A finding aid to the John Walkinshaw Crauford papers is now available via the Online Archive of California, thanks to the hard work of intern Katie Duvall.
John Walkinshaw Craufurd was born in 1720/21 at Craufurdland Castle, near Kilmarnock, Scotland. He entered the army at an early age and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel over the course of his career, distinguishing himself at the battles of Dettingen in 1743 and Fontenoy in 1745. In 1761 he was appointed falconer to the King and in 1762 he received the freedom of the city of Perth. He occasionally appears in Boswell’s Journals, often as a dinner companion.
Craufurd died, unmarried, on February 19, 1793 in Edinburgh, leaving Craufurdland Estate to his friend Thomas Coutts, an eminent banker. The will was contested by his aunt, Elizabeth Craufurd, and her daughter, also Elizabeth. The elder Elizabeth died in 1802, but the legal battle waged on until 1806 when the matter was decided in favor of her daughter, Elizabeth Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead.
The Crauford collection contains letters, memoranda, bills and notes retained by Craufurd from 1746 to his death in 1793. Also included in this collection are posthumous letters regarding the Craufurdland Cause, the legal process that reversed Craufurd’s settlement of his estate upon his friend Thomas Coutts.
Craufurdland Castle is still in existence, owned and operated by the Crauford family. You can rent out the castle for weddings and other events — or stay overnight in one of the bedrooms!