Chirnside Runrig Lands Land dispute in 1740

“A Decreet of Division of the Runrig & Rundale Lands of Chirnside & Commonty” dated 1740

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“This Division was brought at the instance of William Hall of Whitehall, a Principal Clerk of Session, called “the Pursuer”, AGAINST Mr John Hume of Ninewells & other Heritors of Chirnside, called “the Defenders.”The proceedings took a long time before the lesser Courts, but the Summons & Action was raised in November, 1740, for the Division and pursued until February 1741.

It could not proceed with until John Mow of Mains “had given up in favour of Wm Hall the Pursuer and other Heritors all right Title he had or pretended to have to any servitude of pasturing sheep on the Lands of Chirnside from the time the Corns are led off the ground to the time the oats are sprung up again and to grant valid and ample Renunciation to them for that effect”. Alexander Christie, Writer in Duns, therefore gave to the Sheriff Depute of Berwickshire and Greenlaw, David Home of Wedderburn and Alex Home Advocate a Submission and Decreet Arbitral to that effect.”

This decreet is inserted at the end of the Book of Proceedings of the Division, and shows that Renunciation was given by John Mow to the Heritors “to give off and divide to John Mow in lieu and place of the renounced Servitude, as much ground lying most contiguous and convenient for him as will amount to £5.15 stirling of yearly rent, of the lands belonging to the several Heritors”.

The expense of all this Division through the Courts was to be upon “The Pursuer & Defenders, proportionally.” Mr Henry Home, Advocate, who Was Procurator for the Defence made no objection to this. (He became Lord Kames in 1752).

There were nine defenders, and the total cost to them amounted to £388 18s 5d. John Home of Ninewells having to pay most, and Mr Florence Darling the least.The whole ground to be divided extended to 2348 acres, 3 roods, 7 falls, which in money value totalled £3367 13s 11d.
Mr William Jeffrey, schoolmaster in Chirnside was appointed to be “Measurer” of the lands under consideration.

When the new Allotments were made to the Defenders, it was found that the Wells were all in the Allotment made to Mrs. Davidson & her son William thus depriving the village of Chirnside and Mr Hall of water, so a new Allotment was made, however, this too had disadvantages and a third Allotment had to be chosen. The value of the land ranged from £6 Scots per acre to 1/6 per acre for the best and poorest quality of land.”

Text from Runrig Document at Hawick Heritage Hub



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