Clan Scott
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Scott Clan Crest


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Scott Clan

Scott Clan Crest: A stag trippant.

Scott Clan Motto: Amo (I love).

History of Clan Scott:
This Clan of the Scottish Borders descends from Uchtredus filius Scoti, who lived in the reign of David I during the 12th century. Curiously, in Black's The Surnames of Scotland it is described as 'a surname commoner in Northumberland than in Scotland,' concluding that 'the great Border clan of Scott must have been settlers from beyond the Forth.'

Richard, son of Uchtredus, was ancestor of the Scotts of Buccleuch, and Michael, another son, was ancestor of the Scotts of Balweary. The Scotts of Scotstarvit, near Cupar, emerge in Fife towards the end of the 13th century.

Six Scotts rendered homage to Edward I of England in 1296, but in the ensuing Wars of Scottish Independence, Sir Michael Scott, 2nd Laird of Buccleuch, fought for Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333. Thereafter, the Clan became even more firmly entrenched in Liddesdale, exchanging lands in Lanarkshire for lands at Branxholm in Selkirkshire. In the 16th century, the Scotts could muster 600 men in battle from their stronghold of Branxholm Castle, near Hawick.

There were Scotts of Balweary, Scotts of Gala, and Scotts of Harden, the latter acquiring the Barony of Polwarth. From the last-named descended Sir Walter Scott, Scotland's greatest novelist, poet and patriot, who built the great country house of Abbotsford which serves as a shrine to his memory.

The Lordship of Scott of Buccleuch was created in 1606, and the earldom in 1619 for the 2nd Lord who had distinguished himself while in command of Scottish forces in the Netherlands.
Francis, the 2nd Earl opposed the National Covenant and, at the age of nineteen, led his men against the Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645.
 
Francis had two daughters who both succeeded him in turn, becoming countesses of Buccleuch in their own right. The second daughter married James, Duke of Monmouth, natural son of Charles II. On their marriage in 1663, they were created Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, each in their own right.

When the duke of Monmouth was subsequently executed for rebellion by his uncle, James VII, and the Monmouth title confiscated, the Duchess was able to retain the Buccleuch title to pass on to their eldest son. From this sad occasion springs the fortunes of the Scotts of Buccleuch. The Duchess Anne lived on until 1732, residing at Newark Castle on the Bowhill Estate, then at Dalkeith Palace, which she built in its present form around a previous Douglas Castle.

A later marriage linked the Buccleuchs with the powerful Douglas dukes of Queensberry and brought them Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire.  In 1767, the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch married Lady Elizabeth Montagu, only surviving daughter of George, Duke of Montagu, and thus the Boughton Estate in Northamptonshire, England, passed into the family.

Michael Scott (c1160- 1235), a legendary necromancer, is said to have made a pact with the Devil and to have split the Eildon Hills into three through magic. Alexander Scott (1525-84) was a celebrated pre-Reformation poet.  Sir John Scott of Scotstarvit (1585-1670) was a Director of Chancery who became a Lord of Session. A Covenanter, he wrote The Staggering State of Scots Statesmen (1754). Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was born in Edinburgh and practiced as a Lawyer, becoming Sheriff of Selkirk. He became an immensely successful novelist and wrote some of the most important works in Scottish literature.  John Scott (1783-1821) was editor of the London Magazine and was killed in a duel. David Scott (1806-49) was a distinguished painter of historical scenes. John Scott (1830-1903) was born in Greenock and became head of Clyde Shipbuilders. Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78) designed St Mary's Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.

Surname distribution: The Scott surname is widespread throughout the Scottish mainland and island groups. Areas with particularly high concentrations include Dundee City and Angus (Forfarshire), Highland (an amalgamation of the historic counties of Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross and Cromarty and Sutherland), Edinburgh City, the Lothians (Linlithgowshire, Edinburghshire and Haddingtonshire), Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire) and the Scottish Borders (Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire.

Places of Interest:
Bowhill, Selkirk. Ancestral home of the dukes of Buccleuch. The house and garden are open to the public during the summer months.

Newark Castle, Selkirk. Ancient seat of the Scotts of Buccleuch.

Dalkeith Palace, Dalkeith, Midlothian. The original Clan Douglas castle dated from 12th century. It was acquired by the Scotts of Buccleuch and rebuilt in the 16th and 18th centuries.

Abbotsford, Melrose, Roxburghshire. The home of Sir Walter Scott, poet, patriot and novelist.

Bellenden, Roxburghshire. Located near the head of the Ale Water, this is the ancient gathering ground of the Scotts.

Branxholm Castle, Hawick. Ancient seat of the Scotts of Buccleuch.  Burnt down in 1532 by the Earl of Northumberland, and blown up with gunpowder in 1570,  its successor was commenced in 1571 by its owner Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, and completed in 1574 by his widow.

Harden, Hawick. The seat and private home of Lord Polwarth.

Associated family names (Septs): Buccleuch, Geddes, Harden, Laidlaw, Langlands.

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