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Horsburgh Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: AEGRE DE TRAMITE RECTO (having safely passed through a rough path)

Let me share with you the remarkable history of your family, the Horsburghs. Your family is closely associated with the Borders region of Scotland, as well as the area around Edinburgh. The local pronunciation of the name is said to be ‘Horsebra’. This name originates from the lands and former barony near Innerleithen in Peebleshire, known as Horsburgh. The ancient seat of your family, Nether Horsburgh Castle, still stands as a testament to your family’s heritage. It is believed that the first individual to establish the castle was an Anglo-Saxon named ‘Horse’ or ‘Orse’. The Scottish Kings incorporated the old Anglo-Saxon regions south of the Firth of Forth into their realm by around 973.

Your family’s presence in historical records can be traced back several centuries. Simon de Horsbrock witnessed a charter to Melrose Abbey during the reign of Alexander II. In 1284, William of Horsburgh served as the clerk of the Dean and Chapter of Glasgow at Berwick, and in 1287, he held the position of master and public notary in Edinburgh. Simon de Horsbrok served under Edward I of England in 1297, demonstrating the family’s involvement in political affairs. Master Michael de Horsbrok, a priest, witnessed a grant of lands in Peebles between 1306 and 1330. Robert Horsbruk held the position of prior of St. Andrews in 1440, showcasing your family’s influence within the church. Alexander Horsbrock of that Ilk is recorded in 1479. The family arms, featuring a silver horse’s head on a blue shield, were described by eighteenth-century heraldic authority Alexander Nisbet and cleverly incorporate a play on the family name.

The Horsburghs have also made notable contributions in various fields. John Horseburgh, an engraver born near Edinburgh, produced engravings of works by J.M.W. Turner and depicted Scottish landscapes and personalities. He was also a Baptist minister. James Horsburgh, a hydrographer to the East India Company and a fellow of the Royal Society, established a reputation for his valuable contributions to the field. His works became standard references in hydrography.

In more recent history, Florence Horsbrugh, known as Baroness Horsbrugh, was an exceptional Scottish Unionist Party and Conservative Party politician. She held ministerial positions in the wartime coalition governments and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health from 1939 to 1945. During this time, she played a crucial role in organizing the evacuation of schoolchildren from major cities during the war. After returning to the House of Commons, she achieved another milestone as the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a Conservative government. In 1951, she was appointed Minister of Education, making her only the third woman in Britain’s history to become a Cabinet minister. Additionally, Horsbrugh contributed significantly to the preparatory work for the scheme that eventually evolved into the National Health Service.

These are the remarkable stories and achievements of your family, the Horsburghs, throughout the ages.

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The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: AEGRE DE TRAMITE RECTO (having safely passed through a rough path)

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