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Erewine and Erwinne are Old English personal or forenames and as such have been recorded since the early 12th Century. As a surname, however, it is of territorial origins from one of two places of the same name; from Irving, an old parish in Dumfries-shire and from Irvine in Ayrshire. It is the Dumfries-shire parish which is the principal source of the name. First of the name recorded is Robert de Herwine, a charter witness in 1226. William de Irwyne, Clerk of the Register, obtained the Forest of Drum, in Aberdeenshire, from Robert the Bruce in 1324, and is therefore ancestor to the Irvines of Drum. Robert the Bruce is also said to have bestowed upon him the crest and motto used by himself. His son, Sir Alexander, fought and fell at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, commemorated in a ballad about the battle as "Gude Sir Alexander Irvine, the much renounit Laird of Drum". The Irvines of Bonshaw, from whom the Irvines of Drum descend, were deemed to be the chiefly family by an act of Parliament in 1587. The title Viscount Irvine was created in 1631 for Henry, son of Sir Arthur Ingram, an English family who had no property or other connection with Scotland; it became extinct on the death of the 9th Viscount in 1778. The title of Earl of Irvine was created in 1642 for James Campbell, the eldest son of the Earl of Argyll by his second marriage. However, it is one of the shortest-lived titles, as a mere three years later the Earl of Irvine died leaving no successors.

A note received from Jim Irvine

The earliest names you give are not the earliest recorded.  That honour goes to Crinus Ervinus, hereditary abbot of Dunkeld, married to Bethoc daughter and heiress of King Malcolm II.  This was in the first quarter of the 11th century.  Her son (and Crinan's) became Duncan I (murdered by Macbeth).



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