Copy Extract Contract. Between

James Murray Esq and Messrs John, Thomas and William Birtwhistle

dated 16, regd 18 March 1785

1820 Compd W.S.

Engd in B. Chartulary  W.S.

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It is Contracted Agreed and finally ended, between the Parties following to witt, James Murray Esquire of Broughton on the one part, and John Birtwhistle Esquire of Skipton in Yorkshire the Revd. Mr Thomas Birtwhistle of Skirbeck in the County and diocese of Lincoln and William Birtwhistle Esq. of Balmae on the other part in manner and to the effect following, That is to say, Whereas the said John, Thomas, and William Birtwhistle have agreed to enter into a Copartnery, and to carry on a Cottan Manufactory at the Gatehouse of Fleet and for that purpose to erect Milns, and other buildings and Conveniencys necessary for the same upon that piece of ground which has been fixed upon and allotted therefor by the parties and which is bounded as follows vizt. by the Brewry buildings

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buildings and Garden at the foot yrof and thereto belonging, and from the Corner of the said Garden to the water of Fleet on the one side, by the Water of Fleet on the other side untill it comes to the ditch or hollow on the bank thereof being about two hundred and forty feet more or less along the side of the said Water of Fleet from the point where the line from the Brewry Garden dyke strikes the River untill it reaches the said ditch or hollow, and from thence in a streight line crossing at the corner of the feued Ground belonging to Thomas Gordon till it extends thirty three feet into the said feued Ground, and from thence in a streight line runing below the Ground feued to the Wine Company at the distance of twelve foot therefrom till it strikes the part of the Brewry

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buildings which is about twelve feet from the corner thereof, and for the encouragement of the said Messrs John Thomas and William Birtwhistles to erect the Milns, Buildings and other works necessary to Carry on the said Cottan Manufactory & for their Conveniency and accomodation theirin the said James Murray does hereby agree to and become bound for himself his heirs and Successors to the following particulars vizt. First to pay unto John Thomson in Boreland of Girthon the sum of Three hundred & twenty eight Pounds Sterling for making of the proper drift Cutts and Course for bringing away four feet of water from the Loch commonly called Lochwhiney below the ordinary State & level of the water of the said Loch and

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and carrying and conveying the same from the said Loch until it Strikes the Burn of Barlae at the Mill damn there and which is to be finished before Midsummer, old stile in the year  … and Eighty Six, so as the said Messrs John Thomas and William Birtwhistles may at all times have the Command and benefits of the water which will be thereby brought from the said Loch for the use and benefit of the Milns to be so erected by them, and for which Sum so to be expended & paid by the said James Murray in terms of the agreement with the said John Thomson, he shall have no claim upon the said John Thomas & William Birtwhistles for repetition, allowance or otheways except in the event of their failure to carry on the said Manufactury as herein

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herein after mentioned, and with liberty & full power to the said John Thomas & William Birtwhistles to lift the said water so to be brought from Lochwhiney to the said Burn of Barley at the said Miln damn & by proper Cutts to carry it, and such part of the water of Barlae as can be spared without rendering the Miln of Barlae useless or unable to work her thirl and that by the most convenient & proper line of direction to make it join the Connel Burn And also with full power and liberty to them to make such cutts & channels as are necessary by the most convenient communications to bring the following Burns and waters unto the said Conel burn for the further increase of the water therein, so as to afford & secure the more sufficient quantity of water for the use of the said Milns

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Milns, vizt, The Lochen springs the Strand of Drumwall and the Bush Strand coming from the Bush Moss; and likewise with Power and Liberty to the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles to colect all other Springs and waters adjacent to the said waters and cutts to be so made by them, so as to gather the same so far as may be necessary for their Milns to be conveyed in one channel or damn, from that part of the said Conel burn, where they all meet into the said Milns _ Secondly  to grant unto the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles a Feu Charter containing the usual & necessary Clauses, conveying the piece of ground above described, allotted for their Milns, Buildings and Conveniences to them their heirs and disponees for ever

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ever, to be held of the said James Murray his heirs and successors in Feufarm for payment of the yearly feu duty of five shillings Scots; and in the said Feu Charter to grant and convey unto the said John Thomas and William Birtwhistles a Servitude under the exceptions after mentioned giving them the full benefit, privilege and use of the waters in the said Loch burns and Springs & Strands so to be by them Collected, and brought unto the said Cutt or damn for the benefit of the Milns to be erected by them for the use of the said Manufactory, and with the privilege & power to them of making all such Repairs as they from time to time may find necessary, in the said Cutts, water courses and damns so to be made for bringing the water to the said Milns, and with free Ingress, Egress and access to and from the premises at

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at all times at the Pleasure of the said. John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles and their foresaids, But Excepting always from the said Servitude upon the said waters the use of as much of the water as may be sufficient for the use of the Milns of the Tanry and Brewry at Gatehouse for grinding their Bark & Malt, when those possessing the same have necessary occasion therefor for these purposes, and also as much of a run as may be necessary from time to time to supply the Tanpits in the Tanry with water, the same being used bona fide, and not emulously or maliciously or wantonly to incommode or injure the operations and business of the said John, Thomas and William Birtwhistles in their said Milns and Manufactory; And also excepting the use of the said waters so far as may be necessary for the Tenents and Inhabitants

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Inhabitants through whose possessions the same are to run, or be conducted for their families, Stocks and. possessions and for the use of the Miln of Barlae so far as the same can be had without Injury to the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles and their said Milns, and the said John Thomas & William Birtwhistles shall be bound to allow these Exceptions and to do nothing emulously maliciously or wantonly to disappoint the same or any part thereof in any manner of way.

Thirdly the said John, Thomas and William Birtwhistles shall be allowed free access Ingress & Egress at all times to and from their said Milns buildings & Conveniencies so to be erected and made by them upon the said piece of ground, and that by two roads, the one of them in a line from the road leading to the Bridge

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Bridge of Gatehouse along the ditch at the foot of the Brewry Garden till it strikes the said piece of Ground feued to them, and which shall not be less than twenty feet broad, and the other of which roads shall Communicate with that street which goes along the buildings & Garden feued out to the Wine Company at that part thereof which lies between the end of the said Garden; and the houses built by the said Thomas Gordon upon his feu, and which road shal1 be at least of he breadth of twenty four feet at the head of the said Thomas Gordons feu, and when it comes to the buildings to be so erected by the said John Thomas and William Birtwhistles shall be not less than forty four feet broad there; and whereas there is to be a space left between the Brewry buildings

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buildings and pertinents of at least twelve feet broad until it reaches the Garden head belonging to the Brewry which is to run parallel to the buildings between them and the buildings to be erected for the said Manufactory, so the same is to be left for the joint use and benefit of the Proprietors of the Brewry and the said John Thomas & William Birtwhistles, so as both parties may have access to and from the same at all times and use the same in such manner as the benefit and repairs of their said respective properties may render necessary; & Whereas there will also be a Space left between the under dyke of the said Garden feued out to the said Wine Company from the Corner of the Brewry buildings to the road which is to be made through the said Thomas Gordons feu and the buildings to be erected by the said

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said John, Thomas and William Birtwhistles of twelve feet width or thereby so it is hereby declared the same shall remain open as an area or passage for ever for the mutual benefit of the said John, Thomas and William Birtwhistles and the Proprietors of the said Brewry Company -  Fourthly Whereas the said James Murray intends to encourage the extension of the village of Gatehouse by granting Feu Rights of Ground Steads to those who incline to build houses upon the ground. not already feued, either in the front Street, back Street, or in any of the Cross Streets or in the two streets intended to be made across the field now called the Smiths field bounded on the one side by the road leading to the Water of Fleet, on another side by a ditch and dyke running from the said water to the road leading to Carstramond from the Gatehouse of

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of Fleet, and on the third side by the said road, and on the other side by the Street between it and John McCoskries feu. Therefore in case the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles shall at any time desire to feu out any Ground Steads for houses in any of the said Streets or field intended for Streets not then feued out, the said James Murray shall he bound to grant Feu Charters in their favours of such parts as they may require for building houses upon which house Steads & Ground for Gardens behind the same intended to be aloted thereto by the plan for extending the said village are to be held by them feu of the said James Murray & his foresaids for ever for payment of a feuduty of one Shilling Sterling yearly for each house stead the length of which in front does not exceed thirty feet, and for an additional penny Sterling

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Sterling of yearly feuduty for each foot above thirty, where the front of the house exceeds thirty feet in length; and upon such grounds as the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles may from time to time feu from the said James Murray or his foresaids, they shall be obliged to build houses to front the respective Streets and to have the same roofed and covered in, within the Space of two years from the date or dates of the respective Feu Charters and the said James Murray hereby becomes bound that from and after the date of this agreement that he will grant no Feu right of any part of the Ground so intended to be feued out for building upon at the said village without inserting a Clause in the Feu Charter, that the person in whose favour the same is granted shall forfeit the benefit thereof, and the same shall become null and void in case he does not build

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build on the premises & properly rooff and cover in such buildings within the Space of two years from the date of such Feurights, so as the said John Thomas and William Birtwhistles may thereafter have an opportunity to take Feus of such Grounds to build upon for the benefit of the persons to be employed by them in their said Manufactory if they shall so incline -   Fifthly  In order to insure the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles in sufficient quantity or Space of Ground to enable them to build such houses thereon as they may from time to time find necessary for the accommodation of them & those to be employed by them in or on account of the said Manufactory, the said James Murray obliges himself his heirs and Successors to feu out to the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles so much of the ground adjacent to and upon the

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the  right hand or upper side of the said road leading from the Gatehouse to Carstramond as Extends from the part thereof that is opposite to the said Street which bounds John McCoskries Feu unto the Hedge or dyke planted with thorns which is opposite to the end of the said field called the Smiths field and which hedge or dyke at present is the march between the farm possessed by James McKune in Gatehouse, and the farm possessed by the said. John McCoskrie and which measures in length along the said high road two hundred & forty yards or thereby and which is to extend in breadth from the said high road one hundred & fifty feet to hold the said land or Ground in Feu of the said James Murray and his foresaids for payment of the yearly Feuduty of three pence Sterling for each foot in length along the

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the said high way of the said Ground and for the said three pence Sterling of yearly feuduty to be paid for each foot in length they shall have right to the one hundred and. fifty feet in breadth so that when the whole of the premises shall be feued if the length measures exactly the space of two hundred and forty yards the feuduty payable yearly therefor will be the sum of nine Pounds Sterling; But declaring always that if the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles shall require a Feu Right to any part of the premises during the Subsistence of the Tack of the possession of the said James McKune in which it is Contained that they shall be obliged either to obtain the consent of the said James McKune or that the Effect of the Feuright shall be Suspended till the --- of the said Tack, and further that after the expiry of

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of the said Tack if they require any Feu Right to the whole or any part of what at any time may remain to be feued they shall either obtain the Consent of the Tenant to allow them instantly to enter into possession or their possession shall not commence till the first term of Whitsunday or Martinmas that shall happen twelve months after the date at which they shall require a feu right, and it is likewise declared that the said John Thomas & Wm. Birtwhistles shall be at liberty from time to time as they judge for their own advantage and convenience to feu out any part of the said Ground mentioned in this article and that they are to pay feu duty for what part or parts they actually feu only, and that from the date of the Feu right respectively, but they shall begin to build and feu at the end next to the Gatehouse and proceed regularly on and shall

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shall from time to time inclose what they feu properly, so as to prevent the adjacent ground from being laid open: Sixthly - The said James Murray grants liberty to the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles to cast clay for bricks, and to quarry and raise Stones for their buildings in the nearest & most Convenient places in such parts of his Estate as are not within the Boundaries of his Policy or lands granted in feu and with the use of reasonable & necessary roads for leading away the same to their buildings they being always bound to pay the reasonable damages that that shall thereby arise to the grounds as the same shall be ascertained by two neutral persons to be mutually chosen by the parties and in case of variance between them by any umpire or oversman they shall appoint whose award shall be conclusive and binding on all parties. For which Causes and on the other part, the said John Thomas

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Thomas & William Birtwhistles do hereby agree and become bound Conlly & Seally for themselves, their heirs and Successors to the following particulars vizt. First That they will with all convenient speed, build and erect the Milns and other buildings & Conveniencies necessary for carrying on their said Manufactory, and that in such Milns and buildings they will lay out and expend within twelve months from the date of these presents at least the sum of Five hundred Pounds Sterling, and that within the space of two years from the date of these presents they will lay out and expend thereon at least the further sum of Five hundred Pounds Sterling and that betwixt and the term of Whitsunday MiryC & Eighty seven years they will have their Milns, Buildings and Convenienceys so far finished that they can set their Manufactory of Spinning Cottan Twist or yarn fairly a going and that they will betwixt and that term, begin and bona fide carry on the

