The Cockburns of Ormiston

Scope and Content

An account of the Cockburn family up to 1718, compiled from various sources including Public Records and family papers. Dedicated by the author [unknown] to the Right Honourable Adam Cockburne of Ormistoun, Lord Justice Clerk and one of the senators of the College of Justice.

Administrative / Biographical History

The lands of Cockburn were in Berwickshire, Scotland, and the name became widespread in the 13th century. In 1314 Sir Alexander Cockburn was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn and his grandson, Alexander Cockburn, was Keeper of the Great Seal, 1389-1396. In 1595 Sir William Cockburn was granted the Barony of Langton, Berwickshire, and his descendant Sir Alexander Cockburn (1802-80) was Lord Chief Justice of England.

Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, Lord Ormiston (c.1656-1735), politician, succeeded his elder brother, John, in the lands and barony of Ormiston on 28 December 1671. By the late 1670s he had married Lady Susanna Hamilton, third daughter of John Hamilton, 4th Earl of Haddington. He was a commissioner for Haddingtonshire from 1678 and in May 1689 he was named a member of the Privy Council, an office he again occupied in 1696, 1698, and 1707. On 28 November 1692 he was appointed Lord Justice Clerk, and on 6 February 1699 he was created Lord Treasurer-Depute. He was dismissed from office on the accession of Queen Anne, but in 1705 he was restored to the office of Lord Justice Clerk.

Following the death of his first wife, Ormiston married Anne, daughter of Sir Patrick Houston of that ilk and widow successively of Sir James Ingirs of Cramond and Sir William Hamilton, Lord Whitelaw. He died at Edinburgh on 16 April 1735.

Source: Derek John Patrick, 'Cockburn, Adam, of Ormiston, Lord Ormiston (c.1656-1735)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -

Custodial History

Unknown (the Cockburn family were related to the family of the Earls of Crawford).