a surname of great antiquity in Scotland, derived from the lands of
Edmonstone in the county of Edinburgh, its origin being Edmundus
and toun, a baronial residence.
pretends that in the train of the princess Margaret, sister of Edgar
Etheling, when she took refuge in North Britain in 1070, there was a
knight named Edmundus, supposed to be a younger son of Count Egmont of
Flanders, and that he acquired from David I. lands in Mid-Lothian, to
which he gave his name; but for this there is no authority, and it seems
probable that the once powerful race of Seton, to whom these lands are
said once to have belonged, was the parent stock. The arms of Seton and
Edmonstone are the same.
The first of the
name on record was Henricus de Edmunstone of Edmonstone, in 1248. About
100 years later Sir John de Edmunstone is recorded as the son of Henry.
This Sir John de Edmunstone, a person of note in the reign of David II.,
was much employed in missions to England, and from that monarch he
received the barony of Boyne, in Banffshire.
His son, of the
same name, married the princess Isabella Stewart, daughter of Robert II.,
and widow of James, earl of Douglas and Mar, slain at the battle of
Otterburn in 1388. Sir John Edmundstone was employed as ambassador in
negotiating different treaties with England, during the reign of his
brother-in-law, Robert, duke of Albany, during the captivity of James I.
in 1407 and subsequent years. From this marriage descended the elder
branch of the family, which about the middle of the 18th
century became extinct in the male line.
Edmonstone, which they sold in 1671, the Edmonstones likewise possessed
Ednam in Roxburghshire, a grant of Robert III.
The direct and
immediate ancestor of the Edmonstones of Duntreath was Sir Archibald,
probably a younger son of the first Sir John. His son, Sir William
Edmonstone of Culloden, married (as her 4th husband) the
princess Mary Stewart, countess dowager of Angus, eldest daughter of
Robert III., and Queen Annabella Drummond, and in 1445 he obtained from
her nephew, James II., the lands of Duntreath in Stirlingshire, a portion
of the forfeited estates of Lennox, on the attainder of Duncan, the last
earl of that family. Duntreath, in the Gaelic, signifies “hill of the
chief,” and ever since it came into their possession it has remained the
principal seat of the Edmonstones.
son, another Sir William, took an active part in public affairs during the
disturbed reign of James III., and was more than once one of the Lords of
the Articles. He had a son, Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, knight
who was by James IV. appointed captain of Doune castle, and steward of
Monteith and Strathgartney. By his wife, Janet, daughter of Sir James Shaw
of Sauchie, comptroller of Scotland, and governor of Stirling castle under
James the Third, he had three sons, – Sir William, his heir; James,
ancestor of the Edmonstones of Broich in Stirlingshire; Jacob, of the
Edmonstones of Balinton, in Perthshire, and five daughters; Janet, married
to William, first earl of Montrose; Catherine, to John, second earl of
Eglinton; Christian, to John, second lord Ross; Margaret, to George
Buchanan of Buchanan, and Beatrix, to James Muschet of Burnbank, in
Edmonstone of Duntreath, knight, after his father’s death in 1502, was by
James the Fourth appointed captain of Doune castle and steward of
Monteith. He sold Culloden to Strachan of Scotstown and fell on Flodden
field 9th September 1513. By Sybilla, daughter of Sir William
Baillie of Lamington, he left three sons, – Sir William, who succeeded
him; Archibald, ancestor of the Edmonstones of Spittal; James, ancestor of
the Edmonstones of Newton and Cambuswallace; and several daughters, the
eldest of whom, Marion, was married to John Campbell of Glenorchy,
paternal ancestor of the earls of Breadalbane.
son, Sir James, filled some important offices in the reign of James VI.
His grandson, William Edmonstone of Duntreath, married Isabel, daughter of
Sir John Haldane of Gleneagles in Perthshire (a female descendant of whom
was the mother of the first Viscount Duncan,) and had three sons,
Archibald, his successor, James and John. The last married the sole
heiress of Edmonstone of Broich.
Edmonstone of Duntreath, the eldest son, was a member of the parliament
which met at Edinburgh in 1633, when Charles I. presided in person, and
being a strict presbyterian, he strongly opposed all his attempts for the
establishment of episcopacy in Scotland. by Jean, daughter and heiress of
Hamilton of Halcraig, the brother of Viscount Claneboy, in Ireland, he had
two sons, – William, who, being born deaf and dumb, was set aside from the
inheritance, and Archibald, who succeeded to the estate, and had a son,
Archibald, and two daughters.
son, designed of Duntreath and Red Hall, county Antrim, Ireland, married
for his 2d wife, Anne, daughter of the Hon. John Campbell of Mamore, son
of 9th earl of Argyle, and had Sir Archibald Edmonstone,
created a baronet of Great Britain in 1774. He was for many years M.P. for
the county of Dumbarton, and the Ayr district of burghs, and on his death
in July 1807, he was succeeded by his third, but eldest surviving son, Sir
Charles Edmonstone, second baronet, M.P. for the county of Stirling from
1812 till his death, on April 1, 1821. The second baronet was twice
married. By his first wife, the fifth daughter of Richard Wilbraham
Bootle, Esq., and sister of the first lord Skelmersdale, he had a son, Sir
Archibald Edmonstone, third baronet, the author of ‘A Journey to the Oases
of Upper Egypt;’ ‘The Progress of Religion, a Poem;’ ‘The Christian
Gentleman’s Daily Walk,’ and other works. He married in 1832, his cousin,
the daughter of Randle Wilbraham, Esq. of Rode Hall, Cheshire, but has no
children. The heir presumptive to the baronetcy is his half brother,
William, (a captain in the royal navy, 1853,) by his father’s second wife,
the daughter of Lord Hotham.
The estate of
Edmonstone in Mid Lothian now belongs to a family of the name of Wauchope,
John Wauchope, younger son of Sir John Wauchope of Niddry, having obtained
a charter of it on 9th June 1671. He was a lord of session,
under the judicial title of Lord Edmonstone, from November 1682 to
February 1688, but having disobliged the king he was, with Lord Harcarse,
arbitrarily dismissed from the bench.
branch of EDMONSTONE, see SUPPLEMENT.
an artist of considerable eminence, was born in Kelso, in 1794, and when a
boy, was bound apprentice to a watchmaker; but his strong love for
painting caused him to devote his whole energies to the study of art. His
first productions were brought out at Edinburgh, where they attracted much
attention, and procured for him the patronage of Baron Hume and other
gentlemen, who afterwards honoured him with their friendship. He was
induced by his success to settle in London, where he speedily attained an
honourable reputation. He afterwards resided for some years at Rome,
Naples, Florence, and Venice, and at all these cities prosecuted his
studies with an assiduity which materially affected his health. Among the
paintings which he finished at Rome if the picture of the ‘Ceremony of
kissing the Chains of St. Peter,’ which was exhibited at the British
gallery in 1833, and soon obtained a purchaser. While at Rome he had a
severe attack of fever, which obliged him to relinquish painting for a
considerable time. He returned to London at the close of 1832, and, with
his usual zeal, recommenced his professional labours, but in consequence
of his health becoming seriously injured by his unremitting application,
he retired to Kelso for the benefit of his native air, and died there
September 21, 1834. He excelled in works of imagination, which he
preferred to portraits, and was fond of introducing children into his
pictures, generally with the happiest effect.