The Hearth Tax For Ayrshire 1691
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The AYRSHIRE HEARTH TAX ROLLS 1691 is the copyright © of the Ayrshire Federation of Historical Societies. The excerpt presented below, for the Parish of  Maybole, is with their kind permission and may not be distributed in any manner without their approval. The full transcription and publication may be purchased by following this link to the book on Our thanks to Rob Close, editor for his kind assistance and permission to display this excerpt.



In 1690, in an attempt to pay back monies advanced to them by the Shires and Burghs, and to reduce the arrears of the army, the Parliament of Scotland granted a tax of 14 shillings on each hearth in Scotland. 1 This was a one-off tax, payable at Candlemas (2 February) 1691. Hospitals and paupers on parish poor rolls were exempted. Parliament appointed as principal collector James Melville of Cassingray. Sub-collectors were responsible to Melville for drawing up lists of the hearths within their areas. The identification of hearths and collection of the tax progressed slowly; most had been collected by 1694, though in some of the remoter parts of Scotland no lists were ever produced. Melville’s heirs were only finally relieved of their commitment by an act of Parliament in 1705. 2

The sub-collectors were required to list not only the hearths on which the tax was levied, but also those the poor - who were exempt, and also those that remained deficient (or unpaid). Bringing together the information however took time. The list of hearths for the bailliary of Carrick was presented to the Exchequer on 22 March 1693; that for the bailliary of Cunninghame followed on 14 June 1694, and that for Kyle on 1 August 1694. The rolls survive among the records of the Exchequer in the Scottish Record Office.3

In general terms, the historical value of the rolls is that they provide the fullest list of people before the censuses of the nineteenth century. Most of the other contemporary records which record people and places deal largely with landowners: the Hearth Tax was payable by all, including tenants and cottars. As will be seen below, however, not all of these are recorded. Poll Tax rolls, for about the same period, exist for several counties in Scotland, including Ayrshire’s neighbour, Renfrewshire, but there are no comparable Poll Tax rolls for Ayrshire. 4

Althought the rolls should be regarded as having been compiled in 1691 or soon after, many have been amended, usually by the insertion of notes in the margin, or else above or after the entry concerned, often in what looks like a different hand to the one which compiled the original list. There often, but not always, relate to entries where part or all of the tax has been unpaid. In some cases the amendment contradicts the information in the payment columns (e.g. the third payment column might record three hearths surveyed and three hearths paid for, but a marginated note might record "rests 2"). Other corrections are much clearer, e.g. "now in Gaiston" or "poor". The rolls should be regarded, therefore, as working documents, containing information compiled between 1691 and 1694. For most readers this will not be especially important, but where any amendments infer the erection or dereliction of a building, succession to property, or the migration or death of an individual, the reader should refer to the original roll in the Scottish Record Office.

In Ayrshire the form of the rolls varies between bailliaries and between parishes, which affects their usefulness to the modern reader.

CARRICK. The sub-collector, John Hamilton, claims in his deposition to have personally surveyed most of his bailliary by occular inspection (below, p.1), and the way his rolls are compiled suggests that this may have been true to some extent, since Hamilton’s lists .appear to have been compiled settlement by settlement, rather than estate by estate, as in the other two bailliaries. In all cases except one the list is a single one for the entire parish, usually giving both tenants’ names and the names of their fermtouns. Hamilton would certainly have come across many of those named in the rolls in the course of his work as Bailliary Clerk of Carrick.5 All parishes in Carrick have been included, and one parish - Maybole - has been broken down into separate estates, though again most fermtoun names are recorded; the first section in the Maybole list probably represents the town itself, although few trades are recorded. There is no record of either the poor or the deficients.

1. Acts of the Parliament of Scotland. vol ix.. 1689-1695. Edinburgh. 1822. p.236.

2. Acts of the Parliament of Scotland. vol xi.. 1702- 1707. Edinburgh. 1824. p.284.

3. Miscellaneous tax rolls, [E69/2/1-3]. Scottish Record Office (SRO).

4. For a discussion of the historical value of surviving Scottish tax records see Cecil Sinclair. Tracing Scottish Local History: a guide to local history research in the Scottish Record Office. Edinburgh. 1994.

5. Plea Rolls for the Bailliary Court of Carrick survive for the period 1663-1717 (with gaps) partly in the SRO (RH 11/14/2/1-13) and partly in the Ayrshire Archives (ATD 42/7). Transcription of these was begun at the same time as the Hearth Tax rolls, and it is hoped to publish a complete transcript of the surviving records of the Carrick Bailliary Court later in this series.



Ane accompt of all the Hearths within the Baillyrie of Carriek and first the parochen of Mayboill

Inprimis John Lockhart in Tounhead 2 James Pattersone, weaver 2
John and George Bairds there 2 William Montgomerie, baillyie 3
James Mellmune, weaver there 1 Jonat McCreacher 2
John McConchie, taylour there 1 John McKaill 1
Jonat Cochrane, widow there 1 Agnes McKaill 1
John Egelshem there 1 John McCreacher 1
Robert Gemill, weaver there 3 David Huntter 1
Barnard McColme 1 John Hutchesone & his brother 1
Fames Boustoune 1 James Cochrane, merchant 3
John Cochrane, baillyie 3 Hew Campbell 1
Robert Mairtein 1   Alexander McJonat 1
 Andrew McQuatter 1 Robert Hamiltone 5
James Kennedy, shoemaker there 1 Robert McCaull 1
Alexander McCapine 1 Hew Gray, shoemaker 1
David Ballantein younger 1 John Dickie 3
Jonat Houstoune 1 Hellen McQuatter 3
John Rynnie, smith 3  Thomas Kennedy, wryter 2
John Muir, taylour 2 Hew McCornock 5
John Lymont 1 Gilbert McJonat 3
James Neiving 1 John Girthrig 1
William Thomsone 5 Jonas McKaig 1
John Cochrane 2 William Ramsay 1
Gilbert McRankin 3 Margerat McTouther 1
John McMillan elder 2 William Campbell 1
John Syme 1 James Martein 1
Jonat McAlexander, widow 2 William McClymont 1
Mr Claud Hamilton 3 James Pollock 4
Mr Pattrick Findlay 3 Mr House 2
Marion MeIlvaine widow 3 Thomas McKie 1
John McColme 5 Robert Smirle 3
Fergus Wallace 1 Isohell Muir 2
George Goddie 2 Thomas McClymont 2
Quintein Girvan 1 Anahle Blair 1
Matthew Orr 5 James Adam 1
Jonat Cochrane and Hew Gray 4 John Kennedy, shoemaker 3
John Calbreath 1 John McTeir 1
James Cargill 2 Thomas Smith 4
Margerat McTuther 2 William Smith 2
Margerat Aird 1 Hew Girvan 3
Archbald MeClean 2 Walter Huntter 1
Margerat Girvan 1 Hew Stewart 1
John MeColme younger 3 Thomas Couper 1
William Dunlap 1 Alexander Binning 3
James Fergussone 1 Jonat Bettie 4
James McNeillie 1 Captan McReath 1
Robert McCawlI 1 Quintein Aird 2
John Kennedy 2 Jean Hodgeone 1
William McCaull, massone 1 James Kennedy of Knockdone 3
William and Thomas Kennedyes 3 Thomas Gray 2
James McCaull 3 Kilhinzie 1
John Mortoune 1 James Lymont in Waltrees 1
William Goddie 1 William McNeider 1
John McCalloune 1 Alexander Neving 3
William Fergussone 1 James McCornock 1
James Kennedy, belman 1 Thomas Donnan 2
James Tennent 1 James McTaggart 1
Adam Gairdener 2 Fergus Campbell 2
MargeratKirkmichaell 1 James Kairnes 3
John Pollock 1 John Aird, Elder 2
Jonat Kennedy 1 John Aird, younger 2
Hellen Girthrig 1 John McIlniune in Kairne 1
Cultizeoune 5 Hew Campbell, weaver 1
Alexander Carsie 1 John McIlwrick 1
Robert Geills 1 William Richmant 1
Thomas Couper 1 William Gemill 1
Jonat McSkiming 1 David Fultoune 3
James Wilsone 1 David Campbell 1
Robert McClune 2 Jonat Broune 1
Kathrin Muir 3 John Calbreath 1
William Murchie 1 William McCaull 1
John McIlmune 1 William Bryce 1
David Dunlap 1
John McKairnie 1
John Baird 1
John Cassill 2
James Thomsone 1
David Foster 1
John McClennan 1
William Ritchart 1
Margerat Dormont 1    

The Earle of Cassillis lands in the said Paroch

George Campbell in Altitibber 2 John Gray in Kirkbryde 2
Hew Gray in Ardachie 2 John and James McNeider in Hiltoune 2
John McIlmune in Auchninch 3 James McNeider in Knockassill 3
Andrew McClellan there 1 John Gray in Knowsyde 2
Thomas Campbell in Campbelstoune 2 Thomas Gray in Rankoch 2
Robert Campbell in Castellhill 2 John McWhirtor there 1
James Slowand there 1 Gilbert McNeider in Tanergie 2
John Gray in Colongirth 2 Margerat McTaggart there 1
Thomas McIlmune there 1 John Boddan in Knockbrauer 2
John McIlmune in Croftnook 1 Margerat Huntter there 1
John Kennedy in Lagmitchall 1 William Borland in Lagdalduff 1
Hew Kennedy in Drumshang 2 Agnes Campbell in Larges 3
John McIlmune there 2 James Hannay there 1
Adam Loggan there 2 David Ramsay there 2
Gilbert Hamiltone there 2 David Loggan there 2
John McJorrrow in Drumore 1 William Bone there 1
John McConchie there 1 Quintein Bone there 1
Hew McIlmune there 1 James McClellan there 1
James McIlmune in Jockscroft 2 John Dick in Barlach 2
James Slouand in Lagbalbuy 1    

Followes the Hearths belonging to the Countess Dougar of Cassillis

Thomas McClymont in Carsloe 1 William Shaw in Auchengairne 2
John McRankin there 1 Hew Hodgeone there 1
John Goddie in Carsloemilne 3 The said Countess Dougar hir joyntor house in Mayboill
William Goddie there 1
David Kennedy there 1    


John Martein & John Small in Greenandmains 5 Burntoune Andrew Ballantein 2
Burntoune & 10 shilling land John Tennent 2
Thomas Pottar in Speirshill 2
Adam Lachland there 1 William Hannay in Littellstead 1
John Lasone there 1 John McQuatter in Holme 1
David & John McClanes there 2 William McGrean and Thomas McCluir in Miltoune
Robert Lasone there 1
Thomas Pottar in Ballig 1 The old Castell of Greenand 2
John McCrorie there 1 James McQuatter in Burntoune 1
Hew Hannay in McKelupstoune 2 Martein McQuatter in Little Burntoune 2

Kilhinzie Lands

In Kilhinzies oun house 7 Gilbert Watsone in Knockbraike 1
ane kilne & ane oven inde 2 James McMurtrie in Daltamie and his cottars 4 hearths & ane kilne inde  
James McIlmune & William Ramsay in Fishartoune  
John Ramsay in Barlewand 1
Jonat McIlmune in Drumban 2 James McIlmune, cottar in Fishartoune 1
John McSkimming in Craigfine 2 James Fergussone there 1
John Broune in Drumbae 1 William McClymont in Calhounstoune 1
William Orr in Goosdub 1    


Auchendrains oun house 7 Margerat McConnel, cottar there 1
John McWhinzie 2 Margerat McCrorie in Little Pinmore 1
Gilbert Wood in Brae 2 Thomas McCreath in Meikel Pinmore 1
Agnes Calderwood. cottar there 1 William McCrorie there 2
Robert Campbell in Blackbyers 1 John McCrorie in Glenhead 1
John Kairns cottar there 1 David Bone in Whytlyes 3
Gilbert Ramsay in Hoilhouse 2 William Wallace in Coldsprings 1
Henerie Wood in Merkland 1    


Hew Hutcheone in Grange 1 James Ballantein in Hannaystoune 2
James Fultoune there 2 Robert Miller in Corramilne 1
James Hutchesone there 1 Pattrick Brachanrig in Metlanstoune 1
John Cunnighame there 1 Adam McFadzeane in McCleriestoune 1
William McCrorie there 1 John Neill in Dam 8
Archibald Davidsone there 1 James McMurtrie in Attiquin 1
John Andrew in Meadownae 1 James McKerral there 1
James Ramsay in Balochmott 2 James McIlvaine in Litteltoune 3
John Ramsay in Miltoune 1 James Shaw in Neilsastoune 1
David Arthure there 2 John McTouther in Chepaltoune 1


James and Matthew Grayes in Maynes of Dinduff 3 John Egelshem in Knockdone 2
Robert McConchies elder & younger there 2
Cottar there 1
Gilbert Ballantein in Todstoune 2 John Lawsone there 1
Cottar there 1 Gilbert McJorrrow there 1
Robert Hannay in Boalstoune 2 Agnes Kennedy & Jonat McQuatter there 1
Cottar there 1 John Orr in Kirkbryde 1
Thomas McCrorie in McKeristoune 2 John Boall there 2


Hew Blair elder 3 John Kyle there 1
James Blair younger 2 John Neill there 2
James McFadzean in Blairstounemill 1 Martein McQuatter there 1
Thomas Ramsay in Green 2 Gilbert Philip 3 myle house 1
William Donald there 1    


George McCluire in Drumulling 1 Thomas Ramsay in Thornbrock 2
William Din there 1 William Orr in MeKeounstoune 2
Quintein Adam in Keppanoch 1 Robert Shekshaw in Foordhouse 1
Hew Kennedy in Burncrooks 1 David Gottray in Auchencroish 1
Jonat Craufwrd in Smeistoune 1 In Auchenwins oun house 5
John McDougall in Glensyde 1    


John McCluir in Garrihorne 4 Henerie Goddie there 1
Alexander Duntors, cottar there 1 John Wilsone there 1
David Wall in Boghead 2 John Slonand there 1
James Jormont in Bogsyde 2 John McKaill there 1
James Cunninghame in Trees 2 Allan Rodger there 1
Margerat Cunninghame Lady Garihorne 1 Andrew McCluir in Whytfals 2
John Dinshie in Wester Duneven 2 Alexander Kennedy in Abbaymilne 2
James Baird in Drumorran 3 Miller there 1
James Orr there 2 Gilbert Kennedy there 1


In the house of Knockdone 7 John Andrew there 2
John Mortoune there 1 John Ramsay in Keylstoune 2
William Gillespie there 1 John and William Hayes there 3
Thomas Ryllie there 1    


James Hannay in Clonayes 3 Thomas Caldirth in Burntoune 2
James Ramsay there 1 John Hodgeone in Pirristoune 2
Thomas Ramsay there 1 Hew Cunnighame in Burntoune 1
James Cunnighame in Kairnsbeoch 2 Quintein Montgomrie in Beoeh 3


In the house of Sauchrie 1 John Muir there 1
John Couper there 1 John [ ] there 1
Jonat Neilston there 1 Thomas Andrew there 2


Craigskean haith belonging to him within the said paroeh 5 hearths and ane kilne inde



In the house of Munkwood 5 John McClorie 1
John Muir there & his cottars 4 Andrew Kennedy 1
Thomas McKaill & his cottars 3 McKeounstoune 1
Eleizebeth Kennedy in Newmilne 3 David Mortoune in Mossend 1
John McClymont in Crorishill & his cottars 5 J[oh?]n McSkiming in Smeistoune 1
Sandifoord 1 Thomas Aird in Culzeane 4


Machriemore 2 John Fultoune in Santmorray 2
John Kennedy in Myremilne 2 Thomas Ramsay in Cargilstoune 1
Jonat Orr in Fintiloche 1 John Dinshie in Penniglen 2
John McReath & John McRonald in Bogend 3 John Curie in Smeistoune 1
David Ramsay in Cultizeoune 3
Ninian Dunlap in Brockloch 2 Mochrumhill alias Newlands 1
John Eccles in Enoch 2 James Kennedy in Dalduff 2
James and William Orrs in Smeistoune 3 The place of Dalduff 3
[ ] Orr, cottar ther 1 Crochbae 2
Over Culzean Margerat Buy 2 Fergus Egilshem in Risk 1


John Bryce in Bogtoune 2 John McRonald & Andrew Patterson in Tonnock 2
John Orr in Boghall 1 Rodger Fultoune in Fardeingilloch 2
John Orr in Lochland 2 John McMurtrie in Glengouland 2


Newark in his oun house 8 John Crauffuird there 1
Hellen Wood in Easter Newark 2 James Affleck there 1
Thomas McCluir there 1 Thomas Donal there 2
George Craike there 2 David Rodger there 1
Archibald McCoish there 1 Thomas Wood in Hilsyde 1
Andrew Crauffuird there 2    


In Brigend his oun house 7 Robert Hannay there 2
Henerie Smith there 2 John Michell there 1
John McDonald, smith there 2 Thomas Kyle there 1

The paroche extends to 723