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Alan MacDonal FitzRoland MacFergus, Constable of Scotland, Lord Galloway

February 11, 2015 , , , ,

My 21st great-grandfather was the last of the independent Lords of Galloway, in Scotland.  He married three or four times and is buried at Dundrennan Abbey in Galloway.  He was mentioned in the Magna Carta, which is a big deal in English history.  I like his outrageously long name.

Alan MacDonal FitzRoland MacFergus, Constable of Scotland, Lord Galloway (1186 – 1234)
is my 21st great grandfather
Helen Elena McDonald of Worcester Countess Galloway (1207 – 1245)
daughter of Alan MacDonal FitzRoland MacFergus, Constable of Scotland, Lord Galloway
Lady Helen Elena La Zouche Quincy (1222 – 1296)
daughter of Helen Elena McDonald of Worcester Countess Galloway
Eudo LaZouche (1245 – 1279)
son of Lady Helen Elena La Zouche Quincy
Elizabeth La Zouche (1274 – 1297)
daughter of Eudo LaZouche
Nicholas Poyntz (1303 – 1376)
son of Elizabeth La Zouche
Nicholas Poyntz (1355 – 1372)
son of Nicholas Poyntz
Pontius Poyntz (1372 – 1393)
son of Nicholas Poyntz
John Poyntz (1412 – 1447)
son of Pontius Poyntz
William Poyntz (1455 – 1494)
son of John Poyntz
Thomas Poyntz (1480 – 1562)
son of William Poyntz
Lady Susanna Elizabeth Poyntz (1528 – 1613)
daughter of Thomas Poyntz
Elizabeth Saltonstall (1557 – 1621)
daughter of Lady Susanna Elizabeth Poyntz
Henry Wyche (1604 – 1678)
son of Elizabeth Saltonstall
Henry Wyche (1648 – 1714)
son of Henry Wyche
George Wyche (1685 – 1757)
son of Henry Wyche
Peter Wyche (1712 – 1757)
son of George Wyche
Drury Wyche (1741 – 1784)
son of Peter Wyche
Mary Polly Wyche (1774 – 1852)
daughter of Drury Wyche
John Samuel Taylor (1798 – 1873)
son of Mary Polly Wyche
William Ellison Taylor (1839 – 1918)
son of John Samuel Taylor
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of William Ellison Taylor
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Alan, lord of Galloway (b. before 1199, d. 1234), magnate, was the eldest son of Roland, lord of Galloway (d. 1200), and Helen de Morville (d. 1217), sister and heir of William de Morville, lord of Lauderdale and Cunningham and royal constable. He had two brothers and two sisters, of whom Thomas (d. 1231) became earl of Atholl in right of his wife, Ada married Walter Bisset of Aboyne, and Dervorguilla married Nicholas de Stuteville of Liddel in Cumbria.

Alan contracted three marriages: to a daughter of Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester; to Margaret (d. before 1228), eldest daughter of David, earl of Huntingdon, in 1209; and, c.1229, to Rose, daughter of Hugh de Lacy, earl of Ulster. The first two marriages produced children, but only daughters attained adulthood. Helen, his daughter by his first marriage, married Roger de Quincy, while Christina (or Christiana) and Dervorguilla [see Balliol, Dervorguilla de], the children of Alan and Margaret, married William de Forz and John de Balliol respectively. Alan had one bastard son, Thomas.

Cross-border landholding and kinship with King John of England made Alan a man of consequence in both realms. His relationship with the king of Scots, based on loose overlordship rather than feudal subordination, allowed freedom of manoeuvre where his actions did not conflict with Scottish interests. Galloway’s military resources and substantial fleet gave added influence; Alan’s aid was courted unsuccessfully by John for his 1210 campaign against the Ulster Lacys, but he agreed to send one thousand men for the abortive Welsh campaign of 1212. A grant of estates in Antrim in 1212 was designed to draw him actively into the defence of Angevin Ulster against the native Irish. Despite such favours from John, when Alexander II entered the civil war in England in 1215, aligning himself with John’s baronial opponents, Alan joined the Scottish king and was his chief lieutenant in the occupation of Cumberland and Westmorland from 1215 to 1217.

From 1225 Alan used the freedom afforded by the loose overlordship of the Scottish crown to interfere in the feud between King Ragnvald of Man and his half-brother, Olaf. His private interest, arising from efforts to secure Antrim with Ragnvald’s support against the threat of a Lacy restoration, coincided at first with Anglo-Scottish policy towards the region and received the tacit support of his Scottish overlord. The prospect of a pro-Scottish client in Man led Alexander II to acquiesce to the marriage in 1226 of Alan’s bastard son, Thomas, to Ragnvald’s daughter, but the marriage provoked revolt against Ragnvald. Despite the support of Galwegian galleys and warriors, Ragnvald was overthrown and slain in 1229 by Olaf. Alan’s ensuing attempts to conquer Man for Thomas destabilized the Hebrides and western highlands, thereby threatening Scottish territorial interests, and in 1230–31 prompted active Norwegian support for Olaf. Joint action by Alan and Alexander averted catastrophe, but Scottish and Galwegian interests had diverged and the 1231 campaign marked the end of further Galwegian involvement in the Manx succession; Alan’s dynastic ambitions had caused an undesirable war with a major foreign power.

Uncertainty over the succession to Galloway shadowed Alan’s later years. His nearest legitimate male heir was Patrick of Atholl [see under Thomas, earl of Atholl], son of his younger brother, Thomas, who had died in 1231, but, although Celtic practice did not debar his bastard son, Thomas, Alan’s closest heirs by feudal law were his three daughters, all married to important Anglo-Scottish noblemen. To King Alexander, the crisis precipitated by Alan’s Manx ventures made partition, and the attendant opportunity to replace the loose overlordship enjoyed by Alan with a more tightly defined relationship, an attractive proposition, for succession by Thomas threatened a revival of Galwegian interests in Man and so of risks to Scottish security. Alan died about 2 February 1234 and was buried in Dundrennan Abbey, where his mutilated tomb effigy survives. Partition of the lordship followed and, despite a rebellion in 1235 in favour of Thomas, was successfully enforced.


Alan FitzRoland (c. 1175 – 1234) was the last of the MacFergus dynasty of quasi-independent Lords of Galloway. He was also hereditary Constable of Scotland.

He was the son of Roland, or Lochlann, Lord of Galloway and Helen de Morville. His date of birth is uncertain, but he was considered an adult in 1196.

In right of his mother he inherited the de Morville Lordship of Lauderdale. as well as others in that vicinity: West of Blainslie, in Lauderdale, but in the Lordship of Melrose, are the lands of Threepwood, which were granted by Alan, Constable of Scotland, to the monks of Melrose between 1177 and 1204.

In 1212 Alan responded to a summons from King John I of England by sending 1,000 troops to join the war against the Welsh. In this year he also sent one of his daughters to England as a hostage. She died in 1213 in the custody of her maternal uncle. Alan is listed as one of the 16 men who counseled King John regarding the Magna Carta.

Alan, like his forebears, maintained a carefully ambiguous relationship with both the English and Scottish states, acting as a vassal when it suited his purpose and as an independent monarch when he could get away with it. His considerable sea power allowed him to supply fleets and armies to aid the English King John in campaigns both in France and Ireland.

In 1228 he invaded the Isle of Man and fought a sea-war against Norway in support of Reginald, Prince of Man, who was engaged in a fratricidal struggle with his brother Olaf for possession of the island.

Alan died in 1234 and is buried at Dundrennan Abbey in Galloway.

He married three or four times: ?? an unnamed daughter of John, Baron of Pontefract and Constable of Chester, who had died by 1209. They had one daughter:

Female, (d. 1213).

He married Hilda (Helen) de L’Isle (b.abt1174 d.after 11/0/1245) m.1205 Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland. She was the daughter of Rognvald Sumarlidasson, Lord of the Isles and Fonia of Moray.

Child of Alan of Galloway and Helen de l’Isle:

Helen of Galloway (b.c1208) Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland, who married Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester.

He remarried Margaret of Huntingdon, daughter of David I of Scotland. By this marriage he had:

Dervorguilla of Galloway, who married John de Balliol, 5th feudal baron of Barnard Castle and founder of Balliol College, Oxford. Their son became King John of Scotland.

Christina of Galloway (d. 1246), who married William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle, but had no issue.

Thomas, possibly alive in 1220, but certainly dead by 1234

Alan married his last wife, (3) Rohese de Lacy, in 1229, the daughter of Hugh de Lacy, 1st Earl of Ulster.

Alan also had an illegitimate son, who was also named Thomas.

With Alan’s death his holdings were divided between his three daughters and their husbands. A popular attempt was made within Galloway to establish his illegitimate son, Thomas, as ruler, but this failed, and Galloway’s period as an independent political entity came to an end.

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

  1. ALAN, Lord of Galloway, Constable of Scotland, 1215-1234, d. in 1234; m. (1) a dau. of Reginald, Lord of the Isles; m. (2) 1209 Margaret of Huntingdon.

Additional Royal Descents; “A Line of Descent from Malcolm II, King of Scots, to the Rev. George Burroughs of Danvers, Mass. by Frederick Lewis Weis, Th. D., of Dublin, NH., NEHGR, 1954. Vol. 108, pg 174

ALAN of Galloway, son of ROLAND Lord of Galloway & his wife Helen de Moreville (-[2] Feb 1234, bur Dundraynan). He succeeded his father in 1200 as Lord of Galloway. “Alanus filius Rollandi de Galwythia” donated “partem terre in territorio de Gillebeccokestun…de Widhope” to Melrose abbey, for the souls of “Ricardi de Morevill avi mei et Willemi avunculi mei, Rollandi patris mei et…mea et Helene matris mee”, by undated charter. “Thomas de Colevilla cognomento Scot” donated “quartam partam de Almelidum…Keresban” to Melrose abbey by undated charter witnessed by “…Alano filio Rolandi de Galewai, Fergus filio Uctredi, Edgaro filio Douenad, Dunkano filio Gilbti comite de Carric…”. “Alanus fili Rolandi de Galweia constabularius dni regis Scottorum” donated property “in Ulkelyston” to Kelso monastery, for the souls of “patris mei Rolandi, avi mei Huhtredi”, by charter dated to [1206]. The Annals of Dunstable record that “dominus Galwinæ” died in 1235. The Liber Pluscardensis records the death in [1234] of “Alanus de Galway filius Rotholandi de Galway…qui…fuit constabilarius Scociæ” and his burial “apud Dundranan”. The Chronicle of Lanercost records the death “circa purificacionem beatæ Virginis” [2 Feb] in 1233 of “Alanus dominus Galwydiæ”. On his death Galway was divided between his daughters, but the people of Galway invited Alexander II King of Scotland to become their sole lord but he refused. The king finally defeated the insurgents after Jul 1235.

[m firstly (before [19 Dec 1200/1206]) — de Lacy, daughter of ROGER de Lacy Constable of Chester & his wife Maud de Clare (-[1201/06]). Keith Stringer says that “one of the daughters of Roger de Lacy was evidently Alan´s first wife” and that “the manor of Kippax” was her dowry, quoting a charter, dated to [19 Dec 1200/1206], under which “Alanus filius Rollandi, dominus Galuuaith Scotie constabularius…et heredibus meis” gave quitclaim to “Rogero de Lascy Cestrie constabularius et heredibus suis” for “advocationem ecclesie de Kipeis”.]

m [secondly] — [of the Isles, daughter of REGINALD Lord of the Isles & his wife Fonie —] (-before 1209). Balfour Paul says that Alan Lord of Galloway married first “a lady unknown, said to be a daughter of Reginald Lord of the Isles by whom he had two daughters”. The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified.

m [thirdly] (Dundee 1209) MARGARET of Huntingdon, daughter of DAVID of Scotland Earl of Huntingdon & his wife Matilda of Chester ([1194]-[after 6 Jan 1233]). The Chronicle of Melrose records the marriage in 1209 of “Alan FitzRoland” and “the daughter of earl David, the brother of the king of Scotland”. The Annales Londonienses name “Margaretam, Isabellam, Matildam, et Aldam” as the four daughters of “comiti David”, recording the marriage of “la primere fille Davi” and “Aleyn de Gavei”. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records the marriage in 1208 “apud Dunde” of “Alanus magnus de Galweyia, filius Rotholandi” and “Margaretam filiam David comitis de Huntingtona”. The primary source which confirms her appearance in Jan 1233 has not been identified. The date is inconsistent with Alan´s subsequent marital history, unless his marriage to Margaret was dissolved.

m [fourthly] (before 30 Mar 1222, annulled for consanguinity [1225/29]) JULIANA, daughter of —. Anderson records that Pope Honorius III wrote to the archbishop of Canterbury and others 30 Mar 1222 informing them that Alan constable of Scotland and his wife were related in a prohibited degree of affinity, and wrote again 28 Feb 1225 reported the hearing before the abbot of Bruern of the marriage of “Alan knight and Juliana”. Anderson states that Alan continued to litigate and that Juliana appeared in Rome before the Pope who “bade the archbishop examine the original acts and decide the case if Alan would not accept the woman as his wife”, and adds that “Juliana seems to have lost the case”.

m [fifthly] ([1228/29]) ROSE de Lacy, daughter of HUGH de Lacy & [his first wife Lesceline de Verdun] (-after 1237). According to Matthew of Paris, the wife of Alan of Galloway “iam defunctus” was the (unnamed) daughter of “Hugonem de Lasey”. The Chronicle of Lanercost records in 1229 that “Alan the lord of Galloway…set out for Ireland and there married the daughter of Hugh de Lacy”. John of Fordun´s Scotichronicon (Continuator) records that “Alanus de Galweia profectus in Hiberniam” married “filiam Hugonis de Lacy” in 1228. If her parentage and marriage is correctly stated in the two sources quoted, the chronology suggests that this daughter must have been born from Hugh´s first marriage, assuming that she was legitimate. She is named “Rose de Lacy” by Keith Stringer, who cites a charter of St Bees which indicates that she was still alive in 1237.

Lord Alan & his [first/second] wife had two children

http://fmg.a c/Projects/MedLands/SCOTTISH%20NOBILITY.htm#HelenGallowaydiedafter21Nov1245

  1. ALAN OF GALLOWAY, Named in the Magna Charta, 1215, Constable of Scotland, 1215-1234, Lord of Galloway, d. 1234; m. (1) N.N., dau. or sis. of Roger de Lacy, of Pontefract, Constable of Chester; m. (2) 1209, Margaret de huntingdon, dau. of David of Huntingdon and Maud of Chester.

Excert from The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215 by Frederick Lewis Weis

  1. ALAN, lord of Galloway, named in the Magna Charta, Constable of Scotland, 1215-1234, d. 1234; m. (1) said to be a dau. of Reginald, Lord of the Isles; m. (2) 1209, MARGARET OF HUNTINGDON, m. (3) 1228, a dau. of Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster (d 1243) by his 1st wife, Lesceline, dau. of Bertran de Verdun or dau. or sister of Roger de Lacy of Pontefract.

Excert from: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700. Author: Weis, Frederick Lewis Date of Publication: 2004

Offord Manor

An inquiry was held in 1199 on behalf of Roland de Galloway, whose wife Ellen was daughter of Richard de Moreville, whether Richard had forfeited for his adherence to ‘the young king’Henry, son of Henry II. Alan, son of Roland and Ellen, was pardoned a debt regarding this inquiry in 1213.

A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2

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He was a very politically astute man. Not every man could juggle the necessities and curry favor while maintaining control in that time!

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

February 15, 2015

That’s right on the borders! And yes, it is a big deal (the magna carta)

Liked by 1 person

February 16, 2015

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