Quaerentes in Extremis
History Prior to 1220
6 January 1156: Somerled defeats the Norse and subsequently becomes King of the Isles, leader of a Gaelic state centred on Finlaggan on Islay.
1157: Henry II of England rips up a promise given to David I in 1149 to allow the Scots all the land North of the River Tees. He summons the 16 year old Malcolm IV, to Chester and persuades him to sign a treaty giving up Cumbria and Northumbria to the English.
1164: Somerled lands an army of 15,000 men from 164 galleys at Greenock. He intends to capture Renfrew, but is confronted by an army under Walter Fitzalan somewhere near Inchinnan (close to the site of today’s Glasgow Airport). Somerled is betrayed and killed, allegedly by a nephew in the pay of Malcolm IV. His army returns to their galleys and depart without engaging in a full scale battle.
9 December 1165: Malcolm dies, aged 24 and unmarried, and is succeeded by his younger brother William I or William the Lion after his symbol, a red lion rampant on a yellow field that becomes the basis of one of Scotland’s two flags.
13 July 1174: William I is captured by the English at Alnwick while trying to retake Northumbria.
December 1174: In the Treaty of Falaise, where William I is being held captive, he agrees that the King of Scots will henceforth be subordinate to the King of England, and that key Scottish castles would be occupied by the English.
1186: Henry II of England forces William I to marry Ermengard, from a Norman family: and gives her Edinburgh Castle as a wedding present.
1189: The Treaty of Falaise is nullified in return for a payment to Henry’s son Richard I.
1204: The Scots attack the newly built English fort at Tweedmouth, overlooking the key Scots port of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
1209: The Treaty of Norham between William I and King John of England stops the building of the Tweedmouth fort, but at the cost of a £10,000 payment to the English: and William’s two oldest daughters, who John later marries to English nobles.
4 December 1214: William I dies after a reign of 49 years. He is succeeded by his son, Alexander II.
1215: Alexander II takes advantage of King John’s weakness after the signing of the Magna Carta to try to capture Northumberland. He is beaten back and a period of cross border warfare follows until John’s death in 1216.
1219: The port of Damietta falls to the Crusaders.
Galloway: Baron Geoffroi D’Arques arrives to oversee holdings in the Ken Valley, where he controls two manors at strategic points along the Galloway and Carrick border. It is said that he has brought many foreign settlers to work the land by harvesting the timber and expanding fields.
Galloway: A white serpent has been seen in Solway Bay and has damaged fishermen nets. This is the third autumn that the beast has arrived. It appears to leave before All Souls Day.
Scotland: The Scottish King Alexander II granted a patch of land east of Annadale to the Maxwells, Scottish lords who are strangers to the area. This is future site of Caerlaverock Castle.
Scotland: Thomas Ercildoun, Scottish minstrel and perhaps better known by the sobriquets Thomas the Rhymer or True Thomas was born. (d. 1297).
Europe: Frederick II crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
Galloway (Brynt Isle?): Rumors abound of a haunted castle located on Brynt Isle in the River Dee. Stories say that back in the time when King Fergus’ son Gilla Brigte mac Fergusa of Galloway was battling with his brother Uchtred mac Fergusa for control of Galloway. His son Máel Coluim was besieging Uchtred on an island in Galloway. Máel Coluim mac Gille Brigte captured Uchtred. Uchtred was blinded, castrated and had his tongue cut out, and later dying from his wounds. The stories say that travelers who pass by the castle at night are often never heard from again.
Galloway: peasants who have recently fled Baron Geoffroi D’Arques etates claim that they were savagely attacked by sleek silver wolves from the Eskdalemuir Wood near the River Ken.
Scotland: Scotland’s King Alexander II marries English King John’s eldest daughter Joan in York.
The Loch Leglean Tribunal Midsummer’s Eve at Loch Leglean