Being born at the turn of the 18th century, James witnessed the unification of the Scottish and English Parliments in 1705 where Queen Anne, the last monarch from the House of Stuart, reigned over Great Britain as a whole. After the death of Queen Anne, King George I took over and was not very popular. In fact, he could only speak German, which further alienated the Scots. That’s about the time that the Jacobite Risings began in 1715, trying to put a Catholic King James back on the throne, thus sparking the battles that led to the Highland Clearances.
James Clark grew up in Kirkmichael, the son of a merchant, and lived at “Pinmirrie”(11) in Kirkmichael. Pinmirrie was an area owned by the 11th Earl of Cassillis, Archibald Kennedy. The Earl was a Captain in the Royal Navy and a distinguished officer. Amongst many others, he owned a house in the Americas called the “Kennedy Mansion” at No. 1 Broadway in New York City. This is no relation to the Irish Kennedy mansion in Massachusetts. When the Earl’s brother died back in Scotland without an heir, Archibald Kennedy returned to Cassillis House at Kirkmichael to take over as the 11th Earl of Cassillis. Rather than leaving the New York mansion empty, the Kennedy’s agreed to turn it into a grand hotel. Sadly though, the land it sat on became much more valuable throughout the years than the grand hotel itself. About 150 years later, in the late 1800’s, the hotel at No. 1 Broadway was demolished to make way for office buildings. [I just find that tremendously sad.] Most assuredly, Archibald Kennedy, 11th Earl of Cassillas, was a close relation to James’ mother, Dorathie Kennedy.
I'm still trying to find out who James married, but his children are: Elizabeth (26 Jul 1719), Janet (12 Apr 1724), William (8 May 1726), Agnes (16 Feb 1728), James (25 Jan 1730), James (12 Feb 1732), Rosina (28 Mar 1736), Margaret (12 Feb 1738), Gilbert (23 Mar 1740), and Hugh (May 1742). We don’t know his actual birth date, but he was baptized on May 16, 1742.(12).