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A History of the County of Renfrew from the Earliest Times
Chapter X.—Families

After the settlement of the county by Walter Fitz Alan in the second half of the twelfth century, the families with which he then planted it, underwent many vicissitudes, much of their property changed hands, and new families were introduced among them. Most of the old families were still represented, and what I propose in the present chapter is to give some account of the chief among them down to about the time of the Reformation.

Among those who came north with Walter Fitz Alan was Robert de Montgomery, grandson or nephew—grandson, according to Sir William Fraser —of Roger de Montgomery, the great Earl of Shrewsbury, the companion and kinsman of William the Conqueror. From Walter he received the lands of Eaglesham. He and his son and grandson appear frequently as witnesses in the Register of the monastery of Paisley.

John de Montgomery, grandson of the first Robert, swore fealty to Edward I. at Berwick, August 28, 1296, and is said, like the rest of the Renfrewshire men who signed the Ragman Roll, to be of the county of Lanark.

John de Montgomery, the ninth of Eaglesham, is celebrated for the part he took in the battle of Otterburn, in the year 1388, where, with his own hand, he captured Henry Percy, known as Hotspur. With the money he received as his ransom he is said to have built Pulnoon Castle, the ancient residence of the family. By his marriage with Elizabeth, sole heiress of Sir Hugh Eglinton, he acquired the estates of Eglinton and Ardrossan. The mother of Elizabeth was Egidia, or Giles, Stuart, a half-sister of Robert the Steward, afterwards King Robert II., who bestowed upon his brother-in-law, Sir Hugh Eglinton, various lands and dignities. In the year 1348 he gave him the lands of Meldrum. On January 15, 1366, he appointed him bailie and chamberlain of the barony of Cunningham, and gave him as his fee a third part of the fines and issues of the bailie and chamberlain courts. Four years after his. accession he bestowed upon him the lands of Lochleboside, in the barony of Renfrew and parish of Paisley, which had been forfeited by Michael de Lardner, “ to be held by Hugh and Egidia his spouse, the King’s dearest sister and their heirs of the King and his heirs, Stewards of Scotland, for giving yearly ten merks sterling for the support of a chaplain to celebrate divine service in the Cathedral Church of Glasgow.” In 1371, Sir John had a pension from the King of forty merks sterling from the great customs of Edinburgh, to be paid to him and his heirs in equal portions at Whitsuntide and Martinmas, and granted, as it is expressly stated, for “ retinencia,” or support to be given to the King and heir-apparent.

The son of Sir John Montgomery and Elizabeth Eglinton, after the dispute respecting the bailieship of Cunningham had broken out, and with a view evidently of compromising matters, at least for the time being, executed an indenture with Sir Robert of Cunningham, Lord of Kilmaurs, whereby the latter “ is oblist to wed Anny of Mungumry, the dochtyr of Schir lone of Mungumry, and to gyfe to the said Anny joynt feftment of twenty merkis worth of his Mudir landis ; and gife it hapynnys the said Schir Robert and Anny hafand sonnys of lyfe, the joynt feftment beande of na value,” Sir John is bound to give Sir Robert for the marriage three hundred merks and forty pounds, to be paid by yearly sums of forty pounds, from the lands of Eastwood and Lochleboside : “ Als it is accordit at the said Robert sal joyse and browk the Balzery of Conyngham, with al the profytis pertenande til it, for the terme of his lyfe ; and the said Schir Robert is oblist at he sal nocht mak na ger mak the said Balzery sekirar til him, na til his ayris, in to the mentyme na [than] he was in to the entra of the Balzery ; the said Schir lone of Mungumry and his ayris hafand recourse to the said Balzery eftir the dede [death] of the said Schir Robert, in the samyn forme and effect as it was in the tyme of the makyng of thir [these] evidentys : Als, because of kynrend thar behufys to be a purchas ; and gife it may be gotyn in Scotlande, the said Sir lone of Mungumry sal pay tharfor, and gife it be outwyth, it sal be gotyn on bath thair costys: And gyfe it hapynnys the said Schir lone of Mungumry not to ga in hostage for the Kyng, he sal hald the said Anny his dochtir and a damysale with her and Schir Robertis resonabyl repayr for twa yer in met and drynk, and buch of court, with sex horssis fyndyng at the liking of the said Schir Robert; and gife he gais in hostage, the said Schir Robert sal se for his wyfe hymself.” It is further agreed that Sir Robert shall not enter to the said bailiary till he and Anny be married, and also that if he or Anny die before being married, he or his heirs shall restore what he has taken up of the said marriage to Sir John or his heirs.

This singular document is dated at Irvine, June 16, 1425. In the transumpt in which it occurs there is a discharge, dated at Finlayston, February 20, 1432, from which it appears that Robert of Cunningham, Lord of Kilmaurs, received from Alexander Montgomery, Lord of Ardrossan, the sum of 300 merks and forty pounds on account of the marriage of his sister “ Angnes of Mungumry ” as agreed upon between Sir John Mungumry and the said Robert, who fully discharges the sum. The transumpt was made at the church of St. Giles of Edinburgh, in the presence of, among others, “ Master Thomas Mowngumry, rector of Eglishame.”

At the time of the marriage of his sister Agnes (from which it would appear that Anny was dead), Sir Alexander Montgomery had succeeded his father. In 1430, he was appointed Governor of Kintyre and Knapdale. On May 15, 1438, he executed an indenture, similar to the above, whereby he agreed that his eldest daughter, “ Mergaret off Mongomry,” should marry John Stewart, son and heir to Alan Stewart, Lord of Darnley. Her tocher was to be 600 merks Scots, and the Lord of Darnley obliged himself to infeft the young couple in conjunct fee in the 40 merk lands of Dreghorn and Dromley. It appears from the indenture that neither of the couple was “ off lachfull eld.” It was therefore provided that “ geff it hapynys, as God forbid, the forsayd son or dochter to dysses [die], the next son off the forsayd Alan sail mary the forsad Mergaret, and falzand off hyr, the next dochter of the forsayd Alexander ; and sa furth, geff it falzes off ane or off ma [more], quhyll aythyr [so long as either] off thaim has dochteris or sonnys, quhyll [until] the forsayd matrimonie be fullyly complet and endyt, as is forspokyn.”

About the year 1445, Sir Alexander Montgomery was made a Lord of Parliament, with the title of Lord Montgomery of Ardrossan. He married Margaret, second daughter of Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, and had issue : (1) Alexander, who had a grant from James II. of the of bailiary of the barony of Cuningham, June 30, 1448, and predeceased his father; (2) George, from whom descended the Montgomeries of Skelmorlie; (3) Thomas, rector of Eaglisham ; (4) Margaret, married in 1438 to Johu first Earl of Lennox, in terms of the above indenture ; and Elizabeth and Agnes, the first of whom married John, second Lord Kennedy, and the second, William Cunningham of Glengarnock. Alexander, the first Lord, died in 1461, and was succeeded by his grandson, Alexander, who married Catharine Kennedy, daughter of Gilbert Lord Kennedy.

Hugh, third Lord Montgomery, was a zealous supporter of King James IV., and, as a reward for his services, was created, in 1506, Earl of Eglinton. After the battle of Flodden, he was one of the peers who met in Parliament at Stirling, September 19, 1513, when the coronation of James V. was fixed for the next day but one. He was nominated one of the Queen Dowager’s counsellors, and held several important offices, among which was that of tutor to the young King. In 1533, he was appointed Admiral Depute of the bailiary of Cunningham, in the county of Ayr, and, in 1536, he was named one of the joint governors of Scotland during the King’s absence in France. Much of his attention was taken up with the Cunningham feud. In 1528, Eglinton Castle was burned and destroyed, and along with it all the muniments of the family, by the Cunninghams. The feud may be said to have culminated in the murder of Hugh, the fourth Earl of Eglinton, on April 18, 1586—a murder deliberately planned by the Cunninghams and perpetrated by Cunningham of Robertland.

Hugh, the first Earl, had charters to himself and Helen Campbell, third daughter of Colin, first Earl of Argyll, his wife, of the lands of Eastwood, December 18, 1515 ; to himself of the lands of Dreghorn, May 20, 1520 ; to himself and his wife of the lands of Langside, in the barony of Cathcart, July 26, 1527 ; to himself of the lands of Woodhill, in Ayrshire, forfeited by Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie, September 5, 1528 ; and of part of the lands of Langside to himself, March 15, 1530-31. On February 21, 1526-27, he was appointed Justice-General of the northern parts of Scotland, till the King should attain his perfect age of twenty-five years. On July 24, 1535, he received the office of Coroner of all lands within the limits of Cunningham, and had a charter of the island of Little Cumbrae, on the resignation of Robert Hunter of Hunterstoun, June 11, 1537. He died in June, 1545, in his eighty-fifth year.

Hugh, the second Earl, was the second son of John, Master of Eglinton, the second son of the first Earl. From Pope Clement VII. he obtained a dispensation, permitting him and Mariota Seton to marry, notwithstanding that they were within the third degree of consanguinity. He had a charter of the lands of Tarbolton, in Ayrshire, and of Drumclog and Brintsnab, in the county of Lanark, which had been forfeited by Mathew Earl of Lennox, November 29,1545. He died at Montredding, near Kilwinning, September 3, 1546. By his will, he nominated Mariota Seton, his wife, Hugh, his elder son and heir, and James Houston, sub-dean of Glasgow, his executors. The elder of his two daughters, Agnes, married Thomas Kennedy of Bargany.

Hugh, the third Earl, succeeded his father, and, being under age, had for his curators Robert Lord Semple, Richard Maitland of Lethington, and Hew Wallace of Carnell. He was made Commendator of the monastery of Kilwinning, May 19, 1552, and had the office of chamberlain, justiciary, and bailie of all the lands belonging to that monastery. Siding with Queen Mary, he was engaged fighting for her at Langside, May 15, 1568, for which the Parliament held by the Regent Moray, August 19 following, declared that he had committed treason. In April, 1571, he submitted to the authority of James VI., and was sent to Doune Castle, but, being released, he appeared in the Parliament held at Stirling in the month of September of that year. He died in June, 1585, and left issue by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John Drummond of Innerpeffrey, who, in 1588, married Patrick, third Lord Drummond: Hugh, who succeeded to the earldom ; Robert, from whom descended the Montgomeries of Giffen; and two daughters, Margaret and Agnes, the latter of whom married Robert, fourth Lord Semple.

Hugh, the fourth Earl, as already noted, was the victim of the Cunningham feud. He succeeded his father in June, 1585. On April 18, 1586, when riding from Pulnoon to a tryst at Stirling, he was waylaid and attacked about six miles from his house at Pulnoon by the lairds of Robertland, Aikit, and other of the Cunninghams, and shot dead.

His son, also named Hugh, succeeded as fifth Earl. He married his cousin-german, Margaret, daughter of Robert Montgomery of Giffen, and died without issue. He was the last of the direct male line of the Montgomeries. His cousin, Sir Alexander Seton of Foulstruther, third son of Lady Margaret Montgomery, elder daughter of the third Earl of Eglinton, who was Countess of Robert, first Earl of Winton, inherited the estates and assumed the name of Montgomery and the title of Eglinton. This he did in terms of a family arrangement, confirmed by a charter from the Crown, dated November 28, 1611. His assumption of the dignity, however, was at first strongly opposed by James VI., but, after a controversy of two years, the King, who appears to have been more anxious to assert his prerogative than to prevent Sir Alexander attaining to the earldom, relented, and confirmed the previous grant of the Crown. Sir Alexander was the sixth Earl, and was popularly known as “ Greysteel.” From his fourth son the present Earl is lineally descended.

In the reign of Charles I., Greysteel took an active part in favour of the country party. He was one of the Councillors nominated by the Parliament of Scotland, November 13, 1641, a commissioner for receiving brotherly assistance from the Parliament of England and for conserving the articles of the treaty between England and Scotland. In 1642, he was a member of the General Assembly, and in the same year had command of one of the regiments sent over to put down the rebellion in Ireland; and, as we shall see, he was with the Scottish troops at Marston Moor and opposed to the Engagement. When Charles II. came to Scotland in 1650, the Earl waited upon him, was made captain of his horse-guards, and remained in his service till he was taken prisoner and sent, first to Hull, and then to Berwick, where he was confined till the Restoration. He died, January 7, 1661. He married Lady Anne Livingstone, eldest daughter of Alexander, first Earl of Linlithgow, by whom he had issue : Hugh, his successor; Sir Henry Montgomery of Giffen ; Colonel Alexander Montgomery, who died in Ireland ; Colonel James Montgomery of Coylsfield; Major-General Robert Montgomery, of whom we shall hear in the sequel; and two daughters, Margaret and Anne.

Rainaldus de Ketkert (Cathcart), who evidently took his surname from the lands bestowed upon him by Walter Fitz Alan, was also a companion of the High Steward when he came north with David I. He appears in the Register of the Monastery of Paisley as a witness to the endowment charter of the Abbey, which mentions, among other donations, the gift of the church of Cathcart.

He was succeeded by Ranulfus de Ketkert, who witnessed a charter in 1202, by which Alan, the son of Walter the Steward, conveyed to the monks of Paisley an annual rent of ten pennies, which the monks of Melrose were in use to pay him for their lands at Mauchline.

