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Earl of Morton

Earl of Morton

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The title Earl of Morton was created in the Peerage of Scotland
Peerage of Scotland
The Peerage of Scotland is the division of the British Peerage for those peers created in the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707. With that year's Act of Union, the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England were combined into the Kingdom of Great Britain, and a new Peerage of Great Britain was...

 in 1458 for James Douglas of Dalkeith
Dalkeith
Dalkeith is a town in Midlothian, Scotland, lying on the River North Esk. It was granted a burgh of barony in 1401 and a burgh of regality in 1540...

. Along with it, the title Lord Aberdour was granted. This latter title is the courtesy title
Courtesy title
A courtesy title is a form of address in systems of nobility used for children, former wives and other close relatives of a peer. These styles are used 'by courtesy' in the sense that the relatives do not themselves hold substantive titles...

 for the eldest son and heir to the Earl of Morton.

Douglases of Dalkeith


The Douglases of Dalkeith are descended from Andrew Douglas of Hermiston (or Herdmanston) (d.b. 1277), younger son of Archibald I, Lord of Douglas
Archibald I, Lord of Douglas
Archibald of Douglas was a Scottish Nobleman. He was the son of William of Douglas.The earliest attestation of his existence is in a charter of confirmation dated prior to 1198. This charter of Jocelin, Bishop of Glasgow, granted the rights of a toft in Glasgow to Melrose Abbey...

 (fl. c. 1198–1238). He was succeeded by his son William Douglas of Hermiston, a signatory of the Ragman Roll in 1296. William of Hermiston's son, James Douglas of Lothian succeeded his father and produced two sons, Sir William Douglas
William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale
Sir William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale was also known as the Knight of Liddesdale and the Flower of Chivalry. He was a Scottish nobleman and soldier active during the Second War of Scottish Independence.-Family:...

 and Sir John Douglas. Sir William Douglas, known as the Knight of Liddesdale or the Flower of Chivalry obtained the privileges of the barony of Dalkeith, in Midlothian
Midlothian
Midlothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area. It borders the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh council areas....

, in 1341, and the barony of Aberdour
Aberdour
Aberdour is a scenic and historic village on the south coast of Fife, Scotland. It is on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, looking south to the island of Inchcolm and its Abbey, and to Leith and Edinburgh beyond. According to the 2006 population estimate, the village has a population of...

, in Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

, in 1342. Following his murder at the hands of his godson William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas
William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas
William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas was a Scottish magnate.-Early Life:William Douglas was the son of Sir Archibald Douglas and Beatrice Lindsay, and nephew of "Sir James the Good", Robert the Bruce's trusted deputy...

, both baronies passed to his nephew, James Douglas, 1st Lord Dalkeith
James Douglas, 1st Baron Dalkeith
James Douglas, 1st Lord Dalkeith was a Scottish nobleman born in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland to Sir James Douglas and Agnes Dunbar. He married Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of King Robert III, about the year 1387. They had four children before she died: William, James, Henry, and Margaret...

. James Douglas was confirmed in this position when his title was ratified by the Earl of Douglas prior to 1370. The lands of Dalkeith, and Aberdour
Aberdour
Aberdour is a scenic and historic village on the south coast of Fife, Scotland. It is on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, looking south to the island of Inchcolm and its Abbey, and to Leith and Edinburgh beyond. According to the 2006 population estimate, the village has a population of...

, in Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

, were combined as a single barony in 1386, with the principal seat at Dalkeith Castle
Dalkeith Palace
Dalkeith Palace in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland, is the former seat of the Duke of Buccleuch.Dalkeith Castle was located to the north east of Dalkeith, and was originally in the hands of the Clan Graham in the 12th century and given to the Douglas family in the early 14th century. James Douglas...

, and a secondary residence at Aberdour Castle
Aberdour Castle
Aberdour Castle is located in the village of Easter Aberdour, Fife, Scotland. Parts of the castle date from around 1200, making Aberdour one of the two oldest datable standing castles in Scotland, along with Castle Sween in Argyll, which was built at around the same time.The earliest part of the...

. James was the brother of Nicholas Douglas, 1st Lord of Mains
Douglas of Mains
The Douglases of Mains are a branch of the Clan Douglas, related to the Lords of Douglas through Archibald I, Lord of Douglas. The first Laird obtained land through marriage into the Galbraith family, which had been granted land in New Kilpatrick by Maldowen, Earl of Lennox...

.

Earldom of Morton


The 4th Lord Dalkeith succeeded to his estates upon the resignation of his father c. 1457 and in 1458 was raised to the peerage as Earl of Morton, prior to his marriage to Joanna
Joan of Scotland, Countess of Morton
Joan Stewart, Princess of Scotland was a daughter of James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort. She married James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton....

, the deaf and dumb daughter of King James I
James I of Scotland
James I, King of Scots , was the son of Robert III and Annabella Drummond. He was probably born in late July 1394 in Dunfermline as youngest of three sons...

. Lord Dalkeith was then a subsidiary title held by the Earls of Morton, and used as a courtesy title for the eldest son and heir, until the title and estates of Dalkeith were sold to the Earl of Buccleuch
Duke of Buccleuch
The title Duke of Buccleuch , formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, was created in the Peerage of Scotland on 20 April 1663 for the Duke of Monmouth, who was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II of Scotland, England, and Ireland and who had married Anne Scott, 4th Countess of Buccleuch.Anne...

 by the 7th Earl in 1642. When in 1458, James Douglas, lord Dalkeith, was to receive the name 'Morton' for his intended earldom, a protest was presented against this creation, asserting correctly that the lands of Mortoun belonged heritably to his step-grandmother, Janet Borthwick, widow of Sir James Douglas, known as 1st Lord of Dalkeith, and to her son William Douglas (progenitor of the Whittingehame
Whittingehame
Whittingehame is a parish with a small village in East Lothian, Scotland, about halfway between Haddington and Dunbar, and near East Linton. The area is on the slopes of the Lammermuir Hills...

 branch of the Douglases), to which the Chancellor answered that "Lord Dalkeith was not to receive his title in the Earldom for the lands of Mortoun
Morton Castle
Morton Castle is located by an artificial loch in the hills above Nithsdale, in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland. It lies 2.5 miles north-east of Thornhill, and once formed part of a chain of castles along the strategically important Nith Valley, which runs from the Solway Firth north to...

 lying in the Lordship of Niddisdale
Nithsdale
Nithsdale , also known by its anglicised gaelic name Strathnith or Stranit, is the valley of the River Nith in Scotland, and the name of the region...

 but for the lands of Mortoun in the territory of Caldercleir
East Calder
East Calder is a small town located in West Lothian, Scotland. It is located about a mile east of Mid Calder and about a mile west of Wilkieston...

".

In 1538, James V
James V of Scotland
James V was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss...

 summoned the 3rd Earl
James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton
James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton was a son of John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton and a grandson of James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton and Joan of Scotland, a daughter of James I of Scotland. He married Catherine Stewart, an illegitimate daughter of King James IV of Scotland by his mistress Marion...

 before the Privy Council
Privy Council of Scotland
The Privy Council of Scotland was a body that advised the King.In the range of its functions the council was often more important than the Estates in the running the country. Its registers include a wide range of material on the political, administrative, economic and social affairs of Scotland...

 for non-payment of his feudal dues, and in 1540 the Earl was banished to Inverness
Inverness
Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland...

. Morton reached Brechin
Brechin
Brechin is a former royal burgh in Angus, Scotland. Traditionally Brechin is often described as a city because of its cathedral and its status as the seat of a pre-Reformation Roman Catholic diocese , but that status has not been officially recognised in the modern era...

, in Angus
Angus
Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

, where he signed a deed resigning his lands to his kinsman Robert Douglas of Lochleven
Loch Leven
Loch Leven is a fresh water loch in Perth and Kinross council area, central Scotland.Roughly triangular, the loch is about 6 km at its longest. The burgh of Kinross lies at its western end. Loch Leven Castle lies on an island a short way offshore...

, who was then compelled to resign the lands in turn to James V. After James V's death in late 1542, George Douglas of Pittendreich
George Douglas of Pittendreich
George Douglas of Pittendreich was a member of the powerful Douglas family who struggled for control of the young James V of Scotland in 1528. His second son became James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton and Regent of Scotland. Initially, George Douglas promoted the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and...

 and the Earl of Arran
James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran
James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran was a Scottish nobleman.-Biography:He was the eldest legitimate son of James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran....

 assisted Morton in reclaiming his lands, including Aberdour. In return their sons were to marry two of Morton's three daughters. Pittendreich's son James
James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton
James Douglas, jure uxoris 4th Earl of Morton was the last of the four regents of Scotland during the minority of King James VI. He was in some ways the most successful of the four, since he did manage to win the civil war which had been dragging on with the supporters of the exiled Mary, Queen of...

 (1525–1581) married the heiress, Elizabeth, and succeeded to the earldom in 1553.

The 4th Earl of Morton became Regent of Scotland in 1572, for the infant James VI and I
James I of Scotland
James I, King of Scots , was the son of Robert III and Annabella Drummond. He was probably born in late July 1394 in Dunfermline as youngest of three sons...

. However, once James VI reached the age of majority, he was implicated in the murder of James' father, Lord Darnley
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stewart or Stuart, 1st Duke of Albany , styled Lord Darnley before 1565, was king consort of Scotland and murdered at Kirk o'Field...

 in 1567, and was executed in 1581. The earldom was attainted between 1581 and 1586, although the nephew-in-law of the 4th earl (also grandson of the 3rd earl), John Maxwell, 7th Lord Maxwell (1552–1593) called himself "5th Earl of Morton" at this time. Although Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus and 5th Earl of Morton was the son of David, 7th earl. He succeeded to the title and estates in 1558, being brought up by his uncle, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, a Presbyterian....

 (1555–1588) was confirmed as 5th Earl of Morton in 1586, Lord Maxwell's title of Morton, which had been revoked in 1585, was revived in 1587 and 1592. As a result, two families were in possession of the Earldom, and a conflict arose. This continued into the time of the 7th Earl of Morton (1582–1648), when John, 8th Lord Maxwell (c. 1586–1613), also claimed the earldom. Lord Maxwell, however, was attainted in 1609 and his rights then failed, his titles and estates being restored in 1618 to his brother Robert, with the title of Earl of Nithsdale
Earl of Nithsdale
Earl of Nithsdale was a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1620 for Robert Maxwell, 9th Lord Maxwell, with remainder to heirs male. He was made Lord Maxwell, Eskdale and Carlyle at the same time...

 (1620) in lieu of Morton.

Lords of Dalkeith (1341)

  • William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale
    William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale
    Sir William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale was also known as the Knight of Liddesdale and the Flower of Chivalry. He was a Scottish nobleman and soldier active during the Second War of Scottish Independence.-Family:...

  • James Douglas, 1st Baron Dalkeith
    James Douglas, 1st Baron Dalkeith
    James Douglas, 1st Lord Dalkeith was a Scottish nobleman born in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland to Sir James Douglas and Agnes Dunbar. He married Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of King Robert III, about the year 1387. They had four children before she died: William, James, Henry, and Margaret...

  • James Douglas, 2nd Baron Dalkeith
  • James Douglas, 3rd Baron Dalkeith
  • James Douglas, 4th Baron Dalkeith
    James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton was created Earl of Morton in 1458. He was a descendant of Agnes Dunbar, 4th Countess of Moray . He married Princess Joan Stewart , daughter of James I, King of Scots. His wife was buried in Dalkeith Church, Dalkeith...

     (created Earl of Morton 1458)

Earls of Morton (1458)

  • James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton was created Earl of Morton in 1458. He was a descendant of Agnes Dunbar, 4th Countess of Moray . He married Princess Joan Stewart , daughter of James I, King of Scots. His wife was buried in Dalkeith Church, Dalkeith...

     (d. 1493)
  • John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton
    John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton
    John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton was the son of James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton and Princess Joan of Scotland, Countess of Morton, daughter of James I of Scotland by his wife Lady Joan Beaufort. He became earl in 1493, upon his father's death...

     (d. 1513)
  • James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton was a son of John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton and a grandson of James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton and Joan of Scotland, a daughter of James I of Scotland. He married Catherine Stewart, an illegitimate daughter of King James IV of Scotland by his mistress Marion...

     (d. 1548) ("abeyant" 1548)
  • James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, jure uxoris 4th Earl of Morton was the last of the four regents of Scotland during the minority of King James VI. He was in some ways the most successful of the four, since he did manage to win the civil war which had been dragging on with the supporters of the exiled Mary, Queen of...

     (c. 1516–1581) (abeyance terminated 1550, attainted
    Attainder
    In English criminal law, attainder or attinctura is the metaphorical 'stain' or 'corruption of blood' which arises from being condemned for a serious capital crime . It entails losing not only one's property and hereditary titles, but typically also the right to pass them on to one's heirs...

     1580/81)
  • John Maxwell, 7th Lord Maxwell (1552–1593), a grandson of the 3rd Earl, succeeded briefly as Earl of Morton.
  • Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Morton
    Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
    Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus and 5th Earl of Morton was the son of David, 7th earl. He succeeded to the title and estates in 1558, being brought up by his uncle, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, a Presbyterian....

     (c. 1555–1588), also 8th Earl of Angus
    Earl of Angus
    The Mormaer or Earl of Angus was the ruler of the medieval Scottish province of Angus. The title, in the Peerage of Scotland, is currently held by the Duke of Hamilton.-Mormaers:...

     (attainder reversed 1586)
  • William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton
    William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton
    William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton was the son of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven and Margaret Erskine, a former mistress of James V of Scotland. Sir William's half-brother from his mother's liaison with the king was James Stewart, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland from 1567 until his...

     (1540–1606)
    • Robert Douglas, Master of Morton (d. 1585)
  • William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton
    William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton
    William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton was a grandson of the 6th Earl of Morton. He was Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, and a zealous Royalist, who, on the outbreak of the Great Rebellion in 1642, provided £100,000 for the cause by selling his Dalkeith estates to the Earl of Buccleuch...

     (1582–1648)
  • Robert Douglas, 8th Earl of Morton
    Robert Douglas, 8th Earl of Morton
    Robert Douglas, Earl of Morton was a Scottish nobleman and Earl of Morton. He was the son of William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton and Lady Anne Keith, daughter of George Keith, 4th Earl Marischal...

     (d. 1649)
  • William Douglas, 9th Earl of Morton (d. 1681)
  • James Douglas, 10th Earl of Morton (d. 1686)
  • James Douglas, 11th Earl of Morton (d. 1715)
  • Robert Douglas, 12th Earl of Morton (d. 1730)
  • George Douglas, 13th Earl of Morton
    George Douglas, 13th Earl of Morton
    George Douglas, 13th Earl of Morton , styled The Honourable George Douglas between 1681 and 1730, was a British peer and politician.-Background:...

     (1662–1738)
  • James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton
    James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton KT FRS was a Scottish astronomer and representative peer who was President of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh from its foundation in 1737 until his death...

     (c. 1703–1768)
  • Sholto Charles Douglas, 15th Earl of Morton
    Sholto Douglas, 15th Earl of Morton
    Sholto Charles Douglas, 15th Earl of Morton was the son of James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton.In February 1754 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society...

     (1732–1774)
  • George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton
    George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton
    George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton, KT was the son of Sholto Douglas, 15th Earl of Morton.He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in February, 1785 and served as their vice-president from 1795-1819...

     (1761–1827)
  • George Sholto Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton
    George Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton
    George Sholto Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton , known as George Douglas until 1827, was a Scottish Tory politician....

     (1789–1858)
  • Sholto John Douglas, 18th Earl of Morton (1818–1884)
  • Sholto George Douglas, 19th Earl of Morton
    Sholto Douglas, 19th Earl of Morton
    Sholto George Watson Douglas, 19th Earl of Morton, was the son of Sholto John Douglas, 18th Earl of Morton , and Helen Watson, the daughter of James Watson of Saughton. He was a landowner and businessman....

     (1844–1935)
    • Sholto Charles Douglas, Lord Aberdour (1878–1911)
  • Sholto Charles John Hay Douglas, 20th Earl of Morton (1907–1976)
  • John Charles Sholto Douglas, 21st Earl of Morton
    John Douglas, 21st Earl of Morton
    John Charles Sholto Douglas, 21st Earl of Morton is a Scottish peer and landowner.Douglas was educated at Bryanston School and Canford School. He succeeded to the earldom in 1976, upon the death of his first cousin, the 20th Earl...

     (b. 1927)


The heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 is the present holder's son John Stewart Sholto Douglas, Lord Aberdour (b. 1952)

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son John David Sholto Douglas, Master of Aberdour (b. 1986)

Seats


Historical residences of the Earl of Morton include:
  • Aberdour Castle
    Aberdour Castle
    Aberdour Castle is located in the village of Easter Aberdour, Fife, Scotland. Parts of the castle date from around 1200, making Aberdour one of the two oldest datable standing castles in Scotland, along with Castle Sween in Argyll, which was built at around the same time.The earliest part of the...

    , Fife
  • Aberdour House, Fife
  • Dalkeith House
    Dalkeith Palace
    Dalkeith Palace in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland, is the former seat of the Duke of Buccleuch.Dalkeith Castle was located to the north east of Dalkeith, and was originally in the hands of the Clan Graham in the 12th century and given to the Douglas family in the early 14th century. James Douglas...

    , Midlothian
  • Dalmahoy House
    Dalmahoy
    Dalmahoy is hotel and former country house near Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It is located off the A71 road, south of Ratho. The house is protected as a category A listed building, while the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, the national...

    , Edinburgh
  • Loch Leven Castle
    Loch Leven Castle
    Loch Leven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven, in the Perth and Kinross local authority area of Scotland. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the location military action during the Wars of Scottish Independence...

    , Kinross
  • Morton Castle
    Morton Castle
    Morton Castle is located by an artificial loch in the hills above Nithsdale, in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland. It lies 2.5 miles north-east of Thornhill, and once formed part of a chain of castles along the strategically important Nith Valley, which runs from the Solway Firth north to...

    , Dumfries and Galloway

See also

  • Baron Penrhyn
    Baron Penrhyn
    Baron Penrhyn is a title that has been created twice. The first creation came in the Peerage of Ireland in 1783 in favour of Richard Pennant, who had previously served as a Member of Parliament for Petersfield and Liverpool. This creation became extinct on his death in 1808...

    , a title created, in 1866, for the younger brother of the 17th Earl.
  • Clan Douglas
    Clan Douglas
    Clan Douglas is an ancient Scottish kindred from the Scottish Lowlands taking its name from Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and thence spreading through the Scottish Borderland, Angus, Lothian and beyond. The clan does not currently have a chief, therefore it is considered an armigerous clan.The...