Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

The Scottish Nation

LOGAN, 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 king’s 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 man’s 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 Edinburgh.

      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 Logan’s 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. Logan’s reward was to have been the earl’s 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 man’s 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 wit’s 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 God’s sake he would let bee, and not trouble himself with the laird’s 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, Logan’s 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 Pitcairn’s 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 M’Raes, 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 M’Lennans (see MACLENNAN).

      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.

LOGAN, JAMES, 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. Godfrey’s Improvement of Davis’ Quadrant, transferred to the Mariner’s 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.

LOGAN. GEORGE, 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 latter’s edition of Buchanan’s 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. 1748, 8vo.

      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.

LOGAN, JOHN, 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 Assembly’s committee for revising the psalmody of the Church, and was the author of several of the paraphrases in the Assembly’s 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. Mary’s 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, 8vo.

      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 perspiecuity.

      A Review of the Principal Charges against Warren Hastings, Esq., late Governor General of Bengal. Lond. 1788.

Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus