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The Scottish Nation

DARNLEY, (anciently Dernely,) earl of, a secondary title of the duke of Lennox. (See LENNOX, duke of.) It is taken from the lands of Darnley in the parish of Eastwood or Pollock, Renfrewshire, which for ages belonged to a branch of the house of Stewart. For Lord Darnley, so conspicuous in Scottish history as the unfortunate husband of Queen Mary, see LENNOX, earl of, and the article MARY STUART, queen of Scots. In the beginning of the eighteenth century the duke of Lennox and Richmond sold his estates in Scotland, including Darnley, to the marquis afterwards duke of Montrose; and about the year 1757 the estate of Darnley was purchased by Sir John Maxwell of Nether Pollock, baronet, and it has since continued in that family.

      In the Irish peerage there is an earldom of Darnley (created in 1725) possessed by a family named Stuart Bligh. The first peer having married the heiress of the baroness Clifton, (in the English peerage, created in 1608) descended by the female side, from the house of Lennox in Scotland, was ennobled under that title in the Irish peerage in 1721, and in 1723 was created Viscount Darnley; and, two years afterward, was advanced to the dignity of earl of Darnley. The fourth earl claimed the dukedom of Lennox as heir of line to the sixth duke, to whom Charles the Second was served heir. The house of Lords, however, came to no decision.

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