The Armstrongs take their name from a chap who was renowned for having, yep you guessed it, strong arms. He was Siward Digry ("sword strong arm"), a nephew of King Canute, the Danish King of England until 1035.

From the 11th to the 17th century, the Armstrongs were one of the most powerful and warlike clans in the hotly contested Borders region straddling Scotland and England. Their power and presence was so threatening to Scotland's ruling authorities, in fact, that King James V himself decided to teach the troublesome rogues a lesson they'd never forget. He tricked John Armstrong of Gilnockie into attending a meeting near Hawick where, rather unsportingly, the King was secretly lying in wait and hung him without further ado as soon as he arrived.

Like all good Borders families of the day, the Armstrongs were only too happy to indulge in a spot of cross-border cattle rustling, but for them it was a pastime that would eventually cost their name dearly. The Union of the Crowns in 1603 brought an end, on paper at least, to the Anglo-Scottish border wars and the Crown embarked on a rigorous campaign to "pacify" the region. The last of the Armstrong Lairds was hanged in 1610 for leading a reiving (rustling) raid on Penrith, and the outlawed families were scattered, many of them choosing ultimate refuge in Ulster.

There has been no Armstrong chief since. Serves the thieving buggers right.

Famous Armstrongs include;

Gary Armstrong

One of the finest scrum halves
the world of rugby has ever seen ... and a borderer
to boot!!

  Gary Armstrong - rugby great, grand slam winner and gubber of sassenachs

Sir Alexander Armstrong

Arctic Explorer who explored
the Arctic


Neil Armstrong

The first man to walk on the
moon and verify that it wasn't made out of green cheese,
as had previously been believed.


Louis Armstrong

"Satchmo" wasn't even
remotely Scottish, but was very good at blowing his
own trumpet, so he should have been.


Lance Armstrong

American cyclist who despite
cancer of the goolies managed to win the Tour de France.

  Lance Armstrong - sair goolies but still won the Tour de France - big balls

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