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page 67

The estate of Traquair was originally a royal domain, and was conferred by Robert Bruce on his warm friend and devoted adherent, Lord James Douglas. After passing through various hands, it came into possession of an ancestor of the Murrays of Elibank, and was forfeited by William Murray in 1464. It was given to William Douglas of Cluny, but was almost immediately thereafter assigned to the Boyds. On the forfeiture of Robert, Lord Boyd, the head of this powerful family, in 1469, the estate was resumed by the Crown, but was shortly after conferred upon Dr. William Rogers, an eminent musician, and one of the favourites of the ill-starred James III. After holding the lands for upwards of nine years, Dr. Rogers sold them for an insignificant sum, in 1478, to James Stewart, Earl of Buchan, the second son of Sir James Stewart, called the Black Knight of Lorn, by Lady Jane Beaufort, widow of James I. The Earl conferred Traquair, in 1491, on his natural son, JAMES STEWART, the founder of the Traquair family. He obtained letters of legitimation, and married the heiress of the Rutherfords, with whom he received the estates of Rutherford and Wells in Roxburghshire. Like the great body of the chivalry of Tweeddale, and the 'Flowers of the Forest,' he fell along with his sovereign on the fatal field of Flodden in 1513. Four of the sons of this stalwart Borderer possessed the Traquair estates in succession, one of whom was knighted by Queen Mary when she created Darnley Duke of Albany, and was appointed captain of her guard, and, no doubt in that capacity, is said to have accompanied the Queen and her husband in their flight to Dunbar after the murder of Rizzio. He continued a steady friend of the ill-fated princess, and was one of the barons who entered into a bond of association to support her cause after her escape from Loch Leven in 1568.
page 376

GILBERT, the tenth Earl, was a staunch Royalist during the troublous times of the Great Civil War, and raised a regiment at his own expense for the service of Charles II. 'We do promise,' wrote that monarch, 'that as soon as it shall please Almighty God to put an end to the present troubles, the claims of our said cousin, the said Earl of Errol, shall be favourably considered and justice done, so that he may see how highly we esteem that ancient family, and the value we set upon his present services.' But, as usual, the promise was not kept by 'the laughter-loving king, whose word no man relied on.' On the death of Earl Gilbert without issue, his titles and estates devolved upon SIR JOHN HAY of Killour, grandson of Sir George Hay, the younger son of the seventh Earl. His son CHARLES, the twelfth Earl, died unmarried in 1717, and the title, with its privileges, and honours, and the remnant of the once-extensive possessions of the family, passed to his elder sister, LADY MARY, the wife of Alexander Falconer, son of Sir David Falconer, Lord President of the Court of Session. At the death of the Countess without issue it was inherited by LORD BOYD, the grandson of his sister, who married James, fifth Earl of Linlithgow and fourth Earl of Callandar, to whom she bore an only child, Lady Anne Livingston, the wife of the Earl of Kilmarnock. Lord Boyd would have united in his own person the earldoms of Errol, Kilmarnock, Linlithgow, and Callandar had the three last not been attainted at the close of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. His father, the amiable but unfortunate Earl of Kilmarnock, when in his twelfth year, had fought for the Hanoverian dynasty in 1715, but changed sides and joined the banner of Prince Charles Stewart in 1745. He had been soured by the ill treatment he had received from the Government in withholding his pension, and was so miserably poor that he was frequently obliged to depend upon the hospitality of his friends for a dinner. His wife, the Countess of Linlithgow and Callandar in her own right, was a lady of great spirit and wit, and she contributed not a little to the success of the Highland army at the battle of Falkirk, by detaining General Hawley at Callandar House until the insurgents had taken up a commanding position on the moor, which enabled them to engage the royal troops at a great advantage.
page 377

The Earl of Kilmarnock was taken prisoner at the battle of Culloden. His second son, the Hon. Charles Boyd, also espoused the Jacobite cause, but his eldest son fought on the Hanoverian side, As the Earl was led along before the royal troops bareheaded, his hat having fallen off and not been replaced by the soldiers to whom he had surrendered, Lord Boyd, his son, started from the ranksand placed his own hat on his father's head. This act of filial affection and reverence produced a deep impression even on the soldiers who witnessed it, though certainly 'not given to the melting mood.'* and the third son was an officer in the Royal Navy. The Earl was brought to trial, along with the Earl of Cromartie and Lord Balmerino, before the House of Lords in Westminster Hall, on the 28th of July,1746. He pleaded guilty, and when brought before the court, on the 30th, to receive sentence of death, he urged, as reasons why clemency should be shown to him, that his family had constantly supported the Revolution of 1688, and the interests of the House of Hanover; that his father had shown great zeal and activity in the cause of the reigning family during the rebellion of 1715; and that he himself, though very young, had at that time appeared in arms on the same side; and that his eldest son, whom he had trained in loyal principles, had fought at Culloden in behalf of King George. No regard, however, was paid to these pleas by the sovereign or his advisers, and Lord Kilmarnock was beheaded on Tower Hill, on the 18th of August, 1746. His behaviour on the scaffold was dignified, firm, and composed. He acknowledged the justice of his sentence, prayed for the reigning King and his family; and when the Deputy-Lieutenant of the Tower, according to an ancient custom, said, 'God save King George' the Earl answered, 'Amen' knelt calmly on the block, and submitted to the fatal blow. 'His whole behaviour,' says the Rev. Mr. Forster, who attended the Earl on the scaffold, 'was so humble and resigned, that not only his friends, but every spectator, was deeply moved; and even the executioner was deeply moved.'


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