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Descent from Robert de Sempill to Margaret Sempill (Line 21) and Helen Sempill


Last updated:†††††† 20/06/2005


The Sempills were the Hereditary Sheriffs of Renfrew


Robert de Sempill, known to be alive in 1280 (B) and 1309 (B). Steward of the Barony of Renfrew, he witnessed a Charter of Malcolm, Earl of Lennox around 1280 and a grant by James, High Steward of Scotland, before 1309


Robert de Sempill died before 1330 and married Marjory Bruce, suspected to be daughter of Robert Bruce


William de Sempill, 1st of Eliotstoun, known to be alive in 1340, who acquired the lands of Eliotstoun before 13.04.1344 (B)


Thomas de Sempill of Eliotstoun


Sir John Semple of Eliotstoun, known to be alive in 1397


John Sempill of Eliotstoun, known to be alive in 1445


Sir Robert Sempill of Eliotstoun, known to be alive in 1478 and who married Elizabeth, whose surname is not recorded


Sir William Sempill of Eliotstoun married 1st Margaret or Marion Cathcart and 2nd Agnes Montgomery, daughter of Alexander Montgomery, 2nd Lord. His son is believed to have been by Margaret Cathcart:


Thomas Sempill of Eliotstoun, Sheriff of Renfrew, fell at Saucieburn 11.06.1488 (B) and who married Elizabeth Ross (died before 17.11.1505), daughter of John Ross, 1st Lord of Ross


Sir John Sempill, 1st Lord Sempill, died at Flodden 09.09.1513 (A, B) and who married 1st before 09.09.1501 (A) Margaret Colvill (daughter of Sir Robert Colvill of Ochiltree) (A, B), who died shortly after 21.04.1504 (A);and 2nd before 16.02.1605 (A) Margaret Crichton (A, B), daughter of James Crichton of Ruthven and widow of Sir William Stirling of Keir, and who died without issue (A). Sir John was made a Lord of Parliament by James IV of Scotland in about 1488 and through his second son, William, the title has descended to the current 21st Lord Sempill. For further information about the Sempills, see


William Sempill, 2nd Lord Sempill; m. Margaret (d. of 1st Earl of Eglington)

Gabriel Sempill of Cathcart and Ladymure, Sir Johnís third (A) or second (B) son, died at Pinkie 10.09.1547 (A) and who married Jonet (or Janet) Spreule, daughter of John Spreule of Coldoun (A, C) and Elizabeth Semple (A). Janet had previously married John Pollok, who died before 1508. He was denounced a rebel for failing to appear for the murder of William Cunynghame of Craigends after finding surety in a document dated 20 August 1533 (A). Both he and his wife received lands from Allan Stewart in a charter dated 25 November 1543 and on 16 July 1546 Queen Mary granted him the lands of Carswells (A)


Helen Sempill m. Alan, 3rd Lord Cathcart

Margaret Sempill married John Pollok of that Ilk, who died in 1564. John Pollok was the nephew of Margaretís motherís first husband,



  1. The Scot Peerage, by Sir James Balfour Paul, published by David Douglas, 1904
  2. Burkeís Peerage, entry for SEMPILL LORDS SEMPILL
  3. The Shire of Renfrew by Crawfurd (1710) and Robertson (1818)