Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Helen Colquhoun

Female - 1596

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Helen Colquhoun (daughter of Humphrey Colquhoun and Helen Graham); died between 13 Jun 1594 and 13 Mar 1596 in Aiket, Ayrshire, Scotland.


    Lady Aikitt, elder, sheriffdom of Ayr.

    "In 1578-79, another of [the Colquhoun] clan, Helen Colquhoun, was accused of the 'treasonable administering of poysoun' to her spouse, William Cunninghame of Aiket; but the fragmentary records give us little information about these trials…" ["Poisoning in Scotland", citation details below]

    The will of Helene Colquhoun, Lady Aikitt, elder, sheriffdom of Ayr, was proved in the Edinburgh commissary court on 13 Mar 1596.

    The 1877 Colquhoun pedigree ("Colquhoun of Luss", citation details below) shows Helen Colquhoun, daughter of Humphrey, marrying a "James" Cunningham of Aiket; it also gives her mother's name as "Katherine", rather than Helen, a mistake that also appears in many Burke's Pedigrees products. In a pair of posts to soc.genealogy.medieval on 10 Oct 2019, John Brandon points out that the papal dispensation of 1509 clearly identifies Humphrey Colquhoun's wife as Helen. As to whether Humphrey Colquhoun's and Helen Graham's daughter Helen was indeed, the Helen who married Cunningham of Aiket, Brandon points to the marriage of Robert Graham of Knockdolian, who was known to have been involved in dealings with William and Helen (Colquhoun) Cunningham, to Christian Graham, daughter of the second William Graham, 2nd earl of Montrose — further evidence of Graham-Colquhoun prosopographical adjancency.

    Helen married William Cunningham before 24 Oct 1564. William was born in in of Aiket, Ayrshire, Scotland. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    1. Marion Cunningham died in Jan 1623 in Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Humphrey Colquhoun was born in in of Luss, Argyll, Scotland (son of John Colquhoun and Elizabeth Stewart); died in Jan 1538.

    Humphrey married Helen Graham about 13 Jul 1509. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Helen Graham (daughter of William Graham and Annabel Drummond).


    She was definitely a daughter of the first earl of Montrose. The will of William Graham, who was killed at the battle of Flodden Field in 1513, acknowledges a debt to the Laird of Luss (i.e. John Colquhoun, father of Humphrey), on account of his daughter's dowry, and also the Laird of Luss younger (i.e. Humphrey).

    Burke's Peerage and Burke's Landed Gentry, and thus many online sources, show William Graham's daughters Margaret, Elizabeth, and Helen, in that order, as daughters of William Graham by his second wife Janet Edmondstone.

    This cannot be true of Elizabeth. The Complete Peerage 4:470 says that Walter Drummond, grandson of John Drummond and Elizabeth Lindsay, "m., in Feb. 1513/4, his cousin Elizabeth, 2nd da. of William (Graham), 1st Earl of Montrose [S.], by his first wife Annabel, 4th da. of John (Drummond), Lord Drummond abovenamed." It can be seen that if Walter Drummond and his wife Elizabeth were cousins, it would have to be the case that Elizabeth was a daughter of William Graham's first wife, Annabel Drummond.

    CP says of Annabel Drummond that "[s]he was living 1492" and that her son William Graham, second earl of Montrose, was "a minor at his father's death", 9 Sep 1513, but "was served heir to him" 24 Oct 1513. The Scots Peerage narrates this latter event in a way that suggests that the younger William was still a minor on 24 Oct 1513: "William […] was under age at the death of his father, but in virtue of the Act of 24 August, was served his heir 24 October, 1513." SP goes on to emphasize and extoll his precocity: "He early displayed qualities of prudence and statesmanship which enabled him, over a long life," [etc.]. CP notes that the younger William "was present in Parl. [S.] 2 Jun 1514" and that he married his only wife, Janet Keith, in Dec 1515. All of which suggests that the second earl attained his majority no earlier than the end of 1513, which means that he has to have been born to Annabel Drummond no earlier than the end of 1492, and given that he could perfectly well have married while still a minor, plausibly as late as 1497 or 1498.

    Also, according to SP, William Graham and Annabel Drummond had a second son following William: "Walter, a younger son of the first marriage, who had a tack of Little Cairnie for nineteen years from the Abbot of Inchaffray, 8 January 1541-42, and appears to have been ancestor of the second family of the Grahams of Thornick, afterwards Cairnie." If so, this moves the end of Annabel Drummond's life to no earlier than the end of 1493. And again, given that the first son could easily have been born as late as 1497-98, she was quite possibly still living in 1498-99.

    The date of William Graham's marriage to Janet Edmondstone is unknown to us, but the earliest record of them as married is a charter dated 17 Mar 1505. According to CP she died between that date and 15 Apr 1506.

    The papal dispensation for Helen Graham's marriage to Humphrey Colquhoun was dated 13 Jul 1509.

    If Annabel Drummond died as soon as the records allow, say December 1493, and William Graham married Janet Edmondstone as soon as possible, say the first part of 1494, and Helen Graham was their first child, born say early 1495, then the papal dispensation for her marriage to Humphrey Colquhoun, dated 13 Jul 1509, was issued when she was fourteen. Which is hardly unheard-of among the aristocracy of 15th/16th century Scotland, but also adds up to a pretty tight fit.

    Additional to this is the fact that William Graham and Annabel Drummond married in 1479, and yet their eldest son and heir cannot have been born earlier than late 1513. It is implausible that they spent the first dozen years of their marriage having no children. We have seen that daughter Elizabeth has to have been the issue of William and Annabel. Margaret is specified by SP as a daughter of the second marriage. Aside from the fact that this implies, in SP's usual manner of listing offspring, that the other daughters, whose mothers are not noted, were from the first marriage, it also means that Helen, Jean, and Elizabeth are the only known offspring of William Graham whose birth can be used to fill the childbearing years from 1480 to 1492. (The other legitimate child of William Graham, Patrick, is given by SP as his son by his third wife, Christian Wawane.)

    Taken together, we think the evidence preponderantly suggests that Helen Graham was a daughter of William Graham's first wife, and probably, as the order of William's children in SP suggests, his eldest daughter.

    1. 1. Helen Colquhoun died between 13 Jun 1594 and 13 Mar 1596 in Aiket, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  John Colquhoun was born in in of Luss, Argyll, Scotland (son of Humphrey Colquhoun and Helen Erskine); died between 4 Aug 1535 and 22 Aug 1536.


    Member of the Scottish parliament in 1503 and 1525.

    From The Chiefs of Colquhoun and Their Country (citation details below):

    On the death of King James the Fourth at Flodden, his son and successor, King James the Fifth, being a child of little more than one year old, the Queen Mother, Margaret daughter of King Henry the Seventh of England, was declared Regent of the realm. At the same time John Duke of of Albany was summoned from France to Scotland, and chosen governor and protector of the infant Prince and kingdom, by a Convention of the Estates. During the delay of the arrival of the Duke of Albany, the Earl of Arran assumed the office of Regent. In this assumption he was supported, among others, by John third Earl of Lennox, the Master of Glencairn, and Sir John Colquhoun of Luss, whose wife was the paternal aunt of the Earl of Lennox.

    Sir John Colquhoun joined these noblemen in a successful attempt to seize the castle of Dumbarton. During a stormy night in January 1514, they found their way into the castle, and expelled from it Lord Erskine, by whom it was held for the Queen Mother's party; and though the Earl of Arran was frustrated in his usurpation of the regency by the arrival of the Duke of Albany in Scotland, they continued to hold the castle of Dumbarton until it was surrendered by the Earl of Lennox, who, having fallen into the hands of his opponents, and having been imprisoned in the castle of Edinburgh, could obtain his liberation only on condition of his surrendering it.

    After the departure of the Duke of Albany for France in 1524, King James the Fifth, who was then only thirteen years of age, was invested with the supreme authority, but the government was in reality in the hands of the Earls of Arran, Lennox, and Morton. A pardon was therefore now easily obtained for Sir John Colquhoun of Luss and others, who had taken part in the capture of the castle of Dumbarton. On the 11th of July 1526, a "respite was granted to Sir John Colquhon of Luce, Knight, Patrick Colquhon, John Logan of Balvey, Walter and Robert his sons, George Buchquhanan of that Ilk," and twenty-nine others, for "their tressonabill asseging, taking, and withhalding of our souerane lordis castle and fortalice of Dumbertene fra his servandis, keparis thairof" On the 16th of July following, a respite "was granted to Glencairn and others."

    John married Elizabeth Stewart about 1480. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 5.  Elizabeth Stewart (daughter of John Stewart and Margaret Montgomery).


    Not to be confused with her older sister Elizabeth Stewart, who married Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll.

    1. 2. Humphrey Colquhoun was born in in of Luss, Argyll, Scotland; died in Jan 1538.

  3. 6.  William Graham was born between 1463 and 1464 (son of William Graham and Helen Douglas); died on 9 Sep 1513 in Flodden Field, Northumberland, England.


