Barony of Herbertshire

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Herbertshire is believed to have taken its name from a man by the name of Herbert, who donated tracts of land in Dunipace to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth about the year 1200. Herbert was the son of Herbert de Camera. During the time that Herbert made the donations to the Abbey, the lands fell within the jurisdiction of the barony of Dunipace. After the donations, Herbertshire became the principal barony that remained. It was located within the county of Stirling.

Once a substantial structure, nothing remains of Herbertshire Castle.

This was the principal barony of Dunipace and Denny; at the time of the Scottish Wars of Independence it was known as the Barony of Dunipace and it was not until some time after these that the name Herbertshire emerges. In that early period the lairds of the barony were the de Morehams and, as his sons had both died in the Wars, Sir Thomas, the last laird, was succeeded by his grand-daughter. She married John Gifford and they had four children - all girls.

The youngest, Elizabeth(1), married John Douglas, son of James, Lord Douglas and the estate went to them during the reign of David II.. In their charter the name 'Herbertshire' is first found. John Douglas was killed by order of Sir David Barclay of Brechin some time before Shrove Tuesday in 1350

In 1369 it was in the hands of Archibald, Earl Douglas and when his son, William, Lord of Nithsdale, married a daughter of King Robert II the lands were gifted to them. Their daughter married Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and the estate passed to that couple in 1407.
Herbertshire remained with the Sinclairs for 200 years. Presumably, it was during the early part of their tenure that the castle was built for in 1474 a charter to a succeeding Sinclair contains the phrase, 'lands and barony of Herbertshire with the castle and fortalice thereof'.

When, in 1510, the king re-incorporated the barony it is stated that its principal messuage was to be at 'the Courthill'. This might suggest that the castle had been built of the location of an earlier motte and, certainly, the site of the castle has much to commend that supposition. In 1608 Alexander Livingston, Earl of Linlithgow, bought the estate from the last of the Herbertshire Sinclairs and then was sold on to John Stirling, son of William Stirling of Achyle in 1632.

The Stirling family remained in possession until 1768 at which time the estate was sold once more, this time to the Trustees of William Forbes of Callendar. In 1914, while members of the Forbes family were living there, the castle was damaged by fire and it stood as ruin until 1950 when it was demolished.

1. has this:
With Hugh Gifford of Yester, who was dead before 11th March 1409, the male line failed. Hugh had, however, four daughters, his coheiresses. 1st, Jean, or Joanna, married Sir William Hay of Locherworth, sheriff of Peebles, ancestor of the marquis of Tweeddale, to whom she brought the barony of Yester, and that family quartered the arms of Gifford with their own. 2d, Alice, married Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock; 3d, Mary, married Eustace Maxwell of Tealing; 4th, Euphemia, married Dougal Macdougall of Makerstoun.
My records show that Elizabeth Gifford, daughter of James Gifford of Sheriffhall, married James Douglas, 2nd Lord Dalkeith, and that they were the parents of James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton.

2.  Sir Hugh Giffard (b.c.1322 - d. before 16 Mar. 1366) was 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.  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.
Hugh Gifford married c1345 Joanna Douglas (m.2. c.1366 Nigel Cunningham, d. after 1400). Joanna was the daughter of James Douglas of Lothian (d by 04.1323)




Sources for this article include:
•  Reid, John (2005). "Herbertshire Castle". Falkirk Local Historical Society.

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