KNOCKBURNIE

Place-name:Knockburnie
Suggested Meaning:hill of the moist place
1st element:Gaelic cnoc ‘hill’
2nd element:Gaelic braonoch ‘moist place’
Blaeu Coila (1654):Knokburny, Knockburny b.,
Scheles of Knocburny
OS Name Books (1855-57):
Location:Ordnance Survey (1893-1960)
Earlier forms
Knocbyrny (1384,1427), Knapburny (1426), Knypburny (1427), Knockburney (1631), Knokburny and Knocburny (1645)
Knockburnie (Photo Robert Guthrie)

In 1374 Lord Alan Cathcart inherited the baronies of Sundrum and Dalmellington through his wife Margaret Wallace, sister of Sir Duncan Wallace. Ten years later he entered into a written agreement with Roger Craufurd of Dalelglis in which he renounced the following 10 merk lands in his barony of Dalmellington in return for £46 13s 4d with the intention of paying back the money within an agreed period of time and recovering his lands [1].

At Edinburgh, 31 May (1427).
THE KING confirmed a certain indenture,- [in which Lord Alan of Kethkert knight, lord of the same, pledged and offered the title of pledge (?) and renounced to ROGER of CRAUFURDE lord of Daleglis,-his own 10 merk lands in his barony of Dalmelyntoun, in the sheriffdom of Air, viz. the farthing land of Benbane, the obulatam (?) land of Drumcalder, the farthing land of Lathanis, the farthing land of Molynnach, the farthing land of Dalwar, the farthing land of Rewach, the obulatam land of Knocbyrny, the farthing land of Marchaleholme,- for Ł46 13s. 4d. sterling; which the said Roger paid to the said Alan as necessary:

See Appendix

Register of the Great Seal, vol. II, #90 (translation):

Evidently these lands were recovered by Cathcart and were later held by a branch of the family known as Cathcart of Waterhead, resident at Waterhead Castle on the upper reaches of the River Nith. In a sasine of 12th May 1631 ‘two merkland of Knockburney‘ is recorded as one of the properties making up the 9 merk-lands of Waterhead [2].

Map 1 Knokburny | Reproduced with the permission of The National Library of Scotland

Blaeu’s map shows Knokburny farm and Knockburny b. (burn) as well as the ‘Scheles of Knocburny’ beyond the source of the burn, probably a shepherd’s bothy [3], on the lands of Knockburnie.

Knockburnie Farm (Photo Robert Guthrie)

Knockburnie cnoc braonach ‘hill of the moist place’

1st element: Gaelic cnoc ‘hill’

Knockburnie is one of five knock- names in the parish where the first element is Gaelic cnoc ‘hill’ which represents an eminence of no great height. Although there is an entry for Knockburnie Hill in the Ordnance Survey Name Books (1855-1857) it has been left blank and Knockburnie Hill is not shown on any Ordnance Survey maps.

Knockburnie Hill may be that part of Peat Hill that sits between Spout Burn and Knockburnie Burn or possibly was renamed Peat Hill at some later time.

2nd element: braonach ‘moist place’

W. J. Watson [4] explains that Gaelic braon ‘a drizzle, ooze’ leads to Gaelic braonach ‘a moist place’, while the dative-locative is braonaigh which becomes birnie in Scots by the usual metathesis.

The term ‘ooze’ is also one that could be applied to Spout Burn, since Scots spout ‘a spring of water issuing naturally from the ground’. The burn rises on Peat Hill and joins Knockburnie Burn just behind Knockburnie farm.

Map 2 Knockburnie | Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Ordnance Survey map below shows 1. Knockburnie Farm 2. Knockburnie Cottage 3. Knockburnie Burn 4. Knockburnie Glen while 5. is the proposed original Knockburnie cnoc braonoch ‘hill of the moist place.;

Knapburn, Knypburny

In 1406 the name appears in the form Knapburny and Knypburny where the first element appears in the forme similar to knap ‘lump, knob’, cf. The Knipe.[5].

