The Time of Lady Grisell Baillie
In 1725 the foundations were laid for a new mansion. George Baillie commissioned William Adam, the architect and father of more famous architect son Robert, completing the East and West Wings. For 40 years there was nothing between the two wings except perhaps the ruin of an old house in the process of demolition.
George Baillie died in 1738, leaving a widow and two daughters. His widow, Lady Grisell Baillie (as she was called after her father’s elevation to the peerage) was practical and organised. She kept strict accounts for her household, noting every expense for many years. A number of these fascinating volumes are collectively know as Lady Grisell’s Household Accounts’, and their contents offer us an insight into every aspect of daily life in an 18th century Scottish country house. Lady Grisell (1665 – 1746) is the most famous character in the whole Mellerstain story. She was beautiful and accomplished, a devoted wife and an excellent household manager.
Her two daughters, the elder named Grisell after her mother, the younger was called Rachel. Grisell became Lady Murray, a striking figure in London and Edinburgh society. Rachel married Charles, Lord Binning, eldest son of the Earl of Haddington.