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The Scottish Nation

DURWARD, a surname derived from the office of ostiarius regis, door-keeper, or door-ward to the king, anciently Lord Durward. After the forfeiture of David Hastings, earl of Athol, Alan Durward, who held this office in the reign of Alexander the Second, was by that monarch created earl of Athol in his place, and in 1242 he was made great justiciary of Scotland. He married the king’s sister; and in 1251, when with Alexander the Third at the court of Henry the Third at York, he was accused of high treason, and in 1253 , he followed Henry into France and served in his army there. In 1255, he was one of the leaders of the party who opposed the Comyns, then at the head of the government in Scotland, and with Patrick, earl of Dunbar, and others, he invaded Edinburgh, surprised the castle, and set at liberty the young king, Alexander the Third, and his queen. [See ALEXANDER THE THIRD.] He was afterwards one of the fifteen regents, but in 1257 he was compelled to take refuge in England. In 1258 he was again chosen one of the regents of the kingdom. In 1264 he and the earls of Buchan and Mar proceeded to the Western Isles with a great army, and there killed many of those who had persuaded Haco, king of Norway, to invade Scotland, and banished the rest. He died in 1275, leaving three daughters, his heirs, among whom his lands were equally divided.

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