Buchan Crest: The sun shining upon a sunflower.
Buchan Clan Motto: Non Inferiora Secutus
(Following not the inferior).
Buchan Clan History:
The name originates from the old district of
Buchan in the North East of Grampian Region. This is an area which
stretched from the River Don to the River Deveron, and the earliest
record of the name in the vicinity is Ricardus de Buchan, clerk of the
Bishopric of Aberdeen (c.1207-08).
This territory was once the fiefdom of the Pictish
mormaers of Buchan who emerged in the 12th century as earls of Buchan,
a title held by the Comyn family until it was confiscated by Robert the
Bruce. In c.1342, the earldom was conferred on Bruce's
great-grandson, Alexander Stewart, better known as the Wolf of
Badenoch. After Alexander's death in 1406, the title reverted
to the Crown and was allocated to various Royal relatives in turn until
being settled by James III on his half-uncle, James Stewart, second son
of Sir James Stewart, "the Black Knight of Lorne," by Joan Beaufort,
the King's grandmother. With the death of the 5th Earl of Buchan in
1601, the title passed, in the old Celtic tradition of inheritance,
through the female line and it is currently held by the Erskine
The Buchan chief retains the ancient barony of
Auchmacoy, near Ellon, in Aberdeenshire. Andrew Buchan of Auchmakwy was
among those named on an assize appointed to settle a boundary dispute
in 1446, but it was not until 1503 that he received a charter for the
lands of Auchmacoy from James IV.
The Buchanís of Auchmacoy were staunch supporters
of the Royal House of Stuart. When James VIII and II was
deposed by William of Orange. Thomas, third son of James Buchan of
Auchmacoy, served the exiled King's cause under John Graham of
Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee. When Dundee died at the Battle of
Killiecrankie in 1689, James appointed Buchan commander-in-chief of all
Jacobite forces in Scotland.
The John Buchan Centre, Broughton, Peeblesshire. The author John Buchan
spent much of his childhood at Broughton Green, the farm owned by his
In 1690, he attempted to rally those Highland chiefs sympathetic to the
Jacobite cause at Keppoch, but found them reluctant to mobilise until
the following year. The ensuing confrontations with Government troops
under General Hugh Mackay of Scourie were therefore ineffective and led
to his exile in France. He was back in Scotland again with the Earl of
Mar for the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, still fighting the cause of
the exiled British Royal Family. He died in 1721.
In 1830, James Buchan, 14th Baron of Auchmacoy, was recognised by the
Lord Lyon as Chief of the Name of Buchan. The title passed through his
only daughter to her cousin, Sir Norman Sinclair, 18th Earl of
Caithness, who, in 1913, took the surname and arms of Buchan of
Auchmacoy. These passed to his eldest daughter, and in 1949,
his grandson, having changed his surname to Buchan, was confirmed as
Chief of the Buchans.
Alexander Buchan (1829-1907) was an eminent British meteorologist who
established the weather map as the basis for weather
forecasting. The best known Buchan internationally, however,
remains John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875-1940), a clergyman's
son born in Perthshire. He became a British Member of Parliament from
1927 until 1935. and subsequently served as Governor General of Canada.
Locations associated with the Buchan surname:
Earl's Mount, Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Site of mediaeval motte where
justice was administered by the earls of Buchan.
Auchmacoy, near Ellon in Aberdeenshire. Buchan Chief holds the Barony.
Clan Buchan membership certificates.