Elizabeth Gray

On Census night 1861 Elizabeth Gray, her husband and four daughters were living without servants in a three-roomed house in Mollinsburn. In the Valuation Roll for that year their home was recorded as a house, stable and byre with a rateable value of just £6. In about 1864/5 the family became tenants of a farm at Westfield, Cumbernauld. Although widowed in 1865 Elizabeth Gray continued farming until at least 1871 when the farm consisted of 120 acres. The next record of Mrs Gray is in 1876 when she purchased a house in Helensburgh for £3,500.  She purchased Ledcameroch when it was auctioned in July 1879. The Glasgow Herald sale advert is included in the Gallery section of this website.

In the 1881 Census those living in the house were Mrs Gray, three of her daughters and two servants including a cook. Her occupation was annuitant. For the first time two lodge houses are mentioned, the north being occupied by a coachman, his wife and three sons and the south by a gardener and his wife.

In November 1882 William Anderson assigned the plot of three roods to Elizabeth Gray. In February 1887 she feued from the Reverend John Erskine Campbell Colquhoun a further one acre fourteen poles at which time all three areas were consolidated into one subject. The combined annual feu duty amounted to £62-6s-3d with a double payment due every nineteenth year.

Elizabeth Gray died in January 1894. Excluding Ledcameroch and assets in Australia her estate was valued at £7248. The beneficiaries were her four surviving daughters one of whom, Helen Troup, continued to live at Ledcameroch until her own death in Funchal, Madeira in 1896.

The clue to the sudden change in the Gray family’s wealth is contained in Helen Troup’s will which lists investments in several sheep farms in the then Colony of Victoria and refers to her late uncle John Moffat of Hopkins Hill. John Moffat and his brother Robert had emigrated to Victoria and both had become extremely successful sheep farmers. John Moffat died in 1871. Amongst the beneficiaries of his estate were his surviving brothers and sisters of whom Elizabeth Gray (nee Moffat) was one. Elizabeth Gray was also a beneficiary of Robert Moffat’s estate.

In 1896 the home of Elizabeth Gray’s youngest daughter was in Kilwinning, in a house designed by Sir John Burnett, and named Ledcameroch.