Tinwald
The Dumfriesshire Companion
Haig Gordon

THEMES & PERSONALITIES

Introduction

Some Historical Background

The Border

From Westerkirk to Westminster Abbey -
Thomas Telford


Robert Burns - Doonhamer

The Sage of Ecclefechan - Thomas Carlyle

Hugh MacDiarmid and the Muckle Toon

Other Literary Figures

The Artists

Fame and Fortune

Other Pairs of Eyes

Tinwald

This tiny place overlooking Lochar Moss is dense with history and it begins with its name, which is Norse and, like the Isle of Man's Tynwald parliament, means 'place of assembly'. The motte on its south side is probably a natural hillock whose summit was levelled off for a now non-existent early-medieval castle.


The kirk was built in the 1760s, almost certainly on the site of its medieval predecessor. The north side of the kirk has the burial enclosure of the Charteris family of Amisfield.


The kirkyard has an interesting Covenanter gravestone. John Corbet was unusual among the anti-Episcopalian heroes of the seventeenth century in having apparently died of natural causes. In 1684 he was captured by government troops under the command of the notorious Claverhouse but, instead of being summarily executed, he was 'banished by the wicked counsell of Scotland' to East Jersey in north America. He returned home 1687 and died in 1706 at the age of 65.


To the south-east, Tinwald House was designed by William Adam and completed in 1740 for Charles Erskine, a lawyer who, when he became a judge in Edinburgh, took the title Lord Tinwald.
Erskine, a Stirlingshire man by birth, married a Dumfriesshire heiress and became the county's Member of Parliament in 1722.

In Edinburgh the handsome and elegant lawyer was well known for the breadth of his intellectual interests and he was a confidant of the atheist philosopher David Hume. Before his death in 1763 he had been obliged to sell Tinwald House to pay for the purchase of the family estate at Alva in Stirlingshire following his older brother's financial difficulties.


East of Tinwald, the farm of Skipmyre was the birthplace in 1658 of William Paterson, credited as one of the founders of the Bank of England.

PLACES

Ae
Amisfield
Annan
Auldgirth
Bankend
Beattock
Bentpath
Brydekirk
Canonbie
Carronbridge
Carrurtherstown
Chapelknowe
Clarencefield
Closeburn
Collin
Cummertrees
Dalswinton
Dalton
Dornock
Dumfries
Duncow
Dunscore
Durisdeer
Eaglesfield
Eastriggs
Ecclefechan
Eskdalemuir
Glencaple
Gretna
Hightae
Holywood
Johnstonebridge
Kettleholm
Kirkconnel
Kirkpatrick Fleming
Kirkton
Kirtlebridge
Langholm
Lochmaben
Lockerbie
Middlebie
Moffat
Moniaive
Mouswald
Newton Wamphray
Parkgate
Penpont
Powfoot
Ruthwell
Sanquhar
Templand
Thornhill
Tinwald
Torthorwald
Tynron
Wanlockhead
Waterbeck

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