- Clan Name: Scott - septs including Buccleuch, Geddes, Laidlaw, Langlangs.
- Clan Motto: Amo - translated - I love.
- Clan Chief: His Grace Richard Walter John Montagu Douglas Scott, The 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of Queensberry, Marquess of Dumfriesshire, Earl of Buccleuch, Earl of Doncaster, Earl of Dalkeith, Earl of Drumlanrig and Sanquhar, Viscount of Nith, Torthorwald and Ross, Lord Scott of Buccleuch, Lord Scott of Whitchester and Eskdale, Baron Scott of Tindale, Lord Douglas of Kilmount, Middlebie and Dornock.
- Clan Castle:
- Clan Lands:
- Clan Tartan :
- Clan links : Clan Scott Society
- Clan links :
The origin of the clan with the name Scott is a bit confused due to the Scotti and Scotte, names which are recorded in the early 1100's also denoting Irish Celts and also later Gaels. The earliest, in my opinion, real and definite Scott is a Sir Richard Scott who, around 1210, married the daughter and heiress of Murthockstone and thus inherited her estates. Sir Richard was appointed ranger of Ettrick Forest which brought with it the lands of Rankilburn and Richard built his new home at Buccleuch.
Sir Richard died around 1320 and his son Sir Michael Scott took over as the second Laird of Buccleuch. Michael's reign was starting to see a bit more historical violence and being a strong supporter of Robert the Bruce and later of his son King David 2nd he took an active part. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333 at Berwick. This was otherwise a disastrous defeat for the Scottish which saw Lord Douglas with 14,000 men get mauled by the English archers. The fields were strewn with Scots bodies for 5 miles around, comprising Douglas himself, six Earls, seventy Barons, five hundred knights and 4,000 men. Michael was to finally meet his maker at the Battle of Neville's Cross at Durham in 1346.
He left 2 sons, Robert, the elder, who was to die in 1389 from wounds received at Otterburn; and John, who founded his own line resulting in the Lord's of Polwarth.
In the 1400's the 5th and 6th Lairds of Buccleuch were doing a bit of land consolidation, they bought half the lands at Branxholm in Selkirkshire and later swapped the estate at Murthockstone in Lanarkshire for the other half. They also supported the young King James 2nd and Crighton who were intent on reducing the power of Black Douglas and managed to accrue some Douglas lands as reward.
In 1525, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, who was stepfather to the teenage King James 5th, assumed custody and held him a virtual prisoner for three years until his escape, exercising power as regent on his behalf.
In July 1526 Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch led his men to try and free the young King, who was held at Darnick Tower. In the ensuing battle that took place against the Douglases and the Kerrs, the clan chief, Kerr of Cessford was killed. The rescue failed and for the next hundred years there was bad blood between the Kerrs and the Scotts. The Kerrs got their payback 26 years later when Sir Walter was on a visit to Edinburgh, he was caught on the High Street in 1552 and stabbed to death.
It wasn't until 1569, when Sir Thomas Kerr of Ferniehurst married Janet, daughter of Sir William Scott of Kirkurd and Buccleuch and sister of the 10th Laird that an uneasy truce was called.
Next in the timeline would be Mary Queen of Scots, who had a good following from the borders area. The 10th Laird was no exception, he was a keen follower until his death in 1574.
His young son Walter assumed the lairdship.
When Mary's son King James 6th of Scotland ascended to the English throne in 1603, one of his first missions was to pacify the Borders, where although the King ruled Scotland and England both countries were still separate states until the Acts of Union were drawn up and agreed in 1707. This was not to Walter's liking, he relished excitement and together with his son Walter the pair left for Holland. They both ended up commanding a regiment each for the Prince of Orange in his fight against the Spanish. Such was their standing, that on returning Walter was elevated to Lord Scott of Buccleuch in 1611 and the son was to be advanced to the title of Earl of Buccleuch in 1619.
The second Earl, Francis Scott, was a supporter of the National Covenant, which meant he sided with Cromwell in the Civil War, as he was opposed to the religious policies that King Charles 1st was bringing in. He led his clan to the Battle of Philiphaugh, in support of Sir David Leslie, it was fought on September 13 1645, near Selkirk. Their victory against the much weakened and vastly outnumbered Marquess of Montrose was a final nail in the coffin for King Charles 1st and his cause.
