Monday, 22 November 2010

Amanuensis Monday - The insolent misbehaviour of one of my own tenants

Patrick Lyon, 3rd Earl of Kinghorne

This is an extract from a letter written by Patrick Lyon, 3rd Earl of Kinghorne (1643-1695) to James Ogilvy, 2nd Earl of Airlie (c1615-1703), in March 1670. It concerns my 7x great grandfather, Alexander Hood (d. 1729), the tenant of an estate called Readie in the parish of Glamis, Angus.

The Earl of Kinghorne's family had been virtually bankrupted by the Civil War and the Earl's Book of Record, dated 1684, shows that he had borrowed a large sum of money from Alexander Hood. This may explain the animosity between them. The Earl was ultimately successful in restoring the family's fortunes. One of his descendants was the late Queen Mother.

My Lord,

... excuse me for giving you the trouble of narrating the insolent misbehaviour of one of my own tennants, who obraided me in my face with an ordinary guilt of the breatch of word & write1 (A thing very inconsistent with A gentleman & which I hope non has reason to accuse me of). I believe the fellow said it in ignorance and wishes he had not said it, yet it being befor four or fyve2 as first spoke & for the terror of such, he being fugitive and disobedient to two severall lawfull charges to my Bailies Courts, I caused cease upon his person about fyve dayes agoe and had him as I thought in sure firmance3 till I should bring him to A forder condigne & exemplar4 punishment but this last night he has made his escape and I suppose may have his shalter among some of his wife's friendes who are of your name.5 So my Lord I shal entreat of you & accept of it as A peculiar favour that you will cause intimat to all your tennantry and dependers not to protect him by A glandestine6 keeping of such A person amongst them. He is A young man one Alexr Hood youngest son to the late John Hood in Readie. My Lord this will not only be an act of good neghbourhood but is for the maintenance of that authority which is the inherent right of landlords over ther own people betwixt whom non else ought to interest themselves. This I thought fitt to acquaint you with for preventing such misinformation as possibly might induce you to permitt his wife residence within your bounds, which I hope now you will positively discharge, the injury being against my person , in the way as I have related to you, upon the word of him who avouches to be

Your most affectionat & humble servant


Glamis 18 March 1670

I only apprehend that he shall lurke amongst the country people for I hope no gentleman will receive him.

National Archives of Scotland GD16/34/212

Amanuensis Monday is an idea I found on Geneabloggers.

1. breaking his word

2. in front of four or five witnesses

3. confinement

4. further suitable & exemplary punishment

5. Alexander's wife, Margaret, was an Ogilvy from Airlie

6. clandestine

A map showing the location of Airlie and Glamis in Angus (Forfarshire).


  1. How marvellous to be able to trace this. I adore history especially in anecdotes.

  2. I was over the moon when I found this in the National Archives of Scotland. It is amazing to get such personal details about people from the 17th century. I also adore history. I read the subject at university and have been doing family history research, for myself and others, for over 25 years now.

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  5. What a nice post. I really love reading these types or articles. I can?t wait to see what others have to say.

  6. Fascinating. He was my 8x great grandfather. Your research is invaluable.