Thomas Kinnaird and Margaret Armour, married in l874, had five children, John, the eldest, Thomas, my father, Jane, Allan, and Peter. My grandmother died after 11 years of marriage, at the age of 35. My grandfather remarried, his second wife, the widow of a solicitor, had six children from her first marriage. This produced 13 at table, an unlucky number, or at least not a manageable household. If women in Victorian times were usually of little account in public life, this was certainly not the case in the domestic situation. It was the father's children who had to be "farmed out" to good-hearted strangers. Eventually they found employment in a variety of spheres - John with Glasgow shipbrokers, Allan with Glasgow stockbrokers, Jane as a supervisor in the London offices of the GPO.
At the time of his marriage to my mother, Bessie Clarke, my father was also working in London - as 'confidential clerk' to "old Mr. Denny" in the timber merchants, Denny Mott and Dickson. (I know of the term 'confidential clerk' only as the title of a play by T. S. Elliot - I expect the modern term for the same function would be 'administrative assistant'). Mr. Denny's name still survives in the business world of today, in the major company in the timber trade "Mallinson Denny". My father died when I was a year old, and my Uncle Peter died shortly after. My uncles John and Allan both had long lives, but I regret that I was very uncurious about my forebears when I had the opportunity of asking about them. I knew little more than that my great-grandfather had lived in Findhorn, a village on the shores of the Moray Firth. My recent researches have discovered that the family (and their associates) were mainly fishermen, though in my great-grandfather's death certificate in 1869 he is described as 'ship-owner'. The one glimpse which I have had of his activities in Findhorn was gained. in a brief visit to the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, North London, when, glancing through issues of the Elgin & Nairn Gazette of January 1844, my eye lit on a report of a case in the Sheriff Court, in which John Kinnaird, fisherman in Findhorn, and one of his colleagues were charged with having taken a boat to the sandy shore west of Findhorn to collect bents or reeds for thatching. The sheriff was very concerned that members of "that class" (as he put it) should be before him for such an offence and took exception to the way in which they had operated - coming by boat and sailing away before the local officers could catch them. He fined John Kinnaird £1 10s, under a Soil Conservation Act of the old Scottish Parliament, passed in 1695 - an early conservation measure with a special link with the Kinnaird family, as I shall explain later. I have discovered little else about the deeds of my great-grandfather, although, among my Uncle John Kinnaird's effects, I found a portrait in water-colour of a young sailor, ca.1825, with a distinct likeness to my Uncle John himself. His in-laws, the Smiths of Findhorn, performed valiantly during the disaster of the Moray floods in 1829, as described by Sir Thomas Lauder, and were recipients of a medal struck by the London Morayshire Club to recognise their contribution to the rescue services.
My great-grandfather's cousin was a sea-captain. Residing in Inverness, he married Agnes Fotheringham, by whom he bad two sons and a daughter. John, the eider, began his working life in the offices of the Inverness Courier, but, leaving on health grounds, he took a job with the Highland Railway Co.. When the Perth-Inverness line was opened in l863, he was appointed stationmaster at Dunkeld. Such was the importance of he new railway to the district that the Duke of Atholl called on John Kinnaird personally to see that he was comfortably settled in. The Duke was the first of many notables he was to meet. He himself was a great personality who did much to promote the locality as a holiday resort. A booklet published by The Dundee Advertiser on the occasion of his retirement in 1896 'Honour to a Dunkeld Gentleman: Mr. John Kinnaird', has two pages of names of notables whom he met, ranging from the Empress Eugenie and the Kings of Italy and Savoy, to stage stars like Ellen Terry, and prominent politicians and others, like Benjamin Disraeli and Lord and Lady Kinnaird. The Birnam Highland Games, which John Kinnaird was largely instrumental in establishing, would draw 6000 to 10,000 spectators. The Birnam Institute, as a community centre and library was built with funds raised largely through his personal efforts.
I have a Christmas card which he sent to my Uncle John, carrying a photo of himself and his wife, as a elderly couple sitting before the fire in their sitting room at Birnam. An equally life-like picture of him comes from the pen of Miss Beatrix Potter. She kept a private journal in code. It has recently been decoded and published by Frederick Warne and Co. who published her Peter Rabbit and Tailor of Gloucester books. She spent the autumn of 1892 in a house overlooking the station. She wrote:"Mr. Kinnaird is rather a fine looking old gentleman, with a long white beard tinged with yellow, a bluff red face, tall and sparsely, dressed in a station-master's blue frock coat with brass buttons. His defects of person are obvious when he walks, particularly so to us, having a bird's-eye view of the good's yard which he constantly crosses at a rapid shuffle, coming from his house to the station. He turns his toes in, perhaps the least thing bandy, goes fast with a rolling gait and short steps, always with his hands in his pockets and looking towards his toes over an expanse of waistcoat and a somewhat florid watch-chain. His brother Mr. James Kinnaird is a copy, rather commoner, but am amazing double. He sits retired in a zinc shed labeled 'Manures and Feeding Stuff', coals being discretely in the background. It need hardly be said that Mr. James is but a cover or blind for Mr. John. It is contrary to regulations for a Station-master to carry on a business." ...... And in another paragraph: "Mr. Kinnaird was quite convulsed when papa told him how McDougall attributed the rough weather to the passage of the planet Satan over the Equator. It is really indecorous to make a Stationmaster laugh in that profane manner on the platform." One feels that Miss Potter would have liked to put the Station-master into one of her tales.
The fisher folk of Findhorn, as was the custom of fisher folk in other villages on the Moray coast, lived somewhat apart from the rest of the community. Thus their appearance in the general records of the community was limited. Even a very detailed offer for sale of the Burgh of Barony of Findhorn in the 1770's lists the tenants, with their house rents and feu-duties in detail, with the exception of the 'Whitefishers' whose rents were paid through a Tacksman or Skipper. Generally law-abiding, they rarely fell foul of the authorities. One case in the 19th century I have mentioned, involving my great- grandfather. His great-grandmother, Margaret Geddes, wife of a Thomas Kinnaird, together with two of her daughters, Marjory and Jean Kinnaird, were in the Sheriff Court in 1766, charged with 'riot'. I think that in today's terms this would be described as demonstrating - against the action of the Sheriff's Officer in seizing a neighbours house for unpaid rent. The men of the neighbourhood were probably away fishing at the time and so it fell to the women to make the protest. The records of these Sheriff Court cases are held in the office of the District Archivist in Forres, the town nearest to Findhorn.
That Thomas Kinnaird, who married Isobel Wright in 1733 and married his second wife Margaret Geddes, some five years later, is as far back as the records of the parish of Kinloss take me. During part of the 17th century the people of Findhorn attended the kirk of Alves. The Alves Kirk Session records of 1649 to 1700 survive - entitled the 'Book of Discipline', a title which for many kirk sessions appropriately related to their responsibility for dealing with sexual misbehaviour among their parishioners. However, the Alves book has much more of general interest, as, for example, the National Covenant, a pledge of adherence to the Presbyterian discipline of the Church as then established, which occupies the first few pages. Appended are the signatures of leading members of the congregation , including a Kynnaird. Unfortunately, as so often happens in genealogical research, certain attribution is foiled by the fraying of the bottom edge of the page, so that the initial is missing. But there is the hint of the top of a "J". Two more Kinnairds appear in the list of over 100 other persons present - John and Thomas.
It was certainly John Kinnaird in Findhorn who appears a few pages further on, when his wife, Marjorie Ediesone brought a complaint before the Session that John Marnoch, a neighbour, had described her as a "witch's bird" (i.e. a witch's familiar, which was no trifle at a time when public hysteria about witchcraft in Morayshire was reaching a frenzy of burnings and drownings of poor old women. Fortunately the Session pronounced John Marnoch's assertion to be a slander, and ordered that he stand before the congregation and acknowledge his offence against God and the injuries done to his neighbour. The signature was certainly not that of Walter Kinnaird of Culbin, whose authentic signature I have found on a declaration of loyalty to King Charles I, signed by the Marquis of Montrose and his officers before the Battle of Inverlochy, at which Montrose defeated the Covenanter forces under the Earl of Argyll.
