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The Historical Families of Dunfriesshire and the Border Wars

During twenty-four years after the purchase of the Barony of Newbie by Sir James Johnstone, there were legal actions regularly twice every year to expel the relatives of the last owner and their dependants, and to enforce the payment of their taxes and tithes. At that time in Scotland farms were usually held by one man in feu, and portions of them were sublet to five or six tenants, who were all held responsible for the rent. Sir James had died much in debt, partly owing to having acted as cautioner for relatives, and his creditors laid claim to Newbie, and obtained decreets to compel Robert Johnstone of Raecleuch, who took up his abode at Newbie Castle as guardian of the young laird; Edward Johnstone of Ryehill; his brothers David and Abraham; his sons Adam and John Johnstone of Mylnfield; his grandson John, the younger, and many nephews to quit the estate, besides the Irvings, Gibson the ploughman, and others, who seem to have been small tenants, and whose names are still found in these parts, Farcis Pott, Wilkin, &c. The names vary in these summonses as time went on, and some died, and others grew up. John Johnstone of Mylnfield was Sheriff-Depute of Dumfries, and infefted the young Laird of Johnstone in part of his property in 1609. In. 1611 his name is omitted, and a seasine describes Galabank, where he was living the previous year, as bounded on one side by "an estate of the late Robert Johnstone, called of Newbie, which John Johnstone, [He is called John Johnstone, son and heir apparent of the late --- Johnstone of Newbie, in "Thomas Corrie of Kelwood and Newbie against the occupiers of Newbie." 1630.] the son of the late John Johnstone in Mylnfleld, now occupies." Then the proceedings are carried on against his widow Bessie and her son George, and against his eldest son, John Johnstone, even after the last moved into Annan, where we find him owning a "vast stone house" on the site of the old Tolbooth, once Bruce’s Castle, and which had lately been occupied by Edward Johnstone of Ryehill, who was married in 1614 to Barbara Udward of Castlemilk. She was the rich widow of Mr John Johnstone, late Commendator of Holywood, and they removed to Edinburgh and Castlemilk, where she owned houses. She died in 1621, and the next year Edward Johnstone was again living in the vast stone house at Annan, and John, his grandson, in another belonging to Gaylies Rig, whom he had lately married, but still owning land in Mylnfleld. In 1630 John is termed "callit of Newbie" (though on other occasions he is called "of Mylnfield" to the rest of his life), when he was summoned in company with Barbara Johnstone, Lady Gribton, Edward Johnstone of Seafield (son to the late Robert of Newbie), Thomas Corry of Kelwood, Edward Johnstone of Ryehill, James Johnstone of Westerhall, James, his son, Viscount Drumlanrig, and David Johnstone of Edinburgh, by the Earl of Nithsdale as Sheriff to show their title-deeds to the Newbie estate. Murray of Dundrennan, Sir Robert Douglas of Torthorwald, and the Commissioners for settling the Borders all in turn summoned them, and of course the relatives of Newbie, the kyndlie tenants, had none to show. This is the last time that the name of Edward Johnstone of Seafield, the heir of the Newbies, appears, and he probably died soon afterwards. Nine years before he had been assaulted in the streets of Dumfries, and left for dead, but had been picked up by Patrick Young, surgeon, passing that way, and revived. He had carried many suits before the courts of law against his uncle and guardian and the Laird of Johnstone to put him in possession of the property of his ancestors, but never appears to have married.

Edward Johnstone of Ryehill had been guardian to his nephew during his minority, and also one of the curators or guardians of the young Laird of Johnstone; and in 1619 the Laird, and the Earls of Mar, Lothian, and Buccleuch, Lord Crichton, Sir John Murray, and James Johnstone of Lochens, also his curators, brought an action against him and against Robert Johnstone of Raecleuch and James Johnstone of Westerhall to recover the Annandale charter chest, which was in Edward Johnstone’s charge. It was restored by Lady Wigton, the Laird’s mother, to whom Edward had transferred it, though it contained important papers connected with the Newbie family which have never been recovered by the heirs of the original owners. The year before, Edward Johnstone had joined with the other curators in an action to compel Robert to turn out of Newbie and give it up to the young Laird, and also to render some account of the estate. In 1621 Edward Johnstone of Ryehill ejected Robert, his wife, and children from the Castle, [In 1650 Fergus Grahame of Blaatwood, son-in-law of Robert Johnstone of Raecleuch, and Sara Johnstone, his wife, bring an action against the Earl of Annandale to compel him to provide sustenance for them and "their eleven poor children."] and put the young Laird in possession of it. Robert made an attempt to turn the young Laird out of Newbie, assisted by young George Johnstone of Mylnfield, and a trial ensued, but no sentence seems to have been passed; and Robert, the principal defendant, was cautioner for the rest. An action was brought in 1617 against young John Johnstone of Mylnfield, and his brothers George, Edward, and David, with Thomas Carruthers, son of the Laird of Wormanbie, for carrying arms and assaulting George Weild, a tenant in Mylnfield, "while doing his lawful affairs in sober and quiet manner, looking for no violence or injury to be done unto him from any person." John Johnstone, "on his own confession," was fined ten pounds for the whole party by the Lochmaben Court, but the pursuer not being satisfied brought the case before the Lords in Council at Edinburgh, where John appeared in person and was fined forty pounds. This is one of the first causes connected with the Johnstones of Newbie or Lochwood which did not end with "oft times called, but never appeared." Another cause in 1618, which dragged on several years, was at the instance of the Provost, Bailies, and Council of Annan, who, "for the safe transport of his Majesty’s subjects, and in respect of the great poverty of the said burgh, had kept a boat and exacted dues, and now John Johnstone, burgess of Annan, also called John of Mylnfield, and others, would not let it pass their land." This action was brought in 1628 before the Lords in Council, and the offenders not appearing, were outlawed, a sentence declared to be "wrongful," by the Justiciary Court at Dumfries, and not acted on. The parson and minister of Moffat, Mr Walter Whitford, at the same time brought an action against the young Laird of Johnstone for unlawfully convoking his kin and friends, among whom were two of the Newbie family, and assaulting people in Moffat. The relatives of the Border chiefs being no longer employed in war were constantly being cited for offences of this description, and they seem to have had a perfect passion for litigation.

In the cases of sequestration or compulsory sale on the Borders under the auspices of the Royal Commission there seems to have been some pretext of a charter granted a hundred years before to the incoming possessor, or some marriage into the family of the old owners; but this occasionally resulted in three or four claimants being infefted in the same estate. Mr Patrick Howat, one of the King’s chaplains, was infefted by Royal Charter in the lands of Galabank, Hardriggs, Brigholme, Northfield, and Gullielands, bordering on Newbie, in 1610; but when Sir John Murray of Dundrennan called upon all in that neighbourhood to show their title deeds, John Galloway produced a resignation from Jeffrey Irving of Bonshaw (the son of Christopher, whose wife was the daughter of Johnstone of that Ilk, and was living there in 1582), infefting him in Galabank. The son of the late Robert Johnstone of Newbie produced a Royal Charter granting Brigholme, Hardriggs, &c., to his father in 1582. John Murray of Aiket showed a grant of the lands of Northfield and Gullielands under the great seal in 1604, and Ewart produced an old charter of these lands made out to a John Ewart and his wife Janet Johnstone in 1549. Thereupon Howat disposed of Galabank to Galloway (who appears to have been nephew or grandson to Christopher Irving and Margaret Johnstone) because, as he states, he had "called to mind that it is most godly and equitable that the present lands should be sold and disposed by me to the old kyndlie and native tenants and possessors of the said lands; and understanding that John Galloway, bailie burgess of Annan, and his predecessors since many ages past have been old kyndlies and native tenants and possessors of the said lands of Galabank," he herewith restores them to Galloway for an equivalent. Galloway’s brother Patrick was another of the Royal chaplains, and the father of the first Lord Dunkeld. His wife was Helen Gask of Ruthwell, and their daughter, Helen Galloway, was married to William Rig, the son of Cuthbert Rig, whose signature is appended to some Maxwell, Carruthers, and Burgh of Dumfries deeds at an earlier date, and one of whose daughters or granddaughters married a Maxwell of Kirkconnell. William Rig and Helen Galloway had two daughters, the eldest married to John Irving, "called the Laird," and the younger, Gaylies or Egidia, was married first to Robert Loch, and afterwards, in 1622, to Johnstone, "called of Mylnfield," who bought Galabank or Gallowbank from his wife’s grandfather in 1624.

Edward Johnstone of Ryehill is last heard of July 1, 1640, when he witnessed a bond for the Laird of Johnstone and Sir John Charteris of Amisfield at Annan. The other witnesses were Grierson of Lag and Macbriar of Dumfries.

The many lawsuits he had taken part in on behalf of his two nephews, of the young Laird, and of his stepsons, as well as on his own, impoverished him, else, from the lands he had possessed and the many times he had acted as cautioner, he must at one time have been a rich man. One field after another of his property was sold, and in 1634 he disposed of his lands in Ryehill and Cummertrees to Murray, Earl of Annandale, with the consent of Lady Wigton, the Laird of Johnstone’s mother, and of her second husband. The large stone house in Annan and property in Stank seem to have been all that he had left, and these went to John Johnstone of Mylnfield, who, like Edward of Ryehill, was frequently Provost of Annan, and a member of Parliament for Dumfries.


In 1640 the friend and executor of George Heriot, the Royal jeweller, died in Edinburgh. He was the author of a large folio in Latin, published at Amsterdam, on "the affairs of Britain and certain other European nations," often quoted by Sir Walter Scott. He left legacies to some of his nearer relations and the Laird of Johnstone his executor, besides bequests to Dumfriesshire charities, and a sum of money to build a bridge over the Annan. He was commemorated at Edinburgh on a tablet in the chapel of Trinity College Hospital (pulled down in 1848 to accommodate the railway) with the following inscription:— "Dr Robert Johnstone, of the house of Newbie in Annandale, an eminent lawier, among severa1 other considerable sums left by him in anno 1640, to be improven into certain pious and charitable uses in this city, did bequeathe 18,000 merks, which, according to the laudable intention of this munificent benefactor, the good town applied for advancing the charitable and religious ends of this Hospital. By which donary, as by the many other acts of his liberality, this great donator hath propagated a lasting monument of his piety to posterity."

As Newbie Castle had suffered much in various sieges, it is believed that the Laird appropriated Robert Johnstone’s legacies to add a modern structure to the old square tower. Among the Wodrow MSS. is an account of the drunken frolics of Sir John Dalziel of Glennie and his associates, which ended by going "to the Lord Annandale’s house at Newbie to pay him a visit, beginning with their old pranks, burning their shirts and other linens. A little after that the house was all burnt, and it was reported of my lord himself he knew the house would never do good, for it was builded with the thing that should have builded the bridge over Annan water. It is said that the servants in the house were amusing themselves with drinking burnt brandy while Lord Annandale was away, and his coach driving suddenly to the door, they thrust the blazing spirits under a bed which caused the conflagration. The blaze was so great that the chambermaids in Sir John Douglas’s house at Kelhead, three miles distant, could prepare the bedrooms without candles."

This Robert Johnstone left 18,000 marks to the College of Edinburgh, where he had been educated. He had lived in London, at Blackfriars, for many years, and added six scholarships to Heriot’s Hospital to be held by Dumfriesshire boys of the name of Johnstone.

Robert Johnstone of Raecleuch was dead in August, 1627, and his son, Robert of Stapleton, died before August, 1656. The last left only a daughter married to William Irving of Stank. John Johnstone of Croghan, a physician, is reputed to have been a relative of the Annandale family. His works were published in Latin at London and Amsterdam about 1630. He dedicated a history of quadrupeds to our foreign physicians, and "Thaumatographia Naturalis," written when he was 70, to the Princes Radziwil, Count Boguslaf, and Viadislaf Monwid, all Polish nobles. Arthur Johnstone, a poet who wrote in Latin at the same period, was physician to James VI., and though born in Aberdeen, claimed kinship with Annandale. One of his poems is addressed to James Johnstone, the Laird, and another to Baron Robert. [Chalmers describes the ancient salt works which belonged to the monks on the Solway, and to the Johnstones of Newbie at Priestwode, and at Carlaverock. The first called Lady Saltcotes was then owned by the Murrays of Cockpool. In 1661 an Act of Parliament was passed in favour "of some poor people and tenants in Annan who by their industry and toilsome labour do from sand draw salt for the use of some private families in that bounds, and who in regard of the painfulness and singularity of the work have ever been free of any public imposition until the year 1656, or thereby, that the late usurper (Cromwell), contrary to all reason, equity, or former practice, forced from them an exaction to their overthrow and ruin, and thereby so impoverished them that they are in a starving condition. Therefore the Act declares the said salters wining and making salt within the bounds above specified in the manner above written to be free of any payment of excise in time coming."]

