|Balfour of Burleigh|
Arthur Balfour had three sons who succeeded in turn to possession of Fernie Castle. The youngest of the three, Francis Balfour (c.1744-1818), who inherited in 1795, had spent his working lifetime as a physician and surgeon with the East India Company in India, and only finally retired to Scotland in 1807. He appears to have amused himself in his declining years by making castellated additions to Fernie Castle in a rather charming 'cardboard Gothic' style, and he died at the house in 1818. His son and heir, also Francis Balfour (1779-1854), had followed his father into the East India Company's service and was a customs officer in India until 1824. Once back in Scotland, he married and raised a family of three sons, and in the 1840s he turned his attention to a more extensive remodelling of Fernie Castle, which essentially produced the house we see today. In 1862, his eldest son, Maj. Francis Walter Balfour (1830-1909), attempted to claim the barony of Balfour of Burleigh, which had been suspended under the attainder of 1715 for nearly a century and a half. Protracted hearings by the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords eventually determined that although Francis was the heir male of the last Lord, the terms of the letters patent by which the peerage had been granted meant that in default of a son to inherit, the title could pass through the female line. The rightful claimant was therefore a descendant of the 5th Lord's younger sister, who had married into the Bruces of Kennet, and he duly succeeded when the attainder was reversed in 1869. This explains why the surname of the current Lords Balfour of Burleigh is Bruce rather than Balfour.
Major F.W. Balfour was married in 1866 to Jane Amelia (1840-98), the daughter and heiress of Patrick Small Keir (d. 1889) of Kindrogan (Perthshire), and on his father-in-law's death, this property came into the Balfour family. Conveniently, Major Balfour had two sons, and the elder, Francis Balfour (1867-1926), inherited Kindrogan while the younger, William Keir Balfour (1869-1941) received Fernie Castle. William died childless, but Francis was succeeded by the energetic Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74), who on the death of his uncle's widow in 1952, also inherited the Fernie Castle estate. F.K. Balfour and his wife had no children, and perhaps because there was no close relative to succeed to the estates and continue the Balfour name, in 1960 he sold both Kindrogan and Fernie Castle within a few months and retired to a Dirnanean, a smaller house adjacent to the Kindrogan estate which he had bought in the 1920s. The Kindrogan estate went to the Forestry Commission and the house in due course became a Field Studies Centre, while Fernie Castle became an hotel.
Burleigh Castle, Kinross-shire
The earliest part of the present ruined castle is the rectangular north-west tower, dating from c.1500 and probably built for Michael Balfour (d. 1524/5), which consisted of three storeys and attics. The ground floor was a vaulted storeroom and the vault survives, but the upper floors were ceiled and the timbers of their floors and the roof above have long since vanished.
|Burleigh Castle: the north-west tower on the left dates from c.1500; the rest from 1582. |
Descent: granted in 1456 to Michael Balfour (fl. 1456); to son, Michael Balfour (d. 1525); to son, David Balfour (d. c.1531); to son, Michael Balfour (d. 1577); to daughter, Margaret (d. 1590), wife of Sir James Balfour (d. 1584), kt., whose lands were seized by the Crown, 1579, but regranted to Margaret in 1580; to son, Sir Michael Balfour (d. 1619), kt. and 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh; to daughter, Margaret (d. 1639), Baroness Balfour of Burleigh, wife of Robert Arnot (later Balfour) (d. 1663); to son, John Balfour (d. 1697), 3rd Lord Balfour of Burleigh; to son, Robert Balfour (d. 1713), 4th Lord Balfour of Burleigh; to son, Robert Balfour (d. 1747), 5th Lord Balfour of Burleigh, who was attainted and had his lands seized for his part in the 1715 rebellion; sold 1723 by auction to Hon. Margaret Balfour (d. 1769), who sold after 1747 but before her death.
Fernie Castle, Monimail, Fife
The core of Fernie Castle near Letham (Fife) is a 16th century tower, perhaps begun for Florentin Adinulty, who was granted the lands of Fernie in 1510 on condition that he build a sufficient house of stone and lime. If so, it was probably raised and enlarged late in the 16th century after the Fernie family recovered possession, and by the late 16th century the house consisted of a four-storey main block with two projecting towers at its western end: a taller crowstepped-gabled stairtower on the south side, and a round tower corbelled out to a diagonally-set rectangular caphouse on the north side.
|Fernie Castle: looking at the house from the south-west throws the original tower into prominence.|
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
In 1697, on the death of the 3rd Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Fernie passed to his younger son, the Hon. John Balfour (d. 1725), a Lt-Col. in the army, who declared for the Jacobites in the 1715 uprising. As part of the reprisals against those who had supported the Pretender, his estates were seized by the Crown. John's son, Arthur Balfour (d. 1746), had however, remained loyal to the Hanoverian cause, and in 1720 he received a grant of his father's estates. It was probably soon after this that he added a three-storey residential block to the east side of the old tower at Fernie Castle, which now forms the principal part of the house.
