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having, at Stirling, created Darnley, who was soon to be her husband, Lord of Armanach and Earl of Ross, to celebrate his accession to his new titles, the new lord was instrumental in getting fourteen gentlemen of his acquaintance knighted. Amongst the new creations was William Livingston of Kilsyth. It is interesting to notice, in the light of recent conflicts, that Sir William sat on the jury which raised John Erskine to the earldom of Mar. When Queen Mary was in captivity, the ministers of Elizabeth took the utmost precautions for the isolation of the Queen from her Scottish friends, who would very willingly have raised her again to the throne. Setting a close watch on all persons passing between England and Scotland, the bearer of a letter from Sir William Livingston was arrested. The contents of the letter were of a compromising character, and Walsingham, Elizabeth's secretary, was greatly enraged, believing that his friend Sir William was acting towards him a double part. It is not clear that his attempt to establish communication with Mary was the cause, but, nevertheless, at this time Sir William was banished several years from Scotland. When he is next heard of, in 1574, he is pardoned by the Regent on account of "his great repentance," and having repaid Walsingham a considerable loan which that minister had never expected to receive, he is once more in favour with the English authorities. On the 15th October, 1580, Sir William was appointed Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James the VI., and when in the following year, Morton, the late Regent, was tried for high treason on account of his supposed complicity in the murder of Darnley, Sir William Livingston was one of the jury of sixteen appointed from among the nobles and gentry of the land who brought in a verdict of guilty. The result of the finding was the execution of Morton. After the Raid of Ruthven, the Earl of Lennox was arrested and sent to London. Sir William stood by his friend and neighbour in his adversity. He accompanied him to London, and, at an interview with Elizabeth, so softened the Queen's heart that Lennox was allowed to depart peaceably to France. But for Kilsyth's intervention there can be no doubt the most severe judgment would have been meted out. Sir William bore northward the letter to James, which said that it was for his sake Lennox had been treated "otherwise than he deserved." This was the last affair of importance in which Sir William was engaged. His wife, Lady Christian Graham of Menteith, whom he had infeft in the lands of Inchterff, divorced him towards the close of his life. The particulars of the charge do not appear. He died near the end of the century.
The Second Baronet:—The first baronet left one son, Sir William, and two daughters. Sir William Livingston succeeded his father in the estaes. He was a man of much learning, solid parts, and great aptitude for business. On the 2nd July 1601 he was admitted a Privy Councillor. As a minor baron he attended on five separate occasions, between 1599 and 1609, the meetings of the Estates, and in the course of the latter year he was appointed one of the Lords of Session. The people of the Western Isles having committed great depredations on the peaceable inhabitants of the mainland, the Baronet of Kilsyth, along with the "Captain of the West Seas," was ordered to arm two ships of sixteen and twenty guns for the destruction of these petty marauders and buccaneers. He was not only a man of talent but also of large means. Besides the barony of Kilsyth, he acquired the estate of Herbertshire, near Denny, the lands of Kincaid and Birdston in Campsie; the superiority of the lands of Glorat in Campsie; and also the lands of Duntreath. This second baronet was the wealthiest of all the Livingstons of Kilsyth, and the most powerful and respected. The reader may well linger for a little over his name and possessions, for in a brief period, and in the tumult of revolution and Covenanting strife, his great estates were to be entirely wasted and his line terminated. He was twice married. First to Antonia de Bord, a French lady. Secondly, to Margaret, daughter of Sir John Houston of that Ilk. He died 1627. He was succeeded by his grandson, who was, however, only in possession six years. The third baronet left a son and three daughters. The son succeeded his father, but dying in his minority and unmarried, he was succeeded by his great uncle, Sir James Livingston, the son of the Lord of Session by his second marriage.
The First Lord Kilsyth:—A study of the life of Sir James Livingston, who became the first Lord Kilsyth, clears up various matters of interest, but regarding which prevalent views are hazy in the extreme. Sir James Livingston was served heir to the Kilsyth estates on the 23rd April, 1647. He immediately on entering into possession of his inheritance became a member of the War Committee for the Sheriffdom of Stirlingshire. Being a staunch Royalist, when Cromwell invaded Scotland he at once offered to defend his castle at Kilsyth against the English. King Charles II. gratefully accepted his offer and returned him his best thanks. In defending his castle, situated some distance beneath Allanfauld farm, he was by no means able to withstand the assault of the Protector's Ironsides. Cromwell's troops first took the castle, then quartered themselves on the tenantry of the estate, and finally burnt the castle to the ground. The garrison tyrannised and plundered in every direction, and the parishioners were reduced to great extremities. The people having gathered into the castle for safety all their stores, clothes, linen, and valuables, when the building was fired the soldiers behaved in the most cruel and heartless manner. Having formed an armed circle round the castle, they refused to allow them to secure any portion of their effects from the flames. When the garrison departed, the parish was in the depths of penury and want. On the 6th June, 1651, "The Supplication of the Tennents of the Lands of Kilsyth" (See Appendix I.) was placed before the King and remitted to the Committee of Estates, with an earnest recommendation that the prayers of the sufferers should be granted. The matter of the petition was prospering when the Scottish army, meeting with a severe defeat at Worcester, the claims of the Kilsyth people were lost sight of in the press of still graver concerns.
When Cromwell's "Act of Pardon and Grace to the People of Scotland" was proclaimed at Edinburgh on the 1st May, 1654, Sir James Livingston, on account of his Royalist proclivities, was expressly excepted from the operation of its clemency, and he was arrested and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle. While he lay in prison, his second mansion, in the garden of which the parish church is now built, was garrisoned by a party of Royal Highlanders. Fearing it might be used for a depot of the southern army, when they took their departure, rather than run the risk of letting it fall into Cromwell's power, they burned it with their own hands. No wonder Sir James felt bitterly when, in prison, the news came to him of this foolish action. He had the exceeding misfortune at this crisis of having his property wasted at the hands of both friend and foe alike. It has to be said in this connection that the original house at Colzium consisted of both a tower and fortalice, and was the modest residence attached to the eastern barony which extended from the Garrel to the boundaries of Denny. This tower-house shared the same fate as the other two mansions, and was burnt and wasted about the same time as the Allanfauld Castle. There is no clue to the date of the erection of these three mansions, and with the exception of a small part of the house of Colzium, there 'remain no traces of their existence.
On the 10th October, 1650, Oliver Cromwell addressed from Kilsyth a letter from Kilsyth Castle to the Provost of Glasgow, informing him that he would not harm the inhabitants of that town if they kept to their houses. After his release from prison Sir James enjoyed a few years of tranquillity, and after the restoration of Charles II. he sat in the Scottish Parliament as a representative of the shire of Stirling. The time was opportune, and in July, 1661, he brought before Parliament his claims for the losses sustained by him in the troubles of the time. These claims covered a period from 1645, when his lands were overrun by the followers of Montrose, to the burning of his mansion-house in 1654. In the petition the claims of the tenantry were also embodied. A committee of enquiry was appointed, and after the fullest investigation the damages were valued at over 200,000 pounds Scots. After the committee had given in their report, Charles II. by patent under his hand raised Sir James to the peerage under the style and titles of Viscount of Kilsyth and Lord Campsie. The patent is dated 17th August, 1661. The title was all the restitution ever made either to Lord Kilsyth or the people of the parish for the great losses sustained through the plunderings, quarterings, burnings, and rapacities of Cromwell. The honour would no doubt be appreciated