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the said Manufactory upon the premises.  Secondly in case the said John,Thomas and William Birtwhistles do not erect the said Milns & buildings and. lay out & Expend thereon at least one thousand pound Sterling within two years, and at or before the said term of Whitsunday MaryC and Eighty seven do not begin and bona fide carry on the said Cottan Manufactory, that then, and on their failure so to do they hereby oblige themselves immediately thereafterConll & Seally to pay unto the said James Murray the said sum of Three hundred and twenty eight pounds Sterling and Interest yrof from the respective terms at which he advances the same until payment thereof with one fifth part more of penalty and liquidate Expenses in case of not due payment. - Thirdly in case the said John, Thomas & William Birtwhistles shall feu out any ground for building upon in consequence of the fourth clause or article in the obligations abovewritten

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abovewritten incumbent upon the said James Murray, they oblige themselves that the fronts of the houses shall be placed in a uniform, and direct line upon the limits of the Streets where such feu or feus shall be granted, and in case such Feu is to the front Street the houses shall be built with Stone & Brick & Lime and not be of less height than two full and ordinary stories and the same shall be covered in with Sclate, and. the houses intended to be built upon the ground that they may from time to time so feu out for that purpose in Consequence of the said fourth Clause shall be completely built roofed and covered in within the Space of two years from the date of the respective Feu Rights to be granted by the said James Murray and failing thereof it shall be in the power of the said James Murray to render void the respective Feu Rights at any time thereafter if he shall incline so to do and a proper Clause to that Effect shall be insert in the Feu Charter

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Charter accordingly.    Fourthly. They oblige themselves to make and keep in good order and repair a ditch of proper depth and not 1ess than six feet wide from the Brewry Milns along the Brewry March down to the Water of Fleet so as to carry off the water and keep the premises dry and likewise to make and keep in proper Conditions and sufficient repair a road over the said ditch and along the Bank or side of the said Water of Fleet of sufficient width for passengers on foot and upon horseback to pass along at all times with Safety and ease, and to whom the same shall always be open thro’ the property above aloted and feued out for erecting the said Milns, Buildings & Conveniencies for the said Manufactory upon, and further they engage to cover over with a proper pen or arch the damn or Cutt to be made by them to bring the water to their Milns from the part where

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where it first touches the road and Street until it reaches their Milns so as to prevent danger or Injury either to the public or individuals, and that no Cutts or damns shall be Carried through any house now built.         Lastly the parties oblige themselves respectively and their heirs and Successors to grant all such further deeds and writings as they or either of them shall deem necessary for their further Security and for the more effectually carrying these presents and agreement therein contained into Execution whenever they shall be required so to do, and that these presents shall receive the most liberal Construction, and in case any doubt or difference arise between the Parties as to the meaning of these presents or any of the Clauses therein contained, the same shall be referred to the amicable determination of two neutral persons to be mutually Chosen who if they find necessary may chuse an oversman and the award to be pronounced shall be the rule and binding between the parties; And hereunto the Parties being agreed they

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they respectively bind and oblige themselves their Heirs and Successors to perform implement and fulfill their parts of this agreement as respectively incumbent upon them with honor and good faith to each other, according to the true intent and. meaning thereof, and that under the penalty of Five hundred Pounds Sterling to be paid by the party failing to the party observing or willing to observe & that over and above performance; And they Consent to the Registration hereof in the Books of Council and Session Stewart Court Books of Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court Books of Dumfries or others competent that on a Decreet thereof being interponed hereto, letters of Morning on six days charge and all other Execution in form as affairs may pass hereon and thereto they Constitute

Their Procurators &en          In Witness whereof these presents, consisting of this and the thirteen preceding pages of Stamped Paper with

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with one Marginal note on the Second page and one on the fourth page all wrote by John Bushby Sherriff Clerk of Dumfries are subscribed by the said parties at Cally the sixteenth day of March one thousand seven hundred and eighty five years before these Witnesses

James Davits Tanner in Gatehouse and John Thomson in Boreland of Girthon in whose presence the contract was read and. the terms thereof acquiesced in by them in so for as they are any way interested therein, and also before the said John Bushby and John O’Neal Servant to the said James Murray



John Thomson witness

James Davitts witness

John O’Neal witness

John Bushby



James Murray

John Birtwhistle


Wm Birtwhistle

            Registered in the Sheriff Court Books of DumfriesShire 18th March 1785.





It is likely that there were a number of separate copies made of the original document. Innes MacLeod may have transcribed a copy made in 1787 and that its hand-written length was 18 pages.

The transcription typed by Innes MacLeod ends as follows:-

Extracted upon this and twenty three preceding pages of stamped paper by me Depute Sheriff Clerk of Dumfries-shire

(signed)  Chas. Baird


So the original may have occupied 24 pages, the 1787 copy was 18 pages and the 1820 copy was 26 pages.