Clan Brodie

Clan Brodie is a Scottish clan whose origins are uncertain. The first known Brodie chiefs were the Thanes of Brodie and Dyke in Morayshire. The Brodies were present in several clan conflicts, and during the civil war were ardent covenanters. They resisted involvement in the Jacobite uprisings, and the chief's family later prospered under the British Empire in colonial India.

Origins of the name

Early references to Brodie were written as Brochy, Brothy, Brothie, Brothu, Brode. Various meanings to the name Brodie have been advanced, but given the Brodies uncertain origin, and the varying ways Brodie has been pronounced/written, these remain but suppositions. Some of the suggestions that have been advanced as to the meaning of the name Brodie are:

Clan Brodie
Crest badge
Clan member crest badge - Clan Brodie.svg
Crest: A right hand holding a bunch of arrows all Proper
Motto: Unite
District Moray
Plant badge Periwinkle
Brodie of Brodie coat of arms.svg
Alexander Brodie of Brodie
The 27th Chief of Clan Brodie
Historic seat Brodie Castle

Map of Scotland showing the district of Moray, where the Brodies lived.


Origins of the clan

The origins of the Brodie clan are mysterious. Much of the early Brodie records were destroyed when Clan Gordon pillaged and burnt Brodie Castle in 1645. It is known that the Brodies were always about since records began. From this it has been presumed that the Brodies are ancient, probably of Pict ancestry, referred to locally as the ancient Moravienses. The historian Dr. Ian Grimble suggested the Brodies were an important Pictish family and advanced the possibility of a link between the Brodies and the male line of the Pictish Kings.

Early history

The lands of Brodie are between Morayshire and Nairnshire, on the modern border that separates the Scottish Highlands and Moray. In the time of the Picts, this location was at the heart of the Kingdom of Moravia. Early references show that the Brodie lands to be governed by a Tòiseach, later to become Thane. Part of the Brodie lands were originally Temple Lands, owned by the order of the Knights Templar. It is uncertain if the Brodies took their name from the lands of Brodie, or that the lands were named after the clan.

After the Tòiseachs, whose names are lost, we find a reference to MacBeth, Thane of Dyke in 1262; next, in 1311, a Latin reference to Michael, filius Malconi, Thanus de Brothie et Dyke. It is unclear if Macbeth, Thane of Dyke, is of the same line as Michael. Accordingly, the Brodie Chiefs claim descent from Michael's referred father, Malcome, as First Chief and Thane of Brodie.

Brodye tartan, as published in 1842 in the Vestiarium Scoticum.

Brodie hunting tartan

15th and 16th century clan conflicts

Brodie Castle in 1976

17th century and Civil War

18th century and Jacobite uprisings

Brodie chiefs family tree.

Recent history

Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856), Macbeth Meeting the Three Witches 1855.

Traditions and legend

Arms of The Brodie of Brodie
Brodie of Brodie
Arms of The Brodie of Spynie
Brodie of Spynie
Arms of The Brodie of Lethen
Brodie of Lethen
Arms of The Brodie of Mylntoun
Brodie of Mylntoun
Arms of The Brodie of Mayne
Brodie of Mayne
Arms of The Brodie of Rosthorn
Brodie of Rosthorn
Arms of The Brodie of Idvies
Brodie of Idvies
Arms of Brodie of Boxford
Brodie of Boxford
Arms of Captain David Brodie
Cap. David Brodie
Arms of Brodie-Wood
of Keithick
Arms of Callender-Brodie of Idvies
of Idvies
Arms of Brodie-Innes of Milton Brodie
Brodie-Innes of
Milton Brodie


Periwinkle: plant badge of Clan Brodie.

Clan profile

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