There was another Kinnaird who attended the Kirk of Alves (at least a few years before). It was on a Sunday in the month of May, 1638, a party of Dunbars of the household of the Earl of Moray, who had been drinking through the Saturday night, noisily entered the church and threatened the minister and elders with their hagbuts and pistols. One of the invaders apparently found Ursula Tulloch, wife of Patrick Kinnaird, a very attractive lady, for he demanded that she kiss him. When she refused in his rage he struck her down. The case went to the Privy Council, where the accused swore on oath that none of this was true, except that they were carrying pistols and hagbuts. The Council found them blameless, no doubt out of deference to the Earl of Moray. That Patrick Kinnaird was a grandson of another Patrick Kinnaird, a younger member of the Culbin family, who acted as secretary to Bishop Hepburn of Moray, uncle of the Earl of Boswell, who married Mary, Queen of Scots. As reward for his services, Patrick Kinnaird received the lands of Salterhill when the Bishop was distributing Church lands to his friends and illegitimate children. Between these two Patricks was John Kinnaird of Salterhill, an ally of Sir Robert Innes of Innes, who fought at Sir Robert's side when they were attacked by the Dunbars inside Elgin Cathedral.
Ursula Kinnaird was a Tulloch of Tannachie. It was her great-nephew ,who later in the century attended another drinking party which had more serious results. Thomas Tulloch of Tannachie was one of a group of Jacobites who were wining and dining to celebrate their support of the exiled James II. Declaring his enthusiasm to fight for the cause, Tulloch waved his pistol in the air and accidentally shot himself through the head.
The first Kinnaird I have found in Findhorn was Walter, a grandson of Walter Kinnaird of Culbin whose gravestone was rediscovered about 1820 under a heap of rubbish in the graveyard surrounding Dyke Kirk. The stone now lies inside the church for better preservation. The inscription on it reads:
Valter Kinnaird : Elizabeth Innes
The buildars of this bed of stane
Are laird and Ladie of Coubine
Quhilk twa and thairs quhane
Braithe is gane pleis God
Vil sleip this bed vithin
One of the sons of Walter and Elizabeth, William, held the position of Provost of the town of Forres for a time, though, far from being an upholder of law and order, he is reported to have taken an active part, in violent, inter-family clashes in its streets. Another son, Thomas, was an elder in the Kirk of Elgin. The Minutes of the Elgin Kirk Session of 28th May, 1623, record that on that day five young women of Elgin were brought before the Session - Elspet Walker, Helen Wilsone, Janet Reid, Elspet Gall, and Janet Brander. "Ilk ane of them was ordenit to pay 6s 8d for rinning and taking on reasses up and doun the publict streitis efter supper, trubling the toun and perturbing the nichtbouris and breidding ane evill exemple to utheris." I regret to say that William Layng, one of the elders, asserted that he had seen Thomas Kinnaird, although an elder, encouraging his apprentice to race with the lassies. He demanded that Thomas be censured also. That was not the worst of the misdeeds of the Kinnairds in Elgin, for about the same date, Margaret Kinnaird, probably Thomas' sister, was fined 6s for sleiping during the sermon and warn that she would have to pay double gif she commit the lyk again in the kirk.
The Kinnairds acquired the lands of Culbin through the marriage of Thomas Kinnaird of that ilk (i.e. of Kinnaird in Perthshire) to Gyles Murray - in the Latin texts Egidia de Moravia - heiress of the ancient family of Moray. That marriage, early in the 15th century, produced a son, Alan, who contracted a marriage with Margaret, Graham, daughter of the Lord of Graham, whose wife, lady Mary Stewart, was a sister of King James I. On a Friday in February, 1437, so the documents say, Thomas and Egidia visited the King in his chambers within the Black Friars of Perth to arrange the transfer to Alan of the lands of Culbin, together with other lands in Aberdeenshire, Fife and Ross-shire on the occasion of his marriage. It was during the following week in the same rooms that the King was assassinated by another Graham, Sir Robert Graham, and his accomplices. You may know the story of how, when the bar of the door became dislodged, Catherine Douglas substituted her arm for the bar, to delay the assassins, while the King attempted to escape through the cellars only to find that the exit had been bricked up to prevent tennis balls straying through it. Thomas Kinnaird too died within the year, and it seems that Egidia then regretted her generosity to their son, for she asserted that her late husband had compelled her to give Alan the lands, using violence and threats. The affair was settled by Egidia retaining Culbin in liferent.
