The Mount - Scotland
Historical Lindsay Sites
The Mount - Scotland
The following narrative on The Mount, home of many of the Lindsays of Scotland, was researched and written by Christopher John Lindesay chris.lindesay at lindesays.co.uk of Australia. Our thanks to Chris for his efforts and for sharing this bit of history with the international Lindsay community.
The Mount was home to the Lindsays of
the Mount, a cadet line of the Lindsays of The Byres, from 1467 until about
1713. In 1524 the property probably
looked much as described by Tranter (1995) in his historical novels featuring
Sir David Lindsay of the Mount: “The
estate and barony of The Mount of Lindifferon covered the twin hills of that
name which rose out of the green vale of Stratheden in the Rigging of Fife, some
three miles north-west of the country town of Cupar, a pleasant place of steep
fields, hanging woodlands and far-flung vistas, with a square stone tower within
its curtain-walled courtyard, its pleasance and orchard and a dovecote …”
The estate comprised about 400 hectares
around the hills of Lindifferon and the Mount itself, and included the hamlet of
Lindifferon. Tranter (1995)
mentions that the Castle of The Mount included “a typical square stone keep of
four storeys beneath a parapet and wall-walk, with a garret story above, all
surrounded by a barmekin or high defensive wall with a gatehouse, enclosing a
courtyard containing lower lean-to domestic outbuildings.”
While the original buildings no longer exist, these descriptions would
have been based on the extensive research and thorough knowledge of early
Scottish history and architecture that Tranter brought to all his historical
Originally The Mount, in the burgh of
Cupar, Fife, was part of the property of the Pitbladdo family.
On 27 March 1467 Sir David Lindsay, the eldest son of William Lindsay of
Garleton, acquired part of The Mount. His
son, David (2nd of The Mount), married firstly Miss Ramsay, who died
when their son David was still a boy. While
some authorities (e.g. Lindsay, 1938) suggest that Sir David (3rd
of The Mount), the poet and Lyon King of Arms, was born at The Mount, others
such as Sir Crispin Agnew of Locknaw (1976) and Tranter (1995) assert that he
was born in about 1490 at Garleton Castle in East Lothian.
Sir David married firstly Katherine Lindsay, daughter of Patrick, 4th
Lord Lindsay of The Byres; Katherine died in 1525. On the death of his father, Sir David became Lindsay of
Garleton; but he never used that title as he was so well known as ‘of The
Mount’. He married secondly,
Janet Douglas. He had no offspring,
so title to The Mount passed to his younger half-brother, Alexander.
While under the command of Lord Lindsay, Alexander Lindsay, 4th
of The Mount, was wounded at the battle of Flodden.
Until Alexander Lindsay’s time the
family had owned that part of The Mount with a northerly aspect (the
“shadow” half). This would
probably have been less valuable as agricultural land.
Then in 1594, Alexander’s eldest son Sir David Lindsay, 5th
of the Mount (born between 1555 and 1560), acquired from Robert, 9th
Lord Lindsay of The Byres, the “sunny” half of The Mount and became owner of
the entire property. Sir David was
Islay Herald from June 1591; later that year he was appointed Lord Lyon King of
Arms, and held that office until 1620. Sir
David married Grissel (or Griselda) Meldrum.
They had three daughters, Agnes, Euphame, and Katherine.
There being no son, their eldest daughter inherited the “shadow” half
of the property and became Agnes, 6th of the Mount (Lindsay, 1938). It is not stated what became of the remainder of the
In 1606 Agnes married Sir Jerome Lindsay
of Annatland (the son of David Lindsay, Bishop of Ross). They had five daughters and five sons. Their fourth daughter, Rachell, married in 1640 to Bernard
Lindsay of Lochhill, the grandson of Thomas Lindsay of King’s Wark, the
Snowdon Herald. Their eldest son,
James, 7th of The Mount, inherited the property in 1642.
He married Anna Hay on 28 March 1650, and the marriage was commemorated
on an inscribed stone built into the manor house. Following the death of their son James, 8th and
last of The Mount, in 1713, the property was sold in 1715 to the Hopetoun family
Today, one can drive to the vicinity of
The Mount by car; it is less than 5 km from Cupar, within the triangle formed by
the A91, A92, and A913 roads. The
view from the top of Mount Hill is worth the climb, and from its peak one can
see the village of Lindifferon. See
the map below or click on The
Mount, Cupar & Vicinity
for more details on the location of The Mount at the nearby city of Cupar,
for more details on the location of The Mount at the nearby city of Cupar, Scotland.
Agnew, Sir Crispin of Locknaw (1976) The Mount - Lord Lyon. The Coat of Arms. Vol. 2 (100), pp 87-92.
Lindsay, John (Ed) (1938) The Lindsays of The Mount. Publications of the Clan Lindsay Society. Vol. 5 (17), Edinburgh, pp 9-82.
Tranter, Nigel (1995) The James V Trilogy. Coronet Books, Hodder and Stoughton, London.
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