The Carnegys of Lour

At a recent meeting of Forfar and District Historical Society local horticulturist Miss Nora Craig described how she had been befriended by the late Baroness Miss Elizabeth Carnegy of Lour, through their shared love of gardening.

Miss Carnegy’s father, Elliot Carnegy, the eighth Laird, had gathered together a mass of information, letters, etc., concerning the family’s lives at Lour, their home for over 300 years, and Miss Craig was tasked with putting this into a form of permanent record.

Life for the Lairds and their tenants had always been a struggle, until the agricultural improvements and early technology of the 1740s brought a change in fortune, due in no small measure to the emergence of the linen trade, which put the estate on a sound financial footing. Apart from the necessary flax, other crops were produced including oats, peas and barley. The Carnegys’ also diversified successfully into shipping, despite the sinking of their first vessel! Many of the Carnegy family had spent part of their lives in India, and were involved in the East India Company.

Although drawing mainly on Elliot Carnegy’s notes, Miss Craig had also examined original letters and other records, and her further research resulted in the publication of a book, ‘The Carnegys’ of Lour’.

The next meeting is on Thursday, April 5 at 7.30pm in the East and Old Parish Church Hall when Douglas Lorimer will speak on ‘Making Gramophone Records Longer’