The name comes from lands
in Lanarkshire which were granted to Sir James Douglas in 1321, and by his
nephew to Sir
John Carmichael between 1374 and 1384.
James Carmichael (1579-1672) was created Lord Carmichael by King Charles I in 1647. His
grandson, John (1672-1710), who was Secretary of State for Scotland (1696-1707) and
Chancellor of Glasgow University, was made Earl of Hyndford in 1701. Richard Carmichael of
Carmichael (b.1948), the present chief, has done a great deal to revitalise the Carmichael
CARMICHAEL: The name comes from the lands of Carmichael in Upper Lanarkshire which were granted to the Douglases in 1321 by King Robert Bruce. Between 1374 and 1384 William, Earl of Douglas, re-granted these lands to the Carmichaels and its feudal barony was confirmed in 1414. They were strong supporters of the Douglases during their struggles for ascendency, and were with them at Otterburn in 1388 when the Scots defeated Henry 'Hotspur', Earl of Northumberland. They were part of the Scottish Army sent to aid the French against English invasion, and at Beauge in 1421, so tradition relates, Sir John Carmichael unseated the English commander, Clarence, in so doing broking his spear. This event, according to tradition, gained the Carmichaels their crest of a broken spear. Katherine, daughter of Carmichael of Meadowflat, became a mistress of the King James V and bore him a son who thus became half-brother to the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots. In 1546 Peter Carmichael of Balmedie was one of the murderers of the infamous Cardinal Beaton, and for his crime was sent to the 'galleys' where he shared pennance with John Knox, 'father' of Protestantism in Scotland. In 1647 Sir James Carmichael became Lord Carmichael and his son became Earl of Hyndford in 1701. The principle family became allied to the Anstruthers by the marriage of Lady Margaret, daughter of the 2nd Earl, to Sir John Anstruther whose descendants inherited the Carmichael lands on the death of the 6th Earl of Hyndford in 1817. This family then took the name Carmichael -
Anstruther which they continued until the succession of the present chief who resumed the family name in 1980. Cadet families included those of Meadowflat in Lanarkshire and Balmedie in Fife. Many Carmichaels in Galloway became 'MacMichaels', and in Argyll some MacMichaels became 'Carmichaels', and it is this latter race only who are allied with the Appin Stewarts.