Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish Nation

ARRAN, earl of, one of the secondary titles of the duke of Hamilton, (see HAMILTON, duke of,) derived from the island of t.hat name in the frith of Clyde. In Gaelic it is pronounced Arrinn, that is, ‘the island of sharp pinnacles,’ from, according to Dr. Macleod, Ar, ‘a lend’ or ‘country,’ and rinn, ‘sharp points;’ an etymology far more satisfactory than that of Ar-fhin, ‘the land,’ or ’the field of Fion,’ (Fingal); or from Aran, ‘bread,’ as denoting extraordinary fertility, which is by no means a characteristic of this island. The title of earl of Arran was first conferred on Sir Thomas Boyd, eldest son of Robert lord Boyd, (see KILMARNOCK, earl of,) in April 1467, on his marriage with the Princess Mary-, eldest daughter of James the Second. He was attainted and forfeited in 1469, and died soon after. The princess married, a second time, in 1474, James, first lord Hamilton, to whom she had been betrothed in 1454, and their son James was, in August 1503, created earl of Arran. The title was afterwards bestowed on Captain James Stewart of Bothwellmuir, the second son of Andrew, lord Ochiltree, (see Ochiltree, lord,) whose mother Lady Margaret Hamilton, was the only child of James first earl of Arran, by his first wife Beatrice Drummond. He entered the army of the states of Holland, and served some years against the Spaniards. On his return to Scotland in 1579, he obtained the favour of James the Sixth, who, a few days after his appearance at court, appointed him a gentleman of his bedehamber, a privy councillor, captain of his guard, and tutor to the third earl of Arran .of the Hamilton family, who by a shameful abuse of law had been imprisoned by order of the regent Morton, and was afterwards cognosced as an idiot. It was on the accusation of the king’s new favourite, Capt. Stewart, that the earl of Morton was tried, convicted, and beheaded, for being accessary to the death of Lord Darnley. For five years he possessed the whole power of the government, and in 1584 was appointed lord high chancellor and lieutenant of the kingdom. In 1581 he obtained from the king a grant of the baronies of Hamilton and Kinniel, and the other estates of the Hamilton family. In October of the same year, under the pretence that he was the lawful heir of the family, and that the children of the third marriage of the first earl of Arran were illegitimate, he was created earl of Arran, which dignity he held, along with the estates, until his disgrace in 1585, when they were restored to the true owner. About the end of 1596, as he was riding homeward through Symington, near Douglas in Lanarksbire, he was unexpectedly attacked by Sir James Douglas of Park-head, nephew of the regent Morton, who, in revenge for the death of his uncle, killed him on the spot. His body was exposed to dogs and swine, and his head being cut off was carried on the point of a lance, in triumph through the country. He married, 6th July 1581 Lady Elizabeth Stewart, eldest daughter of John, fourth earl of Athol, who had been twice previously married, and by her had Sir James Stewart of Killeith, Lord Ochiltree, (see OCHILTREE, Lord,) and another son.

ARRAN earl of, is also an Irish title, created in 1762, and possessed by a family of the name of Gore, properly earl of the Arran Islands in Galway.

ARRAN, Earl of, see HAMILTON, James.

Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus