Broun of Colstoun
900 Years of Historical Events
The Broun family traces its origins back to France to an original Surname of “Le Brun”, claiming relation to the Royal House of France, which explains the family motto “Floreat Majestas”. With the English rendering of the Latin wording being, “Let Majesty Flourish”, the family also bears on their shield the three fleur-de-lis of the French Monarchy. The shield still carries the traditional royal colours of red and gold.
It was recorded that Walterus Le Brun was a follower of the niece and grand niece of William the Conqueror, one Princess of Northumberland and the other Queen of Scotland. Originally, Walterus travelled from France to Scotland in 1073 as the leader of a band of warriors to aid King Malcolm I, to aid him against the incursions of William the Conqueror.
There are documents that record him in the twelfth century as a Walterus Le Brun, a Baron who flourished in Scotland. These and other documents list him as a witness to the inquisition on the church lands of Glasgow made by David, Prince (Earl) of Cumberland, in 1116, in the reign of his brother, Alexander I of Scotland.
With success, Walterus Le Brun was rewarded by being bestowed with the Baronies and lands of Colstoun and Gamilshiel. Broun's have been in possession of the lands, of Colstoun, originally known as “Cumbercollstoun” ever since those times, a permanent residence has existed on the same site since at least 1116. Although the Baronet Title, Broun of Colstoun and Colstoun House are today separated within two parts of the Brouns, “The Old House” is still recognised by all as the family seat, where it still stands today just south of Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland.
With over 900 years of history, where and how are you connected to this great family? Who have been it’s Lairds, Chief’s and Leaders of this Clan?
An Overview of the Leaders of the Broun Clan
Walterus Le Brun
Historical Event: 1073
Walterus Le Brun, progenitor of the Brouns of Colstoun was with the Countess Matilda, wife of David I of Scotland, and 22 others, witness to the inquisition on the Church lands of Glasgow. He descended from the Poictonan(?) family and a follower of the niece and grand niece of William the Conqueror, one Princess of Northumberland and the other Queen of Scotland. He and his posterity obtain the Baronies of Colstoun in Haddington shire and and Gamilshiels Berwickshire.(Deciphered from hand written documents to best possible fit)
Walterus Le Brun therefore flourished in the Reign of Alexander I, A.D. 1116
Sir David Le Brun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1125
Created Baron of Cumbercoilstoun, was one of the witnesses, with King David I of Scotland, in laying the foundation of Holyrood Abbey on May 13, 1128. He devised to that abbey certain "lands and acres in territories de Colstoun" for prayers to be said for "the soul of (King) Alexander, and the health of his son." In 1152 Prince Henry founded the Church of Haddington called Lucerina Lardome where the Brouns of Colstoun have their family vault.(Deciphered from hand written documents to best possible fit)
Phillipus Le Brun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1214
Witness to a charter granted to Sir Roger de Moncrief by Roger Mowbray in 1214.
Ralph Le Brun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1296
Also treaty as Chief Baron of Scotland at Berwick 23rd August 1296
Richard Le Brun, Chief of Clan Broun
Styled by Buchanan one of the Chief Noblemen was condemned by the Black Parliament for his share in the conspiracy caused by BRUCE’s demand for the charters of his nobles and his estates confiscated.
Sir John Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1370
Chief of Colstoun had the attaindure removed and charter regranted of the estates of Colstoun by King David II about A.D. 1370, for his lands including those of Seggarsdean which belonged to to the King by reason of forfeiture.
William Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1423
Lord of Colstoun and Chief of the name, married Margaret de Annand co-heiress with the Baroness of Greenock and Baron Sauchy, a branch of Lord Annandale whose heiress married Robert de Bruce, hence the Royal line. Lord William by his marriage got the Barony of Sauchy and Graquhar in Clack mannanshire, Finderline, Kinrosshire ans Auchendraine.
Alexander Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
He married Margaret Halket, daughter of James Halket, Baron of Pilfirane of Lands of Whitelaw, Malcolmstoun and Little Currie, his wife a daughter of Boswell of Balmuto.
William Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1450
Lord Colstoun was one of the Barons selected by Parliament held at Stirling in 1467 for making the requisition re taxes, lord director of chancery in Scotland. He obtained Charters from Robert III for estates of Malcolmston Whitelaw and little Currie in Ratho, and by his marriage obtained a half share of the Barony of Sauchy – Gratquhar in Clackmannanshire – Finlay Kinropshire and Anchaidraine Ayrshie Ollarston in Fyfe.
He was mentioned in Acts of Parliament 1467–71, as receiving a Charter under Privy Seal for Colstoun in 1506. William resigned his Charter to his Estate of Garden Keir to his son, granting him the full Barony of Sauchy.
