Feudal Barony of Lathallan Overview
1. Sir William of Spens Burgess of Perth, 1st Baron of Lathallan (1360-1432)
1st feudal Baron of Lathallan, Fife, and other lands of which the Earls of Fife were superiors, till the forfeiture of Murdoch, 1425, after which as tenants-in-chief of the Crown, Lathallan has been the chief seat of this family, since the reign of Robert II. A precept for infefting William de Spens (therein designed of William) and Isabel Campbell his spouse, in the lands of Athaland, Kittedie, and Craigsanquhar, in the county of Fife, also the lands of Glen Douglas, etc., in Dunbartonshire, and some tenements in and about the town of Perth, etc. dated 5th, and the sasine following, 16 May 1385. (Previously these lands had been held by Isabella, daughter and heiress of Duncan, Earl of Fife, having briefly been owned by her cousin Michael de Balfour before being in feft in the hand of William de Spens, also of kin to the Earls of Fife). William entered into an indenture with Duncan, Earl of Lennox, letting to him for life part of the lands of Glen Douglas, Tarbit, etc, for six merks yearly of tack-duty, etc, dated Stirling 25 July 1392, (to which Robert, Earl of Fife, Sir Patrick de Graham, Sir Walter Buchanan, Duncan Campbell were witnesses) and he later received a charter from the Earl of Fife, which was ratified and confirmed after his forfeiture, by King James I, in a charter under the great seal, Willielmo Spens et Isabellae Cam pbelleius spouse, terrarum de Lathallan, Kittedy, Cragsanquhar, etc., cum potestate tenere curias vitae et membrorum in praedictis terris, etc ., and if a thief or robber be apprehended at said courts, he is to be hanged on the gallows belonging to the earldom of Fife. The confirmation of this curious charter is dated 13 Feb 1430, and the baronial tenure indicated was several times reaffirmed in subsequent documents.
2. Sir John of Spens of Glendouglas, of Bohapple, of Drummond, 2nd Baron of Lathallan, Viscount of Perth in 1434, Bailie of Glendochirde in 1428 (1380-1437)
He, as son of William de Spens, had a charter from William de Strachine, Bailie of Perth, for the tenement belonging to the deceased John, son of Malcolm. He had a charter for the lands of Lathallan as heir to his deceased father on 4 December 1433 to himself and the heirs-male of his own body, which failing, by those of his brother Robert de Spens.
3. Sir Robert Spens of Lathallan (1382-1470)
When His brother John Spens resigned the lands of Athaland and Ketedy – to be Held by the Said John Spens and lawful heirs de son body, Whom failing Robert Spens, His brother, and heirs and de son body, Spens whom so ever. Robert de Spens, was a substitute heir to his brother John de Spens in the lands of Lathallan on 4 December 1433. He acquired the lands of Kittidie, in Fife, from James and Robert Norrie and in connection to his tenure of which he is mentioned in 1469 and 1471.
4. Sir William of Spens Burgess of Perth, Laird of a part of Lathallan
The Burgess of Perth, who has an annual return to Lady Christian de Spens and her heirs of 13 / 4d for her rights on Lathallan. He made a donation to the monastry of Lindores around 1430-1440. Burgess of Perth, who has to give an interview to Lady Christian of Spens and her heirs of 13 / 4d for her rights on Lathallan. He made a donation to the Monastery of Lindores around 1430-1440.
5. John of Spens Knight, Lord of Glendouglas, Tarbet and of a part of Kittedie, a part of Craigsanquhar, and a part of Lathallan, Bailly of Glendochirde
He was described as a knight, Lord of Glen-Douglas, Tarbet and of a part of Kittedie, a part of Craig-Sanqhar and of a part of Lathallan.
6. Sir John Spens of Lathallan, of Rathaland, Laird of a quarter of Athallan (Easter Athallan)
John Spens of Lathallan, named as son of the deceased Robert de Spens when he brought an action against his cousin Christian and Isobel, daughters and heirs of the deceased Sir John de Spens of Glendouglas in 1478 and succeeded his uncle in the lands of Lathallan as heir-male.
7. Christian of Spens
She has, with her heirs, an annual rent of 13 / 4d for her rights on Lathallan given by her brother William of Spens, Burgess of Perth, and Laird of a part of Lathallan. Married Sir Alexander Monypenny. She has, with her heirs, William of Spens, Burgess of Perth, and Laird of a part of Lathallan.
8. Sir Robert Spens 4th Baron of Lathallan (1415-1474)
9. Sir John Spens 5th Baron of Lathallan, Laird of a quarter of Athallan (Easter Athallan) (1440-1521)
He had a resignation from his father of the quarter-part of the lands of Lathallan which was confirmed under the Great Seal on 13 February 1490.
10. Sir John Spens 6th Baron of Lathallan (1465-1520)
John was heir to his father in 1495.
11. Sir Alexander Spens 7th Baron of Lathallan (1490-1547)
He succeeded his father and as his heir he was infeft in his lands and tenements in Perth on 31 March 1522. He was served heir to him in the lands of Lathallan on 31 April following with infeftment being on 4 July, when those lands are stated to have been in the King’s hands since the previous Saint Martin’s day.
12. Sir James Spens 8th Baron of Lathallan (1520-1595)
He succeeded his father and was served heir to him in the lands of Lathallan on 2 October 1548. He was infeft in a fourth part of the lands of Lathallan as heir to his grandfather John Spens of Lathallan on 10 November 1552.
13. Sir Arthur Spens Baron of Lathallan (1550-1606)
He succeeded his father and had Sasine for the lands of Lathallan on 23 October 1595.
14. Sir Alexander Spens of St. Andrews, 9th Baron of Lathallan (1555-)
On 14 Oct 1609, the rightful heir, a nephew named Alexander, made a resignation of his whole estate in favor of his uncle, this Alexander Spens of the City of St. Andrews. He granted a discharge to James Innes of Kinclune on 22 November 1589, being then styled as son of James Spens of Lathallan and had a resignation of the lands of Lathallan from his nephew Alexander Spens of Lathallan on 14 October 1609.
15. Sir Alexander Spens Baron of Lathallan (-1609)
On 14 Oct 1609, he Alexander made a resignation of his whole estate in favor of his uncle, Alexander Spens of the City of St. Andrews.
16. Sir James Spens 10th Baron of Lathallan, Master of Arms in the Lord Lyon Office of Scotland, 1672-1677 (1580-)
17. Sir Thomas Spens 11th Baron of Lathallan (-1661)
18. Sir Nathaniel Spens 12th Baron of Lathallan (1645-1690)
He was served heir to him in the lands of Lathallan on 23 September 1662.
19. Sir Thomas Spens 13th Baron of Lathallan (1666-1700)
20. Sir Thomas Spens 15th Baron of Lathallan (1693-1769)
He succeeded his father in the lands of Lathallan and married on 27 August 1721, to Janet, daughter of Sir Robert Douglas of Glenbervie.
21. Thomas Spens 19th of that Ilk and 16th of Lathallan (1725-1783)
He succeeded his father on his death in 1769.
22. Thomas Spens 20th of that Ilk and 17th of Lathallan (1758-1800)
Thomas succeeded his father 9 May 1758 as heir. He sold the ancient patrimonial estate of Lathallan, and died unmarried in 1800 at which time the representation of the family devolved on his brother, Archibald Spens of Manor House, Inveresk. The sale of the estate was due in large to supporting the Jacobite cause. He was served heir general to him on 17 April 1784, although the estate being burdened with debts, he was compelled to sell Lathallan to Major John Lumsdain, in 1788.
23. Lt. Col. Archibald Spens 21st of that Ilk and 18th of Lathallan, Representor of Lathallan (1765-1845)
24. Archibald Spens 22nd of that Ilk and 19th of Lathallan, Representor of Lathallan (1809-1869)
25. Archibald Lockhart Spens 23rd of that Ilk and 20th of Lathallan, Of Oldenburgh House, Dunruadh, Representer of Lathallan (1834-1916)
26. Archibald Thomas Spens 24th of that Ilk and 21st of Lathallan, Representer of Lathallan (1876-1951)
27. Archibald Lockhart Spens 25th of that Ilk & 22nd of Lathallan, Representer of Lathallan (1905-1994)
28. Jean Alison Spens 23rd of Lathallan, Representer of Lathallan (1937-)
History of the Property of Lathallan
G leth + ? G àilean or ? G àlainn or ? G eilean or en *Allan
‘Half green or ‘hill-side-green’; 2. ‘fine half or fine hill-side’; 3. ‘half island, (raised) land in or beside water’; 4. ‘half of lands called Allan’. For more on the possibility that it contains G eilean, in a sense similar to the range of meanings of Ginnis, and its Scots derivative inch, see Allan SSL, below. If this is the meaning, then the eponymous eilean must be land in or on one of the several tributaries of the Den Burn (which becomes the Cocklemill Burn), or their associated wetlands.
The basic meaning of leth is ‘half’, and given the fact that the lands of Lathallan are divided between two lordships (and parishes) from an early date, it is quite possible that leth is used to describe this somewhat unusual state of affairs. However, its secondary meaning of ‘side, hill-side’ would also apply to the lie of these extensive lands on a broad and relatively even slope.
In the light of the 1431, 1635 and 1784 forms, it would appear that there was another manifestation of this name with a different generic, that of G àth ‘ford’. This would thus furnish another example of generic-element variation (for more on which see Taylor 1997). If this is indeed the case, then the eponymous ford must be over the Den Burn, which forms the eastern limit of the lands of Lathallan.
The lands of Lathallan seem to have lain in two parishes, KCQ and NBN, from an early date, with Dunfermline Abbey holding the lands of Wester Lathallan as the northern part of its shire of Newburn, while the eastern part of Lathallan probably formed part of the earl of Fife’s lands of Riresshire KCQ. Following the dismembering of the comital lands by James I in the 1420s, this eastern part of Lathallan was granted to the Spence family in 1431 (RMS ii no. 187). See also Wester Lathallan NBN, PNF 2.
On Blaeu (Gordon) Fife, E. Lathallan probably refers to OS Pathf. Lathallan Home Farm KCQ, earlier Lathallan House, which as the chief place of the eastern or KCQ part of the lands of Lathallan supplies the above NGR. The name Lathallan appears twice on Roy (1753), but neither of these can represent Wester Lathallan, as Roy also shows W. Lathallan. One of his occurrences of Lathallan without an affix (the more northerly one) clearly represents Lathallan Home Farm; the other is located at or near the site of OS Pathf. Kilbrackmont, which Roy does not show (though he does show Kilbrachmount Craig, apparently a relief feature) and for which this Lathallan may be an error.
OS Pathf. Lathallan Mill KCQ at NO466955 was formerly known as Rires Mill (Reerus Mill 1753 Roy, Rires Mill 1828 SGF), and gives its name to OS Pathf. Mill Wood.
The land referred to in 1517 as ‘the Dene’ (Fife Ct. Bk. 74) must take its name from the den or narrow valley of the Den Burn (formerly the Kethok Burn), which at this point forms the eastern limit of the lands of Lathallan. This den is referred to as Lathallan dean on Roy (1753).
Lathallan, Muiravonside STL was named after Lathallan FIF by a member of the Spence family in the mid-nineteenth century. It may have been partly inspired by the adjacent farm of Gilston, Grangemouth STL, since Lathallan FIF is adjacent to Gilston LAR.