Kenneth, 4th Earl of Sutherland

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Kenneth Sutherland, 4th Earl of Sutherland

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Sutherland, Scotland
Death: July 19, 1333 (50-58)
Battle of Halidon Hill, Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland, Scotland (Killed at the Scottish defeat by the English of Halidon Hill )
Immediate Family:

Son of William Moray, 2nd Earl of Sutherland and Lady Joanna Sutherland
Husband of Margaret of Mar, Lady Sutherland (4th)
Father of William Sutherland, Sr., 5th Earl of Sutherland and Eustachia Sutherland
Brother of William Sutherland, 3rd Earl of Sutherland
Half brother of Kenneth Sutherland

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About Kenneth, 4th Earl of Sutherland,_4th_Earl_of_Sutherland Page 5 - No.17

(17) Kenneth, fourth Earl of Sutherland, B-P killed at Halidon Hill 20th July 1333. He married Mary, daughter of Donald, tenth Earl of Mar

Kenneth, 4th Earl of Sutherland (son of William, 2nd Earl of Sutherland)

Kenneth (Sutherland), Earl of Sutherland [S.], only br. and h., suc. before 7 Dec. 1330, when he renounced all claims to various lands, debts and rights long in dispute in the past, in favour of Reginald, s. of the late Alan Moray of Culbin, granting him relief of his lands in Sutherland on account of the marriage of Gilbert Moray, Reginald's s., and Eustache, the Earl's first-born daughter.[1] He was one of the leaders, with Hugh, 4th Earl of Ross, of the Highlanders in the 4th line at the Battle of Halidon Hill, near Berwick, 19 July 1333, and was killed with him, Sir Archibald Douglas the Regent, and 3 other Earls.[2] in that defeat. He is said to have m. Mary, or Marjory,[3] widow of John (of Strathbogie), 9th Earl of Atholl [S.] (who was hanged in London, 7 Nov. 1306), and da. of Donald, 6th Earl of Mar [S.], by Helen, widow of Malcolm, 5th Earl of Fife [S.], and natural da. of Llewelly ap Griffith, Prince of Wales.

  • [1] Text in Sutherland Book, vol. iii, pp. 11-12.
  • [2] John (Campbell, Earl of Atholl, Malcolm, 5th Earl of Lennox, and the Regent's son-in-law, Alexander (Bruce), Earl of Carrick.
  • [3] Her sister Isabel or Maud was the 1st wife (m. circa 1295) of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, afterwards King Robert I.

White, G. H. (1953) The Complete Peerage, vol. XII. London: The St. Catherine Press.

Kenneth, fourth Earl of Sutherland, succeeded his brother some time before December 1330, but his tenure of the earldom was very brief. His career is unrecorded, almost the only public notice of him being the fact that he was one of the leaders of the reserve of the Scottish army at the battle of Halidon Hill 19 July 1333. There it is said he fought valiantly, and he and his fellow-commander, the Earl of Ross, were killed while leading their men against that wing of the English army in which was Edward Baliol. Earl Kenneth, according to Sir Robert Gordon, married 'Mary,' daughter of Donald, Earl of Mar, who may be identical with the Marjorie of Mar who was widow of John of Strathbogie, Earl of Mar, who died 7 November 1306. He had issue:--

  • 1. William, fifth Earl of Sutherland
  • 2. Nicolas Sutherland, the surname being now fully adopted,[1] ancestor of the Sutherlands, Lords Duffus.
  • 3. Eustachia, married, about December 1330, to Gilbert Moray, son and heir of Reginald Moray of Culbin. On 6 December of that year Earl Kenneth resigned all rights and exactions he might claim from Reginald's lands within the earldom, and he made over to Reginald the relief duty of his lands on account of a marriage between their children.[2] Gilbert and Eustachia had issue, and their line ended in an heiress, Egidia Moray, married to Thomas Kinnaird,[3] who died before 7 May 1440.
  • [1] Cf. Sutherland Book, iii. 18; Robertson's Index, 43.
  • [2] , iii. 11, 12.
  • [3] Cf. vol. v. of this work, 204.

Sources: Balfour Paul, J. (1911) The Scots Peerage, vol. 8. Edinburgh: David Douglas.

Kenneth, Earl of Sutherland, succeeded to his elder brother, William, the third Earl, and not to his father as is usually stated. His tenure of the earldom was brief, as he fell on the fatal field of Halidon Hill in 1333.

He appears first on record in December 1330, when he granted to Reginald Moray of Culbin a writ renouncing all claim over Moray's possessions within the earldom of Sutherland. This writ, in which Earl Kenneth describes himself as the son of the late William, Earl of Sutherland, that is, the second Earl, was made for the amiable purpose of settling all disputes which had arisen between their respective forefathers, and securing concord and friendship between themselves and their families. To this end Earl Kenneth resigns and renounces all rights and exactions which he could claim from Reginald's lands within the earldom, remitting all such wholly, and makes over to Moray the whole relief of his lands in Sutherland on account of a matrimonial connection between Gilbert Moray, son and heir of Reginald, and Eustachia, the earl's own eldest daughter. The earl concludes by offering to furnish all writs necessary for securing the obligations thus made.[1]

How far the Earl of Sutherland took part in the struggles against English invasion after the death of the Regent Randolph in 1332, is not known, but he was present at the battle of Halidon Hill, fouht on 19th or 20th July 1333. Sir Robert Gordon states that he and the Earl of Ross commanded the van of the Scottish force, but he was really one of the leaders of the reserve. He is also said to have been one of those who prudently advised the Regent, Archibald Douglas, not to attack the English in the strong position they held. But when this advice was disregarded, and the attack made, Sir Robert says the earl did his duty gallantly, and he and the Earl of Ross were killed in leading their men against that wing of the English army which Edward Baliol commanded. Sir Robert pays the tribute to Earl Kenneth as an expert and judicious commander, that "peremptorilie hazarding all, and therewith his lyff, he lossed the same in the midest of his enemies, with the pryce of a number of ther deaths; haveing couragiouslie ther ended his dayes with great honor for the righteous quarrell of his cuntrey; leveing his memorable actions and end as ane excellent ornament to his posteritie."

According to Sir Robert, Earl Kenneth married Lady Mary, daughter of Donald, tenth Earl of Mar, and had issue two sons and a daughter:--

  • 1. William, who succeeded as fifth Earl, and of whom a memoir follows.
  • 2. Nicolas, who received from his brother, Earl William, sixteen davochs of land within Sutherland, in the free barony called Torboll, as bounded and described in the writ, dated at Aberdeen 13th September 1360.[2] On 10th December 1362, Nicolas received a safe-conduct to go into England for one year.[3] He married a daughter and co-heiress of Sir Reginald Cheyne and Mary de Moravia, and with her obtained part of the ancient barony of Duffus in Moray. He was the ancestor of the family of Sutherland of Duffus.
  • 3. Eustachia, who married Gilbert Moray, younger of Culbin, and had issue.
  • [1] Vol. iii. of this work, pp. 11, 12. The phraseology of the writ implies that the marriage had taken place, which confirms the view that Earl Kenneth was the brother of Earl William the Third.
  • [2] Vol. iii. of this work, pp. 18, 19. The charter was confirmed by King David the Second on 17th October 1362. Ibid. p. 20.
  • [3] Rotuli Scotiæ, vol. i. p. 867.

Source: Fraser, W. (1894) The Sutherland Book. Edinburgh: Privately Printed.

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Kenneth, 4th Earl of Sutherland's Timeline

Sutherland, Scotland
Age 31
Age 37
Sutherland, Scotland
July 19, 1333
Age 54
Northumberland, Scotland
August 7, 1995
Age 54
February 11, 1997
Age 54