Motto of the Seton's of Lathrisk



George Seton of the Cariston Family wrote the first outline of the Lathrisk Family as per immediately below, and Seton of Abercorn later wrote the outline that follows further below.

John Seton, third son of Sir Gilbert Seton, the third Laird of Parbroath, married Jonet, daughter and heiress of Lathrisk of that ilk, in the county of Fife, and was ancestor of the Setons of Lathrisk and Balbirnie, and perhaps also of the wild Setons of Clatto Tower. 

'West of King-Kettle,' says Sir Robert Sibbald, 'is Lathrisk, an old house with gardens and enclosures, the seat of Mr. Patrick Seton, a cadet of the Earls of Winton: a predecessor of his got these lands by marrying the heiress, of the same name with the lands.' From numerous entries in the public records, as well as other sources, it was endeavoured to compile a pedigree of the Lathrisk branch, which is known to have been connected by marriage with the families of Bethune of Balfour, Spens of Lathallan, Echlin of Pitaddro, and Moncrieff of Reidie.

The line of descent which is below indicated may be corrected and enlarged after further investigation.

Branch Cadets of the Seton's of Lathrisk

With regard to the branch of Balbirnie, the annexed pedigree-timeline is noted from record entries :

John Seton of Lathrisk.

1513-32. John Seton of Balbirnie. David Seton.

1565. Alexander Seton David Seton. James Seton.

Seton of Balbirnie=Elizabeth Vallange.

1595. John Seton of Pittedie.

The following is a summary of the principal entries in the public registers relative to the Setons of Lathrisk :

On the 10th of August 1511, there is a precept for charter to 'John Setoun of Lauthreisk ' of the lands of Fairlielands and Riggis, in the barony of Lathrisk and sheriffdom of Fife, which the King unites with the
lands and barony of Wester Lathrisk.  A curious entry occurs in the Register, under date 26th January 1513-14. Mr. Henry Ouhyte, forespeaker for Thomas Ballingall, asked an instrument that Mr. David Setoun, forespeaker for John Setoun of
Lathrisk and John Setoun of Balbirnie, granted that ' the hors swerd and ax at war pvindyt on the lands of Riggs was baith for the malis and annuale of the saidis landis.'

On the 29th February 1540 we find a letter of regress to 'John Seytoun of Lauthrisk' over part of the lands of Kilmaron, in the shire of Fife, sold by him to William Hunter and Grissel Ramsay his spouse. And three years later (30th April 1543) there is a letter of gift to John Seytoun of Lathrisk, Janet Auchmouty his spouse, and their heirs, of the non-entries of the lands of Mylntoun of Orky, etc., of all terms that they had been in the Queen's hands since the death of Alexander Lathrisk.

On the 7th of July 1545, compeared Mr. James M'Gill, procurator for Lawthrisk of that ilk, and alleged that the action intended by John Setoun of Lawthrisk cannot have process at this time, by reason that there is a proclamation made that all men prepare and make ready to pass forward on the 28th instant; and therefore, both by practice and law, they ought not at present to compear before the Lords, to pursue and defend their rights.

In 1551 (7th May) we find a precept for charter to John Seytoun of Lathrisk, Janet Auchmouty, his spouse, in liferent, and John Seytoun their son and apparent heir, heritably, of the lands of Wester Lathrisk, Auchland, Darnoch, etc., all in the shire of Fife, which had been resigned by John Seytoun, the elder, in the hands of the Lord Governor at Edinburgh.

1 Register of Privy Seal, vol. iv. fol. 155. 4 Register of Privy Seal, vol. xvii. fol. 46.
See also vol. xii. fol. 41. 5 Acta Dom. Con. et Sess., vol. xxviii. fol. 27.
2 Ibid. vol. xxvi. part ii. fol. 6. Register of Privy Seal, vol. xxiv. fol. 84.
3 Ibid. vol. xiv. fol. 70.

The same year (17th July) there is a presentation to Gilbert Seytoun, son of John Seytoun of Lathrisk, to the vicarage of Strathmiglo, in the diocese of Dunkeld, rendered vacant by the resignation or demission of Mr. David Seytoun.

