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The Elphinstone Era

The Tower's Elphinstone Inhabitants

The tower's first inhabitants were most likely Alexander Elphinstone, the First Lord Elphinstone, his wife Elizabeth, neé Barlow, their family and household.

The Elphinstone succession ran as follows:

In 1471, the Elphinstone lands in East Lothian (there are the remains of an earlier Elphinstone Tower near the village of Elphinstone near Tranent) were conveyed to the Johnstones of Elphinstone, leaving the family's land in Pittendreich, Stirlingshire, as their chief estate.

Pittendreich, sometimes "Pendrych" or "Pettyndreche", appears to be the name for a part of Erthbeg (now Airth).

Henry's son James, "Younger of Pittendreich", was born circa 1450, and died circa 1477.

Sir John Elphinstone of that ilk and of Pittendreich, son of James, was the father of the 1st Lord. He died circa 1508. In 1491, he exchanged the Pittendreich lands for nearby land. In 1497 he obtained a charter for the barony of Airth, "with tenants and tenandries". This (if I'm reading it correctly) is what became the barony of Elphinstone.

Alexander Elphinstone, 1st Lord Elphinstone, was the son of Sir John. He married Elizabeth Barlow, an English lady in waiting to Queen Margaret Tudor. He died 9 Sep 1513 in the Battle of Flodden, where, legend has it, he was mistaken on the battlefield for King James IV by the English.

Alexander Elphinstone, 2nd Lord Elphinstone, was the son of the 1st Lord, born 1511. He married Katharine Erskine, daughter of John Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine. He died in September 1547 from wounds received at the Battle of Pinkie.

Robert Elphinstone, 3rd Lord Elphinstone, was the son of the 2nd Lord, born 1530. He married Margaret Drummond, granddaughter of James IV. His Catholic faith and support for the exiled Mary, Queen of Scots, led him to transfer his lands to his son Alexander in 1577. He died on 18 May 1602.

Alexander Elphinstone, 4th Lord Elphinstone, was the son of the 3rd Lord. He was born in 1552. He served as Lord Treasurer of Scotland from 1599 to 1601. He married Jean Livingston, also a great-grandchild of James IV. He died in 1638.

Alexander Elphinstone, 5th Lord Elphinstone, was the son of the 4th Lord. He was born in 1577 and died in 1648.

Alexander Elphinstone, 6th Lord Elphinstone, died 1654.

Alexander Elphinstone, 7th Lord Elphinstone, was the son of the 6th Lord. Born about 1647, he married Anna Burnett, daughter of the Archbishop of Glasgow. He died 11 May 1669.

John Elphinstone, 8th Lord Elphinstone, was the second son of the 6th Lord. He was baptized at Airth on 28 August 1649. He married Isabel Maitland, daughter of Charles Maitland, Lord Hatton, in 1670. To address his debts, he sold much of the barony of Elphinstone, retaining only the "mansion-house and gardens, and grounds about the house". He died 1718.

Charles Elphinstone, 9th Lord Elphinstone, was the fifth son of the 8th Lord, born 14 April 1682. He married Elizabeth Primrose, daughter of Sir William Primrose, Baronet of Carrington. He served as captain in the military and was abroad from 1708 to 1711, in the Flanders campaign including the siege of Mons. In 1754, he sold the remaining lands to the trustees of the Earl of Dunmore, though he reserved his own liferent. His death in 1757 thus ended the Elphinstone era at the Tower.

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