Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2004-10 > 1098720450

From: "Clagett, Brice" <>
Subject: O'Neill-Carrick-Bruce
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 12:07:30 -0400

I write to report an important hypothesis advanced by Andrew
B.W. MacEwen, the eminent authority on medieval Scottish
genealogy. It would give a host of living people, including many
on this list, a descent from the O'Neill high kings of Ireland.

The maternal grandfather of Robert I, King of Scotland, was Neil,
3d Earl of Carrick. According to _Scots Peerage_ 2:423, 426, Earl
Neil, "who was also called Nicol and Nicolaus," was the eldest son
and heir of Duncan, 1st Earl of Carrick, who succeeded his father
(Gilbert of Galloway) in 1185. MacEwen notes that Earl Neil was
under age when he succeeded Duncan in 1250, probably born c. 1230.
He concludes that a generation is needed between Duncan and Neil,
and that it must have been Nicholas, who was not the same
person as Neil but Neil's father, and d.v.p. This fits the chronology
much better.

Who was Earl Neil's mother? MacEwen has reached the conclusion
that she was a daughter of Niall Ruadh O'Neill (d. 1223), briefly King
Tir Eogain (Tyrone), who was 12th in descent from Niall Glundubh, High
King of Ireland, and 25th from Niall Noighiallach, High King. See _A New
History of Ireland_ 9:127, 128, 140. MacEwen
supports this on the basis that Neil/Niall was an unknown name in
Scotland before this time and that a "Remonstrance of the Irish
written in 1317 on behalf of Domnall O'Neill, King of Tyrone (grandson
Niall Ruadh), described Robert and Edward Bruce as "sprung from our
noblest ancestors." It also dovetails with the conclusion by Professor
Barrow in his _Robert Bruce_ (3d ed. 1988) that Edward Bruce was
"educated with an Irish potentate, probably Domhnall Ua Neill king of
Tyrone." I understand that Professor Barrow will discuss MacEwen's
hypothesis in a new edition of his book, to be published this winter.

According to O'Hart's _Irish Pedigrees_ (a slender reed), Niall Ruadh's
wife was Nuala, daughter of Ruaidri O'Conor (d. 1198), the last High
Whether she was the mother of Nicholas of Carrick's wife is presumably

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