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Alan fitz Walter, 2nd High Steward of Scotland

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Alan fitz Walter (b. circa 1140 - d. circa 1204), sometimes written as Alan Fitzwalter, was the first son of Walter Fitzalan and Eochyna de Molle. On the death of his father in 1177, Alan fitz Walter inherited the title of High Steward of Scotland. He was thus the second person to hold this title. Alan married Eva, who is usually named as the daughter of Sweyn Thor'sson, though some historians dispute Eva's parentage. She gave him four children: Leonard Stewart, Aveline Stewart, Walter Stewart (born ca. 1198), and David Stewart (born ca. 1204). During the Third Crusade, in 1191, Alan fitz Walter accompanied Richard the Lionheart of England. Alan was a patron of the Knights Templar and is responsible for expanding Templar influence in Scotland.

Ragnall mac Somhairlidh controlled the lands of Islay, Kintyre, Arran and Bute. These lands were not part of the Kingdom of Scotland; rather the lands fell under Norwegian rule. However, Ragnall's rule was contested by others from his family causing Ragnall to look to Scotland for support — in particular to Alan fitz Walter. In 1192, Ragnall was defeated by his brother Aongus. In order to gain favour of Alan fitz Walter, Ragnall made an offering to Paisley Abbey. This abbey, founded by Alan's father — Walter fitz Alan, is located in Renfrewshire, the historic seat of the Stewarts. Ragnall was to pay annually to the abbey the sum of one penny for every house with a hearth in his lands. [1]

As a result of the continued dispute between Ragnall and Aongus, Alan fitz Walter obtained lordship of the Isle of Bute, thus further increasing his land and influence. This increase of Stewart power caused concern for William, King of Scotland. He took measures to limit the possibility of further Stewart expansion. For example, the king allowed the lands of Cunningham to be inherited by Roland of Galloway in the year 1196. In doing so, preventing Alan fitz Walter from increasing his control to the south of Renfrewshire.[1]

In November 1200, while William was in England, Alan fitz Walter arranged for his daughter Evelina to be married to Donnchad Earl of Carrick. This was done without royal consent. On William's return to Scotland, he was displeased.[2]

Alan was responsible for the building of a Norman-style church on the site of the Chapel of Saint Blane, on the Isle of Bute. In 1204, he issued a charter which granted the church to the monks of Paisley Abbey.[3]

Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Pedersen, Frederik; Richard D. Oram and Angelo. Forte (2005). Viking Empires. Cambridge University Press, Page 247. ISBN 0521829925. 
  2. Roger, Roger of Hoveden; Translated by Henry Thomas Riley (1853). The Annals of Roger de Hoveden: Comprising the History of England and of Other Countries of.... H.G. Bohn.. 
  3. St Blane's Chapel, Isle of Bute. ButeNet. Retrieved on 2006-11-26.