Clan Balfour or Bal-orr of of that Ilk at Markinch in Fifeshire and Trenabie in Orkney, Scotland. The lands of Balfour, formerly owned by Siward the Strong of Northumberland, were granted to Michael de Balfour by William the Lion in 1196. His descendant, Sir Duncan de Balfour was killed at the Battle of Blackironside in 1298. The line of Balfour of Balfour ended when Sir John Balfour died in 1375, his estates passing to his daughter, Margaret, wife of Sir Robert de Bethune. Sir John's brother, Adam was killed at the Battle of Durham in 1346, and his son was raised in the household of the Earl of Fife, into which family Adam had married. From him descended the Balfours of Denmylne, Forret, Torry and Kinloch. James Balfour of Denmylne was killed at the siege of Roxburgh in 1460 and his son John was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Sir Michael Balfour was Comptroller of the Household to Charles I and fought for the crown during the civil war. Sir James Balfour, son of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmylne, was created Lord Lyon, King of Arms, in June 1630. Sir Andrew Balfour, Baronet of Denmylne (died 1694), was a renowned botanist and physician, and founded the Botanic Garden of Edinburgh and was first president of the Royal College of Physicians in Scotland. Balfour of Burleigh was created a baron in 1606. The fifth Lord Burleigh killed a schholmaster who married his sweetheart, was sentenced to death, escaped prison, fought in the Jacobite Rising of 1715, was attainted by Parliament, forfeiting his title and estates, and died unmarried in 1757. Arthur James Balfour, who was descended from the Balfours of Balbirnie, was Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905, and was created Earl of Balfour in May 1922.
Arms: Argent, on a chevron sable, an otter’s head erased of the field.
Crest: A dexter arm in armour erect the hand holding a baton in bend gules, tipped argent.
Motto: Fordward (forward).