West Quality St. Dysart, Fife

Lodge Wemyss 777

Clan Wemyss

Lodge Wemyss would like to take this opportunity to thank the Clan Chief Michael Wemyss of Wemyss for his permission to use the Wemyss crest on our website and for the continued grant to use it on our Lodge ties and Mark pennies.


Wemyss Clan History

The Wemyss name is thought to derive from the gaelic word "Uaimh" which translated means cave. The Clan motto is Je Pense which, in French, translates to " I think". Clan Wemyss are descended directly from Celtic nobility through the Macduff earls of Fife. The Clan seat, Wemyss Castle was built by Sir John Wemyss in 1421 and continues to be the administrative centre for the Wemyss estates. It was at Wemyss castle in the year 1565 that Mary Queen of Scots first met her husband to be Lord Darnley. Sir John Wemyss, grandson of Sir David de Wemyss who was killed in 1513 at the battle of Flodden field, was a great supporter of Mary and in 1559 was made Lieutenant of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan and led the Queen's army in the battle of Langside in 1568.

Sir John was knighted in 1618 and was created a baron of Nova Scotia in 1625 with a charter to the barony of New Wemyss in Canada. He was later given the title Earl of Wemyss by a personally presented charter from King Charles I at Dunfermline. After his death in 1679, he was succeeded by his only son David who nurtured the resources of the estate well and used the income from salt and coal mining to build  a harbour at Methil as well as improving the castle. He also had, as a guest at the castle, the newly crowned King Charles II. After his death in 1679, the estate passed to his daugher Margaret Wemyss who married Sir James Wemyss, Lord Burntisland.

The 3rd Earl David Wemyss succeeded his mother and took his seat in parliament. He was nominated as a commissioner to the treaty of union with England and was also constituted Vice Admiral of Scotland. The 4th Earl was born in 1699 and he married the heiress of Colonel Francis Charteris of Amisfield. His eldest son, David Wemyss joined Prince Charles Edward Stewart  and was appointed to lead the troop of Royal house guards. This association continued up to the battle of Culloden.

The estates in Fife devolved from the Honourable James Wemyss who was MP for Sutherland and married Lady Elizabeth Sutherland in 1757. His great grandson married Millicent, the grand daughter of King William IV who took over the running of the estate after the death of her husband. Her grandson Michael married Lady Victoria Cavendish-Bentinck who was the last surviving god daughter of Queen Victoria. Her eldest son, David Wemyss married Lady Jean Christian Bruce, daughter of Lord Elgin and after his death in 2005, the estate passed to his eldest son Michael who is currently the Clan chief residing at Wemyss castle with his wife Charlotte.

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