Sans Peur - Without Fear

Sutherland Tartan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Sutherland Tartan

A territorial surname, associated with the county and later Dukedom in the N of Scotland, the name derives from the Norse 'Sudrland', or 'southern land. The family are of Flemish origin, descended from Freskin whose sons married into the old House of Moray and gained lands granted by King David I c.1130. Freskin's great-grandson, William de Moravia, was created Earl of Sutherland c.1235. Kenneth de Moravia, the 4th Earl, was killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333 opposing an English army led by King Edward III. The 5th Earl was married to the daughter of Robert the Bruce and their son was heir to the throne but died of plague. The 6th Earl built the first Dunrobin Castle, which became the clan seat and was rebuilt as a French chateau by the 2nd Duke. The 10th Countess married into the Gordons c.1500 and this became the family name until the 18th century when it was changed to Sutherland.

One branch of the family remained in Moray, adopted the surname Murray, and gave rise to the Dukes of Atholl and other notable lines bearing that name. Notable members of the family include botanist James Sutherland (1639 - 1719).

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