the family of Robert McCulloch and Eupham Gilles in Linlithgow

The parents of William McCulloch, mason and innkeeper, were Robert McCulloch and Eupham Gilles. William was a twin - there were several sets of twins in various Gilles families, Eupham being herself a twin.

This was a second marriage for Eupham Gilles. Her first was to William Thomsone, tenant at Kettlestone Mill in Linlithgow parish, with whom she had two children, William in June 1740 and Janet in February 1742. The record of her marriage to Robert McCulloch, 20 May 1744, states:

Robert Mcculloch son of James Mcculloch Landsman in Linlithgow and Eupham Gillies Widow of William Thompson Tenant in Kettlestown mill. He of the parish of Torphichen and She of this parish. Thomas Cowan Weaver in Woodcockdale Cautioner for Both partys In communi forma.

The children of Robert and Eupham were born at Kettlestone Mill, so that Robert appears to have taken over the tenancy. They were: 

  • John 1745 
  • James 1747, died 1750
  • Agnes 1750 (married James Nimmo in 1776)
  • William and Robert, baptised 3 August 1755
  • Susanna 1757

Agnes McCulloch and her family

Of these children, Agnes married James Nimmo, 1 Sept 1776, and had children James, Robert, James again, William, Euphen and Agness, the first being born in Bo’ness (and likely to have died there are there is no death record for a son of James Nimmo from the right time), the others in Linlithgow. 

Robert McCulloch, merchant in Linlithgow, and his family

Robert McCulloch, the twin to William born in 1755, became a merchant in Linlithgow, marrying Agnes Bowie there and having children Helen, Robert, Helen again, and Hugh. There are extant tax records from Linlithgow from the 'Consolidated Schedules of Assessed Taxes, 1798-9, volume 30, showing 'Robert McCulloch Merchant 10 windows £1.12.-  Rental value of house £8 £.5.4 total £1.17.4.’ Indeed, his house, which will have acted also as business premises, in the High Street is indicated on a map of Linlithgow available from the National Library of Scotland, (accessed at https://maps.nls.uk/view/74400047 ), and a small portion is shown below, which will link to the bigger plan on the NLS website.


This Robert McCulloch is shown in other tax records, paying a duty for keeping a saddle horse - 5 shillings in 1785-6, which had risen to 10 shillings with an additional 10% (1s.) by 1791-92. Robert is recorded on a much eroded (indeed now quite illegible) gravestone in St Michael’s kirkyard, along with his wife Agnes Bowie. The stone was commissioned by their son, another Robert, who became a writer (lawyer) in Ardrie, and appears to have been the lawyer drawing up various sasines and other deeds relating to the land on which the Bridge Inn stands, and its transfer between Mary McCulloch and her sisters in the 1820s. Robert senior died in 1824.

The inscription on the stone was transcribed for the West Lothian Monumental Inscriptions publication of the Scottish Genealogy Society (Mitchell & Mitchell, 1969) and even then must have been very hard to read. The result was a highly confusing entry:

Stone 325 (flat stone in front of 323) Robt McCulloch writer in Airdrie & a procurator of the sheriff court at the Middle Ward of Lanark b (17).11.1800 d (23).12.182(9 or 2); Robt. M. mert here 2(1 or 7).6.182(5 or 6) 69; Robt M. writer Ardrie .12.179(5 or 3) 4.6.1829; Agnes Bowie 1.7.1762 3.3.1830 w. of Robt M. mert here

Fortunately an OPR death record from 1822 helps sort this out. This in the mortcloth entry for Elizabeth Harrison, spouse of Robert McCulloch, died or buried 28 December 1822. The stone will have originally read something like ‘Elizabeth Harrison, beloved wife of Robt McCulloch writer in Airdrie…’ but the top line had by the time of recording been eroded away by weather. The stone is therefore to, first Elizabeth wife of Robert the lawyer, who died in 1822, then Robert the merchant, dying in 1824, Robert the lawyer, dying in 1829, and Agnes Bowie, widow of the merchant (and mother of the lawyer) in 1830.

Just behind this flat stone is another, to Hugh, the younger son of Robert the merchant and Agnes Bowie. He had also become a lawyer, married Jessie Gemmell, and this stone was erected by their son Hugh Bowie McCulloch, who was living in Bombay. As an upright rather than a flat stone it survived rather better!

For the remaining children of Robert McCulloch and Eupham Gilles, John, James and Susanna, I have no further information. The twins, Robert and William, appear to have done quite well for themselves, Robert as a successful merchant with two sons who became lawyers, William as a mason gaining sufficient wealth to buy the piece of land on which the Bridge Inn and the few houses around stand (see note below).

Now, moving to the ancestry and situations of Eupham Gilles and Robert McCulloch will require more pages as this one is already too long! These are - Robert McCulloch, tenant, and his ancestry; and the Gilles burgesses of Linlithgow… 

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NOTE: William’s purchase is discussed in the previous section on William McCulloch and Ann Simson, and on my earlier site at http://wyrdswell.co.uk/ancestors/Additional/BridgeInn.html which relates to the land purchase and relevant documents. Note, though, that there was an error in that Bridge Inn page where it says that Ann Simson died in 1833 - it was 1823, and so it will be her death that resulted in the sasines drawn up by Robert McCulloch, writer in Airdrie, for his cousins.


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