REX confirmavit quasdam literas Johannis de Crawfurd de Drongane, in vulgari ser- mono, — [qua concessit JOHANNI DE SCHAW de Hale et Heredibus ejus, — terras de Marsielmerk, de Knapbyrny, Mulenach, et de Lethanys, in baronia de Dalmelytoun, vie. Are : — Apud Are, Nov. 16, 1406, sub hac forma subsequente :Be it kend til al men thrwch thir present letteris me Jon off Crawfurd, lord off Drongane, til haf gewin and til haf grantit and be thir my present letteris gifis and grantis til Jon of tho Schaw, lord of the Hale, and til hys ayris, in fe and heritage, al and syndry the landis of Marsielmerk, of Knypbyrny, of the Mulenach and of the Lethanys wyth the pertineutis lyand wythin the barony of Dalmelyntoun wythin the schyrrafedome of Are, quhil tha landis fra me or myn ayris be lauchfully racoverit be the ayris of Schyr Alan of Cathkert

Register of the Great Seal, vol. II, #89:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

References
[1] Register of the Great Seal, vol. II, #90.
(Thank you to Stuart Clarkson, Guelph, Ontario for the translation)
[2] The Scottish Jurist: Containing Reports of Cases Decided in the Supreme Courts of Scotland, Volume 15 , 1843| page 6
[3] Dictionaries of Scots Language | schele
[4] W. J. Watson ‘The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland’, p189
[5] New Cumnock Place-Name | The Knipe
[6] Register of the Great Seal, vol. II, #89.
Maps
Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland
https://maps.nls.uk/
Map 1 | Blaeu Coila Provincia (1645) | Knokburny, Knocburny
Map 2 | Ordnance Survey (1892-1962) |Knockburnie
Ordnance Survey Name Books & Farm Horse Tax Rolls
By Permission of Scotland’s Places
scotlandsplaces.gov.uk
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49|Knockburnie, Knockburnie Cottage
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49 | Knockburnie Burn, Knockburnie Glen
Ayrshire OS Name Books (1855-57) Vol. 49 | Knockburnie Hill
Scotland’s People
https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
Old Parish Records, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census Records, Valuations Rolls, Wills & Testaments
Place-namesSources
Knocbyrny (1374/1427)Register of the Great Seal, vol. II, #90.
(Thank you to Stuart Clarkson, Guelph, Ontario for the translation)
Knocburney (1631)The Scottish Jurist: Containing Reports of Cases Decided in the Supreme Courts of Scotland, Volume 15 , 1843| page 6
Knocburny, Knokburny (1654)Blaeu Atlas of Scotland (1654) Coila Provincia, [or], The province of Kyle / auct. Timoth. Pont.  
Knockbirnie (1726)Testament Dative and Inventory, Glasgow Commissary Court, CC9/7/52 |Andrew Mitchell, 11/08/1726

Appendix

At Edinburgh, 31 May (1427).
THE KING confirmed a certain indenture,- [in which Lord Alan of Kethkert knight, lord of the same, pledged and offered the title of pledge (?) and renounced to ROGER of CRAUFURDE lord of Daleglis,-his own 10 merk lands in his barony of Dalmelyntoun, in the sheriffdom of Air, viz. the farthing land of Benbane, the obulatam (?) land of Drumcalder, the farthing land of Lathanis, the farthing land of Molynnach, the farthing land of Dalwar, the farthing land of Rewach?, the obulatam land of Knocbyrny, the farthing land of Marchaleholme,- for Ł46 13s. 4d. sterling; which the said Roger paid to the said Alan as necessary:- to be held by the said Roger and Elisabeth his spouse and the longer living of them and their heirs and assignees from the said Alan, his heirs and assignees, until such time as the said Alan and his heirs or assignees shall have paid Ł46 13s. 4d. upon the high altar in the kirk of St. Conval of Cumnock on one Sunday between the sunrise and setting next following the one festival of the birth of the blessed John the Baptist (ie 24 June):- also the said Alan yielded to the said Roger and Elisabeth and their said all farms and proficua (?profits) of the said lands, having been levied in the meantime, for counsel and aid :- returning to the said Roger and Elisabeth one secta (?vote) at the three head courts annually held at Dalmelyntoun, with an annual return of 2 merks, 1d. :- Moreover if they shall have been expelled from the said lands, Alan obliged himself, his heirs, etc, and all his lands of Cathkert and Sondrum, etc … . At Sundrum Tuesday next after the feast of the birth of the Lord 1384]:- witnessed by John bishop of Glasgow chancellor, John Forstare chamberlain, Robert of Lawedre knight, justiciar; Walter of Ogilby treasurer.

Register of the Great Seal, vol. II, #90 (translation):