Perthshire Scotland > Scottish Clans & Families > Hay

The name Hay comes from La Haye in Normandy, France.

The first of the Scottish Hay family was William de Hay who was Royal butler (a more important role than in modern times) during the reign of William the Lion 1165-1214. As such he was given title of Baron of Erroll. He married into the old Pictish line in Eva of Pitmilly and his sone david Hay married Ethna, daughter of the Celtic Earl of Strathearn.

Sir Gillbert Hay of Erroll was made Lord High Constable of Scotland by Robert I (the Bruce) in 1324. One branch of the family, the Hays of Leys were based at Megginch Castle east of Perth. In 1452 the family were raised to the title of Earls of Erroll.

The 5th Earl of Erroll was created Lord Lieutenant of this part of Scotland while Mary I (Queen of Scots) was in France and her mother, Mary of Lorraine, was Regent.

Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll plotted with the Earls of Huntly and Angus to depose Elizabeth I of England with the young James VI and create a united Britain. This was a Catholic plot where James was to be converted to Catholicism. However James went against them in 1595.

George Hay of Kinnoull was knighted by James VI in 1609, was made Chancellor in 1622, Viscount Hay in 1627 and became Earl of Kinnoull in 1633.

A good number of Perthshire castles and tower houses are associated with the Hays. Kinnoul Castle in Perth (nothing remains) was a property of the Hays from 1340. Balhousie Castle in Perth (now a regimental museum) belonged to the Earls of Kinnoul from 1625 and shortly after they also acquired Dupplin Castle. Megginch Castle was their property from the 15thC until sold to the Drummonds in 1664.

George Hay, 3rd Earl of Kinnoull fought at the Battle of Tippermore in 1644 with Montrose in support of Charles I.

The Earl of Erroll, 13th and last male in the line, opposed the Union of Parliaments with England in 1707.

In 1745 Mary Hay, Countess of Erroll in her own right raised forces to fight in the Jacobite rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie. © 2004
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