ARMS: Azure, a fesse checquy argent and gules.INTERPRETATION:
MOTTO: Confido (I trust).
Heraldic descriptions are written in precise terms and arranged according to heraldic rules so that a description will be the basis for creating designs which are all different from all others. Thus a coat of arms in the Old World needs no name. Each one is a family emblem. The above description may be interpreted as follows.
The first word denotes the chief tincture of the shield, or arms. Hence the BOYD shield has a blue background. On this is a cross-band (fesse) designed with checkered division (checquy) and these areas are to be silver (argent) and red (gules). The shape of the "Checquy" is symbolic of one attached to financial office. In England today there still exist the office, Chancellor of the Exchequer. In days of old one who as secretary to a noble, a prince or a king was granted the feese on his coat of arms.
The crest is a right (dexter) hand with the thumb and forefingers pointing and these included with the wreath are to be in proper or natural tinctures. The wreath according to custom in my library reports that this crest --the thumb and two fingers raised is an attitude of blessing.
These coats of arms were an item for proudful display. They established one as a gentleman and thus were evidence of great social prestige.
Thus the BOYD coat of arms with its motto, "I trust" is a fine bit of family history - a family of peace. It is said that we are a product of all that has gone before us. Therefore display the BOYD coat of arms with pride.
One of the most ancient and most frequently used of the coat of arms of the Scottish and Irish families of BOYD is that described as follows: (Burke, General Armory, 1884); Arms. -- "Azure, a fesse chequy argent and gules." Cest. -- "A dexter hand erect, pointing with the thumb and two fingers proper."
The name of BOYD is derived from the Gaelic word buidhe or boidh meaning "fair" or "yellow haired." It is evidently derived from the appearance of its original bearer or bearers. It is also occasionally found in the forms of Boyt, Boide, Boid, and Boyde, but the spelling given at the beginning of this article is that most generally accepted today, both in England and America.
Although it is not definitely known from which of the many lines of the family in the British Isles the first emigrants of the name to America were descended, it is generally thought that most, if not all, of the Boyds derive from a common European ancestor of a remote period. Records show, however, that the greater number of the early colonists of the name came from Ireland.
A more likely possibility involves linkage of our ancestor to the group of Scot citizens living in the North of Ireland in 1718, who petitioned Col. Samuel Shute, Governor of New England, for encouragement to come to America. In the list of 309 signers appears the name of BOYD nine times, as follows: Robert BOYD, Samuel BOYD, William BOYD, William BOYD, John BOYD, William BOYD, Thomas BOYD, John BOYD, Robert BOYD.
"Scottish Clans & Tartans" by Ian Grimble, Ph.D., F. R. Hist.S.,
Harmony Books, NY copyright 1973 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd.
"The Gaelic for Bute, the island next in size to Arran in the Firth of Clyde, is *Bod* and its genitive case is *Boid*. The first in Scottish records to take their name from this island were the vassals of the de Morevilles, and may have accompanied them from England. In 1205 Dominus Robertus de Boyd witnessed a contract, and throughout the 13th century the name is found in many parts of south-west Scotland. During the wars of independence Sir Robert de Boyt was taken prisoner in 1306 while Duncan Boyd was hanged in the same year for aiding the Bruce. The royal connection was strengthened in the reign of the Stewarts, when Malcolm de Bute became chaplain to Robert III in 1405, and Thomas Boyd was selected as one of the hostages for the King of Scots in 1425.
In the same century Robert, eldest son of Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, carried out a daring coup d'E9tat, such as occur in the history of all nations. He had been created Lord Boyd in 1454 by James II, who was blown up by a canon, leaving an infant son to succeed him. In 1460 Lord Boyd became Regent for young James III, and in 1466 the King's instructor in knightly exercises. He then kidnapped his charge and obtained an Act of Parliament and the royal assent appointing him sole governor of the realm. His rule was competent, and his position was cemented in 1467 when he was appointed Great Chamberlain for life. His son married the King's sister Mary and was created Earl of Arran and Lord Kilmarnock. In 1468 Boyd negotiated the royal marriage with Norway which brought the Orkney islands to the Scottish crown.
But the Boyds were now as close to the crown as the Stewarts had been under the last Bruce sovereign, and their rivals struck. Boyd and his brother Alexander of Duncole were sentenced to death by Parliament for treason. Boyd fled to England; his brother was executed. The Earl of Arran fled abroad with his royal wife and there died, after earning the highest praises for his character and abilities from Sir John Paston. The Princess Mary was compelled to marry James, Lord Hamilton, who was created Lord of Arran, and thus placed the Hamiltons next in line to the throne instead of the Boyds. It was to prove a poor exchange.
But Lord Boyd's second son survived, and his title was restored to his grandson in 1536. The 10th Lord Boyd was created Earl of Kilmarnock in 1661 for his family's services to Charles II. The 3rd Earl supported the Union with England in 1707, but the 4th commanded the cavalry of Prince Charles at Culloden and was beheaded on Tower Hill and his earldom forfeited. However, his second son became 15th Earl of Erroll by inheritance from his great-aunt and adopted the surname of Hay. To this title the barony of Kilmarknock was added in 1831. So when the 22nd Earl of Erroll died in 1941, leaving a daughter as Chief of Clan Hay and Countess of Erroll, his brother resumed the name of Boyd and became 6th Lord Kilmarnock as Chief of Clan Boyd. He was succeeded in 1975 by the 7th Lord Kilmarnock (b. 1927)."
The Boyd Heritage
The Boyds first appeared during the 13th century in the Scottish district of Cunningham (Northern Ayrshire). The family has always been associated with Ayrshire and other parts of southwest Scotland and can claim descent from the ninth-century king of Scots Kenneth MacAlpin, who united with the Picts to form the Kingdom known a century later as Scotland.
The Boyd family is a "sept"--or part--of the Royal Stewart Clan of Scotland. The first chief of the Boyds was Sir Robert Boyd who fought at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. For his actions, he was rewarded with the Barony of Kilmarnock which became the family seat. The loyalty of this family to the cause of Scottish independence earned them the nickname of the "Trusty Boyds", which in turn gave rise to the family motto: "Confido"--I trust.
Our Royal Scottish Lineage is replete with tales of derring-do, intrigue, fortunes won and lost and won again, and one very impassioned plea for mercy by a Boyd who had been convicted of high treason for supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie in his 1745 uprising against the English. (The plea went unheeded--he lost his head in the Tower of London.)
Lord Kilmarnock, a member of the House of Lords, is the present-day head of the Boyd family. Today, you can visit Dean Castle, the ancestral home of the Boyds in Kilmarnock, Scotland which is open to the public as a museum.
Alastair Ivor Gilbert Boyd, 7th Baron Kilmarnock, was born on May 11, 1927. He succeeded his father in 1975. He has been officially recognized as the head of the Boyd Family by the Court of the Lord Lyon, and is a member of The House of Lords. Lord Kilmarnock was educated at Bradfield and King's College, Cambridge. He is a member of Delegacy Goldsmiths' College. He is also a Vice-President of the Association of District Councils and a spokesman on Health, Social Services and Social Security. Lord Kilmarnock is the author of "Sabbatical Year" (1958), "The Road from Ronda" (l969) and "The Companion Guide to Madrid and Central Spain" (1972).
The home for the Boyd family was in Kilmarnock, Scotland. Dean Castle takes its name from "the Dean" or wooded valley adjacent. Until about 1700 it was called Kilmarnock Castle. After an accidental fire gutted the Palace area in 1735, the Castle suffered almost two centuries of neglect.
The restoration of the Castle was carried out by the 8th Lord Howard de Walden who had inherited the estate in 1899. In 1975, his son gifted the Castle and its magnificent collections to Kilmarnock and Loudoin District Council. In 1976, Dean Castle was opened as a public museum. The Country Park in which the Castle is situated was formally opened in 1980.
Like all ancient castles, Dean Castle has many tales associated with it. Some are pleasant, like the music that sometimes can be heard playing faintly in the Palace. The tale of William Boyd is more gruesome and more unusual. Some years before the death of the last Earl, his head was seen to appear covered in blood, rolling about on the floor, terrifying the servants. The Earl described this strange haunting to his friend the Earl of Galloway--who remembered it when Boyd joined the '45 Rising, and predicted that his friend would lose his head. The prediction of course came rue--with a final twist. The Earl of Kilmarnock was very calm at his execution--but asked for four men to catch his head in a large cloth--because he said he could face death, but not the thought of his head rolling about covered in blood!
"The first recorded Boyd was Sir Robert Boidh, who witnessed a contract at Irvine in 1205. he was supposed to have been Simon's son, and if this is true then the Stewarts and the Boyds have a common ancestry. Sir Robert's on, also called Sir Robert, fought beside Alexander III at the Battle of Largs, and because of this battle, the Vikings' powere in Scotland was smashed forever. During the battle, Alexander ordered Sir Robert to hold an important position, saying "Confido" (I Trust). He held up his hand in salute, with the index and middle fingers pointing upwards. This salute is still found on the Boyd's crest. A legend says that during the battle, Alexander's horse was about to bolt. Sir Robert seized the bridle, thus saving the King's life, and for this he was rewarded with lands in Ayshire. A contemporary account describes him thus, "He possessed a spirit imbued with patriotic ardour which quailed not at the dangers of war!." Sir Robert died about 1270, to be succeeded by his son, again Sir Robert, who in 1297 joined Wallace in his fight for Scottish independence (which brings us to Mel Gibson, the Oscars and "Braveheart").
The poet Blind Harry describes a skirmish Wallace had in about 1298 with the English: "For he (Wallace) behave so worthily With Robert Boyd and all the chivalry That not a Southron ere eventide Might any longer in that stour abide."
Many accounts have been written concerning the origin of the name and family of Boyd. The account compiled by the Media Research Bureau. in Washington, D. C. is presented here with some additional information derived from personal research in the National libraries of Edinburgh, Scotland and Dublin, Ireland and from the Halls of Records in those cities. Research in Belfast, North Ireland is incomplete due to the political unrest in that city at the present time. It is hoped that further investigation can be continued in the future as time and conditions permit. Reproduced below is the account as given by the Media Research Bureau: The Name and Family of Boyd:
The name of BOYD is derived from the Gaelic word buidhe or boidh meaning "fair" or "yellow haired." It is evidently derived from the appearance of it's original bearer or bearers. It is also occasionally found in the forms of Boyt, Boide, Boid, and Boyde, but the spelling given at the beginning of this article is that most generally accepted today, both in England and America. Simon, brother of Walter, first High Steward of Scotland, in the year 1160, was the father of one Boyd, who was the progenitor of the Lords Boyd, Earls of Arran and Lords of Kilmarnock. Sir Robert Boyd, probably the son of Simon, was living in the year 1205. He was the father of Robert, who distinguished himself in the Battle of Largs in 1263 an-I was the holder of large grants of land in the County of Ayrshire, Scotland. He left a sun, also named Robert, who took the 'bath of allegiance to King Edward the First of England in the year 1296 and was the father of Sir Robert Boyd, who fought for King Robert the Bruce in 1314 and, as a reward for his services, was given the lands of Kilmarnock, Bondington, Hertschaw, and others, in Ayrshire. This Sir Robert was the father of Sir Thomas, Alan, and James, of whom the first was the father of Sir Thomas, William, and Robert, of whom the first married Alice, daughter of Sir John Gifford, and had a son, Sir Thomas Boyd, who was the father by his wife Joanna, daughter of Sir John Montgomery, of Sir Thomas and William, of whom the former was the father of Robert, Sir Alexander, Janet, and Margaret, of whom the first was created Lord Boyd by King James the Third of Scotland before 1459. He married Mariota, daughter of Sir Robert Maxwell, and was the father of Thomas, Alexander, Archibald, Elizabeth, and Annabella, of whom the first was the first Earl of Arran. Thomas, Earl of Arran, married Mary, eldest daughter of King James the Second, and was the father of James, Earl of Arran, who, however, died without issue. Alexander Boyd, second son of Robert, Lord Boyd, married a daughter of Sir Robert Colvill and had issue by her of Robert, Thomas, and Adam, of whom the first was restored to the title of Lord Boyd and married Helen, daughter of Sir John Somerville. lie was the father of Robert, Lord Boyd, who married Margaret ? daughter of Sir John Colquhoun, and died in 1589, leaving issue of Robert (died young), Thomas, Robert., and others (see footnote a.), of whom Thomas became Lord Boyd and left issue by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Matthew Campbell, of Robert, Sir Thomas of Bedlay, Adam, John, and others of whom the first (Robert) married the Lady Jean Ker, eldest daughter of Mark, 2nd Earl of Lothian, and had two sons, Robert and James. The male descent from Robert died out in the next generation and James became Lord Boyd. He was the father by his wife, Catherine Craik, of William, who was the lst Earl of Kilmarnock and the father by his wife, the Lady Jean Cunningham, daiiahter of 'William, ninth Earl of Glencairn and High Chancellor of Scotland, of William, Earl of Kilmarnock, James, Charles, Robert, Mary, and Catherine.