Ranulfus was succeeded by William de Cathcart, who, with his son Alan, witnessed an agreement, which Dugald, the son of Christinus, Judge of Lennox, and his wife, Matilda, made with the Abbot and Convent of Paisley, whereby, because they were oppressed by poverty and burdened with many debts, they exchanged the lands of Cnoc (Knock) for certain lands near Walkinshaw, soon after the year 1234.

Alan succeeded his father. He appended his seal to a resignation made by the Judge of the Lennox to the Abbot and Convent of Paisley, of the lands of Culbethe, in 1234, and witnessed a charter, dated the Thursday before the feast of S. Barnabas, 1240, of the High Steward to Sir Adam Fullerton, of the lands of Fullerton, in the bailiary of Kyle.

He was succeeded by his son William. William had a sister, named Cecilia, who married John de Perthec. Cecilia and her husband fell into great poverty, and, after parting with all the rest of their lands, sold the last piece they had, a burgage in Rutherglen, to the monks of Paisley. After the death of her husband, Cecilia in her “free widowhood” gave the monks a new charter. She affixed her seal to it, and “ my brother William ” signed as one of the witnesses. The date of the charter is the Monday next after Ascension Day, 1262.4 Another, or the same William de Cathcart (Ketkert) swore fealty to King Edward I. in 1296, and has his name on the Ragman Roll.

Sir Alan Cathcart, who followed, was one of the companions of King Robert I. He accompanied him through the mountains when his fortunes were lowest, and was present at the battle of Loudon Hill, when the English were defeated, in 1307. He marched with Edward Bruce into Galloway, was present at the defeat of Sir John de St. John, and is eulogised by Barbour, as we have seen, as “ worthy and wight, stalwart and stout, courteous and fair, and of good fame.”

Like many other Scottish families, during the Wars of Independence, the Cathcarts had representatives on both sides. In 1310, Sir William of Cathcart was one of the knights who were holding the Castle of Roxburgh for the English.

During the reign of Robert II., in 1387, Sir Alan Cathcart obtained the baronies of Sundrum and Auchincrew, in Kyle, as the heir of his uncle, Sir Duncan Wallace of Sundrum.1 In 1399, he was summoned before the King, along with Sir William Cunningham and Sir Hew Wallace, to answer a charge of calumny preferred against them by Sir Thomas Boyd and his men.

Alan de Cathcart, dominus ejusdem, entered himself a hostage for King James I. in England, June, 1432, in room of Malcolm Fleming, son and heir of Malcolm Fleming. On September 5, 1439, James I. granted a charter to John Cathcart and his heirs, of the lands of Ristonholm, Snodgers, and Little Calderwood, in the county of Lanark, with the office of coroner in half of the barony of Renfrew, forfeited by Agnes Yair.

On April 23, 1451, Alan Cathcart (Kethkert) of that ilk, along with Sir James Douglas of Ralston, and about a hundred others, received a safe conduct from the Lord High Chancellor of England for “ on hoole yere.” If Crawfurd and Nisbet be right, this was not the Sir Alan Cathcart who was raised to the peerage as Lord Cathcart by James II., in 1447. Alan Lord Cathcart first appears in the Acts of Parliament on October 11, 1464, in the reign of James III. But on June 18, 1452, Alan Lord Cathcart witnessed an instrument narrating that Alexander Cunningham of Kilmaurs had resigned into the hands of King James II. certain lands, which are specified, and had received them back in free barony to be called Kilmaurs, in terms of a charter to be made therefor. According to Douglas also, the peerage was created in 1447. If this date be right, there were evidently two Sir Alan Cathcarts who were contemporary—one who obtained a safe conduct from the Chancellor of England on April 23, 1451, and another who was created Lord Cathcart in 1447. But the probability is that Nisbet, Crawfurd, and Douglas are wrong, and that the date of the peerage is 1452, though the date is not without its difficulties. Burke gives October 8, 1460, as the date, but against that is the charter of 1452. Alan, first Lord Cathcart, had a charter of the barony of Auchincruive and Glavanys, in Ayrshire, July 2, 1465, and another from Robert Dalrymple, of the whole office of mayor of fee within the bounds of Kyle, to which Hugh Cathcart of Kitzotham is a witness, and a royal charter confirmed his Lordship in the office on March 7 following. He was one of the lords who, on July 10, 1466, seized the King’s person at Linlithgow.10 He was made Warden of the West Marches, April 11, 1481, and had a grant from James III. of the custody of the Castle of Dundonald, and of the dominical lands of Dundonald, in Ayrshire, December 13, 1482. He also obtained the lands' of Trabeath, in King’s Kyle, which had been forfeited by Lord Boyd, and was made Master of Artillery in 1485. He died before August 12, 1499, and was buried in the convent of the Black Friars at Ayr. Hugh, his second son, was the first of the Cathcarts of Trevor.

Alan, the first Lord, was succeeded by John, his grandson and heir, who married Margaret, daughter of Kennedy of Blairquhan, and secondly, Janet, daughter of Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig (ancestor to the Duke of Queensberry) and of Elizabeth Crichton, daughter of Lord Sanquhar. As the tocher of Janet, her mother, Elizabeth Crichton, Lady Drumlanrig, bound herself to pay to John Lord Cathcart the sum of 700 merks. John Lord Cathcart was a member of the Privy Council in March, 1507. By his first wife, his Lordship had issue, Alan, Master of Cathcart; and by his second, Robert, who was killed at Flodden, September 9, 1513; John, who was also killed at Flodden; David, from whom the Cathcarts of Carbiston descended ; Hugh, the ancestor of the Cathcarts of Corf; and four daughters, Janet, Elizabeth, Jane, and Margaret. Elizabeth married John Wallace of Craigy, and Margaret, John Hunter of Hunterstown. During the lifetime of John Lord Cathcart the estates of the family were considerably diminished, part of them being sold to Hugh Earl of Eglinton, and to John Craufurd of Drorgane.

Lord John lived till 1535, or after, and was succeeded by his grandson and heir, Alan, son of Alan, Master of Cathcart. Alan is styled magister, August 2, 1531,4 and dominus on June 25, 1537.5 His grandfather was certainly alive on August 5, 1535, and must have died, therefore, between that date and June 25, 1537 ; but how long he lived after August 5, 1535, is apparently unknown.

Alan, the third Lord, had charters of the baronies of Sundrum, Dalmel-lington, and other lands in Ayrshire, July 8, 1541, to himself and his heirs male, which failing, to Robert Cathcart of Carleton, David Cathcart of Duchra, Hugh Cathcart of Aroy, William Cathcart of Carbiston, Alan Cathcart of Troweir, William Cathcart of Bardawrath, James Cathcart of Drumjowan, William Cathcart of Drumsmodden, John Cathcart of Glendeweis, and the heirs male of their bodies, successively. In November, 1543, he sold the castle, fortalice, and part of the lands of Cathcart to Gabriel Semple of Lady-muir, brother-german of William Lord Semple, and his wife, Janet Spreul, who assumed the name of Cathcart, which remained in their family for some time. He married Helen, eldest daughter of William, second Lord Semple, by whom he had issue, Alan, his successor, and Mary, who married Gilbert Graham of Knockdolian, in Carrick. He fell at Pinkie, September 10, 1547.

Alan, the fourth Lord, married Margaret, daughter of John Wallace of Craigy. On April 17, 1564, he became surety for his father-in-law, who for some time had been engaged in a private war with Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar. He was one of the lords of the West country who, on September 5, 1565, subscribed a bond at Glasgow in presence of the King and Queen, that they would “ trewlie and faythfullie serve the King and Queen’s Majesties and their lieutenant Lord Mathow, Erie of Lennox”; and when the Queen took the field in the month of October in that year, he was one of the leaders in the vanguard of her army, along with Lords Semple and Ross. Subsequently, like Lord Semple, he deserted the Queen, and fought against her at Langside. On October 8, the Queen’s Commissioners protested against the unlawful acts done by him, Glencairn, Semple, and others, and on November, 1568, he was charged by the same Commissioners with besetting the Queen on her way to Dunbar, with imprisoning her in Lochleven, and with pretending to crown her son at Stirling, then “ bot of threttene monethis auld.” He was present at the Convention of Perth, July 28, 1569, where also were the Earl of Glencairn and Lord Robert Semple. He was appointed Master of the Household in 1579, and had charters of the lands of Easter Carbistoun and of the barony of Dalmellington, March 4, 1607. He died in 1618, and was succeeded by his grandson, Alan, fifth Lord Cathcart.

The Polloks also, like the Cathcarts, were descended from companions or followers of Walter Fitz Alan. The first of their family known, but not of their name, was Fulbert, whose name occurs a number of times in the Register of the monastery of Paisley. In all likelihood he was a follower of Walter. He had three sons, Peter, Robert, and Helias, all of whom appear to have accompanied Walter in his migration to the north. Helias was a priest, and owner of the church and church lands of Mearns, which he had probably received from the High Steward. He afterwards gave them to the monastery of Paisley. Peter and Robert were apparently conspicuous figures at the courts of Malcolm IV. and William the Lion. Each of them assumed the style and designation of Pollok.

Peter bestowed the church of Pollok, with its lands and pertinents, upon the monastery of Paisley, and confirmed to it the gift of his brother Helias. In 1180, he witnessed a charter by which King William gave to the monastery of Kinloss the whole land of Burgin. Between the years 1187-1203 he witnessed a charter, by which Richard Bishop of Moray took the Abbot and monks of Kinloss and their whole possessions under his protection. According to this same charter, he was one of the benefactors of the monastery. He and his brother Robert witnessed the charter of Alan, son.of Walter, the founder of Paisley Abbey, by which, in or about the year 1204, he gave to the Abbot and Convent of Paisley the church of Kingarth and other donations in the isle of Bute.

Robert, who, as he is named first in the charter just referred to, was probably the older, witnessed the charter (1165-1172) by which Walter Fitz Alan conferred upon the monastery of Paisley its chief endowments.4 Among other charters in the same Register, he witnessed that by which Eschina of Molla, the wife of the High Steward, bestowed upon the monastery of Paisley the lands of Molla.5 Another witness to the charter was Helya the chaplain, who may have been Helias, his brother. His son, Robin, or Robert, witnessed the gift of the church of Pollok to the Paisley monastery.

In the year 1230, Robert de Pollok was dead, and had been succeeded by his son Robin, or Robert, who, for the souls of Walter, son of Alan, and of Alan himself, and for the souls of Peter de Pollok and of Robert, sons of Fulbert, gave, for a term of years, twelve pennies from the rents of his lands of Pollok.

Four years later, we meet with Peter de Pollok and Thomas de Pollok as witnesses to the charter of Dugald, son of Cristin, judge of Lennox, by which he resigned whatever claims he had on the lands called Culbuthe and on other lands in dispute in the Lennox. Peter does not again occur in the Register ; but we continue to meet with Thomas down to about the year 1272.

Peter de Pollok signed the Ragman Roll in 1296. He appears to have been succeeded by Robert de Pollok, who married Agnes, daughter of Sir John Maxwell of Mearns. John Pollok, son and heir of Robert, obtained, in 1372, by a charter, dated at Caerlaverock, the lands of Pollok from his grandfather, Sir Robert Maxwell.10 On October 8, 1392, he witnessed a charter by John Montgomery, Lord of Eaglesham, granting to William of Blakeforde, for homage and service, the whole land called Little Benane, which had been resigned into the grantee’s hands.

Charles of Pollok, laird of Over Pollok, the successor of John Pollok, was appointed Keeper of Rothesay Castle by John Earl of Lennox. In 1485 his appointment was renewed for a period of five years, for payment yearly of 60 merks at the castle of Crookston,  chalders of beir to be delivered at Govan, 50 mas of sea-salted herrings and 10 mas of red herrings to be delivered at Renfrew. The Earl, on the other hand, was to allow him 45 merks yearly of the said sum for all bypast terms, in consideration of which the Laird of Ovir Pollok discharged the Earl and his heirs of the lands of Langlochmuir, Port-atoun, etc. The following year, Charles de Pollok received a charter of his lands of Pollok from Robert Lord Maxwell. He married Margaret Stewart, daughter of the Laird of Minto, by whom he had two sons, John and David. He died in 1508, and was succeeded by his son and heir, John, who, dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother David.

In 1523 David de Pollok obtained a charter of his lands, and died in 1543, leaving issue by his wife, Marion, daughter of William Stewart of Castle-milk, John, his successor, and a younger son, from whom descended the Polloks of Balgray. John Pollok of that ilk married Margaret, daughter of Gabriel Semple of Cathcart, and died in 1567. His son and successor married Janet, daughter of William Mure of Glanderstoun, by whom he had John, his son and heir, who married Maud, daughter of Sir Niel Montgomery of Langs-toun, and, secondly, Dorothea Stewart, daughter of James Stewart of Car-donald. He was killed at Lockerbie in 1598.

The Maxwells of Nethir Pollok are said to be descended from John Maxwell of Pollok, brother of Sir Herbert Maxwell of Caerlaverock, to whose donation to the monks of Paisley out of his lands of Mearns he was a witness, in the year 1273 or shortly after.4 In the charter he is styled “ John Maxwell Lord of Pollok.” He had a brother named Peter, who witnessed the same deed of gift. John de Pollok occurs several times in the Register of the Paisley monastery as a witness. In 1224 he witnessed a charter of King Alexander II., whereby a gift of certain fishings on the part of the Earl of Lennox to the Abbot and Convent of Paisley was confirmed.5 Four years later he witnessed another charter by the King, confirming to the monks of the same house the church of Kilpatrick, with all its pertinents, which had been given to them by the same Earl of Lennox, and soon became a .source of trouble and litigation, and continued to be so for many years. His name appears also amongst those of the witnesses to the charter by which Alexander confirmed to the Paisley monks the gift to them by Walter the Second, High Steward of Scotland, of the monastery and lands of the Gilbertine monks and nuns, who, after a stay of a few years at Dalmulin, had returned to their parent house in Yorkshire. In 1250 he witnessed a charter of Alexander III., by which he confirmed to Robert Hertford, clerk, the lands of Dollenrach, which had been given to him by Dugald, son of Alwyn Earl of Lennox. A John de Maxwell “ of the county of Lanark ” signed the Ragman Roll in 1296 ; but whether he was this John de Maxwell or his son, is uncertain.

On September 26, 1357, as one of the magnates of Scotland, John de Maxwell, in conjunction with others, was appointed a plenipotentiary to treat with Edward III. of England for the ransom of David II. Ten years later, 1367, John de Maxwell, Lord of Pollok, witnessed the charter by which Robert Earl of Strathearn and John, his son, sought to settle the controversy between the house of Abercorn and the Abbey of Paisley, respecting the pension the former had bought in connection with the convent at Dalmulin from the Master of Sempringham, the head of the Gilbertine Order. He was present and took the oath at the coronation of Robert II. at Scone, March 27, 1371. In 1372 he obtained from the Earl of Strathearn a part of the lands of Badruel in the earldom of Strathearn, which in 1398 he exchanged with Sir Bernard Hauden, ancestor of the lairds of Gleneagles, for the lands of Jackstoun in the barony of Kilbride and County of Lanark. In 1373 he was present at the Parliament when the Act was passed settling the succession to the crown. John of Maxwell, Lord of Pollok, Knight, was one of the witnesses to a charter by Malcolm Fleming, Knight, Lord of Biggar and of Leigne in favour of his grandson, William of Bryde, Lord of Galvane, granting for his service done and to be done, the lands of Badynhache in the granter’s barony of Leigne in the sheriffdom of Dumbarton. The charter was confirmed by the King at the Castle of Rothesay, July 7, 1395. Sir John had issue, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Lindsay of Crawfurd, and niece of the King : Sir John, his successor, and Robert, from whom descended the Maxwells of Calderwood, which produced the family of Newark, of whom issued the Maxwells of Stanely, Dargavel, etc.

To the Sir John just mentioned, succeeded another Sir John, who lived in the reign of James I. His successor bore the same name. In 1477 he obtained the lands of Glanderston from John Lord Darnley. He left three sons : Sir John, his successor, Master Robert, rector of Tarbolton, and successively Dean of the Collegiate Church of Dumbarton and Bishop of Orkney ; and George of Cowglen, whose son married the heiress of Pollok.

The fifth Sir John Maxwell de Pollok lived during the reign of James IV., by whom he was knighted. He married into the family of Houstoun of that ilk, and had one daughter, his sole heiress, Elizabeth. She married her first cousin, John Maxwell, son of George Maxwell of Cowglen, and is returned in the year 1558 heiress of her great-grandfather, Sir John Maxwell of Pollok. This Sir John was knighted by Queen Mary and adhered zealously to her. After her escape from Lochleven Castle in 1568, he continued with her to the defeat of her troops at Langside. He died in 1578, and was succeeded by his son, who was killed in the conflict at Lockerbie between Lord Maxwell and the Laird of Johnstoun in 1593.

The family of Mearns, which, in the reign of King Alexander II., was merged into that of the Maxwells of Caerlaverock by the marriage of an heiress of the surname of M'Geachin, had its seat at the Castle of Mearns in the barony of Mearns. The first using the designation was Rolandus de Mearns, who witnessed the donation which Eschina de Molla, the wife of Walter Fitz Alan, gave to the monastery of Paisley. He witnessed also a charter, by which Henry St. Martin gave to the same monastery, with the consent of his heirs, two carrucates of land in Penuld in the Parish of Kilbarchan, which had been given to him by Walter the High Steward, as well as another by which Nicholas de Costentin gave to the same religious house a piece of land situated in Innerwick, near to the cemetery of S. Michael, in or about the year 1200. He appears to have had two sons, Robert and Richard, both of whom are witnesses to charters in the Paisley Register.

Eymer de Maxwell also occurs in the Register. He belonged to the same family, and was contemporary with Robert and Richard. According to Burke, he was Sheriff of Dumfries (1232-1255), and married Mary, daughter of Roland M'Geachan, heiress of Mearns. According to the same authority, he had three sons, Herbert, Edward and John, from the latter of whom descended the Maxwells of Pollok, Springkell, and Calderwood, the Maxwells of Cardoness, Newark, Stanely, Dargavel, etc.

In the year 1300 Herbert de Maxwell was in possession of the lands of Mearns, and gave to the monks of Paisley, in exchange for other lands, eight acres and a half and twenty particates in the Newton of Mearns. According to Crawfurd, “John Maxwell lord of Mearns” granted a charter to John, his grandchild by Agnes Maxwell, his daughter, in 1372. Sir Herbert Maxwell of Caerlaverock and Mearns was, according to the same authority, created a Lord of Parliament, with the title of Lord Maxwell, by King James II., about the year 1445. In the reign of King James VI., John Lord Maxwell, in right of Elizabeth Douglas, his wife, and daughter of one of the co-heirs of James Earl of Morton, Regent (his brother-in-law), upon the forfeiture of Morton, in 1581 obtained the Earldom, but on the restoration of Archibald Earl of Angus, in 1585, to the Earldom of Morton, Lord Maxwell was obliged to relinquish the title. In 1617 his son was declared Earl of Nithsdale with precedency from 1581, the date at which his father had assumed the title and dignity of the Earldom of Morton.

The Crocs of Crookston or Darnley, as they are indifferently styled, descended from Robert Croc, a follower of Walter Fitz Allan. Once he is called Robert Croc de Neilston, the lands of which belonged to him. He appears to have had three sons : Alan, Thomas, and Simon. The names of both father and sons occur in all about thirty times in the Register of the Paisley monastery. Robert witnessed the endowment charter of the Abbey and several charters by Alan, the son of Walter. Sometimes Robert and his son Alan are witnesses to the same charter. The name of Thomas often occurs alone of the family. Simon’s name occurs but once, in 1225, where it immediately follows that of his brother Alan.

In or about the year 1180, Robert Croc and Henry de Nes, whom the monks call “ special friends of our house,” asked and obtained permission from the Prior and Convent of Paisley to build chapels or oratories in their courts for the purpose of celebrating divine worship in them. Robert Croc also asked and obtained permission from the same ecclesiastics to have a chapel in a hospital he had built upon his lands for sick brethren (infirmis fratribus) and also a chaplain, for whom he undertook to provide a stipend and all things required for celebrating the divine offices.

About the year 1200, Alan, son of Walter, Steward of Scotland, for the 100 shilling land he owed him, gave to Robert Croc and his heirs a charter of the lands of Kilbride, with the waste, by the marches perambulated by the granter’s father, in the valley towards his forest which extended eastward to the marches of Morne and so around the long lake to the marches of Cunningham. It was to be held of the granter and his heirs in fee for the service of one knight. The same charter also assigned to Croc and his heirs and their men in Cuglin, pasture in the granter’s forest. On November 27, probably in the year 1225, King Alexander confirmed a charter by which Malcolm Earl of Lennox gave to Simon, the son of Robert Croc, the lands of Brengrochane and Kynmonedhane and Gartbethe. About the year 1272 these same lands were resigned by Simon Crok, knight, into the hands of Malcolm, fourth Earl of Lennox, and in favour of Sir Patrick of Grahame.

Robert, the third son of Walter II., High Steward of Scotland, married the daughter and heiress of Robert de Croc, lord of Crookston and Darnley, from which marriage came the Stewart family of Lennox. From his father he received the lordship of Tarbolton in the County of Ayr. He was succeeded by Robert Stewart, Lord of Crookston, his son and heir, By a letter dated at Tarbet, June 4, 1330, Robert the Steward of Scotland, with the consent of his guardians, granted licence to his cousin, Sir Alan Stewart, to purchase heritably from Adam of Glasfreth his land of Crukysfu, in the barony of Renfrew, reserving to himself and his heirs the services used and wont.

Sir Alan, who fell at the battle of Halidon Hill, July 19, 1333, was succeeded by Sir John, to whom Robert, the Steward of Scotland, granted a charter of Novodamus confirming to him all the lands and tenements which he held of the granter in chief: to be held by Sir John and his lawful heirs, or failing them, by Walter Stewart, his brother, for rendering the service used and wont. The charter is dated at the Castle of Rothesay, February 2, 1356.5 The following year, May 16, 1357, the same Sir John, Lord of Crookston, received from Robert, the Steward of Scotland, the fee of the principal tenement of Tarbolton, in the barony of Kyle, upon the resignation of John of Grahame. By a charter dated at Darnley about January 10, 1361, the same Sir John Stewart received anew the lands of Crokyisfou, Inchenane and Perthaykscot, in the barony of Renfrew. By a similar charter of about the same date as the preceding, and dated at Darnley, he received back, after resigning them, the lands of Tarbolton and of Dromley in the barony of Kyle, from John Stewart, Lord of Kyle Stewart. Robert the Stewart appointed Sir John his bailie in the barony of Renfrew, and on July 20, 1361, addressed from Cluny a precept to “Sir John Stewart, lord of Crukston, our bailie of Renfrew.”8 He received on October 24, 1358, a safe conduct to come into, or pass through England, with sixty horse or foot, and died before January 15, 1369.

His grandson, Sir Alexander, had a charter from John, Earl of Carrick, Steward of Scotland, of the manor and tower of Galston. He was succeeded by his son and heir, Sir John Stewart, May 5, 1404, who had a great share in the victory of Bauge in Anjou, and afterwards received a grant of the lands of Aubigny and Concressault from Charles VII. of France. On July 17, 1428, he received a charter, under the Great Seal, from King James I., of the lands of Tarbolton in the barony of Kyle Stewart, in Ayrshire, which belonged to the granter heritably and had been resigned by him : To be held, all and sundry the foresaid lands, with the tenandries of Rath, Neutirtane, Previk, Clune, Colaim. Carngulane, Welchtoun Litil and Welchtoun Mekil, Park of Tarbolton, Smithistoun, Skeok and the Vairtoun, in a free barony to be called the barony of Tarbolton. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Duncan Earl of Lennox, in consequence of which a great part of the estates of the earldom of Lennox subsequently came into the Darnley family. His third son was John Stewart, Lord of Aubigny and Concressault, in France.

Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son. Sir Alan, in 1429, who, on August 4, 1437, received, from Charles VII. of France, letters granting him an extension of time during which to pay certain debts he had incurred for his support while engaged in His Majesty’s service. A marriage contract was made by which John Stewart, son and heir of Alan Stewart, was to marry Margaret, daughter of Alexander Montgomery, Lord of Ardrossan, and by which the latter became bound to pay, in name of tocher with his daughter, Margaret Montgomery, the sum of 600 merks Scots, while the former became bound to provide his son and Margaret in conjunct fee in the 40 merk lands of Dreghorn and Drumley and others. The indenture is dated at Houstoun, May 15, 1438. He was treacherously slain at Powmathorn, near Falkirk, in 1439, by Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, “ for auld feud that was betwixt them,” and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Stewart, who appears to have been made a Lord of Parliament, probably at the Coronation of James III.

In December, 1460, Alexander Stewart, brother to and procurator for John Stewart, Lord of Darnley, exhibited before the Chancellor of Scotland and others at Ayr, two petitions of Lord Darnley, requesting that brieves should be directed from Chancery to the sheriffs of Stirling and Dumbarton for making enquiry as to what lands and annual rents Duncan Earl of Lennox, father of Elizabeth Lennox and grandfather of John Lord Darnley, died vested and seised of, and whether the Lord John Darnley was one of the lawful heirs of Duncan. This was the beginning of a process which lasted for some time, but ended in the transference of the earldom and dignity of Lennox to the Darnley family.

James III. gave, on July 20, 1461, John Lord Darnley and his wife, Margaret Montgomery, a new charter of the dominical lands of Tarbolton Drumley, Dreghorn and Ragalhill, in Ayrshire. Two years later, Lord Darnley presented a petition to Parliament praying to be served heir to half of the lands of the earldom of Lennox for one year, offering to bind himself to maintain, at his own expense, for one year, a hundred spears and a hundred bows in any part of the realm against His Majesty’s enemies; or otherwise to find fifty spears and fifty bows for a year, and to find caution that his occupation of the half of the earldom should not prejudice any claims His Majesty might have to it.

In 1465 he was appointed Governor of Rothesay Castle at a fee of 40 merks till the King (James III.) attained his fifteenth year. Two years later, his term of office was extended to the King’s twenty-first year, and his fee increased to 100 merks. In 1470 he was directed by warrant of the King to deliver to Henry Crichton, Abbot of Paisley, or his assignees, a quantity of lead that his Lordship had in keeping in the Castle of Bute. In 1472 the term of his governorship of Rothesay Castle was again extended, this time to the King’s twenty-fifth year.

The Lennox business was settled in 1473. Sir John Colquhoun of that ilk, Sheriff of Dumbarton, on July 23 of that year returned John Lord Darnley as heir of his great-grandfather, Duncan Earl of Lennox, of the principal messuage and the half of the lands of the earldom, as lawfully descended from the eldest daughter of the deceased Earl. Four days later, Lord Darnley received sasine of the principal messuage and half of the lands, etc., of the earldom, and on the 31st of the month a discharge of all the sums of money and compositions due to the Crown connected with his entry to the earldom.

Mathew, the fourth Earl, of whom we shall hear again, was forfeited and exiled, October 9, 1545. He was recalled by Queen Mary in 1564, and restored to his honours. On July 11, 1570, he was appointed Regent of Scotland, and was slain at Stirling, September 4, 1571.

The Spreulls have long ceased to own their ancestral estate of Cowdon, in the parish of Neilston. During the period here dealt with, they were a family of considerable note. The first of them I have been able to meet with is Walter Spreull, Lord of Coldame, in the shire of Dumbarton, who, about the year 1294, was seneschal or steward to the Earl of Lennox, and with others, at the Earl’s direction, was holding courts in the Lennox property of the monks of Paisley, and in various ways seeking to deprive them of the donations conferred upon their house by one of the Earl’s predecessors. The cause of the monks was espoused by Robert Wishart, the famous Bishop of Glasgow, and afterwards “ the best perjured man in Scotland.” The Earl and his Steward paid no attention to the appeals of the Bishop. Robert at last directed the vicars of Carmunnock, Cathcart, Pollok, Kilmacolm and Kilbarchan to attend the courts the Earl and his steward were holding, and to warn them against interfering in the affairs of the Abbot and Convent “ contrary to God and to justice,” and in the event of their paying no heed to their warning, the vicars were, with all due solemnity, to proceed to excommunicate the Earl and his steward and all who adhered to them, and to lay the churches and chapels in the district under an interdict. This was only the beginning of the trouble between the Earl and the monastery. The controversy continued for many years, and was not settled until after the close of the English wars.

In 1296, Walter Spreull signed the Ragman Roll and took the oath of fealty to Edward I. of England. Among the garrison holding the Castle of Edinburgh for the English in 1335 was one Thomas Spreull, an esquire; but whether he belonged to the Cowdon family is uncertain, though it is not unlikely that he did. The same, or another, Thomas Spreull (“ Sproule ”) is mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls for 1368, 1368, 1372, as the receiver of stores for the Castle of Edinburgh. Under the year 1366, in the same Rolls, a Walter Spreull is mentioned as paying into the Exchequer the contribution of the barony of Glasgow towards the King’s ransom. At Bar, on August 29,

1483, Master William Spreull witnessed a charter whereby Hugh Lord Montgomery and Giffying gave to Alexander Montgomery, son and apparent heir of Robert Montgomery of Giffyng and his spouse Jonet of Dunlop, the five merk land of Bar, lying within the lordship of Giffyng and in the bailiary of Cunningham. With the exception of Sir Thomas Petcon, chaplain, the witnesses were Montgomeries.

In 1531 “ the laird of Cowdoun ” was engaged in a feud with the laird of Colgrane. One of the witnesses to the charter by which Alexander Porterfield sold his lands of Porterfield in the barony of Renfrew to his brother germane, Master John Porterfield, and his wife Beatrice Cunningham, on August 16, 1540, was Thomas Sprewill de Coldon. (Cowdon).

According to Nisbet there were several branches of the family, as the Spruells of Ladymuir, of Castlehill, and of Blachairne.

John Spreul, a younger son of the Cowdon family, was, in 1507, made vicar of Dundonald. At the same time he was one of the professors of philosophy in the University of Glasgow. Afterwards he was appointed Rector of the University. Subsequently he was advanced by Bishop Dunbar to be one of the prebends of his Cathedral Church, and in virtue of his prebendary became vicar of Ancrum. In 1541 he was a canon of Glasgow, and is so designated in a charter, according to which he bought from Lord Lyle, on the 25th August in that year, the lands of lie King’s Meadow, King’s Orchard, and Castlemilk, all lying within the territory of the burgh of Renfrew. Two years after this, he bought from Gabriel Semple of Ladymure, his wife Jonet Spreul consenting thereto, the lands of Ladymure in the lordship of Duchal and the parish of Kilmacolm, then occupied and cultivated by John Cochrane, George Lyle, and Jonet Caldwell. The contract was signed at Cathcart, April 25, 1543. On November 25 in the same year, Gabriel Semple and his wife Jonet Spreule purchased the lands and town of Cathcart, and assumed the designation of Cathcart. On July 27, 1545, the Queen granted to James Stewart of Cardonald, together with other lands, those of Dalmore and Dalquhorne4 in the lordship of Coldame in Dumbartonshire, the latter of which Walter Spreull of Cowdon had received from the Earl of Lennox in the time of Alexander III. In addition to the lands above mentioned, Master John Spreull is said to have purchased the lands of Blachairn in the lordship of Provan, and “ a fair lodging ” within the city of Glasgow. He died in the year 1555, leaving the whole of his property to John Spreull, his nephew, and son of his brother Robert, a burgess of Glasgow. At the Reformation, John is said to have become rector of Cambuslang.

In 1610, James Spreull of Cowdon was witness to a precept of dare constat by James Earl of Glencairn, dated at Glasgow, June 12. John Spreull, his successor, sold the lands of Cowdon to William Lord Cochrane, father of the first Earl of Dundonald, in 1622. John Spreull, the vicar of Cambuslang, was succeeded by his son and heir, whose son was Provost of Renfrew, and attended the Parliament of 1630 as one of the Commissioners of the Royal Burghs. The Provost was succeeded by his son, who was bred to the law, and was appointed Town Clerk of the city of Glasgow, and subsequently was one of the principal clerks of the Court of Session. In the Parliament of 1645 Renfrew was again represented by a John Spreull.

The Mures of Caldwell are descended from Sir Reginald More, Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland. He first appears in that office in the year 1329, the first of the reign of David II. He had three sons and a daughter named Alicia. Alicia married Sir William de Herch of Terregelis, and, secondly, Sir John Stewart of Ralston, son of Walter, Steward of Scotland, by Isobel Graham, and half-brother to King Robert II. Of the sons, John, the youngest, entered the Church and became vicar of Kincardine. William, the eldest, succeeded his father. He died without male issue, and his estates of Abercorn, etc., passed with his daughter and heiress, Christian, to Sir John Lindsay of Byres, ancestor of the Earls of Crawford and Lindsay, while the estates of Cowdams, Camseskane, etc., passed to his nephew, Godfrey Muir, son of Gilchrist, second son of Sir Reginald More.

Godfrey Muir is the first who is designated of Caldwell. The estates of Caldwell, in the counties of Ayr and Renfrew, are understood to have been acquired about the close of the fourteenth century by a marriage with the heiress of Caldwell of that ilk, then a family of some note, having given a Chancellor to Scotland in 1349. Godfrey was succeeded by John, to whom, and to Archibald Mure of Polkelly and Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, by a letter dated October 29, 1409, the Regent Albany granted a remission for the slaughter of Mark Neilson of Dalrymple. On January 19, 1340, he witnessed a charter by Fullerton of Crosbie respecting the lands of Dreghorn. To this John succeeded another John, who, probably during the life-time of his predecessor, under the title of John Muir, junior, of Cowdams, acted as a boundary commissioner for the burgh of Prestwick in 1446. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Lindsay of Dunrod, by whom he had, besides his son Sir Adam, who succeeded him, a daughter, Marjorie, who married Sir John Ross of Hawkhead, ancestor of the present Earl of Glasgow, Lord Ross, and to whom and to her husband a monument was erected in the parish church of Renfrew, where it may still be seen.

Sir Adam was knighted by James IV., and is described by Crawfurd as “ a gallant, stout man, having many feuds with his neighbours, which were managed with great fierceness and much bloodshed.” He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Semple of Eliotstoun and sister of John, first Lord Semple, by whom he had four sons : Constantine, John, Hector, and Robert. Hector was killed in a feud at Renfrew, in 1499, by John and Hugh Maxwell, eldest son and brother of the laird of Nether Pollok, who narrowly escaped a similar fate at the hands of Hector’s brother John. Robert, the youngest son, was granted a remission under the Privy Seal, dated January 24, 1500, “ for the slauchter of umquhile Patrick Boure, and for the forthocht fellony done upon the Laird of Ralston.” Sir Adam had also two daughters : Elizabeth, who married George Lindsay of Dunrod, and Janet, married to John Stewart of Ardgowan, ancestor of the present Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart, Baronet.

John, who succeeded Sir Adam, joined the Earls of Lennox, Arran, and Glencairn against the Duke of Albany, and on February 20, 1515, battered with “ artalzerie,” took and sacked the castle and palace of Glasgow, which is described as “ one of the principal fortresses in the kingdom,” and was then in the possession of James Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow and Chancellor of Scotland. He was cast in heavy damages for the injury done, and in order to pay them was apparently compelled, in 1527, to mortgage his estate of Cam-seskane. The Earl of Eglinton, to whose daughter his eldest son was married, came to his relief, but the relief was purchased at a great price. Among other conditions, the laird of Caldwell bound himself to perform military service to the Earl so long as the sum lent was unpaid—a hard condition, but this was the age of feuds. The laird married Lady Janet Stewart, understood to be a daughter of Mathew Earl of Lennox, grandfather of Darnley, husband of Queen Mary. Their daughter Agnes was married to Patrick Montgomery of Giffen, and their daughter Elizabeth became the wife of William Ralston of that ilk. On their second son, Alexander, were bestowed, in 1537, the lands of Kittochside in Lanarkshire. On his death without issue they returned to the family, but, about the year 1600, they were alienated to the Reids of Kittochside.

John, the eldest son of John Muir and Lady Janet Stewart, succeeded his father in 1538. He was married to Lady Isobel, daughter of Hugh, first Earl of Eglinton ; and, secondly, to Christian, daughter of Ninian Lord Ross of Hawkhead. In right of his mother he acquired the lands of Glanderstoun, part of the Renfrewshire property of the Stewarts of Lennox. He bestowed them upon his second son, William, whose descendants, the Mures of Glanderstoun, continued a distinct Renfrewshire family till 1710, when, on failure of the elder line, they inherited the Caldwell estates, and thus re-united the two branches of the family after a separation of a hundred and fifty years. The Laird of Caldwell, who, like his father and grandfather, was extensively engaged in the feudal strife of the district, died about the year 1554, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John, who was knighted by James Y. He married Jonet Kennedy of Bargany in Ayrshire, by whom he had several sons. He was killed in the Cunningham and Eglinton feud, September 10, 1570. One of his letters to his kinsman, Hugh, third Earl of Eglinton, has been preserved and partly printed in the Eglinton MSS.

It is not without interest. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Robert, who, like his father, was mixed up in the feuds of the time. In 1580 he was appointed one of the Commissioners to try Lord Ruthven, High Treasurer of Scotland, for the murder of David Rizzio. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Kincaid of that ilk, by whom he had three sons : John, James and Hugh ; secondly, Barbara, daughter of Sir George Preston of Valleyfield, and relict of Robert Master of Semple, and mother of Robert fourth Lord Semple. He was succeeded in 1620 by Robert, eldest son of his second son James. Robert married Jean, daughter of John Knox of Ranfurlie, and is described in a decree of the Parliament of 1641 as having “ deyed in his country’s service,” on which account certain immunities were granted to his son and successor.

The Rosses of Hawkhead are said to be descended from Robert Ross of Wark in Northumberland. A Robert de Ross occurs as a witness to a letter of licence granted by Alexander III. on June 1, 1250. Between this and 1281 we hear of no fewer than four bearing the surname de Ros : Sir James, two Godfreys, father and son, and William. The fact that their names all occur in a charter4 in connection with a piece of land in Stewarton, may probably be taken as indicating that they belonged to the Montgreenan branch of the family. The next we hear of is Sir Godfrey de Ross, who, in 1296, was a prisoner in Rochester, and was there evidently because he had been fighting on the patriotic side against Edward I. According to Nisbet, Robert de Ross is often found as a witness in the charters of Alexander III.

Upon the Ragman Roll are the names of James, son of Godfredi Ross, senior, James de Ross, filius Godofredi, junior, Andrew de Ross, filius Godofredi, William de Ross in the shire of Edinburgh, Robert de Ross in the shire of Ayr, and Robert Ross, Knight, dominus Castri de Wark. It is from this last that the Barons of Hawkhead are supposed to be descended. On December 17,1310, Sir James de Ross and Sir William de Cathcart formed part of the English garrison of Roxburgh.6 On July 26, 1313, we hear of the arrest in London and of the committal to the Tower of Robert de Ross, son of Robert de Ross of Cunningham, who said he had been studying in the schools of Paris and was on his way home. This again was probably one of the Rosses of Montgreenan.

John and Stephen de Ross witnessed a charter of Robert, Steward of Scotland, in favour of the Abbot and convent of Paisley in the year 1361, and in 1388 Sir John de Ross of Hawkhead witnessed another charter in favour of the same monastery. He appears as a witness in 1390 and in 1397. It was in this Sir John that King Robert III., by a charter dated March 30, 1390, vested the lands of Auchinbach and part of the lands of Hawkhead. To his descendant, also named Sir John Ross of Hawkhead, Knight, King James II., by a charter dated 1450, gave the lands of Tarbert in the shire of Ayr, and the lands of Auchinbach, on the resignation of Robert Ross of Tarbert. Sir John afterwards renounced his rights over the lands of Auchinbach in favour of Charles Ross upon condition that he should marry the daughter of Nether Pollok—a marriage which was accepted as if he had married Sir John’s own daughter.

In 1480, the Abbot and convent of Paisley raised an action before the Lords of Council against Sir John Ross of Hawkhead, Knight, for the wrongous detention and withholding from them of certain annual rents from the lands of Ingliston, when judgment was given against him. On September 21, 1484, Sir John Ross of Hawkhead was appointed one of the Conservators of the three years’ truce between Scotland and England.9 Some three years later he was raised to the peerage with the title of Lord Ross of Hawkhead. On December 6, 1488, he granted an instrument of sasine to the three daughters and heiresses of the late James Young for infefting them in three oxgangs of the lands of Walterston in the shire of Linlithgow, formerly held by their father.19 In a royal citation connected with the dispute between the burghs of Renfrew and Paisley, a John the Roys is mentioned as one of “ our Sheriffs.” Lord Ross’s name occurs in one of the curious marriage contracts of the time. The contract was between Hugh Lord Montgomery and Sir Archibald Edmon-stone of Duntreath, and is as follows : that John Montgomery, son and apparent heir to the said Lord Montgomery, shall marry Bessie Edmonstone, daughter to Sir Archibald, and failing either John or Bessie by decease or dissent, “ the said Lord byndis his second sone, and falzeand of the second, the third, and falzeand of the third, the ferd ; and in likwiz falzeand of the said Besse, Kateren, and falzeand of Keteren, Mergaret, and falzeand of Mergeret, Ellen.” For this marriage Sir Archibald bound himself to pay to Lord Montgomery 1,300 merks Scots, who on his part bound himself to give conjunct infeftment conform to the tocher at the sight of the Earl of Argyll, the Earl of Lennox, “my Lord of Pasley,” and Lord Ross of Hawkhead. The penalty for failing to observe the contract is set down at two thousand merks.1 The contract is dated at Stirling, June 1, 1498.

John Ross of Hawkhead had a charter of part of Auchinbothie Wallace, February 17, 1490-1, and obtained a charter under the Great Seal confirming him in the possession of the island of King’s Inch in the Clyde, March 11, 1501-2. He had a charter also of the lands of Dykebar, Castlebar, and Mathewbar, July 30, 1502, and another of Ralston in the county of Renfrew.

In 1504 he was again in trouble with the monks of Paisley. This time he was summoned along with certain others before the Lords of Council for having unjustly occupied lands belonging to the monks at Moniabrok in the parish of Lochwinnoch and the lands of Thornley in the parish of Paisley, and for withholding the teinds of the lands of Hawkhead. What the result was is unknown. The probability is that some compromise was made. At any rate the case does not appear to have gone beyond the issue of the summons.

He was succeeded by his son, the second Lord, in 1505. On April 21, 1505, the latter is styled Lord Melville. Twelve days later he is styled John Lord Melville of Hawkhead. The barony of Melville, in the shire of Edinburgh, came to him through his marriage with Agnes, daughter and sole heiress of Sir John Melville of that ilk. In the month of April, 1509, he received the Earl of Lennox at Hawkhead, when he bound himself not to “ host ” the Earl, under a penalty of two hundred merks. His son married the Earl’s daughter. Her tocher was five hundred merks, and some difficulty appears to have been experienced by her father in paying the sum.4 The second Lord Ross was one of the many Scots nobles who were slain with the King on the field of Flodden, September 9, 1513.

He was succeeded by Ninian Lord Ross, his son and heir, whose eldest son and apparent heir, Robert Master of Ross, being killed at the battle of Pinkie, September 10, 1547, his estates and honours passed to James, his second son and heir.

James Lord Ross was one of the peers who sat upon the trial of James Earl of Bothwell for the murder of Darnley in the year 1567. He adhered constantly to the interest of Queen Mary, and was one of the lords who met her at Hamilton, after her escape from Lochleven Castle in 1568. He had charters of the lands and baronies of Melville, Halkhead, and Auchinbak, on his father’s resignation, dated September 3, 1547, and September 13, 1548. He married Jean, daughter of Robert Lord Semple, and had two sons: Robert, who succeeded him, and Sir William Ross of Murestoun. Robert Lord Ross died in 1596, and was succeeded by James, his son and heir, by Jean, daughter of Gavin Hamilton of Raploch.

James, sixth Lord Ross, married Margaret Scott, daughter of Walter, first Lord Scott of Buccleuch, by whom he had James, his successor, and several daughters, of whom Margaret married Sir George Stirling of Keir, and Elizabeth, who married Sir Robert Innes of that ilk. In 1647 Robert Lord Ross was appointed Sheriff of Renfrew and Bailie of Paisley. He was colonel of foot in the counties of Ayr and Renfrew, 1648, and one of the Commissioners of Estates in 1649. By Cromwell’s act of grace and pardon he was fined, in 1654, in the sum of 3,000 sterling. He died in the same year.

George, eleventh Lord Ross, was made a Privy Councillor by Charles II., and appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Guards. Under the direction of Claverhouse he took an active part in the enforcement of conformity. We shall hear of him further on. He married Lady Grizel Cochrane, daughter of the first Earl of Dundonald.

South from Hawkhead lie the lands of Raiss, once the property of the ancient family of Logan. In the reign of Alexander II. an Adam de Logan witnessed a charter by which the King confirmed to the monastery of Paisley the churches of Turnberry, Stratton, and Dalmakeran, but whether he belonged to the family of Raiss is uncertain. John Logan, who is the first to be met with bearing the designation de Rass or of Raiss, witnessed an instrument, by which, in 1409, William Urry resigned the whole of his lands of Fulton into the hands of the Abbot and convent of Paisley. Another John Logan of Raiss formed one of an assize respecting certain lands of the then deceased Mathew Earl of Lennox, in 1532.4 Later on, in the same year, he performed a similar office in connection with the lands of Auchenbothie, formerly belonging to Agnes Langmure, spouse of John Ross. At Raiss, on August 16, 1540, Alexander Porterfield executed the agreement6 whereby he sold his lands of Porterfield, in the County of Renfrew, to his brother germane John Porterfield and his spouse Beatrice Cunningham. One of the witnesses was James Logan.

South from the lands and house of the Logans of Raiss are the lands and house formerly owned by the Stewarts of Raiss and Halrig, who were a branch of the powerful family of Darnley. Crawfurd says that he saw a charter granted by John Lord of Darnley and Earl of Lennox of the lands of Halrig and Raiss to Alexander Stewart, “ consanguineo suo ” upon the resignation of Hector Stewart of Raiss, his father, dated in the year 1484. This same Alexander Stewart de Raiss appears as a witness in a transaction connected with the church at Largs and the monastery of Paisley, in the year 1450.1 By a document, dated June 11, 1522, his descendant, John Stewart of Halrig, bound himself to resign in favour of John Earl of Lennox the lands of Over Dernle, in which he was infeft, under reversion, upon payment to him and his heirs by the Earl of the sum of one hundred and fifteen merks. In 1545 George Stewart of Raiss sat upon an assize in connection with certain lands in the county formerly belonging to his kinsman, Mathew Earl of Lennox. Upon the same assize was his neighbour, Logan of Raiss.

Between the lands of Hawkhead and Paisley, upon the banks of the White Cart, are the lands of Whiteford, once the residence of the Whitefords of that ilk. The first of their family was Walter de Whiteford, who, for his good services at the battle of Largs, in the reign of Alexander III., under Alexander the High Steward, received these lands from the latter. According to Nisbet, there is a tradition that one of the heads of the family who stood firm for his country in the time of King Robert Bruce, surprised a party of English, who lay encamped on the opposite side of the White Cart, by the stratagem of putting great quantities of sheaves of wheat and other corns into the water, and then crossing unseen, engaged and overthrew them. On this account, and as a memorial of the incident, they carry, he says, the wheat sheaves. The probability, however, is that the story has been invented to account for the sheaves. John de Whiteford was present in the church of Rutherglen on September 12, 1388, when the Abbot and convent of Paisley appealed to the Pope against Mathew, Bishop of Glasgow, who had laid them and their churches under the ban of excommunication.5 In the reign of Robert, John Whiteford of that ilk resigned his estates in favour of Patrick, his son and apparent heir. The resignation was confirmed in 1431 by James I. Patrick was succeeded by John, and John by Quintin Whiteford of that ilk, who was seised in the lands of Whiteford in 1507. He was succeeded by Adam Whiteford of that ilk, retoured in 1519. John, his eldest son and successor, lived in the reign of James VI., and died without issue in 1606. His estates passed to Adam Whiteford of Milton, his brother, son of John Whiteford of that ilk by Margaret, daughter of Robert Lord Semple. This Adam married the daughter of Sir James Somerville of Camnethan, by whom he had two sons : James, his successor, and Dr. Walter Whiteford, sub-dean of Glasgow, afterwards parson of Moffat, and in 1635 Bishop of Brechin.

A little to the north of Whiteford lie the lands of Ralston, once the possession of the Ralstons of that ilk. The Ralstons are said to be descended from Ralph, a younger son of the Earl of Fife, who received these lands from the High Steward of Scotland, and called them Ralphstoun or Ralston from his own Christian name. Anyway, the name is of great antiquity in the county. Hugh de Ralstoun and Thomas de Ralphiston, both of whom are supposed to have belonged to this family, signed the Ragman Roll. Nicolas de Ralston witnessed the grant of Fulton to the monastery of Paisley by Sir Antony Lombard, the Physician, in 1272. James de Raulyston, lord of the same, was witness, in 1346, to the privilege granted to the monks of the same house of choosing an abbot. Sir John Stewart de Railstoun in 1388 had a pension granted to him of the sum of 20 by Robert II. In 1488 the name of John de Ralston appears several times in the Register of the Abbey of Paisley. He witnessed the liberty granted to the monks by the representatives of the Pope to feu their land in the neighbourhood of the monastery, in order to form the burgh of Paisley. He also acted as one of the arbiters on behalf of the Abbot of Paisley in the dispute the latter had with the bailies of Renfrew in respect of the boundaries of their lands. His name stands among those of the witnesses in the charter granted by the Abbot of Paisley to the inhabitants of his village when it was erected into a free burgh of barony and regality.8 In 1505, Thomas Ralston of that ilk obtained a charter of his lands of Ralston from Lord John Ross.9 The same Thomas, or his successor bearing his name, witnessed a decree arbitral, pronounced on May 2, 1530, by Robert, Bishop of Argyll, Patrick Maxwell of Newark, John Lockhart of Bar, and others, betwixt Hugh Earl of Eglinton and his kin on the one part, and Robert Boyd in Kilmarnock, Mungo Mure of Rowallan and others on the other part.10 Hugh Ralston of that ilk subscribed the solemn bond entered into by many in 1560 for maintaining “ the new evangell.”

The Stewarts of Cardonald, the lands of which lie near Crookston Castle on the opposite side of the Cart, originally descended from Alan Stewart, natural son of John, first Earl of Lennox. Alan and his wife, Marion Semple, obtained the lands in 1487. In 1519, February 15, Alan witnessed an indenture between John Earl of Lennox and Hugh Earl of Eglinton. The indenture was a marriage contract providing for the intermarriage of the two families when any of their children came of lawful age. A special condition of the contract is that there should be a sure bond of kindness between the two Earls against all others excepting the King, the Bishop of Glasgow, the Earl of Arran, and the Abbot of Kilwinning. The last of the race on the male side was James Stewart, who left three daughters: Elizabeth, who married Robert Stewart of the family of Garlies ; Margaret, married to Sir John Stewart of Minto ; and Dorothea, who married John Pollok of that ilk. On January 6, 1532, James Y. confirmed a charter of Alan Stewart of Craighall, granting to James Stewart, his nephew and apparent heir, the lands of Wrychtland, Cardonald, and Easter Henderson in the county of Renfrew. The witnesses to the original charter are Robert Master of Semple, Alan Master of Cathcart, William Semple of Thridpart, Robert Semple, and Gilbert Law.4 On February 1, 1545, both James Steward and John, his son and apparent heir, were dead. They were succeeded by James Stewart, to whom Queen Mary gave part of the lands of the Easter Mains of Inchinnan and the lands of Cragton, besides others, on June 15, 1545. Further grants were made to him by the Queen in the following month. During the wars of the Reformation he was in the pay of the English, and apparently was set to watch and report the movements of Hamilton the Archbishop, when at Paisley. On March 29, 1565, Letters of Charge were issued against him by the Queen, at the instance of Mathew Earl of Lennox, charging him to restore, under the pain of treason, 360 thraves of grain, which he had carried off, though they had been arrested, from the Mains of Inchinnan.8 In the next reign the lands of Cardonald fell into the hands of Walter Stewart, Prior of Blantyre, son of Sir John Stewart of Minto, who received them in feu from the King by a charter under the Great Seal, November 3, 1587.

