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Kirkintilloch Town and Parish
The Flemings


An active and enterprising race in Flanders in the twelfth century emigrated in considerable numbers to England; but taking the part of Stephen against Henry II., that king banished them from the country, and many of them came to Scotland. William Flandrensis is witness to charters in 1199 and 1228. Sir Malcolm Fleming, most likely his son, is witness to a charter in 1246, and in a subsequent one is styled “Vice Comes de Dunbarton,” which shows that he was sheriff of that county in the reign of Alexander III. Sir Robert Fleming, probably his son, will appear immediately in connection with Robert the Bruce.

When Bruce finally resolved to drive the English out of Scotland, he requested an interview with the Red Comyn; and they met in the church of the Minorite Friars in Dumfries. Bruce had reason to suspect Comyn of attempting to prevail on King Edward to put him to death; and he taxed Comyn with treachery. A warm altercation ensued; and in the heat of the moment, Bruce, who was an extremely passionate man, forgot the sacred building he was in, and drawing his poniard, stabbed Comyn, who fell wounded. Struck with horror at committing a deed so atrocious, in such a place, Bruce instantly rushed to the door, where three of his companions were in waiting, viz.: Sir Roger Kirkpatrick, Lindsay of Crawford, and Sir Robert Fleming. Bruce appeared, pale and agitated, and they asked the cause. He replied, “I doubt I have slain the Red Comyn.” "Doubt!” said Kirkpatrick, “then I’se mak siccar,” and along with the others he hurried into the church. They were resolutely opposed by Robert Comyn, who defended the body of his brother. They soon killed Robert, however, and also the wounded baron, whose head they severed from his body. On their return, Bruce enquired if Comyn was dead, when Fleming, who carried the head, held it up, exclaiming, “Let the deed shaw.”

This dreadful event caused the most bitter animosity between the numerous and powerful family of Comyn and Bruce, and as soon as he came into power he declared their estates forfeited to the Crown.

Sir Robert Fleming continued to be a strenuous supporter of King Robert, and no doubt as long as he lived fought in his battles, and shared in his varied fortunes. He died, however, before the battle of Bannockburn, 24th June, 1314. King Robert had previously bestowed on him, in recognition of his services, the baronies of Cumbernauld and Lenzie.

His eldest son, Sir Malcolm Fleming, who succeeded him, was also a warm supporter of Bruce, and was, no doubt, present with his retainers at the battle of Bannockburn. He stood high in the king’s favour, and in consideration of his eminent services, that monarch appointed him sheriff of the county, and governor of the castle of Dumbarton. He also gave him the whole barony of Kirkintilloch, by a charter of which the following is a translation :—

“Robert, King of Scotland: Be it known that we have given, and by our present charter confirmed, to Malcolm Fleming, our well-beloved and faithful soldier, for his homage and service, the whole barony of Kirkintilloch, with its pertinents, which formerly belonged to John Comyn, knight; holding, and to be held, by the said Malcolm and his heirs, from us and our heirs, by all its proper boundaries and divisions, and with all its liberties, commodities, easements, and just pertinents; as freely, quietly, fully, and honourably, as the said John held or possessed, for some time, the said barony and its pertinents; the said Malcolm and his heirs rendering to us and our heirs the service of a knight in our army, and suit in the Court of the Sheriffdom of Dumbarton.”

Sir Malcolm Fleming thus appears to have become baron of Cumbernauld, Lenzie, and Kirkintilloch, or the whole of what is now the two parishes of Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld. These three baronies appear to have been at that time included in Stirlingshire, to which they seem naturally to belong; but were now detached and annexed to the sheriffdom and county of Dumbarton. On the other hand, a large extent of the eastern part of Lennox, which seems to have belonged to the sheriffdom of Dumbarton, was detached from that shire and annexed to Stirling.

Sir Malcolm, whose death is not recorded, was succeeded by his son, Sir Malcolm; who remained steadfast to the cause of David, the youthful son of Bruce. After the disastrous battle of Duplin in 1332, he refused to concur in the usurpation of the Scottish throne by Edward Baliol, under the supremacy of the English King, Edward III., and gave David refuge in Dumbarton Castle, of which he was governor. The battle of Halidon Hill was fought 19th July, 1333, and Edward being victorious, Fleming sent the young king and queen of Scotland to France for safety, where they remained for eight years and returned 4th May, I341.

David II. conferred on Fleming for these services a charter, making him Earl of Wigton, 9th November, 1341. He was afterwards taken prisoner along with the king at Neville’s Cross, 17th October, 1346, and lodged in the Tower of London. He died in 1362, and was succeeded by his grandson Thomas.

Thomas Fleming, second Earl of Wigton, having no children, appears to have alienated most of his estates during his life. In 1371 he sold the earldom of Wigton, together with the title, to Archibald Douglas, lord of Galloway; on 20th June, 1372, he gave in pledge the barony of Lenzie for the sum of and he made a gift of the town of Kirkintilloch to Sir Gilbert Kennedy, grandson of Sir Malcolm, which was confirmed 13th May, 1373.

The successor of Thomas Fleming was Sir Malcolm Fleming of Biggar, son of Sir Patrick, by the daughter of Sir Simon Fraser. He received from David II. charters of the barony of Dalliel, of the lands of Rinns of Wigton, and Sthboyer, in the barony of Lenzie. His predecessor, Thomas, previous to his death, had conferred on him the barony of Lenzie, and this gift was confirmed by Robert II., 20th September, 1382. He was appointed Sheriff of Dumbartonshire in 1364, and had an assignment of the pledge made of the barony of Lenzie by Thomas Fleming to William Boyd for £80, about 1380. He was succeeded by his son, Sir David,* who played a distinguished part in the public transactions of his time. He was of a religious turn of mind, and made a grant or mortification confirmed by Robert II. in 1379, of the lands of Drumtablay, with a portion of its mill, lying in the barony of Lenzie; to Almighty God, the blessed Virgin, and to the chapel of the blessed Virgin in Kirkintilloch; for the salvation of his own soul, and the souls of his parents, his wife, and others. In 1388 he was with Douglas at the battle of Otterbum, and acquired a reputation for bravery and martial prowess.

In 1399 he received from Robert II., among other gifts, a charter of the chapels of Kirkintilloch and the lands of Drumtablay. He accompanied the young Prince James, son of Robert II., out of Scotland with the intention of going to France; but they were captured by the English and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was afterwards killed by the Douglases (who were enraged at the abduction of the young Prince) at Loughermandston, February, 1405, and was buried in Holyrood Abbey.

His son, Sir Malcolm, succeeded him, and to the family estates of Biggar and Cumbernauld. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke of Albany, and niece of Robert III. He was knighted by that monarch, and received a charter of the lands of Torwood, most likely as his wife’s dowry.

On 2nd April, 1406, King Robert III. granted to him and his heirs a charter of the castle of Cumbernauld, with the five merk lands in which it is situated, and their pertinents; the lands of Bodsberg, the lands of Dillater of Auchinstarre, with the ground of the old castle of Kirkintilloch; the forest of Cumbernauld; the mill of Bodsberg; and an annual rent of six merks, to be drawn from the town of Kirkintilloch.

He was one of the hostages for the payment of 50,000 merks, the ransom of James I., and his name is recorded as “Malcolmus Dominus de Bygare,” and his income as 600 merks per annum. The Flemings and the Douglases, who had been at feud for some time, seem now to have again become friends, and Malcolm became the bosom companion of William Douglas.

Livingston the Governor and Crichton the Chancellor leagued together to kill Douglas, of whose power they were jealous, and treacherously invited him to Edinburgh Castle; where he went sorely against the wishes and remonstrances of his friends, accompanied by Fleming. After being splendidly entertained, they were suddenly seized, imprisoned, and subjected to a mock trial in name of the king, who was then very young. They were sentenced to be executed, and this was carried out in the case of Douglas at once; and Fleming in four days thereafter, on 12th December, 1440; his estates being also forfeited to the Crown.

His son Robert, who succeeded him, protested against the decision of the court that had declared his father guilty; and when King James arrived at the age of maturity he became convinced that great injustice had been done in putting Sir Malcolm Fleming to death and forfeiting his estates; and he reinstated his son in them. He also conferred on him a charter of the lands of Auchtermony and their pertinents, lying in the earldom of Lennox; to be held of the King, by rendering a silver penny Scots if sought. James also raised Fleming to the peerage by the title of Lord Fleming of Cumbernauld, in 1458.

His character, however, became latterly completely changed, his mental faculties having evidently become impaired. He became quarrelsome and litigious, and had many lawsuits, was guilty of many outrages, and in the end was considered incapable of managing his affairs, so that an action was raised to have him declared “furious, profuse, and insane.” This action was successful; but was afterwards set aside on the strange ground, that the sheriff who had charge of the investigation regarding his conduct and mental condition, was under age.

He died in 1491, and was succeeded by his grandson John, second lord, who was appointed Vice-Admiral of the Fleet, in 1511, and Lord Chamberlain in 1516; which office was held in the family for several generations. He was murdered on 1st November, 1524, by the Tweedies of Drummelzier, in a dispute about the marriage of Catherine Frissel, his ward.

He appears to have been unable or unwilling to pay his debts as appears by the following:—

“At Edinburgh, the last day of Februar, the zeir of God, ane thousand fiyve hundredth and twenty three zeris, the Lords of counsale vnderwritten, that is to say, ane reverend fader in God, Gawyne, Bischop of Abirdene, ane nobill and michty Lord, I lew Erie of Eglin-loune, venerable faderis in God, James. Abbot of Dundrennan, Thomas, Abbot of Culros, Maister George Hepburn, Dene of Dunkeld, Schir William Scot of Balwery, knycht, and Maister Adam Otterburn of Auld-hame, in the actioun and caus persewit be ane venerabill fader in God, Alexander, Abbot of Cambuskynneth, and convent of the samyn, aganis Johne Lord Flemying, for the wranggus and maisterfull spoliatioun, vptaking and withalding fra thame of thair teynd schavis of the haill parrochin of the kirk of the Lenze, liand within the schirefdome ot Dunbartane, pertaning to thame as personis of the said kirk, zeirly, be the space of seven zeris last bipast, extending ilk zeir to thretty thre chaldris of meill, and thre chaldris of beir, price of the boll oureheid xiij s. iiij d., like as at mare lenth is contenit in the summandis thair-upone. Baith the sadis partiis beand personali present, thare richtis, resonis, and allegationis hard, sene and vnderstand, and thairwith being ripelie avisit, the Lordis of the Coansale decretis and deliweris that the said Johne Lord Flemying hes done 'wrang in the spoliatioun, vptaking and withalding fra the said venerabiil fader and convent of thare teyndis schavis of the said Kirk of Lenze, zeirlie, be the space of sevin zeris last bipast, pertenyng to the said venerabiil fader and convent, and thairfore sail desist and ceis fra all intrometting with the sadis teyndis to be gaderit, set and disponit be thame at thair pleseir in tyme to cum, and als sail content and pay to the sadis venerabiil fader and convent thretty thre chaldris of meill, thre chaldris of beir, price of the boll of meill and beir oureheid xiii s. iiii d. zeirlie, and ilk zeir, be the space of sevin zeris foirsaide, and with ilk boll of the said teynd meill and beir ane hen price iii; d. zeirlie be the said space, quhilkis teyndis, victualis, and gudis pertenis to the said venerabiil fader, convent and place of Cambuskynneth, and wes intromettit with be the said Johne Lord Flemying likeas wes cleirlie previt before the sadis Lordis: thairfore ordanis lettres be directit to compell and distrenze him, his landis and gudis thairfore as efferis.”

“Notorial instrument narrating that Alexander, Abbot of Cambuskenneth on the one part, and Malcolm, Lord Fleming on the other part, compeared in the presence of a notary and witnesses, desiring an account of the teind sheaves of the parish church of Lenze, belonging to the said Abbot and his convent, which teind sheaves and fruits the said Malcolm, and the deceased John, Lord Fleming his father, had intromitted with, as Malcolm confessed for 8 years and term preceding, and applied to their own use without accounting, and accordingly Malcolm rendered to certain auditors therein mentioned his account, in which he charged himself with certain sums of money, and quantities of victual for the said teinds of the kirk of Lenze during the 8 years and one term aforesaid, amounting in all to ù2528 -5*3, certain payments being allowed which reduced the amount due to ^2148 -5-4. Dated at Edinburgh, 30th March, 1527.”

Malcolm, his eldest son, born 1494, succeeded him as third Lord Fleming; and was distinguished for his abilities, acquirements, and upright character. His merits were highly appreciated by James V., who conferred many favours upon him. On the death of his father he was appointed Lord Chamberlain; and he received charters of Auchtermony, Kerse, Lenzie, Cumbernauld, etc.

On 9th April, 1538, he resigned his lands into the hands of James V., and that monarch granted him a new charter, by which his lordship's whole possessions were formed into five baronies:—

I. The lands of Auchtermony, the annual rents of Kerse, the lands of Lenzie, and the forest of Cumbernauld were to form the barony of Cumbernauld; and Cumbernauld House was to be the messuage for taking sasines.

II. The lands and barony of Lenzie, with the town and burgh of Kirkintilloch, were to form the barony of Lenzie; and Kirkintilloch was to be the place for taking sasines.

.....He had married in 1524 Janet Stewart, a natural daughter of James IV., a dispensation from Pope Clement VII. having sanctioned the marriage; and his wife’s tocher (^400) being provided by King James V., her half brother.

He was taken prisoner at the battle of the Solway, November, 1542, and was killed at the age of fifty-three, with many of his retainers of Biggar, Cumbernauld, and Lenzie, at the disastrous battle of Pinkie, 10th September, 1547.

He had endowed a collegiate church to be built at Biggar; with a provost, eight canons or prebendaries, four singing boys, and six poor men. The third prebendary, who was to be the sacristan of the college, was to have for his annual support the chapel founded on the lands of Gamegabir and Auchyndavy, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with its pertinents; and six merks of annual rent in Kirkintilloch, along with two acres of land, for a manse and garden, belonging to the chapel, and at that time in the possession of Andrew Fleming of Kirkintilloch. The duty of this prebend was to ring the bells and to light the wax tapers and tallow candles on the high altar, the altars of the two aisles, and the altar of the crucifix. The founder also ordained that there should be attached to the college, in all time to come, four boys with children’s voices, who were to be sufficiently instructed and skilled in plain song, invocation, and discant; who were to have the crowns of their heads shaven, and to wear gowns of a crimson colour. They were to have, divided amongst them, all and whole the produce of the priest’s office of the parish church of Lenzie, in the diocese of Glasgow, except so much as might be necessary for the sustentation of a priest to discharge the duties of a cure of that parish.

The founder ordained that the college should have six poor men, commonly called “beid men.” The qualifications for their admission were to be poverty, frailty, and old age. They were to be natives of the baronies of Biggar or Lenzie, if a sufficient number could be got in these places. They were to be annually furnished with a white linen gown, having a white cloth hood ; and every day in all time to come they were to attend in the college at high mass and vespers ; and when the founder departed this life, they were to sit at his grave and the grave of his parents, and pray devoutly to the Most High God for the welfare of his soul, the soul of his wife, and the souls of his progenitors and successors. For their aliment and support, they were to have distributed amongst them, on the first day of each month, two bolls of oatmeal, the whole amounting to twenty-seven bolls annually ; so that each bedesman, during the year, was to obtain four bolls and two firlots of the said oatmeal. John, Earl of Wigton, patron of the college kirk and prebendaries thereof, with consent of William Fleming, the provost, on the 14th May, 1616, granted a disposition in favour of James Duncan of the prebendship that was endowed with the teinds of Auchendavy and the two acres of land lying in the town of Kirkintilloch.

His inventory amounted to ,£5,006 18s. 4d. Scots; and among the legacies which he left were: £20 “to the poir househalders within Lenzie and Biggar that pays me nocht, that are fallen folks, to*pray for me;” and “I leif sax chalder of male, to be dealt annually to my tennents of Lenzie, Harbartshire, Biggar, and Thankerton.” To his eldest son, James, he left the “ insight,” that is, the furniture within the place of Cumbernauld, along with the silver “wark, an bason, an cover, twa gilt cups with covers; VI.—of silver, vj silver spoons, an dozen of silver trinchers, twa saltfats of silver, the chapell graith of silver,” etc.

Mary, one of his daughters, attained celebrity as one of Queen Mary’s four Maries, the others being — Mary, daughter of Lord Livingston; Mary, daughter of I^rd Seton; and Mary, daughter of Beton, laird of Creich.

Lady Fleming, the widow of Lord Malcolm and the Queen’s aunt, was appointed governess to the Queen, and accompanied her, along with her four Maries and several lords of high rank, to France. After a violent storm, during which the ladies suffered much from sea-sickness, they reached Brest, 13th August, 1548, and proceeded to St. Germains, where they were joyfully welcomed. Lady Fleming continued in the service of the Queen till 1555, when she returned to Scotland; but her daughter remained as one of the Queen’s maids of honour. No doubt she was one of her bridesmaids on the occasion of her marriage with the Dauphin, and condoled with the Queen at his death.

She accompanied her mistress to Scotland, and heard her take that affectionate farewell of France, so often pathetically described. She was with the Queen in her warlike displays, her progresses through her dominions, her interviews with Knox, her marriage to Damley, the murder of Rizzio, the birth of a son in Edinburgh Castle, the loss of her husband by violence, etc.

In 1563 Mary Fleming was one of the ladies seated in an outer chamber of the palace of Holy rood, gorgeously apparelled, whom Knox addressed after one of his stormy interviews with the Queen :—

“O fair ladies,” said John, “how plesing were this lyfe of yours if it sould evir abyde, and then in the end that we mycht pass to heiven, with all this gay gear. Bot fie upon that knave Death, that will come quhiddar we will or not; and quhen he has laid on his areist, the foull worms will be busie with this flesh, be it never so fair and so tender; and the silly saul sail be so feabill that it can nyther cary with it gold, garnishing, targating, pearll, nor precious stones.”

One of the amusements of the court which has descended in somewhat the same form to our day, was the cutting and distributing among the company of a cake, in which a bean had been baked; the fortunate person who happened to have the bean in his or her slice being called King or Queen of the Bean.

On 5th January, 1563, when a brilliant party was assembled at Holyrood, the bean fell to Mary Fleming; and the incident, with the appearance of the mock Queen, is thus described by a spectator, in a letter written in the inflated style of the period:—

“Fortune was so favourable to faire Fleyminge that, if she, could have seen, to have judged of her vertue and beauty; as blindly shee went to work, and chose her at adventure; she would sooner have made her a queen for ever, than for one only day to exalt her so high, and the nixt to leave her in the state she found her. That day yt was to be seen, by her princely pomp, how fite a match she wold be, were she to contend ether with Venus in beauty, Minerva in witt, or Juno in worldly wealth; having the two former by nature; and of the third, so much as is contained in this realme at her command, and free disposition. The treasure of Solomon, I trowe, was not to be compared unto that, which that day hanged upon her back.....My pen staggereth; my hand faileth; farther to wryt. . . . The Queen of the Bean was that day in a gowne of cloth of silver; her head, her neck, her shoulders, the rest of her whole body so besett with stones, that more in our jewell house were not to be found.”

Mary Fleming married Sir William Maitland of Lethington on 6th January, 1566. He died in prison, June, 1573.

James, fourth Lord Fleming, died at Paris, 15th December, 1558. He was one of the commissioners appointed to be present at the marriage of Queen Mary with the Dauphin of France. He died in his twenty-fourth year, not without suspicion of poison, as three of his colleagues also died in Paris. He was married at an early age to Barbara, a daughter of the Duke of Chatelherault. On the 14th December, 1553, he conferred on her a charter of part of the barony of Lenzie, and on the 21st December of the year following he executed another charter in her favour, constituting her liferenter of the lands of Kildowan and Auchtermony. He left by this lady an only child, a daughter.

John Fleming, the second son of Lord Malcolm, succeeded, on his brother’s death, to the title and estates as fifth lord. On the 16th January, 1558, he received a renunciation and discharge of revision, under the great seal, of the lands of Kilbuho and their patronages, from Francis and Mary; who, in the document conferring this grant, styled themselves King and Queen of England and Ireland. These favours were expressly given on account of the eminent services of his father, Malcolm, and his brother, James. He married on 17th May, 1564, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of Robert, Master of Ross, who was killed at Pinkie. The marriage took place in the presence of Queen Mary and her court at Holyrood.

He stood by the Queen at the battle of Langside under a thorn tree, along with Lords Herries and Livingstone and a small guard; and watched the progress of the fight with breathless anxiety and suspense. When the small party saw that their hopes were blighted by the victory of the Regent, they lost no time in placing the Queen on horseback, and conveying her, by a circuitous route, through Ayrshire, Nithsdale, and Galloway, to the abbey of Dundrennan. Mary, in a letter written to her uncle, the Cardinal Lorraine, during the journey, which lasted two days, states :—

“I have suffered injuries, calumnies, hunger, cold, and heat; flying, without knowing whither, four score and twelve miles without once pausing to alight, and then lay on the hard ground, having only sour milk to drink and oatmeal to eat, without bread; passing three nights with the owls.”

Fleming crossed the Solway with the Queen; and after she surrendered herself to Queen Elizabeth, he returned to Dumbarton Castle, which he held against the Regent Murray, who first besieged and then blockaded it. On 18th November, 1569, “sentence of forfaultour wes pronouncit aganis Lord John Fleming and John Fleming of Boghall, for the keiping and halding the castle of Dumbartane aganis the Kingis majestie.”

This sentence was confirmed by the Scottish Parliament in 1571, and the Act then passed states, among other things—

“And thairfoir decernis and ordanis, all and sundrie, ye landis, guidis, movable and vnmovable; als weil landis, as offices, and vther thingis quhatsomever; pertening to thame, and everye ane of thame; to be confiscatt to our sourane Lord, and to remane in propertie wt his heynes, for ewir. And thair persones, to underlye ye panes of tressone; extreme and just punisment, distinatt of ye lawes of yis Realme. Quhilk dome, wes pronouncit be ye mowth of Andro Lindsay, dempstar of ye said Parliament.

The estates of Lord Fleming were, by this sentence, transferred to the Crown, and were held by it for eight years. Queen Elizabeth, at this juncture, sent an army into Scotland at the instigation of the King’s faction, and under the command of Sir William Drury, which, during the spring of 1570, committed great havoc in Clydesdale on the estates of the adherents of Queen Mary. The devastation at Hamilton was such as had hardly ever been paralleled in Scotland before; and the ruthless soldiery “herrit all the Monkland—my Lord Fleming’s boundis, my Lord Livingston’s boundis, together with al their puir tennantis and friendis, in sic maner that nae heart can think thereon bot the same must be dolorous.”

Sir William, after perpetrating these enormities, had the audacity to repair to Dumbarton in the month of May, and request a parley with the governor respecting the Archbishop of St. Andrews, who had taken refuge in the castle. Lord Fleming, justly enraged at the outrages which Sir William had committed, saluted him with a bullet discharged from one of the great guns on the ramparts. This was considered a grievous outrage by the King’s party, and gave rise to a lengthy ballad, entitled, “The Tressoun of Dumbartane,” which was printed in black letter at Edinburgh by Robert Lekpreuik in 1570. It says—

The General raid with mony Demy lance,
Doun to Dumbarton, doand na man ill.
Quhair furious Fleming schot his ordinance,
Willing to wraik him, wanted na gude will.
Now fairwell Fleming, bot foul are thy deedis,
The General this schedul at schort to the sends,
Thou sail heir ma novells as furder proceedis,
Bot not to thy sythment as sum men intends.

The garrison of Dumbarton began ere long to be straitened for want of provisions; but early in the morning of the 15th December the Laird of Bord, taking advantage of the darkness, succeeded in conveying into the castle several “ky” and “laides of meill ” vastly to the displeasure of the Regent, who sharply rebuked his captains that they “tholit the said furnischings to pas to ye castel.” At the Regent’s death the blockade was broken up, and two large ships with provisions and military stores arrived from France for the use of the garrison, which were duly transferred to the castle.

The Regent Murray having been killed a short time previously at Linlithgow; the Earl of Lennox, his successor, was anxious to get possession of Dumbarton Castle for the infant King; but Lord Fleming stoutly held it for Queen Mary. The Regent, by way of punishment, sent a strong party of soldiers to both Biggar and Cumbernauld, and not only levied heavy contributions in money from the tenants, but committed much wanton destruction. At that period there were not only herds of deer in the forest of Cumbernauld, but also wild cattle, long known in Scotland as “ the white kye,” and now only to be seen at Hamilton Palace.

The habits of these animals were thus described by a writer in the “Quarterly Journal of Agriculture ” many years ago :—

In browsing their extensive pasture they always keep close together, never scattering or straggling over it—a peculiarity which does not belong to the Kyloe, or any other breed from the wildest and most inhospitable regions of the Highlands. The white cows are remarkable for their systematic manner of feeding. At different periods of the year their tactics are different; but by those acquainted with their habits they are always found about the same part of the forest at the same hour of the day. In the height of summer they always bivouac for the night towards the northern extremity of the forest. From this point they start in the morning, and browse to the southern extremity, and return at sunset to their old rendezvous; and during these perambulations they always feed en masse. The bulls are seldom ill-natured ; but when they are so, they display a disposition more than ordinarily savage, cunning, pertinacious, and revengeful. A poor bird-catcher was attacked by a savage bull, and by great exertion gained a tree before his assailant made up to him. Here he had occasion to observe the habits of the animal. It did not roar or bellow, but merely grunted, the whole body quivering with passion and savage rage ; and he frequently attacked the tree with his head and hoofs. Finding all to no purpose, he left off the vain attempt, began to browse, and removed to some distance from the tree. The bird-catcher tried to descend, but this watchful cerberus was again instantly at his post; and it was not till six hours, and after various bouts at bo-peep as above, that he was relieved by some shepherds.

Sometimes, especially when the calves are young and need protection, the bulls and the kine are particularly fierce, and resent even the far-off presence of an intruder. Under such circumstances we have frequently been charged by the white herd. The situation is then not altogether free from peril, but the unique character of the scene is almost worth the risk, as in the charge which these noble-looking animals make you have the advantage of seeing in active and intense operation skill, fuiy, and bravery. On they come, swift as the wind, making the ground tremble under their heavy tread. Singularly enough, too, not a sound do they utter, but dash forward either in even lines or in one solid, well-formed phalanx, with the young in the centre.

When the gallop is stopped, too, by some unknown signal, it is done with a regularity and precision which could not be surpassed by our finest cavalry. When in this position the large bulls, with shaggy manes, majestic heads, and fiery eyes, standing several paces out from the herd, like commanding officers in front of a squadron, they form a picture of surpassing interest which is not likely to be soon forgotten.

“Mightiest of all the beasts of chase
That roam in woody Caledon,
Crushing the forest in his race,
The mountain ball comes thundering on.
“ Fierce on the hunter’s quivered band
He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow,
Spurns with black hoof and horn the sand,
And tosses high his mane of snow. ”

According to Boece, they would eat nothing which the hand of man had touched. King Robert the Bruce hunted the wild bull. Hollingshed says that Bruce, in pursuing a bull, at length overtook it, and was about to thrust his spear into its loins, when it suddenly turned and made a desperate charge. Just in time to save the king’s life, one of his followers ran forward, and boldly seizing the animal by the horns, overthrew it by main force. In reward, King Robert bestowed on the intrepid huntsman lands and honours, with the distinguishing name of “Turnbull.”

Turnbull’s feat seems beyond human strength, but at the present day Highlanders have been known to catch a full-grown colt by the tail as it ran past, and throw it on the ground ; and the wild bulls of Bruce’s day, although active and savage, cannot be supposed to compare in weight with our modern domestic highly-fed cattle.

It is recorded that the Regent’s men killed the deer “and the quhit ky and bullis of the said forest, to the great destructione of policie and hinder of the comman-weill.”

Notwithstanding the formidable situation of Dumbarton Castle, which was deemed impregnable; it was taken from Fleming by Captain Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill in a most gallant and extraordinary manner.

The strength of the place made Lord Fleming feel more secure than he ought to have felt, considering its importance. He boasted to the King of France that he held in his hands the fetters of Scotland, and this spirit rendered the garrison so confident and negligent that they frequently spent the whole night in riot and festivity in the neighbouring town of Dumbarton, with the same thoughtlessness as if the country had enjoyed the most profound peace.

The plan of surprising the garrison was first suggested to the Regent Lennox, then at Glasgow, by a common soldier who had served in the fortress; but had been disgusted by what he supposed to be ill-usage. While he lived in the garrison his wife used often to visit him, and, being accused of theft, was punished by order of the governor. Her husband, being persuaded of her innocence, burned with revenge. He deserted to the Regent, and promised that if he would assign a small party to follow him, he would make him master of the fortress. The Regent, although he saw the importance of possessing the castle, at first hesitated, from want of confidence in the man, or in the means which he proposed. This being perceived by the soldier, he at once said that as they seemed to distrust him he would go himself, and be the first man to reach the walls. “If you will follow me,” said he, “I will make you masters of the place, but if your hearts fail you, then let it alone.” The man appeared so confident and resolute, and the prize was so tempting, that the scruples of the Regent were at last overcome, and he resolved to risk the attempt.

The expedition was committed to Captain Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill, a bold and experienced officer. The first of April was the day fixed for the execution of this daring attempt, as the truce granted to the rebels through the mediation of the Queen of England would then have expired. In the meantime scaling ladders and other necessaries were prepared, and the whole was kept profoundly secret.

On the evening of 31st March, John Cunningham of Drumquhassil, an officer who had been early made acquainted with the scheme, was sent off with a party of horse to intercept all passengers and guard every avenue to the castle, and thus prevent any communication being made to the garrison. Crawford followed him with a small body of picked and determined men on foot. The place of rendezvous was Dumbuck hill, about a mile from the castle.

Here Crawford explained to the whole party the nature of the enterprise in which they were to be engaged; showed them Robertson the soldier who had volunteered to lead them in the ascent, and made large promises of honours to be conferred on him and all who followed him. The soldiers received the intelligence joyfully. The foot immediately proceeded towards the castle, while the horse were ordered to remain at Dumbuck to assist in their retreat, should the enterprise miscarry.

Bannatyne says:—

Every man hath his hacquebut, bound vpon his bak, and everie ledder had dyvers coardis put to it, and ane coard from the former end of this: we gang and but one man behind ane vther to the hinder end, swa that everie man had the said coard in his handis, and the foremost to guyde all. Swa no man that held ane grip of the coard could gang by the way, because it was in the nyght.

When they arrived at the bottom of the rock the night was far advanced, and they were afraid lest the clearness of the sky, which was covered with stars, and the appearance of daylight, should discover them to the sentinels who watched above. The mist, however, which generally at this season of the year hangs heavy over rivers and lakes, had overspread the upper regions of the castle rock, a circumstance esteemed fortunate by the officers, and by the men superstitiously regarded as a good omen.

It was the highest part of the rock which had been chosen to make this bold attempt, as the garrison trusted to this, and had generally fewer sentinels there; and their guide also assured them that they would find a good landing. Here, however, they met with an accident which made them fear that all was lost. The height of the ascent compelled them to use ladders too long to be easily managed, and as they could not be fixed very firmly in the slippery rock, the first ladder was scarcely fixed when the weight and eagerness of the men who mounted, caused it to fall to the ground. Although no one was injured, they feared that the noise might possibly have alarmed a sentinel. After listening intently for a short time, however, and finding all still, they made a second attempt with better success, and some of them gained a sort of jutting or landing about half way up the rock. Here they found an ash tree growing out of a crevice, and by tying a rope to it, their friends below were soon able by its help to join them.

At this stage another untoward event occurred, which was only overcome by the presence of mind and ready resource of the leader. One of the soldiers was suddenly seized with a fit, and clung so tenaciously to the ladder that no one could either pass him or unloose his hold. To tumble him down the rock would have been cruel, and might have alarmed the garrison; but Captain Crawford was equal to the occasion. He at once ordered the man to be tied fast to the ladder as he was, and then the ladder was turned round so as to place the soldier on the underside next the rock, and his comrades easily then ascended over him.

The advance party, consisting of Alexander Ramsay, Crawford’s ensign, Robertson, and two other soldiers, very soon reached the summit of the rock, and scaled the castle wall. They were instantly observed by the sentinels, who attacked them with stones and other missiles. Ramsay, not relishing this mode of warfare, leapt down among his enemies, who at once attacked him sword in hand ; but he defended himself with great bravery till his comrades came to his aid.

In the meantime the bulk of the party had been industriously ascending the rock, and struggling to surmount the wall, and their weight and efforts soon made a partial breach ir. it, through which they rushed, shouting, “God and the King!” “A Darnley! a Darnley!” They quickly took possession of the magazine and cannon; the garrison offering but a feeble resistance, rushing out on the alarm in a nude condition, and being more solicitous about their own safety than making resistance.

Lord Fleming, making a quick descent by an almost impassable precipice, was let out at a postern gate which opened upon the Clyde, and getting into a small boat which lay under the walls, escaped to Argyllshire.

The assailants did not lose one man, and of the garrison only four were slain. Among those taken prisoners were Lady Fleming; Hamilton, Bishop of St. Andrews, who was found with his mail shirt and steel cap on; Verac, the French Ambassador, who had recently arrived with supplies; Fleming of Boghall; and John Hall, an English gentleman who had fled to Scotland after Dacre’s rebellion.

After the principal prisoners were secured, and the soldiers had leisure to examine the path they had taken, it appeared to them such a tremendous precipice, that they declared that if they had foreseen the danger of the service, no reward whatever should have induced them to undertake it.

Hamilton was instantly conveyed to Stirling, and being deeply implicated in the murder of both Darnley and Murray was tried, condemned, and executed. Lady Fleming was dismissed with many marks of the Regent’s favour. With Verac there was some difficulty what to do, as a number of merchants accused him of plundering their vessels in the Clyde; but after a short confinement in St. Andrews, he also was set at liberty, as were all the others, with the exception of Boghall.

Captain Crawford received as a reward for his services in this exploit a pension of £200 yearly from the revenues of St. Andrews, and to Cunningham was committed the keeping of the castle.

Sir Walter Scott observes of the capture of the castle: “This exploit of Crawford may compare with anything of the kind which we read of in history.”

Lord Fleming, who had gone from Argyllshire to France, returned from there on 20th May, 1572, and brought a considerable sum of money with him for the Queen. On 26th June he arrived at Edinburgh, and took up his residence in the castle, then held for the Queen by Kirkcaldy of Grange. While walking near the Tolbooth one day a party of French soldiers who had come from Leith, fired a volley in his honour, but one of the bullets ricocheted and struck his lordship, wounding him seriously. He was carried to the castle, where he remained till the beginning of September, when he was taken to Biggar on a litter, and died there.

“Wpoun the fyft day, thair come xv fuddartis Frenschmen fra Leith, quha wes tane be the men of Leith in ane weir schip, and wer causit serue aganis thair will. Thai passand throw the toun to the castell about the tolbuyth, met Johne lord Fleming, and throw greit blythnes schote thair wollie: and be the last manis peice the said lord was hurt be the scalpis of the stanis in baith thair leigis. Thair wes naihing in his peice bot paper and powder allenarlie. Wpone the sext day, the said Johne (lord) Flemying depairtit at the plesour of God. It wes said that he wes poysonit.”

A curious accident happened when he was leaving Edinburgh Castle, by which a person called Balfour, who seems to have been one of his retainers, was killed. Richard Bannatyne thus records it: “The sext of September, the Lord Flemyng, wha was hurt be the Frenchmen which befoir staw out of Leyth, and that by his special doingis and meanis, departit this lyfe in Biggar, where he was careit in ane litter furth of the castell of Edinburgh; which litter not being able to go furth at the castell yeat, vntill the portcullious were raisit, and liftit vp hier, which beand rasit vp, fele down to the ground agane, and pairt of a spelch thereof fleing of, hurt Harie Balfour in the heid, wha efter he had lyne a 10 or n dayis, deid the xi of September 1572. And so thair twa have gottin thare rewarde.”

John Fleming, sixth lord, who succeeded him was, at his father's death, only four years of age, and his estates having been forfeited, and the revenues engrossed by the Crown, or by parties of the opposite faction, he was involved in debt. But in 1579 an Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament “restorand, rehabilitand, and makand the said John (Fleming) lauchful to enter be brevis to the landis and heretaige sumtyme pertaining to his said vmquhile father, as gif he had deit at our soveran Lordis fayth and peace.”

David Moysie says :—

The Parliament beguid the xiij day of the monethe of Julij, quhair his Majestie accumpanied with his nobilitie red to the tolbuithe of Edinburgh. Bot befoir his vnlooping thaire arrose ane heiche contention betwix the erles of Crafurde and Bothwell, the lordis Fleming, Settoun, Home, and Innermeithe, anent their woites. The Counsell sat thairvpone, and fand that the erle of Crafurde sould have the woite afoir the rest of the lordis. Quhairvpone the Lord Home challendgit the Lord Flemying with the singular combat, quho wer not suffered to fecht, albeit they were baith weill willing.

Lord Fleming became a great favourite of James VI., and received from him high honour. He appointed him in 1587 chief gatekeeper and guardian of the house and bedchamber of the king. When James brought home his bride, Anne of Denmark, to Leith, Fleming was one of the lords in attendance at all the rejoicings, and along with Lord Hamilton sat beside the young couple in church.

Queen Elizabeth having died, James became King of England, and went to live there, and Fleming became one of the members of the Scottish Council that sat in London.

In “Pitcairn’s Trials,” 8th May, 1593, “Johnne Lord Fleming ordained to be denounced rebel, for not appearing to find surety to compear before the Justices on May xxj, under the pain of 10,000 pundis, to underly the law for beiring, weiring, and schuitting with hagbuttis and pistolettis, and wounding of sindrie his hienes subjectis vpon the — day of Aprile last be past.” He was created Earl of Wigton, Lord Fleming of Biggar and Cumbernauld, 19th March, 1606, to “last and continue to him and his heirs male of lawful and lineal descent in all time to come.”

Lord Fleming married Lady Lillias Graham, a daughter of John, Earl of Montrose, and distinguished for her piety* She was in full sympathy with the Presbyterians, while her husband seemed to lean to Episcopacy, and countenanced the opinions and repressive measures of the king. The earl was somewhat lax in his attendance at church, as appears by the following entry in the records of the Presbytery of Glasgow, of date 13th July, 1596 :—

“The Presbyterie understanding that the absence of my Lord Fleming fra the Kirk of Lenzie upon the Sonday, his Lordship being then at Cumernald, within the bounds of the Presbyterie, is the motive and great occasione of moving his tenants, being parochiners of Lenzie, to byd away fra the Kirk to heir Godis word prechit on Sondaye, thairfore the Presbyterie ordenis Mr. Ninian Drewe, parson now present, ordinar minister of Lenzie, to summond the said Lord Fleming, how sone his Lordship cummis in Cumernald, to compeir before ye said Presbyterie to answer for his absence fra the said Kirk, and to sik uther thingis as the said Presbyterie sail happea to have to laye to his charge.” The earl died in April, 1619, and was succeeded by his eldest son John, as second Earl of Wigton, who warmly embraced his mother’s opinions, and was as zealous in the cause of Presbyterianism as his forefathers had been in the maintenance of Popery.

He married Margaret, daughter of Alexander Livingston, first Earl of Linlithgow, a lady of amiable disposition and great piety, who entered cordially into the religious views and schemes of her husband.

The earl must have got into trouble as appears from the following extract from the Bannatyne papers :—

Sanct Andrews, 9th Feb., 1646. The Committee of processes and moneyes do heirby grant liberty and warrant unto Johne, Lord Fleming, to repair home to his own dwelling house, because James, {Carl of Calander is become cautioner for him, that he shall appeare befor the said Committee of money and processes at Lithgow or wher it shall happin them to be for the time, upon the eight day of March nixt, and for his good behaviour in tyme cuming, under the paine of fiftie thousand punds.

Rental of John Lord Fleming 1646. Item—he declaires that he has not the possessione of any lands or teinds of my Lord his fatheres estate . . . Item—he declaires he has no casuall rent at all. Item —he hes no money awand to him be band or utherwayes, either in his own name or any uthers to his behove. Item—he has no moveable goods or geir that can fall under escheat. Item—he declaires he was put to the charges and expense, and borrowed twenty thousand pound, whilke he bestowed upon and for the publict service, be out reicking himself ane colonell at the first two expeditions, be buying of armes and uther necessre furnitour for his regiment:—

13 horsmen at 320 merks a peice 4160 mk.
7 dragonners at 100 lib, a peice - 1050 mk.
98 foott sojours for clothes, arms and fyftein days provisioun at lib a peice - - 2880 mk

The committee decided that the account rendered by John Lord Fleming was sufficient to “exhaust the wholl fyne above written imposed upon him for his delinquency, doe therfor discharge the said John Lord Fleming of the said fyne.”

The earl died at Cumbernauld on 7th May, 1650, and his son, also named John, third earl, succeeded him. He married Jane Drummond, a daughter of the Earl of Perth, by whom he had five sons and three daughters. He died in February, 1665.

"Stirline the 28ih Sep. 165a The Committee of Estates, considering of what importance the keeping of the house and castle of Cumbernauld belonging to John Earle of Wigton, may be for securing and preserveing the places adjacent, doe therefore heerby appoynt and ordaine the said Earle of Wigton, to putt a sufficient garrison in the said house, and to furnish the same with provisions, and a sufficient quantitie of amonition ; and for the better enableing him to keep and to secure the said house, the Committee foresaid allowes him eight of the dragones, to be putt forth by him out of the parish of Lenzie, in place of sixteen foot ; and the Committee of Estates doeth heerby prohibite and discharg the committee of warr of the sherryfdome of Dumbartan, and the officers of the forces to be leavied out of that shyre, not to trouble or quarter upon the said Earle or his tenents for the said dragones, he allwayes secureing and defending the said house. Extr. A. Henderson. ”

One of the earl’s daughters, called Lilias, fell in love with a servant of her father named Richard Stony, with whom she eloped and whom she married. She, with consent of her husband, in October, 1673, resigned her portion, consisting of the five merk land of Smythston and others, lying in the barony of Lenzie, to her brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Fleming, and received from him an acknowledgment that the same would be redeemable in the manner therein described. The family afterwards obtained a situation for Storry in the custom-house. The elopement and marriage of this pair made a great noise at the time, and gave rise to a ballad, of which the following is the principal portion :—

The Erie o’ Wigtoun had three daughters,
O braw wallie they were bonnie;
The youngest o’ them, and the bonniest too,
Has fa’en in love wi’ Ritchie Storrie.
Here’s a letter for ye, Madame,
Here’s a letter for ye, Madame,
The Earl o’ Home wad fain presume,
To be a suitor to ye, Madame.”
I'll hae nane o’ your letter, Ritchie,
I’ll hae nane o’ your letter, Ritchie ;
For I hae made a vow, and I’ll keep it true,
That I’ll hae nane but you, Ritchie.”

O do not say so, Madame,
O do not say so, Madame,
For I hae neither land nor rent,
For to maintain you wi’, Madame.
Ribands ye maun wear, Madame,
Ribands ye maun wear, Madame ;
Wi’ bands about your bonnie neck,
O’ the goud that shines sae clear, Madame.”

Fair Powmoodie is a’ my ain,
And goud and pearlins, too, Ritchie ;
Gin ye’ll consent to be my ain,
I’ll gie them a’ to you, Ritchie.”

O he’s gane on the braid braid road,
And she’s gone through the broom so bonnie.
Her siller robes doun to her heels,
And she’s awa* wi’ Ritchie Storrie.
The lady gaed up the Parliament stairs,
Wi’ pendles in her lug sae bonnie;
Mony a lord lifted his hat,
But little wist they she was Ritchie’s lady.
Up then spak the Earl Home’s lady,—

“Wasna ye richt sorrie, Lillie,
To leave the lands o' bonnie Cumernald,
And follow Ritchie Storrie, Lillie?’
“ O’ what need I be sorrie, Madame,
O’ what need I be sorrief Madame?
For I’ve got them that I like best.
And war ordained for me, Madame."

John Fleming, eldest son of the last earl, succeeded as fourth earl to the title and estates; but he had only inherited them three years when he died, in 1668. Of his history little is known. He married Ann, daughter of Henry, Lord Kdr, by whom he had a daughter, Jane, who became the wife of George Maule, Lord Panmure.

William, fifth Earl, brother of the last lord, succeeded him, being an ensign in DalzieFs company of foot. He married Henrietta, a daughter of Charles Seton, Earl of Dunfermline; and Charles II. created him Sheriff of Dumbartonshire, Governor of Dumbarton Castle, and a member of the Privy Council. He does not figure prominently, however, in the transactions of the period, and seems to have been of a rather methodical and retiring disposition. His household book, a ponderous volume with iron clasps, is still preserved, and in it the daily expenses of the family are recorded and regularly certified for some time by his sister Margaret, after her death by himself, and after his marriage by his wife. The “kain hens” delivered by his tenants, and the sheep and cattle taken from the forest of Cumbernauld, are all regularly entered. Earl William died 8th April, 1681, and John, sixth earl, succeeded him.

He was a decided Royalist, and had no sypnpathy with the Covenanters. When William, Prince of Orange, landed in England, he took no part in the general rejoicing, but remained sulkily at Cumbernauld. He was opposed to the union with England; and at the Earl of Mar’s rebellion was summoned, along with about fifty other Scotsmen of note, to appear at Edinburgh and give bail for their loyal behaviour; but only two out of the whole number complied. Fleming and the rest were accordingly declared rebels, and 44 put to the horn.” Earl John was apprehended on a warrant and incarcerated in Edinburgh Castle, but was released after ten months’ captivity.

His only daughter, Clementina, having in 1735 married Charles Elphinstone, son of Charles, ninth Lord Elphin-stone, he resolved that his own title should not in the future be merged into or identified with any other title. He therefore executed a new deed of entail, which provided that the heir to succeed should be obliged to assume and bear the title, name, arms, and designation of Lord or Baron Fleming, and no other; and that when any heir other than the heir-male of himself or his brother should succeed, or have a right to succeed to the estates of Biggar and Cumbernauld, and should also succeed or have a right to succeed to the title and dignity of another peerage, then in that case, and so soon as it should happen, he was bound to denude himself of the estates, and that they should go to the next heir, who should assume the name of Fleming.

The earl died on 10th February, 1742, in the 71st year of his age, and was succeeded by his brother Charles, seventh and last Earl of Wigton, of whom nothing of importance is known, and who died unmarried in 1747. The estates went to his niece, Clementina, and the title became extinct.

Lady Clementina Fleming, now Lady Elphinstone, became thus possessor of Biggar and Cumbernauld estates. Her husband, on the death of his father in 1757, became tenth Lord Elphinstone; and they had four sons and several daughters.

The eldest son, John, who was born in 1739, succeeded his father as eleventh Lord Elphinstone in 1781, and died at Cumbernauld House, 19th August, 1794. His mother, the venerable Lady Clementina, died in London, 1st January, 1799, in the eightieth year of her age, and was buried in Biggar kirk. Thus ended the last representative of the illustrious line of Wigton.

Lady Clementina’s grandson became twelfth Lord Elphinstone. His brother Charles, who was bom in 1774, entered the naval service, attained the rank of captain in 1794, and rose to the rank of admiral; he also held the important office of governor of Greenwich Hospital.

In virtue of the entail executed by John, Earl of Wigton, in 1741, already stated, Charles laid claim to «the estates of Biggar and Cumbernauld. This was resisted by his elder brother, Lord Elphinstone; but the Court of Session, on 19th January, 1804, decerned in favour of Charles—a decision which was afterwards confirmed by the House of Lords—and he consequently assumed the name of Fleming, and took possession of the estates. He represented Stirlingshire in Parliament for some time, and in 1816 married Donna Catalina Paulina Alessandro, a Spanish lady, by whom he had one son and three daughters. Admiral Fleming was held in high respect by his friends and tenants, and his memory is still cherished in Cumbernauld. He died on 30th October, 1840, and was succeeded by his son John, who was born nth December, 1819.

John Elphinstone Fleming entered the army and served for some time in the 17th Lancers. At the close of his active military career, he was in command of the 2nd Light Dragoons of the German Legion, and held the rank of lieutenant-colonel. On 19th July, i860, he succeeded his cousin John5 as fourteenth Lord Elphinstone, but only enjoyed his elevation a few months, as he died on 13th January, 1861, at Bournemouth.

After his lordship’s death an attempt was made to attach the Cumbernauld estates in payment of his debts. His sister Clementina, who, in 1845, had married Viscount Hawarden, an Irish peer; raised an action of declarator in the Court of Session to have it found that the entails were valid and effectual, and in consequence that the estates could not be alienated by the deceased or attached by his trustee. It was unanimously decided by the Second Division of the Court in February, 1866, that Lady Hawarden, in virtue of the terms of the entail, had a right to succeed to the estates at the time John Fleming succeeded to the peerage as Lord Elphinstone, and that Mr. George Dunlop, of Gogar House, Edinburgh, who had in 1854 received a disposition of the Cumbernauld estates from John Fleming, in security for money advanced to him, had no right to the rents or profits of that estate after John Fleming had succeeded to the peerage. The trustee on Lord Elphinstone’s estate afterwards carried the case by appeal to the House of Lords, but their lordships confirmed the decision of the court below.

Viscountess Hawarden died in 1866, and her son, Cornwallis, who was born in 1852, succeeded to the Cumbernauld estates, and consequently assumed the name of Fleming.

“On 30th April, 1867, the young heir and his father visited Cumbernauld for the first time. They were received at Castlecary station by the tenantry on the Cumbernauld estate; by a company of volunteers under the command of Captain Watson; and a large assemblage of the inhabitants of the district; and escorted to Cumbernauld House, where an address was presented to the young landlord by Rev. Mr. Park, parish minister, to which he and his father, Lord Hawarden, made suitable reply. The tenants and a number of friends were afterwards entertained to dinner in the dining hall of Cumbernauld House, and the greatest joy and satisfaction were manifested that the estate was still to remain in possession of a descendant of the old race of Fleming.”

The Hon. Cornwallis Fleming afterwards entered the army, and while serving as a volunteer was killed in battle at Majuba Hill, 27th February, 1881—a fitting death for the last representative of the companions-in-arms of King Robert the Bruce.

It is pleasant to record that he was a young man of amiable disposition and of high spirit and courage worthy of his ancestors. He was held in much esteem by his friends and tenants, and by all who came into contact with him.

A handsome tablet of white marble is erected to his memory in the church of Dundrum, Cashel, County Tipperary, his native place. The following is a copy of the inscription:—

Sacred to the Memory of
The Honourable Cornwallis Maude,
ONLY SON OF
Cornwallis, Fourth Viscount Hawarden,

Captain in the Reserve of Officers, and Formerly Lieutenant, and Captain in Her Majesty's Grenadier Guards, Who, being in South Africa, Volunteered for Service in the Field, and While attached to the 58TH Regiment, fell in action on the Majuba Mountain,

February 27TH, 1881, in the 29TH Year of his Age.

HIS REMAINS ARE INTERRED ON THE SPOT WHERE HE FELL AS A TRIBUTE OF AFFECTION AND ESTEEM, AND TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF ONE WHO ENDEARED HIMSELF TO ALL WITH WHOM HE CAME IN CONTACT.

BY A NUMBER OF HIS FRIENDS WHO, HAD IT PLEASED GOD TO SPARE HIS LIFE, LOOKED FORWARD WITH CONFIDENCE TO A CAREER OF USEFULNESS ON HIS PART* AND WHO NOW DEPLORE HIS LOSS FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY.

The interesting historical estate of Cumbernauld was sold in 1875 to John William Burns, Esq. of Kilmahew, for ;£ 160,000. As exposed for sale, the property was stated to consist of 3,807 imperial acres, 2,833 being arable, and the remainder plantations or rough pasture. The rental was put down at ^4,692, and the public and parochial burdens at ^421. The mansion house, built from designs by Adams in 1731, was destroyed by fire, with the exception of the walls, on the evening of 16th March, 187*7, but was restored to something like its former state.

The Cumbernauld estates included the properties of Wigton or Duntiblae, Biggar, and Cumbernauld, embracing all the superiorities of the parishes of Biggar, Denny, Kirkintilloch, and Cumbernauld, with the patronage of their churches. The superiorities carry the whole minerals of nearly all Cumbernauld parish, of several estates in Kirkintilloch, and of coal within the barony of Her-bertshire.

We have now traced the rise and progress of the Flemings, and also, we fear, taxed the reader’s patience; but the account of their decay will not take long—indeed, we have no means of giving it in detail.

As regards their lands in Kirkintilloch parish, the process of dismemberment had no doubt gone on for hundreds of years. Portions of land were from time to time given off in forming establishments for the younger branches or connections of the family; in supplying the enlarged expenses required by those new modes of life which have been introduced in the progress of society; and possibly in feeding reckless extravagance. The remainder of it was sold off in 1757, and nothing was in possession of the last heir but inconsiderable feu-duties, and some other casualties of feudal superiority.

We shall now proceed to show how the present parishes of Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld became separated and defined.


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