Alan mac Lochlan, Lord of Galloway

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Alan mac Lochlan, Lord of Galloway

Also Known As: "Allan", "macFergus"
Birthplace: Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Dundrennan Abbey, Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Place of Burial: Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Lochlann (Roland) mac Uchtred, Lord of Galloway, Constable of Scotland and Elena de Morville
Husband of Miss FitzRoland; Rose de Lacy; Alice de Lacy, Heiress of Kippax; Margaret of Huntington and Helen of Galloway
Father of Christiana FitzAlan of Galloway, Countess of Albermarle; Marian Mac Lachlan, of Galloway; Devorguilla of Galloway; Thomas "of Huntingdon" of Galloway and Helen "Elena" (fitzAlan) de Galloway
Brother of Ada of Galloway; Tomás mac Uchtraigh, Mormaer Of Atholl and Devorguilla I of Galloway

Occupation: Lord of Galloway, Constable of Scotland, LORD OF GALLOWAY, CONSTABLE OF SCOTLAND, NAMED IN MAGNA CARTA, Lord of Galloway; Constable of Scotland, constable of Scotland named in the Magna Charta, -1234, Lord of Galway, Constable of Scottland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Alan mac Lochlan, Lord of Galloway

Alan of Galloway (Alan FitzRoland means Alan, son of Roland) Alan Fitz Roland (c. 1175 – 1234) was the last of the MacFergus dynasty of quasi-independent Lords of Galloway. He was also hereditary Constable of Scotland.


[edit] Family

He was the son of MacUchtred (Roland), or Lochlann, Lord of Galloway and Helen de Morville. His date of birth is uncertain, but he was considered an adult in 1196.

In right of his mother he inherited the de Morville Lordship of Lauderdale. as well as others in that vicinity: West of Blainslie, in Lauderdale, but in the Lordship of Melrose, are the lands of Threepwood, which were granted by Alan, Constable of Scotland, to the monks of Melrose between 1177 and 1204.[1] [edit] Campaigns

In 1212 Alan responded to a summons from King John I of England by sending 1,000 troops to join the war against the Welsh. In this year he also sent one of his daughters to England as a hostage. She died in 1213 in the custody of her maternal uncle. Alan is listed as one of the 16 men who counseled King John regarding the Magna Carta.

Alan, like his forebears, maintained a carefully ambiguous relationship with both the English and Scottish states, acting as a vassal when it suited his purpose and as an independent monarch when he could get away with it. His considerable sea power allowed him to supply fleets and armies to aid the English King John in campaigns both in France and Ireland.

In 1228 he invaded the Isle of Man and fought a sea-war against Norway in support of Reginald, Prince of Man, who was engaged in a fratricidal struggle with his brother Olaf for possession of the island.

Alan died in 1234 and is buried at Dundrennan Abbey in Galloway. [edit] Marriages

He married three or four times: (1)?? Rose or Roysia de Lacy daughter of John de Lacy (1150, Lincoln, – 1190, Palestine), Baron of Pontefract and Constable of Chester, who had died by 1209. They had one daughter:

   * (daughter) de Lacy, (d. 1213).

He married (2) Hilda (Helen) de L'Isle (b.abt1174 d.after 11/0/1245) m.1205 Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland. She was the daughter of Rognvald Sumarlidasson, Lord of the Isles and Fonia of Moray. Sources-(Ancestral File. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah 1994)

Child of Alan of Galloway and Helen de l'Isle:

   * Helen of Galloway (b.c1208) Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland, who married Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester.

He remarried (3) Margaret of Huntingdon, daughter of David I of Scotland. By this marriage he had:

   * Dervorguilla of Galloway, who married John de Balliol, 5th feudal baron of Barnard Castle and founder of Balliol College, Oxford. Their son became King John of Scotland.
   * Christian of Galloway (d. 1246), who married William de Forz, Earl of Aumale, but had no issue.
   * Thomas, possibly alive in 1220, but certainly dead by 1234

Alan married his last wife, (3) Rohese de Lacy, in 1229, the daughter of Hugh de Lacy, 1st Earl of Ulster.

Alan also had an illegitimate son, who was also named Thomas.

With Alan's death his holdings were divided between his three daughters and their husbands. A popular attempt was made within Galloway to establish his illegitimate son, Thomas, as ruler, but this failed, and Galloway's period as an independent political entity came to an end. Alan of Galloway was the son of Roland (or Lochlann), Lord of Galloway and Helen de Morville and was born in about 1175. Alan inherited the position of Constable of Scotland and the Lordship of Galloway from his father, and the de Morville Lordships of Lauderdale and Melrose from his mother.

