James Masterton of Gogar and Braco(1760-1836)

James Masterton of Gogar and Braco

Merchant and Landowner

James Masterton of Gogar and Braco was the last male in the lineage of the Mastertons of Parkmill and a successful merchant in his own right.


James Masterton was a member of the prominent family of Mastertons with their family seat at Parkmill near Alloa. He was the son of Francis Masterton of Parkmill and Gogar, a Jacobite who had fought in the '45 for Prince Charlie and was a grandson of the Francis Masterton who was the author of "Remarques". His father Francis had married Margaret (Pegg) Graeme of the Graemes of Braco. He first married Anna Amelia Murdoch who died in 1806 at a relatively young age, and second married Mary Gordon, daughter of a physician in Stirling. For more details on James Masterton's extended family tree, click on this link.

Extract from "Or and Sable", A book of the Graemes and Grahams

James Graeme of Braco Castle continues the line on his father's death in 1720. He had married on October 11th, 1713, the daughter of Sir William Stirling of Ardoch (a property lying close to Braco), by his wife Mary Erskine of Alva, Sir William Stirling had three children: his son Sir Harry, a daughter Christian, married to George of Dundas Castle, and Catherine, who married James Graeme of Braco, a number of children were born to this marriage.....

....V. The fifth child was Margaret Graeme, born 22nd June 1722; she married Francis Masterton, Esq. of Parkmills; they had four children, Charles who died early, James, Catherine and Mary; Mr Masterton was succeeded by his son James, who married Miss Murdoch, and their only child, Miss Masterton, married Major Elliott, a nephew of Lord Minto.

Mr James Masterton bought or rented Braco1; the following substance of a letter from Mrs Masterton (Miss Murdoch2) gives some interesting particulars; her aged sister-in-law lives with her, but Mr James, her husband, is dead3:-.

Glasgow, 10 Rose Street,
March 28th, 1833

Addressed to Sir Graham Eden-Hammond, Bart.
Gives an account of the writer and her sister, referring to her date Mrs Masterton says that her own health not being good, she and her sister (-in-law) went to the seaside in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, the summer of 1831; and as it was considered too cold in Braco for them to return and winter there, they took up their abode at Glasgow to be within reach of medical advice, intending to revisit the sea for the summer of 1832; this plan was prevented by the cholera which raged, but especially on the small villages by the shore; Mrs Masterton adds, her sister's companion nearly fell a victim but has recovered; Mrs Masterton is not equal now to a journey and it is feared at present they cannot return to Braco, "so I gave it up to the Elliotts, they remained there till last Spring when they gave it up for the same reason I did," Major Elliott having caught cold coming from London was a prisoner to the house all winter, but on leaving Braco for Leamington he was cured there by a famous doctor who cures everyone.

Referring to Sir Graham's questions about the family genealogy, Mrs Masterton regrets she can give no information and her sister very little, but a list of the nine children of James Graeme of Braco is enclosed from a family Bible. Mrs Masterton advises Sir Graham writing Mr George Smythe, whose address is Gloucester Place, Edinburgh, and to whom she gave access to a large chest of documents at Braco, but never heard mention if he increased his knowledge.

Or and Sable
A Book of the Graemes and the Grahams
Louisa G. Graeme
William Brown, Edinburgh, 1903
page 478, 481-2

Editor Notes

1There are records confiming that James Masterton bought Braco Castle in 1800.
2 By 1833, Miss Murdoch had died so this Mrs Masterton must be James Masterton's second wife, Mary Gordon.
3 If the letter was written in 1833, then James Masterton was in fact still alive. His death was not until 1st April 1836. Yet, the content of the letter does indeed suggest that Mrs Masterton is in control of decision-making in connection with Braco.

Gordon Masterton

Ahmuty Connections
Wills Index

Arthur Ahmuty (1750-1797)

Summary of Will dated 24 December 1796 proved 29 December 1797 Arthur Ahmuty of Russell Place in the parish of St Pancras in the County of Middlesex after payment of all just debts and charges left the residue of his fortune for the sole use of his dearly and well beloved wife Margaret Sophia Ahmuty. He appointed James Masterton esq of the Island of Madeira and Robert Adamson esq of the City of London the executors and as a token of great esteem and regard each were left £50 to invest in a ring or whatever else might be agreeable to them. The Will was signed by Arthur Ahmuty on the 24 December 1796 at New Lodge near Berkhamstead witnessed by x and John Moore. It was proved at London on the 29 December 1797 before the Worshipful Charles Coote, Doctor of Laws and Surrogate of the Rt Hon Sir William Wynne also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and lawfully constituted by the oath of Robert Adamson esq one of the executors to whom administration was granted with power reserved to James Masterton the other executor named in the said Will when he shall apply for the same.

Arthur Ahmuty 1750-1797
Arthur Ahmuty a brother of Thomas Ahmuty married Margaret Sophia Shaw by licence dated 15 February 1781 at St George the Martyr, Queen Square, London witnessed by Thomas Ahmuty.
He was a wine merchant and at Funchal, Madeira on 27 June 1782 when the writer William Hickey visited him and ‘other gentlemen of the Island’ including Mr Murdoch and Charles Murray the British Consul the occasion described by William Hickey in his Memoirs published between 1913 and 1925.
John Kingston on behalf of Messrs Ahmuty & Company of Madeira signed an Agreement dated 1 December 1785 with the East India Company for 180 pipes of Madeira wine at £27 per pipe to be shipped to India for the Bengal market.
In 1787 the firm of Ahmuty Masterton & Co was formed when Arthur Ahmuty and James Masterton entered into a three year partnership. John (sic) Masterton married Anna the daughter of James Murdoch of Madeira and the firm of Murdoch, Masterton & Co was formed in 1800 for a period of five years.
He lived at 3 Russell Place, London when his blue cloth coat valued at ten shillings was stolen on 3 March 1795 for which Stephen Barnett and Joseph George were brought to trial for simple grand larceny at the Old Bailey on 16 April 1795.
He died 21 December 1797 aged 47 years as published in the Gentlemens Magazine and in his Will dated 24 December 1796 named James Masterton of the Island of Madeira and Robert Adamson of the City of London the executors.
His widow Margaret Sophia Ahmuty registered on 3 February 1800 an Indenture assigned to John Kingston and Joseph Crump for lease of premises in the parish of St Marylebone; the merchant firm of Kingston, Crump & Adamson of 6 New Broad Street, London was listed by Kents Directory in 1794.

Ahmuty Connections
Wills Index
accessed 5 May, 2010

Extract from "Logie, A Parish History"

VIII. JAMES MASTERTON of Gogar married Anne Amelia Murdoch, by whom he had an only daughter, Margaret Seymour. This lady was remarkable for being one of the most beautiful women of her time, and was presented at the Court at Holyrood, held by King George IV., in 1822. She was married, in 1823, to Captain William Elliot, eldest son of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot Governor of Madras, and died without issue. James Masterton was for many years a merchant in Madeira. He acquired, in 1798, from John Francis Erskine of Mar the superiority of the lands of Gogar;1 and, in 1801, he disponed these lands to John Stirling of Kippendavie. On the death, in 1797, of his uncle, General David Graeme of Braco, he succeeded to that estate, and after his return from abroad resided there. He died at Braco Castle suddenly, being found dead in bed, 3rd April, 1836, aged about 85, and was interred in the family burial-place, within the old church of Logie. In him the male line of the family became extinct. He is still remembered in the district, and is said to have been a man of great amiability, tall and handsome, and always appeared in the old-fashioned style of dress.

There is no tombstone in Logie to the memory of the Mastertons; but the following excerpt from an allocation of the church among the heritors, in 1684, and recorded in the Churchyard Register, at the desire of Francis Masterton of Gogar, in 1785, sufficiently indicates the spot:- "Upon the Gavell wall on the south side of the Church Myreton is to have two foot and a half. The lands of Gogar the rest of the room to the west door." "Miss Katy Masterton was buried next the wall on the side in Feb., 1775, and Miss Isable Graeme the March after in the middle so deep that one may be buried above her. The one upon the north must be made so deep when it is wanted to hold two. There is only room for three Graves."2

IX. MARGARET SEYMOUR MASTERTON was born 10th November, 1799, as appears from a letter of that date from Hugh Corrie, Edinburgh, to James Masterton, which refers to his wife and "little one." Margaret Seymour Masterton married (see The Courier, 31st October, 1823), 30th October, 1823, Theodore Henry Elliot, Captain Royal Engineers, eldest son of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot, Governor of Madras, by Margaret Jones (Lewis-Foster's Peerage), his second wife (Memoir of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot, by Lady Minto, p. 415). Captain Elliot died in London, 2nd April, 1842,3 and left no issue.

