The history of Craufurdland Castle...
1. John, the 3rd son of Sir Reginald de Crawford, first Sheriff of Ayr, is the ancestor of the Clan branch at Craufurdland in Ayrshire. He was married to Alicia de Dallsalloch. Through this marriage large tracks of lands in Clydesdale were possessed by the family, much of which though passed to the Cumins on marriage of his daughter. The lands of Ardoch were given to John Craufurd, the second son of John and Alicia, in contentation of his rights to the whole as heir.
2. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, first laird of Craufurdland (formerly known as Ardoch) was the second son of the above John Craufurd. He lived in the reign of Alexander II (1214-1249), and was succeeded by his eldest son.
3. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, the second laird, lived in the reign of Alexander III (1249-1285), and was succeeded by his eldest son.
4. James Craufurd of Craufurdland was a follower of Sir William Wallace, his cousin. James’s aunt by his father’s side, Margaret, married Sir Malcolm Wallace of Ellerslie in Ayrshire 1 mile west of Kilmarnock (not to be confused with Elderslie in Renfrewshire) and became the mother of Sir William Wallace, the immortal hero of Scotland. With the power and influence of the High Office of the Sheriff of Ayr within their family, Margaret Crawford’s father and brothers, risking life and property, provided protection for William Wallace after his initial fateful clash with the English. During this time Wallace’s Crawford uncles were influential in training him in the arts of diplomacy, war and languages, as well as nurturing Wallace’s tremendous desire to re-establish an independent Scotland. Family records related that the third laird helped his cousin, Sir William Wallace, become Arden of Scotland in 1297.
Wallace’s younger brother, John, and uncle Sir Reginald Crawford, both of whom were prominent in the service of both Wallace and Robert the Bruce, were executed at Carlisle in 1307 for their loyalty to Wallace. Wallace had been executed earlier in August 1305 in London. The castle of the Boyd’s, Dean Castle, was located in Kilmarnock, some 2 miles from Craufurdland. The two castles were connected by an underground passage. The soldiers of Edward I of England lay siege around Dean Castle for three months. When the English soldiers were starting to starve, the inhabitants of Dean Castle hung out fresh beef and offered it to the English, saying they had more food than they could use. In disgust, the English commander raised the siege. The underground passage had been the secret to survival! There was always a very close friendship between the Craufurds of Craufurdland and the Boyd of Kilmarnock. There is a delightful legend about this friendship; although probably not true, it is entertaining!
5. Records fail to establish the name of the eldest son of James, although it is probable that it was John. The details of his deeds are less well known, but it is likely that both James and his son ‘John’ would have continued their allegiance to Wallace after his death, and as such be seen at Bannockburn.
In the year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen and won their freedom.
As Bannockburn is in Stirlingshire just north of Lanark, there is no doubt that the Crawfords and Wallace’s older brother Malcolm fought in the memory of their previously executed nephews, cousins, and uncles in this struggle for Scottish independence. The main branches of the family were Crawford of Auchinames (in Renfrewshire) who received a grant of land from Robert the Bruce, plus Craufurd of Craufurdland.
6. John Craufurd of Craufurdland succeeded his father, as eldest son. He, during his time as laird, acquired a new confirmation of the lands of Craufurdland (Ardoch), from Robert III in the second year of his reign, 1391, at Dundonald. He was succeeded by his eldest son. John’s third son, John, inherited the lands of Giffordland, and was the first Craufurd of Giffordland (from which Craufurd of Birkhead comes.)
7. John’s eldest son (name unknown) died without issue and passed the estate on to his brother, William of Craufurdland. William was knighted by King James I after his part in the siege of Creyult in 1423, for King Charles VII of France. Sir William was sorely wounded and taken prisoner, to be released a year later with King James I. He was succeeded by his eldest son.
8. Rankine Craufurd of Craufurdland married and had three sons: William, Robert & Andrew.
9. William Craufurd of Craufurdland lived during the reign of King James II. He married Janet Hamilton, daughter of the Laird of Bardowie, by whom he had three sons:
> Archibald, his successor;
> William, who married Nisbet of Cultness and author of the Craufurds of Dean;
> Thomas Craufurd of Amlaird.
10. Archibald Craufurd of Craufurdland lived during the reign of King James III and married twice. His first wife, Jean Kennedy of Bargenny, bore him a son, Robert. His second wife was Lady Pokelly, daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw and widow of Hugh Muir of Pokelly.
11. Robert of Craufurdland married Elizabeth Muir, who bore him three sons:
> John, his successor;
> William, Laird of Walston;
> James, who was knighted.
Robert died of wounds he received at the “Wylielee”, in the company of his father, Archibald, both being in attendance to James Boyd, son of Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran. James was killed there by Hugh Montgomery, 4th Lord Montgomery and 1st Earl of Eglinton, in the year 1484.
12. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, son of the Robert Craufurd, settled the feud between the Boyds and the Montgomerys by arbitration, and married Janet Montgomery, daughter of the Laird of Giffen. They had two sons:
> John, successor to John;
> Archibald, who was born after his father’s death, is probably the most notable Craufurd of Craufurdland.
John of Craufurdland followed James IV to the sorry field of Flodden in 1513 where, in company with much of the flower of Scottish chivalry, he died.
13. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married Margaret Blair, daughter of John Blair of that Ilk, by whom he had three sons and five daughters:
> John his heir;
> Thomas, who married Margaret Craufurd, heir-proportioner of Giffordland, sister of Isabel Craufurd, spouse to John Craufurd of Walston;
> Robert, died unmarried;
All were married. John got a charter under the Great Seal from King James IV. Johanni Craufurd de Craufurdland, terrarium de Giffordland, in Ayrshire, dated 27th March 1576. He died anno 1583, at the age of 71.
14. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, who upon his father’s resignation got a charter under the Great Seal Johanni Craufurd juniori de Craufurdland, terrarium ecclesiaticarum de Kilbryde, in Ayrshire, dated Feb 1581. During his lifetime, probably due mainly to his Great Uncle’s (Archibald Craufurd) influence, got form Mary Queen of Scots a gift of the ward of the lands of Reidhall, lying within the Stewartry of Annandale. The deed of gift, having the signature attached to it, dated at Edinburgh 26th December 1561, is held by the family. John married Margaret Wallace of Cairnhill, by whom he had four sons and three daughters:
> John, his heir;
> Hugh, portioner of Rutherglen;
> Robert of Howat, who died unmarried;
> Archibald, Constable of Dumbarton Castle, and one of the Bailies of that Burgh;
John died aged 70 in the year 1603, succeeded by his eldest son.
15. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married twice in his lifetime, first to Helen Chalmers of Gadgirth, by whom he had a son, John, his heir, and three daughters:
Secondly, he married Christian Wallace of Auchans, and widow of Mr James Ross of Whiteriggs and thereafter Lady Dreghorn. Together they had a son Robert, and a daughter Catherine. Robert got from his father the lands of Monkland, but his son, John, died without issue shortly after his father, and the lands returned to the family of Craufurdland. He died in 1612 aged 42.
16. John Craufurd married Elizabeth Cunningham of Corsehill in 1610, who bore him two sons:
> Alexander, who died an infant.
John died aged 21 shortly before his father, apparently dying from injuries received at ‘football’, however more likely a game which used a bladder ball, and possibly swords.
17. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married Anna Stuart of Castlemilk in 1667. They had three sons and four daughters, with only the sons surviving to adulthood. The first son and heir, John, notarised himself rather unfortunately being incarcerated in 1691 on suspicion of being concerned in the Bothwell-Brig insurrection. He died in 1693.
18. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married Elizabeth Kerr of Morrieston, by whom he had five sons and three daughters:
> John, his heir was the only son to bear issue;
> His 2nd and 3rd sons died without issue;
> William was a writer in Edinburgh;
> Andrew was surgeon in Lord Mark Kerr’s Dragoons dying in Edinburgh in 1762;
> His 1st and 3rd daughters also died unmarried;
> His 2nd daughter, Elizabeth, saved Craufurdland from her brother’s banker.
19. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, born in 1694, married Robina Walkinshaw, daughter and heiress of John Walkinshaw of that Ilk, Laird of Bishoptoun. Upon their marriage, John added the name and arms of Walkinshaw to his own. The couple had four sons and one daughter, but only the eldest, John Walkinshaw Craufurd survived to adulthood. John later married Elenora Nicolson of Carnock, by whom he had no issue. He died in Newcastle 10th January 1763.
