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Kilsyth, A Parish History


That William Livingston fell in the battle of Flodden, conclusive proof is afforded by an instrument of seisin in Colzium House, of which the following is a translation:—

Instrument of seisin in favour of William Livingston, Fourth Laird of Kilsyth of the Lands of Castletoun and Ballmalloch,11th March, 1513-14.

In the name of God, Amen: By this present public instrument let it be evidently known to all that in the year of the Lord’s incarnation, a thousand five hundred and thirteen, and the fifteenth day of the month of March, the first indiction and first year of the Pontificate of our most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, Leo the Tenth, Pope. In presence of the notary public and the witnesses underwritten, there went a noble man, Alexander, Master of Levingstoun, with the underwritten witnesses, to the lands of Castletoun and Balmalloch, lying in the Barony of Calendar within the sheriffdom of Stirling, and there with his own hands delivered and gave heritably, with effect, sasine, state, and heritable possession of all and whole the aforesaid lands of Castletoun And Balmolock, with the pertinents to his beloved kinsmen, William Levingstoun of Kilsyth, who died under the King’s banner in the battlefield of Northumberland (qui obiit sub vexillo Regis in campobellico apud Northumberland) according to the tenor of his infeftment. Of and upon all and lundry which things the said William Livingstoun of Kilsyth craved from me, notary public underwritten, one or more public instruments to be made to him. These things were done at the castle or principal messuage of the said lands, about the third hour after nopn of the year, day, month, indictiqn, and pontificate which are abov mentioned, thgjre being present prudent men, James Levingston, John Leving-ston, Donald Smyth, John Leis, John Bard, and William Watson, witnesses, with many others, to the premises, specially called and required.

And I, Master Alexander Levingston, clerk of the diocese of St. Andrews, notary public by imperial authority? was personally present, together with the aforenamed witnesses, whilst all and sundry the premises were said, acted, and done, as is premised ; and saw, knew, and heard these things all and sundry to be done, and took note thereof, and thence have made this present public instrument, written with my own hand, and here myself subscribing, have reduced into this public form, and have signed with my sign and name used and wont, having been asked and required, in faith and testimony of all and sundry the premises.

(Signed) Alexander Levingstoun.


Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the losses sustained by the Laird of Kilsyth during the Civil Wars, as recorded in the Acts of Parliament of Scotland, under date 9th July, 1661.

The Estates of Parliament, now presentlie conveened by his Majestie’s speciall authoritie, haveing considered the Report underwritten, Have ordained and ordaines the same to be recorded in the books of Parliament, whereof the tenor follows We, the Earle of Callander, the Lord Cochrane, the Lord Carden, the Laird of Ricartoun, the Provosts of Ayr and Stirling, Commissioners appointed be the Lord Commissioner, his grace, and heigh court of Parliament, for reviseing and considering the accompt of the fynes and losses sustained by Sir James Levingstoun of Kilsyth, knight, dureing the trubleous tymes for his loyaltie to the King’s Majestie in maner afterspeit, Confonne to the Commission granted be the said Commissioner and Estates foresaid to us thereanent, And to report Be vertew whairof Wee haveing this day met, and the said Sir Janies haveing produced ane act of the Committee of Estates made and granted be the King’s Majestie and Committee of Estates in anno 1651, whereby commission is granted for tryeing of the said Sir James, his and his tennents, thair losses and sufferings. Lykas he did give in the particular accompt of his fynes and losses with the instructions and verificatiouns thairof, which being considered be us, Wee find that the victuall growing upon the said lands of Kilsyth, his lands of Eister and Wester Kilsyth, with the bestiall and other goods, were destroyed in anno 1645 my Lord Marques of Montrose and his op-posers, whereby the said Sir James sustained losse of fiftie thousand one hundred and seventie-sex punds. And also wee find the said lands of Eister and Wester Kilsyth in anno 1646 lay waste, at leaste, the two parte therof, wherby the said Sir James wes losser in the sume of six thousand punds Scots, and siclyk in anno 1648 his lands were quartered upon be those who were under the command of George Munro when they went from Stirleing to Ireland and took money out of the said lands as the Act of Parliament bears, the sume of one thousand seven hundred twenty-sex punds. Item, Wee find in November, 1649, the then Committee of Estates Ordained the said Sir James to pay to Sir James Stewart, then Generali Commissary of the armie, the sume of four thousand eight hundreth punds, whilk the said laird was forced to pay accordingly. Item, the arent therof from Mertymes, 1649, to Whitsunday last by past being eleven yeers and ane halff Extends to the sume of three thousand three hundredth and twelf punds. Item, Wee find that the said Laird of Kilsyth sustained great losses throw the English Armie their quartering severall tymes up the said lands of Eister and Wester Kilsyth in anno 1650, Extending to the sume of fourty two thousand threttie seven punds. As also wee find that in the said yeer, 1650, his mansion house of Kilsyth was burnt be the Usurper’s Armie with all his plenishing and victuall whilk wes put in the said house for preservation, through which he has sustained great losses to the value of Twentie-four thousand punds. Item, there wes taken from him in anno, 1651, be his Majestie’s Armie, of horse, kyne, oxen, sheep, and other goods to the value of sextein thousand four hundreth seventie-three punds. Item, thair wes eaten and destroyed the tyme forsaid be the said armie, of oats, beir, and peis, the number of four hundred and fourty aikers, estimat to fyve bolls victuall each aiker at 13 lib. 6s. 8d. per aiker, inde two thousand punds. And, farder, Wee find there wes eaten and destroyed of meidow to the said Sir James, the number of three hundreth aikers estimat to 6 lib. 13s. 4d. per aiker, inde two thousand punds. Item, that the late Usurper Oliver Cromwell did fyne the said Sir James in anpo, 1655, f°r his loyaltie and affection to the King’s Majestie in the sume of one thousand punds sterline, whilk the said Oliver, with the advice of his Councill, did mitigate and diminish to the sume of eight hundreth punds money forsaid, inde Scots money, the sume of nyne thousand sex hundreth punds, whilk sume he was forced to pay. Item, the arent thairof from the terme of Whitsunday last, being sex yeers Extends to the sume of three hundreth seventie-sex punds. And als wee find that the said Sir James had his house burnt the second time he those who wer under the command of my Lord Commissioner, his Grace, and my Lord Chancellor in his Majestie's Service, least the same might have been planted with ane garrison be the enemy, the said Sir James and his servants being then prisoners at Edinburgh, Whairthrow and throw the losse of his plenishing he sustained the losse Extending to the sume of sex thousand sex hundreth sextie-sex punds, threttein shillings, four pennies. Whilk hail losses, suffer* ings, and fynes Wee find sufficientlie instructed and proven by Acts of Parliament, discharges, and be testificates under the hands of ministers, and diverse famous persons upon oath, and whilk hail articles of the said compt being calculate this wee find by and attour the arent therof (except the arent of two of the said articles for payed otit money for fynes), and als by and attbur his large share of burdens more generallie imposed upon the Cuntrie, and of the great losse the said Sir James and his tennents sustained by transient quarters. In regaird his said lands lys upon the roadway betwixt Edinburgh and Glasgow, all whilk losses in our opinion Wee humbly conceive ought to be recordit as losses sustained be him and his tennents in maner forsaid. And this is a true report of our procedar and opinion in the said matter as witnesse our hands at Edinburgh, the eight of July, 1661, sur. Calander, S. Ard: Stirling, Duncane Nairne, Williame Cunyghame.


Patent creating SirJames Livingston of Kilsyth, Viscount of Kilsyth, Lord Campsie, & 11th August, 1661. (Translation.)

Charles, by the grace of God, &c., to all his worthy men to whom these presents shall come, greeting : Know ye, that whereas we have had abundant experience of our lovite Sir James Livingstoun of Kilsyth, knight, and his predecessors (who for many centuries past have been ancient barons) towards us and our illustrious progenitors; and that the deceased Sir William Livingstoun of Kilsyth, father of the said Sir James, was one of the Lords of Privy Council of our dearest father and grandfather of eternal memory, and one of the Senators of the College of Justice for the time; in which two offices, serving for many years together, he behaved himself so prudently, honourably, and faithfully, in the honourable task committed to him by them, that no fault at all being found, he rendered himself very dear to them and to all their good subjects : And, calling to mind, that after our arrival in our kingdom of Scotland, which was in the year of the birth of Human Salvation, 1650, the principal dwelling-house of Kilsyth, belonging to the aforesaid Sir James Livingstoun, was burned and his field devastated by that usurping traitor, Oliver Cromwell and others, making war under his auspices, on account of the earnest diligence, affection, and promptitude of the said Sir James towards us and our service, and now, after our legal sceptre and lawful authority, are happily by the Divine favour, restored to us, being graciously desirous of adorning the aforesaid Sir James Livingstoun of Kilsyth with some symbol or mark of our Royal Favour, that he may be encouraged to persist in the same fidelity towards us and our service in time coming; therefore we, of our kingly power and authority royal, have made, constituted, designated, and ordained, and by the tenor of these do make, constitute, designate, and ordain the said Sir James Livingstoun of Kilsyth, knight, and his heirs male, Viscount of Kilsyth, Lord of Campsie, now and in all time coming; and have given, granted, conferred, and disponed, and by the tenor of these presents do give, grant, confer, and dispone to the aforesaid Sir James Livingstoun and his heirs male forever, the title, honour, place, grade and dignity of Viscount of Kilsyth, Lord of Campsie, with right, place, power, and privilege of riding, sitting, and giving vote in all and sundry our parliaments and those of our successors, general councils and public conventions of this our Kingdom of Scotland, and with all other and sundry prerogatives, honours, pre-eminences, dignities, privileges, freedoms, and immunities pertaining and belonging, or which to any other Viscount and Lord in our said Kingdom of Scotland at any time past has been known, or in future may pertain or belong. With which title, honour, rank, and grade of dignity we have ennobled, invested, and endowed, and by the tenor of these presents do ennoble, invest, and endow the said Sir James Livingstoun and his heirs male, that now and in all time to come they may be denominated and designated Viscounts of Kilsyth, Lords Campsie, and adorned, honoured, and decorated with the dignity, honour, and respect competent and due to any other Viscount and Lord of our said Kingdom of Scotland. Furthermore, we charge our Lyon King of Arms and his brother Heralds that they give and prescribe such addition to the present arms of the said Sir James Livingstoun as in such cases is usual. And we will and grant, and for us and our successors decern, declare, and ordain that these our present letters shall be as valid and effectual in all respects to the aforesaid Sir James Livingstoun and his foresaids for the enjoyment and use of the said title, honour, rank, place, grade, and dignity of Viscount of Kilsyth, Lord Campsie, in all time hereafter, with all and sundry prerogatives, honours, pre-eminences, dignities, privileges, freedoms, and immunities whatsoever thereto belonging and pertaining as if the said Sir James had been inaugurated and invested in the same with all the usual ceremonies, rites, and ancient solemnities, wherewith we for us and our successors have dispensed, and by tenor of these presents do for ever dispense. In witness whereof to these presents we have commanded our great seal to be appended. At our palace of Whitehall the seventeenth day of the month of August, in the year of the Lord a thousand six hundred and sixty-one, and of our reign the thirteenth.

By signature superscribed by the hand of our Sovereign Lord the King.


To all who have been helpful to me in any way in the production of this history, I take this opportunity of returning my warmest thanks. I have, however, to acknowledge special indebtedness to the following ladies and gentlemen: —Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart., Duntreath; Sir Charles Stirling, Glorat; Edwin Brockholst Livingston, London; James John Cadell, Larbert; Mrs. Hill, Dresden; Margaret Rennie, Inverkeithing ; Hugh Baird, Glasgow; Dr. Jeffray, Glasgow ; Rev. R. K. Monteith, Glasgow; the late Rev. Alex. Falconer, Denny; John Campbell Murray, Blairqu-hosh ; Alexander Park, Croy; J. H. Stevenson, Edinburgh; J. Gordon Douglas, Edinburgh; A. R. Rennie, Leith; W. P. M. Black, Glasgow; David Webster, Newport, Fife.

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