The Umfreville Earls of Angus

Gilbert De Umfreville (d.1245)

Lord of Redesdale 1226-1245

The Eldest son of Richard Lord of Redesdale. Sykes says the he died in Passion week, the last week of Christs life. By his second marriage to Maud/Matilda of Angus (the Scottish King's second Cousin) his son Gilbert inherited the Earldom of Angus. Gilbert may have been using the title of Earl between 1243 and 1245 so I have included him in this section. Manor lands at Otterburn are mentioned in Gilbert's will amongst the list of his property. This may indicate that he was the owner if not the builder of Otterburn tower. The Hamilton family trace their ancestry back to Gilbert through a shadowy figure known as Gilbert De Beaumont alias De Hamildon (Or Gilbert De Hamildun) claiming him as a son of Gilbert and his first wife Theophania De Balliol. During the Scottish wars of independance many records were lost so it is difficult to trace people from these times. Things are also complicated by the customs of referring to nobles by either their surname OR their landholding. It does seem odd that Gilbert should name two of his sons Gilbert even if they do have different mothers although it is not uncommon for two sons to have the same name if one died as an infant, indeed Robert, the 2nd Earl, did this.

Maud Matilda married Richard De Chilham after Gilberts death.

Back to Index

Sir Gilbert De Umfreville b. c. 1244 d. bef 13th October 1307

Lord of Redesdale 1245-1307

Earl of Angus (1245)1267-1307

Baron of Prudhoe 1283-1307

G.W.S. Barrow lists Gilbert as the earl of Angus from 1267 presumably on the death of the previous incumbent Gilchrist unless the title was temporarily taken away from him. Other sources claim the the Umfrevilles held the Earldom from 1243 or from 1245. Gilbert's mother Maud was the daughter of Earl Gilchrist and Maud the sister of William King of Scotland.

Gilbert married Elizabeth the daughter of Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan and produced 3 sons. The eldest, Gilbert (died early, before 1307) married Margaret De Clare. The second son who became the next Earl was Robert. The third son Thomas became a knight at the court of either Edward II or III and may have had descendants in the south of England.

Gilbert alienated Chollerton in about 1268 and sold it in 1274. The Inspeximus Maximus of 1298 lists the donation of Cholverton Chapel to the Priory of St Andrew's at Hexham by Odonell De Umfreville, most likely Gilbert's uncle Odonell. We know that Chollerton and Birtley had been released to him by Richard of Chollerton which may mean that Odonell died before 1274 if Gilbert was able to do with it what he wanted.

On June 13th 1291 Gilbert was at Upsettlington Nr Norham Castle on the river Tweed with the Guardians and magnates of Scotland to swear individual fealty to Edward I. Earlier that year Gilbert had refused to surrender the castles of Forfar and Dundee, which were in his keeping, to Edward declaring that he had been entrusted them by the community of the realm of Scotland and not the King of England. Gilbert did hand them over at this meeting. Earl Gilbert is known for his stubborness; he so frequently exceeded his authority within Redesdale that in 1293 he was brought before Newcastle assizes and the following charges brought against him:

In his defence Gilbert claimed that only he or his justices could deal with cases within the Liberty. He claimed a river crossing tax at Elishaw on the Scots border which he said he only exacted from Scotsmen! Gilbert argued that the wardenship of the Liberty entitled him to many privileges, for example, all legal cases concerning the Liberty were to be heard in his courts before his Justices; he could free criminals from his gaol at Harbottle castle and deal with injustices concerning the inspection of bread and ale. He claimed the right to hold a market at Harbottle every week on tuesdays and hold an annual fair on 8th September. He could also hold a sunday market at Elsdon and an annual fair there on 16th August.

Gilbert was summoned to the English Parliament in 1296 and in 1298 he accompanied Edward I on his military expedition to Scotland to fight William Wallace at Falkirk (22nd July). In 1306 he was one of the Scots Earls opposed to Robert Bruce who had just seized the crown from John Baliol. Gilbert died in 1307, the same year as King Edward. It is his tomb cover that resides in Hexham Abbey.

Gilbert's tomb cover in Hexham Abbey. Click to see the full image.

 Note that Gilbert has his legs crossed. Usually this was a sign that the dead man had been on a crusade (OR a Freemason!).

Gilbert produced 4 offspring:

Gilbert (c. 1275 - bef. 23/5/1303), Robert (c. 1277 - 30/3/1325 or 3/4/1325 poss death and burial dates), Thomas 'Valectus Regis' (Kings Steward?) (c.1279 - c. 1340) and a daughter (b. c. 1281) who died in Woodburn Lincs and was married to John De Lisle of Woodburn.

Back to Index

Gilbert De Umfreville d. bef 1307

Eldest son Of Gilbert 1st earl of Angus. Married to Margaret De Clare of Thomond, Connaught in County Clare. Must have died before 1307 as the earldom passed to his brother Robert.

Sir Ingram De Umfreville (before 1281-c1320)

Guardian of Scotland 1300-1301

Of all the Umfrevilles Ingram's origins are very unclear and no authority can agree on his exact lineage, it seems likely that he was a cousin or second cousin of Gilbert earl of Angus. Illegitimate sons crossing the border to Scotland in search of lands and honours were also very common in this period, several of the Percys (amongst others) fell into this category and served as knights of the King of Scotland. Ingram inherited the estates of his 'cousin' Ingram Baliol on Baliols death, these estates therefore passed to him by hereditary right. However, as both Ingrams had been involved in the rebellions against King Edward I Edward seized Baliols lands and gave them to Henry Percy instead. These lands were the manors of  Foston in Leicestershire, and Wharrington-upon-Tees in Co. Durham as well as the barony of Urr in Galloway and Red Castle in Angus. Even when Ingram switched sides and stood with Edward I and later Edward II at Bannockburn Percy still held on to the scottish lands and didn't give them to their rightful owner.


  If he was a son of Robert of Chollerton then he would have to have been born before 1257 as Robert was dead before then. Ingram was still alive in 1320 so if he was born in 1256 he would have been 64 in 1320. This is of course a generous age but not impossible. However, if the Chroniclers name 3 sons of Robert of Chollerton why leave out a fourth who was hardly an insignificant person? Robert of Chollerton's youngest brother Odinell was alive in 1270. If this Odinell fathered Ingram in 1270 Ingram would have been 50 in 1320. There is also a possibility that Ingram could be the son of any one of Robert of Chollerton's sons, William of Elsdon was still alive in 1281 and is the most likely candidate. It is my theory that Ingram was born after 1260 and before 1270 to one of Robert of Chollerton's sons as he would have to have been a man of some note in 1295 when he was sent as one of the Scot's ambassadors to France, hardly a job for a fresh-faced boy! Charles D'Oliers genealogy has Ingram/Ingelram down as the descendant of Gilbert the fourth son of Odonell II of Prudhoe.

Ingram first comes to our attention as I have said in 1295 when he was one of the ambassadors who established the 'Auld alliance' with France. This alliance was a threat to the English Kings throughout the hundred years war. Under the terms of the alliance France and Scotland were obliged to aid each other in the event of an English Invasion. However, within a year Ingram was present at the siege of Berwick in 1296 with Edward I!.In 1298 he was still siding with the english and fought against Wallace at Falkirk with his kinsman Gilbert Earl of Angus . In 1299 he was one of the Scottish commanders who laid seige to Stirling Castle. On 10th May 1300 he was appointed joint Guardian of Scotland (replacing Robert Bruce who had resigned earlier) with William Lamberton the Bishop of St Andrews and John Comyn of Badenoch. A year later Ingram himself resigned being replaced by John De Soules.

In 1301 he campaigned for the Scots against the English. With John De Soules Ingram attacked Lochmaben on the 7th and 8th September and began to recruit men from Nithsdale. In the autumn of 1303 he was one of the Scots ambassadors to Paris. In 1304, after returning from France, Ingram had all his lands6 made forfeit to King Edward I but with the condition that he could buy them back at five times their annual value! This is no coincidence seeing as Henry Percy had held the lands since 1299 hence the unaffordable price. Robert Bruce asked for Ingram's lands during the next parliament at Westminster and this was granted (they were returned to Ingram when Bruce declared himself King in 1306). In 1304 with Wallace and the 'rebel' Scots still at large Ingram was one of the Nobles who was to be denied safe conduct until his capture.

In 1307 Ingram was still on the side of the English and was one of their commanders in the Carrick and Galloway area who had trapped the Bruce and his small army in the hill country south of the Forth. Bruce successfully fought a guerilla campaign against superior forces until the death of Edward I at Burgh-on-sands on 17th July. This gave Bruce the respite to consolidate his forces and went into exile in Ireland. Edward II made Ingram Guardian of South and West Scotland in order to waylay Bruce. Bruce returned from Ireland the following year and took Ingram by suprise. Edward Bruce drove Ingram into his keeps by overrunning Galloway.

Never one for missing out on the action we find Ingram fighting (although by then he was an old man) with Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314 with his kinsman Robert Earl of Angus. After the battle Ingram and Robert fled the field to Bothwell castle only to be betrayed by the constable and handed over to the victorious Bruce to be ransomned. In 1320 Ingram left Scotland in disgust after Sir David Brechin was sentenced to be hanged and beheaded at Perth for failing to report a plot to depose Bruce and impose William De Soules on the throne. Ingram must have died soon after. Of his descendents he had two daughters, Eva and Isabella and a son called Ingram.

Return to Index

Ingram II

Son of Ingram the Guardian. Hedley states that this is the Ingram who fought at Nevilles Cross (Durham) in 1346 with his kinsman Gilbert the former third Earl of Angus. Hedley seems fairly sure that Ingram left no descendants.

Sir Robert De Umfreville d. 2nd April 1325

Earl of Angus 1307-1325

Lord of Redesdale 1307-1325

Earl of Kyme? -1325

The second son of Gilbert the first Earl and suceeded to the title on the death of his father. Robert's second wife Alienore De Clare may have been the sister of his own sister-in-law who married his elder brother Gilbert.

Robert supported the Balliol and Comyn (through his mother) claims to the Scottish throne and opposed Robert Bruce who had murdered John Comyn in 1306. Robert was not suprisingly conspicuous by his absence from Bruce's first parliament at St Andrews between 1308-9. Robert fought with Ingram and was captured by the Scots at Bannockburn to be ransomed later. Robert was the lord of Redesdale when James, the Black, Douglas took Harbottle when he raided the north in 1318.

By his first marriage to Lucy De Kyme the Kyme lands came into the posession of the De Umfrevilles. This union produced 3 children Gilbert who died an infant before 1307, another Gilbert who became the third Earl of Angus and a daughter Elizabeth who married a Gilbert De Boroughdon. Their daughter Eleanor De Boroughdon married into the Talboys family who eventually became the inheritors of the Redesdale lands.

Thomas De Umfreville (alive in 1305)

Third son of Gilbert the (official) First earl of Angus and it is suggested that he became a Staller or more probably a Steward 'Valectus Regis' for Edward II and Edward III. He was definately at the Royal court and started a completely new branch of the family in the South. Charles D'Olier Umfreville (1906-1967) claimed descent from this Thomas. See 'the Southern Umfrevilles' and also the Charles D'Olier genealogies.

Sir Gilbert De Umfreville 1310-1380

Third Earl of Angus 1325 - 1380

Lord of Redesdale 1325 - 1380

Born the second son of Robert Earl of Angus. His elder brother, also Gilbert, died in infancy in 1302. Through his mother, Lucy/Lucia De Kyme, the Umfrevilles gained posession of the Kyme lands in Lincolnshire.

Robert Bruce finally confiscated the Earldom of Angus around 1328 and gave it to John Stewart of Bunkle who held it until 1331. Gilbert married Joan Willoughby who produced 3 sons. Robert, who married Margaret Percy, William and Gilbert. According to Hodgson none of them produced an heir nor outlived their father. Gilberts second wife, Maud De Lucy had no surviving offspring and thus this line of the Umfrevilles died out. However, present day descendants of the Umfrevilles have family trees tracing their family back to the second son, William (the Newcastle branch is also descended from William). The Percies took posession of the Barony of Prudhoe in 1375,  on the death of Robert as Margaret Percys dead husband. Gilbert survived until 1380.

Gilbert built a tower house at South Kyme during Edward IIIs reign probably with money gained from Scottish ransoms after Neville's Cross in 1346. With Gilberts death the Redesdale, Kyme and Coquetdale lands were inherited by the offspring of Robert the second Earl and his children by Alienore De Clare.


6. The evidence suggests that Ingrams lands were in Galloway and particularly Nithsdale. Firstly he performed most of his military duties there which would suggest he knew the area well. In 1299 Ingram, Bruce (whose lands were in the adjacent Annandale) and a host of other Scots magnates took part in a raid in the forest in the centre of the Scots border. Secondly with De Soules he fought against the English in 1301 with a host of men he had recruited from Nithsdale. Thirdly when Edward I died in 1307 he was appointed Guardian of the South and West Scotland (including Galloway and the borders) by Edward II. I 1307 he was driven into his keeps at Lochmaben, Ayr, Dumfries, Caerlaverlock, Dalswinton, Tibbers and Loch Doon by Edward Bruce. All these keeps are in Galloway. John Prebble (The Lion in the North) refers to Ingram as Robert Bruce's neighbour  thus Robert Bruce claiming Ingrams lands would make a great deal of sense if they adjoined his own in Annandale. Other sources suggest the Umfrevilles possessed land at Dunipace, near Falkirk.

Back to Index