The clan Rose originates from the Norman family ‘de Ros’ who first settled in the district of Nairn in the middle of the thirteenth century. Through marriage to the de Bisset family, Hugo de Ros established his home at Kilravock, which has remained the designation of the chief and the family’s home to this day.
Another union with the Chisholm family brought the Roses extensive lands at Strathnairn and an addition to the family coat of arms. Up until then, the Rose shield bore water bougets, said to allude to the water containers carried by knights taking part in the holy Crusades. The alliance with the Chisholms resulted in the addition of the Chisholms’ boars head to the shield.
In 1390 the Rose family records and charters were destroyed when Elgin Cathedral, where they were kept, was burned to the ground by the notorious Wolf of Badenoch. All documents relating to the family’s history were lost. However, from this time onwards, the records of the Roses are amongst the most complete in Scottish family history.
The Roses of Kilravock were diplomatic in their relations with neighbours and they lived peacefully compared to other clans. The Barons of Kilravock intermarried with the first families of the North and in 1460 the present Kilravock Castle was built on the banks of the River Nairn, where it is still inhabited by the family today.
The Rose family is one of the few in Scotland where the chiefship has descended in an unbroken line to the present day.
Rose Clan History