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Douglas of Fingland


Fingland was acquired, about 1652, along with Auchinshimmoch in the barony of Lochrinnie,  as a marriage portion from the Lockarts of Lee.  James Douglas of Morton married Christian, 2nd daughter of Sir James Lockart of Lee.

So, this line starts with Archibald Douglas of Fingland (b 1633, d 1717-8), chamberlain to the 2nd Duke of Queensberry and son of James Douglas of Morton Castle, himself a son of Hugh Douglas (1569-1623), who was the son of Patrick Douglas 'of Quhitfauld' of Morton Castle, Dumfriesshire (dvp before 1578). Archibald married Marion Kennedy, daughter of William Kennedy of Auchtyfardle, Lanarkshire.

He was succeeded by his son, William Douglas of Fingland (b 1672, d c1760), who m. (c09.1706) Betty (Elizabeth) Clark (dau/coheir of Capt. Alexander Clark of Glenboig). From him are descended the Douglases of Witham, Essex, and Salwarpe.  William, a famous swordsman and duelist, wrote the song 'Annie Laurie'. He was an Ensign in the Royal Scots, and served James II abroad.

Born in Sanquhar Castle, his home was at Fingland only 12 miles from Annie's Maxwelton, but they appear to have had their first meeting at an Edinburgh ball. They fell in love, but there were complications. Annie's father, who had been knighted by James VII two years after she was born, was a strong Royalist and a vigorous persecutor of Jacobites and Covenanters--not surprising since he was a cousin of the notorious butcher of Covenanters, Grierson of Lag. Indeed, it was in recognition of his anti-Jacobite and anti-Covenanter activities that he received his knighthood.


Captain Douglas, on the other hand, was pledged to the Stuart cause, a Jacobite to the backbone, so that Sir Robert's attitude towards him as a son-in-law was less than enthusiastic. In any case, Douglas was something of a rough diamond, an expert swordsman with a fiery temper that landed him in a succession of duels. Legend has it that on one occasion he was literally crossing swords with Sir Robert when Annie came on the scene and put an end to it. Another opponent, wounded and disarmed by Douglas, later declared that he was defeated less by Douglas's skill than by his "fierce and squintin eyen".


Despite Sir Robert's disapproval, Annie and her lover continued to meet secretly in the seclusion of Maxwelton Braes until news came that a Stuart invasion was about to be launched. Captain Douglas had to leave at once for Edinburgh, but before he spurred away he penned his poetic tribute to his loved one, making up in passionate enthusiasm whatever may have been lacking in elegance and literary merit.


Here is how he described the, apparently, shapely Annie:

She's backit like a Peacock,

She's breastit like a swan,

She's jimp about the middle,

Her waist ye weill may span,

Her waist ye weill may span,

And she has a rollin' eye,

And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'll lay down my head and die.


Like his grandfather, James of Morton, he was a Commissioner of Supply in Dumfries, in 1693.




On 9th December 1661, Archibald Douglas, brother of William Douglas of 'Mortoun', had sasine of the land of Fingland.


On 10th December 1709, Robert Douglas, second son of Archibald Douglas of Fingland (b1633), had sasine of the land of Auchinshinnoch, a neighbouring farm.  However, four days later, Margaret, eldest daughter of James Corbet, Merchant in Glasgow, had sasine. It is assumed that she was Robert's wife. In 1717, it was held by James Davies of Leonard Coast, Cumberland.  Auchinshinnoch had earlier, in June 1670, been held by Samuel Douglas, brother to William Douglas of 'Mortoune'.


In 1682, James Douglas of Morton owned Fingland and Auchinshinnoch.


Fingland was sold in 1721 (Sasine 3rd February 1722) to a John Chalmers, and probably to pay off debts, including marriage settlements. Thereafter, it had a succession of owners

Fingland gives its name to a hill. streamlet and house. about 8 miles NW of Dalry, 71/2 miles W. of Moniaive, and 14 miles from Morton 'as the crow flies'. The name is probably of Norse origin. Fingland is spelled Fingen by Pont (the cartographer).

Ahinshinnoch comes from the gaelic, meaning the field with the spring of water at the hill, or hillock.


Archeological notes for Fingland
NX69SE 73 6700 9017
A farmstead, comprising two roofed, two unroofed buildings, one of which is annotated 'Ruin' and four enclosures, and one unroofed building with an enclosure attached are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Kirkcudbrightshire 1853, sheet 10). Six roofed buildings and four enclosures are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1980). Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 14 September 1999.

See also: Blacklaw Tower 


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