John McLaren
died 10 March 1825 aged 67
Capt and Adjutant
41yrs in Army

Berwickshire Militia- father of
Capt. A.D. McLaren
of Hope Park.

C. M. Grey of Milfield's
G. Grandfather

The McLarens of Hope Park: Three miniatures of McLarens in army uniform.

Bartie McLaren
Lieut 58th Regt.
died 1870 at
Pembroke Dock.
son of Capt A.D.

Served in the Indian Mutiny. Q. M. and Adjutant.

"Capt. Alex Donald McLaren died 1871. 99th Regiment Capt Adj in Berwick Militia.
C. M. Grey’s Grandfather." Donald is wearing a medal for the Peninsula War.
The records of the 58th Northamptonshire are at National Archives at Kew.
The birth announcement (above) of Mary McLaren, the daughter of Capt. Alexander Donald McLaren. Edinburgh Evening Courant
4 June 1829. She grew up at Hope Park,

Ensign 91st Foot 3 Jun 1812, Lieutenant 31 Mar 1814 Served in the Peninsula between the following dates Apr '13 -'14 Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, ?, Toulouse Army General Service Medal, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse. Half Pay 25 Feb 1816. From Lionel S. Challis's "Peninsula Roll Call"
The war was fought in Spain under Arthur Wellesley later the Duke of Wellington.

‘IHS’ – Here lies the remains of JOHN MCLAREN late Captain and Adjutant of the Berwickshire Militia upwards of 41 years who died at Coldstream on the 10 March 1825 aged 67 years. Erected by his widow. He served his King and country with honour, Zeal and Fidelity. This stone is erected as a faint memorial of her affection and esteem.

Grave in Lennell Kirkyard. Middle - Row 17 - 8 Photo and transcription from Coldstream Local History Society's website.

‘IHS’ – In memory of JAMES BARTIE McLAREN son of Captain A.D. McLAREN Berwickshire Regiment of Militia who died at Coldstream on the 12th September 1824 aged 13 months. Also of ROBERT MAXWELL another son who died 4 November 1833 aged 2 ½ years. Also in memory of JOHN WRIGHT father in law to Captain A.D. McLAREN who died at Coldstream 18 May 1824 aged 65 years.

Grave in Lennell Kirkyard. Middle - Row 17 - 9 - Photo and transcription from Coldstream Local History Society's website.

Transcription: In memory of CHRISTIANA McLAREN daughter of Captain A. D. McLAREN Berwickshire Militia who died at Coldstream 15th January 1837 aged 17 years.

A Fathers hope A Mothers joy sleeps here. Faithful friend lifes chequered course ?looks to. The poor mans aid a heart both meek and kind. She lived for Christ and kept her end in mind.

Also JOHN WRIGHT NAISMYTH McLAREN son of Captain A D McLAREN Berwickshire Militia who died 15 November 1838 aged 20 years. Also ROBERT McINTYRE McLAREN son of Captain A. D. McLAREN who died 19th September 1842 aged 9 years. Also CHRISTIAN NAISMYTH McLAREN wife of Captain A. D. McLAREN died 7th March 1844 aged 48 years.

Grave in Lennell Kirkyard. Middle - Row 17 - 10 Photo and transcription from Coldstream Local History Society's website.

Alexander Donald McLaren's first family.

Far left: John McLaren's grave can be found at Lennell Kirkyard two miles from Coldstream. The three McLaren graves are next to the three graves of the "Bartie" family who are probably relatives given that the name is used for two of his grand children.

The wife of John's son, A.D. McLaren, who was called Christian and died aged 48, appears to have had a least ten children, five of whom did not reach adulthood and are buried here, along with her father John Wright.

The 1851 census for Hope Park records that Bartie was a dentist.

Christian Woodford.
G.G. Grandmother of
Christian Grey of Middle Ord.

This painting was left in Christian Margaret Grey's will to her son Charles Boyd Grey:
"THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me CHRISTIAN MARGARET GREY formerly of Milfield but at present residing at Barelees near Cornhill-on-Tweed all in the County of Northumberland widow WHEREBY I devise bequeath and appoint all real and personal estate belonging to me (including the worked chairs and screen and the picture of my great great grandmother which belonged to my mother) or over which I may have a general power of appointment or disposition by will ... to and in favour of my son Charles Boyd Grey absolutely ..."
The name Woodford appears as a second name in one of Christian Margaret Grey's aunts.


Below: A recently discovered (2018) painting.
A 1799 scottish directory (left) for a Hope Park House in Edinburgh (online) has a Robert Nasmyth who was an advocate. However this could not be the father of Christian Naysmith as at her marriage in 1788 her father Robert is said to be deceased, and is possibly not the Hope Park at Coldstream that was the home of Alexander Donald McLaren. The above Robert Nasmyth died at Hope Park House on 28 January 1809. A Mary Nasmyth sister of Robert of Whitehill died there on 12 Dec 1808. A Dr. James Nasmyth who had connections to a Hope Park, spent his early life in India, returning to Scotland in 1798 and had property in Scotland and Jamaica worth £70,000 when he died in 1813. (He may have been an army surgeon.) A Robert Nasmyth is also on the slave owner's database.

The Alexander in the above directory painted Robert Burns, but no connections have been found so far.
Marriage record for Edinburgh 29 February 1788 from Scotland's People web site: "John Wright Student New North Kirk parish & Christian Naysmith New Gray Friars parish Daughter of the deceased Robert Naysmith late portioner at Kirkudbright"
Land tax records from Scotland's Places web site show that a Robert Nasmyth, advocate, had property in Kirkcudbright in 1799.

A Dr. James Nasmyth's will made in 1803 and altered in 1810 was disputed and can be read online here: It is also listed in the The National Archives:"Hare and others v Nasmyth and others Testator or intestate: Nasmyth, James of Hope Park House, Edinburgh; died at the Turk's Head Coffee House, Strand, Middx.; esq."

I give to John Gunn, for his attention to my afflicted brother Robert, £20 sterling, with expectation that this will fix and increase his assiduity, rather than tend to lessen it. I give and bequeath to the poor of my native town Kirkcudbright £200 sterling, which must be distributed wisely and gradually by the Magistrates of that town. I give and bequeath to the children of Mrs. George Ross of London, extra jus mariti, £600, to be divided equally among—when— and at the discretion of my executors alone. I give and bequeath to Robert Clark, the eldest natural son of the late James Clark (of Calcutta,) £400 sterling; and I give and bequeath to the 'younger son, John Clark, £400 sterling. ... I give and bequeath to each of the children of the late Mrs. Christian Wright £60 sterling, to be managed, used, and applied, according to the 'prudence and determination of my executors, and (extra) without the interference of their father. I give and bequeath to the children of Sir James Nasmyth of Posso £400 sterling, to be shared equally among them. I give and bequeath to the London Missionary Society £100, and the same sum to (the) 'Edinburgh Missionary Society. I give and bequeath to the 'different charity schools and charitable societies (institutions) 'in Edinburgh £500 sterling, ... I give to the Rev. David Black, one of the Ministers of Edinburgh, £20 sterling. I request that a large, clear, and elegant edition of the Holy Bible be presented to my brother Dr. Thomas Nasmyth, with a brother's affectionate wishes that the moral instructions, and the practice of honourable conduct, may influence the parent, to whose dear children I give and bequeath the sum of £500 sterling, to be equally divided among them, with an uncle's blessing. May he accept this as cordially as I, in 'the view of the Creator, offer it now. I give and bequeath to the said Mary Nasmyth, my beloved sister, the whole and all the remainder of my property (personal and real,) of whatever denomination, to be used and disposed of as she pleases. She will, I know, enjoy it for herself honourably and 'prudently, and distribute liberally. Lastly, of my bosom brother Robert, I feel that my fixed sentiments, and my gratitude for .. .his affectionate conduct and generous purposes towards me, cannot be expressed. Therefore, O merciful and all-powerful Lord God, I beseech thee to look down and bless (him) by restoring his understanding, so that he may have the renewed sense of thy pardon, reconciliation, and fatherly chastisement. Habitually did he worship thee....In testimony of this being my last will and testament, I hereto set my hand and seal, and 'declare it to be written upon three pages, and signed in my own handwriting, at Edinburgh, this 28th day of September '1803.—James Nasmyth.

Additional notes included the following:
... J. N. directs that his third of the property of Whitehill and Craiglay be sold soon after his death, and the amount he gives and bequeaths to the magistrates of his native town, Kirkcudbright; ... to relieve the native poor of that place, prudently and judicious. ... J. N. gives and bequeaths to the only son of his late brother Thomas N. by (Mary) Sarah, or Sarah Mary Nasmyth, the sum of one hundred guineas, regretting the insuperable prejudices against me (him) which he and his said wife have instilled into their mind, manifested by their behaviour to him. J. N.

Dr James Naysmith does not say directly that Christian Wright is his sister. A search of parish records for Kirkcudbright gives the following family, (left) although Mary is missing and no original sources have been checked so far. The use of the name Maxwell by one of the Nasmyth children and one of the the McLaren children appears to confirm that Isabel Maxwell is their ancestor.
Alexander Donald McLaren, records his mother as Mary Woodford on his marriage to Elizabeth Soady. He was her second son. John's daughter Margaret says her mother's name was McFarlane.
The slave owning Dr Thomas Nasmyth appears to have inherited the Water Valley estate from an older relative. So far we have not discovered how the titled Sir James Nasmyth of Posso mentioned in the will is connected to this family.
The above notice in the Scots Magazine Vol. 70, lists a sister of Robert Naysmyth Esq of Whitehill, advocate, dying at Hope Park House on 12 December 1808.
John Wright's profession is given as a 'writer' which may mean a legal practitioner, such as a notary or solicitor. He could have been studying law at the time of his marriage.

The McLaren and Bartie families are buried near each other.

Records for the Berwickshire Militia show that Alexander Donald McLaren was Adjutant in 1816 and John Bartie was Quarter Master in 1818 and Robert Cunningham was paymaster in 1814. (Left)

The Scots magazine shows a Lieutenant Bartie marrying Miss Margaret McLaren daughter of Captain McLaren on 15 November 1811. The marriage registers of Dunbar record: " John Bartie, lieutenant in the Berwickshire Militia, and Margaret McLaren of this parish, were regularly married on 15 November 1811." However as the name Bartie is used by her sister's family it is likely there is already a Bartie connection further back.

Further investigation of the Scottish census gives us the following family (left) which reveals that two of Capt. John McLaren's daughters were born in the West Indies and Canada. Margaret Bartie, aged about 45, is on the 1841 census at Coldstream, and with her sister Eliza McLaren on the 1851 census in Edinburgh, while Eliza McLaren, aged 70, is living with her niece Janet Bartie in Edinburgh in 1861. This appears to indicate that John may have been in the regular army before he was in the Berwickshire Militia.
Scottish registration of births, marriages and deaths began on 1 January 1855. They list the names of the parents of the deceased. Alexander Donald Mclaren's death certificate in 1871 was made by his second wife Elizabeth Soady who did not know the name of his first wife, which is listed as "unknown". He appears to have outlived his children. However the death certificate of Margaret Bartie in 1855 does have the name of her mother although it is difficult to decipher. (See below.) Possibly Rosetta Mcfarlan or it could be Mclachlan. (One of the witnesses at the baptism of Christian Wright, John Wright and Christian Nasmyth's daughter, in Glasgow in 1794 is a John McLachlan.)

The grave of one of John McLaren's daughters born in 1795: "to the memory of MARY MCLAREN wife of Capt. CUNNINGHAM Berwickshire Militia who died 28th November 1820 aged 25 years. And of their daughter JANET who died 27th January 1821......"
Eccles Kirkyard Section B - Row 1 - 9
Photo and transcription from the Coldstream Local History Society. Below: The marriage listed in the Scots Magazine 2 September 1811 p 716.

The dispute about the Nasmyth will was taken to the House of Lords on 28 January 1818. From Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. 51, p. 427 online here.
The above confirms the connection to the McLaren family.

Mr John WRIGHT, teacher, writer, Hermitage Place, Edinburgh. RESEARCH

John Wright remarried. The death of an Agnes Reid wife of John Wright of Hermitage Place Stockbridge on 24 March 1820 from Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 7, p.231 online.

Hermitage Place, Stockbridge was changed to Raeburn Street in 1968.

Agnes is buried in the burial ground of Sir James Naismith. (below) from Scotland's People website, Old parish Registers Deaths 685/1 990 318 Edinburgh page 318 of 422. "1820. Mrs Agnes Reid Died 24 ?Mr aged ?63 years. Wife of Mr John Wright of Hermitage Place. Place of Internment: in Sir James Naismith's Ground."

Christian Wright died in Edinburgh in 1801 and was buried on 28 February beneath Sir James Naismith's ?southmost stone. (Above) from Scotland's People website, Old Parish registers deaths: 685/1 980 370 Edinburgh, p.370 of 447. Her daughter Christian was 7 years old. When she was 22 she married Alexander Donald McLaren.

The baptism of two children in Glasgow has been found for John Wright and Christian Nasmith: Mary on 13 March 1790 and Christian on 21 June 1794. John Wright is a teacher in 1790 and a writer four years later.
It seems unusual for John Wright to be a student at the age of 27, the time of his marriage. There are a number of John Wrights in Edinburgh directories. An online source here describes a shoemaker with the same name who retrained in law in 1781; but this may not be him.
No Christian Woodford has been found so far (March 2018) in any online database. There is a Captain John Woodford 1741- 18 April 1800 buried at Holyrood in Edinburgh. "John Woodford, Esquire, late Lieutenant Colonel of the North Fencibles or Gordon Fencibles, Died at Edinburgh, the 18th, and buried in the Chapel Royal of Holyroodhouse, on Sunday the 27th of April, 1800, at one o'clock afternoon, close by the remains of Lady Jean Gordon, seven feet south of the Earl of Sutherland's monument". The grave is inscribed: "To the memory of JOHN WOODFORD, Captain & Lieut Colonel Grenadier Guards, Col of the North Fencibles born 1741 - died 1800: He married SUSAN daughter of Alexander 3rd Duke of Gordon, widow of John 9th Earl of Westmoreland. Their sons were F.M. Sir ALEXANDER WOODFORD GCB GCMG; Major Gen Sir JOHN WOODFORD KCB KCH." Alexander Woodford fought in the peninsula wars, as did Alexander Donald McLaren but there is no evidence to make a connection.
Fire at Hope Park from Caledonian Mercury Edinburgh, Saturday, March 28, 1840.
Online from
Edinburgh Evening Courant, 26 June 1828
Hope Park House in Coldstream.
Above: Scots Magazine 1 Dec 1816
Above: The Scotsman 28 January 1883. Their youngest son went to Australia in 1859 and was last heard of in 1868.
A.D. McLarens first wife having died in 1844 he remarried at the age of 60 to Elizabeth the 20 year old daughter of Thomas Eales Soady of Edrington House in Berwick, (who was a retired Major in the East india Company's service), and had a second family.
The Sydney Morning Herald 24 Feb 1883, says that Matthew had gone to Australia " for authority to make up a title to the removable estate referred to in the petitions" which had belonged to him. It gives Humble's address as 7, Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh.
The James Taylor McLaren mentioned in the legal notices may be James Turner McLaren an illegitimate son of James Bartie McLaren, (see above) birth register dated 27 February 1850 from Scotland's People website or if not he may be the son of Alexander or of Matthew himself.
Hope Park lies to the east of Duns Road, north of the High Street in Coldstream. OS map 1857-1862 from British History online. It has been restored and recently (2012) sold.
Mary Woodford came from Newport on the Isle of Wight, where Woodford is a common name. However as John McLaren's children are born in many different places and the men of the family appear to marry the daughters of soldiers, she could as easily be the child of a soldier stationed there just before the Napoleonic war. Christian may be Mary's mother?
John married for a third time to Eliza Pringle Young and had two more children.