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BERKELEY

1. EADNOTH-

b.c.1035
killed 1068

Eadnoth was the "staller" to King Harold Godwinson and Edward the Confessor. The staller was an important royal official, although his duties were unspecified. He was also constable of Somerset.

Eadnoth fell in battle against the sons of Harold in 1067: "...Amidst this came one of Harold's sons from Ireland with a naval force into the mouth of the Avon unawares, and plundered soon over all that quarter; whence they went to Bristol, and would have stormed the town; but the people bravely withstood them. When they could gain nothing from the town, they went to their ships with the booty which they had acquired by plunder; and then they advanced upon Somersetshire, and there went up; and Ednoth, master of the horse, fought with them; but he was there slain, and many good men on either side; and those that were left departed thence."(1)

Issue-

·  2I. HARDING- b.c.1065, m. LIVIDA of Gloucester, d. after 1125 Bristol

Ref:

(1) The Anglo Saxon Chronicle- James Ingram, Everyman Press, London, 1912

Dictionary of National Biography- Leslie Stephen & Sidney Lee, Ed., MacMillan Co., New York & Smith, Elder & Co. London, 1908- vol II, p. 340

The Plantagenet Ancestry-William Henry Turton, 1968, p. 120
Burke's Peerage & Baronetage- 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Ed., 1999, p. 254
Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom-G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000, Vol. II, p.124 (d)


2I. HARDING (EADNOTH 1)

b.c.1065
m. LIVIDA of Gloucester
d. after 1125 Bristol

The Berkeley family is unique in having an unbroken male line of descent from a Saxon ancestor before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 to the 20th Century. The family descends from Harding, the son of Eadnoth (Alnod), who was "Marshal" or "Staller", a high official under King Edward the Confessor. A study of dates makes it probable that this Harding had a son of the same name, perhaps the man who played a distinguished part in the Crusading Wars, helping King Baldwin I of Jerusalem, to win the battle of Jaffa in 1102. Harding was probably not the son of the king of Denmark or a companion of William the Conqueror.(<b>2)

Harding held as his principle holding the manor of Merriott (from whence de Meriet) in 1086 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England. He lost most of the lands previously held by his father, much of which had gone to Hugh of Chester, in 1086. He was a young man in 1086, since his second son lived until the 1170's.(1)

William of Malmesbury, speaking of Harding as then alive, tells us (3) that he was 'better used to whet his tongue in strife than to wield his arms in war.' This Harding may probably be identified with the Harding who, in 1062, subscribed the confessor's Waltham charter as 'reginæ pincerna' (4), and continued after the Conquest in the household of Eadgyth, appearing as a witness to the sale of Combe to Bishop Gisa, transacted in Eadgyth's presence at Wilton in 1072 (5). In 1086 he held lands in Gloucestershire in pledge of a certain Brihtric, who held them in the time of Edward the Confessor (<b>6). It is safe to assume that Robert FitzHarding was his son. It is possible that Harding had an elder son, Nicolas, the ancestor of the family of Meriet. If this was so, the younger son soon outstripped the older in wealth.(7)

The parentage of Harding (living c. 1125) has been long and hotly disputed. He has been termed "son of the King of Denmark" (as in the petition of 1661), "Mayor of Bristol", and so forth. The view now generally accepted is that he was the son of Eadnoth (killed 1068), "Staller" to King Harold and to Edward the Confessor. E.A. Freeman pronounces this descent "in the highest degree probable." Eyton (in his "Shropshire") devoted much attention to the subject. Reference may also be made to the valuable researches of A. S. Ellis, and to Greenfield's most valuable Pedigree of Meriet, tracing the descent of that family from Nicholas de Meriet, elder brother to Robert Fitz Harding. The charters of Berkeley Castle were edited for Lord FitzHardinge in 1892 by I. H. Jeayes. Some genealogy websites also purport that Harding married the daughter of the King of Denmark, apparently confusing the above-mentioned petition of 1661. (8)

The following was in Dugdale's Baronage:

...That Harding... is by some said [Vet. MS. in castro de Berkley Lel Coll. Vol. 1. 912] to have been the youngest Son to one of the Kings of Denmark; and by [Lel. Itin. 420] others, Ex Regia Prosapia Fegum Daniæ ortus, Descended from the Royal Line of those Kings (which little differs in point of honor and dignity:) And that, accompanying Duke William of Normandy, in that signal expedition which he made into England, he was in that memorable Battle, with him, against King Harold, wherein being victor, he thenceforth became King of this Realm. But all I have farther seen of this Harding, is, That after that Conquest, he held Wirenhort (now called Whetenhust) in Com. Gloc. of Earl Brictrick, in mortgage; and that he died 6 Nov. 16. Hen. 1. Other Sons this Harding, before-specified, had, viz. Nicholas, who in 12 Hen. 2. residing in Somersetshire, held there two Knights Fees, and an half of the King; Elias, Jordan, and Maurice; as also three Daughters, Agnes, the Wife of Hugh de Haselee, Maud, and Cicely.(9)

Don't believe everything you read!

