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A clan parade in Edinburgh.
Search for your clan ››

Search the Scotclans database to find your clan and learn all about the time of your ancestors in Scotland.

A couple gaze out over Edinburgh from Calton Hill
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  • Massed pipe band in Highland dress in front of Edinburgh Castle
    The Massed Pipes and Drums are one of the highlights of every performance
  • Fort George - an 18th century military fortification and working army base, Ardersier
    Fort George, Ardersier
  • The Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen
    The Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen

Scotland has a long military tradition that stretches back hundreds of years. This military prowess has been recognised across the world as these kilted warriors fought to the skirl of the bagpipes across the British Isles, Continental Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

The Marquis of Montrose 1612 - 1650

James Graham, 5th Earl and 1st Marquis of Montrose was born in Montrose and the only son of the Graham family. He was well educated and talented in mathematics, archery, golf and fencing. He lived for some time in France as an officer in the Scottish Guard. On his return, he first joined the Covenanters, but afterwards became a zealous royalist. He won several battles for the king, but was defeated by Leslie at Philiphaugh in 1645. Five years later, having been captured in Orkney, was brought to Edinburgh and executed in 1650.

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee 1648 - 1689

He was a professional soldier who fought in Europe before returning to control the Covenanters in the reign of James II where he earned the name ‘Bloody Clavers’. He was shot and killed after successfully routing the Government forces of William of Orange at the Battle of Killiecrankie. Claverhouse became a Jacobite hero, acquiring his second nickname ‘Bonnie Dundee’. There is a visitor centre at Killiecrankie near Pitlochry.

Douglas Haig 1861-1928

Douglas Haig was born in Edinburgh to an old Borders family. He was a soldier who rose through the ranks to become Commander in Chief of the British Army in 1915 and is remembered as a national hero for his defence at Mons and Ypres. He later became the First Earl Haig of Bemersyde and founded the Earl Haig Poppy Fund and Royal British Legion to care for those wounded and bereaved as a result of the First World War. His home of Bemersyde was presented to him by the nation.  A monument to Douglas Haig can be seen at Dryburgh Abbey where he is buried.

John Paul 'Jones' 1747 - 1792

Jones was born in Kirkcudbrightshire in 1747. He is famous as the founder of the American Navy during the Wars of Independence. He fought with the French when they planned to invade Britain in 1779. In 1788 he entered into the service of Empress Catherine II of Russia.