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Clan Munro history

Clan Munro history

Posted: 26 Apr 2001 11:12AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 9 Oct 2003 3:56PM GMT
Surnames: Munro, Macdonald, MacKay, Dingwall, Foulis, Fowlis, Keddie, Kiddie, MacAdie, MacCulloch, MacEddie, MacKeddie, MacLullich, Monro,
Reprinted from Message #160 of the Munroe Surname Message Board by Kurt Munro.

The pronunciation is just like it is spelled, and the name goes back to before 1059 AD.
The origins of Clan Munro are lost in the distant past. By tradition, 11th Century
mercenary soldiers from Ireland, they were granted lands in Ross by a grateful
King after assisting him in defeating the Viking invaders of this part of Scotland.
From documentary evidence, they were well established by the middle of the 14th
Century on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth in the area known as Ferindonald
(Donald's land) named after their legendary first chief. From this narrow base
comprising the modern parishes of Kiltearn and Alness they gradually spread their
sphere of influence northwards and eastwards into the fertile plain of Easter Ross.
Initially, they held land as vassals of the powerful Earls of Ross. On the forfeiture
of that earldom, they were loyal directly to the Crown. Their lands later became the
Barony of Foulis (pronounced "fowls"), and thereafter the chief and his family were
designated "of Foulis". The clan spread into Sutherland and were also given a charter
for lands in Strathspey in 1309. The chiefs were Bailies to the Macdonalds, Earls of
Ross and Lords of the Isles. Robert of Foulis supported Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn
in 1314. Robert Mor Munro, 15th chief, was a staunch supporter of Mary Queen of Scots and he
received many favours from her son James VI.
During the 17th century, the Munros fought in the continental wars and Robert, the 18th
chief joined the army of Gustavus Adolphus, raising 700 of his own clan for service in
Sweden and Denmark in defense of Protestantism. He greatly distinguished himself and his
Scots received the name the "Invincibles".
In general a law abiding and peaceful clan, nevertheless when needs arose they stoutly
defended their interests against more powerful neighbors. Loyal to the Crown, early in
the reformation the Chief and his followers adopted the Protestant faith, a move which
greatly influenced future clan policy.
It was a Munro of Foulis who was one of the original commanders of the six independant
companies when they were raised in 1725. In 1740 when the companies of the "Black Watch"
were formed into the 43rd (and later 42nd) Regiment, Sir Robert Munro, 6th Bart, was
appointed Lieutenant Colonel. Sir Robert also published an account of his fortunes with the
MacKay regiment in the Thirty Years War. The clan later supported the Protestant succession
to the British Crown against the Catholic Stuarts during the Jacobite Risings of the 18th
Century. This tradition of distinction in military service was to continue throughout the
19th and 20th centuries.
The Munro clan made their mark in other fields. They made a significant early contribution
to Scottish traditional arts in the fifteenth century with what is probably the earliest
piece of pipe music written for the Pibroch. This piece, entitled 'Bealach na Broige',
has been attributed to one of the early Munro family.
The Munros also became known for their prominence in the Scottish clergy. The most notable
Munro clergyman was the Rev. Alexander Munro, whose parish was at Cape Wrath on the very
northwest tip of Scotland. He was not alone in the family in his choice of profession
as the Munros boasted two other ministers enrolled as Justices of the Peace in Sutherland,
and two in Caithness.
The most prestigious position in foreign affairs was achieved when a son of the Munro family, James Monroe, became President
of the United States of America in the nineteenth century.
The lands of Clan Munro lie on the north side of the Cromarty Firth on the northeast coast of Scotland, known as Ferindonald
from the gaelic "Fearainn Domhnuill" (Donalds Land), this is likely a reference to Donald Munro who returned the Clan from
Membership is open to those bearing the above surnames (or others belonging to a recognized sept), spouses and descendants,
or anyone who is in sympathy with the objective of the Association.

Crest Badge: An eagle displayed wings inverted
Proper Motto: Dread God
Origin of name: Gaelic (Man from Ro)
Pipe Music: Bealach na Broige
Septs: Dingwall, Foulis, Fowlis, Keddie, Kiddie, MacAdie, MacCulloch, MacEddie, MacKeddie, MacLullich, Monro,
Monroe, Vass, Wass

Foulis Castle
Donald Munro who succeeded his father in A. D. 1164 is said to have built the Tower of Foulis . Certainly the foundations of
the Castle are of Mammoth proportions , as has been found by the late Chief during the three stages of Restoration that he and
his wife have carried out -- in 1957-59 , 1977-79 , and most recently , in 1985-86 . The Tower was obviously a "fortification ,"
as its walls at the ground level are a massive five feet six inches thick . In 1978 , when modern plumbing and drainage were
introduced to replace that installed in 1880 , it was found that there was only one possible way that a waste pipe could go
through the foundations of the house without ruining a fine cornice in the dinning room above . When excavation was begun it
was found that a huge boulder blocked the way to the pipe . to remove it , it took a heavy mechanical digger and skilled
operator a whole morning to loosen and then haul it to the surface ! In May , 1985 , while repairs were being carried out in part
to the Courtyard building , an interesting discovery was made . Four "cannon loops of an inverted key hole type," dating from
the early part of the 16th century , were discovered behind four wedge - shaped , blocked - up apertures facing north , south ,
east , and west , in a five foot six inch thick wall . Above them is a barrel vaulted stone ceiling. This building , at one time
separate from the Castle , had certainly been constructed as a small defensive fort with an all-round " field of fire " to guard
against possible attack . At some later date , when perhaps the Chief felt that the chances of attack had lessened , the use of this
building had changed . Three of the apertures had been completely blocked while the fourth had been partially blocked , leaving
a narrow slit six inches wide and three feet long , into which a three-quarter inch iron bar was strongly built , giving light , some
air and access through which food could be passed to the unfortunate prisoner . It was undoubtedly the goal! for the Chiefs had
great power over their people until 1745 . As mentioned earlier , Sir Harry Munro arrived back at Foulis after the battle of
Colloden had ended the Jacobite Rebellion , to find the house a semi ruin . He immediately set about rebuilding it to its present
form . Unfortunately no record survive of what it was like before 1745 . He was educated at Westminster School in London ,
and later studied at Leyden University in Holland . The name Munro in not uncommon in Holland and Dutch Munros visit Foulis
from time to time and all remark on the similarity of architecture to many of their larger houses in Holland and always particularly
intrigued with the brick cooking stove in the old kitchen which they say is typically Dutch . So it is interesting to speculate that Sir
Harry Munro may have been influenced by his time at Leyden University when he redesigned his home . A lot has been learnt
about the house and what might have been here before 1745 by Captain and Mrs. Munro in their various stages of restoration .
They believe that it was probably surrounded by a series of smaller dwellings , of possibly a fortified nature . They found in
1957-59 , much evidence to suggest that in the courtyard area horses and cattle were kept ,and that it was a self-contained
community able to withstand a siege , when attacked . But to continue with Sir Harry's Munro's rebuilding of the Castle from
1749 to 1754 . It was he who built the Courtyard in its present form where all the day-to-day domestic work was carried on .
He made provision for a laundry , dairy , gun room ,coachmen's rooms , stables , both for riding horses and carriage horses .
Much of this was altered over the next 230 years and brought up to date as each generation succeeded , but the main structure
of the building remains the same as when he lived here . He was a man of taste , as was also his son , Hugh . He not only
designed his Library as described earlier , but he also designed the Ballroom [the present drawing room] with its lofty ceiling and
fine cornice. His son , Sir Hugh Munro , continue his fathers work .He considered that the front entrance , at the foot of the
Tower , looking north over the Court-yard {which had survived the 1745 arson is very old] was not suitably grand enough for
his taste . So he built the flight of steps , with their elegant railings , on the south elevation and altered a window to make his new
front door and at the same time placing his Coat of Arms in the pediment above. The old front door opening into the Court-yard
became the back door . In 1803 , when Sir Hugh left Foulis forever , on the death of his wife and took up residence in London ,
Foulis became a forlorn and gradually fell into a state of neglect and disrepair . there is an interesting account , written in 1843 ,
of a picnic party , who , as a diversion , rowed across the Comarty Firth , landed at Foulis Point , and went to look at Foulis
castle. It is recorded that they found padlocked gates at the entrance drive , but proceeded on to find the sad sight of this fine
old house utterly neglected and apparently , abandoned . From 1850 , it was slowly [through lack of funds] but systematically
rescued from the derelict state that it had been left by the quarreling cousins , and today stands looking much as it did in 1800 .
Foulis Castle is located 1 1/2 miles from Evanton, Easter Ross. The castle is only open by appointment I have been told.
Also check out these web sites:

Re: Munro/Munroe/Monro/Monroe History

Leslie (View posts)
Posted: 31 Aug 2001 7:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
I think we are related. I was a monore now yang. Contact me.

Re: Clan Munro history

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 2:09AM GMT
Classification: Query
The name Munro in Gaelic is spelled MOIN RUADH translated as the Red Moor. It aludes to the area near the mouth of the river Roe in Northern Ireland. See the Clan Munro USA magazine of several years ago for the full article or e-mail me and I will send it to you.

Belach NAM Broige, not na.

Regards, Charles Munroe
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