Dumbarton Text





RMS I (82) 1315-21, (760) 1384

RMS II (867) 1465-6, (875) 1466, (2704) 1502-3, (2821) 1504-5, (3012) 1506

RMS III (1080) 1531

RMS IV (683) 1551-2, (747) 1552-3

RMS VII (190) 1609, (353) 1610


RSS IV (1765) 1552


Robertson’s Index p 59 No 4


Dumbarton Retours (9) 1607, (12) 1608, (29) 1629, (37) 1641, (50) 1653, (85) 1690, (95) 1574


AS II (824) 1654, (906) 1655, (1005) 1661, (1185) 1664


OSA Vol 4 No II pp 21-26, 1792, Rev James Oliphant


RHP 9095 Dumbarton town and shire, by Ross, 1777


W Fraser, The Chiefs of Colquhoun and their country, Vol II, Edinburgh, 1869


J Irving, The Book of Dumbartonshire Vol II, Edinburgh, 1879 pp 1-168



Dumbarton Castle had a bordland of 80m (GD220/1/G/7/2/3 1705 & GD220/1/H/3/2/5 1706).


Dumbarton occupies an unusual position amongst the parishes of Lennox. Instead of being a collection of rural farms it was instead the base for a royal castle and burgh – with their hinterland. I have struggled to find land-assessment data and the table only gives a total of c. 19m.


However there is one very important document dealing with Dumbarton which is RMS VII (190) 1609. This is of such significance to questions of land-assessment in early Lennox that I have discussed it fully in a separate text file called ‘Davachs in Lennox?’ For the purposes of this section I should point out that it refers to a charter of Alexander II, dated 1223, which listed 14 ‘davachtis’ whose ‘sequelas’ were assigned to the burgh. It also set down Dumbarton’s sphere of mercantile influence as extending from the River Kelvin to the head of Loch Long. (In 1609 this was supplemented by the power to uplift all the petty customs and other duties, plus fishing rights, between the River Kelvin and the head of Loch Long).


I think Alexander’s charter lies behind the long saga of ‘watch meal’ payable by the Kilpatrick properties of Paisley Abbey towards the maintenance of Dumbarton Castle – a saga which rumbled on into the late nineteenth century. (See table entitled ‘Paisley Properties’). It also, I think, indicates that the earliest boundary of Kilpatrick parish stretched east to the Kelvin. This is dicussed further under Kilpatrick.


Finally, James’s charter of 1609 is important for establishing the then bounds of Dumbarton. These are largely omitted from the printed version of RMS but Irving, Book of Dumbartonshire, II, pp 20-22, gives the detailed listing.


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