Menstrie Castle was built c1560 as a manor house by the Alexander family. It was the birthplace of Sir William Alexander, who had an illustrious career during the reign of James VI and I, becoming Principal Secretary of State for Scotland in 1626. In 1621 he began to establish a new colony called Nova Scotia, but the scheme failed and Sir William lost money. Nonetheless, he improved Menstrie Castle and his town house in Stirling (Argyll’s Lodging) in 1633, when he was invested 1st Earl of Stirling and Viscount Canada. In 1640, however, he died a bankrupt in London.
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