Clan Brisbane History

The name derives from the Anglo-French ‘brise bane’ meaning ‘break bone’ or ‘bonebreaker’.

The first of the name in Scotland is William Brisbone who is among the list of archers sent from Berwick to Roxburgh in 1298 and who was most probably an Englishman.

Thomas Brisbane had a charter of Litill Rothy in Aberdeenshire from Robert I.

Alanus dictus Brisbane filius quondam Willelmi Brisbane soon after 1334 obtained a grant from Donald, Earl of Lennox of the land called Mucherach in the earldom of Levenax and of the land called Holmedalmartyne.

Thomas Brysbane, dominus de Latheris witnessed the charter of the barony of Cowie to William de Haya de Erole in 1415, and in 1417 was present at a perambulations of the lands of Tarwas and Udny.

James Brisbane was proprieter of the lands of Reise and Akirgyll in Caithness in 1498.

The Brisbanes of Bishoptoun acquired the lands of Killincraig and Goga in the parish of Largs around 1400. The estate was erected into the barony of Brisbane by a Crown charter in 1695, thencefoth the family were known as Brisbane of Brisbane.

Thomas Brisbane, 1st Baronet (1773-1860) led a distinguished military career and Brisbane in Australia is named after him.

In ‘A genealogical account of the principle families in Ayrshire’ by George Robertson states that ‘this family, confessedly chief of the name, appears to have possessed Bishopton in Renfrewshire, and also lands in the counties of Stirling and Ayr, long prior to the date of any charters they have preserved.


The clan acquired the Bishopton lands around 1332, building Bishopton House on them. The land passed to the Walkinshaws circa 1671, after having been held by the Brisbanes for over 400 years.