BUNKELL, BONKLE, or
(probably from bonacle, a contraction of the Latin word
bonaculum, a little good or gift, and applied to lands that may have
been bestowed on some religious body at an early period,) a surname
derived from the lands of Bunkle in Berwickshire, the principle family
of the name being anciently Bunkle of that ilk in that county. The name
has been supposed to have had some relation to a buckle, as those who
bore it carried three buckles in their arms, but these might have been
more likely the symbols of the service by which the first grantee held
the lands from his superior. Sir John Stewart, second son of Alexander,
high steward of Scotland, married the heiress of Bunkle, and thereafter
was designated Sir John Stewart of Bonkle. He was the ancestor of the
Stewarts earls of Angus, and one of the oldest branches, after the royal
family, of the name. Bunkle is now the name of a parish in Berwickshire.
The name of Boncle appears at an early period in Pitcairn’s Criminal
Trials as connected with legal proceedings. Vol. i. p. 158; vol. ii. p.