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Ashintully Castle

The Spaldings of Ashintully

The Spalding family highlighted here lived in Perthshire, Scotland, for several hundred years before 1745, and dispersed to Germany, Sweden, Jamacia, Georgia, Liverpool and elsewhere. The castle of Ashintully was the clan center in Perthshire. Map of this location

Spalding highlights and lowlights

In 1318, Peter Spalding helped followers of Robert the Bruce enter and sieze the town of Berwick from the English. He was English and a burgess of the town, but he was married to a cousin of Sir Robert Keith, Marshall of Scotland. He was granted lands by Bruce on 1 May 1319 in Ballourthy and Petmethy in Forfarshire (now Angus), together with the Keepership of the Royal Forest of Kilgerry. He also received a flag with a gate upon it, having a portcullis half raised, and the motto "Nobile Servitium".

Around 1060, King Malcolm III "Canmore", who killed Macbeth in 1057, built Whitefield Castle in Strathardle as a hunting lodge. Over 500 years later, in 1576, Colonel David Spalding led members of his clan to fight in Flanders for the King of Spain. After 7 years, with the resulting plunder, he built Ashintully Castle, 1 km to the southeast of Whitefield Castle, which served as a model.
In 1615, David "Deas" Spalding started the first regular Highlands market place: "Michael Mass Fair". In Gaelic he was called "Daidh Deas" (line over "e" in Deas). Deas, as here used, requires half-a-dozen English words to give the full meaning - ever, or very restless, ready, brave, wise, etc. Deas means south, and is a relic of Druid sun-worship. Everything if south or sunwards was perfect.
But 200 years later, another David Spalding, also Laird of Ashintully, was remembered much more harshly. "He condemned and executed many most unrighteously, particularly a man of the name of Duncan, who was drowned in a sack in what is still called 'Duncan's Pool.'"

During the early 1700's, the family followed the Jacobite cause, lost its lands, and dispersed. Over the years, offshoots of the original Spaldings of Berwick migrated to Aberdeen, Perthshire, Edinburgh, Germany, Sweden, Jamaica, Liverpool, and Georgia. At least three books have been written about them, by the branches in Germany, Liverpool and Georgia. The Aberdeen branch might be related to the well-known historical society the "Spalding Club" established in 1839. Ashintully Castle, now a 3000-acre sheep ranch and B&B, has been visited by Spaldings from these places and more.

Following the stories of these people, and the times in which they lived, is fascinating, and makes history come alive. Just think. Until the mid 1700's there were no roads or wheeled vehicles of any kind in this part of the highlands, and Gaelic was spoken universally.


The action takes place in Strathardle, a valley at the beginning of the Scottish Highlands in Perth county, which is part of the Tayside district. The "District of Atholl" seems to be a smaller area also containing Strathardle. It is a beautiful area consisting of rolling hills separated by glacial valleys. These are the foothills of the Grampian Mountains. The most popular skiing in Scotland is at the top of nearby Glenshee.


1286 to 1390
Wars of Independence against England

Robert the Bruce rewards Peter Spalding, for help capturing the town of Berwick, with lands in Forfarshire.

David Spalding sat in Parliament of Scotland for Burgh of Dundee.

George Wishart and John Knox begin spreading Protestantism in Scotland.

First Reformation Parliament, First Book of Discipline.

Reformation reaches Strathardle, eviction of Priest John Hammill.

Colonel David Spalding fights in Flanders for King of Spain for 7 years.

Colonel David Spalding, Laird of Ashintully, builds Ashintully Castle with the plunder from Flanders.

New Laird of Ashintully: Andrew Spalding, son of David.

1587 Execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

James VI of Scotland becomes James I, King of England.

Laird Andrew Spalding died.

New Laird of Ashintully: David Deas Spalding son of Andrew.

Testament of "Andro Spalding of Essintullie."

David Deas Spalding granted rights to organize Michaelmas market by James VI.

1638 National Covenant: Protestant, anti-Catholic; pro King but anti-bishop.

Laird David died in Dunstaffnage Castle.

1641 New Laird of Ashintully: William Spalding 2nd cousin of David.

1644 Campaign of Earl of Montrose, James Graham against Covenanters, Argyll, Campbells.

Records on "Rentall of the County of Perth, by Act of ... Parliament."

First parish records of birth, death, etc. are recorded.

Rev. Francis Piersone, parish minister of Kirkmichael, forms Presbytery (?) Marries daughter of Andrew "Madadh Brae" Spalding at some point.

Cromwellian occupation of Scotland.

Laird William Spalding died.

New Laird of Ashintully: Andrew "Madadh Brae" Spalding, son of William.

Birthbrief by Charles II indicates they are "lesser barons" (no "baron" title)

Act of Parliament for Andrew Spalding - the "mains of Ashintully."

Crown offered to Protestants William and Mary, but opposed in Highlands.

James Graham "Bonnie Dundee" leads Jacobite Rebellion, wins at Killiecrankie, and dies.

Laird Andrew Spalding died.

New Laird of Ashintully: David Spalding son of Andrew.

1707 Parliamentary Union with England.

Jacobite Rebellion led by Earl of Mar, defeated at Sheriffmuir.

Laird David Spalding died.

Jacobite Rebellion - Bonnie Prince Charlie, defeated at Culloden in 1746.

First road, bridge, connects Strathardle with Blairgowrie and the lowlands.

Aton family, 3 daughters, sold Ashintully to family of current owners?


F.J.S and M.S, "Notes and Traditions Concerning the Family of Spalding" 1914, Henry Young & Sons, Liverpool. 250 pages.
A. G. Reid "Strathardle - Its History and its People", 2nd Edition, Blairgowrie Printers 1986, 1992
E Merton Coulter's "Thomas Spalding of Sapelo" Louisana State University Press, Univ, LA 1940
Lovell, Caroline Couper, "The Golden Isles of Georgia", 1939, Little, Brown and Company, Boston. 300 p.
Vanstory, Burnette, "Georgia's Land of the Golden Isles", Revised Ed. 1970, University of Georgia Press, Athens. 225 p.
Sasines of Perth, Edinburgh, & general register:
RS 52/22 pp 395v-396v C044361 1740-10-21 James Spalding - missing last page
RS 52/23 pp 276r-277r C044361 1743-05-09 John Spalding
RS 52/23 pp 344v-345v C044388 1743-11-29 Thomas Bisset of Glenilbert <= Thoma\
s Spalding
RS 27/135 pp 175r-177r C044401 1749-03-21 James Spalding of Bonnymills
RS 27/143 pp 346r-351f C044401 1754-05-18 James Spalding of Bonnymilns
RS 27/144 pp 259v C044401 1754-09-26 Ann Learmonth, relict of Thomas Spal\
ding of Leith Mill
RS 27/155 pp 328r-337v C044401 1760-03-04 James Spalding of Bonnytoun Milns
RS 27/201 pp 215v-221r C044401 1772-10-20 James Spalding, merchant in Georgia
get: RS 27/17 pp 473-? 1719-01-16 John Spalding - mentions Thomas Spalding

Useful references:

C. Fergusson, "Sketches of Strathardle": Lectures of Charles Ferguson to the Gaelic Society, 1889-1900 at Inverness, transcripts held by the Blairgowrie library
Privy Council records of some sort on disciplinary measures.
Register of Alyth
Register of Deeds, Durie (e.g. vol 229 heritable Bond 30 may 1750)
Register of Edinburgh Academy (and/or University?)
"Records of Invercauld"
Maps: 1st Ordinance Survey map of 1867
William Owen, "Highland place-names", Great Glen Publications, Invermoriston, Inverness-shire
Major-General Stewart, "Sketches of the Highlanders", vol i, p 70.
John Prebble, "The Lion in the North - One Thousand Years of Scotland's History", Penguin, 1981 edition.
Andrew Fisher, "A Traveller's History of Scotland", 1994
Indexes to the "Service of Heirs in Scotland".
Duke of Athole, "Families of Tullybardine and Atholl"
Lachlan Rattray, Mansuscripts.
Stodart, "Scottish Arms"
"Jacobite correspondence of the Atholl family, during the Rebellion, MDCCXLV-VI" (1745-46)
"Old Law Paper, Edinburgh. First Division, Feb 15, 1814" Ashintully estate dispute
Major ?T. D.? Robertson-Reid "A Short History of Clan Robertson"
Liddell, Colin Pitlochhry - Heritage of Highland District"(?)
McDonald - "History of Blairbowrie", 1899.
Marshall, "Historic Scenes of Perthshire"
Scottish Statistical Accounts, 1791 (the first)
Ghost of Mause (Fiction?)
Living in Atholl : A Social History of the Estates, 1685-1785
Rights of Way - a guide to the law in Scotland published by The Scottish Rights of Way Society Ltd, 1 Luton Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9PH. ISBN: 0 9502811 31.
Journal of Roman Archaeology, volume 4 (1991), p 315..Lawrence Keppie
Roman Britain beyond Hadrian's Wall: some recent research
----review of----
W. S. HANSON, Agricola and the conquest of the north;
G. S. MAXWELL, A battle lost: Romans and Caledonians at Mons
G. S. MAXWELL, The Romans in Scotland;
S. S. FRERE and J. J. WILKES, Strageath, excavations
within the Roman fort, 1973-86.

Mormon library in Salt Lake:
Eduard Spalding in German "Spaldings in Scotland, Sweden & Germany", 1898, 88p? 0282490
Charles Spalding "Some memoranda in relation to Thomas Spalding of Sapelo" 35 p ms. 1878 0184501 item 14
Bible records 1772-1904 40 p. Sara Leake Spalding et al. 0203240
Johnstone & Spalding Families of Eastern Scotland. Film area 0924442 item 2
Listed by
Monumental inscriptions (pre-1855) in North Perthshire John Fowler Mitchell (Hard to Find)
Perthshire in history and legend Archie McKerracher (Hard to Find)

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