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The Scottish Nation

ROSS, the name of a clan, called in Gaelic Clan Rosich na Gille Andras, or the offspring of the followers of St. Andrew, one of the early chiefs having devoted himself to that saint. The badge of the clan Ross was the juniper, and in former times, when its chiefs were earls of Ross, they possessed a large portion of the county of that name in the north of Scotland. Ross of Pitcalnie is the representative of the ancient earls. The clan Ross was one of the eighteen Highland clans that fought on Bruce’s side at Bannockburn. In 1427 they could muster 2,000 fighting men; in 1715 but 300, and in 1745, 500.


ROSS, Earl of, an ancient territorial title in Scotland, the first who bore it being Malcolm, in the reign of Malcolm the Maiden (1153-1165). Ferquhard, the second earl, called Fearchar Mac an t-Sagairt, or son of the priest, at the head of the tribes of Moray, repulsed Donald M’William, the son of Donald Bane, when, soon after the accession of Alexander II. in 1214, that restless chief made an inroad from Ireland into that province. In 1235 the earl of Ross marched against the Gallowegians, who had appeared in arms in support of the claims of Thomas, the illegitimate son of Alan the last lord of Galloway, and defeated them with great slaughter. In September 1237 he witnessed the treaty entered into by Alexander II. with Henry III. of England at York. This earl was the founder of the abbey of Fearn in Ross-shire.

In the time of William, third earl of Ross, about 1250, an insurrection broke out against him of some of the people of his own province, and having apprehended their leader, he imprisoned him at Dingwall. In retaliation, the Highlanders seized upon the earl’s second son at Balnagowan, but were pursued by the Monroes and the Dingwalls, and after a sanguinary conflict the youth was rescued. In requital, the earl made various grants of land to those who had so bravely assisted him. He was one of the Scots nobles who entered into an agreement, 8th March 1258, with Lewellyn, prince of Wales, that the Scots and Welsh should only make peace with England by mutual consent. He sat in the parliament at Scone, 5th February 1283-4, when the succession to the throne of Scotland was settled on Margaret of Norway.

His son, William, fourth earl, was one of the magnates Scotiae, and was present in the convention of Brigham, 12th March 1290, when the marriage of Queen Margaret with Prince Edward of England was proposed. In 1292 he was one of the nominees on the part of Baliol in his competition for the crown, and he swore fealty to Edward I., at Berwick, 3d August of the same year. He was in the Scots army at the battle of Dunbar, 28th April 1296, and on its defeat he took refuge in Dunbar castle, which, at that period, was considered the key of Scotland in the south-east border. The day following, King Edward, with the main body of the English army, arrived before the castle, and compelled the garrison to surrender. The earl of Ross was sent a prisoner to London, but soon obtained his release. He was one of the witnesses to the treaty of Bruce with Haco, king of Norway, 28th October 1312. With his clan he was at the battle of Bannockburn, and he signed the memorable letter to the Pope in 1320, asserting the independence of Scotland. He had two sons, Hugh, his successor, and John, who with his wife, Margaret, second daughter of Alexander Comyn, fourth earl of Buchan, got the half of her father’s whole lands in Scotland. He had also a daughter, Isabel, who became the wife of Edward Bruce, earl of Carrick and king of Ireland, brother of Robert the Bruce, 1st June 1317.

Hugh, the next earl of Ross, fell, in 1333, at Halidonhill, the holy hill or mount (the additional word hill is superfluous), so called from the supernatural aid which Oswald king of Northumbria is said to have received in battle with Cedwall, a noble British chief, and it was, in consequence, long known by the name of Heaven-field. Hugh’s successor, William, left no male heir. His eldest daughter, Euphemia, married Sir Walter Lesley of Lesley, Aberdeenshire, and had a son, Alexander, earl of Ross, and a daughter, Margaret. Earl Alexander married a daughter of the regent Albany, and his only child, Euphemia, countess of Ross, becoming a nun, she resigned the earldom to her uncle John, earl of Buchan, Albany’s second son. Her aunt Margaret had married Donald, second lord of the Isles, and that potent chief assumed in her right the title of earl of Ross, and took possession of the earldom. This led to a contest with the regent Albany, and as Donald asserted his claim with all the clans of the Hebrides to back it, the battle of Harlaw in 1411 was the result.

On the death of the earl of Buchan and Ross at the battle of Verneuil in France in 1424, the earldom of Ross reverted to the crown. James I., on his return from his long captivity in England, restored it to the heiress of line, the mother of Alexander lord of the Isles, who, in 1420, had succeeded his father, Donald, above mentioned. In 1425, Alexander, lord of the Isles and master of Ross, was one of the jury on the trial of Murdoch, duke of Albany, and his sons, and the aged earl of Lennox. Having become embroiled with his kinsmen, the descendants of the first lord of the Isles by his first wife, and been a participator in various feuds and disturbances which had thrown the Hebrides into confusion, he was, in 1427, summoned, with other Highland chiefs, to a parliament held at Inverness by James I. On his arrival there, however, he and the other chiefs were, to the number of forth, by a stratagem of the king, arrested and confined in separate prisons. The countess of Ross, his mother, was also apprehended, and imprisoned at the same time, on a charge of encouraging her son in his lawless proceedings. Some of the imprisoned chiefs were executed, but the greater part, and among them the lord of the Isles, were soon set at liberty. IN 1429 he summoned together his vassals, both of Ross and the Isles, and at the head of 10,000 men, wasted the crown lands in the vicinity of Inverness, and burned the town itself to the ground. At the head of some troops, which he had promptly collected, the king hastened, by forced marches, to Lochaber, and surprised the earl. The mere display of the royal banner won over the clan Chattan and the clan Cameron from his support, and he himself, suddenly attacked and hotly pursued, was compelled to sue, but in vain, for peace. Driven to despair, he resolved to cast himself on the royal, mercy, and on Easter Sunday, on the eve of a solemn festival, with his legs and arms quite bare and covered only with a plaid, he rushed into the king’s presence, amidst his assembled court in the church of Holyrood, and surrendering his sword, which he held by the point in his hand, fell upon his knees, and abjectly implored his sovereign’s clemency. His life was spared, but he was committed to close ward for two years in the castle of Tantallon. His mother, the countess, was also kept in close confinement in the ancient monastery of Inchcolm, on the small island of the name in the Firth of Forth (Fordun, vol. iv. p. 1286.) they were both released after about fourteen months’ imprisonment, and about the same time he succeeded his mother as earl of Ross. IN 1431, he received a free pardon in parliament for all his crimes, and for some time afterwards he conducted himself peaceably, and even rose into favour. During the minority of James II. he held the office of justiciary of Scotland north of the Forth, and to punish the chief of the clan Cameron for deserting him in his conflict with the Crown in 1427, he forced him to fly to Ireland, and bestowed his forfeited lands upon another. In 1445, the earl entered into a treasonable league with the earls of Douglas and Crawford against the infant possessor of the throne, but before his designs could be carried into effect, he died in 1449, at his castle of Dingwall. From this stronghold the charters, by which many of the ancient families in Ross-shire held their lands from the earls of Ross, were dated, “apud castrum nostrum de Dingwall.”

Alexander’s son, John, the next earl of Ross and lord of the Isles, having joined the earl of Douglas in his rebellion against James II., sent in 1455, to the western coast of Scotland, an expedition of 5,000 men, under the command of his near kinsman, Donald Balloch, lord of Isla. With this force he desolated the whole coast from Innerkip to Bute, the Cumbrays, and the island of Arran, but from the prudent precautions taken by the king to repel the invaders, the loss was not very considerable. The summary of the damage sustained is thus related in a contemporary record: “There was slain of good men, fifteen; of women, two or three; of children, three of four. The plunder included five or six hundred horse, ten thousand oxen and kine, and more than a thousand sheep and goats. At the same time, they burnt down several mansions in Innerkip around the church; harried all Arran; stormed and leveled with the ground the castle of Brodick; and waster, with fire and sword, the islands of the Cumbrays. They also levied tribute upon Bute, carrying away a hundred bolls of malt, a hundred marts, and a hundred marks of silver.” (Auchinleck Chronicle, p. 55.) The earl of Ross, on his part, with about 500 followers, made an incursion into Sutherland, and encamped before the castle of Skibo. He was, however, compelled to retreat into Ross, whence he sent a party of his men to Strathfleet in Sutherland, to lay waste the country. The earl of Sutherland’s brother, at the head of a strong force, attacked them on the sands of Strathfleet, and overthrew them with great slaughter. The earl of Ross afterwards made his submission, and was received into the royal favour. We find him in 1457 one of the wardens of the marches. IN 1460, previous to the siege of Roxburgh castle, he offered, at the head of 3,000 armed vassals, to march in the van of the royal army, so as to sustain the first shock of conflict from an expected invasion of the English, and was ordered, with his followers, to remain, as a sort of body-guard, near the king’s person. On the accession of James III., however, his rebellious disposition again showed itself. Edward IV. of England having entered into a negotiation with him to detach him from his allegiance, on the 19th October 1461, the earl of Ross, Donald Balloch, and his son, John of Isla, held a council of their vassals and dependents at Astornish, at which it was agreed to send ambassadors to England to treat with Edward, for assistance to effect the entire conquest of Scotland. The result has already been related (see article, The Lord of the Isles). On the forfeiture of the lord of the Isles in 1476, the earldom of Ross became vested in the crown.

Hugh Ross of Rarichies, brother of the last earl of Ross, obtained a charter of the lands of Balnagowan in 1374, and on him by clan law the chiefship devolved. In the beginning of the eighteenth century, Donald Ross of Balnagowan, the last of his race, sold that estate to the Hon. General Ross of Hawkhead, who, although bearing the same surname, was not in any way related to him.

