Reidford Genealogy
King David I [2683]
(Abt 1080-1153)
Maud [2724]
Henry, Earl of Huntington DUNKELD [2684]
Adelaide de Warenne [2485]
King William I the Lion [2704]


Family Links

Ermengarde [2711]

King William I the Lion [2704]

  • Born: 1143
  • Marriage: Ermengarde [2711]

bullet  General Notes:

Ruled Scotland 1165-1214 Born in 1143, William the Lion was the younger brother of Malcolm IV. A year after his accession, he went to Normandy with Henry II and later spent Easter 1170 at Windsor. In 1174, however, he joined Henry II's son in his rebellion against his father, and invaded England. He was captured at Alnwick, Northumberland and brought to Henry II with 'his feet shackled beneath the belly of his horse.' He was then held prisoner first in Yorkshire, later at Northampton and finally in France. He was released by the terms of the Treaty of Falaise of 8 December 1174, having been forced to agree to do homage to Henry II 'for Scotland and for all his other lands', and surrender key Scottish castles such as Edinburgh and Stirling. As William's feudal lord, Henry now had the right to arrange his marriage, and he gave him Ermengarde de Beaumont, whose father was the son of an illegitimate daughter of Henry I. William eventually recovered Scotland from the English king's feudal overlordship, however, when Henry II was succeeded by Richard I. Richard, determined to raise money for his third Crusade, surrendered his feudal superiority over Scotland for 10,000 merks by the Quitclaim of Canterbury on 5 December 1189 and Scotland was an independent country once more. In 1196-7, William established his sovereignty in Caithness. Under William, the development of feudal institutions continued; in part, the Scottish monarchy's government closely resembled England's. William established royal burghs in eastern Scotland up to moray Firth, and extended the use of sheriffs in the same area. Perth and Stirling became major centres of royal administration. William I was a vigorous royal patron of the Scottish Church - he founded Arbroath Abbey, Angus in or before 1178. In 1182 Pope Lucius III sent him the Golden Rose and in 1188 Pope Clement III took the Scottish Church under his special protection. In 1192, the Pope granted a Bull to William that recognised the separate identity of the Scottish Church (previously the Church in Scotland had been brought under the authority of the Archbishop of York), and its independence of all ecclesiastical authorities apart from Rome. Gervase of Canterbury described William as 'a man of outstanding sanctity ... much preferring to have peace than the sword and to provide for his people by wisdom rather than iron'. William died at Stirling on 4 December 1214, aged 71, and was buried at Arbroath. William The Lion (1165-1214)

King of Scotland from 1165 to 1214; although he submitted to English overlordship for 15 years (1174-89) of his reign, he ultimately obtained independence for his kingdom.

William was the second son of the Scottish Henry, Earl of Northumberland, whose title he inherited in 1152. He was forced, however, to relinquish this earldom to King Henry II of England (reigned 1154-89) in 1157. Succeeding to the throne of his elder brother, King Malcolm IV, in 1165, William joined a revolt of Henry's sons (1173) in an attempt to regain Northumberland. He was captured near Alnwick, Northumberland, in 1174 and released after agreeing to recognize the overlordship of the king of England and the supremacy of the English church over the Scottish church.

Upon Henry's death in 1189, William obtained release from his feudal subjection by paying a large sum of money to England's new king, Richard I (reigned 1189-99). In addition, although William had quarreled bitterly with the papacy over a church appointment, Pope Celestine III ruled in 1192 that the Scottish church owed obedience only to Rome, not to England. During the reign of King John in England, relations between England and Scotland deteriorated over the issue of Northumberland until finally, in 1209, John forced William to renounce his claims.

In his effort to consolidate his authority throughout Scotland, William developed a small but efficient central administrative bureaucracy. He chartered many of the major burghs of modern Scotland and in 1178 founded Arbroath Abbey, which had become probably the wealthiest monastery in Scotland by the time of his death. William was succeeded by his son Alexander II.


William married Ermengarde [2711].


Jim Reidford - Copyright 2012
Last updated 20 August 2012

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