    "Lord Graham sat in the Parliaments of James III in 1479, 1481, 1482 and 1487, and supported the cause of that monarch against his son and the confederated Lords, being present on the royal side at the battle of Sauchieburn, 11 June 1488. He was soon received into favour, and even familiar friendship, by James IV, and sat in this sovereign's first Parliament 6 October 1488, and in the second 6 February 1491-92. His principal acquisitions were the estates of Aberuthven and Inchbrakie in Perthshire. Between 7 July7 and 20 November 1503 he was created EARL OF MONTROSE, and sat as such in Parliament 3 February 1505-6. On 3 March 1504-5 as William, Earl of Montrose, he had had a charter upon his own resignation of the lands of Old Montrose, which lands, the charter bears, belonged hereditarily to him by the grant of Robert I and the confirmation of David II under their Great Seals, to his predecessors, and which James IV now erected into the free barony and earldom of Montrose. Of the same date he had three other charters, viz. a new erection of the barony of Kincardine, of Aberuthven, Inchbrakie, and others united into a barony of Aberuthven, and of Kynnaber in Forfarshire also erected into a barony. The Earl accompanied James IV in his ill-starred invasion of England, and fell at Flodden, 'sub vexillo regis,' along with his brother George of Callendar, and his brother-in-law, Sir William Edmondstone of Duntreath, 9 September 1513." [The Scots Peerage, citation details below.]

    William married Annabel Drummond on 25 Nov 1479 in Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland. Annabel (daughter of John Drummond and Elizabeth Lindsay) died after 1492. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 7.  Annabel Drummond (daughter of John Drummond and Elizabeth Lindsay); died after 1492.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Abt 1500

    1. 3. Helen Graham

Generation: 4

  1. 8.  Humphrey Colquhoun was born in in of Luss, Argyll, Scotland (son of John Colquhoun and (Unknown) Boyd); died about 19 Aug 1493.


    He was a member of the Scottish parliament in October 1488, convened by the new king, James IV, largely to obtain aquittals for those involved in the overthrow and killing of his father, James III.

    Humphrey married Helen Erskine. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 9.  Helen Erskine (daughter of Thomas Erskine and Janet Douglas).
    1. 4. John Colquhoun was born in in of Luss, Argyll, Scotland; died between 4 Aug 1535 and 22 Aug 1536.

  3. 10.  John Stewart was born in 1429 in of Darnley, Renfrewshire, Scotland (son of Alan Stewart and Katherine Seton); died between 31 Aug 1495 and 11 Sep 1495.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: Between 1428 and 1429, of Darnley, Renfrewshire, Scotland


    First Lord Darnley, and first Earl of Lennox of the Stewart line.

    Direct paternal great-great-great grandfather of James VI and I of Scotland and England.

    "[E]stablished his rights as Earl only after long controversy and then resigned the earldom's lands to his son in 1490, reserving his liferent […] [b]y which means he did not denude himself of the earldom but rather directed its destination." [The Ancestry of Charles II, citation details below]

    "Throughout his life Darnley's overriding ambition was to validate his claim to all or part of the earldom of Lennox. He was the grandson of John Stewart of Darnley and Elizabeth of Lennox, who were married shortly after 23 September 1406. Elizabeth was one of the three daughters of Duncan, earl of Lennox (executed in 1425). After 1437 Lennox had been held by Earl Duncan's eldest daughter, Isabella, duchess of Albany and countess of Lennox, the widow of Murdoch, duke of Albany. Isabella died without any legitimate heirs and in the years following her death Darnley pursued a claim to half of Lennox as the grandson of Countess Isabella's sister Elizabeth. The other half of the earldom was claimed by Sir John Haldane of Gleneagles and John Napier of Merchiston, husbands of the granddaughters of Earl Duncan's third daughter, Margaret of Lennox. Darnley's most serious rival, however, was Andrew Stewart, Lord Avondale, chancellor of the kingdom, who was the illegitimate son of Countess Isabella's son Walter." [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, citation details below]

    John married Margaret Montgomery before 20 Jul 1461. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 11.  Margaret Montgomery (daughter of Alexander Montgomery and Elizabeth Hepburn).


    Contrary to The Scots Peerage and other sources, she was not the Margaret Montgomery who was contracted to marry this John Stewart on 15 May 1438. That Margaret Montgomery was this Margaret Montgomery's great-aunt.

    1. 5. Elizabeth Stewart
    2. Elizabeth Stewart
    3. John Stewart was born about 1465; died on 9 Sep 1513 in Flodden Field, Northumberland, England.

  5. 12.  William Graham (son of Patrick de Graham and Christian Erskine); died in 1472.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Abt 1471


    "William, second Lord Graham, sat in Parliament 9 October 1466, and, on 23 November following, had a protection from Edward IV, along with his relative Patrick, Bishop of St. Andrews, and others, for two years, to come to England, and thence to go to France, Flanders, etc., and return to Scotland. It is known that Bishop Graham went to Rome, and remained there for some years, but how far Lord Graham availed himself of the protection is doubtful. He sat in Parliament again on 14 October 1467 and 21 November 1469, and died about the year 1471." [The Scots Peerage, citation details below]

    William married Helen Douglas before 1460. Helen (daughter of William Douglas and Margaret Hay) died after 20 Nov 1486. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  6. 13.  Helen Douglas (daughter of William Douglas and Margaret Hay); died after 20 Nov 1486.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Aft 1471


    Also Eleanor, Elene, etc.

    "In an action pursued by her against her mother-in-law. Christian, Lady Graham, in 1474, the latter successfully pleaded the exception 'again ye said Elene yt scho suld be under sentence of cursing.'" [The Scots Peerage, citation details below]

    1. 6. William Graham was born between 1463 and 1464; died on 9 Sep 1513 in Flodden Field, Northumberland, England.

  7. 14.  John Drummond was born about 1446 (son of Malcolm Drummond and Mariota Murray); died before 18 Dec 1519 in Drummond Castle, Perthshire, Scotland; was buried in Innerpeffray, Perthshire, Scotland.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: of Stobhall, Perthshire, Scotland
    • Alternate death: Abt 4 Aug 1518
    • Alternate death: 1519, Drummond Castle, Perthshire, Scotland


    "Created first Lord Drummond 1487/8, seneschal and coroner of Strathearn, ambassador to England, supported the marriage of the Earl of Angus to Queen Margaret." [The Ancestry of Charles II, citation details below]

    From the 1885-1900 Dictionary of National Biography:

    He sat in parliament 6 May 1471, under the designation of dominus de Stobhall. On 20 March 1473–4 he had a charter of the offices of seneschal and coroner of the earldom of Strathearn, in which he was confirmed in the succeeding reign. In 1483 he was one of the ambassadors to treat with the English, to whom a safe-conduct was granted 29 Nov. of that year; again, on 6 Aug. 1484, to treat of the marriage of James, prince of Scotland, and Anne de la Pole, niece of Richard III. He was a commissioner for settling border differences nominated by the treaty of Nottingham, 22 Sept. 1484; his safe-conduct into England being dated on the ensuing 29 Nov. He was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Drummond, 29 Jan. 1487–8. Soon after he joined the party against James III, and sat in the first parliament of James IV, 6 Oct. 1488. In this same year he was appointed a privy councillor and justiciary of Scotland, and was afterwards constable of the castle of Stirling. In 1489 the so-called Earl of Lennox rose in revolt against the king. He had encamped at Gartalunane, on the south bank of the Forth, in the parish of Aberfoyle, but during the darkness of the night of 11 Oct. was surprised and utterly routed by Drummond. As one of the commissioners to redress border and other grievances, Drummond had a safe-conduct into England 22 May 1495, 26 July 1511, 24 Jan. 1512–13, and 20 April 1514. In 1514 Drummond gave great offence to many of the lords by promoting the marriage of his grandson, Archibald Douglas, sixth earl of Angus, with the queen-dowager Margaret. Lyon king-at-arms (Sir William Comyn) was despatched to summon Angus before the council, when Drummond, thinking that he had approached the earl with more boldness than respect, struck him on the breast. In 1515 John, duke of Albany, was chosen regent, but because Drummond did not favour the election he committed him (16 July) a close prisoner to Blackness Castle, upon an allegation that he had used violence towards the herald. He was tried capitally, found guilty, and his estates forfeited. However, he was not long in coming to terms with Albany. With other lords he signed the answer of refusal to Henry VIII, who had advised the removal of Albany, to which his seal is affixed, 4 July 1516, and in October he announced his final separation from the queen's party. He was in consequence released from prison and freed from his forfeiture, 22 Nov. 1516.

    John married Elizabeth Lindsay before 1470. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  8. 15.  Elizabeth Lindsay (daughter of Alexander Lindsay and Margaret Dunbar).


    Living 22 Sep 1509.

    1. 7. Annabel Drummond died after 1492.
    2. Margaret Drummond died in 1502.
    3. Elizabeth Drummond