#100C Brunstoun

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Brunstoun Castle

The following is excerpted from an article by David Hunter, “the well known Dailly historian’, which he wrote for the website of Brunston Castle Golf Course.

Although the resort and golf course is named after the original 16thcentury, all that is left of it these days is a small ruined tower house in the middle of the course. By H.P. Gray

“The Castle lands lie entirely in the valley of the River Girvan and occupy both banks of the river. The castle is now a ruin. Until 1186 A.D. Carrick formed part of the Lordship of Galloway and in that year the Lordship was divided up between Roland and Duncan, grandsons of Fergus Macdouall, the most famous of all the Lords of Galloway. Duncan became the first Lord and later in 1225, Earl of Carrick, a title which has been held by several families to the present holder H.R.H. Prince Charles.

Brunstoun Castle Ruin by C.J. Morrison

Although the title Earl of Carrick is associated with the Crown, the principle power of in Carrick has always been vested in the Kennedy Clan and Gilbert Kennedy, the fourth Earl of Cassillis styled himself, ‘King of Carrick’. The two main branches of the family were Cassillis and Bargany, both of whom were descended from John Kennedy of Dunure. From 1380 until 1631 both branches of the Kennedies held the country in turmoil and fear whilst they fought each other over the question of seniority. To make matters worse, most of the large and even lesser properties were held by one or other of the two branches and in several cases due to intermarriage, by both.

During the time of Duncan Macdouall, the first Earl of Carrick, a church, dedicated to saint Michael, was built at Dalmaolkerran the ancient name given to the Parish of Dailly. This church was to remain the centre of the Parish until 1690 until it was replaced by another built at Milncavish by Lord Bargany, and around it the new village of Dailly grew up.

A few hundred yards down the river from Dailly is Brunston Castle which was built on a mound overlooking the river which protected it on one side. The three other sides were protected by a moat. The first recorded owner of Brunston was James Kennedy {1534-1542}. He was Bailie of Carrick and the younger brother of William Kennedy, Abbot of Crossraguel and their father was David, first Earl of Cassillis who served as a Privy Councillor to James IV and was like several other local Lairds, killed in the Battle of Floddan.

It was either James the first Laird of Brunston or his successor who was involved in the plan to marry Mary, the young Princess of Scotland to Edward, son of Henry VIII and whilst the Laird of Brunston was conveying letters between England and Henry’s party in Scotland, he was driven ashore at Bamburh near to Berwick – upon – Tweed and the letters were taken from him. Little is known about the Brunston family and they do not appear to have exisited for any length of time. William Kennedy, also Bailie of Carrick was the last of the family and he married his cousin Elizabeth Kennedy the daughter of Alexander Kennedy of Bargany and Ardstinchar who in 1528 along with his sons Hugh and Thomas and accompanied by seventy-two others were charged with the slaughter of several people including Robert Campbell in Lochfergus. [This was the battle in which, apparently two McCubbin men were involved€¦they were fortunate to be ‘respited’ for murder.]

Elizabeth Kennedy had been married twice before she became the lady of Brunston and each time she had married a cousin. Due to her dark complection she was named Black Bessie.

Her third husband William of Brunston was benefactor to the Monks of Crossraguel and assisted them in times of trouble and on one occasion had given them 1000 Merks for repair of the Abbey. As a result of this, Alan Stewart, Commendator of Crossraguel who was roasted in the Black Vault of Dunure Castle by the Earl of Cassillis, granted a charter to William for the Lands of Mains of Brunston, formerly named Nether Dalquharran, with its manor-place, fortalice, orchards, stallages or brewlands, coalheuchs and coalpots, quarries, woods and groves. The Charter also included the lands of Quarrel hill and Glenmard. Kilgrammie coal field was also part of Brunston Estate and it was only at the beginning of the last century that the name Kilgrammie was applied to it. Prior to this it was known as Brunston coal field.

The Nether Dalquharran gifted by the Monks of Crossraguel to William of Brunston was in the area of Lochmoddie Glen and the old ruined tower where Black Bessie placed her son by one of her previous marriges still stands close to the Old Dailly Railway station.

Before his death William of Brunston made over his property to his wife Black Bessie. He had, however, made similar arrangements in favour of Gilbert the Earl of Cassillis who in turn had made provision for Brunston to pass to his wife on the death of Gilbert the Lady of Cassillis married to the Marquis of Hamilton. When William of Brunston died the Marquis of Hamilton questioned the right of Black Bessie to the property and entered in process with her before the Lords of Session. Upon this Black Bessie made over right to her nephew the Laird of Bargany who then took possession of Brunston and in lieu he placed his aunt Bessie in Newark Castle.

The law-plea concering Brunston found in favour of the Marquis of Hamilton and Bargany was forced to move out. In 1601 when the young Gilbert Kennedy of Burgandy died of wounds he received in a battle outside Maybole against his cousin the Earl of Cassillis, the Bargany branch of the Kennedies ceased to exist and their estate was purchased by by Sir John Hamilton son of the first Marquis of Hamilton who later received the title Lord Bargany thus adding Bargany to the estate of Brunston.”

The following does not involve the McCubbins, but describes Brunstoun.

Charter of Crossraguel Abbey Vol 1
199. Charter by Allan, perpetual eommendator of the monastery of Crosragiiel and convent of the same, of the Cluniac order, whereby, for the benefit of the order, augmentation of rental, and the sum of one thousand merks paid to them by William Kennedy in Brunstoun, the six merk 8s. 4d. land called Mains of Brunstoun, formerly called Nether Dahpiharrane, of old extent, with manor-place, fortalice, orchards, stallages or brewlands, coalheuchs and coalpots, quarries, woods and groves, with the woodhag [a grove wood used for a woodlot] growing on the said lands.

This chart is in the process of being linked with Alan Robert McCubbin, recently deceased, whose DNA linked with other McCubbins who claim descendancy from the Knockdolian/Tradunnock McCubbins. Alan, who died in his late 90’s, was told by a great uncle that he was descended from the Knockdoian McCubbins. Alan’s family is documented in the 1600’s in Brunstoun. (see 61-DNA-2 James McCubbin & Jannet Millar)

Following are McCubbins who turned up in our search through Glasgow Commissary Court records;

I. Thomas McCubbin died in 1718 in Knockrochar, Dailly, Ayr;
Glasgow Commissary Court (CC9/7/51), confirmed 4/8/1719
Thomas McCubbin in Knockrochar, parish of Daylie

He died intestate in April 1718. His Inventory was given up by his sons, David, Thomas, John and Richard McCubbins and by John McCandleish in Brunstoun, their uncle as their administrator, appointed by the court on the 14 March 1719.

18 head of cattle, young and old
An old mare, a staig (stallion) and a horse
80 sheep
24 bolls of corn, Barley and peas
£8 Sterling in money
Total – £635/6/8d
James McKibben in Brunstoun stood as cautioner.

A. David McCubbin died in Nov 1736 in Brunstoun, Dailly, Ayr; Glasgow Commissary Court (CC9/7/55), confirmed 7/12/1736

David McCubbin in Brunstoun, parish of Daylie.
He died intestate in November 1736. His Inventory was given up by his brothers, Thomas McCubbin in Dalwhirran and John McCubbin in Brunstoun, appointed by the court as his executors.

He was owed money in Bills by:
Alexr Martin in Dalwhairn – £10/10/- Sterling
Quintin Dick of Auchlising – £105 Scots
Total – £130 Scots
John McClandlish in Brunstoun stood as cautioner.

B. Thomas McCubbin
C. John McCubbin
D. Richard McCubbin

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