Barony of Holydean

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Though the Flemish origin of the Douglases is not undisputed, it is often claimed that he was descended from a Flemish knight who was granted lands on the Douglas Water by the Abbot of Kelso, who held the barony and lordship of Holydean. However this is disputed, it has been claimed that the lands which were granted to this knight were not the lands which the Douglas family came from.


Holydean (pronounced "Hollydeen," and also spelled "Halydean") is a Scottish feudal Crown Barony and Lordship which lies in Roxburghshire in the neighbourhood of Kelso, in the Borderlands of Scotland, along the River Tweed. This area along the Tweed is home to the Scottish border clans, including the Armstrongs, Elliots, Johnstones, Kers, Moffats, and many others.

The first Lord Holydean was created by King David I of Scotland when he erected the Barony and Lordship of Holydean in 1128. The Abbot of Kelso from Kelso Abbey was the local lord, who ruled one of the most powerful ecclesiastical burghs in all of Scotland. This burgh was rivaled only by St. Andrews. David I brought the monks from Tiron in Picardy, whom he transferred from Selkirk. The monks were part of the peerage of Scotland until 1545 when the Earl of Hertford reduced the abbey to ruins.

The next Lord of Holydean was made in 1602 when the Barony and Lordship of Holydean was assigned to Sir Rober Ker of Cessford, who was made 1st Earl of Roxburghe. One of his heirs became the Duke of Roxburghe, and eventually the Lordship and Barony of Holydean were assigned in the traditional Scottish manner to Clan Moffat, another Scottish border clan.

The present holder of the Scottish feudal titles Baron and Lord of Holydean is Taylor Moffitt of Holydean. This would make Taylor Moffitt of Holydean the 15th Baron and Lord of Holydean since secularization in 1602. The incumbent is Ewan Moffitt of Holydean. After the abolition of feudal tenure, feudal nobles no longer hold any automatic political authority, but are entitled to keep the dignity of their titles. Holydean is a Feudal Lordship.

The Barony and Lordship of Halydean (Holydean) is one of the oldest Norman feudal baronies.


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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017