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Thane ( /ˈθeɪn/ ; Scottish Gaelic : taidhn)  was the title given to a local royal official in medieval eastern Scotland, equivalent in rank to the son of an earl,  who was at the head of an administrative and socio-economic unit known as a thanedom.[ citation needed ]
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[T]he "thane", though he later developed into a laird, was at first an officer, half royal servant and half landowner, who looked after a portion of the king's land.— John Duncan Mackie, 
The earliest documentary record of a thane is in the written judgement of a land dispute settled at a provincial assembly of Fife between 1128 and 1136, at which one attendee is described as the thane of Falkland.  A further eleven thanes are recorded over the course of the rest of the 12th century, attached to estates from East Lothian to Moray, all of which were at the time under the control of the King of Alba.  From around the beginning of the 13th century a few thanes also start to be documented attached to estates under the control of earls, including Dunning and Strowan, which both lay within the Earldom of Strathearn.  A statute of 1221 explicitly allowed that some thanes could be responsible to an earl rather than the king,  though the overwhelming majority of thanes in the historical record were attached to lands that lay outside earldoms and were in royal hands. 
The thane was introduced in the reign of David I (reigned 1124–1153), an Anglophile, to replace the Gaelic tòiseach (meaning leader, and with which the term Taoiseach shares an origin). In Scotland at that time toshach designated a deputy to a mormaer, controlling a particular portion of a mormaerdom on the mormaer's behalf. The English thegn was a more general term, simply referring to landholders of widely varying importance.  Having introduced earl to describe mormaers, David used thane to describe toshachs.[ citation needed ]
Functionally, the thane was a territorial administrator, acting under a territorial earl (the latter resembling a Saxon ealdorman rather than the more superficial Norman earl), or royal steward. 12th century evidence makes it clear that the thane's key role was to collect revenue and services from the estates they administered, being permitted to keep some for themselves as "thane's right" (Latin : ius thani).  Though thanes often held land within the region they administered, this was coincidental; providing land tenure was simply the way of paying for their services, the location of their lands not being intrinsically linked to the authority they wielded in any particular region.[ citation needed ]
However, after the death of Alexander III in 1286, thanes differed from their tosach forebears by holding their position as a feudal grant from the crown, rather than the almost independent status held by a tosach. Thanes consequently resembled English barons, but with greater judicial and administrative authority which extended beyond the lands they directly held. In later centuries, the term thanes dropped out of use in favour of baron, but described as having regality , a term used to describe both the thanes' powers, and the greater powers of the territorial earl.[ citation needed ]
In William Shakespeare's Macbeth (1606), the character Macbeth holds the title "Thane of Glamis", and later, "Thane of Cawdor".  The historical King Macbeth fought a Thane of Cawdor who died in battle, but he did not thereby acquire the title himself.[ citation needed ]
The 2nd Earl of Cawdor wrote a history of the Thanes of Cawdor, in 1742, published in 1859. 
In the video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player character is able to receive the honorary title of Thane of Whiterun (and other "holds") by completing quests for the local Jarl. The title allows the player to purchase land within various holds, such as Whiterun or Falkreath. 
Macbeth was King of Scots from 1040 until his death. He ruled over the Kingdom of Alba, which covered only a portion of present-day Scotland.
Earl is a rank of the nobility in the United Kingdom. The title originates in the Old English word eorl, meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. After the Norman Conquest, it became the equivalent of the continental count. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl" or "count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku (伯爵) of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era.
The shires of Scotland, or counties of Scotland, are historic subdivisions of Scotland established in the Middle Ages and used as administrative divisions until 1975. Originally established for judicial purposes, from the 17th century they started to be used for local administration purposes as well. The areas used for judicial functions (sheriffdoms) came to diverge from the shires, which ceased to be used for local government purposes after 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.
In early medieval Scotland, a mormaer was the Gaelic name for a regional or provincial ruler, theoretically second only to the King of Scots, and the senior of a Toísech (chieftain). Mormaers were equivalent to English earls or Continental counts, and the term is often translated into English as 'earl'.
Lord Macduff, the Thane of Fife, is a character and the main antagonist in William Shakespeare's Macbeth (c.1603–1607) that is loosely based on history. Macduff, a legendary hero, plays a pivotal role in the play: he suspects Macbeth of regicide and eventually kills Macbeth in the final act. He can be seen as the avenging hero who helps save Scotland from Macbeth's tyranny in the play.
Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, Alasdair Mór mac an Rígh, and called the Wolf of Badenoch, was the third surviving son of King Robert II of Scotland and youngest by his first wife, Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan. He was the first Earl of Buchan since John Comyn, from 1382 until his death. Alexander married the widowed Euphemia I, Countess of Ross, but they had no children. He did have a large family by his longtime mistress, Mairead inghean Eachainn. Alexander was Justiciar of Scotia for a time, but not an effective one. He held large territories in the north of Scotland before eventually losing a large part of them. Alexander is remembered for his destruction of the royal burgh of Elgin and its cathedral. His nickname was earned due to his notorious cruelty and rapacity, but there is no proof that it was used during his lifetime.
The Earl of Fife or Mormaer of Fife was the ruler of the province of Fife in medieval Scotland, which encompassed the modern counties of Fife and Kinross. Due to their royal ancestry, the earls of Fife were the highest ranking nobles in the realm, and had the right to crown the king of Scots.
Malcolm, Malcom, Máel Coluim, or Maol Choluim may refer to:
Fearchar of Ross or Ferchar mac in tSagairt, was the first of the Scottish Ó Beólláin family who received by Royal Grant the lands and Title of Mormaer or Earl of Ross (1223–1251) we know of from the thirteenth century, whose career brought Ross into the fold of the Scottish kings for the first time, and who is remembered as the founder of the Earldom of Ross.
Scottish Society in the High Middle Ages pertains to Scottish society roughly between 900 and 1286, a period roughly corresponding to the general historical era known as the High Middle Ages.
Cawdor Castle is a castle in the parish of Cawdor in Nairnshire, Scotland. It is built around a 15th-century tower house, with substantial additions in later centuries. Originally a property of the Calder family, it passed to the Campbells in the 16th century. It remains in Campbell ownership, and is now home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of Colin Campbell, 7th Earl Cawdor.
The Mormaer of Caithness was a vassal title mostly held by members of the Norwegian nobility based in Orkney from the Viking Age until 1350. The mormaerdom was held as fief of Scotland and the title was frequently held by the Norse Earls of Orkney, who were thus a vassal of both the King of Norway and the King of Scots. There is no other example in the history of either Norway or of Scotland in which a dynasty of earls owed their allegiance to two different kings.
Donald, Lord of the Isles, was the son and successor of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles and chief of Clan Donald. The Lordship of the Isles was based in and around the Scottish west-coast island of Islay, but under Donald's father had come to include most of isles and the lands of Somerled, the King of the Isles in the 12th century, Donald's predecessor, including Morvern, Garmoran, Lochaber, Kintyre and Knapdale on the mainland.
Thane of Cawdor is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. The current 7th Earl Cawdor, of Clan Campbell of Cawdor, is the 25th Thane of Cawdor.
Lord Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis and quickly the Thane of Cawdor, is the title character and main protagonist in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The character is loosely based on the historical king Macbeth of Scotland and is derived largely from the account in Holinshed's Chronicles (1577), a compilation of British history.
Alexander Leslie, Earl of Ross was a Scottish nobleman. Born between 1367 and 1382, he was the son of Walter Leslie, Lord of Ross and Euphemia I, Countess of Ross. In around 1394 he became Earl of Ross and sometime before 1398 he married Isabel Stewart, daughter of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. They had one child, Euphemia. He died at Dingwall, Scotland on 8 May 1402.
Thane is a city in Maharashtra, India.
Thane of Calder was a title of nobility in the Kingdom of Scotland.
The Provinces of Scotland were the primary subdivisions of the early Kingdom of Alba, first recorded in the 10th century and probably developing from earlier Pictish territories. Provinces were led by a mormaer, the leader of the most powerful provincial kin-group, and had military, fiscal and judicial functions. Their high degree of local autonomy made them important regional powerbases for competing claimants to the throne of Alba.
This article collects the History of Nairn, Nairn is a town and Royal burgh in the Highland council area of Scotland. It is an ancient fishing port and market town around 17 miles (27 km) east of Inverness. It is the traditional county town of Nairnshire.
As we cannot name the first Celtic chieftain who consented to change his style of Toshach and his patriarchal sway for the title and stability of King's Thane of Cawdor, so it is impossible to fix the precise time when their ancient property and offices were acquired.