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There is only one source of the name Carmichael and that is territorial or geographic in origin from the northern edge of the Southern Uplands in Scotland. An ancient hill fort or caer in a prominent location close to the main route north from the border was chosen by the good Queen Margaret in the year 1058 as the site of one of her first six churches established in the sea of Glasgow. Due to the prominence of the site, she dedicated the church to St. Michel and the district and its peoples became of Caermichel when surnames were necessitated in the thirteenth century.

The Carmichaels have been settled in the upper ward of the same name in Lanarkshire for over nine hundred years and it is from this place that they take their name. The lands of Carmichael were originally part of the Dougsdale territory that was granted to the Clan Douglas in 1321 by Robert the Bruce.

Other Carmichaels are later mentioned in the charters of the Douglas family until, between 1374 and 1384 when Sir John de Carmichael received a charter for the lands of Carmichael from William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas. Sir John was amongst the knights who supported the Douglases in their struggle for power in Scotland and in their raids across the English border. The grant of this large piece of Douglas land was undoubtedly a reward for the prowess of Sir John and the Carmichael men.

In 1414 the barony of Carmichael was confirmed to the chief of the clan and it extended to over fourteen thousand acres in the parishes of Carmichael, Pettinain and Carluke.
Sir John de Carmichael of Meadowflat (later of Carmichael) fought in France with the Scottish army that was sent to aid the French against an English invasion. The Battle of Baugé was fought in 1421 where Sir John Carmichael rode in combat against an English commander, unhorsed him and broke his own spear in the action. The English commander was the Duke of Clarence who was a Knight of the Garter and brother of Henry V of England. Carmichael's victory demoralized the English to the extent that they fled the field and to commemorate this, the Carmichaels bear a broken spear on their clan crest.

Catherine Carmichael, daughter of Sir John who was captain of Crawford Castle became the mistress of James V of Scotland and bore him a son, who was half-brother to Mary, Queen of Scots. The king built the castle of Crawfordjohn for them to meet undisturbed.

The principal family became allied to the Clan Anstruther by the marriage of Lady Margaret, daughter of the 2nd Earl, to Sir John Anstruther whose descendants inherited the Carmichael lands on the death of the 6th Earl of Hyndford in 1817. This family then took the name Carmichael – Anstruther which they continued until the succession of the present chief who resumed the family name in 1980. Chief Richard Carmichael worked tirelessly to support the Clan Carmichael Society which has branches world-wide.

Clan Carmichael Badge, Scottish Clan

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  • Each item begins as a piece of bronze sheet metal.  After a pattern is transferred to the metal, the piece is etched in a salt-water solution.  Each piece is hand cut, sanded, and polished. The pin back is soldered on. A patina has been applied giving the metal that aged look. A clear polymer coating is applied to the face of the badge.

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