Devorguila was a Pictish princess whose lineage went back to the ancient Derilei line of  King Nechtan.  The Devorguila of history (13th century Scotland) was better known as the mother of John Balliol.  Her fame in her own time, however, was for the strength she brought to his claim to the kingdom.  By 1292 when Balliol granted lands as sovereign to his nephew John Comyn, Earl of Buchan [‘terra theinagii de Fermartyn et de Dereleye’ – the thanages of Formartine and Dereley’] – lands of Formartine and Derley – he was granting part of his own mother’s dowry to a powerful ally and perpetuating his own family inheritance.

Her fortress stronghold and his formative home was at Dunnydeer near Insch in Aberdeenshire.  There the Pictish values of family, gracious hospitality to strangers, a man’s word is his bond, are still strong.


It is from this clifftop crag that these Pictish stories are told: it is from her Pictish princess’s point of view that she speaks in Devorguilablog.