Clan Kirkpatrick takes its name from the Church of St Patrick in the parish of Closeburn in Dumfriesshire.
According to family tradition, the family have owned the lands near Closeburn since the 9th century. However, it is not until the 12th century that their name first appears on record when Ivone de Kirkpatrick witnessed a charter of the Clan Bruce.
The family would go on to have a close relationship with the Bruces and Roger Kirkpatrick was in attendance when Robert the Bruce killed his great rival to the throne, John Comyn in 1305. According to tradition, it is said that Bruce raced out of the church where the act had taken place exclaiming that he thought he had killed Comyn and that Kirkpatrick drew his dagger and uttered the words, ‘I’ll mak siccar’. The phrase would go on to become the clan’s motto.
The family would then receive the lands of Redburgh from Bruce as thanks for their help during the Scottish struggle for independence and would eventually establish their castle at Closeburn in the late 14th century – the clan seat for many years.
Today the clan is armigerous, meaning that it has no clan chief.