Red Rose of Bardykes

When the very first Lord Blantyre purchased the barony of Blantyre in 1598 from the Dunbars of Enterkin, he found he had bought a very small parish, with only a couple of hundred people, scattered over areas from Kirkton, Barnhill to Priory. Individual small communities existed already with prominent houses and families dominating each area.  These large houses and families, generally the principal landowners immediately became “Lairds” of Blantyre and were required to pay feu-duty (taxes) to Lord Blantyre as redroseSuperior of the soil: this consists invariably of a small sum of annual monies. There are no known records of non payment.

Curiously, there was one exception. The Proprietor of Bardykes held his land on the condition that when required each year, he was to present a red rose to the Lord of the barony, ultimately a sign of loyalty. We cannot trace the origin of this strange custom but it was very likely a sign that any monies passing hands would have been embarrassing in that particular instance. This likely stems from a significant good deed the owner of Bardykes may have done for the Lord, helped him in some way and to show Lord Blantyre was in some way grateful. It is recorded that the family of Jacksons became owners in 1525 before the days of the red rose and several generations of Jacksons stayed in that house for some time. It is also recorded that following 1600, the Bardykes property had an extensive greenhouse which no doubt had an area specifically for roses!

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