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Sir James Spens of Wormiston circa. 1571-1632, son of David Spens of Wormiston by his wife Margaret Learmouth.

SOURCES, NOTES AN CREDITS: Former Lord Lyon, David Sellar, wrote about this laird’s family some years ago in “The Double Tressure”, 2005, no. 28, pp10-20 Our laird is not the subject, focus or even specifically mentioned but, his Scottish arms are. While you won’t find him in Ordinary 1 but two of his relatives are there with arms verra close to those of our laird, but unfortunately, he never matriculated his arms. Ordinary 2 has, we believe, two collateral descendants with arms close to our laird’s. In Robert Gayre of Gayre and Nigg’s, “Roll of Scottish Arms”, dealing with Vol. 1 of the Public Register you will find five entries of Spens arms verra similar to our laird. In any of the Swedish, “Sveriges Ridderskap och Adels Kalender” you will find his direct descendants and which our laird is mentioned by name. In “History of the Scottish Expedition to Norway in 1612” by Thomas Michell, Sir James Spens is mentioned in connection with his activities raising troops for Sweden as well as some of his ambassadorial actions.

Sir James’ arms as friherre in Sweden: These arms, minus the Swedish canton, are verra similar to his Scottish arms.

Or a lion rampant tail fourché Gules debruised by a baldrick bendwise Sable charged with two mascles one each side of the buckle Argent; on a canton Azure three coronets Or.

A Scottish gentleman adventurer, ambassador and soldier. He worked for Charles IX of Sweden raising a regiment of mercenaries and gaining the rank of Colonel. Recalled in 1611 by James VI to promote peace between Denmark and Sweden, he was knighted by King James and sent to Sweden as Ambassador to the new Swedish King, Gustavus Adolphus. He over the next few years was a diplomat from James VI to Gustavus Adolphus and vice versa.

Selling his Scottish estates, we think to another member of the Spens family, he settled in Sweden and was made a baron ( Friherre ) in 1622 and received the estate of Orrholmen from the Swedish King to go with the title and died there in 1632.

His two sons James & David by his wife, Anne Durie, arranged to have his Swedish title of Friherre get the needed mandatory Introduction in the House of Nobles ( Ridderhuset ) posthumously in 1635, each of them then officially became a friherre. A descendant of Sir James became a Swedish general so successful he was raised to the grade of Count (greve) in 1712 and was Introduced in 1719.

The Counts Spens family continues to live in Sweden still.

The artwork is a rendition by John Hamilton Gaylor

2019 0513

Squire3~0.jpg SpensWormiston.jpg SpensX.jpg Shand.jpg Scott_of_Redland_Ach.jpg
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