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Re: [albanach] Need Help with Laird's Heir...

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  • Sharon L. Krossa
    ... Note that the style of _the_ MacX for chiefs of Highland clans (with MacX style chiefly titles) is really a modern English language style, not
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 27, 2006
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      At 5:34 PM -0800 11/24/06, Ingela F. Hyatt wrote:
      >Greetings Everyone,
      >
      >My name is Ingela F. Hyatt, and I joined about a month ago because
      >my next book takes place completely in Scotland (and because Cindy
      >Vallar recommended this group).
      >
      >I was wondering if you could help me with something.
      >
      >In my WIP, the hero is the fourth son of the MacLochlainn,

      Note that the style of "_the_ MacX" for chiefs of Highland clans
      (with MacX style chiefly titles) is really a modern English language
      style, not particularly reflective of historical practice. The chief
      of Clann Domhnaill (Clan MacDonald) was "Mac Domhnaill"
      ('MacDonald'), not "an Mac Domhnaill" ('the MacDonald'), and to the
      best of my knowledge in the Middle Ages they didn't use "the" for
      MacX titled Highland chiefs, even when speaking Scots/English.

      >and his
      >father and three brothers were killed in an ambush by another clan,
      >so he is being brought home to look after the clan. Now, the Eldest
      >son (who's dead) has a baby boy.
      >
      >What I want to know would the eldest's son be the next Laird? And
      >if so, would that make the hero the guardian? And if so, what would
      >the clan call him? What would his title be? And how old would the
      >boy have to be before he could take over as Laird?

      As discussed earlier in another thread on this mailing list, there is
      a difference between noble titles and clan chiefships.

      Noble titles (Earl, Lord/Laird, etc.) in the Highlands went by the
      exact same laws as noble titles in the Lowlands, specifically, male
      primogeniture of like degree (the eldest surviving son inherited, and
      failing sons, the eldest surviving daughter).

      Clan chiefships, on the other hand, were not something governed by
      the general laws of Scotland, but were specific to Highland culture,
      and the question of how they were passed from one chief to the next
      is more complex. In the early Middle Ages they followed the rules of
      what is usually called in English "tanistry" (the successor chosen by
      the derb fine from among eligible [male] relatives), but in the later
      Middle Ages they seem to have followed a hybrid of tanistry and male
      primogeniture (whether of like degree or male only I don't myself
      know for sure, though I suspect male only), in which in general
      inheritance of the chiefship followed primogeniture, with the
      occasional deviation when primogeniture did not produce a
      satisfactory result.

      Add to this that essentially anyone who held/owned land outside a
      burgh was a "laird", and that land inheritance followed the same
      inheritance pattern (in both Highlands and Lowlands), which was again
      male primogeniture of like degree (only with, failing sons, all
      daughters inheriting equally, dividing the land).

      All of which is to say, being the clan chief is not the same as being
      the laird, and the baby boy you describe would inherit his father's
      land and so the lairdship, while he may or may not inherit the clan
      chiefship.

      The hero may or may not be the baby's guardian (or rather, his tutor,
      to use the medieval Scots legal term for the person in charge of a
      minor male under age 14, or female under age 12, and their property)
      -- it would depend on whether his father had designated someone else
      (or anyone at all) to be his tutor in his will, etc.

      The basics are that the father could name most anyone he wanted (male
      or female) as tutor to his child. If the father had not named anyone
      at all, then the nearest agnate relative aged 25 or more would be
      appointed the child's tutor by the courts (that is, the nearest male
      related to the father in the male line). Failing such a person (or
      such a person accepting the role), a tutor (male or female) would be
      appointed by the king. Further, there appears to have been a strong
      tendency to consider the mother the appropriate person to be tutor to
      a child, unless the father had named someone else tutor in his will.
      However, if the mother (or any female tutor) married, then she could
      no longer remain tutor.

      (I won't go into what happens between age 12/14 and 21, as that
      doesn't appear to be relevant to your scenario...)

      >Sorry for asking so many questions... LOL But if anyone can give
      >me some answers, that would be great!

      May I recommend the books in my Scottish Medieval Bibliography as a
      good place to start when researching a novel set in medieval
      Scotland? See
      http://MedievalScotland.org/scotbiblio/

      Specifically on the issue of the laws and practices regarding
      guardianship of minors (and, especially, their property) in late
      medieval Scotland, among other sources in about two months you will
      be able to download a pdf version of my dissertation, which includes
      discussion of this very matter in chapter 3 (with references to
      sources for further investigation). Until then, the only handy
      references I have are to more primary sources, such as _The Practicks
      of Sir James Balfour of Pittendreich_ and Stair's _The Institutions
      of the Law of Scotland_.

      Finally, I'll just note that Clann Lochloinn was a real historical
      Gaelic clan, and so there are real historical people who were Mac
      Lochloinn, and their line of succession to lands, titles, and
      chiefship (and who was tutor, etc., to any of them who inherited
      while under the age of 14) is something that can be researched. (I
      always find it kind of interesting that authors who would never dream
      of inventing a wholly fictitious, say, King of England, or Duke of
      York, or other real historical noble title, don't think twice about
      inventing fictitious chiefs of real historical clans...) Also, since
      you don't mention a specific time period, be aware that there has not
      always been a Clann Lochloinn -- the specific Scottish Gaelic clans
      whose names we are familiar with today originated only in the later
      Middle Ages, and some quite late indeed. (I don't know offhand when
      Clann Lochloinn originated, but again, that is something that can be
      researched.)

      Sharon
      --
      Sharon Krossa, Ph.D. -- skrossa-ml@...
      Resources for Scottish history, names, clothing, language & more:
      Medieval Scotland - http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
      The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
      The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/
    • Ingela F. Hyatt
      Greetings Sharon, Thank you so much for the additional information. This is really a big help. Though it does seem like there are several possibilities, so
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 28, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Greetings Sharon,

        Thank you so much for the additional information. This is really a big help.

        Though it does seem like there are several possibilities, so I'm glad I have options. I know that Clann Lochlainn came over from Ireland in the late 1100s to early 1200s. My book takes place in the early 1200s, so I WILL be using my "literary license" and have them a bit more established then they would have been (I shall mentioned this in my Author Notes).

        Actually, I MUCH prefer to have fictional nobleman and clansmen than the real ones, that way you don't offend anyone who might be related to the actual historical ancestors. The only ones I keep real would be Kings, etc... Or when historical characters must take an active roll in my stories. Actually I don't even like using real Castles because sometimes it's very difficult to get the blue prints and figure out where everything is. However customs, the layout of the land, etc... I TRY to get as accurate as possible, as well as making the story as realistic as possible.

        Again, thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it, and will include you in the acknowledgements of my book.

        Sincerely,

        Ingela

        A KNIGHT OF PASSION -- Now in PRINT!
        Order your copy: http://www.IngelaHyatt.com/akop.html
        ************************************
        "...I didn't want this story to end... Go now and pick this one up!"
        ---A Recommended Read from JoyfullyReviewed.com
        ************************************
        "...an intriguing plot, terrific characters...the sense you've been transported back in time..."
        ---A Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews
        ************************************
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Sharon L. Krossa
        To: albanach@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 6:46 PM
        Subject: Re: [albanach] Need Help with Laird's Heir...


        At 5:34 PM -0800 11/24/06, Ingela F. Hyatt wrote:
        >Greetings Everyone,
        >
        >My name is Ingela F. Hyatt, and I joined about a month ago because
        >my next book takes place completely in Scotland (and because Cindy
        >Vallar recommended this group).
        >
        >I was wondering if you could help me with something.
        >
        >In my WIP, the hero is the fourth son of the MacLochlainn,

        Note that the style of "_the_ MacX" for chiefs of Highland clans
        (with MacX style chiefly titles) is really a modern English language
        style, not particularly reflective of historical practice. The chief
        of Clann Domhnaill (Clan MacDonald) was "Mac Domhnaill"
        ('MacDonald'), not "an Mac Domhnaill" ('the MacDonald'), and to the
        best of my knowledge in the Middle Ages they didn't use "the" for
        MacX titled Highland chiefs, even when speaking Scots/English.

