Lairds of Hunterston

still work to do on these

1st Laird:

William Venator (William The Hunter) William was from Normandy and was named in a document of the Royal court of David Prince of Cumbria soon to be King David I of Scotland (ca 1116) together with Hugh de Morville and other men of rank or importance.

2nd Laird:

Norman Venator (Hunter the Norman) Received Grant of Land from King Malcolm IV of Scotland.

3rd Laird:

Venator (The Hunter) Named in charters of King Alexander II

4th Laird:

John Huntar Witness to a Deed of 1233 as Jon Deo Venator (Glasgow Church Records)

5th Laird:

Ardneil (Arnele) Hunter. Ardneil Bay extends from West Kilbride towards Portencross on the South-Side of the Hunterston Peninsula. Ardneil led the Clan at the Battle of Largs (1263) fighting for King Alexander III. It is believed that the Viking owner of the Hunterston Brooch may have lost it at this time.

6th Laird:

Norman Huntar Dates Uncertain

7th Laird:

The Huntar Dates Uncertain

8th Laird:

Aylmere Le Huntar (Del Counte de Are ~ of the County of Ayr) Aylmere was one of the Magnates Scottiae who, like the majority of those of Norman descent settled in Ayrshire, signed the noted submission to King Edward I of England, known as the RAGMAN ROLLS. These documents referred to the question of succession to the Scottish Crown, between King Edward and Balliol. It was signed in Berwick-on-Tweed on 28th August 1296. (More details can be found in the Hunterston Library.)

9th Laird:

Huntar, Son of Aylmere. Dates Uncertain

10th Laird:

William Huntar. William was granted the lands of Ardnell by Royal Charter from King Robert II of Scotland on 2nd May 1374, "for his faithfull service rendered and to be rendered". This Document is still in the possession of the family and is on display at Hunterston castle. The name of his son is unknown but his grandsons were William (12) and John. Died 1436.

11th Laird:

Huntar. Dates Uncertain Died 1447, 2 children

12th Laird:

William Huntar, Grandson of William, the 10th Laird. William is the next Laird on record. He paid 11 years 'Blench ferme' which is accounted for in the Exchequer Roll for 1447. The next remaining charter in the possession of the family concerns the transfer of land at Highlees (near Dalry) to William Hunter from Andrew Lyn of that Ilk, for services rendered, dated last day of February 1452. William was hereditary keeper of the Royal Forest of Little Cumbrae in 1453. He died in 1454 while his son was still a minor. William's brother John assumed the role of regent for two years. John also held the offices of Forester of Arran and Forester of Cumbrae.

13th Laird:

Archibald Huntar. Laird of Ardneil-Huntar and Campbelton. He took over the Estate in 1456. He married Margaret Kerr on the 14th June 1462. His uncle John retained the title of hereditary forester. He died in 1487.

14th Laird:

John Huntar of Ardneil and Hunterstoune, Married Margaret, daughter of John, 2nd Lord Cathcart, on the 13th June 1505. John was called before the Court of Justices in Ayr to answer a charge of estimated arrears concerning payment of feus and land taxes. He produced the Charter granted to his ancestor, before the Court, showing that his lands were held in Blench of the Crown on payment for one silver penny and after validation of the charter was exonerated from all claims. John was killed leading the Clan at the Battle of Flodden on the 9th of September 1513 in the service of the Crown of Scotland.

15th Laird:

Robert Huntar of Huntarstoune. A minor when his father fell, he inherited on 6th May 1515. He married Janet, (known as Lady Huntarstoune), daughter of John Montgomerie. Robert sold a large amount of Hunter Land in Forfar and other distant parts of Scotland and bought more land in Ayrshire, near to the main Estate. He over-saw the building of the great hall extending the living space in the castle. In 1542 he was granted a license by King James 5th permitting his absence from the Wars, '"he being weak and tender of complexion and troubled with sickness and infirmity." provided he sent his son in his place. He died in 1546. There are a large number of papers in the possession of the family, in connection with the land transfers.

16th Laird:

Kentigern (Mungo) Huntar. As his father's health was dwindling so the powers and titles were transferred. Married to Marion, daughter of James Hamilton, of Torrance, Co. Lanark. He took the clan to assist with "'our sovereign lady's army at Dumbarton on the 11th of July 1545, at the siege of the Castle." Mungo died at the faith and peace of Queen Mary under her standard at the Battle of Pinkie 10th of September 1547 together with an unknown number of clansmen during a preliminary skirmish on the hill of Fallside. Mungo's brother-in-law, John Crawford, was also killed with him. Mungo had two sons, Robert and John. Marion continued to live at Hunterston for 48 years.

17th Laird:

Robert Huntar. An infant at his father's death, Robert inherited in 1548. He was one of the Ayrshire gentlemen who signed a Bond to defend the reformed religion in September 1562. In these troubled times of religious conflict this could have been the signing of his death warrant and the expulsion of the family as it was considered treason against the Ruling Monarch. He married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Crawford. They had 4 daughters and 1 son, he died in 1580.