Copyright (C) 2021 by Patrick's People all rights reserved Updated 16 October 2021
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, Hugh Earl of Ross
(About 1278-1333)
DE BRUS, Matilda or Maud
(About 1286-1329)
MACDONALD, Angus Og of Kintyre, Lord of the Isles
(About 1270-1330)
William (III) Earl of Ross
(About 1311-1372)
(About 1312-)
Euphemia (I) Countess of Ross
(About 1343-After 1394)


Family Links

1. LESLIE, Walter Earl of Ross, jure uxoris

2. STEWART, Alexander Earl of Buchan, Ross, Lord of Badenoch

Euphemia (I) Countess of Ross 4

  • Born: About 1343
  • Marriage (1): LESLIE, Walter Earl of Ross, jure uxoris on 24 November 1366 in By Papal Dispensation 1 2
  • Marriage (2): STEWART, Alexander Earl of Buchan, Ross, Lord of Badenoch in June 1382 3
  • Died: After 5 September 1394 2
  • BuriedFem: Fortrose Cathedral, Scotland 1

   Other names for Euphemia were (ROSS) LESLIE, Euphame,3 DE ROSS, Eupheme 2 and DE ROSS, Euphemia 8th Countess of Ross.1

  Research Notes:


Two women, in medieval Scottish history, who are regularly confused in the popular mind were both named Euphemia. Both were born in the early to middle part of the 14th century; and both lived till the latter decades of the century. Both had more than one husband; and both were granted a papal dispensation to marry one of their husbands. Both married a man surnamed Stewart, of the Royal House of Scotland. In fact one Stewart was the father of the other! Of the two, Queen Euphemia lived in the generation prior to Countess Euphemia of the O'Beolan family.

Euphemia de Ross was a member of the clan Ross; her parents were Aodh or Hugh, Earl of Ross and Margaret Graham, the earl's second wife. Euphemia married John Randolph, 3rd earl of Moray, but had no children by him. By this marriage she became Countess of Moray. Randolph was killed in 1346 at the Battle of Neville's Cross in Durham in England. Euphemia then remained a widow for about nine years.

After grieving Randolph's death and having been granted a papal dispensation on account of affinity, Euphemia married Robert Stewart, Earl of Strathearn, in 1355, as his second wife. Robert became Robert II, King of Scots in 1371, so Euphemia then, by right, became his Queen. She was crowned at Scone in Perthshire by Alexander de Kyninmund II, Bishop of Aberdeen, in 1372 and was queen until her death in 1386. The royal couple had four children. Neither of her sons became king, since the law of primogeniture then dictated that the first-born son of Robert's first marriage should succeed him.

Euphemia is often referred to as Euphemia of Ross, Euphemia Ross of Euphemia I. She was the elder of two daughters of Uilleam III, the last O'Beolan Mormaer of Ross, and since she had no brothers she inherited from her father and became Countess of Ross in her own right. The 'Mormaer', translated from the Gaelic as 'earl', and second only to the king, was the ruler of the province of Ross in Scotland. Uilleam III was a descendant of Ferquhard, from the Irish Ó Beólláin (O'Beolain, Boland, Bolan) family. The family is also referred to as Ross after the province itself, or sometimes Gillander or MacTaggart for historical or socio-cultural reasons.

Euphemia married Sir Walter Leslie, by papal dispensation, and, following the medieval practice, Leslie took possession of, for himself, by marriage, the title his wife had acquired by birth. After his marriage to Euphemia, therefore, he became Earl of Ross, a title which was then inherited by his descendants.

Leslie died in 1382, and Euphemia married for a second time. Her husband was Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan, nicknamed "The Wolf of Badenoch". He was the son of Robert II, King of Scots and Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, the king's first wife, and had been given the lordships of Badenoch and Lochindorb by his father. The marriage to Euphemia gave Alexander control of large tracts of land from the Cromarty Firth to Torridon, making him one of the greatest landholders in Scotland, though it did not give him the title of Earl of Ross. He was a determined and at times violent man, his most infamous public act being the burning down of Elgin cathedral to thwart his perceived enemy, the Bishop of Moray. The match between Euphemia and Alexander was failing on account of his behaviour; it produced no children, and Alexander eventually had to accept the annullment of his marriage by the Pope. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Euphemia married Walter LESLIE Earl of Ross, jure uxoris, son of Sir Andrew DE LESLIE 6th of that Ilk and Maria ABERNETHY, on 24 November 1366 in By Papal Dispensation.1 2 (Walter LESLIE Earl of Ross, jure uxoris was born about 1318 and died on 27 February 1382 1.)

Euphemia next married Alexander STEWART Earl of Buchan, Ross, Lord of Badenoch, son of Robert II STEWART King of Scots and Elizabeth MURE of Rowallan, in June 1382.3 (Alexander STEWART Earl of Buchan, Ross, Lord of Badenoch was born in 1343 and died on 4 April 1406 3.)

  Marriage Notes:

No children were born of this marriage although each partner had children by others. 1


1 Internet Site,

2 Internet Site,

3 Internet Site,

4 Internet Site,

5 Internet Site,,_3rd_Earl_of_Moray.

6 Internet Site,

7 Internet Site,

8 Internet Site,

9 Internet Site,

10 Internet Site,

11 History Scotland, Volume 20 No 2 March/April 2020 Thw Wolf of Badenoch by Dr Allan Kennedy.

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