The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I18963
  • Name: Alexander "Wolf" STEWART , 1st Earl of Buchan 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1343 in Dundonald Castle, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Death: BEF 25 MAR 1406 in Badenoch, Inverness-shire, Scotland (dsp legit) 2
  • Burial: "The Wolf of Badenoch"
  • Note:
    Sir Alexander Stewart ("The Wolf of Badenoch"), 1st Earl of Buchan of the c1382 creation (and 4th son of Robert II). [Burke's Peerage]


    The Countess [Eupheme de Ross] married, 2ndly, in or before July 1382, Alexander STEWART, the "WOLF OF BADENOCH," 4th son of ROBERT II [SCT]. He appears to have been created EARL OF BUCHAN between 23 and 25 July, after the Countess's surrender to him of the barony of KINNEDWARD, comprising a large part of that Earldom; as EARL OF BUCHAN, the EARLDOM OF ROSS was confirmed to him on the later date. The Earl and Countess separated, the latter alleging that she lived in fear of her life. She was living, 4 May 1394. The date assigned for her husband's death (20 February 1394/5) is possibly that of her own. He died s.p. legitimate between 1 August 1405 and 25 March 1406. [Complete Peerage XI:147-8, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]


    The Wolf of Badenoch, is one of the most memorable historical characters of Strathspey.

    The son of King Robert II, he was one of the most blackest, most evil character in Scotland's history. Alexander Stewart, Alisdair Mor mac an Righ, was better know as Big Alexander, or the Wolf of Badenoch.

    The times in which he lived were barbarous, but even by their standards he stood out, and was feared over a considerable distance.

    Throughout his life he was Lord of Badenoch around 1371, Earl of Buchanan and was also his brother's royal deputy in the north of Scotland.

    The Wolf ruled the lands of Badenoch in a cruel way, burning the homes of those who crossed or displeased them. Taking labour and goods way beyond any reason.

    His wife, Countess of Ross, was deserted by him. His wife appealed to the Bishop of Moray, who unfortunately for him, gave judgement in her favour.

    The Wolf was outraged. All out for revenge, he came down from his stronghold, the castle of Lochindorb and ransacked and burned Forres and Elgin. Elgin of course, being the ecclesiastical centre of the Bishopric of Moray. Setting off fires, mainly in the College, the Canon's houses and the Hospital of the Maison Dieu, he terrified the people of Elgin, forcing them to flee with their families into the countryside.

    In 1390 he burned Elgin Cathedral, destroying many of its records including family, legal and monastic - irreplaceable. A terrible loss.

    Click here for Photo of Elgin Cathedral (use browser back arrow to return)

    The Wolf was called upon by his father to do penance for this heinous crime. This he did under the watchful eye of his father the King, nobles and many dignitaries of the church. The King, believing that his son had learnt his lesson, finally pardoned him, and he was received back into the Church. Unfortunately, his repentance was superficial.

    Throughout his reign he extended and reinforced his castles at Loch-an-Eilein and Lochindorb, and yet hardly changed Castle Roy at Nethy Bridge.

    Legend has it that The Wolf of Badenoch died in 1394, although others maintain is was in 1406, when it is believed that he played chess with the devil. He had been visited at Ruthven Castle by a man, who was tall, and dressed in black. The man wished to play a game of chess with the Wolf. The game went on for several hours until the tall, darkly dressed man moved one of the chess pieces and called 'check' and then 'checkmate'. The man rose from the table. On calling these words there was a terrible storm of thunder, hail and lightening. The storm continued through the night until silence befell the castle in the morning. In that morning silence, it was then that the Wolf's men were discovered outside the castle walls, dead and blackened as if they had all been struck by the lightening. The Wolf was found in the banqueting hall, and although his body appeared unmarked, the nails in his boots had all been torn out.

    The funeral procession was held two days later, led by the Wolf's coffin. Terrible storms started over and over again as the coffins were added to the procession. It was only after the Wolf's coffin was carried to the back of the procession did the storms cease. The storms did not return.

    The Wolf of Badenoch was not buried locally, but is buried in Dunkeld Cathedral.

    Father: Robert II Stewart King of SCOTLAND b: 2 MAR 1315/16 in Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, Scotland
    Mother: Elizabeth MURE b: ABT 1322 in Rowallan Castle, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

    Marriage 1 Margaret ATHYN b: ABT 1356 in Argyllshire, Scotland
    • Married: in No Marriage 1
    1. Has Children Margaret STEWART b: ABT 1373 in Badenoch & Strathspey, Inverness-shire, Scotland

    Marriage 2 Euphemia (Eupheme) 8th Countess of ROSS b: ABT 1345 in Fearn, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
    • Married: BEF JUL 1382 in 2nd husband 1st wife 2

    Marriage 3 Isabel DOUGLAS , 11th Countess of Mar b: ABT 1360 in Douglas Castle, Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland
    • Married: BEF 9 DEC 1404 in 2nd husband 1st wife 3

    1. Title: Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999
      Page: 2770
    2. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: XI:147-8
    3. Title: Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999
      Page: 1853
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