James Moodie of Melsetter

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James Moodie of Melsetter

Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Orkney, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Mudie of Melsetter and Margaret Stewart
Husband of Margaret Morrison and Margaret Bellenden
Father of John Moodie; William Moodie of Melsetter; Captain James Moodie of Melsetter, RN; Francis Moodie; Son and 2 others
Brother of William Mudie of Melsetter; Patrick Mudie of Manclet; Charles Mudie; Francis Mudie, horse merchant in Kirkwall; Barbara Mudie and 1 other
Half brother of Robert Mudie; William Mudie in Osmondwall; Donald Mudie; James Mudie in Sanday and N.N. Mudie

Managed by: Brendan Swemmer
Last Updated:

About James Moodie of Melsetter


James Mudie of Melsetter (aka James Moodie of Melsetter) is the second son of Francis Mudie of Melsetter. The Moodie Book does not identify the name of his mother but it seems quite likely, probable even, that he is the son of his father's first wife Margaret Stewart. The Moodie Book, pp. 22-4

His Date of Birth

James Mudie of Melsetter acted himself as cautioner for his father when his father borrowed four hundred pounds Scots from George, Bishop of Orkney, on 25 January 1634. James Brown Craven bequest relating to local and ecclesiastical history of Orkney, reference GD106/177 According to B. H. Hossack, James Mudie, fiar of Melsetter, revoked his act of caution on 20 April 1636 in the following terms: "being of 21 years, remembering that in the time of my Minority there were diverse Bands and Obligations maed by me to ane father in God, George, Bischope of Orkney and Zetland, by Francis Moodie, my Father, as Principal and me as Cautioner, for £400 Scots, of date 25th day of January 1634 - Revokes the same." Kirkwall in the Orkneys, p. 79 It seems quite likely, therefore, reasonably certain even, that James Mudie of Melsetter was born before 20 April 1615.

Riot in Kirkwall

On 12 November 1636 James Mudie, younger of Melsetter, was before the court in Kirkwall charged with having created a riot in the streets of Kirkwall, on which occassion he is said to have rushed from the bar and cleared a way out of the court with his sword. The Moodie Book, p. 24

Justice of the Peace

According to the Marquis of Ruvigny and Raineval, James Moodie of Melsetter was a member of the Committee of leading men appointed under Cromwell's rule to keep order in Orkney. The Moodie Book, p. 26 Presumably, therefore, he is the man identified as James Moody of Wells who was appointed in 1656 as one of the Justices of the Peace for Orkney and Shetland by the Commonwealth Government. Scotland and the Protectorate: Letter and Papers Relating to the Military Government of Scotland from January 1654 to June 1659, p. 314


James Moodie of Melsetter is reported to have died at Snelsetter Castle on 4 July 1681. The Moodie Book, p. 26

First Marriage

James Moodie of Melsetter married Margaret Bellenden, daughter of Adam Bellendan of Stenness. They were married before 5 April 1644. The Moodie Book, p. 24

Second Marriage

James Moodie of Melsetter married for a second time to Margaret Morrison, relict of Balvaird. They were married before March 1671. The Moodie Book, p. 24

Children of the First Marriage

  1. William Moodie of Melsetter
  2. Son
  3. Harie Mudie of Elsetter
  4. Captain James Moodie of Melsetter, RN
  5. Francis Moodie
  6. Charles Moodie

Child of the Second Marriage

  1. John Moodie

Evidence from the National Records of Scotland


25 January 1634: Obligation by Francis Mudie of Melsetter (Cautioner: Jas. M. his eldest son) to George Bishop of Orkney and Zetland, for £400 Scots James Brown Craven bequest relating to local and ecclesiastical history of Orkney, reference GD106/177


22 July 1637: Discharge (torn at the top) by George [Grahame] to Patk. Stewart, as principal and James Mudie of Melsetter and Thomas Wricht, Writer, indweller in Leith, as cautioners, of £1110:19:8d James Brown Craven bequest relating to local and ecclesiastical history of Orkney, reference GD106/31


3 June 1668: Commission by Andrew [Honyman] Bishop of Orkney to Thos. Wilson, Bayliffe of Kirkwall, to receive in the Bishop's name caution from James Mudie of Malsatter and his two sons Wm. and Francis M. for the indemnity and peace of David Sinclair of Ryssay conform to Act of Privy Council National Records of Scotland, James Brown Craven bequest relating to local and ecclesiastical history of Orkney, reference GD106/202

Published Work Consulted

  1. The Moodie Book http://archive.org/stream/moodiebookbeing00ruvi#page/n8/mode/1up
  2. Kirkwall in the Orkneys https://archive.org/stream/kirkwallinorkne00hossgoog#page/n15/mode/1up
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