Clan Riddell

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Scotland Project > Scottish Clans > Clan Riddell


Welcome to Clan Riddell

Clan Riddell Team
Team Leader TBA
Team Members Robb Reynolds
Clan Chief:
Slogan/War Cry:
Historic Seat:
Plant badge:
Pipe music:
Gaelic name:

Clan Team

Team Goals

The focus of this team's work is to identify, improve and maintain profiles associated with the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Riddell together with members bearing the name Riddell, the related families and those recognised as septs of Clan Riddell.

Team To Do List

This list will be developed by the Team. If you are working on a specific task, please list it here:

  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name Riddell on Wikitree.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan Riddell



Clan History

Clan Branches

Other Names Associated with the Clan

Allied Clans

Rival Clans

Clan Research and Free Space Pages

Source Material

Image Credits and Acknowledgements

Information below this line should be summarized and incorporated into this Team page. Detailed information should be moved to additional Clan pages.

 Coat of Arms:   Argent, a chevron Gules
'  between three ears of rye,
'  slipped and bladed Proper
  Badge:'  A demi greyhound proper
 Motto:   "I hope to share"
 Region: Lowlands
 District: Border Clans
 Parish: Lilliesleaf, Roxburghshire
 Plant badge:  Rye

Riddell Clan Chief

The current chief is Walter John Buchanan Riddell (b. 1974), son of the late Sir John Charles Buchanan Riddell who died in 2010.
"Lay of the Last Minstrel," Sir Walter Scott
Ancient Riddells’ fair domain
Where Aill, from mountains freed,
Down from the lakes did raving come;
Each wave was crested with tawny foam
Like the mane of a chestnut steed.”

Click here to see photos from Riddell Estates -- Riddell Roots Gallery

Surname Riddell, Clan Riddell Origins

Variant spellings of the surname Riddell as it spread around the world:
Clan Riddell Badge
The surname Riddell, also seen as Ryedale, Riddall, Riddel, and Riddle takes its name from the riddle, a valuable tool. A riddle was an instrument by which rye and other grains were winnowed and cleansed and the change to Ridler and Riddler denotes one who winnows grain with a riddle or sieve it's Coat of Arms: Argent, a chevron Gules between three ears of rye, slipped and bladed Proper. Clan Riddell sees its origins come from two different sources; one being personal, the other territorial.

The personal origin comes from the Ridels who came from Gascony, in south-west France, whereas the territorial surname, de Rydale, came from a wapentake (an old English administrative meeting place) in the North Riding area of Yorkshire. The two versions of the name appeared in Scotland almost at identical times, and the only way the families are distinguished is through the spellings, which, at that early date in recorded history, is considered rather remarkable since names rarely were spelled the same way consistenly. The Ridels of Gascony never put the de (meaning 'of') prefix in front of their surname as it was personal, however, the de Rydales, evidentally, did because the name was taken from where the lived.

It is thought that Gervasius Ridel was the first Ridel of Craneston (as in Cranstoun-Riddell in Midlothian), as he was recorded, around 1124, as being a witness in the Inquisitio of Earl David in regards to the lands of the church of Glasgow, and Gervasius was also likely to have been a descendant of the Galfridus Ridel de Blaye of 1048. At that point the surname was only a personal one in Normandy.

The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname Riddell

Ruins of Manor House of Riddell
Photo attribution
Walter de Ridale received his lands from David I, King of Scotland between 1124 and 1153 and these lands were called "Baronies of Riddell and Whitton." The family branches have followed the early custom of bestowing their names upon their lands whenever and wherever acquired. In Scotland there is a Cranstown-Riddell, Glen-Riddle, Mount-Riddell and Minto-Riddell. Walter who received a charter for the lands of Lilliesleaf in Roxburghshire. William the Lion was taken prisoner at the Battle of Alnwick in 1174 and one of Gervase's nephews was sent as a hostage.
Swinburn in Northumberland was also acquired by the Riddells. In 1296 Sir William Riddell of Riddell appears on the Ragman Rolls swearing fealty to Edward I of England.
In 1628 Sir John Riddell was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia. ] His lands were then the erected into a barony and regality of New Riddell. His third son was William Riddell who was knighted by Charles I of England and served in the wars in the Netherlands.
The Reverend Archibald Riddell, third son of the second baronet, was imprisoned because he would not renounce his Covenanter beliefs. A prominent seventeenth century merchant in Edinburgh, John Riddell, claimed descend from Galfridus de Reidel. John amassed great wealth from the trade across the Baltic Sea.[2] During the Scottish Civil War his son, who acquired extensive lands near Linlithgow, is said to have intrigued with the forces of Oliver Cromwell and became a close friend of General Monck.
The family later acquired extensive Argyll estates of Ardnamurchan and Sunart. In 1778 James Riddel, first Baronet of Ardnamurchan received his title. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Arts and Sciences and superintendent general to the Society of British Fishery.
Sir Rodney Riddell, fourth Baronet was a professional soldier who campaigned in New Zealand and Afghanistan during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.


  • Border Memories: Or, Sketches of Prominent Men and Women of the Border Walter Riddell Carre, author; published date: January 1, 1876
  • A Genealogical Sketch of the Riddell family including a list of the descendants of the three brothers Hugh, Gawn, and Robert, who came to America in 1737 W. P. RIDDELL, author. publisher not identified, 1852 - 44 pages

People Associated With Clan Riddell:

Riddell Baronets, of Riddell (1628)

  • Sir John Riddell, 1st Baronet (died 1632)
  • Sir Walter Riddell, 2nd Baronet (died c. 1669)
  • Sir John Riddell, 3rd Baronet (died 1700)
  • Sir Walter Riddell, 4th Baronet (1664–1747)
  • Sir Walter Riddell, 5th Baronet (1695–1765)
  • Sir John Riddell, 6th Baronet (1726–1768)
  • Sir Walter Buchanan Riddell, 7th Baronet (1763–1784)
  • Sir James Buchanan Riddell, 8th Baronet (1765–1784)
  • Sir John Buchanan Riddell, 9th Baronet (1768–1819)
  • Sir Walter Buchanan Riddell, 10th Baronet (1810–1892)
  • Sir James Walter Buchanan Riddell, 11th Baronet (1849–1924)
  • Sir Walter Robert Buchanan Riddell, 12th Baronet (1879–1934)
  • Sir John Charles Buchanan Riddell, 13th Baronet (1934–2010)
  • Sir Walter John Buchanan Riddell, 14th Baronet (born 1974)
  • The heir apparent is the present holder's only son Finlay John Riddell (born 2001).

Riddell Baronets, of Ardnamurchan (1778)

  • Sir James Riddell, 1st Baronet (died 1797)
  • Sir James Miles Riddell, 2nd Baronet (1787–1861)
  • Sir Thomas Miles Riddell, 3rd Baronet (1822–1883)
  • Sir Rodney Stuart Riddell, 4th Baronet (1838–1907)

How to Join

  1. Click edit' to the right side of this section.
  2. There are two Clan Riddell tartans to choose from. Copy the text which you see below.
  3. Paste it on your profile section above Biography.
  4. Add your ancestor's WikiTree ID to the Clan Riddell list.
Clan Riddell tartan.
... ... ... is a member of Clan Riddell.
Join: Scottish Clans Project
Discuss: scottish_clans
Image:Clan Tartans-123.jpg Roxburgh district tartan
Image:Clan Tartans-123.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan Riddell.
Join: Scottish Clans Project
Discuss: scottish_clans


Comments: 2

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This team does not currently have a team leader. It has not been updated yet. Thanks for letting us know. We will get it added to the list.

Sincerely, Amy Gilpin Scotland Project Co-Leader

posted by Amy (Crawford) Gilpin
You forgot to add RYDEL as a name associated with the clan. It is of German/Scandinavian descent. I descend from the Rydel line.
posted by SK Miklas

Categories: Clan Riddell