Ferchar, Earl of Strathearn

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Ferchar, Earl of Strathearn (fl. 1160), also called Ferteth or Ferquhard, is the second known earl or mormaer of Strathearn, a region in central Scotland.

Ferchar was probably the son of his predecessor Malise, though the identity of his mother and any siblings he may have had are not known. He first appears in history in 1160, when he came to the Parliament at Perth. On this occasion he, with the help of five other earls, besieged King Malcolm in Perth Castle. The reason for this is not clear, but it may have been a protest against Malcolm's friendship with Henry II of England, which they believed might lead to Scotland becoming an English vassal. The king and the earls were later reconciled, and Earl Ferchar was not punished for his actions.

Ferchar took a great interest in ecclesiastical affairs, and it was largely due to his influence that Strathearn was made a separate diocese, headed by the Bishops of Dunblane. He died in 1171, having married a woman named Ethne or Ethen, of unknown parentage. Ferchar and Ethne had two sons and a daughter: Gilbert, who succeeded as Earl; Malise, who held Muthil, Ogilvy, Kincardine, Rossie and other lands in Perthshire, and married Ada, natural daughter of David, Earl of Huntingdon; and Christian, who married Sir Walter Olifard, Justiciar of the Lothians and son of Sir David Olifard.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Anderson, Rev'd John, "The Ancient Earls of Strathearn", in Sir James Balfour Paul (ed.) The Scots Peerage, Volume VIII, (Edinburgh, 1911), pp. 240-1
  • Neville, Cynthia J., Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland: The Earldoms of Strathearn and Lennox, c. 1140–1365, (Portland & Dublin, 2005)
Preceded by
Malise
Earl of Strathearn
fl. 1160
Succeeded by
Gilbert