4. McCubbins of Knockdolian

Tradunnock to Knockdolian

Acquisition of Knockdolian
GD180 Papers of Cathcart Family of Genoch and Knockdolian
– deposited in the National Records of Scotland
RS13 – Entries in the Particular Register for Ayrshire 1653-1661
RS – General Register of Sasines which covered the whole of Scotland
RD2,3 and/4 – Registers of Deeds of the Court of Session, also known as the Books of Council and Session

GD180/44 Discharge (receipt)
Fergus McCubbin
This records the acquisition of the twenty pound lands of Knockdolian and the 10 merklands of Glentig in May 1653 by Fergus McCubbin in Ballhomie from John Kennedy of Kirkmichael and Andrew Adam. He paid 32,000 merks for them.


Knockdolian Castle Ruins, photo compliments of Scotland’s Places

Modern day Knockdolian House photo from The Glebe Blog

Copied from “The Fortified House in Scotland”, Volume Five, pp 216-217

Standing high above the River Stinchar, close to the modern mansion of the same name, about a mile west of Colmonell, this sturdy and attractive tower of the 16th century, though no longer habitable, is in a fair state of repair, and unusual in certain respects. Oblong on plan, measuring 35 by 25 feet, it rises four Storey to a parapet and walk, with a garret Storey above. The parapet however crowns only the east and west wall heads, and has this peculiarity that it projects on continuous corbelling on the west front, while the more elementary individual corbels carry it on the east or river side. There are open rounds at the ends, and the usual cannon-like spouts for drainage. The turnpike stair, which rises in the north-west angle, ends at the parapet-level in a rounded cap house, now roofless. The windows are fairly small, the basement being lit by keyhole-type slits, and there is a large shot-hole at the first-floor level in the east wall. At this level a small stair-window to the west is surmounted by a panel with a shield, much weather-worn but apparently dated 16??. There has been a courtyard to north and west.

The door, in the west front, admits to a basement of two vaulted cellars, and to the wheel stair. The Hall, on the first floor, has a large fireplace in the Centre of the west wall, for which a tall chimney-stack rises at the parapet-level.

Knockdolian was a property of the Grahame family. Sir John Grahame of Knockdolian married Helen, eldest daughter of Thomas Kennedy of Bargany in the 16th century. The property later passed to the family McCubbin, possibly through marriage, for Fergus McCubbin and his wife, another Margaret Kenndy, made extensive repairs to the castle in the mid-17th century. No doubt the aforementioned heraldic panel refers to this, and it may account for the different treatment of the wall head at the east and west sides. This sort of parapet feature is late, for the mid-17th century, but situated in the midst of turbulent Kennedy country, with feud and outrage prevalent for considerably after this, any prudent laird was well advised to look to his defenses Abercrombie commented that “this laird (MacCubbin) greatly improved the amenity of Knockdolian”……”by planting gardens, orchards, walks, and rows of trees, that surprise the beholder with things so far beyond expectation, in a country so wild and mountainous”…. to render a place, to which nature has not been favorable, very pleasant.”

A story is told of the Covenanting preacher Alexander Peden — when, in the district, had occasion to be hidden from the troops of McCubbin, Laird of Knockdolian — unfortunately the Laird was fined for harboring him. On again seeking sanctuary at Knockdolian, the Laird refused to help and the prophet, in a moment of irritation, predicted that the estate would not be heired by his sons — and indeed both met their fate in accidental death.

RS13/2 f.356 – 6 August 1656 (in Old Scots)
Fergus McCubbine of Knokdolaine
Fergus McCubbine of Knokdolaine presented a Disposition and Alienation which had been made to him by John Kennedy of Kirkmichael with consent of his father, Thomas Kennedy, of the 20 pound lands of Knokdolaine and fishings in the river Stincher.
The precept was written at Edinburgh and Kirkmichael on the 5 May and 4 June 1653 and witnessed by James Dalrymple of Stair, advocate, Harie Osborn, writer and James Hadan, his servitor.
Sasine witnesses were Thomas Wand in Drimour, Robert Cochrane in Boigeny, John Baird in Knokdoliane and James McSkyming there.

Deed RD4/5 p. 426
Fergus McCubbin of Knockdolian
Recorded 16 June 1666, but made 4 and 8 August 1655). This is an Obligation which just recorded that Simon Ferguson of Auchkyne (whose cautioner was John Ferguson, his brother) borrowed 600 merks Scots from Fergus McCubbin of Knockdolian. The witnesses to Simon’s signature at Maybole on the 4 August were James Montgomerie of Dalaiff and Andrew Sloane, writer of the Obligation and John’s signature at Wigtown were William Houstone of Totteroche and William McKei, Sheriff Clerk of Wigtown.

Fergus died circa 1677 in Knockdolian, Colmonell, Ayrshire; Source of date of death:

Bond of Relief
This involves Fergus McCubein younger of Knockdolian promising to pay the Earl of Cassilis £88/13/4d Scots, the cost of infeftIng him as heir to his uncle, the deceased Fergus McCubein of Knockdolian, dated 27 October 1677

1673 Scotland’s People Heraldic Arms Volume 1, Page No 1548 Sketch and description Nulli Preda (Prey to None)

Fergus, uncle and heir of Fergus younger of Knockdolian 8 November 1677 (Ayrshire)
RS3/39 f. 433 8 November 1677 (in Latin)
Sasine to Fergus McCubine, uncle and heir (the son of his brother) to the deceased Fergus McCubine of the lands and barony of Knockdollian and salmon fishing in the river of Stincher.
The lands consisted of the 20 pound lands of Knockdollian in the parish of Colmonell; the 40 shilling lands of Auchinflour in the parish of Ballantrae and the four merklands of Little Sallochine in the parish of Kirkcudbright which had all been united into the barony of Knockdollian

(Note: a barony was a franchise court enabling a landowner to administer justice within the bounds of his lands. The owner of a barony was not, however, called a baron)

Sasine witnesses at Newmylnes were John McCowane, servitor to Fergus McCubine elder of Knockdollian, John McClarkane in Park and John Girthing in Maybole.

Next  Who was Fergus McCubbin?