Motto: Vero Nihil Verius (Nothing truer than truth)
The name Vere is of Norman origin from one or other of the places so named in Calvados, Manche, Oise, and Eure et Loire. The word was introduced into Normandy by the Norsemen from their own ‘ver’, a station, as in fiskiver, a fishing station, a word etymologically akin to Old English weir, wear – a dam. The forms Vere, de Vere, Very, Were, Weir and Wear were all known in the Scottish Lowlands during the 12th century. One authority has suggested that the name descended from Ereneis who was probably a brother of Alberic de Vere who accompanied William the Conqueror to Britain.
The first name recorded in Scotland is that of Ralph or Raduphus de Ver. He was taken prisoner at Alnwick in 1174 along with William the Lion. The same Radulph de Ver witnessed a Charter of King William between 1174 and 1184 and as Radulph de Ver he gave a bovate of land in Sprowston Roxburgh to Kelso Abbey. The same or perhaps a succeeding Raduphus de Ver or d Ver witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Lindores and also to William de Haig, Herol (Errol). Later prior to 1204, Radulph de Ver witnessed a grant to the Abbey of Arbroath.
The Weirs of Blackwood Lanarkshire claim descent from this Radulph though they only appear in the record in 1400 when they obtained the lands of Blackwood. Richard Wer Lanark rendered homage in 1296 and between 1398 and 1400 Rothald de Were, Bailie of Lesmahagow had a charter from Patrick, Abbot of Kelso of the lands of Blackwood, Mossiygning and Dungundreston. As vassals of the abbots of Kelso, the Weirs held extensive lands in Lesmahagow and George Were and Thomas Were were jurors on an inquisition made at Lanark in 1432.
The eventual heiress of the Blackwood estates was Catherine, only child of Sir William Weir 2nd Bt. of Blackwood, who married Hon Charles Hope of Craigiehall 2nd son of 3rd Earl of Hopetoun, in 1733. He descended from John de Hope who is said to have come from France in the train of Magdalene, Queen of King James V. The descendant and representative of the family William Edward Hope-Vere Esp. of Craigiehall and Blackwood born in 1840 succeeded his father in 1843 who married Lady Mary Emily Boyle in 1857, daughter of the 9th Earl of Cork, from him stems the connection between the names Hope and Vere/Weir. Mayor Thomas Weir of the Town Guard and his sister were burned for witchcraft in Edinburgh in 1670.
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