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Origins of the Name

As well as the name being Scottish, Broun or Brown is also common name in Old English charters (as Brun) from an adjective meaning brown or dark red. It also occurs in Old High German as Brunn and is the source of the French surname le Brun. A family of this name were superiors of land in Cumberland shortly after the Norman conquest. In all cases it seems to be a name describing the appearance of the original ancestor.

It is also found as an anglicisation of Mac a’ Bhriuthainn (pron. “mac a vroon”), which is usually anglicised as MacBrayne, or a direct translation of MacIlledhuinn.



Brouns in Scotland

The Brouns of Colstoun, probably the heads of the family but not officially recognised as such by Lyon Court, claim descent from the Royal House of France. They bear on their shield the three fleur-de-lys of the French Monarchy. The Brouns of Colstoun also claim descent from George Broun who in 1543 married Jean Hay second daughter of Lord Yester, ancestor of the Marquess of Tweeddale.

The dowry consisted of the “Colstoun Pear” which was said to have been invested with wondrous powers by the 13th Century wizard and necromancer Hugo de Gifford of Yester. This pear was meant to ensure unfailing prosperity on the family which possessd it. The pear was said to have been as fresh as the day it was picked until in the 17th Century a pregnant descendant, longing for the fruit which was out of season, took a bite of it, whereupon it became as hard as rock.

Patrick Broun of Colstoun was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1686, the title to be passed on to his male heirs. On his death he left only a daughter who inherited his possessions while the title went to the Thorndyke branch of the family. Members of a younger branch of Broun of Colstoun settled in Elsinore, Denmark where they became prominent merchants; the name is still found there today. During the Civil War Sir John Brown of Fordell commanded the royalist army at the Battle of Inverkeithing in 1650.



Clan profile

Arms: Gules, a chevron between three fleur de lis Or

Crest: A lion rampant, holding in the dexter paw a fleur de lis

Tartans: Clan Broun of Coulston, Clan Brown of Castle Dean, Clan Brown Military Watch, Clan *Brown Dress Watch

Mottos: Floreat magestas (Let majesty flourish)



Clan Castles

Seats of the Clan Broun have included: Bruntsfield House and Carsluith Castle.

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