FARME, the property of James Farie, Esq., is an interesting old place on the banks of the Clyde, in the parish of Rutherglen, and distant from Glasgow between two and three miles.
In days of old, and when Glasgow was a mere village, Rutherglen and its neighbourhood was a place of great importance, and the Castle of Rutherglen was a stronghold of the early Scottish kings. Edward I. during his usurpation of Scotland early took possession of it, and after being besieged by the Bruce, it was taken by his brother Edward in 1313. It stood for long after this, and was inhabited in its latter days by a branch of the house of Hamilton. It has, however, now totally disappeared, the last remains of it having been carted away and used for various ignoble purposes.
For a considerable distance around the old castle, and stretching down to the river, was a royal domain called "Ferme." It had been in the possession of the Crown from an early date, but in the time of King Robert the Bruce it was granted to Robert Stewart. In David the Second's reign the Douglases had it, and afterwards it was divided into several estates, one being Crawford Farm, another Hamilton Farm, (1) and a third Noble's Farm. (2)
Crawford Farm, the history of which we now follow, and which is the Farme of to-day, was early in the possession of a family of Crawfords, who named their part of "the Ferme" after themselves. They were a family of some importance, and we have glimpses of them occasionally during the stirring times in which they flourished. (3) They possessed Farm till 1611, when it passed to the Minto Stewarts, apparently by the marriage of Christian, daughter of James Crawford of Farm, to Sir Walter Stewart.
The Stewarts held Farm for about sixty years, latterly amidst much family discomfort and discord, Sir Walter, the father, and his son Ludovic being on the worst possible terms, (4) and before 1678 the estate had passed from them and was in the hands of Sir William Fleming.
Sir William was the Commissary of Glasgow. He was the son of Mr. Archibald Fleming of Peil, in East Kilbride, who had been the preceding Commissary.
This Archibald Fleming was a Royalist and Episcopalian apparently, and on Presbytery becoming triumphant he lost his office. At the Restoration, however, he was reappointed and made a baronet. He never enjoyed his title, for he died before the necessary preliminaries were arranged. Sir William Fleming of Farm, his son, was a man of importance. He had apparently given up the Stewart Kings, and gone in for the new order of things, for under the Government of William and Mary he took charge of public affairs in the neighbourhood, looking after the militia, and in 1689 acting as overseer at the election of magistrates for Rutherglen.
From the Flemings, Farm was acquired by the Earl of Selkirk, a younger son of Ann, Duchess of Hamilton, and finally it became the property of the Duke of Hamilton, from whom it was bought by the ancestor of the present proprietor.
The Farie's are an old Rutherglen race, and their names often appear in public positions in the ancient burgh. (5) James Farie of Farm, who died in 1876, married Janet, daughter of James Scott of Cowlairs, and had, with other issue, the present laird, who is the fourth James Farie of Farme. Mr. Farie is a Deputy Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, and was formerly Lieutenant-Colonel of the 5th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. He is unmarried. The late Mr. Farie, and his father before him, were both excellent men, and much appreciated both in ancient Rutherglen and more modern Glasgow.
Farme is a very fine old place, and though now surrounded and hemmed in by the squalid and hideous accompaniments of modern civilization, it is to be hoped its strong walls will long resist the assaults of the advancing city, and that it may be spared to continue one of the most interesting ornaments of the east end of Glasgow, and an excellent specimen of a thoroughly good old country house. (6)
(1) Hamilton Farm was so named from being the property of the Hamiltons. When the lordship of Hamilton was erected by James II. in 1445, the superiority of Hamilton Farm is mentioned in the Charter. Hamilton Farm afterwards belonged to a branch of the Bogles. It is now owned by Graham Somervell of Sorn.
(2) Noble's Farm was the property of a very old family, now represented by the Nobles of Ferme and Ardardan Noble. Noble's Farm as a distinct property does not now exist, but it did so up to 1661 at least, for in that year Sir Ludovic Stewart of Ferme petitioned Parliament "that the colliers at Noble's Farm be compelled to work, and be prevented from diverting themselves from his service."
(3) William Crawford of Ferme obtained a remission in 1489 for having held Dumbarton Castle against King James IV., along with the Earl of Lennox, Lord Lyle, &c. (Acts of Parliament, &c.)
In 1595 the Presbytery of Glasgow wrote letters to the lairds of Ferme, Lekprevick, and the Bailie of Ruglen to stop the profane plays acted in Ruglen on the Lord's Day. (Records - Presbytery, Glasgow.)
(4) In 1649 Sir Walter petitions against his son for injuries done to him; Sir Ludovic ordered, on the report of a Commission which had been appointed to take evidence in the matter, to be imprisoned for a year, in addition to any further punishment which may be inflicted, unless matters be amicably arranged between them; Sir Walter's estate sequestrated; the rents of Daldowie to be applied to Sir Ludovic's support, and those of Ferme to Sir Walter's. (Scots Acts of Parliament.)
(5) Thus, in 1671, George Farie and John Farie were both in the Town Council of Rutherglen, and in 1779 James Farie was the Provost.
Another of them, David Farie, seems to have been resisting "the powers that be" in the Covenanting times, for we find him along with his neighbour of Bogleshole included in a long list of persons restored from forfeiture in 1690.
(6) About the beginning of the eighteenth century Farme is thus described by a writer of the day. "It is one of the pleasantest seats in all this tract, situate in a large plain field, near to the river of Clyde. The house is not extraordinarie, but notably planted with barren timber, in fyne walks with large and fruitful gardens, with salmond fishing upon the river."
"In May, 1792, one of the principal rooms in the old castle, at the Farme, was ordered to be repaired. The workmen having torn down the old stucco ceiling, discovered another above it of wood. It was painted with water colours; but the figures were so much effaced that excepting a few waved lines and stripes it was impossible to form any distinct idea of what they consisted. Several lines of writing, in the old English characters, were observed on the sides of the great beams that lay across the house. The letters were black upon a white ground. Some of the lines were so greatly obliterated that they could not be read. The following, however, which were legible, are here offered to the public, as a literary curiosity, and as an example of the way which the inhabitants of Scotland anciently used to inculcate the principles of morality and good breeding.
"'Faire speiche In presence, with guid report in absence; And maners Ento fellowschep, obtian grait reurence.
* * * Gyf thou heiniousnes dois or Vice also; for scheme remains when pleisour is ago.
He that sitis doun to ye hend for to eat,
Forzetting to gyf god thankis for his meite;
Syne ryses upe and his grace oure pass,
Sitis down lyk ane oxe, and rysis ype lyk ane ass.'
"Each of the above stanzas is, in the painting, comprehended in a single line." Ure's Rutherglen.
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