|Motto||De Bonnaire (Gracious)|
|District||Fife and Angus.|
|Clan Bethune has no chief, and is an armigerous clan|
|Historic seat||Balfour in Fife.|
|Last Chief||The Bethune of Balfour|
Origins of the clan
The surname Bethune is derived from the French town of Béthune, in the arrondissement of Béthune, in the department of Pas-de-Calais. The first record of the name in Scotland is that of Robert de Betunia, who appeared in around 1165 as a witness to a charter of lands in East Lothian. By the 13th century, Bethunes were established in Fife and Angus.
Wars of Scottish Independence
In 1296 Sir Robert de Betune appears on the Ragman Rolls rendering homage to Edward I of England. However the Bethunes, despite appearing to support the English cause, became faithful supporters of king Robert the Bruce. The king knighted Alexander de Bethune for his bravery in battle but the same Alexander was killed at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332.
The Bethunes of Balfour were established after Robert de Bethune married into the family of Balfour of that Ilk in the late 15th century.
The modern clan
The official Clan Bethune Scottish crest badge as recorded by the Lord Lyon King of Arms incorporates the last chief's crest: An otter’s head erased Argent with his motto De bonnaire (Gracious).
Arms of the last clan chief, The Bethune of Balfour: Quarterly, 1st & 4th, Azure, a fess between three mascles Or (Bethune); 2nd & 3rd, Argent, on a chevron Sable, an otter’s head erased of the First. These arms are now held by the Earls of Lindsay whose surname is Lindesay-Bethune.
- Beaton medical kindred, an unrelated family that bears the same name
- House of Bethune, a related family
- Clan Bethune Profile scotclans.com. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). pp. 360 - 361.
- Munro, A; Macintyre, IMC (2013). "The Ancestors of Norman Bethune (1890–1939) Traced Back to the Bethunes of Skye, Leading Members of the MacBeth/Beaton Medical Dynasty". Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Vol. 43: 262–269. doi:10.4997/JRCPE.2013.315.
- clanchiefs.org official web site of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs