Notes from Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington's "History of the House of Seytoune to the Year 1559, with Continuation by Alexander, Viscount Kingston to the Year 1667". Unabridged, original Scots language.


This Sir Alexander Seton is of the faid George earle of Winton his firft marriage, with Lady Anna Hay, daughter to Francis earle of Erroll. This Sir Alexander Seton, in anno 1633, when King Charles the Firft came to Seton, being then not 12 years of age, he wellcomed the King, with âne Latine oration, att the iron gate of Seton ; wher his Majeftie fatt in state, all the Engliih nobility fitting round about him. The faid Sir Alexander being attended with his fchoolmafter, with a pedagogue, and other four Mailers of Art ; all grave learned men, cled in fyne black cloath, and cloaks lined through with pan velvet ; the ground being covered a great way from the throne with carpet : Wher, after due reverence thrice made to his Majeilie by the faid Sir Alexander and his mailers, the faid Sir Alexander did deliver his oratione boldly, with a geilure fuitable to the pur-pofe, for which he had the applaufe of his Majeftie, and all pre-fent ; and, before he rofe from his knees, his Majeilie did him the honour to knight him, and faid to him, " Now, Sir Alexander, fee this doe not fpoill your fchooll ; by appearance, you will be a fchollar." The faid Sir Alexander boldly anfwered, " No, pleafe your Majeilie, it lhall not."

Immediately after the King went from Scotland, the faid Sir Alexander returned to fchooll, and ftudied humanity three years thereafter, with more alacrity and afliduity than formerly, by reafon of his promife to the King. In anno 1636, the faid Sir Alexander was fent to France by his father ; and he, not acquainting his father, immediately went to the colledge of La Fleili, of the Jefuits, wher he iludied two years his philofophie ; defended his thefifs publickly in the faid colledge from
10 to hälfe 12 in the forenoon, and two till half four in the afternoon, he, and another fyne gentleman of quality, having a throne layed with carpets, erected for them, in the fchool, with a cover of crimfon taffity above their heads, and courtanes drawen about them. Which thefifs were printed in why te fatine, with the full armes of the Houfe of Seton, with ane oration dedicatory on the head of them ; he fent them home to my Lord, his father, being dedicai to him.

After which, he went to Italy, wher he flayed a year ; imbarqued att Leghorne, in a great Englifli vefiel, and landed att Alicant, in the kingdome of Vallantia, in Spaine, and went to the court at Madrid, wher he flayed feven months. From Spaine, he imbarqued at St Se- baftian, and landed att Rotchell, in France, in June therafter, having been fix dayes att fea ; then travelled, all that fummer, through the moil pairt of France. Came home by the Court of England, in anno1640 ; from which, King Charles the Firil (having imprifoued in the Tower the lord Lowdon, and the other Scots commifiioners in the  Ihirriffes of London their houfes, who was fent from the rebellious pretended Eilates of Scotland to the King) fent the faid Sir Alexander with letters to the marquifs of Huntley, earle of Nidfdaill, his own
father, and others his loyall fubjecis, to be carenili of themfelves, lead they fhould be in danger, for imprifoning the faids rebellious commiifioners ; ordering the fecretary, Sir Hendry Vain, to give him ane ample poil-warrand, with an order to Sir Thomas Earle, then governour of Berwick, to prefs a iliip or bark for him for Scotland, if fo he defired ; which order was written by the Secretary his own

In anno 1643, being troubled in Scotland to fubfcryve the Scots rebellious Covenant, to evite the famyn, was neceffitat to go to Holland : having, for that caufe, been from his father's houfe, and in Holland, 8 months, thinking in that time the rebellious fury would be abated againil him ; yet, att his returne, they continued their perfecution, in urging his fubfcription to the rebellious Covenant : The which he abfolutely refufing, they, by the order of the rebellious Church Aflembly, did, in Tranent church, the October ther-ailer, by the mouth of Mr Robert Ballcanquaill, miniiler therof, at ane time, excommunicat the faid Sir Alexander,—the Countefs of Winton, his mother in law,—the Lady Seton, his lifter in law.

After which, the faid Sir Alexander was forced to flee, and goe to France, by fea, in the winter time, who was twife in hazard of being caft away in that voyage, not daring to goe through England, for the
Scots rebellious army lying all over the north of England, he was forced to go to France. And in France, after Charles the Second, then Prince of Wales, came there, did conilantly attend him till the letter end of the year 1647- When, upon ane occafion, he went to London, from whence he ihortly received Borders] to re-turne to France ; bought ther three gallant horfes, refolving to pre-fent them to the Prince of Wales. In the time of his flay in England, was frequently with King Charles the Firft, at Hamptoun Court.

The King, thinking himfelfe not fecure, was advyfed to efcape out of their hands, incognito, to the lile of Weight ; to the which place the faid Sir Alexander was the firft that went to him, refolving to receave his commands for his Queen and the Prince of Wales, before his re-turne to France, as the King had ordered him four dayes before he went to the lile of Weight. From thence, his Majeftie did fend him with letters to his Queen and the Prince of Wales, to France. By fortune, there was, in the time, a Scots veflel, the mailer being of his acquaintance, bound for France. His Majeftie, for his and the ihip's
fecurity, did give him a writt, fuperfcrived by himfelf, wherin he owns him as his fervantt fent in that fliip by his order for France, defiling noe Dunkirker, nor any other, to molleft him, the faid fliip, or his ihip goods. The which wryte, written in French, he has ftill. Re-ceaving his majeftie's letters, with a fecret verbali commiflìon to the Queen, commanding him particularly as a fecret to reveal it to none but the Queen herfelfe ; which was, That he was affured, in the beginning of the next fummer, 1648, there would be ane confiderable Scots army for his reliefe in England. This he did not writt, only ihew in his letter I had fomething to imparte to her, which he would not writt. Which after her Majeftie had read, Qhe] called for him, being in her bed-chamber, defiling to know what he had to impairt ; which I did.

She faid, " I wilh it may be ib." This commiffion he never revealed during the King's life. After he had receaved the King's command, as faid is, he was the third dav att St Germains, wher the Queen and Prince were, wher he ftayed two days ; and after the receipt of their letters, delivered them to the King in the lile of Weight the 12th day thereafter, being the 2Oth day of December, the faid year. The faid Sir Alexander, laying to heart the commiffion his Majeftie gave him to the Queen, chainged his refolution for France ; came to Scotland with his horfes, refolving to ingadge in that Scots army, when levied, for the King's reliefe ; and was ane leutenant collonell of horfe in that unfortunat army.

In anno 1650, when King Charles the Second came to Scotland, he conftantly attended him ; and, in anno 1651, the fifth day after his Majeftie's coronation att Scoon, he was gracioufly pleafed to grant to the faid Sir Alexander, for his loyallty, pains-taking, and iervices done to his Majeftie's father, of blefled memory, and himielfe, a patent with the title of honour of Vifcount, being the firft title of honour he gave to any, after his coronation, not having made a knight before that time. His Majeftie being informed that his father had left him Tutor tef-tamentar to his grandchild, this earle of Wintone, now living ; for the love and refpeci his Majeftie gracioufly carried to the memory of the faid Earle, and well underftanding of his houfe, commanded him to look to and be careful! of all aflairs of that family, which I faithfully perforine five full years, to my great trouble and expence.

The faid Vifcount of Kingfton, in anno 1666, with the earle of Wintone, now living, had the command of the ihire of Eaft Lothian, and was at the fight of Pentland hills, in the king's army, under the  command of General! Dallyell ; wher the army of the Weft coun-trey rebells was defeat. In anno 1678, he was with his majeftie's militia troop in the Weft countrey, upon his own expence, with the king's forces—to flop any rifing of the Weft countrey rebells—under the command of the earle of Linlithgow, then major general! of his majeftie's forces therein. Anno 1679, was ordered by his majeftie's counfell to have the command of the ihire of Eaft Lothian—againft the army of Weft countrey rebells—under the command of the Duke of Monmouth, general! of 14000 men of his majeftie's forces, att Bothwell bridge, upon his own proper charges ; where the rebell army was totally defeat. The faid Vifcount Kingfton had the command of the militia troup of Eaft Lothian 14 years.

The faid Sir Alexander married, to his firft wife, Mrs Jean Fletcher, daughter to Sir George Fletcher, gentleman of the privy chamber in ordinary to King Charles the Firft, and in good efteem with him, who
was niece to the lord Innerpeafer, fenator of the colledge of juftice ; by whom he had only one daughter,—was married to the lord Mor-dingtone.

To his fécond wife, he had Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of Sir Archibald Douglas of Whittingame, by whom he had feven fons and three daughters : the eldeft, Charles, dyed a young man ; George,
after he had been fome years a captain of Douglas' regiment, in France, dyed a young man ; Alexander, a great Schollar, dyed a young man ; Archibald, yet living ; John, dyed of nine years otó; James, att prefent in England, enfigne in a Scots regiment, under the command of Collonell Buchan. His eldeft daughter, libbell, of fa
marriage, dyed of eighteen years of age ; Barbara of fixteen years of age ; Elizabeth yet living.

The faid Viscount married to his third wife, Elizabeth Haimilton daughter to the firft Lord Belhaven, by whom no children.

To his fourth wife, he married Lady Margaret Douglas, lifter to the Marquis of Douglas, and sister to the Earle of Forfar. The faid Viscount of Kingfton and his Lady, Lady Margaret Douglas, are all prefent living.

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