The youngest son of the 4th Earl of Richmond (who was descended from the Duke of Brittany) was granted lands in the Barony of Craufurd (from "crow ford") in Lanarkshire in the 12th century by King David I> and the family took the surname from the placename. In 1127 Sir Gregan Crawford was involved in the legendary incident when King David was saved from a stag (and founded the Abbey of Holyrood as a result).
In 1296 Sir Reginald Crawford was appointed sheriff of Ayr. His sister married Wallace of Elderslie and thus became the mother of William Wallace> the great Scottish patriot. Needless to say, the Crawfords rallied to his cause.
The main branches of the family were Crawford of Auchinames (in Renfrewshire) who received a grant of land from Robert the Bruce>Robert the Bruce and Craufurd of Craufurdland (in upper Clydesdale). Sir William Craufurd of Craufurdland was a brave soldier who was knighted by King James I> and fought for King Charles VII of France. The castle at Craufurdland was much extended in the 17th century. The castle passed to the Howiesons in 1793 and was restored in the 1980s.
Other lines of Crawfords began in the reign of James III> when descendants of Archibald Craufurd created the families of Auchenairn, Beanscroft and Powmill. Archibald's son John was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.
In the 16th century, Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill was a member of the household of Lord Darnley>, husband of Mary Queen of Scots>. During those turbulent times he captured Dumbarton Castle> in 1571 with 150 men by scaling the supposedly impregnable rock and later received the surrender of Edinburgh Castle>.
Lawrence Crawford (1611-45) fought for Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years War and returned to Britain to fight for the Parliamentary forces against King Charles I>.
The Crawford clan motto is "Tutum te robore reddam" which means "I will give you safety by strength".
Crawford was the 75th most frequent surname at the General Register Office> in 1995.
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