Mounie Castle

Mounie Castle, Aberdeenshire
Photo © Greg Stringham, 29 June 2005


Mounie Castle was built by Robert Farquhar, Provost of Aberdeen, in 1641. The castle passed to Alexander Hay of Arnbath in 1701 and to George Seton in 1714.

The family of Farquhar, to whom the estate of Pitscandly belongs, are de- scended from Robert Farquhar, a burgess and merchant in Aberdeen. He was one of the Bailies of the city in 1637, and Provost in 1644. During the troubles which took place in the kingdom in the reign of the first Charles, he was repeatedly fined and imprisoned by the Royalists. He supplied the army with meal and other necessary provisions to so large an extent, that the Government owed him the extraordinary sum of £180,860 Scots, and the Estates agreed to allow him one-third of all the fines imposed on delinquents north of the Tay until the debt was extinguished. Notwithstanding his losses by fines, he was reputed to be one of the wealthiest merchants in Scotland at that period He acquired the estate of Mounie, in the parish of Daviot, in 1636-7.

There were another three burgesses of that name in Aberdeen contemporary with Robert. Alexander, who was designed of Touley, James, and John. In 1644 John, in Mounie, petitioned Parliament for compensation for losses he had sustained at the hands of the Bovalists. The four appear to have been near relatives. Robert was knighted in 1660, and is supposed to have died in 1666.

In 1665 Alexander Farquhar was served heir to his father, Patrick of Mouney; and in 1676 Alexander, his wife (Elizabeth M'Intosh), four sons, two daughters, and a sister of the laird were all charged poll. Alexander

Farquhar is also designed of Touley, which may have fallen to him on the death of Alexander Farquhar, who was contemporaiy burgess with his father. Two of Alexander's sons died without issue, but another of them left three daughters co-heiresses. Francis, the youngest of the four brothers, became a colonel of the army, and the landed estates, consisting of Mounie, Touley, and Tolquhan, fell to him. Francis died unmarried, leaving his landed property to William Reid, a son of his eldest niece. This was disputed by the other nieces, but the matter may have been compromised.

Elizabeth Farquliar, who was co-heiress with her two sisters, of Colonel Farquhar of Mounie, in Aberdeenshire, acquired the estate of Pitscandly in the second decade of the 18th century. She married James Stormonth, younger of Kinclune, in Kingoldrum. In or about 1721 she executed a deed of entail of Pitscandly. The family lawyer, who took the copy of the deed away with him, died, and the family have never recovered it, and Mrs Farquhar, the proprieter, in consequence, is unable to verify the date. She had nine children to her husband. He followed Prince Charlie in 1745, was taken prisoner, condemned to death, and through the influence of his wife's sister. Christian, who had married a Mr Macneil, a nephew of the Duke of Argyle, his sentence was commuted to banishment, and he died in one of the West India Islands, as did also two of his younger sons.

Elizabeth Farquhar died in 1764. A flat tombstone in the churchyard of Rescobie, with the initials E. F., and the date 1764, marks the spot where she was interred. She vvas succeeded by her son Thomas, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his younger brother, John, who had been for nearly thirty years a surgeon in the East India Company's service. "While he was in India he retained his father's name of "Stormonth," but on succeeding to Pitscandly he had, by the deed of entail, to assume his mother's name, "Farquhar." By his first wife, a Miss Guthrie of Craigie, Dundee, he had two sons and four daughters. His wife and two sons died in India, and the only descendant of the daughters is John Koby Leifchild, Esq., now residing in Kensington.

On the return of John Farquhar to England he married, a second time, Susan Floyd Lake of Kensington, by whom he had two sons and one daughter. He died in 1808, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John, whose brother and sister died unmarried. He married Mary Ann Shillite of London, and had four daughters. He died in June, 1844, and was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Sarah, who died unmarried, August, 1849. She was succeeded by ber sister, Mary Ann, wbo married, in 1852, tbe Eev. WiUiam Taylor, wbo by deed of entail bad to drop his own name and assume that of Farqubar. He died in March, 1874, leaving five sons and one daughter. The eldest, William Taylor, born 1853, is the present heir.

By tbe deed of entail the family of Pitscandly are entitled to use the arms and crest of Mounie, in Aberdeenshire.