The following information comes from my grandfather's (Claud Leonard Broun) writings:
"My great-great-grandmother, known as 'Granny Broun', was something of an Edinburgh character; she lived to be a hundred, dying in 1828; and as a girl of seventeen she took part in the welcome to Prince Charles Edward, and I think danced at the ball at Holyrood in September 1745. My maternal grand-father well remembered being introduced as a small boy to the awesome old lady, and her remark, 'Aye, laddie, ye've a braw sappy hand'."
And from an earlier set of writings:
"My great-great-grandfather married a lady who at the age of 17 took part in the welcome extended to Prince Charles Edward in 1745. She lived to the age of 100, dying in 1828. My grandfather Wyld remembered being introduced as a small boy to this old lady, whom he knew as 'Grannie Broun'."
Nothing is known about her husband except that he may have been James or or Robert or George, and is supposed to have been descended from the Brouns of Colstoun.
I now believe her to have been Jean Cuthell / Cuthil. This is because I found what looked like a mistranscribed monumental inscription for North Leith Graveyard, plot 3. It states:
Jean CUTHILL widow of James Brown merchant in Linlithgow d. 28 April 1854 a. 100; her s. Robert Brown merchant Leith d. 17 Apr 1740 a. 70.
As it stands this is impossible, but if we change the date of Robert Brown to 1840, then this ties in as he died 17 Apr 1840. It does however still place the death date for Jean Cuthill too late - she would have been only 10 years old when married, the marriage taking place in Edinburgh in 1764! However, if we assume that this is a mistranscription too, the fact that she died at age 100 looks promising. Also notice that the family of Jean Cuthill and James Brown have names that coincide with Robert Brown's children - at least the ones I have found sofar. The marriage was given as "irregular" but I have not traced any children prior to the marriage. I am told that this probably means that it was not a regular Church of Scotland marriage but possibly Episcopalian or Roman Catholic.
Someone who visited the grave for me said it was very hard to read. However, Robert Brown definitely died in 18-something, not 17-something. It looked like 1810 which could easily be 1840 with the horizontal and diagonal components of the 4 worn away.
Having checked the registers for North Leith Parish the details should read:
Jean CUTHILL widow of James Brown merchant in Linlithgow d. 28 April 1834 a. 100; her s. Robert Brown merchant Leith d. 17 Apr 1840 a. 70.
She was buried on the 2nd May 1834. James Brown was described there as a Falkirk merchant.
The only plausible entry in the Scottish registers is a christening recorded 16/06/1734 to JOHN CUTHEL and BESSIE HAY in Falkirk. However, if this is corrrect she would only have been 99 when she died. There is another girl of the same name shown as christened to the same couple (John Cuthell and Elizabeth Hay) in August 1727. As she may well not have been Church of Scotland, it seems quite possible that her birth will not be in the main Scottish registers, but among the church records in the National Archives.
My name is Alasdair Broun and I was born and brought up in Scotland, son of a clergyman and a freelance journalist. I took up genealogy as a hobby when I was 17 and I went on to write a PhD thesis in philosophical psychology ... more >
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