Freskin

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Duffus Castle, possibly begun by Freskin.

Freskin was a Flemish nobleman who settled in Scotland during the reign of King David I.

Origins[edit]

Freskin's name appears only in a charter by King William to his son, William, granting Strathbrock in West Lothian and Duffus, Kintrae, and other lands in Moray, "which his father held in the time of King David".[1] The name Freskin is Flemish,[2] and in the words of Geoffrey Barrow "it is virtually certain that Freskin belonged to a large group of Flemish settlers who came to Scotland in the middle decades of the 12th century and were chiefly to be found in West Lothian and the valley of the Clyde".[3] Freskin's land acquisition does not appear to be unique, and may have been part of a royal policy in the aftermath of the defeat of the Mormaer of Moray, Óengus.[4] For instance, on December 25, 1160, a charter was issued by King Máel Coluim IV to Berowald the Fleming, who seems to have controlled Bo'ness in West Lothian, granting him the lands of Innes and "Nether Urquhart" [=Etherurecard] in the "province of Elgin";[5] notably, one of the three witnesses to the charter which granted "Berowald Flandrensis" these lands, was "Wilhelmus filius Frisgin", William, Freskin's son.[6]

The Murray and Sutherland connection[edit]

Freskin appears to be the progenitor of the "de Moravia" family which in the Norman language means "of Moray". The senior line of the "de Moravia" family rose to become the Earls of Sutherland who were chiefs of the Clan Sutherland, although it was not until the 13th century that we can be certain they took the surname "de Moravia". From the Earls of Sutherland also branched the Lord Duffus family and Sutherland of Forse family, who both went by the surname of "Sutherland".[7] Another branch of the "de Moravia" family were the Moray line, some branches of which went by the English spelling of "Murray"; these were chiefs of the Bothwell Murray senior line with various cadets such as "Clan Murray" in Atholl.

The Douglas connection[edit]

Comparison between pre-1330 Douglas(L) and Moray(R) Arms

It is also quite possible that the Clan Douglas arose from the same stock. The first recorded Lord of Douglas, William de Douglas, is attested to in various charters of William the Lion. Five of his six sons became clerics, the eldest of which Bricius de Douglas became Bishop of Moray in 1203. Alexander, Henry and Hugh de Douglas all became Canons of Spynie. It appears that the youngest, Freskin de Douglas, remained in Lanarkshire as parson of the parish of Douglas, before being appointed Dean of Moray. The similarity between the heraldry of the Morays and Douglases with the use of "Argent, on a chief azure, three stars of the field" for Douglas, and "Azure, three stars argent, two and one" for Moray, makes this compelling.[8] Belief in the common descent of the Morays and Douglases was certainly extant in the early 15th century:

"Of Murrawe and the Douglas,
How that thare begynnyng was,
Syn syndry spekis syndryly
I can put that in na story.
But in thare armeyis bath thai bere
The sternys[stars] set in lyke manere;
Til mony men it is yhit sene
Apperand lyk that had bene
Of kyn be descens lyneale
Or be branchys collaterele Andrew of Wyntoun

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ G. W. S. Barrow, The Acts of William I King of Scots 1165-1214 in Regesta Regum Scottorum, Volume II, (Edinburgh, 1971), no. 116, pp. 198-9; trs. of quote, "The Beginnings of Military Feudalism" in Barrow (ed.) The Kingdom of the Scots, 2nd Ed. (2003), p. 252.
  2. ^ See Barrow, "The Beginnings of Military Feudalism", p. 252, n. 16, citing T. Forssner, Continental Germanic Personal Names in England, (Uppsala, 1916), p. 95; J. Mansion, Oud-Gentsche Naamkunde, (1924), p. 217; and G. White (ed.), Complete Peerage, vol. xii, pt. I, p. 537, n. d.
  3. ^ G.W.S. Barrow, "Badenoch and Strathspey, 1130-1312: 1. Secular and Political" in Northern Scotland, 8 (1988), p. 3.
  4. ^ See Richard Oram, "David I and the Conquest of Moray", in Northern Scotland, 19 (1999), p. & n. 43; see also, L. Toorians, "Twelfth-century Flemish Settlement in Scotland", in Grant G. Simpson (ed.), Scotland and the Low Countries, 1124-1994, (East Linton, 1996), pp. 1-14.
  5. ^ A.A.M. Duncan, Scotland: The Making of the Kingdom, (Edinburgh, 1975), p. 138, n. 11, where Duncan speculates that Houston near Broxburn may also have belonged to a Fleming.
  6. ^ G.W.S. Barrow (ed.), The Acts of Malcolm IV King of Scots 1153-1165, Together with Scottish Royal Acts Prior to 1153 not included in Sir Archibald Lawrie's "Early Scottish Charters", in Regesta Regum Scottorum, Volume I, (Edinburgh, 1960), no. 175, pp. 219-20.
  7. ^ Duncan, Making of the Kingdom, p. 189.
  8. ^ A History of the House of Douglas Vol I, Herbert Maxwell. Freemantle & Co., London. 1902

References[edit]

  • Barrow, G.W.S. (ed.), The Acts of Malcolm IV King of Scots 1153-1165, Together with Scottish Royal Acts Prior to 1153 not included in Sir Archibald Lawrie's "Early Scottish Charters", in Regesta Regum Scottorum, Volume I, (Edinburgh, 1960)
  • Barrow, G.W.S. (ed.), The Acts of William I King of Scots 1165-1214 in Regesta Regum Scottorum, Volume II, (Edinburgh, 1971)
  • Barrow, G.W.S., "Badenoch and Strathspey, 1130-1312: 1. Secular and Political" in Northern Scotland, 8 (1988), pp. 1–15
  • Barrow, G.W.S. (ed.), "The Beginnings of Military Feudalism" in Barrow (ed.) The Kingdom of the Scots, 2nd Ed. (2003), p. 252-3
  • Duncan, A.A.M., Scotland: The Making of the Kingdom, (Edinburgh, 1975)
  • Oram, Richard, "David I and the Conquest of Moray", in Northern Scotland, 19 (1999), pp. 1–19
  • Toorians, L., "Twelfth-century Flemish Settlement in Scotland", in Grant G. Simpson (ed.), Scotland and the Low Countries, 1124-1994, (East Linton, 1996), pp. 1–14.

See also[edit]

  • Lambroughton - Friskin and the origin of Clan Cunninghame.
Preceded by
-
Lord of Duffus
fl. 1130x1160
Succeeded by
William fitz Freskin