Robert Cunyngham of Braidland and Craig

1669 - 13th Dec 1743


  1. Seventh son of Richard Cuningham of Glengarnock and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Heriot of Trabroun. Born 1669. His father was a Royalist who fought (and lost) at the Battle of Preston under the Duke of Hamilton in 1648. "He went to the island of St Christophers, where he acquired a valuable plantation, called Cyen. In 1693 he married Elizabeth de Bonnisson, daughter of Daniel de Bonnisson of Morlaix, in Frances, and of Mary de Barot, his wife, sister of Charles de Barot, Seigneur de la Bodie, Governor of Lisle, and a Lieut.-Gen. in the armies of France. They had fifteen children, most of whom died young or unmarried. Daniel, the sixth born, and, it should seem, the eldest surviving son, married Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Hodges, Governor of Montserrat, and had four children: 1. Elizabeth Philadelphia (q.v.), married to Charles Pearce, Esq. of London; 2. Robert, died at Montserrat; 3. Henrietta, married to John Knight, Esq. of Sea-Castle, Worcestershire; and 4. Anthony, married Harriet Rock." According to the same source, after the death of his first wife, Robert married his housekeeper, Mary Ganier, and he left his Scottish estates of Braidland in Dalry and Craig in Kilmawrs to their daughter Susanna. She married Major Hay of Nunraw in East Lothian. Susanna won a protracted legal battle to possess these estates.

  2. Testament Dative and inventory of the deceased Robert Cunningham of Cayon, St Kitts, and of Cunningham rest in Scotland in Ayrshire, who died 13/12/1743, failthfully made and given up by Mary Garner, relict of the deceased as the defuncts executrix and administratrix in law and also given for Susanna Cunningham, an infant daugter lawfully procreatd between the said defunct and which Mary Garner and Susanna Cunningham are exeors davitve decerned to the said Defunct by the Commissary depute of Glasgow in implement of a clause contained in the said defuncts letterwill and testament, whereby he gave and bequeathed unto the said Mary Garner all his lands, plate, house, furniture, linens, horses, mares, bulls, cows, sheep and whatever he had or should have in Scotland at the time of his decease for and during her life for her maintenance and for the maintenance of his daughter Susanna Cunningham and after the decease of his said wife her share by gives and bequeaths all his said lands, plantations etc in Scotland unto his daughter Susanna Cunningham and heirs of her body... Testament dated 27/10/1743.

  3. The will of Mary Cunyngham, of St George's, Hanover Square, relict of Robert Cunyngham, late of St Kitts. Will dated 14/01/1758. Daughters Susanna Cunyngham, Mary Dalrymple, Jane Dalrymple and Hellen Needham, wife of William Needham. If I die in Scotland, to be buried at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, where my husband Robert and daughter Elizabeth Dalrymple were buried. If I die in England, then to be buried at St Margaret's churchyard, Westminster, where my son Cathcart Dalrymple was buried. Will proved 1758.

  4. By an act of 13/04/1715, Elizabeth de Salenave, formerly of St Kitts, conveyed all her lands in St Kitts to her niece Judith Elizabeth Bonnefant, wife of Robert Cunyngham. All residue in her will to her god-daughter Elizabeth Cunyngham. This Elizabeth de Salenave, a French Huguenot, had owned land of 300-400 acres in St Kitts before 1688. Circa 1727, Robert Cunyngham petitioned for this land to be restored to him.


  1. George Robertson, A genealogical account of the principal families in Ayrshire (1823) pp. 316-317; it's not clear to which Anthony Hodges this refers: Anthony Hodges junior of Monserrat, Governor 1702-1710 according to Vere Langord Oliver, married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Parson of Montserrat. He may have married Elizabeth Hodges as a second marriage. See Vere Langford Oliver, History of Antigua Vol. 2 pp.79-81.

  2. CC9/7/59, Glasgow Commissary Court.

  3. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919) vol. 1 p. 100.

  4. Ibid. pp. 100-102.

We are grateful to Ruth Hecht for her assistance with compiling these entries.

Further Information

[1] Elizabeth de Bonnisson [2] Mary Garnier
With [1] 15 children including Daniel. With [2] Susanna

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
- 1743 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (4)

Father → Son
Grandfather → Grandson
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Grandfather → Grandson