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The Scottish Nation
Buccleuch


BUCCLEUCH, duke of, in the peerage of Scotland, a title possessed by the distinguished house of Scott, which has long held a very high rank in titles, worth, and importance in the kingdom, while their territorial possessions are more extensive and valuable than those of any other family in Scotland. The history of the earliest generations of the Buccleuch family is involved in obscurity. There is in the possession of the present Lord Polworth, who is himself a noble branch of the Scotts, a genealogical table, prepared by and holograph of Sir Walter Scott, of Abbotsford, Bart., in which he traces the origin and descent of this family as follows: –

      I. Uchtred Fitz-Scott, or Filius Scott, who flourished at the court of King David Ilk and was witness to two charters granted by him to the abbeys of Holyroodhouse and Selkirk, dated in the years 1128 and 1130. It is however, believed that from the days of Kenneth III. the barony of Scotstoun in Peebles-shire had been possessed by the ancestors of this Uchtred, who, being descended frm Galwegian forefathers, were called Scots Galloway being then inhabited by the clan to whom that name properly belonged.

      II. Richard Scott, son of Uchtred, witnessed a charter granted by the bishop of St. Andrews to the abbey of Holyroodhouse about the year 1158.

      III. Richard Scott, son of Richard, who married Alicia, daughter of Henry de Molla, with whom he received lands in Roxburghshire in the reign of Alexander the Second.

      IV. William Scott, son of Richard, attended the court of Alexander the Second, and witnessed several of his charters.

      V. Sir Richard Scott, son of William, married the daughter and heiress of Murthockstone of that ilk, in the county of Lanark, by which marriage he acquired the property of Murthockstone, now called Murdieston. He then assumed into his arms “the bend of Murdiestoun,” and disposed thereon his own paternal crescents and star. He swore fealty to Edward I. in 1296, and died in 1320.

      VI. Sir Michael Scott of Murthockstone, son of Sir Richard and the heiress of Murthockstone, was a gallant warrior, who distinguished himself at the battle of Halidon hill, 19th July 1333. He was one of the few who escaped the carnage of that disastrous day; but he was slain in the unfortunate battle of Durham, thirteen years after.

      In the Genealogical Table of Sir Walter Scott, from which these six generations of the family are stated, it is said that this Sir Michael left two sons, “the eldest of whom (Robert) carried on the family, the second (John) was ancestor of the Scotts of Harden.”

      Robert Scott of Murthockstone died before 7th Dec. 1389, as appears from a crown charter of that date to his son Walter.

      Walter Scott of Murdieston and Rankelburn, son of Robert, obtained a charter from King Robert II. of the superiorities of the barony of Kirkurd, in the county of Peebles, dated 7th December 1389. He was one of the principal persons on the borders who were bound to keep the peace of the marches in 1398. He is said to have been killed at the battle of Homildon, on 14th Sept. 1402, but this is inconsistent with an instrument entered in the Buccleuch Inventory by which he gave sasine to Andrew Ker of Altounburne of the lands of Lurdenlaw, dated 30th July, 1413.

      Robert Scott of Murdieston and Rankelburn, obtained a charter from John Inglis of Manir, of the half lands of Branxholm, &c. dated at Manir kirk, last of January 1420. This appears to have been the first acquisition by the family of the lands of Branxholm. Robert died in 1426, leaving two sons, Sir Walter his heir, and Stevin Scott of Castlelaw.

      Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd, knight, the eldest son, had a charter of the lands of Lempetlaw, within the barony of Sprouston, from Archibald, earl of Douglas, on the resignation of Robert Scott his father, dated 2d July 1426. He likewise obtained a charter of the lands and barony of Eckford, &c. from King James II., dated 3d May 1437. He exchanged his lands of Murdieston in Clydesdale, with Thomas Inglis of Manir, for his half of the barony of Branxholm, (poetically Branksome,) in Roxburghshire, 23d July 1446. According to tradition, Inglis having one day complained of the injuries which his lands of Branxholm sustained from the inroads of the English borderers, Scott offered him his estate of Murdieston in exchange, which was instantly agreed to, and when the bargain was completed, he drily observed that the Cumberland cattle were as good as those of Teviotdale. He immediately commenced, like a true border chieftain, a system of reprisals upon the English, which was regularly pursued by his descendants for several generations. Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm was one of the conservators of truces with England in 1449, 1451, 1453, 1457, and 1459. He exerted himself in an eminent degree in suppressing the rebellion of the Douglases in 1455, and was one of the many Scottish barons who rose upon the ruins of that once potent family, having obtained from James the Second a grant of their lands of Abbington, Phareholm, and Glendonanrig, by charter, dated 22d February, 1458-9. That monarch also granted to him and to Sir David his son, the remaining half of the barony of Branxholm, to be held in blanch for the payment of a red rose, for their brave and faithful exertions in favour of the king against the house of Douglas. They likewise had conferred on them part of the barony of Langholm in the county of Dumfries. Sir Walter established the principal residence of the Buccleuch family at Branxholm castle, and died sometime between 1467 and 1470, possessed of a great part of those pastoral lands in Selkirkshire and Roxburghshire, which still form a principal part of the family property. By his wife, Margaret, daughter of Cockburn of Henderland, in the county of Peebles, he had two sons; Sir David, his heir, and Sir Alexander Scott, who was rector of Wigton, director of the chancery, and clerk register of Scotland, in 1483. He fell on the side of James the Third at the battle of Sauchieburn, 11th June, 1488 leaving two sons, Walter and Adam.

      Sir David Scott of Branxholm was concerned in most of the transactions of the reign of James the Third, and sat in the parliament of 1487, under the designation of ‘dominus de Buccleuch,’ being the first of the family so designated. He enlarged and strengthened the castle of Branxholm, which Sir Walter Scott has made the principal scene of his poem of ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel.’ He was instrumental in suppressing insurrections on the borders, and was a conservator of peace with England. He died in March 1492. By his wife, a daughter of Lord Somerville, he had three sons and two daughters. David, the eldest son, erroneously represented by the peerage writers to have carried on the line of the family, predeceased him previous to March 1484, without issue, as did also William, the second, and Robert, the third son, the latter designed of Allanhanch and Quhitchester, who deceased between 1490 and 1492, leaving two sons, Sir Walter and Robert of Allanhanch.

      Sir Walter, the eldest son, was served heir to his grandfather, Sir David, in the lands of Branxholm, &c., on 6th November, 1492. He accompanied King James the Fourth to the battle of Flodden in 1513, and was one of the few who escaped the carnage of that fatal day. He died in 1516. By his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Ker of Cessford, widow of Philip Rutherford, son and heir of Rutherford of that ilk, he had two sons, Sir Walter and William of Quhithope, 1515.

      Sir Walter Scott was served heir to his father in 1517. He was warden of the west marches, and besides various deeds of valour during the minority of James the Fifth, is celebrated for an abortive attempt to rescue that monarch from the control of the earl of Angus, when his majesty accompanied that powerful and ambitious noble, in 1526, on an expedition against the turbulent border clan of the Armstrongs. James sent him a secret message, complaining bitterly of the durance in which he was held by the Douglases, and soliciting his aid, and as Angus, with the young king, and a considerable retinue, was returning to Edinburgh by Melrose, “Walter Scott of Buccleuch suddenly appeared on a neighbouring height, (at Halyden near Melrose, 18th July 1526) and at the head of a thousand men, threw himself between the earl of Angus and the route to the capital. Angus instantly sent a messenger, who commanded the border chief in the royal name, to dismiss his followers; but Scott bluntly answered that he knew the king’s mind better than the proudest baron amongst them, and meant to keep his ground, and do obeisance to his sovereign, who had honoured the borders with his presence. The answer was intended and accepted as a defiance, and Angus instantly commanded his followers to dismount. His brother George, with the earls of Maxwell and Lennox, forming a guard round the young king, retired to a little hillock in the neighbourhood, whilst the earl, with Fleming, Home, and Ker of Cessford, proceeded with levelled spears, and at a rapid pace, against Buccleuch, who also awaited them on foot. His chief followers, however, were outlawed men of the borders, whose array offered a feeble resistance to the determined charge of the armed knights belonging to Angus; the conflict, accordingly, was short; eighty of the party of Buccleuch were slain; the chief (wounded) was compelled to retire, and on the side of the Douglases, the only material loss was the death of Ker of Cessford, a brave baron, who was lamented by both parties.” [Tytler’s History of Scotland, vol. v. page 202.] This event occasioned a deadly feud betwixt the Scots and the Kers, which raged for many years on the borders, and caused much bloodshed.

      A summons of treason was raised against Sir Walter, but on the king’s emancipating himself from the domineering influence of the Douglases, he declared in parliament, 5th September 1528, that he was innocent of all the crimes imputed to him, and ordered the summons to be cancelled. When the property of the earl of Angus was confiscated, Sir Walter obtained a grant of the lordship of Jedburgh forest by charter, 3d September 1528. In the following year, whilst the king was executing summary justice upon Johnnie Armstrong and the marauders of the borders, Sir Walter, with those of the border chieftains under whose protection they were, was imprisoned until after his return. Buccleuch, having used satirical expressions against Henry the Eighth, became extremely obnoxious to the English, and the earl of Northumberland, in October 1532, with fifteen hundred men, ravaged and plundered his lands, and burnt Branxholm castle, but failed in their principal object, which was to kill or take him prisoner. In retaliation Sir Walter and other border chiefs assembled three thousand men, and conducting them into England, laid waste Northumberland, as far as the river Beamish, baffled and defeated the English, and returned home loaded with booty. In 1535, he was summoned before the justiciary at Edinburgh, for alleged assistance given to Lord Dacre and Sir Kerstiall Dacre, at the time of the burning of Caveris and Denholm. He appeared in court 19th of April that year, and submitted himself to the will of the king, who put him in prison. An accusation so little consistent with his uniform hostility towards the English, probably had its origin in the feuds betwixt the Scotts and the Kers. It is mentioned in the notes to the ‘Lay of the Lat Minstrel,’ that Sir Walter was imprisoned and forfeited in 1535, for levying war against the Kers; but the assistance given to the Dacres is the only point insisted on in the summons against him. After the death of James the Fifth he was restored by act of parliament, 15th march 1542-3, during the regency of Mary of Lorraine. He distinguished himself at the battle of Pinkie in 1547, but eventually lost his life in a nocturnal encounter on the High Street of Edinburgh with a party of the Kers, headed by Sir Walter Ker of Cessford, on 4th October 1552. He was thrice married, first, to Elizabeth Carmichael, of the Hyndford family, by whom he had two sons; secondly, to Janet Ker, daughter of Andrew Ker of Fernyhirst (contract dated January 1530); and thirdly, to Janet, daughter of John Bethune of Creich and had by her two sons and four daughters.

      This lady, the heroine of ‘the Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ was a woman of a masculine spirit, as appears by her riding at the head of her clan after her husband’s murder, and by her efforts to revenge his death. Upon 25th June 1557 dame Janet Bethune, Lady Buccleuch, and a great number of the name of Scott, were delaitit (accused) for coming to the kirk of St. Mary of the Lewes, (now Yarrow) to the number of two hundred persons bodin in feir of weire (arrayed in armour), and breaking open the doors of the said kirk, in order to apprehend the laird of Cranstoun for his destruction. On the 20th July, a warrant from the queen regent is presented, discharging the justice to proceed against the Lady Buccleuch till a new calling. Before her marriage with Buccleuch she is said to have been twice married, first to Sir James Creichton of Cranston-Riddel, who died about 1539, 9(this marriage, however, is not well authenticated), and secondly to Simon Preston of Craigmillar, from whom she was divorced, and on 2d December 1544, she took for her third husband the laird of Buccleuch. This masculine lady, in the superstition of the age, was accused of administering love potions to queen Mary, to make her enamoured of the earl of Bothwell, with whom she herself is represented as having carried on a criminal connexion after the death of Buccleuch. One of the placards preserved in Buchanan’s Detection accuses of the murder of Darnley “the Erle Bothwell, Mr. James Balfour, the person of Flish, Mr. David Chalmers, blak Mr. John Spens, wha was principal deviser of the murder, and the quene, assenting thairto, throw the persuasion of the Erle Bothwell, and the witchcraft of Lady Buccleuch.”

      David, the eldest son of Sir Walter, and Elizabeth Carmichael, predeceased his father before 1544, without issue. Sir Walter was succeeded in 1552 by his second son, Sir William Scott of Fawsyde, who married Grizel, second daughter of John Bethune of Creich, the sister of his father’s third wife, and by her he had a son, Sir Walter, who was served heir to Sir Walter his grandfather 6th January 1553.

      This Sir William Scott signed the association in support of James the Sixth in 1567, but subsequently joined the party of the unfortunate Mary, and remained till her death one of her most zealous and conspicuous adherents. The day after the regent Murray was assassinated, he and Ker of Ferneyhirst, before they could have learned the fact by ordinary means, broke across the English border plundered and burnt the country, and continued and extended their depredations in the hope of kindling a war betwixt the two kingdoms. Being asked how he could venture upon such an outrage so long as the earl of Murray was regent, he answered, “Tush, the regent is as cold as my bridle-bit.” It would thus appear that, like the Hamiltons and other partisans of Mary, he must have been aware beforehand of the intended assassination. In retaliation the earl of Sussex and Lord Scrope, by order of Queen Elizabeth, entered Scotland, the one on the east and the other on the west, and laid waste the adjacent counties with fire and sword. The castle of Branxholm was blown up by gunpowder, and the lands of the chief of Buccleuch plundered to its very gates. As soon as the English had retired he set about rebuilding and enlarging his castle. It was not finished, however, till after his death, as appears by inscription on its walls quoted by Sir Walter Scott in the notes to ‘the Lay of the Last Minstrel.’ In the well-concerted enterprise against the king’s party in Stirling, 4th September 1571, when the town was surprised, and the regent Lennox and several of the chief nobility made prisoners. Scott of Buccleuch was one of the principal actors; but by too long a delay in leaving the place, the whole were rescued, except Lennox, who was killed in the contest, and Buccleuch, who surrendered himself to the earl of Morton. He died 17th April 1574. By his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas, eldest daughter of David, seventh earl of Angus, he had a son, Sir Walter, and two daughters.

      His only son, Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, was infeft in the baronies of Branxholm, &c., as heir to umquhil David Scott, his “guidchir’s,” (grandfather) brother, on 21st June and 10th October 1574. He received the honour of knighthood from James the Sixth, by whom, in 1590, on the fall of his step-father, the earl of Bothwell, [see BOTHWELL, earl of, ante.] he was appointed keeper of Liddesdale, and warden of the west marches. In the following year when Bothwell broke out into rebellion he expected the assistance of his stepson, but Buccleuch, for his own security, joined Ker of Cessford, Home of Broxmouth, Lauder of Bass, Ker of Linton, Douglas of Cavers and others, in a bond (recorded Aug. 6 1591) to use their utmost endeavours to take Bothwell, and amongst other conditions they engage to “lay aside all particular querrellis, deidlie feidis and contrauersies standing amangis thame, and for no caus sall schrink frome his Majesteis seruice.” On the following day he found security to leave the country for three years, when he retired to France, and on the 29th was deprived of his office of keeper of Liddesdale, on account of his quitting the realm. After his return a commission was granted to him and Lord Hume, warden of the east marches, and Sir Robert Ker, heir of Cessford, warden-depute of the middle marches, to convocate the lieges within their bounds to oppose the earl of Bothwell. He subsequently carried on an active predatory warfare against the English, and is renowned for the singularly daring exploit of rescuing one of his dependents, known by the name of Kinmont Will, from Carlisle castle on April 13th, 1596. This achievement is the subject of the ballad of Kinmont Willie, inserted in the “Minstrelsy of the Scottish border.” On the occasion of a truce, as was the custom of the marches, of a single day for the transacting of business, William Armstrong, a follower of Scott, was towards evening set upon and taken prisoner by a party of the English whilst riding home alone on the north bank of the Liddle. He was conveyed to the castle of Carlisle, and brought before Lord Scrope, to whom he complained loudly of the breach of the truce in his person. Buccleuch made a regular application to Lord Scrope for delivery of the prisoner, but receiving no satisfactory answer, he next applied to Bowes, the English ambassador, who advised Lord Scrope to liberate Willie at once. His lordship made some excuse about advertising Queen Elizabeth, when, impatient of delay, Buccleuch sent him a challenge, which, however, he declined to accept. He now resolved to attempt his rescue himself, although a peace then subsisted between the two countries, and he assembled two hundred chosen horsemen. Their trysting place was at Woodhouselee, upon the Esk, the nearest point to the castle of Carlisle upon the Scottish marches, and not above ten or twelve miles from that fortress. The hour of rendezvous was after sunset, and the night being dark, Buccleuch and his men arrived unperceived under the castle, where, failing to scale the walls, they forced their way through a small postern into the fortress, and with shouts and sound of trumpet relieved Willie.

      Elizabeth, highly indignant at this daring exploit, ordered her ambassador Bowes to complain to King James. Bowes made a long speech in the convention at Edinburgh, 27th may 1596, and concluded by stating that peace could no longer continue between the two kingdoms, unless Sir Walter Scott were delivered into the queen’s hands to be punished at her pleasure. Buccleuch answered that he went to England to relieve a subject of Scotland unlawfully taken on a day of truce, and that he committed no hostility nor offered the least wrong to any within the castle, yet he was content to be tried by commissioners appointed by both sovereigns. To this, as might be expected, Elizabeth would not agree. Some English borderers having crossed into Liddesdale and wasted the country, the chief of Buccleuch retaliated by a ‘raid’ into England, in which he not only carried off much spoil, but apprehended thirty-six of the Tynedale thieves, all of whom he put to death. In a letter to Bowes, printed in the Foedera, Elizabeth expressed her indignation at this farther outrage, and there seems to have been at one time a design entertained of assassinating a chieftain who had made himself so formidable on the borders, to which, it was alleged, Queen Elizabeth herself was privy. Matters were at length settled by commissioners, that delinquents should be delivered up on both sides, and that the chiefs themselves should enter into ward in the opposite countries, till these were given up and pledges granted for the maintenance of the future peace of the borders. It is said that it required all King James’ authority to induce Buccleuch and Ker of Ferneyhirst to agree to this arrangement. Buccleuch chose for his guardian, during his residence in England, Sir William Selby, master of the ordnance at Berwick, and surrendered himself into his hands, 7th October 1597. He appears to have remained in England till February 1598. According to an ancient family tradition he was presented to Elizabeth, who asked him how he dared to undertake an enterprise so desperate as that of attacking the castle of Carlisle? He boldly answered, “What is there, madam, that a man may not dare?” The queen, it is said, was struck with the reply, and remarked to those around her, “This is a man indeed. With ten thousand such men our brother of Scotland might shake the firmest throne in Europe.” After the succession of James to the English throne, Buccleuch was very active in quieting the borders, and to accomplish this end he raised a regiment of the boldest and most desperate of the borderers, and carried them over to fight against the Spaniards in the wars of Holland. He attained considerable renown as a military commander under Maurice prince of Orange, and was, for his services and military merit, raised to the peerage of Scotland, 16th march 1606, under the title of Lord Scott of Buccleuch.

      The locality of the title is in one of the minor vales of Selkirkshire, and tradition attributes its origin to a recess, or in modern Scotch, a cleugh therein. A tradition preserved by Scott of Satchells in his True History of the Right Honourable name of Scott, published in 1688, and quoted by Sir Walter Scott in the notes to ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ gives the following romantic origin of the name of Buccleuch: “Two brethren, natives of Galloway, banished for a riot or insurrection, came to Rankeilburn in Ettrick Forest, where the keeper received them joyfully on account of their skill in the mysteries of the chase. Kenneth MacAlpin, king of Scotland, came soon after to hunt in the royal forest, and pursued a buck from Ettrickheuch to the glen now called Buckleuch, about two miles above the junction of Rankelburn with the river Ettrick. Here the stag stood at bay; and the king and his attendants, who followed on horseback, were thrown out by the steepness of the hill and the morass. John, one of the brethren from Galloway, had followed the chase on foot; and now coming in, seized the buck by the horns, and, being a man of great strength and activity, threw him on his back, and ran with this burden about a mile up a steep hill, to a place called Cracra-cross, where Kenneth had halted, and laid the buck at the sovereign’s feet, who said,

                  ”And for the buck thou stoutly brought
To us up that steep heuch,
Thy designation ever shall
Be John Scott in Buckscleuch.”

      But Jamieson confirms and places beyond doubt the correctness of the definition of the word cleugh given by Ruddiman, viz. “a rock or hill, a clift or cliff, from the Anglo-Saxon clif,” as used at least until long after the origin of the name Buccleuch.

      It was synonymous, or at least then was, with heugh, a height. the word buck is also by Jamieson and Richardson, derived from the Teutonic buck-en, to bow, to bend, and when used as an adjective it means of a round or circular shape, as buck-basket, a round basket for clothes; buck-wheat, rounded wheat; bucket, a small round vessel for water. It occurs also in the Scotch, as buckie shell, a round or spiral shell; buckstane, a large round stone; and in topography in the Buck of the Cabroch (in Aberdeenshire), a circular portion of that remarkably deep and continuous hollow or dell. The word Buccleuch, therefore, would appear to imply the round or circular rock or hill which gives name to the ravine in question, and the tradition may be regarded as one of those attempts to unlock the etymology of local names which, setting alike chronology and history, whether general or family, at defiance, have nevertheless a plausible air, and pass, because unquestioned, with the majority of mankind.

      The first Lord Scott of Buccleuch married Mary, daughter of Sir William Ker of Cessford, sister of Robert first earl of Roxburgh, and died in 1611.

      His only son Walter, second lord, was created, 126th March 1619, earl of Buccleuch, with the secondary title of Lord Scott of Whitchester and Eskdale, with remainder to his heirs male, and afterwards extended to heirs whatsoever. He had the command of a regiment in the service of the states of Holland against the Spaniards. He married Lady Mary Hay, fourth daughter of Francis, ninth earl of Errol, by whom he had a son Francis and two daughters. He died in 1633.

      Francis, second earl of Buccleuch, added Dalkeith to the family property, having acquired it from the Morton family in 1642. He was a zealous royalist, and on that account his heirs were mulcted by Cromwell in the large fine of fifteen thousand pounds sterling, now equal to about two hundred thousand pounds. He died in 1651, in the twenty-fifth year of his age. By his countess, Lady Margaret Lesly, only daughter of John earl of Rothes, widow of Lord Balgonie, he had two daughters, Mary and Anne.

      The elder daughter, Mary, succeeded as countess of Buccleuch in her own right. Being one of the greatest matches in the kingdom, she instantly became, though a mere child, the object of deep matrimonial intrigues. At the early age of eleven she was married to Walter Scott, eldest son of Sir Gideon Scott of Highchester, of the house of Harden. At the time of the marriage her husband was only in his fourteenth year, and a student at the university of St. Andrews. He was afterwards created earl of Tarras for life. [See TARRAS, earl of.] they were married by Mr. Harry Wilkie, minister of Wemyss, without proclamation, by virtue of an order from the presbytery of Kirkcaldy. The marriage was principally brought about by her mother, “a witty, active woman,” as Baillie styles her, in reference to whom it was said that Monk “governed Scotland through her.” [Baillie’s Letters, vol. iii. p. 438.] this marriage caused a great noise at the time, and became the subject of discussion before the provincial Synod of Fife in 1659, upon an accusation against the presbytery, for granting a warrant for the marriage without proclamation of the banns. The presbytery was, however, absolved, because the order was grounded upon an act of the General Assembly, allowing such marriages in case of necessity or fear of rape; and the lady’s friends were apprehensive of her being carried off. On an application to the court of session, by the curators of the countess, she was separated from her husband until she should be twelve years of age. Various parties contended for the charge and custody of the youthful countess during this period, and Oliver Cromwell was even appealed to on the subject. It was at length arranged that General Monk should be her custodier. His residence was fixed at Dalkeith House of which, and the Parks, he obtained a lease for five years. Tradition says that he planned the Restoration in the rooms overhanging the river, still existing in the House. During the separation of the countess from her husband, they carried on a very affectionate correspondence as husband and wife; and so soon as she became twelve years of age, to enable her to contract marriage legally, the parties were remarried. In Lamont’s Diary, under date 18th June 1660, it is mentioned that “the Lady Balcleuch took journey for London, and while there was touched by his majesty for the cruells in her arme.” The countess died in two years afterwards without issue. She was succeeded in the titles and estates by her only sister,

      Anne, countess of Buccleuch, born in 1651, at Dundee, then the place of refuge of the principal nobility about the time that it was besieged by Monk. This lady, who was esteemed the greatest heiress of her time, was in 1663, at the age of twelve, married to the duke of Monmouth (then only fourteen), son of Charles the Second, by Lucy Walters, daughter of Richard Walters, Esq. of Haverfordwest, county of Pembroke. Lamont mentions that “the marriage feast stood at London in the earl of Weyms’ house, where his majesty and the queen were present with divers of the court.” On his marriage Monmouth assumed the name of Scott, and himself and his duchess were, 20th April 1663, created duke and duchess of Buccleuch and earl and countess of Dalkeith, with remainder to their heirs male, in default of which to the heirs whatever descending from the duke’s body succeeding in the estate and earldom of Buccleuch. His grace’s honours, Scottish and English, were forfeited upon his execution 15th July 1685. The duchess had the liferent of the Scotch titles and estates in terms of a crown charter of regrant, (proceeding on a resignation,) dated 16th January 1666. To prevent the Scotch titles becoming extinct at her death, she resigned them into the hands of the crown; and obtained a regrant on 17th November 1687 to herself, and after her death to James earl of Dalkeith, her eldest son, and his heirs male, and of tallie. This is still the regulating grant of the honours and estates. The affecting scene between Monmouth and his duchess, previous to his execution, is well known. It is said that James the Second, (of England, seventh of Scotland,) while he rigorously condemned his nephew to the block, entertained, nevertheless, a strong degree of favour for the duchess. Her grace possessed great decision of character, which, however, she only displayed in the management of her family, and of her great possessions, to which she added considerably. She appears never to have interfered in politics, and preserved the favour both of James II. and of William III. She added to the present palace of Dalkeith, and occasionally lived there in princely splendour. Six children were the fruits of the marriage. Of these two were sons, James, earl of Dalkeith, and Henry, created earl of Deloraine in 1706. [See DELORAINE, earl of.] the duchess married, secondly, Charles, third Lord Cornwallis, by whom she had one son and two daughters, and died 6th February 1732. Till the day of her death she continued to keep up the state of a princess of the blood, being attended by pages, served on the knee, and covered with a canopy in her room, and no one was allowed to sit in her presence. Lady Margaret Montgomery related that she had dined with the duchess at Dalkeith, and being a relative was allowed a chair, but the rest of the guests stood during the dinner.

      Her eldest son, James earl of Dalkeith, lived chiefly in Flanders during the reign of King William, but returned to Scotland on the accession of queen Anne in 1702, and died in 1705, in the thirty-first year of his age. He married Lady Henrietta Hyde, second daughter of Lawrence first earl of Rochester leaving four sons and two daughters, and, predeceasing his mother, his eldest son Francis (born 11th January 1695) became, at her death, second duke of Buccleuch. In 1743 he obtained by act of parliament a restoration of the earldom of Doncaster and barony of Scott of Tynedale, two of the English honours of his grandfather, the duke of Monmouth. He married, first, 5th April 1720, lady Jane Douglas, eldest daughter of James second duke of Queensberry, by whom he had a son, Francis, earl of Dalkeith, who predeceased his father, and secondly, Miss Powell, but by that lady had no issue. On the approach of the Pretender to Edinburgh in 1745 he sent his tenantry to assist in defending the city. He died 22d April 1751. His son, the earl of Dalkeith, had married Caroline, eldest daughter and coheiress of the famous John duke of Argyle, and Greenwich, by whom he had four sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Henry, succeeded his grandfather. One of the daughters, Frances, married to Archibald Lord Douglas, was a posthumous child.

      Henry, third duke of Buccleuch, was born 13th September 1746. In March 1764 his Grace and his brother the Hon. Campbell Scott set out on their travels, accompanied by the celebrated Dr. Adam Smith. The brother was assassinated on the streets of Paris on the 18th October 1766, in his nineteenth year. His remains were brought home by the duke, and deposited in the family vault at Dalkeith. On his grace’s return he devoted himself principally to the improvement of his vast estates. On the commencement of the war with France in 1778, he raised a regiment of fencibles, chiefly from among his own tenantry, and by his condescension and kindness of manners and close application to his military duties, he secured the affection and esteem of all under his command. He married, in 1767, Elizabeth, daughter of the last duke of Montague, by whom he had three sons and four daughters, viz. George, who died in infancy; Charles William Henry, earl of Dalkeith; Henry James Montague, who succeeded as Lord Montague in 1790, on the death of his grandfather the duke of Montague, but died in 1845, without male issue, when the title became extinct; Mary, married to James George, earl of Courtown; Elizabeth, to the earl of Home; Caroline to the marquis of Queensberry; and Harriet, to the sixth marquis of Lothian. On the decease of William fourth duke of Queensberry without issue, 23d December 1810, duke Henry succeeded to that dukedom [see QUEENSBERRY, duke of] and to considerable estates in Dumfries-shire. It was to the influence of this duke of Buccleuch that Sir Walter Scott was indebted for his appointment, in December 1799, to the office of sheriff depute of Selkirkshire, and afterwards, in 1806, to that of one of the principal clerks of the court of session. His Grace died 11th January 1811.

      His eldest son, Charles William Henry, fourth duke of Buccleuch and sixth of Queensberry, was born 24th may 1772, and in 1807 was summoned to the House of Peers as Baron Tynedale. He married, 23d march 1795, Harriet Katherine Townshend, youngest daughter of Thomas first Viscount Sydney. Her grace died in 1814. There is a very affecting correspondence on this event between the duke and Sir Walter Scott, in Lockhart’s life of the poet. The duke was a constant friend and correspondent of Sir Walter, and at an early period of his difficulties he gave his name as security for a loan of four thousand pounds to the embarrassed man of letters. He also bestowed on the Ettrick Shepherd the life-rent of the farm of Altrive, on his favourite braes of Yarrow. By his duchess he had two sons, Walter Francis, earl of Dalkeith, who succeeded him, and Lord John Douglas Scott, an officer in the army, and six daughters. He died at Lisbon, 29th April 1819.

      Walter Francis Montague Douglas Scott, fifth duke of buccleuch, and seventh of Queensberry, was born 25th November 1806; married, 13th August 1829, lady Charlotte Thynne, youngest daughter of the second marquis of Bath, with issue. His grace sits in the House of Peers as earl of Doncaster. He was lord privy seal from February 1842 to January 1846; lord president of the council from January to July 1846; is lord lieutenant of Mid Lothian and of Roxburghshire, captain general of the king’s body guard in Scotland, and high steward of Westminster. His grace presented to the Bannatyne Club an edition of the Chartulary of Melrose, prepared at his own expense, containing a series of ancient charters, from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, highly interesting to the students of Scottish history, which was issued in 1837, in 2 vols. 4to.

      His grace was educated at St. John’s college, Cambridge, and graduated M.A. in 1827. In 1834 he received the degree of D.C.L. from Oxford, and in 1842 that of LL.D. from Cambridge. His eldest son, William Henry Walter, earl of Dalkeith, was born in 1831; lord-lieut. of Dumfries-shire, 1858; elected M.P. for Mid Lothian 1853; subsequently re-elected. In Sep. 1839, an entertainment was given by his tenantry to the duke at Branxholm, the ancient seat of the Buccleuch family. A pavilion was erected on the occasion, constructed in the form of an ancient baronial hall, and seated to contain upwards of one thousand persons. The ancient war cry of the clan, ‘Bellenden,’ from a place of that name situated near the head of Borthwick water, painted in bold letters, was prominent over the seat of the duke. Of Branxholm castle (celebrated in the poetry of Sir Walter Scott), the only portion remaining is part of a square tower, which is connected with the present mansion house, the residence of his grace’s chamberlain.

      Dalkeith palace, the principal residence of the family, has twice in the present century been honoured by a visit from royalty, viz., in 1822, when George the Fourth came to Scotland, and in September 1842, when Queen Victoria first arrived in this country.

The Manuscripts of his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch of Queensberrym K.G., K.T.
Preserved at Drumlanrig Castle
Upper Teviotdale and The Scotts of Buccleuch
A Local and Family History by J. Rutherford Oliver (1887)


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