Family Origins and History
The name Bethune is traceable to Robert, surnamed Faisseus.
He was reigneur of the town of Bethune, in
the ancient Province of Picardie, France, in the year 1000 AD, he has many
descendants including Cardinal Beaton in
Scotland, Duc de Sully in France and a number of princes of Hainault in
According to Duc De Sully also called MARQUIS DE ROSNY , Maximilian
de Bethune b. 13 December 1560, Mantes France. d. Dec. 22, 1641, Villebon,
The son of François de Béthune, Baron de Rosny, he was brought
up as a Huguenot and was sent at an early age to the court of Henry of
Navarre (later Henry IV of France) Prime minister of France under
the reign of King Henry IV of France. He said that the name Bethune "derives
its origin, by the house of Coucy, from the ancient house of Austria: we
must not , however, confound it with that which is at present in possession
of the possession of the empire of Germany, and the two Spain's. This last
is descended only from the Counts of Hapsburg and Quiburg, private gentlemen,
who, three hundred years since, were in the pay of the cities of Strasburg,
Basil, and Zurich, and who would have thought themselves highly honored
by being stewards of the household to such a prince as the King of France..."
(Memoirs of Sully, Book 1. 1570, pp. 60,61)
He goes on to say "The house of Bethune (which has given its name
to the city of Flanders, and from whence
issued the counts who anciently governed that province) boasts of one Robert
de Bethune, protector of the church of Arras, whose father and
grandfather, bearing also the name of Robert, were declared protectors
of the province of Artois."
The Bethune name tartan
See also Beaton of Balfour and Bethunes
Bethune's of Scotland
The name Bethune first appears in Scotland about the end of the twelfth
century when Robert de Betunia appears
in a De Quincy charter. The name got confused with the name Beaton, which
is of Gaelic origin, from Macbeth of the Macbeths who practiced medicine
in the Western Isles in the sixteenth centuries, their names became Anglicized
as Benten. They practiced in Islay and Mull.
Amorial Bearings of the Bethune Family
Beaton of Balfour
Upon the marriage of James II of Scotland and Mary of Gueldres in 1448,
a member of Bethune, Robert de Bethune was solicited by James to
remain at the Scottish court. He married the heiress of the house of Balfour,
Janet de Balfour. On the death of her brother John de Balfour, Robert de
Bethunes son John de Bethune inherited the title and lands of Balfour,
and became the first Laird Bethune of
Balfour. They later were known as Beaton of Balfour.
Bethunes of Skye
The Bethunes (Beatons) of Skye were associated with the McDonalds and McLeods
as hereditary Doctors. Archibald Bethune of Pitlochy and Coppeldrie or
Capeldray in Fife, Fifth son of John Bethune, Fifth
Laird of Balfour, "was present , according to the chartulary of
Glasgow, with Cardinal Bethune at Dumfries,
november 27 1539, when a solemn protestion was made against his exercising
the sacred function, as Archbishop of St. Andrews, within the diocese of
Glasgow." (An Historical and Genealogical Account Of The
Bethunes of The Island Of Skye, Alfred A. Baker-Bethune)
According to the manuscript Archibald had a son Peter Bethune, who
being famous for his skill, received an invitation to the Isle of Skye
from the Lairds McDonald and McLeod to practice there. He took up residence
on the Isle and married a daughter of McDonald Laird of Moydart. Many of
his male descendants became doctors for the Lords of the Isle, particulary
the eldest son's.
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Background Image - Crest of Beton, Beaton, Betton, and Betune,
a lion, passant, sa. Fortis in arduis. (BRAVE IN DIFFICULTIES) from
Fairbairn's Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland.
1999 Clifford P. Bethune
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