Boyd Scottish Clan
|Crest||AA dexter hand erect, pointing with the thumb and two fingers, Proper|
|Plant||A fan of laurel leaves|
|Origin of name||Gaelic; fair complexioned|
The Gaelic for Bute, the island in the Firth of Clyde, is Bod and its genitive case is Boid. The first in Scottish records to take their name from this island were vassals of the de Morevilles. Throughout the 13th century, the name is found in many parts of southwest Scotland. During the Wars of Independence, Sir Robert de Boyt was taken prisoner in 1306 while Duncan Boyd was hanged for aiding the Bruce.
The royal connection was strengthened in the reign of the Stewarts when Malcolm de Bute became chaplain to Robert III in 1405. Robert, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, had been created Lord Boyd in 1454 by James II, who left an infant son to succeed him. In 1460 Lord Boyd became Regent for young James III. He then kidnapped his charge and obtained an Act of Parliament and the royal assent appointing him sole governor of the realm. His rule was competent, and his position was cemented in 1467 when he was appointed Great Chamberlain for life. His son married the King's sister Mary and was created Earl of Arran and Lord Kilmarnock.
But the Boyds were now as close to the crown as the Stewarts had been under the last Bruce sovereign, and their rivals struck. Boyd and his brother were sentenced to death for treason. Boyd fled to England and his brother was executed. Princess Mary was compelled to marry James, Lord Hamilton, who had created Earl of Arran, and thus placed the Hamiltons next in line to the throne instead of the Boyds. Lord Boyd's second son survived, and his title was restored to his grandson in 1536. The 10th Lord Boyd has created Earl of Kilmarnock in 1661 for his family's services to Charles II. The 4th commanded the cavalry of Prince Charles at Culloden and was beheaded on Tower Hill and his earldom forfeited.
However, his second son became the 15th Earl of Erroll by inheritance from his great-aunt and adopted the surname of Hay. To this title, the barony of Kilmarnock was added in 1831. So when the 22nd Earl of Erroll died in 1941, leaving a daughter as Chief of Clan Hay and Countess of Erroll, his brother resumed the name of Boyd and became 6th Lord Kilmarnock as Chief of Clan Boyd. He was succeeded in 1975 by the 7th Lord Kilmarnock (b. 1927).