Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Female Sheriffs in the Middle Ages Part 4--Ela Countess of Salisbury

Ela of Salisbury 

Enlargement of Medieval Abbey Seal from above notice. SIGI~LLVM:ELE:CO- MITISSE:SARESBERIE. The inscription translates as. Seal of Ela Countess of Salisbury

Ela of Salisbury, 3rd Countess of Salisbury

Ela was an English heiress and the Countess of Salisbury. She inherited
the title in 1196 when her father died. Her father was William FitzPatrick,
2nd Earl of Salisbury. She was born in Amesbury, Wiltshire in 1187-1188. She was the only child of and
Eleonore de Vitre. After her father's death she was either imprisoned
or hidden in Normandy. Some accounts say imprisoned her. But in Annals
and antiquities of Lacock Abbey, Bowles and Nicholls, they say that the suggestion
that this theory "would account for her daughter's confinement by an
anxious and affectionate mother, that she might be placed out of reach of
those who perhaps might have mediated worse than confinement." Whichever
was true, confinement or imprisonment, she was taken to Normandy and hidden
from the King even though she was legally his ward.

An English knight named William Talbot went to France disguised as a pilgrim
in order to rescue her and take her back to King Richard I. King Richard then
arranged for his half brother to marry her. Her husband was William Longespee. He was the
illegitimate son of King Henry II which meant he was half brother to Richard I and King John.
Upon marrying Ela, in 1196 when she was 9 years old, he became the 3rd
Earl of Salisbury.

They were the founders of Salisbury Cathedral and William was buried there
when he died.

Although it was unusual for the times, Ela held the position of High
Sheriff of Wiltshire for two years after William died. Then she retired to a nunnery.
She founded Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire which she became Abbess of.

"All that is said in the Book of Lacock respecting this captivity of
the maid of Salisbury, is this: 'When Ela was now deprived of both her father
and mother, she was secretly taken into Normandy by her relations, and there
brought up in close and secret custody.' It proves, however, to be a mistake
that Ela's mother died before the Earl, for she was living eighteen years after; it is
therefore probable that they were her mother and her mother's family, whose
estates were either in Normandy or Champaign, and who could readily have
found thereon a place of concealment for the heiress." "Let it b remembered
that Ela had three uncles, the eldest of whom must have been interested--
deeply interested--as the presumed heir of his brother Earl William, to his
immense possessions, and high hereditary rank and honours, had not
one infant daughter stook in his way."

"To return to the captivity of the youthful Ela, as related by our only authority,
the Book of Lacock. It informs us that she was concealed by her
"relations," who were, it is most probable, her mother's family. Immediately
upon the inquisition held after her father's death, Ela's land would
in due course be taken into the possession of the King, as she had
become a royal ward. But the abstraction of her person might probably throw
some difficulty in the way of the inquisition, or the consequent
legal proceedings. The sequel of events, which is highly characteristic
of the manners of that court, where the minstrel monarch, the lion-hearted
Richard, presided over his train of galland and chivalric Troubadours. An
English knight, named William Talbot, undertook to discover the place of
the youthful heiress's concealment; the idea having been suggested, if the
fact be admitted, by King Richard's own discovery, a few years before, by
the minstrel Blondel.



At Rouen Richard kept his state,
Released from captive-thrall;
And, girt with many a warrior-guest,
He feasted in the Hall.

The rich metheglin mantled high,
The wine was berry-red,
When tidings came that Salisbury,
His early friend, was dead;

And that his sole surviving child,
The heiress of his wealth,
By crafty kinsmen and allies
Was borne away by stealth--

Was borne away to Normandy, 

Ela of Salisbury, 3rd Countess of Salisbury (1187 – 24 August 1261) was an English heiress who became the Countess of Salisbury after her father William FitzPatrick, who was the 2nd Earl of Salisbury died. She was his only child by Eléonore de Vitré.

She was born in Amesbury, Wiltshire in 1187.

In the Middle Ages when a huge estate was left to a female, particularly a child, it was usually given to another powerful noble by right of marriage. That is, women were not usually allowed to control that great of an estate and the king would usually decide who he wanted to have it. In this case it was his brother.

When she was 9 years old in 1196, she married William Lonespee, who was the illegitimate half-brother of the English kings Richard I and John. He assumed the title of 3rd Earl of Salisbury by right of his marriage to Ela.

Despite being an arranged marriage, they must have developed some affinity for each other because they had several children:

  • William II Longespée, titular Earl of Salisbury (c.1209- 7 February 1250), married in 1216 Idoine de Camville, daughter of Richard de Camville and Eustache Basset, by whom he had four children. William was killed while on crusade at the Battle of Mansurah.
  • Richard Longespée, clerk and canon of Salisbury.
  • Stephen Longespée, Seneschal of Gascony and Justiciar of Ireland (1216–1260), married as her second husband 1243/1244 Emmeline de Ridelsford, daughter of Walter de Ridelsford and Annora Vitré, by whom he had two daughters: Ela, wife of Sir Roger La Zouche, and Emmeline (1252–1291), the second wife of Maurice FitzGerald, 3rd Lord of Offaly.
  • Nicholas Longespée, Bishop of Salisbury (died 28 May 1297)
  • Isabella Longespée (died before 1244), married as his first wife shortly after 16 May 1226, William de Vescy, Lord of Alnwick, by whom she had issue.
  • Petronilla Longespée, died unmarried
  • Ela Longespée, who first married Thomas de Beaumont, 6th Earl of Warwick, and then married Philip Basset. No issue.[4]
  • Ida Longespée, married firstly Ralph who was son of Ralph de Somery, Baron of Dudley, and Margaret, daughter of John Marshal;[4] she married secondly William de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford, by whom she had six children, including Maud de Beauchamp, wife of Roger de Mowbray.[5]
  • Ida II de Longespée (she is alternatively listed as William and Ela's granddaughter: see notes below), married Sir Walter FitzRobert, son of Robert Fitzwalter, by whom she had issue including Ela FitzWalter, wife of William de Odyngsells. Ela's and Williams's grandsons include William de Clinton and John de Grey.[4]
  • Mary Longespée, married. No issue.[4]
  • Pernel Longespée.

William Longespee was shipwrecked off the coast of Brittany on the way back from Gascony. For months he was in a monastery on the Island of Re in France recupperating. Within a few days of making it back to England, he died at Salisbury Castle, 7 March 1226.
Ela held the position of High Sheriff of Wiltshire for two years after William's death, then became a nun, and eventually Abbess of Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, which she had founded in 1229.

Just three years after William died, she founded Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire as a nunnery. She later entered the abbey as a nun herself in 1238. She became the Abbess of Lacock in 1240 just 2 years later and was Abbess until 1257.

She died 24 August 1261 and was buries in Lacock Abbey.

The inscription on her tombstone, originally written in Latin, reads:

Below lie buried the bones of the venerable Ela, who gave this sacred house as a home for the nuns. She also had lived here as holy abbess and Countess of Salisbury, full of good works.

Lacock Abbey Cloisters, Wiltshire,UK

Ancestral Stories and Traditions of Great Families Illustrative of English History
John Timbs
Griffith and Farran, 1869

Lacock Abbey, an Ela Countess of Salisbury

About thirteen miles East of Bath, and nearly halfway between the towns of Chippenham and Melksham, Anastasius and level meadow, surrounded by elm's, and watered by the Avon, rise the walls and tall spiral chimneys, and arches hung with IV, of the ancient Nunnery of Lacock. The site, it may be supposed, was originally a solitary glade, adjoining the village or town of Lacock. The name is derived from Lea and Lay, a meadow, and Oche, water; and here, in the Avon, Aubrey found large round paddles, "the like of which he had not seen elsewhere." Lacock was, in the Saxon times, of greater importance than at present; for in an ancient record, quoted by Leland, we read that Dunvallo founded three cities, with three castles, Malmsbury, Tetronberg (?Troubridge), and Lacock. We need scarcely remark, that what might have been then called cities or castles, would not be much in accordance with our ideas of such places in the present age.

The Nunnery of Lacock is far more interesting than the Castle of Dunvallo. In the year 1232, Ela, only child of William Earl of Salisbury, and sole heiress of all her father's vast landed possessions in Wiltshire, laid the foundation of this religious house in her widowhood, in pious and affectionate remembrance of her husband William Longespée (in her right Earl of Sarum), who had then been dead six years. This brave man was the eldest natural son of Henry II, by the lady whose transcendent beauty has become proverbial under the name of Fair Rosamond. He assisted in the founding of the magnificent Cathedral of New Sarum in the year 1220: six years afterwards he died of poison at the Castle of Old Sarum, and was the first person buried within the walls of New Sarum Cathedral, where his tomb now remains. The earliest ancester of Ela, whose existence rest on credible record, was Edward of Salisbury, Sheriff of Wilts, whose name occurs in doomsday book, and attesting several charters of the Conqueror.

The childhood and early life of the pious Ela are fraught with romantic interest. She was born in Amesbury in 1188. Until her father's death in 1196, Ela was reared in princely state. Earl William, her father, was one of the distinguished subjects of the chivalric lion King, Richard, and took a prominent part at both his coronations. He also kept the King's charter prelicensing tournaments throughout the country. One of the five steads or fields then appointed for tournaments and Englan was situated between Salisbury and Wilton; and on that spot, when a child, the future Abbess of Lacock may have first witnessed the perilous gaiety of nightly enterprise, and its proud exhibitions of personal courage and external splendor and gallantry. The situation is well known on the downs in front of the side of Sarum Castle.

