Clan Boyd Places & People

Clan Boyd People

William Boyd (1704 – 1746)

4th Earl of Kilmarnock, William Boyd was educated at Glasgow. In the rebellion of 1715, William initially supported the Government side, but in the rebellion of 1745, owing either to a personal affront or to the influence of his wife or to his straitened circumstances he deserted George II and joined Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender.

Made a Privy Counsellor to Charles, he was appointed a colonel of guards and subsequently a general. He fought at Falkirk and Culloden, where he was taken prisoner, and was beheaded on Tower Hill on 18 August 1746.

Sir John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr (1880 – 1971)


Scottish doctor, biologist and politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his scientific research into nutrition and his work with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Orr grew up in Kilmaurs, near Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland, then studying to become a teacher at a teachers’ college and the University of Glasgow, where he studied Arts.

After three years of teaching, he returned to the university to study medicine and biology. During the First World War he served as a military doctor for both the British Army and Royal Navy, firstly in active duty and later as a researcher into military diets. After the war, his research was devoted mainly to animal nutrition, his focus then changed to human nutrition both as a researcher and an active lobbyist and propagandist for improving people’s diets.

After the Second World War, Boyd Orr took several posts, most notably at the FAO, where his comprehensive plans for improving food production and its equitable distribution failed to get the support of Britain and the US. He then resigned from the FAO and became director of a number of companies and proved a canny investor in the stock market, making a considerable personal fortune, such that when he received the Nobel Prize in 1949 he was able to donate the entire amount to organizations devoted to world peace and a united world government. He was elevated to the peerage in 1949 as Baron Boyd-Orr.

The University of Glasgow has a building named after John Boyd Orr, and the University’s Hunterian Museum holds his Nobel medal.

Billy Boyd (born 1968 in Glasgow)

Scottish actor most widely known for playing Peregrin Took (Pippin), in the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and Barrett Bonden in Peter Weir’s film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Clan Boyd Places

Dean Castle

Dean Castle

Dean Castle is situated in the Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland. It was the stronghold for the Boyd clan, built by Sir Thomas Boyd around 1350. The castle remained in the Boyd family until 1746 when it was sold by James Boyd.

Portencross Castle

Portencross Castle

Portencross Castle was given to Robert Boyd by King Bruce for his loyalty along with more prominent properties in Strathclyde. Portencross was in the Boyd family from about 1385 to 1785, over four hundred years of Boyd occupancy.

Law Castle

Law Castle

Law Castle was built in 1468 for Princess Mary, daughter of James II, upon her marriage to Thomas, Master of Boyd, and later Earl of Arran. The castle is also called the Tower of Kilbride.

Penkill Castle

Penkill Castle

The castle was last in the Boyd family when it was sold in the 1960s.