de Oliphant, David

Birth Name de Oliphant, David
Gender male
Age at Death 65 years


David Holifard who came back north with King David I from whom he received lands in Crailing & Smailholm, Roxburghshire. David Holifard saved the King's life at the Battle of Winchester in 1141, even though the King was fighting on the side of Maud (mother of Henry I) & Holifard was on the side of Stephen (King of England). David became a god-son of David I.


following information copied from Susan Cary, World Connect db=poliksa,

David the first of this ancient family on record, served in the army of King Stephen against the Empress Maud, anno 1141, and having, during the war, rescued from an ambuscade David I of Scotland, who had espoused the opposite cause, received from that monarch a grant of the lands of Crailing and Smallham, in Roxburghshire; and had the honor of being the earliest justiciary of Scotland of whom any record appears. He was succeeded by his eldest son, David.

Source: A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland Vol I, John Burke


following information copied from Clan Oliphant website,

The information below has been kindly made available by Richard Oliphant of Condie and Roderick Oliphant


The name Oliphant derived through variations of Holifard/Holifarth probably, from the Norwegian name Olaf. Following the crusades, the name changed to take on that given to the animal encountered in Palestine - an Oliphaunt. Mediaeval French termed the animal thus but that name evolved later into Elephant. However, W. Maitland Thomson quotes J.H. Round's Cal. Of Documents, France in stating that there is no record of the name in Normandy prior to 1066 and concludes it was first assumed on English soil. This is belied by evidence of the Oliphant progenitor in Scotland long before that.


The Oliphants in Scotland descend from Donald Olifard, a Norwegian nobleman shipwecked on the East coast in the Ninth Century, at the time of Harold Haarfager (Fair-haired) of Norway's invasions of Scotland, some 300 years before David Olifard (vide The Baronage of Angus and the Mearns, p.269.) By late 10th Century, Roger Oliphant was Hereditary Sherriff of the Mearns. By 1004, Duncan Oliphant, the then Sherriff, married Helen Hassa, the last of that name, to become Thane of Glenbervie, which included Aberbuthnoth, in Kincardineshire. Their son Walter married Matilda Sinell, dau. of Thane of Angus and produced at least two sons, David who moved to Lilford in Northants and Osbert, who married Aegidia, dau. of the Hay of Arroll (sic). Osbert had a daughter who married James Melvil, an Hungarian Nobleman (vide The Baronage of Angus and the Mearns, p.73-4.) The Aberbuthnoth lands passed to Hugh de Swinton upon his marriage to their daughter Margaret, who took on the name Arbuthnot (vide that Clan.)


Prior to the 12th Century, the Oliphants had built up an affiliation with the Scottish Royal family, who had the palace of Kincardine. As Jervais notes the Oliphant family was not present in Normandy prior to (or after) 1066. The other evidence would indicate that David I must have taken David Olifard's family to Northamptonshire with him as part of his retinue upon his marriage to the Countess of Northamptonshire. Both Douglas' Peerage of Scotland and Crawfurd's state David was David I's godson, which reflects why David Oliphant had been given the King's first name at birth. Facing David I's expulsion from his lands in Northamptonshire by defeat at the Battle of Winchester his allegiance was logically to the Scottish king and not to Norman England where he would have had difficulty surviving, (as is borne out by lack of later historic evidence of those Oliphants who are recorded as having stayed.) Back in Scotland, David Olifard was made Justiciary of the Lothians (lowlands) and had grants of Smailham and Crailing, in Roxbrughshire followed by the great lordship of Bothwell. The location of these early residences is not known, probably because fortifications then were built of wood. Two centuries on Walter, son of the Sir William Olifard who defended Stirling Castle against Edward I's armies, was granted the lands in Perthshire (and Angus) not only of Gask but also of Hatton, Kinpurney Newtyle, Balcraig etc., etc. upon marriage to the Princess Elizabeth (youngest daughter of Robert the Bruce by his second wife.) All the main Bruce Charters (Robert + David II) were entrusted by the 9th Lord Oliphant into the Gask charter chest and are set out in the books below (Regesta Regum Scottorum has transcripts in the Latin (nos. 27, 337 to 343 inclusive, 371, 422.) All these charters from the Gask Charter Chest are now with National Library for Scotland although more than one copy of each charter would have been prepared, some of which survive. When Robert died and was succeeded by David II in 1364, in the usual feudal style the lands were all ceded back to the Crown and then re-granted to Walter and his wife Elizabeth, the king's sister. (David II was full brother to Elizabeth, by Robert's second wife.)



Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1105 Lilford, Northamptonshire, England   1
Death 1170 Smailholm Tower, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland   1

Age: 65y


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Oliphant, William1075
         de Oliphant, David 1105 1170


Family of de Oliphant, David and

Unknown Partner ( * + ... )
Name Birth Date Death Date
de Olifard Oliphant1140


  1. Oliphant, William
      1. de Oliphant, David
          1. de Olifard Oliphant