a surname derived from a word signifying a low-lying or flat
country. Logan in Ayrshire and Laggan in Inverness-shire are but
different forms of the same word. This surname is very ancient in
Scotland. Dominus Robertus de Logan is mentioned in a charter in the
12th year of the reign of Alexander II., and Thomas de
Logan is witness in one of John de Strathern in 1278.
Among the Scots barons who in 1296 swore allegiance to Edward
I. of England was Walter Logan in Lanarkshire. Several others of the
same name also swore fealty to him, and one of them, Sir Allan
Logan, knight, was compelled by that monarch to serve during his
wars in Guienne. In 1306, Dominus Walterus Logan, having been, with
many others, taken prisoner, was hanged at Durham, in presence of
Edward of Carnarvon, the kings son, afterwards Edward II. In 1329,
Sir Robert Logan was in the train of barons who accompanied the good
Sir James Douglas, with the heart of Bruce, on his way to the Holy
Land, on which account the Logans bear a mans heart in their arms.
In the battle with the Moors in Spain, in which Douglas lost his
life, in attempting the rescue of their friend Lord Sinclair, both
Sir Robert Seton and Sir Walter Logan were slain.
The principal family of the name was designed of Lastalrig or
Restalrig, commonly called Lasterrick, a barony lying between
Edinburgh and the sea, on which the greater part of South Leith is
now erected. They obtained possession of these lands by marriage
during the reign of Robert I., and soon attained to such a height of
power and influence that Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig married a
daughter of King Robert II. by his wife, Euphemia Ross.
On 31st May 1398, Sir Robert Logan, who, two years
afterwards, was appointed admiral of Scotland, granted to the town
of Edinburgh by charter of right to waste lands in the vicinity of
the harbour of Leith, for the erection of quays and wharfs, and for
the loading of goods, and a liberty to have shops and granaries
erected, and to make roads through his barony. In February 1413, he
granted it another charter, restraining the inhabitants of Leith
from carrying on any sort of trade, from possessing warehouses or
shops, and from keeping inns or houses of entertainment for
strangers, thus placing the port of Leith entirely under the
government and control of Edinburgh. In 1424, he was one of the
hostages given on the liberation of James I. His son, or grandson,
John Logan of Restalrig, was in 1444 made principal sheriff of
Edinburgh by King James II. In 1555, Logan of Restalrig sold the
superiority of the town of Leith to the queen regent, Mary of
Lorraine. some of the Logans of Restalrig were lord provosts of
The last of the family who possessed the barony was Robert
Logan of Restalrig, a scheming and profligate personage, described
by one of his contemporaries as ane godles, drunkin, and deboshit
man, and by Sir Walter Scott, as one of the darkest characters of
that dark age, whose name in connexion with the Gowrie conspiracy
is well known. By his marriage about 1580 with a daughter of Sir
Patrick Home of Fast castle in Berwickshire, he became proprietor of
that fortress and the land adjoining, with the estate of Gunsgreen,
in the same county. He gave the turbulent earl of Bothwell harbour
in his gloomy stronghold of Fast castle, when proscribed by the
general voice of the nation. There he also shut himself up, in June
1596, when outlawed for having refused to stand trial on a charge of
highway robbery. By a very singular contract (preserved in the
charter chest of Lord Napier) entered into in July 1594, between
Logan and Napier of Merchiston, the celebrated inventor of the
Logarithums, the latter bound himself to use all craft and engyne
to discover a treasure alleged to have been hidden within Logans
dwelling of Fast castle, and for his reward he was to have the exact
third of what was found, and to be safely guarded by Logan back to
Edinburgh. And in case he should find nothing, he referred the
satisfaction of his travel and pains to the discretion of Logan.
That Napier had reason to repent of his agreement with the
unprincipled character he had leagued himself with appears from the
terms of a lease granted by him the same year, by which his tenant
is prohibited from subletting his land to any one who should bear
the surname of Logan.
