My name is James Mundell (Jim). I was born in Paisley, Scotland before moving to London in 1976. My grandfather, James Mundell came from Dumfries where he was born about 1900. The following newspaper article has been reproduced from his cuttings (undated) found in a scrapbook that must be about 50 years old. The text has been checked against the original article to ensure accuracy.
I always understood that Mundells were entitled to wear the Cameron tartan but it was only after reading the cuttings that I can understand why.
I hope you find the paper of interest and plan to complete the second part within the next two weeks.
A Famous Tinwald Family
By Mr. A. CAMERON SMITH.
We publish the first part of a paper given by Mr. A. Cameron Smith of Milnhead, at last night's meeting of the Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society on "Mundells in Tinwald", including some notes on the Family of Mundeville, ancient lords of Tinwald.
In a preface, Mr. A. Cameron Smith of Milnhead, said that three hundred years ago the surname of Mundell was scarcely to be found outside of the parish of Tinwald and a few of the neighbouring parishes of Dumfriesshire to which it had strayed. Few of the possessors of the name were probably aware that the name was pure Norman. In the paper (he continued) the form Mundeville would be generally adopted, though vagaries of scribes and copyists have reproduced it in slightly varying forms. In a Latin document it must appear as Mundavilla; in modern French it would be Mondeville. Both forms are the equivalent of "Cleantoun". I daresay it might be possible to discover where in France the original Mondeville was situated.
I - THE MUNDEVILLE LORDS OF TINWALD.
The last of the Mundeville lairds, Henry de Mundeville, may have been the Sir Henry de Mundeville , knight, who was a witness to the charter granted by Maxwell of Carlaverock "circa 1407" . The other witnesses indicate the local character of the group: they include the abbots of Hollywood and of Sweetheart, a Herries, a Jardine, a Durant and a Grierson.
Henry was alive in 1427, in which year a complaint reached the papal court that he, "lord of the Place of Tinwald and patron by ancient custom, had presented Robert Stott, priest, to the rectory of Tinwald, before he had obtained possession of the lordship".
After Henry's death disputes arose about his succession. From the records we learn that he had held not only Tinwald, but also the Temple-land of Dalgarnock (modern Templeland) and the lands of Monreith in Wigtonshire. There seem to have been at least three daughters - Margaret, who was married to Edward Maxwell, the ancestor of the Maxwells of Tinwald, latterly of Monreith. Another was Janet, who married William Hepburn, and a third was Elizabeth, who is perhaps the same person as Hawise (of whom later). At some date before 1468 the legitimacy of Elizabeth, "daughter and Heiress of the late Henry Mundeville , lord of Mureiffe", had been impugned by one David Boswell: but "silence had been imposed on him by the papal court". The civil authority, on the other hand, had declared Margaret to be heiress to all four quarters of Tinwald and the Temple-land, "wrangusly haldin fra hir be William Hepburn (husband of Janet) and by Hawyse. This was done by a local assize sitting in the Tolbooth of Dumfries in 1455. At a later date (1483) Maxwell acquired such right as Hawise had possessed in Monreith (a quarter), from her grandson, Robert Boyd of Arneil (one of the Boyds of Du?cow). It is worthy of note that in the proceedings at Dumfries "sir" Thomas Broky, vicar of Kirkmahoe, was present (as clerk) and on the assize was one John Stewart, probably from Dalswinton. Kirkmahoe had another connection with the Mundevilles. One of the earliest known priests of the parish was Simon de Mundavilla, who obtained the benefice in 1408. He was one of the most erudite and far travelled men of his time and much more is known of him than all the rest of the Mundevilles in Scotland together.
Other notices of the Mundevilles connect them at different periods with Stranraer (of which Fergus de Mundeville had half), and with Channelkirk, the parish immediately north of Lauder. Some time in or after the 12th century, Henry de Mundeville set up a chapel at Glengelt (in Channelkirk), by which the abbey of Dryburgh was thought to be prejudiced. So Henry gave them three acres in Glengelt which had come from Ivo de Vetere Ponte (Vipont) "my ancestor in the same territory". Ivo belonged to the 12th century.
II - MUNDELLS IN TINWALD : ASSOCIATES OF SIR ROBERT HAMILTON.
It is curious that all the Mundells with whom we are to deal were Cameronians. But there were degrees of Cameronians. The first two, James and John Mundell (brothers apparently), belonged to the extreme wing led by Sir Robert Hamilton , who carried with him till his death an open wound which he had received at Bothwell. We shall see them in correspondence with Sir Robert , sharing imprisonment with him for violent action and generally defying the civil magistrate. They were probably sons of John Mundell in Runnerfoot (Tinwald), who died shortly before 1680, leaving two sons, James and John. These Cameronians always fell out with their ministers, and finally recognised no minister but old Mr. Houston, and he was in Ireland. For nine years they kept a minister out of Tinwald, during which time the Society of Tinwald conducted their own worship, under the lead of "old Father Mason", perhaps a cobbler, if my guess is correct. I see hints that they were responsible for a similar vacancy in Closeburn. The Tinwald Society of Cameronians seems to have been the most militant in broad Scotland, and its members were probably the authors of what is often referred to as "the Tinwald Paper". The organiser of the societies was Robert Smith who was never more than "student" but was the lieutenant of Sir Robert Hamilton. From some expressions in his letters it might be inferred that he was of Tinwald origin, and this would account for the stoutness of the Tinwald Society. James Mundell died in 1724 in his 65th year, and left a "dying testimony", in which he gives a few details of himself : "I personally covenanted with the Lord upon the 28th October 1684 about the mid hour of the night ; wherein I engaged to stand to hair and hoof of all His controverted truths". He also testifies against all of the once sympathetic ministers, not excepting Mr John McMillan. From 1708 to 1710 James had been a regular attender at the general meeting, and brought away the money allocated to their poor in Nithsdale. Mr McMillan married him in 1709 to Agnes Gass, but James did not have his children baptised by him ; he left these to come forward after his death at ages of eighteen or thereby. In his dying testimony there is no allusion to his imprisonment, except that he quotes the text referring to "the Lord's prisoners". We learn all about it from the letters of Sir Robert Hamilton, supplemented by the Privy Council registers. Some thirty of the society people had invaded Dumfries in arms, had seized two curates, and taken their service book from them, then dragged them out of the ports of the town and frightened them with certain death. They fixed a paper to the Cross forbidding the provost and magistrates "to suffer such locusts to enter the town again." James and some three more in Tinwald, John Heron from Kirkmahoe and some others, were imprisoned for six months or longer in various prisons about Edinburgh. This was in 1692, in which year they also made a Declaration at Sanquhar, which irritated the authorities. For art and part in publishing this Declaration Sir Robert Hamilton suffered a much longer period of imprisonment. Some of the letters which passed between him, James and John Mundell and others were written from prison. In 1695 there seems to have been some effort to settle a minister in vacant Tinwald, Mr Paisley, then in Morton, being the person in view. The Society of Tinwald, however, warned him off, in a letter which used no ambiguous terms . It ended: "No more at present, but remember that, if you kepp scaith , blame not us." Mr Paisley stayed in Morton.
Among many references of local interest in these letters, there are one or two to Luke and Francie Frizzel in Glenmade, the upland farm on the borders of Kirkmahoe where McMillan often visited to marry and baptise. The Frasers were much associated with the Mundells. Luke, the younger, was a scholar of James Mundell , the Edinburgh teacher, and was, in time, the beloved teacher of Sir Walter Scott and of Lord Brougham.
III - MUNDELLS: TEACHERS IN EDINBURGH AND AT WALLACE HALL.
James Mundell in his "Dying Testimony", made reference to his "natural enemies, my own relations". (He should perhaps have said "unnatural.,") These, we think, may be the family to which we next come ; for we shall find one in office in the "malignant" town of Dumfries ; and one , (a Macmillanite, too), a tenant of Dalziel of Glenae at the Place or Mains of Kirkmichael.
James Mundell, the oldest name on the family tombstones in Tinwald, who died in 1692 of age 55, may naturally be assumed to have been the progenitor of the next generation to whom we now pass.
William is not among the family who rest in Tinwald; but in St Michael's, Dumfries, there is a stone "erected by the heirs of William Mundell, treasurer in this Brough, 1716". It is a monument to the ingratitude of these heirs, brothers and sisters, for it has no other inscription. The eldest brother, Robert, is known from William's testament (which gives the date of his death as 13 Mch., 1716) and from a deed of 1717 showing that Robert, the eldest brother, acquired the share of his brothers and sisters, Joseph in Dalrusken, Janet, spouse to William Neilson, late baillie, and Jean, spouse to Thomas Gillespie (who lies in the family burial place in Tinwald).
Robert is the only one of these who interests us here. In 1716-17 he was "in Dalrusken" like his father; but as his tombstone states, he was afterwards in Kirkmichael. He was in the Mains of Kirkmichael (otherwise Kirkmichael Place) in 1756, when he witnessed deeds of Alexander Dalziel of Glenae, son and heir of Robert , late Earl of Carnwath. He was in Kirkmichael in 1758, when he made a testamentary disposition in favour of his (second) wife, Elizabeth Murray, his youngest son, Alexander, schoolmaster at Closeburn, Robert his second son, now in Jamaica, Janet and Rebecca, his daughters.
Robert's dates (1678 - 1761) are on his tombstone; as also those of his (first) wife, Mary Raining (1684 - 1736). Their son , Robert, who died in 1715 , aged one year, was the former of two sons whom the father names after himself. Of his eldest son, James, named after his paternal grandfather, we do not know anything from McMillan's Register, which is very useful for the others. The marriage with Mary Raining was celebrated by him in 1709; Robert (second son of the name) was baptised at Hartbush in 1724, being then 11 months old.. He is Robert (died 1787) , late of the province of Maryland, whose will clears up some of his relationships, and contains some peculiar clauses. "Having the perfect use of my mental faculties (such as they are) , instead of bequeathing my soul to God and my body to the earth, as I have seen done, I leave the last to accident, being perfectly indifferent what becomes of my body when the breath is gone ; my spirit I resign to Him who gave it. My funeral is to be at the smallest expense decency will permit.; mournings a black ribbon or scarf or some such trifle for a week or so."
Alexander, who was to be the famous master of Wallace Hall , was baptised at Hartbush , 30th June 1729, being born 12th January, 1729. Janet was baptised in 1709 at Glenmade, the home of Luke and Francie Fraser. Rebecca was baptised in 1711, being then seven months old.
It remains now for me to trace the two brothers, James and Alexander, who may with justice be claimed to have been among the most eminent schoolmasters of the eighteenth century, the former at Edinburgh and the latter at Wallace Hall. The proof of the statement is to be found in the record of distinguished men who were educated by them. Fortunately, lists of these have been discovered, but the discussion of them is beyond the scope to which this paper is restricted.
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