Baxtonlees

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The tower is labelled with the caption “Martin Crosiers of Bakstonleis” on a map of 1590 which appeared in “An atlas of England and Wales, made by Christopher Saxton”, a book owned by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and commonly referred to as The Burghley Atlas.

The tower was of strategic importance, standing on the opposite bank to the Wheel Causeway, a major medieval road from Roxburgh to Annandale.



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The Baxtonlees tower at Peel, sometimes erroneously referred to as Rakestonleis, existed in the 16th century but nothing of it now remains.  Archibald Douglas of Douglas was in 1788 recorded as its owner.  Baxtonlees was in the upper headwaters of the Liddel, near the eastern border of Castleton Parish.

 

Timeline

In the 14th century, and possibly earlier, the lands of Baxtounlyis, along with the lands of Chishope (or Cleishope), Over and Nether Wheelkirk, Wheelland, Ormescleuche, Abbotsyke and Abbottshawes, were part of the lordship of Liddesdale that was owned by Jedburgh Abbey.


The tower is labelled “Martin Crosiers of Bakstonleis” on a map of 1590

 

In 1605, Master John Prestoun, junior, appears as owner, or land holder. He was the son of Sir John Prestoun of Fentonbarns and Penicuik. Prestoun’s father was Baron of the Exchequer and President of the College of Justice.

 

But, in March 1606 James VI granted numerous lands which once belonged to Jedburgh Abbey, including Baxtounleyis to Alexander Home, 1st Earl of Home and Lord of Jedburgh and Dunglas. Home’s tutor growing up was Andrew Home, the last commendator of Jedburgh Abbey.

 

And then, in June of the same year Master John Home, legitimate son of the late John Home of Carrelsyid, signed a contract selling the lands of Baxtaneleyis to Gilbert Ellott of Horsliehill.  It is probable that the Earls of Home retained the superiority of the lands.

 

Lord John Ker of Jedburgh received a new grant of the same lands as part of the lordship and barony of Jedburgh in April 1619 following the death of the Earl of Home earlier that month. 

 

Walter Scott, 1st Earl of Buccleuch and Lord of Quhitchister and Eskdaill, was granted the lands of Baxtounleyisand others in March 1621, which Lord John Ker of Jedburgh and his son, Lord John Ker of Langnewtoun, had resigned. 

 

In July 1623 Baxtonlees was granted to Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Melrose, Lord President of the Court of Session, before being granted to James Home, 2nd Earl of Home, in February 1624, then in April 1624 the lands were again granted to the 1st Earl of Melrose. 

 

In 1657 Sir Gilbert Elliot of Stobs, eldest son of William Elliot of Stobs, succeeded to his father’s lands, including Baxtonlees. Sir Gilbert was a grandson of Gilbert Ellott of Horsliehill who bought the lands of Baxtaneleyis in 1606. Two years later Sir Gilbert sold Baxtonlees to William Elliot of Binks and Swynside and his third son, John, in fee. 

 

The lands of Baxtonelies were included, along with numerous others, in a contract of marriage between James, 1st Duke of Monmouth and eldest illegitimate son of Charles II, and Anne Scott, 1st Duchess of Buccleuch and granddaughter of the 1st Earl of Buccleuch, in April 1663.  

 

Baxtonlees may then have remained in the Eliot family through three generations.

 

By 1788 Baxtonlees was owned by Archibald Douglas, 1st Baron Douglas of Douglas and in 1807 he sold it to Thomas Scott, tenant of Letham and second son of John Scott of Ashtrees, who renamed it Peel. 

 

Successive owners were required to change their name to Scott as they inherited.  John Elliot Boog-Scott(1), but later emigrated to America where he was a cattle breeder and died in Texas in 1947.

 

 

Notes:
1, John Elliot Boog's father, Thomas, was a land agent. In the late 1870s and 1880's, he managed the 1190 acre Timpendean estate for the Douglas family, employing 14 men and farming part of that land. Thomas died on Nov. 2, 1919 at Thirlstane, Yetholm, Roxburghshire, Scotland

 


Source

 

Sources for this article include:
  • Stravaiging around Scotland; Andy Sweet

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