The Seton Family



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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."

Pinkie House, early 1900's, created by Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline an Chancellor of Scotland.
Pinkie House, early 1900's.
Details from the Long Gallery at Pinkie House, 2004.
Details from the Long Gallery at Pinkie House, 2004.
The Seton Collection © 2005
Rear view of Pinkie House, 2004.
Rear view of Pinkie House, 2004.
The Seton Collection © 2005

Oriel window of Seton Collegiate Church.The Scottish Seton Knights, Lords Seton and etc.

On October 13, 1307 (the famed Friday the 13th), the Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of King Philip the Fair, who seized the treasury and broke up the monastic banking system, jealous of the Templars' wealth and power.  The Order however, only moved further northward into Scotland, where it thrived.

Of the Knights Templar, the Scottish Order was one of Royal appointment, an Honour presented to select individuals by the Scottish Royal Court.  Only limited families were accepted into the Order, and at the head of the organization were the heads of three families, seen to be of senior representation of the original Scottish Knights. 

These three families were: the House of Stewart; The House of Sinclair; and The House of Seton; the which families were also recognized as representatives of the Carolingian bloodline, and they rendered their service to the upholding of Royal House. In later years, the Scottish Knights Templar formed a Regiment for foreign service, into what became known as the Scots Guard, or "le Garde Ecossais en France."

As such, the Scottish Knights Templar assert that not only did the Seton's serve France and Scotland's cause, but also they did so as members of the Order. The family had already been on several crusades, and were noted as members of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Edinburgh. 

The Lord's Seton then, not only provided their military service with the readiness of 200 Lances as part of the Royal commitment, but also maintained Embassies and served as Ambassador's abroad in the interest of the Royal House, as the role of the Knights developed over successive generations.

When Queen Mary returned to Scotland from France, for example, following the death of her husband the King, and after her ceremonial entry at Edinburgh in September 1561, she went briefly to Linlithgow Palace accompanied by her uncle, François de Lorraine the Grand Prior of Malta, before traveling west to Coldingham Priory and Dunbar.

They finally arrived and rested at the Seton Palace, and George Seton, 7th Lord Seton grandly entertained them there with dinner, before the Grand Prior returned home through England, having made strategic plans for Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle-on-Tyne.

About the year 1572, Grand Prior David Seton with a portion of the Scottish Knights separated themselves from the then Protestant fraternity. He later retired to Germany where he died in 1591, the remnant of the seceders ultimately finding a shelter under the wing of the first lodge of Scottish Masons at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, where they introduced the Orders of St. John, which are still given in connection with (Blue) Masonry.

The 1st, 3rd and 4th Earls of Winton were active in their roles in the Order, and George Seton, 5th Earl of Winton, was Grand Master of Lodge at Rome, following his forfeiture of the Winton Titles, and where he spent the remainder of his life until his death in 1749.

In recognition of the Seton family's contribution to Scotland's cause and their close links to the Order, the Scottish Knights Templar of today hold an annual service of dedication in the Seton Collegiate Church.  The Order says:“The Scottish Knights Templar have held several services in Seton Collegiate Church to commemorate the lives of the Seton family who maintained, above all else, unswerving loyalty to the Crown of Scotland; 'One God, one nation, one king, one loyalty' was the motto carved in stone in gilded letters over the portals of the ancient Palace that the Seton Church once served as it's chapel".

Arms of the Seton Earls of Dunfermline © The Seton Family 2005

Arms of the Seton Viscounts of Kingston © The Seton Family 2005


















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Arms of George, 7th Lord Seton.
 Head of the House
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