Clan Bissett

Arms of Bissett.

Clan Bissett (Bisey, Byset, Bisset or Bissert) is a Scottish clan of Anglo-Norman origin. It does not have a clan chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, therefore the clan has no standing under Scots Law. Clan Bissett is considered an armigerous clan, meaning that it is considered to have had at one time a chief who possessed the chiefly arms, however no one at present is in possession of such arms.



The first reputed record is that of Byseg [recte, Byset], recorded on the Battle Abbey Roll as a companion of William the Conqueror's in the Norman conquest of England in 1066 preserved at Battle Abbey.[1] The Byset's settled in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in England.[1] King Malcolm IV having subdued Moray and Inverness, gave lands to the crown's supporters and the Barony of The Aird was gifted to Henricus de Byset (Henry Byset) in c.1170. Another Byset settled in Upsettington, Berwickshire.

12th century

The Bysets appear to consolidate the lands granted to them with the beginnings of construction of a number of castle fortifications in the Beauly, Muir of Ord and Struy area. The family was also gifted the title Lord Lovat.[clarification needed]

13th century

Henry Byset was appointed constable of the royal castle known as Edradour Castle, on the northern shores of Beauly Firth. John Byset, Lord of Aird founded Beauly Priory at Beauly, for the Valliscaulian Order of the Roman Catholic Church in 1230. It appears that Aboyne Castle, Beauly Castle, Beaufort Castle and Erchless Castle were constructed in the early 13th century by the Bysets.

Walter Byset and John Byset were accused of the murder of Patrick, Earl of Atholl, at Haddington, East Lothian in 1242. It would appear that Walter was accompanying the Queen at the time and could not have started the fire. Walter and John sought the protection of King Alexander II and were expelled from Scotland and were forfeited of their lands and peerage. John Byset the son of John Byset was reinstated with the lands and titles of his father and uncle. Walter Byset and John Byset were able to flee to Ireland and later gain an audience with King Henry III of England, who happened to have been saved by Margaret Byset, a relative of Walter and John, from an assassination atttempt. As a result of the King Henry III rode with his army to towards Scotland and was met at Newcastle by King Alexander II and his army and after talks they signed the Treaty of Newcastle on 14 Ausgust 1244.

21st Century North Wales Welsh/Gaelic artist Santino Cara is a Bisset Bissette Caernarfon Llandudno the artist has also painted under the name Bizet and has illustrated under the name Brother Wolf. Most renowned for a painting of the famous Welsh Gospel Translator William Morgan with a painting entitled 'Ein Gwaredwr a William Morgan (Our Saviour and William Morgan) and his most recent work '1400' a painting of the famous Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr Owen Glendower William Shakespeare Henry IV.

Clan profile

Motto: (Latin: Abscissa Virescit - English That torn down re-grows) Crest: The trunk of an oak tree sprouting afresh Proper.


  • Barony of The Aird
  • Barony of Lessendrum
  • Lord Lovat
  • Lord Aboyne
  • Lord Beauly
  • Lord Beaufort
  • Lord of the Glynns



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