|Fernie Castle: the house from the south-east, after the removal of the harling.|
When Arthur died in 1746 he was succeeded in turn by his three sons: Sandford (d. 1769), John (d. 1795) and Francis (d. 1818). The last named returned from a career with the East India Company as a surgeon in India in 1807, and occupied his final years by giving the castle castellated additions in the 'toy fort' style, including the porch in front of the stairtower and a single-storey western extension with a battlemented parapet, which hid the service court. Probably at the same time, he constructed the stables and kennels across the park, built around two courtyards: these have now been converted as hotel accommodation. In c.1844-49, his son, another Francis Balfour (1779-1854), remodelled the 18th century eastern extension to the designs of Alexander Blyth or Alexander Mitchell, both whom were involved in some capacity. They made a new front door, added crowsteps to the gable-end, and built a Baronial extension at the back and a conical-roofed tower at the north-east angle, as well as remodelling the interior. The decorative features of the interiors are now mostly of the 1840s, and include a pleasant double drawing room on the first floor of the east block, and fine circular bedrooms in the big tower at the west end. The room next to the drawing room has a grey marble chimneypiece which is more likely to date from the 1815 alterations.
The house remained in the possession of the Balfour family until 1960, when Francis Keir Balfour sold it for development as an hotel. Since then, a round ballroom has been added at the rear, and since 1996, the once yellow-ochre coloured harling which unified the appearance of the house has been stripped off, at the cost of damage to its appearance and the protection of its fabric.
Descent: Florentin Adinulty (fl. 1510); recovered by 1527 by Walter Fernie (d. 1551); to son, who sold 1582 to William Fernie of Foxtoun... sold c.1605 to Sir Michael Balfour (d. 1619), 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh; to daughter, Margaret (d. 1639), Baroness Balfour of Burleigh, wife of Robert Arnot (later Balfour) (d. 1663), Baron Balfour of Burleigh in right of his wife; to son, John Balfour (d. 1697), 3rd Baron Balfour of Burleigh; to younger son, Lt-Col. the Hon. John Balfour (d. 1725), who was attainted for his part in the '15 and whose estates were seized by the Crown but granted again in 1720 and 1738 to his son, Arthur Balfour (d. 1746); to son, Sandford Balfour (1741-c.1767); to brother, John Balfour (c.1743-95); to brother Francis Balfour (c.1744- 1818); to son, Francis Balfour (1779-1854); to son, Maj. Francis Walter Balfour (1830-1909); to son, William Keir Balfour (1869-1941); to widow Mary Balfour (d. 1952) and then to his nephew, Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74), who sold 1960 for use as an hotel.
Kindrogan, Enochdhu, Perthshire
|Kindrogan House: entrance front|
A wide but low mid 19th century harled and white-painted two-storey house hunkering down into the landscape of upper Strathardle, probably built for Patrick Small Keir (1782-1860). It was perhaps built shortly before it was first recorded in 1849, but may incorporate some elements of the previous, reputedly 18th century, building on the site. The design has distinct echoes of the nearby Balnakeilly and the more distant Auchleeks House: as at the latter, the south-east facing entrance front has a slightly projecting centre containing the doorcase with a tripartite window above it, and also projecting end bays. But whereas at Auchleeks the whole facade is only five bays wide, at Kindrogan there is a five bay centre between the wings, and the wings have crowstepped gables, a mark of the later date of this house. The side elevation to the south-west consists of four bays, but is continued by a lower six-bay wing, not quite on the same alignment, with a further gable on the second bay from the right. Inside, the house preserves substantial remnants of the 19th century decorative scheme with decorative plaster cornices, timber doorcases and shutters, a cantilevered dog-leg staircase with a cast iron balustrade, a Tudor-style chimneypiece and a decorative ceiling in the former ballroom. The house became an hotel for a brief period in the early 1960s and was then sold for use as a Field Studies Centre, which it remains today.
Descent: Keir family, by descent to Margaret, wife of William Small; to son, Patrick Small Keir (1782-1860); to son, Patrick Small Keir (1810-89); to daughter, Jane Amelia (c.1840-98), wife of Francis Walter Balfour (1831-1909); to son, Francis Balfour (1867-1926); to son, Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74), who leased the house between the wars to his parents-in-law, Sir George and Lady Dolby, and sold 1960 to Forestry Commission, who leased it for use as an hotel; sold 1963 to Scottish Field Studies Association; gifted to Field Studies Council in 2010.
Dirnanean, Enochdhu, Perthshire
Although the estate belonged to the Small family and their descendants from the 16th century until the 1970s, the present house seems to be an early to mid 19th century laird's house, smaller in scale than Kindrogan but in a similar style. The building is again two-storeyed and low to the ground, which makes sense in this location a thousand feet above sea level. There have been various later additions and alterations, including the square bay window added at the left-hand end of the entrance front and the large porch next to it, which may date from after the Balfour family bought the estate in 1926.
