Earls of Dunfermline (1605)

 

1st Earl of Dunfermline, Alexander Seton, b.1555, a.1605, d.1622

 

Alexander Seton was the fourth son of George Seton, 5th Lord Seton (whose heir became the Earl of Winton, under which title previous family history may be found) and Isabel Hamilton (b.c.1529, d.1604), daughter of Sir William Hamilton of Sanquhar. From a solid Roman Catholic family, he studied as a Jesuit in Rome from 1571 to 1578, also finding time to study law, passing the bar in 1577. He joined his fatherís embassy to France in 1583 before joining the government as a Privy Counsellor and Extraordinary Lord of Session. In 1587 he obtained the revenues of the Priory of Pluscarden, the lands thereof having been granted to him as a gift by his godmother, Mary, Queen of Scots, at his baptism. In 1589 he was made an Ordinary Lord of Session under the title of Lord Urquhart. He was made President of the Court of Session in 1598, a post he held until 1605, and raised to the peerage as 1st Lord Fyvie. He was also Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1598 to 1608. He was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1605, being created 1st Earl of Dunfermline in line with this position, and continued in that role until his death.

 

2nd Earl of Dunfermline, Charles Seton, b.1615, a.1622, d.1672

 

Son of the 1st Earl and the Honorable Margaret Hay (b.c.1592, d.1659), daughter of James Hay, 7th Lord Hay of Yester (whose son became 1st Earl of Tweeddale). He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1640 and Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly in 1642. As a Royalist, he was forced to leave the country at the execution of Charles I, returning with Charles II the following year. He was Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland from 1661 until his death.

 

3rd Earl of Dunfermline, Alexander Seton, b.1642, a.1672, d.1677

 

Second son of the 2nd Earl and Mary Douglas (b.?, d.1659), daughter of William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton. He succeeded to the titles as his older brother Charles Seton, Lord Fyvie (b.1640, d.1672) had died before their father. He also died, unmarried, soon after inheriting.

 

4th Earl of Dunfermline, James Seton, b.?, a.1677, d.1694

 

Younger brother of the 3rd Earl. A devoted Jacobite, he fought for King James II under John Graham, Viscount Dundee (for whom see the lords Claverhouse) at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, and was later outlawed, forfeiting his titles. He joined James at St Germains, where he was presented with the Order of the Thistle. He married Lady Jean Gordon, daughter of Lewis Gordon, 3rd Marquess of Huntly but had no children, and his titles became extinct.

 

(Last updated: 31/08/2011)

 

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