McDougall Family History of Lisa Wilson

This is an updated edition of a previous piece of writing.

(photo – Lisa Wilson)


My trip to Eckford

Friday 24th April, 1997

I was rather excited today about going to Eckford Church, Scotland’ (while on my O.E) which is about 1 1/4 miles from Eckford Village. Wondering how I was going to fill in 3 hours looking at gravesites and headstones I walked intrepidly up the kirk path, past the medieval night watchtower, where family of recently deceased, paid the night watchman to look out for body snatchers. This is apparently where the term Blackmail comes from.


This time I had no idea where to find plots 50 and 57. So, I just started walking and reading. About the 5th one I read was that of Christian Archbald and Archibald McDougall and family.The middle piece was newly carved. Someone had been looking after the gravesite. Then I moved over to a bigger enclosure in the corner and sure enough was an impressive cenotaph of granite to the Rev. Joseph Yair and family.

As I walked over the grave to read the inscription I couldn’t help but picture and hope that they were smiling with my presence! The inscription read “whosoever liveth and believe in me shall never die.”

There is something in handing down a family name (my middle name is McDougall). So after taking some photos I walked around reading the other graves kind of hoping to find more family connections. I think I have something to go by… a gravestone to David McDougall and Rebecca Walker. Helen Blair’s brother and sister have Walker as their second names. I then walked down the road and up to the Manse, of course they must have a key? No one answered the door. A little disheartened I began to walk away and then thought what the hell – the great explorer I was becoming walked round the back and peered in the windows!

I found the owner, a lady, round the back amid old stone horse yards, sheds and pretty spring flowers. She drove me back down the road and opened the church for me. It was much simpler than Ednam Church, yet really warm and inviting. The oak altar had a carved inscription to J. Yair on the bottom 1829-1892, no stained windows as expected but a blue aisle carpet and a tiled floor down the main aisle.

The church isn’t used anymore but was restored about 12 years ago [1985]. Each pew has a number, there is a gallery at the back above and a viewing loft to the side for the laird and his family. Off this gallery was an annex with a lounge room with fireplace and private access to the north side of the church. This stands over the laird’s vault of 1724.

Hanging from the side of the south facing wall is an old chain and metal collar (joules) where those who had done something wrong were made to stay during the services. I rang the old church bell. I walked back down the path and looked over the beautiful rolling green hills, pastures and Kale River that was the same view for Joseph Yair’s family for over 60 years and the feeling was good.

The strangest thing did happen while I was there which I feel is worth mentioning. As I walked round the graveyard reading the headstones and came to photograph the vault inscription, it became extremely cold and really windy, enough that I noticed the change. When I left an hour later, the sun was shining and it was warm and still! I couldn’t help but think my presence was noted.


McDougall of Eckford, Caverton, Cessford

The line of descent of the Eckford McDougalls is via Archibald McDougall/Christian Archbald, and their daughter, Helen Blair McDougall. The ancestors of this line reach up through the cadet line of the Makerstoun McDougall, Makdougall and Mcdowell family of various spellings.

Three headstones at Eckford, have assisted in confirming important aspects of my McDougall tree.

(Photo – Lisa Wilson)

The first headstone  – the text still remarkably clear – concerns Archibald McDougall and his wife Christian Archbald. Archibald was tenant at Cessford. The Archibald/Christian headstone also makes mention of two of their children, Agnes Walker McDougall – described as their eldest daughter – and David McDougall – described as their eldest son. Missing on this headstone of the three is Helen Blair McDougall, born 1819, who is commemorated on the second of these stones.

Rev.  Joseph YairHelen Blair McDougall

Helen Blair McDougall, born 1819. This Helen – evidently named after her paternal grandmother – married the minister of Eckford, the Reverend Joseph Yair. Helen and Joseph, plus their 9 children, are named on a fine pink granite (or marble) obelisk/headstone in the “top” (i.e. western) corner of the Eckford kirkyard. A portion of Joseph Yair’s ancestry is also written on this monument.

(Photo- Lisa Wilson)

The third headstone to mention, is that of the David McDougall and his wife Rebecca Walker. This is the most elaborate of the McDougall stones in Eckford kirkyard. The eroded inscription at the head of this monument suggests that it was erected (in 1844) by the people of Caverton Mill, where David McDougall was tenant.

Archibald McDougall was the younger brother of this David McDougall.


The Reverend Joseph Yair was minister here for 63 years and died in 1892 aged 94. In his youth, he courted the beautiful Miss Helen McDougall, daughter of the farmer at Cessford, Archibald McDougall. On calling one day, he handed her his hat and received it back from her on leaving. Only they knew that notes were exchanged inside the hat. The first said, ‘Will you marry me?’ and the answer was ‘Yes, I will’. Considerable parental opposition was encountered and there is a romantic but possibly apocryphal story that Mr Yair one day drove up to Cessford in his carriage, accompanied by a minister, married his bride on the doorstep of Cessford and bore her away in triumph. Many descendants of this couple are spread throughout the world and some revisit the Manse from time to time.

“Mr Yair was an indefatigable guardian of local rights of way and on one occasion, finding a crop sown across the pathway, returned home for a scythe and cleared the way. Each year he walked all the rights of way in the parish to preserve them. There was only one occasion when Mr Yair was defeated. The precentor of the church had served for many years and Mr Yair thought it suitable that some sort of recognition be given .The precentor disagreed and begged him to say no more. However it was announced on the following Sunday was to be raised for this purpose. The precentor stood up and publicly rebuked the minister for breaking faith. Mr Yair was outraged and sought the Sherriff to admonish the precentor but returned home without this being done. Local people were intrigued and the then owner of Kirkbank, in huge delight, gave a decanter of whisky to the precentor as a reward.

The decanter, in 1966, was owned by his great-grandson. Born at Cessford in 1778, Helen’s father Mr Archibald McDougall, was a tenant farmer there until his death in 1840. Archibald’s brother David died earlier in 1832 spending his whole life at nearby Caverton Mill.”

The parents of Archibald’s wife, Christian, are Charles Archbald and Agnes Walker – it can thus be seen that Archibald’s first daughter is named after her maternal grandmother. It may be asked whether there was some relationship between Agnes Walker and the Rebecca Walker, wife of David McDougall of Caverton Mill? Further possible relationships also arise. Christian Archbald may have been younger sister of the Jane Archibald who marries David McDougall (Isabella’s younger brother) in 1807.

Interestingly the reverse of the Archibald McDougall/Christian Archbald headstone has an inscription regarding John Archbald, “late tenant in Sharplaw”, who died at Marlefield, aged 31, in October 1829. This John may be yet another sibling in the Jane/Christian Archbald/Archibald family, a younger brother born in 1798. To augment these curious links is the fact that David of Caverton Mill’s wife, Jane née Archibald, died at Sharplaw (in 1820).

Jane Archibald’s mother had the maiden name Agnes Walker, identical in maiden name to the mother of Christian Archbald who married Archibald McDougall in July 1814. Indeed Archibald and Christian named their first daughter Agnes Walker McDougall (born 1815). On this basis the Jane Archibald (born 1781) that marries David McDougall above in 1807, is the elder sister of the Christian Archbald (born 1789) that marries David’s cousin, Archibald McDougall, in 1814.

The links extend further than this. David’s wife, Jane née Archibald, is recorded on the headstone as dying at Sharplaw, presumably the farm of this name just north of Jedburgh, a few miles west of Eckford. The Archibald McDougall/Christian Archbald headstone at Eckford records, on its reverse, the death of John Archbald, “late tenant at Sharplaw”, he dying at Marlefield, aged 31, in October 1829. Hence presumably John Archbald was a further sibling in this Archibald/Archbald family, a younger brother of Jane and Christian, born in 1798. Jane presumably died in his household at Sharplaw in 1820?

Turning to the children above, the headstone states that Agnes died at Aberlady (on the Firth of Forth) in 1843. It is not known if she ever married; it was her younger brother, John, who had removed to East Lothian, where he was tenant at Craigie Law, on the Firth. John is buried at Aberlady. We note, incidentally, that John, the first son, is no doubt named after David McDougall’s father, John (1730-1782). Again it is not known whether David’s son, John, ever married.

The third child of David and Jane Archbald was Robert Archibald McDougall, evidently joined the navy (“A.S. in H.M.S.” meaning able seaman in His/Her Majesty’s Ship?). He was only 24 when he died at Sierra Leone. It is unlikely that he would have been married. Again we note similar naming in this family to that of Archibald McDougall/Christian Archbald who had a son named Robert Archbald McDougall, born in 1822.


My McDougall Descendants of of Caverton Mill & Cessford

David McDougall Snr, was born in Caverton Mill and baptized in Eckford about 1706. On 8th July 1726 when David was 20, he married Margaret Lillie(t) in Eckford. She was born in Kelso. They had 6 children, David and Thomas in 1727, John and Margaret 1729, Mary and Jane.

David McDougall Jnr, was baptized in Eckford on 16th May 1727. On 15th April 1770 when David was 43 he married Helen Blair. She was the daughter of ……and was born in North Kirk [kak] Parish, Edinburgh. They had 7 children, Janet 1772, Agnes 1775, David 1777, Archibald 1779, Peter 1786, Jean 1788 and Isabella.

Archibald McDougall was born in 1779 at Caverton Mill. On 1st July 1814 at the age of 35 yrs he married Christian Archbald, daughter of Charles Archbald and Agnes Walker, in Eckford parish Church. Christian was born in 1789. They had 8 children, Agnes Walker 1815, David and Francis 1817, Helen Blair 1819, Jane Archbald 1821, Robert Archbald 1822, Archibald 1827, Jessie Johnston 1830.

Archibald Snr died on 15th Sept 1840 at the age of 61 yrs. He is buried at Eckford. Christian died at Fram [sic] Cottage, Jedburgh Burgh, on 10th Oct 1856 at the age of 67 yrs. She was buried on 16th Oct 1856 in Eckford Kirkyard.

David Yair was born on 2nd Sept 1798.

Helen Blair McDougall was born on 11th July 1819 and baptized at Eckford on 16th August 1819. On 12th Dec 1836 when Helen was 17 yrs old, she married, in Eckford Parish Church, the rev. Joseph Yair M.A., son of David Yair and Janet Patterson of Glasgow.

They had 9 children, Christian Archibald McDougall 1838, David William 1840, Janet Elizabeth Colquhoun 1842, Archibald McDougall 1844, Helen Blair McDougall 1846, Elizabeth Colqhoun 1848, Joseph 1850, Agnes Archibald McDougall 1851 and John McCrae 1854.

Helen died in Eckford parish on 27th Jan 1889. She was 69 yrs old. Rev. Joseph Yair also died in Eckford  Parish on 25th April 1892 at the age of 93 yrs.

Christian Archibald McDougall Yair was born on 16th July 1838 in Eckford manse and baptized on 5th August 1838.On 28th Jan 1869 when Christian was 30, she married Rev. William Lamb son of George Lamb, born in 1808. They had 6 children, Walter and Helen 1871, Christian Mary 1873, William 1874, George 1875 and John Yair 1877.

William died at Ednam on 10th August 1877 at the age of 69 yrs – just 8 years after his marriage and leaving Christian with children aged 6, 4, 3, 2 and 4 mths! After William’s death Christian moved to Dollar in the North where living was cheaper and there was good education for the children. She lived at Oriel Cottage in Academy Street. Just why she moved so far away from her parents is not known. Did the Lamb’s come from there? Did the Ministerial Collage (Oriel) look after them?

Ednam Church (left) and Manse (right) (photo- Lisa Wilson)

“Sweet ednam loveliest village

of the plain, where health

and planty cheered the labouring


where smiling spring its

earliest visit paid

And parting summers lighting

Blooms delayed”

Goldsmith to Auburn.

Ednam village, (birthplace of Sir Walter Scott, poet, and Captain Cook), has a field which lies in the hollow of its land called the ‘Kirkyard’. The other fields are continually changing from red to green and green to yellow and yellow to white, but the kirkyard has few changes. My grandnother told me how in spring the kirkyard filled with masses of daffodils but was good for not much else at it was aslso full of moles hills.There is an occasional furrow of red earth to be seen in the midst of its constant green but everyone who sees it knows that it is the last furrow of one who is never more to labour on the out lying fields. This field is a gentle slope, lying in the sun with the kirk at its head and the river at its foot. The kirk and chancel stand at their full length and shelter it form the north wind.

At the east end of the kirk and completing the northern boundary is the aisle of Edmonstoun Family. There is another aisle with another laird which is shut off from the sunshine within its high walls, but as far for the rest of the field in which 8 centuries of Ednam folk have foregathered it lies open and ‘seeks ferment the sun’.

In 1833 a new manse was built. According to my grandmother, who had often heard her father George talk about it and written in the architect’s record, the walls of the manse had been built of clay which in workmanship was inferior to a dry stone dyke. There were four rooms with fireplaces. In the best of them the ceiling was only 7 ft higher then the floor. The surface of the ground outside was higher then the floor! The floors were damp inside. From ground floor to garnet the manse was declared to be ‘fit for condemnation’ and accordingly a new manse was built which with additions and alterations remains to this day (between 1833-1844).

The Lamb Family of Hawick, Roxburgh.

George Lamb married Janet Laidlaw on 12th November 1759 at Hawick Parish Church, Roxburgh. George was a gardener. They had Walter May 1771, George April 1768, Margaret Sept 1760, Janet March 1763 and Mary Oct 1765.

Walter, born in May 1771 married Christian Philip (Phillips) daughter of William Philip and Mary Scott. Walter was a ‘cooper’ in Hawick. They had 4 children George 1809, Mary 1810, William 1812, Janet 1814 and Christian 1817.

William Lamb born on 21st October 1812 in Hawick married at the age of 56 yrs on 28th Jan 1869 to Christian Archbald Yair. Christian died on 10th July 1921 at 82 yrs. She is buried at Norwood Cemetery in London.

Mr William Lamb next in apostolic succession was settled in 1844. He was singularly gentle in his manner and methodical in his ways. He was clerk of the presbytery and was much taken up with emotions and counter emotions on the affairs of state. Petitions to Parliament were common for they thought their duty to mind their business as well as the magistrates. This was not Mr Lamb’s way, but while the brethren debated he took notes and as their clerk, served them faithfully from his first days as a minister till his last.

Mr Lamb was a botanist, but his great delight was the butterfly tribes. He hunted many a butterfly in his day and many an unsuspecting moth was lured by him to death and glory, which in this case means a place in his extensive collection of moths and butterflies. Stories remain of revelers startled at the sight of a figure, lantern in hand, moving suspiciously among the great churchyard elms;

‘It is “twal o’clock” o the wee hour

ayont the twal’ are they

are not seeing well

Is it an evil spirit or

A resurrectionist? It is

Only the minister

Searching for night moths.’

At the ‘darkening’ he had smeared

Elm tree petals with treacle

and now at the dead hour

he has come to gather his victims’

George Lamb was born on 12th August 1875 at Ednam Manse. George would have lived at Ednam Manse until 2 yrs of age, before moving to Dollar. He emigrated to South Africa in …. George arrived in Cape Town…and took a job as a banker.

After several years he moved to Umzinto where he resided at the local Hotel and operated as the bank manager. There were many large sugar cane farms in the area.

There he met Medina Blamey. On 18th Feb 1908 when George Lamb was 32, he married Medina Mabel Blamey in Umzinto, Natal, South Africa.  Medina was the daughter of Alfred Blamey and Ethel (Manning). They had 3 daughters, Helen McDougall Lamb (b. 1917 my grandmother), Ethel Helen Lamb and Jean Yair Lamb. (See my other blog)


Eckford Parish

The name of this parish is made up of ace, an oak, and ford, a passage over a river. It refers to the ancient oaks which prevailed in the district and to a ford in the Teviot, within a short distance of the village of Eckford. This ford was anciently called the ford at the aces and in the early 1800’s oakes of a considerable dimension, some 2 1/2 feet in diameter were dragged out of the river along with others left lying directly beneath.

The parish is nearly triangular in shape. It is about 6 miles at its greatest length and 4 1/2 across. To the North boundary is Roxburgh and portions of Kelso and Sprouston; on the east by Linton, Morebattle and Hounam; on the southy by Jedburgh and on the west by Crailing.

Its undulating countryside gradually rising to the south commands an extensive view of the neighbouring country. The vale of the Teviot River, neatly enclosed and highly fertile fields along its bank and well kept thriving plantations form a picturesque landscape. There is also the valley of the Kale river, no less delightful to the eye.

The southern extremity of the Parish lies only a few miles from the borders and was the scene of frequent pillaging and devastation in former times.


The Parish of Eckford comprises three main settlements – Eckford, Caverton and Cessford. Formerly, there were two primary schools within the parish; today there are none.

The village of Eckford lies halfway between Kelso and Jedburgh just to the east of the A698, the church, however, is across on the other side of the road some distance from the village. This distance may have led to the creation of a watchtower, or mort-house, in the graveyard to protect the recently buried from the ravages of the body snatchers.

The church dates from about 1665 and is probably a replacement of an earlier church on the same site. The north aisle was added about 1720, and the inside remodeled in 1898 when the pulpit was moved and the box pews removed. The beadle’s cottage was built about 1836, and a stable for keeping the parishioners’ horses during the services was added about the same time. These buildings are no longer part of the church as they are in private hands today. (

The church has a sundial dated 1668, a set of jougs paid for in 1718, and the ground floor is the burial vault of the Bennets of Marlfield, a nearby estate. Inside there is the armorial bearings of Sir William Bennet who died in 1724 above the laird’s loft, which is surprisingly roomy with space for at least a dozen.


Eckford Parish Church

The church which anciently belonged to the abby of Jedburgh, is beautifully situated on the southern banks of the Teviot. It was built in 1662 and has undergone frequent repairs over time. It has a rather large gallery to one side for the Laird’s family and a large upper gallery to the rear.It is a neat and apparently substantial building and can seat about 300. Close to the eastern door is suspended an iron collar, which is well preserved. It is commonly known as joules. In former times, church offenders were sometimes sentenced by kirk sessions, to stand with it fastened around their neck, and clothed with sackcloth, for several Sabbaths, in presence of the congregation, in repentance and humiliation. The manse was built in 1775. 

Eckford Church (photo – Lisa Wilson)

The chief apartment of the house is, in appearance a very handsome one, but it was not  occupied for several winters as a consequence of it being very cold. The holding is about 7 acres. Adjoining the church is the family Aisle of Sir William Bennet, where his remains are deposited and over the entry is the following inscription:

Hoc Monumentum

Sibi et sule bene Merentibus posendam curavit

Dominus Gullelmus Bennet

Eques Suratus anno salutia 1724

The village of Eckford, once a place of considerable note, was burnt by the English under the Marquis of Dorset in April 1553.

On 6th September 1544 the church of Eckford was burnt by an army under Sir Ralph Eure and 44 people were found inside. It was rebuilt but destroyed again in 1570 by the Earl of Sussex, who in the course of a few days, laid waste to a very extensive part of the country.      

There are two other hamlets in the parish of Eckford beside Eckford village – those of Cessford and Caverton.


Cessford is and has been for many years, dominated by Cessford Castle, the focus of the surrounding area. It stands on the right bank of Cessford Burn, which rising in Oxnam Parish, runs 4 3/4 miles NE to kale Water. The most famous fortress in the parish was Cessford castle in the south. It was the ancient manorial residence of Sir Robert Kerr (Known as Hobbie Kerr) warden of the Scottish middle marches, from whom the Dukes of Roxburghe descend. The main building was 67 feet long and 60 feet wide and about 65 feet high. The walls at points were said to have been 13 feet in thickness.

This fortress, from its great importance, was often the scene of hostile invasion in ancient times. in the reign of Henry VIII, the Earl of Surrey, after destroying a number of places in the neighborhood attempted to take it by assault but in a letter addressed to the king on 21st May 1523, that had the owner not capitulated, he would have been unable to have obtained possession of it at all. (The ancient key of this fortress was accidentally discovered by a boy in the 1800’s. It was dragged out of an aperture in the inside of the wall, close to the main door, where for nearly two centuries it had lain undiscovered. It was of very antique form and about 11 inches in length. It is now in the possession of the Duke of Roxburghe who resides at Floors castle. Statistical Account for Eckford [1834?]

The largest farm in the parish is the barony of Cessford, which consists of upwards of 2000 acres of land. In the 1841 statistical account of Eckford, the Reverend Joseph Yair (who happens to be my GGG grandfather) explains that this land had long been occupied by Mr Archibald McDougall, a gentleman whose ancestors resided for generations on the Roxburgh estate. He was well known to be one of the most skillfull and intelligent agriculturists in the district.

Between 1811-1841 he had made great improvements to the property. In the course of that time he had enclosed, at his own cost, the whole farm, drained it as efficiently as possible and cultivated upwards of 300 acres of moorland. He had also removed all the old offices and cottages and erected new ones in a better position, of a substantial and the neatest kind.

Independently of the expenses of liming the whole of this large farm, his outlay amounted upwards of L4000.

Rev Joseph Yair was Archibald McDougall’s son-in-law- and one can’t help wonder if the above mention was poignantly made!


Cessford Burn

According to Alexander Jeffrey’s The History & Antiquities of Roxburghshire & Adjacent Districts (4 vols, Edinburgh: Seton & Mackenzie, 1855-64), Cessford Burn is a small stream, situated in a beautiful valley, which eventually runs to meet Kale Water and then joins the River Teviot, finally entering the River Tweed at  Kelso. A site at Cessford Burn has the remains of an ancient farmstead attached to Cessford castle [Caverton Mill?]. The remains of the foundation stones of the dwellings, which can still b e seen today are situated on the north bank of Cessford Burn (opposite side of Cessford castle ruins).

Old farmhouse hutt on Cessford Burn

Seven Shiels or thatched cottages once housed the families of the farm steward, the shepherd [A branch of the Border family Nisbet were shepherds in Cessford Burn from about 1665, until about 1822, due to farm consolidations of the late 18th C on the Scottish Borders] and the ploughman. The farmstead was burned to the ground by the English many times, including the border campaign of the earl of Surrey May 1523 and the Earl of Herford in 1545 and during the rough wooing of Mary Queen of Scots by Henry VIII of England. The family living in these shiels were in the service of the Kerrs of Cessford and all indications point to that of being the McDougall family.

Aerial photographs and Matthew Stobies 1770 map of Roxburghshire show that the castleton (vill) of Cessford lay hard by the castle to the northwest on the Morebattle road; about 140 souls lived in Cessford village during those times.

Along the quiet green banks of Cessford Burn is Hobbie Kerrs cave, where local citizens sought safety and shelter since 5th century. Just south of Cessford castle, there once stood an ancient ash tree known as the ‘Crow Tree’ where ‘Jeddart Justice’ was carried out.


The Barony of Caverton anciently belonged to Lord Soulis, who forfeited his property in consequence of his being engaged in a conspiracy against Robert the Bruce, towards the beginning of the 14th century.

At Caverton there was a Chapel which is first mentioned in records of 1116, which place it within the care and control of Glasgow Cathedral. It also had a graveyard which was last used about 1860. It was founded by Walter Kerr of Cessford and confirmed by charter under the grand seal in the year 1500. Unfortunately the site of the chapel and the graveyard has been cleared and ploughed, and nothing remains of either.

The old village of Caverton, likewise, has completely disappeared.

The Kerr’s, Scotts and Douglas’s were the most powerful families on the Scottish side of the birder. From them were usually chosen the Wardens of the Middle Marches, but they could be little trusted to dispense justice in that office, as they themselves were often raiding the English when not squabbling with each other. Scottish records from the time of William the Lion mention John Ker, the hunter of Swinhope, but it was around 1330 that the two brothers, Ralph and John, moved from Lancshire to Roxburgh to establish the principle Kerr families of Scotland. Ralph’s decendants became the Kerrs of Ferniehurst, the senior branch, whilst John was  progenitor of the Kerr’s of Cessford. The Kerr’s were crown vassals and collecting further influential positions whilst the Douglas families collapsed.

The two powerful Borders families soon became rivals. And the two families were constantly in bitter conflict. Descendants of both families were appointed wardens of the Middle Marches; Sir Andrew of Ferniehurst in 1502 and Sir Andrew of Cessford after the battle of Flodden. The Kerrs of Cessford supported the English Queen-mother and the Kers of Ferniehurst the young King, James V. The feuding continued until resolution on a political level by the union of the crown and the marriage of Anne Kerr of Cessford to William Kerr of Ferinehurst. The farm is today called Caverton Mill and is under the management of the Thomson family (and has been for the past 80 years).


Esteemed Company

Tuesday 8th May 1787

Robert Burns – known as Robbie Burns, Scotland’s favorite son, the ploughman poet, the bard of Ayshire or simply the bard lived from 1759-1796. He was a poet and a lyricist.

Robbie Burns mounted his horse for the south leaving Edinburgh triumphant in literary success and outwardly unstained, respected and beloved, leaving it a free and unfettered man with a little money in his pocket, a kindred spirit by his side, the lands of Scottish romance and plenty before him. Ayshire, with all its sorrows and humilities, was distant.

On Tuesday 8th May 1787 the two friends made an early start, rode to Kelso for breakfast and on the way back diverged a little from the road to call on a friend of Mr Ainslie*, a Mr McDougall [David] at Caverton Mil. Here Burns the poet becomes Burns the farmer ,*an apprentice lawyer from Edinburgh.

An so we reflect on his diary entry for this date, where he jotted down: Breakfast at Kelso – charming situation of Kelso – fine bridge over the Tweed – enchanting views and prospects on both sides of the river, particularly the Scotch side; Turnip and sheep husbandry, their great improvements. Mr McDowal [McDougall] a friend of Mr [Robert] Ainslie’s, with whom I dined today, sold his sheep, ewe and lamb together at 12 guineas a piece. Wash their sheep before shearing – seven or eight pounds of washing wool in a fleece – low markets, consequently low rents – fine lands not above sixteen shillings a Scotch acre – magnificence of farmers and farm houses. Come up Teviot and Jed to Jedburgh to lie, and so wish myself a goodnight.’

Margaret Jackson Young writes in the Scots Magazine Jan 2005 an article entitled Burns in the Borders, besides all the farming talk, one wondered if Mr McDougall [David] told his visitors that his family had been at Caverton Mill for 200 years; that David McDougall, his father, was tenant in 1745 when the Jacobite Army was marching south, and that he himself was one of those called by night by the Duke of Roxburghe to convey the Floors castle treasure chests to Caverton Mill where they were concealed in the stockyard until any danger from looting soldiers was past.


William and Christian had four sons and two daughters. Walter the eldest became a minister first of Kirkwll, then of Lauder and after a few brief years of promise he died. He died in 1877 and is buried with his family in Ednam.

Yair Family History

Joseph Yair was born on 7th October 1737 in Dunblane, Perth and was baptized on 16th October 1737 in Dunblane. His brother David born 23 Nov 1728.

On 29th Sept 1769 when Joseph was 31 he married (Nelly) Helen Dykes in perth. They had one child, David in 1770.

David, born on 5 Dec 1770, Perth was baptized on 9 Dec 1770, Perth. David was a merchant. On 25th October 1797 when David was 26 he married Janet Patterson, daughter of Archibald Patterson in Cannongate, Edinburgh. Archibald was also a well to do merchant and gentleman of the city of Glasgow. They had 3 children all born in Glasgow, William 18 feb 1809, Joseph 1798 and Elizabrth Colqhoun 6 feb 1813, who died at the age of 82 yrs on 4th Aug 1895 in Eckford.

(Rev.) Joseph Yair was born on 2 Sept 1798 in perth. On 12 dec 1836 at the age of 38 he married Helen Blair McDougall in Eckford.


Colqhoun Family History

Janet Patterson was the daughter of Archibald Patterson and Elizabeth Colqhoun of Glasgow, who married on 16th April 1771. Archibalds parents, Robert and Christian, were first cousins.

Robert’s parents were John and Florence and he had two brothers, Walter and James.

John’s parents were John and Christian Clark married in 1702 with 4 children, Jean, Andrew, John and James*. John’s parents were Henri  Colqhoun and Marion Forsyth married in 1668.

*James married Jean McKean in 1727 having 4 children, William, Jean, Ando and Christian formally mentioned married to her cousin Robert.

The Colhoun (also Colquhoun) family of Trongate in Glasgow were involved in the tobacco trade and slave trading throughout the 17th century. A document collection Ref: TD 301 comprises 9 files of business and family papers for the Colhoun family of Glasgow. During the 18th century the family were involved in the slave trade and the letters found in file TD301/6 document the experiences of William Colhoun, who worked as chief mate on a number of slave ships travelling between West Africa, North America and Britain between 1768-1776. 
In file TD301/6 there are nine letters to Miss Betty Colhoun of Trongate Glasgow.

In 1769 William sends letters from his voyages on the “Trent” man-o-war, and ships called the “Bellsavage” [sic] and the “Industry.” One of his letters, dated June 1770, is written from Senegal in West Africa, telling his sister about his first experiences aboard a slave trader. He states “We shall sail tomorrow with a hundred and 50 slaves for Potouchan River in Virginia in a very fine vessel which I am chief mate of…it is a very precarious cargo as for me it is the first time…we have always plenty of noise and stink in proportion.”

His next letter above, dated October 1770, was written in Oxford, Maryland, and tells Betty that the slaves were sold there and the ship is returning to Glasgow loaded with tobacco. Later his sister marries a Glasgow merchant, Archibald Patterson, and William continues to write to Patterson about his dealings in slaves.
In one letter, written from Sierra Leone in April 1775, he promises to send “three prime slaves which will amount to 120 pounds sterling” to be sold, whenever he can finds the means to remit the proceeds to Archibald, and “…a very fine girl about twelve years of age” which he will send home to Glasgow if one of his sisters would like her. In a later letter from Yongia, Dimba River, dated May 1776 he writes, “I have sent likewise by Captain Richard Wilding of Liverpool two fine slaves to be sold at the West Indies and the money or bills to be remitted to you…The slaves will come to about 80 pounds sterling.” 
The remainder of the collection contains miscellaneous 18th and 19th century family letters and accounts, primarily concerning the management of cotton spinners in Scottish-based cottage industries. Colqhoun (Colquhoun) of Glasgow family papers Ref: TD 301.


*Archibald Patterson was born in Glasgow on 8th Jan 1744, the son of Patrick Patterson and Janet Miller. He had two sisters Elizabeth born 1741 and Margery born 1747. He married Elizabeth Colqhoun on 16th April 1777.

A Mr David Dale settled in Glasgow in 1763 at 24 years of age and took a shop on the East side of the High Street at $8 rent. Shortly after commencing this business he obtained Mr Archibald Patterson (afterwards proprietor of ‘Merkdaily’ lands, then of Charlotte Street) as a moneyed partner. Archibald took now chare in the management of the company which soon extended its transactions by importing linen yarns from Flanders and Holland. In May 1782 the partnership dissolved. The Glasgow journal wrote: ‘ Mr Patterson thought it was rather sharp on the part of Mr Dale…on its being firmly established and lucrative, nevertheless through life he continued on the most friendly terms which were greatly strengthened by a unison of sentiment in their religious views. In about 1770, Archibald, then, a wealthy candlemaker, erected a meeting house in Greyfriar Wynd, seating about 500. It was known as ‘Caunnel Kirk’.

Mr Dale, Mr Paterson and Mr Matthew Alexander were the prime movers and founders for dissenting from the old established faith to the Old Scotch Independent Church. Many other members of the Paterson family also ran their own businesses in the Trongate area – Mrs Paterson Seed Shop no 78, Archibald Paterson Tallow-Chandler shop 4th side Gallowgate, Thomas Paterson, Brewer and Maltman no 130, John Paterson St Enoch’s Wynd (yard), Spirit dealer, James Paterson, hairdresser, 4th side Argyle Street.

Kilmory, admitted was a very diminuative village built close to Lochgilphead from which it was separated by a tiny burn. The tenements of the village lined the streets leading up to the white gates beyond which were the grounds of the Kilmory estate. Paterson’s lands or Paterson Street commemorates the name of the builder, Archibald Paterson, who obtained a ‘feu’ of the site in 1829.

Charlotte Street, named after the Queen of George III was opened by Mr Archibald Paterson, then partner with David Dale, Charlotte Street, especially the southern [part near the gates, was long the residence of the rich. David dale lived there and Archibald next door.

