Clan Bannatyne Septs

Bannatyne is a sept of Clan Campbell. The Campbell connection with this name refers only to the Bannatynes of Bute and later of Arran.

The name Bannatyne is said to be the same as Ballantine and to derive from Bellenden in Selkirk. The Campbell connection with this name refers only to the Bannatynes of Bute and later of Arran. There are many other Ballantynes and Bannatynes across Scotland who do not share this link.

The head of the Bute Bannatynes was Bannatyne of Kames, a property on Bute which came to the family when Gilbert, son of Gilbert, received it in a charter of King Alexander III.

The then head of the family signed a mutual Bond with Stuart of Bute in 1547 in which each undertook to support the other against all comers with the exception of the King and the Earl of Argyll. This followed a Bond of Manrent of 1538 in which Bannatyne had bound himself to the Earl.

From then on, they seem to have followed the Campbell Chiefs loyally, with Bannatyne of Kames acting as a Campbell chieftain in all but name.

In the 1547 Bond Bannatyne is described as ‘Chief of the MacAmelynes’ – a scribe’s botched attempt but one at a name which sounds a great deal more Gaelic in character and which may reflect the true origin of this kindred. A possible derivation for this name may be Amhalghaidh, possibly given on occasion as Aulay. Alwin, 2nd Earl of Lennox had a son by the latter name who was great-grandfather to Allan of Faslane. (12) (per W.D.H. Sellar. Scots Peerage, v, 329, 330.)

The arms of Bannatyne of Kames, in use prior to 1672, are gules a chevron argent between three mullets or. (13) (Balfour Paul (Ed.) Ordinary of Arms,56.) At first sight there seems to be no connection with the arms of the Earls of Lennox (argent a saltire between four roses gules) but on occasion the arms of argent a chevron between four mullets gules have been used by a Bannatyne. A chevron is of course the bottom part of a saltire and it has been used by Lecky of that Ilk (argent a chevron between three roses gules) (14) (Burke, Ordinary of Arms; this is set out alphabetically and no page numbers are given.) whose ancestor was also a son of Alwyn, 2nd Earl of Lennox. Mullets (five-pointed stars) are not roses but the shield as a whole to a heraldic eye might seem to have a possible connection. A link between the Bannatynes of Kames and the Earls of Lennox might well repay further investigation.