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The Regarde Bien

Issue No. 3

A Florentine Banker in Scotland

It has often been asserted by various writers that James Mulekyn of Florence in Italy, was the ancestor of the Mullikins of Scotland, an assertion that is unfounded. This assertion appears to have been the product of research that found its way into the Rev. Ridlon’s book on the Millikens etc, in 1907. I have extracted below all the known references to James Mulikyn found in Scotland and will give comments on each where appropriate. Our starting point is Robertson’s Index of Charters granted in the reign of David II.

Robertson’s Index of Charters granted in the reign of David II

Index A
1169: - Carte dicti Ade de dicto officio: - (35) To Ade Torrie of the deputrie of the exchange and Mulekin of Florence.

1203: - Carte Adami Corry de: - (23) To Adam Tore burgess of Edinburgh officio combiorum of exchanging in all Scotland.

1204: - Carte ejusdem Ade et Jacobi Mulekin de offico monete: - (24) To Adam Tore foresaid, and James Mullekin in Florence, the exchanging of all money in Scotland and the Cuinzie house and liberties. Edinburgh (no. 170)

1462: - Carte Jacobi Meallus pro officio monetarii: - (53) To James Mulekin of Florence of the Cunzie house (no. 101)

[Register of the Great Seal of Scotland 1306-1424, Vol. 1, appendix]

Of the three charters which refer to James Mulekyn of Florence, only two now survive, nos. 1204 and 1462, and are given in full below. It is worth noting that the last charter provides a clue as to James’s Latin surname – Meallus, translated as Mulekyn in Old Scots.

The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland 1306-1424

No. 170. Translation of a grant to Adam Torrie of Edinburgh, warden of the mint, and to James Mulekin of Florence, mint master, and other officers of the mint, of freedom from all kinds of taxes and contributions except those towards the king’s ransom. Edinburgh, 1st February [1358]

David be the grace of God king of Scots to all the honest men of his haill lands. Ye shall know that with advise of councill wee have given to our weell beloved and faithfull servitor Adam Torrie burgess of Edenburgh warden of the office of cunzieing of the haille kingdom appointed yrto be us of our councill and to James Mullekin of Florence mintmaster and to the rest of the workmen and servants apporinted to the said office wee make free and acqwitts of all challenges supports duties or contributions whatsomever either upon their lands tenements guids moveable or cattell or wares whatsomever to be sett or appointed exceptant only the contrabutione to be sett on them for the payment of our ransom and delivery and that the forsaid James and all thovyr officers under him shall stand at the decissione of the said Adam their master in all plaies and complaints wqhilks concerns them except only the plaie of free halding and our crown and that they shall not be put upon assyse juries or recognitions whatsomever and give perhaps the said James or his servants will or shall of yr accorde either be ymselves or with the commonality of our said kingdome grant and give us taxations it is our will that the said support or contributions be imputt and taken up be the said wairdon and that he also be taxed in sith supports yet swa that ne other person shall medle in any forme in the said contributions but only the warden. In witness wherof at Edenburgh the first day of Febr’ and of our regne the twentie eight yeir.

SOURCE. NAS, Gifts and privileges of the mint (E.105/1)(a text compiled in 1707), fo. Ir. At the head is a note, including the statement: ‘orginallie in lattin and translated by me John Rae master of the grammer scholle of Edenburgh’. REGISTERED. See RMS I, app. 2, no. 1204.

[Webster, David: Regesta Regum Scottorum of David II, no. 170]

No. 101. Litera data Jacobo Mulekyn monetario [letters to James Mulekyn]

David Die gracia rex Scottorum omnibus, etc. Sciatis quod concessimus Jacobo Mulekyn de Florencia, quod sit monetarius noster infra regnum [blackened by gall] durante te[m]p[ore] vite sue quem Jacobum et quoscunque [hard to read] suos et eorum bona ubique existencia [blackened by gall] …………… …… …….. inter nos …………. condicionibus ………….. confect. Apud Edinburgh, sexto die Octobris anno regni nostri tricesimo secundo [1361].

