It has been suggested that the name Haldane originates from a phrase meaning ‘Half-Dane.’ It is certainly an ancient Scottish surname dating back to around the 12th century with the manor of Hauden being granted to the family around this time by William the Lion. A cadet branch of the family are reported to have settled in the area of Scotland known as Strathearn. The lands they acquired were made part of the larger barony of Gleneagles. The clan chiefs are still located here.
Aylmer de Haldane was another noble who’s signature found its way onto the Ragman Roll of Edward I in 1296 and, like so many other Scottish nobles that for whom the taste of subjugation to an English Monarch was too bitter to take sided with Robert The Bruce during the wars of independence.
The Haldane territory increased greatly when Sir Simon de Haldane married Matilda de Arnot. Sir Simon had already received the lands of Bardrill in Strathearn in 1312 but the union also gave him control of more land in the earldom of Lennox.
In 1482 Sir John Haldane, third of Gleneagles handed over lands in Perthshire, Stirlingshire and Fife to the Crown, turning this into the free barony of Gleneagles. Sir John was not intending to resign his property altogether as through his marriage to Agnes, daughter of Murdoch Menteith of Rusky he had a legitimate claim the earldom of Lennox. The title was contested between himself and John Stewart, Lord Darnley. The dispute appears to have come to a surprisingly amicable settlement for the time when, after a long legal battle Darnley retained the title and Sir John received a quarter of the lands.
Sir James Haldane, fourth of Gleneagles who was Governor of Dunbar Castle had a son, he was responsible for erecting lands in Lennox and in Perthshire, not already part of Gleneagles into the barony of Haldane in 1508. Alas he wasn’t around for long enough to enjoy the new barony as he fell with many other Scottish nobles at Flodden in 1513.
In 1585 Stirling Castle was under siege by supporters of the Earl of Angus and many other Protestant noblemen. The Haldanes were part of the force calling for the repealing of the banishment of these nobles and the Laird’s brother, James was killed in a battle with Sir William Stewart, colonel of the Royal Guard. reportedly shot by Sir William’s servant.
The eleventh Laird, Sir John Haldane was knighted by Charles I in 1633. He strongly supported the rights of worship laid down in the National Covenant and raised men and supplies to fight the Covenanter cause. Regrettably for Sir John he was part of force at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, another Scottish military disaster which claimed his life.
General George Haldane, son of the sixteenth Laird was a professional soldier just as his descendant the eleventh Laird had been. He fought against the Jacobites during the ’45 rebellion. serving under the notorious Duke of Cumberland.
The famous Admiral Adam Duncan, Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, a cousin of the eighteenth Haldane of Gleneagles inherited the lands in 1820 and his son who inherited his title in 1831 also took the surname Haldane. The Gleneagles estates returned to a Haldane, James Chinnery-Haldane in 1918 when the fourth Earl of Camperdown gave over his rights to these lands. One of his sons Broderick became a famous Portrait photographer, whilst his other son carried the chiefship until his death in 1994 when this passed to his nephew Martin.
Haldane Clan History