He lived during a troubled and difficult period in Scotland:
- restoration of Charles II (1660)
- Forfar’s St James Fair riot (1672)
- Covenanter risings (1679-85)
- Massacre of Glencoe (1692)
- the Darien Expedition (1698-1700)
- Union of Parliaments (1707).
David Whyt (1640 – c1713)
His father died when he was perhaps only 17 and may have left him with “large boots to fill”. As regards his age, it is noted that in his father’s testament that other cordiners/burgesses (including Charles Dickesone) were named as tutors and administrators for the two daughters, who were still minors then. So, David given this situation may have been especially close to his uncles and cousins from his mother’s Dickesone family and his own generation from other burgess families. He married Euphanie, from the well-known Forfar Binny family of Burgesses, in 1661 when they both may have been just 21. At only 24 he was already a Burgess and member of the Town Council – probably with the help of his mother’s and his wife’s powerful local families.
He made the first purchase of land known as “Tails” for the future family tannery (possibly also known as “West Shell” at the time) in 1687. The name Tails came from the animal skins hung over wooden structures during the tanning and currying processes. So, we can guess that the family had used this location for their leather tanning for a long time.
He seems to have done really well, was leader in the community and a long-serving member of the Forfar Town Council in various roles from (at least) 1664 to the early 1700’s (records only cover up to 1690). He was appointed Quartermaster at 24 (1664); Councillor (1667); Tax Collector (1668); Treasurer (1670); Deacon (see below); and Baillie (1689). In these roles he worked closely with many members of the Benny and Dickesone families and all the other burgesses over the years. He was briefly imprisoned (as the treasurer of the Town Council) in the (Edinburgh) Tollbooth because of the Forfar “St James Fair Riot” in 1672.
He was a leader of the Forfar Incorporation of Cordiners (Shoemakers Guild) from his late thirties – as Treasurer (1676-77) and then Deacon for eighteen years (1682-1700). These were the days when the “sutors of Forfar” were famous and shoemakers were (relatively) well off in the local community. No date of death has been established for him, but based on the Shoemaker’s Guild records he may have lived to be over 70 years. His 4 sons and his grandsons all followed him in the shoemaker’s guild.
Euphanie Binny (1640-c1716) Her father James Benny (d1674)
was a Forfar Burgess & Baillie.
Thomas (1667), David (1670), Alexander (1673) and Patrick (1676).
There may have been two older daughters (Euphanie, Margaret) born
during 1661-67. Another older son (James) was born during this
period, but possibly died very young.
Jeane married an Alexander Adam in 1670/1
Isobel - no details found
Binny/Bennie Family - A well-established Forfar family whose name appears often in the Forfar records in the 1600’s. It can be very confusing as there are many Binny’s in the Forfar birth and marriage records during the 1600’s, and many David Binny’s! This is the most likely family that I found:
- Alexander Benny - Forfar burgess, member of Town Council (1663-64)
- James Benny (d1674) - Forfar Burgess, Baillie, Treasurer & Town Council (1663-70)
- Euphanie Binny (b1640)
- David Binny - Forfar Deacon, Baillie & Town Council (1670-90+)
- Johne Binney - Forfar burgess, member of Town Council (1667/8)
- George Binny
- James Binny - Forfar burgess, Town Council (1663-67)
- Thomas Binny - married Kathren Wobster (Forfar Burgess family),