Patrick IV, Earl of March

Patrick IV, Earl of March

Patrick IV, Earl of March, sometimes called Patrick de Dunbar "8th" Earl of March [ Richardson, Douglas, "Magna Carta Ancestry", Baltimore, 2005, pps:60 & 209, ISBN 0806301759-0 where he is given as the 8th Earl of Dunbar or March] [ Anderson, Wiliam, "The Scottish Nation", Edinburgh, 1867, vol.iv,p.74, where he is given as the 8th Earl of Dunbar and his year of death said to be 1309] [ Bain (1888) vol.iv] [ Miller, James, "The History of Dunbar", Haddington, 1830, p.25, where he is given as the 8th Earl of Dunbar and March (called "Blackbeard")] [ Dunbar, Sir Alexander H., "Scottish Kings", Edinburgh, 1899, p.282, where he is given as "Patric de Dunbar, 8th Earl of March".] (1242 – October 10, 1308), was the most important magnate in the border regions of Scotland. He was one of the Competitors for the Crown of Scotland.

Late Succession

Said to be aged 47 at his father's death, Sir Patrick de Dunbar, Knight, Earl of Dunbar, had livery of his father's lands on May 14, 1290. It appears that this Earl of Dunbar assumed the additional alternate title Earl of March, as he appeared designated "Comes de Marchia" at the parliament at Brigham in 1290, [ Anderson (1867), vol.iv,p.74] for the purpose of betrothing the Princess Margaret to the son of King Edward I of England. (This failed to come about).

Ambition & Submission

He was one of the Competitors for the Crown of Scotland in 1291, when he entered a formal claim in right of his great-grandmother, Ada, Countess of Dunbar, an illegitimate daughter of William The Lion, King of Scots. [ Anderson (1867), vol.iv, p.74] Like so many Scottish noblemen, including the Bruces, Dunbar held lands in England also which required knights' services, and he was summoned by King Edward I in 1294 to assist him at war in Gascony.

Fealty Then Disobedience

The Earl of Dunbar and March, with the Earl of Angus, Robert Bruce the elder, and Bruce, Earl of Carrick, swore fealty to the English King at Wark on March 25 1296. In this turbluent year he appears to have been betrayed by his wife, who took the Scottish side and retained the castle of Dunbar for Balliol, but was obliged to surrender it to King Edward I of England in April 1296. [ Anderson (1867), vol.iv, p.74] In 1297 it appears that the Earl ceased his allegiance to Edward I, held his lands of the Scottish Crown, and was favourably received by Sir William Wallace, with whom he had been in bitter battle the previous year!

In 1298 he was King's Lieutenant for Scotland, and in 1300 was present at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle, with his eldest son and heir, Patrick.


The Earl married, before 1282, Marjorie, daughter of Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan [ Richardson, "Magna Carta Ancestry", 2005:60 ] by his spouse Elizabeth, [ Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, "The Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire", London, 1883: 447] daughter of Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester by Ellen of Galloway. [ Riddell, Robert, of Glenriddell, "The Lordship of Galloway", Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, November 1787] [ Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, "The Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire", London, 1883: 447 - "the 1st of de Quincey's 3 wives"] [ Anderson, Alan O., M.A., "Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers, 500 to 1286", London, 1908: 358 - "where she is named as Helen"]

They had known issue:
* Patrick V, Earl of March (1285-1369).
* John de Dunbar of Derchester & Birkynside, father of George de Dunbar, 10th Earl of March.
* George de Dunbar, ancestor of the Mochrum family. [ Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, "The Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire", London, 1883: 606]



*Miller, James, "The History of Dunbar", Dunbar, 1830, pps: 24 - 34.
*Bain, Joseph, "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", vol.IV, 1357 - 1509, pps.xx - xxiv, Edinburgh, 1888, for relationships in this Dunbar family refer to the 'Introduction' with other references in the main sections of the volume.
*Dunbar, Sir Archibald H., Bt., "Scottish Kings, a Revised Chronology of Scottish History, 1005 - 1625", Edinburgh, 1899, pps: 87-93 and 282.

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