The Black Book 2



The Black Book of Kincardineshire....


Containing miscellaneous papers connected with the county the Black Book of Kincardineshire is a rare collection of accounts dating back to the 17th century which have never been surpassed. I want to concentrate here on the documented criminal trials within those pages. They are a wonderful source of names, places and events.

Are your ancestors among those described. Dare you look?....

16 August 1698  William Ross, in Gillen, apprehended for stealing a sheep on the Sabbath-day, confessed the same, and was ordained to be scourged through the Town, and his wife and bairns banished the shire, and his goods escheat.

23 August 1698  William Falconer, elder, and William Falconer, younger, in Nether Crigie, summoned to underly the law, for breaking the oven of Glenbervie, and taking out thereof, a batch of bread, consisting of the number of four score loaves. Failed to appear, and were declared fugitives, and their goods escheat.

30 August 1698  Robert Balfour, Gardener, Crathes, was summoned and not compearing to underly the law, for his cruelly, unmercifully, mortally beating, blooding and wounding John Thom in Drumshalloch, in his head, of the which he is lately dead, was declared fugitive, and his haill goods escheat.

30 August 1698  Margaret Smith in Tanachay, in the parish of Birse, daughter to the late Robert Smith, in Longholm, confessed that she did break into the house of Peter Mathew, Kirktown of Fetteresso, on two several nights, and did steal and take away out of the same, six fourteen-shilling pieces and a ten-pence glass bottle, three linen mutches, and two brow bands. Was ordained to be whipt through the town of Stonehaven, burnt on the cheek, banished the shire, and her goods escheat.

6 February 1699  Katherine Hampton, late servitor to George Austine, and William Hampton her brother, apprehended by Magnus Lichtone, at Sharps, imprisoned, and confessed that upon the 27th day of January last, the said William Hampton went in at a window of the Lady Urie's house in Springhall, and they both in the night time did steal away a burden of clothes, napery and sheets, two tailzies of beef, stuff petticoat and gown, and other things - all of which, her brother gave her out. And that upon the 4th day of January last, they both did steal out of the house of William Shepherd, in Findon, in the evening, several pieces of plaiding, sheets, covering, and a servant's coat, with several other small things; and that before that time he had stolen some fowls out of the same house, and carried and sold them in Aberdeen. She declared that she served David Milne in Fettercairn last winter, and William Moris in Balmain - and that before that she served David Austin, and kept his child; and had haunted the house of Margaret Fraser in Spithill, from whom she got a pair of plaids. The Sheriff appointed the boy to return to the school, and for the present dismissed him in respect of his tender age, and his promising never to do the like again: And ordained the said Katherine Hampton to be scourged through the town, burnt on the shoulder, and to stand in the Jougs ane hour.

6 February 1699  Janet Forbes, relict of William Forbes sometime in Bollabog in Cromar, and James Ross sometime at Balater, thereafter about the Whitehouse, apprehended and imprisoned, and confessed that upon the 2d day of February instant, they came to a kiln barn above Banchory Devenick, and it being late, and every body in bed, they pressed up the door, it being only fastened with a stone to the back. And having lain in the kiln barn all night, in the morning they took out about two pecks of malt out of sacks and departed - and denied that they ever committed any other theft. The Sheriff ordained them to be scourged through the town and banished the shire for ever.

9 February 1699  Alexander Hutcheon in Coldhams, James and Robert Hutcheons in Wedderhillock, and John Webster in Kinearth, summoned to underly the law for killing and slaying salmon fish on the Sabbath-day. All fined.

21 February 1699  Elspet Mey, spouse to William Stewart in Tarland, Jean Thow in Strachan, Margaret Gady in Nether Cheyne, ordered by the Sheriff to be scourged through the town, burnt on the cheek with the thief's mark, to stand in the Jougs for half an hour, and banished forth this shire for ever, under the pain of death. In respect that they the said Elspet May and Jean Thow did steal two sheep out of the cot belonging to George Thomson; and Margaret Gady, that she did receipt the said persons and sheep to conform to their confessions.

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