PEOPLE OF THE ROCKYHOMELAND
THE HISTORY OFCREIGHTON, CRICHTON AND CREYGHTON
By: JamesH. Creighton
November28, 1946 – June 10, 2005
Tree ofLife 2001
PooreHeraldry Left / Creighton Heraldry Right
This book was researched andwritten by
James H. Creighton
Bet. 1999 and 2005
He died unexpectedly on June 10, 2005
Before being ableto publish this work of a lifetime
Compiled from the author’scompleted text
Edited by Susan CreightonCurtiss
2005 – 2011
In his memory
Part IV – “Searching for theGolden Lion”
The Dutch History Researchand Editorial Group:
Jos Grupping, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (Liaison and Editor)
Joep Creyghton (Leiden)
Ingrid Creyghton, Spierdijk,West Friesland (New Holland)
Maria Creyghton-Lemmens (DenHaag)
Cover art and interiorartwork
James H. Creighton
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © by SusanCreighton Curtiss 2011
This book may not bereproduced in whole
Or in part in any formwithout express permission
For information, pleasecontact
Susan Creighton Curtiss
Text which follows is an excerpt from eachchapter.
Page numbers reflect full text and not this excerpted text.
Credits page i
Table of Contents page ii
Author’s Inspiration page iv
PART I: THE ROCKY HOMELAND
1. Dragon Menof Crau page 2
2. The Men ofCreighton page 7
PART II: BEYOND THE VILLA WALLS
3. Justinian’sSyrian Archer page 16
4. Longships-On-Tyne page 25
5. The LionGoes to Sea page 29
6. ThePrinceling and the Lion page 33
PART III: WHEN BOYS WERE KINGS
7. RoyalOrphans page 40
8. Thurstande Crechtune page 44
9. The Lionand the Rose page 52
10. Stone Upon Stone page 61
11. Hurley-Burley page 71
12. The BlackDinner page 83
13. DouglasCast Down page 91
14. Flowers ofthe Forest page 98
15. Meet Me Onthe Nith page 104
16. Reformation page 108
17. Lions Fromthe Sea page 118
18. The SilentLion of Nassau page 121
19. GiacomoCretonio and the Black Robes page 125
20. The Stock Exchange page 130
PART IV: SEARCHING FOR THE GOLDEN LION
21. Prussen-Holland page 136
22. The Golden Lion page 139
23. The Home of Lions page 140
24. The Lion of the North page 147
25. The Brotherhood page 149
26. Gold With Fins page 153
27. Life On the Memel page 158
28. The Veldpredikant page 163
PART V: THE RABBIT
29. The Flight of the Earls page 179
30. Sewing the Seeds page 182
31. Landlords page 185
32. Laird of Aghalane page 187
33. Which Thomas Creighton? page 192
34. Wood-Kerns and Wolves page 194
35. Pipes and Drums page 196
36. The Wedding Present page 198
TABLE OF CONTENTS
37. Orange Moon Over Antrim page 201
38. Don’t Forget To Water the Potatoes page 204
39. Scotch, Irish, German or Dutch? page 208
40. Herring Chokers page 211
41. Bloody-Backsand Linen Goods page 214
42. Evangeline page 217
43. United Empire Loyalists page 219
44. A Son for Nancy Ennis page 221
45. Rabbit Hunting page 227
PART VI: HOME
46. Jane Magee page 231
47. Creightonville page 235
48. Crazy Like a Fox page 239
49. The Neighborhood page 242
50. Bonds of Marriage page 247
51. A Decade of Hope page 252
52. Headstones page 254
53. The Border Crossing page 260
54. Hillforts page 264
55. Ties That Bind page 272
56. Bursting Bubbles page 280
57. The Lion in Winter page 285
58. Diamond Hill page 286
59. Pine Island page 288
60. Last Egg in an EmptyingNest page 291
61. Forced From the Den page 293
62. Just West of Down East page 295
63. Davy Crockett page 298
64. Atomic Kids page 302
65. Rights of Passage page 306
66. When Time Stopped page 310
67. The Laughing Leprechaun page 318
68. Into the Landof Shadows page 323
69. They Shoot Houses, Don’tThey? Page 326
70. A Golden View page 328
Appendix A: InMemory of Patrick Crichton (1917-2003) page 331
Appendix B: InMemory of James H. Creighton (1946-2005) page 334
CreightonCoat of Arms by James H. Creighton page 335
Notations Page for C.O.A by James H.Creighton page 336
CreightonBanner by James H. Creighton page 337
Appendix C: InMemory of Cyrus Wilfred (Fred) Creighton page 338
Appendix D: AllCrichton, Creighton, Creyghton Names/Heraldry page 339
Descriptionsand Renditions of the Crichton C.O.A. page 341
Originsand Spellings of Crichton, Creighton/Creyghton page 347
Appendix E: CreightonDemographics page 350
Appendix F: CombinedBibliography Creighton- Crichton-Creyghton page 356
“TheRe-uniting of Minds and Spirits” page 362
Jim handstitching his final tipi 2004
These words writtenby Jim help us to understand a bit of what drove him to create in so many ways.He knew his time on earth was limited; unfortunately his goals were much largerthan time allowed him for completion. It is my pledge to complete anddistribute his two final written projects according to his wishes. I hope hiswords will inspire others.
Susan Creighton Curtiss.
“All men and women are born, live, suffer and die. What will distinguishus from one another are our dreams, whether they be about worldly or unworldlythings and what we do to make them come about.
Wedo not choose to be born; we do not choose our parents; we do not choose ourhistorical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances ofour upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die, but we do choose how welive. It is not about what we look like or what we have. It is about takingwhat we have and doing as much as we can with it. It is about learning andgrowing. When we are willing to learn what we don’t know and use ourexperiences, our perfections will begin to show. Collect memories and tie themin the colors of the rainbow, to be taken out and read, containing the story ofyour life. Write laughter between the lines of family tales before handing themdown to new generations who, like relay runners, eagerly wait to add to theplot. Savor the fingerprints on windows and walls of the home, for they are thelove notes scribbled around the margins of the family’s heart. May you alwaysspeak the truth quietly listening with an open mind when others speak.
Continue to collect the stories and pass them on to generations yetunborn.”
THE ROCKY HOMELAND
CHAPTER: 1 DRAGON MEN OF CRAU (Editorialexcerpt)
Itbegan simply enough with questions from Dutch cousins, pondering why theirfamily spelling of CREYGHTON varied from the Scots CREIGHTON. The Dutchbranches of the family have been in place in Holland since the end of the 17th century andappear to have much older contacts with the Continent. I knew nothing aboutmainland European Creighton’s, especially from the LowCountries. In correspondence with IngridCreyghtonand her relative, JosGrupping, I saw that much more hadto be done to trace the old family, so long entrenched in Lowland Scotland. Whowere these people and how did they branch out so far afield? To accomplishthis, I had to go back to the beginning. It was farther removed in time thanany of us realized.
Ourname, in one form or another, has existed as an ancient Celtic surname for 2522years. To understand the name, one has to understand the people we descendfrom, the Celts, or more specifically the Gauls and Gaels. 2600 years ago,beginning around 600 BC, the Celts appeared as a race to the ‘civilized’ worldof Ancient Greece. Our family name appeared, already well established, 80 yearslater in Athens.
Theyhad been evolving as a people for centuries along the upper DanubeRiver,migrating down from early beginnings in the Juteland Peninsular of Northern Europe, absorbing earlier cultures along theway. The Batavi of the Netherlandsdescended from these same early wanderers. Where the Danube (a Celtic name)meets the Black Sea, they mingled with AsianScythians and began a 400-year intercourse (600-200 BC) with thosewarrior-horsemen from the Steppes of Persia. They absorbed much of theScythian culture and made it their own; the horse, the two-wheeled chariots,great wagons and new burial practices are a few examples. The Scythiansintroduced refined metalworking to the ancient Celts, which they perfected intoa unique art form. They began to make and use steel weapons. The Celts alsoborrowed that Asian phenomenon, the dragon, which they developed into thesymbol of their fighting regiments.
Fromtheir river settlements, they branched out all over Europe as traders, warriorsand metalworkers from Britain to west-central Turkey, becoming the dominantgroups, in time, in Southern Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria,Switzerland, Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), Romania, Hungry, the Balkans andNorthern Italy. From the mouth of the Danube,they traveled regularly south to the Macedonian and Greek trading centers. Thebeautiful textiles of the Celts and their elaborate metalwork became prizedcommodities for the civilized nations, who in turn traded fine wines andfoodstuffs from Greeceand Egypt.Some of these ancient Celts remained in the city-states, perhaps as merchants,soldiers, or hostages to assure peaceful relations between the Greeks and theirbarbarian neighbors to the north.
Whereverthey went, they left place names behind to mark their wanderings; Danube, Rhine, Paris,Belgium,Turkish Galatia and French Gaul were names of ancient homelands. The Boii gavetheir name to Bohemiaand the Italian River Po, a variant of their tribal name. As they migrated westacross the southern slopes of the Alps, they followed the rivers intosouth-central Gaul (France) just north of a 200-square-mile region abutting theMediterranean Sea still known as Crau, ‘The Place of Stones.’ ‘Cra’ is the rootword for stone in almost all known Celtic dialects. In 520 BC, only 80 yearsafter the ‘official’ foundation of the Celts as a defined race, a man of Celticorigin was born who would become a renowned Greek comic poet, the founder ofpolitical satire, with the single surname of CRATINUS.
Thisman has come down through history as Cratinus the Elder (520-423 BC), whobecame famous in Athensas a contemporary of Aristophanes and Percius. Bothof these men wrote much about the works of Cratinus. Only bits and piecesremain of his actual writings, but his satire became the rage in Athens. To have risen tosuch a level of acclaim must have been the result of hard work, for the Celts,who were rarely if ever seen, were then almost unknown as a people. It wasthree years after the birth of Cratinus that the Greek historian andadventurer, Hecateusde Milelus, first coined the wordnaming the people of the interior. In an expedition north along the river Po, he encountered the Boii and related tribes whom hecalled “Keltoi,” The Hidden People. PerhapsCratinus was a child of a Celtic envoy taken to Athens for diplomatic reasons. Whatever hisorigins, the name Cratinus remained intact for roughly 5 generations. Duringthe time of Alexander the Great,Cratinus the ‘Younger’ (356-316 BC) was in Athens, also a famous comic or satiricalpoet, born 164 years after his ancestor.
Themost probable link to this family and the Greeks was the ancient Greek colonyof Massilia (Marseilles),in use as a trade center since 600 BC. It was from here that HecateusdeMilelus ventured into the mountains and theheadwaters of the Po to name the Keltoi. Fromhere also sailed the Greek explorer and mathematician, Pytheus, who in 325 BC,circumnavigated the British Isles, naming them“Pretani,” the ‘Land of the Painted People.’ The Romans later altered this nameto ‘Brittaini, or Britain.During the time of Cratinus the Elder, the colony of Massilia introduced theHellenic Culture to the Celts of the RhoneRiver, where they had trading posts asfar north as Toulouseamong the VolcaeTectosages, the Vocontii, theAllobroges and the Ambarri confederacies.
Forcenturies, the Keltoi established themselves in permanent locations and beganevolving into distinct sub-cultures. The mother tongue, which is reported tohave been closer to Old Welsh than the modern Irish and Scots Gael, began tochange as groups became separated from one another over time. Those who chosenorthern Spain and Portugalbecame the Iberian Gauls (Gaulii is the name applied by the Romans; the Germanscalled them ‘Kelten.’). These were warlike Celts who either drove out, orassimilated portions of the indigenous Basque Pictonii tribes. The Pictoniiwere of the same groups who had settled Scotland as early as 1000 BC, tobecome the Picts, ‘the Painted People.’ The Iberian Celts were great searaiders, migrating to lands along the southern French coast and at some pointventuring to Irelandto become the Gaels. In Ireland,their language altered to become the distinct “Q,” or Goidelic, Celtic dialect………..
CHAPTER: 2 THE MEN OF CREIGHTON (EditorialExcerpt)
Wetend to think of Britainduring these interim years of 50BC to 43AD as devoid of Roman influence. TheBritons, for the most part, were fiercely independent and hostile toward Roman interference, but Rome did retain an ongoing contact with theBritish Belgae. Because many, like the Atrebates shared lands on both sides ofthe Channel, many encouraged Romancivic rule, but in the west and north, the Cumri kept to themselves. They toohad lands in both Brittany and theWest Country of Britain, but their only contacts with Romewere in trade, especially from the tin mines in present Somersetand Devonshire. The word ‘Welsh’ did not comeinto existence for another 400 years with the arrival of the Germanic andScandinavian sea raiders.
TheCreighton’s may have acted as intermediaries for the Romans, being middlemen inthe trade with the West Country. With such a long history extending back toancient Greece,they were in a good position to provide these services. It also ties intofuture dealings with this family as primarily high-ranking service people toregional administrations. The British tribes, whether Belgae or Cumri, wereinter related through marriage and many of these families had lands andrelations on both sides of the English Channel.
Ofcourse it was the CumriBrigante who I have always relatedwith the old family Creighton, because of that tribe’s early land holds inmodern Yorkshire. A future Creighton would(perhaps) come out of this region along the UmberRiverto settle lands in Lowland Scotland. When Romeeventually occupied Britainin 43 AD, the CumriSilure and Dumnonii were thedominant leaders of the southwest. Their Brigante, Parisii and Corvetii cousinscontrolled the north. The combined Cumriformed a barrier to Roman rule from Cornwall in the south tomodern Galloway and Dumfies in the north. TheCreighton’s evidently found a niche among the northern Cumri, somewhere betweenmodern eastern Yorkshire and western Cumberland(Cumri-land).
Oneinteresting story of note occurred around the time of the birth of Christ. A Romanambassador, traveling in the county of the Southern Picts of Caledoniato arrange a treaty, brought his pregnant wife along. During negotiations hiswife gave birth, near Loch Tay at present Fortingall. The son born to thiscouple was PontiusPilate. When he became governor ofJudea, he remembered the place of his birth and imported palace guards in Jerusalem from the Lowlandsalong the Pictish/Brigante frontier.
BEYOND THE VILLA WALLS
CHAPTER 3: JUSTINIAN’SSYRIAN ARCHER (Editorial Excerpt)
In the year 483 AD, A forlorn figure sat in a courtyardon a marble bench, surrounded by young children and barking dogs. A warm southwind blew over the rolling Lammermuir Hills, but still the man felt an ache inhis bones. He tugged at the folds of an ancient and worn toga, adjusting thepatched fabric from what he considered a chilly wind. Soon, in the warm autumnsunshine, he fell fast asleep.
A crow flying overhead would have looked down on thescene as being typical of many neighbor’s homes of the region. This particularcourtyard enclosed the confines of what had been a proud Romanvilla, now in disrepair. The house was large and sprawling, but broken ceramicroof tiles had been replaced, like a patchwork quilt, with sheets of slate andeven pieces of tree bark. The trees near the villa and surrounding thesettlement were all but gone, mostly in the man’s lifetime. Fields of milletand herds of scraggly longhaired sheep now ranged up the hillside to BankheadMoor.
The 83-year-old man was nearing the end of his life. Hewas born MarcusLuciusCreightonai,son of GaiusServilius and great great grandsonof Justinian Creightonai, the family ancestor. His was the fourth generationborn within these walls. In his long lifetime he had witnessed the end of the Roman Empire in Britannia. He was 10 years old when thelegions were called home to fight in Gaul and Italy. They never returned.
The old man was one of the last in the entire region thatstill used Latin as his chosen tongue, other than clergymen who wandered thecountryside. He had been lucky to be born before the Germans came; his fatherhad sent him to the universities at Rome,but his classical studies had taken second place to half a lifetime of fightingthe invaders and his northern neighbors.
Deep in his dreams he thought of those long ago years asa student and of his journey home. In Romehe had seen the glory of the empire, but also watched its decay as northernerssought its riches. He had cousins and two uncles there, all studying foradvancement in the HolyChurch, but he had placedhis emphasis on secular studies. With a master’s degree in philosophy, Marcus had ended his studies at age 30, taking a shipto Massilla and then joining a northbound trade caravan bound for Brittany.At his father’s urging, he sought out family members among the VocontiiGaulsof the DruentiaRiverof the RhoneValley. This is where his great greatgrandfather had been born, 197 years before.
Marcus foundthat many of the local families along the Rhonewatershed had extended kin from his home region. Like Justinian, they hadfollowed the legions and stayed, bringing over wives and children after theyreceived land grants. Marcus foundthat his ancestor left four sons and a wife in Gaul.This woman, who had been of the VolcaeTectogages, did not want toventure too far from Britain.Justinian had taken a second wife while stationed on Hadrian’sWall. This woman, from all reports from his Gallic relations, hadbeen half Syrian and half Vortadini, which was a tribe of the SouthernPicts. Marcus made theremainder of his journey home in deep reflection. He had thought himself Roman by birth, a direct descendant of an honoredlegionnaire. Now he wasn’t sure what he was.
Following the old Romanroad from Eboracum (York), he eventually found hisway home to the family villa. There he angrily confronted his father. “Why wasI not told of my lineage? Am I to believe that I am nothing but a lowborn sonof a Gaul and a foreign mongrel camp follower,a Syrian, a painted Pict?”
Gaius eyedhis son with unaccustomed resolve. “Were you there on the wall when Rome left? Did you standside by side with your so-called ‘foreigners’ as the Caledonians swept thecountryside? Did you walk the streets of the great civic enclave at Trimontiumtelling Greek, Syrian, Frisian, Jute, Alammanni, Batavi and Vortadini womenthat we would keep them safe? Who do you think your playmates were while yougrew to manhood? They were all of these, intermingled with the blood of Rome and the Cymri. Westand alone now; Romewill never send back her troops.”
Gaiuswent on. “You did not know your grandfather, who died as you were born. You didnot hear his tales of growing up in this villa, when the Caledonians were trulybarbaric. Yes, his grandmother was Marthathe Syrian. Yes, she was also of Caledonian blood, through the Vortadini, whonow fight on our side. Did you know that she was only 15 when Justinian marriedher? Do you know why; because she was a warrior who fought beside him againsther own kind.”
Marcus had notcooled off sufficiently to respond; he only glared at his father and said, “Howcould a woman of 15 be a warrior of any kind?”
“Whenyour grandfather was a boy of 15, Marthathe Syrian was still living, at the age of 90. She was agile and active andheld a clear mind. Perhaps he asked her the same sort of questions, for beforeshe died, she took him on a pilgrimage of sorts. At the rock of Dun Edin sheshowed your grandfather ancient rock carvings of her people. She made him tracethe spiral designs with his fingers, explaining their meaning to him. Atisolated camps in the forests she introduced him to the elders of her mother’speople, others were found as servants at scattered villas and marching camps.Her father was in fact a Syrian, but had been born and raised at Trimontium.His ancestors had been of the early cohorts of Syrian archers, long favored asthe best in the world. By the time of his generation, the family had settledtheir small land-hold north of the wall as traders to the Romanmilitary camps. He himself, whose name escapes me, was an interpreter whocarried treaty dispatches to the Caledonians. In his travels he met Martha’s mother among the Vortadini, who held ancienttitle to these very lands.”
“Against the wishes of the Vortadini, the Syrian ‘bought’the woman, who was a priestess of their old religion. This caused much unrestamong the Vortadini and their sister tribes. At Trimontium, the Syrian marriedthe Pict woman; the birth of your great great grandmother was the result ofthis marriage.”
“Butfather, why did she grow to fight against her own people?” Marcus was now picking up an interest in the story.
Gaiuscontinued. “As a girl, Marthaexhibited many of her father’s features, including the dark skin and hookednose of the desert people. She had no brothers. Her father raised her to shoothis great bow like a man and the family traveled together on his tradingexpeditions. Even as a young girl, while visiting the Romanoutposts and towns of the Picts, she was known as the “Little Syrian.” From hermother she learned the ancient rites and healing practices of the Vortadini andbegan receiving the blue tattooed designs of her order (Both the Greeks and theRomans called these ‘the Painted People,’ but in truth the designs were bluetattoos, often covering every inch of the body).”
“Inthe year 282 AD, as they were returning to the wall from Galloway, a large party of Pictish Catti andIrish Scotti attacked them while crossing the River Nith. Marthawas 14. The attackers were some of the same men with whom they had recentlynegotiated. Martha had, days before,been accepted into their ranks as a novice priestess, through her mother’sefforts. Now, with the Scotti joining them, the Highland Picts sought slaves tosell to the Irish kings. All seemedlost.”
“Now, Marcus, you will see that your pedigree is trulyhinged on a remarkably weak thread. If it had not been for aching feet and ablinding fit of depression, we would not be here today.”
“Yourgrandfather’s grandfather had spent his forty-ninth year commanding footpatrols out of the Cramond Fort near Dun Edin. It was his responsibility totrain new recruits, mainly fellow Gauls, but some German auxiliaries as well.He was soon to retire and found the menial position very hard to take. He hadfound out that spring that his wife and sons in Gaul wished to remain with hisVocontii tribal relations, where Justinian wanted them to join him in Caledonia. Throughout that summer he led cohort aftercohort of trainees to the marching camps, until he fell ill with fatigue andworry.”
“Byautumn,” Gaius went on, “Justinian’s commander sawthat what he needed was a change in duties. Word had come from PinnataCastra(Inchtuthill) that the Caledonian Catti and other Highland tribes were formingin western Galloway with the Scotti to attack Hadrian’sWall from the west. Although Parisii and Damnonii Britons held theWest Country with friendly Southern Picts, heknew that a concerted military presence might deter an outright attack south ofthe wall. Justinian, with two cohorts of mixed cavalrymen, was sent to patrolthe troubled areas. In the saddle once more, his feet stopped aching and hisdoldrums lifted.”
“He arrived at the River Nith just as the Syrian’s smallforce was making their last stand. The trader was dead, his young daughterstood in the river with his great recurved bow at full draw, taking a chargingScotti off of his feet with an arrow through the neck. All about her and herfallen father were bodies. When the attackers saw the approaching Romancavalry, they turned and ran, leaving Marthaalone in the bloody water. Martha’smother and most of the remaining servants were gone, either captured by thebarbarians, or dead with her father. On that very spot, with her future husbandas her witness, Martha the Syrianswore vengeance against the Painted People and the Scotti raiders.”
“There was aninstant bond between the two, Justinian and the young mixed blooded priestess………
CHAPTER 4: LONGSHIPS-ON-TYNE (Editorial Excerpt)
Many believe that our English language began with thearrival of the Angles and the Saxons. ‘Anglo-Saxon,’ mixed with the CelticBritish equals English. The Scottish language, if considered at all, is thoughtto be the Irish Gaelic of the Scotti. Neither is true.
TheBritish Celts had undergone 400 years of Romanrule. Belgae or Cymry, they all spoke variants of what we think of today as thelanguage of the Welsh. Since most also took Latin as a second (and sometimesfirst) language, the many regional dialects became Celtic with Latinadditions. Keeping this in mind, the best way to follow the evolution of thelanguages is to think of the British Celts of 410 AD as speaking ‘Old British.’Each individual district and region would have had variations of what had oncebeen a common language.
TheGerman invaders were also multi-tongued and from different regions of Northern Europe. The Jutes were from the Danish peninsula of Juteland, whence the Celts had migrated1500-2000 years before. The Frisians were from northern Holland. The Angles and Saxons were fromGermany Proper, but of different regions and speaking different dialects.Combining these four groups together, along with the assorted sub-groups thataccompanied them, all spoke variants of what is properly called Old German.
TheGerman invaders were roaming sea raiders in 500 AD. They ranged the coastalregions, slipping silently up the rivers in longboats that had a shallow draft.Like the later Vikings crafts, these ships allowed them access to inland townswhere they ransacked monasteries and plundered entire countrysides. They thenslipped away downriver before help could arrive. In warfare they were cruel andrelentless. They came with elite fighting men called Berserkers, warriors withgiant battle-axes that, either through drug inducement or mass indoctrination,fought long after they should have fallen dead. But, once the battles were won,backup ships brought women and children and all settled down to a peacefulfarming society. Wherever this happened, the ‘native’ Celts were relegated tothe role of servant or under tenant as second-class citizens. Through thiscloseness, however, the two languages combined.
From500-800 AD, the island was divided into distinct linguistic districts basedupon where the Germans settled. Excluding the Cymry regions of Western England and Scottish Strathclyde, there arosefour Anglo-Saxon dialects.
TheJutes, who first settled southeast Englandin Kent and Surrey, spoke Kentish, a combination of Jute, East Saxonand Belgae-Celt. The Jutes then shifted westward after the Saxons took over Kent.They removed to the Isle of Wight near Southampton,where their Danish-German dialect mingled again with that of theBelgae-Atrabates, but it still remained Kentish.
Asecond Saxon dialect was formed in the Midlands south of the Thames in the Kingdom of Wessex(Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset). The dialect ofWessexbecame known as West Saxon. The Low Country Frisians settled this area as well,but their language soon became extinct. The people maintained a small pocket inthe west, but they eventually mixed with their Saxon cousins until they losttheir identity as a separate culture. The continental Frisians today are theonly German-speaking people surviving who still speak a form of the Old Germanof the 6th century.
The thirdgrand division was called ‘Mercian,’ for a mixture of Angles and Danish allieswho settled the Central Midlands and East Anglia. Mercia would develop into a strong kingdom,which sought power over their West Saxon cousins of Wessex. Here, the Angle-Danishdialects mingled with the local Belgae-Celts.
Thefourth linguistic division was Northumbrian, also Angle-Danish and Celt inorigin. By the end of the 6th century, the Brigante coalitioncontrolled their Kingdom of Strathclyde from Cumberland,England to Ayrshire inwestern Scotland.To their east, however, the descendants of Vortigern’s Anglian mercenaries hadoccupied the east portions of Yorkshire as the kingdom of Deira.Just to their north and including modern Durham,England and Berwick,Scotland was her sister kingdom of Bernicia. These people had been evolvingseparately for 120 years. In 600 AD, Mercian Angles joined with Deira and Bernicia to form the great kingdomof Northumbria, which encompassed alllands north of the UmberRiver into southern Scotlandto the Forth. Here as well was the center ofthe CelticChurchlocated on the tiny island of Lindisfarne in Bernicia.
Theresulting language that evolved from these four groups is now known as OldEnglish. This is not the Old English of the King James Bible, but an olderGermanic-Romano—British language based on Old German and Belgae-Celticdialects. The main thing to keep in mind is that the Belgaic dialects, althoughrelated to that of the Cymric Welsh, had 500 years to evolve along separatelines. They were the people closest to the Romans in Britain and Latin words were partof their vocabulary by 600 AD. They also maintained a close relationship withtheir homeland tribes in Gaul, whosecontinental Celtic language was being mutated by the Germanic-Franks, formingthe roots of an early French language.
The West Saxons became the dominant ruling power, but theyalso became ……………..‘
CHAPTER: 5 THE LION GOES TO SEA (EditorialExcerpt)
I willnow introduce two of the remaining fictional Creightons, to help explainmy theory of name changes as well as the tone of the times. I will call the sonRanulf of Chrightoun, of the 17thgeneration of Justinian Creightonai the Vocontii. Born in Zealand, Upper Holland in 833, he lived to be a very old man,dying in 923 at the age of 90.
Hisfather was known simply as Riwald theBlue, signifying the lion on his family shield. So many Germans had arrivedin the vicinity that many of the older families used the German practice oftaking a single name. Soon, surname meanings for hundreds of local familieswould be forgotten altogether. Many Celtic surnames, however, simply wentunderground. For the Britons and Riwald the Blue, it was safer to conform thanto be called ‘wealas’, the Saxon word for lowborn serf or foreigner. This wasthe origin of the word ‘Welsh,’ which was systematically attached to anyoutland Celt, but the Cymry especially. The Briton family Wallacetook their name from this derogatory Saxon word.
Riwaldthe Blue had never been schooled in the classics and he did not seek the safetyof the church as many of his family did. He was raised at Dun Creighton butspent his early years in the hills with the sheep herds. He was independent andheadstrong, hating the local German warden of the EastForest.They were no longer allowed to hunt on their own land without a permit. Facedwith what he saw as unnatural laws and sparked with a rekindled pride in hisCeltic heritage through monks stationed at Soutra, he ran away to the sea atage 13.
Shippingout of Umberside as a deckhand, he spent two years on merchant ships along thecoastal waters. For safety against the Viking longboats, he chose Devonshire as his homeport until he fell under thepatronage of a Breton merchant. This man was a Dumnonii Celt from Brittanyand took Riwald onboard as his first mate. From the portof Exeter, they had sailed first toQuimber in Brittanyand then traveled north to the Baltic Sea.From Franceto the Slavic-Lands in the far north, Riwald was amazed that most spokevariants of his Scotis tongue in the seaports and trade centers.
By832, Riwald owned his own ship and had become wealthy with a lucrative tradewith the northern kingdoms. He had begun that season once more from thesouthern Cymry seaport of Exeter,as he did each year. He took onboard a delegation of Bretonsreturning to their homes in France;a common occurrence, for the Dumnonii of Devon and Cornwallalso ruled the lands of Brittany from Cornouaillesand Quimber.
Brotherand sister from the House of Poher (my mother’s family, Poore), both had beenborn in Brittany but were raised by an uncle in their ancient homeland far upthe River Exe, on what is today the border between Somerset andDevonshire. Their uncle now dead,Selyfan (Solomon) and his older sisterRoiantdreh were going back to claim their inheritance in the principality ofPoher, east of Quimber.
Duringthe cross-channel voyage, Riwald became enraptured with the young woman. Raisedin the wilds of Exmoor, she found no adventureat living out a life around the antics of the Court of Cornouailles. The womanand the Scottish merchant devised a scheme…………………………………….
CHAPTER 6: THE PRINCELING AND THELION (Editorial Excerpt)
Canute the Mighty, once the fearful pagan King of Mercia,was ill and would die within months. In his younger days he had ruled asjoint-king of England with EdmundIronsideof Wessex,collecting the ‘Danesgeld,’ as Saxons paid the Danes to remain at peace. ThisNorse national extortion had been in effect for decades. Canutereigned from 1016-1035, becoming a strong leader and great Christian king of England. Hiswife, though, presented a problem.
Emmaof Normandy represented a barrier to the normal and traditional Saxonsuccession of the House of Ceridic of Wessex. She was not only Canute’s wife,but the widow of the old Saxon king Ethelred the Unready as well as being aNorman, sister to Duke Richard. As Crechtune and Borthwick laid this out totheir king, Duncanbegan to see how severe the state of events had become. The fate of Englishsuccession would eventually affect his kingdom as well. He asked for asimplified listing of the claimants.
1. Ethelred King of Wessex had byhis first wife:
a. EdmundIronside Heir to the throne
2. Ethelred King of Wessexhad by Emma of Normandy:
b. Edwardthe Confessor
c. AlfredPrince of England
3. Upon Ethelred’s death, EdmundIronsidebecame King of Wessex while his mother Emma of Normandy married Canute,King of Mercia.
4. Edmund Ironside had sons and heirs:
e. Edward Aethling (nephew of Ironside andgrandson of Edward the Confessor)
5. Canute has Edmund Ironsidemurdered in 1016, claiming the throne for himself. Emma of Normandy vows thatonly her children through Canute willbe heirs to the English throne. These sons were:
6. King Canute banishedIronside’s sons and heirs to death in Sweden,but the Swedish king pardoned them and sent them to Normandy. Edward the Confessor and PrinceAlfred are taken as wards of Richard Duke of Normandy,while an infant Edward Aethling is sent to Hungary and the court of KingStephen I.
h. The sons of Richard ofNormandy, Robert and William both claimed title to the English thronethrough Emma.
King Duncan pondered over the list for days. He saw the Normans as a threat, being an extensionof the Norse overlords that had kept Britain in check through extortionand intimidation for 200 years. Canute’ssons, Harold and Hardicanutewere in the same league, molded by their mother and the powerful Goodwin Earlof Wessex. Edward the Confessor,although first in line to assume the throne under normal circumstances, was now32 and entirely in the Norman camp. He had marrieda French woman and the Saxon burgers of London,who controlled the king’s council financially, viewed him with contempt. Hisaffinity for Norman French ways soured them. Duncan saw that 19-year-old EdwardAethling,far away in Hungary,posed the best alternative for the future of his new kingdom of Scots. Duncandirected Crechtune and Borthwick to make ready for a diplomatic mission as soonas Canute was dead. His young son Malcolm, as well as Crechtune’s son Eadric would beescorted to Winchester,where they would be out of harm from Macbeth and hisagents from Morray. Leaving loyal servants and ElfgivaCrechtunein charge of the children, Crechtune and Borthwick would then go to Hungaryand seek aid and support from King Stephenas well as the English prince, EdwardAethling.
The retinue left Scone late in 1035for the south. Word had come of Canute’sdeath. With four-year-old Prince Malcolmwent Crechtune, his wife and their two-year-old son. They traveled with over100 servants and men-at-arms, going overland to Edinburgh and there…………………………………………….
WHEN BOYS WERE KINGS
The Forth near Stirling, Scotland
CHAPTER 7: ROYAL ORPHANS (Editorial Excerpt)
The death of King MalcolmIIIin 1093 ushered in a new era for Scotland. The fictional EadricCrechtuneof East Creighton, Edinburghshire died in thesame battle. They fought against the tyrannical rule of Rufus of Normandy,crowned WilliamII upon the deathof his father, William the Conqueror.None knew, at the time of their deaths, how convoluted the lives of thedescendants of this Norman family would become.
When the Norman regime took overthe Anglo-Saxon lands 27 years before, WilliamI set about restructuring the entire kingdom. He retained the original 40shires, but placed his loyal Norman,Flemish and Breton (Celtic-Britons of Brittany)knights in charge of all jurisdictions. He created a new system of ‘Honours’where parts of a shire were controlled from centralized fortified castles. Toreinforce his structure, he wed his daughter Constanceto Alian VI Fergant Duke of Brittany, who was adescendant of Count Mathuedoiof Poher (Poore). Alain was made First Earl of Richmond. The King alsoinstituted changes in the structure of the church. Some Anglo-Saxon bishopswere kept in place, but Williambrought in continental clergy for the most part. The old church, which hadevolved from Celtic origins, now had to adhere to the updated Roman cannon lawsand institutions. The whole was due to the genius of Lanfranc Archbishop ofCanterbury. University-trained in theology as well as law, he became second tothe King. Rural dioceses active since the 600s, found themselves displaced fornewer urban bishoprics, better suited for tax collections. Only in Wales, Cornwalland the northern Kingdom of Scotlandwas there resistance to change.
Malcolm III’sdemise was due in part to this resistance. The eastern shires of Scotland still fell under the jurisdiction of Northumbria,where the old Anglo-Saxon earls held sway. Culturally, Lowlands Scotland beganat the UmberRiverand encompassed northern Yorkshire, Durham and Cumberland. His uncle, EarlSiward,raised Malcolm at York. In 1069, William sent his sons, led by Rufus, into Cornwall, Devon and Wales to subjugate the Britons ofCymry. Norman-based earls, either relatives or close companions of the Kingwere established to rule over those trouble spots. Angered and uneasy, Malcolmand his brother-in-law Prince Edgar Aetheling sought aid from Sweyn, King ofDenmark, who sent a fleet to the Umber River to help them against the Normans,taking York in the process. Williamturned his army north and wrecked havoc in Merciaand Northumbria.He lay waste the countryside, burning towns, crops, churches and monasterieswell into southern Scotland.The Danes were paid to vacate and by 1070, nothing remained in the northernshires but rubble. Widespread famine and economic hardship for the entireisland followed. At the Treaty of Abernethy in 1072, Malcolmwas forced to relinquish his son Duncanto William as a royal hostage.
This single event, passed overlightly in official histories, was probably the first time Creightons enteredthe political arena since escorting Malcolm’swife from Hungary to Scotland. Prince Duncan was the sonof Malcolm and his first wife,Ingebjorg of Orkney. The boy would have been about 12 and Malcolmwould have sent Scottish caretakers with him to William’scourt. Of course, no data remains as to who accompanied Duncaninto exile, but the possibility remains that one, or more were Creightons. Malcolm’s wife, Margaret,knew them as trusted advisors. Edinburgh,but 12 miles away from Creighton, remained the royal seat. It may not have beena knight of Eadrics caliber, but the queen would have seen fit to send aclergyman south with her stepson. Prince Duncan, however, never forgave his fatherfor sending him to England.This anger would cause ripples in the royal House of Scotland, which would leadto decades of family feuds. In 1083, King William I retired to Normandy to see to his own never-endingfamily feuds. He died there in 1087.
Rufus of Normandy was crowned WilliamII upon his father’s death. AsField Marshall, it had been he who ransacked Northumbria. To maintain hisdwindling hold on the south and to help his Northumbrian relations, Malcolm brought Gospatrick Earl of Northumbrianorth. He granted him the lands of Dunbarand other Lothian locations, making this ancient family with Celtic origins thestrongest in the southeast. The seat of Gospatrick was at Dunbar,on the coast of East Lothian near the Berwickborder. This was an important move, for Berwick had been the location of theancient CelticChurch at Lindisfarne Abbey. York was the traditionalseat of the Saxon Church of England. Archbishop Lanfranc sought to wrest control from thesee of York andreplace it with central power from Westminsterand Canterbury.With Gospatrick of Dunbar came his son, Hudred, as Earl of Lothian, while hisson, Helias, ruled as Prince of Lothian from Dundas(South Fort) near Edinburgh.Malcolm’s move assured a stableAnglo-Saxon frontier against Norman advancement into Scotland. These early transplantedearls of Northumbriaformed the base of what would become the very powerful clique, the Lords of theEast March.*
*This strange word, March, seenso often in histories of Scotland,had an ancient meaning and came with the Normans. It originated in the 9thcentury among the Franks. While fighting theindependent Celtic kingdoms of Brittany, regions would betaken over and titles of king outlawed. The conquered kingdoms would be dividedinto smaller ‘Marches,’with counts becoming the ruling heads as March Wardens. In Britain, theMarch became a military district of the Borders Region, held by a leading Earl instead of a count. They crossed shireboundaries and used natural land features for defensive purposes. Within England Proper, they were called the ‘Ridings,’today’s subdivided Yorkshire. In Southern Scotland, they were the East, Middle and WestMarch extending from Berwick to Wigtown, Galloway.In King Malcolm’stime, the terminology did not yet exist.
During PrinceDuncan’s forced exile as a royalhostage, he found favor with Rufus, who catered to the boy as he grew. If theboy had Creighton advisors, they would have become Anglicized to some degreeduring these years. As the boy grew older, Rufus granted him his own castle onthe Tyne near Newcastle,as a form of semi-house arrest. From here and with help from ……..
CHAPTER: 8 THURSTAN DE CRECHTUNE (EditorialExcerpt)
Thurstan de Crechtune wouldhave been born around 1090 at Long Creighton village or at Dun Creighton,Edinburghshire. There is evidence that he had a brother or uncle, Alexander, with lands in Berwick. At his birth, theonly local Normanwas de Lavedre, who became the family Lauder ofLauderdale. One of the first things that King EdgarCeannmorinitiated was a mandatory surname from all of his subjects. Like William the Conquerors Domesday Survey, itundoubtedly had taxation as the ulterior motive, but surname survival throughhereditary implementation was how it was promoted. For the grassroots commoner,it held little meaning. These country farmers and urban tradesmen carried on asbefore with names like JohnBaker (the baker) or WilliamMiller(the mill-wright). These people rarely traveled beyond their home territory andowed taxes directly to their local laird. It was the titled, or noble housesthat were of interest to the King. His tenants-in-chief, his knights and theirunder-tenants were all dear to his purse. The outdated Saxon ‘first name only’no longer worked. The new system was also the very beginning of the heraldicprocess whereas their arms and seals, or crests, evolved into recorded coat ofarms. With surname regularity on a father-to-son basis established, taxcollection and call-ups for military duty would become much easier. A heraldicblazon, a common name or a home location, as in Thurstande Crechtune,could now track the often-mobile nobility. As son of Trorstan of Crechtune anddescendant of Justinian Creightonai, Thurstan would carry the blue lion arms ashis official signature.
With HenryI as his mentor and his sister as queen of England, DavidCeannmor,like Edward the Confessor before him,relished the ways of the Norman court. Norman French had been the language ofthe court since William’s time, butnever in the frontier sectors. In Cornwall,Devonshire, Somerset, Cheshireand Wales,Norman earls and knights assimilated into the Celtic society. The same was truein the north. The few Norman imports, like de Lavedreof Lauder, soon became Lowland Scots in name and culture. Only when David returned home to Edinburgh didNorman ways follow.
David Ceannmor waslong a prodigy of Henry I. When David’s brother, Edgar,died in 1107 after a brief illness, Henryhad already advanced the 23-year-old Davidto be Prince of Cumbria (the disputed region that had long been claimed byStrathclyde and was actually a southern extension of east Galloway, Dumfriesand Annandale).With Edgar’s death, David negotiated with his brother Alexander and once again, they split the Kingdom. Alexander remained in place as ruler of Scotia abovethe Clyde, while David ruled SouthScotland from Northampton, England. This shaky joint-rule wenton for 17 years, with Alexanderclaiming overall kingship as the elder, resident brother. During Alexander’s reign, he created a new bishopric atDunkeld on Loch Tay, earlier held by lay abbots, which included his youngerbrother Aethelred. The ancient Culdee community was disbanded in favor ofbishops and a chapter of secular cannons. He did much the same in Moray atSpynie and Elgin.
In 1114, HenryI negotiated to have David married to Matilda, widowed heiress of Northumberland, Northampton andHuntingdon. Henry created the Honourof Huntingdon with David as earl. Thisplaced David in control of a vast11-county manor-hold, straddling the disputed English-Scottish border. Prior to1124, he was also advanced to become Earl of Lothian and Cumbria, which included portions of Galloway. Throughout Alexander’s reign, Davidsought to reinforce his holdings with Norman-based knights, which included manyBreton and Flemish mid-ranking noblemen. When Alexander died in 1124, Davidmade his grand entry into Edinburgh,surrounded by his friends and companions-in-arms: Comyn, Freskin the Fleming,WalterFlaad (Fitzallen) the Steward, seneschal(chief) of Dol, Brittany. There was Robertde Brus,first Lord of Annandale, Baldwin the Flemingand Williamde Dufglas (Douglas), who was also a Flemingand a cousin of Freskin. As Davidsettled in to assume the Scottish throne, he had no idea that his 29-year-reignwould become a hallmark in Scottish history. His son Henry(1115-1152) remained in Englandas 2nd Earl of Huntingdon.
The reign of David I Caennmor(1124-1153) is remembered for two things…………………………………….
CHAPTER: 9 THE LION AND THE ROSE (EditorialExcerpt)
The Holy Crusades were at theirheight, drawing many toward the ranks of the knights of many lands. Attached tonoble houses, they sought the capture of fellow knights (or infidels) inbattle, gaining riches from their ransom. The Crusades brought this custom to afine art and is the basis for the beginning of many ‘first families’ of title.Others would have followed traditional means, the university training, theclergy, the diplomatic field or civil positions within government. Schooling inthe great universities meant everything and the Lowland Scots were highlyintelligent. Then, in 1159, a new opportunity opened to the forward thinkingScots. It came as a result of the Holy Order of the Teutonic Knights.
They had been founded asPrussian knights, preparing for the First Crusade in Jerusalem. As the Crusade wore on from1095-1099, they swore a vow of celibacy, living a monastic lifestyle, butcontinuing in their warlike pursuits. By 1159, they were becoming despoticwarlords of Northern Europe, building greatcastles and aligning themselves with German duchies.
In the Netherlands, the merchant fleets of Zeeland andsouthern Denmark hadcontrolled the North Sea trade for centuries.Since the time of Ranulf of Creighton, Scottish and Northumbrian lords hadshared in this trade, taking them to the far reaches of the east Baltic lands.There, they competed with the northern Danes and Swedes, who had spread theirtrading net deep into the Russian Steppes. The rich market in sable, mink andermine, along with other exotic items, amber in particular, drew many to thisbusiness. In 1159, an elite corps of Flemish Hollanders and North Germansformed a trade union called the Hanseatic League,to monopolize the expanding network.
The Greater Netherlands in themid-12th century had become rich, in part due to the Holy Crusades.Countries as we know them today did not yet exist; the entire northern regionwas an accumulation of individual duchies and city-states. For the most part,the leading houses recognized no ‘national’ boundaries. The Rhine estuary, ancient homeland of theBelgae-Gauls had become a strong group of related duchies under the Counts ofFlanders. In what is today Belgium,the southern regions of Holland and parts ofwestern Germany,trade flourished. The Frankish Burundians were beginning to make inroads intothis region as well. The Flemish House of Baldwin (Baudouin) controlled much ofthe region and also ruled from the Holy Lands as kings and counts of ChristianPalestine.The Flemish knights who were granted Scottish lands by David I King of Scots; Douglas, Murray, Fleming, Leaske and their tenants, helped tie the ScottishLowlands with the Low Countries. The formationof the Hanseatic League brought all together.
To achieve its rapiddevelopment, the League required diligent management as well as military clout.The Holy Order of the Teutonic Knights supplied this service. They beganerecting strong castles all across coastal Germany to guard trading posts andshipping ports. The sea loving Frisians of North Holland and the citizens ofZeeland supplied management, ships and crews, while Scotsmen from the Lowlands provided clerks and additional staff. TheseScots were those trained at the great universities and were naturally prone,with the Northumbrians, to travel and adventure. With the trading fleets wentas many clergymen, for the eastern lands were still pagan. The church wasanxious to bring the Slavic people to Christianity before the Muslims reachedthem. Again, the warrior-monks of the Teutonic Knights led the way.
Oneof the achievements that DavidCeannmor is remembered for is hissupport and patronage of the ‘military orders.’ In 1159, the Teutonic Knights,the Knights Templar and the Hospittalers were the only three in existence.Although David probably bestowed landsand benefices to all of them, the Teutonic Knights were ‘closer to home,’ forLowlands Scotland was an extension of Germanic Europe. During David’s reign, Scotland blossomed upon the worldstage as a partner in many trade arrangements with European neighbors. It wasthe men who comprised his zone of advisors, from Berwick to Lanarkshire thatprovided the brains and money to undertake many of these ventures. I suspectthat the Lothian Creightons and the Lanarkshire Douglases first unified duringthese years, perhaps through……………
CHAPTER: 10 STONEUPON STONE (Editorial Excerpt)
Historically,the ‘Border Wars’ continued until 1356, although they were not ongoing. Therewas a period of peace after the Bruceand SirJamesDouglasdied, but a very short one. Many things led to the wars, but the old rivalrybetween the houses of Bruce andBalliol were at the core. When RobertBruce died in 1329, the young EdwardIII was already three years intohis English reign. JamesDouglas had presented the greatestdeterrent to English attack. When he died in 1330, the House of Plantagenetagain tried to place a Balliol on the Scottish throne. Edwardgave his support to the old exiled king’s son, EdwardBalliol.
Balliolhad another liaison often neglected in history books. When Bruce had taken the throne, those Scottish lords whohad supported JohnBalliol were forfeited of theirlands and sent into English exile. Collectively, they presented a large forceand included men like RobertClifford who had lost Douglasdaleto JamesDouglas. In the case of Douglas, only his underage son, WilliamDouglas,stood in the way of Clifford’s returnto English lordship. So, when Balliol attacked Scotland early in 1332, it was withthe full support and backing of the ‘disinherited lords’ seeking to recapturetheir old baronies. It was called the War of the Scottish Nobility.
As‘Guardians of Scotland,’ its defense fell to the House of Douglas, whileregents such as Robert the Stewardsheltered the infant king and queen from harm. However, with WilliamLordDouglashimself only 15, the leadership had to go to older family members. AndrewMurray,a cousin, was chosen over William’suncles, but ArchibaldDouglas teamed with Murrayas second-in-command. He was the boy’s protector and regent.
Theattack came by sea. Balliol met the Scottish army in Perthshire at DupplinMoor, winning the battle. At nearby Scone he seized the crown, but soon fled toGalloway where hismain support lay. In a four-month campaign, Murrayand Douglas chased the King from hiswestern strongholds and forced him to Annandale,where he was finally driven through the marches back to England. TheGuardian Murray, however, was captured; ArchibaldDouglasbecame ‘war chief’ of the country. He immediately began seizing lands andcolliding with his LothianDouglas cousins. Liddesdale on theEnglish-Annandale border was claimed in his name. His third cousins, WilliamDouglas(1310-1353) and JohnDouglas (1315-1349) owned landsbetween Creighton and Edinburgh. SelkirkForesthad already been in JamesDouglas’ control. They worriedover Liddesdale. If Archibald,half-brother of James, continued toseize land, he could form a new Douglasdale from Englandto Edinburgh.If he were to attach Herriot, Creighton and Dalkeithto his holdings, his way would be clear to absorb their lands into his own.
Inthe spring of 1333, EdwardIII entered thewar and led his army north to Berwick. The castle and town of Berwick fell. ArchibaldDouglas,with his nephew William organized theScottish defense, rushing to retake the town. With them were RobertStewartof Annandale,John Randolph Earl of Moray, ThomasRandolph, RobertBruceof Liddesdale and Patrick Dunbar Earl of March. They never reached the town. Atthe Battle of Halidon Hill near Berwick, eight earls died. Archibald ‘the Tynesman’ (Loser) also died, as didthe young Lord of Douglas. This void in leadership left the country in turmoil.The Earl of Moray was in English hands as a prisoner. RobertBruceand ThomasRandolph were dead, leaving no backups forthe throne in the Bruce line. Tosafeguard the nine-year-old King Davidand his wife, the regents sent the children to France.There the royal couple was raised, supported by King PhilipVIat Chateau Gaillard on the Seine. Their‘household’ was under the care of Robertthe Steward, who had as part of his cadre Johnand WilliamDouglas (sons of the Tynesman) and asecond ArchibaldDouglas, illegitimate son of SirJamesDouglas.
WithArchibald the Tynesman dead, hisbrother Hugh took the family reigns,but he was a cleric with no war experience and soon resigned. The Guardianshipof Scotland passed to his Lothian cousin, WilliamDouglas.With his brothers John and James and three other brothers, this line held landsthroughout Lothian. One was at Calder west ofCreighton in the Pentland Hills on the river Almond. Others were near Preston and Ormiston lands, also close to Creighton.
In1334 Balliol ceded the six southern sheriffdoms to Edward III. Annexed to England were Lothian, Berwick, Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peebles and Dumfries.In 1335 Balliol returned to hold a parliament at Edinburgh and then went on to Perthshire, wherehe remained for three years before retiring again to England. WilliamDouglasat first worked closely with JohnRandolph, leading men into Galloway against Balliol’sforces. Randolph, asEarl of Moray also backed Douglasin parliament, where many labeled him an outlaw. Aside from two campaigns inthe north (one with French help), Douglasconcentrated mainly on the southern regions, now officially called ‘MarcherZones.’ With him at its head, the lords and knights of Lothian became theleading force of resistance as guerilla warfare again became the primary meansof hurting the English. It became a war of survival.
Likemost of his neighbors who followed the House of Bruce, Douglasand his brothers were forced to forfeit their lands. JohnStirlingwas made the English Governor of Lothian and Constable of Edinburgh Castle.Beginning in 1336, Douglas and Ramsay headed a growing number of displaced knights anddisinherited barons ready to fight. Ramsey chose astring of fortified caves as hideouts at Hawthornden in Midlothian.Douglas led others to SelkirkForest, where he gathered a large forceof ‘outlaw’ archers. From lairs deep in the forest and high in the PentlandHills, the combined Douglas-Ramsay force played havoc upon the English patrols.JohnChrichtoun was 58, but his son William (nephew of Williamthe Knight), at 32 would have joined Ramsay’s groupto fight for his land’s survival. John’ssecond son was JohnChrichtoun (1309-1369). At 27,this young man had ridden with the men of Jedburgh and Selkirkunder WilliamDouglas. Like his leader, heobtained lands as a reward of war. His estates eventually were located nearJedburgh at Hounam and Cralig, Roxburgh.
Douglas captured JohnStirlinglate in 1337. Using him as a hostage, he traveled to Francein the spring of 1339 to meet with King DavidBruce,now 15. Meeting with Bruce and Frenchofficials at Gaillard, Douglas acquired French troops andcrossbowmen to help with his rebellion. He also took back to Scotland histhree cousins, William, John and ArchibaldDouglas.Plans had been laid for the boy-king to reclaim the Brucethrone, but Edinburghhad to be captured before he could return home. This occurred two years later,in 1341. In a surprise attack on the castle with his French allies, Douglas was able to return the richest burgh to Scotland.Shortly after its capture, DavidBruce returned to his capitol torule.
Forfive years he weighed his options as he matured. Thinking EdwardIII busy with his French war, David, at 22, decided to attack England to aid PhilipVI. It was a mistake. In France, The army fell to the English at Crecy. David, unaware, met the English at Neville’s Cross inDurham, but theFrench were not there to help. It was another English victory. David was taken captive and sent to England, wherehe remained for 11 years. With one last bold attempt to retake the throne,Edward Balliol re-entered Scotlanda year later, only to be met by.. ……………………………………………………………………..
CHAPTER: 11 HURLEY-BURLEY (EditorialExcerpt)
James I witnessed the beginnings of Creightondominance in Scottish affairs. WilliamCrichtoun was 21 when the King wasproclaimed heir in 1406. He remained the King’s closest advisor for theduration of his reign. King Henry,who was related to James, showered theboy with gifts and provided for his education. JamesI became a highly cultivated young man who loved music. He was also anoutstanding athlete. Initially, he probably thought that his uncle the regentwould begin immediate negotiations for his release; unaware that Albany and many corrupt lords of Scotland werethe cause of his confinement.
Hurley-Burleywas a favorite phrase used often in old Scottish writings. It was a catchallphrase denoting the inner wrangling at court and for political intrigue. At thecore of the ‘hurley-burley’ were the many branches of Douglasand Stewart, strongly woven togetherby marriage. Archibald3rdEarlof Douglaswas dead by 1400, but his son Archibald,imprisoned by the English picked up where his father left off as the 4thearl. He was married to MargaretStewart, sister to the boy-king James. Archibald’ssister Elizabethmarried three times: first to JohnStewartEarlof Buchan, second to ThomasStewartof Garioch and last to WilliamSt. Clair3rdEarl of Orkney. Another sister to the King, ElizabethStewart,married JamesDouglas, 2nd Lord ofDalkeith. Since SirGeorgeCrichtoun was also married to a Douglas, William may have been as well. His wife is rememberedonly as Agnes of Chrichtoun.
TheDuke of Albany allowed his nobles full reign to do whatever they wished duringthe King’s imprisoned minority. Lawlessness ruled the land. The Border Regionremained unstable. Their Douglascounterpart, the House of Percy, ruled the English Border Marches. They warred against the Dunbars relentlessly, the Dunbarsoften siding with Englandand the English Percys helping the Scots. When EarlArchibaldwas captured, his forfeited lands went to this Border family for a time. The Douglases, as Defenders ofScotland, were encouraged to retain their control over the south. By thebeginning of the 15th century, their power was supreme, rivaling andsometimes surpassing that of the House of Stewart. The young King James I, safe in England knew little of the corruption in Scotland. Begunby his father and escalated by his uncle the Regent, the Edinburghgovernment had no intentions on bringing him home until he was of age.
William Crichtoun inherited Creighton barony,but much of his early years must have revolved around KingJames in exile, as a go-betweenfor the English and the Regent Stewartof Albany. Hisrole as minor Lothian Baron, added to his training as a cleric, put him in highstanding with all sides. He was an aspiring man with high standards, but proneto doing whatever was needed to achieve a goal. William worked with SirJohnForrester, son of Adam ofCorstorphine (died in 1405), who followed his father as Ambassador to England.Forrester was also Deputy Chamberlainof the South (also inherited from his father), under the Earl of Buchan. WithRobert of Sanquhar, Stephen and Georgeof Cairns and young JohnCrichtoun, they became an integralpart of the ‘Hurley-Burley’ of the minority reign of the young James I.
Duringthe 17 years that James was a‘prisoner’ in England,many other Scotsmen were there in a similar capacity for many reasons. TheBorder Wars historically had seen Scottish knights captured and sent south. In Scotland, asmany English knights shared the same fate in that country. They could not becalled ‘Prisoner’s of War’ by today’s standards; they were often treated likevisiting diplomats. Archibald4thEarlof Douglaswas one captive who spent years in English hands. One of his fellow ‘captives’was the Duke of Albany’s son, MurdochStewart. In 1407-08 Douglas was allowed to go home to conduct business inScotland,but he had to be replaced with 19 voluntary hostages while he was ‘onparole.’ MurdochStewartwas a royal captive, as was King James.One of the things that rankled James in later years, was that his uncle negotiatedfor Murdoch’s release but left him, the King, imprisoned in England. As a church-trainedcleric, WilliamCrichtoun would have been one whowould have acted as an agent in these hostage matters. He would have held theKing’s confidence as well as EarlArchibaldDouglas,who stood against the Regent RobertStewart of Albany.
This may have been the beginning of a longfeud between Crichtoun and SirJohnForrester’sfamily. Forrester, who owned large estates near those owned by GeorgeCrichtoun,was the senior negotiator. He was closest to the King and Williampossibly was jealous of his role. The future feud was actually between theCrichtouns and Forrester’s son, also SirJohn,who was closer to William’s age. Inthe early part of the century, both men were Douglas adherents who sought higherpositions and status.
Therewas a catalyst that melded all of these men together and it was of a religiousnature. From Lord Douglasto minor barons like Crichtoun, much time and money was spent on the church. JohnCrichtounand AdamForrester both had private chapels builtnear their castles, maintained by clergy close to their families. Their sons William and Johnadded to these religious works, expanding them as they grew in power. In 1378the ‘Great Schism’ began, being one reason for the 1391 Lithuanian Crusade. TheChurch was divided in loyalties between rival Popes. Through much of the DarkAges, Avignon, Francehad been the Pope’s seat instead of Rome.By 1412 most of Europe had sided with MartinVof Rome as the true Pope, including England and France. Scotland,mainly because of Robert of Albany, stood alone with BenedictXIIIof Avignon.Civil wars had resulted over this split, but Albany stood firm. In 1414, 19-year-old King James had becomeembroiled in the dispute from England.He knew that his uncle was negotiating for Murdoch’srelease, thinking that he as well would finally be going home. Well informed bymen such as Crichtoun, he appointed ArchibaldDouglasto go to Franceon a fact-finding tour.
Agreat gathering of scholars had assembled at the University of Paris,the center of Pope Martin’smovement. Douglaswas greeted as a king, his servant; JohnGraywas made dean of medicine at the University. Douglas’clerical staff was all Parisgraduates. With Gray were GeorgeCrichtoun’smaternal relation Alexander Cairns, as well as MatthewGlendinning,GilbertCavern and JohnMerton.These men lead the way in procuring favorable sponsorship from MartinV, who wanted Scotland on hisside. Letters were taken back to Albanyand other high-ranking Scottish officials, but JamesI, still an English prisoner, was the main opponent to the Avignon Papal Seatremaining with BenedictXIII.
TheCouncil of Constance was the result of the Paris meetings andKing Jameskept informed about decisions made there. Douglasand many like him officially took Albany’sstand with Benedict, but secretlysided with Martin of Rome. In 1415 Jamesmade his final stand against his uncle when Murdochwas released, but he had to remain behind. The Council of Constance lasted forthree years, eventually resulting in MartinVbeing proclaimed the one true Pope in 1417. In Scotlandthe battle continued for another year as Douglasformed a ring of Martin supportersaround prior JamesHaldenstone of St.Andrews. When Parliament met at Perth late in 1418, they firmly backed King James and denouncedthe Duke of Albany, who was the last holdout for the Pope of Avignon. The waywas set for the young King’s return to end Albany’s governorship. EarlArchibald,the King’s brother-in-law, became an international favorite and a champion ofthe Church of Scotland as well as to Pope Martin.
Therewas a second reason for EarlArchibald to go to France.That country, involved with the Hundred Years War with England, alsowas split by royal rivalry. CharlesVI was mentallyill; a regent, who was his brother Johnthe Fearless of Burgundy, ran the country. The King’s son, Dauphin Charles,fought for control of the government. John of Burgundy held Paris and much of Flanders. In 1413 he met with Archibaldat Paris.HenryIV was sending an army of 4,000men to Normandyunder his son the Duke of Clarence. Douglaswas asked to provide a Scottish army to combat the English. Before anythinghappened, HenryIV died in England. Hisson HenryV favored John of Burgundy, so hisarmy was recalled. The threat no longer existed, but Johnand EarlArchibald formed a treaty of alliance andconfederation where Douglaspromised a Scottish force of 4,000 men-at-arms in case of another emergency.Small groups of Scotsmen had fought in Francefor centuries, but this was the first time an entire army was promised.
The Hurley-Burley intensified between 1418 and 1424.EarlArchibald, formally released by theEnglish, worked with both King Jamesand the Duke of Albany. A series of negotiations were conducted between HenryVand the duke for the King’s release. While these events were happening, thewars in Franceescalated with England.In 1415, HenryV had won animportant victory over the French at Argincourt, near Calais. By 1419 he had recaptured Normandy for England. John Duke of Burgundy was assassinated, but his men captured Paris, leaving the youngDauphin Charles to stand against his……..
CHAPTER: 12 THE BLACKDINNER (Editorial Excerpt)
Thepolitical intrigue wore on through 1440 as WilliamCrichtounand Lord Avondaleconspired against the young Earl of Douglas. Avondale wanted his grandnephews (William and David)out of the way so that he could advance his own sons. This elderly gentlemanhad 10 children, six of them being young men. EarlWilliamDouglas,born in 1423 was only 17, but already married to JanetLindsay,the daughter of SirDavidLindsayEarl of Crawford.In November 1440, Crichtoun and Avondale invited the DouglasEarland his brother to come to Edinburgh for discussions with theKing. They arrived with MalcolmFleming at Dun Creighton, wherethey evidently stayed for a time. The Chancellor gained the confidence of theboys and the older Fleming. The initial meetingincluded the boy’s relative Avondale, Chancellor Crichtoun, WilliamCranstoun,SirAlexanderLivingstonand the Earl’s uncle, the Earl ofOrkney. They were then taken to EdinburghCastle to dine with10-year-old JamesII.
Historyrefers to it as ‘The Black Dinner.’ The Douglas brothers and MalcolmFlemingmet the King and prepared to dine, but soon accusations began to be levied at EarlWilliamand Fleming in front of the monarch. Treason andcomplicity in a royal overthrow was broached and before they knew what washappening, all three were seized by guards and dragged from the King’spresence. The young king was unaware of what was happening and pled for theirsafe return. Chancellor Crichtounhad the captives taken to another room, where he conducted a sham trial,witnessed and upheld by his accomplices. All three were sentenced to death.Only then did Lord Avondaleshow a conscience for his grand nephews, but did nothing as they and Fleming were led away. Out of view in the rear of thecastle, they met the executioner’s ax. The story so often told about a boar’shead being served the boys as a death warrant at dinner is romanticfabrication. It derived from a poem by SirWalterScott (another Creighton cousin)generations in the future.
Beforeyou ask why, let me explain the state of affairs in 1440 Scotland. TheBlack Douglases had reigned supreme for well over a century, holding thecountry in an ever-tightening grip. Everyone in that room that November dayowed their current status to the direct result of previous service to one Douglas lord oranother. Baring the young king, every one had begun his career in the BlackDouglas train. The two brothers symbolized the continuance of Black Douglassupremacy, which presented a threat to the sovereignty of the crown. When the 5thEarlArchibald had died the previous year, hehad left a country that both loved and hated his symbolism. He and his fellow BlackDouglas followers had controlled Borders politics to the extreme. Looked uponwith both awe and dread, all who opposed him were summarily executed, whetherfriend, family or foe. The young King JamesII learned from anearly age to deal with this family with caution.
TheBlack Dinner made it clear just how powerful ChancellorCrichtoun and the Council hadbecome. In the past, anyone found guilty of royal treason would have beenforfeited of lands and publicly humiliated before being exiled or put to death.In this case, however, only MalcolmFleming’s estates were forfeited.The Earl of Douglas’ lands, which entailed much of southern Scotland, wereleft intact. This was the doings of Lord Avondale, who was made 7thEarlDouglasof Douglasby the Council. Knowing full well that he was nearing the end of his long life,he had at least achieved his goal. He would pass the Black Douglas inheritanceon to his sons.
Revengefor the Black Dinner came swiftly from the scattered followers of old EarlArchibald.In unison, they flared up all across the south, burning and looting those whogave allegiance to the Council and the Chancellor. LordAvondale fled to the safety of AbercornCastle. JohnForresterof Corstorphine, who lived 2 miles from GeorgeCrichtoun’smanor of Barnton, chose instead to lead an army to Creighton. Flying the BlackDouglas banner, his men burned portions of Long Creighton and then made asymbolic attack on Dun Creighton. Improvements made by JohnCrichtounin 1370 had little effect. During the short siege, many outbuildings wereleveled and the walls were breached. The Chancellor was in safety at EdinburghCastle, but word reached him ofForrester’s attack on his home manor. He made immediate plans to rebuild thecastle for defensive purposes, as many others were doing. With cannon warfare alooming reality on a private level, many older tower houses would neverwithstand an attack.
The construction began that winter. The ancient keepremained the main residence, but a full guardhouse was put on the top, cappedby a steep slate-covered roof. * Thick battlements crowned the old tower house,shielding the Creighton soldiers from arrows and stones. New constructioncommenced at the southeast corner, facing the entry road and the hill of Bankmoor.A three-story gatehouse tower was built, giving access to the second floor mainhall in the original structure. The ground level floor was left as a storagefacility. To the gatehouse tower was added the south range, with another builton the west side. Thick walls of dressed stone connected the remainder of thecourtyard with the northwest corner of the original house. The design was inkeeping with a courtyard castle and more than doubled Crichtoun’s living space.No longer Dun Creighton, the altered castle would remain unchanged forapproximately 150 years.
*Slate as a building material is still used today in many parts of Scotland.It was also a vital byproduct of the Dutch-Scottish trade system. The mainScottish ports were Lieth at Edinburgh, Perth, Culross, St. Andrews and Aberdeen. Beginning in 1407, a ScotsConservator of Scottish Privileges in the Low Countries was appointed by theDuke of Flanders to handle trade. Theconservator lived at Veere in Zeeland andmanaged shipping. Slate was mined in Fife, in the region east of Dunfermlinealong the Forth. The raw material was used asballast in the trans-channel crossing. Coal, hides, whiskey, raw wool, flax,grains and fish were the main exports to Veere. In Zeeland, slaters refined theslabs into building tiles, used again for the return voyages to Scotlandas ballast. EdinburghCastle
Turmoilreigned on the heels of the Black Dinner as the nobility repositioned forpower. The House of Creighton was no longer thought of as ‘minor barons.’ Chancellor William at 63was the king maker, molding JamesII to follow inhis father’s footsteps. The chancellor and his close family members were alsoinvolved in an elaborate scheme to gain control of many Douglas holdings, beginning 10 monthsprior to the Black Dinner.
Throughold age, battle or execution, the senior lords of Scotland were gone. Parliament, tobolster the dwindling upper class created new positions of ‘Lord ofParliament.’ James I had fostered thissystem to elevate his favorites and it gained in momentum through the 1450s.For modern genealogists, it causes confusion. Old documents make no distinctionbetween the traditional feudal title of lord (baron, or Laird) and Lord (ofParliament). Chancellor Crichtounwould have conservatively been the 33rd consecutive lord ofCreighton. In the realm of Scottish peerage, however, he was created First LordCrichtoun of Creighton in 1445. It would have also been the time that thefamily arms reached their highest achievement. Imperially crowned rampant lionsupporters were added to represent outstanding service to the House of Stewart.The dragon crest above the lion shield rested on a baronial coronet cradled ona bed of ermine.
InFebruary 1440 Crichtoun had acquired the rich barony of Kirkmichael, Perthshirefrom his daughter’s father-in-law, Alexander Seton of Gordon (Lord Gordon diedthe following year). It was a beautiful highland location north of Dunkeld andClunie southeast of BlairAtholl. This region had been lostwith the death of WalterStewartEarlof Atholl, transferred by inheritance to JoanBeaufort.Seton and the Johnstonshad benefited, owning large tracts throughout the Loch Tay area to Perth. In April of the same year Crichtoun met with his cousinRobert of Sanquhar to form a pact of mutual protection. Their cousin George ofCairns* and possibly many other Creighton heads were in Dumfriesfor the meeting. First, William and Robert signed papers of ………..
CHAPTER: 13 DOUGLAS CAST DOWN (EditorialExcerpt)
In1447 the King began searching for a suitable match for his sister Eleanor. It is not known how Crichtoun may haveparticipated, but as Lord Chancellor, he would have played a major role. Eitherhe or his cousin George acted asemissaries in past royal marriages and I am sure one or the other would havedone so this time. Although the Tyrolean Habsburgs headed the list, otherpossible ‘suitors’ were available in France; Bishop Kennedy was chosen to headthe continental party, with William Monypenny of Putmullen (Pittmilly, Fife).Granted safe passage by surrounding nations, they set out, with Rome part of theiritinerary. It was a long and involved journey.
Theywent first to Denmarkwhere they met with the King. Discussed were arrangements for the marriage of King James and Mary ofGeldres of the Netherlands.Chancellor Crichtounwould return to the Netherlandsin 1449 to escort the lady to Edinburgh, after James reached his 18th birthday. The Kingof Denmark was mostly concerned over his ownership of Orkney and Caithness. It is for this reason that I think GeorgeCrichtounmay have attended. As Admiral of Scotland, he held power and also owned BraalCastleand Dunbeath in Caithness. As with Huntly and Erskine in Mar, the St.Clairs, Sutherlandsand Rosses were fighting over the succession of thefar north. Denmarkhad much at stake, with trade relations at the head of the list. The King of Denmarkand Norwaywanted to extend Scandinavian rule north of the Great Glen. The HanseaticLeague, that controlled northern trade, would not hear of a Norwegian monopolyin Scotland.
LeavingDenmark, the delegationtraveled on to France, where Monypenneyobtained lands and title as Lord Baron Conquersault.He would return here to live out his life in later years. After touring Castile, the party went on to Romewhere Kennedy received advice from the Pope, andthen turned north into the Alps. At Innsbruck, Tyrol, theyfinalized marital arrangements for the princess EleanorStewart.The multi-faceted House of Habsburg already ruled an empire that included partsof Italy, Austria, Hungaryand Poland.They were intermarried to almost every royal house of Europe.It is probable that the delegation then traveled on to Geneva,for the youngest sister of the King, AnnabellaStewart,was 15 years old and was promised to 7-year-old Louisde SavoieCount of Geneva(1440-1501). If the delegation returned home at all in 1447, it must have beena short stay for Princess Eleanorwas at InnsbruckFebruary 12, 1448, where she married Sigismundvon Habsburg,Duke of Tyrol and the future Archduke of Austria. She died early in themarriage in childbirth.
Onthe following October 16, JamesII reached his 18thbirthday and the beginning of his majority reign, which would not be formalizeduntil he was married. Chancellor Crichtounleft immediately for the Netherlandsto escort the future queen home to Edinburgh.
TheQueen-apparent was Mary of Gueldres (1432-1463), the only daughter and heir ofArnold of Edmond Duke of Gueldres (family von Gelderan).Her mother was Katherinevan Kleve and her uncle was theDuke of Burgundy. Crichtoun would have taken note immediately at the Gueldres Coatof Arms. Gelderland was the oldest and largestDutch province. Since 1190, the arms had gone through many revisions. In 1220,the Count of Gelres used a gold rampant lion on a blue shield identical to thatof the House of Nassau and Luxembourg.By Crichtoun’s time, it had been combined with the arms of the counts of Gulik(German Julich), a black lion on a gold shield. He would have compared theCreighton blue lion on silver to the Gelres gold lion on blue.
Threatsof English warships in the channel kept him in Gelderlandlonger than anticipated. He was in the Netherlands for seven months. Whiletouring Brabant, Zeeland and Holland,he would have seen many more examples of the rampant lion arms. In May 1449,Crichtoun obtained clearance to leave under a naval escort. The party of Maryof Gueldres arrived safely at King’s Wark, Leithwhere the entire town awaited them. AlexanderNapierof Merchiston, Conservator of Trade and King’s Treasurer met the entourage,accompanied by the Provost of Edinburgh (JamesCrichtounof Ruthven). The mounted procession then traveled Rotten Row to Kirkgate, whereupon entering Edinburgh,they stopped for refreshments at St.Anthony’s Hospital, a Creightonbenefice. Amid cheering crowds, they finally arrived at the Cowgate end ofBlackfriar’s Wynd, where Mary met hergroom at the Guesthouse of Blackfriars. The royal wedding was held at HolyroodJuly 3, 1449. JamesII, crowned 12years before, was finally King of Scots.
James Stewart began his majority reignwith full awareness of the countries disunity. Plans were set in motion toreverse the escalating power of the youthful WilliamEarlDouglas and his followers. TheLivingstons of Callander, long supporters of the crown, had willingly sidedwith Douglasin the recent troubles. In an early show of force (September 1449), King James ‘threw down’the House of Livingston, executing, exiling or imprisoning many. The cause waspartially financial. His new wife had been promised large tracts of land aspart of the wedding negotiations. The King’s aunt and Duchess of Touraine haddied, leaving the Gallowayestates open to royal takeover. With the Barony of Callander also open, James began his ‘reclamation’ project against theBlack Douglas Empire. The Livingstonlands were divided between the King and Williamand GeorgeCrichtoun.
James II had rebuilt his father’sassemblage of ‘bombards,’ the great Flemish cannon arsenal. They had become astaple import, stacked along King’s Wark at Leithand crowding the Royal Armory at the castle. The largest, his pride and joy hadbeen made at Monsand was lovingly named ‘Mons Meg.’ It is still enshrined at EdinburghCastle.With a permanent English garrison stationed at RoxburghCastle since 1390, their presence onthe Tweed was a constant source ofaggravation. HenryVIagain rattled his sabers in the Borders Region. ThomasPercythe Younger of Northumberland sent English troops into Annandale in October, causing James unrest that another war loomed on the horizon. HughDouglasof Ormond, brother of Lord Douglasdrove them back across the Tweed.
Earlyin 1450 the crisis in the far north became critical. The Hanseatic League refused Norwegian heirship of Caithness and Orkney; a settlement hadto be reached. GeorgeCrichtoun became a compromisesolution. Because of his inheritance of Dunbeath, through his mother, the Kingcreated GeorgeEarl of Caithness.Advanced in years, he transferred his Cramond Parish Lands of Lenie to ElonaCrichtounand her husband, NicholasBorthwick of Balhaffie and Gourdonhall.He moved north to occupy Braal and Dunbeath castles. Braal would remain inCreighton hands until the 1600s, when it would again revert back to Sinclair hands.
Chancellor Crichtoun proposed that the Kingshould patronize the DouglasEarl and his chief lieutenants bysending them abroad on a pilgrimage to Rome.They journeyed to Melrose Abbey to meet Douglas. Over the bones of his ancestor James the Good and the entombed heart of Robert the Bruce,Douglaswas told that he would head a delegation that would keep him away for sometime. Duties that included meeting the French to negotiate the estate of theKing’s late sister Margaret, Lord Douglas seemed morethan happy to depart. To add to the enticement, Jamesknew that Louis of France was willing to reinstate Douglaswith partial title of lands in Touraine.
Beforeleaving in 1450, Lord William Douglas led a retaliatory raid intoNorthumberland where he attacked Alnwick and Warkworth; soon after he set outfor the continent. The proposed Jubilee of Pope Nicholas V being the primarygoal, Chancellor Crichtoun and the King watched his actions closely and soonlearned that Douglas had his own itinerary.They found that just as Englandhad renewed its old border conflict, Douglashad secretly sent his chief aids south through England,where they shipped out to Holland to met theirleader at Lille.With Lord Douglas and meeting with Duke Philip of Burgundy, were Douglas’brother James, Lord Hamilton, Alexander Hume, John Ogilvy of Lintrathen,William Cranstoun, Andrew Kee and Charles Murray of Cockpool. During their sixmonths away on ‘pilgrimage,’ the King continued his campaign to win back lost Stewart inheritances for the crown.
ByJune 1451 Lord Douglashad returned from Rome via England, wherehe had met with HenryVI. The Kingimmediately sought to stand up to him by asking for the Douglas lands of Hawick, which herefused to turn over. GeorgeCrichtoun was sent to obtain awritten refusal, which was witnessed by himself, cousin RobertCrichtounand PatrickHepburn. This act set the path forpossible acts of treason against the crown.
InJuly 1451 the King and Lord Crichtounled an entourage south to rally support for a Galloway takeover. The route was planned totraverse as much Black Douglas territory as possible, to throw fear into theirfollowing. They first traveled to Carrick to meet with GilbertKennedy.From the traditional ‘Stewartry,’ they then went through Lanarkshire toformally lay claim to Livingston lands, thentraveled down the Nith to Annandale for acouncil at LockmabenCastle. AlexanderSetonof Huntly made an appearance and formally asked for the King’s help in his waragainst RobertErskine and the DouglasEarlof Ross. KingJames elevated Huntly to Lord ofBadenoch and appointed him his chief lieutenant in the north. Finally seeingthe King’s ultimate plan, EarlDouglas began openly conspiringwith the English for support.
Thewinter of 51-52 saw both sides digging in for a showdown. Early in February theKing was at Stirling with the Chancellor. Lord Douglas was asked tocome there for a meeting, but the Earlrefused. James drafted an officialletter of summons and chose a Douglasfollower, WilliamLauder, to deliver it. Lord Douglas was taken inby this ruse and upon arriving at the royal stronghold; the King and LordChancellor greeted him warmly. On February 22, a meeting convened in a privatechamber with only the King’s closest aids present. Douglas was asked to desist in hishelping Crawford and Rossagainst Lord Huntly. Again, Douglasrefused, stating that he and his brothers had too much to lose in the north.The King made the request a demand and Douglas again refused. In a fit of rage,JamesII pulled his dagger and stabbed Douglas in the neck, whereupon SimonGlendinningand WilliamCranstoun, Douglas’ own men, helped dispatch himwith axes and swords. The 8thEarlLordDouglas was dead.
Thefollowing month saw the forfeiture of major Black Douglas holdings in thesouth. Crown lands were greatly increased and the Creightons headed the list ofnewly granted properties. GeorgeCrichton was given the Douglas baronies of Buittle and Preston.When the King visited George at MortonCastlelate in the month, Crichtoun asked him for Wigtown as well. This placed thefamily in control of almost all of Galloway, Dumfries and Annandale. In retaliation, the Douglas followers massed in West Lothian at AbercornCastleand swept down upon Stirling. The town wasburned and the castle attacked. JamesDouglas of Balvenie and the Hamiltons and the Kerrs led the attack.
Forthe first time in his reign, the bombards were rolled out of EdinburghCastle.The plan was to attack Douglas’traditional Lothian castle of Abercorn, where the Stirlingraid had originated. JamesDouglas and his allies had retiredto BothwellCastle, however, 30 miles west ofAbercorn. The King chose instead to wheel the guns to Hatton House, WilliamLauders stone tower located near Abercorn. The banners of GeorgeDouglasEarlof Angus and ChancellorWilliamCrichtounled the King’s forces that included Murray of Cockpool, BishopTurnbull, Douglas of Cavers, Lord Hume and JamesKerr.In the bombardment of Hatton, Lauder was killed.
InMay 1452 the war in the north came to a head when Seton of Huntly defeated Crawford at the Battle of Brechin. ArchibaldDouglasco-Earl of Moray, who backed Crawford, plundered theCrichtoun –Huntly lands of East Aberdeen. Whenthe King learned of this he forfeited Crawford (AlexanderLindsay)of his lands. This removed Huntly’s primary opponent in the north. Parliamentand the King’s secrete council met at Edinburghin June. New lords of parliament were created, Lord Hailes (Patrick Hepburn)and Fleming (Robert Fleming). George Crichtoun was confirmed Earl of Caithness, while James Crichtoun, son of William, wasconfirmed Earl of Moray. Brought before the council, James Lord Douglas (9thEarl) requested exile to Englandand safe conduct for his mother, Beatrice St. Clair, and his widoweddaughter-in-law, the Maid of Galloway. Permission was granted. Tons of Douglasgold and family possessions left Scotland,transported by ship to England.Douglas offered his services to Henry VI.
Thiswas perhaps the zenith of Creighton acquisitions in their long history in Scotland. With Livingston’s fall, William obtained further lands west ofDunkeld in Perthshire. Robert Crichtoun of Sanquhar obtained Lindsay’s richhome barony of Crawford in Lanarkshire. Confiscating Wigtown and Stewarton, theKing called out the Royal Host for the first time since his father attackedRoxburgh. Once again the great army assembled outside of Edinburgh and began the long trek throughformer Black Douglas holdings. The Pentlands, Peebles, down the Tweed to SelkirkForest,on to Corhead in Moffatdale, along the Annan to Nithdale and on into Dumfries went the army. As in 1436, the locals ……
CHAPTER: 14 FLOWERSOF THE FOREST(EditorialExcerpt)
Likea recurring nightmare, Scotlandagain had a dead king, a forceful queen mother and a boy king. James III wascrowned days after his father’s death at the age of nine. The young Kingimmediately received a group of loyal retainers as his regents, with Mary ofGueldres placed at their head. Her chief advocate was Bishop James Kennedy of St. Andrews, who had played the same role with JoanBeaufort. The other royal siblings were Mary (eldest sister), Alexander Duke ofAlbany, JohnEarl of Mar and Margaret, the younger sister. The Boyds of Kilmarnock, Ayr,were placed in positions of authority; Lord Boyd of Kilmarnockhad been a chief aid to James II. He was appointed High Chamberlain, while hisyounger brother Alexander was made the King’s military tutor. Lord Boyd’s sonThomas married Mary, the King’s sister.
Queen Mary and bishop Kennedyimmediately opened negotiations with HenryVIof England.Still embroiled in their Lancastrian (Henry VI) and Yorkist (Edward IV) war forsupremacy, Henry wanted promises from Scotland that they would not backthe House of York. Many noblemen were split on the issue and Lord JamesDouglas, working from Englandkept them at odds with one another. He carried on an active campaign ofintrigue, often leading raids into Scotland himself. Through his agentAlexander Kerr, the Boyds were drawn into Douglas’schemes to regain his lost holdings. Still actively at war with England, Douglas led raids into Galloway in 1462 while negations continued. He defeatedold enemies, Maxwell, Rutherford and Crawford, while his chief adversary, theEarl of Angus died of natural causes. In 1463 Lord Douglas’ brother, John ofBalvenie, was captured and executed, but in December, Mary of Gueldres alsodied. Countess Elizabeth Crichtoun died that same year in Aberdeen. This left Bishop Kennedy tocomplete negotiations of a truce with the new King Edward IV. With shiftingsides, the Scots were now asked to abandon support for the House of Lancasterin return for an extended truce and return of Berwick and possibly Carlisle. In 1464, Kennedy signed a 15-year truce.
1464found Robert Crichtoun of Sanquhar sheriff of Dumfries.His daughter Elizabeth was married to William Douglas third Lord of Drumlanrig.Lord Lovat and their mother, Countess Janet Dunbar had raised the grandsons ofChancellor Crichtoun near Loch Ness. They were William 3rd LordCrichtoun (1443-1493), Garvin Crichtoun (1445-1493) and George Crichtoun(1448-1532). At 21, William Lord Crichtoun was ready to assume his duties at CreightonCastle. Like his grandfather, he musthave had access to the young king, but it is not known how he fit into thehierarchy at court. He was close, not only to the King, but also his youngerbrothers and his sister, Princess Margaret.
In1466 Princess Mary and her husband, Thomas Boyd Earl of Arran, were abroad asemissaries, seeking foreign aid for Scotland. Thomas’ father and uncle,Lord Boyd and Alexander, at the urging of Douglas’ agents, kidnapped King Jamesand secluded him at Kilmarnock, enacting acoup of regent-ship. The King was 14 years old and highly susceptible to LordBoyd’s influence over him. The boy was held, away from the Edinburgh government, for three years. Manyof the nobility began to look toward his younger brothers, especially AlexanderDuke of Albanyas better material as future king. Again, Black Douglas interference, this timefrom exile, had upset the balance of power in the country.
Duringthe King’s captivity, Robert Crichtoun of Sanquhar continued to advance hisprestige with the marriage of his daughter Christian to Alexander Erskine,grandson of Robert Earl of Mar in 1467. From 1468-69, Robert of Sanquhar wasCoroner of Nithdale. His brother Ninian Crichtoun (1449-1526) entered theclergy as a lay Abbot of Glasgow, the see that governed Sanquhar rectory.
In1469, enough power had emanated from the Privy Council at Edinburgh to call the Boyds to appear beforethe court for their treasonable acts in kidnapping the King. Thomas was stillabroad with his wife. Lord Boyd was forewarned and fled to England beforehe could be arrested. Only Alexander, ill and infirm was taken to Edinburgh, where he wastried and executed. The family was outlawed and forfeited all lands and titleto the crown. The King, finally free to rule at 18, forced his sister Mary toreturn (Thomas Boyd remained in exile) and he had her marriage annulled. OnJuly 10, he married Margrethe, daughter of King Christian I of Denmark-Norway.Part of her dowry was the Shetland Islands and Orkney, while Scandinaviagranted the Sinclairs exclusive rights over Caithness.Their son James IV was born in 1473.
Thisunion with Denmark and Norway with the House of Stewart helped seal thepact with the Low Countries……………………….
CHAPTER: 15 MEET MEON THE NITH (Editorial Excerpt)
Asthe second quarter of the 16th century approached, the extendedCreighton family was spread from Yorkshire to Aberdeen. Many were clerics with highpositions in the church. Others, as ambassadors or clergymen had townhouses andlands in southern England.The eight-some-odd villages of Craigton, which I mentioned sometime back,represented roughly their main places of settlement in Scotland. Many,it can be assumed, took on the surname as tenants, as in the case of LordGordon and the free oatmeal. The largest congregation was, of course, the NithRiver Valley of Dumfries. In an almost unbroken line from Craigton near themouth of the river through Sanquhar and Kirkconnel, it reached into Carrick toBrunston and then north to Kilmarnock and the Paisley Abbey region near Glasgow. InDunbartonshire, the family Galloway materialized as if out of nowhere. Althoughtheir crest and motto were unique unto themselves, the Gallowayarms were identical to those of Creighton. The line of Craigton villages thenfollowed the route between the old abbeys, Paisley to Dunkeld (Robert Crichtounwas Bishop as well as Lord privy Seal) and then on into southern Angus and Dundee. Within 20 miles of that port city were twoCraigton villages. The district lords were the family Lyon Lord Glamis, whoseoriginal arms, by coincidence were almost identical to Creighton. In Aberdeen, Craigton near the town of Aberdeen was in the Gordon lands of Huntly.George Gordon 4th Lord Huntly was now head of that importantearldom. He was also Lord Chancellor, son of Lord George Seton who died at Flodden and the great grandson of Countess ElizabethCrichtoun. Last, although there was no village Craigton, were the Creightons ofElgin, descended from both Robert of Sanquhar and George of Cairns?
Withsome understanding as to the placement of the family in 1525, the surname as awhole can be reanalyzed. The major branches, Sanquhar and Frendraught, were notstatic. They held baronies in many locations north and south, intermixed withthose of the original Midlothian Creighton secondary holdings. Enough chartersand court proceedings had occurred by 1525 to show a remarkable variation insurname spellings.
I have found records beginning in the early 1400s. Ihave used ‘Creighton’ as a generic Old Welsh surname throughout the narrative,with subtle alterations from generation to generation, more for clarity thanfor any other reason. ‘Crichton’ as an official national surname would notbecome consistent until 1672. William the Chancellor went by either Crichtounor Chrichtoun. His wife Agnes signed with the latter. In 1404, “Stephen deCrichton of Carnis” witnessed a Dumfriescharter for a land transferal from Henry St. Clair Earl of Orkney, to St.Clair’s kinsman, Gilbert Grierson of Ard. The following excerpt is from anotherDumfries document dated October 27, 1440:
“…Instrumentnarrating that Thomas Kirkpatrick, laird of Closeburn, George Kirkpatrick,Morris Dalrympille, James Sandelandis, Thomas Crechton, John Stewart, MichaelRorysone, George Jenkysone, William Portare, Donald Portare, Gilbert Jonsone,John Patryksone, younger, Donald Mulikane, Andrew Crechtone, AlexanderAbernethye, John Dycksone, Cuthbert Grersone, John Minnyhew, John Inglis ofLangwelle, Henry Wilyhiamsone, Fergus Danaldsone, William Roxburghe, JohnPatricksone, elder, Thomas Carmichele, Donald Hunter, were chosen as assize byWilliam Douglas, knt., laird of Drumlangrige, in plea between James Twede,laird of Drumelyhare and Gilbert McMath, laird of Dalpede, over marches. NotaryJames Cunynghame, clerk. Glasgowdiocese: Witnesses. John Crechtone, esquire, Patrick Gledstanys and PatrickBlak...”
Asyou see, this document is almost 40 years after Stephen of Cairns signed as deCrichton, but the 1440 paper is from the same region of Morton Barony, Dumfries. It shows two spellings, Crechton and Crechtone.Signers of old charters were not picked at random, they were closely related tothe participants or very close friends. Charters and court documents from the NithValleyalone would continue to show many variations of the same name through the1700s. These were actual signatures ranging from the above to Craigton,Creighton, Curichton, Chrichtoun, Crighton, Croirktoun, Creichtoun, Creyghtoun,Creyghtone and Creyghton. Looking at some of the other names in the 1440document, it becomes apparent why Scotland sought to standardizesurnames in the latter 17th century. The following outlines are takendirectly from McCrerik family papers recorded in the Sanquhar-Kirkconnel areasfrom the 1540s through the 1600s. It best describes how varied the Creightonname was on an individual basis:
“…ArthurMcCrerik, son of Fergus of Barharrow, on 12th July, 1549, along withothers, enact themselves as cautioners for William, Lord Crichton to GeorgeMaitland in the sum of 25 merks to be paid yearly to the latter, of the farmsof the lands of Fardin in Kirkconnel, barony of Sanquhar. He marriedElizabeth Crichton.
His son, Patrick McCrerik, burgess of Wigton and of Sanquhar,and of the Cairn, is, 22nd March, 1576, witness of the confirmationto Mr.JamesCrichton,eldest son of Mr.RobertCrichtonof Eliock, of the lands of Cluny,in Perthsire (this James was thecelebrated “Admirable Crichton”). Patrick entered, October 31st,1579 (Reg. Deeds) into a contract with John Dougall elder, merchant burgess ofEdinburgh, in which for certain sums of money he discharges said John Dougallof all action and cause of warrandice which he had against him for failing toinfeft him in a portion of the land called the Guisdubbis lying on the northside of the Burgh of Sanquhar. In the same year the Privy council Recordsstate that Caution was found in 500 £ by John Creighton of Frendraught, James Creighton of Carcow, andGeorge Creighton; for William Creichtoun, Tutor of Sanquhar, that he will notharm Patrick McCrerik, burgess of Sanquhar; and there is a separate caution 100£ by the same for said WilliamCreichtoun, in his capacity as Sheriff of Dumfries, that he will enter Patrickpeaceably into certain specified leggis of lands with houses lying near theburgh of Sanquhar, and will not molest him in his possession of the sameafterwards. Resumed action at the instance of Patrick McRerik againstsaid William Creichtoun and James Creighton, one of his cautioners, touching “thecontravention of one act of the burgh of Sanquhar;” bothe parties appearing,defendant was Mr. P. Edmund Hay, the prolocutor, the Lords admit the matter toMcCrerik’s Probation, assigning to him for the purpose the 12th ofJuly next, 1579. In 1583, (Privy Council Rec.) there is a complaint by JamesCarmichael of Meadowflat, Captain of Crawford as follows:
“InSeptember, 1580, Patrick McCrerik, with five accomplices, bodin in arms andwarlike manner, came under silence of night, to the said complainer’s sister’slands of Dovane, within the barony of Crawfordtoun, and demolished to theground her haill houses and biggins being thairupon, quhairin John Elliott, herservand, was dwelland for the time, and not content with this they returnedwithin three days and maist tresonablie rasit fyre and burnt anddestroyed the rest of the said house quhilk were uncasindoun.” InJanuary, 1583, Patrick was dilaitit of the treasonabill burning of certainhouses pertaining to the Tutor of Sanquhar (Justiciary Records) – the same daySir John Gordon of Lochinvar is “pledge and suretie for the entrie of PatrickMacrerik before our soverane lord’s justice or his deputy in the tolbooth ofEdinburgh, the last day of February, to underly the law for airt and pairt ofthe alleged burning of ane house belonging to William Creichtoun, tutor ofSanquhar, and his spouse, conforme to ane act of secret council made thairanentand siclyk that the said Patrick shall remain in ward within the burgh ofEdinburgh, under the pain of four-score £.” The same day William Creichtoun of Liberie “obleist himto relieve the said Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar of his caution.” On theday appointed – the last of February 1584 – the assize failed to obey summons,and were each fined 200 £.
Patrickmarried Susannah, a daughter of William Creichton of Liberie, or Libry. ……….
CHAPTER: 16 REFORMATION(Editorial Excerpt)
The first half of the 16th century found Scotland and the world at the pointof change. It began, oddly enough in Saxony,with the son of a peasant miner from Eisleben, HansLutherof Mohra. MartinLuther was born in 1483 andalthough his father was ‘rough cut,’ his mother MargaretZieglerwas a deeply devout Catholic, albeit hard line and severe. Today, it would haveall the hallmarks of a very dysfunctional family. Martinwas abused and beaten incessantly, so much so that he ran away at an early ageto join a monastery. Before he was 22, he had achieved bachelors and then amaster’s degree in philosophy at the Universityof Epiphany. TheAugustinian monks that he trained with and under were of the ‘modern’ school.
The debates had raged for 300 years. It had begun at ParisUniversity,long a liberal church-run school. RichardPoore Bishopof Salisbury had proposed change in 1220, angryat a system that allowed secular appointees to hold HighChurchpositions. When Rome sponsored new universitiesat Louvain,they followed suit in promoting great changes within the church body. In 1425,42 separate colleges were associated with LouvainUniversity.One thing that made these schools unique was that they specialized in secularstudies---law, the arts and medicine, while teaching fundamental religioustraining at the same time.
From 1507-1509, Luther taughtphilosophy at WittembergUniversity while hestudied for his baccalaurean degree in Bible Theology. He was ordained and soonbecame known throughout Germanyas a great scholar. He became district vicar and representative of thevicar-general of Saxony and Thuringia. For aminer’s son, this was unprecedented in class-conscious Europe.Then in 1515, plague hit Wittemberg. For the first time he became aware of theextreme void that separated the very poor and the overly rich. While peopledied by the thousands, his church peers thought only of their own welfare.
Luther entered a long period of deep depression,angry at the church and life in general. He began to seek his own council,philosophically debating with his conscience the traditional church tenants. Hedrafted a thesis, which proposed personal salvation through faith. His‘Justification by Faith’ theory, simply put, was that Jesuswould forgive you if you placed your trust in Him. Works alone, as promoted bythe RomanChurch, were not enough. This of coursetook salvation out of the hands of the church and placed it on an individualbasis, which was heresy. In 1517, after long thought, Luthernailed the ’99 Thesis’ on the door of the WittembergCastlechurch. It was more than a symbolic gesture; the door was the town bulletinboard. Within 20 years, his rebellious ideas had swept Europewith dozens of offshoots. It was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
Born two years after Luther in1484, was the Swiss reformer, UlrichZwingli, and in 1509 at NoyanPicardy, JohnCalvin was born. Workingseparately toward the same general principals, these three formed a growingmovement that brought the Roman Catholic Church to its knees.
Elector Frederick of Saxony was first to embrace Lutheranism, althoughoutwardly he remained neutral. MartinLuther was excommunicated from thechurch and sought asylum in his native province. There was an imperial ban onthe reformist movement. Frederick began to quietlyestablish Protestant communities within his principality. When Anabaptistsformed to fight Luther’s principals,he returned to Wittemberg, but by then the die was cast. Other German princesfollowed Frederick’slead, his brother John of Saxony being the first. Grand-Master Albert of Brandenburg, heading theOrder of the Teutonic Knights took things one further. In 1525 he secularized Prussia toallow for Protestant settlement. It was made a hereditary fiefdom of the Houseof Brandenburg under suzerainty of the King of Poland.
This single act undertaken eight short years after the founding ofLutheranism had resounding repercussions in Scotland. Since their fall atTannenberg in 1410, the Teutonic Knights had lost their once proud empire. In1525, East Prussia and one lone bailiwick at Utrecht, Hollandwas all that remained. Prince Albert,as Grand Master of the order, held Königsberg, Mecklenberg and Dantzig, whereScots traders had settled generations before. Tilsit, 60 miles north of Königsbergwas almost 100% Scottish. With her sister port of Veere in Zeeland(the Scots called it Campveere), the two Scottish towns represented both endsof an ancient Baltic trade system. In Scotland, the Sinclairs of Roslinwere hereditary Grand-Masons of the Holy Orders. Through normal trade relationsand family contacts in Holland and Prussia, theScots learned early on about Luther’steachings. Students at the great universities helped relay the informationhome. In Englandsimilar events were occurring, but on a national level. HenryVIIIwas forcefully evicting the Catholic Church because of his maritaldifficulties, ushering in a StateChurch with Henry as its head.
As often happens in history, the Reformation was the result of manyinterrelated events. Without Gutenberg’s printingpress, the Scriptures would have remained the exclusive property of the RomanChurch,handwritten in Latin for the clergy alone. Surprisingly, the reform began muchearlier, in England.In 1382, JohnWyclif (1324-1384) had attackedCatholicism as an all-powerful giant that ignored the needs of the masses.Faced with poverty and plague epidemics, the common people rallied to hiscause, becoming known as ‘Lollards.’ Wyclif wrote his own tracts and portionsof the Bible in English. Faced with heracy, he stepped down and died naturallyin 1384, but the spark glowed. Lollardism spread north in a quiet revolution,reaching western Scotland,where it lingered for generations in Ayr andArgyll. Mainstream Scotlandwas solidly Catholic, but small pockets of educated landowners passed on theirworn Wyclif texts to their grandchildren.
As Luther’s doctrines tookhold in Europe, university students brought the news home to Scotland. Thehigher class followed a pattern where sons were first sent to Aberdeenor Glasgow, then on to Oxfordin Cambridge.The very rich still favored ParisUniversity, as in thecase of PatrickHamilton (1503-1528). He was thegreat grandson of King JamesII and his familyhad acquired the forfeited Boyd titlesas Earls of Arran. While a student at Paris,Hamiltonbecame attracted to Luther and met himin 1521. Upon his return to Scotland,he promoted Luther’s teachings andsupported the growing cadre of lesser reformers. This brought him to a head-oncollision with the primal seat of St. Andrews.He was burned as a heretic in 1528, becoming a martyr of the new movement.Early promoters of the reform religion were Crichtoun of Sanquhar and Douglasof Drumlanrig.
Another was WilliamTyndale (1494-1536), an Englishstudent at Oxford.The liberal atmosphere of Cambridgeallowed open discourse and being an international university, it includedGermans. Religious discussion revolved around the White Horse Inn Society,called ‘Little Germany’ by school officials. MartinLutherwas the main subject of debate as early as 1518. In 1521, Tyndaleobtained the position of tutor to a wealthy family who favored Luther’s doctrines. Through their patronage, he wasable to translate the Latin New Testament into English. MartinEmperourof Antwerppublished it in 1524. By the end of that year, hundreds had been smuggled into England from Antwerp. Public book burnings at St Paul’s Cathedral hadlittle impact. A second edition came out in 1525 and the reformist ideas spreadeverywhere. Tyndale was executed in 1536 andalthough he held his own in open debate with the Catholic bishops, the Englishrendition of the Scriptures remained his primary offence.
Bishops, in Scotland,lived more opulently than King JamesV. He was, ineffect, a peer to any of the earls of the Kingdom and was expected to gainrevenue from his own estates, as they did. There was no national taxation. Thebishops, on the other hand, claimed enormous estates and regional districts.The Church as a body took in annual revenues that exceeded that of the King’sby four-to-one. The archbishops, bishops and abbots held high seats inParliament and historically were royal councilors. For centuries, the churchhad gained lands and benefices from the nobility with the ‘through works youare saved’ doctrine. Chancellor WilliamCrichtoun fell into this categoryin the 1440s when he bequeathed land at Long Creighton. By building his ornatecollegiate church, he sought prayers from the clergy and stepped closer tosalvation. All across Scotlandthousands of acres were turned over to the church for similar reasons. Owningthe largest land base, the Catholic Church really controlled ……..
CHAPTER: 17 LIONS FROM THE SEA (EditorialExcerpt)
This is perhaps the best time to beginscrutinizing the familyCreyghton, or the Old Dutch spelling, ‘Creijghton.’ Their origin is the reasonthat I wrote this history. First of all, the spelling ‘Creyghton’ is notunique, as the above lineage of Robert Creyghton of Wells indicates. I haveshown court and family papers previously with similar spellings of bothCreighton (George Creighton of Carcow, Dumfries 1579) and Robert Creyghtoun(Creyghton, also Crichton) of Eliock, Dumfriesdated 1595. I have also shown an inter-connection with Lowlands Scotland andthe Netherlandsthat extends back many hundreds of years. We know that Campen, or Veere, Zeeland was a Scots port as early as 1296. In 1444,George Crichtoun of Cairns escorted Mary Stewartto Zeeland to wed the Lord of Veere. In 1449,George’s cousin and Chancellor William Crichtoun spent 8 months there as wellas in Gelderland, to escort Mary of Gueldres back to Scotland to marry James II Stewart.By then, there was a large Scots community of tradesmen at Rotterdam. As early as 1460, Scots by thehundreds attended schools of law and medicine at Leiden,while others established themselves at Amsterdam.Utrecht, a primary Catholic bishopric, was alsohome to a large group of Scots traders with the HanseaticLeague and was also a haven for the Teutonic Knights. I am almostpositive that early Creightons will be found in records from these areas.Zeeland would be the first place to check; the church of Groote Kerkin Veere is still functioning and retains records of past citizens.
To grasp the history, it is best to start at the beginning. Like mostAmericans, I thought of ‘the Netherlands’as being Hollandalone. I never knew that it also included modern day Belgium,Luxembourg and portions of Germany. Beforethe 1580s, it encompassed 17 provinces north and south of the Rhine.In 925 AD, it was just emerging from ancient tribal territories ofBelgae-Celtic origins. The Franks, under Charles the Simple, gave it over tothe German chieftain, Henry the Fowler. The region became known as Lotharinia (Lorraine).
It was governed by Count Dirk I and by 965 was divided into Upper and Lower Lorraine, straddling the River Rhine, as it turnedwest toward the sea. Counts ruled the sub regions of Namur,Hainault, Limburg, Zutphen,Luxembourg andGueldres. Barons controlled Mechlin andMarquesses ruled Antwerp.Flanders emerged from this growing regionunder Charles the Great, who appointed earls to control the provinces. Hisdaughter married Baldwin of Flanders, who forged the region into a principalitythat rivaled the French kingdoms. His major holdings were north of the Rhineand included the seven original provinces of modern day Netherlands.They were: Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht,Overijssel, Groningen, Gelderland and Friesland. The Counts of Holland and the Bishop ofUtrecht jointly rule this area.
The adjoining German duchies developed in a similar manner, smallcity-states and principalities that fought for dominance. As they grew, theytied into the ruling class of the Netherlands through marriage. Thesame thing occurred in Flanders south of the Rhine in the ten districts thatbecame Belgium.Luxembourg,as well, shared connecting bloodlines and heraldic arms. What I have found is ahistory that can be traced through family arms. The Greater Netherlands (Low Countries), as they existed in ancient times, allshared a unique tie to the family Creighton. It was the rampant lion.
We have followed the Creighton blue lion from ancient Brigante-Vocontiibeginnings in the Alpine Region of Austria, to the RhoneValley and on into Scotlandthrough Justinian Creightonai. By the 1500s, it had acquired its present form,with green dragon crest, baronial coronet and imperially crowned rampant lionsupporters. Every single Creighton branch that evolved in Scotland or England used the same white shieldand blue lion with talons, teeth and tongue. I have also shown that familieswith separate surnames sometimes had identical or almost identical shields. Inevery case, they either had a common origin (Douglas and Murray) or arms werecombined with, or passed on through, matrilineal lines (Galloway,Crichton-Stuart). Some however, have no ………..
CHAPTER: 18 THESILENT LION OF NASSAU(Editorial Excerpt)
Much of the land was at, or below sea level. Since ancient times, asingle storm could inundate entire provinces, killing 20,000 or more at asingle occurrence. The ‘Low Countries’ encompassed Belgium, the Netherlands,coastal Westphalia and Hanoveria (Germany) as well as southern Denmark (theJuteland Peninsular); it is no wonder that these people historically had soughtto migrate en mass to other regions, always battling the sea. Those who choseto remain in their homeland became invested with an inner strength. Theirfortitude is probably one reason that they had always gotten along with theLowland Scots so well. They not only shared cultural and linguisticsimilarities, but inhospitable homelands as well.
The real bond, since ancient times, had been commerce. The Dutchhistorically had been traders and seamen. Their people were industrious andinventive, where the Scots were not. Since the time of Malcolm Ceannmor, Scotlanddepended on outside trade for its very staples of life. The majority of Scotland livedon barley and oats well into the 1800s. They were the last country to gothrough the ‘Renaissance,’ which did not come until the 1700s. The Netherlands supplied them with everything fromFrench soap (soap was not made in Scotland until 1750) to swords andplowshares. When the abbots of Melrose helpedfound the city of Camp Veere in Zeeland in the12th century, it was a Godsend for Scotland.
Zeeland was then a series of islands at the great combined estuaries ofthe rivers Rhine, Maas and Schelde. To the north swept the long finger of Holland, ending in theFriesland Archipelago. The counts of Holland andthe dukes of Flanders ruled Zeeland jointly.Until the 1500s, the predominant trade center for Europe was at Bruges (Brugge) in Flanders,which controlled the wool industry. While the English merchants concentratedtheir efforts with Flanders at Bruges and Antwerp, the Scotsestablished theirs at Veere. Never a large city, it commanded an impressiveport for centuries until the sea finally reclaimed it. The lion arms ofZeeland, unlike the other five original provinces (Groningennever displayed a lion), come from Scotland and not the House ofNassau. Symbolizing the waterlogged country, the red rampant lion strugglesfrom the waves of the sea. It originated in 1196 when Floris III Count ofZeeland married Ada,sister to William the Lion of Scotland. In 1296, the Cistercian monks of Melrose obtained rightsto import wool duty-free to Veere. The van Borsele Lords of Veere (1286-1486)remained the paramount house of Zeeland for 200 years, but their coat of armswas a simple white shield with a black fess, or narrow band across its middle.The municipal arms of Veere displayed a blue castle for the city, with theBorsele shield as its gate. The Borsele arms, however, always were shown inconjunction with the lion of Zeeland whenshown on old maps of Veere.
Until Mary Stewart’s death in 1465, she, as Lady Borsele and Countessof Buchan, did more than anyone to unite Scotlandwith the Netherlands.She not only encouraged Scottish immigration to Zeeland, but helped form theScots communities at Leiden and Rotterdam,Holland. Leiden became a greatcenter of liberal academic training for humanist philosophy and law. Scottishtradesmen and merchants began occupying large sectors of Rotterdam, with many integrating into Dutchsociety. When the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation took hold, these areasbecame a haven for Scots refugees fleeing Catholic persecution.
The Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands came late in historyand its defender was the Catholic William of Orange (Willem van Oranje,1533-1584). Born to the Ottonian line of the House of Nassau-Dillenburg (the descendants of Walramof Nassau comprised the second), William (the Silent) was German by birth. Hisfamily originated in the Rhineland-Palatinate of Hesse and held vast holdingsin the Netherlands.In 1544, he inherited all of the Netherlandsestates as well as the principality of Orange, atown in southern France.By coincidence, Orange, on the RhoneRiver,was in the ancient Vocontii tribal region of Justinian Creightonai.
William’s parents were both Lutheran Protestants,but upon the insistence of Emperor Charles V, he was raised a Catholic. William became a member of the emperor’shousehold, who raised him like a second son, becoming the chief page toCharles. In 1555 the emperor made William ‘stadhouder’ (governor) of the NorthernProvinces of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht.
I erroneously depicted Charles V (King Charles Iof Spain,1500-1558) as a dictator and outsider. My Dutch cousin has pointed out that heis still very much a father figure in the Netherlands, being a mentor toWilliam the Silent. His history is one of complexity. He was maternally thegrandson of Ferdinand V of Castileand Isabella I of Spain.His paternal grandfather was Maximillian von Habsburg, first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. His great-grandfather was Charles theBold duke of Burgundy.Born to Philip I king of Castileand Joanna the Mad at Ghent (in present Belgium), he was raised in the LowCountries. At six he inherited the Burgundian territories from hisfather. At 16 he succeeded Ferdinand V as king of Spain and all of her vastterritories. Maximillian died in 1519, leaving the central Habsburg holdings tothe young man. His brother Ferdinand ruled this region as governor. By histwentieth year, Charles ruled an empire that exceeded Charlemagne’s. Itincluded the Spanish kingdoms of Castileand Argone, Spanish conquests in Africa, South America, CentralAmerica, Mexicoand New Spain in North America, the Netherlands,the Italian states of Naples, Sicilyand Sardinia and the many Habsburg lands throughout CentralEurope. His entire life was spent in trying to unify his empire.He instituted regional centralized government and expanded commerce.Traditional Catholicism was all that he knew and the Ottoman Turks wereinvading deep within his territories. When the Islamic forces were at the gatesof Vienna,Martin Luther emerged to present a second threat to his Roman Faith. Charlesspent a lifetime trying to combat the Turks and quell revolts of his Germanprinces, who sought autonomy while he was preoccupied with the Turks. In takingWilliam of Orange under his wing, he may have sought inner peace, for his ownson Philip was controlled completely by his fanatical, ultra-Catholic mother.Charles saw great potential in the young prince William, who became hisprotégée.
William married four times and his unions were clearly for hisadvancement. His first wife was Anne of Egmont and Buren, an honored house of Holland and probably aCatholic, like he was at the time. With Anne,he had a son, Prince PhilipWilliam of Orange (1556-1616). He evidently divorced Anne after troubles broke out with CharlesV. Two years before she died,William chose Anne of Saxony for his second wife. Her father, Maurice Electorand duke of Saxony was a Protestant, butpolitically aligned with Charles V. In 1524, Maurice founded the firstProtestant university at Marburgand with Philip of Hesse, had formed the Protestant German Schmalkaldic Leagueto oppose the Catholic Emperor. He turned sides to gain the rest of Saxony. Both he and the Emperor opposed William’smarriage of Anne, but they were married even so. Anne of Saxony bore himMaurice of Nassau (1567-1625), who succeeded as Prince of Orange, upon hishalf-brother’s death. William’s third wife was French, a runaway nun and aprincess of the royal House of Bourbon. With full support of the Protestanthierarchy, he married Charlotte of Bourbon in 1578, but she died two yearslater. His last wife was also French and a Protestant Huguenot (French Calvinist),Louise de Coligny, daughter of Admiral Coligny. She bore him his third son,Frederick Henry Prince of Orange(1584-1647).
Charles V had added 13 new archbishoprics at Antwerp,Ghent, Bruges,Ypres, St-Omer, Namur, Boise-le-Duc(Hertogenbosch), Roermond, Haarlem, Deventer, Leeuwarden, Groningen and Middelburg.The last affected the Scots merchants. In 1519, Veere was retired by theConservator of Trade in favor of Middelburg because the harbor at Veere wasfilling in with silt. Within 23 years, they were back at Veere because ofCatholic dominance at Middelburg.
William’s elevation as stadhouder of the Northern Provincesoccurred just as Charles passed on his imperial title to his son, Philip II of Spain and the Netherlands. The new Emperor touredthe Netherlandsand remained until 1559. Lacking the iron fist of his father, he allowedProtestants, especially Calvinists to enter the country, who instinctivelysought out the Northern Provinceswhere laws were less stringent. Before Charles V reorganized the 17 provinces,the Catholic Church had only four bishoprics in the entire region and Utrecht was the only one north of the Rhine.He had centralized government at Brabant and Antwerpbecame the wool center of Europe. But whenPhilip returned to …..
CHAPTER: 19 GIACOMOCRETONIO AND THE BLACK ROBES (Editorial Excerpt)
This is a very hard time to write about when trying to follow a singlefamily to new locations. In Scotlandalone, the Creightons now numbered in the hundreds, if not thousands. We knowthat Catholic-Protestant adherence split known family lines. The Creightons ofSanquhar, Protestant leaders, also produced Catholic bishops. The Creightons ofSomerset, England may have been Catholic and from this same group, choosing thesemi-Catholic rituals of the Anglican Church over the Scots Presbyterian dogma.They, in turn, produced Anglican bishops. The ‘grassroots’ Creightons, thosethousands of tenant farmers spread all over the Lowlands, had not yet had anopportunity to migrate. The very culture of the Lowlandskept them glued to their land. They simply endured, as they had always done. Itis from the upper class that the continental Creightons would have originated.
One family member of great fame was James Crichtoun (also Creighton) ofClunie, Perthshire. He is a good example of how the upper class was raised andwent far afield in their career pursuits. He was the same child mentionedabove, born at Eliock House in Dumfries, amember of the Sanquhar Creightons. He was privileged, first of all, by beingthe son of Robert Crichtoun Lord Advocate. He claimed partial royal titlethrough his mother, Elizabeth Stewart. He was only two when his family movedfrom Eliock to ClunieCastle, to lay claim tothe lands transferred from Dunkeld diocese by bishop RobertCrichtoun.
Much can be learned about this complicated family through the oldfamily records of the McCericks of Cairn. Many shared the same first names, buthad various spellings of Creighton, although they lived less than 10 miles fromone another. Sanquhar district, which James left as a baby, contained WilliamCreichtoun Sheriff of Dumfries, Robert Crichton Lord Sanquhar, James Creightonof Carcow who was closely related to James Creighton of Frendraught (Aberdeen),George Creighton (related to William Creichtoun, tutor of Sanquhar) and WilliamCreichtoun of Ryhill, son of Lord Robert of Sanquhar and the future First Earlof Dumfries and Stair. James’ father the Lord Advocate spelled his name RobertCreychtoun (Creighton).
Young James was one of those rare individuals who would be classifiedtoday as a child genius. He was born in 1660 and was raised at ClunieCastleon the shores of Loch Clunie in Perth.He had close association with his bishop relative, Robert Crichtoun of Dunkeld.He trained, initially, at the grammar school at the cathedral, probably from avery early age. From there, he was sent to Perth, where there was a larger school. Hispersonal tutor was the famous George Buchanan, ultra-reformist and teacher ofMary of Scots as well as her son, James VI. From Buchanan, James found learningto be an adventure.
His scholarly record would have been impressive at any point in time,but was phenomenal for the 1500s. At the age of ten, he had reached St.Andrew’s University, obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree at 12 in 1572. Twoyears later, he achieved his Master of Arts degree and was fluent in 12languages. He was 14-years-old. In 1576, when he was 17, his relatives inDumfries gathered to draw up papers confirming to him the Clunie lands in Perth. He was a brightand rising star for the Creightons, closely involved with the ancientcommercial ventures based out of Sanquhar and Leith.His business associates included John Dougall, elder and burgess of Edinburghand Patrick McCrerick, burgess of Sanquhar. His king, James VI was six yearshis junior and still under the tutorage of Buchanan when Crichton, in 1577,went to Franceat the age of 17.
In most historical notes about him, it is called ‘the Grand Tour.’Still done today as a right of passage, sons of the noble class toured thecontinent upon finishing school. He seems to have gone with another JamesCreighton; the two are often confused for one another. The second was probablyJames of Carcow (Dumfries), or James Creightonof Frendraught, son of John. James of Clunie went directly to Paris and immediately became a sensation.
His looks alone would have set him apart. Tall and remarkably handsome,he was also a first-class swordsman and equestrian. Everything about him exudedexcellence, but his knowledge became the talk of the town. He sent outhandbills challenging the most noted scholars of Europeto meet with him. The faculty of ParisUniversity took up hiscause and soon 50 professors, masters of the arts and church scholars, acceptedhis challenge. The event was well advertised and with an audience of 3000looking on, the learned men questioned him on every known subject, in tendifferent languages. The marathon went on for nine hours and Crichton neveronce answered incorrectly.
The following day, at the King’s invitation, he attended a royal joust,where he won all honors. He was proclaimed ‘L’Admirable Crichton’ and uponreceiving a ring from the city as well as a purse full of gold, he entered theKing’s army. For two years, he remained in the service of Henry III fighting asa Catholic. If he entered the Netherlands,it would have been with the pro-Catholic forces. The brother of Henry III,Francis Duc dAlencon and Anjouled the Protestant forces. After hisstay with the French Army, he went on to Veniceand Rome, wherethe Pope took special note of his acclaim and abilities. While in the Pope’scompany, ‘Giacomo Cretonio’ met the duke of Mantua, who befriended him. The duke hiredCrichton as personal tutor for his son, Vincenzo Gonzoga (1562-1612). At Padua, he worked in thiscapacity until 1582. In June of that year, Crichton was celebrating the annualtown carnival. Six masked men (everyone was masked for the carnivalfestivities) attacked him with swords. He dispatched five, but on readying tokill the last attacker, he saw that it was his ward and student, Vincenzo.Jealous of Crichton’s reputation, he had led the attack. Taken aback, Crichtonfaltered and Vincenzo stabbed him through the heart. He was 22.
If James Crichton had lived, there is no telling what he might haveaccomplished. He undoubtedly would have followed his father into royal service.If he married, it was never recorded. He spent five years in France and Italy. It is reasonable to assumethat he, as master of the ‘social graces,’ had many opportunities to father oneor more children. He was so well known across Europeand his homeland that his offspring, legitimate or otherwise, would havereceived special attention. The Scots, especially, gave little credence inostracizing illegitimate children, especially those of the upper classes. Forsome reason, I feel that he left a lasting Creighton legacy on the continent.Only he had the rank and title large enough to pass on to a son. There wereCreightons in Tourainewho could have raised the child. It is only a thought, but plausible.
It was a volatile time of great expansion. ElizabethI was at the height of power, Mary Queen of Scots was her prisoner and Mary’sson James VI ruled under Protestant guidance from Scotland. Elizabeth surrounded herself with her‘Gentlemen Adventures,’ those men like Raleigh, Drake and Essex. When Mary wasimplicated in a conspiracy with Philip II of Spain, she was beheaded. In 1587,Philip, in an attempt to invade England,lost his entire fleet of warships (Spanish Armada) to storms and the rockyshores. One of the primary conspirators against Elizabeth I in favor of Mary ofScots was a little known Creighton.
A Catholic faction rarely discussed in Scottish history was theJesuits. Founded by the militant Ignatio of Loyola (1491-1556), the Jesuits, orSociety of Jesus became the Shock Troops of the Counter-Reformation.With Papal blessing and patronage from the Spanish Habsburgs, they rose togreat achievements in less than two decades. If left unchecked, they would havebecome another Holy Order of Knights.
Preceding the invasion of Britainby Philip II, years of intrigue embroiled Catholic Scots in France with Philip’s emissaries.The House of Guise and Esme’ Stuart Lord Lennox led the movement to plant theimprisoned Mary of Scots on the English throne. It was Mary’s complicity inthis matter that caused her execution by Queen Elizabeth. Beginning in theearly 1570s, Jesuit insurgents began entering England. The queen repressed theirmovement and executed their leader, Edward Campion in 1574. This only hardenedthe reserve of the Jesuit priests, who went under…………
CHAPTER: 20 THE STOCKEXCHANGE (Editorial Excerpt)
The “Eastland Company” was one of the first attempts at ‘Joint-Stock’ participation in along-range business venture. No single lord, British or Scottish, could fund italone, but by combining their interests, it became feasible. The EastlandCompany, of all others, should have included Creightons. The Sanquhar group,which retained close ties with the FrendraughtCreightonswere also associates with the merchants Dougall and McCrerick. The Polishregion that drew their attention was the Old Prussian duchies from Courland toKonigsburg and south to Warsaw.The Scots communities at Riga, Tilsit,Konigsburg, Krosno and Danzig had seen Scotstrading for two hundred years. It is known that many Gordons were long timeresidents, who were closely related to the Creightons. James Crichton’s ‘GrandTour’ in 1577-82 (and James Creighton) could very well have been a familybusiness venture to gain financial support for the Eastland, and futureCompanies. James Creighton was back in Sanquhar by 1579, when he signed papersfor McCrerick.
In 1581, one year before Crichton’s death at Padua, the Merchant Adventures founded thesecond trading concern, called the “Turkey Company”. Combined with theolder Venetian trading companies, it became known as the “Levant Company.”In an alliance with the Ottoman Empire, it brought Venetian, English andScottish ships to ports from Italyto Persia.This eastern Mediterranean region was called the ‘Levant.’The Admirable Crichton’s presence at Mantuamay have been for reasons other than tutoring a boy two years his junior. Theduke of Mantua was William Gonzaga (1550-1587),a leading patron of the arts and of PaduaUniversity. His duchy wasalso the chief woolen manufacturing region of Italy, for 400 years. As the ‘Antwerp of the Levant,’ Crichton’s role in Mantua as an employee ofthe duke would have been advantageous to his relatives at home. By a strangecoincidence, the Duchy of Mantua was on the Po River in northern Italy. It wasthis region that I placed the early Creightons in ancient Grecian times.
Following in rapid succession as profits began to be realized, came the“Moscovy Company” and the “Guinea Company”. The first formalizedthe old trade union between Englandand Russia,now ruled by Ivan the Terrible. The Guinea Company opened WestAfrica to trade, in opposition to Portuguese holds on that region.As the Joint-Stock companies continued to expand further and further from home,investments increased and new members participated. In 1601, those of England, Scotlandand the Netherlands (UnitedProvinces) joined as “The Company of Merchants of LondonTrading Into the East Indies”. It wasknown as the East India Company. The following year, the United Provincesfounded their own, the “Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie,” TheNetherlands East India Company, or the VOC. It has also come down throughhistory as the Dutch East India Company, surviving as a viable body until 1798.It founded ports in Capetown, South Africa and Batavia, Java. ZeelandProvince,with Veere and Middelburg as separate investors, flew their own VOC flags. Thecompany soon eclipsed any other in the world. The “Scottish Company”evolved from both the East India and the DutchEast India Companies. The investors, if they had enough money or the will togamble, invested in many Joint-Stock ventures. Some from Veere and Edinburghformed a separate company that had Dutch and English, as well as Danish andSwedish backers.
With Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603, James VI of Scotland became James I of England, Scotlandand Ireland.With his wife Anne and a growing number of children, the Scottish Court moved south to London. They would remainthere for 14 years, not returning to Scotland to visit until 1617. Borna Catholic to Mary of Scots and Henry Stewart Lord Darnley in 1560, James hadbeen raised by ultra-conservative Protestants under John Knox and GeorgeBuchanan. Holding him a virtual prisoner at RuthvenCastlefrom 1583-84, the King had learned to hate the Calvinist Presbyterians and hemistrusted the Catholics for leaving him there. He had already come to blowswith Knox, insisting that the new Church of Scotland reinstate bishops. Onceinstalled in England,he began to lobby for the eventual decline of Presbyterianism in his homeland.He favored the less severe English church, which was an Episcopalian (staterun) moderate form of Catholicism. He began to promote his ‘Divine right’ torule, placing the monarchy at the head of the ecclesiastical body ofgovernment. To counter the radical Calvinist Bible, widely used throughout theKingdom, he produced and made mandatory his King James Authorized Version,published in 1611. It became a time of flux for many in his kingdom. TheCatholics cheered when Elizabethdied, thinking that the Stuart king would stand behind them, as had his mother.The many ‘Separatist’ Protestant factions, off-springs from Calvinism, saw himas their savior because the Perspiration Scots had reared him. The Church ofEngland (Anglican) assumed that he would allow them free reign as Elizabeth had done. Allwere sorely disappointed. In 1615, James authorized the execution of a Catholiccountryman, John Olgilvie, a Jesuit priest who worked in Perthshire as WilliamCrightoun had done before him. Born in Banffin 1579, Olgilvie became the only officially recognized post-Reformation martyrin Scottish history.
Intellectually, King James was on a par with the ‘Admirable’ JamesCrichton. Both had training under Buchanan, who was a zealot, but a remarkableteacher and poet. James I also wrote,composed and promoted the arts. His intelligence and gift for business led himto the Royal Exchange, home base of the Merchant Adventures. There he becameembroiled with men like Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Sir FernandoGorges*, John Popham and Lord Thomas de la Warr (Delaware). These men, with investors fromall over Great Britainsought his favor for new ‘adventures.’ In 1604, he authorized the “London,” or VirginiaCompany. It eventually provided for colonization of lands that extended frompresent South Carolina to Nova Scotia. The Virginia Company was anattempt to stay off the approaches of Catholic France and Spain to the same eastern seaboard regions of North America. At the same time (and for the same groupof men), James authorized the “Plantation of Ulster”.
*The Virginia Company in reality was two overlapping Joint-Stock ventures.The London Company dealt primarily with the southern lands of Virginia,while the Plymouth Company wished to develop the northern regions of ‘New England.’ Many invested in both ventures, withpresent mid-New Jersey being the dividingline. South, at Chesapeake Bay, the Jamestown Plantation was exclusivelyProtestant, while the upper bay (Maryland),became Catholic. Sir Humphrey Gilbert had, early on, founded an English colonyat Newfoundland.Sir Ferdinand Gorges of Somerset, a devote Catholic, headed the ‘New England’faction, concentrating on present Massachusettsand Maine.Many Scotsmen were involved with his ventures, one being David Thompson of Edinburgh, who settled acolony on the New Hampshire-Maine border in 1623. This made Maine,north to Nova Scotia, a Catholic haven in theearly years, while Massachusettsbecame a Puritan Protestant stronghold. My mother’s family Poore settled atNewbury (Quascacunquen Plantation) in 1634. In 1650, at adjoining Rowley, Massachusetts,two Stuart brothers arrived, exiled as Catholic Royalists. They were DuncanStuart and Alexander Stuart of Invernahyle, whose family had settled asUlster-Scots in CountyDonegal.
The subject of the Ulster Plantation has beenapproached in previous writings but now names and places are more relevant. Idevote much of Part V, ‘The Rabbit,’ to the Scots Creightons and theirsettlement of Down, Antrim, Cavan and Fermanagh counties beginning in the1590s. They were from the senior house of Creighton of Brunston in Kyle,Central Ayrshire, but many Creightons participated in all of the Ulstercounties, intertwining with Stewart and Stuart cousins as they had always done.The story of Ulsteris a study in itself and should not be passed over lightly. My ancestors camefrom Scotland prior to 1800,undoubtedly having ties to Northern Irelandfor generations before my great-great-grandfather was born outside Downpatrick,CountyDown in 1800. They were horsemen andhorse breeders and may have been from Ayr or Dumfries, but their occupationspoint toward central to eastern Scotland,Perth-Kinross, Angus or Fife. The Creightonsof Fife as you will see in Part V had close ties with their cousins north in Angus and Aberdeenshire. Many were horse raisers andmerchants.
While we are discussing the Creightons of Fife, one comes to note at Dunfermline. By the 1640s, ‘witch hunting’ had become afavorite past time for the Kirk leaders. James I & VI had started the trendduring his early reign by writing a lengthy history of witchcraft and the church.Hundreds met their fiery deaths in Scotlandand Englandas a result. In 1648, William Creighton the Warlock confessed to have made a‘paction’ with the Devil and was publicly burned to death. The Creightons ofFife resided mainly at Kinghorne, Kirkcaldy and Auchtermuchty.
The transitional time of unionbetween Scotland and England washard ………………..
SEARCHING FOR THE GOLDEN LION
Part IV concerningthe Dutch History could not have been completed without the encouragement and learnedassistance of the Dutch group below
Jos Grupping, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, group liaison to Jamesand then to Susan & Part IV Editor
Joep Creyghton (Leiden)
Ingrid Creyghton,Spierdijk, West Friesland (New Holland)
MariaCreyghton-Lemmens (Den Haag)
CHAPTER: 21 PRUSSEN-HOLLAND (EditorialExcerpt)
With the family members of Scotland, Englandand Ulstermore or less accounted for I can finally concentrate on the continentalCreightons. We left them in various locations, EastPrussia, Germanyand the Netherlandsjust as William of Orange and his brother broke away from the Spanish overruleof Philip II. The origin of the Dutch familyCreyghton is the goal of this work, but much groundwork still needs to be laid.The years of the 17th century were very involved; politics, religion,royal lineage, warfare and commerce tied forever the families of Great Britain with those of Holland and the German Principalities. Itshould be an interesting journey.
Between1592 and 1616, eight Scottish Creightons were listed in Dutch documents aseither émigrés or arrivals of one kind or another. All are from the McLeancharts as extracted by Joep Creyghton. Some were soldiers to bolster thecompanies already there; others were relations who joined family members whowere in Hollandfrom previous crossings. Still others could have been merchants, or studentsbound for the universities at Leiden.What is important is that these people preceded the hordes of religiousrefugees who began arriving at Rotterdam in1617, as warfare in Europe escalated and James I & VI began persecution of‘Separatist’ Puritans from England.Although the United Provinces were predominantly Calvinist Protestant, asizable number especially from the provinces of Brabant and Gelderland,kept their Catholic religion. It cannot be assumed that all Scots émigrés wereProtestant.
Thelists show Creighton arrivals at Leiden, Dordrecht, Delft, Rotterdam, Bergen op Zoomand Utrecht. In1592, Jan Bruijnfelt a Scottish soldier, arrived with, or married ElizabethCrichte (Crichton). In 1593 Joris Crichton of Sint Jansstad,Scotland (Johnstone, near Paisley,Renfrewshire), a soldier under Capt. Edmund, married Elysabeth Andries of Anderson, Faarlijn (Feorlan, Argyll), Scotland. Also in 1593, ElisabethKrichton, widow of Alfons van Corsenbach of Luijck married Capt. Jan Dalage(this could either be Douglas, or Duilach, a sub-clan of Stewart) of Scotland. In1596, Floris Herries of Scotlandmarried Mayken Ladthouders, the widow of Adam Crichten. In 1607, a WilliamCrichton, a Scottish soldier is mentioned at Leiden. In 1610, Johan Hameltoun, Sergeantunder Captain Hamiltoun, married Eva Davids Crichtum of Beiden, Scotland(Badden, Argyll-Bute). In 1614 Thomas Cunigem (Cunningham), Scotchman, Corporalunder Gouverneur Ogle (Ogilvie) married Marie Chrechten at Rosendaal, Utrecht. In 1616, at Bergen op Zoom, CrijstineCrachte (Christian, or Christine Creighton) married Jacus Mussel, a Scottishsoldier under Captain Walter Bruijs (Bruce, or Bryce).
Becauseso many of these Scottish surnames were misspelled or altered to Dutch (Ogle,Bruijs, Cunigem, Bruijnfelt and Dalage), I see the many spellings of Creightonand Crichton in the McLean charts to be oflittle consequence. They were all of the extended Creighton family, some from Scotland and others residents of the Netherlands.Jan Chrichton, Jan Crichton and Margriet Hamelton were at Rotterdam in 1622. Lowys Krichten (LouiseCrichton) and Rogier Wodhouse (Roger Woodhouse) were at Zwolle in 1626. Jan Krichten, Robert Furst(Forest) and others were at Nijmegenin 1630. Rying (Ryan) Crichton and Margriet Jong were at Dordrecht in 1631. In 1632, Robert Krechton,a soldier, was at Nijmegen.Janneken Crachten, Thomas Marbles, ‘Ritmr.’ Douglas, Nanneken Crachten andreferences for a Maeijken (Meagan, or Mayken) Crachten were at Nijmegen in 1637. In 1655, at Bergen op Zoom, a Crichton soldier from Kirkpatrick (Dumfries) arrived with his company from Kampen. Finally,in 1659 Corporal Reinier Krichten was at Hulst.
Thefollowing year (1660) the first surnamed Creyghton was recorded as being at Leiden, RobertusCreyghton. His credentials were academic and the historical data was written inLatin, with a Dutch ‘accent.’ Since I read neither Latin nor Dutch, I will domy best to read between the lines. It mentions a book authored by ‘SylvesterSgoropulus,’ who may have been of English origin. Robertus (Robert) Creyghtonappears to have been a noted writer and scholar of Latin and Greek, as he didthe translation from Greek to Latin. Because of the year, we are tempted tothink that this Robert Creyghton might be the same person as Robert of Bath andWells, at the end of his exile in Europe. Withthe reinstatement of Charles II, Creyghton resumed his post as resident cannonat Wells Cathedral in Somersetthat same year, but had been on the continent since 1646. He is known to havebeen an avid reader and writer as well as a book collector. The only otheroption is his son, also Robert, who was 16 years old in 1660. The accoladesthough point toward a more advanced thinker, unless young Robert was another‘Admirable’ Crichton.
Thelast three entries on the Dutch list were added by Joep Creyghton, to includesome other Creightons, known to have entered The Netherlands. The very nextentry, added by Joep, is that of his ancestor Johannes Creyghton copied fromthe Dutch periodical “NederlandsPatriciaat”, volume 4, 1913. Unfortunately the NP lists January 25, 1660 ashis date of birth in Tilsit, Oost Pruissen (German-Ost Preussen) or East Prussia. Thisturned out to be wrong.Again, the description is lengthy and has events highlighting his life from1660 to 1711. Johannes was born to that ancient Scots merchant region north of Königsberg,which had become a sub-district at the northern Lithuanian border which had arather large number of Scots families. I have made mention of it because of itsorigins with the old Hanseatic League, built by the Order of the TeutonicKnights, being populated by both Scottish and Dutch immigrants. Prussia then was still a grouping of Germanduchies and principalities, but had become a free state, divided between East and West. West Prussia had Danzigas its capitol. So many Scots had settled there that their district was calledNew Scotland. The Polish government had controlled East Prussia for centuries, but by 1660German judicial districts had broken it up into small counties, called a‘Kreis.’ Each Kreis, which had originally been family holdings, was ruled overby the Landrat, who presided over the Landratsamt. Königsbergwas the eastern capitol and the Scots throughout East Prussia were allowed Scots Kirks andthey spoke Scottish as their first language.
LogisticallyEast Prussia, from the Danzig area north to Memel near Tilsit, was made for sea trading. Two greatsheltered lagoons protected by long spits of land kept out the eastern Baltic (calledthe Ostsee or EastSea). Facing the southerninner harbor was Kreis Braunsberg, one of the four Catholic counties where theJesuit Father William Crichtoun S. J. fled, around 1610. One of the ‘Amtsgerichtes;’ or lower courtdistricts of Braunsberg, was Preuesisch-Holland or Prussian Holland. Here, manyof the Dutch Catholics, as well as Scots, had fled. Since 1526, various membersof the House of Hohenzollern had traditionally ruled East Prussia. Johannes Creyghton*, though, was bornin the northern Protestant regions where Tilsit, one of the oldest settledregions, was divided into six lower court districts.
*Editor’s Note: Johannes wasborn as Johannes Krechthon or Kroichton. Some 20 years later, when finishinghis studies in the Netherlands,he decided to change his surname to Creyghton. For reasons unknown! This hasremained the name of the Dutch Creighton/Crichton branch to the present day.
Theonly other Scots line that used a spelling close to Creyghton was that ofRobert Creychtoun (Creighton) of Eliock and Clunie, father to James ‘theAdmirable’ Crichton. Since he originated from one of the many side branches ofthe Creightons of Sanquhar at Eliock, Creyghton of Bath-Wells,……….
CHAPTER: 22 THEGOLDEN LION (Editorial Excerpt)
Forover 100 years, a great civil war had torn apart northeast Scotland throughout Aberdeen. It had begun as a clan feud betweenthe senior houses of Gordon and Forbes, with Creightons being cousins to bothsides. After the Reformation, the sides divided between Catholic Gordons andProtestant Forbeses, but their hatred toward one another was more traditionalthan religious. The Creightons of Aberdeen (Frendraught line), the Keiths,Leslies and Frasers led the Forbes faction throughout this ‘war.’ At some pointin time, one of the many Creighton-Forbes marital unions may have seen thecouple migrate south to the Argyll-Bute region. The Forbes family motto is “Graceme Guide.”*
*Editor’s Note: The ‘standard’ motto of theCreighton/Crichton family, as we mentioned (see appendix), was and still is “GodSend Grace”. Among the other motto’s there is one used by a Ruthven Cadetof the Crichton of Easthill family saying: “God Me Guide”, that strikesas a combination of the two mottos above and that is also, as we will seeshortly, what turns out to be the motto of the Dutch Creyghton branch.
Currently,in Scotland,Sir Robertson Dunn Crichton, being a cousin of the late Patrick Crichton,*bears a coat-of-arms that has the same and unique family motto, with a slightlydifferent spelling of “God Me Guyde.” I have no idea as to itsantiquity, but the word ‘guyde,’ in Old Scottish (or Old English) hints that itcome from this time period or before. This Crichton shield is also unusual andhas two elements not usually associate with traditional Scottish heraldry, butabout 90% of it is the original Creighton arms. The crest, instead of theentire Creighton green dragon, is the head only, fully colored and spoutingfire. The helm is partially forward facing and is a standard helm, indicatingnon-baronial status. On the shield is the Creighton rampant blue lion, but heis holding a scale in his left paw, indicating a possible link to the judicialscales of law, or those of a merchant. In ‘chief’ (the entire shield is coloredsilver, the chief, or top portion of the shield, is separated by a very narrowred band), is a black, three-masted sailing ship, of 17th centuryvintage. Again, it is probably an ocean-going trading ship. On each side of theship are gold ‘garbs,’ or sheaves of wheat, another symbol of a merchant ortrader.
*Ona sad note, Patrick Crichton passed away at the blessed age of 85 on April 2,2003, during the final editing of this portion of the book. Those that workedwith him will miss his advice and guidance. His obituary is Appendix 2.
J.H.C. November 2003
Iwould suspect that this particular family possibly had Creighton-Forbes originsand may have been tied to the trading ports of Veere, Zeeland, Königsbergor Memel, EastPrussia. If the arms date to the 1600s, the familycould have had merchant ships anywhere in the world. If they worked withEnglish traders, Exeter and Portsmouth in the West Country would havebeen a location of family warehouses, with the Creyghtons of Somerset beingclose by and possible participants. If they were strictly Scottish, then Zeeland would have been a secondary homeport, workingwith the VOC (Dutch East India Company). The Cunninghams of Ayr stillcontrolled the conservatorship at Veere and Middelburg as resident Scots-Dutchcitizens. Nowhere else in Scots heraldry was there any family motto approachingthose of Forbes and Creighton. Creighton/Crichton: “God Send Grace,” Forbes:” Grace MeGuide,” the ‘merchant’ (Dunn Crichton)Crichton line:” God Me Guyde.” Sometime through these years, the DutchCreyghtons acquired their own unique arms*, with their motto being “GodMe Guide.”
*Editor’s Note: As research has progressed, wenow have learned that it was Johannes Creyghton who established this particularCoat of Arms himself.
The Creyghton wapen is a goldrampant lion on a blue field, displaying talons, teeth and tongue, which isblack instead of red. The arms are fully ‘achieved,’ bearing matching goldrampant lion supporters, both being imperially crowned. Above the baronial helmis the gold and blue wreath, surmounted not by the Creighton dragon, but by ademi-rampant lion, which is also gold.
“God Me Guide” is bannered acrossthe bottom. If these arms were black and white and transposed over the fullachievement of the Creighton arms of Scotland, the two would be identicalexcept for the crest and motto*. Was the Creyghton arms of Holland an alteration ofthe 15th century Creighton arms, or did it evolve separately alongDutch and German lines? There is no way of knowing, but the Scots arms ofCreighton derived from generations of close service to the ruling House ofStewart (Stuart). The crowned lion supporters attest to this. The gold on blue colorsof the Dutch Creyghtons, however, are also almost exactly like those of the Royal Dutch wapen, derived from the House ofOrange-Nassau. But this seems to be a mere coincidence as recently Jos Gruppingdiscovered that Johannes was already using the Creyghton wapen, supposedly withthe gold lion on a blue field. So I don’t feel very comfortable about arelation with Nassauwith respect to the colors.
*Editor’s Note: Have a lookat the special chapter on the Dutch Creyghton branch at the end of Part IVwhere we did a similar action by re-coloring the excellent rendition of theCreighton wapen by Jim.
Johannes was probably born andraised as a Scottish boy and after his theological study in Franeker he stayedfor a rather long time in the north of Holland.The Creyghton motto and crest also hint at ………..
CHAPTER: 23 THE HOMEOF LIONS (Editorial Excerpt)
FrederickV was born to the Pfalz-Rhineland heritage that was home to the House ofNassau. His birthplace of Arnsberg, in theOberbergischer Kreis was east of the Rhine near northern Luxembourg. Hisminority years were spent due south at Zweibrucken, near the French border.Halfway between, near the southern tip of Luxembourgon the Rhine, was the small district ofCreichingen-Pietingen. If you look for it today, it is the town of Puttlingen, withKrichenger Strasse running through its center. Pietingen, the adjoining town tothe west, has become Morgenstern. The largest city is Saarbrucken, to the east. I think thatCreichingen is one of three known German Creighton sites, probably occupiedsince the 1400s by descendants of Sir John Crichtoun of Chatillion-sur-Indre,or from ‘native’ Creightons of distant times.
Theearliest reference to Creichingen that I have found is that of Count (Graf)Georg I of Creichingen-Pietingen (1510-1567). His wife, a noblewoman fromsouth-central Germanyand the old Swabian region of Baden-Wurttemburg, was Countess (Grafin) Philippaof Leiningen (1512-1554). Her region, due east of Creichingen was near Leipzig, near theBavarian border. Their son, Graf Georg II von Creichingen married anothercountess of Baden-Wurttemburg, Grafin Esther of Mansfeld-Eisleben. Their sonwas Graf Peter Ernst von Mansfeld, who had an illegitimate son named Graf Ernstvon Mansfeld (1580-1626). This man, who became a noted soldier, married AnnaSibylla von Nassau-Welberg (1575-1643), a cousin to the ruling Dutch House of Orange-Nassau.Last was their daughter, Grafin Antoinette of Creichingen (1603-1635), whomarried the Marquis Hermann of Baden-Rodenmacher.
Atthe same time, Creightons of the Mansfelderland district of Baden-Wurttemburgowned lands at Cratzenbach and Creglingen. Seeing the maternal ties of thisregion to that of Creichingen, they were probably one extended family andrelated to the ancient House of Veldenz. In 1647, George Wilhelm Herr vonCratzen (or von Cretzen) was born at Cratzenbach. Another ancient family fromthis region was the House of Guelph, tied to the dukes of both the Hohenzolernline and to that of the dukes of Luxembourgthat were granted rulership of portions of East Prussia. Their family arms, as well,was a gold lion on blue.
TheLate Patrick Crichton of Scotlandonce told me that, in his opinion, the history of these elusive people would befound in their heraldic arms. I am beginning to think that it might be the onlyway. The ‘Creighton Zone’ extended from Chatillion-sur-Indre (Berri) in centralFrance to the Rhine atCreichingen-Pietingen and then across southwest Germany to the Saxony-Bavariaborder. Our original ‘Rocky Homeland’ was south on the Rhone, within theprincipality of Orange.The German Creightons may have evolved separately from the time of the Romans,being part of the Gallic Belgae who crossed the Rhine and intermarried with theAlamanni princes of Swabia. If the Creightonblue lion is as old as I think it is, it followed the ancient ancestors to thedeep forests of the Rhineland.
Itwas the home of the lions. Swabia included all lands of southwest Germany east of Franceand north of Switzerland to Upper Bavaria. Until 1534, the Swabian League ruled over26 city-states in a militarized trade union that rivaled the HanseaticLeague. To the west, Swabia overlapped the Rhineland-Pfalzdistricts where the House of Nassau and their gold lion on blue ruled a vastterritory extending into Belgiumand the Netherlands.Eastern Swabia shared rule with the Hohenzollern princes of Bohemia and Brandenburg-Prussia, who werered lions on gold. The red lion took precedence across Swabiain various forms, except in the Rhineland-Pfalz Kreis.
In1101, Otto I of Nassau-Geldern and Hendric I of Limburg had spread the Nassau gold lion on blueto new principalities. At that time, the counts of Veldenz at Emichonen inKreis-Rhineland used the Creighton blue lion on silver as their arms. In 1444,the arms of von Veldenz combined with the gold lion on black ofPhalz-Zweibrucken to create the new Kreis district of Phalz-Rhineland. This iswhere Creichingen-Pietingen was located, indicating that the French-GermanRhineland south of Luxembourgmay have always been a Creighton stronghold. When Sir John Crichtoun wasgovernor of Chatillion-sur-Indre in 1428, he probably knew of many morecontinental cousins who remained behind when others migrated to the Isles. Manyfamilies of Scotland and England today share land holdings in ancient Gaul with ‘those who were left behind.’
Itis the gold lion, however, that we are seeking. I have already elaborated inPart III on the ‘Order of the Golden Lion’ from the Grand Duchy ofHessen-Darmstradt. Their ducal arms, however, was a red and white-striped lionon a blue field. The gold lion on blue, specifically associated with the Houseof Nassau and the Rhineland, was also found inother locations. There was the Lower Saxony family Ostring at Jever, in FrieslandCounty. Another was of the familyGuelphs (Welfen), dukes of Saxony and Bavariaof South Swabia, which I mentioned earlier. Last were the counts of Ravensburg,in the Tubingendistrict of Baden-Wurttemburg, which was the same region where Mansfelderland,Cratzenbach and Creglingen were located.
Andso, when 14-year-old Frederick V succeeded as elector, he was quite familiarwith the blue and the gold lions of his homeland. Through his mother’s Nassau roots, he was alsofamiliar with the gold lion on blue of his grandfather, William the Silent. In1613, at the age of 17, he married Princess Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of JamesI & VI. This added the rampant red royal lion of Scotland to the mix. The gatheredGerman princes recognized Frederickas successor to his father’s Protestant League. In 1614, he was declared of ageto assume all of his father’s duties as elector palatine of the Rhine. It was quite a responsibility for such a youngman.
Thecouple had four years of semi-solitude and began their long line of sons anddaughters. Whether Elizabeth had Creightons inher personal service from Englandor Scotlandis unknown, but …………
CHAPTER: 24 THE LIONOF THE NORTH (Editorial Excerpt)
The Scots participation in theThirty Years War was unprecedented for 17th century Europe. Although they had acted as mercenaries to manynations for centuries, nothing preceding the Swedish King’s call to arms hadexisted in the numbers that responded. I said earlier that 25,000 Scots enteredthe war, but this number could have been as high as 40,000. When they assembledin Sweden under their fieldcommanders, the “Green Brigade” included insular Scots (Scotland, Englandand Ulster) and reassignedScots Brigades from Holland, Germany and France. It was the first ‘modernarmy’ in world history and the war would be a training ground for the laterWars of the Covenant in England,Scotland and Ireland. Iwould like to see a complete list of the commanding officers, for I am sure oneor more was a Creighton.
Gustav Adolph, the Lion of theNorth, assumed command of the allied Protestant forces in 1629, but Scotsmenhad been part of his forces for years prior to that time. Robert Douglas, the King’spersonal page, rapidly rose to the rank of field marshal. Sir Alexander Leslieof Auchintoul, who had relieved Stralsund in1628, became another field marshal and envoy to Russia. Other field marshals wereSir Patrick Ruthven and Hugo Hamilton. Colonel Robert Munro of Foulis (Fowlis,Angus) was one of his closest friends and confidants.
The King’s army and navy workedlike a well-oiled machine and Scotsmen headed many departments. His minister ofwar was Alexander Erskine, a Creighton cousin. His Vice-Admiral of the navy wasRichard Clark. Some were Catholic, who wished to support deposed QueenElizabeth Stuart of Bohemia.The most prominent was Colonel John Hepburn, leader of the Scots BrigadeRegiment. Another partially Catholic Scots Regiment was the Highlanders ofDonald Mackay Lord Reay of Strathnaver. Mackay’s Scottish Regiment becamefamous, remaining on the continent through seceding generations. His sons Johnand Angus fought with him as fellow officers, with John becoming a Danish ArmyGeneral. His grandson, Aenus, settled in Hollandas commander of the regiment. In 1822, Aenus’ grandson Barthold Mackay becameBaron Ophemert of the Netherlands.
Lt. General Alexander Forbes (10thLord Forbes) led a large force for Gustav Adolph throughout the Germancampaigns; it is probable that many Aberdeen Creightons fought under hiscommand. In fact, any Protestant Creighton north of the Clyde would havefollowed him, as they had through the century-long Gordon-Forbes Civil War innortheast Scotland.Much of the fighting in 1631-32 revolved around the Creglingen and Cratzenlands west of Leipzig.General Forbes’ cousin Patrick was the civil leader of the Prussian-Scotscommunities based at Danzig. John Hepburn’sScots Regiments were heroes of Breitenfeld. They then went on to take Leipzig in 1631, whichHepburn occupied as military governor. He then went on to take Munich in 1632, withMackay’s Highlanders being the first to enter the city. King Gustav appointed Hepburn governor of Munich as well. When theking made an offhand comment on Hepburn’s Catholic beliefs, the Colonel angrilyresigned his commission and departed for France, where he was made FieldMarshal of the French Army. King Gustav was killed that year, but 59 more ofhis Scots officers received governorships of captured German towns or castlesbefore he died.
Field Marshal Alexander Leslie,who Gustav had used successfully to bring Russian aid into the war, succeededthe king as commander-in-chief of the United Protestant Army. Leslie (Earl ofLeven), with his rapport with the Russians, became governor of Smolensk and later a general in their army.That Russian city was located half way between Minskand Moscow.Major General David Drummond became governor of Strattin. Maj. Gen. JamesRamsay became governor of Hanau.Maj. Gen. William Legge became governor of Bremen. Field Marshal Patrick Ruthven becamegovernor of Ulm.Who were the other 55 German governors assigned from the ranks of Scottishcommanders, and were any of them Creightons? Again, it is very likely. So manyof the top ranking officers ……………………
CHAPTER: 25 THEBROTHERHOOD (Editorial Excerpt)
Thesimilarities of the Creyghton wapen and that of the Royal Netherlands Arms arestriking, but the Royal Arms, in the 1640s was in its infancy. The Royal wapenof Orange-Nassau, the gold lion on a blue shield supported by imperiallycrowned rampant lions, came out of the Treaty of Westphalia (Munster) of 1648. As new duchies and grandduchies formed as a result of the treaty, the basic Orange-Nassau Arms was clonedto represent Luxembourgand many other holdings of the ruling senior house. There was much interplay as diplomats andmilitary envoys sought to sub-divide the Habsburg Empire, creating newcountries and districts. National boundaries altered between Germany and her neighbors as Sweden foughtto gain ‘conquered’ territories. A Creighton of some distinction may haveplayed a role in these peace conferences, but the present Dutch Creyghton armshad evidently already evolved along separate lines. I will continue to followthe historical events with the succeeding Prince of Orange William II, son ofFrederick Henry. He became the first ‘royal’ prince of the United Provinces.
Thesenior merchants of the VOC ruled from their wealthy home city of Amsterdam. Theycontrolled the vast empire of the United East India Compagnie, called ‘JanCompagnie,’ in competition with the English ‘John Company,’ or East IndiaCompany. During the war they had authorized the capture of Portuguese holdingsin the East Indies and took control of much ofthe world’s trade. The Dutch businessmen of Amsterdam were called the ‘Lords XVII’ andprofit gains took precedence over religion or national unity. Their goal was a40% return on all investments.
TheHouse of Orange-Nassau, of course, had many family members within the VOChierarchy, as did most of the senior houses of the Dutch nobility. Many of theGerman city-states had operated independently with their own trade union,especially in the Catholic south. With the re-appropriation of Greater Germanyafter the war, the VOC had much say in the matter. The Scottish generalsoccupied the major German trade cities as governors, placing them as middlemenin the negotiations. They were only the most recent body of Scotsadministrators for many of the German districts, especially in the east. For200 years, a close-knit cadre of Scottish merchants had operated from bases at Hanover, Danzig, Warsawand Königsberg. They were loosely formedinto what became ‘the Scottish Brotherhood.’ It is most likely that theCreyghton Arms came from a member of this group.
Two recent discoveries support this theory. Theaccepted ancestor of the major Dutch Creyghton branch was Johannes Creyghton,born in East Prussiain 1665. In an archive in Utrechtthere is a letter written by him dated 1711 and sealed with the unmistakableCreyghton lion and lion crest described earlie*. At the time he was well into hiscareer as a minister. Until now, we have known nothing about hispre-Netherlands life in Tilsit,East Prussia. The entire storyhas led up to finding a Dutch source for his arms, but the arms may have comewith him from Prussia.The second discovery entails many facts that bring Prussia, and the Scots communitieslocated there, to life. The family at Tilsit went by the (Germanized) name‘Krichton’ and was evidently of very old stock. Except for quite a fewDutchmen, most of the founding fathers of the region north of the MemelRiverwere Scottish. They descended from the upper merchant class, having settledthere in the 1400s. But before we go directly to their story, I will finishrelating the interweaving string of events leading up to the time of JohannesCreyghton.
TheUnited (Verenigde) Provinces began to congeal into a true nation as the ThirtyYears War subsided in peace talks. The office of stadhouder remained with thefamily of William the Silent, bringing his grandson William II (1626-1650) tothe office, in 1647. This placed him as the chief civil authority in the UnitedProvinces just before the 1648 Treaty of Munster. It would seem natural that hewould play an important part in negotiations, but in actuality, he opposed thetreaty. Negotiations were being formatted to cater to the rich merchant classof Northern Europe, with the Lords XVII ofAmsterdam, the voice of the movement, profiting the most. William II Prince of Orange saw it as a threatto the higher nobility, the ‘royal’ class of his peers. He began lobbying forcentral control of government and needed help from France to do so. He stood openlyopposed to the businessmen of Amsterdam,who had the Dutch citizenry in their pockets.
In1641, William II married Princess Mary Stuart, eldest daughter of Charles I.Robert Creyghton of Wells was appointed personal chaplain to his son Charles(Charles II, 1633-1685) and there is a possibility that Princess Mary hadCreyghton (or Creighton) retainers when she traveled to Holland to meet her husband. Based upon pastfamily history, it is more than likely that she did. It is also important toremember that by 1641, ‘Scots Creightons’ and “English Creightons’ were one. Ithad been so since James VI assumed the English throne as James I of Great Britain.Continental historians more and more would refer to Scotsmen as Englishmen*.
*Note:This is especially important when researching family connections in Germany, Poland,Russia and the rest of thenorthern lands to Estonia.Even traditional Highland clans like MacKayand Ross, through military prowess, gained vast titles and lands in theseeastern countries. Their descendants assimilated into the local cultures withtime, taking on Slavic and German derivatives of their surnames. Tracingbackwards today a town, like Johannes Creyghton’s Tilsit, may provide the onlyclue to past occupancy. Many known sources, including parish records and theannual accounts of the League of the Teutonic Knights, more often than not listthese early settlers as ‘English’ and not Scottish. However, with respect toAlexander Krichton and his fellow Scotsmen, athe time unified in the“Brotherhood”, we found several occurrences where they individually orcollectively are referred to as Scotsmen.
1641was also the year that began the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and thePuritan Parliament rebelled against the King’s proposed Episcopal form ofChurch and State. The Scots Presbyterians joined them against Charles I,pitting mostly Highland ‘Jacobite’ clans, led by James Graham Earl and 1st Marques of Montrose against the‘Roundheads’ of Cromwell (Covenanters in Scotland). Again, religious lines wereset aside. Montrose was a devote Protestant, but joined his Stuart king as asign of loyalty. Cromwell gave Alexander Forbes a command to raid the Irishcoast, where he bombarded Galway and set thecity afire. Eight-year-old Prince Charles, with Robert Creyghton at his side ……………
CHAPTER: 26 GOLD WITHFINS (Editorial Excerpt)
Ihave outlined the role that the Scots played from ancient times with the DutchFrieslands, as roving warrior-seamen-merchants to the Baltic. My fictionalCreighton, Riwald the Blue, traded from his homeport of Leithto the northern waters in 833 AD. The Dutch seamen of Frieslandwere historically and linguistically tied to the Lowland Scots and neither losttheir common love for the sea. Beginning in the reign of William the Lion,trade officially opened between the ‘German’ regions and Scotland. Inthe 1180s, the King of Scots allowed cities in northern Scotland toconduct trade with the Germans of the Teutonic League. Aberdeen,especially, became a major Scots home base, with Dundee, Perth,St. Andrews and Leith being almost asinvolved. One hundred years later, William Wallace and Andrew Moray (Murray) sent a letter to the magistrates of Lubeck and Hamburgencouraging general trade. In 1321, Robert the Bruce followed up this requestin his campaign to promote Scottish shipping and trade. The 14thcentury saw Scotlandinvolved with the Teutonic centers of Danzig (then called Danskin), Königsberg, Stralsund, Bremen, Hamburg, Griefswald, Wismarand Rostock.
The Scots-Dutch-German trade concentrated onproducts obtained mainly in the eastern Baltic regions. The Teutonic Leagueused Danzig and Königsberg as their primary centers,controlling the Cour, Livonian and Lithuanian tribal lands to locate tradingposts and fortified castles. As the Slavic tribes were pacified, Dutch andScottish settlers were imported to manage the local trade of timber, grains,amber, furs and herring. The tiny fish, so prevalent to the Baltic, became solucrative that they were called ‘gold with fins.’ Harvested and dried at portslike New Dortmund (Memel), the herring were then transported to Friesland. There, they were packaged as ‘kippered’herring and sold to other countries. The timber came from Russia and was floated down the 480-mile-long MemelRiverpast Tilsit to New Dortmund, where Scots merchants controlled the sawmills.
The ships that traveled from the Baltic to Scotland werehighly valuable, often carrying lumber, salt, amber products, flour and driedfish. Beginning in the early 1300s, Scotsmen out of Aberdeen teamed with Dutch Friesland andbegan raiding the trade routes as pirates. The first was Gregory Gordon in1302. For well over 100 years, the annals of the Teutonic Knights recordedincident upon incident of Scottish pirates capturing ships and goods. Most ofthe paperwork had to do with restitution of losses to the German merchants andcities. The most famous pirate was our ancestral Gordon cousin, AlexanderStewart Earl of Mar. He was called the ‘Pirate-Earl’ and operated fleets ofships out of Aberdeen,using Dutch Friesland seamen as his crews. Major occurrences were recorded in1406, 1410 and 1412, while Stewart at the same time traded openly and legallywith the Baltic. Often times he sent his agents to East Prussia for timber, bartering with goldchains and other items of wealth. He was probably not the only pirate-earl involved.His neighbors Forbes, Leslie, Erskine and Seton were as enterprising and werealso part-time pirates. If this practice traveled down the east coast toDundee, then Creighton and Olgivies could also have operated pirate ships, aswould Creightons from Aberdeen.
The Teutonic Order at Königsberg had ‘Liegers,’ or factorsstationed at Edinburgh and Glasgow in the late 1300s; the Sinclairs of Roslinheaded their Scottish interests. There were factors at Sanquhar and theCreightons were agents for both the Teutonic Order and their King. We havealready witnessed the connections from Sanquhar with McCrerick of Cairn as thelocal factor and Mr. Dougal of Edinburgh beingthe agent, or factor at Leith. In 1406 HermannGral of Königsbergwas the appointed factor at Edinburgh.In 1422 Nicolaus Jerre, who held the Edinburghpost until 1444, replaced Gral. It was Jerre who dealt personally with WilliamCrichton, the King’s chamberlain, who acted directly for James I as his agent.
Thefirst recorded shipment that Crichton received was of iron goods for EdinburghCastle in 1428. These, more than likely,included cannon from Hamburg.After James I was assassinated, Crichton worked as regent and chancellor to theboy-king James II. Also being governor of Edinburgh,Crichton personally arranged to have shipments of beer brought in for the boy’s1437 coronation at Holyrood. Crichton found the local homemade Scottish ale wasunacceptable. When the shipload of ‘Cerevisa Alammias’ arrived at King’s Warkfrom Hamburg,the lord of Creighton escorted the valuable goods to the palace. Crichton seemsto have had considerable experience with the ‘German’ trade, which of courseincluded the wool center at Veere in Zeeland.During the boy’s minority reign when Crichton was in charge of the royal purse,he seems to have failed to pay for the shipments. When James II became oldenough to reason, he refused to repay the German debts run up by his chancellorand his friends. This breach in protocol almost caused secession of German tradealtogether. It is more than likely that William Crichton re-appropriated thefunds meant for the German merchants to renovate his castleof Dun Creighton with goods brought infrom East Prussia.These would have been paid for primarily because the senior merchants fromDanzig to Memel were fellow Scotsmen.
By 1433, Scots textile-weavers, tanners andtradesmen made up a large portion of Danzig’spopulation. They had other communities at Brugesin Flanders and at Königsberg.Wealthy Scots merchants located in these cities operated like minor kings,amassing so much money that some lent to the Royal House of Poland. They werealternately persecuted and acclaimed as invaluable citizens, with manyintegrating into the local societies. Again, the Aberdeen families of Gordon, Forbes andFraser found early notoriety in the Prussian and Polish regions. For 100 yearsthese great families of Aberdeenand Angus grew in status in the Eastern Regions. Since William Crichton, GeorgeCrichton of Cairnsand Robert Crichton of Sanquhar all had children married into these families,it is certain that they held residential status there as well. It was thisinteraction with the Teutonic League and succeeding Hanse and Swabian Leaguesthat gave rise to the integrated Creightons of Creichingen and Cratzenbach. TheChretiens * of France and Belgium evolved along similar lines, with somemarrying into the ruling duchies of Germany.
* The French family Chretien is far older than SirJohn Crichtoun’s time when he was governor of Chatillion-sur-Indre. They werelocated in Champagneeast of Paris in the 1100s, one famous troubadour being Chretien de Troyes.This man was sponsored by the Count of Champagneand was an early Knights Templar. He was one of the first ‘Arthurian’ writersthat utilized ancient Welsh legend to weave tales of Arthur the King. Chretiende Troyes was the originator of the story of the Holy Grail (“Conte du Graal”1182) as well as the first to use the legendary Camelot as Arthur’s capitol instory form. The surname Chretien is often synonymous with ‘Christian’ in France,but it is also the same as Cretin, Cretien and Creighton. TheChretien-Creighton double usage goes back to the 1670s in Canada. In France and Canada, the surname Chretien alsolinks closely with those of Fure, DeLisandrac, Lesourd and Vincent. TheArcadian family Fume, which is very large today, descends from French andCanadian Chretiens who have also used Creighton as an alternate surname throughthe centuries. The Chretien arms depict three blue lion heads on a gold shield.
Through the ensuing decades of the 1400 and 1500s,the ‘East Lands’ continued to grow. The ancient Baltic trade centers developedinto the breadbasket of Northern Europe. TheDanzig region and East Prussiafilled with war and religious refugees as the Reformation altered society as awhole. Political refugees, like William 2nd Lord Crichton, who fled Scotland 1488, had interests in Prussiaand may have gone there. I see his cousin Alexander of Brunston, who fled Scotland 1546, also bringing his various familymembers to either Holland or East Prussia. He was a wealthy man withbacking from the English throne, closely related to the Dumfries-Perth-KinrossCreightons. Both of these notable Creightons lost their Scottish lands and titles,but would have maintained………….
CHAPTER: 27 LIFE ONTHE MEMEL(EditorialExcerpt)
JohannesCreyghton was born in January 1665, and baptized on the 19th of thatmonth at Tilsit, which is now Sovjetsk,Russia. Littleis known of his first 21 years in Tilsit; his Dutch “career” began in 1686 as astudent in Groningen and Friesland,The Netherlands. He was the son of Alexander Krichton and his wife Maria,possibly of Dutch or German heritage; (the Dutch had been at Tilsit as long asthe Scots). Now we know that the family shared a centuries-old environment ofinternational trade, with ongoing links to Scotlandand Holland.Crottingen-Kretingale,’ just north of Memel,hints at a very early family presence at the seaport. The city’s seals and arms,of both Memel and Tilsit, revert back to the1600s, indicating the importance of trade and to their longevity as TeutonicLeague centers. Memel’s seal is the stonecitadel with timber towers at each side. This chronicles the timber industryand rich shipbuilding heritage of the city. Its arms relate to the lucrativeherring trade. A fish with an antlered deer’s head dominates the shield.Tilsit’s arms are the elector’s castle, with the River Memel at its base.Adorning its gate is the arms of the local Hohenzollern elector, displayingplain blue and white quarters.
Agricultureand trade were the main occupations, with the elector’s family controlling theland. Lesser family members, the ‘Rittergutsbesitzers,’ or estate owners,governed the Hohenzollern districts. The ‘Nachbar’, or group-lease tenants,provided the bulk of the population, with ‘Paechters’, or common tenants, beingthe largest group of lessees. At the bottom, as were the Catholic Irish in Ulster,were the ‘native’ Lithuanian and Livonian serfs, virtual slaves within theirown homeland.
Thiswas the norm from the 1490s until 1572, but in that year famine was so rampantin Scotlandthat James I issued the ‘Leith Proclamation’, openly prompting mass Scottishemigration to the East Lands. Thousands left in a planned exodus, rich and pooralike, both Protestant and Catholic. Most had families in place throughout Germany, Prussiaand Poland.The Netherlandsreceived a select few, but most went to the more unsettled regions whereopportunities were more attractive. It wasn’t until the 1590s that the massemigrations hit the north, Tilsit in 1592, Stuham in 1594, and Memel in 1607. It was this ever changing world thatJohannes was born into. The new arrivals, at first looked down upon by theolder ‘first-family’ merchant class, soon assimilated into the culture as‘Kramers’ or traveling craftsmen- vendors. They were also kinsmen and fellunder the protection of the Scots Brotherhood.
WhenJohannes was born, the VOC headquartered at Amsterdam had three major sources of trade.The first and foremost was the Baltic, which received their best merchants,ships and seamen. Closest to home, it demanded better pay for the sailors andproduced rapid returns on investments. Herring, lumber products, furs (entireshipments were of rabbit fur or lamb skins), and grains were obtained from Memel and Tilsit. Second was the East Indies trade based at Batavia, Java. Great East Indiamen sailed thewaters of the Spice Islands, wherepeppercorns, cinnamon and cloves brought fantastic gains. The problem was thatthe journey was long and dangerous and the bodies of sailors were mostlyconscripted German ex-soldiers, landless and penniless from the long wars. Ifthe ships arrived home at all, it was often years after departure from Holland. The third placeof commerce was New Amsterdam on the Hudson River, which the English hadcaptured in the 1660s and renamed NewYork. Still, the merchants at FortOrange (Albany)maintained a thriving business in furs (beaver pelts were called ‘soft gold’)obtained from the Native American tribes of the UpperHudson. But again, the turn-around time was long and involved andEnglish, Swedish and French competition with the same tribes limited profits.So the Baltic remained the most lucrative trade center for the Dutch East IndiaCompany and for Scotland.
Johannes’surname was spelled Krichton and not Creyghton, at least during his boyhood.The McLean charts of Scottish soldiers in TheNetherlands show how varied the name had become and not all can be cast asideas Dutch misspellings. Creighton barony in Midlothianwas once called ‘Krektun’ and shows an historic difficulty with the Germanictongue pronouncing old Celtic-Gaelic names. Even today, all that remains of anyreference to Creichingen, Germany is Kreichingen Strasse within the oldcity of Pietingen.Scots Creightons in Hollandwere invariably recorded as being Crichton, Krichton (Elizabeth, 1593, widow ofDutchman from Luijck), Krichten (Jan, 1630), Krechton (Robert, 1632), Krigton,Crychten, Chrichton, Crichte, Crichtum, and Crechten. The many Blaeu maps of Scotland alsoshow variations of similar spellings when referring to known Creightons lands,Kraiginkum, Kraigtom Hill and Kraiglerian near Sanquhar. Even at Memel are two separate parishes, side-by-side, namedCrottingen-Kretingale’ and Krottengen-Kretingale’. This is one reason that Scotland, Germany,Prussia, Sweden, Denmarkand Norwayall began looking at standardizing surnames about the time Johannes was born. Scotlandenacted theirs in the late 1670s. Crichton became the accepted rendition, atleast north of the Tyne. Creighton remainedlocalized to southwest Scotlandand England (generallyspeaking, at least) and became the predominant spelling in Ulster, Canada,Australia and America.
Johannes’immediate family would have retained a Scottish culture, no matter how manygenerations they had been at Tilsit. Scottish assimilation into the localGerman and Polish cultures was just beginning about the time he was born. Eventhen, immigrants were entering Memel from Scotland as late as 1820. His bloodrelations were probably spread throughout the east, including the Catholics atBraunsburg, Ermland. As he grew, he would have heard many stories of past ages.He would have viewed himself first and foremost as a Scot, but one who past hadbound him to the trade routes. The great ships entering and departing fromnearby Memel were a living link to what musthave been almost a mystical land, although many neighbors were first generationémigrés. It is very likely that uncles and cousins lived in Scotland, England and The Netherlands asfactors. Mainly because of the Robertson Dunn Crichton coat of arms, a shipbuilding family may have been its source. Whether there is a link to theKrichtons of Tilsit is unknown, but the stylized black ship could point towardsan involvement with the Memel shipyards, and if his mother were Dutch, she aswell would have taught him her heritage and the VOC ships claimed Amsterdam as theirhomeport.
Asfor Johannes’ neighbors, they would have been German, Dutch and predominantlyScottish, and of various trades and social lines. The MemelRiver was a major artery that linkedthe Russian cities to Memel. The river wasnavigable for large boats well past Tilsit to Grodno, Russia.In many ways, his boyhood home was not unlike the TayRiver in Scotland. From Creighton lands nearDunkeld, the river flowed down through the Highland foothills to Perth, where shipping lanes connected that city with themain seaport of Dundee, at Angus. If Johannesspent any time visiting the quays at Tilsit, he would have met sailors frommany lands, Russian timber men bringing logs downriver from Minsk, traders insilk and brocade, Jewish money-lenders, farmers bringing produce to market,German dignitaries, Swedish soldiers and traveling bands of Gypsy ‘tinklers.’* The latter were often grouped as asingle class of roving Romi hawkers, but many from their transient culture werein fact Scottish émigrés. The ‘tinklers’ of Scotlandwere not of Gypsy blood, but descendants of the very ancient PictishCaledonians of southern Scotland.Forced to flee the famines with thousands of other Scots, they carried on theirage-old trade of battering handicrafts for food and lodging, usually living intemporary camps away from the main towns.
*Thetinklers have become a new subject for me to research. Sir Walter Scott, aCreighton cousin, wrote extensively on the tinklers and their ability to singancient songs going back to the times of the Roman occupation. Much of what weknow of ‘Celtic’ music today comes from these studies by Scott, collected atcampfires in the forests of Selkirk. They were ‘The Old People’ that had directlinks to the Votadini Picts and their pre-Celtic neighbors. Hounded andpersecuted throughout the centuries as pagans, they became a little-knownsubculture all over Scotland.In reality, they evolved as all other Scots, intermarrying with ‘townies’ andbecoming as Christian as anyone else. They were a small, dark people, probablythe source of the ‘People of the Hills,’ or fairies. One segment of thesepeople was literally driven underground in the 1500s. Chained and shackled forlife, they became slaves to the rich lords of Fifewho owned the lead and coal mines. Their descendants, referred to as ‘colliers’live in the towns that grew up around the mines. They worked the gold mines ofSanquhar as well. A very good novel concerning these people was written byRobert Crichton, called “The Camerons”, drawn from the lives of his great grandparents, aScottish coal mining family, published by Knopf in 1972.
Manyof the young men of Johannes’ age, especially those from the upper ranks ofmerchant families, sought status by attending schools in Hollandor Scotland.Traditionally, they sought either Leiden or AberdeenUniversities as their first choice. SinceAberdeen required lineage backgrounds, the sons of merchants often sought theseschools, either out of ego or to prove lineage, family pedigrees, or‘birth-briefs’. Both Patrick Forbes and Robert Gordon promoted higher schoolingand funded and maintained a Scots school at Danzig.Because of the great number of Scots in Polandand Prussia(30,000 by 1600), great care was needed to keep them recorded in some kind oforder. Family history centers developed into a thriving business, especiallyfrom Aberdeen and Dundeewhere many of the older emigrants were from.
TheBrotherhood formed a constitution of union in 1625 after having gone through acentury of intermittent hostility and financial persecution. The Prussian dukesand Polish kings had tried again and again to group them with the Jews andGypsies, to collect ‘peddler’ taxation. The unified ‘Bruderschaft’ comprised 12orders that had a committee of elders and judges. Courts, held during the FeastDay of Epiphany had the power to levy fines or banish fellow Scotsmen. The‘courts’ convened for their major functions on Martinmas, Candlemas,Whitsuntide and Bartholomew’s day. Each of the twelve orders operated understrict guidelines, recording each new émigré into the brotherhood. Books weremeticulously kept. Because of the sever lack of clergymen, the body acted as awhole to regulate attendance at services. The constitution only outlined to theducal authorities what the Brotherhood had done for generations.
Themaintenance of the Poor Fund headed the list, but 20 separate and uniquearticles clearly defined how the Scots communities would conduct themselves.People were instructed to dress in a neat manner and run orderly homes. Onlyone shop per-trade was allowed, to prevent monopolies. Nicknames wereprohibited. Servant’s rights were upheld, no one could keep a servant more thanfour years. Squandering, card playing, dice and laziness were outlawed.Shipping magnates were personally responsible for any undesirable émigrébrought in from Scotlandthat violated the rules. All in all, the constitution of the Brotherhood spokewell for the governing body that was forced to oversee 30,000 fellow Scotsmenabroad.
Almostas soon as the Prussian dukes accepted the constitution, ……………
CHAPTER: 28 THEVELDPREDIKANT (Editorial Excerpt)
Thestage was set for Johannes to depart his homeland. I cannot stress how easy itis to oversimplify the state of time, especially when writing about Prussia ingeneral. The young man was one of a body of prominent non-German settlers thathad occupied the MemelRiver lands forgenerations. The Scots of Tilsit and Memel, atleast those of Johannes’ class, were long-time merchant traders that looked totheir leaders, Forbes and Gordon for guidance. The elders of the Brotherhoodmaintained a traditional Scots society in a predominantly German land. Just asinvolved and politically active was a growing body of native Polish Lithuaniansthat sought autonomy. Sweden,who saw adjacent Pomerania as theirs by conquest, constantly squabbled with thedukes of Brandenburg and Danzig,often flaring into warfare. It is these ducal overlords that I would like tolook at briefly, for the Great Elector that had chosen the Danzig-bornAlexander Dennis might have been a contributor for sending Johannes abroad forschooling.
TheGreat Elector Frederick William von Hohenzollern was heir to Prussia bybirthright, but as explained earlier, his family had lost prestige through badmanagement. He was the first to revitalize the family name, but this was donepartially through his two marriages, the first to a woman from the Dutch Houseof Orange and the second to the ancient Saxon-Swabian house of Guelph. His son Frederick I (King of Prussia1688-1713) and his grandson Frederick William I (1713-1740) married into the Guelph line as well. Thefamily Guelphincluded the Creichingens and became founders of the House of Hanover. Theirhereditary arms, as you remember, was a gold lion on a blue field. Theirhistory is one that stretched back through centuries of interaction with theTeutonic Knights and the Angevian houses of Normandy,having as much to do with Italyas with Germany.Their rise as founders of the House of Hanover placed them as the strongestrival to the Hohenzollern dukes of Brandenburgand Prussia.The marital union between the two forged a unique force that led to theimperial Prussian Military machine, but in 1679, it was in its infancy. In1680, the Great Elector began to organize Prussia as a viable nation,initiating a standing army, a department of the exchequer, a national budgetand an office of audit. Tilsit on the Memel was one of the richest counties in East Prussia andAlexander was treasurer of the Tilsit Brotherhood. Although the Great Electorlived at Berlin,he owned and maintained the elector’s castles at Königsberg and at Tilsit as well. It had been he who offeredhalls in both castles to be used as churches for the local communities shortlyafter he took reign of the government. The coincidence tying the GreatElector’s family to Tilsit and Alexander Krichton’s* family cannot beoverlooked. The gold lion was evidently common to both.
*Itis far too early to say definitively that Alexander Krichton was the father ofJohannes. He is the only one found so far that fits the role. Using Scotland as aguide, dozens, if not hundreds of Creightons could have been interconnectedthroughout the northern region, having such a long history of occupancy. Tilsitand Memel were a very large districts and notjust cities. The facts to date indicate that Johannes’ immediate family didhave a lion arms and crest, but being from a wax impression from a signet ring,colors are unknown. Staying with Alexander Krichton as a known subject, we cantake one last look at the ‘Creyghton’ lion and finally put him to rest. First,color is irrelevant. Being of Scots heritage, the original arms would have beenthe blue lion on silver, but similar to that of the arms of Robertson DunnCrichton. Somewhere along the line as merchants for the German leagues,Johannes’ family altered the traditional arms, but it was the lion crest andnot color that was most important. The lion crest, among others is that ofStuart of Bute. If the family motto was usedin Alexander’s time, it implies a link to Forbes, possibly through ConsulPatrick Forbes of Danzig (or his family). Theonly ‘Prussian’ link to a gold lion on blue was that of the co-rulers Guelph, tied by marriageto Hohenzollern electors. The House of Orange-Nassau was as involved throughmarriage to Frederick William, but it was the House of Guelphthat rose to become administrators of Prussia. If the Krichton lionchanged from blue to gold, it was probably as a result of some past involvementwith this old Saxon-Swabian family.
Johannes,in any event did leave Prussiafor The United Provinces, but exactly when is unclear. He was 19 when pastor Dennis arrived at Tilsit. By family tradition he wasa member of the commercial Scots community. He may have had older brothers orat least uncles in Hollandas factors for the family business, which may have been anything from grainproduction to breeding horses. They were probably involved in the local timberindustry* with sawmills at Memel and hadinterests in the shipyards. There would have been one or more ‘Krichton’ shipsto operate the Baltic waters. Not knowing where Johannes fell within the familymakeup, it is impossible to determine his role as a young adult. The Scots wereprone to have large families. It is likely that he was one of a number of sons,with his older brothers assuming the father’s businesses. Unless Johannes wasaway for preparatory schooling (the Scots School at Danzig,for example), he would have been expected to help with the commercial affairs.This could have placed him at home in Tilsit, at the shipyards at Memel,onboard a family ship or at any related port from Königsberg to Amsterdam. His personal aspirations, however,must have been to enter the church as a predikant. Pastor Dennis, his familyand the overall Scots community may have pointed him in that direction.
*Theoverall economy of the Baltic nations was in decline, the height of commercehaving occurred in Alexander Krichton’s time. For centuries, timber productshad been the mainstay. Pine and spruce comes to mind as masts for ships, but‘fine lumber’ was the main product. This came primarily from the great oak andbeech forests, processed at Memel and Königsberg as ‘clapboards,’ or long laths. These could be refined, for one, asbarrel staves, used in the herring-processing centers. Another valuable exportwas ash and potash, again made from oak and beech. This was an essentialproduct in ‘finishing’ woolen textiles in The Netherlands. By Johannes time, theclear cutting of the hardwood forests had eradicated the oak reserves.
Andso at the age of twenty, Johannes would have faced many challenges.Economically, it behooved him to follow family pursuits and I am sure that hedid so in some capacity. He was possibly a clerk or junior factor at a familyoffice in Amsterdam,or some other Dutch port. It is also highly likely that he was married, 18 wasthe accepted age for this to happen. If so, this would have also been partiallya business venture, to a Dutch or Scots-Dutch woman aligned with a comparabletrading family. It is very important to look at the overall picture. He did notbegin his ecclesiastical pursuits until 1686, allowing roughly a five-yearperiod for him work. Wherever the Dutch VOC located, Scots were alwaysinvolved, generally as clerks. This was true in the Far East, Capetown,South Africa or at the greatestates along the Hudson River in NewYork. During this time, entire family fortunes werewon or lost. Family fleets were often destroyed in storms or were captured bywarring nations. Those missing years in Johannes’ life could have found him inany one of a number of situations. Pressured by family, peers and possiblyin-laws to invest in trading ventures, he may have lost everything in a singlestroke of fate.
Oneexample that affected many would have been the lumber business. The sawmills ofMemel (there were many at Tilsit as well) were one end of a greater ‘sawyersunion’ which had up to 40 companion mills located within the Amsterdam city limits. The sawyers madefortunes as Amsterdamdoubled and tripled in size through the early 17th century. Thenmodern technology threatened the old sawyer’s guilds. The great windmills beganspringing up in the countryside; wind-operated sawmills could cut more boardfeet with less manpower. Johannes, if he were involved could have lost eitherway. Early investors in windmills fought the traditional sawyers union of Amsterdam, whosepolitical power kept the new mills out of the city. Those that tried tomodernize the city mills lost heavily, no one bought their goods. If he were ofthe older group, the sawyers in turn lost financially because of the newtechnology. The windmills were also introduced to the MemelRiverregion, displacing the hand-sawn profession.
Whateverhappened, Johannes finally looked toward an ecclesiastical career. If he had abusiness failure, he may also have faced a failed or floundering marriage. Thiswas not uncommon for the times. It is probable that he had direct familymembers as residents of The Netherlands, many having assimilated into the Dutchculture. Beginning with the eminent Robert Creyghton mentioned in 1660, manyothers with that surname spelling were known, especially at Amsterdam. Because the nationalstandardization of surnames was well under way, Johannes may have changed histo Creyghton shortly after arriving in Holland, but there is no way ofknowing. Many families retained theGerman ‘K’ and clerks used it as well. Johannes’ signature survives as being Creyghton,but both he and his son Jacobus Nicolus Creyghton were commemorated in churchplaques as ‘Kreijghton’.
TheDutch were one of the first people in the world to grant state-aid to foreignémigrés, profiting richly off their later contributions to Dutch society. Thismade The United Provinces a haven for mainly Protestant refugees from all overEurope, the largest groups (other than the Scots) being the French Huguenotsand Spanish Protestants. Promising individuals, often entire families were paidannual pensions, if they promised to apply their professional talents towardDutch society. Many of these ‘pensioners’ were earmarked to be sent abroad tohelp colonize the provincial regions of SouthAfrica and America. Taking advantage of thesystem, Johannes was finally granted a state-sponsored scholarship as a Scotsémigré; enrolling at the TheologicalUniversity at Franeker, FrieslandMay 1, 1686. He was 26 years old. Aside from possibly a brief return to Prussia, hespent the remainder of his life in The Netherlands.
While Johannes was in school,momentous events occurred in The Netherlands. As a member of the ScotsBrotherhood, he would have retained contacts with family and acquaintances fromhome. His location at Franeker placed him at a convenient stop over for shipstraveling from Scotland to East Prussia. PastorBrown of Danzig was near the end of his tenure, calling Alexander Burnett infrom Creighton Parish in Midlothian to takehis place. Burnett may have stopped at Franeker to visit Johannes on his way toDanzig. He officially replaced Brown in 1688,with the old man retiring permanently to Rotterdam.It was Johannes’ last full year as a student. …………
TheDutch Creyghton Branch (EditorialExcerpt)
In the present day Netherlands you can find apretty large number of people, who carry the name of Creyghton (orCreijghton).When looking further, they all seem to be relatives, all descendingfrom one common forefather (or maybetwo?). There have been a few attempts tounravel the history of the Dutch Creyghton branch. The first one was the entryabout the Creyghton family in the genealogical and heraldic yearbook“Nederlands Patriciaat”, part A, volume 4, 1913. The NP contains simplelineages of the more important Dutch patriarchal families. The Creyghton familywas considered one of them.
The chapter on Creyghton also contains apicture of the Creyghton Family Coat of Arms, which shows a remarkable likenessto the original Crichton/Creighton Arms; see below.
To the left thefirst (jugendstil-like) picture of the Dutch Creyghton coat of arms from the NPyearbook, Vol. 4, 1913. To the right the nice Creighton coat of arms that JimCreighton drew for his own family in 2001 side by side with a re-colored version , made to show theremarkable likeness, but also the few differences: the inverted colors: gold onblue versus blue on silver, the lion-crest replacing the dragon and thedifferent motto. However, the “God Me Guide” motto is known to have been usedby members of the Crichton/Creighton family in the UK too! And the coat of arms of SirJohn Crichton-Stuart, Marques of Bute shows both crests side by side! See theappendix on heraldry.
The entry in the NP is a short lineage,starting with Johannes Creyghton, supposedly born in 1660 in Tilsit (East Prussia), nowcalled Sovjetsk. This lineage ends with Tjeerd Johannes Creyghton, born in Amsterdam in 1870 andstill living in 1913. Many family members have since done research on thefamily, notably Mr. J.W. Lugard, who wrote his findings down in a report named “Proeve vaneen Creyghton Genealogy”, issued in 1986. Lugard makes a distinction betweentwo separate Dutch Creyghton families, the one descending from JohannesCreyghton and the other descending from Jacobus Creyghton, born in 1791.
In recent years a group of family members, includingJoep Creyghton, Maria Creyghton-Lemmens, Ingrid Creyghton and Jos Grupping havedone further research. One important finding was the discovery by Joep of theTaufregister (baptismal records) of Tilsit in the Evangelisches Zentral Archifin Berlin.There he found the registration of the baptism of Johannes as the son ofAlexander Krichthon (or Krechthon), indicated in the records as ‘Scot’, and hiswife Maria. So Johannes was born and baptized in 1665 (and not in 1660 as theNP said) and was the second child and first son of Alexander and Maria.Johannes had five brothers and three sisters. The complete list of children andwitnesses to the baptisms follows below.
Note:Krechthon or Krichthon is the typical German spelling of the original UK surnameCrichton or Creighton.
1. Anna KRECHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 3 juni1663 at Tilsit (O.Pruissen). Sponsors:H. Gorg Swenner, Consul. H.N. Förstay; H. Merten Röse; fr. Gallisch; fr. JohanBachmansh; fr. Wilhelm Ritche; fr. Albrecht Ritche
2. Johannes CREYGHTON (born KRECHTHON of KRECHTHON) , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit,Evangelisches Zentral Archiv Berlin)at 19 jan. 1665 at Tilsit (O.Pruissen). Sponsors: Gabriel Preusch,; H. Fridrich Beschel;Dittrich Federmann; David Eisenblatter; fr. Johan Telmonch; fr. Anna Bessels;Anna Lang; Alex Leipsch
Note: The Nederland'sPatriciaat shows the wrong year of birth: 1660.
3. Anna Maria KRECHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 28 juni 1666 at Tilsit. Sponsors: Ritche; Balther Simons; H. AlbrechtRitche; fr. Hans Johannessen?; fr. David Barchlaij; fr. WilhelmSchapelsch-Trinter?; fr. Michael Robsche (O.Pruissen).
4. Andreas KRICHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 27juni 1668 at Tilsit (O.Pruissen). Sponsors:Andreas Ritch, from Köningsfeld; David Barchlaij; Jacobus Kommer; H. GeorgAndres Keiman; fr. Merten Rösche; fr. David Eisenblatter; fr. Gilbert Kamferschfrom Köningsberg
5. Alexander KRICHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 18 febr. 1670 at Tilsit(O.Pruissen). Sponsors:H. Wilhelm Ritch, H. Jacob Messer; Hans Elcrún?; fr. Balther Simonsche; H.Martin Röse;
6. Fridrich KRICHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 7 april 1672 at Tilsit(O.Pruissen). Sponsors: Fridrich vonDieben; H. Gabriel Preusch; H. Johannes Schlemmer, fr. Anna Sophia; Daniel. H.Christoph Röse
7. Wilhelmus KRICHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 20maart 1674 at Tilsit (O.Pruissen). Sponsors:H. Michael Schlenner Jun.; Christophor Röse; Christoffer Schlenner; H. ReinboldDachhauen; fr. David Eisenblatter Jr.
8. Alexander KRICHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) at 21juli 1676 at Tilsit (O.Pruissen). Sponsors:H. Gottfrid Colby; Wilhelm Ritch; Jacob Grewert; H.Johan Lasmans; fr. HansAredingh
9. Elisabeth KRICHTHON , baptized (Taufregister Tilsit) in 1678at Tilsit (O.Pruissen). Sponsors:H. Jacob Meyer; Albrecht Irving; fr. Allan Sophia; H. Gaiseris Dusslers; H.Henniy Mevy J; fr. Catharina Barclaijsch
As written above, the Nederlands Patriciaat, states thatJohannes Creyghton was born on the25th of January 1660 in Tilsit, East Prussia.However, in the baptismal records of Tilsit, presently preserved at theEvangelical Central Archive in Berlin (EZAB), no mention is made of anyCreyghton/Crichton baptism in 1660. On 1665, January 19th, however aJohannes was baptized in Tilsit as the second child of Alexander Krechthon andhis wife Maria.
Further proof that 1665 was the year of his birth isprovided by a testimony of Johannes himself before the Magistrate of the Courtof Friesland on October 24th,1704, where he declares that his age is 39 years. This clearly fitsin with January 1665, not 1660, as his date of birth. We therefore may assumethat he was born and baptized in 1665 from Alexander Crichton (Krechthon) andMaria as his parents.
Mapcirca 1650, of former East Prussia showingTilsit (now Sovjetsk), near Konigsberg.
The baptismal records also include a number of sponsors orwitnesses, which gives us a good insight to the social environment of Alexanderand his wife Maria. One of the sponsors of his first child Anna was GeorgSwenner, Consul; having the Consul of Scotland or England as a friend of thefamily meant that Alexander still entertained relations with his homeland, possiblyas a merchant. A certain Albrecht Ritsch is mentioned twice assponsor of respectively Anna (born 1663) and AnnaMaria (born 1666). Among the sponsors of the other children of Alexander andMaria, the name Ritch/Ritschie/Ritsche ismentioned another four times at least, which makes it probable that Alexander’swife Maria descended from that family as well.WilhemRitchie, mentioned as a witness in 1660, 1670 and 1676, was the man who in 1679obtained permission from the Elector in Berlinto officially establish a Scottish reformed congregation. Another surnamementioned several times as sponsor is Barclays. Both Ritchie and Barclays aredefinitely Scottish names; Lang, Simons and Rose are international; could beGerman or Dutch but might be Scottish as well.
Moreover, in the book “The Scots in Germany”,Alexander Krichton of Tilsit is mentioned as the treasurer of the Scottish“Poor Fund” of the Scottish Brotherhood.He must have played an important part in theformation of the Reformed congregation at Tilsit as well. This union of theCalvinistic settlers from Scotlandtook place some time before 1667, as a Scottish Poor Fund is mentioned in thatyear. Although Alexander Krichton was the treasurer, the general supervision laywith the whole "Brotherhood."The Poor Fund amounted then to 230 gulden, lent out to three members: AlbrechtRitsch (Ritchie), Peter Kerligkeit (?) and William Schamer (Chalmers). Thefirst of these, Albrecht Ritchie, is mentioned twice as a witness at the baptism of Alexander’s children.
Wehave reasons to assume that Krichtons (Crichtons) were already established in the region of Königsberg, Tilsit andInsterburg before 1600. A certain Alexander Crichton is mentioned in a letter writtenby George Frederick, Markgraf of Brandenburg, from Königsbergin 1601 to his magistrates in the country concerning the tax on theinheritance of a recently killed Scot among his subjects:
“His Majesty of Scotland has also writtenrequesting us to give up whatever may be left of the dead man’s goods in ourDuchy to the bearer Alexander Crichton, who has arranged with therepresentative of our treasury concerning the ‘fourth’. We command all ourgovernors and magistrates to deliver the said inheritance to him without fail”.
ThisAlexander Crichton may have been the father or an uncle of the aforementioned AlexanderKrechthon, as they were both acting as treasurers and financial brokers. Assuming that all the Crichtons derived from thesame family branch, which cannot be taken for granted, this would imply thatthe Crichtons had already migrated to EastPrussia before the end of the 16thcentury. This was the start of a period of bitter political and religiousstrife in Scotland,which led to the emigration of many Scots who were on the losing side inpolitics or in their business interests.
In 1679,the Tilsit community of Calvinist Scots had established their own congregation;in that year they acquired the permission to call its first preacher, AlexanderDennis. Born at Königsberg, but of Scottish descent, Alexander Dennis had beentrained in theology at Dutch universities, where he registered as a student ofdivinity at the universities of Utrecht(1675) and Franeker (1676). An important part in his coming to Tilsit wasplayed by William Ritsch, a rich Scottish merchant and a member of thatcongregation, who had gone to Berlinin order to obtain the required permission from the Elector. Young JohannesKrechthon was 14 years old when Alexander Dennis started working as a preacherin Tilsit; it would seem more than plausible that Dennis was personallyacquainted with the Krechthon family and that he convinced or advised Johannesas well to pursue his studies of divinity in the Netherlands. In 1686, Johannesmatriculated as a student at both the universities of Groningen and Franeker. In the latteruniversity Johannes van der Waeijen, who was later to become his father-in-law,was rector magnificus when Johannes registered for matriculation.
Familyties were clearly important to the Crichtons, and so was theology. This is illustrated by what we know aboutWilliam Crichton, in all probability a cousin of Johannes. Wilhelm Crichton from Regiomontanus(Königsberg) in East Prussia matriculated as astudent of divinity at the Universityof Franeker in 1706.Three years later he registered as “Guilielmus Creyghton InterburgensisBorussus” (from Insterburg in East Prussia) asa student of divinity in Leiden, 24 years old. Insterburg belonged….
The "old" Johannes Branch(Editorial Excerpt)
In the books of the “Nederland's Patriciaat", edition 1913, a brief malelineage for the prominent Creyghton family is presented, starting with JohannesCreyghton born on the 25th of January 1660 in Tilsit (East Prussia). We now know that the year wasa mistake and that Johannes was born in 1665 and baptized on the 19thof January of that year. This lineage has been further researched and extendedby Mr. J. W. Lugard from Heemstede, resulting in his report “Proeve van eenCreyghton Genealogie”, dated April 4, 1986. Many other members of the familyhave researched in the last century and written down genealogical and otherinformation about the family. Now this all has been gathered by Maria Lemmens-Creyghton and JosGrupping and made available on the Creyghton-Morel website. http://www.xs4all.nl/~joscmg/Creyghton/Families.htm
As already mentioned, in 1686Johannes enrolled at the University in Groningenunder the name of Johannes Crichtonius; he thenis 21 years old. For some reason he is also registered as “refugee”, probably allowinghim extra grants from the government. Later he also enrolled at the TheologicalUniversity of Franeker in Friesland. In 1689, hefinished his studies in divinity and obtained his first post as a protestant ministerin Pieterburen (Groningen).Around this time he chose Creyghton as his surname. Why this particularspelling and not Creighton or Crichton; maybe he was trying to bedifferent. In any event, Creyghton hasalso been used in the UK,but only vary rarely. The most well known occasion being the row of bishopsRobert Creyghton of Wells and Bath,described elsewhere in detail in this book. Now, the Creyghton spelling remainsalmost unique to the Dutch branch.
In1691, the young ds Johannes Creyghton was for some time a field preacher in thearmy (Veldpredikant) and a member of the private household of the FrisianStadhouder Hendrik Casimir II; in 1692 he obtained another stage as fieldpreacher, making himself known in the higher political ranks as well. In 1704,he acquired the important post of Leeuwarden,and from 1711 until his death in 1738 at the age of 73 years, his last one wasin Haarlem (avery prominent one in the Dutch Reformed (NH) church). He was succeeded by hisson Jacob Nicolaus. Both reverends are mentioned on a plaque on the wall of theGrote or St. Bavo Church.
In October 1700,Johannes married Geertruida van der Waeijen, daughter of ds. Johannes van derWaeijen, his former professor at Franeker University and at the time a colleague and a man of greatinfluence in the Netherlands, patronized by the Stadhouder of Friesland.Geertruida was 10 years younger and they had 7 children of whom 2 died ininfancy. Their eldest, Jan Alexander was born inFraneker in 1702. Names of the eldest son were not without significance inthose days, as they were usually the names of the grandfathers. Jan Alexanderwas Jan for Johannes van der Waeijen and probably Alexander for AlexanderCreighton, Crichton or Krichton from Tilsit. Jan Alexander became a solicitor andattorney in Amsterdam.Second son Jacobus Nicolaus, was born in 1704, following in father's footstepsas a preacher. Jacob or Jacobus (James) is the most common name in the family.This will be referred to later…………….
The Dutch Creyghton Coat of Arms
As said before, the entry aboutCreyghton in the NP, 1913 also contained a description and a picture of theCreyghton Coat of Arms (Familiewapen). This is originally dedicated to JohannesCreyghton, the founding father. As shown above, the Creyghton CoA is essentiallythe same as the original Creighton/Crichton Arms, with the main difference the“inverted” colors. But Johannes clearly knows what he is doing by his choice ofthe demi-lion as crest and “God Me Guide” as motto. Maybe he is trying toindicate family connections to the Crichton-Stuart and Crichton of Ruthvenfamilies, considering his choices for the crest and motto? See the CoA of theMarques of Bute to the right, showing both the dragon and demi-lion crest!
The first occurrence of the Creyghton Wapen fromJohannes is as the seal on a document by Johannes from 1710. The most detailedis the one by his grandson Jacob Creyghton from 1781, showing the motto and thecorrect heraldic crosshatching for the colors blue and gold. All show thedemi-lion as crest and two lions as supporters.
In Leiden on the 8th of March1823 the birth of Maria Anthonetta Creyghton was registered, firstborn child ofJacobus Creyghton and Maria Anna Bran(d)te. In the following years 6 morechildren were born. This is the start of another branch of the Dutch Creyghtonswho, in contrast with the other line flourish, have many children and in our(fifth) generation (born from 1925-1950) has over 75 persons of whom about halfcarry the surname Creyghton. It is a typically Roman Catholic family, which hasmany people who work for the church as priest or nun as most RC families wouldbefore the Second World War. But who is Jacobus Creyghton?.................
Where didJacobus come from?
There are two possibilities:Jacobus is a child of one of the descendants from the Johannes branch or he isfrom another family altogether. If the latter were true - this must have beenan existing Dutch/Scots family Creighton/Crichton etc. However, not only canthe registration of his birth be found, but no one else has been registered who could be his mother or father. He could have come overfrom Scotlandon his own like Johannes and married Anna, but why then would theirmarriage not have been registered? All we know is that he was born in Amsterdam and Jacobus was usually James or Jacob in Scotland;he could have Dutchified it, but his surname would have remained Creighton orCrichton. In that time there were no reasons for changing to the y-spelling.
Only one possibilityremains- he must come from the Johannes branch. But there may have been areason for hiding the fact of his birth ……………
Jacob and his wife Maria Regista Rietveld had10 children of whom 7 died in infancy. Remains: Hermanus, born in 1762; nothingfurther is known of him - no death - no marriage etc. Chances are that he alsodied young. Jan Alexander married in 1795, long after the birth of Jacobus;would it have been a problem for a man to have had a child registered beforehis marriage? Remains: the daughter Maria Regista. An eligible daughter of 19in a prominent family like that of the Bailiff Jacob, who has an illegitimatechild just could have been a problem. It could have been that the girl was sentto relatives in Amsterdambefore the birth and that the child has been named after the grandfather butreared by a foster family and registration conveniently forgotten.
There arerumors that Jan Alexander, Maria's brother had Jacobus, his nephew in hisfamily when he was a teenager and that he was his Guardian. Jan Alexander atthat time lived in a large mansion in Den Bosch. Unfortunately nothing can befound of this in the Tax Registry (Kohieren). But it would explain why Jacobusends up marrying a girl from Den Bosch.
Jan Alexanderand his wife died very close in time toone another in Den Bosch when Jacobus was 17. Their children were then taken inlovingly by Maria Regista, who had by then married Wolter Becquer. Her daughterAnnette Maria Becquer married Jacob Jan Alexander Creyghton-Jan Alexander'sson. This family did not have a surplus of imagination as far as names areconcerned! Anyway, our Jacob had to fend for himself because it may have beenunthinkable that a bastard join his own mother after all.
A final possibility is thatJacob the Bailiff was the father. This would have been a scandal at 57 and inview of his prominent function. But would he in, that case, have named hisillegal son Jacob as well? None of it can be excluded but it seems most logicalthat the mother is Maria Regista.
There is another storywhich was passed on in different parts of the family for over a century. It isusually referred to as “The story of thelady in waiting”. In essence,the story runs as follows:…………
Now, it should be clearthat this story met a vital need for Jacobus’ children, firstly to understandwhy they had such an exotic English surname and secondly to get an inkling ofthe mysterious descent of their father. Such a story may contain both fact andfiction. ……………
A fascinating part of thestory is ……………..
…………………..Grandson JacquesCreyghton, who told the story to his nephew in law, must have heard it directlyfrom his own father or from his uncles and aunts, who had all been actualwitnesses of the visit.
Other parts of the storyare less plausible, if taken literally
A last interesting aspectof the story is that the children and grand children of Jacobus have beeninquiring actively about the descent of their father and that they apparentlywere well aware of the possible link with the protestant Creyghton family. ………………
Another indication of apossible link is a pewter dish, of which at least two copies have been inpossession of members of the family. A series of those dishes may have existed.The design clearly shows the Creyghton Coat of Arms, including the motto:"God Me Guide". According to an expert, the dishes display a stylethat was characteristic for the years around 1850, which means that they weremade either by Jacobus or – more probably - by one of his sons, who were allcoppersmiths. This raises the question: why would Jacobus (or his sons) make aseries of dishes with the family arms if they were not considering themselves apart of that family?
The"later" Jacobus family branch
The Johannes branch was protestant with many vicarsamong them. Jacobus however married in the south of the Netherlands - Den Bosch - which wasand still is predominantly RC. Jacobus may even have been reared RC butcertainly his wife was RC and they would have reared their childrenaccordingly. Coppersmith was Jacobus' trade - important business in those days.He and Maria Anna had 7 children; the 3 girls all joined the church as nuns.The sons were either coppersmiths or watchmakers or coal (fuel) merchants andmoved further away, to Rotterdam and Alkmaar. When Jacob diedin 1849, his widow was 57 and took over his business together with two of theirsons. See the ad below.
Genetic Genealogy or “It’s all aboutGenes”
Quiterecently, in 2008, Hans Creijghton, a member of the old Protestant familybranch and descendingin a straight line from Johannes Creighton from Tilsit (1665), and Joep Creyghton, of the ‘new’Catholic branch, descending from Jacobus Creyghton from Leiden (1791)together participatedin The “Genetic Genealogy in The Netherlands” project,based on DNA-research, in which morethan 400 Dutch people participated, was designed to establish genetic relationsof and eventually among the participants. Examined were the DNA-structures ofthe Y-chromosomes of each participant, which remain constant, or almost constant,for hundreds of generations among male ancestors. This means that ifparticipants have a common male ancestor, they belong to the same broad ‘haplo’type or group. In addition, within thatgroup they must have similar, or virtually similar, so-called DNA-markers,because mutations in the DNA-structure over hundreds of years are very rare. Thisway it was discovered that a few participants had an identical ancestor andmight consider themselves as cousins.
One more interesting conclusion presents itself: ……………
May 24, 2009
COUNTY DOWN IRELAND
CHAPTER: 29 THE FLIGHT OF THE EARLS (EditorialExcerpt)
WhenI wrote “NorthwindSouthwind, the Legacy of MichaelCreighton”in 1998, I concentrated either on ancient history, or known events occurringafter 1802. My knowledge of Scotlandand of Northern Irelandwas almost nonexistent. With this narrative, a wider world has opened up forthe associated Creighton family. It is time to reexamine Michael Creighton(180o-1884), his family’s role in Ulster society and how he, mygreat-great grandfather, became a Canadian farmer. The story is as relevant asthat of Johannes Creyghton of Tilsit. Like the Prussian-Scots, the Ulster-Scotswere part of the overall Scots Brotherhood.
TheRoman and Saxon invaders had bypassed Gaelic Ireland, due to its veryisolation. Until the 12th century, it remained a stronghold ofancient tribal, Celtic (and Norwegian) chieftainships. Anglo-Saxon Normansentered primarily the south in the 1170s, as Henry II sought to subjugate therebellious island. For four hundred years the descendants of these Normanknights integrated into Irish society, but the north, called Ulster, remained uniquely Gaelic.
Ulster was, in a sense, synonymous with the ScottishHighlands. Both remained primarily Gaelic and Catholic, while the Lowlands and Southern Ireland evolved along separate lines. Many clanswere located in both Irelandand Scotland,traveling back and forth as events warranted. They helped each other in timesof war for centuries and a short 35 miles separated southwest Scotland from Ulster. The nine northern counties,Monaghan, Cavan, Fermanagh, Tyrone,Tyrconnel (Donegal), Armagh, Coleraine, Antrimand Down remained a great frontier of mountains, marshy lakes and woodland. Ledby the senior clans O’Neill, Maguire, O’Reilly, O’Rourke and O’Cahan, thenative Irish held their own against the Anglicized south.
Antrimand Down were historically held by the O’Neills. Once the leading and royalhouse of Ulster,they had remained leaders as earls, but fought constantly with their neighbors.In the 1400s, as the Midlothian Creightons were reaching the height of theirpower in Scotland,the earls O’Neill asked for Scottish help. The Clan MacDonald of Argyllresponded as mercenaries, as they had done since the 13th century.Because of their close alliance with the O’Neill earls, they eventuallyacquired much of Antrim; displacing the Irish clan MacQuillan. In Ireland theyeventually assumed the surname O’Donnell. By the 16th century, theyhad become a ‘native’ Irish clan under their chief, Sorley Boy MacDonnell(1509-1590). His descendant Randal MacSorley O’Donnell was created Earl ofAntrim in 1620.
Itwas during Sorley Boy MacDonnell’s chieftainship of Antrim that Elizabeth I came to power in England. The Irish in generalopposed her Protestant reign, supporting instead the imprisoned Queen Mary ofScots. This especially held true in the north, which had received many CatholicScots fleeing the Calvinist rule of Knox’s Edinburgh parliament. The, conflicts, howeverpredated the Protestant Reformation. The Irish had been fighting forindependence from English rule for centuries. Elizabeth inherited the ‘Irish Problem’ fromher father’s reign, but sending English troops there was expensive. Her privycouncil proposed sending English colonists to Ireland to help defuse thesituation. Two earlier attempts in southern Ireland had ended in failure. Ulster, though,was still a wilderness and her councilors soon had her convinced that a‘planting’ venture there could reap rewards while ‘holding down’ the Irish. Hersecretary of state, Sir Thomas Smith (1513-1577) became the chief proponent,calling in Scottish aids to negotiate with the Irish earls. The O’Neillsoffered a portions of northern Downs called the Ards to be set aside forEnglish use and, in 1572, Elizabeth appointed Smith asher chief undertaker. Investors came mostly from the English West Country, butsome were Scots, the Hamiltons of Lanarkshire being one. The senior Smithorganized the venture while his son Thomas acted as resident magistrate but theventure waned with the death of the elder Smith in 1577. The predominantlyProtestant settlers found the local Catholic Irish sullen and hostile. After Elizabeth I executed Maryof Scots in 1587, the divisions widened.
Withhis mother’s death, James VI took the reigns of the Scottish throne in earnest,but was faced with two problems at home. First were the Presbyterian Lowlandersthat opposed his changes to their church by incorporating Episcopal bishops.Second were the Border Riders, the Reivers that had become…
CHAPTER: 30 SEWINGTHE SEEDS (Editorial Excerpt)
In1607 the British government formalized the settlement of the six escheatedcounties of Ulster.The Plantation Act of 1607 was the end result of years of negotiationsinvolving the British, Scottish, Catholic Irish and Anglo-Irish administrators.The flight of the earls merely gave an air of legality to the Britishconfiscation of greater Ulster.The after-effects linger to this day, pitting the ‘British’ Protestants againstthe traditionally Catholic Irish. Specific rules of settlement, especially forScots nationals were activated and a commission administered the plantationprogress from Dublin.
TheEnglish plan as sanctioned by James I & VI was very simple and was gearedto both exploit and to control Scottish settlers. The king’s ongoing battleswith the Border Clans and his dislike for the Scots Presbyterians caused manyto worry. The problem was solved whenScots were forced to take oaths of Irish Denization (denizens of Ireland) before they were allowed passage to Ulster.This placed them somewhere between alien emigrants and native Irish. They wererequired to produce a letter of patent of denization and a fine was leviedsimilar to those imposed upon Scottish emigrants to the Prussian lands. Oathsof allegiance to the British Crown were also imposed and only children bornafter the oath was given were eligible to purchase lands in the future. Scotscould hold no public office, whether civilian or military. If after 7 years oftenancy an applicant adhered to all requirements, full naturalization as aBritish subject was allowed.
Fromthe onset, each of the Ulstercounties had special-interest groups vying for the confiscated lands.Politically, the affair remained complex for some time as the Catholic Irishlandowners tried to retain a grasp on their traditional home territories. Afterthe flight of the O’Neils and their fellow earls, scattered outbreaks continuedto occur, the last being that of Cahir O’Doherty in Derryin 1608. His Coleraine home had been set aside for English settlement in 1604.The ensuing grant allowed for the formation of a new town called Derry; the county of Derrywas formed from Coleraine and adjoining portions of Antrim and Donegal, changedlater to Londonderry. After O’Doherety’sdeath, the Londoner’s Plantationbegan in earnest. Londonderry was settled by12 formal English trade guilds: The Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers,Goldsmiths, Skinners, Clothworkers, Merchant Tailors, Haberdashers, Saltors,Ironmongers and Vintners. This plantation with the city of Londonderry as its hub soon thrived as acenter of English trade, as did the adjoining port city (Borough) of Colerainein Antrim. The remaining counties were subdivided and allocated, but thedistribution followed more diverse lines. The county of Monaghanwas not part of the original planting scheme aside from one small settlement.Five counties remained as the principal areas of settlement, Cavan, Fermanagh,Donegal, Armagh and Tyrone.
The‘seeding’ of the counties followed a strict plan of operation to provide forhandpicked undertakers. They fell into three major divisions of importance:
1. English andScottish “Undertakers”: patent holders or grantees responsible for the overallplantation of a given grant, or precinct. Precincts were very large tracts,which were subsequently subdivided into “proportions” of 3000, 2000, 1500 and1000-acre-tracts. Only chief undertakers of the caliper of Esme Stuart Lordd’Aubigny were allowed tracts of 3000 acres, although many had more than oneplantation. There were only nine chief undertakers from Scotland, but they handpicked the50 ‘ordinary’ Scots Undertakers.
2. Servitors:English or Anglo-Irish crown servants that resided in Ireland. This group included familygroups that had been in Irelandfor centuries as administrators as well as military families that could provideprotection and help form a standing army of militia. Sir Arthur Chichester, asLord Deputy of Irelandfit into the first group. As well as his own private plantation at Belfast, he was an undertaker for other lands in CountyTyrone.SirRalphGore,a knight from Hampshire and a Poore cousin (my mother’s family) was grantedlands in FermanaghCounty at Enniskillen onLough Erne.
3. Native IrishFreeholders: These were the senior Irish pre-plantation landowners such as theMcGuires of Fermanagh and the O’Reillys of Cavan that swore allegiance to theBritish crown. Although many of these first-families had fought against thecrown, others had helped and supported the British cause. By law they were toreceive 10% of all allotted lands, but for the most part their allotments wereon poor mountainous land or on land undesirable to the British. Their tractswere small, averaging about 120 acres, but some were as small as 25 acres.There leases were ‘life-rents,’ ending when the applicant died.
Note:Not usually shown, as a group, were the ecclesiastical grantees. Portions ofall five counties were set aside, to be controlled by the Church of England.The Presbyterian Scots were seldom allowed their own churches in the newcommunities. The struggle of the Scots Kirks in Ulster is a story in itself.Municipal and school lands formed a fifth group as towns were planted anddeveloped after ‘pacification’ was complete.
Althoughregulations were intended to include plantations in far off Virginia,that colony was void of many financial responsibilities imposed on the Ulsterundertakers. Virginiawas settled initially by………
CHAPTER: 31 LANDLORDS(Editorial Excerpt)
In1902, C.A. Hanna wrote a unique 2-Volumn book entitled: “The Scotch-Irish,or, the Scot in North Britain, North Ireland and North America, the UlsterPlantation1610-1630.” Hanna chose as his main source the actual documents compiled bythe British authorities from Dublin.Reporting directly to King James, they periodically inspected the manyprecincts and proportions county by county. Many of the commissioners, such as SirArthurChichester, were planters(servitors) as well. Their reports of 1611 and 1619 especially were invaluable,for they listed not only the original 1607 undertakers, but also those, likethe Creightons, that obtained lands after 1611. The original reports, called “TheCarew Manuscripts, 1603-1624” were published by the British Government.
