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HISTORY OF THE CLAN MOFFAT

From 900 A.D. to the present day

 

HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS

MOFFAT, PAST AND PRESENT

WITH SKETCHES OF THE MOFFAT DISTRICT, HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE

"The object of this little history is to work up into one narrative the various incidents and references respecting Moffat now scattered about in a number of publications"

By John Brown, editor of "Moffat Times" Published 1876

FAIRFOUL'S GUIDE TO MOFFAT

MOFFAT DISTRICT AND THE YARROW LOCHS

With charts and other illustrations
Second Edition published 1879

"The present edition is merely a reprint of the previous one, with such additions and alterations that have been rendered necessary to bring the matter down to the present date"

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE FAMILY OF MOFFAT OF THAT ILK

BY ROBERT MAXWELL MOFFAT M.D.

"Also passing notices of Moffat in France, Germany and Holland"

With the genealogies of various branches in Scotland, Ireland, and England, as existing at the present day
Published 1908

HISTORY OF MOFFAT

With frequent notices of Moffatdale and Annandale
By W. Robertson Turnbull 1871

"We commend this crude sketch of Moffat, as it was and is, to the lenient consideration of the parties interested in the subject, bidding it, in the words of Southey 'farewell'.

 

C.1094

William fitzRalph, of the retinue of the Earl of Chester, supports Duncan in his bid to become King of Scotland. William marries Viking heiress Gunhilda (also known as Colabella), and is awarded a large estate in Annandale. He adopts the surname in Latin of "de Monte Alto" (of the Great Hill"), which morphs into "Moffat" (also Mowat and Montealt) in English. The Monte Alto itself could well be the Great Hill near Corehead in upper Annandale, which overlooks and dominates the valley.

1268

Nicholas de Moffat was Bishop of Glasgow

1296

Robert and Thomas de Moffat paid homage to Edward 1st in "Ragmans Roll"

1297

Moffats helped William Wallace construct his 'big ditch deep enough to hide a man on horseback and paved with stones on the edge' between the Rivers Tweed and Yarrow

1300

Robert the Bruce, Lord of Annandale, granted four land charters in the Barony of Westkirk to the Moffats.  One of these was Adam Moffat of Knock

1314

Adam Moffat and his brother fought at the Battle of Bannockburn alongside many other members of Clan Moffat:  One fifth of the army was reputed to from our Clan

1336

Edward III, King of England, granted safe conduct to William de Moffete as ambassador of David the Bruce, son of Robert the Bruce

1337

Walter de Moffat, Archdeacon of Midlothian appointed ambassador to France

1342

Sir John Douglas, Lord Annandale, granted the feu of Granton and Reddings to Moffat

1347

Walter de Moffat was appointed Kings Messenger to England, France and the Marches

1569

'Ane of the Moffats of Powbudy to ly as pledge for the rest aye that gang on Sunday next at Dumfries under pane of two thowsand marks'

1570

Quhick Day: 'of the Moffetis of Bludewuse in Dumfries on Sunday next, under pane of two thousand marks, David Moffat of Hewykis interit pledge for himself, William Sym, Christie and his brother, their bairnes, tenents and servandis and also for the hail gang of Powbudy to be interghasit with Ane of the twa brother of the said David and James Moffat of Powbudy'

1570

Thomas Muffet publishes his discoveries on spiders, much to the consternation of his daughter, Patience (Little Miss Muffet)

1578

18th October: 'William Moffat, sone fo James Moffat of Powbudy to lye as pledge for guid order and quietness of the Borders' - Stirling Castle

1582

28th June: Johne Moffat and Robert Moffat fined £500 and bound over not to 'hold intercourse with declarit trators'

1583

8th May: David Moffat of Sybellsyde, Math Moffat of Woodend (called Daveschaw) charged and found guilty of fire raising, slaying and hocking of hors and oxin' - Holyrood

1583

27th August: Gilbert Hay of Monkstown complained that 'William Moffat of Arriestanes, Robert Moffat and his son their James Moffat of Meikleimside, James Moffat of Meikleholme, James Moffat of Carigholme, John Moffat and his sone William Moffat, James Moffet of the town of Moffet, Thomas Moffet, Gilbert Moffet his breather, James Moffat called "Scald James" and David Moffat of Altown came on 1st April to the town and lands of Nether Mynyeane owned by Gilbert Hay, and chaisit the haill holt & scheip and drownyng the maist part of thame in the waters of the Tweide, and took away guid and hail insichts'.  The Court denounced them as rebels

1583

25th November: Act of Forfeiture made against David Moffat of Sibbiehelfied and Mathew Moffat of Woodend and others for High Treason

1587

Moneypenny's Chronicle said there were 65 Lairds and Gentlemen living in Dumfrieshire and the stewartry of Kirkudbright and these included the Laird of Knock and the Gudemen of Granton and Beidesbek: three Moffats

1587

July: Scottish Parliament declared the Moffets to by 'an unruly clan of the Western Marches'

1590

10th June: 'Laird of Knock to find caution for the good behaviour of the Moffatts' - Holyrood

1593

William Moffat elected one of the Bailies of St. Andrew's - confirmed by the King

1594

Scottish Parliament states: 'Measures to be taken to suppress the lawless Moffats and other Border Clans'

1609

King James VI's Commission, looking into the lawlessness of the Borders, dispersed the main culprits: the Moffats, and sold their lands to the Johnstones.  After the Dispersement, only a few members of the family survived in Scotland and from these descended the principal families of Sundaywell, Lochurr and Stroqhan (about 15 miles NW of Dumfries) and the two at Edenhall and Harpertoun near Kelso in Roxburghshire

1628

Granton and Reddings (near Moffat) sold to the Johnstones to relieve overwhelming debts

1648

Robert Moffat (1619-1672) serves as a mercenary soldier for the King of Sweden. He marries Elisabeth Rutensköld and they have 12 children together. Robert had an adulterous affair with another woman, who poisoned her husband. She was executed, but Robert escaped when a plea for mercy to Queen Hedvig Eleonara by his wife was successful. Robert died whilst returning to Sweden by ship with a Birth Brief, that would have permitted his entry to the House of Nobles

1658

James and David Moffat moved from Granton to Crofthead

1685

The Covenant was an extreme form of Presbyterianism, in which individual person had a direct relationship to God. This was anathema to Charles II, who was Head of the Church of Scotland. Covenanters would hold meetings in open spaces, which were forbidden by the Authorities. John Graham, Marquis of Claverhouse, was appointed by the King to suppress Covenantism. Hartfell was a sheltered habitation of Covenanters in Moffatdale. William Moffat was a Preacher at such a Conventicle. At one such meeting, unarmed worshippers observed the approach of armed mounted dragoons, and could not escape. However, a miracle occurred. A mist descended, visibility reduced to zero, and the Covenanters were able to disperse unobserved

1696

Hedvig Beata Moffat (1688-1721) elopes to Norway with a married man Johan Hare, and has a child. He escapes with an admonishment, and a fine of 80 silver dalers. She is fined 40 silver dalers, and at the next Church Service must sit in the "Shaming Stool" to be chastised for her shameful behaviour by the Priest in front of the Congregation. She later married Pär Unger, and on his death re-married to Mårten Sterling, and had children by both

1743

Claude Moët discovers new style of champagne.  His descendant, Jean-Remy Moët teamed together with Pierre-Gabriel Chandon in 1832

1744

Garwald in Eskdalemuir leased by Moffats

1759

The last of the Moffats in Gardenholm (near Moffat) died

1777

John Moffat (b Dumfries, d 1777 Norfolk) drives cattle on drove roads from Dumfriesshire to fatten up and over-winter in Norfolk, as a staging post on their way to Smithfield Market in London. People in Norfolk however, pronounce the name as "Muffet", and the drovers who settled there, became Muffet for generations

1780

William Moffat (1737-1822), commands the ship Phoenix. He also commissions ships for the Honourable East India Company. Such was his wealth that , on his death, it took eight years to settle his affairs

1794

John Moffat, tenant of Garwald Farm in Eskdalemuir lost 410 sheep in the Great Storm of 25 January 1794. Sheep lost in the valley as a whole numbered nearly 3,500

1798

The Prince Regent meets no fewer than three Miss Moffats at a ball in London (Mary Elizabeth, b 1770, Margaret, b 1776 and Elizabeth Jemima, b 1782) together with their brother William Moffat (1774-1850), also a Naval Commander in the service of the East India Company

1805

Christina Margareta Moffat (1749-1812) submits a claim for a Swedish pension, enclosing a copy of the Birth Brief of Robert Moffat as supporting evidence

1817

Thomas Moffat (1789-1871), crofter and fisherman, Shetland Islands, marries Agnes Sinclair. Son of Arthur Moffat (b 1760), has family of 11 children, the eldest of whom is Arthur Moffat (1818-1885), all of whom are engaged in crofting and fishing

1817

Craick in Borthwick Water leased by Moffats

1819

Robert Moffat (1795-1883) initiates his missionary work in Africa. He married Mary Smith of Dukinfield, Lancashire, in Cape Town in 1819. They had 10 children, many of whom are famous names in South Africa. Known colloquially as "Moshete". He founded the mission at Kuruman, north-west Cape Colony in 1825. Translated the New Testament into the Sechwana language in 1839

1836

John Moffat (1812-1842) opens ships chandlery business in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

1826

John Moffett elected Mayor of Kendal, Westmorland

1839

Birth of Thomas Moffat (1839-1896), shepherd in Glenelg, western Ross & Cromarty. The Highland Clearances had destroyed a way of life for Crofters, but gave opportunities for experienced shepherds, of which Scottish Borderers were not slow to take advantage. Thomas' father, also Thomas Moffat (1809-1873), moved there from Dumfriesshire in 1836

1841

A considerable number of Moffat families worked as tin miners in Cornwall. For example, John Moffatt, b 1791, in St Mewan, Cornwall, and his eldest son , also John, 14 years old and already a tin miner. When the mining industry in Cornwall petered out, most Moffats emigrated abroad, to the US or Australia, where the mining industry continued to thrive

1842

Janet Moffat, aged 12, gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the situation of Children working in the mines. Janet is a coal putter in New Craighall Colliery, Inveresk, working underground from 6 in the morning until 6 at night. Alternate weeks she worked in the night shift, descending at night, returning at 5 or 6 in the morning. The place of work was very wet, and covered her shoe tops. Janet can read, knows her Scripture, and can sign her name, albeit indifferently

1843

Phillippe Muffet (1781-1844), his wife Anne, and their 9 children,  participate in the first French colonisation of Algeria

1844

John Moffatt (1805-1844) Served 12 years as Gamekeeper to the Marquess of Normanby during which time he was esteemed and beloved by all his neighbours. He was murdered in Mulgrave woods, Northumberland, on the night of the 29th January 1844, whilst in the faithful discharge of his duty

1845

David Livingstone (1813-1873) marries Mary Moffat (1821-1862) at the Kuruman Mission of Robert Moffat. Mary dies 1862 of malaria in Mozambique, whilst accompanying her husband in an expedition into central Africa

1851

Albany Featherstonehaugh Moffatt (1821-1859), Lead miner in Alston, Cumberland, as were many other Moffatts at this period. When the mining effort petered out, most moved to Newcastle in the ship-building industry

1853

John Moffat (1819-1894) opens his photographic business in Nicholson Square, Edinburgh, moving 4 years later to premises in Princes Street. Such was his skill, expertise and fame that he photographed the rich and famous, not least royalty, until his death in 1894

1856

Robert Moffat (17985-1860) of Barnamaghery, County Down, accidentally kills his newly married son, William Moffat (1819-1856). Many of the family afterwards emigrate to New Zealand

1857

William Moffett (1840-1893), having completed military training at Sandhurst, is posted to Grahamstown, South Africa. He had a diverse family, yet died intestate. Legal bickering between the heirs led to the entire fortune being swallowed up in legal fees

1860

John Shanks Moffat (1825-1886) becomes Governor General of St Lucia

1864

Surgeon-Major Andrew Moffitt (1838-1882) serves with General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (later of Khartoum) at the siege of Peking, in the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion on behalf of the Emperor of China. Andrew Moffitt later  married the general's sister, Helen Gordon, in 1868

1868

Henry Moffatt (1846-1937) starts his Butchers shop in Kingsholm, Gloucester, partly supplying his meat from his own farms, and adding his own slaughterhouse. President of the Gloucester Master Butchers Association, 1928

1906

End of the 600 years of tenancy of Midknock by Moffats

1911

William Moffat (son of Francis Moffat) bought Hawkshaw in Tweedsmuir

1920

Francis Moffat bought Craigbeck and Garrowgill

1935

William Moffat bought Fingland

1937

Francis Moffat died

1948

William Moffat died

1950

Garwald lease given up

1983

Francis Moffat confirmed as Clan Chief by Lord Lyon, King of Arms

1992

Francis Moffat died.  Daughter assumed position as Clan Chief: Madam Jean Moffat of that Ilk