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Burns

The Earl of Glencairn

Cunningham Coat of Arms

Description:

The ancient arms of the Cunninghame Family. In 1746, William Boyd, 4th earl of Kilmarnock was executed for his part in the 1745 Jacobite uprising. In 1748, his son James sold the lands of Kilmarnock and Dean Castle to William Cunningham, the 13th Earl of Glencairn, who had been a friend of his father. The Cunningham family has a legend that claims their coat-of-arms shows a pitchfork and that an ancestor of theirs had been a farmer who had rescued Malcolm Canmore, son of King Duncan. The story was that after Duncan had been killed by Macbeth in 1040, Malcolm, then a young boy, fled south, chased by Macbeth's men. Once they almost caught him, but a farmer called Cunningham hid him from the passing soldiers by throwing hay over him with a pitch-fork. When Malcolm grew up his uncle, Siward, Earl of Northumbria, helped him to defeat his enemies, and in 1057 Macbeth himself was defeated and killed, and Malcolm was crowned as Malcolm III. The Cunninghams were said to have been awarded their lands at this time by the grateful monarch.  It is also alleged that Bishop William de Lamberton who funded and advised both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce was a member of this family.

Place of Production:
Kilmarnock
Source:
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
EAFB004n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council