More Royal Ancestry of Peter Worden I


John R. Schuerman


In the last issue of Wordens Past, I outlined the ancestry of Peter Worden I back to William I, King of Scotland and gave glimpses of some of William's illustrious (and sometimes infamous) ancestors.  In this article, I trace William's ancestors back to some of the earliest monarchs of parts of Scotland, in the fifth century.  Before I get to that, a little history.


At the time of the Roman conquest, most of the British Isles was occupied by various Celtic tribes.  For a long time, it had been thought that Celts from northern Europe had come to the isles after 600 B.C., but that theory is now being disputed and it is possible that the Celts of Britain were not the Celts of Europe.  In the north of Scotland were the Picts, who may or may not have been a Celtic tribe.  The Picts got their name from the Romans, from a word meaning "painted people" because they painted their bodies with woad, an herb producing a blue dye.  The Picts may also have been tatooed.


The Romans first invaded England in the reign of Julius Ceasar, in 55-54 B.C., but they did not stay long.  Emperor Claudius invaded in 43 A.D. and stayed.  The Romans undertook expeditions throughout the main island, to the western edge of Wales and the northern reaches of Scotland.  Except for a few short-lived garrisons on the coast of Ireland, they left that island untouched.  But Roman control and influence were concentrated in southwest England, decreasing as one went north and west.  In 122 A.D. they built Hadrian's wall in the north of England (from the Solway to Newcastle), designed to regulate commerce and other movement from and to the North.  Further north was the Antonine wall, roughly between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  Largely because of troubles elsewhere in the Empire, the Roman legions began to withdraw in 401 and were gone by 410.  But the influence of the Empire continued for many years as many Britons had become Romanized.


The ensuing state of upheaval lasted hundreds of years, until the Normans subdued the island following their invasion in 1066.  The British Isles were continually invaded by the Irish, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, and Germans. Of particular importance was the settlement of East Anglia and Kent by the Angles and Saxons (Germanic tribes from western Europe) beginning before the Romans left in the late 4th Century. Beyond invasions, the native tribes constantly fought.  There were many small kingdoms, which frequently changed hands, one being submerged into another.  Accrual of land also frequently occurred through intermarriage of royalty of rival groups.


A kingdom in northern Ireland, Dal Raita, invaded the west coast of Scotland in the 5th Century, settling in Kintyre and Argyll, calling their land Dalraida.  The Dalraidans fought with the inhabitants of Strathclyde and Northumberland to the south, and the Picts to the north.  I have not found an authoritative, documented pedigree tracing the ancestry of William I to the earliest Dalraidians (but see for one claimed ancestry, which even includes a fanciful descent from Adam), but there is a pedigree back to the earliest kings of Strathclyde.  Strathclyde was an ancient kingdom, the borders of which expanded and contracted in time, but at their greatest extent ranged from Loch Lomond in the north to Cumbria in the south.  The early rulers of Strathclyde were descended from Britons, a Celtic tribe from before the Roman invasion, and people who later became the Welsh.


Kings of Dalraida and the Picts enter into this line through marriage.  The line, an account of which appeared in a series of articles by H. Pirie-Gordon in the Armorial, a Scottish genealogical journal, contains many names that appear strange to us, influenced by various Celtic tongues.  It begins with the earliest known king of Strathclyde, Coroticus, and continues as follows:


Coroticus (also known as Ceretic Guletic), King of Strathclyde in 459, son of Cynloyp, son of Cinhil (Quintilian), who was son of Cluim (Clemens)

Cinuit, Lord of  Birrens and Annadale

Dyfnal Hen, Lord of Birrens and Annadale

Garwyrwyn (or Gervynion), younger son


Gwyddno Garanhir = Irb, possibly the sister of King Drust IV and daughter of Verb

Nechtan II, King of the Picts, d. 621

Beli (Bile I), Underking of Fortrinn, King of Strathclyde, d. abt 640

Daughter = Ainftech or Enfidach, killed 693

Daughter = Eochaid II Crooked-Nose, King of Knapdale, 696, killed 697

Daughter = Feradach or Wroid, taken prisoner by Oengus I, 736

Daughter = Fergus, King of Dalraita 778-781

Fergusa = Eochaid IV, the Poisonous, King of Dalraita 781 - ?, son of Aed Find, ?Regulus of Knapdale under Oengus I, ?734-761, who was son of Eochaid III

Alpin, ?King of Kintyre March-August 834, killed about 841

Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots 841-858 (Cinnath III, King of the Picts 843-858), ?King of Argyll 839, d. 13 Feb. 858

Constantine I, King of Scots, d. 876

Donald II, King of Scots, d. 900

Malcolm I, d. 954

Kenneth II, King of Scots, d. 995

Malcolm II, King of Scots, d. 25 Nov. 1034

Bethoc = Crinan the Thane, d. 1045

Duncan I, King of Scotland, d. 15 Aug. 1040 = Suthen

Malcolm III, King of Scots, d. 25 Nov. 1093 = St. Margaret, b. abt. 1045, Hungary, d. 1093

David I, King of Scots, b. abt 1085, d. 24 May 1153

Henry, d. 12 Jun 1152

William I, King of Scots, b. abt 1142, d. 4 Dec. 1214


Although apparently based on reasonable scholarship, the earliest parts of this pedigree must be considered tentative and there is debate among the authorities about particulars, such as dates.  The individuals are historical figures, recorded in various chronicles, but some relationships may be shaky.  The various kingdoms mentioned in the above pedigree, Birrens, Annadale, Fortrinn,  Kintyre, Knapdale, and Lorn, were all areas in what is now southern Scotland.  Royal succession among the Picts and Scots was not through male primogeniture, which was established only after the Norman Conquest.


Following are notes about some of these individuals:


Coroticus--Severely admonished by St. Patrick in about 459 for raiding Ireland and carrying away some of Patrick's converts into slavery.  Earlier, in about 405, Strathclyde had been invaded by Dathi, Ard Ri (High King) of Ireland, who had succeeded his uncle, Niall of the Nine Hostages.  At the time of the Irish invasion, Strathclyde may have been ruled by Coroticus's father, Cynloyp, or his grandfather, Cinhil.


Beli--Beli in Cumbrian, also known in Pictish as Bile, King of Fortrinn, an underking of Pictavia.  Perhaps appointed to that position by his father, Nechtan II, King of the Picts in the late 6th or early 7th century.  United Fortrinn with Strathclyde.  Conquered Manau Guotodin, south of the Firth of Forth, which had become part of Northumbria.  May have advanced as far south as the Solway in 632 (the southern end of current Scotland).  Beli was maried at least twice.  By his first wife he had Owain I who succeeded as King of Strathclyde. His second wife was likely a sister of Talorcan I who was King of the Picts 653-657 and who defeated and killed Duncan, King of Kintyre, 654.  It is by this second wife that he had a daughter who maried Ainftech.


Fergus--King of Dalraita 778-781, may have been poisoned by his wife. Fergus was son of Eochaid III, who was King of Knapdale 697, of Kintyre 721, of Lorn and all Dalraita 723-733.  Eochaid III was son of Eochaid II, above, by 2nd wife.


Kenneth I MacAlpin--King of Dalraita about 840-858, King of the Picts, 842-858.  Thought to be the first king of Scotland, since he united the Picts and "Scoti" of Dalraita, but there is some argument as to whether this really constituted the beginning of Scotland, which may have occurred later in the 9th Century or early in the 10th.  His father, Alpin, may have been king of Dalraita before him.  Kenneth built a church in Dunkeld honoring St. Columba, who founded a monastery on the island of Iona (claimed to be the burial site of a number of early Scottish kings) and engaged in the conversion of northern England and Scotland to Christianity.  Kenneth invaded Northumbria several times and was assaulted by rulers of Strathclyde and by Scandinavians.


Constantine I--King of the Picts 862-876, considered to be the third king of Scotland, succeeding his uncle Donald I, who succeeded Kenneth I.  He fought desperate battles against the Scandinavians.  Norwegians based in Dublin devastated Pictland in 866 and 870, taking many slaves.  In 875 a Danish king based in York defeated Constantine at Dollar, near Stirling.  He was killed in 876 by the Danes. 


Donald II--King of Scotland 889-900.  Donald was the first king to be referred to at the time as "Ri Alban" (king of Scotland), although the land he ruled was only an eastern region north of the Forth.  He was more successful than his father in resisting Scandinavian invasions.  However, he was probably killed by Scandinavians.


Malcolm I--Became king sometime between 940 and 945, having ousted Constantine II who became a monk.  Malcolm engaged in aggressions against northern England and Moray, in the far north of Scotland.  He was killed at Fetteresse, south of Aberdeen.

Kenneth II
--King of Scotland 971-995, succeeding Culen.  Also engaged in attacks against northern England and Strathclyde.  Kenneth was recognized as the ruler of Lothian by King Edgar of England.  He was killed by the daughter of the earl of Angus in revenge for killing her son. 


Malcolm II--King of Scotland 1005-1034.  Became king after he killed his first cousin, Kenneth III in battle west of Perth.  The year after, he invaded England as far as Durham but was defeated.  However, he won control of Lothian in 1018 which resulted in establishing rule over Northumbria down to the Tweed.  In 1031 he was forced to submit to the power of King Cnut of England. 


Duncan I--King of Scotland 1034-40, possibly king of Strathclyde previously, having been appointed to that post by his grandfather, Malcolm II.  Duncan invaded Northumbria in 1039 and was defeated.  He was challenged for the throne by Macbeth, the ruler of Moray in northern Scotland, and marched into Moray, where he was fatally wounded north of Elgin.


Malcolm III--King of Scotland 1058-1093. Called "Canmore" (great leader). After his father's death, Malcolm, still a child, escaped to England.  Backed by Siward, the Anglo-Danish earl of Northumbria, he raised an army and invaded Scotland in 1054, defeating Macbeth at Dunsinnan, north of Perth.  In 1057, Malcolm defeated and killed Macbeth at Lumphanan, west of Aberdeen.  Lulach, Macbeth's stepson, became king.  Eighteen weeks later Lulach was killed by Malcolm.  During his reign, William the Conqueror subdued England and the previous Anglo-Saxon royal family fled to Scotland.  Malcolm married Margaret, the sister of Edgar Aetheling, who was briefly king of England before William.  Margaret was the daughter of Edward Aethling and princess Agatha, the daughter of the king of Hungary.  Malcolm submitted to William, but nevertheless frequently raided Northumbria.  He was killed in 1093 while raiding Alnwick in Northumbria.


David I--youngest son, King of Scotland 1124-1153, succeeding his brother, Alexander I.  David was educated at the court of King Henry I of England and married Matilda, a great-niece of William the Conqueror.  When he became king he asserted his independence of the English crown, although he brought considerable Anglo-Norman influence to Scotland.  His reign saw extensive ecclesiastic development and advances in law, administration, and economics.  He established a number of towns and introduced the first Scottish coinage.  He took much of Northumbria from the English king Stephen.  His only son, Henry, predeceased him and he was succeeded by his grandson, Malcolm IV, who was in turn succeeded by his brother, William I, discussed in the last issue of WP.


Sources--The pedigree from Alpin back comes from a series of charts in H. Pirie Gordon, The Succession in the Kingdom of Strathclyde, a ten part series appearing in the Armorial, volumes 1-3, 1960-1962.  The descent from Alpin can be found in many places, for example, A. A. M. Duncan, Kingship of the Scots, 842-1292 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002).  As in the previous article, I have depended on the Oxford Companion to British History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), Norman Davies' The Isles, A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), and Philip A. Crowl, The Intelligent Traveler's Guide to Historic Scotland (New York: Congdon & Weed, 1981).


Correction--In the February 2004 issue of WP, the editor and I both show Robert Sherburne(= Joanna Radcliffe) as the son of Richard Sherburne and Matilda Hamerton and the father of Agnes Sherburne (= Henry Rushton).  In this, we were following Gary Boyd Roberts, Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants.  Roberts was apparently drawing upon Thomas Whitaker's History of Whalley and History of Craven (see that issue for full citations of these works).  Other sources, notably Edward Baines, History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster and Richard Trappes-Lomax, History of the township and Manor of Clayton-le-Moors indicate that Robert and Agnes were both children of Richard.  I believe the latter to be correct.