Craigknowe Farm Ownership

Alan Young recently asked me, “Who owned Craigknowe Farm before my gran bought it? My gran was Lydia Young”

Today’s article is more a little note here, a reminder for me to come back to Craigknowe Farm later as I don’t have a lot of notes on this yet. Here’s what I managed to find out.

After the death of Craigknowe farmer, Alexander Young in 1931, his wife Lydia was a widow in the early 1930’s. In 1933, she bought the farm from the estate of Major William Arthur Baird (he died in 1933) which may have been made possible through inheritance sums.

Major William Baird was the grandson of the last Lord Blantyre. A title he missed out on as his father died before him. The title of Lord ended at the end of the 1890s. In 1905 he owned Craigknowe, both house and farm, a farm on Blantyre Muir, Stewartfield Farm, Crofton Green Farm, Edge Farm, Lodgehill Farm, shootings, Blaes Heaps, Minerals at Craigknowe, Stewartfield Quarry, a road at Greenblairs, a road at Blantyre Muir, and he was the owner / occupier at Plantations.

The Major didn’t occupy the farm, simply owned it. It was under tenancy by the Wilson family of farmers for a few decades, renting from him. The Earl of Home also rented land from the Major, closer towards the Priory.

William married Lady Hersey Constance Eveyln Conyngham. Their usual residence was at Lennoxlove House in Haddington. William died on 6th June 1933, aged 54. When the Young family bought the farm in 1933, this was a case of tenant farmers buying the farm outright from the occupier.

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