Spens Lairds of Kilspindie & Condie Overview

Spens Lairds of Kilspindie & Condie Overview

The origin of the name Condie is variously attributed to those families who lived on or near, the estate of Condie in Perthshire.

Among the earliest records traced of the estate name in Perthshire are the following:

The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland for 6th July 1514 refers to “Thos. Spens de Condy Joanii Spens filio et apparente Lerede Thom S de Condy” and for 16th January 1552 to “Jac Spens de Condy”. The Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer refer to “Conde’ (Ducondie, Ducoundie, Duncondie) Servais de, varlet (sic) in the Queen’s chamber” and, at Page XVI …,”
the clerk of office,…..handed over to Servais de Condie, the young Queen’s valet of the wardrobe, a long list of dresses and furniture in November 1561.” (These references to the Queen are to Mary Queen of Scots).

Queen Mary would also be familiar with the name Condie in respect of her Advocate, viz. John Spens of Condie – Queen’s advocate. There are numerous references to him in these same Accounts e.g. “Item, to Maister Johnie Spens of Condie, advocate to our Soverane Ladie, for his fee be the said space” and “Magistro Johanne Spens de Condy advocato”.

At this point it is perhaps appropriate to say something of the estate of Condie which had probably given its name to most, if not all, of the Condie/Condys referred to above and those that follow. Condie, as a placename, still exists on the 1:25,000 O.S. maps of the Forgandenny area, as in Newton of Condie, Path of Condie, Mains of Condie, Condie Hill, and Condie Wood, all situated in close proximity to the village of Path of Condie in the Ochils.

The estate is historically linked, first, to the Colville family and from the early 17th century to the family of Oliphant, a now extinct peerage, but at one time a very important family in Scottish history. The surname Oliphant was originally Olifard.

The House of Condie (on the estate) was built probably about 1545 by William Oliphant of Newton, a cadet branch of the family. The house was then called Newton House. William’s son, Alexander, became Albany Herald, and his son was Lawrence Oliphant, 1st of Condie. This is the beginning of the use of Condie as a surname. The 2nd Statistical Account14 , published in 1854, describes the village of Path Struie or Path of Condie, lying in the Ochil Hills, as containing 40 people in 22 dwelling houses, a mill, an Antiburgher meeting house (built in 1748) and a school. The adjoining Wood of Condie had deposits of copper. The Condie estate at its maximum extended to some 3,900 acres but was broken up by sale in 1881. The old mansion house, a mile west of Forgandenny, was burned down in 1866 and not rebuilt.

–Spens of Kilspindie

Sir William of Spens 1st Laird of Spens of Kilspindy (1382-1419)

He obtained the lands of Kilspindie.

Sir Andrew of Spens 2nd Laird of Spens of Kilspindie

Sir Peter of Spens 3rd & Last Laird of Kilspindie, Knight ( – 1483)

He acquired part of the lands of Balcaskie from Andrew Parker, portioner of Balcaskie and in which he was infeft on 30 January, 1483. He is said to have been killed in a duel with Douglas of Kilspindie which culminated in one of his legs being completely severed. With the death of Sir Peter of Spens, the lands of Kilspindie were forfeited to Angus of Douglas, 1st Laird Douglas of Kilspindie.

–Spens of Condie

Sir Laurence Spens 1st Laird of Condie

He complained to the Lords of Council against Laurence de Crichton’s spoilation of the lands of of Broadwood of Condie in 1476. Sir Laurence Spens is a younger brother of the Sir Peter Spens, 3rd & Last Laird of Kilspindie slain by Angus of Douglas, 1st Laird Douglas of Kilspindie.

Sir Thomas Spense 2nd Laird Spens of Condie ( – 1516)

A member of an assise at the retour of John Haldane of Gleneagles, as heir to father Sir James Haldane of Gleneagles, in the half lands of Ardeonaig on 31 July, 1505.

Sir Thomas of Spens 3rd Laird of Spens of Condie ( – 1515)

Styled as eldest son and heir of his father when witness to a Charter by David Spens, Rector of Flisk, to John Spens, Student at St. Andrews for the lands of Mariston on 20 June, 1514. He apparently died without child prior to 10 March, 1515.

Sir James Spense 4th Laird of Spens of Condie ( – 1538)

He succeeded his father and was infeft in the lands of Pitcairns on 16 December 1521, which had been in the King’s hands for the space of four years. He was witness to a charter of resignation by Isobel Dischington, lady of Kilconquhar, to John Chalmer of Drumlochy, and Elizabeth Hay, his spouse, for the lands of Kynmokis Easter on 10 March, 1515.

Sir David Spense 5th Laird of Spens of Condie

He succeeded his father and was witness to a charter in favour of Robert Barclay, fiar of Struie, on 5 June, 1538. He apparently died without child.

Sir John Spense 6th Laird of Spens of Condie

He succeeded his brother and died without child.

Sir James Spense 7th Laird of Spens of Condie ( – 1554)

He succeeded his brother in the lands of Condie.

Sir John Spense 8th Laird of Spens of Condie, Advocate to Queen Mary (1520-1573)

He had a charter for the lands of Condie as heir to his father’s brother John Spense of Condie on 30 October, 1553.

Sir Laurence Spens 9th & Last Laird of Spens of Condie

Laurence Spens, apparently a son by his father’s second marriage and whose escheat was gifted to Matthew Colville of Condie on 16 December, 1577. Both John Spense and Laurence Spens dying without male heirs, the lands of Condie were gifted to Matthew Colville, 1st Laird of Colville of Condie and husband of Janet Spens, younger sister to Laurence Spens.

The line of Spens of Condie is here extinguished.

Matthew Colville, 1st Laird of Colville of Condie & Janet Spens

The family of Colville of Condie here begins.