There are three possible origins for this name. Firstly, a placename on the Moray Firth ("brothac" is a Gaelic word meaning "muddy") or secondly from the Flemish word for brother. Thirdly, that the name derives from a Pictish royal family named "Brude". There is certainly evidence of Pictish settlements around Brodie and it appears that Malcolm, Thane of Brodie, was a descendant of the old Pictish> aristocracy. His son was granted a charter for property in Moray by Robert the Bruce>, not for services rendered but because of an ancient right of his ancestors. Early records of the family are scant as many were burnt in 1645 by Lord Lewis Gordon during the Civil War.
Alexander Brodie of Brodie (1617-79) was a staunch Presbyterian who was among those who destroyed carvings and paintings in Elgin Cathedral> in 1640 because he considered them to be idolatrous. In 1649 he was one of the commissioners sent to negotiate with the exiled King Charles II> for his return to Scotland. He later accepted judicial office under the "Protectorate" set up by Oliver Cromwell (though only after Cromwell's death).
Brodies spread beyond Moray and Alexander Brodie was Lord of Session in Edinburgh in 1657-61 and other Brodies were prominent in the legal profession in the 17th century.
Castle Brodie was started in the 16th century and is now in the care of the National Trust>. In 1727, Alexander Brodie of Brodie became Lord Lyon, King of Arms, responsible for heraldry in Scotland.There is a striking portrait of Alexander in his official robes on display in Brodie Castle. Alexander was Lord Lyon during the Jacobite Uprising and supported the Duke of Cumberland during the campaign.
In the 18th century, Deacon William Brodie> was a respected Edinburgh councillor by day and a successful burglar by night. His exploits are said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde".
The Brodie clan motto is "Unite".
Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the Brodie clan include Bryde.
There is a Brodie Clan Web site at clanbrodie.us> and www.brodiefamily.ca.
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