Ab Obice Suavior
(Stronger when opposed)
Though Galbraith itself is of Gaelic origins, the two components of the word ‘gall’ and ‘breathnach’ mean stranger/foreigner and British. This is a reference to the origin of the clansfolk as belonging to the ancient Strathclyde kingdom of the Britons, headquartered at Dumbarton. The Galbraiths are therefore a southern Highland clan.
They held lands in the old Earldom of Lennox in the LochLomond area, with their first chief marrying a grand-daughter of the first Earl of Lennox. The clan is associated with Inchgalbraith, an island on Loch Lomond near Luss, which was one of their early strongholds.
Another branch of the clan was linked to Culcreuch Castle from the early 14th century. The 9th chief joined the unsuccessful rising of the clans against King James I of Scotland, while the 17th chief, Robert Galbraith of Culcreuch, brought ruin to the clan through a family feud that resulted in the loss of his lands. The 19 th chief was the last of the line, inheriting nothing. Clan Galbraith today has no chief and is known in heraldic terms as an ‘armerigous clan’ - meaning a clan with no chief recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon.