The Chiefly Baird Line
Our most recognizable family, the progenitor of this dynasty was Andrea Bard of Laveroklaw (formerly of Scottiscrag) in Fife. Whist previously it was generally understood that Andrea was a younger brother of Gilbert Baird of Posso in Peebleshire, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim. In 1534, John Stewart, 3rd Earl of Buchan granted a charter for the sale of the lands of “Glencuthill with the mill and the lands of Auchmedden and the pertinents thereof lying in the barony of Glendowauchtquhy” in the sheriffdom of Banff.
Photo of a weathered stone plaque with the words "Baird de Auchmedden inset in a wall of Baird aisle in St. Drostan's Church, New Aberdour, Aberdeenshire
Auchmedden Connections to Newbyth & Saughtonhall
Andrea’s Grandson, The 3rd Laird of Auchmedden, was Gilbert Baird whose second marriage in 1578 was to Lillias Baird, daughter and sole heir to Walter Baird 3rd of Ordinhivas. Of his many children his fourth son was James Baird 1588 – 1655 of Little Fiddes and Byth in Aberdeenshire. James’s two eldest sons, John and Robert, went on to respectively establish the Newbyth and Saughtonhall cadet branches of Auchmedden.
Photo of a weathered stone plaque, with the name "Baird" clearly visible, inset in a wall of Baird aisle in St. Drostan's Church, New Aberdour, Aberdeenshire
Coat of Arms
Sir James Baird, 5th of Auchmedden was the first Baird to register his Coat of Arms as mandated by Parliament in 1672. Original 1672 Blazon: The right worshipful Sir James Baird of Auchmedden Bears, Gules, a boar passant, Or; Above the shield ane helmet befitting his degree, mantled gules doubled argent and wreath of his collours is sett for his crest a gryphon’s head erased proper. The motto in ane Escroll, Dominus fecit
Demise of the Auchmedden Bairds
The last Baird to possess Auchmedden was William Baird, 7th of the line. It is inaccurate that William lost Auchmedden as a result of incurring debts to support the Jacobite Rising of ‘45. Letters from his wife Anne reveal he lost his fortune because he heavily invested his wealth to provide his eldest son with a lavish lifestyle while away attending university. Sadly, his heir died before his education was completed. William’s other sons were left without patronage from their father and left Scotland to enter various professions. The last son died in England, 1806. Whether the heads of the House of Auchmedden were considered Chiefs during their lifetimes is a contested issue.
Photo of the earliest known representation of the current Auchmedden coat of arms which were formally recorded with the Court of the Lord Lyon in 1672. It is part of the large stone tomb of George, 4th of Auchmedden (1579-1642), Banff, Banffshire, Scotland
The House and Estate of Auchmedden
We do not know when Auchmedden House was built although it existed in 1534 when Andrea Bard (whose name is now spelled Andrew Baird) purchased the estate. And it was still standing when William Baird, 7th of Auchmedden sold the estate in 1755. The stones had been quarried from the Pennan cliffs.
Photo of the small "Auchmedden" sign on the current school located on the previous Auchmedden estate. A remnant of the local history.