The Lordship of Galloway

Uchtred mac Fergusa, Lord of Eastern Galloway since 1161, rules the lands of Glen Ken, Desnes Mor and Desnes Ioan. He is the younger, but legitimate, son of the late Fergus of Galloway and is married to Gunhulda of Allerdale, daughter of Waltheof of Allerdale, a prominent Cumbrian lord. Lochlann filius Uchtred and Waltheof mac Uchtred are his sons, and Eve of Galloway his daughter. He also holds lands in Torpenhow, Cumbria, through his wife. Uchtred was fostered in the court of David I and is sympathetic to the Scots. He has adopted their practice of settling the land with Anglo-Norman knights which upsets some of the local, traditional Gaelic landholders. However most of these knights are settled in Desnes Ioan, a Scottish territory, or on land that became vacant. Most of the land under his control is still held by local, traditional kinship groups, and most of these are loyal to him.

Gille Brigte mac Fergusa, Lord of Western Galloway since 1161, rules the lands of Farines, Rhinns, and Charaig. He is the older son of Fergus, though not seen a legitimate in the eyes of the Church or those who sympathize with Norman ways. Gille Brigte is not married, but does have an infant son named Mael Coluim mac Gillebrigte. Gille Brigte identifies more strongly with the Gaels and has no respect for the Norman way of doing things. As such the two sons of Fergus have very different outlooks and policies.

The two sons of Fergus are not on good terms with each other. They have been at each other’s throats for years. Each son feels he should have sole control over the Kingdom of Galloway. Uchtred believes what his Norman friends and the bishop have told him, that he should rule because he is the legitimate son. Gille Brigte feels that the rule is his by right of being the oldest. He is a gaelic king, and the gaels by tradition honour the rights of bastard sons. He doesn’t agree with how Uchtred is handing off parts of their shared patrimony to the Anglo-Normans.

Map of Galloway in 1171 AD


  • Sir Walter de Berkeley, Lord of Urr in Desnes Ioan, is also Chamberlain to William the Lion and father in law to Uchtred through his marriage to Eve of Galloway. He holds a large piece of land west at Urr, Blaiket, Edingham, Richorn, part of Kirkgunzeon, part of Lochrutton. Walter is probably the only knight who owes his possessions in Galloway to his relationship with the King of Scotland. He is rarely at home, however, and his great motte at Urr is tended by others. Officials of Scotland often stop here as it is a friendly place for them on the borders of the less receptive lands of Galloway proper.
  • Sir Gospatrick fitz Orm of Workington, Lord of Culwen in Desnes Ioan. He is the son of Mormaer Waltheof of Dunbar’s neice. He is a white-haired old man and is Henry II’s constable of Appleby. With many holdings and his position constabulary in Cumbria, he is hardly ever seen in Galloway.
  • Sir Richard fitz Troite, Lord of Lochkendeloch in Desnes Ioan, is a brother of the Sheriff of Carlisle and holds lands in Cumbria near that burgh. Richard must pay 8 silver pennies per year for his land, in addition to the knight’s service.
  • Sir Hugh de Morville, Lord of Borgue in Desnes Mor (Son of Simon de Morville of Burgh-by-sands, Nephew of the (now deceased) Hugh de Morville of Cunningham, and cousin of Richard de Morville, Constable of Scotland, and Sir Hugh de Morville of Westmorland). He has recently granted the keep of his local church in Borg to Dryburgh Abbey, which was founded by his uncle. Hugh is the only knight of Norman descent of the Galloway lot, the rest being descended from Anglian Northumbrians. His motte is at Borland of Borg. Hugh has made his career as a knight in the service of Hentry II and seems to have little interest in his lands north of the Solway.
  • Sir David fitz Terrus of Over-Denton, Lord of Anewith in Desnes Mor. He, alone of the knights, has no family connection to Uchtred but he was disinherited by Henry II and so hungry for land and came north when the opportunity presented itself. He has granted the Church of Anewith to Holyrood Abbey. His motte is at Borland of Anewith.



It was the King of the land (Lord of Galloway, for example or King or Mormaer of Scotland) who appointed the head of the local kindreds.


  • Gillemore Albanach, AKA ‘The Scot’, is the warden of Eastern Galloway and monitors that kingdom for King William of Scotland.


  • The MacGillolanes in the north Galloway hills with lands at Trevercarcou. They also hold lands at Gelston (Ingleston Motte)
  • The McCullochs hold land in Farines at Merton and Meynreht.
  • The McKethes, or sons of Cathbhaidh (Cathbad)
  • The MacAodhs, sons of Aodh.
  • Askelocs (from ‘Ua Scoloc’, the sons of the Scoloc)
  • MacThuels/MacDoualls (Gaelic)
  • Accoultons (from Ap Cultane, meaning unclear but thought to be of Brythonic origin)
  • Acarsons (meaning unclear, but thought to be of Brythonic origin)
  • Ahanneys (from Ap Hanny, meaning unclear but thought to be of Brythonic origin)
  • Adairs (descended from Old English Eadgar)
  • McGhies (Kinded of Afren) in Glenken
  • Cannanes in Glenken (thought to be of Brythonic origin)
  • MacGillolaines in Glenken

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The Lordship of Galloway

The Chronicle of Ken Muir Thalaba