Find Your Holiday Cottage...

Select either Friday or Saturdays for the best results. Click to search all Scottish Locations.

Nairn Name & Clan

The important northern burgh of Nairn lies in the rich lands of Morayshire. One of the earliest records of the name is Adam de Narryn, chaplain of the altar of the Blessed Virgin at Inverness. Alexander Nairn of Sandford was Comptroller of the Royal Household to James II, and commissioner for peace negotiations with England in 1547. Robert Nairne, who held Scotland’s highest judicial office as Lord President of the Court of Session, was the father of Robert Nairne of Strathford, an ardent royalist and supporter of Charles I. He was captured after the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he remained until the Restoration. He was knighted and later in 1681 created a peer, taking the title, ‘Lord Nairne’. He had no male heirs and the title was entailed to his son-in-law, Lord William Murray. The second Lord Nairne was a naval officer who supported the Jacobite rising of 1715. He was captured at Preston and sent to the Tower of London. He freely admitted his treason and was condemned to death. He was later reprieved, but his title was forfeited. The family remained adherents to the Stuart cause, and the second Lord’s son, Robert, followed Bonnie Prince Charlie, the ‘Young Pretender’, and was killed at Culloden. His brother, John, who commanded two hundred Nairnes at the same battle, escaped with his life to France.

The peerage was restored to his grandson, William Nairne, born in 1757, and who became inspector general of the army for Perthshire. He married Carolina Oliphant, the celebrated Jacobite poet credited with authorship of the famous songs, Charlie is my Darling and Will ye no’ come back again?

On the death of William’s eldest son, the title was claimed by Margaret, Baroness Keith, the granddaughter of Robert Nairne who fell at Culloden. She had married the French ambassador to the Court of St James, the Comte de Flahault, who had been a famous general in the army of Napoleon.

In 1704 Sir William Nairne of Dunsinnan (a designation made legendary by its mention in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as Dunsinane) was created a baronet.

Sir William Nairne, the fifth Baronet was a distinguished lawyer who was appointed to the Bench in 1786 with the title, ‘Lord Dunsinnan’.

Michael Nairne of Kirkcaldy founded the great Scottish linoleum industry and was to become a great benefactor to his native town. His eldest son, Michael, was created a baronet in 1904. Floor coverings are still marketed throughout the world under the name, ‘Nairnfloor’.

Charles Nairne, who was born in Perth in 1808, emigrated to America where he became Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University in New York.

Ainslie Nairn of Ballincrieff, a descendant of the chiefly house, is one of Scotland’s leading lawyers, with particular interest in peerage and heraldic matters.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.