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Fergus Prince of Galloway[1]

Male - 1166

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  • Name Fergus Prince of Galloway 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 May 1166  Or 1161 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I39304  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 19 Aug 2013 

    Family Elizabeth (of Normandy) Princess of England,   d. Yes, date unknown 
     1. Uchtred Lord of Galloway,   d. 1174
     2. Gilbert Galloway,   d. 1 Jan 1184-1185
     3. Elfrica Aufrica of Galloway,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Daughter Nicfergus of Galloway,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Margaret of Galloway,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Probably Many Generation To Fergusson,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2013 
    Family ID F14903  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "Carrick" Complete Peerage, Vol 1 (#III, pages 55-61)
      Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain & theUnited Kingdom. Extant, Extinct or Dormant. By G. E. Cokayne. 2000,SuttonPublishing Ltd, Gloucester.

      Origins of Prince Fergus
      By Dr. Fergus Day Hort Macdowall of Garthland

      "... The most likely advent of Fergus is that he was judiciously selectedby David, perhaps initiated by Edgar and confirmed by Henry I, fortraining in the Norman courts at London and Carlisle as the potentialsolution for the peaceful control of Galloway. The English court hadproved a valuable school for David and his brothers, and even for MalcolmIII, and it was considered a training ground for future kings andgovernors. "Undergoing the same process was another young man, destinedto be the first of a famous line of Lords of Galloway - Fergus". Hissimilar role and status was made evident by his marriage, like that ofAlexander I or Scotland, to a natural daughter of Henry I of England.According to his ardent following and the law of Galloway which hemaintained, Fergus would have had to have been the tanistry-electedcandidate of the old native governing families of Galloway territoriallyborn to rule over the predominantly Irish-Scots population. Strathclydeconnections would bridge the time of Norse alienation of Galloway fromthe crown, and blood ties to the Norse or to past Danish overlords weredesirable for their peoples’ acquiescence.

      This is partly confirmed by Dominica Legge’s interpretation of theArthurian romance "Roman de Fergus", written by Guillaume le Clerc in OldFrench ca. 1200, probably in honor of the wedding of Fergus’great-grandson Alan Lord of Galloway. Fergus’ father is said to have beena Viking (Soumilloit in French, or Somerled in Norse). Legge suggestedthat he was Sumarlidi Hauldr who was killed by Sweyn in 1156. Unless thatdate is wrong this identification is not likely, considering that Ferguswould have been 60 years old at that time. This Sumarlidi would be littlechronological improvement over Somerled king of the Isles and Argyll whowas killed at Renfrew in 1164. The latter married a natural daughter ofOlaf king of Man who was in turn Fergus’ son-in-law. Crawford supposedthat Earl Malcolm of Galloway under Sigurd II was an ancestor of Fergus.McGill ventured that Fergus inherited the lordship of Galloway by descentfrom the first son of Thorfinn’s Earl MacGill of Galloway, and thatFergus’ contemporary Somerled of Innse Gall and Argyll was also descendedfrom MacGill’s father Earl Gilli. The latter was not among Somerleds’known paternal ancestors but could have been an ordained member of thesame Cinel. Some descendants of Gilli lived in Cumbria just beforeDavid’s earlship. (Nigel) Tranter thoughtfully constructed the name"Fergus macSuibhne macMalcolm macGilliciaran of Carrich" and suggestedthat Fergus was elevated by David following their alliance to expel HakonClaw of the Orkneys from Galloway. (P.H.) M’Kerlie was of dividedopinion, for he said of Fergus, "There is every presumption that he wasof Celtic origin, and held the lands of Galloway on the Celticprinciple", yet he also said that Fergus was a "stranger" or "foreigner"and "of Norse origin", especially advanced and imposed on Galloway byDavid as Prince of Cumbria. M’Kerlie further stated, "it is just possiblethat Fergus, Lord of Galloway, of whose ancestry nothing otherwise isknown, may have been a descendant of Earl Gilli, for the Norse elementmust have been strong in Galloway"...

  • Sources 
    1. [S883] Hamish Maclaren.