Clan Cranstoun

Clan Cranstoun
Crest badge suitable for wear by a member of Clan Cranstoun.

Clan Cranstoun is a Lowland Scottish clan.



Origins of the clan

The name Cranstoun comes from the Barony of Cranstoun in Midlothian. The family owned lands in the counties of Edinburgh and Roxburgh.

The first known person of the Cranstoun family was Elfric de Cranstoun who was a witness to a charter by William the Lion in Holyrood in about 1170. Around that time he also appears in a deed between Robert de Quincy and the Abbot of Newbattle.

Cranstoun tartan, as published in 1842 in Vestiarium Scoticum.

16th century

The Cranstouns of that Ilk prospered until they became mixed up in the unstable political situation of 1592. Thomas and John Cranston were amongst those accused of treason for assisting the Earl of Bothwell in his attack on the palace of Holyrood House.

The Cranstoun family are known to have lived up to their motto ""thou shalt want before I want" as they are known to have often taken part in the border clan raids of England.

17th century & Civil War

The Clan Cranstoun took the side of the Royalists during the Civil War. The clan was led by chief, third Lord Cranston at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 where he was captured. He languished in the Tower of London. All of his estates were forfeited apart from a small amount that were left for his family and children.

Two governors of Rhode Island, John Cranston (politician) who was a first settler (born in Edinburgh, Scotland), and his son Samuel Cranston were of the clan.

Napoleonic Wars

James, eighth Lord Cranstoun, was a distinguished officer in the Royal Navy who commanded HMS Bellerophon in a squadron of only seven ships which was attacked on 17 June 1795 by a French fleet three times larger. After a running battle which lasted more than twelve hours, the French were completely defeated, and eight ships of the line were destroyed. Lord Cranstoun was later appointed Governor of Grenada, but before he could set foot upon the island, he died, it is believed of lead poisoning, in 1796. The peerage became extinct in 1813.

See also

External links

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