woman Isabella Porteous‏‎ #54720‎
Died ‎before 1693

Married/ Related to:

man Patrick Langton of Earlshaugh, Scotland‏‎ #54719‎

probably peebleshire. see notes under son.


man William Langton of Scotland‏‎ #54721‎
Born ‎before 1693
Page last updated: 1st May 2003

A History of Peeblesshire

J. W. Buchan and Rev. H. Paton. Published 1925-7.


This extensive hill farm (about 2500 acres) belonging to Sir Douglas Arthur Bradley Naesmyth, Baronet, of whose family an account is given in the chapter on the parish of Manor, lies to the south of the lands of Rachan, extends from Holmsmill up the east side of Holms Water to Glenholm churchyard, from there up both banks of the water to Glenhigton, and from there up the west side of the water to the county boundary. The property is bounded on the west by a high range of hills with smooth, sweeping outlines - Chapelgill, Cardon, and Coulter Fell - and on the east and south-west by Mossfennan and Glencotho. The component parts of the property will be dealt with separately.



This part lies on both sides of Holms water and contains about 1,000 acres. It includes not only Cardon itself, but the properties of Smellhope and Uriesland, and part of Glenhigton and Glencothe.


This property lies on the west side of Holms Water between Chapelgill and Quarter. The first known possessor was James Bowmaker of Cardon, who is referred to on 14th August, 1439, as a witness at Mossfennan. In 1467 James Tweedie of Cardon is mentioned, and he may have held a wadset over the lands. The Bowmakers, however, continued in Cardon for sometime. James Bowmaker had a wadset for 100 merks in 1534 from Malcolm, Lord Fleming, over Glenhigton and Glencotho. He is referred to again in 1537, and John Bowmaker, perhaps his son, in 1556. This John married Margaret Menzies, daughter of Edward Menzies of Castlehill, and on 10th December, 1557, gave her a liferent of one-half of Cardon. On 20th June, 1562, he granted to Leonard Marshall in Kilbucho an annual rent of �10, secured over a half-quarter. He was succeeded by his brother Patrick, who on 2nd November, 1576, had sasine in Cardon from the superiors at that time, Archibald Baillie of Auldstoun and Robert Crichton of Quarter, under reservation of the liferent of his brother's widow, Margaret Menzies. On 10th October, 1577, Patrick Bowmaker gave sasine to - the name is blank in the entry, but the heading is - James Fleming of Bord: that was probably on wadset, and the following year Patrick granted an annual rent of �10 from Cardon to David Welsh. He is referred to again as a witness in 1584 and 1586, and in 1588 he granted a charter of Cardon to James Fleming, natural son of John Fleming, Captain of Biggar, who was infeft therein on 15th July. George Bowmaker of Cardon, probably a son, is called 'of Cardon' in 1590, but he was the last of the Bowmakers there.


John Fleming on the same day that he was infeft, as above, gave sasine in the lands to John, sixth Lord Fleming, afterwards Earl of Wigtown, but this was probably only in security of a loan, as Malcolm Fleming of Cardon is referred to in 1604 and again in 1618. His son Malcolm married Beatrix Douglas, sister of William Douglas, fiar of Cavers, and she received an annual rent of 600 merks from Cardon in 1620. The lands were afterwards let on lease to Thomas Chisholm, elder, some time in Stanhope. That lease expired at Whitsunday, 1633, and a lease for fifteen years was then granted to David Murray.


Another family, of the name of Martin, appear for a few years with the designation 'of Cardon.' On 24th February, 1605, James Mertene, apparent of Cardon, is a witness at Edinburgh, and on 25th July, 1608, George Porteous of Hawkshaw is a cautioner for George Martin of Cardon, and Thomas and Andrew, his sons, that they will answer to the Privy Council for sending cartels (i.e. challenges to fight) to Patrick, Lord Sinclair, and others. After that no further reference has been traced to the Martins, and it may be assumed that their share of the lands came into the possession of the Flemings.


Smellhope or Smailhope, a 40s. land, was situated apparently on the west side of Holms Water, adjoining Quarter. The superiority was held by the Geddesses of Rachan from about 1500 to at least 1627. Uriesland, also a 40s. land, is now known as Holmsmill. In the beginning of the sixteenth century both belonged in property to Katherine Fraser of Fruid, but how long her family had held them there is no record to show. After the murder of John, second Lord Fleming, in 1524 at the hands of the Tweedies, she married James Tweedie, and in 1531 was required to infeft Malcolm, third Lord Fleming, in her lands in Glenholm - Mossfennan, Smellhope, and Uriesland.


These two properties lie on the east side of Holms Water. Like other lands in Glenholm, they were held in portions by different proprietors, and with the evidence available it is not possible to give anything in the nature of a complete or connected account of them. Glencotho will be dealt with later. Part of Glenhigton, as we have seen - a 20s. land - was held by the Geddesses of Rachan. Malcolm, third Lord Fleming, acquired a part of both lands, and his son John had right in 1541 to the 50s. land of 'Glenhigden' and 'Glencuquho.'


At the weaponshaw of 1627 no proprietor appeared designated of these lands, but James Chisholm in Glenholm was present on behalf of the Earl of Wigtown, 'well horsed himself, accompanied with seven horsemen with lances and swords, dwelling on the said noble Earl his lands lying in the parish of Glenholm.' It may be inferred from that entry that the Fleming family were then in possession of the whole property.


In August, 1656, John, eighth Lord Fleming and third Earl of Wigtown, sold the lands, together with pasturage rights in the common of Holmshope, to Adam Murray, brother of Sir David Murray of Stanhope. The price paid was 20,000 merks; the superiority was reserved, and also a small piece of ground possessed by William Grieve, miller.

[In 1668 Margaret Tweedie, one of Adam Murray's servants, was accused of murdering her child immediately after birth. She was imprisoned in the Steeple of Peebles, and William Grieve undertook to pay her expenses while awaiting trial.]

At the same time Adam Murray had also a charter from King Charles I., and in 1659 another charter from Richard Cromwell. He married Jean Fleming, daughter of Malcolm, third son of John, sixth Lord Fleming and first Earl of Wigtown, and died in 1669, succeeded by his son William. He had also three daughters - Helen, who married Alexander Bertram; Margaret, who married Thomas Edgar, apothecary, burgess of Edinburgh; and Jane, to whom her other sisters were served as heirs portioners in 1692.

William Murray of Cardon was served as heir to his father on 1st April, 1675, and received a precept of clare constat from William, fifth Earl of Wigtown. He married Christian Veitch of the Dawyck family, and died in 1686, succeeded by his son Adam.

Adam Murray of Cardon was served as his father's heir on 13th May, 1687, and again on 29th April, 1690, the services including Wester Smellhope, part of Uriesland, one-fourth of Rachan, the lands of Cardon, and part of Glenhigton and Glencotho. He was only fourteen in 1690, and accordingly curators were appointed, one of whom was Mr. John Veitch of Dawyck. He married Janet Menzies, and along with her in 1698 granted to James Williamson of Cardrona an annual rent of �140 - the interest of 3500 merks - secured over Cardon, Smellhope, and Uriesland. In 1703 he sold the whole property (excluding the portion of Rachan, but including the small portion of Cardon which had belonged to William Grieve, and which the Murrays had acquired) for 30,000 merks to Captain George Douglas, brother of James, Earl of Morton. This sale carried thirlage rights for Holmsmill (or Uriesland) over the lands of Stanhope, and also over the fourth part of Rachan, which it was stated pertained to Sir William Murray of Stanhope and his son David.


George Douglas did not purchase the property for himself, but for Mr. James Naesmyth of Dawyck, and to him it was immediately transferred. Cardon [William Welsh was tenant of Cardon in 1798, Robert Welsh in 1824, and after him James Tweedie] and the other lands thereafter remained with the Naesmyths.

The superiority was sold in 1753 by the trustees of John, sixth Earl of Wigtown, to Major Thomas Cochrane, who the same year sold it to Andrew Pringle, advocate, in liferent, and Robert Naesmyth, son of the deceased Sir James Naesmyth of Posso, in fee. Robert Naesmyth was succeeded in 1775 by his brother, Sir James Naesmyth of Posso, and thereafter the lands were held direct of the Crown. According to a division of the valued rent in 1753, Cardon itself is stated to be one-half of the whole, from which it would appear to have been at least a �6 land of old extent.


The lands of Chapelgill lie south of Cardon, and Glenkirk at the head of Holm water lie south of Chapel Gill. These lands together extend to about 1400 acres.


Apart from the proprietors of the barony of Glenholm, the earliest recorded owner of the lands of Glenkirk was John 'Pertus' (Porteous) in 1443, who also owned lands in Edinburgh and in Fife. He may have been the founder of the family of that name who owned lands in Glenholm for almost three centuries, and who were no doubt connected with the family of Porteous of Hawkshaw .

William Porteous of Glenkirk, doubtless the son of John, granted Mossfennan and Logan (or the Logan part of Mossfennan) in 1449 to William Brown of Hartree, and he is mentioned in 1573 as having lands in Edinburgh.

In 1478 and 1484 there are references to George Porteous of Glenkirk, who, it may be assumed, was the son of William, and in 1482 this George, styled also portioner of Balcasky (Fifeshire), acquired from William Strang, portioner of Whitslade and Glenkirk, his quarter of these lands, for which he gave him in exchange his quarter of the lands of Balcasky. As Porteous had already part of Glenkirk, probably a quarter, this transaction would place him in possession of at least the half - that is a 20s. land, as Glenkirk was a 40s. land.

In 1513 the Laird of Glenkirk was John Porteous, who again, it may be assumed, was son of George, and in that year he had restored to him by King James IV. the lands of Glenkirk and Whitslade, which had been recognosced to the Crown for alienation without consent, and in the charter they were made part of the tenandry of Whitslade.'

John Porteous was succeeded by his son William, and he, on 9th July 1527, sold to Malcolm, Lord Fleming, the superiority of Logan, Mossfennan, Quarter and Chapelgill, which was also part of the tenandry of Whitslade, a charter of the �5 lands of Quarter following on 22nd February, 1527-8. William was mixed up with the Tweedies in the affair of Katherine Fraser, and in the decree of the Court of Session relating thereto in 1530 reference is made to an agreement between Malcolm, Lord Fleming, and the lairds of Glenkirk and Polmood as to the satisfaction to be given by them. As a dependant of Lord Fleming, William Porteous was taken under the King's protection when Lord Fleming was sent to France in 1536 in connection with the King's marriage. On 31st October, 1550, he was a witness to the installation of Sir William Porteous as chaplain at the church of St. Bege of Kilbucho, and he was alive in 1566, as his son John was still 'younger of Glenkirk' in that year.

John Porteous married in 1544 Christian, daughter of James Muirhead of Lauchope, when they were infeft by William Porteous of Glenkirk in the �6 lands of Whitslade. He is often in evidence as a witness, and on one occasion makes a protest on behalf of his sister Janet, who in 1562 is mentioned as the widow of John Lowis.

After 1566 no reference to the Porteouses of Glenkirk has been found until 1586, when, on 1st December, Alexander Baillie of Auldstoun, younger, gave a sasine to his promised spouse, Isabel Ker, widow of Alexander Porteous of Glenkirk. The presumption is that Alexander was the son of John, younger, and that all three were by this time dead.

Alexander Porteous must have died a very young man, as his son Thomas was not served heir to him until 17th April, 1600. It should be noted here that Thomas was served heir in the 30s. lands of Glenkirk, which shows that an additional 10s. land had been acquired, and that the Porteous family were then in possession of three-fourths of the property.

[In 1531 there is mention of a ios. land of Glenkirk which had been in the possession of Adam Cockburn as a tenandry of Whitslade and had fallen into the hands of the Crown through his death. The Tweedies of Kirkhall apparently acquired right to it in 1550, but after that it is referred to in the titles of both families. This is confusing, but it would appear that by 1600 the land had been acquired by the Porteouses].

Alexander Porteous had a brother David, mentioned as on the fugitive roll in 1605, and he had also two other sons -

Andrew, mentioned as a cautioner in 1623, and

William, who was in Stewarton, and in 1630 had a Crown charter of apprising of the lands of his brother Thomas at the same time that James Tweedie of Drumelzier obtained a similar charter of them, the former being for a debt of 1460 merks and the latter for a debt of 4600 merks.

This Thomas Porteous in 1590 was implicated in the murder of Patrick Veitch by the Tweedies, and in 1602 was concerned, along with his relative, Thomas Porteous of Hawkshaw, in the murder of George Hunter, brother of the laird of Polmood. For the latter crime he was called before the Presbytery. He proved difficult to deal with, and time and again failed to appear, pleading illness as an excuse. His minister in August, 1605, reported that he was 'inclosed through suspicion of the pest,' and further proceedings were delayed. The upshot is not recorded. He also incurred kirk censure for 'resetting' and fostering James Fraser, a parishioner of Glenholm, who had been giving a lot of trouble. Both were before the Presbytery at Peebles on 21st June, 1621, but neither showed any signs of repentance: Fraser was put in prison till he satisfied the 'Discipline of the Kirk,' and the 'first admonition' was given to Porteous. The Presbytery were still dealing with Thomas Porteous in December, 1623, when it was reported that he could not come to Peebles 'for fear of apprehension, being at the King's horn,' showing that he had other troubles to contend with. The case was finally settled, Porteous signing a bond for a 'great sum of money' in security of his future good behaviour.

Thomas Porteous seems to have been unable to free himself from debt, as in 1634, with consent of his son Alexander, he made over Glencotho, Glenhigton and Rachan to James Geddes of Rachan, with the lands of Glenkirk in warrandice. At the same time, in June, 1634, Sir David Murray of Stanhope had a Crown charter of the 10s. lands of Glenkirk and half of Quarter, which had been resigned by Thomas Porteous of Glenkirk and William Porteous in Stewarton, his brother. Sir David Murray seems also to have had designs on Whitslade, for about 1635 Alexander Porteous, fiar of Glenkirk, hearing that Sir David had passed a signature in Exchequer for a charter of Whitslade to himself, applied to the Privy Council for a protection against his creditors to enable him to go to Edinburgh and resist Murray's claim, as the lands belonged to him. Thomas died in January, 1639, and his son Alexander must also have died before 23rd April, 1646, when Jean and Isabella Porteous were served heirs portioners to their father, Thomas, in the 20s. lands of Glenkirk. There was another daughter, Margaret, who had married William Geddes of Glencotho, and she having died, her son, William Geddes, was also served heir portioner to Thomas. There was still another, the youngest daughter, Elspeth, who had married William Porteous in Nether Menzion, and at the serving of the other heirs portioners he appeared in her right and claimed service, but in respect that they had taken out no brieves and done no diligence, the claim was refused.

This William Porteous, however, appears to have asserted his right, and he is found later recognised as William Porteous of Glenkirk, and in 1653 was in the lands, probably only as tenant. It looks as if a feud had arisen over the succession, as on 20th October, 1663, William Porteous complained to the Privy Council that William Geddes, indweller there, had on the 14th of that month assaulted him, and with a pistol which Porteous carried for his own defence, shot Patrick Porteous, his servant, through the head and killed him, his intention having been to kill the complainer. The case was heard in the following December, and Porteous was fined 500 merks for carrying forbidden weapons, and ordained to find caution in 5000 merks to underlie the law for the said slaughter. He paid his fine, found William Tweedie, regent in the College of Edinburgh, and William Brown, agent for the Burghs, cautioners for his compearance, and was released. Not so Geddes, who, still in prison in April, 1664, petitions for similar release on caution. He represents that on the occasion of the assault he had nothing to defend himself with but an ordinary walking staff, whereas Porteous was armed with a pitchfork, and being a stronger man beat him and threw him thrice to the ground. He is but a poor labouring man, with a wife and seven young children depending on him. The Council reduced his caution to �1000, and ordered him to remove from the shire of Tweeddale the distance of twenty miles from the place where he last resided, and keep the peace towards William Porteous. He was not able, however, to find cautioners for this amount, and remained in prison until August, when the Lords reduced it further to �500 and the distance of his removal to five miles, and James Geddes of Kirkurd became his cautioner.

William Porteous of Glenkirk had a son, John Porteous of Glenkirk, who seems to have been infeft, but he predeceased his father, and on 2nd January, 1674, his sisters, Jean, Elizabeth, Isabella and Margaret, were served heirs portioners to him in the half (20s) lands of Glenkirk. William died in December, 1684, and in 1685 his widow, Elspeth Porteous, produced in the Sheriff Court two charters granted to her husband on 24th May, 1671 and 27th January, 1679. Of William's daughters, Jean was dead in 1693; Isabella had married Patrick Langton of Earlshaugh, and she also was dead in that year, leaving a son and heir, William. He and his aunts, Elizabeth (who married Neil Ewart of Sailfoot) and Margaret, were in 1693 served heirs portioners to William Porteous of Glenkirk and to his daughter Jean. This gave them each one-third.

William Langton wadset his third for 8000 merks to James Williamson of Cardrona in 1698.

Margaret married a William Porteous, and died on 13th March, 1701, succeeded by her eldest son John, who was served as her heir in 1703. He also acquired the shares of his aunt Elizabeth, and of William Langton; and in 1704 had a Crown charter of (1) one-half of Glenkirk, extending to a 20s. land, and (2) a 10s. land of Glenkirk - in all a 30s. land, or three-fourths of the whole.