Broun of Colstoun
Genealogical Notes - Ancient Scottish Families - Broun
With Index by David Marshall - Lochleven Place, Kinross 1884
Gentle Reader, This little privately printed brochure, as its title implies, is simply a collection of Genealogical notes, which we have chosen to prescribe in this form, in case, perchance, like many others of the same class, they might be “as water split on the ground, which cannot be gather up again”
The deductions which have been made may be taken at what they are worth, as constructions indeed, similar to those which the geologist builds up from the fossil fragments which he has dug from the ancient strata of the earth’s crust.
If this pursuit is also your indulgence, you may find, by help of the Index and Reference, information which may be of use to you. If so, and on your part you can give any to us, we shall in turn be only too grateful.
Introduction to the Notes.
The first conception of the enquiry, of which the following pages are the result, arose from a desire to prove the truth of an old tradition of my family, which had existed for the better part of three centuries — "That the lands of Finderlie, as a portion of a larger estate, had been held by them, in conjunction with a family of Shaw, long before the date of their acquisition by my great-great-grandfather in 1711." This has been fully corroborated by the discovery of the older Finderlie writs by Mr. David Marshall, F.S.A., Scot., in his search for materials for his forthcoming History of Kinross-shire.
The identification of my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather as the second son of Peter Broun of Finderlie is as yet, however, without that full documentary proof which is necessary to substantiate legally and with perfect precision my claim to represent the family of Broun of Sauchie in the male line, and I shall be grateful to anyone who can give me a clue to the original Charters of Sauchie or Balquharne.
Are the Brouns of Sauchie a branch of the Brouns of Cumber-Colstoun in Haddingtonshire? or of the Brouns of Colstoun and Otterstoun in Fife? or have all the three families the same origin? are the questions which we desire to have answered.
(Left)William Broun of Cumber-Colstoun, and his wife Margaret (her surname is not given), gets a Charter of Segarystane in 1433 (Colstoun Writs).
William Broun of Colstoun has a Charter to the lands of Malcomstoun, Quhitlaw, and Little Currie in 1395 (Robertson's Index of Missing Charters).
William Broun (undesigned) gets a Charter to half of Sauchie, half of Finderlie, half of Auchindrane, on the resignation of Margaret de Annand (his mother, perhaps,) in 1431, and again in 1439 to half of Gardenkeir, in which he is styled of Sauchie. He is alive in 1480, as in that year William is styled his son and heir.
On examination of the above it strikes one readily that the progress of Sauchie titles as given on the left side is both clear and unbroken, and that the former confusion of the Cumber-Colston pedigree has arisen from mixing with it the right hand, or Coustoun portion.
Coustoun, or as it is sometimes written Colstoun, Coustin, and Colstain, must be an entirely different place from Colstoun, or rather Cumber-Colstoun in Haddingtonshire, as we find from the Charters of the latter, there could not be a laird of that place of the name of William in 1476.
There are three hypothetical explanations possible —
(a) The one thrown out in my monograph* on Crawfurd's notice of Broun of Colstoun, viz., that the Coustoun and Otterstoun Brouns were a Fifeshire family, quite distinct from that of Cumber-Colstoun, and that the Sauchie Brouns were a branch of the latter family.
*This was written without the information we have drawn from Crawford's Notes of the Writs of Sauchie. I feel now inclined to recede from the first part of this hypothesis as under that fresh light untenable.
(b) That the William Broun of Colstoun, who got a Charter of Malcomstoun, &c., in 1395, was a different person, and of a different family from William Broun of Cumber-Colstoun, who had Segarystane in 1433.
That it was the former who married Margaret de Annand, and that it was his son, a second William, who had the Charter to Sauchie in 1431, and to Gardenkeir in 1439.
That the latter must have been alive in 1480, and had a son, a third William, who, during his father's lifetime is sometimes styled the son and heir of William Broun of Sauchie, sometimes as of Coustoun.
That this third William before he succeeded to Sauchie had two sons, Alexander and William.
Alexander Broun, the eldest, must have had Sauchie for a short time after 1500, but had from his father in 1476, then styled of Coustoun (his grandfather, William of Sauchie being still alive), the lands of Malcomstoun, &c., to which his great-grandfather had had a Charter in 1395.
That Alexander died in 1504. as his son, Alexander, after six years non-entry, in 1510, is served heir to his father, Alexander.
That in 1536 this last Alexander is succeeded by his son, John, who sold Sauchie to his cousin, James Shaw.
William, the second son, received from his father in 1486, Otterstoun, and previously (in 1480) Gardenkeir (to which his grandfather, the second William, had a Charter in (1439), and evidently, on his father's succession to Sauchie, also to the lands of Coustoun, since we find in 1500 William Broun of Sauchie [the father?] acts as bailie to William Broun of Colstoun [the son?] in the infeftment of Robert Colville, in the lands of Gardenkeir.
(Sauchie was next to Gardenkeir, whilst Coustoun and Otterstoun were many miles off—this may explain the act).
That this fourth William is the one mentioned in the "letters" found in the Cumber-Colstoun Charter Chest, as having sold in 1511 the lands of Gardenkeir.
(c) That the William Broun of Colstoun who had a Charter to Malcomstoun in 1395 is the same as the William Broun of Cumber-Colstoun who had a Charter to Segarystane in 1433, at which latter date he must have been an old man.
The Margaret of that Charter is the Margaret de Annand who resigned in 1431 in favour of her second son, William Broun, who then becomes of Sauchie, his elder brother being the John who succeeded to Cumber-Colstoun.
From this period the explanation as given in (b) will hold good.
The appearance of Margaret de Annand in all former pedigrees of the Cumber-Colstoun family, and the reference to Gardenkeir in the Colstoun Writs give a certain weight to this last hypothesis.
J. B. Brown-Morison
Murie House, Perthshire, 1884