Si Je Puis

Where did our motto come from? In 1424 King James I of Scotland commanded Sir John Colquhoun, the Laird of Luss, Loch Lomond, to seize possession of the formidable and well-fortified Dumbarton Castle from the Earl of Lennox, who had become too powerful for the King's comfort. Sir John replied to the King's command in French (the accepted universal language of the time) "Si Je Puis - I will if I can". 

dumbarton castleHe carefully laid his plans.The Highland chieftain gathered a group of his men and, under cover of darkness, hid them in the woods outside the castle's gates. When morning came he set loose nearby a large stag which he had previously captured, chased by hunting dogs. The starving garrison in the castle saw the hunt and, unsuspecting, opened the gates to join in. The Chief's clansmen then stole into the castle, successfully securing it and returning it to the King, without a drop of blood being spilled on either side.

In gratitude, the king bestowed on the Chief of Colquhoun a coat of arms with a crest showing a stag's head and two deer-hounds as supporters bearing the motto "Si Je Puis".

The name of Colquhoun is taken from an area of land around Kilpatrick which is on the north side of the River Clyde, to the west of Glasgow. These lands were granted to Humphrey of Kilpatrick by Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, in the time of Alexander II. In the 14th century, Sir Robert Kilpatrick married the Fair Maid of Luss, daughter of the Laird of Luss, and it is since then the chief of the Colquhouns has been known as Colquhoun of Colquhoun and Luss.