Oh Linn of Lynns
 
A Poem of Lynn Falls, the Glen, and the Lairds known as Lynn of that Ilk

 
Introduction

The Poem

© Loretta Lynn Layman / House of Lynn
Lynneage @ comcast . net

Spending thirty years in search of the Lynns of Scotland - and particularly the Lynns of that Ilk of Ayrshire - I became enamored of this family, their history, and the places they lived.  Their little barony in Lynn Glen holds a special charm, by virtue of the people and events which left their mark along the stream of time and along the stream called the Caaf Water.  That rivulet is crowned by the beautiful Lynn Falls, a lovely cascade which has been the subject of many a photograph and was, centuries ago, the scene of a family tragedy.

The glen surrounding the falls was also the haunt of ill-fated Bessie Dunlop, who in the 16th century came to be known as "the Dalry witch".1  In the 17th century, the glen provided a platform, both figuratively and literally, for the celebrated Covenanter Alexander "Sandy" Peden, who braved the Killing Time and boldly preached the gospel from a natural rock pulpit to all who would hear.2

But it was the Lynns themselves who gave the falls its name.  While "linn" is the Scots word for waterfall, de Lyne or Lynne was the family who inherited the barony in about 1204 and eventually became known as Lynn of that Ilk; interestingly, the first historian to note the original spelling was a baronet and peerage author who did so in a 1795 genealogy of the Linds of Gorgie, who were a branch of the older Lynne family.3  Between 1296 and 1656, the name of the Lynns of that Ilk was written in several dozen documents with a "y" (Lyn, Lyne, Lynn, and Lynne) while only five documents of the same period show an "i" (Lin, Lind, or Linn).4

1

History of the Counties of Ayr and Wigton, Vol. III - Cuninghame, James Paterson, Edinburgh (1866);
The New Statistical Account of Scotland,  Vol. V: Ayr-Bute, Ministers of the Respective Parishes, Edinburgh and London (1845)

 
2

Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, “Old Dalry,” Edit., Rev. John Marius Wilson, Edinburgh (1852)

 
3

The Genealogy of the Family of Lind, and the Montgomeries of Smithton, Sir Robert Douglas, Baronet, Windsor (1795)

 
4

Lynneage - the Lynns, Linns, and Linds of Scotland and Ulster, Loretta Lynn Layman, Pennsylvania (2010)

 

   

Linn of Lynns - The Poem

Heir of Linne

Tam Lin

Wraith of Lord Lyne

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