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Alexander Stewart, earl of Buchan

(b. c. 1342)


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B. c.1342, 4th s. of Robert II and Elizabeth Mure; m. Euphemia, countess of Ross, 1382; illeg. issue: 6s., 1 da.; d. c.1405; bur. Dunkeld.

Alexander Stewart first intervened in Moray politics in 1370, and became king's lieutenant in the north two years later. Lord of Badenoch and earl of Buchan in 1382 through his marriage to the widowed countess of Ross, he continued his reign of violence (including feuds, cattle-raids, and protection rackets) at a time of marked Highland lawlessness, until sacked as justiciar by the three estates in 1388. He deserted his wife in 1389 for a woman named Mariota, and was censured by the bishops of Moray and Ross. Since there had been other quarrels with the bishop of Moray, Alexander, with the help of ‘wyld wykkyd Heland-men’, burned the burgh of Forres (May 1390), then Elgin and its cathedral (17 June) in revenge, becoming known as ‘the Wolf of Badenoch’. Forced to appear before Robert III's council, he subsequently did penance and helped repair the cathedral.

Subjects: British History.


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