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This page contains an edited extract from the following book. You are advised to read the original publication if you are seriously researching the content.


PAGES 413 - 429



The Church of Monecky (Monikie) was in the diocese of Brechin.  It was rated in the Old Taxation at forty pounds. It is called in old documents Moniekyn, Munikkin, Monieky, etc.  It was gifted to the Abbey of Arbroath by King William the Lion, 1189 - 1199, and confirmed by him, 1211-1214, and by Pope Honorii, 1219.  In 1574 Arbirlett, Pambryde, and Monekie were served by Charles Michelson, minister, who had a stipend of 100, and kirk lands.  Henrie Grief was reidare at Monikie, with a salary of 14. We do not know to what saint it was dedicated, and there is no fountain near the Church with the name of any saint to indicate the patron.

The parish is nearly triangular in shape, about seven miles in length from north-west to south-east, and five miles in breadth.  It is bounded by Guthrie and Carmyllie on the north, by Panbride on the east, on the south by Barry and Monifieth, and on the west by Murroes and Inverarity.  It contains 9027.112 acres, of which 106.002 are water.  The parish is divided into zones by ranges of hills which cross it from east to west.  To the south of the ridge called Downie Hill the land slopes towards the estuary of the Tay, is composed of rich soil with a gravelly subsoil, and is very productive; and having a sunny exposure, the crops come early to maturity, and are of fine quality.  The farmers are masters of their business, and take the most possible out of their land.  On the north of the ridge the soil is less productive, the climate moist and cold, and the crops are lighter and later, and more precarious. To the north of this district the ground rises still higher, and much of it is muirish and only fit for pasturage.  The drainage from this district is collected into drains, and conveyed to the Craigton reservoirs belonging to the Dundee Water Commissioners, whence most of it is taken to Dundee.  This northern section of the parish is bleak and cold, and it contains little that is attractive to a stranger.

The only remains of the castle now known are two triangular stones built, the one above the other, into the front of a cottage adjoining the farm steading of Kirkton. The lands of Monzeky (Monikie) were for a long time in possession of the Lindsays.  Alexander Lindsay of Monikie is mentioned in 1516, Mr. John Lindsay of Monikie in 1528, and David Lindsay of Monikie in 1562.  There had also been a David Lindsay of Monikie in 1587.  In most of the larger divisions of the barony of Downie there had been a tower or fortalice, generally called a castle.  There was one at Monikie on the rising ground about 250 yards to the north of the Parish Church,  a considerable part of which was standing in the beginning of this century.  The only remains of it now known are two triangular stones built, the one above the other, into the front of a cottage adjoining the farm steading of Kirkton.  On the upper of these are the letters DL : BE, and the date 1578, with some portions of the family arms, etc.  Some sculptures are on the other stone, but the weather and moss have made them so indistinct that we cannot say what they are.  A few years ago there were a number of large, old, hardwood trees standing near the site of the old castle, but they have disappeared.

(Both photographs alongside can be enlarged to see more detail by copying to another application.  Alternatively a larger photo can be seen by clicking on these.)

(CLICK HERE for a photograph of Easter Elchies House, near Aberlour.  This MIGHT show a similar building to that described here (area of Guildy) and of the pediments above the attic windows which can be clearly seen.)

The only remains of the castle now known are two triangular stones built, the one above the other, into the front of a cottage adjoining the farm steading of Kirkton.

The lands of Monikie and many other lands in the parish held off the Priory of Resteneth.  The following are the lands so held, and the sums paid annually for each, as given in the Aldbar Miscellany;- Lands of barony of Downy, 10 merks; lands of Carlungy, 5 merks; lands of Cambustone, 10s; lands of Downiekane, 15s; lands of Balhungy, 10s; lands of Ardesty, 10s; lands of Moniky, 5s 4d; lands of Pitairey, 6s 8d; lands of Guildry, 12d; lands of Stotfald, 2s; lands of Dunfynd, 10s; lands of Newbigging, 4s; Mill of Downy, 2s.

Some of the lands in Monikie were acquired by the Fletchers of Inverpeffer early in the 17th century, if not sooner.  On 21st May, 1658, Sir Robert Fletcher of Inverpeffer, son of Sir Andrew Fletcher of Inverpeffer, knight, Senator of the College of Justice, was retoured (No. 312) in the barony of Inverpeffer, comprehending, among other lands, those of the lands and town of Stotfaulds, Fallaws, Leadside, and Kirkhill, with pasture in the moor of Monikie, called Northmure, in the parish of Monikie - A.E. 13s 4d, N.E. 4m.

The Parish Church of Monikie was erected in 1812 partly on the site of its predecessor.  It is a comparatively plain quadrangular edifice, with large pointed windows fronting the south, and smaller ones on the north side. Some improvements were made recently on the interior of the Church, and it is now very comfortable. A small belfry is perched on the west gable.  On the bell is a Latin inscription, of which the following is a transcription -


We think it very probable that the previous Church of Monikie had been erected in or about that year, and that the bell had been got for the new Church. Most of the old bells in the churches in the country were cast on the Continent of Europe, but Monikie bell is of Scottish manufacture, and the tone is pleasing.  An enclosed graveyard surrounds the Church, in which are many monuments, some of them old and moss-covered, dating from the beginning of the 18th century, but no attempt has been made to level the ground or arrange the stones. A good manse and garden adjoin the Church on the east, and the Monikie Burn flows past church and manse at a little distance to the south.  The situation is pleasant, and some well-grown trees shelter the manse, etc. from windy blasts.  The glebe is in the vicinity of the manse.

Adjoining the east side of the Craigton reservoir is a very handsome Free Church, with a pretty spire, a comfortable manse, and a large walled garden, which were erected some time after the Disruption. The late Fox Maule, Earl of Dalhousie, on whose property they stand, contributed very liberally towards the cost of the buildings.  The shrubs and trees planted around the erections are now of some size, and beautify and shelter the premises.

There is a Board School (only one photographed) and a Free Church School in the parish, so that the educational interests of the inhabitants are well cared for.

The first known proprietor of Auchinleck (Gaelic = the field of broad or flag stones), now usually called Affleck, was Mathew le Napier de Aghelek, designed of the shire of Angus, who did fealty and took the oaths of allegiance to King Edward I at Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1296.  Of this baron or his family nothing is known beyond this act of homage.

Shortly after this date a son of Le Napier, or some other person who may have acquired the barony, assumed it as a surname, as on 15th March, 1306, John de Aghelek did homage to the same King for his lands in the county of Forfar.  These lands are in this parish, and the barony was then of considerably greater extent than it now is.  The family continued to hold the lands for upwards of three centuries, but they took little share in national affairs and none of their acts occupy much space in the annals of the kingdom; but Auchinleck of that ilk appears as a witness to several local charters. James of Auchinleck is mentioned on 18th May, 1445.

The Lindsays, Earls of Crawford, were superiors of the barony, and, in 1459 the Earl, by the avisement of Lindsay of the Halch, hereditary Constable of the Castle of Finhaven, renewed the marches and bounds of Auchinleck.  The chief of the family was hereditary armour-bearer to the Earls of Crawford, and one of his councillors.  About thirty years before the renewal of the marches, Sir John Auchenleck, knight, the then baron, married a daughter of Sir John Boswell of Balmuto, in Fife.  After Sir John's death Lady Auchenleck married Durham of Grange of Monifieth.  Sir John's predecessor appears to have been Sir Alexander Auchenleck of that ilk, he having acquired the property of Barras, in the Mearns, from the co-heiresses of Melville of Glenbervie about the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The Auchenlecks were a well known family in Dundee, several members of it having been burgesses, and some of them magistrates.  James Auchinleck was Provost in 1593, and William Auchinleck, after having been repeatedly Dean of Guild, was Provost of Dundee in 1619. On 28th July, 1610, Gilbert of Auchinleck succeeded his father Robert.

On some of the tombstones in the Howff (Dundee) their armorial bearings and quaint mottoes and inscriptions may still be seen.  One upon Archibald Auchinleck and his wife, dated 1647, is very curious.  The fine old castle of Affleck was built by some of the members of this family.  It stands on an elevated situation a short distance to the west of the Reservoirs belonging to the Dundee Water Commissioners.  It commands a most extensive view, including part of the Tay, the eastern part of Fife, the Isle of May, the German Ocean, and portions of Angus.  The castle consists of a lofty, massy, square tower, having considerable resemblance to the "Border Peel" common in the south of Scotland.  It is of four storeys in height, surmounted by a flag tower and capehouse.  The walls, which are of great thickness and solidity, are built of squared ashlar stones, which are still sound and perfect as when built, no appearance of decay being visible.  The roof is covered with flagstones and the battlements are entire and may he traversed in safety.  The lower storeys are arched with stone, the roofs being circular, and a stone staircase leads from the ground to the parapet, having openings to each floor.  The upper floors are of oak, and strong massy beams and joists of oak support the roof.

The chief apartment is on the third floor, and it occupies the entire area within the walls of the castle.  It bears evidence of having been ornate, and the fireplace, which had been spacious, still shows traces of carvings and mouldings.  Entering off this room are two small bedclosets and a small oratory, each of which is in the walls, which show them to be of great thickness.  (Andrew) Jervise says- "In the oratory, which measures seven feet six inches by six feet two inches, a benatura, a piscina, and an ambry still remain, along with some architectural ornaments, among which is a shield with three lozenges."  Massy doors of oak and an iron yett or gate defended the entrance and near the door are small holes in the wall, bevelling outwards, for shooting arrows and other missiles from within.  The windows are small, and protected by iron bars.  A few years ago the iron yett was removed.

A similar iron gate or yett is still to be seen at the Castle of Invermark, in Glenesk, and at Inverquharity, on the banks of the South Esk near Kirriemuir.  In feudal times a special license from the Sovereign was necessary before an iron yett could be erected on a castle, and the deed authorising the Lord of Inverquharity to erect one is still extant among the archives of the Ogilvies.  It was granted by James II in 1445.  The yetts at Inverquarity, at Invermark, at Auchinleck, and at Braikie were of similar construction, and we may therefore infer that this castle had been erected and the iron gate put on about the same period, and that the renewal of the marches took place shortly thereafter.  If this inference is correct, Affleck Castle must be nearly four centuries and a half old.  Though thus hoary with age, it is still in better preservation than any other of the non-inhabited old baronial castles in Angus.  Were it not that the accommodation it affords is neither of the description nor extent which modern tastes and fashions consider necessary for health and comfort, it might still be inhabited by the owners.  Many veteran trees of great age and size surround and adorn the castle.

On 18th April, 1665, Gilbert Auchinleck of that ilk was retoured (No.414) in the lands of Auchinleck, in the barony of the same, as heir of Gilbert Auchinleck of that ilk, his father or grandfather.  It is probable that the son or grandson who succeeded in 1665 was the last of the name who owned the property, and that he sold the lands; as, about the middle of the seventeenth century the barony passed from the Auchinlecks to a family named Robert Reid, but of their lineage or history little is known.  Thomas Reid of Auchinleck in 1733 presented a silver communion cup to the Kirk Session of Dundee.  A Thomas Reid was one of the assessors of the Guildry, a few years prior to that date, and as the donor of that cup must have had intimate connection with Dundee, it is probable that the donor, the assessor, and the laird had been one and the same person.  The family had been keen Jacobites, as were many in Dundee in 1715 and 1745.  The head of the house took part in the rebellion of 1745, and for his adherence to the Stuarts, what remained of the estate was forfeited in 1746.  Mr. Reid escaped to France, and his wife and family subsequently joined him there.  About the beginning of last century one of the Reids sold part of the barony to a person named Smith, of Camno, who called his purchase ‘Smithfield.’  His son John, second of Smithfield, married a daughter of William of Douglas, who was ancestor of the family of Brigton, in Kinnettles, and Provost of Forfar.  He was a son of Dr. Robert Douglas, Bishop of Brechin. Mr. Smith's only child, Catherine, married John Fife of Dron, and banker in Edinburgh.  By the death of a descendant of theirs, who was a merchant in Glasgow, the estate came to Major David Fyffe of The Lodge, Broughty Ferry, and of Logie, Dundee, whose lady being of the family of Brigton, was a descendant of the Bishop of Brechin, and subsequently of Dunblane.  The estate of Smithfield was acquired by the late John Shiell, solicitor, Dundee, and it now belongs to his Trustees.

After the forfeiture of Reid, the castle and remaining lands of Auchinleck were purchased by James Yeaman, one of the Bailies of Dundee.  This family continued to reside in the castle until the year 1760.  About that period, or shortly thereafter, Mr. Yeaman, or his son and successor, erected a fine manor house a little to the south of the castle. It is replete with every modern convenience, and is large and commodious.  The two buildings, the old castle and the modern mansion, contrast strangely with each other, but not more so than did the manners, habits, and customs of the denizens of the old keep differ from the tastes, the modes of life, and the practices of the occupants of such dwellings at the present time.  Nearly two centuries ago Ochterlony describes the castle as "ane old high tower house, which is seen at a great distance at sea, and it is used for a land mark by those that come in the river of Tay."

The estate, with the old castle and the new manor house, was sold by a descendent of Bailie Yeaman to Graham of Kincaldrum, in Inverarity.  They were subsequently acquired by James Mitchell, railway contractor, Broughty Ferry, and now belong to his Trustees.

The Auchinlecks of that ilk anciently possessed the lands of Balmanno, in the parish of Marykirk.  St. John's Well is there, and in old times there had probably been a place of worship there.

There is good freestone on the (Affleck) estate, and it is probable that the castle had been built with stone taken from a quarry on the estate.  Several feus have been given off and dwellings built upon them.  A large seed crushing mill was recently erected on a part of the estate, with a number of houses for the people employed at the mill.

Some further details regarding Auchinleck will be found in the proprietory account of Smithfield, afterwards given.

There is a tradition in the parish that Auchinleck was occupied in succession by some twelve generations of the name of ‘Gilbert Auchinleck.’  The records of the Kirk Session, which commence in 1615, are to some extent confirmatory of this, a number of the name of Gilbert Auchinleck being entered for baptism, the witnesses being invariably two of the three lairds of Kirkbuddo, Pitairlie, and Guthrie.

The Castle of Auchinleck is mentioned by Monipennie in 1612 (p.170).

A great part of what was afterwards the thanedom, then the barony of Downie belonged to the Celtic Earls of Angus. Duncan de Dunny, who was one of the perambulators of the marches of Tulloes and Conan in 1254, may have held part of the lands under the superiority of that family, and taken his surname from them.  The lands afterwards became the property of the Abernethys, the male line (if which ended in Alexander de Abernethy.  He left three co-heiresses, one of whom, Mary, was married to Sir David Lindsay of Crawford, circa 1315-1320, and with her he obtained the barony of Downie and other lands.  Sir James Lindsay of Crawford gifted Duny and other lands to the Abbey of Cupar.

In Memorials of Angus and Mearns, p.402, it is said that Sir James Lindsay of Crawford gave the Convent of Cupar the lands of Little Pert, Duny, and Clair, in Angus.  In the Registrum de Cupar, Pref. xix., he is called Sir David Lindsay of Crawford, and in the copy of the confirmation charter of the lands by King Robert Bruce, dated at Dunkeld, 5th October, 1309, and attested at Dundee same year, he is called Alexander of Lindsay.  The Duny or Downie given the Abbey by the Lindsays was in Glenisla, and not in the parish of Monikie.  The Lindsays had been proprietors of both ‘Downies.’  Not being sure of the donor, we cannot give the date of gift.  The Earl of Crawford gave an annual of twelve merks from the lands of Dunfynd and Downycane, in the barony of Downie, to the altar of our Lady at Dundee, to have mass celebrated for the souls of his ancestors, and his own after his death.  Charter confirmed at Dundee, 10th December, 1406, by Regent Albany.

David II granted a charter of the Miln of Downy to John Masculo. In Robertson's ‘Scotland under Her Early Kings’, it is said the appellation Masculus, Le Male, attached to an ancient Angus family in early times, seems to have been perpetuated with the old broad pronunciation under the form of Maule.  The John Mascu1o who received the charter of the Mill of Downie from David II may therefore have been John Maule. The same King granted a charter to William, Earl of Sutherland, and Margaret Bruce, sister to the King, of the barony of Downy.  The barony had then been vested in the Crown.  This family did not retain the barony long.

On 8th June, 137l-2, Robert II granted at Perth a charter to Sir Alexander de Lyndesay of Glenesk, third son of Sir David Lindsay of Crawford, of the King's lands of the thanage of Downy.  By that charter he was entitled to the services payable by the bondi or husbandmen. It also made him owner of the nativi or serfs, and of their children in the thanage.  This shows that serfs and their children were the born slaves of the proprietors of the land in Scotland five centuries ago, and might have been, and were, bought and sold as slaves were in the United States until a comparatively recent period(This is the possible origin of many surnames - i.e. that of the master. - Ed.)

King Robert III granted to David, Earl of Crawford (between 1398-1405) a charter of the barony of Downy, Achebetoun, and several other lands.  Some time after the date of that charter, the barony, which consisted of the lands of Ardestie, Auchinleck, Balhungie, Carlungie, Denfind, Downieken, Ethiebeaton, Monikie, Pitairlie, and others, both on the south and north of Downie hill, became broken up into small sections, owned by various parties.

The Durhams of Grange, about the end of the fifteenth century, acquired the lands of Ardestie and they retained them till after the middle of the 16th century, if not longer.  They acquired the lands of Denfind in 1514.  On 27th January, 1610, William Durham succeeded his father, William Durham of Grange, in same - N.E. 16.  David, 8th  Earl of Crawford, had a charter of two parts the dominical lands of Downie on 12th March, 1538-9.  David, 11th Earl of Crawford, and Griselda Stewart, his wife, had a charter of the barony on 11th December, 1581.  A branch of the Lindsays were proprietors of Monikie.  We give below details of the proprietors who owned some of the lands.

The Lindsays of Balgavies were proprietors of Balhungy and Carlungie in the 16th century.  On 18th February, 1606, David Lindsay of Balgavies was retoured (No.49) heir to Sir Walter Lindsay, knight, his father, in Carlungie and Balhungie.  On 19th June, 1610, Thomas Fothringham of Powrie succeeded his father Thomas (Ret. 71) in the third part of Balhungie and of the dominical lands of Downie.  On 26th June, 1618, William Fullarton of that ilk, heir of Sir William, his father, succeeded (Ret. 103) in another third part of same lands.

On 1st January, 1615, George Lindsay, second son of Sir Henry Lindsay of Careston, was retoured (No.84) in the lands and barony of Downie, lands of Ardestie, Balhungie, Downieken, Cotton, Brewland of Downie, Knighthill, and Sandyhillock - A.E. 50, N.E. 200.  On 6th July, 1622, Robert Erskine, heir of his father, Robert of Ardaistie, was retoured (No.140) in the lands of Ardaistie; lands of Muirdrum and Otingang, in the barony of Downie; part of outfield land and brewery of Downikaine; four parts land called buttis of Downikaine, 4 acres and 3 roods arable land, in said barony.

On 21st May, 1582, James Rollock, heir of George of Duncrub, his father, was retoured in the corn mill of Cambiston, in the barony of Downie - N.E. 36 13s 4d; and in half lands of Chapeltown of Ba1gowie or Over Corstoun - N.E. 4 merks, on 27th January.  The barony of Downie subsequently came into possession of the Maules of Panmure.

On 5th March, 1629, Patrick Maule of Panmure had a charter of the barony of Downie.  He was afterwards (on 2nd August, 1646) created Earl of Panmure.  On 1st August, 1662, George, Earl of Panmure, was retoured (No.385) in the lands in the barony of Downie, and many others, as heir of Earl Patrick, his father.  On 16th May, 1671, Earl George, as heir of his father Earl George, was retoured (No. 449) in the same lands; and on 27th April, 1686, Earl James succeeded to same lands as heir of Earl George, his brother (No.501).

The barony of Downie was forfeited in 1716 in consequence of Earl James taking part in the Rebellion of 1715, as was also all the Earl's other lands, but they were subsequently repurchased by Earl William, as related below, and since then they have continued in the Maules, and in their descendants and representatives, the present proprietor being the Earl of Dalhousie.  There are still traces to be seen of the foundations of the old Castle of Downie on a mound at Old Downie.  The Castle of ‘Duniken’ was in existence when Monipennie wrote in 1612.

In the Valuation Roll of 1683 the lands in this parish belonging to the Panmure family are entered thus:- Earl of Panmure, 1140; Countess of ditto for her liferent lands, 2085 = 3225.  At a later period the whole lands were called ‘Panmure’ and they were divided in 1767 thus:-

1. Bahungie, Easter Monikie, and Hynd Castle, disponed in liferent to William Turnbull, - 402 18s 5d
2. Castleton, Hyndfaulds, Segwall, and Muirdrum, disponed to David Greig, - 421 6s 0d
3. Denfind, Midtoun, and Hillhead of Monikie, disponed to David Allardice, - 412 8s 0d
4. Carlungie, Mill of Downie, and Mill lands, disponed to Robert Colvill, - 482 13s 10d
5. Graystone of Ardesty, Mill of Cambuston, and Mill lands, disponed to James Mill, - 447 18s 10d
6. Lochmyllie, Brae of Downie, and Kirkton of Monikie, disponed to John Bouchart, - 434 12d 8d
7. Downiekean and Cambuston and pendicle, called Little Cambuston, disponed to William Kerr, - 423 18s 10d
9. Ardesty and Ward of Monikie, retained, - 199 3d 5d

A total of - 3225 0s 0d

In 1822 these lands all belonged to Hon. W. Maule, also, - Pitairlie and Guildie - 136 13s 4d in 1683 - afterwards called "Part of Panmure."   In 1822 they belonged to Hon. W. Maule, - 136 13s 4d

Farm Steading building at Kirkton of Monikie.
(Photograph of an old steading building at Kirkton of Monikie Farm
in March 2000, one of the many mentioned in the account above.)

James, 4th Earl of Panmure, was forfeited in 1716 for taking part in the Rebellion in 1715.  Earl William repurchased the forfeited estates in Forfarshire on 20th February, 1764, for 49,157 18s 4d.  He died on 4th January, 1782, so that the above division of the lands in Monikie took place during the lifetime of Earl William in the peerage of Ireland.  We do not know the object for disponing these lands, but in terms of the entail by Earl William, they came to his grandnephew, Hon. Wm. Ramsay, who assumed the surname of Maule, and is the Hon. W. Maule above mentioned.

The lands of Ardestie formed part of the barony of Downie.  The Lindsays appear to have disposed of these lands to the Durhams of Grange of Monifieth in the beginning of the 16th century.  James Durham was designed of Ardestie in 1530, and they continued in possession for some time thereafter.  In the early part of the 17th century the lands were acquired by the Lords of Panmure.

The old chapel of Ardestie stood in the vicinity of the castle, and ‘Kane's Well’ was near it, but no trace of the castle is now to he seen, and no well of that name is now known about Ardestie by the tenant of the farm.  The Earls of Panmure resided at Ardestie for some time, and ‘James,’ the last Earl of Panmure, was born there.  Earl George married Lady Jane Campbell, eldest daughter of the Earl of Loudon, and by her had three sons and a daughter.  The two eldest sons succeeded as third and fourth Earls of Panmure respectively, and the third was Henry Maule of Kelly.  The Earl left Countess Jane the use of all his moveables during her widowhood, and appointed her tutorix of his children.  She took up her residence at Ardestie and lived there.

Two of the carved stones of the old house or castle are built into the modern farm house of Ardestie, erected in 1801.  They bear  U, I.H.S. and a human heart pierced by a dagger or the end of a spear.  The cross is above the three letters.  On another stone are C.I.C.P. : l688, for Countess Jane Campbell of Panmure.  On the south end of two cottages south from the farm steading there is a stone in each, on one of which is M.A.R. ; on another D.L.A., 1625, and some carvings.

The lands of Cambuston were included in the barony of Downie.  The Maules of Panmure were very desirous to obtain them from the Lindsays.  Thomas Maule, whose father fell at Harlaw in 1411, made a requisition to David, Master of Crawford, to give in borch (surety or warranty) the lands of Kambyston.  He made a second requisition, and a third.  To the last the Master answered that his father had written to forbid him to give said lands in borch, and therefore he declined to do so.

On 20th November 1481, an instrument was expede by Sir Thomas Maule on the boundaries between his lands of Cambuston, and adjoining lands in the barony, of Downie belonging to the Earl of Crawford, and of the moors of the baronies of Downie and Panmure.  The boundary is said to run by the stone cross of Cambuston.  Camiston was the only estate given to Alexander Maule, son of Sir Thomas, and he is designed of Camiston in 1474.  He died before his father, who died in 1498, and his son, Sir Thomas succeeded.  He fell at (the battle of) Flodden.  On 13th August, 1494 John, Master of Crawford, gave a charter of the lands of Cambuston and mill of same to his cousin Thomas Maule.  Of same date the Master of Crawford gave a charter of the lands of Carlungy to Thomas Maule in warranty of the lands of Camiston and the mill thereof, which had been sold by the Master to Thomas Maule.  They were subsequently reconveyed to the Master.  On 30th September, 1526, David, Earl of Crawford, gave a charter of Camiston and mill thereof to Robert Maule and Isabella Merser, his wife.  On 8th May, 1609, David, 12th Earl of Crawford, gave a charter of the lands of Cambuston, in the barony of Downie, to Patrick Maule.

The lands of Carlungie and Balhungie, part of Downie, belonged to Sir Walter Lindsay of Balgavies, whose castle of Balgavies was burned down by order of James VI.  Sir Walter was slain by David, the "Wicked Master," in 1605.  He was succeeded by his son David, who died in 1615. Walter, his son, succeeded, and he sold the lands.

On 28th June, 1608, David, Earl of Crawford, heir of his father, Earl David, was retoured (No. 63) in half the barony of Downie, lands of Ardesty, Balhungy, Downieken, Cotton, Brewlands of Downie, and many other lands.  It appears from his retour that the Balgavies family had owned half of the lands of Balhungie only.  Nearly a century and a half thereafter the lands of Carlungie and Balhungie were acquired by the Maules from the Lindsays, and they have since then been included in the Panmure estate.

The lands of Denfind were included in the barony of Downie, but, like other portions of the barony, Denfind was for a long time a distinct estate, and had its castle, the residence of the laird. The lands remain, but the tower or castle disappeared long ago.

A little to the west of the farmhouse of Denfind, formerly Dunfind, there is a deep ravine called ‘Denfiend,’ through which a rivulet runs.  It is crossed by a lofty bridge of one arch on the road from Dundee to Monikie.  In Lindsay of Pitscottie's History it is called the ‘Fiend’s den’, because a brigand with his family dwelt in it.  "He had an execrable fashion to all young men and children that he could steal or obtain by other means, and take them home and eat them. The younger they were he held them the more tender and delicate.  For these acts he was burned with his wife, bairns, and family, except a young lass of one year old, who was saved and taken to Dundee, where she was brought up; but when she came to woman's years, she was condemned and burned quick for the same crime her father and mother were convicted of.  A great crowd, chiefly women, attended at the execution, cursing her for her crimes.  To them she said, ‘Why chide ye me as if I had committed a crime.  Give me credit, if ye had the experience of eating human flesh yea would think it so delicious that you would never forbear it again.'  And so she died, without sign of repentance."

Sir John Lindsay of Brechin and Pitcairlie (Pitairlie) fourth son of David, third Earl of Crawford, died in 1453.  He was slain at the Battle of Brechin.  He was ancestor of the House of Pitairlie. David Lindsay of Pitairlie was a witness to charter of one third of Pitskelly to Robert Carnegie of Kinnaird, signed at Dundee, 25th March, 1542.  The same or another David, 1544 - 50. David Lindsay of Pitairlie was minister of Abirlemna, Fynevin, Inneraritie, and Kirkbuddo in 1574, with a stipend of 133 6s 8d; John Lindsay of same, 1609-21-39.

The lands of Pitairlie remained in the Lindsays until some time after the following retour, which we give at length, as it includes other details besides the lands of Pitairlie and others.  The lands mentioned in the retour formed part of the ancient thanedom and barony of Downie.  There was a castle at Pitairlie in early times.  The only remains of it is a stone built into the wall of the farm offices bearing the initials and date, A.L. : I.C., 1631.  Alexander Lindsay mentioned above was laird at that date.

