Douglas of Mouswald
The earliest reference to Mouswald yet ascertained takes us back to the time of Alexander II., and is thus cited in the Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland (vol. i. Wo. 1684): "Richard de Bancori quit claims to his lord Robert de Brus and his heirs, the whole land of Loyerwode by these bounds, viz., from Pollnilin as far as Blakebeck, as the half of the moss extends and from said half of the moss as far as the water of Loyer with a certain common pasture in the fee of Comlongan which the said Robert's men of Musfaud were wont to have from the grantor in farm for one mark yearly. Saving to the granter his wood in . . . . .gigo as before the date hereof. Appends his seal. Witnesses Sir Adam de .Carnoto, Sir David.de Parco, Sir Umfridus de Kirkepatric, Sir Roger de Kirkepatric, Sir William de St Michael, Sir Engram de Musseus, James the Clerk, and others."
Although not mentioned here, the Carruthers family have had connections with Mouswald from this time.
"John of Carruthirs " is mentioned as one of those who in 1398
became responsible for the Earl - of Douglas, as warden of the West
Marches. The occasion was that of a meeting of certain Scottish and
English commissioners at " Cloekmabane Stano," in the parish of
Gretna (Fosdera, vol. viii. p. 58, ed. 1727; and Gal. of Docs,
relating to Scotland, vol. iv. No. 512).
So far as Mouswald itself is concerned, the usually accepted
derivation has been Mosswald, or wood on the moss (wald = weald,
wood, forest, cf. Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary).
The sorry tale of how Mouswald came into the Douglas family is told elsewhere, but in summary, two neighbouring families hoped to obtain of Mouswald Castle on the death in 1548 of Sir Simon Carruthers, . These were the Douglas family of Drumlanrig and the Maxwell family of Caerlaverock Castle. Before his death Sir Simon Carruthers, the Baron of Mouswald Castle had given consent for Sir James Douglas, 8th Laird of Drumlanrig, to marry his daughter Lady Marion. This she refused to do.
Nonetheless, Sir James Douglas sued for his 'just' inheritance and
won his case. The new laird of Mouswald was ere long
accused of a deed of blood, in the murder of a scion of the older
stock. On 2nd January 1617, John Carruthers of Dormont was
slaughtered "with shottis of hagbuttis and pistolats," in the
dwelling-house of John Mundell, Torthorwald. All the accused were
Mouswald people, and amongst them were James Douglas of Mouswald,
John and William Grierson his servants, also John Carlyle in Banks
and Thomas his son, John Blak in Mouswald, &c.
Sir James Douglas, 1st of Mouswald, was succeeded by his son, Sir James, brother to the 1st Earl of Queensberry. The title was conveyed in 1613. This James married twice, his second wife being Helena Grierson, by whom he had James, 3rd of Mouswald.
Their eldest son, also James, married in 1654 Janet Laurie, but he died predeceasing his father without children. William, the second son, succeeded in about 1667 as 4th baron, but he died in 1670, also without children.
The title then fell to the 3rd son, John, who became 5th baron of Mouswald. He too died without children. His brothers, Archibald and Robert had presumably died before him, because the title then fell, in 1692, to his niece, Elizabeth, Robert's daughter.
Mouswald. (Extracted from The Herladry of the Douglases by G. Harvey
(g) Nicolas Douglas.
Note: Sir Simon Carruthers, 8th of Mouswald (d 1504) married a daughter of Douglas of Drumlanrig, possibly the 4th Laird.
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017