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The Ancient Jardine Clan


In an article written for the BBC in 2009, Genealogist Paul Blake writes, "Before the Norman Conquest of Britain, people did not have hereditary surnames: they were known just by a personal name or nickname. After 1066, the Norman barons introduced surnames into England, and the practice gradually spread. … By 1400 most English families, and those from Lowland Scotland, had adopted the use of hereditary surnames."

The surname Jardine is derived from the French jardin meaning "garden" or "orchard". Researchers have confirmed the documented history of the name in Lowland Scotland and northern England. As far as can be ascertained, there was no hereditary use of the surname Jardine or Gardine before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. According to researchers with Swyrich the Jardine family name predates the Norman invasion and is descended originally from the Strathclyde Britons. This ancient founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the South, northward to the southern bank of the River Clyde in Scotland. The kingdom of Strathclyde spanned roughly from the 7th century A.D. to about 1100 A.D.

Ganger Rolf—Rollo I Other research is establishing a Norse (Viking) origin for the family. It seems Jardines came south from Scandinavia with a warrior (left) called Ganger Rolf (ca. 870—ca. 932) a.k.a. Rollo or Robert I. The story was that Rollo was called a Ganger or a Walker because he was so large that no horse could carry him.

Poppa, daughter of Count Berenger of Bayeaux was captured in a Viking raid and later became Rollo's wife. Through their son, William Longsword, Rollo is an ancestor of William the Conqueror and through William the British Royal Family and all current European Monarchs.

Rollo was "defeated" at the battle of Chartres, and was granted the lands of Normandy by the French King Charles III "the Simple" (879–929) in 911 A.D. via the Treaty of St. Claire-sur-Epte if he agreed to fend off future invaders. A few generations later a Norman Knight called du Jardin came to England with William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD.

This is the earliest record of the name Jardine and is contained in Hollinshead's Chronicles of England listing du Jardin as one of those having fought in the battle. (Iarden was the closest I could find) Many of those who fought were rewarded with lands freshly wrested from the Saxon Lords and among these were Jardine, Robert de Bruis, Comyn, Pierre de Ballieul, Seigneur de Fescamps, de Jeanville, all mentioned by the Norman chronicler. The three first, including Jardine, were transferred to lands in the north of England. Jardines moved to Westmoreland in the northwest of England, and then on to the Lockerbie area of Scotland where the family settled. From then until records were kept and land was accounted for and enclosed, the family was known as de Gardine de Applegirth.

Different spellings of the name have been found in the archives researched, typically linking each alternate to the root source of the surname. Some variations are: Jardine, Jardane, Jardin, Jarding, Jardyne, Jerdan, Jerden, Jerdin, Jerdone, Garden, Gardin, Gardyn, Gardyne, de Gardino, and Gardinus. The reason behind this multiplicity of spellings is simply that few people had the advantages of literacy and names were written by the few who were literate (often clergy) as they were spoken, the spelling left up to the listener. Surname spelling became more rigid and canonical as more people became literate.

The name is first recorded in Scotland in the person of Walfredus or Winefredus de Jardine, recorded prior to 1153 AD as a witness of the charter to the Abbey of Kelso granted by King David I (1124-53). One Umfrid or Humphrey de Jardin witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Arbroath by Robert de Bruis (ancestor to the famous King Robert the Bruce) circa 1178 A.D. A Patrick de Gardinus was chaplain or cleric to the Bishop of Glasgow in 1200 A.D. Also, a Sir Humphrey de Gardine witnessed a resignation of lands in Annandale in 1245 A.D.

The family was represented on the Ragman Rolls; and In 1304 a William du Gerdyne is recorded as owning land around Kendal which accounts for the name spreading into England. By the 14th century the Jardings were established at the parish of Applegirth on the River Annan in Dumfriesshire just north of Lockerbie. They married with the first families of Dumfriesshire and appear as Knights in the 14th century. Around this time, William de Gardine received a grant of lands and the barony of Hertishyde (Hartside), in Lanarkshire from King David II (1329–1371) for his loyalty and service. Jardines are recorded as being present at the courts of Kings David II, James I & II; and when the grandfather of King Robert the Bruce joined King Richard I (Lionheart) on the Crusades a Jardine man was listed "as a vassal to Bruis." It is believed that Jardines adopted the saltire and chief of the Bruce's on their shields when fighting with the Lord of Annandale against the Saracens sometime toward the close of the 12th century.

The Jardines appear to have had a strong tie with the Bruce family through much of their history. They and several other Border families were granted the use of the Shield, Saltire and Mullets of the Bruce's as depicted on the Jardine Crest Badge and Arms. It seems they followed the Bruce's, being present at the battles of Stirling Bridge (1297 A.D.) and Falkirk (1298 A.D.) along with many other Scottish nobles (Bruce, Lindsay, Maxwell, etc.) fighting for King Edward I "Longshanks" of England (1272–1307) against the famed William Wallace (?–1305). Records show that a Sir Humphrey Jardine received payment and compensation for one or more lost horses while fighting at Falkirk. Jardines were also present at the Battle of Bannockburn, on 24 Jun 1314, riding in the train, as tradition says, of Robert the Bruce (1306–1329) when the Scots triumphed over the English army of Edward II (1307–0327) which outnumbered them three-to-one.

Later, one publication quotes Sir William Douglas as replying thus when asked the whereabouts of Border warriors, "There are many who have not yet risen: Maxwell, Ferguson, Ross, Kennedy, Carruthers, the Johnstones, Elliots, Jardines, Armstrongs and the rest–thieves but fair fighters." (Thieves refers to the Border practice of "reiving", or stealing cattle which was a common way of life for those along the Scottish Borders.) It is suspected they were in the Scots Army entrusted to Douglas in 1324 A.D. which proceeded into Northumberland and Durham burning and destroying wherever they went. "The English could never overtake them so rapid were their movements. The Scots being mounted, each man carried a bag of oatmeal with a light plate of iron under his saddle flap on which to bake his cake in open field, and they killed the cattle of the English as they went along. Their shoes or sandals were made out of the bullock's hides which they fitted to their ankles with the hairy side out which made the English call them Rough-footed Scots or the Red Shanks."

Not being a major clan, the Jardines of Applegirth were in frequent conflict with their more aggressive neighbors in the Border country: the Armstrongs, Maxwells, and Johnstones. None of these early Jardine ancestors excelled in any particular way and did not become very famous; they were however fairly powerful men in their own lands and in support of the King. They must have been a rather rough old lot taking part in Border battles, stealing English cattle, men and women. (In 1485 A.D. a John Jardine is reported to have received £40 for an Englishman that he had stolen from across the Border.) In 1506 A.D., the Jardines gained notoriety by murdering the "Laird of Drumweiche" in Edinburgh, after which, they fled for refuge at Holyrood. Sir Alexander Jardine was active in defending the Border Counties against the English. In 1524, he and Lord Maxwell routed the English near Carlisle where some 900 English were slain and nearly 300 taken as prisoners.

In 1547 A.D., Alexander's son, John, was defeated by a force of 5,000 soldiers led by Lord Wharton at Annandale. This may be the reason it is recorded a great number of Jardines among other families surrendered to a leader of the English party of the period. Later that year, however, the Jardines were victorious against the English. That same year Border history records a Jardine of Applegirth swearing fealty to the new King Edward VI of England (1547-53). In 1573 A.D. King James VI of Scotland (who would in 1603 become King James I of England–the same King James who commissioned the King James Version of the Bible) confirmed the grant of lands to Sir Alexander Jardine of Jardinefield in Berwickshire; Applegirth and Sibbaldie in Dumfriesshire; Hartside and Wandel in Lanarkshire; and Kirkandrews in Kirkcudbrightshire. It is recorded that he had to muster 242 men to fight for the King if required. It was these retainers who then had no surnames who became known as "Jardine Men" and adopted Jardine as their surname. Sir William Alexander (1567-1640) was born in the Clackmannanshire village of Menstrie. He was a member of the court of King James I and was granted lands in Canada, which he named Nova Scotia. Jardines are one of 14 clans registered in the West march rolls of the Borders recognized by the Scottish Parliament in July of 1587. They were nicknamed "The Jingling Jardines" and were registered as an "unruly border clan." The last war between Border Clans was in the 16th century when the Jardines fought with the Johnstones against the Maxwells. Butchers' hooks or cleavers were choice weapons in the fray. A swipe with one of these was known as a "Lockerbie Lick."

A record mentions the name of Jardine in Angus where they were meant to have been seated from ancient times. The family settled at a very early date in the barony of Gardyne in the parish of Kirkden, Angus where Gardyne Castle stands as one of the most unusual and attractive examples of Scottish vernacular architecture. The family also held estates in Arbroath, Aberdeen, Banff, and Perth for centuries. The Jardines, following the Johnstones, supported Mary Queen of Scots (1542–1567) until her marriage to Bothwell when they declared allegiance to the infant King James VI (1567-1625). Many Border Clans settled in Ireland during this time (primarily in the counties of Antrim and Down in the north-east province of Ulster) and emigrated between 1650 and 1700 with grants of land provided they "undertook" to remain Protestant. Hence they became known as the "Undertakers." Many became proudly Irish. In 1629 A.D., the son of William Alexander, also named William Alexander, settled Scottish colonies at Port Royal and established Charles Fort there. When the land was returned to the French in 1632, the Scots abandoned the site. From 1626, the elder William Alexander served as Secretary of State for Scotland; and in 1631, was made sole printer of King James' version of the Psalms. Sir William Alexander was knighted in 1609, created a viscount in 1633, and became the Earl of Stirling in 1639. In his later years, however, he suffered bankruptcy and died in London in poverty.

Politics and Prominence

There have been members of Parliament in the Jardine family. In 1644 A.D., Sir Alexander Jardine of Applegirth was a member for Dumfriesshire. It was this Sir Alexander who was responsible for the imprisonment and subsequent death of poor Dunty Porteous the miller, whose ghost haunted the family for many years thereafter. Sir Alexander was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in May of 1672 "in recognition of the Jardines' contributions in settling Nova Scotia" (he effectively purchased the title as was common with others of his time). The 4th Baronet, another Sir Alexander Jardine, was born in 1712 A.D. and succeeded to the baronetcy in 1737. He embraced the Roman Catholic faith in Milan and lived most of his adult life overseas on the Continent. He was elected as a Knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta (the successor organization of the Medieval Knights Hospitaller), taking a vow of Celibacy and died in Brussels in December of 1790 at which time he was succeeded by his half-brother, Sir William.

The now expanding and prosperous family began to send its younger sons abroad to seek their fortune. Another Sir William (1800-74), the 7th Baronet, grew up under the influence of the botanical discoveries of Sir Joseph Banks during Captain Cook's voyages to the Pacific, and wrote and illustrated prolifically, publishing many books on natural history. A biography was published in 2001. It is from his obituary that several of the preceding comments about Jardine Hall and Spedlins Tower during the 1800s, as well as the following account of his life and character were taken.

"At all times he was a keen sportsman, both with rod and gun… More than once he has been known to dash into the flooded Annan on his favorite horse …which to others was dangerous in the extreme, as the stream is very rapid when in flood. His knowledge of Ichthyology (the study of fish) led to his appointment in 1860 as the principal Commissioner appointed to investigate the salmon fisheries of Great Britain and the causes of their decay. Another study by which he became known to the scientific world was that of Ichnology, or the study of the footprints of different animals, when left imprinted upon the shores of seas, lakes or rivers. He was induced to take up these investigations from the fact that numerous footsteps of extinct reptilian animals were found on the Jardine Hall property. Ornithology (the study of birds) was nevertheless the study which Sir William followed with untiring perseverance; and his ornithological museum at Jardine Hall was probably unrivaled by any private collection in Great Britain. Indeed he was the Laird of Spedlins Castle; that old border baronial tower of the Jardines."

Frank Jardine, a nephew of Sir William, married Princess Sana Solia, the niece of the Moliatoa (King) of Samoa, in 1873. His royal connections helped him to develop north-east Australia. The new Australian state became known as Queensland, and seven of its premiers between 1866 and 1903 were fellow Scots. Frank Jardine settled there with his bride and called one of his properties "Lockerbie." Frank had kept diaries of his travels and explorations. The diaries were buried by one of his sons on a Pacific island to prevent them being destroyed by the Japanese during World War II. They have never been seen since.

Another Cadet of Applegirth was the Reverend John Jardine, born in 1716. An eminent clergyman and one of the intellectual and literary elite of Edinburgh in the mid 18th century, he helped to launch the critical journal, The Edinburgh Review. He was appointed dean of the Order of the Thistle and a royal chaplain. His son, Sir Henry Jardine (1766-1851) was Deputy King's Remembrancer in Exchequer for Scotland and was one of those selected to witness the chest containing the Scottish Crown Regalia, the "Honours of Scotland," (comprised of the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Mace of Office of the Lord High Treasurer) being opened at Edinburgh Castle in 1818. The chest had been found in a London cellar, which was ironic since the valuable treasures had been "missing" since 1707 when they were hidden to prevent them being removed to England following the Union of Parliaments. They have remained in place in the Crown Room at Edinburgh Castle "waiting the return of Scottish independence whenever that should be."

One of the most influential of the Jardines and another member of Parliament was Dr. William Jardine (1784-1843). At the age of 18, he left Scotland to take up an appointment as the Surgeon's Mate on the East India Company ship Brunswick. Certain provisions were made in the ships of the Company for "privilege" private trade. William Jardine amassed enough capital from his private trading to branch out on his own and become a private trading company. During this time Britain was at war with France and on his second voyage with the Brunswick, she was captured and he briefly became a prisoner of war. During this time he met a friend and business contact which helped him get set up in India. He astutely saw emerging opportunities in China and began focusing his efforts there.

Frank Welsh writes in his A History of Hong Kong, "The most famous of the private traders was Dr. William Jardine, the 'iron-headed old rat,' founder with James Matheson of the greatest of all the European Hongs, Jardine Matheson. Jardine had first come East as the surgeon's mate of a Company vessel in 1802, and had made enough in 'privilege' trade to set up on his own, first in London, and then in Bombay (Mumbai) before moving to Canton in 1822… The British firms had begun to be known colloquially as hongs and their partners as 'taipans'; Jardines were the Ewo Hong—the upright and harmonious."

The historical biography of the Jardine Matheson company, The Thistle and the Jade, edited by Maggie Keswick tells how once in Canton he was clubbed hard on the head from behind. he did not so much as turn around and thereafter he was known among the Chinese as 'iron-headed old rat.' In 1827 he went into partnership with fellow Scotsman James Matheson and formed the Jardine Matheson company. In 1839 Hong Kong Harbor first offered shelter to their opium clippers when the Portuguese ran Jardines out of Macao. Jardines were making a small fortune sailing these heavily rigged vessels through monsoon storms on the opium-run to Canton. The firm of Jardine Matheson was the first to establish a warehouse in Hong Kong. It is important to note that Hong Kong as a port city did not exist before this time and that the city itself was established for the purpose of creating a trading port with China for just such commercial endeavors. Welsh quotes Dr. CT Downing in saying that "the vast commercial operations of Mr. Jardine seemed to be conducted with sagacity and judgement. He was a gentleman of great strength of character and of unbounded generosity."

He was perhaps the inventor of the stand-up meeting. He reportedly kept only one chair in his office to encourage that business was conducted quickly and efficiently. He worked diligently to win political support for his business endeavors both in China and Britain. William Jardine not only played a critical role in the founding and growth of Hong Kong, but also in the opium trade. In fact, the trade in opium for which it can be said that Jardine Matheson was a founding member, laid the groudwork for the Opium Wars between China and Great Britain, which started in 1839. One story is told of markets that had crashed in England. Someone at Jardines knew about this, and send word by the speedy Jardine merchant ships of the crash. The Jardine ship outran the mail ship carrying the news, and Jardine Matheson was able to mitigate its risk before news arrived.

William met Mr. John Abel Smith while on a visit to Britain in the 1840s from Hong Kong to follow up on the visit by his partner, James Matheson, where they were endeavoring to develop political support for their Opium trading endeavors. Mr. Smith was a radical banker and had been the bankers for the Jardine Matheson Co. at the Magniac, Smith & Co. bank in London. Jardine and Matheson had been partners in Magniac before starting their own enterprise. Mr Smith was also the M.P. (Member of Parliament) for Chichester and a crony of Lord Palmerston–the most famous of all mid-nineteenth century Prime Ministers. William bought himself a partnership in the bank and in due course a seat was found for him in Parliament as M.P. for Ashburton. Benjamin Disraeli's Sybil gives a brief glimpse of the impression this radical drug trafficker's rapid political rise made on his Tory critics: "'You had a formidable opponent, Lord Marney told me,' said Sir Vavasour, 'who was he?' 'Oh, a dreadful man! A Scotchman, richer than Croesus, one Mr. Druggy, fresh from Canton, with a million in opium in each pocket, denouncing corruption and bellowing free trade!'"

The house of Jardine Matheson prospered, particularly after the Opium Wars established a strong British merchant base in Hong Kong, and grew to be the most influential merchant colossus dominating trade in the Far East. They remain a force even though Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997. (Even after the hand-over, the well known Jardine's Midnight Gun is still fired over Causeway Bay on December 31st to bring in the New Year. It has been doing so since it first fired to celebrate the end of World War II and the traditional firing is usually accompanied by a countdown broadcast over local radio and television.) Jardine Matheson today is a multinational group of seven core businesses focused primarily on the Asia-Pacific region. Its operations employ some 150,000 people and its activities are leaders in the fields of supermarkets, consumer marketing, engineering and construction, motor trading, property and hotels. The primary listing of the parent company, Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited, is in London, and the bulk of the shares are traded in Singapore. The Buchanan-Jardines of Castlemilk in Dumfries are descended from this line. It was the second Baronet of this family who assumed the additional surname of Buchanan.

During the American Civil War, 42 Jardines were listed on the muster rolls, only two of which fought for the Confederacy. One James Jardine, born in Scotland entered service in Hamilton Co., Ohio and received the Congressional Medal of Honor for "gallantry in the charge of the 'volunteer storming party'" at Vicksburg, Mississippi on 22 May 1863. The medal was not awarded until 5 Apr 1894.

Another Jardine of some renown was the son of yet another William Jardine born in Manchester, England in 1849. William emigrated to Cherry Creek, Idaho where he married Rebecca Dudley in 1871. Rebecca was born in Willard, Utah and died in Martinez, California in 1944. They were joined by his brother James Jardine, also born in Manchester, England and his wife, Susannah Dudley who was born in Monmouthshire, Wales. Two of William and Rebecca's children, William "Bill" and James "Jim," went to the Utah State Agricultural College, now Utah State University, in Logan, Utah where they both continued on to graduate school and received Masters degrees and PhD's. Jim taught at USAC following his graduation in 1907 and then entered the US Forest Service and became Chief of Research. He later went to Oregon State University where he taught until he accepted an appointment with the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. where he worked until his retirement.

Bill went from the USAC to the Kansas State Agricultural College in Manhattan, Kansas (which would later become Kansas State University) where he remained as a graduate student, teacher, professor, department head, Dean of the School of Agriculture, and eventually University President. In 1921, President Harding appointed him to the Department of Agriculture. Harding's successor, Calvin Coolidge appointed him to be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture where he served until the end of President Coolidge's second term. One of the first citizens of Kansas to obtain a national cabinet level position, Bill was instrumental in directing a farm program that had become economically depressed in the post World War I era. Having his brother James working in the Department as well was surely no handicap. Bill was a competent administrator and an effective bulwark against government price-fixing of surplus crops and commodities. He was a strong advocate for the farm cooperative movement, which was later to become a major feature of the farming community.

President Herbert Hoover had Bill Jardine appointed United States Ambassador to Egypt where he received special recognition for his contributions to Egyptian agriculture. At the end of Hoover's term (having served three consecutive United States Presidents), he returned to Kansas to clear up a financial scandal in the State's Treasury department at the request of the Governor. Bill's remaining working years were spent as President of Wichita State University from which he retired at age 70. He also authored books about agriculture and the ancient Jardine Juniper tree in Logan Canyon is named after him. It was generally recognized that the states of Kansas, Utah, and Idaho, and indeed the United States, were indebted to William M. Jardine for his long and devoted service characterized by integrity, courage, abounding energy and good common sense. A news clipping from the time read, "Two prominent brothers, both distinguished in the field of agriculture, will be buried in the Logan City Cemetery Monday at 10:30 AM. Grave side services will be conducted for Dr. William M. and Dr. James T. Jardine. Dr. James died 24 Oct 1954 in Washington D.C. and Dr. William in San Antonio, Texas, on 17 Jan 1955. Both are graduates of the Utah State Agricultural College. The family requested the Logan burial for the two Cache Valley natives."

Other notable Jardines include John the Hawaiian detective, Quintin the detective novelist, Alice the professor of Romance Languages at Harvard University, Ray the outdoorsman and famous hiker, Charles the fly fisherman, Leslie the nuclear scientist; Matthew, who has written extensively about East Timor; Lisa who is professor of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Queen Mary and Westfield College University of London, Nicholas who wrote The Science of Inquiry: on the reality of questions in the sciences; William R. and Richard J. who penned Introduction to Catering: Ingredients for Success; Don Jardine who wrote Creating Cartoon Characters; Winnifred Jardine, author of Famous Mormon Recipes; Rev. David Jardine who published his memoir, Thoughts of the Diligent; and the famous English cricketer, Douglas Jardine who wrote In Quest of the Ashes.

Other Baronial Jardine families include the Jardine of Godalming Family in England headed by Sir Andrew Jardine Bt., Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine Bt. who is the head of the Jardines of Castlemilk, the Cunningham-Jardines of Fourmeikland and the Jardine-Pattersons of Balgray.