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The Scottish Nation

MORDINGTON, Lord, a (dormant) title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1641, on Sir James Douglas, second son of the tenth earl of Angus. He had married Anne, only child of Lawrence, fifth Lord Oliphant. This lady claimed the peerage of Oliphant, but in the court of session in 1633, it was determined, in presence of Charles I., in favour of the heir male. The king, however, was pleased to create her husband a peer by the title of Lord Mordington, 14th November 1641, with the precedency of Oliphant (1458). He obtained a grant from the crown of the lands and barony of Over Mordington in Berwickshire, on 24th August 1634. These lands at one period belonged to the celebrated Randolph, earl of Moray, by gift from his uncle, Robert the Bruce, and at the death of John, third earl, passed to his sister, Black Agnes, countess of Dunbar. They were given as a dowry with her daughter, Agnes, on her marriage to Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith, and continued in the possession of his successors, the earls of Morton, till the attainder of the regent Morton in June 1581, when they reverted to the crown. The first Lord Mordington died 11th February 1656.

His son, William, second Lord Mordington, married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Hugh, fifth lord Sempill, by whom he had two sons; James, third Lord Mordington, and the Hon. James Douglas. James, third lord, during the lifetime of his father, had a charter, “To James, master of Mordingtoun,” of the lands of Nether Mordington, of date 2d August, 1662. His son, George, fourth Lord Mordington, has obtained a place in Walpole’s Royal and Noble Authors, (Park’s edition, vol. v. p. 147), as the author of a work called ‘The great blessing of a monarchical government, when fenced about with, and bounded by, the laws, and these laws secured, defended and observed by the monarch. Also, that as a Popish government is inconsistent with the true happiness of these kingdoms, so great also are the miseries and confusions of anarchy. Most humbly dedicated to his majesty by George Douglas, Lord Mordington.’ London, 1724. Two pieces against a weekly paper, called the Independent Whig, are also mentioned there as written by his lordship. He died 10th June 1741. His only son, Charles, went to sea when young and did not return till after his father’s death. As he had no landed property, he did not assume the title. Engaging in the rebellion of 1745, he was taken prisoner, and tried 11th September 1746, under the designation of Charles Douglas, Esq. He then pleaded his peerage, which was objected to by the counsel for the crown; but on proving his descent, his trial was postponed, and himself remanded to the castle of Carlisle, from which he was soon after released. On the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions the following year, he claimed for the privilege of regality over the lands of Nether Mordington, £300, which was refused. He died without issue, and in him terminated the male line of the family. His sister, Mary, assumed the title of Baroness Mordington, and died 22d July 1791, without issue. Her husband, William Werner, Esq., an officer of the royal regiment of horse guards, fought at the battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy. The peerage of Mordington is represented, it is said, by the Baroness Sempill.

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