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The Scottish Nation

CARNWATH, earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1639, on Sir Robert Dalzell, descended from Thomas de Dalzell, one of the great barons who swore fealty to King Edward the First in 1296, and who was afterwards one of the patriots that joined King Robert the Bruce. The family possessed the lands and barony of Dalzell in Lanarkshire fro a very early period, but which they forfeited in the fourteenth century. For the origin of the name and family of Dalzell, see DALZELL, surname of. Hamilton of Wishaw, in his ‘Description of the shires of Lanark and Renfrew,’ says, that the parish and barony of Dalzell did formerly belong to the Dalzells of that ilk, till the forfeiture of Sir Robert Dalzell by King David the Second, for his remaining in England without the king’s permission. Nisbet and others say that the lands were bestowed by the king on Sir Malcolm Fleming, 20th June 1343, but according to Hamilton, they were given to Robert the Steward of Scotland, who granted them, with one of his daughters, to a knight of the name of Sandilands, and by the marriage of the granddaughter of the latter to the heir of Sir Robert Dalzell, they were restored to the ancient proprietors.

      The earls of Carnwath (the name is derived from cairn, ‘a heap of stones,’ and wath, ‘a ford,’) were, at all times, and to their own injury, – the title having been for more than a hundred years attained, – distinguished for their steadfast loyalty to the house of Stuart. Sir Robert Dalzell, first earl of Carnwath, was the son of Robert Dalzell of Dalzell, by Janet, his wife, daughter of Gavin Hamilton of Raploch, commendator of Kilwinning. After having received the honour of knighthood, he was, “in consideration of his own personal merits, as well as of the constant loyalty of his ancestors in all times past,” raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Dalzell, by patent dated at Whitehall, 18th September, 1628, to him and his heirs male of the name of Dalzell. The title of earl of Carnwath was conferred with limitation to the heirs male of his body. The estate of Dalzell had continued directly in the family, till the death of one of the young lairds of Dalzell, leaving only two daughters, the eldest married to the heir male of the family, and the other to a son of the laird of West Nisbet, who got with her the one half of the lands, and, with his successors, was commonly called the baron of Dalzell. Lord Dalzell, however, purchased from the latter his half; and in 1634, his lordship acquired the estate of Carnwath from James, earl of Buchan, eldest son of the second marriage of John earl of Mar, treasurer of Scotland. In 1647 he sold the principal part of the Dalzell estate to James Hamilton of Boggs, second son of John Hamilton of Orbieston, by his wife, Christian Dalzell, the earl’s sister, and it still remains in the possession of Hamilton’s descendants. The first earl died soon after. By his countess, Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Crichton of Cluny, he had, with a daughter, Lady Mary, married to Sir James Muirhead of Lachop, Lanarkshire, two sons, Robert, second earl, and the Hon. John Dalzell of Glenae in Dumfries-shire, who was created a baronet, 11th April, 1666, and died in September 1685. He married, first, Miss Sandilands of the Torphichen family, by whom he had two daughters, both married; secondly, Lady Margaret Johnston, third daughter of James, earl of Hartfell, without issue; thirdly, Violet, daughter of Riddel of Haining, by whom he had, with four daughters, two sons, of whom afterwards, as his grandson, Sir Robert Dalzell succeeded as sixth earl.

      Robert, the second earl, adhered firmly to Charles the First, and was, with five other earls, accused before the convention of estates of having written a letter to the queen from Derby, informing her of the design of the Scots to take up arms against Charles the First, for which they were summoned before them in June 1643. They all obeyed the summons, except the earl of Carnwath, who retired to England. On the 24th of the same month, he was decerned to pay a fine of ten thousand pounds Scots, for contumacy, in not entering his person in prison, on some words spoken by him to his majesty, with which the estates were dissatisfied, and on the 25th of the following February, decreet of forfeiture was passed against him. He was at the battle of Naseby, so disastrous to the king, fought on the 14th June, 1644, and according to Lord Clarendon, the loss of that battle was mainly owing to Lord Carnwath. He rode next to his majesty, and when the king was on the point of charging at the head of his guards, the earl, (a man never suspected of infidelity, nor yet one from whom his majesty would have taken counsel in such a case) on a sudden, laid his hand on the bridle of the king’s horse, and “swearing two or three fullmouthed Scottish oaths,” said, “Will you go upon your death in an instant?” and before his majesty understood what he would have, turned his horse round, on which the word ran through the troops that they should march to the right and they all turned their horses, and rode, upon the spur, off the field. His lordship died soon afterwards. By Christian, his wife, daughter of Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, he had two sons, Gavin, third earl, and the Hon. William Dalzell, who died unmarried about the end of 1646.

      Gavin, third earl of Carnwath, was compelled to pay a hundred thousand merks for his father’s liferent of his estates. He was served heir to his brother William 19th January 1647. He accompanied King Charles the Second into England in August 1651, was taken at the battle of Worcester 3d September of that year, and remained in prison for several years. He died in June 1674. He sold the estate of Carnwath to Sir George Lockhart, Lord President of the court of session, and it still remains in the Lockhart family. The third earl was twice married, first, to Margaret, the elder of the two daughters of David Lord Carnegie, son of the first earl of Southesk, and by her had two sons, James and John, successively earls of Carnwath, and a daughter, Lady Jean, married to Claud Muirhead of Lachope; and secondly, to Lady Mary Erskine, eldest daughter of Alexander third earl of Kellie, without issue.

      James, fourth earl of Carnwath, married Lady Mary Seton, youngest daughter of the second earl of Winton, and by her he had one daughter, Lady Mary, married to Lord John Hay, second son of the second marquis of Tweeddale, without issue. He died in 1683, and was succeeded by his brother, John, fifth earl of Carnwath, a nobleman eminent for his learning and for his knowledge in the science of heraldry. He died, unmarried, in June 1703. The first appearance of mantelés *a term in heraldry) in Scotland was on his funeral escutcheon.

      The title reverted to the grandson of the Hon. Sir John Dalzell of Glenae, baronet, already mentioned, as having three sons and four daughters. The sons were, 1st, Sir John; 2d, James, an officer in the army of King James the Seventh, but who, at the Revolution, quitted the service. He engaged in the rebellion of 1715, and was taken at Preston, in November of that year. He married a Miss Graham, by whom, with a daughter, he had a son, John, who took to wife Harriet, daughter of the sixth earl of Kenmure; and 3d, Colonel Thomas Dalzell of the Scots guards, who died in 1743. The latter married Janet, only daughter of the second son of Ferguson of Craigdarroch, by whom he had a son, David Dalzell, a merchant in Glasgow, and three daughters.

      Sir John Dalzell of Glenae, the eldest son, was served heir to his father, 2d September 1686, and died in 1689. By his wife, Henriet, second daughter of Sir William Murray of Stanhope, baronet, he had two sons, namely, Sir Robert, sixth earl of Carnwath, and John, and a daughter, Mary, married to the sixth Viscount Kenmure, who was beheaded for his accession to the rebellion of 1715. the Hon. John Dalzell, the second son, was a captain in the army on half-pay, and on the rumoured arrival of the earl of Mar in Scotland in the beginning of August of that year, he sent in a resignation of his commission to the earl of Orkney, that he might join the standard of the Pretender, and set off immediately to Elliock, the residence of his brother, the earl of Carnwath, to apprize him of Mar’s expected arrival. He advanced with the insurgent army into England, and was at the battle of Preston. After their defeat there, while negotiations were going on with General Wills, the English commander, relative to a surrender, he appeared at Wills’ headquarters, and requested to know what terms he would grant separately to the Scots. Wills answered that he would not treat with rebels, nor grant any other terms then those already offered, namely, unconditional surrender as prisoners of war. He was among the prisoners taken on that occasion, and was immediately tried by a court martial as a deserter, but acquitted, having proved that previous to joining the rebels he had resigned his commission in the service of government. He married a daughter of William Tildesly of lodge, Esq., and had a son settled in St. Christophers.

      Sir Robert Dalzell of Glenae, the elder son, on the death of John, fifth earl of Carnwath, in 1703, became the sixth earl. He was early instructed by his tutor in the now exploded doctrines of hereditary right, passive obedience and non-resistance, which entailed so much misery and misfortune on those who held them. He was educated at the university of Cambridge, where he imbibed a strong affection for the services of the Church of England. His disposition is described as having been naturally sweet, and his address affable, and, with other gifts and graces, he possessed a ready wit and considerable power of language. He engaged in the rebellion of 1715 with great ardour. On receiving from his brother notice of the expected arrival of the earl of Mar in Scotland, on 7th August that year, to raise the standard of the Pretender, he despatched expresses to the earl of Nithsdale, the viscount Kenmure, and other Jacobite chiefs with the intelligence. He attended the grand hunting match at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, on 27th August, convened by the earl of Mar, at which it was resolved to take up arms in support of the Chevalier, and was one of those summoned by the Lord Advocate to appear at Edinburgh to give bail for their allegiance to the government; but he paid no attention to the summons. He joined the insurgent army, on their advance into England, and on their arrival at Kelso, his chaplain, Mr. William Irvine, an old episcopalian minister, delivered a sermon, on the afternoon of Sunday, 23d October, full of exhortations to his hearers to be zealous and steady in the cause of the Chevalier. This discourse, he afterwards acknowledged, he had formerly preached in the Highlands, about twenty-six years before, in presence of Lord Viscount Dundee and his army. On the following Sunday, the 30th October, the rebels, having arrived at Langholm, sent forward to Ecclefechan, during the night, a detachment of four hundred horse, under the earl of Carnwath, for the purpose of blocking up Dumfries till the foot should come up. This detachment arrived at Ecclefechan before daylight, and after a short halt, proceeded in the direction of Dumfries, but they had not advanced far, when they learned that great preparations had been made for the defence of the town. The earl immediately forwarded the intelligence to Langholm, and in the meantime halted his men at Blacket-ridge, a moor in the neighbourhood, till further orders. His express was met by the main body of the insurgent army about two miles west from Langholm, on its march to Dumfries, the intended attack on which town was in consequence abandoned. He was taken prisoner at Preston, 14th November, and on the 29th January following, with Lords Derwentwater, Nithsdale, Wintoun, Nairn, Widdringtonl, and Kenmure, he was brought before the House of Lords, on an impeachment of high treason. Here his steadfastness failed him. He pleaded guilty, and threw himself on the mercy of the king beseeching their lordships to intercede for him with his majesty, assuring them that if his life were granted, he should deem himself obliged to live under the strictest ties of loyalty to King George for the future. He was condemned, with six other lords and sentenced to be beheaded as a traitor, his titles attainted, and his estate, which then amounted to eight hundred and sixty-three pounds per annum, a considerable sum in those days, forfeited to the crown.  After being respited, he received a pardon, so far as his life and estates were concerned, and died at Kirkmichael in July 1737. He was four times married; first, to Lady Grace Montgomery, third daughter of the ninth earl of Eglinton, by whom he had two daughters; secondly, 3d June 1720, to Grizel, daughter of Alexander Urquhart of Newhall, by whom he had a son, Alexander; thirdly, to Margaret, daughter of John Hamilton of Bangor, by whom he had a daughter; and fourthly, in July, 1735, to Margaret, third daughter of Thomas Vincent of Bamburgh Grange, Yorkshire. By the last he had a son, Robert, married to Miss Acklom of Wiseton, in the same county.

      Alexander Dalzell, the attainted earl’s elder son, assumed the title of earl, after his father’s death. He died at Kirkmichael, 3d April 1787. By his wife, Elizabeth Jackson, he had five sons, all of whom, except the eldest, died young, and two daughters, styled Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth Dalzell, the former married to Sir Robert Grierson of Lagg, baronet. The latter died unmarried.

      Robert Dalzell of Glenae, the eldest and only surviving son, studied for the bar, and passed advocate in 1776. On his father’s death, he inherited the estates, but did not assume the title. He died at Glenae house, 13th February, 1808. he married, 18th march, 1783, Anne, daughter of David Armstrong of Kirleton, Dumfries-shire, advocate, and by her had two daughters, namely, Margaret, wife of Major Dougal Stuart-Dalziel, and Elizabeth, of Henry Douglas, Esq., third son of Sir Charles Douglas, baronet of Kelhead, and a son, John, the youngest of the family, born 18th August 1795. He succeeded his father in 1808. He was an officer in the royal navy, and fell in action off New Orleans, 10th October, 1814. As he died unmarried, the issue male of the attainted earl’s eldest son, Alexander, styled the seventh earl, became extinct, and the estates fell to Robert Alexander Dalzell, a lieutenant-general in the army, born 13th February 1768, descended from the attainted earl’s younger son, Robert. To General Dalzell, the earldom of Carnwath was restored by act of parliament, 26th May 1826. He married, first, 23d September 1789, Jane, daughter of Samuel Parkes, Esq. of Cork, and by her, (who died 3d September 1791) he had a daughter, Elizabeth, who died young; secondly, 26th April, 1794, Andalusia, daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Arthur Browne, by whom he had four sons and three daughters. This lady died in 1833, and the earl married, thirdly, 11th October, 1838 Jane, relict of Major Alexander Morison of Gunnersbury Park, Middlesex, and of John Carnell, Esq. of Correnden and Hazel Hall, Kent. His lordship died January 1, 1839.

            His eldest son, Thomas Henry Dalzell, succeeded as eleventh earl in succession (*including those who should have possessed the title during the attainder). He was born in 1798; married, 1st, Mary Anne, eldest daughter of Rt. Hon. Henry Grattan, widow of John Blashford, Esq.; died in 1853, without issue; married, 2dly, in 1855, Isabella Eliza, daughter of Colonel Eardley Wilmot, R.A., widow of J.H. Lecky, Esq.; issue, a son, Henry Arthur Hew, Lord Dalzell.

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