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The Lords and The Line
Prince Fergus de Galloway's successive heirs through his wife Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Henry Beauclerc - King Henry I of England 1100-1135 and his mistress Sybilla Lucy Corbet), were Uchtred de Galloway (married to Gunild of Dunbar) , Roland (Rolund) de Galloway - Constable of Scotland, (born in 1164 and died in 1200 in Northamptonshire, England and married to Elena de Moreville about 1185) and Alan de Galloway (co-signatory of the Magna Carta of 15 June 1215). Princess Elizabeth, was the daughter of King Henry I of England (Henry Beauclerc), the son of William the Conqueror (King William I - her grandfather), the victor over King Harold and the Anglo-Saxons during the Norman Conquest at the Battle of Hastings (1066) and the head of the Norman line of English Kings. Alan (born about 1186 and died in 1234) was married about 1205 to Helen de L'Isle (1174-1212) the daughter of Reginald (MacDonald) Lord of the Isles and Fonia Moray. Alan and Helen MacDowall failed to produce a male heir, so, in time, Alan's daughter Devorguilla MacDowall, wife of John Balliol, passed the Lordship of Galloway and heirship of the crown to her son King John I (Balliol) of Scotland. The ruins of the Cistercian house of Glenluce Abbey, founded by Roland, Earl of Galloway in 1192, occupy a site of great natural beauty. It was visited by Robert the Bruce (King Robert I) and King James IV. Mary Queen of Scots also stayed there during a royal progress.
Devorguilla de Galloway Balliol, The Lady of Galloway, in memory of her husband John Balliol, had the Cistercian Sweetheart Abbey built in the late 13th or early 14th century and is buried in the presbytery with a casket containing her beloved husband's embalmed heart.
Roland (Rolund) (born about 1164, died in 1200) had a brother named Duegald (Dowall, killed in 1185), the younger son of Uchtred 2nd Lord of Galloway and his wife Gunild of Dunbar), from whom the surnamed “MacDowall” are descended according to Garthland records, as a result of which they carry the undifferenced Arms of Galloway, the Dalriadic lion used per pale (light blue) by Somerled, Or (gold) quartered by the MacDougall, except crowned in Galloway. Roland is buried at the abbey of St. Andrew in Northhamptonshire, England where the family also held lands. The Clan Ferguson also claim descendency from Prince Fergus de Galloway, 1st Lord of Galloway, as do the MacDonals and Galloways.
Because John (The Red) Comyn of Badenoch, the grandson of Dervorguilla MacDowall Balliol, Lady of Galloway, was murdered at the alter rails at the Dominican Greyfriars' Kirk in Dumfries, by Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick, in order to usurp the crown. John “the Red” Comyn had betrayed William Wallace at Falkirk (1306) while in the heat of battle, John and his vassals (mostly light cavalry) left the field, and it is presumed that he had conspired with King Edward to betray Wallace in this manner. Robert the Bruces' brothers Alexander and Thomas had gone to Galloway to seek aid for “The Bruce's” cause. They were captured by Comyn and the MacDowalls and turned over to King Edward I and were hung, drawn and quartered, and dragged through the streets of Carlisle. The Galloway MacDowalls were mortal foes of King Robert I (1306-1329) of Scotland and close kin and allies of the crowned Balliols of Galloway, of the MacDougalls of Argyll and Lorn, of Alexander Comyn Earl of Buchan, and of their fifth cousin King Edward I (Plantagenet) of England (1239-1307). Edward I completed the conquest of Wales and temporarily subdued Scotland. He was the eldest son of Henry III. In 1254 he was made duke of Gascony and married Eleanor of Castile (died 1290). In contrast to his father, Edward showed masterfulness in the disputes with the English barons following the governmental reforms instituted by the Provisions of Oxford (1258). He supported Simon de Montfort in 1259 but later changed sides. He fought for the king at the Battle of Lewes (1264) and himself defeated Montfort decisively at Evesham (1265), restoring royal power. In 1271-72 he was on crusade at Acre.
