Clan Blackadder Places & People

Clan Blackadder People

John Blackadder (1622–1685)

Covenanter Open Air Sermon

Blackadder was born sometime around 1622. He was grandson of Adam Blackadder of Blairhall, a cadet of the Blackadder Baronetcy of Tulliallan, and became heir to the title as first baronet. A title he refused to assume. He studied Divinity at Glasgow University. He married Janet Haining and they had seven children.

On 7 June 1653 Blackadder was ordained as minister of Troqueer, near Dumfries. After the restoration of Charles II, Blackadder, who was a Covenanter was expelled. He was briefly arrested and taken to Edinburgh then released. However he continued to preach at secret meetings in Glencairn and was run out of this area by the authorities. Blackadder then took up life as a wandering preacher mainly around the south of Scotland.

These open air sermons became increasingly militarised as more of the congregation began to bring arms in order to protect themselves from attack by government forces. The antagonism between the two sides led to Blackadder being declared an outlaw with a reward for his capture. After the Battle of Bothwell Bridge Blackadder decided to remove himself to Rotterdam. He returned in 1681 but was arrested in Edinburgh, found guilty and imprisoned on the notorious Bass Rock. The conditions of his imprisonment were so bad that he took ill and finally died in 1685. He is buried in North Berwick churchyard.

Dame Elizabeth Violet Blackadder (24 September 1931 - 23 August 2021)

Elizabeth Blackadder

Elizabeth Blackadder is a Scottish painter and printmaker. She was the first woman to be elected to both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. Blackadder was born and raised in Falkirk, her father dies when she was age 10. She was a solitary child and spent much of her early years reading and collecting flowers. She was admitted to College in Edinburgh to study Fine Art in 1949, graduating with First Class Honours in 1954. While there she met her future husband the Artist John Houston. After graduating she travelled extensively through Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy studying Byzantine art.

Blackadder continued to travel, taking a great interest in still life painting, for which she became best known. In 1982 she was awarded the OBE and promoted to a DBE (dame) in 2003 – she also holds four honorary doctorates and was Her Majesties Painter and Limner on Scotland in 2001.

Her work has been immortalised on stamps and even on the First Minister of Scotland’s official Christmas card in 2012.

Elizabeth Blackadder died on the 23rd of August, 2021, just a month shy of her 90th birthday.

Clan Blackadder Places

Blackadder House

The Blackadder family were a prominent clan in the Borders area, and during the reign of James II (1437-1460) they vastly expanded their lands. However, most of the Borders lands held by the Blackadders of that Ilk were lost when Robert Blackadder's two daughters, and only heirs, were forced into marriage into the neighbouring Home of Wedderburn family in 1518.

There was a castle on the Blackadder estates, near Allanton in Berwickshire, which was destroyed in the early 16th century by English forces. Blackadder House, a stately home, was built on the same grounds, and saw many extensions in the 1800s. Blackadder House was home to soldiers during the First World War, who heavily vandalised the house. The post-war government refused to pay for the repairs, and the house fell into further disrepair, and was eventually demolished around 1925.