© Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal Updated 10 May 2024 Date of 'update' refers to the whole section update, not to every individual file.
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, Hugh 4th 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) 5th Earl of Ross
(About 1311-1372)
(About 1312-)
Euphemia (I) Countess, 6th of Ross
(About 1343-After 1394)


Family Links

1. LESLIE, Walter Earl of Ross, jure uxoris

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

Euphemia (I) Countess, 6th of Ross 2

  • Born: About 1343
  • Marriage (1): LESLIE, Walter Earl of Ross, jure uxoris in 1365 1
  • Marriage (2): STEWART, Alexander Lord of Badenoch then Earl of Buchan in 1382 2
  • Died: After 5 September 1394 3
  • Buried: Fortrose Cathedral, Scotland 4

   User ID: K181.

  Research Notes:


Two women, in medieval Scottish history, who are regularly confused in popular references, 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. The two women were:


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.

2 EUPHEMIA O'BEOLAN, COUNTESS OF ROSS by birth (c1343-after1394)

Euphemia is often referred to as Euphemia of Ross, Euphemia Ross or Euphemia I. She was the elder of two daughters of Uilleam III, the last O'Beolan Mormaer of Ross (William III, earl 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 Mary ABERNETHY co-heiress, in 1365.1 (Walter LESLIE Earl of Ross, jure uxoris was born about 1318 and died by 1382 2.)

  Marriage Notes:

"There is a charter in the possession of the Earl of Strathmore, by which Andrew de Leslie, Dominus Ejusdem, confirms a charter from Walter de Leslie, Dominus de Philorth, of all the lands which the said Walter had in territorio de Monergood, to John Lyon de Terteviot. In this charter Sir Andrew de Leslie calls Sir Walter de Leslie his uncle - viz., 'Sciatis nos vidisse cartam dilecti patrui nostri Walteri de Lesley de Philorth, &c.' There is no date in this charter of confirmation, but it must have been granted between 1365, the year in which Sir Walter de Leslie married Euphemia, daughter of the Earl of Ross, and assumed the title of Lord of Philorth, and the year 1372, when he became Earl of Ross in right of his wife, on the death of William, Earl of Ross, his father-in-law."

from Family of Leslie 1

Euphemia next married Alexander STEWART Lord of Badenoch then Earl of Buchan, son of Robert II STEWART King of Scots and Elizabeth MURE 'of Rowallan', in 1382.2 (Alexander STEWART Lord of Badenoch then Earl of Buchan was born about 1343 and died by 24 March 1406 2.)

  Marriage Notes:

"Sir Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, was the fourth son of Robert II. The title came to him as the result of his marriage, in 1382, witli Euphemia, Countess of Ross, who was Baroness of the barony of Kingedward, originally comprehending the greater part of the lands in Aberdeenshire belonging to the ancient earldom of Buchan. These she resigned into the hand of the King, 22 July 1382, who granted them to her and her husband, and the longer liver, their heirs, and failing them the heirs of Euphemia. Probably at this time he was created Earl of Buchan, for though in this charter he is styled Lord of Badenoch, he is called Earl of Buchan in another granted to him three days after."

from Scots Peerage (vol 2) 2


1 e-books, Historical Records of the Family of Leslie 1067-1869 vol. 1 by Col. Leslie of Balquhain (1869).

2 e-books, The Scots Peerage ed. Sir James Balfour Paul vol. 2 (1905).

3 Internet Site, http://www.thepeerage.com.

4 Internet Site, www.wikipedia.org.

5 Internet Site, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Randolph,_3rd_Earl_of_Moray.

6 Internet Site, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormaer.

7 Internet Site, https://www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info/genealogy.

8 Internet Site, https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usbiography/s/alexanderstewartbuchan.html.

9 Internet Site, https://www.stewartsociety.org/history-of-the-stewarts.cfm?section=famous-stewarts&subcatid=16&histid=139.

10 Internet Site, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_III_of_Scotland.

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

© Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal

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