Ruadri of Mar, Earl of Mar

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Ruadri of Mar, Earl of Mar

Also Known As: "Ruadri"
Birthplace: Mar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Father of Gille Chlerig, of Mar

Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Ruadri of Mar, Earl of Mar

Earl of Mar From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Earldom of Mar Blason Comtes de Mar.svg Coat of Arms of the Earl of Mar Creation date 1014 Peerage Peerage of Scotland First holder Ruadrí, Earl of Mar Present holder James Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar and 16th Earl of Kellie and Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar Heir presumptive Hon. Alexander David Erskine, Master of Mar and Kellie Susan of Mar, Mistress of Mar Former seat(s) Mar's Wark, Kildrummy Castle and Doune of Invernochty

The Mormaer or Earl of Mar is a title that has been reaffirmed seven times, all in the Peerage of Scotland. The first creation of the earldom was originally the provincial ruler of the province of Mar in north-eastern Scotland. First attested in the year 1014,[1] the "seat" or "caput" eventually became Kildrummy Castle, although other sites like Doune of Invernochty were initially just as important.

The title evolved into a peerage title, and was made particularly famous by John Erskine, 22nd Earl of Mar who was an important Jacobite military leader during the 1715 Jacobite rising.

Owing to a 19th-century dispute, there are currently two Earls of Mar, with James Thorne Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar and 16th Earl of Kellie and Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar. The Earl of Mar and Kellie is the hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Erskine;[2] the Countess of Mar is the hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Mar. The Earldom of Mar is thought to be the oldest peerage in Great Britain, and even Europe.[3][4]

Early mormaers or earls

The first Mormaer of Mar is usually regarded as Ruadrí (fl. 1131), mentioned in the Book of Deer. Some modern sources give earlier mormaers, i.e. Muirchertach (Latinized as Martachus) and Gartnait (sometimes Gratnach), mentioned respectively in charters of the reigns of king Máel Coluim III (relating to the Céli Dé establishment of Loch Leven) and king Alexander I (relating to the monastic establishment of Scone), though in these cases certain identification with a particular province is difficult. The accounts of the Battle of Clontarf in some of the Irish annals name "Domnall son of Eimen son of Cainnech", Mormaer of Mar in Alba", as among those killed in 1014 alongside Brian Boru.

The principal seats of the Mormaerdom were Migvie and Doune of Invernochty. The Mormaerdom may initially have alternated between two kin-groups, represented respectively by Morggán, and by Gille Críst. Gilchrist succeeded Morgund, but was succeeded by Duncan, son of Morgund. On the other hand, we do not know Gilchrist's parentage, and chronologically he could have been an elder brother of Duncan.

There was a settlement in ca 1230 between Duncan and Thomas Durward, grandson, apparently, of Gilchrist, by which Durward had, it is said, £300 of land, a very large amount, which was scattered around the earldom, particularly at Fichlie, near Kildrummy, and Lumphanan in the lowland area. He also had Urquhart, but that probably had nothing to do with the earldom. Donnchadh got the title of Mormaer and the wealthier and militarily more useful upland parts of Mar. This line of Mormaers ended when Earl Thomas died childless in 1374. 15th century

While the eleventh (by some counts) holder of the title, Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar, was alone at the Kildrummy Castle, Alexander Stewart entered it and forced her to sign a charter on 12 August 1404 yielding the earldom to him and his heirs. She revoked the charter later that year, but on marrying him, she gave him the earldom for life with remainder to her heirs. The King confirmed her last action the next year.

In 1426, Stewart resigned the title so that he could be granted a new one by the King, the new title being more "legitimate". The King did so, but specified that the earldom and associated lands would revert to the Crown upon the death of the Earl. In 1435, the Earl died, and Robert, Lord Erskine claimed the title, but the King claimed its lands under the specifications of reversion made in the patent. The issue remained unresolved until 1457, when James II obtained a court order declaring the lands as crown possessions. Thereafter, he bestowed the title on his son John, who died without heirs in 1479. It was next granted to James' other son, Alexander, Duke of Albany, but the title was then declared forfeit because of Alexander's alliances with the English. James III created his son John Earl of Mar in 1486, upon whose death in 1503 the title became extinct again. 16th–18th centuries Mars Wark: The Earl of Mar's house in Stirling, situated on the approach to Stirling Castle, the Earl of Mar was governor of the castle during the mid-16th century.

The title was once again created in 1562, for James, Earl of Moray, son of James V, but he, too, could not produce a qualified heir. Moray rebelled in 1565 (see Chaseabout Raid) in protest at the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Consequently, Queen Mary restored (or created) the earldom of Mar for John, Lord Erskine, heir to the Lord Erskine, heir of the ancient Earls through a cousin of Isabel, who quarrelled with James II about the Earldom. John, the 23rd (or 6th Earl counting from 1565) was attainted for rebellion in 1716 (he was also created Duke of Mar in the Jacobite Peerages of Scotland and Ireland, and Earl of Mar in the Jacobite Peerage of England), and the Earldom remained forfeit for over a century.

Mormaers of Mar / early Earls

   Cainnech (?)
   Eimen (?)
   Domnall (d. 1014 (Clontarf)
   Muirchertach (?) (fl. 1115)
   Ruadrí, Earl of Mar (fl. 1130s)
   Gille Chlerig, Earl of Mar (fl. 1140s)
   Morggán, Earl of Mar (d. before 1183)
   Gille Críst, Earl of Mar (d. c. 1203)
   Donnchadh, Earl of Mar (d. c. 1244)
   Uilleam, Earl of Mar (d. c. 1276)
   Domhnall I, Earl of Mar (d. c. 1301)
   Gartnait, Earl of Mar (d. c. 1305)
   Domhnall II, Earl of Mar (d. 1332)
   Thomas, Earl of Mar (d. 1374)
   Margaret, Countess of Mar (d. c. 1391)
       William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas and Mar, jure uxoris Earl of Mar (1327–1384)
       James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar, jure matris Earl of Mar (1358-k.1388 Battle of Otterburn)
   Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar (c. 1360–1408)
       Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar (c. 1375–1435), second husband of Isabel Douglas (d. 1408); recognised as Earl jure uxoris from marriage in 1404.


   Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500–1286, 2 Vols (Edinburgh, 1922)
   Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 105th ed. (1978) ISBN (none)
   Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage 147th ed. (2008) ISBN 978-1-870520-80-5
   Oram Richard D., "The Earls and Earldom of Mar, c1150–1300," Steve Boardman and Alasdair Ross (eds.) The Exercise of Power in Medieval Scotland, c.1200–1500, (Dublin/Portland, 2003). pp. 46–66
   Roberts, John L., Lost Kingdoms: Celtic Scotland in the Middle Ages, (Edinburgh, 1997)

External links Gaelic Notes on the Book of Deer III = Gartnait son of Cainnech and Ete daughter of Gille-Michéil gave Pett Meic-Gobraig for the consecration of a church of Christ and of Peter the apostle, and to Columba and Drostán, free of all imposts, with a bond for it to Cormac bishop of Dunkeld, the eighth year of the reign of David. These being the witnesses: Nechtan bishop of Aberdeen, and Léot abbot of Brechin, and Mal-Domnaig(?) son of Mac-Bethad, and Aluine son of Aircill, and Ruaidrí mormaer of Mar, and Mataidín the judge, and Gille-Críst son of Cormac, and Mal-Petair son of Domnall, and Domangart lector of Turriff, and Gille-Coluim son of Muiredach, and Duibne son of Mal-Coluim.

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Ruadri of Mar, Earl of Mar's Timeline

Mar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Mar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland