John Cleland of that Ilk, oldest son of last Chief and Author of “Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.”


 fannyhill2.jpgThe last possible claimant to the Cleland Coat of Arms was John Cleland son of the last Cleland of that Ilk. John, author of that classic “Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.” died, to the best of my knowledge, without issue.

Mind you with the controversy that raged over the publication of his book, it is no wonder any lady of substance would not want to be seen with him, save they be looked upon as the living character upon which Fanny was based.

I will be seeking details of William, last Clan Chief, died 1741 in London and his son John (author of ‘Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure’) who died in Petty France, London in 1766?

Information received on two books that relate to convict ships –
(1) The Convict Ships 1787 – 1868 by Charles Bateson published by A H & A W Reid, Sydney.
(2) Second Edition Convict Ships published 1969 by Brown Son & Ferguson Ltd 52 Darnely Street, Glasgow.

The first of these two books from all accounts is quite concise.

The improvements on information processing technology are amazing and it looks as though I will have to save my pennies to be able to afford to buy a CD-ROM. 

It appears that the information now available is this form is amazing. From all accounts the entire U.S. telephone book with 77 plus million entries is available for US$150. and the entire records of the Mormon church are also on CD.

However, I believe I can obtain all the Cleland’s, Clellands, Mac’s etc downloaded onto a floppy disc. I will have to continue making my enquiries in this area, and I shall keep you posted as to my success or lack of.

Another book of general interest might be “A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639 – 1651” by Edward M. Furgol. Published by John Donald Publishers Ltd 1990. 471 pages at a cost of 25 Pounds Sterling plus post and handling.

All units of the army are listed as are the names of those who served. I will try and obtain a copy but if any member happens to be in Scotland in the next few months please try and track it down as there should be many references to Lt. Col William Cleland who was killed at Dunkeld. Perhaps if someone has a copy of this book already they might like to do a review.

A contribution from a member and author:- William Clelland
Referring to your page on BOOKS, would you kindly note that all proceeds from sale of the book, ‘Lesmahagow \’96 The Parish and The People’ by William Clelland, go to help fund the Lesmahagow Parish Historical Association’s research activities. Members of the Clelland family and Lesmahagow Parish (bounded by the River Clyde in the east, south to Douglas Water and west to the hills dividing Lanarkshire from Ayrshire) have extant and long historical links. 

In addition to information in the book, many Clelland’s are recorded in the 1695 Poll Tax Census database, which is on-line via the Lesmahagow web page (  
Copies of the illustrated book, which ranges over the history and topography of the district from the earliest times to the present day, are available from Robert S McLeish, Archivist LPHA, 8 The Crescent, Lesmahagow ML11 0DP, Scotland, NOT from the publisher Orr Pollock & Co Ltd)
Robert is also willing to provide genealogical information on Clelland Families of Lesmahagow Parish. His email address is

Good Photo-copies of “The Ancient Family of Cleland” and “Seven Centuries of the Kneeland Family ” – $30.00 each.

An interesting book “The Commissariat Record of Glasgow: Register of Testaments, (Wills) 1547 – 1800; and The Register of Burials in the Chapel Royal or Abbey of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, 1706 – 1900.”
Available from Heritage Books Inc., 1540E Pointer Ridge Place, Bowie, Maryland 20716 USA. at US $33.00 plus Post and Package US $3.00.
This book contains over 25,000 names of registered wills in Glasgow and its surrounding boroughs and could prove invaluable. If anyone buys it I would like some of the details of the Clelands therein.

The listing is in alphabetical order therefore they shouldn’t be to difficult to find. Perhaps our last Clan Chief gets a mention as he was a senior public servant in London when he died and he may have been buried in Holyroodhouse.
This company also has other titles and I am sure they will provide you with a catalogue if asked.

I was rummaging through a massive collection of brand new Penguin Classics such as “The Complete Works of -Shakespeare – Burns – Keats – etc.” as well as Dickens, Austen, Bronte and the like and guess what the “CLASSIC” itself (‘Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure’ appeared and for $5.95 who could resist such a bargain.

Mind you not having read a ‘classic’ since leaving school (my taste in books runs to Dick Francis, Archer, Cleary etc.) I found it pretty hard going.

Other Cleland Books


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