Old WALKER papers – Lease of Hiddlefaulds to James Walker – 1775

This is my forth blog post in a series about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. See a list of these papers HERE.

IMG_7620-edBelow is one of several documents from an envelope labeled “Old Wills etc. of the Walker family”, which is part of a box full of family papers that I received from my aunt at a family gathering in January 2014. The contents of this envelope all date from the 1700’s.

This letter is from the Earl of Hopetoun, agreeing to lease the farm of Hiddlefaulds, in Kirkliston, West Lothian, to James Walker (my 4x Great-grandfather) from 1775, for two further terms of 19 years each. Family notes say that the Walker family (under James’ father, William) first moved to Hiddlefaulds in 1745.

IMG_9490-croppedPlease click on the images to see the scans at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each scanned image. At the bottom I’ve made some notes of my own about the document.

Lease; lease-of-Hiddlefaulds_1775_300dpiTranscription of lease;

Hope house, 19th Sept 1775

I hereby agree ^ {[.] for the Earl of Hopetoun} to give you a lease of the #
farm of Hiddlefaulds, which you presently #
possess for Nineteen years from [Mart next] #
Seventeen Hundred and Seventy five for your offer #
of the following rent and upon the following #
Conditions [viz] you are to pay a yearly rent #
of Twenty three Bolls Barley and Twenty three #
Bolls of Oat meal with Nineteen pound sterl[ing] #
of Money rent at the usual terms, and you are #
to Inclose the whole farm during the lease #
into Six Inclosures, none of them to exceed fifteen #
acres, and your lease is to contain all the #
clauses in ^ {the Earls} other Leases. If you have #
Inclosed and dived the farm as above said #
during the above lease and the fences in a #
sufficient fencable condition ^ {The Earl} shall renew your #
lease for nineteen years more upon your #
demanding it, at the above [actual] rent [viz] [twenty] #
three Bolls Barley and Twenty three Bolls meal #
and Twenty Six pound sterl[ing] of money rent and #
you become bound to uphold and maintain the #
fences during the second lease and to leave #
them in a sufficient fencable condition at the #
end thereof –
For the Earl of Hopetoun

To Jas Walker Tennant
in Hiddlefaulds of Kinpunt


Term used in the text;

On the reverse of this letter are written a series of numbers, being added up. I am unsure of the meaning/significance of these (if any)!;



James Walker (named above) married Janet Flint in May 1766 (recorded in the parish registers in both Kirkliston and Mid Calder). They had 2 daughters; Mary (b. June 1767), and Elizabeth (b. Oct. 1769), and one son; John (b. Jan. 1772). John would continue farming at Hiddlefaulds after the deaths of James & Janet (who both died in 1817). I don’t have any more information about the daughters, beyond their birth/christening dates!


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