Origins of the Name
The name Lockhart is derived from Locard, sometimes spelt Lokart, which is probably Flemish or Norman in origin. The modern spelling seems to have been introduced in the fifteenth century, and refers to the crusade on which Sir Symon Locard was the custodian of the key of the casket in which Bruce’s heart was carried.Like many Scottish families the Locards came from England where they were among those who were dispossessed by William the Conqueror and sought refuge in Scotland. There were Locards near Penrith in the twelfth century and also in Annandale in Dumfriesshire, where it is said that the town of Lockerbie is named after them. The family finally settled in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire where they have held land for over seven hundred years. The earliest paper in the family archives is a charter dated 1323 by which Sir Symon Locard bound himself and his heirs to pay out of the lands of Lee and Carnwath an annual rent of £10. Stephen Locard, grandfather of Sir Symon, founded the village of Stevenson in Ayrshire. His son Symon acquired the lands in Lanarkshire, and like his father, called a village, which he founded, Symons Town (today called Symington) after himself. Symon, Second of Lee, won fame for himself and his family fighting alongside Robert the Bruce in the struggle to free Scotland from English domination and was knighted for his loyal service.He was among the knights led by Sir James Douglas, who took Bruce’s heart to the Crusades in 1329 to atone for his murder of John Comyn in the church of Greyfriars. Douglas carried the King’s heart in a casket of which Sir Symon carried the key. The Crusade ended prematurely when Douglas was killed fighting the Moors in Spain, but to commemorate the adventure and the honour done to the family, the name was changed from Locard to Lockheart and later abbreviated to Lockhart. A heart within a fetterlock was from then on included in the arms of the family with the motto “Corda Serrata Pando” - I open locked hearts.
See the Tower of Halbar, a Lockhart stronghold, situated in Carluke, Lanarkshire.
The Lockhart family took more than a new name home from the Holy Land during the Crusades. It gained a much treasured and precious heirloom. That is the mysterious heart-shaped ruby set in a coin given to him by one of the Saracen (nomadic tribes) rulers. Sir Symon Lockhart had gone there to recover the heart of Robert the Bruce and to bring it back for burial in Melrose Abbey. The charm or amulet known as the Lee Penny was the Talisman which Sir Walter Scott used as a basis for his novel, “The Talisman”. The story of its acquisition by the Lockhart family.
At the battle of Teba in Spain, Sir Symon captured a Moorish Emir and received from the man’s mother, as part of his ransom, the amulet or stone which was said to have remarkable healing powers. The Prince’s mother told Sir Symon that the stone was a sovereign remedy against bleeding and fever, the bite of a mad dog, and sickness in horses and cattle. The stone is dark red in colour and triangular (or heart-shaped) and was later set in a silver coin which has been identified as a four penny piece of the reign of Edward IV. The Penny is kept in a gold snuffbox, which was a gift from Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria to her general, Count, James Lockhart in 1789.
Such is the belief in the stone’s powers that a descendant of Sir Symon, Sir James Lockhart of Lee, was charged with sorcery, an offence, which could carry the death penalty. After examining the accused, the Synod of the Church of Scotland, dismissed the case
APUD GLASGOW 21 of October - “Quhilk (which) day amongest the refferries of the bretheren of the ministry of Lanark it was proponed to the synod that Gavin Hamilton of Raploch had persueit an complaint before them agains Sir James Lockhart of Lee anent the superstitious using of a stone set in silver, for the curing of deseased cattle, qlk (which) the said Gavin affirmed could not be lawfully usit, and that they had deferrit to give ony decisione thairin till the advice of the inquirit of the manner of using therof, and particularly understood, be examination of the said Laird of Lee and otherwise, that the custom is only to cast the stone in some water, and given the deseasit cattle thereof to drink, and the same is done without using any words, such as charmers and sorceriers use in thair unlawfull practices; and considering that in nature thair are many things seen to work strange effects, whereof no human wit can give a reason, it having pleast god to give to stones and herbs a speciall vertue for healing of many informities in man and beast, advises the brethren to surcease thair process, as therein they perceive no ground for offence, and admonishes the said Laird of Lee, in the using of the said stone, to take heid that it be usit theafter with the least scandle that possibly maybe. Extract out of the books of the assemblie holden at Glasgow, and subscribed at their command.”
M. Robert Young, Clerk to the assemblie at Glasgow.
N.B. The year is not given, but Sir James Lockhart was born in 1596 and died in 1674
The fame of the Lee Penny spread through Scotland and Northern England and there are many recorded occasions when it was employed with apparent success.
It remains in the Lockhart family to this day.
Information from The Brownlee Family, by Allan Lindsay Arnold Brownlee and Ian Edward Brownlee pages 3-4; and The Clan Lockhart Society website: http://www.clanlockhartsociety.com/