`Magnae Nobilitatis Domini’

A Historical Outline of the Setons of Meldrum.The inner courtyard - Huntly Castle, Aberdeenshire

There were four main areas in Scotland where the Seton family had established themselves: 

East Lothian (the principle home of the family);

Fifeshire (the senior cadets, the Parbroath branch and the Cariston branch);

Aberdeenshire (the Meldrum line descended from Alexander Seton, 1st Lord Gordon), and;

Stirlingshire (the Touch line also descended from Sir Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Huntly), though from the Stirlingshire family there was a fifth region established later in Linlithgowshire (the Abercorn line).

The senior line of the Seton family was in East Lothian, at the Palace of Seton, they were the Flemish senior cadets of the old French Carolingian bloodline from the House of Boulogne, and cousins to the Royal House and Family of Stuart/Stewart of Scotland.  The lands of Seton, east of Edinburgh, took their name from our family, and it was from here Sir Alexander Seton (the 2nd son of Sir William Seton, 1st Lord Seton), left and assumed his residence in Aberdeenshire when he married the heiress of the Gordon family, Elizabeth Gordon, in the north of Scotland.  The marriage to the Gordon heiress established the long connection between the Seton and Gordon families, and Sir Alexander Seton was created 1st Lord Gordon by Royal arrangement, and had three son's and two daughters. 

Lord Gordon's s son from his first marriage, Sir William Seton, married the Meldrum family heiress by Royal arrangement, Elizabeth Meldrum, and was given the estate of Meldrum and established the Seton’s of Meldrum family line; Lord Gordon's eldest son from his second marriage (to the daughter of the powerful Chancellor Crichton) was also called Sir Alexander Seton and who succeeded his father by Royal arrangement to become 2nd Lord Gordon and 1st Earl of Huntly and began the line of the Seton-Gordon's, Earl's and Marquis of Huntly and the Duke's of Gordon; and Lord Gordon's his third son was Henry Seton, who along with his brother William was killed on the 18th of May 1452, at Battle of Brechin in Angus, Scotland.  It is from Sir William Seton’s line that the Seton Laird’s of Meldrum descend (a Laird was/is a lesser Scottish Feudal Baron).  The direct Seton's of Meldrum line continued for 8 generations until 1635, and it is from the Meldrum line that various of the Seaton's in Ulster, Ireland and in America descend from. 

It should also be noted that the Seton's of Touch are also cousin's of the Seton's of Meldrum.  Both are cousin's of the Gordon family of Seton, and the Touch Seton's descend from Alexander Seton 2nd Lord Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly's first marriage to Egidia Hay and their son, Alexander Seton of Touch.  Since Lord Gordon had divorced his first wife (in a political move) in order to marry Elizabeth Crichton, the daughter of the powerful Chancellor of Scotland, Lord Gordon's eldest son was then dis-inherited from succeeding to the Gordon honours which later passed to his younger half-brother George Seton, 3rd Lord Gordon and 2nd Earl of Huntly.  The 2nd Seton Earl of Huntly later changed his name and adopted the surname of Gordon, becoming Lord George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly and so famed in history; becoming himself Chancellor of Scotland (his ancestors thrice-more held the Chancellorship of Scotland).  Lord George Seton/Gordon was thrice married and he married as his second wife, Annabella Stewart, a daughter of King James I.

The Seton’s of Meldrum family flourished and were highly active throughout Aberdeenshire and Scottish history.  Strongly attached to their Seton-Gordon-cousin's, they acquired property throughout the Aberdeen region over the course of several generations, with lands such as Aquhorthies (Auchquorthies/Achorters), Barra, Belhelvie, Blair, Bourtie, Broomhill and Cuttlecraigs, Disblair, Lumphard (Lumphart), Menie, Mounie, Pitmedden, Schethin (Shethin) Udny, etc…  The family acted as Chamberlains to the Earls of Huntly on several occasions, acting as witnesses to Gordon-Charters and legal actions; Chamberlain's to the Earl's of Marischal at Dunottar; as well as Chamberlain's to the Seton Earl's of Dunfermline at Fyvie Castle in the 1620's and 1630's; and of course to the head of the Seton family, the Lord's Seton (later Earls of Winton).  They held the posts of Chancellor's of Aberdeen several times, and were Burgesses of Aberdeen and Chancellor's of the Cathedral of St. Machar's, as well as having the park of the adjacent church named in their honour, "Seaton Park".  They were also involved and inter-married with the Aberdeenshire families of Gordon, Leslie and Fraser, and in a similar capacity, those of the Abercrombie, Abernethy, Ogilvy, Burnett, Innes, Forbes, Johnstone, Paterson, Sutherland and Urquhart families, as well as other notable family's in the region.

Eventually, as the Reformation took hold in the north of Scotland during the 17th century, the family's tradition of Catholicism was abandoned and they adopted the national Presbyterian religion, although there also seems to have been an interest in the Quaker faction from some cadet-branches of the family.  With the demise of the Gordon power in the north of Scotland, coupled with the ending of the direct senior Seton of Meldrum family line and the passing of that estate to the Urquhart family, along with the Jacobite troubles of the Stuart Monarchy and the subsequent forfeiture and demise of the Earls of Dunfermline in 1690 in the failed support of the Stuarts, the Seton's of Aberdeen began to slowly fade from history.  However, it is from this time period that some of the Seaton's of Ireland were established.

Various Seaton's in Ireland descend from the Seton's of Meldrum, from John Seton, of the Meldrum family line:

There are various Seaton's in Ireland who's lineage stems from William Seton, 5th Baron of Meldrum, who's eldest son from his second marriage to Janet Leith, was John Seton of Blair (also called "of Disblair"), who died in 1563 and is buried at St. Meddens in Aberdeenshire.  John Seton's eldest son was William Seton of Blair, Burgess of Aberdeen in 1595, who was a superior of Licklyhead Castle.

William Seton of Blair's eldest son, also called Wiliam, was active in 1629 with the Marquis of Huntly with other nobles of Aberdeenshire, and the Duke of Buckingham in England, in support of Catholicism and noted in the Domestic Annals of Scotland, and was served heir of Tulliduff from his mother (c.1612/1616).  His eldest son George succeeded him, but lost Disblair in bankruptcy to Forbes of Craigievar, his debt owing to Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden noted in the Courts of Session Books in 1673.  His daughters surviving him, were eventually served as heiresses portioners in the dissolution of the estate.  William's second son was named John Seton of Menie (also of Aquhorthies), who was the first Seton-Chamberlain to the 1st and 2nd Earls of Dunfermline at Fyvie Castle.

John Seton, Chamberlain of Fyvie, leased the estate of Menie from his father-in-law Sir Robert Graham of Morphie and later acquired or leased the estate of Aquhorthies from the Leslie family to be nearer to Fyvie Castle and his duties there.  Of John Seton we do not have many details, though that he was Chamberlain to the 1st and 2nd Earls of Dunfermline at Fyvie Castle between the 1620's and 1630's and was noted in the funeral of Chancellor Alexander Seton 1st Earl of Dunfermline, and that his portrait hangs in Mounie Castle, we do know.  He was slain by John Wilson of Aberchirder and noted in the Presbytery Book of Strathbogie, at Botary, 8th February, 1637.  He was originally referred to as John Seaton of Disblair.  John's younger brother, William Seaton of Easter Disblair (or of Disblair) was the third son of William Seton of Blair, succeeded to the office of his brother as Chamberlain of Fyvie and was noted in various events of the troubled times in Aberdeenshire, as a result of his position at Fyvie Castle:

Lieutenant Fotheringhame, with about forty musketeers of  the master of Forbes' regiment, went out of Aberdeen, having order to go out and plunder such persons as had not paid their tenths, and given up their men. He happened to be at Fyvie with his company, drinking at an alehouse, where John Gordon, second son to Ardloggie, William Seaton, Chamberlain of Fyvie, and some others, happened to be also : and, upon some slight occasion, serjeant Forsyth, in this company, was suddenly shot by the said John Gordon, who wan freely away, without revenge, from the midst of Fotheringbame's musketeers ; for the whilk this lieutenant was pitifully disgraced thereafter.

Incidentally, another John Seton of the Meldrum family became a Goldsmith/Merchant in Edinburgh and who's son Thomas died and was buried on the Ilse of Man in 1743.

Side Note: There were significant ties with their cousin's, the descent of Alexander Seton, 4th Seton Baron of Meldrum who was served heir to his grandfather in the Lordship of Meldrum, who was killed in 1527 in Aberdeen.  Alexander himself was twice married, and had from his first wife, Agnes Gordon, daughter of Patrick Gordon of Haddo (ancestor of the Earls of Aberdeen) two sons, William Seton 5th of Meldrum and Alexander Seton 1st of Mounie.  By his second wife, Janet Leith, daughter and co-heiress of George Leith of Barns, he had a son John Seton of Blair. John Seton of Blair recieved a charter, in 1526, of half of the lands of Auchleven, Drumrossy, and others, inheriting also from his mother her part of the Leith inheritance, the lands of Blair.  Later, there was a close kinship between the Seton's of Blair and John Seton of Mounie, as well as with Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie (who later became Earl of Dunfermline and Chancellor of Scotland).

John Seton of Blair's descent has not been fully completed, though we do know of some of the family's history.  He was active in the affairs of the Earl of Huntly, and was one of Huntly's juror's appointed for the noted trial of William Mackintosh at the Aberdeen Tolbooth, August 2, 1550.  John's descent, William Seton of Disblair, married a daughter of Tulliduff, was a burgess of Aberdeen in 1595, and a superior of Licklyhead, and who died in 1612.  William had at least two sons, William and Alexander.  William, was served heir to his father in 1612, and also again in 1616 and served heir portioner to his grandfather Andrew Tulliduff on April 26th, 1625; and Alexander was admitted a burgess of Aberdeen on the 20th of September, 1616.  Later, in 1651, physician George Seton of Blair protested against the appointment of an assistant and successor to the minister of Bourtie, and was also in opposition to the Presbyterian faith and was regarded by their Church Courts as a propagator of Romanism.  His daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, were served heirs portioners in the lands of Blair in 1661, and are so stated in the Poll Book in 1696.  Margaret married John Duget, and their son John Duget, domiciled in Disblehr (Disblair in Fintray), "seven miles from Aberdeen", went to Danzig in Germany, so noted there in 1655.

William Seaton, Chamberlain of Fyvie, had a son John Seton (Seaton), Fiar of Disblair, who in turn had a son Alexander Seaton, as follows: 

Alexander Seaton (also spelt "Seton") was born circa 1652 in Cuttlecraggs (Cuttlecraigs), near Lethenty in Daviot Parish, Aberdeenshire (approx. ¼ mile from Lumphard/Lumphart and not far from the Seton estates of Meldrum, Mounie and Barra), and was a scholar who attended the King's College of the University in Aberdeen, studying as an Episcopalian Minister.  He achieved his M.A. in 1670, and was later presented Inc at Insch, 6 Aug., 1682, but not appointed; he was Inc at Leochel 14 april, 1683 until 1707 (presented by Bishop James Ramsay of Dunblane, 16 Nov, 1682; collated 5 Apr. 1683).  He Cited on the list of Minister's who had not complied with the Church Government in 1707.  FES: Christie MSS, [Aberdeenshire Poll- Book, i., 431 ; G. R. Horninys, 27th March 1689].

While at the University he became convinced of the Quaker ideals, and around 1675 became an active Quaker minister.  He was involved in the promoting of the Quaker faith into Ulster, Ireland, traveling there frequently and is recorded as being jailed along with Anthony Sharp for continuing Quaker activities in Dublin despite a Government order to the contrary.  In Aberdeenshire, Alexander married 1st, Margaret Joass of the Colleonard family in Banffshire (also spelt "Joasse", brother of John Joass, younger of Colleonard who d.c.1718); and 2nd married Janet Simpson, only daughter and heiress of William Simpson, gardener in Erskine.  He had six children: son's 1st Thomas; 2nd John; 3rd James; 4th Andrew; and daughter's Isabel and Ruth.

Alexander Seaton formally immigrated with their family to Hillsborough, Co. Down, Ulster in 1699, leaving from Glasgow, Scotland.  Records regarding Alexander can be found occasionally in the records regarding the Quakers in Hillsborough, Co. Down, Ireland prior to 1723, when he died.  (see link for Seton/Leslie/Abercrombie tie information:  http://www.scotcassurvey.f9.co.uk/Fetternear/BASIC.htm ) Also:   http://www.ayrshireroots.com/Genealogy/Historical/historic%20Stewart%202.htm

"About the middle of the summer of 1683," says the Quaker chronicler, "the Government gave orders to the several sorts of Dissenters in Dublin, that they should forbear meeting publicly together in their worship-houses as formerly; the Archbishop of Dublin (Francis Marsh) also sent for Anthony Sharp, and told him it was the mind and desire of the Government that Friends should also forbear meeting in their public meeting-houses; but Friends returned answer, that they believed it was their indispensable duty to meet together to worship the great God of heaven and earth, from whom we receive all our mercies, and not to forbear assembling ourselves together for fear of punishment from men, for that we met purely to worship the Lord, and not upon any other account. So, according to the desire of the Government, other professors generally left their meeting-houses, but Friends met together to worship the Lord as formerly, as they were persuaded it was their duty to do. So upon a first day in the sixth month this year came the Marshal and several of the Mayor's officers to the meeting at Wormwood Gate, where John Burnyeat being speaking, the Marshal commanded him to go with him, which after some discourse he did. He commanded the meeting to disperse, but Friends kept quiet in their places. John was carried before the Mayor, with whom he had some discourse to this effect: he asked him, 'Why they did act contrary to the Government, having been commanded not to meet?' John answered, 'We do nothing in contempt of the Government.' But, said he, 'Why do you not obey them?' John replied, 'Because it is matter of conscience to us, and that which we believe to be our indispensable duty, to meet together to worship God.' To which he answered, 'You may be misled.' John told him, 'If we are misled, we are willing to be informed, if any can do it.' Then it was urged, 'other Dissenters had submitted, and why would not we?' John said, 'What they do will be no plea for us before the Judgement-seat of the great God. So after some other discourse the Marshal committed John to the Marshalsea Prison, to which also were taken afterwards Alexander Seaton, Anthony Sharp, and others. Now," adds the Quaker historian, "several sober persons observing other professors to shrink in this time of persecution, whilst Friends kept their meetings as usual, came to our meetings and became faithful Friends." In 1686 the Quakers relinquished the house at Wormwood Gate, which was found to be too small and not sufficiently commodious. In the last century Elizabeth Salmon held from the Corporation, at an annual rent of five pounds, a part of the old town ditch near "Gorman's Gate;" and although no vestiges of the portal now exist, the name of" Wormwood Gate" is still applied to 11 houses erected on portion of its site.  Reference the website posting at: http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/Gilbert/gilbert9.htm

