LE CHEN, Mariot younger daughter and co-heiress (Inverugie) 4
- Born: About 1333
- Marriage (1): DOUGLAS, John of Strabrock 1
- Marriage (2): KEITH, John of Inverugie in 1369 1 2 3
Other names for Mariot were CHEYNE, Mary 3 and DE CHEYNE, Mariota heiress of Inverugie.2
User ID: Y539.
MARY and MARIOT LE CHEN
There has been a good deal of confusion in accounts and sources regarding the given names of these two daughters of Reginald le Chen. Which was which?
We should bear in mind, while considering this, that the place of women, even in landed families, was an inferior one in past times, and that a woman's given name was relatively unimportant, compared with that of her father or her husband or the land they possessed.
In modern times we are familiar with 'Mary'. Its Christian associations have kept it in the forefront of popular culture. In Latin texts in translation, and in early Scots texts, especially where abbreciation is used, it is frequently confused with Marjory (Mariorie) and even Margaret, in abbreviated form (Marg. or Margt.). The Scots Peerage names the wife of Nicholas Sutherland as 'Mary' and as the elder daughter, and that arrangement has been used here, on the basis that it is reasonable to suppose that Reginald's first daughter was named for his mother, Mary, and that his daughter's portion of his estate, Duffus, came from there.
'Mariot' is less common to the modern ear. It too may be confused with Marjory, but it is more likely an older, possibly a Gaelic, version of Margaret. In the immediate historical past 'Pearl' was sometimes used as a nickname or alternate form of Margaret, based on the Greek word for 'pearl', and Mariota appears to be connected with that:
"Mairead, Máiréad or Mairéad, is a feminine name and the Irish variation of the given name Margaret, which is believed to mean "pearl". Another spelling variation is Maighread, which is the dominant Scottish Gaelic spelling of the name ..... Mariota, Countess of Ross" (wikipedia article)
This name featured in the above quote links in the article to 'Mariota, Countess of Ross', another Wikipedia article devoted entirely to her. It begins:
"Mariota, Countess of Ross (Mairead, also called Mary and Margaret; died 1440)"
'Mariot' or 'Mariota' is sufficiently liked 'Mary' or 'Maria' to be perceived as that name, particularly when abbreviated, or in Latin, but is not the same name.
Thus we have the name difficulty we are faced with in the Le Chen family summed up in one sentence relating to the Countess of Ross. The Gaelic form for 'Mary' is 'Mhairi'; the Gaelic for 'Margaret' is 'Mairead', or 'Maighread'. One can easily see how 'Mairead' might be pronounced 'Mariot' by a Scots-English, rather than a Gaelic, speaker, and also how it could be mistaken for 'Mary'.
'Margaret', or its equivalent, may have been somewhat fashionable, possibly more meaningful, with the generation of Reginald and his wife because of the tragic story of Margaret, Maid of Norway (1283-1290), whose mother Margaret was the daughter of King Alexander III of Scots. When Alexander fell, fatally, from his his horse in 1286, the little 'Maid of Norway' was the King's only surviving descendant and heir presumptive. She was the Queen of Scots who never was.
Reginald Le Chen's father in law, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, had played a leading part in recognising Margaret as heir, and in stabilising the kingdom of Scotland after King Alexander III's death. It would have been fitting, then, for a granddaughter of his to be named 'Margaret'.
It would seem, then that Mary was named for her father's side of the family, and Mariot for her mother's side. 5 6 7 8 9
Mariot married John DOUGLAS of Strabrock, son of Sir John DOUGLAS and Unknown.1 (John DOUGLAS of Strabrock was born about 1332 and died before 23 May 1366 1.)
"2. John (Keith) who married (dispensation dated 12 March 1368-69) Mariota (or Mary) de Cheyne, daughter, and co-heiress with her sister Jean, wife of Nicholas de Sutherland of Duffus, of Reginald de Cheyne of Inverugie, by his wife Mary, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Freskin de Moravia of Duffus, and widow of John de Douglas of Strabrock in Linlithgow, with whom he acquired the estates of Inverugie and Strabrock, and the third part of the barony of Duffus."
from Scots Peerage (vol 6) 1
Mariot next married John KEITH of Inverugie, son of Sir Edward DE KEITH of Sinton, Marischal of Scotland and Isabella SINTON heiress of Sinton, in 1369.1 2 3 (John KEITH of Inverugie was born about 1326 and died after 1398 3.)
"In the far north east of Scotland stands the much altered tower of Ackergill, close to the sea shore one mile west of the infamous Sinclair stronghold of Girnigoe castle. The earliest part of Ackergill dates back to the 1400's when an oblong tower house was raised by the Keith family. Anciently the lands of Ackergill were held by the Cheyne family who also held the lands of Inverugie to the south in Aberdeenshire.
Around 1350 Reginald Cheyne, the Clan head, died ending the male line leaving two daughters to inherit the Cheyne estates. One of his daughters Mary married John, second son of Edward Keith the Marischal. In 1354 John Keith took possession of Ackergill and Inverugie."
from The Douglas Archives
"2. John who married (dispensation dated 12 March 1368-69) Mariota (or Mary) de Cheyne, daughter, and co-heiress with her sister Jean, wife of Nicholas de Sutherland of Duffus, of Reginald de Cheyne of Inverugie, by his wife Mary, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Freskin de Moravia of Duffus, and widow of John de Douglas of Strabrock in Linlithgow, with whom he acquired the estates of Inverugie
and Strabrock, and the third part of the barony of Duffus."
from Scots Peerage
"5 Papal Regesta 259
12 Mar 1369 (4 Id. Mar) (for which see below)
Papal dispensation for the marriage of John de Keith (of Aberdeen Diocese) & Mary Cheyne (of Moray Diocese).
John de Keet (fiancé of Mary de Cheyne).
Mary de Cheyne (fiancé of John de Keith)."
from Keiths of Inverugie
"4 Id. March.
St. Peter's, Rome.
(f. 53d.)To the bishop of Aberdeen. Mandate, on petition of king David, if the facts stated be found true, to dispense John de Keet, donsel, of his diocese, and Mary de Chen, damsel, of that of Moray, to intermarry, they being related in the third degree of affinity."
from British History Online
Note: For the Mary/Mariot confusion, see Research Notes. 1 3 10 11