Whittingehame East Lothian

Whittingehame House | The Balfour Family

Whittingehame Estate near Haddington East Lothian was purchased by James Balfour in 1817 from  and at that time he had Whittingehame House built. James Balfour’s grandson Arthur Balfour, who was born in Whittingehame House served as Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. As Foreign Secretary during the First World War he issued the “Balfour Declaration” which later led to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Viscount Traprain (Earl of Balfour) change Whittingehame House into a school between 1939 and 1941 for Jewish refugee children. Circa 200 children attended the school over the period. It then returned to a family home and then in 1950 for circa 10 years it was used as a school once again before being renovated into separate apartments.

Whittingehame Tower

In 1372 George de Dunbar, 10th Earl of March, gave to James Douglas of Dalkeith, (2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar) the manor of Whittingehame. The Douglas family remained owners over the next 300 years as the property transferred on marriage. Elizabeth (1632–1668) daughter of Sir Arthur Douglas married Alexander Seton in 1652 and their daughter also Elizabeth married William Hay of Duns in 1695. They in turn sold the lands and property to James Balfour 1817.

Whittingehame Church

Whittingehame is a small village between Haddington and Dunbar just south of East Linton. The first church in the area was established by St Cuthbert circa 660, near Luggate (no remains of the church can be seen). In 1225 a new church at Whittingehame was built dedicated by the Bishop of St Andrews on 7 May 1245. After time the church needed replaced and in 1722 a new church was built. In 1820 James Balfour rebuilt the church which can be seen today. Whittingehame most famous resident was Arthur Balfour (Prime Minister of Britain) who is buried in the family aisle in the church. 

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