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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
IX. The Gaels


raided Iona and demolished a monastery erected on Columban land by the new Benedictine abbot, and proclaimed the then Abbot of Derry, who was a descendant of St. Columba’s brother, to be Abbot of Iona as well.

The Kindred of St. Columba had come into the Crown of Scotland in earlier times, when Bethoc, daughter of Malcolm II, King of Albany married Crinan (ca. 975—1045), Thane (temporal lord) and (hereditary) Abbot of Dunkeld, and Seneschal (household officer or administrator) of the Isles. Crinan’s line was probably a branch of the Cineal Luighdheach, mentioned above (Moncreiffe 211). The Cineal Luigheheach were heads of the Columban church in Scotland since the removal of that primacy from Jona to Dunkeld several generations before (see Chapter IV). The sons of Bethoc and Crinan were King Duncan I of Albany (killed in 1040), whose descendants bore arms of the colors red on gold; and Maldred, Ruler of Cumbria, who married the daughter of the Earl of Beornicia, and whose descendants bore arms of the colors red on silver (white). From Maldred’s son Gospatric, Earl of Beornicia (which passed from English to Scottish control during his tenture, and whose original Saxon House is represented in the male line by the Swintons of that Ilk), are descended the families of Dunbar, Dundas and Moncreiff.

The Dunbars descend from the above mentioned Gospatrick, who was also known as Earl of Northumbria and who was forced to flee that earldom, but was later given the barony of Dunbar in East Lothian by his cousin Malcolm III, Ceann-Mor ("great-head"), who was killed in 1093, Later his line acquired additional lands in what is now southwest Scotland. His descendants, the earls of Dunbar, thus became the head of an important Lowland family. In the fourteenth century their then chief married the heiress of the Randolf earl of Moray, and by 1579 the Privy Council describes the Dunbars of northwest Moray as a clan. The Dundases descend from a son of Gospatrick of Northumbria who was given a charter of the lands of Dundas in West Lothian about the mid-twelfth century. They became an important landed family around Edinburgh. John de Dundas acquired a charter of the barony of Fingask in Perthshire in 1364—65.

The Moncreiffes take their name from the lands of Moncreiff in the parish of Dunbarny in southeast Perthshire (Strathearn) on the north side of the River Earn near its mouth. From their arms (coat of arms) and early history they appear to be a branch of the House of Dundas. Sir Mathew of Moncreiff obtained a charter from Sir Roger de Mowbray, Sheriff of Edinburgh, Linlithgow and Haddington of the lands of Moncreiff and Balconachin, which in 1248 were confirmed to him and erected into a free barony by a subsequent charter from Alexander II. He also held the lands of Culdares and Duneaves on the northeast side of Loch Tay in Atholl, which appear to have been his family’s earliest possessions. John de Moncreiff was granted a charter of Moncreiff by Alexander III between 1250 and 1286, and all these lands, including those in Atholl and Strathearn, were formally incorporated into the barony


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