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300 to 1306 A.D.
Sometime before 373 A.D., the Clans of the Gaelic Nations came from the west coast of Spain and established themselves on the east coast of Ireland. From there they moved on to the west coast of Scotland, and the Scots called them "Erinviene's". Erin - meaning from the west, Viene - meaning a brave, resolute, worthy man. During this time the Erinviene's had close relations with the Kings of Scotland.
During the time the Erinviene's stayed on the west coast of Scotland they built Irving castle, which later became the Town of Irving, and named the Irving River after their clan. Today, both the town and the river are called Irvine.
In 373 A.D. the Erinviene's, together with other Scottish clans, fought against the Romans. King Eugenius died, and the Erinviene's and the rest of the Albion Scots fled to Scandinavia. For many years the Scots tried to retake their land. In 404 A.D., Fergus was made King. Fergus II led the return to Scotland and, along with the Erinviene's and other Clans, they drove the Romans out of Scotland.
Three Erivine brothers - Erinus, Grim and Duncan - were grandsons of Duncan, the first of the Eryvine's, who was killed at Duncrub in 965 A.D. The eldest brother, Erinus, who ranked second to the king, inherited his family's titles as Seneschal of King's Rents, Athbane of Dule and Abbot of Dunkeld. He married the eldest daughter of King Malcolm II.
Duncan was the ancestor of the entire Irving Clan. Sometime before 1034, Duncan was named Prince of Cumberland by his Grandfather, Malcolm II, King of Scotland. Prince Duncan took several of the old Clans to the south border to defend Scotland from England, and Prince Duncan's uncle brought his clan, the Erivine's, with him. They built the Towers of Bonshaw along the banks of the Kirtle and many manor houses in what became the ancient home of the Irving Clan.
Malcolm II had no male heir when he was assassinated in 1034. The throne was occupied by the grandson of Malcolm and son of Erinus, Duncan Erivine I. During his reign, Duncan was defeated in his campaign against the Norsemen and led the remnants of his army home in 1040. While returning, he was attacked and killed by his first cousin, MacBeth the Usurper; who assumed the throne and ruled for 17 years. It is around Duncan's murder that Shakespeare's play MacBeth is based. Erinus was killed by MacBeth's forces in 1045 while seeking revenge for the murder of his son.
The sons of Duncan I remained in hiding until 1057 when Malcolm Erivine raised an army to challenge MacBeth. With the help of Lord MacDuff, Thane of Fife, he defeated and executed the Usurper. Malcolm defeated MacBeth's stepson, Lulach, and he regained his father's throne and became Malcolm III. This succession included David I 'The Saint' who created all the offices of the royal court and William 'The Lion of Justice' who created the lion rampant as his battle crest and coat of arms. The line ended with Alexander III when he rode his horse over a cliff on a dark December night in 1286.
Alexander III was predeceased by his heirs and with his death the succession was cast into dispute. Thirteen claimants stepped forward to declare their right to the throne, all having some relation to the line of Irving. John Balliol, the primary claimant, was great-great-great grandson of David I, while his only serious rival was Robert the Bruce, the great great-great-great grandson of David I. Edward 'Longshanks' of England chose Balliol to be King of Scotland, who had to promise subservience to London. When Balliol could no longer tolerate following the direction of the English he was deposed and imprisoned in London. Now only Balliol's nephew, John 'Red' Comyn, stood between Robert the Bruce and the throne. These two agreed to meet at the Church of the Grey Friers in 1306 to resolve their dispute. That discussion ended when, in the heat of argument, Robert put a dagger through Comyn's heart.
1306 to 1600 A.D.
Sir Alexander Irvine, Third Laird of Drum, who was the grandson of William de Irwyn, was one of the chief commanders of the King's army at the battle of Harlaw, circa 1411 A.D. He was a valiant champion. Alexander lead the forces of Aberdeenshire with his cousin, the Earl of Mar, to meet the invaders from the Hebrides. Before the battle, Alexander made his brother swear that should Alexander be killed, Robert would assume his baronial right at Drum. During the battle Alexander encountered the ferocious Chief of the MacLeans of Duart in Mull, known as Red Hector of the Battles. After 'noble and notable single combat' the two of them lay dead upon the field, killed by mortal blows struck upon each other. Many Irvines died in the battle of of Harlaw. Younger brother Robert carried out his oath and changed his name to Alexander and married his elder brother's fiancée, Elizabeth de Keith. Sometime later he led the delegation which negotiated the release of James I from the hands of the English, for which he was knighted. James V rewarded the sixth Laird of Drum in 1547 for his peace making efforts. Many Irvines also died at the battle of Flodden on Sept. 9, 1513.
1600 to 1850
The offer of royal peerage was made to the eleventh Laird, but was turned down because the king wouldn't pay to repair damage sustained to Drum Castle while the family had supported the king. After the fourteenth Laird (a Jacobite) was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, the estate passed to John Irvine of Crimond. After this, the Irvines continued to fight for the Jacobite cause, and because of this, the Laird spent 7 years in exile in France after the defeat of Prince Charles at Culloden.
Variations of the
In the past 1500 years the original family Erinviene name has been altered into many different versions: Curwing, De Irwin, D'Irevigne, D'Orvin, Eirryn, Erevine, Erewynis, Erin, Ervin, Ervine, Erving, Ervinge, Erwin, Erwine, Erwing, Erwyn, Eryvine, Eryvinus, Eurwing, Hierewine, Hirevigne, Hirevigne, Hurven, Irevigne, Irewin, Irewing, Irewyn, Irrewing, Irrewings, Irruein, Irruen, Irruwing, Irrwin, Irrwing, Irrwingis, Iruin, Iruine, Iruing, Iruwyn, Irveyn, Irvin, Irvine, Irving, Irvinge, Irvinn, Irvinus, Irvyn, Irvyerins, Irwan, Irwaynes, Irwein, Irweing, Irwen, Irwenis, Irwin, Irwine, Irwing, Irwinge, Irwyn, Irwyne, Irwynn, Irwynnis, Irynagio, Orruein, Ourine, Ouron, Urin, Urwen, Urwens, Urwin, Urwine, Vrwin, Yrwens, Yrwin, Yrwins.
Visit the Official Drum Castle Site
More detailed history from ClanIrwin.org of Drum Castle
** This article was written
by Eric Irvine,