Clan Galbraith - History


The man who is considered to be first chief of Clan Galbraith was Gilchrist Bretnach who married the granddaughter of the first Earl of Lennox.

The fourth chief, Sir William Galbraith of Buthernock, married a sister of "Black Comyn" who was head of the most powerful family in Scotland at the time. Sir William, however, sided against the Comyns when he had a part in the rescue the boy king Alexander III from Comyn's control. Ultimately Sir William rose in power to becoming one of the co-Regents of Scotland in 1255. Sir William's son, the fifth chief of the clan, Sir Arthur, supported Robert the Bruce, and also married a sister of Sir James Douglas. 'Good Sir James Douglas' is famous for perishing in Spain against the Saracens, while leading a small band of Scottish knights carrying Bruce's heart to the Holy Land.

A branch of the Galbraiths held Culcreuch in Strathendrick in 1320, and before the end of that century had inherited the leadership of the clan. In 1425 the ninth chief James Galbraith of Culcreuch joined the rebellion of James Mor Stewart against King James I of Scotland, in support of the overthrown regent Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany. As many as 600 members of the clan were forced to flee after the failure of the revolt, exiled to Kintyre and the Isle of Gigha, where they adopted the new name of MacBhreatneaich of M'Vretny ("son of the Briton") .

In 1489 the twelfth chief, Thomas Galbraith of Culcreuch, was captured by James IV and hanged.

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