In 1621 Langholm became a burgh of barony. The head of the Maxwell family, who organised this development, was now Robert, Earl of Nithsdale. In 1628 he arranged feus for ten of his kinsmen to build stone houses along what was to be the High Street, where a Tolbooth was also to be built. This was an early example of “town planning”.
A new burgh charter in 1643 reveals that Francis, Earl of Buccleuch, head of the Scott family, was now the lord of the barony. The Earl of Nithsdale had lost his estates in 1643-44 because of his support for Charles 1.
In 1661 Countess Anne of Buccleuch became the feudal superior of Langholm. In 1663 she married the ill fated Duke of Monmouth, who was made the first Duke of Buccleuch by Charles 11. After his execution in 1685, his widow was allowed to keep the Buccleuch estates which she managed well and extended.
During the Covenanting period, many ordinary Scots were willing to suffer the most severe penalties because of their support for the Presbyterian Church. The ministers of Staplegordon, Westerkirk and Ewes were forced to leave their charges because they refused to accept bishops.
In May 1685 Andrew Hislop, a nineteen year old youth, was shot without trial at Craighaugh, Eskdalemuir, essentially because his mother had provided shelter for a dying Covenanter. Sir James Johnstone of Westerhall, Westerkirk, and John Graham of Claverhouse were both involved in the killing. It is said that Claverhouse spent the night of that day at Langholm Castle and that he remarked to his hostess that he was sick of doing the Government’s killing.
Peden’s View, a little hill just outside Langholm on the Westerkirk road, is said to have been where Alexander Peden the “Prophet of the Covenant” was saved from Westerhall’s men by a sudden mist.
The Development of Industry >>>
“Langholm As It Was” by John and Robert Hyslop 1912.
“County of Dumfries” R.C.A.H.M.S. Inventory 1920.
“Eastern Dumfriesshire” R.C.A.H.M.S. 1997.
“Explore beyond the Roman Frontier” Archaeosights guide
Langholm Heritage & Culture Group raise awareness of the Heritage and Culture of the area and can be contacted through: email@example.com