Category: Scottish Feudal barony of Balmachreuchie

The Scottish Feudal barony of Balmachreuchie



The barony of Balmachreuchie is a 14th Century Scottish personal dignity registered with the Scottish Barony Register (SBR: 2010/05).

Scottish Feudal baronies are uniquely Scottish titles which survived recent feudal abolition; specifically, a Scottish Prescriptive Barony by tenure, and was, from 1660 to 2004, the feudal description of the only genuine title of nobility capable of changing ownership through commerce, gifting or inheritance, (rather than inheritance only as in a peerage).

Thus, the term “feudal barony” included the dignity and the lands. After 2004, the title/dignity was  detached from the lands and preserved as incorporeal feudal heritage. One entity became two.

The current holder of the dignity is Timothy S. Spaulding, MD of Kentucky, a descendant of one of the families who held it over 250 years ago.



There are several possible origins of the place name Balmachreuchie.

One possibility is that it could be an Anglicised version of a Gaelic original. The Gaelic form is in three words: Bal meaning ‘settlement’, na meaning ‘of’, and one of the following:

                      ‘chreuchie referring to ‘peat-stacks’ or stone and clay; or

                      ‘creuthachaidh referring to small springs; or

                      ‘crao-bhachaidh referring to clumps of trees or a wood, on a hill.

All are prounounced the same: bal – muh – crew – hee.   A literal translation of Balmachreuchie could be any one of the following: “The Settlement at the Peat Stacks” or “The Settlement of stone and clay buildings” or “The Settlement at the small springs” or “The Settlement at the small wood, or Woodhill”. [Notes on Strathardle, Dundee, 1880]. Balmachreuchie Farm is currently a small farm in lower Strathardle.

Another possibility is that it could mean in the gaelic: BAL (town of) MAC (son of) Cruach (personal name); plural is “town of the sons of Cruach” or  BAL-MAC-CHRUACH-IE and thus: BALMACHREUCHIE.

The Ferguson family who were originally associated with the name referred to it as “Woodhill”, and even named properties in the New World “Woodhill, I think it was most commonly referred to in English as Woodhill, and thus another name of the barony might be the barony of Woodhill……



Strathardle lies in an area where the Gaelic language was predominant until the mid-eighteenth century. The prefix ‘Strath’ signifies a broad valley. In this case it is a broad valley on either bank of the River Ardle.  Strathardle, formerly Srath Ardail, links Glenshee with Atholl.  The Spalding Clan Chiefs at one time held both the barony of Balmachreuchie and the adjacent barony of Ashintully.  The barony of Balmachreuchie was created long before the barony of Ashintully, and was acquired by the Spaldings of Ashintully much later afterwards, so their history and that of the families residing there were closely intertwined. A View of part of Strathardle:


Lands formerly attached to the barony of Balmachreuchie:

Roger James Rutherford Aytoun in a sasine dated 12 March 1852, referred to the barony of Balmachreuchie being attached to the following lands and farms:  “including Easter and Wester Balmacreuchie, Easter and Wester Dalnabreeks (Dalnabreck), Petermack (Pitcarmick), Balnabreck (Balnabroich), Balmyle, Easter and Wester Ballintyne (Ballintuim), Morchloich alias Whitefield, Kirkassel, Bridgend of Mesteloich(Dalruzion?), Craigadellie, Stewavails, Christamaes, Edinamuchty, Glen Corryvaik (Glen Corra-Lairrige?), Boreland, the Corries, Glentatrich(Gleann Taitneach), Redoch, Enoch Stylemonth, Glenkilry, Crags of Enoch, Brochdearg(Broughdearg), Ballochraggan(Ballachraggan), and part of the lands called “Walton of Blair” in the Lordship of Scone (formerly in t  he barony of Ruthven), parish of Blairgowrie and County of Perth”. (a farm adjoing the Muir of Blair to the West of Blairgowrie)

These lands extend from mid-Strathardle to lower Strathardle and from Glenshee down the blackwater, basically the lower third part of Strathardle, Ashintully being the middle third of Strathardle.  Parts of the Cateran trail, the old cattle roving trails are found in these lands.



From the 13th Century, Scottish Kings created administrative units called “baronies”,  supervised by men who were called “barons”.   A Scottish Feudal Baron owes his or her title or dignity to a deed created by the monarch through a Crown Charter (thus making it a noble title) in which the name of the barony, the caput (or main dwelling), and a delineation of the lands are listed, referred to as “all and whole the lands and barony of”  X…. Lands, not necessarily connected to each other, were designated by the crown or “erected” into a barony status was by prescription (designation), which was bestowed upon an individual, or the owner of the lands.  A holding “in baronium” transformed the landed estate into a new and clearly defined legal and administrative unit, a peaceful self-governing social unit. The Crown charter conferred important legal privileges: the right to use the title of “baron” and the right of jurisdiction within the barony, such as the right of pit and gallows and the imposition of the death sentence.

It was a title of jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters of the inhabitants of the designated lands; they were responsible  for enforcing tax collection, maintaining a barony court for enforcing the King’s Laws,  and supplying, as a feudal levy, fighting men who resided within the barony lands when required for war or defense.  The erection of lands by prescription to barony status thus secured the the allegiance of the vassal directly to the Crown, granted in return for military service.  The introduction of standing royal armies in the middle ages was one of the factors that led to the decline of feudalism.  Although a grant in liberum baronium was essentially a feudal creation, barons may have existed in the Gaelic Kingdom of Dalriada.

The Strathardle Ashintully Spaldings’s contribution to the rebel Jacobite Atholl Brigade commanded by Lord George Murray was raised as a feudal levy by the baron of Ashintully, rather than being raised as a Spalding Clan regiment of volunteers. This particular power of the feudal barons was broken in 1747 with the Heritable Jurisdiction Act to prevent barons from participating in rebellions.

A feudal baron is a member of the baronage of Scotland, one of the three members of  Scots Nobility.  Some Scottish Chiefs are also feudal barons.

The Although lands and barony went together, they were still separate legal entities, thus making it possible for them to be separated by Parliament.  Parliament enacted the Abolition of Feudal Tenure Act (of 2000) in 2004 which preserved that the dignity (“dignity” includes any quality or precedence associated with, and any heraldic privilege incidental to the title.) of the title of baron be preserved despite being severed legally from the land, making the title an incorporeal hereditament (which means the title as property has no physical presence, though can be passed on).  This preservation was effective as of 28 November 2004.  Interest in baronies was revived by the then Lord Lyon, Sir Thomas Innes of Learney (Lyon 1945-1969).  As a result of this renewed interest and the development of a small, but active market in baronies, they were accorded special treatment in the 2000 Act.  In terms of Section 63(1) of the Act, barony titles were converted into personal titles with no powers or responsibilities. In addition feudal abolition has not affected the ability of the holder of a dignity to sell, gift or bequeath the title which is preserved as incorporeal property separate from the ownership of land.  As feudal dignities can no longer be registered in the Sasines (Land Registers of Scotland), ownership of the barony is completed by delivery of the deed of Assignation transferring ownership. A Scottish Feudal barony Title is the only title of nobility which can be bought, sold, bequeathed or inherited [and not necessarily by the heir presumptive of the baron (as in peerage and baronetage titles)] and thus a feudal barony is the only title of dignity legally assignable and able to be legally alienated from the bloodline of its previous possessor. This peculiarity of Scottish Law is evidenced by the different families and surnames of owners of the baronies since their creation.

