The Mount - Scotland
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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.

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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 novels (weblink). 

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 property. 

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 (Lindsay, 1938). 

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, Scotland.

Sources:

  • 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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