In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described
Dunglass like this:
An elegant edifice, surmounted by a tower, it occupies the site of a strong castle of the Lords Home, which, passing, on their forfeiture in 1516, to the Douglases, was besieged and destroyed by the English under the Earl of Northumberland in the winter of 1532, and again under the Protector Somerset in 1547(1). It was rebuilt in greater extent and grandeur than before, and gave accommodation in 1603 to James VI. and all his retinue when on his journey to London; but, being held in 1640( ) by a party of Covenanters under the Earl of Haddington, whom Leslie had left behind to watch the garrison of Berwick, it was blown up with gunpowder on 30 August. An English page, according to Scotstarvet, vexed by a taunt against his countrymen, thrust a red-hot iron into a powder barrel, and himself was killed, with the Earl and many others.
Dunglass is the seat now of Sir Basil Francis Hall, seventh Bart. since 1687 (b. 1828; suc. 1876), who holds 887 acres in the shire, valued at £2158 per annum. Dunglass was the birthplace of his grandfather, Sir James Hall (1761-1832), the distinguished geologist and chemist.
A wooded, deep ravine called Dunglass Dean, and traversed by Berwick or Dunglass Burn, extends 4½ miles north-north-eastward to the sea, along the mutual border of Haddington and Berwick shires. It is spanned by two bridges not far from each other on old and new lines of road, and by an intermediate magnificent railway viaduct, whose middle arch is 135 feet in span, and rises 125 feet from the bed of the stream to the top of the parapet. With five other arches toward the ravine's crests, this viaduct is, in itself, an object of great architectural beauty; and combines with the adjacent bridges and with the ravine's features of rock and wood and water to form an exquisitely striking scene.—Ord. Sur., sh. 33, 1863.
No trace of Dunglass Castle remains. A mansion built c. 1800 has been completely demolished and a modern (1961) house, still known as 'Dunglass', has been erected on the site.
Dunglass is a beautiful Country Estate in East Lothian. It is an
area of outstanding natural beauty combining graceful manicured
parkland with areas of rugged wilderness. These stunning
landscapes have remained a consistent backdrop throughout time
overlooking a place rich in history.
2. 30 August 1640. In the
autumn of the year 1640, Lady Boyd met with a painful trial in
the death of three of her brothers, and others of her relatives,
in very distressing circumstances. Thomas, second earlof
Haddington, and Robert Hamilton of West Binning, in the county
of Linlithgow, her brothers by her father's second wife, Patrick
Hamihon, her natural brother, Sir John Hamilton of Redhouse, her
cousin-german, and Sir Alexander Erskine, fourth son of the
seventh earl of Mar, brother-in-law to her brother Thomas, all
perished at Dunglass castle (in the county of Haddington) when
it was blown up on the 30th of August that year. They had
attached themselves to the covenanters ; and when General Leslie
marched into England that same year against Charles L, they were
left behind by the Scottish parliament, in order to resist the
English incursions : and Thomas, second earl of Haddington, who
had the command of the party thus left, fixed his quarters at
Dunglass castle. While his lordship, about mid-day, on the 30th
of August, was standing in a court of the castle, surrounded by
his friends now named, and several other gentlemen, to whom he
was reading a letter he had just received from General Leslie, a
magazine of gunpowder contained in a vault in the castle blew up
; and one of the side walls instantly over-whelmed him and all
his companions, with the exception of four, who were thrown by
the force of the explosion to a considerable distance. The
earl's body was found among the rubbish, and buried at Tyninghame.
Besides this nobleman, three or four score of gentlemen lost
their lives. It was reported that the magazine was designedly
blown up by the earl's page, Edward Paris, an English boy, who
was so enraged, on account of his master having jestingly told
him that his countrymen were a pack of cowards, to suffer
themselves to be beaten and to run away at Newburn, that he took
a red-hot iron and thrust it into one of the powder-barrels,
perishing himself with the rest.
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017