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Wemyss Tartan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Wemyss Tartan

A Fife family name derived from the Scots 'weem' or 'cave' and associated with caves on the North coast of the Firth of Forth that provided shelter for early Christian missionaries. The family are descended from a younger son of a MacDuff, Earl of Fife, who was given land around these caves by his father in the mid-12th century.

Michael de Wemyss was a supporter of Robert the Bruce. Sir John Wemyss of Wemyss was made one of the first Baronets of Nova Scotia, by Charles I, and created Lord Wemyss of Elcho in 1628, and Earl of Wemyss in 1633. The title was lost following support for the Jacobite cause by David Wemyss, Lord Elcho (1721-87), eldest son of the 5th Earl. Thereafter the second son, Francis, inherited his maternal grandfather's estates, including Amisfield (East Lothian), and adopted his surname Charteris. The Earldom was eventually regained by the 6th Earl, who had also succeeded to the Earldom of March. The Earls of Wemyss and March today live at Gosford House (East Lothian). A third son of the 5th Earl, James, inherited the Fife estates.

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