Such was the scene on which I live in her childhood might have gazed when animated with the glitter of arms and banner; but from which, on the death of her father, this richly-portioned heiress was suddenly snatched and subjected to seclusion in a foreign country. All that is said in the transcript of the annals of the Abbey of Lacock – – year regional perished in the fire at the Cotton Library – – is that Ela was secretly taken into Normandy by her relations, and their brought up and close in secret custody. These relations, it is conjecture, where her mother and her mother's family, whose estates were either in Normandy or Champagne. Immediately upon the Inquisition held after her father's death, Ela's land would, in due course, be taken into the possession of the King, as she had become a Royal ward: but such was not the case. The event which arose from the circumstances is highly characteristic of the court of the minstrel monarch. An English Knight, named William Talbot undertook to discover the place of the youthful heiress' concealment; the idea having been suggested, if the fact to be admitted by King Richard's own discovery, a few years before, by a of the minstrel Blondel.

Assuming the garb of the Pilgrim, the gallant Talbot passed over into Normandy, and their continued his search, wondering to and fro for the space of two years. When at length he had found the lady Ela of Salisbury, he exchanged his pilgrims dress for that of a harper or traveling troubadour, and in that guise entered the court in which the maid was detained. As he sustained to perfection his character of a gleeman, and was excellently versed in the jests or historical lays recounting the deeds of former times, the stranger was kindly entertained, and soon received as one of the household. At last his chivalric undertaking was fully accomplished; when, having found a convenient opportunity for returning, he carried with him the heiress, and presented her to King Richard. Immediately after, the hand of Ela was given in marriage to William Longespée by his brother King Richard, – – Ela being then only 10 years old, and William twenty-three.

After the marriage of Ela, we have little to recount of her for several years, unless it were to enumerate the names of her flourishing family of four sons and as many daughters. The Earl was in frequent attendance upon King John; but the Countess Ela appears to have passed most of her life in provincial sovereignty at Salisbury, or in the quiet retirement of some country Manor, – – most frequently, perhaps, in the peaceful shades of her native Amesbury.

We pass over the career of the Earls; his assumption of Ela's hereditary office of the shrievalty of Wiltshire; his attendance at the coronation of John, and upon the King in Normandy; his progress is with John in England, and his appointment to military command and as Warder of the Marches; his rule in his campaign in Flanders; and his presence at the signing of Magna Charta. After the death of John, the Earl returned to his Castle of Salisbury, into the most interesting scene in which the pious Ela was an active partaker with him. This was no less than a ceremony of founding the present beautiful Cathedral Salisbury, the four stone of which was laid by the Earl, and the fifth by the Countess Ela. We next passed the Earls visit to Gascony in the spring of 1224, and his disastrous return, when, according to Matthew Paris, he was "for almost 3 months at sea" before he landed in England. During the interval all his friends had despaired of his life, except to his faithful wife, who, though now a matron, became an object of pursuit to the fortune hunters of the Court. The Justice Hubert de Burgh, with most indecent haste, now put forward a nephew of his own as a suitor to the Lady of Salisbury. It is related by Matthew Paris, that whilst King Henry was deeply grieved that the supposed loss of the Earl of Salisbury, Hubert came and required him to bestow Earl William's wife (to him the dignity of that earldom belonged by hereditary right) on his own nephew Reimund, that he might marry her. The King having yielded to his petition, provided the Countess with consent, the justice sent Reimund to her, in a noble, knightly array to endeavor to incline the ladies heart to his suit. But Ela rejected him with majestic scorn, and replied that she had lately received letters and messengers which assured her that the Earl, her husband, was in health and safety; adding, that if her Lord the Earl had indeed been dead, she would in no case have received him for a husband, because there on equal rank pervades such a union. "Wherefore," said she, "you must seek the marriage elsewhere because you find you have come hither in vain." Upon the Earls return, he claimed reparation from the Justiciary, who confessed his fault, made his peace with the Earl by some valuable forces and other large presents, and invited him to his table. Here, it is said, the Earl was poisoned (probably with repletion). He returned to his Castle at Salisbury, took to his bed, and died March 7, 1226; and, as already mentioned, was buried at Salisbury Cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral

William Longespee Tomb

courtyard of the cloisters, Lacock Abbey

Ela, now a widow, continued firm in her resolution to remain faithful to the memory of her first lord, and to maintain her independence and what was then termed, in legal phrase, "a free widowhood." Her choice, however, was singular; for ladies of large estate, at that period, were seldom permitted to remain either as virgins or widowers without a Lord and protector, unless they had arrived at an advanced age. Her case is deemed extraordinary and the chronicles. Her son, when he became of age, claimed the inheritance of the earldom; but the King refused it, by the advice of his judges, and according to the principles of feudal law. The objection probably was, that the earldom was then vested in his mother. Thus Ela's entrance into the profession of a recluse may possibly have partaken of a worldly motive, as being likely to facilitate her sons admission to his hereditary dignity; but if so, it was still unsuccessful. In consequence of her protracted life, the earldom of Solesberry continued dormant; and as she survived both her son and grandson, it was never revived in the house of Longespée.

Ela was permitted to exercise in person the office of Sheriff of Wiltshire, and Castellane of old Sarum. Her great seal, and elegant work of art, it is an extant, and represents her noble and dignified deportment, and her gracefully simple costume: "for right hand is on her breast; on her left stands a hawk, the usual symbol of nobility; On her head is a singularly's small cap, probably the precursor of the Coronet; for long-haired flows negligently upon her neck on each side; and the royal lions of Salisbury appear to gaze upon her like the lion in Spenser on the desolate Una!"

We at length reach the time and the foundation of Lacock Abbey. "When," says the Book of Lacock, "Ella had survived her husband for seven (six?) Years in widowhood, and had frequently promised to found monasteries pleasing to God, for the salvation of her soul and that of her husband, and those of all their ancestors, she was directed in visions (per revelationes) that she should build a monastery in honor of St. Mary and St. Bernard in the meadow called Snail's Mead, near LaCock.” This she did on April 16, 1232, although the requisite charters bear prior dates.

Among the earliest coadjutors with the pious cello was Constance De Legh, who assisted by giving "her whole Manor." Ella had likewise founded a monastery of Carthusian monks at Hinton, in Gloucestershire, in which, as also at Lacock, she is supposed to have fulfilled the intentions of her husband; indeed, the profits of his wardship of the heiress of Richard de Camville were assigned to the foundation at Hinton by the Earls last will.

The first canoness veiled at LaCock was Alicia Garinges, from a small nunnery in Oxfordshire, which was governed under the Augustine rule, the discipline to be adopted at Lacock. In the transcripts from the Book of Lacock another person is mentioned, either as abbess or canoness, during the eight years which elapsed after the foundation, and before Ela herself took the veil as abbess of her own establishment, in the year 1238, in the 51st year of her age; she "having, in all her actions and doings, been constantly dependent on accounts on aid of St. Edmund the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other discrete men."

The records of Ela's abbacy are neither copious nor numerous. Among them is a charter, dated 1237, and which the King grants to the prioress of Lacock, and "the nuns there serving God," and fair to last for three days, – – namely, on the eve, feast, and morrow of St. Thomas the Martyr. In the year 1241 Ela obtained two other charters from the King; one to hold a weekly market. A beautiful crusted in the marketplace at Lacock until about the year 1825, when it's light and elegant shaft was destroyed to furnish stone for building the village school room. By the second charter the King gave the abbess the privilege of having, every week, one cart to traverse the forest of Melksham, and collect "dead wood" for fuel, without injury to the forest, during the royal pleasure. Five years before her death, Ela retired from the peaceful of her monastic society, and appointed in her place in abbess named Beatrice, of Kent. Yet Ela obtained several more benefits for the Abbey from the King. At length, in the 74th year of her age, August 24, 1261, yielding up her soul in peace, Ela rested in the Lord, and was most honorably buried in the choir of the monastery. Aubrey has this strange entry in his natural history of Wiltshire: "Ela Countess of Salisbury, daughter to Longspee, was founders of Lacock Abbey, where she ended her days, being Emperor hundred years old: she outlived her understanding. This I found in an old MS. called Chronicon de Lacock, in Bibliothèca Cottiniana.” Now, the Chronicle referred to was burnt in 1731, and the extracts preserved from it do not confirm Aubrey's statement, but placed Ela's death and her 74th year.

Ella had been deprived by death of her son and grandson, and her daughter Isabella, Lady Vesey; and in the last year of her life she was proceeded to her tomb by her son Stephen; so that, of all her family, she left only two sons and three daughters surviving, one of whom died in the following year. William's son William Longspee the second, having joined the expedition of St. Louis to the Holy Land, perished at the assault of Mensoura. His mother, according to the monkish legend, seated in her abbatial style in the church at Lacock, saw, at the same moment, the mailed form of her child admitted into heaven, surrounded by a radius of glory. His son William Longspee III was killed in a tournament near Salisbury.

Lacock Abbey from the south

Women in Medieval Western European Culture
Front Cover
Linda E. Mitchell
Routledge, Nov 12, 2012 

When Ela, Countess of Salisbury (1189 – 1261), paid the English King, Henry III, the substantial sum of 500 marks (and mark was two thirds of the pound) in 1226 for the privilege of holding the powerful, lucrative and highly political public office of Sheriff of Wiltshire, she became one of only two women ever to perform the duties of sheriff in all of medieval England. Or although Ellis ancestors had performed the sheriffs of Wiltshire, first as castellans of serum and later as the Earls of Salisbury, since the reign of William the Conqueror, Ela had not been granted the position of sheriff upon her father's death in 1196. Rather, her husband, William Longspee, received the office upon their marriage in 1198. It was not until William's death in 1226 and Ela, in her widowhood, was able to claim, at some expense, the position of sheriff for her own. Thus, despite the fact that she was heiress to the Salisbury earldom, religious attitudes in the legal realities of medieval life conspired to keep Ela of Salisbury – – and noble women like her – – distanced from nearly all forms of public activity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

George Leslie and Margaret Crichton

Leslie Surname and Leslie Castle

George Leslie was born in 1476 in Rothes, Moray, Scotland as the first child of William Leslie and Margaret Janet Balfour. He died in 1558 in Dieppe, Haute-Normandie, France. When he was 49, he married Elizabeth Gray,daughter of Andrew Gray, before 05 Jun 1525. When he was 50, he married Agnes Somerville,daughter of John Somerville, between 1526–1530. When he was 66, he married Margaret Crichton,daughter of William Crichton and Margaret Cecilia Stewart Princess of Scotland, before 31 May 1542.

