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The Scottish Nation

CARRICK, a surname derived from the southern of the three districts into which the county of Ayr is divided. The name appears to have originated from the British carrig, a rock, probably in reference to Ailsa Craig, a lofty rock in the sea which lies opposite to, and not very distant from its seaboard, and which likewise gave his title to the Marquis of Ailsa.


CARRICK, earl of, an ancient title, first held by Duncan, son of Gilbert, one of the two sons of Fergus, lord of Galloway, a chief descended of a Saxon family, long previously placed over these wild people by the English earls of Northumberland, who, having rebelled against Malcolm the Fourth, was subdued by him, and became a subject of the Scottish crown in the twelfth century, At that period, the district of Carrick formed a portion of Galloway. On Fergus’ death, in 1161, his lands were, according to the law of the country, divided between Gilbert and his brother Uchtred. They attended William the Lion on his invasion of Northumberland in 1174, but no sooner was he taken prisoner than, returning into Galloway at the head of their fierce and rapacious clans, they broke out into rebellion, attacked and demolished the royal castles, murdered the Anglo-Normans who had settled among their mountains, and expelled the officers of the king of Scots. They proceeded next to dispute about pre-eminence and possessions among themselves. On the 22d September, 1176, Gilbert attacked Uchtred, while residing in his father’s house in Loch-Fergus, and having overpowered him, caused his son Malcolm to put him to death, after depriving him of his sight and tongue, but was unable to acquire his possessions, valiantly defended by Roland the son of Uchtred. On William the Lion regaining his liberty, in the following year, he invaded Galloway, subdued Gilbert, and exacting a pecuniary satisfaction, allowed him to resume possession of his inheritance. Gilbert died on the 1st of January 1184-5, when Roland, the son of the murdered Uchtred, seizing the favourable opportunity, attacked and dispersed his uncle’s adherents, 5th July 1185, and obtained possession of all Galloway as his own inheritance. This procedure was, however, opposed by Henry the Second of England, then lord paramount of Scotland, who marched an army to Carlisle, and although William would have been well pleased to see Roland in possession of the whole country, both he and Roland were forced to submit the matter to the decision of the English court. Satisfied with this acknowledgment of his paramount right, Henry left the settlement of the question to William, who granted Duncan the district of Carrick as a full satisfaction for all his claims. This took place about 1186, and Duncan was thereupon created earl of Carrick. About 1240, he founded the famous abbey of Crossraguel or Crossregal, two miles from Maybole, for Cluniac monks, and amply endowed it with lands and tithes. He also gave to the monks of Paisley and Melrose, several donations out of his estate, for the welfare of his soul.

      His son, Nigel, or Niel, second earl of Carrick, like his father, was very liberal to the church. In 1255, a commission was granted by Henry the Third, for receiving ‘Niel earl of Karricke,’ and other Scotsmen into his protection. He was one of the regents of Scotland and guardians of Alexander the Third and his queen, appointed in the convention at Roxburgh, 20th September, 1255, and died the following year. He married Margaret, daughter of Walter, high-steward of Scotland, by whom he had a daughter, Margaret, countess of Carrick, in her own right, and the mother of ROBERT THE BRUCE. She was twice married; first, to Adam de Kilconcath (or Kilconquhar), who, in her right, in accordance with the practice of those days, was third earl of Carrick. Having joined the crusade of 1268, under the banner of Louis the Ninth of France, he died at Acon in the Holy Land in 1270. The following year she married, secondly, Robert Burs, son of Robert Brus, lord of Annandale and Cleveland, under the romantic circumstances already related. [See BRUCE.] Brus, in consequence, became fourth earl of Carrick. The countess died before 1292, and on 27th November of that year, her husband resigned to Robert the Bruce, his eldest son, the earldom of Carrick, with all the lands he held in Scotland in right of his wife. He still, however, continued to be styled earl of Carrick. He and his son swore fealty to Edward the First at Berwick, 28th August 1296, on which occasion they are styled in the record ‘Robert de Brus le veil (vieil) e Robert de Brus le jouene Counte de Carrick.’ The elder Brus died in 1304. By the countess of Carrick he had five sons and seven daughters, viz. 1. Robert the Bruce, fifth earl of Carrick and king of Scots; 2. Edward, sixth earl, crowned king of Ireland; 3 and 4, Thomas and Alexander, who, being taken prisoners in Galloway, 9th February, 1306-7, by Duncan Macdowal, when bringing succours to their brother Robert from Ireland, after an engagement in which they were both severely wounded, and presented by him at Carlisle to Edward the First, were, by his order, immediately executed; and, 5. Niel, a young man of singular beauty, one of those who surrendered at Kildrummie castle to the earls of Lancaster and Hereford in 1306. He was tried by a special commission at Berwick, condemned, hanged and beheaded. The daughters were, 1. Lady Isabel, married, first, to Sir Thomas Randolph of Strathdon, high-chamberlain of Scotland, by whom she had Thomas earl of Moray, regent of Scotland; secondly, to an earl of Athol; and thirdly, to Alexander Bruce, by whom she had a son of the same name. Among the charters of Robert the Bruce is one to Isobel countess of Athol and Alexander Bruce her son, of the lands of Dulven and Sannaykis. Two others are granted to Isabell de Atholia and Alexander Bruce, ‘filio suo nepoti nostro,’ of the lands of Balgillo in Forfarshire; 2. Lady Mary, married, first, to Sir Niel Campbell of Lochow, ancestor of the Argyle family, and secondly, to Sir Alexander Frazer, high-chamberlain of Scotland; 2. lady Christian, married, first, to Gratney, earl of Mar; secondly to Sir Christopher Seton of Seton, who was put to death by the English in 1306; and thirdly, to Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell; 4. Lady Matilda, married to Hugh, earl of Ross; 5. Lady Margaret, married to Sir William Carlyle of Torthorwald and Crunington; 6. Lady Elizabeth, married to Sir William Dishington of Ardoss in Fife; and 7. the youngest daughter, whose name has not been preserved, married to Sir David de Brechin.

      King Robert the Bruce, the eldest son, married, first, Isabella, daughter of Donald, tenth earl of Mar, by whom he had a daughter, Marjory, who fell into the hands of the English in 1306, and was detained a prisoner in England, in charge of Henry de Percy till after the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, when she was conducted back to Scotland by Walter the high-steward, to whom she was married in 1315. She died in March 1315-16, leaving an only child, afterwards King Robert the Second. The Bruce married, secondly, in 1302 Lady Elizabeth de Burgo, eldest daughter of Richard, second earl of Ulster. In 1306, she fled to the sanctuary of St. Duthac at Tain, in Ross-shire, but the earl of Ross, violating the sanctuary, delivered her up to the English. The directions given for her entertainment while a prisoner, are preserved by Rymer. She was to be conveyed to the manor of Brustewick; to be allowed a waiting woman and a maid servant, advanced in life, sedate, and of good conversation; a butler, two men servants, and a footboy for her chamber, sober, and not riotous, to make her bed; three greyhounds when she inclined to hunt; venison, fish, and the fairest house in the manor. In 1308, she was removed to another prison, and in 1312, to Windsor castle, when twenty shillings weekly were allowed for her maintenance. Her last place of confinement was the castle of Rochester, whither she was conveyed in 1314. The same year, after Bannockburn, the queen, the sister and daughter of Bruce, with the bishop of Glasgow and the earl of Mar, were exchanged for the earl of Hereford. She died 26th October 1327, and was buried at Dunfermline. Her issue were, a son, King David the Second, and three daughters, namely, 1. Margaret, married, first, to Robert Glen, who, with his wife, received a grant of Piteddy in Fife from her brother, David the Second; and, secondly, to William, fourth earl of Sutherland, and died in 1358, leaving issue by the earl; 2. Matilda, married to Thomas Isaac, a simple esquire, and had two daughters, Johanna, married to John, lord of Lorn, and Catharine, who died young. Their mother died at Aberdeen 20th July, 1353, and was buried at Dunfermline; and 3. Elizabeth, married to Sir Walter Oliphant of Aberdalgy, for which Crawford refers to a charter of 11th January 1364, whereby King David erects the lands of Gask into a free barony, ‘dilecto et fideli suo Waltero Olyfant et Elizabethae, spousae suae, dilectae sorori nostrae.’ Besides these children, King Robert the Bruce had a natural son, Sir Robert Bruce, knight, who obtained from his father grants of the lands of Liddisdale, the barony of Sprouston, the forfeited lands of Alexander de Abernethy, and various other lands, in which grants he is generally styled ‘filius noster charissimus.’ He fought gallantly at the disastrous battle of Dupplin, where he was killed, 12th August, 1332.

      Sir Edward Bruce, the second son, on whom and the heirs male of his body, without reference to legitimacy, the earldom of Carrick was conferred by charter by his brother King Robert, and who was also lord of Galloway and king of Ireland, married Isabella, daughter of William earl of Ros, for which he received a dispensation from the Pope, dated at Avignon 1st June 1317, as they were within the third and fourth degrees of Consanguinity, for the purpose of putting an end to feuds between their parents, relatives, and friends. Edward, king of Ireland, had no legitimate issue, but he left three natural sons, Robert, Alexander, and Thomas, successively earls of Carrick.

      Robert, seventh earl, the eldest son, inherited that earldom in virtue of the charter granted by Robert the First to the heirs male of the body of his brother, Edward Bruce, without restricting the succession to legitimate sons. He fell at the battle of Dupplin, 12th August, 1332, without issue.

      Alexander, eighth earl, his brother and heir, with many others of the Scottish nobles, submitted to Baliol after the battle of Dupplin. At the battle of Annan soon after, where Baliol was surprised and defeated, he was taken in arms by the earl of Moray, who saved him from the punishment of a traitor. Balfour says that he had been constrained to follow Baliol to Annan. At the battle of Halidonhill, 19th July, 1333, he held a command in the third division of the Scots army, which was led by the regent himself, and fell, fighting valiantly against the English; thus atoning, says Lord Hailes, for his short defection from his cousin David the Second. He married Eleanor, only daughter of Archibald de Douglas, sister of William first earl of Douglas, and by her had an only daughter, Lady Eleanor Bruce, married to Sir William de Cunynghame, who, in her right, became tenth earl of Carrick. The countess, her mother, after the death of her husband, earl Alexander, was four times married again, namely, to James Sandilands of Calder, of the Torphichen family; William Towers of Dalry; Sir Duncan Wallace of Sundrum; and lastly, in 1376, to Sir Patrick Hepburn of Hales. In the Faedera is a safe-conduct for Alianora de Bruys, countess of Carrick (the daughter), going into England, with sixty horse in her train, to visit the shrine of Thomas á Becket at Canterbury, to endure for one year, dated 8th December, 1373.

      Thomas Bruce, ninth earl, succeeded his brother Alexander. He was one of the associates of Robert the Steward, guardian of Scotland, whom he joined with the flower of the gentry of Kyle, in 1334, but died soon afterwards without issue.

      On his death the earldom of Carrick reverted to the crown, and was conferred on Sir William de Cunynghame, knight, husband of Lady Eleanor Bruce, as appears from an incomplete charter of King David the Second, without a date. The earldom, however, soon again reverted to the crown, and was conferred by David the Second on John Stewart, Lord of Kyle, great grandson of King Robert the Bruce, eldest son of Robert Steward of Scotland, earl of Strathern, by a charter in the parliament at Scone, 22d June 1363. In 1356 he had defeated the English in Annandale, and obliged the inhabitants to submit to the Scots government. John Stewart, eleventh earl of Carrick, was present in the parliament held by David at Perth, 23d October 1370, when the earldom of Ross was resigned into the king’s hands. After the accession of his father to the throne, he resigned the earldom into his majesty’s hands, and obtained a new charter thereof to him and Lady Annabella Drummond, his spouse, in liferent, and to the heirs procreated between them, in fee, 1st June 1374. Succeeding to the crown of Scotland in 1390, by the title of Robert the Third, he conferred the earldom of Carrick on his eldest son, the ill-fated duke of Rothesay, who thus became the twelfth earl. After the death of that prince, the king, 10th December 1404, granted in free regality to his second James, steward of Scotland, afterwards James the First, the whole lands of the stewartry of Scotland, including the earldom of Carrick. That earldom ever after composed part of the inheritance of the princes and stewards of Scotland, and is one of the titles of the prince of Wales, duke of Rothesay.


      The title of earl of Carrick was, for a short time, held by another John Stewart, the second son of Robert earl of Orkney, a natural son of James the Fifth. He was first created a peer of Scotland by the title of Lord Kincleven, 10th August, 1607, and had charters of the dominical lands and mill of the monastery of Crossraguel, of the lands of Ballersom, Knockronnall, and of the barony of Grenane, &c., 29th August 1616. Being thus in possession of part of the ancient earldom of Carrick, he obtained from King Charles the First a patent of the title of earl of Carrick. At the privy council held 22d July 1628, the procurator for his lordship delivered to the earl of Mar, lord treasurer, a patent under the great seal, whereby his majesty had been pleased to advance him to that dignity, which patent the lord treasurer having exhibited to the council that the title of earl of Carrick belonged to the king’s eldest son, the prince of Scotland, and was not communicable to any subject, and he recommended to the council to advise with his majesty on the subject, before any ‘forder wer proceedit herein.’ The difficulty appears to have been got over by the earl’s alleging that the title was taken not from the earldom of Carrick in Ayrshire, but from a small place called Carrick on his lordship’s estate in Orkney; for, on 14th December 1630, the lord chancellor delivered to the earl of Carrick a patent under the great seal, whereby his majesty made him and the heirs male ‘gottin’ of his own body earls of Carrick, which patent the said earl reverently accepted on his knees, his ambition now being completely gratified. His lordship died without male issue in 1652, when his titles became extinct.


      In the peerage of Ireland, the title of earl of Carrick, created in 1748, is enjoyed by a family of the name of Butler, descended from a common ancestor with the house of Ormonde. The first Viscount Ikerrin (created in 1629), the second title of the earl of Carrick, was Sir Pierce Butler of Lismallon, a lineal descendant of Edmund, created in 1315 earl of Carrick-Mac-Griffyne, for his services against the Scots, a sort of opposition title when, at the same time, it was borne by Edward Bruce, afterwards crowned king of Ireland. The eighth Viscount Ikerrin obtained the earldom in 1748.

CARRICK, JOHN DONALD, a miscellaneous writer, was born at Glasgow in April 1787. His father was in humble circumstances; and after receiving the common elements of education, he was at an early period placed in the office of a Mr. Nicholson, an architect in his native city. In 1807, unknown to his parents, with the view of trying his fortune in London, he set off on foot, with but a few shillings in his pocket, sleeping under hedges, or wherever he could obtain a dormitory. On his arrival in the great city he offered his services to various shopkeepers, but at first without success. At last a decent tradesman, himself a Scotsman, took compassion on the friendless lad, and engaged him to run his errands, &c. He was afterwards in the employment of several other persons. In the spring of 1809 he obtained a situation in the house of Messrs. Spodes & Co., in the Staffordshire pottery line of business. In the beginning of 1811 he returned to Glasgow, and opened a large establishment in Hutcheson street, as a china and stoneware merchant, in which business he continued for fourteen years. In 1825, he published a ‘Life of Sir William Wallace,’ in two volumes, which was written for Constable’s Miscellany. This, his principal work, was favourably received. He also wrote, about this time, some comic songs and humorous pieces. In that year he gave up his business, and travelled for two or three years, chiefly in the West Highlands, as an agent for some Glasgow house. He afterwards became sub-editor of the ‘Scots Times,’ a newspaper of liberal principles then published at Glasgow, and wrote many of the local squibs and other jeux d’esprit which appeared in that paper. He contributed ‘The Confessions of a Burker,’ ‘The Devil’s Codicil,’ and other pieces, to ‘The Day,’ a periodical published for six months at Glasgow in 1832. Afterwards to a collection of songs and pieces of poetry, sentimental and humorous, entitled ‘Whistle-Binkie,’ Mr. Carrick contributed ‘The Scottish Tea-Party,’ ‘Mister Peter Paterson,’ ‘The Harp and the Haggis,’ ‘The Gudeman’s Prophecy,’ ‘The Cook’s Legacy,’ and ‘The Muirland Cottagers,’ in that vein of humour in which he excelled. In 1833 he was editor of the ‘Perth Advertiser’ during eleven months. In February 1834 he was editor of the ‘Kilmarnock Journal;[ but being afflicted with an affection which finally settled into tic doloreux in the head and mouth, he returned to Glasgow in January 1835, where he superintended the first edition of the ‘Laird of Logan,’ a collection of Scottish anecdotes and facetiae, which appeared in June of that year, and of which he was projector and principal contributor; and he contributed papers to the ‘Scottish Monthly Magazine,’ a periodical published for a short time in Glasgow. Mr. Carrick died August 17, 1837, and was interred in the burying-ground of the High Church of his native city. As a writer he is principally distinguished for humorous satire, and a thorough knowledge of the manners and customs of his countrymen. To an enlarged edition of the ‘Laird of Logan’ we are indebted for these details of his life.

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