The Crawfords of Scotland are derived from a Danish chief named Thorlongus (Latin for Thor) whose father, Leofwine of Mercia, and grandfather, Edulf of East Anglia, had married into the Anglo-Saxon monarchy of England in the late 900’s and early 1000’s.The Crawfords are descendants of Alfred the Great, King of England, Thor and his predecessors were beneficiaries to land grants in the English jurisdiction of Mercia which was known as the Merse in Scotland.
However, in 1066 William the Norman defeated Thor’s cousin, King Harold, at the Battle of Hastings during Harold’s first year as King. Afterward, William the Norman began purging the Anglo-Saxon land holders in England to consolidate his control by eliminating potential challenges to his sovereignty.
Thor had a son, Swane (Anglo for Sven), who was granted the lands of Swinton (Sven Town) in Northumbria, west of York. Sven is not to be confused with the Earl of Richmond who lived nearby. Sven had a son, Galfridus, who migrated to Lanarkshire in Scotland. Since later defined adjacent parishes of Crawford and Crawfordjohn were granted to the sons of Galfridus, King Edgar (1097-1107) or his brother King Alexander I (1107-1124), who were cousins of Galfridus, apparently granted Galfridus land in Lanarkshire which was previously entirely known as the Barony of Crawford. Galfridus, whose wife was apparently the first Celt in the line, had two sons Hugh and Reginald. From the eldest son, Hugh, came the prime family branch of Crawford parish within the original barony chartered to Galfridus. Another portion of the original barony later known as Crawfordjohn parish was granted to Reginald (1080-1160).
The earliest official reference to the Crawford surname is in 1127 when two knights of this name served under King David I (1124-1153), Sir John (Johannes) and Sir Gregan de Crawford, both of whom were the sons of previously mentioned Reginald of Crawfordjohn parish. In 1127 Sir Gregan Crawford was involved in the legendary incident when King David was saved from a stag (and founded the Abbey of Holyrood as a result). As oldest son, John received his father’s lands in the upper Strathclyde. It is from this John who died in 1140 that the parish received the name Crawfordjohn.
Sir Reginald de Crawford (1180-1250) from Crawfordjohn parish was appointed heritable Sheriff of Ayr by William the Lion (1165-1214). The Crown Office of High Sheriff of Ayr was long held by his prime male descendents. The Sheriff was essentially the Crown’s chief executive and decided appeals from the Courts of Barony throughout the shire. Reginald was sometimes called Ranald or Ronald. In about 1200 the Arms of Loudoun were quartered by Reginald upon his marriage with Margaret de Loudoun, the heiress of that extensive barony. By traditions of inheritance, the second Sheriff of Ayr was Hugh, the oldest son of the first Sheriff.
Craufurd of Craufurdland 1200 -1400
- John, the 3rd son of Sir Reginald de Crawford the first Sheriff of Ayr is the ancestor of the Clan branch at Craufurdland in Ayrshire. Married to Alicia de Dallsalloch. Through this marriage large tracks of lands in Clydesdale were possessed by the family, much of which though passed to the Cumins on marriage of his daughter. The lands of Ardoch were given to John Craufurd, the second son of John and Alicia, in contentation of his rights to the whole as heir.
- John Craufurd of Craufurdland, first laird of Craufurdland (formerly known as Ardoch) was the second son of the above John Craufurd. He lived in the reign of Alexander II (1214-1249), and was succeeded by his eldest son.
- John Craufurd of Craufurdland the second laird lived in the reign of Alexander III (1249-1285), and was succeeded by his eldest son.
- James Craufurd of Craufurdland was a follower of Sir William Wallace, his cousin. James’s Aunt by his father’s side, Margaret, married Sir Malcolm Wallace of Ellerslie in Ayrshire 1 mile west of Kilmarnock (not to be confused with Elderslie in Renfrewshire) and became the mother of Sir William Wallace, the immortal hero of Scotland. more detailSir William WallaceJames Craufurd of Craufurdland was a follower of Sir William Wallace, his cousin. James’s Aunt by his father’s side, Margaret, married Sir Malcolm Wallace of Ellerslie in Ayrshire 1 mile west of Kilmarnock (not to be confused with Elderslie in Renfrewshire) and became the mother of Sir William Wallace, the immortal hero of Scotland. With the power and influence of the High Office of the Sheriff of Ayr within their family, Margaret Crawford’s father and brothers risking life and property provided protection for William Wallace after his initial fateful clash with the English. During this time Wallace’s Crawford uncles were influential in training him in the arts of diplomacy, war, and languages as well as nurturing Wallace’s tremendous desire to re-establish an independent Scotland. Family records related that the third Laird helped his cousin, Sir William Wallace, become Arden of Scotland in 1297. Wallace’s younger brother John and uncle Sir Reginald Crawford, both of whom were prominent in the service of both Wallace and Robert the Bruce, were executed at Carlisle in 1307 for their loyalty to Wallace. Wallace had been executed earlier in August 1305 in London. The castle of the Boyd’s, Dean Castle, was located in Kilmarnock, some 2 miles from Craufurdland. The two castles were connected by an underground passage. The soldiers of Edward I of England lay siege around Dean Castle for three months. When the English soldiers were starting to starve, the inhabitants of Dean Castle hung out fresh beef and offered it to the English, saying they had more food than they could use. In disgust, the English commander raised the siege. The underground passage had been the secret to survival! There was always a very close friendship between the Craufurds of Craufurdland and the Boyd of Kilmarnock. There is a delightful legend about this friendship, although probably not true, it is entertaining.
- Records fail to establish the name of the eldest son of James, although it is probable that it was John. The details of his deeds are less well known, but it is likely that both James and his son ‘John’ would have continued their allegiance to Wallace after his death, and as such be seen at Bannockburn. more detailEldest son of JamesRecords fail to establish the name of the eldest son of James, although it is probable that it was John. The details of his deeds are less well known, but it is likely that both James and his son ‘John’ would have continued their allegiance to Wallace after his death, and as such be seen at Bannockburn. In the year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen and won their freedom. As Bannockburn is in Stirlingshire just north of Lanark, there is no doubt that the Crawfords and Wallace’s older brother Malcolm fought in the memory of their previously executed nephews, cousins, and uncles in this struggle for Scottish independence. The main branches of the family were Crawford of Auchinames (in Renfrewshire) who received a grant of land from Robert the Bruce, plus Craufurd of Craufurdland.
- John Craufurd of Craufurdland succeeded his father, as eldest son. He, during his time as laird acquired a new confirmation of the lands of Craufurdland (Ardoch), from Robert III in the second year of his reign, 1391, at Dundonald. He was succeeded by his eldest son. John’s third son John inherited the lands of Giffordland, and was the first Craufurd of Giffordland, (from which Craufurd of Birkhead comes).
- John’s eldest son (name unknown) died without issue and passed the estate on to his brother William of Craufurdland.
Craufurd of Craufurdland 1400 - 1600
8. William of Craufurdland was knighted by King James I after his part in the siege of Creyult in 1423, for King Charles VII of France. Sir William was sorely wounded and taken prisoner, to be released a year later with King James I. He was succeeded by his eldest son
9. Rankine Craufurd of Craufurdland married and had three sons: William, Robert and Andrew
10. William Craufurd of Craufurdland, lived during the reign of King James II. He married Janet Hamilton, daughter of the Laird of Bardowie, by whom he had three sons of whom Archibald was his successor,
11. Archibald Craufurd of Craufurdland, lived during the reign of King James III, married twice. His first wife, Jean Kennedy of Bargenny, bore him a son Robert. His second wife was Lady Pokelly, daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw,and widow of Hugh Muir of Pokelly. Together they had two sons and a daughter and Thomas, of whom the Craufurds of Classlochie and Powmill are descended; more detail
12. Robert of Craufurdland married Elizabeth Muir, who bore him three sons: 1) John his successor, 2) William, Laird of Walston, and 3) James, who in his life time was knighted. Robert died of wounds he received at the “Wylielee”, in company of his father, Archibald, both being in attendance to James Boyd, son of Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran. James was killed there by Hugh Montgomery, 4th Lord Montgomery and 1st Earl of Eglinton, in the year 1484.
13. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, son of the Robert Craufurd, settled the feud between the Boyds and the Montgomerys by arbitration, and married Janet Montgomery, daughter of the Laird of Giffen. They had two sons:
John, successor to John,
Archibald, who born after his father’s death, is probably the most notable Craufurd of Craufurdland more detail
Queen Mary, after her arrival in Scotland, August 1561, was permitted to worship in the chapel in Holyrood. Riots attacks were sometimes made upon the chapel, and there was danger of it being rifled at any time the Queen was absent from Edinburgh. On account of this, the Queen on 11th January 1562 directed Sir James Paterson (probably one of her officiating chaplains, and one of her loyal Knights) to deliver her Valet de Chambre, Servais de Conde, and the furniture of her Chapel, to be kept by Archibald, in the wardrobe in her palace at Edinburgh (The original Inventory of which is held by the family).
When Queen Mary was taken to Castle of Lochleven, as a prisoner, she was spoiled of all of her princely ornaments, which the Lords took inventory. It appears, however she found means to send to Archibald further treasures from her table. He kept these faithfully until they were demanded from him by the then Treasurer, Mr Richard Richardson, who in turn delivered these to James Stewart, Regent. He in turn granted his acquaintance for the same to Archibald (the original which is held by the family.
In addition to his noble service to Queen Mary and her mother, Archibald was also responsible for the building of the West Church of Glasgow, and the Bridge of Eaglesham. He died unmarried.
14. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married Margaret Blair, daughter John Blair of that Ilk, by whom he had three sons and five daughters:
John his heir;
Thomas, who married Margaret Craufurd, heir-proportioner of Giffordland, sister of Isabel Craufurd, spouse to John Craufurd of Walston;
Robert, died unmarried.
The daughters were Janet, Agnes, Elizabeth, (unknown) and Marion. All were married. John got a charter under the Great Seal from King James IV. Johanni Craufurd de Craufurdland, terrarium de Giffordland, &c in Ayrshire, dated 27th March 1576. He died anno 1583, at the age of 71.
15. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, who upon his father’s resignation got a charter under the Great Seal Johanni Craufurd juniori de Craufurdland, terrarium ecclesiaticarum de Kilbryde, &c in Ayrshire, dated Feb 1581. During his lifetime, probably due mainly due to his Great Uncle’s (Archibald Craufurd) influence, got from Mary Queen of Scots a gift of the ward of the lands of Reidhall, lying within the Stewartry of Annandale. The deed of gift, having the signature attached to it, dated at Edinburgh 26th December 1561, is held by the family.John married Margaret Wallace of Cairnhill, by whom he had four son and three daughters:
John, his heir; Hugh, portioner of Rutherglen; Robert of Howat, who died unmarried; Archibald, Constable of Dumbarton Castle, and one of the Bailies of that Burgh.
Janet; Elizabeth; Marion
John died aged 70 in the year 1603, succeeded by his eldest son.
Craufurd of Craufurdland 1600 - 2017
16. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married twice in his lifetime, first to Helen Chalmers of Gadgirth, by whom he had a son, John, his heir, and three daughters: Janet, Agnes and Helen. Secondly, he married Christian Wallace of Auchans, and widow of Mr James Ross of Whiteriggs and thereafter Lady Dreghorn. Together they had a son Robert, and a daughter Catherine. Robert got from his father the lands of Monkland, but his son, John, died without issue shortly after his father, and the lands returned to the family of Craufurdland. He died in 1612 aged 42.
17. John Craufurd married Elizabeth Cunningham of Corsehill in 1610, who bore him two sons: 1) John and Alexander, who died an infant. John died aged 21 shortly before his father, apparently dying from injuries received at ‘football’, however more likely a game which used a bladder ball, and possibly swords.
18. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, born in 1611, succeeded his Grandfather in 1612. He married Janet Cunninghame of Craigends in 1630. Theirs was a large family, with seven sons and five daughters. The sons were: John, his heir; Alexander Craufurd of Fergushill; William, who was a merchant and burgess of Glasgow, (He married Martha Miller, by whom he had four sons and a daughter, the second son, Mathew, who from his second marriage had seven sons and a daughter, Esther, who in turn was mother to Janet Esther Whyte, Wife of William Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, the 21st laird of Craufurdland); James, was a surgeon; Archibald, who died in Africa aged 20; Robert; Thomas.
Of the daughters, 1) Elizabeth; 2) Agnes and 5) Janet married, whilst 3) Isabella and 4) Anne died in infancy.
Secondly John married Margaret Skeene of Hallyards, and Elizabeth Inglis of Ingliston, with no issue from these last two marriages. He died in 1698, aged 75.
19. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married Anna Stuart of Castlemilk in 1667. They had three sons and four daughters, with only the sons surviving to adulthood. The first son, and heir 1) John; 2) Archibald; 3) James. John notarised himself rather unfortunately being incarcerated in 1691 on suspicion of being concerned in the Bothwel-Brig insurrection. He died in 1693.
20. John Craufurd of Craufurdland married Elizabeth Kerr of Morrieston, by whom he had five sons and three daughters. Of his sons, 1) John, his heir was the only to bear issue, his 2nd and 3rd sons died without issue, 4) William was a writer in Edinburgh, 5) Andrew was surgeon in Lord Mark Kerr’s Dragoons (his maternal Grandfather or Uncle) dying in Edinburgh in 1762. His 1st and 3rd daughters also died unmarried, and his 2nd Elizabeth, who saved Craufurdland from her brother’s banker.
21. John Craufurd of Craufurdland, born in 1694, married Robina Walkinshaw daughter and heiress of John Walkinshaw of that Ilk, Laird of Bishoptoun. Upon their marriage, John added the name and arms of Walkinshaw to his own. The couple had four sons and one daughter, but only the eldest, John Walkinshaw Craufurd survived to adulthood. John later married Elenora Nicolson of Carnock, by whom he had no issue. He died in Newcastle 10th January 1763.
22. John Walkinshaw Craufurd of Craufurdland, the twentieth Laird, was a distinguished soldier who, after entering the army at an early age, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was present at the victory of Dettingen in 1743, also distinguishing himself at Fontenoy two years later. more detail
Elizabeth Craufurd of Craufurdland, daughter of the before-mentioned John Craufurd of Craufurdland and Elizabeth Kerr of Morrieston, was Aunt to John Walkinshaw Craufurd of Craufurdland, married twice. Her first husband was William Fairlie of that Ilk, by whom she bore one daughter who died in infancy. Afterwards, on 3rd June 1744 she married John Houison of Braehead, in Midlothian, head of an ancient family in that county. They had two sons, William and John, who both died in infancy, and two daughters, Elisabeth, and Margaret, who died unmarried in 1801. Elizabeth Houison Craufurd (nee Craufurd) died at the impressive age of 97 in 1802, succeeded only by her daughter Elizabeth, and still four years short of the rightful restoration of Craufurdland to the Craufurd Family, a battle she had fought for nine years at time of her death.
23. Elizabeth Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, the only representation of these two ancient families, which up until her mother, had both been in the male line. Elizabeth married the Rev James Moody, who assumes the name of James Houison Moody Craufurd, to who she had seven children. Their sons were: 1) John, who died in infancy; 2) Alexander, born I 1780, dying aged 16 in 1796; 3) William, who succeeded his parents. William had four sisters: 1) Elizabeth Beatrix who died in infancy; 2) Margaret, Elizabeth, who died in infancy; and 4) Isabella. Elizabeth, saviour of Craufurdland, died on 1st April 1823, succeeded by her son William.
24. William Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, married in 1808 to Janet Esther Whyte, only daughter of James Whyte of Newmains and his wife Esther Craufurd (mentioned above, whose father was a lineal male descendent of William, the third son of John Craufurd of Craufurdland and Janet Cunninghame. John and Janet were William’s great, great, great, great grandparents.) William and Janet had three children, a son John Reginald, and two daughters, Elizabeth Constantia, and Winifred Janet.
25. John Reginald Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead married Mary Hamilton, by whom he had two sons, Reginald and Archibald, and three daughters, Beatrice, Constantine and Caroline.
26. William Reginald Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead married Emily Maud Hassard, daughter of Major General Hassard C.B., but they did not have any children and after Reginald’s death, Maud passed the estate onto her nephew, John Douglas, son of Reginald’s younger brother Brigadier-General John Archibald Houison Craufurd CBE and his wife Nelly Dalrymple Hays (the author’s great grandparents).Brigadier-General John Archibald Houison Craufurd CBE was Assistant Quartermaster-General, Scottish Command, in the Army, transferring to the RAF in 1918, and here he was Brigadier-General (Administration), HQ North-Western Area, until his retirement in 1919.
27. John Douglas Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, married Irene Marlow, and they had two children John Peter, and Barbara.
28. (John) Peter Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, was the 28th laird, and saw the Castle modernised extensively inside. He married Caroline Helen Berry, daughter of Lionel Berry, Viscount Kemsley. They have three children, two sons: 1) Alexander, 2) Simon, and daughter Tessa. Alexander is married to Christine Gray, and they have two daughters, Katie and Elisabeth. Tessa is married to Christopher Geall, and they have one son Jack, and three daughters, Sophie, Rosie and Poppy. Simon is married to Adity Priyadarshini, and has two daughters, Indra and Manisha.
29. Simon Douglas Houison Craufurd of Craufurdland and Braehead, is the 29th laird. He and Adity have further modernised the castle, using the ‘Towerhouse’ as a luxury self-catering apartment for upto 16, and continue to renovate and restore the castle.