, Gospatric of Dunbar I 1 2

Birth Name Gospatric of Dunbar I
Gender male
Age at Death 33 years, 11 months, 14 days



Overlooking Dunbar Harbour are the fragmentary remains of what was once one of the mightiest castles in Scotland. The ruins are in a dangerous and precarious state and access has not been allowed since part of them collapsed into the sea in 1993. This is a castle best viewed from a distance.

Defences were built on this rocky outcrop by the Votanidi tribe during the Romans' excursions into Scotland (see our Historical Timeline) and it was a Northumbrian stronghold in 650AD. It was later a Pictish fortress until captured by the Scots under Kenneth MacAlpin in 849AD. The first stone castle was probably constructed by the Earl of Dunbar in the 1070s.

Dunbar Castle was unsuccessfully attacked by the English in 1214, but Edward I had better luck in 1296. And Edward II sheltered at Dunbar Castle after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. But perhaps Dunbar's most famous moment came in 1338 when "Black Agnes", the Countess of Moray, commanded the defence of the castle during a five month siege by the English.

The castle was rebuilt in the early 1400s, repelling another English siege in 1435 before being badly damaged by them in 1448. In 1488 it was slighted by the Scots to prevent its use by the English. Rebuilding in 1515 was followed by another English attack in 1548, and by further fortification by the French in 1550.

On 24 April 1567 Mary Queen of Scots was brought to Dunbar Castle by the Earl of Bothwell after his abduction of her, and the two later returned to the castle after their marriage on 15 May. After the Queen's subsequent surrender and abdication, the Scottish Parliament ordered the destruction of a castle so strong its possession destabilised the balance of power in Scotland.

The final indignity for Dunbar Castle came with the construction of the Victoria Harbour in 1844. A new entrance for Dunbar's harbours was blasted through the end of the rock on which the castle ruins stood: indeed, the process of firing explosives by electricity was invented especially for the job. "


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1039 Northumberland, England   2
Death 1072-12-15 Dunbar Castle, East Lothian, Scotland   3

Age: 33y

Occupation       4a


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father of Dunbar, Maldred10091045
Mother Morcarson, Ealdgyth995
    Sister     Ceanmore, Dorothy Agnes 1037
         , Gospatric of Dunbar I 1039 1072-12-15
    Brother     Ceanmore, Patrick 1041
    Brother     Ceanmore, Fergus 1043
    Brother     , Maldred II 1045
    Brother     FitzMaldred, Uchtred 1075
    Sister     Ceanmore, Sigrid about 1086


Family of , Gospatric of Dunbar I and of England, Aethelreda

Married Wife of England, Aethelreda ( * 1042 + ... )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1057     5
Name Birth Date Death Date
FitzMaldred, Uchtred
of Raby Dunbar, Dorothy
of Northumberland, Gunnilda
, Aethelreda1055
of Northumberland, Edgitha1057
Dunbar, Walter10621138
of Dunbar, Gospatric II10621138-08-23
of Galloway, Fergus Dunbar10751161

Source References

  1. http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=tjglad&id=I75983&style=TABLE
  2. Michael Neuman: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=michaelrneuman&id=I016315&style=TABLE Neuman-Smith-Goodale Family and Ancestors
  3. http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=jdp-fam&id=I49238&style=TABLE
  4. http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jdp-fam&id=I51432
      • Source text:

        ID: I51432
        Name: Gospatric of Dunbar
        Given Name: Gospatric
        Surname: of Dunbar
        Suffix: Earl of Northumberland
        Sex: M
        _UID: EEEED12CB3FCAC4983D6D0AD35DAEE76C6E4
        Change Date: 11 Jun 2005
        Birth: ABT 1040
        Death: 15 DEC 1072

        Father: Maldred of Dunbar b: 1015
        Mother: Ealdgyth of Northumbria b: 1022

        Marriage 1 Aethelreda of England b: ABT 1042
        Uchtred FitzMaldred
        Dorothy of Raby Dunbar
        Gospatric of Dunbar b: ABT 1109
        Walter Dunbar b: ABT 1062
        Fergus Dunbar of Galloway b: BEF 1075


  5. Errol Bevan: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=bevangenealogy&id=I11718&style=TABLE @ RootsWeb Ancestries of Errol S. BEVAN and Hollie C. ATKINSON BEVAN to ADAM and EVE including REINHARDT and BLOCKER Cousins and more