Ayrshire Clans



Ayrshire Clans

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 for himself.

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 Scotland.

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 1329.

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 IV.

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 Century.