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House of Saughtonhall

c1695 to Present


1695 to Present

As with John of Newbyth, Sir James Baird, 5th of Auchmedden’s second son Robert distinguished himself as well. His interests where in the mercantile trade and he thrived in the City of Edinburgh.  Through his astute business acumen he built a successful business to the extent he was able to purchase the impressive estate of Saughtonhall to the west of the city. As with his brother John, their success also brought to them both impressive marriages. Robert became the second Baird created baronet. When the first Newbyth baronetcy failed, Saughtonhall became the senior stirp of the Auchmedden Family. 


Coat of Arms

Original 1672 Blazon: Robert Baird of Sauchtonhall Bears gules, a sanglier Or, on a canton ermine a sword in pale proper Surmounted of a Crescent of the fields, above the shield ane helmet befitting his degree, mantled gules doubled argent and wreath of his collours is sett for his crest a boars head erased, Or charged with a crescent gules, the Motto in an Escroll  Vi et virtute.
(Added later, beside motto, ‘He is now a Knight’)


Other Arms

In 1845 Sir James Gardiner Baird, 7th Bt. of Saughtonhall (1813-1896) petitioned the Lord Lyon to matriculated the Newbyth Arms which was then extinct; and also to include the Arms of his new wife Henrietta May Wauchope, daughter of John Wauchope of Edmondstone. The Patent of Arms pictured at right granted him heir male and representative of both the families of Baird of Newbyth and of Baird of Saughtonhall. This confirmed Saughtonhall as the senior line of Baird of Auchmedden. 
Included below the shield is the Badge of a Baronet of Scotland.


Sir James Gardiner Baird, 6th Bt

Lt Col Sir James Gardiner Baird 6th Bart of Saughtonhall.  The painting by John Syme was commissioned by the officers and men of the East Lothian Yeomanry as a “mark of respect and regard for their commanding officer.  Sir James had commanded the regiment from its embodiment in 1797 until 1827 (marking the official end of the regiment)

Image copyright, East Lothian Council Museums Service


An artist's sketch of Saughtonhall as of the 17th century

The house and estate was sold to the Edinburgh Corporation by Sir William Gardiner Baird 8th Bart of Saughtonhall in the early 20th century. The actual sale was a result of what we would today call a ‘compulsory purchase”.  Towards the end of the 19th century an Act of Parliament officially extended the City of Edinburgh to include the town (and port) of Leith to the North of the City and the land to the west of the city which encompassed the land where Saughtonhall and estate was situated.

Sketch copyright Joe McGuigan, Chairman of the History Group, Friends of Saughton Park

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