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Drummond Castle and Clan Drummond

The Drummonds were loyal to Scotland and her Kings. They served the House of Bruce and then later the House of Stuart. For over 500 years they served, and no better was an ally than a Drummond. The Drummond Chiefs held some of the highest offices in both the government and the military. The Drummond ladies were of such beauty that two were crowned Queen of Scotland. It is even rumored that there may have been a third. Drummonds have also been known for their temper. In Perth in the 17th century, there was a prayer, "From the ire of the Drummonds, Good Lord deliver us!"

According to legend, the Drummonds are descendent from Yorik de Marot. Yorik was the Royal Admiral to Hungary and a grandson of King Andrew of Hungary. It was he who took the perilous journey, in winter, to reach the Scottish shore at Stirling. It was he who delivered unto Malcolm Canmore, St. Margaret, the future queen of Scotland. This was in the early 11th century. The king was grateful and granted lands which were to become the ancestral homeland of the Drummonds. One source states that a Donald of Drymen fought in Malcolm Canmore's army against MacBeth in 1056, and that this was the reason for the grant of lands. It may be that Yorik married into the highlands clan and became its chief.

The earliest ancestor, of unbroken decent, is that of Malcolm Begg, or "Little Malcolm" of Drymen, who in 1225 was the Thane of Lennox. Malcolm received his name due to his stature. He was the Earl of Lennox's Seneschal. It was from this time, and the lands if Drymen, that the Clan Chiefs of Drummond are known as "An Drumanach Mor" - "The Great man of Drymen." It was Malcolm's son, Sir Malcolm, that took the name Drummond.

Sir Malcolm, in the wars with England, was their bane. In 1296, at the Battle of Dunbar, the English captured Malcolm and sent him to London. Sir Malcolm was released only after swearing allegiance to the King and promising to fight with the English in France. It wasn't long before Malcolm was once again in Scotland and causing trouble for the English. In 1301 he was captured again to the great joy of King Edward I.

Sir Malcolm II, son of Malcolm, was the hero of Bannockburn in 1314. It was he, after realizing that the Scots would not be able to withstand the charge of the cavalry, who took matters into his own hands by having the ground between his men and the English heavy cavalry strewn with caltrops. These are small iron devices with four sharp points, not unlike the jacks kids play with today. The English horses were brought down by these, and as the mounted soldiers lay helpless, they were killed by the waiting Clans. It was this ingenuity that gave the Drummond Chiefs the right to display caltrops on a field of green beneath the Chief's shield. King Robert the Bruce also rewarded Malcolm with extensive lands near Perth for this service.

In 1345, Sir John Drummond married the Maid of Monfichets. With the marriage came the estates of Stobhall on the river Tay, which have remained in the family since and is the residence of the present Chief. It has also been the home of two Scottish Queens and a royal mistress.
Margaret, sister of John Drummond, won the heart of King David II, who was the son of Robert the Bruce. They were married in 1363, and she was crowned queen.

In 1366 Annabella the beautiful, daughter of Sir John Drummond, became the wife of John Stewart of Kyle. John was crowned Robert III, the second Stewart King. She was also the mother of James I. The royal families of Scotland and England claim their heritage from Robert and Annabella.

In 1491 Drummond Castle was built 25 miles from Stobhall, and 3 1/2 miles from Crieff. It is now the residence of Lady Willoughby de Eresby, a descendent of Sir John Drummond through the female line. Its castle gardens are sometimes called the pride and jewel of the highlands. In 1498, the first Lord Drummond of Drummond received the Barony of Drummond which remained in the family until 1605, when the estates were sold.

In 1589 John Drummond was appointed Royal Forester of Glenartney. It was in this post that he had the ears of some MacGregor (one account says MacDonalds) poachers cropped. Clan MacGregor swore revenge and attacked Drummond and chopped off his head. They then proceeded to John's sisters residence, burst in, and demanded bread and cheese. The MacGregors then unwrapped John's head and crammed its mouth full. The feud between the two clans lasted for over a century.

Near the end of the 1500's, another Drummond, Margaret the fair, enraptured King James IV. She was, to him, "The diamond of Delight." Because of his love for her, James originally declined the marriage to Mary Tudor, daughter of the King of England, Henry VII. It is rumored that James had indeed married Margaret and was to have her crowned Queen of Scotland. The nobles, mostly lowlanders and border Lords, feared that the Drummonds were becoming too powerful. They decided that Margaret must die, thus forcing James to marry the Tudor Princess. Margaret, and her two sisters, were poisoned. Shortly after, James married Mary Tudor, which made way for the union of the Scottish and English Crowns a century later.

In 1605, after James had been crowned King of Both England and Scotland, he elevated the Drummond Chief to that of the Earl of Perth. Around 1650, the Drummonds were removed from Drummond Castle to Stobhall for their loyalty to Charles I. After leaving, Drummond Castle was garrisoned by Cromwell's troops. During the Cromwell protectorate, Sir William Drummond was Governor of Smolensk in Muscovy. After his exile he had the dubious honor of bringing thumb screws back with him to Scotland.

In 1689, as the Highlands rose behind the Stuart flag, the Drummonds followed Bonnie Dundee into battle. At the battle of Killiecrankie the clan army attacked the English as it marched into the pass. Of the 3,000 English who went into the pass only 500 made it out alive. When the rising was surprised, the Earl of Perth was captured and imprisoned at Kircaldy till 1693. After that, he and his brother followed James VII into exile. For their service to James, they were elevated to Dukes. The Duke of Perth was then made a Knight of the Golden Fleece, the highest order of knighthood in Spain.

By the end of the 17th century, the Drummonds were the most powerful Clan in Scotland. The Earl of Perth was Lord Chancellor; his brother, the Earl of Melfort, was Secretary of State. Their cousin, General Sir William Drummond, created Viscount Strathallan, was commander-in-chief of the army in Scotland. The first Duke of Perth was also awarded the Knight of the Garter for his service to James VII.

The Drummonds supported the Stuarts until the end. They helped in the uprising of 1715 and again in 1745. In 1746, the Highland Clans followed Bonnie Prince Charlie to Culloden, to fight for the Stuarts for the last time. The Drummonds were at the fore, with the Duke of Perth and his brother, the Duke of Melfort, commanding the left wing and the center of the battle line. However, within two hours, the clan army had been destroyed by the Hanoverian army. The Duke of Perth followed the Prince into exile. John also went with them but died during the voyage due to his wounds. The Viscount of Strathallan was mortally wounded while rallying the cavalry. Even the Duchess of Perth was imprisoned for having sheltered Prince Charlie at Drummond Castle. She stayed there until her death in 1773. Loyalty had cost them everything.

It wasn't until 1784 that the Drummonds were restored to their lands. It wasn't until the 1830's that they received back their old titles.

Drummond Castle

Drummond Castle was built by the Drummonds from Stobhall in 1491. After it was built, the castle became the residence and seat of the family. The castle itself is located outside of Crieff, 25 miles away from Stobhall, which is near Perth on the river Tay. The original portions of the castle are a classical tower keep that is found frequently in Scotland. During the 1600's additions were made to the castle for the Earl of Perth. It was John Mylne of Perth, Master Mason to King Charles I, that was commissioned to make the alterations and additions. One was the gateway below the great tower with the date 1630 carved on the gables.

During this time the formal gardens at Drummond Castle were laid. It included stone work and statues that came from the Continental Europe as well as a carved stone sundial that was the work of John Mylne of Perth. The castle gardens are sometimes called the pride and jewel of the highlands.

Around 1650, the Drummonds were removed from Drummond Castle to Stobhall for their loyalty to Charles I. After leaving, Drummond Castle was garrisoned by Cromwell's troops. It wasn't until after Cromwell left Scotland were the Drummonds able to return.
The Duchess of Perth was imprisoned within the castle for having sheltered Prince Charlie at Drummond Castle. She stayed there until her death in 1773.

Drummond Castle has even made it to the silver screen. In the movie "Rob Roy, legends of the mist", Drummond Castle and Gardens were used for the residence of Montrose. All of the castle shots, both exterior and interior was done on site at Drummond Castle. In one scene of the movie, you see the camera pan up from a gate to the gardens to the shield above it. They are the arms of Drummond. As to the castle now, it is now the residence of Lady Willoughby de Eresby, a descendent of Sir John Drummond through the female line. The gardens are open to the public during the summer.

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