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Atholl



The Scots Peerage has the following article:

The first Earl of Atholl who appears in actual Scottish record is Earl Madach, or Madeth, who is named as a witness to the foundation charter of the Abbey of Scone, granted by King Alexander I., which is usually said to be granted in the year 1113-14, but was probably after 1116. Earl Madach is described by the Norwegian writer TrofŠus as a magnificent Prince, and the cousin ('patruelis') of King David I. He bore the same relation to King Alexander I., as he was the son of their uncle, Melmare (called by the Norwegian writers 'Melkofr'), who was the younger brother of Malcolm III., 'Ceannmor,' their father. Earl Madach also appears as a witness to a charter by King David I. to the church of Dunfermline, dater between 1124 and 1127, and to two charters to the monks of Coldingham, which must be dated about or after 1140, while the latest record of him, so far as has been ascertained, is in a charter by the same King to the monks of Melrose, dated in 1142 or 1143. Earl Madach died some time before 1152, when his wife Margaret returned to Orkney. He apears to have been twice married. If so, the name and parentage of the first wife are unknown. About 1133 he married margaret, daughter of Hakon, Earl of Orkney, who survived him and married, secondly, Erlend Ungi, who was also made Earl of Orkney, and was killed in 1156. Earl Madach had issue:-
    1. Malcolm, who became Earl of Atholl.
    2. Harald, called Harald Maddadson, who was made Earl of Orkney, jointly with Earl Rognvald, in 1139, when he was only five years old.

II. Malcolm, second Earl of Atholl, was the son of Madach, but probably by a different wife from Margaret, Hakon's daughter, as Harald Maddadson was apparently her only son. In the Liber VitŠ of the Cathedral of Durham, a record of the benefactors to that fane from its foundation, his name is inserted, be a writer of the thirteenth century, as 'Malcolmus, filius Madi, comes Athodlie.' The Norwegian writers imply that Earl Madach or Maddad survived until near 1152, and Malcolm appears in a charter by King David I. to the monks of Deir, which must be granted before 1153, and he is there designed as 'Malmore d Athotla,' being ranked between Duncan, Earl of Fife, and Gillebride, Earl of Angus. He is styled 'Melcolmus Comes' in 1154, in a charter by King Malcolm IV to the monks of Dunfermline; and he is referred to as 'Comes de Athwotle,' in a charter granted in the year 1161-62 by Arnald, Bishop of St. Andrews. He also appears as a witness or a granter of various charters during the reign of King William the Lion, down to about the year 1189, the latest certain notice of him being in a charter, referred to below, which must have been granted not earlier then 1182 and not later than 1189. The Earl may have survived beyond that year, though he was dead before 24 August 1198, when his son Henry is styled Earl of Atholl. Malcolm was twice married, but the name of his first wife has not been ascertained. His second wife was Hexilda, Hextilda, or Extilda, widow of Richard Comyn, the first of that name, who died soon after 1176, and she was Countess of Atholl in or after 1182 (See title Badenoch.) We learn this from the Liber VitŠ already cited, where she is styled 'filia Ucthredi,' and from a confirmation by her as Hextilda, Countess 'de Eththetela,' of a grant by her lord, Richard Comun, in his life, though the date of her writ is uncertain. She was thus the same Hestilda, daughter of Uchtred (or Godrith), son of Waldeve of Tynedale, by Bethoc, daughter of King Donalbane, through whom in 1291, the Cumyns claimed the crown of Scotland. Both of his wives are referred to by Earl Malcolm in a charter by him between 1182 and 1189, granting to the monks of Dunfermline, for the welfare of the soul of his wife, and of hte Kings his predecessors reposing there, the church of Moulin and certain lands on condition that he and his wife Extilda, when they die, shall by buried there. It is doubtful if Earl Malcolm had any children by his second wife. But he had by his first wife:-
    1. Simon, named in the Liber VitŠ.     2. Henry, who succeeded him, but who may not have been the eldest son, as Simon is named before him in the Liber VitŠ.
    3. Duncan, and
    4. Malcolm,
are named in charters as brothers of Henry, Duncan also appearing in the Liber VitŠ. Malise, brother of the Earl of Atholl, appears as a witness to a charter by Earl Henry. The Liber VitŠ gives as sisters of Henry: (1) Bedoch; (2) C[h]ristina; and (3) Margaret. Bedoch apparently was married and had a son, whose name is written 'Kelehathonin.' Another sister, perhaps Christina or Margaret, seems to have married Thomas of Lundin, the 'Ostiarius' or Doorward, as in a charter (dated perhaps in 1202) by Earl Henry, he refers to his nephew Colin, while Sir Colin of Lundyn appears at a later date as witness to a charter by Conan, son of Earl Henry, and he was a younger brother of Alan the Durward, who held that office from 1233 to 1275. The Liber VitŠ also names a 'Constantine' as nephew of Henry.

III. Henry, the son of Earl Malcolm, succeeded as Earl of Atholl before 24 August 1198, as he was a witness to an agreement between Roger, Bishop of St. Andrews, and Henry, Abbot of Arbroath, made that year, the year of the birth of Prince Alexander, son of King William. He confirms a grant to the canons of St. Andrews of the church of Dull, which had also been made by his father. The charter is not dated, but may be about 1202, and iti is confirmed by King AlexanderII. in 1228. He also confirmed his father's grant to the monks of Dunfermline of the church of Moulin, and a grant to the abbey of Scone. Litttle more is known about him, and he died before 1211, as Thomas, Earl of Atholl, appears at that date. henry's wife is referred to in verious writs as Margaret the Countess, but it is not certain who she was. Earl Henry and Margaret his wife had issue surviving, two daughters only, who became successively Countesses of Atholl. They were (1) Isabella, and (2) Forflissa or Fernelith, both noted below. Earl Henry, however, had a son, apparently illegitimate, who describes himself as Conan, son of Henry, late Earl of Atholl, in a charter by him to the monks of Lindores giving to them the privilege of taking dead wood and other timber from his wood of Tulyhen or Tulloch, near Blair Athol. The charter, which may be dated about 1220, is witnessed by Ewyn or Ewen, son of the granter; and Hath, son of Gilbrid, his son-in-law. Conan also made a similar grant to the monks of Cupar from his lands of 'Glenherthy and Tolykyne' (Glenerrichdie and Tullock), which was confirmed by his son Eugenius or Ewen, who married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Convall, son of Duncan, Laird of Tullibardine, and whose daughter is said, by a recent writer, to have married Andre de Atholia, or an ancestor of his, and to have carried to him the above-named lands, which were long held by his posterity, the Robertsons of Strowan and Auchleeks.

IV. Isabella, eldest daughter of Earl Henry and of his Countess Margaret, succeeded to her father as countess of Atholl, in her own right. A claim was, however, made by her sister which was decided against by King Alexander II. in Parliament, who adjudged the earldom to Isabella as the eldest daughter. Little is known of her apart from her husband, Thomas of Galloway, who was son of Roland, Lord of Galloway, and brother of Allan of Galloway, both Constables of Scotland, and who through her was styled Earl of Atholl. When she actually succeeded to the earldom is uncertain, but her husband, as Thomas, Earl of Atholl, is a witness to a charter by William the Lion, which must, from internal evidence, be dated not later than January 1210-11, confirming a charter by Alan Fitz-Roland, the Constable, of the lands of Sipland. He must therefore have been the Earl of Atholl who was appointed one of the leaders of the expedition against Gothred MacWilliam in 1211. He is also styled Earl of Atholl in an English writ, of date 3 August 1212, and he took part in the coronation of King Alexander II. at Scone, on 6 December 1214. It is, however, in the English records that we learn most about him. He appears first in the beginning of 1205, a few years before his father's death, as in alliance with King John, and aiding that King, from whom he had a present of armour and verous grants of land, with a fleet of galleys, apparently for service against Ireland. he hald lands in the counties of Northumberland, Hereford, Worcester, and Warwick. He also received from King John a considerable tract of land in Ireland, near the river Bann in Ulster, and in 1215 was appointed Keeper of the Castle of Antrim. In 1219 he had a safe-conduct to come to the King, now King Henry III., to do homage, and in June of that year was confirmed in his Irish possession. In July 1222 he was directed to give up the Castle of Antrim to the Justiciary of Ireland, but, in the following year, he received directions that, if he were in Ireland, he was to guard that fortress carefully against the attacks of Hugh de Lacy, and if not, he was to go to Ireland for the purpose. Failing his doing so, the Justiciary of Ireland was to take the Castle into the King's hand, and the Earl was to deliver it only to him. Later, the Earl, on finding that Hugh de Lacy had made agreement with King Henry, wrote to Ralph Neville, Bishop of Chichester, for his interest regarding the lands in Ulser of which he had received grants, and in 1226 his right over de Lacy's lands were preserved. The last notice of Thomas of Galloway in the English records is apparently in the year 1230, when he was fitting out four ships to go beyond seas. The notice of this Earl of Atholl in Scottish records are extremely meagre. He is witness ot a charter by King Alexander II., relieving the monks of Cupar of certain privileges due annually to the King's falconers, which must be dated before 1220; and he and his wife, Isabella, Countess of Atholl, confirmed former grants of the church of Moulin and other lands to the monks of Dunfermline by a writ, dated in or about 1227. Both these are periods during which the English records are silent concerning him. The Earl also about the same date confirmed a charter by William Olifard or Oliphant to the Monks of Cupar, which was again confirmed by Countess Isabella after her husband's death. According to the Chronicle of Melrose, Thomas, Earl of Atholl, died in 1231, and was buried in the Abbey of Cupar. He certainly was dead before 9 August 1232, when his widow, Isabella, Countess of Atholl, appeard before a council of her friends, including her mother, Margaret, Countess of Earl Henry, and Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, who declared that she, the lawful heir of Atholl, had free power after the death of her lord, Thomas, Earl of Atholl, to grant the lands of Murthly to the Monks of Cupar, a proceeding necessary to defend her against objections by her heirs. It is not known when Countss Isabella died, but she was apparently dead before 1237, when her son is called Earl of Atholl. According to a recent writer, the Countess Isabella married, secondly, Alan Durward, who was Earl of Atholl in 1233-35, as formerly noted. It is assumed that he was Earl in her right until her death in 1236. It is further stated that by him she had a daughter Lora, who is said to have disputed the earldom in 1242 with her aunt Forflissa. A 'Lora, Countess of Athole,' is stated to have died in 1269, and to have been buried at Melrose. But no other evidence on these points have been found.

The Scots Peerage continues the line with the son of Thomas of Galloway and Countess Isabella, for which see Galloway.

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