During the years from 1272, when Edward succeeded his father, to 1290 striking achievements occurred. Edward conquered the Welsh principality of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd in devastating campaigns in 1277 and 1282-83 and built massive castles to keep it secure. In England he held regular parliaments. (The surname prefix ap or ab in Welch serves the same purpose as Mc or Mac in Gaelic.) A program of legislation strengthened royal control over the court system and reformed the tangled feudal land law. After 1294 wars in Scotland and France dominated Edward's reign. The death (1290) of Margaret, Maid of Norway, heiress to the Scottish crown, allowed Edward as suzerain to choose a successor, John de Balliol, and then to claim direct rule over Scotland, which he subdued in 1296. It was at this time that King Edward I ripped the coat of arms off King John I (Balliol) and threw it to the floor. Upon leaving Scotland, King Edward is recorded by his royal scribe to have said: “It is good to be shot (rid) of this shyte" (referring to Scotland).
In France the conflict concerned the French king's overlordship over Edward's duchy of Gascony. In 1297, Edward attacked France to assert his rights, but the expedition was cut short by the rebellion in Scotland of Sir William Wallace. At the same time the English nobles rebelled, forcing Edward to grant Parliament control over taxes. By a treaty (1303) with Philip IV of France, Edward retained Gascony. He failed, however, to quell the risings of Wallace and Robert the Bruce (later Robert I), and Scotland remained only half-conquered at his death. He was succeeded by his son Edward II. During this time, the MacDougall clan controlled Lorn and Benderloch, the islands of Mull, Lismore, Coll and Tiree. After several battles in which the Gallowegians followed their native leader Sir Douglas MacDowyl (as translated by the English at that time), Sir Douglas MacDowall was killed and dispossessed by the Bruces. King Robert I, known as Robert the Bruce (born July 11, 1274, died June 7, 1329) the king of Scotland, restored Scottish independence from England. In 1292, Bruce's grandfather had lost his claim to the Scottish throne to John de Balliol in a succession suit decided by English King Edward I. During the next decade Bruce, then 8th earl of Carrick, switched his allegiance back and forth between Edward and the independence of Scotland.
After the execution (in 1305) of Sir William Wallace, a national hero, Bruce, not fully trusted by either side, murdered his old enemy and rival John Comyn. This act committed him to the Scottish patriots, because Comyn had inherited Balliol's claim to the throne and was supported by Edward. On 27 March 1306, The Bruce was crowned at Scone. Following major setbacks in 1306-07, he rallied from an apparently hopeless situation and began systematically winning back his kingdom from the English. On 24 June 1314, at the Battle of Bannockburn, Bruce defeated Edward II, who had succeeded his father Edward I in 1307. This great victory established independence for Scotland and confirmed Bruce's claim to the throne. King Robert I spent the remainder of his life fighting the English in Ireland and along the Scottish borders. In 1328, England formally recognized Scottish independence. Robert was succeeded by his son, David II.
The Clan MacDougall prized trophy - the Brooch of Lorn that was ripped, along with the tartan cloak, from the treacherous Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick as he narrowly escaped death at the hands of our kinsmen at the Breadalbane Pass on 19 June 1306.
That same year (1306), the forces of John (Ewen) of Lorn were slaughtered without mercy between Ben Cruachan and Lochawe in the mountain gorge. The Bruce besieged Dunstaffnage castle and received the submission of Alister of Lorn, John's father. Alister fled to England, was allowed to retain the district of Lorn, but forfeited the rest of his possessions. As Alister and John arrived in England, King Edward I (Edward “Longshanks”) was making preparations for the expedition, which terminated in the ever-memorable defeat of his son and heir King Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn. John was received with open arms by King Edward I and appointed to the command of the English fleet. The Bruces' forces surprised and dispersed John's fleet at Kintyre and Knapdale. John, Lord of Lorn was captured, sent to Dumbarton, and afterwards to Lochleven, where he was detained in confinement during the remainder of King Robert I's reign.
In 1354 however, some of the former lands of the clan were restored when John (Ewen) MacDougall of Lorn married King Robert the Bruce (King Robert I)'s granddaughter and through her not only recovered the ancient possessions of his family, but even obtained a grant of property of Glenlyon. John (Ewen) died without male heir and his daughters married brothers of clan Stewart, thereby passing all lands and possessions to the Stewarts (The present British Royal family is of Clan Stewart). Thus ended the great power of the clan and of the descendants of Somerled and Prince Fergus de Galloway.
By the time of the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513, any loyalty, deference, or fealty to the English Crown had long since passed. Uctred MacDowall, 7th of Garthland, was married to Isobell Gordon, daughter of Sir John and Anabella Gordon of Lochinvar. Annabella was the daughter of the 1st Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock. Uctred was killed at Flodden Field along with his son and heir Thomas MacDowall, along with Thomas's father-in-law Sir Alexander Stewart, 3rd of Garlies and Daswinton, and Uchtred's son-in-law William Adair of Kilhilt. Almost every noble house in Scotland lost members at Flodden against the English. More than 12,000 men were killed outright or hunted down and put to the sword. Flodden Field in Northumberland is a very solemn, painful, and reverent memory and place for the Scots. It is sacred “hallowed ground”, the place where Scotland lost her best sons, as well as, its last best chance for Scottish National Independence.
The Flowers of the Forest: A Lament for Flodden
Jane Elliot. 1727-1805
I'VE heard them lilting at our ewe-milking,
Lasses a' lilting before dawn o' day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning-
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,
Lasses are lonely and dowie and wae;
Nae daffing, nae gabbing, but sighing and sabbing,
Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away.
In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
Bandsters are lyart, and runkled, and gray:
At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching-
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
At e'en, in the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming
'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play;
But ilk ane sits eerie, lamenting her dearie-
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
Dool and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border!
The English, for ance, by guile wan the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
The prime of our land, lie cauld in the clay.
We'll hear nae mair lilting at our ewe-milking;
Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning-
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
John MacDowall, 9th of Garthland, with his wife had half the barony of Corswall by charter under the Great Seal of Queen Mary and acquired the other half from the other co-heir, upon his marriage to Margaret Campbell, the daughter and co-heiress of Finlay Campbell of Corswall. John MacDowall was killed at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh on 10 September, 1547. The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh is another honored memory for the Scots against the English, fought over the issue of Mary Queen of Scots' proposed arranged marriage by the English Crown, referred to as “Rough Wooing”. It was all for not though, because Queen Mary had escaped to France and married Le Dauphin, Prince of France.
The next generation of our family changed sides several times, but were to become through the remaining centuries - defenders of Scotland supporting King Charles I (1625-49) in the Civil War. Sir James Macdowall, 14th of Garthland, served and retoured heir to his father (Uctred, 13th of Garthland) on 8 August, 1637. Sir James Macdowall was married to Jean Hamilton, the daughter of Sir John Hamilton of Grange. In 1641, Sir James Macdowall was elected Commissioner to the Parliament, and arranged to bring the Scots army detachment from Ireland in 1647 for the relief of Charles I in England and waited on the King and was knighted when the King put himself in the hands of the Scots army before the Battle of Newark. After the defeat of Leslie at the Battle of Dunbar (in 1650), and subsequent battles led by James Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton, other Macdowalls escaped from Scotland with their families to settle in Ulster. King Charles also fled but was captured. With the end of the Civil War, Charles I was beheaded and Sir James Macdowall declined appointment to the judiciary by Oliver Cromwell. After the Restoration (about 1661), Sir James Macdowall was named a Senator of the College of Justice. Sir James fathered several sons, many of whom died as infants.
In subsequent years, our cousins of Clan MacDougall supported the Jacobite cause through the unsuccessful 1715 Rebellion and thereby forfeited any small possessions they still had. The MacDougall chief's wife had held Dunollie castle against government troops while he was fighting at Sheriffmuir. The MacDougall estate was confiscated but restored just prior to 1745 because of their loyalty to the Crown during the 1745 Rebellion of Charles Edward Stuart - “Bonnie Prince Charlie”.
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