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The Historical Families of Dunfriesshire and the Border Wars
by C L Johnstone, published in 1878.


In a previous edition, I alluded too briefly to the important Border war of the reigns of Robert Bruce and Edward I., but as the three claimants to the Scottish throne possessed lands in Dumfriesshire, who naturally took much share in it, I have added a Chapter on the subject. In describing the different families celebrated in past ages, I have given greater prominence to those whose history has never been published before, and who are still represented in the legitimate male line. Owing to the custom of the sons of heiresses inheriting their mother’s name, and of lands being rarely entailed exclusively on male heirs, it is a very unusual circumstance to find two branches of one family claiming unbroken male descent from the 15th century, as is the case with the Johnstones, who numbered nine lairds (more than any other house in Dumfriesshire) in 1581, and a tenth laird in Lanarkshire. Family details help to illustrate the manners of a period, and assist in elucidating some obscure points of national history. The list of members of ancient Scottish Parliaments will, it is hoped, be found interesting, as well as the pictures of ancient Castles, for which I am indebted to the kindness of a proficient in Scottish archaeology and antiquities, Richard Gardiner, Esq., M.D.

Among the documents quoted are:-

  • MSS. in the Hotel des Archives, Paris.
  • The Register of the Great Seal.
  • The Register of the Privy Council.
  • The Register of the Lords in Council.
  • Acts and Decreets.
  • Acts of the Lords Auditors.
  • Register of Deeds.
  • Register of Retours.
  • Register of Wills.
  • Register of Sasines.
  • Register of the Privy Seal.
  • Horning Processes.
  • Justiciary Records.
  • Acts of the Scottish Parliament.
  • MSS. State Papers, London Record Office.
  • Maxwell Charters.
  • Book of Carlaverock.
  • Cott. MSS., British Museum, &c.
  • Holinshed’s History of Scotland, 1577.
  • Dumfries Sasines.
  • Dumfries Registers.
  • Woodrow MSS.
  • The Mansfield Charter Chest.
  • The Galabank Charter Chest.
  • Wormanbie Charters.
  • MSS. from Lord Herries’s Charter Chest.
  • Crawford’s Peerage, 1716.
  • Nesbitt’s Peerage, 1722.
  • Douglas’s Peerage, 1761.
  • Fishing Acts, 1772.
  • Annan and Lochmaben Registers.
  • Hawick Charters.
  • History of the Carliles.
  • This note is stapled in the front of the Dumfries book:

    Note attached to the book

    This was a newspaper cutting about marriages at Gretna Green that was found in this book.

    Newspaper cutting


    • CHAPTER I.
      Norman Settlers in Dumfriesshire - Bruces -Carliles, &c. - The Douglas Rebellion - The Corrys - Hostages for David II.

      A brief account of the Relations of Scotland with England before the Accession of the Stuarts - The Early Scottish Church-Royal Letters - Death of Alexander III. - King John Baliol - Bruce - The Scots Appeal to the Pope - Carliles - The Stuarts or Stewarts - Sir W. Wallace - The Kirkpatricks - Johnstones - Edward Baliol -  Douglas - The Kerrs - Bruce’s Army - A Dumfries Inquest - Escheats in Annandale - Edward II. - Eustace Maxwell - Scottish Prisoners in England - Safe Conducts.

      The Stewarts - Douglases - Their Rebellions - Battle of Langholm - The Dukes of Albany - The Scottish Archers - The Crichtons.

      Death of Malcolm III. - Rise of The Maxwells - The Johnstones - Carruthers - Corries - Reputed Relationship of the Newbie and Gretna Johnstones to the Marquises of Annandale - Curious Charter - The English Invasions of Annandale - The Annandale Peerage Case - Johnstones of Westerhall - Note on Lady Janet Dunbar, &c.

    • CHAPTER V.
      The Grahames - Prince Charles - Gordons - Jardjnes - Kirkpatricks - Cummings - Flemings - Claimant of the Wigton Title - Carrutherses - -Carlyles - Murrays - -Lord Mansfield - Thieves of Liddesdale - The Debateable Land - Irvings -Charteris - Stewarts - Fergussons - Few Heirs of the Male line - Griersons - Herries - Maitlands - Boswells - Sharpes - Clark Kennedys - Dunwiddies - Bells - Homes.

      Queen Margaret - Third Douglas Rebellion - Death of James III. - Scotts of Buccleuch and Branxholme - Battle of Flodden - English Invasion - Retaliation - Johnnie Armstrong - Quarrel between the Maxwells and Johnstones -  The Reformation - Plan to Kidnap James V. -  Scots Defeated - The King’s Death - List of Prisoners - Maxwell - Another English Invasion - List of Border Chiefs who Surrendered - Outlaws - Queen Mary’s Letter - Cruel Ravages - Peace.

      Lord Herries-Bothwell - The Armstrongs - The Reformation - Acts against the Romanists -Queen Mary visits Dumfries - Civil War - The Regent’s Progress - Another English Invasion -The Gladstones - Younger Sons - List of the Men of Annan.

      Sir James Douglas - The Lairds of Johnstone and Newbie - A Border Chief’s Will - The Lairds of the West Marches - Civil Feuds - Battle of Dryfe Sands - Respite - Queen Mary and her Friends - Her Death - Queen Elizabeth’s Letter - Romanists and Protestants - Scottish Soldiers of Fortune - List of Lairds and Gentry - Letters from James VI. and the Laird of Jobnstone.

      King James’s Interview with Johnstone and Scot - Johnstone of Gretna - The Grahames - Lochinvar - Settlement of the Borders - Attack on Newbie - Consequent Lawsuits - The Trumbles - Rigorous Treatment of the Romanists - Maxwell kills the Laird of Johnstone - His Exile and Execution - John Corsane - Justices of the Peace in 1610 - Letters of Slain.

    • CHAPTER X.
      Actions with regard to the Sale of Newbie and other matters. Provosts of Annan - Galabank - John Galloway - Edward Johnstone of Ryehill - Dr Robert Johnstone’s Will - Newbie Castle Burnt - Johnstone of Mylnfield - Authors - The Decline of a Border Family - A Funeral - The Poverty of Scotland - Smugglers - Prince James’s Invasion - Execution of Lord Kenmure.

      The Johnstones of Galabank - Prince Charles Edward Invades Dumfriesshire - Count Lockhart - Imperial Visitors - Funeral Expenses - Howard’s allusion to the young physician - Sir William Pulteney - Alienation of Galabank - The Poles - Manipur - The Dryad - The Second Marquis of Annandale - The Last Marquis.

      The Presbyterian Kirk - Intolerant Measures - Charles I. and the Despoilers of the Church - The Earl of Buccleuch - The Duke and Marquis of Queensberry - Provosts and Bailles of Dumfries -Stewards Depute - Registers of Dumfries - Note - Provosts of Annan.

      Sovereigns of Scotland-Royal Descents - Letters from Irving and Carlyle - Members of Parliament for Dumfriesshire.

    The Transactions and Journal of Proceedings of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society

    Session 1862-63
    Sessions 1883-84, 1884-85, 1885-86
    Session 1891-92
    Session 1892-93
    Session 1896-97
    Sessions 1900-1901 to 1904-1905
    Session 1905-06

    Session 1908 - 1909
    Session 1911 - 1912

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