Whittingehame

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Whittingehame is a parish wi a sma veelage in East Lowden, Scotland, aboot hawfwey atween Haddington an Dunbar, an near East Linton. The aurie is on the slopes o the Lammermuir Hills. Whittingehame Tower dates frae the 15t century an remains a residence.

Barony[eedit | eedit soorce]

Whittinghame Tower

The barony wis aunciently the possession o the Dunbar Earls o Mairch family, an Chalmers' Caledon records that they held their baronial court there. In 1372 George de Dunbar, 10t Earl o March, gave in marriage wi his sister Agnes tae James Douglas o Dalkeith, the manor o Whittingehame, wi the patronage o the Chapel. The Douglases remained in possession for ower 200 years: aboot 1537 Elizabeth (d. efter August 1557), dochter o Sir Robert Lauder o The Bass (d. 1517/18), marriet William Douglas o Whittingehame, an in October 1564 Mary I, Queen o Scots, confirmed tae their son, William Douglas o Whittinghame (d. 17 December 1595), a Senator o the College o Juistice, the barony o Whittingham, the castle, mills, an the avowson o the kirk there, ratifee'd bi parliament on 19 April 1567. This William Douglas haed marriet in 1566 Elizabeth (d. efter 6 August 1608), dochter o Sir Richard Maitland o Lethington, a Senator of the College of Justice.

Darnley an Riccio[eedit | eedit soorce]

It is said that the plot tae murther Mary's husband, Laird Darnley, wis discussed at length at Whittingehame castle in 1566, an in Mairch o that year "William Douglas o Whittingehame, brither tae Master Archibald Douglas parson of Douglas", is citit as ane o those in the conspiracy tae murder David Riccio. On 26 August 1582 William Douglas o Whittingehame is citit as ane o the Ruthven raiders.

On 28 December 1630, Sir Archibald Douglas, 5t o Whittingehame, son an heir o the previous couple, wis a witness tae the baptism o Archibald Sydserf at Whittingehame Kirk, but bi 1640 Sir Archibald wis deid wi nae issue. Whittingehame passed tae his brither Sir William Douglas o Stoneypath, near Garvald, whose dochter Isobel marriet, in 1628, Sir Arthur Douglas o the Kellour family, an their dochter Elizabeth (1632-1668) marriet, in 1652, Alexander Seton, 1st Viscoont o Kingston an carriet Whittingehame tae him (Elizabeth's brither Archibald haein dee'd unmarriet). Their youngest dochter Elizabeth, carriet Whittingehame tae her husband William Hay o Duns an Drumelzier, Peebleshire, upon their marriage in 1695. The Hays, as proprietors, wur heichlie esteemed bi their tenants.

In 1817 they sauld Whittingehame and Stoneypath, near Garvald, tae James Balfour (faither o the Politeecian James Maitland Balfour), seicont son o John Balfour, 5t o Balbirnie in Fife, who haed made a lairge fortune in Indie. James Balfour subsequently enlairgit his estate bi buyin up a great mony adjoinin properties. Bi 1900 there wur aboot 25 ferms on the Whittingehame estate. The coal mines on their Fife lands greatly increased their prosperity throughoot the 19t century.

Whittingehame Hoose[eedit | eedit soorce]

Whittingehame Hoose

James Balfour engaged James Dorward, frae Haddington, tae build a new neo-classical mansion an offices tae designs bi Sir Robert Smirke, Whittingehame Hoose, completit aboot 1817, wi additions an alterations bi airchitect William Burn ten years later. This became the family hame o the Balfours an the birth-place o the Prime Meenister Arthur Balfour an the scientist Francis Maitland Balfour. Atween 1939 an 1941, Whittingehame wis convertit intae a schuil for Jewish refugee childer comin tae Breetain through the Kindertransport. The schuil, kent as the Whittingehame Farm School, sheltered 160 childer atween the ages o 7 an 17. This biggin, a huge kintra hoose an A-leetit, still staunds, albeit nou dividit intae private apairtments. It is no open tae the public. Haein passed through various haunds efter the Balfours (at ane time it wis a private schuil - Holt Schuil, but it closed an the property lay dormant.) there is still hintle o interest tae see, includin a spectacular ceilin tae the dinin room.

Kirk an hamlet[eedit | eedit soorce]

A parochial schuil, o which the laird wis patron, wis lang established at Whittingehame, an in 1742 Mr James Hogg wis appointit schuilmaister there, transferred frae neighbourin Morham.

In 1820 James Balfour rebuilt the kirk, supplantin the previous rebuild o 1722, an then established, in 1840, a new model veelage tae the north-wast o the umwhile medieaval settlement. It consist o a schuilhoose an a string o cottages, aw in red sandstane.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Privy Council Registers for Scotland, pages 436-437/507.
  • Reminiscence & Notices of Ten Parishes of the County of Haddington by John Martine, edited by E J Wilson, Haddington, 1894, 'Whittinghame' pps: 38-57.
  • The Seven Ages of an East Lothian Parish - Whittingehame, by the Rev. Marshall B Lang, T.D., B.D., Minister of Whittingehame, with a Foreword by Lady Frances Balfour, Edinburgh, 1929.

See an aa[eedit | eedit soorce]

Coordinates: 55°57′N 2°38′W / 55.950°N 2.633°W / 55.950; -2.633