Sunday, 8 December 2013

(92) Allardice (later Barclay-Allardice) of Allardice Castle

Allardice of Allardice
The Allardyce family are said to have been possessed of the barony of Alrethes (Kincardines.) in the time of King William the Lion (c.1143-1214), but their descent before the late 15th century is obscure. The present castle was probably built for John Allardyce (d. c.1606), who married a daughter of the 3rd Earl Marischal.  His great-great-grandson, Sir John Allardice (1641-76), married a sister and co-heir of the 8th Earl of Menteith and 2nd Earl of Airth, giving rise to a family claim on these earldoms, and giving the family lineal descent from King Robert II of Scotland.  Although well known in the 18th century, the claim was not pursued until the 19th century largely because Sir George Allardyce left the family in debt and the funds to fight the claim were not readily available.  The cost of proceedings also hampered the three unsuccessful claims which were made by later generations in the House of Lords between 1834 and 1907. Sir George Allardyce (1672-1709), was an MP and Master of the Mint in Scotland in the early 18th century, and extended the castle about 1695.  His grandson, James Allardice, died in 1765 leaving an only daughter and heir, who by her marriage to Robert Barclay carried the Allardice name and estates into that family.  Her son, Capt. Robert Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854) achieved some fame as 'the celebrated pedestrian', for various feats of endurance walking in the early 19th century.  It was he who first pursued the claim to the family's Scottish earldoms, in 1834.  His daughter and heir, Margaret Barclay-Allardice (1816-1903) was apparently born before her parents' marriage, but under Scottish law was legitimated by it.  She settled in America and sold the Barclay and Allardice family estates at Ury and Allardice in 1854, but this did not prevent her also perusing the claim to the earldoms in 1870.  She married twice and on both occasions resumed her maiden name after the death of her husband.  A final attempt to claim the earldoms was made in 1907 by her elder son, Robert Barclay-Allardice (b. 1841), who made money as a stockbroker in New York and retired to Cornwall, where he became mayor of Lostwithiel 1898-1900 and 1904-06.  In 1909 he married his housemaid, Beatrice Jeffrey, and shortly afterwards they had a daughter, the last member of the family to live in England.  In 1910 he was declared bankrupt and although still alive in 1914 it is likely that he died shortly afterwards, probably overseas, as no record of his death has been found in the UK.

Allardice Castle, Kincardineshire

Allardice Castle in 1885. Image: Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland.

The L-plan tower house of the Allardice family was built at the end of the 16th century on a terrace surrounded on three sides by a deep river meander.  The building is remarkable for the extraordinary development of label moulding in the corbelling supporting the stair turret in the re-entrant angle. Although giving the impression of belonging all to one period, both wings were extended about 1695, that on the west very considerably.  The building forms two sides of a courtyard, enclosed on the other sides by a curtain-wall.  Access to the courtyard is gained by a pend through the basement of the main block. In the main the walls rise to four storeys and an attic, and are roughcast and whitewashed. The basement is vaulted.  When the castle passed to the Barclays of Urie by marriage in the late 18th century, it declined into a farmhouse.  It was damaged by fire in the 1970s but restored by William Cowie, an Aberdeen architect, whose home it remains.

Descent:  Thomas Allardyce (d. c.1474); to son, John Allardyce (c.1465-1523); to son, John Allardyce (b. c.1505); to son, John Allardyce (c.1541-1606); to son, John Allardyce (b. c.1562); to son, John Allardyce (c.1595-1631); to son, James Allardyce (c.1620-46); to son, Sir John Allardyce (1641-76); to son, Sir George Allardice (1672-1709); to son, James Allardice (1693-1728); to son, James Allardyce (1727-65); to daughter, Sarah Anne (1757-1833), wife of Robert Barclay (later Barclay-Allardice) (d. 1797); to son, Robert Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854); to daughter, Margaret Barclay-Allardice (1816-1903), who sold 1854...William Cowie (fl. 2013)

Allardyce (later Barclay-Allardice) family of Allardice

The account given here traces the Allardyce line.  A full account of the Barclays of Ury House will be given in a future post. 

Allardyce, John (c.1465-c.1523).  Son of Thomas Allardyce (d. c.1474) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Alexader Irvine of Drum, born about 1465.  He married 1st, Elizabeth, daughter of James Gordon of Haddo and 2nd, Catherine, daughter of Robert Arbuthnott, and had issue:
(1.1) Janet Allardyce; married, 12 June 1493, Alexander Irvine of Drum and had issue six sons and two daughters;
(2.1) Robert Allardyce of Badinscott;
(2.2) John Allardyce (b. c.1505) (q.v.).
He inherited Allardyce from his father c.1474.
He died in about 1523.

Allardyce, John (b. c.1505).  Son of John Allardyce (c.1465-1523) and his wife Janet Lundy, born about 1505. He married Margaret (d. 1599), daughter of Sir Thomas Erskine of Brechin and had issue:
(1) John Allardyce (c.1541-1606) (q.v.).
He inherited Allardyce from his father in 1523.
His date of death is unknown.

Allardyce, John (c.1541-1606).  Son of John Allardyce (b. c.1505) and his wife Margaret (d. 1599), daughter of Sir Thomas Erskine of Brechin (Angus), born about 1541.  He married Lady Beatrice, daughter of William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal and had issue:
(1) Margaret Allardyce (d. 1610); married 1st, Alexander Bethune of Hospitalfield and Carsgownie and had issue; married 2nd, October 1605, John Falconer of Balandroe; died before August 1610;
(2) James Allardyce;
(3) William Allardyce;
(4) Thomas Allardyce;
(5) Elizabeth Allardyce;
(6) Robert Allardyce (c.1561-87); married Barbara, daughter of William Forbes, 7th Lord Forbes and had issue one daughter; died 26 December 1587;
(7) John Allardyce (b. c.1562) (q.v.).
He inherited Allardyce from his father.
He died in about 1606.  

Allardyce, John (b. c.1562).  Son of John Allardyce (c.1541-1606) and his wife Lady Beatrice, daughter of William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal, born c.1595.  He married Alison Lindsay and had issue:
(1) John Allardyce (c.1595-1631).
He inherited Allardyce from his father in c.1606.
His date of death is unknown.

Allardyce, John (c.1595-1631).  Son of John Allardyce (c.1562-) and his wife Alison Lindsay, born about 1595.  He married, 3 September 1617, Helen, daughter of Alexander Burnet of Leys and had issue:
(1) Thomas Allardyce of Duinald; married c.1647, Agnes Leighton and had issue one son and five daughters; died after 1655;
(2) Margaret Allardyce;
(3) Katherine Allardyce (d. 1670);
(4) James Allardyce (c.1620-46) (q.v.);
(5) Jean Allardyce (c.1627-87).
He inherited Allardice Castle from his father.
He died 2 November 1631.

Allardyce, James (c.1620-46).  Son of John Allardyce (c.1595-1631) and his wife Helen, daughter of Alexander Burnet of Leys, born about 1620.  He married Marie, daughter of Sir Alexander Erskine of Dun, and had issue:
(1) Sir John Allardice (1641-76), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Helen Allardyce (1642-91);
(3) Elizabeth Allardyce (b. 1644).
He inherited Allardice Castle from his father in 1631.
He was murdered in November 1646.

Allardice, Sir John (1641-76), kt.  Son of James Allardyce (c.1620-46) and his wife Marie, daughter of Sir Alexander Erskine of Dun, baptised 12 December 1641.  He married, 8 October 1662 at Fetteresso (Kincardines.), Lady Mary Graham (d. 1720), daughter of Lord Kinpont and sister and co-heir of William Graham, 8th Earl of Menteith and 2nd Earl of Airth, and had issue:
(1) Mary Allardice (b. 1663); born 8 August and baptised 11 August 1663; married about 17 November 1681, Sir Alexander Ogilvy (d. 1727), bt. of Forglen and had issue two sons and five daughters;
(2) Helen Allardice (1664-1743); born 5 August and baptised 11 October 1664; died unmarried, 12 January 1743;
(3) Anne Allardice (1666-99); born 1 March 1666; married John Gordon of Breakley; buried 19 April 1699;
(4) John Allardice (1667-90), baptised 6 August 1667; married, 28 October 1690, Elizabeth, daughter of William Barclay of Balmakewan (who married 2nd, Mr. Wood of Drumlagair), but died without issue, December 1690;
(5) Jean Allardice (b. 1669), born 18 November and baptised 23 November 1669;
(6) Sir George Allardice (1672-1709) (q.v.);
(7) Margaret Allardice (b. 1673), born 30 November and baptised 9 December 1673.
He inherited Allardice Castle from his father.  At his death the estate passed to his eldest son, who died without issue, and then to his younger son.
He died in April 1676.  His widow was buried at Allardice, 2 December 1720.

Allardice, Sir George (1672-1709), kt.  Younger son of Sir John Allardice (d. c.1690) and his wife Lady Mary Graham, born 17 August and baptised 27 August 1672.  Educated at Aberdeen University (admitted 1688); admitted a burgess of Edinburgh, 1696; MP for Kintore in the Scottish Parliament, 1702-07 and in the UK Parliament, 1707-08; Master of the Mint in Scotland, 1704-09; knighted, 1704; he and his wife had their portraits painted by Michael Dahl, n.d..  He married, about 20 October 1692, Lady Anne Ogilvy (d. 1735), daughter of James Ogilvy, 3rd Earl of Findlater and had issue:
(1) James Allardice (1693-1728) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Allardice (b. c.1694); married, about 23 May 1721, Andrew Hay WS of Mountblairy (Banffs.);
(3) Anne Allardice (b. 1695); died unmarried after 1735;
(4) Helen Allardice (1697-1746), baptised 18 June 1697; married, about 1718, Alexander Lind of Edinburgh; died 18 January 1746;
(5) Catherine Allardice (1699-1744); baptised 1 October 1699; died unmarried, 12 March 1744;
(6) William Allardice (1700-09), baptised 18 December 1700; died young, 1709;
(7) John Allardice (b. 1701), baptised 11 December 1701; died before 1748;
(8) Elizabeth Allardice (1703-05), baptised 5 October 1703; died in infancy, 5 May 1705.
He inherited Allardice Castle from his elder brother in December 1690 and was responsible for enlarging and modernising the house. 
He died 5 October 1709, leaving his affairs very embarrassed.  His widow died 27 August 1735.

Allardice, James (1693-1728).  Son of Sir George Allardice (1672-1709) and his wife Lady Anne Ogilvy, daughter of James Ogilvy, Earl of Findlater & Seafield, baptised 25 July 1693. He married, about 21 May 1720, Mary (d. 1749), daughter of Robert Milne of Balwyllie and had issue:
(1) Mary Allardice (1726-1801); married, 20 November 1758, James Macdonald, sheriff-depute of Kincardineshire and had issue; died 4 January 1801;
(2) James Allardice (1727-65) (q.v.).
He inherited Allardice Castle from his father in October 1709.
He died in May 1728.  His widow died 24 December 1749.

Allardice, James (1727-65).  Only son of James Allardice (1693-1728) and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Milne of Balwyllie, born 29 and baptised 30 January 1727.  He married, 18 April 1756, Anne (d. 1757), daughter of James Barclay of London, banker, and had issue:
(1) Sarah Anne Allardice (1757-1833) (q.v.).
He inherited Allardice Castle from his father in 1728, but lived mainly abroad because of his debts.
He died 14 July 1765.  His wife died in childbirth in July 1757.

Nudd (nee Allardice, then Barclay), Sarah Anne (1757-1833).  Only child of James Allardice (1727-65) and his wife Ann, daughter of James Barclay of London, banker, born 13 July 1757.  She married 1st, 1776 (div., Sept. 1793), as his second wife, Robert Barclay (later Barclay-Allardice) (1731/2-97) of Ury, MP for Kincardineshire, and 2nd, 5 August 1795, John Nudd, gent. of Surrey, and had issue:
(1.1) Anne Barclay-Allardice (1777-82), baptised 30 November 1777; died young, 29 October 1782;
(1.2) Une Cameron Barclay-Allardice (1778-1809), baptised 27 September 1778; married 25 July 1802, John Innes (d. 1832) of Cowie (Kincardines) and had issue; died September 1809;
(1.3) Capt. Robert Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854) (q.v.);
(1.4) twin, Margaret Barclay-Allardice (1780-1855), baptised 16 November 1780; married, 1809, Hudson Gurney (d. 1864) of Keswick Hall (Norfolk); died without issue, 16 December 1855;
(1.5) twin, Mary Barclay-Allardice (b. 1780), baptised 16 November 1780; died unmarried, June 1799;
(1.6) Rodney (female) Barclay-Allardice (1782-1853), born 29 April and baptised 6 June 1782; died unmarried, 1853;
(1.7) James Barclay-Allardice (1784-1804), born 3 July 1784; died at Madras, 3 March 1804;
(1.7) Maj. David Stuart Barclay-Allardice (1787-1826), born 3 and baptised 29 March 1787; Major in 28th Foot; died unmarried at Otranto (Italy), 1826.
She inherited Allardice Castle from her father in 1765, but through her marriage it passed to the Barclays of Ury.
She died 7 July 1833 and was buried at Sprowston (Norfolk).  Her first husband died 8 April 1797 and was succeeded in his estates at Ury and Allardice by their elder son.

Capt. Barclay-Allardice
Barclay-Allardice, Capt. Robert (1779-1854) of Ury and Allardice.  Elder son of Robert Barclay (later Barclay-Allardice) and his second wife, Sarah Anne, daughter of James Allardice of Allardice Castle, born 25 August and baptised 23 September 1779. Captain in 23rd Regiment; known as "the celebrated pedestrian" in his lifetime for his long-distance walking feats.   He is considered the father of the modern sport of race walking, and his most famous feat, performed on Newmarket Heath in the summer of 1809, was the walking of 1000 miles in 1000 successive hours for a prize of 1000 guineas in 1809.  The Times reported (14 July):

"The gentleman on Wednesday completed his arduous pedestrian undertaking, to walk a thousand miles in a thousand successive hours, at the rate of a mile in each and every hour. He had until four o'clock P.M. to finish his task; but he performed his last mile in the quarter of an hour after three, with perfect ease and great spirit, amidst an immense concourse of spectators. The influx of company had so much increased on Sunday, that it was recommended that the ground should be roped in. To this, Captain Barclay at first objected; but the crowd became so great on Monday, and he had experienced so much interruption, that he was at last prevailed upon to allow this precaution to be taken. For the last two days he appeared in higher spirits, and performed his walk with apparently more ease, and in shorter time than he had done for some days before. With the change of the weather, he had thrown off his loose great coat, which he wore during the rainy period, and on Wednesday performed in a flannel jacket. He also put on shoes thicker than any which he had used in the earlier part of his performance. He said that during the first night after his walk he would have himself awaked twice or thrice, to avoid the danger of a too sudden transition from almost constant exertion to a state of long repose. 
One hundred to one, and indeed any odds whatever, were offered on Wednesday; but so strong was the confidence in his success, that no bets could be obtained. The multitude of people who resorted to the scene of action, in the course of the concluding days, was unprecedented. Not a bed could be procured on Tuesday night at Newmarket,Cambridge, or any of the towns and villages in the vicinity, and every horse and every species of vehicle was engaged. Among the Nobility and Gentry who witnessed the conclusion of this extraordinary feat, were:—
The Dukes of Argyle and St. Alban's; Earls Grosvenor, Besborough and Jersey; Lords Foley and Somerville; Sir John Lode, Sir F. Standish, &c. &c.
Capt Barclay had a large sum depending upon his undertaking. The aggregate of the bets is supposed to amount to £100,000.—He commenced his feat on the first of June."

He was aide-de-camp to the Marquess of Huntly during the ill-fated Walcheren campaign in 1809, starting out just five days after his walking feat was completed.  In 1834-39 he unsuccessfully claimed the Earldom of Airth, and later also the Earldoms of Strathern and Menteith.  Published An agricultural tour in the United States and Upper Canada, 1841.  He married, 1815 or 1817, Mary (1797-1820), daughter of Alexander Delgarno of Aberdeen, and had issue:
(1) Margaret Barclay-Allardice (1816-1903) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Barclay-Allardice (1819-23), born 29 July 1819; died young, 14 October 1823.
He also had three illegitimate sons by two mistresses; by Helen Shepherd he had issue:
(X1.1) Robert Barclay (1834-96); captain in merchant navy; married Elizabeth Reith (1836-1904 and had issue three sons: for more details of their descendants see the comments below;
and by Ann Angus (1823-92) he had issue:
(X2.1) Robert Barclay-Allardice (1843-97), farm labourer; died unmarried in Craigleith poorhouse, Edinburgh;
(X2.2) David Stewart Barclay (1849-1906), inspector of police; married, 1870, Alice Ernestine Gaze; also had an illegitimate son by Elizabeth Cook (1858-1901).
He inherited the Ury and Allardice estates from his father in 1797, but lived at Fritwell Manor (Oxfordshire), which he leased.  The Scottish estates were sold after his death.
He died from injuries sustained from the kick of a horse, 1 May 1854.  His wife died 30 August 1820.

Barclay-Allardice (nee Barclay-Allardice, then Ritchie, then Tanner), Margaret (1816-1903).  Only child of Capt. Robert Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854) and his wife Mary, daughter of Alexander Delgarno of Aberdeen, born 4 July 1816; unsuccessfully claimed the earldoms of Strathearn, Menteith and Airth before the House of Lords in 1870; resumed the surname Barclay-Allardice by royal licence, 1854 and again after her second marriage, 2 July 1883; married 1st, St Mary, Kensington (Middx), 2 April 1840, Samuel Ritchie (1813-45) and 2nd, Boonton, New Jersey (USA), 30 July 1854, James Tanner (1813-66) and had issue:
(1.1) Robert Ritchie (later Barclay-Allardice) (b. 1841) of Rose Hill, Lostwithiel (Cornwall), born 19 May 1841 and baptised at Hamilton (Ontario), 6 June 1841; stockbroker in New York; retired to Cornwall; Mayor of Lostwithiel (Cornwall), 1899-1901 and 1904-06; author of A guide to Lostwithiel, 1901; unsuccessfully claimed the Earldom of Airth again, 1907; bankrupted, 1910; FSAScot; after bankruptcy operated as a antiquarian dealer; married, 1909, his housemaid, Beatrice Maud, daughter of W.H. Jeffrey and had issue a daughter; died after 1914;
(1.2) Mary Hay Ritchie (1842-49), born in New York, 7 September 1842; died young, 30 September 1849; buried in Aberdeen;
(1.3) Samuel Frederick Ritchie (later Barclay-Allardice) (1843-62), born in Aberdeen, 15 October 1843; died unmarried in New York, 14 April 1862;
(1.4) David Stuart Ritchie (later Barclay-Allardice) (1845-1915), of Providence, Rhode Island (USA), born at Duddingston (Midlothian), 21 November 1845; married 15 October 1868, Fanny Foster, daughter of Edwin Day Elliott of West Brattleborough, Vermont (USA) and had issue four sons and three daughters; streetcar conductor and later night watchman; died at Providence, Rhode Island, 12 October 1915.
(2.1) Augusta Graham Tanner (1859-74); born in New York (USA), 12 August 1859; died unmarried, 21 December 1874; buried in Aberdeen.
She died 7 August 1903; her will was proved 22 December 1903 (estate £175).


Burke's Landed Gentry, successive editions; GEC, Complete Peerage, viii, p. 677; Sir J.B. Paul (ed.), Peerage of Scotland, i, 1904, pp. 138-45; Sir H. Nicolas, History of the Earldoms of Strathern, Monteith and Airth, 1842; J. Geddes, Deeside and the Mearns - an illustrated architectural guide, 2001, p. 63;

Location of archives

Barclay-Allardice family: deeds, estate, genealogical and family papers, 1201-20th cent. [National Records of Scotland, GD49]

Coat of arms

Argent, a fesse wavy gules between three boar's heads erased sable.

Revised 22nd May 2014.


  1. Robert Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854) had three illegitimate children, Robert Barclay (1834-1896) by Helen Shepered, Robert Barclay-Allardice (1843-1897) and David Stewart Barclay(1849-1906) by Ann Angus (1823-1892)

    1. Thank you for this additional information. The 1851 census shows Robert Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854) living at Ury House and the two younger illegitimate sons you mention were living with him.

  2. I did quite a lot of genealogical research on this line a few years ago as I am very distantly related to Ann Angus, she was the sister of my g-g-g-g-grandfather. She gets a number of mentions in Peter Radford's book about Barclay-Allardice's life, although none of these mentions are very complimentary! I did make an effort to trace any potential descendants of the two illegitimate sons he had by Ann Angus but drew a blank. The eldest, Robert Barclay-Allardice (1843-1907), was a farm labourer who died in Craigleith poorhouse in Edinburgh. He never married and census records record no evidence of any children.

    The second son, David Stewart Barclay (1849-1906), was an "Inspector of Police" according to the 1891 census, however the 1901 census states his occupation as "lamplighter"! He married Alice Ernestine Gaze in Edinburgh in 1870 - this marriage seems not to have lasted very long as he is unmarried again by 1881 (although not widowed). In 1890 in Glasgow he fathered an illegitimate son called Robert Barclay. The mother was Elizabeth Cook (1858-1901). This Robert Barclay married a Margaret Geddes in Canada in 1912 before moving to San Francisco where he became a baptist minister. He died there in 1973, he appears to have had no children. There the line ends.

    As for the third illegitmate son Barclay-Allardice had with Helen Shepherd in 1834, that line seems more fruitful although I haven't gone into it in too much depth. That Robert Barclay was a sea captain who married Elizabeth Reith (1836-1904) and had three children:

    1. Robert Barclay (1862-1924), Shipmaster. Married Agnes Mitchell and did have children although I have no info on them.

    2. James Christian Barclay (1865-1940), Druggist. Married twice, first to Maggie Dunbar and later to Margareta Powell. Probably had children by both. I have in my notes that one of the children was almost certainly David Barclay (died 1990 aged 77) who was Provost of Stonehaven.

    3. William Barclay (1868-1947). Married Margaret Wood. They too had children. Their eldest son Robert was killed in France in 1916.

    Hope this info is of interest to you!

    Jamie Angus

  3. Descendants of Capt. Robert Barclay-Allardice do live on in the UK through the only child and daughter (and my grandmother) of Mayor Robert Barclay-Allardice and Beatrice Jeffery. There aren't many of us..... Thanks for all the valuable information above. Visited Stonehaven the first time this summer, an amazing experience.

    1. Your cousins at would love to hear from you to update the Barclay -Allardice family tree. Email me at

  4. Nick, a team of Allardices has put together , a website that gives this family tree down to the present-day descendants in the US. We'd like to think it's an invaluable resource for the Barclay-Allardices, and for all Allardice Allerdice Allardyce Ardis surnamed people.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.