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The Great Historic Families of Scotland
The Erskines

The Erskine family, which has produced a remarkable number of eminent men in every department of public life, derived their designation from the barony of Erskine in Renfrewshire, situated on the south bank of the Clyde. A Henry de Erskine, from whom the family trace their descent, was proprietor of this barony so early as the reign of Alexander II. A daughter of his great-grandson, Sir John de Erskine, was married to Sir Thomas Bruce, a brother of King Robert, who was taken prisoner and put to death by the English; another became the wife of Walter, High Steward of Scotland. The brother of these ladies was a faithful adherent of Robert Bruce, and as a reward for his patriotism and valour, was knighted under the royal banner on the field. He died in 1329. His son, Sir Robert de Erskine, held the great offices of Lord High Chamberlain, Justiciary north of the Forth, and Constable of the Castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, and Dumbarton. He was six times ambassador to England, was also sent on an embassy to France, was Warden of the Marches, and heritable Sheriff of Stirlingshire. He took an active part in securing the succession of the House of Stewart to the throne, on the death of David Bruce. In return for this important service he received from Robert II. a grant of the estate of Alloa, which still remains in the possession of the family, in exchange for the hunting-ground of Strathgartney. Sir Thomas, the son of this powerful noble by his marriage to Janet Keith, great grand-daughter of Gratney, Earl of Mar, laid the foundation of the claim which the Erskines preferred to that dignity, and the vast estates which were originally included in the earldom. Though their claim was rejected by James I., the family continued to prosper; new honours and possessions were liberally conferred upon them by successive sovereigns, and they were elevated to the peerage in 1467. The second Lord Erskine fought on the side of King James III. against the rebel lords at Sauchieburn. Robert, third Lord Erskine, fell at the battle of Flodden with four other gentlemen, his kinsmen. The grandson of that lord, the Master of Erskine, was killed at Pinkie. For several generations the Erskines were entrusted with the honourable and responsible duty of keeping the heirs to the Crown during their minority. James IV., James V., Queen Mary, James VI., and his eldest son, Prince Henry, were in turn committed to the charge of the head of the Erskine family, who discharged this important trust with great fidelity. John, the fourth Lord Erskine, who had the keeping of James V. during his minority, was employed by him in after life in important public affairs, was present at the melancholy death of that monarch at Falkland, and after that event afforded for some time a refuge to his infant daughter, the unfortunate Mary, in Stirling Castle, of which he was hereditary governor. On the invasion of Scotland by the English, he removed her for greater security to the Priory of Inchmahome, an island in the Lake of Menteith, which was his own property. His eldest son, who fell at the battle of Pinkie during his father’s lifetime, was the ancestor, by an illegitimate son, of the Erskines of Shieldfield, near Dryburgh, from whom sprang the celebrated brothers Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine, the founders of the Secession Church.

JOHN, fifth Lord Erskine, though a Protestant, was held in such esteem by Queen Mary that she bestowed on him the long-coveted title of Earl of Mar, which had been withheld from his ancestor a hundred and thirty years earlier. He maintained a neutral position during the protracted struggle between the Lords of the Congregation and the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise; but when she was reduced to great straits, he gave her an asylum in the castle of Edinburgh, where she died in 1560. The young Queen Mary put herself under his protection when about to be delivered of her son, afterwards James VI. The infant prince was immediately committed to the care of the Earl, who conveyed him to the castle of Stirling, and in the following year he baffled all the attempts of Bothwell to obtain possession of the heir to the throne. When James was subsequently crowned, though only thirteen months old, the Parliament imposed upon the Earl of Mar the onerous and responsible duty of keeping and educating the infant sovereign, which he discharged with exemplary fidelity. James seems to have spent his youthful years very happily as well as securely in the household of the Earl, pursuing his studies, and enjoying his sports in the company of Mar’s eldest son. Mar’s sister was the mother, by James V., of Regent Moray, [She afterwards married Sir William Douglas of Loch Leven. In Sir Walter Scott’s Abbot, Lady Douglas is represented as a harsh custodian of Queen Mary. She was in reality very friendly to that illustrious Princess, and was not resident in Loch Leven Castle when Mary was imprisoned there.] and the Earl was himself chosen Regent of Scotland in 1571, on the death of the Earl of Lennox; but he sank beneath the burden of anxiety and grief occasioned by the distracted state of the kingdom, and died in the following year. The family attained its highest lustre under the Regent’s son, JOHN, second Earl of Mar of the name of Erskine, the famous ‘Jock o’ the Sclaits’ (slates), [It is supposed that this sobriquet was given by James to his class-fellow from his having been intrusted by George Buchanan with a slate, whereon to record the misdeeds of the royal pupil during the pedagogue’s absence.] a name given him by James VI., his playfellow and a pupil along with him and his cousins, sons of Erskine of Gogar, of the learned and severe pedagogue, George Buchanan, under the superintendence of the Countess of Mar. He was one of the nobles who took part in the Raid of Ruthven in 1582, and was, in consequence, deprived of his office of Governor of Stirling Castle—which was conferred on the royal favourite Arran—and was obliged to take refuge in Ireland. An unsuccessful attempt to regain his position in 1584 made it necessary for the Earl to retire into England; but in November of the following year, he and the other banished lords re-entered Scotland, and, at the head of eight thousand men, took possession of Stirling Castle and the person of the King, and expelled Arran from the Court.

From this time forward the Earl of Mar was one of the King’s most trusty counsellors and intimate friends, down to the end of his career. In July, 1595, he was formally entrusted by James with the custody and education of Prince Henry, by a warrant under the King’s own hand, being the fifth of the heirs to the throne who had been committed to the charge of an Erskine. He was sent ambassador to England in 1601, and by his dexterous management contributed not a little to facilitate the peaceable accession of James to the English throne. A quarrel took place between the Earl and Queen Anne respecting the custody of Prince Henry, but James firmly maintained the claim of his friend in opposition to the angry demand of his wife, who never forgave the Earl for resisting her wishes. Mar, in return, steadily supported the policy of the King in his quarrels with the Scottish clergy, and voted for the ‘Five Articles of Perth,’ though he was well aware how obnoxious they were to the people of Scotland. In 1616 the Earl was appointed to the office of Lord High Treasurer, which he held till 1620, and became the most powerful man in the kingdom.

After the death of his first wife, Anne, daughter of David, Lord Drummond, the Earl fell ardently in love with Lady Mary Stewart, the daughter of the Duke of Lennox, the ill-fated royal favourite, and cousin of the King. As he was older than this French beauty, and had already a son and heir, she at first positively refused to marry him, remarking that ‘Anne Drumrnond’s bairn would be Earl of Mar, but that hers would be just Maister Erskine.’ ‘Being of a hawtie spirit,’ says Lord Somerville, ‘she disdained that the children begotten upon her should be any ways inferior, either as to honour or estate, to the children of the first marriage. She leaves nae means unessayed to advance their fortunes.’ [Memoirs of the Somervilles. Lord Somerville is mistaken in representing Lord Mar as an old man at this time. He was little more than thirty years of age.]

The Earl took her rejection of his suit so much to heart as to become seriously ill; but the King strove to comfort him, and, in his homely style of speech said, ‘By my saul, Jock, ye sanna dee for ony lass in a’ the land.’ He was aware that the main cause of the lady’s refusal to marry his friend was her knowledge of the fact that the Earl’s son by his first wife would inherit his titles as well as his estates, and he informed her that if she married Mar, and bore him a son, he should also be made a peer. The inducement thus held out by his Majesty removed Lady Mary’s scruples, and James was as good as his word. He created the Earl Lord Cardross, bestowing upon him at the same time the barony of that name, with the unusual privilege of authority to assign both the barony and the title to any of his sons whom he might choose. The Earl was the father of three peers, and the father-in-law of four powerful earls. Lady Mary Stewart bore him five sons and four daughters. The eldest of these, Sir James Erskine, married Mary Douglas, Countess of Buchan in her own right, and was created Earl of Buchan. The second son, Henry, received from his father the title and the barony of Cardross. The third son, Colonel Sir Alexander Erskine, lost his life, along with his brother-in-law, the Earl of Eladdington and other Covenanting leaders, when Dunglass Castle was blown up in 1640 by the explosion of the powder-magazine. He was a handsome and gallant soldier, originally in the French service, and is noted as the lover whose faithlessness is bewailed in the beautiful and pathetic song entitled, ‘Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament.’ Sir Charles Erskine, the fourth son, was ancestor of the Erskines of Alva, now represented by the Earl of Rosslyn. William Erskine, the youngest son, was cup-bearer to Charles II., and Master of the Charterhouse, London. The Earl of Mar’s youngest daughter married the eldest son of the Lord Chancellor, Thomas Hamilton, first Earl of Haddington—’ Tam o’ the Cowgate.’ When King James heard of the intended marriage, knowing well the great ability, and the ‘pawkiness’ of the two noblemen who were thus to be brought into close alliance, he exclaimed in unfeigned, and not altogether groundless, alarm, ‘Lord, haud a grupp o’ me. If Tam o’ the Cowgate’s son marry Jock o’ the Sclaits’ daughter, what will become o’ me!’

It is a curious confirmation of his Majesty’s apprehensions that, in 1624, the other nobles complained that the Earls of Mar and Melrose (the Lord-Chancellor’s first title), wielded all but absolute power in the State. The former, it was said, disposed of the King’s revenue, and the other ruled in the Council, and Court of Session, each according to his pleasure.

The Earl died at Stirling Castle, 14th December, 1634, at the age of seventy-seven, and was interred at Alloa. Scott of Scotstarvit says of his death, ‘His chief delight was in hunting; and he procured by Act of Parliament that none should hunt within divers miles of the King’s house. Yet often that which is most pleasant to a man is his overthrow; for, walking in his own hall, a dog cast him off his feet and lamed his leg, of which he died: and, at his burial, a hare having run through the company, his special chamberlain, Alexander Stirling, fell off his horse and broke his neck.’

It is said that there are some of the descendants of the Lord Treasurer who, on account of this casualty, are to this day chary of meeting an accidental hare.

From this period the decay of the family began, and steadily proceeded in its downward course till it reached its lowest position in 1715, when they were subjected, in consequence of the part which they took in the Great Civil War, to sequestrations and heavy fines.

JOHN, the eighth Earl of Mar of the name of Erskine, however, entered on life with every prospect of a prosperous career. He was invested with the Order of the Bath in 1610, was nominated one of the Extraordinary Lords of Session, sworn a privy councillor in 1615, and was, at the same time, appointed Governor of Stirling Castle. But, in 1638, he was deprived of the command of the castle, which Charles I. conferred on General Ruthven, afterwards Earl of Forth, whom he had recalled from the Swedish service at the time when he was resolved to suppress the Covenant by force. The same year the Earl was made to sell to the King the sheriff-ship of Stirling, and the bailiery of the Forth, for the sum of £8,000 sterling. He obtained a bond for the money in 1641, but it is doubtful whether any part of it was ever paid. Mar at first supported the Covenanters, but when their policy became apparent, he signed the Cumbernauld Bond, along with the Earl of Montrose and other nobles, to support the King. His property was, in consequence, sequestered by the Estates. In 1638 he sold the barony of Erskine, the most ancient possession of the family, to Sir John Hamilton of Orbiston, in order to clear off the heavy incumbrances on his other estates; and he is said to have lost in the Irish rebellion some lands which he had purchased in Ireland. He died in 1654. His eldest son—

