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The Scottish Nation

EDMONDSTONE, 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.

      Tradition 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.

      Besides 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.

      Sir William’s 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 Perthshire.

      Sir William 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.

      Sir William’s 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.

      Archibald 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.

      Archibald, the 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.


      For Shetland branch of EDMONSTONE, see SUPPLEMENT.

EDMONSTONE, ROBERT, 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.

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