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Aikenhead

The ancient barony of Aikenhead was in Lanarkshire. Gilbert de Lakenhaued rendered homage for his lands in 1296. Black lists William de Aikenhead as a baillie of the burgh of Rutherglen in 1376 and William de Aikenhed as a notary public in Irvine in 1444. The connection with the legal profession appears to have been maintained, as James Aikenhead, claiming to represent Aikenhead of that Ilk, advocate and one of the commissioners of Edinburgh, is recorded as having been granted arms between 1672 and 1673 in the Lyon Court register. Nisbet states that this James was the son of David Aikenhead, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, described as ‘eminent for his loyalty and virtue’. However, Black states that this is the same Lord Provost who features in a rhyme alluding to his face: ‘if what is said were justly said, that head of Aiken timbers made, his fyrie face had long ago set all his head in blazing glow’. The barony of Aikenhead was apparently sold in the time of the Lord Provost’s father but the name is still common in Lanarkshire.

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