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Clan Hamilton
Clan Hay
Clan Home




It is believed that the Hamilton family clan is derived from a Norman person called Walter Fitz Gilbert of Oh Hameldone. This family clan are mentioned in early Scottish history. And the Normans name appears in a charter to a Paisley monastery is recorded as being around 1294. The first lands seem to have been in the district of Renfrewshire, this area is said to have given to Scotland the old white Caledonian cattle so much loved by the Scots. There is no doubt that the Hamilton's fought at the battle of Bannockburn on the twenty-fourth of June 1314 when King Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated a vastly numerically superior English army commanded by Edward the second.

The Scots fought fiercely and sent King Edward fleeing over the border for his native soil. The family clan of the Hamilton 's were greatly rewarded for their service to Bruce and were given lands in Lanarkshire and the Lothian's, some of which had been taken from the Comyns. These lands included the place called Cadzow which was later to become the town of Hamilton .

The Bruce family and the Hamilton 's were to continue the closeness which had developed between them. Sir Walter Hamilton's son Sir David Hamilton was captured by the English after the battle of Neville's crossing in the year 1346 but he was in good company as the son of Bruce also called David the second being captured at the same time. Both were held until heavy ransoms had been paid to free them.

The families were to be tied even closer together by marriage. In the year of 1474 James the first lord Hamilton married Princess Mary, daughter of James the Third.

Mary gave birth to a son who would be created second Earl of Arran. This son would be heir to the throne of James the third and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Hamilton was made Regent of Scotland while the young Mary was still a child. He wanted to protect his claim to the throne so decided that his son would be better married to Mary when the time came. As the well known Burns saying goes ‘the best laid plans of mice and men' after all his scheming and plotting, Mary, married another, the heir to the French throne.

The fourth earl of Arran became chancellor of Scotland and Keeper of the both the hugely strategic castles in the realm, Edinburgh and Stirling . He was made Marques in the year 1599 and his brother became lord paisley in 1587 (later Lord Abercorn)

Into the seventeenth century and the Hamilton Family can seem to do no wrong.

The third marque was a great supporter of Charles the first and he was rewarded in the usual way in 1643 he was made a Duke which elevated Hamilton to the Premier peer in Scotland . Hamilton castle had to be demolished due to subsidence, so a new place was required as the family Seat

The fourteenth duke of Hamilton inherited his famous families sense of adventure and in the year1933 piloted the first ever aircraft over the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest .


Chief: Duke of Hamilton

Clan Seat : Cadzow Castle

Plant: Bay Leaves

Memorials: Hamilton Ducal Mausoleum

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The Hay family roots go back to the days of the Norman Conquest and the battle of Hastings in the year 1066. The Norman family which later became the Hay clan were of Royal descent. Their name was de Haya and the progenitor of the Hay family clan is one called William de Haya. This was about the year 1170 and there exists a record of a man of this name being granted a charter for some land in Errol, Perthshire.

Sir Gilbert Hay was a firm believer in the Independence of Scotland and was a great friend with that great Scottish patriot, Robert the Bruce who defeated the hugely numerically superior English army, commanded by Edward the second.

This happened at the battle of Bannockburn near the town of Stirling on the twenty-fourth of June 1314 . But Gilbert hay had been with the Bruce constantly from the start of his long campaign to free his country from the grip of English tyranny.

Sir Gilbert was rewarded with the lands of Slains in Aberdeenshire. The charter for these is dated twelfth of November 1314. Slains stands on a huge precipice facing the North Sea and it is a wild and beautiful place. This title that went with the property was a hereditary one and means that even in this modern day it would still hold good. The honour gives the holder precedence over every other hereditary honour except for an actual royal one.

The fourth Earl of Errol fell at the Battle of Flodden in the year 1513. There was Sir Gilbert Hay who founded a branch of the family clan. He had fought in France for Joan of Ark and through him were founded the Hays of Delgatie, who's castle near Turriff is now the Hay Clan Centre.

The Hay family did not hold with the reformation and tried to form a Catholic alliance. They paid dearly for this by having the magnificent Slains castle blown to bits personally by the King. The Castle at Slains has been in ruin ever since with only the ghosts from the past to remember its greatness.

The Hays were a realistic family and saw that to keep what they had they would change to the new way of living. They (the hay family clan) returned to Scotland and were soon back in royal favour.

The Hays were a Jacobite family and came ‘out' in all the Stuart struggles for truth, particularly in the years of 1715 and again in 1745. When the Jacobite army was beaten at the battle of Culloden in 1746 the Government wanted revenge on any who had been with or for them. Unfortunately for the Earl of Kilmarnock he was one of them and was beheaded for treason. His son was to succeed the title in 1758 when his aunt died. His name was James Boyd, and he changed his name to Hay and took the title as Chieftain of the Hay clan.

In the year of 1950 Diana Countess of Errol founded the Clan Hay Society which has branches throughout the world. Her son succeeded her in the year 1978.


Chief: Earl of Errol

Clan Seat: Mote of Errol, Perthshire; Old Slains Castle , Aberdeenshire

Plant : Mistletoe

Memorials: Inchaffray Abbey
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This family clan named Home are a very powerful border clan's people. Their progenitor is said to be Patrick, who was the second son of Gospatrick, Earl of Dunbar. The fourth earl of Dunbar was called Waldegrave and he had a cousin who married William a kinsman, and so through this union the lands of ‘Home' were offered as part of the bride's dowry. At the Battle of Homildon in the year of 1402, Sir Alexander Home of Dunbar was captured by his enemy, and ransomed. He was later killed at a battle in France in the year of 1424.

Sir Alexander Home left three sons and most of the principal family of Home are through these three men. The youngest son produced the Homes of Spott and the second son, the Homes of Tyninghame and Ninewells.

The oldest son carried on the family Home. His son, Sir Alexander's eldest grandson was awarded the title of Lord Home in the year of 1473, he also joined in the rebellion against James the third, which ended in the King being murdered. The second Lord Home was fortunate not to be caught up in the political intrigue of the time and went about his business quietly. He was appointed counsellor to the Queen Regent; however when the regency was turned over to the Duke of Albany the Homes fortunes began to suffer.

In October of the year 1516 Lord Home was executed along with his brothers but the titles were not taken from the family and a lesser known Home took control of the family. His name was George Home .

The politics of that great era in Scottish history was about plotting and planning scheming and intrigue. The Home family were involved in what went on to a large degree. They had supported Mary Queen of Scots in her marriage to Bothwell, and then fought against her at the Battle of Langside near the city of Glasgow in the year of 1568. Unfortunately for him he was arrested again and the charge was treason, as his health was so poor he was allowed to go free but died within a few days of his release.

The Home family were always changing direction in political moves, and trying to do the best for the Home family. When it came to the Jacobite cause of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century the Homes were an enigma. They appeared to support the cause in 1715 then one of the families had another arrested for treason. The 1745 struggle for truth was even worse for the Homes and they eventually settled for the Government side of the fence and actually fought against their fellow Scots just like the Campbells of Argyll.

The Home Family came to political prominence in the twentieth century, when Alexander Douglas Home gave up his hereditary peerage to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom . He became Sir Alexander Douglas Home . He called himself ; Lord Home of the Hirsel.


Chief: Earl of Home

Clan Seat: Home Castle , Berwickshire

Plant: Broom

Memorials: None


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© Crann Tara 2006