In February 1778, Munro Ross of Pitcalnie presented a petition to the king, claiming the earldom of Ross, as male descendant of the above-named Hugh Ross of Rarichies. This petition was sent to the House of Lords, but no decision appears to have followed upon it.


ROSS, Duke of, a title possessed by Prince James, second son of James III. By royal charter dated 23d January 1480-1, when he was only in his fifth year, the whole lands of the earldom were conferred on him, and on 29th January 1487-8, he was created duke of Ross, marquis of Ormond, earl of Edirdale, and lord of Brechin and Navar. Entering into holy orders, he became in 1497 archbishop of St. Andrews, and went to Rome, where he was confirmed by the Pope. On his return, he received from his brother, James IV., the abbacies of Holyrood and Dunfermlinein commendam. He also held, in the same way, the monastery of Arbroath, IN 1502 he was appointed lord-high-chancellor of the kingdom, but died in the beginning of 1504, aged twenty-eight, and was interred in the chancel of the cathedral of St. Andrews. He is celebrated by Ariosto (Orlando Furioso, canto X.) in some lines, which Hoole has translated:

No form so graceful can our eyes behold,
For Nature made him and destroy’d the mould’
The title of the Duke of Ross he bears,
No chief like him in dauntless mind compares.

The next who bore the title of duke of Ross was Alexander, the posthumous son of James IV., born 30th April 1514, died December 18, 1515.

Lord Darnley, the husband of Queen Mary, was by her created earl of Ross, by charter dated 15th May 1565. One of the titles conferred on Charles I., at his baptism, 23d December 1600, was earl of Ross, and the lands of the earldom which were possessed by his mother, Anne, queen of James VI., were conferred upon him, after her death, by charter, dated 20th June 1619.


Ross, lord of Hawkhead, a title of the earl of Glasgow, by which he holds his seat in the house of lords. The title had been previously held, for nearly three centuries, by a different family, originally from England, the first of whom, Godfrey de Ros, came into Scotland in the twelfth century, He belonged to a Norman family which took their designation from the lordship of Ros in Yorkshire. From Richard de Morville he received the lands of Stewarton in Ayrshire, and many of that potent baron’s charters were witnessed by him and his sons, James, Reginald, and Peter de Ros. His descendant, Sir John Ross of Hawkhead, was that Sir John Ross, who, in 1449, with James Douglas, brother of the earl of Douglas, and James Douglas, brother of Douglas of Lochleven, formed one of the combatants against three Burgundian knights, in presence of James II. and his court, and who, in 1673, was one of the ambassadors to England.

The son of this doughty knight, Sir John Ross, first Lord Ross of Hawkhead, was one of the barons of parliament, 3d February 1489-90, and Ross de Halkhead is inserted among the comini barones in the parliament, 11th March 1503-4. He appears to have died in 1506. His son, John, second Lord Ross of Hawkhead, fell at Flodden, leaving a son, Ninian, third Lord Ross. The latter was one of the Scots nobles who, in 1515, were sent ambassadors to France, to endeavour to get Scotland included in the pacification with England, and in 1584 he ratified a treaty with the English. By a first wife, a daughter of John, earl of Lennox, he had a son, Robert, master of Ross, who was killed at the battle of Pinkie in 1547, in the lifetime of his father. By a second wife, Elizabeth, the widowed countess of Errol, daughter of the first Lord Ruthven, he had another son, James, fourth Lord Ross, who was one of the jury on the mock trial of the earl of Bothwell in April 1567, and entered into the association in support of Queen Mary at Hamilton, 8th May 1568. He was one of the lords of the queen’s party who subscribed the letter to Queen Elizabeth of Mary’s behalf, in March 1570. He died in April 1581. The fourth lord had, with two daughters, two sons, Robert, fifth lord, who died in October 1695, and Sir William Ross of Muiriston, who carried on the line of the family.

The fifth lord’s son, James, sixth Lord Ross, married Margaret, eldest daughter of Walter, first Lord Scott of Buccleuch, afterwards countess of Eglinton, and had, with three daughters, three sons, James, seventh Lord Ross, who voted against the five articles of Perth in the parliament of 1621; William, eighth Lord Ross; and Robert, ninth Lord Ross, who all died unmarried; the first in March 1636, the second in 1640, and the third in August 1648. On the death of the ninth lord, the title and estates devolved on the heir male, Sir William Ross of Muiriston, appointed sheriff principal of Renfrewshire in 1646, son of Sir William Ross of Muiriston, above mentioned.