1 In 1800, he is infeft in Gogar (property or dominium utile) and Gogar Haugh as "only lawful son now in life" and heir of Francis Masterton, his father.
2 The following account of James Masterton is given:- "James Masterton, merchant in Madeira, and sometime of Gogar, thereafter of Braco, both in Perthshire, at his father's death was the only surviving son, his elder brother, Charles, having predeceased. In 1787, he entered into a partnership for three years with Arthur Ahmuty of the island of Madeira, merchant, the firm being Ahmuty, Masterton & Co. In 1791, he was at Gogar, where he signed a letter recorded (Books of Council and Session) 29th January, 1795, appointing his mother his factor in the event of his father's death during his absence. That he was married in 1798, is shown by a letter of 25th November in that year, addressed to him at Madeira by Lord Mornington, in which reference is made to Mrs. Masterton. His wife, Anna Amelia Murdoch, was a daughter of James Murdoch of the island of Madeira (as appears from a Memorandum in his own writing), died 16th April, 1806 (Scots Magazine, May, 1806, p. 399). Stodart says that 'John' Masterton of Braco married Anna Amelia Murdoch; but there was no John Masterton of Braco. In January, 1799, he granted a commission at Funchall, in Madeira, recorded (Books of Council and Session) 25th January, 1800, empowering his mother to sell Gogar. On 30th June, 1800, he entered into partnership with James Murdoch, mentioned above; Thomas Yuille, then residing in London; and Andrew Wardrop and James Denyer of the island of Madeira, merchants. The firm was Murdoch, Masterton & Co., and the agreement was for a period of five years. In the following year he was at Braco, and in March, 1801, considering that his affairs required his going abroad for some time, he granted a commission to the Hon. David Smyth of Methven, one of the senators of the College of Justice, to procure him infeft in the estate of Braco. He was appointed a Deputy-Lieutenant of Perthshire in 1807, and died at Braco Castle, 1st April, 1836." - Scotsman 9th April, 1836.

The interments, for at least about two centuries past, in the Gogar division of the old church of Logie, are as follows:-

Miss Katy Masterton, buried 1st March, 1775; died of fever.
Miss Isabel Graeme, buried 23rd March, 1775; died of comsumption.
Captain Charles Masterton, buried 6th June, 1789; died of consumption.
Francis Masterton of Gogar, buried May, 1795; aged 78.
Margaret Graeme, his wife, buried 1806; aged.
James Masterton of Braco, buried 7th April, 1836; aged 85.

Mary Masterton, only surviving sister of the last, died unmarried in Edinburgh in 1840, but there is no record of her burial in Logie.

3See Confirmation by Executor

Logie, A Parish History
R. Menzies Fergusson, M.A.
Minister of Logie
Paisley: Alexander Gardner, 1905
Vol II. page 35-36

Scots Magazine

1 May 1806


At Braco Castle, Mrs Anna Amelia Murdoch, wife of James Braco Esq of Braco

Scots Magazine
1st May 1806

Letters of John Ramsay

31 October 1808
..I will give you some account of my travels which were finished this day (Monday) about one oclock....I arrived there on Thursday about three afternoon after making two calls. I was told that dinner might be late as the Mastertons were expected from Porto Bello.5-At last, about seven they arrived, and we sat down to dinner, when very indifferent about meat, but I did better than I expected. If late hours be not for people in health, they are worse for invalids. Little Miss Masterton, a very interesting delicate girl, got a cough and Miss Ruddiman, the governess, the rheumatism, from night air and the latter's riding in the Dickie. I was much gratified to see my old acquaintance Miss Masterton wonderfully well, and very chatty and we did not run out of discourse as to persons and things.- On Friday forenoon we took an airing to see the house of Touch where I had in days of yore spent many a pleasant day...

5 James Masterton of Gogar, died 1836; Mary, his unmarried sister, who died 1840; Anne Amelia Murdoch, his wife; and Margaret Seymour, their daughter, born 1799 (Fergusson, Logie, ii, 35)

Letters of John Ramsay of Ochtertyre
edited by Barbara L.H. Horn
T and A Constable Ltd for the Scottish History Society, 1966
page 232

Editor's note: The editor of the letters cannot have been aware that Anne Amelia Murdoch, first wife of James Masterton of Gogar and Braco, died in April 1806. (James later remarried Mary Gordon, daughter of a physician from Stirling.) The Masterton party was therefore more likely to comprise: James, his sister Mary, his young daughter Margaret Seymour, and the governess Miss Ruddiman.
Gordon Masterton

Caledonian Mercury


IN order to afford the Friends of Lieut.-Gen. Sir Thomas Graham, an opportunity of manifesting their sentiments towards him, on his return from foreign service, to his native country, a Public Dinner will be given to him at Perth,- which all Noblemen and Gentlemen connected with Perthshire, and entertaining regard for Sir Thomas Graham, are requested to attend. In order to avoid as much as possible occasioning inconvenience to persons desirous of being present on this occasion, the Stewards have appointed Monday the 28th day of September, (being the day immediately preceding that of the General Country Meeting,) for the Dinner.

Noblemen and Gentlemen who mean to attend, are requested to send their names to the George Inn, on or before Friday the 25th instant.
Tickets to be had at the bar of the Inn.
Dinner on the table at five o'clock.

The Right Hon. the EARL of BREADALBANE,
in the Chair.

The Right Hon. the Earl of Kinnoull,
The Right Hon. Viscount Duncan,
The Right Hon. Lord Rollo,
The Right Hon. Lord Ruthven,
The Right Hon. Lord Kinnaird,
The Right Hon. Sir William Drummond,
The Hon. J.S. Wortley Mackenzie,
The Hon. Douglas Gordon Haliburton,
The Hon. P.R. Drummond Burrell,
Sir Patrick Murray of Ochtertyre, Bart.,
Sir David Baird of Fernton, Bart. K.B.,
General Campbell of Monzie,
Major-General Stewart of Raitt,
Colonel H. Belches of Invermay,
William Cunningham Graham, Esq. of Gartmore,
James Masterton, Esq. of Braco.

Caledonian Mercury
14th September 1812



[Some of the following dresses appeared in part of our impression of Thursday.]

(ed. Then follows a listing of some 80 or so dresses worn by ladies, including:)

Miss Masterton - Petticoat of rich white satin, with blond flounce and silver wreath, silver lama drapery, with silver wreath; train of white satin, trimmed with silver lama. Head dress, a profusion of feathers, plaited and silver band, and diamonds; a most beautiful dress.

(ed. No other dress gets the final accolade of "a most beautiful dress" so one may assume that Miss Masterton's dress earned the particular approbation of the correspondent.)

Caledonian Mercury
24th August 1822

Sir THOMAS HISLOP, Bart. will lead to the hymenical altar in a few days, Miss ELLIOT, eldest daughter of Mr. ELLIOT, late Governor in India.

Captain ELLIOT will shortly lead to the hymenical altar, Miss MASTERTON, the accomplished Scotch heiress.

The Morning Chronicle
27th October, 1823

Morning Post


Yesterday were married by the Rev. GILBERT ELLIOT, at St. George's Church, Hanover-square, Lieut.-General Sir THOMAS HISLOP, Bart. G.C.B. to EMMA, daughter of the Right Honourable HUGH ELLIOT; and at the same time, Captain ELLIOT, eldest son of the Right Honourable HUGH ELLIOT, to MARGARET SEYMOUR, only daughter of JAMES MASTERTON, Esq. of Braw (sic) Castle, Perthshire.

Morning Post
31st October, 1823

Thursday were married by the Rev. Gilbert Elliot, at St George's Church, Hanover-square, Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Hyslop, Bart. G.C.B. to Emma, daughter of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot; and at the same time, Captain Elliot, eldest son of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot, to Margaret Seymour, only daughter of James Masterton, Esq. of Braw (sic) Castle, Perthshire.

Aberdeen Journal
Wednesday 19th November, 1823

SALE OF WINES. - The stock of wines belonging to the late Sir R. Abercromby of Airthrie, was sold off on Friday, in the Royal Hotel. The sale was well attended, and the wines generally brought good prices...Port, vintage 1806, bottled 1810, brought from 64s, to 70s. per dozen. Siderma Port, a very uncommon wine, 80s. to 83s... Burgundy Chambertin, bottled in 1805, sold for 60s.; it was thought to be rather on the decline. ...The Madeira was selected at Madeira by Sir R. in 1787, from the stock of Murdoch and Masterton: it was taken by him to the East Indies, where he kept it under his own charge, and had it bottled on his return in 1798. The wine was judged to be of a most rare and delicate quality, and was sold at from L.7 10s. to L.8 7s. per dozen....

Caledonian Mercury
17th March, 1828