Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire
Home ] Up ] Tenant Structure ]



Studies: Publications

Educational Resources

Historic Sites in Scarborough Heights

Links for Toronto Links


Scarboro Heights Record

The Lowland Clearances

Table of Contents




Birthplace of Many Scarborough Scots

Attention Students
Our pages on Lesmahagow are useful input information for the Essay Contest -- "Your Community in a World History Context", where students will learn about the Lowland Clearances, a profound disruption in the lives of ordinary people.

Some Lesmahagow History on This Web Site
Media Coverage The Lowland Clearances
An Emigrant's Last Letter Cholera
James McCowan Collier-Serf, Coalmaster, Farmer
Catching Up With the Market Economy Local Socio-Economic Change
A William Wallace Legend Rural folk craved a romanticized Scottish past
Age of Enlightenment Literacy and Cultural Progress
A Farmer's Modest Library Religion and Scottish History
Fairs and Frolics Scottish Communities at Work and Play
Alexander Muir Author of The Maple Leaf Forever
Scottish Heritage Days Scarborough's Early Lesmahagow Families
The Evolution of Values Lanarkshire Emigrants
Meagre Diet Cooperative Mini-Economy
Increased Regional Trade Diet Improvements
Regulating Supply and Price of Food At Least, Attempts to Regulate...
Poor Roads Regional Trade Impeded
Stage Drama With I Hope a New Face
To leave or not to leave Debating their future in Scotland
An Ambitious Emigrant Mason Capitalism Takes Hold
Peddlers Unlikely Heroes of the New Economy
Glossary Old Scottish Terms
Rural Industrial Pollution Environmental Damage
When the Ground Fails An Economic Watershed
Agricultural Revolution Overview
Men of Capital The Dot Farm Boom
Tenant Structure Stockbriggs Estate
Depopulation A Landuse Planning Strategy
Land Ownership Succession to Real Property
New Mode of Land Management Articles of Lease
Bankruptcy of a Farmer An Inventory of Goods
Capitalist in Training Rise of a Coalmaster
Winners and Losers? A New Angle on the Lowland Clearances
Dawn of a New Economic Order Entrepeneurism
Great Reform Bill Procession The struggle for democracy
Discontent, Loyalty and the Economy To secure tranquility and prosperity
Bonnet Lairds "Small-time" landowners
The Estate Evolves Landlords Need More Income
Financial Problems Emigration to Canada
Bibliography More history of Lesmahagow
Bibliography Lowland Scotland

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #5


With respect to our research in Lesmahagow, Scotland, 
we are very pleased to acknowledge the generous assistance of
Jim Hamilton, Jim Hamilton Senior, Ian Buchanan of Stockbriggs, Robert McLeish, Helen Walker, Frank Hughes, Bobbie Graham
and many others.


James McCowan and his brothers and sisters moved from Old Cumnock, Ayrshire to Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire in 1799. James took the lease of the Auchanbeg Coalworks. The "clearances" in Lesmahagow had already had a devastating effect on the local population -- almost a 25% decline between 1755 and 1792. There was a 9% recovery over the next nine years. To help with his coalworks, James, the "Coalmaster" brought several other families from Cumnock.

These testaments for Lesmahagow may help us understand the agricultural revolution in this Parish...

Sources in Scotland for the Agricultural Revolution

The Commissariot Record(s) of [County], Register of Testaments, 15xx-1800, were published by the Scottish Record Society at the turn of the century. These publications are indexes of names. Some of the testaments are loaded with details relating to moveable property (particularly among the tenant and landed classes) while others can be just legal jargon. The Testaments for the seventeenth century are very (to generally) difficult to read, however, those for the eighteenth are fairly legible to very good.

Subject to payment, photocopies of these testaments (reference category "CC") may generally be ordered from The Scottish Record Office, HM General Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY.

Commissariot Record of Lanark
Register of Testaments, 1595-1800
Scottish Record Society, 1903

The following are entries for people who lived in Lesmahagow Parish, Lanarkshire, in the eighteenth century.

  1. Alison: Isobel Alison, sometime spouse to James Hamilton in Heathryband, Lesmahagow, 28 July 1735
  2. Alston: Thomas Alston, in Draffen, Lesmahagow, 15 Mar. 1746
  3. Barr: William Barr, in Kephall, Lesm. 19 Sept. 1720 and 14 Aug. 1721
  4. Broune: Elizabeth Broune, relict of James Weir, of Johnshill, Lesmahagow, 11 Nov. 1718
  5. Brouning: James Brouning, in Tounhead of Blackwood, Lesm. 1 Nov. 1756
  6. Brounlie: Elizabeth Brounlie, relict of John Lein in Borland, Les. 23 Jan. 1708
  7. Buchanan: Robert Buchanan, Minister at Lesmahagow, 14 Oct. 1796
  8. Campbell: John Campbell, servant to John Stewart, younger, in Moat, son to the deceased George Campbell, in Lows, Parish of New Cumnock, who was brother-german to umquhile Euphame Campbell, who was spouse to John Arthur of Borland Smithy, father to John Arthur of Borland Smithy, Parish of Lesmahago, 22 June, 1733
  9. Carmichael: Rachaell Carmichael, spouse to Jas Vere of Stonebyres, Lesm, 27 Feb. 1712
  10. Carscallan: Andrew Carscallan, son to the deceased John C. in Nether Waterhead of Lesm. 25 Jan. 1739
  11. Couper: John Couper, in Blackwood-yeards, Lesm, 5 Apr. 1725
  12. Couper: Marion Couper.... Lesmahagow, 3 June, 1740
  13. Donald: John Donald, in Aughren, son to the deceased John D, in Tounhead of Blackwood, Lesm, 23 Apr. 1724
  14. Fleming: William Fleming, in Eastertoune of Fockertoune, Lesm. 27 Apr. 1702
  15. Forrest: James Forrest, merchant in Abbeygreen, Lesm. 29 July 1793
  16. Forrest: William Forrest, in Willsheill, Lesm 22 Sept. 1707
  17. Gilkerson: James Gilkerson, in Fockertoun, Lesm, 5 Dec. 1720
  18. Gordon, William Gordon, of Harperfield, Lesm. 19 Oct. 1787
  19. Hamilton: Archibald Hamilton, only lawful son to John H. in Camminghill, Les. 27 July 1743
  20. Hamilton: George Hamilton, late of Dillars, Lesm 11 Oct. 1796
  21. Hamilton: James Hamilton, in Hole of Graystone, Lesm 22 Dec. 1730
  22. Hamilton: John Hamilton in Caminghill, Les. 5 July 1748 and 14 Nov. 1749
  23. Hamilton: William Hamilton, of Hill, Commissar of Lanark, 4 Nov. 1743
  24. Harperfield: John Harperfield, in Side of Fockertoune, Les, 7 Oct. 1702 and 18 Feb. 1703
  25. Hay: Mr. Andrew Hay, of Craignethan, Lesm, 3 July 1706
  26. Inglis: Grissell Inglis, in Syde of Fockertoun, Lesm, 30 July, 1716
  27. Jamiesone: John Jamiesone, in Auchlochanhill, Les. 18 Jan. 1712
  28. Kennedy: Gilbert Kennedy, of Aughtefardell, Les. 9 Dec. 1746
  29. Lawrie: Robert Lawrie, lawful son of John Gavin L. wright in Abbay Green, and Isobel Loudon, spouses, Les. 9 July 1745
  30. Lawson: Robert Lawson, in Aughrobert, Lesm, 14 Aug, 1721
  31. Lean: James Lean, younger, in Borland, Lesm 13 June, 1738
  32. Lean: James Lean, in Borland, Lesm 10 June, 1743
  33. Leiper: Andrew Leiper, in Abbaygreen, Les. 19 June 1724
  34. Linn: Janet Linn, in Greenfoolds, Lesm. 7 Feb. 1701
  35. Linning: Mr. Thomas Linning, Minister at Lesmahagow, 1 Oct. 1770
  36. McGie: John McGie, son lawful of the deceased Robert McG, tenant in Draffen, and Catherine Cleland, spouses, Les. 4 Feb, 1745
  37. McGie: Robert McGie, in Draffan, Lesm. 10 Aug. 1733
  38. McWharrie: Thomas McWharrie, of Scorrieholm, Lesm. 10 Apr. 1722
  39. Meikle: Thomas Meikle, in Kellielees, 14 Jan. 1725
  40. Miller: James Miller, younger, merchant in Abbey-green of Les... 28 Sept, 1736
  41. Miller: John Miller, younger, in Netherhall of Fockertoune, Les, 3 Jan, 1704
  42. Muir: Isobel Muir, in Corrow-miln, Lesm. 23 Jan. 1728
  43. Muir: James Muir, elder of Lesmahago-Pouneill, 9 Mar. 1702
