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Alexander Gordon 1st Earl of Huntly - Tomb

Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly's tomb at Elgin Cathedral

Parentage Family Tree

Sir Alexander de Seton
Elizabeth Gordon
Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
Elizabeth Seton
William Seton

Offspring Family Tree

1st wife

Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
Egida Hay
Sir Alexander Gordon

2nd wife

Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
Elizabeth Crichton
Lady Christian Gordon
George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly
Lady Elizabeth Gordon
Adam Gordon

3rd wife

Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
unkown Cumming
Janet Gordon
Margaret Gordon


Earl of Huntly: a title in the Scottish peerage, conferred in 1449 on Alexander de Seton, the elder of the two sons of Elizabeth Gordon and Alexander de Seton . Elizabeth Gordon, was the only daughter and heiress of Sir Adam Gordon, Lord of Gordon, who fell at Homeldon Hill, 14th September, 1402. Elizabeth received a charter from Robert, Duke of Albany, conferring upon her heirs the lands and baronies of Gordon and Huntly, which had belonged to her father. In order for her children to inherit the titles and lands, they had to change their surname from Seton to Gordon.

Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly was baptised with the name of Alexander Seton. In 1451 he had Crown grants of the territorial Lordship of Badenoch. He inherited from his grandmother, Elizabeth Keith, Aboyne, Cluny and Glenmuick, Aberdeenshire. On circa 1457 his name was legally changed to Alexander Gordon.

Alexander de Seton, Lord of Gordon, previous to being created Earl of Huntly, was one of the Scots nobles who attended the princess Margaret, of Scotland, daughter of James Il, to France, in 1436, on her marriage to the dauphin, Louis, son of Charles VII. The following year, after the murder of King James I. At Perth, Alexander was appointed ambassador to England, to treat of a peace.

He succeeded his father as Lord Gordon before April 1441. Alexander then resigned his lands to the king on 3 April 1441 and in return was granted a charter to himself and his wife Elizabeth of the lordships of Gordon, county Berwick; Strathbogie, Aboyne, Glentanner and Glenmuick, in Aberdeenshire; and Panbride in county Forfar; to be held in liferent and by their son George Gordon in fee as well as his lawful male heirs.

In 1449, Alexander was raised to the peerage and created the first Earl of Huntly by King James II of Scotland, sometime before 3 July of that year when he witnessed a charter to James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton under that title. Later in the year he was present at the gates of Arbroath Abbey when the Ogilvies and Lindsays were disputing their claims to the office of justiciary of that abbey; where the Ogilvies were defeated and Earl Alexander, there in support of that family, had to flee the field himself.

Between 1451 and 1458, he was employed in several negotiations to the court of England. On 28 April 1451 he received a charter from the king of the lordship of Badenoch and the castle of Ruthven. May 18, 1452, he defeated the Earl of Crawford in the neighborhood of Brechin, Crawford was in rebellion against James II. The action is called the battle of Brechin, though the spot on which it was fought is not in the parish of that name, but a little to the north-east of it. Two years afterwards the earls of Moray and Ormond, brothers of the earl of Douglas, having excited a rebellion in the north, he raised a force against them, but was defeated at Dunkinty. Soon after, however, he forced them to take refuge in the western isles. He died 15th July 1470 at Huntly Castle, and was buried at Elgin, where a monument was erected to his memory.

He may have been married three times, although their is debate as to whom the wives were. What is known, is that he had children by 4 seperate women. The Peerage lists his first wife as being Egida Hay, and his second wife being Elizabeth Crichton. He may have been married to Jean (Janet) Keith, sole heir to Robert de Keith, although the Peerage lists Janet Keith having been married only once to Andrew Gray, 2nd Lord Gray. His marriage to Egida Hay, daughter and heiress of Sir John Hay of Tulliebody, Clackmannanshire, bore to him a son, Sir Alexander Gordon of Midmar, but because their marriage was annulled in 1438, the Earldom of Huntly was inheritated by his second son, George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, and not by Alexander. A daughter, by the name of Catherine Seton is listed in the peerage, without information on the mother, as well as daughters Janet Gordon and Margaret Gordon.

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