In trying to get at the foundation or origin of the
illustrious name of Erskine, we must go far back in the dark and misty
track of history, and plod, inch by inch and foot by foot, the mazy
pathway; we require to shake the dust off, and search the time-worn
volumes that record the exploits of heroic individuals, the deeds of
great families, and the ups and downs of nations for well nigh a
thousand years; and even then it is lost in dim antiquity. No house in
Scotland—no family, either living or extinct—has given more sons to the
camp, or produced men more eminent as statesmen, distinguished as
lawyers, or will be more remembered in the flowery walks of literature,
than the ancient and honourable house of Cardross. For hundreds of years
this family have held, in a remarkable degree, the confidence of their
various sovereigns; so much has this been the case, that few monarchs
have reigned during the great historic period, without some of its
members holding confident and exalted positions around the throne. In
the county where their beautiful estate is situated, they have ever been
admired as possessing a true benevolence, a warmness of heart, and depth
of friendship, combined with a liberality of sentiment, adorned by a
meek humility, that spread a lustre over all their other
accomplishments; and these latter gifts have descended, in a singular
degree, to the present esteemed representative.
The origin of the name is traditionally assigned to the
time of Malcolm the Second. At the battle of Murthill, a Scotch
gentleman, by his daring and bravery, captured and decapitated Enrique
the Danish general, and rushing towards the king with his dagger thrust
through the hideous object, brandished it in the king’s face, exclaiming
in Gaelic, “Eris-Skyne,” alluding to the deed, at the same time
declaring he would perform greater deeds than that; whereupon the king
at once conferred on him the surname of “Erskine.” Most writers,
however, think it probable that they at first derived their name from
the barony of Erskine, on the Clyde, the property of the family for many
ages; and it is through this line we intend to trace their history,
through the Mar family, to the present representative.
I. Henricus de Erskine, proprietor of the above mentioned
barony, and during the reign of Alexander the Second, was witness to a
donation of Amelic—brother of Maldwin, Earl of Lennox—of the patronage
of the church of Roseneath.
II. Sir John Erskine of Erskine, during the latter part
of the reign of Alexander the Second, appears to have been proprietor of
different lands in Renfrewshire. Johannes de Erskine is witness to a
charter of Alexander III., in 1252, and another to the monastery of
Paisley, by Walter, Earl of Menteith, of the church of Colmonell, in
1262. He left two sons, John and William. The latter obtained from his
father a portion of land in Ayrshire, and confirmed by the superior,
James, High Steward of Scotland.
III. John Erskine of Erskine, the eldest son, submitted
to Edward I. of England. He left one son,
IV. Sir John, who does not appear to have been in anyway
distinguished. He had issue, one son (Sir William) and three daughters—ist,
Mary, married first to Sir Thomas Bruce, brother of the renowned King
Robert I.; he was taken prisoner by the English, and put to death; and
she married, secondly, Sir Ingram Morville. 2d, Alice, married to
Walter, High Steward of Scotland. 3d, Agnes, married to Sir William
Livingston of Livingston.
V. Sir William, the only son, succeeded his father. He
was a man of great bravery, and companion of the renowned Randolph, Earl
of Moray, and the gallant Sir James Douglas. He accompanied the
expedition into England in 1327, and for his valour was knighted under
the royal banner. He died in the year 1329, leaving five sons, ist, Sir
Robert. 2d, Adam Erskine, of Barrowchan. 3d, Sir Allan, who had charters
of the barony of Inchture in Perthshire, and Crambeth in Fife; and also
held from King David II. the office crownarship of Fife and Fithyf. 4th,
Andrew, who was granted, by King David II., with the crown lands of
Raploch, near Stirling, in 1361.
VI. Sir Robert Erskine of Erskine, the eldest son, who
appears to have been a man of most distinguished talents and
accomplishments, and has rendered his name illustrious in his country’s
history. He early espoused the Brucean interest, by attaching himself to
the High Steward and other friends of King David II., in opposition to
the Baliol party, and was highly instrumental in its success. He was, by
David II., appointed constable, keeper, and captain of Stirling Castle.
He was appointed great chamberlain of the kingdom in 1350, and was one
of the ambassadors to the court of England, to treat for the ransom of
King David, after his capture in the battle of Durham. He also
successfully brought about a truce between the two nations; and so great
had he the interest of his prince and country at heart, that he gave his
eldest son as an hostage for the payment of the ransom of his
sovereign’s deliverance. In 1358, he was appointed ambassador to the
court of France, and ratified the alliance with that kingdom at Paris on
the 29th June 1359. He was five times sent on public business to
England, between 1360 and 1364. He held the office of great justiciar
north the Forth; and on the 17th of May 1360, he presided at a solemn
treaty upon the banks of that river near Stirling, between the Drummonds
of Drymen and the Menteiths of Ruskie. He was warder of the marches and
heritable sheriff of Stirlingshire. He was also one of the Barones
Mayores, who, in 13X1, ratified Robert Stewart’s succession to the
crown; assisted at that monarch’s coronation, and did homage to him at
Scone. From this monarch and his predecessor he received extensive
grants of land, viz.—Kinnoul, Malerbe, in Perthshire, Adamtoun in
Ayrshire, and Kirkintilloch in Dumbartonshire. He was allowed twelve
chalders of oatmeal out of the lands of Bothkennar, and two hundred
merks sterling, annually, for the support of the castle, &c. Combined
with his many accomplishments, he appears to have been possessed of a
deep religious feeling, for we find him giving in “puer alms” to the
monastery of Cambuskenneth, the patronage of the church of Kinnoul, with
the lands of Fintalloch, in Strathearn, “for the health of himself and
Christian Keith, his wife, while they lived, and the welfare of their
souls after death.” He died in the year 1385, and at his death Scotland
lost one of her brightest ornaments. He married, first, Beatrice
Lindsay, of the house of Crawford; and secondly, Christian, daughter of
Sir John Menteith of Ruskie. He had issue by the former only. 1st, Sir
Thomas, his successor; 2d, Sir Nicol, who was an ancestor to the
Erskines of Kinnoul, in Perthshire, and which branch terminated in an
heiress, who was married to Crichton of Sanquhar, during the reign of
James II.; 3d, Allan; and two daughters, the eldest of whom married
Drummond of Concraig, and the youngest, Sir Walter Oliphant of Aberdalgy.
Sir Thomas Erskine, who was one of the hostages for the
ransom of King David II. in the year 1357, succeeded his father in the
year 1385. He was a gentleman of the greatest accomplishments and worth,
and only a little less brilliant as a statesman, and useful to the
nation, than his distinguished father. He succeeded his father as
Governor of Stirling Castle; and, in 1384, he was appointed ambassador
to England to treat for a promulgation of the truce between the two
countries. That same year the English made a predatory excursion into
the Frith of Forth, but were encountered by Sir Thomas and his brother
Sir Nicol, and severely routed near North Queensferry.
In the year 1392 he was again, and during the reign of
Robert III., sent ambassador to the Court of England, and by that
monarch he is styled “ My dear relation.” He held the charters of the
barony of Dun, in Forfarshire, and Alloa, in Clackmannan. He married
Janet, daughter of Sir Edward Keith, Marischal of Scotland, and had
issue two sons and two daughters.
1. Sir Robert, his successor.
2. Sir John, who obtained from his father the barony of
Dun, and was ancestor of the Erskines of Dun, as also of Erskine of
Brechin, who, during the reign of James V. became Secretary of State.
His daughters, Elizabeth and Christian, married Wemyss of
Leuchars and Haldane of Gleneagles.
Sir Robert took a prominent part in the battle of Homib
don, and had the misfortune to be taken prisoner. Some time after his
release, he was appointed one of the commissioners to treat for the
release of James I. in 1421; and in 1424 he became one of the hostages
for his ransom. His annual revenue at that time was valued at “ 1,000
merks.” He was released from captivity on the 19th June 1425; and on the
death of the Earl of Mar, ten years later, he claimed that earldom, and
assumed the title of Earl of Mar. He married a daughter of the Lord of
Lorn, and had issue one son and two daughters.
