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SETON, a surname derived from Say-tun, the dwelling of Say. Anciently there were in England two families names Say, of Norman descent. The first of the race who came into Scotland was Secher or Saiker de Say, who obtained from David I. lands in Haddingtonshire, and was the ancestor of the noble family of Seton, earls of Winton. He was the son of Dugal de Say, by his wife, a daughter of De Quincy, earl of Winchester, constable of Scotland. Alexander de Seton, son of Secher, witnessed a charter of David I., to William de Riddell of the lands of Riddell in Roxburghshire. He was proprietor of Seton and Winton in East Lothian, and Winchburgh in Linlithgowshire, and his son, Philip de Seton, got a charter of these lands from William the Lion, to be held in capite of the crown. Philip’s eldest son, Sir Alexander de Seton, witnessed many charters of Alexander II., and also a donation of Sayer de Quincy, earl of Winchester, to the abbacy of Dunfermline, before 1233. His son, Serlo or Secher de Seton, had two sons and a daughter, Sir Alexander, Sir John, and Barbara, the wife of Sir William Keith, great marischal of Scotland. Among those who swore fealty to Edward I. in 1296 was Alisaundre de Seton, valet, Richard de Seton, del counte de Dunfres, and John de Seton of the same county. Sir Alexander, the elder son, was father of Sir Christopher Seton, who married Lady Christian Bruce, third daughter of Robert earl of Carrick, sister of King Robert I., widow of Gratney, earl of Mar. He was one of the principal supporters of his brother-in-law, and was present at his coronation at Scone 27th March 1306. At the disastrous battle of Methven, 13th June following, he rescued Bruce when he was unhorsed by Philip de Mowbray. He afterwards shut himself up in Lochdoon castle in Ayrshire, and on its surrender to the English, Sir Christopher Seton was, by order of Edward I., executed at Dumfries. He appears to have been succeeded by his brother Sir Alexander Seton, who signed, with other patriotic nobles, the famous letter to the Pope in 1320, asserting the independence of Scotland. He had grants from King Robert I. of various lands, as well as of the manor of Tranent and other extensive possessions previously belonging to the noble family of De Quincy, attainted for their espousal of the cause of Edward. He also got the lands of Falside or Fawside, forfeited by Alexander de Such, who married one of the daughters and heiresses of Roger de Quincy, earl of Winchester. Falside castle, situated near the boundary with Inveresk, was one of the ancient strong fortalices of the Setons. A younger branch of the family styled themselves the Setons of Falside. Their principal castle was Niddry in Linlithgowshire, the ruins of which still remain. Sir Alexander de Seton had a safe-conduct into England 7th January 1320, and Robert I. applied for another, 21st March 1327, for him to treat with the English. He was governor of the town of Berwick when it was besieged by the English in 1333. His son Thomas was given as a hostage to King Edward III., that that place would be surrendered on a certain day if not relieved before then. Sir William Keith having arrived with succours, assumed the governorship, and refused to deliver up the town. Edward ordered Thomas Seton, and, some accounts say, two sons of Keith, who had fallen into his hands, to be executed in sight of the besieged. The day after the defeat of the Scots army at Halidon-hill, 19th July 1333, Berwick surrendered to the English. Sir Alexander Seton was present in Edward Baliol’s parliament, 10th February following, when he witnessed the concession of Berwick to the English. He had a safe-conduct to go to England, 15th October 1337, and in August 1340, he was one of the hostages for John, earl of Moray, when he was liberated for a time. He appears to have entered into a religious order in his old age, as “Frater Alexander de Seton miles, hospitalis sancti Johannis Jerusalem in Scotia” had a safe-conduct into England on the affairs of David II., 12th August 1348. By his wife, Christian, daughter of Cheyne of Straloch, he had three sons and a daughter, namely, Alexander, killed in opposing the landing of Edward Baliol near Kinghorn, 6th August 1332; Thomas, already mentioned; and William, drowned in an attack on the English fleet at Berwick, in sight of his father, in July 1333. The daughter, Margaret, became heiress of Seton. She married Alan de Wyntoun, supposed to have been a cadet of the Seton family. This marriage, we are told, produced a feud in East Lothian, and occasioned more than a hundred ploughs to be laid aside from labour. His children took the name of Seton. He died in the Holy Land, leaving a son, Sir William Seton, and a daughter, Christian or Margaret, countess of Dunbar and March.

