Walter fitz Alan, 1st High Steward of Scotland (1106-1177)

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Walter FitzAlan, 1st High Steward of Scotland was born 1106 to Alan fitz Flaad (1070-1114) and Aveline de Hesdin (-1114) and died June 1177 of unspecified causes. He married Eschyna de Londoniis (-aft1177) .

Walter FitzAllan (1106 – June 1177) was the 1st Hereditary High Steward of Scotland (ca. 1150-1177), and described as "a Norman by culture and by blood a Breton". He was the third son of a Breton knight, Alan fitz Flaad, feudal lord of Oswestry, by his spouse Aveline, daughter of Ernoulf de Hesdin


When The Anarchy took hold in England and civil war between Empress Matilda and Stephen, Walter rallied to the support of the Empress.

When Empress Matilda's cause was lost, Walter befriended David I who was an uncle of Matilda. He became David's dapifer or Steward. Accompanied by his brother Simon, Walter came to Scotland about 1136 and fought for Scotland at the Battle of the Standard at Northallerton in 1138 under the command of David I's son, Prince Henry.

Subsequently he was appointed Steward of Scotland by King David I; in 1157 the appointment as Steward was confirmed as a hereditary office. In return for the service of five knights, David also granted him what eventually comprised Renfrewshire: the lands of Paisley, Pollok, Cathcart, and Ayrshire; this grant was reconfirmed in a charter in 1157 from Malcolm IV. In 1163 Walter founded, first at Renfrew but shortly afterwards at Paisley, a house of monks of the Cluniac order drawn from the priory of Much Wenlock, in his native county of Shropshire. Walter acquired directly from the Crown the Berwickshire estates of Birkenside and Legerwood on the eastern or left bank of the Leader Water and presented to the monks the church of Legerwood, which they held from 1164 until the Reformation in 1560. The monastery steadily grew and by 1219 became Paisley Abbey.

In 1164 he led a force which defeated Somerled, King of the Hebrides (Gaelic: rí Innse Gall) in the Battle of Renfrew.

Marriage and issue

Walter fitz Alan was married to Eschyna de Londoniis, heiress of Uchtred de Molla (Molle) & Huntlaw (territorial designations, not then surnames) and widow of Robert Croc. Upon Walter's death his widow married Henry de Molle,[12] whose new surname is probably taken from his wife's lands.

She and Walter had issue:

  • Alan fitz Walter, married firstly Eva, allegedly a daughter of Sweyn Thorsson, secondly Alesta, daughter of Morggán, Earl of Mar.
  • Walter fitz Walter
  • Simon fitz Walter
  • Margaret fitz Walter, married Robert de Montgomery of Eaglesham.
  • Christiana fitz Walter, married firstly William de Brus, Lord of Annandale, secondly Patrick, Earl of Dunbar.


Walter, The Steward, died in 1177 and was interred in the monastery at Paisley, the burying-place of his family before their later accession to the throne.


Offspring of Walter FitzAlan and Eschyna de Londoniis (-aft1177)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Alan fitz Walter, 2nd High Steward of Scotland (1140-1204) 1140 1204 Alesta of Mar (-c1204)

Walter fitz Walter
Simon fitz Walter
Margaret fitz Walter
Christiana fitz Walter


Offspring of Alan FitzFlaad and Aveline de Hesdin (-1114)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William FitzAlan (-1160) 1105 England 1160 Shropshire, England Isabel de Say (?-?)

Walter fitz Alan, 1st High Steward of Scotland (1106-1177) 1106 June 1177 Eschyna de Londoniis (-aft1177)

Simon FitzAlan
Jordan FitzAlan

Sources and notes

‡ General



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