gone for the benefit of his health. He was thus cut off in the prime of life, to the sorrow of his family, and the regret of many who knew him. The many particulars about the Maxwells, which we give, were obtained from him prior to the issue of "The Book of Caerlaverock," for which he also gave information. He succeeded his father as factor, &c., over the Terregles estates.

The armorial bearings of the family are—
Arms—Quarterly 1 and 4, argent, a saltire sable between nine mullets, gules three, three and three, and a hurcheon of the second in base, for Maxwell of Newlaw; 2nd and 3rd, the same between a crescent in chief, and a mullet in base , gules, for Maxwell of Breoch.
Crest—A stag couchant before a holly bush.

In 1840, an urn or kistrean of baked clay was turned up by the plough. The ashes of the dead were inside.

The property was sold in September 1875 to Robert Sloan, late merchant in London, for £16,000, and re-sold in October following for £17,500 to Mrs Maitland-Kirwan of Gelston, parish of Kelton, which latter property it adjoins.


The word Lagan or Lagain is the Gaelic for a dell, &c. In Irish and in Scotch it is Logan. This is according to Armstrong, but we think we have also seen it used somewhere or other for low marshy land. In the Norse there is loena for a hollow place or vale, thus conveying the same meaning.

We have no positive information in regard to the ancient ownership beyond the fact that in the Ragman Roll we find Thurbrandus de Logan, among others from the Stewartry, who swore fealty to King Edward I. of England. That he was then the owner of the land there cannot be a doubt. After this there is a great gap, for we have to go to the sixteenth century for positive information. At this time we find it owned by John Maxwell, a natural son of Robert, fifth Lord Maxwell, who died at Logan on the 9th July 1546. He had acquired the land before the 3rd November 1551, and therefore prior to his father’s death in 1546. Whom John Maxwell of Logan married is not known, but he left two sons—
William, who died unmarried.

The second son who was designated as younger of Logan, would seem to have lived at Balgredan, near Kirkcudhright, as in the Act of Oblivion (1585) in favour of John, Earl of Morton, we find the names of John Maxwell of Balgraden, and Alexander Maxwell in Logan, his son.

As will be seen under Breoch, the lands of Logan were included in the precept, granted in 1587 by King James VI., to Edward Maxwell of Tinwald, and his heirs.

When John Maxwell succeeded his father, and whom he married we do not learn. He had several sons—
Thomas, of Areemiog, parish of Kirkpatrick-Durham.
John, of Collyn, had issue—Susannab.
Alexander, who succeeded to Logan.

He had also a natural son named John, and it was thought perhaps that Hew Maxwell in Balgraden, in 1585, was another.

Alexander succeeded his father. He was cornet in one of the Earl of Morton’s troops of horse in 1585. He obtained a charter from the Crown on the 30th November 1613, of the land of Balgredan, Chaple, Castlegower, &c., united in the tenandry of Logan. He appears to have died in October 1615. He left issue—
John, designated of Flaskholm, then of Three Merkiand, and lastly of Milton.
Thomas, of Carswada.
William, of Midkelton. He was a Protestant, and beheaded in Edinburgh during the Covenanting times.
George, of Slagnaw and Munches.

Robert succeeded to Logan. He married Mary, sister of Robert Maxwell of Cavens, parish of Kirkbean, and had issue— John.

John succeeded his father, and sold to his uncle, John Maxwell of Flaskholm, the land of Logan for 9000 merks, redeemable, except Balgredan. After this we do not again find the Maxwells in possession. In June 1623, there was sasine of a reversion by Sir Patrick M’Ghie to Sir John M’Dowall of the land of Logan, &c. We find nothing more until about 1662, when William Glendinning of Logan was fined by the committee in the reign of King Charles II. for non-conformity to Prelacy, and about the same period John Herries of Logan was fined £360. This we do not understand unless the land was then divided into East and West Logan.
We next learn that on the 8th December 1663, John Vaus of Barnbarroch, parish of Kirkinner, had sasine of the lands of Laggane and Buttlemains. This was a wadset. On the same date, Marion Crock, spouse to William Glendinning of Lagaun had sasine in liferent of the land of Nether Laggan, as well as her husband. The latter, however, was evidently in difficulties, as on the 1 4th April 1664, Robert, son to Gavin Burnet, writer to the signet, had sasine of the land of Lagane. The last notice of William Glendoning is in April 1665. He is then styled of Kirkconnell, &c., and had sasine of the farm of Logan.

The next owner appears to have been Herbert Irving. In October 1667, Anna Brown, spouse to Herbert Irving of Logan, had sasine. He was succeeded by his eldest son John, who in November 1668 had sasine, and again in May 1674. Previous, however, to this last infeftment, on the 14th October 1669, William Laurie of Reid Castle, parish of Urr, heir of Laurie, third son of John Lautie of Maxwelltown, had retour of the lands of Logan with Braidlees, and fortalice of Logan. Again on the 24th May 1671, lie had principal sasine of the land and mylne of Logan. We next find on the 6th February that Alexander, brother of William Laurie of Redcastle, had sasine of the land of Logan with Braidlayes. Then in July 1673, Alexander Laurie, brother and heir to Umqll William Laurie of Redcastle, had sasine of the land of Logan, Braidleys, Mylne, &c.

From the notices we have given about the Lawries, the conclusion may be arrived at that they were the proprietors, but this is proved to be a mistake, as on the 15th August 1740, William Moorhead of Crochmore, nephew, and one of the two heirs-portioners of the deceased Janies Irving of Logan, his grandfather, and one of the heirs-portioners of the deceased Herbert Irving of Logan, his great-grandfather, had sasine of the ten-merk land of Logan. John Irving was the next in line. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Ferguson, and had issue— John. Also three daughters.

On the 17th April 1741, John Irving, merchant in Dumfries, and late provost, as heir to the deceased John Irving, merchant, who had also been provost, had sasine of the land of Logan, &c., together with his wife, Elizabeth Irving. It would appear from these entries that the land of Logan was then divided, and that the Lauries held through that wadset system which was so ruinous to many proprietors.

According to the valuation-roll of 1799, Dr John Allan M’Cartney then possessed West Logan, and the descendants of William Moorhead, already mentioned, succeeded to East Logan. The latter was the Rev. Dr James Muirhead, minister of the parish of Urr, who is styled of Logan, and had sasine on the 20th June 1800. He was succeeded by Charles and John Muirhead, who were in possession in 1819. We presume that they were his sons. John Muirhead was the owner in 1828.

The present, owner was the wife of the late Dr James Finlay,Castle Douglas, but we have no information about her. He left issue.

As already stated Logan is from the Gaelic and Irish.

It is also spelled Lagan. There are different meanings. and under Logan, parish of Kirkmaiden.

From mention being made of a fortalice on the Logan lands in 1669, it is evident that if the particulars could be gathered, some interesting information might be the result. As will be found under Clonyard, parish of Colvend, a large piece of granite on which arms were cut was removed there. From souse cause or other, no direct informnation has been furnished.


As with nearly all the other lands in this parish, we know nothing of the ancient owners of Kirkennan, but presume that it was part of the old Botel or Buittle estate. It will be seen, on reference to the account of the parish, the name is derived from an ancient church dedicated to Saint Ennan.

The first information we have is that M’Morrane of Kirkennan, being in debt 400 merks to George Gordon in Culwha, assigned to him the lands of Mylneton of Buittle on the 20th May 1585. He married Margaret, daughter of John Gordon of Lag, parish of Girthon. The Maxwells, who obtained so much land in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are found in possession of the farm of Clone, and Robert, son of Robert Maxwell, had retour of Clone on the 5th August 1550. We next find that, on the 25th June 1586, Edward (Maxwell), commendator of Dundrennan, conveyed to Robert M’Morrane of Kirkennan, the teind schaws of the eight-merk land of Torr and Len Schannel, with pertinents in Rerwick. The witness to this was James Hutton, Prior, &c. Robert M’Morrane appears to have left two daughters as heirs-portioners. Their names were Nicolas and Margaret. On the 26th February 1592, they were served as heirs to their father. We have next to state that John, son of John Maxwell of Munches, had retour of the farm of Clone on the 19th September 1604 and John Maxwell was followed by Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Spottes, on the 31st October 1615. He again was followed on the 13th July 1619, by Robert, son of John Maxwell of Munches. We give these notices as we find them. We next trace, on the 25th February 1635, that John Lenox, heir-avi of William Lenox of Calie, had retour of Buittlemains, part of Kirkennan. He was followed, on the 26th January 1647, by John, son of John Lenox of Cally, and on the 21st December 1658, by John Lenox of Pluntoun, heir of his cousin, Andrew Lenox.

As we have already shown under other lands in this parish, Mary, Countess of Buccleuch, followed by her sister Ann, who succeeded, had numerous wadsets, and we again find Mary, on the 6th October 1653, and Anne, on the 17th October 1661, with wadsets over Clone, it is presumed that all the lands over which they had wadsets formed one property in their time. The same is strengthened by the fact that John and William, Viscounts of Nithsdale, always followed in their wake, the dates also agreeing, viz., 6th April 1670, and 26th May 1696 respectively. The first mention we find of Kirkennan proper is in the War Committee Book dated 1st October 1640, when John Cannon was of Kirkennan; and again in July 1665, when Richard Murray, younger of Broughton had sasine of the land of Kirkennan. In 1682 we again find John Cannan in possession. That the Cannans were the proprietors at this period seems clear. The last mention found of them is dated 4th February 1713, when James Cannan of Kirkennan had sasine of the five-merk-land of Kirkennan, &c. The Maxwells again come in, very likely holding wadsets. On the 6th September 1733 James Maxwell of Carnsalloch had sasine of the same land and on the 20th November 1740, when he is mentioned as brother-german to William Maxwell of Munshes, Another family after this appears bearing an Ayrshire name. We refer to John Reid in the Glen of Almorness, who had sasine on the 14th April 1742, of the five-merk land of Kirkennan, &c. He was succeeded by his son William, who was in possession of Kirkennan and Meikle Kirkland in 1799. He again was succeeded by Alexander, followed by Robert Reid. The latter we find in possession in 1828. They appear to have held it from father to son to the last named. A short-lived family evidently.
The next owner was Mrs Mary Wright Weems, who was succeeded by William Wright-Platt. When he died we know not; his trustees are in charge on behalf of the second son of Wellwood Herries Johnstone-Maxwell of Munches, to whom the land was left on his attatning his majority. The second surviving son is Wellwood, born in 1857. The wood on this estate ranges from thirty to sixty years’ growth.


The early history we know nothing of. The name seems to be a compound of Gaelic and Irish, bar being in the first language for a hill, and lochan, from Lochlin, the Gaelic for Scandinavia, and the Irish appellation for Norsemen. We have thus the hill of the Norsemen. Pont spells the name Barlocchenn. In 1572 it was owned by William Lennox of Cally, who was succeeded by his son William. We next find, on the 26th January 1647, John, son of John Lenox of Cally; and, on the 21st December 1658, John Lenox of Plumtoun, who was heir of his cousin Alexander Lenox of Cahie. Then, in July 1665, Richard Murray, younger of Broughton, had sasine of the land of Barlochtrin. The Murrays of Brotighton, it is to be remembered, obtained Cally by marriage. It is thus evident that the owners of Cally also owned Barlochan for some time. So far as we can gather the next owners were the M’Naughts ; and in 1799 Robert M’Naught was in possession. We next learn that on the 21st July 1800 James Ferguson of Crosshill, advocate, had sasine of Barlochan and others on crown charter.

Subsequently James Nish was the owner in 1813-15, and Robert M’Naught in 1819.
The property is now owned by John Strong, merchant, Liverpool, son of Samuel Strong, shipowner, Garlieston, parish of Sorby, who came from Wiltshire. He married Margaret, daughter of William Davidson, shipowner, Dumfries, and had issue, two sons, William and John, both deceased, as also their mother.

In 1841, a Roman coin of Constantine the Great was found on the land.


We can only suppose that the present farms of Cuil and Little Knox have a similar early history, as Meikleknox, &c. The supposed meaning of Knox we have dealt with under Meikleknox. Cuil is pure Gaelic, and means a corner, an angle; but how that can apply to the farm is unknown to us. Cuile in Gaelic means reeds and bulrushes, and from what we remember, a low range or hollow seemed to answer to this description; but from the improvement of land in the district, it is not now easy to arrive at a correct conclusion. The first name found in connection with the land is Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Munches, &c., who had retour of Cuil and Littleknox on the 5th August 1550, followed by John, son of John, on the 19th September 1604, and again by Robert, the son of the latter, on the 13th July 1619. We next find, on the 17th March 1635, that John, Viscount Kenmure, son of John, had retour. This and the following we believe to have been wadsets,—viz., Mary Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, on the 6th October 1653, and her sister Anne (who succeeded as countess), on the 17th October 1661. Then on the 28th August 1655 Elizabeth, heir of her father William Glendyning of Gelston, was infeft in Cuill. Also in July 1667 Alexander M’Clellan of Geordiland had sasine of Little Knox, with John Inglis, town clerk of Kirkcudbright.

We also find that Hugh, youngest son of Robert Maxwell of Orchardton, parish of Rerwick, was styled of Cuil. The next notices, we presume, related to the superiority,—viz., on the 6th April 1670 John, Viscount Nithsdale, heir to his brother Lord Nithsdale, and on the 26th May 1696 William, Viscount, son of Robert, Viscount Nithsdale. Littleknox, like Meikleknox, we also find called Lerrow. The Maxwells evidently retained possession of Cuil. On the 5th August 1715 Thomas Maxwell had sasine. He was a lawyer, and his actions tarnished his reputation. He married Isabel, daughter of Neilson, merchant, Dumfries, brother to the laird of Barncalzie. He had no family, and at his death his widow married Patrick Heron of Kirouchtrie, parish of Minnigaff. Among other things he had the estate of Ballycastle, Londonderry, Ireland, conveyed to him in trust by his cousin Sir George Maxwell of Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick, giving a bond that he would convey it hack to Sir George in liferent; to his wife, Lady Mary, Dowager Viscountess Montague, if she survived him ; then to the Earl of Nithsdale and his heirs male; and failing them, to the third son of the Earl of Traquair. However, instead of adhering to this, along with Cuil he conveyed the lands not his own to his wife Isobel Neilson on the 14th October 1720. "The Laird of Cool’s Ghost" was the subject of a small chap-book.

Littleknox seems to have been owned by others at different tinies. Alexander Gordon was the proprietor, and on the 12th August 1793 his relict, Mrs Margaret M’Naucht, had sasine of the manor place in security of her annuity of £40. In 1799 it had been purchased by Sir William Douglas of Castle-Douglas. In 1819 his heirs were in possession. Cuil and Littleknox ultimately passed to his niece Elizabeth, the only daughter of his brother, Samuel Douglas of Netherlaw, parish of Rerwick. She married Sir Robert Abercromby of Birkenbog, and had issue.

See Netherlaw for further particulars.

The farm of Cuil was sold in 1873 to Mrs MaitlandKirwan of Gelston, and Littleknox is now owned by W. H. Johnstone-Maxwell of Munches.


The earliest notice found is the sale of Craigtoun, &c., by Sir John Seyton of Barnis, under charter dated 11th August 1593, to Sir Robert Maxwell of Spottes, parish of Urr. An account of the manner in which Sir John Seyton obtained, the land will be found under Breoch. Then, on the 31st October 1615, Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Spottes, was infeft in Caigton. Following this is principal sasine, dated 4th May 1675, in favour of Margaret Herries, spouse to William Herries of Flock, and George, his son.

We learn nothing more until 1799, when James Douglas of Orchardtoun owned the land then forming part of Orchardtoun. In 1819 James Douglas of Orchardtoun was the owner.

The farms of Caigton and Flock are now owned by Mrs Matilda Maithand-Kirwan of Geiston, parish of Kelton.

The name Caigton, so far as can be gathered, is a corruption of Craigton, as spelled in 1587, &c. Flock is a corruption of the Gaelic word sloc, a hollow, a dell, also a marsh, &c.


We think that this farm belonged to the Buittle estate.

In the Gaelic we find corra, which means a corner, &c., but whether or not applying, we cannot state. There is also corrach, a marsh. There are other meanings which will be found under Kirrouchtrie, parish of Minnigaff.

The first mention of it found by us is dated 5th August 1550, when Bobert, son of Robert Maxwell of Munches, &c., had retour. He again was followed on the 19th September 1604 by John, son of John ; and the next was Robert, son of John Maxwell of Munches, &c., who had retour on the 13th July 1619. The next notice we find is dated 17th March 1635, when John, Viscount Kenmure, son of John, had retour. This may have had reference to the superiority, as the Gordons owned the Buittle estate about this time. Again we find on the 6th October 1653 that Mary Scott, Countess of Buccleuch, had retour of Corvarie. She was followed by her sister Anne, who had retour on the 17th October 1661. These were wadsets. Previous to this last notice, the farm appears to have been owned by William Glendyning of Gelston, parish of Kelton, and on the 28th August 1655, Elizabeth, his daughter and heir, had retour. The next we find in possession was James Glendoning of Mochrum, parish of Parton. We find, however, on the 6th April 1670, that John, Viscount Nithsdale, heir to his brother Robert, Loid Nithsdale , and again on the 26th May 1696, that William, Viscount Nithsdale, son of Robert, Viscount, had sasine. They were followed by John, son of Alexander, Viscount Kenmure, who also had sasine of Kaillcora on the 20th September 1698. These, however, could only have related to the superiority. In June 1694, John Glendoning, styled of Corra, had sassne. He was a merchant in Edinburgh, but we learn nothing more. It is understood that in 1696, he sold the farm to John Irving of Drumcoltran, parish of Kirkgunzeon, and John M’George of Cocklick, parish of Urr. In 1716 it belonged to Christopher and Thomas Irving, grandsons of John Irving. They died without issue, when it passed to their sister, Agnes Irving, who was in possession in 1747. She married Captain John Maxwell of Cardoness. The next owner was Nathaniel Duke of Leaths, who was in possession in 1751. He was succeeded by John Bushby, writer in Dumfries, who was in possession in 1765 ; and following him as owner, was David Thomson of Ingleston, whom we find in 1773. In 1786, Johnston Hannay of Bedford Square, London, became the owner. In 1799, Johnston Hannay of Torrs, parish of Rerwick, owned Corra, with other lands. His eldest daughter Janet, married James Gordon, younger of Culvennan, and his only other child became the wife of the Reverend James Hamilton of Barham Court, Canterbury. On the death of Johnston Hannay it passed to James Gordon and his wife, who were the owners in 1818. In the valuation roll of 1819, Mrs Margaret Hannay Hamilton of Torrs is mentioned as the owner. We have been informed that Johnston Hannay got into difficulties, and in 1837 there was a process of ranking and sale of the property in the Court of Session, at the instance of James Gordon’s creditors, when it was purchased by the late Robert Kirk of Drumstinchell, parish of Colvend. Robert Kirk died in 1841. His only surviving child, John Ann Parish married in 1850, William Skinner (born in 1823) writer to the signet, eldest son of the late John Skinner, clerk to the signet, by Ann, daughter of the late William Black of Brechin. Of his family was Bishop Skinner, known as a contributor to Scottish song. Mr Skinner is a F.S.A.Scot., F.R.S.E., &c. He obtained the lucrative appointment of City Clerk of Edinburgh in 1874. His wife died in —, leaving issue-
Jane-Ann-Kirk, who married, in 1871, Thomas Wilsone of Hill of Beath,

The Crown is superior, and few duty nominal.


When this farm was detached from the Buittle or other estate, we do not find.
Pont in his map spells it Corbettoun, and probably given from the Corbetts, a family, who first appear in Galloway in the fourteenth century. Under Buittle will be found Robert Corbet in the reign of King Robert the Bruce.

The ownership so far as we gather, is identical with what we have given under Corra, commencing with Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Munches, &c., who had retour on the 5th August 1550, to the 17th October 1661, when Anne, Countess of Buccleuch, had also retour. We do not consider it necessary to give those particulars already mentioned under Corra, but the following have not been given, viz., that in November 1665, James, son to Robert Gordon of Grange, had sasine of the land of Corbieton, and again a reversion in June 1666, of the land of Brakensydes, Whytefield, &c. Following this in July 1669, Roger Gordon of Trochen (Troquhain), parish of Balmaclellan, gave transfer to John Maxwell of Brackensyde. Also on the 6th April 1670, John, Viscount Nithsdale, heir to his brother Robert, had retour ; and on the 26th May 1696, William, son of Viscount Nithsdale, followed. In continuation, on the 20th September 1698, John, son of Alexander, Viscount Kenmure, had also retour. We believe these to have related only to the superiority.

