From ScotsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Clan Clephane

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


Carslogie Castle

According to Black the Clephanes were an offshoot of an ancient English family who derived their name from Clapham in Sussex where they are thought to have settled after the Norman Conquest. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 372</ref> The ancestor of the Scottish family is thought to have been Aluns de Clephane, who settled in Lauderdale during the reign of William the Lion. He is recorded as witnessing a charter in 1200<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 372</ref>

Middle Ages

The family gained the lands of Carslogie in Fife. According to Anderson, Alan Clephane of Carslogie fought with Robert the Bruce in 1314 at Bannockburn, where he lost his right hand. Subsequently he had one in steel made to replace it.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 372</ref>

Clephane Horn

The Clephane Horn

A carved elephant horn, known as the Clephane Horn, is preserved in the collection of the British Museum. <ref></ref> It was said by Sir Walter Scott, that it was used for sounding alarm from the castle battlements. Traditionally it had been in the Castle of Carslogie since the Middle Ages. This is supported by the British Museum who state that it dates from the eleventh century and is from Southern Italy.<ref></ref> It is likely that the museum acquired the horn from the Marquess of Northampton.


Most of the family lands appear to have been lost in the early seventeenth century. Major General William Clephane sold what remained of the barony prior to his death in 1804 and was the last chief. <ref></ref><ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 372</ref> The eldest daughter, who was the last of the Clephane family of Carslogie, married the Marquis of Northampton. It is said they had possession of the steel hand.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 372</ref> The Clephanes were said to have been noticably tall and strong in their familiar characteristics.<ref></ref>

Eighteenth Century

John Clephane FRS (1701-1758) was a physician and tutor. Born in Scotland, he was probably the eldest son of Colonel William Clephane (d. 1727) and his wife Elizabeth Crammond. His father had fled Scotland for Holland after being implicated in the 1715 Jacobite rising. <ref>Helen Brock, ‘Clephane, John (1701/2–1758)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 21 May 2014</ref> He graduated from the University of St. Andrews and later practiced medicine in London. His biographer notes that although Clephane was far from wealthy, he helped his relatives whenever he could. <ref>Helen Brock, ‘Clephane, John (1701/2–1758)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 21 May 2014</ref> He died on the Isle of Wight, recalled to military service, in 1758. Clephane was a correspondent of David Hume, although these letters are now lost. His papers are otherwise preserved in the Register House, Edinburgh. <ref>Helen Brock, ‘Clephane, John (1701/2–1758)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 21 May 2014</ref>

Nineteenth Century

James Ogilvie Clephane (1842–1910) was an American court reporter and venture capitalist who was involved in improving, promoting and supporting several inventions of his age, including the typewriter, the gramophone, and the Linotype machine. He has been called the "father of the Linotype machine", and the development of mechanical typesetting was largely due to his initiative. His father, James Clephane, was born in Edinburgh, in 1790. <ref></ref> In 1889 J. Clephane was recorded as living in Jane Cottage, Portabello, Edinburgh. <ref></ref>