Douglas of Nether Howden

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Nether IIowden, which lias ceased to exist as the name of particular
lands, embraced in ancient times that portion of Mr Stoddart's property
which lies between the Glasgow road and the river, the lands of Howden
Park, and a considerable portion of Craigs. The steading w^as upon the
last-named lands, in close proximity to the ruin of Nether Craigs, which still remains. The lands were divided early in the present century, and it may
serve to indicate the proportions of the respective proprietors if we say
that the yearly valued rent of Howden Haugh, which was at that time
annexed to Mrs White's property of IIowden, w^as £y, los. of old
valuation, — of Howden Park ^22, los. ; and of the portion incor- porated in Lord Torphichen's estate £,go. The last-mentioned is still officially designated as Craigs and Howden, although in common parlance
it goes under the name of Craigs(1). John Dowglase of Nether Howdane
died on the 29th March 1576, leaving by Margaret Ilamiltoun, his wife,
who survived him, a son James, executor of his will, besides other
children. This James Douglas of Nether Howden appears, in company
with Robert Douglas of Over Howden, at the inquest of 1583, and his name is also included in the list of vassals of the barony of Calder, in connection with the military display held in the parish in 1586.

1587, October 18 —Qlk day the baillie decerns James Craig to pay to James Dowglas
of Howdon, as assignay lauchfullie constitut be ye tutor of Calder, iij bolls beir and xj
Ijolls mcill for yc formes of yc land callit ye Quhin, of ye crop and zeir of God 1586.

Six years later he had a charter of the lands of Nether Howdoun from
Mr David M'Gill of Neisbit, advocate, with consent of the Prebendary of
Dalkeith College and of William, Earl of Mortoun, patron thereof, dated
31st March 1593. The charter is to James Douglas of Nether Houdoun
and Jonet Kinloch his wife, and it narrates that the heritage has been in James's fainily, ultra houiimtui incmoria)ii. In August 1595 a precept
furth of Chancery is directed to James Douglas of Nether Howden for a sasine to be given to Elizabeth Ileriot, on her marriage with James,
Lord Torphichen. I le witnesses, in 1603, a sasine to Robert Douglas of
Wester IIowden ; was deputed to attend the Presbytery of Linlithgow the name of the kirk of Calder, in the following year, in a matter relating
to the settlement of a new minister in the parish ; and he was still living
in 1622, when he is mentioned in our parish records as James Douglas,
elder, sometime of Nether Howdan. About this time the property came
into the possession of Ouintigern Lockhart, son of the deceased Mungo
Lockhart of Cleghorn, whose brother, Mr Alexander Lockhart of Braidschaw, was retoured his heir in the lands of Nether Howden 9th July 1633. This laird married Mary Tennent, and had two sons, Alexander and
Stephen, and he was deceased at 9th March 1648. At that date
Alexander Lockhart, now of Braid schaw, had a precept from Francis, Earl
of Buccleuch, as nearest lawful heir of the late Mr Alexander Lockhart of
Braidschaw, his father. A third Alexander Lockhart, designed merchant
burgess of Edinburgh, but whose relationship, if any, to the Braidschaw
family is not indicated, was next seized of the property. He had a
charter of Nether Houdoun from Mr Alexander Lockhart of Braidschaw,
and Alexander, his son, dated 21st August 1644, to hold under James
Gilmour, son and heir of the deceased Mr Robert Gilmour, minister at Calder church, and of the foresaid laird of Braidschaw, in chief This
Alexander Lockhart, burgess of Edinburgh, was still proprietor in 1653 ; and in 1666 Abraham Pargillies of Nether Howden is mentioned. This
gentleman, in 1653, was " in the Lynhous," and thereafter was for several years heritable proprietor of Alderston. He married Agnes Nemo, and
was father of William Pargillies in Murrays, whose son, Abraham P., had a charter of Nether Howden from his grandfather, Abraham Pargillies
elder, dated at Nether Howdoun 23rd June 1666. His will is dated on
the 8th July following, and he died in the same year, nominating Agnes
Nemo, his spouse, only executor and legatee. Abraham Pargillies younger
gave seisin in liferent of his lands of Nether Howden to Elspeth Gather,
his spouse, on loth November 1692. He died in August 1701 leaving
five children, viz.; —Abraham, John, William, Janet, and Elizabeth, all named in his will. Elizabeth Calder, his widow, afterwards married again
to Alexander Aikman, who subsequently acquired right to the lands. Abraham Pargillies, the eldest son, and the third laird of the name in succession, had a precept from David, Earl of Northesk, as heir of his father of the lands of Nether Howdoun, ist August 1718 ; and he died in the month of February 1720, the invcnt-ory of his effects being given up
by Janet and Elizabeth Pargilh'es, sisters-german to the deceased.

The lands of Nether Howden next came into the possession of the
before-mentioned Alexander Aikman, who also acquired the estate of
Easter Colzium on disposition by John Listoun of Easter Colzium, dated
28th November 1723. John Aikman son to Alexander Aikman, and
Elizabeth Calder in Nether Howden, was baptized at Calder church i6th
December 1709. At a later period Nether Howden was held for some
time by the Sharps of Houstoun, and still more recently by Cunynghame
of Livingston, by whom it was conveyed to Lord Torphichen and the
other portioners.

The houses of Over Howden and Nether Howden are shewn in Blaeu's Atlas, 1662 ; and Nether Howden House was still standing, and is marked in Knox's map of the county of Edinburgh, published in 1820.


1.  There is also a Craigs in Dumfriesshire which was in Douglas hands in the 19th century - see Douglas of Baads

See also: Douglas of Pumpherston



Sources for this article include:
  • The history and antiquities of the parish of Mid-Calder, with some account of the religious house of Torphichen

  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted

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    Last modified: Thursday, 16 January 2020