Herring of Gilmerton

Note: It is unfortunate that on many occasions when conducting genealogical research of this nature, it becomes apparent that there is such a paucity of extant evidence that piecing together an accurate account of a particular family’s genealogy is an impossible task. In those circumstances all we can do is consider the evidence we do have to hand and reconcile it as best we can. Herring of Gilmerton is one such family which falls into that category. Any additions would be very gratefully received.

Arms: gules, on a bend argent, a rose, between two lions rampant on the field.[1]

Gilbert Herring, is, apparently, the first for whom there is evidence. He witnessed a confirmation by Patrick, Earl of March, to the monks at Melrose Abbey of a charter to them by the late Earl Cospatrick, and dated about 1290×1330 and held the lands of Lethame, in Berwickshire, and is likely identical with the “Gilbert” who also possessed those Emersden in that same sheriffdom. He was dead by 1335/36[2] and was father of,

Nicholas Herring, who is stated to have been his father’s heir in the lands of Emersden in 1335/36. He appears to have died soon afterwards and was succeeded by either his son or his brother;

Patrick Herring, witnessed a confirmation by Patrick, Earl of March, on 11 January 1341/42, of his late father’s confirmation of a grant to the monks at Melrose of the lands of Hertsidehead, Spott and others which had previously been made by Earl Cospatrick and Waldeve, his son.[3] He appears to have been father of,

  1. Gilbert Herring, (see below).
  2. John Herring, 1st of Glasclune, whom, if a younger son of the House of Gilmerton, would be of this generation. See Herring of Glasclune and Lethendy.

Gilbert Herring, was one of the witnesses to a charter in favour of George Dunbar for the lands of Mochrum dated 1369.[4] The next for whom there is evidence is;

Patrick Herring of Ermersden, who appears as one of the witnesses to a charter dated about 1412[5] and was in all likelihood the father of;

John Herring of Edmersden, is also apparently, identical to the John Heryng, esquire of Scotland, who with David and Nicholas de Dunbar, was sent to the Tower of London on 30 May 1421.[6] He disponed 10 merks worth of lands in and around the town of Greenlaw to James de Whitelaw by charter dated 13 June 1443[7] and made a resignation of his lands to his son and heir, Gilbert, on 17 December 1445. He was father of,

Sir Gilbert Herring of Edmersden and Gilmerton, in favour of whom his father resigned his lands of Edmersden, Greenlaw, Derchester, Lathame and Duns, all in the Earldom of March and sheriffdom of Berwick, and which were subsequently confirmed to him by charter expede under the Great Seal on 17 December 1445.[8] He had married by 1 March 1462, to Elizabeth Ramsay when they resigned their lands of Kerswell in favour of John, Lord Somerville.[9] He also resigned the demesne lands of Gilmerton on 12 March 1472/73[10] and either became physically or mentally unfit as he is referred to following his death as having been under curators. He died before 13 May 1491 having had issue;

Patrick Herring of Gilmerton, paid duties for the lands of Edmersden with the castle in 1465 and 1468[11] and succeeding on his father’s death, he is styled son and heir of the late Sir Gilbert Herring in various actions and writs relating to his father’s affairs.[12] On account of his father never having taken infeftment in his lands, they had lapsed and been in nonentry for a period of sixty years when on 2 April 1503, Patrick had those of Gilmerton confirmed to him under the Great in return for payment of £20 Scots for each of the sixty years of nonentry.[13] He disponed the mains of Gilmerton to Patrick Crichton of Cranston-Riddell who had a confirmation for them on 23 February 1503-04,[14] followed by the remainder of the town and lands of Gilmerton to Gilbert Wauchope, son and heir of Archibald Wauchope of Niddrie-Marischal, by charter dated 6 November 1504.[15] He married Euphemia Home with whom he is named in a resignation of 14 April 1500,[16] and was father of,

Patrick Herring of Gilmerton, is styled son and heir of Patrick Herring of Gilmerton when a member of the inquest at the service of Sir George Preston as heir to his late father, Simon Preston, in the lands and barony of Craigmillar on 17 April 1520.[17] He was likely the father of the next for whom there is evidence;

Simon Herring of Gilmerton, appears to have retained some form of right to parts of the lands of Gilmerton and had a Tack of the lands of Newtonlies on 20 March 1553-54[18]. In his time, all rights to his ancestral estate appear to have terminated.






[1] A System of Heraldry, Vol. 1, p. 102 (Sir Alexander Nisbet, Edinburgh, 1722). Herring of Lethendy and Glasclune being descended of Herring of Gilmerton is proved by their arms which Nisbert describes thus: quarterly, first and fourth gules, on a bend argent, a rose between two lions rampant of the field, second and third azure, a chevron argent.

[2] Cal. Docs. Scot. Vol. 3, p.324.

[3] Cart. Melrose, No. 431.

[4] MacFarlane’s Genealogical Collections, Vol. 2, p.522. In which he is referred to a “Gilberto dicti Herring”.

[5] Haddington Charters, No. 285.

[6] Cal. Docs. Scot. Vol, 4. no.906.

[7] C2/4/234.

[8] C2/2/135.

[9] GD40/4/72.

[10] GD40/4/95.

[11] Ex. Rolls. Vol. 7, p.564.

[12] CS5/13/60v.

[13] C2/14/35.

[14] C2/14/36.

[15] C2/14/70.

[16] Protocol Book of James Young, Nos. 1118-1119.

[17] GD122/1/171.

[18] PS1/27/9.