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The old country houses of the old Glasgow gentry

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XXX. Craigton

Photograph of Craigton

CRAIGTON is situated in the parish of Govan and county of Lanark, about four miles from Glasgow, on the road leading to Paisley. It is an excellent house, and was formerly an agreeable residence, but its amenity is now much injured by the smoke of the various coal and ironstone pits in the vicinity.

The Ritchies of Craigton have long been connected with Glasgow.

John Ritchie, "merchand burgess" of Glasgow, married Bessie Wallace, whose testament is recorded in the Glasgow Commissary Register, 6th April, 1674. He had a son, John Ritchie, who married Jean Somervell, and died in 1710, leaving, with other sons and daughters, his successor, John Ritchie, who bought Craigton in 1746. He married in 1719 Helen, daughter of John Adam, merchant in Glasgow, (1) and died in 1755, leaving -

  1. James, who succeeded.
  2. Henry, who married Esther Crawford, and had issue. (2)
  3. Mary, married James Dunlop of Garnkirk, and had issue.

James Ritchie of Craigton was born in 1722. He was one of "the four young men" who made the Virginia trade which made Glasgow, and he became one of the largest and most successful of the Tobacco Lords. He was also one of the founders of the Thistle Bank, which began in 1761 under the name of "Sir Walter Maxwell of Pollok, Bart.; James Ritchie & Co." He inherited Craigton, and in 1763 bought the estate of Busbie in Ayrshire. His town residence was the house in Queen Street which was afterwards possessed by Kirkman Finlay : the National Bank stands on its site. He married firstly, Frances, sister of Hugh, 12th Earl of Eglinton, by whom he had two sons and one daughter, who have left no descendants. He married secondly, Katharine, daughter of Robert Kerr of Newfield, of the Lothian family, and had issue,

  1. Henry, his successor.
  2. Eleanora, died unmarried.
  3. Frances, who married Hugh Wallace, and had issue (3)
  4. Katherine, died unmarried.
  5. Jane Douglas, married Dr. Donaldson of Ayr.
  6. Mary, married Alexander West Hamilton.
  7. Margaret Hamilton, married William Stirling of Cordale, Dumbartonshire (4)
  8. Charlotte, died unmarried.

He had also four sons who died young. The three unmarried Miss Ritchies years at the picturesque old house of Barncluth near Hamilton, and died there. James Ritchie died in 1799.

Henry Ritchie was, like his father, a partner in the Thistle Bank. He succeeded to Craigton and Busbie, and bought Cloncaird in Ayrshire, which became his residence. He was twice married, but left no issue. His first wife was Elizabeth Cathcart, and his second Catherine, daughter of Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart. Henry Ritchie died in 1843, having in 1830 sold Craigton to Henry Dunlop.

Henry Dunlop of Craigton was a well known and highly esteemed citizen of Glasgow. He was Lord Provost in 1837-40, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce 1841-50-62, and for twenty years Deputy-Chairman of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company. He took a great interest in the various charitable and religious institutions of the City. He died, leaving a family, in 1867.

Several years previous to his death he sold Craigton to Graham Hutchison, merchant in Glasgow, whose heirs are now the proprietors.

(1) The sister of this lady, Margaret Adam, married Samuel M'Call, merchant in Glasgow, and magistrate in 1723. He is the ancestor of a numerous clan of M'Calls, among others those of Braehead, from whom descend the family of Daldowie and their numerous connections.

(2) Henry Ritchie had a daughter, Janet, who married Samuel Cooper of Failford and Ballindalloch, merchant in Glasgow. Mr Cooper had a large family. His eldest son, William, owns Failford, and his younger son, Henry, Ballindalloch. His eldest daughter, Janet, married William Wallace, whose son William succeeded to Cloncaird and Busbie. Cecilia married Robert Struthers of Glasgow, and died in 1841, leaving a son. Henrietta married John Crooks of Leven, merchant in Glasgow, and died in 1827, leaving a daughter. Frances married Herbert Buchanan of Glasgow, and died in 1843, leaving a family. Ann married George Ross Wilsone of Benmore, and had a son and a daughter. Ellinor married Thomas Gray Scott, W.S., Edinburgh, and has a family. Esther married Alexander Graham Dunlop of Gairbraid, and died in 1844, leaving a son who died the same year. Mary died unmarried.

(3) Frances Ritchie married in 1788 Hugh Wallace. The Wallaces had long been merchants and held property in Glasgow. John Wallace, uncle of this Hugh Wallace, was an extensive Virginia merchant, and had large estates in the West Indies : the late well known Robert Wallace of Kelly, M.P., was his son. His residence was the fine old house of Whitehill (which see). Hugh Wallace's only sister, Margaret, married Andrew Houston of Jordanhill, which was sold to Archibald Smith in 1800.

The children of Frances Ritchie and Hugh Wallace were, 1, Hugh Ritchie Wallace; 2, James Wallace, who died without issue; 3, William Wallace, married his cousin Janet Cooper, and had two sons - William, late proprietor of Busbie and Cloncaird as heir of his grand-uncle, Henry Ritchie; Henry, now of Busbie and Cloncaird; and one daughter, Jeanette, now Mrs. Ord Graham Campbell; 4, John Ritchie Wallace, who died without issue; 5, Thomas Wallace, who died without issue; 6, Robert Wallace, born at Jordanhill, 1798, married Katharine Tennant of Saint Rollox, of whose family were Henry Ritchie, married to Fanny Parker, died 1863, leaving issue, Charles Tennant, Robert Hugh, and John Tennant, who died in 1863 in New Zealand unmarried; and the surviving daughter, Margaret, now Mrs. George Alston of Craighead; 7, Frances Wallace, married 1st Montgomerie Hamilton, 2nd Dr. Renton of Madeira.

(4) Margaret Hamilton Ritchie married William Stirling of Cordale, merchant in Glasgow. The Glasgow Stirlings are of the Drumpellier family, who are descended from Robert Stirling of Bankeyr and Lettyr, who died in 1537. This family (see Drumpellier) claims to represent the ancient family of Stirling of Cadder, and thus to be chief of the name. Walter Stirling, merchant in Glasgow, was Dean of Guild in 1639. His great-grandson was John Stirling, who was Provost in 1728-29. The Provost's son William, who was born in 1717, established the famous firm of William Stirling & Sons, still one of the first houses in Glasgow. Provost Stirling was uncle of Bailie Walter Stirling, who founded Stirling's Library.

The surviving children of William Stirling and Margaret Hamilton Ritchie are, 1, James, who contested Dumbartonshire with Mr. Patrick Smollett in 1865; 2, William; 3, Charles; 4, Richard, married Jane MacIntyre, and has issue, Robert, Richard, James, Mary, Jane, Hamilton, Charlotte, Eleanor; 5, Margaret Hamilton, married Mr. Alston of Stockbriggs, and has issue, James William, John Stirling, George Patrick (dead), Charles Henry, Edward Richard, Walter Cross, Harry Ritchie, Margaret Hamilton (dead), Charlotte Mary; 6, Charlotte.

Mr. and Mrs. Stirling had, in addition to those who survive, ten other children now deceased, the eldest of whom and of the family - 1, John Stirling, was a distinguished young officer, who was killed while leading an assault against the fort of Dendhoster, 23rd January, 1828 : a handsome cenotaph is erected to his memory by his brother officers in the nave of the High Church. The others were, 2, George; 3, Jeanette; 4, Henry; 5, Catherine; 6, Andrew Bogle; 7, Mary, married John Stirling Donald, and had issue, Colin Dunlop, William Stirling, Katharine Kerr, Mary Eleanor Stirling; 8, Eleanor; 9, Edward; 10, Anna.

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