Sir William de Seton, 1st Lord Seton

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Sir William de Seton (de Wyntoun), Knight

Also Known As: "William of Seton", "William de Winton", "William de Wyntoun"
Birthplace: Seton, East Lothian, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: circa 1409 (52-70)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Alan de Wyntoun, of Seton and Margaret de Seton, heiress of Seton
Husband of Janet Fleming, Lady Seton
Father of Sir John de Seton, 2nd Lord Seton; Janet Seton; Sir Alexander Seton of Winton, Lord Gordon and Marion Seton
Brother of Lady Christian Seton, Countess of Dunbar & March; Henry Winton and Alexander Seton of Winton

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About Sir William de Seton, 1st Lord Seton

William de Seton is designed Lord of that Ilk and of Tranent in a charter whereby he granted the lands of Wester Fausyde to John de Fausyde, his esquire. He seems to have granted certain lands in Longniddrie to John Maitland and John de Paynston by charter confirmed by King Robert II. 18 January 1380-81. He was a distinguished soldier, and like his father he took part in the holy war, it is said before 1383; he seems to have served with the Scottish force which raided the north of England in that year. He styled himself "Baron, lord of Seton" in a petition to the Pope which was granted 27 October 1394, but is designed Knight in a charter of the lands of Borde granted by him in favour of Patrick Fleming, dated 14 May 1402. It would seem that he was taken prisoner by the English at the battle of Homildon Hill 14 September 1402, and he may perhaps have remained unransomed for some years, as one William Seton was in captivity in the Tower along with the King of Scotland's son in 1406. A charter of confirmation was granted at Perth, 27 March 1408, by Robert, Duke of Albany, Governor of the Kingdom, ratifying the grant of an annual rent made by William de Seton, Knight, with consent of the Duke's beloved cousin, John de Seton, Knight, his son and heir, to Walter de Haliburton of Dirleton, in consideration of the transfer to the said William of the gift of the ward and marriage of Elizabeth de Gordon, daughter and heir of the deceased Adam Gordon, Knight. Sir William died before March 1409-10, and was buried in the Cordelere (Franciscan) freiris at Haddington, to which community he had made certain benefactions.
Maitland states that this William "was the first creatit and maid Lord in the parliament; and he and his posterite to have ane voce thairin and be callit Lordis." Various arguments have been adduced in support of this assertion; but the data founded upon are in part erroneous, the arguments are inconclusive, and the claim cannot be admitted.
There is some indication that Sir William was twice married; if so, the name of his first wife is unknown, but Jonet Fleming, elder daughter of Sir David Fleming of Biggar, was the mother of his second son.
He had issue:
1. John.
2. Alexander, to whom his father, in the year 1408, gave in marriage Elizabeth, daughter and heir of the
deceased Sir Adam Gordon, Knight, Lord of Gordon, of whose ward and marriage he had a gift. On 20 July 1408 the spouses had a charter of the lands of the bride's late father in Berwickshire and Aberdeenshire. Of this marriage are descended the Earls and Marquesses of Huntly and Dukes of Gordon, the Earls of Sutherland after the year 1500, the Setons of Meldrum, Touch, Abercorn, Pitmedden and Mounie, and the Gordons of Gight, Letterfourie, Oluny, and many others.
3 Janet, who was married, before 3 March 1413-14, to George Dunbar, styled son and apparent heir to George, Earl of March.

Maitland credits Sir William with six other daughters, and gives the traditional account of their marriages, which seems to be unconfirmed by record evidence, and his account is proved erroneous in two instances.
Source: "The Scots Peerage" Vol 8, page 571.

William Seton, 1st Lord Seton (died 1410), born William de Wyntoun, was a 14th–15th-century noble.,_1st_Lord_Seton

William was the eldest son of Alan de Wyntoun and Margaret Seton, heiress of Seton. William adopted the name and arms of Seton, succeeding to the estates of his mother and was created the Lord Seton in 1371. Seton purchased the wardship of Elizabeth Gordon, Heiress of Gordon from Walter de Haliburton of Dirleton on 7 March 1408 for a liferent of 50 merks from the barony of Tranent.[2] Originally Elizabeth had been betrothed to his eldest son John, however he declined, Elizabeth was then betrothed to William's younger son, Alexander who by this time had been released by the English, after being captured with Prince James of Scotland while traveling aboard Maryenknyght, while en route to France.

He married Janet, the daughter of David Fleming of Biggar & Cumbernauld, they are known to have had the following issue:[3]

  1. John Seton, 2nd Lord Seton, married Katherine, daughter of William St Clair of Hermandston, had issue.
  2. Alexander Seton, married Elizabeth Gordon, heiress of Adam de Gordon, Lord of Gordon, had issue.
  3. Janet Seton. Married, before 3 March 1414, George Dunbar, the son and apparent heir to George Dunbar, Earl of March.
  4. Marion Seton. Married about 1420 to John Ogilvy of Inverquharity
  5. William Seton. Given as brother german to the granter in a Charter made at Seaton on 9th February 1412/13 granted by John of Seton, Lord of that ilk, in favour of Sir John Forrester of Corstorphine, knight his heirs and assignees.[15]
  6. Thomas Seton given as brother german to John as above.[16]

Sir William Seton died before March 1410, and was buried 'in the Cordelere (Franciscan) freiris at Haddington,'. He left to them six loads of coal weekly out of his pit at Tranent, and forty shillings annually out of his estate of Barns to ensure an easy passage.

Spurious children

Maitland[17] credits Sir William with six other daughters, but does not include Janet, nor does he provide Alexander.

This is possibly noticed in many sources available as Anna Seton that marries John Hamilton. She has been disconnected from this family pending original source material as Maitland is inaccurate. Unfortunately his inaccuracy has been copied into other material such as The Peerage.


Sir William de Seton, feudal Lord of Seton, from which he took his name; granted the lands of Wester Fansyde to his esquire John de Fansyde c1367, a grant confirmed by Robert II 20 June 1371. [Burke's Peerage]

William was a distiguished soldier and took part in the Holy War with his father and was in Jerusalem before 1383 when he served with the Scottish army raiding the north of England in that year.(3)

He was called "Baron, lord of Seton" in a petition to the Pope which was granted 27 Oct. 1394 but was called a Knight in a charter of the lands of Borde granted by him to Patrick Fleming dated 14 May 1402.(4)

William was taken prisoner by the English at the battle of Homildon Hill on 14 Sept. 1402 and seems to have remained unransomed for some years as a William Seton was in captivity in the Tower along with the King of Scotland's son in 1406.(5)

The direct male Gordon line ended with Sir Adam's great‐grandson and name sake, who  fell at the battle of Homildon Hill in 1402, leaving a daughter Elizabeth, who married  Alexander Seton, second son of Sir W. Seton of Winton. Her son Alexander assumed the  name of Gordon,  and was  created  Earl of Huntly  in 1449


Seton and Winton lineages and theories Alexander Seton was the son of Catharine St. Clair, daughter of Sir William St. Clair of Herdmandston, and Sir William Winton, who assumed the Seton surname; thereby William (Winton) Seton. William and Catherine had two sons and six daughters. The eldest was John and he took his father’s Seton surname and the younger aforementioned Alexander Seton who married Elizabeth de Gordon in 1408 and assumed her Gordon surname. Sir William was killed at the Battle of Chevy Chase in 1388 (Seaton 1906. pp. 57). Sir William Winton-Seton was the son of Lady Margaret Seton, the only child of Sir Alexander Seton and Margaret Murray, and Baron Alan de Winton (born about 1315, Wintoun Castle, Pencaitland, East Lothian, Scotland). Around 1347 Lady Margaret Seton was abducted by Baron Sir Alan de Winton, who lived nearby and was possibly distantly related to Lady Margaret. Tradition of several descending families dictates that the Wintons were cadets of the Seton family, who built Wintoun Castle.


Sir William Seton of that Ilk, of Winton, and Tranent in East Lothian, and of Winchburgh, West Lothian, had by his wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir William Sinclair of Herdmanstoun, two sons. The elder, Sir John Seton of that Ilk, was ancestor of the Earls of Winton, attainted 464 Appendix.

1716, of tlie Earls of Dunfermline, Lords of F3 r vie and Urquhart, attainted 1690, and of the Viscounts Kingston, attainted 1715. The second son was the ancestor of the Setons of Strath- bogie and of the Garioch (p. 112).

Sir Alexander Seton married, circa 1408, Elizabeth de Gordon, heiress of Gordon, and became Lord Gordon, and their sons were Alexander, first Earl of Huntly ; William, first Seton of Meldruni ; and Henry, killed along with his brother William in the battle of Brechin (1452).

Not to be confused with his grandson William Steon who died in 8/17/1424


  1. Source S-1 Balfour Paul. The Scots peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom. Vol. 8. Edinburgh: Douglas, 1904. Page 571. <Archive.Org>
  2. Source S-2 Sir Bruce Gordon Seton. The House of Seton. A study of lost causes. Edinburgh: unknown, 1939. Page 103. <Archive.Org>
  3. Source S-3 Sir Richard Maitland. The History of the House of Seytoun to 1559 by Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington continued by Alexander Viscount Kingston. Glasgow: Hutchinson and Brookman, 1829. Page 27. <Archive.Org> (has errors)
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Sir William de Seton, 1st Lord Seton's Timeline

Seton, East Lothian, Scotland (United Kingdom)
January 1370
Seton Castle, Seton, East Lothian, Scotland
Aberdeenshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 61