in Seton Collegiate Church of George, 7th Lord Seton
(English Translation Below)
Australe Sacelli hujus latus condita sunt Corpora Georgii Setonii &
Isabellae Hamiltoniae nobilissimarum et aetera memoria dignissimarum Animarum
hoc nominee Quintus, Setonii Dominus et Familiae Princeps, Latifundia et Rem a
majoribus tradita, difficilimis Reipub: temporibus honorifice tenuit et
ampliavit. Jacobo Quinto regnante
natus, Adolescens, cum in Galliis ageret, Patre optimo orbatus.
Ad suos reversus, brevi post Regni Ordinum Decreto eodum remittitur,
ibique unus Legatorum Mariae Reginae et Francisi Delphini nuptias et antiqua
Gallorum Scotorumque Faedera sancivit firmavitque.
Domum regressus, Religionus et Sacrorum Innovatione, bellis tum externis
tum civilibus flagrantem Patriam invenit, cum in Scotia Anglus Gallusque
Germanus et Hispanus, Scoti etiam inter se dimicarent.
Aedes suas bis terque ab Anglis incenses et funditus deletas, devastasis
etiam Praediis omnibus, in ampliorem denuo splendidiorem formam restituit. In omnem
Fortunam liber semper et intrepidus, trucidato a perditissimis hominibus
Rege, acta in Exilium Regina a Pincipum Patribus, Majorum more semper
constans stetit. Hac firmitate
saepe carcere et custodia afflictus, saepe in exillium actus, et bonis omnibus
exutus, ejusmodo calamitates innumeras, Fidei in Patriam et veros Principes
Testes, forti animo non modo tulit sed sprevit & superavit.
Tandem ab Jacobo Sexto, cujus auspiciis, Prudentia et Consiliis, Scotia
procellis omnibus et difficultatibus liberata, splendori suo restituta est, Ipse
etiam honorifice promeritis acceptus et habitus, majorum suorum Locum et
Dignitatem tenuit, primusque ab eo ad Hen. III. Galliarum Regem Legatus, cum
amplissimis ad firmandam Amicitiam mandates mittitur.
Quo in munere cum gratam acceptamque utrique Principum operam navaret,
lethalum ipsi morbum anteactae
vitae labores adferunt, in Patrium regit, intra mensum ad Superos migrat, VI.
Id. Jan. An. Domini CIOIOLXXXV, Aetat. Circiter LV.
Isabella Hamiltonia nobilissimis Parentibus nata, Patre nimirum D. Willielmo de
Sanquhar Equite et Matre Katherina Kennedie Cassilissae Comitus Filia, Ipsa
Forma, Moribus, omnibusque tum Amini tum Corporis dotibus insignis, et inter
aequales praestans: Georgium hunc Setonii Dominum maritum nactum in adversis
illi omnibus Adjumento et Solatio, in prosperis Ornamento fuit.
charissimo duodeviginti annos superstes cum communibus Liberis liberaliter et
conjunctissime vixit; Quidquid a marito Fortunarum acceperat, cum Natis amanter
communicavit, eorumque conatus omnes et honesta studia Bonis suis fovit et
promovit, nec exiguous Pietatis hujus et maternae Charitatis fructus vivens
percepit. Liberorem muneribus,
Dignitatibus et ornamentis, ipsa quoque clarior et illustrior, donec senio et
articulorum Doloribus morbisque afflicta, Deo animam reddidit II. Id. Novemb.
Anno Domini CIOIOCVI, Annum agens circiter LXXV.
claris Parentibus orta haec Soboles.
Setonus primogenitus et primus Wentoniae Comes hoc Titulo ob propria et majorum
merita ab Jacobo Sexto ornatus.
Eques eidem Regi imprimis charus, ab intimis consiliis, Questura et pluribus
muneribus auctus, in flore aetatis e vivis sublatus, Liberis tamen relictis.
multis annis Senator, et ab intimis Consillis tum Princeps Senatus ab ipso
ordine electus, demum a Rege prudentissimo qui primus Scotiam Angliamque in unum
contulit Dominatum, utriusque regni Consiliorum Particeps, Fermelinoduni comes,
et Regni Scotiae factus est Cancellarius.
Eques, Louthianae Vicecomes et unus tum Scotiae tum Angliae limitum e Praefectis
Filia, Claudio Hamiltonio Pasleto Domino nupto, Jacobi primi Abercorniae Comitis
Mater, totiusque illius prosapiae Frantrum Sororumque dicti Comitis Faecunda
Posteri norint, et tanti Viri spectataeque adeo Foeminae memoriam coolant.
Virtutes aemulentur, bonisque Moribus bona verba.
Virorum Memoria non minus utilis est quam Praesntia.
“A.S. CIOIOCX “A.S.F.C.F.F.”