A celebrity of old Glasgow, who was yarn merchant, cotton spinner, banker, and pastor to “The Old Independent” congregation, had his city residence in Charlotte Street, David dale had invited a large party of wealthy guests to dinner on the 18th day of November, 1795.

Among those expected were William Simpson, cashier of the Royal Bank; Gilbert Innes of Stowe, the great millionaire; and the whole posse of the Royal Bank Directory from Edinburgh to meet with Scott Moncrieff, George MacIntosh, and other Glasgow magnates. On the morning of that important and memorable day, all was bustle and hurry-burry in preparation for the sumptuous feast.

All went on as well as could be wished until near the appointed hour; when lo! the waters of the Clyde began to ooze slowly but surely through the chinks of the kitchen floor, and ere long the servants were wading about with the water above their ankles. At length the Monkland Canal burst its banks, and like a mighty avalanche the waters came thundering down by the Molendinar Burn, carrying all before it, and filling the low-lying districts of the city in Gallowgate, Saltmarket, Bridgegate, and under portions of St. Andrew’s Square with a muddy stream. The Camlachie Burn also, which ran close by Mr. Dale’s house, rose to an unusual height, and burst with a fearful crash into Mr. Dale’s kitchen, putting out all the fires, and forcing the servants to run for their lives.

Then came the question—What could or should be done in this unhappy dilemma? The dinner hour was fast approaching, and the invited guests would soon be there! In this distressing predicament, Mr. Dale applied to his opposite neighbour, William Wardlaw, Esq. (father of Rev. Dr. Ralph Wardla*), and to Mr. Archibald Patterson, another neighbour, for the loan of their respective kitchens, both of whom not only granted the use of their kitchens, but also the help of their servants. But here the further question arose—-How were the wines, spirits, and ales to be got from the cellar, which now stood four feet deep in water?

After some cogitation, a porter was hired, and, being suitably attired for the occasion, he received instructions to go down into the deep and bring up the drinkables required. Here again another problem had now to be met and solved—How was the porter to distinguish the respective bins of port, sherry, and Madeira from those of the rum, brandy, porter, and ale? This difficulty was got over by Miss Dale then sixteen years of age, perching on the porter’s back and acting as his spiritual guide and director. After he received his instructions, the porter returned with his fair burden to the lobby of the house; and then went back for the various liquors, which he brought up and delivered to Mr. Dale in good order and condition.

All things then went on in a satisfactory manner. The dinner was cooked, placed on the table, and served in the best style, to the great gratification of the Edinburgh visitors and Glasgow magnates, who passed the evening with much mirth and hilarity, which received fresh zest from the peculiar and unforeseen circumstances which had arisen.


See my next blog for greater detail on:

Early Glasgow Sugar Plantations in the Caribbean


On the evidence of McDowall’s letters and accounts, slave numbers were maintained by ongoing purchase to replace the dead, often teenage boys, ten at a time.35 His over-riding policy in his own words,was ‘to keep a sufficient stock of Negroes’ to send sugar home.36 By the 1750s Glasgow merchants had developed a cartel to supply everything necessary for the planters. McDowall’s protégé and plantation manager, Glasgow merchant Robert Colquhoun, owned the St Kitts plantation directly east of Canada Hills (Fig 2). He purchased Clyde herrings from Alexander Houston & Company, in which the McDowalls were partners. Colquhoun also bought his slaves from Glasgow merchant Richard Oswald, who operated a slave fort in the Sierra Leone delta.

Colquhoun originated from a modest family at Kenmuir near Glasgow. He rose in status when his daughter Frances, married Sir James Maxwell of Nether Pollok, who had served at St Kitts as a young man in the 1750s. St Kitts blood permeated Glasgow’s celebrated Pollok–Maxwell dynasty through their golden age, from the late 18th to late 19th centuries.

Major James Milliken (b.1669) and Colonel William McDowall (b.1678) were two of Glasgow’s earliest and most successful colonial merchants. Along with their sons and grandsons, they developed the city’s first bank and its largest merchant house. 

McDowall and Milliken’s Glasgow company from the 1730s, initially named James Milliken & Co., became Alexander Houston and Co. in the next generation, fronted by McDowall’s nephew. McDowall’s son William founded Glasgow’s Ship Bank (see other blog post) in 1750. Eyre-Todd 1934, p. 151. There were three William McDowalls in succession, father son and grandson: I: 1678–1748; II: c. 1718–1786; III: 1749–1810.

Both men originated from a mercantile lineage. William McDowall was from modest landed stock in south-west Scotland. The traditional focus has been on the family’s landed seat and noble heritage. However, this conceals the fact that both his father and grandfather were merchant burgesses of Edinburgh. As the fifth son of the family, William had little hope of succeeding to his father’s estate and was sent in his late teens to the Leeward islands.

Colonel William McDowall, having command of a regiment of men in the island of St Kitts in the West Indies; and Major James Milliken being then in office in the said island, the said Major Milliken married Mary Steven, and Colonel William McDowall married her daughter, who were both ladies of ample fortunes, having large estates on said island. McDowall returned to Britain in 1724, moving between London, Edinburgh and Bristol where he had a house on the medieval bridge.

His wife and 6 year old son would join him some 3 years later.

He settled in Scotland, buying the Shawfield Mansion and Castle Semple estate in late 1726. 

William MacDowall, 19th Lord of Garthland, First of Castle Semple ( 1727-1748 )

Although most of his business interests were in London and Bristol, William determined to settle in Scotland. In 1727 he purchased Shawfield Mansion in Glasgow which stood on Argyle Street at the junction with what is now Glassford Street. He also sought to purchase a country estate as an investment. In 1727 he bought the Castle Semple Estate of Lord Semple “ being one of the best inland estates in Scotland“.

William had amassed considerable wealth and at the time he purchased  the Castle Semple Estate was considered to be “ the richest commoner in Scotland.

William MacDowall, 20th of Garthland, the Second of Castle Semple 1748-1776

William was 30 years old when he inherited the estate. In the same year he married Elizabeth Graham, daughter of Admiral Graham, by whom he had 12 children. Four years later he bought the Garthland lands and title from his cousin in Galloway. His title became William MacDowall, 20th of Garthland and 2nd of Castle Semple.

He continued to manage family businesses in Scotland in close partnership with the Millikens and also the Houston family from Johnstone who had ships plying between the Clyde and the West Indies. Members of the family looked after the overseas interests.


William was one of the founders of the Ship Bank in 1752 (see other blog). This was the first bank established in Glasgow to provide venture capital for traders and industrialists.

In 1760 Shawfield Mansion in Glasgow was sold to John Glassford and the Ralston Estate and lands at Cathcart were purchased. In the same year William had the wooden bridges over the River Calder in Lochwinnoch and the River Cart in the Howwood replaced with fine stone bridges. In 1768 William was elected Member of Parliament for Renfrewshire.


William MacDowall, 21st of Garthland and 3rd of Castle Semple 1776-1810 remained unmarried, giving much of his life to politics and civic matters.He was a non-practising advocate and served as Rector of Glasgow University from 1795 till 1797. He was a Member of Parliament from 1783 until his death in 1810 and acted as Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire from 1794, again until his death. In 1820, William 4th was able to buy Garpel House which stood on this land and, as the original Garthland Estate had been sold, this was renamed Garthland House. This remained in the family until 1935.


I now explore the connection between the above William McDowalls of Garthland and our McDougall/McDowall of Makerston.

Both clans claim to descend from the senior descendants in the male line of the princely house of Fergus, first of the ancient Kings of the Kingdom of Galloway.

The name MacDowall is a name connected with the ancient history of The Rhins and the Machars, Wigtownshire, Galloway, a district in the south west of Scotland which took its name from the Gall-Gaidhel settlers of the seventh and eighth centuries.

The area was settled by the Scoti or Irish Gaels during the invasions of the fourth century (Scotus was the Roman word for Irishman) pushing the native Picts further East. The area was then settled by Norwegian Vikings in the seventh century who merged with the Irish Gaelic Clans. Many legends exist in Galloway including the legend that Dovall of Galloway killed Nothatus the Tyrant in 230 BC. It is also said that the Royal House of Galloway resisted the Romans. In 1065 Echmarcach mac Ragnaill died on pilgrimage to Rome and his death was noted by anIrish chronicler who described him as rex ina renn, king of the Rhinns, assumed to mean the Rhinns of Galloway (which had still been the “Saxon shore” in 913) and his kingdom included the Machars of Wigtownshire. Between 1036 and 1052, Echmacarch was twice ruler of Dublin and for a time the Isle of Man was part of his kingdom.

The Macdouals were one of the most powerful families in early Britain, in Wigtonshire, and are thought to be descended from Roland Macdoual, Lord of Galloway and ancient King Somerled.


13th Century, Garthland Castle

Garthland Castle was located near Garthland Mains, Stoneykirk, Rhins of Galloway, Wigtownshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.[7] The castle was possibly built in AD1211, as a datestone bearing that date has been discovered within the Garthland Mains estate. The castle was seat of the family of M’Dowall of Garthland.

In AD1295 Sir Dougal MacDougall (see above, possibly a son of Thomas of the Kingdom of Galloway ) had a Charter from his 1st cousin, John Balliol, King of Galloway, Lord of Galloway, John de Balliol, son of Dervorgilla, confirming the Barony of Garochloyne (Garthland) (possibly included the present area of Stranraer ) with Lougan (Logan) and Elrig in the Rhins of Galloway, Stoneykirk, Wigtownshire. Balliol, King of Galloway had granted lands in Garthland to ‘Dougal’ and Fergus MacDoual, Balliol’s own relation. These two men both appear on the Ragman Rolls of Scottish nobles who swore fealty to King Edward I of England.

Dougals’s grandson Fergus, 3rd of Garthland was sheriff depute for Kirkcudbright during the reign of King David II of Scotland (reigned AD1329-1371).

The first Macdoual who appears in connection with lands in Roxburghshire, is Fergus Macdoual, the son of Duncan Macdoual 2nd Lord of Galloway and Margaret Fraser his wife. Margaret Fraser inherited in her own right the baronies of Mackerston, Yetholm, and Clifton. In 1374, she resigned these baronies into the king’s hands in favour of her son Fergus, and on the third day of May of that year, Robert II. granted him charters of said baronies.

Fergus Macdoual and Dougal Macdoual of Wigtonshire took the oath of allegiance to Edward I. at Berwick, in 1296.

During the Succession War, Dougal Macdoual took part against the English Bruce, and for which their lands were forfeited. In 1306, he defeated Thomas and Alexander Bruce and Sir Reginald Crawford, took all the three prisoners, and carried them to Carlisle Castle, and were immediately ordered for execution by Edward I. Next year, Robert Bruce marched into Galloway to revenge the death of his brothers, and carried fire and sword through the terri- tories of his enemies. Macdoual raised the men of Galloway, and Edward II. ordered a large force to oppose Bruce, which caused him to retire into the northern fastnesses. In 1308, the gallant Edward Bruce invaded Galloway, defeated Macdoual and the other chiefs who had joined him, and took Dougal Macdoual prisoner. His son, Duncan M’Dougal succeeded, and, like his father, adhered to the English king.

On Galloway being subdued, King Robert I of Scotland. conferred on his brother Edward the lordship, and all the estates in that territory, forfeited by the heirs of the lords of Galloway. The grant was made in 1308. When Edward III., in 1332, set up Edward Baliol to claim the crown of Scotland, during the minority of David II., every part of Galloway became involved in the miseries of civil war. Those proprietors who had been settled on the forfeited lands by Robert I. shed their blood for his son ; but many of the old owners of the land, who had been allowed, by the leniency of the king, to possess their estates, went over to the English king.

During the first seven years of the war, Duncan Macdoual, who was the chief of the Clan Macdoual, remained true to the young king, but in August, 1339, when the star of Edward III. was in the ascendant, he took the oath of fealty to that king, and was pardoned for his past offences.* At the death of the Regent Randolph, David II. granted in 1341 the whole of Wigtonshire in free earldom to his faithful follower Sir Malcolm Fleming. On obtaining this grant, Sir Malcolm resolved upon punishing Duncan Macdoual for his revolt in 1339, and notwithstanding all the aid of the English king, he was subdued and forced to submit to the king of Scotland.

Duncan Macdoual, and his son Duncan, fought with King David II. at the battle of Durham in 1347, and were taken by the English army, and imprisoned in the castle of Rochester, from whence they were removed to York. Duncan, the father, was liberated, on promising to act against the Scots. His wife, brother, and two of his sons were hostages for him. In 1353, Duncan Macdoual renounced the authority of Edward III., and swore fealty to David II. in the church of Cumnock, and ever afterwards remained faithful to his sovereign.t On this fact becoming known to Edward, he ordered John de Boulton, his chancellor of Berwick, to seize all the lands, goods, and chattels of Duncan Macdoual, and the lands of his wife, their family and adherents.* The like command was issued to John Coupland, Edward’s sheriff of Roxburghshire.

Margaret Fraser was the wife of Duncan, and the mother of the said Fergus Macdoual, who was the first of the name that inherited the lands of Mackerston, &c, in the south of Scotland. Chalmers supposes that she was the second wife of Duncan Macdoual, as Fergus only inherited his mother’s estates in Roxburghshire, and not those of his father in Galloway.


We have established that the principal seat of the Galloway family, from whom Fergus Macdoual of Makerstoun sprung, was Garthland.


Turning back to our McDougall family line, we continue to work from what we know, to establish a link with this ancient family.



The art of agriculture in this parish is in a highly improved state. The tenants are an active and industrious class of men. By their liming and draining etc are vastly improving the character of the soil.

They are much attached to their landlords who treat them in return with kindness and liberality. The largest farm in this parish is the Barony of Cessford which consists of upwards of 2000 acres of land and which has long been occupied by Mr Archibald McDougall a gentleman whose ancestors resided for generations on the Roxburghe estate in this quarter and who is well known to be one of the most skilful and intelligent agriculturists in the district.

Within these thirty years the improvements which he has effected on that property have been very great In the course of that time he has enclosed at his own cost the whole farm drained it in the most efficient manner and brought under cultivation upwards of 300 acres of moorland Besides he has removed all the old offices and cottages and erected in a more eligible situation new ones of the neatest and most substantial kind Independently of the expenses of liming the whole of this large farm his outlay amounted to upwards of L 4000.

The system of husbandry which is usually practised in this parish is the five shift system The turnips are partly eaten off the land by sheep and partly stored up as provisions for fattening cattle during the winter Of leases the usual duration is for nineteen years The fences are in good order and consist mostly of thorns The farm houses and offices are also in excellent order and have been some of them erected within these twenty years.

Breeds of Live Stock -The sheep that are reared in this parish are of the Leicester breed and every attention is paid to their improvement The cattle which are fed here are almost all of the short horned kind and these are sometimes fattened to an immense size.


A search through some of the local community records such as the Border Agricultural Society records for its first three years – 1813, 1814 and 1815 shows ‘Archd McDougall Cessford’ and

‘David McDougall Barns’, among other local familial durnames,taking part and judging…

Spring Show 20th April 1814. Award of The judges viz Mr Culley of Fowberry Mr Vardy Fenton Mr Walker Nisbet, Mr McDougall Barns and Mr Roberton Ladyrigg.

The Spring Show of 1815 was held on 12th April Robert Walker Esq of Wooden Preses. The Judges were Mr Culley of Akeld Mr Brodie Nottylees Mr Jobson Newtown Mr Hunt Thornington Mr Trotter Kerchesters Mr James Bruce Kelso and Mr McDougall Cessford.

The Autumn Show of 1815 was held on the 4th of October Mr Walker in the chair. The Judges were Mr Ellis Bush Farm Mr McDougall Caverton Mill and Mr Roberton Ladyrig for Leicesters and Shorthorns Mr Scott of Peel Mr Grieve Branxholm Braes and Mr Geo Pott of Dod for Cheviot Stock.

The next Spring Meeting took place on the 8th day of April 1818 Sir Alexander Don Bart of Newton MP Preses. Mr McDougall Barns Mr Nicholson West Weetwood and Mr Morton Kilham were Judges of the Short horns Mr Hogarth Baillieknow Mr Scott Nisbet Mill and Mr Walker Timpendean of the Horses &c.

BOARS Sweepstakes of half a sovereign each pp for the best Boar of any age to be shown at the Union Agricultural Society’s Show at Coldstream 31st March 1840 bona fide the property of subscribers To close and name as above Present Subscribers Mr James Curry Cornhill Mr Mc Dougall Barns .

SWINE Sweepstakes of half a sovereign each pp for the best Brood Sow to be shown at the Union Agricultural Society’s Show at Coldstream 31st March 1840 bona fide the property of subscribers To close and name as above Present Subscribers Mr Miller Skaithmuir Mr Mc Dougall Barns Mr Curry Cornhill Mr Calder Shotton The several stakes to be paid to the Secretary previous to the Stock entering the Competition Yard r G JERDAN Sec Kelso Feb 28 1840

25 Roan Bull Young Cleveland calved 9th July 1841 by Young Regent by Old Regent Old Regent by Marlish dam by Exmouth Marlish by Sir Harry Liddell dam The Princess by Willis’s Duke of Wellington gd Lavinia by Willis’s Duke gg d by Yarborough gggd by Yarborough dam by Bolingbroke owner Mr McDougall Cessford.

16 Ditto one bull four years old bred by Mr Smith Grindon 17 Mr McDougall Caverton Mill one bull Mina two years old by Scipio dam by Duke Midas Chilton Traveller a grandson of Hubback Scipio the property of Colonel Craddock MP and Mr Charge near Richmond by Brampton out of Mr Collings.

 Horse tax, volume 27 E326/9/27/123

6 Sep 1794       David McDougal Cavertonmiln


Dog Tax

4 Nov 1797 David McDougal, Caverton Miln 2


Farm Horse Tax 1797-1798, Volume 05 E326/10/5/87

20 Farm Horses

4 Nov 1797 David McDougal Cavertounmiln 20 14 6 £1.8.0


A commercial publication in the ‘ROXBURGHSHIRE’ paper lists our McDougal(l), David (tenant, Caverton Mill, 1790), (sasine – Inv 71 Se 07) and Macdougal(l), George (at Caverton Mill (Kelso), 1790), (sasine – Inv 71 Se 07). We presume George is Davids brother.

David (b1777) and Archibald’s father, was also named David McDougall. He, like many of this line of ancestors, was born at Caverton Mill, in 1736. His occupation inscribed on his tombstone at Eckford Churchyard is ‘Wright’ at Caverton Mill. He was resident when son David was born. It is notable that his father died there, when he was just 8 years old.

Letters from the House of Lords 2nd Feb 1767 give details of court session between Duke of Roxburgh and Mr McDougall his Grace’s Lessee of Caverton Mill and the appellant Robert Pringle of Clifton.

David (b1736), George and John’s father was David McDougall, born at Caverton Mill in 1706 and was living at the Scottish epicentre of the Jacobite Risings. David was a patriotic tennant and some say close friend of the Duke of Roxburghe. In 1688, King James II’s approval of religious toleration left English subjects fearing the reestablishment of Catholicism as the official faith. Acting fast, James’ Protestant brother-in-law, William of Orange, backed by military might, invaded England and deposed his relative the following year, forcing James to flee to Catholic France.

In Scotland, King James’ supporters, dubbed the Jacobites, gathered strength and planned an insurrection to restore him to the throne. But their numbers remained small until William stripped Scotland of its own parliament in 1707, forcing it to depend on English leadership.

High taxes and famine that followed incited riots and bolstered support for the Jacobite cause. In 1715, Jacobite forces 4,000-strong clashed with the English but were defeated.

In 1745, they regrouped. With so many English troops off fighting wars abroad, the Jacobites took control of Scotland until reinforcements arrived, the following year crushing the rebellion once and for all. In the end, the hope for a Catholic restoration in England was extinguished and surviving Jacobites faced death for their treachery.

An encounter many years later  with ‘the’ son of Scotland, Robbie Burns,as written in his diary of the journey through the borders, gives intimate detail of the part the farmer and his two sons played in the drama of 1745…

To help step further back in time it is necessary to search the Old Parish Registers for Eckford, Kelso and Roxburghe Parish’s and create an illustration of the 3 centuries of the McDougall “events” that occur in the late 17th/early 18th century.

David McDougall (b 1736) is thus the one baptised in April 1736, and later he is indeed described in the OPRs as Mr. David McDougal Jnr.

David McDougall Snr was baptised in the parish church at Eckford in 1706 (Caverton forming part of this parish). It is this David marries Margaret Lillie at Eckford in July 1726.

David’s (b1706) father Thomas Mackdowgall, was born at Cessford in 1689. The spelling of his surname in the records changes to McDougall. Thomas apparently moved the little distance from Roxburgh Village or perhaps Makerstoun, to Caverton Mill where his first son, David, was born in 1706;

He was married to Margaret Rutherford of Sprouston. There are some variations of surname spellings of his children including Makdowgall,Mcdougall, McDougal. Thomas and Mergeret must have married around the birth of their first child David who is mentioned as being born at Caverton Miln when Thomas was only 17 yrs old.

Thomas Mackdowgall/McDougall was born in 1689 and his brother William in 1691. Possibly this William might have been the father of the “other” John McDougall, he who married Janet Lergetwood at Eckford in 1754 (p.24), and who was a wright at Caverton Mill. On this basis the “other” John McDougall would be a cousin of the David McDougall born 1706.

Thomas’s surname changes from Mackdowgall to McDougall in the records. He was baptized in Roxburgh on 23rd June 1684. He married Margaret Rutherford and they had 6 children – David 1706, Mary 1707, Isabella 1708, Henry 1711, James 1714, and Euphemia.


Cessford Land Tax Rolls under The Dukedom of Roxburgh

1789 Kelso Librabry Proprieters

Land tax rolls for Roxburghshire, volume 01 E106/29/1/17

In 1687 David Makdougall had a ‘hutt’ and rated thus L168 pounds

In 1666 Henry Hall of Haughead and a number of Covenanters were imprisoned in Cessford castle. It is said that Cessford Castle ceased to be the dwelling place of the Kers after 1650.

At the death of Earl Robert in 1650 Sir William Drummond succeeded under the entail and married Lady Jean the eldest daughter of Harry Lord Ker.

His grandson Robert Ker died unmarried, his younger brother John, succeeded to the earldom and for his services in bringing about the union between Scotland and England was created Duke of Roxburghe in 1707.

He was privy seal in Scotland in 1714 and secretary of state in 1716 but lost office in 1725 in consequence of opposing Sir Robert Walpole He died at Fleurs in 1741 Robert his son and successor died in 1755 and was succeeded by John his son and heir who was a great book collector He rose high in the favour of George III. He died unmarried in March 1804.


Thomas’s father was James Mackdowgall, born in 1659 and his baptism record stating Roxburghe. He married Mergeret Rutherford.

James married Mergeret Rutherford daughter of George Rutherford and Jenet Fox. She was baptized on Roxburgh on 18th March 1660. They had 5 children, David 1684, Alexander 1687, Thomas 1689, William 1691 and Mergarett 1693.

His parents were Samuell Mackdowgall born 1631 Kelso, Roxburghe and Mergeret Bell.

Samuell’s father Robert Mackdougall was born in 1602, Roxborough to James Mackdowgall and Marion Liermont. He had two brothers.


James Mackdowgall was born in 1582, ‘of Kelso’ and although his father died when he was just 3 (in 1585), he lived to the great age of 88 yrs. He had 3 brothers – George Mackdougal of Makerstoun and Nicholas Mackdougall of Kelso and Thomas, the only remaining at the time of his father’s death.

His father James Macdougall (Macdowell) was born about 1522 and died around/before 1585.

James (b 1522), passed his estate to his brother Thomas, ‘now of Makerstoun’ 10th Laird. He was married to Margaret Hume.

James Macdowell Snr, born 1522, of Makerstoun, died about 1575 and is buried in the quire of Makerstoun Chapel. They had two sons – James and Thomas.


Ancient Caverton

The name of this ancient territory is derived from the Cambro British cae ver signifying little fields or enclosures and the Saxon ton added describes the town at the fields or enclosures This place is thought to be the Keveronum of the Inquisitio of Earl David in 1116 and belonging at that early period to the church of Glasgow.

The name of this place is a proof that farms existed during the British period. The territory is situated on the right bank of the Cayle opposite to Cessford and Marlefield lying between the river and the baronies of Linton Lempitlaw Sprouston Heaton and Eckford It belonged to the family of Sidi.

In 1675 Robert Kerr,  Earl of Roxburghe was served heir to his father William Kerr, Earl of Roxburghe Lord Ker of Cessford and Caverton amongst others in a husbandland in Caverton called Huntlilands (of the Rutherford Family).

The territory of Caverton with the exception of the lands of Mainhouse belong to the dukedom of Roxburghe. The town of Caverton was of importance in early times but now consists of only a few farm cottages On the east side of the town stood a little chapel which served the inhabitants of that territory.

Caverton Hill Head cottages.

The territory of Caverton suffered severely during the wars between England and Scotland owing to its position between the Tweed and Cayle the ground over which the invading army chiefly passed The greater portion of the land must have been a moor especially on the east Caverton Edge on which Kelso races were formerly run is now planted and the remainder is let into farms capable of producing crops of every kind and is highly cultivated.

About the middle of the 15th century Walter Ker designed as of Caverton, but of Cessford, was in possession of lands in Caverton. In 1478 he was summoned before the Lords Auditors at the instance of Dougal McDougall of Makerstoune. About the same time Rutherfurd of Hundole had a third part of the lands of Caverton.


     Alexander Hume of Kennetsidehead, portioner of Hume, was one of the martyrs of the Covenant, and his execution was perhaps the most cruel and unprovoked of the judicial murders, which led the way to the Revolution of 1688.

Taken prisoner in 1682, by a brother of the earl of Home, he was conveyed, sorely wounded, to the castle of Edinburgh, and at first tried only on the charge of having held converse with some of the party who took the castle of Hawick in 1679. The proof, however, being defective, the diet was deserted. On November 15, he was again indicted, and accused of levying war against the king in the counties of Berwick, Roxburgh, and Selkirk. The diet was again deserted.

On December 20, however, he was once more indicted for having gone to the house of Sir Henry MacDougall of Mackerstoun, besieged it, and demanded horses and arms, of having entered Kelso, &c., in search of horses and armour, of resisting the king’s forces under the master of Ross, &c. The whole of these formidable charges were founded on the simple fact that Mr. Hume, riding with sword and holster pistols, the usual arms worn by all gentlemen at that period, after attending a sermon had, on his way home, called, with his servant, at Mackerstoun House, and offered to buy a bay horse. This his counsel, Sir Patrick Hume, offered to prove, but the court repelled the defence. He was found guilty, on these unproved charges, and condemned to be hanged at the market cross of Edinburgh on 29th December, between 2 and 4 afternoon.

He petitioned for time that his case might be laid before the king, but this was refused, and the day of execution hastened. Interest, however, had previously been made at court in his favour, and a remission reached Edinburgh in time, but was kept up by the chancellor, the earl of Perth. On the day of his execution his wife, Isobel Hume, went to Lady Perth, and earnestly besought her to interpose for her husband’s life, pleading his five small children, but she was inhumanly repulsed. His last speech on the scaffold will be found in Wodrow (Hist. Of Sufferings of Church of Scotland, vol., ii., pp. 268-270). His estate was forfeited, but restored at the Revolution, and it is remarkable, that his family was singularly prosperous. His lineal descendants still possess extensive property in Berwickshire – his heir male and direct descendant is Patrick Home of Gunsgreen and Windshiel, and in the same degree in the female line are Mrs. Milne Home of Wedderburn, and Mr. Robertson Glasgow, of Montgrennan, Ayrshire.



Makerstoun House before reconstruction and new facade 1978

In 1678 Henry McDougal and Robert Pringle of Stitchel were commissioners to Parliament for the county of Roxburgh.

The territory of Caverton with the exception of the lands of Mainhouse belong to the dukedom of Roxburghe. The town of Caverton was of importance in early times but now consists of only a few farm cottages.

On the east side of the town stood a little chapel which served the inhabitants of that territory but every vestige of it had disappeared before the end of last century. As said before this chapel is believed to have existed at a very early period and to be the Keveronum in the inquisition made by Earl David in 1116 as to the property of the church of Glasgow in Teviotdale. Very few notices are to be met with of this chapel In the end of the 15th century.

Walter Ker of Cessford burdened the lands of Caverton with a yearly payment ten pounds to the officiating chaplain.

He also granted to the chapel two cottages which lay near to the orchard two acres of land with crums meadow and four soums in Caverton with a manse and yard In 1500 James IV confirmed this grant.

The small graveyard of the chapel was used by several families of the parish and by others because their forefathers were interred there up to 1793. Since that time it has scarcely been used for burial In a field north of the churchyard a fountain was called the Holy Well and occasionally the Priest’s Well from its connection with the chapel but the name is beginning to be lost among the now ever changing inhabitants of the country hamlets.


In 1669 Charles II granted a charter of donation and concession to and in favour of Henry Makdougal of M Cariston in liferent and of Thomas Macdougal his only son procreate of the marriage between him and Barbara M Dougal and his heirs in fee all and haill the lands and barony of M Caristoune with the tower fortalice manor place comprehending the lands of Luntonlaw and the lands of Westermuir deane the lands of Nethermains commonly called the Townfootmains the ten mark lands of M Cariston and the lands of Manorhill and Charterhouse.

By the same charter his Majesty annexed and erected said lands into a barony to be called the barony of M Caristoune ordering the said tower and fortalice to be the principal messuage of the lands and barony and at which sasine was to be taken for all the lands and barony whether lying contiguous or not.

The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707, K.M. Brown et al eds (St Andrews, 2007-2018), date accessed: 20 April 2018


Charles II: Translation  > 1670, 28 July, Edinburgh, Parliament  > Parliamentary Register > At Edinburgh 22 August 1670  > Charters: ratifications



Ratification in favour of Henry MacDougall of Makerstoun

Our sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, ratifies and approves the charter of donation and concession made and granted by his majesty, under his highness’s great seal, of the date at his majesty’s court at Whitehall, in his highness’s realm of England, 25 June, the year of God 1669 years last, with advice and consent of his majesty’s lords commissioners, to and in favour of his majesty’s beloved Henry MacDougall of Makerstoun, in life rent during all the days of his lifetime, and of Thomas MacDougall, his only son, lawfully procreated between him and Barbara MacDougall, his spouse, and of the said Thomas, his nearest and lawful male heirs, of all and whole the lands and barony of Makerstoun, with the tower, fortalice, manor place, houses, biggings, yards, orchards, parks, dovecots, mills, mill-lands, astricted multures and sequels of the same, meadows, muirs, moss, fishings, tofts, crofts, parts, pendicles, annexes, connexes, dependancies, tenants, tenantries, service of free tenants, and their whole pertinents whatsoever, of the lands, barony and others above-written, namely, of all and whole the lands of Luntonlaw, with houses, biggings, yards,2 and all their pertinents; as also, of all and whole the lands of nether mains of Makerstoun, commonly called the Townfoot mains, with houses, biggings, yards and pertinents whatsoever of the same; and likewise, of all and whole the lands commonly called the ten merk land of Makerstoun, and the lands of charter house and Manorhill, with houses, biggings, yards, tenants, tenantries, service of free tenants, parts, pendicles and pertinents whatsoever of the same (which are proper parts and pendicles foresaid of the said lands and barony of Makerstoun and are comprehended therein), all lying within the sheriffdom of Roxburgh.

Moreover, his majesty has given, granted and conveyed and, for his majesty and his highness’s successors above-written, perpetually confirmed to the said Henry MacDougall, in life rent during all the days of his lifetime foresaid, and to the said Thomas MacDougall, and his male heirs, the above lands to be called now (as of before) and in all time coming, the barony of Makerstoun, ordaining the said tower, fortalice and manor place of Makerstoun to be the principal messuage of the same lands and barony at the said manor place of Makerstoun  …the whole time of the ward and non-entry thereof and either of them (when the same shall happen) of the sum of £200 usual money of this realm of Scotland, at two terms in the year Whitsunday [May/June] and Martinmas [11 November] in winter by equal portions, together with the like sum of £200 money foresaid for the relief thereof, and for the marriage of the heirs foresaid of the said Thomas MacDougall, the foresaid ward and non-entry, and either of them, with the whole mails, ferms, kanes, customs, casualties, profits and duties of the lands, barony and others above-written.

NAS. PA2/29, f.153v-155.


