Clan Montgomery

The Clan Montgomery is thought to have originated from a Norman family that held the Castle of Sainte Foy de Montgomery at Lisieux.

The first Montgomery who appears on record in Scotland is Robert, who obtained the lands of Eaglesham in Renfrewshire (south of Glasgow).

John de Montgomery and his brother, like most other clans of that time, are listed on the Ragman Roll, pledging loyalty to Edward I of England for their estates in 1296. It is thought they fought alongside Robert the Bruce in the War of Independence in the early 1300s.

Sir John Montogomery, 7th Baron of Eaglesham, fought at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, capturing Sir Henry Percy. The Percys paid a large ransom for the release of Sir Henry, money used to help build Polnoon Castle at Eaglesham for the Montgomerys'.

Sir John Montgomery married the heiress of Sir Hugh Eglinton, leading to him gaining the Barony of Eglinton and Ardrossan, an area just north of Irvine in Ayrshire with the original Eglinton Castle from the 1300s.

Alexander Montgomery was a member of the king’s council, sent on several important missions to England. He was awarded the title Lord Montgomery in 1449.

Hugh Montgomery of Eglinton killed James Boyd, 2nd Lord Boyd, in 1484, aged 16, with the main estate and castle of the Boyds', 10 miles east. Robert Boyd, 4th Lord Boyd, killed Patrick Montgomery in 1523, and Sir Neil Montgomery in 1547.

Hugh, third Lord Montgomery, supported Prince James against his father James III. He fought at the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488 that saw the death of James III, and his son become king. Alexander Cunningham, 1st Earl of Glencairn, died in the battle alongside the defeated James III.

The following year, Lord Montgomery was made Baillie of Bute and Cunningham, this being the start of the Montgomery/Cunningham feuds, as the Cunningham's took exception to loosing the Baillie of Cunningham.

Lord Montgomery then began building Skelmorlie Castle, completed in about 1502, north of Largs in Ayrshire, on lands taken from the Cunninghams', setting of fueds that lasted to the 1660s.

Skelmorlie Castle Large Image

Skelmorlie Castle image

In 1508, Hugh Montgomery was created Earl of Eglinton.

The Earl of Eglinton survived the battle of Flodden in September 1513 against the forces of Henry VIII of England, that saw many other Scottish Nobles, and King James IV himself killed.

1561, The Montgomerys' reached a settlement with the 5th Lord Boyd, ending the feud that had lasted 77 years.

Hugh, the 3rd Earl, a devout Catholic, supported Mary Queen of Scots against the protestant reformation. He fought for the Queen at the Battle of Langside in 1568, where he was taken prisoner. Hugh was released in 1571.

1586, the 4th Earl was killed by the Cunninghams' of Glencairn. The earl was riding to Stirling when he was attacked by Cunninghams' and their men. The 4th Earl was shot dead in the attack, said to be by John Cunningham of Colbeith. The original Eglinton Castle was set on fire by the Cunninghams' around that time as well.

The Montgomerys' responded to the murder and burning of the castle by killing every Cunningham they could find. John Cunningham of Colbeith was said to have been tracked down and cut to pieces.

1660s, William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn, married Margaret Montgomery, daughter of Alexander, 6th Earl of Eglinton, ending the Cunningham-Montgomery feud.

The 6th Earl of Eglinton was captured by the Parliamentarians at Dumbarton during the Civil War in the early 1650s. He was imprisoned in Berwick until the restoration of the Stuart’s to the throne in 1660.

1796, the impresive new castle of Eglinton was built.

1839, the 13th Earl of Eglinton organised a tournament at Eglinton Castle, to recapture the spectacle of medieval jousting. The lands of Eglinton also became the setting for the annual Eglinton Hunt, frequented by the Scottish hierarchy.

Eglinton Castle

1700s - 1800s, prominent Mongomery’s moved to North America where they became high ranking military officers. They were followed by many of the Montgomery Clan, taking part in many wars in America and Canada.

Eglinton Castle was abandoned by the Montgomerys' in 1929 after hitting financial difficulties.

The castle soon fell into disrepair, and is said to have been used as target practice for tanks during World War Two. Large Image.

Eglinton Castle

Eglinton Castle and grounds are now run as a country park, with a visitor centre, woodland walks, kids play, and the large stables were converted to accommodation apartments. Eglinton Photo Tour.

The present chief is the 18th Earl of Eglinton and 9th Earl of Winton, Archibald George Montgomery, born on the 27th August 1939, with four sons and is said to now live in Perthshire /Scotland.

Skelmorlie Castle has remained in excellent condition. James Wilson bought Skelmorlie Castle from the 18th Earl of Eglinton in the 1970s. He sold the castle around 2007 to someone that wants to remain anonymous, hoping to keep Skelmorlie Castle as private as possible. Skelmorlie Castle Wiki Page.

The Montgomerys' were known for local fueds with other Ayrshire Clans such as the Boyds' and Cunninghams'.

The Montomerys' were also know for marriage to other ayrshire clans such as the Boyds', Cunninghams', Hamiltons' Kennedys' and Crawfords'.

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