Fergus of Galloway

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Fergus of Galloway of Galloway, Lord of Galloway

Also Known As: "Fergus de Galweia", "13146"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Isle of Man
Death: Died in Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, Scotland
Cause of death: Old age
Place of Burial: Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Husband of Elizabeth FitzHenry Gloucester Beauderc Fitzhenry
Father of Afreca nic Fergus of Gallloway, Princess of Isle of Man; Uchtred mac Fergus, Lord of Galloway; Bethóc MacFergus, of Galloway; Gilbert mac Fergus, Lord of Galloway; Margaret de Galloway and 3 others

Occupation: Lord of Galloway, Lord i Galloway, Skottland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Fergus of Galloway

Fergus' parents are uncertain. He has been linked to: [http://www.geni.com/people/Dolphin-Maldred-Prince-of-Scotland/6000000007394875218?through=6000000000769891469]

and

[http://www.geni.com/people/Gospatrick/6000000012754955149?through=6000000000769891469]

Which have been split off until some reliable source is found.

He was married to Elizabeth, whose origin is uncertain, but it is possible she was one of Henry Beauclerc's illegitimate children and thus a Plantagenet.

Fergus is known to have had in his lifetime two wives, the names of both being unknown. By these wives, though, three children are known:

   * Gille Brigte
   * Uchtred
   * Affraic

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SCOTTISH%20NOBILITY.htm#UchtredGallowaydied1174

GALLOWAY

1. FERGUS, son of --- (-[1136]). Lord of Galloway. "…Fergus de Galweia…Uchtred filio Fergus" witnessed a charter dated to [1136] by which "David Rex Scotiæ" granted Perdeyc to the church of Glasqow[500].

m ELIZABETH, daughter of ---. Fergus & his wife had three children:

a) UHTRED of Galloway (-1174). "…Fergus de Galweia…Uchtred filio Fergus" witnessed a charter dated to [1136] by which "David Rex Scotiæ" granted Perdeyc to the church of Glasqow[501]. William of Newburgh names "duo fratres Gilbertus et Uctredus Galwadensis provinciæ dofuini…Fergusi olim principis eiusdem provincie filii" when recording their quarrels [in 1174] and that Uhtred was killed[502]. Lord of Galloway.

The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records that "Ochtred…son of Fergus…was taken prisoner by his brother Gilbert 22 Sep" and later blinded and murdered[503].

m GUNHILD, daughter of WALTHEOF & his wife Sigrid ---. The Cronicon Cumbriæ records that “Alanus filius et hæres eiusdem Waldevi” enfeoffed “Ugthredo filio Fergus domino Galwediæ” with property and “Guynolda sorore sua”[504]. Uhtred & his wife had two children:

i) ROLAND of Galloway (-1200). William of Newburgh names "fratri nefarie interempto filius Rollandus"[505]. Lord of Galloway. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1200 of "Roland son of Uchtrach king of the Foreign-Irish”[506].

- see below.

ii) --- of Galloway (-killed in battle 1185). The Chronicle of Melrose records that he fought with his brother Roland against "Gillecolm" but was killed in the battle together with their opponent[507]. The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records the death of "Rotholand´s brother" in 1185 when "Ochtred´s son Rotholand" fought against "Gilpatrick and Henry Kennedy"[508].

b) AUFRICA of Galloway . The Chronicon Manniæ et Insularum records that “Olavus filius Godredi Crovan” married “Affricam…filiam Fergus de Galwedia”[509]. m OLAV “Morsel” King of Man, son of GODFRED “Crovan” King of Man & his wife --- ([1080]-killed 1153).

c) GILBERT of Galloway (-1 Jan 1185). William of Newburgh names "duo fratres Gilbertus et Uctredus Galwadensis provinciæ dofuini…Fergusi olim principis eiusdem provincie filii" when recording their quarrels [in 1174], commenting that "Gilbertus natu major"[510]. The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records the death of "Gilbert son of Fergus lord of Galloway" in 1185[511]. m ---. The name of Gilbert´s wife is not known. Gilbert & his wife had one child:

i) DUNCAN (-13 Jun 1250). The Chronicle of Melrose records that "Duncan the son of Gilebert of Galwey" gave to the monks of Melrose a certain portion of his lands in Karec in 1193[512]. He obtained Carrick from William "the Lion" King of Scotland before 1196, becoming 1st Earl of Carrick.

- EARLS of CARRICK.

ROLAND Lord of Galloway, son of UHTRED Lord of Galloway & his wife Gunnhild of Dunbar (-1200). William of Newburgh names "fratri nefarie interempto filius Rollandus"[513]. The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records that "Ochtred´s son Rotholand" fought against "Gilpatrick and Henry Kennedy" in 1185 after the death of his uncle[514]. Lord of Galloway. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1200 of "Roland son of Uchtrach king of the Foreign-Irish”[515].

m HELEN de Moreville, daughter of RICHARD de Moreville, Constable of Scotland[516] & his wife Avise de Lancaster (-11 Jun 1217[517]). The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records that "Rotholand lord of Galloway" married "William de Morville…[his] sister" who was her brother´s heir[518].

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].

2. THOMAS of Galloway (-1231, bur Abbey of Cupre[544]). Brother of Alan of Galloway according to Matthew of Paris, when he describes his (unnamed) son's rebellion[545]. Earl of Atholl de iure uxoris. The Liber Pluscardensis records the death in 1231 of "Alani de Galuway frater…comes Atholiæ" and his burial "in Cupro"[546]. m (before Jan 1210) as her first husband, ISABEL Ctss of Atholl, daughter of HENRY 3rd Earl of Atholl & his wife Margaret --- . She married secondly Alan de Lundin. Thomas & his wife had one child:

a) PATRICK of Galloway (-murdered Haddington 1242). He is named as son of Thomas of Galloway by Matthew of Paris[547]. He succeeded his father in 1231 as 5th Earl of Atholl. After defeating Walter Bisset in a tournament, he was burnt to death by the latter in his own residence[548]. He was succeeded in Atholl by his maternal aunt.

Thomas had one possibly illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

b) ALAN (-after Jan 1252). "Alan son of Thomas Earl of Atholl" was granted a pardon for killing some men in Ireland[549].

3. DEVORGUILLA of Galloway . Mentioned 1233 and 1241. m NICHOLAS [II] Stuteville of Brincklow, son of NICHOLAS [I] Stuteville of Liddel & his wife --- (-Priory of St Andrew [8 Sep/18 Oct] 1233). Nicholas & his wife had two children:

a) JOAN de Stuteville (-before 6 Apr 1276). m firstly (before 29 May 1229) HUGH Wake, son of BALDWIN Wake & his wife Isabel Briwere (-on crusade before 18 Dec 1241). m secondly HUGH Bigod Chief Justiciar of England, son of HUGH Bigod Earl of Norfolk & his wife Maud Marshal of Pembroke (-before 7 May 1266).

b) MARGARET de Stuteville (-before 13 Nov 1235). m WILLIAM de Mastac .

4. daughter . The Liber Pluscardensis records the marriage in 1233 of "Alanus de Galwidia…sororem suam" and "Waltero de Biseth"[550]. m (1233[551]) WALTER Bisset, son of ---. He was outlawed with his nephew John Bisset whom he had incited to murder Patrick of Galloway Earl of Atholl, his wife's nephew[552]. Walter Bisset incited Henry III King of England to march north intending to invade Scotland in 1244, but a treaty of peace was concluded 24 Aug 1244[553].

----------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fergus_of_Galloway

Fergus of Galloway was King, or Lord, of Galloway from an unknown date (probably in the 1110s), until his death in 1161. He was the founder of that "sub-kingdom," the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys (e.g. Dundrennan Abbey), and much else besides. He became a legend after his death, although his actual life is clouded in mystery.

Origins of Fergus

Fergus of Galloway first appears in the historical sources in 1136. His origins and his parentage, however, are something of a mystery. Over the years, Fergus’ origins have been the subject of much discussion and even more fanciful fictional elaboration by historical writers.

One theory is that Fergus was descended from a great pedigree of Gall-Gaidhel kings, who might have been known as Clann Dubgaill, claiming descent from a certain Dubgall. Adding believability to this view is the fact that the chief branch of descendants of Somairle mac Gilla Brigte took the name MacDougall, while the cognate name MacDouall was popular in Galloway. However, since the Argyll name comes only from after Fergus' time, this theory cannot be accepted.

A similar theory traces Fergus from a certain man called "Gilli," a Gall-Gaidhel "Jarl" of the Western Isles. The reasoning in this case is that the Roman de Fergus, an early 13th century French language Arthurian romance, names its eponymous hero's father as Soumilloit (Somairle). The argument is that the latter was descended from the Jarl Gilli, and therefore that both Somairles had Jarl Gilli as a common ancestor. Likewise, yet another theory identifies Fergus' father with the obscure Sumarlidi Hauldr, a character in the Orkneyinga Saga.

Writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had advanced the idea that Fergus was the childhood companion of David I at the Anglo-Norman court of King Henry I of England. This idea was given credence by his marriage to the daughter of King Henry I, his good relationship with David, and his friendliness towards Anglo-Norman culture.

In reality such a relationship is pure fiction. Fergus was almost certainly a native Galwegian. The Roman de Fergus may not be entitled to general reliability in matters of historical correctness, but Soumilloit is unlikely to have been totally made up. Moreover, Somairle (anglicized either as Somerled or Sorley) is a thoroughly Gall-Gaidhel name, and makes perfect sense in the context. In light of the absence of other evidence, we have to accept that Fergus' father probably bore the name Somairle. Other than that, we simply cannot say anything about Fergus' origins for sure.

Origins of the Galloway Kingdom

Contrary to some popular conceptions, there is no evidence that Galloway was ever part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Thus Galloway (west of the Nith at least) lay outside of the traditional area claimed by the Kingdom of Alba, Strathclyde's successor state in the area. Galloway, often defined as all of the area to the south and west of the Clyde and west of the River Annan, lay outside of traditional Scottish territory. Though it formed part of the northern mainland of Britain, Galloway was just as much a part of the Irish Sea; part of that "Hiberno-Norse" world of the Gall-Gaidhel lords of the Isle of Man, Dublin and the Hebrides.

For instance, the ex-King of Dublin and Man, Echmarcach mac Ragnaill, had the title Rex Innarenn ("King of Rhinns") attributed to him on his death in 1065. The western sections of Galloway had been firmly aligned with the Isle of Man, and Norse and Gaelic-Norse settlement names from the 10th and 11th centuries are spread all along the coastal lands of south-western "Scotland" and north-western "England."

In the late 11th century, the Norwegian King Magnus III Berrføtt ("Barelegs") led a campaign of subjugation in the Irish Sea world. In 1097, he sent his vassal, Ingimundr, to take control of the Kingdom(s) of Man and the Isles. However, when this man was killed, Magnus himself launched the first of his two invasions, the campaigns of 1098-1099 and of 1102-1103. In the former campaign, he took control of the Western Isles of Scotland, and deposed King Lagmann of Man. (Incidentally, this campaign also brought him to Wales, where he killed the Earl of Chester and the Earl of Shrewsbury, who were at war with the Prince of Gwynedd). In this campaign, Magnus almost certainly brought Galloway under his suzerainty too. Magnus, moreover, gained the recognition of these conquests from the then-king of Alba, Etgair mac Maíl Coluim.

On his second campaign, Magnus went to Man, and with a huge fleet attacked Dublin and attempted to bring the submission of Muircertach mac Toirrdelbach, the Ui Briain King of Munster. The campaign resulted in an alliance between the two kings, and the arranged marriage of Magnus' son Siguðr to Muircertach's daughter Bláthmin. The alliance mitigated the threat of Domnall mac Lochlainn, King of Ailech, bringing stability to the Irish Sea world, and security to Magnus' new Irish Sea "Empire." However, it all went wrong when Magnus was killed on his way back to Norway on a minor raid in Ulster. Much of Magnus' work lay in ruins.

In the view of the main authority on medieval Galloway, Richard Oram, these events provide the key to understanding the origins of the Fergusian Kingdom of Galloway. It was this power vacuum, he suggests, that facilitated the creation of the Kingdom of Galloway, the kingdom which Fergus came to lead and apparently created. The Roman infers that Fergus' father, Somairle, was a poor warrior who benefitted greatly by marriage to a noblewoman, from whom Fergus inherited power. Perhaps then, Fergus' father was a self-made warrior who married into the House of Man; perhaps Fergus inherited and further consolidated his position, building the kingdom out of the ruins left by the death of Magnus Barelegs.

Marriage and the building of the Lordship

Fergus is known to have had in his lifetime two wives, the names of both being unknown. By these wives, though, three children are known:

   * Gille Brigte
   * Uchtred
   * Affraic

Western Galloway and 1st Marriage

Fergus' likely power base was the area of Galloway between the rivers Dee and Cree. It has been suggested by Oram that he advanced his power in the west through marriage to an unknown heiress. The primary basis of this reasoning is that upon Fergus' death, Gille Brigte got the western part. Gille Brigte was the older son, but because he was not the product of marriage to Fergus' royal wife, he was regarded as the lesser. The fact that he got the west when he should have gotten nothing has led Oram to believe that he got the west because of his mother.

England and Second Marriage

Fergus may have married an illegitimate daughter of Henri Beauclerc, King Henry I of England. Her name, however, is unknown. One of the candidates is Sibylla, the widow of King Alaxandair I mac Maíl Choluim of Scotland, but there is little evidence for this. Another candidate could be Elisabeth; but likewise, there is little evidence. If he did marry a daughter of Henry I, the marriage can be interpreted as part of the forward policy of Henry I in the northwest of his dominions and the Irish Sea zone in general, which was engineered in the second decade of the 12th century. It may have been during this time that Fergus began calling himself rex Galwitensium ("King of Galloway"). However, while his possible father-in-law lived, Fergus, like King David I of Scotland), seems to have remained a faithful "vassal" to Henry.

Marriage of Affraic to Man

As part of Fergus’ pretensions in the Irish Sea world, Fergus made himself the father-in-law of the Manx king by marrying off his daughter Affraic to King Óláfr I Gothfrithsson of Man (1114-1153). Óláfr was in many ways a client of the English and Scottish Kings, and so within this new Anglo-Celtic Irish Sea system, Fergus could establish a dominant position. This position lasted until the death of Óláfr in 1153 at the hands of his brother’s sons, who had been brought up in Dublin, and were waiting in the wings. Reference robert the bruce and the community of the realm of scotland vol.4-p430-Roger howden calls uctred,son of fergus of galloway, a cousin of king henry 2nd(gestahenrici secundi benedicici abbatis ed. stubbs rolls ser.i 80)a relationship which is best explained on the supposition that fergus married a bastard daughter of henry 1st.The suggestion in the scots perrage,s.v. Galloway,that gilbert,uctred's broter,had a different mother is contradicted by cal.docs.scoti no.480,where king john calls duncan,grandson of fergus;cousin of uctred;of carrick his cousin;making uctred and gilbert brothers by the same mother.

Elevation of Whithorn

A related development was Fergus' resurrection of the Bishopric of Whithorn, an ancient Galwegian See first established by the expansionary Northumbrians under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York. The last Bishop of Whithorn, Beadwulf, had been noted in c. 803. Thereafter nothing is heard; and it is likely the Bishopric disappeared with Northumbrian power, a decline marked by the sack of York by the Danes in 867. In the following two and a half centuries, Galloway, if and where jurisdiction actually existed, seems to have been under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Man in the west, with Durham and Glasgow in the east.

In terms of the See's resurrection, we know that on 9 December 1125 Pope Honorius II wrote to the Bishop-elect of Whithorn, ordering him to appear before the Archbishop of York.[1] The would-be Bishop was a cleric called Gille Aldan (Gille Aldain), and the Archbishop was Thurstan. York had been coming under increasing pressure from the ambitions of Canterbury, and the northern English metropolitan had only two suffragans (Durham and Man). He needed three in fact to hold proper Archiepiscopal elections. It is likely that York and Fergus did a deal. The involvement of King David I can be discounted on the grounds of his anti-York policies, and his total inclination to appoint English or French clerics, and not Gaelic ones like Gille Aldan. The deal ensured the Galwegian church would not undermine Fergus’ independence of both Man or Scotland, and secured an identity for the new kingdom in the framework of northern Britain and the Isles.

A further point to be noted is that the sources record that the warrior-Bishop Wimund attacked another Bishop, an attack aimed to try and bring the other bishop under his control. Scholars such as Andrew MacDonald and Richard Oram agree that this Bishop was in fact Gille Aldan of Whithorn. It is likely then that the elevation of Whithorn incurred the wrath of the Bishop of the Isles, indicating perhaps something of the status of the Galwegian church before Fergus’ reign.

Fergus and David I

On Henry's death in late 1135, Fergus’ relationship with the Kings of the English could not be maintained. David I of Scotland, ruler of much of Scotland and northern England, assumed a position of dominance. The balance of power swung firmly in David’s favor. It was no longer possible to maintain a position of real independence from the Scottish king. It is at this point Fergus comes into contemporary sources. In summer 1136, David I was in attendance at the consecration of Bishop John’s cathedral in Glasgow. Here was a big gathering of Scottish and Norman nobles. Fergus is recorded as having been in attendance too (with his son Uchtred), leading a list of southwestern Gaelic nobility.

The gathering also assisted David’s ambitions against the new and weak King of the English, Stephen. Galwegian contingents are recorded in several sources as being present during the subsequent campaign and at the defeat of David at the Battle of the Standard in 1138. We cannot know for sure if Fergus was there, but the peace treaty made between David and Stephen in 1139 stipulated that one of Fergus’ sons (certainly Uchtred) be given as a hostage.

Fergus and Malcolm IV

In 1153, King David died. The personal relationship of superiority which David had enjoyed over Fergus was not meant to apply to the former’s successors. David was succeeded by the boy-king, Máel Coluim IV. Yet Fergus initially seems to have had a good relationship with the new King. In 1156, Fergus captured and handed over Máel Coluim’s rival Domnall mac Maíl Choluim, the MacHeth pretender to the Kingdom of the Scots.

Still, by the end of the decade Fergus and King Máel Coluim were not friends. In 1157, the boy-king’s position in southern Scotland was weakened, when he was forced by King Henry II to hand over Cumbria and Northumbria. It was probably this blow to Máel Coluim’s power that gave Fergus his chance to reassert his independence. The Chronicle of Holyrood reports that Máel Coluim led three campaigns against Fergus in 1160. The context was that Máel Coluim had been in France with his lord Henry II, and had just returned to Scotland. Many of the native Scottish magnates besieged Máel Coluim at Perth upon his return. However, Fergus was not one of them, and any connection between the so-called Revolt of the Earls and Fergus has no evidence to substantiate it. On the other hand, it is highly suggestive that this revolt occurred in exactly same year as the invasion of Galloway.

Fergus and the Meic Fergusa

Fergus’ later years were mired by the squabbling of his two sons. Perhaps too Fergus’ longevity was testing his sons’ patience. Walter Daniel reported that, in relation to the mid-1150s, Fergus was:

“… incensed against his sons, and the sons raging against the father and each other … The King of Scotland could not subdue, nor the bishop pacify their mutual hatreds, rancour and tyranny. Sons were against father, father against sons, brother against brother, daily polluting the unhappy little land with bloodshed.” (Walter Daniel, ‘‘Life of Ailred’’, 45-6; quoted in Oram, pp. 78-9)

Whether because of Gille Brigte and Uchtred, or because of Máel Coluim’s campaigns, Fergus was forced into retirement, becoming a monk at Holyrood Abbey in 1160. He died the following year.

Legend of Fergus

Fergus' descendants, when recounting their genealogy, invariably dated their lines back to Fergus. Fergus was one of the few secular Gaelic figures of the High Middle Ages to attain a legendary status in the wider world of Christendom.

Roman de Fergus

Around the beginning of the 13th century, someone in Scotland composed in French an Arthurian romance dedicated to the Galwegian King. This is the so-called Roman de Fergus. The Roman de Fergus, as it happens, is the earliest piece of non-Celtic vernacular literature to emerge from Scotland. According to tradition, the author was a man called Guillaume le Clerc (William the Clerk). Certain scholars have hypothesized that it was written for the inauguration of Fergus' descendant, Alan mac Lochlainn (or perhaps more appropriately in this context, Alan fils de Roland). More recently, D.D.R. Owen, a St Andrews scholar of medieval French, has proposed that the author was William Malveisin. William was at one point a royal clerk, to King William I before becoming Bishop of Glasgow and St Andrews. The Roman gratifies Fergus' descendants by making him a Perceval-like knight of King Arthur.

