Cill Bhraonaigh, in Gaelic, refers to the town of Kilbirnie, located in the parish of Kilbirnie, within Cunninghame territory. It is located in North Ayrshire, in the Garnock Valley, on the banks of the river Garnock. The area is believed to have been inhabited since the Bronze Age. In 1742, there were only three houses in the townsite.
Kilbirnie Parish, Ayrshire
The parish was established in 1688 and takes its name from the Kirk (church) there. Named for Saint Brendan, the parish was divided into three feudal Baronies: Kilbirnie, Ladyland, and Glengarnock.
Captain Thomas Crawfurd of Jordanhill, who captured Dumbarton Castle in 1571, and died in 1603, is buried in the parish churchyard.
For more information about Kilbirnie, see: Ayrshire, Scotland
Barony and Castle of Kilbirnie
Now in ruin, the remains of the castle and 1500s manor of Kilbirnie are located just west of the modern town of Kilbirnie, in North Ayrshire. It is also referred to as the Place of Kilbirnie or Kilbirnie House. The largest of the three baronies, Kilbirnie encompassed about 5,500 acres of arable pasture and woodland.
A defensive tower was built about 1470 for Malcolm Crauford and his wife, Marjory Barclay. The walls of the keep were seven to eight feet thick and contained an area of forty-two feet by thirty-three feet. Four storeys high, the north-west corner contained a starving-pit prison. In 1602, the Place of Kilbirnie was broken into while the laird was away and his wife was at Greenock. John Crawfurd of Auchinbothe was arrested and tried, but found innocent of any wrong doing, having returned some of the stolen items to Lady Kilbirnie.
The second part of the structure was build about 1627 and has no significant defensive features, and connected to the old keep from the hall to a staircase in the newer section. 1 May 1757, the buildings were destroyed in a fire during renovations, and never rebuilt. At the time, the 19th Earl of Crawford; his infant daughter, Jean; and domestic help were able to escape without harm. The family then moved to the Kilbirnie Barony manse at first, but later settled at Bourtreehill House, near Irvine. Lady Crawford, was the eldest daughter and heiress of Robert Hamilton of Bourtreehill.
The Honourable Patrick Lindsay purchased the castle and estate of nearby Glengarnock in 1677 from Richard Cuninghame, last of the Cuninghames of Glengarnock line. In 1707, both baronies were united in the Barony of Kilbirnie, with the manor house of Kilbirnie as the principal seat.
Craufurd of Kilbirnie, Senior Cadet Branch
- Malcolm Craufurd of Greenock, fifth in descent from Sir John Craufurd of Craufurdjohn. He was granted a charter from James IV in 1499. He married the only daughter of Sir John Barclay of Kilbirnie and Craufurdjohn, Marjory Barclay. They had four sons and a daughter:
- Malcolm, who succeeded his father NOTE: At least one source skips this generation and names Robert as son of Malcolm Craufurd and Marjory Barclay.
- James Crawford, first of the Craufurds of Monock
- Thomas Crawford
- John Crawford
- Isabel Crawford, who married Sir Adam Cuninghame of Caprington.
- Malcolm Craufurd of Kilbirnie and Craufurdjohn married Marion Crichton, daughter of Robert, Lord Sanquhar. They had two sons:
- Robert, who succeeded his father NOTE: At least one source names Robert as son of Malcolm Craufurd and Marjory Barclay
- Robert Craufurd of Kilbirnie married Margaret Semple, daughter of Semple of Eliotson through a dispensation obtained from a representative of the Pope, as they were considered too closely related to be married in 1505. They had one son:
- Lawrence, who succeeded his father
- Lawrence Crawford of Kilbirnie exchanged the lands of Craufurdjohn with Sir James Hamilton of Fynart, in exchange for the lands of Drumry, in 1528. He married Helen Campbell, daughter of Sir Hugh Campbell of Loudoun. He died in 1541. They had six sons and two daughters:
- Hugh, who succeeded his father
- Thomas, progenitor of the Crawfords of Jordanhill
- Hugh Crawford of Kilbirnie, fought in the battle of Langside on 13 May 1568, on the side of Queen Mary. He married Margaret Colquhoun, daughter of Colquhoun of Luss. They had one son. He then married Elizabeth Barclay, daughter of Barclay of Ladyland. They had one son and a daughter. He died in 1576.
- Malcolm Craufurd of Kilbirnie, succeeded his father
- William Craufurd of Knightswood
- Marion Craufurd
- Malcolm Craufurd of Kilbirnie married Margaret Cuninghame, daughter of Cuninghame of Glengarnock. They had two sons and a daughter. He died in 1592 and was succeeded by his eldest son.
- John Craufurd of Kilbirnie married Margaret Blair, daughter of John Blair of that Ilk. They had three sons and two daughters.
- John Craufurd of Kilbirnie rebuilt and added on to the house at Kilbirnie in 1627. He married Lady Mary Cuninghame, daughter of the Earl of Glencairn. They had two sons and two daughters. He died in 1629 and was succeeded by his eldest son.
- Sir John Craufurd of Kilbirnie, knighted by King Charles I, fought in the Civil Wars. He married an unnamed daughter of Lord Burleigh. They had no children. Second, he married Magdalene, daughter of David, Lord Carnegie. They had two daughters. He died in 1661.
- Anne Craufurd
- Margaret Craufurd
Representation of this line fell to Cornelius Craufurd of Jordanhill, as male heir, but his youngest daughter, Margaret, inherited the estate of Kilbirnie. NOTE: George Crawford names Anne as wife of Patrick Lindsay.
- Margaret Craufurd married Patrick Lindsay, who assumed the name Craufurd of Kilbirnie upon their marriage. They had seven children. Both Margaret and her husband died suddenly of fever on 15 October 1680.
Their eldest son, John Craufurd of Kilbirnie, inherited the estate. In 1705, he was granted the title of Viscount Mount Craufurd, which he later had altered to Garnock. He married Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Bute. He died 25 Dec 1708. They had five sons:
- Patrick, who succeeded his father
- The Scots Peerage, pg 494
- History of the County of Ayr; Page 114
- Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire; pg 929
- Topographical Description of Ayrshire; pg 259 to 261
- Stemmata Craufordeania; Pg 3
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