Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly

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Alexander (Seton) Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
Spouse(s) Egidia Hay
Elizabeth Circhton
Noble family Clan Gordon
Clan Seton
Father Alexander Seton, Lord Gordon
Mother Elizabeth Gordon
Died 15 July 1470
Huntly

Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Huntly (died 15 July 1470) at some point he began using his mother's family family name of Gordon, possibly when he succeeded his father as Lord Gordon. He was a powerful 15th century Scottish magnate. Alexander was knighted in 1439/1440 and was Lord of Badenoch, Gordon, Strathbogie and Cluny.

Life[edit]

He was the son of Alexander Seton, Lord Gordon (d. 1440) (2nd son of Sir William Seton of that Ilk), by his spouse Elizabeth Gordon (d. 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]

c. 1445 Alexander was raised to the peerage, created the first Earl of Huntly by king James II of Scotland, sometime before 3 July of that year when he witnessed a charter to James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton under that title.[5] 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.[5]

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.[6] On 28 April 1451 he received a charter from the king of the lordship of Badenoch and the castle of Ruthven.[7] 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.[8]

Alexander died 15 July 1540 at Huntly Castle[1] and was buried in Elgin Cathedral.[9]

Family[edit]

Alexander Gordon married first, c. 8 January 1426 Egidia Hay, daughter and heir of John Hay of Tullibody.[10] Together they had a son:

  • Alexander Seton, ancestor of the Setons of Touch, and Abercorn; succeeded to his mother's lands.[10]

He obtained an annulment to this marriage in 1438 in order to marry Elizabeth Crichton, daughter of William Crichton, the Chancellor of Scotland.[a][9] 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' but there is no record of a marriage between them.[12] They were:

  • Janet, married to James Innes of Innes (she died 1470–73)[12]
  • Margaret, married in 1484 to Hew Rose, 6th Lord of Kilravock (she died c. 1506[12]

Notes[edit]

  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[edit]

  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. ^ 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
  6. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 383
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), pp. 387-8
  9. ^ a b The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 394
  10. ^ a b The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 393
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ 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

See also[edit]


Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Huntly
1445–1470
Succeeded by
George Gordon