Issue-

·  ?3I. ELIAS/JOHN- b.c.1086

·  II. Robert- b.c.1095, m. Eva FitzEstmond, bur. 5 Feb. 1171 St. Augustine's Priory, Bristol. Robert "The Devout" FitzHarding was the Lord of Berkeley

·  III. Nicholas- b.c.1100, m. niece of Robert, Bishop of Salisbury, d. before 1171

Ref:

(1) Domesday People- Keats-Rohan, p. 244
(2) Burke's Peerage and Baronetage- pp. 43-47, 232-3, The Ligon Family; The Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage of the British Empire- The Earl of Berkeley, pp. 70-71, 254 (1882)
(3) Gest. Reg.- Vol. III, p. 254
(4) Codex Dipl.- Vol. IV, p. 159
(5) Liber Albus- Vol. III, p. 254 fo. Chapter Records, Wells
(6) Domesday- Vol. I, 170 B
(7)Dictionary of National Biography- Leslie Stephen & Sidney Lee, Ed., MacMillan Co., New York & Smith, Elder & Co. London, 1908, vol II, p. 340
(8) Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom- G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000- Vol. II, p.124 (d)
(9) Dugdale's Baronage- Vol. I, Berkley, pp. 349-369

The Plantagenet Ancestry-William Henry Turton, 1968- p. 120


?3I. ELIAS/JOHN (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2)

b.c.1086

Issue-

·  4I. WALTER- b.c.1105

·  II. Robert-

·  III. Humphrey- m. Agatha


4I. WALTER de BARCLAY, High Chamberlain (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3)

b.c.1105 Redcastle, Forfar

Red Castle- Forfar

"There are surely more published histories of the Barclays than of any other Scottish family. The Barclays histories published in this century are worse than those published in the eighteenth, and those in turn are distinguished for the low level of their medieval scholarship. It has been assumed, on no concrete evidence, that the Scottish family of Barclay (de Berchelai, etc.), which first appears at the end of Malcolm IV’s reign in the persons of Robert and Walter de Berkeley(1) must be a branch of one or other of the two Anglo-Norman families of de Berkeley of Berkeley in Gloucestershire. Despite this assumption, it has never been possible to point to a single piece of evidence which would link the Scottish and English families. Is it extravagant to look for an alternative explanation? As with Lindsay and Ramsay, we have a Scottish family with an English place-name for surname and a strongly Norman flavour about the Christian names. Near Frome in Somerset there is a small village called Berkley (in 1086, Bercherei). In 1086 its overlordship belonged to a Norman named Roger Arundel, whose tenant in Berkley – that is, the actual lord of the manor – was a certain Robert.(2) Roger Arundel’s manors in Somerset (part of a barony whose caput was Poorstock in Dorset) were interspersed among those held by the Fleming, Walter of Douai, father of the gluttonous Robert of Bampton, and they included Cary Fitzpaine (in Charlton Mackerell), not far from Castle Cary.(3) Cary Fitzpaine seems to have been held by the same tenant as Berkley. At the same time when Henry Lovel of Castle Cary first appears in Scotland, we have the equally unheralded appearance as witness to Scottish royal charters of Godfrey of Arundel (4) and Robert and Walter de Berkeley. There is surely a case for testing the possibility that the Scottish Barclays took their name from Berkeley in Somerset because their ancestors were tenants there of the Arundels."(5)

Walter de Berkeley was appointed chamberlain of Scotland in 1165, when Nicholas, his predecessor, was made chancellor (6). Walter de Berkeley, and his brother Robert, appear as witnesses together in many charters.(7) There is a charter of Walter de Berkeley, the chamberlain, with his very curious seal attached. It was witnessed by William de Moreville, the constable, who died in 1196.(8) Walter obtained from king William a grant of the extensive manor of Inverkeilor in Forfarshire, whereon he built Red Castle on an eminence near the mouth of Lunan-water. Because of this he was sometimes called the lord of Red-Castle. He granted the church of Inverkeilor, with other privledges, to the monks of Arbroath (9). He had the honor to be one of the hostages for enforcing the treaty which restored his master William to his people (10). Walter held some lands in Galloway under Roland, the son of Uchtred. He granted those lands to the monks of Holm Cultrum, which grant was confirmed by Roland, the Lord of Galloway (11).

