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Sempill Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: KEEP TRYST (Meet as agreed at the designated time and place)

The name Sempill, deeply rooted in Renfrewshire from the twelfth century, derives from a place name that can signify either ‘simple’ or dedication to Saint Paul. Your family’s history began with Robert de Sempill, who held the lands known as Sempill. He left his mark by witnessing a charter to Paisley Abbey in 1246 and later overseeing a charter by the Earl of Lennox as the chamberlain of Renfrew. This legacy was passed on to his sons, Robert and Thomas, both loyal supporters of Robert the Bruce. Their dedication did not go unnoticed, and King Robert rewarded them for their contributions. The lands of Eliotstoun, which would eventually become the territorial designation of your family’s chief line, were acquired prior to 1344.

The valor of your family was evident through the generations. Sir Thomas Sempill of Eliotstoun, fighting for James III, met his fate at the Battle of Sauchieburn in June 1488. The dedication to noble causes continued with John Sempill, who was ennobled as Lord Sempill during the early reign of James IV. His influence extended to the establishment of the Collegiate Church of Lochwinnoch in 1505 and the renovation of Castle Semple, which he renamed to honor your family.

However, the path of your family was not without challenges. The tumultuous times of the Protestant Reformation brought conflict, and the seizure of your family’s castle was a result of opposition to the Reformation. The lineage continued to navigate political and religious shifts, and your family’s unwavering stance led them to be excluded from Parliament due to their Catholic beliefs.

Despite these trials, your family adapted and endured. The title of Lord Sempill passed through several hands, each member adding to the legacy. The family’s dedication to principles remained consistent, as demonstrated by the tenth Lord Sempill’s steadfast opposition to the Act of Union in 1707, voting against every article.

The strength of your family’s character extended to the female line, proving that determination knows no gender boundaries. Female members stepped up to continue the legacy, preserving the title and honor of Lord Sempill. Maria Janet Sempill’s succession in 1835 marked a significant moment, and her contributions were carried forward by her successor, who was both a lady and a pillar of the family’s strength.

Today, the torch of your family’s legacy is carried by Jamie, the twenty-first Lord Sempill. Through generations of dedication, resilience, and adaptability, your family’s history is a testament to the enduring spirit and impact of the Sempill name. The positive legacy continues to thrive and inspire, embodying the values that have shaped your family’s story.


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: KEEP TRYST
(Meet as agreed at the designated time and place)



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