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Lyon Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: IN TE DOMINE SPERAVI (In you Lord, I put my trust)

Let me share with you the fascinating history of your family, the Lyons, and their Scottish lineage. It was once believed that your family had Celtic origins, descending from a younger son of the Lamonts. However, the widely accepted view is that your family can be traced back to a Norman family known as de Leon, originating from Lyons-la-Forêt. Ingelram de Lyons, a companion of William the Conqueror during his conquest of England in 1066, belonged to this lineage. Around 1080, Ingelram’s kinsman Nicholas de Lyons settled in Northamptonshire, England. From this branch, the Lyons family of England and Ireland emerged. One of their members, a young man named Roger, ventured north to Scotland and received lands in Perthshire, which came to be known as Glen Lyon. As evidence of his presence, Roger de Leonne witnessed a charter of Edgar at the Abbey of Dunfermline in 1105.

Sir John Lyon, granted the thanage of Glamis by Robert II, played a significant role in your family’s history. Just five years later, he became the Chamberlain of Scotland and married Princess Jean, the daughter of King Robert II, who brought the lands of Tannadice on the River Esk as her dowry. Tragically, Lyon was killed during a quarrel with Sir James Lindsay of Crawford. Patrick Lyon was subsequently elevated to Lord Glamis in 1445 and appointed Master of the Royal Household. Your family’s lineage continued with John, the sixth Lord Glamis, who, according to tradition, had a turbulent and ill-tempered nature. He married Janet Douglas, daughter of the renowned Archibald ‘Bell the Cat,’ and his widow faced persecution from James V, who held animosity towards her family. Lady Glamis was falsely accused of witchcraft and, despite her own defense, was burned at the stake in Edinburgh. Fortunately, her young son, who was also found guilty, was spared sentencing until after the king’s death, and he was subsequently released.

The eighth Lord Glamis renounced his allegiance to Mary, Queen of Scots and served under the regents Moray and Lennox. His son, the second Earl, enjoyed a close friendship with the Marquess of Montrose and stood by his side when he signed the National Covenant in 1638. However, he was unable to support Montrose when he broke with the Covenant to support Charles I. In 1677, a new patent changed the family’s title to Earl of Strathmore. John, Earl of Strathmore, opposed the Union of 1707 despite being a Privy Councilor. His son fought as a Jacobite at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. Thirty years later, Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, stayed at the castle during his march north to Culloden. In the twentieth century, the youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, became Queen Elizabeth, later known as the Queen Mother. Her marriage to King George VI made her the mother of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Lyons family’s fascinating journey from Norman origins to their prominent role in Scottish history is a testament to their enduring legacy. From their roots in Lyons-la-Forêt to settling in Glen Lyon, the Lyons’ presence in both England and Scotland has left an indelible mark. The tragic events surrounding Lady Glamis’ wrongful accusation of witchcraft exemplify the family’s resilience in the face of adversity. Through the ages, the Lyons continued to play influential roles, from the Lords of Glamis to the Earls of Strathmore, with connections to prominent figures like Bonnie Prince Charlie and ultimately Queen Elizabeth II. Their illustrious lineage is a story of strength, loyalty, and enduring influence in both Scottish and British history.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: IN TE DOMINE SPERAVI (In you Lord, I put my trust)

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