The Story behind the Stone – the families, estates and stories of Kirkmichael, Cullicudden, the Black Isle and beyond

The Children of Henrietta Gordon of Newhall
and the Children of David Urquhart of Braelangwell

text by Dr Jim Mackay; photography as annotated


Henrietta Gordon, who gave her name to Henrietta Park in the parish of Resolis, had four sons who survived to adulthood. Henrietta succeeded in having them placed in careers with promising futures but sadly they all died as relatively young men. Three of them (George, William and Charles Lockhart) are commemorated on a white marble memorial on the west wall of the chancel at Kirkmichael, and the fourth (Charles Gordon Urquhart) actually erected the black limestone memorial to his father, David Urquhart of Braelangwell, on the east wall of the chancel. Charles Gordon Urquhart was killed when a shed fell on him on the Cretan island of Gramvousa where he was Governor, and hence is buried in a bastion of the ancient castle there.

The life and work of diplomat, writer and M.P. David Urquhart are also summarised in this story. It is said that the ancient burial ground of Kirkmichael passed to him under entail which naturally is of interest to the Kirkmichael Trust! The position of Chief of Clan Urquhart fell in turn, late in life, on to each of David’s two boys, David Urquhart (1855–1928) and Francis Fortescue Urquhart (1868–1934), Oxford Don.

This is their story. And although Henrietta’s daughters are (shockingly) not commemorated at Kirkmichael their story will be told as well.

The Mediterranean from the fortress on the Island of Gramvousa (“Karabusa”), within a bastion of which Colonel Charles Gordon Urquhart is buried; photograph by Elena.laps, licensed under Creative Commons


The Urquhart of Braelangwell Mausoleum formed from the Chancel at Kirkmichael

The chancel at Kirkmichael following the Reformation was converted to a burial chamber by the Urquhart of Braelangwell family. When widow Henrietta Lockhart ms Gordon of Newhall married David Urquhart of Braelangwell the chancel became the mausoleum for her family as well.

Her brother William Gordon of Newhall, buried at Invergordon where he had died whilst visiting his uncle, Sir John Gordon of Invergordon, was exhumed and re-buried in the chancel at Kirkmichael. A large, unusual black limestone panel commemorates William, embellished with an unpublished poem by his good friend, early Scottish novelist Henry Mackenzie.

Henrietta herself is the subject of the white marble panel high on the west wall of the chancel. David Urquhart tried hard to get this inscription to his wife just right. He was to write to the Right Honourable Henry Dundas (Henrietta’s first cousin) with a copy:

which I confess is far from being satisfactory; it is difficult to give an adequate Idea of our Sainted Friend who possessed every virtue, every attraction could adorn her Sex.

More stories of Henrietta and her brother William may be found here.

Below Henrietta’s panel is a similar white marble panel commemorating the three sons she had with her first husband, Thomas Lockhart of Newhall, one of Scotland’s Commissioners of Excise.

The Chancel before and after Restoration; three of the four panels referred to in this story may be seen here; photos by Andrew Dowsett

And on the east wall of the chancel is a memorial erected by Henrietta’s last boy child to her second husband, David Urquhart of Braelangwell. The story of David and his parents may be found here.

Before the restoration of Kirkmichael, all four panels were in a dreadful state. The two black limestone panels had been shattered. The William Gordon one had at some time been patched roughly with cement which obscured some of the inscription, and mismatched fragments. The David Urquhart panel had not been treated so badly but was similarly in pieces. Ivy smothered all four.

The broken David Urquhart panel is cleaned, fixed together upside-down on a large sheet of glass with resin and stainless steel pins, and then brought right side up again; photos by conservator Derek Cunningham

As part of the restoration, the Kirkmichael Trust had every one of these panels removed, cleaned, and, where broken, joined together with conservation resin, stainless steel pins and a backing plate. They were then placed back into their niches, but with a membrane and an air gap to isolate them from the walls, which, without a damp-proof course, are always drawing water up from the ground. A vast amount of careful effort went into this delicate work by conservators Derek Cunningham and assistant Walter Adelfio of Laing Traditional Masonry.

The painstaking work on the panels was complemented by the work on the chancel itself. Volunteers removed the ivy that swathed the site, under archaeologist supervision they lowered the floor that had received surplus soil and debris. The old gate was replaced with a thick wooden door. The crumbling mullion of the double lancet window was replaced with freshly cut sandstone (and the old mullion retained, under the seating arrangement within the chancel). And, most profound change of all, a new roof went on.

photos by Menny Hands


Henrietta’s children by Thomas Lockhart Commissioner of Excise

Several of Henrietta’s children did not reach adulthood. She married Commissioner of Excise Thomas Lockhart, youngest brother of Admiral John Lockhart Ross of Balnagown, in Edinburgh in 1762. She may have had earlier children, but in the registers of Edinburgh and area can be found only the baptisms of Helen (1767), James (1769), George (1772–1799), Grizel (Grissel or Grace) (1776–1848) and William (1778–1798). There is no record of the baptism of Charles (1781–1804), who may have been born in Resolis, and was certainly born after his father had died. And why might the family have been in Resolis? Because Henrietta’s brother William Gordon, owner of the Newhall Estate, had died in 1778 and Henrietta inherited, so the Lockharts thereafter often resided at Newhall. It may well be that Charles was born in the north.

Henrietta erects a memorial to her brother, Wiliam Gordon of Newhall; photo by Andrew Dowsett

I have read that Lockhart remained in Edinburgh and did not come to Newhall, but there are documents indicating otherwise. One of the most interesting is a discharge from Baillie Hugh Inglis of Inverness to Commissioner Lockhart for goods and services provided by in 1779 and 1780 (RH15/44/187). The staghound ordered from Badenoch presumably was for hunting deer in the moors of Mulbuie above Braelangwell; the dozen bottles of port would indicate either that Lockhart really enjoyed a drink or that he was expecting a lot of visitors!

The Honble. Comissr. Lockhart To Hugh Inglis £s.
June 26th paid for 6 Loaves Bread at 6d £-.3.0
      "       a peck fine English Flour -.1.6
      "       A hind [third?] Quarter ---e Vial cast [??] -.4.0
July 1st paid for bringing a Large Stagg hound from Badinaugh -.3.0
      "       paid a Man for bringing the above hound to Newhall -.2.6
August 20 1 Dozn. port -.18.0
      "       1 Dozn. Bottles if not returned -.3.0
      "       2 plain Cristall Decanters -.5.4
      "       a flask best Florence Oil -.2.0
      "       3 Br--ks Bread -.1.6
      "       a Large Cream Cold. [cream coloured?] Stone Dicanter -.2.0
      "       a Sauce pan cast [?] -.-.6
Inverness 30th Septr. 1780 Rece[ive]d the Contents in full of all accotts & demands preceding this date Hugh Inglis

The only children of Henrietta Gordon and Thomas Lockhart alive in 1785 when the Testament Dative was given up following the death of their father in December 1780 are easily identified. It was “made and given up by George Lockhart, Charles Lockhart, William Lockhart and Grizel Lockhart”.

The whole family seems to have been delicate, and Sir John Gordon in his letters often fusses over their health. And Gordon factor John Gorry writes in 1778 to accountant David Ross (another document indicating Lockhart had been at Newhall for an extended period):

I’ll be Glad to hear that you and Mr Lockhart has got Safe to Edinr. and well after your long Sederunts, and fatigues at Newhall and that Mrs Lockhart and the Children are all well

And Henrietta’s own letters constantly mention her well-founded concern over the illnesses of her children. The most extreme is when she writes from Newhall on 2 September 1798:

my son George has had alarming complaints his Cough I thank God is abated but by the advice of Dr Gregory & other Physicians he spirits the Weather in the South West of England dreading the effects of the Cold of this Country – a Consumptive complaint is dreaded – a terrible shock to me I can hardly add more

She was correct in her diagnosis. I suspect there are several additional children of Henrietta and Thomas of whom we are unaware – who had died in infancy.

And then Thomas Lockhart himself died, on 26 December 1780 in Edinburgh. Henrietta would have been newly pregnant at the time, giving birth to Charles Gordon Lockhart on 10 August 1781.


Henrietta’s Children by David Urquhart of Braelangwell

Henrietta Gordon of Newhall re-married neighbouring estate-owner David Urquhart of Braelangwell in 1786.

Newhall House as built by the Mackenzies mentioned in this story; the Newhall House in which Henrietta resided was closer to Newhall Burn.

Braelangwell House during a Kirkmichael Trust guided tour courtesy of owners Hugh and Linda Mitchell; photo by Andrew Dowsett

Henrietta and David had two children, both recorded in the Resolis Baptism Register (daughter Henrietta also appears in the Edinburgh Registers):

Parish of Resolis Baptism Register
David Urquhart Esqr. of Brealangwell & Henrietta Gordon had a child born at Edinburgh 7 March 1787 and baptized there 27 March by the Revd. Mr. John Kemp – Henrietta
8 May 1788 David Urquhart Esqr. of Brealangwell & Henrietta Gordon – Charles Gordon

As previously mentioned, Henrietta’s first cousin was Henry Dundas, the most powerful man in Scotland at the time, and she was to seek his influence on several occasions to place her children. Her letters to Dundas may be found in GD51 in the national archives in Edinburgh. As Wikipedia says, from June 1793, Dundas had been appointed President of the Board of Control, generally responsible for overseeing the conduct of the East India Company and British affairs in India, a post he would hold until 1801. As the effective Minister for War as part of his Home Department responsibilities at the outbreak of the Wars of the French Revolution, he was Pitt’s closest advisor and planner for Britain’s military participation in the First Coalition. A handy person to know when you are seeking “Jobs for the Boys”!

Henry Dundas First Viscount Melville by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Monument to Henry Dundas, St Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh, by James Evered, Friend of a Friend of Kirkmichael


A Job for George – George Lockhart (1772–1799)

She writes to Dundas from Newhall in February 1790 about another matter, and then adds:

George is perfectly pleased with respect to the duties of his Office – he finds easy & pleasant what he some months ago looked forward to with terror – May he prove worthy of your protection

Clearly she had already sought his influence to find a placement for George, born in 1772. Dundas was always closely associated with activities in India and hence George was lodged within the Honourable East India Company’s civil service. I presume from the wording he was working in the HEIC’s London offices and indeed her next letter, from Newhall just a few months later on 3 May 1790, confirms this. In this she sought permission for George to come north as requested by a young man called Fowler who happened to be a friend of George’s and promising to visit Dundas in Edinburgh with her boys, no doubt to make that personal connection.

his kind attention and Friendship to George claims my warmest good wishes. He wrote Mr Urquhart some Posts ago that he wished George should come North with him in the end of June if this does not interfere with the rules of office I must intreat your permission if you disapprove in any respect I submitt – I hope he gives satisfaction to his Superiors – I thank God the Indian plan is given up – it cost me many anxious moments – If he desires your protection I know he will meet with it – He is too young yet to request more than he has – I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in Septr. We mean to go up with the Boys my view in attending them chiefly is to meet with you I fear I never will have that Happiness here

I don’t know what the “Indian plan” was, but it must have been actually to go out to India. In fact, China would be his destination with George departing for Canton (nowadays Guangzhou).

I can tell exactly when he returned, as I have at time of writing just transcribed a letter from the Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen to his nephew, also Thomas Urquhart, who would soon purchase Kinbeachie. In this letter, dated 21 April 1798 (SC25/71/9), he writes:

All friends at Newhall are well & often make mention of you & your Fathers family– Last night that side was all in fine rejoicing at the young Lairds arrival fm. China–


A Position for the Son-in-law – Colonel Lewis Mackenzie, son of Scatwell, and husband of Grace Lockhart (1776–1848)

So Henrietta was working hard to secure a good future for her sons. We hear less about her surviving daughter, Grizel or Grace, but we know she had married a promising young man:

Edinburgh Marriages
1794 … February … 21st. Lewis McKenzie Esqr. eldest Son of Sir Roderick McKenzie Bart. in St Andrew Church parish and Miss Grace Lockhart same Parish Daughter of the late Thomas Lockhart Esqr. Commissioner of Excise

Lewis, however, was looking for a military career and Henrietta’s influence with her first cousin was again deployed. She wrote from Newhall on 18 June 1795 (indicating, by the way, that son William was in Edinburgh at the time):

Forgive I beg of you my again intruding on your goodness– My Son in Law Mr Mackenzie is appointed Lieut. Col: to the Fraser Fencibles – The Regt. who expect to be ordered for Ireland a circumstance I much regret on many accounts particularly the expence that must attend moving a Family there but as that can’t be avoided what I have most earnestly to ask of you is a Letter of introduction for Col: Mackenzie to Lord Camdon [Camden] which might prove of most essential service to him as he has been advised to raise him in the Army & with that view is advist getting a Commission in a Regt of the line. He is an excellent young Man & I most sincerely hope you will not refuse me this favor– I shall only add my most gratefull acknowledgement for every instance of your Friendship which I have some thoughts of doing this Summer in person as I think of paying a very short Visit to my Son Willm. & will endeavour to have the pleasure of seeing you – if you will bestow a few minutes on your much obliged / I am hle servt / Henrietta Urquhart

Several years later she was to seek influence with Henry Dundas for Lewis again, Lewis previously having tapped Sir Charles Ross (I take this to have been Sir Charles Lockhart Ross of Balnagown, himself a relative of the Dundas family, as well as having the Lockhart connection). She wrote from Newhall on 23 June 1798:

Some months ago through the Channel of Sir Charles Ross Mr Mackenzie took the liberty of making the same application to you which he again does by the inclosed he was then led to hope that if any new Corps had been raised his offer would have been accepted of but none then were. / His most earnest wishes are to be imployed in His Majesty’s Service at the present moment– If you have the goodness to recommend him on this occasion it will be highly gratifying to him & be an inexpressible obligation in additon to those already conferred

And the note enclosed from Lewis, terse and to the point, reads:

Newhall 22nd June 1798 / Sir, / As I cannot now have the Honor of being appointed to the Militia of this District, which you was so Good as have a View for me, in the Event of Lord Caithness not accepting & observing that Offers of Service for Raising New Corps have been received, I beg leave to offer them to raise A Fencible Battalion, If you approve of It. … Lewis Mackenzie

The influence worked, and so were born the Ross and Cromarty Rangers, famous unfortunately for a wild incident in Aberdeen involving, amongst other things, being the target of that respected early missile: dead cats. Wikipedia says:

Ross and Cromarty Rangers (1799)
The Ross and Cromarty Rangers was embodied in June 1799 and commanded by Colonel Lewis Mackenzie, younger of Scatwell. Though the terms of its service were to extend to Europe, it remained in Scotland. In the year 1801 there was an unfortunate incident that involved this regiment when celebrations of King George III’s birthday got out of control. On the evening of the King’s birthday, a crowd of people, principally young men, collected in the main street of Aberdeen, which coincidentally was the regiment’s guardhouse. The young men commenced their usual pastimes of throwing squibs, firecrackers, dead cats, etc. In their high spirits they assaulted the guard when it was called out of the guardhouse to protect the property. Soldiers from the barracks, without order, rushed to help the guard as they feared that their comrades would be overpowered and murdered. Shortly after the soldiers arrived officers joined them. Someone gave the order “fire&rduo and two of the mob were killed, and others wounded. No magistrate had arrived to read the riot act so the killings were unlawful. There was a formal investigation, but as no one could identify who had given the order, two officers, two sergeants, and some privates were tried in the Court of Judiciary in Edinburgh. No one was found guilty for the killings, and the matter was dropped. The regiment was disbanded shortly after the peace of 1802.

Lewis was a respected soldier but his character was decidedly not perfect. Henrietta’s description of him as “an excellent young Man&rdqu was not quite accurate. The background is reported in the authoritative The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820–1832 (ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009) which deals with the father, Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Scatwell, the surviving James and eldest son Lewis. It emerges that:

Sir Roderick, a stingy and overbearing father, was at a loss to find a suitable career for him [James], particularly as most of such money as he was prepared to spend went on buying Lewis, his favourite, a commission in the army. Lewis, who served in the 73rd and 21st Foot, before exchanging into the 6th Dragoon Guards in 1787, eventually became a colonel of militia. He was frequently in hot water for dissipation and heavy spending. He did not mend his ways even after his marriage in 1794, and he was only rescued from arrest for debt by a loan from his uncle Colin Mackenzie, a London insurance broker.

Bear in mind that particular Colin Mackenzie as he would in due course purchase the Estate of Newhall and get tangled up in complex financial arrangements involving both the Lockhart descendants and Urquhart of Braelangwell. The small world of Highland proprietors was held together by a web of debt.

Colonel Lewis Mackenzie died young, in 1810, his end no doubt hastened by his life of dissipation. There were no children. Grizel or Grace Lockhart, his widow, lived right through to 1848, when she died in Dunkirk. She dwelled in both England and France, and as various relatives resided with her on occasion, and as she continued to have a financial interest in the family activities, then she will re-appear in this story from time to time.


A Job for Charles – Charles Lockhart (1781–1804)

Henrietta also wrote to Henry Dundas, on 2 September 1798 from Newhall, seeking a civil placement for her son Charles, born to her first husband in 1781 and now 17.

Though hardly able to hold my pen I take it up once more to acknowledge your unremitting goodness to me and mine and I add whilst this Heart continues to beat it will glow with Gratitude to you– With infinite pleasure would I have paid my Respects to Lady Jane Dundas & you at Dunira but so much was I infeebled by a long nervous illness I cannot without help walk out of my own room … May Heaven bless you & yours & before I conclude perhaps my last Letter or express to you the last anxious wish of my Heart for you I earnestly intreat by favour … to say I have still one Son who looks up to to you – I do not ask my most sanguine wishes – do not hope – you will do for him as the others – but the Guvt is his choice or the Army which I cannot give my Consent to – he is 17 – Clever & well educated – forgive this last incroachment on your Goodness & Whilst life remains – my Soul will bless you – Adieu My Dear Sir

Poor Henrietta in that letter was scarcely able to hold her pen, and in the next her husband, David Urquhart of Braelangwell, had to write on her behalf, still seeking some avenue for her son Charles Lockhart. He wrote, from Newhall, on 7 November 1798:

Mrs. Urquhart has made several efforts to express her gratefull acknowledgements to you for your friendly & soothing letter of the 6 Octr. but her great weakness & the severity of her complaints puts it out of her own power & she has desired me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters & to acquaint you (I repeat her own words) that what ever may be the issue of her present disorder, since hearing from you she feels much easier in her mind, she leaves her family under the care of a kind providence, & a full reliance on your unremitting friendship, while her recollection exists, she will not forget your goodness, you have done so much for two of her sons [George and William Lockhart, both in the HEIC civil service], it would be presumption to expect that Charles would be placed in an equal eligible situation, knowing how difficult it is, and how many claims you will have upon you, but she fears it will offend you when she expresses a wish that he was placed in any other situation both from her dislike that any of her sons should be in a Military line & her son not being fond of that profession, she now assigns him to you & as far as possible will relieve her mind from any further anxiety about her family.

Henry Dundas clearly wrote to promise to ensure the future of Charles Lockhart, as there is an acknowledgement within the letter that David wrote in similar vein to Henry Dundas from Newhall on 22 January 1799:

she has lost all hopes of her self and says she has not strength to write you a few lines to take her last farewell and give you the blessings of a Dying affectionate mother for your goodness & friendship to her young family, she thanks God they are by your kindness placed in a far better situation than she had any reason to expect, with a heart overflowing with gratitude she has heard what you have wrote about her third son Charles and feels no further anxiety for him and she now parts with all the comforts & enjoyments of this life with the less regrets in that it has pleased providence to spare her till she saw a family early cast on her own alone provided for; Charles her youngest son of her first marriage is about 19 years of age it was his Mothers wish that he should be brought up to the law with this view his education has been much attended to and having finished his education at Colledge he has for a year past been with us not knowing how to dispose of him till some line of life was fixt upon I hope & trust that you will be able to provide for him in the civill line he has lost too much time even if his inclination was for the military life in India and he has the appearance of being 3 or 4 years older than he is; to a good heart he possesses an excellent understanding and abilities that will make him most respectable.


Henrietta dies

Alas, Henrietta passed away a few months later, on 17 April 1799, and was buried in Kirkmichael. David Urquhart requested the gentry of the area to her funeral. This is a transcript of the invitation received by Charles Munro of Allan, in Easter Ross:

Sir / Mrs Henrietta Urquhart my spouse died here on the 17th. Currt. and is to [be] buried on Tuesday the 23rd. at 12 o Clock in the Family burying ground of Kirkmichael / The favour of your Company is requested to attend her Funeral to the place of interment which will much oblige / Sir / Your most obedient humble servant / Da: Urquhart / Newhall / 19th. April / 1799

After a long time, David wrote once again to Henry Dundas, Henrietta’s first cousin, on 12 December 1801:

the inscription to Henrietta Gordon; photo by Andrew Dowsett

Henry Dundas, First Viscount Melville, by Sir Henry Raeburn

I take the liberty of sending the Epitaph on Doctor Gillan, also that on Mr. Gordon, with an Inscription intended to be placed over his Sister, which I confess is far from being satisfactory; it is difficult to give an adequate Idea of our Sainted Friend who possessed every virtue, every attraction could adorn her Sex. In compliance with your desire I send a Copy of the paper found in her keepings, all she desires will be most sacredly attended to, I thank God that my Children give every reason to hope they will prove worthy of the best of Mothers, it is the earnest the most ardent desire of my soul, to render them every Justice, and it is most unfortunate that at this period when their education most requires it, I am from causes which you are acquainted with deprived of the means, I have presumed to solicit your Interest and from your goodness I am confident that your regard for that Friend, that Relation, whose hand is now laid low, whose kind affectionate heart has now ceased to beat will require no other concern braver than the dictates of your heart to be useful to her children when an opportunity offers.

