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Dennistoun are a Scottish family or kin-group which does not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon and is therefore considered an armigerous clan. Another version of the name may be Dennison.<ref>Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 69</ref>For the area of Glasgow named after a member of this family see Dennistoun (disambiguation)


This name is territorial in origin and takes its name from the old barony of Danzielstoun. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> This manor was itself named after a man called Daniel who may have been a Norman.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> Hence 'Daniels-town'. <ref>Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 69</ref>

It was suggested that the family were related to a younger branch of the Earls of Lennox, but this is considered doubtful.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref>

Middle Ages

Sir Hugh Denzilstone, of Denzilstone of that Ilk submitted to Edward I.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> His granddaughter, Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, married Robert II in 1347 and was the mother of Robert III.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> The royal connection brought the family extensive lands and the governorship of Dumbarton Castle.

Robert de Danielstone was a hostage for David II in 1357.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> In 1370 he was a commissioner for the peace treaty with England. He suceeded his father as sheriff of Lennox and keeper of Dumbarton Castle. After his death in 1399 his brother Walter took Dumbarton Castle by forced and attempted to claim it as a family possession. Their relative, Robert III offered him the bishopric of St. Andrews as compensation for returning the castle but Walter died before this could take place.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref>

William de Danielstoun was a member of the royal household of Robert III and his son the Duke of Rothesay.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref>

Sixteenth Century

Robert Denniestoun was a freeman of the incorporation of Goldsmiths in Edinburgh in 1547. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 69</ref>

Seventeenth Century

By the seventeenth century the designation of the family had become their estate at Colgrain.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> John Dennistoun of Colgrain fought for the royalists during the War of the Three Kingdoms and was part of the failed attempt to restore the monarchy in 1653.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> He died from wounds received during the conflict.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref>

In 1698 Walter Denningstoun, described as merchant in Glasgow, invested £100 in the Darien Scheme. <ref>James Samuel Barber, A History of William Paterson and the Darien Company, 264</ref>

Nineteenth Century

Alexander Dennistoun

Dennistoun of Dennistoun commanded the cavalry militia of Dumbartonshire.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 382</ref> However the family are now best known for their contribution to the development of Glasgow. In 1814, James Dennistoun (1752-1835) bought the vacant estate of Golfhill, to the east of Glasgow.

Dennistoun was a keen supporter of the Liberal Party and for the success of the Parliamentary Reform Bill, which was passed in 1832. He was offered a knighthood by Earl Grey in return for these efforts, but declined it on the grounds that it would be seen as self-serving by the people. He was however, popularly remembered as 'Lord Dennistoun'. <ref></ref>

His son, Alexander Dennistoun (1790-1874) became a director of the Union Bank of Scotland and was briefly Liberal MP for Dumbartonshire. Along with his younger brother John, they were shipping magnates.<ref></ref> Alexander's real talents however, lay in urban development and he employed architects to create what became the suburb of Dennistoun. <ref></ref>

His brother<ref></ref> John Dennistoun was MP for Glasgow 1837-47. <ref></ref>

References <references/>