The peerage of Scotland: containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom, ... collected from the public records, and ancient chartularies of this nation, ... Illustrated with copper-plates. By Robert Douglas, Esq;.
Douglas, Robert, Sir, 1694-1770.


THE sirname of Sandilands is by some authors said to be of English extraction: that a considerable family of that name, in the county of Northumberland, being driven from their possessions by William the Con∣queror, took refuge in Scotland, and were Page  669 kindly received by king Malcolm Canmore, &c.

Others are of opinion that it is a local sir∣name, and was first assumed by the proprietors of the lands and barony of Sandilands, in the county of Lanark, as soon as sirnames became hereditary in Scotland.

The immediate ancestor of this noble fa∣mily was,

I. Sir JAMES SANDILANDS, who flou∣rished in the reign of king David Bruce, and obtained from that prince a grant of the lands of Craiglokard and Stanipath; also annuos red∣ditus debitos five exuntes de Horsebruk et de Heschelis,*infra vicecomitatum de Peebles, by his royal charter, dated at Lanark, 6th Octo∣ber 1336.

He obtained also a confirmation charter from William lord Douglas, Jacobo de Sandi∣lands, dilecto et fideli armigero suo, of the whole lands of Sandilands and Rednure, with their pertinents, lying in the lordship of Douglas, and shire of Clydsdale, dated the thursday before Christmas,*anno 1348; to which William Douglas lord of Liddisdale, sir Andrew, and sir John Douglas, knights, with many others, are witnesses.

He married Eleanora, daughter of Archi∣bald the tenth lord, and sister of William the first earl of Douglas, relict of Alexander earl of Carrick, nephew of king Robert Bruce.

He obtained a grant from the said William de Douglas, then designed dominus ejusdem, Jacobo de Sandylandis, et Eleanorae sorori suae, totam baroniam de Wester Calder,*cum omni∣bus suis pertinentiis, in liberum maritagium; which grant is afterwards confirmed by king David II. at a parliament held in Dundee, anno 1350. In consequence of which mar∣riage, this family hath ever since continued to quarter the arms of Douglas with their own.*

By the said Eleanora, he had issue a son,

Sir James, his heir,—and a daughter,

Martan, married to sir Gilbert Kennedy of Dunnure, ancestor of the earl of Cassilis.

He was succeeded by his son,

II. Sir JAMES, promiscuously designed of Sandilands and of Calder; which last conti∣nued long to be the chief title of his family.

He made a great figure in the reign of king Robert II. and was a mighty favourite of that prince, who bestowed upon him in marriage his daughter lady Jean Stewart, relict of sir John Lyon lord of Glammis.

He obtained from the said king Robert, upon his own resignation, a charter under the great seal,*Jacobo de Sandielands, mliti, et Joannae Stewart sponsae suae, filiae nostrae carissimae, of the baronies of Dalyel, Modervile, the barony of Whiston, with their pertinents; in Lanark∣shire; also the lands and baronies of Airth, Bisset, Otterbannock, Slamannan-muir, &c. in Stirling-shire, to them and the heirs law∣fully procreate betwixt them; which failing, to the said James his nearest heir, whate∣ever, dated anno 1385.

The king gave another grant,*dilecto filio suo Jacobo Sandilands militi, illos quadraginta solidos sterlingorum, pro castri warda baroniae de Calder in perpetuum, dated anno 1386.

By the said lady Jean Stewart, he left issue a son,

III. Sir JAMES SANDILANDS of Calder, who succeeded him, and got a charter from king Robert III.* of several lands, in which he is designed nepos regis, &c.

This sir James being also a man of parts, was often employed in negotiations of state.

He was one of the commissioners appointed to treat with the English about king James's liberty,*anno 1421, and was afterwards one of the hostages for his ransom, anno 1424.

He got a charter under the great seal,* of the lands of Airth, Bisset, &c. dated 7th De∣cember 1426.

He died anno 1434, leaving issue a son,

IV. Sir JOHN SANDILANDS,* designed do∣minus 〈◊〉 Calder, who succeeded him, and was infeft in the lands and barony of Calder, upon a precept from the earl of Douglas, the supe∣rior, anno 1435,

He was a man of great honour and integri∣ty, and highly esteemed by king James II.* but was barbarously assassinated at Thornton, anno 1446, leaving issue a son and successor,

V. Sir JOHN SANDILANDS of Cal∣der, who resigned, and made over his whole estate,* to and in favours of sir James his son and apparent heir, anno 1466, and dying soon thereafter, was accordingly succeeded by his son and heir,

VI. Sir JAMES, who got a charter under the great seal,*Jacobo Sandilands de Calder mi∣liti, et Margaretae Ker sponsae suae, of the lands and barony of Airth, Bisset, Slamannan, Ban∣nockburn, &c. dated 14th July 1489.

By the said Margaret, his first wife, a daughter of the family of Cessford, he had a son,

John, his apparent heir.

He married, 2dly, Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Kinloch of Cruvie, by whom he got a considerable estate in the county of Fife, and by her had a son,

Page  670 Sir James Sandilands, ancestor of the lord Abercrombie. Vide page 5th of this work.

He had also a daughter, Christian, married to David Hepburn of Waughton, which ap∣pears by a charter under the great seal,* dated in 1498.

VII. JOHN, eldest son and apparent heir of sir James Sandilands of Calder,* married a daughter of sir James Scrimgeour of Dudhope, and died before his father, leaving issue a son,

VIII. Sir JAMES, who succeeded his grand∣father, and got a charter under the great seal, Jacobo Sandilands de Calder,*militi, of the lands and barony of Cruvie, Newton of Co∣lessie, &c. in the county of Fife, dated 7th July 1509.

Also a charter to him and Mariotte For∣rester his spouse,* of the lands of Corswoods, and others, in the county of Stirling, dated 17th June 1512.

By the said Mariotte, a daughter of Archi∣bald Forrester of Corstorphin, he had issue two sons and two daughters.

1. John, who carried on the line of this family, of whom more hereafter.

2. Sir James, afterwards lord St. John.

1st daughter, Alison, married to sir John Cockburn of Ormiston, knight.

2. Margaret, married to William Wachop of Niddry. They both had issue.

He died about the year 1530.

As sir James was the first of this family who was raised to the dignity of the peerage, we proceed to give an account of him before his elder brother.

Sir JAMES SANDILANDS, second son of sir James of Calder, a man of great parts and learning, who having, in the course of his travels, resided some time in the island of Malta, he there gave such proofs of his great capacity and universal knowledge, that upon the death of sir Walter Lindsay, lord of St. John, he was preferred by the knights of Malta to the preceptory of Torphichen, the chief residence of the knights of the order of St. John of Jerusalem and the temple of So∣lomon, in Scotland. He was received by the grand prior of the hospital, with all the necessa∣ry forms, and was constituted chief or head of that order, with the jurisdiction of lord St. John of Jerusalem,* in Scotland, and got pos∣session of the whole revenues of the precep∣tory of Torphichen, which then were very considerable, anno 1543.

He was also a man of great honour and in∣tegrity,* as well as of prudence and sagacity, and was often employed in negotiations of im∣portance, both by king James V. and queen Mary,* and always acquitted himself with dex∣terity and reputation.

When the reformation was established in 1560, the lord St. John embraced the prote∣stant religion. He resigned in the queen's hands the whole preceptory of Torphichen, and got that military benefice erected into a temporal lordship, containing the baronies of Torphichen, Liston, Balintrode, Tankerton, Denny, Marycoulter, Stenhope, Galtna, &c. &c. lying within the shires of Edinburgh, Peebles, Linlithgow, Stirling, Lanark, Kin∣cardin, &c. to be called the barony and lordship of Torphichen, with all the dignities and privileges of a lord of parliament, to him and his heirs and assignees whatever,* by a charter under the great seal, dated 24th Ja∣nuary 1563; for which he instantly paid down ten thousand crowns of the sun, and he and his successors became bound to pay a seu∣duty of five hundred merks per annum.

We must here observe, that both the bro∣thers, sir John and sir James, were great pro∣moters of the reformation; and it is report∣ed, that the first protestant sacrament that was administred in Scotland, was by John Knox, in the great hall of Calder-house, sir James being then lord Torphichen.

He married Janet, daughter of— Murray of Polmais;* but dying without is∣sue, his estate and honours devolved upon James Sandilands of Calder, his grand ne∣phew, and heir-male, and of line, being line∣ally descended of his brother John before mentioned, to whom we now return.

IX. JOHN, eldest son of sir James Sandi∣lands of Calder, and brother of James lord St. John and Torphichen, got a charter under the great seal,*Johanni Sandilands, filio et haeredi quondam Jacobi Sandilands de Calder, militis, of the lands of Wester Corswoods, the lands of Blackhall, &c. dated 12th March 1531.

Also another charter,* to him and Margaret Barton, his wife, of the lands and barony of Airth, Bisset, &c. in Stirling-shire, dated 29th November 1553.

By the said Margaret, a daughter of sir Robert Barton,* lord high treasurer of Scot∣land, in the reign of king James V. he left issue a son,

Sir James, his heir.

He married, 2dly, Jean, daughter of John lord Fleming, by whom he had no surviving issue.

This John died before the year 1567, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

X. Sir JAMES, who got a charter under Page  671 the great seal, Jacobo, filio et haeredi quondam Johannis Sandilands de Calder,*terrarum baro∣niae de Calder, cum palatio, manerio, silvis, mo∣lendinis, &c. dated 12th May 1566.

He married Jean,* daughter of James third lord Ross, and died anno 1577, leaving issue a son,

XI. JAMES, who was served and retour∣ed heir to his father in the lands and barony of Calder,*&c. anno 1578.

He succeeded also to his grand uncle James lord St. John and Torphichen, and was the se∣cond lord of parliament of this family.

He married, 1st, Elizabeth, daughter of James Heriot of Trabrown,* by whom he had three sons, and one daughter.

1. James, master of Torphichen, his heir.

2. John, afterwards lord Torphichen.

3. Walter Sandilands of Hilderstoun, Esq;.

His daughter, Isabel, married to Hugh Wallace of Ellerslie, and had issue.

He married, 2dly, Mary, daughter of Gil∣bert eighth lord Somerville, by whom he had no issue; and dying anno 1617, was suc∣ceeded by his eldest son,

XII. JAMES, third lord Torphichen, who dying unmarried, in the year 1622, was suc∣ceeded in his estate and honours by his bro∣ther,*

XII. JOHN, fourth lord Torphichen, who got the titles of honour, with all the dignities and privileges thereto belonging, as granted to his great grand uncle,* James lord St. John, in 1563, confirmed to him by act of parlia∣ment, anno 1633.

He married Isabel, daughter of sir Walter Dundas of that ilk, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.

1. John, master of Torphichen.

2. Walter, who succeeded his brother.

1st daughter,—, married to sir Tho∣mas Kilpatrick of Closeburn.

2. Margaret, married to Thomas Marjo∣ribanks of that ilk. They both had issue.

He died anno 1637, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

XIII. JOHN, fifth lord Torphichen, who was on the parliament's side during the trou∣blesome reign of king Charles I. but dying unmarried in the end of the year 1648,* his estate and honours devolved upon his bro∣ther,

XIII. WALTER, sixth lord Torphichen, who was also engaged on the same side with his brother, and was one of those who pro∣tested against the proceedings in parliament, in favours of the king.* He was also one of the fourteen peers conveened in parliament, 4th January 1649; but nothing was done to prevent the king's murder.

He married, 1st, Jean, daughter of Alex∣ander Lindsay of Edzel, by whom he had no issue.

He married, 2dly, Catharine, daughter of William lord Alexander (eldest son and appa∣rent heir of William earl of Stirling) by lady Margaret Douglas his wife, eldest daughter of the first marriage of William marquis of Douglas. By her he had two daughters.

1. Anne, married to Robert Menzies eld∣est son and heir of sir Alexander Menzies of that ilk, and was grandmother of the present sir Robert.

2. Catharine, married to David Drum∣mond of Cultmalindie, without issue.

He married, 3dly, Anne, daughter of A∣lexander sixth lord Elphingston, by whom he had no issue.

He married, 4thly, Christian, daughter and sole heiress of James Primrose, Esq; brother∣german of sir Archibald Primrose of Dalmenie, ancestor of the earl of Roseberry, by whom he had three sons, and two daughters.

1. Walter, master of Torphichen, who died young, without issue.

2. James, afterwards lord Torphichen.

3. John Sandilands, Esq; who died young, without having issue.

1st daughter, Christian, married to Robert Pringle, Esq; who left an only son Robert, now a councillor at law at London.

2. Magdalen, who died unmarried.

He died in May 1696, and was succeeded by his son,

XIV. JAMES, seventh lord Torphichen, who went early into the army, having at first got a company of foot, and afterwards was promoted to be lieutenant colonel of dragoons, in which station he served abroad in queen Anne's wars: and brigadier Kerr's regiment, which he then belonged to, being in Scotland when the rebellion broke out in the 1715, he had the honour to command that regiment, which behaved gallantly at the battle of Dun∣blain, where his grace the duke of Argyle commanded the army against the rebels.

His lordship quitted the army in the year 1722, and his majesty king George I. was pleased to appoint him one of the lords of po∣lice in Scotland, which was afterwards con∣firmed to him by his late majesty king George II. and which place he enjoyed till his death.

He married lady Jean Hume, daughter of Patrick earl of Marchmont, then lord high Page  672 chancellor of Scotland, by whom he had eight sons and three daughters.

1. James, master of Torphichen, who was a captain in the army, and was miserably wounded at the battle of Prestonpans in the year 1745, having received no less than twenty wounds. He lingered for above three years under his distress, and died of a con∣sumption, unmarried, in his father's lifetime.

2. Walter, the present lord Torphichen.

3. Patrick, who was bred to the sea, and, having gone over to the East-Indies, was lieu∣tenant in one of the company's coasting ships, which he afterwards obtained the command of, for his gallant behaviour in disboarding a crew of Angria the pirate, after they had ta∣ken possession of the ship. He some years thereafter perished in a storm, and left no issue.

4. Alexander, who died young.

5. Andrew, who was major of the royal Scotch fuziliers, and had the misfortune to be shot through the thigh at the battle of Fon∣tenoy, in the year 1745; and though he re∣covered so far as to be able to serve all that war, yet, immediately upon the peace, he was obliged to retire from the army on ac∣count of the bad state of his health, occasion∣ed by his wound.

6. George, who died young.

7. Charles, who was a lieutenant in the army, and went over to the West-Indies in the expedition commanded by lord Cathcart and admiral Vernon, and lost his life in that expedition.

8. Robert, who is at present a lieutenant in the corps of light dragoons commanded by lord Aberdour.

1st daughter, Grizel.

2. Christian, who died unmarried.

3. Willielmina-Carolina.

He died anno 1753, and was succeeded by his son,

XV. WALTER, eighth lord Torphichen, who being bred to the law (an advocate) was, in the year 1745, one of the sheriff-de∣putes of the county of Edinburgh; and during the surcease of justice within the city, (there being no magistracy during the rebellion,) he was extremely active and useful in that character, in preserving the peace, and get∣ting the inhabitants of the city and county to provide necessaries of all kinds for his ma∣jesty's army, which was sent down to Scot∣land after the battle of Prestonpans.

His lordship is at present his majesty's she∣riff-depute for the county of Edinburgh.

He married Elizabeth, only daughter and heir of doctor Alexander Sandilands, an anti∣ent cadet of this noble family, by whom he has three sons.

1. James, master of Torphichen.

2. Alexander.

3. Walter.


Quarterly; 1st and 4th partie per fess azure and or, on the 1st a crown, and on the 2d a thistle, both proper, being the coat of augmen∣tation; for as sir James Sandilands, lord of St. John, was great prior of Malta, in Scotland, the crown and thistle is born by his family as a bdge of that office; the 2d and 3d quarters are counter-quartered, 1st and 4th argent, a bend azure, for Sandilands; 2d and 3d the arms of Douglas.

CREST; on a wreath, an eagle displayed or.

SUPPORTERS; two savages, each wreath∣ed about the head and middle with laurel, and holding in his outer hand a batoon, all pro∣per.

MOTTO; Spero meliora.


At Calder-house in Mid-Lothian; and Castle of Torphichen in West-Lothian.