MacDuff Tartan - Old Dyes,
submitted by David Spence, Arizona Region
The Duffs are descended from those original Gaels who inhabited the Highlands of Scotland long before the Roman Invasion, and before the Christian era. Their ancient Gaelic name, Dhuibh, is pronounced Duff, and signifies a dark complected man with dark hair. The first Scottish Highlanders were members of the ancient German Tribes who crossed over the German Ocean and settled first on the east and north coast of the barren Island of Caledonia, later moving inland. They were of the Chauci, Cimbri, Suevi, Catti, and others, all fair complected with either red or brown hair, and of a giant stature and enormous endurance. The people of Britain and the lowlands of Scotland were originally from France and southern Europe, but the Highlanders from the beginning, kept themselves apart, and did not mingle with the lowlanders, whom they hated.
The Duffs were of German Catti ancestry, having settled on the shores of Caithness in very early times. At first they were of the ancient Kournaovioi Tribe who occupied the north peninsula of Caithness, later moving down into Moray below the Moray Firth, where they were Mormaers of the Kanteai Tribe for many ages. At one time Moray included all the north central Highlands, and the more reliable historians agree that the famous Thane of Fife came from Moray, previous to the great historical event which brought him to the attention of posterity. With the other Caledonian Tribes the Duffs fought the Roman Invaders and thus prevented the foreigners from gaining a foothold in Scotland.
According to an old genealogical manuscript, the Duffs were Mormaers of Moray during the era of the Pictish Kings, and were also prominent in Fife and Fothriff. Strath Avon was one of their old neighborhoods, near the Cairngorm Mountains.
The first Official Record of the Thanes of Fife was in the year 838 A.D. At that time Kenneth MacAlpine, who bore the blood of both Pictish and Scots-Irish Kings in his veins, had united two warring nations under one rule in the name of Scotland. When he appointed his Governors for the several Provinces, Fifus Duffus, or Duff of Fifeshire was appointed Governor of Fifeshire.
In 1039 Queen Gruoch's (travestied by Shakespeare as Lady Macbeth) second husband King Macbeth, Mormaer of Moray - who also belonged to the House of Duff slew King Duncan and seized upon the Throne, and when Duff, the Thane of Fife, vowed that he would " not be ridden with a snaffle" and failed to aid in building MacBeth's Castle, the pretender swore vengeance and drove Duff, the Thane of Fife, into exile. Duff hurried to England to join forces with Malcolm, young son of King Duncan, and now that he had reached maturity, prevailed upon him to return to Scotland and take for himself the Throne of his fathers.
In 1057 after the death of her second husband, King Macbeth. the son of Queen Gruoch (who was the senior representative of the House of Duff), by her first husband, succeeded as King Lulach.
But upon returning, with an Army, Duff, the Thane, found that MacBeth had murdered Lady MacDuff and several of her children. and attacking MacBeth's Castle of Dunsinane, they drove him north into the Hills above the Dee River, where Duff slew the Pretender on a slope above Lumfannaaine, and carried his head to Prince Malcolm.
When King Malcolm of Canmore was firmly established on the Throne, he called a Parliament at Forfair in 1057, and rewarded those who had aided him in attaining the crown, King Malcolm honored with three sorts of Privileges -
That the Earl of Fife, by Office, shall bear the heraldic red lion rampant of the Royal House, and shall set the Crown upon the King's head on the stone of Scone at his Coronation.King Malcolm also commanded Duff to build a great Sanctuary in his own district of Fife, where his people could seek safety in time of need. It was called the Gurth Cross, and it stood high in the Ochill Range, near the border between Fifeshire and Strathearne.
At that time the King raised the Thanes of his Kingdom to Earldoms, and Duff was made Senior Earl of Scotland.
He was also Commander in Chief of the Royal Army, and when word was received that Lulach. Queen Gruoch's (Lady MacBeth) son, had tried to seize the crown at Scone, Duff was given full Commission in the King's name, and marching against Lulach, he encountered the rebel at the village of Essen in Bogdale, and slew him.
At the time the Norse men had gained a foothold in Moray, and in 1087 there was another outbreak in the turbulent north. Under the leadership of Maelsnectan, son of Lulach, the insurgents of Moray, Ross and Caithness rose and slew the King's representatives and laid wait to the country.
Shaw MacDuff, second son of the Earl of Fife, was sent to investigate the trouble, and finding the rebels well equipped and strongly entrenched in a great camp at Elgin beyond the Spey River, the officer stationed himself at Braemar, where he subdued the inhabitants and awaited the arrival of the Kings army.
The Earl of Fife and his eldest son, Alexander MacDuff, accompanied King Malcolm to Monimuske, situated on Kings lands in Aberdeenshire, where they were joined by the younger MacDuff, and there were great preparations for a decisive encounter with the enemy.
The old inhabitants, descendents of the ancient picts, hated the Norse and newcomers, and these people rose and joined the King's forces.
Malcolm vowed to give Monimuske to the Church of Saint Andrew if he were victorious and a few days later they moved west toward the enemy camp. Led by Malcolm Canmore and the three MacDuffs, the royal forces came to the Spey river where they encountered Maelsnectan and his rebels. There were several skirmishes, but at last the Moray men saw that they could not stand against the King's army, and through the good offices of certain church men the matter was arranged and the rebellion quelled.
Shaw MacDuff, younger son of the Earl of Fife, was made governor of Moray, and had his headquarters at Inverness, where Malcolm built a great new fortress.
The ancient Castle of the Thanes of Fife stood half a mile west of Culross Abbey, and not far from Saint Andrews. It was the fortress of Dunamarle, and was the place where MacBeth had slain Lady MacDuff and her helpless children.
The Earl of Fife built another stronghold, MacDuff Castle, on a sea-cliff above the waters of the Forth. It overlooked the coast line and the mountain vistas landward. Alexander, the oldest son of the great Mormaer, inherited the title and estates, and continued to be prominent on the affairs of Scotland until the time of Alexander the First.
Gillemichael, fourth Earl of Fife, witnessed the Charter of Holyrood granted by David the First, and Duncan the Sixth Earl. was one of the nobles who treated for the ransom of King William in 1174.
Duncan MacDuff, tenth Earl supported the succession of the Maid of Norway, and the Twelfth Earl signed the letter to the Pope in 1220. He also supported Alexander, the third, at the Battle of Largs when Haco and the Norsemen were defeated.
In the latter part of the thirteenth century Duncan, Earl of Fife, married the niece of Edward the First, King of England. He was Governor of Perth, and perhaps it was natural that he took the side of his wife's people. At any rate, he was on the opposite side against Robert The Bruce, and Isabell, MacDuff's sister, was married to the Earl of Buchan, a Comyn - and mortal enemy to Bruce.
However, the Countess of Buchan was a lady of spirit, and a true Scotswoman, and she officiated at Robert Bruce's Coronation, placing the Crown upon his head in accordance with hereditary right of her people. It was said that circumstance was responsible for the situation with the Earl of Fife, Isabell's brother, but when her husband, Earl of Buchan, learned that she had crowned Bruce, he wanted to kill her.
Bruce had slain Buchan's kinsmen, the Red Comyn and his Uncle, and when Isabell was later captured and displayed publicly in a cage by Edward the First, it was said that her vicious husband enjoyed her public humiliation, and tried to prevail upon Edward to kill her.
After Bruce won the War for Independence and the Scottish ladies were released, Buchan had been forced to flee England, however, and Isabell returned to her own domicile in safety.
But Robert Bruce did not take kindly to the treatment accorded the ladies, and later when the Earl of Fife and his lady fell into his hands, King Robert imprisoned them in Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire, where they remained until the Earl's death in 1336.
Duncan, the next Earl, marched with the Scots against the English and was taken prisoner at Dupplin, however, and his son and successor was slain fighting gallantly against the English at Durham in 1346.
His daughter, also named Isabell, was his heiress, but dying without issue, the title went to Robert, third son of Robert the Third.
The Clan had several Cadet Chieftains, but in 1401 Robert the Third granted lands and the Barony of Muldavit to David Duff, Grandson of the last Earl of Fife, by a younger child. The title remained in the family until the time of Charles the First.
The power of the Duffs in Fifeshire had declined somewhat, but other branches had risen powerfully in the North, in Aberdeen, where many of them were prosperous merchants, and in the neighborhood of Banff and Inverness.
