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Ferniehirst Castle
Chapter III - Family History
An outline history of the Kerrs of Ferniehirst


There have been Kerrs or Kers (the older spelling) in the Borders since the end of the twelfth century and possibly earlier. The origins of the family have long been the subject of argument, along with the meaning of the name itself. The principal theories are:

1. A Norwegian origin: "Kjarr" signifying a "copse" or "small wood".
2. An ancient British origin: "Caer" is the Welsh for "fort", found in Carlisle and in several S.W. Scottish place-names, e.g. Caerlaverock.
3. A Gaelic origin, from the word for "left-handed". (Céarr).

The Gaelic theory may safely be discarded as the language was never spoken in Kerr territory, and the Gaelic word for "left-handed" most probably derives from the well-known family trait (see p. 36). The British theory is just credible, as Welsh was spoken in Upper Tweeddale, where the family first surfaced in Scotland, until late in the eleventh century or early in the twelfth: further west, it survived even later, and the Wallaces of Elderslie, taking their name from the language, may have spoken it until just before the Wars of Independence (1296-1328). But family tradition is firmly in favour of the Norse theory, which is supported by the presence of "Kjaers" and "Kjarrs" in the area around Stavanger (our original home) as well as Karrs near St Malo and Carrs in mid-Lancashire (the next two stages on our journey to the Borders).

According to this theory, our remote forebears left Southern Norway with RoIf the Ganger — or Rollo the Walker — thus called because he was too tall and long-legged to ride, and therefore strode ahead of his berserkers on their ponies. They settled in the angle of Brittany and the Cherbourg peninsula in 911, then came to England in 1066 in the retinue of de Bruys, the ancestor of the Bruces. He took up land near Preston and they received their small share of it as his gamekeepers, an occupation also followed by John Ker of Stobo four generations later (the "Hunter of Swynhope" and the first recorded Scotsman to bear our name; he is mentioned as taking part in a rough-and-ready land survey, or "perambulation", in 1190). One of his sons held land at Eliston in 1230 or thereabouts, and other members of the family are recorded in Selkirkshire a generation or two later, among them Nicol Kerr, who signed the Ragman Roll (a list of Scottish landowners doing homage to Edward I) in 1296. From the fourteenth century onwards Kerrs, variously spelt, are numerous in the Borders, holding land at Altonburn, Crailing, Kersheugh (less than a mile from Ferniehirst) and several other places, one of them being Sheriff of Roxburgh towards the end of the fourteenth century, while others are found in Ayrshire, Stirlingshire and elsewhere.

Jedforest (the upper valley of the Jed) became Kerr property in 1457 when Andrew Kerr, the originator of our left-handed tradition (see p. 36) obtained it from the Earl of Angus in return for becoming the Earl’s "man" or vassal. Ferniehirst, or rather the ground on which it stands, already seems to have belonged to another Kerr, Thomas of Kersheugh, whose daughter and heiress, Margaret, married her kinsman Thomas Kerr of Smailholm, younger son of Andrew Kerr, mentioned above. From then on the younger Thomas (of Smailholm) described himself as "of Ferniehirst". He was knighted and built the original Ferniehirst Castle (most probably on or near the site of an earlier "peel tower") in or about 1470: it was destroyed and rebuilt several times but the present castle, dating from the end of the sixteenth century, incorporates some of the original structure and much of the original stone.

A dispute as to seniority between the two main branches of the family, Ferniehirst and Cessford, began about this time. It occasionally degenerated into a feud, but did not prevent quite frequent intermarriage. It is difficult to be Impartial about this, but the following points should be borne in mind:

1. While Sir Thomas Kerr of Ferniehirst was the younger brother of Walter Ker of Cessford, he inherited the land, on which he built the castle, through his marriage to Margaret Ker of Kersheugh and Ferniehirst. Their son "Dand" Kerr (see below) thus continued the Kersheugh line, and the family had in fact been established at Kersheugh longer than at Cessford.

