Thane of Cawdor is a title in the Peerage of Scotland.[1] The current 7th Earl Cawdor, of Clan Campbell of Cawdor, is the 25th Thane of Cawdor.

In William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, this title was given to Macbeth after the previous Thane of Cawdor was captured and executed for treason against King Duncan.[2] The historical King Macbeth fought a Thane of Cawdor who died in battle, but he did not thereby acquire the title himself.[citation needed]

The 2nd Earl Cawdor wrote a history of the Thanes of Cawdor, published in 1859.[1] According to the 2nd Earl, the first thane was originally a Celtic chieftain who allied with Anglo-Saxon King of Scots at a time lost to the historical record.

See also


  1. ^ a b John Frederick Vaughan Campbell Cawdor (1742). Innes Cosmo (ed.). The book of the thanes of Cawdor: a series of papers selected from the charter room at Cawdor. 1236-1742, Volume 1236, Issue 1742. Spalding Club. p. xiii. Retrieved 23 June 2013. As we cannot name the first Celtic chieftain who consented to change his style of Toshach and his patriarchal sway for the title and stability of King's Thane of Cawdor, so it is impossible to fix the precise time when their ancient property and offices were acquired.
  2. ^ William Shakespeare (1911). The Tragedy of Macbeth. Scribner's Sons. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 26 April 2018.