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A History of the County of Renfrew from the Earliest Times

While the last of the foregoing sheets were passing through the press, I had the pleasure of receiving from James Caldwell, Esquire, the venerable Clerk of the County Council, a volume of the “ Craigends Papers.” For the most part the volume consists of copies and abstracts of documents relating to the Craigends family, and contained in the charter chests understood to be now lying in the muniment room at Lennox Castle. They were made from the originals by Dr. Andrew Crawfurd, Johnshill, Lochwinnoch, in 1843, at the request of the late William Cuninghame, Esquire, of Craigends, when he contemplated establishing his claim to the title of Earl of Glencairn. Towards the end of the volume is another series of a similar nature. This series was originally made by Mr. Alexander M'Donald of the Register House, Edinburgh, and was copied into the volume from his MSS. by Dr. Crawfurd. .

For the history of the Craigends family the volume, as need hardly be said, is of the greatest value. It is of value also for the notes it contains respecting other of the ancient families of the county, there being few of them which are not, from time to time, mentioned in its pages. For the history of the county the volume is less rich in material than might have been expected. Still, several of the papers are not without interest, and deserve to find a place here as supplementing what has already been said.


The following refer to the office of coroner and mayor of fee in the Upper Ward of the Shire, and, with the exception of the last, they are taken from the M'Donald series :—

1386. Charter by which Johannes Regis Scotie primogenitus, Comes de Carrie, Senescallus Scotie, Salutem in Domino sempiternam : Noverit universitas, etc., concessisse, etc., Johanni de Perco officium serjandi feodi medietatis baronie nostre, que medietas de Ranfrw vocatur Stragryfe, jacens inter aquam de Clyde et aquam de Kert, descend-entem de lacu qui dicitur Locheryneok, et sic se extendendo usque ad aquam de Maach, inter baronias de Cunnyngham et de Ranfrw, usque ad aquam de Kelly, et sic descendendo in mare. Testibus Willielmo de Cunyngham, vicecomiti de Are, etc., etc. Apud Edinburgh, Jan. 18.

1483. Renunciation and Discharge. Alisona, Cristina, Margareta, et Elizabetha Park, filie quondam Wmi- Park, domini de Park, Erskyne. Wilma C. de Craiganys. 9 April.

1484. Instr. of Seisin de toto officio Coronatoris et Marifeodi, occidentalis Warde in Stragriff, baronie de Renfrew. Wil“0, C. de C. 30 April.

1486. Ratification by King James III. of the charter by Alisone Park, dochtir and air to umquhill William Park of that ilk, to William of Cunynghame of Craiganys, in the office of Crownarschip and Mare-schip of fee of the West warde of Stragryfe, etc. 3 May. (Subscribed by the King.)

1488. Renunciation by Alicia Park, spousa Georgii Campbell, filii et apparentis heredis Hugonis Campbell de Steuystoun, etc., of the office of Crownar, etc., to Williamo C. of Craiganys. 13 Dec.

1489. Confirmation by King James IV. of two charters : 1st, Alison Park of the office of Crownar, etc., 6 April; and 2nd, John Sperk of Bartaneholm, honorabili viro Wmo C. de Craganys ilia officia mea Coronatoris et Marisfeodi Wardi Superioris, bar. de Renfrew, ac Constabularie de Burgi de Irvin.

1490. Disposition by John Sperk of the Bartanholm to Wm. Cuninghame of Craganys of the offices of Crownarschip and Marschip of fee of the uper warde of the. barony of Renfrew. 1 Dec.

According to a marriage contract made in 1673 between William, son and apparent heir of Alexander Cuninghame of Craigends, and Dame Ann Ruthven, Lady Cunninghamhead, whose tocher was to be 18,000 merks, Alexander Cuninghame held the offices of coroner and mayor of fee both of the west ward of Strathgryfe and of the over ward of Renfrew. See, for further particulars, ante, p. 79, note 5.


The following refer to the period between the years 1648 and 1665 :—

Minute of the Commissioners of Supply of Renfrewshire, 16 March, 1665. At Paisley 16 March 1665—convened

The meiting taking to thair consideratione ane letter sent to thame by Sir Jon Weymes of Bogie, bearing that he had sent order to Captain Pater-sone to quarter upon the shyre for the soume off Twa Thowsand ffour hundreth twentie four pund Scots resting [owing] to him of the four monethe mantinance compleit dew in anno 1648 in full satisfaction of the eight monethe dew be the shyre which he and Sir Alexander Durhame wes apoynted to uplifte.

The meiting considering the great prejudice the shyre would sustaine by the quartering of a partie are necessitat to grant band to the said Sir Jon Weymes and Mr. William Sharpe, Keiper of the Signet, collectir apoynted in place of Sir Alexander Durhame, for payment to thame of the forsaid soume of 2,424 against the last day of June nixt; and albeit the Heritors abone writtine have granted thair owne proper securitie for the soume forsaid, yitt the samen is a debt dew be the shyre, and is to be imposed upon the same, and a burding affecting the whole according to the respective valuatione; the singular successors to lands, purchased be thame since the said yeir 1648, being alwayes frie thairof, and thair saidis lands so purchased not to be burdened thairwith ; but the forsaid soume is hereby only imposed upon the rest ot the whole shyre conforme to their valuatione, allowing alwayes in what is be this act imposed to such ; the soumes payit be them off the forsaid eight moneths to Mr. William Wallace, collector in anno 1648, conforme to ane former act of the shyre relating thareto.

Item, the said meiting considering that formerly thay did agrie with Sir Jon Weymes and Sir Alexander Durhame (Collectors appoynted by the parliament for ingathering and uplifting of eight months mantinance in 1648, commensing the first of Feb. 1648) to pay to thame ffour months compleitle in full satisfactione and payment of the wholle 8 months forsaid, lykas that the Shyre did agrie and mak bargane with Thomas Crawfurd, their ordinare collector, and James Hamiltoune, collector, be Sir Jon Weymes and Sir Alexander Durhame, for uplifting of the said ffour months of the eighte; that what soumes of money wer uplifted be Mr. James Montgomerie, collector for that tyme off the said eight months in 1648, and should be instructed be his discharges granted of the samen, the saids Thomas Crawfurd and James Hamiltoune should accept of the as real and effective payment made for the Shyre to the said Sir Johne Weymes and Sir Alexander Durhame as a part of the soume of money dew for four months out of the 8 months, and should procure ane generall discharge to the shyre for the four months agried upon in satisfaction of the eighte; the soumes receaved be Mr. James Montgomerie included in pairt of payment thairoff, for the which cawssis the Shyre did then agrie to give Thomas Crawfurd and James Hamiltoune 1,000 merks Scots and did impose the same upon the shyre, etc., att the rate of thrie pund 9 sh. Scotts on ilk 100 pund of valuatione. Lykas said Crawfurd and Hamilton uplifted said 1,000 merks, etc.

Crawfurd and Hamiltoune and ther receaving of payment conforme, yitt they have na wayes fullfilled the samen but have suffered the heritors of the Shyre not only to be chairgit with horning but to be quartered upon by a pairtie of horse, whereby the meiting finds the shyre greatly injured, and therefor they nominat to persew said Mr. James Montgomerie

for what soumes collected by him and also Crawford and Hamilton for full-filling ther bargane, etc., etc.

On October 5, 1665, William Yeman, Procurator for the Heritors, appeared before the Lords of Session in Edinburgh, and produced the bond above referred to in order to its registration in the Books of Council.


Commission, Sir James Stewart1 to the Procurator Fiscall of Renfrew, 30 March, 1694.

I, Sir James Stewart, their Majesties’ Advocate, in respect I cannot attend the prosecution of the persons who were by the Lords of the Privie Counsill to be tryed by a commission given to them for the effect for their violent assaulting the House of Craigens and rescueing two men there secured for the present levies, etc., etc., Do hereby make and constitut William Tarbet, Procurator-fiscall of Renfrew, Pursuer as my Deput, etc., before the said Commission, etc.

Written be Mr. Robert Patersone, my servant, at Edinburgh, 30 March, 1694. Witness David Boyl of Kelburne.


Memorial for James Rollo, only son to Robert Rollo late of Powhouse (not before 1726).

That said Robert Rollo, late of Powhouse (now deceased), had the misfortune, amongst many others of his unhappy countrymen, to be engaged in the late unnatural rebellion which was raised against His late Majesty in the year 1715.

That James Rollo, his only son, was induced to go along with his father to attend him, not knowing the nature of the crime that he thereby involved himself into (he being then minor not much beyond the years of childhood).

That the Father soon perceived his error and early returned to his duty by a voluntar surrender of himself to the commander of His Majesty’s forces, his son still attending him, and they both threw themselves entirely upon His Majesty’s mercy.

That they were both carried to Carlyle and pled guilty to the indictment exhibited against them, for which they were justly condemned; but [were] saved by His Majesty’s most gracious indemnity.

That upon a representation of the Father’s early surrender, His Majesty was gratiously pleased to make a provision out of the residue of the said Robert’s estate in favours of his daughters after paying his just creditors.

That James Rollo, the only son, hath not only forfeit all right of succession to his father’s estate, which by his birthright he was entituled to, had he not been barred therefrom by his father’s crime, wherein he was unhappily involved at an age when he was incapable to judge of the hainousness thereof. But by that sentence he was rendered incapable to provide for himself or to enjoy any of these priviledges which are allowed to all His Majesty’s loyal subjects.

That as his years must alleviate for his guilt, so his conduct since has shown his repentance and affection for His Majesty’s government, and hopes he will be considered as a proper object of His Majesty’s clemency for obtaining an Act of Parliament rescinding the attainder and releiving him from the effects of the sentence pronunced against him.

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