In papers relating to the Kings Inquisition, a Court of Law held in the King’s presence in 1116 we find mention of Willielmo Venator, William the Hunter, the first Laird, Royal Huntsman to the Kings and Queens of Scotland. There is a family legend that says the Lady of the first Laird had the honour of serving Queen Matilda as lady-in-waiting.
William the Hunter soon put his expertise to good use in the wild forests and fens of Hunterston, then rich in wildlife, which surrounded the site of the timber fortress. This became Hunter’s Toun, a village and port on the peninsula where Hunterston has always been. As recognition of his family’s skills, the title of Praefectus Venatorus Regis – Royal Huntsman, became a hereditary appointment.