John Paul Jones Cottage Museum
John Paul Jones Cottage Museum is situated
14 miles south of Dumfries, in
Arbigland country estate, off the A710 road to
Southerness , by the small village of
The museum is open from 1 Apr - 30 Sep.
Small entry fee.
John Paul Jones is known in the United
States as the Father of the American Navy,
although accused of being a pirate in Britain
after leading attacks on British ports and
ships during the American Revolution.
Jones is so highly admired in America, he is
buried in a marble sarcophagus in the chapel
crypt of Annapolis Naval Academy, by Washington
His birthplace cottage here was opened as a
museum in 1993.
His fathers grave can be seen in the
Kirkbean Church cemetery.
The 1,867ft Criffel Hill is
situated 3 miles north of Kirkbean, 2 miles
south of New Abbey, a good hill with a path
for views all around.
Jones father was originally from Fife north
of Edinburgh. He moved to this estate of
Arbigland to work as a gardener.
John Paul snr and his wife Jean Duff had
seven children, with John Paul jnr being their
fourth, born 6th July 1747.
John spent much of his early life at the
small port of Carsethorn on the Solway Firth,
talking to sailors and exploring their
Aged 13, he signed up as a seaman's
apprentice. His first voyage was to Barbados,
then Fredericksburg in Virginia.
Aged 17, he began working as a third mate on
the King George of Whitehaven, a slave
He only completed a couple of slave voyages
before transferring to cargo ships, as he
disliked the slave ships.
1768 - aged 21, he became captain of his own
cargo ship. He was said to be a fine dressed
gentleman that liked the ladies, with a violent
temper, accused of having a sailor flogged so
severe, he died soon after.
On the ships return to Kirkcudbright in
southwest Scotland, John was charged with
murder. That charge was later dropped.
He then worked on ships in the West Indies,
building up a considerable wealth, until he
killed a sailor with his sword over a wages
1773 - He fled to Virginia in America.
He arrived in America at a time the American
Revolution was escalating with the famous
Party taking place in 1773. This was a tax
on tea, with taxes being one of the main
reasons Americans fought to break away from
1775 - Jones was appointed as first
lieutenant of the ship named the Alfred, one of
only 5 ships in the American Navy at the time,
with 13 frigates added soon after.
1777 - he sailed to France at a time the
Americans were trying to have France join their
fight for independence. The following year,
France recognized the United States of America
as a sovereign nation, entering the war
alongside the Americans against Britain.
1778 - Jones sailed from France to raid
Whitehaven in Cumbria, England. He then sailed
to Kirkcudbright Bay in southwest Scotland,
close to his birthplace.
Jones planned to capture the Earl of Selkirk
who lived in a mansion on St Mary's Isle.
He had hoped to exchange the Earl for American
As the Earl was not there at the time, his
crew took all the silver from the mansion
instead. Jones returned the silver to the
Selkirk's after the war.
Jones then left Kirkcudbright and attacked
and captured the 20 gun HMS Drake, off the
coast at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
These attacks made him famous in America,
but hated in Britain.
1779 - he set sail for more attacks on
Britain with seven ships, at Leith by
Edinburgh, and Flamborough Head in northeast
Jones was wounded in battle at Flamborough
Head, but managed to sail to Holland with many
prisoners from British ships.
1781 - Jones returned to America where he
was greeted as a hero.
1787 - He was awarded a gold medal and spent
the remainder of the war giving advice on
building up the US navy, and training naval
1788 - Jones moved to Russia to serve as a
Rear Admiral in the Russian Navy.
He was involved in the Black Sea campaign
against the Turks, credited with destroying 15
vessels, killing about 3000, and taking over
1789 - Jones left Russia after being accused
of molesting a girl. He landed at Harwich in
England, where he narrowly avoided being
1790 - He traveled to Paris at a time his
health was failing.
1792 18th July - Jones died of nephritis,
jaundice and pneumonia, aged 45.
His body was buried in an alcohol filled,
lead coffin, in an unmarked grave, for over a
1905 - Jones body was found after President
Teddy Roosevelt ordered a search. His body was
located in the old abandoned Saint Louis
Cemetery in Paris. It was then taken back to
America where a huge naval ceremony took place,
including battleships firing 15 gun
1913 - Jones body was placed in a marble
sarcophagus in the chapel crypt of Annapolis Naval
Academy, by Washington DC.
1946 - retired US Navy Admiral Jerauld
Wright set in motion the restoration of the
cottage to serve as a museum.
1953 - a bronze plaque was placed on the
cottage marking Jones birthplace. The plaque
was unveiled by US Ambassador to Great Britain,
1993 - the John Paul Jones Museum was opened
by Vice Admiral Edward Clexton of the United