Scotland I

Newalls of  Scotland I

Reports up to 1599

© by John P. Newell

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 Scottish Newalls up to 1600

As I indicated earlier (see intro page) Newall and Newell are not considered native Scottish names and the cluster of people with these names in SW Scotland might reflect migration from NW England. The timing of this migration is difficult to establish and there may have been more than one. There were scattered references to individuals with similar names (e.g. Nuuel, Nouel, Newale) in Scotland prior to the 16th century (The surnames of Scotland, their origin meaning and history by George F. Black, cited from; however, by the 16th century a number of families with the name Newall or Newell were established in or near Dumfries (see Map below):


Map 2: Location of Dumfries, a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. Dumfries was a civil parish and became the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is approximately 25 miles NE of Kirkcudbright.


The following is a list of 16th century reference to individuals with the Newall name (including Newell, Newele, Nevele) from Scotland.

1508: John Newale / John Newall of Dumfries.
In November of 1508, a charter (Will) prepared by Mr. Herbert Gledstanes, rector of the parish church of Dronnok in the diocese of Glasgow listed rents from several Tenements in Dumfries. These included the tenement of a John Ramsay, burgess of Dumfries, on the west side of the said burgh between the tenement of Adam Wallace on the south and the tenement of John Newale on the north, and a stone house, with pertinents in the Chapelside of the said burgh of Dumfries, which formerly belonged between the tenement of John Newale on the north and the tenement of John Lorimere on the south. Assuming that the same property belonging to John Newale [Newall] was referenced in both cases and chapelside refers to the area near the Chapel of The Blessed Virgin Mary (AKA Chapel of our Lady and Chapel of the Willies) then this property was likely situated in SW Dumfries.
A John Newall, burgess of Dumfries was also a witness to this charter and given that the other witnesses were: Sir Fergus Barboure, vicar of Traqueir, Mr John Makhome, rector of Castillmylk, Sir Richard Maxwell, Thomas Makbrare, James Makbrare and John Turnom (?r), chaplains, William Cunyngham, Cuthbert Makbyrn, and Herbert Paterson, burgesses of Dumfries suggest that John Newall was a person of some standing.

Note #1: Burgesses were merchants or craftsmen who owned property in burghs and were allowed to trade in burghs free of charge. It later came to mean an elected or unelected official of a burgh/town. They were the economic basis for burghs like Dumfries.

Note #2: see also following for location of chapels in Dumfries.


1524   A David Newall,  Bailie of Dumfries

Note: A bailie or baillie is a civic officer in the local government of Scotland. The position arose in the burghs, where bailies held a post similar to that of an alderman or magistrate.

1532   David Newale Bailie
Herbert Cunynghame burgess of Drumfress nephew proceeded to six roods of his lands called Crul^itakyr lying in the territory of the burgh, between the common way coming from the chapel of St. Mary the Virgin of Casteldikis [in south] on the east and the common passage between (infra) the said lands and the water of Nytht on the west, and there resigned all his right and claim to the said six roods called the Hole akyr into the hands of a prudent man David Newale bailie of the said burgh in favour of Archibald Maxwell burgess of Dumfries son of Robert Maxwell, and his heirs

Note: This also appears to be in the SW of the town.


1531 Thomas Newale and Johnne Newale in rental agreement with William Maxwell of Blairboy [in Monreith, Wigtown] for a property in Brunskath with David Newale as witness.
Be it kend till all men be thir present letteres ws Thomas Newale, Johnne Newale, Andro Driuisdale, Alexander Dryuisdale, Andro Croket for to have gewin the rycht and kyndnes of our malingis [the action of letting or taking for rent; renting, letting, leasing ] of Brunskath to ane honorabill man Willeame Maxvell of Blairboy; that is to say, we Thomes Newale and Johnne Newale, brether, ane fourte penneland, Andro Driuisdale [an other, I] Alexander Dryuisdale of half ane merkland, Andro Croket of fourte penneland, and grantis ws wel content and pait thairfor and quitclames the said Willeame thairof for now and euir mayr
In Witnes heirof we have subscriuit this writt witht our handis at the pen at Drumfres the sex day of October the zeir of god ane thousand vc thrette ane zeir befor thir witnes, Johnne Connensoune, David Newale, Leonard Pauterson, burges of Drumfres, and Schir Thomas Connelson, notar, witht wtheris diuers.
(Signed) I Thomas Newale wt. my hand at the pen, I Johnne Newale wt. my hand at the pen.
Source: National Records of Scotland, reference GD86/98

Note #1: There is a Brunskath in Cumberland but this is likely a Brunskath near Dumfries see:

Note #2: the Maxwells of Monreith were made Baronets of Nova Scotia in the 17th century.

Note #3: For Blairboy see Maxwells of Monreith estate survey 1777 and


1534    John Newell & John Newell the younger Dumfries
[Likely the John Newalls owning tenements in 1508 and 1563]

1538  James Newall Dumfries

1547  David Newale Burgess Dumfries
Precepts of sasine by Gavin, archbishop of Glasgow, directed to William Patersone [Paterson], Herbert Glendstanis [Gladstone] and Thomas Crokete [Crockett], in favour of John Bary [Barrie], of ½ oxgate of land occupied by Thomas Lebedy in the territory of the Rig, between the lands of sir Herbert Mcbrair [McBrair] on the south and the lands of Matthew Gledstanis of Kelwod [Kelwood] on the north, and of one fourtieth part of a quarter of arable land and meadow and common pasture in the Nethirwod, lying between the spinney (spinia) or Kingholme [Kingholm] and the well of Keltoun [Kelton (4 mi south Dumfies) ], in the parish of Dumfries, which David Newale [Newall], burgess of Dumfries, had resigned by Master Robert Stewart, parish clerk of Glasgow, his procurator. reference # GD10/8

1553  John Newall was witness in Glasgow

1554  Nycholao Newell Notary, possibly signed in Kirkcudbright
notario publico cum subscriptione WiL C calamum tangentis per duct Apud Kirkcudbricht [Kircudbright]

Note Google translate from Latin : Nycholai Newell Ninian Muirhead notary public: with the signature of a notary pen touching the duct in Kirkcudbricht

1561 James Newals land and tenement in Kirkgait; John Newal, Lochmabengait
Annuell Rents.. James Newals place, land and tenement, Hand in Kirkgait, betwixt the lands of and the lands of payand of annual rent zeirly 6/-8d. Item of ane land and tenement of umquhile Geo. Carrutheris now of John Newal in the Lochmabengait.
Note Kirkgait was the south gate of Dumfries (now St Michaels St), Lochmabengait is now English Street, Dumfries (see 1563 ref below)

1563   John Newall owned tenement Lochmabengait Street, Dumfries

The site of Brocklerig^s house has not been ascertained, but the head of his family, Murray of Cockpool, owned as early as 1563 a tenement ” in the street callit Lochmabengait betwixt the tenement of William Sluchanan in Achintrait on the west, the tenement of John Newall on the east, the High Street called Lochmabengait on the north, and the way which leads under the yeards betwixt the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Loch-mabengait Port on the south.

Note: The Medieval Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary was situated on what is now the corner of Bank Street and High Street. Lochmabengait Street was renamed English Street so the approximate location of John Newall’s tenement would be within the area outlined below on a c.1819 map of Dumfries


Map 3: John Newall’s tenement in Dumfries 1563

Base Map c.1819:

See also

1564  Patrick Newall Burgess of Dumfries and John Newall his son
Charter by Mr. John Hepbume, parson of Dairy and canon of Glasgow, rector of Morbottle and archdeacon of Teviotdale, to Patrick Newall, burgess of Dumfries, in liferent, and James Newall, his son, and the lawful heirs male of his body, whom failing the heirs and assignees whomsoever of the said Patrick, of the Archdean’s croft lying in the territory of the burgh of Dumfries and parish thereof; to be held in feufarm for payment of the annual duty of 4s.


1665 Adam Newall Chamberlain to Jean Viscountess of Stormont & James Viscount of Stormont


1567   Thomas Newall witness at Dumfries.

1567   Council of Dumfries mortgaged tollbooths to Thomas Newall
The Council was forced to put in wadset [Mortage] first, in 1567, two of the booths under the Tolbooth [town hall] , each redeemable on payment of £30 Scots, and in May, 1569, “the haill Tolbuyth ” to Thomas Newall, who granted a letter of reversion abrogating his rights whenever the burgh should pay him ” seven score and ten pounds Scots, and these appear to have been all redeemed in 1575 and 1576. To remove the debt and redeem the Tolbooth was the reason given for the disposal of the Greyfriars’ Convent.

1569   Patrick Newall Baillie of Dumfries
Instrument of resignation and sasine whereby James Maxwell in Priestlands, grandfather (sic) and heir of late James Maxwell in Traqueir, resigned to Patrick Newall baillie of Dumfries, 2 yairds or lands lying at the head of the yairds in the said burgh,

1569  Thomas Newall, Dumfries

1569   James Newall Deacon of Crafts, Dumfries

1570 Patrick Newall Bailie of Dumfries Re Land.
Instrument of Resignation and Sasine under the hand of David Makgee, clerk of Glasgow diocese, notary public, narrating that James Maxwell in Prestlandis, grandfather and heir of umquhile James Maxwell in Traqueir, resigned into the hands of Patrick Newall, bailie of Dumfres, 2 yards or lands lying at the head of the yards in said burgh
Source: National Records of Scotland Reference # RH6/2173

1570 Patrick Newall, Jon Newall, Nichol Newall, Dumfries

1570  Nichol Nowale and Thomas Newall signed the Band of Dumfries

1571   Patrick Newall and John Maxwell

1574 Thomas Newall

1575 Michael Newall, Bailie of Dumfries

1576 Archibald Newall Burgess of Dumfries


1576 Will Thomas Newall burgess in Dumfries


1577 (a) Patrick Newall / Nevall and Nicholl Newall Dumfries
Original Source: Sherriff Court Book of Dumfries (see details below)
8th June: In the action of removing’ pursued by Archibald M’Brair of Almygill against Patrik Newall for removing the said Patrik from the lands of Ovir Nethervod [poss over Netherwood, South of Dumfries] .. Patrik alleged that he had a heritable title to part of the lands, and found Nicoll Nervall, his brother, as cautioner for production thereof ; and the z5th June was assigned for production. Same Duy. Patrik Newall constitutes as his procurators Nicholl Newall and Amer Maxwell.

1577 (b) Patrick Nevall, Thomas Nevall, John Nevall, James Nevall, Helen Nevall and David Newall
Original Source: Sherriff Court Book of Dumfries (see details below)
25th June: This day having been assigned to Patrik Nevall to produce to Archibald M’Brair of Almygill his title to the lands, he compeared and produced an instrument of sasine of three acres and three roods of land and meadow and common pasture, dated 20th May, 1488, on resignation by ‘Thomas Nevall into the hands of David Kirkpatrik of Rokelheid as bailie to the Bishop of Glasgow in favour of John Nevall.. dated 4rd May, 1550, given on resignation of David Newall to James Nevall as bailie to Mr Gawine Hamilton, vicar general of Glasgow, in favour of Patrik Nevall and Helene Nevall his spouce, by resignation of David Newall.
This reference is significant since it suggest that the Newalls [Nevalls] were in Dumfriesshire as early as 1488.

1578 John Newall Sheriff’s Officer Dumfries


1578 Nicoll Newall uncle to Archibald and Jamie Newall

Martin Rawling complains that about 5 in the afternoon on the 22nd Nicoll Newall came into his booth where he was working ‘at godis peace & the Kyngis’ on clothes for Nicoll and tried to take the clothes away; Martin would not give him them because they were not ready: Nicol took him by the throat and would have slain him and tore his shirt neck and the buttons off his coat and ‘dang him with his neifis’ and would not leave the booth until Baillie Herbert Ranyng caused him to go. Told him in the King’s name to make no further trouble and to come before the Provost, Baillies and Council in the morning for trial. Nicoll then went to his nephew Archibald: Archibald provided a club and they with Archibald’s brother Jamie ‘upon set purpose forethocht fellony & hame sukin’ came where Martin was standing between his booth and the Fish Cross intending to kill him and struck him and chased him in at Baillie James Lindsay’s gate and struck him with their fists and feet when the club was taken from them and when Lindsay came to them in his own gate and ordered them to stop they would not but Archie kicked Martin: evidence of witnesses taken: the Judges and Council find that Nicoll and Archibald have committed great and manifest oppressions against martin and have proudly contested the order of the Baillies: they are to find caution each for £100 to appear before the Provost, Baillies and Council in the Tolbooth when warned and underly such correction as shall be advised to them. (p.711)



1579  Matthew Newall Re Land in Lochmabengate, Dumfries
Notarial instrument by which John Carruthers elder, burgess of Dumfries, rentaller of a rood of land in the Kirkland in the burgh, with consent of sir John Brice, vicar of Dumfries, sells and alienates to Simon Johnston, burgess of Dumfries, his title, right, rental, kindness and possession of the rood, to be a kindly mailing to Simon and his heirs; done for a sum paid to Carruthers for the redemption of his half yard in Lochmabengate, wadset by Michael Carruthers, his son, to Matthew Newall.
National Records of Scotland Reference # GD1/403/4

1579  Robert Newall
John Maxwell in Craigis and Robert Newall, his cautioner, were acted to pay the sum of 20 merks to Edward M’Kinnell in Auchinchie

1579  Patrik Newall Robert Newall Nicoll Newall and Johnne Newall Dumfries
Letter of summons to Robert Johnnestoun parson of Lochmaben Edward Maxwall in Portrak Mungo Johnnestoun the said Eobert’s bastard son Williame Gluver his servant Habbie Jardane Mr Homer Maxwall commissary of Drumfreis Eobert Fynlaw his servant Edward Maxwall of Tinwald Herbert Carlile his servant James Maxwall of Portrak Johnne and Mungo Maxwall his brothers, Patrik Newall Robert Newall Nicoll Newall and Johnne Newall to answer before the Council upon 25th February inst for having assaulted Archibald McBrair provost of Drumfreis and Archibald Maxwall brother of Eobert Maxwall of Cowhill and wounded them in thair heidis to the gret effusioun of thair blude when interponing upon 11th January last in the fight between the Lairds of Apilgirth and Cloisburne within the burgh of Drumfreis dated at

1580 Bond of assurance re Archibald Newall in Drumfreis
Band of assurance granted till 1st April 1581 by Johnne Lord Maxwell to Edward Maxwall of Tinwell James Maxwell of Portrak and Archibald Newall in Drumfreis as assisteris and partakaris with Johnne Johnnestoun of that Ilk in his quarrels with the said Lord Maxwell who however protests that he be not astrictit nor bund to thame be vertew of ony uther assuirance

1580 Nicoll Nervall Messenger and Sheriff
Charge by Nicoll Nervall, messenger and sheriff in that part in virtue of the King’s letters upon lVIr Homer Nlaxwell, Commissary of Dumfries. and John M’Ghie, his clerk, to extract the said decree and sentence, acts and process, and deliver a copy thereof to the complainer, under pain of rebellion

1580 John Newall Sheriff’s Officer and Nicoll Newall

1581 Nicoll Newall messenger a witness

1581 John Newall burgess of Dumfries.

1582 Nicoll Newall sheriff’s Deputy

1582 Patrick Newall
April, 1582, Patrick Newall arranged an escambion with Mr. Thomas Maxwell, of the Archdean’s croft, for 6 ruids of vicarage lands then occupied by the said Patrick. Charters of Kirklands.

1583 Robert Newall, burgess of Dumfries Re Land
May. 1583. Instrument of sasine at the hand of Herbert Cunynghame, N.P., narating the resignation by Robert Newall, burgess of Dumfries, and Catherine Cunynghame his spouse, of a yaird or croft of land in the burgh on the east side of the burgh in the yairdheads— betwixt the yaird of James Frude and Agnes Ranyng on the north, the Lordburne on the east, the yaird of James Lindsay of Barcloy on the south, and the passage betwixt the yairdheads and the bams of the said burgh, from the Lochmabengait to the east port of the burgh called the Tounheid-port, on the west— with a waste barn at the west end thereof, and an annual rent of 12 shillings therefrom, into the hands of Robert Makynnell, one of the baillies of the burgh, in favour of William Steill, burgess, and Jonet Maxwell his spouse.

1583 Archibald Newall, Notary

1583 James Newall, Wright and witness to executions

1583 Thomas Newall and Gilbert Newall indwellers in Garneselloch
Note: poss Carnsalloch N of Dumfries

1585 Sergeant James Newall, Robert Newall, Tom Newall, John Newall, David Newall, Wattie Newall and Pat Newall all listed in a list of lands and tenants over which John Maxwell, earl of Morton was superior
This reference indicates that at this time this group of Newalls owed allegiance to Earl Maxwell. Understanding this relationship requires an understanding of the political structure of SW Scotland during this period.
In the mid-16th century James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton was the most powerful Lord in SW Scotland; however, in 1581 he was convicted of the murder of Lord Darnley (husband of Mary Queen of Scots & father of James I)) and his titles were forfeited. On 29 October 1581, John Maxwell (a Catholic and supporter of Mary Queen of Scots) was created Earl of Morton. The Maxwell’s had held the castle of Caerlaverock near Dumfries since the 13th century. In 1585, Maxwell’s rights to the lands were revoked, although he apparently retained the right to use the title. He was styled Earl of Morton until his death despite Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus (1555–1588), being confirmed as 5th Earl of Morton in 1586 (Wiki). This dispute between the two families continued into the 17th century. In 1620, Robert Maxwell was created Earl of Nithsdale by King James. This creation was held to be a confirmation of the earldom of Morton which had been granted to his father (Sir John Maxwell) in 1581, but which was subsequently returned to the Douglas family (Wiki).
Detailed analysis of the 1585 document shows that the various Newalls over which Maxwell was superior were listed in three different centers: Robert Newall, Pat Newall, John Newall and Wattie Newall were listed under New Abbey, Dumfriesshire; David Newall, John Newall and Tom Newall were listed under Kirkbean (a parish in Dumfriesshire near Carsethorn); and Sergeant James Newall and a 2nd Robert Newall were listed under Wauchopdale (near Langholm, Dumfriesshire).
The following map shows these three centers in relation to Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Caerlaverock Castle the historic base for the Maxwells.


Map 4: Locations with Newalls linked to Maxwells in 1585 Doc.

In the 16th century Carsethorn was a Port for Dumfries and in later years was a departure point for emigrants fleeing Scotland; for example, in 1775, the ”Lovely Nelly”, captained by William Sheridan, took 82 emigrants to Prince Edward Island, Canada. The reason for the families going was given as ‘to get more bread’ Wauchopdale (near Langholm) is near the Scottish border and is closer to Carlisle than Dumfries. There is evidence of a connection between Wauchope dale and the Maxwells in the early 16th century
( ).

New Abbey has a long connection with the Maxwell family; see the following from 2000:
Kirkconnell House, the oldest continuously inhabited tower house in Scotland, dating from the 12th century, is being sold by its debt-ridden laird, who is crippled by an overdraft after losing £500,000 as a Lloyd’s name and following his divorce in 1998. The house, near New Abbey in Dumfries and Galloway, has been home to ancestors of Francis Maxwell, the present laird, since it was granted to the family in 1235. The Maxwells are a famous Roman Catholic, Jacobite family. Mr Maxwell’s cousin, Catherine Maxwell-Stuart, lives at Traquair, which is even older than Kirkconnell House, whose gates were closed in 1746 when Bonnie Prince Charlie fled Scotland and will not be opened until a Stuart is back on the throne (

Overall, this suggest that the Newalls may have had a connection with the Maxwells that predates the transfer of lands from the Douglass to the Maxwells in the 1580s.

1586   Robert Newall new burgess

A list of new burgesses: including John Wright ‘callit blak John’ in Rotchell, and Robert Newall presented by Gilbert Edgar alias Barncleuch in recompence for the said Gilbert’s service and to be done anent the pavillion


1587 The provost slew Archibald Newall, a Burgess; his widow was Eister Hill .
on the evening before the King entered Dumfries, the provost slew Archibald Newall, a burgess. The murder was of a peculiarly atrocious type, Newall being ” single allane and without any kynd of armour, the body being thrown into the River Nith.

VERDICT The Assyse be thair delyuerance pronunceit be the mouth of George Dundas of that Ilk Chancellar ffand and declarit the said Archbald McBrair to be convict and fylit as culpable and giltie of airt and pairt of the slauchter of the said vmqle Archbald Newall and clangeit him of ony Murthour and the circumstance viz the casting of him in the watter of Neth &c SENTENCE To be tane to ane scaffeld besyde the mercat croce of Edinburghe and thair his heid strikin fra his body and all his movable guidis to be escheit to our souerane lordis vse as convict of the slauchter of the said vmq e Archbald

Note #1: The Provost was Archibald M°Brair  who had previous dealings with the Newalls (see 1577 above).

Archibald McBrair b. December 1547, m. 0-Dec-1567, Agnes Grierson, (daughter of Roger Griersoune of Lag and Egidia Kennedy, Lady of Lag). When his father died Archibald was still a minor and we see other families occupying the provostship till Archibald came of age. Indeed he did not even wait till then, being elected Provost in September, 1568, three months before he legally became of age. In 1570 Provost Archibald and Bailie James Rig were Dumfries’ representatives at the Convention of Royal Burghs. Provost Archibald in fact represented teh burgh on three occaisions between 1570 and 1579(1)

Note #2: the provost was the chief magistrate or convener of a Scottish burgh council, the equivalent of a mayor

Note #3: Archibald McBrair may have been a former not current provost at the time of the murder.

Note #4:  A Robert McBrair (son of Archibald) was also charged but was released.


1594 Nicol Newall, messenger, at the market cross of Drumfreise
Earl of ErroU, and Patrick Grordoun, sometime of Auchindoun, who have been forfeited for certain crimes of treason ; and directing messengers to make public intimation hereof at the market crosses of the Patrick head burghs of the kingdom and other necessary places, and that the kindly tenants and possessors of the said dissolved property and vassals and tenants of the said forfeited lands repair to the burgh of Edinburgh and deliver their securities, desires and supplications to the said Lords Commissioners on 4th July next, wherein, if they fail, the lands will be otherwise dealt with; dated at Edinburgh, 12th June, 1594, and signed J. Andro. On the back is a note of the executions, (1) on 23rd June, 1594, by Patrick MacThomas, at the market cross of the burgh of Kirkcudbrycht, as the head burgh of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbrycht, where the lordship ” of Gallawa, ane pairt of his Majesteis propirtie, lyis”;
witnesses, Thomas Gledstanis, Robert Lintoun and John Mekill, burgess of Kirkcudbrycht: and (2) on 24th June, by Nicol Newall, messenger, at the market cross of Drumfreise ; witnesses John Fargusoun, Richard Knowis and John Peris.

1595 Walter Newall owned Kiln near New Abbey
Charters Relating to Newabbey : the garden between the stream at the end of the kiln of Walter Newall and the other bounds specified, in the parish of Kirkinar, stewartry of Kirkcudbricht [possibly Kirk Kindar, New Abbey, Dumfries], which were formerly a part of the patrimony of Newabbay.


1597 Will Thomas Newall Carneselloch, Dumfries


1600 Birth Margaret daughter of Johnnne Newall & Katherine Haleday,  Prestonpans


1600 James Newall, one of the bailies of Dumfries
Instrument of sasine at the hands of Cuthbert Cunyngham N.P. and one of the clerks of the burgh court of Dumfries and Robert Cunyngham joint notaries, narrating that James Newall, one of the bailies of Dumfries, compeared before the said notaries… And that the said James Newall gave sasine in eu perpetual to the said Herbert
Note: Sasine in Scots law is the delivery of feudal property, typically land

1601 Thomas Newall, heir of Archibald Newall, burgess of Drumfreis


Summary Scottish Newalls Prior to 1603

The majority of the 16th century Newalls listed above lived in the borough of Dumfries or in villages in Dumfriesshire.  In one case, the John Newall who owned a tenement Dumfries in 1563, we can identify where his tenement was situated in Dumfries. A document from 1585 also demonstrates that the various Newalls, over which John Maxwell Earl of Morton was superior, were living in: New Abbey, Dumfriesshire; Kirkbean (a parish in Dumfriesshire near Carsethorn) and Wauchopdale (near Langholm, Dumfriesshire). Other references suggest that the Newalls had interest in other properties near Dumfries [e.g. Netherwood, South of Dumfries]. Overall the references suggest that the Newalls were based in Dumfries and surrounding towns in Dumfriesshire. One point of interest is that there are no direct references for Newalls in Kirkcudbrightshire in the 16th century. This indicates that either they had not yet moved into Kirkcudbrightshire or that the 16th century records are biased towards Dumfries.


The 16th century data also demonstrates that these Newalls held responsible positions including:
• Bailie [a Baron’s deputy in a burgh or barony holding a post similar to that of an alderman or magistrate],
• Notary [in 16th century Scotland Notaries held a pivotal role in the provision of evidence for the courts and the formulation of deeds and documents, the authenticity of which depended upon notarial involvement]
• Burgess [Burgesses were merchants or craftsmen who owned property in burghs and were allowed to trade in burghs free of charge, It later came to mean an elected or unelected official of a municipality. They were the economic basis for towns like Dumfries].
• Mortgagee [person who holds mortgage]
• Procurator [an agent representing others in a court of law in countries retaining Roman civil law]
• Sergeant [can be military role or civil role]
• Sheriff’s Officer
• Messenger (Messenger-at-Arms a Sheriff’s Officer) and
• Property (land and Kiln) owners.

Many of the Newalls living Dumfries were: burgesses involved in the crafts, merchants, notaries or government officials; however, we know very little about the Newalls living in the villages outside Dumfries. They were likely involved in agriculture and rural industries (kilns) and in some cases they were landowners but unlike their ‘more urban’ neighbours in Dumfries they did not leave a paper trail.

Other than agriculture and possibly some small scale mining the only other industries in SW Scotland during the 16th century were marine based (fishing and shipping). By the 1450s Dumfries was an important exporter of woollen cloth which was likely exported by ship from local ports.  In the Burgh Court Records for 1561 there are several mentions of the shipp  and a group of Dumfries merchants concerned with her. .  In 1562 a group of Dumfries merchants bound themselves to the terms of an existing agreement regarding the sending of the ship now at Carsthorn [Carsethorn] to Rochelle and Bordeaux for salt and lime. A few weeks later we find the parties to the agreement accounting for the wine they have sold in the district. For some years after this, casual references to local people or to merchants in Rowan (Rouen), “ Burdehouss ” (Bordeauxl), and “ Brattonye,” show these trade links still strong.

Carsethorn village, [in Kirkbean Parish]  was founded by Danish Vikings as a fishing and coastal trading port, became quite an important local port serving Dumfries from the 16th century. The sandy shore here made it safe to beach ships at mid-tide on a falling tide, allowing them to be loaded and unloaded from carts at low tide, then float them off on the next rising tide. Carsethorn is first mentioned as a port in 1562, when a ship was loading for Rochelle and Bordeaux [see above]. The ‘Carse’, as it is fondly referred to, acted as an outport for Dumfries, with the larger ships anchoring in Carse Bay before unloading their cargo.

In 1585 the David Newall, John Newall and Tom Newall, over which John Maxwell Earl of Morton was superior, were  living in Kirkbean Parish (which includes Carsethorn) and other Newalls, over which John Maxwell Earl of Morton was superior,  were living in New Abbey (between Caresthorn and Dumfries). Other 16th century references suggest that the Newalls also had interest inproperties in Netherwood, South of Dumfries. The distribution of these Newalls at the coast and along the river leading from Carsethorn to Dumfries (see Map below) raises the possibility that they were involved in shipping.

Map 5: Locations near Dumfries where Newalls lived during the 16th century

In 1603 King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England and for the next five decades the two Kingdoms were united under a common King but with separate Parliaments. The following chapter will examine the political, social and economic implications of these changes including Scottish involvement in the colonization of Ireland and the New World. This will provide a context for understanding the role that various Newalls played during this time. Subsequent chapters will examine the role that the Newalls of Scotland played in the late 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.


Continued in Newalls of  Scotland II