The Roman circulated all over the Frankish world of northwestern Europe for centuries to come. It is a tribute to Fergus' legendary status as a monarch and as the founding father of Galloway.

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Mac Dowells of Galloway

Senior descendents in the main line the House of Fergus (b 1096) first ancient Lords of Galloway; Fergus was a blood relation and ally of King Somerled. Fergus successive heirs through Elizabeth daughter of Henry 1 of England were Uchtred, Roland (Constable of Scotland) and Alan (co-signatory of the Magna Carta).

John (The Red) Comyn was Grandson from the MacDowell line who was murdered by Robert the Bruce, the Mac Dowalls (Galloway MacDougalls) became mortal enemies of Bruce and was aided by the Argyll Mac Dougalls, in their dispute with the Bruce.

The present Chief of the Mac Dowalls, Fergus, lives in Canada.

http://www.clanmacdougall.co.uk/history.php

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Wikipedia References

Anderson, Alan O., ed. (500 – 1286), Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers A.D. 500 to 1286, London: David Nutt (published 1908), p. 159, http://books.google.com/books?id=WMZ_AYkrTWEC

Guillaume le Clerc, Fergus of Galloway, tr. D.D.R. Owen, (London, 1991)

McDonald, R.A., Outlaws of Medieval Scotland: Challenges to the Canmore Kings, 1058-1266, (East Linton, 2003)

Oram, Richard, The Lordship of Galloway, (Edinburgh, 2000)

Owen, D.D.R., The Reign of William the Lion: Kingship and Culture, 1143-1214, (East Linton, 1997)

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Notes

From Galloway in Ancient and Modern Times (Google eBook) Peter Handyside M'Kerlie.W. Blackwood and sons, 1891 - Galloway (Scotland) - 324 pages.  page 155

"It is necessary to repeat here that Fergus married Elizabeth, the natural daughter of King Henry I. of England. This king ruled from 1100 to 1135. Unless Fergus had been in England he could not have become acquainted with her and married before he became governor of Galloway, otherwise his descendants — three generations — would have had very short lives. Also, had he been a native, from the position apparently held from the first, he would have led the Galwegians at the Battle of the Standard, instead of Ulgric and Dovenald. That Fergus was married long before his connection with Galloway is supported by the facts that Olave, King of Man, began to reign in 1102, and that he married Affrica, the daughter of Fergus ..."

=============

Fergus Lord of Galloway, died 1136.

Parents uncertain.

Married Elizabeth

Three of more children.

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SCOTTISH%20NOBILITY.htm

Chapter 12. GALLOWAY

1. FERGUS, son of --- (-[1136]). Lord of Galloway. "…Fergus de Galweia…Uchtred filio Fergus" witnessed a charter dated to [1136] by which "David Rex Scotiæ" granted Perdeyc to the church of Glasqow[500].

m ELIZABETH, daughter of ---. Fergus & his wife had three children:

a) UHTRED of Galloway (-1174). "…Fergus de Galweia…Uchtred filio Fergus" witnessed a charter dated to [1136] by which "David Rex Scotiæ" granted Perdeyc to the church of Glasqow[501]. William of Newburgh names "duo fratres Gilbertus et Uctredus Galwadensis provinciæ dofuini…Fergusi olim principis eiusdem provincie filii" when recording their quarrels [in 1174] and that Uhtred was killed[502]. Lord of Galloway.

The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records that "Ochtred…son of Fergus…was taken prisoner by his brother Gilbert 22 Sep" and later blinded and murdered[503].

m GUNHILD, daughter of WALTHEOF & his wife Sigrid ---. The Cronicon Cumbriæ records that “Alanus filius et hæres eiusdem Waldevi” enfeoffed “Ugthredo filio Fergus domino Galwediæ” with property and “Guynolda sorore sua”[504].

Uhtred & his wife had two children:

i) ROLAND of Galloway (-1200). William of Newburgh names "fratri nefarie interempto filius Rollandus"[505]. Lord of Galloway. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1200 of "Roland son of Uchtrach king of the Foreign-Irish”[506].

ii) --- of Galloway (-killed in battle 1185). The Chronicle of Melrose records that he fought with his brother Roland against "Gillecolm" but was killed in the battle together with their opponent[507]. The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records the death of "Rotholand´s brother" in 1185 when "Ochtred´s son Rotholand" fought against "Gilpatrick and Henry Kennedy"[508].

b) AUFRICA of Galloway . The Chronicon Manniæ et Insularum records that “Olavus filius Godredi Crovan” married “Affricam…filiam Fergus de Galwedia”[509].

m OLAV “Morsel” King of Man, son of GODFRED “Crovan” King of Man & his wife --- ([1080]-killed 1153).

c) GILBERT of Galloway (-1 Jan 1185). William of Newburgh names "duo fratres Gilbertus et Uctredus Galwadensis provinciæ dofuini…Fergusi olim principis eiusdem provincie filii" when recording their quarrels [in 1174], commenting that "Gilbertus natu major"[510]. The Chronicle of John of Fordun (Continuator - Annals) records the death of "Gilbert son of Fergus lord of Galloway" in 1185[511].

m ---. The name of Gilbert´s wife is not known. Gilbert & his wife had one child:

i) DUNCAN (-13 Jun 1250). The Chronicle of Melrose records that "Duncan the son of Gilebert of Galwey" gave to the monks of Melrose a certain portion of his lands in Karec in 1193[512]. He obtained Carrick from William "the Lion" King of Scotland before 1196, becoming 1st Earl of Carrick.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fergus,_Lord_of_Galloway#Legend_of_Fergus

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Fergus, Lord of Galloway1

M, #4585, d. 1161

Last Edited=5 Dec 2008

    Fergus, Lord of Galloway married Joan (?), daughter of Henry I 'Beauclerc', King of England.2 He died in 1161.1
    Fergus, Lord of Galloway gained the title of Lord of Galloway.1

Child of Fergus, Lord of Galloway

   * Gilbert of Galloway+ d. 1 Jan 11851

Child of Fergus, Lord of Galloway and Elizabeth (?)

   * Uchtred, Lord of Galloway+ d. 22 Sep 11743

Citations

  1. G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 55. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  2. Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 49. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  3. Wikipedia, online http;//www.wikipedia.org. Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia.

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Fergus, Lord of Galloway

d. 1161

    Fergus, Lord of Galloway married Joan (?), daughter of Henry I 'Beauclerc', King of England.2 He died in 1161.
    Fergus, Lord of Galloway gained the title of Lord of Galloway.

Child of Fergus, Lord of Galloway

   * Gilbert of Galloway+1 d. 1 Jan 1185

Child of Fergus, Lord of Galloway and Elizabeth (?)

   * Uchtred, Lord of Galloway+3 d. 22 Sep 1174

Citations

  1. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 55. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  2. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 49. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  3. [S130] Wikipedia, online http;//www.wikipedia.org. Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia.

http://www.thepeerage.com/p459.htm#i4585

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From http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SCOTTISH%20NOBILITY.htm#AufricaGallowayMOlavMan

It seems from this that although Fergus was married to an Elizabeth there is, as yet, nothing to show this Elizabeth was princess of England, daughter of Henry I.

FERGUS, son of --- (-[1136]). Lord of Galloway. "…Fergus de Galweia…Uchtred filio Fergus" witnessed a charter dated to [1136] by which "David Rex Scotiæ" granted Perdeyc to the church of Glasqow[1040]. "…Fgus de Galweia…" witnessed the undated charter under which David I King of Scotland donated "decimam meam de meo Chan" to the church of Glasgow[1041]. m ELIZABETH, daughter of ---. Fergus & his wife had three children:

a) UHTRED of Galloway (-1174). "…Fergus de Galweia…Uchtred filio Fergus" witnessed a charter dated to [1136] by which "David Rex Scotiæ" granted Perdeyc to the church of Glasqow[1042]. "Uhctredus filius Fergusi" donated "ecclesiam de Colmanele" to Holyrood abbey by undated charter[1043]. "Uctredus filius Fergi et Gunnild filia Waldef sponsa sua" donated "ecclesiam de Torpennoth" to Holyrood abbey by undated charter[1044]. Malcolm IV King of Scotland with "Uhtred filio Fergi et Gilebto fratris eius et Rad filio Dunegal et Duuenaldo fratris eius" confirmed the donation of "terra de Dunroden" to Holyrood abbey by undated charter[1045]. William of Newburgh names "duo fratres Gilbertus et Uctredus Galwadensis provinciæ dofuini…Fergusi olim principis eiusdem provincie filii" when recording their quarrels [in 1174] and that Uhtred was killed[1046]. Lord of Galloway. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that, in the year in which King William was released from custody, "duce Gilberto filio Fergusii" led "Galwidienses" in rebellion and "X Kal Oct" captured "Ochtredus…filius Fergusii…verus…Scotus", blinded him, cut out his tongue, and murdered him[1047]. m GUNHILD, daughter of WALTHEOF & his wife Sigrid ---. The Cronicon Cumbriæ records that “Alanus filius et hæres eiusdem Waldevi” enfeoffed “Ugthredo filio Fergus domino Galwediæ” with property and “Guynolda sorore sua”[1048]. "Uctredus filius Fergi et Gunnild filia Waldef sponsa sua" donated "ecclesiam de Torpennoth" to Holyrood abbey by undated charter[1049]. Uhtred & his wife had [three] children:

i) ROLAND of Galloway (-Northampton 1200, bur St Andrews). William of Newburgh names "fratri nefarie interempto filius Rollandus"[1050]. Lord of Galloway. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1200 of "Roland son of Uchtrach king of the Foreign-Irish”[1051].

- see below.

ii) --- of Galloway (-killed in battle 1185). The Chronicle of Melrose records that he fought with his brother Roland against "Gillecolm" but was killed in the battle together with their opponent[1052]. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that, after the death of "dominus Galwalliæ Gilbertus, filius Fergusii" in 1185, "Rotholandus filius Othredi" fought with "Gilpatricio, et Henrico Kennedy, necnon Samuele" and that "frater Rotholandi" was killed[1053].

iii) [FERGUS (-after 22 Sep 1196). "…Roll constabul, Philipp de Mubray, Willmo de Valloñ, Henr Biset, Thomas de Colville, Adam fil Herb, Ferg fratre Roll, Alexander de Finton" witnessed the charter dated 22 Sep (no year) under which William King of Scotland confirmed the donation of "in territorio de Cliftun" to Melrose abbey made by "Walterus Corbet filius Walteri"[1054]. It is not certain that Fergus was the brother of Fergus of Galloway, but the conjunction of the names (which are unusual) make this probable. If this is correct, Fergus was not the same person as the unnamed brother who was killed in 1185, as Roland is named in the document as constable, an appointment which he assumed after the death of William de Morville in 1196.]

b) AUFRICA of Galloway . The Chronicon Manniæ et Insularum records that “Olavus filius Godredi Crovan” married “Affricam…filiam Fergus de Galwedia”[1055]. m OLAV “Morsel” King of Man, son of GODFRED “Crovan” King of Man & his wife --- ([1080]-killed 1153).

c) GILBERT of Galloway (-1 Jan 1185). Malcolm IV King of Scotland with "Uhtred filio Fergi et Gilebto fratris eius et Rad filio Dunegal et Duuenaldo fratris eius" confirmed the donation of "terra de Dunroden" to Holyrood abbey by undated charter[1056]. William of Newburgh names "duo fratres Gilbertus et Uctredus Galwadensis provinciæ dofuini…Fergusi olim principis eiusdem provincie filii" when recording their quarrels [in 1174], commenting that "Gilbertus natu major"[1057]. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that, in the year in which King William was released from custody, "duce Gilberto filio Fergusii" led "Galwidienses" in rebellion and captured "Ochtredus…filius Fergusii…verus…Scotus", blinded him, cut out his tongue, and murdered him[1058]. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records the death of "dominus Galwalliæ Gilbertus, filius Fergusii" in 1185[1059]. m ---. The name of Gilbert´s wife is not known. Gilbert & his wife had one child:

i) DUNCAN (-13 Jun 1250). "Dunecanus filius Gillebti filii Fergi" donated "totam terram de Moybothelbeg…[et] de Bethoc" to Melrose abbey by undated charter[1060]. The Chronicle of Melrose records that "Duncan the son of Gilebert of Galwey" gave to the monks of Melrose a certain portion of his lands in Karec in 1193[1061]. He obtained Carrick from William "the Lion" King of Scotland before 1196, becoming 1st Earl of Carrick.


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Fergus of Galloway was King, or Lord, of Galloway from an unknown date (probably in the 1110s), until his death in 1161. He was the founder of that "sub-kingdom," the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys (e.g. Dundrennan Abbey), and much else besides. He became a legend after his death, although his actual life is clouded in mystery.

Origins of Fergus

Fergus of Galloway first appears in the historical sources in 1136. His origins and his parentage, however, are something of a mystery. Over the years, Fergus’ origins have been the subject of much discussion and even more fanciful fictional elaboration by historical writers.

One theory is that Fergus was descended from a great pedigree of Gall-Gaidhel kings, who might have been known as Clann Dubgaill, claiming descent from a certain Dubgall. Adding believability to this view is the fact that the chief branch of descendants of Somairle mac Gilla Brigte took the name MacDougall, while the cognate name MacDouall was popular in Galloway. However, since the Argyll name comes only from after Fergus' time, this theory cannot be accepted.

A similar theory traces Fergus from a certain man called "Gilli," a Gall-Gaidhel "Jarl" of the Western Isles. The reasoning in this case is that the Roman de Fergus, an early 13th century French language Arthurian romance, names its eponymous hero's father as Soumilloit (Somairle). The argument is that the latter was descended from the Jarl Gilli, and therefore that both Somairles had Jarl Gilli as a common ancestor. Likewise, yet another theory identifies Fergus' father with the obscure Sumarlidi Hauldr, a character in the Orkneyinga Saga.

Writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had advanced the idea that Fergus was the childhood companion of David I at the Anglo-Norman court of King Henry I of England. This idea was given credence by his marriage to the daughter of King Henry I, his good relationship with David, and his friendliness towards Anglo-Norman culture.

In reality such a relationship is pure fiction. Fergus was almost certainly a native Galwegian. The Roman de Fergus may not be entitled to general reliability in matters of historical correctness, but Soumilloit is unlikely to have been totally made up. Moreover, Somairle (anglicized either as Somerled or Sorley) is a thoroughly Gall-Gaidhel name, and makes perfect sense in the context. In light of the absence of other evidence, we have to accept that Fergus' father probably bore the name Somairle. Other than that, we simply cannot say anything about Fergus' origins for sure.

Origins of the Galloway Kingdom

Contrary to some popular conceptions, there is no evidence that Galloway was ever part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Thus Galloway (west of the Nith at least) lay outside of the traditional area claimed by Kingdom of Alba, Strathclyde's successor state in the area. Galloway, often defined as all of the area to the south and west of the Clyde and west of the River Annan, lay outside of traditional Scottish territory. Though it formed part of the northern mainland of Britain, Galloway was just as much a part of the Irish Sea; part of that "Hiberno-Norse" world of the Gall-Gaidhel lords of the Isle of Man, Dublin and the Hebrides.

For instance, the ex-King of Dublin and Man, Echmarcach mac Ragnaill, had the title Rex Innarenn ("King of Rhinns") attributed to him on his death in 1065. The western section of Galloway had been firmly attached to the Isle of Man, and Norse and Gaelic-Norse settlement names from the 10th and 11th centuries are spread all along the coastal lands of south-western "Scotland" and north-western "England."

In the late 11th century, the Norwegian King Magnus III Berrføtt ("Barelegs") led a campaign of subjugation in the Irish Sea world. In 1097, he sent his vassal, Ingimundr, to take control of the Kingdom(s) of Man and the Isles. However, when this man was killed, Magnus himself launched the first of his two invasions, the campaigns of 1098-1099 and of 1102-1103. In the former campaign, he took control of the Western Isles of Scotland, and deposed King Lagmann of Man. (Incidentally, this campaign also brought him to Wales, where he killed the Earl of Chester and the Earl of Shrewsbury, who were at war with the Prince of Gwynedd). In this campaign, Magnus almost certainly brought Galloway under his suzerainty too. Magnus, moreover, gained the recognition of these conquests from the then-king of Alba, Etgair mac Maíl Coluim.

On his second campaign, Magnus went to Man, and with a huge fleet attacked Dublin and attempted to bring the submission of Muircertach mac Toirrdelbach, the Ui Briain King of Munster. The campaign resulted in an alliance between the two kings, and the arranged marriage of Magnus' son Siguðr to Muircertach's daughter Bláthmin. The alliance mitigated the threat of Domnall mac Lochlainn, King of Ailech, bringing stability to the Irish Sea world, and security to Magnus' new Irish Sea "Empire." However, it all went wrong when Magnus was killed on his way back to Norway on a minor raid in Ulster. Much of Magnus' work lay in ruins.

In the view of the main authority on medieval Galloway, Richard Oram, these events provide the key to understanding the origins of the Fergusian Kingdom of Galloway. It was this power vacuum, he suggests, that facilitated the creation of the Kingdom of Galloway, the kingdom which Fergus came to lead and apparently created. The Roman infers that Fergus' father, Somairle, was a poor warrior who benefitted greatly by marriage to a noblewoman, from whom Fergus inherited power. Perhaps then, Fergus' father was a self-made warrior who married into the House of Man; perhaps Fergus inherited and further consolidated his position, building the kingdom out of the ruins left by the death of Magnus Barelegs.

Marriage and the building of the Lordship

Fergus is known to have had in his lifetime two wives, the names of both being unknown. By these wives, though, three children are known:

Gille Brigte

Uchtred

Affraic

Western Galloway and 1st Marriage

Fergus' likely power base was the area of Galloway between the rivers Dee and Cree. It has been suggested by Oram that he advanced his power in the west through marriage to an unknown heiress. The primary basis of this reasoning is that upon Fergus' death, Gille Brigte got the western part. Gille Brigte was the older son, but because he was not the product of marriage to Fergus' royal wife, he was regarded as the lesser. The fact that he got the west when he should have gotten nothing has led Oram to believe that he got the west because of his mother.

England and Second Marriage

Fergus may have married an illegitimate daughter of Henri Beauclerc, King Henry I of England. Her name, however, is unknown. One of the candidates is Sibylla, the widow of King Alaxandair I mac Maíl Choluim of Scotland, but there is little evidence for this. Another candidate could be Elisabeth; but likewise, there is little evidence. If he did marry a daughter of Henry I, the marriage can be interpreted as part of the forward policy of Henry I in the northwest of his dominions and the Irish Sea zone in general, which was engineered in the second decade of the 12th century. It may have been during this time that Fergus began calling himself rex Galwitensium ("King of Galloway"). However, while his possible father-in-law lived, Fergus, like King David I of Scotland), seems to have remained a faithful "vassal" to Henry.

Marriage of Affraic to Man

As part of Fergus’ pretensions in the Irish Sea world, Fergus made himself the father-in-law of the Manx king by marrying off his daughter Affraic to King Óláfr I Gothfrithsson of Man (1114-1153). Óláfr was in many ways a client of the English and Scottish Kings, and so within this new Anglo-Celtic Irish Sea system, Fergus could establish a dominant position. This position lasted until the death of Óláfr in 1153 at the hands of his brother’s sons, who had been brought up in Dublin, and were waiting in the wings.

Elevation of Whithorn

The Abbey of Dundrennan, founded by Fergus.A related development was Fergus' resurrection of the Bishopric of Whithorn, an ancient Galwegian See first established by the expansionary Northumbrians under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York. The last Bishop of Whithorn, Beadwulf, had been noted in c. 803. Thereafter nothing is heard; and it is likely the Bishopric disappeared with Northumbrian power, a decline marked by the sack of York by the Danes in 867. In the following two and a half centuries, Galloway, if and where jurisdiction actually existed, it seems to have been under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Man in the west, with Durham and Glasgow in the east.

In terms of the See's resurrection, we know that on 9 December 1125 Pope Honorius II wrote to the Bishop-elect of Whithorn, ordering him to appear before the Archbishop of York. The would-be Bishop was a cleric called Gille Aldan (Gille Aldain), and the Archbishop was Thurstan. York had been coming under increasing pressure from the ambitions of Canterbury, and the northern English metropolitan had only two suffragans (Durham and Man). He needed three in fact to hold proper Archiepiscopal elections. It is likely that York and Fergus did a deal. The involvement of King David I can be discounted on the grounds of his anti-York policies, and his total inclination to appoint English or French clerics, and not Gaelic ones like Gille Aldan. The deal ensured that Galwegian church would not undermine Fergus’ independence of both Man or Scotland, and secured an identity for the new kingdom in the framework of northern Britain and the Isles.

A further point to be noted is that the sources record that the warrior-Bishop Wimund attacked another Bishop, an attack aimed to try and bring the other bishop under his control. Scholars such as Andrew MacDonald and Richard Oram agree that this Bishop was in fact Gille Aldan of Whithorn. It is likely then that the elevation of Whithorn incurred the wrath of the Bishop of the Isles, indicating perhaps something of the status of the Galwegian church before Fergus’ reign.

Fergus and David I

On Henry's death in late 1135, Fergus’ relationship with the Kings of the English could not be maintained. David I of Scotland, ruler of much of Scotland and northern England, assumed a position of dominance. The balance of power swung firmly in David’s favor. It was no longer possible to maintain a position of real independence from the Scottish king. It is at this point Fergus comes into contemporary sources. In summer 1136, David I was in attendance at the consecration of Bishop John’s cathedral in Glasgow. Here was a big gathering of Scottish and Norman nobles. Fergus is recorded as having been in attendance too (with his son Uchtred), leading a list of southwestern Gaelic nobility.

The gathering also assisted David’s ambitions against the new and weak King of the English, Stephen. Galwegian contingents are recorded in several sources as being present during the subsequent campaign and at the defeat of David at the Battle of the Standard in 1138. We cannot know for sure if Fergus was there, but the peace treaty made between David and Stephen in 1139 stipulated that one of Fergus’ sons (certainly Uchtred) be given as a hostage.

Fergus and Malcolm IV

In 1153, King David died. The personal relationship of superiority which David had enjoyed over Fergus was not meant to apply to the former’s successors. David was succeeded by the boy-king, Máel Coluim IV. Yet Fergus initially seems to have had a good relationship with the new King. In 1156, Fergus captured and handed over Máel Coluim’s rival Domnall mac Maíl Choluim, the MacHeth pretender to the Kingdom of the Scots.

Still, by the end of the decade Fergus and King Máel Coluim were not friends. In 1157, the boy-king’s position in southern Scotland was weakened, when he was forced by King Henry II to hand over Cumbria and Northumbria. It was probably this blow to Máel Coluim’s power that gave Fergus his chance to reassert his independence. The Chronicle of Holyrood reports that Máel Coluim led three campaigns against Fergus in 1160. The context was that Máel Coluim had been in France with his lord Henry II, and had just returned to Scotland. Many of the native Scottish magnates besieged Máel Coluim at Perth upon his return. However, Fergus was not one of them, and any connection between the so-called Revolt of the Earls and Fergus has no evidence to substantiate it. On the other hand, it is highly suggestive that this revolt occurred in exactly same year as the invasion of Galloway.

Fergus and the Meic Fergusa

Fergus’ later years were mired by the squabbling of his two sons. Perhaps too Fergus’ longevity was testing his sons’ patience. Walter Daniel reported that, in relation to the mid-1150s, Fergus was:

“… incensed against his sons, and the sons raging against the father and each other … The King of Scotland could not subdue, nor the bishop pacify their mutual hatreds, rancour and tyranny. Sons were against father, father against sons, brother against brother, daily polluting the unhappy little land with bloodshed.” (Walter Daniel, ‘‘Life of Ailred’’, 45-6; quoted in Oram, pp. 78-9)

Whether because of Gille Brigte and Uchtred, or because of Máel Coluim’s campaigns, Fergus was forced into retirement, becoming a monk at Holyrood Abbey in 1160. He died the following year.

Legend of Fergus

Fergus' descendants, when recounting their genealogy, invariably dated their lines back to Fergus. Fergus was one of the few secular Gaelic figures of the High Middle Ages to attain a legendary status in the wider world of Christendom.

Roman de Fergus

Around the beginning of the 13th century, someone in Scotland composed in French an Arthurian romance dedicated to the Galwegian King. This is the so-called Roman de Fergus. The Roman de Fergus, as it happens, is the earliest piece of non-Celtic vernacular literature to emerge from Scotland. According to tradition, the author was a man called Guillaume le Clerc (William the Clerk). Certain scholars have hypothesized that it was written for the inauguration of Fergus' descendant, Alan mac Lochlainn (or perhaps more appropriately in this context, Alan fils de Roland). More recently, D.D.R. Owen, a St Andrews scholar of medieval French, has proposed that the author was William Malveisin. William was at one point a royal clerk, to King William I before becoming Bishop of Glasgow and St Andrews. The Roman gratifies Fergus' descendants by making him a Perceval-like knight of King Arthur.

The Roman circulated all over the Frankish world of northwestern Europe for centuries to come. It is a tribute to Fergus' legendary status as a monarch and as the founding father of Galloway.

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Died as a Monk at Holyrood Abbey.

Witness to a charter of David I of Scotland.

DATE 7 Jul 1136

Per Weis' "Ancestral Roots. . ." (12A:26), he is trteated in SP IV135-137.

SP says that Fergus is the first lord or prince of Galloway on record (p.135). S P knows of no ancestry for Fergus. He is first mentioned on 7 July 1136 as a witness to a charter of David I. He died in 1161 at Holyrood Abbey as a monk (p.136).

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Fergus, Prince of Lord of Galloway, flourished in the reign of David I. He became a canon regular in the abbey of Holyroodhouse. Left two sons, 1. Gilbert, ancestor of the Earls of Carrick. 2. Uchtred. [Ref: Peerage of Scotland by John Philip Wood, Edinburgh, 1813, v1 p612-13] note: Prince of Lord of?... Curt At some remote era the Lord of Galloway became dependant upon the king of Scotland, and Fergus, the first known prince of the province, was an attendant on certain state occasions at the royal court, whilst he acknowledged the superiority of his contemporary David by the payment of a certain tribute in time of peace, and by a contingent of turbulent soldiery in war; resembling, in other respects, an ally rather than a vassal, and enjoying a considerable degee of independence within his hereditary dominions. He married Elizabeth, a natural daughter of Henry the First, and Afreca, his daughter by this union, became the wife of Olave and the mother of Godfrey, kings of Man and the Isles. [note: "Chron. St. Crucis" 1160. The names of Fergus and his son, Uchtred, occur amongst the witnesses to the grant of Perdeyc on the 7th July 1136. "Reg. Glasg.", No. 3, 7." [Ref: Scotland under her Early Kings by E. William Robertson, Edinburgh, 1862, p356-357] In Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland; a Cistercian house founded in 1142 by King David I and Fergus Lord of Galloway for monks brought from Rievaulx in Yorkshire. The name (Dun-nan-droigheann) means "fort of the thorn-bushes", and the monastery commands a fine view of the Solway Firth. [Ref: Catholic Encyclopedia] History of the Lands and Their Owners in Galloway, by P. H. M'Kerlie, New Edition, 1906 v1: p110: Beyond the statement that Fergus was forty-two years of age in 1138, nothing is known to indicate who he was. He was a courtier of David I, his name appearing in several charters granted by that monarch. He seems to have enjoyed considerable eminence, having for his wife Elizabeth, bastard daughter of Henry I of England. p111-112: ...the contention that Fergus was the descendant or next of kin of Dovenald, son of Dunegal, is entirely erroneous. That he was a native of rank in Galloway, and succeeded by lineal descent to the position he held, is not supported by a single fact of any kind, and is opposed to a truthful history of the district. Neither could he have held supreme power over Galloway as a prince, but only as a governor, in the same way as Cumberland--then a portion of Scotland--was held by the Meschines family, or until deposed by the Norsemen. The Moemaer's position when they held the northern provinces of Scotland was not analagous, for they had great power with weak kings. Fergus was under David I, who was a powerful King. David was surrounded by unscrupulous adventurers from England, usually termed Anglo-Normans, but the progenitors of many were called the scum of Europe. Fergus appears to have been appointed Governor after the disasterous battle of the Standard, fought on Catton Moor, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, in 1138, in which the Galwegians served under the king, with other levies from all parts of Scotland and Cumberland. The united army is called 26,000 men. It is mentioned that the Galwegians claimed as a right to lead the van as the principal fighting men; but their right to this honour has never been satisfactorily explained. One thing seems certain, that they were badly commanded, which no doubt caused their conduct not to be altogether to their credit, although at first brave in the extreme. From bad generalship they were exposed to, and suffered greatly from, the English archers, without being allowed to close with them. Thereby they had most of their fighting men slain--their lines got broken and they retreated. Weakened and dispirited, no more favorable opportunity could have been offered for the king to place a stranger over them, to check their turbulent disposition and wild habits. During the seventeen years he was Prince of Cumbria, David received the support of all the adventurers on the English border, and is said by all contemporary authorities to have been "terrible only to the men of Galloway." As king, after the battle, he had them fully in his power, and exercised it by placing a governor over them. Fergus, on appointment, at once commanded, as no native would have done, to build religious houses in connection with the English Church, alias Church of Rome, in opposition to the native Celtic Irish-Scottish Church of Iona. He was evidently of Norse descent, and one of King David's own school, or so appeared so as to ingratiate himself. The "Sankt King," as he is called, or, as elsewhere, "that Prince of Mink-feeders and Prime Scottish Saint of the Romish Calendar which procured him Canonisation from the Pope," was surrounded, as already stated, by adventurers from England, preferring them to his Scottish subjects. There can be no doubt on the mind of any close reader and searcher of history that Fergus was appointed governor about A.D. 1139, after peace was concluded between Kings David of Scotland and Stephen of England. p112: It is necessary to repeat here that Fergus married Elizabeth, the bastard daughter of King Henry I of England. This King ruled from 1100 to 1135. Unless Fergus had been in England more or less time, he could not have become acquainted with her and married before he became Governor of Galloway, otherwise his descendants--three generations--would have had very short lives. Also, had he been a native, from the position apparently held from the first, he would have led the Galwegians at the Battle of the Standard, instead of Ulgric and Dovenald. That Fergus was married long before his connection with Galloway, supported by the facts that Olaf, King of Man, began to reign in 1102, and that he had married Affrica, the daughter of Fergus, but previously had three sons and several daughters by his concubines, one of the latter becoming the wife of Somerled, the ruler of Argyll. p113: In summary, Fergus, first founded c1138 St. Mary's Priory at the Isle of Trahil or Trayl, Kirkcudbright, in token of his reconciliation with King David, whom he had sorely displeased, arising it is believed, from complicity in the rebellion of Angus, Earl of Moran, in 1130, when David was absent. p114: After his settlement in Galloway he built abbeys and chapels in different areas and brought monks from England and abroad to occupy them. During the tenure of Fergus in the reign of David, nothing special occurred worthy of mention; but after the death of the King (24th March, 1153), and while his son and successor, Malcolm, was a minor, Fergus, in 1160, with much ingratitude, threw off his allegiance, joining Somerled the ruler of Argyll, who had been in open rebellion, and they ravaged the west coast. Somerled was slain at Renfrew in 1164. It is stated that they counted on the aid of the North or Norse-men to place William of Egremont, the great-grandson of Malcolm Caenmore, on the throne. In regard to Somerled, as it is a disputed point, we will not press it here, beyond stating that if he were not of Norse lineage on both sides (i.e. father and mother) he was certainly closely connected with them by blood. This union with Fergus and Somerled is another link in the evidence that Fergus was of Norse origin. They were defeated, and Fergus either resigned, or, as more probable, had taken from him the same year (1160) the governorship of Galloway. He took refuge in Holyrood Abbey as a canon regular, and died in 1161.

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Fergus of Galloway was King, or Lord, of Galloway from an unknown date (probably in the 1110s), until his death in 1161. He was the founder of that "sub-kingdom," the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys (e.g. Dundrennan Abbey), and much else besides. He became a legend after his death, although his actual life is clouded in mystery.

Origins of Fergus

Fergus of Galloway first appears in the historical sources in 1136. His origins and his parentage, however, are something of a mystery. Over the years, Fergus’ origins have been the subject of much discussion and even more fanciful fictional elaboration by historical writers.

One theory is that Fergus was descended from a great pedigree of Gall-Gaidhel kings, who might have been known as Clann Dubgaill, claiming descent from a certain Dubgall. Adding believability to this view is the fact that the chief branch of descendants of Somairle mac Gilla Brigte took the name MacDougall, while the cognate name MacDouall was popular in Galloway. However, since the Argyll name comes only from after Fergus' time, this theory cannot be accepted.

A similar theory traces Fergus from a certain man called "Gilli," a Gall-Gaidhel "Jarl" of the Western Isles. The reasoning in this case is that the Roman de Fergus, an early 13th century French language Arthurian romance, names its eponymous hero's father as Soumilloit (Somairle). The argument is that the latter was descended from the Jarl Gilli, and therefore that both Somairles had Jarl Gilli as a common ancestor. Likewise, yet another theory identifies Fergus' father with the obscure Sumarlidi Hauldr, a character in the Orkneyinga Saga.

Writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had advanced the idea that Fergus was the childhood companion of David I at the Anglo-Norman court of King Henry I of England. This idea was given credence by his marriage to the daughter of King Henry I, his good relationship with David, and his friendliness towards Anglo-Norman culture.

In reality such a relationship is pure fiction. Fergus was almost certainly a native Galwegian. The Roman de Fergus may not be entitled to general reliability in matters of historical correctness, but Soumilloit is unlikely to have been totally made up. Moreover, Somairle (anglicized either as Somerled or Sorley) is a thoroughly Gall-Gaidhel name, and makes perfect sense in the context. In light of the absence of other evidence, we have to accept that Fergus' father probably bore the name Somairle. Other than that, we simply cannot say anything about Fergus' origins for sure.

Origins of the Galloway Kingdom

Contrary to some popular conceptions, there is no evidence that Galloway was ever part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Thus Galloway (west of the Nith at least) lay outside of the traditional area claimed by the Kingdom of Alba, Strathclyde's successor state in the area. Galloway, often defined as all of the area to the south and west of the Clyde and west of the River Annan, lay outside of traditional Scottish territory. Though it formed part of the northern mainland of Britain, Galloway was just as much a part of the Irish Sea; part of that "Hiberno-Norse" world of the Gall-Gaidhel lords of the Isle of Man, Dublin and the Hebrides.

For instance, the ex-King of Dublin and Man, Echmarcach mac Ragnaill, had the title Rex Innarenn ("King of Rhinns") attributed to him on his death in 1065. The western sections of Galloway had been firmly aligned with the Isle of Man, and Norse and Gaelic-Norse settlement names from the 10th and 11th centuries are spread all along the coastal lands of south-western "Scotland" and north-western "England."

In the late 11th century, the Norwegian King Magnus III Berrføtt ("Barelegs") led a campaign of subjugation in the Irish Sea world. In 1097, he sent his vassal, Ingimundr, to take control of the Kingdom(s) of Man and the Isles. However, when this man was killed, Magnus himself launched the first of his two invasions, the campaigns of 1098-1099 and of 1102-1103. In the former campaign, he took control of the Western Isles of Scotland, and deposed King Lagmann of Man. (Incidentally, this campaign also brought him to Wales, where he killed the Earl of Chester and the Earl of Shrewsbury, who were at war with the Prince of Gwynedd). In this campaign, Magnus almost certainly brought Galloway under his suzerainty too. Magnus, moreover, gained the recognition of these conquests from the then-king of Alba, Etgair mac Maíl Coluim.

On his second campaign, Magnus went to Man, and with a huge fleet attacked Dublin and attempted to bring the submission of Muircertach mac Toirrdelbach, the Ui Briain King of Munster. The campaign resulted in an alliance between the two kings, and the arranged marriage of Magnus' son Siguðr to Muircertach's daughter Bláthmin. The alliance mitigated the threat of Domnall mac Lochlainn, King of Ailech, bringing stability to the Irish Sea world, and security to Magnus' new Irish Sea "Empire." However, it all went wrong when Magnus was killed on his way back to Norway on a minor raid in Ulster. Much of Magnus' work lay in ruins.

In the view of the main authority on medieval Galloway, Richard Oram, these events provide the key to understanding the origins of the Fergusian Kingdom of Galloway. It was this power vacuum, he suggests, that facilitated the creation of the Kingdom of Galloway, the kingdom which Fergus came to lead and apparently created. The Roman infers that Fergus' father, Somairle, was a poor warrior who benefitted greatly by marriage to a noblewoman, from whom Fergus inherited power. Perhaps then, Fergus' father was a self-made warrior who married into the House of Man; perhaps Fergus inherited and further consolidated his position, building the kingdom out of the ruins left by the death of Magnus Barelegs.

Marriage and the building of the Lordship

Fergus is known to have had in his lifetime two wives, the names of both being unknown. By these wives, though, three children are known:

   * Gille Brigte
   * Uchtred
   * Affraic

Western Galloway and 1st Marriage

Fergus' likely power base was the area of Galloway between the rivers Dee and Cree. It has been suggested by Oram that he advanced his power in the west through marriage to an unknown heiress. The primary basis of this reasoning is that upon Fergus' death, Gille Brigte got the western part. Gille Brigte was the older son, but because he was not the product of marriage to Fergus' royal wife, he was regarded as the lesser. The fact that he got the west when he should have gotten nothing has led Oram to believe that he got the west because of his mother.

England and Second Marriage

Fergus may have married an illegitimate daughter of Henri Beauclerc, King Henry I of England. Her name, however, is unknown. One of the candidates is Sibylla, the widow of King Alaxandair I mac Maíl Choluim of Scotland, but there is little evidence for this. Another candidate could be Elisabeth; but likewise, there is little evidence. If he did marry a daughter of Henry I, the marriage can be interpreted as part of the forward policy of Henry I in the northwest of his dominions and the Irish Sea zone in general, which was engineered in the second decade of the 12th century. It may have been during this time that Fergus began calling himself rex Galwitensium ("King of Galloway"). However, while his possible father-in-law lived, Fergus, like King David I of Scotland), seems to have remained a faithful "vassal" to Henry.

Marriage of Affraic to Man

As part of Fergus’ pretensions in the Irish Sea world, Fergus made himself the father-in-law of the Manx king by marrying off his daughter Affraic to King Óláfr I Gothfrithsson of Man (1114-1153). Óláfr was in many ways a client of the English and Scottish Kings, and so within this new Anglo-Gaelic Irish Sea system, Fergus could establish a dominant position. This position lasted until the death of Óláfr in 1153 at the hands of his brother’s sons, who had been brought up in Dublin, and were waiting in the wings. Reference Robert the Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland vol.4-p.430-Roger Howden calls Uctred,son of Fergus of Galloway, a cousin of King Henry II(gestahenrici secundi benedicici abbatis ed. stubbs rolls ser.i 80),a relationship which is best explained on the supposition that Fergus married a bastard daughter of Henry I. The suggestion in the Scots perrage,s.v. Galloway,that Gilbert, Uctred's brother, had a different mother is contradicted by cal.docs.scoti no.480,where King John calls Duncan, grandson of Fergus, cousin of Uctred, of Carrick his cousin, making Uctred and Gilbert brothers by the same mother.

[edit] Elevation of Whithorn

The Abbey of Dundrennan, founded by Fergus.

A related development was Fergus' resurrection of the Bishopric of Whithorn, an ancient Galwegian See first established by the expansionary Northumbrians under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York. The last Bishop of Whithorn, Beadwulf, had been noted in c. 803. Thereafter nothing is heard; and it is likely the Bishopric disappeared with Northumbrian power, a decline marked by the sack of York by the Danes in 867. In the following two and a half centuries, Galloway, if and where jurisdiction actually existed, seems to have been under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Man in the west, with Durham and Glasgow in the east.

In terms of the See's resurrection, we know that on 9 December 1125 Pope Honorius II wrote to the Bishop-elect of Whithorn, ordering him to appear before the Archbishop of York.[1] The would-be Bishop was a cleric called Gille Aldan (Gille Aldain), and the Archbishop was Thurstan. York had been coming under increasing pressure from the ambitions of Canterbury, and the northern English metropolitan had only two suffragans (Durham and Man). He needed three in fact to hold proper Archiepiscopal elections. It is likely that York and Fergus did a deal. The involvement of King David I can be discounted on the grounds of his anti-York policies, and his total inclination to appoint English or French clerics, and not Gaelic ones like Gille Aldan. The deal ensured the Galwegian church would not undermine Fergus’ independence of both Man or Scotland, and secured an identity for the new kingdom in the framework of northern Britain and the Isles.

A further point to be noted is that the sources record that the warrior-Bishop Wimund attacked another Bishop, an attack aimed to try and bring the other bishop under his control. Scholars such as Andrew MacDonald and Richard Oram agree that this Bishop was in fact Gille Aldan of Whithorn. It is likely then that the elevation of Whithorn incurred the wrath of the Bishop of the Isles, indicating perhaps something of the status of the Galwegian church before Fergus’ reign.

Fergus and David I

On Henry's death in late 1135, Fergus’ relationship with the Kings of the English could not be maintained. David I of Scotland, ruler of much of Scotland and northern England, assumed a position of dominance. The balance of power swung firmly in David’s favor. It was no longer possible to maintain a position of real independence from the Scottish king. It is at this point Fergus comes into contemporary sources. In summer 1136, David I was in attendance at the consecration of Bishop John’s cathedral in Glasgow. Here was a big gathering of Scottish and Norman nobles. Fergus is recorded as having been in attendance too (with his son Uchtred), leading a list of southwestern Gaelic nobility.

The gathering also assisted David’s ambitions against the new and weak King of the English, Stephen. Galwegian contingents are recorded in several sources as being present during the subsequent campaign and at the defeat of David at the Battle of the Standard in 1138. We cannot know for sure if Fergus was there, but the peace treaty made between David and Stephen in 1139 stipulated that one of Fergus’ sons (certainly Uchtred) be given as a hostage.

[edit] Fergus and Malcolm IV

In 1153, King David died. The personal relationship of superiority which David had enjoyed over Fergus was not meant to apply to the former’s successors. David was succeeded by the boy-king, Máel Coluim IV. Yet Fergus initially seems to have had a good relationship with the new King. In 1156, Fergus captured and handed over Máel Coluim’s rival Domnall mac Maíl Choluim, the MacHeth pretender to the Kingdom of the Scots.

Still, by the end of the decade Fergus and King Máel Coluim were not friends. In 1157, the boy-king’s position in southern Scotland was weakened, when he was forced by King Henry II to hand over Cumbria and Northumbria. It was probably this blow to Máel Coluim’s power that gave Fergus his chance to reassert his independence. The Chronicle of Holyrood reports that Máel Coluim led three campaigns against Fergus in 1160. The context was that Máel Coluim had been in France with his lord Henry II, and had just returned to Scotland. Many of the native Scottish magnates besieged Máel Coluim at Perth upon his return. However, Fergus was not one of them, and any connection between the so-called Revolt of the Earls and Fergus has no evidence to substantiate it. On the other hand, it is highly suggestive that this revolt occurred in exactly same year as the invasion of Galloway.

[edit] Fergus and the Meic Fergusa

Fergus’ later years were mired by the squabbling of his two sons. Perhaps too Fergus’ longevity was testing his sons’ patience. Walter Daniel reported that, in relation to the mid-1150s, Fergus was:

“… incensed against his sons, and the sons raging against the father and each other … The King of Scotland could not subdue, nor the bishop pacify their mutual hatreds, rancour and tyranny. Sons were against father, father against sons, brother against brother, daily polluting the unhappy little land with bloodshed.” (Walter Daniel, ‘‘Life of Ailred’’, 45-6; quoted in Oram, pp. 78-9)

Whether because of Gille Brigte and Uchtred, or because of Máel Coluim’s campaigns, Fergus was forced into retirement, becoming a monk at Holyrood Abbey in 1160. He died the following year.

[edit] Legend of Fergus

Fergus' descendants, when recounting their genealogy, invariably dated their lines back to Fergus. Fergus was one of the few secular Gaelic figures of the High Middle Ages to attain a legendary status in the wider world of Christendom.

[edit] Roman de Fergus

Around the beginning of the 13th century, someone in Scotland composed in French an Arthurian romance dedicated to the Galwegian King. This is the so-called Roman de Fergus. The Roman de Fergus, as it happens, is the earliest piece of non-Celtic vernacular literature to emerge from Scotland. According to tradition, the author was a man called Guillaume le Clerc (William the Clerk). Certain scholars have hypothesized that it was written for the inauguration of Fergus' descendant, Alan mac Lochlainn (or perhaps more appropriately in this context, Alan fils de Roland). More recently, D.D.R. Owen, a St Andrews scholar of medieval French, has proposed that the author was William Malveisin. William was at one point a royal clerk, to King William I before becoming Bishop of Glasgow and St Andrews. The Roman gratifies Fergus' descendants by making him a Perceval-like knight of King Arthur.

The Roman circulated all over the Frankish world of northwestern Europe for centuries to come. It is a tribute to Fergus' legendary status as a monarch and as the founding father of Galloway. The medieval Dutch Ferguut and its source, Guillaume le Clerc's Fergus were recently studied by Dutch scholars Willem Kuiper and Roel Zemel. Both deny a Scottish author and origin. In their opinion Guillaume was someone from the continent (Liege?) who once travelled to Edinborough and made literary use of Lothian and Scotland: land of the Escu (shield).

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Fergus, Lord of Galloway, exercised, in the reign of King David I (also our ancestor), an almost independent power over the southwest of Scotland.

He married Elizabeth de Normandie, daughter of King Henri I of England and his unnamed mistress, before 1100.

Fergus died in 1161 (on the other hand, he might have died on 12 May 1166 at Holyrood Abbey).

See "My Lines"

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p371.htm#i7937 )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/index.htm )

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Fergus flourished in the end of the reign of King Malcolm Canmore and lived until near the end of that of King Malcolm IV who died 1165. He was rich and powerful and had been engaged with the English against his own country but at last submitted and delivered his eldest son Uchtred to the King as an hostage for his good behavior. He founded the monastery of Dundrennan in 1142, also the Priory of Whitehorn and made several donations to the monastery of Holyrood-house, etc. He at last became a religieuse, retired to the last named monastery in 1160 and died soon after.

-------------------- Fergus of Galloway was born circa 1090 in Carrick, Dundonald, Argyleshire, Scotland, and died 12 May 1161 in Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, at age 71. He was buried in Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Scotland. Fergus married Elizabeth, Princess of England, daughter of Henry I 'Beauclerc,' King of England [1100-1135] and Matilda 'Edith' Princess of Scotland, circa 1115. Elizabeth was born in 1095 and died at Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

He was the founder of that "sub-kingdom," the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys (e.g. Dundrennan Abbey), and much else besides. He became a legend after his death, although his actual life is clouded in mystery.

One theory is that Fergus was descended from a great pedigree of Gall-Gaidhel kings, who might have been known as Clann Dubgaill, claiming descent from a certain Dubgall. Adding believability to this view is the fact that the chief branch of descendants of Somairle mac Gilla Brigte took the name MacDougall, while the cognate name MacDouall was popular in Galloway. However, since the Argyll name comes only from after Fergus' time, this theory is difficult to accept.

A similar theory traces Fergus from a certain man called "Gilli," a Gall-Gaidhel "Jarl" of the Western Isles. The reasoning in this case is that the Roman de Fergus, an early 13th century French language Arthurian romance, names its eponymous hero's father as Soumilloit (Somairle). The argument is that the latter was descended from the Jarl Gilli, and therefore that both Somairles had Jarl Gilli as a common ancestor. Likewise, yet another theory identifies Fergus' father with the obscure Sumarlidi Hauldr, a character in the Orkneyinga Saga.

Another theory is that Fergus was the childhood companion of David I at the Anglo-Norman court of King Henry I of England. This idea was given credence by his marriage to the daughter of King Henry I, his good relationship with David, and his friendliness towards Anglo-Norman culture. In reality such a relationship is pure fiction. Fergus was almost certainly a native Galwegian. The Roman de Fergus may not be entitled to general reliability in matters of historical correctness, but Soumilloit is unlikely to have been totally made up. Moreover, Somairle (anglicized either as Somerled or Sorley) is a thoroughly Gall-Gaidhel name. Clan MacDowall claims that Prince Fergus of Galloway was the grandfather-in-law of King Somerled of Argyll

On Henry's death in late 1135, Fergus’ relationship with the Kings of England could not be maintained. David I of Scotland, ruler of much of Scotland and northern England, assumed a position of dominance. The balance of power swung firmly in David’s favor. It is at this point Fergus comes into contemporary sources. In summer 1136, David I was in attendance at the consecration of Bishop John’s cathedral in Glasgow. Here was a big gathering of Scottish and Norman nobles. Fergus is recorded as having been in attendance too (with his son Uchtred), leading a list of southwestern Gaelic nobility.

The gathering also assisted David’s ambitions against the new and weak King of the English, Stephen. Galwegian contingents are recorded in several sources as being present during the subsequent campaign and at the defeat of David by the levies of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire at the Battle of the Standard in 1138. We cannot know for sure if Fergus was there, but the peace treaty made between David and Stephen in 1139 stipulated that one of Fergus’ sons (certainly Uchtred) be given as a hostage.

In 1153, King David died and was succeeded by the boy-king, Máel Coluim IV. Fergus initially seems to have had a good relationship with the new King. In 1156, Fergus captured and handed over Máel Coluim’s rival Domnall mac Maíl Choluim, the MacHeth pretender to the Kingdom of the Scots.

Still, by the end of the decade Fergus and King Máel Coluim were not friends. In 1157, the boy-king’s position in southern Scotland was weakened, when he was forced by King Henry II to hand over Cumbria and Northumbria. It was probably this blow to Máel Coluim’s power that gave Fergus his chance to reassert his independence. The Chronicle of Holyrood reports that Máel Coluim led three campaigns against Fergus in 1160. The context was that Máel Coluim (who was an English feudatory in his capacity as Earl of Huntingdon) had been in France with his lord Henry II, and had just returned to Scotland. Many of the native Scottish magnates besieged Máel Coluim at Perth upon his return. However, Fergus was not one of them, and any connection between the so-called Revolt of the Earls and Fergus has no evidence to substantiate it. On the other hand, it is highly suggestive that this revolt occurred in exactly same year as the invasion of Galloway.

Fergus’ later years were mired by the squabbling of his two sons. Perhaps too Fergus’ longevity was testing his sons’ patience. Whether because of Gille Brigte and Uchtred, or because of Máel Coluim’s campaigns, Fergus was forced into retirement, becoming a monk at Holyrood Abbey in 1160. He died the following year.

Some sources list two wives for Fergus. The first wife was supposedly an unknown heiress from west of the Rivers Dee and Cree, the marriage meant to increase and solidify his power to the west. The proof given for this possible marriage is that Gilbert (Gille Brigte), the older son, but not the product of marriage to Fergus' royal wife, was regarded as the lesser. The fact that he got the west when he should have got nothing has led some historians to believe that he got the west because of his mother.

Fergus married a daughter of Henry I 'Beauclerc,' King of England. This daughter may have been illegitimate. She is generally accepted to be Elizabeth, Princess of England. If you accept that Elizabeth was the only wife, then she was the mother of all of Fergus's children. If you accept that there were two wives, she was the mother of all but Gilbert.

Children of Fergus of Galloway:

  • Gilbert (or Gille Brigte) of Galloway, Lord of Galloway was born circa 1125 in Wigtown, Galloway, Scotland and died 1 Jan 1185 in Carrick, Argyleshire, Scotland at age 60. Gilbert married UNKNOWN circa 1145. She was born circa 1125 and died at Carrick, Argyleshire, Scotland.
  • Utrech of Galloway was born circa 1120 in Carrick, Dundonald, Argyleshire, Scotland, died 22 Sep 1174, murdered in Loch Fergus, Scotland at age 54, and was buried of Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland.
  • Daughter of Fergus Of GALLOWAY was born circa 1115 in Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and died in Scotland. She married Thomas DE CULWEN circa 1135. Thomas was born circa 1110 in Scotland and died in Scotland.
  • Affraic of Galloway, was married to King Óláfr I Gothfrithsson of Man (1114–1153), to solidify her father's position of power over the Irish Sea.

Links to additional material:

-------------------- Fergus of Galloway was King, or Lord, of Galloway from an unknown date (probably in the 1110s), until his death in 1161. He was the founder of that "sub-kingdom," the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys (e.g. Dundrennan Abbey, and much else besides. He became a legend after his death, although his actual life is clouded in mystery. Wikipedia. -------------------- About Fergus of Galloway, Lord of Galloway Fergus' parents are uncertain. He has been linked to: Dolphin Maldred, Prince of Scotland, who is brother of Maldred Dunkeld, currently added as father. Maldred is listed elsewhere as father of Cospatric, First Earl of Dunbar, this seems to have confused the lines. He is also linked to Patrick de Home, of the Hirsell and Greenlaw as his father, as he seems to have been born in 1130 he can be discounted.

Reliable sources are needed to sort this out.

Fergus of Galloway was King, or Lord, of Galloway from an unknown date (probably in the 1110s), until his death in 1161. He was the founder of Galloway, probably in the space left when the Norwegian King Magnus III Berrføtt ("Barelegs") led a campaign of subjugation in the Irish Sea world.[1]

Magnus himself launched the first of his two invasions, the campaigns of 1098-1099 and of 1102-1103. In the former campaign, he took control of the Western Isles of Scotland, and deposed King Lagmann of Man. (Incidentally, this campaign also brought him to Wales, where he killed the Earl of Chester and the Earl of Shrewsbury, who were at war with the Prince of Gwynedd). In this campaign, Magnus almost certainly brought Galloway under his control. Magnus, moreover, gained the recognition of these conquests from the then-king of Alba, Etgair mac Maíl Coluim.[1]

Fergus was almost certainly a native Galwegian his likely power base was the area of Galloway between the rivers Dee and Cree. It may have been after his marriage that Fergus began calling himself rex Galwitensium ("King of Galloway"). However, while his possible father-in-law lived, Fergus, like King David I of Scotland), seems to have remained a faithful "vassal" to Henry.[1]

Fergus, Lord of Galloway gained the title of Lord of Galloway.[2]

Fergus was the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys (e.g. Dundrennan Abbey). On 9 December 1125 Pope Honorius II wrote to the Bishop-elect of Whithorn, ordering him to appear before the Archbishop of York. The would-be Bishop was a cleric called Gille Aldan (Gille Aldain), and the Archbishop was Thurstan. York had been coming under increasing pressure from the ambitions of Canterbury, and the northern English metropolitan had only two suffragans (Durham and Man). He needed three in fact to hold proper Archiepiscopal elections. It is likely that York and Fergus did a deal.

On Henry's death in late 1135, Fergus’ relationship with the Kings of the English could not be maintained. David I of Scotland, ruler of much of Scotland and northern England, assumed a position of dominance. The balance of power swung firmly in David’s favour. It is at this point Fergus comes into contemporary sources. In summer 1136, David I was in attendance at the consecration of Bishop John’s cathedral in Glasgow. Here was a big gathering of Scottish and Norman nobles. Fergus is recorded as having been in attendance too (with his son Uchtred), leading a list of southwestern Gaelic nobility.[1]

He is first mentioned on 7 July 1136 when he was a witness to a charter by Kind David granting lands in Perdeyc or Partick to the church of Glasgow.[3][4]

Fergus had three children: Uchtred (died 22 September 1174, murdered by his brothers son.[5] )[6], and Affreca, who married Óláf Godredsson (d.1153), king of Man[7][8], by his marriage to an illegitimate daughter, Joan or Elizabeth, of Henry I 'Beauclerc', King of England[9], and another son, Gilbert, ancestor of the Earls of Carrick (died 1 January 1185)[10], who might have been from a previous relationship. There are disputes about who this Elizabeth was and a suggestion, unproven, that she was his mistress before they married and mother of all three children. Hoveden and Benedict Abbas both refer to the eldest son, Uchtred, as a cousin or relative of Henry II.[11] This is not applied to Gilbert.

In 1153, King David died and was succeeded by the boy-king, Máel Coluim IV. Fergus initially seems to have had a good relationship with the new King. In 1156, Fergus captured and handed over Máel Coluim’s rival Domnall mac Maíl Choluim, the MacHeth pretender to the Kingdom of the Scots.[1]

Fergus’ later years were mired by the squabbling of his two sons. Perhaps his longevity was testing his sons’ patience. Walter Daniel reported that, in relation to the mid-1150s, Fergus was: “… incensed against his sons, and the sons raging against the father and each other … The King of Scotland could not subdue, nor the bishop pacify their mutual hatreds, rancour and tyranny. Sons were against father, father against sons, brother against brother, daily polluting the unhappy little land with bloodshed.”[12] In 1157, Máel Coluim’s position in southern Scotland was weakened by King Henry II. It was probably this blow to Máel Coluim’s power that gave Fergus his chance to reassert his independence. The Chronicle of Holyrood reports that Máel Coluim led three campaigns against Fergus in 1160.[1]

Whether because of Gille Brigte and Uchtred, or royal invasions into Galloway by Mael Coluim IV, Fergus resigned his lordship, becoming a monk at Holyrood Abbey in 1160. He died the following year in 1161[13] Fergus retired into Holyrood Abbey and died there on 12 May 1161.[14][2] [15] (on the other hand, he might have died as a Monk on 12 May 1166 at Holyrood Abbey). ‘King Malcolm three times led an army into Galloway’[16] ‘Fergus prince of Galloway took the canonical habit in the church of Holyrood in Edinburgh, and gave to (the canons) the vill that is called Dunrod’[16] He became a legend after his death, although his actual life is clouded in mystery.

Fergus was grandfather of Godred II, king of Man. 

Child of Fergus, Lord of Galloway Gilbert of Galloway+ d. 1 Jan 11851, in Gaelic Gille Brigte, in Latin Gilebto Children of Fergus, Lord of Galloway and Elizabeth (?) Uhtred, Lord of Galloway+ d. 22 Sep 1174, or Uchtred[1] Affreca, or Affraic, or Affricam, or Aufrica who married Óláf Godredsson (d.1153)[17]

 Sources 

1.↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Fergus of Galloway 2.↑ 2.0 2.1 G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 55. 3.↑ The Scots Peerage, founded on Wood's edition, Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume 4, p 135 4.↑ Reg. Epis. Glasguensis, 9 5.↑ The Scots Peerage, founded on Wood's edition, Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume 4, p 137 6.↑ Scottish Nobility 7.↑ The Scots Peerage, founded on Wood's edition, Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume 4, p 136 8.↑ Scottish Nobility 9.↑ Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 49. 10.↑ The Scots Peerage, founded on Wood's edition, Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume 2, p 422 11.↑ The Scots Peerage, founded on Wood's edition, Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume 4, p136 12.↑ Walter Daniel, ‘‘Life of Ailred’’, 45-6; quoted in Oram, pp. 78-9 13.↑ The Scots Peerage, founded on Wood's edition, Sir James Balfour Paul, Volume 4, p 136 14.↑ R.D. Oram, 'Fergus, lord of Galloway', ODNB, xix, 339-40; Fergus, lord of Galloway 15.↑ PoMS, no. 244 (http://db.poms.ac.uk/record/person/244/; accessed 21 December 2013) 16.↑ 16.0 16.1 A Scottish Chronicle known as the Chronicle of Holyrood, ed. Marjorie Ogilvie Anderson with Alan Orr Anderson. Scottish History Society, 3rd series, vol. 30 (Edinburgh, 1938). 17.↑ Oram, Richard Duncan (1988), The lordship of Galloway c. 1000 to c. 1250 (PhD thesis), University of St Andrews. 1988 p. 79. See also: Anderson, Alan Orr, ed. (1922), Early sources of Scottish history: a.d. 500 to 1286 1922 p. 137. • The Peerage • See his history at: "Origins of Prince Fergus" by Dr. Fergus Day Hort Macdowall of Garthland, http://members.tripod.com/leomcdowell/id23.htm • Clan MacDougal

 Notes 

Wikipedia References

Anderson, Alan O., ed. (500 – 1286), Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers A.D. 500 to 1286, London: David Nutt (published 1908), p. 159, http://books.google.com/books?id=WMZ_AYkrTWEC

Guillaume le Clerc, Fergus of Galloway, tr. D.D.R. Owen, (London, 1991)

McDonald, R.A., Outlaws of Medieval Scotland: Challenges to the Canmore Kings, 1058-1266, (East Linton, 2003)

Oram, Richard, The Lordship of Galloway, (Edinburgh, 2000)

Owen, D.D.R., The Reign of William the Lion: Kingship and Culture, 1143-1214, (East Linton, 1997) • Roman de Fergus

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Fergus of Galloway's Timeline

1090
1090
Isle of Man
1099
1099
Age 9
Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland
1111
1111
- 1161
Age 21
Galloway, Scotland
1115
1115
Age 25
Galloway, Dumfries, Scotland
1118
1118
Age 28
Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland
1122
1122
Age 32
1124
1124
Age 34
Row Castle, Galloway, Bedrule, Scotland
1124
Age 34
Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland
1126
1126
Age 36
Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland