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The family of Dundas is descended from Cospatrick, earl of Northumberland, who, in 1066, went into Scotland, with King Malcolm Canmore, rather than submit to the Conqueror of England. King Malcolm gave him the lands of Dunbar and many other possessions in Scotland.

Huchtred of Dunbar

founder of the Dundas family


Son of: Cospatric (it is difficult to say with complete certainty that Huctred was the son of Cospatric the 3rd. He possibly may have been the son of Cospatric 2)
and: Deidre
born:  
died:  
married:  
  Issue:
1. Helias de Dundas
Huctred is shown in a charter of protection by King David to the priory of Tinmouth in 1138 as "Huctredus filius Cospatric" (The surnames of Scotland; their origin, meaning, and history, by George F. Black)

Helias de Dundas

2nd of Dundas

Helias, was given the lands of Dundas anno 1145, by Waldeve (Waltheof), Earl of Dunbar, who was his uncle and brother to his father Uchtred.


Son of: Huchtred of Dunbar
and:  
born:  
died: 1166
  Issue:
  Serle Dundas
 
Copy of charter granting the lands of Dundas to Helias

"Waldevus, son of Cospatric, to all his good men and all his friends, present and to come: Greeting!
Know ye that I have given and granted and by this my charter confirmed to Helias, son of Huctred, "Dundas" for half a knight's service, to be held by him and his heirs of me and my heirs in fee and heritage, in moors, in waters, in stanks, in mills, in meadows, in pastures with all its rights, marches and pertinents.
I grant therefore and will and charge that the aforementioned said Helias have and hold that land so quietly and so freely and so honourably in all the land of the King of Scotland"

Before these Witnesses; John son of Orm
Waldev son of Baldwin, Robert of Saint Michael,
Helias of Hadenstanden, William of Copland,
William of Helebet, Aldan the Steward,
Gerard the Knight, John of Gragin.

 

In a charter of Waldeve, Earl of Dunbar, to the monks of Dunfermline, Helias de Dundas is shown as a witness.

Helias assumed the name of Dundas from his lands and to denote his descent from the ancient Earls of March, he took for his armorial bearings; argent, a lion rampant, gules, being the same with that noble family, only differing in tinctures, as a proper mark of cadency.

Helias assumed the "Lion of Dunbar" as his Arms, with the transmutation of tinctures only, namely, Argent, a lion rampant gules (a white lion on a red field). His Crest was a lion's head, full faced, looking through a bush of oak. The supporters were two lion gules; below the shield, for a device, a salamander in flame

dunbar coat of arms dundas coat of arms
Dunbar coat of arms Dundas coat of arms

Serle de Dundas
3rd of Dundas
Son of: Helias de Dundas
and:  
born:  
died: 1214
  issue:
  Helias de Dundas

Helias de Dundas
4th of Dundas
Son of: Serle de Dundas
and:  
born:  
died: 1240
  issue:
  Radolphus de Dundas
Helias de Dundas is sometimes referred to as Elias de Dundas. He was mentioned in an enrollment to court by Roger Moubray in 1229

Radulphus de Dundas
5th of Dundas
Son of: Helias de Dundas
and:  
born:  
  issue:
  Serle de Dundas
  Helen de Dundas, married Radulphus Ross of Renfrew
May 26 1240, King Alexander II, confirms a donation made by Richard de Baud to the Monastery of Kelso, Rudulf de Dundas and Walter son of Allan were witnesses. He is also shown in the Chartulary of Kelso as Ranulph de Dundas

Serle de Dundas
(sometimes shown as Saer de Dundas) 6th of Dundas
Son of: Radolphus de Dundas
and:  
born:  
died: circa 1300
  Issue:
  Sir Hugh Dundas
  Duncan Dundas
  Helias Dundas. Believed to have fought alongside his brother Hugh Dundas with William Wallace
  A daughter who married Sir John Scott of Strathern.
Serle de Dundas was one of the persons of rank mentioned in the Ragman Roll, who swore fealty to Edward King of England in 1296. He was shown as "Serle de Dundas,du count de Linlescu (Linlithgow). He was obliged to repeat the submission twice; first for his lands in Lothian and again for his lands of Fingask in Perthshire. His seal, appended to the deed of fealty, bears a stag's head embossed and a cross between the antlers. This device may have some reference to the name of his lands, as the name Dundas means "the hill of the fallow deer".

Hugh Dundas (Sir)

7th of Dundas

 

 

Son of: Serle de Dundas
and:  
born: circa 1270
   
A Knight. Sir Hugh Dundas fought alongside William Wallace against Edward the 1st of England
From "Wallace the hero of Scotland by James Paterson":
Wallace was still at the siege of St Johnston, which the English defended with great courage. One morning they made a sally with five hundred men, against Scot and Dundas at the south port. They were ultimately beaten back, however, with considerable loss. Dundas, who had advanced beyond his supports, was taken prisoner, and carried before the Earl of York, who courteously returned him to Wallace, for which the latter sent a messenger, thanking him largely.
A strong assault was then made, when a thousand Englishmen were slain, and the walls carried. Amidst the general slaughter which ensued, Wallace sent his herald to save the Earl of York, in return for his humanity to Dundas.
  Issue:
  Sir George Dundas

George Dundas (Sir)
8th of Dundas
Son of: Hugh Dundas
and:  
born:  
died: 1332. Firm to Robert the Bruce and fell at the battle of Duplin in 1332
  Founded the Priory of Queensferry in 1330
  Issue:
  James Dundas

James Dundas
9th of Dundas
  Son of: George Dundas
and:  
born:  
  died: circa 1364
    Issue:
    John Dundas

From Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, Vol 111: "Edward 111 1335, Warrant to the Chancellor to issue separate letters under the Great Seal, pardoning of all offences since the beginning of the world to date; Sir William de Moubray, Sir Roger de Moubray, Sir Alexander de Cragy, "le pere" Alexander de Cragy, "le fuiz", John de Dumbarre, Philip de Glen, William Dalmoy, James de Dundasse, etc etc......Scottish gentlemen who have come to the King's peace under the conditions of Alexander de Moubray."

James was excommunicated by the Abbot of Dunfermline, because he persisted in molesting the Abbey boatmen at the landing-rock, North Queensferry.

ABSOLUTION FROM EXCOMMUNICATION Granted by the Abbot of Dunfermline to James de Dundas

"MEMORANDUM. - That in the year of God, 1342, on Wednesday before the Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle, Alexander, by the grace of God, Abbot of Dunfermline, went down to the south side of the Queens's Ferry, at the request of James de Dundas, concerning an amicable termination of a dispute that had arisen between him and the Abbot, on account of his molesting the Abbot's men and boat landing at two rocks within the flowing of the tide, as they were wont to do. However, James de Dundas had alleged these rocks, to be his property, though the Abbot, his predecessors, and the Monastery, had quietly and peaceably enjoyed the right of landing on them beyond the memory of man, and on this had a Charter from King David, their founder and first patron, as also the Confirmations of the various Kings, his successors, and Popes, as the Abbot then exhibited, in presence of the following subscribing witnesses, viz., Magister Johannes de Gaytmilk, Alanus de Liberton, Michael Squier, Radulphus Clericus, Johannes de Herth, Alanus Dispenser, Richardus filius Willielmi Scrismour, Robertus Young, Johannes filius Henry, Johannes de Lochilde, Radulphus Gourley, as also before others, inhabitants of the ferry. James de Dundas had, on account of his molestation, incurred the general sentence of Excommunication contained in the Confirmation of the Popes, which he had during some time obdurately resisted, until, on the before-mentioned day, he humbly supplicated the Abbot, sitting along with some of his Council on these rocks, as being in possession of them, that he would absolve him from the sentence of Excommunication, as far as lay in his power, on his finding security to abstain from the like molestation; but, were it ever repeated, he should immediately again incur the same censure."


John Dundas
10th of Dundas
Son of: James Dundas
and:  
born:  
died:  
marriage  
  x Joan Douglas
  the following children were born of this union:
1. Agneta Dundas married Sir Adam Forrester who died 1405
2. James Dundas

Obtained a new charter from King David 11 in 1364 for the lands of Fingask already held by the family. FIngask was in the parish of Rhynd, Perthshire


James Dundas
11th of Dundas
Son of: John Dundas
and:  
born:  
died: 1431
marriage  
  Christian Stewart daughter of John Stewart, Lord Innermeath and Lorn and Isabel, daughter of John Gallda (MacDougall). (John Gallda's wife was Janet Isaac, whose mother Matilda, was a daughter of Robert the Bruce and had married Thomas Isaac )
  the following children were born of this union:
1. James Dundas born circa 1400. 12th chief of Dundas
2. Robert Dundas, imprisoned in Dumbarton Castle with his brothers, Duncan, James and Alexander
3. Archibald Dundas
4. Duncan Dundas. Lord Lyon King at Arms. Duncan Dundas was a man of much note in his day and was frequently employed in embassies to England. He acquired from his family the barony of Newliston and founded the branch of Dundas of Newliston. His father, James Dundas, also gave Duncan the lands of Craigton in the parish of Abercorn. Duncan married Elizabeth and had two children, William who succeeded him and Elizabeth who married John Maitland. Duncan and his son William were murdered by John and James Wardlaw. (Pitcairn's criminal trials)
5. Alexander Dundas of Fingask ? (Various sources suggest that Alexander was the son of James Dundas 12th of Dundas and his wife Elizabeth Livingston)
6. Thomas Dundas
7. Elizabeth Dundas married to Philip Mowbray
8. Christian Dundas married to Sir John Sandilands
9. Margaret Dundas married to David Stewart, 4th Lord of Rosyth
10. Janet Dundas married Sir Alexander Livingston. Their daughter Eupham married Alexander Dundas of Fingask and another daughter Elizabeth married James Dundas, 12th of Dundas

In 1380, James Dundas obtained a new charter from King Robert 11 of the lands and barony of Fingask. He also obtained in 1397 a new charter from Baron Winchburgh of the lands of Dundas.  Another charter dated 28/2/1416 grants to James Dundas the lands of Easter-Blairmucks. In the following March, James obtained from Robert Duke of Albany who was then Governor of Scotland during King James 1 absence in England, a licence to rebuild and fortify Dundas Castle. For his greater security in these troubled times, James Dundas resigned his lands of Dundas and took a new charter in favour of his son (also called James Dundas), reserving to himself the liferent of same and to Christian Stewart, his wife, granting and ordaining her, peaceably at her pleasure to abide in the tower of Dundas after the decease of her husband. This charter is dated at Seaton, 30th November 1423. Upon King James 1 return from England, his Majesty granted James Dundas a confirmation of the licence to build the tower of Dundas, dated the 25th May 1424.
Calendar of the Laing charters: 30/4/1417. Charter by William of Melgdrum, laird of Clesch granting to James Dundas of that ilk, the lands of Craigtoun in the tenement of Philpston, in the barony of Abercorn and constabulary of Linlithgow, to be held by the granter and his heirs of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, under reversion to be redeemed for the sum of £40 Scots, payable in the parish church of Dunmanin (Dalmeny).

A licence was granted by the Governor Albany to James Dundas of Dundas, " to build fortify and erect in height his tower at Dundas in form of a castle, and to fortify and surround it with walls and ditches as he pleased, and to have in it a constable, porter, and other keepers necessary, vested with the same power as any other constable, or others, have in any castle within Scotland." Dated 3 March 1416. Another similar licence by King James I. is dated in 1424, and empowers the said James Dundas to turn his tower or fortalice of Dundas into the form of a castle.

Charter dated the 24th May 1429 by King James 1 to James Dundas of that ilk of barony of Fyngask, following on resignation thereof to the crown, now to be held by him and heirs male of himself and Christian Stewart, his spouse, whom failing his nearest lawful heirs, under reddendo of 1d. silver yearly. 

James Dundas of Dundas, founded and endowed a house of the Carmelite order at South Queensferry, and there is a Confirmation by George Lord Seton, Baron of the Barony of Winchburgh, confirming a Charter by him dated 1 March 1444, giving to God and the blessed Virgin Mary and the brethren of the order of Mount Carmel and their successors, a piece of ground lying in the town of the ferry (now South Queensferry), with the yard and green adjacent to the Church of the Virgin Mary and whole houses erected there in form of a monastery.

keep

The old keep was a massive 15th century structure of 4 storeys with a flat roof, with a later stair wing added to create an L-plan

 
In later years Dundas of Dundas argued that James Dundas 11th of Dundas, had had a first wife, (whose name has never been discovered) and by whom he had provided three sons, namely, James, Archibald and Duncan and that by his second wife, Christian, he had two further sons, i.e.; Alexander and Thomas,
The Dundas' of Fingask argued that no proof of a previous marriage existed and that Alexander Dundas was the son of James Dundas, 12th of Dundas and not son of James Dundas, 11th of Dundas. Either way, it is known that when James Dundas 12th of Dundas died, his brother Archibald carried on the main line of Dundas of Dundas.
The Dundas' of Dundas claim that James Dundas 12th of Dundas died childless. The Dundas' of Fingask claim that James did in fact have a son, by the name of Alexander who although he inherited the lands of Fingask,  he should also have been head of Dundas of Dundas, but was too young and his rightful inheritance was seized by his uncle.  Whether on James' death, Archibald seized the inheritance which rightly belonged to James Dundas' youngest son or whether James died childless, so Archibald succeeded by right as next heir, has never been proven beyond doubt.  It is known however, that from this time dates the separation of the lands of Dundas and Fingask and that they were never again held by the same hand.

James Dundas
12th of Dundas and Fingask
Son of: James Dundas
and: Christian Stewart
born:  
died: 18/5/1452 in the battle of Brechin
marriage  
  x Elizabeth Livingston, daughter of Sir Alexander Livingstone and Janet Dundas the daughter of John Dundas 10th of Dundas
  the following children were born of this union:
1. Alexander Dundas? (Various records show him as the son of James 11th of Dundas and Christian Stewart his wife, whilst others show him as son to James Dundas, 12th of Dundas and Elizabeth Livingstone).
2. Elizabeth Dundas married Sir David Guthrie, Lord Treasurer to James the 3rd
3. Margaret Dundas married Alexander Cockburn of Langton
4. Janet Dundas married Robert Bruce of Pithlethy

James succeeded to the estates of his father on the 6th November 1437.
During the troubled times which followed the murder of James 1 in 1437, and the succession of the boy King James 11, the name of James Dundas occurs along with Sir Alexander Livingston in the holding of the young King and the Queen mother in Stirling Castle. The rough treatment experienced by the young King, was not forgotten when he assumed the reins of government in January, 1449. At his first parliament, Sir Alexander Livingston and James Dundas were forfeit of their estates and imprisoned in Dumbarton Castle. They were in fact fortunate because they paid great sums of money to be imprisoned in Dumbarton Castle, whereas their partners in crime were beheaded. The estate of Fingask, which was held by the Sovereign, remained in the Sovereign's hands, but the estate of Dundas was given to the Earl of Douglas. James' brother, Archibald Dundas, attempted to resist by holding the tower at Dundas, which he retained until April 1449. 

From The Historie of Scotland; "In the year 1447, there was a parliament holden at Edinburgh, in which Sir Alexander Livingstone of Kalendar, James Dundas and Robert Dundas knights, at the pursuit of the Earl of Douglas, were forfeited and condemned to perpetual prison in Dumbarton".

James Dundas was pardoned after his death and on the 26/8/1452 the attainder against him and Duncan his brother was removed. The part of his estates remaining in the King's hand, namely Fingask was returned and a new charter was granted to James Dundas and his heirs male for Fingask. The lands of Dundas being in the possession of the Earl of Douglas at the time of his decease fell to the earl of Douglas' brother James and remained with him till they came to the crown by his forfeiture in 1452.

In 1465 a charter shows Archibald Dundas James' younger brother (who was a favourite of King James 11 and 111) in possession of the lands of Dundas and he assumed the designation of Dundas of that Ilk ever afterwards. It is at this point in the family history that the two lands are never held by the same hand again.

 

Archibald Dundas
13th of Dundas
Son of: James Dundas
and: Christian Stewart
born:  
died: 1479
Occupation: Sheriff of Linlithgowshire
marriage  
  x 1452 Agnes, daughter of 1st Lord Borthwick
  the following children were born of this union: 
1. John Dundas
2. Sir George Dundas Lord St. John. In the year 1522, Boece mentions George Dundas as a good Greek scholar. He was master of the Knights of St John in Scotland, and had, most probably, acquired the knowledge of the language on the Continent. Probably the George Dundas shown at St. Andrew's University in 1484
3. Beatrix Dundas, married to John Moncrieff
4. Janet Dundas, married Sir David Guthrie, 2nd of Kincaldrum, and 1st of Guthrie
5. Andrew Dundas? No definite proof of this, but shown at St. Andrew's University in 1477. Married Janet Bennet

Bought the barony of Over Barntoun, Edinburgh in 1460 from George Maxwell. In 1507 William Dundas, Archibald's grandson, sold the barony to Sir Robert Barton.

In 1450, Archibald Dundas held the tower of Dundas in defiance of James 11, declaring that he would die upon the walls, or extort from the King a free pardon for himself and his adherents.
In May 1454, a safe conduct was granted by the King of England to Archibald of Dundas to pass by way of Calais on pilgrimage to Rome.
Received from King James III a grant, 22 Nov.1471, during his minority, to Archibald Dundas of that ilk, that, although lands of Dundas pertaining to said Archibald are held of barony of Wynchburgh and his lands of Eichling are held of barony of Dunmanyng, which baronies are held of crown by ward and relief, nevertheless, when said baronies are in King's hands, said lands of Dundas and Eichling shall be free from ward and relief.
Archibald Dundas, obtained a grant of the forfeited estates of Dundas through the favour of the Earl of Douglas, and, consequently, in compliment to that family, his descendants, the subsequent Lairds of Dundas, have invariably borne the Douglas crest—a Salamander in flames proper, on a compartment below their shield of arms.

dundas coat of arms