The history of the Lake George Lockhart Clan and Scottish immigration to Warren County, NY.

The largest immigration of Scottish clans in the Lake George region occurred in the early 1800's, settling on what would be called Lockhart Mountain. The Lockhart clan sailed from Dumfries Scotland with Captain Bell and other Scottish Clans. They settled on a grant of land that included all lakefront from The Paulist Fathers on Route 9L north to Dunham's Bay on the water, and over the Mountain to Route 149.  Other families included the Kirkpatrick clan, the Burnett clan the Lauder clan and the Bell clan.   

Map showing lands of Scottish settlers during the nineteenth century in Lake George and Queensbury New York.  (pick photo to enlarge)

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Land Grants to the Scottish were reward for service in the French and Indian War.



The Lockhart family arrived in Scotland on the wave of Normans who came north in the century after the invasion of England in 1066. They came by a westerly route and settled mainly in Lanark and Ayrshires where the towns of Symington and Stevenston remain to mark the past influence of Simon and Steven 'Locard'. That the family soon acquired prominence is shown by the frequency of the name in records of the 12/13th centuries.   Simon, 2nd of Lee, accompanied 'Good Sir James' Douglas when he took the heart of Bruce on crusade in 1330, and that he, who carried the key to its casket, rescued and returned it to Scotland when the Good Knight perished in Spain. Thenceforth, it is said, the arms of a 'heart within a fetterlock', and the name in its present form came into use. The 7th Laird was knighted by James IV and in 16th century the 8th Laird was involved in a case of forgery. His son, Alan, 9th Laird, was sentenced to the block for the slaughter of David and Ralph Weir, on separate occasions, and with this family they seen then to have been in constant feud. His sentence was revoked, and he received 'remission' in 1541. The 4th Earl of Carnwath sold his lands to the Lockharts and the Barony of Carstairs was also purchased. 

The Lockharts of Lee took little part in national affairs but the Carnwath family were espoused to the Jacobite cause from before the Risings. Following the '45, Alexander Lockhart, a member of the Bar, was much involved defending those being tried for their Jacobite involvement, and his brother was the well known Jacobite agent whose son George was a.d.c. to Prince Charlie, - it is George's figure which, through error, dominates top of the tower at Glenfinnan. The inheritances of Lee and Carnwath became one in the later 18th century, and subsequently passed to the MacDonald Lockharts of Largie in Kintyre, who, by another marriage, became also associated with the Rosses of Balnagowan.

The Crusade also brought a precious heirloom to the family - the Lee Penny. Sir Symon captured a Moorish amir in battle in Spain. As part of the ransom, the man's mother gave him an amulet with healing powers. She told Symon that the stone was a remedy for various ills. The amulet is spoken of in the novel "The Talisman" by Sir Walter Scott. The Talisman is still in the family today.leepenny.gif (56827 bytes)

  Stephen Locard, grandfather of Sir Symon, founded the village of Stevenston in Ayrshire. His son, Symon, acquired lands in Lanarkshire and, like his father, called a village which he founded , Symonston (today Symington) after himself. Symon, the 2nd of Lee, won fame for himself and his family fighting alongside Robert the Bruce in the struggle for Scottish Independence. He was knighted for his loyal service. Sir Symon was among the knights, led by Sir James Douglas, who took Bruces heart on crusade in 1329 to atone for his murder of John Comyn in the church of Grefriars in 1306. The crusade was ended prematurely when Douglas was killed fighting the Moors in Spain, but to commemorate the adventure and the honour done to the family, their name was changed from Locard to Lockheart, which afterwards became Lochhart. The heart within the fetterlock was from then on included in the arms of the family, and the dead is also commemorated in the motto.

As well as a new name, the family gained a precious heirloom on the Crusade: the mysterious charm known as the Lee Penny. Sir Walter Scott used the story of its acquisition by the family as a basis for his novel, The talisman. Sir Symon captured a moorish amir in battle in Spain, and received from the mans mother as part of his ransom, and amulet or stone with healing powers. The amirs mother told Sir Symon that the stone was a remedy against bleeding, fever, the bites of mad dogs and the sicknesses of horses and cattle. The amulet was later set in a silver coin which has been identified as a fourpenny piece of the reign of Edward IV. The coin is kept in a gold snuffbox which was a gift from Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, to her general, Count James Lockhart. Such was the belief in the amulets powers that a descendant of Sir Symon, Sir James Lockhart of Lee, was charged with sorcery, an offense which could carry the death penalty. After examining the accused the Synod of the Church of Scotland dismissed the case, because ' the custom is only to cast a stone in some water and give deseasit cattle thereof to drink and the same is done without using any words such as charmers use in their unlawful practices and considering that in nature there are many things seem to work strange effects whereof no human wit can give reason it having pleast God to give the stones and herbs a special virtue for healing of many infirmities in man and beast'.

Alan Lockhart of Lee was killed at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. Sir James Lockhart of Lee, born in 1596, was appointed a gentleman of the Privy Chamber by Charles I and was knighted. In 1646 he was appointed to the Supreme Court Bench, taking the title of 'Lord Lee'. A zealous royalist, he was captured at Alyth in 1651 and conveyed to the Tower of London. His son, Sir William, was a distinguished soldier who fought on the royalist side at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. He then campaigned on the continent, where he achieved such prominence that Cardinal Mazarin, successor to Cardinal Richelieu, offered to make him a mareschal of France. He died in the Netherlands in 1675.

 LOCKHART, GEORGE (1673-1731), of Carnwath, Scottish writer and politician, was a member of a Lanarkshire family tracing descent from Sir Simon Locard (the name being originally territorial, de Loch Ard), who is said to have accompanied Sir James Douglas on his expedition to the East with the heart of Bruce, which relic, according to Froissart, Locard brought home from Spain when Douglas fell in battle against the Moors, and buried in Melrose Abbey; this incident was the origin of the " man's heart within a fetterlock " borne on the Lockhart shield, which in turn perhaps led to the altered spelling of the surname. George Lockhart's grandfather was Sir James Lockhart of Lee (d. 1674), a lord of the court of session with the title of Lord Lee, who commanded a regiment at the battle of Preston. Lord Lee's eldest son, Sir William Lockhart of Lee (1621-1675), after fighting on the king's side in the Civil War, attached himself to Oliver Cromwell, whose niece he married, and by whom he was appointed commissioner -for the administration of justice in Scotland in 1652, and English ambassador at the French court in 1656, where he greatly distinguished himself by his successful diplomacy. Lord Lee's second son, Sir George Lockhart (c. 1630-1689), was lord-advocate in Cromwell's time, and was celebrated for his persuasive eloquence; in 1674, when he was disbarred for alleged disrespect to the court of session in advising an appeal to parliament, fifty barristers showed their sympathy for him by withdrawing form practice. Lockhart was readmitted in 1676, and became the leading advocate in political trials, in which he usually appeared for the defense. He was appointed lord-president of the court of session in 1685; and was shot in the streets of Edinburgh on the 3ist of March 1689 by John Chiesley, against whom the lord-president had adjudicated a cause. Sir George Lockhart purchased the extensive estates of the earls of Carnwath in Lanarkshire, which were inherited by his eldest son, George, whose mother was Philadelphia, daughter of Lord Wharton.

George Lockhart, who was member for the city of Edinburgh in the Scottish parliament, was appointed a commissioner for arranging the union with England in 1705. After the union he continued to represent Edinburgh, and later the Wigton burghs. His sympathies were with the Jacobites, whom he kept informed of all the negotiations for the union; in 1713 he took 'part in an abortive movement aiming at the repeal of the union. He was deeply implicated in the rising of 1715, the preparations for which he assisted at Carnwath and at.Dryden, his Edinburgh residence. He was imprisoned in Edinburgh castle, but probably, through the favour of the duke of Argyli, he was released’ without being brought to trial; but his brother Philip was taken prisoner at the battle of Preston and condemned to be shot, the sentence being executed on the 2nd of December 1715. After his liberation Lockhart became a secret agent of the Pretender; but his correspondence with the prince fell into the hands of the government in 1727, compelling him to go into concealment at Durham until he was able to escape abroad. Argyll’s influence was again exerted in Lockhart’s behalf, and in 1728 he was permitted to return to Scotland, where he lived in retirement till his death in a duel on the 17th of December I73f. Lockhart was the author of Memoirs of the Affairs of Scot/and, dealing with the reign of Queen Anne till the union with England, first published in 1714. These’Memoirs, together with Lockhart’s correspondence with the Pretender, and one or two papers of minor importance, were published in two volumes ~fl 1817, forming the well-known “Lockhart Papers,” which are a valuable authority for the history of the Jacobites. Lockhart married Eupheme Montgomerie, daughter of Alexander, oth earl of Eglinton, by whom he had a large family. His grandson James, who assumed his mother’s name of Wishart in addition to that of Lockhart, was in the Austrian service during the Seven Years’ War, and was created a baron and count of the Holy Roman Empire. He succeeded to the estates of Lee as well as of Carnwath, both’ of which properties passed, on the death of his son Charles without issue in 1802, to his nephew Alexander, who was created a baronet in 1806.

 LOCKHART, JOHN GIBSON (1 794—1854), Scottish writer and editor, was born on the r4th of July 1794 in the manse of Cambusnethan in Lanarkshire, where his father, Dr John Lockhart, transferred in 1796 to Glasgow, was minister. His mother, who was the daughter of the Rev. John Gibson, of Edinburgh, was a woman of considerable intellectual gifts. He wassent to the Glasgow high school, where he showed himself’ clever rather than industrious. He ‘fell into ill-health, and had to be removed from school before he was twelve; but on his recovery he was sent at this early age to Glasgow University, and displayed so much precocious learning, especially in Greek, that he was offered a Shell exhibition at Otford. He was not fourteen when he entered Balliol College, where he acquired a great store of knowledge outside the regular curriculum. He read French, Italian, German and Spanish, was interested in classical and British antiquities, and became versed in heraldic and genealogical lore. In 1813 he took a first class in classics in the final schools. For two years after leaving Oxford he lived chiefly in Glasgow before settling to the study of Scottish law in Edinburgh, where he was called to the bar in 1816. A tour on the continent in 1817, when he visited Goethe at Weimar, was made possible by the kindness of the publisher Blackwood, who advanced money for a promised translation of Schiegel’s Lectures on the History of Literature, which was not published until 1838. Edinburgh was then the stronghold of the Whig party, whose organ was the Edinburgh Review, and it was not till 1817 that the Scottish Tories found a means of expression in Blackwood’s Magazine. After a somewhat hum-drum opening, Blackwood suddenly electrified the Edinburgh world by an outburst of brilliant criticism. John Wilson (Christopher North) and Lockhart had joined its staff in 1817. Lockhart no doubt took his share irs the caustic and aggressive articles which marked the early years of Blackwood; but his biographer, Mr Andrew Lang brings evidence to show that he was not responsible for the virulent articles on Coleridge and on “The Cockney School 01 Poetry,” that is on Leigh Hunt, Keats and their friends. He has been persistently accused of the later Blackwood article (August 1818) 011 Keats, but he showed at ‘any rate a real appreciation of Coleridge and Wordsworth. He contributed to Black wood many spirited translations of Spanish ballads, which in 1823 were published separately. In 1818 the brilliant’ and handsome young man attracted the notice of Sir Walter Scott, and the acqtiaintance’ soon ripened into an intimacy which resulted in a marriage between Lockhart and Scott’s eldest daughter Sophia, in April 1820. Five years of domestic happiness followed, with winters spent in Edinburgh and summers at a cottage at Chiefswood, near Abbotsford, where Lockhart’s two eldest children, John Hugh and Charlotte; were ‘born; a second son, Walter, was born later at Brighton. In 1820 John Scott, the ‘editor of the London Magazine, wrote a series of articles attacking the conduct of Blackwood’s Magazine, and making Lockhart chiefly responsible for its extravagances. A correspondence followed, in which a meeting between Lockhart and John Scott was proposed, with Jonathan Henry Christie and Horace Smith as seconds. A series of delays and complicated negotiations resulted early in 1821 in a duel between Christie and John Scott, in which Scott was killed. This unhappy affair, which has been the subject of much misrepresentation, is fully discussed in Mr. Lang’s book on Lockhart.

Between 1818 and 1825 Lockhart worked indefatigably. In 1819 Peter’s Letters to his Kinsfolk appeared, ‘and in 1822 he edited Peter Motteux’s edition of Don Quixote, to which he prefixed a life of Cervantes. Four novels followed: Valerius in 1821, Some ~~‘assages in the Life of Adam’ Blair, Minister of Gospel at ‘Cross Meikle in f822, Reginald Dalton in 1823 and Matthew Wald ill 1824. But his strength did not lie in novel writing, although the vigorous quality of Adam B/dir has been recognized by modern critics. In 1825 Lockhart accepted the editorship of the Quarterly Review, which bad been in the hands of Sir John Taylor Coleridge since Gifford’s resignation in 1824. He had now established his literary position, and, as the next heir to his unmarried half-brother’s property in Scotland, Milton Lockhart, be was sufficiently independent, though he had abandoned the legal profession. In London he had’ great social success, and was recognized as a brilliant editor. He contributed largely to the Quarterly Review himself, his biographical articles being especially admirable. He showed ‘the old, railing spirit in an amusing but violent article in the’ Quarterly on Tennyson’s Poems of 1833, in which he ‘failed to discover the mark of genius. He continued to write for Blackwood; he produced for Constable’s Miscellany in 1828 what remains the most charming of the biographies of Burns; and he undertook the superintendence of the series called “ Murray’s Family Library,” which he opened in 1829 with a History of Napoleon. But his chiof work was the Life of Sir Wa/kr Scott (7 vol~., 1837—1838; 2nd ed., 10 vols., 1839). There were not wanting those in Scotland who taxed Lockhart with ungenerous exposure of his subject, but to most healthy minds the impression conveyed by the biography was, and is, quite the opposite. Carlyle did justice to many of its excellencies in a criticism contributed to the London and Westminster Review (1837). Lockhart’s account of the transactions between Scott and the Ballantynes and Constable caused great outcry; and in the discussion that followed he showed unfortunate bitterness by his pamphlet, “The Ballantyne Humbug handled.” The Life of Scott has been called, after Boswell’s Joh’n.t on, the most admirable biography in the English language. The proceeds, which were considerable, Lockhart resigned for the benefit of Scott’s creditors.

  Lockhart’s life was saddened by family bereavement, resulting in his own breakdown in health and spirits. His eldest boy (the suffering “Hugh Littlejohn “ of Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather) died in 1831; Scott himself in 1832; Mrs. Lockhart in 1837; and the surviving son, Walter Lockhart, in. 1852. Resigning the editorship of the Quarterly Review in 1853, he spent the next winter in Rome, but returned to England without recovering his health; and being taken to Abbotsford by his daughter Charlotte, who had become Mrs. James Robert Hope-Scott, he died there on the 25th of November 1854. He was buried in Dryburgh Abbey, near Sir Walter Scott.


The Lockhart Tartan

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DeCosta, B.F., Events at Lake George, New York, New York, 1868   "Late in the afternoon the steamer landed me at Crosbyside, on the east shore, about a mile from the head of the lake, resting beneath the shady groves of which I beheld one of the most charming views of Lake George. Early the following morning I took up my abode with a farmer, one William Lockhart, a genial and eccentric gentleman, and a descendant of Sir Walter Scott's son-in-law. Mr. Lockhart's little cottage is half a mile north of Crosbyside, and near the high bluff which Mr. Charles O'Conor, the distinguished lawyer of New York city, presented to the Paulist Fathers, whose establishment is on Fifty-ninth Street in that metropolis.  Mr. Lockhart kindly offered to escort me to the convent of St. Mary's on the Lake; and after following the mountain road for a quarter of a mile to the north of the cottage of my companion, we entered the shady grounds of the convent and were kindly received on the long piazza by the Father Superior, Rev. A. F. Hewit."

My great grandfather Walter J. Lockhart (1825-1908) emigrated to the Queensbury Lake George area around 1839 from Dumfries Scotland, with his parents. His parents were Walter Lockhart (1774-1862) and Mary Mackenzie Lockhart (1789-1861).     Edward D Lockhart 1/28/2003 

If you have information on any of these clans please email 

" Charlotte Sophia married John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854) in 1820 and it is through him that Scott's line of descent runs. Lockhart wrote the definitive biography of Sir Walter in 1838."

 Lockhart Trilogy

Early 19th century
London and Central Scotland

"This is the tale of the Lockharts, a prosperous family with roots steeped in British history, and in particular, the curse of the Ladies of Lockhart. The trilogy begins in medieval Scotland with the hanging of a Lockhart adulteress, then fast forwards to the early 19th century, where time and clan wars have split the family into English and Scottish branches. Set against a backdrop of a lush Central Scotland and the glitter and glamour of regency London, the story of two brothers and one sister of the Scottish Lockharts unfolds.

It is said that a girl born to a Lockhart sire will never marry. This so-called curse derives from medieval Scotland when the first Lady Lockhart was found guilty of adultery with a rival clan member and was sentenced to death by hanging.

. Before she was hanged, Lady Lockhart hid an heirloom from her mother in the belly of a small, solid gold ornamental statue of a beastie, a gift from her lover. She told her maid that when her young daughter was ready to marry, she should "look in the belly of the beast."

After Lady Lockhart was hanged, years passed, and the daughter fell in love. By then, the Lockhart clan had split into warring factions seeking power. The daughter gave the statue to her lover for safekeeping, but her lover was killed in the fighting and the statue was taken as booty by the Lockharts fleeing Scotland. The girl never recovered from her lover's death and entered a convent. The Lockharts who ended up in England had no knowledge of the heirloom hidden inside, but considered the statue itself a prized possession and guarded it jealously.

Throughout the following centuries, the statue is stolen back and forth between the two branches of the family. The story of Lady Lockhart and her connection to the statue is lost over time. A few centuries after her death, a family historian notices an odd occurrence—very few girls are born to the Lockharts on either side of the border, and those who are born a Lockhart do not marry. One died from a fever, another was lost with her fiancé in a storm. One was an ugly spinster no one would marry. Although all have reasonable explanations, family lore has twisted the story that began with the first Lady Lockhart until it becomes known as the curse of the Ladies of Lockhart. By the early 19th century, it is believed that a daughter born to a Lockhart will never marry until she "looks in the belly of the beast" and breaks the curse. As the curse's connection to the "beast" has been lost, the family and others interpret this to mean that a Lockhart girl must face the devil to break the curse.

In the meantime, the statue has come to rest in London, where it has been since the Jacobite revolution.

In 1816, The Scottish Lockhart family still lives on the same green hill in the same green valley of Scotland as did the first Lady Lockhart. They have become prosperous and gentrified by Scottish standards. The children have been educated abroad and are reasonably well-traveled. The laird, Carson, has instilled in the family a reverence of Scotland and it's history, and the family prefers their glen to any other part of the world. That's just as well, because in the last few years, declining revenues from the estate has curtailed their traveling, and in fact, has them living beyond their means.

Carson and his wife, Alice, and their three grown children have fallen on hard times like many Scottish landowners of the era. They continue to farm just as the family has done for centuries, but with the decline of the clan system, that way of life has come increasingly hard to maintain. Carson, like others, sought ways to maintain his holdings and the old family estate (a large castle renovated many times, now a modern monolith requiring a lot of work). Unlike other landowners, Carson did not push tenants from the family lands in favor of livestock, he bought them out at a fair price. The result was a cash drain on the family coffers while the business of raising cattle has been threatened with an encroachment of sheep from surrounding neighbors.

In particular, the encroachment has come from a powerful and wealthy neighbor, Payton Douglas, a descendent of the Black Douglas, and an ancient enemy of the Lockharts. The animosity between the families existed up until the last century, and there is still a fair amount of distrust. But Payton Douglas has steered his family estate toward the new economy of Scotland. Like Carson, he sought new grazing land, bought out his tenants and helped them relocate. But he has selected sheep for grazing, which are much better suited to the region and landscape than cattle, and has recently built a textile mill. His land flourishes while the Lockhart land languishes.

Carson's choices have resulted in growing debts that must be satisfied. Alice is very resourceful, and has, in the last several years, taken an interest in family history. She is particularly captivated by the tale of the first Lady Lockhart and the curse she laid on her daughter at her hanging. More importantly, Alice is interested in the statue of the beastie. For years considered a prized possession, it is now considered quite valuable, and Alice believes that if they can somehow wrest the statue from the English cousins in London, they can use it to pay off their debts. She gathers her three children: Liam, her oldest son, a captain in the Highland Regiments and recently returned from the continent. Griffin is the youngest son, who wants to modernize their estate and is learning all the latest technologies in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Mared, the youngest and only girl born to the Lockharts in 80 years, lives at home. The family discusses Alice's findings and all agree—they must reclaim the statue to save the family lands. Furthermore, Liam determines he must go to England to retrieve it.

While they plot Liam's adventure, Mared is working to keep the neighboring Douglas at bay. Payton Douglas believes that the Douglas lands and the Lockhart lands will do better together than apart. He has several partnership ideas toward that end, but the Lockharts are against sharing anything with a Douglas. Mared in particular does not trust the handsome Payton Douglas—the animosity toward any Douglas has been ingrained in her. And while Mared is too enlightened to believe in the curse of the Ladies of Lockhart, everyone else in the area does, making her virtually unmarriageable. That, in Mared's mind, gives her license to behave as she wants. And living life on her own terms means handling her own affairs and pushing Payton back if necessary. With the curse, the relationship between Mared and Payton (told in vignettes through the first two books, culminating in the third), and the new economy vs. old underlying the trilogy, the books will be about the Lockhart's attempts to "look in the belly of the beast."



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