Kinloch Family History

Francis Kinloch, founder of the family of Gilmerton, was the fourth son of Andrew Kinloch and grandson of David Kinloch, merchants in Edinburgh. Francis Kinloch was also a merchant in Edinburgh and in Rochelle in France where he made a considerable fortune.

On his return home, he acquired the Lands of Gilmerton in 1655 from Dame Mary Seaton of Hails.

Francis Kinloch held the honourable office of Lord Provost of Edinburgh for the years 1677 and 1678, and in the later years he represented the city in the Scottish Parliament. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1686.

Paintings of Kinloch family at Gilmerton House, East Lothian.

Francis Kinloch died in December 1691 and was succeeded by his son, also called Francis Kinloch, who became the 2nd Baronet of Gilmerton.

His grandson Francis Kinloch, aged eleven, with his younger brother Cleland, both of Carolina, became wards of Governor Thomas Boone. Boone sent them to his old school, Eton College in England, where Francis saved Lord North’s son from drowning and became a good friend of the family. Following confiscation, a large part of Boone’s property was acquired by Francis.

Francis married Mildred, granddaughter of Thomas Walker, guardian of Thomas Jefferson, and secondly Martha, daughter of the Governor of South Carolina, John Rutledge. Francis became a secessionist and was captured coincidentally by his first cousin from Scotland (also named Francis) who was serving for the British Army under the infamous Colonel Banastre Tarleton.

Francis of Carolina became a member of the Continental Congress and Francis of Gilmerton inherited the Kinloch Baronetcy.

It was with the death of the 5th Baronet, Sir David Kinloch in 1795, that a tragic event took place at Gilmerton. Two months after he had succeeded to the title, Francis was murdered on the front stairs by his deranged brother Archibald whose health had declined after service in the West Indies, Sir Archibald was not hanged after his trial but released into the care of his family.

It was to prove a very controversial plea and which is known to be one of the earliest recorded defences on the grounds of insanity. He died 5 years later and was buried in Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh. The details on the Kinloch tomb, which have not been used since that time, are now almost obscured.

Gilmerton House remains today as it was then, as are the Kinlochs of Gilmerton, Sir David, 13th Baronet, living in far greater tranquillity with his wife, Lady Melanie Kinloch, than can be said for their forebears!

Gilmerton House is an elegant, Georgian stately home c 1750 commissioned by Sir David Kinloch. John Adam has been suggested as architect, John Aitken was the mason. Redeveloped by William Burn in 1829. Read about Gilmerton House’s History.