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Great Historic Families of Scotland 

A search for all reference to Eglinton  

 

INTRODUCTION.
page 4


The most interesting of all the dormant or extinct titles are the peerages forfeited in connection with the 'Fifteen' and the 'Forty-five,' when the last desperate efforts were made to bring 'the auld Stewarts back again,' and gallant gentlemen and noblemen not a few perilled and lost their lives and estates in the Jacobite cause. One of the most noted of the noblemen who were 'spoiled of their goods' and their hereditary honours in 1715 for their adherence to the old Scottish dynasty was the eccentric Earl of Wintoun, the head of the ancient and powerful house of Seton, immortalised by Sir Walter Scott for their fidelity to the unfortunate Queen Mary. The earldom was revived in 1859 as a British peerage in favour of the Earl of Eglinton, but the extensive estates of the Setons have passed into other hands. The Kingston peerage, which was held by a cadet of the Seton family, was also forfeited in 1715, and has not been restored. Viscount Kenmure, the chief of the Gordons of Galloway, whose gallantry is commemorated in the well-known  ballad 'Kenmure's on and awa', Willie,' was closely associated with the Earl of Wintoun in the Jacobite insurrection, but, less fortunate than that nobleman, he forfeited his life as well as his titles and lands for the sake of the Stewart cause. The estate was bought. back by his widow, and the family titles were restored in 1826, but became extinct on the death of the eleventh viscount in 1847. The Earl of Nithsdale, the chief of the powerful Border house of Maxwell, was to have suffered along with Viscount Kenmure, but escaped from the Tower through the agency of his heroic wife. His estates were regained, but the earldom has not been recovered. The titles and estates of the Keiths, hereditary Grand Mareschals of Scotland from the twelfth century downwards, were also lost in the fatal rising of 1715. A similar fate befell the Livingstons, descended from the Chancellor of James II., who possessed the earldoms of Callendar and Linlithgow. The gallant Seaforth, 'High Lord of Kintail,' chief of the powerful clan of the Mackenzies, was exiled and forfeited for his share in 'the Fifteen.' The titles and estates, however, were recovered, but the former became extinct on the death of the last Earl of Seaforth in very painful circumstances in 1815. Another great Jacobite noble who took part in that rebellion was the Earl of Panmure, who was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Sheriffmuir, but was rescued by his brother Harry Maule, worthy descendants both of that brave Sir Thomas Maule, who in the War of Independence gallantly held out his castle of Brechin against a powerful English army and lost his life in its defence. The earldom has not been restored, but the Panmure estates were purchased from the York Building Company by the earl's nephew, and are now in the possession of the Earl of Dalhousie, the representative of the Maules in the female line.


 
THE SETONS.
INTRODUCTION.
page 133


ROBERT, first Earl of Wintoun, was a prudent manager, and freed his ancestral estates from the heavy encumbrances in which they were involved by his adventurous father. He married the heiress of the illustrious family of the Montgomeries of Eglintoun, and his sixth son, Alexander, was adopted into that family, and became sixth Earl of Eglinton. Lord Wintoun was a great favourite of James VI., who met the funeral procession of the Earl, 5th April, 1603, when on his journey to take possession of the English Crown, and remarked as he halted at the south-west corner of Seton orchard until it passed, that he had lost a good, faithful, and loyal subject. There is not much deserving of special notice in the lives and characters of the next three Earls. They fought, of course, on the royal side in the Great Civil War, and suffered severely in fines and imprisonment for their loyalty.
 
page 136


The Earl fought with great gallantry at the barricades of Preston, but was at last obliged to surrender along with the other insurgents, and was carried a prisoner to London, and confined in the Tower. He was brought to trial before the House of Lords, 15th March, 1716, and defended himself with considerable ingenuity. The High Steward, Lord Cowper, having overruled his objections to the indictment with some harshness, 'I hope,' was the Earl's rejoinder, 'you will do me justice, and not make use of "Cowperlaw," as we used to say in our country—hang a man first and then judge him.' On the refusal of his entreaty to be heard by counsel, he replied— 'Since your lordship will not allow me counsel, I don't know nothing.' He was of course found guilty, and condemned to be beheaded on Tower Hill. 'When waiting his fate in the Tower,' says Sir Walter Scott, 'he made good use of his mechanical skill, sawing through with great ingenuity the bars of the windows of his prison, through which he made his escape' See ADDENDA, vol. ii., p. 426.* He ended his motley life at Rome, in 1749, aged seventy, and with him terminated the main branch of the long and illustrious line of the Setons. Male cadets of this family, however, came by intermarriage to represent the great historic families of Huntly and Eglinton, besides the ducal house of Gordon, now extinct, and the Earls of Sutherland, whose heiress married the Marquis of Stafford, afterwards created Duke of Sutherland. The earldoms of Wintoun and Dunfermline, the viscounty of Kingston, and the other Seton titles were forfeited for the adherence of their possessors to the Stewart dynasty, and have never been restored; but the late Earl of Eglinton was, in 1840, served heir-male general of the family, and, in 1859, was created Earl of Wintoun in the peerage of the United Kingdom.


 
THE LESLIES OF LEVEN.
INTRODUCTION.
page 304


General Leslie had two sons, both of whom predeceased him. The elder, Alexander, Lord Balgonie, left by his wife—a sister of the Duke of Rothes—a son, also named ALEXANDER, and a daughter. The former succeeded his grandfather as second Earl of Leven; the latter married the first Earl of Melville, and their son became the third Earl of Leven. The second Earl of Leven, who died in 1664, left two daughters, who were successively Countesses of Leven in their own right. The elder—Margaret, who married the second son of the seventh Earl of Eglinton—died without issue. Catherine, the younger, died unmarried. Her aunt, the Countess of Melville, was served heir to her in 1706, and the title devolved upon her son—


 
 
THE DRUMMONDS.
page 98


As showing the grandeur of the Drummond family, Mr. Henry Drummond says that they have furnished Dukes of Roxburgh, Perth, and Melfort; a Marquis of Forth; Earls of Mar, Perth, and Ker; Viscounts Strathallan; Barons Drummond, Inchaffray, Madderty, Cromlix, and Stobhall; Knights of the Garter, St. Louis, Golden Fleece, and Thistle; Ambassadors, Queens of Scotland, Duchesses of Albany and Athole; Countesses of Monteith, Montrose, Eglinton, Mar, Rothes, Tullibardine, Dunfermline, [p.98] Roxburgh, Winton, Sutherland, Balcarres, Crawford, Arran, Errol, Marischal, Kinnoul, Hyndford, Effingham; Macquary in France, and Castle Blanche in Spain; Baronesses Fleming, Elphinstone, Livingstone, Willoughby, Hervey, Oliphant, Rollo, and Kinclaven.


 
THE SCOTTS OF BUCCLEUCH.
page 214


The tutors of the young heiress of the Buccleuch estates did not cooperate cordially in promoting herinterests. Sir Gideon Scott of Highchester, one of them, was jealous of the Earl of Tweeddale, who had married her aunt, and expressed his belief that the Earl entertained sinister designs, which made him bent on wresting the infant Countess and her sister from the guardianship of their mother. In conjunction with that lady, he presented a petition to the Protector, entreating that the children should remain in the custody of the Countess of Wemyss until they had attained the age of eleven or twelve years. Cromwell returned a favourable answer to this request, and the tutors decided unanimously that the children should remain with their mother until they were ten years of age, which was afterwards extended to twelve. The story of the scandalous intrigues of which the Countess was the object, as narrated at length in the 'Scotts of Buccleuch,' is a very melancholy one. There seems to have been no end to the selfish schemes for her disposal in marriage. Attempts were made to obtain her hand for her cousin, a son of the Earl of Tweeddale, and for a son of the Earl of Lothian. High-chester alleged that Scott of Scotstarvit, one of her tutors, had a design to marry her to his son, or one of his grandchildren; and when this scheme failed he professed to have the complete disposal of [p.214] the heiress, and offered her to the son of Mr. Scott of Scottshall, in Kent. John Scott, ofGorrinberrie, a natural son of Earl Walter, and one of the tutors of the Countess, made overtures to hermother to promote her marriage to his son. It appears from a letter of Robert Baillie that there was at one time an expectation that the son and heir of the Earl of Eglinton would carry off the prize; but 'he runns away without any advyce, and marries a daughter of my Lord Dumfries, who is a broken man, when he was sure of my Lady Balclough's marriage—the greatest match in Brittain. This unexpected prank is worse to all his kinn than his death would have been.' Baillie's Letters, iii. 366.* Even Mr. Desborough, one of the English Commissioners of the Commonwealth, is said to have attempted to gain the hand of the Countess for his own son.

 

 

 
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