You can see from this that David was following his wife’s lead in supplicating “the uncrowned king of Scotland” in helping their children to get on. When David refers to “my Children” he means young Henrietta and Charles Gordon Urquhart, and by his inability to assist them, I am afraid it means that, like most other estate owners in the area, he was heavily in debt. Almost without exception estate owners were living beyond their means and propping up their lifestyle by securing loans with the estate as security. It could end only in disaster.

The inscription written by David Urquhart and sent to Henry Dundas was carved upon the white marble wall panel inserted within the west wall of the chancel at Kirkmichael:

Sacred also to the memory of HENRIETTA GORDON of Newhall; wife of DAVID URQUHART, Esq: of Braelangwell who departed this life the 17th April 1799
To the most graceful and interesting form In her were united a mind highly cultivated, the kindest affections, a peculiar gentleness of disposition, with the most elevated piety: As a friend most sincere; as a wife and mother an amiable pattern of tenderness and love. By frequent and severe domestic afflictions, and long continued bodily distress, her mortal frame was prematurely wasted: Society deprived of one of its brightest ornaments; and her afflicted husband of the object of his highest esteem and warmest affection.


William Macao steps in

One person who had been biding his time until Henrietta passed away moved into action. This was William Macao, now an accountant with the Board of Excise in Edinburgh, but earlier a servant for David Urquhart in Braelangwell and then footman to Thomas Lockhart of Newhall. Back in 1783 he had been promised by Henrietta three hundred pounds sterling, with the proviso she would pay it when she could during her life but if not then her children would pay it. This had been a couple of years after her husband Thomas Lockhart had died and she was struggling, a widow with several young children to maintain. It has been suggested that this was in the nature of a gift, but I suspect it was actually either repayment of a loan or payment for services rendered. The children as adults did not pay this debt. It would have been surprising if the profligate Lewis Mackenzie, husband of Grace Lockhart, had stepped forward, but it is disappointing that Charles Lockhart had not been more honourable.

William Macao took the children to court, and in 1804 the Court of Session decerned in his favour (CS237/M/92), the children not even sending a lawyer to defend the case.

Whereas it is humbly meant and shown to us by our Lovite William Macao Accomptant of Excise that the deceased Mrs Henrietta Lockhart widow of the deceased Mr Thomas Lockhart one of the Commissioners of Excise by his Bond dated [17 February 1783] for the causes therein specified bound and obliged herself her heirs and successors whomsoever to make payment to the pursuer of the sum of Three hundred Pounds Sterling and Declared that the same should not be demandable from the said Mrs Henrietta Lockhart during her lifetime unless she should find it convenient to pay the same and in case she should not find it convenient from the situation of her affairs to discharge this sum during her own life she Bound and obliged her heirs and executors to pay the same at the first term of Whitsunday or Martinmass after her death in the following two portions vizt She obliged her eldest Son to pay to the Pursuer the sum of one hundred Pounds Sterling and her other Children to pay the remainder of said sum of Three hundred Pounds Sterling equally betwixt them as the said Bond in itself more fully bears and altho’ the foresaid principal sum of Three hundred Pounds Sterling and annual rent thereof since [blank] being the first term of [blank] after the death of the said Mrs Henrietta Lockhart are still owing to the pursuer and that he has often desired and required Charles Lockhart Esqr late of Newhall and Mrs Grace Lockhart otherwise McKenzie Spouse of Colonel Lewis McKenzie younger of Scattwell only surviving Children of the deceased Mrs Henrietta Lockhart as Heirs served and retoured to their said mother or as Executors Decerned and confirmed to her, or at least as lawfully charged to enter Heirs to her within Forty days conform to Act of Parliament or as otherwise representing their said Mother on one [plus interest] [plus] … Twenty Pounds Sterling as his proportion of the expence of this Process and extracting the Decree to follow hereon … sum of Forty Pounds Sterling as their proportion of the expence … 20 June 1804 … Decerns in absence conform to the conclusions of the lybell

Who was William Macao? The Reverend Donald Sage, minister of Resolis, in his Memorabilia Domestica mentions him:

When at the Assembly [in Edinburgh in 1824] I had a note from Mr. William Macao, a native of China, asking me concerning Miss Urquhart who resided at Resolis. Mr. Macao left his native country as the body servant of the family of Braelangwell in the parish of Resolis, and had, under Christian training, been reclaimed from heathenism to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. He held a situation in the Excise Office in Edinburgh, and in his note he expressed his desire to see me either at my lodgings or at No. 1 Dundas Street. I called, and had a short but very interesting conversation with him. In his becoming acquainted with divine truth, he had been indebted to Miss Betty Urquhart [Dr David Urquhart’s sister], as to one among others who had been instrumental in leading his mind to right views on that all-important subject. He was married and had a grown up son.

Henrietta had agreed the bond with William Macao in 1783, presumably whilst she was in residence in Edinburgh. I see a receipt she discharged from her Edinburgh home where William Macao had been the intermediary:

Briery Bank 13th April 1782 / £6.2.4 / Received from Mr. Kenneth Urquhart Tenant and Overseer of Newhall Estate by the hands of William Macao the sum of Six pounds two shillings and four pence sterling, being part of the Rental of my Estate of Newhall [signature] Henrietta Lockhart

From this I gather that William Macao had been north in the Black Isle and Kenneth Urquhart has asked him to pass payment on to Henrietta on his return to Edinburgh. Anyway, let’s leave the fascinating William Macao to return to Henrietta’s family.


A period of deaths

Henrietta had died on 19 April 1799, amidst a devastating period for her family.

First, son William, who had been with the HEIC civil service at Bengal, died there in August 1798. I don’t believe his mother would have been aware of this before her own death as it was reported in the press here months after she had passed away. This is from the Aberdeen Press and Journal of 10 June 1799.

Aberdeen Press and Journal 10 June 1799

photo by Andrew Dowsett

Her son George, who had been with the HEIC civil service at Canton, returned to the UK. He was seriously unwell and I have already quoted Henrietta’s letter to Henry Dundas of 1 September 1798 in which she expressed her worry that he might have consumption and mentioned he had gone to the south west of England to avoid the cold weather. I think he returned on the death of his mother, and, as eldest child and heir, became George Lockhart of Newhall and took up the reins of administering the estate. He returned to the south west, however, but the mild weather was not enough and he died at Exmouth on 2 November 1799. He is described in the notices as George Lockhart of Newhall.

On George’s death, David Urquhart of Braelangwell became the executor of his testament dative as main creditor – he had loaned George much money. There was still a sum of nearly eight hundred pounds sterling outstanding to David Urquhart from this loan when he himself died in 1811. His inventory reveals him to have been something of an antiquarian collector, as I see with the dozens of waistcoats and silk breeches and pantaloons listed quite a few old English and Roman coins!

In his short time as Urquhart of Newhall, George established Chapelton as a model village (for the full story see the page here). I suspect that Henrietta had been planning this for some time and George simply implemented her plan, but it is his name on the contracts when plots were sold to tradesmen keen to own their own homes. The plots were sold on feu contract, so George gained from the cash sales of the land but still retained some income from feu duties. If the feu duties weren’t paid then he could recover the plots with the houses built upon them. If we look at one of these feus, from 1799 when Thomas Mackenzie was the purchaser, the signatures on the document are of interest:

In witness whereof these presents are written upon this and the two preceeding pages of Stampt paper by Robert Mackid writer in Fortrose and Subscribed by the said parties at Newhall [16 Aug 1799] before these witnesses David Urquhart Esquire of Braelangwell and Lieutenant Charles Lockhart of Newhall brother to the said George Lockhart Esquire (signed) Geo Lockhart Thomas Mackenzie Da: Urquhart witness Chas Lockhart witness

Here we have therefore the signatures of the two Lockhart brothers and David Urquhart, and I do wonder given the state of health of George if his younger brother was not in fact largely in charge. Anyway, Charles quickly picked up the reins when he inherited.

Aberdeen Press and Journal 25 November 1799

photo by Andrew Dowsett


Charles Lockhart takes over Newhall

Of the Lockhart boys, then, only the youngest, Charles Lockhart, was now still alive, and he in turn became Lockhart of Newhall. As he was residing in Resolis, he soon took up the laird’s role. He attended Presbytery meetings as Lockhart of Newhall, he became involved with the Commissioners of Supply and the Commissioners of Tax, he became a member of the Highland Society of Scotland, he attended public events. Everything looked promising.

As a matter of interest, if you look at the published list of Tax Commissioners for Ross in the Caledonian Mercury of 22 June 1799, you’ll see the family connections:

Caledonian_Mercury 22 June 1799

Note Alexander Anderson of Udall – George married Ann Anderson, Alexander’s daughter, a couple of years later.

Parish of Cromarty Marriages
1801 … July 1 Mr Charles Lockhart of Newhall and Miss Ann Anderson eldest daughter of Mr Anderson of Udoll

It is interesting to compare the relative values of the Newhall and Braelangwell estates from later that year, when the costs of reparations to the manse and buildings at Resolis were being divided up pro rata between the heritors of the parish:

Presbytery of Chanonry Minutes
Rosemarky Manse, 12 October 1801
The Clerk then produced a Stent of the decreed Sum of Three hundred & Twenty Pounds Sterling among the several Heretors of the United Parish of Kirkmichael & Cullicudden in proportion to their respective Valuations; according to certified Extracts from the Books of the two Collectors of Supply for Ross & Cromarty-Shires; which the Heretors had procured & furnished to him since last Meeting. By which Stent,
Charles Lockhart Esqr of Newhall, whose whole valuation there, is Eleven hundred & Thirty Nine Pounds Fifteen Shillings & Sixpence halfpenny Scots; will have to pay, one hundred & Forty two pounds, Thirteen Shillings, Ten pence & one Farthing Sterling.
David Urquhart Esqr of Braelangwell; whose Total valuation is Six hundred & Fifty one pounds one Shilling, Eight pence & one halfpenny Scots; to pay Eighty one pounds Ten Shillings & Three pence Sterling.