20. John Walkinshaw Craufurd of Craufurdland, the twentieth Laird, was a distinguished soldier who, after entering the army at an early age, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was present at the victory of Dettingen in 1743, also distinguishing himself at Fontenoy two years later. Despite his faithful service to the house of Hanover, he was an intimate and faithful friend of the Jacobite Earl of Kilmarnock, and he accompanied his ill-fated friend to the scaffold as a last act of comradeship. He received the earl’s severed head and attended to the solemnities of his funeral.
This act of charity resulted in his name being placed at the bottom of the army list. However, he restored his fortunes and in 1761 he was appointed falconer to the king. Despite his devotion to his friends, he did not seem to share a similar affinity for his family. He died in 1793 and in his will left his entire estates to Sir Thomas Coutts, the eminent banker. The deed was, however, contested by Elizabeth Craufurd (mentioned earlier), and her daughter, also Elizabeth. The case was eventually won in the House of Lords in 1806, but sadly Elizabeth died before winning her long battle, and the ancient estates passed back to the rightful heir, her daughter.
21. Elizabeth Craufurd of Craufurdland, daughter of the before-mentioned John Craufurd of Craufurdland and Elizabeth Kerr of Morrieston, married twice. Her first husband was William Fairlie of that Ilk, by whom she bore one daughter who died in infancy. Afterwards, on 3rd June 1744 she married John Houison of Braehead, in Midlothian, head of an ancient family in that county. They had two sons, William and John, who both died in infancy, and two daughters, Elizabeth, and Margaret, who died unmarried in 1801. Elizabeth Houison Craufurd (nee Craufurd) died at the impressive age of 97 in 1802, succeeded only by her daughter Elizabeth, and still four years short of the rightful restoration of Craufurdland to the Craufurd Family, a battle she had fought for nine years at time of her death.
22. Elizabeth Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, the only representation of these two ancient families, which up until her mother, had both been in the male line. Elizabeth married the Rev James Moody, who assumes the name of James Houison Moody Craufurd, to whom she bore seven children:
> John, who died in infancy;
> Alexander, born in 1780, dying aged 16 in 1796;
> William, who succeeded his parents;
> Elizabeth Beatrix, Margaret & Elizabeth, who died in infancy;
> Isabella. Elizabeth, saviour of Craufurdland, died on 1st April 1823, succeeded by her son William.
23. William Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, married in 1808 to Janet Esther Whyte, only daughter of James Whyte of Newmains and his wife Esther Craufurd (mentioned above, whose father was a lineal male descendent of William, the third son of John Craufurd of Craufurdland and Janet Cunninghame. John and Janet were William’s great, great, great, great Grandparents). William and Esther had three children:
> John Reginald;
> Elizabeth Constantia;
> Winifred Janet.
24. John Reginald Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead married Mary Hamilton, by whom he had two sons, Reginald and Archibald.
25. Reginald Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead married Emily Maud Hassard, daughter of Major General Hassard C.B., but they did not have any children and after Reginald’s death, Maud passed the estate onto her nephew, John Douglas, son of Reginald’s younger brother Brigadier-General John Archibald Houison Craufurd CBE and his wife Nelly Dalrymple Hays (the author’s great grandparents). Brigadier-General John Archibald Houison Craufurd CBE was Assistant Quartermaster-General, Scottish Command, in the Army, transferring to the RAF in 1918, and here he was Brigadier-General (Administration), HQ North-Western Area, until his retirement in 1919.
26. John Douglas Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, married Irene Marlow, and they had two children John Peter, and Barbara.
27. (John) Peter Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, was the 27th Laird, and saw the castle modernised extensively inside. He married Caroline Helen Berry, daughter of Lionel Berry, Viscount Kelmsley. They have three children:
Alexander is married to Christine Gray, and they have two daughters, Katie and Elisabeth. Tessa is married to Christopher Geall, and they have one son Jack, and three daughters, Sophie, Rosie and Poppy.
28. Simon, the 28th (and current) Laird, is married to Adity Priyadarshini, and at time of writing has two daughters, Indra and Manisha.