Lugate is within a short distance of the town of Stow, and lies on the banks of Lugate Water, a tributary of Gala Water, four miles due west of Allanshaws. Lugate or Ewes Castle is situated on the estate.
Walter Cairncross of Lugate was a brother of William the first laird of Colmslie, and according to the Scots Peerage was a son of John Cairncross of Colmslie. He married the eldest daughter of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleugh, Knight, (Wicked Wat), Dame Grissell Scott. The latter's first husband was William, Lord Borthwick, and after his death she married Walter Cairncross, by whom she had two sons, Walter and William. Walter also had a son-natural, John Cairncross.
On August 1st, 1586, Walter became possessed of the lands of Wiltoungreen, Wiltounburne and Overhall, in the shire of Roxburgh, on resignation by his wife, under a charter by King James VI.
In this year 1586 Walter and others were cautioners in £400 for the entry upon fifteen days warning of one Robson before the Justice to underlie the law for such crimes as Sir William Sinclair had to lay to this charge. At the same time Walter, with Nicol Cairncross of Calfhill, his nephew, and William Home, were cautioners in £2,000 for Gavin Elliot of the Stobs. The case is recorded in the preceding chapter, in the section dealing with Nicol the first of Calfhill.
The whole clan Elliot seems to have been involved at this time in Border raids, for in March 1587 - 8, Francis Earl Bothuil, Great Admiral of Scotland, with Walter Cairncross and others, were cautioners in £2,000 each for several of the Elliots that they should "keip trew warde". However, the pledges "eschaipet and eschewit" from the keeping of the cautioners, who were therefore charged to appear before the Privy Council to show reasonable cause why they should not be declared liable for the penalties.
In 1587 a considerable number of men were required to find caution to relieve his Majesty and his wardens at the hands of the opposite wardens, Walter Cairncross being surety for Walter Cheisholme. On January 6th, 1590 - 1, Walter and the other cautioners were called upon to enter these men, "offenders filed in English Bills", that they might be delivered to the English wardens, with the rider that if the principals and their cautioners failed to appear, they were to be denounced rebels. These offenders, living within the Middle and West Marches and Liddesdale, had been filed by the Commissioners of Berwick in February, 1587, in six bills for "attemptattes" committed against English subjects dwelling in the middle Marches.
In 1588 - 9, Lord Borthwick and Walter Cairncross are mentioned as cautioners in relief for James, Lord Borthwick, and on June 15th, 1591, Walter and his spouse Lady Borthwick* became securities as principals for James, Lord Borthwick, the other securities being William Cairncross of Colmslie and Nicol Cairncross of Calfhill, Walter's grandnephew and nephew respectively. On June 17th, 1591, Walter was surety in 500 merks for John Murray that certain persons should be harmless of him.
On October 30th, 1592, Walter was surety in 500 merks for John Scott that he should behave himself loyally, appear when warned, and serve his Majesty and the Duke of Lennox, or any other having the King's power, in advancing his Highness' authority and service.
On June 8th, 1593, Walter witnessed a charter by William Cairncross, of Colmslie, and on June 8th, 1594,he witnessed a tack or lease to John Hoppringill.
On November 14th, 1598, Walter and his son-natural John Cairncross, together with the Hoppringolls and others, had to find caution that they would not harm the Govans of Cardrons, their security being Nicol Cairncross of Calfhill, Walter's nephew, who in turn was secured by James Hamilton.
The last reference to Walter is dated May 21st, 1601. He died between this date and July 29th, 1602.
* = Dame Grissell Scot, widow of William, Lord Borthwick. Ref. p.50.9, 87.8.
The next Cairncross of Lugate was Walter, the eldest son of Walter Cairncross and Dame Grissell Scott. He had a son named Walter.
On May 21st, 1601, James Heriot complained that on Thursday, May 7th, William Borthwick, brother of the late James, Lord Borthwick, and Walter Cairncross, son of Walter Cairncross in Lugate, with others, came at 9 o'clock in the morning to the complainers lands of Over Howden, and slew two of his horses while ploughing, and wounded his ploughman "so that they dare not labour his lands". The defenders for not appearing were denounced.
Walter, with his brother William, his son Walter, and his half-brother John Cairncross, were involved in the quarrel with the Homes on July 29th, 1602, described in Chapter XI, but as they and some others failed to appear before the Privy Council to answer the charge, they were denounced rebels. Walter, however, must have appeased the Council, for on January 7th, 1608, Mark, Earl of Lothian, complained that Walter Cairncross, eldest son of Dame Grissell Scott, Lady Borthwick, remained unreleased from a horning of December 7th for not paying the complainer 1,000 merks as principal and 200 in expenses.
The last record of the Cairncrosses of Lugate is dated July 11th, 1611, and states that Walter was complained against for carrying fire-arms and using them in his quarrels.
Click here to go back to the Title page.
Click here to go back to the CONTENTS page.
Click here for the Kings of Scotland.
Click here to go to Chapter XIV.