When his mother, the formidable Black Agnes, bequeathed him the troubled
earldom of Moray in the far north of Scotland, John Cospatrick, younger
son of the ninth Earl of Dunbar and March, found himself unexpectedly
elevated to become King David’s lieutenant and arbiter up in those
unruly parts. At the age of 22, with no experience in matters of
governance, John’s courage, sharp wit and skills of diplomacy served him
well in bringing the rebellious Lords of the Isles to heel.
However, the greatest test of his abilities as an envoy and negotiator
was to come when the new king, Robert II, sent him to London to seek to
win over the English king’s brother, John of Gaunt, to friendship with
The fascinating 14th century tale of John, Earl of Moray, loyal
supporter of David II of Scotland, as told by Nigel Tranter, master of
Scottish historical fiction.