Clan Menzies

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Clan Menzies
Clan member crest badge - Clan Menzies.svg
Crest: A savage head erased Proper
Motto With God I shall[1]
War cry Geal 'us Dearg a suas.[2]
(Up with the White and Red)[3]
Region Highland
District Perthshire
Plant badge The Menzies' Heath.[4][1]
Pipe music Piobairreachd a' Mheinnearaich.[5] Or the Menzies' March.[1]
Menzies of Menzies arms.svg
David Ronald Steuart Menzies of Menzies,[6]
The Menzies, Representer of the House and Family of Menzies of that Ilk, Head of the Clan Menzies.[7] (Am Meinnearach.[8])
Historic seat Castle Menzies
A romantic depiction of a clansman illustrated by R. R. McIan, from James Logan's The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, 1845.

For Menzies as a personal name, including its pronunciation and a list of famous people of that name, see Menzies.

Clan Menzies (About this sound listen ); Scottish Gaelic: Clann Mèinnear, a member is a Mèinnearach) is a Highland Scottish clan.


Origins of the Clan[edit]

Menghes tartan, as published in 1842 in the dubious Vestiarium Scoticum.

Mesnieres in Normandy was the original home of the Norman family who were found in England by the name of Manners and who were the ancestors of the Dukes of Rutland in England.[9] Sir Robert de Myneris appeared in the court of Alexander II of Scotland where he received royal patronage, rising to become a chamberlain in 1249.[9] Sir Robert received grants for lands in Glen Lyon and Atholl. These grants were further reinforced by a grant to his son, Alexander of Strathtay in 1296.[9] Alexander also acquired the lands of Weem and married Egida, a daughter of James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland.[9]

Wars of Scottish Independence[edit]

Alexander's son, another Sir Robert was a companion-in-arms of Robert the Bruce, and was awarded lands in Glen Dochart, Finlarig, Glen Orchy and Durisdeer.[9]

15th and 16th centuries[edit]

Another Sir Robert Menzies who was the eighth chief built Weem Castle, now known as Castle Menzies in about 1488.[9] The castle was plundered in 1502 by Stewart of Garth in a dispute over the lands of Fothergill.[9] Janet Menzies had married a Stewart about a century earlier, and Garth claimed the lands as part of her tocher, or dowry.[9] Menzies appealed to the Crown, and James IV of Scotland found in his favour.[9] The king ordered Stewart to make restitution, and erected the Menzies lands into the free barony of Menzies in 1510.[9] In 1540 James Menzies of Menzies married Barbara Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 3rd Earl of Atholl and cousin to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, who was the future king.[9]

17th Century & Civil War[edit]

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms despite having royal links and links to the Stewarts the Clan Menzies opposed Charles I and as a result Menzies was harried by James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose.[9] Montrose sent a messenger to Menzies seeking his support but for whatever reason the messenger was wounded.[9] Montrose retaliated and in the skirmishing the Menzies chief was fatally wounded.[9] His son was a Major in the Covenanter army and was killed at the Battle of Inverlochy (1645).[9] Menzies families in the north, independent from the chiefs in Perthshire fought on the side of Montrose.[9] Sir Gilbert Menzies of Pitfolds was with Montrose throughout his campaign and was also at the Battle of Inverlochy when his chief's son was killed.[9]

In 1665 Sir Alexander Menzies was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia.[9] Alexander's brother was Colonel James Menzies of Culbean who claimed to have survived no less than nine serious wounds.[9] James is the ancestor of the present chiefs.[9] Another of Alexander's brothers was killed at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.[9]

The chiefs of Clan Menzies opposed the policies of James VII of Scotland (II of England).[9] When James was forced from his throne in 1688 the Menzies chiefs supported Mary II of England and Prince William of Orange.[9] However the clan was again divided as Major Duncan Menzies of Fornock led his men in the Highland charge at the Battle of Killiecrankie in which they defeated Government troops.[9] Amongst the Government troops at Killiecrankie were hundreds of their Perthshire kinsmen,[9] who had formed and Independent Highland Company.[10] The Menzies Independent Company later fought at the Battle of Cromdale in 1690 where the Jacobites were defeated.[11]

18th Century & Jacobite Uprisings[edit]

During the Jacobite rising of 1715 Menzies of Culdares supported the Jacobite cause.[9] He was captured and exiled to Maryland in America.[9] He later returned to Scotland but in the Jacobite rising of 1745 he was beyond active campaigning, however he sent Prince Charles Edward Stuart a fine horse.[9] The clan was out in force under Menzies of Shian who was killed along with his son during the campaign.[9] The Menzies lands of Glen Lyon provided shelter for refugees from the Battle of Culloden, including members of Prince Charles's personal staff.[9]

Clan Chief[edit]

The current chief of Clan Menzies is David R.S. Menzies of Menzies.

Castle Menzies[edit]

Castle Menzies in Scotland is home of the Menzies Clan. It is located in the small village of Weem, near Aberfeldy in the Highlands.

The sixteenth-century castle, restored by the Menzies Clan Society, has been the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 400 years. It was strategically situated, and it was involved in the turbulent history of the Highlands. Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Stuart Pretender to the throne, rested for two nights in the castle on his way to the Battle of Culloden in 1746, where the Jacobite clans were essentially broken by a British army equipped with cannons. The restored castle is architecturally fascinating, a splendid example of the transition between earlier rugged fortress and later mansion house. It served as a hospital for the Polish army in exile during World War II.

Clan Septs[edit]

Spelling variations, names associated with the clan and septs of the Clan Menzies include:

Dewar, Deware, Dewere, Jore, MacAndeoir, MacIndeoir, MacIndeor, MacIndoer, MacJore, MacKmunish, MacMean, MacMeans, MacMein, MacMeinn, MacMen, MacMenzies, MacMin, MacMina, MacMine, MacMinn, MacMinne, MacMinnies, MacMinnis, MacMonies, MacMonnies, MacMyn, MacMyne, MacMynneis, McMenzies, McMenzie, Mainzies, Makmunish, Makmynnes, Manzie, Manzies, Maynhers, McMinn, Mean, Meanie, Meanies, Means, Megnies, Meignees, Meigneis, Meigners, Meignerys, Meignes, Meignez, Mein, Meine, Meineris, Meingnes, Meingzeis, Meingzes, Meinn, Meinyeis, Meinyies, Meinzeis, Meinzies, Menees, Mengues, Mengyeis, Mengzeis, Mengzes, Mengzies, Mennes, Mennie, Menyas, Menyeis, Menyheis, Menyhes, Menzas, Menzeis, Menzes, Menzeys, Menzheis, Menzhers, Menzies, Menzis, Meygners, Meygnes, Meyneiss, Meyner, Meyneris, Meyners, Meyness, Miners, Mings, Minn, Minnis, Minnish, Minnus, Monsie, Monzie, Munnies.


  1. ^ a b c d Clan Menzies Profile Retrieved 2 February, 2014.
  2. ^ The Scottish clans andtheir tartans : with notes, pp.10, 1900 Edinburgh : W. & A.K. Johnston
  3. ^ The Scottish Clans and Their Tartans (1958 ed.). W. & A. K. Johnston and G. W. Bacon Ltd. 
  4. ^ The Scottish clans andtheir tartans : with notes, pp.10, 1900 Edinburgh : W. & A.K. Johnston
  5. ^ The Scottish clans andtheir tartans : with notes, pp.166, 1900 Edinburgh : W. & A.K. Johnston
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 272 - 273.
  10. ^ Simpson. Page 76.
  11. ^ Simpson. Page 81.


  • Simpson, Peter. "The Independent Highland Companies, 1603 - 1760". (1996). ISBN 0-85976-432-X.

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