James, Chamberlain to the 3rd Duke of Queensberry, lived all his life at Drumlanrig Castle and was there when 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' came with his Highland Army in December 1745. The Highland Army was not popular in the district and did considerable damage as it passed through. At Craigdarroch, the Fergussons and staff wisely decided to flee the house when they were requested to provide hospitality to the pretender. When the coast was clear they returned, only to find the house ransacked and much of the furniture burnt as fuel.
His son Alexander was the victor in the contest for the Whistle, celebrated in Robert Burns' poem. The actual whistle is an heirloom, also at Caprington Castle
Alexander's son, Robert, 17th Laird, was perhaps the most distinguished member of the family. He was a lawyer, Attorney-General of Bengal, later, M.P. for the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Judge Advocate General and a Privy Councillor. He built the 'pond',turned the course of Craigdarroch Water, laid out the policies much as they are now, and built the west wing.
His grandson, Robert, died in 1904, leaving no heir - for the first time in 600 years - but twin daughters, the elder of whom, Ella, married William Cunninghame, 14th Laird of Caprington, descendant of the Earls of Glenclairn, in 1918, and their two sons, Robert and John Fergusson-Cuninghame, now live at Caprington, Robert, the elder, inheriting the castle and property.
Craigdarroch House is open to the public throughout July each year from 2pm to 4pm.It is situated 2 miles west of Moniaive on the B729