Luce memorial stone

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The following descriptions were made in 1900.

There is very little now to be seen of Luce except a few fragments. It was formerly a parish, and a church was founded here by St. Kentigern in the sixth century. The ancient parish of Luce, now part of Hoddom, seems to have been bounded by Annan Water on the west, by Mein Water on the north-west, until it joined Pennersax, opposite Newbiggen, then it struck south to the Brownmuir through the wood by the existing march fence until it meets tlie Bonshaw estate, then following the boundary of the Bonshaw estate down Butcherbeck Burn to Annan \Vater, near Cleughheads. The area of the parish was about 1200 acres.

1.  In the garden in front of the Farm House at Luce Mains there is a stone with the Douglas arms carved in bold relief representing the flying heart surmounted by a coronet, with the motto 'FORWARD" in Roman capitals — date 1778. The stone is 2 ft. 4 in. high, 10 in. broad at the foot, and 161/2 in. at the top, with a margin of 3 in. all round.

It has evidently been made for the keystone of an arch. Tradition says it was cut by " Old Mortality." This may be, as Robert Paterson was related to the then tenant of
The Parish of Luce. Luce Mains. It used to be fixed in the gable of the old barn, and when the barn was pulled down it was removed into the garden for safety.

2.  At the farm of New Orchard there is a stone tablet built into the garden wall about 4 feet high by 3 feet broad. At the top cut iu a scroll is the date 1772 and the word " sicker " in capital Roman letters, each about 1 in. long. There is an inscription at the foot of the tablet as under : "Archibald Douglas, Esquire of Morton, erected this stone 1784." On the door lintel entering- the garden there is an older stone with the following initials and date : " I I E 1672." The length of the stone is 3 ft. 9 in., 6 in. deep, and 3 in. broad. It has evidently been part of some older buildings. In the centre is a small shield about 8 feet broad at the top. On the left half of the shield are three holly leaves cut in relief, and on the right half two diagonal cross bars in relief.

On the sides of the shield is the date l6 on the left and 72 on the right. Near the end of the stone on the left, in a small panel, are two letters " I I," and in a corresponding panel on the right is the letter ' E.' The letters "II" and the three holly leaves on the shield indicate that it records some of the Irvings who were owners of New Orchard in 1G72, but I cannot make out what the letter ' E ' means. In the Valuation Roll of 1823 Archibald Douglas, advocate, is returned of part of Kirkconnel, called New Orchard, of the annual value of 40 merks.

The Laird of Luce was great grandson of Archibald Douglas of Dornock, second son of the first Earl of Queensberry, and son of the last Laird of Dornock by a daughter of Sir James Johnstone of Westerhall. His father sold the estates of Dornock to the Duke of Queensberry, but bought Castlemilk, which he sold in 1768. He was a madman, and dangerous in his cups. Displeased with a ploughman, he immediately whipt off one of his ears with a gullie which he happened to hold in his hand.

The Irvings of Luce seem to have shared the bad luck of many of their clan, and were obliged to part with their estate early in the 18th century to Douglas of Dornock. In the old valuation of 1667 Douglas of Kelhead received 40 merks per annum as rent from Adam Carlile, and had other lands in Luce valued at 82 merks. James Douglas the elder and Archibald Douglas the younger of Dornock, in the early part of the 18th century, were very large landowners in Dornock, Hoddom, and St. Mango. In 1718 Douglas acquired several farms in Hoddom from Wm. Irving of Kirkconnell, in addition to what he had in Luce. In 1768 Archibald Douglas sold his Hoddom and other estates by roup.

See also:
Douglas of Luce

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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024