On 29th May, 1655, Alexander Lindsay of Pitairlie, heir of Alexander Lindsay of Pitairlie, his father, was retoured in the lands of Pitarlie; part of the Moor of Downie lying contiguous to said lands, within the barony of Downie - O.E 20s, N.E. 4, the lands of Guildy and part of the Moor of Downie O.E. 16s, N.E. 3 4s; a tenement called the Earl’s Lodging within the burgh of Dundee, and patronage of the chaplainrie founded within the foresaid lodging; the Craig called St. Nicholas Craig, within the sea-flood of the said burgh of Dundee, and fortalice; the advocation of the chaplainrie of All Saints, situate within the parish kirk of Dundee - O.E. 3s 4d, N.E. 13s 4d ;an annual rent furth of the late King’s great customs of the burgh of Dundee.

The lands of Pitairlie subsequently came into possession of the family of Panmure, in which they stilt remain, the Earl of Dalhousie being the present proprietor of Pitairlie, and all the other lands detailed above, which were included in the barony of Downie.

The ruins of Hynd Castle stand on a round, green mound, near the north-west point of this parish, close by the road from Dundee to Brechin, and a little to the west of the Dundee and Forfar Direct Railway.  The mound appears to be artificial, and is not of much height.  On the summit are a few trees surrounding ruinous walls, perhaps ten feet in height, and about half as many feet in thickness.  The area they enclose is about twelve feet square, with a door on one side, and a window on each of the other three sides.  The remains of Dilty Moss, one of the sources of the Kerbet, are at a short distance to the east of the castle.  History is silent about this ruin, and it is not known when, by whom, or for what purpose it had been erected.  It is too small to have been the residence of one of the lairds, and none but they had castellated dwellings.  The castle was too near the great moss with the small ‘lake’ in its centre to have been a pleasant abode for any family of note.  It had at one time been surrounded by water and a morass.  The moss was exhausted and the ‘lake’ drained many years ago, and part of the site is now cultivated land.

A little to the west of Hynd Castle, on the ridge which divides this parish from Inverarity, there was a very large heap of stones, called Haercairns or Hoar Cairn, which probably were raised over the bodies of the combatants slain at a great battle fought there in very early times, but of the time, the parties engaged, or the result we are ignorant.  Many of the stones have been carted off.  Locally it is said to have been the burial place of all the suicides of the district.  The Gallows Hill is in the immediate vicinity, and the criminals executed may have been buried there. Many human bones have been found under the stones.

On the highest summit of Downie Hill, in the parish of Monikie, stands the magnificent column called the ‘Live and Let Live’ Testimonial.  It was erected in the year 1839, at the sole expense of the numerous tenantry on the vast estates of the Right Honourable William Ramsay Maule, first Lord Panmure, "to perpetuate the memory of a nobleman, who through a long life made the interests and comforts of his tenantry his sole and unwearied object."  The Testimonial is a worthy memorial, fitted alike to express the gratitude and liberality of the tenantry, and the worth and kindness of heart of the landlord to whom it was erected.  The Testimonial consists of a broad lower basement of rustic work, in which are apartments for the reception of visitors and other purposes; a quadrangular upper basement, the angles of which are flanked with open buttresses; and a colossal cylindrical column, rising up into a balustrade, and surmounted by a lofty ornamental vase.  A stone pillar rises in the centre of the cylinder, in the interior of which there is a lightning conductor, and with a spiral staircase on its exterior.  The height of the Testimonial from the ground to the top is 105 feet.  In a niche in the visitors' room are a marble bust of the noble Lord by Sir John Steele, and an inscribed marble tablet telling the story of the Testimonial.  The design was by John Henderson, Edinburgh.  The site of the Testimonial was admirably chosen.  The hill is 500 feet above the level of the sea, isolated from other high grounds, and commanding an uninterrupted prospect of vast extent in every direction.  From the balustrade a large portion of seven counties can be seen, and from its position it is one of the most conspicuous its landmarks on the east coast of Scotland.  The Testimonial is about a mile distant from Panmure House, whence there is a fine drive. Camus Cross stands within two or three hundred yards of the Testimonial.  The grounds around the Testimonial and Camus Cross are beautifully laid out and finely kept, and a visit to the ancient and modern memorials is instructive and pleasing.

The Douglas estate in this parish is of considerable value, though not of large extent.  It consists of the farms of Denside and Dodd, and of several pendicles at Bankhead, in the western district of the parish, which abuts into the parish of Murroes, and adjoins Carrot Hill.  We have already given the proprietary progress of others of the Douglas lands in the county, and need not repeat it here.  The present proprietor is the Earl of Home.

The lands of Newbigging were of old included in the barony of Downie.  They were acquired by George Dempster of Dunnichen in the first half of the 18th century.  They afterwards came into possession of David Millar of Ballumbie, who disponed them to David Kerr in l821.  Subsequently they came into possession of his son, Thomas Kerr of Grange and Newbigging.  He died in 1879, and left the lands of Newbigging to Thomas Leburn Drimmie, son of the deceased Daniel Drimmie of Panmurefield, who is the present proprietor of Newbigging.  A part of the lands has been given off in feus, upon which good houses have been erected.  In the Valuation Roll of 1683 the annual value of the property was 180, but it is how considerably more than double that sum.  There is a good mansion on the estate, and there is also a neat United Presbyterian Church with manse and garden.

Henry Smith, second son of Henry Smith of Glasswall and Camno, was bred a merchant in Dundee.  He acquired part of the barony of Auchinleck or Affleck in the later half of the seventeenth century.  He gave his lands the name of Smithfield.  He married a daughter of Duncan of Strathmartine, by whom he had a son and a daughter, and he died in 1726.  John Smith, his son, succeeded, and married Margaret, daughter of William Douglas, Provost of Forfar, son of Robert Douglas, bishop of Dunblane, descended of the house of Glenbervie, and by her had a son and two daughters.  He died 1737.

Henry Smith of Smithfield succeeded on the death of his father.  He was a merchant in London, and married Emslia, daughter of Sir William Nairn of Dunsinane, Bart., who died without issue.  On 7th April, 1755, John Fyfe, younger of Dron, obtained decree against Henry Smith of Smithfield, as heir of his father, John Smith of Smithfield.  Henry Smith married secondly, in 1768, Christian, daughter of David Graham, advocate, by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of William Murray of Abercairny.

In the Valuation Roll of 1683 Auchinleck is entered at 666 13s 4d.  Before 1748 it was divided into two portions, which in the Roll for 1822 are called Affleck and Smithfield.  The former was owned by James Fyffe, 533 6s 8d; and the latter by James Yeaman, 133 16s 8d - together, 666 13s 4d. Thomas Read was proprietor of Affleck before the Yeamans.

James Fyffe was succeeded in Smithfield by Major Fyffe, who resided for some time at the Lodge in Broughty Ferry.  The Major retained the estate until 1842.  Major David Fyffe, born 18th April, 1781, married 18th September, 1816, Helen, fifth daughter of William Douglas of Brigton.  He was a son of David Fyffe of Drumgeith by his wife Ann, only daughter of David Hunter of Burnside.  Major Fyffe had a brother Charles, born 1785, and died 1804, and two sisters, Barbara, died 1811, and Elizabeth Bell, married to Robert Kerr of Clatto, Roxburghshire.  Major Fyffe had a family of six sons and a daughter. Several of the sons died young.

He was succeeded in the property by John Shiell, solicitor in Dundee. John Shiell of Smithfield married Alexandrina Ursula Wilhelmina, daughter of George Lewis Korn of Hanover, and by her had George Anthony Shiell, born 1842, and other issue.  Mr. Shiell of Smithfield was a J.P. for the county of Forfar.  He died in 1875.  His son, above mentioned, was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple, and goes the Northern Circuit.

The estate of Smithfield is now in possession of David Small and others, the Trustees of the late John Shiell.

When the first Statistical Account of the parish was written, about 1790, the best land in the parish was let at from five to fifteen shillings the acre, generally on leases of twice nineteen years and a lifetime, and the farmers, who were industrious, were in opulent circumstances.  Rents were then advancing, and any farms falling in to the proprietor were readily bringing double the previous rent.  The breeding and fattening cattle occupied much of the attention of the farmers in the southern section of the parish, where the farms were generally enclosed.  The report says wheat had long been cultivated in that section, but for six or seven years it had been discontinued, several of the farmers having met with considerable losses by blasting. In the year in which the report was written they had begun to try it again.

About 1763 a new road from Dundee to Brechin, passing through the northern part of the parish, was formed.  Upon this road a strong bridge 55 feet high, with a single arch over a precipice at Denfiend, or the Fiend’s Den, was built in 1784.  The origin of the name of the den already related.

About 1750 - 60 a farm, which in 1790 was worked by three ploughs, having each four, and sometimes only two horses, employed five cattle ploughs, having each ten oxen.  Farms where two ploughs drawn by four horses do the work, at an earlier period required three ploughs, each drawn by ten oxen.

About 1775 several stone coffins were discovered on the ridge of small hills called the Cur hills, also some stone cists in which were urns containing ashes.  In that neighbourhood there were also found, upwards of six feet below the surface, several oak, fir, and birch trees.  To the south of the Cur Hills there were found, among marl, about nine feet below the surface, several heads of deer with horns of a considerable size.

Stone pillars and crosses are frequently mentioned in old Scottish charters as boundaries.  The Cross of Cambuston is so mentioned in a deed of agreement between Sir Thomas Maule of Panmure and the Earl of Crawford, dated 25th November, 1481.  The line of march is said to run ‘a magna Cruce Lapidia de Cambystoun’.


Extracts of historical interest from old books.


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