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The Scottish Nation

NORTHESK, Earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1647 on Sir John Carnegie, brother of David, first earl of Southesk, (see SOUTHESK, Earl of). Sir John Carnegie, second son of David Carnegie of Panbride, obtained from his father the lands of Aithie, Cruickstoun, &c., Forfarshire, of which he had a charter 1st March 1596. He was first styled of Aithie, and was created a peer, by the title of Lord Lour, by patent, dated at York, 20th April 1639, to him and his heirs male, and advanced to the dignity of earl of Ethie, Lord Lour and Egglismadie, by patent, dated 1st November 1647, to him and his heirs male for ever. He was fined £6,000 sterling by Cromwell’s act of grace and pardon in 1654. On 15th December 1658, he was served heir of conquest of Robert Carnegie of Dumichen, his immediate younger brother, in Caraldstone and other lands in Forfarshire, with the office of dempster in parliaments, justice courts and circuit courts, of the sheriffdom of Forfar. In 1662 his lordship got his titles changed to earl of Northesk and Lord Rosehill. He died 18th January 1657, aged about 88. He was twice married, and by his first wife, Magdalen, daughter of Sir James Halyburton of Pincur, he had two sons and four daughters. Lady Jean, the youngest daughter, married to William Graham of Claverhouse, was the mother of the celebrated Viscount Dundee.

David, the elder son, second earl of Northesk, died 12th December 1677. He had five sons and two daughters. David, the eldest son, third earl of Northesk, died in October 1688. His son, David, fourth earl, was by Queen Anne constituted high sheriff of Forfarshire, and sworn a privy counselor in 1702. He was also appointed one of the commissioners of the chamberlain’s court and a lord of police. He supported the treaty of Union in parliament, and in 1708 he was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and was twice afterwards rechosen. He died in 1729.

His son, David, fifth earl, died unmarried at Ethie, 24th June 1741, and was succeeded by his brother George, sixth earl, an officer in the royal navy. He attained the rank of captain, 25th August 1741, and commanded the Preston of 50 guns in the fleet under Sir John Norris in January 1744. While on a voyage to the East Indies, with commodore Burnet, they fell in with and captured in the straits of Banca, on 25th January 1745, three very valuable French East Indiamen from Canton to Europe. He commanded the Oxford of 66 guns in 1755, and the following year was promoted to a flag. He rose by seniority to the rank of admiral of the white, and died at Ethie, 22d January 1792, being then the third flag officer in the service. He married Lady Anne Leslie, eldest daughter of Alexander, earl of Leven and Melville, and had by her four sons and three daughters. David, Lord Rosehill, the eldest son, an ensign in the 25th foot, in 1767 quitted the army and went to America. He died at Rouen in Normandy, 19th February 1788, aged 39.

William, seventh earl of Northesk, a distinguished naval commander, the second son, was born in 1788. At the age of eleven he entered the navy, his first ship being the Albion. He afterwards served in the Southampton frigate with Captain Macbride, at the time he conveyed the queen of Denmark to Zell; and in the Squirrel, with Captain Stair Douglas. He then obtained an acting appointment as lieutenant of the Nonsuch, and, in 1777, was confirmed by Lord Howe in the Apollo. He afterwards served under Sir John Lockhart Ross, in the Royal George, at the capture of the Caracca fleet off Cape Finisterre, and of the Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Langara, and at the relief of Gibraltar; then in the West Indies with Lord Rodney, who promoted him from the flagship, after the celebrated action of April 17, 1780, to be commander of the Blast fire ship. He was subsequently removed into the St. Eustatia, and was present with her at the reduction of the island of that name, February 3, 1791. He obtained post rank, April 7, 1782, and at the ensuing peace returned to England in the enterprise frigate. In 1788 his eldest brother died, when he succeeded to the title of Lord Rosehill. In 1790, on the equipment of the fleet in consequence of the dispute with Spain relative to Nootka Sound, he was appointed to command the Heroine frigate, but was soon after paid off.

On the death of his father, in January 1792, he became earl of Northesk, and in January 1793, proceeded to the West Indies in command of the Beaulieu frigate. He returned in the Andromeda in December, and was soon after placed on half-pay. In 1796 he was appointed to the Monmouth, 64, and joined the North Sea fleet under the command of Lord Duncan. In May 1797 the mutiny, which had commenced in the Channel fleet, extended to the ships employed in the North Sea, and the Monmouth was brought by her refractory crew to the Nore. On the first symptoms appearing of the men’s return to duty, the mutineers on board the Sandwich sent for Lord Northesk, to endeavour to effect a reconciliation with the government. On reaching the Sandwich, his lordship was ushered into the cabin, where Richard Parker, as president, and about sixty seamen, acting as delegates from the several ships, were sitting in close deliberation. Parker requested him, as “the seamen’s friend,” to proceed to the king, with a declaration of the terms on which they were willing to give up the ships. His lordship consented, but told them he had no expectation of success. He immediately hastened to London, but, of course, the terms, from the unreasonableness of the demands, were at once rejected. Lord Northesk afterwards resigned the Monmouth, and remained unemployed till 1800, when he was appointed to the Prince, of 98 guns, in the Channel fleet, in which ship he continued till the peace in 1802. On the renewal of the war in 1803, he was appointed to the Britannia of 100 guns. In May 1804, he was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral, and, in the following month, hoisted his flag in the Britannia, and served in the arduous blockade of Brest till August 1805, when he was detached with a squadron, under the orders of Sir Robert Calder, to reinforce Vice-admiral Collingwood off Cadiz. At the battle of Trafalgar, he was third in command, and maintained his well-earned reputation by a display of the most undaunted valour. In his ship the Britannia, he broke through the enemy’s line astern of their fourteenth ship, and pouring in on each side a most tremendous and destructive fire, he continued engaging frequently on both sides, and with two or three at a time, with very little intermission for five hours, when all resistance ceased. For his eminent services, on this occasion, he was, on January 29, 1806, honoured with the insignia of the order of the Bath. He also received the thanks of both houses of parliament, the freedom of the city of London, and of the Goldsmith’s company, with a sword of the value of one hundred guineas from the city of London, an admiral’s medal from his majesty to be worn round the neck, and a vase of the value of £300, from the Patriotic Fund at Lloyd’s. In April 1808 he became a vice-admiral, and, June 4, 1814, an admiral. In November 21, 1821, he was appointed rear-admiral of Great Britain, and on May 27, commander-in-chief at Plymouth, where he remained till 1830. He died May 28, 1831. His lordship married Mary, only daughter of William Ricketts of Longwood in Hampshire, by Mary Jervis, eldest sister of the first earl of St. Vincent, and had by her four sons and five daughters. George, Lord Rosehill, the eldest son, was lost in his 16th year, on board his majesty’s ship, ‘The Blenheim,’ in which he was a midshipman, 2d February 1807, when that ship foundered in the East Indies.

The second son, William Hopetoun, eighth earl, born 16th October 1794, married 4th February 1843, Georgiana Maria, eldest daughter of Rear-admiral the Hon. George Elliot, with issue a son, George John, Lord Rosehill, born 1st December 1843, and a daughter, Lady Margaret Maria Adeliza Carnegie.

In the early part of 1853, the countess of Northesk published a compilation, entitled ‘The Sheltering Vine,’ a selection of passages of holy writ, and of extracts from fathers of the English church, ‘with a view to present comfort and consolation to persons laid low, either bodily or spiritually, by afflicting providence.’

The title of Viscount St. Vincent in the peerage of Great Britain is in remainder to the male issue of the seventh earl’s countess, after her brothers and their heirs male.

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