Between Paisley and Renfrew, on the east bank of the Cart, lie the lands of Knock from which the family of Knox, it is said, took their name, though on somewhat doubtful authority. The family, however, is very ancient, though not one of the oldest, and may be traced back in the Register of the Monastery of Paisley, to the year 1260.9 John Knox—Johannes de Cnok—then witnessed one of the Abbey’s charters. In 1270, 1272, 1273 and 1276, and in later years he witnessed others. In a charter of the year 1281 his son William witnessed along with him. William was alive in 1313. One of his successors, Robert Knock, received in the reign of King Robert III. (1390-1406) a charter of the lands of Knock on the resignation of them by William Cunningham, son of the Sheriff of Ayr. The earliest known proprietor of them was Dugald, the son of Christinus Judge of Lennox, who held them of the monastery of Paisley, and about the year 1200 exchanged them for a piece of land in Abbot’s Inch.

In 1488, Uchtred Knox of Craigend acted as one of the arbiters between the Abbot of Paisley and the Bailies of Renfrew as to their mutual boundaries.4 On November 20, 1503, John, his son and apparent heir, witnessed an indenture between James Earl of Arran and Alexander Earl of Menteith, by which they bound themselves to “ stand in afauld band of kyndenes ” to each other. The family failed in Uchtred Knox of Ranfurly, who had but one daughter, and in 1663 sold the estate of Ranfurly to the first Earl of Dundonald.

The Porterfields of that ilk, whose lands also lay between Paisley and Renfrew, on the east side of the Cart, and who were once a family of note in the county, may be traced back to the twelfth century. In 1180, Walter de Porter witnessed the document by which the Prior of Paisley gave permission to Robert Croc and Henry de Nes to have private chapels for the celebration of divine worship. In 1262, John Porter witnessed a charter by Walter Earl of Menteith, confirming the donation to the Abbey of Paisley, by Dugald, son of Syfyn, of the church of S. Colmanel in Kintyre. Stephen, one of John’s successors, gave to the monks of the same abbey twelve pennies of annual rental from subjects in the burgh of Renfrew, and in 1398 his son, “ Robert lord of Porterfield,” added to the gift a further annual rental of sixteen pennies. In 1460, Robert Porterfield obtained a charter of confirmation of the lands of Porterfield from King James III. Robert, one of his successors, obtained a similar charter in 1500 from James IV. In 1544, Master John Porterfield of that ilk purchased the barony of Duchal from Lord Lyle, and, in 1565, obtained in the same way the lands of Spangow in the parish of Inverkip from Sir Matthew Campbell of Loudoun. By his first wife, Beatrix, daughter of William Cunninghame of Craigends, he had William, his son and heir, and by his second wife, Jean Knox, daughter of the laird of Ranfurly, he had two sons : Gabriel of Blairlin, and John of Greenend. His daughter Elizabeth married Sir James Maxwell of Calderwood. He died in 1575. The family-suffered severely during the reign of Charles II. through refusing to conform.

The Erskines go back to the year 1225, when Henry de Erskine witnessed the charter whereby King Alexander II. confirmed the gift of the church of Roseneath, by Amalec, brother of Malcolm Earl of Lennox, to the monastery of Paisley. His successor, who was probably his son, John de Erskine, witnessed three other charters, one of which is dated at the Park of Erskine in the year 1262. His son, also named John, swore fealty to Edward I. in 1296.

Sir William, who succeeded the second John, was contemporary with King Robert Bruce. His son, also Sir William by name, was in the expedition to England under Randolph and Douglas, and was knighted under the royal banner. His second son was Adam Erskine of Barrowchan ; his third, Sir Alan of Inchture ; and his fourth, Andrew Erskine of Raploch near Stirling.

Sir Robert, who succeeded Sir William, was a strong adherent of David II. In or about the month of April, 1348, he received a safe conduct to visit England. The safe conduct was to continue in force till September first of the same year. He was appointed Great Chamberlain of Scotland in 1350. On July 13, 1354, his son and heir was named one of the hostages to be sent to England as security for the payment of 90,000 merks in nine years as David’s ransom. About a year later (January 17, 1355-56), he was appointed a Commissioner to treat for the King’s ransom and for peace. Later on, September 26, 1357, he was appointed by the Magnates of Scotland one of their plenipotentiaries to treat for the King’s ransom, and on the third of the following month he affixed his seal to the treaty, executed at Berwick upon Tweed, by which David II. obtained his freedom and a truce was made with England during the ten years in which the 100,000 merks of ransom money were to be paid. The same day, October 3, 1357, Thomas, his son and heir, was surrendered at Berwick to John de Coupland as a hostage. Among the other hostages delivered on the same day were Robert, son of Sir William Cunninghame ; Robert, son and heir of Sir John Stewart of Darnley ; and Robert, son and heir of Sir Robert de Danyelstone. For some reason or other, Sir Robert Erskine was in England in 1370 as well as his son Sir Thomas, and were both in debt to King Edward III.

Sir Thomas, who.succeeded his father in 1385, appears to have been in great favour with King Robert II., and also with his son. On October 2, 1389, a safe conduct was granted to “Sir Thomas of Erskine, Knight, Master Duncan Petit, canon of Glasgow, and Adam Forster Esquire of Scotland, with forty horsemen, to pass through England to France in the affairs of Scotland.” The following year he was appointed a conservator of the truce on the marches. Robert, his son and heir, was taken prisoner at the battle of Homildon Hill, September 14, 1402. He claimed the Earldom of Mar, on the death of Lady Isobel Douglas, Countess of Mar, and in 1438 was served heir to her. He was one of the hostages for James I., but on November 9, 1427, he was allowed to return home, the Earl of Menteith taking his place.

His successor, Thomas, first Lord Erskine, was dispossessed of the Earldom of Mar by an assize of error in 1457. He was contemporary with King James III. His son Alexander was father of Robert, third Lord Erskine, who fell at Flodden (1513), leaving two sons : John his successor, and James, from whom came the Erskines of Balgony.

John, fourth Lord Erskine, married Margaret, daughter of Archibald Earl of Argyll, by whom he had Robert, Master of Erskine, who fell at Pinkie and left no issue, John, his successor, and Sir Alexander of Gogar, ancestor of the Earl of Kelly. John, fifth Lord of Erskine, was Sheriff of Stirling in 1537-9 On May 15, 1525, he had been made hereditary Constable of Stirling Castle.

John, his successor, sixth Lord Erskine, obtained the state and dignity of Earl of Mar from Queen Mary in 1562, with the precedence of the ancient Earls. During the minority of James VI., he succeeded Lennox in the Regency in 1571,11 and died, October 20, 1572.

The Wallaces of Elderslie, as already remarked, descended from Richard Wallace of Riccarton, a companion of Walter Fitz Alan, the first of the High Stewards. Malcolm Wallace, the elder brother of the Patriot, died without leaving issue, and the estates of Elderslie and Auchinbothie reverted to the house of Riccarton. Towards the close of the reign of King Robert III., they were inherited by a younger branch of the Wallaces of Craigie. In 1406, John Wallace of Elderslie, witnessed a charter granted by the Regent Robert, Duke of Albany, to William of Cunningham, conveying to the latter an annual rent of ten merks out of the barony of Ochiltree. On January 9,1409, he witnessed a charter whereby the lands of Fulton were conveyed to the Abbey of Paisley. On August 28, 1413, he resigned the lands of Auchenbothie Wallace in favour of his son Thomas. John Wallace, probably the son of the last mentioned, witnessed, March 31, 1432, the gift of half a stone of wax yearly to the Abbey of Paisley, by John Lord of Kelsoland. In August, 1466, George Wallace of Elderslie witnessed the instrument by which Lawmund of Lawmund conveyed to the same house of religion the church of S. Finan in Argyllshire. Patrick, the son and heir of George, held office in the household of James IV. On the resignation of his father, Patrick received a charter of the lands of Elderslie from John Wallace of Craigie, the superior, February 3, 1499-1500. In 1554, a charter of the same lands was granted to William Wallace by William Wallace of Craigie. In 1583, this same William Wallace of Elderslie was confirmed in the lands of Helington, and in 1597 in the lands of Rysewaeth and Windyhill. He died in May, 1599, leaving “free gear” worth 1,478 5s. 4d. His first wife was Janet Hamilton of Ferguslie, known as “ auld Lady Ellerslie.” Gabriel Wallace, the third son of William Wallace of Elderslie and Janet Hamilton, married Geillis, elder daughter of William Wallace of John-stoun, and widow of Gabriel Maxwell of Stanely, who in her will, dated at Stanelie, April 20, 1598, appointed him her executor. John, the youngest brother of the above named Gabriel, and fourth son of William Wallace and Janet Hamilton married his cousin Margaret, daughter of John Hamilton of Ferguslie, to whose persecution by the Presbytery of Paisley we shall have to refer later on.

The Halls of Fulbar were descended from Thomas de Aula, surgeon, who obtained from Robert II. the four merk land in the tenement of Stanely, known as the lands of Fulbar. The direct line of the family became extinct in the person of William Hall of Fulbar in the reign of Queen Mary, when the estate descended to Adam Hall of Tarquinhill, his cousin, whose grandfather, also Adam Hall, was slain at Flodden.

The Cochrans of Cochran are said to go back to before the year 1262, when Waldenus de Cochran witnessed a charter, which “ Dungallus, filius Suvyn ” gave to Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, of the lands of Skipness in Argyllshire. A William de Cochran signed the Ragman Roll in 1296. In 1346, John de Cochran, if such be the right reading of “ Johanne de Coweran,” witnessed an instrument for the election of an abbot to rule over the monastery of Paisley. In 1367, a “ Glosmo de Couran” witnessed another document in the Paisley Register.3 Crawfurd mentions Gosolinus de Cochran, and says that he had frequently found him as a witness to charters belonging to the reign of Robert II. The only one in the Register of Paisley in which his name occurs is the one just referred to. Robert II., it appears, conferred the barony of Cochran upon William de Cochran by a charter, dated at Kilwinning, September 22, 1389/ Alan Cochran lived in the reign of James II., and witnessed the charter by which Robert Lord Lyle conveyed to the monks of Paisley a third part of the fishing of Crukatshot, in 1452.

Alan was succeeded by Robert, his son and heir, who had sasine of his lands of Cochrane and Corseford in 1498. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Semple of Fulwood. To him succeeded John, his son and heir. For the sum of 40 Scots, William Wallace of Elderslie promised to renounce to this J ohn the mill and mill land of Cochran with the kilns of the same and a cow’s grass in the mains of Cochran, which had been mortgaged to Wallace.

John Cochran died in 1556, and was succeeded by William, who obtained a charter of confirmation from Queen Mary of the lands of Cochran in 1576. Elizabeth, his sole heiress, married Alexander Blair, a younger son of John Blair of that ilk, who assumed the surname and arms of Cochran of that ilk. He was succeeded by Sir John, his eldest son and heir, who died without issue, when the estates fell to his brother, Sir William Cochran of Cowdoun, who was raised to the peerage in 1647 by the title of Lord Cochran of Cowdoun and Dundonald.

The Craufurds of Auchinames, one of the oldest families in the county, trace their origin back to Reginald Crawfurd, Sheriff of Ayr, who married Margaret, daughter and heiress of James de Loudoun, and received a grant of the barony of Loudoun in the time of William the Lion. He died in 1226, and was succeeded by his son, Sir Hugh, who died in 1246. His son and successor was that Sir Hugh Crawfurd, whose daughter was the mother of Sir William Wallace, the Patriot. Sir Reginald, the fourth Crawfurd of Loudoun, was murdered at Ayr in 1297. Susan, the daughter and heiress of his son Reginald, married Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochawe and Redcastle, and from them the Earl of Loudoun descended.

The Auchinames derive from Sir Reginald Crawfurd of Crosbie, second son of the first Sir Hugh Crawford, Baron of Crawfurd and Sheriff of Ayr, who, for his services on the field of Bannockburn, received from King Robert Bruce a grant of the barony of Auchinames and the privilege of adding to his shield two lances in saltire. Reginald, his son and heir, who succeeded him, is said to have witnessed, about the year 1358, a charter by Robert the Steward. Thomas, the son and successor of Reginald, founded and endowed the altar and chapel of S. Katharine in the graveyard of Kilbarchan. The patronage of this he vested in himself and his heirs and successors. The foundation was confirmed by Robert III. at Arneall, October 24, 1401. His name appears in a charter granted by John of Montgomery, lord of Eaglesham, dated October 8, 1392. “ Thoma de Crawfurd de Hauinnamys” witnessed the deed whereby William Urri resigned his rights to the lands of Fulton in favour of the monks of Paisley. Archibald, who succeeded him, was the father of Thomas Craufurd, the progenitor of the Crawfurds of Thirdpart.

The successor of Archibald was his elder son and heir, Robert, who married Margaret Douglas, sister of Archibald, the great Earl of Angus, who married the widowed Queen of James IV., the daughter of Henry VII. of England ; and, secondly, Marioun, daughter of Houstoun of Houston. In 1488, Robert acted as one of the oversmen in a dispute between the Bailies of Renfrew and the Abbot of Paisley in connection with the boundaries of their lands. He fell at Flodden, September 9, 1513, and was succeeded by James, the eldest of his three sons by his second marriage. In 1498 Sir James Campbell of Loudoun granted him a charter of the lands of Corsbie and Manoch, which he resigned to the Master of Glencairn for a new infeftment in favour of his eldest son and successor, Thomas, October 20, 1533. Thomas was twice married ; first, to Elizabeth, daughter of Cunningham of Craigends, and secondly, to a daughter of Montgomery, laird of Hazelhead, by whom he had three sons : John, William, and Patrick, who were successively lairds of Auchinames. On October 2, 1539, he received the lands of Auldmuir, which appear to have been lost to the family for over a century. His eldest son, John, fell at the battle of Pinkie. William, the second son, died in 1582, and left no male issue, his son, James Craufurd, having predeceased him. He was succeeded by his brother Patrick, who has the reputation of having been “ very contentious and needy as well.” For not producing “ ane goldin chenzie and silver pece,” he was put to the horn and declared a rebel. His son, William, was also declared a rebel. Margaret Houstoun, William’s wife, died in 1642. She was dealt with by the Presbytery of Paisley for not communicating, and retaliated on the minister of her parish by calling him “ a fifty-year-old plague.” Her will is a curious document.

The Dennistons, who were afterwards merged into the Cunninghams, and from whose lands the Cunninghams took their designation of Glencairn, were among the oldest families in the county. Their “ lands of Danziel ” are first mentioned in the original charter of the barony of Houston, which was granted in the reign of Malcolm IV. (1153-1165). Their progenitor was in all probability a companion of Walter Fitz Alan. At any rate it was from him that he is said to have received the said “ lands of Danziel.” The name of Hugh Dalneston, or Denniston, appears upon the Ragman Roll of 1296. In 1343 the same or another Hugh, probably the son of the one just mentioned, had been wounded in England, and was staying in Edinburgh under the care of a physician, by direction of the King, who ordered a present to be sent to him of cloth and furs. On July 13, 1354, the son and heir of Sir John Denniston was named as one of the hostages for King David II., and on October 3, 1357, “ Robert filz et heire a sire Robert de Danyelstone ” was delivered into the custody of Sir Richard Tempest as hostage. Either there is a mistake here, or the Sir Robert de Danyelstone belonged to another branch of the Dennistons, for in 1359 the Sir John just mentioned was still alive. In 1359 he was Sheriff of Dumbarton and keeper of Dumbarton Castle. The lands of Tillicoultry were also in his hands. The same year he gave in his accounts to the Exchequer as Sheriff of Dumbarton. The same year, too, it is noted that the barony of Cadzow was in his hands for the sustentation of the Castle of Dumbarton, where a cask of wine was delivered to him. In 1362 his son was still a hostage in England. In 1364 the sum of 100 was paid to Sir John for wine and victuals, and for the repairing of the Castle of Dumbarton. Among his prisoners in the castle was Thomas Earl of Angus, who died there in 1364. Four years later he sold a horse to the King for 20 ; and in 1379 the King sent him a pipe of wine.8 His son and heir, Sir Robert, succeeded him. Sir Robert, like many others, had a pension from Robert II., and appears to have first drawn it on February 6, 1379-80. On May 8, 1395, he was dead.

By David II. and his two immediate successors the Dennistons appear to have been highly esteemed. Judging by the grants made to them, they must have rendered to these princes considerable service. From David II. Malcolm Denniston obtained the lands forfeited by Giles Somerville and Thomas Awmfrayis; Robert Denniston, the barony of Glencairn in Dumfriesshire; Hew Denniston, the lands which belonged to Margaret Muschett, one of the heirs of William de Montefixo, and the lands forfeited by David Marshall, Knight, with certain exceptions; and Robert, in 1360, the lands of Thriepwood, in the sheriffdom of Lanark, forfeited by one Horsley. On December 31, in the following year, he received a new charter of the barony of Glencairn, cum bondis, bondagiis, nativis, et sequelis eorundem, which his father, John de Danyelston, had resigned. From Robert II. John de Daneylston obtained the lands of Maudsley, Law, and Kilcadjow in the barony of Carluke, while from Robert III. Sir Robert de Danyelston received the lands of Stanely, near Paisley, and following on his own resignation, a new charter of Denniston and Finlaystone.

Sir Robert had a younger brother, Walter by name, a canon of Glasgow, who is described as a “discretus vir,” and was as militant as Robert Wishart, the fighting Bishop of Glasgow. He seized the Castle of Dumbarton and Tefused to surrender it except on condition that he was appointed Bishop of St. Andrews. He carried his point so far, it is said, that he obtained the rents of the see during the vacancy between the death of Walter Trail in 1401 and the installation of Henry Wardlaw in 1404.

About 1400-5, a later Sir Robert Denniston died without male issue. He bad two daughters : Margaret, married in 1405 to Sir William Cunningham of Kilmaurs, to whom she carried as her dowry the baronies of Denniston and Finlaystone in Renfrewshire, the lands of Kilmaronock in Dumbartonshire, and the barony of Glencairn in Dumfriesshire. Elizabeth, her sister, married Sir Robert Maxwell of Calderwood, and had for her portion the lands of Maudsley, Kilcadjow, Stanely, etc., and the barony of Newark or Nether Finlaystone.

The Cunninghams, who, by the first of the marriages just referred to, became the lairds of Denniston and Finlaystone, traced their origin back to a certain Warnebaldus de Cunningham, who flourished about the year 1100. One of his descendants, Sir Henry de Cunningham, is said to have distinguished himself at the battle of Largs. At the time of the union of the Denniston and Cunningham families, the latter was in possession of large estates in Ayrshire and elsewhere. In 1364 Sir William de Cunningham received a charter of the Earldom of Carrick from King David II. In 1374 he was Deputy Sheriff of Ayr. Two years later he was Sheriff.

Sir William, who married the Denniston heiress, founded the church of Kilmaurs in 1403 ; he also enriched the Abbey of Kilwinning with the lands of Grange. He witnessed a confirmation of grants to the Abbey of Paisley by Robert II. in 1393, and another in 1404. He took part in the battle of Harlaw in 1411, and died in 1418.

Sir Robert, his son and heir, married Anna, the only daughter of Lord Montgomery. He sat as a Baron of Parliament on the trial of Murdoch Duke of Albany and his sons, and in 1434, two years before the murder of King James in the monastery of the Black Friars at Perth, he was appointed to the command of Kintyre and Knapdale. He was succeeded by his son Alexander, whom, in 1445, King James II. raised to the dignity of a Baron of the realm. He stood loyal to James III., by whom he was created Earl of Glencairn, and fell at the battle of Sauchieburn, June 11, 1488. James IV. revoked the patent creating him Earl of Glencairn, and Robert, his son and successor, had to be contented with the title of Lord Kilmaurs. From William, the second son of Alexander, descended the Cunninghams of Craigends.

Robert, second Lord Kilmaurs, died in 1490, and was succeeded by his son and heir, Cuthbert, who was permitted to assume the title of Earl of Glencairn in 1491. William, the son and successor of Cuthbert, was taken prisoner on the field of Solway in 1542, and will meet us again. He died in 1547. From his second son, Andrew, descended the Cunninghams of Corse-hill, and from Hugh, his third son, the Cunninghams of Carlung. The Cunninghams of Carncurren descended from William Cunningham, a younger son of William Cunningham of Craigends.

The origin of the Lyle family is somewhat obscure. Randulphus de Insula witnessed three charters in the Register of the monastery of Paisley between the years 1164 and 1177. His son, William, witnessed another between the years 1207 and 1214. Sir Alan de Insula, again, witnessed four charters in the same Register some time between 1240 and 1252, and Peter de Insula witnessed two others in 1273. In 1296, we hear of a Duncan de Lyle, who figures in a ghost story which was thought sufficiently marvellous to be gravely recorded in the Chronicle of Lanercost. When Robert the Steward stormed and captured Dunoon Castle with the help of Campbell of Lochaw, the governor of the island of Bute was named Sir Alan de Lyle, but whether he came north with the English army or belonged to the Lyles of Duchal, is uncertain. Nisbet says he belonged to the latter, but gives no authority. Erom David II. Sir John de Lyle received in 1340 a charter of the lands of Buchan in Stirlingshire. From the same monarch he also received “ ane tenement near the cock-stool” in Aberdeen, which he afterwards gave to one Andrew Watson, a burgess there. On May 25, 1360, he witnessed, at Edinburgh, a charter granted by Thomas Stewart Earl of Angus to Sir Hugh Eglinton, of the lands of Ormidale in the lordship of Cowal and the shire of Argyll.

He was then keeper of Edinburgh Castle. In 1364 he was Steward of the household of Queen Joanna. In the same year also he appears as Steward of the King’s household. Two years later he was sent along with John Mercer as an envoy to Flanders.9 On November 6, 1375, John le Lyle was; along with a number of Scotsmen, discharged from Newgate prison, having been lately arrested on suspicion of being concerned in “a great robbery on William Bokerelle of Scotland and others at sea,”10 but there is no reason for supposing that he was in any way connected with the Renfrewshire Lyles. The next we hear of is Sir Robert of Lyle, son and heir to the last Sir Robert. On December 13, 1423, he received a safe conduct, which was to last till April 30 following, to go to Durham, in order to meet King James I., who was then on his way home. He was one of the hostages for the King. Among the others were John Semple of Eliotstoun, Master Patrick Houstoun, and Robert of Erskine lord of Erskine. At first Sir Robert was detained in Knaresborough, but in May, 1424, he was transferred to the Tower of London. On February 28 following, he was sent from London to Durham for exchange, and in July was permitted to return to Scotland until Martinmas, his son George taking his place as a hostage. Sir Robert does not appear to have returned to England. His son was exchanged in November, 1427, for Walter lord of Fenton. On the death of Alexander Stewart Earl of Mar, he laid claim to the Earldom, but it was taken possession of by King James I.

In 1452 we meet with Alexander, William, and Robert de Lyle. Alexander and William are Robert’s uncles, and Robert is Robert Lord of Lyle, the most distinguished member of the family. The two uncles witnessed the charter by which their nephew conveyed to the Abbot and monks of Paisley the fishing of Crukatshot.

Robert, the second Lord Lyle, was employed on various missions. On September 21, 1484, he was one of the Scottish Ambassadors who concluded the treaty for the marriage between James Prince of Scotland and Lady Anne de la Pole, niece of Richard III. of England, for a three years’ truce between the two Kingdoms, and for the settlement of the affairs of the Marches. In October, 1488, as one of the royal justiciars, an appointment he had received from King James III., he sat upon the trial of James Stewart, first Earl of Buchan, known as “ Hearty James,” who was charged with intercommuning with the English and fighting against the King at the field of Stirling. In the following year, Lord Lyle joined the Earl of Lennox and others who raised the bloody shirt of James III., and appealed to the people to avenge his death. They were totally defeated by the King (James IV.), at Talla Moss, about sixteen miles from Stirling, and were forfeited. With singular leniency the King speedily restored them to his favour, and spared their estates.

In 1490, Lord Lyle was sent by James IV. as an envoy to the English Court, and two years later he was employed as an Ambassador to the King and Queen of Castile and Aragon. He was back in 1496, and may have been early in 1495, though that is doubtful, since at the Justice Ayre Court held at Selkirk, March 4, 1494-5, he was not present, he and John Lord Glamis being represented by John Lord Drummond, their locum tenens. On January 30, 1496, he signed a bond of reversion in favour of Mathew Earl of Lennox, Lord of Darnley and Inchinnan, of the ten merk lands of the town of Inchinnan, the four merk lands of the park of Inchinnan, and the three merk lands of Wricht-land and Rassele, and the three merk lands of Craigtown and Flures, in the parish of Inchinnan and lordship of Crukisfew, for payment of sums amounting to 1200 merks. This was in accordance with the terms of a marriage contract drawn up and agreed to between the two families, December 14, 1471. The Earl failed to complete the marriage, and paid the 1200 merks in order to redeem his lands. A curious provision in the contract was, that if Lord Darnley’s friends objected to the marriage, the fine was to be 1800 merks.

The family continued in lineal male descent to the reign of Queen Mary, when John Lord Lyle left a son, James, who died without issue, and a daughter, Jean, his heiress, who married Sir Niel Montgomery of Langshaw. By this time, however, the property of the family had been to a large extent alienated. James Montgomery of Langshaw tendered his vote as Lord Lyle at the election of representative peers in 1721 and 1722, but it was not received. Sir Walter Montgomery tendered his vote as Lord Lyle, at the general election in 1784, and at subsequent elections, with the same result.

