|Motto||Fide et Fiducia (By Faith & Trust)|
|The Right Honourable Neil|
|Earl of Rosebery and Midlothian|
The name Primrose is taken from the lands of Primrose in the parish of Dunfermline, Scotland. It has been presumed that it originally came from the old British prenn rhos, meaning "tree of the moor", which was later altered by folk etymology to "primrose".
The Primroses were well settled in Fife by the fifteenth century, particularly around Culross Abbey. Henry Primrose, who is thought to have been born sometime prior to 1490, had four sons and one daughter.
17th Century & Civil War
Henry Primrose's grandson was Gilbert who was one of the Ministers of the reformed church at Bordeaux,and afterwards of the French church in London. He was appointed Chaplain to King James VI of Scotland and Charles I of England. In 1628 he became Dean of Windsor. Another grandson was James Primrose who was Clerk of the Privy Council in Scotland.
James Primrose died in 1641 and was succeeded in the office of Clerk to the Privy Council of Scotland by his son, Archibald Primrose who supported the royalist James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose. He joined Montrose after his victory at the Battle of Kilsyth. Archibald Primrose was the king's lieutenant at the Battle of Philiphaugh where he was captured. He was tried and found guilty of treason, and although his life was spared, he was held in prison until Montrose was ordered by Charles I to disband his army and leave the kingdom. Primrose was later released and knighted by the king.
In 1648 he joined in the Engagers, a scheme to rescue Charles I from the English Parliamentarians, and although the plan was a failure, he survived to join Charles II of England on his march into England in 1651 and fought at the Battle of Worcester. Charles made him a baronet. The king fled into exile and the Primrose estates were sequestrated.
The Primrose estates were restored after the Restoration of 1660, and Primrose was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court and Lord Clerk Register of Scotland. He took the title, "Lord Carrington" and was opposed to the policies of the Duke of Lauderdale. Primrose resigned his offices, but from 1676 to 1678 he was lord Justice General. Later he acquired the barony of Barnbougle and Dalmeny which remains the seat of the family to this day.
The Lord Justice General was succeeded by his son, Sir William Primrose, and his son, Sir James Primrose of Carrington, was elected Commissioner of Parliament for Edinburgh in 1703. In November of the same year he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Primrose.
The second Viscount died unmarried in 1706, and his brother, Hugh, the third Viscount, left no issue. Archibald Primrose, (b.1664) was the only son by the second marriage of Sir Archibald, the Lord Justice General, who left to him the estate of Dalmeny. He was appointed a Gentleman of the Bedchamber after the accession of William of Orange. From 1695 to 1700 he was Commissioner of Parliament for Edinburgh. He was also created Viscount of Rosebery, Lord Primrose and Dalmeny. On the accession of Anne, Queen of Great Britain he was advanced to the rank of earl.
He was a Privy Councillor in 1707 and was appointed as a commissioner for the Treaty of Union. He was one of the sixteen peers elected to represent Scotland in the House of Lords after the union.
Sir Archibald Primrose was of Dunipace was executed in 1746 for being a Jacobite.
Archibald John, as fourth Earl of Rosebery was a Member of Parliament for Hellston and later Carlisle and was created a baron of the United Kingdom with the title of 'Lord Rosebery' in 1828. In 1840, like his father, he was made a Knight of the Thistle. Three years later he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire.
The current Chief of Clan Primrose is Neil Primrose, 7th Earl of Rosebery