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Royal Deeside :The Clan Farquharson

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Much of the western end of Royal Deeside is owned by large estates. The largest of these is Invercauld, seat of the Farquharson clan. Indeed, The A93 from Ballater through Braemar on to Cairnwell, a distance of 25 miles, either passes through or borders the Invercauld estate for much of the way. The history of this part of Royal Deeside is therefore closely related to the history of the the Farquharsons.

In recent years the Clan Farquharson (UK) Society has met each year in Braemar.

The brief history of the clan given below is based on the book by Ian Grimble:

Scottish Clans and Tartans
Hamlyn Publishing 1973

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Some Braemar History History of Braemar Macbeth and Braemar History of the Braemar Gathering The Clan Farquharson

Invercauld House (or Castle) is the traditional seat of the Farquharsons.

A grant of arms made by Lord Lyon in 1697 stated that John Farquharson of Invercauld was '...lawfully descended of Shaw son of MacDuff, Thane of Fife whose successors had the name Shaw until Farquhar Shaw, son to Shaw of Rothiemerchus, Chief of the whole name came to be called Farquharson...'. Thus the Farquharsons branched from Clan Shaw, itself a member of the Clan Chattan.

It was Donald Farquharson who married Isobel Stewart, heiress of Invercauld and their son Finlay Mór, 1st of the House of Farquharson of Invercauld, who gave to the Farquharson Chiefs their style MacFionnlaidh (siol Fhionnlaidh or descendents of Finlay). Finlay Mòr was killed in the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 being the Royal Standard Bearer and he was in Inveresk church yard.

Moving to their Deeside inheritance the Farquharsons became vassals of the Earldom of Mar but in the early 17th century they were able to purchase feu charters to their lands There were several branches to the family including those of Inverey, Invercauld and Monaltrie. William Farquharson was possibly the most important supporter of Montrose in 1644. His son John, the Black Colonel, fought with Bonnie Dundee and was responsible for the burning of Braemar Castle in 1689 when it was owned by the Earls of Mar. After the attainder of the Earl of Mar, who led the Jacobite rising of 1715, they held the feu charters directly of the Crown. Today Braemar Castle, which was built in 1628 by James Erskine, Earl of Mar, is owned by Captain Alwyne A. C. Farquharson of Invercauld. (Braemar Castle stands about one mile east of Braemar and Invercauld House stands a further two miles to the east.)

John Farquharson of Invercauld avoided becoming involved with the Forty-Five rising but his daughter played an important role in support of 'Bonnie' Prince Charles. Other Farquharsons also joined Prince Charles and formed two battalions, under Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie, "the Baron Ban", and Farquharson of Balmoral. Captured at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and then exiled to England for many years, Francis Farqhuarson returned to Deeside and played and important role in developing the area and in the creation of the new town of Ballater. The Monaltrie line ended with the death of Francis's son William.

John Farquharson of Invercauld died in 1750. In 1805 the Lord Lyon recognised Catherine Farquharson as the Chief of the clan. She married Captain James Ross, Royal Navy, who took the name Farquharson. The inheritance again passed through the female line when Mrs. Myrtle Farquharson of Invercauld was confirmed Chief in 1936. On her death the succession passed to her nephew, Captain Farquharson, the present (16th) Chief of Clan Farquharson.

Septs of the Clan Farquharson

Barrie; Bowman; Brebner; Bremner; Caig; Carracher; Christie; Christison; Coates; Coutts; Cromar; DeBarre;

Fairhair; Farahar; Farchair; Fargason; Farker; Farquhar; Ferret; Ferry; Findlay; Finlay; Finlayson; Finley; Forker;

Gracie; Grassick; Grassie; Hardy; Kellas; Kerbacher; Kerracher; Leys; Lyon;

MacArtney; MacEacher; MacGardie; MacHardie; Macinlay; MacKindlay; MacPadden; MacSwayed; McWade; MacWood; Maclag;

Paterson; Quaid; Reiach; Reoch; Riach;

Tause; Tawse; Waide; Waite; Waye; Wood

Top of Page

Introduction A History of Royal Deeside The Deeside Railway The Old Military Road Old Kirkyardst
Queen Victoria and Royal Deeside John Brown, Loyal Servant Francis Farquharson Lord Byron, poet Alexander Gordon
Macbeth and Braemar Braemar Gathering and Highland Games History of Braemar Clan Farquharson Bridges of Ballater
19th Century Ballater History of Dinnet area Aboyne History Aboyne Wartime Poetry Aboyne Great War Records
History of Dinnet History of Tarland Scott Skinner, the Strathspey King Glen O' Dee Hospital Brunel's Bridge
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