Thomas, his successor.
His daughter Janet married her relation Walter Stewart of
Lovenax, second son of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, and who was executed at
Stirling on the 24th May 1425, the day before the execution of his
father and grandfather.
Elizabeth married Sir Henry Douglas of Loch-Leven,
Thomas, the first Earl of Mar of the name of Erskine,
succeeded his father in the year 1453; but in 1457 he was by the assise
of error dispossessed of the earldom, but held a charter of the lands of
Dalnotter in Lennox. In the year 1458 he was employed in matters
connected with the State, and was one of the guarantees of a treaty with
the English. In 1467 he sat in Parliament, and took an active part in
the cause of King James III. against his subjects, although previous to
that time it appears that James had deprived him of his heritable right
to keep the Castle of Stirling.
He was married to Lady Douglas, daughter of the Earl of
Morton, and granddaughter of King James I. By her he had issue one son
and three daughters, viz.—
Alexander, his successor.
Elizabeth, married to Sir Alexander Seton of Touch.
Mary, who married Sir William Livingston of Kilsyth.
Muriela, married to the second Earl Marischal.
Alexander, second Lord Erskine, appears to have been a
man of considerable influence. He had the charge of the youthful King
James IV., and was a great favourite with that monarch ever afterwards.
He was sworn a Privy Councillor, and appointed Governor of Dumbarton
Castle. He founded a chaplaincy in the church of Alloa for the welfare
of the souls of King James III. and Christian Crichton, his deceased
spouse, and for the health and prosperity of King James IV., himself,
and Helen Home his then wife— (very charitable objects.) He received
extensive grants of lands, and held the charters of the lands of
Balhoghirty in Aberdeenshire, the lands of Nisbet and Douglas in
Roxburghshire, the barony of Ahvay, the lands of Bernhills and Aulands,
He had married, first, a daughter of Sir Robert Crichton
of Sanquhar; and second, the eldest daughter of the first Lord Home. He
had issue by the former only, viz.—
i. Robert. 2. Alexander. 3. Walter, who was proprietor of
Over Donnotars. 1. Christian, married to Sir David Stewart of Rosyth. 2.
Agnes, married to Sir William Menteith of Carse.
Robert, third Lord Erskine, does not appear to have been
a man of great talent or note, as we do not find him occupying any very
high position, or filling any situation of great responsibility, farther
than in 1506 he was made Sheriff of Stirlingshire, and in 1513 fell with
his sovereign at the disastrous battle of Flodden. He married the eldest
daughter of Sir George Campbell of Loudoun, and had issue five sons and
four daughters, viz.—
1. Robert, who died young. 2. John. 3. James, who held
the charter of the lands of Little Sauchie. He was ancestor of the
Erskines of Balgony, and of William Erskine, Bishop of Glasgow (who was
knighted by King James IV.), and grandfather of Janet, the countess of
William, Earl of Stirling. 4. Alexander, who appears to have been a
clergyman. 5. William.
The daughters were—Catherine, married to Alexander,
second Lord Elphinston; Margaret, married first to Haldane of
Gleneagles, second to George Home of Lundies and Argaty; Elizabeth,
married to Sir John Forrester of Torwood; and Janet, married to John
Murray of Touch-adam.
John, fourth Lord Erskine, succeeded his father in 1513,
and like many of his illustrious ancestors, was one of the great men of
his time. In 1515 he was, by the Estates of the kingdom, appointed
ambassador to the Court of France, for the purpose of endeavouring to
get Scotland included in the French treaty with the English nation.
Immediately after his return from the French capital, he was appointed
governor of Stirling Castle, and intrusted with the high honour of the
keeping of his young sovereign, King James V. In this delicate and
difficult situation, he acquitted himself so much to the satisfaction of
the monarch that he was high in the royal favour ever after. In 1517 he
was one of the guarantees of a treaty with the English, and appointed
constable and captain of the Castle of Stirling, and keeper of the
King’s Park, &c. In 1535 he was again appointed ambassador to France,
for the purpose of arranging a marriage for his royal master. In 1539 he
was constituted one of the extraordinary Lords of Session; and being
present at the King’s death, was, along with the Earl of Montrose,
directed to remain continually with the young Queen in the Castle of
Stirling. In 1545 Lords Erskine and Livingston were appointed keepers of
the Queen’s person; and after the disastrous battle of Pinkie (1547),
they retired with their fair charge to the island of Inchmahome, on the
Lake of Monteith, where they remained till the end of February of the
following year, when they set sail from Dumbarton for France. In France
he is said to have discharged his high and difficult duty with the
greatest fidelity and prudence. Dying in 1552, he left extensive
estates. He married Lady Margaret Campbell, daughter of the Earl of
Argyll, by whom he had issue:—
1. Robert, Master of Erskine, who married Lady Margaret
Graham, eldest daughter of the second Earl of Montrose. He was taken
prisoner at Solway in 1543, but was ransomed for two hundred pounds, and
was afterwards killed at the battle of Pinkie. He had no legitimate
issue, but a natural son by Mrs. Jean Home; who was commentator of
Dryburgh, and ancestor of the Erskines of Sheffield.
2. Thomas, Master of Erskine, who was ambassador to
England. He was married to Margaret, daughter of Lord Fleming, the
Chamberlain of Scotland, but by her he had no family. He had a natural
son, who was commentator of Cambuskenneth, but died before his father,
3. John, who succeeded his father.
4. Sir Alexander Erskine of Gogar, ancestor of the Earls
5. Sir James Erskine of Tullibody.
1. Elizabeth, who married Sir Walter Seton of Touch.
2. Margaret, who had a natural child to James V. viz.
James, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland.
John, fifth Lord Erskine, was a man of transcendent
genius. He held many high offices, and was remarkable for
disinterestedness, love of country, and attachment to Protestantism.
Being a younger brother, he was trained to the Church; and, previous to
his father’s death, he had been appointed by King James V. commentator
of Cambuskenneth and Inchmahome. On coming into possession of the title
and estates, he also succeeded to his heritable offices, and to the
government of Edinburgh Castle. During the troublous times of the Queen
Regent, he maintained a strict neutrality, by standing aloof from either
party. On the advance of the English in 1560, the Queen committed
herself to his lordship’s protection; and, on the return, in the
following year, of the young Queen Mary from France, his lordship was
sworn a Privy Councillor, and restored to the ancient title of Earl of
Mar, and accordingly took his seat in Parliament as representing the
most ancient earldom in the kingdom. On the birth of King James VI., the
Queen mother committed her infant son to the keeping of the Earl of Mar,
who resigned the Castle of Edinburgh to the Bothwell party, and retired
to Stirling Castle. In 1571, when the Regent Lennox was surprised and
killed at Stirling, it was only through the prompt and decisive
character of Mar that the King’s party were saved from utter
annihilation. Immediately after this great achievement he was chosen
Regent of the kingdom, and this important trust was conferred on him for
“his moderation, his humanity, and his disinterestedness.” On finding
himself in possession of this high and difficult office, he set himself
with all the ardour of his mind to allay the different contending
factions, and to free his beloved country from the influences of foreign
councils. For a time he seemed eminently successful, but the vile Morton
thwarted his views. The ambition and selfishness of Morton and his
associates made a deep impression on the Regent’s mind, who longed for
peace and the full prosperity of his country; and this grief bringing on
a settled melancholy, he died of a broken heart on the 29th October
1572. Thus passed away for the time one' of Scotland’s most gifted
sons—whose mind was too pure and heart too large for the age in which he
lived. He was married to Annabella, daughter of Sir William Murray of
Tullibardine, and had issue:—
John, his successor; and Lady Mary, who married
Archibald, eighth Earl of Angus.
John, seventh Earl of Mar, was a man of great talent and
education, having been trained along with King James VI. by the
celebrated George Buchanan, and was high in royal favour ever after. In
1595, he was intrusted with the keeping and education of the King’s son;
in 1601, he was appointed English ambassador; and, on the death of Queen
Elizabeth, he completed the arrangements for the succession of the
Scotch monarch to the English throne, in 1603. In that year he
accompanied his sovereign to England, but was obliged to return to
arrange with the Queen regarding the keeping of her children. After
appeasing the Queen, he again set out for England, to join his royal
master; and immediately on his arrival in London he was sworn a Privy
Councillor, created a Knight of the Garter, and became Secretary for
Foreign Affairs; and on the 17th December 1615, the King delivered to
him the "white staff,” appointing him High-Treasurer of Scotland.