Thomas himself was related to King James for his grandmother, Elizabeth Drummond, the wife of Richard Kinnaird, was niece of Annabella Drummond, Queen of King Robert III. Queen Annabella was the last Scottish born Queen Consort of the kings of Scotland and Britain, until Queen Elizabeth, Queen of George VI, now the Queen Mother. Of course Mary Queen of Scots was queen in her own right and is much better known today than Queen Annabella, but was much less able. As to her genealogy, the Drummonds trace their descent through Maurice, known as the Hungarian, a grandson of Andrew, King of Hungary, who accompanied Margaret, the future queen of King Malcolm III, when she returned to Britain in 1068. Ayton wrote after Annabella's death:
In harvest of this ilk year
Our good lady was laid on bier
Dame Annabel, Queen of Scotland
Fair, honourable and pleasant
Cunning, courteous in her affairs
Loving and large to strangers
They she treated honourably
And them rewarded largely
With Jesus Christ her soul mot be.
Fordun later asserted in more prosaic terms that ,in the circumstances of her husband's physical lameness and mental weakness, Annabella, and Traill, Bishop of St. Andrew's, managed with eminent providence the affairs of the kingdom, appeasing discords among the nobles, and receiving foreigners with hospitality and munificence, so that on their deaths, which both took place in the same year, 1401, it was a common saying that the glory of Scotland had departed.
Going back a further six generations, we come to the founder of the Kinnaird family, named in the Latin documents of the time 'Radulphus Ruffus'. He received a charter of the lands of Kinnaird. in Perthshire from King William I (known as William the Lion) in about 1170. He was a military commander of the King, but little is known about his origins. He may have been a Norman knight - Ruffus signifies 'red hair' and at least one Norman, William Ruffus, the Conqueror's son, was similarly styled. On the other hand, the wording of one document seems to hint that he was already in occupation of the lands as a local Celtic chief. The name Kinnaird is similarly ambiguous - in its original Gaelic form it could be either 'the crest of the hill' - a geographical description , or 'the high heid yin' - a personal one. (Dr. Grant Simpson's book on Scottish Handwriting 1150-1650 reproduces a charter dated between 1189 and 1195 in which Ralph is recorded as a witness, contracted. in the Latin to Rad. Ruffo .)
Tracing the ancestry of Egidia de Moravia takes us back into the mists of pre-history. So much can be confirmed fairly definitely by charters of the lands of Culbin and of Newtown in Fife. Through six generations one gets back to Alan Murray, one of the signatories of the letter of the Scottish leaders to the Pope in 1320 - the Declaration of Arbroath. The letter begins with a strangely mythical recital: "Most Holy Father and Lord we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients, we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came to their home in the west where they still live today......After declaring that the King of the English, Edward, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy and perpetrated deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number....from which countless evils they had been set free by their most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert "..... they made the resounding declaration " It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we fight, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself". Alan Murray's grandfather was Richard de Moravia, whose wife, Marjory de Lascelles, brought her estates in Fife into the family.
According to the legends, Richard de Moravia was the hero of the battle of Embo, fought about 1240, when, at the head. of a relatively small force, he surprised an invading army of Danes and held them until the main Scottish army under the Earl of Sutherland arrived to complete the Danes' destruction. Richard was killed in the struggle. His sarcophagus, much mutilated - probably by a mob at the time of the Reformation - lies in Dornoch Cathedral, which his brother, the blessed Bishop Gilbert, of Caithness, built. Gilbert became St. Gilbert, the last of the early Scottish Saints. It was from his brother, the bishop, that Richard received the lands of Culbin in 1235.
For a long time Gilbert and Richard de Moravia were thought to be descended from Freskyn, the Fleming, ancestor of the Earls of Sutherland. More recently it is believed that their line goes back to Angus, Earl of Moray, who died at the Battle of Stracathro in 1130, to Lulach, king of Scots in 1056, Angus' grandfather and stepson of King Macbeth and further back, through Kenneth III (995-1005) and Malcolm I (942-54), to Kenneth Macalpin who united the Picts and Scots (843~58 )and who could trace his ancestry back to the seventh King of Dalnada (Antrim in Ireland) who died in the year 606, Angus MacGabhran.