Besides his other possessions, the laird of Restalrig was
proprietor of a considerable part of the estate of Auchencraw, in
Berwickshire. In 1596 he sold his estate of Nether Gogar, near
Edinburgh, to Andrew Logan of Coalfield, and in 1604 his barony of
Restalrig to Lord Balmerino.
His correspondence with the earl of Gowrie commenced in July
1600. The supposed intention of the conspirators was to have
conveyed the king, after his seizure, into a boat on the Tay, at the
bottom of the garden of Gowrie House, and to conduct him by sea to
captivity in Fast castle. Logans reward was to have been the earls
lands of Dirleton in East Lothian, which he accounted to be the
pleasantest dwelling in all Scotland, as he states in one of his
letters to John Bour, called Laird Bour, the individual through whom
the correspondence passed between the parties. Logan died in 1606,
and two years afterwards, one George Sprott, a notary public of
Eyemouth, was apprehended for being privy to the Gowrie conspiracy,
when several letters of Logan, which had been found in his house,
were produced in evidence against him. From this mans confessions
it appears that, one day in the month of July preceding the failure
of the plot, while he was in Fast castle, he heard Logan read a
letter to Bour, which the latter had brought from the earl of
Gowrie, when Bour said, Sir, if ye think to make any commoditie by
this dealing, lay your hand to your heart. Logan answered that he
would do as he thought best, and added, Howbeit he should sell all
his owne land that he had in the world, he would passe thorow with
the earl of Gowrie; for that matter would give him greater
contentment nor if he had the whole kingdome; and rather or hee
should falsifie his promise, and recall his vow that he had vowed to
the earl of Gowrie, he should spend all that he had in the world,
and hazard his life with his lordship. Bour replied, You may do as
you please, Sir, but it is not my counsell, that you should be so
sudden in that other matter. But for the condition of Dirleton, I
would like very well of it. Content yourself, said Logan, I am
at my wits end. Soon afterwards, in a fatal hour for himself,
Sprott questioned Bour on the subject. The latter informed him he
believed that his master should get Dirleton without either golde
or silver, but that he feared it should be as deare unto him; and
on Sprott inquiring how that could be, he added, they had another
pie in hand nor the selling of any land; but begged him that for
Gods sake he would let bee, and not trouble himself with the
lairds business; for he feared, within a few days, the laird would
either be landless or lifeless. The letters were afterwards given
by Bour to Sprott for safekeeping. About Christmas 1602, Bour
informed Logan that he had been so rash as to show them to him, when
he was so much alarmed as to offer sprott a bribe of twelve pounds
to remain silent on the subject, which was accepted. Sprott was
executed 12th August 1608; and in accordance with an
ancient usage of the criminal law of Scotland, Logans bones were
exhumed from his grave, and exhibited in court, when the sentence of
forfeiture was pronounced against him, and in consequence Fast
castle, Gunsgreen, and his other estates were lost to his family.
The earl of Dunbar got most of his lands. His letters to the earl of
Gowrie and his brother have been published in Pitcairns Criminal
Trials. Logan, in his Clans, vol. ii, says that the forfeiture was
accompanied by proscription of the name, so that, as in the case of
the clan Gregor, it was illegal for any one to bear the surname of
Logan, and that many families took other names.
Logan mentions a Celtic clan of the name in Easter Ross-shire,
one of the chiefs of which, called Gilliegorm, from his dark
complexion, married a relative of Lord Lovat, but having had a
disagreement with the Frasers, the second Lord Lovat, being joined
by some of the MRaes, marched with his clan from the Aird, when a
sanguinary battle took place, in the muir above Kessock, where Logan
was slain with most part of his clansmen. His lands were plundered,
and his wife carried off. A son, of which she was soon after
delivered, being weakly and deformed, was allowed to live, and was
called Crotach or the Humpbacked. Being educated by the monks of
Beauly, he took holy orders, and founded the churches of Kilmuir in
Skye and Kilichrinan in Glenelg. He seems, says Logan, to have had a
dispensation to marry, for he left several children, one of whom,
according to a common practice, became a devotee of Finan, a popular
Highland saint, and was the progenitor of the MLennans (see
The last Logan of Logan in Ayrshire, was celebrated for his
wit and eccentricity, and an amusing work called The Laird of
Logan, was published, soon after his death, in Glasgow, being a
compilation of anecdotes and puns, only a small portion of which he
could have given utterance to. He left an only daughter, who married
a Mr. Campbell.
The Logan water in Lanarkshire has been celebrated in song by
many Scottish poets, particularly by Mr. John Mayne and Burns.
a Quaker of some eminence as a scholar, was born in Scotland about
1674. He accompanied William Penn in his last voyage to
Pennsylvania, where, for many years, he was employed in public
business, and became chief justice and governor of the province. He
wrote several scientific treatises in Latin, a list of which is
subjoined. One of these, on the Generation of Plants, was translated
into English by Dr. Fothergill, and published at London in 1747. In
his latter years he lived in retirement at his country seat, near
Germantown, where he carried on a correspondence with some of the
most distinguished literary men in Europe. He died in 1751, leaving
his library to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania. His works are:
Experimenta et Meletemata circa Plantarum Generationem. Lugd.
B. 1739, 8vo. In English. Lond. 1747, 1748.
An Account of Mr. T. Godfreys Improvement of Davis Quadrant,
transferred to the Mariners bow. Phil. Trans. Abr. vii. 669. 1734.
On the Crooked and Angular Appearance of Lightning in Thunder
Storms. Ib 68.
On the apparent Increased Magnitude of the Sun and Moon when
near the horizon. Ib. 112.
This author also made a Version of Cicero de Senectute, which
was published, with Notes, by Dr. Franklin.
a popular preacher and controversialist, was born in 1698. He is
conjectured to have been the son of George Logan, a descendant of
the Ayrshire family of Logan of Logan, by his wife, the daughter of
the Rev. Mr. Cunningham, minister of Old Cumnock. He was educated
for the church at the university of Glasgow, where he obtained the
degree of M.A. in 1696. In 1702 he was licensed to preach, and in
April 1707 he was ordained minister of the parish of Lauder. In
January 1719 he was translated to the parish of Sprouston, near
Kelso. His high reputation as a preacher next procured him an
invitation from Dunbar, of which place he was inducted minister in
January 1722, and in December 1732 he was admitted one of the
ministers of Edinburgh. In May 1740 he was chosen moderator of the
General Assembly which deposed Ebenezer Erskine and other ministers,
a proceeding that gave rise to the Secession. During the rebellion
of 1745, while the Highlanders had possession of Edinburgh, Logan,
with most of the city clergy, quitted the town, and his house,
situated near the Castlehill, was occupied by the rebels as a
guardhouse. He afterwards entered into a tedious and unpleasant
controversy with Mr. Thomas Ruddiman, relative to the hereditary
right of the Stuart race of kings, and the legitimacy of Robert
III., arising out of the latters edition of Buchanans works. Logan
died October 13, 1755. His works are:
Treatise on the Right of Electing Ministers. 1732.
A Treatise on Government; showing that the Right of the Kings
of Scotland to the Crown was not strictly and absolutely hereditary.
Edin. 1746, 8vo.
A second Treatise on Government; showing that the right to the
Crown of Scotland was not hereditary in the sense of the Jacobites.
Edin. 1747, 8vo.
The Finishing Stroke; or, Mr. Ruddiman self-condemned. Edin.
The Finishing Stroke; or, Mr. Ruddiman more self-condemned;
demonstrating that the right to the Crown of Scotland was not
hereditary in a strict sense, from the succession of Robert III.,
begotten and born out of lawful marriage. Edin. 1748, 8vo.
The doctrine of the Jure-divino-ship of Hereditary
Indefeasible monarchy enquired into, and exploded, in a Letter to
Mr. Thomas Ruddiman. Edin. 1749, 8vo.
A second Letter vindicating the celebrated Mr. Alexander
Henderson from the aspersions of Sage, Ruddiman, &c. Edin. 1749.
A Dissertation on Governments, Manners, &c. 1787, 4to.
an eminent poet, was born at Soutra, in the parish of Fala,
Mid-Lothian, in 1748. He was the son of a small farmer, a member of
the Burgher communion, who intended him for the ministry of that
religious sect, but he himself preferred taking orders in the
Established church. Having received the early part of his education
at the parish school of Gosford, in East Lothian, he removed to the
university of edinburgh, and after completing his theological
course, he was, in 1768, on the recommendation of Dr. Blair, engaged
by Mr. Sinclair of Elbster as tutor to his eldest son, afterwards
the celebrated Sir John Sinclair, baronet. He did not, however,
remain long in this situation. In 1770 Mr. Logan edited the poetical
remains of his friend and fellow-student, Michael Bruce, and
afterwards claimed as his own some of the pieces which were
introduced into the volume.
Having been licensed by the presbytery of Edinburgh, Mr. Logan
speedily acquired popularity as a preacher, and in 1773 he was
ordained minister of the parish of South Leith. Soon after he was
appointed one of the General Assemblys committee for revising the
psalmody of the Church, and was the author of several of the
paraphrases in the Assemblys approved collection, published in
1781, and now used in public worship. In the college session 1779-80
he commenced reading a public course of lectures on the philosophy
of history, in St. Marys chapel, Edinburgh, which he continued in
the ensuing winter. He acquired so much reputation by these
lectures, that on a vacancy occurring in the professorship of civil
history in the university, he was encouraged to offer himself as a
candidate for it, but was unsuccessful, Mr. Fraser Tytler,
afterwards Lord Woodhouselee, being appointed to the chair. In 1781
he published an Analysis of that portion of his lectures which
related to ancient history, in one volume 8vo, under the title of
Elements of the Philosophy of History, and this was, in 1782,
followed by one of his lectures entire, On the Manners and
Governments of Asia. The same year he published a volume of his
poems, which had a favourable reception, and soon reached a second
edition. In 1783 he produced the Tragedy of Runnamede, which was
put in rehearsal by Mr. Harris, then manager of Covent Garden
Theatre, but the lord chamberlain refused to license it, on account
of some of its political allusions. It was afterwards acted at
Edinburgh, though with no great success.
His conduct having rendered him very unpopular with his
parishioners, he was induced to resign his charge, on receiving a
moderate annuity out of the stipend. He then went to London, and was
engaged as a contributor to the English Review, and other
periodicals. In 1788 he published, without his name, a pamphlet,
entitled A Review of the principal Charges against Mr. Warren
Hastings, which, being construed as a breach of the privileges of
the House of Commons, caused a prosecution of the publisher, Mr.
Stockdale, but the jury found a verdict in his favour. Logan died,
after a lingering illness, December 28, 1788, in the 40th
year of his age. By his will he bequeathed £600 in small legacies to
his friends, to be paid from the money realised from the sale of his
books and MSS., among which were two completed Tragedies, and the
first Act of a third, and appointed Dr. Robertson and Dr. Grant his
executors. His works are:
Poems on several occasions, by Michael Bruce. 1770. In this
edition of the Works of a youth, who died at the age of 21, the
Editor inserted several pieces of his own, without specifying them.
Elements of the Philosophy of History, part i. Edin. 1781,
Essay on the Manners and Governments. 1782.
Poems. Lond. 1781-2, 8vo. 2d edit. same year. New edit. with
his Life. 1805.
Runnamede; a Tragedy. 1783.
Sermons. Lond. 1790, 8vo. Vol. 2d. 1791, 8vo. 5th
edit. 1807. These Sermons were much admired for their elegance and
A Review of the Principal Charges against Warren Hastings,
Esq., late Governor General of Bengal. Lond. 1788.