|Blervie Tower: the surviving element of the first house on the estate.|
Image: Anne Burgess. Licenced under a Creative Commons licence.
|Blervie House (now Blervie Mains)|
|Blervie House: hall and staircase in 2012|
|Blervie House: drawing room in 2012|
Inside, there is a spacious but austere interior with simple moulded cornices, window shutters and door frames. The central vaulted top lit stairhall has an arcaded screen supported by paired Roman Doric columns and a wooden staircase with balusters and a wide moulded handrail. The drawing room has a simple chimneypiece at each end with the mantel shelf supported by paired slender columns, and sliding doors to divide the room. At the end of a long driveway are a pair of gatepiers, probably of 1776 and moved to their present site from Blervie Mains House.
Ainslie, Robert (1734-95), of Berrywell House, Duns (Berwicks). Second son of Robert Ainslie (1683-1762) and his wife Magdeline, daughter of Gilbert Elliot of Stonedge, born 8 January 1734. Writer to the signet; land agent to Lord Douglas in Berwickshire. He married, 20 March 1765, Katherine (d. 1803), daughter of John Whitelaw of Whitelaw, and had issue:
(1) Robert Ainslie (1766-1838) of Darnchester (Berwicks) and Edinburgh, born 13 January 1766; friend of the poet Burns and accompanied him on a tour of Teviotdale and Berwickshire, 1787; writer to the signet, 1798; in later life an elder of the Church of Scotland, he published two devotional works and a defence of the Scottish system of banking; m.1, 3 January 1799, Jane (1781-1817), daughter of Lt. Col. James Cunninghame of Balbougie and had issue; and m.2 18 October 1837, Isabella (1789/90-1862), daughter of Rev. Robert Munro of Ullapool; died 11 April 1838;
(2) Sir Whitelaw Ainslie (1767-1837) (q.v.);
(3) Rachel Ainslie (1768-69), born 19 March 1768; died in infancy, 14 November 1769;
(4) Douglas Ainslie (b. & d. 1769), born 23 October 1769; died in infancy;
(5) Douglas Ainslie (1771-1850) (q.v.);
(6) James Ainslie (b. 1772); served in Royal Scots Greys at Battle of Waterloo, 1815, but later emigrated to Australia where he established a settlement at Duntroon; lived with an aboriginal woman by whom he had a daughter (Nanny); returned to Scotland, 1835;
(6) Rachel Ainslie (d. 1828), admired by the poet Burns; died unmarried, 14 December 1828.
He owned a small estate at Darnchester in Berwickshire, but moved to Duns to act as land agent to Lord Douglas.
He died 10 April 1795. His widow died 18 December 1803.
Ainslie, Douglas (1771-1850), of Delgatie Castle. Fourth son of Robert Ainslie (1734-95) and his wife Katherine, daughter of John Whitelaw of Whitelaw, born 6 May 1771. Land agent in Berwickshire in succession to his father. He was unmarried and without issue.
In 1843 he purchased the Delgatie (Aberdeenshire) and Blervie (Morayshire) estates and he bequeathed these to his niece, Jane Catherine Grant-Duff (q.v.).
He died 19 August 1850, aged 79.
Ainslie, Sir Whitelaw (1767-1837), kt. Second son of Robert Ainslie (1734-95) and his wife Katherine, daughter of John Whitelaw of Whitelaw, born 17 February 1767. After qualifying as a surgeon he joined the East India Company's service as an assistant surgeon in 1788 and was appointed garrison surgeon at Chingleput; promoted to surgeon, 1784 and superintendent surgeon, 1810; retired 1815 with a gratuity of 600 guineas from the company, and returned to Scotland, where he devoted himself to writing on medicine and the history of India. His major work was published as the Materia medica of Hindustan, 1813 and expanded to the Materia medica Indica, 1826, and was the first full-length study of Indian medicines to appear in English. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1829 and was knighted by King William IV, 10 June 1835. He married Janet Mary (1780-1840), daughter of Lt. Col. James Cunninghame of Balbougie (the sister of his older brother's wife) and had issue:
(1) Jane Catherine Ainslie (later Grant-Duff) (1801-66) (q.v.).
He died 29 April 1837. His widow died 27 March 1840.
Grant-Duff (née Ainslie), Jane Catherine (1801-66), of Delgatie Castle. Only child of Sir Whitelaw Ainslie (1767-1837) and his wife Janet Mary, daughter of Lt. Col. James Cunninghame of Balbougie, born 1801. She married, 1827, James Cunninghame Grant-Duff (1789-1858) of Eden and had issue:
(1) James Grant-Duff, died in infancy;
(2) Mary Cunninghame Grant-Duff (1828-45), died unmarried;
(3) Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant-Duff (1829-1906) of Eden, CIE, GCSI; educated at Edinburgh Academy, Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1847; BA 1850; MA 1853) and Inner Temple (called to the bar, 1854); MP for Elgin Burghs, 1857-81; Under-Secretary for India, 1868-74; Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 1880-81; Governor of Madras, 1881-86; sold the Eden estate, 1875 and lived at York House, Twickenham, 1875-96 and later on a small estate near Colchester (Essex); Rector of Aberdeen University, 1866-72; President of Royal Geographical Society, 1889-92 and of the Royal Historical Society, 1892-99; trustee of British Museum, 1903-06; m. April 1859 Anna Julia (d. 1915), daughter of Edward Webster and his wife Hannah Ainsworth [see post 65 on Ainsworths of Smithills Hall], and had issue five sons and five daughters; died in London, January 1906;
(4) Margaret Grant-Duff (1833-35)
(5) Ainslie Douglas Grant-Duff (later Ainslie) (1838-1929) (q.v.)
(6) Alice Jane Grant-Duff (d. 1891), m. 1859 in Switzerland, Dr. Gaspar Obrist of Zurich and had issue two sons.
She inherited the Delgatie Castle and Blervie House estates from her uncle, Douglas Ainslie, in 1850, on condition that her second son took the name of Ainslie and named his eldest son Douglas.
She died 1 May 1866. Her husband died 23 September 1858.
Ainslie (né Grant-Duff), Ainslie Douglas (1838-1929), of Delgatie Castle. Second son of James Cunninghame Grant-Duff (1789-1858) of Eden and his wife Jane Catherine, daughter of Sir Whitelaw Ainslie, born 9 July 1838. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford In HM Diplomatic Service in Paris, 1859-66, but resigned and changed his name to Ainslie on coming into the Delgatie and Blervie estates. Called to the bar at the Inner Temple, 1874. JP and DL for Aberdeenshire. He married, 1863, Frances, daughter of Edward J. Morgan of St. Petersburg (Russia), and had issue:
(1) Douglas Ainslie (1865-1948) (q.v.);
(2) Percival Ainslie (1867-94), m. 1891 Beatrice Stewart Marion Brabazon (d. 1904), daughter of C.W. Moore (who m.2 Capt. Cecil Henry Hunt), and had issue one daughter;
(3) Julian Ainslie (1870-1937), m.1, 1893, Florence (d. 1897 in a carriage accident), daughter of Sir Nicholas Elphinstone and had issue two daughters; m.2, 15 December 1898, Juliet Molesworth and had issue a daughter; and m.3, Gertrude Mayne; died 1937;
(4) Edith Fanny (known as Rachel) Ainslie (later Grant-Duff) (1873-1934);
(5) Edward Ainslie (1876-79), died young.
He inherited the Delgatie Castle and Blervie House estates from his mother in 1866, but sold Blervie in 1908.
He died 15 December 1929.
as a diplomat
He inherited the Delgatie Castle estate from his father in 1929 but never occupied the house, which was requisitioned for military use and which had become derelict by the time of his death.
He died 27 March 1948; his will was proved in London, 22 December 1949 (estate in England £260).