The Drummond Case

By LESSLIE, John, 1767 

Decreet of Declarator of Property M.rs Margaret & Jacobina Drummond against The Heritors of the Sherriffmuir [bound with a map] A plan of Sherriffmoor Conform to the Proof for a Division of the Common Grounds.

Travel & Voyages
  • Author: LESSLIE, John
  • Publication date: 1767.
  • Physical description: Folio (317 by 185mm), 322pp. manuscript, each page signed by Alex. Tail, dated 10.th Nov.r 1767, some pencil notations in the blank margins, folding engraved map, laid on canvas and tipped in, contemporary manuscript annotations, a few tears skilfully repaired, with small area of loss, original quarter calf over marbled paper boards, red morocco label to upper board, lettered in gilt, rubbed.
  • Dimensions: (map) 361 by 350mm (14.25 by 13.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 11717

Notes

Transcript of the successful court case mounted by the heirs of Alexander Drummond to reclaim lands seized by the Crown after the failed Jacobite Rising of 1745, and handed to the control of the Commissioners and Trustees of the Annexed Forfeited Estates.

The text begins thus: Decreet of Declarator of Property M.rs Margaret & Jacobina Drummond against The Heritors of the Sherriffmuir. G.P.K. [rule] 1767 [rule] M.Lindsay. At Edinburgh the sixth day of August one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven Anent the Two Several actions and causes Raised Intented and pursued before the Lords of Council and Session … at the instance of M.rs Margaret Drummond and Jacobina Drummonds lawful daughters of the deceased Alexander Drummond of Balhadies heritable proprietors of the lands aforementioned and James Wright of Loss Husband to the said Jacobina Drummond for himself and his interest Against His Majesties Officers of State and others as representing His Majesty for the Interest of the Crown … [for] placeable possession of the lands of Balhaldie and Glassingall lying within the County of Perth whereof certain parts and portions of the muir called Sherriffmuir are proper parts and pertinents and which parts and portions of the said muir are bounded as follows viz.t By the Dyke at the head of Kinross fauld opposite to Glassingall beg, and from thence Southeast by the same to the foot of the March Burn and from thence east by the said March Burn through the Dunmoss to the end of the Fallow bogue from whence the said March Burn springs and from thence up to the Spout of the River Burn on the West side, and by the Green Burn on the east side and which parts and portions the Pursuers have possessed of their undoubted property past all Memory …”.

Unusually, while many such cases relied on a written description of the boundaries of a piece of land disputed in a court case, this volume contains a printed map by the local surveyor John Lesslie, evidently commissioned for the purposes of the case and produced in evidence.

The map is surveyed at a scale of about 1 inch to 13 Scottish Chains (1:11,600), and was evidently completed hurriedly, as the map is confused and distorted” (Adams, notes). A number of buildings are shown in perspective, including Shanraw (Chanraw), Duthiestoun, Lanerk, Broad Leys, Larehill and Glassinghall. Other features marked include loans, tracks, a
bridge, mill lead, limekilns, dead dykes, a well, standing stones and also the site of the Battle of Sheriffmuir, from the Jacobite Rising of 1715.

This map is not recorded in Moir: Early Maps Of Scotland. The only other example traced is in the Scottish Record Office (NN8203). Items printed for such a particular purpose generally had a very limited circulation and, once the case was over, little other use, which may well explain the rarity of the map, while contemporary manuscript records of this unfortunate period are also very scarce.” 

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