The History of Leith

February 8, 2005

Early Years of Gilbert Edmonstoune

Gilbert Edmonstoune first so-far-recorded appearance was a rather unfortunate one before the Lords of Council on 6th May 1483, when Johne of Edmonstoune of that Ilk became surety that Anselmus Sessand, andreas Lepeldok and Johne McKalze salbe harmless and skaithless of Gilbert of Edmonstoun baith in their persons – guds etc tinder pain of j crowns, and under the same conditions the three guaranteed Gilbert scaithless of them and all that they may let.
Andreas Lepeldck does not appear in the Acts again, but John McKalze appears in different spellings, and is quoted Once as a burgess of Linlithgow, while Anselmus Sessand is accused later in the year of the Wrongous occupation and manuring of a land and tenement in the burgh of Linlithgow He did not appear, was judged guilty and ordered to return the rents which he had taken.
The fact that John had to stand surety for Gilbert suggests youth, and in a document ten years later Gilbert is described as a young indweller in Leith, so the strong likelihood is that his parents were John Edmonstoune of that Ilk and Margaret Maitland of the Thirlestane family.
On 23rd July 1 459, an indenture was made at Dunfermline, between John and his neighbour, William Preston of Craigmillar, that John, eldest son and heir or, failing him. , son, would marry Margaret Preston, or in case of her death, her sister Elizabeth — neither marriage took place nothing more is heard of William, who may have died young
John the heir and his wife died childless before his father, and the Edmonstoune lands were granted in feu charter by the father in Sept. 1499 to his son David, Rector of: receiving life rent to himself. Since Gilbert was still alive at this time: he would have been at least a fourth son, with his own way to make. Another brother James, was a Knight in 1507, inherited the estate of Ednam, and was heir to David at Edmonstoune, but as this was the year of Gilberts death, the order of their birth is not clear. (It seems likely that James died at Flodden, as his heir was confirmed early in 514.)
From earliest times in Scotland, there was no disgrace in a younger son taking to trade, and he might move freely between the societies of burgesses, traders and lairds as his circumstances required. Burgesses also might acquire land, and education was available to those in a position to take advantage of it. For Gilbert there was precedent — in 1381 ,Richard II of England gave a permission to his great— great-grandfather Sir John, to take 200 quarters of malt with his own vessels from a port on the coast of Lincolnshire to any port he please in Scotland. furthermore his step grandmother was Janet Napier of Merchiston, and Sir Alexonder Napier had been an Admiral of Scotland in the 1460s.
In a paper written by John Russell for the Old Edinburgh Club on the lands of Bonnington, he states that the second of three sisters, heiresses of the Crawfords of Bonnington married Gilbert Edmonstoune ,a younger son of the Laird of that Ilk, and a Noted Leith sailorman owned and sailed the good ship Julyan. (Elizabeths elder sister married Logan of Restalrig a family who were involved in future dealings of the Edmonstoune family)

Sir James Edmonstoune m Isabella Forstare (or Forester) of Corstorphine 1
Janet Napier of Merchiston
.
John Edmonstoune m (1463) Margaret Maitland of Thirlestane
(by dispensation his grandfather is said
to have married an Agnes Maitland)
Children John m Isabel Hume
William
David Rector of Fawlo
Gilbert m Elizabeth Crawford
James m Joneta Hume ?
Christiane m 1490 John Ross of Hailvile
Source-Marion Richardson with permission

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