John Comyn I of Badenoch

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John Comyn I of Badenoch
Coat of arms
Diedc. 1275
Noble familyComyn family
  • Eva
  • Alice de Ros
FatherRichard Comyn

John Comyn (Cumyn) (c. 1215c. 1275) was Lord of Badenoch in Scotland. He was Justiciar of Galloway in 1258.[1][2] He held lands in Nithsdale[3] (Dalswinton, a Comyn stronghold,[4][5] and Duncow[6]) and Tynedale.[3]


The Comyn family were in effective power in Scotland from 1249 to 1255, when Alexander III of Scotland was a minor; John was one of those with court influence.[3] The Comyns were ousted by Alan Durward, but returned to power in 1257-8, before provoking a strong English reaction.[3][7]

He fought for Henry III of England at the Battle of Lewes (1265), with John Baliol the elder and Robert Bruce the elder,[8] and was captured.[9] In 1267 he was given licence to crenellate Tarset Castle in Tynedale (by present-day Lanehead, near Hexham), by Henry III; Tarset had previously been held by Walter Comyn.[10]

He started the construction of Blair Castle with a tower built in 1269.[11] The place was soon taken back by David, Earl of Atholl.[12]

John was the son of a Richard Comyn and was the grandson (through Richard) of William Comyn, jure uxoris Earl of Buchan.

In 1275, John was one of the leaders of a Scottish expedition that crushed a Manx revolt against the Scottish Crown.

According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica he died in 1274, and was nephew of Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Constable of Scotland, and of Walter Comyn, Earl of Mentieth.[13] His date of death is also given as 1277.[citation needed]

He succeeded his uncle Walter, in 1258, as Lord of Badenoch, and was succeeded by his son John II, the "Black Comyn". John I was known as the "Red Comyn", the nickname more commonly applied to his grandson.[14]


His first wife was called Eva, and appears to have been the mother of at least his oldest children.[15]

His second wife was named Alice and referred to in one document after his death as Lady Alice de Roos (Ros).[16][a] Alice was the daughter of William de Roos of Helmsley and Lucy FitzPiers.

He is known to have had the following issue:


  1. ^ Scots Peerage has however suggested she might be a de Lindsay of Lamberton, because she and her husband possessed Ulesby, and also because John Comyn was once guardian to a related Lindsay.[17]


  1. ^ G. W. S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots: Government, Church and Society from the Eleventh to the Fourteenth Century (2003), p. 86.
  2. ^ Michael Brown, The Wars of Scotland (2004), p. 53.
  3. ^ a b c d Tout 1887.
  4. ^ Overview of Dalswinton
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Historical perspective for Nithsdale
  7. ^ Michael Prestwich, Plantagenet England 1225-1360 (2005), p. 230.
  8. ^ "Battle of Lewes, May 14, 1264". Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  9. ^ Battlefield Report (PDF), p. 5.
  10. ^ Tarset Castle Archived 2007-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Blair Castle". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland.
  12. ^ "A Guide To Blair Castle, Perth and Kinross, From TourUK". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  13. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Comyn, John" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 822.
  14. ^ "Clan Comyn". Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  15. ^ Richardson, Royal Ancestry (2013) Vol.II p.207.
  16. ^ Douglas Richardson, Kimball G. Everingham, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (2005), p. 210; gives his death as in 1273-8. Also see newer work Royal Ancestry (2013) Vol.II p.207.
  17. ^ Scots Peerage p.5
  18. ^ Clan Galbraith Association Galbraiths of the Lennox
  19. ^ Medieval English genealogy: Which John de Mowbray was the Brother of Christiana de Plumpton? Part 2
  20. ^ Balfour Paul J., Scots Peerage voll i, p. 506


Tout, Thomas Frederick (1887). "Comyn, John (d.1274)" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 11. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 458–459.

Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by Lord of Badenoch
Succeeded by