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Earl-Marishal and Field-Marshal

I came across this article in the Scottish Review of July 1898 and thought I'd include it here for you to read. The article starts...

Some Letters of the Last Earl-Marischal.

AMONG the Jacobites of the eighteenth century there are no more interesting figures than the two brothers Keith, the last Earl-Marischal of Scotland, and he who became the trusted Field-Marshal of Frederick the Great. Their story combines all the romance with which high descent, youthful enthusiasm, and great sacrifices enhance the misfortunes of the votaries of a fallen cause, with the respect that attends on the courageous carving out of a new career in foreign lands, on intimate association with the greatest practical and literary intellects of the age, on high character and honourable bearing in all vicissitudes, on a soldier's death, and on restoration to lands and honours for unique service in exile to the native land, too late, alas! to do more than gild with a last ray the clouded sunset of an ancient line.

No Scottish house, amid all the glorious traditions of Highland clans and Lowland families, has a more honourable record than that of Keitb. For 700 years complete it held the proud position of Marshal of Scotland; its titles of honour - first lordship and then earldom - were unique in being taken not from territorial possessions, but from the high office of State it never demitted, and there is honourable pride in the explanation of its annalist that, if, in comparison with others, the Keiths were few in the number of cadet families, and behind in the boast of a 'pridefu' kin,' the reason was that ' Having been in every action, and by virtue of their office of Marischal present at and attended by their friends in every battle, the males were seldom allowed to increase to any considerable number.'

You can read the rest of this article in pdf format here



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