When Walter died is uncertain. He was alive at the end of the twelfth, and died at the beginning of the thirteenth centurym as we may learn from the chartularies. He left an heiress, who married Ingelram de Baliol, who was the first of this family that settled in Scotland. Another branch of the Berkeleys took root in the mearns during the twelfth century, and became the progenitors of Barclay of Mathers, of Barclay of Urie, and of other families in the northern districts. Humphry de Berkeley, who obtained estates in the Mearns from William the Lion, was probably a brother of Walter the chamberlain (12). He married Agatha, who witnessed one of his charters. Richard is listed in some sources as a son of Walter, however, Ingelram de Baliol seems to be the only person who was called upon to confirm the grants of Walter de Berkeley.(13)

Issue-

·  ?5I. RICHARD- b.c.1126 Redcastle

·  II. ______- m. Ingelram de Baliol

Ref:

(1) Regesta Regum Scottorum- GWS Barrow, Edinburgh VII, 1971, I, 283 No. 1. According to G. Crawfurd's History of the Shire of Renfew, page 88, one Richard de Barclay was a witness to the foundation charter of the Abbey of Kilwinnig, Ayrshire. The charters are now lost…Richard may be an error for Robert; alternatively, he was another unrecorded member of the family of de Berleley
(2) Victoria History of the Counties of England- Somerset- Vol. I., p. 496; English Baronies- Sanders, p. 72
(3) Victoria History of the Counties of England- Somerset- Vol. I, p. 495; for the disposition of the Arundel and Douai estates, see the Domesday Map of Somerset contained in the Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological Society- vol. xxxv
(4) Regesta Regum Scottorum- GWS Barrow, Edinburgh VII, 1971, I, Nos. 256, 292, and note
(5)The Kingdom of the Scots: Government, Church and Society from the Eleventh to the Fourteenth Century- G.W.S. Barrow, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1973
(6) Crawford Officers Of State- p. 253
(7) Chart. Arbroath, No. 84-86; Chart. Glasgow, 25-218; Chart. Cupar, No. 35-39; MS. Monast. Scotiae, 108
(8) Diplom. Scotiae, pl. 77
(9) Chart. Arbroath- No. 83-4, 85-8
(10) Rymer’s Foedera, v. i., p. 40
(11) Dug. Monsat., vol. v., p. 286
(12) Chart. Arbroath, No. 27
(13) Chart. Arbroath, No. 87. Monast. Angl., v., p. 286; Caledonia: or, a historical and topographical account of North Britain from the most ancient to the present times, with a dictionary of places, chorographical and philological- George Chalmers, New Edition, Vol. II. Paisley : Alexander Gardner, 1887. Pg. 528


5I. RICHARD (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4)

b.c.1126 Redcastle

"When King David I took the Scottish throne in 1124, he was already well connected in English court circles, since his wife was an English countess. David thought his country would benefit from an English influence, so he welcomed to Scotland 1,000 Anglo-Normans, most of noble birth. These families were given the homes and lands of “malcontents,” Scottish subjects who spoke against David and whom he saw as a threat. In this way, David installed for himself a supportive and grateful populace, but he also sowed the seeds of bitterness for a displaced group of Scots who did not accept the newcomers. Established Scottish names such as Eaglesham and Lauderdale were lost to the new fashionable Norman names, such as de Barclay and de Montgomerie.

In 1140, a Richard de Barclay was the first recorded lord of the castle of Ardrossan, built on a rocky headland on the Clyde estuary. The name Ardrossan is from the Gaelic for a small high rocky headland, suggesting that the place was already known and inhabited by the native Celts before the Barclays arrived. Richard de Barclay and his court settled in the castle of Ardrossan which occupied the summit of the hill known as Castle Craigs. Now a ruin, it was a fine castle in its day, built around a central courtyard and with exterior walls up to eleven feet thick. There was a grand Norman arch and two towers. The splendid Gothic fireplace which graced the main hall can still be seen suspended on the remaining wall of the derelict castle, a reminder of past glory. Ardrossan Castle was defended to the west and south by the sea and to the north and east by a dry moat which was crossed by a drawbridge. The castle was notable for two things. First, for the incredible views over the Firth of Clyde to the islands of Arran, Cumbrae, Ailsa Criag, Horse Island and on a clear day to Jura and Kintyre, and along the coast to Ayr to the south and Largs to the north. This gave the castle strategic benefits since the Norsemen were still plundering the islands of the west of Scotland at this time.

Ardrossan Castle

Richard de Barclay was an important man, acting as a signatory on the charter of Kilwinning Abbey; there are several records of him acting as overseer in disputes among neighboring lords and judging squabbles between the local people, mostly over cattle and land ownership. As the century progressed, resentment against the English grew and a popular uprising developed as increasingly more noblemen, farmers, craftsmen and serfs began to seek independence from the English influence and control. It is notable that Richard called himself de Ardrossan, a title which makes it clear that he owns the land of Ardrossan. This is in marked contrast to the highland chiefs such as MacLeod of MacLeod, or MacDonald or MacDonald, whose names showed they were the leaders of their people, not owners of the land. This change in the status of the leaders of the people had huge social and political ramifications for centuries to come."(1)

Issue-

·  ?6I. DEAN- b.c.1148 Ardrossan, Ayr

Ref:

(1) Ardrossan Castle- article in the Barclay Broadside, newsletter of the Clan Barclay International, Virginia Beach, VA- winter 2004


6I. DEAN (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5)

b.c.1148 Androssan, Ayr

The string of Barclay ancestors from Richard to Godfrey is loosely put together based on their being witnesses to various charters during this period of time.

Issue-

·  7I. ARTHUR- b.c.1170 Androssan


7I. ARTHUR (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5, DEAN 6)

b.c.1170 Ardrossan

In 1226 Arthur Barclay de Ardrossan witnesses granting of land of Monnoch in Dalry Parish to Hugh Crawford.

Issue-

·  8I. FERGUS- b.c.1191 Androssan


8I. FERGUS (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5, DEAN 6, ARTHUR 7)

b.c.1191 Androssan

In 1248 Fergus Barclay de Ardrossan witness between Bishop of Moray and Friskin de Morey and in 1260 Fergus Barclay de Ardrossan judged a dispute over common pasture.

Issue-

·  9I. BRYCE- b.c.1213 Androssan


9I. BRYCE (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5, DEAN 6, ARTHUR 7, FERGUS 8)

b.c.1213 Androssan

From 1266 to 71 Brice Barclay de Ardrossan was a witness to several charters.

Issue-

·  9I. CHRISTOPHER- b.c.1233 Androssan


10I. CHRISTOPHER (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5, DEAN 6, ARTHUR 7, FERGUS 8, BRYCE 9)

b.c.1233 Androssan In 1280 Sir Christopher Barclay de Ardrossan was witness to a charter granted to his daughter Avicia, who married Robert Boyle of Kelburn.

Issue-

·  11I. GODFREY- b.c.1253 Ardrossan

·  II. Avicia- m. Robert Boyle of Kelburn


11I. GODFREY (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5, DEAN 6, ARTHUR 7, FERGUS 8, BRYCE 9, CHRISTOPHER 10)

b.c.1253 Ardrossan

"In 1296, Godfrey of Ardrossan, a kinsman of Richard (the article doesn't state how they were related), swore allegiance to Edward of England, and an English family was installed in the castle. This move was not welcomed by the popular leader of the growing independence movement, one William Wallace, known as “Braveheart.” Wallace and his men visited Ardrossan in the dead of night and set fire to a row of houses within site of the castle. The unsuspecting English guards ran to help, and “Wallace, with a well-armed company, kills every mother’s son and forthwith forces ye castell and wins it. In a deep vault in ye bottom of ye red tower he threw the carcasses of these englich, which to this day has the name Wallace’s larder.” (1)

Issue-

·  12I. FERGUS- b.c.1278 Ardrossan, d. before Oct. 1305

·  II. Robert-

Ref:

(1) Timothy Pont from 1605 quoted in Ardrossan Castle- article in the Barclay Broadside, newsletter of the Clan Barclay International, Virginia Beach, VA- winter 2004


12I. FERGUS (EADNOTH 1, HARDING 2, JOHN 3, WALTER 4, RICHARD 5, DEAN 6, ARTHUR 7, FERGUS 8, BRYCE 9, CHRISTOPHER 10, GODFREY 11)

b.c.1278 Androssan
d. before Oct. 1305

Sir Fergus Barclay, also known as the De'il of Ardrossan, was a horseman, famous around the lands for his tremendous skill. The secret to his skill, however, was a magical bridle, which was given to Barclay by the devil, in exchange for his soul. However, the devil was tricked by Barclay into giving his soul back. Infuriated by this trickery, the devil attacked the castle in his rage and is said to have left his hoof prints (a petrosomatoglyph) on one of the rocks.

"The Legend of the Devil of Ardrossan

Sir Fergus Barclay of Ardrossan was inordinately addicted to horse-racing, and carried his exploits into all the neighbouring countries of Europe. His success in these pursuits was so great, and he became so famous, that all competition with him seemed hopeless. This, in the spirit of the times, was ascribed to an enchanted bridle, which it was believed he possessed in virtue of a secret compact with the devil; and hence his alarming soubriquet- "The Devil of Ardrossan". At last, however, as ill luck would have it, this instrument of the baron's sporting infallibillity was, by chance, or treachery, transferred to the head of a rival's horse, and thus he saw his power depart from him, and his sum of glory set for ever: Leaving him, no doubt, to exclaim with Macbeth,-

'Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd my better part of man:
And be these juggling fiends no more believed'.

How the Baron comported himself, or bore this trying disclosure of his secret, seems unfortunately, from some cause or other, to be pretermitted in the story. But the final terminus of his career is thus tragically related:- Leaving home on a distant journey, he gave strict injunctions to his lady regarding the care of his only son, a youth of tender years; in particular, that the young man should not be permitted to mount a spirited horse, of which he was exceedingly fond. During his father's absence, however, the youth had found means to obtain the horse, and unhappily riding out, was thrown from the animal and killed on the spot. This, of course, could not be concealed, and on Sir Fergus's return home, such was the ungovernable violence of his feelings, that in a paroxysm of rage he slew the unhappy mother of his child. There is another version of the story, which says that she was not the mother of the unfortunate boy, but the second wife of his father, by whom she had an only child, a daughter; and accordingly it is surmised that, desirous of the succession to the estate opening to her own offspring, she was not altogether sakeless of the death of young Barclay. Be this as it may, all future happiness was now reft from the miserable Sir Fergus. He retired with a favourite servant to the opposite island or Arran, and there, at the lone tower of Kildonan, ended his wretched days. A remarkable allusion to Ireland occurs in the story, while he sojourned here; and the manner of his death was this:- He had a presentiment that, should he ever set foot on Irish ground, he should no longer live. It so happened, that some Irish boats calling there had left a quantity of sods, which they had brough with them, on the beach; and the baron chancing, as he passed, to tread on them, inquired how they came there. Being told, he exclaimed, his end was now come and giving orders regarding the disposal of his corpse, he died that same night. He commanded that his body should be sewed up in a bull's hide, and buried within sea-mark. This was punctually attended to by his faithful servant; but the sea afterwards washing off the sand, the body floated across the channel to the shores of Ardrossan, and landing immediately under the walls of the castle, was taken up in its sere-cloth, and finally interred within the adjoining chapel.

In this brief tale, the termination of the ancient barons of Ardrossan seems pretty distinctly shadowed forth; and the historical fact of the fate of Sir Fergus Barclay, at the battle of Arscoll, may be the foundation of the whole.

The original parish church of Ardrossan stood close by the castle, and though long removed, its site is still to be traced. Within its area lies an ancient tombstone, which tradition appropriates as that of Sir Fergus Barclay. On it is sculptured the figure of a man at full length, with two shields of arms laid over him- one appears to represent the royal arms of Scotland, being the Lyon rampant- the other is probably the escutcheon of the deceased. Before the building of the new town, this was an exceedingly secluded spot, and the superstitious dread which was entertained for the sanctuary of "the Devil of Ardrossan" was very great. It was believed, that were any portion of the "moulds" to be taken from under the stone, and cast into the sea, forthwith should ensue a dreadful tempest to devastate sea and land.

Some fragments of the castle of Ardrossan still remain on a beautiful eminence overlooking the splendid harbour, and are encompassed on one side by a row of elegant villas of recent origin. It was long the principal residence of the Lords Montgomerie and Eglinton; until the time of the civil war, when, as we are informed, it was demolished by Cromwell's army. In an account of the district, written 200 years ago, the following curious description and anecdote of it occurs:-

'Ardrossan castell, so named in respect it is situated on a swelling knop of a rock running from a tounge of land advancing from the mainland in the sea, and almost environed with the same; for ross in the ancient Brittich tounge signifies a biland or peninsula. This castell is very strongly and sweill built, having in it many roumes, and a spring of fresch watter, which makes it the more strong. In this castell there is a tower, named the red tower, and in it a vault called Wallace's lardner. For this castell being in the possession of the Englisch, Wallace used thie stratameme:- He set a house hard by a fire, that those who keipt the castell, not suspecting any fraud, came out to the reskeu of the house, which they imagined by accident to have taken fire. But Wallace, with a weil armed company, gives them a very hote welcome, and kills them every mother's son; and furthwith forces the castell and wins it. In this deep vault in the bottom of the red tower, flang he the carcatches of these Englisch, which to this day gave it the name of Wallace lardner.

There is one thing to be admired in the fountain of fresch watter, which is in a vault in this castell; for it, like to the sea, ebbs and flows two severall times each 24 hours.

Its banks to pass, doeth tweiss assay,
And tweise again reteirs each day.

The reasone is, from the ebbing and flowing of the salt sea, which environs the rock whereon the castell stands, and at each surge, with horrible repercussiones, regorges and the fresch watter, not leting it issue from its spring and so makes the fountain swell. This castle was for many ages possessed by the Barclays; for in a charter of Sir Richard Morvell, Lord CUningham, to the monastery of Kilwinning, Richard de Barclay, dominus de Ardrossan, is a witness. Now it belongs to the Earls of Eglintone.'"(1)

"Following Wallace’s victory at Stirling Bridge in 1297, he was joined by two brothers of Ardrossan, Fergus and Robert, who were reputed to be excellent and loyal knights. In fact, at the time, Fergus was seen as “Ane night rycht courageous” (a very courageous knight). Following Wallace’s death, the two brothers were captured and imprisoned in English castles. A group of Ayrshire men attempted to release them by appealing to Edward, but he refused.

While the brothers were being held captive, Hugh de Ardrossan, possibly the son of Fergus, took possession of the castle by siding with Edward. Hugh’s loyalty to Edward may not have been what it seemed because five days after he took charge of the castle of Ardrossan, he was fined the huge sum of the value of his lands plus three year’s rent. Fergus and Robert were released and reinstated in the castle in 1312, and were given even more land.

Edward by now obviously saw Fergus as an ally. It would appear that the de Ardrossan family held no true allegiance and supported both sides as the power shifted from one side to the other. This could be seen as a shrewd way to hold onto power and their castle, or an act of treachery and self-interest. As Robert the Bruce became the rallying point for the national spirit, the de Ardrossan family gave no support to his fight for independence until the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Again, the family made sure they were on the winning side. After Bruce’s victory, the Ardrossan family kept their land when Bruce disinherited many of the nobility he saw as his enemy. Fergus became Baron of Ardrossan and fought alongside Robert the Bruce in the quest for a free Scotland. He remained loyal to Robert the Bruce and joined him in signing the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. This monumental document was signed and sealed by thirty-eight influential Scottish noblemen and delivered to the all-powerful pope, who still did not accept Scotland’s right to selfdetermination. The Declaration of Arbroath is seen by some historians as an influence and inspiration for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Fergus of Ardrossan had put his name to the most important document in Scottish history and received from Robert the Bruce a charter granting him the lands of Ardrossan and an assurance that his heirs would inherit the land and title. Bruce saw Fergus as a “wellbeloved and faithful baron.”

By the 1650s, castles such as Ardrossan were no longer the strongholds they once were since they could not withstand gunfire and artillery. The castle was destroyed, reputedly by Oliver Cromwell, and many of the stones and structures were removed by ship to Ayr to build a citadel for the Earl of Eglinton. The Kirk of the castle was blown down by a severe Atlantic storm in 1691, and by 1874 cattle were grazing around the once proud castle and amongst the graves."(2)

Issue-

·  ______- m. RADULPHUS EGLINTON (b.c.1297)

Ref:

(1) "The Scottish Journal of Topography, Antiquities, Traditions, &c- Vol. I, No. 7, 16 Oct. 1847, Thomas George Stevenson, Edinburgh
(2) Ardrossan Castle- article in the Barclay Broadside, newsletter of the Clan Barclay International, Virginia Beach, VA- winter 2004


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