James Runciman1

(13 December 1800 - 16 December 1871)
FatherDavid Runciman2,3,4 (cir. Oct 1751 - Jan 1825)
MotherJanet Lockie2,4 (cir. 1757 - Sep 1830)
Relationship1st cousin 5 times removed of Lorna Henderson


     Primarily included on this site to show where the family info about the "brother in London" whose children were brought up at Wanton Walls fits into the family equation.5

BMDB data

     James Runciman was born on 13 Dec 1800 Earlston, BEW, SCT.1,6 He was baptized on 30 Dec 1800 at Earlston, Berwickshire.4,6
     James Runciman married Eliza Wight, daughter of George Wight and Margaret Lauder, say 1838 ?Earlston, Par. of Earlston, BEW, SCT.1
     James Runciman died on 16 Dec 1871 Wantonwalls, Par. of Lauder, BEW, SCT, at age 71; cert reads: James Runciman, farmer married to Elizabeth Wight, died 2pm, aged 72 of a) small pox, vaccinated, 1 week, b) pleurisy, 2 days, cert by W B Robertson MD Lauder, s/o David Runciman, farmer and Janet m.s. Lockie, both dec., Inf. son George Runciman.1 He was buried with Eliza Wight at Earlston, Berwickshire, the h/stone reading: Erected by James Runciman, farmer Wantonwalls imo David Runciman his son who died 8.7.1866 aged 26 also the above James Runciman who died at Wantonwalls 16.12.1871 aged 72 also Eliza Wight his wife who died there 24.12.1871 aged 56 also their dtr Elizabeth who died at 25 Comiston Rd, Edinburgh 7.7.1924 aged 68 Margaret Lauder eldest dtr widow of James Rae Fairlaw Reston who died at Comiston Rd 12.7.1929 aged 86 Janet Lockie who died at Comiston Rd 30.7.1929 aged 84. All three buried in Morningside Cem. Edinburgh.1
     The author, George Smith, quotes from the memoirs of "the venerable Dr Fairbairn of Newhaven": "John Wilson was one of a group of boys who received their early education at the parish school of Lauder, and most of whom proceeded together to the University of Edinburgh. .. [various names listed, incl.] James and David Runciman ... and others."
"... There was one of our number (James Runciman) whom our teacher always characterised as the 'boy who never told a lie', and he used to associate John Wilson with him in this honourable distinction."7

Census/Where lived/Occupations

     James Runciman appeared on the census of 1861 Wantonwalls, Par. of Lauder, BEW, SCT, with Eliza Runciman, enumerated as RUNCIMAN: James 60 Farmer Of 243 Employing 8 Labs b Lauder; wife Eliza 46 b Lauder; Children: David 21, Margaret 18, Janet 15, George 6, Elizabeth 5, James 1 mos all "farmer's son/dtr", b Lauder; Also John Beattie 25, Thomas Stewart 18, Geroge Ronaldson 17, Isabellia Kelly 19, Margaret Luthead 25.8
     James and Elizabeth Runciman appeared together in the census of 1871 Lauder, Par. of Lauder, BEW, SCT, indexed as RUNCIMAN: James, 70, Elizabeth 56, Janet L 25, George W 16, Elizabeth J 15.9


     James Runciman was a beneficiary of the 21 Jan 1832 will of George Newton.10
     James Runciman Wantonwalls, Par. of Lauder, BEW, SCT, wrote a will on 8 Jun 1858 appointing David Runciman, William Wight and George Jamieson as executor(s) dividing his estate amongst his children Margaret, David, Janet, George and Elizabeth, leaving an annuity to his wife Eliza Wight, mentioning his grandfather John Runciman, and his great grandfather David Runciman (marr. to Margaret Brown) mentioned the following debtor Margaret Lauder At the time of writing the will, his youngest daugher was 2, and eldest son 18, but destined to die 6 years before his father, leaving the younger son to inherit Wantonwalls. The estate was to be divided unequally, sons to receive in the proportion of £3, the daughters in the proportion of £2. Specific property and relationships mentioned include:
     Second the whole heritable and moveable estate conveyed to me by Disposition by John Runciman Portioner of Earlston in my favor dated the 7th Jan 1850 and in particular All and Haill that dwelling House in Earlston yard thereof and little park together with the Rigg Park now thrown into one by taking away the division between them belonging to the said house and yard bounded by the Lands of Sarah Trotter and John Carter on the east, the burn called Broadburn on the south, the said burn and widow Sheill's Interest on the west and the King's High Street on the north parts thereof, as the same were formerly possessed by James Purves late of Purveshaugh and thereafter by Patrick Murray Chyraproy in Earlston* and thereafter by the deceased John Runciman weaver in Earlstoun my Grandfather and David Runciman also weaver there his father together with the tiends parsonage and vicarage of the said yards and parks: also all and haill that piece of ground called the yonder croft lying on the south side of the town of Earlstoun bounded by the meadow ground called the Spott of the Huls (?) on the east, the lands of John Carter on the south, the lands of Mr John Shiell on the west, and the lands of Barbara Tod on the north parts as the same were sometime possessed by Robert Pringle shoemaker in Earlstoun, But always with and under the burden and servitude of a high road through the said piece of ground in manner mentioned in the former titles thereof as also All and Whole that field or parcel of land in Earlstoun called Brigg's which sometime belonged to John Purves, Shoemaker in Earlsoun and John Purves Cousin of the said John Purves Shoemaker in Earlstoun lying below the Kelso Road leading from Earlstoun to Georgefield bounded by the Lands of George Baillie Esquire on the east the said road to Georgefield on the south the Huntpool lane and land which sometime belonged to Janet Lindsay on the west and the High Street of Earlstoun on the north parts with haill houses and yards thereto belonging being parts and portions of the lands which were by the Decreet of Divison of the Running lands of Earlstoun allocate and set apart to John Purves in two parcels whereof the Lands and others above described is one parcel all as sometime possessed by the said John Purves and his cottars - and:
     Fourth: All and Whole the sum of £200 sterling subject to the conditions and provisions specified in the Agreement after mentioned, to which sum I have right jure mariti on the death of Margaret Lauder or Wight widow of the late George Wight farmer at Newbiggingwalls in virtue of an Agreement entered into between and amonst said Wiliam Wight, George Wight, farmer at Ormiston Mains, Thomas Wight formerly farmer at Newbiggingwalls, now at Midburn, Beatrice Wight or Jamieson, spouse of the said George Jamieson, Margaret Wight or Shiells (sic), spouse of James Shiels (sic), farmer at Colmsliehill and Eliza Wight or Runciman my wife, children of the said George Wight, and the said George Jamieson, James Shiels and one for ourselves and as taking burden on us for our spouses dated the fourth and seventh days of Sept 1843;
* it may be of interest to know that this Patrick Murray may well be the one referred to in the entry for Earlston in Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer, Scotland11:
"Its chief historical interest, however, centres in the memorials and traditions which connect it with Thomas the Rhymer, a stone embedded in the wall of the parish church bearing inscription, 'Auld Rhymer's race lies in this place'."
'Thomas Rimor de Ercildun' appears as witness to a charter of Petrus de Haga to Dryburgh Abbey ... somewhere between 1260 and 1270; and a fragment of the 'Rhymer's Tower' still stands between the town and Leader Water. ...a MS ... supposed to be earlier than 1320, contains what was said to be one of his predictions.. styled the 'Father of Scottish poetry'.. Seven years he tarried in Elfland, and then was permitted to revisit earth only on the condition that he should, when summoned, return to his mistress the queen.. (which happened of course) ... thenceforth to 'dree his weird' in Fairyland. ... Nor, though the voice of tradition predicts his return to earth, has he ever again been seen in the haunts of living men."
