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W.P. Boyd, 1912
For important service given by Sir Robert Boyd to his country, he was rewarded by Bruce with gifts of land of Kilmarnock, Bondington, and Hertschaw, which has been forfeited by John Baliol and these gifts were granted by charter dated 1308 and 1316. According to (Robert) Wood, (a Scottish historian and author of "The Scots Peerage" which was later edited and re-published by Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon, King of Arms) he had also conferred upon him "the lands of Kilbryd and Ardnel, which had belonged to Godfrey de Ross, a son of the deceased Reginald de Ross, also all the lands which belonged to William de Mora's in the tenement of Dalry, with seven acres of land, which were Robert de Ross's in the tenement of Ardnel, which was erected into an entire and free Barony to be held by the King." The lands of Ardnel or Portincross, situated in the Parish of West Kilbride, were conferred on Sir Robert Boyd about the year of 1308, and afterwards became the patrimony of a younger son of the family, and remained in that family until the year 1737.
This castle of the Portincross Boyds, at this time stood upon a ledge of rocks, projecting into the sea under a bold promontory, which gives it the name of a singular, wild and romantic situation. Several royal charters of the two first Stewart kings bears to have received the Sign - Manual at "Ardnel" which unquestionably refers to this fortlet, and which has lead to a notion of writers that Portincross, was at that period a Royal residence of the Kings of Scotland. But there seems to be no evidence whatever to conclude if it ever was such in the proper sense of the term. The probability is that these Sovereigns in passing too and from Dundonald in Kyle, and Rothesay in Bute, had been used as a harbor in crossing the channel at this port, and may occasionally as circumstances or inclination suggested have prolonged their stay at this convenient station. Contemplating and gazing on the narrow walls of this sea-beaten tower, it is certainly difficult to conceive that it should ever have afforded accommodation to the prestige of a Royal Court. Yet, when we reflect on the circumscribed nature of even Dondonald itself, the favourite residence of these same Sovereigns, the contrast by no means appear so extraordinary."
Courtesy of Clan Boyd Society International
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