William, tenth lord, was colonel of foot in the counties of Ayr and Renfrew in 1648, and one of the committee of the Estates in 1649. In 1654 he was fined by Cromwell £3,000 sterling, and died in 1656. His son, George, eleventh Lord Ross, was, at the Restoration, sworn a privy councilor, and appointed lieutenant-colonel of the royal regiment of guards. He died in 1682. He married first, Lady Grizel Cochrane, only daughter of the first earl of Dundonald, by whom he had a son, William, twelfth lord, and a daughter, the Hon. Grizel Ross, the wife of Sir Alexander Gilmour of Craigmillar, baronet, with issue. By a second wife, Lady Jean Ramsay, eldest daughter of the second earl of Dalhousie, afterwards viscountess of Oxfurd, he had a son, the Hon. Charles Ross, who purchased Balnagowan. This gentleman, an officer in the army, entered heartily into the Revolution, but engaged in the plot of Sir James Montgomery of Skelmorlie in 1690, for the restoration of the abdicated family, for which he was committed to the tower of London. In 1693 he was one of the lessees of the pool tax, and in 1695 he became colonel of the 5th, or Royal Irish regiment of dragoons. Elected M.P. for Ross-shire, in 1707, he took an active part in the debates of the House of Commons, in support of the Tory administration. In 1712 he was promoted to the rank of general in the army. On the accession of George I. in 1714, he was deprived of the command of the Royal Irish regiment of dragoons. In 1720 he was promoted to the rank of general in the army. On the accession of George I. in 1714, he was deprived of the command of the Royal Irish regiment of dragoons. In 1720 he was one of the secret committee of the House of Commons to inquire into the conduct of the South Sea directors, and having made a complaint against Mr. Vernon, M.P. for Whitchurch, for making corrupt application to him on behalf of Mr. Aislabie, one of the directors, that gentleman was expelled parliament, 12th May 1721, and General Ross received the thanks of the house. In 1729, soon after the accession of George II., he was restored to the command of his regiment. He died unmarried at Bath, 5th August 1732. He had a sister, the Hon. Jean Ross, who married the sixth earl of Dalhousie, with issue.

William, the twelfth lord, born about 1656, succeeded his father in 1682, and entered zealously into the Revolution of 1689. He was a privy councilor to King William and afterwards to Queen Anne, and in 1704 was lord-high-commissioner to the Church of Scotland. He was also one of the lords of the treasury, and a commissioner for the Union, of which treaty he was a staunch promoter. At the general election in 1715 he was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and the same year was appointed lord-lieutenant of Renfrewshire. He died 15th March 1738. He was four times married. By his first wife, Agnes, daughter and heiress of Sir John Wilkie of Fouldean, Berwickshire, he had a son, George, thirteenth Lord Ross, and three daughters. 1st Euphemia, countess of Kilmarnock, mother of that earl of Kilmarnock, who was beheaded on Towerhill for his share in the rebellion of 1745. 2d, Mary, duchess of Athol; and 3d, the Hon. Grizel Ross, wife of James Lockhart of Carstairs, Lanarkshire, baronet, with issue. None of his lordship’s other wives had issue, except Lady Anne Hay, eldest daughter of the second marquis of Tweeddale, by whom he had a daughter, Anne, who died unmarried.

George, thirteenth lord, was appointed one of the commissioners of excise in Scotland, 24th November 1726, and one of the commissioners of the customs, 21st September 1730. He succeeded his father in 1738, and made a settlement of his estates, 17th June 1751, on his son and the heirs male of his body, and failing them on his daughters, Jane, the wife of John Mackye of Polgowan, advocate, and M.P., who took the name of Ross, but had no issue; Elizabeth, who married the third earl of Glasgow, with issue; and Mary, who died unmarried, and the heirs male of their bodies, remainder to his nearest heirs and assigns. He died 17th June 1754, in his 73d year. By his wife, Lady Elizabeth Kerr, third daughter of the second marquis of Lothian, he had, with the three daughters already mentioned, three sons; 1. William, fourteenth Lord Ross; 2. the Hon. Charles Ross, who, on the death of his grand-uncle, General Ross, in August 1732, inherited the estate of Balnagowan. In 1741 he was elected M.P. for Ross-shire. He was an officer in the army, and fell at the battle of Fontenoy, 30th April 1745, unmarried. His untimely fate was commemorated by Collins in one of his beautiful odes. Balnagowan devolved on his father. 3. The Hon. George Ross, who died without issue.

William, 14th lord, was, when master of Ross, an officer in the royal army, commanded by the earl of Loudoun at Inverness in 1745. In the attempt to surprise Prince Charles Edward at Moy in February 1746, he was thrown down by the cavalry in their flight, and much hurt. He declared that he had been in many perils, but never found himself in such a grievous condition as on that day. He succeeded his father in June 1754, but possessed the title little more than two months, as he died 19th August the same year, aged 34, unmarried, when the title became extinct.

The estate of Balnagowan, after an ineffectual opposition from Sir Alexander Gilmour, went to his lordship’s cousin, Sir James Lockhart, second baronet of Carstairs. The fifth baronet of the Lockhart family, Admiral Sir John Lockhart, assumed the name of Ross, and the estate of Carstairs being sold in 1762, he adopted the designation of Balnagowan, by which the family is now known. The admiral’s eldest son, Lieutenant-general Sir Charles Ross, sixth baronet, married, first, Matilda Theresa, a countess of the Holy Roman Empire, the daughter and heiress of General Count James Lockhart of Carnwath, and by her had a son, who died in childhood, and a daughter, Matilda. He married, secondly, Mary, eldest daughter of the second duchess of Leinster, with issue. His brother, Lieutenant-colonel. John Ross of the Coldstream Guards, was killed at the battle of Talavera. The sixth baronet’s eldest son, Sir Charles William Augustus Ross, seventh baronet, born in 1812, succeeded his father 8th February 1814. He married his cousin, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Colonel Robert Ross of the 4th dragoon guards, with issue.


The family of Ross of Dalton, Dumfries-shire, and Ross House, Shropshire, are descended from Randolph Ross, second son of John, second Lord Ross, who fell at Flodden, and brother of Ninian, third Lord Ross.


The ancient family of Ross of Craigie, Perthshire, were hereditary governors of Spey castle in Perth, till the Reformation, when the keys of the fortress were surrendered, under protest, to the provost and council, by John Ross of Craigie. This gentleman, one of the chief favourites of King James V., was taken prisoner by the English at the rout of Solway. On the 11th September 1618, Mr. Thomas Ross, some time a minister, a son of the laird of Craigie, was executed at the Cross of Edinburgh, for that while studying at Oxford, he affixed upon the principal gate of one of the colleges a libel against his own countrymen in England, likening them to the seven lean kine of Egypt, and using many opprobrious terms against them. The vice-chancellor of Oxford sent him to the king, who ordered him down to Scotland. At his examination, he said that necessity drove him to it, that he might procure some benefit from the king. He confessed at his execution that he was a man of a proud spirit, but thought the punishment greater than the fault (Calderwood’s Historie, vol. vii. P. 336.)

General Patrick Ross of Innernethie, descended from the Craigie line, by his wife Mary Clara Maule, related to the Panmure family, had, with other issue, Major-general Sir Patrick Ross, born 26th January 1778. He entered the army in 1794, and served in India for nine years, as captain of the 22d light dragoons. During the Peninsular war, he was lieutenant-colonel of the 48th foot, and served in the Ionian islands for seven years as lieutenant-colonel of the 75th foot. After being resident and commandant of St. Maura and Zante, he served as major-general on the staff at Curfu, and in 1819 was created a knight grand commander of the order of St. Michael and St. George. He was afterwards governor and commander-in-chief of Antigua, Montserrat, and Barbuda, and on his return to England in 1834 he was made a knight commander of the royal order of the Guelphs of Hanover. In 1821 he attained the rank of major-general, and in 1846 was appointed governor of St. Helena.


The family of Ross of Netherley in Kincardineshire, formerly of Rossie, Forfarshire, is a branch of the Rosses, Lord Ross of Hawkhead, and therefore of Norman lineage. In February 1853, Mr. Horatio Ross, at one period M.P. for Aberdeen, having sold Rossie, purchased the estate of Netherley for £33,000. He married a Miss MacRae of Inverness-shire, with issue. Rossie castle, a handsome pile near Montrose, was erected by his father, Hercules Ross of Rossie, in 1805.

ROSS, ALEXANDER, a voluminous miscellaneous writer, the author of about thirty different works, in prose and poetry, most of which are now forgotten, was born at Aberdeen, in 1590. After being episcopally ordained, he left Scotland some time in the reign of Charles I., and was appointed one of his majesty’s chaplains, and master of the free school of Southampton. He retired from the latter a short time before his death, and passed the remainder of his days in the family of the Henleys of Hampshire, to whom he left his library and a sum of money concealed among his books. Very little is recorded concerning him, except that, notwithstanding the troubles of the times, he contrived to accumulate much wealth, and died in 1654, leaving, among numerous other benefactions, £200 to the town council of Aberdeen, for the foundation of two bursaries, £50 to the poor of the parish of All-Saints, and £50 to the Bodleian Library. Ross appears to have enjoyed considerable reputation in his day, and is alluded to by Butler, in his Hudibras, in the well-known lines:

“There was an ancient sage Philosopher,
And he had read Alexander Ross over.”

