12: John Cathcart

John Cathcart of Glenoch Esq.

Residence: Glenoch, Wigtownshire

The mystery of the identity of ‘John Cathcart’ allocated seats in the parish church is uncovered in a legal dispute initiated by the Reverend Matthew Kirkland minister of the parish of the New Cumnock in 16th November 1842 against one of the parish heritors Sir John Andrew Cathcart (See 5. above)


A search through the old records revealed that the nine-merk lands of Waterhead acquired by the Cathcart of Carleton family in 1766 were actually seven-merk lands, since the two-merk lands namely Rigg and Lanehead , were separate from this property. The lands of Rigg and Lanehead actually belonged to John Cathcart of Genoch, Wigtownshire.


John Cathcart of Glenoch died on 5th October 1836 and in his Will & Testament a reference is made to ‘Rents due of the Waterhead Estate’ and the list of tenants includes Joseph Riddell. In the 1841 Census Records of New Cumnock, Joseph Riddell , 20-year-old farmer is found in the records of Sunnyside, the farm cottage on the lands of Lanehead.


In the report of the case brought against Cathcart of Carleton by the Rev Kirkland in 1842 it notes that the 2 merk-lands (Lanehead and Rigg) ‘have only recently become to belong to him‘, presumably soon after the death of Cathcart of Glenoch. The Rev. Kirkland would soon face his own change in tenancy as part of the great Disruption of 1843, as he left the established Church to become the first minister of the Free Church in New Cumnock.

Proprietor …….. Cathcart / Cess Tax 1834 :   Lanehead (and Rigg)