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Earls of Fife Scotland

Tradition says that MacDuff was the patronymic of the Celtic Earls of Fife, and that the first Earl was MacDuff who opposed MacBeth and assisted Malcolm to the throne of Scotland. This ancient clan played an important part in the affairs of Scotland in those days.

The MacDuffs had the privilege of crowning the King, of leading the Scottish army, and privilege of sanctuary at the cross of MacDuff in Fifeshire. When Robert the Bruce was crowned in 1306, Duncan, Earl of Fife, who had married a niece of Edward I, was opposed to Bruce, and his sister Isabel, Countess of Buchan, and wife of Comyn, Bruce's enemy, exercised her family's privilege and suffered seven years' imprisonment in Berwick for her courage.

The old Earldom of Fife became extinct in 1353 on the death of Duncan, 12th Earl, but during the succeeding centuries traces of prominent families of the names Duff and MacDuff are found, and William Duff, Lord Braco, was, in 1759, created Viscount MacDuff and Earl of Fife in the Peerage of Ireland, and in 1827 James, 4th Earl, was raised to the peerage of Great Britain as Baron Fife. Alexander W. G. Duff, Duke of Fife and Earl of MacDuff, born in 1849, was a successful financier and a founder of the Chartered Company of South Africa. He was also a Lord Lieutenant of the County of London, and married Princess Louise, daughter of King Edward VII in 1889. He died in 1912 and was succeeded by his daughter Princess Alexandra Victoria, who married Prince Arthur of Connaught.

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