Macduff Fyfe

1770 - ????

Claimant or beneficiary


McDuff Fyffe or Fyfe of Portsoy, North Britain, owner of Mount Hope on St Vincent (for which the compensation was negotiated with the mortgagee John Cropper, shown as the awardee), but awarded compensation as trustee for Mount Bentinck also on St Vincent.

  1. Macduff Fyfe, "Planter, St Vincent, f[ilius] demortui Joannis in Cabrach" graduated from Marischal College in Aberdeen in 1785. McDuff Fife was the youngest of ten children of John Fife and his wife Margaret nee Leith baptised in Cabrach, Moray, in 1770 (the eldest was baptised there in 1751 and other children included Charles and Laurence, both q.v.). His father was described as "in Innvercharach".

  2. "Forsyth Fyfe. William Editor of the Aberdeen Journal Residing in Skeene Square Parish of Old Machar Aberdeen – and Eliza Duff Fyfe Residing in No 2 Darlings Buildings Saunders Street Stockbridge Parish of St Cuthberts third lawful daughter of the late Macduff Fyfe Planter in St Vincent Indias have been three several times duly regularly proclaimed in the Parish Church of St Cuthberts in order to Marriage + no objections offered. Married [9th July 1854]." William Forsyth is in the ODNB as a poet and journalist: "During the American Civil War he stood almost alone among Scottish journalists in advocating the cause of the North." Eliza died 14/11/1893 at Peterculter, Aberdeenshire, aged 70; her death certificate gives her parents as Macduff Fyfe, Planter (West Indies) and Ann Shand. The informant of her death was Alice Arden Fyfe, her niece. The censuses of 1861 (age 34 in Old Machar, Aberdeenshire) and 1881 (age 52, also in Old Machar) give the place of birth of Eliza as Fordyce, Banff.

  3. Catherine, daughter of Macduff Fyfe, West Indies, married John Laing, minister of the Free Church of Scotland, 29/08/1843. Catherine died 16/02/1869 at New College House, Edinburgh. Her death certificate gives her parents as Macduff Fyfe, Landed Proprietor, and Mary Fyfe née Wilkinson. In the 1861 census she was living at 26 Pitt Street, Edinburgh, age 51, with her husband, 2 daughters and 1 female servant, and gave her place of birth as St Vincent, West Indies. John Laing has an entry in the ODNB as 'bibliographer', which describes Catherine Fyfe as 'daughter of a West India proprietor.' Catherine is also given as a cousin in the will of Charles Fyfe's daughter Charlotte Wright nee Fyfe.

  4. Ann, daughter of Macduff Fyfe, married Lachlan Gordon Sinclair in St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, 12/08/1867.

  5. In 1837, 'Mr Macduff Fife, Roseacre St.' was shown among the 'Gentry' of Portsoy.


T71/892 St Vincent claim no. 639 (Mount Hope); T71/892 St Vincent claim no. 454A in which there is an allusion to a counterclaim by Philip Grant and Samuel Ullathorne and Mary his wife (T71/1302 describes him as surviving trustee for this award); T71/892 St Vincent claim no. 607 for the Wallibo estate is ambiguous, but may identify him as one of the trustees to Maria Forbes, Philip Grant, Sam and Mary Ullathorne as a group, or as a trustee to Maria Forbes only, or as a claimant in his own right.

  1. Fasti Academiae Mariscallanae Aberdonensis : selections from the records of the Marischal College and University, MDXClll-MDCCCLX (Aberdeen, New Spalding Club, 1889) Vol. 2 p. 364; GROS OPR Births 177 10 179 Cabrach.

  2. General Register Office for Scotland OPR Marriages 685/2 480 100. William Forsyth, ‘Forsyth, William (1818–1879)’, rev. Nilanjana Banerji, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004), online edn, May 2008, [accessed 26/01/2013]. General Register Office for Scotland Deaths 1893 231/1 21.

  3. Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ: the Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation (1915-), Scott, Hew, (9 volumes. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1915-), vol. 1 p. 221. General Register Office for Scotland Deaths 1869 685/4 119. 1861 census online. James Kennedy, ‘Laing, John (1809–1880)’, rev. Murray C. T. Simpson, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 31 Jan 2014]; SC26/38/8, Elgin Sheriff Court Wills.

  4. Pigot's Directory entries for Portsoy in 1825 and 1837, transcribed at 'Portsoy Past & Present' online.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
M'Duff Fyffe
(1) Mary Wilkinson (2) Ann Shand
With (1) Catherine. With (2) Eliza Duff
Aberdeen (Marischal College ) [1785 ]

Associated Claims (2)

£546 1s 6d
Awardee (Trustee)
£640 8s 2d
Unsuccessful claimant (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (2)


Addresses (2)

Invercharach, Cabrach, Moray, North-east Scotland, Scotland
Roseacre St, Portsoy, Banffshire, North-east Scotland, Scotland