Clan Rose

Kilravock Castle Clan Mackintosh Clan Ross

Clan Rose
Clan member crest badge - Clan Rose.svg
Crest: A harp upon a chapea
MottoConstant and True
Plant badgeWild rosemary
Rose of Kilravock arms.svg
David Rose
Chief of Clan Rose, 26th of Kilravock.
SeatKilravock Castle

Clan Rose (Clann Ròs) is a Scottish clan of the Scottish Highlands.[2]


Origins of the clan

A Victorian era, romanticised depiction of a member of the clan by R. R. McIan, from The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, published in 1845.

The chiefs of the Clan Rose were a Norman family.[2] They had no connection to the ancient Celtic family of Clan Ross.[2] They derive from Ros, near Caen in Normandy and accompanied the early Norman kings to England. They appear to be connected with two other Norman families; the de Bissets and the de Boscos.[2] All three of these families disappear from the records of Wiltshire and Dorset where they are first known to have settled after the Norman conquest, and they reappear in the mid thirteenth century around the area of the Moray Firth.[2] Elizabeth de Bisset's family owned the lands of Kilravock and she married Andrew de Bosco.[2] Their daughter was Marie, who in around 1290 married Hugo de Ros, whose lands were at Geddes.[2] Hugh's (Hugo's) father had been a witness to the foundation charter of Beauly Priory, which was erected by Sir John Bisset of Lovat.[2] Hugh and Marie established their home at Kilravock which remained the home of the chief of Clan Rose until 2012.[2]

Wars of Scottish Independence

During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Barons of Kilravock supported the cause of Scottish Independence.[2] In 1306 they captured Invernairn Castle for Robert the Bruce.[2]

14th to 15th centuries

Hugh Rose, fourth of Kilravock married the daughter of the constable of Urquhart Castle, Janet Chisholm.[2] This brought the Rose chief extensive lands and made an addition to the chief's coat of arms.[2] A boar's head, as used by the Chisholm family was added to the Rose's shield.[2] In the time of Hugh Rose, fifth of Kilravock all of the family's writs and charters were lost when Elgin Cathedral was burned by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan (the Wolf of Badenoch).[2] The next Baron of Kilravock, John Rose, obtained charters from James I of Scotland, the Earl of Ross and the Chisholm.[2]

In about 1460 the seventh Baron of Kilravock built the Tower of Kilravock.[2] The Earls of Ross were forfeited in 1474 and Hugh Rose received a charter dated March 1475 under the Great Seal of Scotland.[2] The Clan Mackintosh later seized the tower in 1482, however they soon surrendered it.[2]

Hugh Rose of Kilravock had expected to marry Murial Calder, daughter of the chief of Clan Calder who was seated at Cawdor Castle.[2] However she was carried off by the Clan Campbell and Cawdor Castle has belonged to the Clan Campbell of Cawdor ever since.[2]

16th century and Anglo-Scottish Wars

Hugh Rose of Kilravock, the tenth Laird was known as the Black Baron, however he was in fact an extremely accomplished man.[2] Mary, Queen of Scots stayed at Kilravock Castle and afterwards wrote to him as her trusted friend.[2] The queen's son, James VI of Scotland visited Kilravock and it is said that he treated the baron like a father.[2]

17th century and Civil War

The Rose family had supported the Scottish Reformation. However, they later opposed the religious politics of Charles I of England and signed the National Covenant.[2] The thirteenth Baron of Kilravock led the Clan Rose against James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Auldearn in 1645.[2] Later, however, after the king had been handed over to Parliament by the Scottish army, Rose led a regiment of dragoons as part of the Duke of Hamilton's regiment, which planned to rescue the king.[2]

18th century and Jacobite Uprisings

Ancient headstone dedicated to the Rose family

When the Jacobite rising of 1715 broke out the Roses declared for the British government.[2] Aurthur Rose was killed leading a detachment of the Clan Rose in seizing Inverness back from the Jacobites of Clan Mackenzie.[2][3] See: Siege of Inverness (1715). General Wade's report on the Highlands in 1724, estimated the clan strength at 300 men.[4]

During the Jacobite rising of 1745 the Baron of Kilravock entertained the Jacobite leader Charles Edward Stuart at Kilravock Castle.[2] At the same time Prince William, Duke of Cumberland occupied the Rose's town house in Nairn.[2] After the Jacobite rising of 1745, the chief's daughter, Anne Rose married Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet who was the chief of the Clan Munro.[5]


In 1460 the present Kilravock Castle was built on the banks of the River Nairn. The 25th generation of Rose to live at the castle, Anna Elizabeth Guillemard Rose, signed the estate over to a Christian group in 1984[6] who now run the castle as a conference centre.

Clan Chief

In June 2013, The Lord Lyon recognised David Rose [7] as the Chief of Clan Rose and the 26th Baron of Kilravock. David was preceded by his maternal aunt, Anna Elizabeth Guillemard Rose, 25th of Kilravock who died in Nairn on 9 December 2012, aged 88 years. David Rose is the first Chief of Clan Rose and Baron Kilravock not to reside at Kilravock since 1460.

See also


  1. ^ Clan Rose Profile Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Way, George of Plean; Squire, Romilly of Rubislaw (1994). Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. Glasgow: HarperCollins (for the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). pp. 306–307. ISBN 0-00-470547-5.
  3. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander. History of the Frasers of Lovat, with genealogies of the principal families of the name: to which is added those of Dunballoch and Phopachy. Pages 337 - 341.
  4. ^ Johnston, Thomas Brumby; Robertson, James Alexander; Dickson, William Kirk (1899). "General Wade's Report". Historical Geography of the Clans of Scotland. Edinburgh and London: W. & A.K. Johnston. p. 26. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  5. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander (1898). History of the Munros of Fowlis with genealogies of the principal families of the name: to which are added those of Lexington and New England. Inverness: A. & W. Mackenzie.
  6. ^ "History - Kilravock Castle". Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  7. ^ "2013 Seaside Highland Games". Retrieved 13 April 2018.