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The Scottish Nation

FERGUS, a surname derived from feargachus, wrathful, or of a fiery disposition, feary in the Gaelic signifying anger, or wrath, and feargach, one of a bold, irascible, haughty, or imperious temper, having nearly the same meaning as the Teutonic word Fierce. The conjecture that fear, a man, and ghais, (both Gaelic words,) a spear, constitute the Erse roots of the name, does not seem entitled to much consideration. Fergus is a name of great antiquity in Scotland, the Scoti having arrived and settled in Argyle from Ireland in 496, or according to some writers, in 503, under King Fergus, the founder of the Scottish monarchy. Like most other son-names, it is often used as a first of Christian name.

      Fergus, lord of Galloway, in the 12th century, the most potent feudatory subject of the Scottish crown, was a frequent witness to the charters of David I., but threw off his allegiance to Davidís son, Malcolm IV., and declared himself independent of the Scottish throne. Malcolm, in consequence, twice invaded his territories, and though twice repulsed and discomfited, he eventually, on a third invasion, in 1160, overpowered him, and obliged him to resign the lordship of Galloway to his sons, Uchtred and Gilbert. Fergus retired to the abbey of Holyrood, where he died of a broken heart in 1161. He was a prince of great piety, and founded, in 1142, the abbey of Dundrennan. He married Elizabeth, illegitimate daughter of Henry I. of England, and his descendants ranked high among the nobles of England and Scotland.

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