Francis died at the age of 25 years in 1651.
Survived by two daughters, Mary, the eldest, succeeded as Countess of Buccleuch at the age of four. By special dispensation from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, she was married to Walter Scott of Highchester at the age of 11. She died three years later.
This left her sister Ann at the age of ten. Inheriting a lot of property Ann was well sought after. King Charles 2nd courted her on behalf of his illegitimate son James, the Duke of Monmouth. In 1663, a deal was struck, Ann by now 14 years of age married James, who changed his name to Scott and the couple were showered with titles, among them Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.
James was to oppose his fathers catholic principals and led an unsuccessful rebellion against the King. He was caught, imprisoned and executed in 1685. His titles were stripped but luckily enough Ann as Duchess of Buccleuch had been awarded her titles as a separate person so was able to retain them.
Francis 2nd Duke of Buccleuch was Anne's grandson. He married Lady Jane Douglas, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Queensbury, who died 9 years later in 1729. He was to marry again at the age of 50 in 1744. Francis had one son with Lady Jane, he was also called Francis. Unfortunately the son died suddenly from smallpox at the age of 29, one year before his father.
The 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, Henry Scott, was Francis the second Duke's grandson. He was thrust into the limelight at the age of four having lost his father one year before in 1750. In 1767 Henry married Lady Elizabeth Montagu. Lady Montagu was to inherit the estates of the Marquis of Monthermer and Henry inherited the titles and lands of the Dukedom of Queensberry from his gran Lady Jane, this was to make him one of the richest men in Britain.
Probably the most internationally famous of the Scott's is Sir Walter Scott a 19th century novelist and poet. This Walter came from the Scotts of Harden line and his romantic tales and historic writings are even more popular today, nearly 200 years after his death.
The current Duke of Buccleuch is one of the largest landowners in Scotland and the art collections housed at the impressive mansions of Boughton, Bowhill and Drumlanrig are internationally renowned and include, Canaletto's Whitehall, Claude, Gainsborough, Raeburn, Reynolds, Ruysdael, Van Dyck and Wilkie.
Clan Castles and homes
Bowhill, 3 miles from Selkirk, is home to the Clan Chief, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, originally built in the 18th century and re-modeled in 1812. The house and estates are open to visitors during the summer.
Boughton House is known as the English Versailles, the estates extend to over 11,000 acres and it is located in Northamptonshire in England. In 1770 the Marquis of Monthermer died suddenly and without heir. The family's properties went to his sister Elizabeth, who was married to Henry the third Duke of Buccleuch, good catch Henry.
Branxholme Castle is three miles south of Hawick. There would have been some kind of fortification on the site before being purchased by the Scotts and just as surely soon after they bought the lands in 1420 they would have uprated the tower as it was then. It was burnt out during an English invasion in 1532. Repaired and strengthened it withstood the next English attack in 1547. It was blown up with gunpowder in 1570. It was rebuilt again during the years of 1571-1574 and this time it was a much larger and more serious affair, renowned for always keeping a large force of men battle ready with horses saddled up to go at a moments notice. In 1837 the castle was remodeled, still including the old tower but with the addition of an attached mansion more suitable to the quieter and more luxurious times.
Drumlanrig Castle is 17 miles north of Dumfries and part of the 120,000 acre Queensbury estate which came into the Scott family with Henry, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch's award of the Dukedom of Queensberry. This came about as his gran, Lady Jane (Douglas) Scott, inherited the estates on the death, without issue, of William Douglas the 4th Duke of Queensberry in 1810. The castle was re-built as a baroque style country mansion by William Douglas the 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1690 and thanks to good husbandry looks much as it did then.
Scotstarvit Tower is a 16th century L-plan tower, two miles south of Cupar in Fife. Bought by Sir John Scott in 1611, it was re-modeled by Sir John and his wife Anne Drummond in the 1620's to more or less how it looks today. It stands six stories high and is a formidable looking tower giving extensive views over the farmlands that surround it.
Although mostly concentrated around the Border region at that time there were Scotts from the same bloodlines dotted down the Fife coast and the distance of about 70 miles which separate the areas did not seem to have restricted Sir John who still managed to carry out his business in the Borders area.