The Honeyman /Honyman Family
updated 13 April 2009
On this page you will see family information submitted by researchers and by descendants of the Honeyman / Honyman Family. I am very grateful for their help in building this page. If you have any information to contribute, please e-mail Rosie
NEW Since I am often asked about other
Honeyman / Honyman families, I have decided to include data and contact details
of researchers at the bottom of this page.
Sir William Honeyman, Lord Armadale, 1756 - 1825
Sir William Honeyman's Family Tree + Notes
based on research by David Partner, teacher of History in Armadale, 1963 - 1971
We thank David for his generosity in sharing his research with the website.
William Honeyman was the son of Patrick Honeyman of
Graemsay, Orkney, and Mary Mackay
of Strathy. It was from the estate of Armadale in
he inherited from his mother, that Honeyman took his title.
The Honeymans, like a number of other notable Orkney landed families, e.g. Traulls, Balfours, came from Fife. The first Orkney Honeyman was Bishop Andrew Honeyman who took up his post in 1664. In 1668, he was in Edinburgh accompanying Archbishop Sharp into a carriage when a Covenanter tried to assassinate Sharp. The bullet grazed Honeyman's hand and it is said the poison ultimately led to his death in 1676.
The Bishop's grandson, Robert, (1676 - 1737), was Stewart and Sheriff-Depute of Orkney when he became embroiled in the Jacobite and anti-Jacobite factions. The Moodies of Melsetter in Hoy, neighbours to the Honeymans in Graemsay, were anti-Jacobite and loyal to the Earls of Morton who 'ruled' Orkney on behalf of the Crown. The Honeymans were also loyal to the Mortons. (Incidentally, Honeyman's mansion at Clestrain in Orphir was sacked by Gow, the famous Orkney 'pirate'.)
Sir James Stewart of Burray was fiercely pro-Jacobite and a quarrel with Captain Moodie of Melsetter ensued. Honeyman was accompanying Moodie to the Justices in the Cathedral to settle matters when, in Broad Street, one of Stewart's men shot Moodie dead. Subsequently, Moodie's widow accused Honeyman of not pursuing the murderers enough and, thus, of being an accomplice. Honeyman was kept for a time in the Tollbooth in Edinburgh, but he was freed when the case was found not proven.
Sir William's father, Patrick, actually gate-crashed himself into Orkney politics. Although he was a Mortonian, his estate was second in size to the Earl's and he was thus wealthy enough to have become impatient at, and with, the Earl's officials' controls of the islands, especially in electing Orkney's M.P.s. Along with five others, including one of the Balfours, Honeyman got himself enrolled on the Electorate. Morton was alarmed that his nominee, his relative Sir James Douglas, might not be re-elected. He challenged the enrolment in the Courts of Session and, in the end, gave more money to the Honeyman faction to ensure their support for Sir James who, as Commodore in the Royal Navy, was serving in the West Indies. This was towards the end of the 1750s and, eventually, Sir James became an Admiral.
This was the first challenge to the Morton supremacy, which began to decline, and Patrick Honeyman came to play an increasing role in Orkney affairs. Morton became President of the Royal Society in London, and, absorbed with its activities, sold his Orkney estates to Sir Lawrence Dundas. The Honeymans gave their support to the Dundases and the influence of Dundas helped the future Sir William Honeyman.
Sir Lawrence Dundas and his family came to be known as the Dundas of Kerse with a branch at Fingask and they are not to be confused with Henry Dundas of Arniston, the Lord Advocate (1775 - 1783), who became Viscount Melville. Sir Lawrence was the son of an Edinburgh merchant and he made a fortune as a war contractor. Although he won the Linlithgow seat in 1747, he was unseated for corruption. He procured a title for his son (Lord Dundas of Aske) and the Orkney M.P. seat for his elder brother Colonel Thomas Dundas, 1771 -1780 and 1784 - 1790.
During the 1770s, Patrick Honeyman supported Sir Lawrence Dundas and Dundas' influence saw William Honeyman admitted as an Advocate in 1777. The Dundas influence also saw him made Sheriff-Depute of Lanarkshire in 1786.
The Dundas' ways of dealing with issues over kelp and the tax known as 'scat' disturbed the Orkney heritors. At the same time, in 1780, Henry Dundas was trying to dislodge the Kerse Dundas' control of seats in Scotland. Patrick Honeymen challenged Kerse's rights as feudal superior. From now on, the Honeymans began to move from the Dundas of Kerse to giving support to Henry Dundas. By 1788, Patrick Honeyman had divested himself of his estate (reserving his vote) in favour of Sir William who then, actively, began to try to unseat Thomas Dundas.
In 1790, he championed the successful election of John Balfour. Old Patrick Honeyman and William's brother, Robert, were also electors. John Balfour stood down in 1796. Sir William would not stand himself as he had ambitions to become a Lord of Justiciary. He hoped that, two elections on from 1796, his eldest son would become Member of Parliament. In the meantime, a holding operation was needed. He put forward his young half-brother, Lieutenant Robert, R.N.. After much politicking, he was elected. Of course, all this met with the approval of Henry Dundas, then Secretary of State, and, in 1797, Sir William replaced Lord Alva in the Justiciary and became Lord Armadale.
David Partner acknowledges "The Orkney Balfours 1747 - 99" by R.P. Fereday for some of the information cited in the Honeyman account.
DAVID HONEYMAN of PITLAIRCHNEY, FIFE
David Partner's Notes on Family Tree
1. EUPHAME CUNNINGHAME was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Cunninghame, the minister of Ferryport-on-Craig. He died in 1741 and his son-in-law, Andrew Honeyman, succeeded him in the charge.
2. Rev. GEORGE HONEYMAN was minister for Stromness. Then he was translated to Livingstone and then to Crail. His ministry here is interesting. He was still alive in 1729 - a very old man.
3. ROBERT HONEYMAN has conflicting facts about him. One source lists him as a witness to an act of his father at the time Andrew became a bishop. Another source lists him as the father of ROBERT who married CECILIA GRAHAM. Robert seems to have married a MARGARET GRAHAM.
3a. One source says ANDREW was the father of ROBERT HONEYMAN (1676 - 1737). I don't think so as the parish records show ROBERT (3) as the father, and logic suggests this is the case. But, for the moment, I have not indicated from which brother ROBERT (4) was descended.
4. See note on his career in details of Lord Armadale in box above.
5. One source says CECILIA GRAHAM and ROBERT HONEYMAN had a daughter called EUPHAM who married ANDREW GRAHAM (born 1672). But Cecilia and Robert were first cousins and Andrew Graham would have been Eupham's uncle. I rather think that it would have been Eupham, the daughter of Robert Honeyman (3) and Margaret Graham, especially because, after Andrew Graham's early death, she married Patrick Graham of Graemeshall in Orkney, another cousin.
6. It is difficult to work out if Lord Armadale's father was the son of Robert and Cecilia or of William Honeyman (1704 - 1758) and Margaret Graham. The Patrick born in 1711 would have been 45 when Lord Armadale was born and 65 when the youngest half-sibling was born. this is not impossible since Patrick married twice, and possibly / probably both wives were years younger. Judging from the large part he played in Orkney politics, and that, at one point, he is described as elderly, it seems very likely that the Patrick born in 1711 was Lord Armadale's father.
7. ROBERT HONEYMAN (1767 - 1848) became a Captain in the Royal Navy and then an Admiral and was M.P. for Orkney 1796 1806.
8. JOSEPH HONEYMAN b1775 was a Midshipman in the Royal Navy.
Biographies of the generations of ministers can be found in Ecclesiae Scottica
Sir William Honeyman, Lord Armadale, 1756 - 1825
Notes on his parentage from Cheryl Anderson
I am grateful to Cheryl Anderson for contacting us about the comment [see David Partner's notes] that it is difficult to work out who lord Armadale's father was but that he was probably the son of Patrick Honeyman.
'Whilst she does not appear on the family tree on the site, I am descended from Janet Hon(e)yman, Lord Armadale's sister and according to the information within the family, Lord Armadale and Janet (and Admiral Honeyman - no name on the copy I have before me and he had a son and a grandson who were knighted) were the children of Margaret Mackay of Armadale (which would be Strathy) and Patrick Honeyman, Esquire of Graemsay. This is not to say they had no other children because as I say this copy is one my four times ago great-grandfather did in 1902 and it just follows the main lines. John Anderson - the father of William, who prepared the copy I am reading from at present - returned, in early childhood, to live with his grandmother, Janet Honeyman/Grieve, and speaks of a visit by Lord Armadale to his sister, who lived in Glasgow, "opposite the foot of Glassford Street".
Obviously none of this proves anything but it may add weight to the argument that his father was in fact Patrick not Robert.... In the version of the family tree from which I am working - which only follows the main lines and does not include all children - it has:
Andrew Honeyman (Bishop of Orkney) = Mary Stuart (Heiress of Graemsay) their son
Robert of Graemsay = Cecilia daughter of Patrick of Graham and their son
William Honeyman = "the daughter of Graham of Grimanesh", whose name is not listed on this copy -
Patrick being their son and William being Lord Armadale's, father.'
THE HONYMAN FAMILY
Notes copied from the Bible of Hannah Honyman (1799-1868), daughter of John Honyman (1771- 1823) and Sarah Bowditch
Additional notes: the text appears to be in three different hands,
We would like to thank Renaud Olgiati and his family for their generosity in sharing the information gathered from their great great grandmother's Bible with the website.
Robert Honyman & Cecilia Grahame were married at Sandwick April
OTHER HONEYMAN / HONYMAN FAMILIES
Bryan Marra of Australia is particularly interested in William Honeyman who was born in 1792.
Contact for more information:
See below for details of the family tree and William Honeyman in particular.
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM
Pam Chetland is interested in the Honeyman / Carron Ironworks connection.
My g-g-g-grandmother was a Margaret Honeyman b abt 1770. I have her parents as William Honeyman and Helen Bryce but this was based mainly on naming pattern as she died before death records came into being and have not found her on OPR deaths.