Excerpts from "A Short History of the Scots Name Kinnaird with Heraldic Arms and Seals"
(written by Harry Kinnaird  - Family 02)


David the first of Scotland (1084-1153) spent most of his life in an Anglo-Norman background, finishing as Earl of Huntingdon, before coming to the Scots throne in 1124. His court was then modeled on the Anglo-Norman court of King William the Conqueror.

During this period many of Norman and Flemish births were encouraged to settle in Scotland, thus introducing feudalism.

David was succeeded by his grandsons, firstly Malcolm IV, who died in 1165 and then William, Malcolm's brother. King William I (the Lion) was the longest reigning monarch in Scottish history and died in 1214, age 71 years. He continued the policies of his grandfather and his brother in making land available in Angus and Perthshire to Norman and Flemish noblemen.

Prior to 1184, a Flemish merchant and friend of the Court of William the Lion, King of Scots, received a charter of land in the Carse of Gowrie, Perthshire. This merchant was named Radulphus de Kynnard. His family continued successfully purchasing and receiving land by marriage grants in the East, Tayside and the North East corner of Scotland. The family ultimately became known as Kinnaird of that Ilk in the late fourteenth century.

From this stem sprang a further two branches, Inchture and Culbin.

Inchture (in 1400) through a marriage with Marjorie, daughter and heiress of John de Kircaldy of Inchture.

Culbin, which became an established line of its own circa 1510, also through a marriage in 1420 of Alan Kinnaird of Kinnaird, i.e. Kinnaird of that Ilk, to Dame Mary Murray of Culbin, as his second wife. Thomas, his heir from his first marriage, in turn married his stepsister, Egidia Murray co-heiress of Culbin. The eldest son of this union was Alan Kinnaird of that Ilk, his brother Thomas of Skelbo was granted the Barony of Culbin by Alan. It was returned to Alan twelve years later by Royal charter. Alan's heir Thomas of that Ilk, resigned the Barony of Culbin to his younger son, Walter, in 1510 establishing a separate line of Culbin.

The three branches continued for another hundred years although all did not prosper.

Andrew Kinnaird, son or cousin of Thomas and elder brother of the above Walter, succeeded as Kinnaird of that Ilk in 1514, passing the inheritance to his son John in 1525. John was killed at the battle of Pinkie in 1547. He was succeeded by his son Patrick in the same year, who on his death in 1561 was followed by his son also Patrick who died before 1618.

John Kinnaird, the eldest son of the above succeeded and resigned the lands and Barony of' Kinnaird to the crown in 1618 and the estate was passed to John Livingstone, one of the King's courtiers. So ended the Kinnaird of that Ilk line.

Historically all three branches were staunchly Royalist and were present at many of the confrontations with the English. One member of Culbin and Inchture fell in the battle of Pinkie, one of the Inchture line may have died in 1513 at Flodden.

In spite of an obscure reference in fiction to an ensign in Prince Charles service the name does not appear in the list of prisoners taken in the Jacobite campaigns or in any historical works on the Risings.

It is interesting to note in the successors to 1700, there are the same Christian names used at the same times approximately in the lines "of that Ilk" and Inchture, but does not occur in the Culbin branch.

Marriages between the Kinnairds and Ogilvies, with whom a constant state of friction appears to have existed, occurred on at least three occasions between 1500 and 1600 in the Kinnaird of that Ilk and Inchture lines.



The Barony of Culbin was lost to the Kinnairds after the disaster known as the mystery of the Culbin Sands, when the estate became overblown by sand from the Moray Firth and the rich farmlands were destroyed. This was reputed to have happened overnight, however this is improbable and the destruction was more likely to have been progressive culminating in 1694/95 when the Laird's house and remaining land became buried by sand and unproductive. This was a sad end to an estate which had had 3600 acres containing sixteen farms and was considered rich enough for Montrose to plunder in 1614, fifty years earlier.

Following this event, the Culbin branch became impoverished and had to appeal to the Crown for relief from taxation and protection against imprisonment for debts.

The estate was put up for sale and passed to the family of Duff who retained it from 1698 for some years. The next change of ownership was to a Colonel Grant and it appears to have been in this family until it was sold to the Government and hence to the Forestry Commission who in 1921 started extensive reclamation.

(In the book "Kinnairds of Culbin" by Rev. James Murray, page 8, Andrew is stated to be son of Thomas i.e. grandson of Alan and not as shown in the Scots Peerage as a nephew. The date Thomas died is different in the two sources; circa 1505 in Scots Peerage and 1514 in the Rev. Murray's book. )

Comparison of various histories shows a conflict of facts at this time (circa 1500). Outside this period the line is clear except for some doubt cast on the last of the Culbin line.

Antiquarian Notes by Fraser MacIntosh states that the penultimate, Alexander, on Family Tree, died without issue in 1698. In the Culbin history he died at Darien leaving a son Alexander, whom died as a Captain in the army in 1743, without issue.



The one branch of the family, which remains to this day, is Inchture. It originated from Reginald (younger son of Sir Richard Kinnaird of that Ilk), who in the late fourteenth century married Marjorie, daughter and heiress of John de Kircaldy of Inchture. This branch had a more colourful history. The latter part of the sixteenth century and seventeenth century was a stormy period of feuds or disagreements with neighbours.

Patrick Kinnaird of Inchture, who succeeded to the estate in 1581/2, was killed by his nephew, William, son of Patrick Ogilvy of Inchmartin and Elizabeth Kinnaird in July 1590.

He was escheated for the murder of Andrew Clark of Clochindarg and his lands granted in the year of his death to Catherine Moncur. This period of unrest carried on to his heir, Patrick, who succeeded as a minor, in 1604 (fourteen years after his father’s death). In the year of his succession, the Ogilvies of Inchmartin had to find caution not to harm Patrick Kinnaird of Inchture and others of his family.

On the 30th of January 1612, Patrick had a remission under the Great Seal for the slaughter of one Archibald Ker in December 1609. In the period up to his death around 1658 lands left by charter came into the family. He left two sons, John (his heir), George, and a daughter Margaret.

In 1660 George, the second son, acquired the estate from his brother. He was Knighted in 1661 by Charles the Second and became a Privy Councilor, and was M.P. for Perthshire (1661-63).

Around the 1670’s, he became disenchanted with his minister, Kirk session and Presbytery and finally left the Scottish Church. He was hostile to the Presbyterians during the time of the Covenanters. On the 28th of December 1682 he was created Lord Kinnaird of Inchture, and in 1685 was one of the Assembly which voted for the execution of the Duke of Argyll. He was succeeded by his son, Patrick, in 1689. Patrick married a daughter of Lord Lovat. He did not take any prominent part in the affairs of the country. He died in 1701, and was succeeded by his second son Patrick as his first born George died in 1698.

Patrick, as third Lord Kinnaird, cast his vote against the Union of Parliaments in 1707. In the more settled times after the union he, in company with the Earl of Errol, the Earl of Panmure and Lord Stormont, gave assurances to the Pretender James III that a National Jacobite rebellion in Scotland would be well supported. However, in spite of this fact the family does not appear to have taken part in the 1715 or 1745 Risings, although it continued in politics intermittently.

Due to the death at seventeen (in 1727) of Patrick, the fourth Lord Kinnaird, the title passed to his uncle Charles, third and youngest son of the second Lord. He is reported to have falsely claimed the birth of twin sons in 1747, but when cha1lenged after Court proceedings declared that the infants had died.

His death in 1758, as fifth Lord, the succession to the Peerage reverted to the family of the youngest son of the first Lord Kinnaird, namely George, who died in 1703. It was his second son Charles who succeeded as sixth Lord Kinnaird. On his death in 1767 the seventh peer was his son George, who was a banker and who after a short period in Parliament devoted much of his life to art collecting and began the fine collection at Rossie. The eighth peer, Lord Charles, had a short spell in the Commons in 1802 but on the death of his. Father, moved to the Upper House. He did not continue in the political field but spent most of his time travelling and adding to the art collection. He also built Rossie Priory.

His early death at 43 brought his son George to the title as ninth Lord Kinnaird, at the age of nineteen in 1826. He was skilled in agriculture and the management of the estates was his prime concern. However, he found time to be Grand Master of the Masonic order in Scotland in 1830, a Privy Councilor and other important posts in the Country. He was created Baron Rossie of Rossie and Baron Kinnaird of Rossie. When he died in 1878, the Barony of Rossie became extinct, and the title went to his brother Arthur as the tenth Lord Kinnaird. Arthur spent some of his early years in the diplomatic service prior to joining the banking world. He also followed his predecessors by spending twenty odd years in Parliament as M.P. for Perth.

On his death in 1887 he was followed by his son, also Arthur, as the eleventh Lord who continued in the banking profession. At the turn of the century he had active interests in. the fields of welfare and church prior to his death in 1923. The Y.M.C.A. was one of his favourite interests.

He was a shareholder in the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1902 and had a small station named after him in British Columbia, which eventually became a town. This town "Kinnaird" joined up with a neighbouring town to become the City of Castlegar. There is also a Lake Kinnaird in Alberta, Canada.

The twelfth peer Kenneth (born in 1880) was the second son and succeeded his father in 1923, since his elder brother had been killed in action in October 1914. Kenneth had also served in the first World War and was a Lord High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland (1936-37). His notable career in the interests of Scotland continued until his death at the grand age of ninety two.

The thirteenth Lord Kinnaird followed family tradition by serving as an officer in the armed forces.

The present seat is at Rossie Priory Perthshire.



In the year 1823, among a pile of rubbish in burial ground at Moy near Forres, a headstone was found. After cleaning the date was revealed as 1613 and the headstone to be of Walter Kinnaird and Elizabeth Innes, the Laird and Ladie of Culbin.

The stone is now in the interior wall of Dyke Church near Forres. Two shields were cut into the top section: - one W.K. over Quarterly:- 1st and 4th - three crescents, 2nd and 3rd - three five pointed symbols. The other B.I. over shield with border has five pointed symbols, one in dexter and one in sinister chief, and one middle base with a crescent at fess point.

I deliberately use the word symbols in this case because no record exists of Arms registered for Kinnaird of Culbin. The Court of the Lord Lion gave the following possibilities:

Quarterly:-1st and 4th - Gules - three crescents Or/Argent, 2nd and 3rd - Argent three mullets Azure or Gules - three stars Argent.

Referring back to the word symbols perhaps it can now be seen the reason for caution. Stars and mullets often appear to be used one for the other and some confusion exists, this is confirmed by authorities on Heraldry.

For the purposes of the notes, Sir Francis Grant's description of the two items are used, i.e. Mullet - five paints (Mullet is the rowel of a spur as used by horsemen).

Star six or more points and always Argent.

I have been unable to trace the INNES link i.e. Argent - 3 mullets Azure, which appears in the early Kinnaird Arms. However, I put forward the following possibility:

The earliest recorded Arms shown for Kinnaird, are dated 1542 from Sir David Lyndsay's Heraldry and no reference to an Innes quarter is present. The first appearance of an Innes quarter is in the Arms of Kinnaird of the Carse by James Pont circa 1624. In the same date period, Kinnaird of that Ilk, shows in a different quarter the Innes section. The relationship between the two Kinnairds is unknown by me, however it cannot be dismissed that they may be one and the same.

Examination of the Seals, reveals that the Innes connection must have been established in or before the 1400's. Thomas Kinnaird of Culbin and Alan Kinnaird of that Ilk had the Innes quarter on their seals, in 1431 and 1478 respectively, as had Patrick Kinnaird of Inchture and John Kinnaird of that Ilk (100 and 180 years later).

Either Alan Kinnaird first married an Innes or one of his predecessors was responsible for the link.

The Statistical History of Scotland quotes "Property of De Moravie - Barony of Culbin first recorded in 1240 and covered 3600 acres"