Robert JOWSEY of Westpans


Personal and Family Information

Robert JOWSEY of Westpans was born ABT 1550 in Edinburgh, UK. He died ABT 1620 in London? UK. He was the son of Robert JOWSEY and an unknown mother.

Robert JOWSEY of Westpans's wife is not known. They were married ABT 1570 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Their 2 known children were Mr. Robert JOWSEY (gent) and Mr. James JOUSIE (gent).

Pedigree Chart (3 generations)


Robert JOWSEY of Westpans







OccupationPrivy Councillor to King James I of Great Britain
Nobility TitleRoyal Burgess of Edinburgh



PRESTONPANS, a parish, in the county of Haddington; containing, with the villages of Cuthill, Dolphingstone, and Preston, and part of the late quoad sacra parish of Cockenzie, 2234 inhabitants, of whom 1659 are in the town of Prestonpans, 8 miles (E.) from Edinburgh. This place derived its name, originally Preston, or Prieststown, from its belonging to the monks of Holyrood, who eventually erected pans on the sea-shore for the manufacture of salt, after which it obtained the appellation of Salt-Preston, since changed into its present designation. In 1544, the town, which appears to have arisen from the establishment of the salt-works, was burnt by the English forces under the Earl of Hertford, on his invasion of Scotland; and the castle and the church were at the same time destroyed. In the immediate vicinity occurred, in 1745, the conflict called the battle of Prestonpans, in which the royal forces were defeated with great slaughter by the Highland troops in the interest of the Young Pretender, and which really took place within the limits of the parish of Tranent. From its situation on the high road to Edinburgh, it was, during its occupation by the monks of Holyrood, frequently honoured with the visits of the kings of Scotland; and there are still remaining the vestiges of the buildings supposed to have been inhabited by the brethren of that monastery.

The particulars of the battle are shortly these. Sir John Cope, the commander of the royal forces, on the afternoon of the 20th of September, perceiving the vanguard of the Young Pretender's army, drew up his troops in order of battle, having his foot in the centre, with a regiment of dragoons and three pieces of artillery on each wing. His right was covered by Col. Gardiner's park wall, and by the village of Preston; at some distance on his left, stood Seaton House; and the sea, with the villages of Prestonpans and Cockenzie, lay upon his rear. The Highlanders advancing with the utmost alacrity and spirit, the two armies were soon only a mile apart; the prince's occupying the ridge beyond the town of Tranent, with a gentle descent and a deep morass between them and their enemy. But, however desirous Charles was to indulge the impatience of his troops by an onset the same day, it was found impracticable from the nature of the ground, as the morass was deep and difficult, and could not be passed for the purpose of attacking the English in front without risking the loss of the whole army. Charles accordingly desisted, to the great dissatisfaction of the common Highlanders; nor did Cope, urged as he was by the bolder spirit of the gallant Colonel Gardiner, do otherwise than remain on the defensive, satisfied with the strength of his position. In the night, however, one of Charles's officers, Anderson of Whitburgh, who was well acquainted with the nature of the country, suddenly bethought himself of a path that wound from the heights where the prince's followers lay, towards the right, by the farm of Ringan Head, avoiding in a great measure the morass, and leading to the plain below. By this path the Pretender caused his troops to pass; and though some little difficulty was experienced, even in this selected place, yet they all soon reached the firm ground, concealed from the enemy at first by the darkness, and, when day began to break, by a frosty mist. The insurgents thus compelling General Cope to an engagement, he lost no time in disposing his troops, his order of battle being nearly the same as that adopted when he first saw the enemy on the previous day, except that the men's faces were now turned in a different direction, towards the east: his infantry stood in the centre, Hamilton's dragoons on his left, and Gardiner's, with the artillery before them, on his right next the morass. As soon as the mists rolled away before the rising sun, the Highlanders dashed forward, each clan a separate mass, and, raising a war-cry that gradually became a terrific yell, made so overwhelming an onset that but a short time elapsed before the day was decided. They first reached the royal artillery, which they took by storm, running straight on the muzzles of the cannon. The cavalry commanded by Hamilton and Gardiner soon wavered and took to flight, before the drawn swords of the Highlanders, notwithstanding the exertions of their leaders; and at length the infantry of the king's army, uncovered at both flanks, were completely beaten, not above 170 of them escaping from the field. Thus was a perfect victory obtained by the insurgents at every point, and in a space of time most astonishingly short. The numbers on each side were between 2000 and 3000: of these, Charles lost only thirty killed, and had but seventy wounded; while the number of slain on the royal side was nearly 400, including the brave and estimable Col. Gardiner, who, heading a party of foot when forsaken by his horsemen, was cut down by a Highlander with a scythe, and despatched with several wounds, close to his own park wall. This battle, called of Preston, or of Prestonpans, by the well-affected party, received the name of Gladsmuir from the insurgents, out of respect, as it would seem, to certain ancient predictions. "On Gladsmuir shall the battle be," says a book of prophecies printed at Edinburgh in 1615; but Gladsmuir, a large open heath, lies fully a mile to the east of the actual scene of conflict.

The parish is about two and a half miles in length, and about one mile in breadth; it is bounded on the north by the Frith of Forth, and comprises 740 acres, chiefly arable, and in a state of profitable cultivation. The surface is generally flat, and towards the Frith, which here forms a wide bay, is defended from the encroachments of the sea only by a low barrier of shelving rocks: south-west of the ancient village, however, are some trifling elevations which give a little variety. The soil is mostly a fertile loam, resting partly on clay and partly on gravel, the former deep and strong, and the latter thin and of lighter quality; the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, beans, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry is in an advanced state; the lands have been well drained, and are inclosed chiefly with stone dykes, which are preferred to hedges as taking less room, and affording no shelter for birds. The farm-buildings are substantial and well arranged, and all the more recent improvements in implements have been adopted. The substratum is shale and sandstone, connected with the coal formation: coal was extensively wrought here formerly, but at present one mine only is in operation. The principal trade carried on is the dredging of oysters, for the supply of the markets of Newcastle, Hartlepool, and Shields; the oysters found here are in much repute, and the taking of them affords employment to a considerable number of persons. The chief manufacture is that of salt, for which several pans are still in use; the rock-salt is imported mostly from Liverpool, in great quantities, and manufactured here in a superior way. There are some soap-works, a distillery of whisky, and an ale brewery, each conducted in the best manner. The manufacture of all kinds of pottery and earthenware was also formerly very extensive; but at present, with the exception of two small establishments for brown ware, that branch has been discontinued. A foreign trade was once carried on with France and Holland, and also a large coasting-trade, for the convenience of which a good harbour was formed a little to the west of the ancient village, by the family of the Morisons, proprietors of Preston-Grange, from whom it takes its name. The harbour has about ten feet of water at spring-tides, is capable of being considerably deepened, and is one of the safest on this part of the coast. A custom-house was early established here, of which the jurisdiction extends from the Figgat rivulet, on the west, to the mouth of the river Tyne on the east, including the creeks of Figgat Burn, Musselburgh, Port-Seaton, Aberlady, and North Berwick, which are considered as members of the port of Preston. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6766.

Prestonpans is in the presbytery of Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and patronage of Sir George Grant Suttie, Bart.: the minister's stipend is £287. 18., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £25 per annum. The church, a plain substantial edifice, was erected in 1774, and is adapted for a congregation of 750 persons. The members of the Free Church have built a place of worship in the town. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34.4., with £50 fees, and a house and garden. Schaw's Hospital, situated at the east end of the village of Preston, fronting the street, was instituted in 1784, by James Schaw, for the maintenance and instruction of twenty-four poor boys, with preference to those of the name of the founder, and of the names of Cunningham, Macniell, and Stewart. The boys are inmates of the asylum for five years, when they are apprenticed to a trade, a small sum as a fee being paid with each. A new building of considerable exterior elegance, and superior internal accommodation, was erected for the institution in 1831; and the grounds around it, which are kept with great care and taste, form a very attractive feature in the scenery of the parish. There are also three adventure schools, attended each by between twenty and fifty children; two girls' schools for sewing, &c.; and an infant school, on the plan of the General Assembly. To the north of the village are the remains of the castle, of which the original foundation is unknown; the keep only is left. In a garden not far from the ruins is preserved the cross of the old town, which by some means became the property of the fraternity of Chapmen of East Lothian, who celebrate an annual festival on the spot. At Dolphingstone are the ruins of several ancient houses, supposed to have been the buildings of some religious house connected with the monastery of Holyrood. Alexander Hume, an eminent philologist, was for some years schoolmaster of the parish. Sir William Hamilton, professor of logic in the university of Edinburgh, is a descendant of the Hamiltons, ancient proprietors of the barony of Preston.

Dolphingstone Colliery