Ronald Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1472
Ronald was granted a charter by his father the lands of Little Kettlestone in the shire of Linlithglow, dated 17th June, 1471. Failing heir males of Ronald, the whole reverted to the granter and their heirs.
John Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1506
Baron of Colstoun obtained a new Charter from Bishop Dumfurline to Lands of Garden Keir, and regained his half share of the Barony of Sauchy in 1508. On 10th August 1457, the magistrates and town council of Haddington grated his obligation in favor of a worshipful man, John Broun of Colstoun, relative to repairing the choir of the church of Haddington. He had previously sealed an indenture made between the Prior and Convent of St. Andrews and the Parish of Haddington bailies and council thereof, and is supposed to have Provest of Haddington at the time. (Colstoun Writs. No. 9)
He married Helen Hepburn, daughter of Laird of Waughton. He was killed at the Battle of Flodden. A record says: “he followed his king to Flodden and saw Colstoun no more”. Succeeded by his son.
Patrick Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1513
Patrick of Colstoun, first child and son born to John Broun and Helen Hepburn he died in 1514 was infeft a Precept, from Chancery as heir to his father, in all and whole of the barony of Colstoun in the constabulary of Haddington and shire of Edinburgh, which was done at the door of the Place of Colstoun, 31st October 1513 (Ibid., No. 35).
However he did not long survive his father as he also died at Flodden John (9th Laird), lived only one year after succession.
George Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1514
George of Colstoun,second son to John Broun and Helen Hepburn married Lady Marion Hay, second daughter of Sir John Hay, 2nd Lord Hay of Yester, ancestor of the Marquess of Tweeddale, and she brought with her the pear as dowry. Lord Yester, in handing over the famous Colstoun Pear, which the wizard Hugo de Gifford of Yester (d.1267), famed for his necromantic powers, described in Marmion, was supposed to have invested with the extraordinary virtue of conferring unfailing prosperity on the family which possessed it. Hugo told his new son-in-law as long as it was preserved the family would flourish until the end of time. Accordingly the pear has been carefully preserved in a silver box as a sacred palladium. Many acquaintances of the family wrote comments upon the pear:
Lord Fountainhall related that in September 1670 he called upon the Brouns "who talk much of their antiquity and pear they preserve." Fountainhall's descendant, Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, refers to the story of the pear as something "which we cannot pass over" and mentions that "one of the ladies of the family took a longing for the forbidden fruit while pregnant and inflicted upon it a deadly bite", following which a period of dire financial crisis affected the family and the pear turned rock hard, the teeth-marks still preserved. Martine also mentions it: "the legend of the Colstoun enchanted
George Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1536
George of Colstoun, first child born to George and Marion Broun. On 20th March 1548, he got a Charter of Queen Mary, erecting lands of Colstoun, for good and faithful and gratuitous services rendered to Her Majesty and her Governor, and incorporating all the lands into one entire and free barony with all baronial rights, including pit and gallows. He married Janet Hoppringle daughter of David Hoppringle, Baron of Smallhoum.
Patrick Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1568
Patrick of Colstoun, was the first child born to George and Janet Broun, he married Elizabeth Ramsay, daughter of Sir George Ramsay of Dalhousie in 1574. He died on the 17th of October 1603. Patrick was Commissioner to Parliament for the baronies of Haddington in 1593 and was on a jury at the trail of Frances, Earl of Bothwell for witchcraft in the same year.
He signed the bond of Queen Mary’s adherents in May 1568 and was at the Battle of Langside. He surrendered to Regent, but received letters of remission from James VI of Scotland, (James I of England), on 20/07/1574, so did not have to forfeit his Charter. The reason for leniency seeming to be that he was able to argue that he had been ordered to act on the will of his father George Broun,
Following is an extract of the record of the letter of Remission from James VI:
“James VI declares that of. his grace and favor, and with the advice and consent of his dearest cousin and Regent, The Earl of Morton, he has put away all anger against his Beloved Patrick Broun of Colstoun and Remitted all suit or action he might have against him for treason or participation with certain conspirators against himself and his authority, and for being engaged with them in public and deliberate war at camp of Langside on May 13 1568. For the attack on himself, his Regent and others of his faithful servants with fire and sword, also for being art and part in the slaying of James Vallange in Preston and others named, his father being then alive and ordering him to accompany him to the Camp, for being in communication with rebels and for all crimes the said Patrick Broun might have imputed to him, such as murder, theft, arson etc. and for being in any way concerned in the murder of his dearest father and his Regents.
Records seem to indicate that Patrick had a brother, (Henry), who was as much a swash buckler as Adam had been for George (11th Laird), for in the register for privy council, 1589-90, we find that Patrick had to promise to guarantee a bond of 1000 pounds for Henry Broun, his brother, that h will not harm William Auchinleck in Lastoun, tenant to George Earl of Marischal.
There were also other bonds that had to be posted in the amounts of 2000 pounds for threats against James Heriot of Trabroun, and Samuel Cokburne of Tempillhall, and also one for 1000 merks set in favor of Archibald Auchinleck of Cumlege and William Auchinleck of Lastoun, all against the said Henry Broun of Overkeith.
A third brother George appears to be in the list of those who signed the secret bond in which the Raid of Ruthven originated.
George Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1603
George of Colstoun, was born to Patrick and Elizabeth Ramsay, he was served heir in the lands and barony of Colstoun, lands of Dalgourie; Myreside, Sandersdane, and Seggarsdean, in the constabulary of Haddington, 26th April 1604.
He got confirmation of Charter of the half barony of Little Kettlestoun, Linlithgow, 20th April 1611. He married Euphemia Hoppringle, daughter of Baron James Pringle in 1599 George and Euphemia had a charter of the barony of Thornydykes, lying in the shires of Berwick and Edinburgh, 23rd February 1633 on the resignation of John Cranstoun,with the concent of Lord Cranstoun.
James Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1648
James of Colstoun was the first son born to George and Euphemia Broun he died in 1696. James was on the Committee of War, 1644-47. In 1649 James resided at the trail of five witches in Haddington where they were condemned.
James resigned the estate to George, his heir, on his marriage to Margaret. He married Anne Heriot, daughter and heiress of Robert Heriot of Trabroun.
George Broun, Chief of Clan Broun
Historical Event: 1657
George Broun of Colstoun was the first child and son born to James and Anne. He married Margret Murray, daughter of Sir David Murray of Stanhope, Country Peebles. George was J.P. and Commissioner for Haddingtonshire.
With the death (execution) of Charles the I, Families had to apply to have their Family Charters recognised by Parliament. The Broun Family Charters were recognised by Oliver Cromwell 1 year later and returned to George’s eldest son and heir Patrick Broun.
He was the last of the feudal barons of Colstoun,
Sir Patrick Broun , 1st Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1686
Sir Patrick Broun (1st Baronet), was the first son born to James and Anna Broun, he married firstly Alison Sinclair, daughter of Sir John Sinclair of Stevenson, in 1678. He got the Great Seal Charter of Colstoun and half of Kettleston.
He was Sheriff-Depute, 1670-1681, and a Commissioner of Supply.
He was created a Baron of Nova Scotia by King James II on the 16th February 1686, with remainder to his heirs male for ever, on the account of his “eminent services and fidelity of the ancient family whom he represented, with a remainder to his heirs male forever..
In 1678 he signed a bond obliging heritors and life-renters in East Lothian to abstain from attending conventicles.
Sir Patrick married secondly Jean Kerr, daughter of John Ramsay of Eddington and widow of Mr Robert Kerr, minister of Haddington.
Sir George Broun, 2nd Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Sir George Broun was the first child and son born to Sir Patrick and Alison Broun. He was Sherriff-depute of Edinburgh, within the constabulary of Haddington, 1670-81. he had a Charter of Adjudication of the lands of Newtownlees, Haddington and Edinburgh, 1st February 1688; also a charter of the barony of Colstoun, in which he is designed younger of Colstoun, to himself and his wife on his father’s resignation he married Lady Elizabeth Mackenzie, daughter of George, 1st Earl of Cromartie, She being the Lady “who insisted on biting the famous Colstoun Pear “.
Apparently in accordance with the wizard’s warning, misfortunes gathered.
George took to heavy Gambling, (actually most losses were to his wife’s uncle Roderick Mackenzie of Prestonhall). He was first forced to sell two of his best farms including Dalgowrie, the dower (house the widow would retire to on succession of the next Laird), but this was not enough to learn his lesson and eventually because of his loses he was forced to sell most of his remaining estates including Colstoun to his Brother Robert in 1699 for 140,000 Merks.
Robert tragically did not enjoy the owning the “old House” for long. Four years later when returning to Colstoun from the last sitting of Scottish parliament in 1703, with his wife, two sons and a daughter, the lead house of his carriage took fright trying to cross Colstoun Water. The coach over turned and he and his two sons were drowned. Robert’s eldest daughter Jean, now inherited Colstoun House and estate as they were no longer inherited with the Title, from when, Sir George (2nd Baronet) had to sell them to Robert, but the family charter had a proviso that Colstoun House and the Estate must always remain in the Broun family name.
