Sunday, May 23, 2010

Earliest records of Hughans in Kirkcudbright.

I have sadly neglected this blog at the expense of my specific Hughan line, but the past week has been spent gathering up every Hughan record that I have accumulated over the years, and trying to assemble them in some sort of order. Because of the missing Kirkmabreck parish records around the middle of the 18th century I will never be able to link families with 100% accuracy or certainty, but there is no doubt in the world that the families of Huchan/ Heuchan/Heughan/Heuchane and the most recent variation of Hughan who were born and lived in Kirkmabreck parish and surrounds were all related.
The earliest records that I have found concern two Heuchanes in Kirkcudbright in the late 1500s....
MATHEW HEUCHANE: burgess of Kirkcudbright, 27 October 1593.
MARTIN HEUCHANE: in Half-Markland, parish of Kirkcudbright, 6 February 1597-98.
From: Commissariat Record of Edinburgh, Register of testaments part 1, 1514-1600.

From 'Early Documents,1575-1599:
" 352. Herbert and John Mulligane in Clios, May 5, 1597: Kirkcudbright. testament of Martin Heuchane in Half Markland in the Parish of Kirkcudbright who died in May 1597, given up by himself on May 5 in the presence of Andrew Heuchane, Robert McCaine, John Crawford all burgesses of Kirkcudbright and William Heuchane brother of the defunct. There is the usual inventory of crops and stock..."

It is not surprising to find Heuchans on the list of 17th Century Covenanters, as Galloway/Kirkcudbright were very strong in their support of the Presbyterian faith during the religious turmoil of the time.Very briefly, a Covenanter was a Scottish Presbyterian who supported either of two agreements - the National Covenant of 1638 or the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643- intended to defend and extend Presbyterianism. The Covenanters protest was against the religious policies of Charles 1, who wanted to set up a Scottish Church with Bishops and a similar structure to the Church of England. The Covenanters were steadfast in their Presbyterian beliefs and refused to take an oath unto the King stating that he was the head of the church. They believed that Christ was the Head of the Church and their loyalty to this belief allowed them to sacrifice their lives for it. The Royalists and Dragoons, who were seeking to bring them into obedience to the King, relentlessly pursued the Covenanters across the country.

Major McCulloch of Barholm, Kirkmabreck parish, was martyred for his religious beliefs.In 1662 he was fined eight hundred pounds by Middleton's Parliament for his non-conformity. Soldiers were quartered on his estate for thirty days at a time, during which period he not only had to feed them but also pay them! He was taken prisoner while fighting at the Battle of Pentland, and the Privy Council ordained that his head and right hand be cut off. His head was to be stuck up in the market cross of Kirkcudbright, and his hand taken to Ayr or Lanark because that was where the Covenant was renewed with'uplifted hands'.But McCulloch's corpse was spared that final indignity. On the evening of the execution he was laid to rest in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh where his epitaph reads: "Major John McKoolo, west countryman, executed."
After his execution, McCulloch's son was seized and kept imprisoned for a year, and the Barholm estate was forfeited(although it was reinstated after the Revolution).
The 'New Statistical Account of Scotland- Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Wigton' published in 1845 contains a snippet connecting the Hughans with the McCullochs of Barholm:
"...And it is a singular fact, which I state on the authority of the present Mr. McCulloch of Barholm, that John Knox had his hiding place in the old tower of Barholm for some time previous to his escape to the continent.
This circumstance Mr. McCulloch learned from an old man of the name of Andrew Hughan, who was running footman to Mr. McCulloch's great-great grandfather, and who said that he recollected John Knox's signature on the wall of the small arched apartment or bed-room at the head of the staircase."
This event supposedly occurred in 1566.

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