Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

History of the Burgh of Dumfries


Tytler, in his "History of Scotland," expresses his decided opinion that the magnificent ecclesiastical structures that rose up in the kingdom during the thirteenth century, were built by associations of French and Italian workmen acting under the auspices of the Papal Church. As connected with this subject, we may quote the following curious inscription cut on a tablet in Melrose Abbey:

John John Murdo some time callit was I,
And born in Parysse certainly;
And had in keeping all mason werk
Of Saint Androy's, the hye kirk
Of Glasgow, Melros, and Paslay,
Of Nyddysdayll, and of Galway:
Pray to God and Mary baith,
And sweet Sanct John, to keep this haly kirk fra scaith."

It has been thought by some antiquarians that Murdo was the agent of one of the French or Italian building associations noticed in the text; but Mr. Billings is of opinion that the Melrose inscription cannot well be older than the sixteenth century, and that Murdo, whose name indicates a Scottish origin, performed no work beyond repairs and restorations.


There is a prevalent belief that this bridge consisted at one time of thirteen arches; and guide books and gazetteers combine in saying that such was the case. The only authority that we have seen in support of this idea, is a statement quoted into the "Picture of Dumfries" from Pemberton's "Journey through Scotland," published in 1723, in which the author says: "I passed the river Nith from Galloway to Dumfries over a fair stone bridge of thirteen large arches, the finest I saw in Britain, next to London and Rochester." Nothing can be more explicit than this declaration; but we know from documents that are undoubtedly genuine, that the bridge in 1681 (that is, forty-two years or thereby before Pemberton saw it) had only nine arches; and that in 1747, twenty-four years after 1723, it had still only nine-a picture and description of the bridge given by Grose, leaving this point beyond the reach of cavil. The author of "A Tour thro' the whole Island of Great Britain," the sixth edition of which was published in 1761-the tour to which it relates having been made several years sooner-says (vol. iv., p. 115):- " Dumfries was always a good town, with large streets. . . Over the river Nith is a very fine stone bridge at this place, with nine arches, and so broad that two coaches may go abreast on it." If these varying statements be all correct, then we must come to the strange conclusion that, some time after 1681, four Dew arches were added to the bridge in order to answer Mr. Pemberton's description; and that some time after 1723, and prior to 1747, these four arches were removed, and the bridge reduced till it had only nine arches, as in 1681. The supposition is so incredible that it need not be argued against; and the only right solution of the difficulty that we can see is, to look upon Pemberton's statement about the thirteen arches as one of those mistakes which some travellers-trusting, it may be, to treacherous memories, instead of written notes-are liable. With the view of setting the matter at rest, the street, at the gable of Mr. Adam Lindsay's wine and spirit establishment, was opened at our instance in April, 1866, where the pier of the tenth arch must have been put down, if any tenth arch had ever been in existence. The operation was carefully performed under the direction of an experienced local engineer, who, taking Grose's dimensions of the nine-arch bridge-four hundred feet-added the length of an additional arch, and caused the spot and all around it for a long way to be excavated six feet deep, and probed to a further depth, without finding a trace of any thing resembling the heavy masonic pile of which the other piers consist. The conclusion come to was, that there never had been a tenth pier; and the inference seems to follow, that the bridge never numbered more than nine arches. This experiment, coupled with the other testimony already adduced, has convinced us that the foundation of the other four arches has been laid in the realms of fancy, and not in the solid earth, or shifting sands of the Vennel.


"Devorgulla de Galweda domina de Balliolo, dilectis in Christo, fratri Hugoni de Hertilpoll et Magistro Wilhelmo de Menyl, salutem in Domino sempiternam. Utilitati filiorum et scholarium nostrorum Oxoniae commorantium, affectu materno providere capientes, omnia inferius annotata volumus, mandamus et praecipimus, ab eis inviolabiliter observari; ad honorem scilicet Domini nostri Jesu Christi et Gloriosae matris sum Mariae, necnon et sanctorum omnium. Imprimis, volumus et ordinamus quod scholares nostri omnes et singuli teneantur diebus Dominicis et festis principalioribus, divino interesse officio necnon sermonibus seu pridicationibus in eisdem fastis et diebus; nisi contigerit aliquem ex iis impediri propter urgentem necessitatem vel evidentem utilitatem : caeteris vero diebus diligenter scholas exerceant et studio intendant, secundum statuta Universitatis Oxoniae, et secundum formam inferius annotatam. Ordinamus etiam quod Scholares nostri teneantur nostris Procuratoribus obedire in omnibus quae ex nostra ordinatione, concessione, commissione ad eorum Regimen et Utilitatem pertinere noscuntur. Item, volumus quod scholares nostri ex semetipsis eligant unum Principalem, cui caeteri omnes humiliter obediant in his quae officium Principalis continguut, secundum statuta et consuetudines inter ipsos usitata et approbata; Praedictus autem Principalis, postquam legitime fuerit electus, nostris Procuratoribus praesentetur nec aliquid de suo officio exerceat, antequam ab eis auctoritate nostra in praefato officio fuerit institutus. Caeterum statuimus quod scholares nostri procurent tres missas celebrari singulis annis solenniter pro anima dilecti mariti nostri domini Johannis de Balliol et pro animabus praedecessorum nostrorum omniumque fidelium defunctorum, necnon et pro nostra salute et incolumitate; ita quod prima missa celebratur in prima hebdomada Adventus Domini, et secunda in Hebdomada Septuagesimae, et tertia in prima hebdomada post octavas Paschae: et fiant praedictae missae de Sancto Spiritu, vel de Beata Virgine, vel pro defunctis, secundum dispositionem Procuratorum. Singulis etiam diebus, tam in prandio quam in coena dicant benedictionem antequam comedant et post refectionem gratias agant; et orent specialiter pro anima dilecti mariti nostri superius nominati, et pro animabus omnium praedecessorum nostrorum necnon et liberorum defuuctorum, pro incolumitate etiam nostra et liberorum, caeterorumque amicorum nostrorum vivorum; item et pro nostris Procuratoribus secundam formam antiquitus usitatam. Et ut melius provideatur sustentationi pauperum, ad quorum utilitatem intendimus laborare, volumus" quod ditiories in societate scholarium nostrorum ita temperate studeant vivere, ut pauperes nullo modo graventur propter expensas onerosas; et si contigerit totam communitatem scholarium nostrorum in expensis communibus aliqua septimana excedere portionem a nobis eis impensam, volumus et praecipimus districts quod, ad solutionem illarum expensarum excedentium, nihil onmino recipiatur ultra unum denarium in una septimana ab eis qui, secundum discretionem et arbitrium Procuratorum nostrorum, judicantur impotentes et insufficienties ad totalem illarum expensarum solutionem faciendam. Si aequalis portio deberet ab omnibus sociis exhiberi, praedicta tamen nolumus extendi ad magnam vacationem quae durat a Translatione Beati Thomae Martyris, usque ad festum Beati Lucae, nec etiam ad septimanas in quibus occurrunt festi Nativitatis Dominicae, Circumcisionis, Epiphaniae, Paschae, et Pentecostes nec in aliis casibus in quibus Procuratores nostri judicaverint illud omittendum: Volumus etiam Procuratores nostros diligentem habere examinationem super praefata Scholarium nostrorum impotentia, et quod scholares ipsi ad Procuratores accedant cum omni confidentia, pro eorum necessitate intimanda. Et si contigerit aliquem vel aliquos de Scholaribus nostris contra ordinationem illam murmurare, aut occasione istius ordinationis pauperiores verbo vel signo aliquo provocare, volumus quod scholares nostri teneantur sub juramento nobis praestito nomina taliter murmurantium aut provocantium nostris Procuratoribus revelare: qui quidem Procuratores, habita super hoc sufficienti probatione, auctoritate praesentium, sine spe redeundi, ipsum vel ipsos ejiciant indilate. Statuimus etiam quod Scholares nostri communiter loquantur Latinum, et qui passim contra fecerit, a Principali corripiatur; et si, bis aut ter correptus, se non emendaverit, a communione mensae separetur, per se comedens, et ultimus omnium serviatur: et, si incorrigibilis manserit per hebdomadam, a Procuratoribus nostris ejiciatur. Volumus etiam quod qualibet altera hebdomada inter Scholares nostros in eorum domo disputetur unum sophisma et determinetur; et hoc fiat circulariter, ita ut sophistee opponant et respondeant, et qui in Scholis determinaverint determinent. Si vero aliquis sophista ita provectus fuerit quod merito possit in brevi in Scholis determinare, tulle ei dictatur a Principali quod prius determinet domi inter socios suos. In fine autem cujuslibet disputationis praefigat Principalis diem disputationis sequentis, et disputationem regat et garrulos cohibeat, et assignet sophisma proxime disputandum, opponentem, respondentem et determinatorem, ut sic melius valeant providere. Consimili modo fiat qualibet altera hebdomada de quaestione. Praecipimus etiam Scholaribus nostris, firmiter injungentes, ut portatorium, quod eis pro anima dilecti mariti nostri concessimus, diligenter custodiant, nec aliquo modo permittant illud impignorari, vel quocunque titulo alienari. Habeant etiam Scholares nostri unum pauperem Scholarem per Procuratores nostros assignatum, cui singulis diebus reliquias mensae suae teneantur erogare, nisi Procuratores nostri illud decreverint omittendum. Ut autem omnia et singula praedicta a nostris Scholaribus in tempore Procuratorum quorumcumque inviolabiliter observentur, praesens scriptum sigilli nostri munimine roboravimus. Datum apud Botel, in Octavis Assumptionis gloriosae Virginis Marie, anno Gratiae MCC. octogesimo secundo."

We are indebted for the following translation of the statutes to a young Oxonian, Mr. Robert James Muir, Dumfries:

"Devorgulla of Galloway, Lady of Balliol, to our brother Hugh of Hertilpool, and Master Wilhelm of Menyl, beloved in Christ, eternal salvation in the Lord. Desiring with maternal affection to provide for the advantage of our sons and scholars resident at Oxford, we will, command, and enjoin all things to be mentioned hereafter, to be by them inviolably observed, to the honour, to wit, of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His glorious Mother Mary, and eke of all Saints.

"Firstly, we will and ordain that our scholars, all and singly, be bound on Lord's days and on the greater Feasts to be present at the Divine Office, as well as the sermons or preachings on the same feasts and clays, unless any of them shall happen to be let by urgent necessity or evident utility; but on other days they shall diligently perform their tasks, and apply themselves to study, according to the Statutes of the University of Oxford, and according to the scheme hereafter mentioned. We also ordain that our scholars be bound to obey our procurators in all things which, according to our ordinances, grant, and commission, are known to belong to their rule and advantage. W e also will that our scholars from among themselves elect a principal, whom all the rest shall humbly obey in those matters which belong to the office of principal, according to the ordinary and approved statutes and customs observed among them. But let the aforesaid principal, after he has been lawfully elected, be presented to our procurators, nor exercise aught of his office before he has been by them instituted, by our authority, in the office aforesaid. Furthermore, we decree that our scholars cause three Masses to be duly celebrated every year for the soul of our beloved husband, John, Lord of Balliol, and for the souls of our predecessors, and all the faithful departed, as also for our own weal and salvation, so that the first Mass be celebrated in the first week of the Advent of our Lord, the second in the week of Septuagesima, and the third in the first week after the octave of Easter; and let these aforesaid be Masses of the Holy Ghost, Masses of the Blessed Virgin, or Masses for the departed, according to the arrangement of our procurators. Also, on every day, both at dinner and supper, let them say a blessing before eating, and after meat let them return thanks, and pray specially for the soul of our beloved husband above mentioned, and for the souls of all our predecessors, as also for those of our departed children, for our own salvation and that of our children, and for that of our other living friends, also for our procurators, according to the form of ancient use. And the better to provide for the maintenance of the poor scholars, whose advantage we intend to study, it is our will, that the richer ones in the society of our scholars study to live in such moderation that the poorer ones be not burdened in any way by heavy expenses; and if it shall happen that the common expenses of the whole community, in any one week, exceed the portion by us allowed to them, we will and strictly ordain that for the settling of those extra expenses nothing be received beyond the sum of one penny per week from those who, according to the discretionary choice of our procurators, are deemed straitened and unable to bear total payment of those expenses. If an equal portion should be furnished by all the fellows, nevertheless we are unwilling that the above be extended to the long vacation, last, 119 from the Translation of Saint Thomas the Martyr to the Feast of Saint Luke, nor again to the weeks in which occur the Feasts of the Nativity of our Lord, Circumcision, Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost, nor other cases where our procurators think it should be omitted. We will also that our procurators carefully enquire into the above-mentioned poverty of our scholars, and that the scholars themselves come to our procurators in all confidence to intimate their necessities. And if it shall happen that any one or more of our scholars murmur against the above ordinance, or on account of that ordinance mock the poor scholars by word or sign of any kind, we will that our scholars be held bound under oath fixed by us to reveal the names of those so murmuring and mocking to our procurators; and the latter shall, on sufficient proof of this being given, without delay expel him or them without hope of return, and this by authority of these presents.

"We also ordain that our scholars generally talk Latin, and let him who once and again does otherwise be corrected by the principal; if, after being twice or thrice corrected, he does not amend, let him be separated from the common table, to eat by himself and be served last of all, and if lie remain incorrigible for a week, let him be expelled by our procurators. We will also that on every alternate week one sophism be disputed and determined by our scholars in their own hall; and let this be done in course, so that the disputants may alternately oppose and reply; and let those who shall determine in the Schools determine the argument. But if any disputant be so advanced in merit that he will shortly be able to determine in the Schools, then let the principal make him first determine in the hall among his fellows. At the end of each debate let the principal fix the day for the next debate, let him regulate the debate and restrain the talkative, and let him appoint the question to be next disputed, the proposer, the answerer, and the judge, so that they may the better be able to provide for it. In such manner let the dispute every alternate week be managed. We also command our scholars, with firm injunctions, diligently to preserve the Portatory which we have granted them for the soul of our beloved husband, and neither to suffer it to be impledged nor alienated in any manner. Let our scholars also have one poor scholar appointed by our procurators, for whom on every day they shall be bound to set aside the remains of their table, unless our procurators judge that this may be omitted. And that all and every thing aforesaid may be by our scholars inviolably observed in the time of all procurators whatsoever, these presents we have confirmed by the sanction of our seal.

"Given at Botel, in the Octave of the Assumption of the glorious Virgin Mary, in the year of grace 1282."


In memory of this deed, the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn assumed as their crest a hand holding a dagger, with the memorable words for motto, "I mak siccar." Lord Hailes, in his "Annals" (vol. ii., p. 242), attempted to show that Sir Roger who slew Comyn was not the representative of the family of Kirkpatrick in Nithsdale: but universal tradition combines with other historians in attributing the ex-Regent's death-blow to the chief of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks, as narrated in the text. The Rev. Mr. Black of Closeburn, in his account of the Presbytery of Penpont, gives the following account of the incident;-" In that part of Closburn towards the water of Ayr, by which it is incompassed, is a fourty-pound land pertaining to Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closburn, an ancient family, and chief of that name, having a charter from Alexander K. of Scots, granted to Ivon Kirkpatrick, of the lands and barony of Closburn, before witnesses : Bondington, Cancellario, Rogero de Quency, Waltero filio Alani Senescallo Justiciario Scotia;, Joanne de Maccuswell Camerario, Rogero Avonell, David Marescallo, Thoma filio Hamil, David de Lindsay, Rogero filio Glay, Roberto de Menyers, dated at Edinburgh the 15th day of August, and of the said King's reign the eighteenth year. Moreover, the said Laird for his arms and ensign-armorial bears argent a St. Andrew's cross azure, on a sheaf of the second three cushions or; above the shield, an helmet befitting his degree, mantled gules, doubled argent. Next is placed on a torse for his crest, a hand bolding a dagger distilling drops of blood proper; the motto in an escrole, ` I make sure:' which cast and motto was given by Robert the Bruce, K. of Scots, to Roger Kirkpatrick, upon his killing of the Cumin at the Chappel of Drumfreis." - SIBBALD MSS., in Advoctes' Library.


In the same manuscript it is stated as a tradition that Bruce, immediately after the slaughter of Comyn, was conducted by Kirkpatrick to a place of refuge among the thick woods of Tynron, where lie remained for Some time safely hidden; but this vague report is at variance with the statement of Hemingford and other trustworthy historians, that Bruce and his followers gained for themselves an asylum in the Castle of Dumfries. If there be any truth in the tradition that the bowers of Tynron afforded shelter to the patriot hero, it must have been at a later period, when lie was a hunted wanderer in the wilds of Carrick, Galloway, and Dumfriesshire. The Penpont manuscript, after furnishing the above statement, says that during Bruce's abode in Tynron parish "he did often divert to a poor man's cottage named Brownrig, situate in a small parcel of stoney ground, incompassed with thick woods, where he was content sometimes with such mean accommodation as the place could afford. The poor man's wife being advised to petition the King for somewhat, was so modest in her desires that she sought no more but security for the croft in her husband's possession, and a liberty of pasturage for a very few cattle of different kinds on the hill and the rest of the bounds. Of which priviledge that ancient family, by the injury of time, hath a long time been, and is now, deprived; but the croft continues in the possession of the heirs and successours lineally descended of this Brownrig and his wife: so that this family, being more ancient than rich, doth yet continue in that name, and, as they say, retains the old charter. "-SIBBALD MSS., in Advocates' Library.


Charta Capellani celebrantis pro anima Christopheris de Seton. Robertus, Dei gratia Rex Scotorum, &c., Christopherus de Seton, miles dilectus noster mortuns est in servitio nostro, ac Christiana de Brois, sponsa sua sororque nostra dilecta in loco quo mortem subiit prope Drumfreis, in honorem crucis Dominicae quan-dam Capellam fundavit et extruxit: sciat; propter benevolentiam et affectionem quam non immerito erga dictum quendam Christophorum habuimus Donavisse Dedisse et Confirmasse uni Capellano in cadem Capella pro anima dicti Christophorus animabus omnium Fidelium Divina in perpetua celebrare; ac pro nobis et heredibus nostris Regibus Scotiae, presentando centum solidos Strivilingorum annui reditus per manus Vicecomitis nostri de Drumfreis, et Balivorum suorum qui pro tempore fuerint de anno reditu nobis de dicta Baronia de Carlaverock ad criminos Pentecostes et Sancti Martin, proportionaliter, singulis annis in libereri punam et perpetuam, eleemosynam recipiendos, Quare Vicecomiti nostro de Drumfreis et Balivis suis qui pro tempore fuerint precipimus et mandamus quaternos dictos centum solidos aunui reditus dicto Capellano, ad criminos preditos plenaric persolvant in perpetuam. Quos quidam centum solidos predicto Vicecomiti et Balivis suis qui pro tempore fuerint in computis sui annuis volumus pro nobis et heredibus nostris plenius collocares. In cujus rei fidem, &c., apud Berwica supra Tuedam ultimo die Novembris anni regni nostri nonoduomo, Robertus Brussius, Scon coronatus erat 1306, mense Aprilis. - GENERAL HUTTON'S MSS., in Advocates' Library.


"The new doctrines concerning religion," says Keith (pp. 36, 37), " had so far prevailed in Scotland, notwithstanding the severities used against the professors thereof, in the late King's reign, by the influence of the settled clergy, that, ill the very first Parliament holden after his death, there was a proposal offered by the Lord Maxwell, oil the 15th day of March, 1542-3, for a liberty of reading the Bible in the vulgar tongue: which proposal was received and approved by the Governor [Arran], and the Lords of the Articles. And because this was the first public step towards a Reformation of Religion, perhaps the reader will not be displeased to seethe Act inserted in this history, which is as followeth:

"`Anent the Writting gevin in be Robert, Lord Maxwell, in presens of my Lord Governour and Lordis of Articklis, to be avisit by theim, gif the samin be reasonable or not, of the quhilk the tenor followis:- It is statute and ordaint, that it sal be leful to all our Soverane Ladyis Leiges to haif the Holy Writ, to wit the New Testament and Auld, in the vulgar tongue, in Inglis or Scottis, of ane gude and true Translatioun; and that thai sal incur na Crimes for the hefing and reading of the samin, provyding alwayis that nae Man dispute or hold oppinyeonis, under the paines contenit in the Acts of Parliament. The Lordis of Articklis beand avisit with the said Writting, finds the samin reasonable; and therefore thinkis that the samin may be usit amongis all the Lieges of this Realm, in our vulgar toung, of ane gude, true, and just Translatioun, because there was na Law shewin nor producit in the contrair ; and that Dane of our Soverane Ladyis Lieges incur any Crimes for haifing or reding of the samin in Form as said is, nor sall be accusit therefore in time coming; and that na Personis dispute, argou, or hold oppunionis of the samin, under the saidis Painis contenit in the foresaides Acts of Parliament.'

"This draft of the Act having been read, `ane Maist Reverend Fader in God, Gawine, Archbishop of Glasgow, Chaucelor, for himself, and in name and behalfe of all the Prelatis of this Realm beand present in Parliament, schew, that ther was ane Act instantly red in face of Parliament, that the Holy Writ may be usit in our Vulgar Toting, and that na Crime suld follow therupon thrott the using therof; and alegit in the said Act that the three Estates concludit the samen : Whilk he, for himselfe and the Remanent of the Prelates being present, as ane of the three Estates of the said Parliament, dissassentit thereto simpliciter; but apponit thaime therto unto the Tyme, that ane provincial Counsel might be had of all the clergy of this Realm, to avis and conclud therupon, gif the samen be necessar to be had in vulgar toung, to be usit amang the Quein's Lieges or not; and therafter to shaw the utter [final] Determination that sal be done in that Behalfe: and therupon askit Instrumentis.'

"But," continues Keith, " notwithstanding this Protestation, the Lord Maxwell's Bill was certainly enacted; seeing that within two days after the parliament had risen, the Governor, who found himself supported by the adversaries of the established religion, thought fit to cause issue out a Proclamation for notification to all the Lieges of the Act concerning Holy Scriptures. Here follows the orders for the proclamation.

"`GUBERNATORY, Clerk of Register, it is our Will, and we charge you, that ye goe proclaim this Day at the Marcat Crois of Edinburgh the actis made in oure Soverane Ladyis Parliament, that suld be proclaimit and gevin forth to her Lieges; and in speciale the Act made for having the New Testament in Vulgar Toung, with certain additionis; and therefter gif furth the copyis therof aitentick as efferis, to all them that will desyre the samyn; and insert this our Command and charge in the Bukis of Parliament, for youre Warrant. Subscrivit with our Hand, at Edinburgh, the xix. day of Marche, the year of God Jajve, and xlii. yeris."'


"Pastor ab Amphryso Drumfrisi pascua cernens
Eminus, Admeti praetulit illa jugis.
Florida tot pingues hic tondent prata juvenci,
Gramina quot verno tempore fundit humus.
Illius externas saturant pecuaria gentes,
Et mensas onerant Anglia soepe tuas.
Ditior armento seges est, et velifer amnis:
Et mare, quod Zephyri temperat aura levis.
Surgit in hac cedes, cui cedunt templa Diana?,
Vel venerabilius Graecia si quid habet.
Proditor hic patriae Brusci virtute Cuminus
Concidit, et sacram sanguine tinxit humum.
Scotia, Drumfrisi reliquis altaria praefer;
Hic tibi libertas aurea parta fuit."

The Rev. W. Bennet, Moffat, has favoured us with the following felicitous translation of this spirited address:-

"A shepherd, who beheld afar the pastures of Dumfries,
Preferred them to Thessalian hills, the fairest lawns of Greece.
Full many a sleek and seemly steer enjoys the flowery fields;
Full many an herb, in genial spring, the soil ungrudging yields.
To distant lands her fruitful farms their produce oft convey,
And load the board in England's halls on many a festal day.
Still nobler wealth her valleys give, that wave with golden grain,
Her river bears the gliding sail, mild breezes haunt her main.
Within there stands an ancient pile, which more renown may claim
Than Dian's fanes, or aught that Greece exalts to sacred fame.
Here Comyn false, who sold the realm, and came to share the spoil,
Fell by the sword of valiant Bruce, to stain the hallowed soil.
Scotland! of all thy famous shrines, let one be dear to thee
Dumfries, which bore that priceless fruit, the deed that made thee free."


Since our account of James's visit was put in type, we discovered in an old newspaper the copy of an address made by Commissary Halliday to the King, which professed to have been taken from a work giving a history of his Majesty's progress through Scotland, which we have not seen. The speech we subjoin, as it seems to be quite genuine.

"On Monday," it is said by way of prelude, "the ferd of August, 1617, his Majestic, returning to England, past be Dumfries, where, at the entrie of the Towne, this speach was delivered by Mr. James Halyday (of Pitlochie, advocate, son of John Halliday of Tullyboill, advocate), Commissar there.

"'Your Royall Majestie, in whose sacred person the King of Kings hath miraculouslie united so many glorious kingdoms, under whose scepter the whyte and reid crocies are so proportionablie interlaced, the lion and leopard draw up one equall yok, and the most honorable ordors of the thistle and garter march togidder, is most heartelie welcome to this your Majestie's ever loyall Towne, whose magistrats and people, now beholding your long-desired face, doe imitat the lizard. For no diamouts nor carbuncles by lustre can so allure the eyes, as doeth the ))rightness of your countenance our eyes and hearts. Hence it is that the mynds of your good subjects are filled with such incomprehensible joy. And considering the innumerable comforts which this your Majesties ancient and unconquored Scotland (unica vicinis toties pulsata procellis, Externi immunis) bath received under your happie government, both in Kirk and Politic, what merveile is it to see the flamme of their love kyth in their faces and tongues, two infallible witnesses of their hearts? To recken all it wer impossible, to speake of none it wer ungratful; if I speake out of one, which is Peace, they who, with bleeding hearts and weeping eyes, did daylie taist of the bitter fruictes of discord, inward and outward broyles, shall acknowledge even that oulie Peace to bee all they could have wished, and more than ever they could have hoped for. For what is to be wished that wee doe not enjoy with it? Omnia pace vigent. Now Justice bath unsheathed her sword; now basse assentation bath no place, and sycophants ar put to silence; now is not sucked out the marrow of the people by odious and unjust monopolies; now is not the husbandman his face worne with the grindstone of extortion, but sitting under his owne aple-trie, he in Peace eateth the fruictes of his labours; Relligion bath her place; Law is in vigour; Naboth bruketh his owne vin-yard, Achitopell his just reward; simonie preferreth not Balaam; nor doeth corrupting gold set up a judge in Israel; but everie place is provided with some one fitting and suttable for the same.

"`If silent in these things, should wee not be convinced of ingratitude to Almightie God, by whose grace wee have this oure Solomon, by whose providence, under God, these good things are procured unto us, and at the fountaine of whose wisdome so many Kingdoms and States get daylie refreshment? Who weld essey to speake worthelie of your worthie, rare, Royall, and heroicall vertues, should have eloquence for his tongue; and let any speake what bee can, what call lie speake but that which everie man doeth know? For there is no corner f the earth which bath not heard of your Majestie, that yee are not onlie a mirour but a master of Kings; not only a patterne to their lyfe, but also a patrone of their cause. Doeth not your Royall practise and penning prove all these? and knoweth bee any thing to whom your Basili-kon Doron, and your learned writings against he supporters of the Antichristian Hierarchie, is not knowne? O, Sir, your Majestic oweth much In your King, -that King of Kings by whom e so munch unto you is bestowed. That wee see the face of him whome God hath anoynted so above his fellowes, is the ground of all these joyes which we enjoy this day. In the fulnesse of which joyes this one thing breeds us anguish, that this your Majestie's ever loyall Towne (whose people ever were, are, and shall be, resolved to sacrifice their lyves in their Prince's service, and of which God made choice that it shud be the place where your Majestic's most Royal Ancester, the waliant Bruce, killed the Comyn, extirped the Baliol blood, and re-established the Royall race of our native Princes), now should bee the last period of your Majestic's progresse within this your most ancient Kingdome. Wold God it could bee circular, as that of our other sunne, that all your Majestic's subjects might enjoy the comfort of your presence be vicissitude! But let God's will and your Majestie's weel be the measure of our desires.

"And since we perceive the force of our load-stone failing, so that it bath no more power of retention; seeing your Majestic will southward, wee would wish your course more meridionall, even trans-alpine, that the Romish idol, the whore of Babel, might repent of her too presumptuous sitting in the Kirk of God, ill God's owne chaire, above the crownes of Kings. Let her feel the furie of your sword, let her knowe the sharpnes of your pike, as weel as Of your pen; in that expedition shall not be last mavoritia pectora Scoti. For, may wee not now, by God's assistance, in like courage and magnanimitic, levell with the ground their walls there, as wee did heere of these moustrous heapes of stones and rampires reared be their Emperour Severus and Hadrian? Especiallie now, having the concurrence of that bellicose and resolute natione which God bath made to come under your standard with us, how can wee but have hope to cause all them who will fight against God for Babylon, like as many beards of animals scattered on Mount Aventine and Appennine, will make jacks of old dyks? But, remitting this and all other your Majestie's deseignes to God's gratious dispensation and your worthie disposition, we close up our speach, praying Almightie God that you and your Highnesse's Royol progenie may sit upon the thrones of your dominions with incresse of all heavenlie and earthlie blessings, so long as the sunne and moone shall have place in the firmament of Heaven.-Amen.'"


In the charter of Robert III. a reference is made to the fishings in the Nith, granted to the Grey Friars of the Vennel by his royal predecessors. The Friars had perhaps found it proper to have this right confirmed by Lady Devorgilla's descendants, or her descendants may, from the religious considerations of the time, have been desirous to renew it ; for they apparently granted two successive charters conveying and confirming the dues to the Friars. The first of these is dated 16th January, 1425, and bears to have been executed at Thrieve. It appears to have been granted by Margaret, Duchess of Touraine, Countess of Douglas, Lady of Galloway, &c. It bears that the object in granting it was the peace of the souls of King James, and of her deceased husband, Archibald, Duke of Touraine, &c., of her own soul, and those of her son, Sir James Douglas, and their ancestors and descendants, and of all who had died in the faith. And it conveys the dues to the Almighty, the blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis, and to the Warden and Friars Minor of Dumfries, ` who," it continues, "are to serve the Almighty there for ever." The return to be made by the Friars for the charter is the suffrages of their holy prayers, yearly. The next charter, which is extant, is by James, Earl of Douglas, &c., and is dated at Dumfries, 4th January, 1452. It bears to be granted for the peace of the souls of the then deceased James and William, Earls of Douglas, the predecessor and brother of the granter, and for the peace of his own soul, and of those of his ancestors, and of all who had died in the faith. In other respects it seems to be a repetition of the previous charter.

The Reformation, which begun in 1558, led, as we have shown, to the abolition of the monastic orders throughout the country. But it had been long foreseen; and with the view of providing against its consequences, many of the ecclesiastical bodies had previously feued out or made over their possessions to their friends. It is not improbable the Grey Friars of Dumfries followed this course with the bridge dues, because they feued them out by a charter dated 10th July, 1557, which is still extant. It is granted by Friar Charles Home, the Superior or Warden of the body, and by the whole convent assembled ill their chapter-house, with consent of the reverend father John Ferguson, the Provincial Master of the whole Order of the Minor or Grey Friars within Scotland. By this deed the bridge dues are feued out to John Johnston in Nunholm, son of Edward Johnston, burgess of Dumfries, for a fen duty or perpetual annual payment to the Friars or their successors of 10 merks and 40 pence Scots,. being 11s. 4d. sterling. The deed narrates, as the motive for its being executed, that John Johnston had been of service to the convent in several ways, and that the feu duty was 40 pence more than the dues had ever yielded to it. As appears from the charter, the dues had at the time been held by John Johnston as tacksman, under a tack from the convent to his father which had some years to run, and the rent on which was 10 merks Scots, or 11s. 1d. sterling. The charter is signed by Charles Home, Herbert Stewart, Christopher Walker, and Richard Harlaw, who, it may be inferred from its terms, were all the Friars. Under this deed, John Johnston became proprietor of the dues as vassal of the Friars, whose right became a right of superiority, with the above- mentioned feu duty attached to it.

At the Reformation, this superiority and feu duty, with the whole other possessions of the Friars, fell to the Crown, as being subjects that had no owner, the purpose for which they had been originally given to the Friars having been declared to be illegal. By a charter dated 23rd April, 1569, King James VI. gave all these possessions to the Burgh of Dumfries; in order that the Burgh might support a hospital and maintain the bridge. This charter narrates that his Majesty considered it his duty to provide that a hospital should be kept up within the Burgh for poor people who were maimed or sick, and for orphans; and also to provide for the safety of his subjects whose business, it bears, made it necessary for them to cross the river, and whose lives would be endangered if the bridge were not kept in repair. It accordingly conveys to the Provost, Bailies, Council, and community of the Burgh, and their successors for ever, all the property and rights whatever which had belonged to the Grey Friars; but, in order that the Friars and other religious persons who were supported therefrom before the Reformation might not be impoverished, the charter reserves to them (luring their lives the full enjoyment of their income from the subjects conveyed. It erects and incorporates these subjects into one fund or estate, which was to be called "The Royal Foundation of the Hospital of Dumfries," and provides that, so far as the revenues therefrom -"-cut, the Burgh should be bound to keep up the bridge and to support the orphans and poor people in the hospital. Owing to some cause or other, however, no charitable institution under this charter has been founded in the Burgh.

Amongst the rights conveyed by that charter, there is specially mentioned the half of the bridge customs falling to the Friars. This would seem to have been merely the 11s. 4d, of feu duty which had remained with the Friars after they had feued out the customs to John Johnston. The right of superiority itself, to which the fen duty was annexed, appears to have remained with or to have been resumed by the Crown ; and in 1591 King James renewed the rights to the bridge dues in favour of John Johnston - a descendant, probably, of the original feuar.

Though the right of the Burgh to levy the bridge dues is recognized in several of its charters, and by the Act of 1681, the amount of the dues is not fixed by any of these deeds, and is regulated only by usage. The Burgh has also a right to certain customs on all goods brought within its liberties for sale, consumption, or otherwise, which customs, in so far as goods and bestial coming across the Nith are concerned, were levied along with the dues, till, in course of time; the two kinds of imposts became intermixed. Tables of both were prepared at various periods-the earliest on record being of date 23rd October, 1732. On the 5th of November, 1772, the Town Council passed an Act designed to regulate the bridge and market dues, and directing that some of the latter that used to be uplifted in the market should be uplifted at the ports or entrances of the town instead. A table of bridge dues, based upon this Act, and professing to be framed according to the use and practice then existing, was at the same time published and exhibited at the Old Bridge as the rule of payment; and when the dues were levied at the New Bridge on its erection, the table of 1772 continued to be the guide to the tacksman or lessee in making his charges. The table included also such market dues as were leviable at the bridge. Both kinds of dues were expressed in Scots money, freemen in many cases paying a smaller amount than others. We subjoin a summary of the charges:

Each horse, cow, or other cattle passing the bridge or the river within the town's privileges, though not presented to market, 2s.; when so presented, 8d. Each of these animals brought to market by any of the other ports, 8d.; and if not sold, the cattle to have the benefit of other two market days free of duty. Each animal as aforesaid sold in market, 2s., to be paid by the exporter in addition to the 8d. levied on the importer. Each animal presented to market, but driven away unsold to England or elsewhere, 2s. Each sheep passing the bridge or river, 4d.; each lamb, 2d. Each sheep, hogg, or lamb brought to market by any of the other ports, 4d. on entering the market. Each sheep, young or old, sold in market, 4d., paid by the exporter. Each horse, cow, or other cattle passing from the Dumfriesshire to the Galloway side, or for Ireland, or other parts to graze, or cattle flitting from a pasture on the Dumfriesshire to the Galloway side, 1s. 4d.; each hogg, sheep, or lamb so passing, 2d. It is then explained that all persons, freemen or unfreemen, who do not reside in the Burgh, but who pay watching, warding, and other portable charges therein, shall pay the same dues as unfreemen; and that all inhabitants, though burgesses, who traffic in cattle, shall pay the same dues as unfreemen, except for single beasts for their own use, which are to pass free.

All corded packs of merchandise that pass or repass; also all packs of wool, skins, lint, oil, wine, tar, and other merchandise, 2s. 8d.; freemen residenters, 1s. 4d. If less than a load, these goods to pay proportionally, except for sheep skins, thirty of which to be charged 8d.; freemen, 4d. Each load of meal, bere, barley, wheat, rye, pease, beans, potatoes, and other grain, roots, or fruits, 12d.; freemen residenters, 6d. Note. -1 load of seed or horse corn, or oats, is ten pecks; a load of bere, barley, meal, pease, beans, wheat, and rye, is eight pecks; and a load of potatoes, roots, and fruits, is four pecks. Each load of butter and cheese, 2s.; freemen, Is.; halves or quarters in proportion, except for pieces of butter under four lbs., and single cheeses under half a stone. But no bridge custom is due by freemen residenters for grain, roots, fruit, butter, or cheese, from their own farms, for the use of their families, they paying only custom for what they sell; nor is custom to be levied on grain ground at the town mills, nor on merchant goods bought from freemen in the Burgh, belonging to and exported by the same person, in one day, under four stones weight at a time; such exemptions only to continue, however, during the Council's pleasure.

Each load of fish passing the bridge or river, Is.; each pock or creel of fish, 2d. Each load or creel of shoes or clogs imported, 4d. Each load of coverings, or waulked cloth, Is.; halves and quarters in proportion. Each load of bark above ten pecks, imported, 8d.; freemen, 4d. Each corded pack brought in by any of the ports on the town side, if it has not paid duty there, and has not been opened in town, shall, in passing the bridge or river, pay 1s. 4d.; freemen, 8d.: but if opened in town, it shall, on being exported, pay of bridge dues, 2s. 8d.; freemen, Is. 4d. The table specifies that no custom is payable by the Nithsdale family, and closes with this nota bees-'' The double of all the said customs is payable at the public fairs of this Burgh, conform to use and wont."

Such, in brief, is the bridge dues system, as it continued up till a very recent period. Its operation was often complained of by the people of the Stewartry; and more especially when carts or waggons superseded pack-horses, and the charges had to be converted from Scots into sterling money, did it become a source of wrangling and dispute between the tacksman and importers. With the view of facilitating the collection of the dues, the Town Council, on the 16th of October, 1854, issued , for the guidance of their tacksman, a table defining and explaining the table of 1772; the latter still remaining the authoritative rule of payment for the public. The charges were expressed in sterling money; and, among other changes, the indefinite or uncertain quantities of the old table were transformed into specific measures. Thus, "merchandise," wool, and lint, instead of being charged by the pack, were charged 4d. on every 10 cwt. ; tar, instead of paying so much per pack, was made liable to 1d. per barrel; herrings, though not previously included in merchandise, were subjected to Id, per barrel-quantities of half a cwt. and under to pass free. This comprehensive explanatory sentence was also introduced: " Merchandise includes every thing that is the subject of commerce or mercantile dealing." A peck was represented to contain 7 imperial gallons, weighing 70 lbs. of water; a peck of seed or horse corn, 35 lbs.; a peck of bore, barley, meal, pease, &c., 46 lbs; and a peck of potatoes, roots, or fruits, 84 lbs. - the charges in each case being ted to these measures instead of loads. A load offish was defined to weigh 2 1/2 cwt. ; a load of coverings or waulked cloth was reckoned of the same weight. All the money conversions seem to have been fairly made on the principle that 12d. Scots is represented by 1d. English; and the Council, in specifying quantities, were, we believe, guided by the best authorities, oral and written, they could obtain. Lime was exempted from bridge dues by the old table; and by that of 1854, coals, and dung purchased by the farmer who was to use it from the person in whose premises it was produced, were also permitted to go free.

Before this new table was drawn up, however, the indiscretion or cupidity of the tacksmen in 1854 rendered the impost increasingly obnoxious to the gentlemen of the Stewarty, till, as a result, a number of them united in raising an action for the purpose of having the articles charged upon defined, and the scale of dues determined, or, if possible, getting the dues abolished altogether. It is not necessary that we should give a detailed account of the proximate causes of the litigation, and trace its varied and protracted course through the Court of Session. A brief statement must suffice. On the 5th of February, 1862, an action was brought before the Lord Ordinary (Kinloch) at the instance of Wellwood Herries of Munches, Mark Sprot Stewart of Southwick, Robert Maxwell Witham of Kirkconnell, Robert Kirkpatrick Howat of Mabie, Wellwood Maxwell of The Grove, Francis Maxwell of Breoch, William Stewart of Shambelly, Patrick Dudgeon of Cargen, Walter M`Culloch of Ardwall, James Biggar of Maryholm, and Alexander Oswald of Auchencruive, against the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council of Dumfries, in which the pursuers claimed decree of reduction of the tables of 1772 and 1854, and relative Acts of Council, and declarator of the bridge dues, and to have a table of dues prepared; their pleas of law being in effect as follows:-1. The dues enumerated in the tables of 1772 and 1854, and the Acts of the Dumfries Town Council relating to them, not being authorized by statute, charter, or usage, and being altogether without lawful authority, ought to be reduced and set aside. 2. The tables being inconsistent with one another, and unsupported by immemorial usage, ought to be reduced and set aside. 3. The table of 1772 being expressed in Scots money, and in obsolete weights and measures, and having, moreover, fallen into desuetude, and been superseded by usage inconsistent therewith; and the table of 1854 having been merely an unauthorized attempt to revive and explain and extend the application of that obsolete table, Do effect can now be given to either of them. 4. In no respect are the defenders entitled to levy higher dues, or from or in respect of persons, bestial, and articles, other than according to the usage which shall be proved to have been immemorial. 5. The defenders are not entitled, under the head merchandise, to levy duty upon articles which have not been subject to it by immemorial usage.

The defenders, under eight different clauses, pleaded their right to levy the duties in question in virtue of their charters, the Act of 1681, immemorial usage, and a prescription extending over more than forty years. They held that the table of 1772, as explained by that of 1854, had been immemorially sanctioned; that there were no sufficient grounds on which the conclusions of reduction could be supported; that the whole material statements of the pursuers, being incorrect in point of fact, the action was unfounded; and that the defenders were therefore entitled to absolvitor, with expenses. Lord Kinloch allowed parties a proof of their respective averments, and to each a conjoint probation; and the same was taken by William Ellis Gloag, Esq., advocate, in the King's Arms Hotel, Dumfries, on the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th of April, 1864; and also by adjournment in Edinburgh in the following summer and autumn. With the evidence thus obtained before him, his Lordship pronounced an interlocutor, dated the 30th of June, 1865, to this effect:-He held that the term merchandise, as employed in the table of dues, comprehends all articles which are the subject of mercantile dealing, and which were in use to be loaded either on a horse or cart; but that it does not comprehend live animals or dead carcasses. Also that the said term does not comprehend lime, coal, manure, either natural or artificial, trees or wood, drain-tiles, stones, slates, hay, straw, agricultural implements, furniture, or machinery. He found also that foals, calves, and lambs following their mothers are not chargeable, nor swine dead or alive; that no charge could be exacted from carriers other than on such articles as the table specifies; that herrings are chargeable as fish, and clogs as shoes; that horses are not chargeable when saddled or in harness; and that the defenders are not entitled to levy double dues at any period. His Lordship further appointed the cause to be enrolled, in order that steps might be taken for having a table of bridge dues framed according to the foregoing finding. In pronouncing the interlocutor, lie professed to proceed upon the principle that no dues ought to be levied by the defenders except such as have been sanctioned by immemorial usage.

This decision seriously reduced the revenue of the bridge by its restricted reading of the term "merchandise," and by cutting off several articles which the defenders thought were legally chargeable. The defenders therefore reclaimed, and the case came, by appeal, before the First Division of the Court of Session, on the 1st of June, 1866. All the judges present; the Lord President, the Lords Curriehill, Deas, and Ardmillan, agreed with the Lord Ordinary, whose interlocutor they accordingly adhered to unanimously, with expenses. A new table is now being adjusted, in terms of the judgment of the Court.
Sundry dues, trifling in amount, were also levied at the trone or weigh-house, at the three ports, at the meal market, at the salt market, and at the mills; but all that remained of these were abolished shortly after the adoption of the Burgh Reform Act, 1833.

K, p. 520 - SUFFERINGS AND LOSSES, 1650-51.

"Ane compt of pairt of the sufferings and losses sustained be the towne of Drumfreis since Septer. 1650.

"Imprimis, Upon the 10th of Decemr. 1650, four trowps of horse under the comand of Major Bethel, surpryzed Drumfries, whair they remained four days upon frie quarters, doing great abuses, the town being no way provyded for them, which losse they estimat to the soume of two hundred pounds sterling (£200).

