Alan FitzRoland of Galloway, LordConstable of Scotland
m. ABT 1185
Facts and Events
Alan of Galloway (born before 1199, died 1234), also known as Alan fitz Roland, was a leading thirteenth-century Scottish magnate. As the hereditary Lord of Galloway and Constable of Scotland, he was one of the most influential men in the Kingdom of Scotland and Irish Sea zone.
Alan first appears in courtly circles in about 1200, about the time he inherited his father's possessions and offices. After he secured his mother's inheritance almost almost two decades later, Alan became one of the most powerful magnates in the Scottish realm. Alan also held lands in the Kingdom of England, and was one of John, King of England's advisors concerning Magna Carta. Alan later played a considerable part in Alexander II, King of Scotland's northern English ambitions during the violent aftermath of John's repudiation of Magna Carta. Alan participated in the English colonisation of Ulster, receiving a massive grant in the region from the English king, and simultaneously aided the Scottish crown against rebel claimants in the western and northern peripheries of the Scottish realm. Alan entered into a vicious inter-dynastic struggle for control of the Kingdom of the Isles, supporting one of his kinsman against another. Alan's involvement in the Isles, a region under nominal Norwegian authority, provoked a massive military response by Hákon Hákonarson, King of Norway, causing a severe crisis for the Scottish crown.
As ruler of the semi-autonomous Lordship of Galloway, Alan was courted by the Scottish and English kings for his remarkable military might, and was noted in Norse saga-accounts as one of the greatest warriors of his time. Like other members of his family, he was a generous religious patron. Alan died in February 1234. Although under the traditional Celtic custom of Galloway, Alan's illegitimate son could have succeeded to the Lordship of Galloway, under the feudal custom of the Scottish realm, Alan's nearest heirs were his surviving daughters. Using Alan's death as an opportunity to further integrate Galloway within his realm, Alexander forced the partition of the lordship amongst Alan's daughters. Alan was the last legitimate ruler of Galloway, descending from the native dynasty of Fergus, Lord of Galloway.