Gille Brigte, Earl of Strathearn

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The 2nd seal of Gille Brigte (Gilbert), Earl or Mormaer of Strathearn.

Gille Brigte of Strathearn (Francized as Gilbert) is the third known Mormaer of Strathearn. He is one of the most famous of the Strathearn mormaers. He succeeded his father Ferchar in 1171. He is often known by the Francization of his name, Gilbert, or by various anglicizations, such as Gilbride, Gilbridge, etc. A more modern version of his name is Giolla or Gille Brighde, and means - roughly - devotee of St Brigit.

Unikely his predecessors, we know for certain that Mormaer Gille Brigte was a regular attendee of the entourage of the Scottish king (in this case, King William I). Gille Brigte even served as the Justiciar of Scotia, an office usually held by the Mormaers of Fife, during the minority of Donnchad. Gille Brigte accompanied the King on his expeditions against Harald Maddadsson, the "rebellious" Earl of Orkney and Mormaer of Caithness. When William was captured at Alnwick in 1174, Gille Brigte too became a hostage, and shared William's fate as a prisoner at Falaise.

In 1213, Gille Brigte acted as an arbitrator in the controversy over the succession to the Mormaerdom of Menteith, the neighboruing Mormaerdom. Gille Brigte was one of the Mormaers present at the coronation of King Alexander II in 1215, at Scone.

Gille Brigte's reign brought Strathearn more fully into the fold of Scottish politics, although it does seem that he spent many of his last years in seclusion in Strathearn. He died in 1223.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Gille Brigte had two known canonical wives, Maud d'Aubigny, daughter to William d'Aubigny, lord of Belvoir, co. Leicester and his wife Maud de St. Liz,[1] and secondly Iseulte de Kinbuck. By his first wife he had seven sons and three daughters.


  • Neville, Cynthia J., Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland: The Earldoms of Strathearn and Lennox, c. 1140-1365, (Portland & Dublin, 2005)
  • J. Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1911), vol. VIII, pp. 241–2


  1. ^ J. Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1911), vol. VIII, pp. 241-2. His wife, "countess Maud, daughter of William de Aubigny" ['ego Matildis filia Willelmi de Aubegni comitissa'] granted a charter together with her husband Earl Gilbert to the monks of Inchaffray on the 2nd anniversary of the death of their son Gilchrist, 6 Oct 1200 [Liber Insule Missarum pp. 3-5, no. 117]. For a discussion of the identification of William de Aubigny 'Brito' of Belvoir as father of Earl Gilbert's wife, see among others J. Ravilious, 'Gilbert, earl of Strathearn (d. 1223) and Maud d'Aubigny', 7 Jan 2008, soc.genealogy.medieval
  2. ^ "The Peerage: A Genealogical Survey of the Peerage of Britain as Well as the Royal Families of Europe". 
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mormaer of Strathearn
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by
Donnchad II, Earl of Fife
Justiciar of Scotia
between 1172 and 1199
with Donnchad II, Earl of Fife (c. 1172–1199)
Matthew, Bishop of Aberdeen (c. 1172–1199)
Succeeded by
Donnchad II, Earl of Fife