Clan Ross | Timeline of History


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  • Fearchar Mac an t-sagairt

    c. 1215

    Fearchar Mac an t-sagairt emerges into history by crushing a large-scale revolt in Ross against King Alexander II. The Chronicle of Melrose reported that: "Machentagar attacked them and mightily overthrew the king's enemies, and he cut off their heads and presented them as gifts to the new king ... And because of this, the lord king appointed him a new knight."

  • Fearchar becomes Earl of Ross

    c. 1221

    Historians have suggested that a likely date for Fearchar accession as earl of Ross was in 1221 when King Alexander II was in Inverness.

    Related object: Ane Brieve Cronicle of the Earlis of Ross, 17th century.

  • Olaf the Black

    c. 1222

    Olaf Gudredson, later the King of Man, marries Christina a daughter of Fearchar the Earl of Ross, likely in return for military support from the men of Ross.

  • Founding of Fearn Abbey

    c. 1222

    Fearchar the Earl of Ross with Abbot Malcolm of Galloway, a canon from Whithorn Priory, establish a Premonstratensian Abbey at Easter-Fearn in the parish of Kincardine, circa 1221-22.

  • Máel Coluim of Ross

    c. 1225

    Charter of King Alexander II confirming the gift by Malcolm, son of Fearchar earl of Ross, to William Bisset of the land of Craigarn.

  • Revolt of Gille Ruadh in Galloway

    c. 1235

    King Alexander of Scotland invaded Galloway and Gille Ruadh ambushed the royal army, almost bringing it to destruction. However, the Scottish King was saved by Fearchar, who appeared to the rescue with the Men of Ross.

  • Treaty of York

    c. 1237

    Fearchar was recorded as being present at the Treaty of York, an agreement between the kings' Henry III of England and Alexander II of Scotland. This agreement established the England-Scotland border in a form that remains almost unchanged today.

  • New Fearn Abbey

    c. 1238

    The original Premonstratensian Abbey founded by Fearchar transferred to a new site called New Fearn. This would become the burial place of the Ross Clans Earls and Chiefs and is still in use today.

    Related object: Fearn Abbey

  • Death of King Alexander II of Scotland.

    c. 1249

    King Alexander II of Scotland died on the 6th of July. He was King of Scots from 1214 until his death. He concluded the Treaty of York (1237) which defined the boundary between England and Scotland, virtually unchanged today.

  • Death of Earl Fearchar

    c. 1251

    According to the Ane Brieve Chronicle, Fearchar the Earl of Ross, died at Tain in the year 1251; "And the said erll leived erle fourtie yeiris, and deceissit in Tayne ane thousand two hundreth fiftie ane yeiris, in the beginning of the calendis of Feb"

  • Conquest of the Hebrides

    c. 1262

    In the Hákonar saga, Hákonarsonar tells us about: "the dispeace that the Earl of Ross ... and other Scots, had made in the Hebrides, when they went out to Skye, and burned towns and churches, and slew very many men and women."

    Related article: Clan Ross and the Thistle

  • Battle of Largs

    c. 1263

    In retaliation, for the Scots and Earl Williams attack of Skye, King Haakon IV of Norway heads for Scotland with thousands of men on hundreds of ships. A mission that ultimately failed as they were foiled by the Scottish army at the Battle of Largs.

  • Death of Earl William I

    c. 1274

    According to the Ane Brieve Chronicle, William the Earl of Ross; "deyit at erllis allane the 20 calends of Juny ane thousand two hundreth threscor fourteen yeiris." 'Erllis Allane' is likely the site of modern Allanfearn or Allangrange, near Fearn.

    Related object: Ane Brieve Cronicle of the Earlis of Ross, 17th century.

  • Death of King Alexander III of Scotland.

    c. 1286

    King Alexander III of Scotland died on the 19th of March. He was King of Scots from 1249 until his death. He concluded the Treaty of Perth, by which Scotland acquired sovereignty over the Western Isles and the Isle of Man.

  • Battle of Dunbar

    c. 1296

    Earl William was one of the leaders of the Scottish army at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296 when Edward invaded Scotland. After the Scottish defeat, he was captured by the English and sent as a prisoner to the Tower of London.

    Related article: The Battle of Dunbar.

  • Rebellion in Ross

    c. 1297

    A year after the defeat of the Scottish army at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296, with the Earl of Ross a prisoner of the English in the Tower of London, large parts of Ross and Murray broke out into an open revolt led by Andrew Murray putting the Earl of Ross's wife, Euphemia in the most difficult of positions.

    Related article: Rebellion in Ross 1297

  • Earl Williams Release

    c. 1303

    After almost six years imprisonment in the Tower of London, Earl William is allowed to return home. The following year King Edward, bestowed upon him a horse, armour, and other presents, as well as appointing him Warden beyond the Spey.

    Related article: The Earl of Ross returns North 1303.

    Related object: Armour for the Earl of Ross

  • The Broken Sanctuary

    c. 1306

    King Robert I's wife Elizabeth, his daughter Marjorie, and other Bruce supporters took refuge in the chapel of St Duthac at Tain. The Earl of Ross violated the ancient sanctuary, took them prisoner and handed them over to the English army.

    Related article: The Outlaw King

  • The Treaty of Auldearn

    c. 1308

    With the King's family still imprisoned in England and Isabella and Mary still being held in cages, King Robert met with their captor Earl William, at Auldearn, on the last day of October 1308.

    Related article: The Treaty of Auldearn, 1308

  • Marriage between Hugh Ross and Maud Bruce

    c. 1308

    In 1308 the eldest son of William the Earl of Ross, Hugh married Lady Maud Bruce sister to the King, as part of the agreement reached at Auldern.

  • Sir Walter Ross at Bannockburn

    c. 1314

    The men of Ross take part in the famous battle of Bannockburn. One of the two named Scottish knights killed was the earl of Rosses son, Sir Walter Ross.

    Related article: Sir Walter Ross

  • Declaration of Arbroath

    c. 1320

    William is one of the eight earls whose name appears on the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, a letter sent to the Pope requesting he recognise Robert Bruce as King and Scotland's independence.

    Related article: Declaration of Arbroath

  • Death of Earl William II

    c. 1323

    According to the Ane Brieve Chronicle, the Earl of Ross William II; "depairted at Delnay in Ross, the xxviii day of Januar one thousand three hundreth twentie two yeiris."

  • Death of Earl Hugh at the Battle of Halidon Hill

    c. 1333

    At the battle of Halidon Hill, near Berwick, fought on 20th February 1333-4, Hugh led the reserve to attack the wing which Baliol commanded, was driven back and slain. He was said to have been wearing the Shirt of St Duthac.

  • Siege of Perth

    c. 1339

    William, Earl of Ross and his men were said to have played a key part in the siege. Aware that the defensive channel of water around the town made it difficult for the Scots to enter the city, Ross and his men diverted the waters and filled in the ditch with driftwood, giving them access to the city walls, forcing the English to abandon the city.

  • Murder at Elcho

    c. 1346

    Earl William murders Ronald MacRuari at the priory of Elcho as King David musters his forces to march on England. Fearing repercussions the earl returns North with his men. The King continued south into England where he was taken captive Battle of Neville's Cross.

  • Queen Euphemia de Ross

    c. 1355

    On 2 May 1355, Euphemia, daughter of Hugh the Earl of Ross, married Robert Stewart, the sole son of 6th High Steward of Scotland and Marjorie Bruce. She would later become Queen of Scotland for over fifteen years.

  • Death of the Earls only son.

    c. 1357

    Earl William's only son, also William, died leaving the Earldom with no direct heir. Young William was named in 1354 as one of the hostages for the king's ransom, records show that by August 1357 he was quite ill and must have died soon after.

