Clan Herries History
The old family of this name were probably a branch of the Anglo-Norman family of Heriz from Nottinghamshire who came to Scotland with David I. However, there is another theory about the name’s origin. The Count of Vendome, a French nobleman, at one point visited Britain, and his coat of arms bears three hedgehogs, and it has been suggested that the surname Herries may derive from the French word for hedgehog, hérisson. It is, however, generally believed that the former theory is the more likely with the appearnace of William de Heriz in numerous charters created by Earl Henry, David I, William the Lion, Walter the Steward and others, dating from the 12th century.
Another William de Heriz took the oath of fealty to England and Edward I in 1296 by signing the Ragman Rolls along with many others of Scottish nobility. The leading family of this name has been identified with Galloway since the mid 14th century. Richard Hereis had a gift of the lands of Elstanefurd in Edinburgh from Robert I. David de Herice de Dery witnessed a confirmation charter of the Mill of Conweth, and Donald Herris, and Donald Heriss of St. Andrews diocese is recorded in 1464.
In 1489, a descendant of the original Herries, Sir Herbert Herries, took the title ‘Lord Herries’ and became a parliamentary Lord. At the Battle of Flodden in 1513, his son Andrew fought and died. William. the third Lord Herries, died without a male heir, leaving only a daughter, and so the title continued, destined to heirs general, and was permitted to succeed through female heirs. William’s daughter married Sir John Maxwell, son of Lord Maxwell, and in 1667 the Maxwells incorporated the arms of Herries into their own.
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