- Clan Name: Grierson - Grier, Greer and Gregory.
- Clan Motto: Hoc Securior - Safer by This
- Clan Chief: Madam Sarah Anne Grierson of Lag, 25th Chief of the Clan.
- Clan Seat: Lag Castle by Dumfries (ruin).
- Clan Lands: Lag, Dalgarnock, Dumfries Scotland
- Clan Tartan : see above
- Clan links :
The Grierson name started appearing around the late 14th early 15th century. Assumed meaning son of Grier and could be derived from Gregory. There are associations with the Clan MacGregor and some believe they derived from the same line. It is believed by some that a Gilbrid MacGregor moved down from Loch Lomond and took up lands at Dalgarnock, which adjoins Lag. However DNA results seem to refute this.
The borders areas positioned between Scotland and England were strategically important to the countries defence. They provided an early warning of invasion and also slowed down invaders advance, buying time for mobilisation and deployment of the main army. The areas were divided up into three main areas or marches as they were called.
The Earl of the Marches was the title given to the commander in charge. His headquarters and administrative base was at Dunbar Castle.
In 1408 it is recorded that a family group - clan - be given land at the area of Lag about seven miles from Dumfries. Part of the deal at that time would be an agreement that the clan build defences and collectively defend the area on behalf of the realm.
In 1410 a Gilbert Grierson is recorded on a charter of the lands of Drumjoan, as an armour bearer in support of the Earl of Douglas. Gilbert's wife was of Douglas stock and the Earl was Lord Warden of the March that Dalgarnock and Lag were located in.
Lag Castle is said to have been started in 1460 by Vedast Grierson, elder son of Gilbert, although there was note of a tower and fortification at that site in 1444 so may have been an expansion and update. In 1473 Vedast was granted a Royal Charter by King James 3rd which confirmed his properties and position in the area.
In 1482 King Edward launched a full scale invasion of Scotland which would have seen the Grierson's actively supporting the defence. The invasion failed and the English were repulsed.
Roger was the son of Vedast and assumed command of the clan, as the 4th of Lag, on the death of his father. He was to give his life at the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488.
Their son also called Roger who would be the fifth of Lag and he gave his life aged 39 at the Battle of Flodden Field.
Although just the primary blood line of the chief he would have been supported by their clan members in these actions so life at that time was not what could be called boring.
The clan further strengthened alliances with the Douglases, Scotts and Maxwells through marriage. They came out on the side of the Maxwells against the Johnstones in the Battle of Dryfe Sands 1593.
Sir Robert Grierson M.P. was the first Baronet of Clan Grierson and the 13th recorded chief of the line. He was knighted in 1685 as reward for services as Steward of Kirkudbright. He is remembered for his suppression of the people of Galloway and his ruthless persecution of the Covenanters in an effort to stamp out the popular rebellion against Papism and the Roman Catholic Church, which was at that time also used to support and confirm the absolute power of the Reigning Monarchs, is well documented in Scottish history.
This was the beginning of a line of twelve Baronets who led the clan through the next 323 years. The last Baronet being Sir Michael John Bewes Grierson, father of the present Clan Chief, who died on 24th March 2008 in London.
Doctor T. B. Grierson started a museum in Dumfries which opened to the public in 1872. The popular building eventually fell into disrepair and the many items he collected were later distributed to local museums around the area. One museum to benefit has an exhibition entitled "The Covenanting Wars - the killing time" which has on show items from Lag Castle and letters from Rabbie Burns and Sir Walter Scott who were both friends of the Grierson family.
Turnpike was the Lag's townhouse in Dumfries. After Sir Robert expired in 1733 his widow, the Lady Henrietta Douglas who was a sister of William 1st Duke of Queensbury, stayed on at the house until her death in 1739. The family house was pulled down in the 1820's as part of the town's expansion. Sir Walter Scott based his book Red Gauntlet on the character of Sir Robert.
Barjarg Tower was bought from the Earl of Morton in 1587 by Thomas Grierson. Located in the old parish of Kier in Nithsdale which was in the western march 12 miles from Dumfries. Passed on through marriage to the Erskines from Alva around 1760 and was sold on to Rev. Andrew Hunter, minister of the new church at Dumfries in 1772.
Rockhall is another with Grierson Clan associations. It was originally the possession of the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn, but through a marriage union with Isabel Kirkpatrick came into the possession of a nobleman Gilbert Grierson in 1412. It was described as a mansion house before 1500 and in Lag Charter no. 171, dated 1st May, 1610 - the charter by Sir William Greirsoun of Lag, in consideration of the "luiff and affection quhik of dewtie, I beir to my lovit spouse, Dame Nicolace Maxwell, and calling to remembrance the cair and trubel taen be hir upoun my directioun in the edifeing and bigging of the place of Rockell laitlie constructit be me and in all utheris my honorabill affairis, according to the dewtie of ane loveing wyiff," granting the said Dame Nicolas the mansion and mains of Rockell in liferent. At Rockell. Witnesses: Gilbert Greirsoun, called of Dalskairth, Gilbert Greirsoun, named of Bardannoch, John Greirsoun, younger, in Wodheid, Gilbert Greirsoun, tailor, servant to the said Sir William, & Herbert Cunynghame, notary. It was the main residence of the Baronets of Lag and Rockhall.
Nowadays the mansion is the possession of (Baron) Brian Gregory Hamilton. It is located 6 miles east of Dumfries..
Capenoch House is 10 miles north of Dumfries the ownership passed through many Grierson hands over a 250 years span which ended in 1717. It was rebuilt in the baronial style in 1848 by the Gladstone family who now still own it.
Redbank House is currently for sale at a mere £900,000. Located two miles from Dumfries.
Dalgoner Sir William Grierson seems to have established the line at Dalgoner as a cadet branch. He left the estate to one of his sons, James, in his will when he died in 1629. The castle / house was built originally before 1600 and was to stay in the family until 1868 when it was sold to the Crawford family. Who still own it today.
Dunscore Kirk is about one and a half miles from Lag Castle and as such has seen quite a few Griersons on their way down under. Old Lag himself was buried here in the last day of 1733.