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The Historical Families of Dunfriesshire and the Border Wars

In the old graveyard at Annan, where the Castle formerly stood, now built round by houses, but with a beautiful view of the river, two large monuments record the names of eleven children of John Johnstone, the fourth Laird of Galabank. [Close to them lies "ane honest memorable man callit George Johnstown, who lived in credit and commendation, and died in Christ in the year 1648. Erected to the memory of her good husband by his wife, Agnes Grahame." Below are the family arms.] Below the youngest is inscribed, "Here also is interred the venerable father of this numerous family, John Johnstone of Galabank, Esq., the representative of the Johnstones of Mylnfield and Newby Castle and an ancient cadet of the Johnstones of Johnstone. He died Oct. 12, 1774, aged 86. ‘The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of Righteousness.’"

The eldest son, Edward, was born in 1716, matriculated at Edinburgh in 1733, and as a probationer of divinity preached several times in the College Chapel before the Professors when he was still under twenty. After taking his degree of M.A. in 1739, he was appointed tutor to the sons of the Marchioness of Annandale and her second husband, Colonel Johnstone (the eldest of whom was the first Baronet of Hackness Hall), and gave some instruction to the sons of her first marriage, George, third Marquis of Annandale, and Lord John Johnstone, residing alternately at the Marquis’s seat of Comlongan and at Appleby in Westmoreland. In 1743 he was presented by the Marquis to the living of Moffat, where he died in 1761. He published an essay on the Edinburgh Review, and a volume of sermons, including one on the death of George II. William, his next brother, took the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh. In 1741 he sailed with the third son, John, to Jamaica, and in a cruise among the West Indian Islands they were captured by the Spaniards, and endured great hardships while in their hands. William died on board ship very soon after his release, at the age of twenty-five, and John never recovered an attack of fever, which deprived him of his mental powers, though he returned to Annan and lived to the age of seventy.

The biography of James, the fourth son of Johnstone of Galabank, is to be found in histories of Worcestershire (where he practised as a physician for fifty years), among "Lives of Eminent Scotsmen," and in periodicals of the time. Born in 1730, he matriculated at Edinburgh in 1746, and went to France for the completion of his medical education. As he stayed in Worcestershire on his road to Plymouth, whence he embarked for Havre, an influential resident induced him to make that county the scene of his future career. From Havre he went to Paris, where Louis XV., though still but forty years old, had quite lost his early popularity; and the young man’s observations on the new philosophy, the extraordinary licence of the press, combined with the tyranny and selfishness of the despotic government, in spite of splendid charitable institutions, founded by the piety of private individuals, or of earlier monarchs, foreshadowed the great Revolution which thirty-nine years later burst upon Europe. But the event of his youth was the invasion of Scotland ["Those engaged in war,"said Monthieu, quoted by Scott, "have much occasion for the mercy of the Deity, since in the exercise of their profession they are led to become guilty of so much violence towards their fellow-creatures." This might well be quoted by a Scotsman. The horrors that disgraced the triumph over the Jacobite rebellion recall the earlier wars with England when instances of cannibalism were known, for in 1746 we hear of Highland peasant women with their children begging for the offal of the bullocks requisitioned by the soldiery—the fathers, whether in arms or otherwise, having all been killed. It was these wars which made Scotland, once beautifully wooded, the barest country in Europe.] by Prince Charles in 1743, though it met with even less sympathy in Dumfriesshire than that of Prince James in 1715. Bryce Blair, late Provost of Annan, and John Johnstone, the actual Provost, each contributed £100 to a levy of £2000 exacted by the Prince’s army from Annandale, and many of the poorer people produced their few shillings or even pence very readily, so that £1195 was collected in a short time. The Prince lodged at two houses in Dumfries; one is the Commercial Hotel, where he held a levee on his return from England, and the town was fined £4000 sterling for an attack made in the street on one of the Prince’s Highland followers. But on his march southwards Charles went direct to Carlisle, which was feebly garrisoned by north country militia inclined to the house of Stuart, and made no resistance. The roads were so bad that some of the baggage waggons were left in the mud near Ecclefechan, and with the soldiers in charge of them were seized by a large party of citizens from Dumfries. The prisoners consisted of Highlanders armed with only pikes and scythe blades. For this service, and for the attitude of its Provost (Corsane), Dumfries received some confiscated estates from the Government.

When the Jacobite army was returning discomfited from Derby a band of volunteers undertook to guard the bridge at Annan over which it must cross, and also to intercept it at the Esk, but fled at the first sound of the pibroch. This is described by young James Johnstone, who was then fifteen, and in expectation of his father’s horses being requisitioned he took them across the whole front of the vanguard of Prince Charles’s cavalry, commanded by Lord Kilmarnock, which suddenly drew up on the evening of December 21, 1745, to encamp for the night before the Laird of Galabank’s house, and he conveyed them by the bridge to Limekilns, a distance of some miles, not being stopped, rather to his surprise. "I did in thoughtless youth," he writes, "what perhaps with some design would have failed. I saved the horses, and returned in the morning, and saw the clans march through Annandale to Dumfries. Prince Charles walked at the head of the clan Macpherson, which defeated the Duke of Cumberland’s horse in a skirmish, and gave some check to the advance of the troops. He was a tall, well made young man; his deportment affable and princely. When the army crossed the Esk the river was flooded, and the Highlanders had to ford it, nearly 100 packed together to avoid being carried away by the stream. Prince Charles took one of them on his own horse, and desired the officers to do the same." The Highlanders danced a reel to dry themselves.


Limekilns was owned by a staunch adherent of the house of Hanover—Carlile of Bridekirk. While the Prince’s army was encamped close to Annan some of his Highlanders went to carouse in the Queensberry Arms, the only inn in the place, and heard Mr Carlile express his opinion very freely on the respective merits of King George and of their young leader. They arrested him, and took him a prisoner to Glasgow. He asked for an interview with the Prince, and told him all that had happened, when the unfortunate Charles replied—"Sir, I commend you for it, and if some of my pretended followers had been so firm in my cause as you are to George, I now should have been on the throne of my fathers." Having said this the Prince let him go. The incident reached the ears of the Duke of Cumberland, who was on his road to the north to attack the Prince’s army, and he at once sent for Mr Carlile and offered to relieve him of the heavy debt on his estate if he would assist him with all the information he could; but to the great distress of Mr Carlile’s nearest relations, he refused even to meet the Duke. His estate passed out of the hands of his family owing to the general ruin caused by the failure of the local banks after the insurrection was suppressed.

In 1751 James Johnstone, an M.D. of Edinburgh at the age of twenty-one, settled in Worcestershire, for as a younger son he had little hope of inheriting the family estate. After meeting Prince Charles in his youth he was presented with his sons to George III. in his mature age, when his Majesty and Queen Charlotte came to Worcester for the triennial musical festival in 1788. The letters from Scotland to the young physician give a pleasant picture of his paternal home. Although devoted to his profession he found time to return there, and to superintend replanting the Galabank estate. A neighbour, who had been to Worcester, writes from Annan—"I saw old Galabank standing like Boaz among his reapers, and Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Murray came out to speak to me. They particularly asked after little master James." This "little James" was at his grandfather’s in 1769 while a dispute was going on about enclosing a common, which in 1771 led to the case of "The Magistrates of the Burgh of Annan against the Marquis of Annandale, Carruthers of Holmains, Johnstone of Galabank," &c. In his letters home he mentions Irving the Apothecary, who was the grandfather of the celebrated preacher Edward Irving, and a tenant of Galabank, and Clapperton, a surgeon in Annan, the father of the traveller Hugh, who was born there in 1788.

The Laird’s fifth daughter, Isabella, married John Adam Murray of Belridding, but was early left a widow and returned to her father’s house, where her daughter married James Lockhart of Lee and Carnwath, a Lieutenant-General in the Austrian army and a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. Count Lockhart was afterwards made Viceroy of the Netherlands (then an Austrian province). [He left Scotland, having joined Prince Charles, in 1745.] In the memoirs of Madame D’Oberkirch, an ex-governess of the grand Duchess, afterwards Empress of Russia, she describes a visit she paid in 1782, with her old pupil, accompanied by the grand Duke, afterwards the Emperor Paul, to Utrecht, where they were entertained by Lady Lockhart. The Lockharts, she adds, "are an ancient Scotch family, of whom one member was the Ambassador from Cromwell to the Court of France. The Grand Duke, who is very well informed, did not fail to make a delicate allusion to this personage."

Count Lockhart served in the last war which Austria ever waged against the Turks. He was a Knight of the Order of Maria Theresa, and a Lord of the Bedchamber to the Emperor Joseph II.; but on the death of a brother, he inherited the family estates in Scotland. Mrs Lockhart was presented at the Court of Vienna by her cousin, Lord Stormont, the British Ambassador, and the Emperor Joseph II. stood in person as sponsor at the baptism of her eldest son.

Charles Count Wishart Lockhart inherited his father’s title, and died in 1802. Sir Simon Lockhart is the present male representative of the family. General Lockhart’s daughter, Maryanne Matilda, was, married to Anthony Aufrere, Esq., of Hoveton, Co. York. In the autobiography of James Johnstone (1730-1802) he writes of this niece, "I learn that she gave birth to a daughter, November 17, 1762, at Heidelberg, and that the child was named Louisa Anna Matilda, after Louisa a Princess of Prussia, who with Mrs Aufrere, her mother-in-law, are to be godmothers."

Adam Johnstone, the Laird of Galabank’s fifth son, was born February 27, 1732, and received a commission in the Scotch Brigade, which embarked at Aberdeen for Hanover, during the seven years war carried on between the Empress Maria Theresa, and Frederick the Great. The British contingent was placed under the command of the hereditary Prince of Brunswick, in an unsuccessful battle near Wesel, October, 1760, where Adam Johnstone received wounds which caused his death a few days afterwards. The youngest son, Richard, was a Writer to the Signet, and died in London at the age of 28.

The bills for old Galabank’s funeral in 1774 are curious as showing the difference in prices at the present time. Painting an escutcheon to put over the house door cost one pound ten shillings, and the frame four shillings and six-pence. The funeral luncheon, which was held at the Queensberry Arms, the only hotel in Annan, consisted of a leg of roast mutton, a pigeon pie, fish and flounders, veal cutlets, chicken, ham, and tarts, for sixteen gentlemen and four ladies, and cost one guinea, exclusive of wine; ten tenants dined in another room for five shillings, and the porter they all drank also cost five shillings. His son James inherited his estate, but continued to live in Worcester. He was the author of nineteen medical works and a classical book, "Dialogues of the Dead," published when a very young man, besides his autobiography and several letters and essays. He is mentioned in "Johnson’s Lives of the Poets" as the writer of "a very affecting and instructing account" of the last illness of George Lord Lyttleton, the friend of Pope and Thomson, and according to the second Lord Lyttleton he was both his father’s physician and confessor. His eldest son, James, practised as a physician in Worcester, having graduated at the Edinburgh University, where he was a frequent guest at Dryden, General Lockhart’s house; and later, when his cousin and her husband returned to Austria, his second brother, Edward, passed a month with them at the vice-regal residence. In Howard’s "State of English Prisons," he writes of the death of young James Johnstone, who had volunteered gratuitously to attend some prisoners in Worcester gaol when an outbreak of fever had caused a panic through the city. "In the course of my pursuits I have known several amiable young gentlemen who, in their zeal to do good, have been carried off by that dreadful disorder, the gaol fever, and this has been one incentive to my endeavours for its extirpation out of our prisons. I shall mention one affecting instance which happened here (Worcester) of a young physician falling a sacrifice to this distemper through a benevolent attention to some prisoners afflicted with it—Dr Johnstone, junior, of Worcester (1783). He attained at an early period to great and deserved eminence in his profession, and will be ever regretted as a physician of great ability and genius, and as one of the most pleasing and benevolent of men, prematurely snatched from his friends and country."

The Galabank and Westerhall families were then, as they had been earlier, on very friendly terms. Sir William Pulteney, the brother of Sir James Johnstone of Westerhall, presented Dr Johnstone’s second son, Thomas, Rector of Fisherton Anger, to the livings of Aston Botterill, Salop, and Hope Bagot, Wilts, in the days when pluralism was allowed, and Dr Johnstone, as ardent a politician as himself, gave him much aid in electioneering. George Johnstone, Sir William’s younger brother, and the father of Sir John Lowther Johnstone, was for some years Governor of Florida, and died at Bristol, May 24, 1787. His sister-in-law, writing to inform Dr Johnstone of the event, speaks of him as "my brother and your relation, Governor Johnstone."

Although Dr Johnstone had hoped to end his days in Annandale, where the death of three brothers (the last in 1792) gave him possession of Galabank, the cares of a very large family and of orphan grandchildren kept him in England till his death in 1802, aged 72. A marble tablet to his memory, with a Latin inscription composed by the Rev. Dr Parr, in Worcester Cathedral, is placed under a similar monument to his eldest son. His grandson and heir, James, only survived him three years, so that his third son, Edward, born in 1757, became the head of his house; but owing to a family dispute he bequeathed his Scottish property to his sixth son, John, whose name appears in biographical dictionaries as the author of the "Life of Dr Samuel Parr, D.D." Hence the Scottish estate of Galabank, the last remnant left to them of the barony of Annandale, of which it had once formed a part, has passed into a female branch; and on succeeding his father (1851), Dr Edward Johnstone of Edgbaston Hall, who had lived to the age of 94, the late Mr Edward Johnstone inherited some English property in Worcestershire and Warwickshire, but not the lands of his Scottish ancestors, which they owned in the 15th century. He was a fellow commoner and MA. of Trin. Coll., and a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall, having for many years also belonged to the Reform, and been called to the Bar in 1833, but never practised. In 1830-1 the result of the Polish Revolution brought many exiles to this country, and led to the formation of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland, under the presidency of the poet Campbell, which was joined by the late Lord Dudley Stuart, the late Lord Ilchester, Mr Edward Johnstone, and others, who charitably devoted time and means to alleviate the condition of the refugees. Mr Johnstone—an intimate friend of the late Prince Adam Czartoriski—took the warmest interest in their welfare, and Major Sczulchewski was sent to represent the Society at his funeral in Worcester, September 23, 1881. He was never married, and his eldest nephew, Colonel Sir James Johnstone, K.C.S.I., inherited his estates at Dunsley Manor and Fulford Hall.

The Annandale crest, the spur and wings, is carved on the face of the Queen’s College, Birmingham, in memory of the great interest which Dr Edward Johnstone of Edgbaston Hall, [Dr Edward Johnstone married Elizabeth daughter of the late Thomas Pearson, Esq. of Tettenhall, Stafford. She died 1823. He was the first hon. president of the Queen’s College, Birmingham, being succeeded by the late Lord Lyttleton.] his younger son James, and his brother John took in its rise and progress from a provincial school of medicine to one of the most important medical colleges in the empire. The same may be said, though their crest does not denote it, of King Edward’s School, the General Hospital, and, other benevolent institutions in that literary and scientific town. There, close to the site of the foundation-stone of the Courts of Law laid by Queen Victoria in the year of her jubilee, and in what was then the Old Square, James Johnstone, M.D. of Trin. Coll., F.R.C.P. (born at Edgbaston Hall, 1806; died at Leamington, 1869), long resided, and took a prominent part in the promotion of education in all its branches and other public works within the Midland Metropolis. Besides essays and pamphlets, he published two works on sensation and materia medica. He married Maria Mary Payne, daughter of J. Webster, J.P., of Penns, Co. Warwick, and by her (who died in 1859) he left five sons and seven daughters. The surviving sons are—Colonel Sir James Johnstone, [Late Political Agent at Manipur. He received special commendation in 1879 for his prompt relief on his own responsibility of the headquarters station at Kohima, where nearly 500 British subjects, including English ladies and children, were reduced to the last extremity for want of water, it having been surrounded for a fortnight by 6000 Naga savages. He performed a somewhat similar feat during the Burmese war in 1885-6 to rescue three Englishmen and 250 British native subjects isolated on the Chindwin river; and he was severely wounded in the same campaign.] K.C.S.I., born 1841; married Emma Mary, daughter of S. Lloyd, Esq., late M.P. for Plymouth, and has issue. She died in 1883—Edward settled in Canada—Charles, Captain R.N., of Graitney, Surrey, commanded H.M.S. Dryad at Madagascar, 1883; married Janet, daughter of the late G. Schonswar, Esq., J.P., D.L., formerly M.P. for Hull, and has issue—Richard, in holy orders; married Imogen, daughter of the late W. H. Molesworth, Esq., and has issue. Of the younger sons of Dr James Johnstone of Worcester, fifth laird of Galabank—Henry, fourth son, a colonel in the army, who had seen some service in India and Gibraltar; died at Edgbaston, 1812. John, M.D., F.R.S., died 1836, leaving two daughters. The elder married the late Very Rev. W. F. Hook, Dean of Chichester, and left issue; the younger now owns Galabank. Lockhart, the youngest son, barrister-at-law, Senior Bencher of Gray’s Inn, and Commissioner in Bankruptcy, died January, 1861, aged 90, at his house in the Tything, Worcester, leaving John — William, Lieutenant-Colonel, H.E.I.C.S.; died 1887—and two daughters.

James, second Marquis of Annandale, hoping to exclude his half-brothers, made a disposition of his estates in 1726 in favour of his nephew, John Lord Hope, failing whom, to the descendants of his father’s sisters, failing whom, to Colonel James Johnstone of Graitney, a cadet of his house. Colonel James Johnstone was Provost of Lochmaben in 1725. He was descended direct from George, the eldest son of William Johnstone of Newbie and Graitney, and it was not then generally known, nor till the recent inquiries into the pedigree necessitated by the claim of the late Mr Edward Johnstone of Fulford Hall to the dormant titles of Annandale, that this George was not born a legitimate son, so that the descendants of John, his younger, but legitimate half-brother, who inherited Newbie, constituted the elder branch. Colonel Johnstone of Graitney assumed the name of Ruthven on his marriage with Isabella, Baroness Ruthven in her own right. She died in 1730, leaving a son James, fourth Baron Ruthven, whose grandson James, sixth Baron, dying without heirs, his sister Mary Elizabeth, whose grandson is the present peer, succeeded to the Ruthven barony.

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