On the 24th of October 1575 there is a renunciation by Christopher Seytoun, brother and retoured heir of the deceased Mr. George Seytoun, of a quarter of the lands of Lathrisk called Langflat, to John Seytoun, now of Lathrisk, his brother's son, by receipt of 250 merks in redemption of the same.  And in the following year (1st June 1576) we find a discharge by James and Andrew Setoun, brothers-german of Patrick Setoun, son of the deceased John Setoun of Lathrisk, to Robert Stewart of Rossyth, for the sum of 1000 merks, in redemption of the third part of the lands of Cragye, in the barony of Rossyth and sheriffdom of Fife, sold to the said Patrick under reversion.

Finally, on the 27th of July 1597, letters are purchased at the instance of John Seytoun of Lathrisk, 'oy and heir of the deceased John Seytoun of Lathrisk, his guidschir,' against Patrick Hunter, making mention that the pursuer is duly served as nearest heir of his grandfather in certain portions of the lands of Newton of Reres, in the sheriffdom of Fife, notwithstanding which the said Patrick pretends right to the foresaid lands. The Lords of Council accordingly remit the matter to the Steward or Sheriff of Fife, or their deputes, for decision.

In the year 1634 Patrick Seton of Lathrisk was elected an elder for the parish of Kettle ; and eleven years later (1645) he appears as a witness to a baptism.

The will of John Seton, fiar of Lathrisk, who married a daughter of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmiln, is dated in the year 1650, and there is sasine to him of the lands of Falkland.

On the 12th of October 1720 we find an entry in the Kettle Register relative to the marriage of Alexander Williamson, late bailie in Kirkcaldy, to ' Mrs. Agnes Seton, lawful daughter of the laird of

1. John Seton, third son of Sir Gilbert Seton of Parbroath, married, as already stated, Jonet, daughter and heiress of Lathrisk of that ilk, and was father of:

1 Register of Privy Seal, vol. xxiv. fol. 87.
2 Acts and Decreets, vol. xiv. fol. 328.
3 Ibid. vol. xv. fol. 149.
4 Acts and Decreets, vol. clxxi. fol. 124.
5 Kettle Parochial Register.
6 Register of Fife Sasines, vol. x. p. 338.

2. John Seton of Lathrisk, who had a charter from King James iv., dated at Edinburgh 4th April 1495, in the lifetime of his parents, of the lands of Wester Lathrisk and others.  His name turns up in the public records during the first half of the sixteenth century. By his wife, Janet Auchmouty, he appears to have had three sons and three daughters : —

1. John, his successor.

2. Christopher, whose son Alexander
was legitimated by royal rescript in 1558.

3. Gilbert, vicar of Strathmiglo in 1551

4. Elizabeth, married to James Spens
of Lathallan before 1 564. 3

5. Janet, married about 1550 to Ber-
nard Oliphant. 4

6. Margaret, married to Robert Hunter
of Newton of Reres.

John Seton of Lathrisk was succeeded by his eldest son:

3. John Seton of Lathrisk, who married Alisone Bonar, by whom he appears to have had several sons :
1, 2, 3, 4; George, Christopher, James, Andrew, and 5; Captain Patrick Seton, who died 'at Elgin, in Moray, in the hous of the richt nobill and potent Lord, Alexander Lord Fyvie, President,' on the 16th of February 1600. By his will, dated two
days previously, he left various legacies to nephews and other relatives — among the rest, 900 merks and his ' monturs (saddle- horses) to be as heirship to John Seton, his nephew and heir of line ' ; and to Janet Duddingston, Lady Lathallan, 200 merks, ' together with his bracelets of gold, silver salt-fatt {salt-cellar), and two spoons, with a coupe (cup).'

1 Register of Great Seal, Lib. xiii. No. 151.
2 Register of Privy Seal, xxix. 59.
3 Ibid. xxiv. 105, and Douglas's Baronage of
Scotland, p. 293.
4 Register of Great Seal, xxxii. 653.
5 Ibid. xxx. 738.
6 Setons Memoir of Chancellor Seton, p. 127.

4. George Seton (younger) of Lathrisk, was alive in 1575, and appears to have predeceased his father, as the next laird.

5. John Seton of Lathrisk, alive in 1597, succeeded his grandfather John. His wife may have been Margaret, daughter of Thomas Ross of Craigie, 1 and his children seem to have been :
1. Patrick, his successor.
2. Alexander, who may have been the ' Alexander Seatton of Lachrist,' who carried the arms of the Earl of Cassilis at the funeral of Chancellor Seton in 1622.

6. Patrick Seton of Latkrisk, succeeded his father not later than 1643, in which year we have seen that he was elected an elder for the parish of Kettle.
The name of his wife does not appear, but his children seem to have been :
1. John, fiar of Lathrisk, whose will is dated 1650.
2. Katherine, who married first, in 1629, Andrew Moncrieff of Reidie, and secondly, in 1645, General John Leslie of Myres.
3. Margaret, who married, in 1648, Francis Hay of Strowie.

7. John Seton, fiar of Lathrisk, who probably died before his father, married a daughter of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmiln, and appears to have had three sons and three daughters :

1, 2, 3. John, Michael, James. 4, 5, 6. Grizel, Barbara, and Anne.
On the 9th of August 1642 there is a charter, by King Charles the First, to John Seton, fiar of Lathrisk, of the lands of the Mains of Malar, with the tower, fortalice, and manor-place, and salmon fishings on the water of Earn, lying in the parish of Forteviot and shire of Perth, on resignation thereof by Hew Moncrieff, sometime of Malar.

1 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, iii. 583.
2 Seton's Memoir of Chancellor Seton, p. 142.
3 Seton's House of Moncrieff, p. 46.
4 Douglas's Baronage of Scotland, p. 584.

8. John Seton of Lathrisk, the eldest son, may have been the ' Laird of Lathrisk,' whose lawful daughter, ' Mrs. Agnes Seton,' as already stated, married Alexander Williamson, Bailie in Kirkcaldy, in the year 1720, about which date the property of Lathrisk appears to have passed out of the hands of the Setons.

Armorial Bearings.

The incorrect arms for the Setons of Lathrisk written according to Nisbet were said to have been, '...in use to carry the paternal coat of Seton — or, three crescents within the royal tressure gules — with a boar's head in the centre, for difference, being the armorial figure of the name of Lathrisk.'

In actual fact the arms of Seton of Lathrisk are: the paternal coat of Seton — or, three crescents within the royal tressure gules — with a slip of rose in fess, gules.

The crest and motto do not appear to be on record, and are assumed as that of the paternal Seton, and of Seton of Parbroath: Crest; a Wyvern, vert, sprouting fire proper - Motto; Hazard Yet Forward.


Here follows Seton of Abercorn's outline:

Setons of Lathrisk

This family was derived from John Seton, third son of Sir Gilbert Seton of Parbroath and Marion Pitcairn (temp James III and IV) . He married the daughter and heiress of Lathrisk of that ilk, and had with her Wester and part of Easter Lathrisk. The family of Lathrisk had been settled there as far back as 1296, when one William signed the Ragman Roll.

These Seton's dispersed soon after 1746.

1 . John Seton of Lathrisk
He married Janet, daughter of Lathrisk of that ilk, and had with her the barony of Wester Lathrisk.
They had two sons:

1. John who succeeded.

2. David of whom nothing is known.

2 . John Seton of Lathrisk ob. after 1551.
On 11th April 1495 his mother resigned to him and he had a regrant of Wester Lathrisk and part of Easter Lathrisk.

He married Janet Auchmouty and had issue:

1. John who succeeded.

2. Christopher is referred to in Letters of
Legitimisation of his natural son Alexander on 15th Jan. 1555/6,  and in the purchase of Torsoppy on the Tay on 30th April 1556 1 -and Porgandenny in Perthshire.

3. Gilbert was presented to the vicarage of Strathmiglo on 17th July 1551.

4. Elizabeth married James Spens of Lathallan.

5. Janet married about 1550 Bernard Oliphant .

6. Margaret married Robert Hunter of Newton

There is a record in the Register of the Scots College of Douai of a Gilbert Seton who was dismissed from the College on 6th June 1620 for insolence. He may have been a son of one of the above Setons . He may also have been the Gilbert
Cetoun who was taken prisoner at Callo on 15th March 1639 when serving in Col. Balfour's Scots Regiment.

1. Reg. Mag. Sig. XIII. 151.
2. Reg. Mag. Sig. XXXII. 269.


3 . John Seton of Lathrisk ob. 1575 ?
His father resigned his estates to him on 7th May 1551.
He married Alisone Bonar of Rossie Fife and had issue:

1. James was in 1565 declared rebel, along with several other Seton's for an assault on Francis Douglas of Borg. He predeceased his father.
His wife may have been Isabel Balfour, widow of John Seton of Cariston who died before 20th July 1573. He may have left a son John.

2. George was in 1575 spoken of as "younger
"of Lathrisk", but he too predeceased his father.

3. Christopher .

4. Andrew may be the individual mentioned in a Swedish pay list of 1564 for services in the army in Lirland.

5. "Captain Patrick " served in the French Gens d'armes Ecossais - was probably the Captain Seton who John Leslie, writing to Lord Edward Stuart on 7th June 1585, said was serving with him in Ghent.  He may also have been the Colonel
Seton who commanded a Scottish contingent near Ghent in the summer of 1582, when the Prince of Parma was beseiging Oudenarde.  He died in the house of Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie on 16th Feb. 1600, and left 900 merks. He bought the ecclesiastical lands of Strathmiglo from his uncle George Seton.

1. Reg. Mag. Sig. XXXII 294, 296.
2. Reg. Privy Seal XXIV 82.
3. Hist. MSS. Comn App to 5th Report 654 (Maxwell Witham papers) .
4. Reg. Mag. Sig. XXX 679, 738-


4. John Seton of Lathrisk ob. 1643.
He was probably grandson of the preceding John.
On 8th July 1601 he was retoured heir to his uncle Patrick in the "vicaria" of Strathmiglo.

He married Margaret daughter of Thomas Ross of Craigie and had issue:

1. Patrick who succeeded.

2. Alexander was Captain in a body of troops
raised for the war in Germany where he was killed.

John Seton died at an advanced age in 1643.


5. Patrick Seton of Lathrisk ob. 1665
In or about 1599 he married Barbara Arnot, and had issue:

John "fiar of Lathrisk" who died in 1650, having married Grissell, daughter of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmiln, and leaving several children, of whom John succeeded.
Patrick died 14th October 1665.

1. Fischer: Scots in Sweden 49.
2. Hist. MSS. Comm 11 . Ill 99 (Hatfield MSS).
3. Scots Brigades in Holland (Sco. Hist. Soc*) 1. 22, 24.

6. John Seton of Lathrisk .
On 18th June 1669 he had a charter of the lands of Wester and Easter Lathrisk, incorporated into a single barony in favour of himself and his wife Agnes Beatoun.

From this point it is difficult to determine the succession and relationships of the members of the family. They will therefore be treated individually.

John Seton may have been son of the preceding John. He joined the Royal Army at Dunfermline in 1715, and was nearly captured by a party of Argyle's force under Colonel Cathcart. He died about 1720.

Patrick Seton was also out in the '15 and was forfeited."

Christopher Seton probably son of one of the two preceding. As the Lathrisk estates had been forfeited he became a merchant in Methil, Fife. He came out in the '45, with his son Alexander, and was employed in collecting funds for the Prince.

William Seton non-juring Minister of Forfar, was imprisoned in Montrose on 19th May 1746 for "preaching "a rebellious sermon". He was released in August.

Alexander Seton son of Christopher. Described as "paymaster general to the Rebells" and as "Collector "of Excise" under the Earl of Kellie. After Culloden he hid in Atholl and ultimately got abroad. He was apparently the last of the family.

1. Lamont: Diary 18 2.

2. Reg. Mag. Sig. LXII 90.

3. Forfeited Estates Papers (Sco. Hist. Soc ) XXIII.




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