Lord Seton's Tomb; Seton Church

'Sunt comites, ducesque alii, sunt denique reges: Setoni dominum sit satis esse mihi.  Ylia des comtes, des roys, des ducs; ainsi, Cet assez pour moy d'estre signeur de Seton'
Written by Queen Mary Stuart to George, 7th Lord Seton on the window of the Great Hall at Seton Palace

Seal of Janet Hepburn, Lady Seton and foundress of the Convent of Sciennes in Edinburgh, wife of George 5th Lord Seton who was killed at Flodden in 1512.The list of appointments to the Royal Household of the Seton family is a very long one indeed.  The early family had been Masters of the Kings Purse, responsible for the Royal Payroll, and the Touch family were Hereditary Armour Bearer's to the King.  The family were also Keepers to various Royal Palaces, the Seton's of Parbroath were Comptroller's of the Royal Revenue and Keepers of Falkland Palace, and the Lords Seton that of Holyrood and the Royal Household.

In the course of several generations, the family had intermarried with the Royal House on four separate occasions, which established the House of Seton as a Princely one.  Sir Christopher Seton, of King Robert I fame, married the Kings sister who bore him a son and heir, Alexander Seton, Signator of the Declaration of Independence which King Robert granted the addition to the family Arms of the double tressure which signified descent from the Royal House. 

George Seton, 3rd Lord Seton married the daughter and heiress of John Stewart, Earl of Buchan and High Constable of France who was himself the grandson of King Robert II, giving further Royal lineage to the House of Seton.  The eldest daughter of the 1st Lord Seton was married to the Stewart Lord Darnley, ancestress of the Earls of Lennox and later to Henry Lord Darnley the husband of Queen Mary Stuart, father of King James VI and I.

The Lords Seton were Masters of the Scottish Kings' and Queens' Household on several occassions, as well as to The Kings Horse.  Sir John Seton, 2nd Lord Seton was Master of the Royal Household under King James I; George, 7th Lord Seton was the most notable as Master of the Queen's Household and of the Palace of Holyroodhouse for Queen Mary Stuart, or Mary Queen of Scots, and her son, King James VI and I, made him Ambassador to the King of France; and George Seton, 4th Earl of Winton, was a Privy Counsellor and Master of the Kings Family and Household in Scotland under King James VII.

The pinnacle achievement would be that of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline who was created President of the Lords of Session and Chancellor of Scotland for King James VI and I when he attained the throne of England.  King James also made Alexander custodian and tutor to his second son Charles, who was to eventually become King Charles I of Great Britain.  His son and heir, Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline, was a Gentleman of the Kings Bedchamber for King Charles I, and was later made Lord Privy Seal under King Charles II.

In addition to service within the country, the Setons were on several occassions Ambassadors to the Kings of France, Spain and England, and to the Pope in Rome.  The earliest of the Setons, Thomas Seton, had received the estate of Langeais, west of Tours in France, as a reward for his service during the siege of Tours in 1419, to King Charles VII of France through his son, the Dauphin Charles.  Sir John Seton of Barnes was highly esteemed by King Philip II of Spain and created by him a Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber, Cavalier de La Boca (Master of the Household) and a Knight of the Order of St. Jago, before Scotland's King James VI recalled him home and made him Master of the Kings Horse, Lord Treasurer and an Extraordinary Lord of Session.

Various lesser branches were also personal servants to the Scottish Royal House, as noticed for Thomas Seton, son of George Seton, 4th Lord Seton (illeg), to King James IV.

The Seal of Alexander Seton, Chancellor of Scotland
created Prior of Pluscarden by Queen Mary
& Earl of Dunfermline by James VI and I

The British Museum © 2005,

The Seal of Alexander Seton, Chancellor of Scotland.

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The Royal Crown of Scotland © 2005  Historic Scotland 

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