Donnchadh, Earl of Carrick

f the various magnates of south-western Scotland, Donnchadh Ferguson is unique in many ways. He is certainly the longest-lived, having ruled Carrick for over sixty years. He is also the sole remaining Gaelic ruler south of the River Forth, serving as both Earl of Carrick and the Cenn Cineoil ('head of the kindred') of the Ferguson clan.

Life and Deeds

Donnchadh was christened in anno domini 1170, but despite being the designated heir of his father Gille-Brighde, spent little time in his court. Instead, he was sent to the court of Henry II of England as a hostage in 1176, spending the majority of his childhood in the care of the Sherriff of Cumberland, Hugh de Morwic. Although excluded from succession to the Lordship of Galloway by the peace agreement between his father and Lochlann, his uncle, Donnchadh was granted lordship over Carrick as compensation in 1186.

Since that day, Donnchadh has undoubtedly made his presence felt, building Turnberry Castle, supporting John de Courcy and John of England in their Irish wars and marrying the daughter of Alan FitzWalter, Lord of Strathgryfe and much of Kyle, as well as High Steward of Scotland. This makes the current High Steward, Alexander Stewart, his nephew by marriage.

In addition to Carrick, Donnchadh was once lord of a substantial barony in Ulster, but lost his land with the return of the once-disgraced Hugh de Lacy to the Earldom of Ulster.

He has been a very substantial patron of Melrose Abbey and Paisley Abbey in Strathclyde. It was at the Earl's invitation, and supported by grants from his lands, that Crossraguel Abbey was founded.

Longevity and Succession


Donnchadh's longevity has been the subject of much discussion in recent years. He has already outlived all his legitimate sons, and his current tanist is his grandson, Niall.

Annaeus Aurelian, a hermetic magus of Alerock, and in particular his creation Spite-Heir, are suspected to be behind Donnchadh's extended life by those who know of it. It is not certain what effect this has had on relations between the covenant and the neighbouring nobles, not to mention Niall Ferguson himself.

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