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Clan Boswell

Clan Boswell is a Scottish kin group or family who do not have a recognised chief and are therefore considered an armigerous clan.


This name is universally accepted as being of Norman or French origin. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 365</ref> Black states that it either derived from a vill or manor near Yvetot in Normandy or from Beuzevill near Bolbec. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

Middle Ages

Robert de Boseuille witnessed several charters in the reign of William the Lion and it is speculated that the Boswells were among the knights who David I settled in Scotland. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

Roger de Bosvil is recorded in the 13th century as a landowner in Fife. <ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 23</ref>

Walter de Bosville was taken prisoner at Dunbar in 1296.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref> William de Bosville rendered homage, also in 1296. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>His son Richard recieved land from Robert the Bruce near Ardrossan.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

A younger son of the Borders family is said to have been the first to settle in Fife, marrying an heiress.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref> The family aquired the barony of Balmuto which they held until the early eighteenth century.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

Sixteenth Century

Sir Alexander Boswell died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref> The family gained lands in Auchinleck.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

Eighteenth Century

Alexander Boswell (judge), the 8th Laird of Auchinleck, was elevated to the Bench in 1756 and assumed the title ‘Lord Auchinleck’. His son, James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck, was the famous biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

Sir Alexander Boswell, 1st Baronet, 10th Laird of Auchinleck, the biographer’s son, was created a baronet in 1821. Another distinguished Boswell was Robert Boswell, Writer to the Signet, who held the post of Interim Lord Lyon King of Arms, from 1795 to 1796.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 365</ref>

References <references/>