A name derived from the office of chamber- lain to the king. Herbertus, whose family appears to have held lands in Ayr and Lanarkshire, was ‘camerarius regis scotiae’, or Great Chamberlain of Scotland, from 1124 to 1153. His family possessed the barony of Gadgirth from that time and Nisbet comments that they assumed the name De Camera, in the same manner as the family of the Great Stewards assumed that of Stewart when they ascended to the throne, alluding to the office of their original dynastic founder. James Chalmer of Gadgirth was a fervent Protestant reformer, admired even by his fellow reformer John Knox for his zeal. The name is also found in Aberdeenshire, where the Chalmers of Balnacraig and those of Cults and Aldbar are believed to have sprung from entirely separate stock from their Ayrshire namesakes. These families also played a prominent part in public affairs. Major General Sir William Chalmers, a distinguished soldier, is reputed to have had three horses killed under him at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Dr Thomas Chalmers, born in 1780, was one of the most influential theological writers of his time. He was appointed Professor of Divinity at Edinburgh in 1828 and he became the first moderator of the Free Church of Scotland after the Disruption of 1843, when the Church of Scotland split in two. He sought to apply Christian ethics to economic issues and worked to relieve need among the urban poor. A splendid statue of him stands in Princes Street in Edinburgh.

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