Name: Alexander LIVINGSTON
Suffix: Lord Of Callendar
Prefix: Sir Knight
Birth: ABT 1376 in Callendar, Perthshire, Scotland
Death: BEF 6 NOV 1451
Sir John Livingston of Callendar was twice married.
(1) His first wife was a daughter of John Menteith of Carse or Kerse, Sheriff of Clackmannan in 1352, by whom
he had issue:
1. Alexander, who succeeded to the Callendar estates.
2. Robert, burgess of Stirling, and said by Douglas to have been the ancestor of the original Livingston family of Westquarter, but he gives no proof.
3. John, said by the same authority to have been the progenitor of the Livingstons of Banton or Ballintoun in Stirlingshire. This John may also have been a burgess of Stirling and the grandfather of the John Livingston who laid claim to the lands of Terrintirran in 1518. He was probably the John Livingston of ?Baltone? who received mailmarts from Bute in 1446.
The last two sons, as Robert of Livingston of Callendar and John of Livingston of Callendar, are witnesses to a charter granted by John Blair of Adamtoun to their elder brother, Alexander, at Stirling, 26 January 1424-25.
4. James, who got into trouble with the officers of the Exchequer in 1417, in an attempt to evade the Linlithgow customs over the export of some wool; and in whose favour, as ?James de Levyngstounde Kalendare,? letters of attorney were granted by Murdoch, Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland in January 1423-24. among the attorneys named were eight Livingstons.
Source: THE LIVINGSTONS OF CALLENDAR, by Edwin Brockholst Livingston, Edinburgh, 1920, pp. 32-34.
V. Sir Alexander de Livingston, Lord of Callendar, Knight, was a very able, as well as an ambitios man of affairs, but previous to the return of James I from exile in England there is little mention of him in the records of that period. He was a witness, together with his father, to some charters executed in the years 1399 and 1401, in which he is styled ?Alexander of Livingston,? while in a charter dated at Clackmannan, 6 October 1406, he is described as ?Alexander of Livingston, Lord of Callendar.? ? Alexander Livingston?s name also appears as that of a witness to charters granted by the Regent Albany in 1407 and 1408. ?
?Alexander de Levyngeston de Calendar??he was not yet knighted?was one of those members of the Scottish nobility and gentry to whom safe-conducts were granted by the government of Henry VI for the purpose of meeting James I and his fair queen at Durham, and escorting them to Edinburgh. ? James had married, shortly before his release, Lady Joan or Jane Beaufort, granddaughter of the celebrated John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.
Embittered by his long captivity, and blaming his relatives, the Albanys, for the great delay in obtaining his release, James I returned to his kingdom with the full intention of destrying them, root and branch, and also, at the earliest opportunity of breaking down the overgrown power of the greater nobles. Within a year of his return the wished-for opportunity occurred, and he was able to have Murdoch, Duke of Albany, the late regent, his sons, and his father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox arrested at Perth on a charge of high treason. ? [They] were tried by a jury [which included] Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, by whom the prisoners were found guilty and all four were beheaded on the Sterling Castle Hill.
Sir Alexander Livingston was sellected by James as one of his councillors, and was knighted on the occasion of the king?s coronation (21 May 1424).
? a deed in the Wigtoun charter chest, by which one John Blair of Adamtoun grants to Alexander Livingston of Callendar?in the document he is styled ?a noble and potent man??the lands of Catscleuch or Cattiscleuch in the the barony of Herbertshire, Stirlingshire, in consideration ?for his good council manifoldly given and to be given? to the said John Blair. This deed is dated 26 January 1424-25, and among the names of the witnesses are those of his younger brothers, Robert, and John, and Henry Livingston of Manerstoun. These lands remained in the possession of his direct male descendants until December 1634 ?
His wise counsel was soon to be availed of by the widowed queen [King James I having been murdered 20 February 1436-37 by sir robert Graham] whose son James, then in his seventh year, had been crowned at Holyrood Abbey on 24 March 1437, ? on account of the lawless condition of the Highlands, which state of affairs had compelled the queen-mother to seek refuge within the strong walls of Edinburgh Castle. ?
? the results of modern research clearly prove that, after all, Archibald, fifth Earl of Douglas and duke of Touraie, was appointed by this parliament to be the king?s lieutenant in the government of the kingdom. ? At this date  Sir Alexander Livingston was residing at Stirling, where his eldest son, James was in command of the castle, which responsible post had been conferred on him by King James I. ? [The queen mother, wishing to have more control over her own son, secretely transferred young James II to Stirling] where she placed herself and the young king under the care of Sir Alexander Livingston, ? which must have taken place between November 1438, when parliament was held at Edinburgh, and March 1439, when the three Estates assembled at Stirling; and that by this act of the queen-mother, Sir Alexander Livingston found himself , for a time, virtual ruler of Scotland.
At the parliament which met at Stirling (13 March 1438-39), it was ordained that two sessions should be held yearly, at which the king?s lieutenant and council should be present, and it was also enacted that on account of rebels taking refuge within their castles, the king?s lieutenant should raise forces in his behalf and besiege such strongholds and arrest the offenders, whatever their rank might be. This last act was evidently aimed at Crichton, whom it was not considered advisable to be permitted to continue to defy the royal authority from inside the strong walls of Edinburgh Castle. ?
Crichton entered into negotiations with Sir Alexander Livingston, which resulted to his surrenter of the castle to the boy king, ?; and in the arrangement of a mutual agreement, by which it was settled that the king and the queen-mother were to remain in the care of Livingston, who would thus still be able to control the government, while Crichton was to be made chancellor in the place of Cameron, Bishop of Glawgow, who was a friend of the House of Douglas, and he was also to be restored to the command of Edinburgh Castle. Soon after this reconciliation between the rival statesmen, the Earl of Douglas died of a fever at Restalrig. ?
We now come to an event, the consequences of which had for a time, far-reaching effects on the fortunes of the Livingston family. It arose out of the queen-mother?s secret marriage to Sir James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn. ? but as this knight belonged to the party of the Earl of Douglas, Sir Alexander Livingston ? was not likely to regard this alliance with favour, as he was not consulted in the matter, and knew nothing about it until too late to prevent its accomplishment. ? he at once, on receiving intelligence of what had happened had the bridegroom and his brother, Sir William Stewart, arrested and cast into a dungeon , and put in irons. ? had the queen-mother herself ? arrested, and placed under a guard who had strict orders to prevent her leaving her apartments in the castle. ? This affair happened on the third of August 1439. ? there is just as much reason for supposing that Livingston, in his position as guardian of the king?s person, acted out of feelings of loyalty to his royal charge, as that he was influences solely by selfish ambition
? on the last day of August, the same month, a convention of the Three Estates was held at Stirling, attended by the Bishops of Glasgow, Moray, Ross, and Dunblane, William, Earl of Douglas, the chancellor, Sir William Crichton, Sir Alexander Seton, Lord of Gordon and other well-known men. [They had been called] to agree to sanction by their solemn act of approval a deed of reconciliation between the queen-mother and himself, in which document it is expressly stated the latter had only acted ?for the safety of our sovereign lord the worship of his person, and the common good of the realm.? This ? document ? dated 4 September 1439 ? states that the queen, after ripely examining and discussing with her council the causes and motives that had influenced the Livingstons in ther treatment of her person, admits, she is fully persuaded ?in that matter was nought done in villainy?; and that they had only acted frod motives of loyalty and zeal for the safety of their sovereign. She therefore promises to didmiss from her mind all feelings of displeasure she had hitherto entertained against them, on account of their conduct in having her imprisoned. She also, with the advice of the Three Estates, resigns to Sir Alexander Livingston the sole guardianship of the king, ?her dearest son,? until he should come of age, and, at the same time, surrenders to him her Castle of Stirling, as a residence for the king and his sisters; and to defray the expense of their maintenance there she assigned to Sir Alexander Livingston her annul allowance of ?four thousand marks of the usual money of Scotland,? which had been granted to her for the same purpose by the parliament which had appointed her guardian of her children on the death of the late king. It was also further agreed that the queen-mother should have the right to visit her son at all times, provided that she be accompanied ?with unsuspected persons,? and that the lords and gentlemen composing her retinue are approved of by Livingston. In the event of the latter dying before the king should have reached his majority, the queen was to have her son and the castle delivered back to her; and it was finally stipulated, so as to protect the principal persons concerned in the arrest of the queen-mother from the charge of high treason being brought against them at some future time, that neither Sir Alexander Livingston nor his friends were to be brought ?neirar the deede? for their share in this affair.
But ? there is no doubt that, in spite of this most important stipulation, their treatment of the queen-mother was brought forward by their political enemies, on the fall of the Livingstons from power ten years later, as on of the indictments which oobtained their condemnation and sentence for high treason in 1450. Fortunately for sir Alexander Livingston and his eldest son James, the king had become so much attached to his Livingston guardians, particularly to the latter, that apparently it was this fact, and not the above stipulation which saved both their heads from the block, when other less favoured members of the family were executed on the Castle Hill, Edinburgh, in January 1449-50?.
The custody of James II remained in Sir Alexander Livingston?s hands until he became Justiciary of Scotland in 1444, when he transferred the guardianship to his eldest son, James, Captain of Stirling Castle, whose name, in March and April 1445, appears as that of a witness to charters under the Great Seal, as ?Jacobus de Levingstoun, Custos Persone Regis Scutifer.? ?
The remaining authentic information concerning Sir Alexander Livingston during the next few years is extremely scanty. In the year 1447 we find him, probably in his office of Justiciary, acting as the king?s representative at the surrender of Lochdune Castle by the M?Lellands; and in August 1449 he was appointed to be one of the ambassadors sent by James II to treat with the English government regarding a renewal of the truce between the two countries, which had been broken during the previous year owing to some border hostilities, which had led to the defeat of the Enlish at the battle of Sark. ? In all the documents relating to this embassy, Sir Alexander Livingston is styled ?Justiciarius Regni Scotiae?. But while Sir Alexander Livingston was in England ? King James the Second, for reasons which are very obscure, ? had the chief members of his family and their principal adherents suddenly arrested and thrown into prison, their estates and castles seized, every officer appointed by them expelled from his post ?
The first members of the family to be arrested were James of Livingston, who, since his relinquishment of the guardianship of the king on his coming of age had been appointed Great Chamberlain of Scotland, Robert Callendar, Captain of Dumbarton Castle, David Livingston of Greenyards and John of Livingston, Captain of Doune Castle. These were all seized by the king?s officers on Monday, the twenty-third of September 1449. ? Shortly afterwards, Sir Alexander Livingston, on his return from his mission to England, and his kinsman Robert of Livingston, burgess of Linlithgow, the comptroller were also arrested and placed under confinement. James of Livingston, his younger brother Alexander, and Robert of Livingston, the Comptroller, were imprisoned in Blackness Castle. ?
The Prisoners were all brought to trial and arraigned before the parliament which met at Edinburgh on the nineteenth of January 1449-50, but details are lacking as regards the nature of the offences with which they were charged. They were, of course, all found guilty of high treason ? and while Alexander Livingston of Phildes, the second son of Sir Alexander Livingston, and Robert of Livingston, the Comptroller, were beheaded to days later (21 January 1449-50) on the Castle Hill, Edinburgh, Sir Alexander Livingston himself, with his brother-in-law, James Dundas of Dundas, the younger, and Robert Bruce, brother to the Laird of Clackmannan were only attainted and confined in Dumbarton Castle.
The member of the family who suffered least from this wholesale proscription of his kindred and friends was James of Livingston, the Great Chamberlain, who, evidently owing to the king?s personal interference in his behalf, was quickly released from his confinement in Blackness Castle, and allowed to return to his attendance on James at his Court then being held at Holyrood; but probably on discovering that in spite of the royal protection, his life was still in danger, he secretly escaped from Holyrood and fled to the Highlands, where he joined his poerful son-in-law, John, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, who ?resavit him richt thankfully, and tuke plane part againe the king for him.?
Among the persons who ? profited by the attainder and forfeiture of the Livingstons was the queen?James II had recently married Mary of Gueldres?whose tocher, which had been pledged by her royal bridegroom in 1448 to Robert of Livingston, the comptroller, as security for a debt, was now free from encumbrance, and she received as the lion?s share of the plunder, the lordship and barony of Callendar, the lands of Kilsyth, Terrintirran, Lethbert, etc.; while the Earl of Douglas had to rest content with the gift of part of the forfeited lands of the Laird of Dundas, and the lands of Culter and Ogleface, formerly belonging respectively to James and Robert of Livingston. ?
Sir Alexander Livingston was released after a very brief imprisonment, probably on account of his advanced age and failing health, and he was
deceased between the fourth of July and the sixth November of the year following this total collapse of his fortunes.
By his wife, who is said to have been a daughter of James Dundas of Dundas, the elder,
he had issue:
1. James of Livingston, who succeeded his father and was subsequently created a Lord of Parliament
2. Alexander of Feldes or Phildes, Perthshire, constable of Stirling Castle, Captain of Methven Castle, etc., who was executed for high treason on 21 January 1449-50, He was the ancestor of the Dunipace rance of the family.
3. Janet, who was probably born towards the close of the fourteenth century (circa 1395). She married Sir James Hamilton of Cadzow ?
4. Elizabeth (doubtful), who is said to have married James Dundas of Dundas, the younger.
5. Helen, who married William Menteith of Carse or Kerse.
Source: THE LIVINGSTONS OF CALLENDAR, by Edwin Brockholst Livingston, Edinburgh, 1920, pp. 34-42, 46-48, 49-50
Sir John married first, a daughter (name unknown) of John Menteith of Kerse,
by whom he had four sons:
1. Sir Alexander, who succeeded.
2. Robert, ancestor of the first family of Livingston of Westquarter and Kinnaird.
3. John, ancestor of the Livingstons of Barnton, etc.
4. James who is mentioned as evading the customs of Linlithgow in the export of wool in 1416-17.
Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol V, Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 425-6.
Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, the first of his family to attain a position of power and influence in the government of Scotland had a share in the negotiations for the release of James I from captivity in England, and was knighted for his services.
He sat on the assize at Stirling, 27 May 1425, which condemned Murdoch, duke of Albany, his son and father-in-law, the aged Earl of Lennox. He continued to enjoy the royal favour till the assination of the King by Sir Robert Graham and his accomplices. The possession and governorship of the young King then became the object of the two contending factions in the kingdom, one of which was led by Sir William Crichton, Governor of Edinburgh Castle, and the other by Sir Alexander Livingston. The latter had the advantage of the Queen-mother?s friendship and support, and through her influence ... James II was removed to Stirling Castle, and places in the custody of Livingston, who was governor. This took place before 13 March 1439, when the estates passed measure obviously directed against Livingston?s rival, Crichton. ...
Livingston ... took prompt measures to frustrate any scheme the Queen may have had to free her son from bondage. On 3 August 1439 he and his son, James, forcibly invaded her chamber in Stirling Calstle, and had her removed to another room as a prisoner, while her husband [James Stewart of Lorn] and his brother, William Stewart were also seized and confined in the castle dungeons. ... The outrage committed on the Queen showed the length Livingston was prepared to go, and he was powerful enough to dictate the terms of an agreement with her, which was sanctioned by a general council held at Stirling 4 september 1439. The Castle of Stirling and the Queen?s allowance were surrendered by her for the King?s maintenance. It was stipulated that whe was to have access to her son in the presence of unsuspected persons, and in the event of the death of Sir Alexander Livingston, he was to be restored to her.
The Queen further declared that she remitted to the Livingstons all the rancour which she had wrongly conceived against them, and that she was satisfied that they had imprisoned her from motive of loyalty, and out of zeal for their sovereign?s safety, and engaged that neither Livingston nor any of his friends should at any future time be brought into trouble for their share in these transactions. ...
The office of Justiciary of Scotland appears to have been held by Livingston in 1444. But the marriage of the King in July 1449 was quickly followed by the sudden downfall of the Livingstons, which occurred only a few weeks after the promotion of Sir Alexander?s eldest son to the office of Great Chamberlain of Scotland.
Father and son, together with a younger son, Alexander, Captain of Methven Castle, Robert Livingston, Comptroller, and a number of other relatives, friends and adherents were arrested, and some of them imprisoned in the fortress of Blackness. They were arraigned before a Parliament held at Edinburgh 19 January 1450, and on the 22, Alexander Livingston, younger son of Sir Alexander, and comptroller, were Executed, the others being attainted and imprisoned in Dumbarton Castle. ...
The possessions of Sir Alexander at this time must have been considerable, as in addition to the patrimonial estates of Callendar and Kilsyth, which were give to the Queen, there were also forfeited the lands of Catscleuch, in the barony of Herbertshire, the lands of Terrinterran, part of Kippen, Broominch, etc. Some of the estates forfeited were bestowed upon the Earl of Douglas, which excited a suspicion of treachery on his part towards Alexander Livingston.
After the Earl?s assissination on 22 February, the Livingstons were restored to the royal favour, but sir Alexander had died in the interval, between 4 July and 6 November 1451.
By his wife, a daughter of James Dundas of Dundas, he had two sons and two daughters:
1. James, first Lord Livingston.
2. Alexander of Phildes or Fildes, in the lordship of Methven, Captain of Methven Castle, and Constable of Stirling Castle, who was executed 22 January 1450. ... This Alexander Livingston married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Adam Hepburn of Craigh, second son of Adam, Master of Hailes, and was the ancestor of the Livingstons of Dunipace.
3. Janet, married to James Hamilton of Cadzow
Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol V, Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 426-9
Father: John LIVINGSTON b: ABT 1349 in Callendar, Perthshire, Scotland
Mother: MENTEITH b: ABT 1360 in Kerse, Renfrewshire, Scotland
- Janet LIVINGSTON b: ABT 1408 in Callendar, Perthshire, Scotland
- James LIVINGSTON b: ABT 1410 in Callendar, Perthshire, Scotland
- Elizabeth LIVINGSTON b: ABT 1412 in Callendar, Perthshire, Scotland
- Alexander LIVINGSTON b: ABT 1414 in Callendar, Perthshire, Scotland