Clan Dewar

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Clan Dewar
Clan member crest badge - Clan Dewar.svg
Motto Quid non pro Patria?
Latin > "Why would we not do it for our Country?"[2]
Michael Kenneth O’Malley Dewar
Dewar of that Ilk And Vogri

Clan Dewar is a Scottish clan.[2]


Origins of the clan[edit]

Traditional origins[edit]

As with many Scottish clans a legend exists to demonstrate physical prowess.[2] There is a tradition that a savage wolf was terrorising the district around Heriot and a reward was offered to the man who would despatch the beast.[2] Dewar is said to have achieved this and received his bounty.[2] However it is not known if the lands of Dewar are named after the surname or if the surname is taken from the lands.[2]

Recorded origins[edit]

The earliest record of an organised family by the name of Dewar is in the Ragman Rolls of 1296, where Thomas and Piers de Deware appear swearing fealty to Edward I of England.[2]

Lord Borthwick granted a charter for the lands of Dewar to William Dewar in 1474.[2] This Dewar family were known as of that Ilk and rose to prominence, appearing in various charters in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[2] William Dewar sold the lands of Dewar and moved to Carrington that was nearby.[2] From this William Dewar descend the chiefly line of Clan Dewar.[2]

Wars of Scottish Independence[edit]

A derivation of the name in Scottish Gaelic is Deoradh which means pilgrim.[2] The most distinguished of five Highland families by the name Dewar were the Dewar Coigerachs who were custodians of the Staff of St Fillan.[2] The staff was carried at the Battle of Bannockburn in support of Robert the Bruce in 1314.[2] The priceless artefact of the early Celtic church is now held in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.[2]

17th and 18th centuries[edit]

A branch of the Clan Dewar, the Dewars of Cambuskenneth were established by at least the 17th century, although Dewars are recorded in nearby Stirling, which was a Royal Burgh, from as early as 1483.[2] John Dewar, son of Patrick Dewar of Cambuskenneth was fined £50 in 1710 for causing blood and riot.[2]

The chiefly line of the Clan Dewar, the Dewars of that Ilk, became successful merchants and in 1719 purchased the barony and estate of Vorgie near Gorebridge.[2] The representation of this family had passed to James Dewar who was a nephew of William Dewar of that Ilk.[2]

19th and 20th centuries[edit]

The Vogrie estates were a hive of industry, and a flourishing coal mine was sited there in the mid-19th century, as well as Scotland's first gunpowder mill.[2] The fifth Laird of Vogrie lived in India where he was a High Court Judge.[2] He died in 1869 and was succeeded by his brother, Alexander Dewar, sixth of Vogrie who served in the Bengal cavalry.[2] The mansion house of Vogrie was built by Alexander, sixth Laird, although the estate has shrunk from 2,000 to around 250 acres (1.0 km2).[2]

Kenneth Dewar was an aide to George V and commanded HMS Royal Oak (08).[2] It is from this Kenneth Dewar that the present chiefs of Clan Dewar are descended from.[2]

The Dewar family whisky business was transformed into a major Scottish company by John Dewar who was created Baron Forteviot of Dupplin in 1917.[2] This Dewar family's seat was at Dupplin Castle which was built between 1828 and 1832, and is one of the grandest houses in Scotland.[2]

Clan chief[edit]

The father of the present chief of Clan Dewar, Lt Col. Kenneth Malcolm Joseph Dewar of that Ilk & Vogrie, was recognised by the Lord Lyon in 1990 thus allowing the Clan to be recognised as an official Scottish clan with chief rather than an Armigerous clan without a chief. The present chief is Michael Kenneth O’Malley Dewar Of That Ilk And Vogrie.[3]

As a sept of other clans[edit]

The surname Dewar is also regarded as a sept of the Clan Menzies, Clan Buchanan, Clan Arthur and Clan Macnab.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clan Dewar Profile Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  2. ^ 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 ae 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 118 - 119.
  3. ^ Burke’s Landed Gentry Of Great Britain The Kingdom in Scotland
  4. ^ Dewar surname search on Retrieved 12 September 2013.

External links[edit]