Britannia, by William Camden


An.750. Big K KYLE is next, lying more inward upon the Bay; a plentiful Country, and well inhabited. In Bede’s Auctarium (or Supplement) it is call’d Campus Cyel, and Coil; where it is recorded, that Eadbert, King of the Northumbers, added this, with other Territories, to his Kingdom. ⌈This Country lies between the river of Dune, which separates it from Carrick, and the river of Irwine, which separates it from Cunningham. It is divided into Kings-Kyle, under the Jurisdiction of the Sheriff, and Kyle-Stewart, which belong’d anciently to the Stuarts of Scotland, and since, to the Prince, the King’s eldest Son.⌉

Vidogora. In Ptolemy’s time, Vidogora was a place of note; ⌈now possibly Lochrian; or⌉ perhapsAire. Aire, which is a Sheriffdom, a Market ⌈formerly⌉ but little, and a well known Port upon a small river of the same name. ⌈It is now the chief Market-town, in the west of Scotland. It’s situation is in a sandy plain; yet hath it pleasant and fruitful fields, with Greens which afford a good prospect both winter and summer. The Church is stately enough, and there is a bridge of four arches which joyns it to the New Town, seated on the north side of the water. The ancient name of this Aire was St. John’s Town, but that is now lost. By the King’s Patent, it is the Sheriff’s Seat and hath within its Jurisdiction thirty two miles. A mile north of the Town, not far from the Sea-shore, there is a Lazer-house, commonly call’d the King’s Chapel, which King Robert de Brus set apart for the maintenance of Lepers.⌉

Concerning Aire, * * I can meet with nothing better worth the inserting, than—C.these Verses sent me by J. Johnston, may be well worth the inserting,

Parva urbs, ast ingens animus in fortibus hæret,
Inferior nulli nobilitate virum.
Aëris è campis haurit purissima cælum,
Incubat & miti mollior aura solo.
Aëria hinc, non Æra prius, credo, illa vocata est,
Cum duris quid enim mollia juris habent?
Infera cum superis quod si componere fas est
Aurea fors dici debuit illa prius.

Small is the Town, but of great Souls is proud,
For Courage fam’d, and Sons of noble blood.
From th’ happy Clime, pure draughts of air descend,
And gentle breezes bless the fruitful Land.
Old times (if Poets have a right to guess)
Not Æria, but Aeria call’d the place,
Rough brass could ne’re such soft delights express.
If I so high might raise my noble theme,
I’d swear that Aurea was the ancient name.

Besides the River Aire, there are two other Rivulets which water this small Territory, having many little Villages scatter’d upon their banks: Lougar, upon which the Crawfords,Crawfords. and Cesnock, upon which the Cambells,Cambells. have their residence (noted families in this tract:) On the bank of the same river, is also Uchiltre-Castle,Uchiltre, or Ochiltre. the Seat of the Stewarts, of the blood Royal, as descended from the Dukes of Albany, hence ⌈heretofore⌉ stiled Barons of Uchiltre; of which House was that Robert Stewart, who was the inseparable companion of the Prince of Conde, and kill’d with him in a battle in France. ⌈In the year 1651, King Charles the second advanced Sir Robert Colvil to the honour of a Peer, by the stile and title of Lord Colvil of Ochiltree.campbell lugar cessnock loudoun Near this place, to the west, is Stair,Stair. which, by the favour of King William and Queen Mary, gave the title of Viscount, to Sir James Dalrymple, whose Inheritance it was; and afterwards, the title of Earl, to John Viscount Stair, by the favour of Queen Anne; whose son of the same name, the present Earl, hath greatly distinguish’d himself by his gallant and wise Conduct, in the Camp, and in the Court.

The chief messuage of the Stewartry of Kyle, was Dundonald,Dundonald. purchased by Sir William Cochran, who was created Lord Cochran by King Charles the first, and by King Charles the second, Earl of Dundonald.⌉ Cambel of Louden enjoys the honour of Hereditary Bailiff of Kyle.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52