Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gang Warily, Drummond





That handsome shield you see at the top is the ancestral coat of arms for the family Drummond. Normally, I would not pay all that much attention to heraldry, as it is as dead a matter for most people as studying Latin, or expecting Al Gore to actually cite his sources for the outrageous claims he makes. But I have discovered a bit about my family’s beginnings, which seems strangely familiar to me.

The first known Drummond appears to be a fellow named Maurice, the commander of the vessel which saved Edgar the Atheling and his sisters from the usurper Harold. Maurice, it seems, was the son of George, and a grandson of Andrew, the king of Hungary. The passage was difficult and it seems Maurice was pursued fro a while by Harold’s men. When the passengers were brought safely to Scotland, it is said that for his gallantry in the mission, Maurice was given the name Drum-onde, which in Gaelic means a high wave, and his coat of arms features three wavy bars to symbolize the sunset waves of the North Sea. Fanciful perhaps, but interesting to me.

It is also interesting to note that Sir Malcolm de Drummond was attached firmly to the cause of Robert the Bruce, and at Bannockburn it was Malcolm who devised the way to unseat the feared English cavalry – by spreading caltrops before the horses. Explaining his plan to Robert before the battle, Drummond warned the men who would fight near him to “gang warily” – that is, to watch their step since he would have caltrops all over the place. That’s how that motto got onto the family seal.

The Drummonds made a name for themselves as stout defenders of Scotland’s freedom from England. They were also strong supporters of the Jacobites, and found themselves in many battles because of it. Reading through the family legends from ancient times, and recalling stories my father passed along from our recent years, I was struck by how often my family has been loyal to causes, well beyond the point where men more frail in their convictions would flee. I was also well aware that my family gets into scraps far more often than ordinary folk do, and well beyond the number which prudence would commend. With that in mind, it seems to me no surprise at all to find that I am no deserter from President Bush, simply because turning coats has gained fashion among Republicans, nor that my words should – often – cause a protest and controversy.

I am my father’s son. And near as I can tell, that has been our tradition for going on eight centuries, at the least.

15 comments:

Ballymena Drummond said...

Nice, found out a few things there that I didn't know. Funny that the clan was a Jacobite supporter when today our family would be very much british, although still proud to be scottish.

Glasgow born Drummond

JohnLloydScharf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnLloydScharf said...

You and the last election crushed my delusion. I thought I was the only one to vote for Bush in 2000 and 2004. That would have made my one vote overpowering.

No. There seems to be few who claim to have voted for him. Blaming the previous administration has already warn thin. Then, there is also the fact that the things they hated most about Bush, Obama is now repeating or expanding on.

So, has Obama been Bush-Whacked or is the true Obama Nation.

Anonymous said...

A Drummond would never call themselve British we are Scottish and always will be
Thomas Drummond Scotland( Glasgow )

mike said...

The Sir Name And All That Goes With It Are The Defining Force That We Are To Proudly Bear In Honor Of Those Who Truly Preserved Our Blood And Still Do. Drummond Is A Legacy Past, Present And Future Generations Will Write Our Name On The Pages Of History.

Anonymous said...

I guess some Drummonds are blinded by loyalty, even when it does not serve their purpose. George Bush was a curse on this nation, and his legacy will take decades to repair, if ever. He supports the rich and their right to hoard resources and oppress people, much like the British have done to the Scots, Irish, and others.
A Drummond

Anonymous said...

Drummond is the same, written the same way in every language. It represents unbendble, loyal, persistent, wise, honour...

Its every Drummond`s duty to preserve the name and its meaning.

A Drummond from across the ocean

Anonymous said...

I arrived here while researching a pocket watch that I own, with the words "Gang Warily" inscribed inside.

Janos Feher said...

Hey, greetings from a Hungarian. It's nice to see such relations between the Scots and Hungarians.

AFAIK the lineage of Drummonds are the last of our roman catholic saint kings, like István (Stephen), Imre (Emeric), Margit (both the Scottish and the hun, daughter of Béla IV), László I (Ladislaus)... They were from the bloodline of the house of Turul (or Árpád according some sources). The Turul is kind of goshhawk what I see in the Drummond crest. The flag of the Turul dinasty was 4 red stripes on silver fields, similar to yours, like your tartan, where the red and green are dominating, like in the Hungarian national flag.

It would great if we could work on actual cultural relationships too.

Anonymous said...

Badass! I dunno how this shit works but my drummond last name is described very well In this. How do I find out if this is my fate?

Anonymous said...

I arrived at this sight because of a badge I aquired at a flea market. It says on it GANG WARILY. It has a eagle standing on a crown and is circled by what looks to be a belt. Beautiful badge. Wondering where it was worna/

Anonymous said...

Good information. Thanks for posting

Bradford Drummond

Judy Drummond said...

I am a female Drummond and also very proud of my name and the people in my family. I dream of visiting Scotland someday and seeing the Drummond castle.

NeonixCaerphillyElectrical said...

I've learnt of my family surname and bits of history from them but through searching, reading & discovering the history of the clan it's beliefs and loyalty and courage to stand up for what you believe in gives character, trust & honour. You have unrooted qualities that make you who you are!

Nuno Drummond said...

To keep the fight on, when most would flee, for as long as we believe