George Leslie was known by the title of 3rd Earl of Rothes.

George Leslie and Margaret Crichton had the following children:

1.Norman Leslie was born before 1520 in Rothes, Elginshire, Scotland. He died in 1554 in Spl, Montreuil, Ain, France. He married Isabel Lindsay in Feb 1540 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
2. Agnes Leslie was born in 1539 in Bute Island, Bute, , Scotland. She died in Feb 1594 in , , , Scotland. She married William Douglas on 19 Aug 1554 in Castle, Dumfries-shire, , Scotland.
4.William Leslie was born before 1520.

George Leslie and Elizabeth Gray  had no children.
George Leslie and Agnes Somerville had the following children:

1.Andrew. He died in 1611.


George Leslie's descent from Robert the Bruce

Americans of Royal Descent: Collection of Genealogies Showing the Lineal Descent from Kings of Some American Families ...
Charles Henry BrowningGenealogical Publishing Com, 1911
Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, had by his second wife, Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, daughter of Richard, Earl of Ulster:

Princess Margaret Bruce sister of King David II, who married, 1344 (his first wife), William, Earl of Sutherland, died 1370, and had:

John, sixth Earl of Sutherland, only son, died 1389, married lady Mabilla Dunbar, daughter of Patrick, 10th Earl of March, and had:

Nicholas, eighth Earl of Sutherland, second son, died 1399, he married Elizabeth, daughter of John McDonald, Lord of the Isles, and had:

Robert, ninth Earl of Sutherland, died, 1442, he married Lady Mabilla, daughter of John, second Earl of Murray, and had:

Alexander Sutherland, of Dunheath, third son, who had:

Lady Margaret Sutherland, married William Sinclair, third Earl of Orkney, Earl of Caithness, and had:

Lady Marjory Sinclair, who married Andrew, Lord Leslie, who d.v.p. 1502, son of George Leslie, first Earl of Rothes, and married lady Margaret daughter of Sir Michael Balfour, of Mountquhanie, and had:

George, fourth Earl of Rothes, killed in France, in 1558, had by his third wife, Margaret Crichton:

Clan Leslie Video from

Historical records of the family of Leslie, from 1067 to 1868-9, Volume 2

George, Earl of Rothes, married, first, the Hon. Margaret Crichton, daughter of William, third Lord Crichton of Frendraught, by lady Margaret Stewart, second daughter of King James III Margaret Crichton married first, William Todrick, Burgess of Edinburgh; secondly, George Halkerton, also a Burgess of Edinburgh; thirdly, George, fourth Earl of Rothes, as appears by the charter already mentioned, created first April 1517, George, Earl of Rothes, and to Margaret Crichton, his affidate spouse "per verba de Futuro, come carnali copula inde secuta," and the heirs to be procreate betwixt them; but under the condition, in order to secure a legitimate representation, "matrimonio inter ipsos solemnizato et stante legitimo, Belper dispensationonem si opus fuerit legitimato." Five Margaret Crichton the Earl of Rothes had issue – –
I. Norman, Master of Rothes, of whom hereafter.
II. William, who was implicated with his brother Norman in the murder of Cardinal Beaton, and was charged with giving assistance to the traitors for which he obtained a remission under the Privy Seal, in 1548. Probably on account of being implicated in this affair, being included in the forfeiture pronounced against the traitors, William Leslie was passed over by his father, the Earl of Rothes, when he settled the earldom on his younger son Andrew, he became fifth Earl of Rothes, and who, on his accession to the earldom, submitted his claims and those of his eldest lawful brother, William Leslie, to Queen Mary, who, 15th January 1566, pronounced at discrete arbitral to the following effect: that Andrew, Earl of Rothes, should enjoy the full earldom of Rothes, as his father, the late Earl, had possessed it, and that William Leslie should renounce all right or title which he had in the same in favor of his brother Andrew; been encased set and who died without leaving heirs male of his body, the earldom was to revert to the said William; but the said Andrew, Earl of Rothes, shoot infeft the said William and his heirs male, lawfully begotten, in the lands of Cairny, in the Carse of Gowrie, to be held of the said Earl in free farm, to be returned to the said Earl in case the heirs male of his that William failed, in which case of Earl was to provide suitable marriages for the heirs female, if any, of the said William, also to infeft the said William in as much of the lands of Ballinbreich as would yield an annual rent of 500 merkes, and to build him a suitable dwelling house on the lands of Cairny. William Leslie sold the lands of Cairny to Thomas Hamilton, 29th of October 1570; and Thomas Hamilton re-signed them in favor of Andrew, Earl of Rothes third of February 1585.
III. Lady Elizabeth. David Parkway of Culerny, in Fife, granted a charter of the lands of Kinninmont, in the barony of Culerny, to lady Elizabeth Leslie, daughter of George, Earl of Rothes, 25th June 1545.
George, Earl of Rothes, concluded a matrimonial contract with Sir John Oliphant of Kelly, 11 September 1527, to the effect that Alexander Oliphant of Kelly, then under the years of puberty, should contract marriage with one of the legitimate daughters of the said Earl of Rothes, and of Margaret Crichton, Countess of Rothes, his spouse, as soon as he should attain a marriageable age.

For the actual marriage took place between George, Earl of Rothes, and Margaret Crichton, in order to legitimate their previous union, is not stated. It is probable that there were some legal objections to their marriage, as in the charter already quoted one of the conditions required was, that they should get a dispensation if it were necessary. Whatever may have been the cause, the Earl of Rothes entered a process to have his marriage to where it all on the ground that he was within the forbidden degree of affinity with the Countess, he having had illicit intercourse, before his marriage, with Matilda Striveling, who was related to Margaret Crichton in the second and 3rd° of consanguinity, thus making him and Margaret related to each other and the same degrees of affinity, and rendering their marriage incestuous and illegal according to existing law. Whatever the facts may have been, the marriage was to swear to have been not all from the beginning by the ordinary, Rector of Flisk, 27th December 1520. The effect of this judgment was to leave the parties free to marry whom they would, while the issue of their previous union would be considered legitimate, on account of the good faith or ignorance of at least one of the parties. Hence the legitimacy of Norman, Master of Rothes, and of William Leslie of Cairny, was never doubted.

George, Earl of Rothes, married secondly, about 1525, Elizabeth Gray, daughter of Andrew, third Lord Gray, relict of John, fourth Lord Glammis, and of Alexander, third Earl of Huntly. George, Earl of Rothes, granted a charter, dated June 1525, at the lands and barony of Ballinbreich, to Elizabeth Gray, Countess of Huntly, relict of the deceased Alexander, Earl of Huntly, for her lifetime. By her the Earl of Rothes had no issue.

He married, thirdly, Agnes Somerville, daughter of Sir John Somerville of Cambusnethan, widow of John, second Lord Fleming, predecessor of the Earls of Wigton. Agnes Somerville, relict of the deceased John, Lord Fleming, got a charter of the lands of Carsehaur, in Menteith, 17th December 1526; and George, Earl of Rothes, and Agnes Somerville his spouse, got a charter of the lands of Cairny, 29 January 1530, so that the marriage must've taken place between 1526 and 1530. It is said that the Earl of Rothes got a good fortune with Agnes Somerville, which enabled him to redeem many of the family estates which had been mortgaged by his uncle George, second Earl. He also bought the lands of Newton in Fife about this time. By this marriage the Earl of Rothes had issue – –
I. Andrew, who succeeded as fifth Earl of Rothes
II. Peter Leslie
III. James Leslie, ancester of the Leslie's of Ballybay in Ireland, of whom hereafter.
IV. John Leslie, and was a prisoner in England. King Henry VIII, first July 1543, issued an order for the liberation of John Lysle, younger sonne to the Erle of Rothes, on payment of a Ranson 200 merks.
V. Lady Janet, married to Crichton of Naughton, or, as some say, to Cockburn of Langton.
VI. Lady Helen, married to Mark Kerr, commendator of Newbottle,  who had been Abbot of Newbottle, but became Protestant in 1560, and held his benefices in commendam. Week a charter under the Great Seal, 13th of may 1567, and an Lady Helen Leslie, his spouse, of the lands of Bernes in the constabulary of Haddington. Eldest son of this marriage was created Earl of Lothian, and was ancester Marquises of Lothian.

During the lifetime of Agnes Somerville, Margaret Wright seems still to have kept up relations with the Earl of Rothes, and several charters were granted to George, Earl of Ross and Agnes Somerville his spouse, and to Margaret Crichton, in liferent; for instance, of the lands and barony of Leslie, 10th July 1539, and another of the same, 13 December 1540; of the lands and barony of Ballinbreich, his September 15 39; and another of the lands of Drumman. Agnes Somerville died about 1541, and after her death the Earl of Rothes was reunited to Margaret Crichton, as appears from a charter granted 21st of October 1541 to Norman Leslie, son of George, Earl of Rothes reserving the liferent to Margaret Wright, spouse of the said Earl; and another of the King's lands of Drumcross in Linlithgowshire, to Margaret Crichton, Countess of Rothes, 31st of may 1542. By this reunion with Margaret Crichton the Earl of Rothes had the following issue: – –
I. Robert, who got the lands of Findrassie in Morayshire, and was the founder of the family of Leslie of Findrassie, of which year after
II. Lady Agnes, married to Sir William Douglas of Lochleven. George, Earl of Rothes, and name of lady Agnes Leslie, daughter, and Peter Douglas of Lochleven, for his son William, executed a marriage contract, 19th of August 1554, whereby the said William Douglas was engaged to married his said lady Agnes as soon as they came to marriageable years; and William Douglas of Lochleven, with the advice of his curators, John Lord Erskine, James, commendater of St. Andrews, and Dame Margaret Erskine, lady Lochleven, being willing to fulfill the said marriage contract, obliged himself to comply with all the conditions that this name, 26th of November 1554. Sir William Douglas was created Earl of Morton. He got a charter to him and lady Agnes Leslie his spouse, of the earldom of Morton 20th July 1589. The daughters of this marriage were so beautiful, that they were called the pearls of Lochleven.
III. Lady Beatrix, married to Beautoun of Creich.
IV. Lady Euphemia, married to Learmonth of Balcomie.
V. Lady Margaret, married to Archibald, eighth Earl of Angus. She had a charter of the lands and baronies of Abernethy, Bothwell, Douglas, and Dunsyre, in
liferent to Margaret Leslie, Countess of Angus, granted with the consent of Parliament, 29th of November 1591. But there is probably a mistake in the date of this charter, as, according to Douglas, Archibald, Earl of Angus, married, thirdly, in 1586, G, daughter of John, 10th Lord Glammis, and that Archibald, Earl of Angus, died in 1588, so that lady Margaret Leslie must have died before 1586. Archibald, Earl of Angus, gave a discharged Andrew, fifth Earl of Rothes, were 2000 merks in lawful payment of 6000 merks, given by George, Earl of Rothes, with his daughter Margaret, spouse of the Earl of Angus, 12 July 1576.

George, Earl of Rothes, married, fifthly, Isabel Lundy, daughter of Lundy of Lundy, and widow of David, seventh Earl of Crawford, who died in 1542. David, Earl of Crawford, and Isabel Lundy his spouse, had charters of Innerarty, and at the customs of Dundee, 11th January 1527; of two parts of the lands of Downey in Forfarshire, whilst March 1539; and of Ratherlet in Fife, 10th  September 1541. By Isabel Lundy the Earl of Roths had no issue.

George, Earl of Rothes, is said to have had an illegitimate son, Walter, who married the heiress of Corriston, and an illegitimate daughter, married to Lord Kelley.

George, Earl fourth Earl of Rothes, died at Dieppe, 28th of November 1558, on his return from France the commissioners sent from Scotland to attend the marriage of Mary the Scots with Francis the Dauphin of France. He was succeeded by his son, Andrew, fifth Earl of Rothes.

The Scots Peerage: Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume 3
James Balfour Paul
D. Douglas, 1906

William, Lord Crichton, had also, by the Princess Margaret, a natural daughter, Margaret Crichton, his chequered career is one of the most curious in the history of her time. She must have been brought up in the Royal household, for in the Treasurers's Accounts for the year 1495 – 96 there are introduced of dress purchased for lady Margaretis dochtir.' She was married, first, to William Todrik, Burgess of Edinburgh. This marriage must of been prior to eight February 15 05, when Todrik received from the King under the Great Seal of grant of certain exemptions from customs in respect of this marriage 'cum consanguinea nostra Margreta Creichtoun.' Todrik must have died before 27 July 1507. She was married, secondly, to George Halkerston – – also a Burgess of Edinburgh. This marriage must have taken place prior to for July 1510, when she and her husband obtained a similar grant, Suzanne and to the survivor, that exemption from customs to the amount of 100 merks yearly import and export. This grant also perceives on a narrative of the King's tender love and affection ' quos gerimus erga dilectam consanguineam nostram Margaretam Creichtoun.' Halkerstoun, who became one of the customars of Edinburgh, seems to have been killed at Flodden, when his widow succeeded him in that office. By George Halkerston she had at all events a son James, who was conjoined with her in a lawsuit in 1538. Margaret Crichton's third husband was George, Earl of Rothes. This marriage must have taken place prior to one April 1517 – – when a new charter of the Rothes estates passed the Great Seal in favour of 'Georgio Lesley Comiti de Rothes dom. Lesly et Margarete Creichtoun ejus sponse affidate per verba futuro cum carnali copula inde secuta.' This marriage was dissolved on one of the pretexts usual at the time on 27 December 1520, and Lord Rothes married successively Elizabeth Gray, the widowed Countess of Huntly and Agnes Somerville, relict of John, Lord Flemming. Margaret Crichton does not seem to have acquiesced in the judgment, and may have ultimately been successful in getting it set aside and in reasserting her position as Countess of Rothes, prior to 31 May 1542, when asked Margaret Creychtoun Comitissa de Rothes she obtained a charter of the lands of Drumcroce. She seems to died fired 1546, when Lord Rothes appears as the husband of ' Dame Margret (properly Isabel) Lundy, relict of the umquhile David, Erle of Craufurde.' By Lord Rothes Margaret Crichton had issue at least one child, Norman Leslie – – the well-known Master of Rothes.

The Dorothy Dunnett Companion, Volume 2
Elspeth Morrison
Vintage Books, 1994

Margaret Crichton, her illegitimate daughter, seems to possessed all the talent and hard business head of Chancellor Crichton, her great grandfather, and was likely to of been a willing collaborator, if not the instigator of the shrewd marriages through which she ordered her life. A ledger entry about 1495 four 'dress for my lady Margaret's daughter'might indicate her first wedding. This was to William Todrik, from a well-established Edinburgh Burgess family – 20 years before William Todrik had been altered 5 pounds helping to rescue the King's ship the Yellow Caravel when she was in trouble, captained by John Barton, off North Berwick.  Now, Margaret's groom was fortunate enough to receive certain exemptions from custom for his goods and merchandise, ' in consideration of his marriage was the King's cousin.' Todrik did not survive beyond 1503. Margaret married next another well-connected Edinburgh Burgess called George Halkerston, who was his new wife, was also and down was the custom is exemption of exports and imports worth hundred pounds a year. Very soon, along with his fellow customar Sir Alexander Lauder of Blyth (Berwickshire), Provost of Edinburg, George was taking credit for supplying the King with provisions and wine worse L1387.

It ended at the battle of Flodden, where Halkerston and Lauder both seem to have fought and died. In 1514 and widows, Margaret Crichton and Janet Paterson, together rendered the account for the customs of Edinburgh. Two years later, Margaret Crichton alone supplied the account for one month. She was followed by Robert Barton, son of John and colleague an agent of George Leslie, Earl of Rothes, whom Margaret in 1517 made her third husband. Her connections with other Royal Stewarts remains strong; in 1516 she entertained her cousin Jon Stewart, second Duke of Albany, in Edinburgh, where the records indicate that 5 1/4 bottles of Claret were consumed, for which she was to be recompensed.

The Leslies originally of Flemish extraction, had long been established in the Northeast, and the Rothes lay on Speyside, beside Banff and Elgin in Moray, were both James III and fourth for their journeys to Tain.

Analecta Scotica:: Collections Illustrative of the Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of Scotland. Chiefly from Original Mss. [First] -second Series.]
James Maidment
Thomas G. Stevenson, 87, Princes Street., 1837


This family is mentioned, and a descendent vouched by various genealogical treatises. There Ancestor was George Leslie, Earl of Rothes, – –whose Ancient Family is fully deduced in the Peerage, and instructed to have existed as of Rank and Distinction in Scotland, in the Reign of Malcolm Canmore and downwards, and been the progenitures of many noble and eminent Families. – – Earl George was married to a Lady Margaret Crichton, only Daughter of William Lord Crichton, by Lady Cecily, Second Daughter of King James II of Scotland. The Issue of this marriage were Four Sons and Two Daughters. –
1. George, who died without issue
2. Norman, Master of Rothes, who stood infeft in the fee of the Estate, as appears from the Publick Records,but who was forfeited for his unhappy conduct in regard to Cardinal Beaton, to which, when a very young man, he was instigated by the violence of party, in a turbulent Reign of Mary Queen of Scots. That rash action his Family ever heartily regretted, or the odium brought on his memory, and a consequent loss and misfortunes to the younger branches of the family, attending the death of the Cardinal. – – Norman left no issue.
3. William, Laird of Cairney, in the Carse of Gowry, left no issue
4. Robert Leslie, First of Findrassie, commonly called the Righteous Rothes, who left issue, to be noticed in the sequel, and who it will be shown are the heirs male and representatives of the above George, Fourth Earl of Rothes. – – The Earl's daughters were, – –
5. Janet, firstly married to Crichton, Laird of Naughton, and secondly to the Laird of Grant, but had no children by these marriages
6. Helen, first married to the Laird of Parbroath, and secondly to Mark Ker, Commendater of Newbottle, whose son was afterwards created Earl of Lothian, ancester of the Marquis of Lothian.

In order to account for what may appear extraordinary and unjust, that the estates and titles are are at present not possessed by the descendents of Robert the righteous, it becomes necessary to mention, that Earl George having taken some dislike to his wife, lady Margaret Crichton, appears to have obtained a sham divorce before one John Weddel, Rector of Flisk, on 27 November 1520, on this ground, "that he had an illicit connection with Matilda Striveling before his marriage was the Countess, to whom it seems Matilda stood in the second and 3rd° of cosanguinity !!!"

It would be utterly incredible, that any such absurd divorce could have existed, were it not that this famous or rather infamous degree has been lately, viz. in July 1795, discovered in the Harleian library, and in extract or copy of it is in the possession of the present Mr. Leslie of Findrassie, who got it from the learned and ingenious author of An Index lately published of Antient Scottish Charters found in his Majesty's paper office, some of which have been transmitted to the General Register House at Edinburgh, in consequence of the meritorious application of the Lord Clerk Register.

Whatever may have been the Earls mode of, it is plain the pretended divorce could in no shape effect the legitimacy of the issue of the marriage. Indeed, it is instructed by the public records, that Norman in particular was invested in the fee of the estate, and styled Master of Rothes.

However, the Earl proceeded to what is called a second marriage with Dame Nicholas Somerville Dowager Lady Fleming, daughter of Sir John Somerville of Camnethan, by whom he had a son, Andrew, in whose favour is, in the reign of Queen Mary, was conferred a gift of the forfeiture of Norman Leslie, and the title of Earl was assumed also, which, from what has been stated, was clearly to the prejudice of Robert Leslie of Findrassie, owing to the influence of the Earl of Arran, then a Courtier of great power, which he exerted in favor of his relation, Nicholas Somerville, and her son by Earl George.

After the death of this Lady, the Earl married a Lady Dowager of Crawfurd, who was the daughter of the house of Lundie, and after that he married the daughter of Lord Gray, who was widow of Bowes to the Lord Glammis and the Earl of Huntley, but these ladies living a short time, the Earl, from a conviction, it would seem, of the injustice he had done to his first wife, lady Margaret Crichton, postea second time repeat the ceremony of marriage with her; accordingly, in a charter under the Great Seal in the year 1542, she is justly designed Cometissa de Rothes.

Dictionary of National Biography
Leslie Stephen, ‎Sir Sidney Lee - 1903 - ‎Great Britain

LESLIE, GEORGE, usually called third, but properly fourth, EARL OF ROTHES (d. 1558), sheriff of Fife, 1529-1540; a lord of session, 1541; a lord of the articles, 1544; tried for the murder of Cardinal Beaton and acquitted, 1547; ambassador to Denmark, 1550; died at Dieppe.

George Leslie died  November 24, 1558, when he was returning from a trip for the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the Dauphin of France. Several other men who were on the trip with him also died. Lord Fleming died in Paris, and the Bishop of Orkney and the Earl of Cassillis died at Dieppe the same night that George died. It was believed that they were murdered because they had an unpopular view on the marriage.

The Sculptured Stones of Leith: With Historical and Antiquarian Notices
David H. Robertson
Reid & Son, 1851

With a view of increasing her own authority and attaching some of the Lords from the Protestant cause, the Regent, with the aid of M. D'Oisel, obtained letters from King Henry of France, craving the solemnization of the marriage of the young Queen of Scots and his son the dauphin Francis. "Though the estates understood very well what this haste meant, yet a ambassadors or commissioners were chosin to be sent,"-- Gilbert Kennedy,Earl of Cassillis; James, Lord Fleming; George Leslie, Earl of Rothes; James, prior of St. Andrews; George Seton, Provost of Edinburgh; John Erskine, of Dun; James Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow; Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney. They immediately departed for Paris, and a marriage was solemnized with great comp in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, on 24 April 1558. After the marriage, a powerful attempt was made by the family of Guise to induce the commissioners to sanction a grant of the crown matrimonial of Scotland in favor of Francis, which was strongly resisted by Lord James Stuart and others, on the ground that they had no powers to that effect. Some sharp debating was thereby occasioned, and the commissioners were dismissed from court; but before leaving France, one of those deeds which popery extenuates even applauds – – too well chronicled and too little known – – the poisoning of the commissioners – – was attempted, with partial success as far as concerned the immediate object. The Earl of Rothes, the Earl of Cassillis,Lord Fleming, and the Bishop of Orkney died. Lord James himself, "who had lived of the same box which despatched the rest, outwrastled, be reason of the strong constitution of his bodie or vigour of his youth."  While the Bishop of Orkney was struggling with the pains of death, he was visited by Lord James Stuart, and the conversation is given by Knox and repeated by Calderwood, – – "My Lord, will you not go to your chamber, and not lie here in this common house?" His answer was, "I am well aware and as long as I can carry, or I'm near my friends, (meaning his coffers and the gold therein;) but long have you and I and and plea for purgatory; I think I shall know ere it be long whether there be such a place or no." when Lord James exhorted him to call to mind the promises of God and the virtue of Christ death, he replied, "Nay, my Lord, let me alone; you and I never agreed in our life, and I think we shall not agree now that my death; let me alone." Knox adds, "The said Lord James departed to his lodging, and the other shore after departed this lyef – –whitther,  the great day of the Lord will declare."

The Court magazine and belle assemblée [afterw.] and monthly critic and the Lady's magazine and museum
Court magazine and monthly critic

George, third Earl. This nobleman attended James V in his matrimonial expedition to France in 1536. In 1550 he went ambassadorial to Denmark, and on 15 December 1557, was one of the eight members elected by Parliament to represent the whole body of the Scottish nation at the nuptials of Queen Mary and Francis the Dauphin. The farm conduct of these commissioners in refusing the matrimonial crown gave so much offence as to occasion a suspicion of poison on the Earls of Rothes and Cassilis, and Bishop Reid, three of the number, dying at Dieppe in one night 28th of November 15 58. The Earl of Ross had married four times. By his second wife, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Somerville of Cambusnehtan, he had, with other issue, Andrew,  fourth Earl…

The Great Historic Families of Scotland
The Leslies of Rothes

THE Leslies of Rothes obtained higher rank and greater prominence in the history of Scotland than the main stem of the family. The first Leslie who bore the name of Rothes was Sir George, who is described as Dominus de Rothes, in a contract of marriage, dated 26th April, 1392, but whether he acquired the barony by succession, marriage, or purchase, cannot now be ascertained.

It remained in the possession of the family for nearly four hundred years, was sold by John, ninth Earl of Rothes, in 1711, to John Grant, of Elchies, and now forms part of the extensive possessions of the Earl of Seafield. This fertile and beautiful barony lies on the western bank of the broad and rapid river Spey, and is both well wooded and ‘well watered everywhere,’ and diversified by hills in the background, and glens with their tributary brooks. The old castle of the Leslies, which stood on a green mount, surrounded by a fosse, is now in ruins. When the Earl sold the estate he ‘reserved to himself the castle tower, with the castle bank and the green under the walls thereof,’ the only remnant of the vast estates which the Rothes family at one time possessed in Morayshire.

As we have seen, on the death of David de Leslie (the last Baron of the original stock) his daughter Margaret inherited the barony of Leslie, in the Garioch, but the other estates of the family went to Sir George Leslie, the head of the Rothes branch. Sir George seems to have been a man of great influence in his day, and to have been held in high esteem, both by his sovereign, Robert III., and by his brother nobles. He obtained in 1398, a grant of the barony of Fythkill, now called Leslie, in Fife, which had been resigned into the hands of the King by his kinsman, Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross, and which Sir George was to hold of the sovereign for the annual payment of a pair of gloves. Two years later the King confirmed a charter granted by the Earl, of no fewer than eight distinct estates, in the shire of the Mearns, in return for the good service which Sir George had rendered to the Earl by advancing him ‘in his great necessity, the sum of 200 merks to relieve the lands and earldom of Ross, then in the hands of the King, the superior thereof.’

GEORGE LESLIE, the grandson of this powerful baron, was the first Earl of Rothes, and through his father and mother (Christian Seton) was descended from both the royal families of Bruce and Stewart. He was three times married. After he had lived nearly twenty years in wedlock with his second wife, a daughter of Lord Halyburton of Dirleton, he grew tired of her, and raised an action before the Consistory Court of St. Andrews, for the dissolution of the marriage on the convenient and common plea at that time, that he and his wife were related within the forbidden degrees of kindred, and that consequently their marriage was null and void from the first. A divorce could be obtained on this ground at that period with the utmost facility, and was a matter of every-day occurrence. But a formidable difficulty presented itself in regard to the position of the children born under the marriage, who would be declared illegitimate if it should be dissolved. As the Earl’s eldest son, Andrew, had married into the powerful family of St. Clair, it was not to be expected that they would patiently acquiesce in a decision which deprived him and his children of their rights. It was ultimately decided by the arbiter to whom the case was referred by mutual consent, that the Earl should obtain a divorce, but that the legitimacy of his offspring should be preserved by his judicial deposition that he did not know of the relationship between him and his wife, till after the birth of all their children.

