This is one in a series of blog post about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. See a list of these papers HERE.
I was recently contacted through my blog by a descendant of the KEIR family who lived at Kilpunt farm in the 1840’s, prior to the WALKERs moving there. I had mentioned in a post HERE, that Post Office Directories record a “Mrs KEIR” living at Kilpunt in 1842, when the WALKERs still lived at the neighbouring farm of Hiddlefaulds. But by the 1851 census, the WALKERs were living at Kilpunt (where they remained until 1898).
Following that contact, my site appears to have been some inspiration for this KEIR descendant and some of his relatives to create their own Family History Blog about their KEIR ancestry, which is here; https://keirfamilygenealogy.wordpress.com/
Due to this contact, I looked out a document from the chest of WALKER family papers that tells a bit of the history of Kilpunt, which I have now transcribed (below).
This letter is signed by “R.Barclay-Allardice.“, who I believe to be a “Robert Barclay-Allardice” (b.1841, d.1913); the grandson of “Captain” Robert Barclay Allardice (for more details of this family, please see HERE).
I want to note that, from old maps, I believe the original house of the Barony of Kilpunt lay West-North-West of the existing (ex-farm)house at Kilpunt, towards Broxburn, beside the burn (see the NLS map, above). Little, if any, trace of that house remains!
Please click on the images below to see the scanned pages at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each scanned image. At the bottom I’ve made some further notes about the document.
I have also included links to further information, within the transcribed text. Much of what R.Barclay-Allardice wrote in this letter, dated February 1880, appears to be copied from (or repeated in) many other sources from the same period or earlier, many of which are now available on the internet.
Transcription of page 1;
*how far back I do not know.
6th February 1880.
As they are of interest to you & to […]
Hopetoun, I send you notes of Kilpunt, in
a fuller form than I gave them to
The lands of Kilpunt and [Elieston] were
originally * in the possession of the family
of Graham of Dundaff, (now Duke of
Montrose). In the year 1371, (I think)
a younger son of Graham of Dundaff,
Sir Patrick Graham, – received them as
patrimony – he married Euphemia Stuart,
in her own right Countess of Strathearn.
She was the only child of Prince David, Earl
of Strathearn, one of the sons of King Robert
the Second of Scotland. At Sir Patrick’s
death (who was Jure uxoris Earl of
Strathearn, the lands passed to his
eldest son Malise Earl of Strathearn
Transcription of page 2;
And Menteith – Kilpunt remained
the property of the Earls of Menteith
till the year 1694. When the last Earl
of Menteith and Airth died ^(in that year,) he left
Kilpunt & […] to his nephew & heir
of line, (eldest son of his sister Lady Mary
Graham or Allardice) – Sir George Allar-
-dice of Allardice, Kincardinshire, Knight.
By him Kilpunt was sold, but whether
direct to the Hopetoun family I am
not sure. The eldest sons of the Earls
of Monteith & Airth took the title of
Lord Graham of Kilpont and Kilbryde,**
but were always called Lord Kilpont, so as
to be distinguished from the Montrose
Grahams. John, Lord Kilpont, father
of the last Earl of Menteith & Airth, was killed
at the camp of Collace in Perthshire by
James Stewart of Ardvoirlich, and his murder
Transcription of page 3;
forms the groundwork of Sir Walter Scott’s
“Legend of Montrose”, one of his novels.
Notes of Charters of Kilpunt and Elieston
may be found in the Reports of the Royal
Commission on Historical Manuscripts
printed by [Government] as Parliamentary
Blue Books – in the 3rd Report which
contains report on the Duke of Montrose’s
Menteith documents – & in the 5th Report
which contains the report on my mother
Mrs Barclay-Allardice’s papers.
I am, faithfully,
Mr J. Walker
** Kilbryde is an estate in Perthshire now belonging
to Sir James Campbell Burt.
There is a lot of information on the internet providing more details about the people, places, titles, and events mentioned in this letter (above). Many of these sources make mention of Kilpunt (or “Kilpont”). I’ve included hyperlinks in the transcribed text to some of these references, and make a further list below, of the references I’ve found;
- Grahams of Dundaff ; http://clangrahamsociety.org/famousgrahams.html
- Duke of Montrose; Wikipedia
- Euphemia Stuart, Countess of Strathearn; Wikipedia
- Jure uxoris; meaning “by right of (his) wife”; Wikipedia
- Earl of Menteith; Wikipedia, & Electric Scotland
- Lord Kilpont; www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info/genealogy/
- “A Legend of Montrose”, novel by Sir Walter Scott; Wikipedia
- Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts; Wikipedia, & Google Books
- Duke of Montrose; Wikipedia
A document titled “10 papers relating to claims to the earldom of Airth” (dated 1839), relating to a claim by R. Barclay-Allardice’s grandfather, “Captain” Robert Barclay-Allardice, to the title of “Earl of Airth”, appears to contain the source for much of the contents of the letter above. So does another report about that claim, dating from the same time; see archive.org.
The National Archives at Kew appear to hold a number of documents about the Barclay-Allardice family and their title claims, HERE.
Some of the place-names in this document have variations of spelling, e.g;
- Kilpunt / Kilpont / Kinpunt
- Elieston / Elliston / Illieston ; see ScotlandsPlaces
The property, and the title “Baron of Kilpunt”, were owned by the Earls of Hopetoun from a date which I don’t know, and which the above letter doesn’t make clear, until a change in Scottish law in the early 2000’s, which separated the ownership of the land from ownership of the ‘title’. This allowed the Earl, or Marquess of Linlithgow, to sell the title for a reported £50,000, and to separately sell the property to developers. Information on-line (here) indicates that the title “Baroness of Kilpunt” is now held by a member of the Cadzow family, who were cousins of my Walker family, and who farmed at Kilpunt from 1898, when the Walkers moved south to Hertfordshire. But I have yet to check out the details of this!
The Kilpunt farm house was referbished in the 2000’s and sold on, and new houses have been built in its walled garden (to the south). The barns, or “Steadings”, have also been converted into houses, and I believe that developers have outline plans to build housing on the surrounding farmland.
If you have, or know, anything that would shed more light on this history of Kilpunt (either the place and its souroundings, and/or the title and those who have claimed it), I would be interested to know. If so, please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.