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The Scottish Nation

GLASGOW, Earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1703, on David Boyle of Kelburne, Ayrshire, whose ancestor, Richard Boyle (See BOYLE, surname of), married Marjory, daughter of Sir Robert Comyn of Rowallan, and his direct male descendant in the sixth generation, John Boyle, a faithful adherent of King James the Third, lost his life at the battle of Sauchieburn in 1488. The son of the latter, John, obtained from King James the Fourth, in the third year of his reign, a precept for the restitution of the lands forfeited by his father for his adherence to James the Third. He lived to a great age, and had an exemption from King James the Fifth, excusing him from attending the royal army in time of war. He married Agnes, daughter of the family of Ross of Hawkhead, in the shire of Renfrew, killed at Flodden in 1513, and in 1549 was succeeded by his eldest son, John, who in 1536, in his father’s lifetime, got a charter of the lands of Ballehewin, in the isle of Cumbrae, and the same year was made hereditary coroner of that island. Of two sons, David, the elder, predeceased him, leaving a son, and John, of Halkshill, whose great-grandson married the heiress of Kelburne, and carried on the line of the family.

      David’s son, John Boyle, succeeded his grandfather. He had a son, also named John, who adhered firmly to the interest of Queen Mary, and died in 1610. His son, John Boyle, of Kelburne, was in 1630 one of the commissioners for revising the practice of the law of Scotland. For his faithful adherence to the king, during the civil wars, he suffered ten years’ banishment, and many hardships, and died in 1672. He married Agnes, only daughter of Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, and had an only daughter, Grizel, his sole heiress, who became the wife of her cousin, David Boyle of Halkshill, and had three sons and one daughter. His eldest son, John Boyle of Kelburne, was chosen member for the shire of Bute in the parliament of 1681. In 1684 he was one of the tacksmen of the excise, and died 7th October 1785. He had, with a daughter, two sons; David, first earl of Glasgow, and William, one of the commissioners of the customs for Scotland, and died in 1685.

      David, his elder son, was member of parliament for Bute in the convention parliament of 1689; sworn a privy councillor, 8th June 1697; and created a peer, by the title of Lord Boyle of Kelburne, Stewarton, Cumbrae, Largs, and Dalry, 31st January 1699. On 2d January 1700, he was appointed treasurer-depute, and on 12th April following, created earl of Glasgow, viscount of Kelburne, and Lord Boyle of Fenwick, by patent, to him and his heirs male whatsoever. He steadily supported the protestant succession, and was one of the commissioners for the treaty of union. In 1706 he was appointed lord-high-commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and filled that high office for four successive years afterwards. He was one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland chosen by parliament, 13th February 1707, and rechosen at the general election in 1708. Constituted the same year lord-register of Scotland, he held that office till 1714. On the alarm of invasion by the Pretender in July 1715, observing that there were few regular troops in Scotland, his lordship not only made an offer to George the First to maintain a thousand men at his own expense, for the service of government, but took an active part in promoting the arming and disciplining of the fencible men in Ayrshire. He died 1st November, 1733. By his first wife, Margaret, eldest daughter of Patrick Crawford of Kilbirny, (sister of the first Viscount Garnock,) he had four sons, namely, John, second earl; Patrick, of Shewalton, passed advocate 15th January 1712, and made a lord of session 19th December 1746, when he took the title of Lord Shewalton, and on 6th June 1749, was appointed by patent one of the commissioners for improving the fisheries and manufactures of Scotland; died, unmarried, at Drumlanrig, 31st March, 1761; the two younger sons also died unmarried. By his second wife, Jean, daughter and heiress of William Mure of Rowallan, in Ayrshire, he had two daughters, the elder of whom, Lady Jean Boyle, heiress of Rowallan, married to the gallant Sir James Campbell, K.B., killed at Fontenoy in 1745, was the mother of the fifth earl of Loudon (see LOUDOUN, Earl of).

      John, second earl of Glasgow, died at Kelburne, in May 1740, in his 53d year. He had three sons and six daughters. The eldest son, William, died young. The second son, John, became third earl. The third son, the Hon. Patrick Boyle of Shewalton, who died at Irvine, 26th February 1798, was, by his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Dunlop, professor of Greek in the university of Glasgow, father of the Right Hon. David Boyle, lord-justice-genera of Scotland, who was his fourth and youngest son. He passed advocate 14th December 1793, was appointed solicitor-general 9th May 1807, and the same year represented the county of Ayr in parliament. He was elevated to the bench of the courts of session and justiciary, 28th February 1811, and in the following October was constituted lord-justice-clerk by commission from the prince regent dated the 15th of that month, and sworn of his majesty’s privy council. On the resignation of President Hope in 1841, he was appointed lord-president in his stead, and lord-justice-general. Feeling his strength decline, he retired from the bench, which he had adorned for forty-one years, in the beginning of May 1852, and died 4th February following, in his 80th year. A portrait of this eminent judge, by Mr. Watson Gordon, is placed in the stair lobby of the Signet library, Edinburgh. He married, first, on 24th December 1804, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Alexander Montgomery of Annick, brother of Hugh, earl of Eglinton, and had two sons, Patrick and Alexander, and two daughters. His wife having died in 1822, he married, secondly, in 1827, the eldest daughter of David Smythe, Esq. of Methven Castle, Perthshire, a lord of session, and by her also had issue. He was succeeded in his estate by his eldest son, Patrick Boyle, born 29th March 1806, passed advocate in 1829, but never practised, being principal clerk of the high court of justiciary.

      John, third earl of Glasgow, born 4th November 1714, was a captain in the 33d foot, and was wounded at the battle of Fontenoy, 30th April 1745; and again severely at the battle of Laffeldt, 2d July 1747. In 1764 he was constituted lord-high-commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and held the same office for eight years thereafter. He died 7th March 1775, in his 61st year. By his countess, Elizabeth, second daughter of George, twelfth Lord Ross, and sole heiress of her brother, William, thirteenth Lord Ross, he had John, Lord Boyle, who died young; George, who succeeded him; and two daughters.

      George, 4th earl of Glasgow, born March 26, 1766, was, successively, a captain in the west Lowland fencibles in 1793; major of the Angus fencibles; lieutenant-colonel of the Rothesay and Caithness fencibles, and colonel, first of the Ayr and Renfrew, and afterwards of the Renfrewshire militia. Constituted lord-lieutenant of Renfrewshire 28th April 1810; chosen one of the representative peers in 1790, and rechosen four times afterwards. On August 11, 1815, he was created a British peer by the title of Lord Ross of Hawkhead in the county of Renfrew, and died n July 1843. He was twice married: first, in 1788, to Lady Augusta Hay, 3d daughter of 14th earl of Errol; issue, 3 sons and 3 daughters; and, 2dly, in November 1824, to Julia, daughter of Right Hon. Sir John Sinclair, baronet; issue, a son, Hon. George Frederick Boyle, and a daughter, Lady Diana. His eldest son, John, Lord Boyle, born in August 1789, a lieutenant in the navy, served on board the Gilbraltar in the Mediterranean, and in July 1807, while steering for the port of Gibraltar, he fell in with a French flotilla, against which he maintained a very gallant action, but was overpowered and taken prisoner. He died in 1818. Lady Augusta Boyle, the 3d daughter, married, in 1821, Lord Frederic Fitzclarence, G.C.H., son of King William IV., a lieutenant-general in the army, appointed commander-in-chief at Bombay in 1852.

      James, the 2d son, born 10th April, 1792, a retired commander in the royal navy, became fifth earl of Glasgow in 1843, and in 1844 was appointed lord-lieutenant of Renfrewshire. In 1822 he assumed by sign manual the additional name of Carr, in right of his mother. While Viscount Kelburne he was M.P. for Ayrshire from 1839 to 1843. He married Aug. 4, 1821, Georgiana, daughter of Edward Hay Mackenzie, Esq., of Newhall, without issue. Heir presumptive, his lordship’s half-brother, Hon. George Frederick Boyle, born in 1825.


GLASGOW, a surname, from the city of that name, derived as some write, from the two Gaelic words, Glass, signifying grey, and gow, a smith. Others, with more probability, trace the etymology of the name to two ancient British words signifying “a dark glen.”

      For the family of GLASGOW of Mont-Greenan, Ayrshire, see ROBERTSON GLASGOW.

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