It is estimated that there have been up to 2,000 feudal baronies created over the centuries in Scotland but only about 150 are currently registered in the Scottish Barony Register.  No Scottish feudal barony has been created since 1800.  Unlike peerage titles (Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount or Lord of Parliament) feudal barony titles cannot be extinguished except by an edict of the Crown or an Act of Parliament; and thus they exist forever even if its owner dies, for someone to claim if they can prove entitlement. The dignity of barony establishes for its owner jurisdiction to petition the Lord Lyon King of Arms for a grant of arms, and the heraldry of Scottish baronies are governed by the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh.  Legal determination of ownership of a feudal barony is regulated by the Scottish Barony Register.

Further reading:

Debrett’s Forms of Address: Scottish feudal baronies

Durie, B. (2017).  Chapter 12: Feudal Land Tenure, Baronies and Titles.  Scottish Genealogy.  Gloucester, United Kingdom: the History Press.



Early Historical References to Balmachreuchie and of the barony:

(Note: in the historical records, Balmachreuchie is spelled many different ways).

Around 1072 AD, King Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret founded the Abbey of Dunfermline, which afterwards held the churches of Moulin and Strathardle with the lands of Persie and many others in the district. [‘Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness’.vol.20 fo.229]   The parish church was dedicated to St Michael and belonged to the Abbey of Dunfermline before the Reformation. Kilmichael (Kirkmichael) is derived from the Gaelic Cill Mhicheil signifying ‘Church of St Michael’.


By the mid-twelfth century Strathardle was a Royal Thanage [A Thane was the title given to a local royal official in medieval eastern Scotland, equivalent in rank to the son of an earl, who was at the head of an administrative and socio-economic unit known as a shire or thanage] and formed one of the Royal Manors of Scotland.  According to ‘The Chartulary of Arbroath’ in the reign of King William the Lion, one Macbeth was Sheriff of Scone and Thane of Strathardle.

There is a charter confirming to William, Earl of Douglas, of the lands of ‘Balmachothlie (Balmachreuchie), Logibryde, Blaborg, within the barony of Schathurd,’ (Strathardle) [Perthshire] to the Abbey of Dunfermline. It is undated but cannot be before January 1358 when William was created Earl of Douglas, during the reign of King David II. [see Index B, app. Ii.1134, Indices Antiqui, Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scottorum.]

Interestingly, there is a later charter by Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar, of the land of Tullicurran, Stratharbus, in Perthshire, and the Kirkton of Eassie in Forfarshire, to Walter Ogilvie, in the above source. [reference index b, no.82,] though index A has ‘carta Walteri Ogilvie de terries de Tullicurane, Glenartney.’

The Abbey of Coupar Angus, in Strathmore, a few miles southeast of Strathardle, was founded in 1164 which later owned much of Strathardle lands. The medieval monasteries and abbeys were engines of economic growth.  Coupar Angus Abbey developed sheep farms in the district, producing wool which was exported via Perth to the textile centres of Flanders (northern Belgium). Interestingly enough, the Spaldings were traditionally of Flemish origin via East Anglia; in Strathardle there ended up many families of Flemish descent…..

1280, a charter by Duncan, Earl of Fife, granting part of the lands of Balmacruchie to Sir Robert Lauder, viz. – “To all who shall see or hear this charter, Duncan, Earl of Fife, wishes everlasting salvation in the Lord – know that we have given, granted, and by our present charter confirmed, to Sir Robert Lauder, knight, for his homage and service, all the lands of Balmacoychely (Balmachreuchie) and all our land of Loghibride, that namely, which Lord Robert, the Rector of the Church there, held from us in farm, together with all our land of Upper Blaborg, in our Barony of Strathurd (Strathardle), within the Sheriffdom of Perth -to have and to hold by the said Robert, his heirs and assignees, of us and our heirs, in fee and heritage for ever, by all their right meiths and marches, freely, quietly, fully, peacefully, and honourably, in huntings and fowlings, ways, paths, woods, haughs, lakes, waters, warrens, fish ponds, mills, multures, moors, marshes, fields, meadows, hainings, pastures, and with all other liberties, conveniences, easements, and just pertinents named or unnamed to the said land belonging, or that may belong in the future – performing thence to us and our heirs, the said Robert, his heirs and assignees, three suits of Court yearly, at the three Capital Pleas, of our court of Strathurd, together with the extrinsic Scotch service to our Lord, the King of Scotland, from the said land, yearly, duly, and customarily – and rendering thence to us and to our heirs one pair of gilt spurs at the feast of Christmas yearly, if demanded, for all other secular exaction, service, or demand, which may be claimed by us and our heirs.  Moreover we, Duncan and our heirs aforesaid, shall warrant, secure, and defend forever the whole land aforesaid, with all that pertains or may pertain to it, to the said Sir Robert, his heirs and assignees, against all men and women.” [This charter is preserved in the Advocates Library, Edinburgh]


From the medieval period to the Georgian period (early 14th C to late18th C) the barony of Balmachreuchie has generally been in the hands of three families – Ferguson, Maxwell then Spalding. Their affairs are intertwined with each other in the records for hundreds of years. During the Victorian era to the present day the barony passed from Rutherford, to Aytoun, to Atkinson-Clerk to Steel et al, and finally to Spaulding.

Ferguson (1350’s-1400’s)….The presence of the Ferguson family of Balmachreuchie in Strathardle can be traced back as far as the early thirteenth century. The Fergusons were a presence in the area for a long time until about 1840 when Adam Ferguson, the last of the family, sold Easter Balmacruchie (eventually also called Woodhill), and emigrated to America

Ferguson is an Anglicised version of the old Gaelic surname MacFhearghuis. In 1232, according to the ‘Chartulary of Moray’, page 87, Gillemichael the son of Adam, of the old Fergusons of Balmacrochie, excambed a davoch of the lands of Pitcarmick in Strathardle with the Bishop of Moray for the lands of Dolays Michael in Strathspey. It seems according to the ancient family of the barons Ferguson of Balmacrochie that this Gillemichael’s father was Adam.  Later in 1358 Fergus, son of Adam of Balmacrochie and Robert de Atholia, ancestors of the Robertsons of Struan, disputed their lands with the Sheriff of Perth.

One of the few references to Strathardle around that time lies in ‘The Book of Garth and Fortingall’ page 118, ‘in 1358 the Sheriff of Perth is allowed £12 for deforcements made upon him by Robert, son of Duncan de Atholl and Fergus, son of Ade, who failed to give suit for the lands of Balnafert, Balmacreechie, Balnakand, and others.’  Clearly the Sheriff was having trouble with Fergus Fergusson, son of Adam, Baron of Balmacreuchie, and Robert, son of Duncan of Atholl.

In 1389 the Raid of Angus occurred when the Robertsons from Upper Strathardle with the Stewarts of Atholl attacked the settlements in Glen Esk, Angus, killed many residents and stole their cattle. In response Sir Walter Ogilvie led Lindsays and Ogilvies from Angus to Strathardle for revenge, however they were routed there by the Fergusons of Balmachreuchie.

Maxwell (1400’s-c1700)…..According to ‘The Book of Caerlaverock: Memoirs of the Maxwells, Earls of Nithsdale, Lords Maxwell and Herries’, [Edinburgh 1873], page 120, ‘It was about this time [1400] that the lands of Balmacreuchie in Perthshire, were acquired by the Maxwell family…’

Until the Spaldings acquired the barony, at one point the seat of the barony of Balmachreuchie was Blackcraig Castle, situated near the farm of Balmachreuchie.

On 14 November 1505, King James IV, when in Edinburgh, confirmed a charter a charter by John, Lord Maxwell of Nithsdale, granting Sir William Maxwell of Tealing, his heir and assignee, the lands of Strathardle in his barony of ‘Balmacrewchy’ in Perthshire, witnessed by Edward Maxwell of Tynwald, Nicholas Macbare provost of Dumfries, Thomas and Robert Maxwell (full blooded brothers), Robert Gladstone, George Douglas, and John Turner chaplains, John MacHome rector of Castlemilk, and William Robert a chaplain, notaries public, in Caerlaverock on 13 October 1505. [Register of the Great Seal.II.2890/xiv.127]

The above John, Lord Maxwell, was the steward of Annandale, and husband of Agnes Stewart. For generations, the Maxwells were Wardens of the West March and Stewards of Annandale, and were responsible for defending the western borderlands from incursions from England and to enforce the king’s law.  The 3rd Lord Maxwell died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, along with King James IV and a major part of Scottish chivalry.  Caerlaverock Castle, built in the 13th Century, was the stronghold of the Maxwells. The Maxwells of Tealing in Angus were a cadet branch of the family and held Tealing, a few miles north of Dundee, for ten generations from 1425.

Strathardle in the early-modern period was in the hands of a small number of families – the Spaldings of Ashintully, the Fergusons of Balmachreuchie, and the Robertsons of Straloch. Much of other parts of central Strathardle formed part of the barony of Douny granted by King James IV to John Ferguson and his heirs on 20 January 1512. [RGS.II.3682]

In 1510 William Scott of Balwearie sold John Ferguson in Dunfallanty, in Atholl, various lands in Perthshire, including parts of Strathardle and Glenshee [RGS.1.3457] According to Reverend Adam Ferguson of Moulin, the Fergussons of Balmachreuchie, of Dalnabrick, of Cally, Balintuim and others held most of the middle of Strathardle.

On 28 July 1534, when in Falkland Palace in Fife, King James V confirmed Robert, Lord Maxwell, in various lands and baronies including the lands and barony of Balmacreuchy in Perthshire. [RGS.III.1402/xxv.145] His spouse was an Agnes Stewart.  A similar document, dated at Edinburgh on 6 June 1540, again confirmed Robert, Lord Maxwell and his heirs, in his many lands and baronies, mostly in south-west Scotland, now incorporated in a free barony of Maxwell. [RGS.III.2164/xxvi.412]

By 1539 some of the lands in the barony of Balmacreuchie had been transferred to John Robertson of Straloch alias Ruadh i.e. the Red, on his marriage to Elizabeth Maxwell daughter of the Laird of Tealing.

On 7 July 1550, a case brought before the Abbot of Coupar Angus Abbey concerning a dispute between two tenants of the lands of Easter Perce (Persie), was witnessed by John Spalding of Ashintully, Mr Robert Spalding, and many others. [Source: The Protocol Book of Sir Robert Rollok, 1534-1552. [Scottish Record Society, Edinburgh, 1931] Thus the Spaldings begin to appear in the records in Strathardle at this time.

5 August 1550 Robert, Lord Maxwell, was served heir to his father Robert, Lord Maxwell, in the lands and barony of Balcreuchy (Balmachreuchie). [National Records of Scotland.Retours.Perth.9]

Alexander Maxwell of Tealing, subscribed to a feu charter in favour of his son George Maxwell, on 15 January 1585, of the lands and town of Easter and Wester Dalnabreck in the barony of Balmacreuchie, with reservation of life rent to Helen Bruce spouse of said Alexander, granter. [National Records of Scotland.GD190.3.80/4]

10 November 1591, a charter by David Maxwell of Tealing, and his son and heir apparent Hugh Maxwell, granted and let to James Spalding in Corridou, ‘native tenant and present possessor of the lands of Corridou’ in feu farm the town and lands of Corridou in the barony of Balmachreuchie.  Spalding, was subject to specific conditions, viz. an annual feu-duty of £10, 12 geese, 6 hens and 6 capons; also, his corn had to be ground at Enocht Mill, he had to attend three head courts annually, also he had to follow his feudal superior to war and to the hunt.  The charter was subscribed and witnessed in Dundee. [Calendar of the Laing Charters.1223]

On 23 November 1594 David Maxwell of Tolmie (Tealing) and his son Hugh Maxwell, granted a charter of the lands of Balmacreuchie to Thomas Ferguson, portioner, and to Alexander Ferguson, a burgess of Dundee, according to the Court of Session [Scotland’s highest civil court], Unextracted processes. [National Records of Scotland. CS228.5.3.9]

Dundee was made a Royal Burgh in 1180. As a burgh it was semi-autonomous with a burgh council elected by the burgesses of Dundee. The burgesses of any Scots burgh amounted to less than ten per cent of the male inhabitants.  To be a burgess a man had to fulfil one of the following conditions – be the son of an existing burgess, marry the daughter of an existing burgess, serve an apprenticeship within the burgh, buy the right to be a burgess, or granted the privilege in response for some major service to the burgh.  A burgess was either a merchant or a tradesman, he could operate a business within the burgh, vote in elections, etc.  The burgesses were the social and economic elite of the community.  Land-owning families often ensured access to the town’s market by having a family member a burgess of the nearby burgh, for example David and George of the Maxwell of Tealing family were admitted burgesses of Dundee in 1605.  The Dundee Burgess Register only survives from the early sixteenth century. As early as 1520 a Ferguson, Matthew the dyer, was admitted a burgess.  The Maxwells too have been represented among the burgesses of Dundee since the 1520s.  Landowners anxious to gain access to burgh markets to sell agricultural produce, would settle a member of the family within a burgh to become a burgess, this happened in the case of Maxwell of Tealing, and possibly Ferguson of Strathardle.

