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The Elphinstone family book of the lords Elphinstone, Balmerino and Coupar (Volume 1) online

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court. In his absence Lord Elphinstone received a letter from the king, dated
at Whitehall, 26th May 1640, intimating his resolution to prorogue parlia-
ment to the 7th of July following : and requesting him as a commissioner
to attend parliament and carry out this prorogation in terms of the powers
contained in his commission of 20th August 1639.-

The lords of council for the parliament were summoned by a macer for
prorogation of the parliament. On 2nd June, the day of the meeting of
parliament, only four appeared, among whom was Lord Elphinstone, who,
with the advocate and justice-clerk, made in all six, the required quorum
being seven. The king's warrant, dated 26th May 1640, commanding any
three or five of the commissioners to prorogate the parliament to 7th July
was produced and read. Thereafter the commissioners present were required
to attend at the parliament and fence and prorogate it. Lord Elphinstone
took the warrant and commission and read them by himself. He then de-
clared he was ready to do whatever was incumbent upon him as a loyal sub-
ject, but he could not accept the commission for fencing and proroguing the
parliament. His lordship said his commission only warranted him to con-
tinue the parliament, and also that the king's commissioner be present. The
advocate and justice-clerk urged that he had a more full warrant from the
king than any he could receive from Traquair. Lord Elphinstone, however,
replied that although the king's warrant was more than the commissioner's

' Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. v. pp. 254, 255.
- Original letter, in Elphinstone charter-chest.


ill se, yet not in this case, where the king had devolved his power by com-
mission in favour of the Earl of Traquair as his commissioner. Other
arguments about the inconvenience his action would lead to failed to
move his lordship. Lord Napier raised the same difficulty as Lord Elphin-
stone, and was equally firm in standing to it.^ The intention of the court to
prorogue parliament was thus defeated.

In or about the year 1640, a commission was granted to the Earls of
Airth and Linlithgow, and Lords Kinpunt, Livingstone, and Elphiustone,
to be the king's lieutenants and commissioners within the whole shire of
Stirling. They had power to convene the people, horse and foot, armed,
and to pursue the king's rebels. The warrant for the commission is super-
scribed by the king, but the date is left blank.^

The relations between the king and his Scottish parliament did not
improve during this year. There was a general alarm and call to arms in
defence of religion and liberty. Charge was given by the committee of
parliament to raise a fourth part of the able-bodied men, and money to meet
expenses. Lord Elphiustone, to some extent at least, was involved in these
measures. Thus, in July 1640, he paid for "ane horis to carie the cannon ; "
and a month later money was given to " John Livingstun, sone to Castal-
karie, he being on of your lordschipis horis men going out for the comone
service, to furnis him horis and armes for the said service." Similarly
money was given to another person for the same service on the same day.*

In addition to furnishing men Lord Elphiustone had also to pay his
share of the tax imposed, as he paid in October of the same year, to one of
the collectors for the presbytery of Stirlingshire, " of the tent peney of the
voluntor coutrabition for your lordscliipis lands, iiij*^ lib." *

1 Certified Extract, in Elphinstone charter- Commission on Historical Manuscripts,
chest. p. 400.

2 Second Report on the Collections of the ^ Household Book, in Elphinstone charter-
Duke of Montrose.— Third Report of the chest. ^ Ibid.

VOL. I. 2 C


Lord Elphinstone was present in parliament in 1641, and was appointed
one of the assessors at the trial of Mr. John Stewart. He petitioned to
be freed from this duty, saying " that his conscience would not suffer him
to sit as a judge, as he was descended to my Lord Argyle ; " but without

He served upon several committees of parliament during this year, and
was present with Lord Balmerino at the riding of parliament. He also
attended parliament in the subsequent years, 1644 and 1645, was placed
on the commission for the plantation of kirks and valuation of teinds,
and served in other capacities.^ In 1647, the year before his death, he
attended parliament and served on the committee of war for Stirlingshire.^
In 1645 he was granted a protection by General David Leslie, commander-
in-chief of the forces in Scotland, securing him against molestation in the
lands of Elphinstone, Airth, Craigorth, and others.*

In the same year Lord Elphinstone entered into a contract with his
wife. Dame Elizabeth Drummoud, who therein renounced her liferent of the
fourteen oxengate of lands of the Hill of Airth, reserving her liferent of
the lands then occupied by Patrick Hayginis. Lord Elphinstone, on his
part, disponed to her in liferent the lands of Craigforth with fishings in the
Water of Forth, to be held of him or his heirs-male in free blench, etc. He
also constituted her assignee to the teinds of these lands during her lifetime.
He undertook to provide yearly for her use twelve chalders of coal with
six bolls of salt, to be carried to the burgh of Stirling for her so long as
coal was worked in Elphinstone, or else to refund the expense she might be
put to in obtaining the same. He further warranted these and the lands
formerly disponed to her, and now reserved, to be worth yearly thirty
chalders victual, besides the " keanis " and customs thereof.* On the same

' Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. V. ^ Glasgow, 22nd October 1645. Original

pp. 314, 315. in Eljjhinstone charter-chest.

'■* Ibid, passim, ^ Ibid. p. 325. * Original contract in duplicate, ibid.


date his lordship granted to Lady Elphinstone a charter of Craigforth for
her life.i

One distinguished correspondent of Lord Elphinstone was William
Drumnaond of Hawthornden, whose family was connected with that of
Elphinstone by marriage. The poet wrote a characteristic letter to Lord
Elphinstone, addressing him as Lord Kildrummy.

"Lythgow, 15 of October, 1639.
" My Lord, heere yee liaue the essaye of that piece your lordship desired mee to
translate. It is in those sorte of rimes that the originall is. Many verses haue a
grace in one langage and loose it in another. Some Latin is but shallow in English.
I am assured no thing wanteth heere of the sense, and if there be any addition it is to
make them keepe the English measures. The best translations showe vs but (as in
goldsmythes shopes) jewelles through glasse. I had rather make twentye free lines ere
I translated ten. And I admire translatoures, like men capring in fetters. I request
your lordship to pardone the imperfectiones of this translation, for if your lordship had
not desired mee, and your desire was an absolute commandement, I would neuer
stumbled on any translation. But what could not your lordship's letter moue him to
vndergoe, who is allwayes deuoted to seme your lordship,


^ ; .' Q^^



"To the right honorable and my verye good lord, my Lord of Kildrummye."^

Lord Elphinstone died on 27th August 1648. Of the marriage between
his lordship and Dame Elizabeth Drummoud there was issue, according to
the Birthday Book, four sons and six daughters : —

1. Alexander Elphinstone, the eldest son, was born 6th June 1608. He died in

the third year of his age.

2. James Elphinstone was born on 3rd June 1609, and died young.

' Original charter and sasine, in Elphinstone charter-chest.
- Original letter, ihid.


3. Alexander Elphinstone was born on 18th September 1612, and died young.

4. John Elphinstone was born on 8th June 1619, and died in the second year of

his age at Elphinstone.

5. Jeane Elphinstone was born Sth April 1611, and died unmarried after 1630,

when she is mentioned in the Household Book as alive.

6. Lilias Elphinstone was born on 24th November 1613, and was married.

7. Elizabeth Elphinstone was living in 1633, as stated in the Household Book.

8. Mary Elphinstone was born on 12th January 1621, and died young.

9. Isobel Elphinstone was born 16th June 1623, and died young.
10. Anna Elphinstone was born on 18th July 1625, and died young.

^Zj^t,2. ^eMziP y^^^,^^^^ ^^c^

XVI.— Alexander, sixth Loed Elphinstone.

LiLiAS Elphinstone, Lady Elphinstone, his Wife.


James Elphinstone of Barnis, the father of this Lord Elphinstone, was
the second son of Alexander, fourth Lord Elphinstone. He was "borne
in Kildromie the 20th of November 1580," as shown in the memoir of his
father, the fourth Lord. The two marriages of this Elphinstone laird of
Barnis, and his children, one son, Alexander, afterwards sixth Lord Elphin-
stone, and two daughters, are all fully described there. It is therefore
unnecessary to repeat the particulars in the present memoir.

Owing to the early death of all the sons of Alexander, fifth Lord Elphin-
stone, Alexander Elphinstone of Barnis became the heir-male and of entail
of the territorial barony, as well as of the peerage of Lord Elphinstone,
which was created in favour of the heirs-male of the first Lord by King
James the Fourth.

Alexander, fifth Lord Elphinstone, Lord Kildrummy, was chosen to be
one of the curators to his nephew, the youthful Alexander Elphinstone of
Barnis. Certain lands in the district of Kildrummy, acquired by James
Elphinstone, first of Barnis, in his own right, did not fall within the claim
of the Earl of Mar in 1626. On the contrary, they descended to his only
son, Alexander of Barnis, and were his heritable property in 1640-1644.