Before looking at other branches of the Kinnaird family I should like to spend a few moments on the events around the foot of the Murray family tree. Sir Alexander de Moravia, an important magnate with extensive estates in Northern Scotland, died in 1411 at the Battle of Harlaw - an inconclusive encounter between the Highland host of Donald, lord of the Isles, who was claiming the Earldom of Ross, and his cousin, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar. Thomas Murray, Sir Alexander's elder son and his heir, had married Janet Maxwell of Pollok. He survived Harlaw, where he is said to have fought valiently but died without issue in 1418. (Mention of Pollok reminds me that the Burrell Collection, Scotland's biggest attraction for visitors in recent years, is accommodated on the Pollok estate near Glasgow.) Thomas' younger brother, Angus, succeeded him but when he declared himself Earl of Moray without the sanction of the Regent, the Duke of Albany, the Regent pronounced his estate forfeit and passed them to Angus' sister, Domina Maria de Moravia, known as Dame Mary Murray. Mary Murray had married a kinsman, Walter of Murray and they had three daughters, Egidia, Alison and Isobel. There is said to be an agreement dated 1420, in which the de Moravia estates are distributed between the three ladies - I have not yet discovered that document. But those received by Egidia are known, the largest of which was Culbin.
Family alliances are, of course, a common feature of the life of landowners, but the extraordinary sequence of marriages involving the Murray ladies and two other prominent families, the Kinnairds and the Skenes, can, I think, be explained by the need of a woman with property to have a male protector in the lawless and violent state of Scotland at that period. Her choice tending towards someone known to her and already sharing some common interest, rather than towards a less reliable unknown, resulting in a sort of enclave as the consequence of a lager mentality.
Mary Murray married Walter Murray, they had the three daughters, Egidia, Alison, Isobel. After the death of Walter Murray, she married Alan Kinnaird, father of Thomas Kinnaird by his first wife (unknown).
Egidia Murray married Thomas Kinnaird to whom she bore two sons and a daughter, Mariota. After the death of Thomas Kinnaird, she married James Skene of Skene, father of Alexander Skene by his first wife (unknown).
Mariota Kinnaird married Alexander Skene, son of James Skene. Thus Alan Kinnaird was both father-in-law and stepfather of Egidia. James Skene was both father-in-law and stepfather of Mariota.
The lines of the Kinnairds of that ilk and the Kinnairds of Culbin separated with two brothers, Andrew and Walter, great-grandsons of Thomas and Egidia. The sons of both brothers were killed at the battle of Pinkie in 1547. The next in the senior line, Patrick, had ten children, the eldest of whom, another Patrick, married Margaret Carnegie of Kinnaird in Angus. Although her father's only child, she did not inherit his extensive estates, which passed to his brother to become in the future the seat of the Earls of Southesk. This Patrick's brother, John, was appointed to the Vicarage of Carstairs in 1572 but three years later was outlawed for his part in the slaughter of John Ramsay of Carstairs. He was granted a pardon but never again took up his duties.
Patrick Kinnaird and Margaret Carnegie had twelve children, seven sons and five daughters. One of the daughters, Nicolas, married John Gordon of Pitlurg, the elder brother of Robert Gordon of Straloch and Pitlurg, one cf the most notable Scottish scholars of the 17th century. Robert Gordon was responsible for the completion of the maps of Scotland for Bleau's great Atlas, a task which he was asked to undertake by King Charles I.
Another sister, Helen, married Patrick Con of Auchry in Aberdeenshire. She and her husband were devout Roman Catholics and Patrick Con's brother was the Papal Legate to King Charles. She fell foul of the authorities for sheltering Jesuits, among these probably her brother-in-law; also for having the body of a Protestant minister exhumed from the aisle of the Kirk of Slaines, where it had been buried. The kirk officer "confessit that the said Helene Kinaird said maist maliciouslie, 'An he war the best Minister that ever preichit Devill a bit of him suld lie there'". Patrick Con and Helen Kinnaird were excommunicated and told to leave the country. Even here Helen showed her robust character in appealing to the Privy Council for protection and time to settle their affairs. Ten years later she was back settling up her affairs, her husband having died in the meantime. She had ensured that he was duly buried within the Kirk of Slaines.
Whether it was to use profitably abroad the military skills they had developed during civil strife at home or to gain military experience abroad which they could profitably use at home, one finds many examples of the members of the Scottish gentry, particularly younger sons, seeking service in foreign forces. Patrick Kinnaird, grandfather of the ladies of whom I have previously spoken of, was involved with an expeditionary force sent in 1552 by the Scottish Government to aid the French King in his wars in conformity with the tradition of the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France. In 1609 their brother, Robert, raised a force of 200 horsemen to fight for King Charles IX of Sweden. Their sister, Barbara, first married William Ogilvie, a colonel in the Swedish Army, and after his death, in 1606, Samuel Cockburn who accompanied her brother, Robert, to Sweden. By 1610, Cockburn, called by the Swedes Cobrun, was in command of seven troops of foot soldiers and two troops of cavalry. He was at their head in the successful assault on Novgorod in 1611. He was promoted to the rank of Major-General. He was granted an estate in Finland where he lived, with Barbara, the life of a country gentleman from 1616 to 1621 when he was recalled for service. He died of a fever in that year and was buried in Abo Minster under a magnificent monument, which bore the words: "You have lived bravely, but died cruelly. Mars and Minerva rest with you in the same grave. Never have Sweden and Scotland had more sorrowful - or Poland more welcome, news".
His widow, Barbara Kinnaird, must have died within the next ten years, for in 1631 we find King Charles I writing to Gustavus Adolphus in Sweden, claiming Barbara's estate on behalf of her eldest brother, John Kinnaird, described by Charles as of an ancient Scottish family. He had been John Kinnaird of that ilk until he had been obliged to sell the family estates of Kinnaird in 1618. No doubt the demands of two very large generations in succession had proved too much for the resources available. Strangely Professor Aberg, of the Swedish Military Archives in Stockholm, with whom I have been in correspondence about Robert Kinnaird and Samuel Cockburn, has informed me that their records show that a Laird Kinnaird was a Captain in the enlisted Swedish regiment of Colonel David Drummond in the years 1637 - 38. Could this be the eldest son, also called John, of the last Kinnaird of that ilk - and also a last very indistinct glimpse of that line of the family?
The most junior line of the Kinnairds, in the sense of being the first to have branched off from the senior, is the line which has survived most prominently to the present day. Going back to the grandfather of the Thomas who married Egidia, that Alan had a younger brother, Reginald, who married. Marjory of Kirkcaldy. She was related to Reginald in the 3rd. degree of affinity and thus he was obliged. to obtain a Papal dispensation to proceed with the marriage in accordance with the Church's laws. Marjory brought him the lands of Inchture a few miles to the East of those of Kinnaird. The descendants of the two brothers continued to work closely together down the generations. One Kinnaird of Inchture is believed to have died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. In 1590, Patrick Kinnaird of Inchture was found guilty of the slaughter of Andrew Clark of Clochindarg and he himself was murdered by his nephew, William Ogilvie in the same year. This was probably the William Ogilvie who, as a Swedish Colonel, married Barbara Kinnaird of Kinnaird.
Towards the end of the next century George Kinnaird of Inchture raised the family fortunes to new heights in his service to the last Stuart kings. He was knighted by Charles II at the Restoration, and created. a Baron in 1682. Yet it seems that his character was not all that could be desired. Described as a profligate and very vicious man, his advancement occasioned the remark of a contemporary: "None are willingly lords now since Kinnaird was made one". The third Lord Kinnaird married Elizabeth, a daughter of the Earl of Strathmore, as did a Duke of York (to be King George VI ) two hundred years later. After the early death of the fourth Lord, the title went back to a son of the second Lord, and then back further to a grandson of the first Lord, but not before the fifth Lord claimed that his wife had given birth to twin sons. The future sixth Lord asked leave of the Commissary Court to prove that the pretended delivery by Lady Kinnaird was a forgery. When he failed to appear before the Court to answer the charge, the fifth Lord was fined £600.
