William Sutherland, 10th of Duffus

William Sutherland, 10th of Duffus (son of William Sutherland, 9th of Duffus)

William Sutherland of Duffus was, on 30 April 1616, served heir to his late father, William Sutherland, in the lands and barony of Skelbo, comprehending a considerable extent of territory within the earldom of Sutherland, then accounted in the sheriffdom of Inverness.[1] From the date of his accession to his estates he was more or less embroiled with his neighbours, beginning with differences between him and Sir Robert Gordon, then Tutor of Sutherland. He also took up an aggressive position in regard to the tithes of his lands of Pronsies, and not only endeavoured by legal means to obtain right to them instead of the patron, the young Earl of Sutherland, but he carried off the teind-sheaves to his own barns. These, however, he was compelled by the Sheriff of Sutherland to disgorge. The matter was taken to the Court of Session, who decided against him in the matter of the tithes: but he was willing to submit other questions in dispute to arbitration, and the affair was finally arranged at Elgin in October 1617.[2] In 1621, however, he again became involved in a serious dispute, this time with John Gordon, younger of Embo. The Laird was the first to use violence, and assaulted Gordon, wounding him slightly. This led to a feud between the families, which, though composed for a time, broke out again in 1625. The parties appeared in the law-courts, but resisted all attempts at reconciliation, when the comparatively sudden death of the Laird of Duffus, in October 1626, removed one of the disputants, and his executors joined in a reconciliation between the families.[3]
     This Laird married, 1612, Jean, daughter of John Grant of Freuchie.[4] contract 19 September, who survived him, marrying, secondly, Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscarden. They had issue:--
     1. Alexander Sutherland, who succeeded, afterwards first Lord Duffus.
     2. William, who is named in the testament, dated in 1674, of his brother, Lord Duffus. He had the lands of Inverhassie in 1694. His son
          (1) James, along with his father, had in 1694 a bond from James, second Lord Duffus, for 3000 merks.[5] He also held the lands of Dalnamain.[6] He died before 1722. He had at least one son.
               i. James, styled of Evelix. He married, 8 August 1726, Margaret, eldest daughter of John Sutherland of Rearquhar. He was still alive and over eighty in 1784.[7] He had an only son
                    Lieutenant Hugh Sutherland of Evelix, who, in 1776, was served heir-male general to his grandfather, James Sutherland of Evelix, formerly of Inverhassie.[8] He married Magdalene, daughter of John Clunes of Neilston, and was alive in 1819.
     3. John, styled brother of the Laird of Duffus in 1649, when named on the Commission of Supply for the county of Elgin.[9] He became a lieutenant-colonel. He was dead before 23 January 1658,[10] without issue. His brother William was by a clare constat declared his heir in the lands of Kinminitie and others in co. Banff, and was infeft in September 1662.[11] He married (contract dated 7 and 10 March 1656) Isabella, eldest daughter of David Ross of Balnagown, who survived him and was married (contract dated 9 May 1659) to James Innes of Lichnet, brother of Sir Robert Innes of that Ilk.[12]
     4. Anna, married to Patrick Grant, brother of James Grant of Freuchie. A disposition dated 7 December 1660 was granted to her and her spouse by her uncle James over Cluniemoir, Clunieberg, and other lands. She was still alive in 1663.[13]

[1] Retours, Sutherland, No. 3.
[2] Sutherland Book, ii. 126, 127; Sir Robert Gordon's Genealogy, etc. 329, 342, 344, 345.
[3] Ibid., 364, 365, 397, 404.
[4] Chiefs of Grant, i. 196.
[5] Writs in Sutherland Charter-chest.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Writs in Sutherland Charter-chest.
[8] Services of Heirs, 1770-79.
[9] Acta Parl. Scot., vi. pt. 2, 192.
[10] Part. Reg. Sas., Elgin, etc., v. 12.
[11] Gen. Reg. Sas., vii. 186.
[12] Part. Reg. Sas., Banff, ix. 109.
[13] Gen. Reg. Inhibitions, 5th ser., vol. vii, 9 January 1664. This marriage is not noticed by Sir William Fraser in his Chiefs of Grant.

Sources: Balfour Paul, J. (1906) The Scots Peerage, vol. 3. Edinburgh: David Douglas.

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