Groome's continues: "His spirit, however, appears to have lingered in the tower he left, for his mantle was reputed to have descended on the shoulders of 'one Murray, a kind of herbalist, who, by dint of some knowledge of simples, the possession of a musical clock, an electrical machine, and a stuffed alligator, added to a supposed communication with Thomas, lived for many years in very good credit as a wizard So Sir Walter in his Scottish Minstrelsy; but Mr Robert Chambers in Popular Rhymes of Scotland, shows that his hearsay account refers to Mr Patrick Murray, an enlightened and respectable medical practitioner of good family connections, talents, and education, who in 1747, possessed, with other property, the Rhymer's Tower, and there pursued various studies of a philosophical kind, not very common in Scotland during the 18th Century".12,13
     James Runciman Wantonwalls, Par. of Lauder, BEW, wrote a codicil to his will on 27 Dec 1867 appointing James Shiells as executor(s) as a previously named executor, George Jamieson had since died, James is described as James Sheils Junior, farmer of Colmsliehill, son of James Shiels, The codicil also notes that the previously mentioned £200 owed him on the death of Margaret Lauder or Wight had been paid since writing his original will (so I assume that his mother-in-law had died.)12
     An Inventory of the estate of James Runciman was taken on 23 Feb 1872 Lauder, Par. of Lauder, BEW, SCT, and certified correct by Thomas Broomfield, writer, Lauder, an executor of the estate, and William Henry Allan at Lauder of Allanbank, Esquire, one of Her Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County Berwick.
The inventory consisted of:
     £2 cash in house at time of death
     Household furniture, farm stock, crop and implements, as valued by Alexander Davidson, licensed appraiser, Melrose on 231st Jan 1872, totalling £1597 6s 6d
     Cattle sheep and crop sold after 16 Dec 1871 and before 31 Jan 1872 less commission and expenses on sale £269 12s 3d
     Interest on the above sum of £269 12s 3d in so far as not applied in paying the deceased's debts to date of oath to inventory 1/8d
     Balance due to the deceased on current account with the City of Glasgow Bank at the Lauder Agency including interest to date of death £20 7s 8d; Interest to date of oath to Inventory 9d
     Balance due to the deceased on current account with the Bank of Scotland at the Lauder Agency including interest to date of death £83 15s 11d, interest to date of oath to inventory 3/1d
     Claim against the representatives of the late Miss Isabella Runciman Earlston in respect of her deathbed and funeral expenses and inventory and residue duty on her estate as paid by the deceased £28 17s 4d and also in respect of two joint acknowledgements by said Isabella Runciman and Miss Elizabeth Runciman of indebtedness to deceased for £15 dated 1st Jun and 22nd Nov 1865 value say 2/6d per £1 in respect of state of deceased Isabella Runciman's affairs
     Claim against the said Miss Elizabeth Runciman in respect of these acknowledgements and also in respect of an obligation in name of said Misses Runciman but signed only by Elizabeth to pay the deceased £2 in the year for coals since they went to Earlston in 1849 value say 2/6 per £1 in respect of state of Elizabeth Runciman's affairs
     The deceased's right to the whole personal means and estate of his brother John Runciman Portioner of Earlston under reservation of the said John Runciman's liferent thereof in virtue of General Dispostion executed by the said John Runciman in favor of deceased dated 7th Jan 1850 supposed value under £5
     The deceaseds interest in a Heritable Bond for £500 dated 29th July 1831 granted by said John Runciman then tenant in Wantonwalls in favor of the said Elizabeth and Isabella Runciman, over a Dwelling house in Earlston yard thereof and little park together with the big park thrown into one and the Yonder croft in the Parish of Earlston & County of Berwick Sasine on which bond is recorded in the General Register of Sasines 2nd Mar 1832 and which Bond to the extent of £400 was assigned to the deceased and the Revd David Runciman D.D. Minister of St Andrews Glasgow, equally under reservation of the liferent of the said Elizabeth & Isabella Runciman and the survivor of them by deed of agreement entered into by the parties dated 18th 20th and 22nd Apr 1854. no value is put on the deceased's interest in this Bond. It is still liferented and (subject to John Runciman's liferent) the subjects over which the Bond was granted belonged to the deceased at his death and now belong to his Trust Estate
     Amount of Estate at deceased's death £1988 8/4, add interest to date of Oath 5/6d. Total Estate £1988 13/10d.12
     On 8 Mar 1872 the court Duns(e), BEW, SCT, ratified the Trust Disposition & Settlement of James Runciman dated 8th Jun 1858, with codicil dated 27th Dec 1867 and appointed Thomas Broomfield and James Shiels Jnr as executors the following nominated executor having predeceased James, William Wight and David Runciman having declined to accept The 2 page document recorded the value of his inventory "to date of Oath, (23rd Feb 1872) situated in Scotland amounting in value to one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight pounds thirteen shillings and ten pence sterling."12

