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Women in History of Scots Descent
Earl of Nithsdale's Daughter and Wife


The Fourth Earl, Charles, married the beautiful daughter of the Fourth Earl of Nithsdale, Lady Mary
Maxwell (see Caerlaverock Castle, and the new biography mentioned below). She bore 17 children between 1695 an 1711. In the winter of 1715 her sister-in-law, Lady Nithsdale, rode to London where she successfully organised Charles's escape from the notorious Tower where he had been sentenced to death for his part in the Jacobite Rising.

Lady Nithsdale's Accounting of the brave rescue:


Lady Winifred Herbert, youngest daughter of William, first Marquis of Powis. The marriage contract is dated 2 March, 1699. The young couple resided chiefly at Terregles, in Dumfriesshire, and here probably their five children were born. Until 1715 no special event marked their lives, but in that year Lord Nithsdale's principles led him to join the rising in favour of Prince James Stuart, and he shared in the disasters which attended the royal cause, being taken prisoner at Preston and sent to the Tower. In deep anxiety Lady Nithsdale hastened to London and there made every effort on behalf of her husband, including a personal appeal to George I, but no sort of hope was held out to her. She, therefore, with true heroism, planned and carried out his escape on the eve of the day fixed for his execution. Lord Nithsdale had prepared himself for death like a good Catholic and loyal servant of his king, as his "Dying Speech" and farewell letter to his family attest. After his escape he fled in disguise to France. He and Lady Nithsdale spent their last years in great poverty, in Rome, in attendance on their exiled king.

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