The Borthwicks of Crookston
taken from some records found at Borthwick Church

The Borthwick association with the church at Borthwick goes back at least to 1376 when the family were living in Catcune Castle (now vanished). In fact this is one instance where a family gave its name to the church and parish rather than as usual the other way round. The early Borthwicks played a prominent part in Scottish affairs, traveling through England under the order of safe conduct on Royal business - the First Sir William Borthwick twice acted as hostage for James 1 when the King came to Scotland. His son, also Sir William, was sometimes sent as ambassador to the Embassy in Rome and also to England on similar missions. The elder Sir William was Captain of Edinburgh Castle in 1420 and in 1423 went to England to help negotiate terms for the King's release, and was one of the colourful band of knights who rode to Durham to escort King James back to Scotland in a manner befitting his rank.
Sir William married in 1384, his heir, also William, being born on 1385. His next son George, became a priest and held office as archdeacon in Glasgow while at the same time being curate of Locherworth (Borthwick church); another son was also a priest and received papal permission to hold a benefice at the age of only 18. George, who had been given leave in 1418 to study in Paris for 2 years, died in 1447; the previous year his name had appeared as witness on the first Crookston charter.

The heir born in 1385, married in 1411, and his son William, born in 1412, was knighted in 1430, while still under age, at the baptism in Holyrood of the King's twin sons. He was raised to the peerage about 1452 and was thus the first Lord Borthwick, taking his seat in Parliament which began in Edinburgh 12th June, 1452. He was listed as Lord Borthuik of that Ilk. He died between the 6th and 27th October 1483 and it is almost certainly to his memory that the two effigies of a knight and his lady were sculptured. In 1430, when the licence to build the castle and fortalice at Borthwick was granted, Lord Borthwick was still only Sir William and his Father was still alive, so it is not clear to which Sir William the licence was given. At any rate, the castle was duly built on a tongue of land bought from Sir William's estate of Locherworth. Tradition has it that when Hay saw the magnificent edifice his neighbour had built he was filled with jealous spite and built a mill in the valley below the castle so that the castle occupants would never be out of the sound of the clack of the mill wheel. The mill building, enlarged and converted to a charming country house is still in existence.read more . . .