[Register of the Great Seal of Scotland 1306-1424, Vol. 1, no. 101]

Note: The second document, or set of letters, was written three years after the original grant made to James Mulekyn of Florence in 1358. It is significant that in the second, James is still styled ‘of Florence’ and not Edinburgh. If he had permanently settled in Edinburgh, one would at the very least have expected some indication of this.

Accounts of Adam Thor, burgess of Edinburgh – 1364

Et in solucione facta magistro Jacobo, monetario, pro diuersis debitis per dominum nostrum regem, vt patet per literas ipsius regis de precepto, et dicti Jacobi de recepto, ostensas super compotum, xxxix li.
[Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, Vol. II, p. 159]

Et Bonagio, monetario, pro tabulis de diuersis ymaginibus et aliis diuersis rebus, sculptis et depictis, receptis ad opus Regis, xjli. Xiijs. Iiij d., vt patet per literas domini nostri Regis de preceto et ipsius Bonagii de recepto, ostensas super compotum.
[Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, Vol. II, p. 160]

Et in solucione facta Donato Mulekyn, pro diuerisis artificiis factis ad vsum regis (paid for ornaments to the King), vt. patet per literas vt supra, vj li. v shillings, iiij pennies.
[Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, Vol. II, p. 160]

Note: It is evident, James's primary role and obligation had been completed by 1364, that is, to reform the royal mint, for by then, Banogio, another Florentine, had replaced him.

The Preface by George Burnett in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland Vol. II, 1359-1379

“David during his captivity seems to have given some attention to the institutions of England, and profited by their study. What knowledge he had acquired of the English Mint he turned to account in remodelling that of his own country. Artistically his coins are a great advance on those of his predecessors. Following the example of England, he introduced Italians – then the best workers in the precious metals – into the management of the Mint. Prior to 1357 the principal officer connected with the coin had been the moneyer (monetarius), who moved with the court from place to place, coining money whenever it was required. David introduced as the head of the Mint a new officer called the keeper of the money (custos monete), a post which conferred on Adam Tore, one of the most considerable citizens of Edinburgh, and one of the three burgesses of that place whom the burghs of Scotland collectively empowered to negotiate for the King’s ransom. Under him, discharging the function of master moneyer, was James Mulekyn of Florence, called in the rolls “magister Jacobus”, the respective duties of these officers being probably much what they were thirty-four years afterwards defined to be in an ordinance in Council ……. Tore must have been appointed as early as February 1357-8, as his account rendered in 1358-9 runs from that date; but on 1st July 1358 Tore and Mulekyn had charters or letters-patent conferring on them certain privileges connected with the coin” (see No. 170).

“We have two later accounts of Tore, one rendered in June 1361, the other in December 1364. In the former the King’s receipts from the seignorage of 7d. are £145, showing that in the fifteen months embraced in it £4971 8s. 7d. had been coined. In the latter, which includes three years and a half, the King’s receipts are £570 10s. 2d., the seignorage being still 7d., except during the last month, when it was raised to 8d. £30 are paid in the account of 1361 to the sculptors of the moneyers instrument, and £3 for steel and iron for making the instruments. The master moneyer must still have been “magister Jacobus”. In the account of 1364, in addition to his name there occurs that Bonagius, also a Florentine, his successor, who is paid “pro tabulis de diversis ymaginibus et aliis diversis rebus sculptis et depictis, receptis ad opus regis”.

“The first coinage after the remodelling of the Mint under Adam Tore seems to have been somewhat better than the coinage complained of, and nearly, if not quite, up to the English standard. Such, at least, must have been the case if the English annalist Knighton’s assertion is to be relied on, that David on visiting England in 1358 petitioned Edward that the money of the two countries should be interchangeably current, and that his request was granted. That the coinages to which Tore’s second and third accounts relate had fallen short of the same standard may perhaps be surmised from the terms of the second treaty regarding the ransom (20th June 1361), in which it was again stipulated that payment should be made in money of England or other gold money of its value; but its inferiority appears more clearly from the proceedings of the Council which met at Holyrood on 8th May 1366. It was there determined that the money to be coined in future should be of like weight and purity with that made by ‘magister Jacobus’, so as to come up to the standard of England, and that it should bear a ‘signum notabile’to distinguish it from previous coinages”.

[Burnett, George, Lyon King of Arms: Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, Vol. II, p. xcii-xcvii]

Note: There is no evidence to suggest that Jacobus Meallus alias Mulekyn ever settled in Scotland, but rather remained in Florence. He no doubt visited Edinburgh to undertake the huge task of reforming the royal mint, but the fact that Bonagio replaced him, confirms the view that his appointment was only temporary. This appears to be the implication of Burnett’s comments regarding the Scottish Council of 1366, for by then, the standard of coinage had evidently dropped below the level and quality of that produced at the time of magister Jacobus. It may also be implied from this passage that he had gained a working knowledge of the English Mint. All this of course is a far cry from the assertion made that he was the progenitor of the Mullikins of Scotland, let alone Edinburgh.

Ms in County Londonderry

Quite a number of people have contacted me regarding the Millikins of Dromore in Co. Londonderry in the province of Ulster (not to be confused with the Millikins who lived near the town of Dromore in Co. Down) and other families bearing the surnames Milliken and Millican, who emigrated to North America from Co. Londonderry. Rather than attempt to write an individual reply to everyone, it seemed more expedient to include a series of articles in this News Letter, that aim to examine the main genealogical sources related to the county and known family histories.

There are two important genealogical sources for the 1600s that list the names of individuals of tenant status in Co. Londonderry, the 1630 muster rolls (which lists the names of Protestant male tenants above the age of 16 years) and the 1663 hearth money rolls (a partial listing of heads of households), but neither record the surnames Milliken, Milligan or Mulligan. Of the 46 parishes of the county, only two have records surviving from the 1600s, namely, St. Columbs Church of Ireland in the City of Derry (which date from 1642) and the Presbyterian Church of Ballykelly (which date from 1699). Other important sources include the Will Indexes for the Diocese of Derry and the Prerogative Court of Ireland, but neither list the surnames.

1. Parish of Templemore, City of Derry
St. Columbs Church of Ireland (baptisms, marriages & burials 1642-1703)

Elizabeth Muligane widow buried the 5 Feb. 1657

James sonne of Robert Mulakine bapt. 28 June, 1668

2. Parish of Tamlaght-Finlagan
Ballykelly Presbyterian Church (baptisms 1699-1709, marriages 1699-1740)

Gilbert Milliken and Margaret McClelen both in this parish of Ballykelly are alowed the benefite of Proclamation April 12, 1712

For the 1700s, the picture begins to improve, the most important source being the Religious Survey of 1740. In that year, the Irish House of Commons commissioned a survey of Protestant householders in the North of Ireland. The original returns, however, were destroyed in 1922, but copies survive in the Tenison Groves transcript in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, called the Londonderry Survey, for 37 of the 46 parishes in Co. Londonderry. Later in 1766, the Irish House of Lords commissioned a survey instructing the clergy of each Church of Ireland parish to prepare a return of the number of Protestant and Roman Catholic families in their parishes. Returns survive for 13 of the 46 parishes in Co. Londonderry and of these, some are only numerical returns but others give the names of the heads of families.

Protestant Householders - 1740
Aghadowey ................... William Miliken, Robert Milikin
Tamlaght O Crilly ....... John Milliken
Kilrea ............................. Patt O'Mallican, Donaghy O'Mullighan
Maghera ........................ George Miliken
Termoneeny ................. Thomas Millikin, Josh Miliken
Ballynascreen ................ And Miliken, Wm. Miliken
Desertmartin ................ Pat Mulloghan
Magherafelt ................... Daniel Mulligan, Thomas Miliken
Desertlyn ....................... James Miliken

The parishes of Tamlaght O Crilly, Kilrea, Maghera, Termoneeny, Ballynascreen, Desertmartin, Magherafelt and Desertlyn are all located in the district of Loughinsholin, which takes in the southern part of Co. Londonderry. Only three of the parishes listed above are represented in the 1766 Religious Survey and of these, only two list M surnames all of whom were dissenters, in other words - Presbyterians.

Religious Survey - 1766
Ballynascreen Parish
Dissenter - Samuel Milliken, Andrew Milliken, William Milliken & James Milliken

Magherafelt Parish
Dissenter - James Milliken

As part of a Government scheme to encourage the linen trade, free spinning-wheels or looms were granted to individuals planting a certain area of land with flax. The list of those entitled to the award was published in 1796 and recorded only the names of individuals and the civil parish in which they lived. The original publication is held in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast, and only the following names appear in connection with Co. Londonderry.

Flax Grower of Ireland - 1796
Agivey .................................. Thomas Millikin 1
Tamlaght-Finlagan ............ David Milliken 2

I have included the Flax Growers list to draw a comparison between it and the 1740 Religious Survey for two reasons. In the first instance, the parish of Agivey is usually incorporated with the parish of Aghadowey, and in the second, the 1740 Survey fails to record any references to the surname Milliken in the parish of Tamlaght-Finlagan. The significance of the latter point will become evident in the next issue, when I begin to examine the biographical notes recorded in the Rev. G. T. Ridlons book in relation to the Millikins of Dromore in Co. Londonderry. Finally, it should also be noted, that neither the Will Indexes for the Diocese of Derry nor the Prerogative Court of Ireland, list the surnames Milliken or Milligan in the 1700s.

John Milligan Esq. of Westmoreland

High up in the Galloway hills, in the old Carsphairn graveyard, stands a headstone erected to the memory of Jean Dempster by her son John Milligan Esq. of Westmoreland County in the State of Pennsylvania. Although weather beaten, the inscription reads, she died 2nd September 178-?, aged - -?, and was the spouse of Alex. Milligan. In his book on the Ms the Rev. G. T. Ridlon incorrectly gives his name as John Milligan, the father of John Milligan Esq. of Westmoreland and his two younger brothers Thomas and James Milligan. He is correct, however, to point out that this family had been known by the surname Milliken, and was only changed to Milligan after the death of Alexander in 1785, through the influence of his second wife. The record of his death is also preserved on a headstone in the same graveyard and reads:

[Sandstone Headstone] erected in memory of Alexander Milligan in Meadowhead who died July 26, 1785, aged 60 years.
[Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions, An Index for the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (1990), Vol. I, Carsphairn, no. 48]

Jean Dempster evidently died in or about 1780 for Alex married his second wife, Margaret Milligan, in 1781 and appears to have been married to Alex for nearly 30 years as her son John was born on 13 Oct., 1752. Alexs second marriage to Margaret, said to have been of the old family so long possessed of Blackmyre farm, came late in life when he was aged about 56 years. There are no early marriages records for the Parish Church of Carsphairn, only a baptismal register which dates from 1758 and records the following entries:

Feb. 24, 1783; baptism of Thomas first child of Alexander Milliken and Margaret Milliken in Meadowhead. [Carsphairn OPR.860/1/27]

July 3, 1785; baptism of James second child of Alexander Milliken and Margaret Milliken in Meadowhead. [Carsphairn OPR.860/1/43]

The Boston Scottish charitable Society

Recently on a visit to the National Archives of Scotland, previously the Scottish Record Office, I came across the following references in David Dobsons series of books on Scottish Emigrants to the Americas:

Mulligan, Hugh, a smith, member of Boston SCS 1684
Mulligan, John, member of Boston SCS 1685
Milliken, James, member of Boston SCS 1698

Dobson, David: The Original Scots Colonist of Early America (Supplement) 1607-1707.

I am interested in contacting anyone who is likely to undertake research at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston and would be in a position to examine the early records related to the Scottish Charitable Society.

Ms in County Londonderry

In the last issue, a number of important genealogical sources were outlined and in this issue, we turn our attention to another source that is almost certainly unlikely to capture the attention of most professional researchers, namely, the Rev. Ridlons book. There are several biographical notes in this book that have a direct bearing on the history of the Ms of Co. Londonderry and relate to Samuel Millikin of Coleraine, Alexander, William & James Milliken of Castledawson, James & William Millikin of Dromore, Robert Milliken of Tobermore, James & Thomas Milliken of Tamneymore, William & John Millican of Co. Londonderry, and of these, the earliest and most important are Samuel Millikin of Coleraine and the Millikens of Castledawson.

In chapter three of his book entitled Compendium of Family History, Ridlon narrates that old men now living in Antrim and Londonderry, have informed the author of visits made by relatives bearing the Milliken name from distant parts of Ireland to the homes of their grandparents when they were children; and they have a distinct recollection of the stories to which they listened when sitting around the peat fires, concerning the sufferings of their Scottish forefathers on the moors and mountains with Cameron, and how they fought at Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge, at the Boyne, Enniskillen and Londonderry.

To illustrate the point, he goes on to recite a tradition narrated to him by the lips of two persons, but only names one, Samuel Milliken of Coleraine, who he describes as being hale and hearty at aged of 85 in 1895 and gives his lineage is given as follows:

  1. Robert MILLIKEN, a shepherd farmer in the shire of Galloway, Scotland, was a zealous Covenantor who escaped with his family to Ireland, in the year 1680. He was born in 1650 and died in Londonderry in the year 1740, aged 90.
  2. James MILLIKEN, son of the preceding, born in the 1670, was ten years of age when he went with his parents to Ulster, Ireland, in 1680, and lived contemporary with his father 70 years, dying in 1750, aged 80.
  3. Robert Milliken, son of the preceding, born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1695, lived contemporary with his father 54 years, and with his grandfather 45 years, dying in 1791, aged 96 years.
  4. William Milliken, son of the preceding, born in Londonderry, Ireland, in the years 1720, died in 1794, aged 74. He lived contemporary with his father 71 years, and with his grandfather 30 years.
  5. Robert Milliken, son of the preceding, born in Londonderry, Ireland, in the year 1750, died in 1830, aged 80. He lived contemporary with his grandfather 41 years, with his father 44 years.
  6. Samuel Milliken, son of the preceding, born in Coleraine, Ireland, 1810, was living in 1895 in full possession of his mental faculties, and related what his father had received from the lips of his grandfather relating to the experiences of his grandfather who was the exiled Covenanter first in Ulster.

The description by Samuel of his fathers grandfather, the second Robert Milliken, is worth quoting in full - my grandfather lived with my father when an aged man and was a person of peculiar and unalterable habits. He was small of stature, a weaver of the hand-loom by occupation and very stooping. He wore always, indoors and out-of-doors, a blue, knitted Kilmarnock (sic. Killmanmock) bonnet. His hair, heavy and snow-white, fell in curling masses about his neck; his diet in old age consisted of potatoes, which he insisted upon roasting in the embers and oatmeal porridge. When not employed at his loom he spent much of his time in reading the lives of the Covenanters, and was never weary of his description of his grandfather and the recitations to which he had listened in his boyhood from his lips relating to his adventures on the moors and mountains of Galloway when hunted by Claverhouse.

The first Robert Milliken, had two brothers who were at Bothwell Bridge and amongst the prisoners held in Grayfriers Churchyard. His father when an aged man, made the long journey on foot to sign a copy of the Covenant, and died soon afterwards from the fatigue of his exertion. He himself, had escaped to Ireland by a small boat in the night-time, and had returned to Scotland but once to visit kindred in Galloway. He was at the battle of the Boyne and suffered at the siege of Londonderry. He was well known and held in high esteem, and when he died the local militia turned out and gave him a soldier's burial. His body was carried to his grave on chairpoles by his four sons.

A similar tradition is conveyed in the chapter covering the Millikens of Castledawson in the parish of Magherafelt and county Londonderry. This family are said to have descended from Alexander Milliken, who according to Ridlon was a native of the lowlands of Scotland and is said to have been one of four brothers who were among the sturdy defenders of Londonderry in the memorable siege of 1689, he alone surviving. The tradition goes on to say that Alexanders grandson James - who was reared mostly in the family of his grandparents - remembered that at his grandfathers funeral the military turned out to do honour to an old soldiers memory who had been one of the survivors of the siege; he died at Castledawson.

This tradition, like the first, was recorded long after the events cited in it, but the impression left can hardly be disputed, a point that will become more evident in later issues of the Regarde Bien.

Samuel Millikin of Coleraine

Of Samuel himself, he indeed appears to have been born in Coleraine as his name appears in the householders list for the Corporation of Coleraine in 1834, published in the Third Report from the Select Committee on Fictitious Votes in Ireland submitted by the House of Commons to the House of Lords in 1837. As Samuel Milligan, he lived at 1 Society Street, Coleraine, and his house was valued at œ8. Beyond this he has become an enigma, that is to me, unless some one has already managed to identify his whereabouts after 1834. I have searched through a number of records related to the town, but not succeeded in learning anything more about him.

He appears to have been the brother of Robert Millikin, whose name is listed in the 1831 Census returns for Coleraine. He lived in a dwelling house in the Diamond, consisting of two males, two females and one servant, and were Presbyterians. As Robert Millikin, he is listed in the Parliamentary Papers as one whose name had been referred to the Common Council of Coleraine to consider his petition for the freedom of the Corporation but had not been decided on by 1832. Two years later, his name appears as a subscriber to the Coleraine Poor-house and Mendicity Association in 1834, as Robert Milliken, Diamond, paid 8 shillings. He died a widower on 21st November 1870 aged 73 years, giving him a projected birth date of 1797. He had two known children Robert and Isabella Milliken; the latter married Cochran Patterson, a shopkeeper, in 1849.

It is doubtful Samuel Millikins father was a freeman of Coleraine as his name does not appear in the Register of Freemen which dates from 1715. The fact that Robert Millikin had applied to the Corporation of Coleraine for the right to trade freely before 1832, does suggest his application may have been precipitated by the death of his father in 1830, this assumes he is the brother of Samuel, and had taken over the family business. Of course, much depends of how you interpret the tradition that Samuels father, Robert, was born in Londonderry, does this mean the City or County? The only real guide we have lies in the various documents mentioned in the last issue, and Samuels own account of his ancestry which provides two important clues, they were weavers and Presbyterians with a strong Covenanting conviction.

The Millikins of Drumraighland

This sub-title calls for some clarification as it refers to the family of James Millikin and Martha Hemphill, styled of Dromore, a designation that has lead to a good deal of confusion by Ridlon mistakenly assuming this referred to the town of Dromore in Co. Down. To avoid further confusion, I have chosen to follow the custom of placing a persons given townland as their address, though, it should probably read as Dromore in the townland of Drumraighland and parish of Tamlaght Finlagan. This couples eldest son, also called James, was born in the townland of Drumraighland on 5th January, 1752. Although, the Religious Survey of 1740 fails to note any Ms living in the parish, this does not negate the possibility there may have been Ms living there at one time as Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, which lies in this parish, records the proclamation of Gilbert Milliken and Margaret McClelen in 1712.

It is known that James Milliken of Drumraighland was born in 1727, but to say he was born in Drumraighland would only add further confusion. He was evidently a weaver, an occupation continued by one of his younger sons, David Millikin, who acquired two spinning looms under the Governments scheme to encourage the linen trade and is styled of the parish of Tamlaght Finlagan in 1796. He is probably the same David Millikin, who leased a small area of land amounting to over 6 acres in the townland of Bovavagh and whose name is listed, along with Samuel Millikin of Glenconway, James and John Millikin of Ardinarive and Alexander Millikin of Straw, in the parish of Bovavagh in 1827. Of the Millikins of Drumraighland, it is surely significant that the home of this God fearing family of Presbyterians and weavers, lay along the main road that runs between the City of Londonderry and the town of Coleraine!

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