        >and his
        >father and three brothers were killed in an ambush by another clan,
        >so he is being brought home to look after the clan. Now, the Eldest
        >son (who's dead) has a baby boy.
        >
        >What I want to know would the eldest's son be the next Laird? And
        >if so, would that make the hero the guardian? And if so, what would
        >the clan call him? What would his title be? And how old would the
        >boy have to be before he could take over as Laird?

        As discussed earlier in another thread on this mailing list, there is
        a difference between noble titles and clan chiefships.

        Noble titles (Earl, Lord/Laird, etc.) in the Highlands went by the
        exact same laws as noble titles in the Lowlands, specifically, male
        primogeniture of like degree (the eldest surviving son inherited, and
        failing sons, the eldest surviving daughter).

        Clan chiefships, on the other hand, were not something governed by
        the general laws of Scotland, but were specific to Highland culture,
        and the question of how they were passed from one chief to the next
        is more complex. In the early Middle Ages they followed the rules of
        what is usually called in English "tanistry" (the successor chosen by
        the derb fine from among eligible [male] relatives), but in the later
        Middle Ages they seem to have followed a hybrid of tanistry and male
        primogeniture (whether of like degree or male only I don't myself
        know for sure, though I suspect male only), in which in general
        inheritance of the chiefship followed primogeniture, with the
        occasional deviation when primogeniture did not produce a
        satisfactory result.

        Add to this that essentially anyone who held/owned land outside a
        burgh was a "laird", and that land inheritance followed the same
        inheritance pattern (in both Highlands and Lowlands), which was again
        male primogeniture of like degree (only with, failing sons, all
        daughters inheriting equally, dividing the land).

        All of which is to say, being the clan chief is not the same as being
        the laird, and the baby boy you describe would inherit his father's
        land and so the lairdship, while he may or may not inherit the clan
        chiefship.

        The hero may or may not be the baby's guardian (or rather, his tutor,
        to use the medieval Scots legal term for the person in charge of a
        minor male under age 14, or female under age 12, and their property)
        -- it would depend on whether his father had designated someone else
        (or anyone at all) to be his tutor in his will, etc.

        The basics are that the father could name most anyone he wanted (male
        or female) as tutor to his child. If the father had not named anyone
        at all, then the nearest agnate relative aged 25 or more would be
        appointed the child's tutor by the courts (that is, the nearest male
        related to the father in the male line). Failing such a person (or
        such a person accepting the role), a tutor (male or female) would be
        appointed by the king. Further, there appears to have been a strong
        tendency to consider the mother the appropriate person to be tutor to
        a child, unless the father had named someone else tutor in his will.
        However, if the mother (or any female tutor) married, then she could
        no longer remain tutor.

        (I won't go into what happens between age 12/14 and 21, as that
        doesn't appear to be relevant to your scenario...)

        >Sorry for asking so many questions... LOL But if anyone can give
        >me some answers, that would be great!

        May I recommend the books in my Scottish Medieval Bibliography as a
        good place to start when researching a novel set in medieval
        Scotland? See
        http://MedievalScotland.org/scotbiblio/

        Specifically on the issue of the laws and practices regarding
        guardianship of minors (and, especially, their property) in late
        medieval Scotland, among other sources in about two months you will
        be able to download a pdf version of my dissertation, which includes
        discussion of this very matter in chapter 3 (with references to
        sources for further investigation). Until then, the only handy
        references I have are to more primary sources, such as _The Practicks
        of Sir James Balfour of Pittendreich_ and Stair's _The Institutions
        of the Law of Scotland_.

        Finally, I'll just note that Clann Lochloinn was a real historical
        Gaelic clan, and so there are real historical people who were Mac
        Lochloinn, and their line of succession to lands, titles, and
        chiefship (and who was tutor, etc., to any of them who inherited
        while under the age of 14) is something that can be researched. (I
        always find it kind of interesting that authors who would never dream
        of inventing a wholly fictitious, say, King of England, or Duke of
        York, or other real historical noble title, don't think twice about
        inventing fictitious chiefs of real historical clans...) Also, since
        you don't mention a specific time period, be aware that there has not
        always been a Clann Lochloinn -- the specific Scottish Gaelic clans
        whose names we are familiar with today originated only in the later
        Middle Ages, and some quite late indeed. (I don't know offhand when
        Clann Lochloinn originated, but again, that is something that can be
        researched.)

        Sharon
        --
        Sharon Krossa, Ph.D. -- skrossa-ml@...
        Resources for Scottish history, names, clothing, language & more:
        Medieval Scotland - http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
        The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
        The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/


        This is Albanach, a group devoted to the study and re-enactment of
        Scotland c. 503-1603 AD.
        Yahoo! Groups Links





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Diana Cosby
        I am researching Scotland, 1297 and have become fascinated with Andrew De Moray and his part of Scotland s fight for independence. Does anyone have any
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 18, 2009
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          I am researching Scotland, 1297 and have become fascinated with
          Andrew De Moray and his part of Scotland's fight for independence. Does
          anyone have any resources they would recommend? My two favorite
          research books that I'm using now are:
          "The Scottish War of Independence," by Evan Macleod Barron
          "Robert Bruce & The Community of The Realm of Scotland," by Geoffrey
          W.S. Barrow

          My sincere thanks for your time.

          Diana
          2009 Booksellers Best Finalist
          www.dianacosby.com
          His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
          His Woman/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review
          Title TBA/Nov 2010/Seathan MacGruder; Title/Patrik [Cleary]
          MacGruder/Tentatively Nov 2011]
        • Todd Wilkinson
          Diana,   Whilst not about DeMornay per se, a very good book about the period is Alan Young s Robert the Bruce s Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314 from Tuckwell
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 22, 2009
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            Diana,
             
            Whilst not about DeMornay per se, a very good book about the period is Alan Young's Robert the Bruce's Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314 from Tuckwell Press (1998).
             
            Regards,

            Todd
             
             
            "Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet once more!"
            -- The Bon Accord, motto of Aberdeen, Scotland

            --- On Thu, 6/18/09, Diana Cosby <diana@...> wrote:


            From: Diana Cosby <diana@...>
            Subject: [albanach] Researching Andrew De Moray - resources?
            To: albanach@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 12:51 PM








            I am researching Scotland, 1297 and have become fascinated with
            Andrew De Moray and his part of Scotland's fight for independence. Does
            anyone have any resources they would recommend? My two favorite
            research books that I'm using now are:
            "The Scottish War of Independence, " by Evan Macleod Barron
            "Robert Bruce & The Community of The Realm of Scotland," by Geoffrey
            W.S. Barrow

            My sincere thanks for your time.

            Diana
            2009 Booksellers Best Finalist
            www.dianacosby. com
            His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
            His Woman/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review
            Title TBA/Nov 2010/Seathan MacGruder; Title/Patrik [Cleary]
            MacGruder/Tentative ly Nov 2011]


















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Diana Cosby
            ... ~Thanks, Todd, I ll definitely go through that. I appreciate your time. Enjoy your evening! Diana 2009 Booksellers Best Finalist www.dianacosby.com His
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 22, 2009
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              Todd Wilkinson wrote:

              >Diana,
              >
              >Whilst not about DeMornay per se, a very good book about the period is Alan Young's Robert the Bruce's Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314 from Tuckwell Press (1998).
              >
              >
              ~Thanks, Todd, I'll definitely go through that. I appreciate your
              time. Enjoy your evening!

              Diana
              2009 Booksellers Best Finalist
              www.dianacosby.com
              His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
              His Woman/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review
              Title TBA/Nov 2010/Seathan MacGruder; Title/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder/Tentatively Nov 2011]
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