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The Cranstons take their name from the Barony of Cranston in Midlothian and the family owned lands in the counties of Edinburgh and Roxburgh. The first of the family was Elfric de Cranston who is one of the witnesses to a charter by William the Lion in Holyrood c1170. The direct line ended in an heiress, Sarah Cranston a descendant of William de Cranston of Crailing who married William Cranston, son of John Cranston of Morriestoun. He was created Lord Cranston in 1609. One story goes that the fifth son of the fifth Lord caused disapproval by marrying a Roman Catholic. The marriage was kept a secret and later repudiated by the the husband, but the lady gained a declaration of the marriage. In the event the husband went to England where a heiress fell in love with him. However her father disapproved so Cranston offered the lady a "love potion" to administer to him - the outcome was that the father died of the poison and the heiress was hanged for murder. Despite record of Wiliam de Cranston being one of the conservators of the truce between Scotland and England in 1451, the Cranstons have been reputed to live up to their family motto "thou shalt want before I want" being a notorious clan not adverse to joining the Border clans for a raid into England. The title of Lord Cranston became dormant following the death of the 11th Lord Cranston. Other Cranston branches include the Cranstons of Corsbie, Berwickshire; Thirlestane Mains, and Dodds.



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