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Sir James Balfour of Denmylne and Kinnaird


c.1600 - 1657

Historian, antiquarian and author. Most likely born in Denmylne (near Newburgh, Fife), the son of Sir Michael Balfour, the Comptroller of the Royal Household of King Charles I (1600-49), Balfour travelled widely and studied in London with William Dugdale, contributing to his Monasticon Anglicanum (published in separate volumes; 1655, 1664 and 1673).

Balfour was appointed to the heraldic post of Lyon King-at-Arms in 1630 and did much to organise the systematic recording of arms in Scotland. He served in this position until he was removed by Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1654). He compiled his Annales of the History of Scotland from Malcolm III to Charles II, which was published in four volumes in 1824-5 and amassed a significant collection of mediaeval deeds and records which were retrieved from Denmylne Castle and are now held by the National Library of Scotland.

He was knighted by King Charles I in 1630 and was awarded the Baronetcy of Kinnaird in the peerage of Nova Scotia in 1633.

Balfour is buried in Abdie kirkyard.


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