« ElőzőTovább »
in 1715, when the family papers were taken possession of by the Commissioners on the forfeited estate of Southesk.
Sufficient evidence, however, has been preserved in a Charter by King David II.—without date, but probably granted in 1358-confirming a donation made by the then deceased Walter Maule, to John de Balinhard-afterwards de Carnegie -of the lands of Carnegie, to prove that four generations of the family bore the surname of Balinhard. In the county of Forfar, there are at least three places of the name of Balinhard ; one of these is Balinhard, or Bonhard, in the parish of Arbirlot, another forms part of the estate of Clova, and the third, known as Bonhard, lies in Edzell parish.
The lands of Carnegie from the time of their being first acquired by John de Balinhard, the ancestor of the Carnegies, in the year 1358, continued to form part of the possessions of the family, either in the direct or collateral lines, till they were forfeited in the
1716. The direct male line of the Carnegies of Carnegie, failed about the year 1530, when the lands became the property of a collateral branch. On the failure of that branch about the end of the sixteenth century, the lands again reverted to the Carnegies of Kinnaird, then the main line.
Three years after the restoration of Charles II., James, the second Earl of Southesk, obtained from His Majesty a Charter dated 3d August 1663, by which the lands of Carnegie and many other lands were erected into a free barony, to be called the barony of Carnegie in all time coming.
After the lands of Carnegie were forfeited in 1716, they remained for a considerable number of years in other hands, but in the year 1763, they were purchased by Sir James Carnegie of Pittarrow, the heir male of the family. He, however, retained them only for a very short time, having almost immediately exchanged them with the Earl of Panmure for other lands adjacent to the principal residence of Kinnaird.
Duthac of Carnegie, second son of John de Carnegie, who held the lands of Carnegie, was the first of that family who
possessed Kinnaird and Carcary. In the year 1401 he acquired a small portion of the lands of Kinnaird ; and in the year 1409, the half of the same lands which belonged to Mariota of Kinnaird. The lands of Kinnaird and Little Carcary were first erected into the barony of Kinnaird by King James V. who, by a Charter under the Great Seal, dated 17th July 1542, granted to Robert Carnegie of Kinnaird, on his own resignation, the lands of Kinnaird and Little Carcary, with the Manor of Kinnaird and all privileges pertaining thereto. The reddendo is a silver penny to be paid upon the said lands of Kinnaird, yearly if asked, and also the keeping of the king's ale cellar within the shire of Forfar, when he should happen to reside there, the grantee and his heirs being lawfully warned.
In consequence of several extensive additions to the Kinnaird barony, a new erection of the barony was made by Queen Mary by a Charter under the Great Seal, dated 25th March 1565. The reddendo is the same as in the previous Charter of erection by King James V.
Another, and third erection of the barony of Kinnaird was made by King James VI. by a Charter under the Great Seal, dated 14th October 1591.
On the resignation of James, second Earl of Southesk, the barony of Kinnaird, and many other baronies and lands which had been acquired by him, were by a Charter granted by King Charles II. in favour of Robert Lord Carnegie, and Lady Anna Hamilton, his spouse, dated 8th March 1667, erected and incorporated into one whole and free Earldom of and Lordship to be called the Earldom of Southesk, and Lordship of Carnegie in all time coming; the tower, fortalice, and manor place of Kinnaird were declared to be the principal messuage ; and one sasine to be taken thereat was to be sufficient infeftment for the whole earldom and lordship. The reddendo consisted of certain payments specified for the several lands, the keeping of the King's ale-cellar being omitted apparently for the first time.
Since the acquisition of the lands of Kinnaird by the Carnegie family, the Castle of Kinnaird has been their principal residence. The House of Kinnaird is first mentioned in 1409, in a charter in which Duthac Carnegie obtains a grant and confirmation of half of the town of Kinnaird, upon the resignation thereof in his favour by Mariota de Kinnaird, supposed to have married him, who, in resigning it, reserves to herself a house called the Chemyse, with an adjoining acre of land. After the battle of Brechin in 1452, this house was burned to the ground by the Earl of Crawford in revenge for the part which Walter de Carnegie, son of Duthac de Carnegie, and the then proprietor of Kinnaird, took in fighting in support of the standard of his Sovereign, King James II., in that sanguinary engagement. A new house was built, it is conjectured, by Walter de Carnegie. This house which succeeded the old tower, burned by Crawford, was placed by Walter de Carnegie upon the present site, parts of the existing building giving evidence, by extreme thickness of wall, and other peculiarities, of an antiquity too considerable to be referred to any much later period. This is all that can now be ascertained regarding the erection of the earlier house of Kinnaird. It is referred to in the testimonial of Sasine, dated in 1479, in favour of John Carnegie the third laird of Kinnaird, who was the son of Walter de Carnegie.
