Clan Hunter

Clan Seat:  Hunterston Castle, West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland

 Plant Badge:  Sea Pink – Ameria Maritima

 Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston took on the mantle of Chiefship in 1994. 

Madam Pauline is the patron and instigator of “The Order of the Royal Huntsman” an award given to Clan members in recognition of their work on behalf of the Hunter Clan and Hunterston Castle the seat of the Clan.

The first Hunter arrived in Ayrshire in the opening years of the 12th century. Experts  in hunting and fieldcraft with generations of experience in the forests of their land of origin, Normandy. These Norman lords were invited to Scotland by the Scottish King David I who was himself brought up in the Norman court of William the Conqueror.

In papers relating to the king’s Inquisition (an ecclesiastical court held in the presence of the King) in 1116, we find mention of Willielmo Venator (William the Hunter1st Laird) who was appointed as Royal Huntsman while his wife had the honour of serving Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, as Lady-in-Waiting before moving to Scotland.

William put his expertise to good use in the wild forests and fens, then rich in wildlife, which surrounded the site of the timber fortress which was to become Hunter’s Toun (Hunter’s Town). As recognition of his family’s skills, the title of Royal Huntsman became hereditary appointment.

In the mid-thirteenth century King Alexander III of Scotland urged hie liegemen to build in stone against possible incursion by Norsemen. It was probably about this time that the pele-tower of Hunterston Castle was constructed.

From this stronghold that family, allied with other powerful neighbours, faced down the aggression of King Hakon of Norway and drove him to defeat at the Battle of Largs in 1263.

It sheltered them throughout the turbulent Wars of Independence from which they emerged with their lands intact having probably supported William Wallace and certainly Robert the Bruce. In 1374 the great king’s grandson Robert II granted William Hunter (10thLaird) Charter of lands for faithful services rendered. The family still possess this ancient document. While farming the lands, the Hunters continued to serve the Scottish crown as Royal Huntsmen and as soldiers, sometimes at great cost. John Hunter (14th Laird) died with King James IV at Flodden in 1513 and Mungo Hunter (16th Laird) died for Mary at the Battle of Pinkie.

As times became more settled, the Hunters devoted more time to farming their extensive lands although they still produced soldiers of distinction over the generations. Gould Hunter-Weston, husband of Jane Hunter (26th Laird) fought in India at Lucknow in 1857 and their son Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston was a well-known general in the First World War. On retiring from the army he continued serving the population of Ayrshire and Bute as a Member of Parliament.

More recent times have brought industrialization in the form of energy generation for Britain

It is the aim of the 30th Laird, Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston, is to provide a focal point for all Hunter Clan members worldwide, by ensuring that Hunterston Castle is preserved for present and future generations of Hunters. The Castle provides the perfect centre for all the Clansfolk to strengthen the traditions of the Clan.

Gatherings are held every two or three years and are fostering a strong sense of togetherness that makes the Hunters into a very distinctive Clan.

At present we have active Clan branches in Argentina, Australia, Canada,

New Zealand, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Any Clan member may visit Hunterston Castle by arrangement through contacting the Clan Chief at or

22 thoughts on “Clan Hunter

  1. I just wanted to say that I am very proud to be a “HUNTER”. I will be also joining soon too. I really want to know more about my other history.

  2. I am interested in joining you in your efforts to preserve the Hunter clan for future generations. Thank you for all your hard work. I live in the United States.

  3. My grandmother Hunter parents were from Paisley. My fathers family, Fullerton were from Troon. You mentioned a love story. Crosbie tower love story. (Crosbie was the fullerton castle) I wonder if there is a connection?

  4. Hi Pauline,
    I have been “chatting” with you over the last day or two. I have joined the UK Clan Association as you suggested and have sent you relevant details (application form and receipt of payment). Couldn’t seem to do it online.
    On another note. My wife and I will be travelling to Scotland in 2015 (probably around the time the Tattoo is on) and we would really love to visit Hunterston and actually meet you. It has been on my “bucket list” for many years.

    • Hi John-Paul, Thank you for emailing me your membership details. It will be in the post shortly. It would be great to have you visit Hunterston. Can you make sure you book your tour in advance with our tour guide Pauline Fraser.
      Yours aye,
      Madam Pauline

  5. Hi, my name is Dennis Hunter and I’m so proud of my heritage. My wife and 1 year old daughter were at the Scottish Festival in Orange County California which is also where we live. We had a wonderful time and I can’t wait to contribute and join. However, I was wondering if someone could clarify my clan. I know that I’m a Hunter but while I was there, I also noticed our Hunter name under the Stuart Clan. They told me we were off the Island of Stuart Butte? I think. Anyway, I just want done clarification. Thank you so much and it’s an honor being apart of a great tradition.

  6. Your Lady,
    I am a proud member of the Clan , my father being born in Dumfries and now deceased, I am now a resident of West Australia and would love to know if and when there is a gathering , and is there anyway, I can purchase a clan kilt,,,,though not at a exorbitant fist..any information of our clan and it’s history would be appreciated.
    Tom Hunter

  7. I live in the US, my mother’s maiden name is Hunter. I would like to know if that makes me eligible to join the clan. I have recently become interested in learning more about my heritage and family history. Any correspondence would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Dear Madam Pauline,

    I had the great pleasure of attending the Gathering this year, and am writing an article for the US newsletter. I am unable to recall Graham’s full name and wanted to announce his receiving the title Macer Venatorus. Could you please post his name for me?

    Thank you,
    Virginia H Bouchard

  9. I am proud to be a Hunter, born in Ayr. To my shame I haven’t yet visited Hunterston but hope to one day soon. My father and his brother who looked like twins gave me a CD of their visit to a gathering and I treasure it.
    Yours aye,
    Janet Hunter (now Steele)

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