Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish Nation

PORTMORE, Earl of, a title (*now extinct) in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1703 on Sir David Colyear, elder son of Sir Alexander Robertson, of the family of Strowan, Perthshire, who was created a baronet of England 20th February 1677, and settled in Holland, where he acquired a considerable property, and assumed the name of Colyear. Besides Sir David, he had another son, Walter Philip Colyear, who had the command of a regiment in the Dutch service in 1695, and was appointed governor of Namur in 1718. He attained the rank of field-marshal, and died at Maestricht in November 1747, aged 90. His daughter Elizabeth, maid of honour to Queen Anne, and lady of the bedchamber to Queen Caroline, consort of George I., married in January 1709, Lionel, duke of Dorset, and died 12th June 1768.

Sir David Colyear, first earl of Portmore, went as a volunteer into the army of William prince of Orange, in 1674. He had the command of a Scottish regiment in the Dutch service, and came to England, with King William, at the Revolution. He served with great reputation in Ireland in 1689 and 1690, and afterwards in Flanders. He was created a peer of Scotland, by the title of Lord Portmore and blackness, to him and the heirs male of his body, June 1699, and took the oaths and his seat in parliament, 31st October 1700. We learn from a contemporary writer that his lordship had but one eye. In 1702 he became major-general, and on 27th February 1703, had the command of the 2d regiment of foot. He was raised to the dignities of earl of Portmore, viscount of Milsington, and Lord Colyear, by patent, dated at St. Jamesí 13th April 1703, to him and the heirs male of his body. He was sent with the duke of Orleans to Cadiz, and served in the war of succession in Spain as lieutenant-general. In 1710 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, and in January 1711, was promoted to the rank of general. In 1712 he commanded in Flanders, under the duke of Ormond. The same year he was sworn a privy councilor, and made a knight of the Thistle. In August 1713,he was created governor of Gibraltar, and in October following was chosen one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland. When the Spaniards in March 1727 laid siege to Gibraltar, the earl of Portmore embarked for that place, to assume the command as governor. The siege was raised upon the approach of Admiral Wager, with eleven ships of the line. Spain then offered two millions sterling for possession of Gibraltar, but in vain, and by a compact at Seville in 1729, the Spanish government agreed to renounce all its claims upon it. Lord Portmore died 2d January 1730. He had married Catherine, countess of Dorchester, the mistress of James VII., and the only child of the witty and accomplished Sir Charles Sedley, of Southfleet in Kent, baronet. Her father took an active part in bringing about the Revolution, and it is related of him, that on being reproached by James for doing so, he sarcastically replied, that his majesty having made his daughter a countess, in gratitude he could not do less than aid in making his daughter a queen! The countess had a pension of £5,000 per annum on the Irish establishment, and died at Bath, 26th December 1717, having had, by Lord Portmore, two sons, David, viscount of Milsington, who predeceased his father, and Charles, second earl of Portmore.

The second earl, born 27th August 1700, was in 1732 appointed ambassador to compliment Don Carlos, afterwards king of the Two Sicilies, son of Philip V. of Spain, on his obtaining possession of the duchies of Parma and Piacentia. The same year he was invested with the order of the Thistle. At the general election of 1734, he was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and in 1741 was rechosen. He was remarkable in his day for the splendour of his equipages and the magnificence of his dress. He was also a conspicuous member of the turf. He died in London, 5th July 1755. By his countess, Juliana, duchess dowager of Leeds, he had two sons and two daughters. The elder son, David, viscount of Milsington, an ensign in the Coldstream guards, died, unmarried, 16th January 1736, aged 18.

The younger son, William Charles, third earl of Portmore, married 5th November 1770, Lady Mary Leslie, second daughter of the ninth earl of Rothes, and had four sons and three daughters. His two eldest daughters died at Bath, the same day, 11th August, 1800.

The eldest son, Thomas Charles, fourth earl, was an officer in the army. He married Lady Mary Elizabeth Bertie, only child of the fifth duke of Ancaster, and had one son, Brownlow Charles Colyear, viscount of Milsington, who, on the death of his grandfather Brownlow, duke of Ancaster, 8th February 1809, succeeded to his large personal property. He died at Rome, in 1819, of wounds received from banditti. The earl married a second time, but died, without surviving issue, 18th January1835, when the titles of earl Portmore &c., became extinct.

Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus