Isabel Elphinstone

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About Isabel Elphinstone

ISABEL ELPHINESTONE (aka ISSOBELLE ELPHINSTOUN)

The name of Isabel Elphinstone's father is not known. She is mentioned in two family histories produced by Sir William Fraser, one for the Maxwell family and the other for the Elphinestone family, but he was unable to identify any relationships for her, other than two marriages, one marriage to Robert Lindsay of Dunrod, and another marriage to Robert Maxwell of Calderwood.

In his account of the Maxwell family, Sir William Fraser identified Isabel Elphinestone as the eldest daughter of Alexander Elphinestone, first Lord Elphinestone. Maxwell Memoirs, i, p. 469 By the time he completed his account of the Elphinestone family, thirty-four years later, he had changed his mind, identifying Isabel Elphinestone instead as the daughter of Sir John Elphinestone. However, he did not say what it was that made him change his mind, and he did not cite any evidence in support of either proposition.The Elphinestone Family Book, pp. 33-4

Nurse to James, Prince of Scotland

Isobelle Elphinestoun served in the household of James IV, King of Scots, as nurse to the King's infant son, Prince James. The Elphinestone Family Book, ii, pp. 243-44

Death

According to Sir William Fraser, Robert Maxwell of Calderwood died in 1540 and his wife, Isabella Elphinstone: "seems to have predeceased him." The Elphinestone Family Book, i, p. 34

First Marriage

Isobell Elphistoun married Peter Colquhoun, citizen of Glasgow Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. I., A. D. 1488-1529, entry number 2431 on p. 370 He died before 9 September 1512. Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. I., A. D. 1488-1529, entry number 2431 on p. 370

Second Marriage

Isabella Elphinestone is said to have married David Lindsay of Dunrod.The Elphinestone Family Book, pp. 33-4 She is called lady of Dunrod on 7 August 1516 The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XIV., A. D. 1513-1522, pp. 193-94 and again on 12 March 1523. The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XV., A. D. 1523-1529, pp. 56-7

Third Marriage

Isabella Elphinestone married Robert Maxwell of Calderwood. The Elphinestone Family Book, pp. 33-4

Children of Peter Colquhoun

Children of David Lindsay of Dunrod

Sir William Fraser makes no mention of any children from the first marriage. The Elphinestone Family Book, pp. 33-4

Children of Robert Maxwell of Calderwood

According to Sir William Fraser, Isabella Elphinestone and Robert Maxwell of Calderwood had three children:

Biographical Account by Sir William Fraser

Isabella Elphinstone. This lady was highly esteemed at the Court of King James the Fourth, and on the birth of Prince James, his first son, on 21st February 1507, she was appointed, by the royal parents, to the responsible office of nurse to the young prince. This ofiice she fulfilled to the perfect satisfaction of the king and queen. The prince died in infancy, on 27th February 1508, and, in recompense for her service, King James the Fourth gave to her, for the term of her life, the forms of the 5 merkland of Chapeltoun, during the leases of the tenants, and after the end of the leases, the lands themselves; and the ferms of the 5 merklands of Bonischaw and Dririg, 5 merklands of Myltoun Crevauche, 5 merklands of Ormyllisheuche, 5 merklands in Blaklaw, and 5 merklands in Riddinghill and Holhouse, extending in the king's rental to 20 lib., in the bailiery of Cunynghame, and shire of Ayr. This ample gift was bestowed, as the king states, on Isobel Elphinstoun, “nurse of the deceased James, our son, for her faithful and thankful service in her diligent and assiduous labour by her undertaken, and done in tender nursing of the said James.” The charter is dated at Edinburgh, 9th March 1507-8.

Isabella Elphinstone was first married to David Lindsay of Dunrod. She was his second wife, as he and Eufamia Stewart, his first spouse, receive a charter of a £20 land in the Isle of Bute on 16th June 1498. Isabella Elphinstone, lady of Dunrod, was married, secondly, to Robert Maxwell, sixth of Calderwood. In her account to the exchequer, following the one just mentioned, and extending from 7th August 1516 to 1st July 1522, dated 17th March 1523, she is styled Isobella Elphinstoun, lady of Calderwod. Her marriage to Robert Maxwell may have taken place between the 12th and 17th of March 1523. Robert Maxwell died in 1540, and his wife seems to have predeceased him. She had issue by her second husband, two sons and one daughter. The Elphinestone Family Book, pp. 33-4