  • Ross of Balnagown

    c. 1368

    On the 31st of August 1368, Hugh Ross of Rarichies was granted the lands of Balnagown, which had been in the hands of William Marshall his squire. Balnagown would eventually become the home of the Ross Clan Chiefs for several hundreds of years.

  • The Kings Revenge

    c. 1370

    King David, likely still bitter over his imprisonment, instead of agreeing that William's half brother Hugh of Rarichies would succeed, granted the earldom to William's daughter, Euphemia, and then forced her to marry Walter de Leslie, ending the line of Ross earls.

  • Death of Earl William III

    c. 1371

    An extract from Chronicles of the Earls of Ross tells us; This William was Earl thirty-five years after being banished to Norway for three years, died at Delny in Ross on the ninth of February one thousand three hundred three score years and eleven.

  • Death of Hugh Ross of Rarichies, 1st of Balnagown.

    c. 1371

    Death of Hugh Ross of Rarichies and 1st of Balnagown, Hugh is said to have died before June of 1371. Hugh was more commonly known as Hugh Lord of Philorth after his lands in Aberdeenshire.

  • Death of William Ross, 2nd of Balnagown.

    c. 1397

    He received a charter from Robert II for Balnagown and other lands in 1378, he married Christian, daughter of Lord Livingstone. The exact date of Williams\'s death is unknown but his son Walter is styled Walter of Ross in 1398.

  • Death of Countess Euphemia

    c. 1398

    Countess Euphemia, daughter of the Earl of Ross William III, died around 1398. Countess of Ross in her own right and the last of the line from Fearchar Mac an t-sagairt, she was buried in Fortrose Cathedral.

    Related object: Euphemia de Ross

  • Death of Walter Ross the 3rd of Balnagown.

    c. 1412

    Walter Ross the 3rd of Balnagown, known as Walter Cluganach, was married to Katherine Mactrye daughter of Paul Mactyre. Walter died in 1412.

  • Death of Hugh Ross the 4th of Balnagown.

    c. 1440

    Hugh Ross the 4th of Balnagown was a member of an inquest into the immunity of Tain, 20 April 1439, and witnessed an agreement between Fearn and the precentor of Ross on the church of Tarradale, 12 May 1439, but was dead before 21 January 1440.

    Related article: The Immunity of Tain.

  • Battle of Tarbat

    c. 1486

    The Clan Ross cornered a raiding party of Clan Mackay near the village of Portmahomack and put many of them to the sword. The survivors sought sanctuary in the nearby church but the Rosses set fire to it, killing all inside.

  • Death of Alexander Ross the 6th of Balnagown.

    c. 1487

    Alexander Ross the 6th of Balnagown was killed with his kinsmen at 'Aldecharwis'.

  • Battle of Alt na Charrais

    c. 1487

    The Mackay\'s avenge the Battle of Tarbat, killing many of the leading men of Ross were killed with their chief including; "Alexandri Ross de Balnagouin, magistri Vilhelmi Ross et Vilhelmi Ross, Angusii de Terrel, Alexandri Terrel, Johannis Vaus, Johannis Marcel, Vilhelmi Hugonis Tome Vaus".

  • Death of John Ross, the 5th of Balnagown.

    c. 1494

    John Ross, the 5th of Balnagown outlived his son Alexander, resigned the ‘rule’ of Balnagown on 22 November 1488 to his grandson David VII. John is not noticed after 1490 and was probably dead by June of 1494.

  • Death of Sir David Ross, 7th of Balnagown.

    c. 1527

    According to the Calendar of Fearn Sir David Ross, the 7th of Balnagown died on the 22nd of May 1527. David married twice first to Hellen Keith then Margaret Stewart daughter of the Duke of Albany.

  • Death of Walter Ross the 8th of Balnagown.

    c. 1528

    Walter Ross the 8th of Balnagown was never fully invested as chief before he was killed, he is said to have been, "murdered by a Near Cousin of his own,. . . Called Hugh Ross in his own house of Teabrackie near Taine."