There were attempts to talk Jean and the heir of Sir George’s (2nd Baronet) Title, (also called) George to marry, and bring the Title and Estates back together “for the sake of the family”.
Young George refused, stating that “he was already in love with another and would only marry for love”. Perhaps he hoped that because the family Charter stated that the Estates must remain in the Broun name that when he inherited the title, one day the Estate would pass back to him, or at worst his Heirs as “head of the family”, some say that this was the agreement that George (2nd Baronet) and Robert had agreed to, and that George had only agreed to pass the Estates to Robert “for safe keeping”, to protect them from his gambling, on proviso that they would return to his Heirs and Title on Robert’s death.
If this agreement existed however, there is no evidence of it being documented, and as George lived for 15 years after Robert drowned and did nothing to try to enforce such an agreement, t would therefore seem very unlikely that it existed. Whatever the answer Jean was to decide the final outcome for the future ownership of Colstoun House and the Estates, when she married a more distant cousin George Broun of Eastfield.
This again uniting older strands of the same family. She was therefore able to retain the Estates herself, and ensure that they would pass through her descendants and not by succession of the title, even eliminating the requirement that for it to pass from father to son.
Today the only proviso remains that Colstoun House and the Estates must always remain in the Broun family name
Sir George Broun, 3rd Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Sir George Broun was the first child and son born to Alexander Broun and Mary MacPherson He married Janet Spottiswoode. Sir George Broun was the first heir not to live at Colstoun.
Sir Alexander Broun, 4th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Sir Alexander Broun of Bassendean was the second child and second son born to Alexander Broun and Mary MacPherson, he married Beatrix Swinton the daughter of Sir Alexander Swinton, Lord of Mersinton. Sir Alexander Broun had obtained the estate of Bassendean from his father, Alexander Broun.
Sir Alexander Broun, 5th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Sir Alexander Broun was the only son and child of Sir Alexander Broun and Lady Beatrix Broun nee Swinton. Sir Alexander Broun married Mally Calquoun, a daughter of Adam Colquoun of Glins
Sir Richard Broun, 6th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1765
Sir Richard Broun was the eldest son of James Broun of Hume Castle and Alison Brodie. Richard never used his title, due to his position in the church, where he was a minister of the Church of Scotland for Kingarth and Lochmaben. Richard married Robina McBryde the daughter of Colonel Hugh McBryde of Baidland, Ayrshire.
Sir James Broun, 7th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1781
Sir James Broun was the eldest child and son born to Sir Richard Broun and Lady Robina Broun nee McBryde. He married firstly, Marion Henderson the daughter of Robert and Janet Henderson. James married secondly, Janet Watson the daughter of R Watson of Edinburgh.
Sir Richard Broun, 8th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1844
Richard Broun was the eldest child and first son born to James Broun and Marion Henderson nee Broun. Richard was an author of a varity of works, from Heraldry, Colonization and Railway extension. He was also a Knight Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and he was also the Honorable Secretary for the committee of Baronets for privileges and the Central Agricultural Society.
Sir William Broun, 9th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1858
William Broun was the second child and son born to James Broun and Marion Henderson nee Broun. William married Elizabeth Smith the daughter of John Smith of Drongan, Ayrshire. William worked as a Solicitor in Dumfries, Scotland, before moving to the Winton area in New South Wales, Australia.
Sir William Broun, 10th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1882
William Broun was the fifth child and the second son born to Sir William Broun and Elizabeth Smith nee Broun. He married Alice Jane Peters, daughter of James Cornelius Peters. Margaret daughter of James Halket, Baron of Pilfirane, his wife a daughter of Boswell of Balmuto.
Sir James Lionel Broun, 11th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1918
James Broun was the eldest child and first son born to Sir William Broun and Lady Alice Peters nee Broun. James Lionel married Georgie Caroline Bird Law, the daughter of Henry Law.
Sir Lionel John Law Broun, 12th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1962
Lionel John Law Broun was the only child and son to James Lionel Broun and Georgie Law nee Broun.
Sir William Windsor Broun, 13th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Historical Event: 1995
William Windsor was the first child and son born to William Broun and Marie McIntyre. William Windsor married D’Hrie King, the daughter of Frank R. King of Bingara, New South Wales, Australia.
Sir Wayne Broun, 14th Baronet of Colstoun and Thornydykes, Chief of the Name of Broun
Wayne Broun was the second child and only son born to Hulance Broun and Joy Stack. Wayne married firstly Anne Paolucci and married secondly Caroline Mary Lavender, the daughter of John Lavender and Jennifer Linsley nee Lavender.