Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
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Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly


The Earl of Huntly
Marquess of Huntly arms.svg
Coat of arms of the Earls of Huntly
Personal details
Died15 July 1470 (1470-07-16)
Huntly
Spouse(s)Egidia Hay
Elizabeth Crichton
MotherElizabeth Gordon, Heiress of Gordon
FatherAlexander Seton, Lord Gordon

Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Huntly (died 15 July 1470), who adopted the family name of Gordon from about 1457, was a powerful 15th-century Scottish magnate. He was knighted in 1439/1440 and was Lord of Badenoch, Gordon, Strathbogie and Cluny.

Life

He was the son of Alexander Seton, Lord Gordon (died 1440) (2nd son of Sir William Seton of that Ilk), by his spouse Elizabeth Gordon (died 16 March 1439), daughter and heiress of Sir Adam Gordon of that Ilk.[1] In 1435 he accompanied the princess Margaret to France to marry the 9th Dauphin of France.[2] In a charter dated 23 February 1439-40, he is styled Sir Alexander Seton of Tullibody, heir of Elizabeth Gordon. The charter confirmed an earlier exchange of lands between Sir William Keith and Margaret Fraser (his maternal grandparents) and William Lindsay, Lord of Byres exchanging lands for that of Dunottar.[3]

He succeeded his father as Lord Gordon before April 1441.[2] Alexander then resigned his lands to the king on 3 April 1441 and in return was granted a charter to himself and his wife Elizabeth of the lordships of Gordon, county Berwick; Strathbogie, Aboyne, Glentanner and Glenmuick, in Aberdeenshire; and Panbride in county Forfar; to be held in liferent and by their son George Gordon in fee as well as his lawful male heirs.[4]

In 1449, Alexander was raised to the peerage and created the first Earl of Huntly by King James II of Scotland,[5] sometime before 3 July of that year when he witnessed a charter to James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton under that title.[6] Later in the year he was present at the gates of Arbroath Abbey when the Ogilvies and Lindsays were disputing their claims to the office of justiciary of that abbey; where the Ogilvies were defeated and Earl Alexander, there in support of that family, had to flee the field himself.[6]

Tomb of Alexander Gordon, in Elgin Cathedral

He was embroiled in struggles against the Douglases, against the Lords of the Isles, and against the Lindsay earls of Crawford while being closely aligned with William Crichton, the Chancellor.[7] On 28 April 1451 he received a charter from the king of the lordship of Badenoch and the castle of Ruthven.[8] Gordon fought on the King's side against the Douglases during The Douglas Rebellion and soundly defeated the Crawfords at the Battle of Brechin 18 May 1452.[9]

Huntly adopted the family name of Gordon about 1457.[10] He died on 15 July 1470 at Huntly Castle[1] and was buried in Elgin Cathedral.[11]

Family

Alexander Gordon married first, c. 8 January 1426 Egidia Hay, daughter and heir of John Hay of Tullibody.[12] Together they had a son:

  • Alexander Seton, ancestor of the Setons of Touch, and Abercorn; succeeded to his mother's lands.[12]

He obtained an annulment to this marriage in 1438 in order to marry Elizabeth Crichton, daughter of William Crichton, the Chancellor of Scotland.[a][11] Alexander and Elizabeth had the following children:

Alexander Gordon had two additional children by a daughter of Cumming of Altyre, identified by her byname 'the Fair Maid of Moray'. Some have claimed there is no record of a marriage between them,[14] but it has been recorded elsewhere that a copy of their contract of marriage was among the later Marquess of Huntly's charters.[15] Alexander's two additional children by the Fair Maid of Moray were:

  • Janet (died 1470-73), married to James Innes of Innes[14]
  • Margaret (died c. 1506), married in 1484 to Hew Rose, 6th (or 8th[16]) Lord of Kilravock[14]

Notes

  1. ^ On 18 March 1439-40 Alexander Seton and his second wife Elizabeth Crichton had a charter limiting the entail of the estate to children of their marriage only, with remainder to Alexander's heirs whomsoever. This is why their eldest son George Seton, later George Gordon, was his father's heir to the lordships and to the Earldom of Huntly and not his older half-brother Alexander. See SP, IV, 524; Aboyne Records, 394.

References

  1. ^ a b George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its members from the earliest times, Vol. VI, eds. H. A. Doubleday: Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), p. 675
  2. ^ a b The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 381
  3. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 521
  4. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), pp. 521-2
  5. ^ MacBain, Alexander. "The Lordship of Badenoch". clan-macpherson.org. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ a b The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 522
  7. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 383
  8. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 523
  9. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), pp. 387-8
  10. ^ Appleyard, Simon C. (2004). "Seton, Alexander, first earl of Huntly (d. 1470)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25111.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. ^ a b The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 394
  12. ^ a b The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 393
  13. ^ a b c d e f g The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 525
  14. ^ a b c d The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 526
  15. ^ 'A Genealogical Deduction of the Family of Rose of Kilravock - written in 1683-4 by Mr Hew Rose, Minister of Nairne, continued by the Reverend Lachlan Shaw Minister of Elgin in 1753' (Spalding Club, 1848, Aberdeen). Page 54: Som through mistake have alleaged this Margaret Gordone to have been a naturall daughter of the familie of Huntlie; but George Marques of Huntly, (called with the lukken hand) who certainly might best have known the truth of anie, told Mr. John Rose, father to the laird of Pettindreich that he had her mothers contract of marriage in his charter kist. Her mother was [..gap..] Cuming, a daughter of the family of Altyre, called, for her singular beauty, the Fair Maiden of Murray
  16. ^ 'A Genealogical Deduction of the Family of Rose of Kilravock - written in 1683-4 by Mr Hew Rose, Minister of Nairne, continued by the Reverend Lachlan Shaw Minister of Elgin in 1753' (Spalding Club, 1848, Aberdeen). Page 54
Peerage of Scotland
New creation Earl of Huntly
1445–1470
Succeeded by
George Gordon

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