Disce pati
(Learn to suffer)

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Origin of name:


Atholl, Lundie


The personal name Duncan can be found on Scotland’s oldest records in its Gaelic form Donnchadh. Among these records is a reference to the death in 717 of Dunchad, the eleventh Abbot of Iona. In 965 the killing of the Abbot of Dunkeld is recorded, showing his name to be Duchad.
When Duncan I took the Scottish throne, his grandfather had the blood of several relatives on his hands, having murdered the way clear for Duncan. With such ill-feeling as there must have been, Duncan would have been wise to pacify his remaining family, especially his senior cousin Thorfinn the Mighty, Earl of Orkney; his uncle, MacBeth; and the person closest to his throne, Queen Gruoch, wife of MacBeth. By 1040, however, he had been murdered and the crown belonged to MacBeth.
Fifty-four years later, despite being the son of Malcolm Canmore, Duncan II was also dead at the hands of relatives. Duncan left a son, yet the throne was grabbed by his younger half-brothers, the children of English Queen Margaret.
John Duncan was the owner of property in Berwick in 1367. The mayor of the Border port is recorded as John Duncanson, in all likelihood the former’s son.
A Clan Donnachaidh had emerged earlier in the 1300s from the Earls of Athole. The clan name came from Donnachadh Reamhar -‘Fat Duncan’. It was this chief who led the clan into the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Duncan’s great-grandson was Robert, and from these two men have descended not just the Duncans but the Robertsons also.
The predominant Duncans of the East of Scotland were the Duncans of Lundie in Forfarshire. Their extensive property included not just the barony of Lundie but also the estate of Gourdie. In 1764, George III’s physician, Sir William Duncan was created a baronet. The title was not hereditary. By 1795, Adam Duncan of Lundie had become Commander of the Fleet in the North Sea and Admiral of the Blue. With a glorious career of victories he was created Earl of Camperdown in 1797, and his son was made the first Earl of Camperdown in 1831.

Tartans related to this clan: