Ancient and Noble Family




From their origin in Germany, down to 1778

Including a narrative of the Military


Field-Marshal in Prussia, &c.




Attained Scottish Noblemen,

Who lost their titles and estates in 1715 and 1745,

For their adherence to the Stuart cause.



Author of the Recreation of Leisure Hours,

Annals of Peterhead, &c.


“Pirlchrum eminere est inter illustres viros.”



Printed by P. Buchan;

For Clark & Sangster, Peterhead

G. Clark, Aberdeen, A. Constable &Co.

and W. Laing, Edinburgh; and

G.&W.B. Whittaker, London.






To the Right Honourable








My Lord,

            As your Lordship has been pleased to permit me to lay before the world, under your sanction, the Origin of that Family who had the honour of giving your Lordship birth, and who ranked among the illustrious sons of the brave, when their Country called their matchless arms into action; and whose deeds shall be told with rapture to the sons of generations yet unborn.  I now Dedicate it to your Lordship with every testimony of respect and esteem, and with a sense of the obligations which Caledonia lies under to it, in being saved by its timely assistance from the galling and tyrannic yoke of a foreign foe.

            May you, therefore, My Lord, walk every way worthy of the name which you bear; and may the inspiring mantle of your noble ancestors, who fell gloriously in the field of freedom, and who procured for your Lordship the distinguished rank which you are entitled to hold in society, inspire you with sentiments of honour congenial to every lover of his country, and the blood of the virtuous to flow uncontaminated in each vein; which is the earnest wish of one who has the honour to be,


My Lord,


Your Lordship’s


Humble Servant


P. Buchan.



March, 1820.





            The origin of the Ancient and Noble family of Keith, of whom the Earls Marischal are descended, has long been considered as a desideratum with the antiquarian. Like that of many other ancient families, it has given rise to much discussion and conjecture: and, although this ennobled race have been known to fill, for upwards of seven hundred years, the most honourable offices under the crown, their first introduction into Scotland has never been satisfactorily explained; nor has their descent been traced with that accuracy and intelligence in the annals of our country*, which favour they received at the Scottish court, and their long celebrity would demand.


            In laying before the public the following History of this respected family, it is deemed necessary to state, that, the first portion of it, down to the time of William, commonly called the Keeper of the Tower, is copied from an original manuscript of great antiquity, preserved in the family of Marischal till the unfortunate step taken by the last Earl in 1715, in favour of the Pretender. Its authenticity may be relied on; and the continuation has been taken from another genuine MS. Which carries down the History to the death of George, last Earl Marischal, A.D. 1778.


To render this work worthy of the patronage of those to whom it is offered, (as a tribute of respect to the memory of departed worth,) no labour or research has been spared to collect from various sources additional information, to illustrate the history of this exiled family.  Therefore, in laying it before the public, the compiler deems it no ways necessary to offer an apology for its intrusion upon their notice.  As to the merits of its arrangement, he confidently hopes they are such as enable the reader to peruse the work with pleasure.  The orthography, indeed, has undergone a little change, having been modernized in order to accommodate the plebeian reader, as many abbreviations in the original, would almost have put it out of his power to have read it, or obscured the sense so, that he would have found little pleasure in its perusal.


            The variety of stile, and manner of composition which are here exhibited, can only be accounted for in its having been written at different periods-by people possessed of different abilities, and allowed to remain in its pristine order, as far as was not derogatory to the sense of its authors.


The Biographical sketches of the lives of those Scottish Noblemen, who were attainted of high treason, for their adherence to the unfortunate house of Stuart, (taken from douglas’s Peerage, the Earl of Airly excepted, who is from Kersly’s,) present us with a mournful epoch of blind zeal, sacrificed to a cause which the least dawning of reason might have convinced them never would prosper; for in all cases, [God directs the affairs of men.]


If I have now succeeded in rescuing from the hands of devouring time, the fragments of other years, the impartial reader (not the pedant would-be critic) can only determine; to whom I consign them, hoping he will appreciate rightly what of them is found worthy of his favour, although I am proud to say, by the kind reception which my former productions met with, my country have already honoured my pretentions, (presumptions as they may appear to some) to a fair and candid hearing.  The letters also, which I have received from many literary characters both in London and Edinburgh, whose reputation stands high in the assembly of letters, testify that I have not laboured in vain.  Even Royality itself has deigned to smile upon my humble efforts**, so that my time has not been altogether prostituted to the factitious whim of the day.


May these relics of antiquity, therefore, be found many years hence worthy of a place in the cabinet of the man of taste; which is the unbiased wish of their Editor.



*   It is said Buchanan took revenge, by omitting, as far as was in his power, the deeds of this ancient family, as one of them had deeply offended him.




















THOUGH Scotland, by reason of its soil, situation, and neighborhood with a powerful, and rival people, could not hitherto arise to that pitch of riches and grandeur to which other nations have arrived. Yet, for a long an uninterrupted race of monarchs, and the antiquity of its noble family, it can at least vie with any in Europe.  Of the nobility, some are originally Scots, and others, at different times came hither from foreign countries:  Of the last sort are the Keiths, the chief of whom is the Earl Marischal, whose origin was from Germany,  thus:


            After the Germans, under Augustus Cezar, had subdued all Germany on that side of the Rhine, they employed the army against the Chattie[1], a warlike people, bordering on the Saltus Hercynius, who had frequently triumphed over the Charusii, and their other neighbours, and put a stop to the Roman Conquest.  Augustus sent Germanicus Cezr, his sister’s grandson, and husband to his grand child Agrippina, on this expedition, with eight legions, commanded under him by C. Syllius, and A. Ciecina, to subdue that powerful people, who being assisted by the Cherusii Chanci, and other confederates, engaged in the common defense against the prevailing Romans, who could never be reduced entirely till the time of the Emporer Tiberius; when Germanicus marched against them with four legions, and double the number of auxiliaries, and gave Ciecina the command of other four legions, and five thousand auxiliaries, and he having appointed L. Apronins with a body of men to guard the passes, fell in with them and slew great numbers; the old men and children, with many of the women were taken prisoners, and the rest forced to secure themselves from the fury of the enemy, by swimming the river Adrana.

After this disaster, the Chatti offered terms of peace, but Germanicus refused the conditions they proposed, and burned Mattium, their capital city; upon which, a part of them under Arpus, submitted to the Romans, and retained possession of that country, now subject to the landgrave of Hesse Cassell, one of whose titles is Chattorim Priceps; but the rest of the Chatti reckoned this submission dishonourable; abandoned their country, and after they had sought shelter for sometime among the woods and mountains, and lost all hopes of returning into their country, fell down into Batavia, now Holland, expecting to find a safe retreat.


Here they settled, and passed a course of years, but the natives afraid of a people who they heard were so warlike, and whom they observed to be so industrious and thriving, sent them orders to leave their country, and seek out one more spacious, and less populous.  This was very surprising to the Chatti, who durst not return to the continent, all now possessed by the Romans; and therefore, they desired assistance for transporting them beyond seas, which Battavia desirous to be rid of them, readily granted.  Being provided with ships, they set sail with their wives and children and by a storm were forced upon different courses; for some of the whom Cambden calls Chatti Euchness[2], were carried into the mouth of the Thames, whither they all probably designed as the nearest coast, but the greatest part by the tempest was driven to the northern parts of Scotland, which Fordon calls Chatti Malibosei, and landed in a country which ever since has been called Chatt-ness, or Caithness, where they resolved to settle; finding encouragement from the largeness of the country, and want of people to inhabit it.


            The Scots, alarmed with the arrival of strangers, enquired their original and design: The Chatti related their adventures, pleaded favour, because they had suffered by the Romans, whom the Scots had so vigorously opposed, and desired habitations, but the Scots either afraid of the neighbourhood of a people trained up in war, whose stubborn tempers might sometimes prove dangerous; or, suspicious that they might endanger their safety by joining their enemy, refused them any share of their country, and commanded them to depart; to which, the Chatti, unwilling to set to sea after the dreadful storm the had escaped, would not yield, but resolved to make good their settlement.  Whereupon the Scots being informed of their number being but small, sent a body of men against them.  The Chatti would willingly have declined fighting, but reckoned death preferable to sea danger, and finding that force sent against them was but very inconsiderable, they encountered the Scots, and defeated them.


            This loss the Scots designed to revenge, and repair, by employing a greater force, and entirely cutting off the Chatti; but, considering that the country they had possessed, was neither well inhabited, nor very valuable, and that they could not be driven out without very much blood; they therefore, resolved to wait a more convenient opportunity, and so suffered them to prepare habitations and settle themselves.  The Chatti increased, and spread themselves over the coast country, till their number and power raised the jealousy, and awakened the envy of the Scots, who marched against them with a great army, and falling unexpectedly, after great havock, drove them from the coast to the mountainous parts of the kingdom, where they found such shelter from the hills and woods, as secured and defended them from the rage of the Scots. 


            It was about this time that the Prince of the Chatti, whose name was Gilly Chattan Moir, having married the daughter of Brudus, king of the Picts, began to be suspected of favouring his father-in-law, against Alpinus, who was then the Scots king: But when his son Kennethus the 2nd , came to the throne, he being desirous to revenge his father’s death, who had been defeated and slain by the Picts[3], declared war against them; and among the rest of the nobility, he likewise summoned old Gilly Chattan Moir, prince of the Chatti, to attend his standard.  He being loath to appear in arms against his father-in-law, and yet willing to show his allegiance to his own king, stayed at home himself, but sent his eldest son with a body of men to king Kennethus, which was so glorious to the Scots, and proved the utter extirpation of the Picts.  The youngest son of this Gilly Chattan Moir[4] succeeded his father as prince, or head of the clan, and it was in his time that the Chatti were driven to the wilds of Lochaber, and the neighbouring mountainous shires, where they spread into the famous families of Mc.Intoshes, Mc. Phersons, &c. all acknowledging for their head, or chief, the lineal descendant of that surviving son of Gilly Chattan Moir’s; who, at this day, is the representative of the family of Keith.[5]


            The Chatti, having for a long time continued a distinct people from the Scots, being governed by their own prince and laws, living in the highlands, till the Scots observed them to be a just and industrious people, made a peace, and settled a friendship with them: Yet they continued under their prince and laws, not being permitted to marry, or form any relation with the Scots, till the reign of Malcolm the 2nd, king of Scotland, about the year 1005.


            We shall satisfy ourselves with the general sketch given above; after they were admitted to join and unite themselves with the Scots.  The histories and public records of the nation, give a more particular and exact relation of those who have been chiefs of that race, since their union with the Scots: The first of whom was – ROBERT.




        Prince of the Chatti, in the reign of Malcom the 2nd, when Sueno, king of Denmark, had conquered England, overthrown their king, Ethelred, and assumed the royal authority, and shortly after designed to reduce Scotland to the same condition; and therefore, sent Olavius, governor of Norway, and Enecus, viceroy of Denmark, thither with a formidable army, who first proved victorious in a battle near Nairn, in Murray; but afterwards were entirely routed at Mortlach; Enecus being killed and Olavus forced to scamper to the hills.


            Sueno enraged with this overthrow, equipped two fleets, in which he ordered two considerable armies, one from England, and another from Denmark, both commanded by his kinsman, Camus, of extraordinary fame for his strength and martial exploits, to be embarked for Scotland, and the fleet being joined at St. Abb’s Head, Camus landed his men at the Red-Head, in Angus; and after sacking Montrose, and ruining Brechin, proceeded to commit the greatest cruelties over all the country.


            King Malcom, upon the first news of the enemies designing this expedition, resolved to put the kingdom in the best posture possible; but finding the nation much weakened, and dispirited by the former battles, and the enemy already in possession of one corner of the country, for they had entirely reduced Murray into their obedience; and he, being also destitute of all hopes of any other relief, resolved upon employing the assistance of the Chatti, who had been for a good many years pent up in the mountains; and by advise of his nobility, he commissionated some persons to represent the present posture of his affairs to them, to engage their assistance; offered them all the privileges and immunities of natural Scots; to contract marriages, and to unite as one people with them.


            The Chatti very readily embraced the terms, and being informed of the enemies’ arrival, they took arms, and under their leader, Robert, marched to join the king, who had levied an army as great as the shortness of time, and conveniences of the country would allow; and at the crossing of Tay, being reinforced by the Chatti, advanced straight upon the enemy, and encountered them at Barry, about six mile from Dundee. Both parties engaged with the greatest eagerness imaginable; the battle continued long, and never did commanders manifest more courage and conduct, nor soldiers more fury.  Multitudes fell upon both sides; the fields were covered with carcasses, and the neighbouring brook seemed to run in blood.  But at last, by a favourable providence, the Scots became victors, and the Danes were overpowered, and forced to give way.  The Chatti, under their young chieftan, fought with a notable bravery, and raised the admiration of both their young enemies and allies.


            The Danes being routed, Camus thought of saving himself and some other eminent persons, who had outlived the danger of the battle, and therefore endeavoured to make his escape into Murray, where the rest of his countrymen had settled the year before.  The Scots were so shattered and famted in the former engagement, that they were not able to pursue; but Robert, commander of the Chatti, designing to make the victory complete, carries with him a party of the fiercest and stoutest of his men, and about two miles from the place of battle, came up with Camus, whose prodigious strength, and undaunted courage had been know to the Scots on a former occasion.  Desire of glory on the one hand, despair on the other, and their numbers being nearly equal, made the engagement most fierce.  The two champions fought single handed with great fury; and Robert, by his matchless valour, slew Camus upon the spot, and killed the rest who followed him.


            The king having heard the news, and desired to see Camus, who had appeared so formidable in battle, went straight to the place, and viewed him stretched on the ground; highly commended Robert’s valour, and for memorial of it, he dipped his three middle fingers in the blood of Camus[6], and drew threes strokes, or pales, on Robert’s shield, as the badge of his achievement.  Robert having before the battle assured his soldiers that God, whose house those savages had demolished, and whose service they despised, would give them victory, and said to those about him VERITAS VINCIT; Which pales and words, Robert and his successors have ever since kept for their arms and motto, in memory of that great action.  There is yet upon the ground  an obelisk of stone, called Camus’s Cross, where are engraven the pictures of Camus dying, and the Scots killing the Danes; and a little village nearby retains the name of Cameston to this day[7].  In the last age, Boethius, and our good author, who knew the country, testify that a multitude of big bones was digged up in one of the adjacent fields, and a huge stone coffin, in which some of Camus’s prodigious bones were found.


            This victory, so great, so happy, and seasonable to the Scots, nearly sunk by former disasters, and ruined by the power of a barbarious enemy, was next to the favour of heaven, and the valour of a great king, ascribed to the Chatti, and their magnanimous commander; and therefore, both king and people desired to make most liberal acknowledgements, and pay the greatest marks of respect to Robert, and to his valiant followers.


            The King knighted Robert, and for a reward of his services, created him hereditary great Marischal of Scotland[8], which is an office of great dignity and eminence, and of great power in peace and war, foreby one of the chief ancient offices of the crown; before officers of state were introduced into the nation.



And, for supporting this dignity, the King conferred on him many lands; the chief of which was called from his name, Keith Marischal, in East Lothian[9].  Most of those who had followed Robert, and served the King in the last battle, were sent home and rewarded, not only with ample right and title to the lands they formerly possessed, but had also others distributed among them, whose posterity continued to this day very powerful and numerous; spreading into the families of Macintosh, Farquharson, Machperson, Shaw, &c. under the general name of Clan-Chatten; and their commander, or chief, has since, instead of the German work Chattus, or Cattus, been according to the Scots dialect Keth, or Keith.


            He, (Robert) married Margaret Frazer, daughter to Simon Frazer of Tweedale, and of him descended a race of the greatest heros that ever Scotland produced.






Succeeded his father, when Suenco, King of Norway, invaded Scotland in the reign of King Duncan.  He commanded a part of the Scottish army at the battle of Culross, and when they were unfortunately defeated, he escaped alive; and with Bancho and Macbeth, afterwards fell upon the Norwegians in the camp, and made such a dreadful slaughter, that there was scarce so many saved as to conduct and carry off the King to his ships[10].  He married Elizabeth Straquhan.





Succeeded to his father, and married Elizabeth Cumming, daughter of John, chief of that ilk[11]; who, by King Alexander the 1st, was advanced to great honour and riches, and laid the foundation of many great families.





His son succeeded, and married Margaret Marr, daughter to the Earl of Marr.





Succeeded to his father, when Stephen, King of England, sent a formidable army against Scotland, because David refused to do him homage for the lands of Cumberland and Northumberland, &c.  Having formerly sworn fidelity to Maud, the righteous heir, for these lands he got in England with his Queen.  The Earls of Merch, Monteith, Angus, with Sir William Keith Marischal, encountered the English at Allerton, and after a bloody battle, proved victorious; slew many of the English, and took many prisoners; among them was the duke of Glocester, general of the English army, anno 1133.  He married Elizabeth Seton, daughter of the Earl of Winton’s predecessor.





His son succeeded: He, with Gilchrist, Earl of Angus, marched against Somerled, Thane[12] of Argyle, and the other rebels who took arms against Malcolm the 4th, and defeat and dissipate them.  He married Elizabeth Frazer, of the same family with whon the first Marischal had married.




Succeeded his father; He attended King William the Lyon, in his expedition against Henry the 2nd, of England, and with the Earl of Angus, defeat the English, after the king had been treacherously surprised by a party of Horse, during a treaty at Alnwick.  He married Margaret Douglass, daughter to William, chief of the Douglasses.





His son accompanied King William, and his brother David, when they went into England to welcome King Richard from his return from the Holy war; and afterwards with the Earls of fife and Athole, with an army against the Islanders, when under Gothred Makiel; they had rebelled and ravished all the country, killing most of the rebels.  They carried their captain to the king.  He married Jean Gordon, daughter to the chief of that name.





Succeeded, and attended King Alexander the 2nd, in his progress with the Queen thro’ the Northern parts, and afterwards with his cousin, the Earl of Buquhan, [Buchan] marched against Gilispy, who had pillaged much of Ross, burned Inverness, and slew all who would not join him; but he and his sons were taken and beheaded.





His son marched with King Alexander the 3rd, against Acho, king of Norway, when he seized the west Isles, and invaded Scotland with 20,000 men, requiring 10,000 more before they should depart, but he was routed, and 19,000 of his men killed.  This Sir Robert, married Jean Ogilvy, daughter to the chief of that name.





Succeeded to his father, and married Margaret Cumming, daughter to the Earl of Buchan.





Shared largely of the troubles wherewith his country was shaken; after the death of Alexander the 3rd, during the wars between Scotland and England, but would never endure to compliance with a foreign power, or the enslaving of his country, though near allied to the Cummings, who were deeply engaged in the English interest.  He married Barbara Seton, daughter to the Earl of Winton’s predecessor, by whom, among other children he had a daughter married to William the Hardie, the baron of Douglas, who bare him two sons, viz. good Sir James, who raised the family, and Hugh.




Was a most zealous defender of his country’s liberty, against the English.  When his brethren saw that Mr. William Douglass was cast into prison, where he died, and was despoiled of his estate by the English, anno 1280, he sent his nephew, called after good Sir James, to France, bred him up upon his own charges, and afterwards brought him home, and entered him upon that course of loyalty and virtue, by which he and his family rose to so much honour.


            He accompanied Edward Bruce when he went to take possession of the crown of Ireland, and gave him notable assistance at the taking in of Dublin Castle.  He kept close by King Robert Bruce in all his travels:  He was the chief instrument in gaining the battle of Inverury, which was the first that ever that great Prince won; and for his signal services, the king gave him one of his own houses, called Hallforest, and several lands nearby.  At the battle of Bannockburn, he commanded five hundred horse; he gave the first onset, and defeat a party of the English horse sent to reinforce Philip Moubray, governor of Strevlieg [Stirling} which made way for that glorious victory.  The Scots, having killed 50,000 of the Endglish.  The King mindfull of his services, did, at the Parliament of Perth, anno 1320, bestow upon him the greatest part of his cousin, the Earl of Buchan’s lands, which was forfeited for adhiering to the English interest.


            After he had arrived at a great age, he was killed fighting most valiantly at the battle of Duplin, against Edward Baliol, with most part of his friends; and this is the reason why families of a more latter date are so numerous in the branches and cadets, because the Keiths having been in every action, and by virtue of their office of Marischal, present at, and attended by their friends in every battle.  The males were seldom allowed to increase to any considerable number:  But this battle, anno 1332, gave them the serverest blow they ever received.  This Sir Robert, married Barbara Douglass, daughter to the chief of that name, by whom he had two sons, viz.  John, who died before his father, leaving children behind him, and Sir William, who attended his cousin, good Sir James Douglass, when he went with King Robert’s heart to the Holy land.





Son to John, succeeded to his grandfather, the last Marischal; he was a man of great courage, and most active in driving Edward Baliol out of the country, and restoring King David.  He besieged Perth when strongly fortified, and occupied by Macduff, Tahne of Fife; and after three months close siege took it, with the ground, and sent the Thane with his wife and children to Kildrummy, prisoners.


            He married Margaret Hay, daughter of Gilbert Lord Hay, first Constable of that family:  By her he had two sons, William and Edward; and two daughter, one of whom married to John Maitland; predecessor to the Earl of Lauderdale, and another to the laird of Drum[13].


            Sir William, his eldest son, was one of the greatest heros of his time: He was present with his father when he drove the Earl of Athol from the siege of Killblain, and afterwards killed him, with most of lthose who were with him, taking several prisoners, when the English sent two great armies into Scotland, under the command of the Earl of Montfort and Richard Talbot, and ruled it, and took himself prisoner, anno 1337.


            He besieged the town of Perth, kept out by Thomas Ulter, for the English, anno 1340, and took it after a dangerous siege.  After many glorious exploits he was killed at the battle of Durham, where King David was taken prisoner by the English, anno 1346.  The eldest son, Sir William, having died childess before his father.  His brother succeeded him.




            Married a lady in lhis own name, called in a chrter of te 18th of King David’s reign, Domina Isabel Keith, though we knew not of what family, unless it be Galliestown, mentioned by John Forbes.  He had two sons, viz.   Sir Edward who succeeded, and Sir John who married Mary Cheyne, daughter of Reynold Cheyne, laird of Inverugie, Strathbreck, &c. about the year 1380.  This branch of the Keiths continued a separate family for seven or eight descents, and then by a marriage, (as shall be told afterwards,) fell into the family again.  This Sir John’s great grandchild, Sir Gilbert Keith of Inverugie, married the Lord Graham’s daughter, and by her he had several children.  This second Gilbert married-------Ogston of Ludwharn, of whom is lawfully descended Sir William Keith of Ludwharn, knight baronet.




Succeeded to his father, and having formerly contented themselves with the title of knight, because the Marischal’s office gave them honour enough.  This man was created Lord Keith by Robert the 2nd, about the year 1380.  He had a daughter married to Sir David Hamilton, predecessor to the Duke of Hamilton, and son who succeeded him.




Now created Lord Keith, second Lord Keith that had been in that family; married Margaret Fraser, only daughter of the first marriage of the Thane of Cowie, by whom he got very many lands, and had three sons and a daughter.  The eldest son John, was a man of great valour, for at the battle of Otterburn he took his father’s post as Marishal, he being then indisposed; and after James, then the second Earl of Douglass, general of the Scots army, was killed, and the English hold to have proved victos; He recovered the battle, beat the English, and took Ralph Peircy, brother to, and conjuct commander with Henry Hostpur, Earl of Northumberland, prisoner with his own hand.  He married one of the King Robert the 3rd his sisters, by whom he had a son Robert, and died before his father.  This son Robert, married and had only a daughter married to the Lord Gordon, and he died also before his grandfather.  The second son was Sir Robert Keith of Troup: He died also before his father, and left a son William, who enjoyed the estate and honours of the family.  The third son was Sir Alexander Keith, knight of Grandholm; and it was probably he that commanded the horse against Donald of the Isles at Harlaw, and made great slaughter of the highland rebels, anno 1411.


            This Lord William’s daughter was married to Robert, brother to King Robert the 3rd, and governor of the Kingdom.  The eldest son of which marriage was John, who was Earl of Buchan, in Scotland, 1402:  And for killing the Duke of Clarance, and his other great services at the battle of Baux, was created by Charles the Dauphin, great Constable, and Earl of Diveraux, in France, anno 1421.  His grandfather the Lord Marischal, disposed to him Calrissimo Nepoli Nostro Joanni Senescalla Domina de Buchan, Camerari Scotia, Torras de Touch, Fraser, Drippis, &c.  Together with the office of Sheriff principal of Strevling, anno 1407; and there are several charters and papers belonging to the family, wherein Robert the governor calls this Lord William our beloved father.  He lived about the year 1412, and was succeeded by his grandson.




Married Elizabeth Lindsy, daughter to the Earl of Crawford’s predecessor.  He had four sons, viz. Robert, John, William and Alexander; Robert was married, and died before his father, leaving only one daughter, married to the master of Gray, and the second son William, succeeded.





Was a man of singular prudence and great merit; During the unhappy discords betwixt Regent Livingstone and Chancellor Chrichton in the minority of King James the 2nd.  By his influence and power he preserved the north country, otherways the seat of much discord, in a more than ordinary peace and tranquility: and in every station as great Marischal and Sheriff-principal of the Mearns;-Was most excellent in his administration of Justice, and for his great services done to the king and country, was created Earl Marischal, anno 1455.  He married Margaret, daughter to James, the first Lord of Hamilton.




Succeeded to his father in the honours and offices of the family, and a cast estate, amidst the confusions of King James’s the 3rd reign.  He acted a most wise and steady course, and so temperate his duty to the unfortunate Prince with his love to his country, that he endeavoured by all possible means to preserve the person and honour of the one, and interest of the other.  He was of a calm temper, profound judgment, and inviolable honesty, always for moderating and extinguishing divisions, and from the ordinary expressions he made use of in giving counsel, he was called Harken and take heed.  He married Elizabeth Gordon, daughter to Alexander, first Earl of Huntly, of whom he had several children.  His eldest son Robert, was a man of great hopes, he was put to, and fought most valiantly at the battle of Flowdonfield, where he left Sir William Keith of Inverugie,[14] and Sir John Keith of Ludwharn, with other friends.


            He married Beatrix Douglass, daughter to Archibald Bell, the Cat Earl of Angus, and died before his father, leaving a son who enjoyed the estate and honours after his grandfather’s death.



            When John, Duke of Albany, governor of the kingdom, went into France to renew the old league with Francis the 1st, anno 1520.  This Earl Marischal had the custody of the young Prince James the 5th, in the castle of Edinburgh, in which trust he behaved so well, during the governor’s absence, that the king had all his life a great love for him, and gave him many charters and privileges, and jurisdictions upon the family.  To him succeeded his grandchild.




Was one of the greatest men of his age for his personal merit, and got a great addition to the opulent fortune left him by his grandfater, by marrying Margaret Keith, daughter and heiress of Sir William Keith of Inverugie, the successor of Sir John Cheyne and Marrian Cheyne; by whom he had several baronies, and had two sons and seven daughters.  He was present at the bloody battle of Pinkie, anno 1547, and carried with him all his friends and followers who were of age, and fit for arms, of whom he lsot several.


            His eldest son William, called the master of Marischal, was taken prisoner at this battle, with the Earl of Huntly, then chancellor, and other persons of quality, and were detained at Alnwick till ransomed for  2000 sterling.  He married Elizabeth Hay, daughter to George, seventh Earl of Errol; anno 1543, and died before his father, leaving a son likewise George, afterwards Earl Marischal.


            This Earl’s second son ROBERT, Commendator of Deer, had by the special favour of King James the 6th, that Abbacy erected to him in a temporal Lordship, by the stile and title of Lord Altree; which is as follows:-


A PROCURATORIE of RESIGNATION of the Lands of DEIR, in favours of ROBERTS, Commendator of Dier, &  GEORGE E. MARISCHAL, on which the Charter of Erection proceeded.


Unto the richt excellent, richt heich, and michtie Prince, oure Soverance lord King James the sext, be the grace of God king of Scottis, zoure heines humble and obedient sujectes, ROBERT Commendator of the Abbay of Deir and Convent thereof, Greeting.-ffor asmeickle as we understanding that the Monastical superstitioun for the qlk the said Abbay of Deir was of auld erectit, and foundit, is now be the laws of this realme alluterlie abolischeit, sua that na memorie thairof sall be heirafter; and considering that the maist pairt of the lands and rentis doitlet to the said Abbay proceedit of auld from the disposition of the proginetor, and predecessor of the richt nobell, and potent lord George erle Mershcell, lord Keith, &c.  And, that the property of the maist pairt thairot is alreddie set in fev ferme to the said erle and his predecessoceris, lauchfullie confirmit be yor Majestie and yor heiness vmqle darvist mother; and that the remanent of the saids landis aralsvo sett in fev ferme to oyeris, the auld possessouris thairof.  Thairfor, and for diverssoyeris reasonable caussis and consideratiouumis, moving ws all with ane avise, consent, and assent, and mature deliberatioune had yr:upon, to haif maid, consitute, and ordainit, and be the tenor, heirof makis, constituis, and ordainis honorabille me.  And our weilbelouittis Mr. James Wardlaw, Aduocat, and ilk an of theme, conjuncthe and seuarillie, aure verie lauchful, undoutted, and irreuocabille procourators, actoris, factoris, and speciall errand beirors; givand, grantand, and committand to theme, and ilk an of theme, conjuntlie and seurillie, our full, trie plane, power, quall and speciall command, express bidding, and charge for ws, and in our name, and upon our behalf, with all dew hunnlitie, and reverence, as becomes to resigne, reivie, seniplr. Discharge, or give and demit frae ws, and our successouris, all and sundrie the Landis, Lordschippis, Baroneis, Mylnis, Fischeings, woodis, Parkis, Forrestis, Mansioumis, Manerpalces, Teinds, Chovis, Vydrts, Teindis, Fruitis, Fermes, Annuelrentis, Marles, Kaynis, Customes, Dewties; particularlie underwritten Tenentis, Tennendries, and service of frie Tennentis, Orchards, Zardis, and all oyders Profites, Richts, and Emolumentis pertaining, or that richteouslie has perteinit to the said Abbay, and patrimonie hairot; and quhairof the Abbots and Convent of the Sanre has bene in possessioune in ony time bypast In zor Majesties hands, to the effect under specifeet.  And for errectioun of the same in one temporall Lordschip, as follows, - That is to say, the maner, place of Deir, of auld callit the Abby of Deir, with all the houses, begging, Orchardis, Zairdis, and odyr pertinents thairof, within the clausoure and precinct of the place; with the mains callit Cothill… The landis of Clerkbill…The landis of Quartailhouse, and walkmylne thair of…The mylne of Crichie and multures of ye same…The landis of Dennis…The landis of meikle Auchrdie…The landis of Auchmwugel…The landis of Carnebannock, mylne thairof, and multures of the same…The landis of little Auchrydie…The landis of Craigmylne…The landis of Glauckriauch…The landis of little Elrick…The lanis of Aulmad…The landis of Atherb…The landis of Cryalie…The landis of Skillymarno…The landis of Auchmather…The landis of Altrie…The landis of Bippieraw and Parkhouse of biffie…the landis of Bruchill…The mylne of Bruxie and multure of the same…The landist of Seroghill…The landis of Kerktown of Deir…The landis of Benvells…The landis of Monkies-hill…The landis of Grange and Raehill…The fischertown of Peterhead, with portis, anchorages and fisheings yr:of…The lands of Carkensche…The landis of Monkisholme…The landis of Overatter…the landis of Fouarne, and anuelrent of Threepund, VIsh, VIIId, to be upliftit furth of tillioch…Ane anuelrent of XXXIII sh, IIII d, to be upliftit furth of toukis…An annelrent o fXL sh, to be upliftit furth of sauchok of Kenmondie…The tenements of landis and houses underwritten, layand wt:in the burh of Aberdeen; they are to say all and hail the salmond fischeingis of Inverugie, in salt and fresh water…The Abbay myine of Deir within the Wallis of the sd. Abbay…The Kerkt wn of Deir, all lyand in the scherifdome of Aberdeen…The landis of Barre, lyand in the scherifdome of Banff, with the tennentes, tennendris, feves of frie fermes, service of frie tennentis, richt and privileges thairof quhatsumever, with hail teindschaires and oyderes teindis, proffittis, and emolumentis off all and sundrie the erkis and Parochiris of Deir, Peterugie, Fouerne and Kenedward, and hail landis situate within the said Parochiris, all layand within the Diocie of Aberdeen, vnit and annexit of auld to the sd. Abbay, and being ane pairt of the Patrimonie thairof with all richts, privileges, and pertinentis quhatsumeur pertaining, or that richteouslie myt. Haif perteinit yairto, in favor of me, the said Robert, Commendator, and of the said George erle Merschell, ffor erectioune of the same landis, Lordschippis, Baronies, and vyders teinds of the saidis Kirkis, and Parochiris, with mylnes, multures, fischiengs, mansiounes, mains, houses, places, zairds, biggins alsweil being within the precinct and wallis of the sd. Abbay, as ellisquhair within this realme with all maillis, fermes, anuelrents, tennentis, tennendries and seruice of frie tennentes, fev fermes, emolumentis and coronities quhatsumever foresaid, in ane temporal lordschip, to be callit in all tyme ading the lordschip of Altrie for enfeftment to be given of the samen be zor heines charter, and enfeftment under the greit Seill, to me ye sd. Robert, Commendator fore sd. In lyferent for all the dayes of my lyfetym; and to the said George erle Merschell, his aires maill, and assignais heritable, in dew forme, and na uderwayis, providing always that in cais the said enfeftment tak not full effect, that this prt. Resignatioune and demissioune sal be of nane awail, force, nor effect.  And generalie all and sundrie uyderthingis, to do exerce and uce that to ye office of procuratorie in sik caises of law, or consuetude is known to apperteine; or that we micht do thairin, or:self, and we war personalie put fferme and stabile, haldane, and for to hald all and quhatsumever things our saidis prors. Or any o fyame, conjunctlie and severallie, in the premises, richteouslie leids to be done under ye pane of law.  In witness of the qlk. Thing to this eres of procuratorie, resignation and demissioune, subscrivit with our hands, the comoun seill of our said Abbay is hunging at Edinburgh, the sewint day of July, the zeir of god Jm ve fourscour seven zeirs, before thir witnesses, William Knox, James Hog, Andres Duffous, secrietors to the said Commendator, and Jas. Jamesone. Notar Publict.






            He married Elizabeth, daughter of heiress of Robert Lunday of Benholm, by whom he had one daughter Margaret; married to John Erskine of dun.  He did at Paris in the year 1551, so that the peerage failed, and his estate fell to the family of Marischal.