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The name Bannerman can be traced back to the late 11th century during the reign of Malcolm III or Alexander I. The King is said to have arrived at the River Spey where a large enemy force had gathered on the opposite bank, and believing themselves protected by the raising flood. The King was urged by his advisors not to cross the river until it fell but he was angered by the sight of the enemy and unable to restrain himself, drove his horse into the water, Sir Alexander Carron seeing his masters danger, seized up the royal standard and braved the raging waters, followed by the rest of the Scottish army. The rebels were put to flight and Carron was rewarded for his audacity by being named hereditary Standard Bearer to the King. His descendants still bear the privilege and carry the Scottish royal banner at appropriate ceremonies.

June 1367 David II granted land to Donald Bannerman Clyntrees, Waterton and Weltown in the Parish of Ellon in Aberdeenshire. The Bannermans were required to build a chapel where weekly mass was to be said for the repose of the soul of the Kings father, Robert the Bruce. In 1370 the Abbot of Kinloss granted the Bannermans land lying to the west of Aberdeen. The Bannermans became involved in the politics of North-East Scotland which inevitably meant taking sides in the great feud between the powerful Gordons and there enemies the Forbes, during the sixteenth century.

The Bannermans were supporters of the Forbes, in 1608 Margaret Bannerman married George Gordon of Haddo son of Sir John Gordon. He was to be a loyal supporter of the King and was later executed for opposing the National Covenant Sir Alexander Bannerman of Elsick who was created a Baronet of Novia Scotia by Charles II in 1682. His youngest son Patrick supported the cause of the Stuart monarchs and rose in support of the old Pretender in 1715. He was the Provost of Aberdeen. He presented a loyal address from the town to James VIII at Freteresso, welcoming him to his ancient kingdom of Scotland. James delighted with the demonstration of loyalty, promptly knighted Provost Bannerman. He was arrested after the failure of the raiding and was sent as a prisoner to Carlisle to await execution, but managed to escape to France.

Sir Alexander Bannerman was MP for the city of Aberdeen from 1832 to 1840 and thereafter Governor of the Bahamas and of Newfoundland.

Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, was Liberal Prime Minister of Britain from 1905 to 1908 and was born in Glasgow in 1836.

Learn more about him from the two volume publication...

The Life of the Right Hon. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, G.C.B.
By J. A. Spender (1923)
Volume 1 | Volume 2

Sir Arthur Bannerman 12th Baronet served in the Indian army and was a political aide to the Secretary of State for India from 1921-1928. He was appointed a Gentleman Usher to George V and thereafter to Edward VIII and George V. He was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1928.

John Bannerman who died in 1969 was one of Scotland's greatest rugby player winning no less than 39 caps for his country. He was a passionate Scottish nationalist and a supporter of the Gaelic language. He was made a life peer as Lord Bannerman of Kidonan in 1967 The 13th Baronet served in the Cameron Highlanders. His son is the present Chief.

Clan Bannerman is also a sept of the Clan Forbes.



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