= Anno Salutis
= Alexander Setonus Fermelinoduni Comes Fieri Fecit
Translation from manuscript in possession of the Earl of Wemyss
“Near the south
side of this chapel are deposited the bodies, once the habitation of the souls,
of George Seton and Isabel Hamilton; souls truly noble, and worthy of
everlasting remembrance. George, of
this name the 5th, honourably possessed and enlarged the ample
estates and fortune transmitted to him by his ancestors in times of great
disturbance in the country. He was
born in the reign of James the Fifth. Being
deprived of his most worthy father, when he was a young man, living in France,
he returned home, and in a short time afterwards, by a decree of the Estates of
the Kingdom, he is sent back to France, and there, as one of the Ambassadors, he
negotiated and ratified the marriage between Queen Mary and Francis, Dauphin of
France, and the ancient treaties between the French and the Scots.
Upon his return home, he found his country involved in the flames, both
of foreign and civil wars, upon the change of religion and the forms of worship:
when within Scotland, the English and French, the Germans and Spaniards, were
engaged in war, and the Scots also fighting among themselves, his house having
been more than once burnt to the ground, and entirely demolished, and all of his
estates ravished by the English, he restored the whole anew upon a scale more
extensive, and in a style more magnificent.
In every change of fortune always independent and undaunted, when his
King was murdered by the most abandoned of men, and the Queen being driven into
exile by the faction of the nobles, he, like his brave ancestors, always stood
unmoved. For this steady loyalty
being often imprisoned and kept in close confinement, often banished his
country, and stripped of all his fortune, he not only sustained with fortitude,
but with fortitude , but even despised and surmounted innumerable distresses of
that kind, which bore witness of his faithful attachment to his country, and his
loyalty to its rightful Sovereigns. At
length, upon the accession of James the Sixth, by whose auspicious government,
prudence, and counsels, Scotland was delivered from all its tempests and
distresses, and restored to its antient splendour, he too was honourably
received, and treated according to his merit, recovered his rank and dignity of
his ancestors, and was sent by the King as his chief ambassador to Henry the
Third King of France, with the most ample powers to confirm alliance between
them. In this high office, when he
was performing services to the satisfaction, and with the favour of both
Princes, the labours of his past life bring upon him a fatal disease.
He returned to his own country, and within a month after he went hence to
a better state, on the 8th day of January, in the year of our Lord
1585, about the 55th year of his age.
“Dame Isabell Hamilton sprung from parents
of noble birth; her father being Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar, and her
mother Catherine Kennedy, daughter of the Earls of Cassilis, wa herself
distinguished for her beauty, moral excellence, and all accomplishments both of
mind and body; standing high in these respects among the ladies of her age.
Having got this George Lord Seton for her husband, she was his support
and comfort in all his adversities, and his ornament in prosperity.
“Surviving her dearest husband 18 years,
she lived in a liberal and most affectionate manner with their common children.
“All the jointure she had received from her
husband she cheerfully shared with them in common, and with her substance
cherished and promoted all their honourable endeavors and studies; nor did she
reap in her own life time scanty fruits of this pious attention and maternal
love, being herself rendered more respectable and illustrious, by the high
offices, dignities, and honours of her children, until worn out with age, and
afflicted with the gout, and other diseases, she resigned her soul to God, on
the 13th. of Nov. 1604, being about 75 years of age.
“Of these so illustrious parents this was
“1st, Robert Seton, their eldest
son, the first Earl of Winton, honoured with this title by James the Sixth for
his own merits and those of his ancestors.
“2nd, Sir John, very high in
favour with the same King; made a privy counselor, and raised to be lord high
treasurer, and other great offices.
“He was carried off in the flower of his
age; yet leaving children behind him.
“3rd, Alexander, many years a judge
of the Supreme Court, and a privy counselor; then chosen president of the Court
of Session, by the Court itself, was at length made a privy counselor of both
kingdoms, by that wise being who first connected Scotland and England by the tie
of a common Sovereign, and was
created Earl of Dunfermline and counselor of the kingdom of Scotland.
“4th, William, sheriff of
Lothian; and one of the lords wardens and administrators of the marches of
Scotland and England.
“5th, a daughter, Margaret,
married to Claud Hamilton, Lord of Paisley, mother of James, the first earl of
Abercorn, and the fruitful parent of all that flourishing family of brothers and
“Let posterity know these things, and
honour the memory of so great a man, and so distinguished a woman; let them
imitate their virtues, and wish sweet repose to their pious souls.
“The memory of great men is no less useful
than their presence.”
That the word “counselor” is a mistake for Chancellor, as above noted for
Alexander, the 3rd child of George Seton and Isabel Hamilton.
The 7th Lord Seton's oldest son and heir, George,
Master of Seton, is not named on the Epitaph likely because he predeceased his
father and brothers, and Chancellor Seton who wrote the Epitaph was a young boy
when his eldest brother died, and so likely had less memory of him.
Also note: Of particular importance is the
phrase in the beginning of this Epitaph which states that George was 5th of this name.
Many writers, not knowing the history of the family have made the
ignorant blunder assuming that this made reference to mean George was the 5th
Lord Seton, when in fact it was referring to he being the 5th LORD
SETON to be named, GEORGE SETON. He
was in fact, the 7th Lord Seton overall, and duly noted in Sir
Richard Maitland of Lethington's, "History of the House of Seytoun to the Year
1559", and the "Continuation" by Alexander Seton, Viscount Kingston to the Year