All the other info

     In Nov 1831 James Runciman farmer at Wanton Walls was served as heir to George Newton feuar in Kelso ROX, SCT, along with John Runciman, William Runciman, David Runciman, Elisabeth Runciman and Isabella Runciman.3,14

External links

     Click here to see James's page on WikiTree, a (free) collaborative on-line tree.15


Eliza Wight (Jan 1815 - Dec 1871)
  • David Runciman1 (Feb 1840 - Jul 1866)
  • Margaret Lauder Runciman1,16,17,18 (Dec 1842 - Jul 1929)
  • Janet Lockie Runciman1 (Jun 1845 - Jul 1929)
  • George Wight Runciman19,20,21 (Apr 1854 - Jan 1931)
  • Elizabeth Runciman1,22 (Jan 1856 - Jul 1924)
  • James Wight Runciman23 (cir. Jun 1860 - May 1861)
ChartsRUNCIMAN of Earlston/Wanton Walls
Last Edited6 Feb 2016


  1. Borders FHS, MIs: BEW: Earlston - book, #499 James RUNCIMAN and family, extracted Sep 2005.
  2. Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Dth cert 1871 James RUNCIMAN, copy d/loaded Sep 2005.
  3. RUNCIMAN Misc. web searches & correspondence Services of Heirs, Roxburghshire. 1636-1847: Trust Disposition to George Newton, feuar in Kelso, extracted Sep 2005, (which supplements the original information from Harry W, the transcript of which did not include the "lawfull children of the deceased David RUNCIMAN, tenant in Wantonwalls").
  4. Scotlands People Index, "OPR Berwick, SCT, RUNCIMAN Births 1538-1854", Birth/Bap.? 13 Dec 1800 James d/ David RUNCIMAN & Janet LOCKIE, Earlston, from RUNCIMAN births 1700 to 1820 Earlston, BEW, index searched Oct 2005.
  5. Lorna Henderson, "RUNCIMAN Conclusions", Mar 2012.
  6. FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/, Bith 13th Dec Bap. 30th Dec 1800 James s/o David RUNCIMAN & Janet LOCKIE, Earlston, BEW, from Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 batch C11736-2 film 1067895, rechecked Oct 2011.
  7. H D W, "RUNCIMAN Correspondence," e-mail to L Henderson (1).
  8. 1861 Census transcripts, Scotland, via Ancestry.com, Lauder, BEW, Reg 748 ED 4 Pg 1, Sched. 2, hsehold of James & Eliza RUNCIMAN (indexed as KUNCIMAN), extracted Feb 2012.
  9. Census index, Scotland, http://ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, 1871 Census Lauder Dist 748 (ED6? Page 12?), extracted from index Sep 2005.
  10. H D W, "RUNCIMAN Correspondence," e-mail to L Henderson (1), Register of Sasines, Jan 1832, John LOCKIE, served heir to Andrew LOCKIE, trustee for George NEWTON, rcvd Feb 1996, scanned copy rcvd Apr 2009.
  11. Francis H Groome Groome: Gazetteer of Scotland, 1891 edition, extracted Sep 2005.
  12. Will: RUNCIMAN, James 1858, 1867, 1872 (Will written Jun 1858 codicil Dec 1867 Inventory 23 Feb 1872 proved 8 Mar 1872) SC60/41/24 (27 pp) & SC60/44/6 (2pp): Copy d/loaded Sep 2005, (SC60/41/24 dated 23rd Feb 1872 detailed inventory, and Trust Dispostion & Settlement of 8th Jun 1858 and codicil 27 Dec 1867 - 27pp in all)
    (SC60/44/6 dated 8th March 1872 confirmed appointment of executors).
  13. Robert S.McCutcheon, "EM Borders/CAI Corres:McCUTCHEON," e-mail to (1), Photo of The Rhymer's Tower, Earlston, rcvd Nov 2005.
  14. H D W, "RUNCIMAN Correspondence," e-mail to L Henderson (1), Service of Heirs Nov 1831 George NEWTON, feuar in Kelso, extract originally rcvd Feb 1996, scanned copy of same rcvd Apr 2009.
  15. WikiTree online at http://WikiTree.com/, Oct-11.
  16. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1929 Margaret Lauder RAE nee RUNCIMAN, transcr. rcvd from Robert McC, Oct 2005.
  17. Scotlands People Index, "OPR Berwick, SCT, RUNCIMAN Births 1538-1854", Birth/Bap.? 18 Feb 1843 Margaret d/o James RUNCIMAN & Eliza WIGHT, Lauder, BEW, from RUNCIMAN births 1553 to 1854 Gordon/Earlston/Lauder/Westruther, BEW, index searched Oct 2005.
  18. FamilySearch Labs Record Search (LDS) online at http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/, Birth 26th Dec 1842 Bap. 18 Feb 1843 Margaret d/o James RUNCIMAN & Eliza WIGHT, Lauder, BEW, from Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 batch C11748-5 film 1067902, rechecked Oct 2011.
  19. Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Mar. cert 1893 George RUNCIMAN and Jessie Elizabeth FLEMING, copy d/loaded Sep 2005.
  20. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1931 George Wight RUNCIMAN, transcr. by Robert McC, rcvd Oct 2005.
  21. Scotlands People Index, "OPR Berwick, SCT, RUNCIMAN Births 1538-1854", Birth/Bap.? 23 Apr 1854 George s/o James RUNCIMAN & Elisa WIGHT, Lauder, from RUNCIMAN births 1553 to 1854 Gordon/Earlston/Lauder/Westruther, BEW, index searched Oct 2005.
  22. Online search: assorted surnames, International Genealogical Index (IGI), Birth 29 Jan 1856 Elizabeth to James RUNCIMAN and Elizabeth WIGHT, batch C117481, Lauder, BEW, extracted Oct 2007.
  23. Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Dth 1861 James Wight RUNCIMAN, Wantonwalls, Lauder, copy d/loaded Oct 2005.

E. & O. E. Some/most parish records are rather hard to read and names, places hard to interpret, particularly if you are unfamiliar with an area.