NameLaird William de IRVINE 1st Of Drum , M
Birth Dateabt 1260
Birth PlaceAberdeenshire, Scotland
Death Dateabt 1333
Death PlaceDrum, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Marr Dateabt 1305
Marr PlaceDrum, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
ChildrenWilliam , M (~1317-~1380)
Notes for Laird William de IRVINE 1st Of Drum

King Robert the Bruce, when he fled from Edwad Longshanks came to Bonshaw, it is said, and took thence the oldest son of the family William de Irwyne to wait on him and made him his armourer bearer and secretary.

In 1323, there is a charter of the Foreste of Drum outside the Park granted by King Robert I to William de Irwyne. There was excepted part of the Foreste given to Alexander called Burnard. There is also in the following year, 1324, the following charter—“The King grants the Foreste of Drum in free barony to William de Irwyne. Among the witnesses are Bernard, Abbot of Arbroath.

In 132_, there is an infeftment to William de Irwyne of ten pounds sterling money furth from the customs of Dundee, and in 1331, Alexander, Bishop of Aberdeen, gave lands of Dalmaol and Perbrachere next to the Forest of Drum, with the right of pasture, to William de Irwyn, for payment of forty-six shillings sterling and eight pennies.

The next son, probably Sir Thomas de Irwyn…

Source: THE THANAGE OF FERMARTYN by William Temple, Aberdeen, 1894, p. 330.

The family of Irwin, Irvin or Irvine, or Erevine, is of very long standing in the South ans South West of Scotland, as well as in Aberdeenshire. According to Nisbet’s Heraldry, the Erevines came with a colony of Gauls from the West Coasts of Spain which settled in the East Coast of Erin, and in the West of Albyn. Some of them acquired lands in the Cunningham district of Ayrshire, and gave their name to the river and town of Irvine; some in Dumfries-shire and settled on the Esk, acquiring by marriage the lands of Bonshaw, which they still retain, and later Robgill Tower; and some must have settled in the North of Ireland, where there are still many proprietors of the name, especially in the counties of Fermanagh, Tyrone, Sligo, and Roscommon.

The Irvines of Drum are descended from William de Irving, a son, probably the second son, of Irvine of Bonshaw, and a zealous adherent of King Robert Bruce.

I. William de Irvine (1260-1333), the 1st laird of Drum, was King Robert Bruce’s armour-bearer, and accompanied him in prosperity and adversity during his endeavours to recover his kingdom from Edward I of England until the victory of Bannockburn.

He was rewarded for his fidelity and services with a grant, by Charter under the Great Seal, of a large portion of the Royal forest of Drum, in Aberdeenshire; the Park, which formed part of the chase, being reserved, and another portion having been recently granted to Alexander de Burnard.

This Charter is Still extand and is dated at Berwick on Tweed, 1st day of February in the 17th year of our reign (1323). Another Charter by the same king, dated at Kynros, 4th October in the 18th year of his reign, is also in the family archives in which the lands are granted in free barony: in the former, the name is spelt “de Irwin,” in the latter “de Irwyn.” King Robert also conferred upon him the device or arms which he had borne as Earl of Carrick, viz., three holly leaves.

According to a somewhat poetical legend, on one occasion, when Bruce with only three or four followers was closely pursued by his enemies, he was so overcome by fatigue that he required a few hours’ rest, and lay down and slept under a holly bush, while Irvine kept watch; in allusion to this, it is said that holly forms part of the armorial bearings of the family, with the motto “Sub sole sab umbra virens,” in testimony of his follower’s unfailing fidelity and loyalty.

There is also a Charter by David Bruce, dated 10th February in the third year of his reign (1333), in favour of the same laird of the lands of Whiteriggs and Redmires, on the resignation of Gilbert de Johnstone.

William did not live long to enjoy his estate,

and was succeeded by

his son, William (otherwise Sir Thomas) the 2nd laird

Source: A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE FAMILY OF IRVINE OF DRUM, by Captain Douglas Wimberley, Inverness, 1893, pp. 1-2.

1. William de Irwyn was born about 1260 in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and died in 1333 in Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He married Lady Marotte Bernard, probably in 1315.…

On February 1, 1323, as a reward for long and faithful service, Bruce granted Sir William de Irwyn a Free Barony in Aberdeenshire. The grant included the Castle of Drum (at the time probably just the tower and some primitive living quarters), and about 8000 acres of the original Royal Caledonian Forest. A second grant was made at Kyncross and was dated October 9, 1324. Both of the original grants are still in existence and are kept in a vault at Drum.

To honor his father Sir William took the name of Alexander and thereafter Sir William was also known as Sir Alexander I, Laird of Drum. Robert Bruce, King of Scots, died on June 7, 1329. He was just short of his fifty-fifth birthday. History does not tell us, but it is presumed that Sir William de Irwyn served as Bruce’s secretary until the end of his reign.

Historical records indicate that William and Marotte had at least four children.

They were:

1 Alexander de Irwyn was born about 1317 at Drum Castle
2 Robert de Irwyn.
3 William de Irwyn, ancestor to the Irvines of Orkney.
4 Adam de Irwyn

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Last Modified 19 Sep 2016Created 9 Jan 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh