Douglas of Whittinghame


Whittingham armsThe barony was anciently the possession of the Dunbar Earls of March family, and Chalmers' Caledonia records that they held their baronial court there.

In 1372 George de Dunbar, 10th Earl of March, gave in marriage with his sister Agnes to James Douglas of Dalkeith, the manor of Whittingehame, with the patronage of the Chapel. The Douglases remained in possession for over 200 years: about 1537 Elizabeth (d. after August 1557), daughter of Sir Robert Lauder of The Bass (d. 1517/18), married William Douglas of Whittingehame, and in October 1564 Mary, Queen of Scots, confirmed to their son, William Douglas of Whittinghame (d. 17 December 1595), a Senator of the College of Justice, the barony of Whittingham, the castle, mills, and the avowson of the Church there, ratified by parliament on 19 April 1567. This William Douglas had married in 1566 Elizabeth (d. after 6 August 1608), daughter of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington, a Senator of the College of Justice.

 It is said that the plot to murder Mary's husband, Lord Darnley, was discussed at length at Whittingehame castle in 1566, and in March of that year "William Douglas of Whittingehame, brother to Master Archibald Douglas parson of Douglas", is cited as one of those in the conspiracy to murder David Riccio. On 26 August 1582 William Douglas of Whittingehame is cited as one of the Ruthven raiders.

On 28 December 1630, Sir Archibald Douglas, 5th of Whittingehame, son and heir of the previous couple, was a witness to the baptism of Archibald Sydserf at Whittingehame Church, but by 1640 Sir Archibald was dead with no issue. Whittingehame passed to his brother Sir William Douglas of Stoneypath, near Garvald, whose daughter Isobel married, in 1628, Sir Arthur Douglas of the Kellour family, and their daughter Elizabeth (1632–1668) married, in 1652, Alexander Seton, 1st Viscount of Kingston and carried Whittingehame to him (Elizabeth's brother Archibald having died unmarried). Their youngest daughter Elizabeth, carried Whittingehame to her husband William Hay of Duns and Drumelzier, Peebleshire, upon their marriage in 1695. The Hays, as proprietors, were highly esteemed by their tenants.

In 1817 they sold Whittingehame and Stoneypath, near Garvald, to James Balfour, second son of John Balfour, 5th of Balbirnie in Fife, who had made a large fortune in India. James Balfour subsequently enlarged his estate by buying up a great many adjoining properties. By 1900 there were about 25 farms on the Whittingehame estate. The coal mines on their Fife lands greatly increased their prosperity throughout the 19th century.


Sir William Douglas, 1st of Whittinghame 
d by 02.1484

m1. Euphemia

Children of William and Euphemia DOUGLAS:

  1. Sir William {below}
  2. James, 
  3. George

Sir William Douglas, 2nd of Whittinghame 
(a 1484)

m. Janet Matheson (a 1543)

Children of William DOUGLAS:

  1. Sir William {below}
  2. Archibald (Rector, Senator) m. Jane Hepburn (b 1540, d 1599, dau of Patrick Hepburn, 3rd Earl of Bothwell)
  3. ?Catherine m. Archibald Napier, 4th of Merchiston, of Edinbellie (d 1521)
  4. Robert, 
  5. Richard, 
  6. Patrick

William Douglas, 3rd of Whittinghame 
d c1572

m. Elizabeth Lauder

Children of William and Elizabeth DOUGLAS:

  1. William {below}
  2. Isobel m. Walter Scott of Synton (d 11.07.1608)
  3. James, 
  4. Richard, 
  5. Patrick, 
  6. John

William Douglas, 4th of Whittinghame 
a 1590

m. (before 01.1567) Elizabeth Maitland (dau of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington)

Children of William and Elizabeth DOUGLAS:

  1. Sir Archibald Douglas, 5th of Whittinghame,  dead by 1640 Elizabeth, Viscountess Kingston
  2. Elizabeth Douglas (b c1636, d 1668) m. (c1661) Alexander Seton, 1st Viscount Kingston (b 13.03.1620, d 21.10.1691)
  3. Ann m. Sir William Douglas, 9th of Cavers (d c1658)
  4. Margaret m. Robert Sinclair of Longformacus (d 1613)
  5. Patrick, 
  6. William
  7. James, 
  8. John

See also:


This page was last updated on 11 October 2023

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