Guischard’ in old French means ‘prudent’ or ‘wise’. The name being descriptive of a personal quality, the identity of the first person to bear it must be largely a matter of conjecture. Nisbet states that Robert, a natural son of David, Earl of Huntington, was a valiant crusader and was known by such an epithet. William Wishard witnessed a grant in favour of the Abbey of Cambuskenneth around 1200. John Wishard was a witness to the marking of the boundaries between the lands of Conon and Tulloch. William Wischard was a monk at St Andrews in 1250. Lands were granted to Adam Wishart of Logie by the Earl of Angus around 1272. The family also acquired the lands of Pitarro. James Wishart of Pitarro was a judge in the reign of James V. His son, George, born around 1513, was to become one of the first Protestant martyrs in Scotland. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen and on completing his studies, he travelled in France and Germany. He quickly absorbed the new Protestant theology and when he returned to Scotland he soon found himself at odds with the authorities. He was summoned before the Bishop of Brechin to answer a charge of heresy but he elected to withdraw to England instead. He returned to Scotland in 1543 and began to preach publicly at Montrose and Dundee. He then removed to the west of Scotland, preaching around the town of Ayr. Cardinal Beaton ordered the Archbishop of Glasgow to prevent Wishart from preaching. He was saved by the intervention of the Earl of Glencairn and other sympathetic noblemen of the area. The cardinal, however, was not to be thwarted, and he tried to have Wishart assassinated. In December 1545 he was encouraged by friends to travel to Edinburgh to preach. He preached in Leith once and was then advised to leave and withdraw to East Lothian. John Knox, the Protestant reformer, was Wishart’s devoted pupil and bodyguard at this time. Wishart realised that he was likely to be captured by his enemies and he ordered Knox to leave him with the words, ‘ane is sufficient for a sacrifice’. Wishart was seized and after more than a month in the dungeon of the archbishop’s 
castle at St Andrews he was condemned to death and burnt as a heretic on 1 March 1546. The Wisharts of Logie were to produce another George who was also a distinguished clergyman. A fierce opponent of the Covenanters, George Wishart found himself frequently in the Tolbooth prison in Edinburgh. He was there in 1644 when the army of the Marquess of Montrose, the king’s captain general, arrived in the city. Wishart was quickly freed and became Montrose’s chaplain, accompanying him to the Continent where he joined the household of Elizabeth of Bohemia, the ‘winter Queen’, of King Charles I. He was installed as Bishop of Edinburgh in June 1662. His magnificent tomb lies within the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.

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