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The Brodies of Brodie

Updated July 13, 2006

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Clan Brodie’s origins are Pictish, from the Kingdom of Moravia. Whether or not the Brodies actually belonged to the Moravian royal line, the mormaers, they were certainly an important Pict family.

Macbeth Thane of Dyke was Toshech circa 1262. The name Brodie came later from Michael Thanus de Brothie et Dyke, circa 1311.

John of Brode of that Ilk, the 7th Thane of Brodie, assisted the Mackenzies defeat the Macdonalds at Blair-na-Parc in 1466. He took a distinguished part in the battle and his conduct produced a friendship between clans Mackenzie and Brodie, “and even yet remains betwixt them, being more sacredly observed than ties of affinity and consanguinity amongst most others”, and a bond of manrent was entered into between the families.

Thomas, the 11th Thane, was killed by the English invader at the battle of Pinky (1547). He was succeeded by his son, Alexander “the rebel”, who in 1550 attacked the Cummings at Altyre, and in 1562 joined the Earl of Huntly who raised the flag of rebellion. They attacked Mary Queen of Scots but were routed at Corrichie. Huntly was killed and Brodie, escaping, became an outlaw. He was pardoned four years later.

Alexander “the good” Lord Brodie of Brodie, the 15th Thane, was a supporter of the Reformation. In 1640 he sacked Elgin Cathedral, however in 1642 Montrose’s Royalist forces burnt Brodie Castle. Brodie was twice appointed to negotiate with the exiled Charles II at The Hague, and in 1650 returned to Scotland with the king. Brodie avoided Cromwell’s citation to discus a union of Scotland and England. He was judge in trials of witchcraft, sentencing two witches to death.

Alexander, the 19th Thane, was Lord Lyon King of Arms during the 1745 Jacobite uprising.

Other Brodies include:

Captain David Brodie (1707-1787) “scourge of the Spanish Main”, who repeatedly engaged with French and Spanish cruisers and privateers, 21 of which he captured;

Deacon William Brodie (1746-1788), notorious burglar by night, honourable politician by day;

Major Alexander Brodie (1849-1918), Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt and governor of Arizona;

and Sir Israel Brodie (1895-1979), chief rabbi and dedicated Zionist.

 
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