A later Chief, William MacDuff, of Banff, was raised to the peerage of Ireland, as Baron Braco of Kilbride, and being descended from the ancient Thanes of Fife was also created Earl of Fife, and Viscount MacDuff, in 1759. James MacDuff, a later Chief was raised to the peerage of England in 1859, and his line continue to reside at his mansion, Duffhouse, near Banff. Alexander, sixth Earl, married Princess Louise of Wales, and created Duke of Fife in 1890.
The Clan Duff always marched with their kinsmen, the Mackintoshes of Clan Chattan, and the Shaws of Clan Quhele in time of war, and it was established that they were not only valiant on the Field of battle, but mostly continued to be conscious of and to uphold those fine ideals and traditions that had so long sustained their brilliant ancestors back in the earlier days of Scotland's history.
Other branches of the Clan were the MacKintoshes of Nairn and Iverness, also the Duffs of Monyvaird, and the Earls of Finday, Craigton, and so on.
The male line of Earls failed in 1353, and passed through an heiress until it reached the royal house of Stewart who was regent during the captivity of James I in England. In 1425 the Earldom passed to the Crown.
The direct line of the ancient House of Clan Duff has been continued in the family of Wemyss.
The Wemyss family of Fifeshire, and Aberdeenshire, who took their name from Eoin mor nah Uamh, or Great John of the Caves, a Duff who lived during part of the twelfth Century. Wemyss being a corruption of the Gaelic Uamh, meaning a cave. Below the ruins known as MacDuff s Castle, on the coast of Fife, are caves containing Pictish drawings; and these in all probability gave rise to the local place-name Wemyss. It became the surname of a cadet branch of the Royal House of Duff, descendants of Gillemichael, who was the Earl of Fife early in the 12th century. When senior male lines failed, that of Wemyss became the Chief of Scotland's senior clan, although it never reverted to the patronymic of MacDuff.
Sir Michael of Wemyss ensured the family's future prosperity by supporting the cause of Robert the Bruce. Thereafter the name multiplied in many branches. Its senior line rose to the peerage in the reign of Charles I, and again survived the hazards of the century of revolution and counter-revolution to emerge in the 18th century as the senior representatives of the ancient Earldom of Fife. But they never held the Earldom of Wemyss, and after the forty-five even the surname of the Chiefs of Clan MacDuff was changed again.
The Earl's eldest son Lord Elcho supported Prince Charles Edward, and after his attainder his Younger brother was invested with his titles. But this Earl adopted the name of Charteris when he fell heir to the fortune of his maternal grandfather.
While Charteris remains the name of Wemyss to this day, despite their descent in the male line from the House of Duff, The chiefship of Clan Duff passed to the descendants of a younger son of the fifth Earl of Fife who have not changed their name. It is they who live in the Castle of Wemyss, which was built early in the Fifteenth century to replace the older stronghold, and enjoy with the Chiefship, the Title of Wemyss of Wemyss.
The Priest of Wedale was once Tosach of the ancient Clan, and was connected with Saint Andrews, as were all the tribe of the good Duff, Thane of Fife.
Other residences of the later Earls of Fife were the Castles of Rothiemay, Balvenie, Dalgettie, and Mar Lodge in Aberdeenshire, highest inhabited section of the highlands.
The Piobaireachd of the Clan are Salutes, Gatherings and Marches commemorating historic occasions in the past, and Cu'a' Mhic Dhu, or Duff's Lament, is a mournfully beautiful piece of Pipe Music.
The Badge or Suaicheantas is the Bucsa or Boxwood, and the War Cry was primitive and peculiar to the locality.
Legend has it that when an old Highland Chief was writing the history of his Clan, he stopped when he reached the eleventh Chief and wrote in the margin 'about this time Adam was born'.
The Duffs make no such claims, but they are descended from the Celtic Earls of Fife, which is a long enough lineage for most people.
Although events did not occur quite as the Bard describes them, Shakespeare's MacDuff was an historic personage.
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ANALYSIS of CHIEF/REPRESENTER of CLAN MACDUFF
Compiled by Ted R. McDuffee
Former Convener: Clan MacDuff Society of America, Inc.
ANCIENT HOUSE - Fife Region:
|1058 -||KING MALCOM CANMORE won the crown and as much of Southern Scotland as he had been able to conquer.|
|?? -||ETHELRED (AEDH) said son of King Malcolm Canmore is the first "recorded" Earl of Fife. *Note [From several references I feel this Ethelred was not a son of Malcolm but, was the son of DUFF/MACDUFF and named in honor of Malcolm and for meritorious service was honored with the title of Earl of Fife in 1057. (TRMcD)] First Earl of Fife.|
|1115 -||DUFFAGAN: References indicate a son of Ethelred was named Duffagan, who was MacDuff. Duffagan was witness to a charter at Scone in the year 1115. Date of death ca. 1120-1124. Second Earl of Fife.|
|1124?-||CONSTANTINE (MacDuff) Earl of Fife in the early days of David's reign (1124-1153). *NOTE [The dates given I believe to be incorrect, records indicate Constantine died in the year 1129. (TRMcD)] Third Earl of Fife.|
|1129 -||GILLIMICHAEL Mak-duf, Earl of Fife. Gillimichael MacDuff was a younger brother of Constantine who was witness to charter of Holyrood in 1123, also, a charter of Dumfermline, he died in 1139. He was succedded by his eldest son Duncan. Fourth Earl of Fife.|
|1139 -||DUNCAN, died in 1154. Duncan assisted in 1153 at the coronation of King Malcolm IV, to whom he had been a tutor. Frequently employed as a witness by David I. and Malcolm IV. Fifth Earl of Fife.|
|1154 -||DUNCAN, eldest son of Duncan, m. Ada, daughter or niece of Malcolm IV. Justiciary of Scotland in the reign of William the Lion. One of the peers who treated for William the Lion's ransom. Ada's tocher (dowery) included lands of Strathmiolo, Falkland, Kettle, Rathdillet in Fife, and Strathbran in Perthshire. Founded the Nunnery of North Berwick. He died in 1203 leaving three sons: Malcolm, Duncan and David. Sixth Earl of Fife.|
|1203 -||MALCOLM founded the Abby of Culross in 1217, and made a donation to the episcopate of Moray to which his brothers, Duncan and David, were witnesses. He married Matilda, daughter of Gilber, Earl of Strathearn. He died childless in 1229 and was buried in St.Servan's Church, Culross. Seventh Earl of Fife.|
|1229 -||MALCOLM, nephew of Seventh Earl of Fife, Malcolm. He married Helen, daughter of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales. Appointed to the regency in 1255 by Henry III of England. He died in 1266. Eighth Earl of Fife.|
|1266 -||COLBAN died in 1270. His younger brother, MacDuff, died fighting under the standard of Wallace at the battle of Falkirk, July 22, 1298. Ninth Earl of Fife.|
|1270 -||DUNCAN born 1263, was a ward of Alexander, Prince of Scotland, son of Alexander III. He was admitted to possession of his earldom in 1284. Married Johanna de Clare, daughter of the Earl of Gloucester. He was murdered at Petpollock, Sept. 25, 1288, by Sir Patrick Abernethy and Sir Walter Percy. Tenth Earl of Fife.|
|1288 -||DUNCAN, born in 1285, was only three when his father was killed. Reared at the English Court. Married in 1306 Mary de Monthermer, granddaughter of Edward I. Received from Bruce the Charters of the Earldom of Fife and the baronies of O'Niel in Aberdeenshire, Kinmoul in Perghshire, and Calder in Midlothian. Died in the battle of Hallidown Hill. 1333. Eleventh Earl of Fife.|
|1333 -||DUNCAN, eldest son of Duncan. There is some controversy about this Duncan as one source states that the above listed 11yh Earl of Fife was not killed at Hallidown Hill, but survived until 1353. From references I feel this was the twelfth Earl of Fife. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Durham and tried for treason. He was pardoned due to his relationship on his mother's side to Edward III. He died without male issue in 1353, but had a daughter, Isabel who succedded his estates. Isabel MacDuff, married four times, died without issue and conveyed the title of the earldom and property to her brother-in-law, Robert, Earl of Menteith, afterwards Duke of Albany, by her second husband, the third son of King Robert II (Stewart). Duncan was the twelfth Earl of Fife and at his death the male line of the MacDuff Celtic Earls of Fife came to an end.|
|1425 -||ROBERT, Duke of Albany, and his son Murdoch were tried for treachery and found guilty. They were executed in 1425 and the title of Earl of Fife reverted to the Crown. Earldom of Fife became extinct.|
|1425 -|| WEMYSS became Chief of Scotland's senior Clan, although it never reverted to the patronymic of MacDuff.
A letter, dated 19th August 1982, from Lord Lyon, states thet the Earldom of Fife was annexed to the Crown by Act of Parliament on 4 August 1455.
MODERN HOUSE - Northern Territory Duffs:
|1401 -||David Duff of Muldavit, in Banffshire, possible descendant of the Earls of Fife. In the northern territories of MacBeth and Gruoch's kingdom, families of Clan DUFF emerged in historical record. In all fairness to the Duff of Muldavit, afterwards, Dukes of Fife, who were landowners in Banff, in the 15th century, their unproved claim to be a branch of the CLAN MACDUFF OF FIFE is not so improbable as it might seem at first sight, when it is remembered that the original MacDuff clan had great estates in Banffshire in the Middle Ages.|
CHIEF/REPRESENTER --- FROM DUFFD OF MULDAVIT
Compiled by Ted McDuffee � January 1996
|1590 -||ADAM DUFF of Clunybeg, b.1590 d.1674, acquired vast estates in north-eastern Scotland. Married 1st, Murry of Milegan, one child, Margaret; , 2nd, Beatrix Gordon, six sons, one daughter.|
|1623 -||ALEXANDER DUFF of Keithmore, eldest son of Adam and Beatrix (Gordon) Duff. Born 1623, died 1696, assumed the Chieftainship of Duff. Married in 1650, Helen Grant, daughter of Alexander Grant af Aliachie. They had three sons, Alexander of Braco, 1652-1705, William of Dipple 1653-1722 and Patrick of Craigaton 1655-1731 who had thirtysix known children.|
|1653 -||WILLIAM DUFF of Dipple, born 1653, died 1722, Married first in 1681, Jean Gordon of Edinglassie, they had nine childrren; six daughters and three sons. Married second, 1703, Jean Dunbar of Durn, they had one son and four daughters.|
|1697 -||WILLIAM DUFF, Lord Braco. Born 1697, died 1763. He was the only surviving son of William of Dipple. Amember of the British Parliament for the County of Banff from 1727 to 1734. He was created Lord Braco by /King GeorgeII in 1735, and Viscount MacDuff and First Earl Fife in 1759 - (Irish honours). (NOTE: Earl of Fife is Scottish and Earl Fife is Irish, there is a difference). Married , 1719, Janet Ogilvie, she died without issue 25 December 1720. He married second, 1723, Jean Grant, they had fourteen children.|
|1729 -||JAMES DUFF, born 29 September 1729, died 24 January 1809. Second Earl Fife, Viscount MacDuff, Baron Braco of the Kingdom of Ireland, Baron Fife in Great Britain, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Banff, Colonel of the Banffshire Local Militia, F.R.S. and S.A. He died at age 80 without issue, never marrying. Upon James' death without male issue the English peerage, Baron Fife, became extinct, the title Earl Fife, Irish peerage, was suceeded to his younger brother Alexander.|
|1809 -||ALEXANDER DUFF, born 18 April 1731, died 17 April 1811. Third Earl Fife and Lord Viscount MacDuff, plus other titles. He succeded his older brother James, as James died without issue. He was the third son of William, first Earl Fife. He married, 17 August 1775, Mary Skene, they had seven children.|
|1811 -||JAMES DUFF, born 6 October 1776, died 9 March 1857, eldest son of Alexander, succeeded him as fourth Earl Fife, Viscount MacDuff, Baron Braco of Kilbryde plus other titles. Married September 1799 Maria Caroline Manners, she died from hydrophobia, from a scratch from a rabid dog, 20 December 1805. James never remarried and died without issue. He was succeeded by his nephew, James Duff.|
|1857 -||JAMES DUFF, fifth Earl Fife, the eldest son of General Sir Alexander Duff of Delgaty, was born in 1814, died August 1879. In 1857 he was elected Member of Parliament for Banffshire, and continued for 20years. Married in 1846, Lady Agnes Georgina Elizabeth Hay, second daughter of the sixteenth Earl of Erroll. They had six children.|
|1879 -||ALEXANDER WILLIAM GEORGE DUFF, born 10 November 1849, died 29 January 1912.Was sixth Earl Fife, Viscount MacDuff and later Duke of Fife. In May 1880 he was made a Privy Councillor, in March 1881 a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, a Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Captain of the Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms and in 1882 a Member of the Council of Duchy of Lancaster. He married 27 July 1889, Her Royal Highness Princess Louise Victoria Alexander Dagmar of Wales, now Princess Royal, and elevation to the Dukedom of Fife and Marquisate of MacDuff; he had already, in 1885, been created an earl of the United Kingdom. On 24 April 1900, he was created afresh Earl of MacDuff and Duke of Fife, with special remainder, in default of male issue, to his first and other daughters. The only son of this marriage was, unfortunately, still-born, 16 June 1890. There were two daughters: Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff, Duchess of Fife, born 17 May 1891. Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha Duff, born 3 April 1893. In 1905 King Edward VII declared his two grand-daughters should be called Princesses, and bear the title of Her Highness.|
|1912 -|| CHIEF DUFF OF BRACO, Alexander William George Duff, died 29 January 1912 without male issue. Thus, the Chief representor of MacDuff has been dormant since. His wife Princess Royal Louise in 1931. |
An heir to Earl Fife was a grandson born to the marriage of Alexandra Victoria and H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught but, he was killed in action in 1944. When the Duchess of Fife, Princess Alexandra died in 1959 her nephew, James Carnegie, Duke of Fife, inherited her title. His son is Earl of MacDuff. His Grace The Duke of Fiffe, James Carnegie, born 1929, states that neither he nor his son, Earl of MacDuff, can be chief of Clan MacDuff in their lifetime because they were born into the Carnegie Clan. The titles merged in the Carnegie branch of the reigning House of Windsor.
WEMYSS of WEMYSS LINAGE: A controversy concerning the Chieftainship of MacDuff evolves around this linage. Wemyss of Wemyss, the dirrect line of the ancient house of MacDuff, the Countess of Wemyss, was held by Lord Lyon to be chief of the RACE of MacDuff. A letter dated 19 August 1982 from the Court of the Lord Lyon, Edinburgh, Scotland, states that Alexander W. G. Duff(1849-1912) was representer of the family, Duff of Braco, and not Chief of Clan MacDuff. Chiefship of Clan MacDuff is said to have passed to descendants of a younger son of the 5th Earl of Wemyss who had not changed his name.
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Deus Juvat; "God assists".
Virtute et opera; "By virtue and by industry".
Deus Juvat; "God Assists".
Virtute et opera; "By virtue and by industry".
Deo Juvante; "By God�s assistance".
Omnia fortunae committo; "I commit all things to fortune".
Deus Juvavit; "God has assisted".
Earl of Fiffe
Virtute et opera; "By virtue and by industry".
Deo Juvante; "By God�s Assistance".
Salus per Christum; "Salvation through Christ".
Fyffe (of Dron)
Decens et honestum; "Becoming and honourable".
Gradatim; "By degrees".
Quieacens et vigilans; "Resting and waking".
Spens (of Lathallan)
Si Deus, quis contra?; "God with us who against?".
Si Deus, quis contra?; "God with us, who against?".
(Spence or Kerbuster); "Do good".
Constantia et diligentia; "By perseverence and diligence".
Virtus acquirt honorem; "Virtue procures honor".
Virtute aciquiritur honos; "Honor is acquired by virtue".
Visa per invisafirma; "Things seen are established by things unseen".
Erectus non elatus; "Exalted but not elated".
Courage et L�Ecosse; "Courage and Scotland".
(He was a General serving the Queen of Bohemia)
Je pense; "I think".
Earl of Wemyss
Je pense; "I think".
Nil Extra nemerum; "Nothing out of time".
Stabo�; "I shall stand".
Solertia ditat; "Prudence enriches".
Discrimine Salus; "Safety in danger". (a victim of a shipwreck in 1418, he escaped death by clinging to a rock out in the sea).
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