Scottish Seton's of Seton, Knights of Seton, Lords
Seton, Winton and Winchburgh, and Earls of Winton and Dunfermline, etc.
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 should read 'de Lens', and that
they obtained from David I Charters for their land and
Estate in East Lothian which they 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."
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, of being given the name to the family by the King,
has never been forgotten and is maintained to this day. The family serving with
absolute loyalty to the Royal House.
centerpiece of the Seton Family was the Palace of Seton, standing on the same spot on the Seton
baronial lands for upwards of
eight hundred years, and where the
original castle was a square tower built during
the time of Seier de Seton sometime after 1066. It was
continually rebuilt and expanded by the successive heads of the
family, becoming a castle-complex, after the time of William
Seton, 1st Lord Seton, c1348.It was George, 6th Lord Seton, under
James V, who was responsible for the splendid re-creation of the
Seton House, and Mary de
Guise, the French wife of Scotland's King James V, was often
Prior to this, the Seton's had been much involved
in the affairs of Scotland's Royal Family, having the privilege of
their presence on many occasions, over successive generations,
with the family's munificent tastes being much sought after by the
Scotland's Monarch's as a place of relaxation and refuge.
continued to be enlarged to become a more commodious residence
to serve the Royal Court, with a military character
and Italian and French styling and courtyards. However it wasn't
until after the "rough wooing" by England's King Henry VIII that
it became known as the "Palace of Seton": the magnificent Palatial
gallo-scottish residence by the 6th Lord Seton, and continued by
his son and heir, the famed
George, 7th Lord Seton, and continued still by their heirs the 1st and 3rd Earls of
George 7th Lord (called 5th of that name, referring
to that of 'George') "repaired the forepart of the house
of Seton, and especially that room called Samson's Hall (40 feet
in height), which he adorned with a roof of curious structure,
whereupon are twenty-eight large achievements, being those of
Scotland, France, Lorraine, and the noble families that were
allied to his family, curiously embossed and illuminate — the
most exact pieces of armories that are to be met with..."
younger half-sister Mary Seton (1549–1615), served as courtier
to Queen Mary Stuart. She was the daughter of George Seton, 6th
Lord Seton and Marie Pyeris, a French-born lady-in-waiting to
Marie de Guise, consort of King James V of Scotland. As a child,
Mary Seton became a lady-in-waiting to the young Mary, Queen of
Scots, along with three other girls of similar age and of a
similar standing in Scots society.
They were famously
known as "The Four Marys": she and Mary Beaton, Mary Fleming and
Mary Livingston. They were chosen by Marie de Guise, with the
exception of Mary Fleming, for their Franco-Scottish parentage.
The Four Marys accompanied Queen Mary to France where she wed
Mary Seton was the only one of the four not to marry, and
continued all of her life in the unswerving service with Queen
Mary, in France, Scotland and during her captivity in England.
In her later life, aged with her Queen, she retired to the
Convent at Rheims in France where Renée de Guise her beloved
Queen's aunt was Abbess, and died there in 1615.