Motto: Fear God in life
The surname Somerville is French in origin and comes from the town near Caen in Normandy; the name means Sumer’s estate. The first of this name in Scotland was on William de Somerville, who came in the train of David I and received lands in Lanarkshire.
There were five Williams in succession, the last dying in 1282. They appeared as witnesses to the charters to the religious houses of Melrose, Kelso, Coldingham, Glasgow, Newbattle and Paisley during the reigns of David I, Malcolm IV, and William the Lion. One of these Williams in the reign of William is said to have slain a monstrous animal or serpent which greatly devastated the district of Linton, Roxburghshire, and obtained the lands of Linton as a reward.
Robert de Sumerville witnessed a charter by Duncan Earl of Fife, to the nuns of North Berwick c.1177. Ralph de Sumervilla was promoted to the church of Linton in 1255. John, third Lord Somerville, was wounded at the battle of Sark against the English in 1448. He had a son, Sir John Somerville of Cambusnethan, who was killed at Flodden in 1513.
John, thirteenth Lord Somerville, built the elegant house of Drum where he died in 1765. The peerage ceased in 1870 on the death of the seventeenth Lord. The name has been spelt in several forms throughout the ages including; Scumervaill 1521, Semervaile 1525, Simmerwell 1689, Someruell 1567, Somervel 1679, Somervele 1451, Somervell 1599 and Somervol 1724.
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