Earl of Angus

The flag of the present County of Angus, showing the arms of the early mormaers, the Umfravilles, the Stewarts of Bonkyll, and the Douglases

The Mormaer or Earl of Angus was the ruler of the medieval Scottish province of Angus. The title, in the Peerage of Scotland, is held by the Duke of Hamilton, and is used as a courtesy title for the eldest son of the Duke's eldest son.



Angus is one of the oldest attested mormaerdoms, with the earliest attested mormaer, Dubacan of Angus, known to have lived in the early 10th century, as recorded in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. Angus was, according to the doubtful and legendary text de Situ Albanie, one of the seven original mormaerdoms of the Pictish kingdom of Alba, said to have been occupied by seven brothers, of whom Angus (Oengus) was the eldest. Despite this, the mormaers of Angus are among the most obscure of all. After the death of Mormaer Maol Chaluim, in probably about 1240, the mormaerdom passed through the marriage of his daughter Matilda, to the line of the Norman Gilbert de Umfraville.

Stewart earls

John Stewart of Bonkyll, Berwickshire, obtained the title Earl of Angus in a new line after the forfeiture of the de Umfraville line, though the latter family continued to use the title in England. This Stewart line ended with Margaret Stewart, countess of Angus in her own right, and widow of Thomas, Earl of Mar.

Douglas earls

An illicit affair between Margaret Stewart, Countess of Mar and Angus, and her brother in law, William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas (married to the sister of her husband) produced George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus (c. 1380–1403). The Countess secured a charter of her estates for her son, to whom in 1389 the title was granted by King Robert II. He was taken prisoner at Homildon Hill in 1402, and died in captivity in England. Archibald "Bell-the-Cat" (1453–1514) the powerful adversary of James III, was his great-grandson.

William Douglas (1589–1660) 11th Earl of Angus, was created Marquis of Douglas in 1633.[1] He resigned the title of Earl of Angus, having it recreated with the marquessate, so he was the 1st Earl of Angus in the new creation. He outlived his son Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus (c.1609–1655) and was succeeded by Archibald's son James Douglas, 2nd Marquess of Douglas (1646–1699). James' son and heir Archibald Douglas was created Duke of Douglas, Marquess of Angus and Abernethy, Viscount of Jedburgh Forest, and Lord Douglas of Bonkill, Prestoun and Robertoun on 10 April 1703. He died without leaving an heir and the titles acquired with the dukedom became extinct. All his other titles devolved to his distant cousin the 7th Duke of Hamilton, whose descendants hold them still.

Mormaers/early Earls of Angus

Earls of Angus, Stewart line (1329)

Earls of Angus, Douglas line (1389)

Marquises of Douglas (1633)

(after 1633 the Earldom of Angus became a courtesy title used by the eldest son of the Marquis of Douglas)

For later Earls of Angus and Marquises of Douglas, see Duke of Hamilton



External links

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