From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.

Sir Robert Danielstoun of Montjoy, King's Ambassador in Holland - 6th July 1612.

 

WHICH DAY SIR ROBERT DANIELSTOUN OF MONTJOY, KNIGHT, KING'S AMBASSADOR IN HOLLAND, IS GIVEN THE FREEDOM OF THE BURGH OF DUNDEE, FOR HIS SERVICES TO THE COMMONWEAL.

The intimate commercial relations between Dundee and the Netherlands which had existed for centuries before the above date, naturally led the merchants in the Burgh to take a very special interest in the statesman who had charge of the foreign trade under the title of Conser¬vator of the Scots Privileges at Campvere. That office was worthily occupied by SIR ROBERT DANIELSTOUN now corrupted into DENNISTOUN for thirty years, and this fact accounts for the appearance of his name on the Burgess Roll. It was intended as a reward for the assistance which he had rendered to WILLIAM GOLDMAN of Dundee in establishing the staple trade at Campvere (vide page 38). He was descended from SIR HEW DE DANZIELSTOUN of that Ilk, who swore fealty to EDWARD I, in 1296, the branch of the family from which he was more immediately derived being that which was settled at Colgrain, Dunbartonshire, circa 1350.

SIR ROBERT was born in 1548, and was sent abroad early in life to prepare him for the post which he afterwards obtained. The conservation of the Scots Privileges was made the care of the Convention of Royal Burghs, and SIR ROBERT was despatched to Campvere, under special recommendations, to fill this onerous position. For thirty years he administered this delicate office with acceptance, and only once was he brought into a dangerous dilemma. When FRANCIS, EARL OF ERROL, one of the leading Romanist nobles, escaped from Scotland after the futile rebellion under HUNTLY in 1596, he was captured in Holland, and placed under the care of SIR ROBERT DANIELSTOUN. By some means he eluded the vigilance of his captor, and SIR ROBERT was summoned to answer to the Privy Council for his alleged negligence. He was able to give them a satisfactory explanation, and retained his post with undiminished power. In November, 1602, he was introduced as a member of the Privy Council, and served in that capacity for many years. He survived till 1626, and was then buried in the Grayfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, where his tombstone may still be seen, bearing the following inscription:

"En nil orbis quod perennit possidet.
Robertus isto conditis sub marmore, legatus olim
Denystonus Regius; per lustra libertatis ad Belgas fuit
sex Scoticance assertor; idem ad Anglos, Iberos missus
est cum gloria, fidusque patriae, principi ertl a conciliis
aelate plenus, quinque ter lustris tribus annis peractis, coelitem
vitam colit. D. O. S. Domini Roberti Denistoni quod
claudi potuit hic jacet ; amantissima uxor, famae
carissimi viri, et mansurae memoriae, hoe monumentum
De Sua Pecunia Faciendum Cura."

[Behold, how nothing which this world possesses may endure! Beneath this stone lies SIR ROBERT DENISTOUN, ambassador at one time for the KING, who for thirty years was Conservator of the Scottish Privileges in Holland, and who was also sent to the English and the Spaniards (and returned) with honour. Faithful to his country, a Councillor to his Sovereign, he, being aged, having spent seventy eight years (on earth), now lives in Heaven. Here lie the remains of SIR ROBERT DENISTOUN. His best beloved wife, careful of the fame of her dearest husband, has raised this monument, at her own cost, that his memory may be preserved.]

SIR ROBERT'S widow, CHRISTIAN GIBSON, survived till 1642. His first wife, HELEN MYRTON, widow of COLONEL ANDREW TRAILL, died in 1608, and was buried at St Andrews.