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The Scottish Nation

KINTORE, earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred, in 1677, on Hon. Sir John Keith, 3d son of William, 6th Earl Marischal (see MARISCHAL, earl). For his alleged share in preserving the regalia of Scotland during the commonwealth, he was, at the Restoration in 1660, appointed knight marischal of Scotland, which office was made hereditary in his family, and June 26, 1677, created a peer by the title of earl of Kintore, and Lord Keith of Inverury and Keith Hall; sworn a privy councillor, and in December 1684, appointed treasurer depute. The real account of the preservation of the regalia is this: By order of the Scots Estates and privy council, June 6, 1651, the regalia were conveyed to the strong castle of Dunnottar, Kincardineshire, belonging to the earl Marischal, then defended by George Ogilvy of Barras. During the years 1651 and 1652, the castle was besieged by the parliamentary troops, and Ogilvy obliged to surrender, but not till after the regalia had been removed by Christian Fletcher, the wife of James Granger, minister of Kinneff. Returning one day from Stonehaven, she requested permission of Major-general Morgan, who then commanded the besieging army, to visit Mrs. Ogilvy, the lady of the lieutenant-governor. Having been allowed to enter the castle, the regalia were intrusted to her care. The sceptre and sword of state, concealed in a bag of lint or flax, were carried by a female servant. The crown Mrs. Granger packed up in some clothes, and covered with her apron, and in this way passed out, without suspicion, the parliamentary general himself, with the greatest gallantry, assisting her to mount her horse. The regalia were afterwards kept sometimes in the church of Kinneff, concealed under the pulpit, and at other times in a double-bottomed bed at the manse, till the Restoration, when they were delivered to Mr. George Ogilvy, who presented them to Charles II. For this good service, and his long imprisonment in England, Ogilvy was created a baronet, but received no compensation for the fines and sequestrations to which his estate had been subjected. Mrs. Granger, to whose presence of mind the merit was chiefly due, had 2,000 merks voted her by parliament, January 11th, 1661, while John Keith, third son of the proprietor of Dunnottar castle, was first appointed knight marshal, and seventeen years afterwards, was created an earl. It appears that on his return from France, whither he had gone some time before the surrender of the castle, he was apprehended and examined as to the regalia, when he declared that he had conveyed them out of the country, and delivered them to Charles II. In consequence all farther search for them was dropped. He was created earl of Kintore, partly in compliment to his mother, Margaret Erskine, countess marischal, under whose authority Mrs. Granger is said to have acted, and partly on account of the imprisonment he had suffered for his loyalty. He obtained an extension of his patent to his own heirs female, with other remainders, on 22d February 1694. From his father he received Hall Forest, a royal castle in Aberdeenshire, built by Robert the Bruce as a hunting hall, and granted by him to Robert de Keith, great marischal of Scotland, ancestor of the family. The word Kintore in Gaelic signifies “the head of the wood,” the forest in that district having at one period extended five or six miles. The first earl of Kintore supported the treaty of union in the parliament of Scotland, and died in 1714. With one son, he had two daughters, the elder of whom married Sir William Forbes of Monymusk, baronet, ancestor of the Pitsligo baronets of that name.

      The son, William, second earl, engaged in the rebellion of 1715, and was at the battle of Sheriffmuir, after which he never shaved his beard. For his conduct on that occasion he was deprived of the office of knight marischal, and died 5th December 1718. He had two sons and two daughters, namely, John, third earl, born in 1699; William, fourth earl; Lady Catherine Margaret, who married David, fifth Lord Falconer of Halkerstoun, and so brought the honours subsequently into that family; and Lady Jean, who died unmarried.

      John, third earl of Kintore, was appointed knight marischal of Scotland in June 1733, and died, without issue, 22d November 1758, in his 60th year. His brother, William, succeeded as fourth earl, and on his death, unmarried, the estate devolved on George, tenth earl Marischal, who being attainted for his share in the rebellion of 1715, could not inherit the titles. On his death, 23d May 1778, the earldom and estates fell to Anthony Adrian Keith Falconer, Lord Falconer of Halkertoun (to which title he had succeeded in 1776), grandson of Lady Catherine Keith, eldest daughter of the second earl of Kintore. The fifth earl died 30th August 1804. He married a Dutch lady named Christina Elizabeth Sighterman of Groningen in Holland, and with seven daughters, had a son, William, sixth earl, born at Inglismaldie, Kincardineshire, 11th December 1766, and for some years an officer in the second regiment of dragoons, or Scots Greys. By his countess, Maria, daughter of Sir Alexander Bannerman of Kirkhill, baronet, he had Anthony Adrian, seventh earl, two other sons, and a daughter, and died 6th October 1812.

      Anthony Adrian, seventh earl, born 20th April 1794, was created a baron of the United Kingdom 23d June 1838, by the title of Lord Kintore. He was a great promoter of agricultural improvements on his estates, and was famed, in particular, for his superior cattle. The Keithhall ox, as one of his bullocks was called, obtained the first premium at the Highland Society’s show in Aberdeen in 1834, and at seven years of age was sold for a hundred sovereigns. Its gross weight alive was one ton eight cwt. The earl was twice married, but had issue only by his second wife, Louisa, youngest daughter of Francis Hawkins, Esq. of Dunnichen, three sons and a daughter. The eldest son, William Adrian, Lord Inverury, born 2d September 1822, a lieutenant in the 17th light dragoons, was killed while hunting, 17th December 1843. Her ladyship obtained a divorce from Lord Kintore, and married a second time, 2d April 1840, an English gentleman of the name of Arnold, but died in 1841.

      The 2d son, Francis Alexander, born June 7, 1828, became 8th earl, on the death of his father, July 11, 1844, and June 24, 1851, was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire. He married, June 24, 1851, his cousin, Louisa Madeline, 2d daughter of Francis Hawkins, Esq., with issue.

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