In 1617 Broughton was set as the first stage of the journey of the household of James VI for his return to England from Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. Over 80 horses were being used and the Privy Council ordered that
... horses provided with all necessities should be brought to the Palace about brek of day ... for lifting his Majesties carriage and carrying the same to Broughton in Tuedail"
Had any of the people of Broughton failed to supply horses for the Royal Carriages when called upon, they would have been liable to a penalty of £20 for each horse and imprisonment for a year and a day.

The owners of Broughton can be traced back to the 12th century, but none is particularly noteworthy until the 18th century - when we have two worth telling you about.

The first, in order of time, was John (Mr 'Evidence') Murray of Broughton who survived the purges after the '45 rebellion by turning King's evidence. But for that, he would probably have had a place in the hearts of Jacobites, both then and since, because of his unsparing efforts on behalf of his Prince.

The Murray family had obtained Broughton and its lands in the early 17th century. John Murray, born in the year of the first Jacobite rebellion, travelled on the Continent to complete his education - as many wealthy young men did at that time. In the circles in which he moved he came into touch with the 'King over the Water' and Murray eventually became the link between the Scottish Jacobites and their King in Rome.

In 1744 Murray reported that the leading Jacobites in Scotland thought the time not right for his coming and tried to discourage the Prince from setting forth for Scotland until he had a commitment of support from the French.

However, against this advice Prince Charlie set out the following year. When word reached John Murray of his arrival, he travelled north to meet his Prince who appointed him his Secretary. Murray gave unstinting support throughout the rebellion. After Culloden he tried to secure fresh forces for the campaign, but the Prince had already left the mainland and the clans had dispersed.

Support from the French in the form of gold and arms arrived, but too late. Murray was obliged to bury most of the gold before travelling south to charter a vessel to take him and Cameron of Lochiel to the Continent. Unfortunately, he diverted to Broughton and, exhausted, rested briefly at his sister's house at Polmwood, because his own was being watched. However, within a few hours the dragoons were at the gates of Polmwood and Murray was transported to the Tower of London.

Continued ...


© 1996 Douglas Gregor