Clan History


Generation 1 Frederic van Bossen,  states Clan Cunningham starts with King Dub of Scot by  but an analysis of the dates suggests King Dub should be King Dyfnwal III of Strathclyde.

Generation 2 – Prince Malcolm of “Cumberland” (Strathclyde). He married lady Magnilla (source Frederic van Bossen).

Generation 3 – Malcolm, who was the husband of Lorretta, the daughter to Walter Fraser (Frazer) the Thane of Covie (source Frederic van Bossen).

Generation 4 – Kenneth who was the husband of Sponsa, the sister of Albinack the son of Crinain I (source Frederic van Bossen).

Generation 5 – Two brothers are listed. The younger brother was Kenneth the Thane of Cunninghame, and the elder brother was Malcolm the progenitor of the de Middletons and Lord of what is now Middleton Wood. Malcolm took the name Frisken, but this Freskin (apparently) was not the ancestor of Clan Cunningham (source Frederic van Bossen).

Generation 6 – There is a gap in the records of Frederic van Bossen, before he returns to the story of how Malcolm the Governor (the son of Frisken) rescued Prince Malcolm from the clutches of King Macbeth. Though van Bossen states that this Malcolm the son of Frisken was the ancestor of Clan Cunningham the problem is it is unclear if the Frisken mentioned in this section was the son of the Kenneth in Generation 5, or if he was Kenneth’s brother, the Malcolm who later changed his name to Frisken. Currently, it is believed he was a son of Kenneth.

Generation 7 – Two brothers; Picot de Percy the father of Robert de Percy and William de Percy. The family line of Picot de Percy is still being researched and will be published in a future Clan Communique. William de Percy was the husband of Emma de Port. Both William and Picot lived in the Craven region of Yorkshire, in north England, which in the 10th century was within the southern part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. This is the region where it is believed Malcolm the son of Frisken took Prince Malcolm to after the death of King Duncan. William Percy and Emma were the parents of four sons, Alan, Walter I, William and Richard de Percy. In 1176, the primary male line of William de Percy ended with William the fourth Lord of Percy, His two daughters were Maud was the wife of William de Newburgh, the Earl of Warwick, and Agnes, who married Joceline of Louvain, the son of the Duke of Brabant, he was the brother of Adeliza, the wife of King Henry I (see D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition for more details).

Generation 8 – It is unclear from surviving records, but it is probable that the father of Amfred de Legbourne (Generation 9) was Walter I de Canci de Percy. Walter de Canci was the Lord of Battlebridge in Skirpenbec, which is beside Stamford Bridge. The other possible candidate for Amfred’s father is Walter de Congeham who held land in the region of Castle Acre. It is still unclear if Hambi of Lebourne was an ancestor of Amfred either through marriage or direct descent. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition).

Generation 9 – Amfred de Legbourne (he was the ancestor of the Cunninghams of Somercotes).  He was born around the year 1090, with the upper and lower limits to his year of birth year being 1070 to 1115. Though titled de Legbourne in Alvingham Priory records, as Legbourne was listed as a Hundreds in the time of King Henry I he held substantial land in the general region. Land records reveal that Amfred de Lebourne was and the ancestor of Pope-elect Robert de Somercotes – see Clan Cunningham Communique April 15 2023, and it was Robert de Somercotes death that prompted Clan Cunningham to take the Bishop Pall Y as the clan’s coat of arms. Over time the Shakefork Y was adopted, but for a period of time both the Bishop Pall Y and the Shakefork Y were used by different branches of the clan. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition/Clan Cunningham Communique April 15 2023).

Generation 10 – William the son of Amfred. He had three sons, Gilbert, Robert I and Herbert. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition).

Generation 11 – Herbert de Legbourne (it is said his two older brothers died with no male heirs. However, a William the son of Robert the son of Gilbert is recorded later in connection with Helyas de Amundeville in the Great Roll of the Pipe for the 31st year of King Henry II (A.D. 1184 – 1185, page 82) – see generation 14). Herbert had one son called Robert. Herbert lived in the same time as period as Warnebald, the father of Robert of Kilmaurs. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition).

Generation 12 – Robert de Legbourne had five sons William, Harold, Richard, Walter and John. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition).

Generation 13 – Harold de Cunningesholme, Ludenam and Cadwell. The estate of Cunningesholme appears only after circa 1180, which is when the primary line of the de Percys fails with no male heir. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition).

Generation 14 – Gilbert de Cunningesholme sold the rights to Cunningesholme to a William the son of Robert around the year 1185, but this sale was contested. At this point the name Cunningham appears in Scottish land records. It is believed that this William the son of Robert is related to Warnebald of Kilmaurs (the Le Muer branch of Clan Cunningham?). This is because the de Berkeley name appears in this general time period in both Alvingham Priory records and in the records surrounding the descendants of Warnebald de Kilmaurs. (source D. Cunningham Scotland & Shakespeare’s Third Prophecy: Clan Cunningham Edition/Clan Cunningham Communique April 15 2023).

Because of the loss of Scottish records, it is difficult to recover the ancestry of Warnebald of Kilmaurs. However, it is known that there are links between the descendants of William de Percy (who was one of three sons of Malcolm the son of Frisken) and a 1086 Warnebald de Great Ellingham (see Clan Cunningham Communique July 15 2023). It is also known that within the same period as Amfred the son of Walter there was also a Warenbald the son of Walter, but there are no records that directly state they were brothers.

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Over the last decade we at CCG/CCSA have worked through thousands of historical documents to not only determine the primary clan line, but to also determine links through marriages, and to test and confirm the links to the Kings of Scotland, and England. We also recovered the lost notes of Frederic van Bossen, the 17th century historian who published the story of Malcolm the son of Freskin.

Frederic van Bossen’s notes are important, because they are the only surviving notes from the 17th century that describe the start of Clan Cunningham from the early 900s, but it is important to note that van Bossen’s were not his own records. They were based on the earlier notes of a Mr James Cunningham, who Frederic van Bossen said was a distinguished writer and historian. Today, the identity of this James Cunningham cannot be confirmed with 100% certainty, but it probable that he was the James Cunningham who wrote “In Floidum, Asaphensem Episcopum, Scotorum Reges, Regnum, Ritus Sacros, Illacessitis Calumniis Et Immeritis, Exprobantem, Lacerantem, Traducentem, Versiculus Unus Et Alter Hortatorius”.

For those who do not have the time to analyze the original documents, These notes have been compiled and reviewed by Dr Derek Cunningham in his book “SCOTLAND & SHAKESPEARE’S THIRD PROPHECY: CLAN CUNNINGHAM EDITION“. This book is of interest to historians, as it carefully blends together the notes of van Bossen and with a re-analysis of early Scottish history, and it also combines modern DNA data to surviving land records. The end result is a book that completely changes our understanding of the events surrounding King Malcom the death of King Macbeth, the start of Clan Cunningham, and the entire history leading up to the formation of Scotland as a nation.