Crighton

Clan History

The lands of Kreitton formed one of the earliest baronies around Edinburgh and are mentioned in charters of the early 12th century.

 

 

Early Crichtons

Thurstan de Cechtune was a witness to the foundation of the Holyrood Abbey by King David I of Scotland in 1128. Thomas de Crichton swore fealty to King Edward I of England in the Ragman Roll of 1296. Thomas had three sons each of whom extended the family holdings. His second son William Crichton married Isabel de Ross who was heiress to the barony of Sanquhar in Dumfrieshire.

 

 

15th Century & Clan Conflicts

A descendant of his Robert de Crichton of Sanquhar was sheriff of Dumfries in 1464 and coroner of Nithsdale from 1468 to 1469. His eldest son Robert Crichton was created a peer with Lord Crichton of Sanquhar by King James III of Scotland in 1487.

Another descendant of Thomas de Crichton was Sir William Crichton who was also the Chancellor of Scotland during the minority of King James II of Scotland. Following the death of his rival the William Douglas, 6th Earl of Douglas, Sir William Crichton organised the infamous Black Dinner at Edinburgh Castle which he was also governor of at the time. The young King James was in residence and the new Earl of Douglas and his brother were invited to dine at the royal banquet. After dinner the two Douglases were dragged out to Castle Hill and executed. The Douglases then laid siege to Edinburgh Castle. Crichton perceiving the danger surrendered the castle to the King and was raised to the title of Lord Crichton.

The 2nd Lord Crichton obtained through marriage the barony Frendraught in Banffshire. The third Lord Crichton joined the Duke of Albany in his rebellion against his royal Brother King James III of Scotland which culminated in the Battle of Harlaw in 1411.

 

 

16th Century & Clan Conflicts

In 1571 Clan Crichton took the side of Clan Forbes in their long feud against Clan Gordon. By 1571 the feud had got to the point where other clans began taking sides. Other opponents of the Gordons such as Clan Keith and Clan Fraser also joined forces with Clan Forbes. However the Clan Leslie, Clan Irvine and Clan Seton who had their own feuds with the Forbeses joined forces with Clan Gordon. The feud culminated in two full scale battles in 1571; The Battle of Tillieangus and the Battle of Craibstone. It was at the Battle of Tillieangus that the 6th Lord Forbes’s youngest son known as Black Aurther Forbes was killed. Legend has it that “he stooped down to quench his thirst and one of the Gordons gave him his death blow through an open joint in his armour“.

1582, Perhaps the most celebrated Chrichton was James who lived within the reign of both Queen Mary and King James VI. He was also a superb equestrian, a feared swordsman and accomplished in all social graces. It is claimed that 50 doctors put questions to him of mind bending complexity which he answered with ease and the next day he attended a public joust and became champion of the field. At a carnival in 1582 Crichton was set upon by a gang of masked bandits who discovered that his reputation was not vanity. He promptly killed 5 of his attackers and turned to dispatch the 6th on discovering that his opponent was none other than his young pupil, Vincenzo, he dropped his guard and Vincenzo stabbed him in the heart.

 

 

17th Century & Civil War

During the Civil War Clan Crichton supported the Royalist James Graham the 1st Marquess of Montrose. The Clan Cricton fought at the Battle of Invercarron. It is said that Chief Frendraught Chrichton gave his horse to Montrose during a battle at Invercarron so he could evade capture. Crichton was taken prisoner but, considering the fate of Montrose was probably fortunate that he died of his wounds before he met a similar end.

 

 

Clan Castles

Crichton Castle was the seat of the chief of Clan Crichton from the late 14th to 15th century.

Sanquhar Castle was built by the Crichtons in the 13th century.

Blackness Castle was built by the Crichtons in 1445.

 

 

Clan Crichton Today

Another James Crichton was raised to the peerage of Scotland as Viscount Fredraught in 1642, it is from him that the present chiefly line is descended today. Their home is now at the Castle Monziie near Crieff.

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