Descent: John Stewart, 5th Earl of Atholl granted 1588 to Andrew Small; to son, George Small; to son, Andrew Small; to son, Patrick Small; ...Patrick Small (d. 1859); to son, James Small (1835-1900)... sold 1926 to Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74); sold after his death.
Balfour family of Burleigh, Barons Balfour of Burleigh
Balfour, Michael (fl. 1456). Son of Sir John Balfour (d. by 1486) of Balgarvie. He married Margaret [surname unknown], who seems to have been Treasurer of the Queen's Household, and had issue:
(1) Michael Balfour (d. 1524/5) (q.v.).
He had a feu-charter of Burleigh (Kinross-shire) and Tulery in 1456. He inherited Balgarvie from his father by 1486, and in 1490 he resigned these estates to the Crown for a regrant to his son, Michael.
He died before 1502.
Balfour, Michael (d. 1525). Son of Michael Balfour (fl. 1456) and his wife Margaret, born before 1464. He held an office in the King's ale cellar and was knighted in 1503. He married, before July 1502, Margaret Muschat, and had issue, perhaps among others:
(1) David Balfour (d. c.1531) (q.v.).
He had a charter of Burleigh and Balgarvie in 1490 on the resignation of his father and was probably responsible for building the earliest surviving tower at Burleigh. He resigned his estates to his son at the beginning of 1525.
He probably died between January and July 1525. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Balfour, David (d. c.1531). Son of Michael Balfour (d. 1524/5) and his wife Margaret Muschat. He succeeded his father as carver in the Royal Household, 1525. He married Agnes, daughter of Sir Duncan Forrester of Torwood, and had issue:
(1) Michael Balfour (d. 1577) (q.v.);
(2) Walter Balfour (fl. 1577);
(3) Robert Balfour (fl. 1564);
(4) Margaret Balfour; married Robert Douglas of Lochleven;
(5) A daughter; married Andrew Seton of Parbroath.
He inherited Burleigh from his father in 1525.
He died before 1531. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Balfour, Michael (d. 1577). Eldest son of David Balfour (d. c.1531) and his wife Agnes, daughter of Sir Duncan Forester. He married, before 1545, Christina, daughter of John Bethune of Creich, and had issue:
(1) Margaret Balfour (d. 1590); received a grant of a monopoly of making refined salt at Pittenweem (Fife), 1587; married 1st, Sir James Balfour (d. 1584), kt. (q.v.) of Pittendreich and Montquhanie (Fife), and had issue six sons and three daughters [for whom see the entry below for Sir James Balfour]; she is said to have married 2nd, Sir Robert Melville, the King's Secretary of State, but his first wife was still living in 1586 and this seems unlikely; she died in 1590.
He inherited Burleigh from his father in 1531; in 1542 he and his mother had a grant of the lands of Starr, and in 1545 he and his wife had a charter of the lands of Balgarvy.
He died 29 November 1577; his will was confirmed 2 April 1579. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Balfour, Sir James (d. 1584), Lord Pittenweem. Son of Sir Michael Balfour of Montquhany; his eldest brother Michael Balfour was ancestor of the Balfours of Balfour Castle (Orkney). As the author of the Scots Peerage put it, 'the political career of this statesman-lawyer... was not a creditable one; a man of undoubted ability, he distinguished himself chiefly by the facility with which he went from one political party to another as he found most convenient for his own interests'. He became a Protestant while a companion of John Knox (c.1513-72) in the garrison of St. Andrews Castle, 1546-47, and was a fellow-prisoner with Knox in the French galleys in 1547-49, but it was not long before he renounced the Protestant religion, and entered the service of Mary of Guise. After Mary, Queen of Scots arrived in Scotland he became one of her secretaries. He was a member of the Privy Council by 1561, and became a Lord of Session as Lord Pittenweem later that year. He was made one of the four Commissaries of Edinburgh, 8 February 1564, and was knighted and appointed Clerk Register of the Court of Session in 1566. He was openly accused of being one of those behind the murder of Lord Darnley, and in 1567 was Governor of Edinburgh Castle for Queen Mary and Bothwell. On the fall of the queen, he ensured his own safely by surrendering the castle. He was subsequently appointed Commendator of Pittenweem (Fife), and President of the Court of Session. After the death of the Earl of Moray in 1570 he switched sides to support the Queen again, before in 1572 deserting her for a second time. In 1571 his estates had been forfeited by Act of Parliament, but he and his brothers Gilbert and Robert were pardoned and reinstated. The charges arising from the murder of Lord Darnley being revived, however, he found it prudent to retire to France; he was again attainted for treason, 1579, and his lands were forfeited and regranted to others. He returned to Scotland in about 1580 to give evidence to the Privy Council against the Earl of Morton, and received a degree of protection, but he never regained his lands and offices. He married Margaret (d. 1590), daughter of Michael Balfour (d. 1577) of Burleigh, and had issue:
(1) Sir Michael Balfour (d. 1619), 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh (q.v.);
(2) Sir James Balfour (d. 1634), 1st Baron Balfour of Glenawley; he and his parents received a grant of lands at Musselburgh in 1573; he was described as prior of the Charterhouse, Perth, although how this should be interpreted is unclear since the Charterhouse had formally been dissolved in 1569; he had resigned that office before 1 February 1599; he was knighted before 1619 and raised to the Irish peerage as Baron Balfour of Glenawley, 8 November 1619; the creation of an Irish title may imply that he was an agent for his elder brother in managing the plantation of Ulster; he married 1st, Grizel, oldest daughter of Patrick Balfour of Pitcullo, by whom he had issue three sons and three daughters; 2nd, Elizabeth, daughter of George Hay, Earl of Erroll (who had previously married Sir John Leslie of Balquhain but divorced him 9 March 1597) and 3rd, Anne, daughter of Edward, 1st Lord Blaney; he died in London and was buried at St Anne, Blackfriars, 24 October 1634;
(3) William Balfour (fl. 1598); he was confined in Edinburgh Castle in 1598 but released on bail;
(4) Henry Balfour (d. by 1615); entered the service of the United States of the Netherlands, and became an officer in the Dutch army (Capt.); married Maria Van Leeuven (fl. 1618) died before 4 August 1615;
(5) David Balfour (d. by 1638); entered the service of the United States of the Netherlands, and became an officer in the Dutch army; married, 30 October 1607, Anne, daughter of Sir Paul Bax, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died before 6 December 1638;
(6) John Balfour; entered the service of the United States of the Netherlands, and became an officer in the Dutch army; in 1606 he offered to raise a company of Scottish infantry for service in the Low Countries;
(7) Marie Balfour; married Walter Arnot of Arnot (Fife);
(8) Helen Balfour; said to have married Barclay of Collairnie;
(9) Agnes Balfour; married John Henderson of Fordell.
He inherited Burleigh in right of his wife in 1577. He forfeited his estates in 1579 but they were regranted to his wife and children after his death in 1584.
He died on or about 24 January 1584. His widow is said to have married 2nd, Sir Robert Melville, but this is perhaps unlikely; she died in 1590.
Balfour, Sir Michael (d. 1619), 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh. Eldest son of Sir James Balfour (d. 1584), kt., of Burleigh, Pittendreich and Montquhanie, Lord Pittenweem, and his wife Margaret, daughter of Michael Balfour of Burleigh. He was knighted before 1592. In 1599 he secured a monopoly on the import of stands of armour from Flanders, which he seems to have enforced energetically. In 1601 he was charged with harbouring Jesuit priests, but was acquitted, and he was soon after appointed one of the Masters of the King's Household. A few weeks later he was sent on an embassy to France, perhaps again in connection with the supply of armour, but in 1606 he was appointed Ambassador to the Duke of Tuscany and Lorraine. He was created Lord Balfour of Burleigh by letters patent, 16 July 1607, and was sworn of the Privy Council, 1610. In 1611 he became one of the five Undertakers for the Plantation of Ulster, and received a grant of 3,000 acres in Co. Fermanagh, although he may never have visited Ulster in person. He incurred the King's displeasure in 1612 and was briefly removed from the Privy Council, but he was reinstated in 1613. He married 1st, October 1577, Marion Adamson, and 2nd, 1591 (contract 12 July), Margaret (d. 1625), daughter of William Lundie of Lundie, and had issue:
(2.1) Margaret Balfour (d. 1639), Baroness Balfour of Burleigh; married, 1606 (contract 30 August), Robert Arnot (later Balfour) (d. 1663) (q.v.), and had issue one son and four daughters; died in Edinburgh, June 1639.
He had charters in 1567 and 1568 from James Stewart, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, of the lands of Strathkiness, Ballone, and the ecclesiastical lands near Cupar called Kirkfield, and was regranted Burleigh with his mother after his father's death in 1584; he arranged a further regrant of these lands to him in 1600. He purchased Fernie Castle in about 1605. In 1606 he resigned his estates to the Crown, reserving his own life rent, and petitioned for a new grant of the lands to his son-in-law and his issue by his daughter, which was duly issue in 1607. In 1614 he received a Crown grant of the lands of Kilwinning Abbey, which he sold shortly afterwards to the Earl of Eglinton.He died 15 March 1619, and his will was confirmed 10 July 1620. His first wife died by 1591. His widow died at Kilmanie (Fife) in 1625; her will was confirmed 10 June 1626.
Arnot (later Balfour), Robert (d. 1663), 'Lord Balfour of Burleigh'. Eldest son and heir of Robert Arnot of Newton, Chamberlain of Fife. Deputy Comptroller. In consideration of his intended marriage, he became the adopted son of the 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and took the name and arms of Balfour in lieu of Arnot. He was a Presbyterian in religion, and sat in the Scots Parliament as a baron in right of his wife from 1621, where he was chosen President for the sessions of 1640-41, Vice-President in 1650, and President again in 1651. He was one of the Commissioners for the Treaty of Peace with England in 1640 and 1641, was appointed a Privy Councillor, 1641, and opposed the decision to send Scottish troops in England for the rescue of the King. In 1644 and 1645 he was in the field with the Covenanting Army, but was twice defeated by Montrose at Aberdeen and Kilsyth. He was made a Burgess of Aberdeen in 1644, a Commissioner of the Treasury in 1649, and Commissioner of Supply for Fife and Kinross, 1655. He was excepted from the Act of Indemnity in 1662 and fined a crushing £13,333, which he did survive long enough to pay. He married, 1606, Margaret (d. 1639), Baroness Balfour of Burleigh, only child of Sir Michael Balfour, 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh (q.v.), and had issue:
(1) John Balfour (d. 1697), 3rd Baron Balfour of Burleigh (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Jean Balfour (d. 1649); married 4 February 1627, David Wemyss (1610-79), later 2nd Earl of Wemyss, and had issue six sons and five daughters; died 10 November 1649;
(3) Hon. Margaret Balfour; married, as his first wife, Sir John Crawfurd of Kilbirnie, but had no issue;
(4) Hon. Isabel Balfour; married Thomas, 1st Lord Ruthven of Freeland, and had issue;
(5) Hon. Jean Balfour; married her cousin, James Arnot of Fernie.
Her husband received a Crown grant of Burleigh and Fernie Castle in 1607, subject to her father's life-rent.
She died in Edinburgh in June 1639. Her husband died at Burleigh, 10 August 1663.
Balfour, John (c.1620-97), 3rd Lord Balfour of Burleigh. Only son and heir of Robert Arnot (later Balfour), and his wife Margaret, Baroness Balfour of Burleigh, daughter of Sir Michael Balfour, 1st Lord Balfour of Burleigh, probably born about 1620. As a young man he was a good deal in France, where he was wounded, and coming home through London in 1649 he met and married (without the consent of his father, who tried unsuccessfully to get the marriage annulled), Isabella, daughter of Sir William Balfour of Pitcullo, then Lieutenant of the Tower of London, and had issue:
(1) Robert Balfour (d. 1713), 4th Baron Balfour of Burleigh (q.v.);
(2) Lt-Col. the Hon. John Balfour (d. 1725) [for whom see below, Balfour of Fernie Castle];
(3) Maj. the Hon. Henry Balfour (fl. 1683-1715), of Dunbog (Fife); an officer in the Dragoons (Maj.), who also served abroad in the service of the States of Holland; he was granted the lands of Starr in 1691 and Dunbog in 1694; MP for Fife in the last Scottish Parliament, where he opposed the union with England; he took part in the 1715 rebellion and was captured at Carlisle; he was attainted and his lands seized by the Crown, but they were regranted to his children in 1720 and 1728; he married, before 1697, Elizabeth Oliphant, widow of George Bannerman of Dunbog, and had issue three sons and six daughters;
(4) Hon. Margaret Balfour (c.1653-1734), born about 1653; married, November 1670, Andrew (d. 1701), 3rd Lord Rollo, whom she sued for desertion in 1696, and had issue three sons and four daughters; died at Canongate, Edinburgh, 20 October 1734;
(5) Hon. Isobel Balfour; died unmarried;
(6) Hon. Emilia Balfour (c.1658-1732), born about 1658; married Sir John Malcolm (1646-1729), 1st bt. of Lochore and Innertiel, and had issue four sons; died 12 January 1732;
(7) Hon. Jean Balfour; married 1st, 1684, as his second wife, George Oliphant (d. 1684) of Gask, and had issue one daughter, born posthumously, who died in infancy; she married 2nd, May 1688, Sir Robert Douglas (1664-1724) of Kirkness, and had issue two sons and five daughters;
(8) Hon. Susan Balfour (c.1667-c.1735), said to have been born in 1667; married, 28 September 1688, as his second wife, Robert Douglas (1649-1706) of Strathendry and had issue four sons and four daughters (including Margaret, the mother of the political economist, Adam Smith); probably died between 1731 and 1736;
(9) Hon. Anne Balfour (b. 1670), born 10 March 1670; married Capt. Robert Sinclair, but had no issue.
He inherited Burleigh and Fernie Castles from his father in 1663.
He died between 10 December 1696 and 27 February 1697. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Balfour, Robert (1651-1713), 4th Lord Balfour of Burleigh. Elder son of John Balfour (c.1620-97), 3rd Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and his wife Isabella, daughter of Sir William Balfour of Pitcullo, baptised at Dysart (Fife), 25 November 1651. He was one of the Commissioners for serving the office of Lord Clerk Register of the Court of Session, 1689. He married Lady Margaret, only daughter of George Melville, 4th Lord and 1st Earl of Melville, and had issue:
(1) Robert Balfour (1687-1757), 5th Baron Balfour of Burleigh (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Margaret Balfour (d. 1769), who would have succeeded as Baroness Balfour but for her brother's attainder; in 1723 she purchased the Burleigh estate from the Crown at auction; it was in her possession in 1747 but was later sold; she died unmarried at Edinburgh, 12 August 1769 and was buried at Canongate kirkyard;
(3) Hon. Mary Balfour (d. 1758); married, 6 August 1714, Maj. Alexander Bruce (d. 1748) of Kennet, and had issue one son (ancestor of the Bruces of Brucefield, to whom the Barony of Balfour of Burleigh passed when the attainder of the 5th Baron was reversed in 1869; this family and the later Lords Balfour of Burleigh will be the subject of a separate post) and one daughter; died at Kerse (Stirlings.), 7 November 1758.
He inherited Burleigh Castle from his father in 1697.
He died in July 1713. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Balfour, Robert (1687-1757), 5th Lord Balfour of Burleigh. Only son of Robert Balfour (d. 1713), 4th Baron Balfour of Burleigh, and his wife Margaret, only daughter of George Melville, 4th Lord and 1st Earl of Melville. When a young man he fell in love with the governess of his sisters, Miss Robertson, on account of which he was sent to travel, and she was dismissed. Before going he threatened that if she married anyone else in his absence, he would kill her husband. Despite the threat, she married Henry Stenhouse, the schoolmaster at Inverkeithing, having acquainted him with the risk, but when Balfour returned home, on 9 April 1707 he carried his threat and shot Stenhouse in front of his pupils, wounding him in the shoulder. The intent may not have been murder, but after twelve days Stenhouse died. For this crime, Balfour was tried and found guilty on 4 August 1709, and sentenced to be beheaded, but he escaped from prison the day before his execution by exchanging clothes with one of his sisters, and no very great efforts appear to have been made to recapture him. In 1714 he was present at a meeting at Lochmaben when the health of the Pretender was publicly drunk, and he took part in the rebellion the following year, for which he was attainted by Act of Parliament, 13 November 1715, and stripped of his title and estates. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Burleigh Castle from his father in 1713, but it was seized by the Crown in 1715 on his attainder.
He was buried at Greyfriars kirkyard, Edinburgh, 20 March 1757.
Balfour family of Fernie Castle
Balfour, Lt-Col. The Hon. John (d. 1725). Second son of John Balfour (d. 1697), 3rd Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and his wife Isabella, daughter of Sir William Balfour of Pitcullo. An officer in the Army of King James VII and II (Lt-Col.). He joined the Jacobite rebellion in 1715, and was tried at Carlisle and attainted for treason, 1716. He married, 1684 (contract 7 October), Barbara (d. 1709), daughter of Rt. Rev. Arthur Ross, Archbishop of Glasgow, and had issue including:
(1) Arthur Balfour (1687-1746) (q.v.);
(2) Barbara Balfour (b. 1689), baptised at Monimail, 6 May 1689; married, 28 November 1703, John Robertson of Inches;
(3) John Balfour (d. 1767); served heir to Capt. William Crawford of Powmiln, 1731, under a deed of tailzie and took the name and arms of Crawford in lieu of Balfour; he was also served heir to his younger brother, Robert Balfour, 1738; married and had issue three sons and one daughter; died at Edinburgh, 8 February 1767;
(4) Robert Balfour (d. by 1738); died in or before March 1738, when his brother was served heir to him;
(5) Isobel Balfour (d. 1763); married, 1709, Sir John Malcolm (1681-1753), 2nd bt., of Lochore, and had issue one son; died at Kirkcaldy (Fife), 14 December 1763.
He inherited Fernie Castle from his father in 1697, but his property was sequestered by the Crown in 1716 on his attainder. Fernie was regranted in 1720 to his son, Arthur Balfour.
He died 8 September 1725. His wife was buried at Monimail, 9 September 1709.
Balfour, Arthur (1687-1746). Eldest son of Lt-Col. the Hon. John Balfour (d. 1725) and his wife Barbara, daughter of Rt. Rev. Arthur Ross, Archbishop of Glasgow, baptised at Glasgow, 27 June 1687. He served with the Hanoverian forces during the 1715 Jacobite rebellion. He married 1st, 1736 (contract 21 February), Dorothy Sandford (d. 1739), widow of Christopher Crackenthorpe of Crackenthorpe (Westmld) and 2nd, 1 June 1740 at Edinburgh, Janet (d. 1796), daughter of George Paterson of Dunmuir, and had issue:
(2.1) Sandford Balfour (1741-c.1767) (q.v.);
(2.2) Elizabeth Balfour (1742-1816), born 3 July and baptised at Coupar, 10 July 1742; married, 8 August 1762, William Lindsay (d. 1803) of Feddinch, St. Andrews, and had issue; died at St. Andrews, 11 December 1816;
(2.3) John Balfour (c.1743-95) (q.v.);
(2.4) Francis Balfour (c.1744-1818) (q.v.);
(2.5) Barbara Balfour (b. c.1745).
He received a Crown grant for life of his father's estate of Fernie Castle for life in 1720 and was fully restored in 1738.
He died 20 December 1746. His first wife died 7 June 1739. His widow died 15 January 1796.
Balfour, Sandford* (1741-c.1767). Eldest son of Arthur Balfour (1687-1746) of Fernie Castle and his second wife, Janet, daughter of George Paterson of Dunmuir, born 16 June and baptised at Coupar, 25 June 1741. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Fernie Castle estate from his father in 1746.
He probably died in or before 1767.
* Entered in the parish register of Monimail as 'Samford'.
Balfour, John (c.1743-95). Second son of Arthur Balfour (d. 1746) of Fernie Castle and his second wife, Janet, daughter of George Paterson of Dunmuir, born about 1743. He was unmarried and without issue.
He was served heir of his elder brother in 1769, but occurs in the local press as 'John Balfour of Fernie' as early as 1767.
He died 23 July 1795.
Balfour, Francis (c.1744-1818), Third son of Arthur Balfour (d. 1746) of Fernie Castle and his second wife Janet, daughter of George Paterson of Dunmuir, born about 1744. He was educated at Edinburgh University (MD, 1767). Physician. A surgeon in the service of the East India Company from 1769 (Asst. Surgeon, 1769; Surgeon, 1777; Head Surgeon, 1786; retired 1807); in the 1770s he served as a Coroner and he was a member of the Madras Medical Board, 1788, 1792-96 and 1802-07. In the 1780s he was a close friend of Warren Hastings, to whom he dedicated The forms of Herkern (1781), the earliest fruit of his labours as an Orientalist, consisting of a Persian formulary and vocabulary which he had translated into English. He was one of the first members of the Bengal Asiatic Society, founded in 1784, and published several papers in their journal on the Arabic roots of the Persian and Hindustani languages, Arabic and Persian grammar, etc.. He also published scientific and medical treatises, including A treatise on the action of Sol-Lunar influence (1784) and A treatise on putrid intestinal remitting fevers (1790). He married, 6 August 1777 in Madras (India), his cousin, Emily or Emilia (1750-89), daughter of Henry Balfour of Dunbog, and had issue:
(1) Francis Balfour (1779-1854) (q.v.);
(2) Emilia Frances Balfour (1782-1810); married, 6 June 1808 at Edinburgh, Sir Neil Menzies (1780-1844), 6th bt., of Castle Menzies (who m2, 1816, Grace Conyers Charlotte, daughter of Hon. Fletcher Norton), and had issue three daughters; died 1810.
He inherited the Fernie Castle estate from his elder brother in 1795.
He died at Fernie Castle, 19 April 1818. His wife died 30 December 1789.
Balfour, Francis (1779-1854). Only son of Francis Balfour MD (d. 1818) of Fernie Castle and his wife, born in India and baptised at Calcutta, 9 February 1779. An officer in the service of the East India Company, 1795-1824 (in the office of the Board of Revenue until 1801 and a customs collector from 1804); Proprietor of a lunatic asylum at Newchurch (IoW) in 1851. He married, 4 November 1828 at Ceres (Fife), Margaret Georgina (1805-53), daughter of Graham Bower of Kincaldrum (Angus) and had issue:
(1) Maj. Francis Walter Balfour (1830-1909) (q.v.);
(2) James Bower Balfour (1831-64), born 22 May and baptised in Edinburgh, 9 June 1831; an officer in the Royal Navy (Cadet, 1845; Lt.); married, 9 August 1859 at St Thomas' church, St John's, Newfoundland (Canada), Martha Maria (d. 1863), second daughter of G.H. Emerson QC of Virginia Water, St. John's, Newfoundland, and had issue one daughter; died at sea between Valparaiso and Juan Fernandez (Chile), 5 January 1864;
(3) Graham Montague Balfour (c.1837-70), born 31 December 1837 and baptised in Italy, 9 January 1838; educated at Addiscombe College; an officer in the Madras Army (Ensign, 1858; Lt., 1862; Capt., 1870); married, 14 June 1862 at Trichinopoly and again 20 November 1863 at Quilon, Madras (India), Emily Charlotte Nield and had issue one son and one daughter; died 15 November 1870 and was buried at Chanda, Bengal (India) on the same day.
He inherited the Fernie Castle estate from his father in 1818. He was responsible for major alterations to the house in c.1844-49.
He died at Fareham (Hants), 3 December 1854 and was buried at Monimail. His wife died at Alverstoke (Hants), 6 March 1853.
Balfour, Maj. Francis Walter (1830-1909). Eldest son of Francis Balfour (1779-1854) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Graham Bower of Kincaldrum (Angus), born 6 January and baptised in Edinburgh, 9 January 1830. An officer in the Rifle Brigade (2nd Lt., 1847; Lt., 1852; Capt., 1855; Maj., 1856; retired 1856), who served in the Crimean War; DL for Fife. He was an unsuccessful claimant to the barony of Balfour of Burleigh as heir male in 1862. He married, 25 October 1866 at Kindrogan (Perths.), Jane Amelia (1840-98), daughter of Patrick Small Keir of Kindrogan, and had issue:
(1) Francis Balfour (1867-1926) [for whom see below, Balfour of Kindrogan];
(2) William Keir Balfour (1869-1941) (q.v.).
He inherited the Fernie Castle estate from his father in 1854 and Kindrogan in right of his wife in 1889. The Fernie estate was disentailed in 1889.
He died intestate, 24 February 1909; administration of his goods was confirmed to his elder son, 23 April 1909 (estate £9,655). His wife died at Kindrogan, 9 February 1898, and was buried at Monimail.
Balfour, William Keir (1869-1941). Younger son of Maj. Francis Walter Balfour (1830-1909) and his wife Jane Amelia, daughter of Patrick Small Keir of Kindrogan (Perths.), born 9 December 1869. As a young man he spent many years ranching in Canada. He was a keen sportsman, particularly devoted to shooting and salmon fishing. He was a member of Fife County Council, Chairman of Cupar Rural District Council and Fife War Pensions Committee, and Chairman of Monimail Parish Council. He married, 12 April 1910 at Dysart House (Fife), Mary (1876-1952), daughter of Sir Michael Barker Nairn, 1st bt., of Rankeilour and Dysart House, but had no issue.
He inherited the Fernie Castle estate from his father in 1909. At his death it passed to his widow for life and then to his nephew, Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74) of Kindrogan.
He died of a seizure while out shooting, 10 September 1941 and was buried at Monimail (Fife); his will was confirmed in Scotland in December 1941 (effects £29,273). His widow died 29 September 1952 and was also buried at Monimail.
Balfour family of Kindrogan
|Francis Balfour (1867-1926)|
(1) Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74) (q.v.);
(2) Katherine Amelia Balfour (1907-52), born 13 May 1907; married, 1940, Valentine Dudley Palmer (1909-41), tea planter (who died at sea as a result of enemy action), but had no issue; died at Eastbourne, 16 August 1952; will proved 25 November 1952 (estate £43,500);
(2) Patrick Small Keir Balfour (1910-67), born 10 September 1910; educated at Repton; married, 1 February 1936, Lila Camilla (1910-2001), daughter of Basil Edward Spicer, and had issue one son and three daughters; died in Glasgow, 11 May 1967.
He inherited the Kindrogan estate from his father in 1909.
He died 2 August 1926. His widow lived at Eastbourne (Sussex) after his death and died 11 June 1971; her will was proved 18 August 1971 (estate £1,692).
|Francis Keir Balfour (1905-74)|
He inherited the Kindrogan estate from his father in 1926, but leased the house to his parents in law as a summer home. He bought Dirnanean in 1926 and lived there until after his father-in-law's death, after which he moved back to Kindrogan. He sold the Kindrogan estate to the Forestry Commission in 1960. He inherited Fernie Castle from his cousin in 1952, and sold that for use as an hotel in 1960. Dirnanean was sold after his death.
He died 3 November 1974 and was buried in the private burial ground at Kindrogan, where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument. His widow died 7 April 1981 and was buried with her husband at Kindrogan.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1937, p. 89; Burke's Landed Gentry - The Kingdom in Scotland, 2001, pp. 115-17; J.B. Paul, The Scots Peerage, vol. 1, pp. 530-47; J. Gifford, The buildings of Scotland: Fife, 1988, pp. 225-26; N. Haynes, Perth and Kinross: an illustrated architectural guide, 2000, pp. 176-78, 232-33; J. Gifford, The buildings of Scotland: Perth and Kinross, 2007, pp. 164, 184, 250-52; G. MacGregor, Red Book of Scotland, 2nd edn., vol 1, pp. 323-37.
Location of archives
Balfour family of Fernie Castle: deeds, family and estate papers, 1469-20th century [St Andrews University Library [MS38262-38271/5]
Coat of arms
Balfour of Fernie and Kindrogan: Argent, on a chevron sable, an otter's head erased of the first.
Notes about missing information and help wanted with this entry
- If anyone can provide additional genealogical or career information about the earlier generations of this family, it will be gratefully received.
- Any additional portraits or photographs of members of this family whose names appear in bold above will be very welcome.
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 14 October 2018 and updated 22-23 August 2021. I am grateful to Rory Cunningham for corrections and additional information.