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Coat of Arms: Erm. on a
chief az. three stars ar. a bordure gu.
Crest: A hand holding a
man's heart ppr. ensigned with a crescent ar.
Cliftonhall - an extract of history:
Hall is a mansion used as a school, located two miles east of Broxburn,
in West Lothian.. The mansion replaced a castle, or old house.
the 16th Century, we find that the owner of Clifton Hall was Thomas Macalzean. On
June 10th 1556, by command of the Queen Regent, he was deprived of his
office by the Assessor by the Town Council of Edinburgh, for “evil,
heich and unpleasant language to her Grace,” in the discharge of his
official duties. The Assessor protested against this decree and after a
lapse of a few months was restored by the Queen Regent.
October 8th 1561, Thomas Macalzean was elected Provost of Edinburgh. A
cordial supporter of the Reformation, he was one of those appointed by
the General Assembly to decide questions and revise sentences. On
October 1570, he was appointed Lord of Session in the room of Henry
Balnavis, deceased, and took the title of Lord Clifton Hall. He died
about 1581 leaving an only daughter and heiress, Euphame.
Macalzean was the most celebrated of all Scottish witches. After a long
and notorious career she was tried by the High Court of Justiciary for
numerous crimes ranging from common witchcraft to a conspiracy against
the life of the King. She was sentenced to death by burning and paid the
full penalty on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh on 25th June 1691. Euphame
is the only Scottish witch on record to have been burned alive. Other
offenders were always strangled by the common hangman before being
burned at the stake. Her lands and goods were forfeited, but her
children were restored on giving up the lands to the King’s favourite,
Sandelands of Slamannan; but as no male heirs existed little benefit
could be reaped by the successors, and the title of Clifton Hall became
A century later, the estate belonged to a family named
Douglas. Archibald Douglas was a persecutor of the Covenanters and rode
in the troop of the Laird of Hatton (a nearby estate, the mansion house
of which was partly destroyed by fire in 1952). Both these gentlemen
were under the celebrated General Tam Dalyell of the Binns, who routed
the Covenanting Army at Pentland and who raised the regiment known as
the Scots Greys.
In 1703, the estate was purchased by George Wishart, son of the Rev.
William Wishart, minister at Kinneil. He served in Carmichael’s Regiment
of Dragoon Guards, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and in 1706 was
created baronet by Queen Anne.
• The 1639
will of Wm DOUGLAS, of Cliftonhall refers to James WASON as sister’s
son. ?Watson of Saughton. James Watson, portioner of Saughton in
1623, mother is said to be Anna Douglas.
• Archibald Douglas rode
with General Tam Dalyell of the Binns in the Scots Greys.
William, of Cliftonhall and Knightsrig, 21 Feb. 1600 died ...
• The laird of
Pumpherstoun is included in a list of gentlemen of the name of
Douglas who bear evil will against Andro, Lord Stewart of Uchiltrie,
on account of the slaughter of James, Lord Torthorwald ; and the
Privy Council being determined that "all unlauchfull revenge so
dishonourable to the natioun and offensive to his Heynes salbe
forborne," Pumpherston and Uchiltree are required to enter into
reciprocal assurances in ;^iooo to keep the peace towards each
other, 2nd March 1609. Joseph Douglas of Pumpherston was on an
assize 20th December 1616, and in 1636 he witnesses the baptism of
his grand-daughter Margaret Douglas. His latter will is dated at
Cliftounhall 23rd April 1637, and he died within the same year. He
had a son, William, who succeeded him ; another son, Mr Hew, who
witnesses a deed at Cliftounhall 31st January 1623 ; a daughter,
Jean, married to Mr Robert Dalgleish of Lauriston, solicitor to
Charles H, whose only child, Margaret, married in 1662 to Ludovick
Craig of Riccarton ; and a second daughter, Margaret, who married
(contract dated 12th October 1626) George Ker, burgess of Edinburgh.
• From 'A history of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet'
: FRASER, SIMON, of Ford. 19th December 1767. Apprentice to, and eldest
son of, William Fraser of Ford, W.S. — Died 25th September 1819. Mar. 2d
March 1784, Janet Cruickshank, daughter of Captain Charles Douglas of
Cliftonhall, Philadelphia. (Elsewhere 2nd daughter and Cliftonhall, near
Philadelphia) Presumably Philadelphia, USA. The American property was so
named by Capt. John Wilcocks in 1749 when he acquired it from Henry
Lewis III. In 1761, he sold Cliftonhall to Charles Cruikshank.
Margaret DOUGLAS, (daughter of George Douglas born 26/4/1802, Hownam,
Roxburghshire, and Elspeth Bogue born 21/3/1802) born 26 July 1844
Clifton Hall, Midlothian, Scotland married Joseph FORBES 14 May 1866 at
Maryborough, Queensland, Australia and died 11 November 1916 buried at
Tiaro, Queensland, Australia. Joseph died 4 October 1917 buried at Tiaro.
Joseph listed his occupation as farmer and residence as ”Laburnum Bank”
They had 7 children.