Named after the lands of Kreitton, one of the oldest baronies in the Edinburgh area, the Crichton name is believed to be derived from the gaelic word ‘croich’ for ‘boundary’ and ‘toun’ the old Scots for ‘homestead’.
The first mention of the name in Scottish history occurred in 1128 when a Thurstan de Crechtune was a witness at the foundation of the Abbey of Holyrood house by David I.
An unsavoury moment in the clan’s history occurred in 1440 when Sir William Chrichton, who had been appointed Chancellor of Scotland a year earlier, brutally murdered his rival the Earl of Douglas and his brother outside Edinburgh castle after inviting them to dine with the King. This event would later become known as the ‘Black Dinner’ and was an attempt by Chrichton to gain power in the country which spectacularly backfired when the Douglas clan retaliated and laid siege to Edinburgh Castle before attempting to take the life of Chrichton on at least four occasions after.
The Chrichtons would soon settle at their clan seat in Midlothian at Crichton Castle. However, the modern Clan Chief, David Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, now resides at the Castle of Monzie in Crieff.