Sunday, June 3, 2007

Crawfords worth noting

Thor descended from a line of Danish Chiefs who 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 relatives from the English jurisdiction of Mercia to the independent principality of Northumbria, south of Berwick. But William pursued all of the refugees to Northumbria and proceeded to ravage a wide swath in Northumbria for having sheltered sympathizers of the defeated King Harold.

Thor escaped across the River Tweed where the Scottish King Malcolm granted Thor the area around the town of Ednam. Thor settled and developed the area with his own resources. The seal to the right is the actual seal of Thor that was appended to a charter affirming claim to the land of Ednam to Scottish King David. It was Thor's grandson, Galfridus, who we surmise was the first Lord of the Barony of Crawford, granted to him by Scottish King Alexander.

Sir Hugh Crawford (~1195 - ~1265)

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

Hugh, as 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 nasty. And 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, shown to the right, in appreciation for his contribution to the defeat of the Norse.

Sir Ronald (Reginald) Crawford (~1240 - 1297)

Sir Ronald Crawford was the 4th Sheriff of Ayrshire, Chief of Clan Crawford, and Lord of Loudon Castle. He lived in the town of Crosbie, now known as Crosshouse and located 2 miles west of Kilmarnock. Sir Ronald lived in the original structure shown as the building to the left in the photo of Crosbie Towers on the right above.

Ronald 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. After 6 years of running interference for his nephew as the situation spun out of control incident after incident, Sir Ronald paid with his life, being the first Lord of the Scottish Council of Barons to be killed by agents of King Edward at the Barns of Ayr in June 1297.

Sir William Wallace (~1270 - 1305)

Since most people are aware of the impact of the exploits of Scotland's greatest hero, little needs to be said about this Guardian of Scotland. He was the grandson, nephew, and cousin of three consecutive Chiefs of Clan Crawford, memorialized by Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart. After his father, Malcolm Wallace, was killed in an ambush in 1291 at Loudon Hill, William Wallace lived in the home of his uncle, Sir Ronald, and benefited from the protection his uncle gave him from English prosecution. It was the murder of his uncle Ronald by agents of King Edward that organized the revolt that led to the defeat of the English at Stirling Bridge. After the death of Wallace's trusted second-in-command, John Graham, at Falkirk, William teamed with his Crawford cousins (Ronald and William Crawford, Patrick Crawford of Auchenleck, and Kirkpatrick of Closeburn) to continue taking the fight to the English. William and his cousins went to France to gain the support of the French and on to Rome to gain the support of the Pope. They spent 1299-1303 in France and Italy. The Scots returned home in 1303, rowing from the ship at night and hiding for several weeks at William Crawford's farm at Elcho. In 1305 William was betrayed by John Montieth at Robroyston in Glasgow and was executed by the English in London on August 23, 1305.

Sir William Crawford (~1260 - after 1310)

Sir William Crawford, son of Sir Ronald and cousin to William Wallace, was motivated by the murder of his father to join the revolt as a captain to Wallace. He became second-in-command in the Wars for Scottish Independence after John Graham was killed at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298. As shown to the right, Sir William commanded 400 heavy cavalry to run the English forces out of Scotland after the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297. Soon after his return he became Governor of Edinburgh before leaving with Wallace to lay seige to York in 1298.

In 1299 Sir William escorted 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 2 military victories over the English. Sir William lived on a farm now known for Elcho Castle, near Perth.

Captain Thomas Crawford (1530 - 1603)

Captain Thomas Crawford 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, in 1573. Captain Thomas is entombed at Kilbirnie Kirk where the photo of his tomb marker on the right identifies his final resting place.

Colonel William Crawford (1732 - 1782)

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 also served putting down the native rebellion in Lord Dunsmore's War in 1774. Initially an Aide to General George Washington in the Revolution when he actively fought at Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown, he later served on the western frontier where he eventually met his fate, being burned at the stake by natives while the notorious murderer, Simon Girty, looked on.

Honorable William H. Crawford (1772 - 1834)

Senator from Georgia. Federal Judge. He ran for the Presidency of the United States and placed second. More to come ...

Honorable Mention

Galfridus Swaneson de Crawford (~1070 - ?), 1st Lord of the Barony of Crawford, ~1100
Sir Gregan Crawford (~1105 - ?), 1st to use the surname, Knight of King David in 1127
Sir Ronald Crawford (~1170 - 1226), 1st Sheriff of Ayrshire
Sir Ronald Crawford (~1260 - 1303), 5th Sheriff of Ayrshire, executed in Carlisle (1303) for supporting Wallace.
Sir William Crawford (~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 Crawford (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 Crawford (~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 Craufurd (1764-1812), commanded the Light Brigade in the Peninsula War
Holger Crafoord (1908-1982), Swedish Industrialist, inventor of artificial kidney, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, adopted son of engineer James Harry Crafoord
Bruce Crawford (1955-present), Member of Scottish Parliament (1999-present)
numerous previous Members of Parliament...


Jim Greenwood said...

Dates under Colonel William Crawford shoud be 1758 for the capture of Fort Duquesne and 1763 for Pontiac's Rebellion.

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