There were three children, all daughters, born to Charles Lockhart of Newhall and Ann Anderson. Two of them were twins and their baptisms were recorded:

Parish of Resolis Baptisms22 June 1802 Charles Lockhart Esqr. of Newhall & Anney Anderson – twins Henrietta & Anne

The baptism of the third daughter, Jean Anderson, is not recorded but we know when she was born as it was reported in the press.

The London Star 7 July 1803:
BIRTHS. – Mrs. Lockhart, of Newhall, of a daughter, on the 20th ult.

Those three daughters were jointly to become involved in a highly complex legal case later in life.

And then, in 1804, sadly Charles Lockhart died.

Caledonian Mercury 9 July 1804

photo by Andrew Dowsett


The Three Brothers Memorial in the Chancel at Kirkmichael

Ann Anderson erected a marble wall panel, matching that of her mother-in-law, Henrietta Gordon, on the west wall of the chancel at Kirkmichael. The long inscription ends with a quotation from Job, most decidedly an apt source given the trials and tribulations suffered by the family as recorded on the memorial.

Erected to the memory of CHARLES LOCKHART Esq: late of Newhall, youngest son of THOMAS LOCKHART Esq: and of HENRIETTA GORDON of Newhall, by his wife, ANN, eldest daughter of ALEXANDER ANDERSON Esq: of Udoll; He was born 10th August 1781 and died 2nd July 1804 leaving a disconsolate widow and three infant daughters to lament the untimely death of an affectionate husband and father.

The warmth and goodness of a heart adorned with the most honourable and generous feelings, will make his memory ever dear to his friends, and his death a severe affliction to many who felt the blessings of his benevolence and humanity.

His surviving family now deeply mourn the loss of an affectionate relative, who within the short space of five years attended to the grave the best of mothers, and performed the last sad duties to his eldest brother, GEORGE, of the H.E.I.C. civil service at Canton, who died at Exmouth and was interred here in the year 1799 aged 26 years. A young man, who joined to the most polished manners, the most promising abilities, and amiable dispositions.

Also his second brother, WILLIAM, of the H.E.I.C. civil service, who died at Bengall 1798, esteemed and beloved by all who knew him.

In such severe trials the consolations of religion can alone alleviate the afflictions of connections as much attached by love as by kindred. Man cometh forth like a flower and is cut down. He flieth also like a shadow and continueth not.

While Ann may have been responsible for the erection of the memorial, the style is similar to other inscriptions penned by David Urquhart, so I suspect they worked on it together. Ann herself died just a few years later:

Caledonian Mercury 5 April 1813
DIED. At Edinburgh, on the 26th ult. Mrs Ann Anderson, relict of Charles Lockhart, Esq. of Newhall.


The Three Daughters of Charles Lockhart of Newhall and Ann Anderson

The three daughters of Charles and Ann were next in line to inherit the Estate of Newhall when their father Charles died but were still babies. Tutors were put in place by the court to look after their interests during their pupillarity (in Scots law, for girls until they were twelve years old). With the youngest daughter, Jean, dying young, and the other two being twins, the end of the pupillarity came sooner than realised and the tutors kept acting for them without legality.

Somehow Newhall was sold to the Mackenzie family and the three girls lost their money due to the actions of their tutors. But the term of the tutors had expired when they made their key decisions, so quite rightly they felt that the tutors should repay them. The matter became the subject of a widely-reported court case which was appealed right up to the House of Lords. I think the tutors were generally well-meaning, and you wonder who would accept the responsible nature of becoming a tutor given the liabilities to which you could be exposed. Each step in the process was logical enough, starting from David Urquhart seeking a loan of £3,000 (how could he ever expect to repay it?), but before they knew it they were in an impossible situation.

I include extended reports of the case from the Court of Session and the House of Lords as an appendix, for those who like to follow convoluted legal processes. Essentially, the outcome at the Court of Session was that the tutors were required to repay the sisters. The tutors appealed to the House of Lords where the decision at the Court of Session was upheld. One of the conclusions has to be: were any of the estate owners in the north on a sound financial footing?

Here is a summary drawn from those reports.

The late Charles Lockhart, Esq. left three daughters, Henrietta, Ann, and Jean, the two former of whom were twins, and were born in June 1802. On the 2d of June 1808, a gift of tutory dative was issued by the Barons of Exchequer, appointing Walter Ross, Charles Gordon Urquhart, William Anderson, William Henry Anderson, and other, as tutors. These tutors accordingly entered on the office, and in 1810 they lent £3000, belonging to the pupils, to the late David Urquhart, for which he granted an heritable bond over his estate of Braelangwell, by which he bound himself to pay that sum to the said Henrietta Lockhart, Ann Lockhart, and Jean Lockhart, their heirs, etc. David Urquhart having died, and his apparent heir (Charles Gordon Urquhart) having raised an action of ranking and sale of his estate against his creditors, the tutors of Misses Lockhart produced the heritable bond and sasine as their interest; and part of the property having been purchased by Sir Coutts Trotter and others, as trustees of the late Colin McKenzie, merchant, London, they were ordained by an interim order of ranking and scheme of division, dated the 15th of June 1815, to pay to the Misses Lockhart, or their tutors the debt of £3000, with interest. The Misses Lockhart, however, had attained the age of twelve years complete in the month of June preceding (and so the role of tutors was ended). Sir Coutts Trotter and others, the trustees of Mr. McKenzie, being ignorant of this, intimated to the agent for the tutors their intention to pay the money. In consequence of this, a discharge, disposition, and assignation in the names of the acting tutors, was executed by two of them, Walter Ross and William Anderson, in that capacity, bearing date the 25th and 30th of August 1815. By that deed they acknowledged receipt of the money, being £3712, discharged the estate of the burden, and granted a clause of warrandice. In the mean while another part of the estate of Braelangwell had been purchased by Mr. Donald McKenzie; and before the money was paid by the trustees of Colin McKenzie, an arrangement was entered into with Ross and others, acting as tutors of the Misses Lockhart, by which it was agreed that the money should be lent to Donald McKenzie on the security of the lands so purchased by him. The same agents acted for the trustees of Colin McKenzie and for Donald McKenzie; and the money was paid by them, on receiving the discharge, into the account of Donald McKenzie with the British Linen Company, by whom it was applied in extinction pro tanto of a large debt due by him to them. An heritable bond was then granted by Donald McKenzie over the lands; but it eventually proved unavailing. The Misses Lockhart, after having married, brought an action of reduction of the discharge, disposition, and assignation granted by Ross and Anderson as their tutors.

And there I think we can leave the court case before it gets really complicated. I haven’t followed the family much further down the years but I did trace them for one more generation. To be candid, I was hoping that at least one of the girls had a family, as I don’t see any other descendants of Henrietta Gordon and Thomas Lockhart. It would be a shame if they had all died out. Daughter Ann Lockhart, who had married Lewis Mackenzie of Scatwell, had no descendants, and George Lockhart and William Lockhart did not marry. Of the three daughters of Charles Lockhart and Ann Anderson, Henrietta, Ann and Jean, the youngest, Jean, as we have seen from the court case died young.

Caledonian Mercury 10 May 1813
On the 7th current, at the house of William Anderson, Esq. Russel Square London, Miss Jean Lockhart, youngest daughter of the deceased Charles Lockhart, sometime of Newhall, Esq.

The other two sisters married in Edinburgh, Ann to John Argyll Robertson, an Edinburgh Physician, in 1824, and Henrietta to the Reverend William Wilson, Episcopal Clergyman of the Parish of Soham, County of Cambridge, in 1825.

I was delighted to find that in 1851 Henrietta Lockhart and the Reverend William Wilson can be seen in Salford with four of a family, Henrietta recorded as born in Scotland at Newhall, so proud of her origins.

It was harder to discover what had happened to Ann Lockhart, but I spotted that the Physician had died in 1855, that wonderful first year of civil registration in Scotland when masses of information were required to complete a death certificate. From that one certificate it emerges that Ann had died quite young (and newspaper notices confirm she died on 17 January 1828) and Robertson had married a second time, and I see that there were two children alive from that first marriage, 29-year-old Charles Alexander Lockhart Robertson and 28-year-old Frederick Lockhart Robertson, so from those names it is clear that Ann too had been proud of her origins.

A simple family tree showing the sequence of marrages and births associated with Henrietta Gordon of Newhall and David Urquhart of Braelangwell


The children of David Urquhart of Braelangwell by Henrietta Gordon and Margaret Hunter

Henrietta had re-married in 1786. Dr David Urquhart was a refined, literate, gracious man. I think much of the layout and style of the chancel at Kirkmichael is due to him. The simple sandstone panel commemorating Anna MacCulloch, his grandmother, is filled with his flowery language, now only readable using photogrammetry. The marble panel commemorating Henrietta is overflowing with his style. The inscription on the panel erected by Ann Anderson to Charles and the other Lockhart boys has his hand written all over it.

His own panel, on the east wall of the chancel, was erected by his only son born to Henrietta, Charles Gordon Urquhart. It reads:

Sacred to the memory of DAVID URQUHART, Esq. of Braelangwell, who departed this life January 11th, 1811, aged 63. He married, in 1787, HENRIETTA GORDON of Newhall, who died, leaving him a son and a daughter. In 1804 he married MARGARET, daughter of JAMES HUNTER, Esq. of Edinburgh, by whom he left a son. In the discharge of every Christian and relative duty he filled with dignity, the sphere assigned to him in this world, till removed by Providence to a better. In fond remembrance of his eminent worth and exalted piety, his sorrowing widow and grateful children thus bear testimony to his virtues.
The righteous shall be in everlasting Remembrance.” 112th Psalm, V. 6
Erected by his affectionate son, CHARLES GORDON URQUHART, Esq.

To expand upon the inscription. It cryptically says that the death of Henrietta left David with a son and daughter. There were two children recorded in the Resolis Baptism Register to David and Henrietta, Henrietta (1787) and Charles Gordon (1788) himself. It then says that a son was left from David’s marriage to Margaret Hunter. This was of course the famous David Urquhart, fighter for Greek independence, M.P. and diplomat.

David Urquhart of Brealangwell Esqr. & Mrs. Margaret Hunter his second wife had a son born 1st July & baptized 15th same month named David

But there was another child, Agnes, who died as an infant, although I do wonder if her name lives on in David Urquhart’s little settlement in the Mulbuy, Agneshill. Her short history may be summarised by the two following records:

Parish of Resolis Baptisms
1807 … David Urquhart Esqre. of Brealangwell & his spouse Margaret Hunter had a child born 17 May & baptized 5th June named Agnes

Perthshire Courier 9 April 1810
DIED. At Braelangwell, Cromartyshire, on the 25th March, Agnes, the infant daughter of David Urquhart, Esq. of Braelangwell.

photo by Andrew Dowsett


Captain-Lieutenant David Urquhart of the Bombay Artillery (baptised 1770–1800)

Correspondent Hugh Speechly drew my attention to an early child born to David Urquhart of Braelangwell, when he was a young man and before he had departed for India to become a Surgeon Major at Bengal. The record is found in the British India Office records, as David was confirming the age of his son. It reads:

In the United Parishes of Kirkmichael & Cullicudden Febry. 15th 1790
Application having been made by David Urquhart Esqr. of Braelangwell to have the age of his son Mr David Urquhart assertained from the Register Books of this Parish I do hereby testify that he was baptized on the twenty third day of December One thousand seven hundred and seventy years, and I declare this to be truth. Robt. Arthur Minr.
Murdo Cameron Sessn. Clerk in the united Parishes of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden and Synod of Ross.

