Haig

Origins

The first known person of the name was Petrus de Haga, who is mentioned in documents from 1162. However, the Clan Haig are traditionally said to descend from Druskine, the King of Picts, who was killed at the Battle of Camelon by Kenneth, the King of Scots, in 839.

His son, Hago, escaped to Norway and it was his descendant, Petrus de Hago, who served with the Viking forces of King Harald IV of Norway. Hago, who was shipwrecked off Eyemouth, befriended the Earl of March. He later married the Earl’s daughter and the Earl gave him the lands of Bemersyde near Dryburgh in Roxburghshire, Scotland.

The Haigs became the Barons of Bemerside and rapidly gained a position of some influence in the area. Their signatures are on the Ragman Rolls of 1296 swearing allegiance to King Edward I of England.

 

 

Wars of Scottish Independence

In the 14th century during the Wars of Scottish Independence the Clan Haig fought alongside William Wallace against the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1296. The next chief and sixth Laird continued this support by fighting alongside King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, where he was killed.

 

 

15th century & clan conflicts

Chief Gilbert Haig opposed the powerful Clan Douglas. Gilbert’s son James supported King James III of Scotland. After the King was murdered in 1488 he fled into hiding before making peace with King James IV of Scotland.

 

 

16th century & Anglo-Scottish Wars

During the Anglo-Scottish Wars, chief William Haig led the Clan Haig at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he was killed in 1513.

His son, the 14th Laird of Bemeryside was able to effect some revenge for his father’s death when he captured Lord Evers, an English commander at the Battle of Ancrum Moor in 1544. Evers later died at Bemeryside and was buried at Melrose Abbey.

 

 

17th century

Chief William Haig, the 19th Laird was the King’s Solicitor for Scotland during the reign of James VI and Charles I. The twenty-first Laird, Anthony Haig was persecuted for his membership of the Society of Friends and suffered a long period of imprisonment.

Four sons of the chief were killed while fighting in the service of the King of Bohemia between 1629 and 1630.

 

 

Tower of Bemersyde

The Tower of Bemersyde was originally built in 1535 when its principle purpose was defense. It was improved in 1690 when large windows and fireplaces were introduced. The house was extended in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1960 further alterations were carried out by the present chief to improve the overall design and proportions of the house.

 

 

Clan chief

The current chief of Clan Haig, George Alexander Eugene Douglas Haig the 2nd Earl Haig, who was page of honour to George VI at his coronation in 1937, is a distinguished artist and an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Category posts

Search the Information Centre.

Need help? See our Search Tips