ATHOLL    Or, Athole. 

English: Atholl Road, Pitlochry The main stree...

English: Atholl Road, Pitlochry The main street, looking east. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scottish province on the southern slopes of the Grampian Mountains, including Glens Garry and Tilt, Loch Rannoch, part of the Tay valley, and the towns of Blair Atholl, Pitlochry and Dunkeld (which was its episcopal see).

Athfodla was one of the sub-kingdoms of the Picts – allegedly that of Fortlaig, son of the legendary Cruithne – and was later a province and one of the original Earldoms of Scotland.   The first Earls belonged to a cadet line of the Royal House and died out in the male line early in the 13th century.   The family of Strathbogie, probably descended from the younger daughter of the last Earl, held the Earldom from 1264.   The second Strathbogie Earl was executed in 1306 as a traitor to Edward I, but his descendants opted for the English side and so came to be among the disinherited.   The last died in 1369.

The Earldom or lordship was held for a time by Robert, the Steward of Scotland, for a time before he became King in 1371 and was held by royal Stewarts, on and off, until the execution of Walter, Earl of Atholl, the uncle of King James I, for his part in the King’s murder.   Two cadet lines of Stewarts held the Earldom, 1455-1595 and 1596-1626.   In 1629 John Murray, whose mother was the daughter of one of these Stewart Earls, was created Earl.   His son became Marquess in 1676 and the 2nd Marquess was promoted to Ducal rank in 1703.

The lands of Atholl became the north of the county of Perthshire.

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