The name "Allardice" has its origins in a place in the county of Kincardine, on the Northeast coast of Scotland, first mentioned in an 1198 royal charter. The origins of the place name are lost in antiquity. However, a "dyce" was an old Scots term for a hill. "Dyce/Dice" is the end syllable to several Scots names, most notably, Fordyce. Alternatively, the old pronunciation of Allardice, "Airdes," brings to mind the Gaelic "Ard" or "Airde," a heighth or promontory.

Although Allardice had its origins in Kincardineshire, the families with that name were historically more numerous in Aberdeenshire, just to the North. The early barons of Allardice held lands in Aberdeenshire; most notably, in the barony of Auchterless and junior members of the baronial family settled there. And if the pattern of marriages of the barons of Allardice be any yardstick, they more often married into Aberdeenshire families than Kincardineshire families, again showing strong connection to the more Northern county.

By the 1500s Allardices are numerous in Fifeshire and Aberdeenshire. By the 1700s, if parish registers be any indication, the name had spread to Banff and Angus shire as well.

A 1994 survey of the name Allardice, conducted by a company that scans computerized telephone directories worldwide, shows that the name is almost as common outside the United Kingdom as inside: 224 Allardices are listed for the U.K., as compared to 71 in the U.S., 65 in Australia, 11 in Canada, and 12 in other countries. This survey did not measure the alternate spellings, Allardyce and Alderdice, which are less common.



The original charter of the barony of Allardice was registered in the Books of Common Council and Session on 20th August, 1703. The text is set forth in Regesta Regum Scottorum (William I), No. 404, as the king:

Grants to Walter, son of Walter the Scot (Scotti) of Alredies, in fee and heritage, to be held by the service of one archer with horse and habergeon, and performing common service, as much as pertains to 13 oxgangs of land as the charter of his father bears.


Hugh the King's Chancellor
G(ilbert) Abbott of Aberbrothock
Earl Duncan, Justiciar
Robert de Quenci
Robert of London
Phillip of Mowbray
William of Hay
John of Hastings
Yvo of Vipont
Walter Murdac
Roger of Lakern
Thomas son of Tankard

Made at Stirling, 16th of October, 1198.


This charter was presumably granted after the death of Walter Scott the elder of Allardyce, who died circa 1197-1198. The terms are those of an ordinary feudal tenure, in which the knight is granted land and the rents pertaining thereto in exchange for binding himself and his heirs to provide military service to the crown when called upon. The promise is to provide one mounted and equipped archer to the king, whenever the king desires. The "habergeon," or hauberk, is a shirt of mail (iron ringlets forged together) commonly worn by medieval warriors. The "oxgang" mentioned was a feudal measure of land (supposedly based on the amount of land one ox could till), equivalent to 12 acres.

This document dates the beginning of the family of Allardice and the barony of Allardice. From this beginning in the 1100s, to around 1400, we have a series of charters mentioning various members of this family, but the available evidence was too sparse for even the Allardice descendants in the 1800s to construct a family tree. Among the notices we find the following:

Grant of Inverquharity in 1271 by Gilbert de Umphraville, Earl of Angus, to Alexander de Alredes, to be held by Alexander and Walter his son and heir[1].

Thomas Allardis, of that ilk, was witness to a charter of Bishop Henry (Cheynes) circa 1294.[2]

Alisaundre de Allerdash did homage to King Edward I of England, August 1296, and Walterus de Allardas took the oath of homage to King Edward I, March 1297.[3]

Alexander de Allerdas, esq. of Dundee, notice taken of his horse, 1311.[4]

Waltero de Allyrdas was indemnified for destruction of corn and cattle at the siege of Dunnottar in 1337.[5]

Thome de Allirdas received a payment from the crown in 1364.[6]

Thome de Allirdas had an annual rental of 20 shillings out of Little Barras, granted to him April 6, 1369-70.[7]

John de Allirdes mentioned in a 1376 document.[8] "Johannes de Allyrdas dominus ejusdem" (John de Allardice who lives in Allardice) granted a charter to "Johanni dicto Harmer" (John called Harmer) of all his lands of Ardgrane, dated at Aberdeen September 1, 1376.[9]

William of Allirdes, mentioned in Marischal Charter, 1384.[10]

Crown grant to William of Allydas, 1388.[11]

Safe conduct to visit England granted to Alisandre de Allirdas and five servants, July 20, 1389 (this was Alexander Allyrdas, a Scots plenipoteniary to England at a time when the two countries were again sparring).[12]

William of Allirdes served heir to his father, Alexander of Allirdes, July 7, 1399, in an annual rent of 10 marks from the Barony of Crambeth (probably the old barony of Crambeth, alias Dowhill, in Kinross).[13]



[1] Cowie. p.1

[2] BFR.

[3] BFR. See Ragman Rolls, p. 157; Prynne, p. 661; Palgrave, p. 196).

[4] Calendar, vol. 4, p. 430.

[5] Exch., vol. 1, p. 451.

[6] Exch., vol. 2, p. 150.

[7] RGS, vol. 1, p. 108.

[8] Reg. Episc. Brechin, Bannatyne Club Pubs. No. 109, p. 21.

[9] GBHMS, p. 629.

[10] SHS, 3rd series, vol. 21, p. 33.

[11] Exch., vol. 3, p. 177.

[12] Calendar, vol. 3, p. 87.

[13] SHS, 3rd series, vol. 21, p. 69.





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