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The Scottish Nation

GORDON, the surname of an ancient and distinguished family, originally from Normandy, where their ancestors are said to have had large possessions. From the great antiquity of the race, many fabulous accounts have been given of the descent of the Gordons. Some derive them from a city of Macedonia, called Gardonia, whence they went to Gaul; others find their origin in Spain, Flanders, &c. Some writers suppose Bertrand de Gourdon who, in 1199, wounded Richard the Lion-Heart mortally with an arrow, before the castle of Chalus in the Limoges, to have been the great ancestor of the Gordons, but there does not seem to be any other foundation for such a conjecture than that there was a manor in Normandy called Gourdon. It is probable that the first persons of the name in this island came over with William the Conqueror in 1066. An old tradition states that in the reign of Malcolm Canmore a knight arrived in Scotland, at a time when the borders were infested by a wold boar, which he killed, or gored down, and that, for this service, that monarch gave him a grant of land in the Merse, or Berwickshire, which he called by that name, taking also the boar’s head for his armorial bearing. If he was an Anglo-Norman knight, however, he is more likely to have styled himself “de Gordon,” after his lands. According to Chalmers, (Caledonia, vol. Ii. P. 387,) the founder of this great family came from England in the reign of David the First, (1124-53) and obtained from that prince the lands of Gordon, (anciently Gordun, or Gordyn, from, as Chalmers supposes, the Gaelic gor din, “on the hill,” a derivation as fanciful as the other). He left two sons, Richard, and Adam, who, though the younger son, had a portion of the territory of Gordon, with the lands of Fanys on the southern side of it.

      The elder son, Richard de Gordon, a person of considerable distinction in the reigns of Malcolm the Fourth and William the Lion, granted, between 1150 and 1160, certain lands to the monks of Kelso, and died in 1200. His son, Sir Thomas de Gordon, confirmed by charter these donations, and his son and successor, also named Thomas, made additional grants to the same monks, as well as to the religious of Coldstream. He died in 1285, without male issue, and his only daughter, Alicia, marrying her cousin, Adam de Gordon, the son of Adam, younger brother of Richard above mentioned, the two branches of the family thus became united.

      This Adam de Gordon was one of the Scots barons who joined King Louis the Ninth of France in his famous crusade for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre in 1270, and he died during the expedition. His son, also named Sir Adam de Gordon, appears to have had some property in England, but whether his own inheritance, or in right of his wife, an Englishwoman, cannot now be determined. During the disputes between Henry the Third of England and his barons, he joined the latter, and was for some time governor of Dunster castle. After the battle of Evesham, so fatal to the rebellious barons, he maintained himself with eight horsemen in the woods between Alton and Farnham, plundering the counties of Berks and Surrey, until surprised by Prince Edward. In the single combat which ensued between them, Sir Adam’s foot slipping, he fell to the ground, when the prince not only granted him his life, but admitted him into his service, and he continued ever after a faithful friend to the English monarch’s cause. He was a firm adherent of Baliol, as he held most of his lands either of that prince, or of the earls of March, his fast friends; but he died before King John, as he was called, resigned the sovereignty of Scotland to King Edward, in 1296, as in 3d September in that year Margery, his widow, obtained restitution of the estates, having sworn fealty to the English king.

      His son, Sir Adam de Gordon, lord of Gordon, one of the most eminent men of his time, was the progenitor of most of the great families of the name in Scotland. In 1300 he was one of the wardens of the marches, and in 1305 one of the ten commissioners elected at the general council of the Scots nation at Perth, and invested with full parliamentary powers for the settlement of Scotland under Edward the First. The same year (1305) he was fined by King Edward in three years’ rent of his estate, for his former opposition to that monarch. In 1306, on the release from imprisonment of William Lamberton, bishop of St. Andrews, he became one of the sureties for the good behaviour to the English king of that patriotic prelate. In January 1312, he was appointed by King Edward one of the commissioners to treat of peace with King Robert the Bruce, but at that time without effect. In April 1312, he and the earl of March were went into England by the party of Baliol, to endeavour to get some of their grievances redressed, and in November of the same year he was again employed by King Edward to negociate a peace with the Scottish king. Baliol dying the following year, Sir Adam immediately gave in his adhesion to King Robert, and in 1320 was appointed one of the ambassadors sent to Rome, to solicit the removal of the sentence of excommunication under which Bruce had been place by the Pope, when they were the bearers of the famous letter from the nobles of Scotland to his holiness, asserting the independence of their country. In reward of his faithful services, Bruce granted to him and his heirs the noble lordship of Strathbolgie (now Strathbogie), in Aberdeenshire, then in the Crown, by the forfeiture of David de Strathbolgie, earl of Athol, which grant was afterwards confirmed to his family by several charters under the great seal. Sir Adam fixed his residence there, and gave these lands and lordship the name of Huntly (or Hunt-Lee), from a village of that name in the western extremity of Gordon parish, in the Merse, the site of which is now marked only by a solitary tree. From their northern domain, the family afterwards acquired the titles of lord, earl, and marquis of Huntly, and the latter is now their chief title. He was slain, fighting bravely in the vanguard of the Scotch army at the battle of Halidonhill, July 12, 1333. By Annabella, his wife, supposed to have been a daughter of David de Strathbolgie above mentioned, he had four sons and a daughter. The eldest son, Sir Alexander, succeeded him. The second son, William, was ancestor of the viscounts of Kenmure (See KENMURE, earl of). The two youngest sons became churchmen. The daughter, Mary de Gourdoune, was the second wife of Walter Fitz-Gilbert, ancestor of the duke of Hamilton, in 1613.

      The eldest son, Sir Alexander Gordon, behaved gallantly at the battle of Halidonhill, where his father was killed. He attended King David in his unfortunate expedition into England, and according to Abercrombie (Military Achievements of the Scots Nation, vol. Ii. P. 98), he was slain at the battle of Durham, October 17, 1346, though his name does not appear in Lord Hailes’ list of those killed at that battle.

      His son, Sir John Gordon, styled of Huntly, was taken prisoner with King David, at the battle of Durham, and not released till the beginning of 1357, when the earl of Douglas became one of his sureties. On his release he obtained a charter from David the Second, confirming him in the Strathbogie lands. He died soon after.

      Sir John Gordon, his son, got a new charter from King Robert the Second of the lands of Strathbogie, dated 13th June 1376. In 1377, the earl of March having attacked and burned the town of Roxburgh, the English borderers retaliated on the Berwickshire lands of Sir John Gordon, who, with his own vassals and followers, entered England, and routed at Carham a considerable body of the English under Sir John Lilburn, whom he took prisoner. Soon after, he surprised and took prisoner Sir Thomas Musgrave, governor of Berwick castle, but in a short time released him. In 1378 he and the earl of Douglas entirely defeated a large English force under Sir Thomas, killing most of them and taking prisoners the rest. He was slain, with the said earl, at the battle of Otterbourne in 1388.

      His son, Sir Adam, lord of Gordon, fell at the battle of Homildon, 14th September, 1402. Having descended the hill, accompanied only by a hundred men, the whole of them were killed in a desperate attempt to turn the fortune of the day. By his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Keith, great mareschal of Scotland, he had an only child, Elizabeth Gordon, who succeeded to the whole family estate, and marrying Alexander Seton, second son of Sir William Seton of Seton, ancestor of the earls of Winton, that gentleman was styled lord of Gordon and Huntly. In 1411 he was engaged at the battle of Harlaw against Donald of the Isles, and in 1421 was one of the Scots sent to France to the assistance of the dauphin against the English. At the desire of James the First, then the prisoner of Henry the Fifth of England, he quitted the french service, with several other Scotsmen, and was one of the commissioners appointed to treat for the release of James, and one of the hostages on his obtaining his liberty, when the annual revenue of Alexander, lord of Gordon, was stated at four hundred marks. He left two sons, the younger of whom became ancestor of the Setons of Meldrum.

      Alexander, the elder, was also one of the commissioners selected to treat for the release of King James, and one of his hostages. In 1437 he was one of the ambassadors extraordinary appointed to treat with the English about a truce, and in 1439 was again sent into England, to treat of a final peace. In 1449 he was created earl of Huntly, with limitation to his heirs male, by Elizabeth Crichton, his third wife, they being obliged to bear the name and arms of Gordon. (See HUNTLY, Earl of.)


GORDON, Duke of, a title (extinct in 1836) in the Scottish peerage, conferred in 1684 on George, fourth marquis of Huntly, born about 1650, only son of the third marquis, (see HUNTLY, Marquis of,) who died in 1653. On the restoration, the attainder passed against his grandfather, the second marquis, beheaded at Edinburgh, March 30th 1649, for his loyalty to Charles the First, was rescinded by act of parliament. About 1668, the fourth marquis went to France, and after studying about two years in academies there, proceeded to Italy, Germany, and Hungary, and in 1670 returned to Scotland. In the following year he joined the French army at Oudenarde, and subsequently served in it at the siege of Maestricht. In 1674 he was with the French army at the conquest of Burgundy, and afterwards joined the troops commanded by Marshal de Turenne before the battle of Strasburg. In 1675 he served a campaign in the army of the prince of Orange in Flanders. By King Charles the Second, he was created duke of Gordon by patent, dated November 1, 1684. On the accession of James the Second of England and Seventh of Scotland to the throne, he was appointed one of the lords of the treasury, and sworn a privy councilor. He was likewise made governor of Edinburgh castle, and on June 6, 1687, on its revival, invested with the order of the Thistle. Although a Roman Catholic, the faith which his family had always professed, he disapproved of the measures adopted by King James for re-establishing that religion in Scotland, on which account, on his appearance at court, he was very coldly received by the king. At the Revolution he adhered to King James, and held out the castle of Edinburgh for the abdicated monarch. The convention of Estates summoned him to surrender, 15th March 1689, and on his refusal, proclaimed him a traitor, and commenced the siege of the castle. On the departure of the viscount of Dundee to raise troops for King James in the north, the duke had that celebrated conference with him at a postern-gate of the castle, which is mentioned by our historians. No account has been preserved of the nature of the conversation which passed between these two devoted adherents of King James, but it is understood that Dundee entreated the duke to hold out the castle as long as he could, as he would endeavour to raise the siege as soon as he had collected sufficient forces. At last, on the 13th June, four days before the battle of Killiecrankie, the provisions being quite exhausted, and no prospect of relief, the duke surrendered the castle, on honourable terms. He subsequently printed a journal of the siege in French, for the satisfaction of the court of St. Germains. After proceeding to London, and making his submission to King William, he passed over to Flanders, and, in 1691, visited the court of the exiled monarch, but being ungraciously received by King James, he retired into Switzerland. Having been arrested there, he was sent to Scotland, by way of Holland, and during the reign of King William he was subjected to frequent imprisonment. On the accession of George the First, the lords justices of Scotland, in September 1714, considering the duke disaffected to the house of Hanover, ordered him to be confined in the city of Edinburgh on his parole. He died at Leith, on 7th December 1716, aged about 67. He had married, in October 1676, Lady Elizabeth Howard, second daughter of the earl of Norwich. Her grace having retired into a convent in Flanders, the duke, in 1697, instituted a process of adherence. In 1711, a remarkable sensation was created by her grace transmitting to the faculty of advocates, a silver medal, having the head of the Pretender on one side, and on the reverse a representation of the British isles, with the motto Reddite. A motion thanking her grace for her gift was carried, after a warm debate, by a majority of 63 to 12. Dundas of Arniston, who, with another advocate named Horne, was deputed to convey the vote to the duchess, thanked her grace for having presented the faculty with a medal of their sovereign, and expressed a hope that she would very soon be enabled to compliment them with a second medal struck upon the restoration of the king and the royal family. Sir David Dalrymple, then lord advocate, was directed by the ministry to inquire into the matter. The faculty, alarmed, disclaimed the conduct of Dundee and Horne, and by a solemn resolution declared their attachment to the queen and the protestant succession. Although the lord advocate was dismissed from office, because he had been remiss in bringing the delinquents to justice, no instructions were given to his successor to prosecute them. Their graces had a son, Alexander, second duke, and a daughter, Lady Jean Gordon, married to the fifth earl of Perth, styled by the Pretender’s party, duke of Perth.

      Alexander, second duke of Gordon, when marquis of Huntly, attended the earl of Mar at Braemar on the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715, and, with other suspected noblemen and gentlemen, was summoned by the lord advocate to appear at Edinburgh, under the pan of a year’s imprisonment and other penalties, to give bail for their allegiance to the government; but very few so summoned chose to answer the citation. After proclaiming the Chevalier St. George at Castle Gordon, with a large body of horse and foot he joined the Pretender’s standard at Perth, 6th October, and was at the battle of Sheriffmuir, on 13th November. After that event he returned home, and capitulated with the earl of Sutherland. In the following April, he was brought from the north to Edinburgh, and committed prisoner to the castle, but no farther proceedings appear to have been instituted against him. He died November 28, 1728. He had married in 1706, Lady Henrietta Mordaunt, second daughter of the celebrated general, Charles earl of Peterborough and Monmouth, and had by her four sons and seven daughters. Her grace educated all her children in the protestant faith, and on that account received, in 1735, a pension from George the Second, of one thousand pounds annually. She died 11th October 1760, at Prestonhall, near Edinburgh, an estate which she had purchased at a judicial sale in 1738, for £8,877, and which she left to her fourth son, Lord Adam. The sons were, Cosmo-George, third duke; Lord Charles, an officer in the army, died unmarried in 1780; Lord Lewis, a lieutenant in the royal navy, but such a keen Jacobite that on the breaking out of the rebellion of 1745, he declared for the Pretender, raised a regiment of two battalions, and defeated a party of royalists under the laird of Macleod, near Inverury, 23d December of that year. On the surrender of Fort Augustus to the rebels, Lord Lewis was left with a few troops in command of that place. After the battle of Culloden, he escaped to the continent, and was attainted in 1746. He died, unmarried, at Montreuil, in France, 15th June, 1754. The Jacobite song, ‘O send Lewie Gordon hame!’ written by Dr. Geddes, took its name from his lordship.

      The fourth son, Lord Adam Gordon, who died a general in the army, entered the 18th regiment of foot in 1746, and in 1735 became a captain in the 3d foot-guards. The previous year he had been elected M.P. for the county of Aberdeen. He represented the county of Kincardine from 1774 to 1788, when he vacated his seat. In 1758 he accompanied his regiment in the unfortunate expedition of General Bligh to the coast of France, and on a re-embarkation being resolved upon six days after the landing of the troops, at the head of his grenadier company of guards he greatly distinguished himself, by bringing up the rear at St. Cas, and resolutely retarding the advance of a very superior force of the enemy. As colonel of the 66th foot, he next served for several years in America, but returned in 1765, and having been intrusted by the heads of the colonies with a statement of their grievances, on 20th November of that year he had a long conference with the secretaries of state on the subject. In 1775 he became colonel of the 26th or Cameronian regiment; and in April 1778 was appointed governor of Teignmouth castle. In 1782 he was appointed commander-in-chief in Scotland, when he took up his residence at Holyrood palace, which he caused to be greatly repaired. In 1796 he was constituted governor of Edinburgh castle. In June 1798 he resigned the command of the forces in Scotland, in favour of Sir Ralph Abercromby, and retired to his seat of “The Burn,” Kincardineshire, where he died on 13th August 1801. He had no issue by his lady, Jane, daughter of John Drummond, Esq. of Megginch, Perthshire, widow of the second duke of Athol, and the heroine of Dr. Austen’s song of “For lack of gold she’s left me, O!”

      Cosmo George, third duke, in reward of his loyalty during the rebellion of 1745, was on February 10th, 1747, invested with the order of the Thistle. He was elected one of the sixteen representative peers to the tenth parliament of Great Britain, and died at Breteuil, near Amiens, 5th August, 1672, in his 32d year. He had married in 1741, Lady Catherine Gordon, only daughter of his brother-in-law, the second earl of Aberdeen, by whom he had three sons and four daughters. Lord George Gordon, celebrated for his share in the No-popery riots of 1780, of whom a memoir is afterwards given, was his youngest son. The duchess took for her second husband Major afterwards General Staates Long Morris.

      The eldest son, Alexander, the fourth duke, born about 1745, was in 1761 elected one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland, and in 1775 a regiment having been raised from his estates, which became the 89th Highlanders, chiefly that his stepfather, Major Morris, might be appointed lieutenant-colonel commandant, he was appointed captain in it, and in 1778, during the American war, he raised the Gordon fencibles (660 men) of which he himself had the command. In 1793 he raised another regiment of fencibles, called the Gordon Highlanders, which was reviewed by George the Third in Hyde-park. The regiment was disbanded, with the other fencible corps, in 1799. In 1784, in consideration of his lineal descent from Henry Howard, earl of Norwich, that title in the peerage of the United Kingdom was revived in his person, being created earl of Norwich in the county of Norfolk, and Lord Gordon of Huntly, in the county of Gloucester. He was also appointed keeper of the great seal of Scotland. His grace was the author of the excellent humorous sons “Cauld Kail in Aberdeen,” or “the Reed of Bogie.” To his encouragement of his butler, Mr. William Marchal, celebrated as a musician, in the cultivation of Scottish music, we owe “Tullochgorum,” “Miss Admiral Gordon’s Strathspey,” and many of our best modern melodies. He died June 17, 1827. He was twice married. His first wife was Jane, daughter of Sir William Maxwell of Monreith, baronet. Her union with the duke arose from the following incident. His grace, when a young man, and very handsome, happening to be present at one of the old Assembly halls of Edinburgh, overheard one lady whisper to another, “How I should like to be duchess of Gordon!” He turned and beheld a youthful maiden of very fine figure and considerable beauty. An introduction followed and then a dance, and in process of time a marriage. The duchess became a leader of fashion in her day, and a person of no slight political importance, as her mansion in London long formed the chief resort of the leaders of the Tory party, as that of the duchess of Devonshire was that of the Whigs. She died in 1812, having had, with five daughters, two sons, viz. George, fifth duke, and Alexander, an officer in the army, who died 8th January 1808, in his 23d year. The daughters were, Lady Charlotte, by marriage, duchess of Richmond and Lennox; Lady Madelina, married, first, to Sir Robert Sinclair of Murkle, Caithness-shire, baronet, and secondly, to Charles F. Palmer, Esq. of Luckley park, Berkshire; Lady Susan, by marriage, duchess of Manchester; Lady Louisa, by marriage, Marchioness Cornwallis; and Lady Georgina, by marriage, duchess of Bedford. The duke married, a second time, in 1820, Mrs. Christie of Fochabers, without issue.

      George, fifth and last duke of Gordon, was born at Edinburgh, February 2, 1770. In his twentieth year, being then marquis of Huntly, he entered the army as an ensign in the 35th regiment, his brother-in-law, the duke of Richmond being a captain n the same corps. In the following year (1791) he raised an independent company of foot, which he exchanged with Captain Grant for a company in the 42d, and he served in that distinguished regiment, commanding the grenadiers, till 1793, when he procured the captain-lieutenancy of the 3d foot-guards, which gave him the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Soon after he embarked in the duke f York’s first expedition to Flanders, and was present in the actions of St. Amand, Famars, Launoi, and Dunkirk, and at the siege of Valenciennes. On his return to Scotland in 1794, from the tenantry on his father’s estates he raised, in the course of the summer, a regiment of the line called the Gordon Highlanders, and this fine body of men was gazetted as the 100th, but afterwards, during the short peace, became the 92d. Of this gallant regiment he was appointed lieutenant-colonel commandant. In his zeal for the service he was supported by his father and mother, both of whom, with himself, recruited personally. It is stated that his mother, the duchess, at their first review, appeared attired in the Gordon tartan, the dress of the regiment. She is even said to have procured recruits for her son, by placing the enlistment shilling betwixt her lips. The marquis went out with his regiment to Gibraltar, and leaving it there, in September of the same year he embarked at Corunna for England, but three days after, the packet was taken by a French privateer, when his lordship was plundered of every thing valuable, put on board a Swedish vessel, and landed at Falmouth, the 24th of the same month. He afterwards rejoined his regiment in Corsica, where he served for above a year. He received the brevet of colonel, May 3, 1796.

      In 1798, the 92d regiment having, about the middle of May, arrived in England, was, on the breaking out of the rebellion in Ireland, actively employed against the rebels, particularly in the county of Wexford, and during their stay there it was most exemplary for its good conduct and discipline. Such was the estimation in which the corps was held, that an address of thanks was presented to the marquis of Huntly, its colonel, by the magistrates and inhabitants, on the regiment being about to leave. At this time the marquis was made a brigadier-general. On the second expedition to Holland in 1799, the 92d again embarked, and at the battle of Bergen, October 2, the marquis was severely wounded, at the head of his regiment, by a musket ball in his shoulder. General Moore, of whose brigade the 92d formed a part, was so well pleased with the heroic conduct of the corps on the occasion, that when he was made a knight of the Bath, and obtained a grant of supporters for his armorial bearings, he took a soldier of the Gordon Highlanders in full uniform as one of his supporters, and a lion as the other. The marquis received the rank of major-general January 1, 1801, and on January 7, 1806, became colonel of the 42d or Royal Highlanders. On May 9, 1808, he was promoted to be lieutenant-general. In 1809 he commanded a division of the army in the unfortunate expedition to the Scheldt, under the earl of Chatham. He attained the full rank of general, August 12, 1819, and on the death of the duke of Kent, January 20th, 1820, he was appointed colonel of the first foot-guards. In the following May he was invested with the insignia of the Grand Cross of the Bath, and on the death of the duke of Gloucester, he was removed to the colonelcy of the 3d guards, December 4, 1834. He succeeded to the dukedom of Gordon on his father’s death, June 17, 1827, when he was appointed keeper of the great seal of Scotland. In the following November he became governor of Edinburgh castle. In the exercise of a princely hospitality he resided chiefly at his noble seat of Gordon Castle, of which, from a view in Nattes’ Scotia Depicta, the subjoined is a woodcut.

[woodcut of Gordon Castle]

      His grace married, Dec. 11, 1813, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Brodie, Esq., of Arnhall, by whom he had no issue, and who survived him. At his death of 28th May 1836, the title of duke of Gordon became extinct, as well as that of earl of Norwich in the British peerage, and the marquisate of Huntly devolved on George earl of Aboyne (see HUNTLY, marquis of), while the duke of Richmond and Lennox (see LENNOX, duke of), son of his eldest sister, succeeded to Gordon castle, Banffshire, and other estates in Aberdeenshire and Inverness-shire.


GORDON, a clan, at one period one of the most powerful and numerous in the north. Although the chiefs were not originally of Celtic origin, as already shown, they yet gave their name to the clan, the distinctive badge of which was the rock ivy. The clan feuds and battles were frequent, especially with the MacIntoshes, the Camerons, the Murrays, and the Forbeses. Their principal exploits will be noticed under the head of HUNTLY, earl of. The Gordons adhered to the cause of Queen Mary, while the Forbeses upheld that of her son, King James. The fine old ballad of ‘Edom O’Gordon’ took its rise from the following event. Sir Adam Gordon of Auchindoun, brother of the earl of Huntly, and his deputy as lieutenant of the north of Scotland for the queen, committed many acts of oppression on the Forbeses, and in November 1571, he sent a party under one of his retainers named Captain Ker, to reduce the castle of Towie, in the parish of that name, one of the chief seats of the rival clan. Alexander Forbes, its proprietor, was then absent, but his lady, whose maiden name was Margaret Campbell, not only gave Ker some abusive language from the battlements, but fired upon, and slightly wounded him in the knee. Transported with rage, he ordered the castle to be set on fire, when the whole inmates, thirty-seven persons in all, were burnt in the flames. In the ballad Sir Adam is represented as the principal actor in this disastrous proceeding. The Forbeses, it appears, afterwards attempted to assassinate him on the streets of Paris. “Forbes,” says Gordon, in his History of the Gordons, (vol. I. Page 381), “with some desperate fellows, lay in wait in the street through which he was to return to his lodgings from the palace of the archbishop of Glasgow, then ambassador in France. They discharged their pistols upon Auchindoun, as he passed by them, and wounded him in the thigh. His servants pursued, but could not catch them; they only found, by good chance, Forbes’s hat, in which was a paper with the name of the place where they were to meet. John Gordon, lord of Glenluce and Longormes, son of Alexander Gordon, bishop of Galloway, lord of the bedchamber to the king of France, getting instantly notice of this, immediately acquainted the king, who forthwith despatched le grand provost de l’hotel, (or the great provost of the palace,) with his guards, in company with John Gordon, and Sir Adam’s servants, to the place of their meeting, to apprehend them. When they were arrived at the place, Sir Adam’s servants, being impatient, rushed violently into the house, and killed Forbes; but his associates were all apprehended, and broke upon the wheel.” It was this same Sir Adam Gordon who, in a rencontre with the Forbeses in 1572 at Clatt, killed the master of Forbes’ brother, styled “Black Arthur.”

      The duke of Gordon, who was the chief of the clan, was usually styled “The Cock of the North.” His most ancient title was the “Gudeman of the Bog,” from the Bog-of-Gight, a morass in the parish of Bellie, Banffshire, in the centre of which the former stronghold of this family was placed, and which forms the site of Gordon castle, considered the most magnificent edifice in the north of Scotland (see above). The Marquis of Huntly is now the chief of the clan Gordon.

      In Berwickshire, the original seat of the Gordons, the gipsies still retain the surname; and the natives of the parish of Gordon in that county, from their simplicity of manners, were usually styled “the Gowks of Gordon.”


      Of the name of Gordon, the most ancient families belong to Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, and the north of Scotland.

      The Gordons of Pitlurg, in the former county, descended from John de Gordon, who, in 1376, received a grant of Strabolgie from Robert the Second, as already stated, count among the most eminent of its members, the celebrated geographical and antiquarian writer, Robert Gordon of Straloch, in the parish of Formartine, a memoir of whom is given below. With six daughters, he had eleven sons, five of whom predeceased him. Robert, the eldest, succeeded him in Pitlurg and Straloch; John, the second son, was designed of Fechill. James, the fifth son, minister of the parish of Rothlemay, in Banffshire, marrying the heiress of Fraser of Techmuiry, founded a respectable family; Alexander, the seventh son, was appointed, on 19th June 1688, a judge of the court of session, under the title of Lord Auchintoul, but was deprived of his seat on the bench at the Revolution, which happened soon after; Arthur, the ninth son, an eminent advocate, who died in 1680, was the father of Robert Gordon, the founder of Gordon’s Hospital, Aberdeen, of whom a memoir is given below; Lewis, the youngest son, a physician, died in 1704.

      Alexander Gordon of Pitlurg, great-grandson of the geographical writer, dying in 1748, without issue, the estates devolved upon the nearest collateral male heir, his uncle’s grandson, James Gordon of Hilton, M.D., who married, in 1731, Barbara, daughter of Robert Cuming of Birness, parish of Logie Buchan, and his son, John Gordon of Pitlurg, on succeeding in right of his mother to the entailed estates of Birness and Leask, assumed the additional name of Cuming. His eldest son, John Gordon Cuming of Pitlurg and Birness, inheriting in 1815 the estates of his relative Skene, of Dyce, the eldest collateral branch of Skene of Skene, assumed, in accordance with a deed of entail, the additional name of Skene, He had entered the army in 1779, and eventually attained the rank of lieutenant-general. His eldest son, William Gordon-Cuming-Skene of Pitlurg and Dyce, was also an officer in the army, and served several years with the 92d regiment, or Gordon Highlanders, and afterwards with the 6th foot, in France and the Peninsula, and on the staff in the West Indies. He was also lieutenant-colonel of the Aberdeenshire militia. He died 14th January 1847, and was succeeded by his son, John Gordon-Cuming-Skene of Pitlurg and Dyce, born 9th February 1837.


      The Gordons of Knockespock in the parish of Clatt, Aberdeenshire, obtained from King James the Fourth, in 1508, a grant of the barony of Clatt, which was renewed by King James the Sixth in 1604, “to his beloved James Gordon of Knockespoke.” About the middle of that century, the then owner of Knockespock took for his second wife, Jean, daughter of Leith of Harthill, a lady celebrated for her beauty and no less for her attachment to her husband, as evinced under the most trying circumstances. He was considerably older than hr, and when laid on a bed of sickness, she tended him with the utmost solicitude and affectionate care, till one night, overcome by anxiety and fatigue, she fell asleep beside him, and was awakened only to find that the mansion of Knockespock was in flames. All the servants had fled, and no assistance was near. Losing not a moment, she summoned all her strength, carried her suffering husband from the burning house, and laying him in a sheltered spot, returned, through the flames, at the greatest danger to herself, for plaids and other coverings, to wrap him from the cold. This affecting incident forms the subject of a ballad entitled “Knockespock’s Lady,” by the late William Thom, the weaver-poet of Inverury.

      The estate of Terpersie or Dalpersie, in the united parishes of Tullynessie and Forbes, which, some time after the rebellion of 1745, was added to the Knockespock property, had previously belonged to a cadet of the house of Gordon, who was engaged in that outbreak on the side of the Pretender, and after the battle of Culloden, concealed himself for a considerable period among the hills beside his mansion. At last, venturing to sleep for one night in his own house, he was apprehended there by a party of the king’s soldiers who had received information of the circumstance. There being some doubt as to his identity, the soldiers carried him before the minister of the parish, but of being satisfied on the point, they next conveyed him to a farm-house, rented by their prisoner, on the opposite side of the hills, where his wife and family then resided, when his children, on seeing him approach, came running toward him, exclaiming, “Daddy! Daddy!” and thus were the unconscious instruments of betraying their father to the government. His estate being forfeited came into possession of the York Building company, and from them it was purchased by the proprietor of Knockespock, a connection of the same family.

      Colonel Harry Gordon of Knockespock, of the Royal Engineers, served, during the revolutionary war n America, and married a lady of Philadelphia, of the name of Hannah Meredith, by whom he had four sons, Peter, Harry, James, and Adam, and two daughters, Jane, died in infancy, and Hannah, died unmarried, in February, 1827. Peter, the eldest son, died in Grenada, in the West Indies, at the age of 27; Harry, the second son, succeeded his father; James, the third son, was a barrister in London, and Adam, the youngest son, a major general in the army, and colonel of the 67th regiment, died in 1815.

      Harry Gordon of Knockespock, the second son, born in Philadelphia, was sent to Scotland for his education, and at an early age entered the army. He served in India as captain, and was taken prisoner with Sir David Baird in the war against Hyder Ali, and with the rest of the British prisoners suffered great hardships while detained in the dungeons of that barbarous chief. After his return to Scotland, he succeeded to the family estates, and died in 1836. He had married Anne, daughter of George Carnegie, Esq. of Pittarrow, Kincardineshire, by whom he had a daughter, Hannah. Having no male issue, and Knockespock being strictly entailed, he was succeeded by his kinsman, James Adam Gordon of Naish, Somersetshire, and Stocks, Hertfordshire, whose great-grandfather, James Brebner Gordon, Esq. of Knockespock, was the son of George Gordon of Knockespock, and grandson of Harry Gordon of the same place. He had a son, James Brebner Gordon, of Moore Place, Hertfordshire, who married Jane Lavington, and, with a daughter, Mary Anne, married in 1777, to Sir William Abdy, baronet, of Felix Hall, Essex, had a son and heir, James Gordon, M.P. successively for Stockbridge, Truro, and Clitheroe, who married, in 1789, Harriet, eldest daughter of the celebrated Samuel Whitbread, Esq. of Arlington, M.P. for Bedfordshire, and died in 1832. His son, the said James Adam Gordon, born 16th April 1791, was, in 1830, M.P. for Tregony, one of the small boroughs disfranchised by the Reform Bill, and of which he was recorder. He was a magistrate and deputy lieutenant for the counties of Somerset, Hertford, and Bedford, and after succeeding to the Knockespock estate, for Aberdeenshire. In 1830 he served as high sheriff of Somersetshire. He married Emma Katherine, second daughter of Vice-admiral Thomas Wolley, and dying, without issue, on 4th March 1854, was succeeded by the next heir in the entail, Sir Henry Percy Gordon, bart., of Northcourt, Isle of Wight, son of Sir James Willoughby Gordon, bart., quarter-master general of the forces, who died in 1850. Sir Henry’s grandfather, Captain Francis Grant R.N., assumed the name of Gordon in 1768, in accordance with the testamentary injunction of his maternal uncle, James Gordon, Esq. of Manor Place. Sir Henry Percy Gordon’s mother was Julia, daughter of Richard H.A. Bennet, Esq. of Beckenham, Kent, and first cousin to the duke of Northumberland.

      The next heir in the Knockespock entail is Hannah, daughter of Harry Gordon, Esq. of Knockespock (who died in 1836), and wife of Capt. William Abdy Fellowes, R.N., with issue. In the same entail, are the children and descendants of Mrs. Barbara Duthie, who died in Aberdeen in 1852, cousin german of Sir James Willoughby Gordon, Bart., above mentioned, her third daughter, Barbara, being the wife of William Anderson, Author of ‘The Scottish Nation,’ whose issue are included in the entail.

      The disposition and deed of tailzie, dated Dec. 20, 1769, were made by James Brebner, then Gordon, Esq., chief judge of Grenada, eldest son of James Brebner in Towie of Clatt, and Margaret, eldest sister of James Gordon of Knockespock, and Capt Francis Grant, then Gordon, R.N.


      The Gordons of Abergeldie, Aberdeenshire, descend from Sir Alexander Gordon, 2d son of 1st earl of Huntly, by his 3d wife, Elizabeth, daughter of William Lord Crichton, chancellor of Scotland. Besides receiving from his father various lands in the barony of Midmar, he acquired from James III. (Deed of gift dated at Edinburgh 26th December 1482), the lands of Abergeldie, in the parish of Crathe, and this branch of the Gordons was ever after designed of that place. The fifth in descent from Alexander, John Gordon, Esq. of Abergeldie, dying without issue, the estates and representation of the family devolved on his sister Rachel, who married Captain Charles Grant, son of Peter Gordon of Minmore, a cadet of the ducal family, and they have ever since continued in the male line.

      The splendid old Scottish air, “The birks o’ Abergeldie,” was appropriated by Robert Burns, for his song, “The birks of Aberfeldy,” which is in Perthshire, but he improved the words adapted t the air, for the old Aberdeenshire song of “The birks of Abergeldie” was little better than doggerel rhyme.


      In Aberdeenshire, the other principal families of the name are Gordon of Wardhouse, of Cluny, of Fyvie, of Avochie, &c. In 1745, the then laird of Avochie took part in the rebellion, and some others of the Gordons had representatives among the insurgents, but they contrived somehow to come out of al the forfeitures and confiscations consequent on that ill-fated outbreak, in some cases better, and in others no worse, than they entered them. Many Highland families were ruined by Prince Charles’ attempt to recover the kingdoms of his ancestors, but amidst the disasters of the period the Gordons flourished, while many who engaged in that enterprise were compelled to spend their lives n exile.

      The Gordons of Gight in Aberdeenshire, now extinct, sprung from ‘William, third son of Adam, second son of the second earl of Huntly, and the princess Jane, daughter of James the First. In 1579, Sir George Gordon of Gight was attacked and slain, after crossing the ferry from the south, at Dundee, by Lord Forbes and his followers. In 1644 the then Gordon of Gight, with the lairds of Newton and Ardlogie, with a party of forth horse and musketeers, all, in the language of Spalding, “brave gentlemen,” made a raid upon the town of Banff, and plundered it of buff-coats, pikes, swords, carbines, pistols, “yea and money also,” and compelled the bailies to subscribe a renunciation of the Covenant. Catherine Gordon, the last heiress of Gight, married in 1785, Captain John Byron of the Guards, and was the mother of Lord Byron, the celebrated poet, so that it was not without reason that his lordship was proud of having royal blood in his veins. Gight now belongs to the earl of Aberdeen.


      The family of Culvennan in Wigtonshire, descended in the direct male line from Sir Adam de Gordon of Lochinvar in the Glenkens of Galloway, the companion in arms of Sir William Wallace, is a branch of the noble house of Kenmure (see KENMURE, viscount of). James Gordon of Craichlaw, county of Wigton, eighth in descent from the above-named Sir Adam de Gordon, was one of those who signed the band for the defence and protection of King James the Sixth in 1567. His son, William Gordon of Craichlaw, purchased the estate of Culvennan, in the same county, and the grandson of this gentleman, William Gordon of Culvennan, an eminent Covenanter, was, with his kinsman, Alexander Gordon of Earlston, persecuted by the tyrannical government of the day, for their steadfast adherence to the civil and religious liberties of the country. Their estates were forfeited, but restored to them by act of parliament, after the Revolution. This laird of Culvennan died in 1703. He had a son, also named William, who succeeded him, and whose son, Sir Alexander Gordon of Culvennan, lieutenant-colonel of the Kirkcudbrightshire militia, and successively sheriff of the counties of Wigton and Kirkcudbright, was knighted in 1800. Having made a representation (for which he received a letter of thanks) to the duke of Wellington, then at the head of the ordnance, of the state of neglect in which the sword of Wallace was kept at Dumbarton castle, it was ordered to be sent to the Tower of London, and, after being properly mounted and furbished, returned. On his death, 21st October, 1830, Sir Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son, James Gordon of Culvennan, who, dying 27th May, 1843, without issue, his nephew, William Gordon of Greenlaw, became proprietor of Culvennan.


      In the baronetage of Scotland and Nova Scotia there are three families of the name of Gordon, namely, Gordon of Gordonstoun and Letterfourie, Banffshire, (premier baronet); Gordon of Embo, Sutherlandshire; and Gordon of Earlston, Kirkcudbrightshire; and in the baronetage of the United Kingdom are Gordon of Halkin, and Kinstair, Ayrshire, and Crombie, Banffshire (1813), and Gordon-Cumming of Altyre and Gordonstoun, Elginshire (1804), already mentioned; besides Gordon of Northcourt, Isle of Wight, and Knockespock, Aberdeenshire (1818).


      In Banffshire are the Gordons of Park House, derived from a scion of Huntly. In 1808 Thomas Duff, of the family of Duff of Drummuir, succeeded to the barony of Park, through his grandmother, Helen Gordon of Park, and thereupon assumed the name of Gordon in lieu of his own patronymic.


      The family of Gordon of Letterfourie, baronet, descend from Adam, 2d son of 2d earl of Huntly, and the princess Jane, daughter of King James I., They had 4 sons. 1. Alexander, 3d earl of Huntly. 2. Adam, of Aboyne, who married Elizabeth, countess of Sutherland, and, in her right, assumed the title of earl of Sutherland (see SUTHERLAND, earl of). 3. Sir William, slain at Flodden, ancestor of the Gordons of Gight, Banffshire. This family is now extinct. 4. Sir James Gordon of Letterfourie, admiral of Scotland in 1513, whose descendants continued the line, of whom afterwards.

      John gordon, eldest so of Alexander, master of Sutherland, (who predeceased his father, in January 1529), and grandson of Hon. Adam Gordon of Aboyne, above mentioned, succeeded as 10th earl of Sutherland. The Hon. Sir Robert Gordon, 2d son of his lordship’s only son, the 11th earl, was the first baronet. Vice-chamberlain of Scotland, sheriff of Inverness-shire, and a lord of the privy council, he was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, May 26, 1625. He died in 1656.

      His eldest son, Sir Ludovick, 2d baronet, had 4 sons and 4 daughters. Of the latter, the eldest, Lucy, married Robert Cumming, Esq. of Altyre. Sir Ludovick died in 1686.

      His eldest son, Sir Robert, 3d baronet, was twice married. By his 2d wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Dunbar, baronet, of Hempriggs, Caithness-shire, ancestor of 6th Lord Duffus, he had 3 sons and a daughter, Lucy, married to David Scot of Scotstarvet, Fifeshire. He died in 1701.

      His eldest son, Sir Robert, 4th baronet, on the death of the 17th earl of Sutherland without sons, claimed that title, but the House of Lords, in March 1771, adjudged it to the deceased earl’s daughter, Elizabeth, first duchess of Sutherland. Sir Robert married Agnes, daughter of Sir William Maxwell of Calderwood, baronet, and died in 1772.

      The baronetcy, having been granted to heirs male whatsoever, was inherited by James Gordon, Esq. of Letterfourie, who became 7th baronet, as lineal representative of Sir James Gordon of Letterfourie, admiral of Scotland in 1513, youngest brother of Hon. Adam Gordon of Aboyne, above mentioned, husband of the countess of Sutherland.

      His descent is thus given. The admiral’s son, James Gordon of Letterfourie, who lived during the reigns of James V. and Queen Mary, was succeeded by his son, also named James. The latter seems to have been involved in the commotions in the north during the reign of Charles I. His son, with others of the name of Gordon, having joined in the depredations committed on the property of Crichton of Frendraught, the laird of Letterfourie appeared at Edinburgh in Feb. 1635, with Sir Adam Gordon of Park and various gentlemen of the Gordon surname, similarly situated, and was, with the, committed to prison, until their sons, who had engaged in the combination against Frendraught, should be presented before the council. These gentlemen denied being accessory thereto, and petitioned to be set at liberty, a request which was complied with, on condition that they should either produce the offenders, or force them to quit the kingdom. Accused by Adam Gordon, one of the principal leaders of the confederacy against Frendraught, and son of Sir Adam Gordon of Park, with having employed him and his associates, in name of the marquis of Huntly, against the laird of Frendraught, Letterfourie was cited to appear at Edinburgh for trial. On being confronted with his accuser, he denied every thing laid to his charge, and was committed a close prisoner to the gaol of Edinburgh. The marquis himself was confined in the castle. This happened in January 1636. There being no proof against them, both the marquis and Letterfourie were released, by command of the king, on giving security for indemnifying the laird of Frendraught in time coming for any damage he might sustain from the Gordons and their accomplices. In 1647 the laird of Letterfourie was commander of the Bog of Gight of Gordon castle, which was taken by General David Leslie, and Letterfourie with his brother, Thomas Gordon of Clastirim, and other gentlemen of the name of Gordon, sent prisoners to Edinburgh. The house of Letterfourie was burned by the Covenanters. This James Gordon of Letterfourie had 6 sons. 1. John, who succeeded. 2. James, who acquired the lands of Cuffarach. 3. Peter, progenitor of the Gordons of Aberlour. 4. Alexander. 5. William, who went into the service of the duke of Tuscany. 6. Robert.

      The eldest son, John Gordon of Letterfourie, adhered to the interest of James VII., and was in the castle of Edinburgh, in 1689, when the duke of Gordon, the governor, held it in name of the fallen monarch. In 1695 the laird of Letterfourie married Glicerie, daughter of Sir William Dunbar, first baronet of Durn, and had 4 sons. 1. Peter, who died in 1743, unmarried. 2. James, wine merchant, Madiera, who returned to Scotland, and died in 1790, also unmarried. 3. William, who was robbed and murdered in crossing the Alps in 1740. 4. Alexander.

      The youngest and only surviving son, Alexander, succeeded his father in Letterfourie. A stanch Jacobite, he engaged in the rebellion of 1745, and being obliged, in consequence, to leave Scotland, he went for a time to his brother at Madiera. He married in 1778, the daughter of Alexander Russell, Esq. of Moncoffer, Aberdeenshire; issue, 3 sons. 1. James, who succeeded. 2. Alexander, who died in 1810, in his 28th year. 3. Charles Stuart, so named after the pretender, died at Venice, Dec. 13, 1805, in his 21st year. Alexander Gordon of Letterfourie died January 16, 1797, in his 83d year.

      His eldest son, James, was the next laird of Letterfourie. On the death of Sir William Gordon, 6th baronet of Gordonstoun, the succession to that baronetage opened to him, and April 22, 1806, he was served heir male general to Sir Robert Gordon, the first baronet of Gordonstoun. In consequence he became 7th baronet. In 1801, Sir James married Mary, daughter and heiress of William of Glendonwyn, Esq. of Glendonwyn, and had 4 sons; 1. William, who succeeded; 2. James, born in 1805, deceased; 3. Charles, born Nov. 11, 1808, deceased; 4. Robert, born Aug. 13, 1824; and 3 daughters; 1. Helen; 2. Mary, married William Shee, Queen’s serjeant; 3. Alexandrina Jane. Sir James died Dec. 24, 1843.

      His eldest son, Sir William, 8th baronet, born Dec. 26, 1803, was in 1855 appointed lieutenant-colonel 66th foot, but the same year he exchanged to the 3d West India regiment, and in 1858 retired from the army.


      The family of Gordon of Embo, Sutherlandshire, also in possession of a baronetcy, descend from Adam Gordon, deal of Caithness, youngest of 3 sons of Alexander, first earl of Huntly, and brother of George, 2d earl of Huntly, above mentioned, who married the princess Jane. The deal himself married the heiress of Sutherland, and had 3 sons and a daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Lord Findlater. The sons were, 1. William, chancellor of Dunkeld, rector of Petty, and treasurer of Caithness. 2. George of Beldorney. 3. John, ancestor of the family of Embo. The dean died in 1528.

      The 3d son, John Gordon of Drummey, had a son, John Gordon, first styled of Golspietour, and afterwards of Embo. In the feuds between the earls of Sutherland and Caithness, he took an active part. In the beginning of 1588 the former sent 200 men into Caithness under his command and that of John Gordon of Kilcalmekill, his own kinsman, to reconnoitre and ascertain the strength of the earl of Caithness, before invading the country himself. The Gordons and their party entered the parishes of Dumbaith and Lathron, and after wasting the country and killing some of the Caithness men, returned with an immense booty in cattle, which they divided amongst themselves. This division was long known by the name of Creach-lairn, that is, the hardship of Lathron. In Oct. 1590, a considerable party of Caithness men carrying off a large number of cattle from Sutherland, were pursued by John Gordon of Embo, Patrick Gordon of Gartay, and John Gordon of Kilcalmekill, and attacked by them, at a place called Clyne. The battle that ensued was a severe and prolonged one, but, on the approach of night, the Caithness men were forced from the field and obliged to abandon the cattle which they had stolen. John Gordon of Embo was succeeded by his only son of the same name.

      This gentleman, when John Gordon, younger of Embo, was, like his father, involved in most of the commotions arising out of the feuds with the rival house of Caithness. In 1612 Sir Robert Gordon, tutor of Sutherland, having got a commission from the privy council, authorizing him to apprehend one Arthur Smith, a forger, under the protection of the earl of Caithness, entrusted the commission to Donald Mackay, his nephew, and to John Gordon, younger of Embo. Smith was apprehended in Thruso, and Mackay went off with him, but Gordon and his party were attacked in the town by John Sinclair of Stirkage, nephew of the earl of Caithness, and a large party of Sinclairs. The latter were defeated with loss, and Sinclair of Stirkage killed. For this slaughter, the earl f Caithness summoned Gordon, younger of Embo, and his friends, to appear and answer at Edinburgh. The earl himself, and several of the parties engaged on Sinclair’s side, were also cited, for resisting the king’s commission. The parties met at Edinburgh, and the lords of the privy council compelled them to sign a deed of submission of their differences to the adjustment of the marquis of Huntly. The following year the earl of Sutherland sent John Gordon, younger of Embo, and Donald Mackey with 300 men and 149 servants, into Lochaber, in an enterprize against the clan Cameron. In October of the same year, the earl f Caithness having again assembled his men, the earl of Sutherland sent his brother, Sir Alexander Gordon, Donald Mackay, and Gordon, younger of Embo, with a party of men, after him, to watch his movements, on which he dissolved his force and returned home. In December, a remission and pardon from the king were granted to John Gordon, younger of Embo, and his accomplices, for the slaughter of Sinclair of Stirkage in Thurso. During the year 1621, the following circumstance occurred: “A dispute arose between Sutherland of Duffus and John Gordon, younger of Embo, respecting the marches between Embo and the lands of Cuttle, which belonged to the former. Duffus, accompanied by his brother, James Sutherland, and 7 other persons, visited the marches one evening, when he sent for young Embo to come and speak with him regarding them. Though late in the evening, Embo went, unaccompanied by any person, and met Duffus and his party, and after exchanging some words, they attacked Gordon and wounded him before he had time to draw his sword. As soon as this attack became known, the Gordons and the Grays, with some of the earl of Sutherland’s tenants, came to Embo, and proceeded thence to the castle of Skibo, where Duffus then resided, with the design of attacking him. Sir Alexander Gordon, sheriff of Sutherland, hearing of the meeting, immediately hastened to the spot, to prevent mischief. Sir Robert Gordon afterwards prevailed upon the parties to hold a friendly meeting, at which they agreed to refer their disputes to arbitration.”

      In the army raised by Sir Robert Gordon in 1623, b order of the government, for the apprehension of the earl of Caithness, Gordon, younger of Embo, with two others, had command of the left wing. In 1625, young Embo, riding one day between Sidderay and Skibo, met John Sutherland of Clyne, 3d brother of the laird of Duffus, who had formerly attacked him. This gentleman was also on horseback, and Embo inflicted on him several blows with a cudgel which he held in his hand. Sutherland drew his sword, Gordon unsheathed his, and in the combat that ensued, Sutherland was severely wounded in the head and in one of his hands. Duffus immediately cited Gordon to appear before the privy council, to answer for this breach of the peace, and on the day appointed the parties met at Edinburgh, when young Embo was declared guilty of a riot, and committed to prison. On the intercession of Sir Robert Gordon, he was released shortly after, on payment of a fine to the king of one hundred pounds Scots. This Gentleman, after he came into possession of Embo, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, Jan. 29, 1631.

      His eldest son, Sir Robert, 2d baronet, member of the Estates for Sutherland, married a daughter of James, 2d Lord Duffus (attainted in 1715), and had 4 sons. John, Robert, James, and William, and 3 daughters.

      His eldest son, Sir John, succeeded as 3d baronet. During his father’s lifetime, being then called John Gordon, younger of Embo, he was summoned by the Prince of Orange to the convention of Estates at Edinburgh in 1688-9, and sat there as member for Sutherland. He had a son, William, and 2 daughters, the elder of whom married Lord Reay. Sir John died Oct. 16, 1697.

      His only son, Sir William, 4th baronet, was, in 1741, M.P. for Cromarty and Nairn. He had 2 sons, John and William, the latter, in 1751, commander of the Otter sloop of war.

      The elder son, Sir John, 5th baronet, was twice married, and had 5 sons and 6 daughters. He died January 24, 1779.\

      His eldest son, Sir James, 6th baronet, colonel in the Dutch service, died, unmarried, at Zutphen, Guelderland, in 1786.

      The title devolved upon his brother, Sir William, 7th baronet, born in 1736. He entered the army in 1755, as an officer in the 19th regiment, and was afterwards in the Norfolk militia. He married June 15, 1760, Sarah, only daughter of Crosby Westfield, Esq., R.N., and had 14 children, several of whom predeceased him. He died January 7, 1804.

      His son, Sir John, succeeded as 8th baronet. A lieutenant of engineers, Bengal army, he died, unmarried, at Prince of Wales Island, Nov. 12, 1804.

      His only surviving brother, Sir Orlando, the youngest of his father’s family, was the 9th baronet. He was a captain 78th Highlanders, and married, in Dec. 1813, Frances, daughter of General Gore Browne, He died June 19, 1857, leaving a son and 3 daughters.

      The son, Sir Home Gordon, 10th baronet, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1839. He subsequently became M.A.; a deputy lieutenant of Sutherlandshire. He married March 26, 1844, Ellen Harriet, youngest daughter of Bartholomew Barnewell, Esq.; issue, one son, Home Seton, born March 21, 1845.


      The Gordons of Earlston, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, descend from Alexander, 2d son of William de Gordoune, 6th lord of Lochinvar. This Alexander Gordon, about the beginning of the 15th century, entertained some of the followers of John Wicliffe, and having obtained possession of a New Testament in English, was accustomed to read it to them at their meetings in the woods of Airds, in the neighbourhood of his estate. His great-grandson, John Gordon, by his marriage in 1582, with Margaret, eldest daughter of John Sinclair of Earlston, acquired that estate. This lady died early, leaving only a daughter, but by a marriage with a daughter of Chalmer of Gadgirth, he had 5 sons, of whom the youngest was David Gordon of Gordonstoun, Galloway.

      On his death in 1628, John Gordon was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander, born in 1587, commissioner for Kirkcudbright in the Scottish parliament, who, though a stanch royalist, opposed the measures of Charles In., for the establishment of episcopacy in Scotland. In his place in parliament he boldly maintained that the wearing the Scottish crown involved no right, as in England, to the headship of the Church of Scotland. For not conforming to the liturgy, he is said, by an old historian, to have been fined 500 merks, and confined for a time to a certain town. In a conversation with the earl of Galloway, Earlston’s kinsman, the king jocularly bestowed upon him the title of “earl of Earlston.” An offer of a baronetcy was subsequently made to him, but he declined it. He was a friend of Livingston the celebrated divine (see LIVINGSTON, JOHN). By his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Gordon, 2d laird of Pennynghame of that name, (grandfather of Alexander, 5th Viscount Kenmure,) he had 3 sons and one daughter. His eldest son predeceased him in 1645. He himself died in Nov. 1653.

      He was succeeded by his 2d son, William Gordon of Earlston, born in 1614. This gentleman began early to distinguish himself by his firm attachment to the presbyterian cause. He made it a condition, in granting leases of his lands, that the party obtaining them should observe family worship, and he went every Sunday to church at the head of his tenantry. It also appears from some curious anecdotes in Wodrow’s Analecta, printed for the Maitland Club, that he had acquired a high reputation for his skill in solving cases of conscience. Feeling deeply the execution of Charles In., he supported the right of Charles II. To the Scottish throne. He was also n favour of the Restoration, 1660. In 1663, he was ordered by the commissioners to assist in settling an episcopalian minister in the parish of Dalry of which he was the patron; but refusing to comply, he was, on July 30, summoned before the council. Th this citation he paid no attention, and, in consequence, was, Nov. 24, the same year, charged with keeping conventicles and private meetings in his house, and ordered to appear before them, to answer for contempt. Disregarding this second summons also, sentence of banishment was immediately issued against him. He was commanded to depart the kingdom within a month – not to return under pain of death, and bound to live peaceably during that time under the penalty of £10,000. This severe sentence he likewise disobeyed, and was thereafter visited with a most rigorous persecution by the government. In 1667, he was turned out of his house, which was taken possession of by a military force, and, for some years afterwards, he was forced, like many others, to lead a wandering life, exposed to many hardships and privations. After the battle of Bothwell Bridge, as he was hastening forward to join the Covenanters, not having heard of their defeat, he was encountered near the fatal field by a party of English dragoons, when, refusing to surrender, he was killed upon the spot. This took place on 22d January, 1679. He was buried in the churchyard of Glassford, where a pillar, without any inscription, was erected over his grave. By his wife, the 2d daughter of Sir John Hope, Lord Craighall, he had 3 sons and a daughter.

      His eldest son, Alexander Gordon, born in 1650, succeeded him in his estates. He was engaged in the action at Bothwell Bridge, and narrowly escaped being taken. In riding through the town of Hamilton, pursued by the military, he met one of his tenants, who caused him to dismount, dress himself in woman’s clothes, and rock his child’s cradle, after the search was over, he proceeded to his brother-in-law, Mr. Hamilton, in Holland, to represent the depressed state of the united societies to the churches of the Netherlands; and in his absence he was, Feb. 19, 1680, declared guilty of treason, his estate forfeited, and he himself condemned to death, when found. Some time after he was captured on board ship, and on August 21, 1683, ordered to be beheaded on the former sentence, without trial. His execution, however, was delayed till some questions were put to him, particularly in regard to the Rye House plot, with a participation in which he had been unjustly charged, and, in the meantime, an answer was required by the privy council from London as to the following point, which it seems had occurred to them as one of difficulty: “Whether a person under sentence of death could be put to question by torture?” To which the reply was, “Yes, as to any crimes after condemnation!” meaning the condemnation of 1680. It was accordingly resolved to examine him upon events of which he might be cognisant from the period between February 1680 and August 1683. The examination is given in Bishop sprat’s History of the Rye House Plot, of which Mr. Gordon declared his ignorance, when believed to be on his death-bed, 7th December the same year. Owing to his state of health, he was not actually put to the torture, being only examined with the instruments before his eyes. By the intercession of his friend, the duke of Gordon, his life was spared; but he was detained a prisoner successively in the castle of Edinburgh, on the Bass Rock, and in Blackness castle, till the Revolution released him. The heavy hours of his nearly six years’ imprisonment he relieved by devoting himself to wood carving, and executed some pieces curiously descriptive of his times and family. Heraldry, in which he had a good taste, formed another amusement. By his 1st wife, Janet, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Hamilton of Preston, he had a large family, and by his 2d wife, Hon. Marion Gordon, daughter of 5th Viscount Kenmure, he had a son, William Gordon, 5th of Culvennan, and a daughter, Grizell, married Alexander Gordon of Carleton. Sir Alexander died Nov. 10, 1826.

      Although the eldest son, Sir Alexander Gordon was the 2d baronet of Earlston, the title having been conferred, first, on the 2d son, Sir William Gordon, of Afton, born in 1654. When only 16 years of age, the latter joined the army of Frederick, duke of Brandenburgh, and for 15 years was engaged in constant active military service on the continent. With the earl of Argyle he landed on the west coast of Scotland, May 27, 1685, and after the failure of that enterprise, he rejoined the Prussian army; but came over to England with the prince of Orange, at the Revolution. He subsequently served against France, under the duke of Marlborough, and was present at the battle of Steinkirk in July 1692. He attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the army, and having received several wounds, he enjoyed pensions of £182 a-year. He was also appointed governor of Fort William in Inverness-shire, and on July 9, 1706, was created a baronet of Scotland and Nova Scotia. Dying without issue male in Dec. 1718, his elder brother Alexander, of Earlston, succeeded him in the baronetcy, in terms of the patent as well as in the estate of Afton.

      Patricia, great-granddaughter of the 2d baronet, and daughter of gilbert Gordon of Halleaths, was the first wife of the first Lord Panmure, and the mother, with other children, of the 2d Lord Panmure, long known as Hon. Fox Maule.

      Sir Alexander, the 2d baronet, was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Thomas, 3d baronet. The latter, born Oct. 26, 1685, married, 1st, in 1710, Anne, eldest daughter of William Boick, or Boyack, Esq., Edinburgh; issue, several children; 2dly, Moss Gibson of Whitehaven, without issue. His two eldest sons, Thomas and Archibald, predeceased him. He died Marcy 23, 1769.

      His 3d but eldest surviving son, Sir John, became 4th baronet. Born Dec. 20, 1720, he entered the army and was a captain 70th foot. He married, in 1775, Anne, daughter of Mylne of Powderhall, without issue, and died Oct. 17, 1795.

      His nephew, Sir John, born Oct. 4, 1780, son of James Gordon, Esq. of Jamaica (who died in 1794), youngest son of the 3d baronet, succeeded as 5th baronet. He was at one period an officer in the Royal or 1st regiment of foot, and resided for some time on his estate in St. Anne’s parish, Montego Bay, Jamaica, called Earlston, after the ancient residence of his ancestors in Galloway. He died January 8, 1743. He was twice married, but had issue only by his 2d wife, Mary, eldest daughter of William Irving, Esq. of Gribton, Dumfries-shire, 3 sons and 5 daughters. The sons were, 1. John, born in 1826, drowned while bathing, July 16, 1842. 2. William, who succeeded. 3. James Irving, born Dec. 19, 1838. Mary Christian, the 2d daughter, married in 1854, John Shand, Esq., M.D., Kirkcudbright.

      The second son, Sir William, born Oct. 20, 1830, succeeded as 6th baronet. In 1849 he entered the army as a cornet 17th lancers, and served with his regiment in the Crimea, also in India. In 1854 he was severely wounded before Sebastopol, and in 1856 was created a knight of the Legion of Honour. In 1858 he became a major in the army, and in 1859 a major in his own regiment. He married, in 1857, Catherine, relict of P.J. Joyce, Esq. of Caltra Park, county Galway, and 2d daughter of John Page, Esq. Since the death of the 9th Viscount Kenmure, on 1st September 1847, he is considered the nearest male heir of Sir John Gordon, the 12th laird of Lochinvar (see KENMURE, Viscount of).


      The Gordons of Park, Banffshire, distantly connected with the Letterfourie family, also possessed a baronetcy, conferred in 1686. The 4th baronet of this family was attainted for engaging in the rebellion of 1745, but the attainder was subsequently reversed.


      The family of Gordon Duff of Halkin, Ayrshire, inherit the baronetcy from James Duff, Esq., British consul at Cadiz, created a baronet of the United Kingdom, Nov. 12, 1813, with remainder to his nephew William Gordon, Esq., 2d son of Hon. Alexander Gordon, a lord of session, under the title of Lord Rockville, and grandson of 2d earl of Aberdeen. He succeeded as 2d baronet, on the death of Sir James Fudd, in 1815, and having assumed, by royal license, the additional surname of Duff, he became Sir William gordon Duff. Born in April 1772, he married, in 1810, Caroline, daughter of Sir George Cornewall, Baronet, of Moccas Court, Herefordshire, and had by her 2 sons and 2 daughters. He died March 8, 1823.

      The elder son, Sir Alexander Cornewall, born Feb. 3, 1811, became 3d baronet. In 1854 he was appointed a senior clerk to the treasury, and was secretary to the chancellor of the exchequer. In 1856 he became a commissioner of the board of Inland Revenue, and is assistant gentleman usher of the privy chamber to the Queen. He married, in 1840, Lucy, only child of John Austin, Esq.; issue, a son, Maurice, born in Feb. 1849, and 2 daughters.


      The Gordons of Methlic and Haddo, progenitors of the earls of Aberdeen, are said to have descended uninterruptedly in the male line, while the other noble families of the name succeeded by female right to their estates and titles. The current tradition already referred to, that the Gordons derive their descent from Bertrand de Gordon, the slayer of Richard the Lion Heart, is applied particularly to this branch, and in accordance with it they bear for crest two arms about to shoot an arrow from a bow, with the motto, “Fortuna sequator.” In 1296 Sir William Gordon swore fealty to King Edward the First, for some lands in Berwickshire, which, according to Crawford, (Lives of the Officers of State, p. 266), were the lands of Coldingknows, the ancient inheritance of the family of Haddo, celebrated as the scene of the old song, ‘The broom of the Cowdenknows.’ The son of this Sir William Gordon is said to have accompanied his cousin, Sir Adam Gordon, to the north of Scotland, when he got the lands of Strathbogie from Robert the First, and to have married the daughter and sole heiress of John de Catharista, lord of the barony of Methlic on Aberdeenshire. Owing, however, to the destruction of the family papers in the civil wars of 1644, the descent of the Gordons of Methlic and Haddo cannot now be clearly deduced from the Gordons of Coldingknows. The first authentic ancestor of the earls of Aberdeen was Patrick Gordon of Methlic, a firm friend of King James the Second, (Douglas’ Peerage, vol. I. P. 16), who joined the king’s forces under the command of his cousin, the earl of Huntly, against the earl of Crawford, and was killed at the battle of Arbroath in 1445.

      His son, James Gordon of Methlic, obtained fro King James the Second a grant of part of the barony of Kellie, then vested in the Crown by the forfeiture of Alexander earl of Crawford. He also acquired several other lands. He had, with two daughters, five sons; Patrick, his successor; Robert, of Fetterletter, whose only daughter was married to John gordon of Gight; Alexander, bishop of Aberdeen from 1516 to 1518; George, of Auchterhouse; and James, rector of Lonmay and Prebendary of Aberdeen.

      Patrick, the eldest son, got charters from Kings James Third, fourth, and Fifth, of various lands, and died before 11th September 1531. His eldest son, George, predeceased him, but having married a daughter of Hay of Dalgettie, he had a son, James Gordon of Haddo and Methlic, who succeeded his grandfather. In 1567 he was one of the barons who signed the bond of association for the defence of the young prince, James the Sixth, but believing that Queen Mary, his mother, had been imposed upon, he soon joined the earl of Huntly, her lieutenant in the north, and adhered faithfully to her interest ever after. He died in May 1582. By his wife, Margery, daughter of Sir Thomas Menzies of Pitfoddels, comptroller of Scotland in the reign of Queen Mary, he had six sons. David, the fourth son, was ancestor of the Gordons of Nethermuir.

      Patrick, the eldest son, died before his father, leaving a son, James, who succeeded to the estates, and had two sons, George and William. The former predeceased him, but by his wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir Alexander Bannerman of Elsick, he left a son in his infancy, known in history as Sir John Gordon of Haddo, who succeeded his grandfather on his death in November 1624. Appointed by King Charles the First next in command to the marquis of Huntly in conducting the forces raised against the Covenanters in 1639, he behaved with great courage at the battle of Turriff on the 14th May of that year, in which the Gordons were victorious, a skirmish styled by the writers of the period “The trot of Turray,” and distinguished as the occasion on which blood was first shed in the civil wars. The day after the action, the victors took possession of Aberdeen, and expelled the Covenanters from that city. On the treaty of pacification being entered into between the king and his subjects in arms on the 20th June, the laird of Haddo repaired to his majesty, then at Newark, and, for his eminent services in the royal cause, was created a baronet in 1642. In November 1643, for opposing the covenant, letters of intercommuning were issued by the convention against him, and an order granted for his apprehension, in pursuance of which the sheriff of Aberdeen, in January 1644, at the head of a large force, proceeded to his house of Kellie, but Sir John was not there. On the rising of the marquis of Huntly for the king, he joined that nobleman, and sentence of excommunication was pronounced against them both by order of the committee of the General Assembly, on the 16th April of that year. On the retreat of the marquis’ forces, Sir John attempted to defend his house of Kellie against the marquis of Argyle, then at the head of the army appointed to quell the insurrection, but was obliged to capitulate unconditionally on 8th May. He was sent to Edinburgh, and imprisoned in the western division of the cathedral of St. Giles, adjoining the old Tolbooth, and, in consequence, it acquired the name of “Haddo’s Hole,” which it still retains. On his trial he pleaded that he had the king’s commission, and acted under his authority, but was condemned and beheaded, with the maiden, at the cross of Edinburgh, 19th July of the same year, one Captain Logie, also taken at Kellie, being executed with him. By his wife, Mary, daughter of William Forbes of Tolquhon, he had, with one daughter, two sons, Sir John, and Sir George, the latter the first earl of Aberdeen.

      Sir John, second baronet, was restored to the title and his father’s forfeited estate in 1661, and died in 1665. His only daughter was married to Sir James Gordon of Lesmoir.

      Sir George, the second son, third baronet and first earl of Aberdeen, born 3d October, 1637, succeeded his brother. He was educated at the Marischal college, Aberdeen, where he was for some time a professor, but resigning that situation he went to the continent to study the civil law, and after his return to Scotland he was admitted advocate, 7th February 1668. Being sufficiently wealthy, it is recorded of him that he never took fees as an advocate, though he had abundance of clients, and many of them persons of the first rank. [Crawford’s Officers of State, pp. 250, 255.] In the parliament of 1670 he was one of the commissioners for Aberdeenshire, and a project of union between Scotland and England being then contemplated by the court, he is stated to have objected to it, on the ground of injustice to the House of Hamilton. In the parliament of 1673 he also represented the county of Aberdeen, and was appointed one of the committee nominated by the royal commissioners, to apportion the supply granted by parliament for the service of the king. Sworn a privy councillor on 11th November 1678, he was appointed a lord of session on 8th June 1680, and named president of the court in a new commission issued to the judges on 14th October 1681. Through the influence of the duke of York, (afterwards James the Seventh,) he was appointed, by letters patent, dated 1st May 1682, lord chancellor of Scotland. Being in London at the time, he embarked that same week for Edinburgh with the duke in the Gloucester frigate, which, on the 5th of May, struck on the sandbank called the Lemon and Ore, near Yarmouth, and was lost. The duke escaped from the cabin window into a boat, accompanied only by sir George Gordon, the earl of Wintoun, and two gentlemen of his bedchamber, who drew their swords to prevent the people from crowding into and sinking the boat. In his anxiety for the safety of Sir George Gordon, the duke is said to have called out, “Take care of my lord chancellor,” which was the first public intimation of his having been intrusted with the great seal; and as none but peers or prelates had for several generations received the office, his appointment gave great offence to many of the nobility. To meet this objection Sir George was, by letters patent dated at Whitehall, November 30, 1682, created by Charles the Second earl of Aberdeen, Viscount Formartine, Lord Haddo, Methlic, Tarves and Kellie. In conjunction with the duke of Queensberry, he had the chief management of affairs in Scotland for two years, when a difference occurred between him and some of his colleagues which led to his resignation. The occasion was this. Owing to the severity of the laws against nonconformity, the churches were generally well attended by the landed gentlemen, but their wives, not being named in the act of parliament, did not accompany them. The privy council, seeing that a husband and wife are one person in law, determined that a husband might be fined for his wife’s offence as well as for his own. This decision was opposed by the lord chancellor on the ground that the act did not mention wives, and that as the statute provided a fine to be paid by the husbands for their wives going to conventicles, but none for their not going to church, they could not be legally fined fr the latter offence. In consequence of this opinion, his lordship and the duke of Queensberry were sent for to court to give an account of it to the king, who decided the point against the earl, on which he resigned the chancellorship, when the earl of Perth was appointed to that office, 23d June 1684. The latter and the duke of Queensberry are said to have bribed the king’s mistress, the duchess of Portsmouth, with a large sum of money, to procure his dismissal. At the Revolution the earl of Aberdeen retired to his estates to avoid taking the oaths to King William, and was repeatedly fined for his absence from parliament. On the accession of Queen Anne he took the oath of allegiance, and sat in one or two of the earlier sessions of her parliament, but did not attend the last parliament when the union was settled. He died at Kellie 20th April 1720, in his 83d year. By his countess Anne, daughter and heiress of George Lockhart of Torbrecks, he had, with four daughters, two sons, George Lord Haddo, who predeceased his father, and William, second earl.

      The second earl, while Lord Haddo, was chosen M.P. for Aberdeenshire, but unseated on petition. After succeeding to the earldom, he was one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and generally opposed ministers. He died 30th March, 1746, in his 70th year. His fourth son, but third by his third wife, Lady Ann Gordon, daughter of the second duke of Gordon, was the Hon. Alexander Gordon, a lord of session under the title of Lord Rockville, from his estate in the county of Haddington, who died March 13, 1792. Lord Rockville’s second son, William, inherited a baronetcy on the decease of his uncle Sir James Duff, of Halkin, and accordingly assumed the name of Duff in addition to his own.

      The eldest son of the second earl, George, third earl, was also one of the Scots representative peers, and died 13th August 1801. With four daughters, he had two sons, George and William. George, Lord Haddo, the elder son, died of injuries received by a fall from his horse, on 2d October 1791. By his wife, Mary, youngest daughter of William Baird, Esq. of Newbyth, sister of Major-general Sir David Baird, he had six sons and one daughter, Alicia.

      George Hamilton Gordon, the eldest son, born at Edinburgh 28th January 1784, became fourth earl, on the death of his grandfather in 1801. Educated at Harrow school, and at John’s college, Cambridgeshire, where he graduated A.M. in 1804, he subsequently visited several parts of the continent and Greece, and, on his return, originated the Athenian Society, which limited its members to those who had visited Athens; on which account he is styled by Byron in his ‘English Bards,’ “the travelled thane, Athenian Aberdeen.” He was chosen one of the 16 Scots representative peers at the general election in 1806, rechosen in 1807, and invested with the order of the Thistle, 16th March 1808. In July 1813, he was sent on a special mission to Vienna, and was the means of bringing over Austria to the alliance with Britain against the Emperor Napoleon I. He was present at the battles of Lützen and Bautzen. It was in his quarters that Moreau died after receiving at Dresden his mortal wound. He rode over the field of Leipsic in company with Humboldt, and he was present at Hanau. It was he also who prevailed upon Murat, King of Naples, to detach himself from his imperial brother-in-law, the great Napoleon. In 1814 he was created Viscount Gordon of Aberdeen, in the peerage of the United Kingdom. He was elected chancellor of King’s college and university, Aberdeen, in 1827, appointed chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster in January 1828, remaining in that office till the following June, and was secretary of state for foreign affairs from 1828 to 1830, and colonial secretary in 1834-5. He was again appointed foreign secretary in September 1841, and retained that office till July 1846. His act in 1843 for admission of ministers to parish charges in Scotland was too late to save the disruption in the church, and in its working has not proved satisfactory. In 1845 he was appointed ranger of Greenwich Park, and in 1846 lord-lieutenant of Aberdeenshire. He was also president of the Society of Antiquaries of which and of the Royal Society he was a member. On 28th Dec. 1852, on the resignation of the earl of Derby, he was appointed prime minister when he formed a coalition administration which continued in power till 30th January 1855. His indecisive action and irresolute policy, with the terrible disasters resulting therefrom to the British army, on its first landing in the Crimea, rendered his administration unpopular, and after his resignation of office, he took no further part in public affairs. He married first, in 1805, Lady Catherine Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of first marquis of Abercorn, and she dying in 1812, without issue, he married 2dly, in 1815, Harriet, daughter of Hon. John Douglas, relict of James Viscount Hamilton, and mother of 2d marquis of Abercorn, issue, 4 sons and a daughter. Besides reviewing ‘Gell’s Topography of Troy,’ in 1822 he published an ‘Inquiry into the Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture’ His taste in the fine arts was unquestioned, and his learning and private virtues gained him a high place in the estimation of his contemporaries. He died Dec. 14, 1860. His eldest son, George John James, Lord Haddo, M.P. for Aberdeenshire, born in 1816, succeeded as fifth earl. He marred in 1840, Mary, 2d daughter of George Baillie, Esq. of Jerviswoode, and 2d sister of 10th earl of Haddington, with issue, 3 sons and 3 daughters. The eldest son, George Lord Haddo, was born Dec. 10, 1841.

      A brother of the 4th earl, Sir Alexander Gordon, D.C.B., lieutenant-colonel in the army, aide-de-camp to his uncle Sir David Baird, and afterwards to the duke of Wellington, was killed at Waterloo. Another brother, Sir Robert Gordon, G.C.B., long an ambassador, died in 1847.

GORDON, ALEXANDER, stated by Knox and Wodrow to have been the only Popish prelate who joined in the Reformation, was the son of John Lord Gordon, master of Huntly, by Margaret, natural daughter of King James the Fourth, and spent his youth in the company of James the Fifth, with whom he became a favourite. He is supposed to have been educated abroad. During the absence of the bishop elect of Caithness in England, in 1514, that see was for a short time committee to his care. On the death of Archbishop Dunbar, he was elected by the chapter to the vacant archbishopric of Glasgow, of which he was dispossessed by the earl of Arran, then governor of Scotland, who obtained a decision of the pope in favour of James Bethune, abbot of Arbroath, but, in recompense, Gordon was by his Holiness created titular archbishop of Athens, and shortly after, in November 1553, was by the earl of Arran made bishop of the Isles, and abbot of Inchaffray. He was also commendator of Icolmkill, to the temporalities of which he had been admitted on the 11th of the preceding March. In 1558 he was translated to the see of Galloway. He was present in the parliament of July 1560, when popery was abolished as the national religion, and readily acceded to the Reformation. In January 1561 he subscribed, with others, the First Book of Discipline, by which he renounced both popery and prelacy, but with the saving proviso that the prelates who had already joined the cause should retain their benefices during life. In 1562 he petitioned the General Assembly to be appointed superintendent of Galloway, and in the subsequent December was put on the leet for that office, but was unsuccessful in his object, though he was still continued as one of the commissioners for planting ministers and other office bearers in the church. On 26th November 1565, having been previously sworn a privy councillor, he was made an extraordinary lord of session. These dignities, says Knox, so uplifted him that he now refused the title of superintendent, for which he had some years ago humbly petitioned the Assembly, “and now he would no more be called overlooker or overseer of Galloway, but bishop.” His name appears at the bond granted to Bothwell on 20th April 1567. The same year he resigned the rents of the see of Galloway into the king’s hands, in favour of his son, Mr. John Gordon, wh was then pursuing his studies in France. He afterwards joined the party of the queen. Accusations were upon several occasions brought in the Assembly against him for not visiting his charge, and neglect of duty in preaching and planting kirks, and, in 1568, he was inhibited from exercising any functions in the church.

In June 17, 1571, he preached in the pulpit of John Knox, at the desire of the lords who had met at Edinburgh in arms for the queen’s defence. During the captivity of the unfortunate Mary he made several journeys into England, to treat with the English commissioners on her behalf. In August 1573 he was ordered by the Assembly to be excommunicated, for non-appearance to their citations. In 1575 he appeared before the Assembly, and gave verbal answers to the charges brought against him, and made due submission otherwise, when he was restored to his functions, excepting as a commissioner of visitation. He died in 1576. By his wife, Barbara Logie, daughter of the laird of Logie, he had John Gordon, the subject of the following notice, Lawrence Gordon, lord of Glenluce, two other sons, and a daughter.

GORDON, JOHN, D.D., a learned divine of the Church of England, eldest son of the preceding, was born in Scotland in 1544, and studied “philosophie and other sciences” in St. Leonard’s college, St. Andrews, and Baliol college, Oxford. In June 1565 he was sent by his father to France, to complete his education, at the desire of Mary queen of Scots, who allowed him a yearly pension, for his better maintenance in that kingdom. He attended the universities of Paris and Orleans, and soon became celebrated for his acquirements, particularly for his skill in the oriental languages. In a charter of the bishopric of Galloway, and abbey of Tongland, conferred upon him during his stay in France, on the resignation of his father, in order t preserve the revenues n the family, his knowledge of Hebrew, Chaldaic, Syriac, Greek, and Latin, is specially commended.

      After finishing his studies, it appears that he became an attendant of the prince of Conde, who was slain at Brissac in 1569. Coming over t England he entered the retinue of the duke of Norfolk, on whose imprisonment he attended for a short time on Queen Mary during her captivity, and by her was sent back, with high recommendations, to France, where he was appointed gentleman in ordinary to King Charles the Ninth. He held the same office in the household of Henry the Third and Henry the Fourth. From each of these sovereigns he had a yearly pension of four hundred French crowns. In 1568, he and the bishop of Ross, with the Lords Livingstone and Boyd, went to York as commissioners for Queen Mary, to meet the English commissioners, and answer the accusations brought against her by the regent Murray. He afterwards returned to France, where, during the dreadful massacre of Paris, in 1572, he was instrumental in saving many of his countrymen of the Reformed religion, to which he himself belonged. Two years thereafter, he had a public disputation in Hebrew in the town of Avignon, in presence of the bishop of that see, and seven other prelates, against the principal Rabbi of the Jewish synagogue in that place, called Rabbi Benetrius; which disputation was afterwards published. In 1601 he again appeared as a public disputant against Cardinal Peron, and other Roman Catholic divines, on which occasion he was assisted by Tilenus and Dumoulin, and completely overpowered his opponents by his learning and skill in argument. This disputation had been appointed by Henry the fourth, with the vew of converting his sister, the duchess of Lorraine, to the Romish Faith. At the earnest entreaty of that princess, Gordon was induced to come forward, and the result was, that the duchess was more confirmed than ever in the truth of the Reformed religion, to which she adhered till her death.

      On the accession of James the Sixth to the throne of England, his majesty sent for Gordon from France, and in October 1603 made him dean of Salisbury, with the episcopal jurisdiction of eighty parishes. He was present, by the king’s appointment, at a conference, which his majesty held at Hampton Court with the bishops and others of the clergy; and is mentioned in a treatise, afterwards published by William Barlow, dean of Chester, as one “whom his majestie singled out with a speciall encomium, that he was a man weill travelled in the anncients,” &c. In 1605, he received the degree of D.D., at Oxford, in the king’s presence, on his majesty’s first visit to that university. He died in his triennial visitation at Lewson House, in Dorsetshire, on September 3d, 1619, in his 75th year; and was buried in the choir of the Cathedral church of Salisbury. He was twice married: first, in 1576, to the widow Anthonette de Marolles, by whom he obtained the lordship of Longormes in France; and, secondly, in 1594, to Genevieve Betan, daughter of the first president of the court of parliament in Brittany, by whom he had an only daughter, Louise, married to Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun, the historian of the Sutherland family.

His works are:

      Assertionis pro vera verae Ecclesiae nota Rupell. 1603, 8vo.

      Anti-torto-Bellarminus, sive refutatio Calumniarum, Mendaciorum, et Importurarum Laico-Cardinalis Bellarmini, contra Jura Omnium Regum et sinceram illibatamque Famam Sereniss. Principis Jacobi Mag. Britanniae, &c. Regis. Lond. 1610, 4to.

      The Conformity of the Ceremonies of the Church of England, with the examples of the Scriptures and Primitive Church. Lond. 1612, fol.

      The Peace of the Communion of the Church of England. Lond. 1612, 4to.

      The Doctrine of Divinity, gathered out of the Word of God. Lond. 1613, fol.

GORDON, JAMES, D.D., a learned Jesuit, of the noble family of that name, was born in Scotland, in 1543. He received his education at Rome, where he entered the order of the Jesuits, September 20, 1563, and in 1569 was created D.D. He was professor of Hebrew and divinity, for nearly fifty years, at Rome, Paris, Bordeaux, Pont a Mousson, and other parts f Europe, and acquired great reputation for his learning and acuteness. He visited England and Scotland as a missionary, and was twice imprisoned for his zeal in making converts. He was also frequently employed by the general of his order in negociating their affairs, having every requisite qualification for such a duty. He is described by Alegambe as a saint, but Dodd, in his church History, gives a very different character of him. According to the latter, he was much addicted to dissipation, though strict in observing all the austerities of his order. He died at Paris, April 16, 1620. His only writings are ‘Controversiarum Fidei Epitomes,’ in three vols. 8vo, the first printed at Limoges, 1612, the second at Paris, and the third at Cologue, in 1620.

GORDON, JAMES, another learned Jesuit, of the family of Lesmore, was born at or near Aberdeen in 1553. He was successively principal of the College of the Jesuits at Toulouse and Bordeaux, and confessor to Louis XIII. He died at Paris, November 17, 1641. He was author of the following works:

      Opus Chronologieum. Col. Agr. 1614, fol.

      Chronologia ab Orbe condito ad annum Christi 1617. Aug. Rot. 1617, fol.

      De Catholica veritate, diatriba. Burdig. 1623, 12mo.

      Biblia Sacra: cum Commentarlis, &c. Paris. 1632, 3 vols. Fol.

      Theologiae Moralis, Tomus prior. Paris, 1634.

      Opuscula Tria, Chronologicum, Historicum, Geographicum. Col Agr. 1636, 8vo.

GORDON, SIR ROBERT, of Gordonstoun, baronet, author of the ‘Genealogical History of the Family of Sutherland,’ was born at Dunrobin, May 13, 1580. He was the fourth son of the eleventh earl of Sutherland, by Lady Jean Gordon, daughter of the fourth earl of Huntly, who had been first married to the earl of Bothwell. In 1598 he was sent with his brother to the university of St. Andrews, where they remained six months, and afterwards finished their education at Edinburgh. In January 1603 he went over to France to study the civil law, and perfect himself in all the accomplishments of a gentleman, and remained there till October 1605, when he returned home. In 1606 he was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber to King James the Sixth. In 1609 he was knighted, and received a pension of £200 sterling a-year for life out of the exchequer of England. In February 1613 he married at London Louisa, only daughter and heiress of Dr. John gordon, dean of Salisbury, with whom he received the lordship of Glenluce and other large possessions, both in France and Scotland.

      On the death of his brother in 1615, he became guardian and tutor of his nephew, John, thirteenth earl of Sutherland. In March of the same year, having attended the king to Cambridge, he received, with several other noblemen and gentlemen, the degree of M.A., which was conferred upon them with great solemnity. In 1617 James I. Came to Scotland for the first time since his accession to the English throne, and as he was accompanied by a great number of the English nobility, all sorts of sports, shows, recreations, and exercises were performed for their entertainment. Amongst others, there was a competition of archery in the garden of Holyrood, when Sir Robert Gordon gained the prize, being a silver arrow. He remained in Scotland for some time, and having settled his affairs in Sutherland, in November 1619 he returned with his family to England, and in the succeeding May visited France, when he disposed of his property of Longormes to Walter Stewart, because he could not attend to his estates in the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and France. In 1621 he returned to Sutherland, when he relieved the estates of the earl of a great amount of debt with which they were burdened, to the hazard of his own property; for which he cared little so that the house of Sutherland might flourish. In 1623, the earl of Caithness being proclaimed a rebel, Sir Robert Gordon received a commission from the privy council to proceed with fire and sword against him, when he took possession of Castle Sinclair, the chief residence of the earls of Caithness, which had been abandoned by the earl, who had fled to the Orkneys. Having quieted the county of Caithness, he returned with his army into Sutherland, and soon after went back to the court in England.

      In 1624 he was appointed one of the commissioners of the estates of the young duke of Lennox, and two years thereafter, one of his grace’s curators. On the accession of Charles In. He was continued in his office of a gentleman in ordinary of the king’s privy chamber; and in 1625, when his majesty created the order of baronets of Nova Scotia, Sir Robert Gordon was made the first baronet, when he obtained a charter of the barony of Gordon in that province.

      In August 1629 he was appointed sheriff of Inverness, and in May 1639 was sent by the lords of the council with Sir William Seton into the north to quell some disturbances that had broken out in that quarter. On the 13th of July the same year he was, by James, duke of Lennox, lord high chamberlain of Scotland, appointed his vice-chamberlain during his absence in France. After having governed the earldom of Sutherland with great moderation, judgment, and discretion for fifteen years, he resigned the administration of the same to his nephew, the earl, on his attaining his majority in November 1630. At the coronation of Charles I. In Scotland in 1633, he, as vice-chamberlain, with four earls’ sons, carried the king’s train from the castle to the abbey; and the next year he was sworn of his majesty’s privy council in Scotland. Sir Robert died in 1656, in his 76th year. He was the ancestor of the family of Gordonstoun, to whom he bequeathed a large estate in the county of Elgin, and now represented by Sir William Gordon Cumming, baronet. His ‘Genealogical History of the earldom of Sutherland, from its origin to the year 1630,’ with a continuation by Gilbert Gordon of Sallach, to the year 1651, was published in 1813, from the original manuscripts in the possession of the marchioness of Stafford, afterwards duchess of Sutherland. A catalogue of the singular and curious library originally formed between 1610 and 1650, drawn up by Sir Robert, was published in 1815.

GORDON, ROBERT, of Straloch, an eminent geographical and antiquarian writer, second son of Sir John Gordon of Pitlurg, was born at Kinmundy, Aberdeenshire, September 14, 1580. His father was held in such high estimation by James the Sixth, that he was invited by that monarch to the baptism of his son, Prince Charles. He was educated at Marischal college, Aberdeen, (founded in 1593, by George, fifth earl Marischal,) and was the first graduate of that university. In 1598, to complete his studies, he went to Paris, and returned home on his father’s death in 1600. Eight years afterwards, on his marriage with a daughter of Alexander Irvine of Lenturk, he bought the estate of Straloch in his native county, and thenceforth devoted his attention chiefly to geographical and antiquarian pursuits. In 1619 he succeeded his brother in the estate of Pitlurg. In 1641, at the request of Charles the First, he undertook the correction and superintendence of a complete Atlas of Scotland, which was published in 1648, by the celebrated map publishers, the Messrs. Bleau of Amsterdam, with a dedication to Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet. A second edition appeared in 1655, and a third in 1664. This work, styled ‘Theatrum Scotiae,’ comprises forty-six maps, seven of which were executed, mostly from actual survey and mensuration, by Mr. Gordon himself, who appended interesting descriptions and treatises on the antiquities of Scotland, &c. Besides this work, he wrote a critical letter in Latin to Mr. David Buchanan, containing Strictures on the Histories of Boece, Buchanan, and Knox, and on Buchanan’s treatise, ‘De Jure Regni apud Scotos;’ a preface intended for Spottiswood’s History; and various other pieces, some of which have been printed in the Spalding Club volumes. He likewise compiled a History of the family of Gordon, and collected materials for a History of his own times, which he did not live to complete. He died in August 1661, in the 81st year of his age. His portrait by Jamesone is preserved in the public hall of Marischal college, Aberdeen. There is also one by the same celebrated artist in possession of the representative of the family, Mr. Gordon-Cuming-Skene of Pitlurg and Dyce. From an engraving in Smith’s Iconographia Scotica, the subjoined woodcut is taken.

[portrait of Robert Gordon]

      His fifth son, Mr. James Gordon, minister of Rothiemay, assisted him in his geographical labours, and prepared from his papers a ‘History of Scots Affairs from 1637 to 1641,’ which has been printed by the Spalding club, in 3 vols. He also published a highly curious map of Edinburgh, with views of some of the then chief buildings of that city, when it was chiefly confined to the ridge of the old town. He constructed also a plan of the cities of Old and New Aberdeen, which was engraved in Holland at the expense of the corporation, who presented Mr. Gordon with a silk hat, and a silver cup, weighing twenty ounces, besides making a donation to his lady. To accompany his plan he wrote a ‘Description of bothe towns of Aberdeen:’ which has been printed in one of the volumes of the Spalding club. He also composed, in 1646, a comprehensive book of practical divinity.

GORDON, PATRICK, author of the ‘Famous Historie of the renowned and valiant Robert the Bruce,’ was, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, according to Dempster, employed as the king’s envoy to Poland. Mr. Pinkerton supposes him to have been a man of property, a conclusion which Dr. Irving conjectures seems to have been drawn from Gordon’s styling himself gentleman. But, as Waterhouse observes in his ‘Humble Apology for Learning and Learned Men,’ published in 1653, “al men learnedly bred, and members of universities and houses of law, are by consent of Christendom, as well as our own nation, accounted gentlemen, and warranted to write themselves so, be their extract how mean and ignote soever.” The memorials preserved of Patrick Gordon are very scanty. He was the author of the following poems, ‘Neptunus Brtannicus Corydonis. De Luctuoso Henrici Principis Obitu,’ London, 1613; ‘The famous Historie of Penardo and Laisso, otherwise called the Warre of Love and Ambition, doone in heroik verse,’ Dort, 1615; to this poem a panegyrical sonnet by Drummond is prefixed; ‘The famous Historie of the renowned and valiant Prince Robert, surnamed the Bruce, King of Scotland, and of sundrie other valiant knights, both Scots and English, enlarged with an addition of the Scottishe Kings lineallie descended from him, to Charles now Prince. A Historie both pleasant and profitable; set forthe and done in heroik verse by Patrick Gordon, Gentleman,’ Dort. 1615, 4to; Edinburgh, 1718, 12mo; Glasgow, 1753, 12mo. Both these poems in English are incomplete, consisting only of the first book each. The history of Bruce, which is of considerable length, and written in the octave stanza, contains some striking passages, though not as a whole entitled to be considered a work of much merit, possessing, as Dr. Irving observes, neither the dignity of an epic poem, nor the authenticity of a historical narration.

GORDON, JOHN, first viscount Kenmure, a nobleman eminent for his piety, was the so of Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, in Galloway, by his wife, Lady Isabel Ruthven, daughter of the first earl of Gowrie, and was born abut 1599. The family to which he belonged were celebrated for their attachment to Presbyterian principles, and he himself was the friend of Welch, Gillespie, Livingston, and Rutherford. After finishing his studies, he travelled on the continent, and while there he resided in the house of the famous John Welch, who was then settled as a minister at St. Jean d’Angely in France, having been banished from Scotland for his connection with the proceedings of the General Assembly held at Aberdeen in 1605. On his return home Kenmure exerted himself with success in getting Anwoth, the parish in which the family residence was situated, disjoined from two other parishes with which it was united; and, through his influence, Mr. Samuel Rutherford was appointed minister of the new charge in 1627, which his lordship ever after considered the most meritorious action of his life.

      He succeeded his father in the family estates and honours in November 1628; and having preferred a claim, in right of his mother, to the earldom of Gowrie, attainted for treason, he sold the barony of Stitchell, the ancient inheritance of his house, in order to obtain the means of bribing the duke of Buckingham to support his pretensions, and is said to have given the price to his grace the evening before his assassination by Felton, in consequence of which he not only lost his money, but was disappointed in his object. He had previously married Lady Jane Campbell, sister to the celebrated marquis of Argyle, beheaded in 1661, a lady of uncommon piety and worth, by whom he had several children, only one of whom, a son, survived him, but died a minor in 1639.

      At the coronation of Charles the First in 1633, Sir John gordon was created viscount of Kenmure and lord of Lochinvar, by patent dated May 8 of that year. He attended the parliament which met at Edinburgh in the succeeding June, but was present only the first day; for, not wishing to join those who opposed the king’s measures relative to the church, lest he should displease his majesty, he withdrew, under pretence of indisposition, and retired to his residence at Kenmure castle; a proceeding which afterwards caused him the most poignant regret. Private business called him again to Edinburgh, in August, 1634; but in a few days he returned home in very bad health, which increased till the 12th September, wen he died at Kenmure in his 35th year. He was attended on his deathbed by Mr. Samuel Rutherford, who wrote a tract entitled ‘The last and heavenly Speeches and glorious Departure of John Viscount Kenmure,’ printed in Edinburgh in 1649, ‘by Evan Tyler, printer to the king’s most excellent majesty,’ and reprinted at Edinburgh in 1827, with an introductory memoir of Lord Kenmure by Mr. Thomas Murray, author of ‘The Literary History of Galloway.’ Rutherford also composed a long elegiac poem on his death, entitled ‘In Joanem Gordonum Kenmurii Vicecomitem Apotheosis,’ which still remains in manuscript. To this nobleman Rutherford dedicated his first work, ‘Exercitationes Apologeticae pro Divina Gratia, contra Arminium,’ &c. An interesting account of Lord Kenmure’s resigned behaviour during his last illness is inserted in Towie’s ‘Scots Worthies.’ Lady Kenmure, his widow, was, on 21st September, 1640, married to the Hon. Sir Harry Montgomery of Giffen, second son of Alexander, sixth earl of Eglantine, without issue. She was the constant correspondent of Rutherford, the last of whose letters to her is dated in September 1659. She attained to great age, and was alive in 1672.

GORDON, WILLIAM, OF EARLSTON, an eminent supporter of the Covenant (see ante).

GORDON, ROBERT, founder of an hospital at Aberdeen, son of Arthur Gordon, advocate in Edinburgh, the ninth son of Robert Gordon of Straloch, was born about 1665. In early life he travelled on the Continent, where he spent his patrimony, amounting to about eleven hundred pounds. He afterwards went to Dantzic, where he engaged in trade; and, having acquired a small fortune, he returned to Scotland about the beginning of the 18th century, and went to reside at Aberdeen. Though styled merchant – a title in that city bestowed on any mere shopkeeper, – he does not appear t have entered into business. He was noted for his extreme parsimony, – arising, it is said, from a disappointment in love, which enabled him at his death to bequeath a sum of £10,300, for the purpose of erecting and maintaining an hospital at Aberdeen, which is called after his name, for the education and support of a certain number of boys, the sons of decayed merchants and guild brethren of that burgh. He died in January 1732.

GORDON, ALEXANDER, an antiquarian writer of some note, an accomplished draughtsman, and excellent Greek scholar, was born in Scotland about the end of the seventeenth century, but the precise date of his birth has not been recorded. While yet young, he visited various parts of the Continent, and resided in Italy for some years. After his return he published various works, a list of which is subjoined. In 1736 he was appointed secretary to the society for the encouragement of learning, with a salary of fifty pounds. He afterwards acted for a short time as secretary to the Egyptian club, which was composed of persons who had visited Egypt. In 1739 he succeeded Dr. Stukely as secretary to the Antiquarian Society, which situation he resigned in 1741, when he went with Governor Glen to Carolina in North America, where besides receiving a grant of land, he was appointed registrar of the province, made a justice of peace, and filled several other offices. He died there about 1750, leaving a large estate to his family.

      His works are:

      Itinerarium Septentrionale; or. A Journey through most of the Counties of Scotland, and those in the north of England. In two parts. Illustrated with 66 copperplates. Part 1. An account of Roman Antiquities found and collected on that Journey; 2. An account of the Danish Invasions of Scotland, and the Monuments erected there, on the different defeats of that people. Ond. 1726, fo. Additions and Corrections, by way of Supplement, containing several Dissertations on, and Descriptions of, Roman Antiquities discovered in Scotland, since publishing the said Itinerary. Together with Observations on other ancient monuments found in the north of England, never before published. Lond. 1732, fol. A Latin edition of this Work, with the Supplement, was printed in Holland, 1731.

      The Lives of Pope Alexander VI. And his son Caesar Borgia, comprehending the Wars in the Reigns of Charles VIII. And Louis XII., Kings of France, and the Chief Transactions and Revolutions in Italy from 1492 to 1516; with an Appendix of Original Papers. Lond. 1729, fol.

      A Complete History of the ancient Amphitheatres, more particularly regarding the Architecture of these buildings, and in particular that of Verona, by the marquis Scipio Maffei. Translated from the Italian. 1730, 8vo. Afterwards enlarged in a 2d edition.

      Twenty-five Plates of Mummies, Obelisks, and other Egyptian Antiquities; with two Essays towards explaining the Hieroglyphical figures on the Coffins of two of the most ancient Mummies belonging to Captain William Lethieullier. Lond. 1737, fol.

GORDON, THOMAS, an industrious political writer, the son of the proprietor of Gairloch, in the parish of Kells, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, was born there towards the close of the 17th century. After receiving a university education, either at Aberdeen or St. Andrews, it is uncertain which, he settled in London ad a classical teacher. He afterwards commenced party writer, and is said to have been employed by the earl of Oxford in Queen Anne’s reign. He first distinguished himself in the Bangorian Controversy by publishing two pamphlets in defence of Bishop Hoadly, which recommended him to Mr. Trenchard, a zealous writer on the Whig side, the author of a work entitled ‘The Natural History of Superstition,’ who engaged him as his amanuensis, and afterwards admitted him into partnership as an author. In January 1720 they began to publish in conjunction a weekly political paper, entitled ‘The Independent Whig,’ which was continued for a year, and was renewed by Gordon after Mr. Trenchard’s death. In November of the same year they began in the London, and subsequently in the British journal, a series of papers on public subjects, under the name of ‘Cato’s Letters,’ which were afterwards collected into four volumes, and reached a second edition in 1737. These two publications, and especially the ‘Independent Whig,’ were directed against the hierarchy of the Church of England, and had an express tendency to bring all religion into contempt. Having been taken into the pay of Sir Robert Walpole, Gordon wrote several pamphlets in defence of his administration, for which that minister procured him the place of commissioner of wine licenses. In 1728 appeared his translation of Tacitus, in two vols. Folio, which, with his version of the works of Sallust, published in 1744, has contributed more than his political writings to preserve his name. He died July 28, 1750, at the age of sixty. His works are:

      Works of Tacitus, translated into English; with discourses on the same. Lond. 1728=31, 2 vols. Fol.

      The Independent Whig; or, a Defence of Primitive Christianity, against the exorbitant claims and encroachments of fanatical and disaffected Clergymen. Lond. 1732, 2 vols.

      Translation of the Works of Sallust into English. Lond. 1744, 4to.

      A short Review of the Pamphlet entitled, Considerations on the Law of Forfeitures for High Treason. By Mr. Charles Yorke. 1746, 8vo.

      Cato’s Letters; or Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and other important subjects. Lond. 1748, 4 vols. 12mo. In association with John Trenchard, Esq.

      Two Collections of Tracts; the first entitled, a Cordial for Low Spirits. Lond. 1750, 3 vols, 12mo. 2d, The Pillars of Priestcraft and Orthodoxy shaken. Lond. 1750, 2 vols. 12mo.

      Plain Sermons on Practical Subjects. Lond. 1788, 2 vols.

GORDON, LORD GEORGE, whose name is inseparably connected with the celebrated riots of 1780, 3d son of Cosmo George, 3d duke of Gordon, was born in December 1750. At an early period of life he entered the navy, in which he rose to the rank of lieutenant, but quitted the service during the American war. In 1774 he was returned member for Ludgershall, a pocket borough, belonging to Lord Melbourne, which place he represented for several sessions, rendering himself conspicuous by his zealous opposition to ministers. As, however, he animadverted with great freedom and often with great wit, on the proceedings of both sides of the House, it was usual at that period to say, “that there were three parties in parliament, the ministry, the opposition, and Lord George Gordon.”

      A bill introduced b Sir George Saville having, in 1778, passed the legislature, for the relief of Roman Catholics from certain penalties and disabilities, the excitement reduced throughout the country in consequence was immense, and numerous societies were formed, and, among others, the Protestant Association at London, of which Lord George Gordon was elected president in November 1779, for the purpose of endeavouring to procure its repeal. On the 2d of June 1780 his lordship headed a vast multitude, consisting of the members of the Protestant Association, and about one hundred thousand of the excited inhabitants of the metropolis, in procession to the House f Commons, to present a petition against the obnoxious measure. This gave rise to a dreadful riot, which lasted for several days, and which was not suppressed till after the destruction of many Catholic chapels and dwelling houses, the prison of Newgate, and the mansion of the chief justice, Lord Mansfield. At one time, the King’s Bench, fleet Prison, Borough Clink, and Surry Bridewell, were all in flames at once, and the prisoners, with the inmates of Newgate, set at liberty to join the mob in the work of devastation. On Friday, the 9th, a warrant of the privy council was issued for the arrest of Lord George Gordon, charged with high treason, in attempting to raise and levy war and insurrection against the king. His trial took place on 5th February following, when no evidence being adduced of treasonable design, his lordship was necessarily acquitted. On this occasion he had for his counsel Mr., afterwards Lord, Kenyon, and the Hon. Thomas Erskine, afterwards lord chancellor.

      Lord George’s subsequent conduct could only be regarded by all rational men as that of an insane and dangerous enthusiast. In May 1786 he was excommunicated by the archbishop of Canterbury for contempt, for refusing to come forward as a witness in a court of law. He then published a ‘Letter from Lord George Gordon to the Attorney General of England, in which the motives of his Lordship’s public conduct from the beginning of 1780 to the present time are vindicated,’ 1787, 8vo. In April of that year two prosecutions were brought against him at the instance of the Crown, for a libel on the queen of France, the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, and the French ambassador, and for preparing and presenting a petition reflecting on the laws and criminal justice of the country. Being convicted on both charges, he was sentenced to imprisonment for two years on the one, and for three years on the other, to pay a fine of five hundred pounds, and find securities for his god behaviour. In the interval between the verdict and the passing of the sentence, Lord George retired to Holland, where, however, he was arrested, and conveyed to England. After residing for some time in Birmingham, he was, in December 1788, apprehended and committed to Newgate, where he spent the remainder of his days. In July 1789 he addressed a petition to the National Assembly of France, praying for its interference in his favour with the British government. But Lord Grenville, then secretary of state for foreign affairs, acquainted those who made application on his behalf, that their wishes could not be complied with, of which Lord George was duly informed. Frm this time the lonely hours of his confinement were devoted to reading, and the study of ancient and modern history. He died November 1, 1793, of a fever, and his last moments were embittered by the knowledge that he could not be buried amongst the Jews, whose religion he had, some time before his apprehension, embraced, and all the rites and duties of which he zealously performed. He was kept in confinement ten months longer than his prescribed term of imprisonment, in consequence of not being able to obtain the necessary security for his enlargement.

GORDON, ROBERT, D.D., an eminent minister and one of the fathers of the Free protesting church of Scotland, was born in the parish of Glencairn, Dumfries-shire, in 1786. His first appointment was that of assistant master in the Perth academy. Having early distinguished himself by the depth and accuracy of his mathematical knowledge, he was employed by Sir David Brewster to write the articles on Euclid, Geography, and Meteorology for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia. In 1816 he was presented by Lord Gray to the parish of Kinfauns near Perth, and in 1820 was translated to the old Chapel of Ease in St. Cuthbert’s parish, Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, which soon proving too small fr the crowded congregation which assembled to hear him, Hope Park church (also a Chapel of Ease) in that city was erected for him. In 1825 he was translated to the New North church of Edinburgh, and in 1830 to the High church of that city, a charge considered the first in the Church of Scotland. Naturally of a humble and retiring disposition, he never made himself conspicuous in church politics; but when he publicly declared his adherence to the principles and policy of the non-intrusion party in the church, perhaps no other name in Scotland carried with it so much weight among the educated and reflecting classes of his countrymen. His intrepidity and unswerving firmness in the cause of truth caused him to make his appearance at the bar of the court of session on 16th June 1839, to give the comfort of his presence to the presbytery of Dunkeld, when they were called up to receive the censure of the civil court for disregarding an interdict in the settlement of a minister in the parish of Lethendy. At the convocation in Edinburgh in November 1842, of twelve hundred ministers and elders specially assembled to consider the crisis in the church of Scotland, which appeared to render a disruption inevitable, Dr. Gordon was called upon to preside. The solemn words of his address gave a fitting tone and character to the proceedings on that momentous occasion. The author of the ‘Ten Years’ Conflict’ has well described it as “an address whose deep solemnity and unstudied yet dignified simplicity made it come home to ever heart like the words of a martyr’s confession” At the disruption in the following May, he was one of the ministers who left the Established Church, and he was followed by almost the whole of his congregation. He died 21st October 1853, universally lamented. As a preacher Dr. Gordon stood in the very front rank of the Scottish ministry of his time. After his death, was published from his sermons, a valuable and important work, entitled ‘Christ as made known to the Ancient Church,’ vols in. And ii. Embracing the historical books of Scripture, in 1854, demy 8vo, and vols. Iii, and iv, the prophetic books, in 1855.

1st Duke or Gordon (pdf)
2nd Duke of Gordon (pdf)
By John Malcolm Bulloch

Alexander Gordon
The Antiquary (pdf)

Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming

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