Mr. William Denune

Pencaitland Parish Church, Scotland

Pencaitland Parish Church, Scotland

Mr. William Denune died in 1704 at the age of 48 and was the Minister of the Pencaitland Parish Church from 1685-1704. He is the paternal ancestor of Dr. William Denune, the emigrant to Colonial Maryland.

Jason Booth,, is a genealogist who specialized in interpreting the enormous files which are part of all DNA tests. With the help of distant cousins all over the world, Jason's work first verified some things we already knew. That John B Denune (Generation 7, born October 27, 1926) was descended from Dr. William Denune & Elizabeth Jacob Duvall (generation 1), and because John has a double dose of Duvall DNA, Jason independently verified his Duvall line. Elizabeth Duvall Forrrest, Dr. William Denune's daughter in law, was the granddaughter of Mareen Duvall by his first wife Mary Bouth.

Jason then DNA verified that John was a descendant of Minister William Denune (generation 0), and his parents, Norman Denune & Catherine Munro (generation -1). If The Baronage of Scotland is to be believed, we can go back five more generations to Duncan Campbell, aka Denune (generation -6). Jack Denune always said, "If you go back far enough, your bound to find a horse thief.", or in this case a cattle rustler.


Pencaitland Memorial Inscription for Minister William Denune, he is burried inside the church, east nave.

PDF iconPencaitland Parish Church Graveyard Inscriptions (775.18 KB) - See last page of this document for "Denune" inscription

DENUNE William (inside church) died 1704 age 48

DENUNE:HEPBURN"Exuvias hic posuit Carnis Victor spirtus M.GULIELMI DENUNE Qui per annos novemdecim hujus parochiae pastor Morum Fuavitate linguae fuadela totius vitae tenore Sincerus Evangeli praeco. In omni negotio etiam mundano Christianum Sapient. Eaetis ac auris Ecclisiae Vicibus aequanimiter inserviit. Socios Juvit suos instruxit Exemplo denique quantum innotuit omnes erudivit Et insitam animo hilaritatem sic summo commutavit gaudio. Ad Cal Feb anno aetatis quadragesimo octavo Salvat MDCCIV Vitae Comes unanimis octo liberorum lecta Mater inter cineres unius et alterius GULIELMI JOHANNIS et HELENAE praemortuorum. Cum honore et lachrimis recondi. Curavit Moerens ISABELLA HEPBURN vidua."

DENUNE:HEPBURN - A Translation (With acknowledgement to the Haddingtonshire Courier.)

"Here the victorious spirit of Mr. William Denune, who was for 19 years minister of the Parish, laid aside his earthly tabernacle. He was a true preacher of the gospel both by the sweetness of his manners, the persuasive eloquence of his tongue, and by the whole tone of his life. In the joyful and sorrowful changes in the church he calmly did his duty. He was helpful to his friends, instructed his own people by his example, and communicated to others the knowledge which he himself had acquired. And so he exchanged his natural cheerfulness of spirit for the highest joy about the beginning of February in the year of our Salvation 1704, in the 48th year of his age. His mourning widow (Isabel Hepburn) like-minded companion of his life, the beloved mother of his eight children, was buried with honour and tears among the ashes of her husband William, and her son William, of John and Helen who predeceased her."


Campbell of Denoon

A History of Clan Campbell, Volume 1 is an authoritative history of Clan Campbell in 3 volumes. The author, Alastair Campbell of Airds was Chief Executive of the Campbell Clan and was in charge of the Argyll Archives for thirteen years.

Research carried out by the College of Arms in London established a new house within the Campbell Clan, tracing the "Campbell of Denoon". This group is descended from Duncan Campbell who fled death penalty punishment, and assumed his mother's maiden name Denoon. A detailed account of this story is recorded in The Baronage of Scotland, on this page of my website. The grandson of a Scottsman who emigrated to Australia, Alfred Campbell, took out Arms, at the College of Arms in London in 1838, and matriculated as, "Campbell of Denoon". Alfred Campbell was descended from a David Campbell, alis Denoon, who died at the age of 65 in 1793 and was buried at the churchyard at Fearn.


Cadboll Castle

Cadboll Castle

Cadboll Castle

Cadboll Castle

The Baronage of Scotland, Denune of Catbole

Duncan and Donald Campbell, aka Denune fled from Dunoon, Argyll to Cadboll, Ross Shire and their family thrived there for generations.

The information in the 1798 Baronage of Scotland book is free, however an original copy of the book is for sale.

generation -6) Duncan Campbell, Governoner of Dunoon Castle in Argyle, assumed his mothers maiden name, Denune. He fled Argyle with his brother Donald to Ross Shire after being condemned to death by his kinsman the Duke of Arglye, for driving the Duke's cattle into his

generation -5) Andrew Denune acquired his Uncle Donald the Abbot of Ferne, lands and Barony of Catbole in Ross-Shire in 1534

generation  -4) John Denune of Catbole married Catherine Ross, daughter of Walter Ross, 8th Laird of of Balnagown (slain at Tain in 1528)

generation -3) Andrew Denune, 4th Baron of Catbole, which he received September 1604

generation -2) John Denune, 5th Baron of Catbole

generation -1) Norman Denune married Catherine Munro

generation 0) Minister William Denune (1656-1703) married Isobell Hepburn 1667-

The Baronage of Scotland, Denunes of Catbole, &c.

Proposed Ancestry of Dr William Denune

This is a diagram illustrates the early Scottish ancestry of Dr. William Denune, the emigrant, and is drawn from The Baronage of Scotland, 1798.

PDF icon1798 Baronage of Scotland, Denune of Catbole.pdf (696.75 KB)

Denune of Catbole, &c.

The sirname Denune is of great antiquity in Scotland, is local, and was assumed by the proprietors of the lands and barony of Denune in Argyleshire, as soon as sir names became hereditary in this country, though these lands afterward became the property of the family of Argyle.

Sir Arthur de Denune, flourished in the reign of King Alexander III, and had the honor of knighthood conferred upon him by that prince, whom he survived several years.

In a charter of James Lord High Stewart of Scotland, confirming the donations of his predecessors to the Monastery of Paisiey, the witnesses are, "Robert bishop of Glasgow, John brother of the Lord High Steward, Sir Arthur de Denune, Sir Nicholas Campbell, and Sir Reginald de Crawford, knights, William de Shaw, Alexander de Normanville, &c. esquires," anno 1294.

This Sir Arthur was afterward, with many of his countrymen, compelled to submit to King Edward I of England, anno 1296.

At the same time, Guy de Denune was also forced to swear fealty to the said King Edward anno 1296

Whether Sir Arthur de Denune and Guy were brothers, we cannot determine, but it’s believed that, of these two, most of the Denunes in Scotland are descended, whose posterity have been free barons in different counties of this kingdom, some centuries ago.

The lands and Castle of Denune have been long the property of the family of Argyle, as before observed. They have a tradition handed down by their bards and sennachies, which is still believed, viz. That a younger son of the family of Argyle was appointed heretable governor and keeper of the Castle of Denune. Duncan Campbell, one of his posterity, having had some feuds with his neighbours, also vassals of Argyle, committed several depredations and drove their cattle into his cattle, &c. which the earl of Argyle highly resented, and had the governor, though his kinsman, tried, condemned, and ordered to be drowned in the water of Clyde, &c. However, Duncan had the good fortune to make his escape, and fled to the north country, where he settled, and his mother having been a daughter of the family of Denune, he assumed that for his sirname, which his posterity enjoyed ever after, but they retained the armorial bearing of the Campbells, their paternal ancestors.

This Duncan had a brother, Donald, who accompanied him to the north, and also assumed Denune for his sirname. He being bred to the church, and a man of parts and learning, became abbot of Ferne in Rossshire, where he acquired considerable wealth.

Duncan, the governor, now Duncan Denune, was the immediate ancestor of this family, and was father of

Andrew Denune, afterwards of Catbole, who lived in the reigns of King James IV, and V. He acquired from his uncle Donald the abbot, the lands and barony of Catbole in Rossshire, anno 1534, which became the chief title of his family. Contemporary with this Andrew, lived Sir David Denune, also settled in the north country, who was possessed of a considerable estate, which appears by two charters under the great seal, domino Willielmo de Denune, of the lands and barony of Pittogarty, the village and lands of Pitnellie, Balnacouth, &c. in the shires of Ross and Inverness; one dated in the year of 1538, and another in 1540, but we can give no account of his posterity. Andrew of Catbole died in the beginning of the reign of queen Mary, leaving issue a son,

John Denune of Catbole, who succeeded him, and married Catharine Ross, a daughter of the ancient family of Balnagowan, which is instructed by a charter under the great seal, Johanni Denune de Catbole, et Catharine Ross ejus sponse, terrarum de Arkbole, &c. &c. in the shires of Ross and Inverness, dated 12th April 1556. By the said Catharine Ross he had two sons; 1) John, his heir. 2) Andrew, who carried on the line of his family, as will be shown hereafter. He died in the reign of King James VI, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

John Denune, the third baron of Catbole, who never married, but resigned his lands in favours of his brother Andrew, anno 1589, whereupon he got a charter under the great seal, hereafter narrated. He dying without issue before the year 1604, was succeeded by his brother,

Andrew Denune, baron of Catbole, who got a charter under the great seal, confirming a charter of vendition and alienation to his grandfather, from Donald Denune abbot of Ferne, dilecto nepoti fuo Andrew Denune, &c. of the lands and barony of Catbole, in Rossshire, for a certain sum of money paid to him by the said Andrew. The charter is dated in 1534, as before observed, and the confirmation is dated the penult day of September 1604. He got another charter, Andrew Denune de Catbole, &c. of the lands of Milntoun of Ferne, dated in September 1594. Also a charter of confirmation upon the resignation of the above John Denune of Catbole, To and in favours of his beloved brother, Andrew Denune, of the lands of Hilton, commonly called Ballocknock, in Rossshire. The resignation is dated 12th March 1589, as before mentioned, and the confirmation 11th June 1611. He died before the year 1620, and left issue a son and successor,

John Denune, fifth baron of Catbole, a man of singular merit, a faithful and loyal subject to King Charles I, who spent the greatest part of his paternal estaste in his majesty’s service, and dying before the restoration of King Charles II, had no opportunity of getting any redress. He left issue a son and heir

Norman Denune Esq; who inherited all his fathers virtues, but little or none of his estate. He married Catharine, daughter of sir Hector Munro of Foulis Bart, by whom he had 2 sons, 1) Norman. 2) Mr. William, of whom more afterwards.

Norman Denune, eldest son of the above Norman, married a daughter of ____ Ross of Balnagowan, by whom he had a son, Walter Denune Esq; whose only son ____ is settled in the East Indies.

Mr. William Denune, second son of the first Norman, a man of parts and learning, and being bred to the church, was minister of the gospel at Pencaitland, in East Lothian, where he married Isabella, daughter of Doctor George Hepburn of Moncraig, Esq; by Helen his wife, daughter of sir Alexander Swinton of that ilk, and by her he had one son, George; and several daughters, 1) Christian, married to James Hepburn Congalton Esq; chief of the ancient family of the Congaltons of that ilk in East Lothian, without issue, 2) Mariamne, married to sir John Bruce-Hope of Kinross, baronet, by whom she had one son, John, who died in infancy, and a daughter, Anne Bruce-Hope of Arnot, who is now heir of line of the Hopes of Craighall, Bruces of Kinross, &c. Mr William’s other daughters died unmarried.

George Denune Esq; his only son married Isabella, daughter of Alexander Edgar younger of Wedderley Esq; by whom he had one son, William Denune Esq; a youth of great hopes and spirit, who died in the flower of his age, unmarried. George had several other children, of whom there is only one daughter, Janet, surviving.

The Baronage of Scotland, containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Gentry of that Kingdom: Collected from the Public Records and Chartularies of this Country; The Records and Private Writings of Families; And the Works of our Best Historians. By Sir Robert Douglas of Glenbervie, Baronet. Illustrated with Engravings of the Coats of Arms. Edinburgh; Sold by Bell & Bradfute, W. Creech, J. Dickson, E. Balfour, P. Hill, W. Laing, A. Guthrie, J. Watson, Manners & Miller, and A. Constable; and by Cadell & Davies, London, 1798