One of the most ancient families in Scotland, the Borthwick family are believed to have arrived on the British Isles with one of Julius Caesar’s Roman legions.
The Borthwick name itself is believed to have been taken from lands on Borthwick Water, Roxburghshire and in terms of Scottish origin, it is believed the noble house of Borthwick began with Andreas Blair, who accompanied the Saxon Edgar the Aetheling and his sister, Margaret, later Queen, to Scotland in 1067.
The family would go on to gain considerable influence in the country and in 1410, Sir William Borthwick obtained a charter confirming substantial lands around Midlothian and the Borders. Further influence would be confirmed in the 15th century as the Borthwicks were given the role of Lords of Scottish Parliament and they would confirm their power by erecting one of the most impressive castles in Scotland, Borthwick Castle, near Midlothian – a castle that survives under their ownership to this day.
Sometime after the middle of the 17th century, the direct family lineage failed, and a vast inter-family dispute ensued over who would be given the role of clan chief. This argument was not fully resolved until 1986 when Major John Borthwick of Crookston was recognised by the Lord Lyon. After his passing in 1996, his son John, succeeded him as clan chief.