a surname, from holiday, originally belonging to a border clan settled
in Annandale, but for more than six centuries common on both sides of
the Solway. When a plundering excursion on the English border was
determined upon, “a holiday” was the slogan or gathering cry of the
Annandale mosstroopers, and the small hill where they were accustomed
to assemble on such occasions, still retains the name of the “Halliday
hill.” The chieftain who first assumed, or to whom was first given,
the surname of Halliday, had his castle or strong tower at Corehead,
ear the source of the river Annan, and about three miles from the
village of Moffat, celebrated for its medicinal waters. In the time of
the Crusades, of the five thousand men wh were sent by William the
Lion, under his brother the earl of Huntingdon, to the assistance of
Richard the Lion-heart in Palestine, one thousand were from Annandale,
and nearly all of them Hallidays. Several persons of this surname
subsequently settled in England, chiefly, at first, in Wiltshire and
Somersetshire. In 1435 Thomas Halliday of Pontefract commanded five
hundred archers in Sir John Shirley’s division of the English army at
the battle of Agincourt. In 1470, Walter Halliday, called “The
Minstrel,” a younger son of the Annandale chieftain, was master of the
Revels to Edward the fourth. It was no unusual thing for a mosstrooper
to find his way at court. George Armstrong, of the same family as
Willie Armstrong, hanged by King James the Fifth, was the celebrated
court fool of King James the Sixth. Walter the Minstrel was the first
of the Hallidays of Rodborough in Gloucestershire, to which family the
learned Baron Halliday belonged. In 1605, Sir Leonard Halliday
(knighted by King James) was lord mayor of London. The first chairman
of the united East India Company was William Halliday, merchant and
alderman of London, who died in 1623.
Scottish line failed in the fifteenth century. Walter the Minstrel’s
great-grandson, Theolbald Halliday, married in Holland a Miss Hay,
heiress of Tulliebole, Fifeshire, only daughter of Colonel Hay, in the
Dutch service, and at her death, their son, Sir John Halliday,
inherited that estate. In the youthful days of James the Sixth, during
the progress of the court from Stirling to Falkland, that monarch
often slept at Tulliebole house, midway on the journey, and, on one of
these occasions, he is said to have knighted the laird. In 1722,
Catherine Halliday, daughter and heiress of John Halliday of
Tulliebole, the descendant of this Sir John Halliday, married the Rev.
Archibald Moncrieffe, who obtained the estate of Tulliebole in her
right. Her great-grandson, Sir James Wellwood Moncrieffe, baronet, of
Tulliebole, a lord of session, died in 1851. Sir John’s second son,
William Halliday, provost of Dumfries, and one of its representatives
in parliament, had the honour of entertaining King James the Sixth at
his house in that royal burgh, after his accession to the crown of
England, on his last visit to Scotland. One of the provost’s sons,
Thomas Halliday, who had gone to England, returned in 1679, in the
army of the duke of Monmouth, sent to suppress the Covenanters, but
left the king’s service on finding that all his kinsmen were on their
side. Among those who suffered in Galloway in the persecutions of the
seventeenth century, were several of the name of Halliday,
particularly David Halliday, portioner of Mayfield, who, on 21st
February 1685, was, with Bell of Whiteside, and three others,
surprised by Grierson of Lag on Kirkconnell Muir, parish of Tongland,
and barbarously shot on the spot, ‘without so much as allowing them to
pray, though earnestly desired’ [Wodrow’s Hist. Vol. iv. p.
242.] Another David Halliday, once in Glengape, was also shot, on 11th
July following. By his marriage with Miss Wright, an heiress of the
Four Towns, Thomas Halliday acquired some property at Berngaw,
Annandale, which became the title of the family. His second son, Simon
Halliday, acquired the lands of Whinnyrig, on the banks of the Solway
Firth, and his descendants still bear that designation.
Halliday, the elder son of the provost of Dumfries, inherited Berngaw,
and on his decease in 1745, he was succeeded by his son, Thomas
Halliday of Berngaw, who married Margaret, daughter of Archibald
Porteous, portioner of the Copewood. He died in 1804, leaving an only
surviving son, Sir Andrew Halliday, a memoir of whom follows. Sir
Andrew married Helen, daughter of Peter Carmichael, Esq., merchant in
an eminent physician, was born in Dumfries-shire in 1783. He was
educated for the church, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the
parish school of Duncow, Dumfries-shire. He afterwards changed the
clerical for the medical profession. Like his dalesman and friend,
Telford the engineer, he was of reduced parentage, though of good and
ancient blood, being a descendant of that brave “Thom Halliday, my
sister’s son so dear,’ spoken of by the renowned Sir William Wallace.
After finishing his studies, he travelled through Russia and Tartary,
and subsequently settled at Halesworth, near Birmingham, where, having
taken his degree of M.D. at Edinburgh, he for some time pursued the
practice of medicine. He afterwards served on the staff of the army,
both in Portugal and Spain, as surgeon to the forces, was at the
assault of Bergen-op-Zoom, and at the battle of Waterloo. He was
subsequently appointed domestic physician to the duke of Clarence, and
was knighted by George the Fourth shortly after his accession to the
history and antiquities, the poetry and traditions of his native land,
Sir Andrew was familiarly acquainted. He possessed a vast fund of
general information, with a fine taste in literature, and in natural
philosophy, as his ‘History of the House of Hanover,’ published in
1826, and his ‘Account of the West India Islands,’ which came out in
1837, sufficiently testify. In November 1833 he was appointed
inspector of army hospitals in the West Indies, from whence he
returned in 1836. He had early turned his attention to the sad and
neglected state of the insane poor in Great Britain and Ireland, with
the benevolent view of leading to an amelioration of their condition,
and his representations and communications to the public, and to
persons in power, on the subject, some of which were anonymous, were
so appalling, and found to be so true, that they procured the
appointment of the select committee of the House of Commons of 1806-7.
He died at Dumfries, September 7, 1839. He was a fellow of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh and Gottingen, and a member of several other
learned and scientific institutions. – His works are:
on Emphysema, or the Disease which arises from the diffusion of Air
into the Cavity of the Thorax. 1807.
the present state of the Lunatic Asylums in Ireland. 1808.
on the Fifth Report of the Commissioners of Military Enquiry. 1809.
on the present state of the Portuguese Army. 1811, 4to. Second
edition, with additions. 1812, 8vo.
of Professor Franck’s Exposition of the Causes of Diseases. 1813, 8vo.
the Campaign of 1815. Paris, 1816.
Lord Binning on the State of Lunatic Asylums, &c., in Scotland. Edin.
History of the House of Guelph, to the Accession of George I. London,
the House of Hanover. 1826, 2 vols. A well-arranged and judicious
View of the present state of Lunatics and Lunatic Asylums in Great
Britain and Ireland. 1828.
A Letter to
Lord Robert Seymour, with a Report of the Number of Lunatics and
Idiots in England and Wales. 1829.
Indies: The Natural and Physical History of the Windward and Leeward
Islands. With some account of the Moral, Social, and Political
Condition of their Inhabitants immediately before and after the
abolition of Negro Slavery. London, 1837, 8vo.
A Letter to
the Secretary at War on Sickness and Mortality in the West Indies.
collected materials for writing an Account of the Chief Campaigns of
Wellington, in which he himself was present; but his death prevented
him from carrying his intention into execution.