"It., Upon the 17th of Decr. 1650, thair came to Drumfries Leivetenant Collonell Ditton, with a regiment of foot from Cairliell with seven or aught trowps under the comand of Captain Dawson, Major Bethell, Captain Craikenthrop, Captain French, &c., whair the foot remayned for the space of twenty days or thairby upon frie quarters, and the most pairt of the horses ; which losse they estimat to the soume of fyve hundred pounds sterling and above (£500).

"It., Shortly thairafter, about February 1651, Collownell Harker came to Drumfries with his regiment, whare he with some of his trowps remained upon frie quarters for the most part of the time, till May, which loss, &c., two hundred (£200).

"It., That same yeir, in March and Apryll, came Colounll Allane, whair he remained upon frie quarters till May, at which tyme Collounell Harker and Collounell Allane marched with thair regments towards the army, and ordered the town of Drumfries to buy for thair use a considerable quantity of oats which were come be water fra Ingland, for provisioun for thair horses on thair travill, which losse, &c., ane hundred £100).

"It., Thairafter, in May, 1651, Collonell Allane returned to Drumfries with his regment, and abode in the cuntrie a short space, at which tyme he caused his trowpes drive away all the heists within and about Drumfries, till the toune sent to him to Hawick ane hundred and fifty punds sterling to releive thair beists (£150).

"It., In July, 1651, Generall Major Harrison come throw Drumfries with about tune thousand horse and foot, to whom the towne gave in provisions, and they suffered in their corns and other extraordinary losses fourscore punds St. (£80).

"It., In September, 1657, Major Thomas Scot came from Leith with thrie or four trowpes of horses, who constrayned the towne to pay in money ane hundred and fiftie pounds sterling, besyd frie quarters, and greit abundance of corns, which they destroyed for provision for thair horses, which loss and money they estimat at thrie hundred pounds (£300).

"It., Losses sustained by Captain Grimsditch, quarterings by fyve gairds abune his locality, which charges and losses they estimat at one hundred and fifty punds (£150).

"It., The losses they have sustained in August and September, 1656, by the souldiers, who payd almost nothing for thair quarters, and committit many abuses and wrongs, &c., ane hundred punds (£100).

"It., Thair was spent in quarterings since Dec. 1650 till Dec. 1656, Drumfries lying in the roadway betwixt Glasgow, Ayr, Irvine, Galloway, and Ingland, so that all the forces which either went to' England, or came from England, to any of these pairts, came throw Drumfries and quartered thair, which loss and damage they estimat five hundred punds (£500).

" Summa of all is £2,250 sterling."


Thousands who never saw the Solway have heard of its rapid northward flight, when filled by " a flowing sea, and a wind that follows fast," rendered familiar by the line,

"Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide."

Many fatal accidents have occurred to travellers overtaken by the Solway tides, when endeavouring to cross its sands; and when a "spate" in the Nith conjoins with an unusual flux from the sea, serious inundations ensue, destructive of property, and sometimes also of human life. The oldest recorded flood of this kind took place towards the close of 1627, and is thus described:-"At Blackshaw and portions of the parish of Ruthwell, a deluge was experienced such as 'none then living had seen the like.' It went at least half a mile beyond the ordinary course, and threw down a number of houses and bulwarks in its way, and many cattle and other bestial were swept away with its rapidity; and what was still more melancholy, of the poor people who lived by making salt on Ruthwell sands seventeen perished; thirteen of them were found next (lay, and were all buried together in the churchyard of Ruthwell, which, no doubt, was all affecting sight to their relations, widows, and children, &c., and even to all that beheld it. One circumstance more ought not to be omitted. The house of old Cockpool being environed oil all hands, the people fled to the top of it for safety; and so sudden was the inundation upon them, that in their confusion, they left a young child in a cradle exposed to the flood, which very speedily carried away the cradle, nor could the tender-hearted beholders save the child's life without the manifest danger of their own. But, by the good providence of God, as the cradle, now afloat, was going forth of the enter door, a corner of it struck against the door-post, by which the other end was turned about, and, going across the door, it stuck there till the waters were assuaged. Upon the whole, that inundation made a most surprising devastation in those parts; and the ruin occasioned by it had an agreeable influence on the surviving inhabitants, convincing them more than ever of what they owed to Divine Providence; and, for ten years thereafter, they had the holy communion about that time, and thereby called to mind even that bodily deliverance."* The following is an extract from Mr. M'Lellan's manuscript account of Annan:- "The dealers, in former times, passing into England with their horse and cattle for Broughhill and other Cumberland fairs, crossed the Solway Firth from Annan shores, at Booness-Wath ford, during the recess of the tide, with which ford old Joe Brough and other guides were familiar. At this passage many lives have been lost, and dangers incurred, from the rapid `three-feet-abreast' tidal influx and ebb; and some yet living will remember the unhorsing and drowning of Mr. Graham, Cross Keys Inn, Dumfries, about 1818, and how the horse, turning its head to the English side, swain back with the drowned man's son William, who hung on by the hair of its mane."


We give verbatim the list of the parties who contributed, with the amount of their contributions, as it appears in the Town Council Minutes.