Very soon after coming of age a marriage was arranged between Alex-
ander Elphinstone of Barnis and his cousin, Lilias, only surviving daughter
of Alexander, fifth Lord Elphinstone. The contract was entered into at
Elphinstone, on 14th November 1645, between Alexander Elphinstone of
Barnis, on the one part, and Mistress Lilias Elphinstone, with advice and
consent of her noble parents, and with consent of other honourable and


noble friends ou the other part. Lord Elphinstone engaged to iufeft Lilias,
his daughter, in liferent, after the decease of her parents, in the Halls of
Airth, with fishings, etc., the seven and a-half oxengates of the Halls of
Airth, in the shire of Stirling, and other lands. These lands Lilias accepted
in satisfaction of all further liferent, conjunct-fee, or terce of lands and
heritages she might crave by the decease of her future spouse.

In return for this, Lilias Elphinstone, with consent of her future spouse,
renounced former provisions made to her by her father, and especially an
annual rent of 2200 merks out of the barouy of Elphinstone. Seeing that
the estate and living of Elphinstone were provided to the heir-male, so that
if only daughters were born of this marriage they would be secluded from
succession to that estate, Alexander Elphinstone of Baruis engaged to pay
them certain sums of money. They were thereupon to renounce to the heir-
male aU right they might have as heirs of line to their father or any of
his predecessors, they being freed of debts incurred by them as such or
because of these deeds. Lord Elphinstone engaged to keep, maintain, and
entertain Alexander Elphinstone of Barnis and Mistress Lilias, his promised
spouse, and their children, in his house and family during his lifetime, and
to furnish them in all necessaries, as his own children. Alexander Elphin-
stone of Barnis in return undertook to sell whatever lands he had within
the kingdom to the best advantage, and to apply the price for defraying
the burdens upon the House of Elphinstone.^

On the date of the contract, and in fulfilment of the provisions con-
tained in it. Lord Elphinstone granted a charter to Lilias Elphinstone, his
daughter, of the Halls of Airth, and other lands above mentioned. Also on
the same day Lord Elphinstone made a backbond in favour of his daughter
Lilias, reinstating her in her liferent right out of the lands of Elphinstone,
if she and her mother were alive together after the decease of Lord Elphin-
stone and Alexander Elphinstone of Baruis.

' Origiual ooutract in Elpliinstoiie charter-chest.


During the remainder of the lifetime of Lord Elphinstone, his nephew
and successor was styled " Master of Elphinstone," as the heir-apparent to
the peerage, his lordship being now at the same time both his uncle and his
father-in-law. Under the designation of Alexander, " Maister of Elphing-
stoune," heritable proprietor of the lands aftermentioned, he granted, at
Kildrymie Castle on 6th August 1646, first a bailliary to Alexander Eeid
in Newbigging of his lands in Corgarffe, Ardhunchar, and Brigend, in the
barony of Kildrymie, and then a warrant to him to uplift from his tenants
in Corgarffe and Kildrymie his termly maills, kaynes, and customs from
his wadset lands in the barony of Kildrymie, till Eeid should be dis-
charged from the office. In both cases the signature of Alexander is,
" A. Mr. Elphinston." i Lord Elphinstone and the " Master of Elphing-
stoune" were in 1647 and 1648 both on committees of war for the shire
of Stirling.2

On the death of Alexander, fiftli Lord Elphinstone, on the 27th of August
1648, his nephew and heir-male, styled either Alexander, Master of Elphin-
stone, or Alexander Elphinstone of Barnis, inherited the peerage of Elphin-
stone, and became Alexander, sixth Lord Elphinstone. He was known and
recognised as such by all parties interested. He also succeeded to the territorial
barony of Elphinstone, and other lands invested in the heirs-male of the
Elphinstone family. The territorial barony of Elphinstone was situated in
the counties of Stirling and Perth ; and as a step towards completing his
feudal title to it, the new lord expede a service in the sheriff court of
Stirling on the 8th of November 1649. Besides the sheriff of Stirling, there
were present a number of the county noblemen and gentlemen connected
with the Elphinstone family and with the district, including John, Lord
Erskine, eldest son of the Earl of Mar, Sir William Livingstone of West-

> Old copy of these two bailliaries, in Elphinstone charter-cliest.

2 26th March 1647 and ISth April 1648. Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. vi.
part i. p. SI 3, aud part ii. p. ,i-2.


quarter, knight, Sir Robert Elphinstone of Quarrell, knight, and others.
The retour bears that Alexander, Lord Elphinstone, uncle of Alexander,
Lord Elphinstone, bearer of the retour, died last seised in the lauds, lord-
ship, and barony of Elphinstone, with castle, tower, and fortalice, the Halls
of Airth, the superiority of Powfowlles, the quarter of the lands of Airthbeg,
the lands of Bannockburn, with one bovate of land in the hill of Airth,
called " lie Eoishill," the lands of Quarrell, Carnock, Pleane, and Polknaif,
Gargunnock, with castle, etc., in the shire of Stirling, Pendreiche in the shire
of Perth, and half the lands and barony of Calder in special warrandice of
the Halls of Airth, all erected into the Lordship and Barony of Elphinstoun ;
also in the lands and Barony of Airth and others. Tlie retour further bears
that Alexander, now Lord Elphinstoun, is lawful and nearest heir-male,
ratione talliae, of the late Alexander, Lord Elphinstone, his uncle, in the
foresaid lands, etc., that^he is of lawful age, and that the said lordship and
barony have been in the king's hands as superior continuously since the
decease of Lord Elphinstone, who died on 27th August 1648, for the space
of one year and two months, in default of the heir prosecuting his lawful

Soon after the succession opened to the sixth Lord, Dame Elizabeth
Drummond, Lady Elphinstone, widow of the fifth and mother-in-law of the
sixth Lord, entered into a new arrangement with the latter as to her jointure
lands of Craigforth and Halls of Airth. Under that arrangement her
ladyship, who is called throughout " Old Lady Elphinstone," agreed to live
with her son-in-law, the new Lord Elphinstone, and Lilias Elphinstone, her
daughter. Her son-in-law was authorised to uplift the maills of the Halls
of Airth, while he engaged to pay the duties due from them and from her
ladyship's other lands of Craigforth.'^

The engagement entered into by Alexander, fifth Lord Elphinstone, and

1 Ketours, Supplement, vol. H, folio 101 ; also official extract in Elphinstone charter-chest.
- Original contract, dated 10th May 1650, ibid.


Alexander Elphinstone of Barnis, related in the contract of marriage, to
infeft Lilias Elphinstone in certain lands, had up to the time of the death of
the Dowager Lady Elphinstone, never been carried out. This had been
deferred, partly, as explained by the sixth Lord, because a part of the lands
was liferented by her ladyship, and partly by the " oversight and neglect of
me, that the samine wes not done; and pairtlie be the said Dame Lilias
her oune oversight, that did not desyre the samen to be done." The
oversight was now remedied by a bond of provision given by Lord Elphin-
stone to Dame Lilias, his wife. That bond narrates that seeing " her father,
my unckle, and to whom I succedit as air of tailzie ; " and by his wife,
to whom he makes the provision "during her lyftyme, seeing that she is
the only lawful! daughter of the said deceist AUexander, Lord Elphin-
stone, my father-in-law, to whom I have succeided to his haill estaite and
leiveing as air forsaid, and be my marriage with her," he therefore bound
himself to infeft her in liferent in his lands and baronies of Elphinstone
and Craigforth, Halls of Airth, seven and a half oxengate of lauds of the
Halls of Airth, and others.^

Alexander, sixth Lord Elphinstone, has not been recorded as taking any
striking part in the public events of his time. By the Scottish parliament,
on 8th March 1649, he was selected as one of a numerous committee for the
revaluation of the sheriffdom of Stirling.^ In these Acts he is uniformly
designated Alexander, Lord Elphinstone. In King Charles the Second's
parliament, held at Perth, Lord Elphinstone was added along with the
Earl of Panmure and others, to the committee of Estates, as one of the
barons. The committee had been appointed first on 30th December 1650,
and by their advice the king was to govern the kingdom.^

Notwithstanding Lord Elphinstone's slight connection with the politics

' Original bond, dated 21st April 1654, ^ Acta of the Parliaments of Scotland,

and notarial copy, made 20tli March 1671, vol. vi. part ii. p. 243.
both in Elphinstone charter-chest. ^ 3ijjt March 1651, ibid. p. 66.?.

VOL. I. 2d


of Ids time, he was in principle a loyalist. Under Oliver Cromwell's " Ordi-
nance of Pardon and Grace to the People of Scotland," issued on 12th April
1654, he thus appears as being fined, — "Lord Elphinstone, one thousand
pounds sterling."' In hopes of having this heavy fine reduced, Lord Elphin-
stone prepared a petition to the Protector's commissioners for fines, repre-
senting that he was conscious of his own innocence as to acting anything
against the commonwealth of England, that he had no accession to the home-
bringing of " Charles Stewart," that his losses in these times had been ex-
ceeding great ; and praying to be wholly discharged of the fine. Along with
this petition are draft and unsigned certificates to prove that he did not sit
as a member of the committee of the shire of Stirling, and that he had no
chaige of the war in the shire.

