Adam of Kilconquhar

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Adam of Kilconquhar
Born Probably Kilconquhar in Fife, Scotland
Died 1271
Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem
Spouse(s) Marjorie, Countess of Carrick
Children The mother of Thomas Randolph
Relatives MacDuff family; the Comyns

Adam of Kilconquhar (died 1271) was a Scottish noble from the 13th century. Of Fife origin, he is notable for becoming the husband of the Countess of Carrick and participating in Crusade with Louis IX.


Evidence indicates that Adam was from MacDuff family; he was probably the son of Duncan of Kilconquhar, son of Adam (son of Duncan, Earl of Fife), who appears frequently as a witness in the documents of St Andrews Cathedral Priory as Adam frater comitis, i.e. brother of Earl Duncan II.[1] It is likely that Adam's mother was from the Comyn family:[2] his brother William was called 'Comyn' in his papal letter of appointment as bishop of Brechin.[3]

Kilconquhar in south-east Fife was the seat of this family's holdings. The feudal arrangement that evolved in the 12th and 13th centuries was complicated, in that although the Kilconquhar was held of the bishop of St Andrews, the bishop in turn held it from the earl.[4]

Marriage and crusade[edit]

Adam appears to have enjoyed the favour of the Scottish king Alexander III, and married Marjory daughter and heiress of Neil, Earl of Carrick.[5] He was able to use the title of earl in his wife's name, but it is unlikely that he had much role ruling the province, as Earl Neil had left the position of kindred chief (ceann cineil) to his nephew Lachlan.[6] Although they had no son to take over the earldom for the Kilconquhar family (that went to the Bruces), their daughter was the mother of Robert Bruce's companion in arms Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray.[7]

He died at Acre in 1271, while on crusade.[8] According to material in the Chronicle of John of Fordun, he had been a participant in the Eighth Crusade.[6] He had been one of a small Scottish contingent that attacked Tunis in 1270, where fellow-Scot and fellow-MacDuff David, Earl of Atholl died.[9] Adam survived, and withdrew with the rest to winter in Sicily.[9] The following spring the contingent joined with the army of Lord Edward and proceeded to Acre, where Adam was taken by disease.[9]


  1. ^ Barrow, Robert Bruce, pp. 25, 331 n. 25
  2. ^ Watt, Biographical Dictionary, pp. 107–08
  3. ^ Watt, Biographical Dictionary, p. 108
  4. ^ Barrow, Robert Bruce, p. 331 n. 25
  5. ^ Barrow, Robert Bruce, p. 25
  6. ^ a b MacQuarrie, Scotland and the Crusades, p. 58
  7. ^ Duncan, "Randolph, Thomas"
  8. ^ Anderson, Early Sources, vol. ii, p. 667; MacQuarrie, Scotland and the Crusades, p. 58 [for actual date]
  9. ^ a b c MacQuarrie, Scotland and the Crusades, p. 125