George, the eldest son of John Johnstone of Mylnfleld and Galabank, married in 1643 Agnes Grahame, a descendant of the Laird of Johnstone, who died in 1567. George died in 1649, leaving two sons John and Edward. Their mother was re-married to Robert Fergusson of Hallhill, and had a daughter Agnes, afterwards the wife of Mr Orr. John Johnstone of Mylnfleld was dead in 1665, and his grandson John inherited Galabank, near Annan, "the vast stone house" in Annan, Closehead, and the lands of Stank.

Two years earlier he had mortgaged them in anticipation to his uncle, Robert Grahame of Inglistoune. He redeemed them (March 14, 1672) owing to his marriage with Janet Kirkpatrick, of Auldgirth (at Dumfries, Feb. 2, 1670), having brought him an accession of fortune. The marriage contract is signed by Galabank’s mother, his grandfather Grahame, and the bride’s cousin, Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick. The bridegroom settled his property on his wife and their children, and she made over to him 300 marks given to her by Sir Thomas, and everything else in her possession. Galabank was made a bailie of Annan, but was not much there, to judge from his letters and deeds, which are dated from Ruthwell, Lochmaben, and a variety of places. In 1673 he again raised a loan from Bryce Blair, the ex-Provost of Annan, and in 1677 from his brother Edward. In 1682 letters of inhibition were raised against him at the instance of Bryce Blair to prevent him from disposing of any property till he had paid his debts. The next year he mortgaged Galabank and Stank to his brother, who was on his part to satisfy the creditors, particularly William Grahame of Blaatwood, Provost of Annan (owed £373 9s sterling); and Grahame received his first instalment of interest, £22 7s, at once. But in 1684 William Craik of Arbigland was the most urgent creditor, and a warrant was issued in the King’s name (James VII.) directing the Sheriffs of Annanda1e to denounce John Johnstone as a rebel from the market-place of Lochmaben, and to seize all his moveable goods and gear. The Sheriffs and other officials seem to have taken no notice of it, for another was addressed in 1689 in William and Mary’s name to the sheriffs, bailies, and stewards of the Borders, directing them to seize upon John Johnstone "who continues and abides under the process of our said horning unslaved, and in the meantime daily and openly haunts, frequents, and repairs to kirks, markets, fairs, and other public and private places of meeting within this our realm as if he were our free liege, in high and proud contempt of this our authority and laws, and giving thereby evil example to others to do and commit the like in time coming without remedies be thereto provided as is alleged," &c. The letter of horning, as it is called, adds that he is to be put in sure ward in "a tolbooth" (prison), and detained there night and day at his own expense, and if need be kyves or handcuffs were to be used for that purpose. These letters of horning were issued twice every year without any effect. John Johnstone’s wife died in 1680, leaving two daughters, Janet and Barbara. He married secondly Elizabeth Murray, a connection, being one of the Murrays of Cockpool. She survived him, and left no children. He is mentioned last in a deed of May, 1704, when he was dead. Barbara was also dead, but the marriage certificate of Janet Johnstone shews that she was married Jan., 1706, by the Rev. Edward Wilshire, according to the laws of the Church of England, at Kirkandrews-upon-Esk, in Cumberland, to Richard Beattie of Milleighs, in the same parish, where her father probably retired, as in 1698 "letters of poynding and horning" were registered against the Provost of Annan (the first Marquis of Annandale) and the bailies for permitting John Johnstone to retain possession of his house and goods, and to go about "unslaved," though he still did not leave Annan till 1701.

His brother Edward (a Writer to the Signet) married in 1683 Isobelle, daughter of Adam Carlyle, [Barbara, daughter of John Johnstone of Mylnfield and Galabank, married in 1648 Lancelot Carlile at Dumfries. His elder brother Adam seems to have been this Adam’s father.] whose family has been already mentioned as descended from a sister of Robert Bruce. Carlyle was a landed proprietor, and a bailie of Annan, and endowed his daughter with a house possessing yards, meadows, mosses, moors, &c., according to the description given in the title-deed. Galabank was one of the witnesses to the marriage contract. The bride was fifteen, and her husband forty. Edward Jobnstone left Dumfries about this time, and came to live in Annan, where his eldest son John was born in 1688, and baptised May 27, 1689; also James, born in 1693, and three daughters, Janet, Marie, and Elizabeth. He was treasurer for the burgh for ten years, and his executors obtained a receipt from the magistrates in 1706 setting forth the honourable manner in which he had fulfilled his trust. He left provision for his family when he died (Dec. 30, 1697), aged fifty-four, although both his brother and the burgh of Annan were much in his debt. His will is dated three days before his death, and begins with a confession of the Christian faith. He gives his house property (burdened with an annuity to his wife, but only to continue during her widowhood) and 300 marks to his eldest son John. To his three daughters he left 400 marks each, and to his youngest son James 300 marks, the last to succeed to his house property if John died without heirs. If any of the debts due to him were recovered, the sum was to be divided between his two sons and his nephew George Johnstone, whom he left co-executor with his brother-in-law James Carlyle, and he charged both "to act as the protectors of his wife and children, to see them righted in what belongs to them as far as they can." In the event of the death of his children without heirs his lands were to go to James Carlyle. He directed that his body should be decently buried in the churchyard at Annan. His will was witnessed by Robert Colville, James Carruthers, John Irving, and George Blair.

Soon after Edward Johnstone’s death, his brother paid a small portion of his debt to the widow, who in 1704 obtained from the first Marquis of Annandale a "precept of poynding" against two of the tenants on the Galabank estate, which had been made over to a relative in London, to oblige them to pay some rents overdue to her and her children, instead of paying them to their landlord. But in 1708 the Londoner died intestate, so the Government claimed Galabank, Stank, and his other estates as its due. A protest was raised by Janet Johnstone, who asserted her right to them, as they had been settled on her mother, and her mother’s children, of whom she was now the sole survivor. Her cause was advocated at Edinburgh before the Lords of Council and Session, and decided in her favour, and the order of the Chancellery infefting her with the estates is dated March 1st, 1709. Anticipating this decision she had mortgaged Galabank to her cousin John Johnstone for the sum still unpaid, which had been borrowed by her father from his brother. John, the younger, exchanged money he had never received for lands his cousin never really held, and was to pay one penny a year as an acknowledgment to Janet, who might redeem the mortgage at any future time; but this plan was overturned Jan. 4, 1711, by a decision of the Lords in Council in favour of the Londoner’s creditors. She made a second appeal against this verdict, while a counter appeal was lodged on behalf of Joseph Corrie, to whom Galabank had been mortgaged by her father.

The possession of the estates was hotly contested, to judge by numerous items in the lawyer’s bills; John Carlyle of Limekilns and Richardson of Edinburgh on one side, and John Hair and Richardson of Annan on the other. John Boswell of Auchinleck was also employed. In addition to the causes mentioned eleven legal processes, instituted by various claimants, seem to have ruined all concerned in them except the lawyers. John Johnstone lent his cousin Janet money to carry them on, and on Oct. 10, 1713, was married to a wife with a fair dowry, Anna Ralston, [Ralston of that Ilk is found in Lanarkshire, 1530.] the daughter of the deceased William Ralston (related to the Lockharts of Lee) and Janet Richardson of Hichill, his wife. In the marriage contract 200 marks a year, a fourth of the value of the lands of Galabank, was settled on Anna Ralston (Jan. 3, 1714). He bought off Joseph Corrie’s claims to Galabank with £1000 Scots money, still owed to Corrie, but was immediately sued by Robert Carruthers, another creditor. Before this time, in return for what John had lent to her, which she had no hope of paying, Janet and her husband renounced their claim to Galabank in favour of John, who was to take upon himself all further obligations connected with the estate except a small annuity to Elizabeth Murray, Janet’s stepmother, which she still engaged to pay. She declared on oath before the bailies of Annan that she ceded this estate with that of Stank to her cousin, being no ways courted or compelled to do so. Her renunciation is signed by George Blair, notary, John Irving, Joseph Irving, John Johnstone Robert Johnstone, Robert Wilson, and Bryce Tennan and the deed of gift by Richard Beattie and several more. Another deed of similar import is signed by Bernard Ross, Mr John Carruthers, William Johnstone, Joseph Murray, Janet Johnstone, &c.

