Scoonie

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SCOONIE

One of the lost Durie lands at Rossend, Grange, Craigluscar and Scoonie.

The Durie family was granted this land (and took its name) in the 1260s, and in 1512 King James ratified an Act of Parliament of 1509 whereby the “land of Dury Balcurvie & others” were erected into the Barony of Durie. The next heir was Robert Durie of that Ilk in 1540.

Burke's Landed Gentry, sadly, confuses Robert Durie of that Ilk with Robert Durie, the Fife Adventurer, son of John Durie, early Protestant divine, and father of the later John Durie, Protestant reformer. The correct information is on the right.

The rest is well-recorded land history. Robert passed the Barony of Durie to his only daughter, Jonet in 1554, who was forced to marry a favourite of James V, Henry Kemp of Thomastoun, who had to change his name to Durie to preserve the inheritance. Jonet passed the lands to her eldest son, David, in 1556/57 but David seems to have given them almost immediately to his son, Robert. Janet died in 1575 and David in 1597 (from his testament dative, confirmed in 1601). In 1614, Robert Durie arranged a Retour as heir to David and also tidied up a previous generation’s land assignments, in preparation for a sale.

Robert was by now living at Scottscraig, near St. Andrews and was no longer occupying the Durie lands, which were subinfeudated to the Ramsay family. The reason is unclear (Robert seems to have been in debt to Ramsay and to his cousin James Durie of Craigluscar), but he decided to sell Durie to Alexander Gibson of Liberton (ca. 1576 – 10 Jun 1644), a Clerk of Session and thereafter Lord President of the Session, one of the most senior Judges in Scotland. The sum paid was “three score three thousand [blank]”. If this is 63,000 Pound Scots (£5,250 sterling) or 63,000 Merks (£3,500 sterling) it approximates to half a million pounds in today’s terms.

Gibson took possession of the manor place of Durie on 25 July 1614 and as soon as he could, adopted the judicial title Lord Durie. Robert’s last act was to write to Gibson in 1618 to warn him off signing himself “Durie” as he, Robert, considered himself “Durie of that Ilk”, which he certainly was not. His grandson later sold the Durie lands and barony to the Christie family, who are still there. 

 

 
 
 
 

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