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Scott


The Scotts, one of the most powerful Border clans took their name from a race, the Scoti who invaded Scotland in early times. They claim descent from Uchtredus filius Scoti, who lived in the 12th century. His two sons were Richard, ancestor of the Scotts of Buccleuch and Sir Micheal ancestor of the Scotts of Balweary. A descendant of this line, Sir Michael who died circa 1235 was the famous "Wizard" one of the most learned men of his time. Both brothers swore fealty to Edward I of England in 1296 but Richard's son, Sir Michael was a staunch supporter of Bruce and later of David II. He was killed fighting at Durham in 1346 leaving two sons. The eldest Robert inherited the Buccleuch and Murdochston estates to which he added Scotstoun. The youngest son, John, founded the cadet house of Synton, from which descended the Lords of Polwarth. The Scotts were at the height of their powers from mid 15th century until the beginning of the 17th century and could produce 600 men in battle. In an area of constant feuding and war, they gained at the expense of other families such as the Douglases. Once there was peace in that region, many of them went to fight in Holland as members of the Scots Brigade. From the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the old clan system in the borders was doomed as frontier warfare could not be tolerated in the centre of a united realm. From this time the Buccleuchs became great nobles rather than clan chiefs. The Lordship of Scott of Buccleuch was created in 1606 and the earldom in 1619. Francis, 2nd Earl had two daughters the second of whom married James, Duke of Monmouth, bastard son of Charles II, who was created Duke of Buccleuch. Although he was subsequently beheaded and discredited for rebelling against his uncle James VII, the title passed to their eldest son. The 3rd Duke succeeded to the Douglas Dukedom of Queensberry. Among the many prominent families of the clan are the Scotts of Harden, to which Sir Walter Scott the famous author was connected.

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