Alwyn, 1st Earl of Lennox

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Alwyn de Levenax, 1st Earl of Lennox

Also Known As: "Alwyn Oge /Lennox/"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Inchmurrin Isle, Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Death: circa 1199 (61-77)
Immediate Family:

Son of Muiredach mac Muredach, Mormaer of Levenax (Lennox) and dau MacArkyl
Husband of Unknown Oge
Father of Alwyn "The Younger" de Levenax, 2nd Earl of Lennox; Eth of Lennox; nn MacMaidouern and dau. de Levenax
Brother of Eth of de Levenax

Occupation: 1st Earl of Lennox
Managed by: Shirley Marie Caulk
Last Updated:

About Alwyn, 1st Earl of Lennox

Notes ◦1 - The first recorded Earl of Lennox was Alwyn MacArkyll who was elevated to the position of Earl by King Malcolm IV Cunmore. The earldom was established on lands granted by King Malcolm III to Alwyn's grandfather, Arkyll, a Saxon lord of Nothumberland, son of Aykfrith.

Alwyn, last Mormaer and first Earl of Lennox , who was born circa 1125 and died before 1177/78 when King William the Lion put the earldom under the wardship of his brother David, later first Earl of Huntingdon.
2 - From the territory of Levenach which originally belonged to Celtic Chiefs, the first being Alwin MacMuredach, MacMaldouen, Mormaer of Levenach. This Alwin had several sons, the 5th son was Aulay de Faslane whose descendant, Allan de Faslane became the Bailie of Lennox. Gilchrist, the 7th son of Alwin, founded the clan MacFarlane.
[ ]
3 - Sources disagree about the ancestry of the first Earl, some identifying him as Celtic others as Northumbrian. We show what is reported in The Complete Peerage (and, on the male line, broadly supported by The Scots Peerage) which effectively combines those roots as it reports (as does John Guthre Smith) that Alwyn Mor, maternal grandfather of the first Earl, was the son of Arkil (Arkyll) who fled to Scotland from Northumberland in about 1070 following the Norman Conquest.
4 - LENNOX, a name given to a large district in Dumbartonshire and Stirlingshire, which was erected into an earidom in the latter half of the 12th century. It embraced the ancient sheriffdom of Dumbarton and nineteen parishes with the whole of the lands round Loch Lomond, formerly Loch Leven, and the river of that name which glides into the estuary of the Clyde at the ancient castle of Dumbarton.
On this river Leven, at Balloch, was the seat of Alwin, first earl of Lennox. It is probable that he was of Celtic descent, but the records are silent as to his part in history; that he was earl at all is only proved from the charters of his son, another Alwin.
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5 - The Mormaer of Lennox or Earl of Lennox was the ruler of the long-lasting provincial Mormaerdom / Earldom of Lennox in the Medieval Kingdom of the Scots. The first Mormaer is usually regarded as Ailin I (also Alpin, Alun or Alwin), but the genealogy of the Mormaers gives earlier names. The last Mormaer of the native line was Isabella, who married Muireadhach Stewart, the Duke of Albany, and died in 1458 .
The recent work of Cynthia Neville and Michael Brown has made Lennox perhaps the best understood native scottish Mormaerdom.
After the extinction of the Lennox line, the Scottish Peerage title of Earl of Lennox was granted to John Stewart, Lord Darnley. It has been "created" six times, becoming extinct every time. The Earl of Lennox was elevated to Duke of Lennox in 1581.
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6 - Mormaer Ailâin I of Lennox , also Alâun or Alwin, ruled Lennox sometime before 1178 . He is an obscure figure, known only in two sources, and remains characterless. It is not certain that he was ever recognized as a Mormaer of Lennox , although one source does call him that. In the 1170s , Lennox was in the nominal possession of David , the brother of King William I . David was given the territory as a fief of the crown in 1178.
However, the land was restored to a native magnet, Ailin's son Ailâin , and recognized as a Mormaer. The reasons for this are unknown. Perhaps the crown had never really controlled it; or perhaps, the frontier region of Lennox lost its importance after the defeat and death of Somhairle mac Gille Bhrigdhe. Part of the reason was undoubtedly the promotion of David to the Earldom of Huntingdon .
[ ] [3, 4]


Sources 1.[S498] The Complete Peerage vol.VII,p.586

2.[S492], (Website defunct as at 18 Mar 2008)

3.[S524] "The House of Lennox", Chevalier Terrance Gach MacFarlane, p2 (Reliability: 3)

4.[S541], Peter Barns-Graham, 3 - Lennox1 (Reliability: 3

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Alwyn, 1st Earl of Lennox's Timeline

Inchmurrin Isle, Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Age 32
Age 35
Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Age 40
Age 69