JAMES, LORD BOYD, AND FIFTEENTH EARL OF ERROLL—HIS
DEATH—GEORGE, SIXTEENTH EARL OF ERROLL—WILLIAM, SEVENTEENTH EARL—WILLIAM
GEORGE, EIGHTEENTH EARL—VISIT OF GEORGE IV.—WILLIAM HARRY, NINETEENTH
EARL— CHARLES GEORGE, TWENTIETH EARL.
THE Boyds were an old family. Robert Boyd of Kilmarnock
was one of the small party who joined Bruce in the spring of 1306—the
forlorn hope of the Scottish nation. The Boyd family possessed the
Lordship of Kilmarnock from an early period. In the fifteenth century they
had attained considerable influence and power. Sir Robert Boyd of
Kilmarnock was created a Lord of Parliament in 1459; and William, ninth
Lord, was created Earl of Kilmamock in 1661.
James, Lord Boyd, fifteenth Earl of Erroll, and
nineteenth Lord High Constable of Scotland, was a nobleman of striking
personal form and stature, distinguished also for his amiable mind and
high and generous spirit.
He was born on the 20th April, 1726. In 1749 he
married Rebecca, a daughter of Alexander Lockhart, a Lord of the Court of
Session, by whom he had an only daughter, Mary. She married General John
Scott of Balcomie. Secondly, in 1762, his lordship married
Isabella, a daughter of Sir William Carr, Bart., of Etal, Northumberland,
by whom he had three sons and nine daughters. His third son, James, was
accidentally drowned in 1797. Lady Charlotte married the Rev. William
Holwell Carr. She died in 1800. Lady Augusta married the Earl of Glasgow,
and died in 1822. Lady Maria Elizabeth married the Rev. George Moore, a
son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and died in 1804.
Earl James, as Lord High Constable of Scotland, was
present and officiated at the coronation of George III., on the 22nd of
September, 1761. The functions of the High Constable of Scotland at this
ceremony were much the same as those described at the coronation of George
II. in a preceding section. It may be remarked that on this occasion
Erroll made an excellent appearance.
In 1770 he was elected one of the representative peers
of Scotland. He died in 1778, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George,
sixteenth Earl of Erroll. His lordship married Elizabeth, a daughter of
Joseph Blake, Esq. of Ardfry, Galloway. He died on the 14th of June, 1798,
leaving no issue.
The Earldom then reverted to his brother William,
seventeenth Earl of Erroll. He was born on the 12th of March, 1772.
Earl William married first Jane, a daughter of Matthew
Bell, Esq., by whom he had an only daughter; his countess
died in 1793. Secondly, his lordship married Alicia, youngest daughter of
Samuel Eliot, Esq., of Antigua, by whom he had three sons and four
daughters. Thirdly, his lordship, on the 14th of October, 1816,
married Lady Harriet Somerville, a sister of Lord Somerville, by whom he
had a son and two daughters.
In 1805 Erroll was appointed Knight-Marischal of
Scotland. He was elected one of the representative peers of Scotland in 1806.
For several years he was Lord High Commissioner to the
Church of Scotland.
His eldest son, James, Lord Hay, entered the army. He
was present and engaged in the battle of Waterloo, and fell on that
memorable field. The Earl’s third son, Samuel, was born on the 9th of
January, 1807. He also joined the army. On the 2nd of April, 1832,
he married Louisa, only daughter of Vice-Admiral
Duncombe-Pleydell Bouverie. He died on the 25th of
Lady Isabella married Lieutentant-General Wemyss on the
14th of April, 1820. She died on the 28th of July,
1868. Lady Caroline Augusta married John Morant, Esq. of Brokenhust,
Hants, in 1823, and had issue. She died on the 19th
of August, 1877.
Earl William died on the 26th of January, 1819, and was
succeeded by his eldest-surviving son, William George, eighteenth Earl of
Erroll. He was born on the 21st of February, 1801.
On the 4th of December, 1820, his
lordship married Lady Elizabeth Fitzclarence, a natural daughter of King
William IV., by whom he had a son and three daughters.
His eldest daughter, Lady Ida Harriet Augusta, married
the Earl of Gainsborough on the 1st of November, 1841.
She died on the 22nd of October,
1867. Lady Agnes Georgina Elizabeth married James Duff, fifth Earl Fife,
on the 16th of March, 1846, and had issue. She died on the 18th of
December, 1869. Lady Alice Mary Emily married the Count Charles Edward
d’Albanie, only son of Charles Edward Stuart, Count d’Albanie.
When King George IV. visited Scotland in August,
1822, the Earl of Erroll, as Lord High Constable, attended
His Majesty and discharged the functions of the office. On this
interesting occasion, the High Constable was accompanied by eight esquires
on horseback, four pages, ten grooms, and 25
marshal-men on foot; and also a large company of Highlanders, placed at
his disposal by the Duke of Argyle, the Earl of Breadalbane, the Countess
of Sutherland, Sir Evan Macgregor, and Macdonald of Glengarry. Thus the
High Constable’s officers and suite presented a striking appearance.
Whenever the King landed at Leith all criminal jurisdiction within four
miles of the Royal presence became vested in the High Constable of
Scotland. And in order that justice might be administered, the Sheriff of
Midlothian, the magistrates of Edinburgh and Leith, and the Bailie of
Holyrood were appointed the Constable’s deputies in the office of
constabulary. A great concourse of people turned out to welcome and see
His Majesty on Scottish ground.
In the procession from Leith to Holyrood the Lord High
Constable took precedence immediately before the King, carrying the baton
of his office. The Constable claimed apartments in Holyrood Palace.
Accordingly, rooms were set apart for his use adjoining the private
chambers occupied by the King. In the procession from Holyrood to the
Castle of Edinburgh, the Constable rode on the right hand side of the
King’s carriage, carrying his baton. At the grand banquet in the
Parliament House he sat on the left hand of the King, and the Lord Provost
of Edinburgh sat on His Majesty’s right hand.
On the 31st of May, 1831, Erroll
was created a British Peer, under the title of Baron Kilmarnock of
Kilmarnock, in virtue of which he had a seat in the House of Lords. The
following year he was appointed Knight-Marischal of Scotland. He was
created a Knight of the Thistle and a Knight Commander of the Guelphs of
Hanover. He was one of the Lords of the Royal Household, and also
Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.
He died in 1846, and his Countess died on the 16th of
January, 1856. He was succeeded by his son, William Harry Hay, nineteenth
Earl of Erroll. He was born in 1823. In 1848 he married Eliza-Amelia, a
daughter of the Hon. General Sir Charles Gore, by whom he had issue, three
sons and two daughters.
When Lord Kilmarnock, in his father’s lifetime, he
joined the army. In 1854, he was a major in the Rifle Brigade. He was
engaged in the battle of the Alma, fought on the 20th of September, 1854,
in which he was wounded in the hand.
His lordship died in 1891, and was succeeded by his
eldest son, Charles Gore Hay, twentieth Earl of Erroll, Baron Kilmarnock
of Kilmarnock, and twenty-fourth Lord High Constable of Scotland, of the
He was born in 1852. He entered the army; and was an
aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief, and late Lieutenant-Colonel
commanding the Royal Horse Guards.
In 1874 he married Mary Caroline, youngest daughter of
Edmund L’Estrange, Esq., of Tynte Lodge, and has issue. The same year he
was appointed a Deputy-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire. In 1895, the
University of Aberdeen conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D.