The only son, Sir William Seton of Seton, visited Jerusalem. He lived previously to 1366, and it is recorded of him that he “was the first creatit and maid lord in the parliament, and he and his posteritie to have ane voit yairin and be callit Lords.” Accordingly, in the Records of the Scottish parliament, held at Scone 26th March 1371, at the coronation of Robert II., William de Seton is named among the “Nobiles Barones,” as “Dominus de Seton.” He married Catherine, daughter of Sir William Sinclair of Hermandston, and had, with four daughters, two sons, Sir John and Sir Alexander. The latter married Elizabeth de Gordon, and was ancestor of the marquises of Huntly; the Setons of Touch, who held the office of hereditary armour-bearers to the king; the Setons of Meldrum, &c. Sir John Seton of Seton, the elder son, was taken at the battle of Homildon in 1402. He was one of the hostages for the release of James I. by the treaty of 4th December 1423, his annual revenue being estimated at 600 marks. He had a safe-conduct to meet the king, 13th of the same month, and was one of the guarantees of the treaty for his majesty’s release, 28th March 1424. He died in 1441. By his first wife, Lady Janet Dunbar, daughter of the tenth earl of Dunbar and March, he had a son, Sir William Seton, and two daughters.

Sir William Seton, the only son, accompanied the Scots auxiliaries to the assistance of Charles the dauphin in France, and was killed at the battle of Verneuil in Normandy, in the lifetime of his father, 17th August, 1424.

His son, George, accompanied the chancellor Crichton in his embassy to France and Burgundy, and had a safe-conduct to pass through England, April 23, 1448. He was soon afterwards created a peer of parliament, by the title of Baron Seton, (Douglas’ Peerage, Wood’s ed., vol. ii. p. 642), and 1448 is the date usually assigned as that of the creation of the peerage of Seton. He was one of the ambassadors to England to whom a safe-conduct was granted March 16, 1472. He died in 1478. By his first wife, Lady Margaret Stewart, only daughter and heiress of John, earl of Buchan, constable of France, killed at Verneuil in 1424, he had a son, John, who predeceased him, leaving a son, George, second Lord Seton. By a second wife, Christian Murray, of the house of Tullibardine, he had a daughter, Christian.

George, second Lord Seton, succeeded his grandfather. By the treaty of Nottingham, 22d September 1484, he was appointed one of the commissioners for settling border differences. He erected the church of Seton into a collegiate establishment for a provost, six prebendaries, two singing boys and a clerk, 20th June 1493, assigning for their support the tithes of the church and various chaplainries which had been established in it by his ancestors. He was one of the conservators of treaties with the English 30th September 1497, and 12th July 1499, and he witnessed the assignation of the dower of Margaret, queen of Scotland, 24th May 1503. He died in 1507. He is described as “meikle given to leichery, and was cunning in divers sciences, as in music, theology, and astrology. He was so given to learning that after he was married he went to St. Andrews and studied there long, and then went to Paris for the same purpose. He was, on a voyage to France, taken by some Dunkirkers, and plundered. To be revenged of them he bought a great ship called the Eagle, and harassed the Flemings. The keeping of that ship was so expensive that he was compelled to wadset (mortgage) and dispose of several lands.” (Douglas’ Peerage, Wood’s edition, vol. ii. p. 643.) He married Lady Margaret Campbell, eldest daughter of the first earl of Argyle, and with one daughter, Martha, the wife of Sir William Mailtland of Lethington, had two sons, George, third Lord Seton, and John, ancestor of the Setons of Northrig.

George, third Lord Seton, was a favourite of James IV., and fell with him at Flodden, 13th September 1513. He married Lady Janet Hepburn, eldest daughter of the first earl of Bothwell, and had one son, George, fourth Lord Seton, and one daughter, Mariot, countess of Eglinton.

George, fourth Lord Seton, was in 1526 appointed a member of the parliamentary committee pro judicibus, and admitted one of the extraordinary lords of session, 5th March, 1542. In March of the following year, Cardinal Bethune was placed in his custody in Blackness castle, but he permitted him to escape, being, according to the writers of the time, bribed for the purpose. It seems certain, however, that the cardinal was set at liberty with the consent of the governor, Arran. In May 1544, the English army, under the earl of Hertford, then in Lothian, “came and lay at Seton, burnt and destroyed the castle thereof, spoyled the kirk, tuk away the bellis and organis and other tursable (portable) thingis, and pat thame in thair schippis, and brint the tymber wark within the said kirk,” In November of the same year, he was employed by parliament as one of the negotiators between the governor of the kingdom Arran, and the queen-dowager, afterwards regent. He died in July 1545. At his request, Sir Richard Maitland compiled the History of the house of Seton. The following is the character he gives of him: “He was ane wise and vertewes nobleman; a man well experienced in all games, and took pleasure in halking, and was holden to be the best falconer in his days.” He was twice married, first to Elizabeth, daughter of John, Lord Hay of Yester, by whom he had, with four daughters, three sons, namely, 1, George, fifth Lord Seton. 2. John, ancestor of the Setons of Carriston, Fifeshire. 3. James. Secondly, to Mary Pyeres or Peris, a French lady, who came to Scotland with Mary of Lorraine, and by her had one son, Robert.

George, fifth Lord Seton, was the chivalrous and devoted adherent of Mary, queen of Scots, and with two of his children, figures conspicuously in Sir Walter Scott’s tale of ‘The Abbot.’ He was one of the commissioners appointed by the parliament of Scotland, 17th December 1557, to be present at Mary’s nuptials with the dauphin of France. In 1558, when several of the nobility went to secret to hear the reformed preacher, John Willock, expound from his sickbed the doctrines of the Gospel, Lord Seton was one of them, but afterwards he was the first to fall back into popery. The following year he was provost of Edinburgh, and joined the party of the queen-dowager against the lords of the Congregation. Calderwood (Hist. of the Kirk of Scotland, vol. i. p. 474) says, “The erle of Argile and Lord James (afterwards the regent Moray) entered in Edinburgh the 29th June 1559. The Lord Seton, provost, a man without God, without honestie, and often times without reason, had diverse times before troubled the brethrein. He had takin upon him the protection of the Blacke and Gray friers, and for that purpose lay himself in one of them everie night, and also constrained the honest burgesses of the toun to watch and guarde these monsters, to their great greefe. When he heard of the suddane coming of the lords, he abandoned his charge.” In autumn of the same year he was sent by the queen-dowager, with the earl of Huntly, to solicit the brethren assembled in St. Giles’, Edinburgh, to allow mass to be said either before or after sermon, but of course they could get no other answer than that they were in possession of the church and would not suffer idolatry to be erected there again. About the same time, suspecting one Alexander Whitelaw to be John Knox, he pursued him as he came from Preston, accompanied with William Knox, towards Edinburgh, and did not give up the chase till he came to Ormiston. On Queen Mary’s return from France in 1561, he was sworn a privy councilor, and appointed master of the household to her majesty. The night after the murder of Rizzio, Lord Seton, with 200 horse, attended the queen first to Seton and then to Dunbar, Darnley being compelled by threats to go with her. On Darnley’s assassination, the queen and Bothwell, it is well known, went to Seton, where they remained for some days, and there the marriage contract between them was signed. Lord Seton was one of her chief supporters at Carberry Hill, and when she made her escape from Lochleven castle in the beginning of May 1568, he was lying secretly among the hills on the other side, and immediately joining her, conducted her first to his castle of Niddry, in Linlithgowshire, and then to Hamilton. He was present at the battle of Langside, and on the defeat of the queen’s forces there, retired to ‘Flanders. He remained two years in exile, and for his living was compelled to become a waggoner. A painting of him driving a wagon with four horses was in the north end of the long gallery of Seton. He was in Scotland in the spring of 1570 actively employed on behalf of Queen Mary. He was one of the nobles of her faction who signed the letter to Queen Elizabeth, dated in March of that year. On the report that the lords of the king’s party were to come to Edinburgh on the first of May, some of the queen’s lords left the town, but “Lord Seton assembled his forces at the palace of Holyrood-house, and bragged that he would enter in the town, and cause beat a drum, in despite of all the caries. He had in company with him the Lady Northumberland.” This lady was in Scotland on the captive queen’s behalf, and the same year she was sent with Lord Seton to the Low Countries to solicit the assistance of the duke of Alva for the friends of Mary’s cause in Scotland. On the downfall of the Regent Morton in 1581, he was committed to the charge of Lord Seton and sundry other noblemen, to be conveyed to Dumbarton castle. In January of the same year he was one of the lords of the king’s household, who subscribed the Second Confession of Faith, commonly called the King’s Confession. He was one of the jury on Morton’s trial, and with the laird of Wauchton was objected to by him, as known to be his enemies. At his execution, “Lord Seton and his two sons stood in a stair, south-east from the cross.” He was one of the noblemen who conveyed the duke of Lennox on his way to England in December 1582, when ordered out of Scotland. The following year he was complained upon by the synodal assembly of Lothian for entertaining of ‘Seminary priests.” In January 1584, he was sent by King James VI. ambassador to France, He died soon after his return, on 8th January 1585, aged about 55, and was buried in the family vault at Seton, where there is a monument to his memory. By his wife, Isabel, daughter of Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar, high-treasurer of Scotland, he had five sons and one daughter, Margaret, married to Lord Claud Hamilton. The sons were, 1. George, master of Seton, who predeceased his father in March 1562. 2. Robert, sixth Lord Seton. 3. Sir John Seton, Lord Barns, of whom afterwards. 4. Alexander Seton of Pluscardine, first earl of Dunfermline. 5. Sir William Seton of Kyllismore, sheriff of Mid Lothian and postmaster of Scotland. It is related that George, fifth Lord Seton, declined the dignity of earldom, being unwilling to forgo what he considered a great distinction, and that his accomplished sovereign commemorated the fact in the following lines:

“Sunt Comites, Ducesque alii, sunt denique Reges,
Setoni Dominium, sit satis esse mihi.”

An engraving of the Seton family from a painting by Sir Antonio More, consisting of Lord Seton and five youngest children, is given in Pinkerton’s Scottish Gallery. The following is a woodcut of it:

[woodcut of Lord Seton and family]

Robert, the second son, sixth Lord Seton, was created earl of Winton, 16th November 1600. (see WINTON, Earl of.)

Of his next brother, Sir John Seton, Lord Barns, the following particulars are given in Haig and Brunton’s Senators of the College of Justice: According to a historical account of the family written by Alexander, Lord Kingston, he “was a brave young man, and went to Spaine to King Philip II., his court, by whom he was made knight of the royal order of St. Jago, att that tyme the only order of knighthood in that kingdome of greatest esteem, in memory whereof, he and his heirs hes a sword in the coat of armes, being the badge of that order. King Philip also preferred him to be a gentleman of his chamber and cavalier de la Boca (master of the household). He also carried the golden key at his side in a blew ribbing, all which were the greatest honours King Philip of Spaine could give to any of his subjects, except to be made a grandee of Spaine. He had a pension granted to him and his heirs of two thousand crowns yearly.” (Melville’s Memoirs, p. 365.) He was recalled to Scotland by James VI., who appointed him treasurer of his household. He was constituted master of the horse, and in 1581, sent ambassador to Queen Elizabeth, to complain of the conduct of her ambassador in interfering on behalf of the Regent Morton, after his downfall, but was not allowed to enter England. He was appointed one of the extraordinary lords of session, as Lord Barns, in room of his brother, Alexander, admitted an ordinary lord, 17th February 1587. He was a favourite of the king, as well as of the duke of Lennox, who quarreled with the profligate earl of Arran (Captain Stewart) on account of an indignity offered to Sir John, by the latter. He was afterwards appointed comptroller, and died 25th May, 1594.

From the earliest period, the family of Seton filled a prominent place in the annals of Scotland. They were surpassed by none in loyalty to the throne and firm attachment to the dynasty of the Stuarts. Their military ardour, and dauntless and patriotic bearing appear from their ancient war-cry of “Set-on,” and their earliest motto of “Hazard, yet forward.” It was in consequence of so many other noble families having sprung from them that the Lords Seton were styled “Magnae Nobilitatis Domini.” Owing to their inter-marriages, upon four different occasions, with the royal family, their shield obtained the addition of the royal or double tressure. Their unshaken loyalty is marked by another of their mottoes, “Intaminatis fulget honoribus,” and it was this heroic spirit that led to the last earl of Winton, the descendant and representative of the Setons, joining in the rebellion of 1715, for which his titles and estates were forfeited. (See WINTON, Earl of.) The lands which the family held were very extensive, and their chief seat was recognized in the royal charters ad the palace of Seton, in consequence of having often been the place of royal entertainment, as for ages it had been the scene of great magnificence and splendid hospitality. The representation of the noble family of Seton is claimed both by the earl of Eglinton and George Seton, Esq.


John Seton, the first of the Setons of Carriston, younger son of George, sixth Lord Seton, and Elizabeth, daughter of John, Lord Yester, progenitor of the marquis of Tweeddale, obtained that estate by his marriage with Isabel, the daughter and heiress of Balfour of Carriston, Fifeshire. His grandmother, Lady Janet Hepburn, acquired for him the lands of Foulstruther in East Lothian. During the exile in Flanders of his brother George, fifth (sometimes called seventh) Lord Seton, a report having been spread of his death, John was put in possession of his whole estate, as appears by a charter under the great seal, dated in 1545. He also assumed the title of Lord Seton, and sat in parliament as a peer. On his brother’s return, he was obliged to relinquish both estate and title. Their temporary possession, however, proved very unfortunate to him and his descendants, as, to enable him to clear off the extraordinary expenses incurred thereby, he was compelled to sell his lands in East Lothian, as well as a portion of his estate in Fifeshire. He got a charter under the great seal from Queen Mary of the barony of Carriston, &c., dated in 1553. He had two sons, George Seton of Carriston, and Sir John Seton, knight, a captain in the Scots guards in France. The latter married a daughter of the count de Bourbon, and had a daughter, who married Adinston of that ilk, East Lothian, of whom was lineally descended Christian, fourth countess of Winton. The family of Adinston was, from the time of Robert the Bruce, the hereditary standard-bearers of the house of Seton. The estate of Carriston continued in the family of Seton in a direct male line till George eighth and last proprietor, who died, unmarried, in 1789. The representation of the family then devolved on his brother, Christopher, who died in 1819. His sister, Margaret, married Henry, grandson of David Seton of Blackhall, Fifeshire, fourth son of the fourth laird of Carriston, which estate had come into possession of the said David Seton by his marriage with Marjory, daughter and heiress of Alexander of Blackhall. Margaret had, with two daughters, two sons, David, a captain in the army, who died, without issue, in 1826, and George Seton of Bombay, who died in 1825, leaving one son, George Seton, B.A. of Oxford, born 25th June 1822, and two daughters, one of them the wife of Edward James Jenkins, Esq., and the other married to John Buchanan Hamilton, Esq. of Leny and Bardowie, chief of the clan Buchanan.

Besides the Setons of Carriston, already mentioned, there were several families of the name in Fifeshire, such as the Setons of Lathrisk, the Setons of Kirkforther, and the Setons of Drumaird. The lands of Lathrisk, in the parish of Kettle, were acquired by John Seton, descended from Seton of Parbroath, on his marriage with Janet Lathrisk of that ilk. About the middle of the last century, Lathrisk became the property of a family of the name of Johnston.


The Setons of Pitmedden are descended from William Seton, second son of Sir Alexander Seton who, in 1408, married Elizabeth de Gordon, heiress of Gordon, Huntly, and Strathbogie. He married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of William de Meldrum of Meldrum, and got with her that barony and other estates. He was killed, fighting under his brother, the earl of Huntly, at the battle of Brechin, in May 1452. His only son, Alexander Seton, was served heir to his mother, Elizabeth de Meldrum, in 1456. His son, William Seton of Meldrum, was put in possession of the estates in the lifetime of his father. Alexander Seton of Meldrum, the son of William, was served heir to his grandfather in 1512. He was murdered about the year 1536, by the master of Forbes. His eldest son, William Seton of Meldrum, was served heir to his father in 1553. He was twice married, and had five sons, one of whom, George Seton of Barras, was chancellor of Aberdeen.

James, the youngest son, was the first of Pitmedden. He was first styled of Bourtie, Aberdeenshire. He afterwards acquired the lands of Pitmedden, in the same county, as appears by a charter under the great seal from King James VI., dated 25th March 1619. His only son, Alexander Seton of Pitmedden, had three charters under the great seal, one dated 19th November 1622, another, 20th July 1626, and the third, 10th July 1630.

His son, John Seton of Pitmedden, accompanied the earl of Errol, lord-high-constable of Scotland, at the coronation of Charles I. in 1633. He was a steady loyalist, and in May 1638, the marquis of Huntly having been appointed the king’s lieutenant in the north, is said to have sent the following letter to him: “Right special cousin. Being resolved, upon a special commission from the king, to be present at Dalkeith, 6th June, for attending his majesty’s service there, and being desirous of both the company and advice of my best friends, as occasion may offer, I heartily entreat you, as one in whom I confide, to meet me at Fettercairn upon Friday 1 June at night, for accompanying me in that journey; and it shall oblige me at other times to acquit myself in your occasions, as one who is your assured cousin, Huntly.” This letter, quoted from Douglas’ Baronage, is dated “Aberdeen, 21st May 1638,” but Huntly was at that date a prisoner in Edinburgh castle. The date probably should be March. On the marquis’s second son, the Viscount Aboyne, arriving at Aberdeen in June, as commander of the king’s forces in the north, Seton joined his standard. He commanded a detachment of loyalist troops at the battle of the Bridge of Dee, and while riding along the river side with Lord Aboyne, he was shot through the heart by a cannon-ball, being then only in his 29th year. In consequence, his descendants have a heart, with drops of blood issuing from it, in the centre of their coat of arms. He had two sons, James and Alexander, both infants at their father’s death. With their mother they were driven from their house, which was plundered, and the whole rents of their estates seized by the Covenanters. In 1640, they were placed by the king under the guardianship of their kinsman, George, earl of Winton. Their mother married the earl of Hartfell, and on her death, Winton took them into his own family. In 1649, he sent them to the university of Aberdeen. After completing their education, James, the elder son, proprietor of Pitmedden, went upon the continent, and visited most of the courts of Europe. He returned home at the Restoration, and became an officer in the English fleet under the duke of York. He was present in the desperate engagement near Harwich, where the English obtained a signal victory over the Dutch, 3d June 1665. In the attack of the Dutch on the English fleet at Chatham, in 1667, he was severely wounded, and died of his wounds at London soon after, without issue.

His brother, Sir Alexander, succeeded him. He passed advocate at the Scottish bar 10th December 1661, and was knighted by Charles II., in 1664. He was appointed an ordinary lord of session 31st October 1677, when he assumed the title of Lord Pitmedden, and a lord of justiciary 5th July 1682. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by royal patent, 15th January 1684. He represented the county of Aberdeen in the Scots parliament, and for his boldness and independence in opposing the measures of James VII., he was deprived by that monarch of his seat on the bench. At the Revolution he was offered to be restored as a lord of session and justiciary, but he declined, as inconsistent with the oaths he had previously taken. He died, at an advanced age, in 1719. According to Wodrow, he possessed a vast and curious library. He published an edition of Sir George Mackenzie’s ‘Law of Scotland in matters Criminal,’ with a treatise on Mutilation and Demembration, annexed. He had, with five daughters, five sons. Of these may be mentioned Sir William, second baronet; George, ancestor of the Setons of Mounie; and Alexander, a physician, who served under the duke of Marlborough.

Sir William, second baronet, was, in his father’s lifetime, M.P. for the county of Aberdeen, from 1702 to 1706. He was one of the commissioners to treat of the Union, and afterwards one of the commissioners of equivalent. With four daughters, he had five sons, and died in 1744.

His eldest son, Sir Alexander, third baronet, was an officer in the guards. Dying without issue, his next brother, Sir William, became fourth baronet. He also died without issue, and was succeeded by his next brother, Sir Archibald Seton, R.N. On his decease, without issue, the title devolved on his nephew, Sir William, sixth baronet, the son of a younger brother, Charles. Sir William died in 1819. He had 3 sons and 2 daughters. Charles, the eldest son, died young. James. The 2d son, major 99th Highlanders, was killed in the Peninsular war in 1814.

His only son, Sir William Coote Seton, succeeded his grandfather as 7th baronet. Born Dec. 19, 1808, he passed advocate in 1831. He married Eliza-Henrietta, 2d daughter of Henry Lumsden, Esq. of Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, and widow of Captain Wilson, East India Company’s service; issue, 5 sons and 3 daughters. The eldest son, James Lumsden, lieutenant, 1st Madras fusiliers, was born in 1835.


The Setons of Abercorn, Linlithgowshire, are descended from Sir Alexander Seton, eldest son of Alexander Seton, earl of Huntly, by his second wife. He inherited the lands of Touch and Tullibody, and was appointed heritable armour-bearer and squire of the body to James III. From his son, Sir Alexander Seton of Touch, came in a direct line, Sir William Seton of Abercorn, created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1663, with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever. His eldest son, Sir Walter, advocate and commissary-clerk of Edinburgh, 2d baronet, was succeeded by his son, Sir Henry, 3d baronet. On the death, without issue, of the last James Seton of Touch, he became undoubted male heir of Sir Alexander Seton, eldest son of 1st earl of Huntly. Sir Henry died in 1751. His son, Sir Henry Seton of Culbeg, baronet, was father of Sir Alexander, 5th bart., who died in India in 1810. He married in 1795, Lydia, 5th daughter of Sir Charles William Blunt, baronet, and had 5 sons and 1 daughter.

The eldest son, Sir Henry John Seton, born April 4, 1796, 5th baronet of Abercorn, and one of the grooms in waiting to her majesty, Queen Victoria, served in the Peninsular war. He claims to be direct male heir of Sir Alexander Seton, 1st Lord Gordon. His next brother, Charles Hay, born in 1797, married in 1829, Caroline, daughter of W.P. Hodges, Esq.; issue, a son.

Of the family of Touch was Sir Alexander Seton (knighted by Charles I. in 1633), 2d son of James Seton of Touch, 7th generation from Alexander Seton, Lord Gordon, in a direct male line. Appointed an ordinary lord of session, as Lord Kilcreuch, Feb. 14, 1626, he resigned his seat June 6, 1637. His grandson, Sir Walter Seton of Culbeg, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1633, to him and his heirs male whatsoever. The Setons of Touch are represented by the family of Seton-Steuart, baronet. (see STEUART.)


The Setons of Mounie, Aberdeenshire, are a branch of the Setons of Pitmedden. George Seton of Mounie, the first of the family, was second son of Sir Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden. His son, William Seton of Mounie, died unmarried, when the estate devolved on his eldest sister, Margaret, married to James Anderson of Cobenshaw, (of the Andersons of Broughton, Northumberland, from when the earls of Yarborough in England are descended), who assumed the name of Seton. They had, with other issue, a son, Alexander Seton, Esq. of Mounie, who in 1810 married his cousin, Janet, daughter of the Rev. Skene Ogilvy, D.D., Aberdeen, whose wife was Isabella Seton, Margaret’s younger sister, and who was the lineal descendant and male representative of Francis, sixth son of John, sixth Lord Ogilvy of Airlie.

Memoir of Alexander Seton, Earl of Dunfermline
By George Seton

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