Margaret Boyd, Lady Rowallan

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Margaret Boyd, Lady Rowallan

Birthplace: Bonshaw, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Death: before August 31, 1559
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw and Christian Mure
Wife of John Mure of Rowallan
Partner of James IV of Scotland
Mother of Catherine Stewart, Countess of Morton; Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St. Andrews; Mary Boyd; Mungo Mure of Rowallan; Alexander Mure of Ormshugh and 8 others
Sister of Robert Boyd; Lady Pokelly Boyd; Elizabeth Boyd of Bonshaw; Patrick Boyd and Archibald Boyd

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Margaret Boyd, Lady Rowallan


According to the Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane, Margaret Boyd is: "daughter to Archibald Boyd of Bonschaw brother to Thomas master of Boyd who was forefault." Historie, p. 74.


According to the Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane, Margaret Boyd married John Mure of Rowallan: "He begat vpon her Mongo Mure who succeided, Alexr Mure of Ormshugh, Patrick & Adame. And daughteris the lady new-wark, secondly married to the laird of Barr, thirdlie vpon the gudman of Baldoone, ane other maried vpon the laird of Barr younger, The youngest vpon the laird of Sorbie in Galloway." Historie, pp. 74-5


  1. Mungo Mure of Rowallan
  2. Patrick Mure
  3. Alexander Mure of Ormshugh
  4. Adam Mure
  5. Jonet Mure
  6. N.N. Mure

Evidence from the National Records of Scotland


27 December 1498-99: Charter by which James IV, King of Scots, confirms, that he has given various lands in the barony of Rowallane to Margarete Boid and her husband, John Mure, son and heir of the deceased John Mure of Rowallane, to be held by them in conjunct fee and liferent. Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A.D. 1424-1513, charter number 2471 on p. 526


12 July 1526: Preceptum carte feodifirme KENTIGERNI MURE de Rowallane,--super totis et integris illis quinque mercatis terrarum antiqui extentus de Blacklaw, quinque mercatis terrarum de Hairschaw, sex mercatis terrarum de Corshillis, sex mercatis terrarum nuncupat 'le' Clerkland, xl solidatis terrarum de Cuttiswra et quinque mercatis terrarum de Ormesheuch, extenden, in integro ad viginti libratas terrarum antiqui extentus cum pertinentiis, unacum molendino regis de Clerkland et omnibus suis pertinentiis, dominio de Stewartoun infra vic. de Are, etc.,--cum clausulis carte feodifirme: REDDENDO, etc. summan xliiii lib., etc., in augumentationem, etc., ad summam xxii lib., unacum duplo dicte feodifirme, etc. Reservato tamen Margarete Boyd matri dicti Kentigerni, domine de Rowallane, vitali redditus, etc., pro toto tempore bite sue, etc.; exonerando dictum Kentigernum de solutione dicte feodifirme durante vita dicte sue matris, etc. Perr Signetum vi. 9. et vii. 8. Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland, Volume I, A.D. 1488-1529, charter mumber 3431 on page 519


12 July 1526: Charter granted by King James V under his Great Seal in favour of Kentigern More of Rowallane and his heirs male whom failing to the eldest of his heirs female without division of those 5 merks of land of old extent of Blaklaw, 5 merks of land of Hairschaw, 6 merks of land of Corshillis, 6 merks of land then called the Clerkland, 40s of land of Cuttiswra and 5 merks of land of Ormesheuch extending together to 20lib of land of old extent which Margaret Boyd, Lady of Rowallan, mother of said Kentigern, held of the King in liferent by his letters under the Great Seal together with the King's mill of Clerkland lying in the lordship of Stewarton within the sheriffdom of Ayr; to be held of the King in feu farm, paying therefor yearly 44 pounds usual money of the kingdom, at two usual terms Whitsunday and Martinmas by equal portions in name of feu farm in augmentation of the rental of the foresaid lands and mill to 22 pounds yearly together with the marriage of the said heirs when this should happen and also the foresaid heirs paying double of the feu duty the first year of their entry thereto as use is of feu farm and the said Kentigern and his heirs building and upholding the said lands a sufficient house with hall, chamber, kitchen, stable etc and other necessary buildings and policies and corresponding to those which were formerly on the said lands reserving to the said Margaret her gift of liferent of the foresaid lands and mill and the profits of the same for the whole time of her life according to the tenor of the King's letter and gift under his Great Seal first made to her thereupon and exonering the said Kentigern and his heirs from payment of the feu duty during the life of his mother. Witnesses: Gavin, archbishop of Glasgow, Gavin, bishop of Aberdeen, clerk register, Henry, bishop of Galloway and chaplain of the Royal Chapel of Stirling, Archibald, Earl of Angus, Lord Douglas, Colin, Earl of Ergile (Argyll), Lord Campbell and Lorne, John, Earl of Lennox, Lord Dernlie, Patrick, prior of the metropolitan church of St Andrews, secretary, George, abbot of the monastery of Holyrood near Edinburgh, keeper of the Privy Seal. Dated at Edinburgh in the 13th year of his reign. National Records of Scotland, Papers of the Montgomerie Family, Earls of Eglinton, reference GD3/1/10/11


1541: Notarial copy of a precept directed at the command of James Campbell of Brentwood, at the instance of Margaret Boyd, Lady Rowallan, of the life-rent of the £20 lands of Stewarton. (which mentions that the said Katherine Montgomery was warned to remove from the 4 mark lands of Corsehill, which is a part of the said Margaret's £20 land of Stewarton). Boyd Papers, Burgh of Kilmarnock, reference GD8/151

Evidence from the Protocol Book of Gavin Ros


19 January 1528: Instrument narrating that John Mur, bailie-depute of Hugh, Earl of Eglintoun, bailie (of the bailiary of) Cunninghame, in presence of John Craufurd of Drongan, depute of the sheriff of Ayr, in judgement in the Tolbooth of Ayr, craved that (marion Dunlop and) Walter Dunlop attested at the instance of Dame (Margaret) Boid, Lady of Rowallan, be repledged to the liberty of the court of saif bailie of Cunningham, protesting that if the judge foresaid should proceed in the cause against said persons for the reasons contained in the precept, it should not prejudice the said Earl as bailie foresaid. Same date as preceeding.And that the said Mariota and Walter Dunlop, arrested at the instance of the said Dame Margaret for unjust occupation of the lands of Clerkland, as is contained in the precept, were present in the Tolbooth, hearing themselves called, and were unwilling to compear in judgement or contumaciously absented themselves. 26a. Protocol Book of Gavin Ros,N.P., 1512-1532, protocol number 834 on pp. 147-48


11 February 1528: Protocol Book of Gavin Ros,N.P., 1512-1532, protocol number 841 on p. 149


8 July 1528: Instrument narrating that John Lokart of Bar .......... gave to his children underwritten for their natural portions, namely, Andrew Lokart, Hugh Lokart, James Lokart and John Lokart, younger, to each of them 50 merks, and to Eufamia Lokart and Katrine Lokart, 160 merks, equally to be divided .......... He named Jonet Lokart, his daughter, to be his lawful assignee to the ward and non-entry of the lands of Drumclog and Byrntstab .......... Item, he gives to George Lokart his son, born between him and jonet Mur, 72 merks money .......... Item, he gives to John Lokart, his son and heir, and assignees, the remainder of his dowry due by Dame Margaret Boid of Rowallane .......... Item, he constituted George Lokart, his son, born between him and Jonet Mur, his assignee in and to the goods underwritten .......... and constituted the said George his procurator .......... protocol number 874 on pp. 154-55


8 July 1528: John Lokart, junior, son and heir of John Lokart of Bar made .......... Lokart and .......... Lokart his daughters assignees, in and to 200 merks given to him by his father, in the hands of Dame Margaret Boid of Rowallane. protocol number 875 on pp. 1545


23 April 1529: Protocol Book of Gavin Ros,N.P., 1512-1532, protocol number 985 on pp. 177-78

Genealogical Accounts

  1. Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage, etc., i, p. 22
  2. Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage: Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, etc., v, p. 146
  3. Events in Margaret Boyd's Life

Biographical Accounts

Margaret Boyd was the daughter of Archibald Boyd and Christian Mure. "Marion (sic: see name discussion below) Boyd (fl. late 15th century), also known as Margot or Margaret, was a mistress of King James IV of Scotland, and his first important mistress. They had three children: Alexander, born about 1490, James, who died in childhood, and Catherine, who married James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton."

She was related to Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, and a niece of the second wife of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus. Her relationship with the king was linked with the rise and fall of Angus's influence at the court.

"Archibald’s sister-in-law, Margaret Boyd, his wife’s second younger sister, was in her youth mistress to King James IV, and bore him Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St Andrews, and Jean (sic: Catherine) countess of Morton. Margaret thus found herself much in favour in court, and in addition she was cousin to Dame Elisabeth Boyd daughter of Thomas Lord Boyd, and to Countess Of Angus, whose husband Archibald, Earl of Angus, (then Chamberlain) had the greatest power in the state."


Children of Margaret Boyd and James IV Stewart, King of Scotland

  1. Catherine Stewart+ d. a 1554
  2. Alexander Stewart b. c 1493, d. 1513

Children of Margaret Boyd and John Mure

  1. Mungo Mure,  b. Abt 1500, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland ,  d. 10 Sep 1547, Battlefield, Pinkie, Inveresk, Midlothian, Scotland
  2. Alexander Mure,  b. Abt 1509, of, Ormshugh, Ayr, Scotland , 
  3. Patrick Mure,  b. Abt 1511, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  4. Adam Mure,  b. Abt 1513, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  5. Elizabeth Mure,  b. Abt 1515, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  6. Marion Mure,  b. Abt 1517, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  7. Margaret Mure,  b. Abt 1519, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  8. Marjory Mure,  b. Abt 1520, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 

Dunbar’s paternal grandmother was Janet Mure of Rowallan, whose parents were John Mure of Rowallan, killed at Flodden, and Margaret Boyd, the mistress of James IV. As the daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw, Margaret Boyd was a grand-daughter of Robert, first Lord Boyd [d. 1482]. See Stirnet mureO1 genealogy. His Boyd descent clearly meant quite a lot to Dunbar, as well it might. They were a major noble family, not least in the southwest, and the Mures of Rowallan remained closely linked to them. If Dunbar is correct about Janet’s first husband, he was a Maxwell of Newark (a castle on the Clyde in what is now Port Glasgow). This is certainly claimed by the poet Sir William Mure of Rowallan on pp.75f. of The Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane (Glasgow, 1825), who says her second husband was John Lockhart [d.1528] of Bar (in Galston, Ayrshire). Jonet’s younger sister Alison married this man’s son — also called John — who was a fierce Protestant, and who invited John Knox to preach in Barr Castle in 1556 (Knox, History of the Reformation I.250).

Genealogical and Biographical Accounts

Marion or Margaret?

Douglas Richardson discusses her name here:

"As to Margaret Boyd being called Marion Boyd in secondary sources, that error seems to have arisen from an unfortunate mistake by George Burnett in Exchequer Rolls of Scotland 12 (1889): xl–xli, in which he naively assumed that Margaret Boyd, the mistress of King James IV, was the same person as a Marion Boyd mentioned in passing in the Exchequer rolls. It apparently didn't trouble him that the given names Margaret and Marion were not interchangeable in this period."

"Burnett's misidentification of Margaret Boyd as being the same person as Marion Boyd was subsequently repeated by Herkless & Hannay, Archbishops of St. Andrews 1 (1907): 219. The error has continued to have life until today. But it was elsewhere rejected by two reliable standard Scottish sources, namely Scots Peerage 1 (1904): 22; 5 (1908): 145–146; 6 (1909): 361 and by Dunbar, Scottish Kings (1906): 220."


  • [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 239. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • [S1322] David Arathoon, "re: Acheson Family and Campbell Family," e-mail message from <e-mail address> (Canada) to Darryl Lundy, 8 April 2005 - 14 July 2006. Hereinafter cited as "re: Acheson Family and Campbell Family".


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Margaret Boyd, Lady Rowallan's Timeline

Bonshaw, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Age 14
Edinburgh, Scotland
Age 16
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 23
Rowallan, Ayr, Scotland
August 31, 1559
Age 82
Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom