Bruce of Muness




Andrew Bruce, 1st of Muness, was the eldest son of Laurence Bruce of Cultmalundy and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick, 4th Lord Gray. He chose curators on 20 December 1588, these being: William Bruce of Rait, Archibald Bruce of Powfoulis, Lucas Bruce in Milnton of Gorthy, on the father’s side, and William Gray of Lyndoch, Mr. James Gray, Provost of Edinburgh, and Andrew Gray in Invergowrie, on his mother’s side.[1] He was served heir to his mother in 1595[2] and obtained the lands of Muness, in Shetland, from his father which initially appear to have been held of the senior line of family, as superiors, although he later obtained outright ownership, by purchase, amidst the financial difficulties that befell his brother, Culmalundy, and his nephew following their part in the murder of David Tosheoch of Monzievaird in 1618. He had a charter under the Great Seal for those of Unst, Fetlar, Yell and Northmavin in 1627 in recompense of his other lands having been spoiled by shippes of Spaine or Dunkirk.[3]

He m. in 1600, to Isabel Sinclair, said to be daughter of Malcolm Sinclair of Quendale, and d. on 12 February 1645[4] having had issue;

  1. Laurence Bruce, is styled eldest son of Andrew Bruce of Muness in a contract by which he and his father disponed their lands of Bigton in Strande, on the Isle of Fetlar, to John Edwardson of Ousta by Disposition of 25 November 1622.[5] He had apparently dsp by 1645 when his younger brother, Andrew, succeeded as heir to their father.
  2. Andrew Bruce, 2nd of Muness, (see below).
  3. Marjory Bruce, m. Robert Bruce, 2nd of Sumburgh, (c/m 18 January 1625.[6] He d. in March of 1636), and had issue.

Andrew Bruce, 2nd of Muness, succeeded his father in 1645 and m. Ursulla, daughter of Rev. Gilbert Mowat of Garth and Minister of Fetlar. He d. after 17 January 1673 and before 4 September 1674, and was father of,

  1. Hector Bruce, 3rd of Muness, (see below).
  2. Andrew Bruce, was appointed Tutor-at-law to Andrew and John Bruce, sons of his eldest brother, Hector Bruce of Muness, on 13 March 1682.[7] He m. Margaret, sister of Charles Sinclair of Scalloway, d. before June 1703 and was father of,

2a} Ursula Bruce, is styled daughter of the deceased Andrew Bruce, Tutor of Muness, by Margaret, his wife, and sister to Charles Sinclair of Scalloway, in an obligation by that Charles to her for 1000 merks Scots dated 13 December 1709.[8]She m. George Pitcairn, Merchant in Lerwick.

2a} Elizabeth Bruce, who granted a Backbond to her brother-in-law, George Pitcairn, for her living expenses and an undertaking for her to have £1000 Scots for her wedding day so long as she does not marry without her sister and brother-in-law’s consent, dated 13 February 1718.[9]

  1. Gilbert Bruce of Clivoeast and 5th Muness, to whom his brother, Hector Bruce of Muness, granted an obligation for 3000 merks Scots on 17 January 1673.[10] He afterwards succeeded as heir male to the lands of Muness which he sold to his nephew, George Pitcairn in 1718. He m. Margaret, daughter of William Bruce, 3rd of Sumburgh, and d. about 1719/20 having had issue;

3a} Ursula Bruce, m. John Scott, eldest son and heir of Jame Scott of Voesgairth, (c/m 2 July 1701[11]).

  1. Arthur Bruce, to whom his brother, Hector Bruce, younger of Muness, granted an obligation for 3000 merks Scots on 17 January 1673.[12] He d. by 2 September 1706 and was father of,

4a} Arthur Bruce, who is styled eldest son of the deceased Arthur Bruce when he granted receipt on 2 September 1706, of £359 due to his late father in terms of an obligation by Hector Bruce of Muness.[13]

Hector Bruce, 3rd of Muness, had succeeded his father by 4 September 1674, when he granted an obligation for 3000 merks Scots to John Neven of Luning.[14] He m. Barbara, daughter of John Sinclair of Quendale, (c/m 24 May 1662), and d. by 7 September 1679 having had issue;

  1. Andrew Bruce, 4th of Muness, was under age at his father’s death and as a conseuqnece of which his uncle, Andrew Bruce, was appointed Tutor-at-law to he and his brother, John, on 13 March 1682.[15] He was served heir general to his father on 26 November 1686.[16] He married firstly, to Margaret, daughter of John Sincair of Quendale, (she was widow of Mr. John Gowdie, Minister of Tingwall, who had d. on 25 May 1688), and surviving her, he married secondly, to Janet, daughter of William Sinclair of Dunbeath, (c/m 30 May 1696[17]), and dsp some time after then and before 16 November 1700.
  2. John Bruce of Muness, (see below).
  3. Barbara Bruce, was living in 1696 and is named with her sister, Ursulla, in that year. She dsp.
  4. Ursulla Bruce. She and her sister Barbara are styled daughters of Hector Bruce of Muness in a Bond in 1696. She had m. by 24 September 1715, to Charles Stewart, 3rd of Bigton, (he d. in 1702), when she discharged her nephew, Robert Bruce of Muness, of a Bond due by her late brother, Andrew.[18] They had issue.
  5. Margaret Bruce, is styled third daughter to the deceased Hector Bruce of Muness in a Discharge of 1 December 1680, by Laurence Sinclair of Quendale for a Bond of provision for 2000 merks previously granted to her by her late father.[19] She m. by 6 May 1718, to John Scott of Scottshall when she protested against James MacKenzies, Notary Public in Kirkwall, for failing to record the Sasine in favour of John Laurence Stewart, younger of Bigton, for the lands of Muness.[20] They had issue.

John Bruce of Muness, had suceeded his brother, Andrew, by 29 August 1701, when he is styled successor to him in a Disposition to John Scott, Merchant of Edinburgh, for forty-six merks worth of lands in Aith.[21] He m. Grisel, daughter of Robert Bruce, 4th of Sumburgh, and d. in 1703 having had issue,

Robert Bruce of Muness, was under age at his father’s death and to whom his uncle, Gilbert Bruce of Clivocast, was appointed tutor on 23 June 1703.[22] He had dsp by 25 November 1724, when John Laurence Stewart of Bigton and Hector Scott of Scottshall are styled heirs to him in a Disposition by them of the lands of Muness to Thomas Gifford of Busta and Magnus Henderson of Gardie.[23]




[1] Dupplin collection, incorporating the old Cultmalundy writs, penes John Maitland Thomson.

[2] Dupplin collection, incorporating the old Cultmalundy writs, penes John Maitland Thomson.

[3] GD150/1655.

[4] Orkney Tests.

[5] D7/71/3.

[6] D8/117/1.

[7] C22/36/134.

[8] SC12/53/1/P. 516b.

[9] SC12/53/1/P. 590.

[10] SC12/53/1/P. 137.

[11] SC12/53/1/P. 138.

[12] SC12/53/1/P. 293.

[13] SC12/53/1/P. 293a.

[14] SC12/53/1/P. 157.

[15] C22/36/134.

[16] C22/46/460.

[17] SC12/53/1/P. 95.

[18] SC12/53/1/P. 453.

[19] SC12/53/1/P. 684.

[20] SC12/53/5/f. 8v.

[21] SC12/53/1/P. 130.

[22] SC12/53/1/P. 470.

[23] SC12/53/1/P. 656a.