Alexander's father John Seton, and his grandfather William Seaton were previously involved in activities in Ulster, and with the Gordon, Hamilton and Montgomerie families having also settled there it is of no surprise that with their long traditional Seton-ties and inter-marriage, and the highland scots immigration to that country being highly active at that time, that Alexander was later able to settle in Ireland easily.  In 1699, he took up permanent residence in Ireland and moved his family, leaving from the Port of Glasgow and became a Denizen of Ireland in Hillsborough, County Down, Ulster.  All of Alexander’s children settled primarily in Ireland, though it is understood that they frequently traveled back to Scotland.  Alexander is listed on various records of the time as "Seton", particularly in settlement records and the Seaton family in Ireland is later listed as being either from a place called, “Dranity” or Tullahoago.  These are both town-land names in County Tyrone and refer to Tullahoge, County Tyrone.  Dranity was a small farm-land name that no longer exists.  (Reference the book:  “The Quakers of Western Pennsylvania”, by Jane Snowden Crosby).

Both John Seton (Sr.) and his son Alexander were mentioned in the book regarding Quaker's of Western Pennsylvania by Jane Snowden Crosby, and particularly as a result of Alexander's three son's who had immigrated to that part of America, and who were active Quakers.  However Thomas Seaton did not emigrate and remained in Ulster, Ireland.

Alexander Seaton's children are noted as follows:

Thomas Seaton (Seton), 1st and eldest son of Alexander Seaton from his first wife Margaret Joasse.  He was christened in Banffshire, Scotland, on the 10th September, 1677 (listed in the parish register).  Like all of his family he settled in County Down and being the eldest son, inherited what remained of his fathers estate in 1723. Unlike his brothers, he remained in Ireland.  It is from him that many early Seaton's of counties Antrim, Down and Tyrone in Ireland, descend. 

We know little of Thomas Seaton's activities in Ireland, at this time we do not know to whom he was married or of how many children he had, though it appears that he had several boys, and we do know of at least four grandsons: Thomas (the 2nd), Robert, William and Jeremiah, and what is certain is that there are a number of Seaton families that were established from him in the Dromore region of County Down and also in Donaghmore and Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland Robert Seaton married Jane McCabe of Co. Down, Ireland and had three boys but sadly died enroute to America in 1806; Jeremiah Seaton married Nancy Neal and had a large family; William Seaton, who never married, originally went to America and made a small fortune before returning to Ireland and purchased a farm near Stranorlar, Country Donegal, Ireland, near his brother Jeremiah who had also settled in Co. Donegal.  Jeremiah's children settled into various parts of America throughout the 1800's.  His son Samuel, for instance, settled on Presque Isle for sometime.

Thomas Seaton (the 2nd), son of Thomas, was born circa 1727 and maintained various family business interests and Flax farming around Tullahoge (Tellahoago, also called Dranity), a hamlet in the parish of Desertcreat, in the Upper Dungannon Barony, near Cookstown Co. Tyrone. 

John Seaton, 2nd son of Alexander Seaton and eldest eldest son from his second wife, Janet Simpson (Seimson) and named after his grandfather.  He married Jane Edwards in Scotland and was active in the "Rising" of 1715 along with his brothers, and fled to Ireland as a result.  There he learned and practised the Tailor trade in Newry, County Down and after his fathers death, went with his family to America where he was joined by two of his brothers and his sister. 

James Seaton, Alexander’s 3rd son.  He too was active in the "Rising" of 1715 along with his brothers, and fled to Ireland as a result.  In Ireland he was engaged in the Linen Manufacturing in the early 18th century, then booming in the city of Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland and likewise became quite wealthy.  He married Martha (surname unknown) and followed his brother to America (where he may have married a 2nd time).  James and Martha had twelve children, all boys:  Alexander, John, James, George, Thomas, William, David, Robert, Joel, Nathaniel, Hezekiah and Jared (called Jeremiah).  James' son, George Seaton, married Nancy Amberson in the old country, had a large family of 12 children by her and came to America about 1778 (from The Seaton Family, Oren Andrew Seaton, Editor; Crane & Company, Topeka, Kansas, 1906).

Andrew Seaton, the 4th and youngest son of Alexander, was active in the "Rising" of 1715 along with his brothers.  As a result, his property was confiscated and he fled with his brothers to Ireland, where he kept a Public House in Newtownstewart, or Tullaghogue, County Tyrone and became quite wealthy, "so much so that he said when he left Ireland he could have given each of his children their weight in gold as their portion".  He married 1st Jane Blake and had six children by her, and they left to join his brothers in America in 1737 intending on settling in Boston, on a heavily laden "snow-vessel" similar to a "brig" called the "Catherine".  He commissioned the ship from Workington, Cumbria, England, and it set sail from Portrush, Antrim, Ireland, filled with valuable merchandise and was one of the richest vessels to cross the ocean at that time, enroute to Boston, Massachussetts.  However, he was shipwrecked during the voyage at the east end of Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia, on July 17th, 1737.

There were 98 people who died as a result of the wreck, the 100 plus survivors made it ashore to Sable Island where they used the main sail of the vessel to construct a tent. The ship's long boat had washed ashore but was somewhat damaged, and over the next two days it was repaired and on the third day the master, mate and others sailed it to Canso. Despite the survivors enduring nine days of hardship without food, "except a gill of dough and a thimbleful of butter to each individual per day", they were finally rescued by residents of Canso, who mounted a successful rescue operation.  While Andrew had the misfortune of having his lower jaw broken during the wreck, and he and his children survived, his youngest daughter, Anna, was for a time lost and thought drowned, but was later found washed ashore about two miles from the wreck, half-buried in the sand, but alive.  Andrew's wife Jane, however, sadly died on the journey from the island to the mainland.  They journeyed from Sable Island, to Canso, Nova Scotia, and from thence to Cape Ann and onwards finally to Boxford, Massachussetts.  Andrew nevertheless settled in America and later married 2nd, to Miss Peggy Wood, and she adopted two children from her step-daughter, Ismenia Seaton. 

Although Andrew lost much of his possessions as a result of the wreck, he did manage to recover enough to later rebuild his fortunes in America before he died circa 1754.  After his death, his eldest daughter, Sarah Seaton, traveled to England and enlisted lawyer Nathan Haislup to settle her father's estate, and who was later appointed Guardian of Andrew Seaton Sr.'s children.  Miss Peggy Wood married 2nd, Joseph Sewler.

References for the three brother's can be found in the book entitled: THE SEATONS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, by Jane Snowden Crosby (of Bradford Pennsylvania, July 1, 1945); Oren Andrew Seaton's book entitled THE SEATON FAMILY, WITH GENEALOGY AND BIOGRAPHIES, by Oren Andrew Seaton (Topeka, Kansas: Crane and Company, 1906); Hayward's HANCOCK, NEW HAMPSHIRE; Seccomb's HISTORY OF AMHERST, NEW HAMPSHIRE; and THE HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE; The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Isabel Seaton, the oldest child and daughter married Alexander Lumsden of Boghead of Kintore, the Taxman of Boghead and had issue.

Ruth Seaton, the second daughter and youngest child of Alexander Seaton, left with her brothers to live in America. She later married James Miller of Armagh, Ireland on February 10, 1734, as his second wife, (Noted as: "James Miller, of Dublin, Ireland, 1st married Catherine Lightfoot, daughter of Thomas Lightfoot and Margaret, widow of John Blunston, late of Darby. They married in Ireland and lived for some time at Timahoe Meeting, County Kildare. After emigrating from Ireland, they arrived in Philadelphia on September 10, 1729. Catherine Lightfoot Miller died a few days later, on October 17, 1729. James Miller then settled in New Garden, and married Ruth Seaton of London Grove, on February 10, 1734. They later moved to Leacock, Twp., Lancaster Co., and he died in 1749").

Listed in Dungannon, Tyrone, Ireland, is a cousing of this family; Ezekiel Seaton, who is likewise listed on the Freeholder's List of 1796.  Ezekiel SEATON emigrated to America in 1799 and lived a number of years in Philadelphia, where he conducted a hotel.  He had a daughter Elizabeth who married John Graham of Co. Down, Ireland and who immigrated to America and met and married Ezekiel's daughter there.


Copied from `Inverurie and the Earldom of Garioch - a Topographical and Historical Account of Garioch from the Earliest Times to the Revolution Settlement', by Rev. John Davidson, Minister of Inverurie, 1878.

Sir William Seton of Seton, of Winton, and Tranent, and of Winchburgh, West Lothian, 1st Lord Seton, had by his wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir William Sinclair of Herdmanstoun, two sons.  The elder, Sir John Seton of Seton, was ancestor of the Earls of Winton, attainted 1716, of the Earls of Dunfermline, Lords of Fyvie and Urquhart, attainted 1690, and of the Viscounts of Kingston, attainted 1715.  The second son was the ancestor of the Seton’s of Strathbogie and of Garioch (p. 112).

Sir Alexander Seton married, circa 1408, Elizabeth de Gordon, heiress of Gordon, and became Lord Gordon, and their sons were Alexander, 1st Earl of Huntly; William, 1st Seton Baron of the Lordship of Meldrum; and Henry, killed along with his brother William in the battle of Brechin (1452).

The Seton's of Meldrum

I. – William Seton married Elizabeth de Meldrum, heiress of Meldrum, whose mother was a daughter of the Earl of Sutherland.  He fell in the battle of Brechin, in 1452 (p. 112).

II. – Alexander Seton 2nd of Meldrum, their son, married Muriel, daughter of Sutherland, ancestor of the Lord Duffus.  He was served heir to his mother in 1456.

III. – William Seton 3rd of Meldrum was put in possession of the estate in his father’s lifetime, but predeceased him.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Leslie of Wardes, had a charter of Balcairn, in 1490.  She married John Collison, Provost of Aberdeen, after the decease of her husband, William Seton (p. 138).

IV. – Alexander Seton 4th of Meldrum (p. 137), son of William, was, in 1512, served heir to his grandfather in the Lordship of Meldrum.  He was killed at Aberdeen in 1527.  He married – 1st Agnes, daughter of Patrick Gordon of Haddo, ancestor of the Earls of Aberdeen, and had by her two sons, William of Meldrum and Alexander of Mounie.  By his second wife, Janet, daughter and co-heiress of George Leith of Barnes he had John Seton of Blair, who got a charter, in 1526, of the lands of Auchleven (whence he began the house later known as Licklyhead), Drumrossy, and others, inheriting also Blair from his mother.

V. – William Seton 5th of Meldrum, served heir to his father Alexander in 1533, married (first) Janet, daughter of James Gordon of Lesmoir, and by her had three sons – Alexander of Meldrum, John of Lumphard, afterwards of Mounie, and William of Slatie (Slattie).  By his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Innes of Leuchars, he had two sons – George Seton of Barra and James Seton of Pitmedden.  William Seton of Meldrum died in 1571.

VI. – Alexander Seton 6th of Meldrum, served heir to his father William, 3rd May 1581, married twice.  His first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Irvine of Drum, bare him one son, Alexander, who married, in 1584, Christian, daughter of Michael Fraser of Stoneywood, and a daughter, Elizabeth – afterwards heiress of Meldrum, and ancestor of the Urquharts of Meldrum.  He died before his father, having been killed in 1590 (p.151).  The second marriage of Alexander, 6th of Meldrum, was with Jean, daughter of Alexander, 6th Lord Abernethy of Saltoun.  Two sons were born of it – John ; and William, the last Seton of Meldrum – and two daughters, Margaret, wife of Chalmers of Balbithan, and Isabel, wife of Erksine of Pittodrie.

VII. – John Seton 7th of Meldrum succeeded his father, and married Lady Grizel Stewart, but died without issue, about 1619, and was succeeded by,

VIII. – William Seton 8th of Meldrum, his brother, who married Ann, daughter of James Crichton of Frendraught.  Having no children, he settled the estate, in 1635, upon Patrick Urquhart of Lethinty, the son of his niece, Elizabeth Seton, by her marriage with John Urquhart of Craigfintry, Tutor of Cromarty, contracted in 1610.

Patrick Urquhart, first Urquhart of Meldrum, succeeded about 1636.  His mother, in her widowhood married Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth, afterwards tenth Lord Saltoun, and had a son, Alexander, who died Master of Saltoun, in 1682, and was the father of William, eleventh Lord Saltoun.

Arms: - Seton (Meldrum, co. Aberdeen; heiress m. Urquhart, of Craigfintry).  Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, three crescents within a double tressure flory counterflory gu. ; 2nd and 3rd, argent, a demi otter sable issuing out of a bar wavy crowned gules, for Meldrum.

Seton of Mounie.  First Line.  Pp. 141-231. (Representative of the Seton of Meldrum Line)

I.                     – John Seton of Lumphard, son of William Seton, fifth of Meldrum, and Nephew of Alexander Seton, Vicar of Bethelnie, Chancellor of the Diocese of Aberdeen, got the separate farms of the lands of Mounie, which had been held partly by his father and partly by his uncle, under Episcopal Charter of 1556, united under a Great Seal Charter in 1575.  He married a daughter of John Panton of Pitmedden, and dying about 1596, left a son (*who succeeded him, as well as another son, John, who was Chamberlain to Lord Fyvie, the 1st Earl of Dunfermline at Fyvie Castle.

II.                   – William Seton of Mounie; who was served heir in 1597; and, in 1598, was admitted an honorary burgess of Aberdeen, at the request of Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie. He married Helen, daughter and heiress of Udny of that Ilk; and in 1623, under the designation of William Seton of Udny, he sold Mounie to John Urquhart of Craigfintry and Elizabeth Seton, his wife, heiress of Meldrum.  Their son, Patrick Urquhart, disponed Mounie in 1636-7 to Mr. Robert Farquhar, - whose heirs lost the lands by bankruptcy in 1702; when they became temporarily the property of Alexander Hay of Arnbath, and were re-purchased, in 1714, by George Seton, ancestor of the present Setons of Mounie.  William Seton had two sons – William Seton of Menie and Alexander Seton of Kinloch, which last died in 1672.

III.                 – William Seton, called of Menie (Meanie), in Buchan, son of William of Mounie and Helen Udny, married Margaret Graham, daughter of Sir Robert Graham of Morphie, and had a son,

IV.                 – William Seton of Menie, whose son,

V.                   – James Seton, last of Menie, died without issue in 1707, when the line was represented by

VI.                 (Captain) Robert Seton, son of Alexander Seton, of Kinloch, the second son of William Seton of Mounie and Helen Udny.

VII.               – Robert Seton, his son, was the last of the (Menie-Meldrum) line, and commonly called “of Mexico” in Belhelvie (parish).

Setons of Mounie. Second Line.  P. 231.

I.                     – George Seton, Advocate, who was the second son of Sir Alexander Seton (a Lord of Session, by the Title of Lord Pitmedden), having inherited a considerable provision from his mother, purchased Mounie.  By his second wife, Ann, daughter of John Leslie of Tocher, grandson of James Leslie of Warthill, he had a son and several daughters, of whom Isabela married Dr. Skene Ogilvy, minister of Old Machar.  He died about 1763.

II.                   – William Seton, the son, succeeded his father, but died unmarried, and was succeeded by his sister, Margaret Seton, wife of James Anderson, LL.D., of Cobenshaw, who, in terms of succession, assumed the name of Seton.  Their son became:

III.                 – Alexander Seton of Mounie (born 1769, died 1850).  He married, in 1810, his cousin, Janet Skene, daughter of the above named Dr. Skene Ogilvie, and had three sons – Alexander, David and George.  George, a Major in the Army, married Anne-Lucy, daughter of Baldwin Wake, Esq., grandson of Sir William Wake of Courteen Hall, Northamptonshire, seventh Baronet, and has issue – Alexander, David.

IV.                 – Alexander Seton, Colonel in the Army, was the commander of the troops on board the troop-ship ‘Birkenhead,’ which was wrecked, 26th February, 1852, near the Cape of Good Hope, when Colonel Seton and almost all on board perished.  He was succeeded by his brother,

V.                   – David Seton, of Mounie, formerly an Officer in the 93rd Highlanders and 49th Regiment.

Arms: - Seton (Mounie, co. Aberdeen).  As Pitmedden, with a crescent az. in the centre of the quarters.

The Setons of Blair.  P.418.

John Seton of , son of Alexander Seton, fourth of Meldrum, and his second wife, Janet Leith, daughter and co-heiress of George Leith of Barnes, inherited Blair (Aberdeenshire) from his mother.  His descendants cannot be traced continuously.

        William Seton of Blair was a burgess of Aberdeen in 1595; and superior of Licklyhead.

        William Seton of Blair was served heir to his father William in 1612 and 1616.  He had a brother, Alexander, admitted a burgess of Aberdeen, 20th September, 1619.

        George Seton of Blair, in 1651, protested against the appointment of an assistant and successor to the minister of Bourtie.  His daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, were served heirs portioners in the lands of Blair in 1661; and are so stated in the Poll Book, 1696.  George seems to have been a physician, and was regarded by the Church Courts as a propagator of Romanism.

The Setons of Schethin and of Disblair

Individuals of the two Aberdeenshire families of the name of Seton – viz., Setons of Schethin and of Disblair (connected with the Seton’s of Meldrum) – appear in the Spalding Club publications.  The Abreviates of Retours of Service contain the following notices: -

April 26th, 1623 – William Seton of Disblair, heir portioner of Andrew Tulliduff of that Ilk, his grandfather on the mother’s side.  Feb. 27th, 1658 – William Seton, sometime of Easter Disblair, heir male and of taillzie of John Seton of Easter Disblair, his brother, in the lands of Easter Disblair and the Mill of Cavill, within the Regality of St. Andrews.

        Oct. 4th, 1625 – To George Seton of Schethin deceased, his son, William Seton of Schethin, served heir in various lands, 4th October.  June 26th, 1668 – Mr. William Seton, Rector of Logie Buchan, server heir to his brother, Mr. John Seton, Minister of the Church of Foveran, in the lands of Schethin, in the parish of Tarves, 26th June.  Nov. 1st, 1672 – James Seton, son of Mr. William Seton, Minister at Logie Buchan, served heir to his said father, in the lands of Schethin, in the parish of Tarves.

Seton of Bourtie, Now of Pitmedden.  P.230.

Mr. George Seton of Barra, Chancellor of Aberdeen, and his brother and heir, were the sons of William Seton, fifth of Meldrum, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Innes of Leuchars.  William Seton of Meldrum, the Chancellors nephew, was, in 1627, served heir male to him in Barra, - which must have meant part of Barra, as James Seton was, in 1598, styled portioner of Barra.

I.                     – James Seton, portioner of Barra, in 1598, acquired from the Barclays of Towie the lands of Auld Bourtie, with the Mill, Hillbrae, Selbie, and Lochtulloch; which two last properties were afterwards sold to Sir George Johnston of Caskieben.  He married Margaret, grand-daughter of Mr. William Rolland, Master of the Mint at Aberdeen to King James V.  In 1619, in a Crown charter of Auchmore, &c., he was styled of Pitmedden.

II.                   – Alexander Seton of Pitmedden, his son (served heir to him in 1628), married Beatrix, daughter of Sir Walter Ogilvy of Dunglass, sister of George, first Lord Banff.  He had a charter in 1630 of the estate of Barra disponed to him by William Seton, last of Meldrum.  He was succeeded by his son,

III.                 – John Seton of Pitmedden, the Royalist soldier; who, in 1633 shortly after succeeding, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Samuel Johnston of Elphinston, by whom he had two sons.  He fell in battle at the Bridge of Dee, in June, 1639, with the Royal Standard in his hands, and was buried with military honours by the Covenanters’ General, the Earl of Montrose.  His two sons, James and Alexander, left fatherless very young, were taken charge of by the Earl of Winton, their mother marrying the Earl of Hartfell.  The boys were educated at Marischal College, and both attained some eminence.  “Bonnie John” of Pitmedden’s elder son,

IV.                 – James Seton of Pitmedden entered the Navy, after having spent some time in foreign travel.  He fought in the victory obtained over the Dutch by the Duke of York, off Harwich in 1665.  He died of wounds received in another naval engagement, in 1667.  He had sold Bourtie, in 1657, to Mr. James Reid, Advocate, Aberdeen.  He was married, but died without issue in London.  His brother,

V.                   – Sir Alexander Seton, a Judge oft eh Court of Session, by the title of Lord Pitmedden, under Charles II., was his successor in Pitmedden.  He was Knighted in 1664, and appointed a Judge in 1677.  He served in several Parliaments for Aberdeenshire; and in 1684 Charles II. Bestowed upon him the rank of Baronet.  After the Revolution, King William offered him his old position of Judge, but he declined, thinking acceptance incompatible with the oaths previously taken.  He married Margaret, daughter of William Lauder, one of the Clerks of Session, and had, besides several other children, two sons – Sir William, his heir, and Mr. George Seton, Advocate, first of the second Setons of Mounie.  Sir Alexander died at a very advanced age, in 1719.  Of three daughters, Elizabeth married Sir Alexander Wedderburn of Blackness, Bart.; Margaret married Sir John Lauder of Fountainhall, Bart.; and Anne married William Dick of Grange.  The Baronets, Dick Lauder of Grange, descend from a son of Margaret and a daughter Anne.

VI.                 – Sir William Seton, second Baronet of Pitmedden, who in his father’s lifetime represented Aberdeenshire in the Scottish Parliament from 1702 to 1706, (when Queen Anne appointed him one of the Commissioners about the union between Scotland and England,) married Katherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Burnet of Leys, and had five sons and four daughters.  He died in 1744, and was succeeded by three of his five sons, and by a son of his fifth son.  Two of his daughters married; Margaret becoming the wife of Sir John Paterson, Bart.; and Katherine, the wife of Rev. – Forbes.

VII.               – Sir Alexander Seton of Pitmedden succeeded his father as third Baronet.  He was an Officer in the Guards, and died, s.p., at Pitmedden House, in July, 1750, aged 47.

VIII.             - Sir William Seton of Pitmedden, fourth Baronet, succeeded his brother, but died s.p.

IX.                – Sir Archibald Seton of Pitmedden, fifth Baronet, succeeded his brother.  He was in the Royal Navy.  He died, s.p.

X.                  – Sir William Seton of Pitmedden, sixth Baronet, son of Charles Seton, the fifth son of the second Baronet, succeeded his uncle, Sir Archibald.  Sir William married Margaret, daughter of James Ligertwood of Tillery, and had issue – 1, Charles, died young; 2, James, Major in the 92nd Highlanders, killed in the Peninsular War, 1814.  He married Frances, daughter of Captain George Coote, nephew of Sir Eyre Coote, and had issue, William Coote, who succeeded his grandfather.  Sir William died in 1819, and was succeeded by his grandson,

XI.                – Sir Wiliam Coote Seton of Pitmedden, seventh Baronet, who was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, in 1831.  He married, in 1834, Eliza Henrietta, daughter of Henry Lumsden of Cushnie, county Aberdeen, and relict of Captain John Wilson, H.E.I.C.S., and had issue: - 1, James Lumsden, Captain 102nd Foot (retired); 2, William Samuel, major, Bombay Staff Corps, married Eva Kate St. Leger, only daughter of Colonel Hastings Wood, C.B., and has issue; 3, Henry, in Holy Orders, died, unmarried, in 1867; 4, Matthew, Barrister-at-Law, married Theresa Prudence Rose, only daughter of Mr. Pierre Bonnet; 5, Charles; daughters – 1, Eliza, wife of David Bryce Brown, Esq., M.D.; 2, Magdalen Frances, wife of Arthur Talbot Bevan, Esq.; 3, Frances.

Arms; - Seton (Pitmedden, co. Aberdeen, bart., 1684).  Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, three crescents, and in the centre a man’s heart distilling blood, the whole within a double tressure flory and counterflory gu., for Seton; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a demi otter sa. crowned or issuing out of a bar wavy of the second, for Meldrum.  Crest – A demi man in military habit, holding the banner of Scotland, proper.  Supporters – Dexter, a deerhound argent collared – gu. charged with a crescent or; sinister, an otter sa.  Mottos – Above the crest: Sustento sanguine signa; below the arms: Merces haec certa laborum.





The original Seton of Meldrum Arms

The later Seton of Meldrum Arms

The Gordon Arms



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