The earliest Levage so far.

The following comes from research into the Levage surname. This surname has mainly been found in Angus in the 1700s, where it was largely replaced, within the same on-going families, with Livingston, Livingstone, Leviston etc. The reasons for this are unknown, as is the meaning of the surname Levage. In Scots the word can refer to the herb Lovage, but perhaps most promising is that there was a place of this name, modern Strathgroy, in the parish of Atholl, which is in the highlands of northern Perthshire. This place was within the territory of the Robertsons of the Barony of Lude.

The earliest records seem to be more from Perthshire, not Angus, for example in Caputh, but in 2010 we found evidence of a highland line of this family, from around the area of the Parish of Dull, "Appin of Dull", who possibly also changed their name to Livingstone later. There were Livingstons of this area in the 1600s and 1700s who also used the patronymic based surname McPhetie.

1. Document 1.

The online Catalogue of the National Archives of Scotland has one entry for Levage. It is amongst records for the courts held by Campbell of Glenurquhy in the 1500s.

Following is a more full transcription by me, Andrew Lancaster (please write me if you want to contribute more to this research):

Curia Instinare ball[mains] doñini & des[c]heor et byer
tenta apud Caudmoir Primo die mensis augusti anno
dñi millesimo quingentesimo octuagesimo per egregiñ
gregoriñ makeane duȝ vekgregour constabul arm~ de glen
ballmñ deputatem nobilis viri colmi campbell de
glen urquhay
ballini principalis eiusdem vigore cõmissionis dicti
colmi de data ball[s] xxvijjd ie mensis Julii elaps [S]ec[es]
vocatis curia affirmata

The quhilk day the said gregorie acceptit the commissionn in and upone him and being s[ ]
maid faith that he s[uld] us (
use) the office lelelie and treulie according to the tennor of the said commission
And siclike James Bowines @ L[arglomã] maid faith to us the office of demp-
star lelelie and treulie

John makind[e]aora officar of the said bailliere creat (appoints)

Item ȝe the said David ar indytit for art and p~rt of the thiftius steiling [erased: “undir silence of nyt”]
[allnnpartyrt] Wt allaster menȝeis sone to johne menȝeis of morinche
srvand to the lairde of Weme
Johne robertsone broder to the Lairde of Strowane and
domestik srvand to the Laird of Weme
Johne Mcfinlay VcInvally in [thomintalt] his
Fergus mak@gis vekfergus his houshall man and srvand Robert Mc@gis
Vcfergus in Kynaldie his tennent
Duncane dow McEan bann in Donaquhillie
his tennent alsua
(also) and [braggãn] [McCarmonthis] sone upone the xx day of Julij
lastbpast undir silence of nyt out of the landis of cranduyt [erased: "pleing to the laird"]
of xxx heid of kȝ perteining to Johne roy Mcinstalker and Duncane Mc[arthe]
and uthe[r]s tennentis of Cranduyt The said David grantis this clame and that
the persones forsaides wer in company wt him the tyme forsaid

Item ȝe are indytit that eftir ȝe and the persones had thiftiuslie stollin and tane
away the said kȝ tua myles and mair fra the lands of Cranduyt ȝe wer art and
p~t of the unnaturall hoching (hamstringing) and slaying of xx heid of the saids kȝ upone the
month the said da xx day of July lastbipast undir silence of nyt to [the] [pert] [oppression]
of [oure] [soueraine] lardis liegis and in tackin h
eirof the said Johne roy Makin
apprenhendit ȝaw upone [the] month efter the deid doing Wt ane lochabir ax
in ȝour hand all bludie be the unnaturrill hocheing and slaying of the said kȝ [ ]

The said david grantit him [to be] art and prt Wt the persones forsaidies in hocheing and
slaying of the said kȝ and that Wt the ax sylk wes aprhendit in his hand and he and [th ]
wer direct south
(truth or south?) to this effect. be Johne Mcandro [vcean] quha (who) hes takis and [possession ]
of the landis of [...psalie] of the laird of Weme. In the said lairds name and command

And further the said [inserted: David] [ed]sess[it] that he duellis in Mowan as cottar to robert makconil [or makcouil]
Vcrobert Menzeis in tullotcro
payand ȝerlie xx @ [make] the werk of ane hors and [shering]
in [hervist] and hes remaint undir him as cottar in the saides landis [thru] tua ȝer bigane

Item ȝe ar indytit [to be] ane commone theif and [recept (harbourer)] [th of (thereof)]
Item ȝe ar indytit [to be] ane commone [sornar
(extortionist)] and oppressar of the [Linges Maters Lew] lieges.




W@ McNeill in [Fenãy]

Neill Mc[c]onoquhy in fernay

donald  [     ] mc[quene] @

D[    ] Mc[    eser] meir in ballieb[    ]

Malcolm mcc[n]a[u]chta[n] @ auch[ ]y

Joh Mcewin mo[r] in [the] [ward]

Alane Mccanosuser @ barcaltin

D[  ] roy Mcfergus @ croft[nelik]

Torquile mcillemo[ir] in anchi[    ]

gregor mchas[   ]

Johne roy campbell

a[   ]  mcolanchlane of anchaca

johne mcachonme in anchacharne

Awin Mc[c]onoquhy @ [ferloquhañ]

Johne dow Mcconile @ gle[   ]

duncan mcconile vcean @ [rancony]

Joh mcconile vcillmichaell @ [glenesorñ]

Gillespik roy Mc[    ] @ cla[    ]

The baillie depute forsaid putting the said mater to the [Luanlegr] of [ e] saidis
assis~ and being remoin[ ] and thaneftir being at [leath] [adnisith] [eirin] ffindis the
said david giltie of the thiftious steilling of the kȝ foresaid and unnaturall hoching
and slaying of thame In respect of his awin confessans above speas[ ] Thairfor
ad...s and deteins the said david to be hangit Wt ane Widdie upoñ the gallows
of [Glenaraith] quill he leif the [Lyfe] Extractit [   ] of the comt buik
of the said baill ] be me givine [ ] [ ] notar publict clerk [ ] witness[ ]
[ ] my signe and ....

Notes concerning persons and places in the above transcription.

More context.

The following describes the same period, and people under the same two lords. It comes from a Menzies source, the Red and White Book of Menzies:

About 1576 Campbell sent his son with about 40 men, under cover of dark, on to the Menzies' lands of " Kinaldie," and stole from there 24 head of cattle, with a number of sheep and goats. Colin also laid hold of a defenceless tenant of the Menzies' in Morenish, and imprisoned him until he found caution to pay £40. Some of the messengers sent to deliver a summons of the king upon Glenurchy were received with great fury — he went on shouting and boasting, and, having had their arms snatched from them by his men, then menaced them with death. Another act of Glenurchy's was to offer money and land to a John Stewart to go on to the lands of the Menzies' and kill some of the cattle, but this he manfully declined. Campbell seems to have taxed his crafty brain to find cowardly ways and means to injure the Menzies'. He also got some servants of Stewart of Grantully to steal 4 horses from the poor crofters at "Tullichdoule," and these Glenurchy resetted and put in his own stable. Not content with this mean theft, he got three different bands of men to go to three places on the Menzies' estates, under cover of night, and there killed over 20 head of cattle. But worse still, a defenceless tailor from the Menzies' having fallen into his clutches, he imprisoned him for several days. When the chief heard of this he despatched a message to the king, asking him to order Glenurchy to release him. On the arrival of the king's message, Glenurchy had him secretly hanged. The chief, therefore, made application to the Crown for redress and " compensation for the iniquitous " deeds.

The parallel with the events described in the document above are remarkable.

2. Document 2.

Our report of the next incident which we can find concerning what is apparently the same family can be found in the Red and White Book of Menzies. It involves a case where the act of parliament of 1587 (mentioned above as the possible reason the Campbells could take over Morinshe from the Menzies) was used so as to effectively punish people who might be associated for thefts performed by "broken men" of particular clans, in this case Clan Cameron:-

A raid made by Clan Cameron upon the lands of Glen Almond, where they swept the whole district of its cattle, was followed by the Government and those who had lost their herds tracing their stock to where they had been sold. In one case of this kind Sir Alexander was induced to become cautioner. This led to him being summoned before the Privy Council, which is thus recorded : —

"1600, Holyroodhouse, 11 March, Action at the instance of Margaret Scott, Lady Carnoch, .... Grahame of Inchebrakie, now her spouse, for his intrest, and Andro Malloch of Cairneis, as follows: — Upon the 13th July 1595, Allane M'Intuatour Camroun, and Johnne M'intuatour Cameron, ' with a graite nowmer of thair compliceis, all thevis, broken men, and sornaris of the Clan Chamroun,' came to the lands of Glenalmond and stole furth thereof from the said Margaret 44 kye, and from the said Andro 36 kye. And, because the said could get no restitution of the same goods by order of justice, they, therefore, according to the power granted by the Act of Parliament to subjects sustaining loss by the 'disordourit theivs and lymmaris of the Hielandis and Bordouris ' (1587 c. 16, iii. 218) to intromit with the goods of any others of the same clan, arrested in the hands of the persons underwritten the sums and goods following, belonging to certan of the Clan Chamroun ; — (i) They arrested in the hands of Alexander Leitch the sum of £80, for the price of five kye pertaining to the said Clan Chamroun, for payment of which to the complainers Patrick Drummond of Milnnab became cautioner. (2) They arrested in the hands of Duncan Dow M'Nab and Donald M'Naves twelve 'grite ky' belonging to the same clan, which were sold for 200 merks — James Campbell, apparent of Laweris, becoming surety upon 28th Oct. last for making the same forthcoming to the said complainers. (3) Upon 30th November last they arrested, by David Drummond, messenger, in the hands of Patrik Levage, the sum of £160, as the price of certain kye belonging to the said clan, Sir Alexander Menzies of Weyme, upon the day foresaid, becoming surety to the same effect. (4) Upon 18th August last, the said David Drummond, by virtue of His Majesty's letters, arrested in the hands of Johnne Ventoun, skinner, in Perth, 13 horse-load of White Plaids and yarn, and 13 horses and mares, estimated at 20 merks each, belonging to the said clan, especially to ... . Camroun, Laird of Glenevais, whose servants were at the taking of the said complainer's gear. But, although none of the said clan has offered to make to the complainers any redress for their said goods stolen by them in manner foresaid, and therefore the sums of money and goods abovewritten, arrested as said is, pertain to the complainers according to the said Act of Parliament, yet the aforesaid principals and cautioners refuse to deliver the same to them unless compelled. The pursuers appearing by Charles Grahame, their procurator ; but the defenders, — viz., Sir Alexander Menzies, Campbell, Ventoun, and the Laird of Minab, failing to appear, the King and Council decern and ordain the said defenders to pay and deliver to the pursuers the sums and goods abovewritten, arrested in their hands." — Reg. Prv. Col. Scot., p. 92, 3, vol. vi.

The repetition of names and areas seems to make it clear this is one of the same Levages as discussed above, but at least one generation later. The obvious question is whether we should assume the Levages were considered to be part of Clan Cameron, but this does not appear to be a warranted assumption. Patrik Levage was apparently holding money which was a price of cattle belonging to the clan. The wording makes it sound like he was not personally in the clan. Just exactly how this law could work in any reasonable way is unclear, but clearly it was considered a desperate solution for a very big problem.

The document does not name the exact residence or lord of Patrik Levage.