The name Bannerman can be traced back to the late 11th
century during the reign of Malcolm III or Alexander I. The King is said to have arrived
at the River Spey where a large enemy force had gathered on the opposite bank, and
believing themselves protected by the raising flood. The King was urged by his advisors
not to cross the river until it fell but he was angered by the sight of the enemy and
unable to restrain himself, drove his horse into the water, Sir Alexander Carron seeing
his masters danger, seized up the royal standard and braved the raging waters, followed by
the rest of the Scottish army. The rebels were put to flight and Carron was rewarded for
his audacity by being named hereditary Standard Bearer to the King. His descendants still
bear the privilege and carry the Scottish royal banner at appropriate ceremonies.
June 1367 David II granted land to Donald Bannerman Clyntrees, Waterton and
Weltown in the Parish of Ellon in Aberdeenshire. The Bannermans were required to build a
chapel where weekly mass was to be said for the repose
of the soul of the Kings father,
Robert the Bruce. In 1370 the Abbot of Kinloss granted the Bannermans land lying to the
west of Aberdeen. The Bannermans became involved in the politics of North-East Scotland
which inevitably meant taking sides in the great feud between the powerful Gordons and
there enemies the Forbes, during the sixteenth century.
The Bannermans were supporters of the Forbes, in 1608
Margaret Bannerman married George Gordon of Haddo son of Sir John Gordon. He was to be a
loyal supporter of the King and was later executed for opposing the National Covenant Sir
Alexander Bannerman of Elsick who was created a Baronet of Novia Scotia by Charles II in
1682. His youngest son Patrick supported the cause of the Stuart monarchs and rose in
support of the old Pretender in 1715. He was the Provost of Aberdeen. He presented a loyal
address from the town to James VIII at Freteresso, welcoming him to his ancient kingdom of
Scotland. James delighted with the demonstration of loyalty, promptly knighted Provost
Bannerman. He was arrested after the failure of the raiding and was sent as a prisoner to
Carlisle to await execution, but managed to escape to France.
Sir Alexander Bannerman was MP for the city of Aberdeen from
1832 to 1840 and thereafter Governor of the Bahamas and of Newfoundland.
Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, was Liberal Prime Minister of
Britain from 1905 to 1908 and was born in Glasgow in 1836.
Sir Arthur Bannerman 12th Baronet served in the Indian army
and was a political aide to the Secretary of State for India from 1921-1928. He was
appointed a Gentleman Usher to George V and thereafter to Edward VIII and George V. He was
made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1928.
John Bannerman who died in 1969 was one of Scotland's
greatest rugby player winning no less than 39 caps for his country. He was a passionate
Scottish nationalist and a supporter of the Gaelic language. He was made a life peer as
Lord Bannerman of Kidonan in 1967 The 13th Baronet served in the Cameron Highlanders. His
son is the present Chief.
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