  44. Muir: Mary Muir, in Kilnhills of Les, 19 June 1733
  45. Paitt: Janet Paitt, dau to John P. in Clanockyett, Les, 28 Feb. 1722
  46. Peacock: William Peacock, late tenant in Skellyhill, Les, 25 May, 1789
  47. Pender: Thomas Pender, bellman in Lesm. 13 June 1740
  48. Prett: George Prett in Bourtrees, Lesm. 27 Feb. 1727
  49. Purdie: James Purdie, in Ardoch, Les. 29 July 1706
  50. Purdie: Thomas Purdie, in Sconeholme, [Scorrieholm] Les. 15 Feb. 1698
  51. Smith: Gabriell Smith, in Hallhill Lesm. 26 May 1753 see also Stoddart, Agnes
  52. Somervell: Samuell Somervell, in Wyndihills of Corhouse, Lesm, 7 Oct. 1701
  53. Somervell: William Somervell, of Corhouse, Lesm. 4 Jan. 1729
  54. Steele: James Steele, of Netherhouse, Les. 30 May 1744
  55. Steele: Robert Steele, of Woodhead, Les. 11 Jan, 1712
  56. Stevenson: William Stevenson, travelling drover at Stockbridges, Les. 16 Apr. 1771
  57. Stewart: Robert Stewart, tailor in Abbeygreen and Janet S., his sister, T. 9 June, 1780
  58. Stoddart: Agnes Stoddart, spouse to the deceased Gabriell Smith in Hallhill, Lesm. 8 Mar. 1658 [see Smith: 1753]
  59. Templetoun: Robert Templetoun, in Burn of Stonbyers Lesm. 18 Nov. 1720
  60. Thomson: Alexander Thomson, in Netherford, Les. T. 30 June 1760
  61. Thomson: George Thomson, in Connel-Holm, Lesm. 20 Dec. 1750
  62. Thomson: James Thomson, tenant in South Brekenridge, par. of Lesm. 6 Feb. 1733
  63. Thomson: James Thomson, in Blair, Les. 28 Apr. 1747
  64. Torrence: Abraham Torrence, in Milnton of Lesmahago, 15 Apr. 1738
  65. Torrence: Margaret Torrence, relict of James Semple, in Moorburn, par of Glasford, and residenter in Brekenridge, Les. 26 Feb. 1734
  66. Tweddell: Catherine Tweddell, servitrix to William Greenshields, in Reedshead of Fockertoun, Lesm 16 Jan. 1727
  67. Tweddell: David Tweddell, elder, in Greenhead of Corhouse, Les. 13 Nov. 1733
  68. Tweddell: John Tweddell, son to the deceased James T. in Langlands, and sometime servant to James Thomson, of Commerhead, Les. 3 Mar. 1732
  69. Waddell: James Waddell, in Nether Affleck Les. 16 Aug. 1748
  70. Walker: Andrew Walker, in Henrybads of Lesm 9 Nov. 1716
  71. Wallace: Mrs. Jean Wallace, daughter of John W., merchant in Glasgow, at Kirkfield, Lesm 23 July 1800
  72. Weir: George Weir, in Coultershogell, Les. 14 Dec. 1713
  73. Weir: Sir George Weir, of Blackwood, baronet, Les. 6 Feb. 1718
  74. Weir: George Weir, son to John W. in Kirkfield-burn Les. 8 Jan. 1734
  75. Weir: George Weir, of Kerse, Les. 14 Nov. 1751
  76. Weir: Major James Weir, of Kirkfield, Les. 2 Feb and 3 Mar, 1702 and 12 Jan. 1709
  77. Weir: James Weir, in Priestholme, Les. 4 Jan. 1716 and 9 Nov. 1728
  78. Weir: James Weir, of Kerse, Les. 11 Sept. 1721
  79. Weir: Captain John Weir, sometime in Tounhead of Hardrig, par. of Douglas, thereafter in Blackwood, Les. 2 Nov. 1724
  80. Weir: John Weir, late of Kerse, Les. 23 Jan. 1787
  81. Weir: Thomas Weir, portioner of Auchlochen, Les. 3 Nov. 1706
  82. Weir: Thomas Weir, sometime in Greenrig, thereafter merchant in Lanark, 25 Feb 1723
  83. Weir: William Weir, younger, of Birkwood, 10 Aug, 1705 and 11 Mar. 1712
  84. Weir: William Weir, elder, of Birkwood, 2 Mar. 1716
  85. Weir: Sir William Weir, of Blackwood, Baronet, Les. 28 May 1722 and 23 Apr. 1723
  86. Weir: William Weir, of Birkwood, Les. 22 Oct. 1785, 9 Jan. 1787, and 25 Aug. 1794

From Croft to Clearing V1 #2
The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #1

More About the Agricultural Revolution