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Clan Baillie

☀☀ Officially registered clan, without a Clan Chief, registered with the Lord Lyon Court.


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  • Crest/Badge A boar's head erased, Proper
  • Gaelic Name: Mac a' Bhaillidh
  • Motto: Quid Clarius Astris (What is Brighter Than the Stars?)
  • Origin of Tartan:
  • Name Variations: Baillie, Bailey, Ballie, Bailzea, Bailze, Bailyne, Baillyie, Balye, Bailley, Bailly, Bailie, Baile, Baly, Balze, Baylly, Bayllie, Baylzee, Bailue, Baleus, Bailzie, Bailyow, Bailive, Baily, Ballye, Baillye, Beal, Bayley, Balzie, Baylie, Baylzie, Beale, Baillze
  • Lands
  • Seat:
  • Clan Chief:


Origins of the name

French: 'Baillie' meaning 'Bailiff'

The surname Baillie most probably derives from the French term for bailif which was a name given to an officer who managed estates. It is a common misconception that the name derives from the surname Bailliol but was changed after the wars of independence due to it's connection with the unpopular Balliol kings.


Traditionally Baillie is believed to be a corruption of the name of Balliol which was changed on account of the unpopularity of the two Scottish Balliol kings.

Most authorities agree, however, that the most likely derivation of this name is from the French ‘baillie’, meaning ‘bailiff or ‘steward’.

The earliest record of this name in Scotland occurs in 1311-12 when William de Bailli/William de Baillie appears as a jury member at an inquest concerning land in Lothian; he is also recorded as one of the witnesses to a charter by John de Graham, Lord of Abercorn in 1315.

There are a number of prominent families of this name, most notably those of Lamington, Polkemmet, Jerviswood, Dochfour and Dunain. William de Bailli mentioned above is believed to be "Baillie of Hoperig", ancestor of the Baillies of Lamington, who was granted the lands of Lamington by David II, with whom he fought at the Battle of Durham.

William Baillie of Hoprig was knighted by David 11 in 1357 and received a royal charter to the barony of Lamington in 1368.

Alexander Baillie, a younger son of Lamington, fought at the Battle of Brechin in 1452 and was rewarded by the Earl of Huntly with the lands of Dunain and Dochfour near Inverness. He was also appointed constable of Inverness Castle.

Cuthbert Baillie of Carphin was Lord High Treasurer to James IV in 1512.

Sir William Baillie of Provand was called to the Bench in 1566, taking the title of ‘Lord Provand’.

Sir William Baillie married Janet Hamilton, daughter of James, Earl of Arran and Duke of Chatelherault. He was made Master of the Wardrobe to Queen Mar in 1542. Faithful to her daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, they fought at the Battle of Langside in 1568, after which the estates were declared forfeit.

The Reverend Robert Baillie, descended from the house of Jerviston, was a renowned Protestant minister and chaplain to the Covenanter armies in 1639. Baillie had no connection with any conspiracy to overthrow the government but he was nevertheless arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit high treason. He was convicted in the High Court at Edinburgh on 24 December 1684 and sentenced to be hanged the same day.

In 1894, James Evan Baillie of Dochfour married the daughter** of the first Baron Burton. the great Victorian industrialist. Lord Burton died without male issue and the peerage has now passed to the Baillies of Dochfour, who still have a great estate on the shores of Loch Ness.

The title, Baillie of Lamington, having often been held by females, finally fell vacant in 1880. The Baillies of Dochfour and Dunain in the Inverness area are descended from a son of the laird of Lamington who fought at the Battle of Brechin in 1452. The Earl of Huntly awarded his gallantry with the Dochfour lands. In 1894 Col. James Baillie, member of Parliament for Inverness, married Nellie Lisa Bass** and brought the title of Baron Burton into the Dochfour family.

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