Blog post by Dr Jade Scott, Project Assistant, William Hunter’s Library: A Transcription of the Early Catalogues. When we think of Plague, we tend to imagine the Black Death of the fourteenth-century, which had such catastrophic effects on the population of Europe. Yet plague recurred episodically in Europe until the 19th century, periodically erupting into […]
In papers relating to the Kings Inquisition, a Court of Law held in the King’s presence in 1116 we find mention of Willielmo Venator, William the Hunter, the first Laird, Royal Huntsman to the Kings and Queens of Scotland. There is a family legend that says the Lady of the first Laird had the honour of serving Queen Matilda as lady-in-waiting.
William the Hunter soon put his expertise to good use in the wild forests and fens of Hunterston, then rich in wildlife, which surrounded the site of the timber fortress. This became Hunter’s Toun, a village and port on the peninsula where Hunterston has always been. As recognition of his family’s skills, the title of Praefectus Venatorus Regis – Royal Huntsman, became a hereditary appointment.
The first Hunters arrived at Ayrshire in the opening years of the 12th century, having come over from Normandy about four years after the Norman Conquest. Experts in hunting and fieldcraft with generations of experience in the forests of their land of origin, these Norman lords were invited to Scotland by King David I who was himself brought up in the Norman court in London.
Clan Hunter Chief for twenty-three years today.
I have had the privilege of knowing her since 2014.
If you are a Hunter or a variant of this surname you should meet your Clan Hunter Chief.
Hunter’s relationship with his brother and fellow anatomist John was famously strained so it is not surprising that John was not a trustee for Hunter’s estate. Hunter’s nephew, Matthew Baillie, along with Hunter’s business partner William Cruikshank, were the main beneficiaries in Hunter’s will with Hunter leaving them the use of his collections and library […]
The Hunters did not fight at the side of William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings, but followed him later to England.
The wife of one of the descendants of the Hunters who later settled in Scotland was a lady-in-waiting to William the Conqueror’ spouse, and is thought to have been one of the ladies who worked on the famous Bayeux Tapestry.
This linen strip, 223ft long and 1.5ft wide, graphically depicts the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and the actual battle itself.
By the late eleventh to early twelfth century the Hunters had found a new home in Scotland, and close on 1,000 years later, are still to be found on the land in the north of Ayrshire where they first settled.
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