(c) Words lifted from my book, “The History of Crossbasket” by Paul Veverka
Note: This information corrects some wrong information noted online by others. My research below is accurate.
James Hamilton, 2nd Lord Hamilton
1479 – At this time James Hamilton, the 1st Earl of Arran and 2nd Lord Hamilton was the superior of the ‘lands of Corsebasket’ according to the Exchequer rolls Volume 10. He was the only son of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, and his wife, Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran. Mary was a daughter of King James II of Scotland and his Queen consort Mary of Guelders, and was a sister of King James III of Scotland. Pictured is Jim Brown’s photo of the Waterfall at Crosebasket, likely unchanged in 6 Centuries.
Hamilton succeeded to his father’s lordship and inherited his lands when his father died on 6th November 1479. He was however, only to hold the lands of Crossbasket for just 5 years.
We then turn our attention to the Lindsay family. If you recall, in 1382, John Lindsay of Dunrod had been granted the lands of Kilbride by King Robert the Bruce in 1382. The estate had previously been fortified with Mains Castle by the Comyns who had fought against the king. Lindsay was the successor to James Lindsay who had assisted the King in killing John III Comyn, also known as Red Comyn.
Alexander Lindsay (1st Laird of Crossbasket)
1484 – Alexander Lindsay, a legitimate son of the 4th Lindsay of Mains, EK obtained the lands of Crossbasket or Corsbas in 1484 renting or leasing the land from James Hamilton, the 2nd Lord Hamilton. Previous to the acquisition of Crossbasket lands, Alexander Lindsay had been settled at Carnduff, his fathers land. It is safe to say, if he was leasing the land, there must have been some sort of dwelling there, likely an earlier building, perhaps on the Crossbasket Tower site.
There are a few vague, but published accounts suggesting Alexander Lindsay was illegitimate , but through ancestry investigation, I saw no evidence of this. The first Laird of Crossbasket appears frequently on the inquests of the neighbourhood and as witnessing the charters and other writs of the local landowners, it is evident he was a man of considerable standing.
1494 – Carnduff, Blackburn, East and West Flakefields all laying together on the borders of East Kilbride and Avondale Parish were eventually granted to Alexander by his father.
His wife Euphemia Maxwell bore a son, also Alexander. Alexander, first Laird of Crossbasket died around 1517.
Alexander Lindsay (2nd Laird of Crossbasket)
1517 – Alexander Lindsay his surviving son became the 2nd Laird of Crossbasket, inheriting his father’s leases and liabilities around 1517.
History becomes difficult at this point as the contemporary notices don’t make much, if any distinction between the two Alexanders. There is a suggestion this Alexander died in 1530. What is known, is that Robert Lindsay, part of this Lindsay family was living at Crossbasket as owner by 1532. In the absence of exact information, it is a presumption that Robert Lindsay was the son of this Alexander. I should point out though, the earlier inference that his father Alexander had been illegitimate, creates a possibility that between 1530 and 1532 a legal wrong was corrected within the family, passing the Crossbasket lands to the legitimate part of the family.
Robert Lindsay of Crossbasket (8th Laird of Dunrod)
1532 – Robert of Crossbasket belonging to the legitimate branch of the family acquired the estate. It is unknown if through inheritance or if he made a purchase but at this time, he acquired the lands of East Kilbride. This was a grand acquisition of a significantly large area of land.
1537 – In this year Robert became liable to the Crown for the sum of £240, the equivalent of renting out Crossbasket for eight years. This additional tax was due to the King on account of the property still being in the barony of Hamilton. He raised the funds for this, by selling Glenkip in the Parish of Crawford John. He entered into an arrangement with Hamilton whereby Hamilton kept the lands at Crawford John but gave him the lands of Nerston in East Kilbride.
1540 or 1541 – The land transactions concluded, Robert had from the King a charter dated 31st March 1540 or 1541 conferring on him the whole of the Dunrod lands.
Robert Lindsay now owned the whole of the lands of Dunrod, including outright ownership of Crossbasket and Mains. The end of the Hamiltons ownership.
1543 – At the same time, Robert’s son, also named Robert who was then just 11 years old, was also promised or vested the Lands of Dunrod. Two years later on 26th August 1543 the younger Robert, with consent of his father granted to his mother Jonet Ross “for love and that she might not fall into poverty in her old age, a liferent of the Mains of Klbride and the lands of Rogerton East and West on condition she pay to him yearly, a red rose.” (token).
Robert Lindsay and his wife Jonet Ross, as well as having younger Robert, also had other children, John, Alexander, Margaret and Elizabeth (whom interestingly would later marry wealthy John Maxwell of nearby Calderwood estate, East Kilbride)
1547 – Robert Lindsay of Crossbasket, the 8th Laird of Dunrod died in 1547, with Robert Lindsay (younger) inheriting the estate of Crossbasket officially in 1551, at the age of just 21.
Robert Lindsay (younger) of Crossbasket (9th Laird of Dunrod)
1551 – Robert Lindsay (younger) inherits Crossbasket lands and those of Mains, East Kilbride, including the other parts of the Lands of Dunrod.
Robert Lindsay (younger) of Crossbasket (9th Laird of Dunrod) was born in 1530 and was the most likely builder of the Tower or Keep of Crossbasket between 1551 and 1560. The tower forms the oldest part of Crossbasket Castle as it stands today.
1560 – What is confirmed is that from 1560, the proprietors of Crossbasket Tower were the Lindsays of Dunrod. The tower is then mentioned in history following the year 1560.
The tower was a tied Jointure or dower- house. A dower house is a large or moderate house used by the widow of the estate owner – a way of ensuring she was taken care of, should he die and the estate be passed to sons. This is exactly what the charter Robert had signed up to just 8 years before, a means for his mother to be looked after, should his father die.
If it wasn’t for Jonet Ross, his mother, it is safe to presume then, that Robert Lindsay (younger) built Crossbasket Tower for his own wife, protecting against his own eventual passing and permitting younger generations of Lindsays to continue ownership at the family’s primary residence at nearby Mains. Robert married Elizabeth Schaw (Shaw) a daughter of the Laird of Greenock. I am certain the Tower was built for one of these two women.
At this time, according to the East Kilbride historian David Ure, who wrote in 1789, “The Lindsay’s belonged also the lands of Basket and the Castle of Crossbasket. This ancient building the age of which is not known was the jointure house of the family of Mains.”
Completion of the Tower at Crossbasket therefore dates to the very year of the Scottish Reformation – 1560.
Also during 1560, Robert Lindsay (younger) at age 30, became Provost of Glasgow where it is claimed he was instrumental in saving the Cathedral from destruction. This was the reformation year in Scotland and religious attitudes were being forcibly changed.
He also sat in Parliament that year and was amongst those who adopted the confession of Faith of the Protestants within the realm of Scotland.
Immediately to the North of the old College of Glasgow , there stood in the 16th Century an ancient mansion belonging to the college known as ‘Arthurlees Place’. Provost Lindsay acquired the place from the Principal and may have used it as his town house whilst in Glasgow but had resigned it by 1562. Such acquisitions in a short space of time, suggest the Lindsays were wealthy, notable landowners and with a view of acquiring property to make things easier for all aspects of their family.
1564 – John Myller of nearby Mylnehugh (Millheugh) Estate in Blantyre purchased a ground rent from the Laird of Calderwood. Now, whilst the existing estate between Calderwood and Millheugh, was Crossbasket, John did not acquire Crossbasket. Instead, the acquisition was more likely to be an old mill that had been sitting approximately near the location of the later General’s Bridge on the Rotten Calder. John Myller had mills along the Calder and I believe was simply adding to his portfolio. Myller bound himself to “restore this possession upon receiving payment of 100 Scots pundis, any day betwixt the sun rising and going down within the Parish Kirk of Blantyre.” Previous historians have published an opinion that Myller acquired Crossbasket, but I wish to correct this, confidently stating I don’t believe this is the case. It is much more likely Myller was buying the nearby Mill only. (now demolished). Additionally, I would add to this note, I uncovered no evidence to suggest that Maxwell, Laird of Calderwood ever owned Crossbasket, although it is certainly proven he owned the lands south and close to Stoneymeadow, near Crossbasket.
1579 – 1581 – Back to our story about the Lindsay’s. Robert Lindsay (younger) also sat in Parliament as Provost of Rutherglen representing Rutherglen. In 1579, the year he became an MP, he was also “Bailie of the Priory of Blantyre”. His fee for being Bailie was 13 merks yearly and looks likely to have acquired the redundant lands of the Priory in those post reformation years.
Robert Lindsay, the ninth Laird of Dunrod attended to those estates of his which were in debt, paying any outstanding debt off and in some cases adding to the properties. A 35 year land dispute between the Lindsay family and Maxwell of Calderwood existed from 1530 over land at the Murrays, East Kilbride. This dispute spanned generations within the families. Indeed, when Maxwell called upon the Laird in 1584 for help over a personal matter, the feud was remembered and assistance was refused.
1588 – Robert Lindsay (younger) died and it is unknown if his widow Elizabeth Shaw had the use of Crossbasket Castle as her widowed right.