Sir Hugh Giffard of Yester, Knight

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Sir Hugh Giffard of Yester, Knight

Birthdate: (43)
Birthplace: Castle Yester, Gifford, East Lothian, Scotland
Death: Died in Castle Yester, Gifford, East Lothian, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of John de Giffard, lll and Eupheme de Morham
Husband of Joanna (Jonet) Douglas, Lady Yester
Father of Joanna Giffard of Yester, Lady Yester; Alice Gifford of Yester, Lady Kilmarnock; Euphemia Gifford of Yester and Mary Gifford of Yester
Brother of Sir John IV Giffard

Occupation: Lord of Yester
Managed by: Private User
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About Sir Hugh Giffard of Yester, Knight

1. Hugh Giffard III (circa 1322-1365). Son and heir and the next Lord of Yester. Married to Jonet (Joanna) Douglas circa 1345, he will be the last Giffard who would be Lord of Yester. The line will end with the four daughters who are co-heiresses of this couple.


Generation VII---Hugh Giffard III & Joanna (Jonet) Douglas

Sir Hugh Giffard III will become the last Lord of Yester in the male line, which had begun with the first Hugh Giffard in 1166. Hugh Giffard III came of age after 1340, and is first found in a charter dated Oct. 15, 1345. This was a confirmation charter of King David II regarding the granting of the lands of Lethington to Sir Robert Maitland of Thirlestane by "Hugh Giffard, son of the deceased John Giffard of Yester." A second confirmation of King David II was to a charter of Hugh Giffard, Laird of Yester, to John de Douglas son of James, Lord Douglas, concerning lands in the baronies of Yester, Morham, Duncanlaw, Tealing, Polgavie, and Herbertshire. (Great Seal of Scotland #1008). The purpose or intent of this charter remains unclear, and is not mentioned in the Yester writs. The charter is undated, but is very likely to have been done in 1346. The only other charter in which Hugh Giffard III may be found occurs in Yester writ #26, which was dated "Tuesday after Feast of Holy Trinity A.D. 1350". In this writ he is titled Hugh Giffard, Lord of Yester, a noble and discreet man. He grants to the east end construction of the Haddington Bridge two tenements and pieces of land in the north end of the village of Giffardgate. A comparison of the terms of address used for Hugh Giffard in these charters would imply that he was youthful in 1345, and not long into his majority. In addition, considering the evidence previously discussed in the charters of his parents, Hugh's birth must have been very close to the year 1322. Hugh Giffard III was knighted, but this very likely occurred at some time after 1350.

When Hugh Giffard III was the age of 9, he was entered into a verbal bond of marriage with the 11 year old Elizabeth Mure, daughter of Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan. The date of this agreement was about the year 1331. This marriage was never ratified or consummated, and the bond was dissolved by Papal authority on Oct. 12, 1344. By 1336/1337, Elizabeth Mure had become the mistress of the 20 year old Robert Stewart, the future King Robert II of Scotland. After two Papal dispensations, Elizabeth Mure and Robert Stewart would officially marry in 1349. Their first son, born circa 1337, would become the future King Robert III. Elizabeth Mure died by 1355, and because her husband Robert did not become King until 1371, Elizabeth was never Queen of Scotland.

All evidence points that Hugh Giffard's marriage to Joanna Douglas must have occurred about the year 1345. The couple would have four daughters who become the co-heiresses of all the Yester estates in the latter portion of the 14th century. (The four co-heiress daughters will be discussed in the final chapter.) It is very obvious that Hugh Giffard and Joanna Douglas could not have had any male heirs as sometimes has been suggested. The death of Sir Hugh Giffard III must have occurred before 1366, as his widow Joanna Douglas had a Papal commission dispensation (March 16, 1366) to marry Sir Nigel Cunningham. (Scots Peerage Vol. IX). Evidence in the Yester writs indicates that her second husband, the elderly Sir Nigel Cunningham, would function and be titled as the Lord of Yester for the next 10 or more years. The four daughters, and eventual heiresses of Hugh Giffard, would have been in their minorities at the period of his death and the re-marriage of his widow. With the death of Sir Hugh Giffard III, the seven generations in the male line of the Giffards of Yester would come to a close.


Sir John Gifford of Yester, by marriage with the daughter of Sir Thomas Morham of Morham, obtained the lands of that name. With his son, Hugh Gifford of Yester, who was dead before 11th March 1409, the male line failed. The latter had, however four daughters, his coheiresses.

  • 1st Jean Gifford, or Joanna, m. Sir William Hay of Locherworth, Sheriff of Peebles
  • 2nd Alice Gifford, m. Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock;
  • 3rd Mary Gifford, m. Eustace Maxwell of Tealing;
  • 4th Euphemia Gifford, m. Dougal Macdougall of Makerstoun.


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Sir Hugh Giffard of Yester, Knight's Timeline

Castle Yester, Gifford, East Lothian, Scotland
Age 23
Gifford, Haddingtonshire, East Lothian, Scotland
Age 24
Yester, Peebles-Shire, Scotland
Age 28
Yester Castle, Haddington, Lothian, Scotland
Age 33
Yester Castle, Haddington, Lothian, Scotland
Age 43
Castle Yester, Gifford, East Lothian, Scotland
Yester, East Lothian, Scotland