The legend is that William de Irwyn, second son of the then chief of Bonshaw was taken into service by Robert the Bruce. This led to him holding various offices in the Royal Household and being rewarded with a feudal Barony in the forest of Drum in 1323, thus the Irvines of Drum came about.
According to Irving of Bonshaw tradition, the origin of the clan chief's family is connected with the early Celtic monarchs of Scotland. The tradition is that the Irvings of Bonshaw are descended from Duncan of Eskdale, a younger brother of Crinan, father of Duncan I of Scotland.
Robert De Brus was a guest at Bonshaw Tower in 1298 when he fled the English court of Edward I and there is a cave in the Kirtle cliffs at Cove, within which Robert De Brus was hidden on more than one occasion.
In July 1484, at the battle of the Kirtle, where the Duke of Albany and the Douglases were routed, the Master of Maxwell was killed and just across the Kirtle water from Bonshaw Tower, the Merkland Cross marks the spot.
During the 16th century the Irvings of Bonshaw played a leading part in Border warfare and it was during this century that a feud existed between the Johnstons and Irvings on one side and the Maxwells with their supporters on the other.
At the battle of Solway Moss in 1542, Christopher Irving of Bonshaw commanded the light horse, surviving the battle and continuing the resistance against Henry VIII. In 1554, the Kirkpatricks slew a younger son of Christopher Irving of Bonshaw. The Irvings bided their time until ten years later when Edward Irving of Bonshaw slew the Chief of the Kirkpatricks of Closeburn.
In December 1593, the Irving-Johnston alliance, under Sir James Johnston of Lochwood met the Maxwells at Dryfe Sands. The Clan battle that followed resulted in the Irving-Johnston forces inflicting a crushing defeat on the Maxwells with Lord Maxwell being slain on the field. The Maxwells never fully recovered even to this day. Life quietened down considerably after the 17th century and the Border Irving & Irvine diaspora expanded overseas with Branches of the Clan being established in Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand. Colonel Paulus Aemilius Irving in 1714 born at Bonshaw, entered the Army and was i/c of 15th Regiment of Foot under General Wolfe during the capture of the Heights of Abraham at Quebec. He later became Governor of the Province of Quebec. Colonel John Beaufin Irving inherited the Bonshaw Tower & House and worked to restore what was left of the estate as lawful heir of succession. He was the author of ‘The Book of the Irvings &c’ published in 1907. He was succeeded by his youngest and surviving son, Sir Robert Beaufin Irving, who had a long and distinguished career at sea, fought at the Battle of Jutland and commanded the ‘Queen Mary’ in 1936 and won the Blue Riband. Sir Robert devoted much of his time at Bonshaw in preserving the estate and died in 1954 without issue. His successor was his nephew, Commander George Irving RN and took the decision to sell the estate to Mr. & Mrs. E. Keys-Irving Straton-Ferrier, descended from the Irvings of Wysebie, a branch of the Clan which went to Australia in the early 1900’s.