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Dewar


The lands of Dewar near Heriot south east of Edinburgh were possessions of this family.

Thomas and Piers de Deware of Edinburghshire swore fealty to Edward I of England in the Ragman Roll of 1296.

In 1474 Lord Borthwick granted a charter confirming to William Dewar his lands of Dewar.

William Dewar of that Ilk sold the lands of Dewar and moved to nearby Carrington, and it is from this family that the present chiefs descend.

The family became successful merchants and purchased the barony and estate of Vogrie near Gorebridge in 1719. David Dewar of Vogrie was Postmaster General of Leith and Edinburgh and his son matriculated arms in 1747.

Scotland’s first gunpowder mill was established on the Vogrie Estate and powered by waterwheels. Dewars are recorded in Stirling as early as 1483, but it is not until the 17th century that a distinct family branch styled Dewar of Cambuskenneth’ can be said to exist.

In 1710, John elder son of Patrick Dewar of Cambuskenneth, was fined 50 for causing blood and riot.

The Dewar family whisky business was transformed into a major Scottish company by John Dewar, born in 1856.

In 1917 he was created Baron Forteviot of Dupplin. The family seat at Dupplin Castle was one of the grandest houses in Scotland. Another derivation of the name comes from the Gaelic Deoradh’ meaning pilgrim.

The most distinguished of the five highland families who bore the name Dewar were the Dewar Coigerachs, custodians of the staff of St Fillan, a Celtic Saint and Abbot believed to be of royal blood, who died in 777.

Robert the Bruce had the staff brought with the Scots army to Bannockburn in 1314. After his victory, he endowed the church in St Fillans honour.

The valuable relic was held by the family until the late 17th century when it was sold to MacDonell of Glengarry but they later regained possession of it.

This priceless artifact of the early Celtic Church is now preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh.


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