The Glendinnings. a Douglas sept


The Glendinnings are a sept of the Douglas Clan and the history of the name goes back to Adam de Glendonwyn who was alive during the reign of Alexander III of Scotland, circa 1286.

According to the account given in Douglas's Baronage, and also in Anderson's Scottish Nation, Glendinning, formerly spelt Glendoning, anciently Glendonwyn, is a surname derived from " the territory known of old by that name," which comprehended " a considerable district " of Eskdale, Ewis, Liddesdale, and the west of Roxburghshire.

An unidentified sourse states that the name originates from the lands of same name in Westerkirk in Dumfriesshire. But it goes on to say that, prior to 1286, a charter was granted by John Macgill of that Ilk to Adam de Glendonwyn of his part of the lands and baronies of Clifton and Mertobel in Roxburghshire. Sir Adam obtained a discharge of all bygone feu-duties from Archibald Douglas, lord of Galloway in 1313, and John of Glendonwyne and Symoun of Glendonwyne were two of the ‘borowis’ for the earl of Douglas’s bounds of the West March in 1398.

Educated men in Scotland spoke the language of their allies, the French, and many surnames developed based on place names - de Glendonwyn meaning of (or from) Glendonwyn.

Adam's descendants became knights and substantial landholders, fighting alongside the Douglas clan leaders in their battles with the English and were often to be found offering themselves to English Kings as hostage for their countrymen's good behaviour.

The clan grew (that is the followers who took the name Glendinning and who were not necessarily relations of the principal family) and ultimately began to spread - across the border to England, over to Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in 1610 and on to the New Worlds, Scots being leaders in emigration.

The most common reasons for the earliest border crossings were raids to steal English sheep, cattle and horses. Some of these men, known as reivers, just never went home and were eventually accepted by the community they chose to settle in.

Margaret Douglas b c 1325, d by 7/1377 daughter of Sir John Douglas of Lothian & Agnes Monfode; niece of Sir William Douglas of Lothian - ancestor of the Douglases of Morton married in about 1342 Adam de Glendonwyn of Glendonwyn

Adam de Glendonewyn occupied Glendonwyn in 1341-42. About 1342 Adam married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Douglas of Lothian and his wife Agnes Monfode, a niece of Sir William Douglas of Lothian. Margaret born in about 1325, died before 1st August 1377. Her brother Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith, born about l330, was beloved “kinsman” of Robert II, King of Scotland.

In 1380 Sir Adam Glendonwyn was receiver of the Douglas revenues for Eskdale, and received grants of the lands of Brecallow, i.e. Barntalloch or Stapelgortoun.

Before 1383, Sir Simon Glendinning of Parton married Lady Mary Douglas, daughter of Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas and Margaret Stewart, Lady of Galloway.

Sources for this article include:

•  Clan Douglas Association of Australia (CDAA) Newsletter #82, 2009.
•  Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser, 1879

See also:

•  Douglas of Glendinning


This page was last updated on 11 August 2021

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