Knox of Ranfurlie




John Knox of Ranfurlie and Craigens, is, apparently, the first for whom there is evidence and although he undoubtedly was in descent from those persons who first possessed the lands of Knox or Knocks, in Renfrewshire, the precise details of that relationship are now unknown. He was in possession of Ranfurlie by 6 September 1440, when, under that designation, he disponed his lands of Barbeth, in Renfrewshire, to his “lufit cosine” James of Crawford, son of John of Crawford of Giffartlands.[1] He died after April 1474 and before October 1477, and was father of,

Uchtred Knox of Ranfurlie and Craigans, who, as heir to his father, had a confirmation under the Great Seal of his father’s charter to him of the lands of Greifcastle on 1 April 1474[2]. He had succeeded his father by 7 October 1477, when he was a member of the inquest at the service of John Montgomery as heir to his late father, Hugh Montgomery, in the lands of Thornton[3]and on 6 April 1484,  he witnessed to a charter by Alison Park, daughter and heir of William Park of that Ilk, granting the office of mair of fee of west ward of Stragriffe, to William Cunningham of Craigens.[4] He m. Agnes Lyall, who is generally considered to have been a daughter of Lord Lyall but there is no evidence for that,[5] and was father of,

John Knox of Ranfurlie, who, on his father’s resignation, was infeft in the lands of Greifcastle on 13 July 1497.[6] He is styled son and heir apparent to his father when witness to a Bond between Alexander Graham, Earl of Menteith, and James, Earl of Arran, dated 20 November 1503[7] and d. about 1536. He was father of,

Uchtred Knox of Ranfurlie, succeeded his father and as heir of whom he was infeft in the lands of Ranfulrie by Sasine dated 24 April 1537.[8] He m. Janet Sempill, (who survived him and was one of his executors), and d. at Kippen, on 30 July 1553[9], having had issue;

  1. John Knox of Ranfurlie, (see below).
  2. Janet Knox, who was a joint executor to her father in 1553.

John Knox of Ranfurlie, to whom the nonentries of the lands of Ranfurlie were assigned by the King on 10 January 1539/40,[10] and succeeding his father, he was infeft in the lands of Nethercraigens Knox as heir to him on 9 November 1553.[11] He m. Euphemia Galbraith, (who had her liferent of Ranfurlie reserved to her on 1 January 1593), and d. on 21 March 1594.[12] He was father of,

  1. Uchtred Knox, younger of Ranfurlie, (see below).
  2. James Knox, m. Katherine, daughter of John Graham of Duchray, and discharged her brother for payment of tocher in 1580.[13] He was slain by his nephew, John Knox of Ranfurlie, in 1604 and had issue;

2a} Robert Knox, who agreed to letters of slains by his cousin, John Knox of Ranfurlie, for the murder of his father on 24 June 1611.[14]

  1. William Knox, was included with his brothers, Uchtred and James, in a caution by their father dated 27 January 1585/86.[15]
  2. Mr Andrew Knox, to whom Robert MacAulay, chaplain of the Chapel of St Mary’s of Ranfurlie, granted the lands of Kirklands by charter dated 2 October 1582 and in which he is styled son of John Knox of Ranfurlie.[16] He was witness to his father’s resignation of the lands of Ranfurlie and others to his grandson and heir, John Knox, on 1 January 1593 and was appointed Bishop of the Isles. He d. on 17 March 1632 and had issue.
  3. Robert Knox, was also witness to his father’s resignation of the lands of Ranfurlie and others to his grandson and heir, John Knox, on 1 January 1593 and was executor to his father in 1594.
  4. Patrick Knox, also witness to his father’s resignation of the lands of Ranfurlie and others to his grandson and heir, John Knox, on 1 January 1593. He is styled brother to Andrew, Bishop of the Isles, when witness to a charter by that person to Donald MacDonald of Sleat dated 24 May 1610.[17]
  5. Jean Knox, m. by 12 July 1570, to Mr John Porterfield of that Ilk[18] and d. in October 1615.[19] They had issue.
  6. Katherine Knox, m. by 26 October 1577, to John Bruce of Auchenbowie[20] and had issue.

Uchtred Knox, younger of Ranfurlie, to whom and his wife, Margaret, daughter of George Maxwell of Newark, (c/m June 1578.[21] She survived him and m. secondly, by c/m 6 August 1593, to William Knox of Silviland, by whom she had further issue. She d. in January 1622[22]), his father made a resignation of the lands of Ranfurlie on 9 June 1578.[23] He d. vita patris in December 1589[24] having had issue;

  1. John Knox of Ranfurlie, (see below).
  2. George Knox, is included with his brother, Alexander, and sisters Susanna, Margaret and Jean, as joint-executors to their father in 1589. He is styled brother to John Knox of Ranfurlie when witness to a charter by his uncle, Mr Andrew Knox, bishop of the Isles, in favour of Sir Dugald Campbell of Auchinbreck and Isobel Boyd, his wife, for various lands in Argyleshire dated 9 February 1611.[25]
  3. Alexander Knox,
  4. Susanna Knox,
  5. Margaret Knox, m. John Cunningham of Kilmaronock, second son of James. 6th Earl of Glencairn, and had issue.
  6. Jane Knox,

John Knox of Ranfurlie, in favour of whom his grandfather, John Knox of Ranfurlie, conveyed his lands of Nethercraigens and Greifcastle by Disposition dated 1 January 1593 and which was confirmed under the Great Seal on 1 March 1594/95.[26] He seems to have often been embroiled in quarrels and for reasons now unknown, he killed his uncle, James Knox, in 1604, for which he granted letters of slains on 24 June 1611, then in 1614, being involved in his uncle, Mr Andrew Knox’s affairs in the western isles he and his cousin, Mr Thomas Knox, were detained and imprisoned in Dunyvaig castle in 1614.[27]

He m. Annabelle Blair, apparently daughter of John Blair of that Ilk, and d. about 1645, having had issue;

  1. Uchtred Knox of Ranfurlie, (see below).
  2. Andrew Knox, who, on 14 April 1642, took caution with father not to harm Walter Dick in Griblach and Ardmanwell.[28] He was witness to the baptism of Patrick Maxwell, son to George Maxwell, younger of Newark, on 30 December 1653.[29]
  3. Euphemia Knox, m. Thomas Rollo of Craigingelt, (c/m 7 December 1639[30]).
  4. Margaret Knox,
  5. Jean Knox, m. Robert Mure of Caldwell, (he d. in January 1641), and had issue.

Uchtred Knox of Ranfurlie, to whom his father conveyed the lands of Ranfurlie, Nether Craignens and Greifcastle by charter dated 24 June 1631,[31] which he afterwards disponed to William, Lord Cochrane, by Disposition dated 17 March 1665.[32] He m. firstly, to Isabel, daughter of Sir Robert Fairlie of Braid, (c/m 29 January 1633[33]), and surviving her, he m. secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Mure of Rowallan, who consented to the disponing of Ranfurlie by resignation dated 17 March 1665,[34] and was father of,

  1. Helen Knox, m. John Cunningham of Caddell, (c/m 13 March 1668[35]) and had issue.
  2. Jean Knox, m. Paul Dog of Ballingrew,[36] (he survived her and m. secondly, by c/m 30 December 1679, to Margaret, daughter of David Drummond of Innermay, who survived him and m. secondly, in 1689, to Sir George Oliphant, Baronet, of Newton), and had issue.




[1] C2/3/149.

[2] C2/7/291. See also: Ranfurlie writs, No. 225.

[3] MSS of the Home Muniments, No. 272.

[4] C2/12/166.

[5] MacFarlane’s Genealogical Collections, Vol. ii, p. 278.

[6] Ranfurlie writs, No. 226.

[7] Fraser, Red Book of Menteith, Abstracts, Vol. ii, pp.306-307.

[8] Ranfurlie writs, No. 227.

[9] Dunblane Tests. MacFarlane also asserts that Uchtred Knox of Ranfurlie had a younger son, William Knox of Silveland, who acquired those lands and had issue, a son and heir, William, but that is not correct. Gilbert de Knock, son of Uchtred de Knock, acquired the lands of Silveland, in Renfrewshire, by charter dated circa 1309, and Thomas Knox of Selviland, in all probability the heir male of line to that Gilbert, was in possession of those lands by 1477. John Knox of Selviland succeeded and had Sasine for Selveland in 1515, then made a resignation of them to his son and heir, John Knox and Elizabeth Walkinschaw, his wife. Thomas Knox of Selveland succeeded and died 1589×1593 leaving a son and heir, William Knox of Silveland, who married Margaret Maxwell, Lady Ranfurlie, and had issue; a son and heir, Archibald Knox of Silveland, who had service as heir to his father in the lands of Silveland on 25 May 1624. That evidence considered, Knox of Silveland, if descended from Ranfurlie, can only have branched off at a far more remote date and, indeed, the antiquity of the possession of Silveland considered, that Ranfurlie may be a junior stirpes of Silveland is not an unreasonable proposition.

[10] PS1/13/43.

[11] Ranfurlie writs, No. 229.

[12] CC8/8/28/pp.221-223.

[13] GD22/3/2.

[14] GD22/3/8.

[15] RPC First Series Vol. 4, p.45.

[16] Ranfurlie writs, No. 234.

[17] NRAS3273/3.

[18] PS1/41/34r.

[19] CC10/5/3/pp.329-330.

[20] GD17/192.

[21] RD1/16/2/27.

[22] CC9/7/19/pp/143-146.

[23] Ranfurlie writs, No. 230.

[24] CC8/8/22/pp.581-583.

[25] Laing Charters, No. 1604.

[26] Ranfurlie writs, No. 231. See also: C2/40/188.

[27] RPC First Series, Vol. 10, p.719.

[28] RPC Second Series, Vol. 7, p. 239.

[29] OPR – Kilbarchan.

[30] GD22/1/441/1.

[31] Ranfurlie writs, No. 238.

[32] Ranfurlie writs, No. 245.

[33] C3/3/260.

[34] Ranfurlie writs, No. 246.

[35] GD22/3/287.

[36] GD21/33.