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CHEYNE OF VAILA in the Parish of Walls

  1. ROBERT CHEYNE of Ury, brother of Francis Cheyne of Craigentarves, was Bailie of Tingwall in 1568, and Commissary of Zetland about 1590. In the trial of Cultmalindie for oppression, one of the charges against Laurence Bruce was that, “By pronunciation of wrongs and false judgment and sentences against the King's Majesty's lieges of the said country, and causing his deputes thereafter to reduce and retreat the same as he did to Andrew Mowat, Mr. Robert Cheyne and Andrew Hawick of Skatsta, and diverse others, and by the receiving from the said Andrew Mowat, seven score of angel-nobles, and one chain of gold worth 40 angels, and from Mr. Robert Cheyne and Andrew Hawick, one hundred angels, and that by the way of bribery for corrupting of justice”. On 29th July 1586, he had precept of sasine in his favor granted by Robert, Earl of Orkney, on the narrative of a double poinding between him and Andrew Hawick of Scatsta. The said parties were ordained to appear at Scalloway bankis, on the 27th July 1586, and there produce their titles to the lands of “Vallay and Valey Guidis”, and the said Mr. Robert having produced the grant made to him by the King's Majesty of Scotland of date the 18th day of October 1580, and the said Andrew Hawick pretending nothing that might cut the said title, the Earl found Mr. Robert entitled to possession of the said lands, and granted warrant for his infeftment. In 1596, he complained to the Privy Council that on 11th April 1596, when he came to St Gregory's kirk in Northmaven, where he was accustomed to administer justice, and while there trying an action at the instance of a poor widow, Marrion Johnnes daughter against Andrew Hawick, he was attacked, and wounded by the said Andrew, Daniel his brother, John Strang, William Wilson, and others. His assailants having been summoned to appear, and not appearing, were denounced rebels. He was seised in a last of land in Melby, on 10th August 1590. He married Margaret Strang, and was father of
    1. Thomas, his heir
    2. Alexander, who brought an action against his brother in 1603, to make a division of his father's property among his whole children
    3. Harry, of Stapness, a procurator in a sasine dated 27th June 1613, on Charter by Andrew Hawick of Scatsta, to Malcolm Sinclair of Quendale, of the lands of Footabrough, and others in Walls, died December 1643, having married Janet Bell, and had issue: Elizabeth and Margaret
  2. THOMAS CHEYNE of Vaila, Commissioner of Peace for Zetland, 15th March 1614, was served heir to his uncle Francis, on 3rd April 1622. He acquired a large estate in Shetland, making numerous purchases of lands in Walls, Aithsting, Fetlar, &c. He died June 1626, having married Agnes, daughter of James Strang of Voesgarth, who survived him, and had issue:
    1. Patrick, his heir
    2. James, of Raevock, served tutor of Vaila, 16th June 1649
    3. Laurence, served tutor of Vaila, 27th November 1644, died 1645, having married Elizabeth Sinclair
    4. Robert
  3. PATRICK CHEYNE of Vaila also added largely to the family estate. He married Janet, daughter of Gilbert Gifford of Hogsetter, and died 23rd December 1639, leaving issue:
    1. Thomas, his heir
    2. Walter
    3. Patrick
    4. Agnes
    5. Catherine
    6. Christian
    7. Marjorie
  4. THOMAS CHEYNE of Vaila was in pupillarity when his father died. He possessed the estates for about 45 years. On 9th August 1664, he was compelled by Alexander Douglas of Spynie, then chamberlain for the Earldom of Orkney, to feudalize his lands by accepting two charters from him. From these deeds is learned the extent of the family possession, viz., 160 merks in the parish of Walls, 1613/4 in Sandness, 81 in Sandsting, 18 in Weisdale, 6 in Northmaven, 741/4 in Fetlar, and 102-7/8 in Unst, making in all 603-7/8. He married Barbara Umphray, and had issue:
    1. Patrick, his heir
    2. Theodore, aftermentioned
    3. Barbara, who married Magnus Cheyne of Hogsetter
  5. PATRICK CHEYNE of Vaila was served heir of his father on 3rd October 1695. The estate had been by this time heavily wadsetted, principally to James Mitchell of Girlesta. To Mitchell he was compelled bit by bit to dispose his estate, and on 1st March 1698, he seems to have finally parted with the whole. His brother,
  6. THEODORE CHEYNE of Footabrough, succeeded him in the representation of the family. In 1692 he acquired the lands of Footabrough from his brother, but he soon parted with them to James Mitchell. On 4th June 1718, he was served heir to his great great grandfather, Robert Cheyne of Vaila, and to his great Grandfather, Gilbert Gifford of Hogsetter. On 18th June 1738, he presented the following petition to the Court of Session, from which the then state of the family may be learned - “Unto the Right Honourable the Lords of Council and Session. The petition of Theodore Cheyne, eldest lawful son alive of the deceased Thomas Cheyne, and grandson and heir served of the deceased Mr. Patrick Cheyne of Vally in Zetland, Humbly Sheweth, that the said deceased Mr. Patrick Cheyne of Valley, your Petitioner's grandfather on the father's side and Gilbert Gifford of Hogsetter, his (great) grandfather on his mother's side, died possest of considerable estates in Zetland, to both whom your petitioner has served heir in special. That the said Thomas Cheyne, your petitioner's father, never was entered heir to his predecessors, and that his eldest son Patrick, your petitioner's eldest brother, was born blind, and was a weak facile man, and addicted to drinking, whereby he was easily imposed upon to dilapidate his substance, which your petitioner is informed put away without any just or onerous causes, his creditors adjudged and got into possession, are long since paid by their intromission. That your Petitioner is advised to bring a processed of Reduction, Improbation, and Declarator before your Lordships, against the pretended possessors of these estates, but he being now reduced to great straits by the meanness of his circumstances, is not in a condition to defray his charge and expense of this process, as appears by a certificate of serveralls of the Justices of the Peace and other gentlemen in Zetland herewith given in. May it therefore please your Lordships, &c. - THEODORE CHEYNE”
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