"From Archd. Maxwell, met in Drumfries, thirteen pounds sterline; from Doctor James Hay, physician there, five pounds sterling; and from Joseph Corrie, town-clerk of the said Burgh, two hundred and eighteen pounds sterling, for which Wm. Carruthers, Baily, had accepted bills to them; front Winifred Maxwell, relict of Adam Craik, of Duchrae, thirty pounds sterling, for wh. the sa. Wm. Carruthers, and John Dalzell of Fairgirth, had accepted bill to her; from Mr. James Hoggan in Comlongon, one hundred pounds twelve shillings sterline; from Wm. Gordon of Campbelltoun, two hundred and fifty-six pounds seven shills. and ninepence ster.; and from Wm. Craik of Arbigland, twenty pounds ster.; from the said William Gordon of Campbellton, one, hundred pounds sted.; from Wm. M`William, in Greenhead of Carlaverock, eightie pounds sted. from John Milligen, mercht. in Kirkcudbright, eighty pounds sterld.; from Sir Robert Lawrie of Maxwelltown, fourty pounds sted.; from Bryce Blair, late Provost of Annan, one hundred pounds sterline; and from John Goldie of Craigmuie, Commissarie of Dumfries, therty-two pounds sterld.; and for which sums borrowed from the s"• Mr. James Hoggan, the first sum borrowed from Campbellton, and the sum borrowed from Arbig-land, the Provost and John Graham, baily, had accepted bills to them-for the sum borrowed from Wm. McWilliam, the Provost, John Ewart, late provost ; and Win. Carruthers, bailey, had accepted bill to him-for the one hundred pounds borrowed from Campbellton, the Provost, Bailys Thos. Gilchrist, Graham, and Carruthers, had accepted bill to him-for the sums borrowed from the said Thos. Kirkpatrick, John Milligan, and Sir Robert Lawrie, the Provost, Baily Graham, and James Wart, of Mullock, had accepted bills to them-for the sum borrowed from Mr. Blair, the Provost, Baily Graham, and Thomas Kirkpatrick, mert. in this burgh, had accepted bill to him-and for the sum borrowed from the said John Goldie, the Provost, and Bailys Graham and Carruthers, had accepted bill to him: And from John Johnston, present provost of Annan, one hundred pounds stg., for wh. the Provost, Baily Graham, and the said Thomas Kirkpatrick, mercht in this Burgh, had accepted bill to him; as also, that they had borrowed the rest of the said two thousand pounds from the persons afternamed, and for which there is yet no security given - viz.: From Wm. Burnet, mercht., sixty-three pounds nine shills.; from James Bell, late baily, five pounds five shills.; from John Graham, present bailie, ninety-four pounds thirteen shills. and threepence; from John Ewart, late provost, eight pounds two shills.; from David Edgar, mertt. ten shills. and sixpence; from Adam Marchbanks, deacon of the weavers, one pound; from James Turnbull, schoolmaster, one pound; from Alexr. Wylie, watchmaker, live shillings; from John Murdoch, shoemaker, ten shillings; from Margaret McNish, -, five shillings; from James McNish, taylor, one pound one shill. ; from Wm. Kellock, inndweller, eighteen shillings; from Robert Baily, officer of Excise, one pound fyve shills.; from James Aiken, convener of the trades, two pounds two shills,; from Mrs. Jannet Murray, sister to Dougall Maxwell (alias Murray), of Cowhill, one pound one shill.; from Wm. Reid, deacon of the smiths, tell shills, and sixpence; from Agnes Lewars, weadow, five shillings ; from James Neilson, mdssr, , ten shills. and sixpence; from Wm. Welsh, inert., five shills. ; from Mary Reid, widow, five shills.; from John Johnston, mert, two shills. ; from James Kennedie, -, two pounds two shills.; from Wm. Ferguson, mercht., one pound; from Wm. Hawthorn, weaver, one pound; from Margaret Corrie, relict of Robert Gordon, seven shills.; from Francis Mitchell, shoemaker, one pound four shills. and sixpence; from Elizabeth Cunningham, widow of Edward Welsh, mertt•, two pound two shills.; from David Kelly, inndweller, five shills.; from Charles Kirkpatrick, mercht, & Sons, seventeen pounds ten shills.; from Wm. Howell Baxter, seventeen shills.; from Will. Laurie, mert. one pound ten shills. ; from Wm. Johnston, mertt., three pounds seventeen shills.; from Charles Mercer, mathematician, one pound; from Robert Cutlar, late bailie, eighteen pounds five shills. ; from Robert Smith, mertt., two pounds two shills.; from Mr. George Clerk, of Drumcrief, three pounds; from Ann Johnston, widow of Joseph Johnston, surgeon, two pounds two shills.; from James Kirkpatrick, workman, ten shills. and sixpence; from Jannet Reid, widow of Thomas Edgar, late provost, two pounds two shills. ; from James Morison, mertt, sixteen shills. ; from David Bean, mercht - six pounds six shills.; from Baily Thos. Gilchrist, one pound one shill.; from Marion Gillison, widow of James Dalgleish, inert- three pounds three shills.; from John Bryon, taylor, five shills. ; from John Irving, late provost, two pounds two shills.; from Thos. Wilkie, couper, four shills.; from Wm. Gunzon, mert. live pounds five shills.; from Wm. Hodgeson, tanner, ten shills. ; from James Copland, writer, one pound; from Thos. Adamson, weaver, ten shills.; from George Gordon, mert, fourteen pounds; from James Brand, mert. fifty-two pounds ten shills.; from James Clerk, Mert. ten pounds; from Robert Edgar, writer, five pounds five shills.; from Elizabeth Dalrymple, Ladle Moriwhat, five pounds; from Thomas Carlyle writer, four pounds; from Margaret Edgar, widow of John Dobie, ten shills.; from Will. Clerk, writer, eight pounds; from Miss Peggie Maxwell, sister of James Maxwell of Carnsalloch, two pounds two shills.; from Thos. Morison, surgeon, five pounds fourteen shills.; from John Beck, innkeeper, ten shills.; from James Douglas, copper-smith, three pounds three shills.; from Matthew Palmer, brewer, one pound one shill.; from Wm. Stothart, mert. six pounds; from James Harley, deacon of the wrights, ten pounds; from James Reid, landwaiter, twenty-five pounds; from Daniel Mason, mert-, ten pounds; from Archibald Malcolm, writer, three pounds; from James Corrie, mert., one pound; from John Dalzell of Fairgirth, thirty-two pounds; from Gilbert Paterson, inert, five pounds; from Hugh Lawson, mert., eight pounds; from Alex. Spalding, inert-, one pound eleven shills. and sixpence; from Andrew Caird, mert, two pounds; front John Clerk, writer, one pound one shill.; from John Riddick, taylor, five shills.; from Samuel Cummine, taylor, one pound one shill.; from Wm. Jardine, vintner, three pounds three shills. ; ffrom Alexr. M`Gowan, late Baily, one pound; from Barbara Fingas, widow of Mr. Robert Patoun, minister, one pound eleven shillings and sixpence ; ffrom Wm. Ker, shoemaker, one pound one shill.; from Robert Joat, shoemaker, tell shills. and sixpence; from James Cuthbert, stabler, three pounds; from James Swan, innkeeper, four pounds fifteen shills.; from Thos. Davidson, innkeeper, one pound; from Wm. Dod, mert., three pounds; from Elizabeth Maxwell, relict of John Neilson of Chappell, two pounds; from Herbert Kennedy, inert., two pounds two shills.; from Andrew Robison, barber, eight shills. ; front George Bell, provost, twenty-five pounds; from James Smith, writer, one pound one shill.; from Jean Braithwait, relict of Win. Scot, vintner, eleven pounds; from Wm. Carruthers, baily, Dine pounds; from Thos. Hidleston, cook, one pound; from James Fairies, mercht, one pound five shills.; from James Maxwell, yr. of Barncleugh, twenty-three pounds; from Robert Grierson, mert', one pound one shill. ; from James Dickson, writer, two pounds two shills. ; front John Maxwell, wright, one pound; from Richard Dickson Baxter, ten shills. ; front Janet Wilson, widow of John Edgar Baxter, three pounds three shills.; front John Grierson, bookseller, ten shills.; from Mr. Richard Louthian of Staffold, thirty pounds; from John Wallace, mert, four pounds; from Thos. Kirkpatrick, mert., forty-six pounds; from Dr. Ebenezer Gilchrist, tell pounds tell shills.; from John Maxwell, mertt, twenty-one pounds four shills. and sixpence; from John McKie, late conveener of the trades, two pounds; from Andrew Crosbie, late provost, seven pounds; from John Ewart, vintner, five pounds; front the before-named John Goldy of Craigmuie, One pound; from John Grierson, dyer, one pound one shill.; front Win. Gardener, gardiner, live pounds; from Charles Edgar, late deacon of the weavers, ten shill. and sixpence; from Will. Weems, wright, ten shills.; from James Newall, weaver, fyve shills; and from John Hynd, commissarie clerk, fyve pounds-all the aforesaid sums being sterline money."


A complete list of the Provosts, from 1651 till our own day, is furnished by the Books of Council; and from other sources, such as the Minutes of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the Acts of the Scottish Parliaments, and unassorted papers in the Record-room, Dumfries, we have been able to carry the list much farther back, though in a very incomplete form,and in a few instances names have been introduced with some hesitation, as the proof on which we relied was inferential rather than direct. These doubtful cases are indicated by an asterisk. The magisterial elections occurred at Michaelmas (29th September) each year, till the (late of the Burgh Reform Bill, in 1833, when they were fixed to take place on the first Friday of November - the provost being chosen for three years, instead of, as before, for one year.


Whilst our last sheet was being sent to press, we learned from a relative of Deacon Smith, sentenced to transportation for the part taken by him in the municipal riot of 1759, that it is believed by the family that his sentence was remitted, and that all the other convicts were dealt with by the Crown in the same merciful manner. We have been unable to find any positive evidence in proof of this tradition.

Return to Book Index


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

comments powered by Disqus