Left is a list of the most prominent Clans
in Ayrshire. Each page has information and
images of their castles.
Below is a list of events through history
that were influential in the way Scottish Clans
gained or lost their power.
1018, victory for King Malcolm II of
Scotland at the Battle of Carham (Northern
England) against the Northern English defined
the Kingdom of Scotland’s borders to
roughly what is seen today. The Scots made a
few attempts over the following years to
capture lands in Northern England but failed to
hold on to them.
1263 1st October, the forces of King
Alexander III of Scotland crushed the forces of
the Norwegian King Haakon at the Battle of
Largs. The Vikings had been raiding the Western
Isles and west coast of Scotland for over 400
years. The Battle of Largs saw the Vikings
forced out of Scotland forever.
1286, the death of King Alexander III of
Scotland and that of his sole heir the four
year old Princess Margaret (Maid of Norway)
four years later, led to the mighty English
King Edward I (Longshanks) sending his forces
into Scotland with a view of gaining control
1292, John Balliol chosen by the Scottish
Nobles as their King began his unsuccessful
quest to remove the English from Scotland.
Edward imprisoned Balliol in the Tower of
London until his release in 1299. Balliol then
moved to France where he lived on his estates
until his death.
1297 11th September, William Wallace lead
15,000 Scottish rebels against an English army,
50,000 strong, on route to Stirling Castle at
Stirling Bridge. Wallace’s victory saw
him rewarded with the title Guardian of
1298, William Wallace’s army is
crushed by a massif English army led by Edward
I at Falkirk. Wallace escaped with his life
only to be captured at Glasgow August 5th 1305
and executed in London August 23rd 1305.
1314 June 23rd, a Scottish army led by
Robert the Bruce confronts an English army led
by King Edward II (son of Edward 1 who died in
July 1307) at Bannockburn, Stirlingshire.
Bruce’s victory saw the English flee
towards their strongholds and eventually out of
Scotland altogether. After a further 14 years
of war, the treaty of Edinburgh was signed
March 17th 1328, this allowing Bruce to become
king of an independent Scotland. Bruce died at
Cardross, probably from leprosy June 7th
1371, the death of Bruce’s son David
II without leaving an heir led to the crowning
of Robert the Bruce’s grandson Robert II
(Stewart) this beginning the house of Stuart
that eventually ruled Scotland and England.
1488, the unpopular King James III (Stuart)
is killed at the battle of Sauchieburn by the
army of his son James who became King James
1513 9th September, Battle of Flodden Moor,
Northuberland England, between the armies of
James IV (Stuart) of Scotland and King Henry
VIII (Tudor) of England. Henry provoked the
Scottish attack as his forces had been
plundering Scottish ships travelling between
Scotland and France. Scotland’s losses in
the battle were high including the king himself
and many nobles.
1530s, King Henry VIII of England (Tudor)
steers England towards Protestantism. The
German monk Martin Luther’s ideas that
the Christian Catholic religion centred on the
Pope in Rome should be reformed. Luther’s
preaching’s lead to the split of the
Christian religion into Catholic and
Protestant. The Protestant religion appealed to
Henry as money raised by English churches would
then go to him instead of the Pope. Other
advantages of Protestantism were divorce was
then legal and clerics could marry. Hundreds of
thousands of British died and were forced to
emigrate over the following two century’s
fighting over the two religions.
1542, King James V (Stuart) of Scotland died
one week after the birth of his sole heir Mary.
The death of James V lead to Henry VIII of
England sending troops into Scotland on raids
to put pressure on the Scots to have Mary
married to his son Edward. Mary was moved to
safety in France 1548. She eventually married a
French prince and became Queen of France. After
the death of her husband followed by the death
of her mother in 1560 who had been leading
Scotland in her absence, Mary returned to
Scotland where she took on the title Mary Queen
of Scots. These were dangerous times as
Scotland and England were at that time torn
between the Catholic and Protestant religions.
Catholics in Scotland, England and France
claimed the protestant Queen Elizabeth I(Tudor)
of England since 1558 should be replaced by the
catholic Mary who had claims to the English
throne, as she was the granddaughter of
Margaret Tudor. Battles that raged at that time
ended with Mary imprisoned by Elizabeth’s
forces and eventually executed in 1587. In a
twist of fate, the death of Queen Elizabeth in
1603 without leaving an heir saw Mary Queen of
Scots son James VI of Scotland declared King of
England and Scotland.
1642, Charles I (Stuart) of England &
Scotland finds himself embroiled in the English
Civil War. His attempts to force a new prayer
book on the Scots and take little notice of the
English Parliament led to the war. The
parliamentarians (Roundheads) led by Oliver
Cromwell eventually defeated the Monarchy
(Cavaliers) in 1649, Charles was beheaded soon
after. Cromwell then ruled England &
Scotland as Lord Protector till his death in
1658. The death of Cromwell’s son the
following year saw the Stuart’s returned
to the throne.
1560, the Scottish Parliament passed an Act,
abolishing the Roman Catholic Church within the
realm, this seeing most of the Abbey's in
Scotland destroyed and their stonework carried
of for the construction of other buildings.
1707, Queen Anne (Stuart) presides over the
Union of the parliaments of Scotland and
England. The parliaments then become known as
the Parliament of Great Britain.
1714, the death of the protestant Queen Anne
(Stuart) without leaving an heir lead to George
I (Hanover) taking over the throne of Great
Britain. This was a last request of Queen Anne
to stop her exiled Catholic brother, James the
old Pretender, from gaining control. George was
the son of the Electress Sophia of Hanover
/Germany who was a granddaughter of King James
I of England. With George being a protestant
German chosen before decendants of the catholic
Stuart’s that had a greater claim to the
throne, the Stuart’s began disputing his
right to be king.
1715, the sixth Earl of Mar (John Erskin)
declared himself for James Francis Stuart (the
Old Pretender) and set out with his forces in
an attempt to meet up with English forces also
inspired to have King George I overthrown in
favour of James Stuart. That attempt scuppered
by Hanoverian supporters became known as the
first Jacobite Rising.
1719, Battle of Glenshiel ends with another
defeat of the Jacobites by the Hanovarians.
1745 September 19th, Battle of Prestonpans
led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie
Prince Charlie) defeats Sir John Cope to
achieve the first Jacobite victory.
1746 January 17th, Jacobites defeat English
government troops at Falkirk.
1746 April 16th, the Battle of Culloden Moor
near Inverness ends within one hour with the
defeat of the Jacobites and the fleeing of
Bonnie Prince Charlie to France. The final
battle was fought.
1837-1901, Queen Victoria (Hanover) rules
Britain with her offspring marrying throughout
Europe. Her marriage to Prince Albert (son of
Ernest Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha,
Germany) results in a family of 9 children and
40 grandchildren. The first child, Victoria
Adelaide, married Frederick III, German
Emperor, with their son becoming Kaiser Wilhelm
II, World War I era. Their second child, Edward
VII, ruled Britain under his fathers title
Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, with his son becoming
George V of Britain, World War I era. Their
third child, Princess Alice, married the German
Louis IV of Hesse, Grand Duke, with their
daughter Princess Alexandria marrying Csar
Nicholas II of Russia, World War I era.
1917, in the midst of World War One, King
George V of Britain adopts the name House of
Windsor for the royalty, this distancing them
from their German relations. As the war came to
an end, George’s cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II
of Germany was forced to abdicate and move to
Holland. George’s other cousin, Czar
Nicholas II of Russia, was forced to abdicate
in 1917 by the Bolshevik Revolution. The Czar,
Princess Alexandria and their family were shot
by the Bolshevik’s July 16th 1918. The
House of Windsor survived the war to go on as
Britain’s monarchs into the 21st