© Walter Jardine 2018
Gillebhride Somerled’s father and exiled king of Dal Riata. Grew up in Fermanagh, a guest of the Clan Cholla (his Irish kindred). Failed in several attempts to regain the clan’s old kingdom in Argyll. Believed by some to be a descendent of the house of Alpin from the time when Kenneth mac Alpin combined Dal Riata (Argyll) with Pictland to form Alba (Scotland). Somerled (c. 1101-1164) Son of Gillebhride. Led his clan in a campaign to recover territory in Scotland that had been taken from them when the Norse invaded in the 9th century. He recovered the old Dal Riata territory, becoming King of Argyll and Lord of the Isles. His descendants became famous as the MacDonald, MacDougall and MacRory clans. David I (c. 1084-1153) King of Scotland 1124-1153. He continued the process begun by his father, Malcolm III, of importing Norman nobles to replace troublesome regional chiefs (Mormaers) with nobles of sworn loyalty to him. Malcolm IV (c. 1141-1165) King of Scotland 1153-1165, grandson of David I. His youth and ill health meant that he was dominated by the Norman Lords in his court for much of his reign. He was known as Malcolm Canmore (Cenn Mόr = great chief). Today, kings of that family since his great-grandfather, Malcolm III, are known as the Canmores. Thora (b. c. 1103) Somerled’s sister. Actual name not known but there are several suggestions on record. I invented my own name for her. She married Malcolm mac Alexander (see below). Donald Son of Thora and Malcolm mac Alexander. After his father’s imprisonment by King David, Donald continued the Mormaers’ fight against Scotland’s Normanisation, was defeated and imprisoned until his release in 1157. Fergus of Galloway Prince of a Gaelic kingdom in south-west Scotland. His daughter was married to Olaf of Man. Having failed to control his warring sons he retired to a monastery and, to pacify the area, his territory was awarded to a Norman Lord by Malcolm IV. Malcolm mac Alexander (also referred to as Malcolm mac Alasdair) Until recently, this Malcolm was thought to be Malcolm McHeth. Now believed to be the illegitimate son of the late king Alexander I. Changing standards (feudalism) barred him from succession to the throne as would have been possible under ancient Scots law. He married Somerled’s sister. Captured and imprisoned in 1134 by King David’s forces, he was held at Roxburgh. There is no record of him being seen again outside of prison. Olaf (c. 1080-1153) King of Mann 1113-1153. The early part of his reign was probably some form of regency until he was deemed old enough to be recognised as king in his own right. Ragnhilde Daughter of Olaf, King of Mann, and a concubine. Married Somerled c 1140. Affreca Olaf’s second wife, daughter of Prince Fergus of Galloway, at the time that Somerled first went to the Isle of Mann. (Olaf’s first wife was Ingebjorg Haakonsdatter daughter of Haakon Paulsson, Earl of Orkney.) Godred King Olaf’s only legitimate son by Affreca. Robert de Brus Had lands from the kings of England and Scotland. Supporter of Archbishop of York against the Scottish king David I at the Battle of the Standard. Descendants became the “the Bruce” family. Two of his descendants, Robert and David, became kings of Scotland. Bernard de Balliol Had lands from both the English and Scottish kings. Supporter of Archbishop of York against the Scottish king David I at the Battle of the Standard. One of his descendants, John, became King of Scotland. Alain fitz Flaald (died c. 1120) Born in Dol de Bretagne. Friend of Henry I before he became King of England. Brought to England by Henry to protect the Welsh border. Walter fitz Alain (c. 1103-1177) Third son of Alain fitz Flaald. Born in Oswestry, he married Eschyna, a Scottish widow, inheriting her property. He rose in importance in the Scottish court to become the first High Steward of Scotland, a position which became hereditary for his family and led to the Stewart dynasty. Eight of his descendants became kings of Scotland and six were kings or queens of Great Britain. Simon fitz Alain (died c. 1200) Walter fitz Alain’s younger brother. Accompanied Walter to Scotland. Robert de Croc (c.1100-1126) First husband of Eschyna. Eschyna (c. 1110-1209?) Widow of Robert de Croc, Married and outlived Walter fitz Alain. Married again after Walter’s death. Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135) King of England 1100-1135. Matilda (1102-1167) Daughter of Henry I and Matilda (sister of David I of Scotland). Nominated by Henry as his heir but after Henry’s death this was disputed. The civil war that followed (known as The Anarchy), ended when Matilda accepted her cousin Stephen of Blois as king on condition that her son Henry (Henry II) succeeded him.

Main Historical Characters

Some of the characters in this story are fictitious, created to help with the narative, but the vast majority were real people, even where we do not know their names.
© Walter Jardine 2018
Gillebhride Somerled’s father and exiled king of Dal Riata. Grew up in Fermanagh, a guest of the Clan Cholla (his Irish kindred). Failed in several attempts to regain the clan’s old kingdom in Argyll. Believed by some to be a descendent of the house of Alpin from the time when Kenneth mac Alpin combined Dal Riata (Argyll) with Pictland to form Alba (Scotland). Somerled (c. 1101-1164) Son of Gillebhride. Led his clan in a campaign to recover territory in Scotland that had been taken from them when the Norse invaded in the 9th century. He recovered the old Dal Riata territory, becoming King of Argyll and Lord of the Isles. His descendants became famous as the MacDonald, MacDougall and MacRory clans. David I (c. 1084-1153) King of Scotland 1124-1153. He continued the process begun by his father, Malcolm III, of importing Norman nobles to replace troublesome regional chiefs (Mormaers) with nobles of sworn loyalty to him. Malcolm IV (c. 1141-1165) King of Scotland 1153-1165, grandson of David I. His youth and ill health meant that he was dominated by the Norman Lords in his court for much of his reign. He was known as Malcolm Canmore (Cenn Mόr = great chief). Today, kings of that family since his great-grandfather, Malcolm III, are known as the Canmores. Thora (b. c. 1103) Somerled’s sister. Actual name not known but there are several suggestions on record. I invented my own name for her. She married Malcolm mac Alexander (see below). Donald Son of Thora and Malcolm mac Alexander. After his father’s imprisonment by King David, Donald continued the Mormaers’ fight against Scotland’s Normanisation, was defeated and imprisoned until his release in 1157. Fergus of Galloway Prince of a Gaelic kingdom in south-west Scotland. His daughter was married to Olaf of Man. Having failed to control his warring sons he retired to a monastery and, to pacify the area, his territory was awarded to a Norman Lord by Malcolm IV. Malcolm mac Alexander (also referred to as Malcolm mac Alasdair) Until recently, this Malcolm was thought to be Malcolm McHeth. Now believed to be the illegitimate son of the late king Alexander I. Changing standards (feudalism) barred him from succession to the throne as would have been possible under ancient Scots law. He married Somerled’s sister. Captured and imprisoned in 1134 by King David’s forces, he was held at Roxburgh. There is no record of him being seen again outside of prison. Olaf (c. 1080-1153) King of Mann 1113-1153. The early part of his reign was probably some form of regency until he was deemed old enough to be recognised as king in his own right. Ragnhilde Daughter of Olaf, King of Mann, and a concubine. Married Somerled c 1140. Affreca Olaf’s second wife, daughter of Prince Fergus of Galloway, at the time that Somerled first went to the Isle of Mann. (Olaf’s first wife was Ingebjorg Haakonsdatter daughter of Haakon Paulsson, Earl of Orkney.) Godred King Olaf’s only legitimate son by Affreca. Robert de Brus Had lands from the kings of England and Scotland. Supporter of Archbishop of York against the Scottish king David I at the Battle of the Standard. Descendants became the “the Bruce” family. Two of his descendants, Robert and David, became kings of Scotland. Bernard de Balliol Had lands from both the English and Scottish kings. Supporter of Archbishop of York against the Scottish king David I at the Battle of the Standard. One of his descendants, John, became King of Scotland. Alain fitz Flaald (died c. 1120) Born in Dol de Bretagne. Friend of Henry I before he became King of England. Brought to England by Henry to protect the Welsh border. Walter fitz Alain (c. 1103-1177) Third son of Alain fitz Flaald. Born in Oswestry, he married Eschyna, a Scottish widow, inheriting her property. He rose in importance in the Scottish court to become the first High Steward of Scotland, a position which became hereditary for his family and led to the Stewart dynasty. Eight of his descendants became kings of Scotland and six were kings or queens of Great Britain. Simon fitz Alain (died c. 1200) Walter fitz Alain’s younger brother. Accompanied Walter to Scotland. Robert de Croc (c.1100-1126) First husband of Eschyna. Eschyna (c. 1110-1209?) Widow of Robert de Croc, Married and outlived Walter fitz Alain. Married again after Walter’s death. Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135) King of England 1100-1135. Matilda (1102-1167) Daughter of Henry I and Matilda (sister of David I of Scotland). Nominated by Henry as his heir but after Henry’s death this was disputed. The civil war that followed (known as The Anarchy), ended when Matilda accepted her cousin Stephen of Blois as king on condition that her son Henry (Henry II) succeeded him.

Main Historical Characters

Some of the characters in this story are fictitious, created to help with the narative, but the vast majority were real people, even where we do not know their names.

Walter Jardine

Somerled

Characters

About Somerled and Medieval Scotland

Walter Jardine

Somerled

Characters