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Borrowstounness and District
Chapter IX. Grange Estate and its Owners

1. Early History: Description of Old Grange House—2. The Hamiltons of Grange: Family Traditions: Dame Christian Forrester and the Whale: Mrs. Nimmo and Lord Forrester—3. Family History of the Cadells: William Cadell, "Merchant Burgess" of Haddington: William Cadell, Secundus: Friend of Roebuck and one of the Founders of the Carron Company—4. The Third William Cadell: Manager at Carron: Resigns in 1769 : Takes Lease of Grange Coalfield Along with his Brother John: Formation of Grange Coal Company: Extracts from Old Colliery Minute Book—5. The "Miller's Pit" Fatality and its Result—6. James John Cadell: The Second Mansion-House of Grange—7. Erection of Vitriol Work: Description of the Salt Making: Henry Cadell: Bridgeness Furnaces.


Grange estate has an area of about three hundred and fifty acres, and lies between the lands of Carriden and Kinneil. We do not find any reference to it as a separate holding until the sixteenth century. Its history before that time is bound up with that of the pre-Reformation Church and the House of Hamilton. The lands in early times were largely Church lands held by the monks, who had their domicile near Culross. Tradition says they named this district the Grange because it was used as their grange or farm. Their possession of it, of course, terminated with the Reformation. When we begin to find separate mention of Grange after this, it had in part, like Carriden, come from the Duke of Hamilton into the possession of some of the numerous cadets of that House. It was then called Grange-Hamilton.

The old mansion-house or manor-place was only recently demolished (1906), and its site at the west end of Grange Loan is still vacant. The house, according to the date over the doorway, was built in 1564, and the initials on the pediments of the windows indicated Sir John Hamilton as its first proprietor. The building1 was of simple but picturesque design, being a long parallelogram in plan, with a square projection near the centre of the south side (containing circular staircase), thus giving it the shape of the letter T. A small stair in an angle turret led to a chamber in the top storey of the staircase projection, the roof or ceiling of which was carved. The basement was vaulted, and contained the kitchen at the west end, with a large fireplace and oven, and inlet and outlet drains for water. At the east end there was a lean-to building of later date than the original house. This was used for a stable previous to the demolition. The upper floors were each divided into three rooms. Among its picturesque details were the angularly-placed and detached chimneys and the skew-putts of the crow-stepped gables. Two hundred yards to the east, on the site of part of what is now Grange Loan, was the gateway of the entrance drive, which led through an avenue of fine trees, some of which still remain. About the beginning of last century it ceased to be the residence of the lairds of Grange. From then until 1898 it was occupied as a small dairy farm. After that it was found to be dangerous as a habitation.

There was a considerable quantity of valuable coal underneath the house. This was in time worked out. The undermining was very harmful to the building for long, and at last a collapse took place on the north side. The site, on an eminence overlooking the Forth, was a most excellent one, and the house was one of the landmarks on the Admiralty Chart.


No less than five of the owners of the estate from the sixteenth century bore the name of John Hamilton, and this is at times confusing. The first mentioned is John Hamilton, designed as of Grange and 'the Bailzie of Kinneal. He appears to have occupied the post of Master Stabler to King James VI., and is evidently the "guidman of Grange" referred to in the King's letter to John, first Marquis of Hamilton, already mentioned. He was one of those who rode with the King in hot haste from Falkland to Perth on 5th August, 1600, where in the evening the King was attacked in Gowrie House. Hamilton seems to have been knighted, and lived to a long age. It is during his possession that the titles first contain reference to the town of Grange as a free Burgh of Barony. There are references in later times to the Bailie of Grange and the Bailie in Grangepans, but there is no evidence to show that any measure of autonomy or self-government was ever exercised within its bounds. The bailie's position was apparently quite a nominal one. This is doubtless accounted for by the fact that Grange estate, like that of Carriden, was included in the Regality of Borrowstounness, and would be under the jurisdiction of the Bailie of Regality there.

In 1615 James VI. granted a Signature or Warrant in favour of John Hamilton, eldest son of Sir John, on the 26th of December. The purpose of the warrant was to give John, jun., a royal charter of the lands of "Grange Philpenstane." Why this addition was now made to the territorial designation it is difficult to say authoritatively, for in the title of his father they are simply the lands of Grange. It has been suggested that Philpenstane was the revival of an old name used in the days when Grange formed part of the Church lands, and were possibly identified with some Philip. A more likely theory is that the Hamiltons interested in getting this charter were descendants of Sir James Hamilton, eldest natural son of the first Earl of Arran, whose grandson was a Robert Hamilton "of Philipstoun," in this county.

