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The Scottish Nation

CRAIK, an old surname found in the Ragman Roll. Nisbet remarks that it seems to be a south country name. In the stewartry of Kirkcudbright there is a family of the surname of Craik who possess the estate of Arbigland, bought in 1722 by the ancestor of the present proprietor, from the earl of Southesk, for twenty-two thousand merks. The son of the first Craik of Arbigland died in 1735, and his son, William Craik, Esq., was one of the most successful agriculturists of his day. In his younger years he employed his time in the grazing of cattle, and was the first who undertook to improve the soil in the south of Scotland. Arbigland was then in its natural state, very much covered with whins and brooms, and yielding little rent, being only about three thousand merks a-year (eighteen merks make one pound sterling). The estate is in the parish of Kirkbean, the church of which was built in 1776, according to a plan of William Craik, Esq., then of Arbigland.

      Mr. George L. Craik, M.A., for a long time connected with Mr. Charles Knight, the London publisher, as editor of some of his publications, and elected in 1849 professor of History and English literature in Queen’s College, Belfast, a native of Dumfries-shire, may be of the same family.

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