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Sandilands


This name comes from the lands of Sandilands in Clydesdale. The family who were later to bear the name, may originally have fled to Scotland from Northumberland in the reign of Malcolm III.

Sir James de Sandilands distinguished himself in the wars against the English, and was rewarded with a royal chartyer to his lands by David II.

He married Eleanor, the only daughter of Sir Archibald Douglas, Regent of Scotland, who was the widow of Alexander Bruce, Earl of Carrick. Sandilands received from his brother-in-law, Lord Douglas, the lands of Calder in Lothian. Sir James was killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.

The Sandilands found themselves in opposition to their Douglas releatives as they were unshakeablein their loyalty to James II. John Sandilands and his uncle, James were assasinated at Dumbarton by Patrick Thornton on the orders of the Douglas faction.

James Sandilands then inherited the estates and married an heiress, Margaret Kinlock of Cruvie. One of their sons, James Sandilands of Cruvie, established the line later to become Lords Abercrombie.

Sir James Sandilands of Calder, a friend of the protestant reformer, John Knox, was also preceptor of the powerful religious and military Order of the Knights of St John, whose headquarters were at the Priory of Torphicen in West Lothian.

When the Order was suppressed he managed to obtain a grant of its land on payment to the Crown of ten thousand crowns in gold and an annual rent of five hundred merks.

Sir James kept his seat in Parliament, being created Lord Torphicen.

The first Lord s half-brother, Sir James Sandilands of Slamannan, was a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James VI and later the keeper of Blackness Castle. The second Lord had four sons, two of whom were to succeed to the family title. John ,the fourth Lord, although a supporter of Charles I strongly advised against the plan known as Engagement, which was sought to invade England in 1648 to rescue the king, in return for certain conditions, after he had been handed over to Parliament by the Scots army.

The plan was ill-conceived, and ended in disaster. James, seventh Lord Torphicen, took his seat in Parliament in 1704 and was a supporter of the Treaty of Union.

He served in the army on the Continent only returning to Scotland at the outbreak of the rising of 1715. He fought at the battle of Sheriffmuir. In 1722 he was appointed by George I one of the Commissioners of Police. His eldest son was wounded during the campaigns of 1745 against the forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender:and he later died of consumption.

His second son, Walter, who had embarked upon a career in the law, succeeded to the title while sheriff of Midlothian. James, the sheriff,s son was a colonel in the Coldstream Gaurds and was elected a representative peer to the House of Lords from 1790 to 1800. He was succeeded by his first cousin, James, from whom the present Lord Torphicen, who still lives at Calser, is lineally descended.


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