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Dundee and Earl David

The early shire structure began to collapse with grants of land to the church in the 12th century. It ended with the granting of land on both sides of the Tay to David, Earl of Huntingdon, between 1178 and 1182 by his brother, the English King, William the Lion who wanted to consolidate his power in the north of Scotland. Through David's royal connections, extensive trading powers were won for Dundee such as the right to trade free of toll and custom in all English ports, except London. He founded the Tironensian religious house at Lindores in 1191 and granted tofts to it and to other religious institutions. Earl David also brought and encouraged settlers: Philip the Clerck was a steward of the Dundee estates in the early 13th century and Saer de Tenys, a possible constable of Dundee castle, was brought from Huntingdon to administer the estates. Although Earl David died in 1219, Dundee continued as an economic benefit to his successors with ownership ultimately passing to King John Balliol in 1292.

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