Biographical Account by Sir James Balfour Paul

The Scots Peerage, iii, pp. 529-30

Evidence from the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

9 September 1512: A Lettre of Tak maid to Isobell Elphinstoun, the spouse of umquhile Petir Colquhoun, citinar of Glasgow, and hir assignais, ane or maa, - of all and hale the assise hering of the west sey and lowis of the realme, for the termez of xiii zeris nixt tocum eftir the date hereof, quhilk salbe hir entre, etc., payand thairfor zerely sex lastis of hering gude and sufficient stuf, at sic termez as umquhile the said Petir pait of befor, etc. Subscripta per Regum. gratis iv 208 Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. I., A. D. 1488-1529, entry number 2431 on p. 370

Evidence from the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland

                   1

9 March 1507: Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XIII, A. D. 1508-1513, pp. 40-41

                   2

7 August 1516: Isabella Elphinstoun, lady of Dunrod, her account as lessee of the assise-herring of the western seas and lochs: "Isabelle Elphinstoun, domine de Dunrod, arrendatarie allecum assise maris et lacuum occidentalium, Edinburgh, 7 August 1516, from 9 September 1513, 3 years." The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XIV., A. D. 1513-1522, pp. 193-94

                   3

12 March 1523:Isobella Elphinestoune domina de Dunrod The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XV., A. D. 1523-1529, pp. 56-7

                   4

17 March 1523: "Compotum Isobelle Elphinstoun, domine de Calderwod, arrendatrie allecum assise maris et lacuum occidentalium. redditum per eundem (Edinburgh, 17 March 1523, from 7 August 1516 to 1 July 1522)" The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XV., A. D. 1523-1529, p. 60

                   5

22 October 1530: Letter about the mailing of Blacklaw, from Robert Maxwell of Calderwood and his wife Isobelle Elphinestoun: The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, VOL. XV., A. D. 1523-1529, p. 585

Evidence from the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland

                   1

9 March 1507-08: Charter by which Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A. D. 1424-1513, charter number 3204 on p. 684

Elphinestone Family Book, ii, pp. 243-44

                   2

On 14 January 1524-25: Isobelle Elphinstoun, domine de Dunrod, et Roberto Maxwell de Caldirwod ejus sponsa Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A. D.1513-1546, charter number 294 on p. 66

                   3

On 15 August 1530 the King cancelled a charter made in favour of Robert Maxwell of Calderwood and his wife Isobelle Elphinestoun Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A. D.1513-1546, charter number 959 on p.209

                   4

On 1 June 1537 reference is made to the cancelation of a charter in favour of the late Robert Maxwell of Calderwood and his wife Isobelle Elphinestoun. Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A. D.1513-1546, charter number 1667 on pp. 370-71

Evidence from the National Records of Scotland

                   1

1 February 1540: Extract by the Lords of Council, annulling the decree given against Elizabeth or Isobel Elphinstone, Lady of Calderwood and Robert Maxwell of Calderwood, her son. National Records of Scotland, Boyd Papers, Burgh of Kilmarnock, reference GD8/108

                   2

18 March 1540: Extract by the Lords of Council, annulling the decree given against Elizabeth or Isobel Elphinstone, Lady of Calderwood and Robert Maxwell of Calderwood, her son. National Records of Scotland, Boyd Papers, Burgh of Kilmarnock, reference GD8/109

                   3

9 May 1559: Extract Decree in the action persued by the King and Queen, against John Maxwell of Calderwood, and John, Archbishop of St Andrews, for entering production of the pretended charter of infeftment of Feu Ferme, made by King James V to the late Robert Maxwell of Calderwood, Elizabeth Elphinstone, his spouse, as the price of the 5 mark lands of Chapelton, the 5 mark land of Bollinschaw, and others, and certain other writs to have them reduced. The writs reduced accordingly. National Records of Scotland, Boyd Papers, Burgh of Kilmarnock, reference GD8/166

Evidence from the Protocol Books of Michael Fleming

5 July 1536: The Protocol Book of Michael Fleming, protocol number 1252 on p. 94

Genealogical Accounts

  1. William Fraser, Memoirs of the Maxwells of Pollock, Vol. I. Memoirs & Charters (1863), 497 pp.
  2. William Fraser, Memoirs of the Maxwells of Pollock, Vol. II. Correspondence (1863), 453 pp.
  3. Sir William Fraser, KCB, LLD., The Elphinestone Family Book of the Lords Elphinestone, Balmerino and Coupar (1897), i, Memoirs, 345 pp.
  4. Sir William Fraser, KCB, LLD., The Elphinestone Family Book of the Lords Elphinestone, Balmerino and Coupar (1897), i, memoirs. 401 pp.
  5. The Scots Peerage, iii, pp. 529-30
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