Noteworthy Clansmen

Thorlongus (~1030 - ~1110)

Thorlongus descended from a line of Danish Chiefs who ostensibly married into the family of the Anglo-Saxon King Alfred. After the Normans defeated the Anglo-Saxons in the Battle of Hastings, William the Conquerer forced Thor and his family from Northumbria, where they had moved from Mercia, their original home in England. William ravaged Northumbria laying waste a wide swath through the province for the purpose of eliminating the last resistance within England to his rule.

Thor escaped across the River Tweed where the Scottish King Malcolm Canmore granted him land around the town of Ednam. Thor settled and developed the area with his own resources. The seal below the document is Thor's actual seal that was appended to a charter attributing his claim to the land of Ednam from Earl David (later King David I). Thor's grandson, Galfridus, is thought to have been the first Lord of the Barony of Crawford, granted to him by King Alexander I. Below is the affirmation of the grant of Ednam by Thor, about 1110AD, with Thorl's seal. It is about this time and perhaps as an exchange with the lands of Crawford that Thorlongus may have moved to Crawford.

Sir Gregan Crauford (~1100 - ~1170)

Sir Gregan is remembered by Crawfords for his role in saving the king from an attack by a stag. In 1127, the story goes, Gregan saved the life of David I. A year later a grateful David commissioned the construction of Holyrood Abbey on the site. David was reportedly hunting on horseback when the stag charged and knocked him from his mount. At this point the story developed a mythical theme, with the church claiming that God saved David from the stag when a cross fell from the heavens, which David grabbed. The stag as the re-incarnation of the devil disappeared, leaving David with the holy cross ('holyrood') in his hand. More consistent with reality is the version where Gregan, according to more earthly accounts, saved the king from being gored by the stag. Gregan was granted his unique arms, a buck's head with cross between the antlers. Several Scottish blazons and crests use the buck's head, but none other has been granted the cross between the antlers. Gregan received the lands around Crawfordton in Nithsdale for his valor. The photo shows Gregan's legacy sitting atop Canongate Church (below left), built in 1688 near Holyrood Abbey (below right).

Sir Reginald Crauford (~1165/1170 - 1226/1229) 1st Sheriff of Ayr

"Contemporary with Galfridus de Crawford was Gualterus de Crawford, witness to a charter of Roger, bishop of St. Andrews, sometime between 1189 and 1202. From him came Sir Reginald de Crawford, who, about 1200, married Margaret de Loudoun [daughter of James Lambinus of Loudoun], the heiress of the extensive barony of Loudoun in Ayrshire. He was the first vice-comes or high sheriff of the county of Ayr [named in 1196, during the reign of William I of Scotland], an office hereditary in his family. In consequence of this marriage he quartered the arms of Loudoun with his own. He witnessed a donation of David de Lindsay to the monastery of Newbottle, confirmed by Alexander the Second in 1220. It was under this Sir Reginald, as hereditary sheriff of Ayrshire, that the three bailiwicks of Carrick, Kyle, and Cunningham were first formed into a county, in 1221." [Cited from referencing Chalmers’ Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 452. Though Electric Scotland would be considered a secondary or even tertiary source, it cites abbey donation records, thus providing primary source information, the most reliable of sources. Some of the dates are for specific years; many of them refer to the reign of a particular king, thus we have only the range for the king's rule as an indication of the date of the donation witnessed. ] Reginald the "Vicecomes de Ayr/Are" is mentioned as a witness multiple times in the donation documents. He is in records of Kelso, Melrose, Paisley, Newbottle, Saint Andrews, and Holyrood Abbeys during the reigns of William I (1165-1214) and Alexander II (1214-1249). In the 1228 record from Kelso Abby he is titled 'miles', which means he was knighted. Of course, it is not certain that all these refer to the same individual, but since we know of only one Crawford Sheriff of Ayr named Reginald for those dates, with a life that is thought to have spanned the years from between 1165 and 1170 until 1226/1229, it is certainly likely.

Sir Reginald was progenitor of the senior branch of the Crawfords, known as the Auchinames cadet. The line was granted the lands of Auchenames by Robert I (The Bruce) of Scotland around 1218/1220. The line's claim to the property was confirmed by Robert III in 1391.

Sir Hugh Crauford (~1195 - ~1265)

Sir Hugh Crauford was the Third Sheriff of Ayr, head of the House of Crauford and Lord of Loudon. He probably lived in Loudon Castle even while he administered some distance away in the town of Ayr. During this time period Norse control over traditional Scots in the Western Isles and the under-handed way in which they gained control had been for years an aggravation. King Alexander I began pressing diplomatically and militarily to regain control begining in 1260. This prompted King Haakon of Norway to lead a large fleet in 1263 to the maritime boundary between the jurisdictions located along the northwest shore of Ayrshire.

Hugh, the regional representative of the King and intimately familiar with the climate, offered a plan to Alexander to delay the Norse fleet in Scotland until the Autumn weather turned foul, as it did on September 30, crushing the Norse fleet against the shoreline rocks. The Scots then attacked the confused Norse on the shore at Largs. The Norse escaped back to Norway in tatters, never to claim the Western Isles again. Alexander awarded Hugh the estate at Crosbie in appreciation for his contribution to the defeat of the Norse.

There are donation documents in records for Paisley, Newbottle, Saint Andrews, and Melrose Abbeys that list Hugh ('Hugo') Crauford 'filio Reginaldi' as a witness. The dates span the reigns of Malcolm IV (1153-1165), William I (1165-1214), Alexander II (1214-1249) and possibly even Alexander III (1249-1286). Those most likely to correspond to him are those of the reign of Alexander II.

Sir Reginald Crauford (~1240 - 1297) Sheriff of Ayr 1296

Sir Reginald Crawford was ostensibly the 4th Sheriff of Ayr (appointed in 1296). This appointment is documented. He has traditionally been considered the head of the House of Crawford, and is labeled Lord of Loudon. Blind Hary described him as living in the town of Crosbie.

According to tradition, Reginald was the brother of Margaret, the mother of William Wallace. He risked his life and the lives of his family to provide protection from the English to his nephew, William Wallace. After years of running interference as the situation spun out of control, his lands were forfeited, and a year later he was captured and according to Blind Hary, paid with his life, the first Lord of the Scottish Council of Barons to be killed by agents of King Edward I at the Barns of Ayr.

The Barns of Ayr was an English military barracks located in Ayr. The Barns of Ayr was where a number of Scottish barons of Ayrshire, including Sir Reginald Crauford, Sheriff of Ayr, Sir Bryce Blair of Blair, Sir Neil Montgomerie of Cassillis, Crystal of Seton, and Sir Hugh Montgomerie, were supposedly hanged in 1297. An unlikely figure of three hundred and sixty men were claimed to have been executed. In revenge, William Wallace ostensibly burned the barracks with the English soldiers inside. William later attacked Ayr Castle and slaughtered the English garrison. That 360 Scots were executed by the English is a gross exaggeration, however, that number is suspiciously close to the number of Scottish noble and land owners who signed the Ragman Rolls. Blind Hary had many sources for his material. This may have been one of them.

Donation documents from the Abbeys that are likely mentions of him as witness (References are to 'Reginaldus de ... ', 'filius Hugo' and 'Alicia', 'miles', 'dom') identify him as the son of Hugo and Alicia, a knight and Lord (of Loudoun?). Dates of the recordings are within the reigns of Alexander II (1214-1249), Alexander III (1249-1286), and John Balliol (1292-1296). There are no references to him as Sheriff of Ayr, but since his appointment as sheriff probably lasted not much more than a year (1296/7), and was during the 2nd Interregnum, that is not surprising. Several dates stand out: 1228, 1240, 1271, 1284, and 1294. Except for the earliest one, they certainly fall within his estimated adult lifespan. The 1228 reference may be to another Reginald, maybe an uncle, since the same first names were often repeated each generation within a family.

