Yet, when Edward was forced by home affairs to quit Scotland, Annandale and certain earldoms, including Carrick, were excepted from the districts he assigned to his followers, Bruce and other earls being treated as waverers whose allegiance might still be retained.
The three earldoms and the broad lands of the Bohuns were divided between two co-heiresses.
The great earldoms of the West-Saxon period were allowed to lapse; the new earls, for the most part closely connected with William by the ties of blood or friendship, were lords of single shires; and only on the marches of the kingdom was the whole of the royal jurisdiction delegated to such feudatories.
These seven mormaorships, or original "earldoms" of Scotland, as they were afterwards called, were: Angus, Athole with Gowry, Caithness with Sutherland, Fife, Mar with Buchan, Moray with Ross, and Stratherne with Menteith.
The latter, who commanded the men of Bute at the battle of Falkirk in 1298, had seven sons: (1) Sir Alexander, whose grandson George became in 1389 earl of Angus, the title afterwards passing in the female line to the Douglases, and in 1761 to the duke of Hamilton; (2) Sir Alan of Dreghorn, ancestor of the earls and dukes of Lennox, from whcm Lord Darnley, husband of Queen Mary, and also Lady Arabella Stuart, were descended; (3) Sir Walter, who obtained the barony of Garlies, Wigtownshire, from his uncle John Randolph, earl of Moray, and was the ancestor of the earls of Galloway, younger branches of the family being the Stewarts of Tonderghie, Wigtownshire, and also those of Physgill and Glenturk in the same county; (4) Sir James, who fell at Dupplin in 1332, ancestor of the lords of Lorn, on whose descendants were conferred at different periods the earldoms of Athole, Buchan and Traquair, and who were also the progenitors of the Stewarts of Appin, Argyllshire, and of Grandtully, Perthshire; (5) Sir John, killed at Halidon Hill in 1333; (6) Sir Hugh, who fought under Edward Bruce in Ireland; and (7) Sir Robert of Daldowie, ancestor of the Stewarts of Allanton and of Coltness.
On the death of the "Wolf of Badenoch" the earldom of Buchan passed to his brother Robert, duke of Albany, also earl of Fife and earl of Menteith, but these earldoms were forfeited on the execution of his son Murdoch in 1425, the earldom of Buchan again, however, coming to the house of Stewart in the person of James, second son of Sir James Stewart, the black knight of Lorn, by Joan or Joanna, widow of King James I.
He married Maud, heiress of Hugh, earl of Chester, and his son John inherited both earldoms. The son married Helen, daughter of Llewelyn, prince of Wales, by whom he was poisoned in 1237, dying without issue.
His sons Sweyn and I-Iarold were promoted to earldoms; and his daughter Eadgyth was married to the king (1045).
The Danelagh became a group of earldoms, ruled by officials who were as often of Danish as of English descent.
Moreover, Harold had before his eye as a precedent the displacement of the effete Carolingian line in France, by the new house of Robert the Strong and Hugh Capet, seventy years before, He prepared for the crisis that must come at the death of Edward the Confessor by bestowing the governance of several earldoms upon his brothers.
His experiment in taking the rule of these earldoms out of the hands of the descendants of Siward and Leofrie proved so unsuccessful that he had to resign himself to undoing it.
Nor did William introduce the system of great earldoms, passing from father to son, which gave over-great subjects a hereditary grip on the ~ountryside- On the contrary, as has been already said, he did much to check that tendency, which had already developed in England.
Was compelled to give up the earldoms of Northumberland and Cumberland, which his father Henry had receiv~d from Stephen.
A minor when Earl Edmund died in 1296, Thomas received his father's earldoms of Lancaster and Leicester in 1298, but did not become prominent in English affairs until after the accession of his cousin, Edward II., in July 1307.
Lancaster, who had just obtained the earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury on the death of his father-in-law in 1311, drove the king and his favourite from Newcastle to Scarborough, and was present at the execution of Gaveston in June 1312.
The two great earldoms whose contests form a large part of the history of the south of Ireland were created by Edward III.
In 1337 he was made earl of Derby; in 1345 he succeeded to his father's earldoms of Lancaster and Leicester; in 1349 he was created earl of Lincoln, and in 1351 he was made duke of Lancaster.