The signature, after the reference to the lands of Grange Philpenstane, continues, "with the town thereof, manor-place, houses, biggings, lands, orchards, and mills; also the salt pans thereupon and the coals great and small." These lands, it is narrated, had at one time been held by James Lord, Colville of Culross, immediately under his Sovereign, and were resigned by him to this Sovereign. John, jun., in time became Sir John, and the next mention we find of the lands is in a deed of 1631 infefting therein on certain conditions " an excellent young man," James Hamilton, lawful son of Sir John. James, afterwards Sir James, married Christian, third daughter of the first Lord Forrester of Corstorphine, in 1631. Three years after, Hamilton, for some reason not apparent, transferred the Grange to his father-in-law. James and Christian had a son John, and in 1653 one David German, described as some time Bailie Burgess of Dunfermline, ignoring the conveyance to Lord Forrester, got a decreet of apprising of the lands of Grange Philpingstone against John Hamilton. This led to complications with Lord Forrester's heirs. By 1670, however, John Hamilton appears to have come into his own again, for there are then to be found conveyances to him both by his mother, Dame Christian Forrester, and David German. In 1705 a fourth John Hamilton completed his title as heir to his father, and in 1741 comes the fifth and last John. This laird's affairs became embarrassed, and the estate was sold by decree of the Court in 1750 to one David Main. He first of all disponed it to James Stewart, Edinburgh, and again to William Belchier, banker and money broker, London, under burden of Stewart's disposition. In course of time litigation ensued at the instance of John Belchier and others, and in 1788 the lands were acquired by John Buchan, W.S., on behalf of William and John Cadell.

The Hamiltons disappear entirely from their old patrimony in 1750. Many of them were of the dare-devil type, and of very easy virtue. The Old Grange, therefore, is not without its many and curious traditions. The wife of Sir James was, as already stated, Christian Forrester, and they had a family. On Sir James' death the widow married John Waugh, minister of Borrowstounness, and of their rioting at the Caldwall we have already heard. Whether they lived at the Grange or in the Dower or Jointure House in Grangepans we cannot say.

At all events, the Dame, in her early widowhood, had resided at the latter place.1 The back door of this house bordered on the beach, on which, on one occasion, a whale got stranded. Lady Hamilton claimed it as her property, and stood astride it as the factor to the Duke of Hamilton approached. There then arose an angry dispute as to ownership, the factor, in turn, claiming it as the Duke's property. The squabble ended by his pushing Lady Hamilton unceremoniously off it. Mortally offended, she hastened to Grange House to acquaint her son of the occurrence. He traced the factor to a tavern in Borrowstounness, entered it, and, recognising his man, shot him dead with a pistol. A hue and cry got up. Sir John was followed to the mansion-house, where he mounted a horse and had to flee for his life. So goes the story. But the Dame had trouble with her daughter Christian. This young lady, contrary to the wishes of her family, had married an Edinburgh burgess named James Nimmo. She also made an unholy alliance with her uncle, the second Lord Forrester, a man of extravagant habits and dissolute life. Mrs. Nimmo was a woman of violent temper; and, having in course of time quarrelled with Lord Forrester, she, on the 27th of August, 1679, stabbed him with his own sword in the garden of Corstorphine. He died immediately, and she was speedily captured and put in prison. On the 29th of September she succeeded in escaping. Next day, however, she was recaptured, and on 12th November was executed at the Cross of Edinburgh.

The arms of the Hamiltons of Grange were gules, a lion rampant argent, between three cinque/oils ermine.


Before dealing with the lands of Grange under the Cadell family, we must refer to their early family history and how they ame to Grange.

In East Lothian the name of Cadell stood for much in the history of the commercial development of that county during "the last two centuries. The first of the family was William Cadell, merchant in Haddington (b. 1668, d. 1728). This gentleman, in the course of a busy life, acquired some property &t Cockenzie. His tombstone, which is still in fair preservation, stands within the unroofed entrance of the Abbey Church of Haddington, and the inscription states that he was a " merchant burgess " of the town. Among other children, he had a son who became William Cadell of Cockenzie (b. 1708, d. 1777). Mr. M'Neill3 tells us that this second William Cadell was a very clever and enterprising man, that he carried on a large mercantile trade (chiefly in iron and timber) at Port Seton, and had vessels which sailed to the Baltic, the Mediterranean, and other places then considered distant. He was also lessee of the Tranent Collieries after the Setons. Among his friends was Dr. John Roebuck, who, though a Sheffield man, did much when he settled in East Lothian to advance practical science in Scotland. Utilising a chemical discovery, he superseded the old method by the use of leaden chambers, and erected at Prestonpans large vitriol works. His process was kept a profound secret; the premises were surrounded by very high walls; and no stranger was allowed within. Mr. Cadell established potteries on a fairly large scale in the neighbourhood. The clay from Devonshire and the flint from London were brought by sea to Port Seton.

Mr. Cadell, anxious always to promote more industries, now came to the conclusion that iron, instead of being imported, might well be manufactured at home from the native ore. He therefore proposed to start an iron foundry near Cockenzie, and consulted with Dr. Roebuck and Mr. Samuel Garbett on the subject. They favoured the idea, but on a much bigger scale. And so, after prolonged investigations and considerable prospecting, they, in 1759, established the now famous Carron Company, under the style of Roebucks, Garbett & Cadells. We have elsewhere referred to the copartnery, and the whole details connected with this historic enterprise are given by Mr. H. M. Cadell in his recently-published book.

The machinery invented for the new works and the •adaptation of water, and afterwards of steam power, were thought to be among the engineering wonders of the day. The •great adventure was inaugurated at Carron on the 1st of January, 1760. Before daylight the workmen were at their posts. Dr. Roebuck and Mr. Cadell were early upon the scene for the reception and entertainment of their visitors. The great water-wheel and bellows were kept going throughout the night, while the air furnaces had also been charged, so that •everything would be in readiness. At length Dr. Roebuck personally pierced the furnace breast, when a fiery stream of molten metal flowed upon the mould. Mr. Cadell then called •for a bumper to the works—"Long years of prosperity to •Carron and Dr. Roebuck."


William Cadell secundus had two sons—John, who inherited Cockenzie, and afterwards acquired Tranent, and William (&. 1737, d. 1819). This third William Cadell was a man of great business capacity and energy. Along with his father he was •one of the original partners in the Carron Company, and when only twenty-three was appointed its first manager. This post he held for nine strenuous and anxious year. In 1763 he built -Carron Park, so that he could be on the ground. And four years later he bought the estate of Banton, where he discovered a good seam of ironstone, and let it to the Carron Company at a royalty of £4 per 100 tons.

On leaving the Carron Company Mr. Cadell and his brother John, in 1770, took a lease from William Belchier, of the Grange coalfield and salt works, which were then standing idle. They also leased Pitfirrane and other coalfields in the district, and carried on large ironworks at Cramond. These collieries were managed under the name of Grange Coal Company, and the partners were the two Cadells and one or two others. In the lease William Cadell is designed as merchant at Carron, and John merchant at Cockenzie. When the lessees arrived they found the works in a state of dilapidation. The five saltpans were without a roof, and were "greatly consumed by rust." The "Buckett Pond " was reported much " mudded up," the top of the walls washed away by the sea, and the sluice in great disrepair. The fourteen colliers' houses at the pans, with the two at the House of Grange, were in a very bad condition, and at so great a distance from the works that they were of little value. Regarding the ten colliers' houses built some time previously at Graham's Dyke,' and then vacant, they were in good order, except for the want of a few tiles. A conspicuous landmark at this time was the old tower above Bridgeness (now remodelled and surmounted by a castellated top). It was originally built for a windmill, and one of the lintels bore the date 1750. Though the coalfield was said to have been fairly well exhausted, yet the Cadells were enterprising, and believed there was still a quantity of coal, and possibly ironstone too, which could be profitably worked for a few years at least, and they expected also to have the Carron Company as their chief customer, both for coal and ironstone. Among the many resolutions which are to be found carefully recorded in the old minute-book of the colliery is one in January, 1772—"Not to allow any agent employed by us to keep a Publick House, the consequence thereof being destruction to the works."

On becoming joint owners, in 1788, when the proprietor had to sell Grange as part of his bankrupt estate, the Messrs. Cadell actively set to work to develop the coal, and sunk what were then known as moat pits Nos. 1, 2, and 3, and afterwards Nos. 4 and 5, on the shore, where coal had never been worked before. They

William Cadell (b. 1737 d. 1819).
From a portrait by Raeburn. (By permission from Mr. H. M. Cadens "Story of the Forth")

also practically rebuilt the harbour at Bridgeness, and appeared, after numerous struggles and difficulties, to have made the place prosper. The Grange Coal Company still continued to carry on as before, and, in 1789, were anxiously considering "the ruinous effects of the overseer of the works keeping a public-house." They passed a resolution calling upon the overseer to give up his public-house, failing which his-appointment would be cancelled. He did not resign, and dismissal followed. In May, 1792, it is recorded that several of the bound colliers had lately gone off to Sandyhills and other collieries. It was thereupon resolved to send John Donaldson immediately in quest of them with a justice of peace warrant and with orders to incarcerate such of them aa did not return with him peaceably. In the event of the coalmasters refusing to part with the colliers without having refunded to them any money advanced, it was an instruction that he should carry the collier claimed before a justice of peace, who was to determine whose property he was. The same year complaints were made against another oversman for keeping a public-house, in respect that five of the Grange colliers came out of his premises drunk and vicious, and committed several outrages in the neighbourhood. The Company ordained him to give it up, and again expressed the opinion that oversmen or other officials should not keep alehouses.

On 22nd June, 1797, we find the company appointing William Smith, writer., in Bo'ness, Baron Bailie of the Barony of Grange. They also resolved to immediately put into his hands all the accounts due by the "fewers," with a recommendation "to examine their titles to see which of them were in a state of non-entry, that they might enter and pay up their arrears of feu-duty according to law, and, in default of this, to obtain possession of the subjects, and make the best of them."


We revert for a little to the period when the Cadells were only lessees of Grange Colliery. That coalfield adjoined the Duke's coalfield, and the Chance pit, which was sunk by Dr. Roebuck's trustees, was situated near the march between Borrowstounness and Grange. This pit led to a very expensive and troublesome litigation in the Court of Session between the lessees of the two collieries. John Allansen and John Grieve were the managers for Dr. Roebuck and his trustees, who were the Duke's lessees. Allansen superintended the sinking of the pit, and had an intimate knowledge of all the underground workings in that vicinity, and so had Grieve. In 1773 Allansen left Roebuck, and shortly after was engaged .as manager at Grange. Grieve had also by this time left and become one of the partners of the Grange Coal Company. The position of affairs between the two collieries is explained by the following letter to Mr. John Grieve & Co. from Mr. John Burrel, snab, the Duke's factor. It is dated 9th October, 1775 : —

"Litigious contests and differences betwixt neighbours from •my beginning to this day I have uniformly endeavoured to compromise and never to foment. This can only be known to you with regard to my conduct with regard to the differences seemingly commenced between you and your company and our company and me, we alleging that you have made an -encroachment by working and taking part of Duke Hamilton's coals from below the lands of Kinglass, and you alleging we have made an encroachment by taking part of your coal from below the lands of Grange." To end this controversy each party was to survey the wastes of the other. The Grange Company were able to make the survey of the Duke's wastes, but Mr. Burrel had been quite unable to examine the Grange workings because of the water. Mr. Burrel then thought that an excambion would settle the whole question, and this was agreed to between them. The Grange Company were to have immediate liberty to take so much of the Easter main coal from below the lands of Kinglass, but not exceeding ten Scots acres, on condition that the Duke's lessees got a like quantity of the same coal from below the lands of Grange that lay contiguous to the Chance pit. This arrangement, instead of being a success, only bred more suspicion. It appears from the papers in the case that Dr. Roebuck, Mr. William Cadell, and Mr. John Grieve had a meeting at Borrowstounness shortly before the commencement of the litigation. Mr. Grieve had in his mind' " a proposed communication or junction of the two collieries." He stated it to the doctor, who "absolutely refused to consent."' Upon which Mr. Grieve said with some heat, "Well, doctor, I know what I will do," or words to that purpose; and added at the same time, "Do you know that we can communicate-levels?" To which the doctor replied, "If you attempt to communicate levels, I shall be obliged to defend myself in the-best way I can. I have weathered many a storm, and must do the best I can to get clear of it." We have found other references to this desire of Mr. Grieve to amalgamate the two-collieries. Some people thought that Roebuck was ill-advised in rejecting it; but Mr. Grieve always maintained that the doctor would find he would be obliged to do it at last. Both parties raised actions, and, these being conjoined, a very long proof was taken on commission at Borrowstounness. Dr. Roebuck's action was one of suspension and interdict against the Grange Coal Company from working within the limits of the excambed coal. Interim interdict was granted, but, upon a further hearing, was withdrawn. The doctor then appealed to the Inner House. During the interim interdict Messrs. Cadell and Grieve, as partners of the Grange Coal Company, raised an action against his Grace the Duke of Hamilton and Dr. Roebuck, in which they complained that interdict had been obtained against them "upon certain frivolous pretences and groundless allegations, whereby they had suffered great damages." They accused the doctor of making "various encroachments upon the coal on the estate of Grange and wrought out the same, applying the grounds to his own use, and refusing to account for the value thereof." They claimed £5000 as the damages sustained and such further damages as might be incurred during the continuance of the interdict. They also claimed £2000 as the value of the coal taken out of the bounds of the estate of Grange by Dr. Roebuck. A perusal of the pleadings and evidence reveals much of interest concerning the old mineral workings of Bonhard, Grange, and Borrowstounness. There are references to an old pit named Balfour's pit, which was situated where Riverview Terrace now stands; to a pit upon the south-east corner of David Cornwall's farm of Kinglass, called Causewayside Well pit; to one called Mary Buchanan's pit, upon the south-east corner of Drum farm; to the Boat pit, distant from the Schoolyard or Borrowstounness Engine pit, about three hundred fathoms; and to one or two others now unheard of. The evidence of the oversmen, colliers, and bearers of both collieries is particularly interesting. Even in those days we find numerous Grants, Sneddons, Robertsons, and Hamiltons among the colliers. An amusing sidelight on the colliery life of those times is revealed in the evidence of one of the women coal-bearers. Speaking to the date of a certain event, she states that she "recollects Elizabeth Nisbet bringing down a ' hot pint' to her master, James Grant, upon a Yule evening." This was corroborated by one of the colliers, who further states that it was "upon a Christmas Eve, and that, so far as he can now recollect, it was ten years past the last Christmas Eve, old stile." In fact, the evidence shows that there were several "hot pints" taken down to the colliers on this occasion, so that they did not neglect their annual celebration even when engaged underground. More than one attempt was made to have this big litigation settled by arbitration. Whether this was ultimately agreed to we do not know. Neither have we discovered any record of the decision of the Inner House.


Like most Scottish lairds, Mr. William Cadell was involved in a costly law plea during his ownership of Grange. This case5raised the question of liability for accidents to third parties. Incidentally it gave rise to the name of the Miller or Miller's pit. The circumstances were these. Henry Black was an industrious farmer in Scotstoun, in the parish of Abercorn. He was a tenant of Sir James Dalyell of Binns, married early, and had a wife and family of three sons and nine daughters. Black also had a meal mill, and was prospering and rearing up his family, the eldest of whom, a «on, was twenty-eight years of age, and the youngest three years at the end of 1800. On 5th January, 1801, Black set out on horseback to Bo'ness on business, and to the alarm of his wife and family did not return in the evening. Next morning his son went to seek him at Bo'ness, and found that his father had left between five and six the previous evening quite sober, going by the road southwards up the hill from Grangepans to the point where the road branches eastwards to the Muirhouses. In the angle at the fork of the roads there was an old pit which had been used as an engine or pumping pit since William Cadell acquired the estate. By 1800, however, this was disused, and left uncovered, like other old shafts of that time, and with a wall 18 inches high round its mouth. It was only 4 feet from the side of the road running eastward, and had 50 fathoms of water standing in it. The miller's son traced the horse's footmarks to this pit, and the appearance of a stone having been removed, as if it had recently fallen in, raised in his mind the dreadful suspicion that his father had in the dark plunged into the pit. After two or three days' search the body of Mr. Black was found. This event so deeply affected the miller's wife, who was in delicate health, that from the day of his death she never left her room, and died in three months' time.

Mr. Cadell offered to pay 100 guineas and the price of the horse, not in reparation, but out of sympathy. But this was refused, and an action was raised by the family in the Court of Session (first) for £2000 as reparation for the loss of their father; (second) for £23 as the expense incurred in recovering the body; and (third) for £20 as the value of the horse.

The Lord Ordinary on 12th November, 1801, reported the cause to the Court. In his defence Mr. Cadell pleaded that the pit was in existence before he had bought Grange estate, and that it was at the time of the accident in no way more-dangerous than it had always been. At the time the miller lost his life he was a trespasser and off the road, and no complaint had ever been made by the public authority as to the-fence being insufficient to prevent cattle grazing or the land falling in. The situation of the pit, moreover, was known to all the neighbourhood. After hearing the case on 9th March, 1805, the Court decided that the defender, Mr. William Cadell, was liable in £800 damages, with £100 expenses, each child under fourteen to have double the share of each over fourteen years of age. On 2nd July, 1805, both parties reclaimed, but the Court adhered, and against this decision the case was appealed to the House of Lords by Mr. Cadell. That Court on 20th February, 1812, eleven years after the accident, dismissed the appeal with £200 costs, so that the whole-litigation and its result would involve him in close upon £2000.


William Cadell had five sons, and on his death in 1819 his: second surviving son, James John Cadell (&. 1779, d. 1858), succeeded to the eastern half of Grange, the western half having gone to William Archibald Cadell. On his death, in 1855, however, his trustees conveyed it to James John Cadell, so that he became proprietor of both halves, and the estate has since remained intact. About 1816 a sad mining calamity occurred at Grange. As the result of an explosion of fire-damp in the smithy coal seam of No. 4 pit several lives were lost. The fire in the workings raged fiercely, and to extinguish it the sea was let in by a cutting to the shore. All the workings were drowned, and the whole colliery abandoned. During^ the next forty years no coal was produced on Grange estate. Mr. Cadell meantime leased part of Kinneil colliery, but many troubles attended the work. He devoted himself with far more success to agriculture, and kept his own lands in a highi state of cultivation. Considerable attention was given to the development of the salt industry, and a vitriol work was also established at Bridgeness.

Grange House, in Kinningars Park, originated in a modest way. It was at the beginning of the nineteenth century a small, old-fashioned dwelling-house, tenanted by Sir Henry Seton, the collector of Customs. On his death, in 1803, Mr. Cadell took possession of the dwelling, and altered and added to it just as his successors did in later years.

As we have just stated, saltmaking was an important industry in Grangepans in Mr. CadeU's time, as it was a century ago at many other places on the Firth of Forth. There were at one time thirteen pans in full swing. The sea water was originally pumped up to the pans by large pumps handled by several men or women, often with young people helping them, and it was a sight to see the pumps at work. As the sea water was found too fresh, rock salt was, in later times, brought from Liverpool and Carrickfergus to strengthen the Grange salt. A ton of salt was carted regularly to Falkirk every week to supply the inhabitants of that town. Although the salt cost lis. per half cwt., people came from far and near to the Grange saltpans, as the local product was considered particularly good. The Government duty was heavy, and a Revenue officer was stationed at the pans. In consequence of the duty smuggling was very prevalent. The salt was stored in large cellars or "girnels" barred by strong doors, sealed up by a Custom-house officer, just as the bonded stores of the present day are sealed. It was not allowed to be taken out again until the duty was paid. The sea water and raw rock salt were full of mud and other impurities, and these were extracted by the additions of evil-smelling clotted blood to the boiling liquor. The albumen in the blood coagulated in the hot water, and floated up in a thick scum, which was skimmed off, leaving the solution perfectly clear. It was an interesting sight to watch the red blood spreading through the seething water, and coming to the surface in dirty brown or grey froth. The pans becoming unremunerative, gradually Ldiminished in number in course of time, and the year 1889 saw the last of the saltmaking in this part of the Forth.

Mr. Cadell was married three times, his first wife being Isabella Moubray, daughter of Henry Moubray of Calderbank, who died in 1832; his second, Agnes, daughter of John Hamilton Dundas of Duddingston; and his third, his cousin, Martha Cadell. There were five sons, the second eldest, Henry (b. 1812, d. 1888), succeeding to Grange on his father's death, and to Banton in 1872. In 1863 he built the Bridgeness Ironworks, but only one of the two furnaces was ever in blast. There was no railway then, and the furnace only went for about six months. It was restarted in 1870, and went on intermittently till the iron trade declined in 1874. The works were pulled down in 1890. The district from Cowdenhill to Bridgeness in the beginning of the nineteenth century was quite different to what it is now. There was then no shore road; and the old road ran in a south-easterly direction in front of Cowdenhill along by Peter Muir's house and Grindlay's garden wall. The present road along by the shore was formed by Henry Cadell. On his death Mr. Cadell was succeeded by his third son, Henry Moubray Cadell (b. 1860), the present laird of Grange and Banton.

The arms of the Cadells of Grange, as registered at the Lyon Office, are—"Or, a stag's head couped in chief gu and in base 3 oval buckles, two and one, tongues fesswise az. within .a bordure of the second."

Crest—A stag's head ppr. Motto—Vigilantia non cadet.

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