These certificates are dated in 1654, and seem to have been prepared liy
Lord Elphinstone himself to be subscribed and presented to the commis-
sioner. From the interlineations on the petition, and the indorsation of
11th June 1655, the petition appears not to have been presented till
after his death, which occurred in 1654.^ The petition was so far suc-
cessful that the fine was reduced to a third of the amount in the course
of the following year.

Alexander, sixth Lord Elphinstone, died at his own house of Elphiu-
stoune on Thursday, 26th October 1654.^ He was no doubt interred
soon thereafter in the Elphinstone aisle in the parish churchyard of Airth.

' Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. vi. part ii. p. 820*.

2 Scroll petition and certificates, in Elphinstone charter-chest.

3 Birthday Book, ibid.


XVI. — The Honourable Lilias Elphinstone, wife of Alexandeh,
SIXTH Lord Elphinstone.


Lilias Elphinstone was the daughter of Alexander, fifth Lord Elphin-
stone, and Dame Elizabeth Drummond, his wife. Her birth is recorded in
the Elphinstone Birthday Book in these words : " Lilias Elphinstoun wes
borne the 26 of November 1613, who was maried.''^ Of the numerous
children born to her parents she remained at the time of her majority in
1635 the sole survivor.

In the family Household Books entries occur relating to Lilias. The
accounts written by her father in 1629-1633 mention purchases made for her
of " Shifroun gluifs," green silk, and a New Testament and the Proverbs,
all in 1630. On New Year's day 1633 she received from her father "ane
dolour, Iviij s.," her sister, " my dochter Elizabeth," only receiving xxix s. A
later Household Book under the year 1637 notes payments made to Lilias for
various purposes. The following may be given. On 2nd January " to gif
in hansell to sundrie of the servandis ; " ten days later " to play at the cardis
in Quarrel ; " in April no object in giving is stated, but simply " Item to
Lilias and Elisabath Elphinston ;" and, on Sunday, 21st April, " to gif to the
br'oid att the Kirk of Boithkener," her father being there at the communion.

As soon as Lilias Elphinstone reached her majority in 1635, a provision
was made for her by her father of 2200 merks yearly out of the lordship
and barony of Elphinstone. She received sasine of the annual rent in the
Close of Elphinstone. It proceeded on a charter granted to Lilias, as their
only daughter, by her father, with consent of his wife. The charter was also
with consent of John, Lord Balmerinoch, for any right he could claim to
the lauds. It reserved the liferent to the grauter and his spouse, aud sus-
' Elphiustoue Birtbclay Book.


pended payment during their lifetimes. It was also under reversion to
the granter on payment of a Scottish angel of gold, or 10 merks Scots, in the
parish church of Airth, or to the heirs-male of his body, on payment of
£10,000 Scots, or to his heirs-male and of entail, on payment of 22,000
merks Scots. The provision was made that Lilias should not marry vyithout
her father's consent in his lifetime, or after his death without consent of
John, Earl of Perth, Eobert, Earl of Eoxburgh, Alexander, Lord Elphin-
stone, John, Lord Balmerinoch, or any two of them, the Earl of Perth being
always one.^

In 1648, her father, the fifth Lord Elphinstone, died. It was then
deemed expedient to make up titles in favour of the Honourable Lilias
Elphinstone as his only surviving child. The service of Lilias was expede
on the same date on which the sixth Lord was retoured heir-male of his
uncle, the fifth Lord, and by the same inquest, with John, Lord Erskine, at
their head, in the court of the sheriffdom of Stirling, and before the sheriff-
depute. Alexander, now Lord Elphinstone, appeared for himself and in
name of Dame Lilias, his lady, and produced a brief duly executed, with
a claim desiring Dame Lilias Elphinstoue, his lady, to be served heir of line
in general to Alexander, Lord Elphinstone, her father. No objectors
appearing, the sheriff-depute submitted the claim to an inquest of the same
persons who attended the service of the sixth Lord. These in one voice,
by Sir William Livingstone of Westquarter, their chancellor, served affirmative
Dame Lilias Elphinstone as nearest and lawful heir of line in general to
the late Alexander, Lord Elphinstone, her father.^

On the death of her husband in December 1654, Lady Lilias was left
with a youthful family, Alexander, John, James, and Anna Elphinstone,
all minors. Alexander, the eldest, who had now become seventh Lord

' Sasine, I2tli January 1635, in Elphinstone charter-chest.

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