The Mansion-house of Kinnaird remained, it is probable, without any material alteration till the time of Sir Robert Carnegie, fifth laird, who greatly added to its size as appears from the contract between him and the builders, John Hutoun and William Welsche, dated at Kinnaird, 7th November 1555, a short time before he had received the honour of Knighthood which is still preserved.
David, first Earl of Southesk, the grandson of Sir Robert Carnegie, is understood to have considerably enlarged the Castle. In the time of Robert the third Earl, it is described by John Ochterlony of Gwynd in his account of the Shire of
Forfar written about the year 1685, as
a great house having excellent gardens, parks with fallow deer, orchards, hay meadows, wherein are extraordinare quantities of hay, very much planting, ane excellent breed of horse, cattle, and sheep, extraordinare good land : without competition the finest place taken altogether in the shire.” Ochterlony adds that the family had been honoured by having his Majesty Charles II., his father Charles I., and his grandfather James VI., at their house of Kinnaird.
For several generations after the time of the first Earl of Southesk, the family dwelling-place would seem to have satisfied its possessors. Charles the fourth Earl, however, after devoting himself to planting and improving the grounds of Kinnaird, determined to enlarge and renovate the mansion also. Earl Charles' death in course of the next year, the long minority which followed, the troublous times of the '15, the forfeiture of the estate, and the exile and attainder of James, fifth Earl, precluded the execution of the plans of 1698.
In 1763, Sir James Carnegie purchased the Southesk estates, but he had not completed his possession to them when he died. Sir David, his son, a man of refined tastes, matured by study and travel, found himself more happily situated as to means and leisure. In 1779, fourteen years after he had inherited Kinnaird, but when still a minor, he refers to the family residence in one of his poetical addresses to a relative, as
"The uncouth mansion of this ancient place.”
Dissatisfied with the somewhat dilapidated ancestral house, he began about 1790, under the auspices of Mr Playfair, extensive alterations which completely changed its aspect, and greatly increased its size, making it perhaps the largest mansion-house in the county.
For fully half a century the castle remained unchanged, with the exception of small and unimportant additions ; but a few years after the accession of the present Earl, it was destined to undergo an entire transformation. Great alterations on the park and grounds had, for some time, been in progress; when his Lordship, desirous in all respects to improve the ancient home of his family, resolved that the house itself should be thoroughly renovated and re-modelled both within and without. Plans were obtained from Mr Bryce of Edinburgh; a beginning was made in 1854, and the work, carried on more or less vigorously during the intervening years, was brought to its completion in 1862.
The Castle, as it now stands, forms a nearly perfect square ; and very much presents the appearance of a French chateau of the olden time ;-with its massive towers capped by steep and lofty roofs crowned with gilt stars and pennoned vanes; its long stretch of balustraded balconies and terrace walls ; its many windows-mullioned and plain, dormer, lay, and oriel ; its quaintly carved coats of arms, blazoning the alliances of its owners since the days of Duthac and Mariota ; a French Chateau, in short, in its irregularity within bounds, in its flexible formality, in its mixture of Mediæval Gothic with Italian outlines and classical detail, in its rich decoration, and especially in its prodigal display of roof, a feature so carefully concealed in the English Tudor style.
The west and principal front is 208 feet long from point to point, including the square flanking towers, which are connected by an open stone-work balcony, where a double flight of steps leads to the terrace gardens. In the centre is another tower of rather larger size, and 90 feet in height to the level of its roof platform, above which rises a round turret, surmounted by a vane, the top of which is 115 feet above the ground. The most conspicuous part of the south front is, with its flanking towers, 100 feet long; the Conservatory, a tower, lower and wider than the rest, and part of the offices, complete the square, which is thus exactly 200 feet in length. The length of the north front is the same, as is also its general arrangement; but between flanking towers is the principal entrance, protected by a columned porte-cochère of elaborate design,