John Johnstone was infefted in the lands of Stank as early as May 3, 1704, on account of half of the debt due to his father. Yet after giving up all right to her father’s property, Mrs Beattie was still persecuted by his creditors. She left Scotland to escape a summons to appear before the Lords of Council in 1713, and the next year John Johnstone was living on the estate of Galabank, much annoyed by trespassers, who pulled up his trees and broke down his dykes. One Sunday he attacked two or three of these intruders, and an enemy caused him to be summoned before the Kirk-Sessions and compelled him to make an apology. In 1711 he went to London, where Richard Beattie in a letter mentions that he had been for some time, and about this period he was made a bailie of Annan. In 1719 he obtained "a letter of horning and poyndling" against William Elliot of Eckleton, which called upon the defendant to warrant and acquaint and defend the said John Johnstone personally, or in his dwelling-place, against adjudications "affecting the houses and lands now in his possession within six days, the said Elliot having accused John Johnstone of being unlawfully their possessor, whereas he had received them lawfully from the heritable owners, Richard Beattie and Janet Johnstone, for certain sums of money which the said Beattie absolutely required."

At the court of the burgh of Annan, September 29, 1714, held by John Johnstone and John Irving, the following, after taking the oaths to King George, were re-elected magistrates for the ensuing year, viz.:—James Lord John-stone (eldest son of the Marquis), Sir William Johnstone of Westerhall, eldest bailie; John Irving and John Johnstone, second and third bailies; William Irving, treasurer; John Halliday, dean. As the town of Annan acted very independently of the Edinburgh courts, the opponents of John Johnstone and his cousin had little chance of obtaining what they called their rights against the Johnstone influence in the burgh, even when they had gained their suit before the Lords in Council. But the Lords once more reversed their decision, and gave it in favour of John Johnstone in 1718, whereupon he paid off those creditors who had obliged the Beatties to leave Scotland. Richard Beattie was dead in 1718, but the case was not finally ended till 1724, when James Johnstone was deputed by his brother and his cousin Janet to make an amicable settlement with the other creditors to avert any more legal suits. On Oct. 30, James wrote to his brother, in a letter addressed "for John Johnstone of Galabank, in Annan, Dumfries Bagge, North Britain," that he had made with some expenditure an end of the whole affair, and obtained a receipt from Mrs Orr, his cousin, but a creditor, and also an order to her lawyer to deliver up into John’s hands all the family papers she had received as a pledge, and the various legal documents connected with the suit. James Johnstone wrote again on Nov. 2, and stated that he was going to Chippenham. He died four and a half years later (July 23, 1729), at the Blue Anchor Inn, in Little Britain, a part of London much frequented by Scotsmen at that time. He was thirty-six, and was buried in the St. Botolph’s churchyard, Aldgate, but his name is inscribed on one of the family monuments in Annan churchyard. He owned a small piece of land in Annan, which he left to his brother, but debts amounting to £340 4s English, which his brother paid. His funeral expenses were £17 4s 6d, exclusive of the luncheon at the Blue Anchor, and the bill contains items now long disused at the quiet funeral of a private gentleman, such as fourteen men with wax lights, two men with flambeaux to light the door, hire of fourteen silver sconces and satin favors. There were sixteen mourners.

The poverty of Scotland as compared with England at that date is much dwelt upon by travellers, and is shown by the very small bribes which even the Scottish Peers most opposed to the abolition of their Parliament were willing to accept in 1700, one of them being bought over to the English side with only £11, and the most exorbitant only requiring , £30. In 1704 an Englishman passing through Dumfriesshire sums up his impression of the country with the remark that if Cain had been born a Scotsman his punishment would have been, not to wander about, but to stay at home. "From Moffat," he says, "I came through Pudeen, and to Annan or Annan house, both small villages, and at the last place I dined at a good Scotch house; and so came to Lockerby, a small town, where I lay. It had rained from before noon to night, and to comfort me more my room was overflown with water, so that the people laid heaps of turf for me to tread upon, to get from the door to the fire-place, and thence to the bed, and the floor was so worn in holes that had I trod aside a turf, I might have sunk to my knees in mud and water, and no better room was to be had in this town. Nay, worse, my room had but half a door, and that to the street; and the wall was broken down at the gable, so that the room lay open to the stable. And yet the people had French wine, though it was always spoiled for want of being well cellared."

The Scots had long been famous for their wine and for their ability to consume it. "Bacchus hath great guiding here," wrote the English ambassador from Edinburgh with regard to the court, when James VI. was entertaining his wife’s brother, the Duke of Holstein, in 1598. But in 1704 the Borders were certainly poorer and less populated than 100 years earlier. The Solway had increased upon the land, and thriving villages, such as Seafield, on the coast, are now only represented by a farm or a few cottages.

A Laird’s wife seldom possessed more than one silk dress in her whole life, and that descended to her daughters; a maid servant’s wages were 30s a year, and a footman in a nobleman’s establishment much later on was well paid with £5. The wine bills were out of all proportion to the other expenditure, although wine was cheap compared to articles of food, which were dear considering their price in other countries and the high value, of money. Before the Customs were made uniform in England and Scotland, Annan was the headquarters of an extensive smuggling trade for carrying wine, brandy, and other foreign goods into Cumberland, often on men’s backs concealed in loads of hay, sacks of wool, or sheafs of wheat. The coast was covered with small ships in the service of smugglers, and in 1711 a Custom-house officer writes to his superior in Edinburgh that at Ruthwell the people are such friends to the traffic, "no one can be found to lodge a Government officer for a night."

In 1714 there was an agitation throughout Dumfriesshire in expectation of the landing of the Chevalier Prince James [As Her Majesty objects to the term "Pretender" (see "More Leaves from our Life in the Highlands"), there is no need to use it.] in Scotland, which took place the next year, when for the last time the Maxwells and Johnstones were opposed to each other, Maxwell, Lord Nithsdale, heading the Jacobites, and thereby losing his title, and the Marquis of Annandale, the Lord-Lieutenant of the County, collecting the militia together on behalf of George I. Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, who had been created Lord Kenmure, raised a troop at Moffat on behalf of the Chevalier and marched to join Lord Derwentwater in Cumberland, having found it impossible to take Dumfries, protected as it was by the Marquis. He was captured at Preston, and executed the same day as Lord Derwentwater—Feb. 24, 1716. Dalziell, Earl of Carnwarth, joined the Jacobites, and obtained a reprieve, but his title was attainted and not restored till 1826.

Probably the stagnation of trade and general depression had given encouragement to the Prince’s advisers, but, like the expedition under his son, it failed for want of money. In 1706 the whole coinage of Scotland only amounted to £411,117 10s 9d, and of this sum £40,000 was English, and £132,080 17s in foreign coins. The Rev. Alexander Carlyle describes a visit to his relatives in Dumfriesshire in 1733. "The face of the country was particularly desolate, not having yet reaped any benefit from the union of the Parliaments; nor was it recovered from the efforts of that century of wretched government which preceded the Revolution and commenced at the accession of James VI. The Border wars and depredations had happily ceased, but the Borderers having lost what excited their actions were in a dormant state during the whole of the 17th century unless it was during the time of the great rebellions and the struggle between Episcopacy and Presbyterianism. Sir William Douglas of Kelhead, whose grandfather was a son of the Duke of Queensberry, looked like ‘a grieve or barnman’ in a blue bonnet over his grey hair and a hodden grey coat, but was sensible and well bred. In the evening we visited an old gentleman, James Carlyle of Brakenquhate, who had been an officer under James II., but threw up his commission rather than take the oath. His house had but two rooms above and two below, but it was full of guns and swords, and other warlike instruments."

When Pennant visited Annandale in the last century, he found the custom of hand-fisting instead of marriage still occasionally practiced, and attributes it to the time when clergy were scarce in those parts. He noticed a railed enclosure, and heard that it was a refuge for criminals and outlaws. Yet the rising in favour of Prince Charles followed these descriptions, and could only be crushed out in Scotland with the aid of Dutch and German troops. The licence which was permitted to the victorious soldiers left the northern parts of the country a famine-stricken waste, but the militia recruited in the county were again the defence chiefly relied on to secure the loyalty of Dumfriesshire, and it consequently suffered less than other parts from the cruelty and exactions of the avengers of Gladsmuir.

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