I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.
I spent much of a day in the archives at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, near Edinburgh. I was looking into my WALKER ancestors, who were tenant farmers on the Hopetoun Estate through from the mid 18th to the end of the 19th century, and into the farms where they lived and worked.
Among other things, there are bits in the Walker family history, originally written by my Grandfather in the 1950’s, which I don’t know any original sources for. So I was hoping that I might find some of those in the Hopetoun archive records.
I had previously been in contact by email with the volunteer archivists at Hopetoun, so they knew that I planned to visit. I arrived at Hopetoun House at 10:30am, as it was opening to public visitors. I went in to the lower ground floor reception, to the right of the main staircase up to the front door (where most public visitors go into the house). I was soon met by one of the archivists, Richard, who took me up through service stairs and corridors, to an archive research room on an upper floor.
I spent several hours there, looking through a number of bundles of old documents; lease agreements (tacks), etc, and was permitted to photograph anything I saw that looked to be of interest. Each bundle has a reference number, and is catalogued in the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS). All the papers in the Hopetoun Archives appear to begin with the catalogue reference “NRAS888/”. In the archive room I was able to search this catalogue, on a computer, to identify the catalogue entries that looked to be of most interest.
(Unfortunately on the internet the full catalogue does not appear to be available! When I search the NRAS Register, it only gives the “top level record” for the papers of the Hopetoun Estate; NRAS888. The individual records, which I was able to search for in the archive room at Hopetoun House, do not appear to be available to search for online!)
Among the papers I saw, there were estate copies of two or three of the same documents that I’ve already posted copies of onto AFamilyHistoryBlog from among the WALKER family papers that I have.
My STAR FINDS from among the papers that I saw at Hopetoun House were plans of Hiddlefaulds (which was demolished in the 1890’s) and of the farm buildings at Kilpunt – both plans dated 1841, along with notes which confirmed that the WALKER family became tenants at Hiddlefaulds in (or slightly before) 1745.
A printed document about the rental income from the estates of “Pumpberston, Illieston, and Kilpunt”, (associated with the sale of these estates at the time that Lord Hope acquired them, circa 1760), details that William WALKER was the tenant in Hiddlefaulds in 1745, but a David KER was the tenant in 1740. A handwritten footnote on this page says that “when Will Walker took Hiddlefaulds he was promised a Tack [a lease agreement] but never got it.“! So the original paperwork was never done! ☻
In total, I took over 170 photos of the documents I saw, that looked to be of interest to me in my family history. These came from the following NRAS catologue numbers (with partial descriptions);
NRAS 888/16/Bundle 4; miscellaneous papers – including “lease of Kilpunt – 1843”
NRAS 888/28/Bundle 8; “papers relative to lease of Newmains, Overtoun and Kilpunt” – 1834
NRAS 888/28/Bundle 10; Tacks and Papers as to Kilpunt and Illieston, 1760 – 1830″
NRAS 888/40/Bundle 3; “papers relating to the lease of Kilpunt – including sketches for farm buildings – 1842”
NRAS 888/1879; “sketch of lands (of Kilpunt) – 1757”.
Its worth noting that the NRAS catalogue descriptions tend to identify the titled estates (such as Kilpunt), but not individual farms (such as Hiddlefaulds).
Its going to take me some time to process all of this, and I know that if I ever get the time and opportunity to go back to the Hopetoun Archives, there is quite a lot more of interest to look at there.
From what I heard the archivist saying, I gather that they have had very few people, like me, visiting the Hopetoun archives to do family history research into the tenant farmers on the estate. But from what I’ve seen, the Hopetoun archives must be a great resource for anyone who is researching a family history with this kind of connection to the Hopetoun estate.
This is one in a series of blog post about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. You can see a list of the papers that have been posted onto AFamilyHistoryBlogHERE.
This document is a lease agreement (or “Tack”), dated 12th and 13th May 1884, made between the Earl of Hopetoun, John Adrian Louis Hope (landlord), and my paternal Gt-Gt-Grandmother, Margaret Johnston (or Walker) (tenant), for the farm at Kilpunt, Kirkliston, Mid Lothian, following the death of Margaret’s husband, James Walker, in 1881.
James Walker and Margaret Johnston (both born in 1818) had married at Bathgate, West Lothian, in February 1847. James had lived at Kilpunt from at least that date (if not earlier!). The Walker family appears to have been farming the land at Kilpunt since earlier in the 1800’s, having combined it with the neighbouring farm of Hiddlefaulds, where they had lived since 1745.
No doubt, after James Walker’s death, much of the day-to-day farm work would have been done by his son (my Gt-Grandfather), Thomas George Walker, who is a signed witness to the lease, and who inherited the lease when Margaret died in 1890.
Recently, while I was transcribing this document, I came across a document on-line, dated 1888 (so within the duration of this lease), where the Earl of Hopetoun leased land at Kilpunt for a railway line. This puts into context the need in this agreement for clauses about roads, railways, canals, etc. See that pdf document HERE. Note the map on page 6 of that PDF file. The route of the railway runs right through the site of Hiddlefaulds farm, where the Walker family had lived for around 100 years before moving into Kilpunt farmhouse in the 1840’s. The 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps available through the National Libruary of Scotland, show Hiddlefaulds on a map surveyed in 1893, but the railway in its place on a revised map of 1895.
Please click on the images below to view at full resolution. Transcribed text appears in a Maroon colour below each image. At the bottom I’ve made some notes about the document.
Cover; Transcription of cover;
Tenants copy Lease
The Earl of Hopetoun
Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker
Of the Farm of Kilpunt
SCOTLAND 16/05/84 (1884)
DUPLICATE OR COUNTERPART
ORIGIONAL STAMPED WITH
SCOTLAND 26/05/84 (1884)
It is Contracted and Agreed between The Right Honorable John Adrian Louis, Earl of Hopetoun, heritable proprietor of the Lands and others aftermentioned on the one part, and Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, residing at Kilpunt, Widow of the late James Walker, farmer there on the other part, Considering that the said James Walker at the time of his death on sixth May Eighteen hundred and eighty-one had arranged with the said Earl of Hopetoun for a renewal of his tenancy of the farm of Kilpunt for Nineteen years from the term of Martinmass Eighteen hundred and eighty – And that although the new Lease proposed for said period was prepared and sent to him about the time of his death, that event took place before the Lease was completed and [executed] – And that by Mutual General Disposition and Settlement between and executed by the said James Walker and the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, dated fifth August Eighteen hundred and forty seven, and recorded in the Books of Council and Session, twenty-first May Eighteen hundred and eighty one, the said James Walker made over to the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker everything he should die possessed of and that in virtue thereof she has, as the ^said deceased’s heir of provision and with the concurrence of the Trustee on his Sequestrated Estate and of the said Earl of Hopetoun, between carrying on the Farm since her husband’s death and is [desirous] that said Lease should be made out and completed in her name; Therefore the said Earl of Hopetoun has Set and in consideration of the Yearly Rent and other Conditions aftermentioned hereby Lets to the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, and her heirs, whether of line or provision but always without division and excluding Assignees legal or conventional, and sub-Tenants of every description All and Whole the said farm of Kilpunt in the Parish of Kirkliston, and County of Linlithgow as at present possessed by the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, and extending in all to Two hundred and fifty-three Acres, three hundred and eighty decimal parts of an acre or thereby Imperial Measure, which extents without being warranted shall for the purposes of this Lease be held to be correct; And that for Nineteen Years from and after the said term of Martinmas Eighteen hundred and eighty, which is hereby declared to have been the term of Entry under this Lease; With and under this express condition that if the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker or Heirs succeeding to this Lease become Bankrupt by virtue of the Bankrupt Laws or execute a Trust Conveyance of her or his property for behoof of her or his Creditors or allow one year’s Rent to run into arrear and sequestration therefor to be awarded then and in every such case this Lease shall at the Proprietor’s option be null and void and he shall have right to assume possession of the Premises and the said Margaret Johnston or Walker obliges herself and her aforesaid to renounce possession and consents that Summary Diligence pass for removing herself or Heirs therefrom and that without prejudice to all legal remedies competent under the Act of Sederunt Seventeen hundred and fifty-six or otherwise. But declaring that the termination of this Lease under any of the foregoing conditions shall not import an acquittance or discharge of the obligation on the Tenant or her foresaids for Rent or additional Rent incurred previous to the time that she or they shall be required to remove from the subjects hereby Let. Nor shall any acquittance or discharge of any Rent or additional Rent due by the said Tenant or her foresaids under this Lease import a discharge or abandonment of any right to terminate this Lease under any of the foregoing conditions unless expressly discharged, it being hereby declared that it shall be in the power of the said Proprietor or his heirs and assignees to enforce any of the conditions herein written at any period unless he or they shall have expressly discharged them. And the said Proprietor binds himself and his foresaids to expend the Sum of Three hundred and fifty pounds Sterling in further improving the – Buildings and fences of said Farm – it being declared that this outlay shall be made at the sight and under &
Transcription of page 2;
under the direction of the Factor to the said Proprietor – (the said Sum of Three hundred and fifty pounds with the sum of Two hundred and fifty pounds already so expended making together Six hundred pounds the Sum agreed to be so expended under the arrangements with the said deceased James Walker) Reserving always to the (said) proprietor and his foresaids from the subjects hereby Let as follows videlicet Reserving always the whole Mines, Metals, Minerals, and fossils, Coal, Marl, Clay, Gravel, Sand, Sandstone, Limestone, and Slate Quarries, on the subjects hereby Let with full power to search for, [worle], win, smelt, burn and manufacture, and to carry off the same and to sink pits, form levels, make Roads, Railroads, Canals, erect Buildings and Machinery, and carry on all works within the subjects hereby let which they may think proper and to resume the land they may think necessary for these purposes. Reserving also full power at all times to take off land from any part or parts of the subjects hereby Let for the purpose of planting or for the purpose of [fencing] or letting on Building Leases or for making, altering or widening Roads or for making Railroads or Canals or pieces of water Declaring that the Proprietor or his foresaids shall be bound always to keep properly enclosed any lands resumed for any of these purposes, at his own expense, and that the said Ten:ant shall receive for any land so resumed an abatement from the Rent in the proportion that the extent of Ground resumed [be as to] the extent of the whole subjects hereby Let. And also shall receive payment of the value of any crop which may be growing on, or unexhausted manure in the ground when resumed as the same shall be ascertained by arbitration. Reserving also to the Proprietor and his foresaids all the Woodlands and Grass in the Plantations, and all Plantations, Woods and Trees whatsoever now or that may hereafter be upon the subjects hereby Let with liberty to prune, cut and carry away the same, and to replant the land from which the same may be taken, the Tenant being indemnified only in the event of these operations occasioning damage to any growing crop, but not otherwise, as the same shall be ascertained by arbitration. And reserving also to the Proprietor and to those to whom he may give authority the use of all the existing roads on the subjects hereby Let. And reserving also power to make such additional communication Gates in the fences as they may think fit they being bound to uphold the same. Reserving also to the Proprietor, with the exception of the Tenant’s Right to kill Ground Game under the provisions of the Ground Game Act, Eighteen Hundred and Eighty, the whole Game with power to the Proprietor or those whom he may authorise to shoot, hunt, or sport, the Tenant being bound to preserve all Game from all others and to turn off all intruders Reserving also power to straighten Marches and excamb Lands with the neighbouring Proprietors and Tenants and also to make new Drains or Levels for water, the damage sustained by the Tenant in such operations being settled by arbitration, and for payment of which the proprietor shall be liable. Reserving also power at all times to enter upon the subjects hereby Let to ascertain how far the Tenant has fulfilled the obligations undertaken by her under the Reservations and Conditions contained in these presents and also if the Houses, Fences, Gates, or Drains should fall into disrepair reserving power to the Proprietor to put the same into proper order, and charge the Tenant with the expenses thereof unless she execute such repairs within one month after being required by written notice. Which Tack the said Proprietor under the Reservations and Conditions before and after mentioned binds and obliges himself his Heirs and Successors to warrant to the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker, and her Heirs at all hands For which causes and on the other part, the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker obliges herself and her Heirs, Executors, and Successors, to pay to the said John Adrian Louis, Earl of Hopetoun, and his Heirs and Assignees, or to his or their Commissioners, Factors, or Chamberlains, in their name, at their respective residences within the County of Linlithgow yearly, the money Rent following namely the sum of Five Hundred and Sixty-five Pounds, Two Shillings and Sixpence. Declaring that &
Transcription of page 3;
that the said Rent shall be payable at two terms in the year Martinmas and Whitsunday as follows at the term of Martinmas yearly the sum of Two hundred and eighty two Pounds, Eleven shillings and Threepence and at the term of Whitsunday yearly the balance of the said Rent, beginning the first terms payment at Martinmas in the year Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-one, and the next term’s payment at WhitSunday Eighteen Hundred and Eighty two in full of the first year’s Rent for crop and year Eighteen Hun:dred and Eighty one, and so forth yearly and termly thereafter during the whole years of this Lease (except in so far as already paid) with a fifth part more of each term’s Rent of liquidate penalty in case of failure and the legal interest of each term’s Rent from the respective terms of payment during the non-payment thereof. But notwithstanding the terms of payment before specified to pay the whole Rents which shall be due for their possession of the subjects hereby Let at or previous to the term of Martinmass Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-nine at which term this Lease expires. And further to keep and maintain one Hound or Pointer or other Dog when required by the Proprietor or his – Factor without any allowance therefor. And further to pay all Public and Parochial Burdens payable by Tenants by law. And further to pay at the rate of Six and one half per centum per annum upon all outlay by the said Proprietor upon the subjects hereby Let which the said Tenant may ask and the said Proprietor agree to after the date of these presents (the foresaid sums of Three hundred and fifty pounds and Two hundred and fifty pounds excepted), and also to perform all carriages free of charge connected there with or connected with the Houses and Buildings presently erected or hereafter to be erected on the subjects hereby Let both which stipulations as to interest and carriages shall be understood in all cases whether expressed or not. And further to make good to the Proprietor his foresaids any loss or damage by Fire to the whole or any of the Houses and Buildings now or hereafter to be erected on the subjects hereby Let and for further security thereof the Tenant binds and obliges herself and her foresaids at their own expense to keep always insured in name of the Proprietor and Tenant or their respective foresaids for their respective rights and interests the said whole Houses and Buildings pre:sently erected or hereafter to be erected on the subjects hereby Let against loss or damage by Fire to the extent of three-fourths of their value, and also to keep at all times insured as aforesaid against loss by Fire the whole Crop and Stocking of the said Farm to the extent of their full value all as the same may be ascertained from time to time by arbitration, and these in one of the Established Fire Insurance Offices and to exhibit to the said Proprietor or his foresaids or to his or their Factor at the term of Martinmas yearly when the first portion of each year’s Rent is payable, Receipts for the payment of the premium due at that term of Martinmas yearly for the said several Insurances for the Twelve months succeeding. Declaring that the said Proprietor or his foresaids shall if so inclined have power to make the said Insurances to be effected in name of the Proprietor and Tenant or their respective foresaids, as said is and that the said Tenant or her foresaids shall in that event be bound to repay yearly to the said Proprietor and his foresaids the annual Premium for said Insurances at said term of Martinmas yearly and that the first sums paid by the said Tenant or her foresaids at or after the said term of Martinmas yearly shall be held to be applied in repayment of the said Insurances even although the Receipt or Receipts granted therefor shall bear that the money was paid to account of Rent. And further the Tenant, subject to the expenditure of the foresaid sum of Three hundred and fifty pounds yet to be made by the Proprietor, accepts the Houses and Fences as being in a good and tenantable state. Moreover the said Tenant obliges herself to maintain and leave in a good and tenantable condition the whole Houses, Drains, and Watercourses, Fences and Gates now on or hereafter to be erected on said Farm, except such as the Proprietor has herein before become bound to keep up and maintain and also the Proprietor paying one-half of the cost of repairing Fences bounding the &
Transcription of page 4;
the Plantations and maintaining at his sole expense the Fences surrounding the land which may be resumed as aforesaid. Further the Tenant binds herself to preserve and protect the whole trees now growing on the subjects hereby Let or which may be hereafter planted, and if she fail to do so she – binds herself to pay the damage which may be incurred by her fault or negligence as the same – shall be ascertained by arbitration. And further the Tenant binds and obliges herself to accept of such Lands as may be received under an excambion provided such Lands lie contiguous to the Farm and in like manner the Tenant obliges herself to give up any Lands which may be given away in an excambion leaving all questions as to deductions or increase of Rent arising out of such changes to be settled by arbitration. And further the said Tenant binds and obliges herself to reside on the subjects hereby Let, and in the event of her death the Heir of the said Lease Shall constantly reside on the subjects hereby Let. And further the said Tenant binds and obliges herself to make no alterations on the Houses and Buildings hereby Let to her without the – leave in writing of the said Proprietor or his Factor for the time being. And with regard to the cultivation and Management of the said farm the Tenant binds and obliges herself and her foresaids to cultivate and manage it according to the rules of good husbandry and to maintain the lands in a clean and fertile condition. And particularly without prejudice to these general conditions that not more than two fifth parts of the arable lands of the said farm shall be in anyone year in White Crops declaring that Peas or Beans (except Beans properly manured with twenty tons of farm yard manure per acre, drill sown and laboured as greencrop) and Turnip Seed and […] shall in all cases be counted as part of the acreage under White Crops in any year, that not less than one fifth part of the arable lands shall be in any one year in Pasture Grass and shall be in whole fields and not in separate or detached portions of fields that not more than one-fifth part of the arable lands shall be in any one year cut for Hay that all lands that shall be in any one year in Summer Fallow or Turnips or Potatoes or other Green Crop shall be in that year well and sufficiently manured and in order thereto that not less than one-half of the lands that shall be in Summer Fallow, Turnips, or Potatoes, or other Green Crop in any year shall be – manured in that year with not less than twenty-five tons of well-rotted farmyard dung per Imperial acre and should any portion of the remaining half of the said lands have a smaller quantity than the twenty-five tons of well rotted farm-yard dung per Imperial acre applied to it the deficiency shall be made up by an application of City Manure or of approved Artificial Manures at a cost of Four Pounds Ten Shillings per acre in value of said City or Artificial Manures to be applied to each acre of the said remain:ing half of the lands in proportion to the deficiency in the quantity of farm-yard manure applied. Declaring that at the termination of this Lease no part of the said farm shall be left in Summer Fallow the – Proprietor declining to pay for Summer Fallow that in the last year of this Lease the Proprietor or Incoming Tenant shall have power to sow Grass Seed in such parts of the lands as have been in Summer Fallow or in Green Crops in the preceding year provided the same be sown along with the Spring Crop or within eight days thereafter, or if with the Wheat Crop not later than the month of April and in order thereto the Tenant in possession hereby binds herself (and her foresaids) to give six days notice in writing to the Proprietor or Incoming Tenant before beginning to sow her last Spring Crop and failing their or either of them sowing the Grass Seeds as aforesaid the said Tenant in possession hereby binds herself to do so with ten pounds of good White and Red Clover Seed and one bushel and half a bushel of Perennial Rye Grass Seed to the Imperial acre or with such kinds and quantities of Clover and Grass Seed as the Pro:praetor or Incoming Tenant may direct and for the cost of which Seed and for the sowing allenarly she shall be paid as the value thereof shall be ascertained by arbitration and in either event the said Tenant in possession shall be bound to harrow and roll in the same, in a proper manner without – charge &
Transcription of page 5;
charge, and further shall be bound not to cut or pasture with stock of any kind or otherwise injure the lands so sown down after the last Crop has been reaped. And further the whole Dung or Manure produced on the farm shall be annually applied to the lands hereby Let and expressly in the last year of this Lease the whole Dung made on the farm previous to Whitsunday of the said last year shall be applied to the lands hereby let. And further the Tenant shall leave to the Landlord or Incoming Tenant the Dung made after the term of Whitsunday in the said last year of this Lease for which she shall be paid one-half its value as the same may be ascertained by arbitration. And it is expressly stipulated that if the Tenant depart from these regulations she and her foresaids shall pay the sum of Ten Pounds Sterling of additional Rent for each acre treated or cropped differently from the mode before specified and that at the time when the Rent of the year is paid with like penalty and interest on failure which additional Rent – shall not be considered as penal but pactional the Proprietor permitting such deviations for this additional Rent. And further the said Tenant binds herself to deliver to the Proprietor or his Factor when asked a statement signed and certified by her showing the number of acres of the whole lands hereby Let with the apportionment in any year of said acreage into White Crops, Hay, Green Crops, or Fallow and Pasture. Moreover the said Mrs Margaret Johnston or Walker obliges herself and her foresaids to remove from the said farm at the expiration of this Tack without warning or process of removal, or otherwise to pay the sum of Ten Pounds Sterling of Rent per acre for each years possession thereafter and proportionately for a shorter period at the times and with penalty and interest as before mentioned and also to perform the whole other conditions in this Tack. And whereas several references are herein made to arbitration the parties oblige themselves in such cases to enter into submission to some one person of skill mutually chosen as arbiter and failing an agreement as to the choice of an arbiter the parties agree to refer the choice of an arbiter to the Sheriff of the County of Linlithgow, and it shall not be competent to bring the decision of the arbiter under revision in any Court whatever. And the said parties oblige themselves and their foresaids to Implement this Tack to each other under the penalty of Four Hundred Pounds Sterling to be paid by the party failing to the party performing or willing to perform over and above performance. And they consent to the – Registration hereof for preservation and execution. In Witness Whereof these presents written on this and the four preceding pages of paper to be duly stamped by William Lyon Mackenzie, Clerk to James Hope, Writer to the Signet, are, together with a duplicate hereof subscribed by the said Margaret Johnston or Walker, at Kilpunt aforesaid, the twelth day of May Eighteen hundred and eighty-four before these witnesses; James Law, Farmer, East Mains, Broxburn, and Thomas George Walker, residing at Kilpunt aforesaid; and by the said Earl of Hopetoun at Edinburgh the thirteenth day of said – month of May, and year last mentioned, before these Witnesses; William Lennox, Clerk to the said James Hope, and the said William Lyon Mackenzie.
William Lennox, witness
W.L. MacKenzie, witness Tho. G Walker, witness Robert G Keir, witness
James Law, witness
Tho. G Walker, witness