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The Scottish Nation
Stormont


STORMONT, Viscount of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1621, on Sir David Murray of Gospertie, Lord Scone. He was the second son of Sir Andrew Murray of Arngask and Balvaird, grandson of Sir William Murray, third son of Sir William Murray of Tullibardine (See ATHOL, Duke of). From his youth he was bred up at court, and was cupbearer to James VI., master of the horse and captain of the guards. He was knighted by King James, and in 1598 appointed comptroller of the royal revenues. He was also one of his privy council. He accompanied the king to Perth, 5th August 1600, when the Gowrie conspiracy was enacted, and he was the principal hand in quelling the tumult which arose among the townsmen, on their learning that the earl of Gowrie, their provost, was slain, and in conveying the king in safety back to Falkirk. He obtained from the king the barony of Ruthven, which had belonged to Gowrie, and which he called Huntingtower, and the lands belonging to the abbacy of Scone, of which that unfortunate nobleman was commendator. The following passage occurs in Calderwood, (Historie of the Kirk, vol. vi. p. 73,) “The laird of Tullibardine, and a number of the surname of Murray, were in St. Johnston (Perth) that day, at a bridal of one named George Murray, whether of set purpose, let the reader judge, for the Murrays of Strathern, of the house of Tullibardine and Balvaird, have gotten his offices, (that is, the earl of Gowrie’s,) and lands lying in these parts divided among them; Tullibardine, the sheriffship of Perth; Sir Mungo Murray, his brother, the house of Ruthven and the lands belonging thereto; Sir David Murray, of the house of Balvaird, the abbacy of Scone, and now is provost of St. Johnston. The earl’s greatness was a great eyesore to the Murrays in those bounds, the house of Abercairnie being excepted.” Besides other charters granted to him by the king, with whom he was in high favour, he had one of the castle-stead of Falkland, with the office of ranger of the Lowmonds and forester of the woods, 16th November 1601. In 1603, on the accession of James to the English throne, he was one of those who were selected to accompany him to London. He was one of the commissioners appointed for the projected union of the two kingdoms in 1604, and was created a peer of parliament by the title of Lord Scone, 7th August 1605. He was representative of the king as high-commissioner in several assemblies of the church, and by his boldness and resolution, he succeeded in carrying through several very unpopular measures relating to the liturgy and Episcopal uniformity, in spite of all opposition. His conduct to Row, the moderator, at a meeting of the synod of Perth in April 1607, for opposing the king’s wish for constant moderators, has already been described, (see article ROW, WILLIAM). The synod on that occasion, in defiance of the king, chose Henry Livingston, one of their own number, as moderator, and after the election, when the brethren proceeded to pray, Lord Scone interrupted them. He protested against the election, and threatened them with the vengeance of the laws. He also attempted to prevent the moderator from taking his seat, and, collaring each other, Livingston commenced his prayer, saying, “Let us begin at God, and be humbled in the name of Jesus Christ.” “Lord Scone, in a great rage, chapping on his breast, said, with a loud voice, ‘The devil a Jesus is hers.’” (Calderwood, vol. vi. p. 651.) Livingston, nothing daunted, proceeded with his prayer. Lord Scone raised the end of the board with the green cloth, and threw the latter over him, but he still continued. His lordship then caused some of his men remove the board and called for the bailies. Not one of the members of synod moved till the prayer was ended. When the bailies came, Lord Scone commanded them to ring the common bell, and to remove these rebels. They said, however, they could not, without advice of the council. When the synod adjourned, his lordship locked the doors, and when they returned they found them closed, and the keys taken away. The bailies, understanding that Lord Scone had no warrant for his proceedings, offered to break open the doors, in which they were backed by the citizens, but the ministers prevented all kind of violence. Boards, forms and stools being brought outside the church door, they held the synod in the open air, at which they appointed four of their number to attend before the privy council and complain of the disturbance, violence, and blasphemy of Lord Scone. They obtained, however, no redress. In 1610, Lord Scone was appointed a member of the court of high commission, and he was one of the three commissioners sent by the king to the Assembly at Perth, 25th August, 1618, at which the obnoxious five articles were obtruded on the church. On their being sanctioned by parliament in 1621, he was dispatched to the king at London with the welcome intelligence. For this and other services, he was, thereupon, raised to the dignity of viscount of Stormont, by patent, dated 16th August that year, to himself and the heirs male of his body. He was served heir male and of entail of Sir Andrew Murray of Balvaird, the son of his brother, 20th July 1625, and on 26th October of that year he made a settlement of the lordship of Scone and his other estates to certain parties therein names. He also secured the succession of his titles to Sir Mungo Murray, son of the earl of Tullibardine, who had married his niece, and to the heirs male of his body, failing whom, to John, earl of Annandale, and his heirs male, with remainder to his own heirs male. To preserve his family of Balvaird in the line of the heirs male, he adopted his cousin-german’s son, Sir Andrew Murray, then minister of Abdie, Fifeshire, son of David Murray of Balgonie and Kippo, and settled on him the fee of the estate of Balvaird, &c. Although twice married, he had no issue. He died 27th August 1631, and was buried at Scone, where a magnificent monument was erected to his memory.

The second viscount of Stormont was Sir Mungo Murray of Drumcairn, fourth son of the first earl of Tullibardine. Previous to succeeding to the title, he was, as the next heir, styled master of Stormont. He was twice married, his first wife being Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Andrew Murray of Arngask, niece of the first viscount of Stormont, but without issue by either of his wives. On his death in March 1642, the titles and the estate of Scone devolved on his cousin, James Murray, second earl of Annandale. The third viscount died, 28th September 1658, also without issue, when David Murray, second Lord Balvaird, became fourth viscount of Stormont. He was descended from William Murray of Letterbannathy in Strathern, second son of Sir David Murray of Arngask and Balvaird. In 1654, being then Lord Balvaird, he was, for his loyalty, fined £1,500, by Cromwell’s act of grace and pardon. He died 24th July 1668. His son, David, fifth viscount of Stormont, opposed the treaty of Union, and he and his son, David, master of Stormont, were among those who were summoned to surrender themselves to the authorities at Edinburgh, at the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715. He died 19th November 1731, after possessing the title for 63 years. By his wife, Marjory, only child of David Scott of Scotstarvet, Fifeshire, he had six sons and eight daughters. The sons were, 1. David, sixth viscount. 2. The Hon. James Murray, advocate, M.P. for the Elgin burghs, and one of Queen Anne’s commissioners for settling the trade with France; died at Avignon in August 1770, aged 80. 3. Hon. John Murray, who died young. 4. Hon. William Murray, a celebrated lawyer and statesman, first earl of Mansfield. 5. Hon. Charles; and 6. Hon. Robert Murray, who both died without issue.

The eldest son, David, sixth viscount, born about 1689, died 23d July 1748, was succeeded by his elder son, David, seventh viscount. The latter, born 9th October 1727, was educated at Westminster school, and in 1744 went to Christ Church college, Oxford. He acquired a distinguished reputation as a scholar, and was the author of many eloquent Latin compositions. After succeeding to the title he spent some years on the continent, and in 1754 was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers. The following year he was appointed ambassador to the elector of Saxony, and king and republic of Poland. IN 1762 he returned to Britain, and was sworn a privy councilor, 26th July 1763. From the latter year he was ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Vienna till 1772, when he was appointed in the same capacity to the court of France. In 1768 he had been same capacity to the court of France. In 1768 he had been made a knight of the Thistle. He remained in Paris till the commencement of hostilities in 1778, when he was appointed lord-justice-general of Scotland. On 27th October, 1779, he was constituted principal secretary of state for North Britain, an office which he held till the dissolution of Lord North’s administration in 1782. On the formation of the coalition ministry, in the spring of 1783, he was appointed president of the council, but on the rejection of Fox’s India bill in December following, he resigned that office. He had married in 1759, at Warsaw, Henrietta Frederica, daughter of Henry, Count Bunau, councilor to the elector of Saxony, and by her had two daughters. That lady dying in 1766, he married, a second time, the Hon. Louisa Cathcart, third daughter of the ninth Lord Cathcart. On the death of the first, called the great earl of Mansfield, 20th March 1793, she succeeded as countess of Mansfield in the county of Nottingham, in her own right, the remainder having been to her, as the wife of his nephew, Viscount Stormont, under the impression prevalent at the period of the creation of the earldom, 31st October, 1776, that no British peerage could be limited to a peer of Scotland, even in remainder. When, however, the converse was established by law, the first earl of Mansfield obtained another patent, dated 26th July 1792, creating him earl of Mansfield of Caen Wood, county Middlesex, with remainder to his nephew, her husband, Viscount Stormont. Accordingly, on the death of his uncle in 1793, he succeeded as second earl of Mansfield. On the division in the opposition 1794, he joined the administration, and on 27th December that year was a second time appointed president of the council. He resigned the office of lord-justice-general in 1795. Besides the offices mentioned, he also held those of joint clerk of the court of king’s bench, and chancellor of Marischal college, Aberdeen. He died at Brighton, 1st September, 1796, in his 69th year, and was buried in Westminster Abbey in the same vault with the first earl of Mansfield. By his first wife he had two daughters, the elder of whom, Elizabeth Mary, married in 1785 George Finch-Hatton of Eastwell, M.P., and had, with other issue, George William Finch-Hatton, earl of Winchelsea. By his second wife, who took for her second husband the Hon. Robert Fulke Greville, he had, with one daughter, four sons, namely, 1. William, third earl of Mansfield. 2. Hon. George Murray, principal auditor of exchequer in Scotland, and a lieutenant-general in the army, died in 1848. 3. Hon. Charles Murray, major in the army. 4. Hon. Henry Murray, C.B., lieutenant-general in the army.

William, eighth viscount of Stormont, and third earl of Mansfield, born at Paris 7th March 1777, married Frederica, daughter of William Markham, D.D., archbishop of York, and with three daughters, had four sons. He died 18th February 1840.

His eldest son, William David, born Feb. 21, 1806, succeeded as 9th viscount of Stormont and 4th earl of Mansfield. He inherited both earldoms, that in the county of Middlesex on the death of his father, and that in the county of Nottingham on the decease of his grandmother, July 11, 1843; hereditary keeper of the palace of Scone; appointed in 1846 a deputy-lieutenant of Perthshire; and was lieutenant-colonel of the Stirlingshire militia. In 1830 he was elected M.P. for Aldborough, in 1831 for Woodstock, in 1832 for Norwich, and in 1837 for Perthshire; and was a lord of the treasury from Dec. 1834 till April 1835; Knight of the Thistle, 1843; lord-lieutenant of county of Clackmannan, 1852. IN 1852, 1858, 1859, he was lord-high-commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He married, April 8, 1829, Louisa, 3d daughter of Cuthbert Ellison, Esq. of Hepburn Hall, county of Durham, issue, a son, William David, Viscount Stormont, an officer in the grenadier guards, born July 27, 1835, and a daughter, Lady Louisa Nina Murray, wife of the Hon. George Edwin Lascelles, a son of the 3d earl of Harewood.


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