The Fergusons were burgesses of Dundee in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. William Ferguson, born 1563, son of Reverend David Ferguson, was admitted as a physician burgess in 1563, married Euphemia Kinloch, born 1573, died 1630, buried in Howff, Dundee. Alexander Ferguson, was admitted as a mariner burgess in 1585. David Ferguson was admitted as a burgess in 1556. James Ferguson, a malt-man, was admitted as a burgess in 1560, testament 1581.  David Ferguson, a meal-man burgess, was father of James Ferguson, master of Dundee Grammar School in 1605, and a burgess in 1606.

12 November 1591, David Maxwell of Tealing, and his son Hugh Maxwell, sold Donald Robertson or Neilson, in Dalnaglair of Chray, and his spouse Janet Robertson, a quarter of the lands of Wester Ennoch, in the barony of Balmachreuchie, Perthshire.  Among witnesses to this charter of feu farm was James Spalding in Corridou.  Andrew Spalding of Ashintully was advised of this transaction via an instrument of sasine.  Feu-farm means that that there was a feudal superior who retained certain rights and was entitled to benefits, such as an annual payment. [Calendar of the Laing Charters.1251/1252]

1612, 8 May, Letters under Quarter Seal to Hugh Maxwell of Tealing appointing him as sheriff of Forfar and his deputies as Sheriffs of Perth in that part for serving said Hugh as heir to deceased Sir David Maxwell of Tealing, his father, in the lands of Easter and Wester Dalmabrecks, Pitcairn with mill, Balmylne, Wester and Easter Ballatoun, Easter and Wester Innoch with the mill of Brodarg and Coredun, in the barony of Balmacreuchie, as the lands were distant from Perth and in the Highland mountains, as it would be tedious and costly for Hugh to come to Perth. [NRS.GD190.3.80/5]

13 February 1605, David Maxwell of Tealing, and his son Hugh, described as fiar of Tealing, were engaged in a property transaction in Perthshire. [See the Secretary’s Register of Sasines, Perth, 1601-1609, volume 3, folio 426.]

On 13 July 1619, Robert, Lord Maxwell, was served heir to his brother John, Lord Maxwell, in the lands and barony of Balmacreuchie. [NRS.Retours. Perth. 270]

King James VI, when in England on 19 September 1621, granted Robert, Earl of Nithsdale, Lord Maxwell, Eskdale and Carlisle, various lands and baronies, mostly in the south west, including the lands of Balmacreuchie in Perthshire, formed into the lordship and barony of Maxwell. [RGS.VIII.228/I.37]

18 March 1670, Janet Stewart, was served heir to her brother-german Alexander Stewart of Balmyle in part of the lands of Balmyle lying within the barony of Balmachreuchie. [NRS.Retours. Perthshire.1124]

6 April 1670, John, Earl of Nithsdale, Lord Maxwell and Herries, was served heir to Robert, Earl of Nithsdale, Lord Maxwell, Eskdale and Carlisle, proavi fratris immediate senioris, in the lands of Balmacreuchie, united in the lordship and barony of Maxwell, and other lands in Nithsdale. [NRS.Retours.Perth.808]

By 1677 the barony of Balmachreuchie was in Spalding of Ashintully’s possession.

26 May 1696, William, Earl of Nithsdale, Lord Maxwell, Herries, Eskdale and Carlisle, was served heir to his father Robert, Earl of Nithsdale, Lord Maxwell, Herries, Eskdale, and Carlisle, in the lands of Balmacreuchie, erected with other lands in Roxburgh, Dumfries, and Kirkcudbright, in the barony of Maxwell. [NRS.Retours.Perth.1025]

John Murray, Earl of Tullibardine, was granted a Crown Charter of Balmacreuchie [therefore it was a barony] on 1 July 1698. [NRS.SIG1.162.120]. (Presumably he was John Murray, the Marquess of Tullibardine, born 6 May 1684 son of John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl, who was killed at the Battle of Malplaquet 11 September 1709 unmarried. OR it could have been his father who was also Marquess of Tullibardine).

Spalding (late 17th C to early 19th C)…..The other important family in Strathardle involved in the barony of Balmachreuchie was that of Spalding, the barons of Ashintully.  Ashintully is the anglicized form of: “Eas an Tulaich”, gaelic for “on the brow of the hill”.  The family originated in Flanders and via East Anglia settled in Scotland. They predominated in Dundee and the county of Angus, having supported Robert the Bruce and were granted land in that county around 1318.  From there a branch can be traced back to the Strathardle area to at least the mid-sixteenth century. The Spaldings of Ashintully eventually became the principle family of the name and were considered the clan chiefs.

During the later sixteenth century there was much lawlessness among certain Highland clans.  These included the Fergusons, the Spaldings, and the Rattrays in Highland Perthshire, and especially the MacGregors.  In 1563 the McGregors were proscribed and declared outlaws, a number of whom sought refuge with the Spaldings in Strathardle. The Campbells then arrived in Strathardle to hunt down the McGregors but were foiled in their project. The feuding and lawlessness in Strathardle continued – at one point Ashintully Castle was besieged.  In 1601 there was a major raid by the Macdonells and the Macintoshes on Strathardle who stole 2700 cattle and 100 horses but their escape was halted at Enochdhu.

1571-the following note from Sir William Frazer’s history of the family states that on 20th Sept, 1571 there is a precept, dated from Elcothe by John Wemyss, charging Andro Spadyne for the lands of Achyndullie and various others to meet him on 1st Octboer next “bidden in feir of Weir” at Leith to wait the King’s service.  The Earl of Wemyss claimed the right to the patronage of the parish of Kirkmichael, which was unsuccessfully disputed in 1666 by Spalding of Ashintullie.

In 1577 Captain David Spalding of Ashintully raised a company of men in Strathardle to go to Flanders to fight for the King of Spain. [Register of the Privy Council of Scotland.II.641/736] The recruitment of mercenaries to fight on the continent was not unusual.  However, the vast majority of Scots fighting in Flanders were there to oppose the King of Spain, whereas David Spalding was there to fight for the King of Spain against the Dutch Calvinists in their attempt to secure the independence of the Netherlands.  David Spalding is known to have returned with sufficient loot to build a castle at Ashintully.  Later, David Spalding of Ashintullie was accused of harbouring Alexander Ruthven of Freeland, who had participated in the Ruthven Raid, an attempt to assassinate King James VI in 1582.