We next find on the 1st March 1706 that William Riddick at Butlekirk had sasine of the ten merk land of Corbintoun. He was succeeded by Robert Riddick, styled of Corbieton, who had sasine of the same on the 6th April 1739. The next was Alexander Riddick, we suppose son of Robert, and grandson of William. He was in possession in 1799. The next owner was James M’Michan, who had the land in 1819. Of none of these owners have we any information of family or marriages.

The land is now in charge of the trustees of the late James M’Michan for behoof of Mrs Helen M’Morrine M’Michan of Corbieton, spouse of Alexander M’Morrine M’Michan.


This farm no doubt formed a portion of the old Buittle estate. The information we first find is identical with what is already given under Corra, &c., viz., in 1550, 1604, 1619, 1653, 1661, 1670, and 1696, except that Sir Robert Maxwell of Spottes, parish of Urr, had the liferent of Castlegower, in virtue of an agreement between John, Lord Maxwell, and John, Lord Herries, dated 21st February 1573. The additional information is that, on the 31st October 1615, Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Spottes, had retour. Also, on the 15th September 1656, that Amaucht Michell and his spouse had sasine of the hand of Castlegour. Again, on the 15th May 1672, that Elizabeth Maxwell, daughter of Umquhile William Maxwell of Castellgour had sasine in fie, and Elizabeth Lytle, her mother, in liferent. On the 4th December 1712, Agnes Maxwell, daughter to James Maxwell of Kilfean, and Edmund Maxwell, son to Janet Maxwell, who was ane ither daughter of James Maxwell, had sasine of Castlegower. They were succeeded on the 22d July 1725 by James Maxwell, younger of Carnsalloch, brother to the deceased Edmund Maxwell, younger of the same. He had sasine of half of the land of Castlegower. The next owner was Sir Thomas Maxwell of Orchardtoun, baronet, parish of Rerwick, who had sasine on the 21st October 1751 of the six merk land of Little Castlegowar, &c. In 1799 Little Castlegowar, with other lands, were owned by James Douglas of Orchardtoun, and Meikle Castlegowar by Mrs Agnes Maxwell of Munches. In 1819 the farm was possessed by the heirs of Sir William Douglas, baronet. The farm is now owned by Mrs M. E. Maitland-Kirwan of Gelston, parish of Kelton.

The remains of a circular fort are on the farm. From this the name of Castle has been given. The walls had been vitrified, which to those not acquainted with the term, we may state was done by the action of fire. The other word Gower or Gowrie is given by Robertson to be from the Gaelic gobbar or gabhar, a goat. Whether or not the farm was celebrated for goats, we know not, but they are still to be found not very far off.

The fort is situated beside the farm-house.


This farm, it appears, was always owned separately, so far as known, having been a special grant under a royal charter, no doubt in connection with a mill, which were of importance in early times. We would have wished to give the particulars but not being furnished with them, we must content ourselves with the little gathered. Indeed, the whole is but little. The first notice is in December 1640, when John Maxwell was of Mylntone. He was second son of Alexander Maxwell of Logan. He was succeeded by his son John. After this, on the 26th January 1647, John, son of John Lenox of Cally, had retour; and again, on the 21st December 1658, John Lenox of Plumtoun, heir of his cousin, Alexander Lenox of Callie. These, however, could only have been wadsets, as about 1662 John Maxwell of Milton was fined £800 by the Prelacy Committee for adherence to the Presbyterian Church. He was succeeded by his son, Robert Maxwell, who was served heir to his grandfather on the 19th November 1698, and had also sasine on the 28th November 1713, of the land of Milntoun, &c., and again, on the 5th April 1725. Whom he married we do not learn, but he was succeeded by William Maxwell, who we presume was his son. He had sasine of the land of Milntoun on the 27th April 1737. In 1799, we find, according to the valuation roll, that John Staigg was in possession. Who he was we have no means of learning, and still less of his successor, Mrs Sweetman, who was the owner in 1819. She again was succeeded by Admiral and Mrs Pennell, from whom the farm was purchased by the present owner, John Paterson, in 1861. He is of the same family as William Paterson, the founder of the Bank of England.


The farms of Scroggiehill, Milton Park, and Hopehead, were owned by the late Alexander Kerr, and left in charge of his trustees.

They were recently sold to Henry Grierson, merchant, Glasgow.


The small farms of Kirkland and Clone, Broomiebrae, Courthill, &c., belong to Wellwood, second son of W. H. Johnstone-Maxwell of Munches. We have no particulars to give.