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

Robert Balfoure, son of Andrew Balfoure - 29th March 1565



The family of BALFOUR claims descent from a certain SIWARD who was living in the time of KING DUNCAN, circa 1033. The first of the Monquhany branch was Michael BALFOUR, who was one of the favourites of JAMES IV., from whom he obtained a Charter in 1493 erecting his lands into the Barony of Monquhany. SIR MICHAEL was married to MARJORY, daughter of GEORGE DURIE of that Ilk who fell with his Royal Master at Flodden.

ANDREW BALFOUR, whose name is here recorded, was his only son, and was a mere infant when his father was slain. In fulfilment of the special Act made by JAMES IV., whereby the children of those who should fall at Flodden were to be at once declared heirs as if they had attained their majority, ANDREW BALFOUR became Laird of Monquhany at a very early age. He was married to JANET, third daughter of SIR ALEXANDER BRUCE of Earlshall, and, according to the accepted genealogy, he had only seven sons; but the above entry in the Burgess Roll of Dundee appears to indicate that he had another son named ANDREW. All these sons took a distinguished share in the history of the times of QUEEN MARY and JAMES VI. MICHAEL BALFOUR, the eldest son, who was enrolled as a Burgess of Dundee in 1583, was married to JANET BOSWELL, and died during his father's lifetime, leaving a son, MICHAEL, who succeeded ANDREW BALFOUR as Laird of Monquhany in 1592. SIR GILBERT of Westra, the second son of ANDREW BALFOUR, was Master of the Household to QUEEN MARY.

The third son was the notorious SIR JAMES BALFOUR of Pittendreich, who was deeply concerned in the murder of DARNLEY. He held the post of Lord President of the Court of Session, and, through his marriage with MARGARET BALFOUR of Burleigh, he became the ancestor of the LORDS BALFOUR of Burleigh and the LORDS BALFOUR of Glenawley. DAVID, the fourth son, was ancestor of the BALFOURS of Grange. GEORGE, the fifth son, whose name appears at a later date on this Roll, was the Prior of the Charterhouse, Perth.

ROBERT, who was made Burgess of Dundee at the same time as his father, was Provost of St. Mary's College, St Andrews; whilst JOHN is usually referred to as the youngest of the family, and he seems to have held property in Orkney. Of ANDREW BALFOUR, Junior, no trace appears elsewhere than on this Burgess Roll. It is worthy of notice that a hundred years elapsed betwixt the first erection of the Barony of Monquhany (1493) and the death of the second Laird in 1592. ANDREW BALFOUR, Senior, was thus Laird of Monquhany for the very exceptional period of seventy nine years.