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Declaration of George Seton, 3rd Earl of Winton
King Malcolm Canmore "gaif to the predecessour and forebear of my Lord Seytoun the surename of Seytoun... appearandlie be ressoun that the gentilman... possessit the landis of Seytoun for the tyme... thay landis ar callit Seytoun for ane grit caus, becaus thay ly hard upon the Sey cost and the Toun thairof is neir to the Sey."


Tombstones of the early Seton Knights, in Seton Collegiate Church.The House of Seton of Scotland has a long and complex history. From the descendants of King Charles I of France, or Charlemagne, they were the seniors of the bloodline known as the Carolingians and were local rulers governing small territories and peoples in the Comte of Flanders, before a single family line emerged by the end of the eleventh century in Scotland, founded by Seier de Seton (Seier, Scots vulgo of French = Seigneur, the Baron of Seton).

Seier de Seton was the eldest son of Count Lambert de Lens, of Boulogne-sur-Mer in Flanders who died at Phalampin circa 1054 and who himself was the second son of Eustace I of the Flemish Five Eustaces fame. 

Count Lambert had married secondly Adelaide of Normandy, daughter of Robert, Duke of Normandy who's famed son William became Duke of Normandy and King William I of England in 1066. 

Although Lambert died in 1054, his son's were matrimonial cousin's of King William I of England and as such were awarded lands in the north of England for their part in assisting his fight for the Crown. 

The three crescents in the Seton arms then, in the tinctures of Boulogne and as borne by Seier are representative of being of Count Lambert, the second son of Eustace I of the House of Boulogne.

Lambert de Len's daughter Judith de Lens, from his second marriage, married Waltheof of Northumberland, Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton, and was mother to Maud or Matilda of Huntingdon. 

Maud married: 1st Simon de St. Liz who himself became Earl of Huntingdon as a result but who died in 1115; and 2nd David Canmore, son of Malcolm III of Scotland and who eventually became the noted David I of Scotland and who died circa 1153.  This made Seier de Seton's son and heir, Walter (or Dougall as he was commonly known and who died circa 1124), as an uncle-matrimonial to the King.

Of Flemish and of Carolingian lineage, the manuscript at the British Museum from the 16th century it states that "their surnam came home with King Malcolme Camoir foorth of Ingland".

Chalmers in his "Caledonia" states that the first Setons were members of a Norman (Flemish) family named "Say" (which was incorrect), and that they obtained from David I land in East Lothian which were called Sey-tun. Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington wrote a "Historie or Chronicle of the Hous and Surename of Seytoun" down to the year 1559, wrote that King Malcolm Canmore "gaif to the predecessour and forebear of my Lord Seytoun the surename of Seytoun... appearandlie be ressoun that the gentilman... possessit the landis of Seytoun for the tyme... thay landis ar callit Seytoun for ane grit caus, becaus thay ly hard upon the Sey cost and the Toun thairof is neir to the Sey."

King Malcolm III and Queen Margaret.While Maitland of Lethington had reference to the East Lothian lands of the family as being the originator for King Malcolm's giving of the family name, it was in fact the King's referring to the Northumberland lands of Staithes, the secret port or Sea-town there, for which the King made reference to and thence we had given likewise to the lands in East Lothian as a result.  The mark of honour however, being given the name to the family by the King has never been forgotten and is maintained to this day.

In Scotland however, in consequence of a remarkable number of other families of the highest rank having sprung from their main stock, the heads of the House of Seton are termed ‘Magnae Nobilitatis Domini;’ and from their intermarriage upon four different occasions with the Scottish Royal Family.  By Royal Grant, they obtained the addition to their shield of the royal or double tressure.  Their earliest motto, ‘Hazard Yet Forward,’ is descriptive of their military ardour and dauntless courage. They were conspicuous throughout their whole history for their loyalty and firm attachment to the Stewart dynasty, in whose cause they later perilled and lost their titles and extensive estates.

In the twelfth century there was marriage with the de Quincy's and the Seton's became heirs of that family through the eventual female heiress.  Though politics denied them of the Earldom of Winchester, they began to be constantly referred to as the "Earls of Seton".

The Seton Arms, with the Royal Double Tressure.The thirteenth century was a time of instability for the Scottish Crown in the face of internal fighting and the Wars of Independence with England.  The Seton's, therefore, with their military prowess and blood-ties, were of much assistance and maintained a spotless loyalty to their Scottish Monarchs, eventually marrying Marjory Bruce, the sister of King Robert I and which marriage made the Seton's lineal heirs maternal to the Throne, seniors under the male heirs of the House of Bruce.  However, after the death of Sir Christopher Seton, Marjory Bruce married secondly Sir Walter Stewart and their son Robert became the 1st Stewart Monarch of Scotland as Robert II, making Marjory's first son Alexander Seton a half-brother maternally to King Robert II.

Before the Lords were created, the family maintained a tradition of Knights, for thirteen generations until the mid-14th century, and passed this training hereditarily to every son of the House.  Eventually the direct male-line of the Seton's ended with the heiress Margaret de Seton, who married her cousin Alan de Winton, himself a Seton descended from Philip de Seton who had recieved the Charter of the Lands of Winton in 1169, and who's branch of the family had taken their name of Winton from their estate of Winton which they had recieved in patrimony, where the Latinized name of Winton as found in both English and Scottish documents can be found as Wintoniensi - Wintoniensis - Wintoniae, and which in England was called after Winchester.  Their son, Sir William Seton was knighted prior to becoming 1st Lord Seton and was the first Scottish Lord of Parliament, which made the Lord's Seton the Premier Baron's of Scotland.

With the accession of the Stewart dynasty, the family reached their pinnacle evolution.  Continued loyalty to the monarchy and outstanding historical service resulted in the first creation of a Lord in the Scottish Parliament to be conferred on the Setons, and Sir William Seton was created 1st Lord Seton in the 14th century.  His second son was created Lord Gordon, who's own son was created Earl of Huntly.  As the premier Barons of Scotland, this position later brought the Stewart heiress of the Earldom of Buchan to the family, though they were denied title due to politics yet again.

Lady Catherine Seton (daughter of Sir William Seton, Master of Seton and son of Sir John Seton, 2nd Lord Seton), married Sir Alan Stewart of Darnley (Derneley) and was mother to Sir John Stewart of Darnley, 1st Earl of Lennox, and who's great-great grandson, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley married Queen Mary I, or Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, and who was father to King James VI by Her Majesty, and making the later Seton's cousins of King James VI and his heirs the Stuart Kings of Great Britain, the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain and yet more distantly the current House of Windsor.

Arms of George, 3rd Lord Seton with the Buchan Quartering.George, 3rd Lord Seton (son of Sir William Seton and grandson of Sir John Seton, 2nd Lord Seton), married the heiress Margaret Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan and Constable of France who was the son of Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany and Regent of Scotland and who was himself the third son of King Robert II.  This lineage made the House of Seton yet again maternal heirs to the Throne of Scotland.

George Seton, 6th Lord Seton, arranged the marriage of his eldest son and heir, also George (who was to succeed his father and become 7th Lord Seton), to Lady Isabel Hamilton, daughter of Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar and Sorn, Treasurer to the King and Keeper of Edinburgh Castle.  Sir William, and thus his daughter, were close relatives and heirs linealy of James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran and Duke of Chatellerhault in France, who was Regent of Scotland for the young Queen Mary I, and who was the lineal heir to the Throne of Scotland should Queen Mary not have had succession.  The marriage of George Seton with Lady Isabel Hamilton, therefore, brought yet further ties with the Scottish Royal House and was much celebrated by the Seton Family, having a gold medal struck to mark the occassion.

In 1600, the head of the House, Robert Seton, 8th Lord Seton, was created Earl of Winton by King James VI, before the King succeeded to the English Crown. His brother, Alexander Seton, was Chancellor of Scotland for King James VI and was responsible for raising and educating the Kings son, Charles (who later became King Charles I), and King James created him Earl of Dunfermline in 1605.

The though the family argued for, and negotiated, the Union of the Crowns in 1603, which was followed later by the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, they opposed the Hanoverian replacement for the Stuart Monarchy after the death of Queen Anne in 1714.  The German-loyal troops raided and desecrated the family's properties as incitement in light of the family's Jacobite sympathies, which forced them into open rebellion against the Crown and ultimately forced the forfeiture of the family's titles and estates, which were never restored.



The Seton Necklace, won by Mary Seton from Queen Mary Stuart in the famed game of golf played at Seton



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Arms of George, 7th Lord Seton.