Origin of Motto Through
"What does the tree and the saw mean and where ever did the motto come from?"
Well, legend says that one Gilbert de Hamilton was in office at the court of Edward the II of England. In 1325, he spoke in public, praising Robert the Bruce, and was assaulted by John de Spencer who felt that the speech was treacherous. Gilbert de Hamilton challenged his assailant, but de Spencer refused to fight, so Gilbert de Hamilton killed him. He then fled with his servant towards Scotland, hotly pursued by members of the enraged de Spencer family. Shortly after entering Scotland, Gilbert reached a forest and, realizing that he was close to being captured, he and his attendant changed clothes with two woodcutters. They took a frame-saw and began felling an oak tree. As his enemies drew closes, Gilbert de Hamilton noticed that his servant was looking decidedly nervous, and afraid that he might give them away with his frightened stares, he diverted his attention by shouting "Through", the traditional woodcutters exclamation. (In North America, Timber" is the commonly used exclamation.)
In celebration of his successful escape from sure death, the family took 'Through" as their motto, and incorporated an oak tree and a frame saw into their coat of arms. The ducal cornet was probably incorporated into the Hamilton crest after the birth of James in 1475, second Lord Hamilton, who was the son of James, first Lord Hamilton and his wife the Princess Mary. This second Lord Hamilton was created Earl of Arran in 1503, and as the son of Princess Mary, was in line for the throne of Scotland.