Margaret Crauford (~1250 - 1296?)

Margaret Crauford, great granddaughter of Sir Reginald Crawford (the 1st Sheriff of Ayr), daughter of Hugh Crauford (3rd in the Loudoun Crawford line), sister of Sir Reginald (the 1296 Sheriff of Ayr), was the mother of William Wallace, the great Scottish patriot. We know little of her life, except that she married Adam Wallace and gave birth to the hero -- at least that is the tradition. The fullest treatment of her life and Wallace's Crauford relations is found in Blind Hary's "The Wallace". Little is found in historical documents, and we do not know how accurate is Blind Hary's account. Thus a well loved heroine, she is an enigmatic but vibrant figure of Scottish folklore.

Above is the thorn tree on Dunfirmline Abbey grounds where Margaret Crauford is supposed to have been buried by her son William, outside the church to protect her grave from desecration by Edward I as he plowed through Scottish lands razing all evidence that he could of Scottish society.

A memorial plaque commemorating the birth of William Wallace is located on the wall in the garden overlooking the Bishop's House on the grounds of Dunfirmline Abbey. William's mother Margaret holds him in her lap, while his older brother Malcolm looks on.

Sir William Wallace (~1270 - 1305)

Most people are aware of the impact of the exploits of Scotland's greatest hero, Sir William Wallace. He was named a Guardian of Scotland after the Battle of Stirling Bridge. William was the grandson, nephew, and cousin of three consecutive heads of the House of Crawford. He was memorialized by Mel Gibson in the movie "Braveheart". William's father, Adam Wallace (rather than "Malcolm" as he is named by Blind Hary in the epic poem) was purportedly killed in an ambush in 1291 at Loudon Hill. Subsequently, William Wallace lived in the home of his uncle, Sir Reginald Crauford, and benefited from the protection his uncle gave him from English prosecution. It may have been the murder of his uncle Reginald by agents of King Edward I (in 1297) that spurred the revolt that led to the defeat of the English at Stirling Bridge. Though some historians would prefer the motivation came from the death of his wife, Marion Braidfut, that fueled his hatred of the English. After the death at Falkirk of Wallace's trusted second-in-command, John Graham, William Wallace teamed up with his Crauford cousin William to continue the fight. After the defeat at Falkirk, William gave up the Guardianship. With his cousin William Crauford he went to France to gain the support of the French and on to Rome to plead for the support of the Pope. Vivid exploits against the English in France are described by Blind Hary. He has the two cousins returning home in 1303, rowing from the ship at night and hiding for several weeks at William Crauford's farm at Elcho. In 1305 William Wallace was betrayed by John Montieth at Robroyston in Glasgow. He was captured and taken to London, where he was summarily tried then executed on August 23, 1305. The Sir William Wallace Monument stands today as a memorial to this great Scottish hero. Below, the Memorial in the distance is seen though a gun turret of Stirling Castle.

John Carrick wrote "Life of Sir William Wallace of Elderslie". In it he combined some of the physical descriptions historically given to Wallace. Below is his consolidated depiction. It portrays an idealized figure -- a statuesque but graceful warrior. Much of it may be based on Blind Hary's dramatic work, undoubtedly responding to his need to create a dramatic a figure on stage. Carrick says: "His visage was long, well-proportioned, and exquisitely beautiful; his eyes were bright and piercing, the hair of his head and beard auburn, and inclined to curl; that on his brows and eyelashes was of a lighter shade. His lips were round and full. His stature was lofty and majestic, rising head and shoulders above the tallest men in the country. Yet his form, though gigantic, possessed the most perfect symmetry, and with a degree of strength almost incredible, there was combined such an agility of body and fleetness in running that no-one, except when mounted on horseback, could outstrip or escape from him when he happened to pursue."

The Sword of Wallace

The Sword, to be found in William Wallace's monument outside Stirling, is said to have been used by him at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 and the Battle of Falkirk (1298). The shaft of the sword measures 4 feet 4 inches (132 cm) in length and 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) including the hilt. The breadth of the blade varies from 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) at the guard to 0.75 inches (1.9 cm) before the point. The sword weighs 6.0 pounds (2.7 kg). It is of the style of Highlanders, who typically carried the long sword strapped against their back.

A second sword has been argued as having belonged to Wallace. This sword hung in Loudoun Castle until the 20th century. It was sold in auction in 1939 to an unknown person. The Campbell's claimed that it belonged to Sir Reginald Crauford, the 4th Laird of Loudoun and 1296 Sheriff of Ayr who was the uncle of William Wallace.

Sir William Crauford (~1260 - after 1310)

Sir William Crauford, some claim a younger son of Sir Reginald (Sheriff of Ayr in 1296) and thus cousin to William Wallace, was ostensibly motivated by the murder of his father to join the revolt as a captain to Wallace. After John Graham was killed at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298, he is described by Blind Harry as succeeding John as adjunct to Wallace and becoming his second-in-command.

According to Blind Hary, Sir William commanded 400 heavy cavalry running the English forces out of Scotland after the Battle of Stirling Bridge on September 11, 1297. The Battle of Stirling Bridge was an important victory early in the First War of Scottish Independence. The forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the English forces lead by John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth. Soon after his return William Crauford became Governor of Edinburgh before leaving with Wallace in 1298 to lay siege to York.

In 1299 Sir William is described by Blind Hary as having accompanied Wallace to the court of King Phillip of France. While sailing from Scotland the Scots captured the pirate known as the "Red Reiver" (Richard Longoville) and later gained his amnesty from Phillip in Paris. While in France they commanded the Scots Guard in two military victories over the English. Sir William lived on a farm now known for Elcho Castle, near Perth. An episode is dramatized by Blind Hary as taking place at Elcho upon the two men's return, with the plot's aim being the rescue of William Crauford's wife from the attention of English soldiers searching for William Wallace. The two men reveal themselves to the English and refocus their attention on themselves for the purpose of protecting the wife and leading them in a marry chase through the nearby forest.

Captain Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill (1530 - 1603)

Captain Thomas Crauford of Jordanhill (an old estate to the west of central Glasgow, part of which is now a college and hospital near Victoria Park) was a trusted confidant of Lord Darnley, husband of Queen Mary. After Darnley was murdered, Captain Thomas planned the assaults and led the forces that expelled Castle garrisons loyal to Catholic Queen Mary from both Dunbarton and Edinburgh Castles. This eliminated the final barrier to a reunification of Scotland under Queen Mary's son, Protestant King James I, in 1573.

Thomas Craufurd was born the 6th son of Laurence Craufurd of Kilbirnie in 1530. Realizing that as a 6th sons he would not inherit, Thomas set out to create his own future by becoming a soldier. After an unspectacular beginning, Thomas was captured at the Battle of Pinkie and later ransomed. Thomas went to France in 1550 and spent 11 years in the Scots Guard. He was captain of the guards for Mary de Guise, Queen Mary Stuart's mother. He later became a military advisor to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, whom he accompanied to Scotland in 1561 when she returned to rule as Queen.

Thomas became a trusted advisor of Mary's husband, Lord Darnley. After Darnley's murder, Thomas actively opposed the Queen's efforts to Catholicize the Scottish Regency, and he began to serve Mary's Protestant son who became King James VI of Scotland. Thomas devised a plan to scale the walls of Dunbarton Castle (above) to remove the Castle garrison loyal to Mary. In the early morning hours of April 2, 1571, Thomas and his contingent of 150 soldiers successfully captured Dunbarton Castle. Two years later Thomas received the surrender of Edinburgh Castle after defeating the Queen's Commander Huntley at a place called Gallow Lee. This victory lead to the reunification of Scotland for James VI under a Protestant Regency.

Thomas purchased an estate at Jordanhill from Bartholomew Montgomerie, a chaplain in the Drumry Church that Lawrence Crauford, his father, had founded in 1546 on the lands Lawrence acquired in 1528 adjacent the Drumry estate. It is said that long before, the lands had belonged to the Knights of St. John. In 1576 Thomas founded the Bishop's Bursary at Glasgow University. The following year he became Provost of Glasgow and built the first bridge over the Kelvin River at Partick. Jordanhill was sold to Alexander Houston in 1750. It is now the Jordanhill School.

Captain Thomas is entombed at Kilbirnie Kirk where the photo of his tomb marker immediately left identifies his final resting place. In the church, under Thomas' Coat of Arms, appears the following inscription:

He that by labour does any honestie
The labour goes, the honour bides with thee:
He that by treason does any vice also,
The shame remains, the pleasure soon goes.

Colonel William Crawford (1732 - 1782)

William Crawford was born in Orange County, Virginia, on September 2, 1722, at a location which is now in Berkeley County, West Virginia. He was a son of William Crawford and his wife Honora Grimes, who were Scots-Irish farmers. After his father's death in 1736, his mother re-married. William had a younger brother, Valentine Crawford, plus five half-brothers and one half-sister from his mother's second marriage.

William Crawford was a soldier and surveyor. He worked as a western land agent for George Washington. He fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. Colonel William Crawford was an officer in the British forces that captured Fort Duquesne from the French in 1755. He also served in quelling Pontiac's rebellion in 1758. After moving his family to western Pennsylvania in 1766, he served as a land agent and local judge. He put down the native rebellion in Lord Dunsmore's War in 1774. Initially an Aide to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, he actively fought at Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown. He later served on the western frontier.

In June 1782 Crawford was persuaded to come out of retirement and lead an expedition against enemy Native American villages along the Sandusky River. After his election as commander of the expedition, Crawford led about 500 volunteers deep into Delaware territory with the hope of surprising them. However, the Delaware and their British allies at Detroit learned about the expedition, and brought a near equal force to oppose the Americans. After a day of indecisive fighting, the Americans were surrounded. Colonel Crawford and dozens of his men were captured by the Delaware. Most of them, including his son and a brother-in-law, were executed in retaliation for the Gnadenhutten massacre earlier in the year in which 96 peaceful Christian Indian men, women, and children had been murdered by Pennsylvania militiamen. On June 10th, Colonel Crawford was horribly tortured for two days using shotgun pellets and burning branches, the next day he was scalped and then massively burned until he expired.

The Colonel Crawford Burn Site Monument was built on the site. It was early named a historic site and was marked by a plaque. There had been a longtime interest in the erection of a stone monument. As the centenary of Col. Crawford's execution approached, a movement arose to commemorate his death. A local lawyer proposed marking the site with a monument. The marker was made of sandstone and worked into the shape of a cannon, 6.5 feet (2.0 m) tall. It was dedicated in 1877, with the attendance of thousands of people. In April 1982, the monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Commemorative monuments are typically ineligible for National Register listing, and sites such as the Crawford Burn Site Monument can qualify only if the markers themselves have become historically significant.

Honorable William H. Crawford (1772 - 1834)

The American statesman William Harris Crawford was born in Amherst county, Virginia, on the 24th of February 1772.

William Harris Crawford was an American politician and judge during the early 19th century. In late 1798, after he was admitted to the bar, he began to practice law in Lexington, Georgia. From 1807 to 1813 he was a member of the United States Senate, of which he was president pro tempore from March 1812 to March 1813. From 1801 to 1802, with Horatio Marbury, he prepared a digest of the laws of Georgia from 1755 to 1800. From 1803 to 1807 he was a member of the State House of Representatives. He was the US Senator from Georgia between 1807 and 1813. In 1813 he declined the offer of the post of Secretary of War, but from that year until 1815 was Ambassador to France. He was then Secretary of War in 1815-1816, and Secretary of the Treasury from 1816 to 1825. In 1924 he ran for the Presidency of the United States, but did not win. After his defeat he returned to Georgia where he was appointed as a Federal Judge. He remained a judge until his death on the 15th of September 1834.

