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The Scottish Nation

AIRTH, a dormant earldom in the peerage of Scotland, formerly possessed by a branch of the noble family of Graham, conferred in 1633 on William, seventh earl of Menteith, descended from Sir Patrick Graham of Kincardine, the brother of Sir John the Graham, the faithful companion and "right hand" of Wallace, who was slain at the battle of Falkirk. Sir Patrick had previously fallen at Dunbar. The grandson of the latter, Sir David Graham, styled in a royal charter, witnessed by him in 1360, of Old Montrose, was the ancestor of the dukes of Montrose of the name of Graham. See MONTROSE, dukes of and GRAHAM, surname of.

      His only son, Sir Patrick Graham, styled Dominus de Dundaff et Kincardine, acted a distinguished part in the reigns of David Bruce and Robert II. The eldest son of the latter, by a second marriage, Sir Patrick Graham of Elieston and Kilpont, married Eupheme, the sole heiress of Prince David Stewart, earl of Strathearn, and acquired that title. He was killed near Crieff in 1413, by the steward of Strathearn, Sir John Drummond, of Concraig. His son Malise was by James I. in Sept. 1427 created earl of Menteith or Monteith in lieu of Strathearn. His descendant and representative William, seventh earl of this line, having attempted to resume the earldom of Strathearn, was by Charles I. deprived both of it and the earldom of Menteith; but to compensate him for the loss, he created him earl of Airth, as already mentioned, with precedence equal to what he had enjoyed as earl of Menteith, in which earldom he was afterwards reinstated. Kilpont was the baronial title of the family. It seems to have been selected as marking their descent from the stem of Kincardine, subsequently Montrose.

      The tower of Airth, in Stirlingshire, is famous for an assault made upon it by Sir William Wallace, when held by an English garrison, whom he put to the sword. The square tower which makes a part of the present house of Airth, upon the west, is said to be the same in which that bloody exploit was performed. (Nimmo’s History of Stirlingshire—Stirling's edition, 1817, page 170.) The title of earl of Airth has been dormant since the death of William, second earl of Airth and Menteith in 1694. It was claimed by Robert Barclay Allardyce, Esq. of Urie and Allardyce, who died in 1855. See MENTEITH.

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