JOHN, the ninth. Earl, before he succeeded to the family titles and estates, commanded the Stirlingshire regiment in the army of the Covenanters, raised in 1644, for the purpose of resisting the threatened invasion of Scotland by Charles I. But in the following year, along with his father, he joined the Cumbernauld association, for the defence of the royal cause. This step, while it deeply offended the Covenanters, did not secure him protection from the Royalist forces; for, in 1645, the Irish kernes in the army of Montrose plundered the town of Alloa, and the estates of the Earl of Mar in the vicinity of that town. Notwithstanding this outrage, the Earl and his son gave a handsome entertainment to Montrose and his officers, and, by this exercise of hospitality, so highly incensed the Earl of Argyll, the leader of the Covenanters, that he threatened to burn the castle of Alloa. After the battle of Kilsyth (15th August, 1645) Lord Erskine joined the victorious Royalist army, and was present at their ruinous defeat at Philiphaugh on the 13th September following, but escaped from the battlefield, and was sent by Montrose on the forlorn attempt to raise recruits in Braemar. The Estates, in consequence, fined him 24,000 marks, and caused his houses of Erskine and Mar to be plundered. On succeeding his father, in 1654, the Earl’s whole estates were sequestrated by the orders of Cromwell, and he was so completely ruined that he lived till the Restoration in a small cottage, at the gate of what had been his own mansion, Alloa House. To add to his misfortunes and sufferings, he lost his eyesight. His estates were restored to him by Charles II. in 1660; but the family never recovered from the heavy losses to which they had been subjected during the Civil War. The unfortunate nobleman died in September, 1688, just in time to escape witnessing the ruin of that royal house for which he had suffered so much. His Countess, Lady Mary Maule, eldest daughter of the second Earl of Panmure, bore him eight sons and one daughter. Five of his sons died young. The second son was James Erskine of Grange, Lord Justice Clerk. The third was Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Erskine, who was killed at the battle of Almanza in 1707. The eldest—

JOHN, eleventh Earl of the Erskine family, was the well-known leader of the Jacobite rebellion in 1715. He found the family estates much involved, and joined the Whig party then in power under the Duke of Queensberry, merely because it was his interest to do so. He received from them the command of a regiment of foot, and was invested with the Order of the Thistle. In 1704, when the Whigs went out of office, Mar paid court to the Tory party, their successors, and contrived to impress them with the belief that he was a trustworthy friend of the exiled family. When the Whigs came once more into power he gave them his support, and assisted in promoting the Union between England and Scotland. As a reward for his services he was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, and was chosen one of the sixteen representative peers. But finding that he had lost the good opinion of his countrymen by supporting the Union, which was very unpopular in Scotland, he endeavoured to regain their favour by voting for the motion in the House of Lords for the dissolution of the Union, which was very nearly carried. On the dismissal of the Whig ministry in 1713, Mar, without scruple or shame, went over to their opponents, and was again appointed Secretary of State, and manager for Scotland. These repeated tergiversations rendered him notorious even among the loose-principled politicians of his own day, and gained him in his native country the nickname of ’Bobbing John.’

On the death of Queen Anne, the Earl of Mar, as Secretary of State, signed the proclamation of George I., and in a letter to the new sovereign made earnest protestations of ardent loyalty and deep attachment, accompanied by a reference to his services to the country. He also procured a letter to be addressed to himself by the chiefs of the Jacobite clans, declaring that they had always been ready to follow his directions in serving the late queen, and that they were equally ready to concur with him in serving the new sovereign. George, however, was quite well aware of the double part which the Earl had acted, and on presenting himself to the King on his arrival at Greenwich he was left unnoticed, and eight days after he was dismissed from office.

Deeply mortified at this treatment, Mar resolved upon revenge, and entered into correspondence with the disaffected party in Scotland, with the view of exciting an insurrection against the reigning family. He attended a court levee on the 1st of August, 1715, and next morning he set out for Scotland to raise the standard of rebellion against the King to whom he just paid homage. Accompanied by Major-General Hamilton and Colonel Hay, the Earl, disguised as an artisan, sailed in a coal-barge from London to Newcastle. He hired a vessel there which conveyed him and his companions to the coast of Fife, and landed them at the small port of Elie. He spent a few days in that district among the Jacobite gentry, with whom he made arrangements to join him in the North. On the 17th of August he left Fife, and with forty horse proceeded to his estates in Aberdeenshire, sending out by the way invitations to a great hunting match in the forest of Braemar, on the 25th of that month. On the day appointed the leading Jacobite noblemen and chiefs assembled, attended by a few hundreds of their vassals, and after a glowing address from Mar, denouncing the usurping intruder who occupied the throne, and holding out large promises of assistance from France in both troops and money, they resolved to take up arms on behalf of the exiled Stewart family. Accordingly, on the 6th of September, the Jacobite standard was unfurled at Castletown, in Braemar.

The fiery cross was sent through the Highlands, summoning every man capable of bearing arms to repair with all speed to the camp of the Jacobite leader. Mar’s own tenants and vassals showed great reluctance to take part in the enterprise. There is a very instructive letter sent by him to the bailie of his lordship of Kildrummie, in which he complains bitterly that so few of his retainers had voluntarily repaired to his standard. ‘lt is a pretty thing,’ he said, ‘when all the Highlands of Scotland are now rising upon their King and country’s account, that my men should be only refractory,’ and he threatened that should they continue obstinate, their property should be pillaged and burned, and they themselves treated as enemies. The clansmen of the Highland chiefs, however, repaired with more alacrity to the ‘standard on the braes of Mar;’ the Earl was soon at the head of an army of twelve thousand men, and almost the whole country to the north of the Tay was in the hands of the insurgents. Mar, however, was totally unfit to head such an enterprise. Though possessed of great activity and a plausible address, he was fickle, vacillating, infirm of purpose, ‘crooked in mind and body,’ and entirely ignorant of the art of war. He wasted much precious time lingering in the Highlands, and when at length he made up his mind to descend into the Lowlands, he found that the Duke of Argyll had taken up a position at Stirling which blocked his march. The two armies encountered at Sheriffmuir, near Dunblane, on the 13th of November, 1715, and though the result was a drawn battle, the advantages of the contest remained with the Duke. The march of the insurgents into the low country was permanently arrested. Mar retreated to Perth; his army rapidly dwindled away; and though joined by the Chevalier in person, who created him a duke, he was at last fain to retreat to the North, after laying waste, in the most ruthless manner, the country through which the royal troops must march in pursuit of the retreating army. The unfortunate Prince, his incompetent general, and several others of the leaders embarked at Montrose (February 4, 1746) in a French ship, and sailed for the Continent, leaving their deluded and indignant followers to shift for themselves. The Earl of Mar and the Chevalier, with his attendants, landed at Waldam, near Gravelines, February 11th.

The Earl accompanied the Prince to Rome, and for some years continued to manage his affairs, ‘the mock minister of a mock cabinet,’ in the French capital, and possessed James’s unlimited confidence. He entered, however, into some negotiations with the Earl of Stair, ambassador at the French Court, through whom he obtained a pension of £2,000 from the British Government, and £1,500 a year was allowed to his wife and daughter out of his forfeited estate. Mar, while revealing the secrets of James to the British Government, still professed to be a staunch adherent of the exiled family. But he was accused both of embezzling the money the Jacobites had raised for the promotion of their cause, and of betraying his master, and in the end James withdrew his confidence from him, and dismissed him from his service; indeed, he had by his double-dealing forfeited the esteem and confidence of both parties. He died at Aix-la-Chapelle in May, 1732, regretted by no one.

The HON. JAMES ERSKINE OF GRANGE, younger brother of the Earl of Mar, was a very remarkable character. His memory has been preserved mainly in consequence of his extraordinary abduction of his wife. He was admitted to the Bar in July, 1705, was appointed to a seat on the Bench in October, 1706—no doubt through the influence of his brother the Earl, who was at that time Secretary of State for Scotland. In 1707 he was made a Lord of Justiciary, and in 1710 was appointed Lord Justice-Clerk. He had contracted a violent dislike to Sir Robert Walpole, and for the purpose of assisting the enemies of that minister in hunting him down, he offered himself a candidate for the Stirling Burghs. In order to exclude his vindictive enemy from the House of Commons, Walpole got an Act passed disqualifying judges of the Court of Session from holding a seat in Parliament., Grange was determined, however, not to be balked in his design, and he resigned his office, and was elected member for the Stirling district of burghs. Great expectations were entertained of the influence which he would exercise in the House. ‘But his first appearance,’ says Dr. Carlyle, ‘undeceived his sanguine friends, and silenced him for ever. He chose to make his maiden speech on the Witches’ Bill, as it was called; and being learned in daemonologia, with books on which subject his library was filled, he made a long canting speech that set the House in a titter of laughter, and convinced Sir Robert that he had no need of any extraordinary armour against this champion of the house of Mar.’

Carlyle speaks contemptuously of Erskine’s learning and ability, and says he had been raised on the shoulders of his brother, the Earl of Mar, but had never distinguished himself. The minister of Inveresk, however, was too young to know him intimately, and he makes several erroneous statements respecting Grange’s career. He was usually a member of the General Assembly, and voted with what Carlyle calls ‘the High-flying party.’ ‘He had my father very frequently with him in the evenings,’ Carlyle continues, ‘and kept him to very late hours. They were understood to pass much of their time in prayer, and in settling the high points of Calvinism, for their creed was that of Geneva. Lord Grange was not unentertaining in conversation, for he had a great many anecdotes, which he related agreeably, and was fair-complexioned, good-looking, and insinuating. After these meetings for private prayer, however, in which they passed several hours before supper, praying alternately, they did not part without wine, for my mother used to complain of their late hours, and suspected that the claret had flowed liberally. Notwithstanding this intimacy, there were periods of half a year at a time when there was no intercourse between them at all. My father’s conjecture was that at those times he was engaged in a course of debauchery at Edinburgh, and interrupted his religious exercises. For in those intervals he not only neglected my father’s company, but absented himself from church, and did not attend the Sacrament, which at other times he would not have neglected for the world.’

Mr. Erskine’s wife, Lady Grange as she was called, was Rachel Chiesley, the daughter of Chiesley of Dalry, who shot President Lockhart, 31st March, 1689, in the Old Bank Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, in consequence of a decision given by him in an arbitration, that Chiesley was bound to make his wife and family an allowance. There can be no doubt that there was madness in her family, and the lady was a confirmed drunkard. She had been very beautiful, but had a most violent temper, and, becoming jealous of her husband, she employed spies to watch him when he visited London, and is said to have often boasted of the family to which she belonged, hinting that she might one day follow her father’s example. Her husband declared that his life was hourly in danger from her outrageous conduct, and that she slept with deadly weapons under her pillow. According to Wodrow, ‘she intercepted her husband’s letters in the post-office, and would have palmed treason upon them, and took them to the Justice Clerk, as is said, and alleged that some phrases in some of her lord’s letters to Lord Dun, related to the Pretender, without the least shadow for the inference.’ Carlyle says her husband ‘had taken every method to soothe her. As she loved command, he had made her factor upon his estate, and given her the whole management of his affairs. When absent he wrote her the most flattering letters, and did what was still more flattering: he was said, when present, to have imparted secrets to her which, if disclosed, might have reached his life. Still she was unquiet, and led him a miserable life.’ Though she had agreed, in 1730, to accept a separate maintenance, with which she would be satisfied, she still continued to persecute and annoy her husband in the most violent manner.

The outrageous conduct and alarming threats of this wretched woman at length caused Grange to take measures for her confinement in a remote and solitary spot in the Highlands. On the evening of 22nd January, 1732, Lady Grange, who was living in lodgings next door to her husband’s house, was seized and gagged by a number of Highlandmen who had been secretly admitted into her residence. She was carried off by night journeys to Loch Hourn, on the west coast Highlands, and was thence transported to the small and lonely island of Hesker, where she remained five years. She was then conveyed to St. Kilda, where she was detained for seven years more, and ultimately to Harris, where she died in 1745. It was not till 1740 that some rumours got abroad respecting her abduction, and the wretched condition in which she was kept, but no effective measures were taken for her release. She affirmed that the men who carried her off wore Lovat’s livery—probably meaning his tartan—and that Lovat himself had an interview at Stirling with the person in charge of her captors to make arrangements for her journey. Though that consummate villain denied the charge in the most vehement terms, there can be little or no doubt that it was true. ‘As to that story about Lord Grange,’ he said, ‘it is a much less surprise to me, because they said ten times worse of me when that damned woman went from Edinburgh than they say now; for they said it was all my contrivance, and that it was my servants that took her away; but I defied them then, as I do now, and do declare to you upon honour that I do not know what has become of that woman, where she is, or who takes care of her; but if I had contrived, and assisted, and saved my Lord Grange from that devil who threatened every day to murder him and his children, I would not think shame of it before God or man.’

The Laird of M’Leod, to whom the island of St. Kilda belonged, was believed to have been Lovat’s accomplice in this lawless deed. ‘What was most extraordinary,’ says Carlyle, ‘was that, except in conversation for a few weeks only, this enormous act, committed in the midst of the metropolis of Scotland, by a person who had been Lord Justice-Clerk, was not taken the least notice of by any of her own family, or by the King’s Advocate, or Solicitor, or any of the guardians of the laws. Two of her sons were grown up to manhood; her eldest daughter was the wife of the Earl of Kintore; they acquiesced, in what they considered as a necessary act of justice, for the preservation of their father’s life. Nay, the second son was supposed to be one of the persons who came masked to the house, and carried her off in a chair to the place where she was set on horseback.’

A curious paper, written partly by Lady Grange, partly by the minister of St. Kilda, found its way to Edinburgh, and fell into the hands of Mr. William Blackwood, the well-known publisher. It was purchased by John Francis, Earl of Mar, and, along with some letters from that lady, was presented to the Marquis of Bute. This interesting document, which is dated January 21st, 1746, gives a long and minute account of Lady Grange’s abduction, and of the treatment which she received from her captors and successive custodians, which bears the stamp of truth. It was published in the Scots Magazine for November, 1817, by a gentleman who had obtained a copy of the paper.

Grange left a diary, a portion of which was printed in 1834, under the title, ‘Extracts from the Diary of a Member of the College of Justice.’

The forfeited estates of the Jacobite Earl of Mar were purchased from the Government by Erskine of Grange. His two eldest sons died young. James, the third son, an Advocate, was appointed Knight-Marischal of Scotland in 1758. He married his cousin, Lady Frances Erskine, only daughter of the Jacobite Earl of Mar, and died in 1785, leaving two sons. The Mar titles were restored by Act of Parliament to the elder son, John Francis Erskine, in 1824. They are now possessed, along with the estates, by a descendant of his younger son, WALTER HENRY ERSKINE, Earl of Mar and Kellie. [See ANCIENT EARLDOM OF MAR.]

Life of Ralph Erskine
By Jean L. Watson (1881) (pdf)

The Sermons and Other Practical Works of the Late Rev. Ralph Erskine, A. M. (1865) in seven volumes on the Internet Archive

The Erskines
By A. R. MacEwen (1900) (pd)

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