It is said
that the Mowats settled in Scotland in the reign of David I and were originally of Norman
origin from the surname Monhault or Montealto; they moved to the north of Scotland in the
12th century as well as being found in Orkney and Shetland. Sir William of Montealt
obtained the Lordship of Ferne in Forfarshire from King William the Lion and in 1214
Richard de Montealto justiciary of Scotland witnessed a confirmation of Alexander II.
Bernard de Mowat along with the Abbot of Balmerino and several knights and nobles
accompanied Princess Margaret to Norway but on their return their ship was wrecked and
they drowned. In 1289 William de Mowat was one of the signatories of the letter to Edward
I of England regarding the projected marriage of his eldest son with Princess Margaret.
Bernard Mowat of Peebleshire bore arms against the King of England at Methven and for
"feloniously slaying some of the King's liegemen there, and slaying Roger de Tany the
King's vallet in Selkirk forest, and burning and destroying churches in Scotland"
was sentenced to be hanged and drawn.