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Clan Haig

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Clan Haig is a Scottish chiefly family


The thirteenth century poet Thomas the Rhymer, made the prophecy Tyde what may, what'er betyde, Haig shall be Haig of Bemersyde. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 156</ref> For eight hundred years Bemersyde House, in the Scottish Borders, has been continuously in the possession of the Haig family. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bemersyde_House</ref> While early heraldic authority Alexander Nisbet considered that the family had Pictish or early British extraction, Plean and Squire assert that the early form of the name, de Haga, is Norman.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref>

Petrus de Haga, proprietor of the lands and barony of Bemersyde, appears as a witness to a charter of Richard de Morville, Constable of Scotland from 1162 to 1188, to the Monastery of Dryburgh. The fact that Petrus is mentioned in several charters as 'Dominus de Bemersyde' (Master of Bemersyde) is evidence that this family were considerable magnates even at that time.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> Another variant of the name's origins is that the family take their name from La Hague, in Manche in Normandy. <ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 128</ref>

Middle Ages

A de Haga was one of the noblemen charged by Alexander II with the apprehension of John de Bisset for the murder of the Earl of Atholl at Haddington in 1242. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> The Barons of Bemersyde appear on the Ragman Roll of 1296 swearing fealty to Edward I of England, although they later joined Sir William Wallace and fought at the Battle of Stirling in 1297. The sixth laird fought with Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 at the age of seventeen.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> He was later killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> Gilbert Haig was one of the commanders of the Scots host who defeated the Earl of Northumberland at Sark in 1449. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> His son, James was an adherent of James III and when that king's reign came to an abrupt end he was forced to go into hiding until he could reconcile with James IV.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref>

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

William Haig of Bemersyde died at Flodden in 1513.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 156</ref> His sucessor, Robert, the fourteenth Laird, avenged his father's death at the Battle of Ancrum Moor in 1544 when he captured the English commander, Lord Evers, who died shortly afterwards.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref> Later in the century the Haigs became embroiled in the religious conflicts of the era. William Haig, the 19th, held the office of King's Solicitor for Scotland during the reigns of James VI and Charles I.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref>Four of his sons died fighting in the service of the King of Bohemia between 1629 and 1630.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref> Anthony Haig the 21st suffered persecution for his membership of the Society of Friends, or Quakers.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref>

Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

A succession crisis was avoided in the nineteenth century when three unmarried daughters- Barbara, Mary and Sophie, executed a deed transferring the succession to their cousin, Colonel Arthur Balfour Haig.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref> He became the 27th Laird and chief.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref>

Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, (1861-1928) was a British senior officer during World War I. He commanded the British Expeditionary Force from 1915 to the end of the war. He was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the battle with one of the highest casualties in British military history, the Third Battle of Ypres, and the Hundred Days Offensive, which led to the armistice in 1918. Haig's military policies have been the subject of immense controversy since. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref> Some called him "Butcher Haig" for the two million British casualties under his command, and regard him as representing the very concept of class-based incompetent commanders, stating that he was unable to grasp modern tactics and technologies. <ref>World War I's Worst General". Military History Magazine. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2013</ref>

The second Earl Haig (1918-2009) was a page of honour at the coronation of George VI at his coronation in 1937<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 157</ref> He was usually referred to as Dawyck Haig. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Haig,_2nd_Earl_Haig</ref> He was a professional artist. <ref>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/art-obituaries/5797767/Earl-Haig.html</ref> The current chief of Clan Haig is Alexander Haig, 3rd Earl Haig (b. 1961).