The title of Earl of Dundee was created for the Hereditary Royal Standard-Bearer of Scotland, John Scrymgeour, 3rd Viscount Dudhope. who was at the time the latest in a long line of holders of this illustrious title. Since this title is hereditary, it seems appropriate to begin with its holders prior to the creation of the earldom. Some of the pedigree of the family is obscure and unsubstantiated, but we have tried our best with the data available.
Hereditary Royal Standard-Bearers of Scotland (1298)
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, Alexander Scrymgeour, b.c.1254, d.1306
The Clan Scrymgeour (from the Old English word skrymsher, meaning swordsman or fencer, another variant being skirmisher, this itself probably derived from the Old French escrimeur) was probably descended from the Earls of Fife, the hereditary Coroners, claiming the office of standard-bearer from this connection, from the Celtic tradition of carrying holy relics into battle. The then Clan Chief, Alexander Scrymgeour, supported William Wallace during the Wars of Independence and acted as his standard-bearer. He was with Wallace at the siege of Dundee Castle and after its fall, Scrymgeour was made Hereditary Constable of Dundee and given the lands of Upper Dudhope, north of the town and part of a Royal meadow. He was confirmed as Standard-Bearer by a Parliament held in 1298. Though he lost control of Dundee to the English after the Battle of Falkirk, he eventually regained the town in 1301 and the following year was confirmed in his position by the exiled John Balliol, in whose name Wallace had made the original awards. He joined Robert the Bruce after the Coronation in early 1306 but was soon after captured by the English at the Battle of Methven. After being held for six weeks he was executed by hanging at Newcastle, Dundee Castle back in the hands of the English. Dundee fell to Edward Bruce in 1313 and the castle was razed to the ground.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, Alexander Scrymgeour, b.?, d.?
Son of the previous holder. Some histories have Alexander who fought alongside Wallace as being the same person who carried the Royal standard at the Battle of Bannockburn, but since the first Alexander definitely died in 1306 we must presume another Alexander, most likely his son, performed the latter act.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, Nicholas Scrymgeour, b.c.1282, d.?
Son of the previous holder. He obtained a Royal Charter for the office of Hereditary Standard-Bearer.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, John Scrymgeour, b.c.1310, d.1332
Son of the previous holder. He was killed in action at the Battle of Dupplin Moor.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, Alexander Scrymgeour, b.c.1348, d.1383
Son of the previous holder.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, James Scrymgeour, b.c.1377, d.1411
Son of the previous holder and Agnes (b.c.1355, d.?), daughter of Gilbert of Glassary. He was killed in action at the Battle of Harlaw.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, John Scrymgeour, b.c.1410, d.1465
Son of the previous holder and Egidia Maxwell, daughter of Sir John Maxwell of Pollok. His daughter Elizabeth married John Lyon, 3rd Lord Glamis, ancestor of the earls of Kinghorne.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, James Scrymgeour, b.b.1449, d.1478
Son of the previous holder and either his third wife Marion Abernethy, or more probably his second wife Isabella Oliphant, daughter of Sir William Oliphant of Aberdalgie. He inherited the lands of Glassary prior to taking over as Standard-Bearer and Constable of Dundee.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, James Scrymgeour, b.?, d.1504
Son of the previous holder and Margaret Maitland. He purchased to adjoining lands of Lower Dudhope. His son was too young to bear the Royal standard at Flodden, and so the responsibility passed to his younger brother.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, John Scrymgeour, b.?, d.1513
Younger brother of the previous holder. The position of Constable of Dundee remained with his older brotherís son, after whose death it was also transferred to this line.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, John Scrymgeour, b.?, d.1562
Son of the previous holder and Janet Ogilvy.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, John Scrymgeour, b.?, d.1568
Son of the previous holder and Isobel Cunningham.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, James Scrymgeour, b.?, d.1612
Son of the previous holder and Margaret Campbell. He was part of the embassy that was sent to Denmark to negotiate the marriage of James VI to the Danish Princess Anne, and he was also sent to negotiate a political union with England after the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Hereditary Standard-Bearer, John Scrymgeour, b.1570, d.1643
Son of the previous holder and Margaret Carnegie (b.?, d.1575-1576), daughter of Sir Robert Carnegie of Kinnaird (ancestor of the earls of Northesk and of Southesk). He was an MP for Forfar for many years, and was elected as one of the Lords of the Articles in 1621, voting for the Five Articles of Perth. He was raised to the peerage as 1st Viscount Dudhope and 1st Lord Scrymgeour in 1641.
Viscounts Dudhope (1641)
1st Viscount Dudhope, John Scrymgeour, b.1570, a.1641, d.1643
2nd Viscount Dudhope, John Scrymgeour, b.?, a.1643, d.1644
Son of the 1st Viscount and Margaret Seton. He was part of the Scottish Covenanters force that fought at the Battle of Marston Moor for the English Parliamentarians against Charles I, where he received a fatal wound.
3rd Viscount Dudhope, John Scrymgeour, b.?, a.1644, d.1668
Son of the 2nd Viscount and Lady Isabella Ker, daughter of Sir Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe. He was a Royalist and led a clan regiment of cavalry under Montrose in 1645 and then the Duke of Hamilton in 1648. In 1651, he fought at the Battle of Worcester, escaping defeat to join John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton, in the Highlands, though eventually captured in 1654. At the restoration in 1660, he was rewarded for his loyalty by being made 1st Earl of Dundee and 1st Lord Inverkeithing.
Earls of Dundee (1660)
1st Earl of Dundee, John Scrymgeour, as above
The 1st Earl had no children and died without any direct heirs. His estates were seized by Charles II, on the instructions of John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale, on a legal pretext, thereby depriving the Scrymgeour family from obtaining their rightful inheritance. The earldom therefore became dormant. Lauderdale acted as Standard-Bearer, but when he died there were no further claimants. Though they continued to assert their rights, and regained the position of Hereditary Standard-Bearers, it was not until the 20th Century that the Scrymgeour family succeeded in regaining the Dundee title and estates, with the numbering backdated to suit.
2nd Earl of Dundee, John Scrymgeour, b.?, a.1668, d.1698
The 2nd Earl, de jure (by law), was therefore the heir-male at the time of the 1st Earlís death. This turned out to be a distant relative, a descendant of the original line that had been supplanted at Flodden. James Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1504), hereditary Standard-Bearer mentioned above, married Isobel Gray (daughter of Andrew Gray, 2nd Lord Gray). Their son James Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1546), Constable of Dundee, who had been too young to go into battle, had two daughters, the elder of whom, Elizabeth Scrymgeour, married James Scrymgeour of Kirkton (b.?, d.1555), son of another James Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1513), son of David Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1493), son of David Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1471), younger son of Sir James Scrymgeour, the Standard-Bearer killed at Harlaw. Elizabeth and James Scrymgeour had a son, also James Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1580). He married Agnes Bruce, daughter of William Bruce of Earlshall. Their son John Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1629) married Marion Fotheringham, daughter of Thomas Fotheringham of Powrie. Their son John Scrymgeour (b.?, d.1656) married Jean Makgill, daughter of James Makgill of Rankeillour, and their son would eventually be considered as 2nd Earl, de jure.
3rd Earl of Dundee, James Scrymgeour, b.?, d.?
Son of the 2nd Earl and Magdalene Wedderburn, daughter of Alexander Wedderburn of Kingennie.
4th Earl of Dundee, Alexander Scrymgeour, b.?, d.?
Younger brother of the 3rd Earl. He was a lay Professor at the University of St Andrews.
5th Earl of Dundee, David Scrymgeour, b.?, d.?
Son of the 4th Earl and Janet Falconer, daughter of Professor David Falconer. He was Sheriff-Depute of Inverness.
6th Earl of Dundee, Alexander Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, b.?, d.1811
Son of the 5th Earl and Katherine Wedderburn, daughter of Sir Alexander Wedderburn, 4th Baronet Wedderburn of Blackness. He added Wedderburn to his name after inheriting the Wedderburn estates by way of his wife.
7th Earl of Dundee, Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, b.?, d.1841
Younger brother of the 6th Earl. He acted as Standard-Bearer to King George IV on that monarchís visit to Scotland in 1822.
8th Earl of Dundee, Frederick Lewis Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, b.1808, d.1874
Son of the 7th Earl and Mary Turner Maitland, ironically a grand-daughter of Charles Maitland, 6th Earl of Lauderdale.
9th Earl of Dundee, Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, b.1840, d.1914
Son of the 8th Earl and Helen Arbuthnott (b.?, d.1840), daughter of John Arbuthnott, 8th Viscount of Arbuthnott. He acted as Hereditary Standard-Bearer at the coronation of Edward VII.
10th Earl of Dundee, Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, b.1872, d.1924
Son of the 9th Earl and Juliana Bradell (b.?, d.1921). He acted as hereditary Standard-Bearer at the Coronation of George V, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Black Watch during the First World War.
11th Earl of Dundee, Henry James Scrymgeour, b.1902, d.1983
Son of the 10th Earl and Edith Moffat (b.c.1877, d.1968). Educated at Winchester and Balliol College Oxford, he was a JP and MP for West Renfrewshire from 1931 to 1945, and ultimately a Parliamentary Private Secretary to a number of Ministries. He reached the rank of Captain in the Black Watch during the Second World War. In 1952 the House of Lords recognised his claim to the earldom, and was later also made 1st Baron Glassary in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He was a Minister of State in the Foreign Office from 1961 to 1964, and he was made a Privy Counsellor in 1959. He was also Deputy Leader of the House of Lords from 1962 to 1964.
12th Earl of Dundee, Alexander Henry Scrymgeour, b.1949, a.1983
Son of the 11th Earl and Patricia Katherine Montagu Douglas Scott (b.1910), a grand-daughter of the 6th Duke of Buccleuch (she having previously been married to the 11th Earlís younger brother David, who was killed in action during the Second World War). Educated at Eton and the University of St Andrews, he was Page of Honour to Queen Elizabeth II from 1964 to 1965 and is a Companion of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (C.St.J.). He was a Lord in Waiting from 1976 to 1989 before serving on the Council of Europe from 1992 to 1999, when he was elected as an Hereditary Peer in 1999. As well as being 12th Earl of Dundee, he is also 14th Viscount Dudhope, 14th Lord Scrymgeour, 12th Lord Inverkeithing and 2nd Baron Glassary.
The courtesy title for the heir is Viscount Dudhope.
(Last updated: 14/09/2011)