Sir John Stirling, Kt.

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John Stirling

Also Known As: "John Stirling of Craigbernard"
Birthplace: Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: 1539 (49-59)
Scotland (United Kingdom)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir William Striveling, Kt. and Margaret Crichton
Husband of Margaret Forrester and (Unknown) Galbraith of Kilcreuch
Father of Margaret Stirling; Sir James Stirling, 4th of Keir, 1st Lord of Cawder; William Stirling of Ardoch; Lucas Stirling; Catherine Stirling and 1 other
Brother of Janet Stirling, of Keir; Katherine Stirling and William Stirling

Managed by: Oliver Marcus Stedall
Last Updated:

About Sir John Stirling, Kt.

Sir William de Strivelyng of Ratherne - Son of Lukas

It was Lukas's son William who began the real rise of this branch of the Stirling family. He added to the lands of Keir the area known as Haldane, then acquired from Lady Janet Kinross of Kippencross the lands of Lubnoch. He also purchased or got Charters and Title to the lands of Schanraw, Garnotore and Lytel and Mikle Kinibuck from Alexander de Kinbuck in 1468, and later still the lands of Glassingall.

In 1996 during a visit to Stirling I asked several people how large the lands of Stirling of Keir were. At the time I was in a car traveling from Stirling to Edinburgh to visit the genealogical library near the Royal Mile and Edinburgh castle. We were a little over 20 miles from Stirling at that point, and the driver calmly pointed out the window to the south of the freeway, and said "Well Lad, the lands you see out there are Keir Lands." In total there have been various estimates, but a conservative guess is in excess of 500,000 acres of land. We'll get into more detail about the Keir lands when we talk about their various neighbors to the North, South, East and West in a later installment.

William was married to a powerfully connected member of Scottish Nobility, Majorie Cunninghame. He died in 1471 and was succeeded by his eldest son, also named William. /Keir line

From Wikitree:

John was born c. 1485 a son of Sir William of Striveling of Keir and his second wife, Margaret Crichtoun, daughter of James Crichtoun of Ruthvendenny. [1]

On 18 May 1495 he was named son and apparent heir of Sir William Striveling of Keir, and obtained a charter from James IV. of the barony of Keir, on the resignation of Sir William, reserving his own liferent, and the reasonable terce of Margaret Crichton his wife.

On 10 Sep 1503, he was granted a charter, as Sir John Striveling, son and apparent heir of Sir William, and his children to be born, whom failing, the one half of the barony of Keir to Katherine Striveling, Countess of Angus, his sister, and her heirs, and the other half to Sir Adam Crichton of Kuthvens, and the heirs of his marriage with the deceased Elizabeth Striveling, sister of Sir John, of the lands of Kere.[2]

In 1516, Sir John Striveling was sheriff of Perth.

He was a member of the Parliament of 1524, and was chosen one of the Lords of the Articles amongst the commissioners of burghs.

In 1526 he appears to have been at the battle of Linlithgow Bridge and a Sentence of forfeiture was pronounced against Sir John on 19th November 1526.[3]

In May 1527, Keir was restored to his estates and honours, and the sentence of forfeiture rescinded.

Sir John was alive on 22nd May 1539, but he died before 5th November 1539. He was killed between these dates, for on 4th November 1542, David Schaw and George Dreghorn had a respite under the Privy Seal ' for the slauchter of urnquhile Johnne Strivilling of Keir, ' Knycht;' but the cause or occasion of the slaughter is not mentioned, although it was believed to have been at Stirling Bridge.


His lineage is described in a charter dated 2nd October 1509. In this charter he provides "Sir John Striveling, for the safety of the soul of James IV. and of Margaret his queen, and their predecessors and successors, and for the safety of the souls of Lucas Striveling, and of Sir William Striveling and Margaret Cunynghame, grandfather and grandmother of Sir John, and of the souls of Sir William Striveling and Margaret Crichtoun, Lady Sympill, his father and mother, and Katharine Striveling, Countess of Anguss, his sister, and for the safety of the souls of himself and his wife, and their predecessors and successors"[4]

His father, Sir William, had contracted, contract dated 30 Mar 1501, him to marry the eldest daughter of Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth. At the time they must have been under age. and the contract provides "that the marriage shall be completed at the lawful age of the said bairns, the male being 14 years and the female 12 years of age." This marriage never took place. Sir John Stirling married, before 13th July 1513, Margaret Forrester, daughter of Sir Walter Forrester of the Torwood. She was alive on 25th April 1532. They had a number of children:[5]

Sir James Stirling, his heir.
William Stryveling of Dallachlewn, ancestor of the Stirrings of Ardoch.
Lucas Stirling.
Catherine Stirling. She was probably married to George Mushet of Tolgart, whose son, James Mushet of Tolgart, a minor in 1566, mentions Sir James Stirling of Keir, Knight, and William Stirling of Ardoch his mother's brother. If Catherine was not the mother of James Mushet, a sister of hers, whose Christian name has not been ascertained, must have been so.
Margaret Stirling. She was married to Walter Graham, who granted, on 30th April 1556, an obligation anent the lands of Brokland, which had been disponed redeemably, by James Stirling of Keir to Walter Graham and Margaret Stryveling, his wife, ' sister of the said James.'.
Lands of Keir

The lands of the barony are described in he Charter of 1503. They included, the lands of Kere (Dumfries), with the tower and manor, corn and waulkmilns, and cruives thereof, the lands of Lupnow with fishings ; the lands of Strowe, Dawachlowan'e, Beterne-Striveline, otherways called Coygs of Strathalloune, Glassingallis, Schanrow, the Wester Coyg, Beirholme, the Little Coyg, the Waist Boffill, with the mill of Coygs and lands of Glentye, and advocation and donation of chaplainries and hermitage of Lupnow, newly erected into the barony of Kere.[6]

Although this was the original grant of barony, Sir John added significantly to the estates. Between 1517 and 1535, he acquired the lands of Bardowy, Barnellane, Blarskeith, Easter Bankeir, Flowchart, Birdistown, Buquharrage, Kincaid, the patronage of the church of Bothornok, in the county of Dumbarton, Lanerick, and Auchinbee, Boquhapple, Torry, Drungy, and the little ward of Gudy, Drunmess otherwise called G-lenbank, Wellcoig, Kippendavie, Brackland, Blackford alias Blacksauche, Greenyards, Calliemuck, and others, in the county of Perth; Touckadam and others, in the county of Stirling ; Balcarres, Balquhoinery, and others, in the county of Fife ; Duffous, Pittindreich, Caldcottis, Darkle, Levingshaws, and half of the lands of Swinstoun, in the shire of Elgin.

Keir and Cadder

Of significance to the lines of Stirling and Clan Stirling. In 1522 Sir John Stirling of Keir purchased from the Archbishop of Glasgow, for 2500 merks, the marriage of Janet Striviling, daughter and heiress of the deceased Andrew Striviling of Cawder, with the ward of her lands of Cawder, and the mill thereof, lying in the regality of Glasgow. In 1529, Sir John had a Crown gift of the marriage. In 1534, Janet Striviling was infeft as heiress of her father and soon married James Stirling, eldest son of Sir John. This marriage was a favourable one for the Keir family, as through it they acquired the valuable estate of Cawder. It was a purely mercenary act and the marriage was soon annulled but the lands remained part of the Keir estate. This issue is discussed further in the profile of James Stirling.[7]



↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 26
↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 29
↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 30
↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 31
↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 34
↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 29
↑ The Stirlings of Keir; Fraser, page 36

The Stirlings of Keir, and their family papers. (With plates, including portraits and facsimiles).; Fraser, Sir William; 1858; available at and electric scotland website for Sir John Stirling, 3rd of Keir; Note the disparity in source. This site, and other similar, has John a son of the first wife of Sir William. His mother is clearly stated in the Charter of 1509 outlined above.

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Sir John Stirling, Kt.'s Timeline

Scotland (United Kingdom)
Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Age 54
Scotland (United Kingdom)
Cadder, Lanarkshire, Scotland