Parts of Scotland during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially on the Borders and in the Highlands, were lawless, with feuding, cattle rustling or “reiving” not uncommon.  Highland Perthshire was no exception. In 1587 the Fergusons in Strathardle and Glenshee, the Spaldings of Ashintully, and the Rattrays of Dalruzion and others, together with the McGregors became ‘broken men’ against whom an Act was passed. [see RPCS.I.383] A couple of years later in 1590 an Act of Caution for good behaviour was issued listing Andrew Spalding of Ashintully and Baron Ferguson, whose behaviour was guaranteed by Sir John Murray of Tullibardine for 1000 merks each.

Lawlessness continued in Strathardle as is shown in a complaint by James Moyll in Catgibbon, that upon 9 September 1600, Andrew Spalding (a cousin?), servant to David Spalding the apparent of Ashintullie, with others, came to Catgibbon at night, and stole three cows, a calf and a bull, and carried them to the lands of Ashintully, belonging to Andrew Spalding of Ashintully where they were reset in eight days. [RPCS.VI.370] The complainer failed to prove his claim and it was dismissed by the court.

Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie, witness to a bond between Archibald Campbell of Persie and William Spalding portioner of Boreland in Blacklunans for 500 merks, on 12 December 1601. [NRS.Register of Deeds, Books of Council and Session, 5 November 1602] Andrew Spalding’s son David and Archibald Campbell’s daughter, Margaret, were later married.

On 23 November 1602, Andrew Spalding of Ashintully complained to the Privy Council that in August, Robert McNab, Lord Drummond’s man, with others, all sorners of clans, came at night to the pursuer’s land of Glenbeg and stole from him 7 oxen worth £20 each, 2 cows worth 12 merks each, also 9 mares and staigs. [Register of the Privy Council of Scotland.VI.482]

In February 1603, Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy gave a bond for 440 merks to Andrew Spalding of Ashintully, for some cattle stolen from him. [Registered on 5 January1604 in the Register of Deeds, Books of Council and Session]

In 1605 King James VI granted Lord John the Earl of Wemyss the lands and barony of Wemyss including those of Kirmichael, Balnauld and Baile na Cille [now Balnakilly] and made into a free burgh of barony.  These lands were later acquired by the Spaldings, partly through intermarriage with the Wemyss family.

The Spaldings of Ashintullie were regularly reprimanded by the Privy Council for their misdeeds in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Their actions contributed to a long-term feud with the Robertsons.

1615, 10th January-Barony of Ashintully erected as a free barony by Crown Charter by King James VI (son of Mary Queen of Scots) describing the lands and caput. The lands were formerly in the barony of Wemyss.  This barony was erected for David “Deas” Spalding, whose step-mother was Ann Wemyss.

1629, 1 April, at Holyroodhouse, King Charles I granted Andrew Spalding of Bordland one third of the lands of Strathardle, comprising the lands of Ashintullie, the town and lands of Over and Nether Wereis, with its mill, mill-lands, town and lands of Spittell with its mill, with Chapel crofts alias Glenbeg, the town and lands of Cammis, Tomazecharaw, Dathanagane, Soilzeries, Over and Nether Tomenamown, Tomephin and Ballechragan, lands of Pitvirren, the lands and towns of Easter Downie, Balinauld, Balinkilyie and Glengynit, Dalreach, Wester and Middle Inverchroskies, and Kirkton commonly Kirkhillock or Tomechlachan, with towers, manor places, fisheries, tenantries, etc, in the barony of Wemyss, Perthshire, which in a charter of David Spalding of Ashintullie in the reign of King James VI were incorporated in the barony of Ashintully, which the said David had resigned into the hands of Mr John Adamson NP, and which the new king had incorporated into the free barony of Ashintullie.  [RGS.VIII.1393] On 16 July, 1631, the King confirmed the above, and established Kirkton or Kirkhillock or Tomeclachan as the head settlement in this burgh of barony, and that an annual fair, the Michaelmas Fair be held there on 29 September. [RGS.VIII.1816]

SOURCE: The Rental of the County of Perth, by Act of the Estates of the Parliament of Scotland, reveals that on 4 August 1649 :- in the Parish of Kirkmichael – William Spalding of Ashintullie £540.00; Janet Robertson for her part of Balmacrochie £36.00; Patrick Robertson for his part thereof £24.00; John Mustard for his part thereof £4.0.0; John Brae for his part thereof £8.0.0.

On 19 February 1673, Francis Pearson, minister at Kirkmichael, alias Strathardle, obtained a decree for augmentation of his stipend against the heritors and others, [then follows a great list] including John Mustard and John Ferguson, portioners of Balnacruchie, also Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie.

Source: The Diocese and Presbytery of Dunkeld, 1660-1689, John Hunter minister of the parish of Rattray, Perthshire, London, 1918, Vol. 2, page 288, quoting the Register of Sasines for Perthshire.

On 27 December 1675, Mr Francis Pearson the younger, [minister at Kirkmichael, and in-law to the Spaldings] witnessed, at Balmyle, a charter by Janet Stewart, sister of the deceased Alexander Stewart, feuar of the lands after-mentioned, with the consent of her brother William Stewart and others, in favour of Alexander Aissone, brother of John Aissone, portioner of Balmyle, of the fourth part of the lands of Balmyle, within the barony of Balmacreuchie. Registered 24 October 1681 in the Register of Sasines for Perthshire.

1 July 1677, Andrew Spalding of Ashintully, who had acquired the barony of Balmacreuchie, including the superiority of the lands of Broughdarg, from the Maxwells, obtained a Crown Charter from King Charles II whereby the two baronies were erected into a free forestry.  That means that the superior had the right of hunting and shooting over the forestry. [The Records of Invercauld, Aberdeen, 1901][NRS.SIG1.147.11] This Andrew Spalding’s apparent 1st marriage was to the daughter of Sir Patrick Maxwell of Newark, Teiling & Balmachreuchie.  Andrew Spalding of Ashintully was granted the barony of Ashintully, [NRS.SIG1.147.11] also the lands and barony of Balmachruchie, while additionally ‘the lands of Easter and Wester Bleaton, which whole lands, with others, disposed to Andrew Spalding of Glenkilry and others were erected into a free barony called the Barony of Balmachruchie, and which the whole and lands and Baronies of Ashintully and Balmachruchie were erected by the pre-said charter to Andrew Spalding of Ashintully with a free forest . The charter states that the deceased David Spalding of Ashintully had exchanged specified lands with the Duke of Atholl which enabled the barony of Ashintully to be enlarged. This charter of confirmation also expanded permission for a weekly market and 2 fairs to be held per year in Kirkmichael, one on Michaelmas Day.

1 July 1677, Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie, was granted the lands of Strutherdale; also was granted the lands of Ashintullie. [NRS.RGS.66.121; SIG.1.147.11]

The National Records of Scotland has a marriage contract between Andrew Spalding of Ashintilly and Jean, daughter of William McIntosh, 18th Chief of Clan McIntosh, dated 3 August 1675. [NRS.B59.8.22] Andrew died in January 1705, and his son David was subsequently served as his heir in 1707 and 1711. [NRS.Services of Heirs]

In 1682, Andrew Spalding of Ashintillie was appointed a Commissioner of Judiciary for the Highlands [RPCS.VII.509] Andrew, was required to impose the Stuart king’s religious policy that was to replace Presbyterianism with Episcopalianism in the Church of Scotland.  This policy caused an armed rising to occur by the Covenanters and ultimately to King James VII abandoning the throne in favour of the Dutch Protestant William and the Protestant Mary Stewart in 1689.  Andrew Spalding may have been among the ‘Highland Host’ imposed on those districts of south-west Scotland, which were strongholds of the Covenanters in the 1680s.

Andrew had several children by different marriages including David, his heir apparent; Charles who died 1715; John who later served heir to his brother Charles, a sister Elizabeth who married Reverend John Pearson; a sister Anabel died in 1719, the wife of John Farquharson of Ravernie; a son Andrew Spalding of Glenkilry 1670-1755.  David succeeded to Ashintully 1705, and on his death in 1744 was succeeded by his only legitimate son Daniel who died 1784, and daughter Betty who died 1774.  Andrew Spalding of Glenkilry was father of George born 1726, died 1800.  This Andrew Spalding of Glenkilry’s son George eventually succeeded to Ashintully on the death of his uncle whose legitimate children had all died. George died in 1800.

David Spalding (d. 1744, 4th baron of Ashintully, and baron of Balmachreuchie) falsely accused his childhood friend Lachlan Rattray of witchcraft to his father.  Andrew Spalding, accompanied by his brother Spalding of Whitehouse, obtained a commission from the Privy Council to arrest Lachlan and send him for trial.  After being imprisoned in Ashintully Castle he was taken to Inverness for trial. Lachlan was found guilty and condemned to death, but later was liberated and fled to Flanders to fight as a soldier.

In 1691-1692 a Hearth Tax [NRS.E69] was imposed to finance military expenditure including that against the Jacobites. This tax was imposed on every householder, except the very old and ill, at a rate of 14 shillings per hearth.  In the parish of Kirkmichael, the laird of Ashintullie had 9 hearths; and on the tax list we see that several Spaldings lived on the laird’s lands, namely William Spalding, David Spalding, another William Spalding, Robert Spalding, David Spalding, George Spalding, Alexander Spalding, Colin Spalding, Andrew Spalding.  On the Laird of Dalmunie’s land, also in Kirkmichael, were John Spalding, Andrew Spalding, and another John Spalding. Balmachreuchie was not listed.

The people of Strathardle were mostly supporters of the House of Stuart and in the 1715 and 1745 Risings provided men for the Jacobite Cause.  The Earl of Mar raised the Jacobite Flag in Kirkmichael and spent three days there on the outbreak of the rebellion. In 1715 the Earl of Mar recruited 500 men from Strathardle, including Spaldings, Robertsons, Fergusons and Rattrays, to fight at Sheriffmuir, and also at Preston in Lancashire. According to “The Jacobite Correspondence of the House of Atholl” the Marquis of Tullibardine wrote to Andrew Spalding of Glenkilry advising him that he was expected to raise the men of the Baronies of Ashintillie and of Balmacreuchie, as well as his own lands of Glenkilry, to fight for the Old Pretender, King James VIII. Most of the Spaldings from Strathardle fought at the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, and some were at the Siege of Preston, also in 1715.   Among the Jacobite soldiers captured at Preston was one Alexander Spalding who, in 1716, was transported and sold in Maryland. [Source: Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations, 1650-1775. {Baltimore, 1983}]

On 13 February 1721, a Crown Charter of confirmation of the Lands and Barony of Balmachruchie was granted to David Spalding of Ashintully. [NRS.C2.89.102; RGS.89.102] [NRS.SIG1.153.38] A few months later, in July, he was also granted the lands of Tullineydies and others. [NRS.SIG1.153.40/2; RS90.8]

Among the surviving Spalding documents is the will or testament of Charles Spalding, eldest son of Andrew Spalding of Ashintully by his third marriage, which was confirmed with the Commissariat of Dunkeld on 17 November 1730. [NRS]

By 1732, Ashintullie was in the hands of David Spalding who, according to ‘The Chronicles of’, sold Spittal and Glenbeag in Glenshee to the Duke of Atholl.

There is a tradition, presumably dating from the eighteenth century, that ‘one of the young Fergusons of Balmacrochie – Niall Morn am Brac – Big Neil of the Trouts – rendered the King a great service and asked what reward he wanted. He asked for a charter giving him power to compel all the owners of property, on both sides of the river to cut down all trees within casting line length along the course through the Strath above Blairgowrie, for fishing purposes.  Seemingly Big Neil was a Jacobite in 1745 and hid in a cave near Raven’s Rock on the river until a storm washed him into the river and, according to legend, was saved by the ghost of Lady Lindsay who had been condemned for murder in 1500.’

Thomas Spalding, a member of the family, who had settled in Edinburgh as a writer to the Signet  (or lawyer), purchased the lands of Burnside of Ashentilly, in the parish of Kirkmichael, on 9 December 1743. [NRS.RH8.1287]

Among the first officers of Louden’s Highlanders which became the Black Watch, the Royal Highland Regiment, raised in Perthshire during 1739, was Daniel Spalding of Ashintullie, with the rank of Ensign.  On the outbreak of the ’45, rather than fight for the Hanoverian Government he resigned his commission and returned to Strathardle to raise men for the Jacobites.

According to ‘The Chronicles of the Families of Atholl and Tullibardine, 5 volumes, Edinburgh, 1908’ – In volume iii pages 96-97, a letter from Commissary Bissett to  James Murray, Duke of Atholl, dated Edinburgh 30 November 1745 – ‘that (Jacobite) Lord George Murray’s Regiment, being Ashintully’s men, and the Strathardle, Blackwater, and Forest of Alyth men, were by desertion reduced to 60 (who are mostly Ashintully’s men that were left)   ……… he informed me of three more of your Grace’s vassals that had joyn’d the rebels, that I had not known till then, to witt – Robertson of Easter Bleaton, Baron Ferguson’s son, and Kinnaird’s grandchild, who are but two boys of about 15 or 16 years of age, who run from school to follow the multitude…’

The Jacobites of 1745 included Atholl gentlemen, James Ferguson the younger of Baledmund, taken prisoner but acquitted; Captain Thomas Ferguson the younger of Balyoukan, wounded at Culloden; his brother Archibald; James Ferguson of Dunfallandy, taken prisoner but acquitted.  Among the Duke of Atholl’s vassals and tenants who took part in the Rebellion were -Captain Thomas Ferguson of Balyoukan, Robert Ferguson in Middlehaugh, Adam Ferguson in Edradour, James Ferguson, son of John Ferguson in Dunfallandy, who was killed. Another Jacobite was Fergus Ferguson a fisher in Glen Elbert.

In 1745 several of the Spaldings living in Strathardle fought in the Atholl Brigade for the Jacobite Cause. These included Andrew Spalding of Glenkilrie, a Captain in the Atholl Brigade; Charles Spalding of Whitefield, a Captain of the 3rd Battalion of the Atholl Brigade, who was captured at Kilsyth in November 1745 and later pardoned; David Spalding of Ashintullie, a Captain of the Atholl Brigade, and his natural son Daniel, also a Captain in the Atholl Brigade; John Spalding, younger of Whitefield, an officer of the Atholl Brigade; John Spalding the younger of Glenkilrie, an officer in the Atholl Brigade; and John Spalding of Ennod in Strathardle, of 3rd Battalion of the Atholl Brigade who was pardoned. [Source; Chronicles of Atholl, {Edinburgh, 1908} vol.3, fo.301]; The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stewart’s Army, 1745-1746, [Aberdeen, 1984]; Jacobites of Perthshire, 1745, [Baltimore, 1998].

On 9 February 1746, James Murray, 2nd Duke of Atholl, wrote to Thomas Bisset the Commissary of Dunkeld, requesting him to go with Alexander Robertson of Straloch, to Strathardle and seize any rebels there also to persuade his vassals there to go to Dunkeld where they would be protected by the king’s troops. [NRS.GD1.90.1] However, Commissary Bisset, when in Dunkeld was alleged to be a Jacobite sympathiser and the army officer in Dunkeld refused to provide him with military support to venture into Strathardle.

Anyone who fought for the Jacobites was considered to be a rebel and was subject to various punishments, such as imprisonment, execution, transportation, or having their lands forfeited to the Crown.  Many of the major clan chiefs lost their lands, however the Spaldings (who seemed to frequently evade the authorities) and the Fergusons in Strathardle seem to have kept their lands and titles.

David Spalding of Ashintully, who had fought for the Jacobites, died by 1748, and his testament was confirmed with the Commissariat of Dunkeld. [NRS]

His successor seems to have fallen out with the local heritors, that is landowners, according to a case brought before the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court, in 1749.  [NRS.CS228.S.3.63]

On 6 August 1755, Reverend Robert Ferguson, who was linked to both the Spaldings and Fergusons in Strathardle, was granted a Crown Charter of the lands of Kirkmichael. [NRS.SIG1.60.57]

A tax list of 1759, records a George Spalding living in the parish of Kirkmichael, [NRS.E326.1.98]; possibly he was the George Spalding of Glenkilry, who subscribed to a sasine of the lands of Wester Ennoch in favour of Thomas Edward of Easter Pool in 1787. [Perth and Kinross Archives.ms56.38]

1765, David Spalding of Ashintullie and William Bruce of Wester Pitcarnock, signed a joint obligation. [NRS.SC49.49.10]; he was dead by 1767. [NRS.GD174.2065]

Another tax list, dated 1771, has a James Ferguson in Easter Balmachreuchie with lands valued at £34.0.0, and Paul Farquharson in Ashintully and Balnabrioch with lands valued at £429.0.1, also Wester Balcruchie worth £46.13.4. [NRS.E106.26.2]

The Valuation Roll, Perthshire, 1 January 1835, has: Adam Ferguson, for part of Easter Balmacrouchy, £34.0.0; Alexander Ferguson, for part of Easter Balmacrouchy, £15.0.0; Adam Ferguson, for Wester Balmacrouchy, £46.13.4.

Among the surviving gravestones in the kirkyard of Kirkmichael, Strathardle, are the following –

John Mustard in ‘Balinagrughie’ who died on 6 December 1839, his wife Ann Shaw, died on 22 March 1844.

John Spalding, of Dalreoch, born 1787, died 1858.


Robert Mackintosh (c. 1804)

During his palmy period he became a considerable land-owner in Strathardle and Glenshee, and was known as Mackintosh of Ashintully. In 1767 after the lands of Ashintully began to be broken up to satisfy debts he acquired the feu-right of the extensive and important property which had belonged to the Spaldings of Ashintully, comprising:

(1) the barony of Ashintully, (nominally a third part of Strathardle), Weirie, Soilzarie, Tomnamoan, Tonifin, Ballachraggan, Pitvirran Easter Downie, ” the town and lands of Kirktown commonly called Kirkhillock alias Toinaeblaclian “otherwise Kirkmichael with fortalices, manor places, &c., tenandries and services of free tenants, two free fairs yearly on 29 September and 1 March, and the patronage and teinds of the parish and kirk of Kirkmicliael, all as granted to Andrew Spalding by charter under the Great Seal dated 1 July 1677;

(2) the lands and barony of Balmacruchie; and

(3) the town an lands of Morcloich or Whitefield, Borland, Dunydea, Wester and Middle Downie, and Glentatnich.

The rights to these lands &c. had been acquired by General David Graham of Gorthie at the judicial sale of the Spalding property in 1766, being confirmed by Crown charter of 23 Feb. 1767, and were disponed by him, with a reservation of part of Balmacruchie-on 30 March following to Robert Mackintosh for 8,900 Sterling , a large sum in those days. Sasine was given on this disposition 13 March 1770. Perth Sas. xxxiii. 259. Robert also obtained the lands of Meikle Binzean in Glenshee, on disposition by John Robertson of Cray dated 4 Dec. 1769, and the lands in Glenbeg belonging to Colin Mackenzie younger of Finegand, on disposition of 9 Oct. 1770. Do. 147, 479. His hold on these properties was not of long duration, however, for in little more than a decade commenced the financial difficulties which beset him during the remainder of his life, and in 1780-2 the lands were judicially sold for the benefit of his creditors. Robert died at Edinburgh, unmarried, in 1805, in his 78th year, and was buried in Calton Hill Cemetery.


Rutherford (1823-1849)

On 20 December 1823, Janet Rutherford was granted the lands of Ashintully and others via a Crown Charter. [NRS.RGS.169.71] This was followed on 14 April 1824, by a [Royal] Signature in favour of Miss Janet Rutherford of the lands of Ashintully, [NRS.SIG2.92.443] ‘the lands and barony of Balmacruckie…… all the lands which had been disponed to Andrew Spalding of Glenkilry which with others were erected into a free barony called the Barony of Balmachruckie’

Miss Janet Rutherford of Ashintully died on 9 November 1849, leaving her inventory which was registered in 1852 in the Commissary Court of Perth number 715.  Her lands and titles went to her nephew Roger James Rutherford Aytoun of Ashintully who was served heir to his grand-aunt Janet Rutherford of Ashintully, on 17 December 1850. [NRS.Services of Heirs]


Aytoun (1849-1946)

On 12 March 1850, Roger James Rutherford Aytoun of Ashintully, in a deed disposition of taillie granted by the deceased Miss Janet Rutherford of Ashintully dated 30 April 1844 [entered in the Register of Taillies on 30 November 1844] and in the books of Council and Session 20 December 1849. Said Roger was heir of Miss Rutherford; he was son of Shadwick Mariot Walker Taylor, Captain in the Royal Artillery, residing in Glendevon, Perthshire, and his wife Eliza William Miller or Aytoun, her niece. Him failing the heir would be Howard Douglas Aytoun, third son of Eliza; him failing to Eustace de Vesey Aytoun her fourth son, him failing the fifth son John Aytoun, then to Mariot Aytoun the sixth son, next in line was the eldest daughter Clara Rutherford Aytoun, her failing to the youngest daughter Eliza Aytoun. The lands to be inherited were the lands and barony of Ashintully including the lands, mills, etc, also the third part of Strathardle comprising the Mains of Ashintully, the town and lands of Over  and Nether Wearies, mills, mill-lands, multures, thereof, the towns and lands of Soilerzies, Over and Nether Tomnamoar.

Roger James Rutherford Aytoun in a sasine dated 12 March 1852, referred to the Barony of Ashintully, which amounted to a third of Strathardle including the Mains of Ashintully, Over and Nether Wearies, Soileries, Over and Nether Tomnamoen, Tomfin, Ballochraggan, Pitweem, Easter Downie, Kirkton alias Kirkhillock; also the Barony of Balmachreuchie, including Easter and Wester Balmacreuchie, Easter and Wester Dalnabreeks, Petermack, Balnabreck, Balmyle, Easter and Wester Ballintyne, Morchloich alias Whitefield, Kirkassel, Bridgend of   Mesteloich, Craigadellie, Stewavails, Christamaes, Edinamuchty, Glen Corryvaik, Boreland, Donnnies, Glentatrich, Redoch, Enoch Stylemonth, Glenkilry, Crags of Enoch, Brochdearg, Ballochraggan, and part of Walton of Blair in the Lordship of Scone.

Anna Maria Rutherford Aytoun of Ashintully, was served heir to her father the deceased Roger James Rutherford Aytoun of Ashintully , who had died on 29 November 1871, husband of Catherine Georgiana Bannerman, to the lands and barony of Ashintully, also to the lands of Ballachraggan in Perthshire. [NRS.Services of Heirs :8.10.1872 and 2.11.1872] On 9 September 1881, an instrument of disentail was subscribed to by Anna Maria Rutherford Aytoun.

The above Anna Aytoun on 4 November 1881, subscribed to a notarial instrument, under which her husband David Crawford Rutherford Lindsay, eldest son of Captain Alexander Cruickshank Lindsay of 4 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh, of an annuity of £400 during his lifetime, after the decease of his wife Anna Maria Rutherford Aytoun or Rutherford Lindsay.  Ann had married a member of a landed family in the nearby county of Angus or Forfarshire.  On 30 July 1909 Anna, now wife of David Crawford Rutherford Lindsay Carnegie of Kinblethmont, disentailed the lands and barony of Ashintully and other listed lands including ‘Balmakeithly’. Anna was the immediate lawful superior of a quarter of the lands of Easter Balmacreuchie, formerly possessed by the deceased John Mustard portioner of Balmacreuchie, thereafter by Adam Ferguson of Woodhill in the barony of Balmacreuchie, then by Janet Rutherford of Ashintullie, then John Thomson Mustard in Lochee, by 13 November 1840.

Anna Maria Rutherford Aytoun of Ashintully, wife of David Crawford Rutherford Lindsay Carnegie of Kinblethmont, died on 9 September 1922.  She was the owner of the barony of Ashintullie and the barony of Balmachruckie, and other lands, but leaving no heirs of her body, her estates were claimed by her eldest sister Eliza Clara Rutherford Aytoun on18 May 1923.

Eliza C R Aytoun, was served heir to her sister Anna Maria Rutherford Aytoun, the wife of David C R Lindsay-Carnegie of Kinblethmont the grandson of the 4th Earl of Northesk, on 5 May 1923. [NRS.S/H] She was later served heir to the above on 23 May 1923, in the lands and barony of Ashintully, the lands and barony of Balmacreuchie, also the lands of Walton of Blair in the Lordship of Scone. [NRS.S/H][NRS.SP797.1]

Her sister Isabella Mary Rutherford Aytoun, was served joint heir to Anna M R Aytoun on 5 May 1923, but not to the lands of Ashintully and others. [NRS.S/H]

The above Eliza died on 13 May 1937 and the estates went to Mrs Elizabeth Jean St Clair Aytoun or Girling. On 20 August 1941, Elizabeth J St C Aytoun or Girling, was served heir to Eliza C R Aytoun of Ashintully in the lands of Ashintully. [NRS.S/H]   In 1946, Elizabeth, Joanna Mary St Clair Aytoun, and Dorothy Alison St Clair Aytoun or Neilson, heritable proprietors of Ashintully, sold Ashintully to Major Henry Fox Atkinson-Clark.

Atkinson-Clark (1947-1997)

This sale was legally recorded in a disposition by Elizabeth Ayton and others to Henry Atkinson-Clark of Ashintully and, by implication, Balmachreuchie, in 1947.

Under the terms of Major Atkinson-Clark’s will of 1 October 1971 Ashintully went to his widow Mrs Maud Shireff Atkinson-Clark.  On her death her trustees disposed of Ashintully, to Mrs Carolyn Steel, Simon Edward Graham Guest and John Derek Steel, in 1992.

Steel/Palmer (1997-2011)

They disposed of Ashintully to Melanie Jane Palmer and Emma Lucinda Palmer in 1997 as recorded on 22 January 1998. [NRS.797.1]

Spaulding (2011-)

After the Act of Abolition of Feudal Tenure by the Scottish Parliament, the lands were detached from the barony of Balmachreuchie (the whole as it’s called) as of 2004 and in 2011 the barony of Balmacreuchie was acquired separately with reassignation to Dr Timothy Spaulding, of Kentucky, a descendant of the Spaldings who once held the barony……it was acquired with the purpose of bequeathing it to his only son, Nicholas James Spaulding.


The information above was contributed in part by Dr. David Dobson, of Dundee, Scotland; a much published and recognized authority in Scottish research. He is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews and an Honorary Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, with a special interest in the Scottish diaspora of the seventeenth and eighteenth century.


The arms are based on the Spaldings of Ashintully & Balmachreuchie. 

Most Scottish coats of arms are based on those of someone else.  A basic principle of Scottish Heraldry is that persons of the same surname are deemed to be related to one another to some degree, whether clearly proven or not. The changes to these arms follow important rules regulated by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

Arms of the current baron of Balmachreuchie, Timothy S. Spauldding, MD
Arms of Nicholas James Spaulding, dc’d, Younger of Balmachreuchie