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Earls of Angus

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Gilchrist, Earl of Angus: Discussion

The following post-em by Curt Hofemann, curt_hofemann AT yahoo.com, has more information on Gilchrist, and his potential wives (Note: I used to have Ingibirog Ericsdottir, as wife of Gilchrist, but moved her to Gillbride the father (however unlikely) because of citations in CP & BP:

Somerled (Lord of the Isles) being no less ambitious than great, raised an army, and invaded the territories of Malcolm IV. who succeeded David, was joined by Donald, son of Malcolm MacBeth, who had been at the head of a formidable rebellion in the preceeding reign; but king Malcolm sent the brave Gilchrist, earl of Angus, against them, who defeated them, took Donald prisoner, and obliged Somerled to fly to Ireland, anno 1157. [Ref: http://www.macleodgenealogy.com/ACMS/D0084/I79.html citing: Sir Robert Douglas of Glenbervie, PEERAGE OF SCOTLAND, Edinburgh, 1764?, pp. 357ff. I.]

Ref: John P. Ravilious 22 May 2001: ...Gilchrist, Earl of Angus, d. ca. 1204 (married)... (possibly Ingeborg), sister of Harald Ungi, joint Earl of Caithness and Jarl of the Orkneys, probably second wife of Gilchrist [for theory behind her 'identity' see SP Vol II p. 315, 317]. *A daughter Ingeborg is named in the Orkneyinga Saga.

[Ref: Leo van de Pas 14 Apr 1999: The Complete Peerage Volume I page 146 Gilchrist, Earl of Angus, who died between 1207 and 1211 according to footnote a, It has been said, but it is doubtful, that his wife was Maud, of Marjory, sister of King William the Lion...

Ref: Marlyn Lewis 18 Jun 1997: Gilchrist, 3rd Earl of Angus, d. 1207; md. (1) (Miss) Maddadson (dau of Harold Maddadson, Earl of Caithness, Co-Jarl of Orkney, b. 1130, d. 1206, son of Madach, Earl of Athol and Margaret of Orkney md. (married) (1) Aufrica, sister of Duncan, Earl of Fife; (2) Gormflaeth (Hvafleda) MacHeth (= mother of wife of Gilchrist. She was dau of Malcolm II MacHeth, Earl of Moray))

(2) Ingebiorg of Orkney.

Gille Críst of Angus, ruled until 1206 as Mormaer of Angus. He was a son of Gille Brigte of Angus and younger brother of Adam of Angus.

Almost nothing is known of him, except that he married Marjorie of Huntingdon, the daughter of Henry, Earl of Huntingdon and Ada de Warenne, and that he was succeeded by his son Donnchad before 1206. His daughter Bethóc (Beatrix) was married to Walter Stewart, 3rd High Steward of Scotland and was mother to Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland. [1]

The son of Gille Crist, Mormaer (Earl) of Angus by his wife Ingibiorg, sister of Harald III, Earl of Orkney and daughter of Eric Stalbregr by his wife Ingrid (daughter of Ragnvald III, Earl of Orkney), he was granted the Earldom of Orkney by King Haakon IV of Norway in 1236. (The first Magnus of Orkney was Saint Magnus Erlendsson, who ruled from 1108 to about 1117.) He died three years later, and was succeeded by his son Gilbert.

See Also:

  • The Scots Peerage : Founded On Wood's Ed. Of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage Of Scotland; Containing An Historical And Genealogical Account Of The Nobility Of That Kingdom. 2020. Archive.Org.>Gilchrist, Earl of Angus, Vol I, pps 162-4

Ref: Jared Olar 30 Jan 1996: ...As for Margery de Huntingdon, wife of Gilchrist, I have encountered a statement that Gilchrist's wife was this Margery, but haven't been able to find any support...Scots Peerage's article on the Earls of Angus says nothing of Margery de Huntingdon, nor is she mentioned at volume I page 12.

"The Great Historic Families of Scotland" by James Taylor published in 1889, republished in 1995, page 69: The first of the chieftains of the province of Angus who bore the designation of Earl was Gilchrist. A singular story regarding him is related by Buchanan, on the authority of an old chronicle. For the great services which this powerful noble performed to the Crown he received the hand of the king's sister in marriage. She, however, proved unfaithful to her marriage vow, and he caused her to be put to death. This murder so enraged the king---William the Lion---against Gilchrist etc.........Gilchrist and his two sons etc.

Ref: John P. Ravilious 15 Sep 2000 (renumbered & much before & after the below is omitted...Curt): 1. Rognvald [originally Kali] Kolsson, Jarl of Orkney 1131-1158 [joint with Harald Madadhsson in Caithness, 1139-1158] issue by unknown wife: 11. Ingigerd Rognvaldsdottir, m. Eric 'Slagbrellir' issue by this husband: 111. Harald 'Ungi', Jarl of Orkney [joint with Harald Madadhsson] 1158 - 112. Ingeborg Ericsdottir, m. as 2nd wife Gilchrist, Earl of Angus 1157-1204 [by first wife, he was father of Duncan, later Earl of Angus, and or Beatrix of Angus, wife of Walter le Stewart, Lord High Steward of Scotland, d. 1241]

... The problem connection (other than the construct re: the descent through the Earls of Angus) is the marriage that brought the claim to the Jarldom of the Orkneys to the indicated branch of the family of Gilchrist, Earl of Angus: This connection was adopted by Balfour Paul (Scots Peerage) from a previous writer, who gives no clear indication of which branch the Angus family was allied to (that of Harald Madadhsson isn't necessarily ruled out) determined that it must be through the Rognvald Kolsson line, as the name Magnus [as in the Jarl of Orkney, 1232-1239] indicates a connection with the branch to which St. Magnus [Erlendsson] belongs.

Has anyone found actual evidence to support, modify or discount this 'connection' ? The fact that a connection existed seems undeniable [it was such a connection that provided the basis for the Norwegian recognition of the claims of the Angus family, the Earls of Strathearn and the Sinclairs of Roslin in due course], and the argument that the connection traces from a descent from Thorfinn II Sigurdsson appears without any known weakness - it does seem that the 'Magnus' connection amounts to a fairly weak, 'seems better than anything else' approach.

Prior to the sons of Malcolm Canmore and the saintly Queen Margaret ruling Scotland, the area was known as Angus and was usually linked with the Mearns (Kincardine) or Gowrie. During this period it was clearly an administrative unit, ruled by a Mormaer. Mormaer was a celtic term meaning 'great steward' and gave way to the term 'Earl' by the late 12th century. The earliest recorded was Earl Gilchrist, Mormaer of Angus, who gave Kirriemuir to the Abbey of Arbroath in 1178. [Ref: http://www.angus.gov.uk/history/features/ansname.htm]


  1. Roberts, John L., Lost Kingdoms: Celtic Scotland in the Middle Ages, (Edinburgh, 1997), pp. 53–4; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gille_Cr%C3%ADst,_Earl_of_Angus

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