Brodie

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Clan Brodie are a Scottish chiefly family

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Origins

This family take their name from the lands of Brodie near Forress in Morayshire. <ref> George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia (Glasgow, Harper Collins, 1994) </ref>Most of the important records, such as charters, were lost in a fire in 1645. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 80</ref> Shaw suggests that the name itself is derived from the Gaelic word 'brothaig' meaning 'muddy' or 'ditch'. He also suggests that they may have shared a common ancestry with the Morays and Inneses who were all settled in the same area by the twelfth century, pointing to the similarity of their coats of arms. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 80</ref> Dorward explains that the Gaelic word 'brothach' or 'muddy' is the origin of the place name, Brodie, and thereafter the family name. <ref>David Dorward, Collins Dictionary of Scottish Surnames (Glasgow, Harper Collins, 27)</ref>

Early History

Michael Brodie of Brodie received a charter of confirmation of his lands of Brodie from Robert the Bruce. This functioned to make the old thanage into a barony. <ref>Lorna Blackie, Clans and Tartans, the Fabric of Scotland, (London, Grange Books, 1987) 19</ref>The charter states that Brodie of Brodie held the thanage of Brodie by right of succession from his paternal ancestors- thus it has been suggested that the family had Pictish origins, being descended from the royal family who carried the name 'Brude'. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 80</ref> The Brodie family therefore claims to be descended from Pictish aristocracy. A suriving document from the family's early history was discovered in 1972 in a pigeon loft, this was a bishop's office book dating from c.1000. <ref>Lorna Blackie, Clans and Tartans, the Fabric of Scotland, (London, Grange Books, 1987) 19</ref>

Middle Ages

By the medieval period the Brodies were prominent local nobles, appearing on charters. John de Brothie is recorded in a church charter attending on the Earl of Mar, Lieutenant of the North, in 1376. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 80</ref> Some evidence, suggests that the family were hereditary lawyers. Alexander Brodie of Brodie appears to have been a local judge as he was summoned before the Lords of Council in Edinburgh in January 1484 to explain one of his verdicts. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 80</ref> John of Brodie is mentioned many times as a arbiter of disputes in 1492. He may also be the same John of Brodie who assisted the Mackenzies in their battle against the MacDonalds at Blair-na-park in 1466. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 80</ref>

Clan conflicts

Clan Brodie joined the royal army led by the Earl of Atholl against the rebel son of the Lord of the Isles, Aonghas Óg. However, in 1481 Aonghas Óg defeated them at Lagabraad, killing 517 of the royal army. <ref>Mackenzie, Alexander (1881). History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles. Inverness: A. & W. Mackenzie, 98 </ref>In 1550 Alexander Brodie was denounced as a rebel along with 150 others for attacking Alexander Cumming of Altyre and mutilating one of his servants. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref>Thomame Brodye de iodem, the 11th chief, was killed defending against the English invasion at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh.<ref>Bain, George, F.S.A., Scotland (1893). History of Nairnshire. Nairn, Scotland: Nairn Telegraph Office.</ref>

In 1562 the said Alexander "the rebel", joined Clan Gordon and George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly in his rebellion against Mary, Queen of Scots. They were defeated at the Battle of Corrichie. Huntly died, Brodie escaped but was denounced a rebel, and his estates declared forfeited. For four years the sentence of outlawry hung over his head, but in 1566, the Queen having forgiven Clan Gordon for their disloyalty, included Alexander Brodie in the royal warrant remitting the sentence against them, and restoring them their possessions. <ref>Bain, George, F.S.A., Scotland (1893). History of Nairnshire. Nairn, Scotland: Nairn Telegraph Office, 230 </ref>

War of the Three Kingdoms

Brodie Castle

Alexander Brodie of Brodie, who was born in 1617, was a vigorous supporter of the reformed religion, and in 1640 he attacked Elgin Cathedral and destroyed its carvings and paintings, which he considered idolatrous. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref>He represented Elgin in Parliament, and in 1649 was one of the commissioners sent to negotiate with the exiled Charles II his conditions for his return to Scotland. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref>

He was an able politician, as after the defeat of the royalist forces at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 he was summoned to London by Oliver Cromwell to consider a union between Scotland and England. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref> He resisted attempts to appoint him to judicial office under the Protectorate, although he finally accepted after Cromwell's death in 1658.

This brought him royal disfavour after the Restoration, when he was fined for his actions. He died in 1679. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref> In 1645 Lord Lewis Gordon had burnt down Brodie Castle, a Z-plan tower-house built in the mid-sixteenth century. <ref>http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/15514/details/brodie+castle/</ref>Alexander Brodie of Lethen went south with a contingent of men. He commanded a troop with some credit at the disastrous Battle of Dunbar (1650)<ref>Bain, George, F.S.A., Scotland (1893). History of Nairnshire. Nairn, Scotland: Nairn Telegraph Office, 274 </ref>

Eighteenth Century

In 1727 Alexander Brodie of Brodie was appointed Lord Lyon, King of Arms. A splendid portrait in his official robes still hangs in Brodie Castle. He was Lyon during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and attended on the Duke of Cumberland throughout his Scottish campaign. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref> Naval Captain David Brodie, of the Brodies of Muiresk branch was master and commander of the Terror and the Merlin (10 guns), later Captain of HMS Canterbury (60 guns), and HMS Strafford (60 guns).

He was credited with the capture of 21 French and Spanish cruisers or privateers. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry: Brodie, David (1707?–1787), naval officer</ref> Deacon William Brodie, a descendent of the Milton branch of the family, was executed in Edinburgh in 1788. Brodie had maintained the facade of being a respectable citizen while conducting a string of robberies by night. <ref>David Dorward, Collins Dictionary of Scottish Surnames (Glasgow, Harper Collins, 27)</ref>

Nighteenth Century

Alexander Brodie of Brodie's son, Alexander, died in 1759, and the chiefship passed to a cousin, James Brodie of Spynie. He married Lady Margaret Duff, youngest daughter of William, first Earl of Fife, and was a talented botanist and agriculturist who made many improvements to the estate. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref> His eldest son died in a drowning accident and the estate passed to his grandson, William Brodie, in 1824. William Brodie of Brodie was Lord Lieutenant of Nairn from 1824 to 1873.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref>

There are other distinguished branches of this family, including the Brodies of Lethen and a distinguished family of English baronets who claim descent from the chiefly line.There are other distinguished branches of this family, including the Brodies of Lethen and a distinguished family of English baronets who claim descent from the chiefly line. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref>

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, whose family is believed to have left Banffshire to settle in England around 1740, was one of the most distinguished surgeons of his time, and was president of the Royal Society. He was surgeon to both William IV and Victoria. He was created a baronet in August 1834. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref>

Today

Alexander Brodie of Brodie and Bob Brodie, of the Clan Brodie Association

Ninian Brodie of Brodie was a professional actor and the last Brodie to own the estate. In order to preserve Brodie Castle for future generations he placed it in the care of the National Trust for Scotland who have since undertaken substantial renovations.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref> Brodie continued to live at the castle, often acting as a guide for visitors from all over the world, until his death in 2003. The sale of the castle to the National Trust initiated a bitter dispute within the family.<ref>http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1999/mar/17/features11.g26 </ref>

The present chief, Alexander, is Ninian Brodie's grandson.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 81</ref> A Clan Brodie Association is based in Arizona, USA, but claims a worldwide membership. <ref>http://www.clanbrodie.us/ClanBlog/about-us/</ref>

References

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