The Great Historic Families of Scotland
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'The stone,' says Mr. Ferguson, 'was removed in 1763; the last Earl Marischal sold the lands in 1766.' Twelve Sketches of Scenery and Antiquities, &c.,
The Marquis died in 1860, in the forty-eighth year of his age. His wife, the eldest daughter of the Marquis of Tweeddale, predeceased him. He left two daughters, the eldest of whom is the wife of the [p.318] Hon. Robert Bourke, third son of the fifth Earl of Mayo; the younger married Sir James Ferguson, Bart., Governor of Bombay. The estate of Coalstoun and the personal property of the Marquis passed to his daughters. The marquisate became extinct, but the earldom and barony of Dalhousie, along with the hereditary estates of the Ramsays, descended to FOX MAULE, second Lord Panmure, the cousin of the Marquis. At his death, in 1874, they came into possession of his cousin, GEORGE RAMSAY, a naval officer, grandson of the eighth Earl, born in 1805, who was succeeded in 1880 by his son, JOHN WILLIAM RAMSAY, thirteenth Earl of Dalhousie, a young nobleman of great promise. He was, in 1880—1885, a Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen, and for a few months, in 1886, he held the office of Secretary for Scotland. The untimely death of Lord Dalhousie, which took place in 1887, in the fortieth year of his age, in very affecting circumstances, caused great sorrow among all parties and classes throughout the country. He was regarded with especial esteem and affection by his own tenantry and retainers. The Earl married in 1877 Lady Ida Louise, youngest daughter of Charles, sixth Earl of Tankerville, who predeceased him by only a few weeks. ARTHUR GEORGE MAULE, the eldest of his five sons, who was born in 1878, succeeded to his titles and estates.
THE ERSKINES OF BUCHAN AND CARDROSS.
We have seen how the barony of Cardross was bestowed upon the Earl by James VI., in fulfilment of apromise made by him to Lady Mary Stewart, the Earl's second wife. It was formed out of the abbacies of Dryburgh and Cambuskenneth, and the priory of Inchmahome, which, as the charter sets forth, 'havebene in all tyme heretofore commounlie disponit be his mateis predecessors to sum that were cum of the hous of Erskeyne.' The allusion is to Adam Erskine, Commendator of Cambuskenneth, natural son of Thomas, [p.121] Master of Erskine, and to David, first Abbot, and afterwards Commendator of Dryburgh,natural son of Robert, Master of Erskine, killed at Pinkie (elder brother of Thomas). Lord Erskine's third son John was 'Commendator of Inschemachame.' Henry Erskine, his Kinsfolk and Times. By Lieut.-Col. Ferguson.*
HENRY DAVID, tenth Earl of Buchan, married Agnes Stewart, daughter of Sir James Stewart ofColtness, Solicitor-General for Scotland, and of his wife, the witty and beautiful Anne Dalrymple,daughter of Sir Hew Dalrymple, of North Berwick, President of the Court of Session. Lady Buchan was the grand-daughter of Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, Lord Advocate to King William, and Queen Anne, popularly designated "Jamie Wylie," on account of his crafty character and shifty conduct. The Earl and his wife were strict Presbyterians. His grandson describes him as 'a zealously religious man, strong in his anti-Roman convictions, though he inclined in a great way towards the Stewarts.' He was a man of great good-nature and polite manners, but of moderate abilities. His wife, however, was a woman of great intellect, which she had diligently cultivated. She had studied mathematics under the famous Colin Maclaurin, the friend of Sir Isaac Newton—a rare accomplishment at that time. She also possessed an elegant taste with a brilliant imagination, and, above all, an eminent and earnest piety. Her ladyship had also the reputation of being a notable manager—an acquirement greatly needed in the narrowcircumstances of the family. The ample patrimony which at one time belonged to the heads of the house of Erskine had been greatly diminished, partly by mismanagement, and neglect of economy, partlythrough the losses sustained [p.124] by Lord Cardross during the time of the 'Persecution.' About the year 1745 Lord Buchan had been obliged to sell the estate of Cardross to his cousin of Carnock, so that the Linlithgowshire estatesalone remained in his possession. But though his income was small for a person of his rank and position, it was sufficient, 'with the careful economy practised by Lady Buchan, for comfort, in accordance with the primitive notions of those days.' The Earl had quitted his seat in the country, and had taken up his residence in a flat at the head of Gray's Close, in the High Street of Edinburgh. His house, however, was frequented not only by the most eminent divines of the city, but by judges and leading advocates, and by members of other noble though not wealthy families, who came to partake of 'a cosy dish of tea,' which was at that time the usual form of social entertainment. Colonel Ferguson has shown that Lord Campbell, in his Life of Lord Erskine, has greatlyexaggerated the poverty of the Earl of Buchan at this time.*
THOMAS, Lord Erskine, Lord High Chancellor of England, the youngest son of Henry David, the tenthEarl of Buchan, was born at Edinburgh, 10th of January, o.s. 1749, in a house which is still standing, at the head of Gray's Close. It has been stated by Lord Campbell and others that for some years he attended the High [p.133] School of his native city; but this is a mistake. Colonel Ferguson has shown that ThomasErskine, along with his brothers, received his early education under a private tutor at Uphall, and completed it at St. Andrews, to which Lord Buchan removed about the year 1760. Life of Henry Erskine p. 60.* He early showed a strong predilection for some learned profession, but his father's resources were exhausted by the expense incurred in educating his elder brothers, and Thomas had to enter the navy as a midshipman, in 1764—an effort to procure him a commission in the army, which he greatly preferred, having been unsuccessful. His dissatisfaction with the sea-service was strengthened by experience, and in September, 1768, when he had reached his eighteenth year, he obtained a commission in the Royals, or First Regiment of Foot. In 1770 he married Frances, the daughter of Daniel Moore, M.P. for Marlow. 'However inauspiciously this marriage may be thought to have begun,' says Colonel Ferguson, 'it is certain that a better choice of a wife could hardly have been made. While they were in poverty, Mrs. Erskine bore it well and uncomplainingly; and when her husband rose to opulence she was perfectly fit to take her share of the honour.' Erskine spent two years with his regiment in the island of Minorca, where he acquired a thorough knowledge of English literature, especially of Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, and Pope. The chaplain of the regiment was at home on furlough, and Erskine acted as his substitute. At first he contented himself with reading the service from the Liturgy, but finding that this was by no means relished by the men, who were chiefly Presbyterians, he favoured them with an extempore prayer, andcomposed sermons, which he delivered to them with great solemnity and unction from the drumhead. He used always to talk of this incident in his life with peculiar satisfaction, and to boast that he had been asailor and a soldier, a parson and a lawyer.
The letters which the Duke wrote to Henry Erskine in 1806, show that he had not escaped thedemoralising influence of his sinful and degrading connection. He compelled his wife to separate fromhim, and from her complaints respecting her circumstances, 'taxes,' and 'double prices of everything,' the poor lady does not appear to have had a very liberal allowance for her support. 'For all the lightheartedness,' says Colonel Ferguson, 'which was her chief characteristic for so many years; her latter end was very sad. She who had shown so much kindness to others came to be in grievous need of some measure of it for herself. Robbed of her political power, estranged from most of her family, not even on speaking terms with her husband, and leading a wandering, almost a homeless life, her case presents a marked instance of the ephemeral character of all human hopes.' Henry Erskine,
THE HAYS OF ERROL.
'And there they stand, as stands a lofty mind—
Worn, but unstooping to the baser crowd,
Alltenantless, save to the crannying wind,
Or holding dark communion with the cloud,
Banners on high, and battles passed below;
And they who fought are in a bloody shroud,
And those who waved are shredless dust ere now,
And the bleak battlements shall bear no future blow.' Pratt's Buchan. Twelve Sketches of Scenery and Antiquities, etc., by William Ferguson of Kinmundy,