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'IN SIGNIBUS ASTANS - TEMPUS FUGIT - SUSTENTO SANGUINE SIGNA'
Motto of Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden

 

Sir Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden and 1st Baronet of Pitmedden

Sir Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden and 1st Baronet of Pitmedden

Lord Pitmedden was Baron of Pitmedden, of the House of Meldrum, the 5th Laird of Pitmedden in descent from James Seton of Bourtie and 1st of Pitmedden who was son of William Seton 5th of Meldrum.  Alexander was the 2nd son of John Seton of Pitmedden, 3rd Laird, who was killed at the Bridge of Dee in 1639 and who was succeeded by his eldest son, James Seton, as 4th Laird.  When James died in 1667, Sir Alexander Seton succeeded his brother as the 5th Baron of Pitmedden.

Immediately upon succeeding to the estate, he began to transform the grounds into a magnificent formal garden, which still exists to this and day and has been masterfully re-created by the National Trust for Scotland.

He was bred to the profession of Law, and having greatly distinguished himself, recieving the honor of Knighthood by King Charles II in 1664.  He was an advocate, and became a Senator of the College of Justice and a Lord of Justiciary, taking the title of Lord Pitmeddon, in 1677, and was Member of Parliament for the County of Aberdeen in 1681-82 and 1685-86. Created a baronet of Nova Scotia on the 11th of December, 1683, he was reconfirmed on the 15th of January 1684.  After the Revolution he was offered the dignity of a Lord of Session by King William, but being a man of the highest sense of honor, he declined the office and retired into private life refusing to take the Oath of Loyalty to King William II and III in 1688, having already professed his Oath to his Stuart Monarch, James VII and II (though he was badly treated by King James).

This refusal is not surprising in a member of an outstandingly loyal house whose entries in the Court of the Lord Lyon show his pride in his father's sacrifice of his life for the House of Stuart. This we know from the entries of his arms in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. His father, John Seaton of Pitmedden, was killed by a cannon ball through his heart while fighting under the Royal Standard. Sir Alexander Seton cultivated music and possessed a vast and curious library, and was the author of several learned treatises.  He married Margaret Lauder, daughter and heiress of William Lauder, Esq., one of the Clerks of Session, and had a numerous family, of whom William succeeded him, George founded the second Seton's of Mounie, Alexander was physician to the forces under the Duke of Marlborough, Elizabeth married Sir Alexander Wedderburn of Blackness, Bart., and Anne married William Dick of Grange, Esq.. Lord Pitmedden's Arms, entered in the new register of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, were inaugurated in 1672 by an Act of the Scots Parliament, and are still current. He died in 1719, whereupon he was succeeded by his son, William Seton.

Sir William Seton was also a Member of Parliament, and the most influential such member who treated the Union between Scotland and England.  It was William Seton who argued the case before the Scots Parliament to such convincing end, that it paved the way for the creation of the United Kingdom as we know it.

 

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