Origins of the Clan
The originator of the Clan Stirling is believed to be a man by the name of Thoraldus who was granted a charter of lands in Cadder by King David I of Scotland in 1147. His descendant Sir Alexander de Strivelyn, the fith Laird of Cadder died in 1304.
Wars of Scottish Independence
During the Wars of Scottish Independence Alexander’s heir, Chief John de Strivelyn led the clan against the English at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333 where he was killed. His grandson, Sir William had two sons. The succession of chieftenship passed through his first son, William for four generations and then passed to the grandson of his second son John.
John was the governor of the Royal Dumbarton Castle and was sheriff of Dumbartonshire. He was appointed armour bearer by King James I of Scotland and Comptroller of the Royal Household. He was knighted in 1430. His son, William acquired the lands of Glorat from the Earl of Lennox. He also held Dumbarton Castle for the King. The Stirlings obtained the lands of Keir in Perthshire in the mid 15th century.
16th Century & Anglo-Scottish Wars
In the 16th century during the Anglo-Scottish Wars William’s son George who was now the chief also held Dunbarton Castle. His lands were forfeited after leading the clan into battle at the Battle of Linlithgow against the King’s authority in 1526 but they were restored the following year. George led the clan into battle against the English at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547. He died later of wounds he received at the battle.
In 1563 a battle took place between the Clan Stirling and the Clan Kincaid family. Malcolm Kincaid, the head of the family, lost an arm. However this did not stop Malcolm from fighting as the two clans met again for another battle where the Kincaid leader was finally dispatched by a Stirling of Glorat in 1581.
17th Century & Civil War
George’s great-grandson Sir Mungo Stirling was a staunch adherent of King Charles I who knighted him in recognition of his bravery. The Clan Stirling fought under James Graham the 1st Marquess of Montrose at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645. Sir Mungo Stirling’s son, George Stirling was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1666.
18th Century & Jacobite Uprisings
The Stirlings supported the Jacobite House of Stuart during the Jacobite Uprisings. Chief James Stirling was imprisoned and his lands forfeited for his involvement but they were later restored.
Sir David Stirling
Perhaps the most famous Stirling was Sir David Stirling who was the founder of the British special forces unit, the 22nd Special Air Service. Stirling commanded the unit in the African theatre of World War II, where its activities behind enemy lines considerably hindered the activities of the forces of the German General Rommel.
The current chief of Clan Stirling is Francis John Stirling of Cadder, Chief of the Name and Arms of Stirling, Representer of the Stirlings of Cadder.
Muiravonside Estate was the seat of the chiefs of Clan Stirling.
Dumbarton Castle, several chiefs of Clan Stirling from the 15th century onwards have been sheriffs of Dunbarton.
Glorat House, Home to the Stirlings of Glorat
Spelling variations and septs of the Clan Stirling include:
Stairline, Stairling, Starling, Stairlink, Sterline, Sterling, Sterlink, Sterlline, Sterlling, Sterllink, Steuline, Steuling, Steulink, Stewline, Stewling, Stewlink, Stirine, Stiring, Stirink, Stirline, Stirling, Stirlink, Strifelan, Strifeland, Strifelane, Strifelant, Strifelen, Strifelend, Strifelent, Strifelind, Strifelint, Strifelyn, Strifelynd, Striffelan, Striffeland, Striffelane, Striffelant, Striffelen, Striffelend, Striffelent, Striffelind, Striffelint, Striffelyn, Striffelynd, Strivelan, Striveland, Strivelane, Strivelant, Strivelen, Strivelend, Strivelent, Strivelind, Strivelint, Strivelyn, Strivelynd, Sturline, Sturling, Sturlink, Styrline, Styrling, Styrlink.