OnJune 29, 1611, Lord Deputy Chichester, George Carew, Thomas Ridgeway, RichardWingfield and Oliver Lambert left Dublin for Ulster, traveling directly to theEnglish plantations* of Coleraine. Meeting with magistrates and sheriffs ofeach county, they made the circuit and recorded progress on each plantation.From Coleraine they traveled to Donegal, Fermanagh, Tyrone,Armagh and Cavan for the remainder of thesummer. In all cases, the original undertakers were expected to have met allregulations and to have become resident landlords. Some, like James Hamiltonearl of Abercorn received high praise for his remarkable progress with hislands in Tyrone. For the most part, however, Chichesterand his commission found many proportions that had never been visited by theirundertakers, let alone settled and developed.
*Ofthe six escheated counties, only Derry (Coleraine) and Armaghwere meant to be all-English. Tyrone and Donegal were predominantly Scottish,while Fermanagh and Cavan were originally split evenly between English andScottish planters. Monaghan did have one small plantation, but all othersfailed and the county was left to the native Irish for another eighty years.
Onepartial entry for Lord Burleigh’sKnockninny precinct of Fermanagh shows how the commissioners evaluated theundertakers. First mentioned is Lord Burleigh’s elder son, Michael Balfour ofFifeshire, Laird Mountwhany (Mountwhinney). His 1500-acre tract (actually 1590)was called Kilspinan and he began constructing his castle there in 1610.Kilspinan was at the southern end of Upper Lough Erne and straddled both eastand west shores. His stone fortress was called CromOldCastle and would become the majorCreighton holding in 1655. Thomas Moneypenny owned the adjoining Aghalaneproportion just southwest of Balfour’s castle; Trayle’s proportion was calledDristernan. Balfour, Moneypenny, Trayle and Smailholm were all close associateswith Thomas Creighton of Brunston (grandson of John):
“…Mr. Balfore, La. Mountwhany, 1500 acres;appeared in person, brought over eight freeholders and lease-holders with fourwomen servants. He felled 200 oaks, provided lime, and brought over a dozen horsesand mares for work, with household stuff. La. Kinalle, 1000 acres (ThomasMoneypennyLairdof Kinkell, Fifeshire), not appeared and none for him; nothing done. JamesTrayle, 1000 acres; took possession, returned to Scotland. Sent over four persons tomake freeholders, Etc. Some timber and other materials provided, and six horsesand mares out of Scotland.George Smolhome (Geo. Smailholm of Leith, Edinburghshire), 1000 acres, takenpossession, returned into Scotland,no agent, nothing done.”
Oneof the last entries in Chichester’s 1611 report concerns activities in nearbyClanchie (Clankee) Precinct in CountyCavan.
This county overall was initially wellproportioned and like Fermanagh was both Scottish and English in makeup. AlexanderHamilton’sTullyhunco precinct and EsmeStuart’s Clankee precinct totaled6000 acres. Sir Stephen Butler at this time was but one of the many Englishundertakers that shared lands with the Scots. He knew that Chichester’scommission would invariably punish absentee landlords for non-compliance ofplantation laws. The Commission had the ability to foreclose on any plantingventure if the original owner…………..
CHAPTER: 32 LAIRD OFAGHALANE (Editorial Excerpt)
MichaelBalfour Lord Burleigh was one of the earliest Scots in the region, in anofficial role. The family was old and prestigious, hailing from Markinch,Fifeshire, which was just north of the Creightons of Kirkcaldy. As a Scottishgovernmental official, he worked as an Irish diplomat from 1579-1604. Through those years he ingratiated himselfwith the Maguires, barons of Enniskillen and rulers of Fermanagh. In 1590, hebecame heir to sizable Maguire holdings at Lough Erne through Connor BoyMaguire, who became one of the few remaining hostile Irish lords to retainstatus after 1603. When the post-war negotiations ended with the 1607 flight ofthe earls, Connor Boy Maguire stayed in Fermanagh through Balfour’s support,although the two later became opposed to each other. As a result of hisdiplomatic successes with Maguire, Balfour was created Lord Balfour of Burleighin 1607, leading to many high government postings. With the ratification of thePlantation Act, he was first in line to apply for patents of land that he heldpartial title to since 1590. He received his patents of plantation June 29,1610 and within a month; he was in Fermanagh to oversee the first plantees. Hewas recorded as chief undertaker for Knockninny barony, with 2000 acres atLegan and another 1000 acres located at Carrowchee. By that time, he was asitting member of the Scottish Privy Council. Surprisingly, Lord Burleigh wasthe chief opponent to the king receiving Irish lands; he felt it to beunethical. By February 1611 he was back in Scotland, but had begunconstruction of his stone castle. For the annals of 1611 (Carew Reports),his progress of plantation for Knockninny barony was:
“…24persons plus one agent on proportion; 70 cows brought from Scotland, crops harvested, onehouse built, and other buildings in progress…”
Lord Burleigh’s son, James,held adjoining lands at Clanawaley, which was north of Knockninny and west ofEnniskillen. His stone castle at Carrowshee became the main Balfour estate onthe west side of Lough Erne. James also obtained lands on the east side andtook over all of his father’s plantations in 1619. MichaelBalfour,son of Lord Burleigh,has already been highlighted by Chichester’sreport. He eventually obtained the barony of Magherastephana on the easternside of the lake, but it is his 1590 acres at Kilspinan that concerns us. Asidefrom building a castle, Balfour since had let the land to the local Irish,leasing it out by the year. The commissioners in Dublinlooked down upon this practice officially, although some commissioners, like SirOliverLambert, did the same on their ownproportions (Lambert held a 1500-acre servitor ship at Clonmahone Precinct, CountyCavan).
Stephen Butler, an English undertaker, became the greatest landownerin the Cavan-Fermanagh region. A member of the House of Ormond, his family hadhistorically been royal favorites of past Scottish and English monarchs asearls of Ormond. For generations, they had ruled lands in Kent, the Scottish Highlands Ross, and Cromartyregions and from County Wexford,Ireland.Stephen Butler was Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, through her mother Anne Boleyn. InIreland, his family joinedthe Husseys, Frenches and Powers as Anglo-Norman administrators that came from Englandin the 117os. Shortly after Chichester’s group returned to Dublinto prepare their reports, Butlerbegan plans to buy up Balfour lands in southern Fermanagh.His original proportion of 2002 acres was located at Loughtee barony innorthern Cavan. To this was added 284 acres just south of Lough Erne, where heestablished the townland of Belturbet (Bealetirbit), which became hisheadquarters as a market town. From there, Butlerevidently sent out word to EsmeStuart and the Balfoursthat Chichester meant business, promptingimmediate action by the senior undertakers. This began a series of voluntaryland sales, many Cavan and Fermanagh landlords never left Scotland.
ThomasCreighton, who became Stuart’s agent, may already have been a residentunder-tenant in Cavan with others from his family. His grandfather, John ofBrunston, died the same year that the Chichester Commission toured the northerncounties. After 1597, the immediate family would have gone with the Montgomerys and Hamiltons to CountyDown,as thousands of fellow Gallowegians had done (Kirkudbright, Ayrshire, Renfrew,Dunbarton, Dumfries and Lanarkshire made upancient Strathclyde and Galloway). When theremaining counties opened up after 1607, many undertakers and tenants came fromthe Down Plantations (Sir Hugh Montgomery obtained patents for lands inTyrone). It is likely that some of the Brunston group relocated to Cavan. In Butler’s LoughtreePrecinct, future Creightons would be recorded as tenants on lands owned by theEnglish undertaker John Fishe, Esq. (later a baronet). For Fishe’s 2000-acreproportion in the Cavan County Muster Rolls for 1630 are listed JamesCreighton, Rynyon Creighton and a second James Creighton, all of fighting age.All that is definitely known, however, is that Thomas Creighton, the agent, wasthe son of James and worked for Esme Stuart and Stephen Butler.
In thearchives of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) are Creightonfamily records (file D/1939) compiled by the Creighton/Crichton Earls of Erne1611-1981 (the surname was officially changed to Crichton in 1802). They arecalled simply the “Erne Papers.” Some family and estate correspondencehas found its way into the National Library in Dublin (e.g. MS 15360). Because ofdevastating fires in the 18th century, most of the early recordswere lost, leaving just enough to piece together how this family originated,beginning with Thomas Creighton. The Erne Papers, on their own, are not enoughto determine what occurred in the years from 1611 to 1631. Very importantinformation in the family records are either overlooked, or lost all together.Many missing pieces can be reassembled, however, thanks to reports compiled inthe “Carew Manuscripts, 1603-1624” andfor muster rolls dated 1631 for FermanaghCounty.
Withthe deaths of the senior John of Brunston in 1603 and his son John in 1611,James, Thomas’ father, became the ranking Creighton ‘of Brunston.’ The castleand much of the Brunston estates had gone in the 1597 sale, but some land wasretained. This family from Kyle in central Ayrshire had, over the generations,established themselves around Kilmarnock and also retained strong ties to thesenior House of Frendraught in Banffshire near Aberdeen. There, the direct descendant ofLord William the Chancellor, James Crichton of Frendraught lived precariouslywith his Gordon and Huntly cousins. James Crichton was married to Janet Gordonof Lesmoir. Their son James would marry Elizabeth Gordon in 1619, the same yearthe senior Frendraught died. During the Plantation of Ulster, the head of theHouse of Frendraught would have technically been the Creighton clan chief, buthe continued to share that role with the House of Sanquhar. In that oldstronghold, his cousin William Crichton would become 1st Earl of Dumfries,while James’ grandson, Sir James Crichton would become Viscount Frendraught.
Likemost of the leading houses of Scotland,those at the top held titles and lands, but had little ready cash. What theydid have was usually tied up in investments, livestock or shipping interests.The Creightons of Aberdeen, with their Gordon and Ogilvy cousins took advantageof world expansion to send ships to the Baltic and America. Out of all the Creightons,they probably were the wealthiest, until they destroyed themselves throughinfighting with the Gordons by the end of thecentury. In Fife at Kirkcaldy and in Angus near Dundeeand Forfarshire however, the extended Creighton group had links to all majorbranches, as horse suppliers.
PatrickCrichton before he died pointed out the importance of this region. The long andnumerous wars took a heavy toll on horseflesh and historically, the area ofPerth-Kinross on into coastal Angus and Fifebecame a horse-breeding enclave. Williamthe Chancellor and his cousins were aware of this in the late 1300s and horseraising became one family business. By 1611, the great houses of Fife and southern Angus were the Olgivies, Balfours andMoneypennys. Ogilvy is not readily associated with the Plantation of Ulster,but Balfour (Lord Burleigh) and Moneypenny (Thomas Laird of Kentell) are. Balfour, as you remember had been involved in Fermanagh landdeals since 1590. Moneypenny, whose home barony of Kentell was just south of St.Andrews Fife, was hand-chosen by Balfour as one of his undertakers, probably in1607. To settle Ulsteraccording to plan, men and materials had to be in place within 3-1/2 years andthis meant horses, for work and for military use. Moneypenny was still in Fife when the commission arrived.
LordBurleigh had already ‘planted’ his lands and left Ulster earlier that year. Probablyat Stephen Butler’s urging, he called in the Scottish land agents to makehaste, for “the commissioners were coming!” It is no coincidence that his sonMichael Balfour arrived from Fife just as Chichesterentered Knockninny Precinct, with ………………
CHAPTER: 33 WHICHTHOMAS CREIGHTON? (Editorial Excerpt)
Weknow of Thomas Creighton through many sources, but conflicts arise whencomparing various documents. The Erne Papers, though many early ones were lostto fire, lead directly from Thomas to the present Earls of Erne. The earlyprogression from Thomas to his Uncle Abraham’s offspring is well known, but when viewingthe Pynnar Report, conflicts arise. The Erne Papers state that Thomas ofAghalane died in 1661; Pynnar’s Report of 1619 listed Thomas of Aghalane asdeceased upon their arrival in Fermanagh. The Erne Papers imply an unbrokenCreighton occupation of Aghalane from 1616, but this was not the case.
Firstof all, NicholasPynnar knew the Fermanaghundertakers personally, as a CavanCounty servitor. Hisfinished report was very detailed and accurate, listing not only progress ofthe undertakers but of their tenants. Arriving in Knockninny Precinct, hiscommission found James Balfour to be the only one left of Lord Burleigh’sfamily ‘in residence’. The younger Balfour had obtained his father’s barony of Knockninnyas chief undertaker, moving his seat of power across the lake to Lisnaskea,where his great castle was still under construction. Butler, however, had begun the process ofbuying-out the Balfour Empire; his acquisitions since August 1618 amounted to5000 acres of southern Fermanagh (Knockninny proper was only 3000 acres).Following is an excerpt taken from Captain Nicholas Pynnar’s Survey of 1619 (seeCarew Manuscripts, 1603-1624, pp 532) for Knockninny Precinct:
4.1000 acres, George Ardwick, guardian of David Crichton, son of Thomas Crichton,deceased, (transferred from ThomasMoneypenny, Laird of Kentell,Fifeshire): bawn of stone enclosing a poor thatched house; 6 freeholders, 4 lessees.
Thiswas Thomas Creighton’s Aghalane proportion. Throughout Pynnar’s report ofKnockninny, George Ardwick was listed as Butler’sagent in all of his ‘transferrals.’ Although much progress had occurred since1611, many of the initial undertakers had failed. One who sold out to Butler was Sir JohnWishart of Pittarro, Forfarshire. The 1611 reports listed him as the ‘mostlikely to succeed’ of any of the undertakers, but Butler ended up with his 1500 acres on thelake. With it came Wishart’s stone house and bawn and 17 lessees. Hisproportion was able, however, to raise 66 men with arms. MichaelBalfour’sproportion of Kilspinan, also obtained by Butler,had 12 lessees, but only 15 men with arms. Pynnar ended the Knockninny reportwith his totals: “Six freeholders, 76 lessees; able to produce 178 men witharms.” Surprisingly, all freeholders in the precinct ofKnockninny were on the Creighton proportion of Aghalane.
Allof a sudden, Thomas Creighton takes on new relevance. Moneypenny had donenothing with Aghalane according to Sir Arthur Chichester in 1611. At that time,Thomas Creighton had been Esme Stuart Lord d’Aubigny’s agent. George Ardwicktook over that position shortly after Creighton occupied Aghalane. Up untilthat time, Ardwick had been a grantee (leaseholder) on John Trayle’s proportionof Dresternan, near Aghalane. Butler’suse of Ardwick as his agent speaks well for this little-known Scotsman, who wasprobably from d’Aubigny’s home region of Stirlingshire or Renfrew. Why and howhe became guardian to young DavidCreighton and what became of theboy is unknown. In fact, David Creighton is not mentioned at all in the ErnePapers and neither is George Ardwick. Twelve years later, Ardwick was stillshown as the undertaker of Aghalane (Fermanagh Muster Rolls, 1631).
Ifind it interesting that David Creighton was never mentioned in the (surviving)family archives as an ancestor of the Earls of Erne. The family’s rise to thepeerage began in the 1700s, a clear pedigree would have been essential toestablish lineage. Thomas’ pedigree was impeccable, tracing directly back toEdward Crichtoun First Laird of Brunston, who was brother to John Crichtoun ofLong Creighton, Midlothian. Pynnar’s Survey isvery clear, Thomas was dead by 1619 and his lands transferred to GeorgeArdwick, for his underage son, David. It can be assumed that David washis first-born son, but there appears to have been two more. The second-bornwould have been Thomas (Jr.) and the youngest would have been …………….
CHAPTER: 34 WOOD-KERNSAND WOLVES (Editorial Excerpt)
TheArdwick years at Aghalane were crucial ones to Upper Lough Erne. This had beenthe sacred heart of ancient Ulster.When King James died in 1625 and his son Charles I succeeded to the throne,most native Irish had already left the lake for the mountains. So many newarrivals had come from Scotlandand Englandthat the Irish found themselves unwanted in their own land. The originalplantation scheme allowed for only 10% of the land base to remain Irish-owned.This left thousands of landless Irish to be relegated to the status of servant,or outlaw. Forced away from their old holdings, they had nowhere to go but intothe mountains. From there, they banded around landless younger sons of theIrish gentry, the Maguires, O’Reillys and O’Donnells.
Theyhave been compared with the American Indian, sweeping down from their mountainstrongholds in plundering raids. Ulster was still a heavily forestedregion. The Scots settlers called the Irish raiders “Widcairns” or‘Wood-Kerns,’ meaning lightly armed soldiers. To the local Irish tenants thatshared the region (O’Cassidys at Aghalane), the woodkerns were RobinHoods. To the Protestant settlers,they were bandits and rebels, to be hunted down like animals, by animals. Manytenant farmers became rich raising bloodhounds, bred especially for this purpose.If caught, they were often executed without a trial, after being publiclyhumiliated in the streets on their way to the gallows tree. In East Prussia the nativeLithuanians were viewed the same way, as were the Native Americans in theAmerican plantations. The wood kerns remained small isolated groups of guerillafighters through the 1630s. Although the English settlers hated them, the localScots in Fermanagh lived in a semi-state of coexistence and toleration with theCatholic Irish until 1641.
Aghalane,one of the most prosperous proportions in Knockninny bordered the mountainsthat rose off to the west. AghalaneCastle on WoodfordRiver probably began as atypical Scottish hillside farm. Drumboory, where Abraham Creighton had his farmwas closer to the main lake and Derrylin, but still within the low-lyinglakeside county. The general Irish population that had lived here for centurieswere semi-nomadic, following their cattle to the mountain pastures in summerand wintering in the deep woods. The Scottish farmer, for the most part arrivedwith not much more refinement, especially those from Ayrshire and Kirkudbright.The Scots held to their old routine of farming oats and barley on the hillsidesand turning cattle and sheep into the low-lying swamps. Luckily, English tenantfarmers, whose techniques were considered to be the most modern of the day,jointly settled Fermanagh. The Scottish tenants learned from their Englishneighbors and soon, bogs and swamps were drained, opening up acres of new,fertile land. Sheep were imported immediately; wool became the main export allacross Ulster.Oats and barley were replaced by Sir Walter Raleigh’s potato, brought over from……..
CHAPTER: 35 PIPES ANDDRUMS (Editorial Excerpt)
AtNewbury Neck, Essex County,Massachusetts, my mother’sancestor, John Poore, was building his first house. Just married at nearby Salem, he was perhaps unaware of the unfolding events in Ulster,but was connected nonetheless. His cousin SirRalphGore of Hampshire was undertaker to muchof northeastern Fermanagh. Gore was also a military servitor at Enniskillen andheld lands in Donegal. Both men were homeowners on frontier plantations. JohnPoore and his brother Nicholas had spent a year in southern Massachusettsfighting the Pequot Indians, now he shared his lands on the ParkerRiverwith semi-hostile Penacook Indians. Ralph Gore was in charge of the EnniskillenMilitia, including the fighting men of Aghalane. Abraham Creighton of Drumboorywas in charge of seeing to his district’s safety, but his ‘Indians’ were theIrish Wood-Kerns. Between Wentworth’s recall in 1640 and the start ofhostilities in October 1641, all had remained quiet. Many exiled Scots hadreturned from Scotlandto their farms in Fermanagh and Cavan, thinking it safe. All seemed unawarethat the pipes and drums were being tuned up for war.
Reminiscingin the smoke of his mosquito fire while his roof was being thatched, John Poorewould have sucked at his clay pipe and remembered the Pequot War. Nothing todaycould describe his feelings as a young man in a dark Connecticut swamp, encased in outdated steelarmor that chafed his skin. He was trained in law, not soldiering. Through amixture of trade-English and Algonquin slang, he asked his Massachusetts scouts what the distant noisemeant. From the other side of the swamp came high-pitched whistles, women’strilling and a steady monotonous drumming. “They strike the red pole,Poor-Man,” they answered (the war dance, where warriors enacted their battledeeds while dancing around a painted pole), “when the dancing stops, they willattack.” Somewhere between the two camps a wolf howled into the night. In 1710,the last wolf in Connecticutwas shot, for its bounty.
Latesummer 1641 found the average settlers of Ulster unaware that anything wasbrewing. The wood kerns had been dealt with a decade before and aside fromsmall and sporadic raids, were thought to be a thing of the past. ThomasCreighton of Aghalane was first to notice the change in his Irish tenants; manyof the younger men were gone from their leaseholds, the same held true forthose at Kilspinan. He had sat in at enough meetings with his Irish tenants,however, to realize their growing anger at the rent increases. From the onsetof the planting of Ulster,the Irish had been relegated to the smallest allotments of the worst landsavailable. Limited to annual leases that could be canceled at any time, theypaid more per acre than Scot or English lessees. This then became their mainpoint of contention; religious differences had little to do with it. Rents weredue once again in November. With the senior houses of Maguire, O’Reilly andO’Neill once more at the head of Wentworth’s ‘disbanded’ army, silent word wentout to all Catholic Irish across Ulster to rise up collectively on a given datein October to slaughter the ‘English’ settlers. Getting wind of just enoughinformation to make him uneasy, Thomas warned his cousin Abraham to watch hisIrish tenants. There had been reports of drums in the hill country.
Abraham’s watch-post was a stone tower atLough Derrycanon near his home, surrounded by forest and filled with wolves.Like all able-bodied men over 16, he was trained as a militia soldier and hewas better at it than most. Born in 1591, he was already 50 but still fit andtrim. Late one night while standing watch, a boy approached. It was one ofMagee’s sons, Jamie. “They saint me oop froom the hoose, me’ laird, ta ask yawhat the bloody widcairns are ‘a wailin’ aboot!” The boy fidgeted before thesteel-clad Abraham. “It ain’t wailin’ young Jamie, it’s the smallpipes and thebodhrans ye be hearin.” Abraham went on, “It’s the war music, same as our ownpeople once played before a fight. Their pipes are little things, made with agoat’s skin, some pipes and a fireplace bellows, but the war-songs are as goodas ours. The war drum is called the bodhran; its sound is the voice of the oldWar Gods. The noise is supposed to scare us, but for me, it is music to myears. As long as you only hear the single drum and pipe, fear not, but boy,when the mountain comes alive with the pipin’, and the ground shakes from thebodhran’s thunder, run for you life for Castle Crom.”
IfJamie Magee heard the bodhrans, it was not for long and he probably never had achance to run for Crom. It was the wrong place to run to, anyway……….
CHAPTER: 36 THEWEDDING PRESENT (Editorial Excerpt)
WhileThomas Creighton of Aghalane went about his business as manorial laird, hiscousin Abraham was becoming a rising star. The Drumboory Creightons were stillonly leaseholders and as such, were limited in their social standing. Abraham’s lack of freeholder status was compensatedfor by his acclaim as a military leader and it can be supposed that he profitedgreatly from the recent war. Bishop Spottiswoode,fellow lessee of CromCastle, had died in 1644(or 1645, there are conflicting reports). He had been a very controversialfigure in the area and had exhibited great control over the Clogher diocese. Hehad leased CromCastlefrom Francis Butler of Belturbet, but the Butlerswere his main opponents. His favor with the king protected him until his death,however. While his body was shipped off to England to lie beside his brotherJohn at Westminster Abbey, his family retained the leasehold of Crom.
Someof the Spottiswoodes, the bishop’s third daughter Mary, in particular, musthave lived at Crom. In 1655, AbrahamCreighton of Drumboory married thewoman and the leasehold of Crom came with the marriage. Whether her fatherarranged the event before he died is unknown, Mary may have had brothers thatran the property or the bishop may have left the leasehold to her. In anyevent, Abraham Creighton at 30-years-old acquired CromOldCastle as part of his Mary’s dowry. Itwould turn out to be a most prestigious wedding present.
In1661, things took another turn. Thomas Creighton died at Aghalane. Rev. GeorgeCreighton, his younger brother, succeeded to the lairdship. This man may haveowned land elsewhere and administered Aghalane out of obligation alone, but hefound time to help out his Drumboory relatives. Upon receipt of title to themanor, George met with Abraham and he gave him a fee farm grant, making Abrahamthe outright owner of Drumboory. At the same time, Francis Butler chose togrant freehold status to Abraham for CromCastle, followed fouryears later (1665) with a freehold lease for the entire Kilspinan estate. Butler levied an annualrent of L15 for what was the old Michael Balfour Jr. proportion. He did notstop here. Adjoining his lands of Drumboory was James Trayle’s old Dresternanproportion. Theophilus Tate had purchased it from Stephen Butler and in 1671;Abraham obtained from Tate a 31-year-lease. The great Creighton land deals hadformally begun.
Abraham,who became a Colonel of Militia, had at least one sister. The year prior to hispurchasing Dreternan, his sister married Hugh Hamill of Strabane, CountyTyrone.In 1778 her husband bought Lifford, in CountyDonegalfrom its original owner (RichardHansard of Ballindrait) forL3,450. AbrahamCreightonhad lent most of the large sum to his brother-in-law, who it seems fell almostimmediately into hard times. He was unable to repay Abraham.
Alltold, Abraham and Mary had seven children, five sons and two daughters. Onlythe fifth son, David (1671-1728) survived to inherit Abraham’s estates, but itis known that an older brother James married Hester Hamilton of Manor Hamilton,Leitrim and a sister married John Hamilton of Brownhall, Donegal. JohnCreighton (1688-1715), possibly the son of James and Hester was the only malebesides David that lived into the 18th century.
Atthe old manor of Aghalane, John Creighton was born in 1672, probably the son ofRev. George Creighton. It would have been his offspring that would havecontinued on to be the senior line, but when he married, he only had sixdaughters. In 1702, he gave up the old castle of Aghalaneand moved into a new mansion at nearby Killynick. He was the last CreightonLaird of Aghalane, dying in 1738. The Aghalane estates were sold to SamuelCooke.
AbrahamCreighton of CromCastle remained the localmilitary expert. In 1673 he was appointed High Sheriff of Fermanagh. When theJacobite Rebellion started in Scotland,he chose to stand with the Protestant forces and welcomed the arrival ofWilliam of Orange in 1688. King James found many Catholic Irish and someProtestant Scots in Ulsterto fight for his cause. Soon, the entire north was once again ablaze withthousands of expatriate Scot and Irish soldiers being brought in from distant Germany and the Netherlands. In 1689, as theRoyalist army approached, the local forces were mustered at Enniskillen.Abraham Creighton was appointed Colonel of the Enniskillen Regiment of Foot.His son David was just turned 18.
Thiswar surpassed all others in devastation; entire cities were burnt to theground. The armies were no longer hastily assembled militia farmers; they weretried veterans of the Thirty Years War in Europe.As Col. Creighton led the Enniskillen Regiment out, his son David formed hiscompanies in and around Castle Crom. Lord Galmoy led the first attack on the castle,which David defended with his life.The Royalists regrouped and General McCarthy led the second attack. For daysthe siege went on, but Creighton held out until reinforcements arrived fromEnniskillen. David’s successful defense of Crom became an early victory in thewar and saved the destruction of Enniskillen. In 1691 his father Col. Abraham became thehero at the Battle of Aughrim, in which the EnniskillenRegt.of Foot distinguished itself.
Thetwo war heroes were richly rewarded. In 1692, one year after the Battle ofAughrim, Col. AbrahamCreighton became MP (Member ofParliament) of FermanaghCounty. In 1694 David,now also a colonel married Catharine Southwell, the sister to the 1stLord Southwell of Castle Mattress, Co Limerick.In 1695, Abraham was MP of Enniskillen (Enniskillen and Londonderryheld separate seats in parliament) and the same year, his son David was MP ofAugher, Co Tyrone.
Meanwhile,the European stage readied again for war……………….
CHAPTER: 37 ORANGEMOON OVER ANTRIM (Editorial Excerpt)
Thefirst seeds of exodus had been sparked in 1636 when Antrim tenants hadcomplained to their landlords about unfair market prices. Behind everyundertaker were a slew of investors, like a board of directors in a largecorporation. They were the Joint-Stock members of Englandand Scotlandthat expected returns on their investments, many which had originated duringQueen Elizabeth’s reign. Antrim, with Belfastand Coleraine Borough as its main ports led the field in the Irish textiletrade. Many of the undertakers and tenants of this region, includingCreightons, were of the Kilmarnock region ofNorth Ayrshire and their patrons were historically Stuarts, Montgomerys,Hamiltons and Boyds. Throughout the reign of James I, Antrim and Down had donemuch to fund his treasury with a thriving wool trade, but it grew too large andthreatened English wool merchants. Charles I had tried many times to curtailthe Irish trade and in 1636, it buckled to rising export duties. The kingproposed to ban Irish wool exports to anywhere other than England.
TheAntrim investors, probably from both countries met at Edinburgh. The Puritan Massachusetts BayColony had remained aloof from royal intrigue and offered a possiblealternative to Ulsteras a wool center. They knew that Governor Winthrop was trying to settle hisnorthern frontier. The investors drafted a letter to Cotton Mather, thespiritual leader in Boston.They were familiar with David Thompson of Edinburghwho had been an early grantee of lands on the New Hampshire-Maine border.Another early planter had been John Hussey, an Irish-born Anglo servitor whosefamily owned HusseyIsland in CascoBay, Maine. TheMassachusetts General Assembly wanted settlers for a ‘problem’ plantation onthe Winnicunnet River (Hampton River just over the disputed border with NewHampshire), where the Mason family of Hampshire, England held a royal patent.Most that had settled at Winnicunnet were dissidents and royalists that opposedthe Puritans. When Mather received the letter of inquiry from Edinburgh, he assumed that the proposedsettlers were Scotsmen and firmly Calvinist. He invited them to ‘cross thepond’ to America and set upresidence just north of the mouth of the Merrimack River.
First,if Mather had known that the emigrants were Scots-Ulstermen, he would haverefused the offer. Although a few individuals had migrated to Massachusetts as indentured servants, theywere generally viewed as Irishmen. The Puritan mind-set was closed andoppressive. If Ulster was inNorthern Ireland,then Ulstermen were ‘mere Irish’ and probably Catholic. Luckily, the crossingnever met fruition. At Belfast,the Eagle Wing was outfitted, but every time it tried to make thecrossing, it was beset by storms. Almost sinking, it finally limped back toAntrim. If it had made it to Boston,the General Assembly would have turned it away once it was found to contain‘Irishmen.’
Although nothing came of thisfirst attempt to leave Northern Irelandfor the New World, it does show an earlydesire of the Ulster-Scot to seek greener fields when he felt trod upon. Antrim,in particular, had acted as the stationing point for the interior settlement ofUlster.The Creightons of Lough Erne, Cavan and Donegal could not have survived theearly years without support from family that first settled there. The beautifulhills of Argyll in Scotlandwere only 18 miles from eastern Antrim. With Clan MacDonnell sharing bothregions for generations, Antrim and the adjoining Ards of County Down were asmuch Scottish as Irish. When Lord Chichester established his plantation at Belfast, there were also Stewarts, Orrs, Magees andpossibly Creightons from Arran and Argyllsharing MacDonnell lands. As time and events carried the interior settlersthrough the bad years of war and famine, their Antrim cousins remained, for themost part, stable.
From 1636 onward, Ulstergenerally was beset by one calamity after another. Added to the political andeconomic woes, were years of extreme drought and famine. The great wars in theRhineland, the English Civil War and the Scottish Covenant and Jacobite Warsstripped Ulster (and Scotland) of her finest young men, thousands never camehome again. Although part of Ireland,Ulsterwas never considered ‘Irish’ after 1607. Neither was it a self-governingEnglish colony like Virginia or New England, although the same men founded allthree. James I had used Ulsteras his prototype, a springboard to propel him into world affairs. The earlyparticipants like the Creightons of Brunston had been expected to front liquidassets of L 1,000; that is why Brunston had been sold, as a show of ‘goodfaith.’ Undertakers had to provide much more. Added to this were new titles ofthe peerage especially invented by the king to fund his projects. The title ofBaronet was established first for the English gentry, but by 1620 it includedthose of Scottish birth, as Baronets of Nova Scotia first and then Scotland atlarge. It could be bought for L 25,000, a remarkable sum for those times.Although ‘Sir’ was used in front of a baronet’s name, it had nothing to do withknighthood. Its original use was strictly as a moneymaking scheme.
The aborted attempt to sendScots-Irish from Antrim to New England was in 1636, when the hard timeshistorically began in Ulster.The Irish war and the coming of Cromwell led to a widespread breakup of thepopulation, thousands fled and returned to either Englandor Scotlandduring his oppressive years in mid-century. His roundup of the dissident Irish,however, included a general purge nationwide. His Puritan ‘witch hunt’ took inCatholic Irish rebels, Protestant Anglo-Irish like the Butlers of Cavan and Fermanaghand just about anyone that opposed his views. Great families in place since1177 found their lands seized and entire families deposed or jailed. Thishappened to my mother’s cousins, the Poers and Powers of Ireland. In 1652 heplaced 250 of these ‘rebels’ on two ships and sent them to Boston to be sold as household servants. Oncebeing set ashore, this early group of mostly Protestant Ulstermen vanished fromhistory. They would have found little warmth from the Boston Puritans; it isthought…….
CHAPTER: 38 DON’TFORGET TO WATER THE POTATOS (Editorial Excerpt)
AbrahamCreighton of Crom, born in 1699 was one of the few family members thatprospered in Ireland.Born to wealth and prestige as General Creighton’s son, the man who wouldbecome Lord Erne lived apart from the strife that surrounded him, not so hismany cousins.
Firstcame the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714). She immediately set out to force theEpiscopal form of religion on the Ulstermen, imposing the ‘Test Act’ wherePresbyterians vowed to uphold Episcopal sacraments. Many historians put this asa major reason for the mass exodus to America, but that was not the case.The common people of Ulsterwere familiar with many such acts imposed over the years, they mostly ignoredthe order, but it did affect the Presbyterian clergy. In Ireland, the High-Church Partyenforced the Test Act, meant to jointly do away with the Presbyterian and theRoman Catholic faiths. When the Scottish kirk leaders objected, they wereexpelled from their own congregations. Presbyterian marriages were labeled nulland void. Belfast and Londonderrybecame the leading centers of Scottish opposition against the policies of theHigh-Church Party and their congregations and others in Antrim suffered themost.
In1714, a massive drought began all across Ulster. Crops withered in thefields, except the hardy potato. For six- successive years the droughtcontinued, making farming all but impossible. Food costs soared. To makematters worse, sheep rot attacked the flocks in 1716*, crippling the woolindustry. Winters were especially long and cold everywhere throughout the decade,also affecting market prices. There were plague epidemics and finally, in 1718came a very nasty form of smallpox. Those with foresight, however, had alreadytaken action to seek greener pastures.
*Thiswas an important year for another reason, banishment from Ireland and Scotland for past ‘wrongs’ againstthe crown. Many had to do with the Jacobite rebellions. Ship’s records for 1716show an unusual number of Scots being transported to America as deportees. There werescores of Stewarts that ended up from Barbadosto Nova Scotia.There was also one James Creighton banished to Charleston, South Carolinain that same year.
InMassachusetts, Governor Schute faced the sameproblem that had beset Winthropin 1636. North, beyond EssexCounty and the Merrimack River,laid a vast wilderness that had remained unsettled for the most part. The Commonwealth of Massachusettshad tried for years to permanently settle the coast of Maine, but Indians and isolation hadprevented it. Those who did live along the coast were transient Indian traders,fishermen or ‘dissidents’ expelled from the settlements. The French in Canada were moving their (Catholic) frontierdeep into Maine among the Abenaki Indians,which also threatened Massachusetts’sexpansion. A very costly war with France (Queen Anne’s War 1701-1713)had recently ended. The Bostonians had actually captured the French fort ofPort Royale (1710) in Nova Scotia,only to relinquish it back to them in treaty negotiations. Some of GovernorSchute’s subordinates had ties to Ulster and proposed importing ScotPresbyterians. This plan was backed by local and long established Scotsmen likethe Duncan Stewarts of Rowley. Aware that the newly termed ‘Scotch-Irish’ wereeffectively being used concurrently with Palatinate Germans in Pennsylvania, Schute was receptive when he received avisit from an agent from CountyAntrim, in Ulster.
Presbyterianclergymen south of Coleraine Borough had hired the agent in 1717 after thesheep rot epidemic. There, on the Antrim-Londonderry border, the great RiverBann flowed from the coastal city deep into Antrim. It had historically been aplace of wealth and prosperity, home of Clan O’Donnell and other Scotsmen thatsettled there generations before. These people from Coleraine Borough to Belfast had led the way for over 100 years forgingnorthern Ulsterinto a viable mercantile power. They has stood alone against the elements andrebellious Irish, only to be singled out as secondary citizens in their adoptedhomeland. A core group had formed around church leaders that had been deniedtheir rights to minister to their own kirks. Investors put forth money andmaterials, most coming from the senior families of the port cities. TheStewarts had so many interests along the River Bann that the seaport ofColeraine Borough was called Portstewart. Creightons, whether or not theyparticipated in the investing were in residence at Belfastand Castlereigh in Antrim and at Drumskee, CountyDown.Between 600-800 people, of both Scot and English descent were recruited fromcentral Antrim. Two of these, Davidand JohnCreighton, were part of the ‘Bann ValleyCompany.’
Meetingat Boston, the Antrim agent approached GovernorSchute about bringing the Ulstermen to settle in the region near Boston. MassachusettsProper however was made up entirely of Federalist Congregationalists, the samePuritan element that associated any ‘Irishman’ as a Papist. Schute knew thatthere would be a public outcry. His main interest was to stall Frenchencroachment in the north coastal region. Casco Bay,where the Hussey’s owned much land had been unsuccessful in keeping long-termsettlers. Many Abenaki had their main villages near Casco and a permanent‘English’ colony would keep the Indians in check. He also wished to send some ofthe Ulster-Scots to Worchester, another frontier region west of Boston in the Berkshirefoothills. When the agent from Antrim refused the offers, Schute told him tobring the people over anyway and that a solution would be found.
Inthe spring of 1718, the BannValley group assembled at Belfast,where five ships had been outfitted to cross the Atlantic.The smallpox had already begun to spread across Ulster. The first ships arrived in BostonHarborin August; last to arrive was the Elizabethwith 115 people in November 1718. The Port authorities predictably labeledthem all as “a parcel of Irish.”
The Ulstermen, harassed by theBostonians, almost at once met to discuss Governor Schute’s offer of resettlement. Manyresearchers think of this group as unique to New England,but many had relatives that had preceded them. Scotsmen and Ulstermen alike hadcome to New England for years as servants,only to gravitate into the wild interior to get away from the Puritanmentality. Depending on where Gov. Schuteproposed to send them, the assembly broke up into smaller groups. Many residentrelations were militiamen on the Indian frontier (which still was only 30 mileswest of Boston).Over half opted to go to Worchester and the Berkshires the following spring,but 250 voted to settle at Casco in Maine.They set out late in the autumn if 1718 by ship, promised with a ‘townlandright’ that comprised 12 acres.
CascoBay had long been a point of importance for Massachusetts. It was part of the old royalgrant set aside for Sir Ferdinando Gorges of Somerset, whose family still fought forcontrol in the courts. Europeans, English, Irish, Scottish and Portuguesefishermen had made temporary winter camps there since 1507 as they worked theCod-rich Grand Banks off Nova Scotia.During the late war, Casco had been used as a stationing point and meetingplace to negotiate with the Abenaki tribes. What few resident frontiersmen thatdid settle coastal Maineremained independent. They weretraditionally royalists and anti-Puritan; many were Catholic. The Casco areawas also the entrance to the Plymouth Company’s trading region, called Franconia. When the Ulster settlers arrived at Casco,winter was already setting in and most of the 250 people sat out the coldmonths onboard the ships. No preparations had been made for their arrival. Asthe winter progressed, they broke up into smaller groups. About 135 went ashoreand moved overland to the tiny settlement of Wicasset, where they remained. Theremaining 115, discouraged and homesick returned to EssexCounty, where they found temporaryhaven at Haverhill, Massachusetts.
AtHaverhill, thereality of the situation hit the Ulstermen. In touch with their relatives thathad gone on to Worchester, they found……….
CHAPTER: 39 SCOTTISH,IRISH, GERMAN OR DUTCH? (Editorial Excerpt)
Inmy book, EastwindWestwind, the Poore History,I followed the Scotch-Irish migrations extensively. The relatively small groupthat left the Bann Valley of Antrim for Massachusettswas the only one from this group that settled in the northeast from this timeperiod. The majority of the emigrants that left Ulsterfor America funneled throughPennsylvaniato the Blue Ridge of Virginia. Using the ShenandoahRiver as a highway, they came by thethousands and found their way into Appalachiaand the American legend. Crockett, Boone, Morgan, Jefferson; so many of ourearly American heroes were of Scotch-Irish ancestry. They brought a much-neededinfusion of new blood to the older English colonial society and eventuallybecame the national leaders. In five successive waves, between 1717 and1775,over 200,000 emigrated from Ulsterto Pennsylvania,where only 20,000 found their way to the northeast during those 58 years. In EastwindWestwind I also told how the Scots almost always were grouped with Germanemigrants. This initially was a result of Penn’s desire* to import theRhinelanders to settle along the Delaware and SusquehannaRivers and by coincidence; the Germanand Ulster-Scots arrived at the same ports.
*Penn had two reasons for importing Ulster-Scots and German emigrants.First, adjacent Maryland,(especially the eastern portion) was predominantly Catholic and was receivingmany transplanted Jacobite Scots. His Quaker government feared Catholicexpansion into the wilder western portion of Marylandthat connected to the mountain highlands and the OhioRiver region. Secondly, the Upper Susquehanna held hostile Indiantribes that threatened his development schemes. This region included a fertilezone that straddled the New York border to theMohawk River and east to the Upper Hudson.Penn may have been encouraged by Robert Livingston, a Scotsman who had importedthe first Scots and Germans to his 160,000-acre grant on the Hudsonin the 1680’s (Columbia County,NY).
WherePuritan New England barred full-scale immigration, the tolerant Quakerswelcomed all Protestants. It was a good ‘marriage,’ Scot and German. Bothgroups had Calvinist roots and were strong-willed individualists who hadsurvived decades of war and privations at home. The Germans were naturally goodfarmers, highly organized and industrious. Wherever they went they builtpermanent stone houses and barns. Scottish middlemen, usually of the Edinburgh merchant class,brokered land grants for Penn.They usually remained in the cities and settled eastern Marylandand New Jersey.The first recorded usage (in America)of the word ‘Scotch-Irish’ came from the Maryland Secretary, SirThomasLaurence, in 1695. JamesLogan,Penn’s secretary, was an Irish native from Ulsterwho had brought the first contingent of Ulstermen to Chester County, Pennsylvaniain 1710.
Thesegroups of Scots and Germans that came to the DelawareRiver became a flood of humanity over the ensuing decades. Theypopulated the Susquehanna RiverValley and then turned south into western Virginia, following the mountains to the Carolinas. From highland outposts, they spread intoIndian lands in Tennessee and Kentucky, which in turn took them to the Ohio RiverValley. This closed a great circle thatencompassed the entire Appalachian chain, with the Alleghenies of Pennsylvaniamerging with the mountains of western New Yorkto Canada.As with the Ulster Poors, Poers and Powers, Creightons from many clans joinedthe migrations, intermingling with the Germans. The early Rhinelanders werestaunch religionists, giving way in time to a wider range of semi-secularLutherans. In the American colonies, all German émigrés were referred to as‘Dutch.’ Through the first half of the 18th century they became thetrue frontiersmen of American history, the Scots as the restless woodrunnersand the Germans as the towns-minded administrators. The Scotch-Irish brought aculture that survives to this day in Appalachia; songs are still heard thatword-for-word are identical to those of 17th century England and Scotland,which became the basis of modern Bluegrass.
Theolder settlements of the Tidewater Region from Marylandto South Carolina remained home to theoriginal Virginiaundertakers. The earliest Creighton of record was Henry Creighton, who came tosettle lands in Virginiain 1661. The southern Poores were of the same mold, being both old planterfamilies from the Tidewater as well as new ‘Irish’ cousins. As the Scotch-Irishand German emigrants settled the western mountains, their Tidewater cousinsjoined them. This union with old and new makes it very hard today to traceorigins of many southern surnames. A good example is the Scottish familyLittle, long associated in Massachusettswith my northern family Poore. The first Littles, from Somersetand Gloucester, Englandhad been settlers at Roanoke Island (NorthCarolina) in the 1580s. The Littles who married intothe Poore clan at Newbury, MAwere from London’stextile merchant class. The old Scottish parent clan survived as one of theBorder Clans deported to western Ireland, while others lived nearthe Creightons of Angus and Fifeshire, becoming Ulstermen. The Littles asScotch-Irish emigrants entered NorthCarolina in the 1740s, almost 150 years after theircousins disappeared with the others from Roanoke Colony.
Ido not want to dwell further on the southern Creightons, however. There weremany that eventually ended up in the Southeast. From the highlands of Virginia they spread out to Tennessee,Kentucky, Missouriand Arkansas.Thousands of Americans descend from these early Scotch-Irish that funneledthrough Roanoke, VA beginning around 1730, but tracing themis a full time occupation. Many native Irish Crehans * and Crogans had changedtheir surname to Creighton by this time as well. Like the southern Poors,Poores and Powers, they became a mixed group, some Scot, some Irish and othersintermixed with German immigrants. Bloodlines were further broken down as thefrontiersmen intermarried with Cherokee Indians in Tennessee.
*Ihad written earlier that Crehan was an old derivative of Creighton in Ireland,which it may have been in the distant past. It is better described as a simplerversion of the native Irish clan O’Croidheain of CountyTyrone, long-time Ulster leaders related to the High Nialls(O’Neills), kings of Ulster.The surname Crean is another variation of O’Croidheain. As the FermanaghCreightonsof Lough Erne became prominent, many Crehans altered their name respectively.
Sincemy line derived from the Creightons of County Down and settled primarily ineastern Canada, it is the connection to the Maritime Provinces that I wish toexplore in detail…………..
CHAPTER: 40 HERRINGCHOKERS (Editorial Excerpt)
My father called himself a“Herrin’ Choker”, although he was born at Prince EdwardIsland, Canadain 1901. It is one of those colloquial names more aptly applied to the coastalpopulation of New Brunswick.My grandfather was born near Sussex,NB in 1868, so in this case, I would be the grandson of a Herrin’ Choker. Thisfunny nomenclature refers to the almost 500-year-old fishing culture of the Maritime Provinces butin the 17th century, fishing had little to do with Grandpa’s homeregion.
Old French Arcadia was theentire southern shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Gaspe Peninsular, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,Cape Breton Island and Prince EdwardIsland. The Bay of Fundy separated the Nova ScotiaPeninsulafrom New Brunswick,with the Isthmus of Chignecto joining the two at the Straight of Northumberlandin the north. Since Englandand Franceclaimed and fought over discovery rights (JohnCabot,1497, JacquesCartier, 1534), the territorychanged hands every time the two countries went to war. One area sought by bothsides was the St. John’sRiverValleyin New Brunswick,discovered and named by Champlain and deMonts in 1604. It was not only home of the Algonquin Malliseet, butalso a virtual goldmine of virgin pine and hardwood forests.
In the early part of the 17thcentury, Charlesde Biencourt, son of Baron de Poutrincourt,headed the French colony at Port Royal.Jesuits had filled the ranks of settlers since his father began the colony, buthe clashed with their doctrines. When he banished the Jesuits from Port Royal,they crossed the bay and founded a mission in English territory at Mount Desert Island, Maine.This act brought New England opposition fromthe Plymouth Colony. SirSamuelArgallbegan a long tradition of taking Massachusettsships north, attacking Port Royal and MountDesert,burning the settlements and expelling the French. In this first incident,Biencourt and his successor Charlesde la Tour escaped with theirsettlers to Cape Sable, at the southernextremity of the peninsular.
By 1631, Charlesdela Tour had become disillusioned when new officialswere sent in from France. He abandoned hisCape Sable lands and crossed the Bay of Fundy to the St.John’sRiver, wherehe built the first trading post at present Saint John, New Brunswick.For twenty years he built up a strong trade with the Maliseet and Micmac, but Scotsmenfrom Scotland and Ulsterhad started small settlements in the north. Because of their isolation, theylooked toward the ‘Boston Traders’* to help them. This marriage, built out ofnecessity, bound New England ‘Coasters’ with the fledgling “Herrin’ Chokers” ofold Nova Scotia. Boston and Salemships were as common in the Bay of Fundy as they were in BostonHarbor.The culture became unique to the MaritimeProvinces. French Arcadians, Basque and Portuguesesailors, French aristocrats, English merchants, Boston traders, Scottish land agents andsettlers and the Indian groups lived side-by-side. They were sometimes at peaceand often at war, but all profited from one another in many ways. In 1654,while OliverCromwell was deporting many dissidentScots and Ulster-Scots to the Americas,RobertSedgwick of Bostonseized de la Tour’s post on the SaintJohn and claimed it for England.
*Before everyone jumps to the conclusion that theseBostonians were straight-laced Puritans, I will explain who they were. ThePuritans of Governor Wentworthfounded Boston in 1631, but Wentworthwas actually getting his religious flock away from the corruption of Salem. It was this mucholder port north of Boston that was thefinancial head of Massachusetts’interests. It was originally Naumkeag, the southern capital of the Penacooktribe (also spelled Pennacook). Independent sailors and fishermen first settledthere in the early 17th century and they remained chiefly royalistsand often Catholic, if they claimed any religion at all. As Wentworth’sPuritans took over the civil government, they clashed head-on with the tradersof Salem. Manyfamilies moved north to coastal Maine todistance themselves from the zealots, often as Indian traders for the old Plymouth (England)Company. The leaders at Salem became known asthe BostonTraders, a loose organization of anti-puritan frontiersmen that favored livingin the wild interior over putting up with the Book of Common Prayer. RobertSedgwickwas of this merchant seaman class who saw great opportunities in the Saint John RiverValley. The initial attraction was the lucrative Indian fur trade, which the Boston Traders excelledin. They also illegally provided firearms to the Indians, to compete againstFrench, who were doing the same.
During Queen Anne’s War(1701-1713), New England’s role was reinforced in NovaScotia when the Bostonians attacked and captured Port Royal andrenamed it Annapolis Royal. It was not thefirst time; New Englanders had captured it in an earlier war. It was aremarkable coup, however, but it was returned to Francewith the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. French Arcadians that included members ofthe Chrétien family of France fought the Scotsand New Englanders for the first time in large numbers.
The treaty of Utrecht left the entire peninsular of NovaScotia in British hands, but France retained Isle Saint Jean (PEI)and Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island). New Brunswick remaineddisputed land. To safeguard their interests, France began building the formidablefortress of Louisbourg at Isle Royale in 1710 and it became their strongestemplacement outside Quebec.It took years to build and was modeled after the most modern forts of Europe. In 1717, Sir Alexander Cairns, a Creightoncousin, attempted to plant a Scots colony at Chebucto Bay (modern Halifax) butfailed to carry it off, mainly due to governmental ineptitude. Small pockets ofScots and Ulstermen did appear, however, mainly around Censeau (Canso) on thenortheast coast. Two records have been found from this time period listingCreightons as arriving in North America. Thefirst was RebeccaCreighton, who traveled to New York in 1739, the second was JohnCreighton,deported “to America”as a convict in 1743.
1745 brought added turmoilas the Scots Highlanders rose up in support of PrinceCharlesEdwardStuart (BonniePrinceCharlie). This last great Jacobiteuprising ended at Culloden Field, with Creightons once again fighting on bothsides. After 200 years of warfare on the continent, the armies had become veryprofessional and organized. One junior officer of the 20th Regimentof Foot was Major CharlesCornwallis of Sussex (1717-1776). Cornwalliswas from a prestigious background. Born the sixth son* to Baron Charles ofCornwallis and Lady Charlotte Butler, Major Cornwallis was related to the Earlof Arran as well as the Duke of Ormonde, his grandfather and great-grandfather.In 1734, he fought in Europe under the Duke of Cumberland and during the ’45Uprising, he was stationed in Edinburgh and Stirling. The war, as explained in the previous chapters,was part of the greater War of the Austrian Succession, called King George’s War in America(174401748). Another regiment, formed in Germany at Dittengen and fightingwith the 20th was Battereau’s 62nd Regiment of Foot. Oneof its lieutenants was JohnCreighton, who also had beenstationed at Stirling and fought at Culloden,the great battle that forever crushed the Highlanders in 1746. Many regimentswere decommissioned after that, such as Battereau’s 62nd Foot at Stirling in 1748. Lt. Maj. Cornwallis, at the same time,gave or sold his 20th Foot commission to his friend, James Wolfe andset his sights on the colonies……………….
*Cornwallis was a twin. Hisidentical brother, FrederickCornwallis, later became theArchbishop of Canterbury.
CHAPTER: 41 BLOODY-BACKS AND LINEN GOODS (Editorial Excerpt)
Cornwallis’ Chebucto Colony at Halifax sent ripples through the Frenchcommunities at Isle Royale and IsleSaint Jean. In 1750, theybegan their own colonization, at Chinecto. Near Aulac, they built FortBeausejourand near Port Elgin, they built FortGaspereau. This was atthe critical juncture that connected the Nova ScotiaPeninsula with New Brunswick and the mainland. Manysettlers arrived from France(they also brought in Polish soldiers that had fought for them in Europe), but most came from settled regions along the St.Lawrence,uprooted with enticements of new land. Many would be surprised to find that theFrench ‘community’ was well established from Isle Royale to Montreal. The British found Halifax backward and wild, but the FrenchArcadians lived comfortably in small villages all over Nova Scotia. What few Scots Highlanders thatdid arrive, settled among the French at IsleSaint Jean* and IsleRoyale, many finding service in the fur trade as agents andproctors.
*This island, where my father was born in 1901, wasoriginally called Abegweit (‘cradled on the waves’), a summer resort for theMicmac. First settled by Basque fishermen, the French held on tenaciously asNew Englanders repeatedly raided the small villages along the coast.
And so, many divergentcultures evolved almost side by side. The initial ‘Protestant” contingent hadbeen discharged as soldiers and sailors and their NewEngland allies. Beginning in 1750, another 25o0 began to arrive atHalifax, mainly fromthe Rhineland. British, Swiss and Dutch forceshad fought against the French during the late war. Much of the fighting hadoccurred on the Dutch-German border and like the earlier Palatine migrations of1717, German and Dutch emigrants once again were sought out to settle Nova Scotia.
Thanks primarily to the1717 Scotch-Irish and Palatine migrations, ‘English’ North America now includedthe fertile lands from Western Pennsylvania to the Virginiaand Carolinahighlands. Beyond the Appalachian Mountainslay the vast Ohio River Country. Firmly Indian lands, it was claimed by rightof discovery by France, who held the entireMississippi River from New Orleans to Lake Superior. The English colonists, especially thewandering Scotch-Irish of the back country, viewed it as open for the taking.With the center of French policies issued from Quebecand Montreal, agreat circle was completed. The inevitable clash over the Ohio Country wouldinvolve everyone from Halifaxto New Orleans.As tensions increased, armies were formed once again on both sides. French andEnglish alike began building forts throughout the interior and each side pliedthe various Indian tribes as allies. At stake was not a frontier river valley,but the entire Empire of New France.
I dealt quite extensivelywith the French and Indian War (1755-1761, called the Seven Year’s War in Europe) in Part IV of Eastwind Westwind. In Part V, Ifollowed the same families through the American Revolution (1775-1783).Although it was primarily to follow the Poore family as they expanded out fromNew England and Virginia,it can be used to trace almost any colonial family from that time period. Mostof what I covered in EWWW pertained to the fighting in present West Virginia and intothe Ohio Country, with the related fighting in Upstate New York. I barelytouched, however, on the Canadian campaigns, other than a few ancestral Pooresthat saw service in Nova Scotia.The Ohio Country was the overall goal of the British and French combatants; itwas truly the first, “First World War’, the first war for global empire. Now,by following the Creightons and their related cousins, a picture can be drawnto put the whole into a clearer perspective.
It began quietly in amountain meadow on the Maryland-Pennsylvania border in the spring of 1754.Young George Washington, commanding a portion of the newly formed VirginiaRegimentfired upon a French force commanded by Ensign Coulonde Jumonville.The French commander was killed and this international incident led to theFrench and Indian War.
At best, it had been anuneasy peace since the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, with both countriesusing the six years to build new forts and ships. The confrontation between Washington and de Jumonville wasthe spark that reignited the war.Immediate action began by reassembling the old regiments, with Governor Shirley of Massachusetts headingthe Colonial Militia in the north. Halifaxwas chosen as the chief navel base for the British and for the first time,professional regiments were shipped in to fight in America. Veteran regulars of thecontinental wars, the 44th and 48th Regiments of Footwent directly to Chesapeake Bay to assemble at Alexandria, Virginia.Although many colonials shared leadership, overall British command was placedunder Maj. Gen. EdwardBraddock (1695-1755). As thered-coated regulars disembarked at Chester,Delaware, the locals called them‘Bloody-Backs’. Also for the first time, Dunbar’skilted Highland companies of the 48th Foot ushered in the evolvingHighland dress to America.Kilts began to be an accepted Scots military dress some thirty years prior.
These troops of the 44thand 48th represented the cream of the British military, made up ofmostly Scotsmen (Braddock was born in Perthshire)and comprised of elite officers and enlisted men. They were a product ofcenturies of war in the Rhineland and Low Countries,as well as the English and Scottish Civil Wars. The roster of leaders, Britishand Colonials alike read like a “Who’s Who’ of the Revolutionary War…Gates, Clinton, Carlton,Wolfe, Washington,Cornwallis (Edwardand his nephew Charles), Burgoyne, Johnson, Rogers,Boone and Morgan.Confidence in an early victory ran high, so it came as a shock when Braddock and 900 of his best men died in July 1755 on theMonongahela. In one great ambush, a handful of French and northern Abenakiallies defeated Braddock’s army. It fell to thejunior colonial officers like Col. Washingtonto rally the troops that remained. 20,000 American and Canadian colonists roseto the call to arms, a formal declaration of war did not come until 1756. Bythen, much fighting had already occurred in the southern mountains and inUpstate New York. At Lake George,NY, SirWilliamJohnson led the local militia made upprimarily of New Englanders. This bitter fighting was covered in detail in EastwindWestwind.A second ‘front’, which I briefly mentioned was the concurrent fighting in Nova Scotia and present New Brunswick. At the time, Canadawas far from my thoughts,……………
CHAPTER: 42 EVANGELINE(Editorial Excerpt)
Longfellow immortalized the plight of the Arcadians in his epochpoem, Evangeline. The French ofArcadia were in a time warp, as a group of old citizens of Basque-French-Indiandescent, with some families being residents for over 200 years. Their Frenchwas, even in 1755, an archaic form of 16th century speech. They wereas much a part of the old MaritimeProvinces as were their Indian neighbors. All throughthe many Franco-English conflicts, as Nova Scotiachanged again and again to French or English ownership, they had tenaciouslyrefused to swear allegiance to either country, England especially. Most of theFrench ranger leaders, such as de Ramezay, wereCanadian-born and closely aligned with the northern tribes. With the capture ofthe Chignecto forts, it became imperative to subdue the Arcadians and Governor Lawrence sawthat the only way was to relocate them en-mass to other regions. I cannot dojustice to the entire chain of events; it was both devastating and heartwrenching. The overall majority of the Arcadians of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were quietand productive ‘Habitants’, rural farmers, fishermen and merchants. Theirvillages were neat and clean and reminiscent of 16th century France.It fell to a combined force of New Englanders under MajorJosephFrye(Enoch Poor was part of this unit) and British regulars under Col. RobertMoncktonto ‘mop up’ the Arcadians that refused to join the British.
The campaign began in thenorth around the captured French forts at Chignecto; FortCumberlandbeing their base of operation. One of my Husseyancestors was the fort’s commander. Proclamations went out to all Arcadianhouseholds to swear allegiance or be deported……………………
CHAPTER: 43 UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS (EditorialExcerpt)
Before the war ended, over2,000 British colonists had immigrated to Nova Scotia,but the vast majority of her colonists were from NewEngland. Using my own Poore, Hazen, Husseyand Saltmarsh ancestors as examples, I have shown how the Yankees played such alarge roll in the war as soldiers, traders and shipping merchants. In 1758, inthe form of a New England town meeting, the first representative assemblyelection in British Canada took place in Halifax,which became the capitol of NovaScotia in 1763. For the next decade, the “Herrin’Chokers” watched closely as the Virginia and MassachusettsGeneral Assemblies increasingly voiced anger over growing English rule. It wasevident that the Americans were on a collision course in their attempt to formhome rule. Behind much of the activism were the hard-core Scotch-Irishdescendents that had always been self-sufficient. The Tidewater Planters,mostly of English descent had clung to their rich holdings east of the mountainsfrom Massachusetts to Georgia.It had been the 200,000-some-odd Scotch-Irish who had crossed the mountains andhad made up the ‘frontier’ force that had won the Indian wars. Britaincould never have claimed the rich interior without their resolve. Now nameslike Jefferson, Morgan,Hamilton, Henryand Montgomery were leading the cause to break awayfrom British rule.
As the 1770s approached,many families along the Saint Johnvoiced concern. Many of them had retained lands in NewEngland and close family ties bound them to home. Incorrespondence with their relations, they kept abreast of the growing turmoil,for the most boisterous of the activists were from Boston. Just as hostilities were breaking outat Concord and Lexington Green in 1775, a large groupof English settlers arrived at SaintJohn to boost the population in the valley to 4500.The new arrivals were Yorkshiremen. As the fleets outfitted at Halifax to sail to Boston,the townships in Nova Scotiavoted to remain neutral. Going to war against their American family members wasout of the question………
CHAPTER: 44 A SON FORNANCY ENNIS (Editorial Excerpt)
During the decade precedingthe American Revolution, a Creighton baby was born, most likely somewhere inwestern Scotland.Family tradition (a letter written by his granddaughter in the 1880s) says thathe “came from Scotland”, buthis family roots were in the Downpatrick area of CountyDownand vicinity. The oldest ‘Irish’ Creighton abodes stemmed from the Montgomeryand Hamilton grants of 1604. From place names, I would put the earliestCreightons at the juncture of Antrim and North Down near Belfast. Just east of Belfaston the shore of Lough Belfast is Holywood, where thereis a Creighton’s Green as well as a Creighton’s Green Road. The HughCreightonfamily of nearby Belfastmaintained deeded property (nine acres) into the 20th century.
By 1800, the Creightons ofDown had settled mostly in the DromoreSeapatrick region that includedBanbridge, Saintfield, Ballyagharty, Marshallstown and Grangecam. This regionincluded Hamilton’s KilleleaghCastle, all being within a 50-mileradius north and west of Downpatrick. Before I embark on endless speculation, Iwill state that I am not the first, or the last Creighton to look for thiselusive ancestor. My cousin Fred (Cyrus Wilfred) Creighton of Scarborough, Ontario,our family genealogist, has spent half a lifetime searching*, as has our cousin Al Creighton.To date, all that we know is that he supposedly was born in Scotland and came to CountyDownprior to 1800. No one has ever learned his first name or that of his firstwife, only that she was also Scottish and labeled as “Miss Galway”. Fromthis ragged beginning and from information collected in 1974 by WilfredCreighton in Canada(supplied by cousin Fred), some things can be established that may help locatethe mysterious ‘Mr.’ Creighton.**
*Editor’s Note:On a sad note, I have been informed that our cousin Cyrus Wilfred Creighton haspassed away on December 21, 2010. I received a note from his wife, JuneCreighton with the news. Cousin Fred was the first contact with genealogicalmaterial when Jim started writing the first small Creighton family history bookNorthwind Southwind in 1999. He had awonderful open manner and shared back and forth with Jim and me throughout theyears, as recently as a few months ago supplying me with his most up-to-datefiles on CD. I will endeavor to input his family files on my Family Tree Makerfile. Jim’s note above hoping that Fred could link us to our mysterious “Mr” Creightonhappens to fall just above the actual news below about finding him. Unfortunatelythis note needs to be here as well. Three critical people have now passedduring the writing of this book, Patrick Crichton in 2003, Jim Creighton in2005, and now Fred. I can rest knowing that the three are most likelyconferring about the past as we finish this book. His memorial is listed asAppendix C.
Susan CreightonCurtiss—January 30, 2011.
** Editor’sNote: I am happythat I have taken so long in finishing this text for my brother Jim; I haverecently received new information on this illusive and mysterious ‘Mr.’Creighton, whom Jim searched for so tirelessly without avail. The source comesthrough the aforementioned cousin, Al Creighton. He located a very distantCreighton relative in Irelandby the name of Roy Creighton. I will copy Roy’semail message to Al Creighton directly so as not to distort or miss anyinformation.
It is notedbelow that the name Nancy or Nan was probably apet name or nickname, or her middle name may have been Nancy. This record shows only four childrenwith the second being Michael Creighton. Our family records show Michael beingfirst born of four children on Feb. 2, 1800. This could mean that the firstborn in this list (Christian Creighton) did not live and a fourth child wasborn after 1806. The records after that year were not clear to read. Thisremains a mystery.
Susan Creighton Curtiss, Great Barrington, MAApril 14, 2009.
Email messagearrived – Date: Sun, Apr 20, 20:09:56 +0100
From: Roy Creighton
To: Al Creighton
Sorry to take so long to get back toyou, but as you know it can be a “one step forward, two steps back” process!
To get round the problem of having no 19thcentury Census records for Ireland(they were all destroyed by the Government of the day), I had to try what arecalled “census substitutes”.
One of the substitutes that fits in withyour time scale is the “TitheAppointment Books 1823-1837”. This was a tithe on tax on agricultural landpaid by Leaseholders and occupiers to the Curtch of Ireland, and was arranged by CivilParish or Townland.
On consulting the books, I found onlyone Creighton: 1828: William Creighton,Marshallstown, Downpatrick, CountyDown.
He is recorded as having 14 acres and 2roods of 2nd class pasture, on which he paid an annual tithe of 1pound and 10 shillings. (The landwould have been about the size of 14 soccer pitches).
The next avenue I explored was Church records re: the Baptism ofMichael (1802). There are many churches in Downpatrick but only one, the Church of Ireland, covered the period of Michael’sbirth c 1802.
There were four records:
May 1799– Christian Creighton, child of Robertand Ann Creighton
January 1802 – Michael Creighton, child of Robert and Ann Creighton
February 1804 – Mary Anne Creighton, child of Robert and Ann Creighton
May 1806– Isabella Creighton, child of Robertand Anne Creighton
Pages for 1807 – 1808 were faded andunreadable, so it’s possible that there were more children to Robert and Ann.
I noted that Michael’s mother’s name isgiven as Ann (or Anne), not Nancy.As Nancy is a“pet” name, it could be a form of Ann.
I could not find the Marriage of Robertand Ann, but that is probably because it was normal practice for a bride tomarry in her own Church.
I hope the above may be helpful. I’llkeep looking, and see if I can trace some School records?
Cheers, Roy Creighton”
I believe the ScotsCreighton household to have been in Kirkudbright or North Ayrshire, in thevicinity of Glasgow.Creightons had been located in the Paisley area near Glasgow for manycenturies and the cadet lines from the BrunstonCreightonswere prominent in North Ayrshire. The Glasgow-Paisley zone is probably moreprevalent, mainly because of ‘Mrs.’ Creighton, or ‘MissGalway’.** Since this title (Miss rather than Mrs.) comes from a granddaughter from asecond marriage almost ninety years later, it could be just a slip in wording.It may also imply that ‘MissGalway” was just that and apossible reason for Mr.Creighton leaving Scotland.Secondly, her name was more likely ‘Galloway’ and if so, she was of the ancientclan that evolved out of thin air centuries before, in the Glasgow area. Itwas probably an altered Creighton surname, the family arms are identical, ablue lion on a silver field. Although the region of old Gallowayincluded the entire southwest of Scotland,the family Galloway was a product ofKirkudbright and North Ayr. When someonefinally does discover the records, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that thisparticular branch of Creightons was horse breeders from this region, as well asDownpatrick. If Mr.Creighton was in fact born in Scotland, he was probably a product of a familybusiness with holdings in both Irelandand Scotland.If we place a tentative time of birth, it would have been about 1765, makinghim a father around 1787; we know that he and ‘Miss Galway’ had four sons andtwo daughters. I see them going to Ulster early in their marriage, topossibly manage a family business.
** Editor’s Note: Roy Creighton is also lookinginto the records for the children born to Robert by his first wife know only as‘Miss Galway’ (or perhaps Galloway). We know only that there were four sons andtwo daughters. Roy Creighton believes that these children were born inScotland, not Ireland.
Susan Creighton Curtiss,April 14, 2009
In Ireland, it would have been a good time to be aCreighton, with EarlErne as one of the leadingpolitical figures at Dublin.Over the course of the past century, the FermanaghCreightonshad purchased or inherited almost the entire Butler Empire around Lough Erne aswell as much of Lifford, Donegal. Based on past family history in Scotland, I think that every Creighton fromlaird to letter carrier would have bowed daily toward Castle Crom, as if itwere their private Mecca.Just west and on the outskirts of Downpatrick, ‘Mr.’ Creighton had settled inat the family horse farm called the ‘Course’. Whether he bought it, orinherited it is unknown In 1957, it was still in operation, close to theDownpatrick racetrack. In the 1790s, it was perhaps one of dozens of Creightonhorse farms spread from Donegal to Aberdeenshire, supplying the now worldwide British Empire with military mounts. It is as good a guessas any, at this point……………..
Sometime in the late 1790s,his first wife passed on, possibly during childbirth. This left him, around1796, with six children to raise. As a freeman (landowner), he was consideredpart of the ‘landed gentry’, and here again, there is an implication of priorfamily holding at the ‘Course’. Not knowing his exact age, it can only beassumed that he was about 21 when first married. If the ‘Course’ had alreadybeen an active Creighton farm, which I feel that is was, he probably took itover as his inheritance. On the other hand, he and his first wife could havebeen brought in by wealthier relatives to work the farm for the true owner……………..
CHAPTER: 45 RABBITHUNTING (Editorial Excerpt)
The years of MichaelCreighton’syouth were momentous abroad. Creightons in general had continued to migrateacross the Atlantic and ship’s records hint ata few that settled in various locations. In 1774, JamesCreighton,age 33 left Belfast for Maryland. At Belfastwas the family of HughCreighton, born about 1740 in Scotland.His two sons, John and James immigrated to Washington County, Pennsylvaniain the 1830s. John, married to MargaretHewitt,evidently remained there. His brother Jamesmarried ElizabethSeidel and they eventually foundedtheir own line at Stark County,Ohio.
Closer to home, a man leftout of Belfast in 1802, bound for Saint John, NewBrunswick. His name was MichaelCreightonand something deep down tells me that this was ‘Mr.” Creighton of Downpatrick.If he were as involved with horses as I think he was, the ‘Course’ may havebeen one of many horse farms controlled by the extended family. It would nothave been unusual for him to travel abroad on business, especially if he hadbrothers or cousins already in Canada.By 1800, New Brunswickhad grown from 4500 citizens to 20,000. By 1825, it had grown to over 75,000.Since the end of the American war in 1883, thousands of discharged soldiers andsailors from both armies had sought land pensions in compensation for theirmilitary services. The Americans found theirs in Upstate New York and deep intothe Ohio River Valley, Kentucky and Tennessee.The British were faced with a larger relocation project. A new form of sheephusbandry had developed where large tracts were ‘cleared’ of tenant farms tobecome open sheep range. Thousands, from Yorkshireto the Scottish Highlands were ‘kecked off’ their lands to make way for the ‘woolies’.For the first time, entire townships of Highlanders were gathered up to shipout for new homes in Prince Edward Island,Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia.Michael Creighton, as a provider of horseflesh, may only have been in Canadaon business.
There is one other possiblescenario, although very far fetched………………
A new life awaits ‘just across the pond’ in NewBrunswickCanada
CHAPTER: 46 JANE MAGEE (EditorialExcerpt)
Much ofthe following data, relating to Michael’sbeginnings in Canadaand vicinity, comes from the unpublished manuscript of WilfredDixonCreighton. Written in 1974, when he was 81 years old, Wilfredeither met or interviewed many elders who became part of the story. His workshould remain a valuable family treasure for it tells of the personal lives ofour family, as it grew. Wherever he seems to be lacking pertinent data, it ismiraculously filled in by a second document written by Michael’sdaughter, MaryAnnCreightonTaylor in her 59thyear. She writes from Lincoln,Maine, to her nephew, DavidLawCreighton. Her letter, dated March 7, 1893, is also a treasure, telling offamily beginnings, hopes and fears. From her letter, came the story of therabbit and also the story of her mother, JaneMagee.Combined with these family heirlooms, are dozens of records from New Brunswick Provincial Archives showing that Michaelwas far from the first Creighton to settle in New Brunswick. Many were undoubtedly close family membersand some may have met him when he arrived from Downpatrick.
Michael disembarked at St.Andrews, then a bustling Port of Entry on the Maine border. Many émigrés entered theprovince at this port because of its convenient location, which shared themouth of the Saint Croix with Saint George and other small hamlets of CharlotteCounty. It was adjoining Saint JohnCounty(five counties: York, Sunbury, Queens, Kings and Saint Johnradiated out from Charlotte like a giant fan)that Michael sought, with the shipyards at the city of Saint John offering ready employment. Becausehe was a deported convict, he may have had to report to either family or theauthorities once he found a place to stay, although there may have beenCreightons in CharlotteCounty.
The oldest Creighton in the areahad been Thomas, who first appeared on land grant rolls in 1791. That year hewas one of 11 men that joined William Caldwell in petitioning for land on theSaint John River in QueensCounty. This may havebeen a ‘Joint Stock’ Company, but it could also have been a company of warveterans from the American colonies that sought land as Loyalists after theRevolution. With Caldwell and Creighton, were William Bead, Nathan and WilliamBostwick, George and Mays Case, Francis Crawford, Charles Duff, ConradHendericks, John McNicholl and Jeremiah Regan. Something must have happened,for the actual land grant did not go into effect until 1801 and by then Caldwell and four othershad withdrawn from the list, and new members had joined. Charles Duff is listedas the 1801 prime grantee. New members were William Read, John and RobertRobertson and John Young. The Duff Grant was probably quite large; it isunclear how much Thomas Creighton received from the original transaction. In1809, he applied for and received 200 acres at Wickham, QueensCounty, which was on the Saint John River in Hampstead Parish.
What I find interesting is thatthis land grant, from initial petition to final receipt, took almost 20 years,unless there were multiple land deals. It seems that it was quite common for groupsof men to pool their resources to apply for adjoining tracts. Their individualwealth, and/or social status, decided how many lots they would own and lotspreviously surveyed ranged from as little as 33 acres to over 500. The MichaelCreighton that came to New Brunswick in 1802,and may have been Michael’s father, could have come over to appraise a possibleland investment or to see Thomas’ grant on the Saint John. The names listed in Thomas’ groupare mixed. They could have been American, Scotch-Irish, Scottish or English; itis hard to tell. Although Thomas Creighton’s origin has yet to be determined, Isuspect a connection with Michael’s CountyDown branch. He wasperhaps an uncle that had fought for the British in the American War ofIndependence, or a Loyalist merchant from Boston.
A second Creighton was in placeprior to Michael’s arrival not far from SaintJohn. This was Nugent Creighton (1775-1863) whoreceived grant #1464 at Portland, Saint JohnCounty in 1822. His 1200 acre grantincluded six men that were all either Scots or Irishmen: Thomas Campbell,Thomas Conner, Robert McBeath, Martin Murphy, Patrick Murphy and WilliamWaters. What is even more interesting is that this man, Nugent Creighton, hadan earlier grant in Kings County dated 1820 and his fellow grantees includedthe same six men. This man, with two major grants must have had strong backingor was personally wealthy. I am wondering if he may have been one of Michael’suncles, perhaps a carpenter. At the time, the NewBrunswick timber industry was the largest in North America, andKings and Saint JohnCounty were leadingproducers of raw products. With the shipyards at Saint John, Nugent Creighton, especially ifhe were a master carpenter, would have prospered by having lands both near thecity, as well as tin the interior. I think that his KingsCounty grant was not far from SussexParish, possibly at Cedar Camp near Waterford.
When Michael arrived in New Brunswick, in 1825, John Harvey was petitioning for agrant in GloucesterCounty in the far northof the province. His fellow applicants were William Creighton, AlexanderHarvey, James Harvey, Robert Jeffery, Alexander Macdonald and Donald AlexanderMacdonald. As you can see, Michael was far from alone when he hit the docks andset out for Saint John.His father undoubtedly wrote letters of introduction, especially if any ofthese Creightons were directly related. I see Michael as being hustled off to Saint John to be set towork at a trade. It could have been anything from working in the shipyards tobeing farm labor at outlying farms, which could have been Creighton-owned. Hisexperience with horses would have found him employment almost anywhere.
While working in Saint John, Michael had ample time to explorethe surrounding villages and camps. West of the city was the large Saint JohnRiver, flowing down from the northern highlands to enter the Bay of Fundy at GrandBay,passing through Thomas Creighton’s Wickham land on the way. The city, asexplained in Part V, had roots first with French and then NewEngland traders. The Yankee tradition was very old. Culturally,the resident Herrin’ Chokers shared a lifestyle that was similar to adjoiningcoastal Maine, being a mixture of old Yankee and newer Scotch-Irish, such asthose at Wiscasset, who came from County Antrim, in 1718. For over a century,the rivers Kennebecasis, Petitcodiac and Anagance provided a trading andmilitary route to Chegnecto. The Kennebecasis (Big Salmon), a very beautifulriver, flowed from Saint Johnnortheast through great forestlands and open meadows. It was to this river thatthe Loyalists from the New Jerseyregiments were granted land in 1783, including the Parlee brothers, who hadfought with Capt. James Creighton on the 3rd Volunteer Regiment.
The war veterans called the upperKennebecasis “PleasantValley”. Actually, themany smaller streams that converged there created a series of ridges andvalleys that blocked the winter winds. Built around old Indian camps andtrading posts, were four tiny hamlets, Roachville,Sussex, PleasantValleyand DutchValley. Roachville was on the northwestern side of the river. Across fromRoachville, the tiny settlement of Sussex sat at the mouth of TroutCreek, a pretty river that flowed southeast. South a short distance on TroutCreek was the village of Pleasant Valley and six miles further on was DutchValley,now Waterford.From this village back along Trout Creek were the DutchValleygrants. The Parlees, with many co-grantees, had land in and south of thisdistrict, which I will explain later on. In 1786, so many had made grantapplications that Sussex Parish was laid out and surveyed into individual lots.In 1792, the village of Pleasant Valley was renamed Sussex Vale and through1809, DutchValley was parceled out to grantees inlots averaging 200 acres each.
Michael may have had businessopportunities to travel upriver to Sussex Vale or to visit Nugent Creighton’sland near Waterford.Michael would have found Sussex Vale to be the most active way-station on theroad to Chegnecto. His journey out of SaintJohn, whether by horseback or canoe would have takenhim in to a wide sweeping valley dominated by an island in the middle of theKennebecasis. It was so much like western Scotland that, years later, thePrince of Wales would name the village there “Rothesay”, after the old Stuarthome on the Isle of Bute……………...
CHAPTER: 47 CREIGHTONVILLE(Editorial Excerpt)
Sussex, Sussex Vale, PleasantValley, Dutch Valley, Poney Mountain, Roachville, Parleeville, Parlee Brook,all place names from relatively the same region of river junctions surroundingpresent Sussex, New Brunswick. There were, from time to time, many smallerplace names throughout this region, Sweeney’s Mills, Creightonville…but manylike Creightonville no longer exist aside from old cemeteries and in somecases, nothing at all. I can relate, somewhat, as to how some of these placesevolved by using my own hometown of Loudon,New Hampshire as an example. In LoudonVillageon the SoucookRiver, the earliest homestead was theBatchelder grant that dated back to around 1729. The Batchelders, Poore cousinswith roots in Hampshire, England had come from Essex County, Massachusetts.LoudonVillage began as an Indian outpost. Thehouse that I was raised in was built in 1742. Today, the roads leading out fromthe village go through second and third-growth pine forest past points on themap that shows no visible occupation. These strange names like Turtletown andPage’s Corner were once tiny communities that have grown back to forest,leaving only stone foundations and haunting cemeteries deep in the woods.
I think that Michael and Jane hada clear plan to settle in DutchValley prior to theirgoing there. They may have made real estate arrangements before the wedding,with either Magees or Creightons acting in their behalf. From Mary Ann’sletter, we know that the couple purchased their farm for L90, and she alsotells of their bringing the first wagon into DutchValley.To me, this may be the only piece of ‘family legions’ that somehow gotembellished over the years, for the village of Dutch Valley was already athriving little town complete with mills, blacksmith shops, an Anglican churchand what would become five drinking establishments. It was the last ‘stagestop’ in later years; like ‘Old West’ towns in the American West, it was a seaof mud streets, lumbering teams of oxen and logs floating down to the mills onTrout Creek. Horseback was still the popular mode of transportation, but justmaybe, Michael and Jane did drive the first wagon to the vicinity.
Upon arrival, Jane must have thought hernew husband daft. She had been raised with thebeauty of the green fields that surrounded Lough Erne, complete with stonecastles and ancient standing stones from centuries past. Now, here she was, ina god-forsaken overgrown lumber camp swarming with black flies (you have tohave grown up in these northern regions to truly appreciate them), that bitwith the ferocity of a pack of wolves…, “oh dear, wolves!” She thought long andhard about her situation; hopefully Sussex Vale would be more inviting. Abouttwo miles west of DutchValley, Michael stopped,tall pine lining the road on each side. The road turned sharply around a curve,far below to Jane’s right was the river, seen now and then through the trees.To the left, great trees towered over her head far up the hillside that rose tothe south. Taking her hand, Michael led her down the road to a turnoff thatturned back down the slope to the riverbed, the secondary road angling off tothe northeast. At the bottom, Michael led her east along the steep riverbank,the smell of pine and greenery fresh in the air. “This is it, Jennie, this isour land.”
Michael’s farmstead was one of many thatformed a chain of long, skinny lots that ran from the river southeasterly on adiagonal to the tip of a ridge. In viewing the Sussex Grant Allotments datingfrom 1779, the Trout Creek zone east of Sussex Vale shows the original lotsaveraging 200 acres each. The original grantees were both Loyalist military andcivilians from the New Jersey regiments and New England. Capt. John Cougle received Grant #14 atSussex Vale, a large block of 350 acres, which was only one of his five lotspreviously mentioned. The DutchValley lots began southof Cougle’s 350 acres on the south side of Trout Creek. At the village of Sussex Vale, Lots #53 and 54 wereoriginally granted to Charles Peters and Donald Drummond.
Six lots into Dutch Valley District,beyond Drummonds’ property, began the Snyder Grants, which were immense. At thepresent Adair Roadturnoff, Elias Snyder had in excess 500 acres north of Trout Creek. Today, abeautiful covered bridge, TroutCreekBridge#4 built in the early 1900s, sits at this junction. In the center of Snyder’sland began Mill Pond Brook, which ran northwest to the Kennebecasis. JohnJeffries had operated a very profitable grist mill on the brook north of SussexVale since 1816, using an imported French grinding stone that was 20 inchesthick and weighed 2400 £. South of Trout Creek, Martin and PeterSnyder had three 200 acre lots that rose to the top of the hill. Lot # 60 wasMartin’s, Lot #61 was both his and Peter’s and Lot#62 was Peter’s. Both men (also spelled Snider) were primary petitioners in1794 that included 23 others on lands that totaled 7202 acres. Among these menwere six named Parlee (Peter, Abraham, Isaac, Cornelius, Peter Jr. and Edward).In 1809, the Snyder brothers joined with 14 men (including Edward and PeterParlee, Jr.) to receive an additional 200 acres. This land I believe to haverun from the top of the ridge southwesterly into ParleeBrookDistrict. Again, I have asense that Capt. James Creighton, who fought with Peter Parlee in the NewJersey Volunteers, was somehow involved with these people. There is no Creightonapplicant for Sussexgrants following the American Revolution, but many of these men were in thisregiment of Loyalists.
Michael’s land was beyond this point andis off my grant map, but Lot #1 of what was probably the Rockvilleor Waterford grants, began just past PeterSnyder’s Lot #62. The numbering system began anewwith #1 and ran toward Waterford,the lots almost perpendicular to the river and main road. The next roadjuncture (Parlee Brook Road)turned south and not far beyond that another angled off to the northeast, beingpresent Urney Road).Michael’s land began at this intersection, where the road turned sharplysoutheast, following the river. This turn in the Waterford Road placed his farm parallelwith the road, the northeast side being a narrow shelf overlooking the river,while the southwest side was on the uphill grade that rose to the top of theridge. Unlike other lots in the district, it placed most of the land close tothe road on each side.
Reportedly, his first house was of logs,but how elaborate is unknown. It was more likely somewhere between a classiclog cabin and a Northern Irish mud and wattle structure used in Ulster and western Scotland for centuries. Sawn lumberwas readily available, but Scotch frugality may have won out in favor ofrough-hewn saplings over a post and beam foundation. There was no shortage ofraw materials. Being from Ulster,however, Michael may have finished it in an old world manner, plastering insideand out, which would have whitewashed……………..
CHAPTER: 48 CRAZYLIKE A FOX (Editorial Excerpt)
Remember back to1801, when Michael was a baby in CountyDown. In that year, Capt.John Creighton 1st Earl Erne changed his name to Crichton, his wayof helping to elevate his status as one of the 28 Irish Representatives allowedto make the transition to sit in the English House of Lords after the Act ofIrish Union. In 1804, he was again elevated to the Irish Privy Council andremained governor of CountyFermanagh until hisdeath, in 1828. Out of longevity and marital connections, he became the seniorCreighton, surpassing his Scottish cousins in wealth and status. His later lifeat Westminster was that of a self-centered politician who put constant trialsupon his second wife, Mary Caroline Hervey and their daughter, ElizabethCaroline Mary Creighton, Lady Wharncliffe*. Entire books have been written of their topsy-turvy home life and hisshenanigans. When he died, much of the accumulated Creighton wealth fell to hisson, the Honorable Viscount Abraham Creighton 2nd Earl Erne, born tohis first wife, Catherine Howard. Abraham also began his career as an officerin the Fermanagh 14th Light Dragoons, but since 1798, had beenjudged insane and was in the care of Brooke House, Clapton, near London, England.Because of this, he was incapable of assuming his father’s political roles, butdid become officially head of the Creightons of Crom as Earl Erne. Thistechnically placed him as ‘Clan Chief’ of all Creightons worldwide in 1828. Thevast estates and monies were held in trust; the only outgoing expenses went tohis immediate upkeep at the asylum at Brooke House.
Realistically, Ithink that Abraham’s illness was more for family connivance than anything else.The Herveys had much to lose by taking over the reigns of the Creighton Empire.Mary Caroline’s father was Frederick Hervey Bishop of Derryand 4th Earl of Bristol, a very powerful man. Abraham was committedone year before his half-sister, Caroline Creighton (1779-1856), married LordWharncliffe in 1799. His full name was James ArchibaldStuart-Whortley-Mackenzie (1776-1845), a descendant of Stuart 3rdEarl of Bute, who was also of theCrichton-Stuart line. I would assume that the Hereveys, thinking Abraham to beinsane, would have promoted Lady Wharncliffe to assume title to the Cromestates upon her father’s death, but her half-brother, no matter how ill, tookheredity claim as the only surviving son. For the sake of historical record,the following is Lady Caroline’s obituary in an 1856 CountyCorknewspaper:
*We regretto announce the demise of Elizabeth Lady Dowager Wharncliffe, who died onWednesday evening, at her house in Lower Grosvenor-street. The deceased, LadyElizabeth Caroline Mary, was the only daughter of John, first Earl of Erne, byhis second marriage with Lady Mary Hervey, daughter of the fourth Earl of Bristol. Her ladyship,who was in her 79th year, married, March 30, 1799, James first LordWharncliffe, grandfather to the present peer, who at his death, in 1845, wasLord Privy Seal in the late Sir Robert Peel’s administration. By her husbandshe leaves surviving issue the Right Hon. James Stuart Wortley, M.P., theRecorder of London, and the Hon. Caroline, married to the Hon. Rev. JohnChetwynd Talbot, son of the late Earl of Talbot. The health of the deceasedlady had been on the decline since the death of her son, the late LordWharncliffe, in October last. Numerous families of rank are placed in mourningby her dissolution.”
Abraham Creighton2nd Earl Erne (later heirs would classify the title as Earls ofErne), for all his mental ill (if any), was a compassionate and thoughtful man.He never married, but while at the asylum, he maintained partial control of theCreighton estates. His father had spent years saving a massive fund to one dayrebuild Castle Crom, but Abraham, through legal maneuvering, held on to most ofhis personal assets. He either had very good attorneys working on his behalf,or he wasn’t as crazy as everyone imagined. Approaching the age of eighty in 1842, much of his estate had gone tothe extended family buying up additional properties. His annual maintenanceallowance amounted to only L780, so his immediate worth had grown over theyears. During his 44 years of confinement, his family had used the money formany purposes. From 1810 on, much sent toward improvements to Castle Crom. Whenhe finally died in 1842, most were surprised to find that he left a will withassets of L52,500. This was an incredible amount for those times. The familyhad tried unsuccessfully to take this money from him as well, to apply towardthe Crom Renovation Project. This was probably the reason that sparked hiswriting of the will. Almost the entire sum went to junior branches of theCreighton family. The Downpatrick Creightons may have been one of them, whichincluded Michael, his brothers and sisters.
It was probablyfrom this general time that Creightonville began to be known locally as a placename and not just Michael’s farm. David Law, as well, miraculously went fromcarrying seeds on his back to the local mill, to being a respected leader ofthe region. Sometime prior to Michael building the large farmhouse, David andSarah had moved to a Chambers farm near the village of Urney,but he maintained a close rapport with Michael. They worked closely with oneanother, either Michael helped David financially, or Law had his own windfallfrom Irish inheritances, but both led the way as future patriarchs ofCreightonville. They collectively began seeking funds to build a MethodistChurch and sometime prior to 1850; thesmall one-room affair was built on Creighton property close to the farm. Creightonvillenow had a landmark, a Methodist sanctuary and a symbol of Ulster-Scotingenuity. It was one of the first non-Anglican churches in the region, exceptfor New England Congregationalists and a few Baptists, who still were without achurch. Jane Magee Creighton probably felt vindicated after growing up with hermother’s tales of public whippings in Ireland. Her Methodist neighborsnow had a church of their own. Mary Ann later wrote that as children, they wereraised in both churches.
Of the Creightonhousehold, it still stands; at least it did in 1974 when Wilfred Creightonwrote of it. Some time prior, both he and his brother William had been allowedby its current owners to tour the farm. He said that “it was well built (byMichael) and attention was paid to the width of the lumber used in itsconstruction.” When facing east, the buildings were on the left side of theroad, while fields dominated the upland pastures,…………..
CHAPTER: 49 THE NEIGHBORHOOD (EditorialExcerpt)
The growth ofSussex Parish began with men and women like Michael and Jane, David and Sarah,(combinations of old world émigrés mixing with older established families). OldPeter Parlee (1736-1821) was born in Bucks County Pennsylvania, a neighbor andpossible boyhood friend of another BucksCounty boy, Daniel Boone(1734-1820). Being one of three brothers that came to Sussex in 1883,they shared in the old United Empire Loyalist heritage of the valley. Now threegenerations past, Mary Ann Parlee (1844-1885) was becoming a young woman,probably not far from Creightonville. Her father was Simon Parlee and hermother was Eliza Ann Biggar, descended from an old Scots family fromLanarkshire. The Biggars, still a common name in Sussex, became school teachers andcommunity leaders. The same holds true for the Parlees. One Parlee grant(Parleeville) was east of Sussexand north of the Kennebecasis, but they also owned land south of Michael’s farmat the small settlement called Parlee Brook. Less than two miles distance fromthe Creighton farm, it may have been where Mary Ann Parlee grew up.
About the timethat Michael and Jane were establishing themselves at DutchValley, William Lennerd and JaneHapburn McEwen were newly arrived from Northern Ireland. They hademigrated in 1832 and settled at DutchValley, as well. Four oftheir nine children were born in Ireland. Of the last five, theyoungest, Margaret McEwen (1846-1931) would become my great-grandmother. Heroldest brother, James, was 28 when she was born; this was a very large andstrong family. Like Michael, the McEwen’s were Anglican and of Scottishheritage, descended from a very old Argyll clan famous as bards, the ancientCeltic poets and singers of family genealogies. In Scotland, they are historicallycalled Maceoghhainn, or ‘Sons of Ewen’ being Ewen of Otter. They werehereditary bards of Clan Campbell and Macdougall of Argyll. As a side note,McEwen also married into the Poore family of New England.On September 10, 1861, Lewis McEwen of Canada(born 1839 to George and Sophia Planchette McEwen) married Harriet Nye Poore(1838- ) of Norwood, NY, daughter of Elijah Poore and SophiaBailey. Harriet’s father Elijah would join the Union Army and would become aprisoner of war after being captured at the Battle of Fair Oaks early in theAmerican Civil War. He was never heard from again.
Meanwhile at Prince Edward Island,the absentee landlord situation from the initial dispersal of land to Scottishnoblemen was corrected early in the century by importing Scots Highlanders.Beginning in 1820, thousands came over in controlled migrations that clearedthe Highlands of ‘crofters,’ the impoverishedtenant farmers. Much the same was one in Northern Ireland as wealthylandowners found that more money could be had by using the land for sheepgrazing than by collecting annual rents. The nether regions ofEngland-Yorkshire, Wales andCornwallsuffered similar upheavals in the land tenure. Of interest to this story werethe Mackenzies of Scotland and the ancient family French from Cornwall. Both sought haven in PEI.
I will begin withthe old Norman family French (de Freyne); the surname means ‘(People) Of theAsh Trees.’ They were noted soldiers in Cornwall in the time of Henry IIPlantagenet and went with the le Poers (Poores) into Ireland in 1172, to becomeso strong as to be counted as one of the 14 original tribes of Celtic Ireland,even though they were not Irish. In Ireland,they remain a leading political family of great wealth, but the Cornwall ancestors wereabsorbed into the older Cornish-Celtic society. They became sailors andfishermen, with many migrating in the 1600s to New England,first as mariners and then as colonists. Many more found their way to Canada………….
Thomas French(1798- ) and his brother James Richard French (1803- ) were from a fishing, orseafaring family located at Otterman Mills Parish, near TintagelCastle, Cornwall. Thomas may have been born at sea.In 1829, James married Jemima Jenny Lloyd at Liverpool, England.Shortly thereafter, he, his wife and his brother Thomas emigrated to PEI, where Thomas metand married Mary Ann Willow, in 1832. The Willows, like the family Wicks (orweeks) were old-time West Country native Britons.
Mygreat-grandfather, John Alexander French (1835-1895) (photo at left) was Tomand Mary’s first born. Family tradition states that he was also born aboard aship, like his father. After Mary Willow died, in 1846, Thomas married AnnMorrison, who bore him the last two of his nine children. He then disappearedfrom history around 1850, perhaps going alone to the California gold fields, or being lost atsea.
The Mackenzies of PEI we know nothingabout, but there were many groupings of them there. As a Highlandclan, they need little introduction, being Maccoinneach, ‘Son of the FairBright One.’ Their arms, a gold stag’s head on a blue field, are as famous astheir Highland military history and bagpipemarching songs. They are of even more interest to me, however, for I haveMackenzie great-grandmothers on both the Creighton and the Poore side, and thetwo ladies may have been related. My mother’s grandmother, Susan Elizabeth(Mackenzie) Hussey however, has been found. She was born in Mainein 1853, but her family originally came from Nova Scotiaand was part of the general exodus from the Highlands, which brought others to PEI. John AlexanderFrench married Jane (Jennie) Mackenzie on December 24, 1863 in PEI; she was born in 1842, but reportedly in Scotland. Herdirect family line remains to be found, but Jennie Mackenzie will soon enterthe Creighton story as John Alexander French’s wife.
The first census was taken in 1851 in Kings County, NewBrunswick, and it is the first recorded data for theMichael Creighton farm. Michael, Jr. was eleven years old; his elder brotherRobert was 19. What I find of great interest is obvious flaws in arithmetic,which leads to many problems for researchers that depend only on old censusrecords. Michael, Sr. has had changing times of birth; his daughter Mary Annlisted it as 1802, others have it as 1801, but his obituary and headstoneclearly state that he died at 84 in 1884. This age and date were confirmed inprobate records after his death. This would have placed his birth as 1800 andJane Magee as 1798. At the 1851 census, Michael would have been 51 and Jane 53,with Robert 19, Mary Ann 17, William 16, Samuel 14 and Michael, Jr. 11. This ishow the 1851 census reads:
Michael m H(husband) 47(age) Irish Farmer 1825 (Date of Canadian entry)
Jane f W 49 Irish 1825
Mary Ann f D 17
Robert m S 19
William m S 15
Samuel m S 13
Michael m S 11
That was theextent of New Brunswick’sfirst census. The children’s ages are listed correctly, but Michael and Jane’sages, as well as Jane’s time of entry are incorrect. She came with her familyin 1824.
By 1853,negotiations were long underway to build the first Saint John-Moncton Railway.The original plans were to put it directly through Sussex Corner, which wouldhave increased that town’s wealth and future growth. Many landowners refused tosell, however, forcing the powers that be to re-route the tracks……………..
CHAPTER: 50 BONDS OFMARRIAGE (Editorial Excerpt)
This is such acommon phrase today that most of us would give it no thought. It means simplythat a couple has married, in slightly ‘legal’ terms. In 1861 British Canada,it meant much more. Back then, a couple did not just announce their pendingmarriage and then rush off to the alter. Crown Law expected them, actually obligatedthem, to post legal Bonds of Marriage. These were documents that were drawn up,not only to announce the betrothal, but to allow for a specified time ofwaiting, in case anyone objected to the union. It was like a delayed marriagelicense, not active until paid for and signed. Conventionally, the announcementwould be displayed for one year at the local Anglican Church, allowing ampletime for the couple to change their minds or have parents or guardians step into protest a union. Once the bonds were properly displayed, the couple paid astaggering fee of L500 to the Royal Treasury for the right to get married.
Mary Ann marriedXenophon Taylor in 1858. Robert, the oldest, did not marry until October 13,1863, his wife Margaret Adare was from Donegal,Ireland. I donot know if either couple posted bonds; Mary Ann was a devout Methodist andRobert had unclear Religious views. Mary Ann was quick to point out, however,that only she and William were of a religious background, as if her otherbrothers were somehow not Christian. Personally, I see all three brothers asgood Anglicans, like their father. There is no reason to doubt that Robert,Samuel or Michael, Jr. were ‘less religious’ than were Mary Ann or WilliamHenry. As Methodists, Mary Ann and herbrother, William, viewed formal marriage bonds with disdain, thinking theChurch of Englandas more Catholic than Protestant. Even William, however, followed tradition andmarried as an Anglican when his time came.
William had knownIsabella M. Law all of his life. Their friendship had grown with each passingyear. Sometime in 1860, it is probable that William formally asked David Lawfor his daughter’s hand. These ‘doings’ often included both families; Michaeland Jane could very well have attended the meeting. By then, both Michael andDavid were older, well-respected community leaders. With both men being from Ireland, theywere perhaps more conscious of old-world traditions and the Upham AnglicanChurch was the heart of the community.
From Mary’ Ann’sletter, we know that William Henry was torn concerning religion. He was 24 in1860, so his abortive attempt to become a Free Will Baptist was probably wellbehind him. When pressured by his Anglican father and his Methodist mother, hecompromised in favor of his mother and sister’s church. He also was at aturning point in his life. Robert had rejected the farm, so Michael was lookingto William to carry on in his place as next oldest. If all met at the Law Farmto formally activate a marriage engagement, then David and Sarah would haveadded their wants and needs for the young couple, as well. Like the Creightons,David was old-world Anglican, but Sarah Chambers Law was probably Methodist,like her aunt, Mrs. Patterson. Mary Ann mentioned a pastor, Richard Smith, whoencouraged her to join the Methodists; perhaps he was the local minister at CreightonvilleChurch. The meeting, if it everhappened, must have been interesting. The old men would have argued theimportance of standing on Anglican traditions and prompted the couple to postbonds at Waterford and Sussex. Theladies, on the other hand, would have pooh-poohed the stuffy old churchregulations in favor of a less costly and probably happier wedding atCreightonville Methodist. Since Wilfred doesn’t say one way or the other in hismanuscript, we can only guess as to how this marriage carried out. WilliamHenry Creighton, 25, married Isabella M. Law on January 17, 1861, place anddenomination unknown.
Here, the storygets more involved. Samuel, age 23, and Michael, Jr., age 20, were stillunmarried and living at the big house with their parents when William andIsabella got married. One particular occupation, concerning both of theseyounger brothers emerges from Wilfred’s papers. Both were later milk dealersand I suspect that Michael’s farm became a major producer of dairy productsduring the railroad-building years, 1853-1859. Michael Jr., I feel, left thefarm about the time his brother married, probably to seek work in Sussex Cornerwith the McMonagles, who had completed their large inn and tavern. Sam aloneremained at home, but may have begun a relationship with Brice Creighton, ofSweeney’s Mills. It appears that Robert may have gone there to farm, as well.The railroad, evidently, brought the Creighton interests together from Saint John to Sussex and Samuel began investingin land, far afield. In 1861, after Williams wedding, Samuel joined WilliamHasty to petition for a grant of land in CharlotteCounty,near St. George. Of all the brothers, he appears to be the only one who tookadvantage of the greater economy that the railroad brought to the region.
The date ofWilliams wedding, however, bothers me. Eastern NewBrunswick is not a tropical paradise in January of any year. In1861, a formal wedding that time of year would have been a major feat, even ifit were held at Saint John.Maybe, just maybe, bonds were posted at the Anglican churches, but William andIsabella just couldn’t wait. It would not have been the first time youthfulzeal won out over traditional values. Instead of waiting for the summer and theposted time for marriage, the two may have run off to get married wherever theychose. It was probably at a MethodistChurch and most likelytheir own at Creightonville.
Instead ofWilliam and Isabella being showered with gifts and money, Michael gave them theOld Snider Placeto begin housekeeping (Robert, the eldest, was yet to marry). The newlywedsremained there for an undetermined time, even Wilfred, who once visited thecellar hole of the old place, did not know the duration. Close at hand was thebig harm above on the WaterfordRoad, William and now Isabella pitched in withSamuel and the other brothers to help the aging parents. Even with hired hands,it was a big farm to maintain.
Michael was now61, but still fit, tall and rudy-complexioned, showing his Celtic-Scots-Irishheritage. Jane was 63, but family tradition says that she was ‘tall, of slightbuild and dark complexioned,’ hinting at much older Pictish blood in herfamily’s past. The duo, both products of very large working families, wereprobably hard taskmasters, finding little patience with their children’sshortcomings. Michael perhaps related to Samuel and Michael, Jr. the most sincehe, like them, had been a younger son. He had been the fifth of six sonsfighting for recognition at the horse farm in Ireland. Now with his own largefarm to run, he was probably looking forward to lighter years as his sonsassumed command, which was their natural right. With Robert gone away but stillclose enough to visit, Michael was satisfied. Sam enjoyed speculating in land,but for the most part remained at the home farm. Michael, Jr., for the presentanyway, was more inclined to test his newfound freedom away at Hugh McMonagle’sfarm. This rapport with the innkeeper will get more involved later on.
Much credit hasto go to Isabella Law Creighton for bearing nine children in 17 years. Itbecame a full-time occupation. The list of children came from Wilfred Creightonand all can be placed with a year of birth except for two. Altogether, therewere three sons that died as infants. Using Wilfred’s data alone, Herbert couldbe dated as dying in a specific year, 1881. Michael and George were noted asdying ‘some years before” and Sarah was noted as being the fifth-born. Using myown means, I placed Michael as first born due to his name, after hisgrandfather Creighton. I placed a date of late 1861, ten or eleven months afterthe parents married. George, the second infant death, I placed as number seven,being born in 1870. Then I remembered seeing a copy of headstone inscriptionsrecorded years earlier by my aunt Doris Creighton Beers, one was a stone at CreightonvilleCemetery, which listed all threechildren. It confirmed my guess that Michael was the first child. He was listedon the headstone as dying February 3, 1863 at the age of eight months. Thiswould have made his birth date June 1862. This also makes Sarah the sixth-bornand not the fifth. The following, then, is the true order and birth years forthe children of William Henry Creighton and Isabella M. Law:
1. MichaelCreighton, b. June 1862; d. Feb 3, 1863 at 8 months old.
2. DavidLaw Creighton, b. September 29, 1863; d. May 29, 1914
3. WilliamHenry Creighton (Called Henry Creighton), born June 12, 1865; died 1919
4. JaneCreighton (called Jannie), born March 4, 1867
5. CharlesWilfred Creighton (called Wilfred Creighton), born July 14, 1868; died Aug 5,1944
6. SarahCreighton, b. 1869; d. Sept 06, 1890, at 21 years old of scarlet fever
7. GeorgeN. Creighton, b. Oct 1870; d. Aug 26, 1871 at 10 months old
8. CyrusDutcher Creighton, b. Dec 16, 1874 d. 1949
9. HerbertE. (Edgar?) Creighton, b. March 1879; d. Nov 6. 1881 at 2 years 8 monthsold
With the threeinfant deaths of Michael, George and Herbert came a new cemetery at CreightonvilleChurch; they were the first buriedthere. Today it is the last remaining place to bear the family name, aside fromCreighton Lanein Sussex Corner.
Now, knowing thatthe first child had died while at the Snyder Farm during deep winter, reasonscome into play as to why Samuel left the farm and William and Isabella movedinto the larger farmhouse with Michael and Jane………….
CHAPTER: 51 A DECADEOF HOPE (Editorial Excerpt)
The 1870s was atime of growth for the extended Creighton Clan, sort of a ‘Last Hurrah’ beforehard times set in. Michael, Sr. and Jane were also in their 70s, basking in theglory of what would become 18 grandchildren before the 1881 census. On the farmat Creightonville, the old couple were there to watch William’s children grow,but were also close at hand when death came knocking. Baby Michael had beengone since 1863. Then in August 1871, 10 month old George died as well, joininghis brother at CreightonvilleCemetery. In the yearsthat William and Isabella had lived on the big farm, they had become wellrespected by the small community. As “Squire Creighton” William, performing asJP, acted in much the same manner as the landed gentry in Ireland or the ‘Lairds’ of Scotland. Hebecame a leader of the nearby MethodistChurch, while his fatherMichael and David Law became the community Patriarchs, with each giving in hisown way to church and neighborhood. Both became firmly Methodist before theydied.
Now that we aredown to counting bushels of oats and heads of children, we must not lose sightof the overall history. Worldwide, the British Empire continued to grow and Canada was anintegral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. In Michael, Sr.’slifetime, Australia and New Zealand had gone from distant penal coloniesto becoming Canada’sequal. Because so many “Anzacs’ descended from criminal deportees from Ireland and Scotland, the ancient ScottishBrotherhood truly became a worldwide society. At the same time, great militaryregiments continued to be filled by young men of not only English, but ofScottish and Irish backgrounds. In India,Africa, China and Southeast Asia, thousands of inter-related Creightoncousins fought and died together as they had done for centuries. The greathouses were still alive, Douglas, Hamilton, Stewart (and Stuart), Sinclair,Mackenzie, Campbell, Montgomery and Kennedy. Almost every senior family thathad previous dealings with the old Clan Creighton now had expanded territoriesall over the world.
At the time thatthe Butlers, Joseph Brandt, John Simcoe and theHamiltons were founding settlements in Upper Canada(1783-1815), a Douglas founded his own empire in WesternCanada on the Red River of the North. He was Thomas Douglas 5thEarl of Selkirk (1771-1820) and, as such, a direct descendant of theDouglas-Creightons of Dalkeith and Earls of Morton. In 1803, he brought 800Scottish settlers from Saint Mary’s Isle, Kirkudbrightshire to PEI’s EastShore. The following yearhe purchased large portions of land in Upper Canada at Lake Saint Clair, which he settled with thesame PEI contingent as well as settlers from the United States. In 1810, Douglas bought interests in the Hudson Bay Company (inexistence since 1690), placing him in control of the richest fur region outsideof Russian Siberia. At the time, the HBC was in a violent dispute over controlof the fur regions with the competing Northwest Fur Company, called ‘Nor’westers’.It was all open and wild Indian country from present NorthDakota to Central Manitoba. In1812, Lord Douglas again brought in West Scottish settlers, 250 in number,sending them to a new grant of 3000 acres on the Red River.The Assiniboine, or Red River Settlement, with FortDouglas as a base, brought a firmScottish culture to the upper Great Plains,which mixed with both Indian and French-Canadians already there. Few realizethat many of the famous ‘Mountain Men’ of the western fur trade were Scottishnationals, complete with tartans and bagpipes. Leaders such as Alexander McKee,a cousin of Clan Magee, was one that interacted for years on the NorthernPlains and as far west as Oregon. I have found no direct Creighton involvementin this early western movement, but I am sure that there were at least femaleCreightons involved.
On the Americanside, Creightons of the Midwest became famous by a group from NovaScotia that settled in the early years in Ohio. In the 1850s, two brothers, John andEdward Creighton were influential in the building of the Union Pacific Railroadto Omaha, Nebraska,where both settled. This family, that also brought the telegraph to theAmerican West with the railroad, founded the JesuitCreightonUniversityat Omaha. Thereis also the town of Creighton in Knox County, Nebraska.Other Creightons settled East Texas in the1830s when it was still a Mexican state. The Comedian, Carol CreightonBurnett’s stepfather was a Creighton.
In EastwindWestwind, I wrote a piece that includedEdward and John Creighton’s participation in the growth of the American West. Iam including the section here, for it also shows the time and events that mayhelp explain Thomas French’s disappearance from PEIin 1850, perhaps to the Californiagoldfields. Like the arrival of the railroad to Sussex in 1853-59, the same feverof excitement struck both nations as the steel tracks snaked across theheartland:
“WhenGeorge Alfred Poore (1825) of the Jonathan of Newbury branch left Independence, MO, in 1848as a trader to Santa Fe,freight wagons were the main means of transportation. He probably traveled allthe way to El Dorado County, California,in this manner, opening a hotel and trading post at GreenValleyin 1851. For 8 years he traded and farmed near Sacramento. In 1858 it took 25 days to sendmail via the Butterfield Stage from Sacramentoto Independence, MO. In 1860, while he farmed a new locationin TahomaCounty, the Pony Express had cut histime to 9 days. Before moving again to Vallejo, SolanoCounty,in 1866 to start a newspaper, The VallejoRecorder, George regularly sent telegrams home to Newburyport, almost instantaneously. The‘Singing Wires’ had reached Sacramento in October 1861, thanks to a man namedEdward Creighton.’
Edward Creightonof Ohio had built the first line from St. Louis to Omahaby 1860. In partnership with Western Union, the California State TelegraphCompany and Brigham Young, the Pacific Telegraph Line was constructed acrossNebraska to Denver, meeting the western crews at Salt Lake City, which had comeeastward from Sacramento.
ThePlains Indians met what they called the ‘Singing Wires’ with dread. It randirectly through their ancient hunting grounds, the range of the northernbuffalo herd. 230 years before, the Penacook tribe of NewEngland felt much the same way about the coming if the Englishhoneybee. Both honeybee and telegraph foretold of an advancing white flood intoIndian lands.
Duringthe Civil War, President Lincoln authorized the construction of the UnionPacific and Central Railroads, to link in Utah as the first transcontinental railroad.Following the telegraph, the Union Pacific snaked across the country to Omaha. Many Poorerailroad tycoons and financial brokers helped manage the construction from Boston and NewYork, while others like Edward and John Creightonconducted the field design and engineering to lay the tracks. Another CivilEngineer, attorney and US Marshall who did the same was David Lawrence Morril(1827), son of Lydia Pooreof Goffstown, NH. A graduate of DartmouthCollege, this multi-talented manremained in the west, settling finally at Leavenworth,Kansas.”
Closer to home,Michael, Jr. and Margaret continued on their farm and Michael, Jr. perhapsbecame involved indirectly with British military imperialism. In working forHugh McMonagle, he was close to the activities surrounding the racetrack nearthe inn. Part way in toward Sussex,McMonagle had a dairy farm, which Michael seems to have managed. He lived therewith his family for a time in the early eighties. When my grandfather, Harris,was a boy, the racetrack was also used as a training ground for the localmilitia, the 8th Canadian Hussars. McMonagle, always interested inhorsemanship lent out his land to the military during the summer and fallseasons, the mounted soldiers offering a local atmosphere of excitement for thecitizens. Photos of the inn during this time show men and women dressed in thelatest London attire complete with bustleddresses and men with bowlers (Derbyhats). Michael was part of an equestrian world that had the inn and racecourseas its center. The mounted cavalry units were modeled after the old EnniskillenRangers, founded by Col. Abraham Creighton of Aghalane (CountyFermanagh, Ulster)and they would use McMonagle’s land to train until it became CampSussexin later years. By the First World War, CampSussexwould become the leading military emplacement and take up much of the town.Where the dairy farm was would one day become the firing range. The combinedmilitary and horse racing environment revolving around McMonagle’s Inn (also called Sussex House) may have had an impact onMichael, Jr. and his sons. Gambling may have been involved and that may answerwhy Michael’s life seems to have had so many ups and downs in ensuing yearsthat cannot be explained otherwise. Harris, as the oldest son, may also havebeen affected and this may explain why his life, as well, was wrought withmystery and strange behavior. My father also inherited a love of gambling thatmany times adversely affected our lives as children.
CHAPTER: 52 HEADSTONES(Editorial Excerpt)
The combinedCreighton farms entered the 1880s with high hopes, as prosperity reigned.Little did they know that many were soon to be tested by the fates and theirlives would alter forever. Whether it was the David Creighton clan of Penobscot Bay, Maine orJohn Creighton’s at Glenelg, NorthumberlandCounty, New Brunswick,all bathed in a sense of false security.
MichaelCreighton, Jr., unlike his brother William had not yet suffered the loss ofchildren dying. He, the youngest son, was 40 and William was 45 in 1880. Timewas creeping up on the Creighton siblings; Robert was almost 50 years old. As for their character and appearance, allthat there is to go on is Wilfred Creighton’s writings and old photographs ofWilliam Henry and Isabella as an old man and woman. Since the photo showsWilliam as a stern-faced elder with a full, white beard, it can be assumed thatMichael, Sr. may have had a similar appearance in 1880. William was a veryhandsome man in old age. Isabella appears the classic Victorian-Era matriarch,sitting surrounded by her family with a look of regality about her. The grownchildren, (the photo was taken in 1912) who were my grandfather’s firstcousins, are more contemporary men with styled hairdos and trimmed moustaches,befitting their status as sons of ‘Squire’ Creighton. If you look deep intotheir eyes, however, you will detect a hidden sadness.
As 1881 wound toa close, William and Michael, Jr. competed against each other on their separatebut very productive farms. Children were everywhere and fairly evenly spaced.William and Isabella at the Creightonville Farm had seven surviving childrenranging from two-year-old Herbert E. Creighton to eighteen-year-old David LawCreighton. Michael and Margaret, at Lower Cove Farm, had eight children rangingfrom thirteen-year-old Harris Edgar Creighton to three year-old HerbertFenimore Creighton, with a brand new baby, Crandell Michael, being born theprevious fall*. Samuel and Mary had four children in SaintJohn from ten-year-old Herbert Edgar Creighton to two-year-oldFrederick Oscar Creighton, plus Mary Ann and Xenophon’s daughter, EttaCreighton in Maine,who should have been around 27 years old.
*CrandellMichael is usually shown as being born December 12, 1881, but the 1881 censuslisted him as being three months old. This would mean that this birth wasprobably December 12, 1880, the census was conducted the following March.Before we continue, I want to point out another important thing in relationshipto names. Our main family mystery is the name and Scottish origin of MichaelSr.’s father. Look closely at three of the above-named cousins – William’s babyHerbert E.,Michael’s baby Herbert Fenimore and Sam’s oldest son, Herbert EdgarCreighton. Herbert, or more likely Herbert Edgar Creighton, must have been apast family member of great importance. My grandfather’s middle name was alsoEdgar, which he passed on to my father’s generation. It is probable thatWilliam’s son was also Herbert Edgar and this may have been the name of MichaelSr.’s father or grandfather from Scotland.
Although 1881 wasa census year, little indicates a change at Michael’s farm. It would seem thatall was as it had been ten years before at Lower Cove where he was shown as theowner. There is one subtle change, however. Instead of ‘Sub-district K, Parishof Sussex No. 2’ as per 1871, the 1881 census listed his residence as ‘Parishof Sussex 1’. To me, this indicates that the family was closer in to the centerof Sussex.I don’t think that Michael had lost the Lower Cove farm, but for some reason hehad the family at McMonagle’s, where he was working as a milk dealer ormanaging the dairy farm. One easy explanation is that the Creighton Farm, closeto the Kennebecasis got flooded out that spring; it was in the very flat regionsouthwest of SussexCenter. If Michael hadbeen my father, however, I would suspect that he lost the farm in a game ofchance and, through McMonagle’s help, had to fight to get it back. All that iscertain is that Michael and his children were in residence somewhere other thantheir home farm when the census was taken.
On November 6,1881, the first history-changing event occurred. At Creightonville Farm,William Henry’s young Herbert E. Creighton passed away. He was two years eightmonths old. Although he was the third son to die, his death, in particular,left William Henry drained. ‘Squire’ Creighton had learned to place all of hisburdens on God, but sitting at the child’s funeral at CreightonvilleMethodistChurch, he felt alone andabandoned. Perhaps his depression carried over to his family, for the oldestson David also began doubting in the Methodist training. David, at eighteen,was already looking at alternative religions (as his father had done with theFree Will Baptists). The Salvation Army was newly arrived in the Sussex region,but for the time being, he was more interested in the youthful pursuits ofwomen and moneymaking. The important thing is that father and son became tornover the random death of an infant, just when life seemed so full of abundanceand hope. I think that Herbert’s untimely death left all with similar feelings.
Exactly 41 dayslater, Michael Jr. had worked a long and hard day at McMonagle’s farm. He hadbeen in the fields with the threshing machine, although it was December 17th.Leading his team home, he met the children, who followed him to the barn towatch him put the horses away. His own young son, Herbert Fenimore, almost fouryears old, was with them and Michael seems to have tarried to play with thechildren before going to the house. Just then, a large Canada goose landed inthe barnyard. Michael saw it as food forthe table and he ran for his shotgun, which he had nearby. Somehow, youngHerbert saw the goose as a thing of boyish wonder and before Michael knew whatwas happening, Herbert ran in the path of the gun just as Michael fired. Theboy fell dead, age three years eight months. Two days later, the Sussex WeeklyRegister ran the following piece that documents the accident and confirms thatMichael, at the time was not living at his own farm:
“AtSussex on the 17th: a terrible accident occurred about a mile and ahalf below the Sussex Railway Station about four o’clock in which a fatheraccidentally and fatally shot his little son, four years old. MichaelCreighton, who is a milk dealer and resides on the McMonagle farm, had beenthreshing during the day, had just returned home with his team. While in thebarn with several children a wild goose flew close to the barn and settled onthe ground……”
Now the familyhad a double tragedy to deal with…………….
CHAPTER: 53 THE BORDER CROSSING (EditorialExcerpt)
At Michael’sdeath, the old Sussexhad grown to a sizeable community which included a growing military trainingcamp. It would remain an active facility through World War II. From CampSussex,local boys had enlisted for many of Britain’swars, including the Zulu Wars in South Africa and later the BoerWars in the same locality. It was the height of Victorian Imperialism and as inthe past generations, ‘colonists’ from the nether regions bolstered the Scotsand Ulsterregiments. New Brunswickwas no exception.
Looking at itfrom a modern perspective and knowing the families involved, it all seemssurreal, in a way. Each family has researched their particular branch foryears, collecting census reports, vital statistics and oral history. TheWilliam Henry line has probably done more than any, Wilfred Dixon (1893-1975),called Wilf, wrote “The Creightons” in 1975, David Creighton wrote a follow up in much moredetail in 1988 and he finally topped it off with a published book entitled: “Loosing the Empress, A Personal Journey” (TheEmpress of Ireland’s Enduring Shadow), Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2000. David’s brother, Fred (Cyrus Wilfred) has painstakinglycollected the lineage charts for all related branches and helped me a greatdeal when I wrote “Northwind Southwind” (TheLegacy of Michael Creighton). Their data not onlyrelates the ‘Empress Disaster’ which I will touch upon later, but their family’s role inthe Great War as Canadian soldiers. It is an impressive story. Michael, Jr.’sline, on the other hand all but disappeared as far as the other Creightonsknew. In a matter of a few years, the two groups, (Michael’s and William’sfamilies) went from being a very close farm-related group of cousins to onethat embraced separate lifestyles. Much had to do with Michael’s death and hiswidowed wife taking her children to the United States.
When Michaeldied, it seems that the extended family would have rallied to help Margaret andher children and perhaps they did. It is evident that Michael was a respectedmember of the Sussexcommunity, as much so as his brothers. Beverlywas old enough to run the farm with Crandell’s help and in past times, they andtheir older brother, Harris, would have assumed this role. Margaret should havebeen blessed with equal respect, retiring in comfort on her large farm. In reality, though, the two households wereseparate. Different ideals and backgrounds prevented true family unity.Margaret and Michael impress me as a family beset with hidden misfortune thatwe can only speculate about, while William and Isabella, with as manymisfortunes (loss of children), prospered. Perhaps it was the age-old mystiqueof Michael being the youngest son, but Robert, his oldest brother was knowneven less. William’s family had one all-important factor, though, which unifiedthem as a working family unit – The Salvation Army.
It was not justanother church; it was a sub-culture that had swept in from PEIand Nova Scotia in the early 1880s with rootsin England.Unlike other Protestant offshoots, it was a true army, led by a corps ofofficers from Ensigns to Adjutants, with staff members that operated like amilitary unit. It was so unique for the times that thousands flocked to itsdoors, seeking life-long membership and opportunities. They were literally‘Soldiers for Christ’ and everything in their lives revolved around the church.Through David Law Creighton’s early conversion (it was to him that Mary AnnTaylor directed her 1893 letter), his entire family, including both parents,became embroiled in ‘Army Life’, with the exception of one brother. By the turnof the century, the Army had spread to western Canadaand into the United States,its newspaper “The War Cry” heralding its approach with marching bands.
This same lifewas open to Margaret and her offspring, but she (they) evidently rejected it.The McEwens were Baptist and Michael had been Methodist through his mother,with Anglican connections through his father. My grandfather, Harris Edgar,went his own way as a teacher, his religious beliefs are unknown, but I am surethat he helped his mother through the initial years after Michael died. Withthe children’s help, she tried to hold on to the farm………………..
CHAPTER: 54 HILLFORTS(Editorial Excerpt)
In Post-RomanEurope, the ancestral Celts used ‘Oppidum’, or traditional hillforts, as alast-ditch form of defense. Over 1500 years later, their stone foundations canstill be seen from Central France to Western Ireland.The early 20th century Creighton farms of William Henry, HarrisEdgar and Silas R Creighton can be likened to Opidda, in the sense that theyrepresented a last holdout of traditional values rooted in family and land.
William Henry‘Squire’ Creighton’s farm on the Kennebecasis was not on a hill, but in a sensewas still a fort. In selling the Creightonville home farm, which was in hillycountry, William chose as a replacement a large crescent of land that abuttedthe big river but was within walking distance of downtown Sussex. Itslocation, with its back against the water, would assure a solid base for thefuture welfare of his children and grandchildren. It was also close toSalvation Army Headquarters in Sussex.
Of William’ssurviving children, David Law Creighton (1863-1914) married Bertha Jane Dixon(1869-1914) in 1892. She was an officer in the Salvation Army, as was he.Charles Wilfred (1868-1944) married Charlotte (Lottie) Lowry (1868-1960) in1896. She, as well, had come up through the ranks at Winnipeg as Adjutant. William Henry, Jr.(1865-1919) married Alice M. Hannah (1867-1943) in 1903. Jane Creighton (1867)married William Boggs; they too were involved with the Army. Of all thecousins, this clan was probably ‘most likely to succeed’ because of theircombined church involvement and the close proximity to Sussex society.A wonderful 1912 portrait survives showing William Sr. and Isabella LawCreighton surrounded by their offspring: David Law, sister Jennie, brothersCharles Wilfred and William Jr. with his wife Alice, and the youngest, Cyrus D.Creighton, the only brother not to marry or join the Salvation Army. Theyshared a lifestyle that placed them at revolving posts from Torontoto PEI, moving from town to town as the Armydictated, children being born along the way all over eastern Canada. Eventheir marriages required ‘Army’ approval, but they loved the travel andexcitement that the church provided.
In, 1914, asEurope rushed toward war, a more famous group photo was taken of David, Berthaand their five children just prior to leaving for a church conference in London. David, in fulluniform had a contented look of confidence; it was quite a handsome family. Thechildren were:
Wilfred DixonCreighton (1893-1975), author of the 16-page manuscript “The Creightons”.
Edith TheresaCreighton (1895-1988)
William HenryCreighton III (1897-1971)
Arthur HarrisonCreighton (1906-1973)
Cyrus CliffordCreighton (1909-1926)
The photo ofDavid’s family was taken just prior to an event that the current DavidCreighton devoted an entire book to. “Losingthe Empress”, published in 2000. In brief, anInternational Congress of the Salvation Army was called for London, England.As officers, David and Bertha were expected to attend and initially, the wholefamily meant to go. Finally it was decided to leave the children home and onlyDavid, Bertha and Wilfred made plans. Wilfred was a member of the band, but hetoo voted to stay behind. Leaving the younger children with relatives, Davidand Bertha set out for Quebec,where the party was to embark on the Empressof Ireland in May. There were 167 Salvationistofficers, 39 being Wilfred’s band. Since the Titanic sank but two years before, taking 1,517 lives, greatcaution was placed on all ocean liners to drill in shutting watertightbulkheads, the crew of the Empress could do so in 30 seconds, sealing the lower decks fromincoming water. Like the Titanic, the Empress was listed as unsinkable.
On May 29, 1914,the Empress left Quebec and steamed down the SaintLawrence River, bound for the open ocean. It was a clear andcloudless day. That night, a heavy fog rolled in and at 1:45 am, the Empress was hit amidshipsby a Norwegian coal-carrier, the Storstad, whose bow cut deeply into her side. In the fog, the twoships never saw each other until it was too late. The crew rushed to seal thebulkheads, but the damage made them in-operable. In 14 minutes, the ship sank.Of the 1,417 on board, there were only 397 survivors. David Law Creighton andhis wife Bertha Dixon Creighton were among the dead; their bodies were neverrecovered. 158 of the 167 church members lost their lives. When word reachedchurch headquarters at Sussex(called the Citadel, it burned in 1914), old William Henry Creighton wept foryet another lost son. In their memory, he erected the last family headstone at CreightonvilleCemetery.
MAJ. D. L. CREIGHTON S.A.
AGED 51 YEARS
BERTHA HIS WIFE
AGED 45 YEARS
DROWNED IN RIVER ST.LAWRENCE
MAY 29, 1914
WHEN EMPRESS OF IRELAND
Back in NewEngland, both Harris and his brother Silas married to the French sisters, Ada and Bessie, receivedword of the disaster, probably from William, in writing. By then, both hadestablished new ‘hillforts’ in NewHampshire. Harris had left a teaching career to goback into farming and his farm on Mt.Montcalm overlooking MascomaLake in Enfield,GraftonCounty,not far from the Vermontborder. It was very hilly country surrounding the long, narrow lake. Oak Hill,Shaker Hill, Methodist Hill, Jones Hill, all ran together with Montcalmovershadowing them all. Down below closer to the lake was a sprawling communityof Shakers who lived in a highly organized religious commune that boasted giantstone buildings and communal barns. Harris’ 300 acre farm was up on themountain above the Shaker community. Silas and Bessie’s farm was of acomparable size at Methodist Hill, closer to the town of Lebanon, but still in the same vicinity.
I recently foundHarris’ farm listed in the 1910 census, it is perhaps the last official recordthat he existed, other than his headstone when he died in 1949. His early lifein Sussexis a mystery. His career as a teacher is a mystery, as is his change to becomea farmer. About 1916, he left the farm altogether, apparently abandoning hisfamily and he literally disappeared, dying 33 years later somewhere (possiblyin Vermont)as a hermit. For me, he is the most elusive person in my life; I was three whenhe died. But in 1910, he was still the gentleman farmer and on May 7, FlorenceL. Wilson made the rounds of EnfieldTownship, GraftonCounty, NH as CensusEnumerator. She had just come from the Shaker Community and was beginningMontcalm District – Roll 861, Book 3, 173b:
Creighton, Harris Hd. Age42 Canadian (English) Farmer General Farm
Ada L. Wife Age 30 Canadian (English)
Leonard Son Age8 (born) Massachusetts
Edgar Son Age7 Massachusetts
Doris Daughter Age1 New Hampshire
That was theextent of Florence Wilson’s ‘enumerations’ and as usually occurs in censusreports, mistakes become official records. Leonard is my father, John LeonardCreighton, born not in Massachusetts, but PEI, Canada.The family moved from Tryon to Cambridge six months after he was born and hespent a lifetime trying to obtain lost birth records (courthouse in PEI burnedwith all records) to establish US citizenship. Brother, Edgar, who was born in Cambridge, MA,was Reginald Edgar Creighton and his sister Doris was Doris Mildred, first tobe born on the farm in NH. In book 3, Page 170b at Jones Hill District, EnfieldTownship was another family that hadgreat importance to my particular family, the Cloughs. The boy, Lyle F. Clough,grew up to become my father’s best friend through life.
Clough, ValM. Age 40 Hd. (born) NewHampshire Farmer General Farm
Minna Age 35 Wife New Hampshire
Lyle F. Age 7 Son New Hampshire
Carrie Age 79 Mother New Hampshire
Bartlett Age 77 Father NewHampshire
This shows thatdependent family elders were listed and Val Clough had in his care his motherand father, born in 1831 and 1833. When I was growing up, Lyle and his motherMinna were still living and we used to visit the farm. Minna Clough was aremarkable lady who served us her delicious date-filled cookies after wefinished the beef tongue sandwiches (also very good).
(MONTCALM NEWHAMPSHIRE ------ CREIGHTON HOMESTEAD)
Drawn by Doris Mildred Creighton Beers
My grandfather’sMontcalm Farm was as grand as William Henry’s farm in Sussex and 100acres larger. It had a large house, barns, outbuildings and a carriage house,orchards and fields, pasture land and a building that served as a cookhouse andhoused the hired hands (or ‘the help’ as they were called). His farmingtechniques would have followed the English Canadian mode, as Michael, Sr. hadtaught his children, and the household would have been ‘Canadian-Victorian’ ifa name was to be applied. Cattle were kept near the farm during the summer, butthey were herded down the mountain to winter pasture near the lake when coldweather came. His brother, Silas, at Methodist Hill Farm would have run hisfarm in the same manner, both having grown up at Michael, Jr.’s Sussex Farm atLower Cove. There was much hard work, but education and refinement was alsostressed, my father had a private tutor for classical violin. Adaand her sister, Bessie, were also from the ‘old school’, coming from Cornishand Scottish (French and MacKenzie) heritage, being raised in similarsurroundings in Prince Edward Island.A third sister, Matilda Ann French (b. 1877) lived in nearby Lebanon, NH,married to James Hall.
Harris probablyremained fairly content through the early years and he and Ada had six children before he ‘went off thedeep end’. They were:
John Leonard(Len) Creighton (1901-1968)
Reginald (Edgar)Creighton (1903-1972)
Harold Creighton (1906-1980)
Doris MildredCreighton (1908-2001)
Ruby LorenaCreighton (1910-stillliving-2006)
Ernest AlbertCreighton (1912-1963)
Silas and Bessie,at Methodist Hill, had eleven children, a true ‘tribe’ that remained rooted tothe region:*
Minnie BeatriceCreighton (1905-died atbirth)
Arthur FenimoreCreighton (1906-)
Crandell SilasCreighton (1909-)
Pearl Catherine Creighton (1912-)
Daisy OliveCreighton (1914-2000)
BeatriceElizabeth Creighton (1917-1926)
Clarence AlbertCreighton (1919-1976)
Donald NewtonCreighton (1921-)
Margaret JaneCreighton (1923-)
Wendell ThomasCreighton (1925-)
Ruth InezCreighton (1928-)
*Note:From this large group came many that I called ‘Uncle”; they had grown so closeto Harris and Ada’s children that they all were one, true extended family. We visitedCrandell Silas (Shorty) and his wife, Marion, so much as children that we knewhim to be our ‘uncle’, only to find out when we were grown, that he wasactually a cousin. From Clarence Albert Creighton alone came 12 grandchildrenof Silas and Bessie. ‘Uncle’ Clarence (murdered at Lebanon, NHin 1976) married Arlene Elsie Knowles in 1940. Their ninth-born, Albert SilasCreighton, b. November 14, 1952 is a fellow researcher and Creighton historian.He is actually a twin with his brother Elbert James Creighton. Al marriedPamela Evans March 5, 1970. Al recently pointed out that his son, Phillip W.Creighton has been previously overlooked in all Creighton charts and histories.
Seated Ruby Lorena Creighton Colclough onher 95th birthday, Sept, 30, 2006
Standing Left - her son, John CecilColclough and wife, Dorothy;
Center – her daughter, Jacqueline Ann andher husband Brian Purdy Handspicker;
Right – her son, Douglas Earle Colcloughand his wife Janet.
(Photo courtesy of Douglas Colclough)
Note: Ruby Lorena Creighton Colclough, the lastremaining sibling of Harris and AdaCreighton passed away on October 21, 2010 in Lynnfield MA at the age of 100.She was a loving and gracious woman. She will be missed.
Aunt RubyCreighton Colclough, alone, remains from the Montcalm Farm contingent, althoughher sister Doris Creighton Beers lived well into her nineties. Ruby is stillvery sharp-minded for her age, but has little if anything to say about herfather. My dad never discussed him either. She can relate points in time on theold farm that brings it to life, but she never really knew her father, HarrisEdgar Creighton; he left when she was still a young girl. She was three whenher uncle Crandell Michael came to visit in 1913. There is a photo that wastaken of him sitting in a Model-T Ford (below). I think that there was alreadytrouble on the farm; perhaps Adahad called Crandell in to talk with her husband. Based on stories I overheardas a boy at Daisy Olive Benson’s Farm (Silas and Bessie’s daughter), Harris mayhave been running around on Ada.Ruby had a very distinct look; she was red-haired and very pretty. About thesame time that she was born, another girl was sired in the general neighborhoodthat grew up to almost be her twin sister. It leads one to think the obvious,Harris was somehow involved and by chance coincidence, the two babies lookedalike in later years. It must have been something of that nature if the farmladies were still discussing it forty years later!.......................
CHAPTER: 55 TIES THATBIND (Editorial Excerpt)
When my fatherturned 16, he was in charge of a diversified crew. There was a 37 year oldmother, brothers, age 14, 11, 9 and 5 and sisters, age 9 and 7. I think thatfor whatever reasons his father left, there must have been some kind of mutualarrangement between Adaand Harris. Grandfather may have promised to send money to help support thefamily, but it was my father’s ultimate responsibility to run the farm. Hisyouth ended when Harris left the mountain.
With the war in fullswing, Leonard was faced with a daunting task. He was at the head of his classin school. Because of the war, learning German became mandatory. He was highlyintelligent and had plans to go on to college, as Harris had done; hisaspiration was to become a pharmacist. He was also an accomplished musician,although his violin teacher gave up on him because he favored country fiddleplaying to the classics. He excelled in guitar, piano, mandolin and theDobro-slide guitar with equal precision. He had no ‘off hours’, however.Because of the situation, when he was not at his studies he had farm work toattend to. The hired hands stayed on and their wages had to be met. Leonard andEdgar, as the oldest sons, were forced into working at any job that came along.Initially, Leonard ran a trap line, the sale of the dressed furs bringing inenough money to keep everything stable. He also hunted on a regular basis tosupplement the food larder. Much of this derived from the regional lifestyle,but he also learned much from his neighbors, one being an Indian from Maine. Prime pelts ofanimals such as wolverines or fisher cats (large member of the weasel family)could fetch over $200.00 a piece.
High school wasacross the lake and much too far to walk. Leonard hired himself out to a farmin EnfieldCenter, where he performed work inexchange for room and board. Whatever extra money he collected from odd jobswent to Ada andthe children. For companionship, were his boyhood friends Lyle Clough and TigheRiccard. The trio, too young for war, did whatever young men did back then in Enfield, NH.It was 1917, and with rationing for the war effort compounded with trying toretain the farm labor, Leonard, probably at his mother’s urging, applied for ajob. While still in high school and hunting and trapping to help the familysurvive, Leonard went down to the railroad yards.
This began a verylong career with the Boston & Maine Railroad. Leonard had grown up with thesound of the train down the mountain; the tracks coming up from Concord followed the edge of the lake and went into Lebanon before heading toward Vermont. If he were so inclined, he couldhave followed the tracks back to Sussex. His first job may haverevolved around his studies, working at any of a number of locations. The B& M was very big back then and offered a wide variety of work. Locally, itcould have entailed cleaning the depots to mending track. I remember himtelling us that one of his first jobs was to go with a crew to a wreck, wherehe saw his first man die when a crane toppled on him. This seems a hard lifefor a 16 year old in today’s terms, but he had acquaintances not much olderthan himself that were being gassed in muddy trenches in Belgium. Onedid what he had to do. Somehow Leonard managed to graduate with honors, but hegave up his college goals in exchange for full-time employment with the Boston& Maine. That would have been about 1919, shortly after the Great War hadended. What would have been his thoughts?
I have not dwelton the farm life, although it equaled or exceeded any Creighton farm in Sussex. I nowsee that it ended with Harris Edgar. His was the last generation of greatnessin Canadian agriculture. Although schooled as a teacher, he was first andforemost a master-farmer who had ‘old world’ roots through his grandfather. Ifhe had remained as Leonard’s role model, perhaps things would have evolved muchdifferently. In abandoning the family for what appears to be either weakness ofcharacter or self-gratification, Harris damaged the Creighton name and causedanger and resentment that lingers today. I think my father, before reaching 20,chose to distance himself from anything that even resembled his father or wherehis father came from. In making the decision, John Leonard Creighton placedPrince Edward Island (his birthplace) as his ‘ancestral homeland’, but as aFrench and as a Mackenzie, not as a New Brunswick Creighton.*
*On afinal note on those still at Sussex:following the “Empress” disaster, the younger children of David and Bertha were‘farmed out’ to other family members. In 1919, William Henry Creighton died atthe age of 84.
Following WWI,millions died worldwide die to the 1918 influenza pandemic. It passed over theMontcalm farm but lightly, only six year old Ernest got sick and he survived.It began as a strain of Swine Flu in Iowa,spread in canned pork to the trenches and from the Front, circled the globe ina matter on months. It re-entered the UnitedStates at Boston,killing thousands, but taking only the young and strong. Small children andelders, for the most part, were spared. It disappeared as quickly as itmaterialized, never to return.
Ada FrenchCreighton, after struggling for four years to survive with her children,finally decided to sell the farm. She had never been timid when it came towork. When her parents were sick and dying, she had done factory work to helpher younger siblings. Her memories of PEIwere undoubtedly varied. The current situation found her adrift again, but withher own children this time. To help Lenny, she had taken in laundry while thegirls sold eggs. Somewhere along the way, she began formulating a plan toescape with the kids back to Boston,where her own relations could help her start a business of her own.
Leonard had begunthe move when he transferred to the Bostonyards around 1920. Although his father was in nearby Cambridge, Leonard sought out his uncle, TomFrench (Isaac Thomas, 1866-1953), who helped him to get accustomed to the city.This is who his mother, Ada,had been taken in by when her parents died in 1895. Most of Ada’sbrothers and sisters now lived in New England.There are two photos of Leonard from 1920 on a lawn in a suburban area,probably Malden.In one he is alone standing by a tree, white shirt and narrow necktie, a frownon his young face. The other the other is taken the same day, he sits withDoris Mackenzie, perhaps a cousin and his date; they both wear frowns. Thisfacial expression became a lifelong trait, but in 1920 it may have reflectedhis overwhelming responsibility to his family. Leonard had continued to sendmoney home. He also began making extra cash playing music in bars anddancehalls, where his distinct ‘Country-Swing’ began to be noticed. When he hadextra time to spare, he worked part-time at a Boston pharmacy, renewing his old yearning toenter that field. Edgar, back home, signed on with the B & M like Lennyhad, working part time until he was finished with high school. His 1921graduation signaled the time for him, his mother, Harold, Doris, Ruby andErnest to ‘go down to Boston’.
‘Ada and Company’hitting town put an extra burden on Leonard. Long the dutiful son, he had puthis mother and siblings before his needs for years. He had sacrificed a collegecareer to become a railroad yard worker and, mainly due to his help, she hadbrought the kids away from the farm. Now as they grew older (four were still inschool), Len found that most of his income went toward the children’s upkeep,even with Edgar’s help. The youngest son, Ernest, was still sickly. He neverwas quite the same after surviving the 1918 influenza. The two brothers workedside by side for two years, mostly at Boston,sometimes at Hartford, but more increasingly at Concord, NewHampshire. By 1923, Edgar had removed himself fromthe situation by marrying Isabel Dow. At the same time, Ada broke away from her brother’s moreVictorian-style regime, Tom French was much older and set in his ways. With twoteenage daughters and a 17 year old son still in school, she at 42 was still ayoung woman and found Maldentoo restrictive. With farm restrictions behind her, she and especially herdaughters Doris and Ruby embraced the ‘Roaring Twenties’ lifestyle. Possiblygetting some kind of financial support from Harris (he may have remarried for atime after leaving the farm, according to Aunt Ruby) and with her son’s help,she bought a boarding house in Concord,New Hampshire. My father wasprobably already there and again, he became the chief provider for his motherand younger siblings. In later years, Ada toldpeople that her relocation to NewHampshire was for Ernest (the country air was betterfor his frail health), but I think that she only wanted to be closer to hermain source of income, Leonard.
Looking at thepictures taken from this time, it becomes evident that all were caught up inthe excitement of the times. Harold, Doris and Ruby entered ConcordHigh School,where my siblings and I graduated from years later. Group photos showing Ada, Doris and Ruby inthe twenties show three very attractive young women that could have beensisters, definitely not a farmwoman and her daughters. Smiles, beads andbangles, flapper dresses and fur coats. Leonard, too, is always in dressclothes and hat standing beside his mother; he was in many ways as flamboyantas his father had been. He became their lifeline and Ruby still speaks of himmore as a father figure than as an older brother. It was also a time of greatextremes.
The ‘Flapper-Era’was in full swing, with dancehalls everywhere. Alcohol flowed like springs ofliving water, and even at country barn dances, drugs from marijuana to cocainecould be had. My father even spoke of opium dens in Boston. On the opposite side were the verypoor, mainly immigrant Irish, French Canadians and Italians. Following WWI,thousands flocked to New England for betterlives only to find grueling lives in the factories as cheap labor. Leonardbecame yard foreman at the railroad complex in Concord and his work force was made up mostlyof men from this segment of society, many of them residents at his mother’sboarding house. Another side of him emerged, as labor leader that fought forworker’s rights, pitting him against the B & M management. It would becomea lifelong commitment that barred him from worthwhile advancement. It alsocaused a rift with Ada;she sought to rise above the disparity. Her tenants were a source of incomethat could take her and her children to a higher level.
Leonard, in themeantime, had formed a Country Swing band, the ‘New Hampshire Sate Hillbillies’ and since 1921, had his ownradio show based in Portsmouth, NH. This meant working full time at Concord while traveling around New England to dances andthen going across state to Portsmouthto air his show. Throwing his classical music training to the wind, Ada resented his apparentregression back to a rural lifestyle that she was trying to escape from. Ithink that she saw them all, after some kind of windfall, returning to Boston in triumph, whereshe and the children could delve into real estate and become rich. Leonard hadthe brains and talent to make this all happen, but not by playing a fiddle in abarn. Then, an unexpected opportunity arose, from one of her boarding-housetenants…………..
CHAPTER: 56 BURSTINGBUBBLES (Editorial Excerpt)
1928 began well with the firstbaby, John Leonard Creighton, Jr. born at ConcordHospitalon February 23rd. The Poores operated the largest blacksmith shop inConcord andwere related by marriage to almost every old family in the region. It was aboutthis time that Leonard began thinking of buying land locally and starting afarm, much to his mother’s horror. She was bent upon his leading her familygroup into a real estate venture, in Massachusetts.The country was still riding high on the post-war wave of prosperity and almostanything from milk to mink farms could be bought on credit. Whoever had money,invested in the stock market.
In Concord, one of Mom’s cousins had gone frombeing a schoolteacher to editing the local newspaper. He was also chairman ofthe New Hampshire Investment Company, married in 1928 to another Poore cousin,Sally Clement. The man was Styles Bridges (1898-1961), related to Sylvia’sgreat-great-grandmother, Anna Bridges of Rowley, MA. His wife’s family sharedthree separate Poore marriages in past times. Living in a stately mansion on Mountain Road in East Concord, the Bridges’ family remained communityleaders.
Harris Creighton was stillevidently in Cambridge, MA and living high on the hog and he, too,might have been one of the Capitalist investors. If my suspicions are correct,he may also have delved into a lifestyle of gambling. Old Margaret McEwenCreighton, his mother, was still alive in nearby Stoughton and the country as a whole baskedin a secure future. Adawas seeing her children reach maturity as her third oldest, Harold Creighton,age 22 married Ruth Crownan in 1928. This left only Doris age 20, Ruby age 18and Ernest age 16 at home at Malden.Then, on a Friday afternoon in October 1929, ‘Black Friday’, the bottom droppedout of the Stock Market.
It is impossiblefor those of us who did not live through it to appreciate the panic that BlackFriday caused. Entire fortunes were lost in a matter of one day’s trading.Hundreds committed suicide within hours of the news. Banks folded overnight.Styles Bridges in Concord, NH lost his investment firm, putting him outof business. Bert Poore, on his massive dairy farm in Candia,reeled from the impact, but tried to hold on. Layoffs rapidly followednationwide, leaving thousands unemployed; there was no national system to helpthose in need. The entire nation was heavily (and willingly) in debt, thanks toa decade of installment buying, Loans were called in to salvage what remainedof the banking system.
At the Boston& Maine, management took immediate action to throw off devastation. It wasprobably at this time that Ernest Poore was forced into early retirement due tohis blindness. He received a gold pocket watch and little else; he fell in to adeep depression that matched that of the country. Massive layoffs followed,those with foresight, like many of the Irish railroad workers, joined thepolice force, where they would soon be placed to quell union troubles. The samehappened across the country as railroad unions fought for workers relations tosave jobs. My father, as president of the local brotherhood, held his position,but was transferred to Boston.
For over a year,Leonard and Sylvia lived in a walk-up tenement on Milk Street, just a few blocks from wherehis uncle Millage had died, in 1893. Work was cut back, causing him to seekother forms of employment to supplement both his and his mother’s income. Likehis uncle, he worked selling ice door to door with a horse and wagon. He workedin a bowling alley setting pins, whatever it took to put food on the table. Itmust have been a very hard time for them. Ernest Poore joined them, having hisown rented room nearby, but his drinking often found Sylvia traipsing out inthe night to carry him home from speakeasies. She told of manhandling herbrother ‘blind drunk’ up flights of stairs, carrying him over her shoulder toput him to bed. I think that both she and Leonard were drinking as well; Dadoften played music in the bars. By 1930, she was pregnant once more and they wereagain sent home to Concord,New Hampshire by the railroad.
That February,Sylvia’s brother, Vernon Sherman Poore, died unexpectedly at the Candia Farm ofLobar Pneumonia less than three weeks before his 18th birthday. Bert Poore finally gave up, selling the farmand moving to Penacook, NH. Sylvia’s younger brother, Lester Danielwas still in high school and her mother, Susie Hussey Poore, was becoming sickwith cancer. Soon to give birth to her second child, she now had her own(Poore) family to care for as well. On October 9, 1930, my oldest sister,Virginia Sylvia Creighton, was born. The following year, Leonard’s grandmotherMargaret died in Massachusetts and possibly,as a result, her son Harris pitched it in and went to Vermont. For the remainder of his life thathad begun with such high hopes in Sussex NB, Harris dropped out of society andbecame a recluse. He still had his 1910 Model-T Ford, but would remain ashadowy figure with a long flowing beard. Whenever he did return to Massachusetts, it wouldbe to hide out at his daughter Doris’ house, or in Harold’s upper room. Sincemy brother, John, saw him only once as a boy, I assume that Dad kept track ofhim, but we were never told. That would have been about 1939.
On August 6,1932, the Creightons had a third son, Glen, who died one day later. He was thefirst of four infant fatalities that were interspersed through thechild-rearing years. Times had gotten increasingly worse as the GreatDepression heightened. Long periods of lay-offs began as railroad managementwent to loggerheads with union activists. That same year, Congress voted torepeal the ‘Union Shop’ rule, siding with railroad management, all unionactivities formed in the past six years became null and void. This reversal ofthe law placed Leonard in direct conflict with his employers and the strikesbegan……..
On November 28,1946, I was born at ConcordHospital. The family hadresided for years in East Concord within walking distance of Senator Bridges’mansion, now the Governor’s Mansion for NewHampshire.
Sometime in 1949,word came from Uncle Harold that Harris Edgar Creighton had died in Vermont, reportedly fromsome kind of logging accident. We have recently learned that Uncle Edgar wentto Vermont to drive the old Model-T back to Randolph, MA.Uncle Edgar died in 1972 and his children don’t know where Harris had lived. Sincethe town was not known we found no vital records for Vermont for that year. Neither were recordsfound for Massachusettsto indicate his death that year; therefore, his death certificate has not beenlocated.* We would need to know the exact town to find it. The searchcontinues. He also appears in no national census after 1910 that I have found.We have recently been told of a funeral which was held for him in 1949, perhapsat Harold’s home. Hopefully some of Harold’s descendants can help us in thismost baffling and frustrating family mystery. We do know that Harris’ body wastaken to Stoughton, MA,where he was buried beside his mother, Margaret McEwen Creighton, at EvergreenCemetery. He would have been 82 yearsold, so any ‘accident’ might have happened at his home, maybe he was cuttinghis own trees and one fell on him. Later that year my sister, Susan LorenaCreighton, was born on August 5, 1949. By then, we were living in Loudon, NH.
*Editor’sNote: 11 Feb 2010
I wascontacted by Janet McHugh, granddaughter of Harris Edgar Creighton to inform methat Vermontrecords had been opened for the year of Harris’ death, 1949. I immediatelylooked and found the death certificate. He died in Bennington, VT at Putnam Memorial Hospital onMarch 14, 1949. Cause of death listed as Congestive Heart Failure. He hadundergone a gastrectomy in 1946 at MaryHitchcockMemorialHospital in NH where theyfound cancer. This was the underlying cause of his death. The long wait wasover to know of our grandfather’s end.
CHAPTER: 57 THE LIONIN WINTER (Editorial Excerpt)
If I were todesign our own particular Creighton Coat of Arms, it would have no earls orbarons crown. Michael the Rabbit Poacher had no lineage of record to a knownScottish line, so it should not be used. If the Downpatrick Creightons were acadet branch of the Creightons of Crom and in such going back to the Creightonsof Brunston, even they would have had altered arms. Depending on Michael’sfather’s ranking in order of birth, the border of the shield could have had anynumber of variations. The only known elements would have been the blue lion ona silver shield, surmounted with the green-dragon crest above the helmet. Thisis the basic Creighton arms, “God Send Grace” being our family motto.
I would begin ourpersonal arms with Michael, Sr. with a full silver shield as ‘First of OurLine’. He was, however, the fifth-born son from a second wife of his father.Subsequently, his cadence marking would have been relevant to his status and Iam not sure what they would have been. Starting over with the base-shield,then, makes it easier and he did found a new dynasty in Canada.
In our directline, Michael, Jr. was his fourth-born son and, following Scottish heraldry, hewould have been granted a border colored ‘gules’, or red. This red-borderedshield with the blue rampant lion on silver would have remained constant forhis eldest son, Harris Edgar, with my father, John Leonard Creighton, followingsuit as his first-born. Beyond this, cadency gets much more complicated forsons of sons, each of my brothers and I would have had slight changes basedupon tradition and Scottish laws with the exception of my oldest brother, John,Jr. and his first-born son. Our lion, though, might look not quite so ‘rampant’as in past generations. Age and many travels would have blunted his teeth andtalons; even the dragon crest might have lost some of its fiery bluster, thus,A Lion in Winter.
As for my sisterSusan and me, we came at the end of the family ties that connected us with theScotch-Irish ancestors. We knew only that our grandmother Adaand her sister Bessie Creighton were French-Mackenzies from Prince Edward Island. I don’t think thateither one of us had ever heard of New Brunswickor of Sussex,until we grew up. Dad was always a PEI Canadian. He was so proud, in hissixties, to finally obtain his U.S. Citizenship. He made us all read his vow torelinquish claim to “Queen and Country”.
I see both mysister and myself as almost afterthoughts to family history. Dad was 37 whenbrother Ben was born. The end of the war in 1945 probably brought visions offinally getting out of the endless slump. John, Jr. was grown to maturity, aswas Virginia.He and my mother began planning to buy a real farm away from the city in whatwas hoped to be another post-war boom. My emergence on the scent shortly beforemoving to Loudon must have been a shock.
Note: The rest ofthe story comes directly from the Poore book, EastwindWestwind; it chronicles our family from this timeforward. I will reproduce it not as adirect quote, but as an ongoing part of this overall story, beginning in 1945,at war’s end.
CHAPTER: 58 DIAMOND HILLL (EditorialExcerpt)
The long and bitter war finally ended. Sylvia kept newspaper clippingsof key events and battles, pocketing them away in the secret compartment of thedining room buffet, where she kept her lace tablecloths. A plan was looselylaid to get the family out of the cramped conditions of the EastConcord houses, late in 1945. There had actually been twoconsecutive houses, one larger than the other, located not far apart near theschool. East Concord had been good to them,for the most part, allowing John, Jr. and Virginia a stable home environmentwhile they went through their adolescence and entered high school. John, at 17,had developed such tight bonds with his East Concordschoolmates that he would choose to build a house and raise his children there.Virginia, aswell, had developed into a pretty 15 year old who balanced schoolwork with herhome duties and helping in raising Dan, Bea, Perley and Ben. She watched withgrowing interest as her older brother gravitated toward the Lamora Farm by theriver. She knew that his main attraction was the Lamora daughter, Virginia.
How many of you have ever taken the time to weigh the affects of wordsand actions? We all go about our daily lives interacting with others, but haveyou thought about how the simplest statements can cause far-reaching ripples inthe world around us? If you look deep enough, you will find that sometimes yourvery life balances on the brink of decisions made before you were born.
The winter house hunting had brought not one, but two possiblelocations. Len favored the closest, which was 10 miles away in LoudonVillage.The road led from their house past Ernest’s boarding home on Oak Hill Road. At the Baldwin Farm, theroad dropped down into the SoucookRiverValley.The house in question was well built and included an attached shed and horsebarn; it even had the town’s old blacksmith shop in the rear of the property,but what Sylvia found lacking, was land. The entire ‘farm’ was just over ¾acres.
Sylvia’s first choice was a more substantial farm, west of Concord, on Diamond Hill Road.This area was rich in scenic beauty, with large open fields and rolling hills.The Diamond Hill Farm also had a substantial house and barns, but best of all,it contained over 10 acres of land. Sylvia loved this location; it reminded herof Bert’s farm in Candia, but on a smallerscale. There was a fruit tree orchard, pastureland and plenty of space to plantcorn and vegetables. With the six children, she knew that this farm offered thebest opportunities. Even in cost, the Diamond Hill Farm was the best deal. Itwas selling for $4,000. The smaller, village-bound farm in Loudon would cost$4,700. Another reason Sylvia wanted this house was that it had a bathroom andpossibly hot running water. In her entire41 years with Len, she would only have had a bathroom for six months of thattime.
By the beginning of 1946, Sylvia and Len battled back and forth. Ireally know next to nothing about this incident, but I have always wondered whyDad did not want the Diamond Hill Farm. As for the Loudon location, I cannotsee how he could have even begun to compare the two. Both being as stubborn asmules, however, they stood their ground. I am sure that John Jr., Virginia, Danand Bea offered their opinions as well; it must have been a fun household thatwinter. The only thing that I can think of, when Sylvia finally gave in andaccepted the Loudon home over the bigger farm, was alcohol.
Sylvia had not touched a drop for thirteen years, ever since thedevastating fire at Uncle Edgar’s. Len, on the other hand, drank more and moreas the years progressed. He was now 44 and far from being the freewheelingmusician of the 1920’s. His mother had continued to remind him of howsuccessful Edgar, Harold, Ruby and Doris hadmade their lives, his brother Ernest had even gone overseas during the war. Hehad never progressed beyond the railroad yards on the B & M; he had littleadvancement to look forward to there. Having wasted half of my life todrinking, I can relate to his dilemma.
The Diamond Hill Farm should have been obtained without a secondthought. Sylvia, as a non-drinker, had no trouble seeing the obvious, but Len’sreasoning had become distorted with time. He felt old and worn out. Ada’s incessant harpingon his station in life forever damaged his sense of self-worth. He knew betterthan anyone what he was capable of attaining, if he wanted to, but he had madea stand, years ago, to remain in NewHampshire, for Sylvia’s sake. His father, who he had once admired, hadbecome a complete nut case, wandering the VermontMountainswith a beard down to his knees. The depression, pouching deer and skinningmuskrats to feed his family had left Len beaten. I honestly feel that he wasafraid to buy the bigger farm, too much was expected of him; he would probablyfail there as well.
He saw Loudon as a safe and familiar place, much like the smallvillages of GraftonCounty. The house wasjust beyond the village and river, being the second lot from the corner ofState Route 106 and School Street.All of the adjoining lots had once been large farms, but the fields that oncewent deep into the Broken Grounds had long since grown back to pine forest. Heknew that the small rear yard could be converted into a sizable garden forSylvia and there were outbuildings for livestock. The Broken Grounds was wherehe had hunted and trapped for 20 years and best of all, Loudon was where hisdrinking buddies were located.
Len had been familiar with the town of Loudon since before he met Sylvia, where heplayed at the Wild Rose Farm on Loudon Ridge. In 1946, the old speakeasyremained a hangout for the old gang, a place to quench the thirst and playmusic and poker.
With a heavy heart, Sylvia began packing to move to Loudon. They hadpurchased the property. Lester had left for Florida, alone. This left her even moredistraught. To make matters worse, after three miscarriages in eight years, shefound that she was pregnant once more. Now she, like Len, began to ponder theodd twists and turns of her own life, 39-years-old and another baby to feed;where would it all end?....................
CHAPTER: 59 PINEISLAND(Editorial Excerpt)
In many ways, it had already ended, but with endings, come newbeginnings. A very close-knit family of eight travelled the back road between East Concord and Loudon. Dust billowed from the rear ofneighbor’s pickup trucks, helping the Creightons move. John Jr. had graduatedfrom ConcordHigh School the previous year and nowworked with Len at the railroad yards. Virginia,at 16, was just beginning to attend Concord High, but Dan, Bea, Perley andBenny would be integrated into Loudon’s rural 8 grade school system. Afterliving within walking distance of Eastman Elementary for years, the youngerchildren were not keen on moving.
As for the village and town of Loudon,Sylvia neither loved, nor hated it. It, like any other between Kitteryand Montpelier,could best be described with a single word: Cousins. This is what separatedSylvia from her husband. He, being a Canadian import (he remained a residentalien until the 1960’s), had little historical connection to the region.Although his parents moved to New Hampshirewhen he was very young, he was raised near the Vermont border with only Uncle Silas’children as close relatives. As the son of immigrants, he was forced to fighthis way into the rural New England culture.Sylvia, as we now are well aware, was related to just about every old familyalong the Merrimack Corridor. The only real change that had occurred was a townborder. Loudon, only 10 miles from adjoining East Concord,became an extension of what she had recently left behind, town gossip.
The Bluebloods of New England society, such as the Cabot andSaltonstall families, were famous for their selective pecking order. Theircombined pedigrees were well known by all. In the towns and villages, the sameheld true for the lesser families. They naturally fell into groupings regulatedby family descent (and income level), from the first families of the 17thcentury. Loudon was no different. It dated back to the early 1700’s and theIndian wars, with the majority of the old settlers being from Essex County, Massachusetts.The oldest family in Loudon was the Batchelders, descended from Rev. StephenBachiler of Hampton.Sylvia was well aware of her Loudon ‘Cousin Ring’. There was the banker, JimHackett and the schoolteacher, Mrs. Marston. Hager, Brown, Cate, Chagnon, Fiske, Muzzie, Willey, Lamprone, Dirth,Neff, Cunningham, Mackenzie, Chesley, Paquin, Buzzell, Dow, Downs, Barnard,Maxfield, Mulkhey, Maynard…she was related to the whole town in one way oranother. With this knowledge came the realization that she knew many familysecrets, best kept unspoken. Grace Matallis tried to bring some of thesestories to light with her book “PeytonPlace” and spent the rest of her life in lawsuits.
To understand Loudon, you must have a rudimentary knowledge of how New Hampshire gossipworks. It had risen to a fine art over the centuries and had certain etiquetteapplied to it. The advent of the three-party telephone line had brought it toits ultimate form and just three houses up the street, was the gossipheadquarters of LoudonVillage. It was theMildred Cate-Dorothy Downs sector.
Mildred and Dot lived on opposite sides of School Street; no one could pass withouttheir knowing about it. Similar sectors were positioned all over Loudon andextended out into the farm country on Loudon Ridge. Only on the outskirts oftown and society (the shanties of Coopersville or the ‘swamp dwellers’ ormuskrat trappers in the Bee Hole), did things go on unnoticed. The routine wentsomething like this:
“Dot? This is Mildred. I just got a call from Mrs. Avery in East Concord that there’s a new family moving into thehouse down by the Hager’s. ‘You know anything about it?”
“Aye up,” said Dot (this is usually pronounced Ay-yunt, with a silent‘n’, spoken often as three rapid words, the first ay-yunt spoken with a sharpinhale, the second and third following immediately with diminishing exhales…),Bertha Mulkhey just called me, the Potter’s saw them go by. I hear its ErnestPoore’s sister, Sylvia.”
“You mean that blind man who lives in the old boarding house byTurtletown Pond? Why, your not talking about the Creightons are you?” Mildredcouldn’t wait to get Dot off the phone (of course, half the town was listeningin by this time) to call her sister, Georgie, who lived next door.
You have to have a map to show it correctly, but Mildred Cate and herhusband John lived on the north side of the street, directly across from theDowns’ house (Dot’s husband, Harlan Downs, was chief of the voluntary firedepartment). Just east of Mildred was the farmhouse of her sister Georgia andher husband Ni (Adiniram) Chesley. Ni Chesley worked with Len Creighton on therailroad. Ni’s neighbor to the east (and adjoining the new Creighton Lot) wasJohn Cate’s brother, Hi (Hiram) Cate and his wife Jessie, who was Loudon’s TownClerk. Directly across SchoolStreet from them, Dan and Mynah Reardon owned asmaller house, but it was still a farm. All of these farmhouses were a stone’sthrow from Sylvia and Len’s new house.
Like Indian scouts, the homeowners along Oak Hill Road from EastConcord to Loudon phoned in their sightings to Dot or Mildred, whorelayed the news on to others all over town. By the time Sylvia and Len hit theintersection of School Streetand turned east past the two-room schoolhouse, every window had a face (or two)pressed to the glass, discreetly hidden behind lace curtains. As the Creightonmoving party pulled into their new dooryard, everyone in the township knew oftheir arrival. The youngsters, Perley and Benny hit the dirt running, chasingchickens that had escaped from a crate, which fell off a truck. Sylviacorralled the rest to begin unloading the vehicles.
Sylvia, Len and the children had traveled many hard roads together. Asa family unit, they had helped one another survive one of the most difficulttimes of the twentieth century. All in all, it should have been a good time oflife, being much like when Erie and Margaret Pooremoved into HooksettVillage, after most oftheir kids were grown. But as Sylvia supervised the unpacking, she looked aheadto at least another 18 years of child rearing. She would be almost 60 by then.
The house was not unlike that of the original Poore homestead inNewbury. The living room, downstairs bedroom and two upstairs bedrooms formedthe core of the original 1742 colonial home. It was originally 24 feet square,the same as John and Sarah Poore’s. In the center was the old centralfireplace, now bricked in and unused. A very steep and curving, narrow stairwound up behind the fireplace from a tiny entryway off the front porch. A lateraddition included a large dining room-kitchen, separated by another dualfireplace, bricked in like the first. Above it was a low attic, accessed fromthe upstairs bedroom. To the kitchen was added a small pantry. The house ‘asis’ contained no modern sink, only a small electric pump. The well in the frontstill had the old hand pump, which Sylvia would soon remedy. The largetwo-story barn had once stood alone, but had been attached to the kitchen by ashed, making the whole affair a rather long and narrow home. There was no otherindoor plumbing. There was a women’s outhouse in the shed and two more, for themen, in the barn. One was for summer and the other for winter. Wood burningstoves provided both heat and cooking.
To this house came the accumulated wealth of the Poore past. Sylvia hadbeen able to salvage some furniture from her parent’s farm before George Seaviesold it, but much had been taken (by family or neighbors) after Bert and Susieleft it and moved to Penacook. She and Len chose the downstairs bedroom, wherethe set once owned by Erieand Margaret was placed. The headboard of the bed was of dark wood, but thedresser and commode were beautiful blond-colored wood-veneer pieces,intricately carved and detailed. Packed away in an old trunk were Erie’s Civil War sword,his discharge papers, Bert’s diary, Joseph Poore’s pewter powder flask from theFrench and Indian War and Samuel Poore’s continental currency from the AmericanRevolution.
Sylvia altered the kitchen by herself. She owned her own carpentrytools and tackled the old room. She put in a sink, brought in piping from thewell, installed a pump underneath and installed cabinets and shelving for thepantry. Behind the stove went the old ironing board, made by Sam Poore in 1784for Anna Bridges, still much in use. This small room also contained Sylvia’swringer washing machine, a large cook stove and a small drop-leaf table withtwo chairs. It was also the main entry to the house and as such, became themudroom, complete with coat rack. With the stove going night and day all yearlong, the kitchen became the favored room for everyone.
The dining room received Bert and Susie’s leafed table with eightmatching chairs, with Len occupying Bert’s wing chair with the broken back,damaged during the fight between Ernest and his father 30 years earlier. Withthis table and chairs was a matching china hutch and large Victorian Buffet,which was the most elaborate piece of furniture in the house. From the frame ofits ornate mirror to the glass-balled lion’s feet, the old piece heldeverything from lace doilies to homemade jellies and jams. Every section of exposedwood was carved with scrolls, lion’s heads and mythical creatures. Resigned toher fate, Sylvia set up housekeeping and unpacked her iris bulbs from theirsand-filled boxes. Planting them in the front of the house, she announced tothe neighborhood that she was here to stay. For all I know, these tender flowerbulbs (or their ancestors) also went back to the time of Samuel Poore.
The upstairs became the abode of the six children (five really, JohnJr. was 19 and gladly willing to flee the nest). Virginia and Beatrice took theroom with a door. The four boys claimed what had once been an open loft, withthe old chimney rising up through the ceiling at the stair railing. As theymatured one by one, these two rooms would become their point of departure to anadult life.
Things finally settled into their proper locations. Len, happy to havea new home to tinker with, began his garden and set up his beehives in the backyard. Sylvia, heavier and heavier with child, set out her iris and lily bulbsand planted petunias and geraniums. The kids worked the ranch, herdingchickens, ducks, rabbits and goats and soon began exploring the surroundingterritory. Relationships began to occur with the neighbor’s children. Bysummer’s end, Carol Chesley and Andrew Downs were at Sylvia’s house more thanthey were at their own homes, playing under the elm and maple trees in thefront yard as Len pulled out his kitchen chair and struck up an old Irishfiddle tune.
Thus began this 22-year-love affair with Loudon. As crickets chirpedand nighthawks flew past the moon, Len’s violin sang out over the trees toreach deep into the Broken Grounds. Sylvia, sitting beside him, had to smile.Perhaps his insistence on taking this small house instead of the Diamond HillFarm had merit after all, but only he knew the reasons back then. Approaching50 and with another baby on the way, I believe that he needed the peace andsolitude that Loudon offered. He had spent half of his life in these woods; heknew them better than any other man. The six older children, who had moved somuch in their short lifetimes, could not appreciate it as he did, except forVirginia, who still lives there. He knew that the next child (and any thatmight come later) would grow up here and perhaps learn its secrets. Naturalbarriers to an outside world assured that all would be safe, if they wanted tobe. The SoucookRiverflowing to the Merrimack was the eastern door,the expanse of the Broken Grounds, with beautiful Pine Island Brook meanderingthrough it held the south, Oak Hill barred Concord’s encroachment and the swamps of theBee Hole blocked the northern reaches. This one tiny portion of the township of Loudon became Len’s personal island,where he shut out the world. It was his PineIsland.
By November, it was apparent that Sylvia was having a hard time withher 11th pregnancy. Virginia, who had helped midwife her youngerbrother when she was eight, did not feel comfortable helping this time. After14 years of giving birth at home, Sylvia chose to have this baby in thehospital. On November 28, 1946, James Harris Creighton was born at Concord’s MargaretPillsburyMemorialHospital.
CHAPTER: 60 LAST EGG IN AN EMPTYING NEST (Editorial Excerpt)
The baby at first appeared healthy, but through the winter it began tosicken. Sylvia nursed him as she did all of her children before him, but heremained small and unhealthy. When the family doctor was finally called in, thebaby was almost dead of malnutrition. The nourishment in Sylvia’s milk was‘gone bad’. I can say with all sinceritythat I owe my life to old Doc Boucher (pronounced Boo-shay), that overweight,foul-smelling chain smoker and alcoholic that poked and jabbed me for a decadeor more. Somehow, he figured out thatgoat’s milk would keep me healthy enough until I could start on solid foods. Ihate goat’s milk to this day.
Sylvia and Len were as strapped for money as they had ever been. Oncethe house was financed, little else remained. Len’s 30 years with the B&M and all of his hard work still offered avery small pay check. The setting had changed, but he and Sylvia’s small tribewas faced, like they always had been, with growing, hunting, fishing andgathering to survive.
John Jr. turned 19 in February. He was restless and regretted leaving East Concord, where his friends were located. He lovedworking on and driving cars and whenever he could, he drove the 10 miles acrossOak Hill to socialize with his old schoolmates. He continued to date his highschool sweetheart, Virgie Lamora. On August 28, 1947, John Leonard CreightonJr. married Virginia Aurora Lamora. They set up their first household at Riverside, on the ContoocookRiver,but it was broken into and vandalized. Virgie’s parents offered them a portionof the family farm in East Concord, where theylived for years in a tiny house built by John, which would eventually becomethe garage, after he finished building the permanent home adjacent to theircramped quarters.
And thus a tradition had begun. John had shared the small upstairsbedroom with Danny, Perley and Benny. Four boys age 9 to 19 with only threebeds must have been fun to deal with. Benny and Perley, age 9 and 10, had toshare one bed. Dan, at 14, had grown into his own bed, as had John as seniorbrother. In the adjoining bedroom, 17-year-old Virginia and her 12-year-oldsister Bea shared another bed. As John packed his clothes and belongings, thecloset space was immediately taken over by the boys and Perley and Beatricefought over who would claim his vacant bed. The nest was beginning to empty.
I, as the new hatchling, remained in Sylvia and Len’s bedroom below,safe in my crib. For five years, it would remain my center of the universe. The‘upstairs’ became a mythical land where the Older Five dwelt, a distant placebringing sounds of mayhem as I hid in fear under my quilts. Night after night Iwas sung to sleep by Sylvia’s lullaby, “You kids better shut up and go tosleep, or I’ll come up there with the yard stick!”
Until the summer of 1949, my life changed little. My revolting diet ofgoat’s milk (I wonder who had to milk the goat?) eventually changed to moresubstantial foods, but I remained undersized and weak. As the youngest memberof our ‘tribe’, I was communal property and the Older Five took turns watchingout for my welfare, during those brief moments when Sylvia chose to put medown. I was usually carried around on her hip like an appendage, fearfullybalancing above the ground as she hung clothes on the line, or cooked. I’msurprised that I ever learned to walk. Someone was always carrying me, or Lenwas throwing me up against the ceiling like a basketball.
I had no way of knowing, by my second birthday, that my world hadchanged forever. By late winter, 1949, Sylvia discovered that she was onceagain carrying a child. It was her twelfth and last, she was 41 years old. Howit happened is both funny and sad.
Late in 1948, Sylvia became ill with a terrible back pain. She was soweak that Virginia, who was in her senior year at Concord High; quit school tolook after her mother and the rest of the family. The doctor finally tookX-Rays to find the cause of the back pain. It was a ruptured disc and in theprocess they found another baby, to everyone’s surprise, and Sylvia remainedbed ridden throughout the pregnancy. Virginiaeventually went back to school in 1950, but life had other plans for her atthis point. Late in her own life, she studied for and received her G.E.D., onher own initiative. On August 5, 1949, Susan Lorena Creighton was born.
To me, it was my first known trauma. Safe and secure in my closedlittle world, my mother had disappeared for days, leaving me to be cared for bythe Older Five. Their techniques varied depending on age. Virginia, now 19 anddating local boys, was the primary care giver in Sylvia’s absence, acting assurrogate mother through Sylvia’s difficult pregnancy. 14-year-old Beatrice wasnext in line, but she was apt to be more interested in her movie magazines andher growing interest in the neighborhood male population than to care about me.Perley and Benny, 12 and 11, spent their vacation without Sylvia’s scrutinyrunning amok with their friends, leaving 16-year-old Danny as the bestalternative when Virginiawas busy doing other things. He was quiet and attentive and I owe much of myearly learning to his loving care.
The momentous day came when Len brought Sylvia and my new sister homefrom the hospital. The cat was immediately banned from the house (it might suckthe baby’s breath in the night) and I wondered if I would not be far behind. Witha houseful of well wishers, I felt left out, following in the rear of thewelcoming committee on tottering legs. At the bedroom door, I was picked up byLen to see my sister. I remember it clearly; it was beside the podium that heldSylvia’s Poore family bible (which was as big as I was). What I saw was a tiny, red and wrinkled face,scowling back at me. I knew then and there that my comfortable World of One wasno more……………
CHAPTER: 61 FORCED FROM THE DEN (Editorial Excerpt)
Mid century and springtime found the United States basking in post warposterity. The baby boom was in full swing, but Sylvia and Len were happy to gointo semi-retirement as parents. There would be no more children. Susan’s birthhad brought renewed happiness to the household though and came at an opportunetime, especially for Len. It was almost as if Susan and I were meant to be tiedforever to our parents past, Poore and Creighton alike. We had been named aftertwo sets of grandparents and great grandparents. I was named after James Husseyand Harris Creighton, while Susan was named after Susan Mackenzie Hussey andAda Creighton’s middle name, Lorena. Just before Susan was born, Len’s father,Harris Edgar Creighton, passed away in Vermont.Susan filled the void left by Harris’ passing. Len hated Harris for abandoningthe family during the First World War, but had kept track of his wanderings forover thirty years. When it came right down to it, the life Len had chosen forhimself was not unlike that of his school teacher father, who died a hermit inthe woods, but on his own terms.
Health wise, it is a wonder that Susie and I survived our infancy atall. Her first winter found her back in the hospital with pneumonia; she almostdied of the virus before it was contained. I still suffered the small staturefrom my early bout with malnutrition and began showing almost epilepticsymptoms, where I would go into sustained convulsions and could not breathe.But I was four and always in the way, under foot and distracting to Sylvia asshe tried to look after the baby. After the frosts were over and the iris bulbswere again unpacked, she planted me outside along with her flowers. I had beenforced from the safety of the den, like a bear cub.
My introduction to the wilds of LoudonVillagehad three vantage points. The first was the long front porch, which Len sograciously screened in for my own safety. Here I was put out to fend formyself, among the rocking chairs and dilapidated old furniture. The entry doorto the hallway, as well as the screen door to the yard was locked, confining meas if I were on death row. The frontyard became my transition from the porch to the true outdoors. As springbrought better weather, Sylvia had Len string a wire from elm to maple tree,tightly, about 6 feet above the walkway, which led to the kitchen door. Sheacquired a leather dog harness and fitted it to my small body. Before I knewwhat was happening, I was clipped to the wire by a dog leash, holding me fastto my harness. She then brought out box after box of sand-filled flower bulbsand then emerged with a trowel in one hand and baby Susie under her other arm.There they sat, playing in the dirt and conversing in whatever language mothersand 8-month-old daughters talk in, while my damnable dog leash kept me just outof reach. The third location was one ofSylvia’s flowerbeds, which sat just below the two dining room windows. Hertreadle sewing machine was at one window and with baby Susie beside her in herplaypen; she could look out and keep a wary eye on me. This, I thought, was asummer retreat, like going to camp. For the first time, I had no confines ortethers, other than the water-filled washtub that she placed me in, naked.
That was the most humiliating year of my life. As baby Susie continuedto usurp my role as Sylvia’s favorite, I ran screaming from garter snakes andwasps on the porch on rainy days; pounding on the living room window for help,to no avail. On my dog leash, which stopped abruptly just short of the kitchendoor, I ran from dive-bombing honeybees and butterflies. I had nightmares ofthese giant-winged creatures for decades, as I did of a mad dog (it was smalland black) chasing me up the walkway to a door that could never be reached.Only in my washtub-water-world did I feel relatively safe amongst the dancingflowers. Yes, there were bees and bugs, but they were intent on the nectar andnot me. It (the garden) became the epitome of Emily Dickinson’s poem about aprairie… “To make a prairie, it takes one bee; one bee and reverie. If bees arefew, then reverie will do.” Hidden behind the petunias and iris stalks, I beganmy lifelong study of nature and wildlife; all I had was reverie.
This is where I can point out that life, as we know it, can be governedby where we are at any given time, if you allow it. My hours, days or weeks ofsolitude in the flower garden (I have no idea how long this ritual actuallywent on) set me apart from the entire family. It became my own closed world.Like my father, I discovered the importance of nature’s blessing, before I everleft the front yard. While I envisioned baby Susie still scowling at me throughthe window, I could reach down and let lady bugs climb onto my finger or watchfor hours as the ants went on about their business.
The Older Five played about me but generally ignored me; they had moreimportant things on their minds. Len, if he was not working, was always away inthe barn somewhere; at times, he seemed to ignore me more than anyone. My oneand only friend (which should be my totem, if I were an Indian) was an ancientwolf spider, which had his home above the kitchen door under the covered entry.He had lived there long before we arrived, possibly since the beginning oftime, constantly re-spinning a web which Sylvia loved to sweep down.Surprisingly, I was never afraid of him. He appeared one day shortly after myfirst outing, dropping down his silken cord to the ground. He walked theperimeter of my washtub, balancing on the narrow rim. He was great in body,speckled and grey-white in color; to my three-year-old eyes, he was as big as adinner plate. I began to see the world through his multi-faceted eyes, with anew perspective on my surroundings.
As I grew, he remained unchanging. He was never killed, althougheveryone in the house knew that he lived just above the main entrance. Perhapshe was some ancient totem, a gatekeeper to another life from another time, ofdragon flags and Celtic wanderings. Through the intricacies of his great web,he taught me art, form and color. Yes, even spider webs have color; the whiteof night, dew-encrusted and sunlit-golden on early mornings and then becomingall but invisible in daylight.
In time, baby Susie grew into a human being and joined me in my frontyard wilderness. Initially, it was in Sylvia’s great English pram, a sleekbrown leather-bound and chrome affair, which had a convertible top and waslarge enough for both of us with room to spare. We toured the neighborhood onlong walks on quiet evenings as Sylvia and Len visited folks on the street.After Susie began to walk, we explored the vastness of our ¾ acres together andas she began to talk (a secondary requirement for rural New Englanders), wecommunicated with a silent language known only to the two of us.
Being the forerunner of boundary limits (the screened porch and dogleash bounds); I became the teacher of our combined territory. Like Len’s PineIsland,with river, brook, mountain and swamp as its boundaries, our world ended at theproperty lines. Of course, the hen yard was off limits, as was the oldblacksmith shop. The great strawberry garden in the back became a no man’sland, separating us from the busy state highway beyond. Across Route 106 werethe mythical Lands of Maxfield and Buzzell…and the town cemetery. To the west,a long fence separated us from Hi Cate’s giant barn and to the east was thelilac bush, which began the manicured Lawn of Hager. In the tall grass on theoutskirts of our land we laid and look up at the ever-changing clouds,contemplating the mysteries of life.
When the weather was bad, as often it is in New England, we wereconfined to the house, but even here, our world began to expand……………..
CHAPTER: 62 JUST WEST OF DOWNEAST (Editorial Excerpt)
I’m wandering from the beaten track, which is the story of SylviaPoore’s family. Realistically, though, this is probably much like she began herlife and definitely that of her father, Bert Poore and his sister Cassie. Verymuch like Susie and I, Cassie and Bert were at the tail end of a long line ofsibs, most far older than they were. He and Cassie were the first to be raisedprimarily within HooksettVillage proper, forced todepend upon each other for company. In many ways, I believe that Susan and Iare much like our grandfather and great aunt, who we know so little about.
We all four grew up, in separate centuries, only 13 miles apart (as thecrow flies), in adjoining river valleys, Suncook and Soucook. The life had leftthe families, older children had grown through hard times and war, parents werebeyond their prime and we felt apart from what had once been vitality andcombined growth. Our Older Five became Four as Virginia married Joseph William Mulkhey Jr.(1928-1997), June 2, 1951.
Joe was the son of one of the town’s schoolteachers, Bertha Mulkhey.His brothers Mickey and Philip were good friends with Danny, Bea, Perley andBenny, who in turn hung out with Carol Chesley (who Perley was attracted to),Natalie Reardon, Andy Downs, Johnny Cate (Mildred’s son, who stuttered, onlywhen he was in his mother’s presence), Sonny Cate (Hi’s son) and many otherswho they all went to school with. Joe and Virginia found a tiny house, a shackreally, about one mile from the house, just beyond Lester and Leona Batchelder’schicken farm (they were unmarried siblings, still living with their mother).
The Mulkhey surname, like Poore, predates modern history. As Poore,Poor, Power, etc. all revert back to the House of Poher, Mulkhey (often foundas Mulkehey) descends directly from the Celtic House of O Maolchathaigh, or Mulcahy. The name comes mainlyfrom Counties Tipperary and Limerick, many are found in Dublin. It is almost never found in Ulster,indicating a very old, Irish clan, devoid of Scotch-Irish infusion.
Joe Mulkhey was a paradox. Outwardly, he had a jovial and likablepersonality, but unlike his brothers, he showed little ambition. In some ways,he was like my father, showing many talents, but preferring to stay on the safeside of life, going unnoticed. He worked in the lumber camps, where he wasaccepted by the French Canadian émigrés. What kept him secluded from manysocial contacts was a mild deformity of his arm; it was withered and almostuseless. To combat what he viewed as his handicap, he compensated with brutestrength and one-upmanship among his peers. He was the best lumberman, hunter,rifleman and woodsman in Loudon, second only to Len Creighton in the last threesubjects. What none of us knew at the time was that Virginia became his sounding board andbattering ram. To alleviate his feelings of inadequacy, he began taking hisfrustrations out on her, on a regular basis.
This was the town and people who Susan and I grew up with. It was nodifferent than hundreds of similar towns throughout the Merrimack watershed, nestled away among thesmaller rivers, rolling hills and pine forest. Metalious’ books, especially Peyton Place, spoketruly about Loudon, Canterbury, Chichester, Pittsfield, Gilmanton andGilmanton Iron Works. Peyton Place was her fictional locationthat in actuality was a combination of them all. Like us, Grace was a productof her time, but unlike us, she had the foresight to record the history forposterity, rightly or wrongly.
It is not the first time that I have used “Just West of Down East,” Ihave an old short story with the same name. It refers to all of us who came ofage in that place, at that time, 50+ years ago. It was before the interstates,before television, really, tail-end-Charlie’s living out what remained of anancestral lifestyle, as colonial-era New Englanders.
Just West of DownEast J. H. Creighton
“When you grow up justwest of Down East
It’ hard to know how totalk,
‘Cause you know thatDown-Easters, well,
They have a language alltheir own.
Just west though, and youwonder,
If the talk can be justthe same.
We say Nor’easters andblizzads same as them,
And we ‘tap the sap’ eachspring.
We go down to Boston and up to Maine
And over to Vermont and NewYork,
We call Conkid ourcapital, and
The mountains our home,
So why are we all alone?
What is our language ifnot Down East?
Why just the coast of Maine?
We all say ‘ain’t’ and wecut our ‘R’s
And talk through our nosewith a wheeze.
Growing up Just West ofDown East
Isn’t so bad you know,
As long as you can keeptrack of the words
That were never spoken atall.”
Linguistically, we were no different than thousands of other Yankeefarm families. We all spoke with the same clipped ‘R’s and ‘G’s, which wenthand in hand with the ‘Ay up’s and the general lack of talk altogether. It wasas if 300 years of fighting the weather, winters and granite-filled fields hadtaken the people’s breath away. There was no longer a need to finish asentence, or begin one, unless if it were absolutely necessary. If a giant handhad reached down and picked us up and dropped us at farms in Portland,Maine or RutlandVermont, nobody would have beenthe wiser. The only difference was Maine and Vermont had identity,where the Merrimack Zone had none.
It was like a burned-out planet, used up and cast aside. Vermont, oursister state, was much newer and richer, sporting well kept farms that lookedlike the New Hampshire of Erie Poore’s time. They had cheese, world famous maplesyrup and Lake Champlain to boast about.
Maine, on the other hand, was, andalways will be, Maine.Since its foundation by Sir Ferdenando Gorges in 1623, it had struggled toremain apart, forging Mainers into a cohesive and clannish unit, Down Easters,one and all. Whether they plied the rocky coastline in small schooners ortrapped grey fox on the Androscoggin, theyremained apart from evolving national society. Through the Hussey’s, Sylviacarried Down East genes, as did the Batchelder’s, but for the most part,everyone along the central Merrimack Corridor of New Hampshire shared a commonclassification as, nobody.
North to South, West to East, we were in the center of a passage tosomewhere else. Bostonians Traveled Route 106 to get to LakeWinnipesaukee; Lakers went in the opposite direction to visit ourmother city. Mainers had no reason to cross New Hampshire at all, what we had,they had better, but land-locked Vermonters crossed often, to reach the Mainecoast. Standing in the back yard, Susie and I watched summer after summer asthousands of somebody’s whizzed past, pulling big boats in fancy cars. Longingto know what lay beyond our small territory, we dreamed of what life must belike, beyond Just West of Down East…………………..
CHAPTER: 63 DAVY CROCKETT (EditorialExcerpt)
By the age of six, my body had deteriorated to the point where itaffected my nerves and joints. Whatever my childhood maladies were, they hurtand left me confused and withdrawn. Sylvia and Len began to worry, it was timeto start me in school, but her over-protective nature caused her to want tokeep me home, indefinitely. All I knew about it was that they were alwaystalking in whispers, behind my back. Susie, who was only three, found her thumbmore interesting than my problems and went about her baby business.
It was 1952. Len, the oldestsibling of his group, had also been the runt of the litter. Perhaps my ailmentsreminded him of his own fragility, for he begun to push me to overcome myobstacles. In his zeal to ‘make a man of me’, I ran to Sylvia’s dress heminstead of facing up to my problems. It caused a division in support that wouldnever totally heal between us.
John, Dan, Perley and Benny had all been typical boys, liking sports,tools, cars and working with their father. He encouraged them to learn tradesthat were dependable and taught all of them what he knew. He also nudged themall toward music awareness and playing instruments. Since he played just abouteverything, he could see no reason why others could not learn. Danny played theguitar in the Chet Atkins style, John learned the rudiments of the violin, Benand Perley took up the mandolin and Beatrice began to excel in guitar and basefiddle. Even Sylvia knew enough about the basic chords of the mandolin to sing alongto her own arrangements, but Len had a way of pointing out her flaws and sherarely touched the instrument when he was around. Of course, I had a guitarplopped in my lap long before I could walk, but I must have developed Sylvia’sparanoia of not doing well. The more Len, Danny and Bea tried to teach me, themore difficult it became. Soon, I was as afraid of musical instruments as I wasof butterflies.
When I was at my lowest, a tiny man would appear and council me, a welldressed man (like Uncle Ernest), who often carried an umbrella and wore a derbyhat. Perhaps the wolf spider brought him from the spirit world. I found ahiding place in the dining room, a small floor-level cupboard (for pots andpans, no doubt) and here I would spend long spells away from the family,talking to my friend. I honestly believe that he saved me, in many ways. What Idid not know was that Sylvia and Len heard me talking to thin air and thoughtthat I was soon to follow Aunt Angie to the Asylum. Thinking that they did not knowwhere I was, I overheard them talking about me.
It was a rainy day and I was in the shed, near Sylvia’s icebox,playing. I had just recovered from another bout of seizures and felt very badand embarrassed. Just as I heard the screen door from the kitchen open, I alsoherd a “Pssst,” and there, among Len’s work coats hanging on the wall, was mytiny friend. He waved me frantically to the coats, where I thought that I hidlong before my parents came around the corner.
What was odd is that they talked about me as if I were not there,although in hushed voices. The little man kept me still as a mouse, but I knewthat an argument was in progress:
Len asked, “What do you think we should do with him?” Sylviaanswered, “I think that we should take him to a psychiatrist, something iswrong and he isn’t getting any better.” My father spouted as if she had slappedhim in the face. “A psychiatrist; are you crazy too? I ain’t taking any of mykids to a head hunter, they’ll throw him in the Nut House with your sister andhe’ll never get out!”
That is about all that I remember (and also was my first awareness ofAunt Angie and where she lived), but the shock seemed to have driven my friendaway for good. The gist of this story is that I was not necessarily crazy, butwas incapable of dealing with the fact that I had to go to school. Because ofmy late November birthday, I had not been allowed to attend Mildred Lamprone’sfirst grade class the year before, because it had begun three months before Iturned six. The following fall, with slicked-back hair, a new homemade shirtand board-stiff blue jeans, I began my academic career.
Loudon Grade School, a two-room (first and fifth grade) 1850’s vintagestructure, was but a five-minute walk from our house, but to my young mind, itmight as well have been on the backside of the moon. I had never been beyond myown property lines by myself, alone. Mildred Lamprone, a giant of a woman,suspected my insecurity and watched me like a hawk, ready to pounce if Ibolted. To my dismay, I was to spend two entire years under her dictatorship,becoming possibly the first boy in Central New Hampshireto stay back in the first grade. Now, I was not only a physical wreck, but alsoa mental midget to boot.
Sylvia was unaware that I had to go through the first grade for asecond time; no one told her anything about it. It seems that Mildred found myailments to be extreme. My joints became so weak that I could not run, or playball, without falling in a heap. My hips would buckle with juvenile rheumatism.Mrs. Lamprone met in the spring of ’53 with the school superintendent, Mr.Kendall. They both decided that I would not likely live out a stint with thesecond grade (far away, in a distant part of the township), so I was recycled.Sylvia was livid when she found out in the fall, but could do nothing about it.My first-year friends, Roger Maxfield and others went on to their destinieswithout me, leaving me to die in Mildred’s dreaded classroom.
During the 1953 school year, three momentous things occurred to helpme. Although I had new classmates to deal with, the town was building aconsolidated grade school onto the old one. If it remained on schedule, I wouldremain there for the second grade, the following year. The old system of scattereddistrict schools was a thing of the past.
The second event, of all things, was gang warfare. I was now a big frogin a small pond, having studied under Mrs. Lamprone the year before. She hadnot kept me back because of my lack of knowledge; she had honestly thought thatI was on death’s doorstep. I fooled her. Placing myself in open conflict withmy teacher, I began to take control, although I was still a weakling and proneto many afflictions.
Her rules were many. Don’t play in the woods (just outside the window),was one. In response, I formed a small commando unit of other weaklings, whowere afraid of the fifth graders from the adjoining classroom. Gene Carson,Donna Paquin and Caroline Hackett were my Lieutenants and our hideout was ajuniper patch, in the woods. The Prescottbrothers, who also were not allowed to play in the woods, led the fifth gradegang. They were big and nasty and if we were caught, they were capable of doingjust about anything to us that they wished. My gang though, was unstoppable.Like Peter Pan’s henchmen, we could hide in plain sight, then jump out and makethem chase us. The trails were ancient, formed over 100 years by similar gangs.String a cord between two trees and lead them into it on the run. It workedevery time and they never caught anything but black eyes and bruised shins.
The third ‘momentous event’ of 1953 was not at school, but at home.Sylvia talked Len into buying a television. It was a Zenith, weighed about twotons and had a 12-inch circular screen. At that point in time, I became mygrandfather, Bert Poore. Instead of ogling Buffalo Bill Cody from a grandstandlike he did, I refined my ‘hero worship’ to encompass half of the world, overcenturies of time.
Bert and I had one thing in common; we both were encouraged to readabout history by our mothers. Margaret Silvernail, a Rhinelander, placed herempathies on German history and world events of the 1880’s. The Buffalo Billyears were an offshoot, when Bert saw, or met the famous frontiersman in hischildhood. With only newspapers and dime novels to follow his hero’s career, hebecame Buffalo Bill, for a time. Sylvia, too, had found reading to be afavorite pastime, but her interests encompassed the entire history of ourcountry. She loved to read to Susie and I, and she did it often. She was also astoryteller and could keep you enthralled with her accounts of Civil Warbattles and tales of the Revolution, as if they had happened just yesterday. Itwas not very long before she saw how my personal interests bent toward historyof any kind, natural or physical. My journey had begun.
Remember, our world was sheltered from the outside by natural barrierson the PineIsland; the Korean Conflict andTupperware belonged to another dimension in time. In our safe world, TeddyRoosevelt was still president and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was morefamiliar than was “Walking the Floor Over You.” Family entertainment, besideslistening to the radio or playing music, revolved around a world map thatgraced our dining room wall. During meals, the entire family played the ‘Guessthe Capitol’ game. So, when the T.V. joined our family, it naturally becameanother tool of learning.
For the most part, I remember very boring shows geared more to myparents than Susie and I. It was a live extension of old radio shows, even Lencast it aside as useless and threatening. As intelligent as he was in mostsubjects, he never got the marvels of modern technology. He was afraid of thetelevision; he thought that it was like a two-way mirror and that he was beingwatched.
1954 brought me to the second grade and a brand new schoolhouse; it hadbeen completed over the summer vacation. Mildred Lamprone was finally a thingof the past, still stuck in her antiquated schoolroom at the opposite end ofthe building, as was Alice Marston with her fifth grade class. When I arrivedmuch more had changed than just a new classroom.
Until the previous year, the schoolyard had been just as it wasdesigned 100 years before, a small clearing ringed by tall white pine trees.During the summer, to accommodate children from all eight grades, the foresthad been bulldozed deep into the woods and graded flat. Lumbermen had taken thetimber away, but hundreds of roots and tree limbs were left piled just insidethe tree line. The new school ground was an eyesore.
Of course, the full compliment of children had grown from about 40(first and fifth graders) to 160 or more, ranging in age from 6 to 14. Toadminister so many in one location, a principal had been imported, but hisauthority was compromised by the dictates of Mildred Lamprone, Alice Marstonand now Bertha Mulkhey, who had arrived with her third graders from an outlyingschoolhouse. Mr. Lance, the principal (and eighth grade teacher), fought an up hillbattle with the Ring of Three, old townies, one and all.
My small gang of misfits gathered at recess to appraise our newsurroundings. Loose on the school ground, we were now at the mercy of not justStan and George Prescott, but droves of even bigger boys (and girls). We weresoon to learn that the ‘new’ system was actually two: Mr. Lance was grantedreign over the new, 2-story cinder block building, but Mildred and Alice ranthe ‘west wing’ as they always had, straight out of the 19thcentury, which included the wood shed.
This small structure was just that, a wood shed which stored firewoodfor the upright stoves still used in the older portion of the school. For twoyears, I suffered the threat of the woodshed, Mildred’s ultimate form ofpunishment. Now, this woman was not shy when it came to corporal punishment,using often, as in my case, her two-pound ruler to beat my left hand until myright hand discovered it could write…but when it came to greater forms ofdiscipline, she and Alice Marston had utilized the wood shed.
Mildred would single out one person for punishment, usually athird-time offender, such as a chronic paste-eater (it smelled better than ittasted). Possibly through mental telepathy, she would send word on to AliceMarston in the next room, who would have already selected a fifth grade boy tobe ready. The culprit was forced to walk the long, coat-lined corridor to theback door, where the fifth grader met him, carrying a long switch of willow.“Dead Man Walking” would have been an appropriate thing to call out, for oncein the woodshed, the 10-year-old executioner had full authority to beat the6-year-old culprit black and blue, unsupervised. Of course, Mr. Lance made therepeal of this system his first priority, but he was battling tradition and ittook over a year to outlaw the willow-switch.
Just as my life was at rock bottom, Walt Disney saved me. With athree-acre sand pit for a playground, there was no longer a juniper bush tohide in. The bullies of five higher classes singled me out to pick on and Icould not play sports because of my seizures. I needed an identity, to fit inand be accepted. It came in the form of Fess Parker (probably another ofmother’s cousins), Davy Crockett (1786-1836). The Davy Crockett phenomena hit America like aforest fire fanned by a media blitz promoted by Walt Disney Productions.Overnight, as the weekly T.V. series began to air, boys and girls fell in lovewith history.
By the end of the school year in the spring of ’55, I had acquired aDavy Crockett lunchbox (which I still use, to hold my art materials), boxes oftrading cards (from Double-Bubble chewing gum), toy flintlock rifle and scoresof coloring books about my hero. Throughout that summer vacation, I continuedto develop my new persona, but it began to become customized, out of financialnecessity. I began turning into an Indian.
Bert Poore’s ghost must have been guiding me. One day, Donna Paquinshowed up wearing a coonskin hat. With her was her friend, Carolyn Hackett, whohad obtained the entire outfit, fringe and all. I was humiliated, shown up bygirls in my own front yard. Sylvia came to the rescue and dug into her trunks,finding furs, feathers and beads, then set about making me my own Crockettonianuniform, complete with homemade, Penacook, moccasins. Perley and Benny carvedme a Bowie knife out of wood; Danny made a sheath for it. Len rummaged throughthe barn and found a piece of sheet metal, which he forged into a tomahawk,showing me how to mount it to a handle. For the first time, I began to takepride in myself. Decked out in my new garb, I wandered the fence line and stoodwaving at the summer vacationers zooming past on Route 106, sister Susiestanding beside me. I felt like I had become history and crossed into anotherrealm of reality.
It was only the beginning. I found that this preoccupation with thepast also interested my Dad. Len, perhaps remembering his own boyhood (hisneighbor had been an Indian), started taking me into the woods on his fishingand hunting trips, teaching me wood lore along the way. We cooked trout packedin fresh clay in campfires. I learned animal tracking and tree identificationand that green ash does not smoke in a fireplace. I learned to tell directionsfrom the sun, and that moss only grows on the north side of tree trunks.Survival techniques in the winter ranged from making lean-tos, to buryingyourself in the snow to keep from freezing (it never goes below 32 degrees F),if you are lost. I learned archery from Perley, who was so good that he went onto become state archery champion. Danny began to teach me to shoot his over andunder .22/4-10 rifle, which led to all of the ‘boys’, including Len, taking mealong when they went target practicing. From Sylvia’s reading history to me, toDavy Crockett, to discovering my own family, I had found my place in life.Carrying on where Grandfather, Bert Poore, had left off with Buffalo Bill, Ibecame an Indian.
CHAPTER: 64 ATOMIC KIDS (EditorialExcerpt)
The present was perhaps the reason why I fell so head-over-tea-kettlesinto the past. It was much safer to pretend to be an Indian, or a frontiersman,than it was to be a child of the 1950’s. ‘THE BOMB’ became part of our culture,whether we liked it or not. None of us, at that age, knew the inner workings ofDeterrence, but we all knew how to ‘Drop and Cover’, as if diving under one’sdesk and putting a book over the back of your neck would save you in an atomicblast.
On the surface, life went on as it always had and the Older Fourmatured. Because Bea and the three boys still occupied the upstairs bedrooms,Susan and I shared a single bed in our parent’s room. This room had been thecenter of our existence since both of us were born, but at 9, I found it moreand more humiliating to have to share my bed with my younger sister. What wouldDavy Crockett think?
Along with the old bed, we also shared diseases, which was aninevitable happening, I guess. Sylvia and Len worked as a team during thesetrying times. I would get sick with chicken pox. Doc Boucher would make a housevisit, poke and jab me, blow smoke in my face and reek of whiskey. He woulddeclare ‘CHICKEN POX’ and advise quarantine. As soon as he would leave (aftersampling the latest batch of Sylvia’s dandelion wine), Len would prepare thestinky poultices and set a saucer of freshly sliced onions beside the bed.Sylvia would pull all of the curtains; chicken pox caused blindness if youlooked at the light of day. The poultices, always reeking and always in a dirtysock for added value, were tied tightly around your neck, after rubbing a poundof Vicks Vapor Rub into your skin. Quarantine… hell, no; Susie will get itsooner or later anyway, might as well be now!
The fever and the pox would appear after the prescribed incubationperiod. There were long nights (couldn’t really tell what time of day it was)of sleeplessness, itching and having hallucinations. One of my favorites was ofa tiny and threatening robot on wheels, which rolled in from the living roomand would sneak under my side of the bed, waiting to kill me in my sleep.Another (always late at night) was of an image of the Cisco Kid and Ponchoabove Len’s piano in the living room, halfway down an ornate staircase (whichwas not there). Dressed in their finest, they would wave and tip theirsombreros to me, smiling.
Silently waiting for the pox to disfigure me for life, I would lay andwatch the rotting onions beside my head. As they dried, they telescoped upwardsfrom the centers of the slices, ‘drawing the poison’. Late at night, I wouldturn to my sister for support, but she would only look back at me and continueto suck her thumb. She could care less.
In one disease, Sylvia saved me. She had mumps twice in her lifetime.When Susie contracted the disease, Len wanted to take me out of the room, butSylvia refused. I slept beside my sister all through the time that she swelledlike a chipmunk. First, she got them on one side and as soon as the sicknesssubsided, she swelled on the other side and it started all over again. She wasa not a happy little girl! I never got sick and to this day, I have never hadthe mumps. Sylvia swore that she had mine (She also had two sets of wisdomteeth, I have never had mine and I am 55 years old!).
It was that time of endings; the Older Four were looking forward tojumping ship to strike out on their own. The boys left to marry in threeconsecutive years, beginning in 1956, but until it began, life was good.
The summer of 1955 found Susie and I helping Sylvia and Len with choresonce done by the older siblings. Sue was to begin first grade in the fall and Iwould go to Bertha Mulkhey’s third grade. The lifestyle was still just the sameas John, Virginia,Dan, Bea, Perley and Benny lived in earlier years but we were the new workforce. Trout season began in May while snow still stood in pockets in thewoods. After Memorial Day, potatoes were planted in Ni Chesley’s field in thewoods, then peas, beans and tomatoes at home. The strawberry patch (anotherform of income, Len sold young plants) was cultivated and weeded and beehiveswere cleaned after the long winter. On hot summer nights, the violin, guitarsand mandolins would come out and the family would gather on the porch, to singand play. Beatrice had joined a local country western band led by Don Willey.She played and sang songs by Patsy Cline and sang once a week on television,from Portland, Maine. It was so exciting to have a T.V.star living in the same house! She had met Don when he and his wife hired herto baby sit for their son, Ronnie, and soon added her to his band as a singerand guitar and bass fiddle player. She was also an excellent seamstress andsupplied the band with western shirts for years, but she hated weeding thestrawberry garden and despised Len’s herd of 24 geese. They seemed to know herfear and would stalk her whenever she entered the front yard to sun herself.She carries scars on her derrière to this day from gander attacks. I show onesuch goose in the photo above, Susie and my father and Mike the dog.
As the modern world continued its race towards self-destruction, the PineIslandremained in its time warp. Of course, there were exceptions; the Other Worlddid find its way in now and then. Len was still a prominent leader of theB&M workers union and was in charge of official greeting, when importantpersonages came to Concord,via rail transportation. Susie and I rarely knew ahead of time that we weregoing to ‘hand shaking parties’ again, but when Len changed out of his longjohns (he wore them year round) and bib overalls to put on a suit and tie, itwas a dead give away.
“Get cleaned up, Jimmy and Susie, we’re going overstreet!” rang thecommand. ‘Overstreet’ (not two words, but one, like overshoe) was always Concord, God only knowswhere this colloquialism came from, but it was part of our culture. You went‘over’ to Epsom, ‘down’ to Boston, ‘up’ to Laconia, and ‘overstreet’, to Concord. The photo below was taken of me andSusie in 1957. We sure did clean up good, didn’t we?
Into the Packard, we sat back for the eight-mile ride to the capitolcity and the railroad depot. It was just as it had been when Abraham Lincolnvisited there during the time of Erie Poore Sr., who probably greeted him as CountyCommissioner.The old Concord Coach (stage coach) sat like a sentinel to the past in thecenter of the lobby, and here Susie and I watched the theatrics; always thesame.
Puff, puff, puff would come the train, brakes squealing and smokebillowing out onto the platform. The inside of the stagecoach smelled mustywith age, but we were accustomed to it. Len and Sylvia would stand at the headof the line of welcoming town and/or state dignitaries, then the passengerswould disembark to greet them. Len would wave us over. Winston Churchill(“shake his had, Jimmy! He won’t bite!”), Eleanor Roosevelt (she scared thebe-Jesus out of me), Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, Bushy-browed John L.Lewis…I can’t remember them all. At that time, if they weren’t AnnetteFunicello or Fess Parker, I had little interest. The only visitor that hadlocal interest was Churchill, who came out to Loudon to visit Jimmy Batchelder’sdairy farm. Jimmy had been a tail gunner in an English-based bomber squadronduring WWII; Churchill went to shake his hand personally. The Batchedler farmwas next door to Virginiaand Joe’s house. To everyone’s surprise, residual effects of that war alsobrought the FBI to the neighborhood.
We are still trying to remember what her name was; it has escaped usall. It does not matter now, for she was crazy anyway. I will just call her theCrazy Lady for the story; she was a German, which we do agree upon. She livedin an ancient farmhouse at the end of the street, once being a stage stop whenthe dirt road into the Broken Grounds used to go through to EastConcord. Crazy Lady lived there alone, with only her pet goats tokeep her company. She kept them in the house and as far as I know, she neverlet them outside. There were 19 of them (it was a very big, old house).
Her field stretched from the west side of her house to the Reardonfarm, now owned by Louis and Muriel Paquin, another of Georgie Chesley’ssisters. Since the field (only grass, or hay, back then) was directly in frontof our house, it beckoned like a beacon to be played in. More than once, Danny,Perley, Benny and their friends were driven from the field with the blast of ashotgun. Crazy Lady would wait until they began playing baseball, then open herkitchen window, lean out and yell at them to get out of her field. The birdshotwas her way of putting an exclamation mark on her command.
I remember seeing big, black cars at her house one day, but we didn’tknow what had actually happened until the Downs-Cate gossip cartel confirmedthe story. All you had to do was pick up the phone, nothing got past Dot andMildred; they broadcast night and day. Crazy Lady and Sam Schnell, who ranCascade Park Campground, had been arrested for being German spies.
The 1950’s became a very hard decade to live in as I approached mypre-teen years. Although our home remained in the 19th century, theworld did not. As much as Sylvia tried to protect Susie and me from therealities of the world, it continued to filter in. The Arms Race, ICBM’s, airraid drills at school, Bomb shelters, Civil Defence warnings on radio and TVand social studies lessons made it clear that we would not live to seeadulthood… and if by some chance we did, the world would never be the same. TheBOMB became all consuming, stripping you of any hope for a future. Othersrevelled in science fiction and nuclear-altered ants eating humanity; JamesDean became a symbol of nonconformity for the older teenagers, brother Perleyincluded. To protect my own sanity, I went in the opposite direction, immersingmyself in older history, of long ago heroes who fought for stronger principalsthan the mass destruction of civilization. Mr.& Mrs. Perley G. Creighton
On July 24, 1956, my brother Perley Glen Creighton left home for thelast time, to get married. His new wife, Ruth MacDonald, of Concord and he set up housekeeping in a tinyhouse in Warner, NH.
That same year, our sister Bea began working for Singer Sewing MachineCo. She, of all of Sylvia’s children, found no gratification in the ‘old ways’.She was a modern thinker and independent, which put her into conflict with Lenand his traditional attitude toward women’s roles. Her intentions were to moveout of the house to an apartment of her own, which Len opposed vehemently.Little by little, Bea kept up the pressure and in August, after her 21stbirthday, she moved to Laconia.She began buying ‘home improvements’ to help Sylvia give up her dependence onthe 19th century. The first was a real refrigerator, replacing theicebox in the shed. In time, Sylvia would acquire electric sewing machines andother appliances to help her with her chores, due to Bea’s thoughtfulness.
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel L. Creighton
Brother Dan, in the mean time, had been dating Carol Ann Chesley andhad gone to Floridawith her in 1956 to visit our uncle, Lester Daniel Poore. On June 29, 1957,they were married. They initially lived with Ni and Georgie in Loudon, thelarge farmhouse becoming a favorite spot for Susie and me to visit. There, wewere introduced to new and unique forms of food, homemade pizza was one. We hadnever seen it before that time. I always seemed to know ‘Pizza Day,’ maybe thesmell drifted down the street…I would race up the hill and get a piece freshout of the oven, and then they would give me the rest to ‘take home to Susie.’ Usually, it never got that far. I could eat an entirepizza and hide the plate before I covered the 300-foot distance to home. Dannyand Carol eventually found an old and beautiful colonial farmhouse in Webster,20 miles west of Perley’s new home.
One-year later, 0n June 14, 1958, Benjamin Harry Creighton marriedJoyce Merrill of Northwood. They began their life in Webster as well, theirhome being 10 miles east of Danny and Carol’s and 10 miles west of Perley andRuth’s. Among the three brothers, they had purchased a total of 300 acres,firmly establishing themselves to the land of their mother’s family. The photo(right) of Ben, Dad and Perley was taken in 1958.
The nest was finally empty, except for Bea, who still came home onweekends.
CHAPTER: 65 RIGHTS OF PASSAGE (Editorial Excerpt)
With Benny’s leaving, the upstairs loft bedroom became available to me.The house seemed so empty; Bea was at her apartment more often than she washome. For all intents and purposes, Sylvia and Len were once again a family offour, for the first time since 1930. Sylvia was 51 and Len was 57, beingancient to our eyes that were 8 and 11.
Of course, the void left behind from the older kid’s exodus had afinancial impact as well as emotional. They, like thousands of other Yankeefarm children, had provided the labor. Len was not making much more money in1958 then he had in 1938, during the depression. Although he did not poach deerany longer to supplement the food stores, he did raise bees; sell honey,strawberry plants and hunt small game for the dinner table. Susie and Ireplaced what four older siblings had once provided, helping to keeping thefamily alive.
We could plant and harvest potatoes with the best of them. We were likemonkeys in apple trees, knew how to overlook wormy hazel nuts and how to findnew bee trees deep in the wilderness. Susie gradually took on the chores ofdusting and vacuuming, setting the dinner table (I cleared), drying the dishesand helping with the laundry, which was still done with a wringer washer andclothes line. The hot water was takenfrom a holding tank on the cook-stove as we never did have hot runningwater. I helped shingle the barn; fixfences around the chicken pen and chase fox and weasels out of the henhouse atnight. When it came to mechanical things, however, my mind went blank.
This is where the great division widened between Len and me. I was theonly son who barely knew which way to turn a wrench to remove a lug nut, letalone know how to rebuild an engine. I had never been interested in these sortsof things, I only wanted to read about history and draw artwork with historicalthemes (I was still in the Davy Crockett phase). What I failed to understandthen was that Len was trying to protect me. He still suffered from his own lossof fulfilling his pharmaceutical career. He knew that for me to be truly happy,I would require training beyond high school to develop my artwork, or become ahistory teacher. He knew that this was impossible on his income; the onlyalternative that remained was a trade, like my brothers. John was a very goodauto and truck mechanic, Dan serviced appliances for Sears Roebuck and Perleyand Benny were both machinists.
I don’t know if Sylvia offered her input or not, but I would assumethat she talked to him about my talents outweighing the necessity of learninghow to turn a wrench. I think that his growing age and loss of his mother wasgetting to him as well. I was sitting in the TV chair on the day in 1957 whenhe took the call from Uncle Edgar, Ada Lorena Creighton, age 76, had passedaway in Wellesley, MA. He was devastated.
Late in the summer of ‘58, we went on an odyssey retracing his boyhoodroots in GraftonCounty. It was more than a ‘ride;’ thatnamed subject was the family pastime, done most often after supper, to see deerin Potter’s field or get an ice cream cone. This was a full-fledged road trip, which tookdays.