The Earl was succeeded by his grandson GEORGE, his eldest son having predeceased him. George, the second Earl, appears to have been a ‘ne’er-do-weel.’ Having failed to appear to answer a charge against him of being art and part in the murder of George Leslie in 1498, he was ‘put to the horn,’ or outlawed, and his goods escheated to the King. He seems in various ways to have dilapidated the family estates, for in 1506, William Leslie, his brother and heir, represented to the King, ‘that the said Earl of Rothes, for default of good governance, tynes his old brentage in disinheriting of his righteus heir, and contrar to the laws of God.’ The King (James IV.) declared ‘the said William’s desires to be just and consonant to reason; and not willing that so noble and famous a house as the Earldom of Rothes be destroyed, but rather be kept in honour and nobility as the said Earl’s predecessors keeped the same in times by-gone,’ he granted authority to a council of the family to assist in the ‘government of the person, lordship, lands, and goods’ of the spendthrift peer, ‘so that he be not misguided and his lands wasted.’ Various similar cases occurred in the ancient history of our country, and it would be well for the honour and the interest of some noble families in our own day, if legal authority could be obtained to save a man from himself, and to take the management of the patrimonial inheritance of a great house out of the hands of an incompetent or profligate heir. It appears that in addition to his other acts of misconduct, this ‘misguided’ nobleman had incurred heavy penalties by his neglect of certain feudal ceremonies and forms of law, so that several valuable estates had lapsed into the hands of the King. Owing to these irregularities, his brother and successor—

WILLIAM, third Earl, had considerable trouble in making good his title to the family inheritance; and before his difficulties with the Crown were removed he was killed, along with the King and the flower of the Scottish nobility, on the fatal field of Flodden, 9th of September, 1513. His son GEORGE, fourth Earl, inherited not only the titles and estates of the family, along with their ability and courage, but also some other qualities which appear to have ‘run in the blood’ of the Rothes Leslies. He filled various high offices of State, among others that of ambassador to Denmark, in 1550, and was one of eight Commissioners elected by the Estates to represent the Scottish nation at the marriage of Queen Mary to the Dauphin, at Paris, April 24, 1558. On their way home the Earls of Rothes and Cassillis, and Bishop Reid, President of the Court of Session, died at Dieppe all in one night, and Lord Fleming died about the same time at Paris. It was universally believed at the time that the Commissioners had been poisoned because they had firmly refused to settle on the Dauphin the crown matrimonial of Scotland, or to promise that on their return to their own country they would endeavour to eflect that object. Earl George was five times married. His first wife, Margaret Crichton, was a niece of James IV., who inherited the passions and misfortunes of her lineage. During her husband’s absence as ambassador at the Court of Denmark, she had an intrigue with Patrick Panter, Abbot of Cambuskenneth, Secretary of State, one of the most learned men of his age, and bore to him a son, who ultimately became Bishop of Ross. On the 27th of December, 1580, the Earl obtained a divorce in the Consistory Court, not, however, on the ground of his wife’s unfaithfulness to him, but the marriage was declared null and void from the first, on the plea that the Earl confessed to having illicit intercourse before his marriage with Matilda Striveling, who was related to Margaret Crichton in the second and third degree of consanguinity, thus making the Earl and Margaret related to each other in the same degrees of affinity, and rendering their marriage incestuous and illegal according to existing law. This remarkable proceeding, connected as it is with ‘one of the strangest and darkest stories to be found in Scottish family history,’ throws a flood of light on the state of morals at that period among the upper classes in Scotland through the operation of the law of marriage and divorce instituted by the Papal Court.

The fourth Earl of Rothes was succeeded by his eldest son by his second wife, Agnes Somerville. His eldest son, Norman, and his second son, William, by Margaret Crichton, were passed over, both having incurred forfeit as traitors on account of their connection with the murder of the celebrated Cardinal Beaton. There can be no doubt that apart from the desire to avenge on the Cardinal the martyrdom of Wishart, Norman Leslie was actuated by personal enmity in the part which he took in the murder of Beaton; and his uncle, John Leslie, a prominent actor in the scene, shared his feelings. After the surrender of the Castle of St. Andrews to the French in the June following, Norman Leslie was carried with the other prisoners to France. He subsequently entered the service of the French King, and obtained great celebrity for his brilliant exploits in the wars between France and Germany. His gallantry at the battle of Cambray (1554), in which he was mortally wounded, drew forth the admiration both of friends and foes, and led Prince Louis of Conde to remark that ‘Hector of Troy had not behaved more valiantly than Norman Leslie.’

EARL ANDREW, fifth Earl of Rothes, took a prominent part in public affairs during the ‘troublous times’ of Mary of Guise and her daughter, Queen Mary. He was at first a staunch supporter of the Lords of the Congregation, but afterwards changed sides, and fought for Mary at Langside.

He was succeeded by his grandson, JOHN, sixth Earl, who was a zealous Covenanter, and gave great offence to Charles I. by his courageous resistance to his Majesty’s ecclesiastical projects. He was nominated chief of the Scottish Commissioners sent to London in 1640 to treat with the King. His intercourse with the Court had the effect of considerably moderating his zeal in behalf of the Parliament, and it appears that hopes were entertained that he might even be induced to join the Royalist party. Clarendon says, ‘Certain it is that he had not been long in England, before he liked both the King and the Court so well, that he was not willing to part with either. He was of a pleasant and jovial humour, without any of those constraints which the formality of that time made that party subject themselves to.’ A pension £10,000 Scots (1883 6s. 8d. sterling) was settled on him. He was to have been appointed one of the Lords of the Bedchamber and a Privy Councillor, and a marriage had been arranged between him and Lady Devonshire, who possessed £4,000 sterling a year, when he died at Richmond, after a short illness, in the forty-first year of his age. His death was considered a great blow to the hopes which were cherished at that time that an amicable treaty would be arranged between Charles and the Scottish Covenanters.

His son JOHN, seventh Earl of Rothes, was a staunch Royalist in the Great Civil War, and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Worcester. At the restoration of Charles II. he was rewarded for his services with a pension, and his nomination to the office of President of the Privy Council of Scotland. He was subsequently appointed Lord Treasurer for life, and Lord High Commissioner, and in 1680 was created Duke of Rothes. His talents were of a high order, but he was notorious for his ignorance and profligacy. Lord Fountainhall says the Duke gave himself ‘great libertie in all sorts of pleasures and debaucheries, and by his bad example infected many of the nobility and gentry.’ He is said to have excused his licentious conduct by alleging that, as he held the office of Royal Commissioner to Charles II., it was fitting that he should represent the royal character and conduct. Bishop Burnet, in a passage which was suppressed in the earlier editions of his history, says Rothes ‘was, unhappily, mad for drunkenness; for, as he drank, all his friends died, and he was able to subdue two or three sets of drunkards, one after another, so it scarce ever appeared that he was disordered; and after the greatest excesses, an hour or two of sleep carried them all off so entirely that no sign of them remained. He would go about his business without any uneasiness, or discovering any heat either in body or mind. This had a terrible conclusion, for, after he had killed all his friends, he fell at last under such a weakness of stomach that he had perpetual cholics, when he was not hot within and full of strong licquor, of which he was presently seized; so that he was always either sick or drunk.’ The Duke has left behind him an evil reputation as one of the persecutors of the Covenanters, and he was no doubt deeply implicated in the cruel and oppressive proceedings of his times. He seems, however, to have been personally a good-tempered and kind-hearted man. His Duchess, who was a daughter of the Earl of Crawford, was a staunch friend and protector of the persecuted clergy, and the Duke was wont to give her a hint, when a warrant from the Privy Council compelled him to institute a search after the preachers who were in hiding among the woods of Leslie. ‘My lady,’ he used to say, ‘my hawks maun be abroad the morn; ye had better look after your blackbirds.’ On his deathbed he sent for some of the Covenanting ministers, and entreated them to pray for him. The dukedom expired at his death in 1661, but the ancient family titles descended to his daughter, and since that time they have four several times fallen upon female heirs, who have not always been fortunate in their marriages. The present representative of the family is the Countess Henrietta, who was born in 1832, and married in 1861 the Hon. George Waldegrave, third son of the eighth Earl of Waldegrave. The Rothes estates, according to the ‘Doomsday Book,’ consist of 3,562 acres, of the gross annual value of £7,343 5s.

After so much information about George Leslie it seems appropriate to add some more information on Margaret Crichton's ancestry.  She was the daughter of Margaret Stewart, the younger daughter of James II of Scotland and Mary of Guelders.

Apparently, she was illegitimate.  I found this biography of her:

Biographical Dictionary of ScottishWomen
Elizabeth L. Ewan, Sue Innes, Sian Reynolds, Rose Pipes
Edinburgh University Press, Jun 27, 2007

CRICHTON, Margaret, born 1483, died c. 1546, Customs – collector. Daughter of Margaret Stewart, Princess of Scotland, and William, third Lord Crichton.

The illegitimate daughter Margaret Stewart (c. 1462-c. 1503), daughter of James II, Margaret Crichton was probably raised at the Royal court. At some point, she had an illegitimate son, David, later Bishop of Ross, and possibly a daughter, Katherine, was Patrick Paniter (Panter) (c. 1472- 1519),
(c. 1470 – 1519), the King's secretary. Perhaps because of this, around 1506, she made a rather low status marriage to Edinburg Burgess William Todrik. Widowed in 1507, by 1510 she had married George Halkerston, Burgess and Custumar (customs – collector) of Edinburgh, and had one son. George died at Flodden (1513); Margaret Crichton and Janet Paterson, widow of Edinburg's Provost and Co-customar, then took over the customs collection. Margaret Crichton was so customar for a month in 1516. She had married George, Earl of Rothes (d. 1558), by August 15 17. Several children were born but the marriage was dissolved in December 15 20. Margaret Crichton kept life interest in certain lands, but resided mainly in Edinburgh.

Her mother had been engaged to George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, and later to Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, brother-in-law of Edward IV. These were attempts to make political alliances with England, but neither of these alliances took place.

The History Of Scotland - Volume 2: From The Death Of Wallace To James III.
Andrew Lang
Jazzybee Verlag, 2012

"William, Lord Crichton, had a wife of noted beauty, a daughter of the noble house of Dunbar. Learning that she had been seduced by the King, her Lord took a resolve, rash, indeed, but congenial to wounded love and injured honour . He corrupted the King's younger sister, remarked for her beauty, and infamous for an incestuous love with her Royal brother. By her Crichton begat Margaret Crichton, whose death is recent." No evidence is given by him who first adds related and then reviled Queen Mary. Mr. Tytler points out that the wife of William, Lord Crichton, was not a lady of the house of Dunbar. Lady Janet Dunbar was Crichton's mother not his wife. Did James seduce that respectable matron? Mr. Burnett, an eminent authority, accepts the opinion that Creighton, about 1482, did seduce James's sister, Margaret, and so, probably, prevent her marriage with Lord Rivers. Leslie's tale that James had a mistress, "The Daisy" (is this another stroke at Margaret,), is a mere popular tradition. If it were true, James would be no worse than Knox's (faithful laird of Raith," or Zen most man and monarchs. The early Scottish historians were lively; but it is deplorable that the modern writer must often regard to romances as fairytales to the great lost of anecdotes and personal interest.

The Great Historic Families of Scotland, Volume 1
James Taylor
Firtue, 1889

"Lord Crichton's grandson was the son-in-law of James II, and it is said to have seduced a sister of James III in revenge for that monarch having dishonored his bed."

The poetical works of Walter Scott
sir Walter Scott (bart.)

"In 1483, it was garrisoned by Lord Creighton, then it's proprietor, against King James III, whose displeasure he had incurred by seducing his sister Margaret, in revenge, it is said, for the monarch having dishonored his bed."

Remarks Upon Scotch Peerage Law: As Connected with Certain Points in the Late Case of the Earldom of Devon; to which are Added, Desultory Observations Upon the Nature, and Descent of Scotch Peerages, &c. &c
John Riddell
T. Clark, 1833

"One or two observations more may be added with respect to Margaret Crichton every account concurs in stating that she was the daughter of William Lord Crichton, forfeited in 1483, by Margaret youngest sister of James IV, which is corroborated by her being styled "consanguinee nostre" (I'd i.e.of James IV) in a Royal charter in 1517, in favor of herself, and George Earl of Rothes, formerly quoted. Buchanan, her cotemporary, informs us, that Crichton resenting an intrigue of James III with his wife, whom he dearly loved, seduced the Princess, – – a person, although young and beautiful, of depraved character, being even charge was too much familiarity with her own brother, – – by whom he had to same Margaret Crichton, who, the historian adds, died not very long previous to do. When he wrote. The impression has long prevailed, that there never was any marriage between Crichton and the Princess, – – certainly, if we are to believe Buchanan, the most dissolute of women – – and it is far from being unlikely, considering the silence and oblivion to which she is consigned, – – her name being even unknown to some writers – – in the very low alliances which are unfortunate daughter was originally doomed to make. She first appears in 1505, in the humble capacity of the wife of William Todrick, Burgess of Edinburgh, to whom she is then proved to have been contracted in marriage,…"
Crichton Castle, Midlothian

Scotland Delineated. A Series of Views of the Principal Cities and Towns, Particulary Öf Edinburgh and Its Environs: of the Cathedrals, Abbeys, and Other Monastie Remains
John Parker Lawson
Day, 1858

The first public appearance of Sir William Crichton was his appointment, in 1423, as one of the deputation to congratulate James I on his marriage; and when that monarch returned from his English captivity, Crichton became master of the Royal household. In 1426, he was one of the envoys to Eric, King of Denmark, to negotiate a perpetual Amity, and he was the favorite during the reign of James I, attaining and Eminence rather from political than military talent. At the is accession of James II, Sir William Crichton was constituted Lord Chancellor, and the government of the kingdom was consigned to him and to Sir Alexander Livingstone, with the custody of the juvenile monarch's person, and the command of Edinburgh Castle. He was chief contriver for of the murder, after a mock trial, of William, Earl of Douglas, and his brother David, then youths, and Fleming of Cumbernauld, in that fortress, in 1400. Crichton was dismissed from the office of Chancellor, in 1444, by James II, to whom he was personally odious, and he secured himself in Edinburgh Castle sustaining a siege, and afterwards a blockade of some months. Meanwhile Crichton Castle was taken and dilapidated by John Forrester of Corstorphine, and adherent of the Douglas family, to revenge the treacherous hospitality which the Earl and his brother had received within its walls on the day before they were inveigled into Edinburgh Castle. Creighton retaliated in 1445 by foraying the lands of Corstorphine near Edinburgh, and those of Abercorn and Blackness in Linlithgowshire. Yet his political sagacity enabled him when he surrendered Edinburgh Castle, to retain his estates and acquire honors. He was created Lord Crichton in 1445, and restored to the Chancellorship in 1447, which he held to his death, in 1454, after a long and determined feud the powerful Douglas family, whom he had result to annihilate. His elevation as Lord Crichton is said to have been the reward for negotiating the marriage of James II to Mary of Gueldres.

Lord Crichton left a son and two daughters, the one married to Alexander, first Earl of Huntly, and the other two Alexander, Lord Glammis. James, the son who succeeded as second Lord, was commonly styled of Frendraught during his father's lifetime, having acquired that extensive property in Aberdeenshire by his marriage to the Elder of the two daughters and coheiresses of James Dunbar, Earl of Moray. William, third Lord, succeeded his father in 1469, and was forfeited in February 1483 – 4, for his connection with the conspiracy of the Duke of Albany to dethrone James III. If you can and is to be credited, this Lord Crichton had sustained an injury from the King which was not likely to be effaced or forgiven. That monarch is accused of seducing the wife of Lord Crichton, who revenged himself by forming an injury, and afterwards the marriage, was the Princess Margaret, the King's sister, against him the most deplorable charges alleged. Buchanan designates lady Crichton as of the family of Dunbar, but it thepeerage list are correct he has mistake and a lady for her mother-in-law, the wife of the second Lord. The daughter of this singular marriage died without issue not long before Buchanan commenced his history of Scotland.

The temporary possessor of Crichton Castle, after the forfeiture of this third Lord Crichton, was Sir John Ramsey of Balmain, youthful favorite of James III, who narrowly escaped the indignation of the enraged nobility at the memorable "raid of Lauder," in 1482. He was created Lord Bothwell in 1483, appointed Lord high Treasurer, and he enjoyed other offices of influence by the favor of the King, whose entreaties had saved him from the fate of the then Royal minions. Meanwhile Lord Crichton was recalled from exile on the condition of marrying the Princess Margaret, and was received with favor by James III at Inverness; but is neither party long survived the reconciliation, Lord Crichton, who died at Inverness, never obtained a full pardon.

A Genealogical History of the Dormant: Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire
Sir Bernard Burke
Harrison, 1866 - Baronetage


By Letters Patent, dated 29 August, 1642


William Crichton, high Chancellor of Scotland (son of John Crichton, of Crichton, and grandson of William de Crichton, his second son, Stephen, of Cairns, was father of the Earl of Caithness), made a conspicuous figure and Scottish history in the reigns of King James I and II. His first public appearance was in 1423, when he went to England to wait upon King James I, and conduct him home. According to Fordun, he was created Lord Crichton, 1445, and reappointed high Chancellor, 1447. The next year he passed on a solemn Embassy to France to renew the alliance with that kingdom, and conclude the marriage of King James II was Mary, dau of Arnold, Duke of the Guelder, which he happily settled. On the Chancellor's return home he founded the collegiate church of Crichton, 26, 1449, and continued prime minister of Scotland until his death in 1454. By Agnes his wife he had issue,

James, of whom presently
Elizabeth, m.Alexander, first Earl of Huntly
Agnes, m.1st, Alexander, fourth Lord Glammis; secondly, Walter Ker of Cessord.

The only son,
James Crichton, second Lord Crichton, knighted by King James I, at the baptism of his eldest son, 1430, m.lady Janet Dunbar, eldest dau. And coheir of James, Earl of Moray, with whom he got the barony of Frendraught. He was, under the designation of Sir James Crichton, of Frendraught, appointed great Chamberlain of Scotland, 1440, and held that office till 1453. He d.about 1469, leaving issue,

William, third Lord
Gavin, obtained a charter of the lands of   Molyne, Rahillis, Monigep, and Cronzeantoun, in the Barony of Kirkmichael, co. Dumfries, 24 January, 1477, from his brother, and was forfeited for treason by the Parliament of Scotland, 24 February 1483 – 4 for engaging in Albany's rebellion.
George, also forfeited 24 February 1483 – 4, for the same offense.

The eldest son,
William Crichton, third Lord Crichton, who having joined the Duke of Albany in his rebellion against King James III, garrisoned his Castle of Crichton on behalf of the Duke, for which she was forfeited by the Parliament of Scotland, 24 February, 1483 – 4. He m. Margaret, second daughter of King James II, by whom he had (with a dau. Margaret, George, fourth Earl of Rothes), a son,
Sir James Crichton, who m.Catherine, eldest daughter of William, Lord Borthwick, by whom he had a son,

The Thanage of Fermartyn Including the District Commonly Called Formartine: Its Proprietors, with Genealogical Deductions; Its Parishes, Ministers, Churches, Churchyards, Antiquities &c
William Temple
Wyllie & sons, 1894


The earliest notice of Frendraught is about 1202, when Michael de Ferendrach is a witness to a charter given by William the Lion. This Michael de Ferendrach also witnesses a charter of Alexander II, 1226. In 1257, Pope Alexander IV confirmed to the Abbot and Convent of Arbroath a grant made by William de Ferendrach of the fruits of the benefice of the Church de Ferendrach. Besides the lands of Ferendrach, from which the family derived their surname, they had other lands in Perthshire. There is a charter update 1282, confirming the lands of Cupermacultin, Fordui, and others, Dunfermline, to Malcolm de Ferendrach, in such wise as they were held by John de Ferendrach. In 1286, and a charter given by Simon, Thane of Arberchirder, Malcolm de Ferendrach and John de Ferendrach are mentioned as witnesses. The next to be found, and the greatest of the family, and is

Duncan de Ferendrach

he married about the end of the 13th century Marjorie, daughter of Gilbert de Glencairnie, and at the same time Gilbert granted to Duncan to Ferendrach, on the occasion that the marriage, the lands of Congarch in the holding of Abernethy. In Bain's calendar of historical documents there are following notices of Sir Duncan: – –
"on 17 July, 1296, he swore fealty, and did homage to King Edward." His seal is said to be a red wax, and is thus charged "on a shield within round tracery are three wolves heads on a chief. On October 24, 1296, there is a writ to the Sheriff of Forfar to restore his lands to Duncan to Ferendrach, of Reginald Chenne. Again we find, in October, 1305, Sir Duncan keeper of the forest of Boyne (Buthyn), when he is commanded to give John Comyn, Earl of Buchan six hinds and 25 Oaks fit for timber.

Sir Duncan was in high favor with Edward; was knighted by that monarch, and was appointed one of 13 (an unlucky number), by which, along with a Viceroy, he proposed to govern Scotland. "Man proposes, but God disposes." After Bannockburn, he orbited all his estates, and was obliged to with draw to England, where he was received and thanked by Edward II for his loyalty. He was slain in battle and that Monarch's service sometime before may, 13 and, and his widow, Marjorie, and her father, Gilbert de Glencairnie, were long pensioners on the English King's bounty. From Bain's ancient documents, we find the following notices regarding them: – –
"in 1310 there is a warrant to the Bishop of Chichester, Chancellor, issued letters in favor of Marjorie, widow of Sir Duncan to Ferendrach, who was lately killed in the King's service, or payment of 10 shillings per day, which the King has granted to support herself since she came to stay at York. Also the King commands Sheriff of York to pay Marjorie, widow of Sir Duncan de Ferendrach, are annuity of 49 merks, in lieu of the Manor of Briggestoke and Northhampton, then granted to Isabella, the mother of the Queen, or life." Lady Marjorie is regularly paid till Michaelmas, 1348, when it ceases at her death. As to Gilbert Glencairnie, her father, there are the following gifts: – – "York, October 20 1319 – 20. Take two Gilbert de Glencairnie 50 merks for the last Easter and Michaelmas terms." This grant was first made by King Edward II for the said Gilbert's good service. 200 merks are also paid, on 30 April, 1320, two Gilbert de Glencairnie, a pensioner in Scotland, in aid of his ransom.

Sir Duncan de Ferendrach, as already mentioned, was forfaulted and deprived of all his possessions. In Robertson's index of lost charters, one of the earliest charters by King Robert the Bruce is is one to John De Seneschal (John Stewart), of the lands of Ferendrach, and from its place and index, the date may be about 1309. Sir Duncan, according to Dr. Stuart, left an only daughter, Margaret de Ferendrach; but Lord Saltoun, in his history of Frasers of Philorth, is of the opinion that she was the daughter of the above named John Stuart. The arms of the seal of her son, James Fraser of Frendraught, of which an impression remains attached to the Act of Succession to the Throne, March, 1371, showed that on a triangular shield he bore "a fess cheque' between three roses in chief, and as many in base, the last two and one. Crest, on a helmet a Wolf's head, issuing from a Coronet." This crest, according to his Lordship, was evidently taken from the old insignia of Frendraught, for the seal of Sir Duncan de Ferendrach, as already mentioned, in 1296, shows that his armorial bearings were three wolves' heads; but there is nothing in his coat armor account for the “fess cheque,” which probably points to a connection with the Stewart.

Sir Jon Stewart of Bonhill, second son of Alexander, high steward of Scotland, said to have been born in 1246, and was killed at the battle of Falkirk in 1298. He left a numerous issue, and his fifth son, whose first may be reasonably placed about 1280, was named John. It is evident that he would have been of sufficient age to receive the grant of lands of Frendraught in 1309, and to have been the father of Margaret de Ferendrach, who married, in 1322, by a dispensation from Pope John XXII, James Fraser. The fess cheque in the arms of the son of that marriage points to the supposition that his mother was Margaret Stewart. The matter, however, can out now be properly settled.

James Fraser and Margaret de Ferendrach Lord steward of Frendraught

this James Fraser is believed to have been the brother of Sir Alexander Fraser, Chamberlain of Scotland, and the youngest son of Sir Andrew Fraser Sheriff of Stirling in 1293. He assisted, was others of his clan, the young Earl of Moray, in the command of the Scottish Army at, Homildon Hill, where he perished. The next to be found it is

II Sir James Fraser of Frendraught

He is believed to be the son of James Fraser and Margaret de Ferendrach. In 1369, he appears as James Frazier of Frendraught; and, in 1371, "Dominus Jacobus Fraser, miles Alexander Skrimechour” were pro curators for the Abbot in monastery Arbroath. He was one of the barons bearing the rank of night that attended the coronation of Robert second, March 27, 1371. Under the designation of "Jacobus Fraser Dominus de Frendraught, miles," he was found witnessed a numerous charters, down to the year 1395, when he received from Robert the third "the grants of the annual rent of Carnowne and Culmesty, in the barony of Frendraught." He probably died soon after. The next to be found is

III James Fraser of Frendraught

in 1402, James Fraser, "Dominus de Frendraught," granted to the Abbey of Melrose, the lands of Cambustown, in the barony of Lossidown and sheriffdom of the County of Roxburgh, which had been in the possession of the old family of Ferendrach to Ferendrach. His seal is attached to the charter of these lands, and shows a bend sinister indenture between three cinque foils, two and one. "No reason," says Lord Saltoun, "can be given for the change at the fess cheque into the bend sinister indented, or why he should have three cinque foils instead of six." James Fraser of Frendraught also granted to lands of Little Glensaughe in Kincardine to the Whitefriars of Aberdeen, and he was a vassal of the Abbot of Dunfermine for the lands of to Cuparmaculty, Fordui, Dulmanack, and Lytillkethe, in the sheriffdom of Perth; the last which he granted to Henry de Ferendrach, probably of the old Frendraught family; and the charter was confirmed by the Abbot, John de Torry, in 1404. The next is

IV Matilda Fraser of Frendraught

it is impossible (according to Lord Saltoun) to say whether she was a daughter or sister of the last named James Fraser. Dr. Stuart said she was daughter, but there is no evidence to show. She married Alexander Dunbar, second son of John Dunbar, Earl of Moray, and thus the line of Frasers of Frendraught appears to have terminated any female at the beginning of the 15th century, as there is no record of any Junior branch of the family. Alexander Dunbar and Matilda Fraser at issue a son,

V James Dunbar Frendraught, and VIII Earl of Moray

he was, along with the Earl of Moray and others, one of the hostages for James I to the English. He succeeded his cousin Thomas, third Earl of Moray. His estate of Frendraught was valued at 500 merks Scots. He was twice married; first to his cousin, Isabel, daughter of Walter Innes of that ilk, but as this union was within the degrees of consanguinity forbidden by the church, it was alleged the marriage was not valid without a dispensation from the Pope; but she died before that could be obtained, leaving issue, by the Earl, a son, Alexander, who, though he did not succeed to the earldom of Moray, got the lands of Westfield in Morayshire, Conzie in Forgue, and many others. From him are descended Gavin, Bishop of Aberdeen, the Dunbars of Mochrum, the Dunbars of Northfield, the Dunbars of Akergill and Hempriggs, &c. the Earl married secondly, Jane, daughter of the Earl of Huntly, by whom he had issue: – –
  1. Janet, of whom hereafter
  2. Elizabeth, who was married to Archibald, third son of James, eighth Earl of Douglas,
    who, according to "Douglas'peerage," by the prevailing influence of the family,
    obtained the earldom of Moray, and prejudiced of the said Alexander Dunbar of Westfield,
    and her older sister Janet. It seems, however, that both ladies called themselves countesses of Moray,
    as will be seen afterwards.

VI Janet Dunbar of Frendraught

she was married to Sir James Crichton, Lord Chamberlain of Scotland, and heir of Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and brought into that family the lands of Frendraught. They had the following issue: – –

I. William, third Lord Crichton
II. Gavin
III. George

It is recorded in “Douglas' peerage”that Archibald Douglas, the husband of her younger sister, Elizabeth, obtained, through the influence of his family, the earldom of Moray; yet we find that Sir James Crichton, the husband of Janet, "belted Earl of Moray in 1452, and in October 8, 1454, after his death, Janet styles herself Countess of Moray, and that during the lifetime of her brother-in-law, Archibald Douglas." But in a resignation to the King in October, 1462, she styles herself simply Janeta de Dunbar, Domina de Frendraught. Both his sisters, at the same time it appears, styled themselves "Countesses of Moray."
    VII William, III Lord Crichton,
eldest son of Janet Dunbar and Sir James Crichton, married, according to Douglas, the Princess Margaret, daughter of King James II, but according to the Sheriff Riddell, he married a daughter of Lord Lauristown. Probably he was twice married. He joined the Duke of Albany in his rebellion against his brother, James III, and garrisoned the Castle of Crichton and his behalf, and he was in consequence attainted for treason by Parliament, February 24, 1483. His brothers, Gavin and George, or also forfaulted for joining in the same rebellion. On his forfeiture he lost the Castle of Crichton, a very ancient and magnificent structure, their ruins of which still remain. In the fourth Canto of Marmion, Scott has very minutely described this relic of the feudal ages when he introduces Marmion as a guest.

At length of that wide Dale they wind,
Where Crichton's Castle crowns the bank,
For there is a lion's care assigned
A lodging meet from Marmion's rank.

Lord Crichton had issue: – –
I.James, who succeeded
I._____, daughter, married to the Earl of Rothes.

Old lady Janet prudently kept Frendraught in her own hand. She made it over to her grandson, James Crichton, November 2, 1493, and so save the estate.

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