Earl of Atholl

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Earldom of Atholl

The Arms of the Realm and Ancient Local Principalities of Scotland [1]
Creation date12th century
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderDubdon of Atholl (Mormaerdom)
Present holderBruce Murray, 12th Duke of Atholl
StatusExtant as subsidiary title of Duke of Atholl
Former seat(s)Blair Castle

The Mormaer or Earl of Atholl was the title of the holder of a medieval comital lordship straddling the highland province of Atholl (Ath Fodhla), now in northern Perthshire. Atholl is a special Mormaerdom, because a King of Atholl is reported from the Pictish period. The only other two Pictish kingdoms to be known from contemporary sources are Fortriu and Circinn. Indeed, the early 13th century document known to modern scholars as the de Situ Albanie repeats the claim that Atholl was an ancient Pictish kingdom. In the 11th century, the famous Crínán of Dunkeld may have performed the role of Mormaer.

Royal connections continued with Máel Muire, who was the son of King Donnchad I, and the younger brother of Máel Coluim III mac Donnchada. Matad was perhaps the most famous of the Mormaers, fathering Harald Maddadsson, a notorious rebel of the Scottish King and perhaps the first Gael to rule Orkney as Earl of Orkney. The line of Máel Muire and Crínán came to an end when Forbhlaith, the daughter of Mormaer Henry married David de Hastings.

The latter marriage produced a daughter, Ada, who married into the Strathbogie family, a semi-Normanized Gaelic family with Fife origins. The Strathbogies ruled until the Wars of Independence, when the Campells took over. It finally passed to the Stewarts.

Early Mormaers/Earls of Atholl[edit]

After David II, two of others of his name claimed the lordship, though neither exercised it:

Earls of Atholl; Second creation (1320)[edit]

Earls of Atholl; Third creation (1341)[edit]

Earls of Atholl; Fourth creation (1342)[edit]

Other titles: Earl of Strathearn (1358, abd. 1369, regained 1370)

Earls of Atholl; Fifth creation (1398)[edit]

Other titles: Duke of Rothesay (1398) and Earl of Carrick (c. 1390)

Earls of Atholl; Sixth creation (1403)[edit]

Other titles: Duke of Albany (1398), Earl of Fife (1371, res. 1372) and Earl of Buchan (1382, res. 1406)

Earls of Atholl; Seventh creation (1404)[edit]

Other titles: Earl of Caithness (1375, abd c 1428–1430), Earl of Strathearn (1427 for life), Earl of Caithness (1430) and Baron Cortachy (1409)

Earls of Atholl; Eighth creation (1457)[edit]

Arms of the Stewart Earls of Atholl, in stained glass at Stirling Castle
Other titles: Lord of Balveny (1460)

Earls of Atholl; Ninth creation (1596)[edit]

Other titles: Lord Innermeath (1469)

Earls of Atholl; Tenth creation (1629)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bartholomew Scotland of old : clan names map; the lands, the arms and the crests. 1983. ISBN 0-7028-1709-0