2. In any event, the Cessford line ended with two daughters, one of whom married the head of the Ferniehirst Kerrs. The Duke of Roxburghe, heir to the Cessford Kers, is descended from the younger daughter and bears the double-barrelled surname of Innes-Ker, The first Ker to own the former lands of Kelso Abbey was Robert Ker of Cessford who was strongly attached to King James VI and was knighted by him. He was a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and accompanied James on his journey south to be crowned James I of England. He was created Lord Ker of Cessford and Earl of Roxburgh in 1616 with remainder to his heirs male. By his first wife he had but one son who died young and two daughters, the elder of whom married the 2nd Earl of Perth. By his second marriage he had another son, Harry Lord Ker, who also pre-deceased his father leaving three daughters, one married to Sir William Drummond, another to the Earl of Wigtoun and the youngest to Sir James Innes of that Ilk, 3rd Baronet.

Sir Thomas Kerr of Ferniehirst (and originally of Smailholm) is mainly known to history through his involvement in several lawsuits. He died before his wife, the heiress of Kersheugh and Ferniehirst, and was the father of Sir Andrew (‘Dand’) Kerr of Ferniehirst (see below) as well as Thomas Kerr, Abbot of Kelso and several other children.

"Dand" Kerr (1470-1545) was one of the great Border "characters" of his time, with a long and turbulent career. At one stage he was fined and imprisoned, though the offence is not known, but only the fact that this fine was later remitted. He acquired, in two stages, the lands and Barony of Oxnam, and thus qualified to sit in the Scottish Parliament held a few days before the battle of Flodden. Though the battle, taken as a whole, was one of the worst disasters ever suffered by Scotland, the Borderers won their share of it, but the King was dead and the greater part of his army slaughtered before they returned to the scene. Lord Home, their leader, then brought what was left of it back to Edinburgh: "Dand", who had been involved in the successful part of the action, seized Kelso Abbey the same evening and installed his brother Thomas as Abbot. This was widely seen as a piece of shameless nepotism, but it is likely enough that if Sir Andrew and his brother had not got there first, someone else would — most probably the English.

A few years later, one of Sir Andrew’s friends fought a pitched battle, "The Raid of Jedwood Forest" with his kinsman, Walter Ker of Cessford, who was then Warden of the Middle March — the issue being "Dand’s" right to hold court in the Forest, and thus to profit from any fines levied there. In 1523 his castle, Ferniehirst, was taken by a large English force under the Earl of Surrey (the victor of Flodden) and Lord Dacre; but several hundred of Dacre’s horses were stampeded at night by the Kerr women. "Dand" continued to hold the Ferniehirst title, acquired other lands to make up for his loss and took his turn as Warden of the Middle March and Provost of Jedburgh, as did several of his descendants. The Wardenship generally alternated between Ferniehirst and Cessford, until it was abolished by James VI following the Union of the Crowns; the Provostship was held by Ferniehirst or by members of other local families: at the last Border Battle, commemorated in the annual Redeswire Ride and ceremony on the first Saturday in July, Ferniehirst was Warden (but represented by his Depute) and Rutherford was Provost: the Warden on the other side was Sir John Forster, already 75, who died aged over 100, a few months before his Queen.

Ferniehirst was recaptured in 1548, a few years after Dand’s death, by his son Sir John Kerr, with some assistance from a French "task force" under the Sieur d’Esse. The English governor of the castle and his men had committed unspeakable atrocities in the neighbourhood, and many tried to save themselves by surrendering to the French rather than the Scots, but the latter, after slaughtering their own prisoners, "bought" the others from their allies, trading in valuable horses and weapons for the purpose, and killed them as well, afterwards playing handball with the Englishmen’s severed heads. This is commemorated by the annual "Ba’ Game", in which the leather "ba’ " represents an Englishman’s head and streamers attached to it at the start — but soon lost in the general scramble — are supposed to be the Englishman’s hair. It is further commemorated by the Ferniehirst Ride and ceremony, the centre-piece of the Jethart Festival. Sir John later sat in the Scottish Parliament and was one of the authors of a letter urging Elizabeth of England to marry the Earl of Arran. (Many other suitors were put forward, by various interests: they included the King of Spain and several French princes, but she preferred to keep them all guessing and to rule her own kingdom without anyone else telling her what to do.) Sir John’s brother Robert of Ancram, was the ancestor of the Earls of Ancram and of the Marquesses of Lothian (see p. 29), to whom the Ferniehirst title passed when the direct line of descent from Sir John died out in the seventeenth century.

Sir Thomas KerrSir John’s son, Sir Thomas Kerr of Ferniehirst, was noted for his loyalty to Mary Queen of Scots, for whom he built a fortified house in the centre of Jedburgh. He raised the Royal Standard for her in Dumfries, helping her and her husband Darnley to put down an insurrection by a group of her nobles (she won at the time but was forced into exile a few years later). Subsequently he sheltered her English supporters after the rising of the Northern Earls (1568) and rescued Lady Northumberland, stranded by illness in a Liddesdale outlaw’s hide-out. He helped his father-in-law, Kirkcaldy of Grange, to defend Edinburgh Castle in the Queen’s name; when it was taken he lost precious family documents which were never seen again, but at least he escaped with his life (Kirkcaldy was beheaded) and fled abroad for some years. He was re-instated in his lands by James VI when the young King came of age and took power into his own hands. The townsmen of Jedburgh supported the Regent Morton (later also beheaded) against Mary; they "debagged" and publicly caned a herald sent out by Ferniehirst to read out a proclamation of loyalty to the Queen, also compelling him to eat his document.

From her English prison, Mary wrote to Sir Thomas, thanking him for his past services and encouraging him to keep up his loyalty. She seems to have taken a particular liking to his young son Andrew, the first Lord Jedburgh, and may have knighted him while still a child, for she asks in particular to be remembered to "Sir Andrew".

Briefly imprisoned after the fall of Edinburgh Castle, Sir Thomas was in exile and unable to perform his duties as Warden at the time of the last major clash on the Border, the Raid of Redeswire. This incident developed on one of the "days of truce" when the Wardens or their deputes met to resolve various local problems and to exchange or hang wanted criminals. On this occasion the English Warden complained that the Scots had failed to hand over a thief known as "Farnstein" (not a German refugee or mercenary, as one might think, but an Englishman whose real name was Robson). This led to mutual insults, no doubt aggravated by the fact that both sides had been liquidating a great deal of liquid. The argument grew into a scuffle and the scuffle grew into a fight. Eventually the Jedburgh men arrived in strength and dispersed the English, killing a few and capturing others, who were later released without ransom.

Though he missed this particular incident, Sir Thomas was involved in a similar but smaller affray, on almost the same spot, ten years later. By then he was back in office as Warden of the Middle March; Forster, now 84, was still in charge on the other side, and Forster’s son-in-law, who was also a son of the Earl of Bedford, was killed. Elizabeth Tudor was not amused, and insisted on Ferniehirst’s punishment, though the rights and wrongs of the whole affair were by no means clear. Being anxious to succeed to the English throne, James VI sought to ingratiate himself with her, and exiled Sir Thomas to Aberdeen, where he died within a year. The inscription on his memorial in Jedburgh Abbey reads "Sir THOMAS KERR of Fernyherst, Warden of the Marches, Provost of Edinburgh and Jedburgh, Father of Andrew Lord Jedburgh, Sir James Kerr of Creylin (Crailing) and Robert Earl of Somerset. He died at Aberdeen on March 31, 1586 and lies buried before the Communion Table. He was a man of action and perfit loyaltie and constancie to Queen Marie in all her troubles. He suffered 14 years’ banishment besides forfaulter (forfeiture) of his lands. He was restored to his estates and honours by King James the Sext."

Janet, wife of Sir Thomas KerrSir Thomas married twice. His children by his first wife, Janet Kirkcaldy, included Sir Andrew of Ferniehirst, first Lord Jedburgh (see below) and William, who took the name of Kirkcaldy to continue his mother’s line; his children, however, reverted to Kerr, having failed to inherit the Grange property. By his second marriage, to Janet Scott, Sir Thomas was the father of Sir James Kerr of Crailing (father of the second Lord Jedburgh) and of Robert Can, Earl of Somerset (see below). He had several other children by both his wives.

Border warfare having died down after Redeswire (though there was a final flare-up on the West March, the "Ill Week" of 1603), Sir Andrew Kerr rebuilt Ferniehirst in 1598. It had been largely destroyed by the English allies of Mary’s Scottish enemies, following on Sir Thomas’s support for the Northern Earls in 1569 and a Scottish invasion of the English Middle March in 1570. Despite extensive restoration towards the end of the 19th Century, the Castle now is essentially Ferniehirst as rebuilt by Sir Andrew, though some parts (The Chambers and Cellars) date back to 1470 or thereabouts.

Sir Andrew was Provost of Jedburgh for many years, but never became Warden, the office having been abolished following on the Union of the Crowns. He held several Court and administrative posts, and was created Lord Jedburgh in 1622. His half-brother Robert Carr (who adopted the English spelling of the name when he migrated to England with the King) was James’ favourite and possibly the best-known member of the family to those who have only a superficial knowledge of English history, and none of Scottish history. This he achieved by contributing to James’ personal unpopularity in his new Kingdom, and to the tension that gradually built up against the Stuarts, culminating in the Civil War and the "execution" of Charles I. School textbooks, however, have been less than fair to him, and grossly unfair to James VI and I — a competent ruler of his own original kingdom even if he did not understand England well enough to be a real success there, and a man of great intellectual ability.

Lord and Lady JedburghFirst a page and then a Groom of the Bedchamber, Robert Can was sent to France by the King to improve his education. He was injured while dismounting at a tournament, soon after his return to England; the King ordered him to be lodged at Court while he recovered and visited him frequently; it was at this time that he became the royal favourite, rather than one of several bright young men in the King’s entourage. Thereafter he accumulated offices and influence, to the great disgust of Englishmen who felt these good things should have come to them instead. Soon after being created Earl of Somerset (1613) he married Lady Frances Howard, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk; but royal favour did not last much longer, the Somersets being jointly tried for the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, sentenced to death, but reprieved and released, then pardoned within a few years. The evidence against them was by no means conclusive, and may well have been fabricated by personal enemies. They had one daughter, Anne, who married Lord Russell, later Earl and then first Duke of Bedford.

The second Lord Jedburgh, as we have seen, was the half-brother of the, first: his son was the third holder of the title, which then passed to the Ancram branch of the family, descended from Robert Ken of Woodhead and Ancrum, second surviving son of "Dand" Ken. This branch included, in the seventeenth century, two remarkable men, Robert, first Earl of Ancram (1578-1654) and his son William, who was created third Earl of Lothian, on his marriage to the Countess of Lothian in her own right (see p. 30) and succeeded to the Ancram title on his father’s death. They took opposite sides in the Civil War, as did the Verneys in England (the father being a Royalist in both cases) but this did not cause any personal ill-feeling between them, and they remained close in spite of politics.

Earl and Countess of Somerset

Robert, Earl of Ancram, was the great-grandson of "Dand" Kerr, grandson of Robert of Woodheid and Ancram, and son of William Kerr of Woodhead and Ancram, murdered in 1590 by his cousin Cessford (later Earl of Roxburghe), at the instigation of Lady Cessford, his mother (they had been in dispute about who should be responsible for the interests of young Andrew Kerr, later the first Lord Jedburgh; though Sir Andrew had by now come of age, the bitterness remained). Robert thus became head of his branch of the family at the age of 12, retaining this position for sixty-five years. Cessford fled, and had to make ample compensation to Robert before he could return home. These added resources enabled Robert to spend some years in study, most probably abroad; he then returned to the Borders and briefly held the office of Provost of Jedburgh. He followed King James to England, as did his cousin Robert Carr (later Earl of Somerset) and took up a post in the household of Henry, Prince of Wales, went abroad again, then returned to a higher position in Prince Henry’s household, being simultaneously Captain of the King’s Guard and spending most of his time in Scotland, where he made various improvements to Ancrum House, originally built by his grandfather. When Prince Henry died, Robert was appointed "Gentleman of the Bedchamber" (senior personal attendant) to Prince Charles, afterwards Charles I. The Captaincy of the Guard then passed to Andrew Kerr of Oxnam, son of Sir Andrew Kerr of Ferniehirst, while Robert returned to England. He was involved in a duel with Charles Maxwell (who had deliberately picked a quarrel with him in the hope of pleasing the Duke of Buckingham) and killed his man, for which he was tried at the Cambridge Assizes and found guilty of manslaughter. King James pardoned him, however, Maxwell being a known and inveterate troublemaker, but Prince Charles decided it would be better for him to leave the country for six months. He was then fully restored to favour, and accompanied Charles (and Buckingham with whom he must evidently have been reconciled) on a semi-secret visit to Madrid. The object of the exercise was to win a Spanish bride for Charles, and they did it in true Spanish style, serenading the Infanta with their guitars, but to no avail. Charles probably realised, in due course, that the Spanish marriage would have been a mistake, not to say a disaster, and did not hold this failure against his friends; soon afterwards Robert was given part of the Lothian estates, which had fallen to the King when the second Earl of Lothian died without sons and heavily in debt: Lothian’s daughter, who had inherited the title and the rest of the property, later married Robert’s eldest son William. Charles succeeded his father as King a few months later and Sir Robert, who had been knighted about 1606, became one of the most important men at Court though relatively inconspicuous — being mainly concerned with advising the King on Scottish affairs and on Court appointments, rather than in helping him to hold his own against successive Parliaments or govern England without them.

Sir William having become Earl of Lothian in 1630, it was inappropriate that the son should be an Earl while his father was only a knight, and Sir Robert was raised to the same dignity in 1633, as Earl of Ancram, on the occasion of Charles’ Scottish coronation. He began to have serious financial problems, however, having spent a great deal on improvements to Ancrum House before handing it over to his son, who was now on opposite sides politically, being one of the leaders of the Covenanting party, who resisted Charles’ attempts to establish the English form of worship in Scotland. Ancram and Lothian now seldom met, as the father was now more or less permanently resident in London and the son in Scotland; one of the rare occasions was in 1643, when Lothian passed through on his way to France, after a short-lived agreement had been negotiated between the Covenanters and the King. It did not last long, however, and Charles arrested the younger Earl on his way back through Oxford; his father then had considerable trouble in getting him released.

After the judicial murder of Charles I, Ancram returned to Scotland for some months and then, when there appeared to be no prospect of a Stuart restoration in the meantime, he retired to Holland. The House of Lords having been abolished, he could no longer claim privilege of Parliament against his creditors, and in any event he did not care to live under the régime that had killed his King and his friend. He was consoled by frequent visits to and from his grandsons, Lord Lothian’s sons, who were studying in Leyden while he spent his last years in Amsterdam; but advised their father to take them away, as they had learnt all they were likely to learn there, and were in constant danger of catching "a cruel ague or fever" due to the damp climate. When Lothian took his advice, however, the loneliness became too much for him, and he died within a few weeks.

As we have seen, Robert’s son, the third Earl of Lothian, recombined the Cessford and Ferniehirst lines through his marriage to the Countess of Lothian. Her great-grandfather, Mark Ker, of the Cessford branch of the family, had been Abbot of Newbattle at the Reformation. He followed the new religion and took the Abbey out of the Church’s hands, becoming its Commendator as did several other holders of Church property at the time. His son succeeded him as Commendator and was later created the first Earl of Lothian. The first Earl was succeeded by his son, but he only left two daughters, the elder becoming Countess in her own right. However, she got very little in practice except the title itself. Part of the Lothian estates could only go to male heirs, and therefore, escheated to the King, who made it over to Robert Kerr of Ancram, as we have seen, while most of her share was seized by her late father’s creditors, but redeemed by Ancram, her father-in-law. The third Earl, her husband, was one of the leaders of the Covenanting party, but went to London to protest against the "frial" and judicial murder of the King. He was sent back to Scotland under escort. His son Robert, the fourth Earl, was one of those who invited William of Orange to take over the two kingdoms. He was raised to the rank of Marquis and died a few years before the Treaty of Union which his eldest son, the second Marquis, strongly supported. Another son, Lord Mark Kerr, had a long military career (sixty years of actual service), rising to be a general, as did the 4th Marquis, Lord Mark’s great-nephew. The title of Lord Jedburgh and the lairdship of Ferniehirst passed to the fourth Earl of Lothian (later first Marquis) when the third Lord Jedburgh (sometimes described as second Lord Jedburgh as his father apparently did not use the title) died childless in 1692.

Thereafter the "Jedburgh" title was normally used as a subsidiary title by the Marquis of Lothian, while that of Earl of Ancram has normally been used, at any given time, by the Marquis’s heir, often sitting in the House of Commons while his father sat in the Lords (as is now the case). The sixth Marquis of Lothian, while Earl of Ancram in his father’s lifetime, lived at Ferniehirst and is the last recorded member of the family to have done so. Another Earl of Ancram, who did not live to take up the Lothian title (he was killed in a shooting accident in Australia, 1895) spent a great deal of money on restoring Ferniehirst towards the end of the nineteenth century, and it seems clear that he envisaged living there, but the work was interrupted on his death. Apart from recent work (see p. 7) the general appearance of Ferniehirst is very much as he left it.

The sixth Marquis also erected the Waterloo Monument at Penielheugh, on the ridge between the Teviot and the Tweed a few miles north of Jedburgh. Bonfires are lit there on important public and family occasions.

The seventh and eighth Marquesses both died at a comparatively early age; culling off the promise of brilliant public careers. Schomberg, ninth Marquis of Lothian, became Secretary of State for Scotland; his nephew Philip, the eleventh Marquis, was a member of Milner’s group of talented young administrators in South Africa after the Boer War; known as the Kindergarten". He later served as Secretary to Lloyd George and helped to draft the Treaty of Versailles, and died as British Ambassador in Washington during World War II. He was succeeded by his cousin, the 12th Marquis (a descendant of the 7th). Peter Lothian and his son Michael Ancram have both held Ministerial appointments in Conservative Governments (as did Schomberg, the 9th Marquis, whereas the 11th was a lifelong Liberal) thus continuing the tradition of public service begun when Ferniehirst Castle was built. Michael Ancram, at the beginning of his Political career, is Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office, and Lord Lothian, having been Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office, ended his career in public service as Lord Warden of the Duchy of Cornwall for the Prince of Wales.

FOOTNOTES

1 .One of the Ayrshire Kerrs was a close friend and companion of Sir William Wallace, and was killed trying to save him from arrest at Robroyston.

2.The most usual spellings in Scotland are Kerr and Ker, the former acknowledging Lothian as their Chief, and the others Roxburghe, but Keir, Carr and Carre are other versions of the name The spelling Can is frequent among English bearers of the name, whether they came direct from the original "centre of dispersal" near Preston, or "re-migrated" to Northumbria and other areas from Scotland. Among well known "re-migrants" are Sir Robert Can (or Kerr), later Earl of Somerset (see p. 27) and another Sir Robert Can (with the English spelling only) who helped to capture New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed it New York. There are also three different pronunciations: the historically correct one, on the basis of Norwegian descent (Kjan) is identical with "car": it is now mainly used by Englishmen, by the Scottish aristocracy and by many who emigrated to America, especially those who went there at an early date. The usual pronunciation in Scotland is similar to "care". The more usual (but not universal) American pronunciation is identical with "cur" (a mongrel dog!) and is seldom heard in Scotland.

3.Some authorities mention 1490 as the date, and Ferniehirst may well have been built in several stages, as many other castles were.

4.There is some doubt as to whether the original Ferniehirst was built by Sir Thomas or by his father-in-law, Thomas Kerr of Kersheugh. It may have been a joint enterprise.

5.The date of his death is sometimes given as 1524, but D.N.B. and "The Scots on 1545. peerage" agree

6.The rout of Solway Moss (1542) was arguably even worse. The Scots suffered casualties on much the same scale as Flodden, mainly drowned rather than killed in action, but also including a large number of prisoners who had to be ransomed, thus ruining their families. At Flodden, honour at least was saved, those who were not slain withdrew in good order, and there were enough of them left to dissuade the English from launching a full-scale invasion.

7.This is now known as Mary Queen of Scots’ House, and is one of the principal sights of the town. The Queen spent some weeks there convalescing from pneumonia, which she had caught on the long ride to Hermitage Castle, Bothwell’s stronghold near Newcastleton. While the house was being built (and before her illness) she stayed at the Spread Eagle in Jedburgh High Street. which is a few months older.

8.The bothy where she was concealed belonged to "Jock o’ the Side" who had promised to protect her against his fellow-outlaws; one of these, however. Black Ormiston, robbed her as soon as Jock and Northumberland himself were both away.

9. .Sir Thomas Kerr’s granddaughter, Lady Anne Can, the only daughter of James’ favourite, married a later Earl of Bedford and the subsequent Dukes of Bedford were descended from her.

10.James VI and I wrote several books, and was probably the first to guess at a link between smoking (a new habit, to which he greatly objected) and cancer; this link was only confirmed by medical research some 350 years later. He gave the impetus to the translation of the Authorised Version of the Bible, which is dedicated to him, frequently attended meetings of the committee in charge of this work, and may have translated several of the Psalms.

11.She had previously been married to the Earl of Essex, but had obtained a divorce from him on the grounds that "he was impotent with no woman except her".

12.There is some disagreement among the authorities as to how the Lords Jedburgh should be numbered, due to the fact that not all those who were entitled to the title in fact used it.

13.George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was James’ favourite after Robert Can; he Was English, and jealous of the King’s Scottish cronies, and Maxwell evidently thought the new favourite would do something for him, if he got rid of the old favourite’s cousin. However, Maxwell was killed in the duel; Buckingham Was assassinated a few years later, and Ancram outlived them both by a Whole geneation.

14.Scotland and England were still two kingdoms, though with only one King (Austria and Hungary had a similar relationship until 1918). Charles I was therefore crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey (1625) and King of Scots at Scone. Charles II, his eldest son, was also crowned at Scone (1650) ten years before his English coronation. This was the last Scottish coronation as James VII & II did not feel it safe to come to this country during his brief reign, and James VIII and Ill (otherwise known as the ‘Old Pretender’) was never crowned, though he visited Scotland briefly in 1715-16.

15.Incorrectly described as an "execution" in most history books. It was murder, because the King’s "trial" was itself illegal. In the first place the King could not lawfully be "fried" by anyone; secondly if he could have been tried, the House of Lords would have been the only competent body for that purpose; thirdly he was "fried" for an "offence" which was non-existent at the time when he was alleged to have committed it (i.e. making war on his own people), and finally the "judges" had already decided the outcome in advance. Those of them who were still alive at the Restoration were themselves fried and executed for treason.

15a.The 4th Marquis fought in Cumberland’s army at Culloden. His brother, Lord Robert Kerr, was the only officer killed on the "Hanoverian" or "English" side at Culloden.

16.The present Earl, however, seldom uses his title, and prefers to be known as "Mr" Ancram or "Michael Ancram", a habit he acquired while practising as an advocate in the Scottish Courts. Scottish Judges have the title of "Lord" with their surname or a territorial designation (though they do not sit in the House of Lords), and it would therefore be confusing for an advocate to be referred to in the same way during a frial.

17.For those who are unfamiliar with Scottish administrative arrangements it should be explained that, while Scotland and England form part of the same State, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, various subjects which in England come under different Cabinet Ministers (Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Education and Science, Minister of Housing. Health, etc.) are in Scotland all placed under the authority of the Scottish Office, headed by the Secretary of State for Scotland. In the nineteenth century he was often a peer; today he is always an MP representing a Scottish constituency, assisted by a team of Junior Ministers, some of whom are MPs while others are peers. But there is, only one Foreign Secretary and only one Secretary of State for Defence.

18.Robert Earl of Ancram was a great friend of the poet John Donne who left him his portrait "painted in shadows"


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