|Death: ||Jun., 1177|
Walter Fitz Alan (died June 1177) was the 1st hereditary High Steward of Scotland (c1150-1177), 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. Her cause lost, Walter befriended David I who was an uncle of Matilda, and became, appropriately, 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.
He was subsequently appointed by King David I, Steward of Scotland; in 1157 it was confirmed as a hereditary office. David also granted him what eventually comprised Renfrewshire, for the service of five knights; the lands of Paisley, Pollok, Cathcart, and Ayrshire, reconfirmed in a charter in 1157 by 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 "ri Innse Gall") in the Battle of Renfrew.
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.
Maintained by: Patricia Williams Curry
Originally Created by: Jerry Ferren
Record added: Dec 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 63270003
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