Posted By:Loretta Layman
Subject:Linn/Lynn of that Ilk and the Boyds of Kilmarnock
Post Date:July 20, 2012 at 18:31:04
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Forum:Linn Family Genealogy Forum
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Seeking out the historical facts concerning the purported association between the Lynns/Linns of that Ilk and the Boyds of Kilmarnock, I continue to search late medieval and early renaissance records to discover the history of this family and their ownership of the minor barony of Lynn.

After I'd shared with an email group a 1532 charter by which John Lynn SOLD part of the barony of Lynn to Thomas Boyd, the question was raised as to the Boyds being Lords of Cunningham, which would have given them some authority over all the properties in the district (then called a bailliary). It's well known that the de Morvilles, from whom the Lynns inherited the minor barony of Lynn about 1204 (according to an 1852 gazetteer), were the first Lords of Cunningham and became extinct in the early 13th century. One person in the email group wrote, "So it will be interesting to see when the de Moreville's stopped being overlords of Cunninghame", which appears to be based on the assumption that the Boyds immediately succeeded the Morvilles and perhaps was aimed at fixing a date which would make the Lynns' ownership of their property subject to the Boyds. So I dug.

Document extracts at the website of the Scottish National Archives reveal the following chronology for the Lords of Cunningham from 1363 (the earliest reference to Lords of Cunningham I found there) through 1540 (where I stopped since it was eight years past the date the Lynns sold to the Boyds). Included in that chronology is the Lynn/Boyd sale ...

10 Dec 1363 - Robert [later, King Robert II] was Stewart of Scotland, Earl of Stratherne and Lord of Cunningham [NAS Ref. #GD3/1/1/64/1]. [Note: The first Lord Boyd was not even made a Lord until 1452.]

31 May 1479 - James Stewart, son of King James III, was Duke of Rothezay [sic], Earl of Carryk [sic], Lord of Cunningham, and Stewart of Scotland [Ref. GD3/1/1/41/11].

8 Aug 1484 - James Stewart, son of King James III, was Lord of Cunningham, etc. [Ref. GD3/1/1/63/5].

11 May 1532 – John Lynn, “for a sum of money to him paid, sold” to Thomas Boyd, brother of Robert Boyd of Kilmarnock, forty-shilling land of the old extent [old valuation] of Lyn in the dominion of Kilmarnock, Cunningham, County Ayr [The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland A.D. 1513-1546, James Balfour Paul, F.S.A. Scot., and John Maitland Thomson, M.A., Advocates, Edinburgh (1883)].

3 Jun 1540 - James Stewart, son of King James V, was Lord of Kyle, Cunningham, and Kilmenock [sic], etc. [Ref. GD3/1/1/64/15].

Thus, the de Morvilles ceased being lords of Cunningham by at least 1363, and the title thereafter lay with the Stewarts until at least 1540, 1540 notably being 8 years past the Lynns' sale to the Boyds. The 1540 document also begs the question: when did the Boyds regain lordship of Kilmarnock, which had been lost by the first Lord Boyd's 1476 conviction of treason?

Lord Boyd, through political maneuvering, took sole guardianship in 1466 of then 6-year-old King James III. He subsequently married off the king's sister to his son, Thomas Boyd. James III was not pleased with Boyd's grasping at power and, after attaining majority, had Boyd tried and convicted of treason. ["Encyclopaedia Britannica", 11th Ed., Vol. IV, Cambridge (1910).]

The bottom line for Lynns is this. The Lynns of that Ilk owned their barony for about a century and a half before creation of the first Lord Boyd and about two and a half before the Boyds became Lords of Cunningham; and they were not vassals of the Boyds. Neither were they a sept of the Boyds because the Boyds were not a Highland clan. In fact, the Boyds had no tartan until 1956.