Traditionally found living on the edge of the highlands, the Drummond family derive their name from the Parish of Drymen to the west of Stirling.
It is believed that the family first moved to the area in 1067 when a Hungarian Nobleman settled in the region after accompanying Edgar the Aetheling as he fled from William the Conqueror. He would soon be followed by his descendent, the first official clan chief, Malcolm Beg, Chamberlain of Lennox, who would die sometime prior to 1260.
The next appearance of the Drummond clan would be in 1296 when Gilbert de Droumond of Dumbarton would appear on the Ragman Roll, a document signed by Scottish noblemen submitting to Edward I of England. He would be joined by another member of the family, Malcolm de Drummond, as the family sought to protect their estates as an impending English invasion loomed. However, as the pendulum of power began to swing back in favour of the Scottish monarchy led by Robert the Bruce, the family would become firm supporters of Scottish independence and would be rewarded for their sacrifices at the Battle of Bannockburn with lands in Perthshire.
Retaining their connection to the throne, the family would gain considerable influence in Scotland in 1357 as Annabella Drummond would marry the future King Robert III. During Robert’s time as the monarch, she would consistently influence his decisions and was said to have had considerable power over his reign as she often pressured him from behind the scenes. This influence would continue during the reigns of James III and IV as John Drummond would replace Annabella as a key decision-maker in the royal circle as he was created a peer in 1488 with the title ‘Lord Drummond’.
Despite this power, the Drummonds would not have everything their own way as Lord Drummond would be jailed at Blackness Castle for striking the Lord Lyon, while his son, David Drummond, would be executed in the aftermath of a feud with another family.
The Drummonds would remain staunch supporters of the Stewart Kings, though, and would support them during quarrels with Parliament and the exile of James VII. For this support, the chief would be rewarded with the title of Earl of Perth, although the family would suffer in the coming years after the 3rd Earl declared himself a convert to Catholicism on the eve of the revolution of 1689 – which would lead to the plundering of his Edinburgh house and his exile to Rome after 4 years imprisonment at Stirling Castle.
Following their exile, the Drummond nobility would eventually make their way to France as they prepared to take part in the Jacobite risings of the 18th century. Now raised to the rank of ‘Duke of Perth’ the chief would command horses at the Battle of Sherrifmuir and would also form a daring plan to seize Edinburgh Castle before retreating to France as his estates were forfeited to the crown. The 3rd Duke would again follow Jacobite forces to Scotland in 1745 as he helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to capture Carlisle before once again having to flee to France and forfeit the Drummond estates.
The family would finally regain their titles over a century later when George Drummond was restored by Act of Parliament as Earl of Perth. They would then reintegrate themselves into Scottish culture and after various chiefs served their time in British political positions, the 17th Earl of Perth would take a great interest in the upkeep and restoration of his historic Scottish buildings. He would sadly pass away in 2002 but is survived by his older son who has taken over as 18th Earl of Perth.