The  last up date to this page and the Stewarts of Dunduff, was on MArch 17, 2013  


Research has determined that the Dunudff Lairds are descended from Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies. Updates to follow.  



               William Stewart,  Laird of Dunduff


William Stewart 2nd Laird of Dunduff, born circa 1520.  First notice of William is in a charter by the abbot of Crosraguel on February 1, 1547 where he is listed as "William lord Dunduff Younger of that Ilk."  He is witness to the discharge by Quintin Kennedy abbot of Crosraguel to the earl of Cassillis of all the goods of William’s 1st cousin once removed, the late Abbott William Kennedy.  And in the year 1552 he inherits Dunduff by instrument of sasine. 

William’s name appears in the list of assize at a criminal trial in 1558.  The following year William Stewart 2nd Laird of Dunduff had a crown charter of the lands of Mekill Sallathane from Queen Mary August 29, 1559.  William married Elizabeth Corry daughter of George Corry of Kelwood & Thomaston Castle.  William died before February 29, 1580.


He was the father of…

I.           Matthew Stewart 3rd Laird of Dunduff born about 1560 died before 1609.  Had issue, see below.

II.         George Stewart, Murdered by John Glendoning of Drumrasche on September 21st, 1601.

III.    Thomas Stewart

Source Citation: William Stewart 2 laird of Dunduff

Charter by the abbot of Crosraguel on February 1, 1547

Crown charter of the lands of Mekill Sallathane: from Queen Mary August 29, 1559.

Stewart Clan Magazine, Tome H, page 141, 142, 143



                            RestoredDunduff Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland



                    Mathew Stewart Laird of Dunduff


Mathew Stewart Laird of Dunduff, born about 1560 in Dunduff Castle, parish of Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland.  Matthew first appears in a criminal trial in the records of the court of Justiciary, on February 15, 1597. Mathew Dunduff of that ilk, who had become surety for the appearance of those charged with waylaying Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean with intent to murder him, appeared at the bar, and was amerciated in 900 merks for the non-appearance of the other conspirators. This included John Mure of Auchendrane, John Mure, son to Quintin Mure, in Carcloy, and three others of less degree, Criminal Trials of Scotland.


Matthew was kept a while in ward at the castle in Edinburgh, but was released on finding security to pay thousand merks for his share in the outrage, and the fine that had been imposed on him for the absence of his fellow conspirators, for whom he had been accepted as surety.  The rest were declared outlaws. 

The events that led to this trial started a generation before. It begins with the heinous treatment of Alan Stewart, Commendator of the Abbey of Crosraguel by Gilbert Kennedy, earl of Cassillis. The Office of Commendator was created on secularization the church property at the Scottish reformation and was held by layman appointed by the crown. 

Gilbert had obtained this appointment from his uncle, Quintin Kennedy, the last abbot of Crosraguel; this appointment was not confirmed by the king, who appointed Alan Stewart who was descended from the Stewart’s of Cardonald.  Gilbert who was called the king of Carrick, did not take this well.  Trying first to persuade Alan Stewart by friendly means, the surrender of the abbey lands and having failed.  He devised the cruel insidious plan of a blood curdling sort.

Here with all its horrible reality, in Alan Stewart’s own words as set forth in his supplication to the Privy Council.  In August of the year 1571 Alan was prevailed on to visit Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis, and conveyed him, partly against his will, to the lonely castle of Dunure, the ruins of which today lay about a mile from Dunduff Castle.  He was treated kindly at first, but as his arms and servants were removed from him, he began to have reason to worry. 

Gilbert conveyed Alan into a private chamber, known as the black vault of Dunure.  In the chamber was a large iron grate, beneath which was a fire of charcoal.  “And now my lord abbot” said Gilbert “you’ll be pleased to sign these deeds!” laying before Alan leases and other papers, transferring the whole the lands of the abbot of Crosraguel to Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis.  Alan refused, Gilbert ordered and him seized and stripped of his clothing. Alan was forcibly stretched on the iron grate, where he lay scorched by the fire underneath, while they basted him with oil, the way a cook would baste meat in an oven.  Allen cried pitifully, begging that they would put him to instant death, rather than subject him to this lingering Misery, and offered his purse, with the money in it, to any who would in mercy shoot him through the head.

When roasted to the bone and near death, he was obliged and promised to sign anything Gilbert requested.  This took place on September 1, 1570 the letters and leases being presented to him, he signed with his half roasted hand.  Gilbert exclaimed the whole while, “Benedictine!  You are the most obstinate man I ever saw, to oblige me to use you thus.  I never thought to have treated anyone as your stubbornness has made me treat you.”

The Privy Council could not refused to administer justice in such a heinous case, and Gilbert was punished by being ordered to find security or 2000£ Scots.  And to keep peace towards the half roasted Commendator who afterwards was crippled for life.  It may seem that Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis got off cheap for his crime, though there was retribution to come, though not for him, for he died five years later, before events had developed themselves.

Certain powerful Laird’s of the Kennedy Clan were disgusted with their chief’s brutality.  Thomas Kennedy Laird of Bargany, who espoused Alan’s cause, stormed the castle of Dunure for the purpose of his liberation, and took Alan as burnt as he was to Ayr.  Thereupon broke out of feud between the two branches of the Kennedys, bloody and long continued.

Bargany had such a strong force of his own in Carrick, besides a contingent of his friends from Kyle and Cunningham; this gave him the ability to defy his chief.  And eventually Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis consented to allow Alan a handsome pension for life.  Gilbert came to a violent death not long after, while riding in Edinburgh his horse fell, and he died of his injuries.  He left lord Glamis, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, as guardian to his son and heir John Kennedy 5th Earl of Cassillis.

And here in was a matter for rekindling the flames of the feud. For the uncle of the young Earl, Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean, brother of the late Gilbert Kennedy took grievous offense at not being appointed guardian.  There was good cause as to why he was not chosen.  Some years before Sir Thomas had brought a company of men under the cover of darkness and attacked and then shot at the house of Dunure, intending that this would be perceived as an assault by the Laird of Carse, with who his Brother Gilbert was feuding.  Gilbert however, was informed that his own brother had done this with the intention to cause Gilbert’s wife to miscarry, in order that he would succeed to the earldom of Carrick.

Upon lord Glamis’s arrival to take up his duties as guardian of the young John Kennedy, he found the Laird’s of Culzean and Bargany in arms against him.  Upon having to attend a convention of peers at Stirling, lord Glamis was killed by the earl of Crawford’s men, it is alleged the shot came from the Laird of Bargany’s stair. Sir Thomas Kennedy immediately assumed authority over the ward, John Kennedy, Earl of Cassillis.  A dispute over land now broke out between the Lairds of Bargany and Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean.

 In order to obtain a better understanding it is necessary to list the chief combatants of this feud.

On the Earl’s side

John Kennedy, 5th Earl of Cassillis

 Sir Thomas Kennedy, of Culzean

Baird, Laird of Pilquhenzie

Cunningham, Laird of Pochquharne.

McIwean, Laird of Gremmat.


On the Masters side

Hew, master of Cassillis, the earl’s brother.

Kennedy, Laird of Bargany.

Thomas Kennedy of Drummurchie laird of Bargany’s brother.

Kennedy, Laird of Gervanmains.

Kennedy, Laid of Blairquhan.

Kenneday, Laird of Bennan.

Kenneday, Laird of Knockdaw.

Mure, Laird of Cloncaird

Mure, Laird of Auchendrane.

Stewart, Lord Ochiltree.

Stewart, Laird of Dunduff

Cathcart, Laird of Carleton.


The old Laird of Bargany died just as the war was breaking out.

On New Year’s Day, 1597 John Mure of Auchendrane and Mathew Stewart of Dunduff led their followers to attack Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean as he was leaving Sir Thomas Nesbitt’s house, where he had dinned that evening.  Armed with hagbuts and pistols, they secreted themselves in the yard of Sir Thomas Nesbitt, which was adjacent to Sir Thomas Kennedy’s house in Maybole, Ayrshire. As Sir Thomas was coming through the yard they discharged eight shots of hagbuts and pistols, these all missed.  Sir Thomas fled and was pursued for some distance, but he escaped.  Sir Thomas prosecuted his assailants and gained possession of Auchendrane tower and had it dismantled.

John Mure of Auchendrane became a security for the appearance of Alexander Kennedy, son to Hugh Kennedy, David Mure, servant to the Laird of Bargany and Mathew’s son John Stewart, neither did any of these answer to the summons, and all “were adjudged to be denounced our sovereign lord’s rebels and put to his highness’ horn” all of their movable goods and gear to be “escheat “or forfeited to the crown.

A better understanding of Mathew’s involvement in these matters is achieved, when one looks closer at the family relations.  His great grandfather Sir Andrew Stewart lord Avondale had married Margaret Kennedy daughter of Lord John Kennedy, he was the father of David Kennedy 1st earl of Cassillis, and Mathew’s grand uncle, and the 1st earl of Cassillis was the father of William Kennedy abbot Crosreguel, as well as Thomas Kennedy of Coiff who married Catherine Corry, Mathew’s Aunt.  His Great-Grand Aunt Catherine Kennedy, his Great-Grandmother Margaret’s sister, had married Thomas Kennedy of Bargany. And John Mure of Auchendrane was the son in-law of Thomas Kennedy of Bargany. When the feud started over the roasting of Alan, the lines were draw as to which side of the feud Mathew would be on. After all, it was his Great-Grand Uncle Thomas Kennedy of Bargany, who liberated Alan Stewart Commendator of Crosraguel from the black vault of Denure.

Mathew inherits the lands of McKnairstown by Sasine, from the Estate of Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar who had married his 1st cousin once removed, Catherine Kennedy daughter of David Kennedy, 1st Earl of Cassillis. Preserved in the Records of the Burgh of Prestwik, in the Sheriffdom of Ayr, is found the following information.

 Robert Campbell as procurator for Agnes Hamilton, lady Caprintown, Isobell Hamilton lady Seyton, Margaret Hamilton, lady Adamtown, daughters of the deceased Sir William Hamilton of SanquHaire Knight, David Crawford of Kers, son and heir of the deceased Katherine Hamilton, lady Kers his mother, daughter also to the said deceased Sir William, William Cunningham of Caprintown spouse to the said Agnes, George, lord Seyton spouse to the said Isobell for their interests; and likewise for John Davidson now of Grenane, son and heir of Thomas Davidson of Grenane, Thomas, tutor of Cassillis and John Kennedy of Pennyglen his curators for their interests; and for Hugh Wallace sometime of Newtown special consideration for their letter of procuratory to the effect underwritten the same at length, resign in the hands of Robert Cambell  and of the Ballies of the borough of Ayr, as in the hands of the provost Ballies and community of the same, superiors of the lands underwritten, all hail xxs land of McKnairstown with the pertinents land within the borough field of Ayr and sheriffdom of the same, in favor of Matthew Dunduff alias Stewart now of Dunduff, as son and heir of the deceased William Dunduff alias Stewart his father for a new sasine to be given to him and his heirs thereof conform to the said procuratory of resignation in all points.

Matthew Stewart Laird of Dunduff died January 24, 1609. He married Barbara sometime before 1580.


He was the father of…

I.               William Stewart Laird of Dunduff, had issue, see below.

II.          John Stewart Born circa 1581 was put to the horn (declared an outlaw). He Married Anne Gore daughter of Sir Paul Gore, 1st Baronet,  M.P. of Magherabegg (or Manor Gore) County Donegal.

        III.   George Stewart

        IV.   Anthony Stewart had issue.


Source Citation: Mathew Stewart Laird of Dunduff

Criminal trials of Scotland.

Records of the Burgh of Prestwik

Mason’s Notes

Stewart Clan Magazine, Tome H, page 142, 143




   William Stewart Laird of Dunduff, of Mountstewart, Co, Donegal, Ireland.


William Stewart Laird of Dunduff was born circa 1580.  William applied for land in Ulster, during plantation period Under King James I of England, Scotland and Ireland.  He was granted 1000 acres in county Donegal known as, Coolaghy, barony of Raphoe A.K.A.  Mount Stewart with Lord Ochiltree as his surety.  Mount Stewart was also known as Fort Dunduff county Donegal. Captian Nicholas Pynnar's Survey, 1618 A.D. of the land grants given in 1608, Barony of Raphoe.

Grant to William Stewart Laird of Dunduff, undertaker, the small portion of Cooleaghy, containing Drombarnagh, one quarter; Killbarry, one quarter; Moneymore, one quarter; Dromallis, 1/3 of Quarter; Menclout it, one quarter; Dromogell, one Quarter; Moydoohy, one quarter;  in all 1,000 acres. Cooleaghy, 1/3 quarter, containing 60 acres, is excerpted from this grant.  Rent, 5£ 6s od.  The premises are created the Manor of cooleaghy, with 300 acres in demesne, and a court baron.  To hold forever, as of the castle of Dublin, in common socage.  August 29, 1610

William’s brother John went to this land in the summer of 1610, and return to Scotland leaving a servant to keep his stock on the land, being two mares and 30 head of cattle young and old. 

In the muster role of the county of Donegal taken in the year 1630 can be found the information that William Stewart Laird of Dunduff, undertaker of 1000 acres, his men and armies.  Swords and pikes, 2 men, swords and muskets, 8 men, swords and snaphances, 17 men, swords only, 16 men, and 18 un-armed men.

In 1629 William obtained a grant from the crown of the lands of Cooleaghy, in the barony of Raphoe, county Donegal, which he formally held as undertaker.  These premises were, according to the terms of the grant, to be constituted into a Manor, to be called the Manor of Mount-Stewart,  with power to create tenures, to hold 400 acres in demesne, to appoint court baron and court leet, to claim waifs and strays, and to impark 300 acres.

(Not to be confused with Sir William Stewart servitor, who had been granted 1,000, acres as a servitor, Kilmacrenan barony of Donegal in 1610, and this property was erected into the Manor of Stewart's Fort. this William was Made 1st Baronet  of Ramelton in the County of Donegal May 2, 1623, he is the Ancestor of Sir William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy. History has confused these two men one with the other, many times.)

Information taken from Morrin’s calendar, Charles I., Pages, 298, 454, 476, 538, 588. The Montgomery Manuscripts page, 94

Mount-Stewart later passes to the family of the countess of Wicklow, Alice Forward, this information contained within the Wicklow Papers, National Library of Ireland.

William was retoured heir to his father January 24, 1609.  He married firstly Lady Margaret Maxwell, widow of John Wallace, younger of Craigie, county Ayr and daughter of John 8th lord Maxwell sometime earl of Morton, he is said to have daughter by her named Barbara.  He married secondly Jane Stewart who he referred to as his Beloved wife and had 8 children by her.  

Last will and testament of  William Stewart, of Mount Stewart, County Donegal. Dated October 4, 1637, MS 38,615/13, Wicklow Papers, National Library of Ireland.


        He was the father of by Margaret Maxwell...


        I.      Barbara Stewart, married John Stewart of Ballylawn, living 1662 


He was father of by Jean Stewart...

I.      Major John Stewart b. About 1627 married Jean Stewart daughter

        Archibald Stewart of Ballintoy. Served under the Duke of Hamilton at

        the battle of Preston in 1648. Died about 1666 had issue.

II.     Capt. William Stewart 

III.    James Stewart 

IV.    Robert Stewart.

VI.    Margaret Stewart, married Anthony Kennedy in 1643.

VII.   Ann (Nanny) Stewart

VIII.  Agnes Stewart.


Source Citation: Sir William Stewart laird of Dunduff Baronet Mountstewart

Wicklow Papers, National Library, Ireland.

Captain Nicholas Pynnar's Survey, 1618 A.D. of the land grants given in 1608, Barony of Raphoe.

The Montgomery Manuscripts page, 94

The Stewart Society Edinburgh, Scotland.

Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland,

 By Ireland Chancery, James Morrin, Ireland: Page, 298, 454, 455, 476, 538, 588.

Stewart Clan Magazine, Tome H, page 145, 146

The Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britian & Ireland, By John Debrett, page 764





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