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
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’
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