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The name probably derives from the Scots word for a small stream.

Hugo de Cadella, a French Knight, was created Thane of Calder, later to be known as Cawdor in Nairnshire.

Hugh de Kaledouer was a witness to a charter of land near Montrose around 1178.

The Calders were great nobles with considerable lands around Inverness from the 14th century onwards. The tower that stands at the centre of Cawdor Castle was built by the Calders around 1454.

The married other local families, particularly the Rose family, Barons of Kilravock. Their ascendancy came to an end when Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll, was, along with Hugh Rose of Kilravock, appointed guardian to the infant female heir of the Calder family.

Campbell tried to take the child to Inverary to be educated as part of his family. This was opposed by her uncles, Alexander and Hugh Calder, who chased them to Strathnairn, but after considerable loss of life, she was safely delivered to Inverary.

She was brought up as a Campbell and married Sir John Campbell, son of the Earl of Argyll.

Muriel the last of the Calders died around 1575 but her descendent John Campbell of Cawdor was raised to the peerage as Lord Cawdor in 1796, and his son was created first Earl of Cawdor in 1827.

The name Calder did not die out, however, and the Calders of Asswanly received lands near Elgin in 1440.

This family received a baronetcy of Nova Scotia in 1686.



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