No such entry exists in the Register Books of the Parish, despite what the Reverend Robert Arthur and the Session Clerk testified. Robert Arthur, although he was to fall out with David Urquhart a decade later, was notorious for his sycophancy to the lairds. I believe he worded this statement carefully to give the impression the baptism was in the Register, whilst it may have been a private baptism at Braelangwell House at the request of the proprietor at the time, Charles Urquhart, to save the embarrassment of his son David. Who was the mother? There is no clue. It may have been someone he met whilst a medical student or it may have been a local girl. However, it is clear that the family took responsibility for the child and in time-honoured fashion he was in due course entered into military service, in this case the Bombay Artillery of the Honourable East India Company (or H.E.I.C.).

The young David Urquhart rose rapidly in the H.E.I.C., fought at the famous and influential Battle of Seringapatam in 1799, but died at Calicut (Kozhikode) on 9 November 1800. An on-line summary of his career can be found on the website although this seems just a repetition of the facts within Bombay Artillery List of Officers by Colonel F.W.M. Spring (Andrews UK Limited, 2012). The rank of Captain-Lieutenant does not exist in the British Army nowadays but was, as you would expect, between Captain and Lieutenant. The rank Lieutenant-Fireworker also does not now exist, but ranked below Second Lieutenant.

URQUHART, David (1771–1800) – Captain-Lieutenant
HEIC – Bombay Artillery
Fought at Seringapatam in 1799.
Commissioned: Cadet 1788; Lieutenant-Fireworker 23 October 1790; Second-Lieutenant 11 December 1793; Lieutenant 19 April 1797; Captain-Lieutenant 19 April 1799.
Died: 9 November 1800 at Calicut.


Sophia Urquhart (baptised 1784–1859) and the murdered Captain Charles Munro (–1812)

There was another child, Sophia Urquhart, born out of wedlock to David Urquhart of Braelangwell long before he married Henrietta Gordon. Sophia married in 1797 in Edinburgh Captain Charles Munro.

1797 … 2d. Novr. Mr Charles Monro Officer in the Army & Miss Sophia Urquhart, daughter of David Urquhart Esqr., gave up their Names for Marriage

This fiery officer settled at Chapelton (a dangerous place to live), close to Kirkmichael, but was murdered by Robert Ferguson in 1812, a crime for which poor Robert was hung at Inverness later that year. The full story can be found in an article by yrs truly in a Highland Family History Journal from some years ago. The Captain and Ferguson were neighbours and were on bad terms, and when they met in the smiddy that used to stand on the other side of the road at Kirkmichael, the Captain pushed Ferguson to the ground and Ferguson came back up with a knife.

Sophia Urquhart seems to have been airbrushed out of history and for the present story I was determined to find out more about her origins and end story. It took some effort, but the saga eventually emerged.

Regarding their children, the Captain and Sophia had (at Inverness) David Urquhart Munro (1802) and Charles John Munro (1803), (at Essex) Alexander Pryn Munro (1805) and (at Chapelton, parish of Resolis) Sophia Munro (1810) and George William Munro (1812). Presumably given the gaps there were other children. A few years after her husband’s murder, the widowed Sophia was evicted from her Chapelton residence by feuer John Holm for falling behind in her rent. She was living in Aberdeen in 1824, as I see in the “Assignation of Mrs Munros debt” dated in that year:

Mr. Paterson Writer St. Ann’s Street Stockbridge this day intimated to me a Bond and assignation in Security by Mrs. Sophia Urquhart, or Munro, residing in Aberdeen, Relict of Charles Munro sometime Captain in the Forty Second Regiment of Foot in favor of Adam Coutts Advocate in Aberdeen, dated Twentieth October current by which she assigns to Mr. Coutts from Whitsunday last her liferent of the sum of Four Hundred pounds, allocated in favor of her and her children upon Newhall in the Ranking of Braelangwell in security of the sum of One Hundred and forty pounds advanced by Mr. Coutts to Mrs. Munro for the purpose of paying her debts.

I think the ranking will have arisen from a requirement in the will of her father, David Urquhart of Braelangwell, to pay “Sophia my natural Daughter, Spouse of Captain Charles Munro” an annuity of twenty pounds sterling.

I often wondered what became of Sophia and her children, and recently uncovered the sad story of what happened to two of her children, Sophia and Alexander. I didn’t think it was the same family at first, but the truth gradually dawned on me. The piece was widely reprinted in the press at the time, and this copy is from the Grantham Journal of 22 March 1880. Skip this if you are faint-hearted. Is there a causal chain here right back to the murder committed in the smiddy beside Kirkmichael back in 1812?

The Grantham Journal 22 March 1880

With the address, it was possible to backtrack on the census returns and at Denzel Street, the Strand, in 1841 and 1851 who should be present along with children Sophia and Alexander, but Sophia Munro ms Urquhart herself! And having located her, it is possible to see her in the national death records in 1859 at the Strand. I’ll set out all the census returns involving the family (with dittos expanded) so you can see the progression.

1841 Census Return St Clement Danes, Strand, London – Denzel Street
Sophia Monro 60 Indept. born Scotnd.
Sophia Monro Junr. 26 born Scotnd.
Alexr. Monro 33 printer n [so born in England, but not in this County]
1851 Census Return St Clement Danes – Denzel Street
Sophia Munro head widow 65 annuitant born India B.S. [British Subject]
Sophia Munro daughter unmarried 35 annuitant born Scotland
Alexander Munro son unmarried 45 printer employing 18 men born Thorpe, Essex
1861 Census Return St Clement Danes – Denzel Street
Alexr Munro head 54 master printer emp 2 men born Colchester Essex
Sophia Munro sister 38 dressmaker born Scotland
1871 Census Return St Clement Danes – Denzel Street
Alexander Munro lodger unmarried 66 printer compositor born Thorpe Essex
Sophia Munro lodger unmarried 61 dressmaker born Southend

Alexander was not one of the children whose baptism records I had picked up on originally, but I noted from the Census returns he was born in Essex. From the Essex Baptism Index, I see that Alexander Pryn Munro was baptised on 20 January 1805 at Weeley in Essex, son of Charles Munro, Captain in the 42nd Regiment and his wife Sophia (Essex Record Office, D/P 407/1/3), born no doubt when the Captain was serving in the army. There are probably other children born to the couple in this period, and I do deeply hope they came to a happier end than Alexander and Sophia. Alexander had obviously been of some consequence at one time, a printer employing 18 men. What could have gone wrong with his life?

The 1851 Census return gave some clues in tracking down the origins of Sophia Munro ms Urquhart. She was, from her age in 1851, born about 1786, but given she married in 1797, a more realistic birth year would be 1777. So I had conflicting clues. But I noted that in that Census it says she was born in India, and if true, this must have been where Dr David Urquhart was at that time.

And, lo and behold, in the British India Office records, we find:

British India Office Ecclesiastical Returns – Baptisms, Calcutta, Bengal
December 1784 … 10th Elizabeth Sophia, natural daughter of David Urquhart Esquire Surgeon Major

This one record throws a great light not only on the origins of Sophia, but also on the early life of Dr David Urquhart about which so little was known. It raises another query about who Sophia’s mother was: most of the considerable number of illegitimate children baptised in these records were born to local women, so Sophia’s mother was most likely a Calcutta girl. Some arithmetic on marriage and baptism dates indicates that Sophia must have been at least several years old, I hope, before she was baptised.

We intend to devote a Story behind the Stone to David Urquhart himself and his father Charles soon. But this finding corroborates another finding by Barclay Price, who has researched the life of William Macao (for the full story, see this page on the excellent Ross and Cromarty Heritage site here ). He noted that the book, Eighteenth Century Medics by P.I. & R.V. Wallis lists a David Urquhart working as a surgeon in Bengal in 1780.


Henrietta Urquhart (1787–1866)

I have been unable to pick up much about Henrietta. Her father left her by his will a patrimony of £3,000. How much of that was actually forthcoming must be questioned, but she lived on independent means, never marrying, for the rest of her life, and actually sent money to support an elderly relative, her aunt, Miss Betty Urquhart.

In the memoirs of the Reverend Donald Sage of Resolis, Memorabilia Domestica, Sage says:

Miss Betty Urquhart was the daughter of Mr. Urquhart of Braelangwell, and the sister of the late Dr. Urquhart, his son and successor. Dr. Urquhart studied for the medical profession, and went abroad, whether to China or India I cannot say. On his return to his native country he resided on his paternal estate, and soon afterwards, on the decease of Mr Lockhart who was married to the heiress of Newhall, by whom he had a family of sons and daughters, Dr. Urquhart became the second husband of Mrs. Lockhart, and had also a family by her. In the meantime, Miss Betty, as she was called, lived at Inverness. But long after her brother’s death, and after the estates of Newhall and Braelangwell had both been sold, she had an evident wish to end her days in her native parish. Her cottage was situated in a beautifully romantic spot on the banks of the burn of Resolis, and there she spent, in piety and peace, the few remaining years of her earthly pilgrimage. She had, however, some time before my settlement in 1822, been entirely confined to bed by age and infirmity. I frequently visited her, as did also both my sisters-in-law, and we certainly enjoyed the simplicity, humility, and heavenly-mindedness with which she recounted, in a retrospect of the past, “all that the Lord had done for her soul.” It would also be about this time that her niece, Miss Harriet Urquhart, paid her a visit. She lived usually with her relative, Mrs. (Col.) Lewis Mackenzie of Scatwell, in England, or at Rouen in France. When Miss Urquhart visited her aunt at Burnside we had the pleasure of seeing her at the manse. She was an amiable young woman, and seriously disposed. To Miss Betty’s comforts her niece was uniformly attentive. I have had several communications from her, containing remittances of money to be given to her aunt according as she stood in need.

I understand her step-mother, Margaret Hunter, who doted on her son David, took him abroad with governess in 1817, but I don’t know where Henrietta was residing at the time. Margaret Hunter did write letters back to Henrietta, as I note an extract from one within Gertrude Robinson’s biography of David Urquhart. Mrs Urquhart when writing home to Henrietta complains about the tutor she has appointed to help David with Latin and Greek, whom she describes as a “heavy burden.”:

His master does not even raise him. I have had him so often vexed that I have a woman to come on purpose to wake him. We keep the fire in, and sometimes his anxiety is such that he gets up at 3 o’clock and studies.

And within the Balliol College David Urquhart collection I note several letters to Henrietta here.

I see her in Islington, London, in 1851, residing with her widowed cousin Maria F. Macdonald. She is given as aged 64 and a “Fundholder”. In 1861 she was a boarder with a preparatory day school mistress in Tufnell Park Road, Islington, again described simply as “Fundholder”. It seems a rather empty way of life but who knows? She perhaps felt fulfilled. And who could ask for anything more.

She died in 1866, and her probate index entry reads:

Urquhart Henrietta, Effects under £100. 2 January. Letters of Administration of the Personal estate and effects of Henrietta Urquhart late of 41 Loraine-road Holloway [a short walk from her previous lodging on Tufnell Park Road] in the County of Middlesex Spinster deceased who died 9 August 1866 at 4 Lawn-villas Wood Green in the County aforesaid were granted at the Principal Registry to David Urquhart of the Chalet des Melezès St. Gervais Haute Savoie in France Esquire the Brother by the Half-blood and only Next of Kin of the said Deceased he having been first sworn.

The “Brother by the Half-blood” was, of course, David Urquhart, former M.P. and diplomat, by now living on the Continent for the sake of his health.


Charles Gordon Urquhart (1788–1828)

photo by Andrew Dowsett

There would have been joy when a son and heir was born to David Urquhart of Braelangwell and Henrietta Gordon of Newhall. The newspapers, such as the Caledonian Mercury of 15 May 1788 held the announcement: “On the 8th current, Mrs Urquhart of Braelangwell was safely delivered of a son at Newhall.” The Resolis Baptism Register held his name: Charles Gordon. David’s father had been Charles Urquhart and Henrietta’s father had been Charles Hamilton Gordon, so the name fitted both sides of the family.

Colonel Charles Gordon Urquhart of Braelangwell (1788–1828), as the only son from David Urquhart’s first marriage, with Henrietta Urquhart, inherited Braelangwell upon the death of his father in 1811. He had been brought up on the basis that he would inherit Braelangwell, and I see that as early as 1810 he was being introduced to his responsibilities. Thus he stood in for his father at a meeting of the Presbytery at the Manse of Resolis on 27 March 1810: “The Heretors being called, Compeared Donald Mackenzie Esquire of Newhall, principal Heretor, and Lieutenant Colonel Innes Munro of Poyntzfield for their own Interests in this united parish. Charles Gordon Urquhart Esqr produced a written mandate, empowering him to appear and act at this meeting for his Father David Urquhart Esquire of Brealangwell, which mandate was sustained.” He did the same on 1 May of that year, and several times in August. Presumably this was when he was home on leave from service, for he had joined the army previously. The History of the Second Dragoons “Royal Scots Greys” by Edward Almack (1908) gives:

From the 18th Light Dragoons, appointed Cornet without purchase, 11 March, 1810. Lieutenant, 11 August, 1814. Retired, 1814.

I have seen suggestions on the web that Braelangwell was lost due to the extravagant lifestyle of Charles Gordon Urquhart. I do not see the evidence for this and in fact his father David Urquhart always seems to have been in difficulties financially and by his death he was labouring under a mountain of debt. I do not see what else Charles Gordon Urquhart could have done on the death of his father but to put decisively the whole affair in the hands of the lawyers to sell Braelangwell and settle with the creditors as best they could. Thus Braelangwell was disposed of by judicial sale. The impending sale of the estate was advertised over an extended period in 1812:

Caledonian Mercury 4 July 1812
VALUABLE ESTATE, In the Counties of Ross and Cromarty, TO BE SOLD.
The Preparatory Steps for a JUDICIAL SALE of the ESTATE of BRAELANGWELL, being now in forwardness, the Sale will take place in the course of the year 1813. This property consists of about 820 acres of arable land, 850 of thriving plantations, and upwards of 1000 acres of pasture and moor ground, besides an extensive right of common, all lying contiguous, and forming a most eligible compact estate, situated along the south bank of the Frith of Cromarty, within a mile of the shore, and about six miles distant from the sea-port town of Cromarty at one extremity, and the same distance from Dingwall on the other. The greatest part of the property is out of lease, and the subsisting leases are of short duration. On the Mains there is a modern mansion-house, a capital court of offices, a garden and orchard, and upon two other farms, which were in the occupation of the late proprietor, there are commodious farm-steadings lately built.
The property will probably be sold in lots, which, with the upset price, and various other particulars, shall be specified in future advertisements.
Mr Cowe, the overseer at Braelangwell, will shew the property; and a plan and estimate of the value may be seen in the hands of Joseph Gordon, W.S. Edinburgh.

And a more detailed advertisement followed up in 1813, repeated for several months. The full advertisement is given in the Appendix, but I include some elements which indicate just how comfortable life had been at Braelangwell and how much money had been spent on the improvement of the estate.

Caledonian Mercury 5 August 1813
The Estate of Braelangwell, the property of the late David Urquhart, Esq. is to be sold by public roup, by warrant of the Court of Session, within the Parliament or New Session House of Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 24th day of November 1813, between the hours of six and eight in the afternoon, in the following lots, viz.–
Lot I.– Comprehending the Mansion-house, Garden, Orchard, and Mains of Braelangwell, the capital Flour and Corn Mill adjoining, the Farms of Springfield, Agneshill, and part of the Lands called Easter Brae …
Lot II. –
Comprehends the remainder of the Lands of Easter Brae, Wester Brae, St Martins, with the Corn and Lint Milns of St Martins, the Lands of Drumcudden, Drumdyre, and a small possession of Springfield …
Lot III.– Comprehends the Lands of Woodhead …
Lot IV.– Consists of the Lands and Village of Gordon’s Miln, with the Wool-Carding Miln and Feu Duties. …
The estate is beautifully situated, and possesses the greatest advantages in point of access to markets for its produce. It stretches about four miles along the banks of the Cromarty Frith, and is at no more than a mile and a half distance from the shore. Its north-east boundary is not more than six miles from Cromarty, and the south-west boundary about an equal distance from Dingwall. It is intersected at different points by public roads, the great post road from Inverness northwards by the ferries passing through it in one quarter, the road from Kessock to Alness Ferry in another, and the road from Cromarty to Dingwall passing either through or (at a short distance) along the whole extent of the property.
There are a variety of soils to be met with in the lands; but the whole estate is susceptible of the greatest agricultural improvement, and may be adapted to the most profitable courses of husbandry.
Though the estate is to be exposed in lots, to suit the views of gentlemen desirous of acquiring small properties, yet as the whole lands lie contiguous, it is well worthy the attention of those who may wish to make a more considerable investment in the Highlands. The mansion-house on Lot 1st, was built only about 20 years ago, is handsome and commodious, and every way suited to the accommodation of a genteel and numerous establishment. It commands a superb view of the Sutors and Bay of Cromarty, the Frith, and the adjacent country. The garden, which is substantially walled round, and sheltered by a thriving belt of wood, contains about an acre and a half of ground, and is extremely well stocked with fruit trees of all kinds, in full bearing. The vines in the hot-house are of an excellent kind, and very productive. There is a most commodious square of slated farm-offices, in the best repair. …
N.B.– Such of the late Mr Urquhart’s creditors as have not already done so, will please immediately to lodge their grounds of debt in the process of multiple poinding instituted by Mr Urquhart’s trustees against his creditors and legatees…

As I say, I do not see the evidence that Braelangwell had to be sold due to the extravagances of Charles Gordon Urquhart. I do not see there was any alternative given the long-term debts pressing on his father. I do wonder if there was some confusion in the nature of Charles Gordon Urquhart and the husband of his half sister Grace, Lewis Mackenzie of Scatwell. Both were military men, and Lewis Mackenzie’s extravagances are more authenticated.

The finances of Grace and her husband were tightly bound to those of Henrietta Gordon and David Urquhart, linking their two separate estates of Newhall and Braelangwell through debt. Here is one sasine from 1797 where Henrietta and David were providing money to Grace (and thence no doubt to Lewis Mackenzie) with the estate of Newhall as security!

Register of Particular Sasines, Shire of Cromarty G.R.579.205.
Nov.27.1797. David Urquhart of Braelangwell, Seised, Oct.24.1797,– in Ferrytown, Auchmartine, & Inches Crofts & particles of Land adjacent, with the Stellness & Shore of Ferrytown; Risolis & Crofts adjacent called McKeddies Crofts; Mill called Newmill beside Resolis; Easter Balblair or Balblair & Kirkmichael, Ferry & Ferry Boats, & Teinds; Burgh of Barony of St. Martins, & Patronage of the Church of Kirkmichael & Cullicudden, in security of the Teinds;– the Barony of Newhall;– Craighouse, Cullicudden, and Toberchurn, united par. Kirkmichael & Cullicudden;– in security of £1000;– on Bond of Provision by Henrietta Gordon of Newhall, & the said David Urquhart, her husband, to Grace Lockhart, spouse of Lieut.-Col. Lewis Mackenzie of Scatwell, Feb.29.1796; & Bond & Convey. by her & husband, Jun.9.1796.

I noted whilst at the national archives some time ago, going through the Court of Session Durie Extractors Minute Book (CS23/2/8), two suggestive cases: 1 June 1808 David Urquhart agt Lewis Mackenzie and 14 June 1808 David Urquhart agt Lockharts. I suspect much will be revealed when the documents of these cases are examined! And in David Urquhart’s will, there are substantial sums due to David Urquhart from Lewis Mackenzie which are termed by the Executor as not worth seeking to recover as “Debts considered quite desperate”!

It is, of course, true that Charles Gordon Urquhart after the sale of Braelangwell was considerably in debt, and in 1820 a notice appeared in the papers which showed just how extreme his position was. This is from the Caledonian Mercury of 29 June 1820.

Most unusually, though, that advertisement was followed up by one stating all debtors would be paid in full. This is almost unheard of. Again, from the Caledonian Mercury, of 26 October 1820:

NOTICE. Intimation is hereby made to the Creditors of CHARLES GORDON URQUHART, Esq. younger of Braelangwell, that James Scott, accountant in Edinburgh, the trustee, under a trust-deed, dated the 27th December 1813, has now prepared a final state and scheme of division of the trust funds, which lies with him for the inspection of all concerned until the 1st day of December next; when the Creditors whose claims have been verified will receive full payment of their debts and interest. Any further information that may be required will be given on application to Mr Scott, or to Æneas Macbean, W.S. Edinburgh, 24th October 1820.

Urquhart took up his military career again. I see him return from half-pay to active service as a Lieutenant in various Regiments in 1822. The story is that he was in the Scots Greys but in fact he served in several Regiments.

Then in March 1827 I see a note in despatches: “The undermentioned Officers have been allowed to dispose of their half-pay:– … Lieutenant Charles Gordon Urquhart, half pay 84th Foot”. This presumably was the formal approval following his joining the Greek forces and becoming involved with the Greek War of Independence. From correspondence in the David Urquhart catalogue at Balliol College his involvement started at least as early as 1826.

News in those days was slow to travel, and bits and pieces were picked up by the British Press from the Continental papers as well as from official notices. The Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser of 11 June 1827 reported:

The naval expedition sailed on Monday, the 16th of April, from the harbour of Spezzia, and on Tuesday and yesterday (17th and 18th of April) from Hydra; it consisted of 12 men of war, transports, with about 1200 marines, commanded by Major Urquhart. Lord Cochrane, the High Admiral, and General Church, Commander-in-Chief, will command this expedition in person…

Urquhart was clearly in the thick of the action, with none other than the great Lord Cochrane, one of Britain’s finest heroes. There came the Battle of Athens, as reported in the London Evening Standard of 21 June 1827. One engagement occurred on 6 May 1827:

The battle began at eight o’clock, and all was over at ten. The worst for the cause of the Greeks was the discouragement of their troops; most of them left the camp, and fled to Eleusis, Megara, and Salamis. The 1000 Hydriots, whom Lord Cochrane brought to Attica, have returned to the island. All the Greek force that still remained together was under the command of the English Major Charles Gordon Urquhart, in the Phalerus, where General Church also still remained.

In the Balliol College collection of David Urquhart correspondence, there are numerous letters to and from Charles Gordon Urquhart, including from Lord Cochrane, the first of which was from Lord Cochrane dated 30 October 1826, so Charles Gordon was involved in military operations at that time.

In Gertrude Robinson’s biography of David Urquhart she says of Charles Gordon Urquhart’s brotherDavid:

His career was interrupted by ill-health, which drove him to the South of France before he had completed his course. Instead of returning he embarked for Greece with Lord Cochrane, with whom his half-brother Charles was serving as a Naval Captain.

Was he serving as a naval captain? I don’t think so. He was certainly working with Lord Cochrane, but I think with the Greek military forces.

The first notice of his death I have seen was in the Globe of 29 April 1828 which drew from an account from Athens:

The English brig the Pelican, which arrived here yesterday, the 9th March, from the expedition against Carabusa, where it remained for some time after the place was taken, brings word that the well-known English Philhellene, Major Urquhart, who, with a small detachment of marines, was left in command of the fort after the expulsion of the pirates, had been buried under the ruins of a house which fell down. Mr. Henn, another Philhellene, is gone today to take the command of Carabusa.

Pirates? To summarise from various online sources:

There is a strong fortification dating back to Venetian days on the island of Gramvousa (i.e. “Carabusa”) at the extreme north west tip of Crete. In 1825 a body of three or four hundred Cretans captured Fort Gramvousa from the Ottomans, and it became their base. Although the Ottomans did not manage to retake the fort, they were successful in blocking the spread of the insurgency. The insurgents were besieged in Gramvousa for more than two years and they had to resort to piracy to survive. Gramvousa became a hive of piratical activity that greatly affected Turkish-Egyptian and European shipping in the region. During that period the population of Gramvousa became organised and they built a school and a church. In 1828, the new Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, sent Alexander Mavrocordatos with British and French ships to Crete to deal with the pirates. This expedition resulted in the destruction of all pirate ships at Gramvousa and the fort came under British control. On 5 January 1828, on Kapodistrias&rsqyil orders Hatzimichalis Dalianis landed at Gramvousa with 700 men.

And to conclude, from the death notice in the Caledonian Mercury of 28 June 1828 when more information had been forthcoming:

At Carabusa, on the 3d of March last, shortly after his being appointed Governor of the island, Colonel C.G. Urquhart, eldest son of the late David Urquhart, Esq. of Braelangwell. He was killed by the falling of a shed in a gale of wind, and was interred with military honours in one of the bastions of the fortress.

The papers relating to his half-brother David are held at Balliol College, and the inventory includes correspondence with Lord Cochrane during the years 1826 and 1827 when they were working closely together in the Greek conflict. There is therefore a body of correspondence from and to Charles Gordon Urquhart to build on, for those wishing to put more meat on the bones of his life. It strikes me that history has not been kind to this officer. He seems to have been unwarrantably accused of losing the Estate of Braelangwell due to his extravagant lifestyle, and the only thing he is famed for is being killed by a falling shed. Any officer who combined well with Lord Cochrane must have had a lot going for him. Charles Gordon Urquhart is long overdue a more critical study.

The fort on the promontory on the Island of Gramvousa; photo Michael Brys licence Creative Commons

The walls and a bastion of Fort Gramvousa; photo Levenius licence Creative Commons


The Children of David Urquhart of Braelangwell and Margaret Hunter

A few years after the death of his wife Henrietta Gordon, David Urquhart of Braelangwell was to marry again, to Margaret Hunter, the daughter of an Edinburgh merchant.

Scots Magazine
1804 … Marriages June 27. At Edinburgh, David Urquhart of Braelangwell, Esq. to Miss Margaret Hunter, daughter of Mr James Hunter late merchant in Edinburgh.

As previously mentioned, two more children were to follow, a son, the renowned David Urquhart (1805–1877), one of whose more unusual claims to fame was popularising the Turkish Bath in Britain, and a daughter, Agnes (1807–1810), who sadly died an infant, but whose name lives on in the small settlement initiated by her father, Agneshill in the Black Isle.


David Urquhart (1805–1877), diplomat, Member of Parliament and writer

David Urquhart at age 10, as sketched by his mother

shortly after his marriage

the image of David Urquhart usually presented

at age 63

David Urquhart was born at Braelangwell, the second son of David Urquhart of Braelangwell, by his second wife, Miss Hunter. His father died while David was still a child [he died in 1811 and Braelangwell was judicially sold in 1813], and he was brought up by his mother. In 1817, she took him to the continent, where he received his early education. After a year at a French military school he studied at Geneva under Malin, and subsequently travelled in Spain with a tutor. Returning to England in 1821, he spent six months in learning the rudiments of farming, and three or four more as an ordinary workman at Woolwich arsenal, where he acquired some knowledge of gunnery. He matriculated from St. John’s College, Oxford, on 31 Oct. 1822. Being prevented by ill-health from continuing his studies there, he was encouraged by Jeremy Bentham, who had a high opinion of his capacity, to travel in the east. He was involved in the successful attack on a Turkish squadron in the bay of Salona, this precipitating the decisive battle at Navarino. Urquhart was afterwards appointed lieutenant on a frigate, and took part in the siege of Scio, where he was severely wounded. In November 1828 he left the Greek service, the war being practically at an end.
In March 1830 Urquhart was at Argos and, when the protocol arrived determining the Greek territory, decided to examine the frontier personally. His reports were so impressive that Urquhart was given his first in numerous important diplomatic positions, including several in Constantinople.
His outspoken views led to him falling out of favour on several occasions. He powerfully influenced public opinion by his numerous writings, mostly on international politics and international travel. His style was admirably lucid. Interestingly, Urquhart was responsible for the naturalisation of the Turkish bath in the British Isles through his enthusiastic report of the institution in his Pillars of Hercules in 1850 and subsequent lectures.
He was MP for Stafford from 1847 to 1852. On 5th September 1854 he married Harriet Angelina, second daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Chichester Fortescue of Dromisken, co. Louth, and by her had two sons and two daughters.
In 1864 he was compelled by his health to leave England for the continent, where he resided partly at Montreux, and partly in a house he had built on a spur of Mont Blanc. His work on international law (he published Appeal of a Protestant to the Pope to restore the Law of Nations in 1868) led to his presence at Rome during the Vatican council of 1869 and 1870. He died at Naples on 16th May 1877, and was buried at Montreux in Switzerland.

Urquhart was a complex, active man, and the above summary of his life merely touches some of the highspots. A detailed account of the political and moral aspects of his life by Gertrude Robinson, David Urquhart some chapters in the life of a Victorian knight-errant of Justice and Liberty published in 1920, is now available on line here. The above pictures of David Urquhart are drawn from her book.

The biography would have benefited from the author being a little more critical of David Urquhart, but it was written in collaboration with Urquhart’s children which perhaps made the author less objective than she might have been. Nevertheless, you come away with a clear appreciation of this remarkable man.

Turkish baths in Jermyn Street, London, built under the direction of David Urquhart; source: Wikipedia

Harriet Urquhart ms Fortescue, wife of David Urquhart, from Memoir of Mrs. Urquhart by M.C. Bishop (1897)

Whilst Gertrude Robinson does not mention it, several on-line summaries of the life of David Urquhart state that he inherited the burial ground of Kirkmichael by entail. This is of considerable interest to the Kirkmichael Trust! I think the story originated from Henrietta Tayler in her History of the family of Urquhart (1946) where she says of Charles Gordon Urquhart that he sold the estate with the exception of a small portion including the ancient burying ground of Kirkmichael, which, having descended in strict tail, became the property of his half-brother David. The usually accurate Taylor provides supporting references for most of her material but not for this story. I myself have not yet seen any original documents relating to Kirkmichael being included within an entail. In any case, Kirkmichael as an area generally fell within the Newhall Estate. But you can normally rely upon Tayler. Fortunately there is a Register of Tailzies (i.e. Entails) in the National Records of Scotland so this Story will be updated in due course!

Note following publicaion: I am obliged to Virginia, Dowager Urquhart of Urquhart, for drawing to my attention a biography of Harriet Angelina Fortescue, the wife of diplomat David Urquhart, entitled Memoir of Mrs. Urquhart by M.C. Bishop (1897). This contains a photograph of the long-suffering Mrs Urquhart, reproduced above. It also appears to be the source of the dubious information relating to Charles Gordon Urquhart and the Kirkmichael entail then uncritically repeated by Henrietta Tayler in her History of the family of Urquhart and now ingrained into the family history. She writes:

David Urquhart was the younger brother of Charles Gordon Urquhart, chief of the Clan Urquhart, of Cromarty, who was Laird of Braelangwell, and an officer of the Scots Greys; too popular, perhaps, in London Society, for his extravagance obliged him to sell his estate, all but the ancient burial-ground in Kirk Michael, which descended in strict tail to his brother David.


Chief of Clan Urquhart

The famous diplomat David Urquhart of Braelangwell (1805–1887) had three sons, one who sadly died an infant and David Urquhart (1855–1928) and Francis Fortescue Urquhart (1868–1934), Oxford Don. David and Francis were the second and third unrecognized Urquhart Chiefs after Major Beauchamp Urquhart of Meldrum was killed in 1898, while leading his company of Cameron Highlanders at the Battle of Atbara in the Sudan. David Urquhart was 24th Urquhart Chief from 1916 to 1928 and Francis 25th Chief from 1928 to 1934.

Upon the death of Francis in 1934, grandfather of the current Chief of Clan Urquhart, Wilkins Fisk Urquhart of that Ilk (1896–1976), became senior male representor of the Urquharts of Braelangwell and 26th Chief of Clan Urquhart.


Appendix – the sale of Braelangwell in 1813 and details of the “pupillarity” court case of 1826–1829

Sale of Braelangwell advertised in the Caledonian Mercury of 22 November 1813

Cases Decided in the Court of Session, Volume 5 reported by Patrick Shaw and Alex. Dunlop Jun. (1827)
Dec. 15. 1826. 1st Division. Lord Medwyn. H.
Mrs. Lockhart and Others, Pursuers.– D. of F. Moncreiff – McNeill.
Sir C. Trotter and Others, Trustees of Colin McKenzie, Defenders.– Sol.-Gen. Hope – Skene.
W. Ross and H. Anderson, Defenders.– Forsyth – Maitland.
Tutor and Pupil – Relief. – Held that a discharge of an heritable bond, granted by persons in the capacity of tutors after their office had expired, was null and void, and that they were bound to relieve the parties to whom the discharge had been granted of all the consequences thereof.
The late Charles Lockhart, Esq. left three daughters, Henrietta, Ann, and Jean,– the two former of whom were twins, and were born in June 1802. On the 2d of June 1808, a gift of tutory dative was issued by the Barons of Exchequer, appointing Walter Ross, Charles Gordon Urquhart, William Anderson, William Henry Anderson, and other, ‘tutores dativos et administratores dict. Henriettae Lockhart, Annae Lockhart, et Jeannae Lockhart, duran. toto spatio annisque earum respectivarum pupillaritatum, ullis tribus eorum, in vicecomitatu de Ross residen. lie a quorum existen. pro administratione,’ &c. These tutors accordingly entered on the office, and in 1810 they lent £3000, belonging to the pupils, to the late David Urquhart, for which he granted an heritable bond over his estate of Braelangwell, by which he bound himself to pay that sum ‘to the said Henrietta Lockhart, Ann Lockhart, and Jean Lockhart, their heirs, &c., or to their said tutors above named and designed, or their quorum,’ &c. On this deed infeftment was taken; and thereafter Miss Jean Lockhart having died in pupillarity, her two sisters made up titles to her share of the bond.
Urquhart having died, and his apparent heir [this will be Charles Gordon Urquhart] having raised an action of ranking and sale of his estate against his creditors, the tutors of Misses Lockhart produced the heritable bond and sasine as their interest; and part of the property having been purchased by Sir Coutts Trotter and others, as trustees of the late Colin McKenzie, merchant, London, they were ordained by an interim order of ranking and scheme of division, dated the 15th of June 1815, to pay to the Misses Lockhart, or their tutors the debt of £3000, with interest. The Misses Lockhart, however, had attained the age of twelve years complete in the month of June preceding. Sir Coutts Trotter and others, the trustees of Mr. McKenzie, being ignorant of this, intimated to the agent for the tutors their intention to pay the money. In consequence of this, a discharge, disposition, and assignation in the names of the acting tutors, was executed by two of them, Walter Ross and William Anderson, in that capacity, bearing date the 25th and 30th of August 1815. By that deed they acknowledged receipt of the money, being £3712, discharged the estate of the burden, and granted a clause of warrandice in these terms:– ‘And we hereby bind and oblige the said Henrietta Lockhart and Ann Lockhart, their heirs, executors, and successors whatsoever, to warrant the foresaid discharge, disposition, and assignation, to the extent of the sums now paid to us, against all facts and deeds done or to be done by us or them, and their foresaids, in virtue of the said heritable bond and infeftment thereon, which are hereby completely extinguished for ever.’
In the mean while another part of the estate of Braelangwell had been purchased by Mr. Donald McKenzie; and before the money was paid by the trustees of Colin McKenzie, an arrangement was entered into with Ross and others, acting as tutors of the Misses Lockhart, by which it was agreed that the money should be lent to Donald McKenzie on the security of the lands so purchased by him. The same agents acted for the trustees of Colin McKenzie and for Donald McKenzie; and the money was paid by them, on receiving the discharge, into the account of Donald McKenzie with the British Linen Company, by whom it was applied in extinction pro tanto of a large debt due by him to them. An heritable bond was then granted by Donald McKenzie over the lands; but it eventually proved unavailing. The Misses Lockhart, after having married, brought an action of reduction of the discharge, disposition, and assignation granted by Ross and Anderson as their tutors, and concluding that the trustees of Colin McKenzie should be ordained to deliver to them the original heritable bond and sasine; and also to have it declared that the ‘sums of money therein contained are, and must continue to be, a real burden and effectual security affecting the whole lands and others contained in the said heritable bond and other writings, or at least affecting that part of the lands therein contained, which was acquired by the trustees of the said Colin McKenzie;’ and that they should be ordained to pay to them the principal sum therein contained, and the interest thereof. The trustees of Colin McKenzie then brought an action of relief against Messrs. Ross and Anderson, by whom the discharge had been granted, which was conjoined with the reduction and declarator.
In support of their action, the pursuers of the reduction maintained various pleas, but, in particular,
1. That as the deed was subscribed by Messrs. Ross and Anderson in the capacity of tutors, after the pursuers were out of pupillarity, and the office had expired, it was utterly inept and ineffectual; and,
2. That at all events, as it was signed only by two tutors, whereas three constituted a quorum, it was not binding on them.
To this it was answered by the trustees of Colin McKenzie,
1. That in transacting with these tutors, they had acted on the faith that they were entitled to grant the discharge; and as they had done so through the intervention of their accredited agent, whose authority had not been recalled by the pursuers, they were bound by his acts, and those of the party for whose behalf he transacted; and,
2. That a duplicate of the discharge had been granted by three of the tutors.
In regard to the claim of relief agains Ross and Anderson, the trustees of Colin McKenzie maintained,
1. That as it was their duty to have ascertained that the pupils had attained twelve years of age, and to have known that their office was expired, and as they had received the money from them, they were bound to grant them relief; and,
2. That they were further bound to do so in terms of their obligation of relief.
To this it was answered,
1. That the loss of the money was imputable to the agents of Colin McKenzie's trustees, for whom they were responsible, by paying the money into the British Linen Bank without the consent of the tutors, and therefore they ought to seek their relief against these agents, and not against the tutors; and,
2. That as the deed was merely signed by two of the tutors, it was ex facie null and void, and the trustees were therefore not justifiable in paying away the money in the way in which they had done.
The Court, on the report of the Lord Ordinary, reduced the discharge, decerned in terms of the conclusion of the pursuers' libel, and also in the action of relief at the instance of the trustees of Colin McKenzie.
The Judges were unanimously of opinion, in relation to the action of reduction, that as the discharge had been granted by persons acting as tutors after their office had come to an ened, it was utterly ineffectual. With regard to the question of relief,
Lord Balgray observed, that the claim was founded on a written obligation that the persons acting as tutors had, in consideration of receiving a sum of money, delivered a discharge, which, independent of any stipulation, they were bound to warrant as good and effectual; and that, as the discharge had been found null and void, these parties must restore the money.
Lord Craigie.– The claim of relief is clear, unless the defenders can make out an exception, by attaching blame to the agents of the parties demanding relief. This, however, has not been made out.
Lord Gillies.– The trustees of Colin McKenzie purchased part of the estate over which the heritable bond was granted, and they were ordained to pay the price to those having right to receive it. They accordingly paid it to persons representing themselves as tutors, but in point of fact were not so. The discharge was therefore good for nothing; and accordingly it has been reduced. The trustees now claim relief from those who so represented themselves as tutors, and granted the discharge; and that right is unquestionable, unless the defenders can make out a case of actual fraud, which however is not alleged.
Lord President.– These parties, acting as tutors, agreed that the money should be lent to Donald McKenzie. It was accordingly paid to him; and it is no matter what he or those acting for him did with it. It is sufficient that they granted this discharge, which they are bound to warrant.
Mackenzie and Sharpe, W.S.– W. McKenzie, W.S.– Paterson and Law, W.S. – Agents.

Cases decided in the House of Lords on appeal from the Courts of Scotland 1828, 1829
Walter Ross and Henry Anderson, (Representative of William Anderson), Appellants. – Scarlett – Maitland.
Mrs Henrietta Lockhart or Wilson and Husband, and the Trustees of the deceased Mrs Ann Lockhart and her Husband. – Murray – Campbell.
Sir Coutts Trotter, and Others, Trustees of the late Colin McKenzie, Charles G. Urquhart, and Others, Respondents. – Miller.
Tutor and Curator– Discharge.– Held, (affirming the judgement of the Court of Session), 1. That a discharge of an heritable bond by tutors, after the expiration of the tutory is not valid; and, 2. That the tutors granting such a discharge, are liable to repay the amount of the bond to the party to whom they had granted the discharge, and against whom the bond has been revived.
Charles Lockhart, Esq. had three daughters, Henrietta, Ann, and Jane [Jean]. The two former were twins, and were born in June 1802; the latter was the youngest of the family. In September 1803, Mr Lockhart executed a mortis causa trust-deed in favour of Mr Walter Ross and the late Mr William Anderson. This deed contained the usual clauses, exempting the trustees from personal responsibility, except for actual intromissions; but it did not contain any nomination of guardians to the children. Mr Lockhart died in 1804; and on the 3d of February 1805 Mr Ross was appointed by the Court of Session factor loco tutoris to the children. Thereafter, on the 2d of June 1808, a gift of tutory was obtained from Exchequer, in favour of Mr Ross, Mr William Anderson, Sir Charles Ross, Mr William Henry Anderson, Mr Charles Gordon Urquhart, and the mother, Mrs Lockhart. By that deed they were named ‘tutores dativos et administratores dict. Henriettae Lockhart, Annae Lockhart, et Jeanniae Lockhart, duran. toto spatio annisque earum respectivarum pupillaritatum ullis tribus. eorum, in vicecomitatu die Ross residen. lie a quorum existen. pro administratione,’ &c. In 1810 these persons, in their character of tutors, lent L.3000 of the money belonging to the pupils to David Urquhart, Esq. of Braelangwell, for which he granted an heritable bond over his estate, and bound himself to repay it ‘to the said Henrietta Lockhart, Ann Lockhart, and Jean Lockhart, their heirs, &c. or to their said tutors above named and designed, or their quorum,’ &c. Infeftment was taken in these terms.

photo by Andrew Dowsett


Click here to return to the Story behind the Stone gallery