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Title: A keystone of contention : the Earldom of Ross, 1215-1517
Author: Cochran-Yu, David Kyle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 2758
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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The earldom of Ross was a dominant force in medieval Scotland. This was primarily due to its strategic importance as the northern gateway into the Hebrides to the west, and Caithness and Sutherland to the north. The power derived from the earldom’s strategic situation was enhanced by the status of its earls. From 1215 to 1372 the earldom was ruled by an uninterrupted MacTaggart comital dynasty which was able to capitalise on this longevity to establish itself as an indispensable authority in Scotland north of the Forth. By the fifteenth century the earldom had passed to an equally powerful dynasty, the MacDonald lords of the Isles, and became a part of one of the most powerful regional hegemonies of medieval Scotland. The earldom and the power of its earls are acknowledged by most scholars, yet it remains a relatively under-analysed subject, as scholarship tends to gravitate towards viewing Ross through the MacDonald lordship of the Isles, or through the Scottish kings. This has led to Ross being treated as a secondary subject. Moreover, little has been done to compare the two principal dynasties that ruled the earldom and explore issues of continuity between the two. This thesis will study Ross through the comital dynasties that ruled it and the important local magnates within it, and will provide a Ross-centred platform from which to analyse the political development of the earldom. The thesis will also address issues of continuity, beginning with the origins of the Mac ant t-sagairt earldom and trace its political evolution until the MacDonald claim to Ross was finally extinguished in the early sixteenth century. This thesis will be the first long duree study of this Scottish earldom, and will increase our understanding of Ross and its earls who were so vital to Scotland’s medieval history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: D History (General) ; D111 Medieval History