Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2000-01 > 0949158056

From: raymond l montgomery <>
Subject: Re: MacDuff, Thane of Fife, Man or myth?
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 08:00:56 -0700

May i ask what is the line of decent to this macduff or line of fife?
On Fri, 28 Jan 2000 21:07:03 EST writes:
>In lieu of recent discussions the following is for discussion purposes
>and the theory presented is conjectural. This is not documented fact.
>In my continuing search for the true origins of the MacDuff Earls of
>Fife, I
>have come across something which leaves me very perplexed. The source
>this is one very highly respected and reputable source for Early
>Charters and History, Sir Archibald Campbell Lawrie. I will cite the
>pertinent passages and would appreciate feedback from anyone with
>of this family.
>Sir Archibald Campbell Lawrie _ Early Scottish Charters, Prior to A.D.
>James MacLehose and Sons, Glasgow, 1905;
>Notes to XIV (Notice of a grant made by Aethelred, son of Malcolm III
>to the
>Keldei of Loch Leven, AD 1093-1107 - please note that Lawrie states
>Aethelred was dead by the time this notice was written)
>Page 244-245:
>Insuper Comes de Fyf. ........G.E.C. suggests that Ethelred was Earl
>Forthriff and Constantine was Earl of Fife. It was an early tradition
>Macduff was Thane of Fife in the reign of Macbeth, and that in the
>time of
>King Malcolm he became Earl. Mr. Skeene thinks Macduff is
>"Fictitious,' the
>creation of Fordun, and Robertson ( Early Kings I., p.124): " Fife was
>the crown' in the days of Malcolm Canmore, who granted the Earldom to
>his son
>Ethelred. The Macduff, Earl of Fife, of the fabulists --
>a being unknown to Wynton - must be put down as a myth." These eminent
>writers are mistaken. Macduff may be a myth, but he is certainly not a
>creation of Fordun. Wyntoun, who calls him Thane of Fife, gives a long
>account of him which agrees with Fordun."
>NOTE: G.E.C. is _Complete Peerage_
>Page 245:
>"Constantinius, Comes de Fife, was probably the son, or grandson, of
>of Fife, who lived in the reigns of Duncan I., Macbeth and Malcolm
>Constantine Macduff is one of the witnesses to the doubtful charter by
>to Durham (No. XV., ante, p. 12). Constantine Comes is a witness
>(circa A.D.
>1128) to the great charter by David I. to Dunfermline Abbey (No.
>ante, p. 61) with Gillmichel Mac duf, whom I take to be his son and
>in the Earldom."
>This brings up questions as Constantinius Comes Fyf is also in the
>record of
>the suit between the clergy of St. Serf and Sir Robert Burgonensis
>1128) as one of the judges and he was the man who withheld the shire
>Kirkcaldy from the Abbey of Dunfermeline.
>Lawrie presents Constantine, Earl of Fife as the father of
>Gillemichel, Earl
>of Fife which is one generation further back than presented in Scots
>by Balfour.
>On page 238 while commenting on another charter which is believed to
>from Malcolm III to the Church at Dunfermline, A.D. 1070-1093 (this
>has been greatly debated as Balfour found it spurious but Dalrymple
>found it
>sound, Lawrie agrees with Balfour):
>" I will not say, as some do, that Macduff is a myth, but it may be
>that whether the Macduff of Macbeth's time survived until the marriage
>Malcolm and Margaret."
>Lawrie also supported the theory that Ethelred was without heirs and
>functioned as
>the Abbott of Dunkeld as a priest, not as a lay Abbott as Crinan had
>him. He did not believe that Ethelred sired the Fife line and
>proposed that
>Macduff was the progenitor of this lineage. Any additions or thoughts
>this would be greatly appreciated.
>MichaelAnne Guido

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