Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Clan Logan

Clan Chief:            No current chief, considered an Armigerous clan.
Origin of Name:    Placename, Lothians
Gaelic Name:        Loganaich
Clan Crest             A passion-nail piercing a man's heart
Clan Motto:           Hoc Majorum Virtus (This is the valour of my ancestors).
Lands:                    Drumderfit in Easter Ross, Black Isle in Ross-shire.
The Logan name resounds down through the pages of Scotland’s history for over nine hundred years. The first to appear in the old records was Robert Logan who, as a man of some importance, witnessed several documents by King William the Lion between 1196 and 1214. Several other Logans, under duress, signed an oath of fealty to King Edward of England, but then fought against him on the side of William Wallace and later for King Robert Bruce.  King Robert, with the help of the Logans defeated the English forces and, culminating in the Battle of Bannockburn, expelled them from Scotland. During this time, the estate of Restalrig, upon which the town and major port of Leith stands, became the possession of the Logans.
King Robert had wished to visit the Holy Land but died before realising his desire. To achieve this, Sir Robert and Sir Walter Logan accompanied Sir James Douglas (the Black Douglas) and a group of other Scottish knights in an expedition to bury the heart of their King in the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Whilst on passage through Spain, the Spanish king asked for their assistance in a coming battle against the Arabs who were in possession of a large part of Spain. Upon the Plains of Granada, the battle hardened and aggressive Scots led the charge into the larger army of the Arabs and almost caused a rout of the enemy but the rest of the Spanish army held back and would not follow. With the whole of the enemy army now surrounding them, Douglas threw the silver casket containing King Robert the Bruce’s heart far into the enemy. The Logans and the rest of the Scots knights charged into the ring of Moorish spears after their King. The Black Douglas was cut down and Sir Robert and Sir Walter fell beside him. The Crest of the Logan Clan is a human heart pierced with a passion nail and their motto is “Hoc Majorum Virtus”  meaning “This is the valour of my ancestors”. A fitting, emotive Crest and Motto for the Logan Family
One of the great Logans was another Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, who married the Granddaughter of King Robert Bruce and gave his descendants a direct line back to the greatest of the Royal lines of Scotland. He increased the landholdings by adding estates in Berwickshire, Ayrshire, Perthshire, Renfrewshire and Aberdeen. He also held the Barony of Abernethy in Strathspey.
Almost two hundred years later, in 1608, The Laird of Restalrig, another Sir Robert Logan, although dead for two years was accused of plotting against King James the Sixth, found guilty and the Logan lands were seized by the Crown. The name Logan itself was even banned for a time and the family dispersed. Many of the Logan name, of course, again rose to prominence, such as James Logan, who accompanied Penn to Pennsylvania in 1699 and rose to become governor of the Colony.
The Clan Logan crest shows a passion-nail piercing a man's heart and the proud Logan clan motto "Hoc Majorum Virtus" meaning "This is the valour of my ancestors".

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Clan Cunningham


For over 200 years our Clan, Clan Cunningham has been without a Clan Chief. This past week The Lord Lyon King of Arms for Scotland named Sir John Montgomery Cuninghame of that Ilk, Baronet Corsehill the rightful Head & Chief of Clan Cunningham. Clan Cunningham International welcomes Sir John as the Head of Clan Cunningham.            
Last Clan Chief:        John Cunningham, the 14th Earl of Glencairn,
                             died without issue in 1796.
Gaelic Name:            Cuinneag 
Origin of name:        Placename, Ayrshire.
Clan Crest:                A Unicorn's head.
Clan Motto:               Over Fork Over.
Clan seat:                 Caprington Castle, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
The Clan Cunningham motto, "over fork over", refers to a story of Malcolm  Canmore, the prince of Scotland, who was fleeing from the soldiers of King Macbeth.  Whilst trying to escape, Malcolm came upon a hay farmer who is said to have buried him "Over, fork over" with hay, to hide him.  This may seem like an insignificant thing to base a Clan motto upon, but with his succession to the throne King Malcolm 111 effectively bestowed the Cunningham area in the Ayrshire region to the young hay farmer. The farmers name was Malcolm Friskin, and although he did not take up the name of Cunningham himself, it was adopted by further generations of the family.
Further land was given to Clan Cunningham by Robert the Bruce for their support of him during his rising to King, the new land was mostly what is now known a Lumberton in 1319.  The Clan Cunningham spread further still, through marriages between the Cunningham Clan and other families, to what it is today.
The last Chief of Clan Cunningham, John Cunningham,15th Earl of Glencairn died on September 29th, 1796, leaving no heirs. In 2003, restoration and a new monument of a carving of the Clencairn Arms,was comissioned from the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and erected at the church located just below Edinburgh Castle, adjacent to the Princess Gardens. Thus creating a wonderful focal point for Cunningham clansmen lucky enough to be visiting Edinburgh.
The Clan Cunningham Crest is adorned with a unicorn. In ancient tradition the unicorn is meant to represent "extreme courage, strength and virtue"  and Clan Cunningham has been blessed with a number of talented members who fit this description.  These have included Alexander Cunningham a famed historical writer; Charles Cunningham, an artist, whose work which still hang today in the Hermitage Palace in St Petersburg and in Berlin; and Alan Cunningham, a poet and writer who during his life enjoyed fame and upon his death a song was dedicated to him by Robert Burns. 
"The mother may forget the child that smiles sae sweetly on her knee:
But I'll remember thee, Glencairn, and a' that thou hast done for me."
His work was also supported by Sir Walter Scott who provided for his two sons after his death in 1828.
The Cunningham Clan Crest shows a Unicorn’s head and the proud Cunningham clan motto "Over fork over"

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Inveraray Castle

Located in western Scotland, on the original site of Inveraray village, Inveraray Castle is the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell.

 It was commissioned in 1746, by Archibald Campbell, who had the village of Inveraray demolished and rebuilt, so it would not spoil the castle view.

Inveraray Castle incorporates multiple styles, including Gothic, Baroque and Palladian, featuring a square layout with four round towers at its corners, topped by conical spires.
It is  surrounded by a 2-acre garden and a huge, 14-acre park. Inveraray is now the home of Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll and opened for visitors during the summer season (April-October). 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Ramsay Clan Crest

Clan Chief:           James Ramsay, 17th Earl of Dalhousie, Banff
Origin of Name:    Ramsaidh derived from The French name de ramesie.
Gaelic Name:       Ramsaidh (Ramsay)
Clan Crest:            A Unicorn's head
Clan Motto:           Ora et Labora (Pray and work).
Lands:                   Banff

The Ramsay Clan Crest is a Unicorn's head and the proud Ramsay clan motto, “Ora et Labora” meaning (Pray and work).The Ramsays are of noble blood, descending from a powerful Norman family who were courted to settle in Scotland by King David I. The King's esteem for the Ramsays is evidenced in his grant of lands in Midlothian to Symon de Ramesie after 1124. The Clan Ramsay flourished on their lands, and gained further royal favour through their resolute support of the Scottish Crown. 
The Ramsays supported the great Robert the Bruce in his quest to free Scotland from the shackles of the English overlords. Following the Scottish victory at Bannockburn in 1314, the Ramsays continued to champion the Scottish cause. One of Scotland's most historic documents, the Declaration of Arbroath, which affirms Scotland's independence, contains the signature of William Ramsay. His son, Alexander, a renowned knight, was made Sheriff of Teviotdale in 1342, until his position was usurped by powerful rival factions. Clan Ramsay was never hesitant to bear arms in defence of their homeland. The Ramsays defended their Dalhousie Castle against the massed troops of Henry IV of England so stoutly that the English were forced to abandon the siege and withdraw in 1400. In 1493, Alexander Ramsay laid down his life beside his monarch, James IV, fighting the English at the Battle of Flodden. However, the Clan's deeds were not simply limited to their bravery on the battlefield.
The Ramsays foiled an attempt on the life of James VI, when John Ramsay slayed the Earl of Gowrie and his brother as they endeavoured to kidnap the King. Such gallantry met with great rewards. The grateful sovereign bestowed John with the titles of Earl of Holderness and Viscount Haddington. His elder brother, George, was created Lord Ramsay in 1618. George's eldest son, William, was granted the Earldom of Dalhousie in 1633. The Ramsays were always prominent in the affairs of Scotland, holding important military and civil positions. Ramsays were involved in most of the great campaigns of the 18th and 19th Centuries, fighting in Europe, Canada and India. The 9th Earl acted as Governor of Canada from 1819 to 1828, and then was appointed as Commander-in-Chief of India. His son followed proudly in his footsteps, serving as Governor-General of India from 1847 to 1856. 
Clan Ramsay has also given rise to some great intellectuals and artists, including the 18th Century poet Alan Ramsay and his son, a celebrated portrait painter. 
The Chief of Clan Ramsay is the 17th Earl of Dalhousie, James Ramsay and the chief seat is Brechin Castle in Angus. Dalhousie Castle is still intact, and is now a hotel.
The Ramsay Clan Crest is a Unicorn's head and the proud Ramsay clan motto, “Ora et Labora” meaning (Pray and work).