The seventh Lord married a London banker's heiress and became a great art collector. The basis of his collection came from the collection of the Regent Orleans, which the French revolutionaries sold off on 1792. Those he did not wish to keep Lord Kinnaird, sold to the National Gallery. One of his sons, the Hon. Douglas Kinnaird, became the managing partner in his maternal grandfather's bank, Ransom & Co. Douglas was the close friend, banker and literary executor of George Gordon, Lord Byron, the poet. Indeed in 1822, Byron asked him to act as his second in a proposed duel with the poet Southey, from which Douglas succeeded in dissuading him. Douglas' older brother, the eighth baron, spent much of his time on the Continent. His sympathy with revolutionaries caused much comment. Said one: "I hear that old K. is hand in glove with all the Jacobins in the worst holes and corners of. the Continent". In the course of these activities, he had wind of a plot to assassinate the Duke of Wellinton but the Great Duke pooh - pooh'd the idea. When the attempt was made, the French authorities arrested Lord Kinnaird for complicity. He was soon released. He would hardly have been party to such a plot, for the Duke was god-father to one of or his sons, whom he had named 'Arthur Wellesley' in the Duke's honour. But subsequently the Duke's High Tory politics so annoyed him that he changed that child's name to 'Arthur Fitzgerald'. He proceeded with his father's plan to build a large mansion at Rossie on the Inchture estates to house the family art collection, but his abstemious nature gave rise to the following lampoon:
Here's a Park without Deer,
A Cellar without Beer,
A Kitchen without Cheer,
Lord Kinnaird lives here.
He was succeeded by his son, George William Fox Kinnaird in 1826. The ninth baron was then only nineteen and he held the title for 52 years. He too was a strong, even advanced Liberal but of a very practical sort. He built up a great reputation as an expert agriculturist, was prominent in the promotion of legislation for the protection of the workers in industry, although he failed to overcome the opposition of Glasgow industrialists to legislation to diminish air pollution in that 'dear, dirty' city. He was responsible for the Sunday Closing Act. Grand-Master of the Freemasons in Scotland, a Privy Councilor, Lord-Lieutenant of Perthshire, he quite restored the reputation of the family after the mis-deeds of previous generations.
His sister-in-law, the Hon. Mrs. Arthur Kinnaird, whose husband was to succeed as the 10th Lord Kinnaird, was also prominent in the field of social welfare. In 1855 she established a home for Florence Nightingale's nurses preparing to go to the Crimea. The home continued to function after the cessation of hostilities and became the first of the many residences of the Y.W.C.A, of which Lady Kinnaird was a co-founder. Her son, the 11th Lord Kinnaird, was for many years President of that Association.
Finally I shall speak of the fate of the Kinnairds of Culbin, going back to the closing years of the 17th century. The feature of the life of rural Scotland in these years was the appalling weather. In the autumn of 1694 there were ferocious gales; the harvest throughout Scotland failed badly in 1695 and completely in 1696, a slight recovery in the next year was followed. by another complete failure in 1698. We can only take contemporary accounts regarding the dreadful consequences - in some areas a quarter, a third or a half of the local population dying of starvation and fleeing elsewhere.
In this dreadful circumstance the Kinnaird estate of Culbin suffered especially. The gales of the autumn of 94 removed the top-soil, so exposing the sandy foundation, which, added to the sand from the shore, was heaped up into great mounds. Alexander Kinnaird, great-great-grandson of the Walter Kinnaird of Culbin whom I mentioned earlier, the then laird, was obliged to petition Parliament for relief from payment of the cess tax on the grounds that "the best two parts of his estate of Culbin, by an unavoidable fatality, was quite ruined and destroyed, occasioned by great and vast heaps of sand (which had overblown the same), so that there was not a vestige to be seen of his manor-place of Culbin, yards, orchards, and mains thereof, and which within these twenty years were as considerable as many within the County of Moray". It was then that the Parliament passed the Soil Conservation Act under which John Kinnaird was fined 150 years later. Alexander mortgaged his lands, such as they were, to enable him to meet more pressing debts but in 1698, unable to redeem them, lost them forever. At that time the whole of Scotland thought to escape from its wretched state by a visionary scheme proposed by William Paterson (though a Scot, he had founded the Bank of England) to colonise the Isthmus of Darien, between the Atlantic and the Pacific, later the site to of the Panama Canal. A great expedition in two fleets carrying 2500 men was financed by half the free capital of Scotland. The expedition failed abysmally, in the face of disease, Spanish military force and English hostility. Alexander Kinnaird was appointed a superintendent on the expedition, and took with him his two oldest sons. None of them returned alive.
The domestic situation which Alexander, last of Culbin, left behind, requires some explanation. He had been married twice, first to Anna Rose of Clava, by whom he had three sons and a daughter. One of the sons died in infancy and two, as have said died at Darien. Alexander's second marriage was to Marie Forbes, daughter of Lord Forbes, by whom he bad a son, Thomas, still a small child at the time of the Darien disaster. Marie Forbes, was also twice married, her first husband having been Hugh Rose of Kilravock whose second wife she was. Hugh Rose's son by his first wife, also named Hugh, succeeded to the Kilravock estate. Marie had five Rose sons to raise and educate. To support her in this, she received an allowance of Ten Pounds Sterling from her stepson, as she revealed in an open letter of complaint addressed to her stepson many years later. (She may not, in her grievance, have taken account of the possibility that her stepson's circumstances may also have been difficult, like many another Scottish landowners of the time.)
No mention of Marie's Kinnaird child is made in her open letter, presumably because he was not a Rose family responsibility. The story goes that he was left with an old family servant living in Edinburgh, who was supporting herself by needlework. In spite of Marie's financial difficulties, her eldest son, Alexander Rose, obtained a commission in the Army and distinguished himself at the Battle of Fontenoy. He attained the rank of Colonel. Arthur, her second son, described as 'a bold and resolute man without fear of danger', was captured by Algerian pirates in 1705, when travelling on a Dutch ship to Leghorn. He was held in slavery in North Africa until 1714, when a ransom, raised through the appeals of his mother, secured his release. But sadly he did not live to enjoy his freedom very long. During the Jacobite rising in the following year, the rebel forces seized the town of Inverness and occupied its Tolbooth. Arthur Rose led a party to regain possession of the Tolbooth but was betrayed by their guide and died of his wounds.
Young Thomas Kinnaird was helped to a commission by his step-brother, Alexander Rose, and by the time of his death, about 1743, was holding the position of Adjutant in Lord Viscount Molesworth's Regiment of Dragoons. He died without issue.
That was thought to have been the close of the chapter. But a few years ago, when looking through the Index of the Inverness Courier of the 1820's for glimpses of the Kinnairds in Findhorn, I came upon this notice: "Died at Dalkeith, on the 11th curt.(Which was March, 1827) Mrs. Isabella Ramsay, wife of James Watson, Esq., representative of the ancient families of Moray and Kinnaird of Culbin, in Morayshire." A search in the Dalkeith records for any links between Ramsays and Kinnairds (or even Watsons) was fruitless. Then, recently, when I was casually leafing through the Scottish Genealogy Society publication of Monumental Inscriptions in Angus, I came on the following, as confirmed and extended in Jervise's Epitaphs and Inscriptions: In Newtyle churchyard - with armorial bearings and the motto "HAVE FAITH - Sacred to the memory of George Watson, Esq., Bannatyne House, and Jean Rose, his beloved wife. He as a magistrate and. man, was most justly esteemed. She was sole heiress of the ancient families of Moray and Kinnaird of Culbin in Morayshire. As a mother and wife most exemplary. All who knew her loved her:" The clue was the marriage of a Kinnaird female to a male Rose - and I found such a marriage in Nairn in 1706 Hugh Rose to Elizabeth Kinnaird - and Elizabeth was the name of the daughter of Alexander, last of Culbin, born in l684.
Investigating the descendants of Jean Rose and George Watson, I discovered that, in addition to the James Watson who married Isabella Ramsay as I have mentioned, there was Hugh, born at Bannatyne House in l789. Hugh Watson farmed at Keillor in Angus and became famous for his part in the development of the Aberdeen-Angus breed of cattle. His bull, Tarnity Jock, was recognised as the father of the breed - just as Radulphus Ruffus was the father of the Kinnairds !! Record books of breeding were kept most carefully at Keillor, but Hugh never wrote out a pedigree for one of his animals. But the story goes that these record books were destroyed by Hugh's widow in a fury that her late husband had not been given the recognition which he deserved.