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Melville Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: DENIQUE COELUM (and thereafter, Heaven)

Allow me to recount the intricate tale of your family, the Melvilles. The roots of your family’s name are intertwined with the barony of Maleville nestled in the picturesque Pays de Ceux in Normandy. It’s a story that begins with Guillaume de Malleville, a steadfast companion of William, Duke of Normandy, during the pivotal Battle of Hastings in 1066. This valiant lineage transitioned to Scottish soil during the reign of David I, when they were granted lands in the scenic expanse of Midlothian. One of their own, Galfrid de Maleville, assumed the role of ‘vicecomes’ of Edinburgh Castle for none other than Malcolm IV. Galfrid’s distinction further blossomed as he stepped into the shoes of the Justiciary of Scotland under the reign of William the Lion, etching his name in the annals as the first record of such an appointment. His own daughter, Agnes, established matrimonial ties with Sir John Ross of Halkhead, thus entrusting the earliest Barony of Melville into your family’s care. Agnes’s lineage eventually ascended to the rank of Lord Ross thanks to the favor of James IV, maintaining stewardship over the Barony of Melville until 1705. The narrative of your lineage takes an intriguing turn with Galfrid’s youngest son, Walter, poised to be the cornerstone of the Melvilles of Raith.

Sir John de Melville, a prominent baron in the Scottish tapestry, indelibly marked his allegiance by finding his name etched upon the Ragman Roll in 1296. A pledge of fealty to Edward I of England sealed his place in history. A descendant echoing his legacy, Sir John Melville of Raith, basked in the favor of James V. However, his tale took a somber twist as he was unjustly implicated in the assassination of Cardinal Beaton, a cloud of suspicion that led to his execution in 1550. Yet, the resilience of your family shone through as Mary of Guise, the Queen Regent, saw fit to restore John Melville of Raith to the family’s ancestral estates by 1553. The younger generation, represented by Sir Robert Melville of Murdocairnie, would tread upon diplomatic grounds, residing in France before stepping onto the stage as an ambassador to England in 1562. His vocal opposition to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, caught the eye of history, with Elizabeth I taking offense.

Stepping into the lineage, a successor took the helm, simultaneously assuming the mantle of a judge. It was during 1627, under the patronage of Charles I, that this individual was designated as Lord Monymaill. A legacy rich in service and honor carried forth, culminating in the dynamic John, third Lord Melville. The baton of history was then passed to his son, George, who attained the illustrious rank of the first Earl of Melville in April 1690. Amidst the tides of rebellion and allegiance, George stood as a steadfast pillar. Your family’s story continued with his son, David Melville, ascending to the prestigious position of commander-in-chief of the Scottish army. His influence rippled across the pages of history as he played a pivotal role in the Union of the Parliaments. David’s presence was marked in the new Parliament at Westminster, where he served as a representative peer of Scotland, embodying the rich legacy of your remarkable family.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: DENIQUE COELUM
(and thereafter, Heaven)

$99.00

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