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DICK OF FRACAFIELD in the Parish of Tingwall

The family of Dick appears in the sixteenth century in the Orkney Isles, and on 9th December 1561, Mr. Alexander Dick, Provost of the Cathedral Church of Orkney, and two chaplains there, found caution to underly the law on 15th April following for convocation and gathering of our sovereign lady's lieges, to the number of four score persons, in September last, and searching for Henry Sinclair of Strom and Mr. William Mudy, with intent to slaughter them. This Mr. Alexander Dick is said to have had a son John, who succeeded him in his lands in Orkney, but the name of Dick does not appear in the Rentals of these Islands for 1595 and 1614.

  1. JOHN DICK was a merchant burgess of Edinburgh, and married Margaret, daughter of William Stewart, writer in Edinburgh, and his wife Margaret Bellenden of the family of Bellenden of Broughton. She was a sister of Lewis Stewart of Kirkhill, advocate. They had issue:
    1. William
    2. Katherine, who married Henry Morrison, merchant and bailie in Edinburgh
  2. WILLIAM DICK, the son, was a merchant and banker in Edinburgh. He, having amassed a large fortune, acquired the estate of Braid, situated to the south of the City of Edinburgh. He also became Lord Provost of the City in 1638, represented it in Parliament, and was knighted in 1641. He farmed the Excise and Custom duties of the Kingdom, and was tacksman of the lands of the Earldom of Orkney, then in possession of the Crown. But for his large advances of money from time to time, it would have been impossible for the Government of the country to have been carried on. None of these loans appear to have been repaid, and as a good deal of the money which he had lent were sums which had been deposited with him in his capacity of banker, he was compelled in 1647 to become bankrupt. Sir William died in a prison for debtors in London, in 1655, in the 76th year of his age. By his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Morrison, merchant in Edinburgh, a sister of Henry Morrison, before mentioned, he had several children.
  3. JOHN DICK, the eldest son, was an advocate and sheriff Depute of Orkney in 1628, and died in 1642. In 1630, he had a grant of a seat in the Cathedral Church of St Magnus at Kirkwall. He married Nicolas, daughter of Sir George Bruce of Carnock, and relict of Sir John Morrison of Dairsie, by whom he had issue: three sons,
    1. William
    2. John
    3. Andrew, of whom afterwards. No. VI
  4. WILLIAM DICK, the eldest son, obtained a protection from Parliament in 1669 against arrest for the debts of his grandfather. By his wife, Elizabeth Duncan, he had a son William. In a recommendation by Parliament to the King on behalf of Mrs. Elizabeth Dick, who is therein stated to be so poor as to be unable to educate her son, it is admitted that the total amount of debts due by the Country to Sir William Dick and his family were £36,803 5s 9d and 9000,000 merks, a very large sum in those days
  5. WILLIAM DICK, was an officer of Foot Guards, and was present at the battle of Almanza. He afterwards settled in the state of New York, where he died, leaving an only daughter Agnes. Dying without male issue: the representation of the family devolved on the descendants of Andrew Dick, third son of Mr. John Dick, advocate.
  6. CAPTAIN ANDREW DICK, having received a Commission on 30th July 1669, appointing him Stewart principal and Chamberlain of Orkney and Zetland, in which document he is styled son of the late Mr. John Dick, fiar of Braid, came north to Orkney. In 1678 he was elected to represent the Islands in Parliament. He acquired a good deal of land in Shetland, and was possessed of considerable property in the town of Lerwick, - a large portion of which he feued out. He died about 1701, leaving issue by his wife, Francisca Nairne,
    1. William, who succeeded him
    2. Jean, who married Adam Sinclair of Brew
  7. WILLIAM DICK of Fracafield [1st of Fracafield] was born at Kirkwall, where he was baptised on 5th November 1679. He married Barbara Sinclair, and had issue:
    1. Robert, his heir
    2. Barbara, married to Gilbert Neven of Scousburgh
    3. Ursilla, married to Laurence Sinclair of Goat
    4. William, baptised 28th May 1737
  8. ROBERT DICK of Fracafield [2nd of Fracafield] presented a petition to the King praying for payment of the debts due to his ancestor Sir William, the Lord Provost, which petition, however, appears to have met with no success. He soon afterward got hopelessly into debt, and died bankrupt in 1743. By his wife, Janet Dickson, he had issue:
    1. Barbara, baptised September 1731
    2. Douglas, baptised 8th August 1732
    3. Frances, baptised December 1735
    4. Charles, aftermentioned
    5. James, baptised 27th January 1737
    6. Andrew, baptised at Lerwick, 14th November 1737
    7. Christina, baptised 21st July 1739
    8. Thomas; and
    9. Elizabeth, twins, both baptised at Lerwick, 8th July 1740
  9. CHARLES DICK, [3rd of Fracafield] the eldest son, was baptised 13th October 1736. In 1744 an action of ranking and sale was brought against him as heir of his father, at the instance of Andrew Ross, Steward Depute and Chamberlain of the Earldom of Orkney. This action dragged through a weary course of thirty years, during which time most of the parties and council and several of the Judges before whom the process came, died. At length on 24th December 1774, decree was obtained, and the estate of Fracafield brought to the hammer. From the Decreet of Sale something is learnt of the extent of the family possessions, and they are said to include lands in no less than thirteen parishes, viz., Tingwall, Quarff, Burr-Lunnasting, Delting, Northmaven, Gulberwick, Whiteness, Weisdale, Whalsay, Dunrossness, Lerwick and Bressay. The rental of the whole lands is stated to be £509 19s 4d Scots, and the price realised being £12,098 8s 6d Scots, the Creditors, whose debts amounted in all to £48,565 15s 9d Scots, must only have received a dividend of about five shillings to the pound. After the sale of the estates Charles Dick left Shetland and went to reside in London, and in 1805 he took the opinion of Counsel on the question of serving himself heir male of the family. He married on 11th October 1760, Martha Montgomerie, by whom he had issue:
    1. William, and
    2. Page Keble, both aftermentioned
  10. WILLIAM DICK, the eldest son, was born 8th December 1765, and entered the army of the East India Company, in which he rose to be Major. On 15th January 1821, he was served heir to his ancestor, Sir William Dick of Braid, and thereafter assumed the title of Baronet, which he supposed that ancestor to possess. This was, however, quite a delusion, for it has been amply proved that no such Baronetcy was ever granted to the family. Major Dick died on 17th December 1840. By his marriage on 26th April 1821, with Caroline, daughter of John Kingston of Rickmansworth, Herts, and widow of Lieut.-Colonel Alexander Fraser of the 76th Regiment, he had a daughter, but having no male issue: his brother Page assumed the title of Baronet.
  11. “SIR” PAGE KEBLE DICK of Port Hall, near Brighton, was born on 29th September 1769, married Nancy, daughter of Richard Partridge of Birmingham, and died in 1851, leaving an only son.
  12. “SIR” CHARLES WILLIAM HOOKADAY DICK, born 1802. Of this gentleman the following account is given in the “Morning Advertiser” of 1st March 1873, under the head of “A Pauper Baronet”:- “The ancestor of Sir Charles Dick was Sir William Dick of Braid, who lent King Charles I £52,418. Out of this sum he received back in various ways £5000 or £6000, and his son Sir Andrew Dick, on urging his claims on Charles II, obtained a pension of £132, until such time as His Majesty should take course with the principal. This pension, we are told, has been paid to the descendants of the original Sir William by each successive sovereign down to 1845, when without any reason assigned, it was suddenly stopped, leaving Sir Charles Dick, the present representative of the family, in such poverty that he had long supported himself by acting as custodian to the Brighton Museum, and now in extreme old age is entirely destitute, unable to do more than keep the sticks and umbrellas of visitors at the door of the gallery”. He did not long survive, and dying soon afterwards without issue: the male line of the family became extinct.
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