Previous to this, about the year 1604, King James, anxious to confer
some permanent mark of honour on his distinguished subject, created him
Lord Cardross, with power to assign the title to any of his heirs male;
and from the Parliamentary records it appears in the Parliament held at
Perth, 19th July 1606, “Act of erection of the Abbey of Dry-burgh and
Cambuskenneth and Priory of Inchmahome into a temporal lordship,
called "the lordship of Cardross," in favour of the Earl of Mar—with the
honour, estate, dignity, and pre-eminence of a free Lord of Parliament,
to be called Lord Cardross in all time coming.” Some time before the
year 1617, he built the principal suit of apartments in Cardross House;
and when the King came to Scotland in that year he visited Lord Cardross,
at Cardross House, where he was entertained for some days with the
greatest respect and magnificence. This great statesman died at Stirling
in the year 1634, in the 77th year of his age. His lordship married,
first, a daughter of the second Lord Drummond, by whom he had issue one
son, John, who succeeded to the earldom of Mar. He married, secondly,
Lady Mary Stuart, second daughter of the Duke of Lennox, her ladyship
having a charter of the lands of Fintry and Buchlyvie. By her he had
issue four sons—1st, James, who married Lady Mary Douglas, Countess of
Buchan, and was created Earl of Buchan; 2d, Henry Erskine, to whom his
father assigned the peerage of Cardross; 3d, Sir Alexander Erskine, a
colonel in the army, and who had the misfortune to be blown up at
Dunglass, along with his unfortunate brother-in-law, the Earl of
Haddington, in 1640; and 4th, Sir Alexander Erskine of Alva.
In a life of this illustrious man, written by the Earl of
Buchan, there is rather a curious anecdote told relating to his second
marriage. It appears that the Earl, although one of the most advanced
men of his time, had been somewhat superstitious, and had listened to
the nonsense of an Italian conjurer, who had shown him the limning of a
lady, whom he said resembled Mar’s future sweetheart and countess. Mar,
it seems, had been in love with the daughter of Lennox, and fancied he
saw her likeness in the portrait exhibited by the Italian. Fearing
disappointment, and hearing that the King intended her for another, his
Lordship wrote a touching letter to his royal master, couched in the
most plaintive language, stating that his health had begun to fail
through the fear of losing the object of his affections. The King, it is
said, visited his old class-fellow, and said—“Ye shana dee, Jock, for
ony lass in a’ the land,” and accordingly secured for him Lady Mary
Stuart. Portraits of this distinguished man and his celebrated lady are
still preserved in Cardross House, along with that of the Treasurer’s
Plenry Erskine, the second son of the Earl of Mar, by his
second marriage, to whom the peerage of Cardross was assigned, with the
reservation of his father’s life-rent, having died before his father,
never possessed the title. He held charters of the ecclesiastical lands
of Maxtown and Les-sudden, in Roxburghshire, and in which he is designed
“fiar of Cardross.” He was married to the only daughter of Sir James
Bellenden Broughton, and had issue:—
David, second Lord Cardross; and Mary, married to Sir
John Buchanan of Buchanan.
In one respect, the peerage of Cardross stands unexampled
in the history of the Peerage, inasmuch as the King conferred upon a
subject the right to create another peer, which has never been done in
any other instance.
David, second Lord Cardross, succeeded his grandfather in
the year 1634, and became vested in the title of Cardross. He appears to
have been a man of considerable note, and took a prominent part in many
of the nation’s affairs. At Newcastle, in 1646, he protested, with a few
more peers, against the delivering up of King Charles I. to the English
army; he was one of the promoters of the engagement in 1648, for which
he was fined in one thousand pounds, besides losing his seat in
Parliament. He died in the year 1671. He married, first, Anne, fifth
daughter of Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall; and had two children—Henry,
third Lord Cardross; and Margaret, married to Cunningham of Boquhan. His
lordship married, secondly, Mary, youngest daughter of Sir George Bruce
of Carnock, and sister of the Earl of Kincardine, and had issue seven
children:—1. Hon. Alexander Erskine, who appears to have died young.
2. Hon. Colonel William Erskine, who was a man of the
greatest integrity and honour. He was proprietor of the estate of Torry,
and governor of Blackness Castle. He married a daughter of Sir James
Lumsdain of Innergelly. His son William was a person of considerable
note, having been a colonel in the army, and distinguished himself at
the battle of Fontenoy, where he commanded the 7 th regiment of
3. The Hon. Colonel John Erskine of Cardross, known among
his friends as “ the Black Colonel.” The Colonel was distinguished for
his zeal in the high cause of religion and liberty, and for which he
suffered keen persecution, and was compelled to retire into Holland. In
Holland he had the command of a. company of foot; and at the Revolution
of 1688 he accompanied the Prince of Orange to England. He was ever
afterwards a great favourite with the Prince, who made him Governor of
Stirling and Dumbarton Castles. He represented the town of Stirling in
the last Scottish Parliament, was a keen supporter of the Union, and one
of the Members nominated to the first united Parliament of Great Britain
in 1707. At the general election in 1708, he was again re-chosen to
represent the town of Stirling. He died at Edinburgh in 1742, in the
eighty-second year of his age. He was four times married, and was father
of John'Erskine of Carnock, Advocate, author of that valuable work,
“Erskine’s Institutes of the Law of Scotland.”
4. The Hon. Charles Erskine, who was killed at the battle
of Steinkirk in 1692.
The daughters were Veronica, married to Lockhart of
Kirktown; Magdalen, married to Alexander Monypenny of Pitmilly; and
Mary, who died young.
Henry, third Lord Cardross, succeeded his father in 1671.
He was a man of the most pure principles and exalted worth, having
received a highly religious education. Trained in the broad principles
of truth and liberty, he early joined himself to the opposers of the
Earl of Lauderdale’s Administration; but, for his adherence to the cause
he had so much at heart, he was subjected to the most keen and cruel
persecution, and in 1674, for his lady hearing her own chaplain preach
in her own house, he was fined in the modest sum of “five thousand
pounds.” In May of the following year, while absent in Edinburgh, a
party of soldiers came to Cardross during midnight, plundered the house,
and subjected Lady Cardross to the most barbarous usage. In August of
the same year he was, for his adherence to the cause of truth, sentenced
to be imprisoned in Edinburgh for the period of four years. In 1677 he
was again fined on account of his lady getting her child baptised by a
person not her own parish minister, notwithstanding his Lordship being
then in prison and not allowed to look after his affairs. In 1677 his
estates in East Lothian were plundered by the King’s troops. In July of
the same year his Lordship was released from prison on granting a bond
for the amount of his fine. Not being able to obtain any redress from
the Privy Council of Scotland, his Lordship repaired to North America,
where he was only a little more fortunate—a colony which he founded
having been destroyed by the Spaniards. He left America, and, joining
the Prince of Orange party in Holland, he accompanied the Prince to
England, where he was appointed to the command of a troop of dragoons.
He was afterwards a great favourite with King William, was sworn a Privy
Councillor, and constituted General of the Mint, &c. He died at
Edinburgh in May 1693, in the 426. year of his age. He married a
daughter of Sir William Stewart of Kirkhill, and had issue:—
1. David, fourth Lord Cardross.
2. Hon. Charles Erskine, Advocate. He married the heiress
of Scott of Redenshead, in Fife.
3. Hon. William Erskine, Governor of Blackness Castle. He
married Margaret, daughter of Colonel Erskine, Governor of Stirling
4. Hon. Thomas Erskine, Advocate. He married Rachel,
daughter and heir of Liberton of Liberton.
The daughters were—1. The Hon. Catherine Erskine, who
married Sir William Denholm of Westershields, in the county of Lanark.
2. Hon. Mary Erskine, who married James Nimmo, Esq., Cashier of Excise.
3. Hon. Anne Erskine, who married Edmonstone of Duntreath.
David, fourth Lord Cardross, succeeded his father in
1693. Like most of his predecessors, he took an active part in State
affairs, was a true Protestant, and took a deep interest in the
Hanoverian succession. About the year 1698 his Lordship succeeded to the
Earldom of Buchan, and was afterwards known under that title. He was a
Privy Councillor, and one of the Council of Trade appointed by
Parliament in the year 1705. In the all-important question of the Union,
his Lordship opposed the material clauses, and lodged his protest
accordingly. This action, however, caused his removal from all his
Government offices. When King George I. came to the throne, the Earl of
Buchan was made Lord-Lieutenant of the Counties of Stirling and
Clackmannan. 'During the Rebel* lion of 1715 he held the town of
Stirling and commanded the Stirlingshire Militia. In the year 1745 his
Lordship sold the estate of Cardross to his cousin, John Erskine of
Carnock, the Advocate, and author of “Erskine’s Institutes,” who was the
first Mr. Erskine of Cardross and Carnock. This “ distinguished civilian
” died at Cardross on the ist March, 1768, in the 73d year of his age.
He married, first, Miss Melville, daughter of the Earl of Leven and
Melville, and had issue:—John Erskine of Carnock, D.D., a zealous and
distinguished pastor. He married, secondly, Anne, daughter of Stirling
of Keir, and had issue four sons and two daughters:—
1. James Erskine, who was the first “ Mr. Erskine of
2. Robert Erskine, who died in the East Indies.
3. David Erskine, who was a Writer to the Signet, and •of
great eminence in his profession.
4. Major Erskine of Venlaw, in Peebles.
The. daughters were:—1. Marion, died unmarried; 2.
Christian, who married Sir William Stirling of Ardoch.
James Erskine succeeded his father in the estate of
Cardross, and died there on the 27th March 1802. He married Lady
Christian Bruce, second daughter of the Earl of Kincardine, and had
1. John Erskine, an officer in the E. I. C. service, and
who died at Angole in 1792.
2. William Erskine, who died young.
3. Charles, who commanded the gallant 92d Regiment in the
expedition to Egypt, under the renowned Sir Ralph Abercromby, and was
mortally wounded at the landing of the British troops near Alexandria.
4. David Erskine of Cardross.
5. James, an officer in the Royal Navy, and who
unfortunately perished on board Lord Keith’s flag-ship, burned in March
6. William Erskine, a Major in the 71st Foot, who died in
The daughters were:—1. Janet, married to Hay of Drum-melgier.
2. Anne. 3. Marion. 4. Matilda, married to John Graham of Gartur, the
last and only cadet of note of the defunct Earldom of Monteith. 5.
Rachel Euphemia. 6. Christian.
David Erskine of Cardross was bred to the profession of
the law, and was some time in the civil service of the E. I. C. at
Ceylon. He died about the year 1848. He married the Hon. Keith
Elphinstone, fourth daughter of John, nth Lord Elphinstone, and had
1. James, who was in the civil service at Bombay, but
who died before his father, leaving two sons: — i. The
present Major Erskine of Cardross. 2. Captain James Erskine, of the
2. John Elphinstone Erskine, Admiral, Royal Navy, and the
talented author of “ The Islands of the Western Pacific,” and at present
the accomplished M. P. for the county of Stirling.
3. Charles, a Captain in the Army, but who was
unfortunately killed by a fall from his horse while serving with his
regiment in India.
4. George Keith,* Captain of the 1st Lancers, a gentleman
of great accomplishments and elegant manners, but who unfortunately died
of small-pox while serving with his regiment at the siege of Mooltan in
1849. His brother officers raised a beautiful tablet to his memory in
the tomb at Cardross.
5. Hay M. Erskine, an esteemed Clergyman.
6. William Erskine, a Captain in the Bombay Army, who
died, leaving two daughters.
Henry David Erskine, the present esteemed proprietor, is
married to Horatio, daughter of General Seymour, and has two children.