Houston

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Clan Houston are a Scottish family or kin-group that does not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon and is therefore considered armigerous clan.

Origins

A territorial name taken from an old barony in Lanarkshire. Its origin is 'Hugh's settlement'. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref>

Hugh de Padinan is thought to have lived in the twelfth century and been granted the lands of Kilpeter. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 405</ref> By the middle of the fourteenth century the lands had become known as Huston. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref>

Middle Ages

Sir Finlay de Hestone appears on the Ragman Roll swearing fealty to Edward I of England in 1296.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref> The Hustones built their castle on the site on a Cistercian abbey. They also gained a substantial barony near Whitburn in West Lothian.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref> Hustoun House was rebuilt in the eighteenth century and still exists here. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref>

Sir Patrick Hustone of that Ilk, who was probably the eleventh chief, married Agnes Campbell of Ardkinglass.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref>

Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

There were many families in Lanarkshire with this name and various spellings include Hawstoun, Howstoun, Hawston and Haweston. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 148</ref> Sir Peter Huston fought with the Earl of Lennox at the Battle of Flodden. His son, Sir Patrick Huston of Huston was keeper of the seal to James V. Conspiring against the king, he was killed at the Battle of Linlithgow Bridge. The next Sir Patrick was knighted by Mary, Queen of Scots and was with her when she visited Lord Darnley in Glasgow. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref>

Seventeenth Century

The nineteenth chief was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles II in 1668. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref> His son, Sir John, was falconer to Mary II and William of Orange.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref> Sir John Houston of that Ilk and his brother, James, both invested £1000 in the disastrous Darien scheme. <ref>James Samuel Barbour, a History of William Paterson and the Darien Company, 267</ref>

Eighteenth Century

The fifth baronet and his son were merchants with substantial American interests. They also were slave owners. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref> The Hustons renounced their Scottish titles on American independence. General Sam Huston (b.1793) was a member of this family.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref>

Twentieth Century

Lady Houston (1857-1936)

Sir Robert Houston (1853-1926) a descendent of a Renfrew branch of the family, became a prominent Victorian shipbuilder.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 406</ref> However, he is most remembered now for his marriage to Lucy Radmall, known as Lady Houston (1857-1936). Sir Robert is described in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as a 'hard, ruthless, unpleasant bachelor' and 'sectarian conservative MP'. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014). </ref>Lucy is described as an 'adventuress'.<ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref>

The couple settled in Jersey for purposes of tax avoidance. Houston became increasingly mentally ill, while Lady Houston considered Robert's friends were trying to poison him. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref> When he showed her his will, leaving her 1 million, she tore it up and said that 'If I'm only worth a million, then I'm worth nothing at all’.<ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref> Houston died mysteriously in April 1929 on board his yacht, the Liberty and left his wife a legacy of four fifths of his 7 million fortune. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref> Lady Houston then herself became mentally ill, 'suffering paranoia and religious delusions' and was restrained. She eventually escaped from Jersey on the Liberty. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref>

Lady Houston then used her fortune to further her political ambitions, which were highly reactionary. She waged a personal hate campaign against the Labour Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald, culminating in having her yacht carry large illuminated letters announcing 'to hell with MacDonald the traitor'. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref> She died in 1936 after becoming so upset by the abdication of Edward IIIV that she stopped eating.<ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34015?docPos=29109 (accessed 20th May 2014).</ref>

References

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