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Clan Innes is a chiefly Scottish family.


Innes is a barony in Morayshire. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 407</ref> It was granted to Berowald, a Flemish nobleman, by Malcolm IV in 1160. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

The Gaelic noun innis has the related meanings of island, riverside-meadow, haugh, resting place, green spot and milking place. <ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 154</ref> It provides the name of the barony. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 154</ref>

Middle Ages

The chiefly family were from Morayshire.

Alexander II granted a charter of confirmation to Berowald's grandson, Walter, who assumed the surname of Innes. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

The eighth laird, 'Good Sir Robert' (d.1381) has three sons, one of whom restored Elgin Cathedral after its destruction in 1390.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref> Sir Walter Innes was chief for forty-two years until his death in 1454. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

Sir Robert Innes fought at the Battle of Brechin in 1452 and attempted to compensate by founding the Greyfriars in Elgin.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

James Innes of that Ilk was armour bearer to James III and later entertained James IV at the Castle of Innes in 1490.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

Sixteenth Century

As with many other prominent families, this era descended into violence. Alexander the Proud, sixteenth chief, murdered Walter Innes and was executed by Regent Morton.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref> His brother John suceeded as chief but resigned it to his cousin, Alexander Innes of Crommey.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

Innes of Crommey was then murdered at Aberdeen in 1580 by another family member, Robert Innes of Innermarkie.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 407</ref>

Seventeenth Century

Sir Robert Innes was the seventeenth chief. He became a Privy Councillor and an MP. He became a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1625.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref> Although a Covenanter, he welcolmed Charles II at Garnoch in 1650 and raised a regiment to fight for the royalists.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref> He built Innes House.

A number of members of the Innes kin-group invested in the Dairen scheme of 1695 including Robert Innes, an Edinburgh merchant <ref>James Samuel Barbour, A History of William Paterson and the Darien Company, 270</ref> as well as Sir Alexander Innes of Cockstoun and Robert Innes, writer to the signet. <ref>Barbour, Darien, 270</ref>

Eighteenth Century

The third baronet married Lady Margaret Ker. As a result of this Sir James Innes, twenty fifth chief, succeeded to the Dukedom of Roxburgh in 1805.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref> His son was also granted the title 'Earl Innes' in 1836. They are today banned from the title of chief as they hold a double-barreled surname.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref>

Innes of Innermarkie, Baronets of Balveny

Walter of Innermarkie was a second son of Sir Robert Innes, who was the eleventh chief.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref> His son, Robert, was created hereditary constable of Redcastle and married a niece of James II. His descendant, Robert V of Innermarkie became baronet of Balveny, but lost everything through his support of Charles I. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref>

The family continued to be Jacobites, as did their relations, the Innes of Coxton.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref>

Court of the Lord Lyon

Members of the family have an association with the Court of the Lord Lyon. When the Register of Arms and Bearings in Scotland was compiled in 1672 the Lyon Depute was Robert Innes of Blairton.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref> Thomas Innes of Learney, the twentieth century heraldic expert, was also a member of this family.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 408</ref>

Distribution of the name

There were numerous cadet branches of the family and a considerable tenantry would have adopted the surname. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 155</ref> It is still common in Spey and Lossiemouth were it originated.<ref>Dorward, Surnames, 155</ref>

Further Information