The Barony of Borthwick first appears in the Scottish Borders in the 12th C. associated with the Borthwick Water. By the early 15th C. the family gained lands in Midlothian, where they built Borthwick Castle. Sir William Borthwick was created Lord Borthwick in 1454. In 1567, the 7th Lord Borthwick briefly entertained Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) and her new husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell (1536-78). The 8th Lord Borthwick received an ultimatum from Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1654) and evacuated his castle after the first volleys of cannon hit home.
The family remains associated with Edinburgh and Midlothian.