Earl of Carrick

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For the title in Peerage of Ireland, see Earl of Carrick (Ireland).
Earldom of Carrick

Coronet of a British Earl.svg
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The Arms of the Realm and Ancient Local Principalities of Scotland [1]

The Earl of Carrick was the head of a comital lordship of Carrick in southwestern Scotland. The title emerged in 1186, when Donnchad, son of Gille Brigte, Lord of Galloway, became Mormaer or Earl of Carrick in compensation for exclusion from the whole Lordship of Galloway. The title has been recreated several times in the Peerage of Scotland.

Donnchadh's granddaughter Marjorie (Marthoc, Martha, Margaret), who later held the title in her own right, married Robert de Brus, who later became Lord of Annandale. Their son, also named Robert and known as "Robert the Bruce", would later rule Scotland as King Robert I, causing the earldom to merge into the Crown. Robert was also created a baron in the Peerage of England by writ of summons in 1295 as Baron Bruce of Anandale; the title became abeyant with the death of his son David II in 1371. In 1366, Sir William I of Kilmaurs, Chief of Clan Cunningham and patriarch of the Earls of Glencairn, is made Earl of Carrick upon his marriage to Lady Eleanor de Bruce, the daughter of Alexander de Bruce the Earl of Carrick, the son of High King Edward Bruce of Ireland, and grandson of Robert the Bruce.[2] Thereafter, successive Kings of Scots re-created the Earldom several times, but made it non-heritable, specifying that the earldom would revert to the Crown upon the death of the holder. Thus several creations ended with a reversion to the crown or with the holder becoming King.

In 1469, the Scots Parliament passed an Act declaring that the eldest son of the King and heir to the throne would hold the Earldom, along with the Dukedom of Rothesay. After the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, the Dukedom and Earldom have been held by the eldest son and heir of the Kings of England and Scotland, later the Kings of Great Britain, and finally the Kings of the United Kingdom. The current earl is HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.

King James VI and I created John Stuart "Earl of Carrick", in Orkney, in the Peerage of Scotland. He had already been made Lord Kincleven in 1607, also in the Peerage of Scotland. Stuart was a younger son of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney, illegitimate son of King James V of Scotland. He was granted title to the island of Eday in 1632[3] and he constructed a substantial mansion house at Calfsound on its northern shores shortly thereafter.[4] He also had property in Ayrshire and hankered after the prestigious title of Earl of Carrick. King James allowed him to name his new Eday property "Carrick House" enabling him to have the style, if not the substance of this title.[5] Lord Carrick had no legitimate male issue and the titles became extinct on his death in 1652.

In 1897 The Ayrshire Yeomanry Cavalry, a British Yeomanry Cavalry Regiment, adopted the sub-title Earl of Carrick's Own in honour of the future King Edward VII.

Mac Fearghuis rulers[edit]

Bruce earls[edit]

  • Robert Bruce (1292–1314) [became King Robert I. The Bruce of Scotland on 1306, died in 1329]
  • Edward Bruce (1314–1318) [his brother, became High-King of Ireland in 1315, died in 1318]
  • reverted to crown
  • David Bruce (1328–1330) [became King David II of Scotland in 1329, died in 1371]
  • Alexander de Brus, Earl of Carrick (1330–1333) [illegitimate son of Edward Bruce, died in 1333]
  • reverted to crown

Stewart earls[edit]

See Duke of Rothesay for further Earls of Carrick.

Earl of Carrick (1628)[edit]

Stewart, a younger son of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney, was created Lord Kincleven' (in the Peerage of Scotland) on 10 August 1607 and then Earl of Carrick, in Orkney, on 22 July 1628. Having no legitimate male heirs, all his titles went extinct upon his death, which is said to have been between 22 June 1643 and 3 March 1646.[6]

Carrick House, Calfsound, Eday with Sanday in the distance

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bartholemew 1983. ISBN 0-7028-1709-0
  2. ^ http://www.geni.com/people/William-Cunynghame-of-Kilmaurs/6000000003828326004
  3. ^ "Eday, Carrick House". Canmore. Retrieved 3 Mar 2012.
  4. ^ Stewart, Walter (mid-1640s) "New Choreographic Description of the Orkneys" in Irvine (2006) p. 24
  5. ^ Thomson (2008) p. 302
  6. ^ The Peerage – John Stewart, 1st and last Earl of Carrick


  • Irvine, James M. (ed.) (2006) The Orkneys and Schetland in Blaeu's Atlas Novus of 1654. Ashtead. James M. Irvine. ISBN 0-9544571-2-9
  • Thomson, William P. L. (2008) The New History of Orkney. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 978-1-84158-696-0