Christina of Garmoran

Scottish Noblewoman

Christina of Garmoran also known as Christina MacRuariChristina of Mar and Christiana of the Isles was a 14th-century Scottish noblewoman who was the legitimate child of Ailin (Alan) mac Ruaidhri, Lord of Garmoran and chief of Clan Macruari. She married Duncan, second son of Domhnall I, Earl of Mar.

Christina was a direct descendant of the King of the Hebrides, Somhairle mac Gille-Brighde (better known as Somerled), through her grandfather Ruaidhri mac Raghnaill, the founder of Clan Macruari.

Her father, Ailin mac Ruaidhri, possessed the "North Isles" of the Uists and Benbecula. He had died by 1296, by which time he had fathered two illegitimate sons, Ruaidhri and Lachlan, and Christina, his sole legitimate heir. However, When Christina succeeded to the extensive estates of her father she resigned a large proportion of them to Ruaidhri.

When her distant cousin Alexander of Argyll's support of the opponents of King Robert the Bruce led to the forfeiture of his lands, they were distributed between her MacDonald cousin Aonghas Óg of Islay and her brother Ruaidhri. The latter received much of Lorne and parts of Lochaber. Bruce was however careful to ensure his interests in the west were protected and Dunstaffnage Castle was given not to Ruari, now styled the "High Chief of Lorn" but to a royal constable, Arthur Campbell. Campbell's son, also Arthur, received a charter of lands from Christina, at some point early in the 14th century and they may have been considering marriage although this never came to pass. The charter itself seems to have been disputed by parties on both sides for the next century.

Christina did marry Duncan, second son of Domhnall I, Earl of Mar, making her the Bruce's sister-in-law twice over. (Duncan's sister Isabella of Mar married Robert the Bruce and his older brother Gartnait, Earl of Mar married Robert's sister Christina.) Christina is credited with being instrumental in supporting Robert the Bruce ascend to the Scottish throne. John of Fordun records her as "Christian of the Isles" and stated that "it was by her help and power and goodwill that Bruce was able to return to Carrick". Barbour wrote that: "A lady of that country [Carrick], who was his near kinswoman, was wondrous glad at his arrival and made haste to join him, bringing fifteen men whom she gave the king to help him in his warfare." It is also possible that she and Aonghas Óg of Islay provided assistance to Bruce whilst he sought refuge on Rathlin Island.

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