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Seaton

The following lengthy quotation about the ancient parish of Seaton comes from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published in 1868. This reference was found in volume II, p.703:

"SEATON, or SETON, an ancient parish in Haddingtonshire. It was annexed, soon after the Reformation, to Tranent. Its church stood near Seaton-palace, the mansion of the noble family of Seaton, and was long a handsome Gothic edifice with a spire, but is now a squalid ruin. In 1493, George, Lord Seaton, erected it into a collegiate establishment for a provost, six prebendaries, two singing boys, and a clerk; and assigned for their support the tithes of the church, and various chaplainries which had been established in it by his ancestors. At various dates, other members of the family made additions to the edifice, multiplied its decorations, increased its wealth, and erected within it some sumptuous monuments. In 1544, the English invaders under the Earl of Hertford, while destroying Seaton castle, spoiled the church, and 'tuk away the bellis and organis and other tursable thingis, and pat thame in thair schippis, and brint the tymber-wark within the said kirk.' The edifice likewise suffered much amidst subsequent commotions.

Seaton-palace, built in the reign of James VI, and one of a class which excelled in taste and elegance any mansions which were built during the next three or four reigns, was esteemed, at the period, much the most magnificent house in Scotland. It had gardens and terrace walks which, as well as its apartments, were the delight of kings; and it consisted of two sides of a quadrangle, united by a rampart. When, in 1603, James VI was on his way to take possession of his English crown, he met the funeral of the first Earl of Seaton, who had been one of the closest adherents of Mary, and who, along with two of his children, figures so conspicuously in Sir Walter Scott's tale of 'the Abbot;' and he halted his retinue, and seated himself on a part of the palace garden-wall till the funeral passed. In 1617, the same monarch, when revisiting his native kingdom, spent at Seaton his second night after crossing the Tweed; and, at a subsequent period, Charles I and his court were entertained here, when on a progress through Scotland. No vestige of the palace now remains. Its ruins were removed about the year 1770, when the present modern castellated edifice was erected by Mackenzie of Portmore, the proprietor.

The ancestors of the Seaton family obtained, in the reign of William the Lion, a charter of the lands of Seaton, Winton, and Winchburgh. Alexander de Seaton, also, the nephew of Robert Bruce, obtained from his royal uncle the manor of Tranent, and other extensive possessions of the noble family of De Quincy, attainted by espousal of the cause of Edward. The Seatons became one of the richest and most influential families in Scotland, great in their own strength, and exalted by many noble and princely intermarriages. They were created Lords Seaton in the 14th century, and Earls of Winton and Lords Tranent in 1600; and they were attainted, in 1716, in the person of George, the fifth Earl, for his participation in the rebellion of the preceding year. Their titles are claimed by the Earl of Eglinton."


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