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The Scottish Nation
Bunkell, Bonkle, or Bunkill

BUNKELL, BONKLE, or BUNKILL, (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. 417.

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