In 1665 Henry Macdougal and John Scott of Langshaw were commissioners for the shire of Roxburgh

In 1643 Robert, Earl of Roxburgh seems to have been possessed of the lands and barony of MCaristoune.

In 1625 the Laird of Malkerstoun was a commissioner to the Parliament for the county of Roxburghe.

In 1622 Sir William Macdougal and a number of others were fined 100 merks for being absent from the trial of Turnbull of Belsches and others for perjury.

In 1604 James Macdougal succeeded his father Thomas Macdougal in the lands and barony of Makerstoun In 1608 he acquired the lands and town of Danieltown near Melrose.

In 1598 the Laird of Mackerstoune published an advertisement that he would undertake to make land more valuable by sowing salt on it

In 1596 Thomas Macdougall of Mackarstoune was one of the assize on the trial of Robert Hamilton of Inchmauchane Sir James Edmestoune of Duntraith and James Lockart of Ley accused of treason.

In 1590 Thomas Makdougal rebuilt the house which had been cast down by Hertford.

James Mackdowgall was born around 1582 in Kelso, Roxborough, Scotland. He married Marion Liermont. They had a son called Robert born in 1602 and was baptized in Kelso, Roxborough on 7th March 1602. Robert married Issobell Cleghorne, daughter of James Cleghorne. She was born on 6th June 1613 in Invernesk with Musselburgh, Midlothian.

In 1565 He appears one of the prolocutors for the murder of the Earl Bothwell’s servant and he defended James Bog accused of the slaughter of George Hamilton of Pardovane.

In 1564 the Laird of MCarstoun was one of the prolocutors for Elliot of Horsleyhill and others for the slaughter of the Laird of Hassendean.

Alexander McDougall of Stodrig was also one of the defenders of the pannels. The Laird of Makerstoune was one of the assize on the trial of William Sinclair of Herdmanstone.

Before 1568 Captain Robert Macdougall was in possession of part of the estates of Makerstoune as at that time Barbara Macdougal his niece and spouse to Harry Macdougal was served heir to him in the lands of Lyntonlaw the lands of Wester Meredene part of the barony of Makerstoune and the lands of Townfootmains also within said barony.

In 1545 the army of Hertford visited the barony and destroyed the town of Makerston Manerhill and Charterhouse Luntin law and Stotherike tower.

In 1536 Thomas McDowell Laird of Macarestoune found caution of 1000 merks to underlye the law at the next Justiciaire at Jedburgh for oppression and hamesucken done to Alexander Dunbar dean of Murray and his servants.

Sinclair of Moreham, Mr Patrick Aitkinson and Mr William Scott as arbiters and George Douglas of Bonjedworth oversman and failing him the Laird of Rutherfurd or Walter Ker of Cessford in regard to the withholding of 100 merks claimed by the said Laird of M Carstoun from Ormiston for the gersome of Mer dane and also as to the said Laird of M Carstoun withholding a tack of the West Mains of M Carstoun from Ormiston parties to meet in the chapel of Fairningtoune on the sixth day of November next.

Thomas Macdougall born about 1498, in Makerstoun.

On the 17th October 1493 Dougal McDowell pursued Alexander Craik John Craik Martine Gibsine George Bowo John Richardson and Thomas Tailfor Thomas Bowo Thomas Donaldson Adam Camis James Bowo Richard Bowo John Tod and Thomas Aitchison chaplain for the wrongous occupation of the lands of Rhynynlaws and the Spittal Green belonging to him as part of the lands of M Carstoun.

The Lords adjourned the cause to the next Justiciare at Jedburgh. In the same year a reference was entered into between the said Dougal M Dowell and Nichol Ormiston to John Edmonstone son and apparent heir of the laird of Edmonstone William.

In 1483 the Lords Auditors heard Dougal McDowell and Walter Kerr of Cessford in the cause pursued by Cessford v M Dowell for L 100 being the penalty contained in an agreement between them for fulfilling of a contract of marriage between Andrew McDowell the son of MCarstoun and Margaret Kerr a daughter of Cessford and continued the cause in consequence of Dougal alleging that he was possessed of a discharge of the same.

In 1480 the Lords of Council allowed Dougal a proof that he had paid the abbot of Kelso 12 chalders 4 bolls of meal and bear 4 bolls of wheat for the land of MCarstoun at the terms of St Andrews and Candlemass

In 1478 Dougal McDowall of MCarstoun was ordained by the Lords of Council to pay to Robert the abbot of Kelso twelve chalders and a half of victual for the teinds of MCarstoune for the year bypast in terms of the obligation by him to the abbot. In that same year he was summoned before the Lords Auditors at the instance of Dougal McDougall of Makerstoune and by Walter Kerr of Caverton. About the same time Rutherfurd of Hundole had a third part of the lands of Caverton.


In 1398 Archibald McDowell of MCarstoune appeared at Melrose and granted an obligation for the amount of his relief granted by the Crown to the new worke of the kirke of Melrose.

About 1390 Sir Archibald McDowell got a grant from King Robert III of the lands of MCarstoune, Yhethame and Elystoun. He was married to Euphemia Gifford



In 1574 James VI with consent of Regent Morton granted the lands and barony of Auld Roxburghe with their pertinents to Robert Ker the son and apparent heir of William Ker younger of Cessford with remainder in succession to his heirs to the heirs male of William Ker to the heirs of Sir Walter Ker of Cessford to Mark Ker the commendator of New battle brother of Sir Walter Ker and his heirs to Andrew Ker of Faldonside and his heirs to Thomas Ker of Mersington and his heirs to George Ker of Linton and his heirs to Ker of Gateshaw and his heirs to the heirs male whomsoever of the said William Ker younger of Cessford bearing the name of Ker and the Cessford arms reserving the freehold and liferent to Sir Walter Ker and the terce to Isabel his wife and after their death the same to William Ker and his wife Janet Douglas On the death of Sir Walter Ker William his son succeeded For many years he was warden of the middle marches His son Robert afterwards the first Earl of Roxburghe was one of the most noted spirits on the Border He acted as depute warden of the middle marches during the life of his father.

One of the Rutherfurds accompanied Cessford and was wounded in the cheek by Bothwell’s attendant Of Ker Sir Robert Carey who was deputy warden of the east marches.

In 1552 Sir Walter Scott was slain by Ker of Cessford in the streets of Edinburgh With the view of stanching this feud a contract was entered into in 1564 between Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm with the consent of his curators and Sir Walter Ker of Cessford

In that curious document Sir Walter Ker takes burden upon him for his children and for his brother Mark of Newbattle and his children Hume of Cowden knowes and his children Andrew Ker of Faldonside side and his children and brother Ker of Messing ton his father’s brother and their children Ker Linton and his children and grand children brother’s bairns Richard Ker of Gateshaw children and brother Andrew William and Ker brothers of Fernieherst Ker of Kippeshaw and his son Robert Ker of Bothtown Robert Ker burgess of Edinburgh and all their children kyn friends men tenants and servants And Walter Scott of Branxholm and Buccleuch consent of his curators took burden upon him his haill surname and the relict and bairns of deceased Sir Walter Scott his grandfather and at the same time the king granted a remission under seal to Sir Walter Ker for his share in the slaughter of the Knight of Branxholm.

In 1545 Cessforthe, Cessforthe burn and Cessfort maynes are in the list of places destroyed by the army of the Earl of Hertford

In 1535 Buccleuch was imprisoned for levying war against the Kers but in 1542 his estates were restored by Parliament.

In 1526 while James V was returning from Jedburgh accompanied by Angus with a body of his kindred they were attacked by Buccleuch with 1000 men but the result was in favour of Angus Cessford pursuing too eagerly was slain by a domestic of Buccleuch which produced a deadly feud between the families of Ker and Scott which raged for many years upon the Borders.

To reconcile this quarrel an agreement was entered into at Ancrum in March 1529 between the clans of Scot and Ker whereby each clan was to forgive the other but it was stipulated that Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm should go to the four head pilgrimages of Scotland and say a mass for the souls of the deceased Andrew of Cessford and those who were slain in his company and cause a chaplain to say a mass daily wherever Sir Walter Ker and his friends …might fix upon that the son and heir of Branxholm was to marry one of the sisters of Ker of Cessford and the marriage portion to be paid by Sir Walter Scott at the sight of friends any difference that might arise in future between the clans was to be settled by six arbiters But this agreement which both parties bound and obliged ilk ane to others be the faith and troth of their bodies but fraud or guile under the pain of perjury man swearing defalcation and breaking of the bond of deadly seems to have been of brief endurance

In 1509 the demesne lands of Auld Roxburgh with mill mount and Castlestead and the town and lands of Auld Roxburgh were resigned by Andrew Ker the son of Walter Ker into the hands of James IV who granted them anew to him and his wife Agnes Crichton for the usual services Andrew Ker was one of the border barons who bound themselves to assist the Earl of Angus against the Lidde dale men and others dwelling within the bounds of Teviotdale and Ettrick forest in putting them out of the same.

In 1488 James IV granted to Walter Ker the place and messuage of Roxburgh with pertinents castle and the patronage of the Maisondieu for payment of a red rose at the castle at the Feast of John the Baptist. In 1500 the grant was confirmed.

in 1481 to whom he again granted them with the remainder in succession to his brothers Thomas William and Ralphe and the true and lawful heirs whomsoever of the said Andrew Ker.

In 1478 Walter Ker appears as proprietor of Caverton. On the king attaining his majority the same lands were again resigned to him by the same Walter Ker

In 1474 during the minority of James III Andrew Ker of Cessford resigned to him the baronies of Auld Roxburgh and Cessford on which a charter was granted by Lord James Hamilton of the same to Walter Ker his son and heir under reservation of the terce for life of Margaret Tweedy his wife

In 1451 James II granted Andrew Ker of Altonburn all and each his lands of the barony of Auldroxburgh with pertinents for payment of one silver penny at Whitsunday in name of blench farme if demanded It was this Andrew who accompanied Douglas to Rome in 1451.



Sir Dungal MacDowel, of Makerston

In an old inventory at Mackerston there is mention of “ane charter be Robert, King of Scotland, to Dougal Macdougall, sone of ye said Fergus of the barronie of Mackerston, dated 24 June, et regni sui 12.” It is not practicable to fix the precise date of this charter, owing to the omission by what Robert the grant was made; it was probably, however, by the second of the name, in which event the time would be in 1384. Sir Dungal left a son and heir, Sir Archibald Macdowell, of Mackerston.

Sir John Gifford of Yester, by marriage with the daughter of Sir Thomas Morham of Morham, obtained the lands of that name. With his son, Hugh Gifford of Yester, who was dead before 11th March 1409, the male line failed. The latter had, however four daughters, his coheiresses;

4th co heiress Euphemia Gifford, m. Dougal Macdougall of Makerstoun.

Dungall Macdowall, of Mackerston, Yester, &c., to whom and his heirs, Robert Duke of Albany confirms, on the 11th March, 1409, the baronies of Yester, Duncaulan, Morhame, Teline, and Polganie, in the shires of Edinburgh, Forfar, and Perth, upon the resignation of “Euphemia Giffart filie quondam Hugonis Giffart militis unius haeridis ejusdem atris dicti Dougalli,” and under reservation of her life rent. Dungall was s. by his son, Duncan MacDowall”

Burke, John, and George Ormerod. A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank: but uninvested with heritable honors. (London: Published for Henry Colburn, by R. Bentley, 1834-1838), Vol. III, Page 432.


WeRelate: Dungall MacDougall, of Makerstoun, of Yester

MacVeigh, James. The Scottish Nation: The Historical and Genealogical Account of All Scottish Families and Surnames. (Dumfries, Scotland: MacVeigh, James, 1889), Vol. 2, DAL-MAC. Page 298.


Makerstoun House:

The lands of Makerstoun were granted to the Corbets in the mid-twelfth century, and remained in their hands until 1374, when they passed to the McDowells, later known as the MakDougalls.

The name of the parish of Makerstoun has been variously written in ancient documents as Muckerstoun, Mackarvastun, Malkariston, Malcarstoun and Macarstoun.  The name probably derived from some original settler called Malcar or Mac-car, whose tun, or dwelling, was fixed on the site.

It is to the MakDougalls that the earliest surviving remains at Makerstoun can probably be attributed, though much of this peele tower was destroyed by fire during Hertford’s incursion into Scotland in 1545. The tower was rebuilt by Thomas Makdowell in 1590, on the foundations of its predecessor, and part of this building still survives in the core of the modern mansion. Work carried out on Makerstoun House in the 1970s revealed the re-use of some fragments of carved stone which had originated in the earlier tower-house.

Makerstoun House, which is situated at the S extremity of the parish on the high left bank of the Tweed, has been rebuilt and wholly modernised with the exception of a single vaulted cellar at its SE corner. But even this compartment, which dates from the 16th century, has been altered by the shutting off of a passage along one side. The N front of the house is adorned with a modern battlement supported on double-membered moulded corbels of 16th-century type, evidently re-used.

A cubical sundial with three dial-faces, the central one showing two sets of initials, H M and B M, for Henry Makdougall of Makerstoun and Barbara, his wife and cousin, with the date 1684, projects from the SW. angle of the servants’ quarters.


In 1374 Scottish King Robert II confirmed Fergus MacDowall of Garthland and Galloway as baron of Makerstoun, which he had inherited from the Corbet family via his mother Margaret Fraser. This was the first baron of the MacDowall, also known as MacDougall, family (various spellings used for both). (Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1306-1424, 1956).

In a charter of confirmation of 1381-3 (Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1306-1424) to his son Ughtred, the town or vill of Malcarston is mentioned.

About 1390, Archibald McDowell got a grant from Robert III of the lands of “M’Carstoune”, Yetholm, and Elistone (Clifton).[9] He died before 14 November 1411.

The vill of Malcarston figures again in a charter of 1430-I, (Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1424-1513, 1984), together with the cemetery and Church of St Peter of Makerstoun which stood in South Street.

The burial ground of the Macdougall family is situated close to Makerstoun House.[4] House.

In 1548-9 (Hamilton Papers J Bain ed. 1892). Makerstoun was one of the houses appointed to watch the fords of Tweed. The first recorded minister of the church was Martin Rutherford in 1567. The estate remained with the Makdougall family until 1890.


Fraser and Corbet of Makerstoun, Roxborough

The earliest proprietor of the Barony of Makerstoun named in the records is Walter Corbet, who acquired the barony about the middle of the 12th century.

His father was Robert Corbet, who came from Shropshire in the beginning of the 12th century, and settled in Teviotdale under Earl David (later King David I of Scotland).

In and around 1125 Walter Corbet, laird of Makerstoun, built the village of Makerstoun and the church.  It is recorded that shortly thereafter he …” granted to the monks of Kelso, the church at Malcaruastun, with a carucate of land.”  The church was known as ‘Church of St Peter of Makerstoun’.

A small fortified keep known as a pele tower was built at Makerstoun in 1128. The tower was extended in 1300.[10]

Sometime in the 13th century the canons had granted the Corbets, then the proprietors, leave to have a chapel on their manor, and it is presumably this chapel which stood NW. of Makerstoun House (RCAHMS 1956, No.551), the site at the Home Farm (RCAHMS 1956, No.554) being that of the parish church.

Although public worship would be conducted in this church, it is interesting to note that at some point in the 13th century the monks granted to Corbets’ grandchild the right to celebrate divine worship in their own chapel of the manor of Malcarveston .

Before 1220 it passed into the possession of William, second son of Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, by his marriage with the heiress, Christiana Corbet. Christiana Corbet died in 1241, and her husband, Williaiu, in 1253.

They left two sons, Patrick, who got the estate of Foghou, and Nicolas, who succeeded to that of Makarstoun, both of whom assumed their mother’s surname of Corbet.

In 1296 a Gilbert Fraser and Margaret, his wife, are found holding lands in the sheriffdom of Roxburgh and in 1306 Ivo de Aldborough demanded from Edward I. the lands of Margaret, formerly wife of Gilbert Fraser, together with her maritagium, or the right of bestowing her hand in marriage.”

In the reign of Robert I., Margaret Corbet, widow of Dominus Gilbert Fraser, made a ” querela,” or complaint, to the King of the slaughter of her husband, but, after this, she married again, for in 1334 an order was issued by Edward of England for the restoration of their lands in Annandale and the sheriffdom of Roxburgh to Patrick de Shartres —Charters—and Margaret Corbet, Lady of Makarstoun, according to the agreement between Edward de Bohun, David, Earl of Athole, and the said Patrick, concerning the surrender of the Castle of Lochmaben. In the reign of David II.

Margaret Corbet, Lady M’Crastoun (Makarstoun), is also mentioned in Robertson’s Index. These record evidence that Makarstoun remained in the Corbet name until about the middle of the fourteenth century ; and that Gilbert Fraser’s interest in it arose from his having married the heiress, Margaret Corbet, who was probably the grandchild or great-grandchild of Nicolas Corbet.

Margaret Fraser is mentioned as Lady of Makarstoun in 1369, and about the year 1374 Margaret Fraser resigned the lands of Makarstoun, Yetholm, and Cristoun to her son, Fergus Macdougal, or Macdowall.

It is therefore evident that she must have been the daughter, or grand-daughter, of Margaret Corbet, Lady of Makarstoun, and her first husband, Gilbert Fraser. If she were her daughter, she could not have been born later than 1307, for Gilbert Fraser was dead in 1306; and, in that case, she must have been an aged woman when she resigned Makarstoun and her other lands to her son Fergus. No record has been found of the parentage of this Gilbert Fraser. He was probably a younger son, but of which branch it is impossible to form an idea. The above facts, however, disprove the statement copied by Mr. Anderson from Cardonell’s Antiquities ; and also refute the suggestion of Crawfurd, that Sir Richard Fraser might have been a member of the Makarstoun family.

1 Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. p. 274. 4 Robertson’s Index, p. 115, Nos. 32, 33. 2 Robertson’s Index, p. 60, No. 11. 5 Remarks on Ragman Piolls, p. 12. 3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, G Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 175, Appendix ad acta David II. vol. i. p. 88, documents subjoined to Preface. VOL II. Q


Kerr of Old Roxborough and Cessford

Its significance lay in its position in the centre of some of Lowland Scotland’s most agriculturally fertile areas, and its position upon the River Tweed, which allowed river transport of goods via the main seaport of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Its position also acted as a barrier to English invasion.

The town stood on a defensible peninsula between the rivers Tweed and Teviot, with Roxburgh Castle guarding the narrow neck of the peninsula. Nothing remains of the town except some ruined segments of castle ramparts. Its site lies to the south of modern Kelso and Floors Castle, which lie on the other side of the Tweed. The Duke of Roxburghe owns the site.

Andrew Kerr, of Cessford and Auldtounburn, on Scottish border with England, in 1451 he was granted the barony of Old Roxburgh, as at 1457 he held post of Warden of the Marches, died post-1481.

English and Scots forces repeatedly captured and recaptured the town during the Scottish Wars of Independence, notably in 1314, in the run-up to Bannockburn. Its final recapture in 1460 saw the town and castle destroyed.

After this time the town never regained its importance because the final English capture of Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1482 left Roxburgh with little reason to exist, henceforth lacking a port.

The Kerr’s are traditionally said to be of Anglo-Norman descent settling in the Scottish Borders in the 14th century.  It has also been said that the line of this family goes back to the old testament times the name in Hebrew being KIR. One of the first mentions in Scottish history however, appears to be John Ker hunter of Swynhope. The two principal rival branches of the Kerr’s descended from two brothers, Ralph and John who were living near Jedburgh in the 14th century; the Kers of Ferniehirst were descended from the eldest and the Kerr’s of Cessford from John. Although the two families were constantly in bitter conflict, the descendants of both these houses were appointed Wardens of the Middle Marches; Sir Andrew of Ferniehirst in 1502 and Sir Andrew of Cessford after the Battle of Flodden.  

The center of the family’s power lay in lower Teviotdale but a number of Kerr’s acquired land in Aberdeen, Stirling, Lanark, Dumfries, Peebles and even Haddington counties.

William Kerr of Cessford   married Janet Douglas. Their daughter Lady Mary Kerr married Sir William Scott. Their daughter Janet Scott married Thomas MacDougall 8th Laird of Makerstoun (below).


During the 16th century, the Kerr’s continued to oppose one another, and on the death of James IV, when his widow Margaret Tudor 

remarried Archibald Douglas Earl of Angus, the Kerr’s of Cessford supported the English Queen-mother ( mother of Margaret Douglas, mother of Henry Stuart, husband of Mary Queen of Scots) and the Kerr’s of Ferniehurst the young King, James V (Margaret’s son with James IV).


Cessford was forced to flee to England when Angus was exiled only to return on the death of James V in 1542 when Sir John Kerr of Ferniehirst lost his castle.

The castle was recaptured in 1549 and the English who had repeatedly raped the Kerr women, were captured, horribly tortured and killed. This event was documented in the poem “Reprisal” by Walter Laidlaw.

The rivalry continued when Sir Thomas of Ferniehirst fought for

Mary Queen of Scots 

at Langside and Sir Walter Cessford on the side of James VI, Mary’s son.

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The feud was resolved on the political level by the Union of the Crown and by the marriage of Anne Kerr of Cessford to William Kerr of Ferniehirst.  

1573 listing of the Kerrs shows them the Lairds of Cessforth, Fernyherst (Ferniehirst), Grenehead (also known as Greneheid), Greyden (Graden), Gaitschaw, Fadounsyde, Cavers, Linton, and Ancrum.

The history of this family is replete with revenge, bloodshed, and family honor. The expression “Kerr-handed” and “cory-fisted” pertain to the heritage of left handedness within the Kerr family. The Kerr’s were fierce enemies of the English and were known by many names.





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