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The Scottish Nation

BANNERMAN, a surname derived from the office of banner-bearer to the king. Those of this name held that office during the tenth and eleventh centuries, and carried for arms a banner displayed. Boece states that once when King Malcolm the Third had advanced against the rebels in Moray, he who bore the royal banner showing a want of courage the king took the banner from him and gave it to Sir Alexander Carron, the ancestor of the noble family of Scrimzeour, viscounts and earls of Dundee, afterwards hereditary standard bearers. In this story, the first part of which at least is somewhat doubtful, Buchanan follows Boece, but an interpolated passage of Fordun (Book i. p. 285) places this event, so far as relates to the origin of the Scrmzeours, in the reign of Alexander the First. (See ante, p. 54.) The former banner-bearer and his successors, according to Sir George Mackenzie, in his genealogical account of the families of Scotland, were ordained to bear in their crest of arms a banner with its staff broken. In consequence they ceased to carry any arms at all for several centuries; but ultimately assumed those of Forbes, with some difference, because of their frequent alliances with persons of that surname. In the early part of the eighteenth century, Bannerman of Waterton, thereafter of Elsick, began to use the old coat of arms of the Banner-mans, without the mark of dishonour. (Nisbet's Heraldry, vol. ii. p. 86.)

      In 1589 Alexander Bannerman of Waterton was sheriff-depute of Aberdeen. (Scotstarvet’s collections, p. 184.)

      Margaret, a daughter of Bannerman of Elsick, married, 23d November 1608, George Gordon of Haddo, ancestor of the earls of Aberdeen.

      On 28th December 1682, the ancestor of the family of Bannerman of Elsick, whose seat is Crimonmogate, Aberdeenshire, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, for his attachment to the cause of Charles the Second. His second son, George Bannerman of Dunboig, was admitted advocate 14th February 1671, and on 16th January 1684 he was appointed solicitor to King Charles the Second. He married Elizabeth Oliphant, daughter of the laird of Bachilton, and died at Edinburgh 20th November 1691. He did not take the oaths to William of Orange, having adhered to the exiled family. All the family were Jacobites. A younger brother, Mr Robert Bannerman, was episcopalian minister at Newton, but lost his living in 1689, for not agreeing with the Revolution. Another brother, Captain Bannerman, was an officer in King James’ forces.

      The name frequently occurs in the Burgh records of the town of Aberdeen. In 1715 Sir Peter Bannerman was provost of that city.

      In 1851 Sir Alexander Bannerman, who from 1832 to 1840 was M.P. for the city of Aberdeen, was appointed lieutenantgovernor of Prince Edward’s Island, and at the same time was knighted. In 1854 governor of the Bahamas, and in 1857 of Newfoundland.

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