To the west of Stirling lies the parish of Drymen. This name Drymen is derived from the Gaelic for ridge or high ground – ‘dromainn’. To this area, according to legend, came a Hungarian admiral in 1067, escorting Edgar the Aetheling and his two sisters as they fled William the Conqueror. In 1225, a descendant of the admiral known as Malcolm Beg (Little Malcolm) is recorded as being Seneschal (Chamberlain) of the Lennox and taking on the name Malcolm of Drymen.
A 19th century depiction of a Drummond clansman by R.R. McIan
From then till now the clan chief has been known as An Drumanach Mór, which means The Great Man of Drymen. Also connected to Drymen are the Buchanans and the Highland Mores.
Malcolm of Drymen’s son, Malcolm of Drummond swore fealty to England’s Edward I but nonetheless fought in the Wars of Independence and was twice captured by the English.
The third Malcolm of Drummond is credited with the deployment of caltrops, iron spikes to injure horses, before the Battle of Bannockburn. Their affect on the English cavalry made the victory possible and two caltrops are displayed as part of the Drummond’s armorial bearings. Robert the Bruce rewarded the Drummonds with lands in Perthshire.
The mediaeval Stobhall became the Drummond family’s lands in 1345 when John Drummond married its heiress Mary de Montfichet. Their daughter Annabella became Queen of Scotland when she married Robert III.
John, 5th Chief of Cargill and Stobhall became the first Lord Drummond in 1487. One year of his life was spent in confinement within Blackness Castle after he assaulted the Lord Lyon, King of Arms.
James IV was infatuated with John’s daughter Margaret. In 1502, however she and her two sisters died under mysterious circumstances, possibly through poisoning, and James IV instead went on to marry Margaret Tudor of England.
For their support of the Stewarts through the risings of 1715 and 1745 the property and titles of the Drummonds were twice forfeited. It was not until 1853, through an Act of Parliament, that the title of Earl of Perth and other forfeited titles were restored to George Drummond, who was also in the French peerage as a Baron.