a surname derived from the city of Durham in the north of England. The
first of the name in Scotland took root here in the early part of the
In the reign
of Robert the Bruce, Sir William Durham, a distinguished knight, had a
grant, in 1322, from that monarch of the lands of Grange, afterwards
called Grange-Durham, in Forfarshire.
of this Sir William, John Durham, (second son of Alexander Durham of
Grange, living in 1525) having realized a fortune by engaging in
commercial pursuits, acquired the lands of Pitkerrow, Omachie, &c. His
great grandson, Sir James Durham, was knighted by King Charles the
First. His son, Sir James Durham of Pitkerrow, an eminent lawyer, was by
the same monarch appointed clerk of the Exchequer, and director of the
Rolls, from which offices he was removed during Cromwells time, but at
the Restoration was reinstated in them, when he received the honour of
knighthood from Charles the Second. His third son, Sir Alexander Durham,
for his services in the royal cause, was knighted by Charles the Second,
and constituted lord lyon king at arms. He died unmarried, when he
bequeathed the lands of Largo, which he had acquired by purchase, to his
nephew Francis, the son of his eldest brother, James of Pitkerrow, one
of the ministers of Glasgow, a memoir of whom is given below. The estate
of Largo formerly belonged to the famous admiral Sir Andrew Wood, who
received a grant of it from James the Third in 1483, and it continued in
possession of his descendants till the time of Charles the First. After
the restoration it was purchased by Sir Alexander Durham, lord lyon.
named Francis was succeeded by his brother, James Durham, Esq. of Largo,
who married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Rutherford, of Hunthill.
This lady, on failure of issue male of her father and brother, became
heir of line to the title and honours of Lord Rutherford, in the peerage
of Scotland, dormant since the death of Robert, the fourth baron, in
1724. Her descendant, Admiral Sir Philip Charles Durham, quartered the
arms of Rutherford with his own, and the family claims the peerage of
Rutherford. [See RUTHERFORD, Lord.]
Of this family
was General James Durham of Largo, born January 14, 1754, who served in
the army no less than seventy years, having entered as a cornet in the
second dragoon guards, June 22, 1769. On the 21st of
September 1794 he received the brevet of major; and, having raised the
Fifeshire Fencibles, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of that corps,
October 23, 1794. From March 1804 to December 1808, he acted as
brigadier and major-general in 1813, and that of general in 1830. He
died February 6, 1840. He was twice married, but having no issue, was
succeeded in his estates by his brother, Admiral Sir Philip Charles
entered the navy at an early age, and soon distinguishing himself, was
rapidly promoted. In 1782, he joined the Royal George as lieutenant, and
on the 29th August of that year, when that vessel sunk at
Spithead, he was one of the four lieutenants who were saved. He
subsequently commanded the Spitfire, the Anson, and the Defiance, in
which last he was at the battle of Trafalgar, where he was wounded. For
his services in this engagement, as well as in the West Indies, he was
made a G.C.B., and towards the conclusion of the war was appointed
commander-in-chief of the Leeward Islands. He represented Queenborough
in 1830, and Devizes in 1837. He was twice married, first to Lady
Charlotte Bruce, daughter of the fifth earl of Elgin, and secondly to
Anne, only daughter and heir of the late Sir John Henderson of Fordel,
Fifeshire. He died April 2, 1845.
The Durhams of
Duntarvie, and those of Luffness, are branches of the same stock.
a distinguished minister of the Church of Scotland, eldest son of John
Durham, Esq. of Easter Powrie, now called Wedderburn, in Forfarshire,
and descended from the ancient family of Grange Durham, was born about
1622. He was educated at the university of St. Andrews, which he left
without taking a degree, having then no design of following any of the
learned professions. He married, early in life, a daughter of Durham of
Duntarvie, and lived for some time on his estate as a country gentleman;
but being with his lady on a visit to his mother-in-law at the
Queensferry, he was induced to hear a sermon preached by Mr. Ephraim
Melvine, and became deeply impressed with religious feelings. In the
civil wars he served as a captain, under his brother Sir Alexander
Durham, but was so much affected by two remarkable deliverances which he
had in an action with the English, that, encouraged by the celebrated
Mr. David Dickson, he determined to devote himself to the ministry, and
accordingly studied divinity under Mr. Dickson at the university of
Glasgow. In 1647 he was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Irvine;
and in November of that year, he was ordained minister of the
Blackfriars church, Glasgow, where he became one of the most popular
preachers of his time. In 1650, on Mr. Dickson becoming professor of
divinity at Edinburgh, Mr. Durham was chosen to succeed him at Glasgow;
but before he was admitted to the chair, the General Assembly appointed
him chaplain to Charles the Second, a situation which he held till after
the kings defeat at Worcester. In 1651, when Cromwell and his army were
at Glasgow, the Protector, we are told, came unexpectedly on a Sunday
afternoon to the outer High Church, while Mr. Durham was preaching, and
the latter, availing himself of the opportunity, upbraided the usurper
to his face for having invaded the country. Next day Cromwell sent for
him, and told him he thought he had been a wiser man than to meddle with
public affairs in his sermons. Mr. Durham answered, that it was not his
common practice, but that he judged it both wisdom and prudence to speak
his mind on the occasion, seeing that he had the opportunity of doing it
in his own hearing. Cromwell dismissed him with a caution, but met with
so many similar instances of reproof from the Glasgow clergy, that he
deemed it expedient not to adopt any more severe course against any of
them. On the death of Mr. Robert Ramsay in the same year, Mr. Durham
succeeded him as one of the ministers of the inner High Church, his
colleague being Mr. John Carstairs, his brother-in-law by his second
marriage, having married Carstairs sister, the widow of the famous
Zachary Boyd. His incessant labours and severe study brought on a
premature decay of his constitution, and, after some months
confinement, he died June 25, 1658, at the early age of 36. He was the
author of some religious works, sermons, and tracts, a list of which is
Testament to the Church of Scotland, or a Treatise concerning Scandal.
1659, 8vo. Edin. 1680, 12mo.
the Book of Job. Glasgow, 1659, 12mo.
upon the Book of the Revelation. Amst. 1660, Edin. 1680, 4to.
62 Sermons on
Isaiah, liii. Edin. 1683, 4to. 1723. fol.
or an Exposition of the Song of Solomon. Lond. 1669, 4to.
Unsealed; or an Exposition of the Ten Commandments. Lond. 1675, 4to.
Edin. 1676, 8vo.
Unsearchable Riches of Christ, and of Grace and Glory in and through
Him. Glasg. 1685, 12mo.
of the Song of Solomon. Glas. 1688, 4to.
Earth, in the Serene Tranquility of a Good Conscience, in several
Sermons. Edin. 1685, 12mo.