The Houstoun family trace their descent back to Hugh de Padinan, to whom Baldwin de Bigres gave the lands of Kilpeter in the parish of Houston, and who was one of the witnesses to Walter Fitz Alan’s endowment charter to the monastery of Paisley. There is some doubt as to what Hugh’s surname exactly was. It may have been Padninan or Padvinan or Padinan. However, the village on the lands of Kilpeter took the name of Hugh’s town or Houston, and Houstoun became the family name. Hugh was probably of Norman origin, and may have been a follower of Walter Fitz Alan. He was succeeded by his son Reginald, who obtained a charter from Robert, the son of Walden, son of Baldwin de Bigres, of the lands of Kilpeter, ratifying the original grant by Baldwin.

To Reginald succeeded his son Hugh, who obtained a charter of confirmation of his lands from Walter Fitz Alan, and bestowed upon the monks of Paisley an annuity of half a merk out of his lands of Achenhoss in the year 1225. Hugh’s successor was Sir Finlay, who signed the Ragman Roll in 1296.

From the above descended, in the reign of James II., Sir Patrick Houstoun of that ilk, who witnessed an indenture between Alexander Montgomery, Lord of Ardrossan, on the one part, and Alan Stewart, Lord of Darnley, on the other, by which a marriage between the two families was arranged. Sir Patrick died in 1450, and was buried in the Chapel of Houston. His wife, Mary Colquhoun, in 1456 was buried by the side of her husband. A fair monument was erected over their remains. Their son and heir and his wife also died in 1456. They were buried in the parish church of Houston, under a freestone canopy, with their effigies as large as life. Around the border of the tomb is the inscription, “ Here lyes John of Houstoun, Lord of that ilk and Annes Campbel his Spouse, who died Anno 1456.” In all probability they fell victims to the plague which, in the year of their death, was extremely virulent in all parts of the country.

Sir Peter, who succeeded, married Helen, daughter of Schaw of Sauchie. He fell at Flodden. His son and heir, Patrick, was knighted by King James V., and associating with John Earl of Lennox, to rescue the prince out of the hands of the Earls of Arran and Angus, he was slain in conflict at Aven, near the town of Linlithgow, in the year 1526. John, his son and heir, married Anna Hopepringle, a daughter of Hopepringle of Torsonce. In 1528, the King is said to have granted him a charter by which he was confirmed in the baronies of Houston, etc. The charter which the King did confirm in connection with these baronies was one by which a considerable part of the estates of the Houstoun family, including the lands of Houston called le Nethirmaynis, together with the Castle and the Park of Houston, was in 1529 alienated and granted to William Hammilton of Maknaristoun in liquidation of a debt of 1800 merks due to him by John of Houston.

Patrick, John’s son and heir, who succeeded in 1542, was knighted by James VI. His wife, Janet, daughter of Gabriel Cunningham of Craigends, bore him four sons: John, his successor; Patrick of Colt; Mr. Peter of Wester Southbar, and James of Commonside; also several daughters, of whom Janet married John Fulerton of Dreghorn, and afterwards George Crawfurd of Liffnoris; Elizabeth, who married, first, John Whiteford of that ilk, and secondly, William Lord Ross ; Agnes, who married Alexander Porterfield of that ilk; Marion, who married James Hamilton of Bardine; and Margaret, who became the wife of William Craufurd of Auchinames.

Sir Patrick was succeeded by his eldest son, John, who died in 1609. John’s successor was Sir Ludovick of Houston, who became a conspicuous figure in his day. His mother was Margaret, daughter of Sir James Stirling of Keir. Jean, his elder sister, married William Semple of Fulwood. Helen, another sister, became the wife of John Shaw of Greenock, while two other sisters, Margaret and Mary, married respectively William Livingston of Kilsyth, and Alexander Cuninghame of Corsehill.

The Flemings of Barochan are evidently of Flemish origin, and appear to have settled in the county as vassals of Baldwin de Bigres before the district came into the possession of the High Steward, though of this in their armorial bearings they show no trace. The first of the family to be met with is William Fleming of Barochan, in the reign of Alexander III., who witnessed a charter granted by Malcolm Earl of Lennox to Walter Spreul, Steward of Lennox, of the lands of Dalquharne. William Fleming of Barochan was a witness to a charter granted by James the High Steward of Scotland (1263-1309), and grandfather of King Robert II., to Stephen, the son of Nicolas, of the land near the burgh of Renfrew, which had been given to Patrick of Selviland. Another William Fleming of Barochan was, in 1488, one of the arbiters chosen to fix the boundaries between the lands of the town of Renfrew and the regality of Paisley. According to Crawfurd, he was Sheriff of the county of Lanark, and was slain at Flodden with six of his sons, in the year 1513. He was a great falconer, and his tersel having beaten the King’s falcon, the King unhooded his favourite falcon and placed its hood, adorned with many precious jewels, upon the head of the tersel. He married Marion, daughter of the Laird of Houston, and was succeeded by James, his son and heir, who, in 1518, witnessed a charter by which John Knok of Selviland granted to his son and apparent heir, John Knok, and Elizabeth Walkynschaw the lands of Selviland. His successor, William Fleming, witnessed the charter by which John Lord Lyle sold to Canon Spreul of Glasgow, Castlehill and other properties within the territory of the town of Renfrew, on August 25, 1541. In 1543 his name appears in another charter as one of an assize for the valuation of certain lands belonging to John Lord Lyle.5 On March 29, 1554, William Fleming gave to Patrick Fleming, his son and apparent heir, and his wife Margaret Mure, the lands of Barlogane and Killillanis in the barony and county of Renfrew.6 The family intermarried with those of Semple, Houstoun, Bishopton, Rowallan, Robertland, Ladyland, etc. The Glens of Bar go back to the year 1452. The Maxwells of Brediland date from the year 1488.

The Walkinschaws are said to derive from Dungallus filius Christini, Judicis de Levenax, who, with the consent of his wife Maud, arranged, in the year 1235, an excambion of his lands of Knock with the Abbot and convent of Paisley, for the lands of Walkinschaw, from which he afterwards took his surname.

The family of Lindsay of Dunrod was founded by Sir James Lindsay, the constant companion of Robert I., from whose successor, Robert II., John Lindsay obtained the mains of the barony of Kilbride, a gift confirmed in the year 1382. The family was conspicuous for many years, and intermarried with the families of Eglinton, Semple, and Elphinstone. Alexander Lindsay of Dunrod alienated the barony of Dunrod, in 1619, to Sir Archibald Stewart of Blackhall.

The Stewarts of Blackhall and Ardgowan are descended from Sir John Stewart of Ardgowan, natural son of King Robert III., from whom he obtained the lands of Auchingoun in Renfrewshire in the year 1390, the lands of Blackhall, near Paisley, in 1396, and the lands of Ardgowan in 1404. A charter of confirmation was obtained for these lands from King James IV. by his successor, John Stewart, in 1508. In 1576 James VI. granted James Stewart a charter by which the lands of Ardgowan, Blackhall, and Auchingoun were erected into a barony.

The Shaws of Greenock descended from the Shaws of Sauchie. In the reign of Robert III. they obtained, by marriage with one of the heiresses of Galbraith of Greenock, the lands of Wester Greenock.

Other families to be mentioned are the Bannatynes of Kelly, Montgomeries of Scotstoun, Brisbanes of Bishopton, Maxwells of Newark, Stewarts of Oastlemilk, Maxwells of Dargavel, and Montgomeries of Skelmorlie.

The Semples of Eliotston, who, like the Glencairns, played a conspicuous part in the history of the country during the period of the Reformation, claim a far back ancestry ; but the first of their family of whom there appears to be any definite information, and of whom there is any record, lived in the reign of Alexander II. and Alexander III. He is said to have been Steward of the barony of Renfrew, and witnessed two charters : one by the Earl of Lennox, about the year 1280, and another by James, the High Steward of Scotland. He left two sons : Robert, named after himself, and Thomas, both of whom, during the Wars of Independence, espoused the national cause, and were on intimate terms with the Bruce. Thomas, the younger, received from Robert I. a grant of half of the lands in the town and tenement of Longniddery, forfeited by Nicolas de Dispensa, “our enemy.”  From the same monarch Robert, the elder, received the whole of the lands in Largo, which had formerly belonged to John Balliol, to be held by him and his heirs in free barony.

The same Robert witnessed Walter the Steward’s charter, by which he gave to the monks of Paisley the church of Largs in memory of his wife, Marjory Bruce, in 1318. He died before 1330, and was succeeded by his son William, who, in 1330, witnessed a charter granted by Malcolm Earl of Lennox,4 and in 1340 was one of the auditors of the Exchequer. In 1341 he was a receiver of the old arrears due to the Exchequer, and continued to be connected with the Exchequer down, at least, to the year 1358, when he held the lands of Rait.

He was succeeded by his son Thomas, who, between the years 1358 and 1370, witnessed a charter of Robert Steward of Scotland, Earl of Strathearn, to Sir Hugh of Eglinton and Dame Egidia (Giles), his wife, and their heirs, of an annual rent of one stone of wax due to the Steward from the land of Monfodevry in the barony of Cunningham. In 1380 the King made him a gift of fifty-three shillings and fourpence.

His son and heir, Sir John, obtained a charter from Robert II. confirming the grant which John Earl of Carrick, the King’s eldest son, had made to him of Glassford and other lands in the county of Lanark, July 22, 1375. Under the title of “John Symple Lord of Eliotstoun,” he witnessed a charter by “John of Montegomorri,” Lord of Eaglesham, October 8, 1392. In the same year he and Robert, his uncle, witnessed a deed by which Alan Fullerton conveyed to the Abbot and convent of Paisley an annual rental of forty pence from his lands of Russelland. In 1397 and in 1409 he witnessed other charters in the Register of the monastery of Paisley. In 1400 he received the first payment of an annual pension of 20 he had obtained from the King, to be drawn from the great customs of the city of Edinburgh. His daughter, Jean, was married to Sir John Stewart, Sheriff of Bute and ancestor of the present Marquess of Bute.

John, his son and successor, sat in the Parliaments of 1400 and 1401, was one of those who, in December, 1423, were sent to meet King James I. on his return from captivity in England, and received a safe conduct for his journey to Durham. He was also sent to England as one of the hostages for the King.8 An indenture between Alexander Montgomery, Knight, Lord of Ardrossan, and Alan Stewart, Lord of Darnley, was witnessed by him on May 15, 1438. The indenture was also witnessed by his son, Sir Robert, as Sheriff of Renfrew, who himself and his wife obtained, October 31, 1451, a charter of the lands of Southennan in Ayrshire.

In 1474 Sir William Semple of Eliotstoun, son and apparent heir of the above Sir Robert, paid a composition of 66 13s. 4d. to the King for a writ, to prevent his father from alienating his lands, and on October 4, in the same year, he paid a further composition of the same amount for a charter, on his father’s resignation, of the lands of Eliotstoun in Renfrewshire, Glassford in Lanarkshire, Southennan in the county of Ayr, and Rossie in Perthshire. Sir William was appointed hereditary Sheriff of the county by King James III. He also held the office of Bailie to the Abbot and convent of Paisley for their lands in Renfrewshire, an office which, in 1545, was made hereditary in the Semple family by a grant of John Hamilton, Abbot of Paisley, to Robert Master of Semple, who succeeded his father as Lord Semple in 1553.

Sir William Semple married Margaret, daughter of Lord Cathcart, and was succeeded by his son, Thomas Semple, who sat in the Parliament of February 24, 1483-4, and several others, and fell fighting for the King at Sauchieburn, June 11, 1488. His heir and only son, John, was raised to the peerage by King James IV. somewhere about the year 1489. He was the founder of the Collegiate Church of Semple. With many other nobles he fell at the disastrous battle of Flodden. His second son was Gabriel Semple of Cathcart.

His eldest son, William, the second Lord Semple, was made a Privy Councillor by James V., and appointed justiciary and bailie of the regality of Paisley. He was one of the lords who assented to the marriage between Queen Mary and Edward VI. of England. His death took place in 1548. From David, his second son, descended the Semples of Craigbetts.

Robert, third Lord Semple, who succeeded to the title in 1548, is usually known as the Great Lord Semple. As we shall see, he was greatly mixed up with the public affairs of the time, and played an important part in them. From his second son, Andrew, descended the Semples of Bruntscheils and the Semples of Beltrees.

Robert Master of Semple predeceased his father, and his son, Robert, succeeded his grandfather as fourth Lord Semple. As grandson and heir of Robert, third Lord Semple, he had charters of the baronies of Semple and Craiginfeoch, confirmed December 15, 1572. He was of the Privy Council of James VI., and was sent as Ambassador to Spain in 1596. He died, March 25, 1611. By his first wife, Lady Anne Montgomery, second daughter of Hugh, third Earl of Eglinton, he had issue : Hugh, who succeeded him, and four daughters ; and by his second wife, Dame Johanna de Evieland, Sir James Semple of Letterkenny in Ireland, whose daughter married into the house of Southwell.

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