This surname RATTE is taken from different localities and was assumed in different parts of the country by persons not related to each other. There are places named Rait in Nairn and in Perth, and Raith in Fife and Ayrshire. The family of Rait of that Ilk took its name from the old castle of Rait beside Geddes, and disappeared from the North, circa 1400. Sir Gervase de Rathe (Knight) was the constable of Invernairn in 1292, and as Gervays de Rate, was mentioned in another document in 1296. In the following year the king of England committed to Andrew Rate all the lands of Gervase Rate, his brother, in Scotland, for which he received a safe conduct to travel in Scotland on the kings's business. In 1299 Andreas de Raath witnessed a charter by the earl of Buchan. John de Ratis witnessed a lease of property in the vill of Glesbany in 1321, and John de Rate made an agreement with the abbot and convent of Scon in 1332. The burghs of Scotland owe much of their prosperity to the large immigration of foreigners which went on during the 12th and 13th centuries. The original founders of the towns, were in many cases wanderers from Flanders, who brought with them their habits of industry and knowledge of trade and manufactures. Settlers of this description came in great numbers to England in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) and when Henry II (1154-1189) drove all foreigners out of his dominions they flocked into Scotland, where a more enlightened policy made them welcome.
Later instances of the name mention a certain David Rat who was a citizen of Brechin in 1471, and Gavin Rath was commissary of the archdeacon of St. Andrews in 1477. Andrew Rayt held a tenement in Glasgow in 1487. Rait of Hallgreen in the Mearns were an old family there. The name has many variant spellings of the name which include RAITT, RATE, RAITH, REYTH, REAT and RAT.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Rait).
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