In 1453 ho is recorded in the Exchequer Roll as Custos or Hereditary Keeper of the  Forest of the Little Cumray an island which was then a Royal Forest well stocked with  deer and rabbits and affording pasturage to a certain number of cattle. On the  erection of the Principality of Scotland by Robert III in 1404, this island was  included in its domains Munroe, who visited it in 1584, calls it "Cumbray of the Dais  because there is many Dayis intill it", but they have entirely disappeared and the  remembrance of their existence is not even preserved traditionally in the locality  The rabbits are however still extremely numerous and tend to raise to a very  respectable amount the rental of the island.

The salary of the Hereditary Forester was at first twenty shillings per annum and  subsequently two chalders of oats which was continued to the Earl of Eglintoun on his  obtaining possession of the Little Cumbray in 1535 as appears by the following  extract from an order by James Colvile Comptroler to the Sheriff of Bute dated 28th  November 1536:-

"Schirreff of Bute Ze sail answer and pay to my Lord of Eglintoun twa chalder of  aittis of this last zeir bigane siclik as ze did to the Lard of Hunterstoun. for  Litil Cumray ....And giff ze failze hercintill I haiff ordanit to put ze to the home  for I haiff ressauit Ira the said Erll payment as vsc and wont is "

Certain rights of pasturage and probably other contingent perquisites were attached  to the office William Hunter, died about the year 1454, and was succeeded by his son  Archibald Huntar of Arnele Huntar, who not being of age at his father's death was not  infeft in the estate until 1456, and for the same reason John Huntar above mentioned  obtained on the death of his brother William the office of Hereditary Forester which  he retained during the lifetime of his nephew. This John had a son named Archibald  who was appointed Receiver of the salary on his father's account as is shown by the  Roll of 1465.

Prior to 1462 Archibald Huntar married Margaret Ker daughter of William Ker laird of  Kersland as appears from the following Discharge by his cousins, Robert Crawfurde of  Auchinhames and Archibald Crawfurde of Pryveke, dated 14th June 1462:-

"Be it maidc kennyt till all men be thir present Iettoris ws Robert Crawfurde off  Auchinhamis ando Archibaldo Oawfurdo off Pryveke coniunctly and seuerally till hafe  resawyte and fullely till haffo hade be the handis off ane vorschipfull man Vilzame  Ker Larde of Kerislande in dawry ane hundroth mark off vsuale monc off the kynrio off  Scotland for all and hall the sovmc aeht till ws be tho said Vilzam for the marriage  off oure cusynge Archibalde Huntar Larde off Ardneill pertenandc till ws the quhilk  forsuth mariage we scllytand gaffe to the saidc Vilzame Ker to his dochtir Margarete  Ker for the sayde sovmc of ane lmndrcth mark as sayde is Off the quhilk for sayde  sovme of ane hundrcth mark we halde ws woyll content ande payit and in all thingc  acht for the saide mariage fullely assythit for euermar and the forsayde Vilzame his  ayeris and all vtheris quham it afferis or may affer for ws our ayeris and all  vtheris quhilkis has or may haffe thar off be law or resoun ony interes qnhitclamys  bo thir oure presento letteris In witnes off the quhilk thing we the said Robert  Crawfurde and Archibaldo Crawfurde to thir oure present letteris of quhitelamo and  discharge we haff hungyng ouro propir scillis at Achinhamys the forten day off the  moneth off June the yher off oure Lorde a thousande four hundreth sexty and twa  yheris "

He died prior to 1487 in which year his son John Huntar of Huntarstoune or of that  Ilk was infeft in his estate, and paid dues on his sasine in the lands of Almolach  (Holy Isle, or Lamlash) and in the office of Hereditary Forester. He received his fee  of twenty shillings at Gustos of the Little Cumbray until 1461, in the compt of which  year he is paid, "for that time only as the King receives no advantage from that  island"

The salary was probably restored when King James IV was in Bute in 1495, as John  Huntar was paid the usual sum in the accounts of 1496, and the years following. He  married Margaret daughter of John Second Lord Catheart by Margaret daughter of Sir  William Douglas of Drumlanrig On the 13th June 1505, he produced the charter granted  to his ancestor by King Robert II before the Court of the Itinerating Justices in  Ayr, to prove that his lands were held blench of the Crown for payment of one silver  penny in full of all duties and services which holding was duly recognized and he was  exonerated from all other claims.

His father in law Lord Catheart was one of the witnesses to this writ He was infeft  in the lands of Hielies on the 9th April 1511. He was killed at Flodden on the 9th  September 1513 and was succeeded by his son, 1513 by son Robert Huntar of Huntarston  or of that ilk who was a minor at the time his father fell but who was infeft by John  Lyn of that Ilk as superior of the lands of Hielies on the 6th May 1515. He married  Janet, daughter of John Montgomerie of Giffen a branch of the Eglintoun family and  widow of John Craufurd of Craufurdland between that date and 1522, as he resigned  Hielies in the hands of the superior and was again infect along with his wife in  conjunct fee on the 7th November of that year.

During the troublous times consequent  upon the Battle of Flodden and the minority of James V the Royal Forest of the Cumray  was overrun by  those with whom right was might and the young laird of Hunterston  finding himself powerless to prevent their aggressions, without supply or help seems  to have represented the matter to the King and prayed for assistance for on this  ground the Regent Albany in the name of the King granted on the 28th October 1525, a  charter to Hugh first Earl of Eglintoun as Fiar Correkar, and supplear of the ile of  Litill Comeray setting forth after the customary preamble that:-

"that forsumekle as we and our derrest cotising and tutour Johne Dnke of Albany ete  protectour and governour of mire rcnlme ar sikerlie aduertist that the ile of Litill  Comeray liand within our baillerie of Cunynghame and schirefdome of Are is waistit  ami distroyit be divers personis that slais the dere and cunyugis thairof and  pasturis bestis thairintill maisterfully be way of dede without licence tollerance or  consent of Robert Huntare of Huntarstoun forestar of heretagc of the said ile the  quhilk pereonis the said Robert may nocht resist because he is nocht of substance and  power without supple and help Tharcfor we with advise and consent of our said tutour  and governour for reformacioun gud reule and saufte of the said ile in tyme cummyng  hes maid constitut and ordanit and be thir our letteris niakis constitutis and  ordanis our louit cousing and counsalour Hew Erie of Eglingtoun and his assignnis ane  or man our fearis correkaris and supplearis of our said ile of Litill Comeray ete ete  ete ete"

This charter was to endure until the King was fifteen years of age. Under it  "Huntarstoun" appears to have retained certain rights of pasturage and on the 31st  May 1527, he procured a charter from the Crown conferring upon him and his spouse  full possession of the island which as the text runs the said Robert and his  predecessors held as hereditary keepers of and under the King and his predecessors ,  "Quas quidem insulam et terras cum pertinenciis dictus Robertus et predeoessores sui  de nobis et predeccssoribus nostris in cus todia hereditarie prins habuerunt".

The neighbouring proprietors on the mainland appear to have been very anxious to  obtain possession of this much coveted island and notwithstanding the above charter,  Robert son and heir of William Lord Sempill obtained a grant of it in 1532. He did  not however long retain it for by an instrument dated the 12th November 1534 King  James V revoked the said grant and confirmed that formerly made to Robert Huntar of  Huntarstoun, who shortly after sold the island to the Earl of Eglintoun and made  resignation of it in his favour in the hands of King James V from whom the Earl  obtained a charter dated 16th March 1535, since which time it has continued the  property of the Eglintoun family and has frequently served them as a place of refuge  in troublous times.

On the 8th July 1527, Robert Huntar styled in the writ "Lord Huntarstoun", made over  his rights in the Holy Isle or Island of Lamlash to James Lord Arran, by resignation,  "ad perpetuam remanentiam". In 1532 he sold to William Wood of Bonnytown the lands of  Inschok, Banblane, Muir House, Langholls, Housefield of Brownlands,and pertinents in  Barony of Innirshallow and shire of Forfar which sale was confirmed by charter of  James V on 15th September of that year.

In 1536 he sold the lands of Meikle Calderwood in Lanarkshire to James brother of  Robert Hamilton of Torrance and Christian Stewart his spouse which sale was confirmed  by James V by charter dated 1st June 1536 On the 25th February 1535 he obtained a  charter from

Hugh first Earl of Eglintoun of the lands of Annanhill lying within the Lordship of  Roberton and bailliary of Cuninghame, followed by a charter of confirmation by James  V dated 16th March following and again by royal charter on 1st January 1541. In 1535  he acquired from William Cuninghame Lord Feuar of the Earldom of Glencairn and  Lordship of Kilmaurs the lands of Campbeltown as appears by charter of sale dated  10th November and charter confirming the same by James V of 29th December of the same  year. It would appear that he suffered from ill health as he was not present at the  Walpynshawing of Cuninghame held at Irvine on the 15th October 1532 the roll bearing  record.

The Lard of Hun tar and all his tenandis absent and this supposition is  further borne out by the license granted on 24th October 1542 by James V to the said  Robert and to William Montgomerie of the Stane, to remain at home from the war on  account of their being "vaik and tender of complectioun and trublit with secknes and  infirmite and may nocht travell without grete danger of thair lyvis", etc, etc,   "Dischargeing all our lieutennentis and all vtheris oure officiaris present and to  cum and thare deputis and schireffis in that part of all calling vnlawing proceding  attaching arreisting trubling or intro metting with the saidis Maister William  Montgomery and Robert Huntar thair landis or guidis thareforo and of thair offices in  that part be thir presentis forcuir Prouiding alwayis that the saidis Maister William  and Robert send thair eldest sonnys with thair men, tennentis and seruandis, to this  our oist and weiris and all weiris, and all vtheris our oistus and weiris, to do ws  seruic tharein"

The latest deed in which his name occurs is an instrument sasine in favour of his son  Kentigern Huntar in fee and heritage and Robert Huntar and Jonet Montgomerie his wife  in life rent of the lands of Campbeltoun, dated 25th May 1542 and he died prior to  1546.

He was succeeded by his son Kentigern, or Mungo Huntar of Huntarstoune or of that Ilk  who married Marion, daughter of James Hamilton of Torrance county of Lanark and with  her was infeft in Easter Arneil on 1st August 1537 t during his father's life time He  succeeded his father in 1546, as appears from an instrument of sasine of the 8th May  of that year and in the same year, would seem to have been present with "Our Soverane  Ladyis oist and army convenit at Dumbartane the xi day of July for asseging of the  Castle thereof", as the Register of the Privy Seal, contains a grant made to him of  "all gudis moveable quhilk pertinit to William Finlay in Dalry and Alexander Finlay  younger and now pertening to our Soverane Lady be resoune of Eschete throw thair  tresonable remaining and abyding at hame fra our Soverane Ladyis oist and army", etc  ,etc, etc.

He died at the faith and peace of Queen Mary under her standard at the  battle of Pinkies cleuth 10th September 1547 as appears by instruments of sasine of  8th November 1548 and of 5th November 1594, leaving two sons .

Hunters of  Hunterston, or, of that Ilk ... (Detailed History)
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Hunter Clan of Ayrshire
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Hunter History
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Lairds of Hunterston
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Hunter of that Ilk
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