  • A Right Fine Canon

    c. 1553

    Alexander Ross the chief orders the purchase of several interesting items that includes luxury item such as pepper, sugar and aniseed as well as chain mail coats and a canon.

    Related object: Shopping list from Alexander Ross of Balnagown, 1553.

  • St Duthac's Reliquaries

    c. 1560

    The gold and silver reliquaries of St Duthac were handed over to Alexander Ross of Balnagown for safekeeping at the time of the reformation by his cousin Nicholas Ross.

    Related object: Saint Duthac's Reliquaries, 1560.

  • Balnagown Bailout

    c. 1565

    The Ross Clan attempt to aid their Chief of his indebted lands.

    Related article: The Ross Clan in 1565

  • George Ross attends St Andrews

    c. 1567

    George Ross, son of the Clan Ross Chief Alexander the 9th of Balnagown, attends St. Andrews University as a student.

  • Attack of Cadboll Castle

    c. 1572

    Alexander Ross of Balnagown attacks, Alexander Innes of the Plaids, Castle at Cadboll with a cannon ‘casting doun of the batellit tour of Cadboll’.

    Related object: Cadboll Castle, Door Latch and Key

  • Alexander IX warned by his Kinsmen

    c. 1577

    The Ross Clan including the chief’s son George, urge the laird of Balnagown "to serve his God and be obedient to his King", fearing that Alexander’s lawlessness would see them lose "his and their lands to a stranger" and leave the clan ruined.

    Related object: Letter ordering Alexander IX to be obedient to his King, 1577.

  • Letter of Fire and Sword

    c. 1583

    A letter of Fire and Sword is issued against Chief Alexander Ross. The letter instructs various people to apprehend him including his son George Ross who was by then the Chief of Balnagown.

    Related object: Letter of Fire and Sword, 1583.

  • Death of Alexander Ross the 9th of Balnagown.

    c. 1592

    Alexander Ross the 9th of Balnagown after more than fifty years as head of the clan died at Ardmore, on the 25th of October 1592, and was buried at Fearn Abbey.

  • Death of George Ross, the 10th of Balnagown.

    c. 1615

    According to the Calendar of Fearn, George Ross, the 10th of Balnagown died at home on the 14th of February 1615 and was buried at Nigg on the 8th of March.

  • Death of David Ross, the 11th of Balnagown.

    c. 1619

    According to the Calendar of Fearn, David Ross the 11th of Balnagown died at Ardmore on the 20th of November 1619.

  • Battle of Carbisdale

    c. 1650

    During the War of the Three Kingdom, the Ross and Munro Clans help inflict a heavy defeat on the Royalist Army led by James Graham the Marquess of Montrose.

    Related object: Carbisdale Coin Hoard

  • Battle of Worcester

    c. 1651

    David Ross of Balnagown, with eight hundred of his Clansmen, joined the Scottish Army fighting for King Charles II during his defeat by Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester.

  • Ross prisoners arrive in Boston

    c. 1652

    The ship, John and Sara carrying prisoners from the Battle of Worcester arrives in Boston with 272 prisoners, including eight with the surname Ross.

  • Death of David Ross, the 12th of Balnagown.

    c. 1653

    David Ross the 12th of Balnagown was born on I8th October 1615. Taken prisoner at the Battle of Worcester died in the Tower of London, 29th December 1653.

  • Death of David Ross, the 13th of Balnagown.

    c. 1711

    The last of the Balnagown Rosses descendant from the old Earls of Ross, David died on the 17th of April 1711, leaving no issue and Balnagown the heart of the Clan for generations was left to 'Strangers'.

  • Ban on Highland Dress and arms.

    c. 1751

    'That whereupon information William Ross son of Alexander Ross in Dalnacleragh, now a prisoner in the Tolbooth of Tain, has been taken up and incarcerate for wearing and using the Highland dress and arms . . contrary to and in defiance of the Act of Parliament'