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Spens Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: SI DEUS QUIS CONTRA (If God is for us, who is against us)

Let me unveil the tapestry of your family’s journey through time, bearing the name Spens, a name that carries a legacy woven through history. The roots of this name are traced to the old French word ‘despense,’ signifying the custodian of the larder—a moniker that evolved into the mantle your family carried. Henry Spens, a herald of your lineage, lent his presence to a charter by Robert, Earl of Fife, in 1390, igniting the family’s rise within that ancient earldom.

Stepping back into the annals of history, we find Henry de Spens of Lathallan, pledging fealty to Edward I of England. His passing around 1300 marked a transition, as his son, Thomas, ascended to the role. Thomas left his mark in two charters of Robert the Bruce, embodying the family’s imprint upon the land.

The tapestry of your family story continues to unfurl as we traverse to the fifteenth century. John Spens of Lathallan, embodying your ancestry, took his rightful place in the Parliament convened by James I at Perth in 1434—a testament to the family’s significance. Amidst his progeny, Patrick embarked on a journey to France, settling there and sowing the seeds of the prominent Spens-Destinot de Lanere lineage. Thomas, another scion of your lineage, chose a spiritual path, rising to the position of Bishop of Aberdeen. His diplomatic prowess was illuminated as he participated in negotiating the marriage contract between Arabella and the Duke of Savoy. His legacy echoes through the splendid chapel of Roslin, where his tomb resides.

The maritime echoes within your family tale are woven through the constable of Crail harbor, Alexander Spens. A union with the sister of the illustrious Scottish admiral, Sir Andrew Wood, solidified the family’s connection to the sea—a bond that could have been sown by the tale of Sir Patrick Spens, immortalized in balladry. Sir Patrick’s voyage, bearing Princess Margaret to Norway for her royal union, stands as a poignant narrative.

Amidst the tides of history, your family’s loyalties were tested during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. The paths of Sir John Spence of Condie and David Spens of Wormieston took distinct routes. Sir John stood as a guardian of justice, refraining from prosecuting John Knox for treason despite the Queen’s command. David Spens, on the other hand, remained steadfast in his loyalty to Mary, facing the turmoil of rebellion and ultimate tragedy.

The eighteenth century unfurls as a beacon of accomplishment with Dr. Nathaniel Spens of Craigsanquhar, ascending as the president of the Royal College of Physicians. His portrait graces the hallowed halls of Archers’ Hall in Edinburgh, a testament to his role in the Royal Company of Archers—a bodyguard dedicated to the monarch.

Your family’s name, Spens, is a vessel carrying the stories of custodians, diplomats, and pioneers. It traverses time, a beacon that illuminates a journey of valor, wisdom, and a legacy that continues to shape the world around you.

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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: SI DEUS QUIS CONTRA (If God is for us, who is against us)

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