Amongst the Border clans the Armstrongs were
one of the most numerous as well as one of the most powerful and feared. They possessed
the greater part of Liddesdale and later spread into Eskdale and Annandale and by 1528
were reputed to be able to put 3000 horsemen in the field. Their constant forays into
England to raid and plunder kept the Borders in turmoil. Traditionally the Armstrongs
claim descent from Fairbairn, the armour bearer to a Scottish king, who rescued his
monarch in the midst of battle when his horse had been killed under him. From this deed
the family came to be known as "Armstrong" and received a gift of lands in
Liddesdale. The first chief was Alexander Armstrand, Laird of Mangerton in the late 13th
century. Gilbert Armstrong, Steward of the Household to King David II was Scotland's
ambassador to England. Their lawlessness led James V to hang John Nie Armstrong of
Gilnockie and his followers in 1529. He was considered one of the most notorious of the
"Border reivers" and inspired the most famous of all Border ballads
"Johnnie Armstrong". However, the hostile and turbulent spirit of the Armstrongs
was not suppressed until the reign of James VI when their leaders were executed in 1610
and the Armstrong lands passed into the possession of the Scotts, another powerful Border
family. The Armstrongs never recovered and the clan scattered. On the 21st July 1969, Neil
Armstrong, an American descendant became the first man to walk on the moon and he carried
with him a fragment of the Armstrong tartan.
I don't see the Baty/Batty/Beaty/Beatty/Beattie
families listed in the "names connected with this clan.
The Armstrongs and Beattys were close as brothers
for centuries and were listed in many public documents together.
I've attached an
historical narrative put together by one of the members of a
group I'm affiliated with. If you do a search for Armstrong in this
pdf you'll see quite a lot of connections.
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