- Porteous family
The Porteous family is an ancient
Scottish Borders armigerousfamily.
The earliest records for members of the Porteous family in Peeblesshire date back to the early part of the fifteenth century.
The earliest possible reference, according to
Lord Lyon King of Armsin Edinburgh, is to a Guillaume Porteuse (later William Porteous), who arrived from Normandyc 1400under the patronship of the wealthy Fraise family (later to become the Frasers). They had already settled in parts of lowland Scotland, having been granted lands by the King.
The early meaning of the name Porteuse (from the French) was indeed possibly of 'courier' or 'messenger'. But in
Scotland, they turned their hand to other trades. In the days when the glens and hamlets of Tweeddale and, later, Annandale were much more densely populated than today, they seem to have pursued various occupations – from millers and blacksmiths to ministers of religion.
The home of early members of the Porteous family for many hundreds of years was
Hawkshawin Peeblesshire. The link to modern day families is as yet unproven. There is some doubt as to how long the family had held the ancestral family home, but it is certain that there a castle of sorts at Hawkshaw, probably built as no more than a small fortified keep, and intended as a watch towerwhere a signal fire could be lit to warn of approaching danger. A line of these so-called Peel towers was built in the 1430s across the Tweedvalley from Berwickto its source, as a response to the dangers of invasion from the English borders. Hawkshaw was one of over two dozen of these in Peeblesshire alone.
eighteenth centurythere began a massive migration of families from Scotland, initially to Englandand Ireland– and eventually to the New Worldand the newly discovered countries of the British Empire.
The reasons for this were many – and changed considerably during the following three hundred years. The historical background was turbulent and Scotland saw many changes which led to emigration of large numbers of both Highland and Lowland families.
Lowland Clearances( 1760– 1830), especially, resulted in a massive movement of poor Scots from the Lowlands to the growing industrial centres of Glasgowand northern England – to Newcastle, Liverpooland eventually to Londonand other large cities and ports. Families were tempted by the offer of employment in the fast growing industries which had burgeoned with the coming of the Industrial Revolutionand the promise of a higher standard of living.
The subsequent depopulation of the Lowlands and the
Highland Potato Famineof 1836–37 added to those who chose to leave. Over 1.7 million people left Scotland from 1846 to 1852, primarily going to Nova Scotiaand Canada. They left in vast numbers to seek better fortune on the other side of the Atlantic [ [http://www.highlandclearances.info/clearances/clearances_emigrantships.htm The Emigrant Ships.] ]
ome famous members of the family
Captain John Porteousof the City Guard of Edinburgh (c 1695–1736)
* Dr Beilby Porteus,
Bishop of Chesterand London, noted abolitionist(1731–1809)
James Porteous, inventor of the Fresno Scraper(1848–1922)
Stanley Porteus, psychologistand author (1883–1972)
George Porteous, Lieutenant-Governorof Saskatchewan(1903–1977)
Patrick Porteous, VC, war hero (1918–2000)
* Rev Prof
Norman Walker Porteous, theologian and translator of the Bible (1898–2003)
John Alexander Porteous, columnistand journalist(1932–1995)
Timothy Porteous, CM, former executive assistant to Pierre Trudeau(1934– )
Skipp Porteous, political activist, cult investigator (1944– )
Thomas Porteous, US District Court judge (1946– )
* Most Rev Julian Porteous,
Bishop, Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia(1949– )
Thomas James Porteous, bassist, trombonistand actor. Great-grandson of Norman Walker Porteous. (1993– )
The Porteous family today
Branches of the family having emigrated to all five continents, there is an active family research group [http://www.geocities.com/porteous_assoc/] which seeks to help family members seeking more information about their ancestors. The cairn at Hawkshaw has, over the years, become a place of pilgrimage for members of the Porteous family, and an international reunion is held at the nearby
Crook Inn, Tweedsmuirevery five years, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The Heart of Mid-Lothian
* [http://porteous.org.uk Porteous Research Project]
* [http://www.geocities.com/porteous_assoc/ Porteous Associates family history]
* [http://www.porteous.co.za Porteous Family Web Site (South Africa)]
* Porteous, Barry. "The Porteous Story", (Kingston, Ontario, published privately 1975)
* Porteous, Richard. "Members of the Porteous Family Killed in World Wars I and II", (Redditch, Worcestershire, England, published privately 2000)
* Porteous, Roger. "Porteous Australia", (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, published privately 1980)
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Hawkshaw, Scottish Borders — Hawkshaw is the ancestral family home of the Porteous family on the River Tweed just two miles southwest of Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders and dating from at least 1439. Historically part of Peeblesshire, the original village of Hawkshaw was… … Wikipedia
Beilby Porteus — or Porteous (May 8, 1731 ndash; May 13, 1809), successively Bishop of Chester and of London was an Anglican reformer and leading abolitionist in England. He was the first Anglican in a position of authority to seriously challenge the Church s… … Wikipedia
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Peel tower — Peel towers (also spelt pele ) are small fortified keeps or tower houses, built along the English and Scottish Borders, intended as watch towers where signal fires could be lit by the garrison to warn of approaching danger. By an Act of… … Wikipedia