David Whale/Family History

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Assistant Director
David James Whale
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History of Clan Whale

Though founded as a Scottish Clan in 1146, early 21st Century geneological research have shown that the Whale family actually originated in, appropriately enough, Wales. Dugald, a bastard son of Rhodri, king of Wales, was taken to Scotland as an infant by his mother. In order to ward off potential attacks from Rhodri's heirs, Dugald's name was changed to Dougal Wale, thus beginning the Scottish line. It is believed that the colours of the Whale tartan are largely derived from the banner of Rhodri -- a red dragon on a field of green and white.

The family name went through several variations, appearing as both Wale and Wael in various documents before settling itself as Whale from c. 1044 onward.

The Clan Whale was established in 1146 when Hamish Whale was granted lands in the Lothian region of Scotland, along with the title Earl of Loanhead. A town in Scotland still bears the name Loanhead and what little remains of Whale Castle can be seen on its outskirts. Though far from being one of the more impressive or most well-fortified of Scotland's castles, Whale Castle suffered through a brutal siege at the hands of Oliver Cromwell's army and by 1650, all lands previously held by the Whale family had been confiscated. The Earldom of Loanhead was officially abolished a year later.

In 1749, the Clan was very nearly rendered extinct. The eleven male members of the family were part of the Jacobite army facing the English at The Battle of Culloden. Of those eleven, only one survived.

Clan Motto

  • Ut Audacter Vado

Clan Tartans

"Ancient" Whale, c. 1150 (click for larger)
"Modern" Whale, c. 1600 (click for larger)
Whale family hunting tartan, c. 1450 (click for larger)

Notable Ancestors

  • Rhodri Mawr (c. 820-878 CE) - sometimes anglicized as "Roderick the Great," Rhodri was a 9th Century king of Wales.
  • Dugald à A'Chuimrigh (c. 869-910): Literally "Dugald of Wales." Later changed to "Dougal Wale." Believed to be the progenitor of the Scottish Whale line.
  • Hamish Whale (1121-1170) - founded Clan Whale in 1146 after being granted lands in Lothian.
  • Gylys Whale (1280-??) - member of The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon who fled home to Scotland during the supression of the order in 1307.
  • Wallace Whale (1629-1651) - killed defending Stirling Castle during the siege by the army of Oliver Cromwell.
  • Murchadh Whale (1684-1721) - British Navy officer and captain of the brigantine HMS Gloriana who served as a pirate hunter in the Carribean.
  • Edward Whale (1895-1917) - member of the Canadian 3rd Divison at the Battle of Vimy Ridge (9-12 April 1917) in World War I. Seriously wounded during the battle and died 15 April 1917. His name is engraved on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
  • Eleanor Whale-Barclay (2010-2102) - long-time employee of Metropolitan Police Services at Scotland Yard who served as Assistant Commissioner of the Specialist Crime Directorate 2066-2080.