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determined to acquire the lands, meekly accepted the proposal and on 14 Mar 1561, Janet signed her lands over to Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig. Shortly thereafter, Marion came of age. She was informed by Sir James that she would marry John M'Math, younger of Dalpedder and would receive the same settlement as was given to her sister. Marion, however, didn't have her sister's meek nature. She informed Sir James that she would choose her own husband and would dispose of her lands as she saw fit. Drumlanrig kept Marion in close confines, to prevent her marrying someone who would support her opposition to Drumlanrig. On 28 Jan 1563, Marion appeared before Queen Mary and the Privy Council with her uncle Charles Murray of Cockpool. Drumlanrig insisted that if she appeared, she must be unmarried and in full possession of her lands. At this time she was living with the Chancellor, Lord Morton. On 30 Jan 1563, Drumlanrig went to Marion and insisted that she comply with his arrangements. On 1 Feb 1563, John, Lord Borthwick appeared with Marion before the Queen and Council and said that since she was his friend and kinswoman, he would take her into his care for the next 40 days. She had to pledge not to leave him and go anywhere else under penalty of 2000 pounds and, under like penalty, not to leave his house at all without notice to the Privy Council. Later in 1563, Marion had to post bond (supplied by Thomas Borthwick of Pryncardo and Michael Borthwick of Glengelt) not to marry a traitor or a "broken man." On 11 May 1564, at Comlongon Castle, Marion conveyed her lands to her uncle, Charles Murray of Cockpool. The deed was confirmed by Queen Mary on 24 Jun 1564. Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig challenged the deed on the grounds that his rights of ward and marriage made such a document illegal. Her sister Janet and her husband sided with Drumlanrig. The Queen agreed and rescinded confirmation of the deed. On 25 Sep 1568, Marion Carruthers supposedly committed suicide by throwing herself from the top of the tower of Comlongon Castle. There has been a question as to whether she jumped or whether an adherent of Drumlanrig's pushed her to her death. It is easy to reason either way. She had been frustrated at every turn in trying to get free of Drumlanrig. Her cousin James Murray later married Drumlanrig's granddaughter. Perhaps she became depressed enough to jump. However, there is also the very real possibility that the powerful Drumlanrig hired someone to make sure that Marion ceased to be a thorn in his side. However she died, she was adjudged a suicide (a neat political answer) and as such her lands were turned over to the Crown. The Crown then on 17 Oct 1570 deeded them to Sir William Douglas of Hawick, son of Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig. Baron of Mouswald Castle some four miles away from here, was persuaded to leave his estate to his two daughters Marion and Janet since he had no son. The powerful Douglas family of Drumlanrig had designs on the estate and Sir James Douglas 26


comlongon_history
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