Hunterston lairds tree page 2

as with everything just now I am just throwing basic stuff online and will be proving / disproving at a later date so don't go getting your new tatoo done based on this in case it is not actually true ...

18th Laird:

Robert Hunter. A minor under the charge of his uncle John in 1580. He inherited in 1609. He married Margaret Peibles and died in 1616 leaving no children and settled the Estate on the husband of his niece, Jean Cunningham nee Hunter.

19th Laird:

Patrick Hunter. Laird and co-heir on marrying Jean Cunningham (her mother was Robert Hunter's sister) they took the Hunter name. They had three sons: Robert, Henry & Francis, and two daughters. A large part of farm-land was sold that was distant from Hunterston to consolidate the Estate. Patrick died in 1665 aged 74.

20th Laird:

Robert Hunter. Robert entered Glasgow University in July 1627. He married twice, first to Elizabeth Crawford in 1635 and second to Marion Cunningham in 1649. He had five children by his first wife: Patrick, Robert, James, Hugh & Jean. (James had a son Robert who was Governor of Virginia and New York from 1709-1719)

21st Laird:

Patrick Hunter. His title was ratified by King William III in 1698. He died in 1699. Having married Marion Cunningham of Longmuir in 1662 they bore seven children: Patrick, Henry, John, Dorothea, Marion, Anne & Margaret.

painting of Patrick Hunter, 22nd laird of Hunterston
22nd Laird:

Patrick Hunter 1699-1710. Unfortunately Patrick alienated a considerable portion of the Estate. It is thought to have been caused by gambling debts. He married Marion Crawford and they had ten children: Patrick, Robert, Thomas, Henry, David, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Marion, Dorothea and Margaret. It appears from family records that Patrick was forced by his sons to hand over the estate to them before his death in 1738. His eldest son Patrick was legally conveyed the income from the lands on January 1729 and on the Patrick's ( son ) premature death in 1732 his brother Robert succeeded to the post.

painting of Robert Hunter, 23rd laird of Hunterston
23rd Laird:

Robert Hunter. Best described by a noted historian as a "true Scottish Baron of the genuine age of Baronage". Robert took over the estate in December 1732 on the death of his elder brother. He married Janet Atchison daughter of a Glasgow merchant. They had five children: Thomas and Patrick both sons who died in infancy, two daughters who later died unmarried and the remaining daughter Eleanora, succeeded her father who died in 1796 aged 86.

24th Laird:

Eleonora Hunter. Born in 1764 she inherited the title in 1796 and married her cousin, Robert Caldwell *, who assumed the surname of Hunter. Her new husband Robert Caldwell Hunter had accumulated some wealth in American shipping and following the birth of their first son they started to build larger living quarters to be known as Hunterston House in 1799. They also started draining the marshes that surrounded the castle to open up the land to agriculture. Robert died in 1826 and Eleanora followed in 1851 leaving 7 children. * Robert Caldwell was born from the marriage of Margaret Hunter, the 22nd Lairds youngest, to a Robert Caldwell from Larne, Co. Antrim in Ireland.

Painting of Robert Caldwell Hunter, 23rd laird of Hunterston
25th Laird:

Robert Caldwell Hunter. Born in 1799, Robert was the eldest son and the last Laird born in the castle. He was to become a magistrate, an advocate at the Scottish Bar and also deputy lieutenant of the county. He continued with the good work started by his father. He enlarged the new house, which had been built in the Georgian style, and drained large areas of marshland on the Estate to create some of the finest arable farming land in the West of Britain. He married Christian Macknight Crawford in 1836 and had two daughters, Jane and Eleonora, but no sons. He died in 1880.

painting of Jane Hunter, 26th laird of Hunterston
26th Laird:

Jane Hunter. Born in 1837, the elder daughter of Robert. Lady Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Was married in 1863 to Lieutenant Colonel Gould Read Weston who had a successful career in Her Majesties Indian Army, surviving the siege of Lucknow in 1847 and gaining the D.S.O.. She was the 2nd wife of Gould. Jane completely managed the estate and proved herself a very competent Laird.

Painting of Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston, 27th laird of Hunterston
27th Laird:

Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston (KCB, DSO, JP, DL, MP) General Sir Aylmer, born in 1864, had a most distinguished army and political career. He married Grace Strang-Steel from Selkirkshire in 1905. He achieved his rank in the army and served as Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire in 1916-1918 and for Buteshire and N. Ayrshire 1918-1935. He commissioned Sir Robert Lorimer, architect, to carry out alterations and improvements to Hunterston house and Castle during 1913-1916. After the war during the depression Aylmer gave employment to around 100 of his ex-regiment on estate improvements. He died in 1940 and Dame Grace Hunter-Weston followed in 1954, leaving no children. His younger brother, who had emigrated to New Zealand, pre-deceased him by two years and his family did not wish to return to Scotland and take up the reigns.


The hereditary title passed back to the family of Eleonora Hunter, the sister of Jane. Eleanora had married a Robert William Cochran-Patrick in 1866. He was an M.P. for Bute and North Ayrshire ( 1880-1885 ) and the Under Secretary of State for Scotland ( 1897-1892 ). They had two children: William, who died while a student at Cambridge University in 1891 and Eleonora who married Neil Kennedy of Underwood in 1895 later to become Sir Neil James Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick K.B.E. Eleanora and Sir Neil had four children: William John Charles (d.1933), Eleonora (28th Laird), and twins Margaret Hamilton (d.1982) and Kathleen Agnes (d.1985).

28th Laird:

Eleonora Hunter. She was born in December 1899 as Eleanora Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick. She took over running the Estate after the General died in 1940. She changed her name to Hunter and was granted the arms of Hunter of Hunterston in 1954. She lived and farmed at Hunterston most of her life. She died in January 1984. In 1969, at the age of 70, she handed over the estate to her nephew Neil who was the only son of her elder brother William. William John Charles Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick born in 1896 was decorated in the 1914-18 war, as a pilot, he was awarded the D.S.O. & M.C. and Bar. He died in a flying accident in South Africa in 1933 otherwise he would have been the next Laird.

29th Laird:

Neil Aylmer Hunter. Born 1926 as Neil Aylmer Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick. Neil was a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's Royal Bodyguard for Scotland. He was also a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and won a silver medal in the Melbourne Olympics 1956 for sailing yachts. He married Sonia Furlong in 1952 and they had one daughter and six sons. Their family comprised: Pauline ( present Chief ), Charles, Robert, Nigel, John, Angus and Richard. Neil changed his name to Hunter and was officially recognised by Lord Lyon King of Arms in the name of Hunter of Hunterston in 1969. He matriculated the Arms in 1970 to become the 29th Laird. He inherited the title of Hereditary Forester from his Aunt. He passed away in 1994.