Other MELROSE CAIRNCROSSes of the 16th & 17th Centuries.

ROBERT (1586 (Pension) - 1606 (Legal)) = Meikle Hob.

Robert Cairncross, Meikle Hob, was an illegitimate son of William Cairncross, the first laird of Colmslie. On December 27th, 1556, he was granted a yearly pension of 50 merks out of the rents of the Abbey of Melrose, from the lands of Maxpoffle and Calfhill (20 merks), Housebyre (16 merks) and Allanshaws (10 merks), together with the teinds of Calfhill (4 merks). This was for good services rendered.

In March, 1591, Robert and three other men forcibly abducted Jean Ramsay, Lady Warriston, but were captured and tried, Jean Ramsay being restored to her family. Abduction cases were numerous in Edinburgh at this time, but culminated in a tragedy in 1600, with the result that the authorities adopted strong measures to put an end to this method of conducting a fued.

Robert, together with many other Cairncrosses, was involved in the quarrel with the Homes in July 1602, described in Chapter XI, and was fined 1,000 merks. On October 23rd, 1606, he was again complained against, together with John Cairncross in Exiltoun and George Cairncross, son of Nicol of Calfhill.

JOHN (1556 (Contract) - 1557 (Died)) Colmslie.

John Cairncross in Colmslie was the son of John Cairncross and a brother to William, the first laird of Colmslie. On November 20th, 1556, his son Charles entered into a contract with Thomas Livingstone and others for himself and his father. John died prior to July 31st, 1557.


CHARLES (1556 (Marriages) - 1583)) Ladhopmure.

Charles, son of John Cairncross in Colmslie, witnessed the marriage contract of Robert Cairncross of Colmslie on January 19th, 1556, and on November 20th, he entered into the contract with Thomas Livingstone, mentioned above. On July 31st, 1557, he was a party to a deed of this date and is described as the son and heir of uncle John Cairncross in Colmslie, the brother and heir of Nicol Cairncross, burgess.

On March 10th, 1567, Charles and his wife Marion Hoppringill, together with their son John, obtained a charter of half the lands of Laudhopmure (Calfhill) and Redcrossmoss. Their son John died in 1582, and on February 24th of that year John's sisters Elizabeth, Agnes, Barbara, Christina and Katherine were declared his heirs. On July 10th, of the following year these sisters gave sasine of the above lands to Andrew Barling, who became the husband of Christina. This was with the consent of their father Charles Cairncross. Barbara married William Hunter, obtaining the teinds of Williamlaw on October 7th, 1588, Mr. John Knox, minister, being a witness; sasine was given by Robert Cairncross in Calfhill, and was witnessed by Nicol Cairncross (2nd Laird?) the younger of Calfhill, and others. Elizabeth married John Hoppringill prior to July 10th, 1583.

JOHN (1590 (Charters) - 1606)) Galtonside.

On February 28th, 1590, John Cairncross in Galtonside and John Cairncross elder in Galtonside, with many others, obtained a feu charter of Galtonside, John Cairncross being afterwards mentioned in the same charter as receiving an acre of the town and lands of Galtonside, which he was then occupying. This charter was confirmed by King James VI on May 13th, 1591.

On October 15th, 1606, John Cairncross was shown as being in Galtonside, probably as "feuar".

JAMES (1651 (Legal Actions) - 1666)) Galtonside.

On October 4th, 1662, James Cairncross in Galtonside was ordered to pay 11 Scots to John Mabune, being the balance of 17 contained in a decree of September 20th, 1651. On October 15th, 1664, James was ordered to pay 3 Scots to William Fisher, as the balance of the price of a horse.


On July 15th, 1665, James Cairncross, portioner of Galtonside, was ordered to pay 64.18.6d to the Earl of Haddington for feu duties for the acres of land in Galtonside possessed by him for Whitsunday and Martinmas 1654 - 1665. On June 30th, 1666, certain fees amounting to 24.9.0d due to James from the estate of the deceased James Lythgow, were attached by the Earl in part payment of the debt.

NICOL (1657 (Legal) - 1666)) Longshraw.

This Nicol was probably the third son of the second Nicol Cairncross of Hillslope referred to under date April 29th, 1641, in Chapter XII, when he and George Freir bought "ane hagge of wood" for 1,300 merks from the laird of Hillslope. On October 17th, 1657, Nicol in Newstead became cautioner that John Bowar, Wester, would not molest John Bowar, Easter, or any of his, in the time coming, under pain of' 200.

On May 7th, 1659, Nicol in Threepwood submitted a claim against John Hendrie in Alleneschawes, "who at Whitsunday last received from him in grassing and herding the number of 65 hogs, and was to keep the same till Whitsunday next, whereof he promitted him aither skin or birne confirme to the use of herding, arid the pursuer promised to pay 4.10.0d for each soom; yet by his sloth and negligence in not putting sufficient herd therewith, the defender has lost the whole goods, price of the piece 54/4d, and ought to pay the same, in regard he delivered the pursuer neither skin nor birne. Andrew Aitcniesone in Thriepwood, 50 years, depones he knows not how many wes of the hoggis, but he himself did smeir them wes of them, and as he heard by report of utheris thair was LXV thairof, and we all lost by the defender not cutting a herd thereto. Thomas Litle in Allanshawis, unmarried, 25 years, depones thair wes thrie scoir and five of the hoggis at the time of the smearing and that they had never a constant herd the time of the storm, and that by that the goods were lost, and knowes nochtells. James Moffit in Thriepwood depones he knows the hogges wes smeired be the persewer and taikin upe be him to Allaneschawes, and declares it to be the common custom to give skin and birne or utherwayes they get no gress maill, and knows no farder. Decerns defender to pay 60 Scots in full contentition of the claim and pursuer to deduce therefrom the grass mail or what remains unpaid thereof; 3.6.8d expenses".


On January 11th, 1662, George and James Turner in Longshaw were absolved from an action by Nicol Cairncross there about their herd losing two sheep and breaking the neck of another, each being worth 4. At the same time Nicol was ordered to pay 20 merks to Mungo Donaldson; and 7.18.8d to John Hall "as the price of 20 lambs' grass in 1661, and for hay". In June of this year Nicol lost a case against Mungo Donaldson; and on July 31st, Nicol, in Overlongshaw, was ordered to pay 14.12.0d to the Turners "for grasse maill and land selt be them" to Nicol in 1661. On March 28th, 1663, Nicol in Longshaw was ordered to pay 15 Scots to George Turner for the rent and the duty of part of Longshaw set to and possessed by him from Whitsunday to Martinmas 1662.

On March 17th, 1666, Nicol Cairncross of Colmslie was ordered to pay 4.8.0d Scots to Thomas Watsone in Birkenside, as the balance of the price of "bear" i.e. barley.

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