Monday, 23 September 2013

Clan Matheson

Clan Chief:            Sir Fergus John Matheson of Matheson,
                         7th Baronet of Lochalsh.
Origin of Name:    Bear's son
Gaelic Name:        MacMathain, [Son of the bear)
Clan Crest:           An arm rising from an antique crown
                         brandishing a curved sword
Clan Motto:           Fac et spera (Do and hope)
Lands:                    Lochalsh, Sutherland
Of the many beasts which wander this earth, few represent the virtues of strength and courage to greater effect than the great bear, a creature which has awed humanity from the earliest times. It is little wonder that the Clan Matheson's name is derived from this noble animal, from the Gaelic Mac Mhathghamhuin, meaning "son of the bear". This is a proud origin, with the name being synonymous with "son of the heroes", suggesting that the great deeds of later Mathesons had been matched by their earliest ancestors. Indeed, Cormac Macmaghan is remembered in the 13th Century as a leader of Alexander III's army, marching against the Viking strongholds in Western Scotland. In 1262, the Scottish army crossed the water to the Isle of Skye, in an early effort to break the power of the Norsemen. The following year the campaign came to fruition when the Scots defeated King Haakon's army at the Battle of Largs, driving the Norsemen from Scotland's bonny shores. 

Clan Matheson were favoured by the powerful Celtic Earls of Ross, with whom they had fought the Vikings, and were granted lands in Lochalsh, Lochcarron and Kintail. Clan Matheson's lands were set amid the rugged splendour of Scotland's western seaboard, an area immortalised in the song and verse of the nation's bards.
The Mathesons were closely allied with the Lords of the Isles, who ruled this part of Scotland almost as an independent kingdom until the mid15th Century. The Mathesons fought for Donald, Lord of the Isles, at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, flexing the renowned Matheson muscle for the sake of their alliance. The strength of the Clan Matheson was well known, with the Matheson chief being able to summon two thousand stout-hearted warriors on a whim. However, the Mathesons were faced with difficult circumstances after the fall of the Lords of the Isles, when they became pressured between the feuding factions of their two most powerful neighbours, the MacDonalds and the MacKenzies. The Mathesons met these turbulent times with some finesse, managing to persevere through all manner of challenging situations. 
By the mid16th Century, Iain Dubh of Clan Matheson was the constable of the mighty MacKenzie stronghold of Eilean Donan Castle, famed for its picturesque setting on a rocky inlet at the meeting place of the three lochs of Alsh, Duich and Long. With characteristic courage, Iain Dubh laid down his life defending this castle, in the year 1539. The Clan Matheson were by no means renowned just for their adventurous spirit, but for their significant achievements in other areas of Scottish and world history. From the earliest times Mathesons were involved in the affairs of Scotland, with Dougal Matheson, Prior of Beauly, sitting in Scotland's Parliament during the early 16th Century. This tradition of greatness was continued down through the generations and by 19th Century, James and Alexander Matheson had established the great Far Eastern trading company of Jardine Matheson. This company was enormously successful, and with the Mathesons' considerable wealth, bought up large parts of land in western Scotland, including most of the Isle of Lewis and nearly 220,000 acres of Ross-shire. Alexander was made the baronet of Lochalsh in 1882. 
The chief is Sir Fergus John Matheson of Matheson, 7th Baronet of Lochalsh, resides in Norfolk.
The Matheson Clan Crest is an arm rising from an antique crown brandishing a curved sword in a horizontal position and the proud Matheson clan motto, “Fac et spera’’ meaning (Do and hope).

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Clan Donald

Clan Chief:          Godfrey James Macdonald,of Macdonald - 
                        34th Chief of Clan Donald.
Origin of Name:  Domhnull (world ruler)
Gaelic Name:      MacDhomhnuill
Clan Crest:          A crown from which a hand in armour
                        is holding a cross
Clan Motto:       Per Mare Per Terras (By sea and by land).
Lands:                 The Western Isles

Clan Donald, is the largest and most powerful of all the Highland clans and their influence has assured them a major position in the history of Scotland. The Clan dominated all of the Isles and large areas of Western Scotland which, for centuries, they ruled like an independent kingdom under their Chief, The Lord of the Isles. With the unswerving loyalty of the other Clans in their Highland confederation - such as the MacFies, MacKinnons, MacLeans, Macleods, MacNeils and the MacQuarries the Clan progressed from strength to strength. Such was the success of their fleets and their armed power that they were looked upon as a threat to the Crown of Scotland itself. By the end of the fourteenth century, their expansion had been curtailed but they remained a dominant force in Scotland.
The Clan is descended from Somerled of the Isles, the great Scottish warrior lord and gifted leader, who, in the 12th Century, sailed from his base in the Isle of Skye against the Norsemen and ousted them from the Western mainland and the Isles. The Clan inherited its name from Somerled’s grandson, Donald of Islay. The motto of the Clan is "Per mare per terras" -"By sea and by land" - referring to the power of the MacDonalds on both the land and the Western Seas.
Scotland’s Highlanders have long been renowned for their fierce fighting nature and the MacDonalds have well proven their highland blood. From the victory in 1314 over the English at the battle Bannockburn and the rebellion of 1745, when the Clan was the first to rally to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s standard, the MacDonald’s willingness to fight for Scotland has been well demonstrated. This tradition of Somerled has continued, with many Generals and soldiers of renown carrying the Clan name. One notable, Flora MacDonald, risked her life to help Prince Charles escape, emigrated to America and later raised a company of Highlanders there to fight during their War of Independence.
The current chief of Clan Donald is Godfrey Macdonald, 8th Baron Macdonald of Macdonald and 34th Chief of Clan Donald. He resides on the Isle of Skye, Ostaig House, near to the Clan’s ancient stronghold, Armadale Castle.
 The MacDonald Clan Crest is a crown from which a hand in armour is holding a cross and the proud Clan MacDonald motto "Per Mare Per Terras" means (By sea and by land).

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Clan Lindsay

Clan Chief:            29th Chief, the Earl of Crawford lives in Balcarres in Fife.
Origin of Name:    Derived from placename "Lincoln's Island" in England
Gaelic Name:         MacGhille Fhionntaig
Clan Crest:            A swan rising out of a coronet
Clan Motto:            Endure fort (Endure boldly).
Lands:                     Borders, Angus

The Lindsays are a Clan of distinction, coming to prominence in Scotland during the 11th Century and remaining in an honoured position throughout the nation’s proud history. The Lindsays were a powerful Norman family, coming to England with William the Conqueror after he assumed the English throne. The Lindsays were invited to Scotland by David I, and Sir Walter de Lindesay, noted as "noble and knight", was a close companion of the young King. The Clan soon rose in strength, and Walter’s great grandson, Sir William de Lindesay, the Baron of Luffness, was a member of the 1164 Parliament and held the title of Justiciar of East Lothian. The Clan possessed the lands of Crawford in Lanarkshire, and later acquired Glenesk in Angus through David Lindsay’s marriage to the heiress of the Earldom of Angus in 1340. The Lindsays continued to be an honoured Clan, and by 1256 Sir David Lindsay was the High Chamberlain of Scotland. Sir David later accompanied Louis of France on the Crusade to the Holy Land, where he died in 1268.
Clan Lindsay’s name has always been linked to bold acts of gallantry performed for the sake of Scotland. Sir David’s son Alexander was a steadfast companion of the great William Wallace in his campaigns for the independence of Scotland. This commitment to a free Scotland was shared by Alexander’s son David, who was one of the barons to petition the Pope with the Declaration of Arbroath, asserting their nation’s independence. Another Sir David de Lindsay entered a tournament at London Bridge in 1390, where he soundly defeated Richard II’s English champion. Sir David unhorsed the Englishman, but chose to spare his opponent’s life, an act which earned him the admiration of the English king. In 1398, Sir David was created the Earl of Crawford, later becoming the High Admiral of Scotland and ambassador to England. The Lindsays continued to enjoy royal favour, with the 5th Earl becoming successively Lord High Admiral of Scotland, Master of the Royal Household, Lord Chamberlain& High Justiciary.
The Lindsays’ support for the Stuart kings of Scotland was not without its costs, and the Clan often made great sacrifices for their monarches. The 6th Earl was slain at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, laying his life down on the battlefield next to his king, James IV of Scotland. Clan Lindsay fought beside Charles I against Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead army during the devastating 16th Century Civil War. This committment of the House of Stuart continued to their support for the Jacobite cause and the campaign for the Stuart’s rightful restoration to the British throne. Colin, 3rd Earl of Balcarres, fought in the unsuccessful 1715 Rising but was so respected that he escaped any punishment. The Clan Lindsay crest is a swan rising out of a coronet and the proud Lindsay clan motto reads "Endure fort" meaning "Endure with strength".
The 29th Chief, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, is the Premier Earl of Scotland, and resides at Balcarres in the district of Fife, Scotland.
The Clan Lindsay crest is a swan rising out of a coronet and the proud Lindsay clan motto reads "Endure fort" meaning "Endure boldly".