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Eochaidh III of Argyll MacEchdach, King of Scots

Male Abt 695 - 733  (~ 38 years)

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  • Name Eochaidh III of Argyll MacEchdach  [1
    Suffix King of Scots 
    Born Abt 695 
    Gender Male 
    Name Eochaidh MacEchdach 
    Died 733 
    • h«b»ttp://«/b»


      The system of succession to kingship amongst the Scots differed from the one we follow today. Now, our monarchs are chosen by a hereditary system known as primogeniture: generally, the eldest son of a deceased king succeeds to the throne. Primogeniture is relatively straightforward, but has the disadvantage of sometimes resulting in minorities, which occur whenever the heir to the throne is too young to fulfil his duties. A regency has to be established until the king comes of age, and this often produces political instability. The Scots, in contrast, followed the Celtic law of tanistry. Tanistry requires that a brother or cousin of the king be nominated by him as his successor. Thus, the throne tends to pass between different branches of the royal family. The advantage of this system is that there is always a mature king on the throne. The disadvantage, as the Scots learned throughout their history, is that it sometimes leads to assassination and to warfare between competing claimants to the throne.
      Amongst the kings of Dalriada, the succession alternated between the descendants of Erc, with those of Fergus dominating. In fact, after Loarn, the kingship did not pass to this branch of the family until Ferchar Fota, who died in 697. Two sons, and then two grandsons of Ferchar Fota came to the throne, but after this it remained firmly in the hands of the descendants of Fergus. At the time of Ferchar Fota's reign, Dalriada was a weakened kingdom; the throne was fleetingly held by the various claimants, and the Scots were dominated by the Picts. Only Selbach of the Tribe of Loarn had a long reign of twenty-three years.


      Eochaid mac Echdach«/b» was king of «u»Dál Riata «/u» (modern western «u»Scotland «/u») from 726 until 733. He was a son of «u»Eochaid mac Domangairt «/u».
      Eochaid came to power as king of Dál Riata in 726, presumably deposing «u»Dúngal mac Selbaig «/u». «u»Selbach «/u»may have tried to restore his son to power, and fought against Eochaid's supporters at «i»Irros Foichnae«/i» in 727, but without apparent success. The annals vary as to whether the despatch of a fleet from Dál Riata to «u»Ireland «/u»to aid «u»Flaithbertach mac Loingsig «/u» in his war with «u»Áed Allán «/u» should be placed in the reign of Eochaid, or that of his successor.
      At his death in 733, Eochaid is named king rather than lord of Dál Riata, which may suggest that after the defeat of Dúngal and Selbach his reign was unchallenged. His son, «u»Áed Find «/u», was later king of Dál Riata.
      As Dál Riata certainly maintained a separate existence until 736, Eochaid must have had a successor, or successors. It appears that he was succeeded by «u»Muiredach mac Ainbcellaig «/u», who had replaced Dúngal mac Selbaig as king of the «u»Cenél Loairn «/u».
    Person ID I5262  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 

    Father Eochaidh Crook-Nose of Argyll, King of Scots,   b. Abt 630,   d. 697  (Age ~ 67 years) 
    Mother Spondana of the Picts,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F1648  Group Sheet

     1. Aedh The White of Argyll Find, King of Scots,   b. Abt 725, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 778  (Age ~ 53 years)
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F1647  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S36] Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, Brian Tompsett, Dept of Computer Science, University of Hull, England([email protected]), (This work is Copyright b 1994-2002 Brian C Tompsett).