earl of, a title in the Scottish peerage, conferred in 1686, on
the Hon. John Drummond, second son of the third earl of Perth.
In 1680 he had been appointed general of the ordnance, and
deputy governor of Edinburgh castle, in 1682 treasurer depute,
and in September 1684 one of the principal secretaries of state
for Scotland, an office which he held during the last
persecuting years of the Stuarts. On the accession of James
VII., he was, 14th April 1685, created viscount of Melfort in
Argyleshire, part of the forfeited estate of the earl of Argyle,
with the secondary title of Lord Drummond of Gilstoun. He had
married, first, 30th April 1670, Sophia, daughter and heiress of
Margaret Lundin of Lundin, Fifeshire, by the Hon. Robert
Maitland, brother of the duke of Lauderdale, and by her had
three sons and three daughters. He married, secondly, Euphemia,
daughter of Sir Thomas Wallace of Craigie, a lord of session and
lord-justice-clerk, and by her had six sons and five daughters.
He was created earl of Melfort, viscount of Forth, Lord Drummond
of Rickertoun, Castlemains, and Gilstoun, 12th August 1686, the
patents of his honours being taken to him and the heirs male of
his body of his second marriage, which failing, to the heirs
male whatever of his body. The reason of the issue of his first
marriage being thus passed over was that he was frustrated by
the Lundin family, who were zealous protestants, in his attempt
to educate his sons by that marriage in the Romish faith, to
which he had become a convert.
On the revival of
the order of the Thistle in 1687, Lord Melfort was constituted
one of the knights companions thereof. At the Revolution he
repaired to the abdicated king in France, and in 1690 attended
him to Ireland. By the fallen monarch he was invested with the
order of the Garter. Not returning to Scotland within the time
limited by law, he was outlawed by the high court of justiciary,
23d July 1694, and attainted by act of parliament, 2d July 1695.
A special clause, however, provided that his forfeiture should
in noways affect or taint the blood of the children of his first
marriage with Sophia Lundin. He was created duke de Melfort and
count de Lussan in France in 1701, and had the chief
administration at St. Germains for several years. He died there
in January 1714. His second wife lived to be above 90 years of
age, and supported herself in her latter years by keeping one of
the two faro tables authorized by Louis XIV.
The eldest son of
the second marriage, John, second duke of Melfort, died in 1752.
Thomas, the second son, an officer in the service of Charles
VI., emperor of Germany, died unmarried, in 1715; William, the
third son, abbe-prirol of Liege, died in Spain in 1742; Andrew,
the fourth son, a colonel of horse in the French service,
married a lady named Magdalene Silvia de St. Hermione, described
as a lieutenant-general in the French army. (Douglas Peerage,
vol. i. p. 221, Woods edition.) By her he had a son, designed
Count de Melfort, a major-general in the same service. The sixth
son, Philip, also an officer in the French army, died of wounds
received in the wars of Louis XIV.
The second duke
of Melfort married the widow of Henry Fitzjames, duke of
Albemarle, natural son of James VII., and had three sons;
Thomas, his heir; Lewis, major-general in the French service and
colonel of the regiment of royal Scots, on the reduction of
which corps he got a pension from the court of France; and John,
lieutenant of the guards of the king of Poland, elector of
Saxony, with the rank of major-general.
eldest son, third duke of Melfort, had a considerable estate in
Lower Languedoc. By a lady of the name of Mary de Berenger, he
had four sons and two daughters, but he seems not to have
married her till after some of them were born. In 1805, Charles
Edward Drummond, styling himself duke of Melfort, the second but
eldest surviving son, entered a claim for the estate of Perth.
He stated himself to have been born 1st January 1752, although
his father was not married to Mary de Berenger till 26th July
1755. His youngest brother, Leon Maurice Drummond, residing in
London, fourth son of the third duke, took a protest that he was
great-grandson and lawful heir of John duke of Melfort. He
married Luce Elizabeth de Longuemarre, and with two daughters,
had a son, George, born in London, 6th May 1807. This George,
duke of Melfort, succeeded his uncle in the French honours in
1840, and in 1841 petitioned the queen for the restoration of
the Scottish attainted titles of Perth. In 1848 he proved his
descent before the committee of privileges of the house of
lords, and was restored in blood by act of parliament in 1853.
The same year he was re-invested in the earldom of Perth. (See
PERTH, earl of.)