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Old Families in Moulin Parish

At the time of Cromwell’s valuation made in in 1650 there
were thirty two landowners in Moulin Parish, excluding Superiors. Of these, nine were Robertsons, seven were Stewarts, three Fergussons, three Murrays, and two Butters, one Small and six others of different names. Of these thirty two landowners, only five estates remain in possession of the families appearing in Cromwell’s Valuation, viz. Butter of Pitlochry, Fergusson of Baledmund, Stewart of Balnakeilly, Stewart of Strathgarry, and Small of Dirnanean.

The Robertsons, who held the greater part of the Parish, have quite disappeared as landowners. They held Faskallv, Balnacraig, Lettoch, Easter and Wester Strathloch, Gleniernate, Kinnaird, Drumchorry, and Croftmichag. The Stewarts held Orchil, Orchilbeg, Dalnagairn, Cluniemore, Balnakeilly, and Strathgarrv.

Strathgarry is now in the Parish of Blair Atholl and is held by Stewarts, though not in the direct descent. The
Fergussons held Baledmund, Pitfourie, and Balyoukan. The
Murrays held Pitarig, which with the other small properties belonging to them, are now merged in the Atholl estate, but in 1650 the Earl of Athoil had no land in the Parish, though he was the feudal superior of most of it. The Smalls still hold Dirnanean which, however, is only a part of their estates, the greater part of which lie outside the Parish.

The Title Deeds show that the Estates changed hands chiefly between 1745 and 1830.

Butter of Pitlochry. The origin of the name is obscure. When the crest of a drawn bow was taken in the 17th century, it was assumed that the name had been given to the official who had charge of the Bow Butts. This, however, will not bear investigation. The name originated in the Coupar Angus district and is found nowhere else. Bow Butts were only set up in the vicinity of towns, and Coupar Angus could have had none, as it was a small
village attached to the Abbey of Cupar, which was founded by Malcolm IV. in 1164.

The earliest mention of the name appears in the Exchequer Rolls of 1331, when it is stated that the lands of Adam Butir were escheated to the King. This shows that the Butters must have held land before that, probably as early as the 13th century. In 1360 William and Patrick Butter appear as Collectors of Customs at Cowry. William Butter in 1390 - 1405 received a Crown Charter of the lands of Gormack and Tullyledyis, and
in 1434 William Butter, who is designed as son and heir of
Finlay Butter, Lord of Caladus, gets a tack of the Vicarage of the Kirk of Blair (no doubt Blairgowrie) with the teinds of Gormark, etc. The Butters of Gormack were regarded as the head of the house.

The laws relative to the creation of Bow Butts and the
compulsory practice of Archery only date from the 15th century, so that the name of ‘‘ Butter ‘‘ is of much older origin.

The old Scots word for the Bittern, a bird now almost
extinct in Scotland, is Butter. It frequents marshy ground, and one of the grants of William the Lion to the Abbey of Cupar is the Marsh of Blairgowrie. Between Dunkeld and Coupar-Angus there is a chain of small lakes with marshy surroundings, and the following are names in the vicinity of these lakes, viz. Butterglen, Butterstone, and Butter Gask, and all these refer to the Bittern. It seems probable, therefore, when surnames were adopted in the 13th century, that the first Butter took his surname from holding land which had one of these Butter or Bittern names.

The Butters of Gormack, though comparatively small land-owners, seem to have been possessed of considerable means, as they held Wadsets, which was an early form of mortgage, over many estates in Perthshire and these Wadests are still found among the old title deeds. As late as 1650, the date of Cromwell’s Valuation, they held lands in Strathtay, which are described as Gormac’s feu.

In 1523, John Butter of Gormack bought Killivoulin which
lies to the East of the Black Spout,’ and gave it to one of
his younger sons. In 1600, John Butter the second son of
the then Butter of Killivoulin, gota charter of the lands and mill of Pitlochrv from Sir James Stewart of Ballechin. Sir James and John Butter were cousins, as Elizabeth Butter was the mother of Sir James and the aunt of John Butter. There is some reason to believe that the lands of Pitlochry belonged, at one time, to the Charterhouse of Perth, and that a Stewart of Ballechin had acquired them before 1500. John Butter’s son subsequently married Sir James Stewart’s daughter and so the connection between the two families was continued.

Kinnaird, above Moulin, had been acquired by Patrick
Butter of Gormack, in 1526, and it was bought by Archibald Butter of Pitlochry, in 1679, for his second son, and remained a Butter possession for some generations.

In 1684, Patrick Butter, who was the fourth Butter of
Pitlochry, purchased Killivoulin from his relative, Thomas
Butter. The Butters of Killivoulin had acquired Easter Dun-
fallandv about 1650 from the Fergussons of Dunfallandy, but it was also sold by Thomas Butter, and is now known as Tomdachoil, and this seems to have ended the connection of the older branch of the Killivoulin Butters with the district. It was Patrick Butter who built the old house of Pitlochry in 1791, and the initials above the doorway of P.R.’ and MC. are his initials and those of his wife, Margaret Crichton.

Archibald Butter, who succeeded his father, Patrick Butter, was out in 1715. He was a Captain in Lord Nairn‘s Regiment of Atholl Highlanders, and was captured in England at the Battle of Preston, where the Jacobites were defeated and nearly 1500 made prisoners. He was taken to London and would probably have been executed, but he was regarded as the best looking man of his day, and through the intervention of the Ladies of the Court, who were won by his youth and good
looks, he was pardoned in June, 1716, and returned to Pitlochry. He married twice afterwards, leaving two daughters and a son Henry, who, when a year old, succeeded his father a Henry Butter was too Young to be out in 1745, and bearing in mind the clemency shown to his father, his svmpathies seem to have been with the Hanoverians. He qualified as a lawyer and began practice in Dunkeld, afterwards removing to Killin, which was at that time a place of some importance, and the
seat of a Sheriff Court.

When Stewart of Glenure, the factor on the forfeited
estates in Lochaber and the West, was murdered, Henry Butter was offered the appointment, which he accepted. He removed to Corpach, near Fort William, where he resided for about 20 years, and the official report states that, owing to his firmness and tact, he did much to pacify the West Highlands. When there he married Miss Catherine Hay of Leys, in the County of Fife, by whom he had six sons and six daughters. Having bought Faskally in 1778, he gave up his appointment and resided there till his death in 1800. He bought Strathloch and some smaller properties after the purchase of Faskally.

His son Colonel Archibald Butter who succeeded him married Miss Vere Menzies, the only daughter of Sir Robert Menzies, in 1803. Colonel Butter died in 1805, leaving one child, Archibald, who was then only two months old, and who held the estates for 80 years, dying in 1885. It was he who built the present house of Faskally on the site of the old house, which had been built by Robertson of Faskally about 100 years previously, when he removed from Old Faskally, which had been the residence of the Robertsons or several hundred years. Archibald Butter further added to the estate by buying, in 1834, the estates of Cluniemore and Duntanlich, for which he excambed the East part of Strathloch known as Inverchroskie. His eldest son Colonel Archibald Butter, having predeceased him, leaving two sons, the elder grandson Archibald Butter, succeeded in 1885. He sold the estates in 1911, but the original family estates of Pitlochry and Killivoulin and and also the estates of Cluniemore and Duntanlich, were purchased by the marriage Trustees of his younger brother, Colonel Charles A. J. Butter and Mrs Butter, so tha the family connection of almost 400 years with the early Butter properties has been maintained.

The Fergussons of Baledmund represent in the male line
the Fergussons oi Balyoukan and in the female line the Fergussons of Baledmund and Pitfourie. There are no records of when the Fergussons came to Baledmund and Balyoukan, they seem to have occupied these estates from a very remote period under leases and tacks at nominal rents from the Crown, and latterly from the Earls of Atholl, who had acquired the Crown rights, the Tacks mentioning that they were granted for the services of “ watching and warding.’’ The Charter of Baledmund, which is dated 1611, and the Charter of Balyoukan, granted at the same time, state that the Fergussons had been the native and lawful possessors thereof beyond the
memory of man.

Baledmund now includes three estates held originally under different titles, viz. : Baledmund, Pitfourie, and Drum of Pitlochry. The Pitfourie titles go furthest back and form a series dating from the middle of the 15th century. Until 1512 it was held by a family named McQwen, when the only daughter and heiress married a Stewart, and it remained in the Stewart family till 1619, when it was sold to Fergusson of Baledmund. It then included part of the lands of Kin-a-ghline and certain sheilings in Glenbrierachan. Baledmund, at that time, had also extensive possessions in Glenbrierachan, including
Edratarvie, Tomchulan, part of Kin-a-ghline, and several shealings, and in addition, the West Haugh of Dalshian, with the right of salmon fishing in the Tummel.


In 1631, the West Haugh of Dalshian was sold to Fer-
gusson of Balyoukan, and at the same time the lands in Glenbrierachan, so far as they formed part of the original Baledmund estate, were sold to Donald Robertson of Balnacraig. In the same year an arrangement was made under which Pitfourie was settled on the second son of Baledmund, and it again became a separate estate. In 1707, James Fergusson, the second son of Fergusson of Pitfourie, married Janet Fergusson, who was the niece and legal heiress of Fergusson of Baledmund, who had no family, and at his death in 1715 she succeeded to
Baledmund, but, with the consent of her husband, she
exchanged Baledmund for Pitfourie, Finlay Fergusson of
Pitfourie undertaking to pay certain burdens and the jointure of the widow of Baledmund.

This Finlay Fergusson was out in 1715 and accompanied General Mackintosh in his invasion of England, but was captured at Preston and incarcerated in Liverpool. He was pardoned, as he proved he had been coerced
and had not borne arms. In 1731 he acquired from the Duke of Atholl, for 5ooo Scots pounds, the Drum of Pitlochry, which included Balnadrum, Ballinlochan, Oakfield, Toberargan, and the shealing of Corchosnie, and also the ruins of the old Castle of Moulin. Apart from [he old Castle, this estate had been a Fergusson possession from 1446, and probably earlier, that being the date of the oldest charter that has been preserved. These Fergussons were known as Baron Fergusson of Moulin or Mulling, and the title of Baron was given in respect that the lands were held directly from the Crown. They were purchased by the Earl of Atholl in 1638.

Edmund Fergusson, who succecded in 1758, was the last
of the male line of the Baledmund Fergussons. He married
Mary Robertson, a daughter of Robertson of Faskallv, but had no family. He held the estate for upwards of 50 years, and in 1784 he bought Pitfourie for 830 pounds exclusive of the lands in Glenbrierachan. There has been no change since then in the Baledmund estate.

Margaret Fergusson, sister of Edmund Fergusson, married
in 1747 Thomas Fergusson of Balvoukan. Alexander Fer-
gusson, her eldest son, succeeded to Balyoukan in 1782 and sold it in 1802. He succeeded his uncle in Baledmund, and the present proprietor is his great grandson.

Fergusson of Balyoukan was also out in 1715 and his rents were arrested, but he was released in 1716 and a warrant granted to his wife, Katherine Butter, to uplift the rents. The only Fergusson proprietor who was out in 1745 was the laird of Dunfallandy, who was pardoned on account of his youth and of having been compelled to join Prince Charlie’s forces.

Stewarts of Balnakeilly.

The Stewarts of Balnakeilly are a younger branch of the
Stewarts of Foss, who were cadets of the Stewarts of Garth. The lands of Balnakeilly were church lands belonging to the Abbey of Dunfermline, but by Feu Charter, dated 6th February, 1560, Robert, Commendater of the Monastery of Dunfermline and Archdean of St Andrews, in consideration of divers sums of money thankfully and wholly paid to us to the repairing of
our said Monastery by our well beloved Neil Stewart in Fovce (Foss) his sons and grandsons “ conveyed “ all and whole the Glebe and Kirk land of the Kirk of Maling, viz., Balmalze alias Kirktown, Auchlat and Auchnahyell with their pertinents, etc. Stronchavie and the greater part of Kinnaird were subsequently added to these lands by purchase, and Arnbathy hand Myreside in the Carse of Gowrie were acquired by marriage.

The first Stewart of Balnakeilly was John, the grandson
of Neil Stewart of Foss, and the estate was held in direct
descent till 1832. The last of the original Stewarts of Balnakeilly was Captain Alexander Stewart, who was born in 1750 and died in 1832. He saw a good deal of active service before succeeding to the estates in 1801, and was afterwards made a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Perth. He left no family. His eldest sister, Marjory, who predeceased him, had married Adam Stewart, Writer in Edinburgh, and her eldest daughter, Barbara, married Henry Black of Mount Ulston, Jedburgh. The only son of that marriage was Henry Black Stewart, who, under Captain Stewart’s Deed of Entail, succeeded to the
estates, taking the surname of Stewart, on his succession, and the estate is now held by his son, Major Blair Stewart of Balnakeilly.

The Stewarts of Balnakeilly had for several generations
a close connection with the District and City of Perth. In 1694, John Stewart of Balnakeilly, married first, Jean Lindsay, daughter of Lindsay of Kilspindie, and second, Katherine Blair of Ardblair, and in 1747, John Stewart, his son, married Barbara Lindsay, who was of the Lindsays of Arnbathy. It was probably through this Lindsay connection that the Stewarts were made Burgesses of Perth.

The Balnakeilly Stewarts were not out in the Fifteen
and Forty-five. In 1715, Stewart of Balnakeilly, was past middle age, and his son was only four years old; and in 1745, John Stewart of Balnakeillv, seems to have been regarded as a Hanoverian, as in 1755 he was made a Burgess and Guild brother of Edinburgh, in acknowledgment of his good services to that City.

The present Mansion House occupies the same site as that of the previous house, and was built about 1820.

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