Hon. Mary Livingston

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Hon. Mary Livingston

French: Hon. Marie Leviston
Also Known As: "'The Lusty", "' one of the Four Mary's"
Birthdate: (38)
Birthplace: Callendar, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Scotland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Alexander Livingston, 5th Lord Livingston of Callendar and Agnes Douglas of Morton
Wife of John Semple, 1st Lord Sempill of Beltrees
Mother of Capt. John Semple; Sir James Sempill of Beltries, 2nd Lord Sempill 'of Beltrees'; Arthur Semple and Dorathie Semple
Sister of William Livingstone, 6th Lord of Callendar; Thomas Livingston of Haining; Janet Livingston; Hon John Livingston, Master of Livingston; Elizabeth Livingston and 3 others

Occupation: Maid of Honour to Mary Queen of Scots.
Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Hon. Mary Livingston

Mary Livingston (c. 1541–1579) was a Scottish noblewoman and childhood companion of Mary, Queen of Scots, one of the famous "Four Marys".

Hon. Mary Livingston was the daughter of Alexander Livingston, 5th Lord Livingston and Lady Agnes Douglas.1 She married John Sempill, 1st of Beltrees, son of Robert Sempill, 3rd Lord Sempill and Elizabeth Carlile of Torthorwald.1 She died in 1579.1


XV. ALEXANDER, fifth lord Livingston, married, 2dly, lady Agnes Douglas, daughter of John second earl of Morton, by whom he had three sons and four daughters -

4. Mary, married to John Semple of Beltree, son of lord Semple.

source: page 413 "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.


From John Semple of Beltrees The Scots Peerage by Paul, James Page 548

Page 548 – John Sempill, who was legitimated as above in 1546, seems to have gone to France in 1560. He is described as ‘an Englishman born.’ .... He died on 25 August 1579, having married (contract 3 March 1564-65) Marie, daughter of Alexander, fifth Lord Livingstone. By her, who survived him, he had issue;-

  • Capt. John Semple abt 1564 - Bet 1646
  • Dorathie Semple
  • Sir James Semple, 2nd Lord Sempill 'of Beltrees' 1565 - 1626
  • Arthur Semple

"What happened to “the four Marys” (Beaton, Seton, Fleming, and Livingston) after the death of their lady, Mary, Queen of Scots?" Posted March 10, 2014

Mary Livingston

Mary Livingston was the daughter of Alexander 5th Lord Livingston and his wife Agnes Douglas, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Morton. She was a keen dancer and a good horse woman, being known as ‘Lusty’ by Mary and the other Maries. In 1564, she fell in love with John Sempill of Beltries, another keen dancer. Sempill was the illegitimate son of the Master of Sempill by his long term mistress, Elizabeth Carlile, an Englishwoman. This allowed Randolph to refer to him as ‘the happy Englishman’. The Livingston family were concerned at their daughter choosing an illegitimate son in marriage, but Mary encouraged them and paid for the wedding dress for the marriage on 6 March 1565. She also provided estates worth £500 per year, some out of the attainted lands of the Earl of Huntly at Strathbogie. When Strathbogie was restored to Huntly, the Livingstons were compensated with Little Cumbrae Island off the Clyde coast at Largs.

The couple remained unfailingly loyal to Mary. John tried to organise a plan for her escape from Lochleven. He later made a plan to assassinate the Earl of Morton, as Regent, but was caught and found guilty of treason. He managed to avoid a traitor’s execution, but was placed in Edinburgh Castle. Mary Livingston died in 1577, and although John Sempill was released in 1579, he died shortly after. They had four children. The eldest Sir James Sempill was educated at Stirling with James VI. He was a notable academic and, in 1599, assisted James in writing the Basilicon Doron, his treatise on divine right.


  • "The Livingstons Of Livingston Manor; Being The History Of That Branch Of The Scottish House Of Callendar Which Settled In The English Province Of New York During The Reign Of Charles The Second; And Also Including An Account Of Robert Livingston Of Albany, "The Nephew," A Settler In The Same Province And His Principal Descendants". 2017. Archive.Org. Accessed March 30 2017 page 62 "Now Mary Queen of Scots usually wrote it "Leviston, " as also did Lord Livingston's sister, the queen's namesake, and one of the celebrated quartette of "Queen's Maries," owing to their French upbringing.- .... In an inventory drawn up by Mary Livingston in 1566, on behalf of her royal mistress, the latter marks against each article of jewellery the name of the person to whom she, the queen, bequeaths it, in the event of her death before the birth of her expected child. Three members of the Livingston family are thus honored, namely: — "Madame de Levinston" = Lady Livingston; "Leviston lesnee" = Mary Livingston; and "Leviston la ieusne" = Magdalen Livingston, also a maid of honour- and a younger sister of the "Queen's Mary." The inventory is subscribed by the queen and Mary Livingston, the latter signing her name as "Marie Leviston." Les Inventaires de la Royne Descosse Douairiere de France.
  • "Inventaires De La Royne Descosse, Douairiere De France ; Catalogues Of The Jewels, Dresses, Furniture, Books, And Paintings Of Mary Queen Of Scots 1556 - 1569". 2017. Google Books. Accessed March 30 2017. page liii "Magdalene Livingston was the daughter of Alexander fifth Lord Livingston, and the younger sister of Mary Livingston, one of the Four Marys"
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Livingston
  • Information: Maid of Honour to Queen Mary
  • Alt Name: Marie Livingston, 'The Lusty',
  • Reference Number: Q4963236?
  • http://www.thepeerage.com/p68549.htm#i685483
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Hon. Mary Livingston's Timeline

1541
1541
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
1564
1564
Age 23
1565
1565
Age 24
Beltrees, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, ScotlandHereditary Sempill Lords of Beltrees & Clan Sempill
1568
1568
Age 27
Beltrees, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
1572
1572
Age 31
Beltrees, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
1579
August 25, 1579
Age 38
Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom
????
Scotland