His works are:

Rerum Judsicarum, Libri 2. Carmine. Lond. 1617, 8vo. Lib. Tertius. Lond. 1619. Liber quartus. Lond. 1632, 4to.
Questions and Answers on the first vi. Chapters of Genesis, the first book. Lond. 1620, 8vo.
Tonsor and Cutem Rasus. Lond. 1627, 8vo.
Three Decads of Divine Meditations, whereof each one containeth three parts; 1. History; 2. An Allegory; 3. A Prayer; with a commendation of a private countrey life. Lond. (without date, but about 1630,) 4to.
Commentum de Terrae motu circulari, refutatum, 2 libris, contra Lansbergum et Carpentarium. Lond. 1634, fol.
Virgilii Evangelizantis Christiadus, libri xiii. Lond. 1634, 1638, 8vo. A work much admired in its time, being a Cento on the Life of Christ, collected from Virgil.
The New Planet no Planet; or, the Earth no wandering Star, against Galilaeus and Copernicus. London, 1640, 1646, 4to.
Mel Heliconium; or, Poeticall Honey gathered out of the weeds of Parnassus. The first book is divided into vii. Chapters, according to the first vii. Letters of the alphabet, containing clviii. Fictions; out of which are extracted many historicall, naturall, morall, politicall and theologicall observations, both delightfull and usefull, with xlvii. Meditations in verse. Lond. 1642, 12mo.
God’s House, or the House of Prayer vindicated from Profaneness; a Sermon. Lond. 1642, 4to.
God’s House made a Don of Thieves; a Sermon. Lond. 1642, 4to.
Medicus Medicatus; or, the Physician’s Religion cured. Lond. 1645, 8vo.
Philosophical Touchstone; or, Observations on Sir Kenelm Digby’s Discourse on the Nature of Bodies and of the reasonable Soul; and Spinoza’s opinion of the Morality of the Soul briefly confuted. Lond. 1645, 4to.
The Picture of the Conscience. Lond. 1646, 12mo.
Mystagogus Poeticus, or the Muses’ Interpreter. Lond. 1647, 8vo. Of this work the 6th edition was printed at London, 1675, 8vo.
Enchiridum Oratorium et Poeticum. Lond. 1650, 8vo.
Arcana Microcosmi; or the Hid Secrets of Man’s Body discovered in Anatomical Duel between Aristotle and Galen; with a refutation of Thomas Browne’s vulgar errors from Bacon’s Natural History, and W. Harvey’s book De Generatione, &c. Lond. 1651, 12mo. 1652, 8vo.
View of all the Religions in the World, with the Lives of certain notorious Heretics. Lond. 1652, 12mo. 1672, 1675, sixth edit. 1683, 8vo.
The History of the World, the second Part, in six Books, being a Continuation of Sir Walter Raleigh’s. Lond. 1652, folio.
Observations upon Hobbes’s Leviathan. Lond. 1653, 12mo.
Animadversions and Observations upon Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World, wherein his mistakes are noted, and some doubtful passages cleared. Lond. 1653, 8vo.
Abridgement and Translation of John Wollebius’s Christian Divinity. Lond. 1657, 8vo.
Chymera Phthagoria.
Meditations upon Predestination.
Four Books of Epigrams in Latin Elegiacs.
Colloquia Plautina.
Chronology in English.

There was another Alexander Ross, an Episcopal divine at Aberdeen, and author of ‘A Consolatorie Sermon, preached, April 15, 1635, upon the Death of Patrick Forbes, late Bishop of Aberdeen,’ who is frequently confounded with the preceding. He was the son of James Ross, minister of Strachan, in Kincardineshire, and afterwards at Aberdeen. He is supposed to have been born between 1570 and 1580, and was minister first of Insch, then, in 1631, of Footdee, and lastly, in 1636, of St. Nicholas church, Aberdeen. He died August 11, 1639.

ROSS, ALEXANDER, an eminent poet, the son of a farmer in the parish of Kincardine-O’Neil, Aberdeenshire, was born there, April 13, 1699. He studied at Marischal college, Aberdeen, where he obtained a bursary, and took the degree of M.A. in 1718. Soon after he was engaged as tutor in the family of Sir William Forbes of Craigievar, baronet, and, on quitting this situation, he became for some time teacher first at the parish school of Aboyne, and subsequently at that of Laurencekirk, In 1726 he married Jane Cattanach, the daughter of a farmer in Aberdeenshire, by whom he had a numerous family. In 1732, through the interest of Mr. Garden of Troup, he was appointed schoolmaster of Lochlee, in Forfarshire, where he spend the remainder of his simple and unvaried life in the discharge of the duties of his humble office. His beautiful pastoral poem, entitled ‘Helenore, or the Fortunate Shepherdess,’ was published at Aberdeen in 1768, together with a few Scottish songs, among which are the favourite ditties of ‘Woo’d and Married and a’;’ ‘The Rock and the wee Pickle Tow;’ ‘The Bride’s Breast Knot;’ ‘To the Begging we will go,’ &c. A second edition appeared in 1778, dedicated to the duchess of Gordon, and the work has since been frequently reprinted. A fifth edition of ‘The Fortunate Shepherdess’ was published at Dundee in 1812, with a Life of the author, prefixed by his grandson, the Rev. Alexander Thomson, minister of Lentrathen, in Forfarshire. On the first publication of the poem, a letter, highly laudatory of it, appeared in the Aberdeen Journal, under the fictitious signature of Oliver Old Style, accompanied by an epistle in verse to the author, from the pen, it is understood, of Dr. Beattie, being the latter’s only attempt in the Scots vernacular. In the north of Scotland, where the Buchan dialect is spoken, ‘The Fortunate Shepherdess’ continues to be as popular as the productions of Burns or Ramsay. Ross died May 20, 1784. He left in manuscript eight small volumes of poems and other compositions, an account of which is given in Campbell’s Introduction to the History of Poetry in Scotland.

ROSS, SIR JOHN, a celebrated arctic voyager, was the fourth son of the Rev. Andrew Ross, minister of Inch, Wigtonshire, where he was born in 1777. His mother, Elizabeth Corsan, was a descendant of the Corsans of Mickleknox, who, for seventeen generations, were provosts of Dumfries. He entered the navy in 1786, and after being a midshipman for fifteen years, was promoted to be lieutenant in 1801. In 1806, when lieutenant of the Surinam, he was wounded in cutting out a Spanish vessel from under the batteries of Bilboa. In 1812 he was appointed commander of the Briseis, on the Baltic station. With his lieutenant, a midshipman, and 18 men, he gallantly attacked and recaptured an English merchant ship, armed with six guns and four swivels, and defended by a party of French troops. Subsequently, he captured also a French privateer, and drove on shore three other vessels of the same description. In 1814, Captain Ross was appointed to the Actaeon, 16 guns, and in 1815, to the Driver sloop.

In 1818, the year which was distinguished as the commencement of his Arctic career, he became a post-captain. The extraordinary changes reported to have taken place in the state of the Polar sea, determined the government to send out an expedition for Arctic discovery, the command of which was given to Captain Ross. In his instructions, he was directed to explore Baffin’s Bay, and search for a north-west passage from it into the Frozen Ocean, and thence into the Pacific. Parliament offered a premium of £20,000 sterling to the first vessel which should reach the North Pole, and pass it. The vessels employed were the Isabella of 368 tons, commanded by Ross himself, and the brig Alexander, of 252 tons, under Lieutenant, afterwards Sir Edward Parry. The chief geographical result of his voyage was the more accurate determination of the situation of Baffin’s Bay, which, until then, was believed to extend ten degrees farther to the east than it actually does, and the re-discovery of Lancaster Sound, up which, however, he did not continue his progress far enough to find that it was open. He was obliged o leave the coast on account of danger from the ice, and, on his return, he published an account of his expedition under the title of ‘Voyage of Discovery for the purpose of exploring Baffin’s Bay.’ London, 1819, 4to.

In 1829, Captain Ross was enabled, through the munificent aid of his friend, Mr., afterwards Sir Felix Booth, an eminent distiller, then serving the office of sheriff of London, to undertake another expedition into the Arctic seas, with a view to determine the practicability of a new passage which had been confidently said to exist, particularly by Prince Regent’s Inlet. In May of the year mentioned he set sail from London in the Victory steamer, with his nephew, Commander Ross, R.N., as second in command. The latter, afterwards Sir James Clark Ross, had the departments of astronomy, natural history, and surveying, in the expedition. He was the third son of George Ross of Balsarroch, county of Galloway, and had accompanied his uncle in his first expedition. Between 1819 and 1825 he was engaged, under Sir Edward Parry, in three other voyages to the Arctic regions, and again in 1827 he was the companion of Parry in his attempt to reach the Pole from the northern shores of Spitzbergen, by traveling with sledge-boats over the ice.

Captain Ross fixed 1832 as the period of his return, but from the 27th day of July 1829, when he left the port of Wideford in Greenland, where he had been obliged to refit, -- his vessel, the Victory, having lost her mainmast, -- till August 1833, nothing was heard of him. (In that month he and his crew were picked up in a most miserable condition by Captain R. W. Humphreys of the Isabella of Hull, his own old ship, and brought safely to England. A public subscription had been set on foot for sending out a ship in search of him. The sum of £7,000 was raised, the Treasury contributing liberally, and Captain Back, whose experience had eminently qualified him for the service, was appointed to command it. He sailed in the spring of 1833, but received intelligence of Captain Ross’s return, in time to prevent him from encountering any dangers in the prosecution of the search for him.

The sufferings of Captain Ross and his crew, during their protracted stay in the Arctic regions, were of the severest description. After passing three winters of unparalleled rigour, finding their provisions nearly consumed, they were obliged, in May 1832, to abandon the Victory, and set out upon a journey of nearly 300 miles over the ice, which proved one of uncommon hardship and difficulty. In the moth of July they reached Fury Beach. “During this journey,” we are told, “they had not only to carry their provisions and sick, but also a supply of fuel. Without melting snow they could not procure even a drink of water. Winter set in, and no choice was left but to retrace their steps, and spend another inclement season in canvas, covered with snow.” In August 1833, they fell in with the Isabella, and were taken on board, “after having been for four years lost to the civilized world.”

The narrative of this second expedition was published in 1835, in a quarto volume of 350 pages. Its great results were the discovery of Boothia Feliz, a country larger than Great Britain, and so called after Sir Felix Booth, and that of the true position of the north magnetic Pole. The latter was discovered by Captain Ross’s nephew, who had the honour of placing thereon the British flag. This intrepid officer, whose whole life may almost be said to have been passed in the Arctic and Antarctic seas, commanded the expedition to the South Polar regions from 1839 to 1843, and attained the highest latitude ever reached (78 deg. 10 min.). He approached within 160 miles of the south magnetic Pole, and discovered a southern continent which he named ‘Victoria Land,’ and an active volcano of nearly 13,000 feet elevation, which he called Mount Erebus, after his ship. For these services he was knighted in 1844. In 1847 he published at London, in 2 vols. 8vo. ‘A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions during the years 1839-43, by Captain Sir James Clark Ross.’

In consequence of his Arctic voyages, Captain Ross received numerous marks of public approbation. IN 1834 he was knighted and made a companion of the order of the Bath. The freedom of the cities of London, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull, and other towns, was bestowed upon him. He was presented with gold medals from the Geographical Society of London, the Geographical Institute of Paris, the Royal Societies of Sweden, Austria, Denmark, &c. Foreign powers also marked their sense of his discoveries. He was appointed a commander of the Sword of Sweden; a knight of the second class of St. Anne of Russia (in diamonds); the second class of the legion of honour of France; the second class of the Red Eagle of Prussia; and the second class of Leopold of Belgium. He also got six gold snuff-boxes from Russia, Holland, Denmark, Austria, London, and Baden; a sword of the value of £100 from the Patriotic Fund; and one of the value of £200 from the king of Sweden, for service in the Baltic and White Seas, and various other acknowledgments.

In 1838 Sir John Ross was appointed British consul at Stockholm, and he held that office till 1844. The following year, when Sir John Franklin went out on his last fatal expedition to the Polar seas, his friend, Sir John Ross, made him a promise, that if he should be lost, he would sail for the Arctic regions and look for him. This promise he kept. In 1850, at the age of seventy-three, Sir John went out in the Felix, a small vessel of no more than 90 tons, and remained a winter is the ice. He relinquished his half-pay and his pensions for the cause he had so much at heart, yet the admiralty refused to contribute even a portion of the necessary stores. Though the first of our Arctic voyagers, he was excluded from the Arctic councils, at which his experience and advice would have been very valuable. In the spring of 1855, he published a pamphlet on his ill treatment. At the time of his death he was a rear-admiral. He died in London, Aug. 31, 1856. He was twice married; first, in 1816, to the daughter of T. Adair, Esq., writer to the signet, Edinburgh; and, 2dly, in 1834, to a daughter of T. Jones, Esq. of London. His works are:

Voyage of Discovery in H.M.S. Isabella and Alexander, for the purpose of exploring Baffin’s Bay, and enquiring into the possibility of a North-west passage. London, 1819, 4to.
A Treatise on Navigation by Steam, comprising a History of the Steam Engine. London, 1828, 4to.
Narrative of a Second Voyage to the Arctic Regions. London, 1834, 12mo.
Narrative of a Second Voyage by Capt. Ross, R.N., in search of a North-west passage, including the Reports of his nephew, Capt. James Clark Ross. London, 1835, 4to.
Appendix. London, 1835, 4to.
Letters to young Sea Officers.
Memoirs of Lord de Saumarez.
A pamphlet on his ill treatment by the Admiralty. London, 1855.

His nephew, Sir James Clark Ross, the son of George Ross, Esq. of Balsarroch, was also a distinguished Arctic navigator. Born in London, April 15, 1800, he entered the navy in April 1812, on board the Briseis, commanded by his uncle, Captain Ross, and accompanied him, as a midshipman, in his first voyage in search of a North-west passage. From 1819 to 1825, he was engaged with Captain Parry in his three voyages, and during his absence, in 1822, he was made lieutenant. He again accompanied Captain Parry in 1827, and on his return to England he was appointed commander. He also joined his uncle, Captain John Ross, from 1829 to 1833, on his second voyage in search of a North-west passage, and in Oct. 1834, became post-captain. In 1839 he was appointed to the command of an expedition in the Erebus and Terror, to the Antarctic seas. After his return in 1843 he married, and received the honour of knighthood in 1844. In 1847 he published the results of his discoveries and Researches in the Southern and Antarctic regions in two volumes. In Jan. 1848 he made a voyage in the Enterprise to Baffin’s Bay, in search of Sir John Franklin, but was unsuccessful. He died April 3, 1862.

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