In his day he was undoubtedly one of the foremost political leaders of the country, and a person of imposing presence with great conversational powers. He won the admiration of Albert Gallatin and others by his powerful support of the movement in 1811 to recharter the Bank of the United States. He earned the condemnation of posterity by his authorship in 1820 of the four-years-term law, which limited the term of service of thousands of public officials to four years.

He is a descendant of John Crawford of Virginia who immigrated to America around 1643. William H. Crawford is buried at the site of his home, about one-half mile west of the current Crawford, Georgia city limit.

Bruce Crawford, MSP

Bruce Crawford is a Member of Scottish Parliament (1999-present). He was born in Perth on February 16, 1955. Bruce has been a Scottish National Party Member representing Stirling in the Scottish Parliament. He is married to Jacqueline with whom he has three sons.

Prior to entering politics, Bruce was a human resource manager with the Scottish Office. He served as councillor for Kinross on Perth and Kinross District Council from 1988 to 1996 and on Perth and Kinross Council from 1995 to 2001. Bruce was also Leader of Perth and Kinross Council from 1995 to 1999. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent Mid Lothian and Fife at the 1999 election. He was re-elected in 2003. Bruce ran John Swinney's campaign to be re-elected as SNP National Convenor when he was challenged by Dr. Bill Wilson in late 2003. At the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, Bruce took over the Stirling seat from the Labour Party.

Following the adoption of a new constitution by the SNP in 2004, Bruce Crawford was appointed as the SNP's Business Convener. After the SNP's victory at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, he became the Minister for Parliamentary Business. He was appointed to the ministerial position of Minister for Parliamentary Business following the election of the SNP minority government after the 2007 general election. On May 19, 2011, Bruce became the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy until September 5, 2012. Bruce headed the organization of the referendum for Scottish Independence held in 2014, which was lost by a slim margin. He is standing for re-elections to the Scottish Parliament from Stirling on May 5, 2016.

Honorable Mention

Galfridus Swaneson de Crawford (~1100 - ?), 1st Lord of the Barony of Crawford, ~1100.
Sir Reginald Crauford (~1260 - 1307), ostensibly 5th Sheriff of Ayr, executed in Carlisle (winter 1306/7) for supporting The Bruce.
Sir William Craufurd (~1400 - ?), 7th Laird of Craufurdland, Knight of King James I, served with the Scots in France at the Battle of Creyault, Burgundy, France, 1423.
Colonel Lawrence Crauford (1611 - 1645) served in the Danish and Swedish Armies; served in the Unified Armies in Ireland, returned to Britain to fight for the Parliamentary forces against King Charles I. Killed in action at the Seige of Hereford in 1645.
Colonel John Walkingshaw Craufurd of Craufurdland (~1718 - 1793) served in the Union forces at Dettingen (1743) and Fontenoy (1745), Falconer to the King (1761).
Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Gregan-Craufurd (1761-1821), served with great courage and daring in the Netherlands in 1794.
Major-General Robert "Black Bob" Craufurd (1764-1812), commanded the Light Division in the Peninsular War
George W. Crawford (1798-1872) Georgia's 38th governor serving two terms (1843–47), United States Secretary of War (1849–50), Permanent President of the Richmond County Convention from where he presided over Georgia's decision to secede from the Union (1861).
Holger Crafoord (1908-1982), Swedish Industrialist, inventor of artificial kidney, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, adopted son of engineer James Harry Crafoord. Founded the Crafoord Foundation, which awards grants similar to the Norwegian Nobel Prizes.
Numerous Members of British Parliament, Members of US Congress, ...