Lennox was one of the ancient Scottish mormaerdoms, though not an original Pictish kingdom, more probably in the control of the Strathclyde British comparatively late in Medieval Scotland. It lay on the north side of the River Clyde and stretched up around both sides of Loch Lomond, and including the Cowal Peninsula and Dumbartonshire as far east as Kilsyth. Its name is derived from Leven-ach, or the Vale of Leven, with the word Leamhan being Gaelic for Elm. Although the original line of mormaers eventually died out, the title was re-used on several occasions, handed out to relatives of the monarch.
1st Earl of Lennox, Ailin, b.b.1178, a.c.1200, d.c.1200
There are earlier names mentioned briefly as being mormaers of Lennox before Ailin, but it is also likely that there was never a recognised territory of Lennox prior to the time of King William I, with this area of Scotland being regarded as a frontier between the more civilised east of Scotland and the lawless west coast and islands. The name of Ailin (anglicised as Alwyn or Alan) occurs rarely, but he may have ruled over Lennox prior to it being handed to David of Huntingdon, the King’s younger brother. It may have been its very unruliness that caused it to be handed back to Ailin when David was handed the earldom of Huntingdon.
2nd Earl of
Son of the 1st Earl. The mormaerdom of
3rd Earl of
Son of the 2nd Earl and Eva of Menteith, daughter of Gilchrist, 1st Earl of Menteith. His name is anglicised as Maldoun or Maldoven. Again, the mormaer of Lennox seems to have taken little involvement in the politics of the time. King Alexander II took the control of Dumbarton Castle from him, but otherwise regranted his position as mormaer, indicating that the earldom was never clearly established before then.
4th Earl of
Grandson of the 3rd Earl and Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of Walter Stewart, 3rd High Steward of Scotland, and son of Malcolm, Master of Lennox (b.?,d.b.1250) and an unknown wife. He was a supporter of the Bruce family in their attempts to gain the Scottish throne, and joined in the revolt of William Wallace and Andrew Moray.
5th Earl of
Son of the 4th Earl and his wife Margaret. He succeeded to the title by giving homage to Edward I of England, but was a supporter of the Bruces like his father, and attended the coronation of Robert Bruce. He died fighting for the Bruces against the English invasion led by Edward Balliol at the Battle of Homildon Hill.
6th Earl of
Son of the 5th Earl and Margaret of Mar, a sister of daughter to Donald, 7th Earl of Mar. His relationship with King David II was less than amicable, and he also had to fend off attempts by the Stewarts to take his earldom, ensuring that his daughter married a local kinsman.
7th Earl (Countess) of
Daughter of the 6th Earl. She ruled the earldom with her husband Walter of Faslane as earl de uxoris.
8th Earl of
Son of the 7th Countess and Walter of Faslane. In 1385 his mother and father resigned the earldom to him, but in 1388 they were handed custody of these lands for the remainder of their lives, while Donnchadh, although retaining the title, was confined in Inchmurrin Castle on Loch Lomond. In 1392 Donnchadh agreed to marry off his daughter Isabella to Murdoch Stewart, son of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, the deal being that if Albany could help Donnchadh to gain control of the earldom, then the succession would pass to the Stewarts. Donnchadh outlived Albany, and so the position of heir passed to Murdoch’s son Walter Stewart. However, Donnchadh, Murdoch and Walter were all executed in 1425 when King James I re-asserted his control of the realm.
9th Earl (Countess) of
Daughter of the 8th Earl and Eilidh, daughter of Gille Easbaig Caimbeul of the Argyll Campbells. She was married to Murdoch Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany, as referred to above. After her husband and at least two of her sons were executed for treason by King James I, she was held prisoner in Tantallon Castle for eight years, until the murder of James I, before being allowed to return to her lands. She continued to run Lennox from Inchmurrin Castle until her death, and with all her sons dying before her, the earldom reverted to the King. Her youngest son, James Stewart (b.?, d.1451) survived the execution of his father and brothers and escaped to Ireland, from where he attempted another rebellion in 1429. Either James or his brother Walter Stewart, who was one of those executed in 1425, was the father of Andrew Stewart, who became Lord Chancellor of Scotland and was created 1st Lord Avandale.
1st Earl of Lennox, John Stewart, b.b.1430, a.1473, d.1495
A direct descendant of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of
Scotland, by way of that central figure John Stewart of Bonkyl, John Stewart he
was grandson of Sir John Stewart, 1st Seigneur d’Aubigny and
Elizabeth, daughter of Donnchadh (or Duncan), 8th Earl of Lennox,
and son of Sir Alan Stewart of Darnley (b.?, d.c.1439) and Catherine Seton
(b.?, d.1478), sister of George Seton, 1st Lord Seton (for whom see
the earls of Winton). Sir John Stewart had gone to
2nd Earl of Lennox, Matthew Stuart, b.b.1488, a.1495, d.1513
Son of the 1st Earl and Margaret Montgomerie, daughter of
Alexander Montgomerie, 1st Lord Montgomerie (for whom see the earls
of Eglinton). He died at
3rd Earl of Lennox, John Stuart, b.c.1490, a.1513, d.1526
Son of the 2nd Earl and his second wife Elizabeth Hamilton (b.?, d.1531), daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton. Lennox attempted to release James V from Douglas control, but was defeated by his brother-in-law James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran at the Battle of Linlithgow Bridge and taken prisoner, only to be murdered while in custody by an Hamilton loyalist as he was seen to be too great a threat.
4th Earl of Lennox, Matthew Stuart, b.1516, a.1526, d.1571
Son of the 3rd Earl and Lady Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of
Sir John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl. His
youth was spent in exile after his father’s murder. However, when James V died
in 1542, Lennox was considered to be one of the principal heirs to the throne,
being descended from James II by way of his grandmother Elizabeth Hamilton
mentioned above, and he returned to
1st Earl of Lennox, Charles Stuart, b.1555, a.1571, d.c.1576
Son of the 4th Earl above and Lady Margaret Douglas (b.1515, d.1578), daughter of Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. The earldom had passed to the Crown on the death of the 4th Earl, but was granted anew to Charles, Darnley’s younger brother. He married Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the Bess of Hardwick, who, as Countess of Shrewsbury, had welcomed Mary, Queen of Scots, to Chatsworth House on numerous occasions. This marriage was considered potentially treasonable as Stuart was still close to the throne and they should have sought royal assent in advance.
2nd Earl (Countess) of
Daughter of the 1st Earl and Elizabeth Cavendish (b.1555,
d.1582), and also known as Arabella. She was raised by her maternal grandmother
Elizabeth (Bess) Hardwick (b.1518, d.1607-1608), who had taken George Talbot, 6th
Earl of Shrewsbury, as her second husband. By birth she was highly placed in
the line of succession to the English throne, and was subject to various
suggestions as to her marriage, including James VI. However, she was neither
interested in these proposals nor the throne, and in 1610 married William
Seymour, also in line for the throne, in secret. For marrying without his
permission, they were imprisoned in the Tower of London by James, and although
they escaped separately, she was re-captured and died in the Tower. She had
never been recognised as Countess of Lennox in
Earls of Lennox (1578)
1st Earl of Lennox, Robert Stuart, b.c.1515, a.1579, d.1586
Second son of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Lennox and Elizabeth Stewart, mentioned above. As the next available Stewart in the Royal Family, the titles of Earl of Lennox and Lord Darnley naturally devolved to him. However in 1580 he resigned these and was created 1st Earl of March instead.
1st Earl of Lennox, Esme Stuart, b.c.1542, a.1580, d.1583
Grandson of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Lennox and son of John Stuart, 5th Seigneur d’Aubigny (b.c.1519, d.1567) and Anne de la Queuille (b.b.1526, d.a.1579). When the young James VI arrived in Edinburgh in 1579, he was introduced to Esme Stuart, soon becoming infatuated, and fell under Stuart’s control. James made Stuart a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and Keeper of Dumbarton Castle, and then gave him a place in the Privy Council. The following year he was created 1st Earl of Lennox in a new line and made Great Chamberlain of Scotland, and the next year after that made 1st Duke of Lennox, 1st Earl of Darnley and Captain of the King’s Guard.
1st Duke of Lennox, Esme Stuart, b.c.1542, a.1581, d.1583
The Presbyterian establishment did not trust Lennox, although he was a convert to Protestantism, and his relationship with the King was to say the least questionable. He also arranged for the previous Regent, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, to be executed for treason, which led to the Raid of Ruthven that removed the King from Lennox influence. He was then denounced by a pronouncement by the King under duress and read aloud at Stirling Castle, after which he departed for France. He continued to correspond with the King secretly, but did not renounce his conversion, and died soon afterwards.
2nd Duke of Lennox, Ludovic Stuart, b.1574, a.1583, d.1624
Son of the 1st Duke and Catherine de Balzac (b.?, d.c.1631-1632). He returned to Scotland after his father’s death and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1589 and High Admiral in 1591. When the court moved to England in 1603 he became a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and becoming naturalised English, was made an English Privy Counsellor and Knight of the Garter. He was created 1st Earl of Richmond in the Peerage of England in 1613 and a Lord Steward of the Household in 1615. He was involved in the Plantation of Ulster, a move to settle Scots and English in order to reduce the possibility of rebellion, and was created King’s Alnager of Ireland in 1618. He was also involved and in the development of the New World, including the colonisation of Maine, with various places named Richmond in his honour. In 1623 he was made 1st Duke of Richmond, but this title became extinct at his death. Although married three times, his only children were illegitimate.
3rd Duke of Lennox, Esme Stuart, b.c.1579, a.1624, d.1624
Younger brother of the 2nd Duke. He was also naturalised as an English citizen in 1603 and made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber like his brother. He succeeded his father directly as 7th Seigneur d’Aubigny. On succeeding to the dukedom he was made a Knight of the Garter but died soon afterwards. However, he did receive the title of 1st Earl of March and 1st Baron Stuart of Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdon, in the Peerage of England in 1619, and was a patron of the famous playwright Ben Johnson.
4th Duke of Lennox, James Stuart, b.1612, a.1624, d.1655
Son of the 3rd Duke and Katherine Clifton, 2nd Baroness Clifton of Leighton Bromwold (b.c.1592, d.1637). He was made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber in 1625 and in 1633 he was made a Privy Counsellor and Knight of the Garter. On his mother’s death, he became 3rd Lord Clifton of Leighton Bromswold. He was Warden of the Cinque Ports from 1640 to 1642 and was made Lord Steward of the Household and a Privy Counsellor in 1641, when he was also made 1st Duke of Richmond in the Peerage of England. As a distant relative of Charles I, he was an important Royalist during the English Civil War.
5th Duke of Lennox, Esme Stuart, b.1649, a.1655, d.1660
Son of the 4th Duke and Lady Mary Villiers (b.c.1622, d.1685), daughter of Sir George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. He died young, with the barony of Clifton passing to his sister Mary Stuart.
6th Duke of Lennox, Charles Stuart, b.1638-1639, a.1660, d.1672
Grandson of the 3rd Duke, and son of George Stuart (b.1618, d.1642) and Lady Katherine Howard (b.?, d.1650), daughter of Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, and so a cousin of the 5th Duke. Very much an English noble, he was created 1st Earl of Lichfield and 1st Baron Stuart of Newbury in 1645. He went into exile in France in 1658 but returned with his King at the Restoration in 1660 before succeeding to all the titles associated with the dukedom, including the now hereditary titles of Great Chamberlain and High Admiral of Scotland. In 1661 he was created a Knight of the Garter and a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and in 1666 was created 1st Baron of Cobham in the Peerage of England. In 1665, he succeeded to the title of 11th Seigneur d’Aubigny on the death of his uncle Ludovic Stuart (b.1619, d.1665), and in 1668 to the title of 6th Lord Clifton on the death of his cousin Mary Stuart (b.1651, d.1668), sister of the 5th Duke. In 1672 he travelled to Denmark as Ambassador, but died by drowning while staying at Elsinore. On his death, all of his titles became extinct except the barony of Clifton, which transferred to his sister Katherine Stuart (b.1640, d.1702).
1st Duke of Lennox, Charles Lennox, b.1672, a.1675, d.1723
Charles Lennox was the illegitimate son of King Charles II and his
mistress Louise de Kerouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth (b.1649, d.1734) and so a
very distant relation of the previous duke. In 1675, he was created 1st
Duke of Lennox, and also 1st Earl of Darnley and 1st Lord
Torboltoun in the Peerage of Scotland and 1st Duke of Richmond, 1st
Earl of March and 1st Baron Lennox of Settrington in the Peerage of
England, and granted a £2000 per year stipend. He was made the Governor of
Dumbarton Castle and a Knight of the Garter in 1681. In 1685 he was naturalised
as a French subject and became a Roman Catholic. In 1692 he was naturalised as
an English subject and converted to the Church of England. He served as
Aide-de-Camp for King William III from 1693 to 1702 and was Lord High Admiral
of Scotland from 1694 until resigning all his Scottish offices in 1705. He was
Lord of the Bedchamber to George I from 1714 to 1723 and made an Irish Privy
Counsellor in 1715. He had a special interest in cricket, which was becoming a
major sport, and was responsible for its development in
2nd Duke of Lennox, Charles Lennox, b.1701, a.1723, d.1750
Son of the 1st Duke and Anne Brudenell (b.?, d.1722),
daughter of Francis Brudenell, Lord Brudenell (son and heir of Robert
Brudenell, 2nd Earl of Cardigan). He gained the rank of Captain in
the Royal Horse Guards, and was MP for
3rd Duke of Lennox, Charles Lennox, b.1734-1735, a.1750, d.1806
Son of the 2nd Duke and Lady Sarah Cadogan (b.1705, d.1751),
daughter of General Sir William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan. Educated
at Westminster School, he joined the army as an Ensign in the 2nd
Foot Guards in 1751, and became Captain in the 29th Foot in 1753.
After studying at
4th Duke of Lennox, Charles Lennox, b.1764, a.1806, d.1819
Nephew of the 3rd Duke, and son of Lieutenant-General Lord George
Henry Lennox (b.c.1738, d.1805) and Lady Louisa Kerr (b.?, d.1830), daughter of
Sir William Henry Kerr, 4th Marquess of Lothian.
As a keen cricketer, he was a founder member of the Marylebone Cricket Club and
underwrote the development of a permanent cricket ground by Thomas Lord in
1786. He served in the 35th Foot Regiment, and reached the rank of
Lieutenant-Colonel in 1789. The same year, he had a duel with the Duke of York
over allegations of ungentlemanly behaviour. From 1790 to 1806, he was Tory MP
5th Duke of Lennox, Charles-Gordon Lennox, b.1791, a.1819, d.1860
Son of the 4th Duke and Lady Charlotte Gordon (b.1768,
d.1842), daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon (for whom
see the earls of Huntly). Educated at Westminster
College London and Trinity College Dublin, he joined the Army in 1809, and
served in the Peninsular Wars with the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Foot Regiment,
being severely wounded at the Battle of Orthez in 1814. He was Aide-de-Camp to
the 1st Duke of Wellington from 1810 to 1814, gaining the rank of
Captain, and fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, where he was
Aide-de-Camp to the Prince of Orange. He reached the rank of Brevet Lieutenant
–Colonel before succeeding his father. He also represented Chichester as Tory
MP from 1812 to 1819, before joining the House of Lords. In 1829 he was made a
Knight of the Garter, and was Postmaster-General from 1830 to 1834. He was
6th Duke of Lennox, Charles Gordon-Lennox, b.1818, a.1860, d.1903
Son of the 5th Duke and Lady Caroline Paget (b.1796, d.1874),
daughter of Field-Marshal Sir Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of
Anglesey. Educated at Westminster and Christ Chuch College Oxford, he joined
the Roayl Horse Guards in 1839 and was Aide-de-Camp to the Commander-in-Chief
from 1842 to 1854, also representing West Sussex as a Tory MP from 1841 to
1860. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1859 and a Knight of the Garter in
1867, and held several important government posts. In 1876 he was created 1st
Duke of Gordon and 1st Earl of Kinrara in the Peerage of the
7th Duke of Lennox, Charles Gordon-Lennox, b.1845, a.1903, d.1928
Son of the 6th Duke and Frances Harriet Greville (b.1824,
d.1887). Educated at Eton, he joined the Grenadier Guards in 1865, and then
served as a Tory MP, first for West Sussex and then for Chichester, from 1869
to 1888. He was made a Lieutenant in the Royal Company of Archers and served as
Militia Aide-de-Camp for Queen Victoria from 1896 to 1903, then for Edward VII
until 1910, and then for George V until 1920. He reached the rank of Colonel in
the 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment and fought in the Boer War, and was
made a Companion of the
8th Duke of Lennox, Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, b.1870, a.1928, d.1935
Son of the 7th Duke and Amy Mary Ricardo (b.1848, d.1879).
Educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford, he served as Aide-de-Camp to the
9th Duke of Lennox, Charles Gordon-Lennox, b.1904, a.1935, d.1989
Son of the 8th Duke and Hilda Madeline Brassey (b.1872,
d.1971). Educated at
10th Duke of Lennox, Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, b.1929, a.1989
Son of the 9th Duke and Elizabeth Grace Hudson (b.1900,
d.1992). Educated at Eton, he served in the 60th Rifles from 1949 to
1950 and then became a Chartered Accountant, and was invested as a Fellow of
the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1956. He also held a number of public
positions, including being a member of the General Synod of the Church of
England from 1960 to 1980. He was Lord-Lieutenant of
The courtesy title for the heir is Earl of March and Kinrara.
(Last updated: 18/05/2011)