MacLea or Livingstone

A name which is probably territorial in 
origin, from lands of the same name in West Lothian. According to one legend, the lands were named after a Saxon called Leving. There is record of one Livingus living during the reigns of Alexander I and David I. Sir William Livingstone, believed to be his great grandson, had three sons. Two of his younger sons appear on the Ragman Roll swearing fealty to Edward I of England in 1296. His eldest son followed David II on his invasion of England in 1346 and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Durham. He was one of the commissioners to England who negotiated the release of the king and was thereafter granted the barony of Callendar. Sir Alexander Livingstone of Callendar was one of the guardians of the infant James II. Following a dispute with William Crichton, another of the guardians, the young king was spirited out of Edinburgh Castle to Callendar. In 1440 the Livingstones were instrumental in persuading the young Earl of Douglas and his brother to attend a banquet of reconciliation in Edinburgh Castle. The Douglases were promptly seized and executed. In revenge, the Douglases imprisoned Livingstone and killed one of his sons. Another son, Sir James Livingstone, was created captain of Stirling Castle and later Great Chamberlain of Scotland. He was raised to the peerage as Lord Livingstone in 1458. He died without issue and the title devolved upon his nephew, John. In 1543 Alexander, the fifth Lord Livingstone, was one of the noblemen chosen to educate the young Mary, Queen of Scots. He accompanied the young queen to France, where he died. William, his son who succeeded him as sixth Lord, was a fierce adherent of Mary’s cause and fought for her at the Battle of Langside. In 1600 Livingstone was raised to the rank of Earl of Linlithgow. The second Earl was created Hereditary Constable of the Royal Palace of Linlithgow. His son, George, remained loyal to the Crown during the civil war and the estates suffered, first at the hands of the Army of the Covenant and later the forces of Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians. After the Restoration, Livingstone was appointed a colonel in the Royal Horse Guards and a Privy Councillor. The family supported the Jacobite cause, and for their part in the 1715 rising the titles were forfeited. The Livingstones of Bachuil had received in early times a grant of lands on the island of Lismore as hereditary keepers of the crozier of St Molluag. The Celtic barony attached to the hereditary keepership was recognised by Parliament. The Barons of Bachuil are still the keepers of this sacred relic and live on their ancient lands on Lismore. The name of Livingstone is also borne as an anglicised version of ‘Macleay’, meaning ‘son of the physician’. Doctor David Livingstone, the famous African explorer and missionary, was descended from the Macleays of Appin.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.