At this time Galloway was a semi-independent state and the Lords of Galloway had traditionally maintained cautious relations with both Scotland and England, accepting the authority of one or other when circumstances dictated, and acting as a sovereign monarch of Galloway when they could get away with it.

In 1212 Alan of Galloway led a large fleet carrying an army of 1,000 men south in support of King John of England's campaign against the Welsh. He also supplied ships and men to support King John's campaigns in Ireland and France. In 1215, Alan was among the 16 nobles trusted by King John to advise him about his response to the Magna Carta. Nearer home, Alan invaded the Isle of Man in 1229 following the overthrow and murder of Reginald, Prince of Man by his brother Olaf the Black or Olaf Godredsson. Alan forced Olaf to retreat to Norway, though the latter returned at the head of an overwhelmingly strong Norse fleet in 1230 and regained control of the Isle of Man.

Alan of Galloway died in 1234 and is buried at Dundrennan Abbey. He married three or four times. His only legitimate son, Thomas, predeceased him, and after Alan's death his estates and considerable wealth were divided between his three surviving daughters. There was a popular uprising in Galloway intended to make an illegitimate son of Alan's, another Thomas, Lord of Galloway. This failed, and Galloway's era as a semi-independent kingdom came to an end. The best known of Alan's offspring was Devorgilla, Lady of Galloway, who he had with his second wife, Margaret of Huntingdon, the great-granddaughter of King David I. Devorgilla married John, 5th Baron de Balliol, in 1233 and their son, John Balliol, went on to become King of Scotland in 1292.

If this effigy really depicts Alan, it was probably carved after his death, maybe even as late as 1250. Alan wears mail armour, covered by a surcoat. His sword belt is decorated with vertical metal or brass strips and on his integral mail coif he used to wear a sort of coronet with inlaid shields, as can be seen in this drawing of 1895:


1. Helen de Lisle (two children)

2. Margaret of Huntingdon (two children)

One illegitimate child by unknown mistress.

Lord Roland & his wife had three children:

1. ALAN of Galloway (-1234, bur Dundraynan[519]). He succeeded his father in 1200 as Lord of Galloway. The Annals of Dunstable record that “dominus Galwinæ” died in 1235[520]. The Liber Pluscardensis records the death in [1234] of "Alanus de Galway filius Rotholandi de Galway…qui…fuit constabilarius Scociæ" and his burial "apud Dundranan"[521]. On his death Galway was divided between his daughters, but the people of Galway invited Alexander II King of Scotland to become their sole lord but he refused. The king finally defeated the insurgents after Jul 1235[522].

m firstly HELEN de Lisle, daughter of --- ([1174]-). According to Matthew of Paris, the wife of Alan of Galloway "iam defunctus" was the (unnamed) daughter of "Hugonem de Lasey"[523].

m secondly (1209) MARGARET of Huntingdon, daughter of DAVID of Scotland Earl of Huntingdon & his wife Maud of Chester ([1194]-1233). The Chronicle of Melrose records the marriage in 1209 of "Alan FitzRoland" and "the daughter of earl David, the brother of the king of Scotland"[524]. The Annales Londonienses name "Margaretam, Isabellam, Matildam, et Aldam" as the four daughters of "comiti David", recording the marriage of "la primere fille Davi" and "Aleyn de Gavei"[525]. Lord Alan & his first wife had two children:

a) WALTER (-[1231/34]). The Liber Pluscardensis records that King Alexander II installed "Walterum filium Alani de Galuway" as "primus…Senescallus in Scocia" in 1231[526]. The chronology suggests that Walter must have been Alan´s son by his first marriage. Walter must have predeceased his father as no further mention of him is found.

b) HELEN of Galloway (-after 21 Nov 1245, bur Brackley). The Annales Londonienses name "Eleyn countesse de Wynton" as eldest of the three daughters of "la primere fille Davi" and "Aleyn de Gavei", naming "Margarete countesse de Ferreres et Eleyne la Zusche et la countesse de Bougham" as her three daughters[527]. The Liber Pluscardensis records that the eldest daughter of "Alanus de Galway filius Rotholandi de Galway" married "Rogerus de Quinci comes Wintoniæ"[528]. m as his first wife, ROGER de Quincy Earl of Winchester, son of SAHER de Quincy Earl of Winchester & Margaret of Leicester (-25 Apr 1264, maybe bur Brackley). Named son-in-law of Alan of Galloway by Matthew of Paris, who does not name his wife[529] but says in a later passage that she was "primogenita soror"[530]. He succeeded his father-in-law in 1234 as hereditary Constable of Scotland, de iure uxoris.

Lord Alan & his second wife had two children:

c) DEVORGUILLA of Galloway ([1218]-28 Jan 1290, bur Sweetheart Abbey, Kirkland). The Annales Londonienses name "Devorgoille de Baillol" as second of the three daughters of "la primere fille Davi" and "Aleyn de Gavei"[531]. According to the Chronicle of Melrose[532], Devorguilla was second daughter of Alan of Galloway, when recording her marriage in 1233 to "John de Baylol". The Liber Pluscardensis records the marriage in 1233 of the second daughter of "Alanus de Galway filius Rotholandi de Galway" and "Johannes de Balliolo"[533]. m (1233) Sir JOHN de Balliol of Barnard Castle, co Durham, son of HUGH Balliol [Bailleul] of Barnard Castle & his wife Cecilia de Fontaines (-before 24 Oct 1268 or 1269). Named son-in-law of Alan of Galloway by Matthew of Paris, who does not name his wife[534].

d) CHRISTIAN of Galloway (-shortly before 29 Jul 1246). The Annales Londonienses name "countesse de Albermarle" as third of the three daughters of "la primere fille Davi" and "Aleyn de Gavei"[535]. The Liber Pluscardensis records that the third daughter of "Alanus de Galway filius Rotholandi de Galway" married "comes Albemarliæ"[536]. Matthew of Paris records the death in 1246 of "comitissa quoque Albemarliæ filia Alani de Galeweia sororque comitisse Wintoniæ"[537]. m (before Apr 1236) as his first wife, WILLIAM de Forz, son of GUILLAUME de Forz Comte d'Aumâle & his wife Aveline de Montfichet (-Amiens 23 May 1260). "W filio comitis de Aubemarliæ" is named son-in-law of Alan of Galloway by Matthew of Paris, who does not name his wife[538]. He succeeded his father in 1241 as Lord of Holderness, titular Comte d'Aumâle. No issue.

Lord Alan had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

e) THOMAS . Illegitimate son of Alan of Galloway according to Matthew of Paris[539]. On the death of his father, he led the rebellion of the people of Galloway and fled to Ireland after they were defeated by Alexander II King of Scotland[540]. [541]m (1226[542]) --- of Man, daughter of RAGNVALD King of Man & his wife ---. The Chronicon Manniæ et Insularum records that King Ragnvald married his daughter to Alan of Galloway´s son[543].

  1. ^ Romanes, Charles S., CA., The Records of the Regality of Melrose, Scottish History Society, Edinburgh, 1917, volume III, p.xli, (Alan is identified as son of Roland the Constable)


   * Curia Regis Rolls, 1935.
   * Cal. Charter Rolls, 1, 1895

See "My Lines"

Galloway probably remained a Brythonic dominated region until the late 7th century when it was taken over by the English kingdom of Bernicia. Local historian Daphne Brooke has suggested that the English took over the more fertile land and religious centres like Whithorn, leaving the native inhabitants the less fertile upland areas. English dominance seems to have been supplanted by Norse and then Norse-Gaelic (Gall-Gaidel) peoples between the 9th and the 11th century, though the processes by which this took place are unclear. However they can be seen in the context of widespread Norse domination of the Irish Sea including extensive settlement in the Isle of Man and in the now English region of Cumbria immediately south of Galloway. If it had not been for Fergus of Galloway who established himself in Galloway, the region would rapidly have been absorbed by Scotland. This did not happen because Fergus, his sons, grandsons and great-grandson Alan, Lord of Galloway shifted their allegiance between Scottish and English kings. During a period of Scottish allegiance a Galloway contingent followed David King of Scots in his invasion of England and led the attack in his defeat at the Battle of the Standard (1138). Alan died in 1234. He had three daughters and an illegitimate son Thomas. The 'Community of Galloway' wanted Thomas as their 'king'. Alexander III of Scotland supported the daughters (or rather their husbands) and invaded Galloway. The Community of Galloway was defeated, and Galloway divided up between Alan's daughters, thus bringing Galloway's independent existence to an end. Alan's eldest daughter, Derbhorgail, married John de Balliol, and their son (also John) became one of the candidates for the Scottish Crown. Consequently, Scotland's Wars of Independence were disproportionately fought in Galloway. There were a large number of new Gaelic placenames being coined post 1320 (e.g. Balmaclellan), because Galloway retained a substantial Gaelic speaking population for several centuries more. Following the Wars of Independence, Galloway became the fief of Archibald the Grim, Earl of Douglas and his heirs. Whithorn remained an important cult centre, and all the medieval Kings of Scots made pilgrimage there.

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Alan mac Lochlan, Lord of Galloway's Timeline

Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland
Age 10
Carrick, Ayrshire, , Scotland
Age 24
Of, Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland
Age 28
New Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 30
Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland
Age 32
Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland
April 1234
Age 48
Dundrennan Abbey, Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland