Clan Hunter Association, USA, a branch of The Hunter Clan Association of Scotland, was founded by the late Charles M. Hunter and incorporated in Birmingham, Alabama on February 8, 1993.
Clan Hunter (Gaelic: "Clann an t-Sealgair") is a Scottish clan which has its seat at Hunterston in Ayrshire. It has historical connections with both the 'Highlands' and 'Lowlands' of Scotland due to several centuries of operation in some of the formerly Gaelic speaking Scottish Islands including Arran, Bute and the Cumbraes where the Hunters also long held land.
The first Hunters arrived in Ayrshire in the last years of the 11th Century. They were experts in hunting and field craft with generations of experience in the forests of their land of origin, Normandy, northern France. William Hunter was invited to Scotland by David I, who was himself brought up in the Norman Court. He must have had considerable skills to have been so honoured; he was responsible for providing the Scottish Court with meat and game, a position that the Hunters held throughout the Middle Ages and beyond.
In papers relating to the King's Inquisition in 1116, we find mention of Williemo Venator (William the Hunter, 1st Laird) who was appointed as Royal Huntsman while his wife had the honour of serving Queen Matilda as lady-in-waiting. William put his expertise to good use in the wild forests and fens, then rich with wildlife, which surrounded the site of the timber fortress later to become Hunter's Toun. As recognition of his family's skills the title of Royal Huntsman became a hereditary appointment.
Cursum Perficio - "I will complete the course"
Hunterston Castle is most likely the only castle in Scotland that still belongs to the original family. The original castle was the smallest of the West Kilbride castles. It is only about 24 feet long by 21 feet wide and only 34 feet to the parapet, but it has been greatly extended over the years. Like the other castles, the entrance and Great Hall were on the first floor with a removable wooden stair for defense. It was also directly surrounded by a moat and swampland. The swamps were drained about 150 to 200 years ago and are now farmland.
The original way into the ground floor was down through a trap door from the first floor above, but about 200 years after the castle was built a stairway tower was built onto the castle to give a ground floor entrance to the building and comfortable stairs to the main hall on the first floor.
The original Pele Tower was constructed in local sandstone. A fine barrel-vaulted roof now supports the foundation of the huge weight of stone above. In times of danger the ground floor room was used for storage for food and the animals, and it also had a well. The Old Hall served as the main living room until the Great Hall was added in the 16th century by John Hunter, 14th Laird.
The Hunter of Hunterston tartan, commissioned by the 29th Laird, Neal Hunter, in 1971 is used exclusively by the Hunter Clan.
Ancient Hunter and Modern Hunter tartans are shared by several other clans. Traditionally there were three different tartans which could all be called Hunter tartan. It depended where you lived and who you were descended from. In 1981 the Clan Chief decided enough was enough and set to designing a new Hunter tartan that was both modern and would represent the whole Clan.
In 1983 we first saw the appearance of the "Hunter of Hunterston sett". The official tartan for the Hunter clan.
The red and green are the hunting colours, the blue represents the sea and the gold (yellow) the Royal connection.
For additional information and ordering, contact the Clan Hunter mail order service at clanhunter.org.uk.
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