He was Commissioner of Kirkcudbright in 1690, and, perhaps, owing to the estate being heavily mortgaged, and therefore of small value to an inheritor, he was not served heir to his father Thomas, who died in 1687, until 1698. He married Margaret, daughter of Andrew Heron of Kirroughtree and widow S.P. of John McKie of Larg. They had a son, Thomas, and a daughter who married John Douglas, a surgeon. He was, at times, referred to as 'of the Isle' but, if he occupied it, the occupancy cannot have been effective as the revenue must have been negligible. Exactly how the property passed out of our hands may be recorded, but not to the writer's knowledge.
Captain William Robertson Lidderdale, near the end of his life, set out to prove that there had been some legal flaw in our dispossession. It has been said that this was the absence of the representative of the Lidderdales when the wadsets (mortgages) were foreclosed. It seems, if this was the case, curious that John, William Robertson's father, a really wealthy man by reason of the £50,000 he amassed trading in tobacco, a large fortune in those days, and his marriage in Virginia to a considerable heiress, did not pay off the debt, by redeeming the wadsets and so recover the Estate. As the head of the family this was his right in Scots law. Instead he purchased Castle Milk, now owned by the head of the Jardines, as well as estates in Yorkshire and Berwick. As stated, it was at the end of William Robertson's career that he turned to the idea that the Isle might yet be redeemed but he did not persist. Perhaps when he had money he was more impressed with his descent from his Dunbar of Mochrum grandmother and Robertson of Struan mother to be sufficiently concerned with St. Mary's Isle. He probably thought success might restore his fallen fortunes.
It is curious, too, that James's son Thomas, said to have made a fortune in his Spanish Voyage, should not have directed the freeing of the Isle with the money. It may be he died intestate, his money going to his sister. There is nothing to show the fortune or any part of it went to a male Lidderdale.
Source: Robert Halliday Lidderdale, An Account of the Lowland Scots Family of Lidderdale, 1950.
In December  Thomas Lidderdale had sasine of the ten merk land of Torrs, etc. On the 18th of the same month and year, James Lidderdale had principal sasine of the two and a-half merk land of St. Mary's Isle. On the same date, in liferent, Margaret Brown and Robert Lidderdale, her children in fie, had principal sasine of the ten merk land of Torrs, etc. Probably she was the wife of Thomas Lidderdale, who died in February 1687. He is stated to have had issue:
David, born 1675, of Torrs, who married Eleanora, eldest daughter of Sir James Dunbar of Muchrum, and had issue. He died 21st September 1732.
On the 12th February 1698, James was served heir to his father Thomas Lidderdale of Sanct Mary Isle. He married Margaret, youngest daughter of Andrew Heron of Kirouchtrie, and widow (without issue) of John M'Kie of Larg, parish of Minnigaff. By her he had issue:
- -, daughter, who married John Douglas, surgeon.
It is stated that Thomas, son of James Lidderdale of St. Mary's Isle, went to the West Indies, made a fortune, and on what was called a Spanish voyage (no doubt to the mainland called Spanish Main in several parts) he died. The estate of St. Mary's being much burdened, it was then sold to Lady Mary Hamilton.
Source: P.H. McKerlie, History of the Lands and Their Owners in Galloway, 1878.
Extract from J. Affleck, "Old Galloway Fairs and Trysts - Kirkcudbright", 1919, Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser. (http://www.old-kirkcudbright.net/books/papers/fairs.htm).
At the fairs and markets quarrelling and fighting were of frequent occurrence, notwithstanding the bye-laws. On the 3rd day of August, 1694, a dreadful row occurred at the Mercat Cross between James Lidderdale of The Isle, James Gordon, Town Clerk, several others their accomplices, and Thomas Corbie (Crosbie), mason. This, of course, could not be hushed up, and the matter came before the Magistrates and Council. The minute reads as follows:- "The qulk day the saids Magistrates and Councill having taken to their consideration the gross and intolerable abusses committed by James Lidderdale of Isle, James Gordounne, Town Clerk of Kirkcudbright, with subordinates or accomplices, did upon the third day of August last bypast, being ane fair day, set upon the person of Thomas Corbie, mason, at the mercat croce of the said Burgh, and there most insollent and inhumanlie battoned, bled, and abused the said Thomas to great effusion of his blood, leavin' him in ane rough and helpless condition, whereupon he with his wife and whole family, advised, came to the said George Meek, Bailzie, crying and exclaiming bitterly, declaring that the said Thomas was murdered by the saide persons, and required and desired that they might be governed in order to justice. The said bailzie having heard, given, and considered the said matter, went to the ground where the fact was committed, and required the said persons to give obedience, and to underly the law for the said horrid fact, which both refused to do, but is a most contumacious and rebellious manner, notwithstanding that they were both burgess of the said town. I went to the house of the said James Gordounne, and yr did associate to you David and Robert Lidderdale [???], brother to the said James Archibald Coulter of Orraland, Robert Maxwell of Croishfield, and William Johnstoun in Park of Netherlaw, whereupon the said Bailzie went to the said house with officer and several other assistants, requiring them to make patent doors in your Mattios names, and give obedience in manner foresaid, all of which they refused, and barricaded the doors, and when the bailzie was gone a little from the house they all came down in ane furious manor and did assault and fall upon the said bailzie by cutting and wounding his head with drawn swords, some whereof broken upon his head, as also cutt the Jaylours head an gorgoned the assistants with drawn swords. The saids Magratts and Councill do ordaine and Commission to the said Bailzie Meek to repair to Edinburgh and there give full information of the haill points of facts consult and advicat, and raise letters before yr Mattios Privy Council against the foresaids persons withall expedition. As also lettres of Lawburrows if need be." There were many rows of smaller importance, but they are unworthy of record.