Saher de Saye
|Also Known As:||"Saytun", "Sayton", "Seton"|
|Birthplace:||Sai, Orne, Normandy, France|
Son of (Robert) Picot de Lascelles, I and Hugolina de Gernon
|Managed by:||Douglas John Nimmo|
About Saher de Saye
The first of the line of Scottish "Sey-tuns":
Saher de Saye was the founder of the long line of Scotch Setons was, as has been said, a Norman refugee. His peculiar fore-name, which is found written Secher, Seyer, Saier, and Sair, is only a corruption or vulgar rendering of Saire, a hermit-saint in the Diocese of Rouen, whose cult was popular among the Norman nobility. In those times proper names were all written phonetically and just as the ear caught them, which accounts for the numerous forms under which the same name will appear, and sometimes in the very same document. The village and church of Saint Saire, with fourteenth-century glass windows and an ancient crypt containing a well, is about five miles from the town of Neuchƒtel-en-Bray. Saint Saire is perpetuated as a patronymic in Sayers, Sears, and cognate forms which are common family names in England and America, and are of Norman, although not of baronial origin; unless, perhaps, Sears be a corruption not of the Norman, but of the Scoto-Celtic Saint Serf (Lat. Servanus), popularly called "Saint Sear," who did so much for the early religious culture of the western districts of Fife. Saher's parents were Catholic, and they built a church in Cambridge - naming it St. Giles.
Documents record Saher de Saye as having taken refuge in Scotland when the lands were confiscated in England from his elder brother, Robert fitz Picot, for his supposed, and unproven treachery against King William Rufus. The Picot de Saye family had sworn loyalty, whilst back in France, to Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror's eldest son, and King Rufus' elder brother. The family's sworn loyalty to Robert Curthose had caused friction between William Rufus and Robert fitz Picot thus resulting in the loss of their vast lands.
The place where Saher de Say settled is between Tranent and the sea, about ten miles below Edinburgh, and it continued to be the principal home of his descendants for over six hundred years.
During the reign of David I, Seher de Saye having fled from England obtained from the Scotish king some lands in East Lothian where he settled and to which the emigrant gave the name of "Say- tun". Seher was succeeded by his son Alexander who flourished under Malcolm iv and enjoyed Sayton and Wintoun in Hadington and Winchburgh in West Lothian By several descents all those lands came to Sir Christopher Seyton who married a sister of Robert Bruce and who fell in 1306 in support of his crown under the axe of Edward 1 And he was succeeded by Alexander de Seyton who obtained from his uncle the Scotish king various lands in the Lothians and in Berwickshire p This respectable family was enobled by the title of Lord Seton under James 1 and in 1600 by the higher rank of Earl of Winton which were all sacrificed to mistaken principles.
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