William Hay, 1st Earl of Erroll

William Hay, 1st Earl of Erroll

The Right Honourable
The Earl of Erroll
Arms of the Earl of Erroll
5th Lord High Constable of Scotland
In office
Preceded by William de la Haye
Succeeded by Nicholas Hay
Personal details
Born 1423
Errol, Perthshire, Scotland
Died October 1462 (age 38 or 39)
Old Slains Castle, Aberdeenshire
Spouse(s) Beatrix Douglas (m. 1449)

William Hay, 1st Earl of Erroll (1423 – October 1462) was a Scottish peer. His was the first Earl of Erroll and the second Lord Hay of Erroll.


William Hay was born in Erroll (now spelled Errol) in Perthshire, the son of Gilbert Hay and Alicia Hay, daughter of William Hay of Yester.

His grandmother, Princess Elizabeth Stewart, was the youngest child of Robert II of Scotland and his first wife, Elizabeth Mure.[1]

His grandfather Thomas de la Hay was the third Lord High Constable of Scotland. William Hay inherited the title in 1437 after the death of his father Sir William.[2]

In 1454, he purchased lands in Angus from Alexander Ogilvie of Auchterhouse.

On 17 March 1452, King James II of Scotland made him the first Earl of Erroll. Some historians list his death as August 1460, but Sir James Balfour Paul notes in The Scots Peerage that Kinnoull was alive in the Slains land inventory of November 1461. Balfour writes that the earl likely died in October 1462,[3] and was interred in the Abbey Church of Cupar.[2]

Marriage and issue

He married Beatrix, a daughter of James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas, and had three sons and four daughters:[3]

  1. Nicholas Hay, 2nd Earl of Erroll (c. 1436–1470)
  2. Lady Isabel Hay (1441–1509), married Laurence Oliphant, 1st Lord Oliphant
  3. Lady George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly in 1471
  4. Lady Beatrix Hay (1449–1517), married Sir Alexander Gordon
  5. William Hay, 3rd Earl of Erroll (1449–1507)
  6. Gilbert Hay (b. 1450)
  7. Lady Margaret Hay (1453–1500), married three times: Alexander Fraser of Philorth; Sir Gilbert Keith of Inverugie; Robert Douglas of Lochleven


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Military offices
Preceded by
William de la Haye
Lord High Constable of Scotland
Succeeded by
Nicholas Hay
Peerage of Scotland
New creation
Earl of Erroll

Succeeded by
Nicholas Hay