Helenor Hay
Get Helenor Hay essential facts below. View Videos or join the Helenor Hay discussion. Add Helenor Hay to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Helenor Hay

Helenor Hay, Countess of Linlithgow (c. 1552-1627) was a Scottish courtier and writer.

Early life

Born c. 1552, she was the eldest daughter of Andrew Hay, 8th Earl of Erroll by his first wife, and cousin, Lady Jean Hay, only child of William Hay, 6th Earl of Erroll. her name was often spelled "Helenor" in records, and her daughter Anne once wrote her name "Hellionor", although she herself signed several letters as "Eleanor".[1]


Helenor and her husband were the keepers of Linlithgow Palace and from 1596, Princess Elizabeth, although she was believed by some to be unsuitable as a professed Catholic.[2] She took some religious instruction from Patrick Simson, minister of Stirling, who was also involved in the religious conversion of Marie Stewart, Countess of Mar.[3] The household at Linlithgow for the Princess included Margaret Stewart Lady Ochiltree, Alison Hay and Elizabeth Hay.[4]

Princess Margaret was also entrusted to her, and on 13 March 1600 James VI of Scotland rewarded the Lord and Lady Livingston for educating both children, a service worth £10,000 for which he renewed and confirmed their lands at Callendar and Falkirk as baronies.[5]

In 1606, the Earl and Helenor, described as "ane obstinat Papist", hosted six imprisoned ministers at Linlithgow including John Welsh, giving them better freedom than they had enjoyed at Blackness Castle. Patrick Simson and other allies were allowed to visit the prisoners.[6]

Around the year 1615, she had to write to the king to avoid excommunication by the church of Scotland.[7]

In 1629, John Wreittoun published a book describing her conversion; The confession and conversion of the right honorable, most illustrious, and elect lady, my Lady C. of L. However, some critics think the Confession was not her work.[8]

Personal life

In 1584, she married Alexander Livingstone, Lord Livingstone and later Earl of Linlithgow. Together, they were the parents of:[9]

Helenor died in 1627.[9]


  1. ^ William Fraser, Memorials of the Montgomeries, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1859), p. 184, , 199, 211.
  2. ^ Border Papers, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1894), p. 225.
  3. ^ James Young, Life of John Welsh, Minister of Ayr (Edinburgh, 1886), pp. 224-5 footnote: William Tweedie, Select Biographies, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1845), pp. 74.
  4. ^ Mary Everett Green, Elizabeth, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia (London, 1909), p. 9.
  5. ^ HMC 7th Report (Livingstone) (London, 1879), p. 734.
  6. ^ Robert Pitcairn, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr James Melvill (Continuation), vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1842), p. 619.
  7. ^ Original Letters Relating to Ecclesiastical Affairs vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1851), p.464, National Library of Scotland Adv. MS 33.1.1 vol. 6 no. 15.
  8. ^ Sarah Dunnigan, 'Spirituality' in Glenda Norquay, Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Women's Writing (Edinburgh, 2012), p. 20.
  9. ^ a b c "Linlithgow, Earl of (S, 1600 - forfeited 1716)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Callendar, Earl of (S, 1641 - forfeited 1716)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Eglinton, Earl of (S, 1507/8)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "Wigtown, Earl of (S, 1606 - 1747)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 2019.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes