Hervey de Keith

Hervey de Keith (d. c. 1196/1199) was a Scoto-Norman adventurer and nobleman and first recorded Marischal of Scotland.


Keith took his name from the Barony of Keith, in East Lothian, which he held the north eastern part; the south western part was held by Simon Fraser. The two sections of the estate were known as Keith Harvey and Keith Symmars respectively.[1]

In 1160 Fraser made over the Church at Keith and its revenues to the monks of Kelso Abbey, compelling Hervey de Keith to build a new church at Keith Harvey paying an annual tribute to Kelso.[2]

Latterly Keith had legal wrangles with the Abbey of Kelso as to the level of payment that he should make to them. These troubles were smoothed out under the auspices of Jocelin, Bishop of Glasgow and Osbert, Prior of Paisley, who decreed that he must pay an annual sum of twenty shillings. In this document he is described as "Marescallus Regis Scocie".[3]

Keith was Marischal under Kings Malcolm the Maiden and William the Lyon, and was witness to many charters under them.

Hervey de Keith died between 1196 and 1199.

Marriage and issue

It has been suggested that Keith married Margaret, daughter to William I, Lord of Douglas though this is doubtful.[4][5] Keith had a son:

He gave origin to Clan Keith.



  1. Balfour Paul, vol VI, p25-26
  2. Calchou, p63,p73
  3. Calchou, pp70-71
  4. Balfour Paul, vol VI, p26
  5. Nisbet, volII, App.p.3 Here Keith is referred to as Henry de Keith, and the previous patently mythic ancestry casts doubt as to reliability
  6. Balfour Paul,vol VI, p.26


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